This week's headlines: 16th September 2018
Hey folks! It’s time for the biggest tech headlines of the week, including new iPhones and a new Apple Watch, events for LG and Google’s latest flagship phones and some disappointing news for fans of Microsoft or OnePlus. Let’s get right into these stories and more!
Google to announce new Pixels at October 9th event
After months of speculation and rumour, Google has finally announced when it will unveil its new Pixel phones to the world: October 9th. The event should include both the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL smartphones, both of which have leaked comprehensively in the last few weeks. The larger 3 XL will get a (heavily) notched display, while both models are set to receive dual front-facing cameras and a swap from metal to glass on the back to allow for wireless charging. Google normally announce a fair few new products at these events, so tune in and see what’s going on!
OnePlus 6T won’t come with a headphone jack
According to OnePlus founder Carl Pei, the The OnePlus 6T will finally ditch the much-loved headphone jack. That’s in response to a customer survey that stated nearly 60% of OnePlus customers already have wireless headphones, and immediately after OnePlus launched their Bullets Wireless headphones. In exchange, the phone will have a slighlty larger battery and an in-screen fingerprint sensor when it launches this October. USB-C headphones will be offered with the phone as well, for anti-fans of Bluetooth headphones.
LG V40 will be announced in October with five rear cameras
LG are soon to announce their latter-half-of-the-year flagship, the V40. Invites have gone out to the press warning of an October 3rd release date in New York City, at 5PM local time (which is in the middle of the night here). Leaked images of the phone suggest that it will be quite a curious one, with five cameras in total: three on the back, two on the front. Other features include a notched display, Snapdragon 845 processor, rear fingerprint sensor, quad DAC and a Google Assistant button (a la Samsung’s Bixby button).
Early iPhone Xs benchmark results show small improvement over last year’s iPhone X
For years, the ’S’ release of the iPhone has entailed a better camera and a faster processor, and that’s exactly what we got this week with the release of the iPhone Xs, Xs Max and Xr. Each one has a new A12 processor, replacing the outgoing A11 on the iPhone X, a new camera sensor with bigger pixels and a host of other small tweaks and improvements. That makes it hard to justify the leap from an iPhone X to the new model, but a big jump in performance could make the difference. Sadly that doesn’t appear to be the case, if early benchmark results are anything to go by. The A12 chip in the new phones appears to be just 10% faster when it comes to single-core performance, and around 5% slower in multi-core performance. Of course, these are just preliminary results, so it’ll be interesting to see if the story changes when retail iPhone units arrive later this month. Be sure to check out the full iPhone Xs event roundup here and a look at the phones’ new eSIM and dual-SIM options right here.
Apple Watch Series 4 announced
As well as new iPhones, Apple also announced a new iteration of its popular smartwatch, Series 4. The new Watch includes a bigger display that fits more of the screen, a built-in ECG scanner, a dual-core 64-bit S4 processor, a haptic-enabled Digital Crown and an overhauled watchOS user interface. This is the biggest update to the Apple Watch that we’ve seen since the debut of the product line in 2015, so if you’ve been on the fence then this might be a good time to check out the new arrivals. The new Watches ship on September 17th.
Microsoft to add new warning for Windows 10 users installing Chrome or Firefox
Microsoft is generally a lot more level-headed and collaborative than it was in the Bill Gates or Steve Ballmer eras, but the old ’M$’ still rears its ugly head every now and again. One of these times may be coming up, as Windows 10 testers have spotted an annoying new warning for anyone trying to install the browsers Chrome or Firefox on their new machine. A pop-up appears stating ‘You already have Microsoft Edge - the safer, faster browser for Windows 10’, with a prominent button to open Edge, and a plainer button that says ‘Install anyway’. These messages can be disabled, but it’s annoying to need to jump through that hoop in the first place. Is it really worthwhile to anger your users just to fool a few people into using the Edge browser?
Image credits: The Verge
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