Author Archives: Ewdison Then

I’m the founder of GiXiO, the publisher of SlashGear - An open source advocate, Linux geek, high performance computing engineer and consumer technology journalist based in Japan.

Telegram improves self-destructing chats, expiring invite links

Telegram improves self-destructing chats, expiring invite links

WhatsApp's Facebook-friendly privacy changes have caused many users to flock to other secure messaging services. Those services, in turn, have rapidly pushed out changes to improve their features as well as prepare their servers for the sudden influx of new users. For its latest set of updates, Telegram is adding a touch of transience to some of its features, such as public chats as well as invite links, while also making sure that refugees from other messaging platforms will feel at home as well.

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Nickelodeon Avatar Studios to expand popular animated franchise

Nickelodeon Avatar Studios to expand popular animated franchise

You know you made it big when you get your own live-action film and new studio just for you. Although The Last Airbender film adaptation was largely considered a terrible flop, the franchise it was built on still has a strong following that is eagerly awaiting more content from the fictional universe. Consider those wishes now answered as Nickelodeon establishes the Avatar Studios dedicated specifically to create more of that, including a new film, animated this time.

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OPPO X 2021 rollable phone details revealed at MWC Shanghai

OPPO X 2021 rollable phone details revealed at MWC Shanghai

While the fate of the LG Rollable is still undecided, OPPO's own take on the rather exotic phone form factor is, at least officially, not headed to the market. Ironically, it is also the one that seems to actually be ready for production. At MWC Shanghai, OPPO naturally didn't miss the opportunity to boast about its rollable OPPO X1 2021 concept phone, both for its hardware innovations and the experiences its extendable screen enables.

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Old Google Pay in the US will become useless in April

Old Google Pay in the US will become useless in April

It isn't exactly out of the ordinary that Google retires an app or service in favor of a new one. Often, but not always, it waits for the new version to at least be ready for the all old users to switch to. That didn't actually happen smoothly in the transition to YouTube Music but hopefully, Google Pay will be a different story. No, users are just being pushed to a new version of the Google Pay app and the company will be forcing users' hands by making the old one practically useless in April.

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Samsung Wireless DeX for PC coming to more phones

Samsung Wireless DeX for PC coming to more phones

Given its track record, there have been some worries that Samsung will abandon its special DeX feature sooner or later. That may still happen but, at least for now, it seems that Samsung will be sticking to its guns, especially since it has become one of the exclusive perks when pairing Galaxy phones with Windows PCs. DeX's longevity, however, depends on the number of users it has which, in turn, depends on the number of devices it supports. Fortunately, Samsung might be addressing the latter by bringing DeX's most recent feature to more of its phones, provided they're running the latest version of its One UI experience.

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Stadia Pro free games for March include PixelJunk Raiders exclusive

Stadia Pro free games for March include PixelJunk Raiders exclusive

Google's announcement of the shutdown of its own, in-house, first-party game development studio for Stadia has had many doubting the future of the game streaming service, both in this particular case and in general. Stadia, of course, has repeatedly assured customers and partners alike that all is well and the service will grow even more this year, even without the Stadia Games & Entertainment studio. In addition to the promised 100 games planned throughout the year, it is now announcing its four free games for March, including one Stadia-exclusive.

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LG webOS TV platform is now available for other TV manufacturers

LG webOS TV platform is now available for other TV manufacturers

Despite the popularity of smart TVs, there is currently no clear winner among the handful of smart TV platforms available. Google's Android TV may have the numbers but it doesn't have a wide lead against Samsung's Tizen-based platform, LG's webOS TV, Amazon's Fire TV, and the handful of other custom platforms on the likes of Roku, for example. LG, however, seems to have bigger ambitions and wants to corner that market by licensing its webOS TV platform to other smart TV makers.

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Galaxy Z Fold 2, Z Flip 5G get a 100-day trial offer

Galaxy Z Fold 2, Z Flip 5G get a 100-day trial offer

Most people are probably intrigued by foldable phones, even if they're not really sure they'll have any practical use for them. Even those that do think they can justify the expensive purchase might still be unsure whether reality will match expectations. To help people get used to the idea of foldable phones, Samsung is making a rather bold and brave proposition, giving buyers the option to return the Galaxy Z Fold 2 or Galaxy Z Flip 5G within three months if they change their minds.

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Nreal Light AR glasses are coming to the US

Nreal Light AR glasses are coming to the US

Some consider AR or augmented reality to be the next step forward in computing. Unlike VR, AR mixes the real and the digital in an almost seamless manner, at least ideally speaking. That goal is difficult to pull off, however, with bulky and heavy headsets that require you to be chained to a desktop or a laptop. Lightweight and "normal-looking" AR glasses are the dream for this field of computing and Nreal might be bringing exactly that to the US and Europe in the next quarter.

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Samsung 50MP ISOCELL GN2 brings Dual Pixel Pro AF, staggered-HDR

Samsung 50MP ISOCELL GN2 brings Dual Pixel Pro AF, staggered-HDR

When Samsung launched its first 100x Space Zoom camera on the Galaxy S20 Ultra last year, it was criticized for neglecting one important aspect of digital photography, the autofocus performance. Since then, Samsung has been careful to improve AF in its flagship phones and its next one might take it to the next level, or so Samsung boasts. Going beyond its own Dual Pixel brand of PDAF, Samsung is announcing a new 1.4μm 50Mp ISOCELL GN2 sensor that carries a Dual Pixel Pro version of its AF tech, along with other tricks that improve the sensor's low-light performance.

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Netflix can automatically download videos you never heard of yet

Netflix can automatically download videos you never heard of yet

Netflix is still the king of video streaming but, let's face it, not everyone can actually afford to be streaming all the time. Internet connectivity is still not a constant and buffering during streaming can easily ruin the mood. That's why even the streaming king embraces downloading videos and its latest upgrade to that feature can make Netflix feel either smarter or more intrusive, depending on what it thinks you might like.

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Spotify Clips are like Snapchat Stories for artists only

Spotify Clips are like Snapchat Stories for artists only

It's Spotify's big day today, not only boasting of its large library of content and roster of artists on its platform, it also announced new features, like its HiFi lossless streaming. One feature that didn't get the spotlight has actually been in limited testing for a few months but is only now getting a formal name. Spotify Clips is now rolling out, at least if you're an artist, and like everyone else, it's taking a page out of Snapchat's book.

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