opinion

HomePod is changing how I listen to music

HomePod is changing how I listen to music

Is Siri better than the Google Assistant, or worse than Alexa, or the downfall of Apple's HomePod, or the reason it's so good? The questions around the Cupertino company's first connected speaker are numerous and fairly predictable, just like the tests pitting one virtual assistant against another in fact. From the start I'd figured Siri makes an excellent guide through Apple Music - you can credit Apple's otherwise frustratingly tight integration between streaming service and speaker for that - but what I didn't expect was how much she would change how I listen to music.

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Apple’s Touch Bar needs to grow up

Apple’s Touch Bar needs to grow up

Apple’s biggest changes to its MacBook range in 2018 may be focused on overhauling the processors inside its notebooks, but it’s making the most of one of its most misunderstood features that I really hope changes this year. I was one of what seemed like only a few people - outside of Apple, at least - upbeat about the Touch Bar when it first arrived on the MacBook Pro in 2016, though even then it was clear there was room for improvement. Apple’s concept of a contextually changing array of shortcuts placed within easier reach of your hands on the keyboard had potential, but its first implementation felt cautiously tentative.

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We need a new Facebook [PART 1] [OPINION]

We need a new Facebook [PART 1] [OPINION]

Facebook is a meat grinder full of of meaningless links, shares, and pseudo-motivational text over images. It's a place where brands go to make their brands feel more personal. It's the place where a tornado of false stories are shared between middle-aged communities who don't know how to check their sources. It's a place where smartphone users go because they're addicted to checking the feed. Facebook is no longer a good place to communicate between friends.

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You’re going to want the Galaxy S9+

You’re going to want the Galaxy S9+

When it comes to the Galaxy S9, it looks like Samsung has joined the "bigger is better" crowd, and that's going to leave some buyers frustrated. The Android flagship, along with its Galaxy S9+ sibling, is expected to debut in just a few weeks time, at Samsung's next Unpacked event during MWC 2018. From what we already know, though, along with the new hardware the Galaxy S9 and S9+ will also present buyers with a new, tough decision.

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The Pickup is Growing Up

The Pickup is Growing Up

Given Detroit's history with the pickup, the fact that the North American International Auto Show 2018 was dominated by trucks probably wasn't much of a surprise. All the same, it's telling that these weren't the rough and ready workhorses of pickup tradition. Consumer demand, more stringent regulations, and an undeniable appetite for raising sticker prices on the forecourt have all forced the unthinkable: the pickup truck is growing up.

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Age of Empires: Definitive Edition will be dead on arrival thanks to Microsoft

Age of Empires: Definitive Edition will be dead on arrival thanks to Microsoft

As far as strategy games go, the Age of Empires series ranks among the best of them. Age of Empires II is arguably the most fondly remembered game in the series, and a few years back, it was remastered to play nice with modern systems and displays. Now Microsoft is looking to do the same thing with the first Age of Empires game, and after being hit with a delay that pushed it beyond its original October launch window, we now have a new release date. Unfortunately, that release date becomes a lot less exciting when you realize that Microsoft is playing the exclusivity game with this launch.

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2017’s most surprising car has a lesson for EVs in 2018

2017’s most surprising car has a lesson for EVs in 2018

In a year where I've driven supercars like the new Ford GT, six-figure hand-built exotica such as Rolls-Royce's Dawn, and vehicles with horsepower by the bucketload, the car that stands out at the end of all that was a surprise even to me. Chevrolet's Bolt EV is, on the face of it, a fairly unassuming little hatchback that just so happens to be electric, not gas-powered. It's affordable, as electric cars go, but it has a surprise under the inoffensive sheet-metal.

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Apple’s good reason for slowing old iPhones won’t help

Apple’s good reason for slowing old iPhones won’t help

It's fair to say that Apple's admission this week that no, your old iPhone getting slower isn't just in your imagination, has proved divisive. For years, the idea that an older iPhone would perform more slowly than it once did was dismissed as paranoia. Now, it turns out, Apple actually is adjusting power profiles on handsets like the iPhone 6s and iPhone 7, arguing that it's doing it for good reasons.

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Magic Leap’s big reveal only prompts more questions

Magic Leap’s big reveal only prompts more questions

$1.9 billion dollars and six years in, Magic Leap has revealed its first product, and yet we still have more questions than we do answers. The Magic Leap One: Creator Edition has arguably been one of the most hotly-anticipated - and certainly controversial - wearables in the new age of mixed and augmented reality. Problem is, just like the virtual graphics it promises to overlay atop our vision, we're still not quite sure what we're looking at.

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Nine months with Nintendo Switch

Nine months with Nintendo Switch

It's sort of hard to believe, but it's been a whole nine months since the Nintendo Switch launched. Part of what makes that feel unbelievable is just how big of a year the Switch has had. 2017 was indeed packed for the Switch, and as we close in on the end of the Switch's first full year of retail availability, it's clear that Nintendo is onto something special.

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Google’s Pixelbook is wasted on Chrome OS

Google’s Pixelbook is wasted on Chrome OS

The status-quo in laptops has been upended. The MacBook Pro, once the darling of what seemed like every mobile user, has soured many with Apple’s resolute transition to next-generation ports and continued rejection of touchscreen displays. Microsoft, meanwhile, has demonstrated an unforeseen level of design creativity that borders on the obsessional, pumping out Surface hardware that has many macOS users second-guessing their platform of choice. And then there’s the Google Pixelbook running Chrome OS, a notebook both blessed and cursed.

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It’s time to stop pre-ordering video games (again)

It’s time to stop pre-ordering video games (again)

Another controversy swept the gaming industry recently. If you missed it, I’m not sure how, but just in case you did, here’s a quick rundown: Electronic Arts and DICE crossed a line for many gamers yet again, tying Star Wars: Battlefront 2’s progression system to a loot box feature that is unquestionably too greedy. The response from players was quick and brutal, causing EA’s PR team to go into crisis mode.

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