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Chromecast with Google TV is rumored to be on the way

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According to the latest rumor, Google is planning another Chromecast with Google TV device, and it will have a larger amount of on-board storage and support for more video formats.

The news comes from “documentation viewed” by the ever-reliable 9to5Google. However, there’s not much to glean here: only that a new device with the codename Boreal has been set up to connect to the same software as the present Chromecast with Google TV.

We shouldn’t be surprised that Google is working on another Chromecast, since the original supercharged Chromecast (with its remote storage and new software layer) has been very popular.

What’s next

At this point, more storage on the upgraded Chromecast with Google TV is only speculation, but it would make sense: the original Chromecast only has 8GB of storage, which isn’t enough to store apps or offline content.

Then there’s the matter of video formats. At this point, no mention of the AV1 video codec has been made, but it’s a format that Google has been pushing for newer Android TV devices – which would include this one.

It might even appear alongside other Google hardware this year, such as the Pixel Watch.

Chromecast Google’s winner product

When the Google Chromecast first appeared, it was an affordable, straightforward, clever device that plugged into the back of your TV and gave you instant access to streaming content. Now, with time, we may forget just how impressive it was.

At first, Chromecasts were mainly controlled by a connected phone, but that was fine.It was never a problem to find content to watch or listen to (even on iOS), and the Chromecast streaming protocol has always been fast and reliable.

Google TV, which first appeared in September 2020, brought Chromecast into the modern era: casting no longer required a phone or laptop, but the device remained straightforward and affordable.

On top of that, the latest and future models run Google TV, a sleek and capable software layer on top of Android TV that offers a comprehensive viewing experience. It simplifies finding apps and content, and integrates well with Google’s other products (including Google Assistant). The next device should be even better.

#Chromecast #Google #device #rumored

iPad with OLED screens could still happen – Probably it’s a long way out

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Source: Jeremy Bezanger - unsplash.com

Since alternating leaks keep flip-flopping on the subject, it’s difficult to say whether Apple is developing an iPad Pro with an OLED screen. The latest report says the company is working on a high-end tablet with this display technology, but it won’t arrive until 2024.

According to South Korean news site The Elec, which often provides insider information based on local production sources. A couple of months after the site said that an OLED iPad Pro wasn’t happening, it’s changed its tune, and now says such a slate could come – just in at least two years time.

Samsung Display manufactures OLED panels (that’s a different division of the company than the one that makes Galaxy phones), and it sounds like it and Apple are having an interesting back-and-forth regarding whether they’ll work together on iPad screens. 

OLED iPads were reportedly canceled in late 2021 due to the inability to turn a profit and Apple’s dissatisfaction with the structure of the displays. Now, The Elec claims Samsung is bringing in new equipment to fix these issues, which suggests OLED iPads are back. on the menu.

The new factory equipment is expected to arrive in 2023, so we won’t see OLED iPads until 2024 or later. That’s assuming Apple and Samsung Display do not have another spat – we’ll see how things pan out.

Do iPads need OLED screens?

We should note that most stories we’ve heard about OLED Apple tablets refer to the top-end iPad Pro family, but The Elec’s new report simply refers to OLED iPads in general.

This technology is often found in TVs, smartphones, and tablets, and it’s generally preferred over LCD in mobile device technology as it allows for better colors and contrast, even though it’s sometimes harder to see outdoors.

The iPad uses LCD screens in general, with the exception of the iPad Pro (2021), which has a mini LED screen, and we’re not convinced that most iPad users will care or need to upgrade to OLED.

Since iPads are already the top-selling tablet, it’s clear that audiences love their LCD screens – and if Apple is having trouble sourcing OLEDs, maybe it is not worth the extra cost consumers will ultimately have to pay.

One exception is iPad Pros, because some professionals use those devices, and the advantages of OLED – such as improved colors and contrast – may be useful to artists, color graders, or mobile journalists.

It sounds like an iPad Pro-first strategy is what Apple is doing for its OLED screens, despite The Elec not mentioning the family in its report, and we’ll have to see whether audiences care about OLED iPads even later than 2025.

#iPad #OLED #screens #Apple #iPadPro

Nvidia RTX 3090 Ti GPU leaked pricing will damage your wallet

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Source: beebom.com

Could we see something in the order of a 30% price hike over the RTX 3090?

Nvidia RTX 3090 Ti GPU pricing has leaked, and it seems that the new flagship graphics card could perhaps take a damage your wallet more than you might expect compared to the Nvidia RTX 3090.

As VideoCardz reports, purported prices have been spilled from at least two retailers from Swiss and Germany, and converted pricing gives a range of price tags from about $3,500 (around £2,560) to $4,500 (around £3,290).

Admittedly, two of the four prices mentioned – all of which are for MSI’s GeForce RTX 3090 Ti Suprim X, except in one case, where it’s MSI’s Gaming X Trio model – are at the lower end of the scale, but clearly these are going to be costly cards if these retailers are correct.

Naturally, we must be very cautious around any pre-release pricing, because often these tags can be mere placeholders, or guesswork, really. Certainly in the past such leaked figures have turned out to be wrong, but they can still be a useful ballpark figure.

Rather than try to rely on generally shaky currency conversions, VideoCardz also observes that in the case of the German site, an RTX 3090 (from Zotac) is listed for comparative pricing, and the 3090 Ti from MSI (Gaming X Trio) is 31% more expensive. That could be a more telling comparison, but again, exercise a great deal of caution around all of this.

Thin supply and price inflation

We didn’t really expect anything but a weighty asking price for the RTX 3090 Ti, of course, and it’s a fair guess that supply-wise, retailers likely aren’t going to be getting a large number of them – what with Nvidia’s ongoing inventory and production woes that aren’t expected to resolve until the second half of this year – so retailers will be looking to maximize profits on the stock they do receive. (Also, remember the most recent 3090 Ti news we heard, about purported production snags which may delay the arrival of the Ampere GPU – it’s expected, or was expected, to pitch up at the end of January).

If the price jumped 30% for the 3090 Ti, the performance increase the card provides at these dizziest heights of GPU pricing isn’t likely to add up. Particularly for around the same money (in US dollars) you can buy an Alienware gaming PC with not just an RTX 3090, but a Core-i9 11900KF CPU and all the other trimmings (including 32GB of system RAM).

#Nvidia #RTX #3090ti #3090 #leaked #pricing #GPU

Amazon kills off Alexa Internet

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Source: Amazon

This article is to clarify that Amazon is ending the original Alexa service, known as Alexa Internet.

Alexa.com doesn’t land you on Amazon’s infamous Alexa voice recognition ecosystem. Instead, it goes to a little-known service (albeit one still owned by Amazon) that, for a long time, was the go-to resource for everyone involved with search engine optimization (SEO), the art of trying to get your site to rank on search engines, first the likes of Yahoo!, then Altavista/Hotbot/Lycos/AskJeeves, then ultimately on Google.

Now, a post on the Alexa.com website has announced the service is no longer accepting new subscriptions and customers with an existing account will only have access to their data until May 1, 2022 – after which the service will no longer be active.

Alexa Internet was founded in 1996 and was one of the first acquisitions made by an up-and-coming ecommerce company called Amazon in 1999. Alexa ranks websites and was for generations of SEO practitioners, the first port of call for “content research, competitive analysis, keyword research”.

Before Domain Authority (DA) and Page Rank (PR), websites had an Alexa Ranking and to be in the top 1000 was a badge of honor for webmasters. 

What’s next for Alexa.com?

“Twenty-five years ago, we founded Alexa Internet,” the site’s blog post read. “After two decades of helping you find, reach, and convert your digital audience, we’ve made the difficult decision to retire Alexa.com on May 1, 2022. Thank you for making us your go-to resource for content research, competitive analysis, keyword research, and so much more.”

Amazon has not added any further information on why it is closing Alexa.com, but there’s at least two main reasons why. First, the obvious fact that the “other” Alexa needs to live on its own domain name and has grown big enough to justify this. 

Secondly, Alexa, the internet service provider, now operates in a super competitive marketplace where the likes of Similarweb, Ahref, SEMrush, Moz, AWR and other rank checking services and SEO tools offer more comprehensive services at an aggressively fast cadence.

At the end of the day, Alexa has done its time, and after 25 years, it deserves to be sunset. The Alexa Rating no longer means anything. 

#Amazon #kills #Alexa #Internet

How Often to Reboot Your Devices & Gadgets and How to Do It

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Source: Igor Son - unsplash.com

Gadgets are great, which is why our homes are full of them. But sometimes things go wrong, and wasting time by troubleshooting is nobody’s idea of fun. But turning things off and on again—the common refrain of the IT department—can alleviate a host of problems. If you automate or schedule regular reboots, you can even prevent issues from ever arising, and give your gadgets the best chance of running smoothly.

Smartphones and Tablets

Both Android and iOS manage resources effectively nowadays, meaning there should be no need to restart your phone to clear RAM or app caches. But our faithful mobile gadgets are still just handheld computers. They’re on 24/7 and can be prone to slow performance, connectivity issues, and other glitches if we never reboot them. 

If you have a specific issue, like lag, a reboot is the first troubleshooting step Google suggests. It’s not essential to reboot if your phone is running fine, but we recommend rebooting once a week if you encounter regular glitches or slowdown.

How to Reboot Android Phones and Tablets

To reboot your Android phone manually, hold down the Power button until the power menu pops up and tap Restart. If your power menu doesn’t appear for some reason, holding the power button down continuously for 30 seconds or so will turn your phone off, and you can press it again to turn it back on.

Some Android phones also offer the option to schedule automatic reboots. If you have a Samsung Galaxy phone, for example, go to Settings and search for Auto restart at set times. It’s also accessible in Settings, then Battery and device care, by tapping the three dots and selecting Automation. This feature lets you pick a day and time for a regular automatic reboot.

Just remember: When you restart your phone, you will have to enter your PIN when it boots up again (even if you have biometrics, like fingerprints, set up). A restart will consume more battery life than usual, as apps and processes restart afresh.

How to Reboot iPhones and iPads

To reboot your iPhone, hold down the Power button and either volume button until Slide to power off pops up (if you have an iPhone with a Touch ID or Home button, simply hold the Power button). Press the Power button again to turn the device back on. If the power-off slider doesn’t appear for some reason, try a Force Restart.

Desktops and Laptops

We recommend you do a full backup and reset your computer once a year to declutter and keep things working smoothly, but you should also reboot regularly. Your computer will prompt you to reboot when needed, such as after installing new software, but it is also a good idea to set up a regular restart.

If you fully turn off your desktop or laptop each night, then you don’t need to worry, as you are effectively restarting it every day already. Always save any open work and exit apps before you restart.

Windows PC

When Microsoft been asked how often to reboot Windows machines, Microsoft referred to this advice. It officially suggests that you restart Windows PCs at least once a week.

You can do this by clicking on the Start menu, clicking on Power, and choosing Restart.

To schedule an automatic restart, type Task Scheduler into the search bar and open the app. Click Create basic task on the right under Actions and name it AutoRestart, then choose Weekly and select a day and time that suits you. The Action you want is Start a program, then click on Browse, which should open the Windows > System 32 folder. Scroll down to find and select the Shutdown Application, then click Open. In the Add arguments (optional) box type -F -R and click Next, and then Finish.

MacOS

Apple only advises rebooting when prompted or when you encounter a problem, but you can schedule automatic restarts in MacOS. Anecdotally, we haven’t run into any issues leaving a MacBook Pro running for long periods, but a weekly restart is likely a good idea if you are in the habit of leaving your Mac on all the time.

You can reboot by clicking the Apple icon at the top left and then clicking Restart.

To schedule an automatic restart, click the Apple icon at the top left, then System Preferences, and choose Battery, then click Schedule. Choose the Sleep, restart, or shut down checkbox and select Restart in the pop-up menu, pick the day and time and click Apply.

Chromebook

Whether you need to restart a Chromebook “will depend on the device, the manufacturer, and if there is an issue” according to Google. Anecdotally, we haven’t encountered any issues leaving a Pixelbook Go running for long periods and only restarting when prompted. But as with the other devices we mentioned, it’s probably a good idea to restart weekly.

You can do this by clicking on the time at the bottom right or holding the Power key for a second, and then click the Power off icon in the pop-up menu. Once the Chromebook has shut down, you can press the Power key to turn it back on.

Wi-Fi Routers

There are a few reasons that it’s a good idea to reboot Wi-Fi routers or mesh systems once in a while. A restart keeps your firmware up to date. It can also help your internet connections run more smoothly, shed unwanted devices from the network, and even potentially block malicious software. For example, the United States Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Justice Department recommended regular reboots to combat the VPNFilter malware.

You have some options to automate a router restart. Many manufacturers will offer a scheduled reboot option in the app or via the web interface for your router. You can also use old-fashioned outlet timers or smart plugs to schedule regular reboots.

Smartwatches

Apple Watch showing where the side button is as well as the Power Off slider.
Source: apple.com

Although they are less powerful and tend to run simpler software than phones or laptops, smartwatches are still computers, and they can suffer from many of the same problems. Anecdotally, we have rarely felt the need to reboot Apple Watches or other smartwatches and have found that connectivity issues can often be fixed by rebooting the connected phone. But if you do run into trouble or feel your smartwatch is running slow, it’s worth trying a reboot.

For an Apple Watch, simply hold down the Power button and slide to power off. If that doesn’t work for some reason, you can Force Restart by pressing and holding both the Power button and the Digital Crown for 10 seconds (here’s Apple’s guide).

For other smartwatches, refer to your manufacturer. Some have a similar process via the power button, while others have a shutdown or restart option in a settings menu.

Smart TVs

Manufacturers of most smart TVs only recommend restarting when you encounter a problem of some kind. If you find the interface is running slow, or an app refuses to load, a restart will often fix the issue.

If you have regular problems with your TV, consider automating a reboot schedule with outlet timers or smart plugs.

Smart Home Devices

Most smart home devices, whether smart speakers, smart displays, or smart bulbs, must be on and connected all the time to function as intended. You likely don’t want to restart any of them unless you run into a specific problem. Anecdotally, with smart home connectivity issues, we generally find that rebooting the router is an effective fix.

If you do have to restart any smart home gadgets, you can refer to the manufacturer to find the best method. We’ve found that unplugging, waiting 30 seconds, and then plugging in again works for most devices.

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