🥐 Good morning! I was wandering an unfamiliar street when the wafting smell of freshly baked treats hit me. New local bakery, hooray! Also, it’s opening day for baseball, and a much longer Throwback down below than usual. You're welcome, or sorry, depending on your tastes!
The Asus ROG Phone 3 launched yesterday and once again I think many people wondered what exactly a gaming smartphone could really offer.
High-end phones sport many of the same specs; gaming on a small device is still not ideal, and just using a Bluetooth controller swiped from your Xbox or Playstation is much better than handheld phone gaming. Right?
Still some problems:
Some of David Imel’s thoughts on the device from his review:
📶 AT&T spooked customers with misleading phone upgrade warning (Android Authority).
🍰 Android 11 has a dessert codename after all: Red Velvet Cake. While Google dropped the official sweet treat names back at Android 9, a Google engineer had fun revealing the internal name on a podcast today (Android Authority).
💰 Nvidia may buy ARM in huge shakeup of chip industry (Android Authority).
🤐 Twitter admits hackers accessed DMs for 36 high-profile accounts (TechCrunch)
🎮 Microsoft’s Xbox Games Showcase happens today, including a look at Halo Infinite, at 9am PT (12pm ET). YouTube will have a 1080p/60fps livestream and 4K/60fps VoD after.
💻 Dell XPS 17 review (2020): So. Much. Screen. (Engadget).
📰 New York Times to buy production company behind the Serial podcast (NY Times).
🗣 Alexa will soon be able to launch Android and iOS apps using voice commands (The Verge).
🍃 Sony’s wearable air conditioner is pretty cool (The Verge).
📈 The world’s most valuable automaker, Tesla, turned a profit for the fourth quarter in a row, a first for the company. If you want to wade into the waters of Tesla’s sale of regulatory credits to other automakers helping the bottom line, go for it (caranddriver.com). Also, its second US Gigafactory for the Cybertruck will be built in Austin, Texas (CNET).
⚖ Microsoft's doing the monopoly thing again, Slack says (Gizmodo).
🌡 After 40 years, researchers finally see Earth’s climate destiny more clearly: a likely warming range of between 2.6°C and 3.9°C (Science Mag).
🚷 One-third of US museums may not survive the year, survey finds (NPR).
💒 Taboola and Outbrain’s clickbait marriage approved: What happened when the Justice Department showed up (WSJ, $)
🦘 Fun bit of detail about how that Qantas 747 pulled off a kangaroo in the sky (Twitter).
🚀 China successfully launches its Tianwen-1 Mars rover (Engadget).
🔨 Things are starting to get interesting at SpaceX’s Starship factory in Texas (Ars Technica).
🐕 “Do dogs notice us getting older?” (r/nostupidquestions).
Tomorrow marks seven years of the Google Chromecast, with the original launch on July 24, 2013, announcing a $35 stick that joined the likes of Roku, Apple TV, and Ouya in allowing users to extend media consumption to a bigger display.
Google published a little backstory to the Chromecast for the fifth year anniversary, and it was down to one engineer, Majd Bakar, who got the inspiration from his wife, Carla Hindie.
Bakar and Google’s biggest breakthrough was the close tie-in with smartphones and the Google Chrome browser and the ability to cast changed the game.
But streaming was already a thing. Apple’s first Apple TV for streaming iTunes content was announced in 2006. And Roku, using tech spun out of Netflix, released its first streaming device in 2008, directly tied in with Netflix.
And to keep this short, Netflix had originally developed the idea, but cancelled its own line of hardware, as founder Reed Hastings became nervous (Fast Company):
It’s a fun bit of history. In 2020, the streaming wars exist both in streaming services, and in hardware. Roku and cheap Amazon Fire TV sticks have eaten into Google’s share of the market, falling from as high as 25-30% in 2015/2015 to around 11% in 2019.
Which is why, in 2020, Google is set to launch a new Chromecast with a remote, possibly to be called a Nest Android TV, or similar. More on it here.
Have a good one,
Tristan Rayner, Senior Editor.
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