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Google Event Highlights: Pixel 4, Pixel Buds 2, Pixelbook Go, and More

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Google today unveiled several new products at its Made by Google event in New York, including the Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL smartphones, Pixel Buds 2 wireless earphones, Pixelbook Go notebook, and new Nest devices.

Pixel 4

The new Pixel 4 and 4 XL were widely rumored ahead of their release, to the point that Google even shared teaser photos of its own, and now the devices are official. Key features include 90Hz displays, a new rear-facing 16-megapixel telephoto lens, facial authentication, motion sensing, and more.

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The Pixel 4 sports a 5.7-inch OLED display, while the larger Pixel 4 XL has a 6.3-inch OLED display. Both displays are 90Hz for a smoother experience, compared to 60Hz for the iPhone 11 Pro and most other smartphones.

With the Pixel 4, Google says you can fine-tune the brightness and amount of detail in the shadows, helping with difficult shots like sunset portraits. And with a new astrophotography capability, Night Sight on the Pixel 4 can capture shots of the night sky, the stars, and even the Milky Way when visible.


Google has moved away from both the notch and rear fingerprint scanner of the Pixel 3, with the Pixel 4 and 4 XL instead featuring a sizeable top bezel housing an earpiece, front camera, and sensors for a facial authentication system similar to Face ID. Google says the Pixel 4 has the "fastest face unlock" of any smartphone.


Google says face unlock on the Pixel 4 is aided by a new Motion Sense feature that uses a miniature radar sensor to detect movement around the phone. The same sensor allows for quick hand gestures for snoozing alarms, dismissing timers, and silencing an incoming call, all without picking up the device.

The Pixel 4 is powered by a 2,800 mAh battery, while the Pixel 4 XL has a 3,700 mAh battery. Other tech specs for both devices include a Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 processor, Adreno 640 graphics, 64GB or 128GB of storage, 6GB of RAM, Bluetooth 5.0, IP68-rated water and dust resistance, and stereo speakers.

The Pixel 4 and 4 XL start at $799 and $899 respectively, with pre-orders beginning today ahead of an October 24 release. Google will be selling the devices through all the major U.S. carriers for the first time. The devices come in three colors, including Clearly White, Just Black, and limited edition Oh So Orange.

Pixel Buds 2

Unlike the original Pixel Buds, the new version unveiled today feature a truly wireless design like AirPods.


Google says it scanned thousands of ears to create a design that is comfortable for as many people as possible. The new Pixel Buds feature a low-profile look that sits flush in your ear, with a so-called stabilizer arc and interchangeable ear tip ensuring a secure fit, even while exercising.


The ear tip gently seals the ear to isolate outside noises, but a spatial vent below the ear tip lets through a moderate amount of environmental sound so you can stay aware of the things around you. Pixel Buds can also dynamically adjust the volume based on the loudness of the surrounding environment.

Like Siri on the ‌AirPods‌, the Pixel Buds have built-in Google Assistant.


The new Pixel Buds will be available for $179 in spring 2020 in four colors: Clearly White, Oh So Orange, Quite Mint, and Almost Black.

Pixelbook Go

Google's latest Chromebook is the Pixelbook Go, a slim and light notebook that is 13mm thick and weighs just over two pounds.


Tech specs and features include a 13-inch touchscreen, 8th-generation Intel Core processors, up to 16GB RAM, up to 256GB flash storage, up to 12 hours of battery life, a backlight keyboard with soft typing, two USB-C ports, and a headphone jack. Like other Chromebooks, the Pixelbook Go runs Chrome OS.


Pricing starts at $879, with pre-orders starting today in the U.S. and Canada, followed by the U.K. in January.

Nest Mini and Nest Wifi

Google also unveiled the Nest Mini, the successor to the Google Home Mini, with key new features including stronger bass and faster response times. Also under the Nest umbrella is a new Nest Wifi router, which builds upon the Google Wifi router with two times the speed and up to 25 percent better coverage.


This article, "Google Event Highlights: Pixel 4, Pixel Buds 2, Pixelbook Go, and More" first appeared on MacRumors.com

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Apple Releases iOS 13.1.3 With Bug Fixes for Phone, Mail, Health, and More

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Apple today released iOS 13.1.3 and iPadOS 13.1.3, minor updates to the iOS 13.1.2 software that was released two weeks ago. This is the fourth update to the iOS 13 operating system that came out in September.

The iOS and ‌iPadOS‌ 13.1.3 updates are available on all eligible devices over-the-air in the Settings app. To access the updates, go to Settings > General > Software Update.


According to Apple's release notes for the software, the iOS 13.1.3 update introduces bug fixes and performance improvements. Full details below:
iOS 13.1.3 includes bug fixes and improvements for your iPhone. This update:

- Addresses an issue that could prevent a device from ringing or vibrating for an incoming call
- Fixes an issue that may prevent opening a meeting invite in Mail
- Resolves an issue where data in the Health app may not display correctly after daylight savings time adjusts
- Fixes an issue where Voice Memos recordings may not download after restoring from iCloud Backup
- Addresses an issue where apps might fail to download when restoring from ‌iCloud‌ Backup
- Fixes an issue that can prevent Apple Watch from pairing successfully
- Resolves an issue where notifications may not be received on ‌Apple Watch‌
- Fixes an issue where Bluetooth may disconnect on certain vehicles
- Improves connection reliability of Bluetooth hearing aids and headsets
- Addresses launch performance for apps that use Game Center
There are also separate release notes for the ‌iPadOS‌ 13.1.3 update, outlining fixed issues relevant to that platform:
‌iPadOS‌ 13.1.3 includes bug fixes and improvements for your iPad. This update:

- Fixes an issue that may prevent opening a meeting invite in Mail
- Fixes an issue where Voice Memos recordings may not download after restoring from ‌iCloud‌ Backup
- Addresses an issue where apps might fail to download when restoring from ‌iCloud‌ Backup
- Improves connection reliability of Bluetooth hearing aids and headsets
- Addresses launch performance for apps that use Game Center
More info on what's new in ‌iOS 13‌ can be found in our iOS 13 roundup.

Related Roundups: iOS 13, iPadOS

This article, "Apple Releases iOS 13.1.3 With Bug Fixes for Phone, Mail, Health, and More" first appeared on MacRumors.com

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Apple Releases macOS Catalina Supplemental Update With Fixes for Installation, iCloud Login, and Game Center Bugs

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Alongside iOS 13.1.3, Apple today also released a supplemental update for macOS Catalina, addressing several bugs from the initial public release version, including a problem with Setup Assistant hanging during Catalina installation.


The ‌macOS Catalina‌ Supplemental Update includes installation and reliability improvements, and is recommended for all users.

This update:
- Improves installation reliability of ‌macOS Catalina‌ on Macs with low disk space
- Fixes an issue that prevented Setup Assistant from completing during some installations
- Resolves an issue that prevents accepting iCloud Terms and Conditions when multiple ‌iCloud‌ accounts are logged in
- Improves the reliability of saving Game Center data when playing Apple Arcade games offline
Today's supplemental update comes ahead of macOS 10.15.1, which was seeded as an initial developer beta last Friday.

Related Roundup: macOS Catalina

This article, "Apple Releases macOS Catalina Supplemental Update With Fixes for Installation, iCloud Login, and Game Center Bugs" first appeared on MacRumors.com

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New Report Dives Into History of Apple TV+ As November 1 Launch Nears

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With just over two weeks to go until the launch of Apple TV+, The Hollywood Reporter today shared a deep dive into the service's history. The new report reiterates that the majority of projects coming out of ‌Apple TV‌+ will reflect Apple's aspirational company brand -- a move that has led to behind-the-scenes drama for shows like Amazing Stories and the shelved Vital Signs.


Despite previous reports, ‌Apple TV‌+ will not solely focus on family-friendly content; as long as explicit content serves the story, Apple will approve of the project. Still, Apple is steering the platform to be headlined by its so-called aspirational brand identity, putting the brakes on an "edgy, high-concept" version of Amazing Stories in favor of one with an aspirational viewpoint told by Once Upon A Time's Edward Kitsis and Adam Horowitz.

In addition to the $1 billion annual content budget Apple allotted for ‌Apple TV‌+ (which Apple is believed to have overshot), the company is said to be offering every showrunner and series regular a free Apple product. According to today's report, Apple has dispatched representatives to ‌Apple TV‌+ show sets to "take orders" regarding which style of iPhone or iPad the crew would like.

As the launch nears, the behind-the-scenes of ‌Apple TV‌+ has been chaotic, according to multiple sources. Particularly, the company has struggled with arranging early critic and tastemaker screenings, which can help promote early buzz for launch shows like The Morning Show and See. According to one unnamed publicist, Apple is treating the TV+ rollout like a product launch and not a TV service launch, leading to some unrest.

One issue that numerous sources brought up was ‌Apple TV‌+'s lack of a large back catalog, which will look particularly troublesome for the company alongside Disney+ and its hundreds of hours of TV and movies dating back to the 1930's. As expected, analysts suggest Apple will acquire a content creator to address this issue in the future, suggesting such companies like MGM, Lionsgate, Sony, and A24.

Apple has also begun work on funding its own content through a new "Masters" internal production studio, the first project for which will be a follow-up to HBO's Brand of Brothers and The Pacific series called Masters of the Air. With its own studio, Apple will wholly own all of the shows and movies it creates, instead of having to work with other partners like Amblin Television.

You can read The Hollywood Reporter's full story here: "Inside Apple's Long, Bumpy Road to Hollywood"


This article, "New Report Dives Into History of Apple TV+ As November 1 Launch Nears" first appeared on MacRumors.com

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Apple Pay Expands to Additional Banks in Germany, Austria, and the Netherlands

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Apple Pay has expanded to more banks in Europe today, including ING in Germany, bunq in Austria, and ABN AMRO in the Netherlands.


ING supporting ‌Apple Pay‌ in Germany is notable after a lengthy waiting period following the original announcement. ‌Apple Pay‌ made its debut in Germany in December, allowing iPhone and Apple Watch users in the country to take advantage of the contactless mobile payments service if their card issuer supports it.

Meanwhile, the Federation of German Cooperative banks (BVR) are said to be preparing for ‌Apple Pay‌ support, as are the Sparkassen and Giroverbandes (DSGV) association of savings banks. Both the BVR and the savings banks could start offering support later this year.

Also today, European challenger bank bunq brought ‌Apple Pay‌ to its customers in Austria. "Austrian users can now enable both Maestro and Mastercard cards for ‌Apple Pay‌, so they get the best of both worlds. This gives them the freedom to pay with their iPhone or ‌Apple Watch‌, whenever they want, wherever they go," said bunq founder and CEO Ali Niknam.

Starting today all of our users in Austria can set up ‌Apple Pay‌ in 5 minutes. 🌈
Click here to learn more about how to get #ApplePay in Austria💳📲: https://t.co/FxMJqxF6cn pic.twitter.com/hBET7nuNl5

— bunq (@bunq) October 15, 2019

Last but not least, ABN AMRO, one of the largest banks in the Netherlands, announced ‌Apple Pay‌ support in early September and now the bank's customers can finally start using Apple's payment service. Rabobank is expected to offer support in the country soon.

‌Apple Pay‌ has been gradually expanding across Europe and the Middle East, launching in Poland, Norway, Kazakhstan, Belgium, Germany, Czech Republic, Saudi Arabia, Austria, and Iceland over the last year.

Apple CEO Tim Cook said in March that ‌Apple Pay‌ would be available in more than 40 countries and regions by the end of 2019. ‌Apple Pay‌ first launched in the United States in October 2014. You can view the full list of ‌Apple Pay‌ countries and regions on Apple's website.

(Thanks, Geert!)


This article, "Apple Pay Expands to Additional Banks in Germany, Austria, and the Netherlands" first appeared on MacRumors.com

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