Samsung and Microsoft’s Odyssey headset has me excited for VR in 2018

At the beginning of 2017, I wrote about what I thought might be the year’s most important virtual reality technology: tracking cameras that would work from inside, not outside, a VR headset. And the results weren’t great. Almost every inside-out tracking system I tried was uncomfortable, most of them were barely functional, and none of them seemed anywhere near as good as more traditional high-end headsets. It seemed like VR would have to take a step back before it could move forward. At the end of 2017, there’s still no inside-out headset that’s as polished as the Oculus Rift, PlayStation VR, or HTC Vive, which use external tracking systems. But Microsoft and Samsung have convinced me that one might be on the way.

The Samsung HMD…

Continue reading…

The Verge – All Posts

Apple faces multiple lawsuits after admitting to slowing down iPhones as their batteries age

iPhone owners aren’t happy with Apple, and they’re letting the company know with lawsuits. Five iPhone users filed a lawsuit in New York yesterday and are seeking class-action status over Apple intentionally slowing down their phones as the devices’ batteries aged. USA Today first reported the lawsuit, which follows others filed over the past week.

These iPhone owners claim that they all upgraded their devices to newer models once their phones slowed down after updating to new versions of iOS. The lawsuit states if they had known their batteries were to blame for the slowdown, they would have replaced the battery instead of buying a new phone. Prior lawsuits make similar arguments.

Last week, Apple confirmed that it slowed down the…

Continue reading…

The Verge – All Posts

Some Sonos and Bose speakers are being hijacked to play ghostly sounds

Researchers at Trend Micro have found that certain models of Sonos and Bose speakers have vulnerabilities that leave them open to hijacking, as reported by Wired. The accessible speakers are being exploited by hackers that are using them to play spooky sounds, Alexa commands, and… Rick Astley tracks.

Only a small percentage of speakers by the two companies are actually affected, including some of the Sonos Play:1, the Sonos One, and the Bose SoundTouch. All it takes is for the speaker to be connected to a misconfigured network and a simple internet scan. Once the speaker is discovered via the scan, the API it uses to talk to apps can be utilized to tell the speakers to play any audio file hosted at a specific URL. Of all the models,…

Continue reading…

The Verge – All Posts

Huawei’s Mate 10 will reportedly come to AT&T in February

The world’s third-largest smartphone brand remains relatively unknown in the United States, but next year, that could start to change. According to The Information, Chinese smartphone giant Huawei hopes to make a big splash in the US in 2018 by debuting a flagship phone on AT&T. It would mark the first time that a US carrier has pushed a high-end, Huawei-branded smartphone.

Though high-end Huawei phones are already available in the US, it’s been through stores like Best Buy and Amazon. But the first stop for many smartphone shoppers is at their phone carrier, and there, Huawei hasn’t had much luck. Some of its lower-end phones have been available, but they haven’t been heavily advertised. For Huawei, they’re also less of a success, since…

Continue reading…

The Verge – All Posts

Snap reportedly developing ‘Stories Everywhere’ feature for sharing content beyond Snapchat

Snap is working on a new feature that will let users share stories outside the Snapchat app, according to a report from live streaming news network Cheddar. The feature, to be called “Stories Everywhere,” is designed to boost Snapchat’s presence beyond the core mobile app as competition with Facebook and Instagram heats up.

Since going public in February, Snap has had to deal with stagnate user growth and declining revenue, and the company suffered an abysmal third quarter this year as disappointing figures in both those departments sent shares into a dive. This is due to a number of factors, including Facebook’s ability to replicate Snap’s core features and place them in more popular and accessible products like Instagram.

Snap has…

Continue reading…

The Verge – All Posts

Instagram is now adding recommended posts into your feed

Instagram’s new “recommended for you” section is now rolling out to all users, according to a report from TechCrunch, which notes that the company has also added a new section to its help site documenting the recommendation feature.

Last week, Instagram confirmed to The Verge that it was testing the new feature, which displays posts that your friends have liked or that the company’s algorithm has selected to show you in your regular feed.

An Instagram spokesperson commented to TechCrunch that the recommended posts will only show up once you’ve already seen all the new posts from people you actually follow, but the posts — which come from accounts that users aren’t already following — are likely to be controversial, especially…

Continue reading…

The Verge – All Posts

The Surface Pro with LTE is now available on the Microsoft Store for anyone to buy

Microsoft started selling the LTE-equipped version of its Surface Pro at the beginning of the month, but the company only sold the LTE models to business customers, promising that consumers would be able to purchase them sometime in 2018.

But if you really can’t wait, Microsoft has just opened up sales of the “Commercial Microsoft Surface Pro with LTE Advanced” to everyone over at the Microsoft Store, meaning that you’ll be able to pick one up now even if you’re not a business customer, via Ubergizmo.

The Commercial Surface Pro has two LTE configurations for sale on the Microsoft Store. Both include Intel Core i5 processors, but the cheaper $ 1,149 model only offers 4GB of RAM and 128GB of storage, while the pricier $ 1,449 offers double…

Continue reading…

The Verge – All Posts

The Verge 2017 tech report card: Snap

Over the course of the year, Snap went public, and 2017 became all about its ability to prove its worth after a pricey IPO. Unfortunately for Snap, things didn’t turn out as well as last year. Its stock tanked. Instagram stole all its best and most recognizable features. The company’s head of HR was outed as deeply problematic, and, by the end of the year, the company unveiled its redesign as a last ditch effort to scrounge up ad revenue.

Let’s break down the year a bit more, particularly the most recent bad events. Following its third quarter earnings report — the last one we currently have — Snap’s share price dropped over 15 percent in after-hours trading. The company missed investors’ expectations both in terms of revenue and user…

Continue reading…

The Verge – All Posts

This developer made his face invisible with the help of an iPhone X

The iPhone X’s face-tracking capabilities range from supremely cute to oh, that might be useful. Now comes something truly terrifying. A Japanese app developer named Kazuya Noshiro has tweeted a preview of an app he’s working on that camouflages a user’s face with the background (first spotted by Design Taxi). The brief, ten-second video shows Noshiro moving his transparent face around to reveal the contents of his home through his head.

The effect is like a creepy, see-through beauty mask — similar to Harry Potter’s invisibility cloak. According to Noshiro’s tweets, the app was made on game development platform Unity, and uses a fixed camera position to shoot a background in order to create the illusion. There’s no word yet on when the…

Continue reading…

The Verge – All Posts

The Verge 2017 tech report cards

2017 has been a tough year for most people, and tech companies were not spared. Most companies found themselves grappling with moral, cultural, and political responsibilities, such as fighting the spread of fake news and advertisements and correcting toxic corporate cultures. Others found runaway success with a viral release of a much needed, innovative product. So, how did giants like Facebook, Google, Nintendo, Uber, Tesla, Samsung, Apple, Microsoft, and more do compared to last year? Find out as we take a look back in our 2017 tech report cards, compiled by The Verge staff.

Continue reading…

The Verge – All Posts