Google denies launching optimized version of Maps for China

Google's presence in China has increased marginally in recent times, but those excited about a rumoured optimized version of Maps for the country will be disappointed to learn the claims are untrue. Earlier this week Japan news site Nikkei reported t…
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TAG Heuer unveils 41mm version of its Connected Modular smartwatch

The TAG Heuer Connected Modular 45 has a case diameter of 45mm, same as the Carrera watch, which inspired its design. If that’s too big for your wrist, however, you can try the company’s new 41mm model. And to add a bit of glam to its lineup, these Android-powered smartwatches now come in Full Diamond edition. Geeky stuff first. The Connected Modular 41 is built on an Intel platform married to Google software. The specs are upped a bit – the AMOLED screen is sharper (326ppi vs. 287ppi) and offers higher max brightness, 350 nits. Also, memory has been doubled to 1GB of RAM and 8GB…

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TAG Heuer releases the Connected Module 41, a smaller, cheaper version of the Connected Module 45

TAG Heuer, the famous Swiss watchmaker who’s name is notoriously difficult to pronounce (it’s actually pronounced “tag hoy-yer”), has just announced the TAG Heuer Connected Module 41, a smaller version of the Connected Module 45 that was launched in Q1 of last year. As the name would imply, the watchface on the Connected Module 41 measures 41mm in diameter (that’s one and five eighths of an inch if you love fractions and imperial units), which isn’t exceedingly small for a watch, but which should hopefully begin to address one of Ryan’s largest complaints had with the Connected Module 45.

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TAG Heuer releases the Connected Module 41, a smaller, cheaper version of the Connected Module 45 was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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‘Qriket’ Is the Adorable Public Access Cable Version of ‘HQ Trivia’, You Need to Try It.

By now, you’ve probably heard of HQ Trivia [Free], it’s growing at a rate that reminds me of the rise and fall of Draw Something [$ 2.99 / Free] in that I have friends of mine who I know don’t care at all about mobile gaming asking me if I’ve played it. Like HQ Trivia, Qriket [Free] is another live stream game show anyone can play through an app. They’re like something out of an episode of Black Mirror on Netflix, and as soon as I first saw HQ Trivia, I thought to myself, “This is neat but man this format is going to open up so many possibilities.”

Interestingly enough, Qriket actually hit the App Store before HQ Trivia. It’s been running for well over a year now and is the brainchild of apparent internet celebrity Jonny Comparelli who also uses Qriket to funnel followers into his various social media accounts. To play, you download the Qriket app and register for games using spin tokens. (You earn more tokens by viewing ads and doing other things you’re super used to if you’ve played a freemium game.) Just like HQ Trivia, games are scheduled throughout the day and they’ve got a number of different hosts.

Actually playing the game is sort of hilarious, in that super low-fi indie Wayne’s World basement public access show kind of way. While HQ Trivia has big prizes and is filmed all on a green screen with all kinds of fancy overlays, Qriket is filmed in a tiny studio with a couple screens, a host, and a spinning prize wheel like the one you might spin to figure out whether you’re getting a free chip clip or a pair of sunglasses from some local business at a county fair. Instead of guessing trivia questions, you’re just deciding between whether the prize wheel will land on yellow or gold. Guess correctly and you get points. That’s all there is to it.

There’s various special emoji sections of the wheel that when hit do things like add more rounds to the game, increase or decrease the prize pool, and all sorts of other things. (In the game I played, three additional bonus spins were added at the end of the game.) It’s straight up weird how captivating this all is, particularly as your brain tries to assign some kind of strategy to your choice between the two colors, not at all unlike playing roulette. You know how when the roulette wheel hits red three times and you’re sure it just has to hit black next? That’s the same part of your mind Qriket tickles.

Instead of there being chat in game, you interact with the hosts and the rest of the community via Twitch chat. Like any Twitch channel, emoji spam is everywhere, but it all moves slow enough and the game (currently) is small enough that it really feels like the host is connecting with the audience in the chat (compared to being one of the hundreds of thousands of people in a HQ Trivia game). They’ve apparently given away over $ 2,000,000 in prizes since the game has been online, and the side benefit of games being smaller is the prize split is way better. In the game I was in, $ 400 worth of prizes were split between only five people. Prizes get paid out to a PayPal account, just like HQ.

What I like most about Qriket’s format is that you can play the game until it’s over, as you never know if you’ll get a string of luck and regain a ton of points by accurately choosing between blue and gold. Comparatively, in HQ, if you get a question wrong you might as well just close the app. It was really cool to actually be engaged and feel like there was a point to playing the entirety of a game of Qriket.

If you’re even remotely interested in this whole live streamed app-enabled game show thing, you really need to also try out Qriket. As I mentioned, I’m super stoked to see where this whole format can go, and seeing the massive differences between HQ and Qriket, this really feels like the future of game shows and the sky is the limit.

TouchArcade

Matias’ wired, backlit Mac keyboard serves as replacement for discontinued Apple version

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Third-party accessory maker Matias debuted a new version of its wired Mac keyboard at CES on Tuesday, adding a few creature comforts like adjustable RGB backlighting to fill a product category Apple abandoned last year.
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