It’s the Netflix for games. Meet, Apple arcade

Apple has announced its very own Netflix for Games called the “Apple Arcade”. The games provided will be available for playing offline as well as online. Just like Netflix allows users to download stuff on certain devices such as Phones and Tablets. Apple Arcade will be released on September 19. The subscription rate for this will be $4.99 in the U.S and approximately 450 Takas in Bangladesh.

Features

It's the Netflix for games. Meet, Apple arcade

Apple Arcade is allowed to share with 5 family members. Basically, like Netflix, again, you get to create 5 profiles. Probably be able to play on five devices at the same time. Apple Arcade initially has more than a hundred games to offer. Out which Lego Brawls seem promising. Now, who wouldn’t like a PvP lego where bricks drop from the sky. You sue those bricks to build stuff to your advantage. Kind of like “Stick Fight”. These games in Apple Arcade are strictly restricted to it. Not available for separate purchase.

The opportunity of a lifetime! 

An interesting thing you would notice if you visit the Apple Arcade website. That is they are giving game developers a chance. Meaning if you are a game developer and want everyone to experience what you have created; then this is a good opportunity for you. https://developer.apple.com/apple-arcade/

What else?

Moving on, The games in Apple arcade will not have any kind of in-app purchase or ads. This is something android users have been dreaming of since the beginning of time. Fret not! As Google is also working on something of this sort Android users. WITHOUT ADS AND IN-APP PURCHASES! FINALLY! The Google Pass is the name for Google’s game streaming service.

Last but not least

It's the Netflix for games. Meet, Apple arcade

For those who’ve been using Netflix, this is a great thing. Like, you are getting good quality games in with ease. Except those who use Netflix. Netflix owners in this side of the globe are mostly android users. So an Apple exclusive service is of no use to them. But on the bright side, this is a good take on the gaming industry and this will reduce piracy a lot. Anyone with Netflix experience would look forward to this.

Rumour has it, Apple is testing its AR Glasses

Ever wondered what it would be like to wear a pair of glasses and give instruction to your AR assistant just like the way Tony Stark gives commands to Jarvis in Iron Man movies? Well, your dream might be coming true because Apple has been working on Augmented Reality glasses for real. And according to recent reports, the codes found in the iOS 13 beta gives hints about Apple already testing its AR device.

In the internal build for iOS 13, there are options for stereoscopic AR apps that can only be used using some sorts of headsets or glasses. The programming codes also point to the development of augmented reality (AR) device, “Garta,” a prototype under Apple’s T288 project.

The hype about the AR glasses got real when Apple started making a team of 100+ people skilled at building virtual reality and AR headsets. Apple then hijacked Nick Thompson who was an engineer for Microsoft’s HoloLens AR headset, and Mike Rockwell who was the head of engineering at Dolby Labs. Apple also purchased companies like Metaio, Flyby Media, Akonia Holographics to bolster its AR department.

“THERE ARE CERTAIN IDEAS THAT WE HAVE AND WE ARE WAITING FOR THE TECHNOLOGY TO CATCH UP WITH THE IDEA.”

– APPLE’S FORMER DESIGN CHIEF JONY IVE

If the rumours are true, the operating system for AR glass/headset will be called ‘rOS‘ for ‘reality operating-system’. Or, Apple might entirely ditch the idea of building a separate headset and use the processing engine of the iPhone to power-up the AR glass, as noted by Ming-Chi Kuo, a well-known Apple analyst.

The AR glasses, when they arrive, will revolutionize the way we use technology. It has the potential to change the way we use maps, the way we do photography and gaming or simply the way we interact with the objects around us. It could also technically improve the eye-sight and be a great device for those in need for better accessibility features such as hearing, physical and motor skills, and educational settings.

There are excitements and high hopes about Apple AR glasses and they can even hit the market by 2020, thus potentially putting Google Glass and Microsoft HoloLens in direct competition. Whatever the case is, it’s a straight win for the customers.

Stay tuned to HiFi Public for more exciting news on Apple products.

Do you really need a flagship smartphone?

Smartphones are very much a necessary part of the modern citizen’s life now. There’s just no way around it. Almost every service nowadays, from education to transport to even food, is based around the usage of smartphones. This has facilitated the opportunity for companies to capitalize on the growing demand for smartphones, and offer their “unique” packages to the market. Thus, flagship phones; luxurious, expensive, peerless and with a price to match the hype. But are they really necessary?

Do you really need a phone more expensive than an actual high-end camera to take photos? Is a screen bigger than your hand can hold making all that difference in your life? Are you in dire need of a bezel-less screen, animated emojis and other novel (read pointless) features?

A very personal opinion on the negative will be explored in the following paragraphs.

Market saturation and basic features

It would be relevant to mention now that the smartphone market had reached a plateau quite a while ago and continues to fall even today. This is attributed to many reasons, primary of which is oversaturation in the market. There are too many companies making smartphones now. And that is actually a good thing for consumers. Since the competition is so high, the producers are compelled to add more features to phones at any given price range to maintain their market share. This means more features for less money.

One can now get features on a mid-range phone we could only dream of just a few years ago.

The performance of basic features like the camera or CPU isn’t anything to sneer at. You don’t want to throw your phone at the wall anymore because the Facebook app is taking too long to load on a no-name CPU. You don’t need to point a torch at something to take a picture because the phone’s camera resolution and lens are worse than a built-in laptop webcam. That’s not to say there isn’t any noticeable difference in performance, quality of pictures taken and other basic attributes when it comes to flagships.

Do you really need a flagship phone?

But as mentioned before, it doesn’t add much value compared to the price hike. People in need can get a great camera and lens for 40 thousand and 8 thousand takas respectively. They don’t need to get a 60-thousand-taka camera phone. The mid-range options are perfectly viable for the rational consumer, especially in our country. This effect is evident, as local producers Symphony, famous for their low-mid budget phones are the market leaders in Bangladesh.

The durability myth

Do you really need a flagship phone? 4

A common argument flagship defenders make is that these phones are built to last longer. That is almost entirely false. Samsung phones are well known for their performance fluctuations beyond 1.5-2 years of use; they tend to get slower and consume more power. Apple is infamous for its lack of customer care. This is magnified after the launch of their new yearly device, as the previous generation becomes effectively obsolete. Moreover, to add to their aesthetic value, flagship phones tend to have glass bodies as opposed to plastic or metal. This means they tend to get damaged worse, and servicing costs for them is significantly higher. Of course, you can carry some of them into the shower, waterproof/resistant and all. But why would you carry a phone into the shower?

That’s a rhetorical question. Please don’t answer that.

Price vs Innovation: Where actually is progress being made?

Compare an iPhone X to an iPhone 7. You’ll see that they have almost the same specifications. Of course, the newer iPhone X is faster, wielding a 6 core CPU against the 7’s four cores. It has a 1gb RAM advantage, fewer bezels and a bigger screen, and it has face identification and wireless charging capability. It’s twice as good in the price department though, sporting a whopping $1000-dollar price tag against the iPhone 7’s mere $550 dollar one. Does that deal sound especially enticing? What justifies the 90% price hike?

Do you really need a flagship phone? 1
Does “innovative” features take the focus away from primary functions a phone should serve?

And that’s just one company. Try taking any company’s current flagship and compare it to the previous edition. There will be some difference, a performance increase, a slightly enhanced image processing system, better stabilization. The common point of these “innovative” new features is they are all marginal. And while performance development is minimal, the price hike is anything but. Try going back just two years in time and telling someone that a consumer smartphone is going to set them back 1000 dollars. What seemed borderline impossible so little time ago is reality today, and I am not talking about facial recognition. That is a very diminutive and honestly pretentious feature that was around a long time before it was implemented into a smartphone. Companies take these minute and showy features, put them on a device and charge you a kidney. Sounds like a good deal for half a year of showing off.

Software: Something that actually matters

It has been more apparent than ever this year. You can run the same things on a budget phone as you can on a flagship option. So much so that the development on premium options of 2018 seemed almost exclusively cosmetic. There were still companies that implemented useful features to make their product a more bang-for-you-buck option. But what actually matter on a phone, the operating system and software platform were almost the same. You will encounter some problems running newer Android and iOS versions that come with flagships on budget phones, but to me at least they seem minimal; while the price difference is almost a deal breaker for many.

So, unless you’re a very busy person who needs to be productive most of the day, or part of a very niche class of consumer, the marginal enhancement offered in flagships isn’t something you require. The budget options offer everything a normal consumer might need. Thus, a completely personal opinion (with the added benefit of having a platform to share it on), don’t buy a flagship phone unless you absolutely need to.