The internet is built on glorious, glorious memes. It's no surprise, therefore, that Facebook wants to own the creation of these wonderful jokes alongside messaging, photo-sharing and everything else that's currently part of the Zuckerberg empire. As The Information reports, the company's internal NPE team has quietly released a meme-making app called Whale in the Canadian App Store. You can upload your own photos or choose from the company's stock library before adding a hopefully-viral combination of text, emojis and filters. Whale also comes with various grid layouts and, if you're feeling really creative, a freeform drawing tool.
Vaping apps are no longer allowed in Apple's walled garden. In a statement given to Axios, the company confirmed that its App Store guidelines now ban software that encourages or helps people to vape. Any application that served such a person should no longer be available for download. If you already have a vaping app installed, however, you won't lost access and should be able to download it again on new devices, according to Axios.
Jurassic Park video games are few and far between. So when Frontier Developments released Jurassic World Evolution, a god-view park builder and business simulation game, movie fans devoured it. The title had a few problems, but one towered well above the rest: all of the buildings, vehicles and other park infrastructure was based on the World movies, rather than the original trilogy. (We're not saying the new movies are bad, we just love the 1993 classic more.) If you've always wanted to build -- or rather, rebuild -- John Hammond's amusement park, good news: an upcoming DLC pack called Return to Jurassic Park will let you do just that.
Moshi Monsters, a once massively popular web game that let you raise colorful creatures and complete mini-games around Monstro City, is shutting down. As Ryan Brown spotted on Twitter, the Moshi Monsters site now has an "important notice" that states it will close at midday GMT (7am ET/4am PT) on December 13th. "Thank you for joining us on the first part of our monsterific journey and helping us make Moshi Monsters such a splat-tastic online experience," the announcement reads in classic Moshi-lingo fashion.
An unusual concert took place before FunPlus Phoenix and G2 Esports battled for the League of Legends World Championship last weekend. The Grand Finals in Paris opened with Valerie Broussard singing "Awaken," a track released at the start of the year to celebrate the upcoming esports season. The performance ended with a magical blast that threw Broussard and her backup singers into the air.
Adidas is abandoning its robot-staffed Speedfactories in Ansbach, Germany, and Atlanta, USA. Both facilities, which are run in partnership with German plastics specialist Oechsler, will be closed "by April 2020 at the latest," the company said in a press release. The sportswear giant stressed, though, that some of its Speedfactory processes would be adopted by two suppliers in Asia, where manufacturer is traditionally cheaper, later this year. Using these technologies, the pair will produce running shoes and, for the first time, models in "other product categories." Speedfactories were meant to bring sneaker production back to Western markets and lower Adidas' reliance on Asian suppliers, which have often been criticized for unethical working conditions and practices. Adidas also hoped that the Speedfactories would, as their name implies, accelerate production and reduce both the cost and time associated with shipping. The mostly-automated manufacturing produced a small range of sneakers including the Futurecraft M.F.G (Made For Germany) and a line of AM4 (Adidas Made For) shoes that were inspired by six of the world's largest cities and, later, select artists including DJ Kittens and JaQuel Knight. Adidas still has technological aspirations. Today, the company said it would further concentrate its resources on "modernizing its other suppliers" and, with Oechsler's assistance, continue to explore "4D technology," a 3D-printed midsole that has been used on sneakers such as the Futurecraft 4D and Alphaedge 4D. "Whilst we understand adidas' reasons for discontinuing Speedfactory production at Oechsler, we regret this decision," Dr. Claudius M. Kozlik, chief executive of Oechsler admitted today. "At the same time, we look forward to continuing our close and trusting cooperation with adidas in the area of 4D sole printing." For now, at least, sneaker production is safe from the seemingly inevitable automated-robot-factory-revolution.
We've all been there: You're about to leave the office, or close your laptop and make a snack, when the phone in your pocket vibrates. Another email. You could stop and dig it out, interrupting your flow for the umpteenth time that day. Or, with Outlook for iOS, you can now ask Cortana to read everything in your inbox out loud. Microsoft says this "voice-forward" feature was designed for commuting and general multitasking. You can reply with your voice and use the on-screen interface -- which looks a bit like a music or podcast player -- to pause, flag and archive messages.
Sidewalk Labs, the part of Google-parent Alphabet that's focused on futuristic cities and urban development, has agreed to compromise on a proposed smart neighborhood in Toronto. Back in June, the company submitted a draft MIDP (Master Innovation and Development Plan) for Quayside, an ambitious redevelopment project overseen by Waterfront Toronto. The publicly-funded organization immediately found issues with some of Sidewalk's suggestions, though, that needed to be fixed before it could formally consult and evaluate the plan.
Nintendo sold 4.8 million Switch consoles last quarter, bringing lifetime sales to 41.67 million. That's a 50 percent increase on the 3.19 million Switch consoles that were sold during the same period last year. Nintendo's hybrid console surpassed the N64's lifetime sales in April and now stands a good chance of eclipsing the SNES over the holidays. To be precise, the Switch needs 7.43 million sales to pass the iconic 16-bit console next quarter -- and last year it managed 9.41 million sales over the Christmas period. With two quarters down, Nintendo is also 11 million away from its fiscal year target (which ends in March 2020) of 18 million Switch sales.
Yes, you read that correctly. Today, Apple confirmed that it will be bundling Apple TV+ with its Apple Music student plan, which currently costs $4.99 per month. The deal will be available to new subscribers for "a limited time," the company clarified, as well as students who signed up for the music plan long before Apple TV+ was announced. Access will run out once the user loses their student status (i.e. they graduate or drop out) or if they decide to cancel their subscription. The offer was first revealed by Hailee Steinfeld (Pitch Perfect 2, Spider-Man: Into the Spiderverse), the star of upcoming Apple TV+ exclusive Dickinson on Instagram yesterday. Spotify and Hulu have a similarly priced student bundle. Apple's deal is arguably more cohesive -- and could lead the way to some kind of 'mega bundle' with Apple Arcade -- but Hulu has a broader, albeit ad-supported library of shows. Which subscription is better value? We'll let you be the judge. We wouldn't be surprised, though, if many students simply opted for both -- $10 per month is cheaper than a standard Netflix sub, after all.
Starting next week, SiriusXM will be available through Google Assistant-powered hardware in the US and Canada. That means you can ask "Hey Google, play Howard 100 on SiriusXM or request an artist channel with something like "Hey Google, play The Beatles Channel on SiriusXM." Google says the same commands will work in Canadian French "soon." SiriusXM subscribers will also be able to watch "curated video content," including interviews and in-studio performances, from the company on a Nest Hub or Hub Max -- anything with a screen, really -- later this year.
It's been six years since Mario's brother strapped on a modified vacuum cleaner and battled colorful ghosts in Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon (known as just Luigi's Mansion 2 in Europe, Australia and Japan). The 3DS adventure was a brilliant but sad reminder that the game deserved another home console outing similar to the original Gamecube release. Well, it's finally happened. Luigi's Mansion 3 is a joyous and expertly-polished Switch release that further establishes the plumber as an equal to his shorter and historically more famous brother.
"Developing sustainable solutions to mass production and consumption is one of the biggest challenges we face today as an industry," Rick Osterloh, Google's senior vice president for devices and services said onstage yesterday. "It impacts all of us and it will for generations to come." Sustainability was a major focus of the Pixel 4 event. The company said it would spend another $150 million on renewable energy projects, for instance, that will generate the same amount of electricity that is currently required to build Made by Google products. Ivy Ross, the head of Google's hardware design team, revealed that all of its 2019 Nest products will include some amount of recycled material, too. The new Nest Mini speaker, for example, has a fabric top made entirely from old plastic bottles.
Yep, Google's new Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL phones will have radar built-in. At a glitzy launch event in New York City, the company reiterated that both handsets will be the first to ship with its new motion-sensing Soli chip. These will enable the "fastest secure face unlock" in the industry, the company claimed, and a number of aptly-named Motion Sense gestures. The phone will, for instance, power down when you walk away and switch on as you saunter back over. You'll also be able to change music tracks, silence calls and greet Pokémon on your home screen with a quick wave.
<p>"John, is a man of focus. Commitment. Sheer will."</p> <p>In the movies, John Wick is portrayed as a force or nature. A terrifying assassin with unrivalled stamina and frightening proficiency with every known firearm. He has brains to match the brawn, too: his vast experience working for the fictional Tarasov family has turned him into a brilliant tactician that's aware of every sight line and incoming threat.</p> <p>Watching the bombastic set pieces, I often found myself wondering: how does Wick avoid being mobbed by 10 people at once? He can't dodge 10 bullets simultaneously, surely?</p> <p>That question is answered by <a href="https://johnwickhex.com/"><em>John Wick Hex</em></a>, the latest game from <a href="https://www.engadget.com/2013/05/01/thomas-was-alone-review/"><em>Thomas Was Alone</em></a>, <a href="https://www.engadget.com/2015/06/17/volume-mike-bithell-interview/"><em>Volume</em></a> and <a href="https://www.engadget.com/2017/08/17/volume-bithell-game-surprise-robot-detective-subsurface-circular/"><em>Subsurface Circular</em></a> developer Bithell Games. The top-down strategy title turns the films into a hyper-violent fusion of chess and Dungeons & Dungeons. Every level is filled with nodes -- denoted by white dots -- enemies and environmental cover. Your mission is to reach the end point and dispatch any lurking mini boss without being turned into a bullet-riddled pinata.</p>
<p>Everyone remembers <a href="https://youtu.be/fuEJWmxWkKw"><i>ReBoot</i></a>. It's hard to forget the show's lead character -- a bright blue 'guardian' named Bob -- and his fight to protect a city inside a computer. The computer-animated series premiered in September 1994, months before Pixar stunned theatergoers with <i>Toy Story</i>. It was a groundbreaking show that allowed its creator, Mainframe Entertainment, to pursue similar projects like <i>Shadow Raiders</i> and <i>Transformers </i>spin-off <i>Beast Wars</i>.</p> <p>Today, many believe that Mainframe was the only company to debut a computer-animated TV show in 1994. But that's incorrect. The Canadian studio had a European peer called Fantôme ("ghost" in French), which developed an equally important and pioneering series called <i>Insektors</i>.</p>
<p>Most electric bicycles are expensive. Like, 'you must have two grand lying around' expensive. <a href="https://www.bicycling.com/bikes-gear/a25602653/cheap-electric-bikes/">Cheaper e-bikes exist</a> but only a handful of manufacturers offer anything close to the $500 mark. One of the exceptions is Analog Motion, a four-person startup that crowdfunded a line of e-bikes <a href="https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/analogmotion/the-am1-electric-bike-its-a-bike-with-a-motor">called the AM1</a> last year. The range started at £499 (roughly $665) and, unsurprisingly, smashed its £25,000 goal in a single day. And, somehow, the team actually delivered on its promise and shipped hundreds of <a href="https://www.gizmodo.co.uk/2019/06/analog-motion-am1-ebike-review-cheaper-cheerful/">well-received bikes</a>. Now, it's back with <a href="https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/amx-electric-bike-the-e-bike-for-cities#/">a second generation</a> that promises a similar balance of performance and affordability.</p>
<p>Roughly <a href="https://www.engadget.com/2018/10/18/papers-please-creator-debuts-return-of-the-obra-dinn/">twelve months ago</a>, <em>Return of the Obra Dinn</em> stunned Mac and PC players with its time-travelling detective work. We shouldn't have been surprised -- the monochromatic adventure was developed by Lucas Pope, the creative mind behind the <a href="https://www.engadget.com/2014/03/13/papers-please-documents-500-000-copies-sold/">award-winning <em>Papers, Please</em></a>. If you're a console player that's yet to explore the 19th-century ship, good news: the game is coming to PS4, Xbox One and Nintendo Switch on October 18th. As far as we know, the console and PC versions are identical. (Fingers crossed you can still change the filter to emulate your favorite retro hardware!)</p>
<p>Microsoft is reviving its dream of an ARM-powered Surface device. Today, the company <a href="https://twitter.com/surface/status/1179406401124388865">unveiled Surface Pro X</a>, a Windows 10 hybrid powered by a custom SQ1 processor. That chipset has "Snapdragon mobile DNA," according to Panos Panay, Microsoft's chief product officer, alongside an "integrated AI accelerator." It was developed in partnership with Qualcomm and is likely related to the <a href="https://www.engadget.com/2018/12/06/qualcomm-snapdragon-8cx-pc-arm-extreme/">Snapdragon 8cx</a> announced last December. "You will not find this anywhere else out there," he claimed.</p>
<p>PlayStation Now is getting <a href="https://blog.eu.playstation.com/2019/10/01/playstation-now-update-brings-new-subscription-pricing-adds-gta-v-god-of-war-uncharted-4-and-more/">a hefty price drop</a>. Today, Sony announced that its video game subscription service will cost $9.99 per month in the US, down from $19.99 per month. A quarterly plan, meanwhile, will set back you $24.99, rather than $44.99, and the 12-month option will be $59.99, instead of $99.99. Similar price cuts are being introduced in Europe, Japan and the UK. Sony, which has offered PlayStation Now subscription plans since 2015, is clearly feeling the heat from some of its publisher and platform rivals. To name but a few, it's competing with Xbox Game Pass, EA Access, Uplay+, Apple Arcade and, starting next month, Google Stadia.</p>
<p>Back <a href="https://techcrunch.com/2019/01/15/kano-will-start-releasing-star-wars-and-other-disney-branded-products-later-this-year/">in January</a>, Kano revealed that it was working with Disney on a Star Wars-themed coding kit. It's taken a while, but today we finally know what the company -- best known for its <a href="https://www.engadget.com/2017/09/26/kano-coding-computer-kit-complete-laptop/">colorful Raspberry Pi computers</a> -- has been cooking up: <a href="http://kano.me/star-wars-launch/uk"><em>Star Wars</em> The Force Coding Kit</a>. The Bluetooth-enabled motion sensor includes a circular case, printed circuit board with nine LEDs, and two tops that contain Rebel Alliance and Galactic Empire iconography. Once assembled, it can be used to control lightsabers, Porgs and other Star Wars paraphernalia in a companion app that's compatible with Windows 10 PCs, Macs, iPads and Amazon Fire HD 10 tablets.</p>
<p>Last September, Razer unveiled a wireless headset <a href="https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/razer-announces-nari-wireless-gaming-headset-family-flagship-models-hypersense-intelligent-haptics-delivers-the-ultimate-immersive-gaming-audio-experience-300719963.html">called the Nari Ultimate</a> that doubled as a rumble pack. That's right -- in addition to conventional drivers (which by their very nature vibrate), the headphones had haptic actuators in each cup. The only problem? They were designed specifically for PC players. The headphones technically worked with Xbox One but you had to rely on a traditional 3.5mm jack. Well, today that all changes with the Razer Nari Ultimate for Xbox One. As its name implies, this version brings the full head-rumbling experience to Microsoft's family of consoles.</p> <p>Like the original, these headphones offer HyperSense-branded haptics by Lofelt, a German company that also worked on the Basslet wearable and <a href="https://www.engadget.com/2019/09/12/teenage-engineerings-rumble-module-op-z/">a rumble module for Teenage Engineering's OP-Z</a> sequencer and synthesizer. The vibrations work with "any Xbox One game," Razer claims, to create "an immersive in-game experience." That means they'll emphasize subtle footsteps, heart-stopping explosions and other dramatic audio cues. Some will scoff at the idea -- we don't blame you, it's an understandable reaction -- but reviews for the original Nari Ultimate <a href="https://uk.ign.com/articles/2018/12/03/razer-nari-ultimate-gaming-headset-review">were</a> <a href="https://youtu.be/DvnSRj8xQBI">positive</a>. If you want to give the Xbox version a shot, it's launching today for <a href="https://amzn.to/2IDqBQP">$199.99</a>/€219.99.</p> <p>The headphones will be competing with the impressive but haptic-free <a href="https://www.engadget.com/2019/04/23/steelseries-arctix-9x-xbox-wireless-headphones/">SteelSeries Arctis 9X</a>, Razer's older Thresher headsets, and the plethora of wireless Turtle Beach headsets that dominate bricks-and-mortar stores.</p>
<p>Mario Kart is a gloriously simple video game. Yes, there are some advanced techniques -- rocket starts, drift braking and the like -- that are borderline essential if you want to play <a href="https://www.engadget.com/2017/04/28/mario-kart-8-deluxe-switch/"><em>Mario Kart 8 Deluxe</em></a> online. For the most part though, it's an approachable racer for the masses. With <a href="https://www.engadget.com/2019/09/25/mario-kart-tour-iphone-android/"><em>Mario Kart Tour</em></a>, the first installment for mobile devices, Nintendo has managed to simplify the control scheme even further. In this touch-friendly version, your racer drives forward automatically. Swiping horizontally will cause them to turn or drift, depending on the control scheme you've chosen, while dragging up or down will fire the item they're holding forwards or backwards.</p>