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Quick takes on Quibi, and more tech news you need to know today

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Your good tech news digest, by way of the DGiT Daily newsletter, for Monday, April 6.

1. Quibi is here, if you want it

Quibi is out just in time for the ongoing lockdown. The app name is short for “quick bites,” and it’s a mobile-only short video streaming service, available for both Android and iOS platforms (only) now*.

  • Quibi has now officially launched in the US and Canada and is available more widely too. I had no problems downloading it and tuning in here in Germany, and had confirmation it’s working in Australia too.
  • *But we didn’t get it to work in the UK yet, and Dutch colleagues haven’t been able to download it either. So, maybe it’s a planned rollout? I’ve asked Quibi to clarify.
  • In any case, it’s free for now, with a 90-day free trial if you sign up before April 30.
  • If you sign up today that runs through to July 5, 2020.
  • After that trial, plans start at $4.99/month, $7.99/month for ad-free.
  • (I’m seeing a single-tier 8,99 €/month for ad-free in Europe, which might make sense given advertising is likely to be North American focused for now.)

Positives: Quibi’s unique proposition and the app itself

  • The big thing is that Quibi’s content is mobile-first. You can only watch on an iOS or Android device (although Chromebooks work in portrait mode only).
  • There’s also responsive video, which adapts to your viewing angle in portrait or landscape mode, which Quibi calls its ‘Turnstyle’ technology.
  • In use, the responsive video technology adjusts without that hiccup you can see shifting orientation. It does add a slightly different perspective and titles and credits adjust as well.
  • Apparently Turnstyle will allow for more narrative elements as you switch positions but launch shows didn’t show that off. So it worked, but I didn’t need it.
  • Otherwise, elements like the clock on your phone and GPS location will change how some shows look or evolve. Again, none of that is here on day one.
  • Other neat tricks are the progress bar or a show running vertically down the right side of the screen as you watch in portrait mode (or left, for left-handers who choose that option).
  • It does offer offline downloads too for watching while on mobile data or patchy connections.

On the negative side:

  • There’s no profile setup yet, as Quibi is trying to be personal to each person.
  • That means if you share your login details, you might be frustrated as there’s only one single concurrent stream allowed.
  • I was getting some streaming hiccups on the first official day but that’s been the case for the likes of Disney Plus as well.

Is the content any good?

  • That depends. That really depends. Less than 10-minute episodes make everything so abrupt and rapid. It’s both compelling and difficult to really enjoy.
  • This morning I watched a few random things ranging from trashy to serious.
  • On the good side, Dishmantled isn’t bad if you want to watch crowd-sourced chefs try to recreate a meal shot at them from a cannon to win $5k. Yup. Episodes last about six minutes, hosted by Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt star Tituss Burgess.
  • It’s fun, light-weight, and that’s it. But I can imagine people watching this.
  • Other shows like Shape of Pasta take themselves very seriously but the episodes are almost too short to really create feeling. Apparently chef Evan Funke is famous, and that’s a big part of why I don’t get this at all. It’s too much.
  • Survive with Sophie Turner starts slow but kept me watching.
  • There’s I Promise, a LeBron James-focused documentary about his school in Akron which is like a LeBron commercial, but at least it is fundamentally good.
  • Punk’d is back with Chance the Rapper and maybe it shouldn’t be…

Star power not always firing:

  • Look, right now it seems like the whole thing is based heavily on celebrity and star power, and it’s trying to appeal to a younger audience by being so snappy and loaded with pop culture.
  • You’ll either get in because of this or find your unable to imagine why anyone would use it.
  • It sort of feels like what you might get if YouTube paid what Quibi invested ($1 billion!) in content, and stars, and every possible idea being greenlighted.
  • It both works and it doesn’t, and I find myself deciding within about 15 seconds if I want to watch something or not because of how lost cost it is to jump around.
  • Quibi feels like it was made for commuters catching a show. As Moe Szyslak might say: ‘We called that “The Commute.” They don’t let you do that no more.’
  • I can’t say if it’ll get better or not, but at least there’s 90 days to decide if you’re going to pay for the service that’ll see mixed reviews, mark my words.
  • Again: Download for Android and iOS if you’re interested.

2. Scoop reveals next-gen Samsung earbuds: beans. These are unusual! (Android Authority).


Also, Apple has apparently bought NextVR, a live event streaming AR/VR company which has worked with the NBA, Fox Sports, Wimbledon, for $100M. Apple’s pushing to be competent in AR, hence the Lidar in the iPad Pro and strong rumors in iPhone 12 Pro (9to5Mac).

DGiT Daily: Your tech resource

The DGiT Daily delivers a daily email that keeps you ahead of the curve for all tech news, opinions, and links to what’s going down in the planet’s most important field. You get all the context and insight you need, and all with a touch of fun. Plus! Rotating daily fun for each day of the week, like Wednesday Weirdness. Join in!

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Apple iPhone 12 series design, camera, colour revealed in video, hints at 120Hz ProMotion tech and 10-bit colour depth- Technology News, Firstpost

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Apple’s upcoming iPhone 12 will be — like every year — a benchmark event. A video, doing the rounds on YouTube, has given consumers an idea of what the phone might look like.

The video, made by designer Mauro Battino and YouTuber ConceptsiPhone, has been labelled as a “100% Final Design” trailer.

A report by HypeBeast mentions that the renders of the new designs seem to have borrowed heavily from the popular iPhone 4 model, but enhance it with more pronounced edges and angles, as well as a smaller notch which does not intrude upon the screen.

 Apple iPhone 12 series design, camera, colour revealed in video, hints at 120Hz ProMotion tech and 10-bit colour depth

The iPhone 11.

The iPhone 12 Pro is likely to sport an all-new Super Retina XDR display. A host of internal specifications of the smartphone have also been revealed. The device will be powered by the Apple A14 Bionic chip and have 5G support.

The video also confirms the rumoured 120Hz ProMotion technology and 10-bit colour depth.

The iPhone 12 Pro will come with a quad-camera setup at the rear. The fourth module is the LiDAR scanner that will give the smartphone improved AR capabilities and allow real-time 3D environmental mapping. The device will have a zoom lens, wide lens and ultra wide lens.

According to another report by iDropNews, Apple is reportedly replacing the midnight green colour with a navy blue colour option. The report also adds that the 5.4-inch standard iPhone may package a full-size display into a smaller form. The iPhone 12 Pro models, however, will sport either a 6.1-inch screen or a 6.7-inch screen.

A report last week mentioned that Apple may delay the launch of iPhone 12 series by at least two months. The devices in the series are expected to arrive in November instead of the traditional mid-September timeline.

Find latest and upcoming tech gadgets online on Tech2 Gadgets. Get technology news, gadgets reviews & ratings. Popular gadgets including laptop, tablet and mobile specifications, features, prices, comparison.



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Italy’s ‘Immuni’ COVID-19 contact tracing app uses Google, Apple tech

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The exposure notification app uses Bluetooth to swap codes between mobile devices. If someone tests positive for COVID-19 and they mark that status on Immuni, it will alert people who have been in close proximity with that person. They’ll be advised to self-isolate and get tested for the virus themselves to limit the spread of COVID-19. 

Concerns have been raised that the app will violate people’s privacy. However, the Italian government says the app doesn’t collect personal or geolocation data. Data stored on smartphones is encrypted, as are connections between the app and the server. All app-related data, whether on people’s own devices or servers, must be deleted when it’s no longer needed, or by the end of the year at the latest. 

Although Immuni isn’t mandatory, the more people who use it, the more effective it will be, the government said. However, a survey conducted late last month suggested that just 44 percent of Italians will or probably will download the app.

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New tech can map cholesterol metabolism in brain – Latest News

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A team of researchers led by Swansea University in the UK has developed new technology to monitor cholesterol in brain tissue which could uncover its relation to neurodegenerative disease and pave the way for the development of new treatments.

The research, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA, in animal models shows the major locations of cholesterol in the brain and what molecules it can be converted to.

“Although our work was with a mouse, the technology can similarly be used in humans in a research lab or a clinical setting, and could have revolutionary value when linked to neurosurgery,” said Professor William Griffiths who co-led the study.

Dysregulated cholesterol metabolism is linked to a number of neurodegenerative disorders including Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, Huntington’s disease, multiple sclerosis and motor neurone disease.

It is known that cholesterol is not evenly distributed across different brain regions.

However, there has been no technology available to map cholesterol metabolism in defined locations of the brain at microscopic levels, and to visualise how it changes in pathological niches in the brain.

In the new study, researchers described an advanced mass spectrometry imaging platform to reveal spatial cholesterol metabolism in mouse brain at micrometre resolution from tissue slices.

The researchers mapped not only cholesterol, but also biologically active metabolites arising from cholesterol turnover.

For example, they found that 24S-hydroxycholesterol, the major cholesterol metabolite in the brain, is about 10 times more abundant in striatum than in the cerebellum, two regions involved in different ways in voluntary movement and cognition.

“Tissue excised during surgery could rapidly be profiled by our method in-clinic and used to distinguish healthy from diseased tissue, informing the surgeon on the next step of the operation,” Griffiths said.

According to co-author Professor Yuqin Wang, this technology which precisely locates molecules in the brain will further our understanding of the complexity of brain function and how it changes in neurodegenerative disorders”.



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