Spotify Premium for Family gets a free Google
Home Mini – but hurry offer expires 14 May.
Sony reveals PlayStation 4 State of Play;
Amazon Alexa claims it supports 60K ‘smart devices’;
LG V50 ThinQ 5G may be Australia’s first 5G
No more trash talk on Xbox – about f*&^%n
Microsoft tackles IoT compatibility with plug and
Android Q has new gestures. What does Q mean?;
ITy Bytes 13 May are small news nuggets to keep you up to
Spotify Premium for Family gets a free Google Home Mini – but hurry, offer expires 14 May.
Spotify Premium for Family subscribers already enjoy
personalised Spotify accounts for up to six family members at a total of $17.99
Sorry for the late advice but if you sign up today – 13 May until
midnight – both new and existing users get a free Google Home Mini worth $45.
GadgetGuy coverage here.
Sign up here.
Spotify and Google Assistant
work really well together, and it even supports playlists. More importantly, it
allows you to ask for genres – dinner, dance, gym, drive and control these by
voice as well.
Amazon Alexa claims it supports 60K ‘smart devices.’
Amazon Alexa is claiming a massive increase in the number of
smart devices up from 12,000 twelve months ago. The fine print is that there
are about 7,400 ‘brands’ and it was convenient that Amazon’s announcement was
smack in the middle of Google I/O.
The five-fold increase is due to a massive increase in the number
of Chinese made generic smart Wi-Fi lights, plugs and switches that do not require
a specific skill, brand or hub to connect. In which case its good news for
Google Home as these devices will cozy up to that ecosystem as well.
In fact, number posturing does not matter anymore in the war
between Alexa and OK Google – Google already has 1 billion smartphones, its
Google Home app has had over 100+ million downloads, and it has a 4.1-star
rating for unmatched convenience and utility. Alexa has 10+ million downloads
and a 3.4-star rating.
On those fronts, at least in Australia, Google Home is well
LG V50 ThinQ 5G may be Australia’s first 5G smartphone
While the LGV50 ThinQ 5G is LG’s first 5G smartphone (and it
looks very impressive), it may well be the first 5G handset to sell in
Australia with a launch planned for 4 June.
The unique selling proposition of this device is an optional
clip-on AMOLED dual screen (GadgetGuy overview here).
What we know is that it uses a Qualcomm SD855 powered device
and the Qualcomm X50 5G modem. It has a 4,000mAh battery, tri-rear camera, dual
front camera and Dolby Atmos stereo speakers.
The specs look great, and LG has always made excellent quality
and high-performance V-series flagships. Price – single screen will start
around $1999, and the optional screen will add a few hundred more.
If you want to know more about 5G in Australia read our brief
No more trash talk on Xbox -– about f*&^%n time!
Microsoft has released its Community Standards
for Xbox that will help keep the Xbox community safer. It also outlines strong
punitive measures for problematic behaviour including restrictions placed on your
Recidivists may have their profile permanently suspended if Microsoft
can no longer trust it due to a severe violation or attempts to correct
repeated negative behaviours are unsuccessful. Under permanent suspension, the
owner of the suspended profile forfeits all licenses for games and other
content, Gold membership time, and Microsoft account balances.
This is a great move to remove gutter talk and to make
gaming safe and fun for all.
Microsoft tackles IoT compatibility with plug and play
Microsoft has announced that it
will try to bring plug and play to IoT devices that connect to Windows systems
(and others) by setting up the Azure
IoT Device catalogue. Plug and Play also offers developers an open modelling
language to connect devices to the cloud without having to write code.
Plug and Play has been hugely successful in the computer peripherals
world, and the idea is that manufacturers place their drivers in the Azure
cloud to allow seamless connection and configuration. So far 1280 devices are
on its register.
It’s early days but Android is expected to support the move
making this a significant open source step forward in configuring and security
Android Q uses gestures too. What does Q mean?
Android Pie had rudimentary gestures in addition to its typical
one button, or three buttons. We are not sure of all the new gestures in Q, but
one is swipe diagonally to launch Google Assistant. Going home is a swipe either
from the left or right edge and switching apps is a swipe up.
And what name can we expect for Android Q?
Google uses sweets or deserts – Kit Kat, Oreo etc. Q is a little
harder because the only two Q sweets include
Queijadinha/Queijada/Quindim – a sweet made in
Portugal from grated coconut and cheese, sweetened condensed milk, sugar, butter
and egg yolks.
Qottab – Iranian deep-fried pasty with Almonds
and Walnuts and sugar
The only other Q words that come to mind are Quik (chocolate
drink), Quality Street (brand – not likely), Quaker Oats or Quaker Quisp (brand
– not likely), Queen of Puddings (to Brit), Quince/Quiddany (as in Quince Paste
or Quince Jelly), Quinoa, Quail, Quesadilla and Quiche.
There is a suggestion it may be another famous Q. Either James
Bond’s Q Quartermaster or that annoying so-called Q-continuum god in Star Trek.
And believe it or not, there is only one colour – Quartz.
My money is on Quik (from Nestle) or Quackers (as we have a
duck family living under the jetty).