ITy Bytes 16 April contains vital news nuggets to keep you up to date. In this edition
- Apple News+ gets F- ;
- Huawei P30 and P30 Pro now in store;
- Xiaomi comes to Australia – aims to price beater;
- Amazon Link and Amp adds Amazon music streaming to an existing hi-fi;
- Xbox Game Pass: Monster Hunter: World, Prey, Life is Strange 2: Episode 2, and more;
- Xbox fans can once again access ‘Insider Xbox’ podcast;
- Razer Seirēn X streaming microphone comes to the PlayStation4;
- Astro’s gen 4 gaming audio solution for console and pc gaming;
- HyperX QuadCast Microphone is here
Apple News+ gets F-
A raft of complaints about dodgy user interfaces, lack of mobile-friendly content and family sharing that exposes your credit card and a lot of pain has dogged Apple News+ earning it a Fail-.
While it is not over here yet, Gizmodo Australia has one of the better reviews, and it is polite by calling Apple News+ a total mess.
Steve Jobs used to say that a product or service cannot be released until it is perfect. Apple customers cannot be its crash test dummies. Sage advice for Tim Cook who regularly ignores it.
You can buy a Huawei P30 or P30 Pro online or off-the-shelf from today
Yes, we all know how damned good the P30 Pro camera is but let me tell you the less expensive P30 is pretty good too.
Huawei local management said that its pre-orders have sold out three times over and new stocks rushed over for “this priority market.” It also said that while the P30 Pro at $1599 had been the run-away seller at three-to-one over the P30 sales of the latter have been stronger than expected at its $1099 price.
Retailers include JB Hi-Fi, Harvey Norman and Huawei’s Amazon store. Telcos include Telstra, Optus, and Vodafone. Huawei’s Australian website is here.
GadgetGuy is finishing its two-week review and expects to have a fully detailed (is there any other way) review up next week. In the interim, you can read its P30/Pro coverage here. The one question everyone is asking is would you buy it over the new Samsung Galaxy S10/+? The answer is that its camera has superior low light and optical zoom so if that is your criteria then go for it. We will do a ‘shootout’ of both after the P30 Pro review.
Xiaomi to come to Australia
It appears that the Chinese smartphone makers have discovered fertile ground in Australia where around 50% of its sheep use iPhone and a substantial portion can afford Samsung and Huawei flagships.
Alcatel (TCL) has been here for ‘yonks’ and has a huge commitment to the pre-paid and value segments as well as a major sponsor of the Rabbitohs. It is a good corporate citizen.
OPPO came here in 2014 and has a substantial local investment with staff, offices, warehousing and support – and it makes some incredible stuff from its entry-level A series, fully featured R series and its quirky Find X pop-up camera flagship. It too has a huge corporate conscience and sponsors a range of fashion and sporting events including the Indian Cricket team.
Xiaomi is number four in China behind Huawei, OPPO and vivo (the last two are siblings). It has a reputation for excellent value, and its flagship Mi9 (Qualcomm SD 845 and the works) will sell at $995.
A company called Panmi has secured the rights, and chief operating officer George Saad said the launch would “revolutionise consumers’ expectations”. To allay fears of ‘Chinese spying’ servers will be set up locally.
Expect to see a retail presence in a couple of months, but Panmi has a warning – it can only support and warrant phones it sells here – not ones sold by opportunistic grey/parallel importers. Other Xiaomi products like electric scooters, wearables, power banks and smart home devices will also be available via its Mi Store.