Things have been pretty quiet about "big" stories in the last 24 hours, but there are still some interesting points to look at. Apple's freshly baked News + service is great, as is Google's feature hole on ChromeOS.
Apple News: Turns Out News + is not very secure
Apple launched News + just two days ago, but it has already been "hacked" to show you can look at magazines without paying for subscription. Oof.
- Famous iPhone hacker Steve Troughton-Smith was able to draw magazines from the cache. Without paying for a subscription. Not cool. Twitter ]
- Verge's Dieter Bohn took the iPad iPad 2019 for a ride and calls it a "very happy medium" … I think that means he liked it? [The Verge]
- Yesterday, Apple announced it would close two Texas stores. Today, a report was released saying it plans to open a new pair in Singapore. [MacRumors]
As half-baked as News + is out of the gate, this is honestly not surprising. The whole experience is not so well thought-out and lacks many features – it is very un-Apple. It's as if they were just in a hurry to complete some offers and get it through the door.
Microsoft News: Releasing the Hammer on April Fools Day Garbage
April Fools Day is the year's biggest day that you can't believe in a single thing you read. Microsoft is sick.
- Microsoft Marketing Manager Chris Caposella sent a memo to employees who said they would not be involved in April Fools Day Stunts. To do the Lord's work, that one. [The Verge]
After covering technical news for almost a decade, April Fools Day is the only day of the year I fear more than anyone else solely by trying to filter what is real from what is not. Sure, it's a little funny (and obviously not really ), but what almost seems possible is just annoying. I'm happy to see Microsoft do its part to avoid this.
Google News: Mars Madness Comes to Google Home
Things have been most silent on the Google front since the Stadia message, but I have some thoughts on Chrome OS after looking out 73 Stable.
- You can listen to Mars Madness broadcasts for free on Google Home devices – just say "Hello Google, play the NCAA March Madness at Westwood One." Made and done.
- Gmail gets dynamic action so you can do more without leaving your inbox. One day maybe the whole web is just part of Gmail.
- Chrome OS 73 (stable) was finally released, giving a lot of new features like built-in offline Drive synchronization, enhanced memory management, Android app sound enhancements, and more. [Android Police]
- Chrome 75 will be able to install Progressive Web Apps (PWAs) directly from the omnibox. That's really good. [Techdows]
I'm a big fan of Chrome OS, so I think the biggest thing here is the release of Chrome 73 stable – it gives some great improvements. That being said, it is a problem: Chrome OS is beginning to suffer the same "fragmentation" problem we see on Android devices. The difference here is that this time everyone's Google's fault.
While most Chromebooks have the same core features at the same time, the addition of support for Android and Linux devices begins to cut a wrench into it because it's kind of all over the place. There are still a lot of Chromebooks that will never see Linux apps due to core compatibility issues, for example.
Android apps on Chrome OS have the same fate because different Chromebooks run different versions of Android. Very few are currently on Pie-most still run Nougat – which means that only a few get the full benefits of running Android apps on Chrome OS. As pointed out by Android's Corbin Davenport, he could not test the new audio focus feature for Android apps on Chrome OS 73, because his Dell Chromebook 14 is still running Nougat.
One of the biggest draws to Chrome OS is that it is up-to-date and up-to-date by Google, but since the functional gap widening between Chromebooks, I begin to worry about its future as a non-fragmented operating system.
Other news: Verizon is stupid (and so is McDonald's)
Verizon McDonalds will start using AI and a stupid Twitter prank that will get you locked out of your account.
- The national advertising department wants Verizon to pull its misleading "First to 5G" ad campaign, but Big Red has filed an appeal because it does not see the problem. [Ars Technica]
- McDonalds will start using AI to automate its running menu, so it can show hot drinks on a cold day or cold candy on a hot day. Now if the glass machine could only learn to fix itself. [Engadget]
- There is a prank that goes around Twitter and says that if you change your birthday to 2007 you can unlock new color schemes. The truth is to lock you out of your account to be under 13th loloops. [The Verge]
- The BBC is salty that Google uses its apps to play podcasts instead of directing to their apps, so it drew all its podcasts from Google. Call. [Engadget]
The whole 5G scene is so full of missing junk right now, it really adds a bad taste to my mouth about it all. Between Verinson's marketing and the AT&T Fake 5G E Trash, I'm pretty much over it. Just give me a fast network that won't make the cost my phone jump astronomically or slaughter my battery. Cut the shit. Is it so difficult?