Xmen: Days of Future Past 91% critics 95% audience
LG’s G3 sets the new benchmark for overpowered smartphones
If it were a laptop, its Quad HD resolution would be impressive. If it were a camera, its laser autofocus would be an advantage. But the LG G3 is a smartphone, and as such, it’s the most advanced one we’ve seen yet. If you are the sort of person who values top-end specs above all else, LG is ready for you.
Like the G2 before it, the G3’s front is almost all screen. Thanks to thin bezels on all sides, almost 77 percent of the device’s footprint is occupied by its 5.5-inch IPS display. With a resolution of 2560 x 1440 and such an aggressively minimal design, the G3 fits a lot of pixels into not a lot of space. LG’s new handset is as tall as HTC’s 5-inch One and Sony’s 5.2-inch Xperia Z2, while being lighter than both. The sense of extreme efficiency is pervasive with this phone.
The G3 also matches its direct competitors with a quad-core Snapdragon 801 processor, up to 3GB of RAM, 32GB of storage, and room for a microSD card, but LG isn’t interested in promoting its technical capabilities. “The smartest innovation in a fast-evolving smartphone market is creating harmony between advanced technology and a simplified user experience,” says LG Mobile CEO Jong-Seok Park.
LG has redesigned its Android UI along these lines and added a new Smart Notice service that works much like Google Now. It’ll remind you to call someone back, nag you to uninstall unused apps, and make timely recommendations like “you may want to take an umbrella today since it will rain this evening.” It’s these natural language capabilities that LG believes will set Smart Notice apart from other personal assistant software.
The G3’s camera pursues the same motto of using complex technology to provide simple utility. It has a 13-megapixel sensor, optical image stabilization, and a new laser autofocus system (a first among smartphones). LG feels so confident in the speed and reliability of these components that it’s changed the default capture mode of the camera — now when you tap the screen, the G3 focuses and shoots at the same time. The front-facing camera has also been upgraded with a wider aperture and new gesture-detection that will snap a selfie when you clench a fist in front of it.
Though designed to simulate the look of brushed metal, the LG G3’s construction remains plastic. Lightweight, well-rounded, and comfortable in the hand, but not as delightful as the all-aluminum HTC One. LG calls the new surface a metallic skin, combining polycarbonate with a thin layer of scratch-resistant material. It’s an upgrade from the G2, but an even more significant one is that the battery is now removable.
Metallic Black, Silk White, Shine Gold, Moon Violet, and Burgundy Red varieties of the LG G3 will be available globally via more than 170 carriers. The home market of South Korea gets LG’s new flagship phone right away, launching on May 28th, with the rest of the world to follow from June.
Watch Dogs suffering from login issues and more on launch day
Ubisoft’s new open-world game, Watch Dogs, is now available, but unfortunately a number of players are experiencing issues, including a login problem that Ubisoft is aware of.
“We are experiencing issues with the authentication services,” a tweet sent out by the official Watch Dogs account (and spotted by Game Informer) reads. “Players may experience long delays when trying to login in-game.”
While that gets in the way of online play and use of the mobile app, gamers have also been complainingabout being unable to connect to Uplay, which the PC version of the game uses, preventing them from being able to play.
In response, Ubisoft has issued a statement on its forums that reads, “Dear fans, with the release of Watch Dogs we are seeing an exceptional increase of activity. While we have taken many measures to limit the impact to our servers, they are not responding as fast as usual. Rest assured our team is monitoring closely our servers and taking every measures so that our services remain up. Thank you for your patience.”
Another post on the forums lists the issues Ubisoft is currently aware of, including several different crashes for players of the PC version and PlayStation 4 preorders not properly unlocking. Solutions for these problems have yet to be offered, but we’ll be keeping an eye on the game’s technical issues as Ubisoft provides additional updates.
Watch Dogs was released today on Xbox One, Xbox 360, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, and PC after becoming the most preordered game of this new generation of consoles at GameStop. For more, check outGameSpot’s review as well as our review roundup to see what critics around the web think of the game.
Facebook gives up on automatically posting everything you do online
Last week, Facebook made a small but very important change to Instagram. When I like a photo in the updated Instagram app, “Ellis liked a photo on Instagram” will no longer be automatically shared back to Facebook. The same goes for photos posted to Instagram, which won’t be automatically shared on Facebook unless you deliberately tap the Facebook button in the app’s sharing screen. The update effectively removes Instagram’s ability to automatically share anything back to Facebook, and today, Facebook is announcing its plans to take the idea much further. Automatically posted stories from apps like Pinterest, Farmville, Spotify, and RunKeeper are going to show up less and less in the News Feed, and Facebook will discourage developers from adding auto-posting to their apps at all.
The change marks a watershed moment in Facebook’s history and the end of a dream — Mark Zuckerberg’s dream — of a world where everything you eat, do, play, pin, visit, or listen to gets automatically shared to Facebook in real time. Unfortunately for Zuckerberg, users weren’t yet ready for (or didn’t want) that kind of transparency in their daily lives. About one year ago, Facebook started noticing that its users were marking lots of auto-posted stories as spam. Stories from music apps, news apps, social games, and all other kinds of auto-posting apps were being marked as spam, so Facebook’s ever-changing News Feed algorithm started showing these kinds of stories less and less. Consequently, the number of users marking stories as spam dropped 75 percent.
Geek This Week:
Aaron: Quelling the crazy WWDC rumors. Home Automation system?? Not happening.
Gozer: Photive Powerbank, Marvel Unlimited & Avengers VS. Xmen
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