iOS 13: release date, beta, features and leaks

iOS 13: release date, beta, features and leaks

Come Monday, iOS 13 beta is going to introduce changes to your iPhone and iPad, and according to Apple leaks we’ve seen today, it’s going to be a very big update.iOS 13 Dark Mode is going to be the highlight everyone talks about simply because it’s long overdue. A fresh home screen redesign and new wallpaper are two others. That’s only the beginning of what we think Apple has planned.The expected iOS 13 features list may give iPad such broad new power it’ll actually feel like a computer, like Apple’s marketing team always claims. Things like stackable app windows, mouse support and becoming a Mac’s second screen are all rumored.We have a live rundown of all of the iOS 13 changes we anticipate below. We are also here to answer questions like When does iOS 13 come out? Will it be at WWDC 2019? We’ll be constantly updating this page to report on the facts as they get announced.Yes, we also expect Apple to launch iOS 12.4 Monday with the Apple Card, but iOS 13 news will overshadow everything else, except maybe a possible Mac Pro 2019 tease.Here’s every potential iOS 13 feature and change ahead of the beta. There should be enough here to help stem Apple’s sluggish iPhone sales and the expect iPhone 11 sameness in 2019.
Apple CEO Tim Cook at the latest iPad Pro event in November (Photo credit: Matt Swider / TechRadar)The iOS 13 release date begins with the beta
Monday, June 3: First look and developer beta 1 at WWDC 2019 keynoteAround June 25: iOS 13 public beta may launch for adventurous testersEarly September 2019: iOS 13 Golden Master (final dev beta) likely to launch Mid-September 2019: iOS 13 likely to launch with new 2019 iPhonesWe have mapped out an iOS 13 beta timeline, from beta 1 to the final version of the software, and it all begins with a first look at the update on Monday June 3. We had this date pinned down months ago, long before we got our WWDC invite.We went as far as to make a graphic for the iOS 13 release schedule:
Image credit: TechRadar1. iOS 13 developer beta: The first iOS 13 beta will likely arrive at the WWDC keynote, but it’s going to be restricted to paid Apple developers. You should probably wait for the public beta, which is always more stable.2. iOS 13 public beta: This is Apple’s way of testing features on a larger scale, and that may happen toward the end of June – last year the iOS public beta release date was June 25. It’s typically a more refined version of the iOS developer beta, although it can still be rough and never includes all of the features implemented in the final version of the software.3. iOS 13 golden master: This will be the final version of the iOS 13 software one week early, meant for developers and public beta testers. At this point it’s very stable and gives app makers seven days to adapt to the final software.4. The official iOS 13 release date: We’ll get the new iOS 13 software in its final, stable form about one week after the next iPhone launch event, what we’re calling iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Max and iPhone 11 XR at the moment. The date? Probably mid-September (last year it was September 17).
iOS 13 compatibility list
iOS 13 may shed support the oldest still-supported devices: iPhone 5S, iPad Air and iPad mini 2Compatibility would then go as far back as iPhone 6, iPhone 7 Plus, and iPad Air 2The A8 chipset, in the newly launched iPad Touch 7th gen, might be the base line for most devices (iPad mini 3 excluded)One rumor says iPhone 6, iPhone 6S, iPad Air 2, and even the iPhone SE will be axed from the iOS 13 compatibility list, but we think that’s a stretchApple just gave us a very strong hint of which devices with be iOS 13 compatible and which will not when it launched a new iPod Touch 7th generation earlier this week.The working theory has been that the iOS 13 compatibility list will shed the iPhone 5S, iPad Air and iPad mini 2, the oldest devices that are compatible with the last iOS update. If true, iOS 13 would still work with iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, and iPad Air 2. 
Which devices will iOS 13 be compatible with? (Image credit: Apple)All of these devices have an A8 chipset (A8X for the iPad Air 2) so the base line would be an A8 chipset or newer to upgrade to iOS 13. This happens to be the chip in the HomePod and Apple TV 4th generation, so it brings everything into line very neatly. Okay, there’s one outlier we hope stays up-to-date: the iPad mini 3, which has an older A7 chipset (the iPad mini 2 was updated with iOS 12, after all). Of course, it’s in Apple’s best interest that you upgrade your hardware, like the iPad mini 4. Hangers-ons don’t help the company’s bottom line, so nothing is truly safe.Don’t expect Apple to go too far with the iOS 13 compatibility list cuts. There’s a rumor that iOS 13 will also axe support for the iPhone 6, iPhone 6S, iPad Air 2, and even the iPhone SE. The benefit? Cutting the SE would leave Apple and third-party app developers with fewer screen sizes to deal with when programming for iOS.One thing’s for sure: whatever happens, don’t expect Apple to make an official announcement at WWDC 2019 if the iPhone 5S isn’t compatible with iOS 13. The iOS 13 compatible phones will just show up on a slide, or they won’t. Also, remember that not every iOS 13 feature will come to all devices on that list. Some new ideas may require the TrueDepth camera, a rear dual-lens system, or 3D Touch.
Almost a sure thing: iOS 13 Dark Mode confirmed
Overdue Dark Mode has been tipped multiple times for iOS 13We saw macOS get a system-wide Dark Mode in 2018Shortcut to black-and-dark-gray UI to live in Control CenteriOS 13 is where we’re going to see Dark Mode, according to multiple leaks about the forthcoming iPhone and iPad software update. It’s finally going to launch this time.
Image credit: 9to5macThe reason we think iOS 13 Dark Mode is a sure thing for 2019 is thanks to this very real-looking screenshot (above) that shows three menus suited up in a dark theme.It’ll turn white-and-light-gray interfaces to a black-and-dark-gray UI, which should be a nice thing to see at nighttime. With Night Sight, TrueTone and now Dark Mode on a growing number of devices, Apple is being very kind to our eyes.Best of all, this iOS 13 feature should also help your phone if it has an OLED display. The iPhone X, iPhone XS, and iPhone XS Max has OLED screens that (essentially) turn off the pixels when display true black, thus consuming less power.
New wallpaper for iOS 13
Monday’s keynote is expected to pave the way for fresh iOS 13 wallpaper, as we’ve seen from past iOS updates every year at WWDC. 2019 should be no different.
Watch this space for new iOS 13 wallpaper (Image credit: TechRadar)Even though haven’t been any credible leaks regarding this year’s official wallpaper, Apple could use it as a chance to better exhibit iOS 13 Dark Mode. We’ll throw the first images up here when we do see it on stage. Watch this space.
iOS 13 home screen redesign
The tiled home screen design hasn’t changed since 2007This redesign was supposedly pushed back from iOS 12Could include glanceable information like the 5-day forecastiOS 13 may bring the first-ever major changes to the iOS home screen, and it’s long overdue. We’ve had this app tile layout since the first iPhone launched in 2007. It works, sure, but it’s become increasingly stale in 2019.We envision this supposedly iPad-specific change to take parts of the Today screen (the leftmost widget-like screen) and tie them into the home screen.
This grid is boring. Bring on glanceable information with iOS 13 (Image credit: TechRadar)Being able to peek at snippets of information – the 5-day weather forecast, your next calendar appointment, and the latest Apple News headlines – would be a welcome addition to the unchanged iOS app grid. When talking up Apple Watch face complications, the team behind it used the words ‘glanceable information’ a lot. That would be a natural fit for the iOS 13 home screen. We’re just a bit disappointed that the rumors so far don’t extent to the iPhone.
iOS 13 iPad mouse support… kind of
Big iPad changes: iOS 9, iOS 11… iOS 13 is next?iOS 12 iPad Mouse support is the most popular rumor Mouse support is already an accessibility feature, but we have doubts about is going further than that at this timeWhen we talk about Apple rumors, we often talk about patterns, and here’s one concerning iOS 13 iPad features: every two years we get meaningful iPad software changes: iOS 11 nearly two years ago, and iOS 9 two years before that.iOS 13 mouse support for the iPad is the first thing everyone wants to know about, and it seems entirely possible it could come to the update but as an accessibility feature, according to Steve Troughton-Smith.

You can see in this video (above) that iOS actually already supports a mouse via USB-C and other joysticks.Will mouse support become a full-blown feature when iOS 13 lands? That remains to be seen (and we have some serious doubts, sorry), but if Apple wants to position the iPad as a true productivity replacement for laptop owners, this is almost certainly a requirement… eventually.
iOS 13 external hard drive support
The iPad Pro may get wider USB-C external storage compatibilityImporting photos from drives and SD cards to bypass Photos appThe iPad may get external help in two ways when iOS 13 launches. First, iOS 13 could soon give you more access to external hard drives and DSLRs you plug into to the iPad Pro USB-C port. Right now, every photo and video requires importing through the Camera Roll instead of directly to something like Lightroom, says 9to5mac.
iOS 13 will reportedly let you skip the Photos camera roll and import straight to apps like Lightroom when using an external hard drive plugged into the iPad Pro USB-C port (Image credit: Apple)We’d like to see external storage support go even further, allowing us to transfer all sorts of files between a hard drive and iPad. It’d allow the iPad Pro to become more productivity-friendly device, as would the long-rumored multi-user support. iPads, after all, are often shared among family members.
iPad as a external Mac monitor
Luna Display and Duet have enables iPads to be a Mac’s second displayBut Apple could make performance buttery smooth with iOS 13Second, iPads running iOS 13 could acts as a second monitor for Macs. It sounds sort of like the idea behind third-party apps Luna Display and Duet, but baked into Apple’s software and lag-free.
Could iOS 13 enable an iPad Pro to act as a second screen for a MacBook, like third-party developer Luna Display does? That’s the current credible rumor (Image credit: Luna display)Apple may see a boost in iPad sales for people who feel like the iPad is sometimes a useful tool, but are so productivity focused that they really need a MacBook. An iPad with iOS 13 may be a great standalone device for their light usage and acts a companion to a MacBook for when a second screen is needed.
Native iOS 13 swipe keyboard
Type words by gliding your fingers across the keyboards in iOS 13SwiftKey and Gboard do this, but do iOS users know about them?Apple’s default gesture keyboard could be a lot more popularApple may be making a native swipe keyboard for iOS 13, one that sounds similar to the popular SwiftKey app on iPhones (seen below five iOS generations ago).
iOS 13 a native swipe keyboard, like this SwiftKey exampleThis would mean sliding your finger across a keyboard to spell out words could be done without lifting a finger. With larger screens, this has become a big perk.iOS keyboard extensions like Google’s Gboard and Fleksy already offering this glide typing option, but a lot more people may discover and use the functionality if it were built into the default keyboard.
New undo gesture in iOS 13 
iOS 13 won’t force you to shake your iPhone to undo your last actionKeyboard swiping gesture, three fingers left (undo) or right (redo)Violently shaking your iPhone or iPad to undo a mistake like it’s an Etch A Sketch may become a thing of the past, as Apple is tipped to add a new undo gesture. It’s a three-finger tap on the keyboard that requires you to then slide to the left or the right, according to 9to5mac – the left to undo and the right to redo an action. We’re hoping that skate-to-undo doesn’t fully go away, as it’s sometimes destressing to take making a mistake out on our iPhone.
iOS 13 to fix intrusive volume controls
The age-old volume HUD to finally get smaller and out of the wayThis is going to be the smallest, but maybe most valued iOS 13 change, only because we’ve dealt with it for years: the volume HUD is going to be less obtrusive.
iOS 13 could do what Google did with Android Pie last year, by shifting the volume controls to the side or perhaps in the notch ‘ear’.Even Apple know that the volume controls are annoying when they block the screen for a few seconds every time you want to adjust the volume using the side buttons. We could see it living up the top corner of the phone (the left notch ‘ear’) where it sometimes appears when playing multimedia.
iOS 13, codename “Yukon” – and beyond
iOS 13 (codenamed “Yukon”) will follow iOS 12’s footsteps in increasing speed for older devices and ironing out bugs, as per Bloomberg. The interface will get tweaked with new animations when multitasking or closing apps.Potentially more exciting: the same report claims Apple is already at work on iOS 14 (codenamed “Azul”), which sources predict will support 5G network speeds and new AR functionality. We don’t expect iPhone 11, which is expected to launch with iOS 13 in its final form, to have 5G capability.
Four new Animoji and many more emoji
4 Animoji: Apple to roll out cow, mouse, octopus and emoji face230 new emoji and changes: disabilities, yawning and waffles A handful of new Animoji could be added as part of iOS 13, with a rumor suggesting that a cow, mouse, octopus and emoji face are all being added.

There are currently 24 Animoji is Apple’s iOS 12.2 roster, so the iOS 13 update would bring the total number to 28 in addition to customizable Memoji avatars.We’ve also reported on 230 new and changed emojis that could come to iOS 13, with disabilities getting the spotlight, along with a yawning emoji and waffles.
Siri improvements
According to one source, Siri could be upgraded for iOS 13, making it better able to understand you than it is currently.The claims are a bit vague, but Siri improvements of some kind are always likely.
More iOS 13 features (changes we’d like to see)
Those are of the iOS 13 rumors with leaks attached to them. However, we foresee Apple considering additional feature changes for its software update. Maybe not all of them will come today, but we’re putting them out there anyway.And, a lot of the iOS 13 features leaked above are actually ones that have appeared on this very list over the years. Let’s get started.
iPad desktop mode
We’d love to see a ‘Desktop Mode’ to improve our workflow, with a menu and taskbar across the top and bottom. Going along with this is our wish to see Bluetooth mouse and cursor support with iOS 13.The Samsung Galaxy Tab S4 added desktop mode and mouse features in 2018, but with terrible touchscreen execution. Apple could do what it does best: refine an existing Android idea until ‘it just works.’
Camera app revamp
Apple’s camera app is very basic and sorely in need of redesignExpect it to still be streamlined and easy to use for average usersWe’d at least like to change resolutions without diving into SettingsApple’s camera app is extremely basic. It’s been a blessing and a curse. It’s easy for less tech-savvy iPhone owners to use, but more advanced users are missing out on features that would let them fine-tine their photos and videos.

A revamp to the camera app was also among last year’s leaks, and that’s the change that piqued our interest the most. The Samsung Galaxy S9 has the ability to snap a photo with gestures, while the LG V40’s video tools allow you to fluidly zoom into anywhere on the screen, not just the dead center. The Google Pixel 3 has added a Night Sight mode that aims to end the need for a frequently-photo-ruining flash.Expect Apple to keep the camera app streamlined, but sprinkle in more advanced tools. And if all we get is the ability to change resolutions and frame rates from within the camera app (and not in the settings menu), that’d be good enough.
Health and Activity apps on the iPad
We’d like to see Apple’s Health and Activity apps on the iPadDoctors could review health data with patients on a big screenYour health and fitness data deserves to be seen at 9.7 inches and 12.9 inches, and that’s what we’re hoping for from the iOS 13 update in the coming months.
A Bloomberg report hinted that a revamped Health app is on the way that will more clearly visualize your day-to-day activity. It will also have a new section on ‘hearing health’ that monitors how loud you’re blaring audio into your headphones (assuming it’s coming from your iOS device); there’s also a more refined menstrual cycle tracking feature coming.Both the Apple Health app and Activity app (the one with the rings) present a lot of data to comb over, and seeing bars, graphs, running maps, and various numbers stretched out on the big screen would be ideal. Right now, both apps are limited to the Apple Watch and the iPhone.We think Apple will do this eventually. Doctors could review health data with patients more easily, for example, and senior citizens have complained to us that their iPhone is too small to read all of the health data. We’d also like to see both apps on macOS, but one tracked step at a time. 
SPAM call blocking
Google Pixel phones impressed with a SPAM call blocking feature in 2018Apple did add a way for third-parties to block calls, but it often costs moneyiOS 13 needs better SPAM call blocking. Absolutely needs it in 2019. It’s one of the best features of the Google Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL, yet the increasing nuisance of telemarketers persists on the iPhone.Okay, last year’s iOS update did at least add a call blocking and identification option. But users have to invest in an app (that often costs money annually) to get good SPAM call blocking protection. Apps like Hiya cost $2.99/month or $14.99/year for premium service.The good news is that we see a big shift happening. Verizon is making its SPAM and robocall feature free starting in March, and Apple was recently issued a patent for this sort of feature.  
Clipboard manager
Clipboard manager apps do exist, allowing for multi-copy and paste and copy and paste history, but they’re all rather limiting because they’re not built into the UI.Apple could change this in iOS 13, and it’s another way in which productivity on the iPad could be enhanced. Having a full clipboard manager work at the system level would also help prevent copying over what’s in our clipboard currently.
Change WiFi and Bluetooth via Control Central
Connecting to new WiFi networks or Bluetooth devices without exiting the app you’re using is impossible. Sure, Control Center allows you to toggle WiFi and Bluetooth on and off via this drop down menu, but switching between connections requires you to dive into the Settings menu and submenus. That’s rather annoying.

iOS 13 could easily change this, with another frosted overlay menu that lets you pick your connections without kicking you out of your current app. This would be especially handy when traveling and constantly cycling through multiple open WiFi networks. It’d be a shortcut within a Control Center shortcut, and we’d be okay with that.
More iOS 13 news to come
iOS 13 beta launch on Monday so as the Apple WWDC 2019 keynote kicks off we’ll continue to update this page with even more information about which features are confirmed and which don’t make the cut.Just remember, the final version of iOS 13, likely in September with an iPhone 11 launch event, could include additional hardware-specific features, adding to the change list.
The best iPhone you can buy today

Samsung Galaxy Note 10 could drop headphone jack and all physical buttons

Samsung Galaxy Note 10 could drop headphone jack and all physical buttons

Often praised as a steadfast holdout amongst smartphone manufacturers for its refusal to cave to handset trends that negatively impact the end user (i.e. removing the 3.5mm headphone jack), it now seems Samsung is planning to do just that, if a new report from Android Police is to be believed.
Samsung Galaxy Note 10 could have a quad-lens cameraSamsung Galaxy Note 10 may miss out on the new 64MP camera sensorSamsung Galaxy Note 10 looks set to offer 5GCiting a “source familiar with the company’s plans”, the site is reporting that Samsung’s upcoming Galaxy Note 10 may finally (and regrettably) ditch the headphone jack that it’s held onto for so long.Additionally, the report states that Samsung may also drop all physical buttons from the Galaxy Note 10, including volume and power keys, opting instead to use “capacitive or pressure-sensitive areas” which may or may not be “highlighted by some kind of raised ‘bump’ and/or texture along the edge.”
But why?
Along with LG, Samsung is one of the few Android phone manufacturers to reject the headphone jack removal trend that was spearheaded by Apple with 2016’s iPhone 7. Brands such as Huawei, OnePlus, Google and Motorola have all dropped the 3.5mm socket from their current flagship devices. Of course, there are numerous reasons why Samsung might want to remove the headphone jack it’s long fought for: it could provide additional room for an even larger battery in the Note 10, and may also allow for a thinner form factor. That said, the latter reason seems unlikely, given the device will always need a place to hold its signature S Pen, which is far larger than the 3.5mm area taken by the headphone port. While rumors of Samsung ditching the headphone jack and buttons from its phones are hardly rock-solid, it’s not the first time either has cropped up – South Korean technology site ET News reported on Samsung’s supposed desire to remove the 3.5mm port back in October, and we reported on the possible removal of all physical buttons back in March.At present, there’s no word on whether Samsung is planning to do the same with next year’s Samsung Galaxy S11.
Samsung Galaxy Note 10 and Galaxy S11 details leaked

Amazon Alexa’s voice-command history is now much easier to delete

Amazon Alexa’s voice-command history is now much easier to delete

Following recent privacy concerns suggesting that Amazon employees may be listening to your recorded Alexa conversations, the online retail giant has announced new voice commands that will give users more control over their recordings. 
New Amazon patent could mean Alexa really is always listeningAmazon Alexa now compatible with over 60,000 smart home devicesAlexa Announcements can now work with any Alexa-enabled deviceIn its newly launched ‘Alexa Privacy Hub’, Amazon states that users may now scrap their recorded voice history daily by saying “Alexa, delete everything I said today”. A second command, “Alexa, delete what I just said”, will roll out within the next month.Of course, there are some necessary steps that must be taken before the commands will actually work: users must first access their Alexa Privacy Settings, click on ‘Review Voice History’ and flip the ‘Enable deletion by voice’ toggle to ‘on’.
Image credit: TechRadarThere is one small catch though, as enabling the feature will allow “anyone with access to your Alexa devices” to delete your voice recordings, which doesn’t sound like a big deal to us.Alexa device owners may also use the same page to access a drop down menu that allows them to delete voice data from specific dates or even their entire voice recording history – a much easier alternative to the previous method of deleting voice recordings one-by-one via the Alexa app. While it’s nice to see Amazon be more transparent about its practices and give customers more control over their data, we have to wonder whether it will be enough to assuage users’ privacy concerns in the long run.
Worried about Alexa spying on you? This Raspberry Pi smart speaker for kids puts privacy first

5G phones are expensive, but MediaTek wants to change that

5G phones are expensive, but MediaTek wants to change that

While we’ve seen the 1Gbps download speeds that we were promised with 5G, it’s only been in expensive flagship phones like the Samsung Galaxy S10 5G, adding price to the list of obstacles standing between the average user and the super-fast mobile networks of the future.But that won’t always be the case. Taiwanese chipmaker MediaTek’s processors have been at the core of affordable handsets since the dawn of smartphones, and the company has aimed them at a mid-range price point they refer to as the ‘new premium.’ The company’s just introduced its first 5G-capable chip, which is high-performing enough to be considered for flagship-competing devices.The phone manufacturers which pick MediaTek’s chips decide for themselves how affordable their devices are, but given how much the company prioritizes value, we wouldn’t be surprised if handsets with this 5G chip are cheaper than the currently announced 5G phones headed to markets. While the limited-availability Moto Z3 with 5G Moto Mod costs around $699 (£552, AU$1,009), other phones capable of tapping into 5G are expected to follow the Samsung S10 5G’s price point of $1,229 (£1,026, AU$1,876). And even if MediaTek’s first 5G chip doesn’t end up in more affordable phones, the ones that follow may lower the price barrier to entry for 5G networks.“Ultimately, the OEMs make the decision about what features, memory, displays and cameras they put on a device and price it appropriately. We think this particular product is probably positioned more at the high end, but MediaTek’s focus on the longer term will come back to focus on the ‘new premium’ tier in the 5G generation as well,” said Finbarr Moynihan, general manager of international sales at MediaTek. This is the first we’re hearing from any chipmaker about when 5G’s cost will come down to Earth.MediaTek’s chips don’t often make it into phones that reach the US – not yet, anyway, though they’re in plenty of other products like Amazon Echo speakers. But being at the forefront of 5G (and affordable 5G at that) could entice phonemakers that have previously picked Qualcomm’s chips. In other regions where MediaTek’s processors already end up in handsets, this new 5G chip could lead the charge in the first year – and set an example for US OEMs and carrier networks to notice.To be clear, MediaTek’s 5G chip isn’t necessarily the most powerful on the market, as the company made a few compromises to lower costs, betting large on some parts of 5G while ignoring others. All in all, here’s how you make a 5G chip cheaper – and how that affordability could potentially transition to 5G as a whole.
 How to lower the cost of 5G 
Perhaps the most striking choice MediaTek made is more strategic than technical. Broadly speaking, there are two categories of 5G mobile companies are considering: millimeter wave (abbreviated mmWave), typically considered 24 to 90 Ghz, and sub-6, frequencies at or below 6 Ghz – which includes the 2 Ghz to 8 Ghz ranges where 4G usually operates. MediaTek’s first 5G chip will work only on sub-6, saving costs and design space by leaving off mmWave-connecting tech.MediaTek is making a bet that sub-6 will catch on in markets that favor OEMs that use its chips, and given that carriers already occupy those 2 to 8 Ghz spaces, it’s not a stretch to imagine. Plus, those frequencies extend farther, allowing less robust networks to cover more area. Sub-6 may not reach the high speeds of mmWave networks, which we’ve already seen demonstrated in Verizon’s very limited 5G setup in Chicago, but their geographical coverage is superior.To get more technical, MediaTek shrunk this chip to 7nm, which has a host of advantages: less silicon to traverse means faster speeds and lower energy drain, which means less heat is generated – which is helpful for devices held in hands or pressed against faces, Moynihan noted in a briefing on the new chip.Another way to reduce chip footprint and increase efficiency: move to single-chip solutions. Their new Helio M70 5G modem is built into the chip, unlike, say, the Snapdragon 855 and Snapdragon X50/X55 combo that powers the likes of the Samsung Galaxy S10 5G.“We’ve moved very aggressively into single-chip integration. A lot of solutions out there for 5G are hybrid fusion two-chip solutions. Those have size, cost, and power challenges that people have to deal with,” Moynihan said.
 The 5G roadmap from MediaTek’s perspective 
While Moynihan didn’t identify which companies would be putting out the first phones packing MediaTek’s 5G chip, he did note they would be coming in the first quarter of 2020, and it would be fair to assume that the first products would launch in China. We will see it coming to other regions next year after that, he added.Even if a MediaTek 5G device were definitively headed to the US, though, there may not be a sub-6 network ready by next year: currently, only T-Mobile and Sprint (after their still-uncertain merger) are making noise about providing sub-6 capability on their networks. Which runs counter to how Moynihan expects the rest of the world to build their 5G setups.“We think the sub-6 flavor of 5G will become the high-volume, worldwide, mainstream 5G technology,” Moynihan said. “We are developing millimeter wave technology, but there’s clearly a step function both in terms of devices and infrastructure around how you build a 5G millimeter wave network, and devices that support that with specialized radio capabilities. That’s going to probably keep millimeter wave at those super high-end prices for awhile, and it will be some time before it trickles down.”Price will likely keep 5G out of reach for consumers who can’t afford the top-tier devices currently slated to support it. But even for those who can, there admittedly isn’t much reason to seek out the advanced networks – aside from downloading media very fast. Companies are hunting for great use cases that prove we need 5G.“I think everybody is trying to figure out if there’s a killer app that will drive 5G. I don’t think we’ve identified that as an industry just yet!” Moynihan said. Which isn’t to downplay the value of speedy downloads, which he feels will be useful for “a whole host of applications – even ones we haven’t discovered yet. And it will make even mundane-yet-desperate situations a thing of the past, like the liminal moments before losing signal when you could benefit from hyper-fast downloads. Think about standing in line to get on a flight and suddenly remembering about a TV show season you wanted to download.Upload performance will be improved, too. You don’t have to look far to see the YouTube and influencer crowd who will benefit from quickly-uploaded video. Streaming gaming, too, will benefit from 5G, thanks to those swift download/upload speeds.Before that happens, 4G LTE networks will have to reach parity. In certain geographies and certain regions, Moynihan said, the 4G LTE networks have not been built out to the extent of US carriers – in Asia and China in particular. But if those 5G networks are built out swiftly, which China seems willing to do, the US might be playing catch-up. The one to watch in the US is the T-Mobile-Sprint network (should the merger go through), which would put their combined networks in a nice sub-6 position.

AMD Ryzen 3rd Generation processors will be out July 7

AMD Ryzen 3rd Generation processors will be out July 7

At Computex 2019, AMD is celebrating its 50th anniversary, and it has unveiled AMD Ryzen 3rd Generation processors and Navi graphics cards.AMD had its first ever Computex keynote, where it finally announced what we all knew was coming: AMD Ryzen 3rd Generation processors. These chips, based on a 7nm Zen 2 manufacturing process, bring higher core counts, faster clock speeds and more power efficiency.
AMD Navi might be some of the best graphics cardsHow will Navi compare to AMD Vega II?It might be the best time to build a gaming PCAMD Ryzen 3rd Generation will start with the AMD Ryzen 7 3700X, with 8 cores and 16-threads, featuring a 4.4GHz boost and 36MB cache, with just a 65W TDP.AMD took this Ryzen 7 3700X and pitted it against the Intel Core i7-9700K in Cinebench R20, where Team Red’s chip scored 28% higher. AMD then unveiled the Ryzen 7 3800X, and put it up against the Core i9-9900K in PlayerUnknown Battlegrounds, where it performed almost identically. We didn’t get pricing information, but we’re sure the AMD chip will be cheaper than Intel’s offering.Finally, AMD unveiled the Ryzen 9 3900X, with 12-cores and 24 threads and a boost clock of 4.6GHz for the first time in the mainstream market. This chip, when compared to the Intel Core i9-9920X in Blender was 18% faster for half the price.  Plus, all of these chips, feature a 15% boost to IPC (Instructions per clock).These improved clock speeds and IPC boosts promise better performance not only for general computing, but might actually take Intel’s throne when it comes to the best processors for gaming if AMD’s benchmarks can be trusted. AMD Ryzen 3rd Generation processors will also be the first to support PCIe 4.0.All of these processors will be available on July 7. And, will set you back $329 for the AMD Ryzen 7 3700X, $399 for the Ryzen 7 3800X and $499 for the Ryzen 9 3900X.

AMD Navi is here, too
But, AMD makes more than just processors, and there are new graphics cards, too. AMD finally revealed its Navi graphics cards, the Radeon RX 5000 family, headed up by the RX 5700 lineup, which will take on Nvidia Turing at the mid-range. The AMD RX 5700 lineup will launch in July, and while we didn’t see any specific model, we do know that more information about Navi will be at E3 2019. We’re sure we’ll get more specific pricing and release date information at the gigantic gaming show.AMD Navi will go right up against the Nvidia GeForce RTX 2070. AMD showed a Strange Brigade benchmark run, where not only did it beat the RTX 2070, but it was able to stay above 100 fps consistently. We already knew that AMD Navi would be powering the PlayStation 5, but if the PS5 can go up against an RTX 2070, it could bring native 4K gaming to the mainstream. This is because, thanks to its smaller 7nm RDNA architecture, AMD is able to offer faster clock speeds without increasing power consumption.This new RDNA architecture succeeds GCN, or Graphics Core Next, and will offer up to 1.5x more performance per watt. The GPU shown off by AMD CEO Lisa Su was extremely small, but it definitely looks like it packs some beefy performance – probably thanks to its new PCIe 4.0 compatibility, exclusive to AMD platforms. These GPUs follow the first 7nm gaming graphics card, the Radeon VII, and while it won’t be quite as powerful (and probably not as expensive), AMD Navi and the AMD Radeon RX 5700 lineup, follows in the same footsteps.Still, keep in mind that these benchmarks and performance statements were controlled by AMD, but we will certainly put these GPUs to the test when they release in July. 
Check out all of TechRadar’s Computex 2019 coverage. We’re live in Taipei to bring you all the breaking computing news and launches, plus hands-on reviews of everything from fresh laptops and desktops to powerful new components and wild overclocking demonstrations.

Best gaming mouse 2019: the best gaming mice we’ve tested

Best gaming mouse 2019: the best gaming mice we’ve tested

If you already own one of the best gaming PCs on the market, it’s tempting to grab the cheapest mouse you can find at your local big box store. But, this isn’t a wise move. Gaming peripherals are a big part of how immersive and smooth your gaming experience is, and you need to put the same level of commitment into picking a good gaming mouse as you do with the bigger, more expensive purchases. Everything attached to your powerhouse rig should be of comparable quality. Oh, and while you’re at it, you may want to pick up one of the best gaming mouse pads as well. As far as your potential gaming mouse, keep an eye open for one that can balance price and performance, while packing in some unique features. There’s an age-old myth that the most expensive mouse on the shelf is going to be the best one, but that’s just not true. Just take a look at the SteelSeries Sensei 310 – it has all the performance you could ask for at less than the price of a new AAA game.So, we put together a list of the best gaming mice we tested and reviewed in the last few months. No matter what kind of games you’re into, you’ll find the best gaming mouse to satisfy your gaming needs right here on this list. Be sure to keep checking back, as we’ll be adding to this list throughout the year.
Image Credit: TechRadarWhen it comes to the best gaming mice, features, balance and performance are all there in equal measure in the SteelSeries Rival 710, which easily tops our list. This heavyweight gaming mouse might be a bit expensive, but when you weigh that price tag against the customizable OLED display, haptic feedback – great for you MOBA players – and excellent build quality, the SteelSeries Rival 710 is easily worth the price and more. The kicker? Everything is modular, even down to the sensor, so you never have to feel like you’re missing out on the latest tech.Read the full review: SteelSeries Rival 710 
Image Credit: TechRadarThe SteelSeries Sensei 310 is a gaming mouse like no other, both in terms of price and performance. The low cost of admission keeps it at about the same price that you’d expect to pay for a new game, and with that, you also get its out-of-this-world TrueMove 3 optical sensor, making it almost impossible to compete with. This mouse, with no preference when it comes to dexterity, is unrivalled when it comes to real-world sensitivity. You can even pick up the SteelSeries Rival 310 if you want similar performance, but a more right-handed approach to dexterity.  Read the full review: SteelSeries Sensei 310 
Image Credit: CorsairIn our humble opinion, the best gaming mice are always going to be the ones that deliver excellent performance at a price that won’t burn a massive hole in your pocket. And, the Corsair Harpoon RGB Wireless is the poster child for price-to-performance ratio. At less than 50 bucks, you’re getting a wireless mouse that doesn’t suck, has RGB lighting and touts a long battery life. The ergonomics are specifically for right-handed users, but at this price and with this level of performance, there’s little to complain about. Read the full review: Corsair Harpoon RGB Wireless
Image Credit: LogitechAesthetically, you generally have two main options when you’re shopping around for the best gaming mouse: you can pick up a high-performing mouse that looks like it would fit in the office, or you can pick up a mouse that looks like something out of a Sci-Fi film. The Logitech G502 fits firmly in that later category. But, don’t let that scare you away. With adjustable weights and a jaw-dropping 16,000 DPI sensor, this gaming mouse backs its otherworldly looks with excellent performance. It’s not perfect if you have huge hands, but beyond that, this one has our vote for one of the best gaming mice out there.  Read the full review: Logitech G502 Hero 
Image Credit: TechRadarWe’ve given the Roccat Kova Aimo high scores for solid build quality, customizability and great gaming performance that gets even better after some tweaking in the Roccat Swarm software. It’s white version looks uncannily like those scary robots from iRobot, but the solid black one is smart-looking and will definitely fit any set-up. LED light fans might find it wanting in terms, but this gaming mouse’s ambidexterity more than makes for its very minimal flaws. All things considered, it’s one of the best gaming mice we’ve tested this 2019 so far.Read the full review: Roccat Kova Aimo
Image Credit: Cooler MasterIf you need one of the best gaming mice, but are looking to save some cash at the same time – the Cooler Master MasterMouse MM520 might be an ideal option and a terrific addition to your gaming set-up. It won’t win any beauty contests, but packing quality Omron switches and a reasonably sensitive sensor capable of up to 12,000 DPI makes it a great value, which in turn makes it’s easy to look past the unappealing design – especially if you use a claw grip.Read the full review: Cooler Master MasterMouse MM520 
Image Credit: TechRadarHave you been sticking it out in World of Warcraft: Battle for Azeroth? You’re going to want to take a look at the Razer Naga Trinity. Razer’s Naga mice have always been fan favorites in the MMO community, but the manufacturer didn’t just stop there. With the Naga Trinity, you get three easily swappable side plates, so that you can change your mouse to fit the game you’re playing. Add in the insane 16,000 DPI sensor and Razer Chroma RGB lighting, and you’ll be topping the DPS meters in no time.Read the full review: Razer Naga Trinity 
Image Credit: TechRadarIf you find yourself snickering at some of the ridiculous-looking gaming mice available in 2019, you should take a look at the HyperX Pulsefire Surge RGB. Featuring extremely reliable Omron switches and stunning RGB lighting – not to mention an incredible 16,000 DPI sensor – you’re scoring one of the best gaming mice for an excellent price. Plus, it’ll fit into any office, at least once you turn down the lighting effects. Read the full review: HyperX Pulsefire Surge RGB 
Image Credit: CorsairGot big hands? Then you’re probably here looking for a gaming mouse that’s right for them. We understand; most of the best gaming mice on the market are either too small or too light, or even a bit of both. To make matters worse (for you, at least), some of the big mice out there are packed with gratuitous buttons and weird shapes that make them look like they just walked straight out of a Transformers movie. The Corsair Ironclaw takes care of all of that. It’s an attractive mouse for big-hand users that you won’t have to throw inside your desk drawer whenever you have company. It’s tough as well, so you don’t need to worry about breaking it if you’re a bit too rough while gaming.Read the full review: Corsair Ironclaw RGB
Image Credit: Michelle Rae UyWhen you take stock of all its useful features, it might shock you that the Gigabyte Aorus M5 will only set you back $69 and change. This good-looking gaming mouse, among the best value gaming mouse we’ve gotten our hands on this year, is not only highly customizable, and offers great ergonomics and fun RGB lighting. It also boasts an adjustable weight distribution system, on-the-fly DPI adjustments and Omron switches tested for 50 million clicks. And it doesn’t even end there. If you’re in the market for a mouse that gives you more bang for your buck, this is it.Read the full review: Gigabyte Aorus M5

How to choose the best gaming mouse
While you’ll definitely find the best gaming mouse of your gaming dreams, doing so will take a bit of time and some effort. There’s a ton of complicated technical jargon that goes into the best gaming mice – terms like polling rates and DPI ratings that a regular buyer might not be familiar with. For the record, you’ll want a higher number of both, but these two terms mean drastically different things.For newcomers to the world of PC gaming, when you see the term DPI, that is shorthand for ‘dots per inch.’ The higher the number, the wider the range wherein you can specify your how sensitive your mouse is. If you don’t have a lot of desk space available, but you still want accuracy and precision, then opt for a gaming mouse featuring a higher DPI rating. Of course, you can always toggle a lower DPI too.Meanwhile, a high polling rate means you’re getting faster response times. The polling rate is measured in hertz, so it usually ranges from around 125 to 1,000Hz. The latter means that your mouse’s position is reported to your computer 1,000 times per second. Other key gaming mouse factors you’ll want to consider are ergonomics – particularly if you’re left-handed – and RGB lighting.Bill Thomas, Gabe Carey and Michelle Rae Uy have also contributed to this article
Be sure to also check out our list of the best PC cases!

Playdate handheld is an indie-powered Game Boy for the 21st century

Playdate handheld is an indie-powered Game Boy for the 21st century

If you long for the good old days of simple games which place fun and imagination above everything else, then today is your lucky day, because a new indie-focused handheld is coming from videogame-publisher Panic, the company behind Firewatch and Untitled Goose Game, and it aims to bring Game Boy-style charm to the 21st century.Revealed today, Playdate is a small, yellow handheld with a simple directional pad, two main face buttons and an innovate hand-crank which is sure to open up new and exciting gameplay avenues. It’s also got a high-end black-and-white display which promises to be much more advanced than a Game Boy screen, with Panic telling The Verge that “it has no grid lines, no blurring, is extremely sharp and clear, and has much higher resolution,” further stating that, “It sounds odd to say, but: it’s truly a ‘premium’ black-and-white screen.”
Build and code a retro games handheld with this BBC Micro Bit add-onThe DIY Game Boy clone that could change handheld gamingHow Sony tried (and failed) to beat Nintendo at handheld gamingThe Playdate. Image credit: PanicA new way to receive games
Another innovative element to the Playdate is how you’ll get games, with Panic explaining that the portable console plans implement a TV show-style delivery system for its games, with one new title arriving on the device per week for a total of 12 weeks in what it’s calling ‘Season One’. Each subsequent season will include a new collection of games, and is expected to incur an additional cost.So far, only one title has been announced for this first season – Crankin’s Time Travel Adventure from Katamari Damacy-creator Keita Takahashi – though the company has revealed that its handheld will include new games from renowned game designers Zach Gage (Typeshift), Bennett Foddy (QWOP) and Shaun Inman (The Last Rocket).The company plans to keep these games a secret until they arrive on the handheld in an effort to surprise its customers, simply stating that, “Some are short, some long, some are experimental, some traditional. All are fun.”Playdate and its first season of games will launch in early 2020 and will be priced at $149 (around £118 / AU$217).
Best games of 2019: our favorite PC and console games of the year

Netflix vs Stan, Foxtel Now and Amazon Prime: Australian streaming services compared

Netflix vs Stan, Foxtel Now and Amazon Prime: Australian streaming services compared

UPDATE: Stan has raised the price of its Premium package, which will now set you back $17 a month – that’s a $2 increase from the tier’s original $15 monthly fee. Updated article below.Now that streaming media has become a mainstay in Australian homes, Aussies have plenty of options to choose from when it comes to getting their home entertainment fix.When combined, Netflix, Stan, Amazon Prime Video and Foxtel Now offer an enormous range of content that can be instantly streamed into your home. However, if you can only afford one subscription service, narrowing down a definitive choice can be harder than it seems.As each service brings with it a unique range of television shows and movies aimed at different segments of the streaming audience, not to mention differing price points, device compatibility and streaming qualities, we’ve taken it upon ourselves bring you an in-depth guide to what you can expect from Australia’s four major SVOD platforms.With the constantly evolving nature of each service discussed in this guide, we will endeavour to keep you updated on any significant changes and updates that may occur to these streaming giants in the future.Here’s how the Australian streaming situation stacks up in 2019.
The best VPN for Netflix 2019Price

Probably the best thing about having so many streaming options to choose from, is that it forces each service to be priced competitively.Netflix offers the cheapest stream of the main three, with a single stream in standard definition at $9.99, which, if we’re being honest, isn’t particularly good value, but may appeal to those who live alone and have a poor quality internet connection.Thankfully, for $13.99 a month you can get a dual-stream subscription that offers HD streaming quality.If 4K streams are what you’re after, you’ll need to subscribe to Netflix’s premium package, which costs $17.99 a month and allows you to watch the service on four devices simultaneously. This is probably the most ideal subscription for families with differing tastes in shows and movies.Though Netflix is obviously working off of how it’s priced overseas, Stan has chosen to come out at the low, no-nonsense price of $10 a month. That’s for everything the service has to offer at a maximum resolution of 1080p.
If you want to make use of your 4K TV though, you can upgrade to a Premium Stan subscription for the new price of $17 a month, which is a slight increase from its original $15 monthly fee. So far, Stan has a steadily growing 4K content lineup, including shows like Better Call Saul, Breaking Bad, Preacher and Wolf Creek, and movies like Ghostbusters, Taxi Driver, Arrival and Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man trilogy.These kinds of prices cut straight to the point – once you’ve tested the service’s 30 day trial, you’re either on board with forking over a tenner (or an extra fiver)  each month, or you’re not.Undercutting Netflix’s pricing substantially, Amazon has a special introductory offer that grants new subscribers access to the service for a monthly fee $4.99 for the first six months, after which it will renew at US$6.99 each month after that.Foxtel Now is different in that it offers a number of different content packs (split into Starter packs and Premium packs) so the user can tailor their subscription to their viewing habits.The minimum price for Foxtel Now has been increased to $25 per month, which includes the Pop and Lifestyle packs. You’ll probably have to sign up to at least a couple of packs to get a decent selection of shows overall. As we’ve already mentioned, Lifestyle and Pop are now bundled together, while the individual Kids and Doco packages have been scrapped entirely — if you want that content back, you’ll have to pony up for the $104 All Packs bundle.Thankfully, the Drama package is still around, and is still priced at $15 per month (though you’ll get $5 off when you sign up).The Movies pack will still set you back $20 a month and the Sports package remains unchanged at $29 per month. Seeing as you’re obligated to sign up to the Pop and Lifestyle packs, the minimum cost for watching sports on Foxtel Now has been raised to $54 per month. 
Devices

For many people, the decision of which streaming service to sign up for may come down to the devices they own.Netflix has the biggest global reach and has been around the longest, which is why it can be streamed on the largest number of devices.The Netflix app is available on a wide range of smart TVs from manufacturers like Samsung, Sony, LG, Panasonic, Philips and Hisense, though you should check your television model to see if the service is supported. Stan is available on all current Samsung smart TVs, Sony smart TVs (running Android TV) and all LG smart TVs running WebOS software. Stan is also streaming on Hisense smart TVs from 2015 onwards, and we’re seeing the app pop up on more and more manufacturers sets. Basically, if you buy a new smart TV locally, chances are that it will play Stan. At launch, Amazon Prime Video only offered its service in Australia through computer browsers, however, the Amazon Prime app has now appeared on a number of 4K smart TVs, including models from Sony, Samung, LG and more. Before settling on Prime, you should check and see if you smart TV has an app for it.If your smart TV is of the 4K/UHD variety, chances are that its Netflix app supports 4K streaming. You can also get a 4K Netflix stream for the latest wave of Ultra HD Blu-ray players, such as the Panasonic DMP-UB900 and the Samsung UBD-K8500. Microsoft’s newest console, the Xbox One S, also offers 4K playback.The Apple TV also supports Netflix and has features built around service, such as the ability to use Siri to search for titles by voice, which places Netflix titles appear alongside iTunes listings. A Stan app is also available for Apple TV, but Amazon won’t allow its app on Apple TV or Chromecast for business reasons. With that said, you should be able to display Amazon Prime Video on your Apple TV through AirPlay. So far, Siri functionality is only available to Netflix.Netflix, Stan and Amazon Prime Video are all available on iOS and Android smartphones and tablets, though some older Android models may not be compatible.When it comes to game consoles, Netflix has the biggest reach, with apps for Xbox 360, Xbox One, Xbox One S, PS3, PS4 and the Nintendo Wii U. Stan has most of the consoles covered but lacks support for Xbox 360 and Wii U. It’s also possible to watch Amazon Prime Video on home gaming consoles, including the Xbox One and PS4, and you can also watch the service using Amazon’s Fire TV Stick.Netflix and Stan are also available on Fetch TV, which is quite handy for the hundreds of thousands of Australians currently subscribed to Fetch.If you don’t have any of the TV-connected devices listed above and still want to watch Netflix and Stan on your television, the two services can also be streamed to a Google Chromecast, which ostensibly provides regular TVs with smart TV functionality (so long as you have a smartphone or tablet to stream from). That said, Amazon Prime Video is not supported on Chromecast.Foxtel Now works on iOS and Android devices, Chromecast and Chromecast Ultra, PC and Mac and the newly-released Foxtel Now streaming box. Finally, you can also watch Netflix and Stan on the Roku 2-powered Telstra TV media streaming box.
Kids content

When it comes to kids shows and movies, each service has its own strengths and weaknesses.Stan has a wide selection of children-friendly shows that mostly stem from its partnerships with Turner Broadcasting (the Cartoon Network), the ABC and Viacom.And, now that Stan is Disney’s new home for streaming content in Australia, subscribers now have access to an enormous library of classic movies from Disney and Pixar, such as the Toy Story trilogy, Finding Nemo, Frozen, The Lion King, The Little Mermaid and more, along with a wide selection of Disney Channel TV shows.Cartoon Network favourites like Adventure Time, Ben 10, Regular Show, The Powerpuff Girls, Cow and Chicken, Generator Rex and Ed, Edd, n Eddy are all ready to stream on Stan.Likewise, classic ABC titles like The Wiggles, Dorothy the Dinosaur, Guess How Much I Love You and Justine Clarke, as well as overseas titles like Octonauts, Angelina Ballerina, Bob the Builder, Thomas and Friends, Fireman Sam, Sesame Street and Mister Maker are available to stream on the app, and its Viacom deal brings with it a large range of shows from Nickelodeon and Nick Jr, like Avatar: The Last Airbender; Octonauts, Ni Hao, Kai-Lan, Bubble Guppies, and popular live-action shows like iCarly, VICTORiOUS, and Drake & Josh.Like the rest of Amazon Prime Video’s content library, its Kids selection is quite sparse at present. You’ll find a number of Amazon Original kids shows you’ve probably never heard of, like Wishenpoof!, Tumble Leaf and Just Add Magic, alongside some tried-and-true kids movies classics, like The Little Rascals, Casper, Spy Kids and Babe.Animation fans will be happy to know that Netflix has also produced some original shows based on classic DreamWorks properties, including Puss in Boots and How to Train Your Dragon.Deals with other big children’s program distributors Saban, DHX Media and Hasbro Studios have also provided Netflix with numerous incarnations of Power Rangers and My Little Pony.Special mention should also be given to inclusion of the classic Aussie kid’s show, Round the Twist, on both Netflix and Stan’s respective catalogues.Foxtel Now offers plenty of kids shows and channels hosting a large number of Nickelodeon and Disney programs, though the only way to access them now is via its extremely pricey All Packs bundle, which’ll set you back $104 per month.
TV shows

A wide and varied range of television shows are available on Netflix, Stan and Amazon Prime Video, thanks to individual deals between each of the SVOD services and their content partners. Because of this, each service should have something for everyone in your family.While there’s a lot of crossover when it comes to the availability of shows on each platform, perhaps the most important deciding factor comes down to the exclusives and original shows available on each service.Netflix is without question the leader in this regard, with a large, global slate of original shows that are, for the most part, available in every one of its territories around the world. And if you want to access your own catalogue from abroad, then you should look to download the best Netflix VPN from our guide.The service has achieved huge success with its diverse lineup, which includes award-winning shows House of Cards and Orange is the New Black, long-form superhero shows like Marvel’s Daredevil and Jessica Jones, internationally-targeted shows like Narcos, animated sitcoms such as BoJack Horseman and F is For Family, comedies like Fuller House, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt and Master of None, and countless stand up comedy specials, to name but a small selection from its rapidly-expanding library.On top of this, TV series like Stranger Things, Black Mirror, Making A Murderer, Mindhunter and Chilling Adventures of Sabrina have also found crossover appeal with mainstream audiences.Though Stan is only available in Australia, it has already begun creating its own original content, having produced the improvised comedy series No Activity, the TV spin-offs of Wolf Creek and Romper Stomper, as well as the comedy series Plonk.Stan is notable for also having a large range of exclusive shows in its stable, with big hitters like the Twin Peaks revival, Better Call Saul Mozart in the Jungle, Transparent, Power, UnReal, Community, Lost Girl, Dig, Ash vs Evil Dead, Angie Tribeca and 11.22.63 tied to the service for the entire life of each series. On top of this, Stan is the only service in Australia offering both the complete series’ of US sitcom classics Seinfeld and Friends, which are huge gets for the service. If it ever manages to secure The Simpsons (as unlikely as that may be), it’ll have the holy trifecta on offer.

Stan also fast-tracks new episodes of its exclusive shows as soon as they air overseas, a practise that both Netflix and Amazon Prime Video have since adopted with such shows as Riverdale and American Gods.As the newest service to hit Australian shores, Amazon Prime Video doesn’t currently have a huge TV content library on offer, then again, that probably goes a long way to explaining why the subscription price is so cheap. Most people considering a Prime subscription are probably looking to watch The Grand Tour, the new car enthusiast show from the team behind the beloved series, Top Gear. If that’s what you’re after, you’ll happy to know that every available episode of the series is available on Amazon Prime Video in HDR, with new episodes arriving weekly. Aside from that, other exclusive draw cards include American Gods, a hyped new show based on the immensely popular Neil Gaiman novel of the same name, Jean-Claude Van Johnson, which stars Jean-Claude Van Damme as a spy version of himself, The Tick, a comedic superhero series revival, The Man in the High Castle, which posits a world in which the Nazis won World War II, and The Terror, a horror anthology series based on a best-selling book. Unlike the competition, Foxtel Now lets you also watch live television broadcasts, essentially giving you the regular Foxtel experience over the internet. Aside from this, most of the packages on offer, such as Drama and Pop (which have loads of HBO content split across them), are mostly filled with television shows. Fans of reality TV will get a real kick out of the selection here.
Movies

As with most SVOD services, the titles available on Netflix, Stan and Presto change occasionally according to content licensing agreements. That said, each service has a pretty decent collection of films aimed at slightly different audiences.When it first launched, Australian Netflix had a much smaller content offering than its US counterpart. However, its focus on Original content over licensed material has made that issue largely irrelevant, with a huge selection of quality shows and movies now available.Netflix Original movies like Bird Box, Bright and the critically acclaimed Roma have found much larger audiences on the streaming service than they likely would have if released through traditional channels, while unusual film experiments like The Ballad of Buster Scruggs might never have been made without today’s streaming model of distribution.Amazon Prime Video offers a number of classic older films, though not many recent blockbusters are currently available to stream. Its recent Amazon Original film The Neon Demon, for instance, is currently geo-restricted.Still, fans of B-grade cinema, including straight-to-video ’90s martial arts movies, ’80s horror movies and sleazy grindhouse flicks will find plenty to love on Amazon Prime Video. In fact, it blows all of the other services out of the water in this regard, with a rather big back catalogue of these kinds of films. As was mentioned earlier, you’ll need a Movies package to watch feature films through Foxtel Now, though that will set you back $20 per month on top of a $10 Starter pack. Many of the movies are new releases, showing much of the content you’d expect to see on live Foxtel.

Stan’s amazing partnership with Disney has given the service a huge leg up over the competition when it comes to licensed content, with access to a wide selection of Disney, Pixar, Marvel and Lucasfilm movies on offer.It also provides a fairly big selection of Roadshow Entertainment titles, though previously available films like Mad Max: Fury Road have since dropped off the service. Thankfully, huge franchises like The Lord of the Rings and The Matrix are present and accounted for. A content deal with MGM also provides Stan with a large back catalogue of classic films, including the entire James Bond series in glorious 4K quality, along with The Silence of the Lambs, When Harry Met Sally and a huge selection of Woody Allen films.Stan has always been the leading streaming service when it comes to art films and world cinema, including access to films from over 45 countries in more than 70 languages, but now you can count mainstream blockbusters among its many licensing accomplishments. 
Streaming quality

All three services offer HD streams (unless you’re subscribed to Netflix’s lowest tier), however, Netflix is unquestionably the leader when it comes to streaming quality, as it offers the most 4K HDR content (top pricing tier only) of any of the services listed here.Netflix Originals, with some exceptions, are generally available in 4K streaming quality. The service has also started streaming HDR (high-dynamic-range) and Dolby Vision content for many of its original shows and movies.The service has an adaptive bit rate that adjusts itself based on the quality of your internet connection. It should be noted that, even if you have a blazing fast connection, Netflix will occasionally fail to reach full resolution during primetime hours due to congestion.Stan also uses adaptive bit rate technology, however it also offers users the ability to select the streaming quality of its shows (where available). The Ultra setting offers full 4K resolution, though you’ll need to subscribe to the Premium package to see the benefits of the Ultra HD upgrade.Unlike its competitors, Stan allows users to select the quality of their streams on smart devices, media devices and smart TVs. Simply select the cog icon and choose between Low, Medium and High quality streams. This is especially handy if you’re having buffering problems or if you’re streaming off mobile data.With Netflix adding offline viewing to its subscription price, allowing using to download a selection of shows and movies to their devices for viewing outside of Wi-Fi networks, the service immediately increased its overall value. Thankfully, Stan has followed suit, and now allows subscribers to download the vast majority of its content. This makes its $10 monthly price point even more of a bargain than it already was. Amazon Prime Video also offers 4K HDR content, though with the varying quality of the shows and movies on offer, it’s a little tricky to know what’s available in SD, HD or Ultra HD until you start watching it. Original shows are, for the most part, available in 4K. Foxtel Now is said to offer HD streams, but the quality is a mixed bag. Often blurry or with overly saturated colours, the picture quality here is a far cry from what Netflix, Stan and Amazon Prime Video are offering. This really changes on a show-by-show basis. Game of Thrones looks pretty clean, though.
Verdict
Though each service has its own strengths and weaknesses, Netflix is unquestionably the winner when it comes to device compatibility, original content and stream quality.Its library of Netflix Originals continues to grow and maintain a generally high level of quality, with the service producing the kind of content that gives HBO a run for its money when it comes to premium programming.When you ignore its standard definition pricing option (and we ignore it pretty hard around these parts), Stan’s flat $10 subscription fee is definitely more appealing for people who want access to a HD stream, but when you consider how many original shows Netflix produces, a couple of extra bucks a month is hardly a deal-breaker.It’s great that Amazon Prime Video has made its way to Australia, and while it still has a long way to go in terms of growing its content library and list of compatible devices, it continues to add new content constantly, filling out the content selection with a number of gems. On the plus side, the service is quite inexpensive at the moment, so if you want to try it out for yourself anyway, you can do so without breaking the budget. We love the sheer amount of content available on Foxtel Now (it really does leave the competition in the dust in this regard), though getting a decent selection up will hurt your wallet in the long run. Still, when all is said and done, there’s no denying that Netflix truly is the king of streaming media in Australia.

Huawei promises Android ban won’t affect Australian customers

Huawei promises Android ban won’t affect Australian customers

No sooner than news broke that Google had rescinded Huawei’s Android licence, worried customers – especially in the UK – began to trade in their Huawei handsets. However, the Chinese tech giant’s Australian arm has released a statement saying customers Down Under have nothing to worry about.According to Huawei Australia’s Director of Corporate Affairs, Jeremy Mitchell, being blacklisted by the US won’t affect Australian customers currently using the company’s smartphones and tablets. In fact, Mitchell adds, “those that are planning to buy a Huawei device in the near future” also won’t have anything to worry about.Australian consumers will continue to receive operating system and security updates, and will have access to Google’s apps and services, like the Play Store, Gmail and Search.Mitchell has also confirmed that the manufacturer will continue to provide after-sales services for all existing Huawei devices, including those that are currently still stocked with retailers.Huawei, though, has received a small reprieve with the ban being lifted until August this year, giving the company time to prepare for the launch of its upcoming handsets, like the upcoming Honor 20 flagships and the much talked about folding Mate X. Whether that’s enough time for Huawei to figure out its next steps remains to be seen.However, to reassure its customers globally, Huawei released a statement saying it “will continue to prioritise the development and use of the Android ecosystem” and “will continue to build a safe and sustainable software system” for its customers.
Despite reassurances, Google’s block on Huawei should worry all smartphone users

Verizon’s 5G speed peaks at 1.4Gbps, but only if you do ‘the 5G shuffle’

Verizon’s 5G speed peaks at 1.4Gbps, but only if you do ‘the 5G shuffle’

Update: Our ongoing 5G speed test has turned into a liveblog of sorts, as we spent a second day reporting (further below) on it in Chicago and testing out the Verizon 5G network’s ability to deliver ultra wideband signal to the Samsung Galaxy S10 5G. You can at last get incredible 5G phone speeds in the US today, according to our tests, but only in two cities and only if you do what we’re calling ‘the 5G shuffle.’We were able to test the Verizon 5G network in Chicago using a Samsung Galaxy S10 5G (and we’ll stick around to keep doing so until Tuesday on our own), and we’ve been able to pull down consistent speeds topping 1Gbps. One of our 5G tests peaked at 1.385Gbps.But to get these headline-worthy speeds, we had to basically move (or dance) around the 5G nodes that sit above lampposts on specific blocks in Chicago. It’s reportedly the same in the only other US city with active Verizon 5G nodes, Minneapolis.

Amazing 5G speeds, with obvious caveats 
TechRadar became the first outlet with a 5G phone when the Moto Z3 5G launched last month, but the Verizon 5G network was just getting underway. It either wasn’t as fast back then, or we didn’t get consistent-enough signal to reach the heights we’re seeing now. It even frequently dropped back down to 4G LTE mid-test.Now, five weeks later and with the Galaxy S10 5G in hand, we’ve gotten speeds that made the Verizon engineers on hand from New York visibly excited. They’re seeing the nearly 1.4Gbps speeds in the wild for the first time, too.Speeds tests using the Ookla app offered us some insight into peak raw speeds, and they were great. But it was also important to do real-world tests – while doing the 5G shuffle – to see how Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and Android game downloads did.The most shocking 5G test we conducted?
Stranger Things (Entire First Season) on 5G: 38.78 secondsStranger Things (Entire First Season) on 4G: 1 hour 16 minutesYes, we waited on the same rainy street corner in Chicago to test these speeds. One finished in under a minute, and the other took one hour and 16 minutes.

The difference is staggering in this 5G test. We used the Galaxy S10 5G connected to Verizon’s 5G ultra wideband signal. The 4G comparison test used an iPhone XS Max on AT&T’s getting ‘5Ge’ signal (which isn’t actual 5G, as we’ve reported multiple times and a marketing stunt over which Sprint sued AT&T).We were also able to download Fortnite in 2 minutes and 55 seconds and Asphalt 9: Legends in 2 minutes and 23 seconds on the Galaxy S10 5G.While these 5G tests weren’t at nearly 1.4Gbps, they were fast (around 1Gbps) and depended on if the app maker was optimized to deliver fast speeds. Downloading the game PUBG from the Google Play Store, for example, was a bit slower than downloading the same game file from the Galaxy App Store.In other words, the pull from our 5G device and direct line of sight of the 5G node was important, but so is the push from Google, Netflix and other content providers.

5G speed test: Chicago Day 2
Gone from Chicago are the other tech reporters, but we’re still here seeing if the 5G network holds up after the initial launch day hype. The answer: yes and no.We can confirm that the 5G nodes are still active (this wasn’t purely a publicity stunt like some have implied). But, for large portion of the day, the our Samsung Galaxy S10 5G phone (we bought a unit at Verizon’s flagship Chicago store on launch day) did fall out of sync with both Verizon’s 5G and even 4G LTE signal. That’s right, we were operating on a 3G speeds for the better part of day two. Was it a network problem? Was it a hardware problem? We’ll never know. But a reset of the phone solved the issue and were we back up to 4G LTE and, in designated spots, 5G.Clearly, 5G has growing pains. At nearly 1.4Gbps in our raw speeds tests, according to our speed tests, it shows tremendous promise. But blanketing the entire city of Chicago is going to take some time. Even saying 5G is more of a 2020 thing than a 2019 thing sounds hopeful at times.
We’ll continue to update our week-long 5G test as we get more time the the Galaxy S10 5G and compare it to 4G LTE in Chicago.