iPhone sales continue to sharply decline, according to Apple's earnings statement for its fiscal second quarter, though its stock and services business are up today.
Apple's all-important iPhone revenue was down another 17% for the quarter ending on March 30, amounting to $31.05 billion. A year ago we saw iPhone revenue at $37.56 billion.
You can chalk continued upgrade resistance to newer, more expensive iPhones. The iPhone XS Max is Apple's most expensive phone ever, the 'budget' iPhone XR is still quite pricey, and the iPhone XS didn't change very much from the iPhone X.
New iPhone 11 rumors point to a triple-lens camera upgrade and ability to wirelessly charge other devices (like the new AirPods 2019), but Apple's isn't expected to offer a groundbreaking smartphone redesign compared to its competition.
How it's stemming iPhone bloodletting
Apple noted that price drops in certain countries did help it see some recovery, so its declines were "significantly smaller later in the quarter," according to CEO Tim Cook during today's Apple earnings call.
Sadly, Apple no longer releases number for how many iPhone units it sells anymore. Its Mac sales saw a minor dip (Apple blamed on "processor constraints on certain models"), while iPad sales were up (Apple highlighted the new iPad Air and iPad mini), and its catch-all Wearables, Home and Accessories category saw a nice bump.
Services are what Apple has been talking up the most recently, and today's earnings call was no different. It's up to $11.45 billion from $9.85, which Apple touts as breaking new records for Apple Music, the App Store and Apple Pay.
"Service account for 20% of our March quarter revenue and one third of its gross profit dollars," according to Apple CFO Luca Maestri during the Apple earnings call.
Of course, Apple's iPhone revenue is still 2.8 times larger than its growing services category and it's becoming a perilous business to be in. Netflix has spent $15 billion on original content, HBO has shows that are household names like Game of Thrones, and Disney Plus launches on November 12 with a Disney, Marvel and Star Wars back catalogue.
After accidentally leaking images of the headset last month, Valve has just officially announced how much the new Valve Index VR headset will cost and when it'll go on sale. Per the software juggernaut, it will be available in a bundle with the new controllers starting on June 28 for $749 (around £575, AU$1,060) with pre-orders opening up tomorrow.
That said, the aforementioned bundle doesn’t include the lighthouse sensors. You’ll either need to supply your own from a previous-generation HTC Vive headset or step up to the $999 (around £765, AU$1,400) Valve Index package that includes the controllers, the headset and the trackers.
If that all sounds like a lot of money to spend at one time, however, Valve is doing something that no other company has done before: sell everything piecemeal.
If that’s the route you want to go down, you can expect to drop $499 for the Index Headset, $279 for the Index Controllers and $149 for the new base stations. (Weirdly, from the numbers provided by Valve you can seemingly buy the $749 Valve Index VR bundle and the $149 tracking stations separately to save $100...)
Valve picked an interesting day and time to announce its headset, dropping all this information minutes before the start of today's Facebook F8 keynote where Mark Zuckerberg announced the price and release date of the company's new Oculus Quest and Oculus Rift S headsets that will ship in May for just $399.
And you thought the games were expensive...
The Valve Index's price probably requires a bit of an explanation. It's definitely pricey, but Valve has really tried to make the best VR headset on the market in terms of specs.
According to information available on the Steam Store, the Index will use an LCD RGB display with a 1440x1600 per-eye resolution – which, according to Valve, provides 50% more subpixels than the rival OLED screen used in the Oculus Quest.
The Index will run at a native 120Hz refresh rate, with 90Hz backwards compatibility and an experimental 144Hz mode. On top of all that, the Index VR headset has a 20-degree wider field-of-view than the other headsets on the market.
These are game-changing specs, and would help rationalize the price.
That said, picking today of all days to announce a new headset is a risky move. On one hand, Valve's new headset is giving bleeding-edge consumers a new top-tier headset to lust over, but it also shows that Valve could be out of touch with consumers who have flocked to cheaper VR headsets like PlayStation VR in great numbers.
Regardless, more competition and more investment in VR from all sides of the aisle is a very good thing and only helps move the industry as a whole forward. We'll look forward to trying the headset out for ourselves when it launches later this year.
After a brutal 2018, Mark Zuckerberg has big plans for the Facebook platform in 2019. Facebook is being redesigned with a focus on community and privacy.
Zuckerberg made the announcements during Facebook's F8 event that was held today near the company's home turf in San Jose, California, where he addressed the past year of issues with privacy, security and decreasing trust in the platform.
The new version of Facebook, codenamed 'FB5', will be the biggest change the social network has experienced in years: nearly every single aspect is changing in some way. There was a lot of information, but luckily we went ahead and gathered all the biggest bits of information right here.
New web and mobile designs
The fifth major redesign of the Facebook app is incoming, codenamed 'FB5', and it will make communities – known as Groups – the focus, featuring a sleek redesign that should make it faster and more reliable, not to mention more visually appealing.
The new Facebook mobile app will be going live today, too, and it should be much faster and more immersive. Facebook has made finding what you're looking for more convenient, and more importantly claims to have made it safer and more secure. This is the biggest change to the Facebook app in five years: even the Facebook logo is being updated for 2019.
There's a new Facebook desktop website, too, and it should be much lighter on system resources, with the same design language as the mobile app. It will be coming in the next few months, with some updates showing up right away.
All about building community
Mark Zuckerberg made it clear that Facebook's focus is shifting to communities both public and private. This means that Groups are going to be the core focus: there are already tens of millions of active Groups on Facebook.
Groups will be easier to find, and easier to participate in, thanks to a new, redesigned Groups tab. This will show you a personalized feed of all of your groups, so you can focus on your communities in a single place, rather than parsing them out from the rest of your News Feed.
Users will also notice that Group recommendations will crop up in more places, but they'll be more relevant to what you're doing in the app. For instance, you may see more "buy and sell" groups show up in the Marketplace, and Today in Gaming may suggest a new gaming group for you to join. The News Feed will also be redesigned so that you can more easily share content directly to your Groups.
But, this new community approach goes beyond Groups.
Facebook is launching Facebook Dating in more countries, along with a new feature called "Secret Crush." The idea here is that you can opt-in to this program, and name up to nine of your friends that you have interest in. If they opt-in to the program and name you as one of their secret crushes, then you will be matched. However, if the secret crush isn't mutual, no one will know the names you entered.
Facebook Dating is already live in five countries, and will expand to 14 more today. The service will launch in the US at the end of the year.
There will also be some new ways to meet friends, through the new "Meet New Friends" feature. This is also an opt-in feature, so that you will only be exposed to people who are open to meeting new people. This feature will also work with your Groups, so you can easily add new friends from your favorite community.
Facebook's Marketplace is also getting some improvements. Namely, you'll be able to both ship products across the continental US, and you'll have the ability to pay for stuff safely and securely through the Facebook app. This should make shopping on the Facebook platform more secure for both sellers and buyers.
The Events tab is also getting a makeover, and it will be easier to explore your city. You can coordinate with your friends, find local businesses and find a new favorite restaurant based on your own personal preferences.
There are so many Facebook changes coming in the next few months, and it could change the way people use the platform day-in and day-out. At the very least, the hope is for these changes to make the social network grow more secure and less divisive.
Instagram looks like it will keep its spot as one of the top photo-sharing social networks in the world thanks to a slew of new updates announced today at Facebook's F8 Conference.
The biggest update is for creators who want to share their fashion choices with followers. No more dropping product URLs in a post's comments or personal bio: starting next week, creators will be able to directly link to products through their post images by tagging specific items. Only participating brands will be linkable, which are listed in a company post.
Instagram is getting in on fundraising, too. Today, US users (more countries later) will be able to raise money for causes they care about by using a specific sticker that links to a donation campaign. Instagram claims 100% of the funds will go to the chosen nonprofit; check out all the details on the Instagram post here.
New Camera, fewer followers
Finally, Instagram users will get a new camera design in the coming weeks, which rearranges all modes, new and old, into a radial dial around the shutter button.
Users will also be able to share content that isn't a photo or a video. With Create Mode, they can share "popular creative tools like effects and interactive stickers" – so users can post things without needing to take a picture or shoot a video, though the details are a bit vague.
There's another feature Instagram is toying with – or rather, an omission. The company is exploring hiding post 'likes' and video views while users scroll through their feed, starting with a trial in Canada, per TechCrunch. It's not hard to see why: perhaps hiding interaction numbers will nudge users to appreciate posts on their merit, not how Insta-popular they are.
Last year, Facebook showed off Messenger 4, and since then it's added dark mode, the ability to unsend messages, augmented reality features and more. Now, Facebook is aiming for considerable changes to the platform.
After considerable backlash within the past two years over Facebook's handling of sensitive personal data, the company is making a large push toward privacy. Many of the announcements at F8 this year have emphasized this push.
For Messenger, this comes in the form of end-to-end encryption by default for communications, including not just text but also shared locations, video communications and more. This is a long-awaited feature for the popular platform, and will ensure the communications between users are protected from outside eyes, whether they be hackers, governments or Facebook itself.
Beyond the enhancement to security, Facebook is planning to make the app dramatically better over the course of the year. The company is completely rewriting the app's codebase to reduce the app size below 30MB in size and offer extra fast launching of the app, all without reducing the features offered by the app. These improvements can also reduce the app's battery usage on smartphones.
Facebook has further plans to make Messenger the fastest communication app on the entire planet, and wants to improve reliability. So, more people will be able to use the app with high-end and low-end devices alike.
Another effort to simplify use for everyone is a push toward interoperability. So, going forward, Messenger users will be able to communicate with WhatsApp and Instagram users directly within the Messenger app.
And, Facebook's Messenger platform is getting a dedicated app for Windows and Mac computers with all the features of the mobile versions, including dark mode.
WhatsApp is also getting some changes. Facebook is introducing the ability to share stories and locations similar to Messenger, and they'll keep the same end-to-end encryption that has been a key aspect of WhatsApp.
WhatsApp is also coming to Portal, Facebook's smart display, so both Messenger and WhatsApp will be available on the device with end-to-end encryption for video chats.
At its recent Dell Technologies World event, Dell announced the launch of the latest additions to its Vostro portfolio, the Vostro 15 5000 and Vostro 15 7000, designed with needs of small businesses in mind.
The Vostro 15 5000 is the thinnest and lightest device in the product line, designed for on-the-go business professionals. The portable 13” notebook is 14.9mm thin and weighs just 1.18kg (2.16lb).
The new 13-inch Vostro notebook is encased in an aluminum cover for added durability and the FHD display is surrounded by a 3-sided narrow border thanks to the new 2.7mm HD webcam.
While the HD camera provides a clear viewing experience, Waves MaxxAudio Pro boost volume and SmartByte software ensures video conferencing applications receive network bandwidth priority to reduce buffering, allowing business professionals to attend meetings from anywhere.
If a 13-inch notebook is too small for your needs, the Vostro 15 7000 is Dell's newest 15” laptop designed to cater to professionals who need a high-performance computer that can fit their budget.
The new laptop is encased in aluminum and features a narrow border FHD display which is both durable and sleek. The Vostro 15 7000 can be outfitted with up to a Core i7 Intel Coffee Lake-H 6-core processor, Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650 graphics, a 97 week hour battery and an optional triple drive expand ability storage option.
Vostro laptops include security features that are easy to use for any business users. An optional single-sign on fingerprint reader and built-in hardware-based Trusted Platform Module (TPM 2.0) security chip allow users to instantly authenticate their systems and rest easy knowing their data is well protected against cyber threats.
Dell is also offering the option of Dell Pro Support with its latest Vostro laptops which provides customers with 24/7 direct telephone access to advanced-level technicians who are locally based relative to a business' location.
The Vostro 15 5000 will be available on Dell's website next month starting at $849 and the Vostro 15 7000 starts at $1,149.
If you’re looking for the best smartphone for your child, you’ve got to juggle a few factors: is it durable enough to survive all the knocks it’ll take, with a battery life to facilitate non-stop Snapchat? Will it have all the bells and whistles they’ll need for daily use? And is it affordable enough that you can easily replace it if they leave it somewhere?
Several companies now are targeting their smartphones to the ‘youth’, and interpreting that demand in different ways to try and be the face of smartphones to the younger generation.
Samsung threw its hat into the ring with the Samsung Galaxy A80, a smartphone with a slide-up back section that lets you flip its three rear cameras into three selfie cameras at the press of a button.
The most recent company to take a shot at a young audience is Oppo, and the upcoming Oppo Reno phone sells itself as a phone designed for those who are “young at heart” – whatever that means. Its unique feature is a ‘shark-fin’ pop-up front camera, like a normal pop-up camera but smaller.
You can’t talk about phones aimed at young people without mentioning Honor, as it aims its phones predominantly at a younger audience who still want all the features of more expensive flagships. Its most recent offering, the Honor View 20, is its newest attempt to win over younger hearts.
But which one should you actually spend your money on, to ensure you’re getting the best phone for your kid? We’ve brought together the latest offerings from three leading smartphone makers to compare.
Design and display
All three of the Samsung Galaxy A80, Oppo Reno and Honor View 20 have unbroken screens the size of the phone, which means the screen has no notches or front cameras dipping down from the top or the sides and getting in the way, and they have different techniques of achieving this.
The Samsung Galaxy A80 has a large rear panel that pops up when you want to use the camera on the front, with a rotating bar housing the phone’s three rear cameras that spins around – it’s an elaborate contraption, but it does mean there’s no camera on the front to break up the screen.
Meanwhile the Oppo Reno also has a mechanical component, but it’s a lot less complex. When you want to take a picture, a small ‘shark-fin’ pops up to point the front snapper at you.
The most simple front-facing camera comes from the Honor View 20 – it doesn’t have any moving parts, and instead its front camera sits in a ‘punch-hole’ in the screen itself. Technically this means the screen isn’t totally unbroken, but it looks like a full-screen device anyway, and there’s no delicate moving parts to fall apart if the phone is dropped.
Speaking of screens, the Samsung Galaxy A80 has the biggest, with its 6.7-inch display, compared to 6.4 inches on the Oppo Reno and Honor View 20. Each phone uses different screen tech too, as the Galaxy A80 has a super-AMOLED display, while the Oppo Reno has AMOLED and the Honor View 20 has LCD.
From our experience of displays we’d say AMOLED generally is better looking, but you’re not likely to notice a huge difference if you’re not comparing the phones directly.
As fitting its bigger screen, the Samsung Galaxy A80 has a larger body size too – it’s the most sizeable of the trio, with dimensions of 165.2 x 76.5 x 9.3mm compared to the Oppo Reno at 156.6 x 74.3 x 9mm and the Honor View 20, the smallest phone, at 156.9 x 75.4 x 8.1mm.
Something worth bearing in mind is that the Honor View 20 is the only phone of the three to have a 3.5mm headphone jack, so if you’ve got a beloved pair of earphones, that phone would be your best bet.
Battery life and camera
A long-lasting battery life is one of the most important features in a phone for your kid, especially if they’ll be using it to text 25 hours a day and will habitually forget to charge it.
In terms of raw battery capacity the Honor View 20 is the best phone, with a 4,000mAh power pack, but it’s not far ahead of the competition as the Oppo Reno’s battery has 3,765mAh and the Samsung Galaxy A80 is 3,700mAh – those capacities are all above average, so the “my phone died” excuse for not replying to texts will never work again.
Battery capacity doesn’t necessarily translate to battery life, and some phones with lots of power storage don’t make the most of it, but each of these phones offers a whole-day battery life.
Camera specs are one of the most fiercely competitive points of comparison between phones nowadays, and for many young people, who value a great picture, it might be the deciding factor between a great phone and an average one.
The real photography powerhouse of the trio is the Samsung Galaxy A80 – because of its rotating bar it has a three-camera rear and front loadout. This consists of a 48MP main snapper, joined by an 8MP sensor boasting an ultra-wide lens, and an extra 3D depth sensor to take great selfies, by recognising the background of a picture in order to blur it.
Taking a step down, the Oppo Reno has a 48MP main camera joined by 5MP depth sensing camera, which is used for portrait shots. Housed on the ‘shark-fin’, the front camera has a 16MP sensor and uses a wide lens, for wider group selfies.
The Honor View 20 only has one rear camera, which is again a 48MP snapper, but it’s joined by a 3D time-of-flight camera which produces results not dissimilar to the Oppo Reno’s depth sensing camera, using time-of-flight (ToF) tech to accurately gauge short distances.
Since only one of the handsets is available to the public at this point, we haven’t been able to directly compare them head-to-head to see how well they take pictures, but we’ll be sure to do that when we get our hands on the phones.
While the Samsung Galaxy A80, Oppo Reno and Honor View 20 all run Android 9 Pie, they all run different user interfaces – The Galaxy A80 runs on Samsung’s One UI, whereas the Oppo Reno is on ColorOS 6 and the Honor View 20 has Magic UI 2. The difference between these is largely aesthetic, although there are a few quirks and differences between them regarding navigation.
You’d need to use the phones quite a bit to have any strong opinions on the UI navigation, so it won’t be a deal-breaker by any means, but aesthetically some of them could be considered a little garish.
In terms of chipset, the Samsung Galaxy A80 and Oppo Reno run on Snapdragon 730 and 710 respectively – they’re fine mid-range processors, although the phones certainly won’t run big games or complete functions as quickly as high-end devices. The Honor View 20 boasts Huawei’s Kirin 980 processor – that’s a cutting-edge piece of tech, more so than the Snapdragons, and will be much better at tasks like gaming.
There’s less distinction in terms of RAM between the phones though – each has 8GB RAM, although for the Oppo Reno and Honor View 20 there are 6GB RAM versions available too, if you think 8GB RAM is more than your kid will need. A higher RAM means a phone can do more processes at once, and 8GB is quite a top-end spec compared to the general smartphone market.
Since the phones haven’t all been released, it’s hard to judge them within the context of their prices – saying that we’re expecting the Samsung Galaxy A80 price to be quite a bit higher than the Oppo Reno’s or Honor View 20’s.
This higher price point reflects the Galaxy A80’s status as, disregarding price, probably the best phone of the trio – it has the biggest screen, most capable camera array, and certainly the best ‘novelty’ factor.
However, whether it’s worth a higher price is another story – the other phones have important distinctions too. The Honor View 20 has a cutting-edge processor and impressive battery capacity, so if your kid loves to game on the go it’s probably the best option (although maybe not the best option if you don’t want your kid to game on the go too much...)
The Oppo Reno is a worthwhile phone too – it packs some of the most middling specs of the trio, but it’ll likely end up being the most affordable if you want your kid to have a perfectly competent phone without breaking the bank.
Oculus has finally told us the release date for the new Oculus Rift S and standalone Oculus Quest headset that will be available starting on May 21.
Both headsets will be available for $399 / £399 (around AU$730) and are available for pre-order starting today.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg made the announcement of the Rift S's arrival during Facebook's' F8 2019 event that was held today in San Jose, Calif. right outside the company's main headquarters in Menlo Park.
Previously, Oculus has announced that the Quest will arrive with more than 50 titles available on day one, while the Rift S will have access to every title in the Oculus store that can be played with the previous-gen Rift headset.
Speaking of, the Rift S and Quest will launch at the same price as the Rift and will actually replace the headset in the lineup moving forward.
If you're looking for the best cheap printer (very little) money can buy in 2019, then you've come to the right place, as on this page we've listed the top budget printers that strike that careful balance between affordability and print quality.
In this best cheap printers guide, we've only included budget printers that don't compromise on the quality of your printouts in a bid to lower costs.
Just because they are cheap, it shouldn't mean they are badly built or lack features as well.
However, finding the best cheap printer for your needs can be time consuming and confusing, as it's an extremely competitive market, and there's a huge amount of budget printers out there – and that can sometimes be pretty daunting.
It does mean, however, that no matter what kind of cheap printer you're looking for – be it a color or monochrome printer, or whether you're looking at ink jet and even laser printers, there should be a budget printer for you.
Not only have we listed the very best cheap printers, our very own price comparison tool will scour the internet to make sure you get the very lowest prices for these already cheap printers.
One important thing to keep in mind when buying a cheap printer is that some manufacturers lower the price of the printer to entice people to buy, but keep the price of its consumables (such as ink cartridges) high, making their money back that way. This means some apparently cheap printers end up being quite expensive over the course of their lifetimes. We've kept this in mind while compiling this list of the best cheap printers of 2019.
The Deskjet 3630 is a fantastic printer that shows how the best cheap printers can offer print quality that can rival more expensive devices. Like some budget printers, the standard ink cartridges can be quite expensive, but if you use it a lot, HP's Instant Ink subscription service ends up being much better value for money, meaning this is a brilliant cheap printer that actually remains cheap throughout its life.
The HP Envy 5540 All-in-One printer is a cheap all-in-one printer that offers printing, scanning and photo printing, supports not just USB but Wi-Fi, Wireless Direct and AirPrint wireless printing, and it even offers automatic double-sided printing. Basically, it comes with an over abundance of features that you'd expect to find on much more expensive printers. Sure, it's a bit pricier than the other cheap printers in this list, but the features and print quality of the HP Envy 5540 more than justify this slightly higher price. It's certainly a cheaper option to buying a printer, scanner and photocopier separately.
The HP Deskjet 2130 All-in-One printer is another great example of a cheap all-in-one printer. It's cheaper than the HP Envy 5540 (above), but the lower price does mean you don't get quite as good a print quality as HP's other printer. It's also a bit slower, and feels a little cheap at times. However, if you only want a cheap printer for occasional use (rather than heavy-duty printing), and also need a scanner and photocopier, then the HP Deskjet 2130 All-in-One printer is probably the best cheap printer for you.
The M2070W is our pick for the best cheap printer for business users. It offers some brilliant features considering its low price, such as NFC printing from compatible smartphones, online document sharing, and a clever Eco system that supplements the usual toner saving mode with a feature to remove images from documents by replacing bitmaps with sketches. It has print speeds of 20ppm, a clever scan to mobile feature and an effective print resolution of up to 1200dpi. It only prints in monochrome, but for most businesses that will be fine, and the low price makes this a brilliant budget choice for the office.
The Brother HL-3140CW is another brilliant cheap laser printer, and in fact is one of Amazon's best-selling laser printers, and with good reason – for very little cash you're getting a superb wireless color laser. Sure, some compromises have been made to keep the price of this printer as low as possible, so it doesn't have automatic duplexing or an Ethernet port, but the HL-3140CW delivers superb print quality, reasonable mono running costs and good wireless features for a very low price. If you're looking for a business printer and you're on a tight budget, then the Brother HL-3140CW will prove to be a worthwhile addition to your office.
The Canon Pixma range has always been rated especially well for photo printing, and the Canon Pixma MG3650S doesn't let the team down. Even better is that it's the budget model in this range, so you won't have to break the bank to get high-quality photos and other images printed. Another big plus is that it's a wireless printer, so no having to mess about with leads and cords. With a print resolution of 4800 x 1200dpi, and color print speed of almost 10 pages a minute, this is a model that can surprise and impress, especially at this price range. IT also has a scanner and copier option to boot.
The Epson Expression Home XP-255 is another wireless printer that under-promises and over-delivers. Not only can it print color images with a resolution of up to 5760 x 1440 dpi, it can also print up to 15 color images per minute. However, the good news doesn't stop there, as the XP-255 is a multifunction machine that offers print, scan, and copy functionality, making it one of the most versatile options on this list. The ink cartridges aren't too expensive either, with companies such as OfficeWorld offering full replacements of the entire set for under $10.
The report found that data breaches are also becoming more serious as cybercriminals continue to target intellectual property putting the reputation of company's brands at risk and increasing their financial liability.
McAfee's study shows the need for a cybersecurity strategy that includes implementing security solutions combined with employee training and an overall culture of security throughout the organization to reduce future breaches.
Severity of data breaches
The report also revealed that data is now being stolen using a wider range of methods with no single technique dominating the industry. Database leaks, cloud applications and removable USB drivers were the top vectors used to exfiltrate data.
McAfee found that personally identifiable information (PII) and intellectual property (IP) are now tied as the data categories with the highest potential impact to 43 percent of respondents. PII is of greater concern in Europe (49%) due to the recent enforcement date of GDPR.
When it came to taking responsibility for a breach, 55 percent of IT professionals believe that c-level executives should lose their job if a breach is serious enough though 61 percent also said that the c-level executives they work with expect more lenient security policies for themselves.
Vice president and chief technical strategist at McAfee, Candace Worley offered advice on how organizations can better protect themselves from data breaches, saying:
“Threats have evolved and will continue to become even more sophisticated. Organisations need to augment security measures by implementing a culture of security and emphasising that all employees are part of an organisation’s security posture, not just the IT team. To stay ahead of threats, it is critical companies provide a holistic approach to improving security process by not only utilising an integrated security solution but also practicing good security hygiene.”
Starting April 30, Londoners will be able to view public transport information alongside fares and wait times on the Uber app, to see if taking the tube is quicker or cheaper than waiting.
The first, and perhaps only, think you’d think after hearing that news is 'Wouldn’t that result in fewer people getting Uber rides?' Public transport is often a lot cheaper than hailing an Uber, even in an expensive city like London, and if the Uber app presents its users with a choice, they’ll likely choose the cheaper option.
Uber’s pitching the function as a way to reduce car ownership, as well as clean up London’s air, but as with any corporate attempt at philanthropy, you have to take those claims with a massive pinch of salt. Instead, Uber could be playing the long game to assert its ride-hailing dominance for good.
What’s changed with Uber?
When the London Public Transport update rolls out to Uber users across London, a new option will be available once you select a destination, which will use information from Transport for London (TfL) to tell you the best public transport route to get to where you want to be.
The app will aggregate information from buses, trains, trams, shuttles, the London underground, rail lines and even boats on the river Thames to tell you the quickest, or cheapest, way of getting to your destination. The app will also provide walking directions between stations if you need to transfer at any point.
The purpose of this all is to replace your car with your phone – if Uber can’t get you hailing cabs, it at least wants you to use its app for however you will travel. The company is also presenting it as an ‘eco-initiative’, so prospective Uber customers could get the bus or tube instead of getting a driver to ferry them about the city.
Of course, getting your customers to use a competing service isn’t a great business strategy, but the London Public Transport feature is likely just the first step in a longer plan by Uber.
This kind of service is already offered by Uber in Denver, in the US, but London has a population over 11 times higher, so it’s a whole new ball game when it comes to the amount of information the app is required to process.
Patching up a rocky relationship
Over the past few years, Uber has been fighting hard to continue operations in London. It’s had to defend itself against a wave of accusations of unlawful behavior in the way it pays and manages its staff, unsafe environments for passengers in vehicles, and tough working environments for its drivers.
At times it’s looked like Uber drivers wouldn’t be able to operate in London, and while the company has managed to overturn any ban presented so far, it’s still on rocky grounds with the Mayor of London’s office and TfL.
However by encouraging users to take public transport when possible, Uber is extending an olive branch to those parties, and showing them that it’s happy to work with the city’s entities to do what’s best for the customers.
If TfL and the Mayor’s office accept this olive branch, and tensions between the parties relax, it could be hugely beneficial for Uber – an end to, or relaxing of, the hostilities and legal proceedings could save it a lot of money and hassle.
Uber is using TfL’s live travel information as part of the update, but over 675 other apps do too, so that doesn’t point to a special relationship in any way.
In addition, while it’s certainly a valuable gesture on Uber’s part, it’s not necessarily one that could cause the ride-hailing firm much difficulty. If you’re visiting the app it’s because you already know you want to get a lift to your destination, and you’d visit others like Google Maps or CityMapper if you wanted to know which tube line to get. The potential number of lost customers is probably, in reality, pretty small.
Becoming the go-to travel app
As well as relaxing hostilities, Uber’s addition of public transport information to its app could be part of a long game the company has begun – one to transform the Uber app from a simple ride-hailing app, into the go-to service for intra-city travel.
If Uber can get people to use its app as a way to find any kind of transport, and draw users away from Google Maps and CityMapper for these functions, it can slowly start to increase its market share, and open itself to a new audience, who typically wouldn’t hail an Uber.
This would increase Uber’s user base significantly, and a fair chunk of that audience would likely start using the ride-sharing part of the app if the various taxi options were presented alongside public transport choices, especially for journeys with many transfers or for customers in a rush.
Other apps work similar – Google Maps, for example, lets you explore different modes of transport for a journey including walking, driving, public transport, or hailing a cab using an app. Presumably Uber’s app will work similarly in the future, but unlike Google, Uber will make money off customers who decide to catch a cab.
Of course, this is all speculation and guesswork – but it makes no business sense for Uber to intentionally try to cut down its user base, so the update is likely part of a larger plan the company has.
New research has revealed that almost all of the upcoming 2020 presidential candidates in the US are falling behind when it comes to email security despite the fact that Hillary Clinton's email accounts were targeted and breached by Russian hackers just three years ago.
The email security company Agari confirmed that only the Democratic candidate Elizabeth Warren is using domain-based message authentication, reporting and conformance policy or DMARC to protect her email accounts.
This email security features resides on top of the Sender Policy Framework (SKF) and the DomainKeys Identified Mail (DKIM) security protocols which use cryptography to verify a sender's email and can mark emails as spam or reject them if an email fails to be properly validated.
According to Agari, the other 11 candidates whose email security it investigated, including Bernie Sanders, Joe Biden and presidential incumbent Donald Trump, do not use DMARC to security their campaign domains.
By not using DMARC to secure their email accounts, Agari warned that the 2020 presidential candidates risk having their campaigns impersonated in spam campaigns and phishing attacks.
The company's Armen Najarian explained why using DMARC to secure one's email accounts has become increasingly important, saying:
“DMARC is more important than ever because if it had been implemented with the correct policy on the domain used to spearphish John Podesta, then he would have never received the targeted email attack from Russian operatives.”
There has been a slight rise in DMARC adoption by Fortune 500 companies since the beginning of this year. However, while most of the companies use DMARC, Agari said that only 16 percent of the 500 world's richest companies reject or quarantine unvalidated email.
PS5 games are almost here. Sure, you may not be able to play them yet, but with a confirmed release window for the next-gen PlayStation console – end of 2020 – and specifications for the PS5 starting to drop, it's no surprise to see developers start announcing titles for the hardware.
Among the games announced so far include Watch Dogs: Legion and Ubisoft's Gods and Monsters, and likely will extend to Ghost of Tsushima and Cyberpunk 2077, though neither has been confirmed for next-gen yet.
Until we get a games-focused reveal event (unlike the PS5 specs reveal that had nothing in the way of games), we can't say exactly which games will make the PS5's holiday 2020 launch window, but we now have a decent idea of which games will be coming to the system at some point. To that end, we've gathered together this handy guide to all the PS5 games that have been confirmed so far – and some that we expect to see.
After gauging interest with a playable teaser, developer THQ Nordic has confirmed that it's going to remake its 2001 cult classic and bring it to PS5.
Nordic is planning to "stay as faithfully as possible to the original experience" and modernise gameplay mechanics but it's also promised fans that it'll be playing close attention to player feedback from the playable teaser; already the developer has said that it's hearing calls for a "grittier and less colourful world".
Development is still in the very early stages, though, and we shouldn't expect to see it in 2020.
Rainbow Six Siege
Ubisoft has confirmed to Windows Central that it's planning for its online tactical shooter, Rainbow Six Siege, to be available on PS5 from launch day (whenever that launch day may be). In order to avoid forcing early next-gen adopters from having to leave their Siege friends behind, Ubisoft has also said that the game will support cross-generational multiplayer, so PS5 owners will still be able to play with their PS4 friends.
People Can Fly has confirmed that its upcoming co-op shooter Outriders will land on both PS5 and Xbox Series X in "Holiday 2020" (AKA between October and December this year) - the same release window that we have for both next-gen consoles.
We don't know a huge amount about Outriders just yet, but the developer has described it as "a co-op RPG shooter for a new generation set in an original, dark and desperate sci-fi universe".
The Lord of the Rings: Gollum
Announced in March 2019, Daedalic's Gollum game has now been confirmed for PS5 and Xbox Series X.
The developer confirmed to Edge, that The Lord of the Rings: Gollum will be a "stunning next-gen adventure". Previously Daedlic confirmed Gollum will release in 2021 for PC and "all relevant console platforms at that time". Whether the game will be cross-generation (releasing on PS4 and Xbox One also) is still unconfirmed however.
But what will the game actually be about? Gollum is an action-adventure which focuses on the ring-obsessed creature. According to Daedalic, the narrative-driven game"tells Gollum's story from a perspective never seen before ... while staying true to the legendary books."
Announced at the Game Awards 2019, Godfall is an action RPG from Gearbox that kind of looks like Destiny with swords and shiny hardware. We don't know exactly what the gameplay is going to look like, but it can be said that Gearbox popularized the "looter shooter" with its Borderlands franchise, so we imagine that the gameplay loop will be just as satisfying.
But, because Gearbox hasn't really made a hack and slash before, we'll just have to wait and see what the actual gameplay will look like and whether the slashing will be as satisfying as Borderlands' shooting.
We don't have a specific release date, but we do know that Godfall will be coming to PlayStation 5 and Epic Games Store "Holiday 2020".
New Bluepoint Studios game
The announcement of a new Bluepoint game was the first time a company came out into the open and said that it is indeed developing a title for Sony's next-generation console.
Bluepoint Studios is the team best known for ports of classic games, having put out the incredibly well received Metal Gear Solid: HD Collection, Uncharted: The Nathan Drake Collection and astonishing Shadow of the Colossus remaster.
Talk early in 2019 pointed to the studio's next project being yet another re-imagining of a classic game, and with rumors swirling around a Demon's Souls remake happening (an IP owned by Sony unlike the rest of the Bandai Namco franchise), it's looking like a relatively good guess that'll be the company's next title.
Watch Dogs: Legion
First announced at E3 2019, Watch Dogs Legion was initially confirmed for a March 2020 release. However, since then Ubisoft has confirmed that the game will now be delayed into the next financial year which runs from April 2020 to March April 2021, meaning Watch Dogs Legion could see a delay of as little as a month or up to a year.
This delay does, however, make it more likely than ever that Watch Dogs Legion will launch on the PS5 platform, which was officially confirmed by Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot at the end of 2019.
Gods and Monsters
Just like Watch Dogs Legion, Gods and Monsters is another title from Ubisoft announced for PS4 at E3 2019 that's been delayed from its original early 2020 release into the next financial year.
We could see Gods and Monsters released any time between April 2020 and March 2021 and have now had official confirmation that it'll be coming to the PS5.
Rainbow Six Quarantine
Rainbow Six Quarantine was first confirmed during Ubisoft's E3 2019 press conference. It was never given a solid release date but it has since been delayed into the 2020-2021 financial year.
So, while we still don't know a release date, this delay has pushed the game closer to the PS5 launch. And, according to Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot, it's one of a number of games that's been officially confirmed for the next-gen console.
CD Projekt Red has been reticent to say whether or not its upcoming title will be releasing on the next generation of consoles.
In an interview with VG247 last year, CD Projekt Red revealed that Cyberpunk 2077 will be able to work with future gaming technology.
“Next gen hasn’t been announced yet, so we can only speculate,” CD Projekt Red president Adam Kiciński explained. “Technology-wise, Cyberpunk is very advanced. Our technology is ready to interface with future generations.
“The game is developed in such a way that it can use very powerful future equipment."
However, since this time the developer has admitted (via GameSpot) that while the possibility of a PS5 release is being explored it's not in its "area of interest right now". Instead, the studio wants to focus on what it's doing right at this moment, rather than look too far ahead and lose sight of what's important: launching the game well.
This is perhaps unsurprising as Cyberpunk 2077 is due for release in September 2020 (after being delayed from April) and the PlayStation 5 is not due to launch until late 2020. If the game did launch on PS5 it'd be a cross-generational title. At the moment though, as far as CD Projekt Red is concerned, this is still only a "maybe."
Hideo Kojima and Sony have been pretty tight-lipped about whether we will be seeing Death Stranding as a PS5 game.
Death Stranding has already launched on the PS4 but in an interview with Wired, Sony's Mark Cerny hinted that we could be seeing the allusive title on PS5 too.
When asked by Wired about the transition from PS4 to next generation, and how Death Stranding will fit into this process, Cerny gave a "pregnant pause" and a glib smile before a spokesperson interjected that game would be released for PS4.
It's not exactly a confirmation but Cerny's response has definitely fuelled speculation that Death Stranding will be a cross-generation release.
Ghost of Tsushima
Perhaps more wishful thinking on our part, but we haven't heard much in the way of Ghost of Tsushima news since the new IP was revealed at Paris Games Week 2017.
SuckerPunch's historical open world adventure will take players back to Feudal Japan, and now we have a much clearer picture of when that will happen. At the Game Awards 2019, SuckerPunch revealed that Ghost of Tsushima will be hitting the streets in Summer 2020, which means the wait is very nearly over.
That means that the game will arrive ahead of the PS5, but given how beautiful the graphics have been so far, we wouldn't be surprised if it launches on Sony's new console. Still, we haven't heard word one from Sony about whether Ghost of Tsushima will be a PS5 game.
The Last of Us: Part 2
We now know that The Last of Us: Part 2 will release on May 29, 2020 - much earlier than the PS5's late 2020 release date. However we think it's a safe assumption that any Sony exclusives coming in 2020 will likely be cross-generation titles.
It would seem slightly odd for Sony to release one of its most eagerly anticipated sequels for just the PS4 at the end of the console's life cycle. So we think it's a safe bet to assume Joel and Ellie will make their way to the PS5, instantly becoming one of the best PS5 games.
Bethesda has quite a lot of projects in the works, but the one we seem to know the least about is Starfield. All we know so far is that Starfield is the gaming behemoth's first new IP for 25 years and will be a single player RPG set in outer space.
Having only seen an announcement trailer, we don't expect Starfield to release until at least 2020 which means it will land in the prime window to become a PS5 game. Bethesda hasn't let slip if this will be the case but it seems likely we will be venturing into Bethesda's galaxy on next generation consoles.
The Elder Scrolls 6
As we said, Bethesda has been pretty busy behind the scenes since E3 2018. Not only is Starfield on the cards, but the long-awaited Elder Scrolls 6 has also been confirmed to be in the works.
Bethesda's Todd Howard has already stated that The Elder Scrolls 6 won't be coming out until after Starfield. So it'll be a while before we venture into Tamriel again, likely on next generation consoles.
Grand Theft Auto 6
Ok, yes, we are being a bit hopeful here - mainly because Grand Theft Auto 6 has not been announced by Rockstar Games. But it's almost guaranteed that we will see a new instalation in the Grand Theft Auto series, and it's not going to be for a while.
Therefore, it is likely that a release date will fall into the next generation, making GTA 6 a PS5 game.
Final Fantasy 7 Remake
Again, the Final Fantasy 7 Remake has not been confirmed to be a PS5 game but Square Enix has confirmed the title will come to PS4 first - with an Xbox One and PC release likely in the future .
Given the age of the PS4, and the ambitious nature of the game, a cross-generation title with next-gen platforms isn't out of the question. So we're definitely hoping to see the Final Fantasy 7 Remake on PS5.
Horizon Zero Dawn 2
Now, it's worth noting this title hasn't been officially confirmed nevermind being confirmed for PS5.
Sony has had huge success with its PS4 exclusives, particularly post-apocalyptic RPG Horizon Zero Dawn. Horizon Zero Dawn is one of the best-selling games on the PS4, selling over 10 million copies and cementing itself as a must-have title. So it would make perfect sense for Guerrilla Games to develop a sequel, right?
It seems that is exactly what's happening. While neither Sony nor Guerrilla Games have announced a Horizon Zero Dawn 2 is in the works, one of the game's voice actors spilled the beans earlier this year and essentially confirmed a sequel is on the way. But with no release date in sight, it looks likely that Horizon Zero Dawn will land on PS5.
God of War 2
Much like Horizon Zero Dawn 2, God of War 2 hasn't officially been confirmed to be in the works.
It's only been a year since the critically acclaimed (and our Game of the Year 2018 winner) God of War reboot launched exclusively on PlayStation 4, but we're already looking to the future.
Despite Sony remaining tight-lipped on the subject, the success of God of War means a sequel is probably on the way (perhaps another God of War 2?). In addition, Sony Santa Monica has posted job listings for a number of roles across its teams - with one listing clearly citing the God of War reboot.
At this point, it's most likely that God of War 2 will come to PS5 than the PS4.
Electronic Arts has confirmed that Battlefield 6 is on the way, and that it's coming to next-generation consoles.
EA didn't confirm which consoles (so we will keep Battlefield 6 in the rumored section for not) but, regardless, it'll be a few years before we see the shooter on any next-gen consoles as the publisher wants to give the platforms time to build a strong player base. But a PS5 looks very likely.
There are rumors abound that the next Gran Turismo title will be a part of the PS5's launch lineup. While nothing has been confirmed, it does seem likely that a Gran Turismo game will appear on the console at some point as it's PlayStation's landmark racing series.
Wired has reported that developer Polyphony Digital has Gran Turismo Sport running on a PS5 devkit while an even more recent leak has suggested that Gran Turismo 7 will release on November 20 as a launch title for the console.
We don't know for sure when a Gran Turismo title will appear on PS5, or what form it will take, but we think it's likely it will happen at some point.