iPhone 9 might launch today, and not be called that, according to new rumor

Only a couple of days ago, we reported that the long-rumored iPhone 9 (often referred to by the moniker iPhone SE 2) might finally be unveiled on April 22. Now, 9to5Mac has received new information that seems to back up this claim.

Based on a tip offered by one of the site's trusted readers, 9to5Mac believes that Apple may open orders for its entry-level iPhone as soon as tomorrow.

The site also says the new handset will simply retain the iPhone SE name, and will be referred to as the 2020 version in an attempt to avoid confusion. That's an assertion that's been backed up by Apple itself, as we'll get to at the end of this article.

Along with details discussed above, the leak also states that the new iPhone SE will be made available in White, Black and Product (RED) color variants, with Apple set to offer the handset with either 64GB, 128GB and 256GB of storage.

In terms of specs, previous reports have suggested that the rumored phone will feature the same A13 chipset used by the current iPhone 11, with 3GB of RAM and a 4.7-inch LCD screen. Its design is also expected to look nearly identical to that of the iPhone 8, the iPhone 7, the iPhone 6S and the iPhone 6.

Of course, all of the information listed above is far from concrete at this stage. For the time being, we'll have to wait for Apple to make the first move.

Apple reveals the iPhone SE name

A source very close to the matter has seemingly teased the iPhone SE name - Apple itself.

This comes from Apple's website itself (as spotted by The Verge), where a screen protector was listed as being compatible for the '4.7-inch iPhone SE'. The original iPhone SE had a 4-inch screen, and leaked iPhone 9 cases suggested the new device was 4.7-inches across, so it really seems what we knew as the 'iPhone 9' will actually be called the 'iPhone SE'.

The iPhone 9 name seemed an odd choice given the iPhone 11 phones were released recently, so it makes sense ditching that moniker, but reviving an older title is still rather confusing.

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Disney Plus says its aspect-ratio fix for The Simpsons is coming soon

Following the launch of Disney Plus late last year, many fans of the classic animated sitcom The Simpsons voiced their displeasure upon discovering that the show's first 19 and a half seasons had been cropped or stretched to fit into the 16:9 format, effectively ruining a number of quality visual gags in the process. 

The streaming service quickly responded by promising to fix the aspect ratio on The Simpsons in 2020, and now Disney has tweeted an official update on when subscribers can expect to see those episodes in the 4:3 format as originally intended.

According to Disney's tweet, the House of Mouse is working hard to "make the first 19 Seasons (and part of 20) of #TheSimpsons available in 4:3 versions", suggesting that viewers will have the option to choose which version they would rather watch. 

Disney Plus also stated that it believes it will "accomplish this by the end of May." As for why the process is taking so long, it's likely that Disney has had to go back to the original source materials and remaster them all over again into HD.

While you wait for that to happen, you might want to consider checking out these 20 TV series that are worth streaming now on Disney Plus.

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Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 Campaign Remastered out now on PS4

Yesterday, we reported on a leak which stated that a Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 remaster was on the eve of release, and that has now been proven entirely accurate, with the game now officially available to download from the PlayStation Network.

While the game is only available on PS4 for the time being, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 Campaign Remastered will also arrive on PC and Xbox One on April 30.

Predictably, the remaster boasts a number of visual enhancements, such as HDR support and resolutions of up to 4K on consoles, while the PC version will be fully optimized, offering uncapped framerates and ultra-wide monitor support.

"No Russian."

As the name would suggest, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 Campaign Remastered will only include the single-player portion of the beloved game. Thankfully, that means the inclusion of such classic missions as 'Cliffhanger', 'Takedown', and the highly controversial 'No Russian'.

Of course, multiplayer enthusiasts haven't been left entirely in the cold – those who purchase the game will also receive the Underwater Demo Team Classic Ghost Bundle for immediate use with the current Call of Duty: Modern Warfare game and the free (and standalone) Call of Duty: Warzone battle royale mode. 

The bundle includes a new UDT Ghost Operator skin, two weapon blueprints, a weapon charm, new finishing move, voice quip, animated calling card, emblem and two Battle Pass tier skips.

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 Campaign Remastered has been priced at $19.99 (£19.99 / AU$35,95). You can check out the action-packed PS4 trailer below.

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Self-isolation entertainment guide: best Australian movie & TV streaming services

As the looming threat of Covid-19 intensifies, many Australians have rightfully taken the government's advice onboard by practising self-isolation and social distancing in an effort to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus. 

Whether you're staying home under self-imposed lockdown or under a doctor-ordered state of quarantine, self-isolation can be quite boring – particularly if you're usually a very outgoing person.

Thankfully, technology has made it easier than ever to keep yourself entertained while stuck inside your home. With that in mind, we've taken the liberty of putting together a helpful guide on how to keep yourself entertained during self-isolation. 

Read on to learn more about how you can stave off boredom via Australia's available streaming services during this especially trying time in our history. 

Australian movie & TV streaming services

For most people, being stuck at home will be a less-than-ideal situation. That said, it does present the perfect opportunity to catch up on all the TV shows and movies you haven't gotten around to. In fact, you could even choose to re-watch the ones you loved.

Thankfully, Australia has a number of excellent streaming services on offer which will allow you to watch (almost) anything your heart desires without having to leave your couch. 

Netflix

Netflix
The most popular option is Netflix, which offers a never-ending supply of original shows and movies from around the world, along with constantly-changing licensed content. Pricing starts at AU$9.99 per month for the entry-level tier (one screen in standard definition), all the way up to $19.99 for the full Ultra HD package with four simultaneous streams. Unfortunately, Netflix no longer offers a free-trial period. That said, we can't imagine you'll have difficulty finding something to watch on the service. Here here to sign up to Netflix. Here's how to watch Netflix with friends while self isolating.

Stan

Stan
Similar to Netflix in its pricing tiers, Australia's first major streaming service Stan starts at AU$10 per month for its one SD stream, followed by AU$14 per month for two HD streams and AU$17 per month for four 4K streams. It too offers original content, along with a large selection of first-run international shows that aren't available to stream elsewhere – though not quite as many as Netflix. That said, it does have a vast back catalogue of classic shows like Friends, Seinfeld and Buffy the Vampire Slayer. If that sounds good, you can sign up for Stan's free 30-day trial from its website.

Disney Plus

Disney Plus
The newest streaming service to hit the Australian scene, Disney Plus offers an incredible back catalogue of the Mouse House's TV shows and movies – we're talking everything from the Mickey Mouse's original appearance in Steamboat Willy, all the way to modern Marvel blockbusters like Avengers: Endgame. Disney Plus has already started showing original content, such as the much-loved Star Wars series The Mandalorian, and you can expect plenty more in the near future. For a flat fee of only AU$8.99 per month for everything it has to offer, we highly recommend you sign up to Disney Plus for a free 7-day trial.

Amazon Prime Video

Amazon Prime Video
Included with every subscription to Amazon Prime, this streaming service offers a growing library of Amazon Original shows and movies, along with access to a countless number classic shows and movies. Of course, an Amazon Prime subscription much more than just another streaming service – for a flat fee of AU$6.99 per month, you'll get a number of additional bonuses for shopping on Amazon Australia. These include access to Prime Reading, Prime Music and Twitch Prime, free two-day delivery on domestic purchases, early access to discounts and deals, huge savings on Amazon Prime Day and more – all things that will come in handy during your home quarantine period. Here's where you can sign up for Amazon Prime in Australia.

Foxtel

Foxtel Now
While it's far more expensive than competing streaming services, particularly if you want to opt for every package on offer, Foxtel Now does offer many shows and movies that aren't available to stream anywhere else. For instance, the only place to stream HBO's extensive catalogue, including the likes of Game of Thrones and Westworld, is via Foxtel Now. Luckily, you can get started from only AU$25 per month (following a 10-day free trial) for mandatory Pop and Lifestyle packages, and if you're willing to spend more additional packages you can also access a huge selection of movies, sports and much more.

Apple TV Plus

Apple TV Plus
While Apple's new subscription-based video streaming service is unable to compete with the likes of Netflix and Disney Plus when it comes to the size of its content library, it makes up for it by offering a very high quality shows from big-name talent across the board. At only AU$7.99 per month after 7-day trial, it's also fairly inexpensive, and if you happen to have bought a major Apple product recently, such as an iPhone or iPad, you will receive 12-months of Apple TV Plus for the fantastic price of 'free'.

Kayo Sports

Kayo Sports
Are you a sports nut? Well, you're going to love Kayo Sports – a streaming service dedicated to all things running, kicking, throwing, racing, jumping and... you get the idea. With Kayo, you get almost everything sports-related that's available on Foxtel for less than half the price. The Kayo Sports Basic Package provides two simultaneous streams for only AU$25 per month, while for AU$35 per month, you can sign up to the Kayo Sports Premium Package, which provides three simultaneous streams. Best of all, there are no lock-in contracts and you can try before you buy with a free 14-day trial.

10 All Access

10 All Access
The local Australian version of America's CBS All Access streaming service, 10 All Access offers a growing number of premium television shows (including originals) as soon as they're released. We're talking complete and up-to-date shows like The Bachelor, NCIS, Hawaii Five-0, Masterchef Australia, Survivor and Neighbours, along with exclusive originals like The Twilight Zone. You can even watch some before they've premiered on Network 10, and with the added bonus of absolutely no ads. Additionally, the services a live streaming 24/7 news service in the world-renowned CBSN, all for AU$9.99 per month. Join now and get your first month free.

Tubi

Tubi
Trying to save money during these uncertain times? Tubi just might be the service for you. Relatively new to the Australian streaming landscape, the ad-supported Tubi is 100% free and offers an enormous number of C-grade movies and shows, cult classics and trashy gems, along with a selection of honest-to-goodness mainstream films from years gone by. All you need is a Facebook or Gmail account to login with and you're good-to-go. Of course, you will have to suffer the occasional pre-film 30-second advertisement, but you won't see any more ads for the remainder of the film or show you're watching. Check out Tubi for free right now.

Of course, there are also a large number of free streaming and catch-up services which offer ad-supported content. These include apps from all the major Australian networks, such as 7Plus, 9Now, SBS On Demand, ABC iview and 10play.

As for the rest of the paid streaming services we've covered, you'll find several comprehensive guides to the best shows and films they offer below.

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Australian Government launches official coronavirus information app

Announced during Prime Minister Scott Morrison's press conference yesterday morning (March 29), an official Coronavirus Australia app has been launched for iOS and Android which offers real-time information about the state of Covid-19 in our country.

In its Current Status section, the app provides users with the total number of confirmed Covid-19 cases in Australia, with a map (or list) dividing the figure by state and territory, along with the number of new cases reported each day.

Coronavirus Australia

For those seeking more thorough Covid-19 updates, including information on what our elected officials are doing in response to the crisis, the app's News & Media section offers links to every statement and piece of departmental media released by the Australian Government in regards to the novel coronavirus.

Additionally, the Coronavirus Australia app includes health and safety advice on things like personal hygiene, self isolation and social distancing, along with a symptom checker that also links directly to the Health Direct AU website

Moreover, the app features a section that allows users to voluntarily register their self isolation, which is said to provide "a better understanding of the experiences of those in the community and help in the development of better information and response Government".

The Coronavirus Australia app is available to download for free from Apple's App Store and the Google Play store.

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Foxtel is giving subscribers free access to more content, screens and data

As Australians spend more time at home in self-isolation, Foxtel has announced that it's giving its subscribers more content, screens and data at no additional cost to help make these uncertain times a little more bearable. 

Starting today and extending until May 31, 2020, Foxtel is providing customers with access to its Drama, Entertainment, Lifestyle, Documentaries, Reality and Kids TV channels and on demand libraries – no activation necessary.

And, if you're a Foxtel Now subscriber, the Drama Extra, Docos, Pop, Lifestyle and Kids content packages will now be added to your Essentials, Pop or Lifestyle packs.

Additionally, subscribers will also gain multi-screen access, allowing them to watch Foxtel's offerings on up to two additional devices at the same time. This includes the ability to cast the Foxtel GO app to additional TVs.

But that's not all – unlimited broadband data is being given to all Foxtel Broadband and Foxtel NBN customers with monthly data allowances, which should make life a little easier for families staying indoors.

With most live sports being cancelled for the foreseeable future, it's highly likely that this generosity is driven by Foxtel's need to offer something in return for losing one of its biggest draws. 

That said, giving customers free access to more content, screens and data is a pretty good way to compensate in our eyes.

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Netflix reduces bitrate of its streams in Australia to combat congestion

Following on from measures it has already undertaken to reduce network congestion in Europe, Netflix has lowered the bitrate of its streams in Australia as of last night, as reported by the Sydney Morning Herald.

The decision has been made to help local telcos cope with the increased demand that's being placed on their networks as more and more Australians work from home and self-isolate against the threat of Covid-19.

"Given the crisis, we've developed a way to reduce Netflix's traffic on the telecommunications network by 25 per cent while also maintaining the quality of our service," said Ken Florance, Netflix's VP of content delivery.

While the service will be taking a bitrate hit, Florance assures Netflix customers that they "should continue to get the quality that comes with their plan – where it's ultra-high, high or standard definition."

"if you are particularly tuned into video quality you may notice a very slight decrease in quality within each resolution," said Florance.

The drop in Netflix's bitrate will reportedly continue for the next 30 days, joining YouTube and game downloads on the growing list of throttled services.

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Nvidia’s next-gen Shield TV streaming devices have landed in Australia

Following their release in the US late last year, Nvidia's excellent Shield TV and Shield TV Pro streaming devices are now available for purchase in Australia – a small yet significant comfort as we prepare to stay indoors for the foreseeable future.

We aren't overstating things when we say that Nvidia's next-generation streaming boxes are excellent – the Shield TV Pro received 4 and a half stars in our review of the device, while the redesigned standard Shield TV earned our 'Editor's Choice' award with its perfect five star rating, making it a 'Best in Class' device in its category.

Both of Nvidia's new Shield TV products boast the company's new Tegra X1+ processor, which is said to deliver "25 percent more performance" than the last generation model – a major contributing factor to each device's exceptional upscaling and 4K streaming capability.

According to Nvidia, that upscaling has been achieved with AI that's been "trained on a deep neural network" for the purposes of bringing 720p and 1080p content up to 4K quality – a feature that TechRadar's reviewers were especially impressed by.

Along with their aforementioned accolades in Ultra HD streaming and AI upscaling, both Nvidia Shield TV models support the Dolby Vision HDR format, along with Dolby Atmos audio.

New and improved

In terms of design, the Nividia Shield TV Pro is visually identical to the company's previous model (albeit without the previously-included game controller), with the only real differences being additional memory (3GB) and storage (16GB), as well as the inclusion of two USB ports this time around.

Meanwhile, the standard Shield TV sports an all-new cylindrical shape that makes it easier to tuck away inside your entertainment unit, sporting both Gigabit Ethernet and dual-band Wi-Fi connectivity options. 

Both Android TV-powered devices are accompanied by Nvidia's redesigned remote control, which includes a mic for voice search and Google Assistant functionality, along with a "a built-in lost remote locator."

Priced at AU$249.95 for the Shield TV and AU$349.95 for the Shield TV Pro, both devices are available to purchase now from Nvidia's online store, Harvey Norman and a number of other specialist stores.

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Samsung Galaxy Z Flip Australian pricing and release date announced

Releasing just last month in the US, UK and South Korea, Samsung's foldable clamshell Galaxy Z Flip handset has now received an Australian release date and pricing information. 

The good news? It's coming sooner than expected, with Aussies able to pre-order the Galaxy Z Flip this week from March 20 with an on-sale date of April 3.

Priced at AU$2,199, the Galaxy Z Flip is far from cheap, however, it does hold the distinction of being Australia's cheapest foldable phone, beating the Motorola Razr (AU$2,699), Huawei Mate Xs (AU$3,999) and Samsung's own Galaxy Fold (AU$2,999) by a rather significant margin.

The flippin' details

In terms of specs, the Galaxy Z Flip offers Qualcomm's Snapdragon 855+ processor, 8GB of RAM, 256GB of onboard storage and a 3,300 mAh battery.

It also boasts a 6.7-inch FHD+ AMOLED display that's covered by Samsung’s proprietary flexible 'Ultra Thin Glass', along with a dual camera (12MP wide + 12MP ultra-wide) on the rear and a single-lens (10MP) front facing selfie snapper.

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip pre-orders will be available from Friday at Samsung's Experience Stores and from its online store, along with selected retail partners including Optus, Vodafone, JB Hi-Fi and Harvey Norman.

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Samsung reportedly working on a new 150MP phone camera sensor

Having only just launched its 108MP camera-sporting Galaxy S20 Ultra this month, Samsung is reportedly hard at work on its next major smartphone camera evolution – a new rumor suggests that the South Korean manufacturer is readying a whopping 150MP camera sensor for release at the end of the year.

As spotted on the Korean technology site Clien.net by Twitter user Sleepy Kuma, the rumor states that Samsung is developing a 150MP 'Nonacell' sensor that's almost 1-inch in size. 

The rumor also suggests that Chinese phone-makers Xiaomi, Oppo and Vivo are all looking to incorporate Samsung's new sensor in their upcoming flagships, with Xiaomi set to be first to adopt the 150MP beast in the fourth quarter of 2020.

Additionally, Clien's report also states (via Google translation) that "Oppo and Vivo are developing with the goal of combining [Samsung's Nonacell sensor] with the Snapdragon 875 in the first quarter of next year."

Of course, it's too early to tell if there's even a smidgen of truth to the site's claims, but we imagine that it's entirely possible that Samsung will want to top the S20 Ultra's camera in the very near future. As always, we'll keep you posted as this story develops.

[via SamMobile]

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Xbox Live is currently down: bad news for self-quarantining

If you were planning to spend your time in self-isolation with a bit of online gaming, think again: the official Xbox Support Twitter account has reported that users are having difficulty with sign ins and match-making on Xbox Live.

To make matters worse, the Twitter account is also reporting that users are experiencing issues while trying to access support.xbox.com, meaning impatient Xbox gamers will have to rely on Twitter for updates on the outage.

As noted by The Verge, the outage tracking website Down Detector revealed a large spike in users reporting Xbox Live outages at around 5:10pm EST.

Unfortunately, the only thing we can do now is wait for the Xbox team to sort out the problem. As always, we'll keep you posted on the matter.

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Google Pixel phones may finally get 4K/60fps video recording

Google's Pixel smartphones are well-known for their prowess in the realm of still photography, however, they're less well regarded when it comes to capturing video. 

That could very well change, however, with a new teardown of the latest camera APK (Android Package) revealing some interesting insights about what Google is apparently planning for the Pixel's video mode.

According to cstark27 of XDA Developers, there's evidence in the Google Camera 7.4 APK to suggest that the search giant is finally going to bring a feature that's still absent in its Pixel smartphones – 4K video at 60fps.

Google Camera 7.4 APK leak

Julio Lusson of the YouTube channel TecnoLike Plus provided XDA Developers with the APK, which was reportedly obtained from an early Pixel 4a device. 

Before long, cstark27 spotted code for a 'camcorder.4k60fps' mode within the APK, however, no resources or assets attributed to the alleged mode have been discovered as yet.

At present, it's unknown which Pixel model the new mode is intended for, or if it will even end up making it into a live build. That said, XDA believes it's possible the feature could make into the Pixel 4 at some point as part of a feature dump, or could even be something that Google is saving for the Pixel 5.

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Samsung is giving away Galaxy S20 Ultra phones in Australia-wide treasure hunt

To celebrate the release of its new flagship phone range, Samsung Australia has announced that it's giving away "hundreds of thousands of dollars’ worth of Galaxy S20 Ultra smartphones" in an Australia-wide treasure hunt.

The campaign, dubbed 'Microcodes', will task participants with finding an extremely tiny code word embedded within Galaxy S20 advertisements across the country. 

Samsung says the code word 'phone', which has apparently been spelt in a "variety of ways", has been placed in "advertisements within Samsung Experience stores and kiosks, Facebook, Instagram, online banners, in cinema spots and selected out of home spots from today".

Due to the minuscule size of these codes, Samsung believes "consumers will need the support of their smartphone camera zoom to find them", which is a clever way to highlight its flagship's biggest selling point.

That said, it seems rather odd that participants are being encouraged to use the Galaxy S20 Ultra's 100x Space Zoom in order to win a handset they presumably already own, but who are we to argue with a free phone?

Of course, not every code you find will win you a Galaxy S20 Ultra, as someone else might've already beaten you to the punch. If you do spot a code in the wild, you must be the first to enter it into Samsung's Microcodes microsite in order to nab yourself a handset.

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New Chromecast Ultra might finally offer Android TV interface and remote

Google's Chromecast has long been the most affordable way to access your favorite streaming apps on TVs that don't already offer them. That said, the device's reliance on your smartphone as a second screen always added a layer of complication to the whole endeavour.

Now, it appears the search giant is looking to simplify the process in a major way, with a new report from 9to5Google suggesting that some big changes are coming to the next Chromecast Ultra in terms of usability.

Citing "a reliable source familiar with the company’s plans", the report states that Google is readying a second-generation Chromecast Ultra that will bring the Android TV interface to users' televisions, and best of all, they'll be able to access it via a dedicated remote.

The report also states that the new Chromecast remote will include a Google Assistant button and built-in microphone for voice control. While not confirmed in any way, Protocol’s Janko Roettgers has spotted a Federal Communications Commission (FCC) listing for a Google remote that may very well be for the device in question.

Just like the previous generation model, the new Chromecast Ultra (reportedly codenamed 'sabrina') is said to offer 4K and HDR support along with Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connectivity. It's also expected to share the current model's softer, more rounded appearance.

We imagine the new Chromecast Ultra would likely have been announced at Google IO 2020. However, with that event now canceled over coronavirus, we're unable to hazard a guess as to when the device will officially debut. 

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Altered Carbon: Resleeved trailer serves up Takeshi Kovacs in anime form

Following hot on the heels of Altered Carbon's second season, Netflix has released a trailer for Altered Carbon: Resleeved, an animated spin-off movie from acclaimed writer Dai Satō (Cowboy Bebop, Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex).

Looking a bit like a non-interactive video game, Altered Carbon: Resleeved sees Takeshi Kovacs assigned to protect a young Yakuza tattoo artist from killer tech ninjas and CTAC (Colonial Tactical Assault Corps) soldiers on the planet of Latimer.

You can check out the trailer for Altered Carbon: Resleeved below, but be warned – it features excessive amounts of blood and an aggressive mispronunciation of the name 'Kovacs'.


Based on a series of science fiction novels by Richard K. Morgan, Altered Carbon takes place in a distant future where people can back up their consciousness to 'stacks', effectively allowing them to live forever by changing bodies or 'sleeves'.

It will be interesting to see if Altered Carbon: Resleeved can win back fans who were disappointed by the show's second season, which many felt suffered from a weak story and reduced budget.

Thankfully, we won't have to wait long to find out – Altered Carbon: Resleeved arrives on Netflix on March 19.

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