Last week in tech: New iPhones, emergency text alerts, and the coming wave of gadget announcements
Should you get a new iPhone? And why is the president texting us?
If you like gadgets, you’re going to want to pay attention over the next couple weeks. The post-iPhone-announcement glow hasn’t even worn off and there are already upcoming unveilings from Google, Microsoft, Amazon, and other hardware heavyweights on the books. But, before we look ahead, let’s peer back into last week’s big stories, including the new Apple hardware and beyond.
Download the latest episode of the podcast
This week’s all-new episode takes a more in-depth look at some of the most interesting parts of the new iPhone and Apple Watch hardware. We discuss:
Whether or not it’s worth upgrading to the iPhone XS, iPhone XS Plus, or from your current device The importance of the Apple Watch’s new EKG capabilities The challenges of designing websites and apps when screen sizes constantly change
You can listen in the player above, follow us on iTunes, add us on SoundCloud, or check us out on Stitcher. Be sure to leave a review because we’re desperately trying to impress the internet robots that will determine our societal worth in the future.
Here’s the rest of the news.
The president is going to text you on Thursday
On September 20, it’s very likely that your phone will buzz with a text alert from the president. FEMA is conducting a test of the Wireless Emergency Alert system at 2:18 PM ET, and you can expect a message that says “THIS IS A TEST of the National Wireless Emergency Alert System. No action is needed.” And before you ask, no, you can’t opt out.
Nintendo revealed details about its Switch online service and wireless NES controllers
#NintendoSwitchOnline will feel even more authentic by using the new wireless NES style controllers with the classic #NES games, available for purchase exclusively for paid Nintendo Switch Online members!— Nintendo of America (@NintendoAmerica) September 13, 2018
For more details, visit: https://t.co/1iDHUEEU2m/ pic.twitter.com/Q0yaFDmug5
We’ve been hearing about Nintendo’s equivalent to Xbox Live and PlayStation Network for months, but the company that Mario built made the details official this week. Going online with your Switch will cost $3.99 per month, $7.99 for three months, or $19.99 for a year. That price will get you online multiplayer access for popular games, as well as cloud storage for information about your precious saved games.
The company also announced a pair of wireless NES-style controllers that will only be available to online subscribers— and they look rather perfect. I can just imagine the sound it will make as I smash it to the ground in frustration after losing at PunchOut for the millionth time.
Walmart launched its same-day delivery service aimed at major cities
In 2016, Walmart bought the super-fast shopping site Jet or a tidy $3 billion. Now, the site has relaunched with a focus on selling things to city-dwellers, then delivering them within three hours. It’s packed full of personalized features like recommended items based on your shopping history and even specific imagery pegged to the city where you live. The hurry-up-and-get-me-my-stuff contest between Walmart and Amazon is really getting underway.
IMAX wants to show streaming content on its enormous screens
The Hollywood Reporter published a report in which IMAX CEO, Richard Gelfond, claims the company is in talks to have public showings of content originally made for streaming. Part of me thinks it’s kind of crazy since a big part of the streaming appeal is that you don’t have to leave your house. The other part of me imagines watching a marathon session of the next Stranger Things season on an enormous screen and that sounds just wonderful.
The FDA is taking a hard line against vaping and kids
The Food and Drug Administration is not happy with how much kids seem to love the delicious-smelling vapors associated with Juul and other e-cig devices. The agency is giving the companies 60 days to prove that it can effectively stop kids from getting the nicotine-filled products or risk banishment from store shelves.