Last week in tech: Apple’s iPhone 11, Land Rover’s new Defender, and Nintendo’s weird controller
Also be sure to listen to the latest Techathlon podcast.
Nothing dominates a week of tech news quite like an iPhone launch event. This week, Apple unleashed a bevy of new products, including the iPhone 11 (which comes in standard and Pro versions), as well as the Apple Watch 5, a new $329 iPad, and details about its upcoming services like Apple TV+ and Apple Arcade. You can catch up on all the specifics in our event post.
The new iPhones went on sale this morning and the big question, of course, is should you buy one? it’s a simple process to decide, actually. Ask yourself: “Does my phone still work and can it get the latest version of its operating system?” If the answer is yes, then you’re probably good with what you have. If the answer is “no,” then how are you reading this through all those cracks in your screen?
Tim Cook’s carnival of new gadgets wasn’t the only thing happening in the tech world this week. Here’s a look back at the other important stuff that happened.
Listen to the latest episode of the Techathlon podcast
We’re back in full force this week. In this episode, we test our knowledge of Android’s adorable system names, retrace some truly ridiculous speed records, and recap the week’s biggest stories in the form of 10 fun trivia questions during the Techathlon Decathlon. It’s the most fun you can have while learning what Android version 1.6 was called.
Nintendo announced a weird new Switch controller
The Ring-Con is a flexible toy that syncs up with the Swtich’s Joy-Cons and lets you exercise and game at the same time. You’ll have to sweat your way through a role-playing adventure by squeezing the hoop-shaped controller and jogging with a Joy-Con strapped to your leg. I hope these controllers keep getting weirder and we eventually get a turtle-shaped device we can jump on for an immersive Super Mario experience.
Adobe built AI that automatically crops your videos for different screens
For film buffs and camera dorks like myself, shooting vertical video still hurts a little, but it’s necessary for services like Instagram or Snap. This week, Adobe previewed a new feature in its Premiere video editing software that automatically tracks the most important part of the frame and crops it accordingly. The demo is impressive.
Land Rover brought back the Classic Defender SUV
The Defender is one of the most iconic SUVs of all time. The company briefly stopped making it a few years ago, but now it’s coming back and will be available in the United States for the first time in more than two decades. The new version has an intelligent tracking system that adjusts on the fly to keep you moving through tricky spots like a swamp or the Trader Joe’s parking lot on a Sunday afternoon.
Google started shipping its camera-equipped smart screen
The Google Nest Hub Max is a 10-inch touchscreen display combined with a smart speaker. You can talk to it, like any other Google Assistant device, but a built-in camera also allows the Hub Max to recognize your face to show you personalized information. You can check out our full review of the device here. Verdict: It’s one of the best kitchen smart home devices around.
Phase One announced a $57,000 mirrorless camera meant for landscape photographers
The iPhone 11 Pro has a new wide-angle camera, but Phase One’s burly XT camera is built for serious professionals. The 150-megapixel camera combines a new lens-mount system and a barebones body to create a super high-end landscape photography kit capable of cranking out files that you can print huge without losing quality.
Check out these awesome racing planes
This weekend, Rob Verger is out at the Reno Air Races scoping out (and flying in) some awesome aircrafts that are built for speed. You can see a gallery of some of the coolest planes here.