Your tech news digest, by way of theÂ DGiT Daily tech newsletter, for Friday, 7 August 2020
1. Finally: The new Sony WH-1000XM4 headphones
Oh hey the new Sony WH-1000XM4 are out!
Weâ€™ve been seeing some clues that the already excellent Sony WH-1000XM3 were being upgraded, and the new XM4s build on what was already very good.
- The (legendary?) XM3s have been at the top of high-end active noise canceling (ANC) recommendation lists forever.
- The main competitors have been the Bose QuietComfort 35 II or the Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700 options, both of which were similarly priced, close matching options, with the 700 having almost better ANC.
But now the WH-1000XM4 is bringing a refined design, better ANC, new features including multi-device support, and all at the same price at around $350.
- Early reviews are out, and thereâ€™s an enthusiastic response.
- Engadget gives them an enthusiastic 94/100, noting â€œyou wonâ€™t find a more feature-packed set of headphones right now, and itâ€™s unlikely you will until Sony updates these again.â€�
- The Verge is a little cooler at an 8.5/10, noting that they have Sonyâ€™s best noise-canceling capabilities, and is appreciative of the new features including dramatically better microphone quality.
- Wired joins the praise at 9/10, again going for the â€˜best just got betterâ€™ tagline.
- Oddly, neither Wired nor The Verge note any real design changes, while Engadget and Ars Technica found a new, more premium tactile matte coating, plus a slimmer headband cushion and gentler curve for a better fit.
- Iâ€™m going to wait for my colleagues at SoundGuys to offer their definitive opinion, but given the XM3s were already top of the table, we may expect good things.
- Is it worth upgrading from the XM3s? Thatâ€™s going to be interesting.
- Shipping starts mid-August.
2. US President Trump has issued executive orders with effective bans of TikTok, WeChat, set for September 20. The detail is that Trumpâ€™s Executive Order focuses on blocking all transactions with Bytedance, TikTokâ€™s parent corporation, and WeChat. The WeChat detail is new, but crucially the other aspects of Tencentâ€™s business are not included, meaning its ownership of Riot Games and major stake in Epic Games, which makes Fortnite, are not affected, Yet, at least. And, the ban wonâ€™t apply to TikTok if the ByteDance-owned app is acquired by a US company (CNET).
On that note, Microsoft is now looking at buying all of TikTokâ€™s global operations, not just select countries (Engadget).
3. Pixel 4a is already on Amazon, Best Buyâ€™s bestseller lists (Android Authority).
4. Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 Plus hands-on: A cunning copycat (Android Authority).
5. Samsung Galaxy Buds Live review: Bold beans battle the AirPods (Android Authority).
6. Appleâ€™s getting weird: Apple has confirmed cloud gaming services like Microsoftâ€™s Xbox Game Pass, and Google Stadia, violate its App Store guidelines. Why? Because Apple cannot review each game offered. That makes it an Android exclusive, for now (Android Authority). Apple doesnâ€™t review every song offered by Spotify or TV show offered by Netflix. Games are different, but these games are streamed not installed. Weird grey areas at play here, Iâ€™m not sure that this is tenable by Apple â€“ but read their statement and Microsoftâ€™s statement here (The Verge).
7. Apple 27-inch iMac review (TechCrunch).
8. Intel investigating breach after 20GB of internal documents, source code, and data leak online (ZDNet).
9. Scientists have had to rename 27 human genes to stop Microsoft Excel from misreading them as dates. Superb! (The Verge).
10. Appreciate the miracle that is ice (LifeHacker).
11. Eli5: What makes a 64bit OS better than a 32bit, and how does it relate to a bit?Â The top answer is brilliant and simple (r/explainlikeimfive)