‘Hey Facebook,’ How About Not?

Illustration for article titled 'Hey Facebook,' How About Not?

Image: Facebook

Chances are you’re probably familiar with using a command like, “OK Google,” “Hey Siri,” or “Alexa” to summon a voice assistant. But now, the company that brought you pokes and likes—and who could forget fake news?— is trying to add, “Hey Facebook” to your rotation.

Facebook’s new vocal command officially rolled out today with the company’s announcement that it’s introducing “Hey Facebook” as an opt-in wake phrase on the Oculus Quest 2 to help deliver a more seamless hands-free VR experience.

However, as The Verge discovered, the “Hey Facebook” command can now also be used with Facebook’s Portal devices instead of the existing “Hey Portal” wake phrase to ask questions or perform functions like starting a video call.

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Now on a certain level, as we continue moving into this era of ambient computing where you don’t have to be sitting in front of a monitor and keyboard to actually use a computer, the addition of another wake phrase to everyday use shouldn’t come as a big surprise.

However, there’s something that just feels off about “Hey Facebook,” and after ruminating on it a bit, I think I’ve figured out why. The difference between “Hey Facebook” and other voice command triggers is that when you are directing a question to Siri or Alexa, you are directing your request to a specific entity, which in this case is an AI-powered digital assistant. And even though, “OK Google” would seem to be the same as “Hey Facebook,” Google has always made it clear that you are talking to the Google Assistant, not the company itself. (For what it’s worth, I still think the Google Assistant badly needs some kind of normal, human name.)

But with Facebook, there is no assistant or AI to speak. Facebook killed its previous assistant M, so with “Hey Facebook,” it feels like you are calling out to the faceless company that reminds people when your birthday is and keeps tabs on unspecified amounts of personal data. In the same fashion, “Hey Facebook” is also different from saying “Hey Portal,” which inherently refers to a specific device in your home. “Hey Facebook” just doesn’t feel the same.

So while saying “Hey Facebook” is extremely weird, that won’t stop Facebook from pushing its new wake phrase instead of alternatives like “Hey Portal” or even “Hey Oculus.” Facebook usually gets what it wants, even if it’s something no one else is on board with.

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Twitter Passes Stimulus Package for the Very Online

Illustration for article titled Twitter Passes Stimulus Package for the Very Online

Photo: Olivier Douliery/AFP (Getty Images)

Twitter is finally rolling out a way to get paid for tweeting that doesn’t involve putting a Venmo link in your bio, promoting a Patreon, or using the app to hunt for a rich spouse.

On Thursday, the company announced a new feature that could change the way the app functions entirely: Super Follows, which is essentially paid subscriptions for individual Twitter feeds. Users will now be able to paywall certain types of content away from others on Twitter with “Super Follows,” which allows them to charge more for various types of content. According to the Verge, that could include giving paid subscribers access to private tweet feeds, Twitter’s new newsletter feature, or profile badges. Another feature announced on Thursday, the ability for users to create and join groups called Communities, can also be paywalled. Both of these additions won’t be rolled out for a few months, and according to the Verge, it’s not clear how big a cut Twitter will take from the revenue.

This is a big shift in the way Twitter operates: a long-running and pretty tired joke on the site has been that “this site is free,” referring to none of its content directly costing any money whatsoever. The flip part of that equation is that monetizing a Twitter presence is impossible without referring fans somewhere else, even if that’s just to pay for access to a private Twitter feed. So this is sort of a big shift, in that it could reshape the incentives for users to participate in the site in the first place and allow Twitter to compete directly with crowdfunding app Patreon and similar payment tools on Facebook and YouTube.

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It’s also easy to see how this could open a Pandora’s Box of sorts for Twitter. It’s long struggled to rein in toxic communities like white supremacists, conspiracy theorists, and far-right trolls, all of whom could now potentially use the app as a way to make money. The addition of private feeds for subscribers could also let those so inclined hide stuff like harassment campaigns behind paywalls, where such content will be accessible to a smaller pool of paying followers unlikely to report it to the site’s moderators. (It’s already possible to do this via direct messages, locked accounts, and off-site coordination, but still.)

Similarly, the Communities feature sounds pretty close to Facebook Groups. Facebook pivoted from the news feed to an emphasis on Groups in 2019, which had disastrous consequences after said Groups were infested with death threats, harassment, and calls to violence.

Another thing Twitter hasn’t clarified is whether it will allow Super Follows for sexual content, a type of content which is only subject to a handful of restrictions elsewhere on the site (like not posting it in banner images or profile pictures.) Allowing it would put the site in direct competition with places like OnlyFans, though when Motherboard’s Samantha Cole asked Twitter whether or not it will allow users to pay for porn the company responded with a non-answer, claiming that it was “examining and rethinking the incentives of our service.”

The announcement has also set off a wave of am-I-kidding-or-aren’t-I speculation from reporters and other media types about whether or not their employers will allow them to charge for tweets. It’s not any kind of secret that journalists are among the most Twitter-addicted people on the planet and comprise a large percentage of the power users that dominate the app’s feed… and thus easy to see why this is an appealing fantasy for them.

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Suffice it to say that while anything that subsidizes, say, tech bloggers buying fancy aquariums is welcome, how big the reader appetite to fund 280-character insights is or how willing news organizations are to let staff run sidelines remains speculative at best.

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Twitter has recently rolled out countless features including Instagram Stories-esque Fleets; newsletters; and a Clubhouse-like audio chat tool. It acquired a screen-sharing app called Squad that could be of use if it decides to launch a streaming service, and an adtech firm called CrossInstall which could help fix its notoriously busted ad tools. This could all be related to a failed investor coup led by vampiric hedge fund Elliott Management last March demanding Twitter catch up to its far more profitable competition.

According to the Verge, Twitter said during a business presentation on Thursday that paid subscriptions and the Communities feature are marked as “what’s next” without putting forward a solid timeline for implementation. Per CNBC, Twitter told analysts and investors it hopes the new features will help it hit its goal of $7.5 billion in annual revenue by 2023, about double how much money it makes now.

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The 10 Best Deals of February 25, 2021

Gif: Juliana Clark

Thursday’s Best Deals | Kinja Deals

It’s February 25, and we at Kinja Deals are here to bring you the top 10 deals of the day. Make all-natural, cold-pressed juice with the Dash Compact Juicer. Protect your data with 1 Year of VPN Service. And stock up on Nanfu AA batteries.

If you’re still craving more deals, take a peek at Thursday’s best deals overall.

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We’ve all been there: Your controller is constantly reminding you to change the batteries, your remote stops working, or your kid needs juice for some toy. Why not think ahead now and resolve that issue by investing in some bulk batteries?

Big packs of standard, disposable batteries are handy just in case you need ‘em in a pinch. You don’t want to find out in the middle of a power outage that your flashlight is out of batteries, right? Grab a 48-pack of Nanfu AA Batteries for just $13 when you use promo code KINJANANFU at Amazon.

You can also get a 48-pack of AAA batteries, also Nanfu alkaline type, for just $12 when you enter the same code at checkout. The same code will also snag you a 20-pack of AAA batteries for $8 or a 4-pack of 9V batteries for $8.

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This deal was originally published by Elizabeth Lanier.

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ExpressVPN is one of the best-reviewed virtual private network (VPN) services around, called out as the top service by publications such as CNET, TechRadar, and Tom’s Guide. Whether you want a VPN for anonymizing your internet connection to evade potential snoopers, or want the ability to get around regional restrictions imposed by websites and content services, ExpressVPN is one of your best options.

Right now, you can snag a full year of ExpressVPN service for $100, which is 35% off the usual month-to-month price. ExpressVPN has more than 3,000 servers around the world to route your connection through, including servers in 160 locations across 94 different countries. You can use up to five simultaneous devices via ExpressVPN, too, and they keep no activity or connection logs. There’s a 30-day money back guarantee, too, in case it doesn’t meet your needs.

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This deal was originally published by Andrew Hayward. 

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Have you ever looked at your computer monitor and thought “I need this to be at least twice as large?” First of all, I fear what you are looking at that demands such high detail, but I respect it none the less. Here’s a pretty wild monitor deal if this is a relatable scenario: BuyDig is selling a whopping 43″ LG monitor for $647. That is bigger than my TV. The main draw here is its 4K, HDR 10 display, which will just show you everything you need to see. It’s also specifically built for multitasking with its customizable split screen settings, so it’s actually not a bad idea for folks who are working from home and need a lot of information in front of them at a time. It’s comically large, but not impractical.

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This deal was originally published by Giovanni Colantonio. 

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If you’re still holding true to eating better in 2021, that’s marvelous. You’re doing amazing, sweetie. Suppose you aren’t but want to try again, no worries. This Dash Compact Cold-Press Juicer is 25% off and here to make you healthier and happier. Dash makes quality, cute, and compact appliances you won’t be let down by.

Are you someone who hates pulp? Well, this cold-press power juicer is for you. It fully separates the juice from pulp to get all the tasty nutrients and none of the stringy remnants. There is also something satisfying about making your own juice, and this cold-press couldn’t make it easier. Just pick the fresh fruit you love, pop it in, and get a wonderful beverage will of vitamins and minerals. It can’t get much fresher than that. You can even make cashew and almond milk if you’re on the vegetarian/vegan side of things. This is accompanied by a recipe guide to help you mix it up. There’s also a cleaning brush and two measuring cups. You can put the cups in the dishwasher but best to use the brush to scrub out the actual juicer. This compact size means it won’t hog counter real estate, and this deal is only for the teal color.

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This will ship for free.

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This deal was originally published by Sheilah Villari.

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Recent iPhones beat their Android counterparts on processing power by a clear margin thanks to Apple’s own chips, and now the company is bringing the same kind of mentality to Macs with its new in-house M1 processors.

The first MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, and Mac Minis with M1 chips launched late last year and were lauded for their immense processing gains, surprising power savings and battery life boost, and limited issues running yet-to-be-updated software designed for Intel-powered Macs. Gizmodo reviewer Caitlin McGarry called the M1 Air “the best overall laptop I’ve ever used.”

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And now you can get your own, thanks to a sale on versions of all three Macs at Amazon. The compact desktop Mac Mini is $40 off the base 256GB configuration ($659) or $50 off the 512GB edition ($849). The base model is currently not set to ship until April, as of this writing, but that could change.

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Meanwhile, the Gold 256GB M1 MacBook Air is just $9 off at $990, but you’ll see larger savings with $59 off the Space Gray 512GB MacBook Air at $1,190.

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Last but not least, the Space Gray 256GB MacBook Pro is $80 off at $1,219 and the Silver 512GB edition is $100 off at $1,399.

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This deal was originally published by Andrew Hayward.

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If you didn’t already grab a ring light to improve your selfies, upgrade your TikToks, or even help with better lighting for makeup, now is the time. You can save 68% on this Vivitar 12″ Selfie Ring Light Kit today.

In this kit, you get the 12″ LED ring light, a sixty-three-inch adjustable tripod, two phone clips, a remote control, and a selfie shutter release remote. It also has a built-in USB port for charging your phone while you use the light. With three lighting modes, color temperature levels between 2700K-6500K, and 10 brightness levels, you can find just the right setting for your content.

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The phone clamp supports both vertically and horizontally shooting. It also works with a variety of smartphones. The light also works with most devices that support a USB port. The wireless controller lets you switch on the fill light directly and change modes and light levels. This is a really nice deal and a great starter set for anyone wanting to give their creative endeavors a boost. Remember, the #1 TikTok tip is well-lit videos do better all around.

If you’ve read a few of our pieces on SideDeal before and you like what you’ve seen, they offer a $5 monthly fee to get free shipping on all of your orders, no matter how many. Otherwise, it’s a flat rate of $8.

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This deal was originally published by Sheilah Villari. 

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JACHS is really one of those companies that wants everyone to look good. Each sale it runs exemplifies that. Right now, they are giving you up to 85% off all of their pants with no code needed. Most of the slacks are $39, which is about 61% off. But there are few rogue pairs of Twill pants for only $19. This sale includes their Chinos, Travelers, Canvas, Joggers, and Tech pants. There are sixty-two options currently available in various colors and fits, so you’re sure to find the pair that vibes with your style. Keep your resolution of elevating your fashion in 2021 and save lots of money while doing so.

Free standard shipping on all domestic orders over $100.

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This deal was originally published by Sheilah Villari. 

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This is the Dark Souls of board games. No, but seriously, it’s literally Dark Souls: The Board Game. This isn’t some cheeky cliché about a hard game. It’s a board game adaptation of Dark Souls and it’s $71. I am being real with you right now. This is an action-exploration game that you can either play solo or with up to four players. You’ll do all the things you’re used to doing in Dark Souls, like traversing dark halls, finding loot, and fighting monsters. The game uses a combination of tiles, cards, and miniatures to creatively bring the game’s exploration to your table. And yes, in case you’re wondering, it is hard as hell. It truly is the Dark Souls of board games, because it is Dark Souls: The Board Game.

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This deal was originally published by Giovanni Colantonio.

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This is one of those deals that’s really great but takes a bit of patience and finagling. Until March 6, take $3.50 off qualifying items with the code 939905. So I say this is difficult because so many brands are currently on sale or have pretty good discounts currently running. But after playing around, there are still quite a few items that this code will work with. You have to spend a minimum of $15. If you find something you love, grab it today because there’s free shipping with no minimum required.

A great option is Pixi’s Purifying Trio Kit. It looks like most Pixi products will vibe with the code. This trio is all about keeping your face as glowing as possible. In three easy steps, cleanse, exfoliate, and purify. Have a wintery shimmer and hydrated skin for the rest of the season with travel-friendly sizes of the Glow Mud Cleanser, Glow Tonic, and T-Zone Peel-Off Mask.

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2020 part deux stress is rolling on and calling for a moment of self-care; a bath bomb can certainly help you take a pause. I’ve had a few of these from da Bomb, and this one is hands down my favorite. It fizzes like fluffy pink cotton candy, smells awesome, and leaves your skin silky smooth. Oh, and you get a prize once it fully dissolves. There are thirty-two bombs to pick from, so definitely something for everyone, even kids.

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Animal Crossing’s makeup from ColourPop just landed recently at Ulta. There are still a few things left, like the 5 Star Island palette. This my favorite of the bunch and is my go-to from the original launch. It’s a 4-pan palette with rich hues of pink. You can actually use the semi-metallic yellow as a base and then blend a very vibrant peachy pink matte. You also get a uber sparkly and lush glitter pink and a hot pink matte sparkle too. There are a lot of girly and bold looks to be had here. Kind of an 80s aesthetic.

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This deal was originally published by Sheilah Villari. 

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If your muscles are just as stressed as you are, grab a TaoTronics massage gun. Down to $76 with a coupon clip and promo code KINJATT003S, you’ll have six gun attachments and 10 speed levels to really get into the deep tissue of your legs, shoulders, and wherever else you’ve got a little tension.

All told, it’s $54 off the list price right now when you clip the coupon and then pop in the code at checkout. It has a 4.9-star rating from 800+ reviews, too, so customers are loving the relief it brings.

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This deal was originally published by Ignacia Fulcher.


A Tech IPO? In This Economy?

Illustration for article titled A Tech IPO? In This Economy?

Photo: DOUG KANTER / Stringer (Getty Images)

Wall Street is abuzz with the news of two new tech IPO filings—called S-1s in the parlance —for crypto exchange Coinbase and cloud host Digitalocean. These two companies are doing solid business even during the pandemic. After all, what can people do when stuck at home but trade bitcoin and play with new websites?

But why these companies and why now?

Coinbase has been threatening to go public for almost a year now, starting last July when the company hinted at SEC filings that would make it one of the first decentralized financial companies to take part in a decidedly centralized process. “On July 9, 2020, Reuters reported that Coinbase was preparing to go public on the stock market sometime in the next several months, either in late 2020 or early 2021,” wrote Bitcoin Magazine last July. “The spokesperson for this announcement did so under complete anonymity, and with the proviso that the company as a whole would not comment officially on either this story or any rumors or speculation surrounding it.”

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Crypto fans aren’t worried about the IPO’s effect on prices, however. Given the archaic nature of the IPO in general, many believe it’s a way to settle more firmly in the financial firmament.

“I think they are trying to go listed to gather more public funds to liquidate their financial position,” said crypto trader and founder of Smartportfolio.io, Andrew Se. “And they are trying to do it while the market is good. I’m not sure if they can pass the audit requirements, though.”

Some crypto fans are excited about the legitimacy this brings to the space.

“Coinbase going public is a fantastic milestone for the crypto industry,” said Ouriel Ohayon, CEO of ZenGo. “It brings it to the forefront of bespoke retail and industry. It will, however, add an extra layer of complexity and compliance requirement to Coinbase, which will be X-rayed even more than before in a space already heavily monitored.”

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Others are excited about going to the moon. “Fees too high for me personally but they gonna make BANK. It’s a buy,” wrote Openedge_4gl on Reddit.

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The Digitalocean IPO is a bit more straightforward. Digitalocean is a cloud hosting company similar in part to Amazon’s AWS or Microsoft’s Azure. They are a smaller company by any measure, and the plan to go public takes them out of startupville and places them squarely alongside bigger players.

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“DigitalOcean intends to list its common stock under the ticker symbol ‘DOCN’ on the New York Stock Exchange. The number of shares to be offered and the price range for the proposed offering have not yet been determined. The offering is subject to market conditions, and there can be no assurance as to whether, or when, the offering may be completed or as to the actual size or terms of the offering,” the company wrote in its filing.

The goal is to raise $100 million for the company, which most recently raised $50 million at a $1.15 billion valuation.

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But the more interesting question is, why now? The pandemic has poured gasoline on the stock market—which, we need to remember, is not the economy—in the belief that future returns will be far greater once everything returns to somewhat normal. In normal situations, the stock market as well as a desire to take part in the stock market reflects current conditions. The dot-com boom and bust arose when internet startups came to power, and many of the worst bubbles appeared when investors felt a fear of missing out on the next big thing.

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More companies aren’t going for IPOs for a few reasons. First, there’s a sense that this isn’t the right time. With an overheated market full of retail (aka Robinhood) investors, your chances of seeing a sane market run-up are slimmer. The result could be a huge crash in stock price almost immediately —not something boring old Wall Street wants.

Further, a company like Coinbase is unique in that it is one of the few alternative finance companies to have the legal cover to go public. SEC guidelines are very onerous and the audits before IPO are strenuous. Coinbase itself is doing well by any measure, hitting a profit of $322 million on revenues of $1.2 billion in 2020. Digitalocean, with $300 million in revenue in 2020, is in the same realm although not as frothy as Coinbase.

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So the simple answer is that these IPO outliers are portents of what is to come as much as a reflection on current market conditions. In fact, 2020 was a massive year for IPOs, especially thanks to so-called SPACs or special purpose acquisition companies, which are essentially shells that go public in order to acquire a certain non-public company. Imagine a hermit crab that scuttles into an empty home and you get a general idea.

So yes, in this economy tech is going big on Wall Street. What that means for the retail investor is more boom and bust and, obviously, it means big payouts for already-wealthy C-level folks and investors. And, in the end, isn’t that what we’re all looking for?

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Don’t Do It, Samsung

The Samsung Galaxy Watch 3 smartwatch

Photo: Victoria Song/Gizmodo

Rumors that Samsung may potentially ditch Tizen, its proprietary OS for wearables, for Google’s Wear OS, have been flying lately. It’s a baffling idea, considering that Samsung smartwatches are the best Android-friendly smartwatches right now, and Wear OS is a stinking hot mess.

Case in point: 9to5Google reports that the “OK Google” or “Hey Google” phrases to trigger Google Assistant on Wear OS watches have been broken for months. Google also confirmed to The Verge that it was aware of this bug, which has been plaguing users since at least November 2020, and is working on a fix. While you can still use the Assistant by long-pressing buttons (which is actually my preferred method of bringing up Assistant on Wear OS), it’s telling that Google has known about the problem for this long and still hasn’t fixed the issue.

Wear OS has long been one of Google’s most neglected projects, but this is a new low. The main reason to pick a Wear OS watch over a Fitbit or Samsung smartwatch is native integration with Google Assistant and Google Pay. If you don’t care about quickly fixing one of the main selling points of your wearables platform, then I’m not sure I can confidently say Wear OS is going to be around for the long haul. And this isn’t the only instance. Back in October, even Google put Wear OS second by opting to release a YouTube Music app for the Apple Watch first. Worse yet, Google’s most recent updates to Wear OS were paltry at best, with slightly better app loading times and a weather tile as the marquee features.

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This was all Wear OS had to offer in 2020. Compare that to Samsung’s blockbuster year, in which it absolutely knocked it out of the park with the Galaxy Watch 3. Right now, the Galaxy Watch 3 is the only other flagship smartwatch that can go toe-to-toe with the Apple Watch on nearly every single feature. Of course, it’s not perfect. Some features like its FDA-cleared electrocardiogram app are currently only available for Samsung smartphone owners. However, there’s really no competition between the Galaxy Watch 3 and even the best of the best Wear OS watches I’ve tested.

To be fair, once upon a time Samsung did use Wear OS—then Android Wear—on its smartwatches. But in 2014, it made the switch to Tizen with the Gear 2 and Gear 2 Neo, probably for the same reasons nearly every other smartwatch maker besides Fossil at the time did: Google’s clunky UI, low adoption rate, and the outdated Qualcomm Snapdragon Wear 2100 chip.

So why, why would Samsung go back to a platform that has yet to get its shit together? I can think of a few reasons, but none of them are particularly good. For starters, Tizen doesn’t have a great ecosystem of third-party apps, and switching to Wear OS might open it up to more apps. But to be quite honest, Wear OS apps don’t get much developer love, even if there are more of them. For instance, Spotify for Wear OS is a glorified remote control, while Spotify for Tizen lets you use offline playlists. Google’s native Wear OS apps are OK at best, and frankly, it’s bizarre that the built-in Google Fit workout app is actually now split into several different versions. Google Fit, even with newer updates, is also not better than Samsung Health, and having both installed on your watch is again, tedious.

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The other reason I could see Samsung making the switch would be to bring the option of Google Assistant and Google Pay to Samsung watches. And that would be awesome, because Samsung Pay is more restrictive to use than Google Pay, and who the hell actually likes Bixby? But does Samsung need to go all-in on Wear OS to incorporate Assistant and Google Pay? Fitbit manages to have Google Assistant work on Fitbit OS, why not allow Samsung to do the same? (Granted, Fitbit likely has Assistant because Google now owns the company.)

There’s the distinct chance that a Samsung Wear OS watch would suck less than every other Wear OS watch. But that’s mostly because Samsung could use its proprietary Exynos SoC instead of relying on Qualcomm’s, which is doing the bare minimum. Also, while I’m sure Samsung’s rotating bezel navigation could be ported onto a Wear OS watch, it just wouldn’t be quite as good unless Google allowed Samsung to run a Wear OS skin (which is what Oppo did with its Wear OS watch). It’s telling that Wear OS was actually decent on the Oppo Watch because it didn’t look or function anything like Wear OS. And at that point, what even is the reason to switch from Tizen again?

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It’s clear that Google gets more out of Samsung using Wear OS than vice versa. Samsung bringing its smartwatch innovations to that platform would suddenly make it relevant again—provided that all of Samsung’s apps, including the ones that need FDA clearance, could seamlessly make the jump.

Except that wouldn’t make Wear OS as a whole good. For that to happen, other watchmakers would have to figure out how to make the best use of Wear OS. Google would have to actually update the damn platform consistently with actually good features, not incremental ones that are barely a blip on the radar. Qualcomm would have to figure out how to update its wearable SoC to current process technology and do it more than once every two years. And that’s if Google doesn’t decide to up-end the whole thing now that it owns Fitbit to make something else entirely.

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Android users—and not just the ones who use Samsung smartphones—deserve an excellent smartwatch. This just doesn’t seem like the best way to get one.

Google’s Live Caption Tool Is Now Available as a Hidden Feature in Chrome

Illustration for article titled Google's Live Caption Tool Is Now Available as a Hidden Feature in Chrome

Screenshot: Sam Rutherford

Live Captions is one of the most useful features on Android phones, allowing your mobile device to automatically transcribe any audio it’s currently playing. And now it seems Google is bringing Live Captions to Chrome, with the feature already available as a hidden option in the browser.

First noticed by Chrome Story, Live Caption can actually be activated now in Windows, macOS, and Chrome OS versions of Chrome 88. But if you want to try out Live Captions for yourself, you’ll need to manually enable it as it’s currently still listed as an experimental feature. To activate Live Captions, you can paste this command chrome://flags/#enable-accessibility-live-caption into Chrome’s search bar, and then search for Live Captions to see the toggle option.

Illustration for article titled Google's Live Caption Tool Is Now Available as a Hidden Feature in Chrome

Screenshot: Sam Rutherford

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Once you have Live Captions turned on, you’ll be asked to relaunch Chrome. From there, to get it working, all you need to do is browse over to a video or something like a podcast in Chrome, and a small bar should automatically pop up along the bottom of the browser displaying live captions.

That said, Live Captions is still an experimental feature and there are a few bugs. The first is that it doesn’t seem to work with YouTube at all (unless you are running Chrome Canary), though that’s not necessarily a huge deal as YouTube already offers automatic closed captions for many videos.

Live transcriptions works for both videos and pure audio sources like podcasts.

Live transcriptions works for both videos and pure audio sources like podcasts.
Screenshot: Sam Rutherford

Additionally, depending on the audio source, transcriptions may not automatically appear as you expect or might stop working if you pause a video, so you may have to restart the Live Captions feature by turning it on and off from Chrome’s Global Media Settings controls (the music note icon in the top right corner of Chrome). And on Chromebooks and other Chrome OS devices, Live Captions doesn’t seem to work for audio coming from Linux or Android apps either.

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Still, some bugs are to be expected for something that hasn’t been officially released yet, and even though in my experience the accuracy of Google’s Live Captions can be somewhat hit or miss, the feature is still a valuable upgrade for general accessibility.

Thursday’s Best Deals: 48-Pack Batteries, M1 MacBooks and Mac Mini, JACHS NY Pants, Cold-Press Juicer, Exfoliating Foot Peel, Dark Souls Board Game, and More

Jump to: Tech | Gaming | Home | Lifestyle | Media

We’ve all been there: Your controller is constantly reminding you to change the batteries, your remote stops working, or your kid needs juice for some toy. Why not think ahead now and resolve that issue by investing in some bulk batteries?

Big packs of standard, disposable batteries are handy just in case you need ‘em in a pinch. You don’t want to find out in the middle of a power outage that your flashlight is out of batteries, right? Grab a 48-pack of Nanfu AA Batteries for just $13 when you use promo code KINJANANFU at Amazon.

You can also get a 48-pack of AAA batteries, also Nanfu alkaline type, for just $12 when you enter the same code at checkout. The same code will also snag you a 20-pack of AAA batteries for $8 or a 4-pack of 9V batteries for $8.


Recent iPhones beat their Android counterparts on processing power by a clear margin thanks to Apple’s own chips, and now the company is bringing the same kind of mentality to Macs with its new in-house M1 processors.

The first MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, and Mac Minis with M1 chips launched late last year and were lauded for their immense processing gains, surprising power savings and battery life boost, and limited issues running yet-to-be-updated software designed for Intel-powered Macs. Gizmodo reviewer Caitlin McGarry called the M1 Air “the best overall laptop I’ve ever used.”

And now you can get your own, thanks to a sale on versions of all three Macs at Amazon. The compact desktop Mac Mini is $40 off the base 256GB configuration ($659) or $50 off the 512GB edition ($849). The base model is currently not set to ship until April, as of this writing, but that could change.

Meanwhile, the Gold 256GB M1 MacBook Air is just $9 off at $990, but you’ll see larger savings with $59 off the Space Gray 512GB MacBook Air at $1,190.

Last but not least, the Space Gray 256GB MacBook Pro is $80 off at $1,219 and the Silver 512GB edition is $100 off at $1,399.


Have you ever looked at your computer monitor and thought “I need this to be at least twice as large?” First of all, I fear what you are looking at that demands such high detail, but I respect it none the less. Here’s a pretty wild monitor deal if this is a relatable scenario: BuyDig is selling a whopping 43″ LG monitor for $647. That is bigger than my TV. The main draw here is its 4K, HDR 10 display, which will just show you everything you need to see. It’s also specifically built for multitasking with its customizable split screen settings, so it’s actually not a bad idea for folks who are working from home and need a lot of information in front of them at a time. It’s comically large, but not impractical.


Are you the friend constantly asking if anyone has a charger? Or pre-pandemic, were you asking bartenders if you could plug your phone in somewhere? The second option is probably not on the table now, so what better way to solve the problem than by grabbing this Aukey Wireless Power Bank.

The 10,000mAh capacity version is just $28 when you clip the coupon on the page, or you can double up to a meaty 20,000mAh for $36 when you clip the coupon and input promo code HEA8GOI6 at checkout.

I’ve had Aukey products before and really like them. I personally like to have a portable charger with me at all times. I’m not too fond of seeing the battery level go to red, not knowing where or when I can charge it next. This power bank shines with its foldable stand, which allows for hands-free phone viewing while it charges, which it can do cable-free thanks to the built-in Qi wireless functionality. But you can also plug in devices via the USB-A and USB-C ports.

This will ship for free for Prime members.


If you didn’t already grab a ring light to improve your selfies, upgrade your TikToks, or even help with better lighting for makeup, now is the time. You can save 68% on this Vivitar 12″ Selfie Ring Light Kit today.

In this kit, you get the 12″ LED ring light, a sixty-three-inch adjustable tripod, two phone clips, a remote control, and a selfie shutter release remote. It also has a built-in USB port for charging your phone while you use the light. With three lighting modes, color temperature levels between 2700K-6500K, and 10 brightness levels, you can find just the right setting for your content.

The phone clamp supports both vertically and horizontally shooting. It also works with a variety of smartphones. The light also works with most devices that support a USB port. The wireless controller lets you switch on the fill light directly and change modes and light levels. This is a really nice deal and a great starter set for anyone wanting to give their creative endeavors a boost. Remember, the #1 TikTok tip is well-lit videos do better all around.

If you’ve read a few of our pieces on SideDeal before and you like what you’ve seen, they offer a $5 monthly fee to get free shipping on all of your orders, no matter how many. Otherwise, it’s a flat rate of $8.


If you’re spending a lot of time on the road these days, whether it’s a commute or simply an escape from the (necessary, but punishing) tedium of being stuck at home during the pandemic, then it might be handy to bring a car charger along for the ride.

Aukey’s compact 30W car charger plugs right into your lighter port, adding a pair of USB-C ports to deliver power to smartphones, tablets, and even some laptops. It’ll work just fine with iPhones and Android phones alike, which is great for keeping your phone charged while putting it to work for turn-by-turn directions, music, and more.

It’s marked down to just under $12 right now at Amazon when you clip the coupon and use the Kinja Deals exclusive promo code XKOX3X38 at checkout.


Are you the friend constantly asking if anyone has a charger? Or pre-pandemic, were you asking bartenders if you could plug your phone in somewhere? The second option is probably not on the table now, so what better way to solve the problem than by grabbing these two Power Banks for $18.

I’ve had Mophie products before and really like them. This two-pack is of great value, so whether it’s you who needs these or a friend, no one should be without power again. I personally like to have one at all times, so having two means I can swap out each day. Have one charging while the other is out and about with me. These have the option to be wireless, so no worries if you left your chord at home. You can still charge up with a lightning cable via the USB-C port. You’ll get up to forty-eight hours of extra power while you’re on the go. You can juice up a phone and/or a tablet or wireless headphones simultaneously if need be. This pack comes with two guide books, so the recipient won’t be without a manual if you are gifting one.

If you’ve read a few of our pieces on SideDeal before and you like what you’ve seen, they offer a $5 monthly fee to get free shipping on all of your orders, no matter how many. Otherwise, it’s a flat rate of $8.


ExpressVPN is one of the best-reviewed virtual private network (VPN) services around, called out as the top service by publications such as CNET, TechRadar, and Tom’s Guide. Whether you want a VPN for anonymizing your internet connection to evade potential snoopers, or want the ability to get around regional restrictions imposed by websites and content services, ExpressVPN is one of your best options.

Right now, you can snag a full year of ExpressVPN service for $100, which is 35% off the usual month-to-month price. ExpressVPN has more than 3,000 servers around the world to route your connection through, including servers in 160 locations across 94 different countries. You can use up to five simultaneous devices via ExpressVPN, too, and they keep no activity or connection logs. There’s a 30-day money back guarantee, too, in case it doesn’t meet your needs.


Charge your phone and your MacBook too. This 65W PD block from RAVPower is half the size of Apple’s boxy MacBook Pro adapter and for a fraction of the price. At $30 with our exclusive promo code KJ99FHNOW5 and the on-site coupon, you can’t beat this two-port USB-C plug.

Plus, the price difference is substantial. A 61W charger from Apple is $69, a difference of 57%. Save your $39 for the apocalypse, not an inferior power supply. And hook your phone up to a source that’s both portable and powerful, with this special limited time offer. It’ll also work with other phones, tablets, and laptops, not to mention the Nintendo Switch.


Bring home the convenience of wireless charging at a bargain price thanks to this discounted two-pack of Yootech wireless charging stands. They’ll charge any Qi-compatible phones, including recent iPhones and top Androids from Samsung, Google, and more at a max speed of 10W. Better yet, they’ll do it while keeping your phone screen upright and visible, which is ideal when charging while working at your desk.

Yootech’s chargers are very well-reviewed on Amazon, with a 4.6-star rating from 16,900+ customer appraisals, and right now you can snag a two-pack of these wireless charging stands for just $22 when you clip the coupon on the page. They come with the USB A-to-C cables, but not the power bricks—but you may already have some of those kicking around.


True wireless earbuds aren’t a necessity, but their convenience can’t be disputed. If you’re eyeing a good pair of buds, but need something that’s more Android-friendly than Apple’s AirPods or more affordable than Jabra’s Elite 85t, Samsung’s Galaxy Buds+ are down to $110 on Amazon right now.

These noise-cancelling headphones feature up to 25 hours of battery life, support for Google Assistant, Siri, and Amazon Alexa, and customizable fit. In her review of the Galaxy Buds+ last February, Gizmodo’s Caitlin McGarry commended the earbuds for their solid sound quality, long battery life, and price point. It’s worth noting, though, that the model on sale does not include the wireless charging case.


 

Google’s Chromebook laptops are a sensation: they’re super affordable while still highly functional, and it’s possible to get a convertible 2-in-1 device at a surprisingly low price. Here’s a prime example: right now, Samsung’s Chromebook Plus V2 is just $350 at Amazon, a savings of $150 off the list price.

This Chrome OS-powered notebook has a Full HD 12.2” touch display and folds inside-out to take on a tablet-like form. On top of that, there’s a built-in stylus pen that you can pop out and use for sketching, taking notes, and more. This is a super-handy entry-level laptop with perks, and can be great for personal use or even the kids’ e-learning needs. Grab this bargain while it lasts!

With Borderlands Legendary Collection, XCOM 2, BioShock: The Collection, and Xenoblade Chronicles: Definitive Edition now on Switch, you’re going to need a bigger SD card. But oftentimes more storage means more money—more money most of us don’t have in the midst of a global pandemic. At the very least, SanDisk’s officially Nintendo-licensed 128GB microSD card is only $25 over on Amazon.

If you don’t give a shit about Mario, first off how dare you, and second, SanDisk’s higher capacity 256GB microSD card features the same read and write speeds for $8 more, albeit without the cute lil Super Mushroom doodle on the front. If that’s a sacrifice you’re willing to make for double the storage, here ya go bud.


So, you know how friends are always like “oh my god, we should play Dungeons & Dragons,” only to realize that none of their buds know how to DM a game? You end up with this big stand off with no one wanting to learn how to do it, but everyone wanting to play regardless. If that scenario sounds familiar, it might be time to pick up this D&D Dungeon Master’s Guide for $25. This book is part of the holy trinity of D&D handbooks and will tell you everything you need to know about running a game. I won’t reveal the secrets contained within … because I have no idea how to DM and should probably pick this up myself. Or I should make my friends do it. Yeah, let’s go with that one.


I love innovation, especially when it comes to video game consoles. We’re used to buying a box, plopping it down in our home, and having that be that. But I’m all about the add-ons that find clever ways to augment your system in useful ways. This Nintendo Switch charging stand, which is just $18 at Walmart, is exactly what I love to see. This simple little peripheral let’s you play your Switch in tabletop mode while charging it. Considering the the Switch’s battery life is pretty paltry, this is a fantastic little invention for players who prefer to use their Switch in handheld mode. The stand is adjustable too, so you can lean your Switch back at the angle of your choice. Even if you don’t want to use the charging component, it’s a great stand that makes the system’s built-in kickstand look like a punk.


This is the Dark Souls of board games. No, but seriously, it’s literally Dark Souls: The Board Game. This isn’t some cheeky cliché about a hard game. It’s a board game adaptation of Dark Souls and it’s $71. I am being real with you right now. This is an action-exploration game that you can either play solo or with up to four players. You’ll do all the things you’re used to doing in Dark Souls, like traversing dark halls, finding loot, and fighting monsters. The game uses a combination of tiles, cards, and miniatures to creatively bring the game’s exploration to your table. And yes, in case you’re wondering, it is hard as hell. It truly is the Dark Souls of board games, because it is Dark Souls: The Board Game.


Another month is upon us, because February is frankly rude. March is coming, which means that Spring will be here. We’re still not going anywhere though, so it’s time to play more video games whether you want to or not. Luckily, Prime Gaming is here to help. This month, Amazon’s gaming service is offering a whole batch of goodies, including free games and bonus drops in titles like Apex Legends, Star Wars: Squadrons, Smite, and much more. Subscribers can also grab an MVP bundle in Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout right now that includes a new skin and three crowns.

Of course, the main attraction is always free games. Players can get five free games starting on March 1, headlined by the indie Metroidvania and cult hit Blasphemous. In addition to that highlight, players can add SkyDrift, Tengami, Boomerang Fu, and Bomber Crew Deluxe to their library. March is also your last chance to get over 20 classic SNK games including The King of Fighters 2000 and Metal Slug 2. If you haven’t claimed those yet, get on it.

There’s tons more drops where that came from, so those who are curious can grab a grab a 30-day Prime trial today and see what all the fuss is about. At the very least, it’s worth checking out so you can grab a whole bunch of free games at once while you test out the free trial.


Deep breaths, deep breaths. Yakuza: Like a Dragon is down to $26 on Xbox and $38 on PS4 at Amazon, which is a very low price considering it came out in November. When I bought the game, it was still full price, and the drops only started a few days after that. Isn’t that funny? I figured, “There’s no way it’ll get discounted this early.” And then it went down to $50! Great, I love that for everyone that is not me! Lo and behold, I’ve woken up today and here we are at $26. Extremely cool and I’m happy for everyone who had the foresight to wait a few months. Anyway, Like a Dragon is the latest in the Yakuza series, which just seems to get increasingly weirder as time goes on. The biggest change this time around is a pivot to turn-combat, a departure for the series. You can also do a bunch of wacky and mundane side-missions like can collecting and go karting and that’s really the selling point here, frankly.


Cloud gaming doesn’t look like it’s going away any time soon. Google Stadia just celebrated its one-year anniversary by making Destiny 2 free to play (though it also just dismantled its original game development team), Amazon recently threw its hat in the ring with Luna, and Microsoft’s own cloud service is coming to iOS next year. Whether or not cloud gaming is the future of gaming, it’s certainly going to become more available in 2021. If you’re looking to dip your toe in, you’re going to want a proper controller setup. Razer currently has the best solution out there with the Kishi, a gamepad attachment that essentially turns your phone into a handheld system. You can currently grab a Kishi for $58 at Amazon and try for yourself. This version is compatible with Android devices, and is designed with Microsoft’s cloud gaming service in mind. and features a Type-C port and button layout that mirrors the Xbox controller’s.


I’ll be honest: I don’t know much about Shenmue. All I know if that it’s kind of cheesy. I’m not even sure if the love for it is ironic or not. The one thing I do know is that it has a scene about looking for sailors and it’s iconic. So, maybe 2021 is the year to play Shenmue? I mean, not a lot else going on, I guess, right? Why not play all three Shenmue games? If you’re looking to join me on this arbitrary journey I just decided on in this 7:30 a.m. haze, Shenmue III is on sale for $10 on Best Buy right now. It includes a steelbook case for the game, so you can just become a Shenmue super fan right out the gate. I just hope there are sailors in the game. I would be sad if he never found the sailors.


If you’re a big fan of catching ‘em all, then here’s a more affordable way to complete your collection on Switch. Right now, a few Pokémon games are marked down $15 apiece.

Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Rescue Team DX, a Switch remake of a Game Boy Advance dungeon-crawling spinoff, is $45 at Best Buy or Amazon, while Pokémon-meets-Tekken fighting game mash-up Pokkén Tournament DX is likewise $45 at either Amazon or Best Buy. Meanwhile, Pokémon: Let’s Go, Pikachu! and Pokémon: Let’s Go, Eevee!, both remakes of the original Pokémon handheld game, are each $45 at Best Buy.

If you’re still holding true to eating better in 2021, that’s marvelous. You’re doing amazing, sweetie. Suppose you aren’t but want to try again, no worries. This Dash Compact Cold-Press Juicer is 25% off and here to make you healthier and happier. Dash makes quality, cute, and compact appliances you won’t be let down by.

Are you someone who hates pulp? Well, this cold-press power juicer is for you. It fully separates the juice from pulp to get all the tasty nutrients and none of the stringy remnants. There is also something satisfying about making your own juice, and this cold-press couldn’t make it easier. Just pick the fresh fruit you love, pop it in, and get a wonderful beverage will of vitamins and minerals. It can’t get much fresher than that. You can even make cashew and almond milk if you’re on the vegetarian/vegan side of things. This is accompanied by a recipe guide to help you mix it up. There’s also a cleaning brush and two measuring cups. You can put the cups in the dishwasher but best to use the brush to scrub out the actual juicer. This compact size means it won’t hog counter real estate, and this deal is only for the teal color.


Real ones know the utter boost of energy you’ll get with just one cup of Café Bustelo. Especially my fellow Latinos who have been drinking coffee since we were toddlers. If you’ve moved on from making pots of coffee, you’re in luck because a 48-count of Café Bustelo K-Cup Pods are only $20 at Bed, Bath, & Beyond. At this price, the box would be about 33% off its original list price. Maybe if you drink a cup it’ll bring back memories, who knows?


There’s a good chance that your house’s floors have seen a bit more gunk after nearly a year of quarantine. It’s an unfortunate side effect of spending more time walking all over the place, but it’s not entirely hopeless. With the right broom or vacuum, you can get your floors looking spiffy again in no time. They’re not the cheapest option, but robovacs will provide the most low-effort experience if you’re not too keen on spending your Saturdays gathering all the crumbs, or you have other priorities.

Right now, eufy’s BoostIQ RoboVac 30C is down to $180 at Amazon when you clip the coupon and use code eufyHome1 at checkout. It can connect to Alexa or Google Assistant, and its battery should last up to 100 minutes according to eufy. This is $70 off the usual price we’ve seen lately and $120 off the list price.


If your New Year’s resolution was to maintain a cleaner home, there’s still time to get on track. Start with purchasing a robot vacuum, specifically the iRobot Roomba i6+ while it’s on sale for a 31% discount in Amazon’s limited-time Gold Box sale. While it didn’t make the cut in our roundup of the best robot vacuums of 2021, its budget-friendly sibling—the Roomba i3+—did, and was featured in Gizmodo’s Coolest Gadgets of 2020 end-of-year buyer’s guide.

Unlike the i3+, the i6+ brings the same smart mapping functionality boasted by its higher-end counterparts, allowing the device to learn the layout of your home and schedule cleanings accordingly by room. This is the most affordable Roomba option for anyone buying a robot vacuum for its technological autonomy. It also features automatic dust disposal, dumping its findings into a bin connected to the charging station so you don’t have to empty it as often.

Because it’s compatible with both Google Assistant and Alexa, you can command the iRobot Roomba i6+ with your voice to tell it things like “vacuum immediately, minion!” to which it will respond by begrudgingly following orders and eliminating all the cat and dog hair from your house or apartment floors using a high-efficiency filter. In fact, you can add Amazon’s new Echo Dot smart speaker to your purchase for just $10 more right now. Double bargain!

It’s also compatible with the Braava Jet M6 which, when paired, mops your floors after the Roomba goes over it with a quick sweep. Never subject yourself to cleaning floors again, and instead focus on all the other horrors of life, or just sit down and play a darn video game because you deserve a break every now and then.


Looking to keep a watchful eye on your house? Amazon currently has an excellent deal on Eufy’s 2K indoor security camera, which is just $30 after applying a coupon. You’re getting a lot of features for that low price. This camera uses AI that will automatically notify you when there’s excessive noise happening in your house. It’ll also start recording as soon as movement happens and send you a notification. There’s two-way audio built into it, so you can talk to whoever is on the other end of the camera. That means that it’s not just good for general security, but for childcare as well. That’s only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to what this camera can do. Add in night vision, customization options, pet detection and more and you’ve got a robust security solution that’ll keep your home safe.


As much of the US is blanketed in snow, warmer weather may seem years away. A quintessential part of sunny temperate skies is the summer cookout. If you just can’t wait, bring the experience indoors with Power XL’s Smokeless Grill, now 33% off.

Don’t worry about lugging around propane or chiseling burnt bits any longer. This smokeless grill has a non-stick surface for all your favorites to make mouthwatering with little to no mess. They even designed this grill with the classic cross-hatch “X” marks so each delicious item looks fresh from an authentic barbeque. This also helps distribute the heat evenly and ensures thorough cooking each use. This countertop grill was also designed to keep smoky air to a minimum, so no fear of making your home smell like Famous Dave’s. Keep all the BBQ flavor for your meats and veggies without overheating it or the room. The LED panel is easy to read and control. The removable plate makes clean up effortless. You can even pop it in the dishwasher. Get high heat within seconds of firing this up and bring that authentic char-grilled taste to every meal. This also comes with a sixty-day warranty.

This will ship for free.


Like a great many other products, Amazon has gotten into the business of making and selling its own dog food called Wag. It’s well-reviewed by customers and nutritional analysis suggests that it’s well balanced for health, with a lean protein as the first ingredient and no major red flags throughout the rest of the list.

If your dog already digs Wag or you’re looking to trial a new dog food, you can save 40% right now on an array of varieties and sizes, as well as Wag’s jerky treats and dental chews. Compare it to what you’re feeding your pup right now: it might be cheaper and/or healthier, and you can do a Subscribe & Save order to have it delivered regularly with an added discount.


It’s the season for your car’s battery to randomly die because of the cold weather. It’s ok, and it’s absolutely normal, but you should be prepared! This HULKMAN 20,000mAh Jump Starter may be your best bet. Formatted with a large digital screen, you’ll be able to tell when your car battery is 100% charged. This charger can power up huge, 10L diesel trucks with 2000 amps. And after one hour of charge in any kind of outlet, you’ll get multiple boosts. I don’t know you guys, it sounds like a dream. Get it before its gone!

If your muscles are just as stressed as you are, grab a TaoTronics massage gun. Down to $76 with a coupon clip and promo code KINJATT003S, you’ll have six gun attachments and 10 speed levels to really get into the deep tissue of your legs, shoulders, and wherever else you’ve got a little tension.

All told, it’s $54 off the list price right now when you clip the coupon and then pop in the code at checkout. It has a 4.9-star rating from 800+ reviews, too, so customers are loving the relief it brings.


This is one of those deals that’s really great but takes a bit of patience and finagling. Until March 6, take $3.50 off qualifying items with the code 939905. So I say this is difficult because so many brands are currently on sale or have pretty good discounts currently running. But after playing around, there are still quite a few items that this code will work with. You have to spend a minimum of $15. If you find something you love, grab it today because there’s free shipping with no minimum required.

A great option is Pixi’s Purifying Trio Kit. It looks like most Pixi products will vibe with the code. This trio is all about keeping your face as glowing as possible. In three easy steps, cleanse, exfoliate, and purify. Have a wintery shimmer and hydrated skin for the rest of the season with travel-friendly sizes of the Glow Mud Cleanser, Glow Tonic, and T-Zone Peel-Off Mask.

2020 part deux stress is rolling on and calling for a moment of self-care; a bath bomb can certainly help you take a pause. I’ve had a few of these from da Bomb, and this one is hands down my favorite. It fizzes like fluffy pink cotton candy, smells awesome, and leaves your skin silky smooth. Oh, and you get a prize once it fully dissolves. There are thirty-two bombs to pick from, so definitely something for everyone, even kids.

Animal Crossing’s makeup from ColourPop just landed recently at Ulta. There are still a few things left, like the 5 Star Island palette. This my favorite of the bunch and is my go-to from the original launch. It’s a 4-pan palette with rich hues of pink. You can actually use the semi-metallic yellow as a base and then blend a very vibrant peachy pink matte. You also get a uber sparkly and lush glitter pink and a hot pink matte sparkle too. There are a lot of girly and bold looks to be had here. Kind of an 80s aesthetic.


JACHS is really one of those companies that wants everyone to look good. Each sale it runs exemplifies that. Right now, they are giving you up to 85% off all of their pants with no code needed. Most of the slacks are $39, which is about 61% off. But there are few rogue pairs of Twill pants for only $19. This sale includes their Chinos, Travelers, Canvas, Joggers, and Tech pants. There are sixty-two options currently available in various colors and fits, so you’re sure to find the pair that vibes with your style. Keep your resolution of elevating your fashion in 2021 and save lots of money while doing so.

Free standard shipping on all domestic orders over $100.


For those who haven’t seen the inside of a nail salon since last year, I have a solution for you—Baby Foot Exfoliating Foot Peel. Only $20 at Ulta, it’s about $5 off its original list price of $25. I know it seems like a nothing discount, but this beauty product rarely goes on sale, so if you want to save yourself a Lincoln, now is the best time to do so. I tested this product back in November and published a full-length review. Here’s a tiny excerpt:

I decided on Baby Foot. It’s a Japanese beauty product designed to slowly peel dead skin from your feet over the span of five to eight days. Sure, I’ve seen the videos of people’s experiences, but I honestly thought it wouldn’t be that dramatic, and right after, they would go back to being ashy as hell.

When you first open the package you’ll get two plastic booties filled with serum—specifically a blend of fruit acid extracts that include camomile, lemon, and grapefruit. The goal is to let these ingredients naturally break through barriers of dry, dead skin and exfoliate, which will, in time, peel layers upon layers to reveal soft-ass feet!

Grab it before it goes up in price!


Valentine’s Day has come and gone. If you aren’t betrothed, we feel ya. 2020 was a rough year for romance. Our pals at Ella Paradis want you to remain strong and love yourself. So stop messaging that baddie from your past. Better Love’s Don’t Text Your Ex vibe is pretty, powerful, and worth every penny, just like you. This price will hold until the end of the week. No code needed.

This heart-shaped toy is 80% off to celebrate a month of self-love. Engage in some good old-fashioned positive vibes with zero regrets. You can’t make calls if your hands are busy, and Better Love is very good at making sure our hands are full. Take the time to make sure your needs are met and it’s consistent and reliable attention. Expect about an hour of playtime, but it’s easy to charge up and approve watersports. There’s ten vibes mode, and it’s user-friendly. Games are played on your terms, you’re totally in control, and you’re never disappointed.


At least until everyone is able to get the vaccine, life is pretty bleak right now. So I wouldn’t blame you for indulging in some much-need legal cannabis. Hell, I know I am. Whether you’re a first-time or a long-time consumer, Sunday Scaries’ Side Piece bundle is a great place to start. Starting at just $50 for a subscription, or $69 for a one-time purchase, using our exclusive promo code KINJA25, you can finally fetch the chill time you’ve been hankering for. Chill out on the couch with a good book, watch old episodes of The Simpsons on Disney+, or hell, try yoga for the first time—without the doom and gloom of the world weighing you down.

The Side Piece bundle comes with a bottle of the company’s signature CBD gummies and an oil tincture to sweeten the deal. Mix the latter into your coffee or tea, with a little whole milk or butter to help it dissolve. Sunday Scaries is the de-facto CBD brand in my opinion, and I’m sure a decent chunk of its 158,000 Instagram followers would be inclined to agree. Whereas many unsafe substances will make you feel groggy in the morning, CBD is more of a supplement than a vice, helping a lot of users mitigate their anxiety without killing their motivation to stay active.

I know I’ve had some distressing mental health episodes where cannabinoids came in clutch. Maybe it’s a placebo effect, or maybe there’s something to it. LDN CBD’s Aaron Horn seems to think so, courtesy of The Guardian:

CBD will change culture. People are less interested in drinking in bars getting really drunk, feeling like shit the next day, letting their body down, having issues with their body because of that. The shift is happening: more people are interested in eating healthier, living healthier, and this is part of that.


Work out while running errands, walking the dog, and even doing chores around the house with today’s fitness deal: a ZELUS 20 lb. weighted vest.

You could also, you know, use it to add extra resistance to your workout like it’s intended. It even has a handy pocket for holding your phone or money for when you eventually stop for (hopefully takeaway— still a pandemic, ya’ll) coffee.

You can grab it for $45 when you apply promo code 68XIFTLQ at checkout.

If 20lbs. is too much for you, there are lighter options. Unfortunately, to promo code won’t work on them, just to save you some time from trying. If you can handle the twenty-pounder though, today’s your lucky day!


Huckberry is at it again, and while it might not include white Vans, the multifaceted outdoor gear-slash-clothing-slash-home decor-slash kitchenware-slash [insert product category here] retailer is kicking off its annual winter sale with a bang. In it, you can find best-sellers like the Proof Rover highlander jacket, Dolomite boots, a Wellen vintage tie-dye pullover, Proof Nomad pants, and so much more. Losing track of time? Who isn’t. The (Coca-)Cola tinged HB x Timex Sport watch is over $60 off. Need a throw blanket to keep you warm at night? There’s a nap for that.

At my own request, I got a few things from Huckberry over the holidays, including a Flint and Tinder American Made flannel I’m wearing right now. While that particular shirt isn’t on sale, plenty of Flint and Tinder items are on sale, and I can vouch for their comfort. If you’ve been looking to refresh your wardrobe for the extended winter, as predicted by our good friend Punxsutawney Phil, this is one sale you don’t want to miss. In a world where high-quality apparel from retailers like Huckberry is vastly overshadowed by the rapidly decaying products of fast fashion, it’s important to take advantage of limited-time discounts that make shopping for that fresh fit a little more affordable than the typical intimidating list prices.

I love a video game art book. Getting to see concept art from games I love in a big coffee table book is always a delight. Whether it’s character models, scenery, or general asset designs, I just find game art books somewhat soothing to flip through. The opposite is probably true for The Art of Doom Eternal, which is $24 on Amazon right now. I imagine this 192-page book is full of blood and demons, which kicks ass. I personally think it would be the funniest book you could leave out on your coffee table for friends to nose through. It will either make you look like an absolute badass or a total weirdo. That’s a gamble I’m personally willing to take.


In 2020, my New Year’s resolution was to only refer to the Joker as “The J-Man” whenever I talked about him. I figured it wouldn’t be that hard. How much does one talk about The Joker in a given year? Then the film Joker got nominated for 11 Oscars including Best Picture and my life was ruined for 12 months. It probably wasn’t the worst thing abut 2020, but it was certainly a low point. Anyway, if you love The J-Man as much as I hate him, Comixology is currently holding a giant sale on digital comics featuring the iconic Batman villain. Naturally, that includes some of the most memorable (for better or worse) Batman comics out there like A Death in the Family and The Killing Joke. You can grab Batman: The Dark Knight Returns – 30th Anniversary Edition for $7 too, which is a highlight. It’s the Joker, baby! He’s twisted! He’s damaged! He’s an evil clown! People like him! Okay!


Look, there are few things that we all agree on. Political tensions are higher than ever and it’s no exaggeration to say that we’re a divided nation. In a time when we are on the brink of civil war, we need something that can bring us together. And that something is Kirby. Yes, the iconic pink … whatever he is. You know him. You love him. You can show your undying affection for the adorable flesh balloon by grabbing Kirby: Art and Style Collection, a whole coffee table book of cute Kirby art, for just $18. This honestly might be the only thing that can save us from total national collapse. Either that, or it’ll make your coffee table cuter.

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Whether you’re looking to make the jump from another platform, or just upgrade your aging gadget, now’s not a bad time to grab a new smartphone. Between Apple’s relatively-new iPhone 12 lineup and Samsung’s new Galaxy S21 lineup, there’s plenty of options to choose from.

If you’re eager to grab one of Samsung’s new phones, they’re all on sale over at Amazon this week. The Galaxy S21, which typically retails for $800 for the 128GB model, is $100 off. It features a 6.2″ display with a resolution of 2,400 x 1,080 and a 120Hz refresh rate. That’s a pretty good deal, but you can also get 256GB model for the same price, but there’s a bit of a delay in shipping.

Meanwhile, the Galaxy S21+ is down from $1,000 to $800 for the 128GB model. That phone features a 6.7″ display and the same resolution and refresh rate as the S21. Both have 8GB of RAM as well as Qualcomm’s latest Snapdragon 888 processor and 5G radio support. On the back, both phones have a three-camera setup featuring a 12-megapixel wide-angle lens, a 12-megapixel ultrawide lens, and a 64-megapixel telephoto lens. As with the standard S21, the S21+’s 256GB model is down to the same price, $800, though there’s a longer delay in shipping there, as well.

On the higher end lies the Galaxy S21 Ultra, which is down from $1,200 to $1,000 for the 128GB model. For your money, you’ll get a 6.8″ 3,200 x 1,440 OLED display with a refresh rate of 120Hz, 12GB of RAM, up to 512GB of storage, and a 5,000mAh battery. The Ultra packs four lenses into its camera module, including a 108-megapixel lens, two 10-megapixel telephoto lenses (with 3x and 10x zooms), and a 12-megapixel ultrawide lens.


Thanks to quarantine, lots of us have picked up new hobbies. For me, it’s been leaning into my doodling, catching up on my game queue, and honing my green thumb. For others, it’s been photography. A decent smartphone will do the trick, but when you’re ready to step things up, you’ll want a good mirrorless camera.

The Sony a7 III, ranked tops overall in our roundup of the best digital cameras, is $300 off today at Amazon. At $1,698 even with that discount, you’re paying a hefty price, but for your money you’re getting a 24.2MP sensor, impressive autofocus, reliable battery life, and a wide array of attachable lenses to suit whatever your needs may be.


If you’re running out of space on your Nintendo Switch or have another microSD-supporting device that’s increasingly tight on storage, here’s a bargain for you. Right now, Amazon is offering this meaty 400GB SanDisk Ultra microSDXC memory card for a mere $45.

That’s a huge chunk of storage for a smartphone, camera, or Switch, and is a few bucks lower than this card has been hovering at lately. Not bad for a card that launched at $250 a couple years back!


Apple’s New M1-Powered Mac Mini and MacBooks Are All on Sale, Up to $100 off

Best Tech DealsBest Tech DealsThe best tech deals from around the web, updated daily.

Apple Mac Mini (M1, 256GB) | $659 | Amazon
Apple Mac Mini (M1, 512GB) | $849 | Amazon
Apple MacBook Air (M1, 256GB) | $990 | Amazon
Apple MacBook Air (M1, 512GB) | $1,190 | Amazon
Apple MacBook Pro (M1, 256GB) | $1,219 | Amazon
Apple MacBook Pro (M1, 512GB) | $1,399 | Amazon

Recent iPhones beat their Android counterparts on processing power by a clear margin thanks to Apple’s own chips, and now the company is bringing the same kind of mentality to Macs with its new in-house M1 processors.

The first MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, and Mac Minis with M1 chips launched late last year and were lauded for their immense processing gains, surprising power savings and battery life boost, and limited issues running yet-to-be-updated software designed for Intel-powered Macs. Gizmodo reviewer Caitlin McGarry called the M1 Air “the best overall laptop I’ve ever used.”

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And now you can get your own, thanks to a sale on versions of all three Macs at Amazon. The compact desktop Mac Mini is $40 off the base 256GB configuration ($659) or $50 off the 512GB edition ($849). The base model is currently not set to ship until April, as of this writing, but that could change.

Meanwhile, the Gold 256GB M1 MacBook Air is just $9 off at $990, but you’ll see larger savings with $59 off the Space Gray 512GB MacBook Air at $1,190.

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Last but not least, the Space Gray 256GB MacBook Pro is $80 off at $1,219 and the Silver 512GB edition is $100 off at $1,399.

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This deal was originally published by Andrew Hayward on 01/28/2021 and updated with new information on 02/25/2021. 

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Nvidia’s GeForce RTX 3060 Is Fine, but Seriously, Just Splurge on the 3060 Ti

Illustration for article titled Nvidia’s GeForce RTX 3060 Is Fine, but Seriously, Just Splurge on the 3060 Ti

Photo: Joanna Nelius/Gizmodo

I know, I know, it’s hard to be excited about new graphics cards when there’s a chip shortage and scalpers and crypto miners are snatching up all the stock before regular ol’ consumers can buy ‘em. I know. Waiting sucks, especially when new GPUs keep cropping up. But while that money is burning a hole in your pocket, you have the time to wait for reviews to roll in and really think about what new graphics card will work best for the rig you’re upgrading or building. Or perhaps you can take this time to save some extra money for the bigger and better GPU. That’s the position I’d most likely find myself in deciding between Nvidia’s GeForce RTX 3060 and RTX 3060 Ti. If the RTX 3060 stock is available and you have can easily afford it, I’d take the Ti version over the base 3060 in a heartbeat.

The RTX 3060 is not a bad card. It gets superb 1080p and 1440p performance in the majority of games, and can hit over or close to 60 frames per second with ray tracing on. It covers a lot of ground for having similar specs to its more mature Ti sibling. But the RTX 3060 Ti just gives you better performance for your dollar, and part of that comes down to how the two cards are specced.

While the RTX 3060 has 12GB of VRAM (video memory) compared to the 3060 Ti’s 8GB, and even a slightly higher boost clock than the Ti, the RTX 3060’s 192-bit memory bus drags it down. The smaller the memory bus, the less data than can flow to and from the GPU. The RTX 3060 Ti has a 256-bit memory bus, so its overall bandwidth is almost 100 Gbps more than the RTX 3060. More bandwidth means better performance, of course, but it was somewhat surprising just how much better the RTX 3060 Ti preformed compared to the 3060 for being only $70 more. (I’m talking MSRP prices here—if you’re dealing with scalpers, all bets are off.)

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I compared the RTX 3060 to the 3070, 3060 Ti, and the older RTX 2060 using a system configured with the following parts: Intel Core i9-10900K CPU; Asus ROG Maximus Extreme XII motherboard; 16GB (8GB x2) G.Skill Trident Z Royal DDR4-3600 DRAM; Samsung 970 Evo NVMe M.2 500GB SSD; Seasonic Focus GX-1000 PSU; and a Corsair H150i Pro RGB 360mm AIO for cooling.

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The RTX 3060 averaged a 5-15 fps lead over the RTX 2060, depending on the resolution. (The higher the frame rate gap, the lower the resolution.) The RTX 2060 was $349 when it was first released—just $20 more than what the 3060 retails for. The RTX 3060 Ti averaged a 15-30 fps lead, and in some cases, 40 fps, over the RTX 3060.

That sort of puts the 3060 in a weird spot; it gets better performance for less over the previous generation, but it’s not enough to make a compelling argument for someone with an RTX 2060 to upgrade to a 3060. In this case, that massive frame rate gap between the 3060 and 3060 Ti makes shelling out some extra cash totally worth it.

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Also, there is no Founders Edition of the RTX 3060—just cards from partners like Asus, MSI, etc. That’s not such a terrible thing for most people I would imagine. The card reviewed here is from EVGA and it works great. It even comes with the standard 8-pin power connector, unlike the Founders versions of the RTX 3080, 3070, and 3060 Ti that have a svelte 12-pin connector but need an adapter that juts out of the card like a two-headed snake. But if you prefer the aesthetics of Nvidia’s Founders cards, you are also out of luck with the RTX 3060 on that end, too.

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And to further complicate things, Nvidia is re-releasing the RTX 2060 to help ease the graphics card shortage. No telling when that will happen, but it seems like that will put the RTX 3060 in an even weirder spot. Anyone looking for a simple GPU that can handle every game at 1080p, and even a few games at 1440p, is probably going to go for the RTX 2060 if it’s decently cheaper than the RTX 3060.

When a newer card only has a 5-15 fps lead over its older version, and it can still get 60 fps in a demanding game like Metro Exodus at 1080p on ultra, that makes the older one the “good enough” card—the card that people on a budget will probably go for over the RTX 3060. At least I would.

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It might have made more sense to put a 256-bit memory bus with 8GB of VRAM in the RTX 3060, given how much more performance the RTX 3060 Ti gets. But then again, maybe that would have raised the price a bit, and Nvidia likely wanted to hit a specific price point to cover a smaller segment of consumers who might be interested in the RTX 3060. Or maybe Nvidia purposefully made that large performance gap so more people would spend an extra $70 for the Ti version. I can’t say for sure, but whatever the case, I’m over here saying, “Yeah, the 3060 is nice…BUT THE 3060 Ti!”

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AMD is also not far away from announcing its next graphics card, which could rival either the RTX 3060 Ti or RTX 3060—or both! As we’ve reviewed previously, AMD’s RTX 6800 XT and RTX 6800 excelled in non-ray tracing performance, besting even Nvidia’s flagship cards. It’s likely the RTX 3060 will still beat AMD in ray tracing, though, based on our previous testing.

Those who will probably benefit most from upgrading to an RTX 3060 are those who are using a GTX 1660 Ti or below. The performance increase is too small to justify moving from a RTX 2060 or above, especially not at scalping prices. But maybe, just maybe, the scalpers and crypto miners won’t touch this graphics card. (Fingers crossed.)

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READ ME

  • No Founders Edition
  • Small performance increase over the RTX 2060
  • Might have to compete with the RTX 2060 if Nvidia re-releases it
  • The RTX 3060 Ti is the more enticing GPU thanks to the massive performance increase over the RTX 3060

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How Your Phone Works Behind-the-Scenes Magic to Take the Best Possible Photo

Illustration for article titled How Your Phone Works Behind-the-Scenes Magic to Take the Best Possible Photo

Image: Apple

Smartphones have come a long way toward becoming the best cameras we carry. A long journey through megapixels, multiple lenses, optical zoom, image stabilization, and various other upgrades has gotten us to today’s handsets, but today, much of the work in capturing a great photo is happening on the software side.

Phone cameras can take pictures with a ton of extra information attached to them, including data about lighting, color, intensity, focus and so on. These additional bits of data can then be used to transform the photo after it’s been taken.

Taking multiple photos in an instant is also a key part of this new era of computational phone photography, because photos can be compared, analyzed, and combined to adjust colors, fix focus, and apply a variety of other smart tricks to an image. These tricks and the machine learning networks underneath them vary between phone manufacturers, but there are some broad techniques that they’re all using.

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Balanced exposures

High Dynamic Range (HDR) has been with us for a while, on TVs and movie streaming services as well as smartphone cameras. The idea is to keep details visible in both the darkest and lightest areas of a picture—avoiding the silhouette effect you might see when taking a photo of someone standing in front of a bright window, for example.

By taking multiple photos with multiple exposures, smartphones can grab the details in all areas of the picture, effectively applying different processing rules to different sections of the image. The bright spots get a certain tweak, the dark spots get another tweak, and so on until the picture is balanced.

Illustration for article titled How Your Phone Works Behind-the-Scenes Magic to Take the Best Possible Photo

Image: Google/Nicholas Wilson

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As Google explains, these HDR effects are improving as phones get faster and algorithms get smarter. They’re becoming more natural-looking and more balanced, and they can now be previewed in real time through the phone screen, rather than everything being done after the shutter button has been pressed.

What’s also getting better, through the ever-improving algorithms that have been trained on libraries of millions of images, is the way that different sections of a photo can be stitched back together. To the user, there should be no sign at all that the phone has pulled together multiple exposures and broken up the individual images to treat different segments of them separately: It should just look like one photo, snapped in an instant.

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Background blurs

Portrait mode was one of the very first computational photography tricks to roll out as a built-in smartphone feature, and just like HDR, the results are getting more impressive and more accurate as time goes on. Information from multiple lenses and depth sensors (if the phone has them) is combined with smart guesses from neural networks to figure out which parts of a picture should be blurred and which shouldn’t.

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Again, multiple pictures can be used in combination, with the ever-so-slight differences between them telling the image-processing algorithms which objects are closer to the camera than others—and which pixels need blurring. These algorithms can also be deployed to judge whether or not the photo is suitable for a portrait shot to begin with.

Illustration for article titled How Your Phone Works Behind-the-Scenes Magic to Take the Best Possible Photo

Image: Apple

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Recent improvements are adding more data to the mix, such as which areas of an image are fractionally sharper than others, which again can indicate how far an object is from the camera. You can see the progress being made year over year: Cameras capture more detail and new signals, and the AI processing gets better at putting everything together in a finished image.

Not every step forward is because of software, though. The introduction of LiDAR on the Pro models of the latest iPhone 12 handsets means that more depth data can be captured right from the start, and hardware upgrades will continue to progress alongside software ones.

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Low-light photography

We’ve seen some spectacular leaps forward in low-light photography in recent years, and it’s largely due to computational photography. Again, the idea is that multiple photos with multiple settings are combined together to bring out as much detail as possible, while keeping noise to a minimum. This type of processing is now so good that it can almost make the nighttime look like the daytime.

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The compromise that’s made here is time: Low-light photo modes need more seconds to capture as much light as they possibly can. In the case of the astrophotography mode on the Pixel phones, you might be waiting several minutes for the capture to finish, and the phone needs to be kept perfectly still to achieve usable results.

Illustration for article titled How Your Phone Works Behind-the-Scenes Magic to Take the Best Possible Photo

Image: Google

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Even with the extra time and camera stability required, it’s barely believable that we can now take photos of a starry sky with a mid-range phone that fits in a pocket. Neural networks are stacked on neural networks, with some dedicated to picking out the faintest points of light and others solving other tricky problems—such as how to nail white balance in such a challenging shot.

This technology is constantly moving forward too. The neural networks behind it are getting more adept at recognizing which parts of a photo are which, working out how to focus on objects in darkness and make them as sharp as possible, and identifying the difference between a dark sky and a dark mountain—so you don’t suddenly end up with stars that are in a perfectly bright blue sky.

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Other improvements

The benefits of computational photography don’t stop there. Multiple frames can also be analyzed and pushed through algorithms to reduce noise and increase sharpness as well, which is an area which Apple’s Deep Fusion technology covers. It looks at multiple exposures and then applies artificial intelligence techniques to pick the options for crisp detail, sometimes down to the level of individual pixels. The final photo picks out all the best bits of the multiple snaps that have been taken.

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Pixel binning is another related technology that you might hear mentioned when it comes to top-end smartphone cameras. It essentially uses information from several pixels in a camera sensor to create one master, super-accurate pixel in a finished image—it means finished pictures are smaller than the megapixel rating of the camera might suggest, but they should be sharper and clearer too.

That’s a lot of image processing done in milliseconds across millions of individual pixels, but the power that’s packed into modern-day flagship smartphones means that they can keep up. The same principles are being applied to making digital zoom as good as optical zoom too. Right now this also helps premium handsets stand out from budget and mid-range phones, because they have the extra processor speed and memory required to get all of this optimization done at a satisfactory speed.

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Illustration for article titled How Your Phone Works Behind-the-Scenes Magic to Take the Best Possible Photo

Image: Apple

RAW formats (including Apple ProRAW) are still available on many phones if you just want all the data captured by the camera and think you can do a better job than the algorithms. However, computational photography has now seeped into just about every phone on the market, to a greater or lesser extent: Most of us are happy to take the improvements it brings, even when the finished image doesn’t match what we actually saw.

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