Jon Fingas, Engadget

Jon Fingas

Engadget

Ottawa, ON, Canada

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Recent:
  • Engadget
Past:
  • Entrepreneur

Recent articles by Jon:

Apple lets Amazon rent movies inside Prime Video's iPhone app

Apple's insistence on taking a 30 percent cut of most in-app purchases (and running those purchases through the App Store) has led to many media providers simply removing direct purchases altogether. Just ask anyone shopping for e-books at third-party stores. You won't have to worry about that with Prime Video from now on, though. Amazon has reached an agreement that lets you rent movies in… → Read More

YouTube may counter TikTok with a feed of video 'Shorts'

YouTube may be worried that TikTok is luring away its viewers. Sources talking to The Information claim YouTube is readying a Shorts feature in its mobile app that will include a remarkably familiar-sounding feed with short videos from fellow users. You could take advantage of YouTube's extensive song licensing to add the soundtrack of your choice, too. Shorts would be available by the end of… → Read More

Twitch viewing soared 23 percent in March

It won't shock you to hear that livestreaming services are seeing an upswing in viewership due to the COVID-19 pandemic keeping people at home, but now it's clear just what kind of effect the outbreak has had on viewing habits. Streamlabs and Stream Hatchet have determined that watch hours surged 23 percent between February and March, to just over 1.2 billion. Other services saw increased demand… → Read More

T-Mobile completes Sprint merger

Right on cue, T-Mobile has completed its merger with Sprint. As of today, the two carriers are one -- they'll do business simply as T-Mobile. They're also clearly confident in the transition, as CEO John Legere is stepping down early rather than waiting until the end of April as his contract dictated. COO Mike Sievert is taking Legere's place, effective immediately. Developing... → Read More

'Fortnite' gets a bullet-stopping 'Kingsman' umbrella

Epic's current Fortnite season is focused on secret agents, and that now includes direct references to movies -- if not the ones you're likely to think of first. An update to the battle royale shooter has introduced a Kingsman umbrella that, like the one in the Brits-save-the-world film series, deflects bullets when you open it toward your foe. You can't use it indefinitely (that would be wildly… → Read More

'Apex Legends' tournaments get a new online-only schedule

Respawn and EA's dreams of establishing Apex Legends as an esports staple aren't going according to plan. The Apex Legends Global Series team is moving its events online "for the time being" due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and that means both more remote events overall as well as greater reward for those who participate. There are now three more Online Tournaments (#4, #5 and #6) due to start on… → Read More

Atari's latest attempt at milking nostalgia is a 'Pong' RPG

Atari is trying themed hotels, retro consoles and other efforts to reel in nostalgic gamers, but its latest may be its oddest yet: turn Pong into a one-of-a-kind role-playing game. It's developing a Pong Quest game that has you guiding a heroic paddle through dungeons based on (what else?) Atari games like Asteroids and Centipede in a campaign to save Pong World. You'll fight in "RPG-esque"… → Read More

Ubisoft offers free games to encourage you to stay at home

Ubisoft thinks it has a simple way to encourage people to stay at home and wait out the COVID-19 pandemic: shower them with games. It's running a month-long campaign that will give away free games, trials, discounts and other offers to give you something to do while you're cooped up. It's starting things off by offering the PC version of Rayman Legends for free on Uplay from now through April… → Read More

Niantic buys a 3D mapping startup to enable 'planet-scale' AR

As much as Niantic might be focused on making its location-based games more playable at home, it's also thinking about its future. The developer has bought 3D mapping startup 6D.ai to help it develop "planet-scale" augmented reality. The relative newcomer's work on 3D environment reconstruction and persistent AR objects promises more sophisticated experiences than you're used to in the past.… → Read More

Chevy's refreshed Bolt EV is delayed until 2021

So much for driving an updated Chevy Bolt EV in 2020. The company's Megan Soule told Electrek in a statement that it has pushed back the updated Bolt EV's release to 2021 due to the "current business situation" (read: the COVID-19 pandemic). The Bolt EUV crossover "remains on schedule" for the same year, Soule said. The updated version of the standard Bolt is expected to have a sportier design,… → Read More

PlayStation Plus one-year membership drops to $40 at Newegg

There's a good chance you have more time on your hands for gaming given lockdowns for the COVID-19 pandemic, and we have some good news if you're a PlayStation owner. Newegg is offering email subscribers a $20 discount on a one-year membership for PlayStation Plus when they enter the code EMCDEEG28, lowering the price to $40. It's a "Blitz Deal," so you'll want to act quickly, but it should also… → Read More

Streamlabs beta could make Mac livestreaming a lot better

Let's not sugarcoat it: livestreaming on Macs tends to suck. Even if you're not streaming games, there's a dearth of high-quality broadcasting tools to add a professional level of polish. Now, however, you shouldn't have to struggle. Streamlabs has released an open beta of OBS for Mac that delivers the alerts, overlays, audiovisual controls and chat management that many streamers take for… → Read More

AT&T will give users an extra 15GB of mobile hotspot data

AT&T is still expanding its offerings to keep people online during the COVID-19 outbreak. Between April 2nd and May 13t, it's adding an extra 15GB of mobile hotspot data to every line on unlimited plans that have a monthly tethering allowance. If you have the Unlimited Extra plan, for instance, that will effectively double the amount of data you get. That's still not enough data to completely… → Read More

Steam limits game auto-updates to manage peak demand

Console makers aren't the only ones managing game service bandwidth to keep traffic flowing during the COVID-19 outbreak. Valve is scaling back game auto-updates in Steam to "spread out" the load and prevent its servers from buckling under the strain. As of this week, only games you've played in the past three days will get immediate updates. Everything else will be updated over the course of… → Read More

Niantic is doing more to help 'Pokémon Go' gamers play at home

Niantic isn't done making it easier to play its location-based games while you're staying home during the COVID-19 pandemic. The developer has outlined some of its future plans for titles like Pokémon Go, Ingress and Harry Potter: Wizards Unite, and it's quite clear that you won't have to step outside to make progress during the outbreak. Adventure Sync will better support indoor activities… → Read More

Instacart workers go on strike after rejecting mild concessions

Instacart hasn't had success trying to avert a strike over a lack of COVID-19 protections. The Gig Workers Collective has declared that a shopper strike is "still on" after asserting that Instacart's concessions were inadequate. A change that sets the tip default to a customer's previous amount will likely offer "no meaningful benefit," the shoppers said, as that previous amount will frequently… → Read More

Jaybird's Run XT true wireless earbuds are on sale for $50 at Best Buy

It's generally still safe to go running outside even in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, and thankfully there are good deals to be had if you need a soundtrack for those excursions. Best Buy has a one-day sale going for Jaybird's Run XT true wireless earbuds that drops the price to just $50 -- a full $130 off the official sticker. That's low enough to make earlier $70 to $80 sale prices seem… → Read More

China, Huawei propose internet protocol with a built-in killswitch

China, Huawei and Chinese carriers want to redesign a key aspect of the internet -- and while there may be some upsides, their ideas have raised some alarm bells. The Financial Times understands that the group has proposed a new internet protocol at the ITU, New IP, that theoretically offers more efficient addressing and network management than the existing TCP/IP standard but also appears to… → Read More

'Star Trek: Voyager' gets an unofficial 4K remaster thanks to AI

As with Deep Space Nine, Star Trek: Voyager is unlikely to ever get an official high-resolution remaster. The effects were shot on video rather than added to film after the fact, making it much harder to upgrade the quality than it was for The Next Generation. However, an unofficial project might get relatively close. Series fan Billy Reichard has started processing Voyager with a machine… → Read More

BYD's safety-oriented EV battery is less likely to catch fire

However much safer electric cars might be than their gas counterparts, they can still catch fire -- and BYD wants to reduce the chances of that happening. It will soon roll out a Blade Battery that's meant to be safer without compromising performance. Its high temperature for exothermic reactions, low (and slow) heat release and lack of oxygen release combine to form an energy pack that… → Read More