Plus Facebook might roll Messenger back into the main mobile apps, Acer announced a slew of new stuff, future Android updates might come from Google Play, Falcon Heavy’s successful landing, and a lot more.
Disney+ Details Revealed: Price, Release, and Catalog
Yesterday, Disney revealed all (or at least) most of the details we’ve all been wondering about its upcoming streaming service. First, the important stuff: It’s going to cost $6.99 a month and will be available starting November 12th. You can also opt to pay $69.99 per year, which basically gets you two months for free. Solid.
Pricing has been the biggest question, with speculation ranging across the board (and often on the high side), so to see it come in at seven bucks a month is a pleasant surprise. Disney’s Chairman of direct-to-consumer division also said that it’s “likely” Disney will offer a bundle with Disney+, Hulu, and ESPN+ for a lower price. That price, however, wasn’t revealed.
Now, let’s talk about content. As expected, you’ll get tons of content from Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars, and NatGeo. There will be 100 theatrical Disney movies ready to stream on day one, along with over 7,500 episodes from current and past Disney Channel TV shows. 25 original series and ten original movies will also be available immediately. By year five, the content catalog is expected to grow to upwards of 10,000 episodes and over 500 theatrical movies. There was also a surprise tucked in there: all 30 seasons of The Simpsons will be available on Disney+, as well. That’s so much Simpsons.
While we’re at it, it’s probably worth talking a bit more about the original content. For starters, we already know that Falcon and Winter Soldier are getting spinoff shows, and it’s rumored that Loki and Hawkeye will also be getting shows. It’s no surprise that Disney is going to go all-in on the Marvel stuff…especially after ripping it away from Netflix in a way that I’m still salty about. I already miss Punisher and Daredevil.
But I digress. There’s also another big moneymaker in the Disney portfolio: Star Wars. The Mandalorian will be available on a day one release on Disney+, and a new season of The Clone Wars is currently in production for the service. Beyond the Star Wars universe, a live-action version of Lady & the Tramp is coming to the service, along with lots of original NatGeo content.
While price and content are the most important parts here, there’s also the question is where—as in which devices will get access to the platform. Disney briefly showed off all compatible: smart TVs, mobile devices (phones and tablets), Roku, Chromecast, Apple TV, PlayStation 4, Xbox, and of course, the web. According to 9to5Google, the service may also make its way to Android TV. That…pretty much covers the gamut.
So there you are, and there you go: everything we know so far about Disney+, which is pretty much everything. It’s coming in at a great price out of the gate, though I fully expect the price to inflate as the catalog grows. Still, $6.99 is pretty much couch money, especially for the amount (and quality) of the content you’ll end up with.
Apple News: You Now Have to Confirm App Subscriptions
It’s long been too easy to accidentally subscribe to recurring subscriptions on Apple devices—especially if you use TouchID or FaceID to do. Now, the company is adding a sort of “failsafe” confirmation—you know, just to make sure you want to subscribe to the thing you’re about to subscribe to. I’m honestly shocked that this isn’t something that wasn’t already in place. [via Engadget]
Microsoft News: Screen Sharing Comes to Skype Mobile
Announced yesterday for Insiders, the latest beta build of Skype for Android and iOS offers a quick way to share what’s on your screen. That’s a pretty sweet deal. [Microsoft]
Google and Android News: Future OS Updates Might Come from the Play Store
Plus the Galaxy S10’s ultrasonic fingerprint scanner gets faster, Home speakers get a little more control of your phone, Google and Huawei have to pay up for Nexus 6P issues, and more.
- In its latest “APK Insight,” where Android Package Kits are torn down to reveal the code, 9to5Google found suggestions that future Android OS updates may come from the Google Play Store. Interesting. [9to5Google]
- Samsung is updating its biometric apps on the S10 family to improve the speed of its ultrasonic fingerprint scanner. Now if it could only make it more secure, too. [XDA Developers]
- You can now ask your Google Home to put your phone in Do Not Disturb mode. Very good. [XDA Developers]
- Google and Huawei agreed to settle a class action lawsuit and will have to pay Nexus 6P owners up to $400, depending on the issues they experience and proof they can provide. Hit the link for all the details. [Android Police]
- We’re still a good several months away from the Pixel 3 successors, but that’s not stopping those sweet leaks from breaking cover. The codenames for the Pixel 4 and 4 XL recently showed up in AOSP: say hello to Coral and Flame. [9to5Google]
- Nova Launcher 6.1 stable was released, which brings a handful of new features and bug fixes. [TeslaCoil Apps]
- Good news: Samsung can’t seem to get S10 trade-ins right, and people are getting upset. Wait, that’s not good news. [Android Police]
- A new app will let you change media tracks using the volume buttons—no root required. Neat. [XDA Developers]
The idea of Google moving system updates into the Play Store is an interesting one. This could potentially be a more significant step for Project Treble and timelier updates across all devices—but it’s also unclear if the feature would even be available on devices outside of Pixel and Android One, as that’s what hinted at in the code.
At the moment, details are naturally light on this particular subject, as they often are when only tidbits of code show potentially upcoming new features. Still, it’s an interesting one to consider and something we’ll be keeping a close on moving forward.
Other News: Acer Showed Off All Sorts of New Stuff
Plus Facebook may be looking to step back in time and fold Messenger back into its main apps, NVIDIA showed off ray tracing on older GPUs, the Pinkerton lawsuit against Rockstar Games was dropped, and more.
- Acer announced a bunch of new stuff at its Next@Acer event yesterday. Here’s the breakdown:
- ConceptD, a new pro-grade PC lineup. [Engadget]
- A closer look at the ConceptD 500 PC. [The Verge]
- And the ConceptD laptops. [The Verge]
- The Predator Helios 700 gaming laptop with a wild sliding keyboard and trackpad. [The Verge]
- The all-aluminum Chromebook 714 and 715. [Android Police]
- A massive 43-inch gaming monitor with a 144 Hz variable refresh rate. [Engadget]
- NVIDIA showed off ray tracing on older GTX cards, and it…doesn’t look great. [Engadget]
- Years ago, Facebook removed Messenger conversations from the main Facebook app. Now, it may be looking to merge the two back together in its first efforts to unify messaging across all of its networks (Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp). I’m not into this idea at all. I like the standalone messenger. [The Verge]
- The modern-day Pinkerton agency filed a cease-and-desist against Rockstar Games and RDR2 publisher Take-Two for the use of the Pinkerton name. Take-Two and Rockstar then filed a fair use suit in retaliation, which has now been dropped. No one is suing anyone, and I guess all is cool again. Pretty anticlimactic to be honest. [The Verge]
- LinkedIn just got reactions. Wow. [Digital Trends]
- While Falcon Heavy had some issues landing the center core in its demo flight last year, the side boosters and center core all stuck the landing in its most recent flight. That’s a win. [Wired]
- In science-related news, a discovery in Peru suggests whales used to have four legs and split time between land and see. Can you imagine a whale just walking around on a beach somewhere? Wild, man. [The Next Web]
Acer is such an exciting brand to me because while it’s often thought of as a “budget” PC maker, it also often comes with truly innovative experimental designs. Over the years as a tech journalist, I’ve often covered Acer’s wacky designs—like its Predator gaming tablet or the insane 21-inch Predator gaming laptop—but that’s the thing I love most about the brand. While a lot of manufacturers like to keep things simple, Acer isn’t afraid to take some chances to see what happens. It’s great!
The new ConceptD line of computers proves that, but it’s also most interesting because trying to new and unique designs isn’t something we often think about when it comes to devices built for creators. The wacky designs are usually reserved for gamers (which there was plenty of that at Acer’s event, too), so to see Acer stepping outside of the box with ConceptD is fantastic. Well, everything except for that silly name.
Of all the things announced yesterday, however, the Predator Helios 700 is by far the coolest—the “HyperDrift Keyboard,” as Acer calls it, is just downright sweet. While in the “normal” position, it just looks like a standard laptop with a traditional keyboard and trackpad. But sliding it forward reveals the fans hidden beneath, which in turn improves cooling and performance—two things that have long been issues for gaming laptops. The Verge has excellent images that show it off.
Even if Acer doesn’t sell a ton of these units (which, let’s be honest here, it probably won’t with a starting price of $2700), it’s still a very fresh, unique, and practical design. Good on you for always breaking out of the norms, Acer.