Hi folks! Here are this week's highlights, including leaked photos of the Pixel 3 XL, the new Amazon Fire TV Cube and excerpts from our coverage of Apple's WWDC 2018 event and the PC hardware show Computex 2018. Let's get right into it!
Google Pixel 3 XL photos leak
Image credit: XDA Developers
A phone which could be the Google Pixel 3 XL leaked in photos this week, codenamed crosshatch. The front of the phone features a tall notched display and stereo front-facing speakers, while the back of the phone looks quite similar to the previous Pixel 2 XL design. The phone's screen shows it has 4GB of RAM and 128GB of storage.
BlackBerry Key2 announced
Image credit: The Verge
BlackBerry's Key2 smartphone has officially been announced. The mid-range smartphone sports a physical keyboard with slightly wider keys and its body is slightly slimmer than its predecessor, the KeyOne. Battery life should stretch to two days, thanks to a capacious 3500mAh battery, small 4.5-inch screen and battery-sipping Snapdragon 660 processor. In terms of cameras, there's a pair of 12-megapixel cameras on the back and an 8-megapixel shooter up front. Having two rear cameras allows for depth-of-field 'Portrait mode' effects and faster autofocus. The phone will cost £579 sim-free, a higher price than the £499 that the KeyOne debuted at, and will go on sale from late June.
Amazon unveil Fire TV Cube for American market
Image credit: Mashable
Amazon announced a new TV box today, the Fire TV Cube. The Cube is a combination of a 4K capable Fire TV and an Echo device, connecting to your TV to play videos and answering your voice queries or commands. The Cube also uses HDMI-CEC and IR to control other devices, reducing the number of remotes you need to keep lying around. Unfortunately, the device has some limitations, with no app to watch YouTube or videos purchased from Apple; conversely, Amazon Prime Video is available on the Apple TV or via Chromecast. The Fire TV Cube costs $120 and is available in the US from June 21st; expect UK availability later this year or next.
Lenovo promise no-notch smartphone, unveil smartphone with notch
Image credit: Lenovo
Darn it, Lenovo. After teasing a bezel-less, notch-less smartphone for weeks, their Z5 flagship has been announced... and it has bezels. And a notch. And a chin. And in fact, it's nothing that we haven't seen before, a lie and a travesty, rather than a new era of smartphone design as we'd hoped. C'est la vie.
Apple Watch could get 'solid state' buttons
Image credit: Engadget
According to Fast Company, Apple is planning to replace the button and digital crown with 'solid state' parts that don't actually move, instead relying on the Watch's Taptic Engine to simulate the click. Removing moving parts in this way can improve reliability, but often at the expense of the user experience -- HTC's U12+ features static buttons and most reviewers seemed to hate it. What do you think of the proposed feature?
Apple kicks off WWDC 2018 with iOS 12, macOS Mojave and watchOS 5
Memoji | Grouped Notifications | Screen Time - Image credit: The Verge
Image credit: The Verge
Apple's WorldWide Developer Conference kicked off this week, with the company's executive team taking to the stage to announce new versions of iOS, macOS, watchOS and more. Here are some very brief highlights!
iOS 12 will include a digital health dashboard which should help curb app addiction and give you a better idea of how you're using your phone. The iPhone X gets Memoji, to make your own avatar to animate with your face, and Animoji has tongue detection now. Finally, a Shortcut app lets you customise Siri commands or roll together several functions into a single command. iOS 12 should also run faster than its predecessors, particularly on older devices like the iPhone 6 Plus.
Mojave is the latest version of macOS. It includes a Dark Mode, a redesigned Mac App store and little touches to automate common tasks, like cleaning up your desktop, signing PDFs or taking screenshots and videos of your computer.
watchOS 5 can make your Apple Watch track workouts retroactively if you forgot to start a workout manually, includes social fitness features to inspire competition and keep you working out, can show restaurant menus and play podcasts. Sadly, it's not available for the first-generation Apple Watch.
Computex 2018 includes vapour-cooled gaming phones, 32-core desktop processors and a laptop with a touchscreen instead of a trackpad
Image credit: The Verge
PC gaming and hardware show Computex 2018 was also held this week, and it was a doozy for tech nerds. Intel and AMD went to war over core counts, unveiling 28-core (Intel) and 32-core (AMD) processors available later this year, while Nvidia broke with expectations by not announcing a new generation of GTX 1100 graphics cards and instead saying any such cards would be released "a long time from now". For all of the essential stories, check out my Computex 2018 highlights blog!
That's all for now, folks! Thanks for checking out the news this week, and we'll see you on the next one!
Will is a gadget fanatic, working from cafes and gadget-infused mega-hovels to turn caffeine into technology articles. Follow him on Twitter @wsjudd and check out his newly redesigned tech review site xsreviews.co.uk!