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LG’s rollable phone is a tantalizing response to Samsung’s foldables

For the last two years, it’s been an open secret that LG has been working on a smartphone with a rollable screen — that is, a device with a display that starts out phone-sized and stretches out into a tiny tablet. It’s still not quite done, but that didn’t stop LG from offering our first real glimpse at the device in a lightning-fast teaser during its CES 2021 press conference.

The company avoided going into any further detail about the phone, but we’ve been able to confirm that it will be called the LG Rollable when it eventually launches. The name is rather on-the-nose, but honestly, it could have been worse. When building its charming, swiveling smartphone, LG had planned to give it a truly lousy name that was eventually replaced with the device’s original code name: Wing.

While details are scant, the LG Rollable is at least visually a tantalizing response to Samsung’s slew of foldable phones. Unlike the Galaxy Z Fold 2, which pairs a tall and narrow external display with a spacious interior one, the Rollable’s single screen is the same size as a traditional smartphone display — at least, before it mechanically unfurls to the size of a small tablet. From what we’ve seen, that clever design means the Rollable’s display won’t feature the same telltale crease found in many existing foldables.

Of course, adding mechanical complexity to a device that will bounce around in bags and occasionally get dropped presents problems of its own. As mentioned, LG has offered little insight into how the Rollable’s display mechanism works, but one would be right to be concerned about long-term durability. That’s especially true when you consider the fact that — unlike foldables — rollable phones haven’t yet been able to benefit from public scrutiny and external testing.

LG’s experience in building rollable televisions, along with the device’s long, secretive gestation, hopefully means the Rollable will be largely free of kinks at launch. It’s worth noting, however, that other companies have publicly explored similar concepts. The Oppo X 2021 might be the most notable one, as a handful of Chinese reporters were able to play with working prototypes back in November, but the company wasn’t able to provide a launch date, if ever.

TCL also showed off a prototype smartphone with a slide-out screen in early 2020, though it noted that such a device wouldn’t be commercially available for some time as the rolling mechanism still needed to be perfected.

Given the speed at which Oppo and TCL seem to be working through smartphone concepts, it’s very possible we’ll wind up with two or three rival rollables later in 2021. Needless to say, if you don’t need to buy a new phone right now, it’s definitely worth waiting to see what ambitious new hardware this year has in store.

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GameStop PS5 restock fiasco leaves customers angry

Customers are angry and complaining about recent PS5 restocks. GameStop has had many PS5 restocks this month. It’s also had several Xbox Series X restocks. And these restocks have provided many PlayStation and Xbox gamers with next-gen consoles. However, a lot has also gone wrong for the retailer. Not only are bots and resellers continuing to gobble up supply, but orders are being cancelled. In other words, even if you manage to beat the bots, beat the site crashes, and beat the millions of PlayStation fans trying to secure an order as well, it may be cancelled for a number of reasons.

On top of this, it seems GameStop’s supply can’t fulfill their orders. Customers are complaining that consoles they were told they were getting weeks ago aren’t showing up, meanwhile, in some cases, the retailer is revealing customers they won’t be getting their console until April 2021.

It’s been a failure. And it’s been a problem for other retailers as well, including Walmart, Target, Best Buy, and Amazon. However, right now it’s GameStop that is trending on Twitter, and this is partially because users are making GameStop jokes about stimulus checks, but it’s also because there are many angry GameStop customers taking to the social media platform to vent their frustration.

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Amazon’s Luna cloud gaming service is now available on Android

Amazon’s cloud gaming service, Luna, is now available on Android. Like the iOS version of Luna, there’s no separate Luna app to download, one can access the service through the Chrome web browser.

Amazon launched Luna in October, where it was available on PC, Mac, Fire TV, and on iPhone and iPad via web apps. The service works on a channels-based model, where one pays a monthly fee for each channel of games wants access to.

Currently, there are two channels available. Amazon’s $5.99-per-month Luna Plus channel has games from many different publishers, and Ubisoft’s $14.99-per-month Ubisoft Plus channel offers Ubisoft games.

Presently, Luna’s Android version works on some Pixel, Samsung, and OnePlus devices, but Amazon says Luna will extend support for more Android devices during Luna’s early access period. An Amazon spokesperson shared a list of currently-supported devices:

  • Pixel 4XL, 4A, 4A 5G, 5
  • Samsung Galaxy S10, S10 Plus, Note 10, Note 10 Plus, S20, S20 Plus, S20 Ultra, Note 20, Note 20 Ultra
  • OnePlus 7, 7 Pro, 7 Pro 5G, 8, 8 Pro, Nord, 7T, 7T Pro, 7T Pro 5G

One needs to be using Android 9 or higher and Chrome version 86 or newer. He will be able to play games using Amazon’s own Luna controller as well as the PlayStation 4 or Xbox One controller.

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Apple wishes to increase iPhone production for first half of 2021

Apple Inc intents to produce 96 million iPhones in the first half of 2021, a nearly 30% year-on-year increase as per a report.

It has requested suppliers to produce around 95 million to 96 million iPhones, including the latest iPhone 12 range as well as older iPhone 11 and SE, though shortage of key parts could be a problem, the report noted.

This would be a 20% rise from 2019 though the target will be regularly reviewed and revised in accordance to any changes in consumer demand, as per the report.

The probable full-year forecast that the iPhone maker shared with its suppliers suggests it plans to make up to 230 million iPhones in 2021, including both old and new models, the report said.

Apple did not respond to a request for comment.

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Google’s services went down for about an hour

Google’s services went down for about an hour Monday in a huge outage that restricted many people from watching YouTube videos, accessing their Google Docs or sending email on Gmail.

The outage also made Google Classroom temporarily unavailable, denying many students learning remotely from accessing their classes.

A little after 8 am ET, most of Google’s services came back online. The company’s workspace status dashboard had been red across the board, with every single Google service indicating an outage. Later Monday morning, they turned green, indicating that they’re operating normally.

“We apologize for the inconvenience and thank you for your patience and continued support,” Google said in a statement.

Google said it will work toward restoring its apps for the remaining people who are still unable to access them, but the problems should largely be resolved.

Downdector reported that millions of users were denied the usage of google and its apps.

Internet services fail due to number of reasons like incorrect installation, server errors etc. The most recent outage took place in September for Google.

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Sony has started refunding unhappy Cyberpunk 2077 fans playing on PS4

Sony is reportedly refunding Cyberpunk 2077 players annoyed with the game’s performance on PS4 even past the typical two-hour playtime limit.

A quick glance at the hashtag “Cyberbug2077” exemplifies the type of performance concerns and crashes players are facing, but base PS4 users, in particular, seem most affected, as detailed in Digital Foundry’s analysis that discusses the “exceptionally poor performance” on PS4 and Xbox One.

“I had to file a support claim online and sit on hold for over an hour to speak with someone, however they were quick to issue the refund and then delete the game off my library,” a player said.

The post also alleged that Sony was “issuing a business complaint to CDPR about the issues”, but there’s no confirmation of this claim.

“Spent an hour on the phone after being denied by Chatbot and I got my refund!” added another player. “Shout out to u/SirPanic12 for the advice on mentioning the game crashing and not being able to progress further. That’s pretty much all I had to say.”

Not all have been so lucky, though. While it appears some refunds have been secured, others are being denied. The OP later returned to the thread to confirm they had already removed the game from their PS4, deleted their save data, and “dealt with customer service in a calm professional manner”.

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Users complain of missing message alerts in iOS 14

Many iPhone users are having problems receiving notifications from Messages in a timely manner in iOS 14, with users not being informed via an alert or a red badge that there are unread messages waiting for them.

The problem, which seems to have been restricted to the iPhone 12 range of devices running on iOS 14 at first, has risen to affect a considerable number of people using other models of iPhone. An Apple support forum post titled “iOS 14 text notification issues” from September 19 currently has 43 pages of replies, and has been tagged with “I have this question too” by 5,265 users.

The errors mostly have the same symptoms, where users don’t see the banner on the lock screen, no notifications when messages come through, and no red dot indicator on the Messages app to show there are unread communications. Despite various attempts to fix the issue in different ways, ranging from restarting the iPhone to resetting it completely, and even to changing settings on other Apple hardware capable of receiving iCloud-synchronized messages, there doesn’t seem to be a solution to the problem.

An update for iOS 14.2.1 did address some MMS issues, but didn’t rectify the entire problem. Users have also complained about group messages, where some messages failed to come through while others arrived in a timely fashion.

An expected rollout of iOS 14.3 in the coming days may offer a bug fix, but it seems unlikely one will arrive with that release.