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Apple TV 4K launches September 22 for $179

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4K Screen and Apple TV

Apple has introduced an update to Apple TV, bringing 4K and High Dynamic Range (HDR) content support. While it was long speculated, the Cupertino giant confirmed the Apple TV 4K during its Special Event, right after the Apple Watch Series 3 announcement.

Apple TV 4K will also render support for 4K HDR content for sharp, crisp images, richer, more true-to-life colors. Notably, you will be able to get automatic upgrades of HD titles in your existing iTunes library to 4K/HDR for free. Plus, new 4K releases will cost same as HD titles. That’s not all on the content part, Apple says 4K HDR content from popular video services, including Netflix and Amazon Prime Video, will be available to Apple TV 4K users soon.

New Apple TV 4K HDR Comparison

So, what’s inside the Apple TV 4K?

While the entire outlook of the hardware remains identical to the one we witnessed last year, the Apple TV 4K is built upon A10X Fusion chip — the same chip that powers the iPad Pro —and has support for both Dolby Vision and HDR10. The A10X Fusion chip is paired with 3GB of RAM, offering CPU performance twice as fast as previous Apple TV, and GPU four times as fast. The new Apple TV 4K is future-proof too, as it can handle 4K video rendering at up to 60FPS, which is almost double of what most video run (either 24FPS or 30FPS).

During the event, Journey developer Jenova Chen demoed a new game called Sky, which you can play on Apple TV with the help of TV’s remote, showing off gaming capabilities of the Apple TV.

Apple says it’ll be adding local video services, which typically require a cable or satellite subscription, to the streaming box as well. Soon, sports fans in the US will be able to watch Live Sports and track their favorite teams. If you’re wondering about the TV app, well, it will launch in Australia and Canada this month, followed by France, Germany, Norway, Sweden, and the UK by the end of the year.

Apple TV 4K will cost you $179 (USD) and $199 (USD) for 32GB and 64GB, respectively. Pre-orders for the Apple TV 4K begin September 15, and shipping starts a week later.

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Apple Pay Now Supports ANZ Eftpos Access Cards In Australia

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Apple Pay on iPhone

Apple Pay has expanded to support Eftpos cards from ANZ Bank in Australia. Eftpos (Electronic fund transfer at point of sales) is a popular debit payments network in Australia. The partnership will bring in-store Apple Pay support to 1.6 million ANZ Access cardholders, according to Eftpos.

Apple’s partnership with Eftpos should get more people to use Apple Pay as Eftpos is the most used debit card network in Australia, and offers a much lower processing fee to retailers as well as customers.

High fees have been one of the biggest hindrances for Apple Pay in Australia, but with today’s move things are starting to get better. When a debit card is used via Apple Pay in Australia, there’s about 0.55 percent fee to the merchant; however, Eftpos drops it significantly to 0.15 percent. (Thanks, Business Insider!)

“About 1.6 million ANZ eftpos Access cardholders now have the opportunity to make payments on an iPhone or Apple Watch, many of whom may not have had the opportunity to make in store mobile payments before,” said Eftpos acting CEO Paul Jennings.

“As Australia’s most used debit card network, we are thrilled to be providing ANZ eftpos Access customers with more payment choice, with added benefits of enhanced security and comfort.”

Eftpos ANZ users can switch between a Cheque and Savings account with ease. More details can be found on the Eftpos website. And yes, Apple has also updated its Australian version of Apple Pay website to reflect the Eftpos partnership.

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Google shares first unedited Pixel 2 photos and videos

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Google Pixel 2 Camera Sample

Google’s Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL, which the company unveiled during its October event past week, have a highly rated camera. The cameras in both the Google phones have scored 98, the highest-ever on a smartphone camera in DxOMark’s rating.

Last year’s Pixel line-up scored 88X, which was the highest-ever on a smartphone camera back then, therefore it’s not surprising to see Google focusing more on camera lenses in Pixel phones. No matter how greater the rating figure is, it’s much more important to test the device in real world, and camera samples take a perfect stand to all the pixel-and-lens specs the company had touted during the product announcement.

Thanks to Google’s Isaac Reynold, who shared a bunch of unedited photos taken from the Pixel 2 camera, we now know (to some extent) how amazingly Google has improved Pixel’s camera. Reynold also posted two videos comparing the video stabilization that’s on offer with Pixel 2. Some of the sample photographs are attached in this post, while you can watch Reynold’s entire upload here.

For a quick recap, Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL both have a 12.2-megapixel camera with f/1.8, Optical Image Stabilization (OIS), Electronic Image Stabilization (EIS), and laser and dual pixel phase detection autofocus.

/ Pixel User Community 

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Apple TV 4K, iPhone 7, iPhone 8 and iPhone X Support FLAC Audio Playback

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iPhone X and Tim Cook

Apple has quietly added support for FLAC audio playback to the recently-announced iPhone 8, iPhone X and Apple TV 4K. Also included in the audio standard’s support list is the iPhone 7.

In case you’re wondering, FLAC stands for Free Lossless Audio Codec. It’s an audio format similar to MP3, but it’s lossless. What that means is the audio is compressed without any loss in quality, providing a lossless compression.

iPhone FLAC Audio

In order to listen to FLAC audio files on your iPhone, you’ll need to use the native Files app or a third-party app such as VLC, as Apple’s Music app doesn’t support the FLAC standard just yet. Plus, a Lightning-connected headphone is recommended to listen to FLAC audio files, as it offers more bandwidth than a connection over Bluetooth.

The new iPhones and Apple TV 4K ship with FLAC playback support, whereas the iPhone 7 gets it with the release of iOS 11 on September 19.

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