Read Xbox One S Reviews, Apple Thinks the iPad Pro Is a Computer… [Tech News Digest]


The first Xbox One S reviews hit the web, Apple sells the iPad Pro as a computer, Google sells 30 million Chromecasts, YouTube encrypts 97% of its traffic, and IKEA mocks people who photograph their food.

The Xbox One S Reviews Roundup

The Xbox One S is being released today, which means the first reviews of the new, improved Xbox One games console have hit the web. We thought we’d get a general feel for what’s being said about the Xbox One S, which is a slimmer, smaller, and more powerful version of the existing console.

Engadget starts out by saying of the Xbox One S, “For better and worse, it’s basically the same”. The publication likes the design and some of the new features, but summarizes its views by concluding, “The Xbox One S feels like a worthy successor to the older Xbox 360. If you already have an Xbox One, however, there’s little reason to upgrade unless you’re also planning on buying a 4K TV (or already own one)”.

The Verge starts out with a barb suggesting, “the Xbox One S is what the original Xbox One should have been.” The publication then calls the console “good-looking, reasonably sized, and also reasonably priced”. Unfortunately, The Verge cannot quite figure out who’ll buy this thing, as Microsoft has another new Xbox — Project Scorpio — coming out next year.

Ars Technica calls the Xbox One S, “The smaller, handsomer, 4K-ier system we’ve been looking for,” and suggests “it’s Microsoft’s best-looking console yet”. However, as with The Verge, Ars Technica is loathe to recommend the Xbox One S because of the lure of the Scorpio on the horizon. This leads the publication to conclude that this is “a solid, good-looking, 4K-boosted lay-up” but not the ultimate destination.

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Gizmodo calls the Xbox One S “a damn fine machine” that’s “a steal” in terms of the bang you get for your buck. However, Project Scorpio throws a spanner in the works again, with the publication concluding, “The improvements in this new console are fantastic, but what’s the point of dropping $300 on an incremental update when a completely new machine is just around the corner? The Xbox One S is great, but it’d be nicer if this wasn’t a stopgap wonder console intended to hold us over”.

Apple Talks Up the iPad Pro

Apple has released a new 30-second ad for the iPad Pro, and in it the company strongly suggests the iPad Pro could replace your computer. Apple doesn’t expressly say as much, cleverly nibbling away at the idea to save itself from ridicule, but the premise is there for all to see.

We have already discussed whether the iPad Pro is capable of replacing your laptop, and found that in some ways it probably. Unfortunately, in some other ways the iPad Pro leaves a lot to be desired, and anyone trying to ditch their computer in favor of this will be left frustrated.

What Apple is trying to do here is plant the seed of doubt in your mind. Macs aren’t ever going to be the market leader in home computing, so the company will succeed when the notion of what constitutes a computer evolves. And that means persuading people that iPads can be computers, and not just tablets designed primarily for the consumption of media.

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Has Apple succeeded with this ad? Or do you remain convinced you need to own a big, hulking computer to fall back on when your smartphone or tablet cannot cope with the demands placed on it. Why not let us know your thoughts in the comments at the end of the article.

Google Has Sold 30 Million Chromecasts

Google has now sold more than 30 million Chromecasts, 5 million in just the past two months. This is according to Google CEO Sundar Pichai, who revealed the numbers during Google’s most recent earnings call last week.

According to 9to5Google, the 30 million Chromecasts sold so far include the original device, the 2015 refresh, and Chromecast Audio (which we think holds its own against Sonos). It should be noted that there are other plenty of Chromecast alternatives available.

YouTube Encrypts 97% of Traffic

YouTube now encrypts 97% of all of its traffic. We know because Google has added both YouTube and Google Calendar to its HTTPS Transparency Report. This shows how much traffic is encrypted across various Google products and services.

If you’re wondering why only(!) 97% of YouTube traffic is encrypted, and not 100%, Google provides the answer: “In short, some devices do not fully support modern HTTPS. Over time, to keep YouTube users as safe as possible, we will gradually phase out insecure connections”. So now you know!

IKEA Mocks Food Pornographers

And finally, while the vast majority of us enjoy a good meal that’s tasty and well-presented, most of us enjoy actually eating it rather than photographing it. However, there is a significant portion of the population who get their kicks posting pictures of their food online, whether it’s to Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter.

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Most of us don’t bat an eyelid when we see someone doing this, but if you actually think about it, posting pictures of your meals is a little strange. As IKEA demonstrates by taking us back a couple of hundred years, showing what a palaver it would have been to do something similar back before either cameras or the internet had been invented.

This ad definitely mocks food pornographers who seem to need validation for the food they’re about the consume, but it also shows how far technology has progressed. Unfortunately, all we do with these innovative inventions is post pictures of our food online for the approval of others.

Your Views on Today’s Tech News

Are you likely to purchase an Xbox One S? Should the iPad Pro be regarded as a full-fledged computer? Do you own a Google Chromecast? Would you like to see all online activity encrypted? Have you ever posted a photo of your food on a social media site?

Let us know your thoughts on the Tech News of the day by posting to the comments section below. Because a healthy discussion is always welcome.

Tech News Digest is a daily column paring the technology news of the day down into bite-sized chunks that are easy to read and perfect for sharing.