The Apple Watch Has Landed, YouTube Celebrates Turning 10, & More… [Tech News Digest]
Apple Watch arrives, YouTube turns 10, Twitter launches Highlights, Snapchat suffers bug, Telltale loves Marvel, and Downton Abbey is better with lightsabers.
The Apple Watch Launches Today
Today is the day a certain section of society have been waiting for for many months. Yes, it’s Apple Watch launch day. Apple first announced its Watch in September 2014, before fully unveiling it in March 2015. Today, April 24, is the day the first pre-orders will be arriving on doorsteps in selected countries around the world.
Unfortunately, you won’t simply be able to walk into an Apple Store and purchase an Apple Watch. Because demand has far outstripped supply. Instead, anyone who is desperate to get their hands on one of these new devices needs to head for one of the exclusive fashion boutiques Apple has signed up to sell the Watch. This means the queues we associate with the launch of any new Apple products won’t materialize.
To coincide with the final launch of Apple Watch, Apple updated the App Store to showcase the first wave of Apple Watch apps created by developers. You can now browse a selection of the apps made specifically for Apple Watch, while iPhone apps have a new “Offers Apple Watch App” line added to their descriptions where appropriate.
With more than 1 million pre-orders having been placed prior to today, we already know the Apple Watch is a commercial success. However, the early reviews from journalists afforded early access were mostly negative, so it remains to be seen whether the Apple Watch will also be a critical success. Not that a typical Apple fan will admit it’s anything other than perfection, obviously.
YouTube Began 10 Years Ago
YouTube is now more than 10 years old, with the ubiquitous video-sharing site celebrating its 10th birthday yesterday. It was April 23, 2005 when Jawed Karim, one of the three co-founders along with Steve Chen and Chad Hurley, uploaded the inane video embedded above. Which shows them enjoying a day at the zoo.
The three former PayPal employees didn’t have to labor on the project for long, as Google acquired YouTube for $1.65 billion in November 2006. Which made them all extremely rich. And probably fat. And definitely happy. The fact that YouTube is a full decade old shows just how mature the Web is now becoming. It’s just a shame YouTube commenters haven’t matured alongside the technology.
Twitter Launches Highlights For Android
I tell you what, Twitter has been up there today as one of the greats. We need a highlights package.
— Nice Guy Kenny (@The_kenny77) April 20, 2015
Twitter has updated its Android app, introducing a new feature called Highlights. This offers users a curated list of the most important tweets sent recently. This includes tweets from the people you follow, from the topics trending in your area, and people who are popular in your network.
Once you opt in to Highlights, your personalized digest will be sent to you twice a day, once in the morning and once in the evening. In a rather abnormal move Twitter is leading with Android and only offering a vague promise to “consider bringing Highlights to other platforms in the future.”
This Snapchat Hack Extends Your Snaps
If you’re using the Snapchat app on iOS, there is currently a bug which lets you record videos for a lot longer than the intended limit of 10 seconds. The hack appears to have been discovered by Facundo Carió, who duly informed The Verge.
To enable the extended videos, simply double tap on the Home button while recording. This enables multitasking, and the app keeps on recording video until you re-enter Snapchat , at which point it automatically stops. So, not very useful, but fun for five minutes.
Telltale Is Developing Marvel Games
I don't feel any kind of way about the Marvel/Telltale deal. But if I finally get a Power Man & Iron Fist video game…
— Evan Narcisse (@EvNarc) April 24, 2015
Telltale Games is developing a series of titles for Marvel, but details are currently so thin on the ground they’re virtually non-existent. All we really know is that the first game made as a result of the deal will hit as-yet-unspecified platforms in 2017.
Telltale has a great reputation for making games with strong storylines and authentic visuals,. The Walking Dead and Game of Thrones television series have already enjoyed the Telltale treatment, and now Marvel is getting in on the action. Prepare for multiple geekgasms.
Downton Abbey Is Better With Lightsabers
And finally, we have proof that almost anything can be improved by the addition of lightsabers, although these are the more traditional lightsabers rather than the dumb pronged effort from Star Wars: The Force Awakens.
In this particular instance, it’s Downton Abbey that’s better because of Star Wars. Downton Wars: Episode 1 – The Phantom Valet was shot entirely on iPhone, but don’t hold that against it. Because lightsabers.
This was uploaded to YouTube to draw attention to cast member Robert James-Collier’s efforts to raise money for a multiple sclerosis charity. James-Collier will be running the London Marathon on Sunday, and you can donate to the cause via his Just Giving page. [H/T CNET]
Your Views on Today’s Tech News
Will you be buying an Apple Watch? Can you believe it has been 10 years since YouTube began? What other television shows would be improved by the addition of lightsabers?
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.