BlackBerry Passport Reviews, iOS 8.0.1 Update Bricks iPhones, And More… [Tech News Digest]
Also, tweeting your Amazon Wishlist, Chrome’s dinosaur endless runner game, the live-action Sunset Overdrive trailer, and testing whether other smartphones are as bendy as the iPhone 6 Plus.
BlackBerry Passport Reviews Roundup
BlackBerry has officially unveiled its new smartphone. The BlackBerry Passport is a large, square handset with a 4.5-inch screen, and, as you would expect from a BlackBerry, a physical keyboard. With apps available from the Amazon Appstore , and an off-contract price of $599, the BlackBerry Passport is an intriguing proposition, but what do the reviewers think?
We have pulled together four early reviews of the BlackBerry Passport to offer you an overview of what is being said about this device around the Web…
Re/Code states that the wider screen leads to “a better experience for reading text,” but this causes problems when watching video, with “a lot of black space above and below the picture.” The reviewer talks up the innovative keyboard but concludes that while “the Passport brings some nice additions and the choice of a wide-screen phone … if you’re already invested in other platforms, there’s no reason to switch.”
CNET offers a mostly positive review, but suggests that “the Passport has a critical flaw,” this being the “squat, square chassis” that “makes for a cumbersome user experience.” There is praise for the physical keyboard and for the long battery life, but, in the end, the title of the review says it all: “A powerful, cumbersome love letter to physical keyboard fans.”
The Verge suggests the Passport is, “BlackBerry going back to its roots: making tools for getting work done.” It’s also called a “productivity powerhouse more comfortable in the boardroom than in the living room.” Criticisms include the Hub being “a great idea executed poorly,” and a camera which “takes pictures in the Passport’s square screen format by default.” Ultimately, in a mostly negative review, the Passport is described as “the best that BlackBerry can do, but that’s not enough.” High praise indeed.
Gizmodo states the Passport is “probably the best phone BlackBerry has ever made. But that doesn’t mean you’ll be buying one.” The operating system is described as “a hacked together version of Android and iOS with a little BlackBerry flavor tossed in,” but browsing the Web is a joy as “reading feels more comfortable.” The conclusion? “If you want to stand out, the Passport carries some ‘WTF is that?’ appeal, but its usefulness is outweighed by its setbacks.”
hopes needs the Passport to turn its fading fortunes around, but if the reviews are anything to go on, the company faces an uphill battle to do so. It’s clearly a thoroughly competent and usable smartphone, but that isn’t likely to be enough to persuade Android, iOS, or even Windows Phone users to switch away from their platform of choice.
Apple Pulls iOS 8.0.1 After Complaints
Apple quickly pulled iOS 8.0.1 after complaints it was turning iPhones into useless piles of junk. The update, released one week after iOS 8 debuted, killed cellular reception and borked Touch ID. In other words, iOS 8.0.1 was meant to fix a host of minor bugs but introduced two rather major ones.
The update is no longer available, and those who have already installed it are being promised a fix in the form of iOS 8.0.2. In the meantime, Apple has laid out how to downgrade to iOS 8 in a support document. What with the bendy iPhone 6 Plus and a bug-ridden iOS update, this is turning into a rather bad week for Apple.
Amazon Launches #AmazonWishlist Hashtag
— Amazon (@amazon) September 24, 2014
Amazon has introduced a new Twitter hashtag which adds items to your Amazon Wish List. After connecting your Twitter account to Amazon, you simply reply to any tweet containing an Amazon product link with #AmazonWishList. You’ll then be tweeted back and emailed, and have that product added to your Wish List.
This is in addition to the #AmazonCart hashtag which Amazon launched in May. But we suspect people will be more willing to add a product to their Wish List rather than their shopping basket.
Google Adds Endless Runner Game To Chrome
I’d like to thank the Chrome team for including another tribute to the Mozilla dino http://t.co/tz0PGd3QRl
— Blair McBride (@theunfocused) September 25, 2014
Google has added a hidden endless runner game to Chrome, but it’s only currently available to those running Chrome Canary . The game shows up when you’re unable to connect to the Internet, with the Tyrannosaurus Rex that has always shown up on that error page now the star of his own endless runner game . All you need to do to set him off running is press the spacebar. And then jump over every obstacle that gets in his way.
The New Sunset Overdrive Trailer Is Genius
Microsoft has released a new (anti-)trailer for Sunset Overdrive, and it’s absolute genius. Rather than simply show gameplay footage, as every other games publisher does, Microsoft sets up a fictional shoot for a live-action trailer, and shows us all what happens behind-the-scenes.
The point is that shooting a live-action trailer for Sunset Overdrive would be impossible thanks to the insane gameplay and cartoonish violence. Which makes me want to play the game more than ever. It’s just a shame — at least for us PlayStation 4 owners — that Sunset Overdrive is an Xbox One exclusive .
Is The iPhone 6 The Only Bendy Phone?
And finally, Lewis Hilsenteger, the guy who bent an iPhone 6 Plus with his bare hands on video to show how weak Apple’s new phablet is, is back. And this time he’s testing the bendability of a host of other high-end smartphones to see if this is an industry-wide problem or an Apple design flaw.
Among the handsets tested are the iPhone 6, the HTC One M8, the Nokia Lumia 1020, and the Moto X, all of which do much better than the iPhone 6 Plus. Which means that if you own an iPhone 6 Plus you would do well to avoid keeping it in your pocket for any length of time. Which obviously isn’t ideal for a product designed to live in your pocket.
Your Views On Today’s Tech News
Are you interested in buying the new BlackBerry Passport? Did you install iOS 8.0.1 before it was pulled? Should Apple apologize for the bendiness of the Phone 6 Plus?
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.