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PS4 Yukimura update arrives

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Sony has announced it will release system software update version 2.50, codenamed “Yukimura,” for the PlayStation 4 system tomorrow.

The update is expected to bring highly-anticipated and requested features to the system. These include the Suspend/Resume feature, which enables gamers to jump in and out of their games quickly and pick up where they left off.  In addition, the PS4 system will add to its set of social tools by making it easier to connect gamers, furthering its position as the best place to play with friends.

Highlights coming to PS4 with “Yukimura” include:

Jump Back Into Games Faster with Suspend/Resume*

Suspend/Resume, which will be supported by nearly all PS4 titles, will allow PS4 owners to spend less time waiting for games to load and more time playing. Gamers will be able to suspend their game by putting their PS4 into Rest Mode, and then quickly resume the game where they left off by pressing the PlayStation button on the DUALSHOCK 4 wireless controller, which wakes their system.

Back-Up and Restore Hard Disc Drive to External USB Drive

“Yukimura” allows PS4 owners to back-up and restore the hard disc to and from an external USB drive.  Hard disc drive data includes settings, saved data, screenshots and video clips as well as games, patches and download data.

Find and Connect with Friends

PS4 owners will now be able to search for Facebook Friends with their linked account. Friend requests and Real Name requests can be sent together in one step when adding a friend on PS4. The update will allow users to easily view what their friends are playing by adding a “Friends Who Play This” section on each game detail page, while also highlighting which friends are currently online and playing it.  The process to create a Party has also been streamlined with a reduction in the number of steps required. Additionally, the What’s New section will now feature a section where users can see what their friends are currently playing enabling them to join in the game if they own it or find out more on PlayStation Store.

Share Your Earned Trophies and Trophy List Enhancements

PS4 owners have been sharing their most impressive gaming moments since the launch of the system, and with “Yukimura,” a screenshot will automatically be captured when a Trophy is earned, making it easy for users to share their favourite gaming moments with their friends. The update will also make it easy for players to share Trophy information to Facebook, Twitter or via Message by pressing the SHARE button. Additionally, users will now be able to sort their Trophy list by “Earned Date,” “Not Earned,” and “Grade,” as well as the option to remove games from the Trophy list that have zero percent completion.

Improved and Expanded Accessibility Options

“Yukimura” introduces new options to customize the user experience with PS4, making it easier for gamers with impaired vision and limited manual dexterity to play. Customized button assignments for DUALSHOCK 4 and a zoom feature for displayed pictures and inverted colours will be available for all system functions, apps and games.   Enlarged text will be available across the graphical user interface, including Message and Party, and enlarged text will also be enabled for use in the system’s browser.  Bolder fonts and higher contrast UI will be available for all system applications but will not apply to games or third-party applications.

Additional features and updates introduced with “Yukimura” include:

·         Remote Play and Share Play: For games that support 60 fps, users will be able to automatically enjoy those games with 60fps for both Remote Play and Share Play on supported devices.

·         Automatic Installation for System Software Updates: Users will be able to automatically install future system software updates.

·         Sub-Account Upgrade: Users 18 years of age or older with sub-accounts will be able to upgrade to a master account directly on PS4, removing restrictions on chat and enabling users add funds to their Wallet, purchase content and more.

·         Verified Accounts: Verified accounts for game industry professionals, including developers, producers, designers and community managers will appear with a badge.

·         Dailymotion.com: Players will have the ability to upload video clips directly to Dailymotion via the SHARE button.

The PlayStation Vita system and PlayStation App for smartphones and tablets will also receive system software updates with the same timing as “Yukimura,” adding complementary features to those added to PS4 with the update. PS Vita update version 3.50 and PlayStation App update version 2.50 will add new accessibility options, including enlarge text, increase contrast and more. This update also enables PS Vita to support 60fps streaming for Remote Play.

For more information, including the full list of features added to the PlayStation 4 system, PlayStation Vita system and PlayStation App, please visit: www.eu.playstation.com.

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Low-cost wireless sport earphones get a kickstart

Wireless earphone brands are common, but not crowdfunded brands. BRYAN TURNER takes the K Sport Wireless for a run.

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As wireless technology becomes better, Bluetooth earphones have become popular in the consumer market. KuaiFit aspires to make them even more accessible to more people through a cheaper, quality product, by selling the K Sport Wireless Earphones directly from its Kickstarter page

KuaiFit has an app by the same name which offers voice-guided personal training services in almost every type of exercise, from cardio to weight-lifting. A vast range of connectivity to third-party sensors is available, like heart rate sensors and GPS devices, which work well with guided coaching. 

The app starts off with selecting a fitness level: beginner, intermediate and advanced. Thereafter, one has the ability to connect with real personal trainers via a subscription to its paid service. The subscription comes free for 6 months with the earphones, and R30 per month thereafter. 

The box includes a manual, a USB to two USB Type B connectors, different sized soft plastic eartips and the two earphone units. Each earphone is wireless and connects to the other independently of wires. This puts the K Sport Wireless in the realm of the Apple Earpods in terms of connection style. 

The earphones are just over 2cm wide and 2cm high. The set is black with a light blue KuaiFit logo on the earphone’s button. 

The button functions as an on/off switch when long-pressed and a play/pause button when quick-pressed. The dual-button set-up is convenient in everyday use, allowing for playback control depending on which hand is free. Two connectivity modes are available, single earphone mode or dual earphone mode. The dual earphone mode intelligently connects the second earphone and syncs stereo audio a few seconds after powering on. 

In terms of connectivity, the earphones are Bluetooth 4.1 with a massive 10-meter range, provided there are no obstacles between the device and the earphones. While it’s not Bluetooth 5, it still falls into the Bluetooth Low Energy connection category, meaning that the smartphone’s battery won’t be drastically affected by a consistent connection to the earphones. The batteries within the earphones aren’t specifically listed but last anywhere between 3 and 6 hours, depending on the mode. 

Audio quality is surprisingly good for earphones at this price point. The headset style is restricted to in-ear due to its small design and probable usage in movement-intensive activities. As a result, one has to be very careful how one puts these earphones, in because bass has the potential of getting reduced from an incorrect in-ear placement. In-ear earphones are usually notorious for ear discomfort and suction pain after extended usage. These earphones are one of the very few in this price range that are comfortable and don’t cause discomfort. The good quality of the soft plastic ear tip is definitely a factor in the high level of comfort of the in-ear earphone experience.

Overall, the K Sport Wireless earphones are great considering the sound quality and the low price: US$30 on Kickstarter.

Find them on Kickstarter here.

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Taxify enters Google Maps

A recent update to Taxify now uses Google Maps which allows users to identify their drivers, find public transport and search for billing options.

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People planning their travel routes using Google Maps will now see a Taxify icon in the app, in addition to the familiar car, public transport, walking and billing options.

Taxify started operating in South Africa in 2016 and as of October 2018 operates in seven South African cities – Johannesburg, Ekurhuleni, Tshwane, Cape Town, Durban, Port Elizabeth and Polokwane.

Once riders have searched for their destination and asked the app for directions, Google Maps shares the proximity of cars on the Taxify platform, as well as an estimated fare for the trip.

If users see that taking the Taxify option is their best bet, they can simply tap on the ‘Open app’ icon, to complete the process of booking the ride. Customers without the app on their device will be prompted to install Taxify first.

This integration makes it possible for users to evaluate which of the private, public or e-hailing modes of transport are most time-efficient and cost-effective.

“This integration with Google Maps makes it so much easier for users to choose the best way to move around their city,” says Gareth Taylor, Taxify’s country manager for South Africa. “They’ll have quick comparisons between estimated arrival times for the different modes of transport, as well as fares they can expect to pay, which will help save both time and money,” he added.

Taxify rides in Google Maps are rolling out globally today and will be available in more than 15 countries, with South Africa being one of the first countries to benefit from this convenient service.

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