Robot hand learns to twirl objects on its own

Robots can (usually) walk or roll around just fine, but hand control has often proven elusive: it’s hard to give them the same kind of finger dexterity as a human. However, University of Washington researchers just got much closer to fulfilling that dream. They’ve built a robot hand that is not only dextrous enough to spin objects (such as the tube of coffee beans you see above), but learns how to do this on its own. Its algorithm gradually discovers what works and what doesn’t — give it enough time and it’ll go from clumsy to reasonably skilled.

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原文地址:http://www.engadget.com/2016/05/10/robot-hand-learns-to-twirl-objects/

U of M’s Marlo robot uses algorithms to conquer uneven terrain

Analyzing data from sensors in the biped’s knees, hips and torso, Marlo adjusts walking style on the fly, pulling from a library of 15 pre-programmed gaits and blending them based on ground-cover or inclination angle.

Marlo’s speed and direction is determined by a user holding an Xbox controller, but anything other than that — like movement speed — is handled by the bot itself. What’s more, the school says that this algorithm is general enough that other robots could use it as a baseline for movement. And more than just fueling your nightmares of the impending robocalypse, this has implications for us fleshy humans too: The team says that this tech could extend to robotic prosthetics that’d make walking easier for lower-limb amputees.

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原文地址:http://www.engadget.com/2016/05/06/university-of-michigan-marlo-robot/

Android 7.0 Nougat review: All about getting things done faster

The caveat

Before we go any further, let’s get on the same page about a few things. Yes, it might be a while before you get your OTA Nougat update. Yes, that wait will stretch out even longer if you’re not using Nexus hardware. Carriers and OEMs are keeping mum about their specific Nougat update plans, but if you do have a Nexus device, you can enroll it in the Android Beta program and install a full-fledged Android 7.0 build.

The first taste

I hope you weren’t looking for a dramatic revamp of Android’s stock look and feel — that definitely wasn’t in the cards for this first release. (Bigger interface changes might come with the launch of Google’s new Nexus devices, which will probably sport a sleek new launcher.) In fact, once you’re dumped onto your home screen, you might not notice anything new at all. That changes very quickly as you start to swipe around.

For all that Google has added to the Android formula in this release, there are two features that fundamentally changed how I used my Nexus. The first, dull as it might seem, is an improved take on notifications. In prior versions of Android, notifications would fill up the pull-down shade and just sort of sit there until you interacted with them. Then, pfft — they’d disappear. Nougat, however, does a much better job of bundling them by app and letting you get things done.

Android 7.0 Nougat review: All about getting things done faster

In the midst of writing this paragraph, two new emails popped up in my inbox. On a Marshmallow device, all I could do was tap on the notification to jump into Gmail and see what people were asking me. Fine. Under Nougat, though, I can expand that notification to see the full sender names and subject lines of a handful of my recent emails. Another tap lets me see the first few sentences of the email and (more important) archive or reply without ever jumping into another app. Google’s own apps all play nice with these expanded notifications, and other apps crucial for my life — like Slack, mostly — do the same. Even better, you can manage notifications for individual apps just by long-pressing one of their notifications. Your mileage may vary, but these changes have become crucial to me.

Android 7.0 Nougat review: All about getting things done faster

Then there’s split-screen multitasking, a feature that’s a big deal for big phones and gives Android tablets an extra edge. Here’s how it works: If you’re in a compatible app, you can long-press the Recent or Overview key (also known as “that square one”) to squeeze it into the top half of your display. The bottom half is taken up by the usual view of recent apps, and tapping one finagles it into the remaining free space. (If you’re working on a tablet, replace “top” and “bottom” with “left” and “right”.) In my experience, most apps worked in their diminutive forms pretty well. Sometimes they will make a fuss and proclaim they “might not work” properly running in a reduced size, but they’re usually fine — you’ll just notice some kludginess while apps try to figure out how to operate with such limited room.

Just for giggles, I ran Shazam in one window and Spotify in another, and wouldn’t you know it? The former could easily tell the latter was pumping out some Jacques Loussier. It’s a silly example, certainly, but it worked despite Shazam struggling to render all its interface bits in the right places. In time, developers will (hopefully) smooth out the rough edges. The thing is, it can be tricky to work with both windows at the same time. I tried copying a bit of text from a Chrome window to a Hangouts window on the Nexus 6P, for instance, and more often than not the necessary pop-up menus never appeared. Check this process out: I made Chrome full-screen, copied the text, went back to the split-screen view and then tried to paste into Hangouts. I didn’t get the pop-up option to do so, though, so I had to make Hangouts full-screen and finally pasted the text.

Android 7.0 Nougat review: All about getting things done faster

Of course, some apps don’t even try to adapt to smaller subdisplays. Games that take over the screen and obscure Android’s navigation keys certainly don’t, and neither does image-heavy Instagram. When you try to force one of them into split-screen mode, they just sort of balk and refuse. Now, it’s understandable why the examples above don’t allow themselves to be contained in half a window: If they did, the experience would downright suck. What’s more puzzling is why Google didn’t extend this split-screen functionality to its own search app. You can have two Chrome windows working next to each other just fine, but you’re out of luck if you want to glance at info gleaned from Google’s search bar. It’s silly, arbitrary and more than a little annoying.

Android 7.0 Nougat review: All about getting things done faster

Thankfully, there are a few subtle features that help mobile multitasking work better. There’s an option to change the display size, for one, which scales everything on-screen up or down. For the people with lousy eyesight, display size can be cranked up three levels. For the folks who want maximum screen real estate, though, there’s a “small” setting below default size that neatly shrinks text, icons and more.

I always hated how big app icons were rendered on the Nexus 6P (one of the actual reasons I stopped using the phone), and this feature just fixed it all for me.

There’s also an option to clear all running apps when you’re sifting through the familiar stack of app cards (just like most other Android skins in recent years). Perhaps the single most useful Nougat addition falls under this category too — you can double-tap the Recents key to jump straight back into the app you were using last. It took maybe an hour for this to become second nature, and as far as I’m concerned, there’s no going back.

Diving deeper

Android 7.0 Nougat review: All about getting things done faster

Still other handy — though less exciting — features become apparent once you start digging around a little more. Nougat still offers the option of customizing your quick settings options, for instance. They’re arrayed in a 3×3 grid, with extra icons shunted onto another page. For even quicker access to your five most used settings, look to a new bar at the top of the notifications shade. It’s useful enough, especially when you’re in a rush to turn that flashlight or get that WiFi going.

For whatever reason, everyone finds themselves in their device’s settings eventually. Luckily for them, Google finally overhauled it a bit. While the old settings layout was basically just a list of categories you could dive into, the new one peppers the list with really helpful bits of context such as remaining battery life, ringer volume and how many apps were blocked from sending notifications. Settings sections like Display and Battery offer most of the same options, but now you can bring up a navigation submenu that lets you jump between those sections. Handy, but easy to miss. The main settings menu also offers suggestions that aren’t really all that helpful. It can tell you about setting up a fingerprint (on compatible devices) and change your wallpaper, but did we really need this? Most of the time Nougat just suggested I add another email account. Thanks, but no thanks.

Android 7.0 Nougat review: All about getting things done faster

The revamped Settings page, by the way, is where you’ll find more of Google’s new handiwork. Consider Data Saver: The feature lets you define which apps can use your data plan without limits and which can’t, which is all too handy if you haven’t migrated onto one of those unlimited data plans carriers have started talking up lately. And if you’re one of those fortunate polyglots, Nougat added support for 100 new languages. Maybe more important is how you can now also have multiple languages enabled at the same time, creating what Google calls a “multilocale” — when Google searching, for instance, you’ll get results back in whatever enabled language you typed your query in.

Then there’s all the other stuff — the smaller changes that help Nougat feel more thoughtful and polished. At long last, you can set different lock-screen and home-screen wallpapers in stock Android. How it took this long to implement, I’ll never understand. There are 72 new emoji here because of course there are! (They’re part of the Unicode 9.0 standard). You can display emergency info like your name, blood type and allergies on your phone’s lock screen, too, and Android Nougat also allows you to block calls and text messages from specific phone numbers. Oh, and the best part? Those numbers stay blocked across different apps.

Meanwhile, not everything Google planned for Nougat made the final cut. Remember that Night mode that showed up in the first developer preview? Well, it’s gone — sorry, folks. Google apparently chalked up its excision to poorer-than-expected performance, though you can re-enable it pretty easily if the thought of Dark Android does it for you.

Under the wrapper

Android 7.0 Nougat review: All about getting things done faster

Just as important in Nougat is all of the stuff you can’t “see,” strictly speaking. These foundational changes aren’t as eyecatching as some of Nougat’s other new features, but they’re more important — and more useful — than you might think. The most obvious of these low-level changes is Doze on the Go, which builds off a similarly named feature that debuted in Android 6.0 Marshmallow. Think of it as a light sleep — when the device is locked but in motion, a set of rules kicks in that limit what apps can do and restrict their network access. Then, when the device can tell it’s staying put for a while, the original Doze rules from the Marshmallow update kick in, leading to still more restrictions meant to preserve battery life even further. The one-two punch of Doze and Doze on the Go might not blow your mind, but it should still move the needle — my Nexus 6P seemed to gain about an hour or two of standby battery life.

This year’s Android updates also fold in support for Khronos’ Vulkan API, which should make for some seriously good-looking mobile gaming. There’s a dearth of compatible games right now, though; here’s hoping more developers get to pushing performance and graphical limits soon. You might also notice apps installing and launching a little faster than usual, depending on what kind of hardware you’re working with. That’s thanks to Nougat’s just-in-time compiler, which works with existing systems to determine when to compile an app’s code.

Android 7.0 Nougat review: All about getting things done faster

The arcane stuff goes on. Encryption has been moved to the file level, which — among other things — means your secured device can boot up and compatible apps can do their thing before you even unlock your gear. It should also mean lower-end phones can be partially encrypted (and run a little better) since full-disk encryption can really screw with performance sometimes. Alas, I didn’t get to try this out on a low-end phone because who knows when Nougat will make it beyond the Nexus playground.

The value of other features won’t be apparent for a while, either. Consider the case of seamless updates: Nougat can support two system partitions, one for handling your day-to-day work and another that can install big software updates that quietly download in the background. Once those updates are installed, you’ll be told that Android will update itself next time it restarts, at which point the device starts using that updated partition (complete with all your stuff). It’s possible that some phone makers will never embrace this feature and existing devices like the Nexus 5X or 6P don’t play nice with it either. But we can at least assume it’ll pop up in this year’s new batch of Nexuses.

Those Nexuses, by the way, are likely to be the first devices to fully embrace features Google revealed at its 2016 I/O developer conference. Nougat ships with a VR mode, for instance, a sort of high-performance system that drives down the time gap between your head’s motion and the image on-screen updating. Neat, certainly, but we’ll get a better sense of the benefits VR mode brings to the table when Google’s Daydream virtual-reality platform launches this fall. Meanwhile, we know that Google’s new intelligent Assistant will be baked into the company’s Allo messaging app and the Amazon Echo-like Google Home speaker, but recent evidence suggests it’ll also be made part of Android thanks to an upcoming maintenance release.

Wrap-up

Android 7.0 Nougat review: All about getting things done faster

After playing with Nougat for a week, one thing has become abundantly clear: Android is smoother, smarter and more elegant than ever. That doesn’t mean it’s completely issue-free — split-screen multitasking isn’t nearly as elegant as it could be, and it kind of sucks that seamless software updates won’t happen on older hardware — but the platform’s foundation is in great shape. It’s a good thing, too. The version of Nougat you’re playing with now is just the first step, and you can bet the features we’re really looking forward to, like Daydream and Assistant, will build off what was wrought in this update. Yes, chances are you’ll have to wait for a taste of Nougat, and yes, that blows. Just know that the improvements here, subtle though they may be, are worth the wait.

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原文地址:http://www.engadget.com/2016/08/29/android-7-0-nougat-review/

Apple’s AirPods aren’t a must-buy — yet

Powering all that is a tiny chip called the W1 that manages the connection between the AirPods and the device they’re connected to. Apple has said this silicon will wind up in Beats wireless headphones soon too, though I’ll bite my tongue and not make jokes about Beats’ audio quality until I actually get a chance to try them. Oh, here’s a quick (and probably obvious) pro tip. The AirPods are prone to the same absentminded goofs that could spell doom for other completely wireless earbuds. In fact, just before I sat down to write this sentence, I rushed to my laundry room to fish the AirPods out of a pair of jeans I had just thrown in the hamper. Don’t be like me, people. Always put them back in the case.

In use

Apple's AirPods aren't a must-buy — yet

After popping in the ‘Pods and hearing the instrumental confirmation sound, things are ready to happen. Now we’re getting to the meaty part: How do these things actually sound? Not bad, but ultimately not much better than the EarPods we know and love. That’s not to say there aren’t any improvements. In general, the AirPods gave mids a little more meat than EarPods did, and drum fills felt crisper and more precise. My test tracks — which these days include a lot of jazz and EDM — came across warmer than I would have expected, which was a pleasant surprise.

That said, the all-too-familiar design means the AirPods inherit my biggest pet peeve with the EarPods — how airy they make my music sound. Songs that go heavy on the highs and lows tend to sound a little toothless, which, again, is natural for this design. I’m just frustrated that Apple couldn’t have tweaked it to achieve a little more oomph.

I also wish we had the option to customize the AirPods’ controls more. By default, double-tapping one of the buds wakes Siri up, and she can do all the things you’d expect. You can change these controls so that a double tap pauses and plays the current track, but that’s really about it. (You can also just remove an earbud to pause your music, which seems like the more natural way to go anyway.) The thing is, if you want to change tracks or tweak the volume, you have to either ask Siri to do it or reach for your phone. That’s it. Years of using Apple’s white earbuds have ingrained in me the double click to skip a song and a triple click to go back. It seems odd that there’s no way to program these common controls.

Apple's AirPods aren't a must-buy — yet

Lest you think I’m being needlessly picky, know that the AirPods actually work really well for voice calls. The stems that point down from the buds house the antenna and microphone, and no one I spoke to over the course of the week had any complaints about audio quality. The battery life has generally been impressive too, with the AirPods typically lasting a little over the five hours Apple said to expect. Frequent trips to the charging case help in a pinch too, since it can extend the Pods’ runtime by up to three hours with a 15-minute charge. I’ve plugged in the whole pod-and-case package just once since I received these things a week ago and the case is still sitting pretty with 33 percent battery life. Not bad at all.

Wrap-up

Apple's AirPods aren't a must-buy — yet

When I first encountered the AirPods, I said I didn’t think they’d be a must-have. One week later, that’s still where my head is: The Pods are smart, and their integration with iOS 10 is first-rate, but they fall short in some important ways — sound quality could have been better, and I wish the controls had some more nuance. That said, I’m intrigued by the possibilities they present. If Apple had made the software and controls a little more flexible, this review might have taken a very different turn. If you’re reading this, Apple, this was a solid first attempt. Don’t give up on the concept, because I believe future AirPods could be great.

All product photography by Will Lipman.

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原文地址:http://www.engadget.com/2016/09/13/apple-airpods-review/

iPhone 7 and 7 Plus review: Apple (mostly) plays it safe

It’s a toss-up. The inclusion of optical image stabilization across both versions of the iPhone 7 helps, as does the main camera’s f/1.8 aperture. Props to Samsung: Photos taken with the S7 Edge did indeed look brighter, but the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus offered more natural colors. Before today I would’ve said the S7s and the Note 7s had the best all-around smartphone cameras, but now Apple is right there, neck and neck with the best of them. The iPhone 7’s front-facing camera has also received a major upgrade. It’s been bumped up to seven megapixels and inherited some of the architecture that made the rear cameras so formidable. Long story short, your selfies are going to look lovely. Oh, and videos look really nice too, since they exhibit the same accurate colors as stills. Go forth and vlog, you pioneer.

iPhone 7 and 7 Plus review: Apple (mostly) plays it safe

Then, of course, there’s the iPhone 7 Plus’s dual camera setup, which pairs a 12-megapixel wide-angle shooter with a 12-megapixel telephoto camera to give the Plus an actual zoom. Apple isn’t the first to dabble in dual cameras, nor is it the first company to attempt this zooming configuration; LG tried it earlier this year with half-decent results. Apple’s approach feels more elegant, though — with a quick tap you can switch between 1x and 2x zoom modes, or you can drag a slider or pinch with two fingers for more precise control. By the way, you’ll probably want to stay at 1x or 2x zoom (or somewhere in between). Apple added digital zoom up to 10x, and the closer you get to that ceiling, the noisier and more indistinct things get. That’s not surprising, though.

iPhone 7 and 7 Plus review: Apple (mostly) plays it safe

This whole thing might sound like a gimmick, and it sort of feels like one for a few minutes. After that, the “what do I do with this?” factor falls away and the optical zoom just becomes a handy trick to have at your disposal. The photos turned out great too, though you might notice some differences in the colors and exposure if you take comparison shots with both of the iPhone 7 Plus’s cameras. The secondary telephoto camera still shoots 12-megapixel photos, but it has a slightly wider f/2.8 aperture. Basically, it doesn’t let as much light in, so the photos come out a little different. Avid photographers might take issue with these minute changes; everyone else need not worry. For now, this is the only trick the 7 Plus has that the smaller 7 doesn’t, but that’ll change soon. Apple’s going to update it with a feature that lets you play with depth of field when you’re shooting portraits, so you can get a little more bokeh going on.

Software

iPhone 7 and 7 Plus review: Apple (mostly) plays it safe

The iPhone 7 and 7 Plus might not seem like the most exciting hardware updates, but there’s plenty to get excited about in iOS 10. Granted, very little of it will come as a surprise, since it’s been available as a public beta for months now. Our full review is coming soon, and I’ve already detailed some of the new features, so I’ll just recap the highlights here.

It took a while for me to get used to the revamped Photos app, but I sort of love it now. The app’s original form was really basic: You could sift through your photos by “Moment” and poke around in albums, shared or otherwise. The iOS 10 version, meanwhile, uses machine learning to sort photos into themed “memories” based on where you’ve been and when you’ve done things. The best part: searching through all your photos by keyword, since iOS 10 uses AI to identify what’s in your picture. As it turns out, I have 14 pictures with bibs in them despite not being a parent.

iPhone 7 and 7 Plus review: Apple (mostly) plays it safe

Apple’s bright, bold new Music app was easier to jump right into, and I’m a fan now. The first time you launch the app, you’re dropped right inside your music library (which is how it should be). All of the touch targets are bigger and easier to hit, even when I was glancing down at them mid-run. It’s also satisfying to see 3D Touch finally get more use. I wrote in my iPhone 6s review that using that pressure-sensitive screen was something I eventually wanted to do all the time; too bad iOS 9’s never tapped into its full potential. Not anymore. It feels like 3D Touch is connected more strongly to iOS 10’s core; I’ve been using it to expand notifications, bring up contextual menus in Apple Music and glance at widgets for first-party apps like the dialer and Weather.

Apple is also making better use of the Taptic Engine this time around, so you’ll feel it all over the place — literally. The prominent examples are the ones you’d expect, like 3D-Touching notifications and using the home button, but you’ll also feel a brief thud when you flick the Control Center open. Skimming your Apple Music collection for a specific song? Sliding your finger down the alphabet on the side of the screen feels like running your finger down a washboard, allowing you to more easily stop on a letter.

Oh, by the way, the process of forcing your 7 or 7 Plus to restart is totally different. Instead of holding down the power and home buttons like we have been for a decade, the new process requires you to hold down the power and volume down keys.

iPhone 7 and 7 Plus review: Apple (mostly) plays it safe

And now for some bad news: I still haven’t been able to test some of iOS 10’s headline features. Siri’s intelligence is poised to get a big upgrade thanks to third-party apps, but I couldn’t yet ask her to call me an Uber or send my friend $20 via Venmo. And while I’m also a little obsessed with sending these weird new iMessages, it’s too bad that at time of writing, the iMessage app store was still virtually barren. I’ll update this review as the store comes online and I get to play with more weird stuff.

Performance and battery life

iPhone 7 and 7 Plus review: Apple (mostly) plays it safe

Another year, another high-powered A-series chip to play with. The iPhone 7 and 7 Plus both run the company’s new A10 Fusion, a quad-core chipset that pairs two speedy CPU cores with two longer-lasting ones that use 20 percent of the power the others do. It’s easily the fastest chip Apple has ever stuck in a mobile device, beating out even the 9.7-inch iPad Pro’s A9X processor. More important, there’s basically zero difference in performance between the 7 and 7 Plus, even though the smaller version has 2GB of RAM, versus 3GB on the Plus.

I restored the new iPhones from backups of our 6s and the differences were immediately clear. There’s almost no delay from when you tap an app icon to when it launches, and popping in and out of apps was noticeably faster too. Both the 7 and 7 Plus were also able to handle graphically demanding games like Warhammer 40,000: Freeblade, Submerged and Mortal Kombat X without breaking a sweat.

In fairness, the 6s and 6s Plus played these nearly as well, but the 7 and 7 Plus’s batteries don’t get depleted as much in the process. Part of that is likely due to the 6s’s battery deteriorating over time, but the A10 Fusion’s GPU is also more power-efficient. Ultimately, what might be most telling is that when it came to day-to-day use, I stopped thinking about performance completely.

iPhone 7 iPhone 7 Plus iPhone 6s iPhone 6s Plus
3DMark Unlimited IS 37,663 37,784 24,601 27,542
Geekbench 3 (multi-core) 5,544 5,660 4,427 4,289
Basemark OS II 3,639 3,751 2,354 2,428

We can’t talk performance without delving into the 7 and 7 Plus’s batteries, and thankfully they’re an improvement over last year. One of the few upsides to removing that headphone jack was that it freed up more space to make these batteries a little bigger — 14 percent larger in the iPhone 7 and 5 percent in the 7 Plus. In our standard video rundown test (in which the phones are connected to WiFi with a video looping at 50 percent brightness), the 7 lasted for 12 hours and 18 minutes, or just about two hours longer than the 6s. The 7 Plus, meanwhile, looped Whiplash for 14 hours and 10 minutes, or about an hour and a half longer than the 6s Plus. That’s also on par with Samsung’s Galaxy Note 7. Not bad at all.

Eventually, though, I had to give up on bingeing on a raw jazz thriller and get some actual work done. These days, my usual routine involves lots of Slack messages, emails, Spotify playlists and marathon Hearthstone sessions. When put through that very specific kind of wringer, the iPhone 7 usually stuck around for a full workday and often survived until mid-morning the following day. The 7 Plus, meanwhile, frequently lasted through nearly two days of mixed use and downtime, a notable improvement over the 6s Plus. Obviously, your mileage will vary, but here’s hoping that these upgraded batteries stay this good over time. (We’ll see about that.)

The competition

iPhone 7 and 7 Plus review: Apple (mostly) plays it safe

Under normal circumstances, the Galaxy Note 7 would be at the top of this list, but, well … you know. While Samsung continues its global recall over exploding batteries, you should consider the Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge in the Note’s place. They share the same Snapdragon 820 chip and 4GB of RAM, not to mention the same lovely 12-megapixel cameras that rival the sensor Apple used this year. If you’re a screen snob, Samsung’s displays might be more appealing, since they run at a higher resolution and also support a wider color gamut than the sRGB standard. Apple and Android fans often tussle over which platform is superior, but make no mistake: The newest iPhones and the newest Galaxies are all truly excellent smartphones.

Looking for impeccable build quality and equally good sound? Consider HTC’s underrated 10. It’s easily the most impressive phone the company has crafted in years, and with support for hi-res audio and a headphone jack, it’s arguably a more versatile media machine. Speaking of HTC, it’s rumored to be working on the two most anticipated Android devices of the moment. We’re not entirely sure if they’ll be called Nexus phones or Pixel phones or something else entirely — either way, Google is said to be prepping for an October 4 unveiling. Codenamed “Sailfish” and “Marlin,” both are expected to pack quad-core Qualcomm chipsets (either the Snapdragon 820 or 821) with 4GB of RAM and 12-megapixel main cameras.

The biggest difference is reportedly the size of their screens, with the smaller Sailfish sporting a 5-inch or 5.2-inch 1080p display, while the Marlin runs with a 5.5-inch Quad HD screen. If you don’t care about smartphones as much as you care about getting the best phone, period, you might want to wait and see what Google has up its sleeve.

Wrap-up

iPhone 7 and 7 Plus review: Apple (mostly) plays it safe

The iPhone 7 and 7 Plus are at once the most technically impressive smartphones Apple has ever made and the most divisive. After all, they’re excellent because of Apple’s renewed attention to the basics: the speed, the camera, the screen, the battery. None of these improvements on their own are terribly exciting, but together they make for a pair of phones that are more than the sum of their parts. Then again, where’s the envelope-pushing? Where’s the Apple that upended an industry? It’s surely still there, locked behind closed doors that won’t be opened again for another year. In the meantime, we’re left to consider this year’s work.

If you can get over the all-too-familiar design and the no-headphone-jack thing, then the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus are serious contenders for best smartphones, period. Note that I used the word “best,” not “most innovative” — neither of these devices is groundbreaking. We’ve seen many of these features (or features like them) pop up in rival phones already. That headphone jack thing aside, most of the choices made in the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus feel like safe ones. There’s nothing wrong with that, but no matter how good the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus are (answer: very, very good), Apple already has us all wondering what next year’s iPhone is going to be like.

All product photography by Will Lipman.

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原文地址:http://www.engadget.com/2016/09/13/iphone-7-and-7-plus-review/

Apple Macbook (early 2016)

Summary

Apple deserves credit for improving the MacBook's battery life and disk speeds, but other than that, this is, for better and worse, the same machine as last year's model. If you previously shied away from the 12-inch MacBook because of the "one port" thing, this still isn't the laptop for you. But if portability and screen quality are a priority above else, you can take comfort in knowing that this year's version is just as good in that respect, and that the performance is materially better.

Pros
  • Lightweight, attractive design
  • Comfortable keyboard
  • Gorgeous display
  • Improved SSD speeds
  • New model does indeed get an extra hour of battery life
  • Now available in pink, if that's your thing
Cons
  • Still just one port; adapters sold separately
  • Battery life still trails other ultraportables, including Apple's own MacBook Air

Apple Macbook (early 2016)

Apple dropped some Mac news last week, but it might not have been the news you were waiting for. Neither the MacBook Air nor the MacBook Pro have seen a processor refresh since last year, and both have had the same design for several years now. So, if you were hoping for the mythical Retina display Air or an MBP with one of Intel’s newer Skylake chips, you’re still outta luck.

If, however, you were waiting to pull the trigger on the 12-inch MacBook, this was your lucky week: Apple updated its lightest-weight notebook with newer CPUs, faster SSDs and a rose-gold option — the first pink computer the company has ever made. Aside from the new color, which I am not reviewing so much as judging, the refreshed MacBook promises a 25 percent boost in graphics performance and an extra hour of battery life. I’d say those claims are indeed accurate.

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原文地址:http://www.engadget.com/products/apple/macbook/early-2016/

Nike and EA bring back 1994 with 16-bit soccer shoes

The EA Sports x Nike Mercurial boots are bright orange and feature graphics that transition from a pixelated 16-bit design on one side to a high-definition pattern on the other. There’s an EA Sports logo on the sock, lace and heel, and the Nike swoosh has been given the pixelation treatment too. To complete the look, the bottom plate has been given an iridescent golden finish.

The good news is that you’ll be able to grab the new EA Sports x Nike Mercurial Superflys in one of two ways. The first is a virtual unlock, which requires you to reach level seven in the EA Sports Football Club Catalog offered inside FIFA 17. The company will also make 1,500 pairs available via the Nike Football App and Nike website on September 26th.

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原文地址:http://www.engadget.com/2016/09/20/nike-ea-16-bit-mercurial-superfly/

League of Legends’ creators made a board game

“It’s easily the most expensive piece in the game,” producer Chris Cantrell says. He’d really like it if people held off on opening it until they’re asked to do so over the course of a game, especially since the team made a point for it to not be the center of its marketing campaign. But, honestly, would you and three friends be able to resist?

Lucky for you, you don’t have long to devise an answer to that question: Mechs Vs. Minions will be available on October 13th — directly from Riot — for $75. Hopefully you won’t be too busy with PlayStation VR to order a copy.

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原文地址:http://www.engadget.com/2016/09/20/league-of-legends-creators-made-a-board-game/

What’s on your HDTV: ‘Labyrinth’ 4K, ‘NBA 2K17,’ ‘Mr. Robot’

Blu-ray & Games & Streaming

  • Labyrinth (30th Anniversary Edition) (4K)
  • Beauty and the Beast (25th Anniversary Edition)
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows (3D)
  • Neighbors 2
  • Free State of Jones
  • High Noon
  • Blood Simple (Criterion)
  • It
  • Salem’s Lot
  • Cat’s Eye
  • The Thing
  • NBA 2K17 (PC, PS3, Xbox 360, PS4, Xbox One)
  • Destiny: Rise of Iron DLC (Xbox One, PS4)
  • Dear Esther (PS4, Xbox One)
  • LASTFIGHT (PS4, Xbox One)
  • H1Z1 (PC)
  • Batman: The Telltale Series Episode 2 (PC, PS4, Xbox One)
  • Killer Instinct: Definitive Edition (Xbox One)
  • Firewatch (Xbox One)
  • Severed (Wii U)

Monday

  • Monday Night Football: Eagles vs. Bears, ESPN, 8:15PM
  • The Big Bang theory (season premiere), CBS, 8PM
  • Gotham (season premiere), Fox, 8PM
  • Three Days of Terror: The Charlie Hebdo Attacks, HBO, 8PM
  • The Voice (season premiere), NBC, 8PM
  • Dancing With the Stars, ABC, 8PM
  • Sacred Sites, Smithsonian Channel, 8PM
  • WWE Raw, USA, 8PM
  • X Factor UK, Axs, 8PM
  • Kevin Can Wait (series premiere), CBS, 8:30PM
  • The Case of: Jon Benet Ramsey Part 2 of 2, CBS, 9PM
  • Lucifer (season premiere), Fox, 9PM
  • The Good Place (series premiere), NBC, 10PM
  • Mary + Jane, MTV, 10PM
  • Match Game (season finale), ABC, 10PM
  • Catfish, MTV, 10PM
  • Cheer Squad, Freeform, 10PM
  • Sacred Steel, Discovery, 10PM
  • Major Crimes, TNT, 10PM
  • Loosely Exactly Nicole, MTV, 10:30PM
  • Full Frontal with Samantha Bee, TBS, 10:30PM
  • StarTalk (season premiere), National Geographic Channel, 11PM

Tuesday

  • Brooklyn Nine-nine (season premiere), Fox, 8PM
  • NCIS (season premiere), CBS, 8PM
  • The Voice, NBC, 8PM
  • 16 for ’16: Dean/Buchanan, PBS, 8PM
  • WWE Smackdown, USA, 8PM
  • Big Brother, CBS, 8PM
  • Undrafted, NFL Network, 8PM
  • New Girl (season premiere), Fox, 8:30PM
  • Bull (series premiere), CBS, 9PM
  • Scream Queens (season premiere), Fox, 9PM
  • Inside the NFL, Showtime 9PM
  • Deadliest Catch: Dungeon Cove, Discovery, 9PM
  • From Dusk till Dawn, El Rey, 9PM
  • Forged in Fire, History, 9PM
  • MadTV, CW, 9PM
  • Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (season premiere), ABC, 10PM
  • NCIS: NO (season premiere), CBS, 10PM
  • This is Us (series premiere), NBC, 10PM
  • Black Market, Viceland, 10PM
  • Atlanta, FX, 10PM
  • A Season with Florida State Football, Showtime, 10PM
  • Adam Ruins Everything, TruTV, 10PM
  • One Shot, BET, 10PM

Wednesday

  • Blindspot, NBC, 10PM
  • The Goldbergs (season premiere), ABC, 8PM
  • Penn & Teller: Fool Us, CW, 8PM
  • Lethal Weapon (series premiere), Fox, 8PM
  • Survivor (season premiere), CBS, 8PM
  • The Timeline, NFL Network, 8PM
  • Forces of Nature, PBS, 8PM
  • Speechless (series premiere), ABC, 8:30PM
  • Empire (season premiere), Fox, 9PM
  • Modern Family (season premiere), ABC, 9PM
  • Law & Order: Special Victims Unit (season premiere), NBC, 9PM
  • Dual Survival, Discovery, 9PM
  • Whose Line is it Anyway?, CW, 9PM
  • America’s Got Talent, NBC, 9PM
  • Big Brother (season finale), CBS, 9:30PM
  • Black-ish (season premiere), ABC, 9:30PM
  • Designated Survivor (series premiere), ABC, 10PM
  • Chicago PD (season premiere), NBC, 10PM
  • You’re the Worst, FXX, 10PM
  • Catfish, MTV, 10PM
  • Mr. Robot (season finale), USA, 10PM
  • American Horror Story FX, 10PM
  • South Park, Comedy Central, 10PM
  • Still Alive, Discovery, 10PM
  • Weediquette, Viceland, 10PM
  • Any Given Wednesday with Bill Simmons, HBO, 10PM
  • American Gothic, CBS, 10PM
  • Gaycation, Viceland, 10:30PM
  • Legends of Chamberlain Heights, Comedy Central, 10:30PM
  • Unlocking the Truth, MTV, 11PM
  • Falling Water: Special Preview, USA, 11PM

Thursday

  • Easy (S1), Netflix, 3AM
  • Texans/Patriots football, CBS, 8:25PM
  • Grey’s Anatomy (season premiere), ABC, 8PM
  • Superstore (season premiere), NBC, 8PM
  • Rosewood (season premiere), Fox, 8PM
  • The Good Place, NBC, 8:30PM
  • Pitch (series premiere), Fox, 9PM
  • Chicago Med (season premiere), NBC, 9PM
  • Notorious (series premiere), ABC, 9PM
  • The Blacklist (season premiere), NBC, 10PM
  • How to Get Away With Murder (season premiere), ABC, 10PM
  • Better Things, FX, 10PM
  • Wonderland, MTV, 11PM

Friday

  • Longmire (S5), Netflix, 3AM
  • Audrie & Daisy, Netflix, 3AM
  • Iliza Schlesinger: Confirmed Kills, Netflix, 3AM
  • Transparent (S3), Amazon Prime, 3AM
  • Macgyver (series premiere), CBS, 8PM
  • Last Man Standing (season premiere), ABC, 8PM
  • Masters of Illusion, CW, 8PM
  • Dr. Ken (season premiere), ABC, 8:30PM
  • A Football Life: Rodney Harrison, 9PM
  • The Exorcist (series premiere), Fox, 9PM
  • Hawaii Five-0 (season premiere), CBS, 9PM
  • Shark Tank (season premiere), ABC, 9PM
  • Z Nation, Syfy, 9PM
  • Van Helsing (series premiere), Syfy, 10 & 11PM
  • Quarry, Cinemax, 10PM
  • Blue Bloods (season premiere), CBs, 10PM
  • High Maintenance, HBO, 11PM
  • The Eric Andre Show, Cartoon Network, 12AM
  • The Half Hour: Erik Heller/Erik Bergstrom, Comedy Central, 12AM

Saturday

  • Baylor/Oklahoma State college football, Fox, 7PM
  • Gringo: The Dangerous Life of John McAfee, Showtime, 9PM

Sunday

  • Bears/Cowboys Sunday Night Football, NBC, 8:20PM
  • Bob’s Burgers (season premiere), Fox, 7:30PM
  • Once Upon a Time (season premiere), ABC, 8PM
  • Poldark (season premiere), PBS, 8PM
  • The Simpsons (season premiere), Fox, 8PM
  • The Circus: Inside the Greatest Political Show on Earth, Showtime, 8PM
  • Son of Zorn (series premiere), Fox, 8:30PM
  • NCIS:LA (season premiere), CBS, 8:30PM
  • Power (season finale), Starz, 9PM
  • Family Guy (season premiere), Fox, 9PM
  • Secrets & Lies (season premiere), ABC, 9PM
  • Fear the Walking Dead, AMC, 9PM
  • Quantico (season premiere), ABC, 10PM
  • Masters of Sex, Showtime, 10PM
  • Ballers (season finale), HBO, 10PM
  • The Strain, FX, 10PM
  • Survivor’s Remorse (season finale), Starz, 10PM
  • Motive (season finale), USA, 11PM
  • Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, HBO, 11:15PM
  • Geeking Out, AMC, 11:59PM

(All times listed are ET)

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原文地址:http://www.engadget.com/2016/09/19/whats-on-your-hdtv-labyrinth-4k-nba-2k17-mr-robot/