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TechLife January 2021

TechLife is a tech mag with a difference. It focuses on how technology can help you rather than on product specs. In an era when the tablet and smartphone have joined the personal computer as essential devices in our lives, TechLife shows you how to get the most from them.

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Future Publishing Ltd
13 Issues

in this issue

5 min
best new apps

Xbox App SERIES-READY. It is the time of new consoles, so I will take it as an excuse to review their corresponding apps. The Xbox App has always been a handy little companion for an Xbox console. You can get a list of your active friends, use the messaging system, and search for games. It’s quite useful, especially if you find typing a bit of a pain on the console. For the new Xbox Series consoles, you can actually connect the app and use it to aid in the set up process. This makes logging into accounts and all that other set up kerfuffle way easier. You can even connect it to your Xbox and use it as a touch controller, which is incredibly handy if you just want to check download…

1 min
gamegan writes games using just visuals

A collaboration of researchers from Nvidia, The University of Toronto, the Vector institute and MIT have created a machine learning algorithm that can rebuild a game of Pacman from the ground up using nothing but the visuals and controller inputs. While the automatic coding system is impressive on its own, what’s perhaps most significant is that GameGAN bypasses the need to build a game engine in order to write games. It’s also able to swap out identifiable game objects to create new games from amalgamated components.…

2 min
razer pro type

$279, www.razer.com The Razer Pro Type is a wireless keyboard targeted at the business and home office consumer made by one of the world’s most popular makers of computer peripherals. So there’s no question that the Pro Type is an excellent keyboard with a lot of great features and an appealing design. When it comes to the actual business of typing on the Razer Pro Type, you quickly find that it lives up to its name. Razer’s Orange mechanical switches are quieter than other mechanical keyboards and feel very responsive to the touch. Combine this with the soft-touch coating on the keys and before you know it your fingers are just flying across the keys with very little effort. The switches are rated for 80 million keystrokes so the keyboard is also physically…

2 min
physics nobel prize awarded for black hole discoveries

The Nobel Prize in Physics has been awarded to three scientists for their work involving some of the cosmos’ most mysterious, darkest secrets: black holes. Roger Penrose of the University of Oxford in the UK received half of the prize “for the discovery that black hole formation is a robust prediction of the general theory of relativity,” while Andrea Ghez of the University of California, Los Angeles and Reinhard Genzel of the University of Bonn and the Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics in Germany jointly shared the other half “for the discovery of a supermassive compact object at the centre of our galaxy”. For his part, Penrose showed with eloquent mathematical models that the very existence of black holes is a direct consequence of Albert Einstein’s most famous theory; in…

2 min
the mobile revolution

Android as we know it today has become the dominant mobile operating system in a market that has been greatly expanded over the past decade. Smartphones and tablets are ubiquitous around the world and Android is well placed to cater for more people than any other platform out there. Google offers Android to any hardware developer that would like to build devices running it and because of this we have a plethora of phones and tablets at all price ranges that offer a similar experience. In many ways it does not matter if Android is running on a budget device or a product designed to appeal to those who only want to use the best, because the core of the experience will remain the same. With millions of apps available…

2 min
samsung hw-q950t

$1,499, www.samsung.com The Samsung HW-Q950T soundbar, the company’s flagship model for 2020, is here – but should you buy it? Samsung’s new flagship ups the channel count from its predecessor to a remarkable Dolby Atmos / DTS:X-friendly 9.1.4 configuration, despite sporting a slimmer form, and introduces a host of genuinely useful new smart features. All without costing more than its illustrious HWQ90R predecessor. It’s great to see that the soundbar is now slimmer, which means it will fit more comfortably under a range of different-sized TV. Its newly angled front corners are stylish, too. However, we preferred the metallic grille finish of Samsung’s previous soundbar generation to the new Kvadrat felt one we see here. Plus, the decision to move the small onboard display from the front edge to the back of the top…