To celebrate the 10th anniversary of League of Legends, the massive multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA) that’s only dwarfed by the likes of, well, Fortnite, Riot has announced a few things. League of Legends: Wild Rift is a five-on-five version of LoL coming to consoles and phones in 2020 — free to download. There will also be a port of Teamfight Tactics and some new tweaks to the original League of Legends, too, with a new support character joining the fight.
Google’s Pixel laptops used to be synonymous with “expensive.” With prices upwards of $1,000, the company’s Chromebook Pixel and Pixelbook were costly products meant only for the most ardent Chrome OS fans. Paradoxically, they were launched at a time when most people associated Chromebooks with cheap, secondary laptops — you’d have had a hard time finding a third-party option that cost more than $350.
For the Pixelbook Go, Google has softened the edges of the series, with a rounded profile and lighter frame. The Go’s ribbed surface along the base apparently makes it easier to carry and should also help it stand out against the legion of sameish laptops and Chromebooks. The 13.3-inch Go doesn’t offer a rotating screen like its predecessor, so it’s much more like a familiar laptop — which might not be a bad thing.
Do you define $649 as an affordable Chromebook, though?
Welcome Google’s latest phones, now packing a charming new coral color swatch, a new dual camera setup and Soli radar that combines gestures with face unlock. The Pixel 4 will still pack the same advanced imaging software you’d expect, but it has new upgrades to localize exposure on subjects and improved bokeh effects that are less likely to turn your hair into a big smudge. The phone even has an astrophotography mode to make the most of its low-light capabilities.
A lot of this, well, you probably already knew about, but Google was confirming the facts yesterday — including the price. The Pixel 4, when it launches across all four major carriers, starts at $799 for the smaller model and $899 for the Pixel 4 XL. That means that Apple’s own iPhone 11 undercuts the Pixel 4 at launch, but Google’s phone is cheaper than the iPhone 11 Pro. The phones will ship on October 24th — expect our full verdict before then.
These $179 Pixel Buds (no number differentiator here) don’t look terribly different from the originals, but this time there’s no cable connecting the two, and they fit flush to your ear. Additionally, they have a nice two-tone finish that matches the colors of the new Pixel phones. Cherlynn Low tried out a nonfunctional set at Google’s event, reporting that they’re slightly smaller than Microsoft’s more expensive Surface Earbuds and didn’t fit her ears quite as snugly.
As rumored, Google’s new Nest WiFi can be paired with “points,” aka beacons, that will help extend the range of your wireless network at home. These Nest WiFi points can also double as smart speakers, making them compatible with Google Assistant.
The Nest WiFi can do everything the Nest Mini does, so you can use it to make phone calls or listen to music, plus it offers up to 25 percent better coverage and twice the speed of Google’s WiFi mesh. Cherlynn Low tried them out to experience the upgraded sound and “softer, homier” aesthetic” in person.
The refreshed Nest Mini isn’t hiding any router hardware inside, but it does have a faster processor and a wall mount at the same $49 price. Meanwhile, Google’s software magic is tweaking the audio for better performance and enabling ultrasound detection, which can adjust to a nearby presence.
Google is also tweaking the Nest Aware subscription packages, which will cost a flat fee of either $6 or $12 per month no matter how many cameras you have installed. It will also pull in alerts from Google speakers and displays based on sounds they hear — and allow you to call 911 even if you’re somewhere else.
At noon ET on November 19th, you’ll be able to access Google’s cloud gaming service, Stadia — if you’re one of the gamers who pre-order it. Games like Red Dead Redemption 2, Mortal Kombat 11 and Kine will be available for play in 4K and HDR using a Chromecast Ultra and Google’s controller, as well as in lower quality on other devices down to compatible tablets and phones. The Founder’s and Premiere Edition packages come with three months of access to Stadia Pro features, which costs $9.99 per month after that.
As Matt Brian explains, “After over a year as the most popular game on the planet, Epic Games’ money machine has the reset needed not only to freshen things up but make the battle royale shooter exciting again.”
On Tuesday, Sony announced that 360 Reality Audio, its immersive listening technology that debuted at CES, is officially launching this fall. The idea is that it moves a step beyond stereo, with the ability to recreate the experience of listening to live music. There will be around 1,000 tracks to start, from the likes of Billy Joel and Bob Dylan. You’ll be able to access 360 Reality songs via Tidal, Amazon Music HD, Deezer and nugs.net.
But wait, there’s more…
The Morning After is a new daily newsletter from Engadget designed to help you fight off FOMO. Who knows what you’ll miss if you don’t Subscribe.
Have a suggestion on how we can improve The Morning After? Send us a note.