News you need to know
Samsung announces two Galaxy S6 phones
This year, Samsung has two flagship phones; the S6 and the S6 Edge. It's Samsung's first attempt at creating a premium phone made out of metal, which is a welcome addition. Samsung's removed a number of the value-add features it used to cram on, dropped the removable battery and SD card and has removed a lot of the interface cruft. It heavily focused on trumpeting how good its camera is during the unveil, which Apple tried to distract from an hour later.
I can't figure out who Samsung's Galaxy phones are for anymore. With Apple now offering a range of sizes and options, Samsung has removed the things that made its phones unique. I can imagine a number of people will buy the S6 just because it looks better than the iPhone 6 on paper, but all I see this time is an attempt to try and regain lost ground by imitating Apple.
Google+ officially splits into Photos and Streams
Google+'s photos product is awesome, but it was shackled to the kind-of-terrible social network that nobody really wanted to use. This week, as part of a leadership shakeup, we learnt that the company is officially splitting it out into its own product at some point in the future.
HTC and Valve are collaborating on VR and it's awesome
Virtual Reality sounds lame and like nothing more than a buzzword, until you actually try it, then you're blown away. HTC and Valve collaborating on a headset was a surprise, but it sounds amazing.
The company has figured out how to make it more immersive by tracking your movements fully so you can move around and even use your hands. After using the Oculus and being blown away, I'm looking forward to trying this one for myself!
HTC unveils its new flagship phone; the M9
HTC sure knows how to make a lovely phone, but the company let down fans this week by basically announcing a new version of the same thing it released last year. It's still a lovely-looking metal phone that's well designed and fairly unique, but it still takes poor photos. This hands-on with The Verge highlights why the phone is lovely, but a disappointment.
A whole bunch more happened, too, like:
- A huge security flaw uncovered affects Apple, Google and Microsoft software for many users. Patches are inbound!
- Java for Mac now comes with adware
- uTorrent has quietly been installing bitcoin miners in the background
- Tinder launched a paid service... but it costs more if you're over 28
- Apple is reported to be planning to release both a 12.9" iPad and a Retina Macbook Air later this year
- Google is working on its own mobile network in the US
- Samsung will releasing its own payments platform later this year
- Google Contacts got a makeover
Coding Like a Girl
"One category of reactions that I receive all the time as a programmer that presents as feminine is: No one believes I am a programmer." It's upsetting that this is still a reality for many women in technology and needs to change. If you read nothing else in this week's edition, read this. It has some excellent actionable advice.
The dress is white and gold... or, why BuzzFeed won
If you didn't see the nonsense about what color this dress is, I'd be surprised. Buzzfeed amassed over 40 million views on that post, which is an incredible feat or what Digiday is calling the "apotheosis of viral content." Highly recommended reading if you're interested in where the media is headed.
The Plot to Free North Korea With Smuggled Episodes of 'Friends'
An amazing story of how a bootlegged copy of a TV show or movie can change someone's life in North Korea and how people are getting the content into the country.
In Praise of Meaningless Work
"We should embrace not the meaningfulness of work, but its meaninglessness."
What It’s Like to Need Hardly Any Sleep
There's a genetic mutation in 1 percent of the population that means they don't need more than a few hours of sleep a night, but what does that actually feel like? Can you be more productive? Or is it exhausting?
The Office 2016 Mac Preview is here
Microsoft released a free preview version of Office 2016 for Mac this week that finally brings it up to parity with its Windows counterpart. After five years, Microsoft is finally treating Mac owners like first-class users, which is great news. It's worth giving this a shot while it's free!