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Disney Plus will serve up 4K and four streams for each account

As that November 12 launch date gets closer, we're hearing more details about exactly how Disney Plus is going to work. Today's tidbit: sign up and you'll get access to four simultaneous streams, as well as 4K content.

That's for the base $7 subscription fee, according to CNET, which makes it a very appealing proposition: for four simultaneous streams and 4K on Netflix, you need to fork out $16 every month (though you might prefer Mindhunter to The Mandalorian).

The other option on the table is Disney Plus, ESPN Plus and Hulu for a total of $13 a month, but you only get two simultaneous ESPN Plus streams and one Hulu stream on top of the original Disney package.

Speaking to Disney executives, CNET says new episodes of its original series are going to come out weekly – we won't see the same drop of multiple episodes that we do on Netflix (and which causes all that binge watching).

The price is right?

Disney is of course going to want to work hard to tempt people to add a Disney Plus subscription on top of Netflix – or instead of Netflix – and it seems like aggressive pricing is going to be one way of doing that.

As Netflix has demonstrated, pricing can go up at any time, so Disney might see fit to tweak these price points once it's got enough people signed up. With Apple also launching a new TV and movie service this year, competition is hotting up.

It's actually the Disney fan expo, D23, this weekend, so expect some more Disney Plus news to appear on the wires – Disney has also confirmed that an Obi-Wan show is coming to the service, and has released the first trailer for The Mandalorian.

Some questions still remain though, including if and when the service is going to start rolling out outside of the US. We'll no doubt here more as the launch date approaches.

At $899, the new MacBook Air isn't just a good deal, it solidifies the laptop's legacy

When Apple first debuted the newly redesigned MacBook Air in 2018, I quickly reacted rather strongly to the laptop’s price and specifications. The original MacBook Air, after all, had been the most affordable laptop for years, only to be revived at an inaccessible price.

However, Apple has grown quite aggressive with pricing the 2019 MacBook Air model soon after its release this season, just as it did shortly after launching the original MacBook Air. Not only did Apple bring the standard price down by $100 or £100 in July, now the laptop is available for just $999 to start on the company’s online store.

While we’re at it, Best Buy has been seen repeatedly selling the 2019 MacBook Air for just $899 in the US – essentially where the original MacBook Air was priced in its prime.

What I once thought was an opulent product trying to demand attention from budgeted buyers with the ‘Air’ title (which was so deeply associated with affordability) has, at last, lived up to that legacy of value. If you can find the 2019 MacBook Air for just $899 or similarly priced elsewhere, you’re looking at a fine - dare we say premium - laptop with some luxury features and just enough processing power for basic computing tasks and forms of entertainment.

In short, that price makes the 2019 MacBook Air much, much easier to recommend as an option against similarly-priced Windows 10 laptops. The MacBook Air is well positioned to once again become as accessible of a path into Apple’s computing world as it once was.

The early 2019 Dell XPS 13.

Sizing up the competition

The $999 – or $899, if you’re lucky – MacBook Air comes with the company’s newest True Tone, Retina 13.3-inch display driven by a fanless, dual-core Intel Core i5 processor (CPU) and 8GB of memory (RAM). The laptop comes with 128GB of flash storage, accessed by two Thunderbolt 3 ports, and offers Touch ID biometric login with a fingerprint sensor in the power button. Naturally, the MacBook Air comes in Apple’s iconic and luxurious, all-aluminum chassis design.

First of all, the Dell XPS 13 isn’t even available for as low as the MacBook Air is, at the time of writing, on Dell’s online store. For $1,199 – or $1,055.99 in a current promotion – the XPS starts with a Full HD (1,920 x 1,080), 13.3-inch display with 8GB of RAM and a quad-core Intel Core i5 CPU with 256GB of storage. While it has no fingerprint sensor, the laptop does have two Thunderbolt 3 ports in addition to a USB-C port and microSD card reader. The lid of the XPS 13 is a matte aluminum, but the inside is comprised of a rubbery-feeling carbon fiber material. 

Comparing these two laptops is not apples to apples, but if it’s a high resolution display and premium features like fingerprint login that you seek, it’s difficult to beat the MacBook Air here. This was not necessarily the case were you to compare these two laptops at both of their starting points last year.

That's one helluva laptop for $899 (or £1,011).

MacBook Air: the amazing, (more) affordable Apple laptop again

Apple would be wise to keep this pricing scheme up, as it would put the company in a much more favorable position when looking at it against competing flagship laptops. But, more importantly, it’s just right to have the – in many eyes – inimitable Apple experience priced more accessible to more people.

I appreciate that Apple is trying to do this beyond even price cuts, with a trade-in program for old Apple hardware in which an old Mac computer can get you as much as $1,400 toward a new Mac device. If you have enough old Apple gear in your house – ideally that you don’t use – that’s eligible for trade-in, you could shave a considerable amount off the already-reduced price.

Then, there’s the Apple Card or Apple’s Barclay’s financing options, both of which could help you pay for the MacBook Air purchase over time without interest, so long as you pay off the balance on time monthly and in total within a year’s time.

Finally, with Black Friday and Cyber Monday looming on the horizon, it’s high time for Apple to drive the price of its most affordable laptop today down a bit further. 

I frankly didn’t think we’d see laptops with display resolutions at this density for such a price for another few years. After all, the 13-inch MacBook Pro has been around for years at the very same Retina display resolution and at a much less approachable price for most people.

If you, like me, balked a bit at the initial price of the MacBook Air when it debuted in 2018, but appreciated it as a laptop on its face, Apple has made it a lot easier for you to buy into its arguably robust computing experience. I’ve certainly had one in a few online shopping carts over the last few weeks.

Netflix and chill: how the streaming service could make TV social again

If you’re using Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu or similar TV streaming services regularly, you’ll likely have felt the tussle between different media competing for your all-important television time. Even if you stick largely to one TV platform, there’s then a whole news cycle around the show to keep track of and contribute to – not to mention the friends and colleagues you message about your new favorite – or least favorite – shows.

It’s no wonder some of us end up doubling up: texting and tweeting mid-episode, sharing videos of ourselves on the couch to Instagram, posting comments on every YouTube video we watch, and trying to stay as social as possible while being held hostage by various screens.

For Netflix in particular – a platform so associated with millennials hanging out that “Netflix and chill” has its own Wikipedia page – it’s highly possible we’ll see more built-in social features emerge, in order to enhance the viewing experience and keep users inside the Netflix platform, instead of letting them run off to other services (WhatsApp, Twitter, etc) to talk about what they’ve just watched.

We spoke to Michael Pazaratz, CEO of the social messaging app Rave, to find out whether more social features are going to be the way forward for these kinds of TV streaming services.

You, me, and the TV screen

If you're wondering what an app has to do with this, Rave was founded five years ago to try to bring more social features to today’s streaming culture.

The iOS and Android app essentially synchronises Netflix, YouTube, or Vimeo videos (or music tracks) between the smartphones or tablets of you and your friends, meaning you’re able to comment and respond to each other knowing you’re at the same place in a video – while also overlaying text comments on / below the feed.

But given the rapid move away from specifically timed broadcasts, and towards on-demand watching, that social element is harder to recapture than ever.

“You can now watch what you want, where you want, when you want,” he says. “There’s no longer a reason to gather around the TV at 9pm, if you can just binge a whole series on your iPad. And while this is broadly a good (and irreversible) phenomenon, it’s led to a shift from communal to solitary viewing, and something has been lost in the process.”

High-profile shows like GoT – or the upcoming Game of Thrones prequel – attract viewers in the millions when new episodes land.

But how can synchronized videos and messaging features help? “Chatting by text or voice recreates the social dynamics of being in the same room. Sometimes it's enough just to know you're watching together.”

Naturally, any TV show with enough hype around it can get a large audience all watching as a new episode drops – whether that's online or terrestrial television. A study by electronics company Epson also found that over half of surveyed parents in the UK view TV watching as a social activity that "could help bring families closer together".

But for connecting on a wider scale, the act of commenting during real-time videos is one already gaining traction. Twitch streams, Facebook Live videos and YouTube radio stations all allow users to leave comments and reactions on what they’re watching, meaning viewers can engage collectively instead of a purely solitary experience.

Twitch has popularized livestreams, with viewers responding to feeds collectively in real time.

It apes what’s actually a much more common phenomenon in China – where online videos will often include a stream of so-called ‘bullet comments’, named after the fast-moving projectiles that dominate the screens of Space Invaders-style arcade cabinets. These bullet comments are overlaid over the picture itself, rather than under or alongside it, with typed thoughts, reactions, emojis and exclamations from its various audience members all merging with the visual information happening onscreen (via LogicMag / @xuhulk).

As if someone texting in the cinema wasn’t bad enough, you might think – but it speaks to a wider trend of a generation raised on social media, understandably finding a purpose for those social features across all kinds of content.

According to Hannah Marcus, a strategist at media consultancy Discover.AI, things don’t end there either – with the rise of social viewing platforms that see people "writing and communicating directly over the content they’re watching, which has then mutated into formally interacting with the content itself (covering up shocking scenes with text, for example).”

Marcus adds that “the US and UK are getting better at dealing with multiple claims on their attention, as shown by the increase in subtitle usage and multi-language content [distributed through Western platforms]. But it is a far cry from this kind of collective multi-watching experience.”

What does this have to do with Netflix?

GLOW Season 3: Netflix has been pushing its own original content, to become less reliant on licensing of older shows.

So far, TV streaming services like Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, or Hulu have been resistant to too many features that interrupt or distract from the content that viewers have come to watch – with many of us paying that subscription in order remove irritating ads in the middle of our shows. 

But attitudes change, and Netflix is a company that has repeatedly shaken up its services in order to attract wider audiences, moving from a DVD rental service to a behemoth in online TV streaming a huge producer of original content. 

The Netflix app also already allows you to "share" what movie or TV show you're watching to social media platforms – and has been testing out an "Extras" discovery feed that provides you information and trailers around your favorite titles. Why not bullet comments next?

“Without innovation, even the best products and business models reach their limits,” Pazaratz says, referring to the recent stagnation in Netflix’s subscriber growth. “While hot new shows are crucial, users are also looking for novel and enticing ways to enjoy them. With the competition heating up, if Netflix doesn’t innovate, others surely will.”

Ok, but... is this something we actually want?

Pazaratz is pretty adamant this is something viewers are pining for: “How many people go to the movies alone? Or a music concert? Entertainment has always been a social activity, and given the option, people choose to enjoy it together.”

However, that doesn’t seem to allow for those of us who like watching a few episodes of Friends by ourselves before bed, or even going to a cinema or theatre for the experience of some anonymity in a crowd. There are those of us who like to consume content in a more introverted way – away from the social pressure of discussion in more public forums like Twitter.

One of the strengths of Netflix is in how it focuses on the content you're watching, without ads to interrupt you or too much of the outside world getting in – unless you want it to, of course. TV streaming services may look to get more social in the future, but they'll need to be careful not to lose focus of why people subscribe – and become more focused on the social interaction than the TV shows and films fuelling it.

England vs Ireland live stream: how to watch today's rugby online from anywhere

England will be looking to get back to winning ways after last week’s demoralising defeat against Wales. Ireland on the other hand, are hoping to build on their win over Italy in their first Autumn International, but go into today's game knowing a much sterner test will be in store for them. Don't miss out on any of the action by following our tips on getting an England vs Ireland live stream below.

Eddie Jones' experimental side failed to make it two wins in as many weeks over their Welsh opponents. A much stronger XV is set to be deployed at Twickenham today for their third World Cup warm up match. 

All eyes will be on George Ford (fly-half) and Owen Farrell (inside centre), with the pair brought together for the first time in over a year.

The Irish will be keen to make amends for their heavy Six Nations defeat to England in Dublin back in February - a defeat that ended a two-game winning streak for the Boys In Green. Coach Joe Schmidt has a number of injury concerns going into the match, with Johnny Sexton the key absentee due to a thumb sprain.

With the World Cup edging ever closer, today's match will offer a decent insight into how well both teams preparations for Japan are going. Keep reading to discover how to get an England vs Ireland live stream.

How to live stream today's rugby from outside your country

If you're outside your home country - whether that be the UK or anywhere else - and try to start streaming the rugby via your native broadcaster, you'll realise that you can't as it's location restricted. Fear not, the action is still within your reach. All you need to do is download and install a VPN to effectively trick your computer into thinking that it's back home. That way you can enjoy your home coverage (assuming you comply with the broadcaster's TS&Cs), minus the risk of using a naughty stream from an illegal source.

How to stream England vs Ireland live in the UK

Live stream England vs Ireland in Australia

Live stream England vs Ireland in New Zealand

How to watch an England vs Ireland live stream in the US

Challenge Cup Final 2019 live stream: how to watch St Helens vs Warrington Wolves rugby league from anywhere

St Helens and Warrington head to Wembley today for the first ever meeting between the two sides in the 2019 Challenge Cup Final.

The match marks Warrington's third appearance in four seasons in the final, and they'll be hoping for a better outcome this time out having been the losing side on each of those visits to the capital. Will they make it a winning Wembley visit this time? Watch all the St Helens vs Warrington action live, even if the match isn't been shown where you are, with our Rugby League Challenge Cup live stream guide below.

Currently sitting pretty at the top of the Super League with a massive 16 point gap between them and their opponents, St Helens go into today's game as clear favourites.

Saints coach Justin Holbrook will be hoping his side will maintain their impressive form which has seen them go unbeaten so far in August, and they'll be boosted by the return from injury of Alex Walmsley, Lachlan Coote, James Roby and Joseph Paulo.

Despite their semi-final win against Hull FC, Warrington haven’t won a Super League game since the start of July. With star half-back Blake Austin left out of the 19-man squad due to an ankle ligament tear, coach Steve Price and his team will need to dig deep to pull off a shock win.

This afternoon's match brings together two of the tournament's most successful clubs, with St Helens having won the cup 12 times and Warrington on eight wins. However, it's been 11 years since the former last won the cup, while Wolves haven't tasted cup glory since 2012.

Which team will end their drought? You can watch all the drama unfold as it happens by following our St Helens vs vs Warrington Wolves Challenge Cup live stream guide below. 

How to live stream St Helens vs Warrington for free in the UK How to watch the Challenge Cup final 2019 from abroad

Out of the country this weekend? Badly times holiday or work trip? Try to watch that BBC stream and you'll quickly find that it's geo-blocked.

That's super annoying, but not unavoidable. We've found that using a Virtual Private Network - or VPN - to be a handy solution. You select a server in your country and then watch as if you were sat back at home on your couch.

Call off the hunt - these are the top five Samsung Note 10 deals you can buy this weekend

Ever since the big launch a couple of weeks ago, it's been stunning us with its innovative features and stylish design. And now Samsung Galaxy Note 10 deals are officially available to buy.

The great news if you're looking to get your hands (and we do mean 'hands' plural') on this colossal smartphone is that we've done the hard work for you. There's no need to spend your bank holiday finding the perfect contract as we've picked out the absolute best five - no matter what you require from a mobile phone contract.

We've been living and breathing Samsung Note 10 deals since pre-orders began and so are confident to present this collection as the very best choices currently available.

Scroll down to see our picks with a tasty unlimited data offer, the cheapest possible monthly bills and our favourite all-round S10 deal all included. Or, if you were after something even bigger - or perhaps preparing yourself for 5G - then you can also discover today's best Samsung Note 10 Plus deals in our dedicated guide. 

1. The best EE Samsung Galaxy Note 10 deal 2. Unlimited data at an affordable price 3. A Note 10 deal with affordable monthly bills 4. A big data bargain on the Note 10 5. Absolutely nothing to pay upfront What's the Samsung Galaxy Note 10 like?

Starting on the outside, it features a 6.3-inch AMOLED inifinity-O display, pushing Samsung's notoriously impressive displays.

Following the trends of 2019, Samsung has also crammed three separate cameras into this phone - wide, telephoto and ultrawide. And from our preliminary tests, these snappers are matching the impressive quality of the S10 series. 

Powered by 8GB Ram and a 3500mAh battery, this is looking like a powerful device through and through. And the 'S' pen - a tool for productivity through your phone - is back, too and smarter than ever.

Find out more with our Samsung Galaxy Note 10 review

Scotland vs France live stream: how to watch today's rugby international online from anywhere

In this double bill of a Rugby World Cup 2019, Scotland are looking for some sweet revenge after being comprehensively beaten in France last weekend. It should be another fabulous encounter and you can live stream Scotland vs France rugby action from anywhere using this guide. 

To be frank, it was a fair walloping that Scotland took at the hands of Les Bleus when they met in Nice last Saturday. The final score was 32-3, but France's 20-point lead at the halfway stage meant the writing was on the wall way before the 80 minutes were up. Full-back Maxime Médard scored two of his team's five tries, while Camille Lopez added a further seven points with the boot from fly-half. Could Jacques Brunel's squad finally be clicking just in time for the World Cup next month?

There were very few positives for the Scots to take back home with them. Gregor Townsend will have a real job on his hands to get them mentally and physically ready for the return leg in Edinburgh. Perhaps the stirring Murrayfield crowd can give them the lift they need.

It should be another telling warm up game for both teams ahead of the World Cup and it's a match you can watch live - no matter where in the world you are - by following our France vs Scotland live stream tips below.

How to live stream rugby union when you're not in your country

If you're outside your country of residence - whether that be the UK or anywhere else (see your other options below) - and try to start streaming the rugby via your native broadcaster, you'll soon discover that you can't as it is location restricted. Fear not, the action is still within your reach. All you need to do is download and install a VPN to effectively trick your computer into thinking that it's back home. That way you can enjoy your home coverage (as long as you do so in compliance with the broadcaster's Ts&Cs) without delving into the dangers of an illegal stream.


How to live stream Scotland vs France in the UK

Live stream Scotland vs France in Australia

Watch Scotland vs France in New Zealand

How to watch a Scotland vs France live stream in the US

La Vuelta a España 2019 live stream: how to watch cycling online from anywhere

Notorious for its punishing summit finishes, La Vuelta a España sees some of the world's top riders compete over a 3,254 kilometre, 21 stage race. But watching what is the third and final Grand Tour of the summer cycling race season is really easy - our guide below will take you through the steps (or pedals?) you'll need to watch La Vuelta a España 2019 no matter where you are in the world.

Growing in prestige with each edition - recent winners have included Chris Froome, Vincenzo Nibali, Nairo Quintana, and Alberto Contador - the Vuelta a España is far from the poor relation to the Tour de France or even the Giro d’Italia it once was.

This year's Vuelta is set to be tougher than ever with eight summit finishes - five of which are new to the race, along with two time trials. There's also a detour into Andorra and France as well as a Gran Salida from Utrecht, in the Netherlands.

Boasting Primoz Roglic and Steven Kruijswijk and a strong support squad, Jumbo-Visma look like the team to beat during this year's race with its two main riders likely to battle it out as overall winner. There's also likely to be plenty drama among the ranks of Team Movistar, with Richard Carapaz out for more glory following his triumph in the Giro, starting alongside former Vuelta winners Nairo Quintana and Alejandro Valverde.

You can watch live all the action from the Mediterranean Coast to the peaks of the Pyrenees using our live streaming guide to the 2019 La Vuelta a España below.

Live stream La Vuelta a España from outside your country

We have details of all the UK, US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand broadcasters further down this guide. Good news in Australia where it's on free-to-air TV.

If you're obsessed by watching the cycling and refuse to miss a stage - even when you're away on business or on holiday - then you'll be disappointed to see your domestic coverage geo-blocked when you try to stream online from abroad. That's where utilising a VPN (Virtual Private Network) really helps. It let's you virtually change the ISP of your laptop, tablet or mobile to one that's back in your home country. Thus letting you watch as if you were back there.

Live stream La Vuelta a España for FREE in Australia and Spain

All the action from La Vuelta a España is set to streamed via Spain's own free-to-air RTVE network on its dedicated Teledeporte sports channel. The TV channel itself can be viewed via apps like TruTV so you can enjoy all the cycling action from anywhere on your mobile smart device. The commentary will be in Spanish, but you'll still have the pictures at least.

Aussie cycling fans can watch the action with English commentary for free thanks to SBS. The free-to-air broadcaster has the rights to show the Vuelta live on its Viceland channel. Don't worry if you're out of the country and want to catch that SBS broadcast - a VPN will let you watch as if you were back at home on your laptop, mobile or other TV streaming device.

How to watch the La Vuelta a España: UK live stream

For UK residents, Eurosport 1 is the channel to head to for your La Vuelta fix. Eurosport is available with basic Sky TV packages or with a Eurosport Player monthly or annual pass - a free trial for which is available here - that also gives you access across loads of devices. 

Not in the UK? Don't worry, you can download and use a VPN to take your laptop or mobile virtually back to the UK and watch as if back in blighty.

If you haven't got Eurosport and aren't bothered about watching events unfold live, you can always fall back on ITV's highlights which will be broadcast nightly.

How to watch the La Vuelta a España: US live stream

The La Vuelta a España 2019 is being aired by NBC Sports Live Extra in the US. This will be streamed online so if you have the app then you can enjoy it anywhere. However for those that don't have access to this stream there are other options.

For the most extensive coverage NBC has to offer, you can subscribe to NBC Sports Gold, which is offering a Cycling Pass for $54.99, delivering live, on-demand and commercial free coverage of the Tour.

There's also the option of streaming the Vuelta live via Fubo.tv with apps for the service available for just about any device that can stream video. If you're new to the service, Fubo.tv are offering a week's free trial. With the Vuelta three weeks long, you'll need to subscribe if you want to watch the race in its entirety on the service - Fubo.tv’s basic package will set you back $54.99 per month.

How to watch the La Vuelta a España: Canada live stream

Canadians will be able to get in on the La Vuelta a España 2019 action via FloBikes which streams online so you can watch from anywhere.

A monthly subscription will cost you $30 while a yearly account will set you back $150 ($12.50 per month), which will give you access to coverage of major cycling events throughout the year.

Not in Canada to catch that Flobikes stream? Well you know the answer by now...using a VPN is the way to make sure you don't miss a moment. 

New iPad Pro 2019: what we want to see

The iPad Pro range is the pinnacle of premium tablet hardware, and each new year brings a new generation of the slates with new improvements and upgrades – it’s unlikely 2019 will be an exception, so we’re expecting to see new iPad Pros soon.

Apple is going to have a hard time keeping its premium slates relevant, thanks to Samsung doing its best to provide competition in the form of the Samsung Galaxy Tab S6, and it’s also a pivotal year for the iPad Pro slates, with the release of iPadOS later in 2019 which looks set to redefine the Apple tablet experience.

There haven't been many leaks or rumors surrounding the new iPad Pro models yet. We’d assume there are two different sized models, like 2018’s iPad Pro 11 and iPad Pro 12.9, but iPad Pros have seen different sized models in the past, so a change here wouldn’t be unheard of.

Beyond rough guesses, and a few rumors here and there we don’t know much yet at all, which is why we’re speculating with our dream wish-list.

iPad Pro 11 (2018)

Cut to the chase
  • What is it? The next generation of Apple's premium iPad Pro tablets
  • When is it out? Likely announced in October, released in November 2019
  • How much will it cost? A range of prices depending on size, but all rather pricey
New iPad Pro 2019 release date and price

If you’re eagerly anticipating the new iPad Pro release date, you probably won’t have to wait too long, as in the past Apple has unveiled its new high-end slates at an event in October, before they become available to buy in November.

That means, while you’ll have to wait through the iPhone 11 release and the roll-outs of iOS 13 and iPadOS, you may be able to get your hands on the slates by Christmas. Of course there’s no official confirmation that the tablets will be out, but new iPad Pro registration details filed by Apple itself suggest there will be.

If you know about the iPad Pro devices, you know the price is the most off-putting thing about them, as they’re the definition of high-end premium gadgetery, and we wouldn’t expect that to change with the new iPad Pro models, especially if they have any of the upgrades we’re hoping for.

For context, the current iPad Pro 11 costs $799 / £769 / AU$1,229 for the option with least storage space, which is 64GB, and $1,549 / £1,519 / AU$2,349 for 1TB capacity, and the iPad Pro 12.9 prices range from $999 / £969 / AU$1,529 to $1,899 / £1,869 / AU$2,869 for the same storage.

Then there are the peripherals, which some would argue are an intrinsic part of the iPad Pro experience. The Apple Pencil stylus will set you back $129 / £119 / AU$199, and the Smart Keyboard Folio keyboard and case costs $169 / £169 / AU$299, so if you’re paying a lot of money for the most premium device you can, you can end up dropping $2,197 / £2,157 / AU$3,367.

While the cost of the peripherals will likely stay the same, we msy see the iPad Pro prices themselves creep higher, though we don’t know how high just yet.

What we want to see in the new iPad Pro

As we don't know much about the upcoming iPad Pro series, we've put together a few things we'd like to see.

1. Improved display technology

Previous generations of iPad Pro used LCD screens, as have all iPads in general, so it’s clear Apple are committed to the technology in its slates. However, LCD screens have a few problems, like poorer black reproduction that you don’t get in OLED or AMOLED displays.

Samsung is really stepping up its tablet game, and the Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 has a Super AMOLED screen with a better resolution than iPad Pros, so if Apple wants to stay competitive it’s going to have to increase its screen quality.

Better screen quality is a particular necessity in the iPad Pro, as many professionals use the device to work – many of which really need the best display tech possible to correctly view color, details, or anything else they’re working on.

2. Longer battery life

The iPad Pro (2018) range comes with decent battery life, but if you’re using your iPad Pro for something strenuous like video editing or gaming the charge can drop quite quickly.

Even if you’re not putting the iPad Pro’s processor through its paces, the giant screen often means the battery will drop quicker than you’d like, so after a day or two of normal use you’ll find the battery pretty low.

With iPad Pros getting more and more like laptops, it’s time for Apple to really boost the battery life of its slates.

3. Quicker charging

Just as the battery capacity could be improved, so could the speed it takes to charge that power pack up.

When you use the iPad Pro charger that comes in the box, it can often take a matter of hours to power the tablet up to full, and that’s just too slow if you’re popping into a coffee shop to charge up or can only plug your slate in for a short while.

Apple sells 30W chargers on its website, so we know the tablets can support the fast charging, and we’d love to see this kind of adapter in the box – alternatively, we’d like to see the base charging speed increased somewhat.

4. Improved Face ID

While Apple’s Face ID systems on the iPad and iPhone were originally touted as market-leading, they’ve become rather overshadowed by facial recognition systems in other smartphones, and now it can feel a lot quicker to turn on an Android device than an iOS one. 

In the most recent iPad Pro range, Face ID felt a little unreliable – it wouldn’t always pick up our face, and when it did it could be a little slow to do so. We’d like to see this change, with upgrades to the facial unlocking system, because at the moment it’s quicker to type in a password than try and convince the tablet to recognize you.

5. More RAM

The iPad Pro devices are meant to be premium devices, but it’s hard to argue that case when you look at their RAM – 4GB really isn't’ enough at this point (the 1TB models come with 6GB, but that’s still fairly low).

Many high-end smartphones now come with 8GB RAM, as does the Samsung Galaxy Tab S6, and some even come with 12GB. This extra processing power is just as useful for navigating the user interface as it is playing games, rendering video, or arranging your files, so it’s quite a surprise the the iPad Pros have a below-average RAM.

If the RAM was improved in the new iPad Pro range, the tablets would be much more useful for many different business and leisure functions – and the devices would be able to square off against the competitors more.

6. Better Apple Pencil connectivity

If there’s one common complaint with most people who’ve used an Apple Pencil, it’s how it connects to the iPad Pro physically – it connects to the slate with a magnetic bar on the top of the device (when it’s held horizontally), with which it wirelessly charges. 

However, if you’ve ever put your iPad Pro in a bag while the iPad Pro is connected (which you very likely will do if you’re taking it to work or a coffee shop), you’ll pull it out again, only to discover the pencil is missing. This is because it doesn’t take much work to accidentally knock the Apple Pencil off, or have it fall off in a bag or while pulling it out the bag.

Samsung has a physical dock in the Galaxy Tab S6 for the S Pen, and if there was something similar in the 2019 iPad Pro range, it’d get rid of those frustrating occasions when you pull the tablet out your bag without its stylus.

7. A 5G iPad Pro

We’ve already heard that Apple is planning to release 5G iPad Pro models that let you use your cell network to connect to the internet when out and about, just like you can do on 4G now with your iPad Pro. This rumor states that’ll be in 2021, but we’d like to see it sooner.

With advances in cloud computing, 5G is going to be an increasingly important part of many different workspaces, so it’ll be important for tablets designed for professionals (like, for example, an iPad Pro) to have the connection.

Imagine being able to game on the go on a massive 12.9-inch tablet, use online processing power to edit a photograph, or download an entire file of documents in seconds so you can work on them straight away – this kind of functionality is why 5G tablets are important.

8. A redesigned Smart Keyboard Folio

Like the Apple Pencil, the Smart Keyboard Folio is a peripheral that sometimes has its problems.

For one, when the Folio is folded, its keys are face-out, so you can sometimes accidentally find yourself pressing them. It’s not backlit either, when a keyboard of its price really could be, and on top of that it can be rather noisy too.

The Apple Pencil had a poorer original version before it became a more useful tool like it is today, so perhaps a redesigned Smart Keyboard will be a powerful tool for productivity too.

Rumored AMD Ryzen 5 3500 could take out Intel’s budget CPUs going by this leak

The rumor mill has previously insisted that AMD has a Ryzen 5 3500 (as well as other chips) waiting in the wings, and now a prolific hardware leaker has spilled the apparent specs of the CPU – which, if correct, make the processor look like a worrying prospect for Intel.

This comes from TUM_APISAK (the source of plenty of CPU leakage) who aired the details on Twitter.

So we are apparently looking at a six-core (six-thread – meaning there is no simultaneous multi-threading here) processor, with a base clock of 3.6GHz and boost to 4.1GHz. Previous speculation has indicated a TDP of 65W, which would make sense based on AMD’s existing models.

When AMD first announced the Ryzen 3000 line-up, we thought it was a bit odd that there was no budget offering, so presumably this will be exactly that, sitting below the existing AMD Ryzen 5 3600 (currently the lowest spec Zen 2-based processor, which has six cores but 12-threads, and the same TDP and base speed, but it boosts to 4.2GHz).

That existing chip is priced at $199 (around £162, AU$295), so this fresh 3500 product would obviously have to undercut that by a decent amount.

AMD might be looking at a relatively affordable $150 (around £122, AU$220) or so, which would pitch the alleged Ryzen 5 3500 up against Intel’s popular Core i5-9400, also a six-core (six-thread) CPU with boost to 4.1GHz, but a slower base clock of 2.9GHz. That Intel part is priced around $180 (around £147, AU$265) – although you can get the non-integrated graphics version, the 9400F, for more like $150 or so, looking at online prices at the time of writing.

Pre-built PCs only?

So, the theory is that AMD would be looking at competitively pricing this chip against Intel’s Core i5-9400, and the very similar i5-9500 (although that offers boost to 4.4GHz).

However, as Tom’s Hardware notes (and has argued previously), there is a chance that this Ryzen 5 3500 may be a successor to the Ryzen 5 2500X, and thus supplied to OEMs only. In other words, you will only get it in pre-built PCs, rather than being able to buy it off the shelf on its own.

Hopefully that won’t be the case though, because it would be nice – and it would make sense – for the Ryzen 3000 range to get a budget option as a standalone product.

If it is indeed incoming, AMD’s Ryzen 5 3500 would likely be more than competitive with rival Intel offerings, because the performance battle is not just fought on pure clock speeds. The chip reportedly has much more cache than Intel’s i5s, AMD’s Zen 2 architecture offers a considerable IPC (instructions per clock) boost, and there are other features like Ryzen’s PCIe 4.0 support to consider.

  • Here are the details you need to know about AMD's Zen 2

CD Projekt Red will stream more Cyberpunk 2077 gameplay in August

If you just can’t get enough of the world of Cyberpunk 2077 then you’re in luck: CD Projekt Red has confirmed in a recent blog post that it will be streaming some more gameplay next week. 

On August 30 at 11 AM PT/2 PM ET/7 PM BST, the developer will host a livestream during the course of which it will show a 15 minute edit of the footage that’s already been shown to attendees of Gamescom 2019. The stream is to come from Warsaw rather than PAX West as originally planned due to "many logistical (and some creative) reasons" which have meant that the developer won't be attending the Seattle event in person.

Not only will those who tune into the stream get a better look at the game in action and the Pacifica region of Night City, there will also be some interviews with developers afterwords. 

These interviews will allow the developers to expound on what’s been shown, explain some of the creative decisions that have gone into making the game and give more details on some of the play styles players will be able to adopt when they get their hands on the game themselves. 

Tune in

Since E3 2019 CD Projekt Red has been fairly ramping up the hype for Cyberpunk 2077. In addition to the gameplay streams and screenshots that have been released, there have also been drops from the game's soundtrack over on the official YouTube channel, the most recent being Never Fade Away from Swedish band Refused. It's possible we'll hear more slivers of news from the Tokyo Games Show in September, too, as it's been confirmed that the game will be the focus for the Spike Chunsoft booth. 

The Cyberpunk 2077 livestream will broadcast on the official CD Projekt Red Twitch and Mixer channels.

Our exclusive NOW TV deal knocks up to 50% off the box sets Entertainment pass

Want to save up to 50% on a brand new NOW TV deal for the excellent Sky channel and box set Entertainment Pass? Well you've come to the right place as we have an exclusive selection of NOW TV offers for you.

A Now TV Sky Entertainment pass would usually set you back £7.99 a month. But we've got three exclusive offers for new NOW TV customers. The longer sub you sign up for, the bigger the discount you can get. You can save 40% on a two month pass, 45% on four months or get 50% off a six-month deal.

The six-month Now TV pass for just £23.97 is the best deal we've seen in as long as we can remember in our long-running coverage of the latest NOW TV deals. If you're not sure if you want to sign up for that long, the discounts on the two and four month versions are better than any other NOW TV offer out there at the moment.

You won't find that deal just by browsing around the NOW TV site, only our official NOW TV link above will take you to the deal. Once you've picked an offer, you can start streaming quality box set content straight away. So be sure to take look at Chernobyl, Euphoria, Riviera, Warrior, Elementary, The Rookie, Fortitude, The Handmaid's Tale, 30 Rock, The Sopranos, The Wire, Dexter and loads more besides.

The box sets are of course the main draw for us and the often-rotated selection means there's always plenty of new material to enjoy. We'd seriously advise checking out the hype behind the Chernobyl mini series as one of the best shows on the service.

The NOW TV entertainment pass isn't just about box sets though, you can also stream excellent Sky TV channels live. We're talking about Sky One, Sky Witness, Sky Atlantic, Gold, Comedy Central, SyFy, Sky Arts, Discovery Channel, MTV and Nat Geo Wild. And don't forget, unlike signing up with Sky, there's no contract.

Sports fans should also seriously consider the £140 saving on a Now TV Sky Sports pass too, especially with the Premier League season recently kicking off and there's The Ashes happening right now too. Hint: Now TV app, office Wi-Fi, mobile phones. Need we say more?

And if your telly box is in need of an upgrade, we've rounded up the best cheap TV deals and sales for you too. and if you're curious about a full-on Sky package, check out our roundup of the latest Sky TV deals.

Netflix is testing human-curated collections to go with its algorithms

If you're finding the Netflix recommendation algorithms a little on the stale side, help is on the way: the streaming service is testing a new Collections feature, where you can browse through picks from expert editors too.

As reported by TechCrunch and on Twitter, the feature is only being trialled with a small number of iOS users at the moment (Netflix has confirmed this, but as with any test, says the feature may or may not become permanent).

It seems like a good idea though – members of the Netflix team pull shows and movies into all kinds of groupings, whether that's based around a particular country, or around a topic like comedy or award-winning titles.

  • Check out the Netflix Witcher series
  • Disney Plus is almost here
  • All the news from Gamescom 2019

Some of the collections spotted so far include "Watch, Gasp, Repeat", "Short and Funny", "Artful Adventures", and "Oddballs & Outcasts". Genre, tone, storyline and character traits can be used for groupings, Netflix says.

What to watch next

It's billed by Netflix inside the iOS app as "an easy way to find shows and movies you'll like" – and if you do find something of interest then you're going to spend more time on Netflix, so the new feature is a win for everyone.

It certainly makes an interesting change from the finely tuned algorithms that usually serve up material in the Netflix recommendations pane. These algorithms are based, among other factors, on viewing history and ratings that have been left.

Having films and shows that have been hand-picked by human curators might be a better way of discovering something you wouldn't have otherwise come across – and with so much content on the service, viewers need all the help they can get.

No word yet on if or when the Collections feature is going to roll out for everyone, but we'll let you know if we hear anything (or see it appear in our app). Who knows: we might get user-curated collections eventually, too.

EE is giving away free Xbox, Sonos speaker or B&O headphones with Google Pixel 3a deals

We all want to think we're getting value for money. And that probably explains why Google Pixel 3a deals - released earlier this year - have been so popular. A modern phone with a low price tag. And now EE has come along and made this cheap smartphone even better value by throwing in a terrific tech freebie.

EE is currently offering Google Pixel 3a deals with free gifts including your choice of an Xbox One S, Sonos One or B&O headphones. That means a freebie up to the value of a stonking £250.

With prices starting from £34 a month, the inclusion of these free gifts hasn't even boosted the price sky high like we're used to seeing with gift offers.

And, for those who want to go all out on their new phone deal, EE also offers its Smart Plans for a fiver more a month. These allow you to upgrade your contract whenever you want and feature so-called Swappable Benefits giving you the options to choose between data-free streaming on your Apple Music subscription, similar unlimited data for streaming the likes of YouTube, BBC iPlayer and Netflix, or access to the BT Sport app.

We've listed the best of these Google Pixel 3a and 3a XL deals down below so you can choose which works best for you (promotion ends on September 2). Or, if none quite take your fancy, consult our guide to the best mobile phone deals for all your other options.

Find out more about these freebies from EE: 

Google Pixel 3a deals + ace free gift Upgrade to an EE Smart Plan for Swappable Benefits

With these offers, you can also upgrade to an EE Smart plan. That means you can upgrade your phone contract anytime and get access to EE's 'Swappable Benefits'. These benefits include unlimited data when using the likes of your Apple Music and Netflix account, subscriptions to the BT Sport app or increased roaming abilities. You can change between these perks at any point during your contract.

EE's Google Pixel 3a + free gift Smart Plan deals:

- Google Pixel 3a 10GB Smart Plan - £39 a month
- Google Pixel 3a XL 10GB Smart Plan - £44 a month
- Google Pixel 3a XL 30GB Smart Plan - £49 a month

Why should I get my next mobile phone deal on EE?

EE is the UK's fastest network and that fact alone has drawn in a lot of support for their contracts, it has steadily become the most popular network in the UK. You'll also find that EE phone deals are frequently the best option available.

EE also offers a few incentives to its customers that sweeten the deal. You can get six months of free Apple Music when you pay monthly with EE and the ability to use Wi-Fi to make calls when you just can't find signal anywhere.

20 years later, the Blair Witch is still scaring the **** out of me

In 1999 The Blair Witch Project was released in cinemas and immediately became a cult horror classic, causing film goers to vomit and creating an urban myth that still lives on today. 

I vividly remember the first time I watched The Blair Witch Project, years after its original release. I must have been about 16 at the time and full of that cocky teenage confidence that teens tend to ooze when it comes to horror films. How wrong I was. 

I have never been as unsettled by a scene as I was when those camera-wielding campers wandered into that witch's house, with its devil scratchings and wooden stick men. 

It's now 20 years later and I am revisiting that house once more, but this time in the Blair Witch game. It's me who is in control of the camcorder – and it is horrific. 

Where's the dog gone?

I feel like it's worth mentioning at this point that I do not like horror games. Not that I don't appreciate them, and as TechRadar's dedicated gaming writer it is my duty to dabble in all games. That being said, I feel like if I wanted my heart to beat out of my chest then I would rather rig myself up to a defibrillator instead. 

So when I agreed to play the upcoming Blair Witch at Gamescom 2019, I hadn't really taken the logistics into account. It's only when I stepped into the infamous woods, that the reality of the situation set in. This wasn't going to be a leisurely walk in the forest.

Bloober Team's Blair Witch isn't a game adaption of the films – rather it is a game with a new story inspired by the film lore. You play as Ellis, a cop who (accompanied by his K9 dog pal Bullet) is searching the woods for a young boy who has gone missing. But it's those woods and the witch isn't going to make it easy for you. 

Perhaps the most stressful part of Blair Witch is that it isn't a combat game. Instead, Bullet will alert you to the presence of something evil either through barking or growling. The only way to fend off the evil that creeps up on you is by shining your flashlight (or camcorder light) at them. But the minute that dog barked, my stomach sank.

As much as I hated Bullet's growl, it was preferably to no Bullet at all. At several points our canine companion disappeared, resulting in a resounding screech of "where's the dog?!" to no one in particular. There was one particular point where I was exploring some caverns below a tree and suddenly got a nauseous feeling when the flashlight went out and the witch started whispering in my ear. Maybe the growing wasn't so bad?

The house from hell

I played five chapters of Blair Witch during the demo, each from a particular section of the game. But the final one is where I lost what little dignity I had: when I returned to the house that terrified me as a teen. The house that sees stick man etchings covering the walls and where baseballs randomly roll down the stairs. 

I remind you at this point. No combat. None. Bullet is gone and I am armed with a camcorder that I'm forced to look through to find hidden features which look a lot like blood smears. I've got to get through the house, with its tight corridors and hidden blood trails: I'm being forced to search which means looking at the screen (something I had been pretty lax about until now).

At one point an entity of some sort jumped out from behind a door and I jumped so high that my headset fell off and the journalist to my right recoiled in horror. "I only need to get through this last chapter," I muttered to myself as I proceeded with one eye open and the other closed – my bulletproof tactic for horror games. Or it was, until the German journalist to my left caught on to my tactic and proceeded to laugh at my cowardliness (he later ratted on me to the PR... snitch). 

Something wicked

Essentially, Blair Witch relies on the same horror that the films do. Rather than focusing on gore and visual horror, the developers focus on what you don't see. Which is actually more terrifying. 

Throw in some jump scares, a detail-rich environment and you have a solid horror game with a niche 90s spin. However, there are definitely aspects of Blair Witch that could use some polishing as sometimes the real horror was how Bullet could walk through trees...

Pokémon Masters is coming to iOS and Android this month

If Pokémon Sword and Shield are too far away and Pokémon Go just isn’t doing it for your love of lying on the sofa on rainy summer days then you may be glad to hear that Pokémon Masters finally has its release date.

Announced earlier this year, the mobile game from Nintendo and DeNA has been confirmed (via Serebii) to be launching across the world for iOS and Android on August 29. This has been a tentative release date for a while now but it’s finally certain.

Making friends

Pokémon Masters is yet another way into the Pokémon world on your mobile, this time through 3v3 real-time battles against AI opponents. With its story and strategy, it offers something more traditional than its alternative Pokémon Go. However, Masters is unusual in that you won’t be catching Pokémon yourself and will instead be focusing more on collecting trainers. 

Players will find themselves on the island of Pasio, home to the Pokémon Masters League of which (naturally) the aim is to be the Champion. With your assigned partner Pokémon you’ll battle iconic characters and their partner Pokémon from across the franchise and then recruit them to your team to help you on your journey. At launch there will be 65 Sync Pairs to battle and recruit. Why not team up with Brock and Misty to get the gang back together?

Pokémon Masters is free-to-play with in-app purchases and pre-registration is open now on the Apple App Store and Google Play. 

TalkTalk's fantastic fastest fibre broadband deal just got a mega price cut

TalkTalk is consistently a go to name for affordable internet but its latest offer is taking its fantastic value one step further. Currently, when you invest in TalkTalk's cheapest fibre internet plan, you'll be getting its speed boost completely free.

Here's what you need to know. All the way up until September 26, you can get TalkTalk's Superfast fibre package for just £23.50 a month, the exact same price as its slower fibre deal.

You can't really say no to a free boost to your speeds! And considering you'll not only be getting average speeds of 67Mb for just £23.50, but also paying nothing upfront, TalkTalk has quickly climbed the ladder in the UK's best broadband deals rankings. And if you've been stung in the past with price hikes during your contract, you'll like the sound of TalkTalk's price promise - no rises at all during the first 18 months.

We've listed all of the details you need to know down below. Or, if you're (somehow) not completely sold on this free speed boost then consult our best broadband deals guide to see what else is available.

TalkTalk's great value fibre broadband deal: What other broadband deals are there?

As we mentioned above, Vodafone is TalkTalk's strongest competition here. Offering average speeds of 63Mb for £23 a month, Vodafone is the tiniest bit cheaper each month, 50p to be exact. But TalkTalk has the faster service - handy if you're all about the downloads or seamless streaming.

Or, if you like your broadband deal accompanied by some vouchers, BT could be the way to go. Offering a £90 BT reward card with its Superfast Fibre package for £31.99, BT is also a strong contender. 

Nvidia SLI and AMD CrossFire is dead – but should we mourn multi-GPU gaming?

It seems the multi-GPU dream for gamers is dead, with both Nvidia and AMD seemingly moving on from their SLI and CrossFire features. Recently, AMD chief executive Lisa Su revealed  “that Crossfire isn't a significant focus” for the company, while Nvidia has dropped SLI for its most recent graphics cards in favor of NVLink – a similar technology but with some key differences.

While NVLink is used, like SLI, to allow two GPUs to work together for improved performance, Nvidia has been a bit coy about pushing the new technology – and it’s weary of suggesting that you’ll see better performance compared to SLI. 

Instead, it's bringing the way Nvidia’s professional Quadro cards handle multi-GPU setups (where using multiple graphics cards in professional situations is more useful) to its consumer graphics cards, with the vague ambition that this could lead to more games making use of multi-GPU setups in the future.

The increased bandwidth of NVLink should allow the graphics cards to work better together, and in the future this could result in more clear benefits for running more than one GPU. However, this is dependant on game developers taking advantage of this new technology.

As we saw with SLI, that may not happen. The amount of gamers who will be running more than one Nvidia RTX GPU with NVLink will be relatively small, and many games developers may think it’s not worth their time to fully embrace the tech.

There’s a danger, then, that NVLink goes relatively ignored. As for SLI, if Nvidia (and games developers) do push for NVLink compatibility, it could be the final nail in the coffin for the older tech.

Meanwhile, AMD doesn’t appear to have any new tech to replace CrossFire, which is its SLI competitor, with Lisa Su being rather blunt about how interested AMD is in CrossFire (spoiler alert: it’s not interested at all).

So, the future’s looking pretty ropey for multi-GPU gaming. But is that a bad thing?

Are multi-GPU setups a thing of the past?

Struggling to reach its potential

While the idea of having more than one graphics card in your gaming PC to boost performance is a sound one – after all, you’ll have more GPUs to share the workload – in reality, it never reached its potential.

Perhaps the biggest limiting factor was the law of diminishing returns, which multi-GPU systems encounter. What we mean by this is that by adding a second GPU, you’re not actually doubling the graphical power of your system. Most best case scenarios offer around a 50% increase.

That’s not too shabby – though remember that’s a best-case scenario, and won’t apply to every game – but the fact of the matter is that you’re paying full price for a second GPU, but not getting the resulting boost in performance you’re paying for.

It gets even worse if you add a third or fourth GPU – as the performance increase gets smaller each time. It ends up being a very costly way to get a bump in performance.

As many PC gamers realised, a far more reliable (and affordable) way to get a boost in performance is to buy a single more powerful GPU, rather than two or more less powerful cards.

That’s not the only extra cost associated with a multi-GPU setup. Running more graphics cards ups the power consumption of your PC (increasing electricity bills) and also produces more heat – leading to a noisier PC. For too many PC gamers, these are compromises they’re not willing to make.

Modern games are graphically intensive, but most modern GPUs are up to the task

A vicious circle

The fact that SLI and CrossFire setups are relatively rare has caused a bit of a vicious circle. One of the biggest complaints about multi-GPU setups is that support for them – both in games and with drivers – is pretty spotty. Many people running SLI or CrossFire would find that some games simply ignore the extra GPUs, leading to them not benefitting from the extra graphical firepower they paid for.

Even worse, some games would encounter problems with multi-GPU setups, leading to a degradation in performance.

With fewer PC gamers running multi-GPU setups, game developers became less interested in working on multi-GPU support. This led to more gamers abandoning multi-GPU setups, making game developers even less likely to implement multi-GPU support. And so on and so on.

So, Nvidia SLI and AMD CrossFire are effectively dead. But is that a bad thing?

Modern GPUs to the rescue

We’d argue not. After all, the most recent GPU releases from both Nvidia and AMD are fantastic performers. Especially at the top end, a single modern graphics card can easily handle almost any game at full graphical settings at 1080p resolution – which remains the most popular resolution.

For the minority of PC gamers that have monitors with higher resolutions, such as 1440p, you still won’t need more than one GPU for an excellent experience. For 4K and beyond, some GPUs will flounder, but with a bit of tweaking on a high-end card, you’ll still get a game experience that blows consoles out of the water.

So, we’re not going to mourn the death of multi-GPUs – even though we have a system with two Nvidia Titan Xp GPUs in it. It’s a great performer, but the idea of swapping out those two GPUs for a single ultra-powerful GPU in the future is very exciting. While we’ll be keeping an eye on what Nvidia does with NVLink, in our view the age of multi-GPU gaming is over. And it’s for the best.

Trend Micro Named A Leader in 2019 Gartner Magic Quadrant for Endpoint Protection Platforms

Leadership. It’s a weighty term, although frequently it is used too lightly and all too often it’s a self-declared position. We believe, leaders can come and go, and leadership can be fleeting depending on the factors for long term success.

It is for all these reasons, that we are proud, not only to be in a Leader’s position in the 2019 Gartner® Magic Quadrant for Endpoint Protection Platforms[1] (EPP), but to have been named a Leader by Gartner in this category since 2002[2].

We believe that true leadership is sustained leadership with a proven track record of consistent strength in vision and execution.

It has been a transformative period for the EPP market with waves of innovation along the way. We believe, the difference with Trend Micro as a Leader, is that new techniques and capabilities are additive to our solution value, they are not the sum of it.

We’ve been able to build out our endpoint offering by continuously adding to the wide range of threat detection & response capabilities, along with investigative features as an innate part of a single-agent solution, simplifying deployment and enabling integrated workflows. This provides a balanced and comprehensive approach to endpoint security, which is imperative given the diversity in the threat landscape.

Job one is detecting and blocking as many endpoint threats as possible without manual intervention. The more threats you automatically prevent or stop, the fewer you need to investigate and respond to. That point can’t be overlooked or undervalued, although it often is.

When threats get through, you need actionable insight and an investigative toolset for hunting and sweeping activities, patient zero identification, and root cause analysis covering the use cases most needed and most leveraged.

The market continues to be excited about Endpoint Detection and Response (EDR), and we are strongly committed to delivering an effective solution in this regard; however, we believe effectiveness is not just about deepening the capabilities (although we are doing that), but by also delivering more than what EDR alone is designed to do.

That is why we are committed to going beyond the endpoint, with XDR.

For example, we recently introduced the capability to combine email and endpoints in the investigation of a detection, enabling you to trace a root cause analysis back into email (#1 attack source) to understand who else received the email or has a malicious file in their Office365 or Gmail inbox. Containing the threat and stopping the spread gets easier when you are looking beyond the endpoint — something you can’t do with EDR alone.

Our broader XDR strategy provides customers a means to further integrate and extend their detection and response capabilities across email, endpoints, servers, cloud workloads, and networks in a single platform and/or via a managed service.  With XDR, you can clearly visualize the overall security posture and effectively hunt, detect, analyze and respond to threats across security layers. Leveraging our market-leading products like Apex One (endpoint) Deep Security (server/cloud workloads), Deep Discovery and TippingPoint (network) and Cloud App Security (messaging and collaboration), XDR offers expert security analytics for alert correlation, and consolidated visibility and investigation of events. The key value of XDR is that it can connect minor events from different security silos (like EDR) to detect more complex attacks that would have otherwise remained unnoticed. You can learn more about XDR here.

The truth is that for many companies, the capabilities of the detection and response tools often exceed their capacity to use them due to time and resource limitations. Thus, a managed service is a great option. Trend Micro’s Managed XDR service can take the burden off of constrained teams, and also offers customers an opportunity to use the service for one or a multitude of security vectors – endpoint, network, servers & cloud workloads, email – for a single source of detection and response. The more sources to correlate, the better the insight – that’s the XDR advantage.

We believe XDR is another proof point of our deep-seated commitment to our ongoing evolution and innovation. This is how we’ve stayed current, relevant and effective over the years.

At the end of the day, the endpoint is extremely important to a company’s defenses and thus demands a strong solution. That’s why having confidence you are making a reliable choice for endpoint protection, now and over the long term, is imperative.  In a market that is changing, amid a vendor landscape that is noisy and confusing, that can be difficult. That’s why third-party evaluations like the Gartner Magic Quadrant are important, along with independent testing and POCs.

Get the full report here.

Disclaimer:

Gartner does not endorse any vendor, product or service depicted in its research publications, and does not advise technology users to select only those vendors with the highest ratings or other designation. Gartner research publications consist of the opinions of Gartner’s research organization and should not be construed as statements of fact. Gartner disclaims all warranties, expressed or implied, with respect to this research, including any warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose.

Gartner, Magic Quadrant for Endpoint Protection Platforms, 20 August 2019, Peter Firstbrook, Dionisio Zumerle, Prateek Bhajanka, Lawrence Pingree, Paul Webber

[1] Gartner “Magic Quadrant for Endpoint Protection Platforms,” by Peter Firstbrook, Lawrence Pingree, Dionisio Zumerle, Prateek Bhajanka, Paul Webber, August 2019

[1] Under the names of “Magic Quadrant for Endpoint Protection Platforms,” and previously, “Magic Quadrant for Enterprise Antivirus”

(Enterprise Antivirus 2Q02 MQ: Room for Improvement, Magic Quadrant for Enterprise Antivirus, 1H03, Magic Quadrant for Enterprise Antivirus, 2006,  “Magic Quadrant for Endpoint Protection Platforms” from 2007 onwards)

 

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This Week in Security News: DevOps Implementation Concerns and Malware Variants

Welcome to our weekly roundup, where we share what you need to know about the cybersecurity news and events that happened over the past few days. This week, learn about how most respondents to a Trend Micro survey shared their concern for the risks in implementing DevOps. Also, read on about how Trend Micro uncovered a MyKings variant that had been hiding for roughly two years before it was discovered.

 

Read on:

How Do Threats Align with Detection and Solutions?

There are many different threats targeting many different areas of a corporate network. I built an interactive graphic to help others understand the full ecosystem of how security works across your network, how to detect threats and ultimately what solutions can be utilized in the different areas of networks to protect themselves and their systems and data.

XDR Is the Best Remedy as Attackers Increasingly Seek to Evade EDR

Greg Young, vice president of cybersecurity at Trend Micro, discusses how many enterprises don’t effectively manage their endpoints and how Trend Micro’s XDR solution is a more effective solution for endpoint management and dealing with evasive threats.

Nest Enrages Users by Removing Option to Disable Camera Status LEDs

Google just made good on one of the promises it made at I/O 2019 — it’s removing the option to disable camera status LEDs. Nest customers have responded with almost universal anger to the change. They’ll be able to dim the lights on Nest Cam, Dropcam, and Hello devices, but you won’t be allowed to turn them off while they’re recording.

The Sky Has Already Fallen (You Just Haven’t Seen the Alert Yet)

Rik Ferguson, vice president of security research at Trend Micro, discusses how the typical security operations center (SOC) of today is drowning in a volume of alerts. In the financial world, 60 percent of banks routinely deal with more than 100,000 alerts every day, with 17 percent of them reporting more than 300,000 security alerts, and this pattern is repeated across industry verticals.

Innovate or Die?

Bill Malik, vice president of infrastructure strategies at Trend Micro, discusses how a recent series of IT acquisitions and IPOs highlight a simple economic fact: companies that fail to keep up with the fast-paced innovation of technology can easily become targets for acquisition.

MoviePass Exposed Thousands of Unencrypted Customer Card Numbers

Movie ticket subscription service MoviePass has exposed tens of thousands of customer card numbers and personal credit cards because a critical server was not protected with a password. A massive, exposed database on one of the company’s many subdomains was found containing 161 million records at the time of writing and growing in real time.

The Path to Secure DevOps Initiatives: Bridging the Gap Between Security and DevOps

The growing demand for faster and more efficient software development brings DevOps to the fore, but not without disrupting the inner workings of production and security teams. In a survey commissioned by Trend Micro, majority of the respondents shared their concern for the risks in implementing DevOps.

FAKE APPS! Courtesy of Agent Smith

Early this month a new global Android malware campaign called Agent Smith was revealed to have compromised 25 million handsets across the globe including many in the U.S., serving as another reminder to users not to take mobile security for granted. Fortunately, users can make giant strides towards keeping the hackers at bay with a few easy steps.

Google Android Adware Warning Issued To 8 Million Play Store Users

Security researchers at Trend Micro have revealed that the Google Play Store hosted 85 apps ridden with adware. Worse still, these apps have netted more than 8 million downloads. The adware-ridden apps were posing as legitimate services focusing on gaming or photography. 

OVIC Finds PTV in Violation of Privacy and Data Protection Act 2014 in myki Records Disclosure

The Office of the Victorian Information Commissioner (OVIC) determined that the Public Transport Victoria (PTV) breached the Information Privacy Principle (IPP) under the Privacy and Data Protection Act 2014. The decision came after the PTV released data in 2018 that exposed more than 15 million myki cards’ “touch on” and “touch off” travel history data, which could be used to identify specific users.

BEC Scam Costing Almost US$11 Million Leads to FBI Arrest of Nigerian Businessman

The CEO of the Invictus Group of Companies, Obinwanne Okeke, has reportedly been arrested by the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) after he was accused of conspiracy to commit computer and wire fraud. The FBI investigation into Okeke was initiated after a victim of a business email compromise (BEC) scam informed the FBI that it had been defrauded of nearly US$11 million.

22 Texas Towns Hit with Ransomware Attack In ‘New Front’ Of Cyberassault

State officials confirmed this week that computer systems in 22 municipalities have been infiltrated by hackers demanding a ransom. A mayor of one of those cities said the attackers are asking for $2.5 million to unlock the files. The Federal Bureau of Investigation and state cybersecurity experts are examining the ongoing breach, and officials have not disclosed which specific places are affected.

Uncovering a MyKings Variant with Bootloader Persistence via Managed Detection and Response

MyKings alone has already infected over 500,000 machines and mined an equivalent of US$2.3 million as of early 2018. The timing of the attack we recently found could indicate that it may have been part of the campaign we previously found in 2017.

Asruex Backdoor Variant Infects Word Documents and PDFs Through Old MS Office and Adobe Vulnerabilities

Since it first emerged in 2015, Asruex has been known for its backdoor capabilities and connection to the spyware DarkHotel. However, when we encountered Asruex in a PDF file, we found that a variant of the malware can also act as an infector, which inject code in Word and PDF files respectively.

They’re Attacking the Brain of Your Smart Home (or Office)

A smart device that turns your lights off when you leave or checks to see if you left any doors or windows unlocked may be convenient, but adding and connecting more smart items to your house can cause new and unexpected problems and let the bad guys in. Greg Young, Trend Micro’s vice president of cybersecurity, discusses various ways to protect smart homes from these kinds of cyber attacks.

Are you up to speed on how security works across your network, how to detect threats and what solutions can be utilized in different network areas to protect systems and data? Share your thoughts in the comments below or follow me on Twitter to continue the conversation: @JonLClay.

The post This Week in Security News: DevOps Implementation Concerns and Malware Variants appeared first on .

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