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Sky Q, Roku and NOW TV viewers get 30 brand-new shows to binge for free TODAY

Short on something to watch today? Don’t worry, there’s very good news for Sky Q, NOW (née NOW TV), and Roku set-top box owners as a swathe of all-new content has landed today for free. In total, 30 new shows will be available to watch – and almost all have never been seen on UK television before. This truckload of new telly is all thanks to The Roku Channel, which is broadcasting 30 new original shows from May 20 to celebrate World Streaming Day.
Roku says that the line-up features an array of star-studded content, including Emmy-award winning shows and entertaining scripted series. Die Hart, featuring Kevin Hart, Chrissy’s Court, featuring Chrissy Teigan and Cup of Joe, featuring Joe Jonas and Sophie Turner. These Roku Originals will be added to the expansive lineup of more than 25,000 free movies and shows that are already available on the platform.

The Roku Channel, which is available on all Roku-branded set-top boxes and Roku-powered Smart TVs by default, can also be found in the My Apps menu of the Sky Q box. NOW also leverages Roku hardware for its NOW-branded streaming boxes and sticks, so you’ll be able to find a shortcut to launch The Roku Channel on there too!

While the Roku Channel has been running for a little while, today marks the first time new, never-before-seen shows have aired on the channel, which is supported by advertising to make it free to tune in.

Speaking about the launch of the 30 new shows, Sweta Patel, Vice President of Engagement Growth Marketing, Roku said: “The launch of Roku Originals will bring incredible, premium entertainment that has breadth, depth and diversity to the millions of streamers who regularly visit The Roku Channel and to many new viewers who may not even have a Roku device – and it’s all available for free. We’ve created a fantastic user experience to deliver exclusive, original content that’s accessible everywhere The Roku Channel is streamed.”

Sky customers may finally be warned if they are paying too much for TV

A number of the new shows were acquired by Roku after US-only streaming service Quibi folded. For those who don’t know, Quibi was a short-lived streaming service launched by ex-Walt Disney Studios chairman Jeffrey Katzenberg. It was targeted at a younger audience than the likes of Prime Video and Netflix, which have invested in original feature films and lavishly-produced documentary and drama series. Quibi was designed to offer short 10-minute episodes, indeed the name itself stems from this idea of “quick bites” of content. But unlike YouTube videos from independent creators, Quibi roped-in some serious star power and award-winning writers.

The smartphone app, which was designed to view the shows in portrait orientation – not landscape, like almost every other streaming service on the market, was shuttered back in December 2020 after the initial $ 1.75 billion from investors dried up. With some 3.5 million subscribers, the service wasn’t seen as a success.
However, the content was generally well-received – and even scooped up some Emmys. And so, despite the flaws in the original app (Quibi did try to add the ability to Cast to a Chromecast, with dedicated Apple TV, Fire TV and Google TV apps coming in late 2020 to try to tempt subscribers who might’ve been put off my the portrait-only viewing experience on their smartphone) more people will now be able to tune-in.

Roku announced earlier this year that it now boasted some 50 million viewers worldwide. It offers a number of set-top box, soundbars, and HDMI dongles to bring access to its software and library of streaming apps. That’s a pretty sizeable audience now able to stream the best of Quibi’s output for free.

Here’s a full list of the first batch of shows coming to The Roku Channel…

FreeRayshawn • About Face • Bad Ideas with Adam Devine • Barkitechture • Big Rad Wolf • Blackballed • Centerpiece • Chrissy’s Court • Cup of Joe • Die Hart • Dishmantled • Dummy • Fight Like a Girl •Flipped • The Fugitive • Gayme Show • Iron Sharpens Iron • Last Looks • Let’s Roll with Tony Greenhand • Most Dangerous Game • Murder House Flip • Murder Unboxed • Nightgowns • Prodigy • Punk’d • Reno 911! • Royalties • Shape of Pasta • Thanks a Million • You Ain’t Got These

Along with the launch of these Roku originals, there’s more content coming to Sky users. The satellite TV firm has just launched the fat-burning Peloton app on its Sky Q box and you don’t need any fancy equipment to get a little fitter. The Peloton service features live classes which you can join straight from your living room. Sessions including yoga, running, cardio, bootcamp, stretching, and more.

Of course, because it’s part of Sky Q, Peloton subscribers will be able to tune-in to the latest on-demand and live classes via their TVs. If you fancy giving it a try the Peloton service is available in the My Apps menu on Sky Q, but the quickest way to navigate to the app is to simply say “Peloton” into your Sky Q voice remote to open the app. You can also say “fitness” or “Let’s get Physical” to discover an entire fitness destination page.

This post originally appeared on Daily Express :: Tech Feed

WhatsApp unleashes six brand-new sticker packs to improve your chats

WhatsApp is the most popular messaging platform on the planet. Known for its simple interface and end-to-end encryption, WhatsApp is often slow to add features found on some of its closest rivals. The team at WhatsApp wasn’t quick to add support for Dark Mode on Android and iOS and was pretty late to the party when it came to Stickers too.

However, the designers at WhatsApp are now making up for that lost time.

WhatsApp has launched six new Sticker packs to add some extra visual flair to your one-on-one conversations and group chats. Unlike emoji – the small pictograms available on iOS, Android, Windows 10, macOS and more, Stickers are much larger and more detailed. They’re also only available inside WhatsApp itself, so you won’t be able to copy a Sticker from a text message and send it to someone else in an email. The six new bundles of WhatsApp Stickers are available on both Android and iOS.

Crucially, whoever you’re messaging on WhatsApp doesn’t need to have downloaded the Sticker pack to receive an image from you. However, if they want to return the favour and send one back, they’ll need to download the relevant bundle.

The six new Sticker packs include Egg And Chup, Square Cheese’s Daily Life, Woman Cactus, Realistic Rabbit, Betakkuma 2, and lastly, A Burdensome Pigeon Named Eagle.

Honestly, these are all pretty unique designs. For example, Square Cheese’s Daily Life is a SpongeBob Squarepants-like character who is picturing in a number of poses that could be handy when messaging someone – there’s one of the cartoon character jumping in celebration surrounded with hearts, one rolling with laughter, and more. Woman Cactus has some very similar poses except that instead of a square-shaped cheese slice… the cartoon character is a cactus with a woman’s legs.

All of these new WhatsApp Stickers can be accessed via the WhatsApp Sticker Store. All six are available free of charge, something that’s not always the case with some rival messaging services. To access these new cartoon characters on Mac, Windows, or WhatsApp Web, you’ll need to download and install the Stickers packs on an Android or iPhone first.

To add Stickers packs, open up a conversation in WhatsApp, then look down to the keyboard and tap Emoji > Stickers > Add. Next, you’ll need to hit the Download button next to any Sticker pack that takes your fancy. A green tick will appear next to any Sticker packs already in your collection. This means they’re ready to use in chats.

To update existing Sticker packs to make sure you’ve got the latest designs, tap Emoji > Stickers > Add. Then, in the ALL STICKERS tab, tap UPDATE next to the sticker pack that needs to be updated. If prompted, tap UPDATE again.

If you’re struggling to see any of these menus in your chat app, WhatsApp advises: “Stickers are available in the latest versions of WhatsApp. If you don’t see stickers, make sure to update to the latest version of WhatsApp on your phone’s application store.”

This post originally appeared on Daily Express :: Tech Feed

Microsoft surprises Windows 10 users with a brand-new look

Microsoft is celebrating the arrival of spring with a new set of themes for Windows 10 users, which are now available to download in the Microsoft Store. Dubbed Forest Camo Special Edition and Arctic Camo Special Edition, both of these system-wide themes are free to install.
If those names sound familiar, it’s probably because both of these themes have been designed to match the most recent limited edition colourways available for Microsoft’s Bluetooth Mouse. Arctic Camo and Forest Camo options, which see a camouflage pattern applied to the top side of the mouse, were launched in the United States at the end of last month. The Arctic Camo has a frosty grey side and scroll wheel, while the Forest Camo has a fun splash of neon orange on the scroll wheel. Other than the new paint-job, these Bluetooth mice are the same as the previous models, so you can expect to see 12-months of battery life.

Even if you don’t have the new limited edition peripheral to match, the new Forest Camo Special Edition and Arctic Camo Special Edition themes will still look great on your Windows 10 PC.

To get your hands on the latest themes from the Microsoft design team, head to the Microsoft Store on your laptop or desktop machine and search for “Forest Camo Special Edition” or “Arctic Camo Special Edition”. Once they’ve downloaded, head to Start > Settings > Personalisation > Themes and click on the theme you prefer.

Better yet, if you want more cohesion between the wallpaper and the accents in the operating system, head to Customise > Colours > Automatically Select A Primary Colour From The Background.

The news comes as Microsoft released its first blockbuster update of the year, the Windows 10 May 2021 Update, for its final round of beta testing.

Dubbed Windows Insiders, these users get their hands on the latest features before anyone else. However, since these features aren’t quite finished, Windows Insiders need to report any issues with their hardware – like speakers or peripherals connected to their PC – as well as software – third-party applications or drivers. This enables Microsoft to iron-out any kinks before the 1.3 billion Windows 10 users receive the update.

Microsoft has a few different tiers of beta testers. These are known as Dev Channel (opting for this will result in more frequent releases with the most rough-and-ready level of polish), Beta Channel (a little less frequent, but still some potential for disastrous gremlins in the code), and Release Preview Channel (this will only update your system with software that’s almost out-of-door so should be very close to the finished product).

Following months of testing, the Windows 10 May 2021 Update is now available in the Release Preview Channel.

That means – barring a catastrophic bug being discovered at the last minute that halts the planned launch in the coming weeks – this is exactly the same update that will be coming to millions of Windows 10 users soon. So, if you want to avoid a wait, you can download Windows 10 May 2021 Update as a Windows Insider now. Find out how to get your hands on the first major Windows 10 upgrade of the year right here.

This post originally appeared on Daily Express :: Life and Style Feed
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There's a brand-new iPhone 12 and you can buy it from Apple right now

This post originally appeared on Daily Express :: Tech Feed

“The incredible iPhone 12 is the most popular smartphone in the world, and the iPhone 12 family has an over 99 percent customer satisfaction rate. The new purple finish, just in time for spring, adds another bright and fun option to the lineup, and we think customers are going to love it,” said Greg Joswiak, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing.

“This gorgeous new color joins the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 mini family, which is available in five other stunning finishes, and features an advanced dual-camera system, Super Retina XDR display, improved durability, A14 Bionic — the fastest chip ever in a smartphone — great battery life, and the best 5G experience on any smartphone.”

As well as the iPhone 12 getting a purple finish, the smaller iPhone 12 mini is also available with this updated appearance. Both will be available for pre-order beginning today with the arriving in stores next from April 30.

Nintendo Teases Mario Kart Tour's Brand-New City Course

This post originally appeared on Nintendo Life | Latest News

Update [Thu 22nd Apr, 2021 02:45 BST]: Nintendo has now shared a new trailer showing off the latest tour.

Original story [Sun 18th Apr, 2021 17:00 BST]: As the Ninja-themed event wraps up in Mario Kart Tour, Nintendo has decided to lift the lid on the next round of racing. It seems Mario and friends are off to Sydney, Australia to experience a “brand-new” city course. Yay!

The attached picture shows off the Sydney Harbour Bridge, and in front of it is Rosalina, Toad and Baby Mario – who appears to be wearing Koala ears. He’s even got a little backpack to go with it!

When we find out more about this upcoming event, we’ll let you know. Will you be participating in the Sydney Tour? Are you still playing Mario Kart on your mobile device? Comment down below.

Spotify just launched a brand-new way to listen, but UK subscribers miss out

You just need to use the ‘Hey Spotify’ wake phrase and then ask for a song, album, artist, playlist, station or podcast.

Other voice commands you can call upon for quick access to some new tunes while you drive include…

• Hey Spotify, play rock

• Hey Spotify, play my favourites

• Hey Spotify, shuffle today’s Top Hits

The Car Thing also features four preset buttons, so you can quickly get access to your most listened to content – such as the latest episode of the podcast you’re binging, playlists you often belt out or songs from your favourite artists.

If you like the sounds of Spotify’s first foray into hardware there are a few important things you need to know.

This article originally appeared on Daily Express :: Tech Feed