Here’s your daily tech digest, by way of the DGiT Daily newsletter, for Thursday, July 11, 2019!

1. The new Nintendo Switch is a worse Switch, but it’s $100 off

Nintendo Switch Lite in yello

There are probably more than two types of Switch players, but these are the two I know:

  • The first never uses it in any way other than a console. That Switch is always plugged into the TV.
  • The second has played a huge amount of hours and never hooked it up with the TV.
  • For the first Switch gamer, the new Nintendo Switch Lite, announced yesterday. won’t make any sense.
  • “It’s a new worse Switch,” they cry.
  • Except it’s $100 less expensive, making it a $200 product. And you can still buy the original Switch, which looks like it’s getting a possible internals tweak to be faster/lighter/more efficient. (We don’t yet know.)

Back to the new Switch Lite. Numerous publications had the chance to go hands-on, and here’s what you get.

  • It’s smaller, lighter, but otherwise similar – the Lite version didn’t lose much.
  • The main change is a smaller 5.5-inch display, down from the 6.2-inch on the OG Switch.
  • That makes the whole package a bit smaller, at 3.6 x 8.2 inches, as opposed to the 4 x 9.4-inch original, and saves on weight, at 0.61 pounds (275g) vs 0.88 pounds (398g).
  • CNET said it was “rock solid,” and “despite missing some features, it did feel great in my hands”, adding “the Lite felt more compact than the original Switch.”
  • “Adding Nintendo Switch Lite to the lineup gives gamers more color and price point options,” noted Doug Bowser, president of Nintendo of America. “Now consumers can choose the system that best suits how they like to play their favorite Nintendo Switch games.”

Yet it’s no longer a Switch:

  • The genius of the Switch was its portability, able to switch between game modes. It can accompany you on a flight, or plug into your 55-inch TV at home for Mario Kart sessions. There will be no transforming on the Switch Lite.
  • The Joy-Cons on the side aren’t detachable, either.
  • And it’s disappointing that Nintendo isn’t letting the Lite do more. You still can’t connect to Bluetooth audio. The screen remains at the same resolution, which CNET said was “in some cases, harder to read smaller text.”
  • You can’t adjust brightness, the rumble and motion sensing has been lost but you do get more battery life though – 20-30% more, depending.
  • It will only support handheld games, too. That is just about all of them, but you won’t be able to use the VR Labo set or some games like Super Mario Party without picking up accessories.

What’s not to like?

  • There’s pushback from some people wondering why this Switch Lite would appeal when the original Switch offers more, including the TV-pluggability.
  • But I don’t think that’s what’s going on.
  • Now families can get kids a portable console, with a huge library of games, at a better price point. If they can’t plug into the TV, that’s no huge loss for parents.
  • The new Switch Lite goes on sale on September 20.
  • Three colors: Yellow, gray, and turquoise. There’s also a special Zacian and Zamazenta Edition, themed for the new Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield games coming on November 8, a week before those new Pokémon games drop.
  • Nintendo says “while supplies last” so I guess it’s a limited edition release.

2. Big new Samsung Galaxy Note 10 render leak ahead of August 7 reveal (Android Authority).

3. Google Prime Day: Pixel 3 and 3 XL will be heavily discounted on Prime Day, gift card with 3a XL (AA).

4. Apple has pushed a silent Mac update to remove the Zoom bug (TechCrunch). Some people aren’t happy Apple can make silent changes to Macs (Twitter).

5. It looks like a lake made for Instagram. It’s a dump for chemical waste (NY Times).

6. Facebook is shelling out big peanuts for exclusive VR Assassin’s Creed and Splinter Cell games (The Information).

7. Google’s 4,000-word privacy policy is a secret history of the internet (NY Times).

8. Ikea’s economical range of smart lights continues expanding (The Verge).

9. Waymo’s self-driving system has driven 10 billion virtual miles (Engadget). This kinda means nothing at some point. If 10 billion virtual miles aren’t yet enough, what is? Waymo says it has 25,000 cars driving 24 hours a day, in simulation. Why not 250,000?

10. A guy found out a feature in his PS4 that surprised him, and hundreds more chimed in with useful tips and tricks. Join in the fun! (r/PS4).

11. Time is running out for sand (Nature). (It’s all about nice new angular sand. The stuff in deserts is too smooth.)

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