Google Fiber is about to start testing a new 2 Gbps internet service in two cities with the plan to launch it widely in 2021, the company announced. The plan will cost $100 per month, or $30 more than the current 1 Gbps service. In exchange, you’ll get double the download speeds, though uploads will remain unchanged at 1 Gbps. Customers who sign up will also get a WiFi 6 router that will presumably support the higher speeds, along with a mesh extender to distribute WiFi around your house.
The company is calling for “super users” and others in Nashville, Tennessee and Huntsville, Alabama to join its Trusted Tester program and help it work out the bugs. It will eventually launch the service in most of Google’s 19 Fiber and wireless Fiber Webpass cities by early 2021.
Moonlight director Barry Jenkins is helming the next live-action Lion King
Oscar winner Barry Jenkins has agreed to direct the next installment in the Lion King story, according to an exclusive in Deadline. Jenkins is taking over for Jon Favreau, whose “live-action” — photorealistic CGI — update to the classic Disney franchise earned $1.6 billion globally just last year. The sequel also promises to be something of a prequel: according to Deadline, the movie will delve into the characters’ origin stories.
As you may recall, that remake starred Beyoncé Knowles (Nala), Donald Glover (Simba), Seth Rogen (Pumbaa), and James Earl Jones (Mufasa), among other massive stars. Though the film has neither a release date nor any actors confirmed to star in its cast, it’s hard to imagine that some of the bigger names on Favreau’s roster won’t be coming back. You can’t make a Lion King without Simba, right?
And Jenkins seems excited about the opportunity, even as he’s been writing and directing a ton of projects elsewhere.
“Helping my sister raise two young boys during the ’90s, I grew up with these characters,” Jenkins told Deadline. “Having the opportunity to work with Disney on expanding this magnificent tale of friendship, love and legacy while furthering my work chronicling the lives and souls of folk within the African diaspora is a dream come true.” I can’t wait to see what he comes up with.
The unlocked OnePlus 7T is $200 cheaper at B&H Photo
The OnePlus 7T is quite similar to the OnePlus 7 Pro, a handset that made it into our list of favorite midrange handsets. The most consequential difference between the two is their displays. The 7T has a 6.5-inch 1080p AMOLED display and the Pro has a 6.7-inch 1440p AMOLED screen. Both support a 90Hz refresh rate, but there will be some who want the biggest and best possible display on their smartphones and the Pro is where you’ll find it in this pairing.
Otherwise, the OnePlus 7T takes some premium features from the Pro while downgrading others. The 7T has a smaller, lighter body that’s easier to hold, and it actually has a faster chipset, running on a Snapdragon 855+ processor. It’s only available with 8GB of RAM and this model that’s on sale has 128GB of internal storage. The Pro has the advantage of a larger battery, but the 7T still has a formidable battery life, lasting nearly two days on a single charge when we spent some hands-on time with it. The 7T also has OnePlus’ Warp Charge 30T feature that can fully charge the smartphone within an hour, which is as impressive as it is handy.
If you’re looking for the best deal on a recent OnePlus smartphone, B&H’s sale is worth considering. It may not have the same big, beautiful display that the Pro has, but it remains a sold Android handset that, at this sale price, provides a similar value to that of the €399/$475 OnePlus Nord in the UK and Europe.
Follow @EngadgetDeals on Twitter for the latest tech deals and buying advice.
Roku’s upcoming AirPlay 2 support means there’ll soon be a way to stream HBO Max
HBO Max hasn’t been available on Roku devices since the new streaming service launched at the end of May, but with Roku soon adding support for Apple AirPlay 2 to many of its 4K devices and TVs, there will be a workaround.
People with an Apple device (iPhone, iPad, Mac) will be able to use AirPlay 2 to stream HBO Max on their Roku devices even though an official app is not yet live, the company confirmed to The Sports Grind Entertainment. AirPlay 2 support is supposed to roll out by the end of the year to most recent 4K Roku players and Roku TVs, so it’s possible Roku and HBO parent company, WarnerMedia, could reach a deal before then, making the AirPlay workaround unnecessary.
If they don’t, however, using AirPlay 2 will be one of the only options Roku owners will have to watch HBO Max. This isn’t the first time that people have found workarounds (like using Chromecast, or screen mirroring) to rectify situations where an app they want to use isn’t available on their chosen set-top box. On Fire TV, for instance, users can sideload the Android TV version of HBO Max by following an easy step-by-step guide.
Still, it’s an increasingly frustrating ordeal for people with HBO Max subscriptions (HBO Now and HBO Go customers got a free upgrade at launch) and Roku devices. Not long after HBO Max launched, the company sunset its HBO Go app (which cable HBO customers could use for free), and moved HBO Now customers over to a newly rebranded HBO app. If you’re confused, it’s understandable — the whole situation is confusing!
Both Roku and WarnerMedia have been caught up in negotiations for months trying to find a deal that works for both parties. Tony Goncalves, head of HBO Max, told The Sports Grind Entertainment that WarnerMedia was looking for a “fair” deal at the time of HBO Max’s launch, and said that hadn’t been brought to the table yet.
“Disney Plus and Netflix and Hulu and these other apps are on those platforms,” Goncalves said. “There’s a certain business model that exists. We just want the same one. I’m hopeful that, ultimately, we’ll get there, and we’ll get there with the consumer in mind. But we just didn’t get there on day one.”
HBO Max wasn’t the only app unavailable at launch on Roku. NBCUniversal and Roku spent months trying to figure out a deal over NBCUniversal’s Peacock that was fair to both parties. The companies came to a standstill over the percentage of ad inventory Roku would get from NBCUniversal. It wasn’t until the two companies entered a blackout period — in which a content provider like NBCUniversal threatens to, or actually does, pull programming to try and speed up negotiations — that they reached a deal and Peacock became available to stream on Roku.
As more streaming services launch, and potentially run into similar licensing disputes, having a workaround like AirPlay 2 support will at least make it slightly less infuriating than having absolutely no way to watch a service you pay for on a device you own.
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