This week, Google brings life to wearables, EA removes microstransactions from Star Wars: Battlefront II and streaming music has its ups and downs.
Scott is a developer who has worked on projects of varying sizes, including all of the PLuGHiTz Corporation properties. He is also known in the gaming world for his time supporting the DDR community, through DDRLover and hosting tournaments throughout the Tampa Bar Area. Currently, when he is not working on software projects or hosting F5 Live: Refreshing Technology, Scott can often be found returning to his high school days working with the Foundation for Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology (FIRST), mentoring teams and judging engineering notebooks at competitions. He has also helped found a student software learning group, the ASCII Warriors.
Avram's been in love with PCs since he played original Castle Wolfenstein on an Apple II+. Before joining Tom's Hardware, for 10 years, he served as Online Editorial Director for sister sites Tom's Guide and Laptop Mag, where he programmed the CMS and many of the benchmarks. When he's not editing, writing or stumbling around trade show halls, you'll find him building Arduino robots with his son and watching every single superhero show on the CW.
This week, Google made an announcement that was not expected: Android Wear is no more. The product is not being shuttered, but instead it has been rebranded as Wear OS by Google. Google claims that the reason for the change is related to a change in their customer base.
Lately it would seem that no videogame company is farther away from understanding their customers than EA. When the company was preparing to release Star Wars: Battlefront II, they made the decision to include microtransactions in the game. This was far from the first AAA title to do this, but it was certainly the most pervasive. Certain parts of the game required so much in-game currency that it would take over 4,500 hours of gameplay to unlock; that is unless you paid for it. That same currency would cost about $2,100 to achieve.
In the last year, some of the most distressing stories in technology have come from the cryptocurrency industry. From fraudulent ICOs (initial coin offerings) to exchange heists, getting into cryptocurrencies has never been more dangerous. Because of all of the bad blood in the market, a major player has decided to move away from it: Google Ads.
There's no doubt that the battle over streaming music is getting heated. As the companies involved get more focused, it is inevitable that the industry will see ups and downs. At the end of 2017, we saw Microsoft exit the market after nearly a decade, shuttering their Groove Music service (previously Zune Music and Xbox Music) and transitioning the customers to the market leader, Spotify.