Posts with «author_name|kris holt» label

A fifth of US teens use YouTube 'almost constantly,' with TikTok not far behind

Pew Research has published a new report that examines social media usage trends among US teens. The organization found that a whopping 95 percent of them use YouTube, while 19 percent are on the platform "almost constantly."

Perhaps unsurprisingly, two-thirds (67 percent) said they used TikTok, with 16 percent claiming they are on the app "almost constantly." The third most-popular social media platform among teens is Instagram, per Pew, with 62 percent using it. A tenth say they use it almost all the time — despite the app occasionally telling them to take a break. A previous poll conducted in 2014-15 found that 52 percent were using Instagram (Pew didn't ask about YouTube usage for that survey and TikTok didn't exist at the time).

Snapchat also rose among teens, with 59 percent using it in 2022, compared with 41 percent in the previous poll. Facebook was the top social media app among teens seven years ago, with 71 percent of them using it, but that figure has dropped to 32 percent. Teen adoption of Twitter (down from 33 percent to 23 percent) and Tumblr (14 percent to five percent) has fallen over the same period too.

The 2014-15 poll didn't ask about Twitch, WhatsApp or Reddit. These days, a fifth of teens use Twitch, 17 percent are on WhatsApp and 14 percent are accessing Reddit. For what it's worth, the earlier poll suggested 33 percent of teens used Google+, while a quarter used Vine. This time around, Pew did not ask teens about their use of Discord or social gaming spaces such as Fortnite.

Pew surveyed 1,316 teens aged 13 to 17 (as well as one of their parents) in April and May. It found that boys were more likely to use YouTube, Twitch and Reddit and girls were more likely to say they access TikTok, Instagram and Snapchat. More Black and Hispanic teens said they used TikTok, Instagram, Twitter and WhatsApp than white teens.

Even though over half (54 percent) of teens said they'd find it hard to give up social media, 36 percent admitted they spent too much time on the platforms. Around 55 percent said their usage levels were "about right." Meanwhile, 97 percent of teens now use the internet every day, with 46 percent saying they're online almost all the time.

The poll found that 95 percent of teens have access to a smartphone (up from 73 percent in 2014-15), while 90 percent can access a desktop or laptop computer, up from 87 percent in the previous survey. Curiously, the percentage of teens who say they have access to a gaming console has fallen slightly, from 81 percent to 80 percent.

Watch Samsung Unpacked 2022 with us at 8:30AM ET

It's just about time for Samsung's big summer event, Unpacked 2022, where we're expecting the company to show off a bunch of devices. In particular, we'll likely see new foldables and smartwatches.

The company has strongly hinted that the next Galaxy Z Fold is on the way. We'll probably see an updated Galaxy Z Flip and a next-gen Galaxy Watch or two. Rumors also suggest Samsung has a new Galaxy Buds Pro model up its sleeve. There's always the chance of a surprise or two as well.

You can watch the livestream below. Samsung's event starts at 9AM ET, but we're kicking things off at 8:30AM with our pre-show. Join Engadget Deputy Editor Cherlynn Low and Senior Writer Sam Rutherford as they weigh in with their expert insight and break down what we expect Samsung to reveal.

Follow all of the news from Samsung's Unpacked event right here!

Urbanista unveils ANC earbuds with a light-powered charging case

Urbanista has revealed its latest set of earbuds, and you may never need to toss a charging brick in your bag if you travel with them. That's because the Phoenix buds have a charging case with Exeger's Powerfoyle solar cell material. The company says this can top up the case's battery using any kind of indoor or outdoor light.

The earphones offer eight hours of playback time, according to Urbanista. The brand says the charging case has a total battery reserve of 32 hours as well. The Phoenix charging case looks much taller than cases for other true wireless earbuds, likely to ensure there's sufficient surface area for the solar cell material.

The earbuds have hybrid active noise cancellation (ANC) support, along with noise-reducing microphones and a transparency mode. They have multipoint connectivity, meaning you can connect them to two devices at the same time. You'll have access to touch and voice controls, as well as deeper customization through the Urbanista mobile app. There's IPX4 water resistance too.


Urbanista previously used Powerfoyle tech in its Los Angeles over-ear headphones. In trying them out, we found that direct sunlight was able to charge them at a faster rate than the battery drained as a result of playback. However, the headphones charged much slower in ambient light.

It's unclear who might be able to use the Phoenix buds to their full effect. If you're outside a lot and are able to leave the case in direct sunlight while you're using the earphones, you might never need to plug in the USB-C cable to top up the battery. At the very least, it's an intriguing product that offers a look at another possible use case for the solar cell material.

The Phoenix earbuds are available in black or pink. A set costs $149/£129/€149.

People spent much less time watching gaming streams this spring, report says

The number of hours streamed and watched across Twitch, YouTube Gaming and Facebook Gaming have dropped significantly over the last year, according to the latest Streamlabs and Stream Hatchet report on the landscape of livestreaming. Between April and June, streamers on the three platforms were live for 273 million hours. That's down 19.4 percent from Q2 2021 and 12 percent from the previous quarter.

Viewers tuned in to streams for 7.36 billion hours across the three platforms last quarter. That's a drop of 18.1 percent year over year (viewership was at 8.99 billion hours in Q2 2021) and 8.4 percent from the previous quarter. The slowdown for all three platforms could be a case of people spending more time outside than they did last year for pandemic-related reasons.

Twitch is still by far the biggest player among the three platforms, with 76.7 percent of market share in terms of hours watched (5.64 billion) and 92.7 percent of hours streamed (204.2 million). Those figures dropped by 13.4 percent and 16 percent from Q2 2021. The number of unique channels streaming on the platform dropped by nearly 2 million to 9.6 million as well.

However, Twitch's Just Chatting category continues to go from strength to strength. Hours watched there actually grew by 2.2 percent from the previous quarter, giving the category its highest ever viewership. The most-watched categories after that were Grand Theft Auto V (465 million hours) and League of Legends (464 million).

YouTube Gaming viewership actually remained steady from the previous quarter, though it dropped 13.1 percent from Q2 2021 to 1.13 billion hours. The total hours streamed dropped by 9.6 percent year over year to 8.05 million.

Facebook Gaming suffered a bigger setback, per the report, despite Meta's efforts to court creators. The number of hours watched fell by a whopping 51 percent from a year ago to 580 million. There was an even bigger drop in terms of hours streamed, from 20.8 million in Q2 2021 to 7.9 million last quarter — a decline of 62 percent.

Perhaps we'll soon start seeing some of those numbers creep up again, though. With a recession looming, folks may spend more time indoors again, tuning back into streamers they enjoyed watching during the first 18 months or so after COVID-19 took hold.

Ford will reopen F-150 Lightning orders this week at a much higher starting price

Ford will open up orders for the next wave of F-150 Lightning reservation holders this Thursday, but those buying the electric pickup as of this week will need to dig deeper in their pockets. The automaker is bumping up the prices by between $4,200 and $8,900, depending on the trim. It cited "significant material cost increases and other factors" as reasons for the adjustments.

“Current order holders awaiting delivery are not impacted by these price adjustments,” Model E chief customer officer Marin Gjaja said in a statement. “We’ve announced pricing ahead of re-opening order banks so our reservation holders can make an informed decision around ordering a Lightning.” Those who have a reservation and already received an invite order but chose to wait for their preferred configuration to be available will "receive a private offer for use in upcoming waves," Ford said.

The base F-150 Lightning now costs $46,974 (up by $7,000) and the standard mid-range XLT is $59,474, which marks an increase of $6,500. At the higher end of the scale, Ford bumped up the price of the Platinum Extended Range by just over $4,000 to $96,874. The biggest increase, per The Verge, is for the Lariat Extended Range, which has jumped up by $8,900 to $85,974. Those prices don't include the delivery fee.

As somewhat of a makegood for the price increase, models with the standard-range battery will have a target EPA-estimated range of 240 miles, an increase of 10 miles per charge. That battery is available for the Pro, XLT and Lariat trims. Ford is also adding Pro Trailer Hitch Assist tech, which it says will make it easier for drivers to hitch trailers thanks to automatic steering, throttle and brake controls. It's available as part of the Tow Technology Package on Pro, XLT and Lariat trims and as standard on some Lariat trims and the Platinum trim.

Ford is changing up the color options too. Avalanche Gray and Azure Gray metallic tri-coat options will replace Atlas Blue, Ice Blue Silver and Smoked Quartz Metallic. Those will not be available on models it builds as of this fall.

The automaker temporarily capped reservations at 200,000 last December, after receiving enough to fill three years of production capacity. Ford began making the F-150 Lightning in April and it started deliveries the following month. It has sold more than 4,400 to date. Starting in 2023, the company aims to produce 150,000 units per year at a plant in Dearborn, Michigan.

‘Sonic the Hedgehog 3’ will hit theaters in the 2024 holiday season

The first two Sonic movies were solid hits for Paramount. So much so, the studio has confidence the previously announced third movie can be successful even during the competitive holiday season. As such, it gave Sonic the Hedgehog 3 a release date of December 20th, 2024.

Few details have been revealed about the third entry in the series as yet. It's unclear whether Jim Carrey will return as Dr. Robotnik after the actor said he was considering retiring from acting. Meanwhile, a spin-off series focused on Knuckles (Idris Elba) is coming to Paramount+ next year.

Running faster, flying higher, and punching harder. #SonicMovie3 hits theatres on December 20, 2024.

— Sonic the Hedgehog (@SonicMovie) August 9, 2022

Sonic the Hedgehog and Sonic 2 were released in February 2020 and April 2022, respectively, with the latter becoming the highest-grossing video-game film in the US. It's also the ninth highest-grossing movie of the year so far after raking in just over $400 million worldwide. Sonic 3 will be competing against the likes of Avatar 3 and a movie version of the Broadway show Wicked.

Elsewhere, a Sonic-themed Fall Guys event starts on Thursday and runs until Monday. In the new Bean Hill Zone level, you'll be tasked with collecting rings to earn rewards such as Sonic sneakers. Sonic, Tails, Knuckles, Super Sonic and Dr. Robotnik outfits will be available in the store during the event, as will a Sonic foot tap emote. A Sonic skin was previously available in the game soon after it launched in August 2020. A Knuckles outfit appeared in the store last year too.





SUPER SONIC?!?!?!?!?!?!?!

i can't believe this is happening, sonic and knuckles are coming back and this time they're bringing BUDDIES (kinda)

— Fall Guys... FREE FOR ALL! 👑 (@FallGuysGame) August 9, 2022

Rivian is field testing dual-motor versions of the R1T and R1S

Electric vehicle maker Rivian is testing dual-motor versions of its R1T pickup and R1S SUV in the wild. The automaker is currently putting those models through their paces in the New Zealand winter, according to a tweet from CEO RJ Scaringe that InsideEVs spotted.

The company announced in March it would offer R1T and R1S variants that use its dual-motor Enduro powertrain. It said these models would be less expensive than their four-motor counterparts, starting at $67,500 for the R1T and $72,500 for the R1S. Not accounting for the destination fee, the four-motor R1T starts at $79,500 and the R1S at $84,500.

Winter testing our ‘Enduro’ dual motor in New Zealand!

— RJ Scaringe (@RJScaringe) August 8, 2022

Rivian developed Enduro's motors in-house and the system is already in use — the electric van the company is making for Amazon has an Enduro drive unit. The company hopes the Enduro powertrain will help it to reduce costs and keep down the price of the R1S, R1T and upcoming R2 models. That's an important consideration for Rivian, given that the Inflation Reduction Act the Senate just passed seeks to bring in new federal EV tax credit rules. Electric SUVs, trucks and vans priced $80,000 and over won't be eligible for the $7,500 subsidy.

At the time Rivian announced the dual-motor R1T and R1S, it raised prices of the four-motor EVs by $12,000. After a backlash, it limited the price increases to new orders, though the automaker was swiftly slapped with a shareholder lawsuit over the issue.

Meanwhile, Rivian is attempting to increase production of the R1T and R1S. It expects to build around 25,000 vehicles this year, despite having a backlog of 71,000 as of early July. Late last month, it laid off six percent of its workforce in order to dedicate more resources to production.

Lucid Air will soon have a 'Stealth Look' trim option

Lucid is embracing the dark side with a new trim option for its Air electric vehicle. The idea behind "Stealth Look" is to give the car a "darker and overtly sporting personality," according to the automaker. If you select this option, Lucid will swap out 35 exterior components that have a platinum finish for versions with a darker appearance, with black gloss and satin graphite accents on some parts.

Among the elements that will have this look are the mirror caps, the frame for the glass roof, the trim around the headlights and taillights and the front nose blade. The wheel designs and finishes will get a Stealth Look makeover as well, with a different look for each size.


Stealth Look is available for the Air Grand Touring Performance, Air Grand Touring and Air Touring variants. It can be applied to any of the exterior colors: Stellar White, Infinite Black, Cosmos Silver, Quantum Grey and Zenith Red. Lucid plans to introduce the $6,000 option early next year, though you can configure an Air with Stealth Look starting this Wednesday.

Whether you'll actually be able to get your hands on an Air at all anytime soon is another matter. Earlier this month, Lucid once again revised down its production target for 2022, this time from 20,000 to between 6,000 and 7,000 units. Between the start of the year and the beginning of August, it built just 1,405 vehicles, attributing the blame to parts and materials shortages. In May, the company recalled every Air it manufactured until that point in 2022 over wiring concerns.

Nintendo will dedicate a 30-minute Direct stream to 'Splatoon 3'

Splatoon 3 will arrive on September 9th and Nintendo is setting the table with a dedicated Direct showcase. The stream will get underway at 9AM ET on August 10th and will contain around 30 minutes of updates. It's likely to be a deep dive into one of Nintendo's tentpole Switch releases for this year. You'll be able to watch the presentation on Nintendo's YouTube channel.

Nintendo often holds dedicated Direct events for its core games in the lead up to their release. It's a smart way for the company to get more eyes on those titles and give folks who are undecided whether to buy them some more insight. Meanwhile, Nintendo will release a Splatoon 3-themed Switch OLED later this month, with a Pro Controller and carrying case featuring designs from the game arriving on September 9th.

Tune in on August 10 at 6 a.m. PT for a livestreamed #Splatoon3 Direct presentation. Join us in the Splatlands for roughly 30 minutes of updates!

— Nintendo of America (@NintendoAmerica) August 8, 2022

Baidu's robotaxis can now operate without a safety driver in the car

Baidu has obtained permits to run a fully driverless robotaxi service in China. It says it's the first company in the country to obtain such permissions. Back in April, Baidu received approval to run an autonomous taxi service in Beijing, as long as there was a human operator in the driver or front passenger seat. Now, it will be able to offer a service where the car's only occupants are passengers.

There are some limits to the permits. Driverless Apollo Go vehicles will ferry paying passengers around designated zones in Wuhan and Chongqing during daytime hours only. The service areas cover 13 square kilometers in Wuhan's Economic & Technological Development Zone (WHDZ) and 30 square kilometers in Chongqing’s Yongchuan District. The WHDZ has been overhauled over the last year to support AV testing and operations.

Baidu says its robotaxis have multiple safety measures to back up the core autonomous driving functions. Those include monitoring redundancy, remote driving capability and a safety operation system.

This is a notable step forward for Baidu as it looks to offer robotaxi services at a large scale. The company has also been testing its vehicles in the US for several years and it could ultimately prove a competitor to the likes of Waymo and Cruise.