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The Morning After: iRobot Roombas are getting a 'genius' upgrade

And if you miss traveling in the age of coronavirus, there's a game for you.

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August 25, 2020 11:15 AM
In this article: themorningafter, newsletter, gear
iRobot Roomba app
Jeff Tilford

On Monday evening, a judge said she planned to rule quickly on a proposed restraining order against Apple in its battle with Epic, and US District Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers came through on that promise. A few hours after a Zoom-streamed hearing, she made the call: Apple can continue to block Fortnite on iOS, but, at least for now, it can’t drop the hammer on the Unreal Engine development kit.

Fortnite payment screen on iOS
Epic Games

In a battle of titans over the App Store’s rules, the hearing and ruling gave only a few hints about how this may roll out. Epic’s decision to break the rules before suing doesn’t seem to help its case, but Apple’s arguments about competition in the market also fall a bit flat. It could be many months before a final decision comes down — Fortnite players on iPhones should probably hope the two parties can negotiate an agreement before that happens.

— Richard

Nintendo might be planning to release a Switch 4K next year

Plus a bunch of important new games.

Nintendo Switch

If you love Animal Crossing but think it’s missing some extra pixels, then the latest Nintendo rumor is meant for you. According to Bloomberg, the company will follow up 2020’s relatively light release schedule with a slew of new first- and third-party games next year, centered around the release of an upgraded edition of the Switch that can play games in 4K.
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Zoom was down first thing Monday morning

Bad news: Slack is still working, though.

Zoom has become near-essential in the time of coronavirus, with so many companies moving to remote work. So when the service was down early yesterday, there were issues. Zoom said it was only a “partial outage” and had fixed most issues by 11AM ET. The service was back to normal before 12PM ET, just in time to reschedule meetings for the afternoon.
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iRobot's Roomba and Bravaa mop get a huge intelligence boost

They'll be smart enough to start cleaning when you leave the house.

iRobot Roomba app
Jeff Tilford

iRobot has unveiled its Genius Home Intelligence platform, which aims to make its premium bots far better home helpers. The basic idea is to go beyond mere manual scheduling — the company wants its devices to do what we ask and fit into our lives more naturally.

It starts with the company’s redesigned app, which adds smart routines — for example, your Roomba could start cleaning if you leave the house to go for a walk. These routines are configured with IFTTT triggers, so they can work together with other devices you already have, like smart locks, thermostats and cameras.

The Genius Home Intelligence platform could be good news for owners of cheaper bots, like the $249 Roomba 675, as slightly smarter scheduling could make them vastly more useful. Still, the company is saving some of its best features for its most expensive devices. With the new app, you can automate the Roomba i7 and s9 to clean certain areas of your home. Add specific objects to the app’s cleaning map and you can order the Roomba to work those areas when you want it to.
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How some Engadget readers feel about their Samsung Galaxy Z Flip

Someone had to take the leap.

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip

Samsung’s second foldable phone represented an even bolder effort than the original Fold. So given the Galaxy Z Flip’s design decisions, how did it work out for people who actually bought one. Amber Bouman dug through your user reviews and found most early adopters would recommend the device, despite all that crease hysteria and a slightly slippery frame.
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'Airplane Mode' will let you relive the monotony of economy class this fall

Use your PC or Mac to go on a six-hour flight.

Airplane Mode
AMC Games

Why play Flight Simulator and be a pilot, when you can play AMC Games’ Airplane Mode and fly coach?
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But wait, there’s more...

YouTuber built his own DIY version of Tesla's Cyberquad

WSJ: Mark Zuckerberg used a private Trump meeting to hurt TikTok

A tiny space rock holds clues about the evolution of life

Apple is opening its first 'floating' store in Singapore

MOD Duo X review: A $749 do-it-all music box with potential

'Yakuza: Like a Dragon' reboots the franchise on November 13th

Samsung's 'Find My Mobile' now works even when your phone is offline 

Audible has a new cheaper plan (if you can do without the book credits)

The Logitech G Color Collection is made to look good on your stream

The Colorado startup dreaming up a return to supersonic flight

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