Google Updated Some iPhone X Apps, But Not the Ones You Wanted

Google has released updates for its Sheets, Docs, and Slides applications on Monday, all of which now include optimisation for the iPhone X screen.

They look wonderful on the smartphone’s edge-to-edge display, using all of the available screen space that the device offers, including the notch area, the TrueDepth camera system, and the bottom area of the display as well.

Meanwhile, We’re Still Waiting for the Rest

In the meantime, we are longing for Google applications like Maps, Calendar, Gmail, and Hangouts to get optimized for the iPhone X. At this point, these apps make your $1000 bezel-less iPhone X look like the $700 iPhone 8 with bezels!

Google has updated a number of other applications for the new iPhone so far:

  • Chrome
  • YouTube
  • Google Photos
  • Assistant
  • Earth
  • Duo
  • Google+
  • Translate

This is a good list of applications, but the continuing lack of optimization for the hugely popular Maps, Calendar, and Gmail apps is strange. Luckily Google is not in charge of the online pokies NZ has to offer -who knows where we would be then?

Hopefully They Will be Optimised Sooner Rather than Later

It is not the worst thing, we know, and updates for these popular applications will likely be released soon. When optimisation for the iPhone X screen does become available, it is probably that we will get more space to use like we did for the Docs application too. For the moment, however, those of us who wish to use these unoptimised applications will be reminded what an iPhone with bezels is like, unfortunately.

Google Has Not Responded

When Google was asked about how the prioritisation of updates for its various iOS applications worked, they did not immediately respond. I guess we will have to wait and see!

In Any Case, the Pixel 2 May be Better than the iPhone X

Users who have been experimenting with the Google Pixel 2 XL are finding it difficult to convince themselves that the new iPhone X is better. While the latter gadget makes a serious case for itself when it comes to design, it really is a beautiful gadget, the price is rather off-putting.

The new Pixel 2 from Google starts at just $650, which is a whopping $350 less than the price for the iPhone X. The larger Pixel 2 XL is still only $850, which remains a better deal. They also come with a fast charger included, and iPhone X does not, even though Apple has finally added support for this feature to both the iPhone 8 and the iPhone X. This lets you get hours of extra battery life with just a few minutes of charging, which is incredibly useful in a pinch, and may see users stray from their loyalty to the iOS yet…

Google needs to get its act together in terms of app optimization for the iOS, and Apple needs to calm down with their pricing, in summary. The world of smartphones is changing, and fast, and these two brand-leaders need to get their acts together!

Blu-ray Review “Muppets Most Wanted: The Unnecessarily Extended Edition”

Starring: Ricky Gervais, Ty Burrell, Tina Fey, Steve Whitmire, Eric Jacobson, Dave Goelz
Director: James Bobin
Rated: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
Studio: Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment
Release Date: August 12, 2014
Run Time: 107 / 119 minutes

Film: 2.5 out of 5 stars
Blu-ray: 4 out of 5 stars
Extras: 2 out of 5 stars

“The Muppets” was easily one of my favorite films of 2011. It may have been a little cheesy but also nostalgic and plain fun, plus the music. I mean Bret McKenzie went on to win the Oscar for the win. I still listen to the soundtrack. So now that the franchise was rebooted, I am sure everyone was dying for a sequel…well unfortunately we got “Muppets Most Wanted”, which really feels like a downgraded version of “The Muppets”. The cast doesn’t do it for me at all either. Not a Tiny Fey fan, Never watched Ty Burrell in “Modern Family” and Ricky Gervais is too good for this film. It is a fun movie don’t get me wrong. There are some good laughs and song good songs but overall it is very forgettable. I guarantee it you I will not be re-watching or singing along to the music over two years later with this one.

Official Premise: There’s plenty of fun for the whole family as Kermit the Frog, Miss Piggy, Animal and the entire Muppets gang head out on a world tour. But mayhem follows the Muppets, as they find themselves unwittingly entangled in an international crime caper. Now Kermit is behind bars at the mercy of prison warden Nadya (Tina Fey), and the World’s Number One Criminal, Constantine — a dead ringer for Kermit — has taken his place. As Constantine and his dastardly sidekick Dominic (Ricky Gervais) plot the robbery of the century, they are pursued by Sam Eagle and Interpol agent Jean Pierre Napoleon (Ty Burrell). Will Constantine get away with his nefarious scheme? Will Kermit escape in time to save the day?

“Muppets Most Wanted” is being released with an The Unnecessarily Extended Edition, which included a Blu-ray + DVD + Digital HD Ultraviolet Copy . There are two versions of the film are included: the 107-minute theatrical version and a 119-minute extended cut. The extended cut is a hit and miss, to be honest. The 1080p transfer is good just like “The Muppets”, this has a slightly bigger feel to it and benefits from that aspect. Disney is trying out a new surround track for this release, which is a 2.0Mbps, DTS-HD High Resolution 7.1 track. It is good but not amazing like I would have expect from this kind of a track. The special features are also a let down as well. There is a 10 minute gag reel titled “The Longer Longest Blooper Reel in Muppets History”. “Rizzo’s Biggest Fan” is a Rizzo complain to director James Bobin about screentime. Lastly there is a deleted Statler & Waldorf scene and a music video for “I’ll Get What You Want” by Bret McKenzie.

Film Review “Muppets Most Wanted”

Starring: the Muppets, Ty Burrell, Ricky Gervais and Tina Fey
Directed by: James Bobin
Rated: PG
Running time: 1 hour 52 mins
Walt Disney Pictures

Our Score: 3 out of 5 stars

Three years ago Jason Segel helped resurrect the Muppets. With a genuine love for the characters, Segel made a franchise that had seemingly lost its steam over a decade before seem new and exciting again. While still entertaining, the newest film, “Muppets Most Wanted” could use a little of Segels wit and enthusiasm.

The film picks up at the end of 2011’s “The Muppets,” with the gang wondering what to do now that they’ve “gotten the band back together.” Before they can reason things out, they are approached by a promoter (Gervais) and persuaded to embark on a world tour. Wanting to keep things low key, the group leader, Kermit the Frog, encourages taking things slow. Instead they are booked into the grandest theatres in Europe, unaware that their performances are being used to mask a series of crimes. When Kermit is mistaken for Constantine, the world’s most dangerous frog, who has just escaped from a Russian gulag, he is imprisoned while Constantine takes over the troupe. Occasional hijinx ensue.

Lacking a lot of the eternal fun that made the Muppets stars four decades ago, “Muppets Most Wanted” is a by the book sequel which occasionally rises to funny thanks to its humorous human co-stars. As someone that grew up with the band of puppets, from “Sesame Street” to their own show to their early films, what is missing to me is the fun and enthusiasm that I always heard in the vocal performers. Sadly, Jim Henson, Jerry Nelson and Richard Hunt are no longer with us. And while the various performers voicing their characters do their best to sound like fans remember, to my ears they don’t have the same passion as the creators of the characters did.

The songs (and there are many – and not enough good ones) seem to be filler…as if the filmmakers thought that bright puppets and musical numbers would distract the audience from the fact that this is strictly a one-plot film. The saving grace here aren’t the title characters but the human guest stars. If you’ve ever wanted to see Ray Liotta perform the opening number to “A Chorus Line,” backed up by such well-known musical talents as Danny Trejo and Jermaine Clement, then you’re in luck. Tina Fey has fun as one of the Gulag guards who enlists Kermit in planning the annual talent show. Gervais and Burrell have fun as the masterminds behind the various heists the Muppets unwittingly help complete. If only the voices behind the Muppets had as much fun, this could have been a really fun film. Paging Jason Segel.

Blu-ray Review “Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted”

Starring: Ben Stiller, Chris Rock, David Schwimmer, Jada Pinkett Smith, Sacha Baron Cohen, Cedric the Entertainer
Directors: Eric Darnell, Tom McGrath and Conrad Vernon
Rated: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
Studio: Paramount
Release Date: October 16, 2012
Run Time: 93 minutes

Film: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Extras: 4 out of 5 stars

When it comes to the “Madagascar” franchise, they are nothing but plain and simple fun. The third film in the series “Europe’s Most Wanted” is definitely the biggest and most ambitious. This film was released in 3D in theaters and really looked nice within the format.  We are reviewing the 2D version of the film here and it still is entertaining with the third dimension effects.  If you are a fan of the series and looking to escape for a few minutes, while keeping the kiddies entertained this will be the film for you.  Since this installment takes place in a circus, this release comes with a Rainbow Wig, so you can party like Marty! If you are a fan, there is still lots more to come.  “The Penguins of Madagascar” feature-film should be next in 2015, followed by “Madagascar 4”. So stay tuned!

Official Synopsis: Alex the Lion, Marty the Zebra, Gloria the Hippo, and Melman the Giraffe are still fighting to get home to their beloved Big Apple and of course, King Julien, Maurice and the Penguins are all along for the comedic adventure. Their journey takes them through Europe where they find the perfect cover: a traveling circus, which they reinvent – Madagascar style.

“Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted” comes in a sweet Two-Disc Blu-ray/DVD Combo + Digital Copy + UltraViolet release, along with Marty’s Rainbow Wig.  The star of the film has to be the audio track included, which is Dolby TrueHD 7.1.  It really works with the films music and action scenes, which there is quite a bit of both. The special features are also quite impressive.  Under the category of “High Flying Fun”, we have Filmmakers’ Commentary, Big Top Cast, Deleted Scenes, Mad Music Mash-Up and Circus Acts. All of these features are flashy, fun and even great for kids. There are three deleted scenes including, “Melman Picks a Circus Act”, “Next Performance: New York City” and “Lion Meets Venom”, fun but well cut. Lastly there are two featurettes “The Animators’ Corner” and
“Get Them to the Train”, as well as a trivia track included.

 

Related Content

Book Review “The Art of Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted”

Author: Barbara Robertson
Hardcover: 156 pages
Publisher: Insight Editions
Release Date: May 15, 2012

Our Score: 3.5 out of 5 stars

When it comes to animated films, I always love to check out the “Art of” books since they are always the best. “Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted” is definitely no different. The book is extremely colorful and I really enjoyed reading/looking through it. Dreamworks Animation really has CGI films down also including the “Shrek” and “Kung Fu Panda” series. I haven’t seen “Madagascar 3” yet but after reading this book, I am now very much more interested to see it. I also really enjoyed the foreword from Chris Rock, it is a great way to kick off this book.

“The Art of Madagascar 3” focuses on all aspects of the film ranging from character design, development art, and special effects. This really showcases the amazing work that the artists at DreamWorks Animation did for this film. There is a breakdown of every new character from this installment including a very detailed descriptions. Since the film is very location based, there is a detailed concept art showing where the film takes place ranging from New York to Monte Carlo. I also really enjoyed the specific focus on the visual effects from various scenes in the film. This book also doesn’t just include CGI pictures from the movie, literally every shot is a unique drawing from the film.

If you are a fan of this series, then you are going to definitely want to check out this book. It really has a little bit for everyone of all ages. For kids it focuses on the film’s notable characters and for adults it includes details aspects from the artists that brought them to life. The images in the book are extremely high quality and really sharp. The colors are the page literally jump off and look really great. Insight Editions succeeds again with this release. They continue to release great “Art of” books for Dreamworks Animation films and they deliver yet another excellent book.