Weekend Roundup: Dub-Dub, Drones, Mopeds, and Sketchy Stadia

It’s finally the weekend. After a long week of WWDC news, there’s some stuff you may have missed. Let’s play catch up, shall we?

Apple undoubtedly dominated the tech-news scene this week. I’ve been on the ground at WWDC covering it all. It’s been exhausting. I’m tired. Send coffee.

But other things happened outside the walls of the San Jose Convention Center.

Dub-Dub-A-Go-Go

I’ve been at WWDC all week, and I gotta tell you – it’s a lot to take in this year.

From Sign-In with Apple to SwiftUI and RealityKit (and Xcode 11), these are some massive new tools for developers. Apple really knocked it out of the park this year.

iOS developers have a lot to consider after WWDC 2019, and the new platforms and tools are going to send a ripple through the industry, even in terms of hiring and recruiting. With cross-platform apps now a standardized thing for Apple, do recruiters just refer to Apple-centric tech professionals as ‘Apple Developers’ instead of sub-categorizing into ‘iOS Developers,’ ‘macOS developers,’ etc.? This is a conversation for another time. I can’t take any more right now. Send. Coffee.

Amazon Prime Air Drone Gets New Design

The idea of a drone delivering your Amazon order is both exciting and terrifying. Do we really want a bunch of drones flying around with our orders, hovering onto our doorsteps and dropping stuff off, probably speaking in robotic tones?

Amazon thinks so, and redesigned its Prime Air Drone to be more like a small military tactical helicopter than a drone. Maybe that’s smart, we don’t know, but we do know the concept of a drone trying to bring you toothpaste is potentially terrible. This is how you get Skynet!

Bird Has a Moped

If you live in a city where Bird scooters (or some other brand) litter the sidewalks, you’re probably low-key annoyed they exist at all. These vehicles can be pretty dangerous in the wrong hands; even though the app tells you to wear a helmet, nobody does, and nobody seems to know what scooter etiquette is.

So what’s a good solution? A Bird moped named a “Cruiser”! No, we’re kidding, this is worse. Not only are these ‘Cruisers’ larger, and take up more precious sidewalk/curb space, we’re sure nobody will wear a helmet, and these go faster, and two people can ride one.

You wanna get sued? Put two people on a moped neither knows how to drive. It’s gonna get crunchy.

Google Stadia Maybe Kinda Sucks

Google finally revealed a bit more about its Stadia subscription gaming service, and it’s not great.

When Stadia was announced, Google made it seem like an end to hardware, at least in the context of gamers. Server-based and subscription-only, Stadia was supposed to end our reliance on clunky consoles and allow us to game on any phone, web browser, or computer.

Not so fast! Google is now saying those interested in using the service at launch this Fall will have to buy a “Founders Edition” hardware pack that consists of a souped-up Chromecast and a few controllers. That’s a $130 addition to the $10/month subscription fee.

Google says the hardware requirement will lift sometime in 2020, but we’re skeptical. This smells like a company who will spin it as “the best experience is with our hardware, so you have to buy it.”

There’s also some confusion about the service. It doesn’t seem to be an all-in streaming service, as Stadia will apparently sell access to games a la carte.

This is not new and exciting. It’s more of what Nintendo, Microsoft, and Sony have already given us (or plan to give us when they launch their own streaming services). No thanks!

Enjoy your weekend! And send coffee! Please!