Firefox finally takes fuller advantage of your iPad


Mozilla

Your choices for iPad-friendly web browsers just got ever-so-slightly larger. Mozilla has released an arguably overdue version of Firefox that aims to take better advantage of the iPad’s extra screen real estate. It supports iOS’ built-in split screen and support for keyboard shortcuts, as you might expect, but there are also interface tweaks specific to the tablet version. Firefox now shows all your tabs as easier-to-discern tiles, and private browsing is a single tap away on the main screen.

The new version also enables sending tabs to other synced devices (no more copy-pasting links). And if you use Outlook for iOS, you now have the option of setting Firefox as your default browser.

This combination of features probably won’t have you racing to replace your existing browser if you’re already happy. It might, however, tip the balance if you were already looking Mozilla’s way and were just waiting for a Firefox version that did justice to your Apple slate.

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Samsung's US marketing lead quits following department investigation


Taylor Hill/FilmMagic for YouTube

Samsung’s US marketing team is in the midst of turmoil, and that might include some high-profile casualties. Wall Street Journal sources claim that Samsung recently fired “several” workers in its American marketing division after an internal investigation into possible violations of policies through dealings with business partners. Not long after, Samsung’s marketing chief Marc Mathieu (above) and VP of media and partnerships Jay Altschuler both left — it’s not clear that the events are connected, but the timing is at least raising eyebrows.

The investigation reportedly centered around interactions between marketers with outside ad agencies and media companies. It’s not certain just what might have gone wrong, although the WSJ pointed out that marketing staff at many companies will either accompany partners to sponsored events or pay for perks during meetings. It’s possible there was a conflict of interest where marketers were playing favorites with these moves instead of pouring money into the outlets where it will be the most effective.

You might not get answers about whatever the big-name executives were doing, if anything. Samsung spokespeople have only confirmed “organization changes” in the marketing unit, and said that Mathieu left “to pursue other opportunities outside the company.”

Some of those who were forced out accused Samsung of being unfair and using “trivial” justifications to give them the boot, the WSJ said.

This could have a significant impact on how Samsung pitches its devices to you, particularly its smartphones. The Verge observed that Mathieu is best-known for shifting Samsung’s focus away from conventional ad agencies and toward creators like YouTube star Casey Neistat, ensuring that its phones and other gear are constantly in the limelight. That practice won’t necessarily end, but Samsung might alter its approach. The timing isn’t great, at least. Samsung’s profit dipped sharply at the end of 2018, and it now has to improve its fortunes while its American team is in flux.

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Study claims AT&T's fake 5G is slower than other carrier's regular 4G


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AT&T has been accused of slapping a 5G label on top of what is effectively still a 4G LTE network, and now there appears to be some evidence to support that theory. According to a study conducted by OpenSignal, AT&T’s so-called 5G E network offers similar speeds to LTE and actually clocked in just a tick slower than enhanced 4G services from Verizon and T-Mobile.

AT&T promises in its marketing materials that its 5G E service is a “first step on the road to 5G” and can offer “up to up to 2x faster than standard LTE.” However, the speed tests from OpenSignal seems to indicate that isn’t the case. The company collected data from 5G E capable phones on AT&T’s recently rolled-out 5G E network to smartphone users getting standard 4G LTE services from other carriers. While it found AT&T was providing solid speeds, an average of 28.8Mbps download rates, it offered no discernible difference when compared to most LTE networks. T-Mobile achieved download speeds of 29.4Mbps, while Verizon users averaged 29.9Mbps.

In a statement provided to Engadget, AT&T contends that OpenSignal’s study is inaccurate. “OpenSignal’s note reveals their methodology is flawed,” a spokesperson for AT&T said. “Speed test data purporting to show the ‘real-world experience of 5G Evolution’ without verifying the capable devices were tested in a 5G Evolution coverage area as shown by the indicator does not accurately represent the 5G Evolution user experience.”

AT&T has been all in on the 5G E network despite criticism. The company has introduced a 5G E indicator for smartphones on its network and opened up the pseudo-5G service in more than 100 locations so far. Competing carriers have taken shots at the company over the service, and Sprint has gone so far as to sue over the branding.

Verizon owns Engadget’s parent company, Verizon Media. Rest assured, Verizon has no control over our coverage. Engadget remains editorially independent.

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Firefox is now a better iPad browser

Mozilla today announced a new iOS version of Firefox that has been specifically optimized for Apple’s iPad. Given the launch of the new iPad mini this week, that’s impeccable timing. It’s also an admission that building a browser for tablets is different from building a browser for phones, which is what Mozilla mostly focused on in recent years.

“We know that iPads aren’t just bigger versions of iPhones,” Mozilla writes in today’s announcement. “You use them differently, you need them for different things. So rather than just make a bigger version of our browser for iOS, we made Firefox for iPad look and feel like it was custom made for a tablet.”

So with this new version, Firefox for iPad gets support for iOS features like split screen and the ability to set Firefox as the default browser in Outlook for iOS. The team also optimized tab management for these larger screens, including the option to see tabs as large tiles, “making it easy to see what they are, see if they spark joy and close with a tap if not.” And if you have a few tabs you want to share, then you can do so with the Send Tabs feature Mozilla introduced earlier this year.

Starting a private browsing session on iOS always took a few extra tabs. The iPad version makes this a one-tap affair as it prominently highlights this feature in the tab bar.

Because quite a few iPad users also use a keyboard, it’s no surprise that this version of Firefox also supports keyboard shortcuts.

If you are an iPad user in search of an alternative browser, Firefox may now be a viable option for you. Give it a try and let us know what you think in the comments (just don’t remind us how you work from home for only a few hours a day and make good money… believe me, we’re aware).

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Scream your head off to survive in 'Supermarket Shriek'


Billygoat Games

Getting through the grocery store with your sanity intact can be tough — what with the legions of shelf stockers, geriatric Rascal riders and bawling basket babies blocking you at seemingly every aisle. But that’s a walk in the park compared to the challenges you’ll face in Supermarket Shriek by UK-based studio, BillyGoat Entertainment.

The premise of the game is simple. You’re a man, stuck in a shopping cart, with a goat. Firmly wedged into the lorry, your only means of mobility is your shrieks of terror propelling you through maze-like markets riddled with boobie traps. With 30 levels available at launch later this summer, that adds up to a lot of hollering.

The controls are delightfully straightforward. In single-player mode, you can control the man and the goat independently using the left and right triggers — having one yell turns you left, having the other yell turns you right, have them scream simultaneously to move forward. There is no reverse.

But, like most games, Supermarket Shriek even better with a friend. Plug a microphone into each of your XBox or Playstation controllers and have each person start yelling. The louder you are, the harder you turn and the faster you go. The effect is similar to the classic NES game, Marble Madness, but each person has control of just half the avatar’s movement. It’s a challenge, and be sure to keep plenty of lozenges on hand.

It becomes even more challenging when you begin to encounter the various obstacles littered around each level. From giant guillotine blades to water hazards, flame pits, and springboards, there are more than enough ways for you to fail at every turn. However if you can complete the level quickly enough, you’ll earn 3 Stars (like Angry Birds) and unlock the ghost racer of whoever is currently sitting atop to global leaderboards, allowing you to rerace levels against the best screamers on the planet.

Supermarket Shriek is slated for release on the Xbox, Playstation and Switch later this summer. It’s expected to retail for around $10-15.

Catch up on all the latest news from GDC 2019 here!

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