Tech round-up for September 19: VIFF and VR, best features of iOS 12, dysfunctional space crews, Fortnite and Switch, NHL and PS4, Lara Croft

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Categories Consumer technology | Video games

This week, the best features of iOS 12 for your Apple mobile devices, how to find out which fictional space-faring crew you’d be best on, and the latest news in video games. But first, the Vancouver International Film Festival is including virtual reality in its programming this year.


The Toronto International Film Festival has just come to an end, and Vancouver’s is just about to begin. VIFF is doing something different this year by featuring virtual, augmented, and mixed reality in a new event called Immersed Exhibition.

Open to the public, and costing $15 to participate in the 90 minute program, the exhibition is presented by Samsung VR and includes Fire Escape and A Curious Mind which features Dominic Monaghan as narrator.

The best features of iOS 12

In addition to the two new iPhones releasing this week, Apple’s also giving us the latest operating system for its mobile devices, iOS 12.

The new software streamlines the functioning of your iPhones, and makes them faster. Some people with older iPhones are finding that iOS 12 actually makes them run better than before.

Here are some of the best features that are part of the new software:

  • Two-factor authentication codes autofill from your Messages app
  • Better integration of password apps, including my pick, 1Password
  • Screen Time to monitor device usage
  • Memoji are animated cartoon characters that look like you
  • Group FaceTime conversations up to 32 people can use your Animoi and Memoji if you’d prefer
  • Use Google Maps and Waze in CarPlay

But I want to be on the crew of Firefly

Tor Books has created a fun quiz that aims to tell you which dysfunctional space crew you belong in.

I took the quiz a couple of times and got Star Wars twice. I don’t know what the full range of options are, but just thinking about them makes my head spin. Farscape, Firefly, Battlestar Galactica. They all featured dysfunctional groups of people, didn’t they?

More recently, there’s The Expanse.

And that’s only counting movies and television. The Tor quiz was inspired by Drew Williams’ book, The Stars Now Unclaimed which features a spaceship called Scheherazade.

Video game bundles and Lara Croft back for another adventure

Become Lara Croft in Shadow of the Tomb Raider

This third game from Square Enix since Crystal Dynamics rebooted the franchise was largely developed in Canada at Eidos-Montreal.

Set in the jungles of South America, the story revolves around the history and culture of the Mayan people. In becoming Lara, you’ll need to use stealth and combat techniques to defeat enemies, and you’ll need your wits to solve the puzzles in order to progress.

Upgrading Lara’s skills and crafting supplies are also integral to the game, and one significant new feature is the ability to get back to stealth play after you’ve initiated combat by breaking your enemy’s line of sight.

Fortnite on Switch

One of the most popular games in the world right now is Fortnite, and Nintendo announced this week that they are bundling the game with a Switch for Cdn$380.

I can hear you say, “But Fortnite is a free game!”

You’re right, it is. But you can also spend real money to enhance your Fortnite experience, and this “Double Helix” bundle includes 1,000 V-Bucks, which you can use to unlock other content or purchase a Battle Pass. The bundle also comes with a unique outfit, “back bling,” glider, and pickaxe.

NHL 19 is out now

EA Sports has a new agreement with the NHL Alumni Association, and the just released NHL 19 includes 200 legendary players, including Wayne Gretzky, Mario Lemieux, Patrick Roy, Mark Messier, Jean Béliveau, Jacques Plante, Terry Sawchuk, Joe Sakic, Peter Forsberg, and Teemu Selänne.

In Canada only, you can pick up a 1 TB PS4 bundled with NHL 19 for only Cdn$380.


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