This week, developments at Amazon and Google around streaming video and music services and Ubisoft invites you to appreciate video game artistry. But first, Samsung delays the launch of its Galaxy Fold smartphone.
Samsung postpones Galaxy Fold release amid reports of the smartphones breaking
Less than a month away from releasing the Galaxy Fold into the U.S. market, Samsung has delayed the smartphone’s release. A new shipping date has not been set.
This comes as media outlets, which were given Galaxy Folds for review purposes, have been breaking the handsets at the crease.
Some of the failures are a result of the removal of a protective layer of film from the screen that Samsung says is critical to the stability of the device, but there have been other breaks that cannot be attributed to the same issue.
There’s no word on what the delay will mean for customers in Canada. Samsung Canada had not set a date for release of the Galaxy Fold.
Amazon and YouTube are sharing each other’s videos again
A few months ago, Amazon dropped the YouTube app from its Fire TV devices. Google, in response, cut Amazon Prime Video from the Chromecast and gadgets running Android TV.
It was all part of the battle for video streaming supremacy. As of last week, though, the two companies decided to cease hostilities.
There’s been no comment as to why the hand waving has stopped. It could be because of moves Apple has made into the space but it’s more likely that the companies realized there wasn’t much to be won by restricing consumer access to a competitor’s service.
Free music services come to a smart speaker near you
Speaking of Amazon and Google, the two companies are rolling out ad-supported versions of their music streaming services in some markets.
Amazon has two paid plans already, Amazon Prime Music and Amazon Music Unlimited, but now available in the U.S. is Amazon Music, which will deliver select playlists and stations for free to Echo devices, interspersed with ads. This free service isn’t available outside the U.S. at the moment, but it’s likely to spread to other jurisdictions.
Meanwhile, you can set YouTube Music as your default music service on your Google Home speakers to take advantage of its free service. You can’t request specific artists, albums, songs, or playlists, though. To do that you need to upgrade to a YouTube Music Premium account for $10 a month.
Put some video-game art on your wall
Most video games create characters and worlds with animation, and the artistic talent on display in games is often breathtaking.
Now, with the Ubisoft Art Gallery, you can get prints of that artistry to decorate your own spaces.
Available through the online storefront are pictures of memorable characters and stunning scenes from games including Assassin’s Creed, Far Cry, For Honor, and Watch Dogs.
It’s an astoudning range of settings and styles, from medieval Europe to Renaissance Italy to cyberpunk cityscapes of the future.
The images can be printed on a variety of media including archival quality paper, canvas, and even metal, and customers can choose to have art matted and framed.
Prices start at about $100.