Technological World for November 18: iPhone 12 rocks, Fleets from Tweets, Dyson's Black Friday deals, Pikmin 3 Deluxe shines

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Categories Consumer technology | Video games

This week, hands-on with the iPhone 12, Twitter’s new Fleets, Dyson Canada’s price drops for Black Friday, and Pikmin 3 Deluxe for the Nintendo Switch.

iPhone 12 is the best phone you can get right now

I’ve been using Apple’s new iPhone 12 for a couple of weeks, and it’s easily the best smartphone available right now.

I like the new form factor, which is a return to the flat edge device, and while it’s the same 6.1-inch display as the iPhone 11, the new model is thinner and lighter. The “Ceramic Shield” that is part of the display is a clear layer on top of the glass that dramatically improves the durability of the screen. (It was created by Corning, which also develops Gorilla Glass.)

Another key improvement over the iPhone 11 is the Super Retina XDR display, which is OLED by another name. It’s noticeably better.

While both the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro are 5G enabled – Apple created custom 5G antennas for the task – whether you use 5G will depend on where you are and what your mobile plan is.

Using 5G will affect your battery and your data plan, so Apple developed a “smart data mode” so that your smartphone will automatically switch to LTE when 5G is not necessary based on what you’re doing with your device.

The other killer feature on these mobiles is the use of MagSafe to make sure that when you think you’re wirelessly charging your phone it is actually charging. The magnetic array on the back of the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro make sure that when you put it on a MagSafe-enabled charger it snaps into place so the charging coils are aligned.

For most people, the iPhone 12 is the ideal device. But depending on what you want to do with your smarphone, the iPhone 12 Pro might be a worthwhile upgrade.

In addition to adding a telephoto lens to the camera system, the iPhone 12 Pro can record 4K video at 60 frames per second in Dolby’s new Vision HDR format.

The iPhone 12 Pro also adds a LIDAR (light detection and ranging) sensor which can be used to create depth maps of your environment, even in the dark. The LIDAR information is used by the camera system to improve detail in backgrounds, and enables “night mode” with the portrait and telephoto lenses.

LIDAR will also improve augmented reality (AR) experiences because it allows for real-time environmental rendering.

Both iPhone 12 (starting at $1,129) and iPhone 12 Pro ($1,399) are available now.

Fleets are Twitter’s new short-life posts

If you feel like you need to engage on social media but don’t want what you say (or show) to haunt you forever, Twitter has your back.

This week, the company introduced Fleets, which are ephemeral posts that auto destruct after 24 hours.

Fleets are created by sharing a Tweet and seem to only be part of Twitter’s mobile app.

Nobody noticed that LinkedIn created its own version of SnapChat/Instagram Stories last month.

Dyson Canada drops prices for Black Friday

If you’re looking for some good tech deals heading into the holiday season, Dyson Canada is offering $200 off some of the company’s best products.

Black Friday pricing from the company has brought down the cost of products including the new Cyclone V10 cordless vacuum, the Dyson Big Ball Animal 2 for those with pets, the Pure Cool fan, and the recently released Dyson Humidifier.

The sale pricing begins on November 27 and will be available at the Dyson Canada website as well as in Dyson Demo stores in Calgary, Toronto, and Vancouver.

Pikmin 3 Deluxe shines on the Nintendo Switch

Pikmin 3 is a charming game that takes the mechanics of a real-time strategy game and bundles it up in a colourful and charming experience for kids.

First released for the Wii U in 2013, the adventure puzzle game has you playing three different alien characters who have crash landed on a planet populated by gregarious creatures called Pikmin.

The game has you coordinating the effort of the Pikmin to solve environmental puzzles. The differently coloured Pikmin all have unique abilities that you need to use strategically. Blue Pikmin can breathe underwater. Red ones are fire resistant. Yellow Pikmin can resist electricity. Rock Pikmin can smash things, and the pink Pikmin with wings can fly.

In porting the game for the Switch, Nintendo added an epilogue that ramps up the intensity of the gameplay, as well as split-screen co-op. That’s how my family had the most fun

Nintendo was wise to rescue this title from Wii U obscurity. Pikmin 3 Deluxe is cute and light, but provides enough of a challenge to keep you interested.

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