Technological World for June 9: Twitter Blue launches in Canada, Apple's WWDC highlights, Ratchet and Clank: Rift Apart is a triumph

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Categories Consumer technology | Video games

This week, announcements from Apple’s WWDC 2021 and Ratchet and Clank: Rift Apart is a triumph. But first, welcome to Twitter Blue, Canada.

Canada and Australia are the first countries to get Twitter Blue, the new subscription service

You’ve been asking for a way to edit your posts on Twitter. You still can’t edit your posts. But if you subscribe to Twitter Blue you’ll be able to undo a Tweet before it posts. You get 30 seconds to decide.

The new service, which costs $3.49 per month in Canada, also gives you access to bookmark folders so you can organize all those posts you’ve saved, and a “reader mode” which collects long threads into one screen.

You will still see ads.

At the moment, Twitter Blue is only available in Australia and Canada and for iOS devices. If you’re interested, you can sign up from your profile menu in the Twitter for iOS app.

Highlights from Apple’s Worldwide Developer Conference keynote

The annual conference for developers of software and apps for the Apple ecosystem kicked off this week with the computer, device, and services company announcing updates to its various operating systems, macOS Monterey for computers, iOS 15 for iPads and iPhones, and watchOS 8 for the Apple Watch.

Here are some of the most notable features coming to your Apple devices.

Mail Privacy Protection

Available in Apple’s Mail app, across all your Apple devices, Mail Privacy Protection extends Apple’s privacy support from your browser to your email. With this feature enabled, organizations and individuals who have sent you email cannot collect information about you.

Focus

This new functionality is coming to both iOS and macOS and allows you to quickly and easily disable notifications so you can put your head down and get some work done. When you’ve enabled Focus on one of your devices, it will automatically activate across the others.

Watch parties with FaceTime

SharePlay with FaceTime allows you to share movies and TV shows and music with people sharing a FaceTime call with you. Apple is making the function available to third-party developers who want to integrate FaceTime into their apps.

Sharing content across your Apple devices

Universal Control is a new feature that allows you to use a keyboard and mouse with both a Mac and an iPad at the same time. And you can now AirPlay from your iPhone or iPad to your Mac computer.

Ratchet and Clank continue to charm in astounding Rift Apart

We’re on the verge of summer, and the first big game of the season has arrived in Ratchet and Clank: Rift Apart.

The sequel to the sort-of reboot that was 2016’s Ratchet & Clank, this adventure game brings together the best of action and role-playing and puzzles and platforming and ties it up nicely with a strong narrative and the kind of character development that we’ve come to expect from Insomniac Games.

Insomniac, which is also responsible for the two Spider-Man games in the past few years, is in top form with this PS5 exclusive, making good use of the DualSense controller and the horsepower of Sony’s next gen console.

There’s almost no load time, for one thing. And your resolution and frame rate options are varied. You can choose fidelity to play in 4K at 30 frame per second, or performance to play in up to 4K at 60 frames per second, and you can enable ray-tracing in performance mode by sacrificing a bit of resolution.

And the environments – there are more than a handful of completely different worlds to explore – are jammed with detail, brimming with bright lights and characters as far as the eye can see.

The story picks up where the last game left off. Ratchet and Clank, the furball and robot duo who always seem to be saving the universe, are being celebrated for doing exactly that. Before the parade is even finished, though, the evil, villainous Doctor Nefarious has ruined things, and in doing so has created dimensional rifts that reverberate throughout all the dimensions.

Which is how we come to meet Rivet, a female Lombax, who resides in another dimension and has her own version of Nefarious to resist.

Ratchet and Clank end up in this alternate dimension and are separated during the journey. Rift Apart will have gamers playing as four different characters during the game, engaged in a variety of missions. There’s plenty of traversal and platforming through the different worlds, each radically different from the other, and there are plenty of enemies to resist.

Success in combat comes from strafing while firing non-stop. You’ll rarely run out of ammunition for all your guns – there are plenty to collect and improve – and there’s lots of fun to be had trying out all the wacky weapons, which is something of a hallmark for the series.

This is the sixteenth Ratchet and Clank game since the first one from Insomniac in 2002, and they have kept true to the family-friendly, quick and witty tone all the way. There’s some real heart to the story and the characters, too. Ratchet and Clank: Rift Apart is an outstanding, enjoyable game that deserves to be played.

Ratchet and Clank: Rift Apart is available on Thursday, June 10 for the PS5. Rated everyone 10+.

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