This week, Google is rolling out its VPN service to Canadians, EA Motive is remaking classic Dead Space, other announcements from EA Play Live 2021, and Alto’s Odyssey: The Lost City is an Apple Arcade game. But first, Samsung’s announcement of new folding, flipping handsets and updated watches.
Samsung shows off new folding, flipping handsets and updated watches and earbuds
Samsung was early to experiment with how to make modern-day smartphone handsets that could fold or flip, and the company has released a series of iterations in the past couple of years, from the Galaxy Fold, to the Galaxy Z Flip, to the Galaxy Z Fold2.
The latest version of these are the Galaxy Z Flip3 and the Galaxy Z Fold3. Both of the new devices are more durable than before, with IPX8 water resistance and a new protective film on the inner screens where the devices hinge.
The Galaxy Z Fold3 (starting at $2,270) has a 6.2-inch main screen that becomes a 7.6-inch screen when it’s unfolded (measured on the diagonal). It supports the S Pen and the new S Pen Fold Edition, a smaller version of Samsung’s stylus designed for the Z Fold3.
The Z Flip3 (starting at $1,260) is slimmer when folded, and when open has a 6.7-inch (diagonal) screen. It’s got a larger screen on the cover to make it easier to see notifications.
The Galaxy Z Fold3 and Z Flip3 are both available on August 27 but can be preordered now.
The Galaxy Watch4 (starting at $330) is described as being “modern, minimalist” and has a streamlined look while the Galaxy Watch4 Classic (starting at $460) has the rotating bezel that has characterized the wearable before now.
The new Galaxy Watch models will operate with “Wear OS Powered by Samsung”, the new operating system created by Google and Samsung in a partnership to merge their wearable software.
This brings some interesting and convenient functionality. The compass in the watches, for example, will integrate with Google Maps on your smartphone.
New wireless earbuds in Galaxy Buds2 ($190), which become part of a lineup that includes the ergonomic Galaxy Buds Live and the premium Galaxy Buds Pro. The smaller, lighter Buds2 have active noise cancelling and come in four colours, including lavender and olive.
Samsung’s Galaxy Watch4 and Watch4 Classic and Galaxy Buds2 will be available on August 27. They are available for preorder now.
Google One VPN now available in Canada
A virtual private network (VPN) is one way to protect your devices and your information when you’re online. It works to connect your device directly and privately and can support that connection with encryption.
For Android users in Canada, you can now get VPN by Google One as part of a 2 TB subscription ($14 a month or $140 a year).
Google One is the company’s subscription service that gives you access to cloud storage, discounts on purchases made in the Google Store, and now, VPN.
With only a tap you can turn on the VPN on your Android device, and you can configure things so your device will only connect to the internet when the VPN is active. You also have discrete control so you can have VPN active and still allow certain apps to access the internet normally.
And if you share your Google One with your family, up to five extra people can also enable VPN.
For now, VPN by Google One is only available using the Google One app on Android devices, but Google plans to expand this to iOS, macOS, and Windows.
Space horror shooter Dead Space being remade for next-gen experiences
Dead Space, from Electronic Arts, was something of a surprise when it was released in 2008. It capitalized on the survival horror genre that was popular at the time, but changed things up by setting the game in space.
The creative team also introduced an interesting mechanic in that the best way to defeat the horrors attacking you was by dismembering them.
All of these aspects will be maintained in the remake, announced at EA Play Life 2021.
The new Dead Space is being developed at Motive, EA’s studio in Montreal for PS5, Windows, Xbox Series X/S.
It’s not expected before the end of 2022 at the earliest, as the game is being rebuilt from scratch, according to creative director Roman Campos-Oriola in a post by Motive.
More from EA Play Live 2021
Other announcements that came out of EA Play Live 2021 include Grid Legends, the new story-based racing game from Codemasters, newly acquired by Electronic Arts, and Apex Legends: Emergence, the new season of the free-to-play shooter that introduces a new character, Seer.
There was also info about a new experience that will be part of Battlefield 2042: Portal. This mode lets players “write their own rules and shape their own battlefield” by mixing up soldiers, weapons, and environments from Battlefield 1942, Bad Company 2, Battlefield 3, and Battlefield 2042.
We also got a taste of the quirky, Lost in Random, in which you play a young girl, Even, trying to rescue her sister, Odd, from the strange world of Random.
Even is accompanied by Dicey, a personified die, which is more than just a sidekick. This game blends Alice in Wonderland and Tim Burton’s stop-motion animation with a twist on combat I’ve never seen before.
You can watch the EA Play Live 2021 event here.
Alto’s Odyssey: The Lost City has landed on Apple Arcade
The Alto games from Toronto game developer Snowman are my favourite endless runners. It all started with Alto’s Adventure in 2015, featuring snowboarding characters jumping over obstacles and performing tricks.
Next came 2018’s Alto’s Odyssey, which introduced different sandboarding environments like dunes and canyons.
Now Alto’s Odyssey is available to Apple Arcade subscribers in the form of The Lost City, an expansion which includes an additional biome with secret areas to discover.
Apple Arcade provides online and offline access to more than 180 games for the subscription price of $6 a month.