CES 2020 trends: AirPower alternatives, rise of 5G, tasty TVs

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CES-2020-trends
It's shaping up to be an exciting year for tech.
Image: Killian Bell/Cult of Mac

CES 2020The post-holiday tech fest that is CES shutters its doors today for another year. This week’s event has been as weird and as wonderful as any other, giving us a glimpse of all kinds of innovative gadgets on the way in 2020.

Better AirPods alternatives. Wireless chargers that achieve what Apple couldn’t. iPhone cases you can throw on the compost heap when they’re no longer needed. Here are the biggest trends from CES 2020.

Apple TV+ coming to more smart televisions later this year

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What Apple TV+ needs to be a big player in 2020
What Apple TV+ needs to be a big player in 2020
Photo: Apple

Buried in a press release with nothing from the manufacturers themselves, Apple revealed Wednesday its Apple TV+ app is coming to Sony and Vizio smart televisions “later this year.”

The additions join Samsung, which added the app to some of its TVs in December 2019. LG also announced this week it would be adding the app to its units later this year.

iPhone 11 Pro eliminated in first round of blind camera test

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iPhone-11-vs-OnePlus
Yes, it got just 30% of the votes.
Photo: MKBHD

iPhone 11 packs Apple’s most impressive cameras to date. They’re some of the best available in any phone today. So you might be surprised to find they were just eliminated in round one of a blind camera test.

A photo taken on iPhone 11 Pro secured just 30% of the votes when up against a snap from the OnePlus 7T Pro — a handset that costs $400 less.

Sony’s new CarPlay system is big as an iPad

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BMW could ditch its pricey annual subscription cost for CarPlay
BMW could ditch its pricey annual subscription cost for CarPlay
Photo: Sony

Car infotainment systems have grown dramatically in size, and Sony promises one that allows people with older models to upgrade to an 8.95-inch screen. It supports Apple’s CarPlay, so the driver’s iPhone is ready to provide navigation, make calls or play music.

Travel tips: How to choose and use noise-canceling headphones

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Maybe it's time for a set noise-canceling headphones, amirite?
Maybe it's time for a set cable-canceling headphones, amirite?
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

Noise-canceling headphones are fantastic. They cut down on traffic noise, airplane rumble and even — to a certain extent — the racket from that never-ending construction work across the street. Not only is life more pleasant without this noise pollution, but less background noise is also healthier for your ears.

Because you’re not trying to drown out the ambient noise with your music, you can set the volume lower, thus preserving your hearing (as well as your sanity).

Today we’ll see how to choose from the different kinds of available noise-canceling headphones, and how to use them. What this won’t be is a buyer’s guide — although I do have some recommendations based on personal use.

Sony’s new USB-C hub boasts world’s fastest SD card reader

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Sony MRW-S3 USB-C hub
This USB-C hub can pull data from an SD card faster than any other.
Photo: Sony

Taking aim at professional photographers, Sony Electronics unveiled a USB hub that includes readers for UHS-II SD and microSD cards. There are plenty of hubs that can access memory cards, but the MRW-S3 is faster than any of them.

Sony’s hub also has an HDMI port, plus high-speed USB-A and USB-C ports.

Sony’s answer to AirPods boasts one big advantage

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Sony-wireless-buds
But they’re not cheap.
Photo: Sony

Sony’s new wireless earbuds are ready to take on AirPods.

The horribly named WF-1000XM3 promise the same impressive audio quality as Sony’s best-selling headphones — but in an earbud form factor. And they boast one big advantage.

Here’s why you might want to avoid Apple’s hottest accessory and pick up these instead.

Apple becomes world’s fourth-largest gaming company

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Fortnite iPhone X
Everyone should welcome skill-based matchmaking.
Photo: Killian Bell/Cult of Mac

Apple is now the world’s fourth-largest gaming company, according to a new report.

It is ranked higher than gaming giants like Nintendo, EA, and Activision — thanks mostly to the popularity of mobile gaming on iPhone. Apple is estimated to have earned $9.453 billion from games during 2018 alone.