Backbone Gets A Very Welcome Expansion

By @GadgetsKev

If you’re unfamiliar with Backbone, or the Backbone One Controller. I can tell you now that you’re missing out on one of the best ways to play whilst on the go.

Hooking up your iPhone (Android users, keep reading) to the contoller opens up Backbone’s brilliant, clear and very usable UI, via it’s app on the Apple App Store.

You can scroll through all the different platorms it supports, including Apple Arcade, Google Stadia, Xbox Remote Play, Xbox Cloud Gaming, GeForce NOW, and PlayStation Remote Play – I’m sure there’s more that it supports. But those are the top platforms.

So out of this seemingly simple controller add-on, you get quite a vast amount of gaming platforms to choose from, and all powered from your iPhone, the heart of the controller.

Once you hook it up, its orange button lights up and comes alive, giving you endless ways to play, and from anywhere. There’s built in social features, capture & share, streaming, and many more.

The company has even just announced their new Backbone+ subscription plan, and great news, you’ve got the lifetime Backbone+ plan for free if you purchased the Backbone One before todays date (Thurs November 5th 2021).

Anyone getting a Backbone One controller from today will get one year for free as part of the launch. But what’s included I hear you ask?

Backbone+

Check out the new features for Backbone+.

Backbone+ gives players access to:

  • Exclusive perks, like free months of Xbox Game Pass Ultimate, other service free trials, in-game items, and many more perks to come.
  • Access to the revamped Backbone app, including the trove of new features above as well as future ones.

As a gift to all of our current players, we’ll be automatically giving users who created a Backbone account before today free lifetime Backbone+ membership. No action needed. To further commemorate our current players, we will also be offering them early access to the exclusive and limited edition Almighty Shield of Backbone NFT drop made available through the Backbone app.

All new users will also automatically receive 1 year free of Backbone+ membership with their purchase of Backbone One. It renews after 1 year at $4.17/mo billed annually (about the cost of a latte).

Backbone+ is optional. You can still play games with Backbone One without it, but the software experience requires Backbone+ membership.

If you don’t redeem your 1 free year, or decide not to subscribe, the app will still automatically install new software updates to the device to help maintain compatibility with future versions of iOS as well give you access to device info.

Play On Any Screen

As part of the new update, users can now use their Backbone with other devices like iPad, Mac, and PC to play services like Xbox Cloud Gaming and Google Stadia.

Users simply need to access the Controller menu from the Backbone App (With the iPhone connected), and then choose the product you’ll be using a cable with (This allows you to only use one), so for example, if iPad was going to be the main way to play outside of my iPhone. Then it would automatically recognice iPad with the cable plugged in.

Should you want to change it to a MacBook or PC, then you have to go back into the app with your iPhone connected, and change the controller type.

This really does change the game for gaming on the go, and with more devices now supported. You’ll have more way to play and from One controller.

Next-Level Game Recording

Backbone’s game recording, editing, and sharing tools now support 1080p 60 FPS game recording across the entire litany of iOS 15.0 devices (iPhone 6s or later). We’re also supporting HEVC encoding for 60 FPS (enabled by default), meaning your files will be approximately half the size as H.264 encoded videos with roughly the same quality.

Backbone’s ML-powered Activity feature for efficient editing.

With 60 FPS enabled, Backbone supports up to a 30mbps bitrate on select high-end devices. It’s also enabled by default on the latest app update. The game recording quality on your Backbone is now on par with the default on your PS5 and Xbox Series X.

Last 15 Seconds Recording

You can now enable a mode inside of the Backbone app called Smart Record. While in this mode, the Backbone Button will glow yellow, and you can hold down the Capture Button to save the last 15 seconds of gameplay.

The Smart Record mode enables you to capture the last 15 seconds of gameplay.

Twitch Streaming

Streaming to Twitch often requires an expensive and complicated setup.

In the Backbone app, you can now go live on Twitch instantly and share the link with your friends. We’ve refined the entire process to take less than 10 seconds.

Twitch live streams will also automatically populate inside of the app so other Backbone users can see them on the home screen. This will help boost your viewer count (we got you).

Bonus: The Backbone Button glows purple while you’re streaming to Twitch.

Check out more from the official blog post, linked below. And for new updated, go follow @Backbone on twitter.

https://playbackbone.com/blog/announcing-backbone/

Stadia Gets Invite-Less Multiplayer

By @GadgetsKev

The team at Stadia have added a new feature, that allows players to join select games without the need for an invite.

This means that should you be playing Far Cry 6 (One of the supported games) for example, you’re friend will be able to jump in with you, just by joining via your Stadia profile page.

It’s a nice feature to add, and will make joining friends in-game, much simpler.

It’s worth noting that this feature is said to be off by default. Although @TomWarren From the @Verge points out that this was on by defult for one of their Stadia accounts.

You can read more regarding the process for enabling / disabling below:

Let players join your multiplayer game without an invite

Multiplayer games like Far Cry 6 let other players join your game directly from your profile without an invite from you. This feature, available only in select games, is off by default.

To enable it, go into your privacy settings under “Your activity” and “Current game” , then turn on Join your current game. To change who can join games from your profile, choose All players or Friends. Only players in the group you select will be able to join your game.

Stop players from joining

If you don’t want other players to join your game without an invite, go into your privacy settings under “Your activity”,

 “Current game” then turn off Join your current game. You can also select Only you or Private in the dropdown menu.

HONOR Unveils Its New Intelligent Manufacturing Industrial Park

By @GadgetsKev

New Facility Further Strengthens the Brand’s Ability to Produce Premium Products

[SHENZHEN, China–November 4, 2021] – HONOR, a leading global provider of smart devices, today debuted its HONOR Intelligent Manufacturing Industrial Park, the brand’s first self-funded factory. The Park will handle certification of new product quality control, production of flagship devices, new craftsmanship and technology incubations, and building HONOR’s artificial intelligence manufacturing capacities. Through its industry-leading innovations, quality control capabilities and global supply chain partners, HONOR is confident this new facility will support its goal to provide premium products and best-in-class user experiences to global consumers.

“As a premium technology product provider, being able to ensure our standards of reliability and quality will be paramount as we continue our journey to become a leading global technology brand,” said George Zhao, CEO of HONOR Device Co. Ltd. “We are proud to announce the opening of our new manufacturing facility which will be integral to assuring our wider range of premium products are of the highest quality.”

Managing End-to-End Quality Control with the Power of Automation and Intelligence
Automation reduces the variation and defects caused by human errors resulting in greater consistency in quality. HONOR’s Intelligent Manufacturing Industrial Park is equipped with industry-leading high precision automatic manufacturing technology, including an automatic precision assembly machine (for installing the 89° Super Curved Display used in HONOR smartphones) that can achieve assembly precision of up to 75 microns (about a hair’s diameter). The automatic battery assembly equipment adopts high-precision optical detection which can detect foreign bodies (as small as up to 40 microns) and monitor real-time pressure, ensuring safety of batteries produced and reducing safety risks caused by manual work. Seventy-five percent of the production line is completed using automation, of which more than 40 percent was developed by HONOR’s own Research & Development team. HONOR’s automated production line enables one smartphone to leave the line every 28.5 seconds (cycle time).

Quality control is ensured from the manufacturing to testing phase through the close monitoring of every step of the assembly line. When an anomaly is detected, an alert is triggered followed by timely correction of the issue. While the common industry practice is to separate assembly and burn-in testing (offline aging process), HONOR uses an online aging process where assembly and burn-in testing are done in one process. HONOR’s process consists of over 150 prediction tests that quickly detect quality issues and shortens the turnover and testing period.

HONOR has adopted the “manufacturing supermarket” concept to build a lean and intelligent material distribution system. The real-time demand of the production line is linked to the intelligent selection of off shelf components. As a result, colleagues can manage a rapid error-free process of material selection that are then automatically delivered to the production station by Automated Guided Vehicles (AGV) across floors and inventory areas. After product packaging is completed, the AGV’s intelligent scheduling system automatically picks up the products.

Creating Premium Products that Go Beyond Industry Standards
After a thorough review of industry standards, certification standards and operator requirements, HONOR created its own quality standards to meet the range of international policies around the world. The company has over 600 quality standards, covering design, development, materials, manufacturing and user experience.

The HONOR Intelligent Manufacturing Industrial Park has industry-leading laboratories, including a reliability laboratory, regulatory laboratory and environmental protection laboratory. This combination of laboratories covers both material and product controls. The Park conducts nearly 200 stringent tests on all incoming materials prior to production and dozens of product tests post production. The inspection scope and frequency go beyond the usual industry practices to ensure HONOR’s products meet the stringent standards it has set for itself.

Promoting a Culture that Values Constant Improvement and Craftsmanship
Ensuring high quality requires constant and continuous improvements, and the commitment of all employees. HONOR provides comprehensive employee training and promotes a culture that values continuous improvements. HONOR also adopts a “quality first, experience wins” strategy in all areas and fields.

HONOR has established a quality inspector system where inspectors representing customers perform unboxing inspections to check if there are any product anomalies. In addition, instead of the random selection inspection that is commonly used in the industry, HONOR adapts a precise sampling system where products with potential flaws are locked down and thoroughly inspected by its quality inspectors. HONOR’s quality inspectors have very strict, zero-defect standards to ensure customers do not receive flawed products.

The Park will serve as an incubator for HONOR’s next generation of manufacturing capabilities, showcasing the company’s abilities to deliver products of the highest level of quality and craftsmanship. Through all these efforts, HONOR hopes to contribute to the advancement of the entire industry, and create consistent, high-quality products and ultimate experiences for consumers.