Here's Your July Tech Wrap-Up of 2021

Richard Fang

Updates from Pokemon and Clubhouse

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Richard / Me

It doesn’t feel like it, but half a year has already gone by, yet we’re still sitting in a pandemic. This hasn’t stopped tech developments from happening globally, so let’s do a tech wrap-up for July.

This edition will have a lot more gaming updates than usual with the recent developments with Nintendo and Steam in the market.

Windows 11 updates

Windows 10 was long thought to be the OS that would be the last release of its series. However, with Windows 11 announced, this fact is now debunked. Although Windows 11 might not look much different compared to Windows 10, there are actually some subtle changes.

Including some UI changes, a new feature called Snap Layouts will help moving apps around easier. This is especially handy if you have a dual-display setup.

One of the coolest features, however, is the fact Windows 11 will now support Android apps. Windows 11 is looked to be scheduled near the end of the year, although a proper date has not been announced yet.

Nintendo reveals OLED Model

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Switch

Nintendo was rumored to come out with an upgraded Nintendo Switch system last year. This is now the case, and it will come out on October 8th, 2021, for USD 349. The Switch system has been pretty popular, so there is a lot of anticipation for the new version.

This one will have an OLED screen which means the player will see many more vibrant colors and contrast, making for better gameplay. Additionally, the OLED Switch will feature an upgraded wide kickstand and will be equipped with a built-in LAN port for better connectivity with online play.

This will especially be important with new games like Pokemon Unite currently in the market.

Pokemon Unite launches

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Pokemon Unite

It’s always exciting to see a new Pokemon game launch, but this is the first time that a MOBA game has been released. Like League of Legends, it’s a 5 v 5 team-based game where you get to play your favorite Pokemon from Charmander to Snorlax.

It was launched on 21st July and has been a huge hit. What’s even cooler is not only does each monster specialize in certain characteristics (e.g., melee vs. range), but creatures will also evolve over the match. In addition, matches are exactly 10 minutes, and teams win by having the most points.

This free-to-play game developed by TiMi Studio Group was launched firstly on the Switch. It will eventually come to Android and iOS as well.

Clubhouse is no longer invite-only

With the recent competition from other tech companies, like Twitter, Clubhouse has finally announced it will no longer be invite-only.

Co-founders Paul Davison and Rohan Seth announced on July 21st that their app would no longer be invite-only.

Currently, the social networking application has 10 million on its waitlist, and they’ll be slowly added to the app over time. However, if you want to sign up right now—you can.

“The invite system has been an important part of our early history,” a blog post about the changes says. “By adding people in waves, welcoming new faces each week in our Wednesday Orientations, and talking with the community each Sunday in Town Hall, we’ve been able to grow Clubhouse in a measured way, and keep things from breaking as we’ve scaled.”

Valve launches their new handheld device

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Steam

Valve announced on July 15th their new handheld Steam Deck. Although Valve has a history of games, it’s never successfully launched a console device (remember Steam Machine?).

Powered by a custom Linux operating system, this 7-inch device will play the latest games. Since it’s a PC, you can even install Windows on it.

“Steam Deck is a PC so you can install third-party software and operating systems,” says Valve, which means this hardware isn’t locked down in the way we’re used to seeing from tech companies.

The Steam Deck will ship with SteamOS, a custom Linux operating system that loads into a very similar interface that you expect on a PC. Handheld gaming PCs are definitely slowly emerging as viable alternatives to giant PC rigs. The obvious comparison is Switch that Nintendo executed successfully in the market.

But it’s the OS that makes this even more unique. It’s definitely going to be interesting to see how the market handles this one.

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