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2023-11-30 18:44:36| Engadget

Evernote has confirmed the services tightly leashed new free plan, which the company tested with some users earlier this week. Starting December 4, the note-taking app will restrict new and current accounts to 50 notes and one notebook. Existing free customers who exceed those limits can still view, edit, delete and export their notes, but theyll need to upgrade to a paid plan (or delete enough old ones) to create new notes that exceed the new confines. The company says most free accounts are already inside those lines. When setting the new limits, we considered that the majority of our Free users fall below the threshold of fifty notes and one notebook, the company wrote in an announcement blog post. As a result, the everyday experience for most Free users will remain unchanged. Engadget reached out to Evernote to clarify whether the majority of Free users staying within those bounds includes long-dormant accounts that may have tried the app for a few minutes a decade ago and never logged in again. Well update this article if we hear back. Evernotes premium plans, now practically essential for anything more than minimal use, include a $15 monthly Personal plan with 10GB of monthly uploads. You can double that to 20GB (and get other perks) with an $18 tier. It also offers annual versions of those plans for $130 and $170, respectively. The company acknowledged in its announcement post that these changes may lead you to reconsider your relationship with Evernote. Leading alternatives with more bountiful free plans include Notion, Microsoft OneNote, Google Keep, Bear (Apple devices only), Obsidian and SimpleNote. Earlier this year, Evernotes parent company, Bending Spoons, moved its operations from the US and Chile to Europe, laying off nearly all of the note-taking apps employees. When doing so, it said the app had been unprofitable for years.This article originally appeared on Engadget at https://www.engadget.com/evernote-officially-limits-free-users-to-50-notes-and-one-measly-notebook-174436735.html?src=rss

Category: Marketing and Advertising


2023-11-30 18:30:01| Engadget

When I first got to see the Expressive E Osmose way back in 2019, I knew it was special. In my 15-plus years covering technology, it was one of the only devices Ive experienced that actually had the potential to be truly game changing. And Im not being hyperbolic. But, that was four years ago, almost to the day. A lot has changed in that time. MPE (MIDI Polyphonic Expression) has gone from futuristic curiosity to being embraced by big names like Ableton and Arturia. New players have entered and exited the scene. More importantly, the Osmose is no longer a promising prototype, but an actual commercial product. The questions, then, are obvious: Does the Osmose live up to its potential? And, does it seem as revolutionary today as it did all those years ago? The answers, however, are less clear. Terrence O'Brien / Engadget What sets the Osmose ($1,799) apart from every other MIDI controller and synthesizer (MPE or otherwise) is its keybed. At first glance, it looks like almost any other keyboard, albeit a really nice one. The body is mostly plastic, but it feels solid and the top plate is made of metal. (Shoutout to Expressive E, by the way, for building the OSMOSE out of 66 percent recycled materials and for making the whole thing user repairable no glue or speciality screws to be found.) The keys themselves have this lovely, almost matte finish and a healthy amount of heft. Its a nice change of pace from the shiny, springy keys on even some higher-end MIDI controllers. But the moment you press down on a key youll see what sets it apart the keys move side to side. And this is not because its cheaply assembled and theres a ton of wiggle. This is a purposeful design. You can bend notes (or control other parameters) by actually bending the keys, much like you would on a stringed instrument. This is huge for someone like me who is primarily a guitar player. Bending strings and wiggling my fingers back and forth to add vibrato comes naturally. And, as I mentioned in my review of Rolis Seaboard Rise 2, I find myself doing this even on keyboards where I know it will have no effect. Its a reflex. Its a very simple thing to explain, but very difficult to encapsulate its effect on your playing. Its all of the same things that make playing the Seaboard special: the slight pitch instability from the unintentional micro movements of your fingers, the ability to bend individual notes for shifting harmonies and the polyphonic aftertouch that allows you to alter things like filter cutoff on a per-note basis. These tiny changes in tuning and expression add an almost ineffable fluidity to your playing. In particular, for sounds based on acoustic instruments like flutes and strings, it adds an organic element missing from almost every other synthesizer. There is a bit of a learning curve, but I got the hang of it after just a few days. What separates it from the Roli, though, is its formfactor. While the Seaboard is keyboard-esque, its still a giant squishy slab of silicone. It might not appeal to someone who grew up taking piano lessons every week. The Osmose, on the other hand, is a traditional keyboard, with full-sized keys and a very satisfying action. Its probably the most familiar and approachable implementation of MPE out there. If you are a pianist, or an accomplished keyboard player, this is probably the MPE controller youve been waiting for. And its hands-down one of the best on the market. Where things get a little dicier is when looking at the Osmose as a standalone synthesizer. But lets start where it goes right: the interface. The screen to the left of the keyboard is decently sized (around 4 inches) and easy to read at any angle. There are even some cute graphics for parameters such as timbre (a log), release (a yo-yo) and drive (a steering wheel). Terrence O'Brien / Engadget There arent a ton of hands-on controls, but menu diving is kept to a minimum with some smart organization. The four buttons across the top of the screen take you to different sections for presets, synth (parameters and macros), sensitivity (MPE and aftertouch controls) and playing (mostly just for the arpeggiator at the moment). Then to the left of the screen there are two encoders for navigating the submenus, and the four knobs below control whatever option is listed above them on the screen. So, no, youre not going to be doing a lot of live tweaking, but you also wont spend 30 minutes trying to dial in a patch. Part of the reason you wont spend 30 minutes dialing in a patch is because there really isnt much to dial in. The engine driving the Osmose is Haken Audios EaganMatrix and Expressive E keeps most of it hidden behind six macro controls. In fact, you cant really design a patch from scratch at least not the synth directly. You need to download the Haken Editor, which requires Max (not the streaming service), to do serious sound design. Then you need to upload your new patch to the Osmose over USB. Other than that, youre stuck tweaking presets. Terrence O'Brien / Engadget This isnt necessarily a bad thing because, frankly, EaganMatrix feels less like a musical instrument and more like a PHD thesis. It is undeniably powerful, but its also confusing as hell. Expressive E even describes it as a laboratory of synthesis, and that seems about right; patching in the EaganMatrix is like doing science. Except, its not the fun science you see on TV with fancy machines and test tubes. Instead its more like the daily grind of real life science where you stare at a nearly inscrutable series of numbers, letters, mathematical constants and formulas. I couldnt get the Osmose and Haken Editor to talk to each other on my studio laptop (a five-year-old Dell XPS), though I did manage to get it to work on my work-issue MacBook. That being said, it was mostly a pointless endeavor. I simply cant wrap my head around the EaganMatrix. I was able to build a very basic patch with the help of a tutorial, but I couldnt actually make anything usable. There are some presets available on Patchstorage, but the community is nowhere near as robust as what youd find for the Organelle or ZOIA. And, its not obvious how to actually upload those handful of presets to the Osmose. You can drag and drop the .mid files you download to the empty slots across the top of the Haken Editor and that will add them to the Osmose's user presets. But you wont actually see that reflected on the Osmose itself until you turn it off and turn it back on. Honestly, many of the presets available on Patchstorage cover the same ground as 500 or so factory ones that ship with the Osmose. And its while browsing those hundreds of presets that both the power and the limitations of the EaganMatrix become obvious. Its capable of covering everything from virtual analog, to FM to physical modeling, and even some pseudo-granular effects. Its modular, matrix-based patching system is so robust that it would almost certainly be impossible to recreate physically (at least without spending thousands of dollars). Now, this is largely a matter of taste, but I find the sounds that come out of this obviously over-powered synth often underwhelming. Theyre definitely unique and in some cases probably only possible with the EaganMatrix. But the virtual analog patches arent very analog, the FM ones lack the character of a DX7 or the modern sheen of a Digitone, and the bass patches could use some extra oomph. Sometimes patches on the Osmose feel like tech demos rather than something youd actually use musically. Terrence O'Brien / Engadget Thats not to say theres no good presets. There are some solid analog-ish sounds and there are a few decent FM pads. But its the physical modeling patches where EaganMatrix is at its best. They definitely land in a kind of uncanny valley, though not convincing enough to be mistaken for the real thing, but close enough that it doesnt seem quite right coming out of a synthesizer. Engadget Expressive E Osmose sound demos Still, the way tuned drums and plucked or bowed strings are handled by Osmose is impressive. Quickly tapping a key can get you a ringing resonant sound, while holding it down mutes it. Aftertouch can be used to trigger repeated plucks that increase in intensity as you press harder. And bowed patches can be smart enough to play notes within a certain range of each other as legato, while still allowing you to play more spaced out chords with your other hand. (This latter feature is called Pressure Glide and can be fine tuned to suit your needs.) The level of precision with which you can gently coax sound out of some presets with the lightest touch is unmatched by any synth or MIDI controller Ive ever tested. And that becomes all the more shocking when you realize that very same patch can also be a percussive blast if you strike the keys hard. But, at the end of the day, I rarely find myself reaching for Osmose at least not as a synthesizer. Ive been testing one for a few months now, and while I have used it quite extensively in my studio, its been mostly as a controller for MPE-enabled soft synths like Arturias Pigments and Abletons Drift. Its undeniably one of the most powerful MIDI controllers on the market. My one major complaint on that front being that its incredible arpeggiator isnt available in controller mode. The Osmose is a gorgeous instrument that, in the right hands, is capable of delivering nuanced performances unlike anything else. Even if, at times, the borrowed sound engine doesnt live up to the keyboards lofty potential. This article originally appeared on Engadget at https://www.engadget.com/expressive-e-osmose-review-a-game-changing-mpe-keyboard-but-a-frustrating-synthesizer-170001300.html?src=rss

Category: Marketing and Advertising


2023-11-30 18:25:22| Engadget

Google is rolling out a trio of system updates to Android, Wear OS and Google TV devices. Each brings new features to associated gadgets. Android devices, like smartphones, are getting updated Emoji Kitchen sticker combinations. You can remix emojis and share with friends as stickers via Gboard. Google Messages for Android is getting a nifty little refresh. Theres a new beta feature that lets users add a unique background and an animated emoji to voice messages. Googles calling the software Voice Moods and says itll help users better express how theyre feeling in the moment. Nothing conveys emotion more than a properly-positioned emoji. There are also new reactions for messages that go far beyond simple thumbs ups, with some taking up the entire screen. In addition, youll be able to change chat bubble colors. The companys also adding an interesting tool that provides AI-generated image descriptions for those with low-vision. The TalkBack feature will read aloud a description of any image, whether sourced from the internet or a photo that you took. Googles even adding new languages to its Live Caption feature, enhancing the pre-existing ability to take phone calls without needing to hear the speaker. Better accessibility is always a good thing. Wear OS is getting a bunch of little updates. You can control more smart home devices and light groups directly from a watch, which comes in handy when creating mood lighting. You can also tell your smart home devices that you are home or away with a tap. Theres a new Assistant Routines feature that automates daily tasks and an Assistant At a Glance shortcut on the watch face that displays information relevant to your day, like the weather and traffic data. As for Google TV, there are ten new free channels to choose from, bringing the grand total to well over 800. None of these channels require an additional subscription, but they will have commercials. All of these updates begin rolling out today, but it could be a few weeks before they hit everyones inbox.This article originally appeared on Engadget at https://www.engadget.com/googles-latest-android-update-includes-ai-created-image-descriptions-and-animations-for-voice-messages-172522129.html?src=rss

Category: Marketing and Advertising


2023-11-30 18:00:42| Engadget

Google is rolling out a string of updates for the Messages app, including the ability to customize the colors of the text bubbles and backgrounds. So, if you really want to, you can have blue bubbles in your Android messaging app. You can have a different color for each chat, which could help prevent you from accidentally leaking a secret to family or friends. With the help of on-device Google AI (meaning you'll likely need a recent Pixel device to use this feature), you can transform photos into reactions with Photomoji. All you need to do is pick a photo, decide which object (or person or animal) you'd like to turn into a Photomoji and hit the send button. These reactions will be saved for later use, and friends in the chat can use any Photomoji you send them as well. The new Voice Moods feature allows you to apply one of nine different vibes to a voice message, by showing visual effects such as heart-eye emoji, fireballs (for when you're furious) and a party popper. Google says it has also upgraded the quality of voice messages by bumping up the bitrate and sampling rate. In addition, there are more than 15 Screen Effects you can trigger by typing things like "It's snowing" or "I love you." These will make "your screen erupt in a symphony of colors and motion," Google says. Elsewhere, Messages will display animated effects when certain reactions and emoji are used. Google On top of all of that, users will now be able to set up a profile that appends their name and photo to their phone number to help them have more control over how they appear across Google services. The company says this feature could help when it comes to receiving messages from a phone number that isn't in your group chats. It could help you know the identity of everyone in a group chat too. Some of these features will be available in beta starting today in the latest version of Google Messages. Google notes that some feature availability will depend on market and device. Google is rolling out these updates alongside the news that more than a billion people now use Google Messages with RCS enabled every month. RCS (Rich Communication Services) is a more feature-filled and secure format of messaging than SMS and MMS. It supports features such as read receipts, typing indicators, group chats and high-res media. Google also offers end-to-end encryption for one-on-one and group conversations via RCS. For years, Google had been trying to get Apple to adopt RCS for improved interoperability between Android and iOS. Apple refused, perhaps because iMessage (and its blue bubbles) have long been a status symbol for its users. However, likely to ensure Apple falls in line with European Union regulations, Apple has relented. The company recently said it would start supporting RCS in 2024.This article originally appeared on Engadget at https://www.engadget.com/google-messages-now-lets-you-choose-your-own-chat-bubble-colors-170042264.html?src=rss

Category: Marketing and Advertising


2023-11-30 17:09:32| Engadget

If youve long dreamed of watching a very small number of vehicles roll off an assembly line, todays your chance. Tesla is holding a livestream event to highlight deliveries of its long-awaited Cybertruck. The company has only managed to manufacture ten of them so far, despite a 2019 reveal, so thats what well be watching. You can catch the Texas-based livestream on X, of course, but the event is also available via Teslas website. It all goes down at 3PM EST. Being as how there will only be ten trucks to show off, the livestream should also go over pertinent details regarding battery range, towing capacity, up-to-date pricing and, of course, general availability. Tesla plans on ramping up production in 2024 for the cute lil dystopian wonder cars. Its easy to make jokes at the automakers expense, given the recent history of its CEO, but this is something of a big deal. Its Teslas first truck, despite looking nothing like a classic pickup. The aesthetics are absolutely wild, with it resembling something out of a 1970s sci-fi flick instead of something youd spot at a tailgate party. As for performance, it remains to be seen if the Cybertruck can compete with rival vehicles in the off-road market. Teslas Cybertruck has been plagued with issues from inception. During its 2019 product debut, Elon Musk crowed about the unbreakable glass window and invited a customer to try to break it by hurling a bowling ball. Well, it shattered, leading to a muttered curse from the embattled CEO. Despite that embarrassment, the company still says the vehicle boasts a nearly impenetrable exoskeleton that resists dents, damage and long-term corrosion. We shall see. There have been multiple delays and a redesign back in 2020. Theres also the matter of price. When it was first revealed, the Cybertruck was set to cost around $40,000. However, the companys been fairly silent on the subject since then and a lot has changed since 2019. You can reserve a vehicle right now from Tesla by plopping down $100, but who knows when actual shipments will start. Despite that, Musk recently told investors that it has accrued more than one million reservations. Those folks will be waiting a while, as even generous estimates allow for Tesla to manufacture around 200,000 Cybertrucks each year. The real question. Will Joe Rogan be one of the ten lucky golden ticket holders? We just might find out at 3PM EST.This article originally appeared on Engadget at https://www.engadget.com/tesla-will-deliver-the-first-cybertrucks-today-at-3pm-et-160932259.html?src=rss

Category: Marketing and Advertising


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