The Morning After: PS5 and Xbox Series X and S, one year on

·Bureau Chief, UK
·4 min read

The PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X/S debuted one year ago this month. To celebrate, we’ve made a 20-minute video conversation about the pros, cons and future of both consoles, hosted by PS5 enthusiast and Engadget Senior Editor Jessica Conditt, and Xbox Series X fan and Senior Editor Devindra Hardawar.

There may not be a clear-cut winner of this generation yet — in fact, the conversation tries to steer clear of most of the drama — so we’re focusing on what both PlayStation and Xbox have done right (and wrong). DualSense! Game Pass Ultimate! Halo! The Horizon sequel! Debate!

— Mat Smith

UK Supreme Court rules in favor of Google in iPhone tracking case

Judges were unimpressed by the attempt to create a class-action suit.

Google has escaped the risk of a lawsuit after violating the privacy of around 5.4 million iPhone users in the UK. The UK’s Supreme Court has ruled it cannot allow a US-style class action suit to be filed against the search giant after it deliberately created a workaround to track Safari users. The judgment focused on procedural matters, like the intersection between Google, based in the US, and the UK’s data protection laws.

The battle began in 2017 with consumer rights champion Richard Lloyd, and many others, forming a group called Google You Owe Us, which attempted to sue the company. It alleged that Google had illegally collected data on iPhone users between June 2011 and February 2012.

While the group lost at the High Court, the UK’s Court of Appeal overturned this initial decision, saying it was fair for Google to face a courtroom after the intentional misuse of personal data without consent.

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iOS 15.2 beta introduces nearby AirTag searches

It may find unwanted trackers on your person.

The Morning After
The Morning After

Apple is introducing another way to ensure its AirTags won't be used for stalking when iOS 15.2 comes out. According to MacRumors, the just-out beta version of the mobile platform has a new feature to let users scan for AirTags that may be tracking their location. Beta users can find the feature under the Items tab in the Find My‌ app. Any trackable item nearby that belongs to someone else will be detected and show up as an unknown item. Apple will then point users to a set of instructions on how to disable the device being used to track them.

Another interesting feature that showed up in the beta is Digital Legacy. It will let users designate people as Legacy Contacts, who'll be able to access their account and digital information when they pass away.

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The smart home gadgets and kitchen tech worth gifting

Let’s go beyond an Instant Pot and a Google Nest Hub.

The Morning After
The Morning After

We review smart speakers, robotic vacuums and Instant Pots all year long, and for the holiday season, we’ve compiled a list of our recent favorites in the home-tech space. Whoever’s getting the gift doesn’t have to be tech-savvy to use all of them either — plenty of our recommendations amount to baby steps into the smarthome world. Start with a smart plug and work your way up?

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YouTube will hide dislike counts for all videos

The move could reduce harassment and targeted attacks.

YouTube's experiment with hiding dislikes was apparently successful. The service is rolling out a change to make dislike counts private for videos across YouTube. The button will still exist (and affect your recommendations), and producers can still see the count — you just won't see the numbers as a viewer.

The Google-owned brand is aware that some people used the counts to make viewing decisions, but it feels secret counts would help the community at large. New and smaller creators are more often targeted by dislike campaigns, YouTube said, and the test reduced that harassment.

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'Forza Horizon 5' had the largest launch for any Xbox Game Studios title

The new 'Forza' had three times as many active players as its predecessor.

Microsoft’s gaming head Phil Spencer has revealed that Forza Horizon 5 had the best launch day of any Xbox Game Studios title. There have been over 4.5 million people playing the arcade racer across all platforms (Xbox, Windows and cloud) to date, and its peak concurrent players were three times those of its predecessor.

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Congress mandates anti-drunk driving technology for cars

It could reach new vehicles by 2026.

Congress is making its biggest push ever to stop drunk driving with President Biden's huge infrastructure bill. As previously reported, it includes a mandate for anti-drunk driving technology in new cars. Now, the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act has passed Congress with the measure intact, and it's expected to be signed by the president soon. As part of the legislation, carmakers will have to include technology to detect and stop drunk drivers by as early as 2026.

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