Tech Bytes: Blackberry's Android device 'by year-end'

Blackberry's Android device 'by year-end'

After months of rumours, BlackBerry CEO John Chen has confirmed that the company's first Android device, called Priv, will arrive "in major markets, in-stores and online" by the end of this year.

The Priv is likely to be a slider phone with a hard QWERTY keyboard and an 18MP camera. It is also reputed to have a screen with curved edges, like the Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge.

Details like technical specifications and pricing are not available yet.

Samsung Gear VR on sale in US from Nov

Samsung has announced a second edition of its virtual reality headset, the Gear VR. It will be go on sale in November in the United States for US$99 (S$141), and worldwide shortly after.

The Gear VR does not have its own screen. It is instead a holder for a Samsung flagship smartphone, such as the S6 or the Note 5. The new edition is 22 per cent lighter than its predecessor, and also features a new side touchpad.

Beta test for Star Wars: Battlefront

Electronic Arts has announced an open beta test for its hotly-anticipated title, Star Wars: Battlefront, which is due to be released on Nov 27.

The beta test will take place from Oct 8 to 12, and will be open to anyone who owns an Xbox One, PC or PlayStation 4. The beta will be available on the Xbox and PlayStation online stores, and the Origin online gaming platform for PC.

For those five days, players will be able to try out three game modes, two competitive and one cooperative, and they will also be able to play by themselves offline.

Angry Birds movie trailer on YouTube

A movie based on the popular mobile game Angry Birds will be released in May next year, and the trailer for it has just been released.

The movie is being made by Rovio Entertainment and Sony Pictures Imageworks, and the trailer is available for viewing on YouTube.

It will be directed by newcomers Clay Kaytis and Fergal Reilly, and written by Jon Vitty of the Simpsons.

The red bird will be voiced by Jason Sudeikis, and the black bomb bird by Danny McBride. The rest of the cast will include well-known stars like Peter Dinklage and Bill Hader.

New Uber service for event organisers

Peer-to-peer car company Uber is launching a new service in New York, which allows event organisers to book pre-paid rides through the app.

The service, called UberEvents, allows the user to buy passes ahead of time, and to then e-mail the code to guests or clients. The guest or client can then enter the code into Uber's promotion section in Uber's app, which will allow them to hail a fee-free ride.

Compiled by Lisabel Ting

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 30, 2015, with the headline 'Tech Bytes: Blackberry's Android device 'by year-end''. Print Edition | Subscribe