Apple is now selling Brydge’s laptop-style iPad keyboards

Apple’s online and retail stores in North America have started carrying products from Brydge, a company that’s known for producing MacBook-style Bluetooth keyboards for iPads. Models for the 10.2-inch iPad and 10.5-inch iPad Air are available.

Apple brought support for its Smart Keyboard to both of these iPad lines this year, suggesting it wants to encourage typing on lower-end iPads and not just the Pro series. Brydge does make a keyboard for the current iPad Pro (pictured above), which we tested and found to be the best laptop-style option available, but Apple doesn’t appear to be selling it right now.

If you have a 2019 iPad or iPad Air, though, these keyboards could be a good option. (The iPad Air version also works with 2017’s 10.5-inch iPad Pro.) They cost $129.95 each — $30 less than Apple’s Smart Keyboard — while offering more key travel, a wider range of angles to tilt the screen at, and a better experience when used on your lap. The tradeoff is is in bulk, weight, and having to deal with Bluetooth pairing and Micro USB charging.

Netflix is giving Line's cute mascots their own animated series

In Netflix’s announcement, it said the series will be a CG-animated non-verbal slapstick comedy telling the story of a diverse set of friends living in the same town. Aram Yacoubian, the Director of Original Animation at Netflix, said in a statement: “The band of adorable BROWN & FRIENDS characters has been a part of many fans’ daily lives since they created as stickers on Line mobile messengers, and now we’re excited to develop the expanded world for screens of all kinds to delight new audiences everywhere on Netflix.”

The show, simply entitled Line Friends, doesn’t have a premiere date yet, but the streaming giant promises to announce more details at a later date. There’s no word on whether BT21, the Line characters created in collaboration with famous K-Pop band BTS, will also appear in the series.

Sling TV's Cloud DVR can finally record ESPN

You no longer have to worry that you’ll miss out on a big sports extravaganza just because you’re a Sling TV subscriber. The cord-cutter service has switched on Cloud DVR for key ESPN channels, including the main channel, ESPN2, Desportes, Bases Loaded, Goal Line, ACC Network and SEC Network. There’s a good chance you can catch that big college basketball match game if you know you’ll miss the live match. This doesn’t extend to digital-only channels like ESPN3, ACC Network Extra and SEC Network+, however, so you’ll still need to tune for some programming.

Verizon is bringing its 5G service to Newport News Shipbuilding

Verizon has been in a cutthroat competition with the rest of the major U.S. carriers to be the first to offer 5G service, and it has now claimed that title. The telecom giant has launched its cellular 5G network in select cities, meaning that with the right device and location, you can finally enjoy 5G speeds.

According to Verizon CEO Hans Vestberg, 5G “has the potential to be one of the most transformative technologies that we’ve seen in a long time,” and he’s not wrong.

But wait, what is 5G, anyway? The fifth generation of wireless networks, or 5G, has been nearly a decade in the making, and it’s finally becoming a reality. Promising dramatically faster speeds, instantaneous communication, and the ability to network everything, 5G has incredible potential. A limited rollout of the service began in select cities in 2018, and mobile 5G has started appearing in cities around the U.S., with much more comprehensive launches expected in 2020. For its part, Verizon began its mobile 5G launch in Chicago and Minneapolis in April.

Here’s everything you need to know about Verizon’s 5G rollout.

Mobile 5G

Verizon storefront
Julian Chokkattu/Digital Trends

It’s official: Verizon won the race. The company flipped the switch in April 2019, turning on 5G in both Chicago and Minneapolis. If you live in a specific area in those cities and happen to have a 5G-compatible smartphone, you can now enjoy 5G.

Since then, Verizon has switched on its 5G service in a range of locations. Notably, the company recently brought its 5G Ultra Wideband service to the Newport News Shipbuilding in Virginia, which marks the first 5G shipyard, according to Verizon. The company says that 5G access in the military location will help with the security and reliability of sharing classified information.

When it comes to locations that customers can use, Verizon also recently announced that it was bringing 5G service to Sioux Falls, South Dakota, Houston, and Boston — so if you live in those areas, you may be able to enjoy 5G speeds in some areas. Previously, Verizon also announced bringing its 5G service to both Dallas and Omaha, Nebraska.

Verizon’s 5G service is officially live in parts of New York City, including parts of Manhattan, Brooklyn, and the Bronx, and some landmarks throughout the city. Alongside availability in New York City, the company has also launched 5G service in Panama City, Florida, and Boise, Idaho. That brings the total number of cities to offer Verizon’s 5G service to 13 — with 30 expected by the end of the year.

The company is also bringing 5G to a number of NFL stadiums. Verizon has announced that for the 2019-2020 NFL season, 5G connectivity will be available in 13 stadiums — with more to come soon. According to Verizon, the stadiums include Bank of America Stadium, Empower Field at Mile High, CenturyLink Field, Ford Field, Gillette Stadium, Hard Rock Stadium, Lucas Oil Stadium, MetLife Stadium, M&T Bank Stadium, NRG Stadium, Soldier Field, and U.S. Bank Stadium.

If you’re in Denver, Colorado — good news: Verizon’s 5G network is now live in select areas as well. Providence, Rhode Island wasn’t far behind either, as it got Verizon’s 5G network on July 1, 2019. St. Paul, Minnesota, was granted 5G access on July 18, and Verizon even managed to squeeze four more cities into July by adding 5G service for Atlanta, Detroit, Indianapolis, and Washington D.C., on July 31. Next up was Phoenix, which got 5G access starting on August 23.

Verizon announced it will release its 5G Ultra Wideband network in as many as 30 cities by the end of 2019. Twenty of those cities were named on April 25, and we’ve listed them below so you can find your nearest city easily. In terms of pricing, Verizon subscribers who want 5G need to pay an additional $10 on top of their current Unlimited data plan.

U.S. cities with Verizon 5G Ultra Wideband

  • Atlanta
  • Boise, Idaho
  • Chicago
  • Dallas
  • Denver
  • Detroit
  • Indianapolis
  • Minneapolis
  • New York
  • Omaha, Nebraska
  • Panama City, Florida
  • Phoenix
  • Providence, Rhode Island
  • St. Paul, Minnesota
  • Washington, D.C.

U.S. cities that will get Verizon 5G Ultra Wideband in 2019

  • Boston
  • Charlotte, North Carolina
  • Cincinnati
  • Cleveland
  • Columbus, Ohio
  • Des Moines, Iowa
  • Houston
  • Indianapolis
  • Kansas City, Missouri
  • Little Rock, Arkansas
  • Memphis, Tennessee
  • San Diego
  • Salt Lake City

Indoor 5G

One of the biggest problems with 5G, or at least mmWave, is that it’s not very good at going through obstacles like walls — making it difficult to get good 5G reception when you’re indoors. Verizon, however, is trying to change that. The company has announced a new partnership with Boingo Wireless to help customers get better 5G reception when they’re inside a building.

There aren’t too many details about what the new indoor 5G infrastructure will look like — just that the two companies are working “to bring 5G Ultra Wideband service indoors and to public spaces – places like airports, stadiums and arenas, office buildings, hotels, etc.” How? With a “hyper-dense network designed for large and small indoor spaces.”

For now, if you do have access to 5G in your city, you’ll probably be more or less limited to using it outside.

5G network

Verizon 5G Node
Verizon 5G node. Julian Chokkattu/Digital Trends

Verizon wants its 5G to offer impeccable speeds with low latency. To meet those demands, Verizon is initially deploying its 5G network on millimeter wave spectrum (mmWave). And while mmWave will undoubtedly offer the fastest 5G experience, it has its flaws.

One of the notable challenges with the implementation of new “small cell” towers is the fact that they require local government approval — meaning that carriers need approval in every city they want to install these new towers. To attempt to speed that up, Verizon is encouraging customers to lobby their elected officials. The new “Let’s 5G” website is aimed at both informing people about 5G and what it could offer, and informing users on how they can speed up the process of 5G deployment.

Verizon’s mmWave is relying on the 28 GHz spectrum. One of the challenges with using the high-band spectrum is that it does not cover a large area, and penetration is a serious challenge. Digital Trends flew to Chicago twice to test the Moto Z3 with the 5G Moto Mod and the Galaxy S10 5G on Verizon’s new network, and while we saw 1Gbps download speeds, the range and building penetration were seriously poor.

Over the next several years, Verizon will build out its 5G network around the country using small cells, and will eventually deploy service on a mid- and low-band spectrum. For the next several years Verizon’s 5G service will piggyback off its massive 4G network. Expect to see 5G service in larger cities and busy places like airports and stadiums, but it’s unlikely you’ll be able to see the service in the suburbs and rural areas for years to come.

5G hardware

galaxy s10 5g speed test
Julian Chokkattu/Digital Trends

When it comes to 5G hardware, there’s not a lot to report. Right now, Verizon has confirmed only a handful of mobile devices with 5G modems as well as a hotspot.

  • Moto Z3 with 5G Moto Mod
  • Moto Z4 with 5G Moto Mod
  • Samsung Galaxy S10 5G
  • LG V50 ThinQ 5G
  • Inseego MiFi 5G M1000 hotspot

The Inseego MiFi hotspot allows you to experience the benefits of 5G, without being tied to the limitations of it on a phone.

We’ll be updating this list as more 5G devices launch on Verizon.

Updated on December 12, 2019: Verizon has brought 5G to the Newport News Shipbuilding.

Editors’ Recommendations

'Forza Horizon 4' is getting a 72-car battle royale mode

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It’s a racing game, so don’t expect to be building bases and trying to land headshots from across a map in The Eliminator. Players (up to 72 of them) can upgrade their car by finding drops or challenging and beating someone in a head-to-head race to a random point on the game’s version of Britain.

If you beat someone else, they’re eliminated and you can claim their car or pick an upgrade. The arena will periodically get smaller and push the remaining cars closer together. The last batch of survivors will then compete in one last free-for-all race to determine the winner.

The Forza series has experimented with play modes over the years, such as with Infected and Survival. So, it’s not perhaps too strange that Forza Horizon 4 is trying a battle royale.

While Fortnite and PUBG also have vehicles, Forza Horizon 4 won’t have the first car-focused battle royale: Notmycar hit Steam this year. The Eliminator, along with a mini-campaign and unlockable rewards, will hit Forza Horizon 4 with a free update that’ll be available Thursday at 1PM ET for Xbox One and Windows 10.

Watch this machine made out of Lego sort other Lego using AI

Back at my parents’ house, there’s a couple giant tubs of Lego sitting in my old bedroom closet stuffed with over 20 years of my Lego collection. If I ever had to sort that collection by hand, it would probably take me the better part of the next 20 years — but perhaps I could use this AI-powered Lego sorting machine that’s made in large part out of more than 10,000 Lego bricks (via ExtremeTech).

Dubbed the “Universal Lego Sorting Machine” by its creator, Daniel West, it’s a pretty neat contraption that’s far more useful than any of the Lego science projects I used to make. The machine is apparently able to use AI to sort Lego into one of 18 different buckets at a rate of “about one brick every two seconds.” West says he trained the neural network that sorts the bricks using 3D images of Lego parts, and he says the network can learn to recognize any piece as long as there’s a 3D image to train on.

This isn’t the first contraption of its kind — in his video, West mentions YouTube channel Akiyuki Brick Channel’s sorting machine from 2011 as one inspiration. Even though this machine isn’t quite as flashy as West’s, it’s still fun to watch in action, too:

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West’s Lego sorting machine is a fun example of how AI can be used for fun homebrew projects. If you’re curious about how else AI could be used around your home, you might want to consider putting it to work to stop your cat from bringing its prey into your house.

What's coming to Netflix in January: hello 'Sabrina,' goodbye 'Friends'

The first big release of 2020 is a textbook example of what to expect next month: it’s the third and final season of Anne with an E, Netflix’s adaptation of the classic Anne of Green Gables story. The series winds down January 3rd. Grace and Frankie‘s second-to-last season premieres January 15th. The Ranch bows out on January 24th. And like it or not, the second half of Bojack Horseman‘s final season brings the animated series to a close on January 31st.

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Don’t despair; it’s not all sad. The situation brightens on January 10th, when RuPaul goes on a road trip in AJ and the Queen. The second season of the Gillian Anderson-starring comedy-drama Sex Education arrives on January 17th, as does the thriller Tyler Perry’s A Fall from Grace. For many, the highlight of the month may be the January 24th debut of Chilling Adventures of Sabrina season three, when our titular heroine goes on a desperate mission in Hell.

There are some back catalog additions you’ll appreciate as well. Dozens of movies and TV shows will be available on New Year’s Day, including Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle, Inception, the two volumes of Kill Bill, The Ring and both the original Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory as well as its decades-later revival as Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

For many, though, Netflix’s January will be defined by one glaring, impossible-to-miss departure: Friends is leaving the service at the end of 2019. WarnerMedia is determined to make the classic sitcom a centerpiece of HBO Max, leaving legions of devotees without much choice to subscribe to yet another service to revisit their favorite moments. You’ll also want to budget some viewing time if you like certain classic movies. Æon Flux, American Psycho, Grease and the original Zombieland are among the better-known titles that will vanish at the end of the month.

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Porsche Taycan already has 30,000 pre-orders. How does that compare to Tesla?

The year is 2012. Elon Musk has yet to call anyone a “pedo guy” or drag the SEC on Twitter. There’s no Cybertruck with cracked windows, and no overly ambitious promises of a $35,000 electric car. Instead, fledgling electric vehicle company Tesla is just starting to deliver its first luxury sedan, the Model S.

Just seven years ago, Tesla’s first mainstream vehicle was just hitting the road. About 15,000 reservations for the car came in throughout the year. The first Model S cars were delivered in June and only 2,650 of the vehicles made it to customers before 2013. At the time, the Nissan Leaf was the only real all-electric contender.

Now, at the end of 2019, German carmaker Porsche is starting to deliver its first-ever all-electric luxury sedan, the Taycan, to customers in the United States. This week, Porsche CEO Oliver Blume reportedly confirmed 30,000 pre-orders in Europe since the car’s reveal in September, according to Reuters. A Porsche spokesperson said he couldn’t confirm U.S. pre-order numbers.

So while it looks like a win for Porsche, consider the fact that Tesla’s launch happened in 2012 and the most familiar electric vehicle then was a hybrid Toyota Prius. Porsche’s first EV is coming out amongst a more established field of high-end all-electric competitors from Audi, Jaguar, BMW, and Mercedes. Fast-forward to 2016, and more than 134,000 pre-orders came in during the first 24 hours after the Tesla Model 3 unveiling for the company’s next luxury sedan. That reached 325,000 pre-orders within a week.

Tesla’s first electric pickup truck, the Cybertruck, was a completely different beast. It racked up 250,000 pre-orders in under a week last month. Notably, the Cybertruck only requires a $100 deposit, while the Taycan’s requires the four digit reservation price of $2,500.

The Taycan and Tesla continue to face off at the race track, on the price sheet, and now at the battery level. The top-end Taycan Turbo was recently evaluated to hit 201 miles on a single charge, according to standards set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The European counterpart gave the Taycan Turbo a 280-mile range. In comparison, Tesla’s most basic car continues to hold down 220 miles on a charge. 

Stay tuned in 2020 as the Porsche vs. Tesla saga continues.

Cousin Greg to play equally tall, inept WeWork co-founder Adam Neumann in new series

After WeWork’s disastrous IPO filing, many were claiming the company would soon be valueless. But there is still something of worth at WeWork: its story and its potential as IP for Hollywood.

Variety confirmed that Chernin Entertainment and Endeavor Content will produce the WeWork story for the screen, though it’s unclear whether this is a feature film or a TV series or a Quibi. But there’s exciting news even for this early project: Nicholas Braun, best known for standing 6-foot-5 in his role as Cousin Greg on HBO’s Succession, has been cast as WeWork’s Adam Neumann, best known for standing 6-foot-5 while handing out tequila shots after firing employees.

Disclosure: I went to high school with Nicholas Braun.

Though he was far from the only person who suggested Braun for the role on Twitter, I do want to give credit to The Verge’s Dan Seifert for being the first person on staff to predict it. This also marks Dan’s first good opinion that was not about a laptop. Dan… congrats.

My own suggestion was Billy Crudup, having seen how good his long, flowing hair looked in The Morning Show (arguably the best part of the series). People told me Crudup was too short. We can almost convincingly make Robert De Niro look like he’s in his 20s, so I am pretty sure we can give the original Dr. Manhattan a little height!

Disclosure: In case you missed it the first time, I went to high school with Nicholas Braun. Just wanted to make sure that came across.

The scope of the untitled WeWork project isn’t known yet, but I imagine it depicts the company’s cult-like environment and tumultuous fall from its $50 billion valuation. (If you haven’t kept up with WeWork’s melodramatic tumble, The Verge’s Liz Lopatto has a handy, curse-laden explainer.)

This is the second WeWork TV / film thing in the works. Universal and Blumhouse have a movie by The Big Short screenwriter Charles Randolph based on The Wall Street Journal’s Katrina Brooker’s reporting and upcoming book. No Neumann has been publicly cast in that role yet. (Might I suggest vertically elongated Billy Crudup?)

Blue Origin moves closer to human spaceflight with 12th New Shepard launch

Blue-Origin-NS-12-landingBlue-Origin-NS-12-landing

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Jeff Bezos -founded Blue Origin has recorded another successful mission for its New Shepard sub-orbital launch vehicle, which is a key step as it readies the spacecraft for human spaceflight. This is also the six flight of this re-used booster, which is a record for Blue Origin in terms of relying and recovering one of its rocket stages.” data-reactid=”18″>Jeff Bezos -founded Blue Origin has recorded another successful mission for its New Shepard sub-orbital launch vehicle, which is a key step as it readies the spacecraft for human spaceflight. This is also the six flight of this re-used booster, which is a record for Blue Origin in terms of relying and recovering one of its rocket stages.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="This is the ninth time that Blue Origin has flown commercial payloads aboard New Shepard, and each launch moves it one step closer to demonstrating the system’s readiness for carrying crew on board. This launch carried experimental payloads on board that will be used for research, including materials used in student studies. It also had thousands of postcards on board written by students from around the world, which were submitted to the Club for the Future non-profit set up by Blue Origin earlier this year to provide educational resources about space to schools and students.” data-reactid=”19″>This is the ninth time that Blue Origin has flown commercial payloads aboard New Shepard, and each launch moves it one step closer to demonstrating the system’s readiness for carrying crew on board. This launch carried experimental payloads on board that will be used for research, including materials used in student studies. It also had thousands of postcards on board written by students from around the world, which were submitted to the Club for the Future non-profit set up by Blue Origin earlier this year to provide educational resources about space to schools and students.

Blue Origin intends to fly paying space tourists aboard New Shepard eventually, along with other commercial astronauts making the trip for research and other missions. Up to six passengers can fit in Blue Origin’s capsule atop the New Shepard, but we don’t yet know when it’ll actually be carrying anyone on board, either for testing or for commercial flights.