Family Tech News Roundup: Nov 10th-16th

Check out all the latest tech news from the week, including news from Minecraft, Pokemon, Instagram and Lenovo!

The Family Tech blog isn’t your typical tech blog where they will announce every little piece of tech and give you all the speeds and feeds you don’t care about. Throughout the week, we may feature some particularly noteworthy. However, we mostly aggregate the highlights of the tech news that families will want to know about every Saturday.

For any breaking news make sure to follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram! Also, don’t forget to check out our Facebook Group to help get all of your parenting, smart home, and tech questions answered!

On to the news!

Disney+ was released

After months of patiently waiting, Disney+ released with a bang and a fizzle. On day one Disney was able to gain over 10 million subscribers. I think even Disney didn’t expect the kind of response it got because the service was plagued with issues this week as millions of subscribers tried to use the streaming service at the same time.

Despite the hiccups, the service is still a resounding success. The content is unmatched on any other platform, and everyone is raving about the original programming. If you are a Verizon customer, don’t forget to pick up your free year of Disney+, even if you’ve already paid for it!

Minecraft Earth released

In mobile gaming news, Minecraft Earth was released! The game is similar to Pokemon Go and allows you to collect materials and build structures in the real world. Even the map is similar to Pokemon Go, leading me to believe they are using a lot of the same underlying game mechanics.

My son loved playing it, and we’ll have a full breakdown of the game later this week.

Pokemon Sword and Shield released

In more gaming news, Pokemon released its latest games, Pokemon Sword and Pokemon Shield. My daughter has been doing a bunch of extra chores to build up her Greenlight balance in order to save enough money to buy the game. Walmart had a $10 off deal on release day, so we headed over yesterday and picked it up. She was SO excited!

So far she is loving the game. Again, she’ll do a full review of the game later this week! If you didn’t see her Mario and Sonic at the 2020 Olympics review, you must check it out!

Lenovo announces a new foldable phone

Taking a different twist than Samsung and some of the other hardware providers, Lenovo announced the newest Moto Razr. Instead of folding out like a book, the Moto Razr folds up and down like the flip phones of yesteryear.

Instead of a standard size phone that becomes even bigger, this phone is the standard size that folds smaller to be more compact. This seems like the smarter way to go, even though I really like bigger screens.

Instagram is starting to hide likes

This week Instagram is updating accounts to remove the like count on photos. It is already live on my FamilyTech account, but my personal account is still displaying them. Instead of listing the like count it will say “liked by FamilyTech and others”.

The company claims this is rolling out to help with mental health in teens, who place their value on how many likes they get compared to their peers. While I’m sure that might be a great side effect, I’m not so naive to think the company is doing it for that reason alone.

Perhaps the like counts have also been discouraging brands from engaging on the platform as well, and this is their way to help encourage more. There could be any number of reasons the company is doing this, but if it ends up having a positive outcome on our teens, I’m all for it.

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About the author

Sarah Werle Kimmel

Sarah Werle Kimmel is a digital parenting coach and family tech expert. She has spent the last 20 years of her career working as a Microsoft Certified IT Manager supporting over 100 small businesses. During that time she started Family Tech LLC to help families understand and manage the technology in their home. She has regularly appeared as a family tech expert on local NBC, CBS, ABC and FOX news affiliates, BYUtv and Studio 5, and has been invited all over the world from tech companies like Lenovo, Verizon, Microsoft, Dell, and Samsung. Find out more on her website

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