Nintendo Switch Online app's latest update finally makes it worthwhile

The Nintendo Switch Online app, the official mobile companion app for the Switch ’s multiplayer subscription service, has received a massive overhaul.

As well as introducing a totally revamped design, the 2.0 update makes it significantly easier for Switch users to add friends. Whereas players had previously had to manually copy a 12-digit code each time they wanted to add someone to their friends list, you can now copy the identifier in a single tap in the app.

That makes the whole process a lot less cumbersome and the Nintendo Switch Online app, which has until now been largely redundant, worth a download.

Additionally, the app now lets you set your online status and see which of your friends are online without needing to pick up your console. According to the patch notes on the iOS app store, a bunch of other changes have also been implemented.

The update follows the rollout of Nintendo’s new mission and rewards system , which lets players earn My Nintendo platinum points for completing simple weekly and monthly challenges. We reckoned it’s an easy way of bagging some points to spend on freebies.

Analysis: simple but effective

The Nintendo Switch Online app has been a little bare since its release in 2017. Its functions are limited and many players never think to install it. The app’s most useful feature has, until now, been its online voice chat, which lets you speak with other Switch players in multiplayer games.

That's hardly revolutionary, though. Voice chat, online-status selection, and in-game chat are all provided on the PS5 and Xbox Series X without the need to download an additional app. But the ability to copy your player code in a single tap, rather than laboriously typing out the 12 digits every time you want to add someone to your friends list, will finally give many players a reason to download the Switch app.

Hopefully, Nintendo will continue expanding its features. It could one day be a true companion app for the console, rather than a forgotten add-on.

Fancy 12 months of Nintendo Switch Online? Find the best deals below.

Huge DJI Mini 3 Pro leak reveals all about exciting beginner drone

The DJI Mini 3 Pro has finally broken cover after months of rumors and appeared in a leaked a video that gives us our first clear look at the exciting beginner drone.

The video below, published up by @DealsDrone on Twitter, shows what looks like a Mini 3 Pro, and helps answer a few questions about the long-awaited flying camera.

Just like the DJI Mini 2 it's expected to succeed, a label on the base of the Mini 3 Pro shows it will tip the scales at just under 250g. That's important because in many regions you're allowed you to fly sub-250g drones without needing to register them with local aviation authorities.

But while it only weighs a few grams more than the 242g Mini 2, the DJI Mini 3 Pro appears to have plenty of new features to justify that new 'Pro' moniker.

On the front, there's a redesigned three-axis gimbal to keep footage smooth, which puts to bed rumors that it might instead switch to a more electronic-based form of stabilization. This gimbal design looks unusual in the videos, with an attachment on only one side, but this will likely allow it to support vertical video.

This gimbal holds a camera that has a far brighter f//1.7 lens than the f/2.8 Mini 2, which should help improve its low-light performance. Judging by the markings on the front of the lens, it seems to have the same 24mm focal length, though.

One of the main drawbacks of super-compact drones are their battery lives, but the DJI Mini 3 Pro should offer a big improvement here. The leaked video shows it'll have a 2,453mAh battery, which has around 10% more capacity than the one on the Mini 2. This means we can expect an official flight time of around 35 minutes.

Perhaps the biggest new additions on the Mini 3 Pro, though, are its new sensors. The leaked video shows the drone will have large front and ground sensors to help with obstacle avoidance.

This would be a big improvement over the DJI Mini 2, which lacks any obstacle avoidance to help it navigate around trees in flight. The Mini 2 only has ground-detection sensors on its underside (which aren't for obstacle avoidance) and lacks any front sensors, despite the inclusion of vents on the front.

There are still a few details we don't yet know about the DJI Mini 3 Pro, including its sensor size, frame-rates, inclusion of software features like ActiveTrack and whether it will indeed come with a new controller (a kind of stripped-down version of the DJI RC Pro), which appeared in some earlier leaked packaging.

These questions will likely be answered in the near future, with the DJI Mini 3 Pro expected to officially land within the next few weeks.

Analysis: Fixing the Mini 2's weaknesses

This DJI Mini 3 Pro leak shows the compact drone will likely fix the main weaknesses of the already excellent DJI Mini 2, namely a lack of obstacle avoidance, a limited battery life and an aging camera. But how much will these features add to the cost?

Unless DJI is also planning to release a standard Mini 3, the addition of 'Pro' to the name suggests this new drone will be a more premium option to sit alongside the Mini 2, which costs $449 / £419 / AU$749.

This means the Mini 3 Pro could effectively replace the larger Mavic Air 2 in DJI's lineup, a drone that cost $799 / £769 / AU$1,499 when it arrived in 2020. If so, this would place it in between the Mini 2 and the DJI Air 2S ($999 / £899 / AU$1699), which currently sits at the top of our guide to the best drones you can buy.

Despite the likely price bump, the Mini 3 Pro is an exciting drone for both beginners and seasoned photographers. Its 249g weight and size would make it ideal for taking on hikes or landscape photography trips, with its sensor size expected to increase to a 1/1.3in CMOS chip (up from 1/2.3 inch on the Mini 2).

The inclusion of obstacle avoidance is also a big deal for beginners, as it should make the drone far more usable out of the box and when flying in DJI's automated modes.

What isn't yet clear is how DJI plans to differentiate the Mini 3 Pro from its more premium drones. But the inclusion of that 'Pro' name suggests it's simply made the best mini drone it can – for a price.

Watch the F1 Manager 2022 reveal trailer

Frontier Developments, the studio behind Elite Dangerous, Planet Coaster, and Jurassic World Evolution, has revealed its newest series: F1 Manager.

In F1 Manager 2022 you’ll take on the role of the team principal, managing the drivers and engineers of an F1 team competing in the FIA Formula 1 Drivers’ World Championship and the FIA Formula 1 Constructors’ World Championship.

You can get a flavor for the game in the F1 Manager 2022 announcement trailer below.

Frontier announced that it was working on an F1 management game back in March 2020 but the studio has been quiet as to the details of the game since then.

It’s pleasing to see that Frontier hasn’t rested on its laurels with F1 Manager, it looks like quite a different game from anything that came before. We could have seen Frontier using Jurassic World Evolution or Planet Coaster as a model for this new series with you managing a circuit and the businesses around it, laying out the track, designing concession stands, and so on. Instead, F1 Manager places you closer to the action of the motorsport.

According to the announcement press release, rather than managing the tracks, you’ll be “upgrading cars and race facilities, hiring drivers and engineers, balancing budgets and driver demands”. Then, once the race has begun you’ll still be involved in decision-making - though, Frontier hasn’t provided the details of what that looks like. Will you be deciding when to switch tires, for instance?

F1 Manager is the first time Frontier Developments has managed an annual sports license but it’s no stranger to working to a regular big release cadence. After all, ever since Elite Dangerous was released back in 2014, the team has been maintaining the space sandbox with expansions.

Frontier hasn’t announced an exact F1 Manager 2022 release date, only saying that it will be out in summer this year for PS5 , Xbox Series X |S, PS4 , Xbox One , and PC.

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