Bring back hood ornaments.
Imagine the pressure of making a new Mercedes-Benz S-Class. This car is supposed to be the peak of Everest for buyers who want a full-fat luxury car, and every successive generation should add more to the pile without forgetting its raison d’être, which means there’s a lot riding on every new model. All that hard work has paid off, though, because the 2021 Mercedes-Benz S-Class is an absolute banger, once again setting the standard for all other luxury cars.
LikeTop-tier rideMakes you feel like a million bucksSweet augmented-reality HUD
Don’t LikeConfounding sunroof controls
The 2021 Mercedes-Benz S580 is damn near the perfect luxury car, although styling is subjective, and I’ll be the first to admit that the latest iteration of Mercedes’s design language isn’t my favorite. My sole complaint is that the rear end is Eeyore-tier droopy, with a chrome unibrow spanning the width of the trunk, which is my absolute least favorite 21st-century flourish.The rest of the S580’s exterior is all about class. Despite wearing the more aggressive bumpers and side skirts of the $4,300 AMG Line package, my tester is still rather demure. The 21-inch AMG alloy wheels have a pretty trad-luxe look to them, too. This car doesn’t need crazy angles or cut lines to make a statement — it’s just a big, fancy sedan, carving its way through traffic with a properly old-school hood ornament leading the charge.
2021 Mercedes-Benz S580 wants to coddle at every opportunity
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If for some reason I don’t feel like a million bucks walking up to the Mercedes S580, I sure feel like it once the doors open — actually, no, before, thanks to electronic door handles that pop out from the body as I approach. The S-Class has long had the plushest interiors in the auto industry, and that continues with the 2021 model. The black Nappa leather is soft, and not only are the front seats supportive as heck, on the S580 they come standard with an excellent multi-contour massage function. The rear seats are roomier than before, with plenty of headroom and legroom for me to splay out.The S580’s interior design borrows heavily from the Vision EQS concept, with a large swath of wood trim running the width of the dashboard, punctuated by pairs of vents on either side. The 12.8-inch OLED infotainment screen rises up from the center console, leaving enough space behind it for an additional storage tray. The cover beneath the screen moves to reveal two normal-sized cup holders, a wireless charging pad and an extra tray for masks, keys or other pocket detritus. Under the armrest, there’s enough space for a small purse, while the door pockets are just big enough to hold some large drink containers. There’s no massive binnacle surrounding the 12.3-inch gauge display, which means the dashboard stays nice and low, making for excellent forward visibility.
Plunk down an extra $3,000 and the space in front of the gauges turns into a giant projector for one seriously impressive head-up display. Not only will it deliver the usual information readouts like speed and direction of travel, it can also work with local vehicle-to-infrastructure tech to display the time remaining on a red light. My favorite part, though, is the augmented-reality integration that the S-Class shares with its electric EQS sibling, displaying upcoming turns as arrows that grow closer as the intersection does, as well as highlighting traffic when adaptive cruise control is active. The information is always where it needs to be, too, thanks to eye-tracking cameras built into the gauge display, which can function in a trick 3D Mode for a little extra visual flair. Flipping through the many available layouts and menus is made easy thanks to touchpad-style buttons on the steering wheel.
The big ol’ screen in the middle of the S580 runs an updated version of the MBUX infotainment system we’ve seen in every other Merc, and it works as well as ever in this iteration. It’ll run wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, but there are also four USB-C ports in the center console for front-seat occupants to use. The touchscreen collects smudges like no other, but it’s responsive, and it’s pretty darn impressive, too, especially when it’s running a fullscreen map. The bottom part of the display always shows climate controls, with a smattering of physical buttons beneath that for changing driving modes, turning up the volume, engaging the hazard lights or reading my fingerprint to pull up my personal settings (not mandatory).The display’s angle is perfect for visibility, although you can accomplish 90% of what you need to by voice command alone.
The only controls that frustrate me are found overhead. This S580 has two sunroofs, one per row, and they are controlled with the most infuriating touch slider known to man. I spent an entire week trying to figure out the logic behind how it works, but no matter what directions my fingers go, it does everything — opens and closes the front panel, tilts the front panel, engages the front panel’s sun shade — except the one function I actually want it to. I despise it on the EQS, and I despise it here.What’s impossible to despise, though, is the 2021 Mercedes S580’s ride. It is, simply put, the best in the segment, with an adaptive air suspension that preternaturally eliminates nearly every inch of bad road underfoot, feeling pillowy smooth almost all the time. The S-Class floats down the road, and combined with thick glass, driver and passengers alike will be all but shut off from the world on the other side. The suspension lowers and stiffens when put into Sport or Sport Plus mode, and while the S580 does a pretty good impression of a full-size sport sedan, I’d recommend waiting for an AMG variant if you really want to give it the ol’ what-for. This thing may corner well, but what it really wants to do is luxuriate at all possible opportunities.It’s hard to be uncomfortable in these seats. The S580 is bound to be a road trip king for those thrones alone.
The S580’s powertrain is nice and smooth. Under the hood is a 4.0-liter twin-turbocharged V8 producing 496 horsepower and 516 pound-feet of torque, augmented by a 48-volt mild hybrid system that can throw another 21 hp and 184 lb-ft into the mix, usually when leaving a stop or pushing the accelerator into the firewall. The V8 is plenty potent on its own, but with this bit of electrification, the S580 feels like it runs on a never-ending well of motive force. A nine-speed automatic transmission does its thing with near imperceptibility, and optional rear-axle steering (4.5 degrees, $1,300, although 10-degree steering is also available on some variants) means it’s pretty darn easy to navigate parking lots and other tight confines. The EPA rates the S580 at 17 mpg city and 25 mpg highway, and while the city estimate seems spot on, I’m able to squeeze out something closer to 30 mpg on the highway.If a V6 feels like overkill in the twilight years of the internal combustion engine, the S500 might scratch your itch, instead. This model ditches two cylinders, opting for a turbocharged straight-6 making 429 hp and 384 lb-ft. It, too, has the EQ Boost mild hybrid system, as well as standard all-wheel drive and the same nine-speed automatic. It’s a little more efficient, though, coming in at an EPA-estimated 20 mpg city and 29 mpg highway.This may be the final generation of the combustion-powered S-Class, and this 4.0-liter V8 sings one heck of a swan song if that’s the case.
There are some very capable driver aids willing to lend a hand. Standard full-speed adaptive cruise control combines efforts with lane-keeping assist to keep the vehicle centered in its lane at the pace of traffic, eliminating the tedium of longer commutes but still requiring hands on the wheel and eyes pointed down the road. While active, though, the driver aids make soft inputs and keep the ride comfortable. For parking, the infotainment screen can show a 360-degree area around the car, which I can twist and spin on the screen to make sure I’m staying in all the lines. Parking sensors combine efforts with the ambient lighting to give me an additional layer of warning in case I get too close to a wall or another car.It shouldn’t come as a surprise that the 2021 Mercedes-Benz S-Class ain’t cheap. The S580 starts at $117,350, and a limited number of aesthetic and functional enhancements bump my tester’s price up to $131,500 — and there’s still an AMG variant or two that will live above this one, in addition to the big-boy Maybach. The S500 and its straight-6 engine are thankfully a little less expensive, coming in at $110,850. Thank goodness.Mercedes’ closest competitors, the BMW 7 Series and Audi A8, are both high-quality luxury cars in their own right, but it’s hard to recommend anything other than the S-Class. The standard bearer remains at the front of the pack, and should stay there for a while.
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Pokemon Unite: How to share save data between Switch and mobile – CNET
Pokemon Unite comes to mobile devices on Sept. 22. The Pokemon Company Two months after it launched on Nintendo Switch, Pokemon Unite has arrived on mobile devices. The free-to-play Pokemon spinoff game is now available to download on Google Play and the Apple App Store, and players can even share their progress between the Switch…
Pokemon Unite comes to mobile devices on Sept. 22.
The Pokemon Company
Two months after it launched on Nintendo Switch, Pokemon Unite has arrived on mobile devices. The free-to-play Pokemon spinoff game is now available to download on Google Play and the Apple App Store, and players can even share their progress between the Switch and mobile versions. Here’s a rundown on how to share your Pokemon Unite save data across the two versions.How to share Pokemon Unite save data across Switch and mobileYour Pokemon Unite progress is tied to the Nintendo account or Pokemon Trainer Club account you link when you begin the game. To share your data between the Switch and mobile versions, you must log in with that same linked account when you first start the game on a new device.
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Keep in mind that you must log in with your existing account the first time you start the game if you hope to carry over your progress. If you begin playing on a new device without linking, new data will be created, which means you’ll no longer be able to link your existing progress.Pokemon Unite is free to download and play, with optional in-game purchases. Unlike most other multiplayer Nintendo Switch games, a Nintendo Switch Online subscription is not required to play Pokemon Unite online. The mobile and Switch versions of the game are the same in terms of gameplay and content.To coincide with the mobile launch of Pokemon Unite, the Pokemon Company has rolled out a big update that introduces a variety of new content and features to the game, including its second battle pass, new held items and a spectator mode that allows you to watch other players’ matches. The Pokemon Company will also distribute 2,000 Aeos Tickets to all players beginning Sept. 29 to celebrate surpassing 9 million downloads on Switch.
TikTok says 1 billion people now use its app every month – CNET
Sarah Tew/CNET TikTok has hit a new milestone, more than 1 billion monthly active users around the world. The popular social video app shared the news in a blog post on Monday.”More than 1 billion people around the world now come to TikTok every month to be entertained as they learn, laugh, or discover something…
TikTok has hit a new milestone, more than 1 billion monthly active users around the world. The popular social video app shared the news in a blog post on Monday.”More than 1 billion people around the world now come to TikTok every month to be entertained as they learn, laugh, or discover something new,” the company said in a blog post. “We’re honored to be a home for our immensely diverse community of families, small businesses, and creators who transform into our favorite stars.”
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More to come.
Stop carrying your COVID vaccine card. Here are ways to store it on your phone – CNET
You’ll need your vaccination card to enter restaurants, gyms and other venues across the country. US Department of Defense For the most up-to-date news and information about the coronavirus pandemic, visit the WHO and CDC websites. With the White House’s recent vaccine mandates that include government workers, school districts and large employers, it’s more important than…
You’ll need your vaccination card to enter restaurants, gyms and other venues across the country.
US Department of Defense
For the most up-to-date news and information about the coronavirus pandemic, visit the WHO and CDC websites.
With the White House’s recent vaccine mandates that include government workers, school districts and large employers, it’s more important than ever to keep your COVID-19 vaccine card handy. Cities and counties across the country are also requiring proof of vaccination to attend indoor events and enter gyms, restaurants and bars. That goes for kids, too, who may soon be eligible for the vaccine.President Joe Biden said the purpose of the federal vaccination mandates is to stem the surge of COVID-19 cases and to put pressure on those who haven’t yet gotten vaccinated. The vaccines have proven time and again to be highly effective in preventing severe illness. Over the summer, as the delta variant spread across the US, the bulk of COVID cases were among the unvaccinated, who accounted for over 97% of all hospitalizations and deaths as of July. That rectangular paper card you received when you were vaccinated is your ticket to proving that you’re vaccinated. (And if there’s still room on the card, it can show you got a booster shot from Pfizer, Moderna or Johnson & Johnson when those are available.) But the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention doesn’t have a record of your vaccination status. So, what if you lose it, or it gets damaged? Rather than carrying around the card, take a few minutes to add a digital copy of your vaccination card to your phone. By the way, you probably shouldn’t laminate it, since it prevents your health care provider from updating it with future booster shots. Here are a few options I’ve found while researching how to safely store my vaccination card.
What to do if you lose your vaccination card, and how…
There isn’t just one way to show proof of vaccinationThe US doesn’t have a single online system or app you can use to show proof of vaccination on your phone. Instead, what qualifies as proof varies by city, county and even business. Some places may accept a picture of your vaccination card; others may require you to use an app that’s authorized at state level. It’s a confusing mess, to put it mildly. I strongly urge you to take a few minutes to research what your city, county or state will accept as proof, as it can vary. For example, concert producer AEG Presents will accept a “physical copy of a COVID-19 Vaccination Record Card, a digital copy of such card or such other proof as is permitted locally.” Along with school mandates, many colleges are are also requiring students and employees to be vaccinated. Seattle University, for example, requires students to be vaccinated to attend in-person classes via an online form that uploads photos of the front and back of the vaccination card.When in doubt, look for information on the business’s website, or call the local health department and ask for clarification. This is bound to save you time, headaches and being turned away at the door. Save your card easily on an Android device or iPhoneIf you have an iPhone, with an update coming soon for iOS 15 you’ll be able to add your vaccine card to your Apple Wallet to present to whenever you need to show you’re fully vaccinated. (You can keep a copy in the Health app right now.) Over on Android, you can add your vaccine card to the Google Pay app. I need to remind myself each time where my card is in Google Pay, so I added a shortcut icon to my home screen to quickly find it.Samsung has an app just for you Samsung now gives Galaxy phone owners the option to add proof of vaccination to Samsung Pay, its wallet app. By having direct access to your vaccination record, you won’t have to fiddle around with creating photo albums and tapping through multiple screens before you’re able to show it to a bouncer at your local watering hole. Samsung Galaxy device users can store proof of vaccination in Samsung Pay by downloading the CommonHealth app.
To add your card to Samsung Pay, you’ll need to download the CommonHealth app (Samsung’s partner) from the Google Play Store. Follow the prompts in the app to verify your vaccination status. Once the app confirms you’ve indeed gotten the shots, you’ll be prompted to download a Smart Health Card to Samsung Pay. That card is what you’ll then show to anyone requesting you show proof of vaccination. Use your phone to take a clear photo of your cardIs that too much fuss? The simplest way to have a digital record of your vaccine status is to snap a picture of your vaccination card and keep it on your phone. The CDC even recommends keeping a picture of your card as a backup copy. Taking a photo of your card — front and back — is the quickest and easiest way to store it on your phone.
Simply use the camera app on your phone to snap the photo. You can favorite the photo to quickly locate it or store it in a notes app, a folder or somewhere that’s easy to remember so you don’t have to endlessly scroll your camera roll to find it. Make sure you’re in a well-lit area and get close enough to the card that its dates and details are legible. I also suggest putting the card on a dark surface, while remaining conscious of shadows of your arms or the phone on the card itself. Here’s an example of one way to save your vaccination card as a new photo album. On an iPhone, open the Photos app, select the Albums tab and then tap the + sign in the top left corner followed by New Album. Give the album a name and then tap Save. Next, select the photos of your card to add it to the album. On an Android phone, it depends on which app you’re using, but the process should generally be the same. If you’re using the Google Photos app, open the app and then select the picture of your vaccination card. Tap the three-dot menu button in the top-right corner, followed by the Add to Album button. Select +New album and give it a name such as “Vaccination Card” and tap the checkmark button when you’re done. Look for apps based on your location, like ExcelsiorSome states — including California, Colorado, Hawaii, New York and Oregon — offer some form of digital vaccination card. The myColorado app requires you to create an account, verify your identity and then add your digital driver’s license to your phone. After you’ve done that, you can then add your myVaccine record to the app.
Louisiana’s LA Wallet app takes a similar approach to Colorado’s, allowing you to add your driver’s license and proof of vaccination to your phone. California’s implementation requires you to fill out a form to verify your identity, after which you’ll receive a text message or email with a link to a QR code you can save to your phone. When scanned, the code will offer proof of vaccination. The link will also include a digital copy of your vaccination record. MyIR Mobile is another app used by several state health departments to provide a digital copy of your vaccination card. Currently, if you live in Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, North Dakota, Washington, West Virginia or Washington, DC, this is the app you’ll use. The Notes app on the iPhone has a built-in scanner that makes it really easy to quickly scan your vaccination card and store a copy.
Screenshots by Jason Cipriani/CNET
More options to digitally store your vaccination cardI’ve had a large number of readers reach out to me about this article, each one offering advice and guidance about storing a proof of vaccination card. Some suggestions include well-known airport security service Clear. In fact, some concert and exhibition halls are requiring attendees use Clear to verify their vaccination status to attend a show. You can go to clearme.com/healthpass to download the app and get your card added. VaxYes is another service that verifies your vaccination status and then adds your vaccination card to Apple Wallet. I’ve read that you can add your card to the Google Pay app, but after signing up and going through the process myself, I don’t see the option on a Pixel 5 running Android 12. If your local municipality or employer used the CDC’s Vaccine Administration Management System, then you can use the VAMS website to access your vaccination records. I had more than one reader reach out to me about using this system to show proof of vaccination, but without an account myself, I’m unable to go through the process of accessing a vaccination record. Another suggestion I received from multiple readers is to use a scanner app on your phone and store a scanned copy of your vaccination card in something like your OneDrive personal vault or a password manager (almost all of them offer some sort of secure file storage) instead of storing the photo in Google Photos or Apple’s iCloud photos. On an iPhone, you can use the scanner that’s built into the Notes app. On Android, Google’s Stack PDF scanner will be enough to get the job done.This story updates as the national vaccine conversation continues. For more information about the forthcoming booster shots, make sure to read this. We have up-to-date details about the delta variant, as well as delta plus and the lambda variant.