Valve’s Steam Deck is a gaming PC designed to be held in your hands. But if you want to use it for desktop-style gaming, you can always connect an external display, keyboard, mouse, or other hardware. And the company plans to begin selling an official Steam Deck Dock later this spring that will make it easy to hook up accessories. Now it looks like Valve may have given the dock’s USB ports a bit of an upgrade ahead of launch.

Steam Deck Dock diagram

Valve still hasn’t announced how much the dock will cost or exactly when you’ll be able to buy it.

Meanwhile, in other tech news, after Google made it difficult for Android apps to record phone calls, some developers turned to using Android’s Accessibility features for call recorder apps. But Google has been cracking down on the use of Accessibility APIs for functions that aren’t related to, you know, accessibility. And in a few weeks, that could bring about the end of call recording apps distributed via the Play Store.

Here’s a roundup of recent tech news from around the web.

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  1. I still think of operating systems’ purpose as the facilitation of access to computers’ resources as opposed to marketing or other corporate purposes — that developers would move to make any given operating system harder to use or less capable over time is perverse.

  2. Can anyone give an idea of how the Steam Deck would perform being plugged in? I tend to play videogames on the couch, but I do travel fairly regularly for work. Given that it’s the same price essentially as a new Xbox and I have a fairly modern Android phone (with a razr esque set sticks), would I get better quality image on my 4K screen vs the Xbox ONE from the Steam Deck?

    I assume that the Xbox would be quite far infront of the Steam Deck and I live in London, UK so lucky enough to have very good internet connection. But I’m sure I haven’t grasped the full idea, son if anyone can give me some guidance that’d be great!

    Cheers,
    Glyn

    1. For what it’s worth, here’s a playlist (not mine) of games mostly played at 1080p/60 fps on a docked Steam Deck, although Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2 is said to be at 1440p and Ninja Gaiden Sigma/Ninja Gaiden 3 are said to be at 4K: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLcp8mDDzivRW0LAeUhswBzkf_7Nc2J0F8

      Note that the Steam Deck does not behave like the Switch in underclocking when handheld and undoing that when plugged in; one of its designers Greg Coomer was quoted by PC Gamer as saying that “we felt that it was actually better all things considered to not modify based on docked status or mobile status”, that the performance goals were aimed for handheld mode, and “we chose like a threshold where the machine will run well, and with a good frame rate with AAA games in that scenario. We didn’t really feel like we should target also going after the dock scenario at higher resolutions. We wanted a simpler design target and to prioritize that.” (https://www.pcgamer.com/steam-deck-dock-performance/)