Your tech news digest, by way of the DGiT Daily tech newsletter, for Wednesday, July 8.
1. Samsung Galaxy Unpacked: August 5
It’s official: Samsung has announced its next Galaxy Unpacked event for August 5, at 10AM ET, a fully virtual and streamed event, of course, which will see a different approach to Samsung’s usual stadium-like events held in Brooklyn, New York City, and Berlin before that.
What to expect:
- The big one will be the Samsung Galaxy Note 20 series, which is both right on time for release and is seeing a bunch of leaks emerge, too.
- That should mean a Note 20, a bigger Note 20 Plus, and a Note 20 Ultra, loaded with all the right features.
- The latest leak on the Note 20 front is that the S-Pen will now be able to be used as a handy digital pointer in presentations and the like. (Sadly, not as a laser though.)
- Is that enough? Samsung’s recent products haven’t had dynamite new features in a difficult, expensive pricepoint. The S20 is likely to be almost as good, but without an S-Pen.
- Is that enough to sell a new Note? What else can Samsung bring?
- In addition to the next Note, Samsung should roll out the Galaxy Watch 3, while the next Galaxy Fold devices should emerge too. And, maybe, Galaxy Bud Beans true wireless earbuds.
- The Galaxy Fold 2 is expected, a full successor to Samsung’s original Fold which was a super expensive, super fancy device with all those problems now long behind. The details emerging point to the next great foldable, with bigger screen and 120Hz refresh rate, and updated camera, as opposed to a Fold refresh.
- Very early reports suggested only a small discount on the original pricing which was $1,980, with suggestions in a range around $1,880.
- There’s also talk of a refreshed Galaxy Z Flip 5G, to now, er, support 5G. Reportedly, it’s a tiny bit thicker and taller, and more of an improved edition.
- Here’s the official invite, hinting at the S-Pen and the new ‘Mystic Bronze’ color expected across Samsung’s new range.
- Samsung’s Unpacked events have always been at this time (August 7 in 2019, August 9, 2018, etc).
- That suggests that even during this pandemic, Samsung’s South Korean supply chain and its factories have been holding up.
- Or does it? Release dates will matter more than event dates, and Samsung isn’t afraid of announcing devices up to a month before release dates.
- As reference, the Note 10 was released August 23, 2019, the Note 9 on August 24, 2018.
2. What’s stopping Spotify from being the perfect music app? A Spotify cloud music locker, for uploading your own tracks. Couldn’t agree more with this opinion (Android Authority).
3. There’s a new gaming phone on the horizon from Lenovo, called the Lenovo Legion. Apparent new benchmark leaks reveal it’s very fast, thanks to the supposed and as-yet-non-existent Snapdragon 865 Plus SoC and its GPU benefits. Hmm! (notebookcheck.net).
4. Walmart Plus may launch in July to compete with Amazon Prime: $98 yearly, unlimited same-day grocery delivery, fuel discounts, and potentially a ‘Scan & Go service’ that would allow checkouts in Walmart stores without waiting in line (Android Authority). Also: Uber launches grocery delivery in Latin America, Canada with the US to follow (Reuters).
5. Apple is working on QR Code payments for Apple Pay, iOS 14 code reveals (9to5Mac).
6. Ad boycott leaders say meeting with Facebook and Mark Zuckerberg was ‘a disappointment’, and the boycott, now with 800 companies on board, will continue (Engadget). Also: ‘Too little, too late’: Facebook’s Oversight Board won’t launch until ‘late fall’ (TechCrunch).
7. Alphabet’s Loon balloons provide their first commercial internet service in Kenya: 35 hot air balloons will provide 4G LTE at about a 20km elevation. Loon says June testing saw speeds of 18.9Mbps down, 4.74Mbps up, latency of 19ms (Loon).
8. The rise and fall of Adobe Flash: “Before Flash Player sunsets this December, we talk its legacy with those who built it” (Ars Technica).
9. “About 8 months ago, I got a handwritten letter through the mail on a blank piece of paper with one sentence: “File a FOIA with USPS for [Long Life Vehicles] truck fires.” 4,000 pages of documents later, here’s the story:” Hundreds of USPS mail trucks are spontaneously catching fire, seemingly because they’re 30-years-old and the US Post has no money to replace them (Vice).
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