The official news today begin with deals, of course and we actually have deals on new products. Amazon currently has the Blue M1 entry level iMac listed for 1259 bucks, the only other base model listed is the gray one for 1299 so, that’s a pretty solid 40 dollar discount on a product that’s barely shipping right now. Moving on to Verizon, you can get up to 800 dollars in savings if you have a device to trade-in, even if it has a broken display. However, they’re also running a Buy-One Get-One deal, were if you buy an iPhone, the second one is 1000 dollars off so, free. Just make sure you read the fine print, cause I’m sure there’s more than meets the eye. Heading back to Amazon, the OnePlus 8T is currently 153 dollars off, leaving the 12 Gigs of RAM variant for 597 bucks. Finally, Amazon also has the Galaxy Tab S7 for 130 dollars off, leaving it at 899 with half a terabyte of storage. We have more deals on gaming monitors, Jabra headphones which are my favorite, and more in the links below.
Let’s move on to Samsung and their not-so conventional devices. We’ve actually got more than one thing to talk about today, so let’s focus on the weird stuff. Sure we’re currently waiting on the Galaxy Z Fold 3 and the Z Flip 3 but, it looks like Samsung has more in the bag. According to a new blog post from Samsung, Samsung Display has revealed that their rollable or slide-able screen “will pave the way for making smartphones with extendable screens”. Through the blog post they mention how this allows users to carry tablet-sized displays in a pocketable form factor, a similar premise to the Z Fold but with a different implementation. Of course, this post only serves us as official confirmation that Samsung will eventually release a rollable smartphone but, we don’t really have a date and it’s not like LG is still here to provide some major competition with their rollable, which by the way, LG is selling to its own employees. We’ll see what and whenever we get this, I just hope the leaks and certifications start rolling in soon.
Apple Music gets better at no additional cost with these new features
Alright, let’s talk about Cupertino and Apple Music. I seriously wanted to make a separate video on my thoughts on this topic, and I might, but for now let’s focus on the news. After being a rumor for the last week, the company announced a new update for Apple Music where they’re introducing “Spatial Audio with support for Dolby Atmos”. They’re also rolling out “Lossless Audio” for the entire 75M songs they have on the platform. How this will work is that, Spatial Audio and Dolby Atmos will be on by default, playing on AirPods or Beats that bring an H1 or W1 chip as well as the speakers of the latest Apple products. The tricky part is when we talk about Lossless Audio, and honestly for things that exceed what Apple can do.. Yet. So as a pre-amble, Apple will be using their “Apple Lossless Audio Codec” which can be turned on in the Music Settings under the Quality tab. It’s based in tiers that will start at CD quality which is 16 bit at 44.1 Kilo Hertz going up to 24 bits at 192 Kilo Hertz for the audio files. The problem is that let’s just say Cupertino drove itself into a wall since the iPhone 7 when it killed the headphone jack. In non-Apple fashion, these new features will be open to Apple Music subscribers for free and they will be available next month, but that’s if you have gear that can play this as we know Bluetooth technically can’t. Not even the DAC on Apple dongles to lightning, or the AirPods Max wire can provide this level of quality.. At least yet. Stay tuned for WWDC and let’s see what we get.
But yes, it’s Google I/O day so let’s move the spotlight on to Mountain View. Today’s announcements were all software, and if you want details on things like Search and Maps, I’ll link to our coverage on Pocketnow.com. As for mobile, let’s start with a long overdue update to Wear OS as, as it seems Google finally woke up and smelled the coffee. The company claims that this is the biggest update in years and it actually took a couple of collaborations, starting with Samsung. The next version of wearOS is actually a mesh of the best of WearOS which wasn’t much, but then also Tizen, which is a major deal. We’re talking 30% faster app launches, smoother animations but, probably the best thing is getting longer battery life as they take advantage of lower power cores, while allowing you to get your heart rate checked permanently. You know, stuff Garmins and Polars have been able to do for ever. They are also working on making the user interface better, starting with better navigation controls to switch between apps through button presses and more useful Tiles. Google Pay and YouTube Music are also getting integrated, like finally. And since we already started with the magic word, Google Finally announced something that involves their Fitbit acquisition where they claim that they want to bring World-Class health and fitness, with their best services coming to WearOS. I imagine that some of that permanent heart rate tracking is in part thanks to them, since that’s existed since the FitBit Surge. So, with these announcements I can finally say, I’m excited for a WearOS update, especially with those Galaxy Watch rumors from last week. I just hope we can update our existing hardware with it.
And finally, for the hottest news today let’s talk about the big announcements, Android 12 and well, something else that could lead to more information on when to expect the the Pixel 6. Maybe the best way to describe Android 12 is by calling a it a major redesign. They began this section by showing Material You, which now let’s you choose your own styles and color pallets on your Android phone based on basic things like your wallpaper, and yeah, you can expect it to extend on to other Google services. According to Google, this is their most personal version of Android yet, giving users more granularity in what they can customize. We can expect a major design overhaul from the lock screen down to the system settings. We’re also getting a new Quick Settings menu which now favors Google Pay, and other buttons more accessible to you. We can also expect Android 12 to be 22% faster and more power efficient than before. They also made a huge deal on privacy. We now get a new Privacy Dashboard that let’s you see what apps have access to what, down to your location, camera and microphone access and you can deactivate this fairly easily. Aside from camera and microphone indicators, quick settings now lets you disable these with a simple toggle as well. You can actually get Android 12 Beta today, and not just on Pixels, but watch out as people on OnePlus phones haven’t had much good luck. Now even if we didn’t get any hardware a ton of the wallpapers shown on the new version of Android had the time set to 9:30, which was also the time set on those Pixel 6 renders we got from Jon Prosser last week, which was also on par with every Android leak we got today. This would actually not be the first time that Google hints to a new product date with little things on device imagery, so could it be that we’re getting the Pixel 6 Series on September 30th, which makes sense considering every other phone is launching earlier this year.