Here’s your daily tech digest, by way of the DGiT Daily newsletter, for Wednesday, June 19, 2019!

1. Galaxy Note 10 launch date: August 7th, NYC: reports

(The Samsung Galaxy Note 9)

If the reports are right, Samsung is launching the Galaxy Note 10 on August 7 in New York City, heading back to the Barclays Center where it last announced the Note 9 back on August 9, 2018.

  • It’s the big smartphones news of the day, and we’re expecting Samsung will launch the Galaxy Note 10 series, with the tip for a standard a Pro variant.
  • The Note 10 is a big release for the number 10 (or X, for iPhone-land)
  • Leaks suggest it’ll be more of what we like from Samsung in the super-size premium smartphone category.
  • The Pro model is expected to have a bigger screen, and four rear cameras, as opposed to three shooters on the standard variant.
  • Other leaks suggest Samsung will remove the Bixby button, which is no great loss, along with the headphone jack, which would be far more divisive.

Meanwhile, what about our old friend the Galaxy Fold, currently still MIA?

  • There is some news, with Samsung Display Vice President Kim Seong-cheol saying during a speech at The Korean Information Display Society, “[…] most of the display problems have been ironed out, and the Galaxy Fold is ready to hit the market.” (via SamMobile)
  • But we’ve heard that kind of thing before, and sooner or later, Samsung is going to have to front-up about what’s happening with it.
  • I wouldn’t be surprised if Samsung pushed to have it well away from the Note 10, so Samsung has under two months to make it happen.

2. Cars drop touchscreens, here’s why that might be better

One of the things about driving around France last week in a hired Citroën car was trying to get to grips with the car’s slow, lazy touchscreen:

  • The interface for all things infotainment, along with air conditioning, radio, and navigation wasn’t terrible but it was never a joy to use – too many screens, too much back and forward, too many clicks to turn something on or off, and slow to respond to taps and presses.
  • Besides taking a few days to get a handle on, including changing the language, I’d constantly need to stop or take my eyes off the road for a moment to get something working just right.

Mazda to the rescue: 

  • Interestingly, Mazda research suggested that the time of the touchscreen isn’t yet.
  • The latest Mazda 3 for 2019 went back to tactile buttons and dials, reserving a screen just for a heads-up display, situated much deeper into the top of the dashboard and just in focus.
  • “Doing our research, when a driver would reach towards a touch-screen interface in any vehicle, they would unintentionally apply torque to the steering wheel, and the vehicle would drift out of its lane position,” Matthew Valbuena, Mazda North America’s lead engineer for HMI and infotainment, told Motor Authority (no affiliation!).
  • It still connects with Android Auto or Apple CarPlay, too, if you need.
  • Reviews are now out, with the Wall Street Journal calling it the “best car of 2019”.

Does that mean touchscreens in cars are wrong, and dead?

  • Not quite: Tesla, of course, has led the way with bigger screens, a focus on premium UI/UX, and combines a mix of tactile buttons on the steering wheel with touchscreen functions. It hasn’t been easy either, considerable difficulties along the way have been documented in this newsletter before.
  • The trick is that good design isn’t common.
  • Bad touchscreens – sorry Citroën – are a reminder that new isn’t always better, and how hard it is to create great, intuitive, helpful design.
  • Sure, a car dashboard without a nice screen doesn’t look uber-modern, but those buttons and dials work.

3. Facebook’s Libra cryptocurrency is already under heavy scrutiny from governments, including France, Switzerland and now a top democrat (The Verge). Regulators are raring for this kind of fight, it seems.


4. And here’s what the crypto world is saying about Facebook’s moves (Gizmodo).


5. An update to Monday: Google has explained it doesn’t steal lyrics from sites like Genius – but says third-party platforms seem like they do, and Google is going to add attributions (Android Authority).


6. Remember the under-display selfie camera? We’ve confirmed that Oppo will reveal a smartphone with the new tech next week in Shanghai (AA).


7. Completely genius ‘Mario Royale’ pits you against other speedrunners, and it’s fan-made and on the web: infernoplus.com/royale/ – get in before Nintendo definitely take this down.


8. “Developers don’t want to show gameplay at E3 anymore, and who can blame them?” (VG247.com).


9. One of the world’s most ancient cities experienced surprisingly modern problems (Gizmodo).


10. Solving the ‘Edge Computing’ puzzle will make your TV smarter (Bloomberg)


11. “I slept on the roof of a Honda Passport to prove that hotels are for suckers” (Jalopnik).


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