Here’s your daily tech digest, by way of the DGiT Daily newsletter, for Monday, June 24, 2019!

1. Report: Microsoft has a dual-screen foldable Surface that might support Android apps

Best Tablets | Microsoft Surface Pro

Microsoft is working on a dual-screen Surface tablet. This we know.

How do we know?

  • We know this because Microsoft showed its employees a dual-screen prototype earlier this month, as first reported by The Verge.
  • Also, we’ve known about its internal codename, Centaurus, since late 2018.
  • Furthermore, Microsoft has been working on it for at least two years.
  • In fact, if you go back to 2009, you can find a canceled device from Microsoft known as the Courier (Wikipedia), which never saw the light of day.

The news, however, is that this dual-screen Surface is reportedly set to support Android apps – if the latest rumors and reports are true:

  • According to Jeff Lin, an associate director at IHS Markit (via Forbes), an upcoming Microsoft Surface dual-screen laptop/tablet hybrid may support Android apps.
  • The plan is for a foldable Surface device, with dual 9-inch screens.
  • It will run a new version of Windows, likely called Windows Core OS, which can handle Android apps and possibly iCloud services.
  • Lin claims the device will use a new Intel Lakefield 10nm system-on-a-chip, and offer 4G LTE or 5G connectivity.

Can Microsoft make an Android tablet great again?

  • Is this a unicorn device that can operate as an Android phone, with a more powerful and native-Windows option hiding on the other side?
  • Could it be like the Samsung Galaxy Fold, but instead of a phone-to-tablet, act as more of a phone-to-computer, that can dock to keyboard/mouse inputs via Bluetooth, and a desktop monitor too?
  • Or will it be more of a Windows-first, with some Android app compatibility thrown in via cloud or virtualization, ala BlueStacks?
  • Will it be able to run Google services, to allow the device to access services like Google Play Store?
  • The answers to those questions will make or break the device. Either Windows-first or Android-first may offer a way forward, but ultimately any new product has to get the software and the hardware right.
  • Hardware problem set back the Galaxy Fold, software problems killed off the Pixel Slate.
  • When? Expected launch date: Q1 or Q2 in 2020.
  • I don’t want to get too excited about early reports with limited detail.
  • But I will say, a true hybrid-device could be a best of both worlds offering, and that’s enough to be a touch excited – while acknowledging just about every first-generation device can be more mess and compromise than awesome.

2. Amazon Prime Day 2019 expands, will now be a 48-hour sale on July 15-16 (Android Authority).


3. AT&T slapped with lawsuit over hidden $2 monthly fee (AA).


4. iOS 13, iPadOS, MacOS Catalina available for public beta testing. Reports are that it’s not worth trialing yet, unless you’re a developer (CNET).


5. Hackers are stealing years of call records from hacked cell networks, ‘massive’ espionage (TechCrunch).


6. Gigi Hadid wants to rewrite copyright law around her Instagram account (The Verge).


7. A weekend with “Harry Potter: Wizards Unite”: Two muggles debate the latest mobile game with grand ambitions – and find it lacking (Engadget).


8. SpaceX launched its Falcon Heavy early this morning. I watched the webcast while writing – the center cores didn’t stick the landing, but the boosters landed safely (TechCrunch). Also, Bill Nye’s crowdfunded spacecraft LightSail 2 went up with a bunch of other satellites and all 24 deployed successfully (Planetary Society).


9. Boeing has so many grounded 737 MAX planes waiting to be fixed they’re parking them in the employee parking lot (Jalopnik).


10. Amateur photographer captures brilliant meteor falling over northern Australia (SMH).


11. How a small ISP in Pennsylvania tanked a big chunk of the web on Monday, with Verizon partly to blame as well (Slate).


12. “Reddit, what’s a secret your job keeps from the public?” (r/askreddit).


 

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