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December 9, 2021

❄ Good morning! Mountains of snow here, and my parents are being flooded almost daily back in Australia with crazy rainfall. Wild weather!

Oppo's foldable

Oppo’s commanding the tech cycle at the moment with well-placed teaser videos about its upcoming innovations, and the latest is pretty big: its foldable.

What happened: 

  • Oppo put out a teaser on Weibo to its home country showing off the Oppo Find N, a foldable phone coming December 15, day two of the Oppo Inno Day event. 
  • This follows the retractable camera teaser, and some details around a new imaging chip for photography, AR glasses, and “Digital Human,” which isn’t threatening at all.

But wow, the foldable — here’s a GIF of the main moment from the 15s video:

foldalbe find n
Tristan Rayner / Android Authority
  • The teaser shows a much smaller foldable than the Galaxy Z Fold 3, and has that same form-factor versus the clamshell style of the Z Flip 3.
  • There are hints of design choices: a roughly 4:3 display, a side-mounted fingerprint scanner, both like the Fold 3.
  • Oppo’s Chief Product Officer, Pete Lau, who you’d know as CEO of OnePlus as well, revealed in a blog post that this has taken Oppo four years of R&D, and is the sixth generation of foldable prototypes that have been built.
  • Lau: “This device is Oppo’s answer to the future of smartphones … As early as April 2018, the first generation of the Find N prototype was born internally. Although a handful of other brands have already introduced foldable devices to the market, barriers such as utility, durability, and user experience continue to prevent foldable devices from becoming a more feasible daily driver for most people. So when I returned to Oppo last year, I was excited to take over this major project and guide the team to overcome the final hurdles to turn this dream into reality.”
  • Finally, I have a little nit to pick with this line towards the end: “The Find N is Oppo’s unique solution in an increasingly homogenized smartphone industry.
  • Mmhmm, totally unique! Making it slightly smaller makes it nothing at all like the Fold 1, 2, or 3…
  • Anyway, the smaller overall size might make this a real competitor to the slightly unwieldy Fold 3, but we don’t yet know availability (China first? Global launch later?) or that all-important price point.
  • The Inno Day event next week is going to be killer.
Roundup

😬 There’s a bug if you’re running the Microsoft Teams app on Android: You can’t reliably call 911 in some weird circumstances, such as not being logged in to the app (Android Authority).

👉 Rumor suggests the coming Galaxy S21 FE could have Android 12 out of the box, giving it a leg up over other S21 models (Android Authority).

👉 You can now grab the first Android 12L beta on supported Pixels (Android Authority).

🎮 Stadia finally launches on LG TVs, shows off the greatness that could’ve been (Ars Technica).

🍎 Apple reaches a quiet truce over iPhone privacy changes: anonymized and aggregated data is ok to be shared, it seems (Ars Technica).

🤦 Better.com CEO Vishal Garg apologizes to current employees for ‘blundering’ of mass layoffs; SPAC delayed, top execs quit (TechCrunch). In case you haven’t seen it yet(CNET).

🍏 Apple won’t have to make App Store changes just yet, granted a delay (Gizmodo).

😂 Razer announced a MagSafe fan for the iPhone (and Android) that’s somehow priced at $60, with RBG LEDs, and it needs a charging cable. As a friend said: “It has been a long time since I have seen such a useless accessory” (The Verge).

📸 Instagram CEO testifies before Congress for the first time: 5 takeaways from the ~ two-hour session written up here, with a bunch of little gotchas in play (CNET).

⚰️ Amazon will shut Alexa.com, its global website ranking system, on May 1 next year, after 25 years. Wonder what that URL could be good for… (BleepingComputer).

📦 Italy fines Amazon €1.13B for abusing market dominance (Politico).

✨ There’s an HBO Max Harry Potter anniversary show set for January 1, complete with Rupert Grint, Emma Watson, and Daniel Radcliffe (CNET).

🤔 “ELI5: What is déja vu? (r/explainlikeimfive)

Throwback Thursday
Doom logo

Tomorrow will mark 28 years since Doom was released by id Software, a follow-up to Wolfenstein. Actually, the timing is kind of tricky. 

  • The story (Wikipedia) is that it was released after the team worked on it for 30 hours straight, at midnight on December 10, 1993.
  • Which means late on December 9, i.e. today, 28 years ago, the development team was getting ready to upload the first episode of the game to the Internet.
  • The FTP server at the University of Wisconsin–Madison was the first to receive the game as shareware.
  • And, accordingly, the strategy to let the game be shared out freely, worked: “Within hours of Doom’s release, university networks were banning Doom multiplayer games, as a rush of players overwhelmed their systems.”
  • In late 1995, Doom was estimated to be installed on more computers worldwide than Microsoft’s new operating system, Windows 95.

Cheers,

Tristan Rayner, Senior Editor.

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