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May 11, 2021
👋 Good morning! Almost time to start making cold brew coffee...
New earbuds coming up

Two bits of true wireless earbuds news to talk about today.

First up is Sony’s next rival to the AirPods Pro, with a report giving us a good look at what’s certain to be the WF-1000XM4 earbuds (and not to be confused with the Sony WH-1000XM4 over-ear headphones)

  • The Walkman Blog published what it says are leaked images (see above) of the Sony WF-1000XM4, which shows a design change for a more ear-friendly, ergonomic fit and feel, with a curve. 
  • The sequel to one of the better quality earbuds out there has already had a few leaks, and much of what has previously been suggested is now all-but-confirmed: Sony will add Hi-Res audio support, there’ll be faster wired charging, and the buds will be packed away in an AirPods-style wireless charging case.
  • The site suggested six hours of listening time per charge, which is about the same as the previous WF-1000XM3 model.
  • My colleagues who regularly update lists of the best earbuds out there had dropped the WF-1000XM3 model down in device rankings.
  • The nearly two-year-old model has been bested by the Samsung Galaxy Buds Plus (especially if you have a Galaxy phone), while the Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 2 earbuds are rated top for their best-in-class noise-cancelling, if you’re after that.
  • Can Sony return to the top?

Second up, and hoping to rain on Sony’s parade perhaps, is Nothing. Finally, after a long set of teasers going back to late January, Nothing is committing to a first product.

  • Nothing’s debut Ear 1 wireless earbuds will launch next month.
  • We didn’t get a fresh image or look, but the announcement confirms promises of a summer release.
  • “Today we celebrate and look forward together to the coming launch of Ear 1 this June,” read an excerpt of the company’s latest blog post, while company founder Carl Pei noted on Twitter that “Ear 1 is just the start.”
  • The Ear 1 buds have been designed in collaboration with Teenage Engineering, and Pei noted in the post, the earbuds “combines notes of transparency, iconic form, and refined functionality.”
  • Lots of promises here!

🔘 Even though there’s no shortage of ways to activate the Google Assistant, now the power button could be used to summon it, too (Android Authority)

😬 The Android 11 update for the OnePlus 7, 7T series is an ongoing disaster for users (Android Authority)

📺 Walmart’s coming Android TV device promises 4K at a very low price: $29.88 (Android Authority).

🥽 Report suggests Sony’s next-generation VR headset for the PlayStation 5 has much higher resolution, inside-out tracking, a vibration motor, and even foveated rendering (reduction of image quality in peripheral vision for better performance) (UploadVR).

Epic v. Apple: Now fights emerge over Peely …a “naked” banana (The Verge).

🍎 Apple invests $45 million more in Gorilla Glass-maker Corning (Ars Technica).

🍏 Apple hires ex-Facebook ad manager Antonio García Martínez for their ads team, who wrote a tell-all book on Facebook (AppleInsider).

🤔 Pipeline hackers say they’re ‘apolitical,’ will choose targets more carefully next time: “Our goal is to make money, and not creating problems for society” (Vice).

⛔ More than 40 attorneys general urge Facebook to stop plans for an Instagram for kids (CNN).

📰 Facebook popup wants to make sure you’ve read the article you’re about to share, roughly a year after Twitter tried the same thing (The Verge).

🥗 “Want to grow your own food? Try a hydroponic garden(Wired).

📦 Amazon says it destroyed more than two million fake products, and “blocked more than 10 billion suspected bad listings before they were published.” That’s great and all but gee, what a waste (Ars Technica).

Ford F-150 Lightning EV truck reveal set to strike next week (CNET).

🌠 NASA’s asteroid-punching spacecraft begins its trek back home: Osiris-REx is coming back from the Bennu asteroid (The Verge).

🍧 Wholesome content: “Do any of you guys like mint chocolate ice cream?” (r/nostupidquestions).

Chart Tuesday

Here are the world’s airports and helipads (including major airports, military bases, regional airstrips, tiny dirt strips, docking for seaplanes, and even airports that are no longer operational) – via r/dataisbeautiful:

worlds airports
  • The data comes from, which lists some 64,758 airports.
  • The blue dots are probably too big given how Europe and the US East Coast just look like one giant airfield.
  • And Australia’s “airports” listed here are generous, definitely more dirt strip than somewhere Qantas might land an A380!

All the best,

Tristan Rayner, Senior Editor

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