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May 11, 2021
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!
Roundup

🔘 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 ourairports.com, 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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