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October 27, 2021
🌹👓 Good morning! All about nostalgia today, hence the rose-tinted glasses...
Palm whiffs
Palm Buds Pro

Yesterday’s Palm launch was …some earbuds. With TWS earbuds now truly the game that everyone is in (YouTube), Palm launched some Palm Buds Pro earbuds for $99, though they’ll be $129 if you don’t preorder.

  • This all comes three years since the last phone it launched: the super tiny Palm Phone that started as a companion device and eventually became a standalone smol boi designed for non-primary phone use.
  • Three years later, with the launch of the Palm Buds Pro, the Palm Phone has been removed from the site.
  • That made small phone fans, of which there are still some, mad: This new revived/reworked Palm, owned by TCL, seemed to be promising a new phone — maybe even just an update with a battery improvement would’ve been enough — but no, just earbuds.

Anyway, this doesn’t matter at all: it’s just TCL milking the old gold brand name of Palm to flog some earbuds, which is normal business behavior. (Our old podcast friend, Adam Doud, is undoubtedly (unDoudtedly?) mad given his Palm/webOS thoughts.)

Nostalgia sells:

  • Nostalgia is topical right now: 20 years on from the iPod launch, a lot of people had thoughts and feelings about it. An original iPod still sells for a fortune.
  • Nintendo just launched its N64 collection, a package of games exclusively available on its Switch consoles. It’s not exactly brilliant stuff from Nintendo (“It’s-a me, disappointment writes Ars Technica), and articles like “10 video game series that deserve to be resurrected(Wired) pop up all the time as we crave the things we know.
  • And there’s something else happening too: “Springboard: The secret history of the first real smartphone” is a new series from The Verge about Handspring, which came from the original inventors of the PalmPilot, and co-founders of Palm, and which fell over and ended up merging with Palm in 2003. 
  • I’d watch and tell you all about it, but it’s currently a little bit locked down by The Verge and its Vox parent company: It’s only available via The Verge app or channel on, Roku, Fire TV, Android TV, or Apple TV Plus. 
  • I don’t have any of those platforms right now as I just Chromecast everything to my TV, so umm… I can’t watch, for now? I could be wrong.
  • No one learn anything while I’m waiting, okay?

📱 Pilot straps a Pixel 6 Pro to his drone to compare to a GoPro and the results are pretty awesome (warning that the video you can play is loud) (Android Authority).

👍 Samsung adopts Matter support, stepping back from the fractured smart home world to make it all a bit more cohesive (Android Authority).

👉 Qualcomm bolsters mid-range with four (kinda) new chipsets: Snapdragon 778G Plus is a minor upgrade, Snapdragon 695 brings better/faster 5G to low-cost phones (Android Authority).

🦙 “Sony thinks it’s okay to advertise a $1,800 flagship on a $1,300 phone.” Hilariously, someone on the team Slack posted: You can get an “entry-level Alpaca” at the price! But I mean, Sony’s always going for high margin, not worried about lower volumes (Android Authority).

FCC revokes China Telecom’s ability to offer services in the US (Engadget).

🎮 Google Stadia tries something new: a free 30-minute game trial (The Verge).

🎨 Adobe had a bunch of things to show off at Adobe MAX 2021, including Photoshop on the web, and loads of machine learning advancement for elements like neural filters. (I’m trying really hard not to call it AI, it’s cool) (Adobe).

📈 Worth highlighting earnings again: Microsoft made it 17 straight quarters of double-digit revenue growth (The Verge), Alphabet kept growing its Google ad machine with only a minor iOS hiccup (AP), while AMD sales continued to grow as well (CNBC).

🟢 Dune’s sequel has been greenlighted and announced: sometime in October 2023 (Deadline).

🐀 Rat eradication from islands is difficult (Gizmodo).

😎 Watch: Dragon scale solar tiles installed on Google buildings in Silicon Valley (pv magazine).

😬 “Why do billionaires and other very rich individuals try so hard to avoid paying taxes when they will still be rich whether they pay the taxes or not?” (r/nostupidquestions).

Wednesday Weirdness

The MacBook Pro is reaching the first consumers who pre-ordered and paid up, as is the MacBook Pro notch, which continues to divide and cause a lot of shouting.

Here’s some shouting about very weird behavior of the notch, as it just doesn’t really do the things it’s supposed to do: here and here.

  • The best theory as to why this is, is that Apple’s notoriously strict limits on information within the company created some kind of knowledge gap between teams.
  • So that means the system-level control just isn’t there, yet.
  • I also enjoyed this little app hack that makes the notch a little portal for your cursor:
notch portal
Tristan Rayner / Android Authority
  • Apple will figure this out, and it’s not even a little weird this stuff happens — every company no matter the size gets it wrong.
  • See! Even trillion-dollar car companies don’t get it right and they’re on the roads right now!

It’s not like this newsletter ever has any bugs, either! 🐛

Cheers! Tristan Rayner, Senior Editor

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