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September 8, 2021
iPhone 13: September 14

Apple has announced its next major event for September 14th at 10AM PT, titling the event “California Streaming” and giving away a few hints in the image emailed to press: 

apple iphone 13 event
Apple
  • Apple’s Marketing SVP Greg Joswiak also tweeted a clip teasing the event as well.
  • And there’s a fun easter egg if you click the image on an AR-compatible device like an iPhone 12.
  • It will be a virtual event again, and live-streamed across Apple’s website, YouTube, Apple TV, and so on.

What to expect:

  • As usual, the invitations don’t give out a lot of information, but hints. 
  • I’ve seen people guess at improved night photography and astrophotography modes … but if you conclude the video from Joswiak hints strongly at AR with the portal and framing elements, I won’t talk you down.
  • Still, while there are secret secrets, there are known secrets: At this time of year, Apple releases new iPhones and new Apple Watches. 
  • On the iPhone front, the persistent leaks and rumors include a new processor (A15 Bionic?), a smoother 120Hz display with LTPO technology to reduce the display’s load on the battery, a smaller notch on the front, plus camera enhancements, with the same four-device series.
  • Each device looks to be slightly thicker, and slightly taller, though that may only be on the Pro versions.
  • A big question: What will Apple call its next iPhone? It sounds like this year is an “S” version of the iPhone 12, but we haven’t seen a new “S” iPhone since the XS in 2018. Of course, there’s the possibility Apple will go straight for iPhone 13. It doesn’t take much guessing to see why Apple might avoid “unlucky” numbers, though. 
  • Another rumor is Apple will remove the numbering entirely and just go with iPhone, like it does its MacBook line, making the differentiating factor the year of release.
  • The next Apple Watch will have a new design with larger display, though getting your hands on what will presumably be called the Apple Watch Series 7 may be tricky, with multiple reports of production issues. 
  • TheNikkei said a week ago: “Three sources said the current disappointing production quality could be attributed to the complexity of design, which is significantly different from that of previous generations of the watch.” Adding features such as blood pressure measurement means more components than ever.
  • Otherwise, we may see: new Apple AirPods 3, iPad Mini, and a new entry-level iPad.
  • But no expectations of new laptops, which will reportedly launch at an October event.
Roundup

👉 Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 FE review: Pretty, but underpowered, so stick with the better-spec Wi-Fi only version (Android Authority).

🧲 Watch: Motorola’s over-the-air charging solution can charge four devices at once (Android Authority).

📸 Samsung could bring 576MP image sensors to market by 2025 (Android Authority).

💻 Lenovo’s Tech World event is full of new products, with new slim laptops, a new Chromebook, and new Android tablets on show — the new IdeaPad Slim 7 Carbon is the lightest 14-inch OLED laptop, and a new Chromebook Duet (Android Authority).

🔎 LG claims its ‘Real Folding Window’ beats folding glass, will ship in 2023 (The Verge).

🍎 Apple’s car chief and ex-Tesla chief vehicle engineer, Doug Field, is heading to Ford, leaving plenty of questions about the direction of the Apple Car (The Verge).

⛓ El Salvador’s Bitcoin gamble with its own Chivo wallet is off to a rocky start. Bitcoin fell 17% and then recovered as speculators speculated, too (The Block).

📰 Microsoft has launched a personalized news service, Microsoft Start, for some reason. It’s clearly an attempt to move on from the MSN brand, but I dutifully tried setting up a deeply customized feed focused just on renewable energy, with little luck moving away from default “top stories” (TechCrunch).

⚖️ Australia’s top court finds media companies are liable for other people’s Facebook comments, noting that setting up a Facebook page to generate interest and revenue and then having no consequences for a lack of moderation didn’t fit. Legal experts are concerned it may limit public-interest stories as any discussion can be seen as a liability (WSJ, $).

🎥 HBO Max is expanding: launching in first European countries including Spain, Norway, and Sweden on October 26, more in 2022 (CNET).

🚗 Continental’s eco-friendly concept tire (concept tire!!) includes a renewable tread made in part from dandelion rubber, though it’s probably more for public image than coming to a car near you, though recycling efforts to turn tires into bottles sounds actually real (Engadget).

🤡 McDonald’s really hooked me on its Monopoly games over the years, though I mostly resist the gimmick now. Anyway, McDonald’s IT accidentally sent out login info to its database for its Monopoly VIP game potentially containing winning prize codes (Gizmodo).

😂 Here’s how QR codes are made, maybe (Twitter).

Wednesday Weirdness

Dog pee caused a traffic pole to collapse in Japan:

light pole japan
NHK
  • “Although no one was hurt when the traffic light suddenly snapped from its base in February, local police launched an investigation. The structures are designed to last about 50 years — but this one broke just 23 years after its installation.
  • “Investigators found a high concentration of urea [from urine] in the underground foundations, which was 42-fold urea compared to other traffic lights nearby. They also detected 8-fold of the substance around the column edge.
  • “Police noted that the surrounding area was part of a popular dog-walking course.”

Weird enough as it is: investigating a pole after only 23 years is funny enough.

But then …things took a turn:

  • Officer Takahashi Koji, who serves in the traffic management and control division of the prefectural police, called on dog owners to help their pets find other places to urinate: “We want them to look at alternatives, like encouraging their animals to pee before they go for a walk.”
  • But that advice only confused local dog owners with many saying the whole point of taking their pets for a walk is to let them pee outside.
  • “It’s difficult to immediately stop my dogs from urinating there,” says one owner who regularly passes through the intersection where the traffic light went down. Another asked, “What’s the alternative if it’s not allowed outside?”

Puzzled by alternatives,

Tristan Rayner, Senior Editor

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