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Rollable smartphones start now, Google Maps updates, and more tech news
Your tech news digest, by way of the DGiT Daily tech newsletter, for Tuesday, 17 November 2020.
1. Oppo X 2021
Oppo has a rollable phone that looks ready for 2021, and actually cool? I doubt affordable will be an adjective that goes with the device, but it is going to be fun.
- The Oppo X 2021 is a flexible OLED-display smartphone that takes a normal large phone at 6.7-inches, and opens to expand the display out to a 7.4-inch display with a much wider aspect ratio:
- The display rolls out from one side as a motorized function, no manual pulling or pushing required.
- Oppo detailed technologies and mechanical features to ensure the display is supported as it rolls out, and a caterpillar track-like resistance as the display extends or retracts.
- Oppo is calling the concept device the Oppo X 2021, and claims there’s no crease in the screen at all, as you might see along the folded line in current foldable phones.
- It’s unclear if Oppo has equipped the screen with protective glass or if it’s made out of plastic as we’ve seen with the first Galaxy Fold.
- And there’s no word on when this becomes a commercial reality.
- It’s entirely possible Oppo is more about the technology concept than risking a launch —it’s been more than a year since it showed off its in-display selfie camera tech, and only ZTE has been willing to chance that tech in its ZTE Axon 20 5G, not Oppo.
- Given that neither Oppo’s founder and CEO, Tony Chen, nor Oppo vice president Levin Liu had it in their hands on stage to show off, it made me think it’s a little early, and not ready for the always stressful live demo
- But Oppo did post some short video to Weibo, and then a bunch of tech people at the event in China posted various images and gifs, like the below, so maybe hands-on time did happen and it is more ready!
Anyway, it actually looks …pretty awesome:
- What’s on show is clearly a best-case scenario where the transition from smartphone to the wider tablet view is likely rendered to be that smooth on the display. But the motorized function looks great.
- Speculation is that it’s all thanks to Samsung Display technology that Oppo is working with here, though no details have emerged.
- LG is working on a rollable phone of its own, with a design leaked out in September, with Korean media reporting a March 2021 launch. LG has its own capable display technology.
We’ve asked Oppo for more details regarding the X 2021’s display and the chances of a commercial release, but hadn’t received a reply at the time of hitting send.
2. It’s finally been done: Huawei has sold Honor under ‘tremendous pressure’ from US sanctions (Android Authority).
3. Former Essential team to offer privacy-focused products in 2021 (Android Authority).
4. Save up to $110 on the Sony WH-1000XM4, and more headphone deals (Android Authority).
5. You can now buy a one-year Disney Plus subscription to gift friends and family, just in time for Christmas? (Android Authority).
6. Apple is likely testing foldable phones for a future iPhone — this report says Foxconn is allegedly testing folding iPhone, with a projected release in September 2022. That’d be around the iPhone 14 release should the usual conventions apply. Fun tidbit: “Foxconn will be conducting over 100,000 opening and closing tests for the folding iPhone.” (Apple Insider).
7. New Google Maps updates help you cope: Better COVID overlay, public transport crowds, and takeout tracking (blog.google).
8. Amazon Pharmacy: Amazon is now in the pharmacy business with online prescription fulfillment, free delivery for Prime members (TechCrunch).
9. Airbnb has filed its IPO and the S-1 is a great read (SEC.gov) — a breakdown here of what the published financials mean (TechCrunch).
10. Github has a great, detailed explanation of a new approach it will take in standing up for open source developers who come under attack from often harmful, dubious, or even troll takedown requests. It’s putting $1M into a developer defense fund to help protect open source developers, donating to the EFF and Software Freedom Law center for legal assistance (Github).
11. On that note: Tired: Open Source Coders — Wired: The open source movement runs on the heroic efforts of not enough people doing too much work (Wired).
12. How the US military buys location data from ordinary apps — including a super popular Muslim prayer app (Vice).
13. Seamless car charging comes to Electrify America with Plug&Charge: the car handles the authentication and billing, no extra cards and fussing about. Also known as ISO 15118, less excitingly (Ars Technica).
14. The $35,000 Tesla Model 3 is dead again. But, Tesla was admitted to the S&P 500, at least? (The Verge).
15. Zoom is lifting its 40-minute limit for all meetings globally for Thanksgiving: from 00:01 on Nov. 26 through to 6am (ET) on Nov. 27 (Twitter).
16. Now the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine is looking good, too! Best news is that it doesn’t need super cold refrigeration (BBC).
17. The Crew-1 astronauts have arrived: SpaceX Crew Dragon capsule docks at space station. Lovely video of the excitement (Space).
18. “What myth is still widely circulated as truth?” (r/askreddit).
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