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Google's 'Launch Night In' event, fun with the LG Wing, and more tech news today
Your tech news digest, by way of the DGiT Daily tech newsletter, for Tuesday, 15 September 2020. We’re in the shadow of today’s Apple event later today, so stay tuned for what’s coming in Apple Watch and iPads…
1. Next Google Pixels: September 30
Out of the blue, Google dropped that its next Google hardware launch event will happen on September 30, 2020.
What was announced:
- As you’ll see in the invite, Google revealed its ‘Launch Night In’ event, and said it “will reveal our new Chromecast, latest smart speaker, and new Pixel phones”.
- …as expected!
- Ok so not a lot of surprise here. Certainly, the Google Pixel 4a 5G and the Pixel 5 we’ve known about since the Pixel 4a launch.
- And the new smart speaker Google hastily confirmed back in early July, with recent leaks suggesting it might go for about $80/€100.
- And we’ve had a pretty good bead on a new Chromecast with Android TV codenamed Sabrina for a while now, although few final details.
2. LG Wing announced
The LG Wing is now official and I find it remarkable how useful this second twisting screen appears to be. The 1 min tease from LG is here.
This is one of those times when a few seconds of gifs can really tell you a lot more than words, and because Unbox Therapy was lucky enough to go hands-on with an actual device, we can take a look.
First, the mechanism itself which looks hugely enjoyable to just slide back and forth, with nice mechanics and soft-open to give it a nice feel:
LG has spec’d the swivel to last 200,000 rotations, so we should see durability here.
And then down to business, such as using it to run dual apps like YouTube and Chrome:
And the intriguing gimbal-style camera setup which was a complete surprise:
This is very cool! But! There is a lot missing from the whole picture
- Real insight into the device. Unbox Therapy doesn’t dig into what’s good and bad here, just what it is.
- Pricing. Boy oh boy, I can see LG wanting a fortune for this device.
- Availability. Despite being official now, we don’t have a date or even a rough guide for a release, eg this year or early next.
- All we know is basic US information, such that it’ll be exclusive to Verizon at first, with AT&T and T-Mobile offering it later.
- The potential here is huge, and it’s the software experience that it all hinges on.
- The Microsoft Surface Duo did some interesting things with seemingly unlimited bugs and problems.
- Let’s hope the Wing doesn’t feel half-baked by the time it emerges.
3. Oculus Quest 2 specs leak points to a massively upgraded VR headset. Facebook Connect is tomorrow, by the way (Android Authority).
4. Leak: Samsung is manufacturing the Qualcomm Snapdragon 875 chipset on a 5nm process (Android Authority).
5. YouTube officially launches its own TikTok competitor, Shorts — in early beta, only in India for now (Android Authority).
6. What NVIDIA buying Arm means for your next smartphone (Android Authority).
7. What to expect from Apple’s ‘Time Flies’ event: Apple Watch Series 6, a redesigned iPad Air, and more
8. Sony announces $1,799 A7c compact full-frame mirrorless camera (The Verge).
9. Today was originally the day for TikTok to be sold, but the original ban now, in theory, comes into force, on September 20. Oracle did confirm it ‘won’, in the meantime (Reuters).
10. Sony cuts PlayStation 5 forecast by four million due to chip production woes (Bloomberg).
11. All the Venus news: ‘Dr. Phosphine’ and the possibility of life on Venus (Wired). Here’s a video explanation of the new findings from the Royal Observatory Greenwich (YouTube).
— And here’s the relevant XKCD comic: Evidence of Alien Life (xkcd.com)
12. Microsoft’s test underwater data center was lifted up and inspected after two years. Interestingly, it had lower failure rates, possibly due to nitrogen and lack of human interactions. (It spent the two years Folding@Home, by the way) (Microsoft blog). Also, here’s some workers powerwashing it via Reddit.
13. ELI5: Why were ridiculously fast planes like the SR-71 built, and why hasn’t it speed record been broken for 50 years? (r/ELI5)
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