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Google Pixel 4a coming Monday, pandemic hurts Alphabet, and more tech news today

Google made it official, and Google could do with some smartphone sales! Plus more tech news today.

Published onJuly 31, 2020

pixel 4a
Tristan Rayner / Android Authority

Your tech news digest, by way of the DGiT Daily tech newsletter, for Friday, 31 July 2020.

1. Pixel 4a is coming Monday

Google posted a teaser last night for the upcoming mid-range phone that’s had more leaks than a sieve.

The Google Store had some fun with the teaser, showing a blank device along with some custom “lorem ipsum” text:

  • Click the boxes to align with Google’s logo colors of blue, red, yellow, blue, green, and red, the Google logo colors, and you’ll get the following:
  • The text hints at low-light photography, bokeh (shallow depth of field) photo effects, and a long-lasting battery, and of course that date: Monday, August 3rd.
  • Consider the calendar marked!
  • It’s a big week next week: that’s just two days before the Samsung Unpacked event, where we’re expecting to see much higher-end devices.

Should Google be hopeful of big sales? Apple hints: 

  • Well, good question. It’ll be up against the OnePlus Nord everywhere but the USA. The bigger fish to fry, though, will be the iPhone SE 2020.
  • Apple’s earnings last night noted even the iPhone range suffered during COVID-19 lockdowns and store closures, but less than expected.
  • While people raced to get Macs and iPads to support working and education from home, with revenue up 21.6% and 31% respectively, from the same period last year, Apple said itself iPhone revenues were expected to fall due to store closures.
  • Instead, thanks to the iPhone SE, iPhone revenue was up 1.7%, with CEO Tim Cook attributing the “very successful” release of the low-cost $399 iPhone SE.
  • Apple was the only company to register smartphone sales growth in Q2 2020, according to analysts.
  • What also might help is that Apple confirmed that the iPhone 12 release date will be pushed back this year, with an executive noting the new iPhone is expected “to be available a few weeks later.” Normal release is during September, implying an October launch.
  • Back to Google, and all-important pricing.
  • There have been hints that Google could price the new 4a for as low as $349 (albeit with 64GB of storage in base trim). That may mean a 128GB model for a little more.
  • Here’s the thing. As long as Google announces a rock-solid device I’m likely to want to upgrade from the Pixel 3a XL I’ve been using. But pricing and final specs will matter

2. Nokia 8.3 5G to reach the US more than six months after it was announced (Android Authority). (Android Authority).

3. Google bought YouTube right after deciding against a Google-branded Flip Video (Android Authority).

4. We asked, you told us: The iPhone SE camera slaps the OnePlus Nord. Is all hope lost? OnePlus may well release tweaks to the image processing capabilities, but if it’s not great at launch, it’s not going to review well (Android Authority).

5. “I’m sorry, but Samsung’s foldable phone naming strategy is laughably bad” (SamMobile).

6. In the pandemic economy, tech companies are raking it in: Apple, Alphabet, Amazon, and Facebook all reported earnings last night, and wow. Three out of four grew bigger, with just Alphabet/Google seeing ad-revenue decline, its first in history. Amazon blew estimates out of the water, Apple showed resilience and more, and Facebook somehow added 12% more users in more parts of the globe, and more people used Facebook for longer during lockdown. All the day after the antitrust hearings. Good report here (The Verge), and TechCrunch has a summary of the numbers. Also, Facebook says Apple’s iOS 14 changes could hurt its ad targeting (CNBC).

7. Taking on SpaceX, Amazon to invest $10 billion in satellite broadband plan, and also won FCC approval for operation in low-earth orbit (Reuters).

8. Halo Infinite multiplayer will be free-to-play, and up to 120fps suggest leaks (The Verge). Also, the Halo team on graphics criticism: ‘we do have work to do’ (Engadget)….and they know about the Craig meme!.

9. 2020 Honda E first drive review: Cute is just the beginning. Not sure I love all the screens on the dashboard. (CNET).

10. Twitter says a ‘phone spear phishing’ attack led to the huge bitcoin scam (Ars Technica).

11. NASA: Mars rover Perseverance in ‘safe mode’ after colder than expected launch, but should recover (Space).

12. Bob and Doug are coming back Sunday: NASA and SpaceX are targeting 2:42 p.m. EDT Sunday, Aug. 2 for splashdown, as the Crew Dragon should depart the ISS on Saturday evening at 7:35 p.m. EDT (NASA).

13. ELI5: “Why does it hurt when alcohol is applied on an infected wound and why does the wound heal faster that way?” (r/explainlikeimfive).

The DGiT Daily delivers a daily email that keeps you ahead of the curve for all tech news, opinions, and links to what’s going down in the planet’s most important field. You get all the context and insight you need, and all with a touch of fun. Plus! Rotating daily fun for each day of the week, like Wednesday Weirdness. Join in!

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