Hey, good morning! You look fabulous.
Welcome to your weekend! On Friday, Google made a major acquisition to boost its wearable hardware, and Apple TV+ debuted to a lukewarm reception. We’ll dig into those events, and review some news highlights from the last week like Fisker’s ‘Ocean’ EV and Netflix’s controversial variable speed feature.
What can Fitbit do to help Wear OS?Google buys Fitbit for $2.1 billion
The search and advertising giant will swallow up the wearable device company — pending approval by shareholders and regulators — making Fitbit a part of its hardware team. According to FitBit CEO James Park, “Fitbit will be able to accelerate innovation in the wearables category, scale faster and make health even more accessible.”
Google VP Sameer Samat called the deal “exciting opportunity for Wear OS,” suggesting that we’ll see Fitbit-style hardware running Google’s software in the future. What could that bring to the table for the platform formerly known as Android Wear? We have a few ideas.
It’s ‘fine.’Apple TV+ review
Apple’s first star-laden TV shows have made their debut on streaming, and Devindra Hardawar can excitedly report that they are… “fine.” The Apple TV app works smoothly, everything looks great, but despite being perfectly watchable, the first batch of original content fails to have a true standout in the bunch. Still, at $5 per month and free for a year to anyone who has recently purchased new Apple hardware, it doesn’t have to be perfect — at least not yet.
Bad Password.How did Google get Pixel 4 face unlock this wrong?
With the Pixel 4, Google went all-in on facial recognition. However, it hasn’t yet added a trigger that requires the user to have their eyes open before it unlocks the phone. Having a device that will unlock while you’re asleep or uncooperative is a more significant security risk than you might think, and as Violet Blue explains, that’s just one of the problems worth considering.
Plus an ‘apology.’Blizzcon 2019: ‘Overwatch 2,’ ‘WoW: Shadowlands’ and ‘Diablo IV’
Blizzard’s big event is taking place this weekend, and it opened the show with an attempt at an apology by president J. Allen Brack. Otherwise, new trailers confirmed sequels on the way for Overwatch and Diablo, with all-new modes and characters for players to check out. And for World of Warcraft players, its Shadowlands expansion will bring a revamp for the game’s leveling system.
And AirPods Pro support.iOS 13.2 arrives with Deep Fusion photography
The latest update to iOS 13 is here, and it adds the “computational photography” feature, Deep Fusion, which is Apple’s answer to Google and Night Sight. It takes advantage of machine learning and image stacking to render each pixel of a photo optimally. You’ll likely see the benefits of Apple’s new approach most in less-than-ideal lighting conditions, but it should help to improve all your photos. The update also adds 70-or-so new emoji, and if you have a HomePod, it’s ready to recognize voices for multiple people in the home and handle audio Handoffs with iPhones.
But wait, there’s more…
- Motorola’s foldable RAZR may have been spotted in the wild
- Amazon Echo review (2019): Low-priced, but not low-end
- Apple TV 4K is on sale for an all-time low of $90
- DJI’s palm-sized Mavic Mini can fly for up to 30 minutes
- Fisker’s affordable all-electric SUV is called ‘Ocean’
- PlayStation Vue is the canary in the cord-cutting coal mine
- Netflix defends its controversial variable playback test
- HBO Max will cost $14.99, and is a free upgrade to HBO Now subscribers
- NVIDIA’s new Shield TVs start at $149 with Dolby Vision and Atmos
- BMW’s Z4 M40i is a powerfully fun roadster
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