Apple finally acknowledged that there are issues with the MacBook keyboard, Samsung showed off how it tested the Galaxy Fold for durability, and the FTC is cracking down on robocalls. And so much more!
Apple News: Sorry ‘Bout that Keyboard!
The third-generation MacBook keyboards have been getting heavily criticized for a while now, and Apple finally said something about it.
- In a comment to The Wall Street Journal, an Apple spokesperson said they’re aware that a “small number of users” are having issues with the keyboard. They went on to say they were “sorry.” [Engadget]
- WatchOS 5.2 is out, bringing ECG functionality to Europe and Hong Kong. [MacWorld]
As Engadget points out in the linked piece, companies that focus on breakdowns and repairs (like iFixit) have found the system in the new MacBook keyboard to be fragile and a design flaw. That makes it’s something that affects all users (or probably will eventually)—not just a “small number of users.” Still, the fact that it was finally acknowledged does say something, and in typical Apple fashion, I bet we can expect to see a redesigned system in the next MacBook. It’ll fix the issue without having to admit that it’s, you know, an actual issue.
Google News: The I/O Schedule is Out
Google I/O is one of the most exciting events of the year, as it’s when we get an idea of everything Google-related that we’ll be talking about for the upcoming year. It starts on May 7th.
- Google released the I/O schedule, which highlights the opening keynote on May 7th at 10:00 AM CT. My calendar is already marked. [9to5Google]
- Not surprisingly, there’s going to be a heavy focus on Stadia, Assistant, dark mode, and Linux apps on Chrome OS. The thing that’s missing? WearOS. Because of course it is. [Android Police]
- In other news, Google is killing the Drive plugin for Microsoft Office. Expect it to be deprecated on June 26th. [Techdows]
- The long-rumored Pixel 3a has leaked again, this time in purple. And it’s really purple. [9to5Google]
- The potential Pixelbook successor, internally known as “Atlas” also leaked. A little bit, anyway. [AboutChromebooks]
Many of us expected to see the “Pixelbook 2” launched at last year’s Pixel event alongside the Slate. That has long since passed without more than a murmur of the PB2, especially from Google itself. The recent Atlas preview shows that the device looks to still be on the roadmap, which is likely a relief to many who were concerned after Google reportedly disbanded its Create division—the one that’s responsible for laptops and tablets.
So, what happens after the Atlas release? Your guess is as good as mine, but I can tell you that I hope it’s not the last Google laptop we see—I have the Pixelbook and it’s one of the best laptops I’ve ever owned.
Samsung News: Folding the Fold, Physical Buttons, and…A Fire Extinguisher?
Samsung doesn’t always get its own section in the news roundup. Today, it earned it.
- Ever wondered how many times the Galaxy Fold can be folded before it will fold no more? Apparently, it’s 200,000 times. [Android Police]
- The word on the street is that the Note 10 may ditch all physical buttons. That means no power, no volume rocker. But…why? [Android Police]
- On a different note, Samsung made a vase that’s also a fire extinguisher. You, um, you throw it at the fire. I’m still curious if this is an early April Fools’ prank. [The Verge]
Let’s talk about that Note 10 rumor for a second. First of all, it’s only worth mentioning because it’s pretty outlandish—as Android Police points out, it’s pretty speculative right now. But at the same time, it’s also Samsung, so you never know.
If it is real, however, I just want to know why. This seems like an impossibly impractical design—a solution to a problem that doesn’t exist. When Apple killed the headphone jack (and Android manufacturers followed its lead), people were highly upset (to say the least). Can you imagine the backlash when companies start taking buttons away too? There’s no good reason for it.
But about that fire extinguisher. What if you miss?
Other News: The Beginning of the End for Robocallers?
No one likes robocalls. I bet robocallers don’t even like robocalls. The FTC surely hates robocalls.
- The FTC shut down four of the biggest robocalling companies after hitting them with multimillion-dollar fines. Good on you, FTC. Doing that work. [Engadget]
- Instagram is working on video scrubbing. It’s about time. [Android Police]
- Spotify may release “Duo,” a two-person shared plan. With the solo plan at $9.99 a month and the family plan at $15.99, the Duo plan is expected to come in at…$12.50 a month. Makes sense to me. [Engadget]
Can you imagine living in a world free of robocalls? We currently live in a world where many people I know ignore more calls than they accept for this very reason—robocalls are prolific. Some people get them more than others, but regardless of how often you’re annoyed by these pointless (and potentially damaging) calls, they’re still something no one wants to deal with. Hopefully, we’ll start to see more aggressive action taken against the companies participating in this garbage.