Palm Is Trying to Make a Comeback, This Time With a Pair of Earbuds

Palm Is Trying to Make a Comeback, Again

However, it seems in its quest to make a comeback, Palm is taking a slightly more conservative approach by launching a simpler and cheaper device in its upcoming earbuds. This is a strategy we’ve seen recently with OnePlus co-founder Carl Pei’s new company Nothing, which similarly launched wireless earbuds earlier this summer as the company’s first product.

In choosing wireless earbuds, Palm can set its sights a little lower by making a somewhat simpler and less expensive product that doesn’t require Palm to worry about things like OSes or supporting specific 4G or 5G bands. And if Palm’s new earbuds are successful, Palm can take any revenue generated by sales of its earbuds to grow its device portfolio from there.

That said, I still have a couple of questions, as the Palm brand is currently owned by TCL, which makes me wonder if Palm’s new earbuds will be borrowing any tech from existing TCL earbuds. Additionally, back when the Palm Phone came out, NBA superstar Stephen Curry was listed as both an investor and an advisor to Palm, so it will be interesting to see if Curry has any input on Palm’s upcoming earbuds.

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However, the real challenge for Palm will be trying to penetrate the wireless earbud market, which is already completely saturated by multiple offerings from established brands like Apple, Samsung, Google, Sony, and others, not to mention smaller (but still influential) gadget makers like Nokia, Motorola, and more. It’s a crowded landscape, which means Palm’s earbuds will need to be really special, lest Palm risks the brand going on hiatus for another few years.

And while one of the teasers strongly suggests that Palm’s new earbuds will support built-in ANC, that alone doesn’t seem like it will be enough to make Palm’s earbuds really stand out. Regardless, with Palm’s announcement date set for October 26, we won’t have to wait too long to find out for real.

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HTC’s New VR Headset Leaked, and It’s the Weirdest-Looking One Yet

HTC Vive Flow Leaks, and It’s the Weirdest VR Headset Yet

That’s also not taking into consideration how ridiculous this thing looks. To be fair, no VR headset looks “cool,” but this headset is downright silly. Despite the leaked lifestyle shots, I’m almost positive I can guarantee that no one will wear the HTC Vive Flow to bed. And that when it comes to meditation, the Calm app is $70 a year, has a huge library of content, and is available directly on your phone. Most of what’s being presented here can be found elsewhere for less money, greater convenience, and significantly less teasing.

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It’s not that mixed reality is doomed. On the contrary—just about every tech company out there is convinced this is the future. Facebook just dropped its “smart” glasses in partnership with Ray-Ban, Apple is rumored to be working on a pair, as is Samsung, and Google and Microsoft have been out here for years carving their own niche in the mixed reality enterprise space. Somehow, Magic Leap found another $500 million in funding and is barreling ahead with another headset. Razer, Bose, and a bunch of smaller brands are also putting out their own audio sunglasses. Like it or not, virtual and augmented reality is happening. Someone someday is going to crack the winning combination of hardware, software, and use cases.

But every company in this space is facing the same problems: how to stand out from the crowd and how to convince the average person that this is better than the devices they already have. In both cases, the HTC Vive Flow’s probably the funniest-looking VR headset we’ve seen in some time. But the Vive Flow is going to need more than just a distinctive design to convince people it’s worth buying without impressive features.

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Apple’s Big MacBook Event Is Oct. 18

Apple’s Big MacBook Event Is Oct. 18

New MacBook Pros are expected to be the star of the show. Apple will reportedly take the wraps off 14- and 16-inch Pro models that will bring back the MagSafe charging connector, a built-in SD card reader, a dedicated HDMI port, and the removal of Apple’s much-maligned Touch Bar. According to Bloomberg, this would represent the first big overhaul to the MacBook Pro line in five years, and is especially important for the MacBook Pro 16 as it’s one of Apple’s few remaining systems still reliant on an Intel CPU instead of one of Apple’s in-house chips.

Those chips will also take center stage. Apple is expected to announce a new M1X chip featuring a 10-core CPU that will offer improved performance compared to the standard M1 processor available in the 13-inch MacBook Pro and MacBook Air released last year. This is critical, because Apple typically targets its larger MacBook Pros at creative professionals, and the added performance would be essential to delivering the kind of horsepower people in those fields often demand.

There’s also a chance we could see a redesigned and more powerful version of the Mac Mini featuring the M1X chip and some additional USB ports, which would provide a better middle ground between the base Mac Mini and the super expensive Mac Pro desktop.

Rumors also suggest Apple will also reveal third-gen AirPods featuring a slightly shorter stem and a new wireless charging case. It’s unclear if Apple will join Samsung, Google, and others when it comes to bringing active noise cancellation to its cheapest ‘buds—early signs point to no.

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However, with the “Unleashed” announcements less than a week away, we won’t have to wait long to find out for sure. Join us Oct. 18 for all the news from the event.

Leaked Listing Fully Reveals Google’s Pixel 6 a Week Ahead of Launch

Leaked Listing Fully Reveals Google’s Pixel 6 a Week Ahead of Launch

Both phones will also get IP68 dust and water resistance along with the use of Gorilla Glass Victus to provide added protection against drops and scratches. Without mentioning specific battery capacities, the listing also claims that the Pixel 6 will feature strong battery life that can last up to 48 hours with the Pixel’s Extreme Battery Saver mode turned on, while the new Google Tensor chip is expected to provide up to 80% better performance compared to the Pixel 5’s Snapdragon 765G chip. 

And when it comes to charging, the Pixel 6 will support wired fast charging at up to 30-watts, with Google also creating a new Pixel Stand wireless charger (available separately) that supports up to 21-watt wireless charging on the Pixel 6 or 23-watt charging on the Pixel 6 Pro.

Google is even including a new Titan M2 chip for improved on-device security, along with a whopping five years of security updates, which should be a very welcome change for anyone looking to hold on to their Pixel 6 over the course of multiple years.

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But perhaps the biggest surprise is that Carphone Warehouse’s leaked listing also shed some light on some new camera features that were previously only referenced in rumors. The listing specifies that the Pixel 6 will feature a 50-MP primary camera and a secondary ultra-wide cam (no mention of a specific resolution), while the Pixel 6 Pro will get the same primary and ultra-wide cams, along with a 48-MP telephoto cam with a 4x optical zoom (or up to a 20x hybrid zoom via Google’s Super Res Zoom feature).

As for the Pixel 6’s new camera abilities, there’s Face Unblur which is designed to help make sure photos of people’s faces look as sharp as possible, a new Motion Mode designed to preserve a sense of action when shooting sports or other fast-paced scenes, and even a new feature called Magic Eraser, which is designed to help you remove unwanted subjects that may have photobombed your pic.

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We’ll still have to wait for Google to officially confirm all these details at the Pixel 6’s official launch next week, but it really does seem like Google is putting every new trick and feature it can into the Pixel 6, which is nice because now Samsung and Apple might have some real competition in the flagship phone space.

Stayed tuned to Gizmodo for details and coverage next week.

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Samsung Teases Support for Ray Tracing on Its Next Exynos Chip

Samsung Teases Support for Ray Tracing on Its Next Exynos Chip

Unfortunately, while Samsung did not name a specific chip that will be getting ray tracing or a timetable for its release, many are predicting that this chip could be the upcoming Exynos 2200, which is expected to be featured in some versions of the Galaxy S22. North American Galaxy S phones have typically featured Qualcomm Snapdragon chips, while international variants get Exynos processors.

It’s also somewhat unclear from the post if the image is an actual screenshot from a game or if the image was simply created to better illustrate the power of ray tracing, which renders more realistic scenes by calculating and tracing the path of light as it bounces around a given environment, hence its name.

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To add even more fuel to the rumors, leaked benchmarks that appear to be from the Exynos 2200 started making the rounds this summer showing GPU performance similar to Apple’s A14 Bionic chip, which is quite promising given that Samsung still had months to tune and optimize the performance of its upcoming SoC.

That said, it’s important to keep expectations in check, because back in July, Ice Universe posted a diagram of the Exynos 2200’s chip design showing what appeared to be 384 Stream processors, which is significantly less than what you get in one of AMD’s modern desktop GPUs. Those typically have around 2,000 to 4000 Stream processors.

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With Google having created its own custom-designed chip for the Pixel 6, called Google Tensor, and Samsung partnering with AMD to build GPUs for its mobile chips, the battle for mobile silicon supremacy is clearly heating up as smartphone makers try to keep pace with and possibly outdo Apple’s powerful A-series chips.

And with Samsung and AMD poised to bring ray tracing to mobile chips for the first time, things are about to get even more interesting.

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The Pixel 6 Might Be Cheaper Than We Thought

Google Pixel 6 Rumors: Price May Be Cheaper Than iPhone 13

Osterloh didn’t provide a specific price range, so there’s some wiggle room when it comes to what people might consider expensive. The prices of recent flagship phones from Samsung, Apple, and others have dropped slightly over the past few years, with recent iPhones and Galaxy phones starting at around $800.

But if a tweet from noted leaker @heyitsyogesh is correct, the standard Pixel 6 might not be quite as expensive as some were expecting. Yogesh claims a source told him that the base Pixel 6 will start at $749, a figure that seems in line with some other leaks claiming the Pixel 6 could cost as low as 649 euros (around $749) overseas.

If true, that would be $50 less than the base iPhone 13 and would potentially position the Pixel 6 between the bottom of what’s generally considered to be flagship pricing and the top of the mid-range segment. It won’t be cheap by any means, but nowhere near as expensive as the $1,000 Galaxy Z Flip 3 or the $1,800 Z Fold 3.

But it looks like there will be a significant premium for people considering the Pixel 6 Pro. Yogesh claims the Pro model will start at $1,049. That would represent a much bigger jump up in price from the standard Pixel to its Pro or XL sibling compared to previous Pixel phones, and more expensive than Apple’s $999 iPhone 13 Pro. The Pixel 6 Pro is expected to include a bonus telephoto camera, a bigger battery, better 5G connectivity, and other extra features like UWB support, so it seems Google is really trying to make sure the Pixel 6 Pro lives up to its “Pro” moniker.

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While Google has yet to reveal an official launch date for the Pixel 6, a number of leaks and rumors suggest Google is planning to host a hardware showcase sometime in October—Oct. 19 looks like the most accurate date we’ve seen so far. With these latest pricing rumors, it seems Google is looking to be incredibly competitive with Apple and Samsung, which would be welcome news for anyone upgrading their handset this fall.

Leaked Android Update Promises Huge Upgrades for Foldable Phones

Android 12.1 Promises Huge Upgrades for Foldable Phones

Another big change for Android 12.1 is the addition of a taskbar, similar to what you might get laptop or desktop. Now technically, there’s already code to support a taskbar hidden inside Android 12, but in Android 12.1, Google has expanded upon the taskbar by adding support for quickly switching between apps, dragging and dropping apps to launch a split-screen view, and the ability for the taskbar to seamlessly transform into Android 12’s app drawer depending on the situation.

The Android 12.1 taskbar is similar to the taskbar Samsung added to One UI for the Galaxy Z Fold 3, except that instead of being displayed vertically on the left or right side of the phone’s screen, Android 12.1 positions its taskbar horizontally across the bottom. I would actually prefer that as it more closely mimics desktop taskbars in macOS, Windows, and others. Unfortunately, it seems the Android 12.1 taskbar can currently only display five apps at a time, which seems unusually limited, so here’s hoping Google bumps up that number before Android 12.1’s official release.

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When it comes to multitasking, it seems Google is borrowing another page from Samsung’s playbook by adding support for App Pairs, allowing you to launch two apps in split-screen with a single tap. But Google is differentiating from Samsung with its split-screen UI, which in Android 12.1 now features a more pronounced divider pane and potentially the ability to launch an app into split-screen view directly from your notification panel, though XDA says that last feature is still “being considered” and may not make the final release.

It seems Google is also looking to building upon new features in Android 12 in Android 12.1 with the addition of new boot animations, wider support for dynamic colors and theming, and a press and hold option that lets you customize how long you need to hold your phone’s power button before it summons the Google Assistant.

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With Android 12.1, Google may be aiming to provide better support for foldable phones, particularly large-screen foldables that aren’t made by Samsung. And while foldable phones are still a somewhat niche category of devices, without proper software support, fancy new hardware can only go so far, so it’s really encouraging to see Google add these new features in Android 12.1 instead of waiting until Android 13’s official release next year.

Samsung Showed Off an OLED Display That Stretches Like Rubber

Samsung Showed Off an OLED Display That Stretches Like Rubber

For starters, improving the flexibility of an OLED screen, and its ability to ‘snap back’ and recover from being folded or bent, will help minimize one of the big downsides of the current crop of folding smartphones: a visible crease that over time gets more pronounced. Fold a piece of paper and it’s permanently damaged, resulting in a visible crease that will never go away. Fold a thin sheet of rubber and it will look perfectly fine with no visible signs of damage after it’s unfolded.

A flexible screen that can subtly bulge also opens up new opportunities for how we interact with a touchscreen. Trying to use on-screen touch controls to play a video game is problematic because there’s no tactile feedback like there is with a controller in hand. You have to divide your focus between keeping an eye on the action in the game, and ensuring your fingers are properly positioned over on-screen buttons. But if those buttons were slightly raised so that your fingers could feel and distinguish them, gaming on a touchscreen device would suddenly be much different.

There’s also the potential of a stretchable OLED screen being used as a tool for the visually impaired, letting Braille letters instantly appear on screen, or giving texture and depth to images so they could be interpreted through touch. Of course, these applications depend on several factors, including to what degree an OLED can be stretched (could tiny bumps actually rise high enough to be felt?) as well as the development of under-display actuators to actually warp and stretch the screen with more fidelity and detail than what Samsung recently demonstrated.

The Best New Emoji Maybe Ever Just Got Approved (Along With 36 Others)

Unicode 14 Adds 37 New Emoji Including the Melting Face

However, the most popular new emojis will most likely be the new heart hands emoji (this one has been long overdue), the new troll emoji (finally, an icon to represent the most popular persona on the internet), or possibly the new hand with index finger and thumb crossed emoji, which apparently sees a lot of use among K-pop fans (don’t ask me, I’m not a BTS stan).

And even though it doesn’t immediately appear contentious, the new identification card emoji is likely to spark some vitriol given recent moves by New York and other states as they begin implementing vaccine passports in their communities.

New smiley faces in Unicode 14.0

Image: Emojipedia

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Aside from the 37 new emoji which includes seven new smiley faces of various types, Unicode 14.0 is also adding 75 new skin tone variations, which brings the total number of new emoji to 112.

Unfortunately, while the latest batch of new emoji was officially approved this week, it may be another few months until they actually land on your phone or laptop, as there tends to be a bit of lag time between when new emoji get announced and when companies like Apple, Samsung, Microsoft, and others create customized versions of the new emoji for their devices/platforms.

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So until then, here’s a salute to all the people who are itching to add some hidden meanings to all these new emojis, because I don’t think that new beans emoji is ever going to be used unironically.

This Obscene Motorhome Includes a Slide Out Garage for a $3 Million Bugatti Chiron

Obscene Motorhome Includes a Garage for a $3 Million Bugatti

The built-in garage isn’t the only budget-breaking feature on the Performance S. Inside the RV, travelers will find a well-appointed master suite with a raised island bed and a full-sized bathroom with separate showering facilities. (All facilitated with a slide-out extension on one side of the vehicle.) When parked, the Performance S draws power from a battery bank which can be recharged using a 2,000-watt solar array on the roof, or a gas generator. Other optional upgrades include an espresso machine that retracts into the kitchen counter, a wine cabinet, and even a dedicated office workstation so travelers can prolong their adventures.

But why stop there? If the thought of your RV is generating absurd levels of pollution with the added weight of a 4,000+ pound vehicle onboard doesn’t bother you, you’re probably also okay with lots of noise pollution too. Volkner will also upgrade the Performance S with a $350,000+ Burmester sound system that’s completely customized for the unique size and shape of the RV’s cabin. Will anyone actually buy the Performance S with every one of these options? It’s hard to imagine anyone with enough money to spend over $7 million on a motorhome has any actual interest in spending time in a motorhome over an upscale hotel, but clearly, there’s still a market for these monstrosities given Volkner rolls out new models year after year.