Ex-Apple Employee Claims Company Knew About His ‘Misogynistic’ Writings and Hired Him Anyway

Illustration for article titled Ex-Apple Employee Claims Company Knew About His 'Misogynistic' Writings and Hired Him Anyway

Photo: Justin Sullivan (Getty Images)

Former Apple employee Antonio García Martínez has refuted the company’s portrayal of his high-profile ouster this week and claims Apple knew about his past writings demeaning women and people of color, which came under fire from employees this week, before it made a job offer.

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“Apple was well aware of my writing before hiring me. My references were questioned extensively about my bestselling book and my real professional persona (rather than literary one),” he wrote in a Twitter thread Friday. “I did not ‘part ways’ with Apple. I was fired by Apple in a snap decision,”

“Apple has issued a statement that clearly implies there was some negative behavior by me during my time at Apple. That is defamatory and categorically false,” Martínez continued. He argued that Apple “actively recruited” him for the role on its ads team, even roping in one of his former colleagues to “convince” him to take the job.

On Wednesday, the Verge reported that Apple employees circulated a petition objecting to his hiring and asking for an investigation. At issue is Martínez’s autobiography Chaos Monkeys, which chronicles his journey from Wall Street to Silicon Valley. The petition, which you can read in full here, cites several “overtly racist and sexist remarks” from his writing, such as when he refers to Bay Area women as “soft and weak, cosseted and naive despite their claims of worldliness, and generally full of shit.”

In another damning passage, the former Facebook product manager writes: “There were few women one would call conventionally attractive at Facebook. The few there were rarely if ever dressed for work with their femininity on display in the form of dresses and heels.”

Apple employees argued that Martínez’s “misogynistic statements” didn’t align with Apple’s stated values concerning diversity and inclusion. They also called for Apple to explain how its recruitment team either missed or ignored his published views before offering him the position.

Hours after the Verge’s report, Apple told Bloomberg that it cut ties with Martínez.

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“At Apple, we have always strived to create an inclusive, welcoming workplace where everyone is respected and accepted,” an Apple spokesperson told the outlet. “Behavior that demeans or discriminates against people for who they are has no place here.”

Apple declined to comment on details of his departure and has not confirmed what job title Martínez held, but sources say he was hired as a product engineer on Apple’s advertising platform team, according to Bloomberg. Apple did not immediately respond to Gizmodo’s request for comment, but we’ll update this blog once they do.

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The iPhone maker and other tech giants have repeatedly come under scrutiny for their lack of workplace diversity. Apple’s latest diversity statistics show that 66% of its employees are male and 47% are white despite notable increases in its number of women, Hispanic, Latino, and Black workers in recent years.

Scientists Want a Serious Investigation Into the Origins of the Coronavirus

British artist Luke Jerram looking at his glass sculpture of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, titled “coronavirus COVID-19,” in a photo taken on March 17, 2020.

British artist Luke Jerram looking at his glass sculpture of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, titled “coronavirus COVID-19,” in a photo taken on March 17, 2020.
Photo: Adrian Dennis/AFP (Getty Images)

Scientists in several countries are calling for a serious investigation into the beginnings of SARS-CoV-2, the novel coronavirus that gave rise to the covid-19 pandemic. In an open letter released Thursday, the group says that there are still too many unanswered questions about how the pandemic started and that the so-called “lab-leak” theory remains plausible, as does the natural origin theory.

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In early February, the World Health Organization unveiled the preliminary results from their investigation into the start of the pandemic back in December 2019, which involved researchers traveling to some of the first known areas of transmission in Wuhan, China. The team did not rule out the possibility that the virus reached the human population through a release from a nearby virology lab, but they called it ‘extremely unlikely.’ The most likely explanation, they concluded, was that the virus had jumped from animals (probably bats) to humans, possibly through an intermediate host like pangolins.

Even at the time, the WHO’s conclusions were not likely to be universally embraced. Some polls suggest that a sizable number of people continue to believe that the virus was deliberately created as a bioweapon and released into the wild. Yet other people, including the former head of the CDC—Robert Redfield—instead posit that the virus may have simply leaked from a lab without malicious intent. In this theory, the leaked virus may have been manipulated in the lab beforehand, but it could have also just come in from the wild and then reached people without being changed in any way.

Many scientists have criticized the more fantastical versions of these theories, providing evidence that there’s nothing inherently suspicious about the genetics of SARS-CoV-2 that would suggest it was created as a bioweapon. They also point out that viruses routinely jump from one species to another, so it’s completely plausible that the pandemic could have started as one of these zoonotic events.

The authors of this new letter, published in Science, don’t dispute these points. But they say it’s too early to close the door on the lab leak theory, not without more evidence. “Theories of accidental release from a lab and zoonotic spillover both remain viable,” the authors wrote.

Their main point is that not enough work has been done to truly call the lab leak theory extremely unlikely. As evidence, they cite WHO Director-General Tedros Ghebreyesus himself. In his closing remarks following the final release of the WHO team’s findings in late March, Ghebreyesus said that their investigation into the possibility of a lab accident wasn’t extensive enough and that “further data and studies will be needed to reach more robust conclusions”—studies that he would be willing to deploy more resources toward.

The enduring suspicion of a lab leak being the impetus for the pandemic isn’t entirely about the science either, but the politics of the country where it emerged. China is notorious for censoring unflattering information about the government, often to the point of silencing their own citizens. Irrespective of its true origins, China did try to limit information about the pandemic early on, including from doctors and scientists who tried to warn the world about the potential threat of covid-19. And the country also imposed restrictions on the WHO investigators sent into Wuhan.

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The authors hail from universities and research institutions in the US, UK, and Switzerland, including Harvard, MIT, and the University of Cambridge. And they say that only a truly impartial investigation will be able to clear the air over how covid-19 came to be. Until that’s possible, neither theory about the virus should be dismissed out of hand.

“We must take hypotheses about both natural and laboratory spillovers seriously until we have sufficient data,” they wrote. “A proper investigation should be transparent, objective, data-driven, inclusive of broad expertise, subject to independent oversight, and responsibly managed to minimize the impact of conflicts of interest.”

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Here’s What to Expect From Google I/O

Illustration for article titled Here's What to Expect From Google I/O

Photo: Justin Sullivan (Getty Images)

Google canceled last year’s annual Google I/O developers conference due to the pandemic, but this year, it’s back—virtually.

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The event kicks off Tuesday, May 18 at 1 p.m. ET/10 a.m. PT with a keynote speech from Google CEO Sundar Pichai. And while we don’t know exactly what Google has in store this year, we’re hoping to hear more about Android 12, Google Assistant, and Google’s vision for the smart home.

Android 12’s New Look

Android 12's new colorization features are pretty to look at, even in theory.

Android 12’s new colorization features are pretty to look at, even in theory.
Screenshot: XDA Developers

It’s been a while since we’ve had a major shakeup of Android’s UI, but three developer previews and a plethora of leaks suggest that Android 12 is getting a big overhaul. Leaked screenshots show a new colorized interface, matching widgets, and menu schematics based on the dominant coloring of your chosen wallpaper. There’s also a reprised Quick Settings panel, with larger buttons and more contextual information. Even the Assistant shows off a little color once summoned.

XDA Developers has been uncovering some of the more significant interface changes we might see finalized in Android 12. Expect the always-on display and lock screen to be a part of the revamp, along with other subtle UI effects like screen transitions and typography.

Other improvements in Android 12 will likely center around audio and video playback and under-the-hood privacy and security changes. Reports point to specific features, like Android automatically shelving unused apps and offering better support for scrolling screenshots, as well as updated notification permissions.

There’s also a rumored gaming dashboard coming, though it’s not clear if it’d be exclusive to Pixel devices. The gaming mode would effectively add proper controls and helpful information like a frames-per-second counter. It could be akin to the gaming launcher that OnePlus bundles with its smartphones, which blocks out notifications and other interruptions so you can focus on the game.

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Finally, Some Traction for Wear OS

Wear OS takes a lot of (well-deserved) heat for falling behind other smartwatch platforms, but we may finally see some updates. There are two sessions on the I/O schedule to go over what’s new and how to develop Tiles for Wear OS. Google’s even sending out surveys, asking for guidance on what to do next.

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And just when you thought that the Pixel Watch rumor was dead in the water, it resurfaces with a vengeance. YouTuber Jon Prosser recently showed off a convincing render of a circular watch that looks exactly like what we’ve all envisioned a Pixel Watch would look like.

This is also the first big event since Google’s acquisition of Fitbit was a done deal. We likely won’t see anything new on the Fitbit front (after all, they just announced the Fitbit Luxe last month), but maybe we’ll see closer integration between your Fitbit and Google accounts.

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The last bit of Wear OS rumbling is from Korean news outlet MT, which points to a supposed Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 running Wear OS instead of Samsung’s Tizen OS. Speaking as a person wearing a Samsung Galaxy Watch Active because there was no comfortable Wear OS equivalent, having this come true could be all Wear OS needs to emerge from its current rut.

Don’t Bet on the Pixel 6

With the event being virtual and the lack of live audience to “ooh” and “ahh” over the announcements, it’s unlikely Google will show even an outlined render of the Pixel 6 during the developer keynote—though it’s teased smartphones this way at past developer conferences. There’s still so much we need to learn about Whitechapel, Google’s turn at making a mobile processor. And it would be such a major play against Apple’s silicon parade that it would warrant a separate event along with the official launch of a new flagship device.

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Pixel-Perfect Buds

Illustration for article titled Here's What to Expect From Google I/O

Screenshot: Twitter / Google

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It’s no guarantee that they’ll be introduced during the Google I/O keynote, but the Pixel Buds A were already inadvertently leaked on Twitter. They’re a cheaper alternative to the regular Pixel Buds, which cost $180. According to the leak, they promise to deliver quality sound and one-tap pairing with Google Fast Pair.

Don’t count too hard on Google revealing the budget-inclined Pixel 5a, either. With the global chip shortage and delays in nearly every nook and cranny of tech manufacturing, there’s only a slim chance the Pixel 5a is ready to launch this soon. At least we know it’s coming, as Google refuted reports it’d canceled the model, confirming instead it would be available later this year in the U.S. and Japan.

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The Google Assistant in Your House

Second-gen Nest Hubs are already available with new Assistant features. But maybe we’ll hear of a few more at the keynote.

Second-gen Nest Hubs are already available with new Assistant features. But maybe we’ll hear of a few more at the keynote.
Photo: Andrew Liszewski / Gizmodo

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Google’s vision for the smart home will undoubtedly see some air time during the opening keynote. There’s even a session devoted to what’s new in Google Assistant the following day. According to the description, we can expect to hear a state of the union of sorts for the Assistant, plus new product announcements, feature updates, and tooling changes. We might even potentially hear about BERT and how Google uses it to make the Assistant understand us when we’re mouthing off gibberish, though that’s the kind of tech demo that plays during the opening keynote.

There’s a session later on that same day about what’s new in the smart home, with a mention of new product announcements and a showcase of Assistant experiences built by the developer community. Anything new introduced during these two sessions will likely be software updates or abilities made available to the Assistant since there’s already a new batch of Nest Hub smart speakers and displays.

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There is also some expectation that Google will announce new products for its home security system, including better security cameras and a second-gen security system. Last year, Google discontinued the Nest Secure DIY security kit, then revealed to 9to5Google that it was planning a “new lineup for security cameras for 2021.” It’s also plausible it will partner up with security veterans ADT, considering the company’s CEO told CNBC it would be rolling out “Google products in the third quarter of 2021.”

Android in Your TV

The Chromecast with Google TV will certainly get a mention, but we’re not expecting too much new stuff about Google’s TV platform.

The Chromecast with Google TV will certainly get a mention, but we’re not expecting too much new stuff about Google’s TV platform.
Photo: Sam Rutherford/Gizmodo

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The Chromecast with Google TV came storming in last holiday season to set the standard for Google TV devices going forward. There are no specific Google TV sessions on the calendar. However, there is already a developer preview available for Android 12 for TVs, and Google I/O is precisely the venue to walk developers through that sort of thing. Any major Google TV news will likely be more subtle through code reveals and other features announced for Android 12.

Chromebooks in All Forms

There’s no way we can forget Chromebooks, especially not after the platform’s phenomenal growth through the pandemic. Google offers a session on what’s new in Chrome OS the day after the keynote. The session will cover updates to Chrome OS’s Linux environment and new APIs. Hopefully, we’ll also learn how many people have adopted Android apps on Chromebook laptops since they debuted nearly three years ago.

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Whatever Google plans to reveal, join us for our coverage of the virtual I/O 2021 developers conference beginning May 18 at 10 am PT/1 pm ET.

A Toaster Company Is Releasing an Android Phone

Balmuda is known for its modern take on kitchen gadgets overseas. Now it’s trying its hand at Android phones.

Balmuda is known for its modern take on kitchen gadgets overseas. Now it’s trying its hand at Android phones.
Image: Balmuda

If a company can figure out how to perfectly toast a slice of bread, it can surely bring something to the table with regards to Android smartphone design. And anyway, some people think Android phones are nothing but chunks of carbs, so there’s clearly a market out there!

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Balmuda is a Japanese company that developed a humidifying toaster oven about six years ago. It became infamous for its toasters that produce fluffy yet perfectly browned slices of bread. I can taste the Nutella now, melting through the cracks of warm, soft brioche. I shouldn’t have written this article before lunch. My stomach actually growled as I typed this sentence.

Balmuda only recently brought its bread-toasting magic gadget to the U.S. But after becoming known in Japan for its modernized take on kitchen gadgets, it started producing other appliances, like fans, lanterns, a vacuum cleaner, and even a speaker.

Balmuda’s next foray will be designing a smartphone. It’s enlisted the help of industry-veterans, Kyocera, to manufacture the 5G device. The smartphone will be designed for use specifically on Softbank’s network in Japan, and there will be a SIM-free version available to purchase. The company’s CEO, Gen Terao, told the Next Web the phone would not merely be another appliance and would offer proprietary apps to make it a “great everyday-use” smartphone.

There are no details about where or when the Balmuda smartphone will appear. Android devices such as these don’t typically get a ton of traction because they’re niche and localized. Balmuda is likely testing the waters to see how it would do, lending its name to devices that could sell at scale. Apple’s iPhone currently dominates Japan, with 66% of users on iOS. The Balmuda phone will have to compete with the rest of the Android manufacturers vying for a slice of that remaining market share.

Here’s How to KoЯnify Your Website

Illustration for article titled Here's How to KoЯnify Your Website

Photo: Chung Sung-Jun (Getty Images)

AAЯЯЯЯЯЯEEEEEE YOOOOUUUU ЯEEEEAAADDDDYYYYY……. to KoЯnify your website?

The golden age of KoЯn came to an end right around the time that everyone suddenly realized they need a website. But history is cyclical, and KoЯn is cool again while the website is dead. After a decade of people teaching themselves HTML or paying through the nose to put up an overdesigned web page touting their personal history or business, most people can get by with a LinkedIn and an Insta these days.

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But the corpse of the personal website lives on in the automated hosting fees that many people just forgot about. Maybe you’re one of those people. Maybe you see that annual hosting charge come down every year and think that you’ll do something with that outdated destination someday. Well, I’ve got a suggestion for you.

Developer David Hallberg Jönsson recently uploaded a little script that’ll KoЯnify your website for you. That is to say, every instance of the letter R will automatically flip to a reversed letter R because, in Jönsson’s summation, “Я is always cooler than R!”

Here are Jönsson’s instructions for how to make your website cool:

To add the KoЯnify script to your website, include this script tag in your HTML:

<script src=”https://cdn.jsdelivr.net/gh/dvdhllbrg/kornify/kornify.js”></script>

Then you can KoЯnify at will with the following Javascript code:

kornify();

For example, to add a KoЯnify button you can do:

<button onclick=”kornify();”>KoЯnify me!</button>

That’s it, folks. We’re on the cusp of the weekend, and weekends are for completing stupid projects. Go forth and KoЯnify the web.

Pinterest Is Doing Livestreaming Now Too

Illustration for article titled Pinterest Is Doing Livestreaming Now Too

Photo: Spencer Platt (Getty Images)

Image-sharing social network Pinterest is diving into the live events space, TechCrunch first reported on Friday.

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Probably better known to most internet denizens more as an ad-filled SEO landing page for random images than its social functions, Pinterest has been trying to keep up with its titanic competitors with its own programs to financially incentivize creators. According to TechCrunch, it’s planning on running a three-day live event from May 24 to May 26 as the first major test of a built-in livestreaming function in its iOS and Android apps, complete with a comments stream and shopping plugin.

TechCrunch wrote that Pinterest streams will support up to three “guests” and no limit on viewers beyond, one supposes, whatever the company’s infrastructure can handle. The site wrote that Pinterest has enlisted 21 creators to contribute to the event, including celebrity hairdresser Jonathan Van Ness and fashion designer Rebecca Minkoff, for a number of commerce-focused segments not that different from what one might find on Instagram or YouTube:

Jonathan Van Ness‘ session will discuss morning rituals and self-care routines. Fashion designer Rebecca Minkoff will teach Pinterest users how to style their summer wardrobe. Others featured during the event include food creators GrossyPelosi and Peter Som, who will showcase favorite recipes; Women’s Health magazine will talk about using vision boards to achieve your goals; Jennifer Alba will show how to communicate the Zodiac through sign language; and Hannah Bronfman will offer ideas for creating an at-home spa night.

As of right now, TechCrunch reported, Pinterest hasn’t discussed its long-term plans for streaming, nor has it announced any of the other kind of monetization features (donations, tickets, subscriptions, brand partnerships) that makes its larger competitors lucrative for people with large followings. But there’s something to be said for the possibility for Pinterest creators to be a big fish in a small pond.

The company has also rolled out a “Creator Code” that asks personalities on the site to behave significantly better than the standards on its larger brethren like YouTube, aiming to cultivate an “inclusive and compassionate” atmosphere (though it’s had its own issues keeping anti-vaxxers and child sex abuse material off the site). It put together a $500,000 fund to pay out to a small pool of creators throughout 2021, a number that admittedly pales in comparison to that offered by companies like Snapchat and TikTok.

As Engadget noted, this isn’t the first time Pinterest has experimented with livestreaming—it tested a feature called Class Communities last year, although that relied on Zoom to power the video aspect. 

You Can Pet a Virtual Cat and Feel Its Simulated Fur Using This Elaborate VR Controller

For some pet owners, being away from their furry companions for an extended period can be heartbreaking. Visiting a beloved pet on a video call just isn’t the same, so researchers at National Taiwan University developed a VR controller that allows the user to feel simulated fur while petting a virtual animal.

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Created at the university’s Interactive Graphics (and Multimedia) Laboratory, in collaboration with Taiwan’s National Chengchi University, “HairTouch” was presented at the 2021 Computer-Human Interaction conference this week, and it’s another attempt to bridge the real world and virtual reality to make simulated experiences feel more authentic by engaging more than just a user’s sense of sight and sound. A VR controller, the motions of which can be tracked by a virtual reality headset so the movements of a user’s hands are mirrored in the simulation, was augmented with an elaborate contraption that uses a couple of tufts of fake fur that a finger can feel.

The HairTouch controller not only presents the fake fur when a user touches a furry animal in VR, but it’s also capable of simulating the feeling of different types of fur, and other surfaces, by manipulating those hairs as they extend and contract. By controlling the length of hairs, the fake fur can be made to feel softer and more pliable when it’s fully extended, or stiffer and more coarse when only a small amount of the fibers are sticking up.

To accurately simulate a pet, whose fur coat doesn’t stick straight up like the fibers on a paint brush do, the fake fur on the HairTouch controller can also be bent from side to side, depending on the user’s hand and finger movements in the simulation, and the orientation of the virtual animal. Petting your dog from 3,000 miles away doesn’t seem like the best use of hundreds of dollars worth of VR gear (unless you’re a really devoted dog owner), but the controller can be used to simulate the feel of other textures, too, including fabrics, so the research could also be a welcome upgrade to virtual shopping—a promised use of the technology that hasn’t really moved past the concept stage.

Don’t expect to see the HairTouch available as an official Oculus accessory anytime soon (or even ever), as it’s currently just a research project and the prototype isn’t quite as sleek as the VR hardware available to consumers now. But it’s a clever idea that could find its way into other hardware, and other applications, helping virtual reality blur the lines with reality.

Samsung’s Galaxy Book Pro 360 Is the 2-in-1 Laptop You Need

Illustration for article titled Samsung's Galaxy Book Pro 360 Is the 2-in-1 Laptop You Need

Photo: Sam Rutherford/Gizmodo

For those of us who need to get work done on the go, there’s always one dilemma when it comes to choosing your mobile machine: Do you skimp on screen size and go with a lighter 13-inch laptop, or do you risk putting your back or shoulders in jeopardy by opting for a larger 15-inch system? And for those who value flexibility, do you dare tack on even more added weight with a 2-in-1?

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It’s a hard choice, and one that Samsung is looking to eliminate with the new Galaxy Book Pro 360. The new 2-in-1 combines a deliciously thin design and a gorgeous AMOLED display with excellent battery life and solid performance, putting everything you need in a single machine. 

The Epitome of Sleekness

Devices get thinner all the time, but the Galaxy Book Pro 360’s dimensions still seem impossibly sleek. Measuring 14 x 9 x 0.46 inches and weighing just three pounds, the 15-inch Galaxy Book Pro 360 is significantly thinner and lighter than an XPS 15 (13.57 x 9.1 x 0.71). And the XPS 15 is a standard clamshell, while the Galaxy Book Pro 360 is a 2-in-1 with a rotating hinge.

But it gets even better when you remember that the 15-inch Galaxy Book Pro 360 is actually the biggest and heaviest model in the new Galaxy Book Pro lineup, with the 13-inch Galaxy Book Pro 360 weighing just 2.3 pounds, and the clamshell 13-inch standard Galaxy Book Pro tipping the scales at a sprightly 1.9 pounds. All told, the lightness of Samsung’s Galaxy Book Pros means you can upgrade to a bigger system without breaking your back, which is a win for anyone who has ever wanted more screen to work or play with while traveling.

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The entire 15-inch Galaxy Book Pro 360 is thinner than the deck of an XPS 15. That’s seriously slim.
Photo: Sam Rutherford/Gizmodo

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Additionally, despite being extremely thin, the Galaxy Book Pro 360 still offers great build quality, with a sturdy anodized aluminum chassis that only features a little bit of flexing in the middle keyboard, which given its dimensions, seems pretty reasonable. And while you could nitpick the Galaxy Book Pro 360 for having a slightly enlarged chin, that feels like an incredibly minor complaint.

Technicolor Dream Screen

Next, we move onto the Galaxy Book Pro 360’s display, which is where Samsung really flexes on the competition. Sporting a gorgeous 1920 x 1080 Super AMOLED panel, the Galaxy Book Pro line is one of the only laptop families that features an OLED screen as standard, while still remaining relatively affordable. Colors are deep and vivid, and with brightness being a strength of OLED displays, Samsung’s Galaxy Book Pro laptops are equally at home indoors as they are outdoors, even in bright sunlight.

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Photo: Sam Rutherford/Gizmodo

This display is so good, it makes you want to find new things to view just to see how pretty they look. For more color-sensitive situations like editing photos or simply shopping online, Samsung provides multiple color profiles to make sure colors are accurate and not overly saturated. My only small gripe with the 15-inch Galaxy Book Pro 360 is that I wish Samsung had an optional 4K OLED panel, because with a lower overall pixel density compared to its 13-inch siblings, a little extra sharpness would go a long way.

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More Than Enough Power to Get Work Done

Both the 13-inch and 15-inch models feature Intel Core i7-1165G7 CPUs and Intel Iris Xe graphics as standard, so the Galaxy Book Pro 360’s performance is pretty much as good as you can get without tacking on a discrete GPU. As expected, in Geekbench 5 our 15-inch Galaxy Book Pro 360 review unit pumped out similar numbers as other premium notebooks like the Razer Book 13, though systems with access to AMD CPUs like the Surface Laptop 4 do perform better when it comes to rendering videos. In Handbrake, our Galaxy Book Pro took 12 minutes and 29 seconds to convert a 4K movie to 1080p, compared to just under 9 minutes for the Surface Laptop 4.

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Photo: Sam Rutherford/Gizmodo

And even without a discrete GPU, the Galaxy Book Pro 360’s Iris Xe graphics is still good enough to play less demanding games like League of Legends or Overwatch, though you might have to play with settings depending on the specific title.

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Keyboard, Ports, and Stylus Support

For such a thin system, Samsung still provides a comfortable typing experience. The Galaxy Book Pro 360 balances out a relatively shallow 1mm of key travel with a crisp keystroke and a good bounce when you bottom out. Meanwhile, the Galaxy Book Pro 360’s touchpad is absolutely massive, with Samsung still finding room to include a numpad on the right on 15-inch models, which I think is a nice inclusion considering Samsung’s focus on mobile productivity. And in the very top right, there’s also a power button with a built-in fingerprint sensor that works with Windows Hello.

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Port selection is also sufficient, with Samsung including one Thunderbolt 4 port along with two additional USB-C ports, a headphone jack, and a microSD card reader. With this system only featuring USB-C ports, I kind of wish Samsung had tossed in a USB-C to USB-A for help connecting legacy accessories, but you can’t get everything I guess. On the flip side, even though there’s no place to store a stylus in a system this thin, Samsung does include an S-Pen in the box.

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A More Seamless Galaxy Experience

It’s easy to overlook this part, but Samsung has put a lot of work into a number of pre-installed apps designed to make other Galaxy devices play nice with the Galaxy Book Pro family. There’s Quick Share to help you share files between the laptop and your Galaxy phone a cinch, while Samsung’s Second Screen feature lets you turn a Galaxy tablet into a portable extended display. And of course there are all the S-Pen apps to help you quickly sketch or jot notes before syncing your scribbles across all your Galaxy devices.

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Photo: Sam Rutherford/Gizmodo

Samsung even created a new version of its Smart Switch app, so you can transfer all of your existing files and Windows Store apps from your previous system to the Galaxy Book Pro 360 with ease. (Though strangely, it seems you can’t send over traditional standalone programs that you’ve installed manually.)

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Look, it’s still not quite the experience you get from Apple’s family of devices, but it’s a big improvement compared to your typical Windows 10 fare, and for people who already own other Galaxy devices, these apps are something you’ll definitely appreciate. Annoying, there’s also a fair bit of bloatware pre-installed on here too, like apps for Amazon and Facebook Messenger, which detracts a bit from the notebook’s normal luxury vibe.

A Truly Awful Webcam

The one is a real head-scratcher, because it’s not like Samsung doesn’t already have extensive experience equipping and tuning cameras on mobile devices. But there’s no getting around it: The Galaxy Book Pro 360’s webcam is bad, or barely passable at best if you’re the kind of person who doesn’t care about showing their face on video calls.

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Not only is the webcam’s 1280 x 720 resolution just ok, it captures content that looks grainier, blurrier, and just lower quality than what you get from an XPS 15. There aren’t really any excuses to have a webcam this bad on a premium laptop, and what makes things even worse is that aside from the webcam, the Galaxy Book Pro 360 doesn’t really suffer from any other major demerits, which makes the webcam feel like even more of an albatross.

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Impressive Battery Life

Posting a time of 14 hours and 46 minutes on our video rundown test, the 15-inch Galaxy Book Pro 360 churned out one of the best battery life marks we’ve seen in years, easily beating out the XPS 15 (8:28), the Surface Laptop 4 (12:21), and others. Now it’s important to note that part of the Galaxy Book Pro 360’s longevity is due in large part to its OLED display, but even when playing games untethered, I was still impressed by its overall runtime.

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One other nice bonus is that because the Galaxy Book Pro 360 supports charging over USB-C, you can also use Samsung’s 65-watt power brick to power up your other USB-C devices, which is a handy bonus when trying to pack light.

Which Laptop Should You Buy?

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Photo: Sam Rutherford/Gizmodo

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If you already have a couple Galaxy devices and you’re looking for a work machine to round out your kit, the Galaxy Book Pro 360 has to be at the top of your list. Not only does its OLED screen ensure you get the same jaw-droppingly good viewing experience across all of your devices, Samsung has delivered some honest to goodness synergy to help everything play nice together.

But even if you haven’t dipped your toes into Samsung’s ecosystem before, there’s still a lot to like. Between its super sleek design, best-in-class battery life, and the flexibility you get from its 2-in-1 design, the Galaxy Book Pro 360 is more than ready to handle traditional productivity tasks with aplomb. And when compared to other top competitors like Dell’s XPS 15, the Galaxy Book Pro 360 is even more portable and arguably better looking. With the Galaxy Book Pro 360, Samsung has taken the pursuit of lightness to greater heights.

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The Best Apps For Editing Video on the iPad Pro

Illustration for article titled The Best Apps For Editing Video on the iPad Pro

Image: Apple

The new 12.9-inch iPad Pro is being positioned as a professional-level computing device, with features like the M1 chip, the super-bright Liquid Retina XDR display and the P3 wide color gamut likely to make the tablet an appealing option for movie makers. But with no Final Cut Pro for iPad available (yet), what’s the best video editing app for the iPad Pro? Here are a few alternatives.

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1. Adobe Premiere Rush

Illustration for article titled The Best Apps For Editing Video on the iPad Pro

Screenshot: Adobe Premiere Rush

Adobe Premiere Rush (free or from $5 a month) is as polished and intuitive as you’d expect an Adobe app to be. It does a smart job of distilling the bigger Premiere Pro application to its most essential parts and transplanting them to your iPad, even if there are some compromises in terms of precision editing and customization controls along the way.

The simple drag-and-drop interface makes moving videos, photos and audio into position very easy, and clips can be quickly trimmed, cropped, and panned as required. Most of the titles, graphics, transitions and audio effects require a monthly subscription, but you can try the app out for free to see if it suits you before parting with any money.


2. LumaFusion

Illustration for article titled The Best Apps For Editing Video on the iPad Pro

Screenshot: LumaFusion

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LumaFusion ($30) costs a significant amount up front, with the option of more purchases to add on top of that, but it’s perhaps the best app for getting a desktop-like video-editing interface on your iPad. You can stack up a maximum of 12 audio and video tracks, access advanced titles and transitions, and get your footage looking exactly the way you want.

From aspect ratios to frame rates, you get full control over every aspect of your projects. Throw in support for fast- and slow-motion sequencing, external displays, and 4K resolutions, and this has just about everything power users are going to need. There’s also a quick start interface to help beginners get to grips with the software.

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3. iMovie

Illustration for article titled The Best Apps For Editing Video on the iPad Pro

Screenshot: iMovie

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iMovie (free) clearly isn’t going to compete with the most powerful video-editing apps on this list, but it has enough going for it to keep casual movie-makers happy. If you want to quickly throw together some pictures and video clips and get a finished product as quickly as possible, the more straightforward interface can actually be an advantage.

Basic support for cutting and combining clips is included, and you can drop in titles and background music as well as a variety of filters and effects—you just don’t get a whole lot of choice about what can be added and how it’s customized. As iMovie is available for free, it’s certainly worth starting here first to see if it has all of the functionality you need.

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4. Quik

Illustration for article titled The Best Apps For Editing Video on the iPad Pro

Screenshot: Quik

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Quik (free or from $5 a month) is developed by GoPro, and as the name suggests, the emphasis is on getting something uploaded and shared quickly using an interface that mostly sticks to the basics. It’s the perfect video editor if you’re looking to add some flair and a professional touch to your footage without actually having to do much work.

The app can put together an automatic pick of cuts and music if you tell it which photos and videos you want to include, or you can take a more hands-on approach and pick elements like filters and audio yourself. There aren’t many advanced features here, but you can speed up and slow down segments of your footage to create a variety of effects.

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5. Filmmaker Pro

Illustration for article titled The Best Apps For Editing Video on the iPad Pro

Screenshot: Filmmaker Pro

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Filmmaker Pro (free or from $7 a month) goes all the way from the basics like scene-trimming to more advanced features like chroma key support (layering videos on top of each other using techniques like green screen). If you want something that is easy to get started with but that can grow as your requirements do, then this might be the app for you.

You’ve got dozens of transitions and filters to pick from for enhancing your movie projects, and there’s also support for picture-in-picture effects and all kinds of video-grading adjustments too. It’s one of the best video-editing apps there is in terms of how many features you get, and they’re all cleverly optimized to be used on a touchscreen interface.

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6. KineMaster

Illustration for article titled The Best Apps For Editing Video on the iPad Pro

Screenshot: KineMaster

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KineMaster (free or from $3.50 a month) tries to make video-editing as fun as possible, and mostly succeeds. This is an app to try if you really want your clips to stand out on social media, rather than something to use for your next serious short film. That said, it does have some advanced features to its name, like multi-layer and multi-track editing support.

The interface isn’t the most subtle or elegant that you’re ever going to come across, but we like the way that it keeps all the main tools you’re going to need within easy reach. You can speed up and slow down footage, trim and rearrange the scenes in your project, adjust volume levels, enhance photos and videos in multiple ways, and more.

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7. PowerDirector

Illustration for article titled The Best Apps For Editing Video on the iPad Pro

Screenshot: PowerDirector

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PowerDirector (free or from $6 a month) is one of the most popular video editors on the App Store, and it’s not difficult to see why. It manages to blend advanced tools with a clean and approachable interface, so it’s suitable for a wide range of video projects, whether it’s a quick job combining a few clips or a more sophisticated and longer movie.

There are video templates you can make use of for your intros and outros, you’ve got a bunch of titles, overlays, and transitions to choose from and tweak, and you can export projects in 4K resolution, too. The app also offers chroma key (green screen) and advanced audio-editing features as well, if you really want to take your videos to the next level.

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Google Cloud Teams up With SpaceX in Satellite Internet Connectivity Deal

Illustration for article titled Google Cloud Teams up With SpaceX in Satellite Internet Connectivity Deal

Photo: Jim Watson (Getty Images)

Google announced Thursday that it’s partnering with SpaceX to link Elon Musk’s ambitious satellite internet service Starlink with Google’s cloud infrastructure. The alliance marks a major win for Google in its competition with other tech giants like Amazon and Microsoft to dominate the fast-growing cloud computing market.

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SpaceX will install ground stations at Google’s cloud data centers around the world to connect to its Starlink satellites to start providing the network’s speedy internet service to Google’s enterprise cloud customers by the second half of this year, Google said in a press release. The first terminal will be installed at Google’s New Albany, Ohio, data center, a SpaceX spokesperson told the Verge, adding that further details about the partnership will be shared in the coming months.

“We are delighted to partner with SpaceX to ensure that organizations with distributed footprints have seamless, secure, and fast access to the critical applications and services they need to keep their teams up and running,” said Urs Hölzle, senior VP of infrastructure at Google Cloud, in Thursday’s press release.

While the partnership isn’t exclusive—Microsoft announced plans in October to connect SpaceX’s network to its Azure cloud service—it should help Google keep up with Amazon and its burgeoning Project Kuiper, which plans to launch more than 3,000 interconnected broadband satellites into orbit to supply internet connections to an estimated 95% of the planet.

The SpaceX-Google deal involves providing internet access “to businesses, public sectors organizations, and many other groups operating around the world,” said SpaceX President Gwynne Shotwell in the press release. “Combining Starlink’s high-speed, low-latency broadband with Google’s infrastructure and capabilities provides global organizations with the secure and fast connection that modern organizations expect.”

This isn’t Google and SpaceX’s first time collaborating. The search giant invested $900 million into SpaceX in 2015 to fund the development of its satellites and other technology.

To date, SpaceX has launched more than 1,500 Starlink satellites into orbit, making it the world’s largest satellite constellation. Last week, the company said more than 500,000 people have placed an order or put a deposit down on the internet service so far. SpaceX also scored another big win in December 2020 when it secured an $885 million U.S. government contract to provide high-speed internet to underserved, rural areas of the nation.

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