Watch out – new timing Apple and Samsung wearables are on the way.
Apple Whisperer Mark Gurman reports that Apple plans to release a more rugged version of its Apple Watch in the near future. It’s supposed to be the biggest Apple Watch of all, although its screen is only slightly larger than the 1.9-inch face of the Series 7. It’s said to be built with a stronger metal frame and a more durable display, and is aimed at extreme sports enthusiasts. Perhaps the biggest improvement could be battery life, which has been woeful in previous Apple Watch models, at around 18 hours. Gurman says this ultra Apple watch will last longer, but not by how much. Who knows, maybe it will take all day now.
It was a tight week for watches 91 Mobile laying out some details on what Samsung’s next watch is likely to be. The Galaxy Watch 5, as it’s said to be called, comes in two flavors: the regular old Watch 5 and the Watch 5 Pro. The “Pro” name appears to be how Samsung is now branding its more expensive model; on the Galaxy Watch 4 it used the “Classic” name for it, which was probably less clear. The Watch 5 Pro appears to ditch the rotating bezel found on the Classic in favor of a touch-sensitive bezel.
When either of these new watches might be released isn’t clear, but it’s likely to appear in the fall, when both companies tend to announce new products.
Here’s some more news from the world of gadgets:
Twitter is testing Two-eets
Well, it looks like Elon Musk wants to back out of his bid to buy Twitter. (Cut the lawsuits.) That’s no real shock, given that the deal was rocky from the start, and has only gotten more chaotic and confrontational.
Despite this existential upheaval, the company is working hard and testing some unusual new features. The latest is something Twitter calls Co-Tweets, which will allow users to collaborate on tweets. It currently only supports shared writing between two users. One invites the other, and then the finished tweet will be forwarded to both users’ followers.
This Google documentation of tweets is not yet available to everyone (if it ever will be). For now, Twitter says it’s testing the feature with a select group of users for a limited time. After that, God only knows what’s next for Twitter.
Oh, and no, there hasn’t been an update to that edit button yet.
Volkswagen would like to be environmentally conscious now, please
German car company Volkswagen has started construction on the first of six planned battery factories across Europe. This one is located in Salzgitter, Germany and is expected to eventually produce enough batteries to charge half a million electric vehicles. It will be at least 2025 before the plant actually produces cells, but the process is in motion.
The project is a major shift for the company and a dramatic shift towards the production of electric vehicles. Volkswagen has been perceived as an environmental villain since it was caught rigging its vehicles for emissions testing in the US in 2015. The trick affected thousands of vehicles, and resulted in a significant recall and hefty fines for the company. It also undermined all attempts by Volkswagen to create an environmental image. There is a clear financial incentive for the company, as demand for electric cars is growing rapidly. But if he pulls it off, it could be a way for Volkswagen to try to clean up after itself.
TikTok is closing up shop
Last week, TikTok was spotted testing a new Shop tab on its app. Now that experiment seems to be losing steam. According to Financial Times, TikTok has decided to slow down its acquisition plans and will not be expanding the feature to Europe or the US just yet. The app’s parent company, China’s ByteDance, blamed the turnaround on weak engagement in the UK, where the company was testing the Shop feature. TikTok’s presence in the UK has generally been tumultuous, with the Shop feature causing friction among staff at the company’s London office. While TikTok may have shut down the Shop in some places for now, it’s still available in Indonesia, Vietnam, Thailand, and Malaysia.