This week started on a sad note, and all the buzz of Musk’s Twitter takeover was silenced for a day. Robert “RazerGuy” Krakoff passed away at 81. Krakoff played a key role in bringing the gaming mouse to life. So even if you never heard of Krakoff, if you use a gaming mouse, his legacy lives on. Here’s what else happened this week, in the fifth iteration of our weekly tech news roundup.
The week’s gloomy kickoff was accompanied by news from India. The country seized $725 million of Xiaomi’s assets. The same day, a YouTuber turned an old iMac into a Studio Display for half the price.
Weekly tech news roundup
macOS on iPad, Apple Watch 8, And Apple’s Breathalyzer
Let’s start with what could come first. The upcoming Apple Watch Series 8 is expected to come with body temperature measurements. Analyst Ming-Chi Kuo and other leaksters also confirm this, and Apple could kill the thermometer if it makes this.
Speaking of killing things, Apple has won patents for a breathalyzer. According to the patent, it could be integrated with the iPhone or the Apple Watch, and work in tandem with Apple Car. So in a nutshell, you won’t be allowed to get in your car if your iPhone knows you’ve had one too many. Apple has also hired a Ford veteran to work on the Apple Car, so stay excited for that too.
Lastly, the most interesting news coming from Apple is the latest hybrid computer patents it has won. Nobody knows whether it is a MacBook that would detach like an iPad or an iPad with a redesigned keyboard. But what’s clear is that this machine will have a touch screen display, multiple angles to work with, and probably a touch-screen optimized macOS.
Fortnite is back on the iPhone… kind of
If you haven’t heard about the Epic vs Apple lawsuit, you’ve been literally living under a rock. Epic Games’ Fortnite got banned from the App Store for bypassing Apple’s in-app purchase policy. Even after the lawsuit is settled, the app isn’t back on the App Store.
However, Fortnite couldn’t afford to lose all the iPhone business, so it found a workaround. Fortnite integrated with Xbox Cloud can run on your iPhone’s browser. Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney also announced that the game is now free for all platforms, which is great news.
What’s better news is that AMD is working on new “Dragon Range” CPUs. These will be high-performance chips for extreme gaming laptops. AMD has had it going in the gaming laptop segment for a while, and the new chips could give it a stronger push into the premium market.
New WhatsApp features, and Samsung’s super-fast storage
WhatsApp is learning from the completion and has introduced a couple of neat features. You can now react to messages with emojis, share files as large as 2GB, and have 512 participants in a group. Telegram much?
Reports also suggest that WhatsApp is also going to show status in chats. It means you could tap on the chat’s profile picture and check out the contact’s status, just like Instagram stories. Every day, all of Meta’s products are becoming clones of each other, just with different levels of privacy. Still, the fast pace of technology demands uniformity, and Meta could nail it with this ecosystem.
Speaking of fast pace, Samsung has created UFS 4.0, which is 46% faster than the current UFS 3.0 storage. It means faster read and write speeds with better efficiency. This faster storage would complement the faster data speeds that 5G is bringing to smartphones.
Google Pixel Fold, and Samsung Galaxy Flip4’s battery
Google foldable smartphone, Google Pixel Fold, has been on the rumor mill for a while now. The device is now told to feature a 5.8-inch cover display. It means the Google foldable could be broader than the Samsung Galaxy Fold3, giving it a more widescreen appeal.
Samsung isn’t behind either. With foldables nearing perfection, Samsung’s upcoming Galaxy Flip4 is expected to pack a bigger battery. Apple optimized its iPhone 13 Mini by fitting a bigger battery. Samsung could take a similar approach since the Galaxy Flip3 is already a solid design.
Meta slows hiring, U.S. wants to break up big tech
Facebook (now Meta) has been living in a confusion ever since the name change. Matters have now escalated as investors want the company to slow down. As part of the slowdown, Meta is now reducing hirings at mid-level and senior positions.
With Facebook and Twitter both going through turmoil, the big tech is back on the government’s radar. A new bill is in the works, and it aims to break up big tech companies. For instance, it could force Google to sell parts of its advertising business to break its monopoly on the market. If that happens, Google and Facebook are likely to be the worst-hit companies.
Activists go against Musk, SpaceX expansion stalled, and Twitter employees
A group of NGOs and activists has written to Twitter advertisers to control Elon Musk. The letter is harsh-worded and says Twitter could become a “cesspool of misinformation.” However, Musk hit back by posting a Daily Mail report that shows many of the letter’s signatories are groups owned/backed by Democrats.
While that proved a point, it could not stop the Texas government from stalling SpaceX’s expansion plans. The venture’s expansion reportedly threatens endangered species in Texas. So the government has suggested ways to control the damage, stalling the expansion for now.
Going further, a Twitter SEC filing reveals that the company expects to lose employees as Musk’s takeover comes closer. The platform is scrambling to retain employees, but that doesn’t seem to boost morale, especially after Mr. Musk’s own tweets inviting hate towards some top execs.
The fifth weekly tech news roundup- What else?
A couple of more things happened this week. For instance, Twitter’s open-source offshoot released its first code, and Google launched a new website to promote maternity health. Apple, Google, and Microsoft have come together to promote passwordless login.
Your SoundCloud recommendations are likely to improve too, as the platform has acquired Musiio, an AI that can listen to hit songs. Lastly, researchers used an AI model on Chicago police to find crews of troublemaking policemen.
While everything seems to be peeking out, I think this is the beginning of something new. Good things are improving, bad things are falling apart, and bugs are popping every now and then, giving us new challenges. Which story from this roundup caught your eye? Do let us know in the comments.