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Samsung starts unpacking shortly, Starship hop, and more

😭 Good morning! Yes I did have a typo in yesterday’s subject line and basically spent the day like this. Ok, on with a busy day!

Samsung starts unpacking shortly

Samsung has a bunch in store for us today with its latest Unpacked event for 2020. Of course it will take place virtually this year, kicking off today August 5, at 10 am ET, bright and early 7 am PT. 

In the lead up, Samsung officially announced it will introduce five new devices at the event: Tae-moon Roh, president and head of Samsung’s mobile communications business, confirmed that five new devices will be unveiled at the event.

That should include:

  • Galaxy Z Fold 2, the upgrade to the previous Galaxy Fold, now rumored to offer 7.59-inch AMOLED, 120Hz.
  • Galaxy Note 20 series, the new flagship with S-Pen, including a regular and Ultra model, reportedly offering 4G and 5G options. (Leaked Note 20 images above via Evan Blass).
  • Galaxy Tab S7 series, including a high-end ‘Plus’ tablet.
  • Galaxy Watch 3, a real competitor to the Apple Watch.
  • And, we think, new true wireless earbuds: these have an unusual shape I’m really interested in, and may be called something like Galaxy Buds Live.

I also see hints in leaks that there’ll be a new wireless charging stand, and it’s possible that by launch time, most of what Samsung is releasing will be known, including price.

  • All the leaks suggest Samsung has put at least the Note 20 in some people’s hands already, so we may see early hands-on thoughts.
  • In any case, Samsung basically made the Galaxy S20 a premium, expensive, high-end device. 
  • It’s not immediately clear how the Note 20 can be significantly different or better, and the S20 has had some good discounts and deals. That comparison will be interesting.

Round Up:

🍏 Apple updates the 27-inch iMac: new chips, finally makes SSDs standard (Engadget).

🍎 Longtime Apple SVP of worldwide marketing, Phil Schiller, is more or less starting to step away from Apple. At 60, and after 30 years running things, Schiller ‘advances’ to become an Apple Fellow, which is more like retirement than progression as far as I read it. He’ll continue to lead the App Store and Apple Events, but his statement sounded like the start of a long farewell. In his place comes Greg Joswiak, who Apple says is ‘a longtime leader within the product marketing organization’ (MacRumors).

🔜 Samsung is reportedly making Google’s next device chips: body motion sensor and an “unprecedented” application processor are in the works (Android Authority).

🔝 The Pixel 4a is the phone Google needed to make (Android Authority).

⏩ Leak: The Google Pixel 5 could get a 120Hz display (Android Authority).

♻ Android’s answer to AirDrop, Nearby Share, is available now (Android Authority).

👮‍♂️ Anthony Levandowski, engineer at center of Uber vs. Waymo, sentenced to 18 months for trade theft (Gizmodo).

🕵️‍♂️ Official: EU launches antitrust probe into Google's Fitbit takeover (CNN).

📺 Disney’s live-action adaption Mulan is heading direct to Disney Plus on September 4th for $30. No cinema release, at all (The Verge).

💤 Goodnight: YouTube Music will completely replace Google Play Music by end of 2020 (blog.youtube).

🚲 Lime adds the actually good Jump e-bikes Uber didn’t scrap to its app (The Verge).

🎮 Some of the best Xbox games are coming to Android via Project xCloud/GamePass, “and I'm pretty hyped,” write Gizmodo.

😎 Virtual house hunting gets a pandemic boost (BBC).

🌲 In a warming world, New England’s trees are storing more carbon (Harvard).

🔴 Early Mars was covered in ice sheets, not flowing rivers (ubc.ca).

Wednesday Weirdness

Image: Flickr/@jurvetson (CC BY 2.0)

I mean, it’s very weird to see this spaceship/flying silo take off and land, but the earliest flyable version of SpaceX’s Starship (Serial Number 5) did just that, hopping to 150m:

To quote Ars Technica

  • “And so we're clear, SpaceX built a Mars rocket out of rolls of steel.
  • In tents.
  • In South Texas.
  • In weeks.”

Aside from all the achievements, the little feet popping out was pretty magic:

Mars remains a long way off, but SpaceX keeps ticking the boxes. Several more short hops are next.

Let’s go Serial Number 6,

Tristan Rayner, Senior Editor

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