✨ Good morning! The Analogue Pocket pre-orders sold-out yesterday in about six minutes. Loads paid up, in full, $200 for a device that’s only coming out in May 2021. Kinda crazy, but that's retro gaming sometimes.
As it turns out, loads of reviewers had hands-on with the Pixel 4a in advance of Google announcing the phone, which came out in one model for $349/£349/€349. And, the majority reckon it’s pretty good.
My colleague David Imel calls it Google’s best phone in years in his review, noting that it’s one of the best experiences on Android, for one-third the price of flagships, and adding: “If you don't care about flashy features and just want something that works well, the Pixel 4a is a no-brainer.”
🔜 Unpacked leaks: New Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2 renders leave little to the imagination, Samsung Galaxy Watch 3 appears in last-minute video leaks and Samsung’s Galaxy Unpacked video teases the Note 20, with a side of BTS (Android Authority).
🎵 The Microsoft-TikTok saga is getting pretty weird. Here’s the latest, including expectations ‘a chunk of the sale price’ will wind up in the accounts of the American government. The government may also want Microsoft to buy the whole thing, not just a select few countries (TechCrunch).
🍎 As Apple’s stock skyrockets to the company being the biggest in the world, John Gruber has brief, sober thoughts: “the difficult part of Tim Cook’s era as CEO is really only beginning.” (Daring Fireball).
🍏 Here's what Apple-leaning fans think of the Pixel 4a: lots of good stuff about more competition, lots of faith in Apple’s A13 Bionic chip and longer shelf life.
🎮 PS4 game sales almost doubled during the pandemic, and 74 percent were bought digitally, which makes sense. PS4s sold plenty of consoles too, despite the PS5 on the horizon (Engadget).
💸 Twitter expects a fine of up to $250 million over privacy violations (Engadget).
📒 FAA shares new steps for Boeing to return 737 Max to the skies, with four key changes to be made (The Verge).
🛍 Can we kill plastic? (CNET).
🕷 Australia just invented Shazam for spiders (CNET).
📺 TV displays will soon be flexible if LG has any say. The 65-inch bending TV really is something (Gizmodo).
📺 Mind you: There’s nothing good on TV: ‘With more streaming options and shows to watch than ever, why does it feel like there isn’t anything on?’ (The Verge).
💰 Garmin 'paid multi-million dollar ransom to criminals using Arete IR', say sources (Sky)
🍾 The inside story of Pepsi's Philippines bottle contest fiasco: An error at a bottling plant led to 600,000 winners—and to lawsuits, rioting, and even deaths (Bloomberg).
👕CSIRO scientists discover how to grow colored cotton in reds, yellows, purples, removing need for chemical dyes (ABC News).
👨🚀 Amazing photoseries: Astronauts return to Earth in SpaceX capsule. Revisit their mission aboard the space station (National Geographic).
🚀 SpaceX scrubbed its first attempt to ‘hop’ its Starship yesterday, but will retry today (Ars Technica).
🍺 "Why do we use CO2 for sparkling drinks rather than any other gas?" (r/askscience). This is super interesting, from soluble gasses to mouthfeel.
Have a good one,
Tristan Rayner, Senior Editor
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