Watch out: new timekeeping wearables from Apple and Samsung are on the way.
Apple whisperer Mark Gurman reports that Apple plans to release a more robust version of its Apple Watch in the near future. It should be the largest Apple Watch of them all, although the screen is only slightly larger than the Series 7’s 1.9-inch face. It’s said to be built with a stronger metal frame and a more durable screen, and it’s directional. for extreme sports enthusiasts. Perhaps the biggest improvement could be battery life, which was a shame in previous models of Apple Watch, maxing out at around 18 hours. Gurman says this ultra-Apple Watch will last longer, but not how much longer. Who knows, it may even take a whole day.
It’s been a leaky week for watches, with 91Mobiles revealing some details about what will likely be Samsung’s next timepiece. The Galaxy Watch 5, as it would come to be called, comes in two flavors: the regular old Watch 5 and the Watch 5 Pro. The name “Pro” seems to be how Samsung is now branding its more expensive model; on the Galaxy Watch 4 it used the name “Classic” before that, which was arguably less clear. The Watch 5 Pro seems to ditch the rotating bezel on the Classic in favor of a touch-sensitive frame.
It’s not clear when either of these new watches will be released, but it’s likely they’ll be released in the fall, when both companies tend to announce new products.
Here’s some more news from the gadget world:
Twitter is testing two-eat
It looks like Elon Musk wants to withdraw his offer to buy Twitter. (Cue the lawsuits.) It’s no real shock, as the deal has been rocky from the start and has only gotten more chaotic and confrontational.
Despite this existential upheaval, the company is fighting on and testing some quirky new features. The latest is something Twitter calls Co-Tweets, which allows users to collaborate on tweets. At the moment it only supports co-writing between two users. One invites the other, after which the completed tweet goes to the followers of both users.
This Google Doc validation of tweets isn’t available to everyone yet (if it ever will). For now, Twitter says it will try the feature for a limited time with a select group of users. After that, only God knows what’s next for Twitter.
Oh, and no, there hasn’t been an update on that edit button yet.
Volkswagen wants to be environmentally conscious now, please
German car company Volkswagen has started construction of the first of six planned battery plants across Europe. Located in Salzgitter, Germany, it is expected to eventually produce enough batteries to power half a million electric vehicles. It will take at least 2025 for the plant to actually start producing cells, but the process is in flux.
The project is a major step for the company and a dramatic shift to electric vehicle production. Volkswagen has been seen as something of an environmental villain since it was caught in 2015 manipulating its vehicles to pass US emissions tests. The ploy affected thousands of vehicles and resulted in significant recalls and hefty fines for the company. It also undermined any attempts Volkswagen made to create an eco-friendly image. There is a clear financial incentive for the company as the demand for electric cars is growing rapidly. But if it does pull this off, it could be a way for Volkswagen to try and clean itself up.
TikTok closes shop
Last week, TikTok was spotted testing a new Shop tab in its app. Now that experiment seems to be losing steam. According to the Financial Times, TikTok has decided to delay its retail plans and will not expand the feature to Europe or the US just yet. The app’s parent company, China’s ByteDance, blamed the reversal on low engagement in the UK, where the company had been testing the Shop feature. TikTok’s UK presence has been generally tumultuous, with the store function causing friction among employees at the company’s London office. While TikTok Shop may have shut down for the time being in some places, it is still available in Indonesia, Vietnam, Thailand, and Malaysia.