Samsung spins off startup making fake windows that generate artificial sunlight

Patrick

The latest crop of startups backed by Samsung’s in-house incubator C-Labs includes SunnyFive, makers of an artificial window that supposedly delivers all the benefits of natural sunlight.

The SunnyFive window looks to be similar in function to light therapy lamps marketed to sufferers of seasonal affective disorder (SAD). It outputs the full spectrum of natural light, and can be programmed to mimic the lighting effects of a real window.

The angle of the light will change throughout the day and incorporates various “sunlight scenarios” — aka

Facebook’s Giphy acquisition might have big implications for iMessage and Twitter

Patrick

Facebook is buying Giphy, and that means how you send and receive GIFs on the internet could change forever. The service claims that more than 700 million people see Giphy content every day, and many of those views come from some of the internet’s most popular apps— from Apple’s iMessage to TikTok and Twitter — most of which rely on Giphy’s API and archives to let users share and post GIFs.

It’s likely that at least some of those services won’t want to have a Facebook-owned platform integrated with their products moving forward. Not only do these companies generally

Apple supplier TSMC confirms it’s building an Arizona chip plant

Patrick

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC), which makes Apple’s A-series chips, plans to build an advanced chip factory in Arizona. The news was first reported yesterday by The Wall Street Journal and confirmed by TSMC today.

The plant will make 5-nanometer transistor chips for TSMC, which the company has reportedly been testing with customers in Taiwan over the past several months. TSMC says the facility will create over 1,600 “high-tech professional jobs,” with construction due to start in 2021 and production slated to begin in 2024. TSMC says its total spend on the plant will be around $12 billion from

Apple is now selling Amazon’s Eero mesh routers on its website

Patrick

Amazon’s Eero announced today that its routers are now for sale on Apple’s website. The full product line, including the Eero and Eero Pro Mesh Wi-Fi Routers, are available to customers in the US, Canada, UK, Germany, France, Italy, and Spain. Eero did not specify whether its products will be available in Apple’s retail stores as they reopen.

“This is an exciting step towards delivering our vision to bring eero to more customers and homes around the world, providing them with a safe and reliable network for their smart home,” Eero’s blog post reads.

Apple already sells mesh Wi-Fi systems

Windows and macOS still haven’t found the right balance for managing apps

Patrick

I’m reviewing two very different computers right now: the new 2020 13-inch MacBook Pro and the new 2020 Surface Go 2. You can click the links in the previous sentences for some first impressions and if you’ve got specific questions for the review, feel free to email me and I’ll do my best to address as many as I can later this week.

These are very different computers because the MacBook is powerful and meant for “pros” (whatever that means anymore) and the Surface Go is itty-bitty and meant to maximize portability for when you are out and about

Apple will reopen a handful of US stores next week

Patrick

Apple’s US retail stores have been closed since mid-March due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but the company is going to start opening some of them back up next week. “We’re excited to begin reopening stores in the US next week, starting with some stores in Idaho, South Carolina, Alabama, and Alaska,” an Apple representative told CNBC. “Our new social distance protocol allows for a limited number of visitors in the store at one time so there may be a delay for walk-in customers. We recommend, where possible, customers buy online for contactless delivery or in-store pickup.”

There are just

Why countries keep bowing to Apple and Google’s contact tracing app requirements

Patrick

Last month, after Apple and Google announced some changes to their forthcoming attempt to track the spread of COVID-19, I noted the surprising degree to which tech giants are setting the terms of the pandemic response. They own the hardware, they own the software, and national governments who would use it to find new cases of COVID-19 have to do it on the companies’ terms.

This week, that process began to accelerate. But first, a bit of background.

The Apple-Google collaboration will ask you to opt in to a system that causes your phone to emit Bluetooth signals to

Samsung to launch a Samsung Pay debit card this summer

Patrick

Samsung plans to launch a Samsung Pay debit card this summer, the company announced today in a blog post by Sang Ahn, vice president and general manager of Samsung Pay in North America (via Android Central). Samsung will launch the card, which will be backed by a cash management account, in partnership with personal finance company SoFi, Ahn said.

Samsung is also developing a “mobile-first money management platform,” according to Ahn. His blog doesn’t detail what features that money management platform or the upcoming debit card may have, but he does say that Samsung will share more

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