It’s a rough time for Samsung’s Galaxy Fold. After several review units broke (for varying reasons), the phone company delayed the April release of the phone. That delay has gone on long enough now that AT&T canceled its pre-orders.
The Galaxy Fold was always an ambitious experiment. Balancing a screen that looks good, is durable, and folds is a tall order. And maybe right it’s too tall. Samsung planned to release the phone last April, but the tech reviews didn’t go well.
Despite testing the phone to fold and unfold 200,000 times, several tech reviewer’s test units broke. In some cases, it was self-induced; apparently, a layer of the screen looks like one of those screen protectors you peel off when you buy a new phone. In other cases, the phone broke on its own after it appeared something got trapped under the screen.
Samsung vowed to investigate and fix the problem. Yet here we are in the middle of June with no Folds to be found. Best Buy already canceled the pre-orders it took, and now AT&T is following suit. In an email sent out to its customers, AT&T explains the situation, promises to return any funds it charged and even offers a $100 promotional gift card.
Considering it’s not AT&T’s fault Samsung couldn’t deliver, that last part is pretty classy. Maybe Samsung should consider really crazy like a square bump camera for its next phone. [9to5Google]
In Other News:
- Speaking of square bumps, Google one-upped the leakers: Several leakers posted mockup images and photos of potential Pixel 4 hardware recently, and Google decided to handle the news uniquely. Post clear photos confirming that the Pixel 4’s camera bump will be square. Bold, Google. Very bold. [Engadget]
- Windows 10’s Linux Kernel is now available: A new Windows 10 Insider build dropped last night, and with it came a new Linux Kernel. The kernel is fascinating in that it both relies on Hyper-V technology, and finally allows sharing of files directly into the Linux OS. On the whole, the changes should improve performance. [How-To Geek]
- Samsung’s giant wall TV gets a luxury upgrade: Samsung’s upcoming MicroLED TV was already huge at 75 inches, and appropriately dubbed The Wall. Now it’s getting “luxury upgrade” options that take the TV to a staggering 292-inches and 8k resolution. Samsung won’t give a price yet, but we’re pretty sure it’s somewhere in the area of “oh heck no.” [TechRadar]
- Google Drive will no longer sync photos to Google Photos: Google Drive and Google Photos overlap some in purpose; they’re both a cloud place you can store photos. Until recently you could automatically sync photos uploaded to Drive over to Photos. But that sometimes led to confusion or annoyances, like screenshots or old photo backups in Google Drive showing up on Photos. Google is shutting the sync option down to prevent confusion. [XDA Developers]
- Someone used an a.i. generated face on LinkedIn to connect to government figures: Katie Jones seemed like an average person on LinkedIn. Nice job at a think tank, 52 connections including multiple links in the government, and classic “look to the side” profile photo. The only problem is, Katie isn’t real, an a.i. Algorithm generated her face, and boy is this story sounding familiar. [AP News]
- iOS 13 picks up great NFC capabilities: Anyone using a recent iPhone has a lot to look forward to with iOS 13. Add to that list is new NFC capabilities. Soon iPhones will be able to read and write to NFC tags which means apps could be designed to work with contactless smartcards and NFC-enabled passports or government IDs. So many new features. [TechCrunch]
- Microsoft says it published 150 Android apps: Over at Medium, Microsoft Engineers have been sharing details of the company’s Android efforts. While you might think of Word or Outlook when you picture Android apps, apparently the company has over 150 apps in the Play Store. Nine of those apps have over 100 million downloads. The downside is, the company is only actively developing 70 of those apps. [Microsoft]
- Seiko Instruments wants to sell you Final Fantasy VII watches: Final Fantasy VII Remake details are still slowly trickling out, but the latest trailers look great. And there’s no better way to show your support than spending $2,500 on a game themed watch, right? The timepieces are subtle, classy, and if you can afford one don’t forget to invite us over to check out your Samsung luxury wall tv. [Destructoid]
Life someplace other than our humble planet is a tantalizing thought. You might think the most likely candidate for any form of life is outside our solar system. But Europa, one of Jupiter’s moon, may be worth a closer look.
Scientists have long theorized that Europa has an underground ocean. Water on its own isn’t enough to support life, but it can tell us more about the planet without directly visiting it. By pointing the Hubble Telescope at the moon and analyzing the light emanating from its surface, scientists were able to discover sodium chloride in Europa’s oceans.
You might know sodium chloride by its more common name: table salt.
The discovery is significant because unlike other forms of salt (outside the types you cook with), you’ll only find table salt if the ocean interacts with hydrothermal vents in the seafloor, just like the Earth’s ocean. Without those vents, you’d see other forms of salt arise from mere interaction of the water with the seabed.
None of guarantees life on Europa, at -270F it’s still a very cold moon, but it gives us someplace closer to look at, and possibly understand better the formation of life. [Astronomy.com]