It’s April 1st. This means that there is no shortage of unbelievable news. Here are some recent events that actually happened. I swear, no fool.
After Apple Play
First, Apple announced that its next WWDC event is scheduled for June 5. The annual developer conference is a place where nerdy tech types mingle, but it’s also the setting for some of Apple’s biggest announcements of the year. While it’s not exactly guaranteed what Apple will announce, there are healthy rumors that give a good idea of what’s to come. If this WWDC is like the last dozen or so, expect to hear about new software updates, mainly for Apple’s mobile and desktop devices.
Apple sometimes announces a hardware or two at WWDC. A big rumor that’s been floating around for years now concerns Apple’s upcoming mixed-reality headset. Frequent leaks have suggested that Apple might announce an augmented reality device at WWDC, but the schedule seems to be getting pushed back. According to the technology analyst and Apple wizard Ming-Chi KuoThe company may push back the unveiling of the headset until the third quarter of this year. A story inside New York Times It describes the internal tension within Apple about the upcoming headset, and how some of the company’s employees worry that Apple is too risky to bet on an expensive headset that uses yet-to-be-discovered technologies (virtual and virtual reality). They proved their worth.
Recent reports also tell us a bit about what to expect: an external battery that can be worn elsewhere on your body, Siri integration, and a “reality” button that zooms in and out of your real-world surroundings inside the glasses.
Finally, Apple released something this week. The company’s purchase now, after months of post-payment, service has begun. Called Apple Pay Later, it allows users to transfer payments for purchases into smaller installments spread over a few months. Apple has been around for over a year and is part of a growing industry that includes services like Klarna and Affirm.
OverDrive Peters Out
OverDrive, a service that allows people to access electronic libraries on personal devices, is shutting down. It’s not dead, actually, it’s just moving services to the Libby app, made by the same company anyway. While OverDrive itself is no longer operational, the company has provided a way to seamlessly transition to Libby.
There are still plenty of ways to keep getting free library books on your iReader. Also, it’s always worth going to the library in person—they offer all kinds of other services.
The last round of Fitbit
Google, which owns Fitbit, appears to be slowly cutting back on the fitness wearable company. In a recent move, Google removed some social features from the Fitbit platform. The Open Groups feature, which allows Fitbit users to communicate with each other and compare workouts, has been removed. Google removes some game features, such as removing challenges people have participated in and trophies they have earned. The announcement came from an admin account on the official Fitbit community forum.
So it goes with Google services. The company is known for churning out all kinds of apps and devices. Google bought Fitbit in 2021 and released its own Pixel-branded smartwatch last year.
Amazon Echo and Ring devices are everywhere. If they are not already in your home, they are sitting nearby, in your neighbors’ homes, waiting for their doors to open. These gadgets all connect to the Internet to work, but they also broadcast their own signals, which can use up your home network’s bandwidth to signal a little more to other Amazon devices in their vicinity. The result is a rapidly expanding network that the company calls Amazon Walkway. It’s also incredibly big — Amazon says Footpath now covers 90 percent of people in the U.S. — and it’s poised to get even bigger now that it’s open to developers.
This week Gadget Lab An episode about Amazon’s sidewalks and how the company was able to secretly build a massive Wi-Fi network from its products right under everyone’s noses.