📉 Good morning! I’d missed this number until now: analysts are suggesting as many as five million new cars won’t be made this year due to the chip shortage. Wow.

Apple-satellite mystery solved?

Apple Logo 2 EOY 2020

After my deep skepticism of yesterday’s news about Apple’s satellite communications potential in the iPhone 13 in a few weeks, there’s fresh, reliable reporting out of Bloomberg that suggests a compromise:

  • A much simpler tech approach that might come to an iPhone in 2022 or later.
  • And, it’s basic SOS messaging, not quite a backup for when 3G/4G/5G services aren’t available, nor high-speed connectivity for calls.

In brief:

  • Apple has reportedly been working on “Emergency Message via Satellite” which “will let users text emergency services and contacts over a satellite network when there’s no cell signal available,” and will “appear with gray message bubbles instead of green or blue.”
  • Another concept is for a crisis: “a tool to report major emergencies, such as plane crashes and sinking ships, also using satellite networks.”
  • Both of those sound useful and important, and the tool is codenamed “Stewie,” which is fun.
  • Bloomberg compared the system with Garmin’s inReach deviceand you can see the challenges Apple will have baking this into a standard iPhone, with an extended antenna looking like a device from the early 2000s.
  • No doubt Apple is looking at all its options for communication, just like other smartphone makers. The key is knowing when a feature like this is ready for millions of users.

Here’s the key paragraph:

  • “And though the next iPhone could have the hardware needed for satellite communications, the features are unlikely to be ready before next year,” said another person, who asked not to be identified because the plans aren’t yet public. “The features could also change or be scrapped before they’re released.”


⚖ Late news: South Korea passes ‘Anti-Google law’ bill to curb Google, Apple in-app payment commission, stopping companies from forcing developers to use their in-app billing. Interestingly, the penalty here is 3% of South Korean revenues if companies don’t comply. Could Apple or Google just say no? Also, Australia might follow next, targeting Apple, Google, and WeChat (TechCrunch).

📁 Samsung shows off double-folding Galaxy Fold prototype, and it’s a long boi (Android Authority).

📱Samsung’s new Z Flip and Z Fold get battery-protection feature: limit charging to 85%, if you choose, for longevity (The Verge).

🔋Otterbox launches nifty Folding Wireless Power Bank geared towards gamers (Android Authority).

⌚Fossil Gen 6 guide: What you need to know about the new smartwatches that have tough competition from the Galaxy Watch 4 (Android Authority).

⌚ This official Samsung app turns the Galaxy Watch 4 into a walkie-talkie (Android Authority).

👉Gaming online in China is set to be massively clamped down on for under-18s: Only three hours a week allowed, during set times on weekends, with game developers already implementing the limitations (Android Authority).

🎂 Speaking of the children: That’s why Instagram is now asking to know your birthday (Gizmodo).

🤖 Here’s Hyundai’s robotaxi that will be available on the Lyft app in 2023 (The Verge).

🍎 Apple is building a classical music streaming app after buying Primephonic, but Apple is bizarrely shutting down the service within a week or so. Classical music fans are now stuck (Engadget).

📸 The DSLR is fading away as mirrorless becomes the go-to (CNET).

🤑 PayPal is exploring a stock-trading platform for US customers, though getting approvals will take until 2022, potentially (CNBC).

📈The $150 million machine keeping Moore’s Law alive: A great look at Dutch company ASML, which has been and will be powering TSMC, Samsung, and Intel for years to come. China has been blocked from purchasing them altogether, by the way (Wired).

⚔ How Lord of the Rings changed big-screen battles forever(CNET).

💡What’s the most intellectual joke you know?” (I’m only linking to these because they mostly have explanations!) (r/askreddit).

Chart Tuesday

Oof this isn’t good:

us obesity

  • What happened? Many factors. People speculate it’s anything from the switch to high-fructose corn syrup, a switch towards low-fat changing how we perceive foods and sugars, changes to our microbiome, to increasingly sedentary lifestyles at work and at home, to the explosion in fast-food, delivery, and so on.
  • The data here comes from the CDC’s Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) that runs annually. 
  • The 2019 data is worse.


Tristan Rayner, Senior Editor