The Morning After: Apple Music adds lossless streaming to its entire catalog

Starting next month.

Apple Music

Today is Google’s day, as its I/O developer conference kicks off. The company canceled last year’s conference entirely, ensuring there’s plenty to show off this time around. What can we expect to see? A deep dive of the next iteration of Android is all but certain, following the three developer previews of Android 12 that have already gone out. We’re expecting audio-coupled haptics, improved picture-in-picture for videos and a few more interesting features, too.

The Morning After

Alongside Google’s vision for Android, expect to hear more about Assistant and WearOS. With the latter, the big rumors suggest that Samsung — a company that once ditched Android Wear before investing heavily in its own Tizen operating system — will return with a new Wear OS watch. This could be notable when Google has struggled to match Apple’s success in wearables.

Talking of Apple — always one to crash a party — it unveiled its plans for lossless music streaming, and Amazon piled on at pretty much the same time. We’ll get into all that below, then come back to Engadget for Google I/O’s keynote address at 10AM PT/1PM ET. We’ll be following along with all the news.

— Mat Smith

Apple Music adds Dolby Atmos and lossless streaming starting next month

At no extra cost.

After all the hints and rumors, Apple has unveiled two new high-quality music options. The price for Apple Music, however, stays the same. Apple promises to make Dolby Atmos content easy to find with curated playlists and special badges. While the company didn't go into specifics on the size of the music library, it says "thousands" of songs will be available at launch.

The company is also making its entire music catalog available in lossless audio. Lossless streaming uses Apple’s ALAC codec (Apple Lossless Audio Codec) at up to 48kHz, while Hi-Resolution Lossless increases the quality to 192kHz. For that level of quality, Apple warns you'll need some extra gear to make it worthwhile — like an external USB digital-to-analog converter (DAC). There are a few questions on compatibility that still need answering. Expect to hear more soon. Continue reading.

Samsung teases its next generation of flexible displays

The future is bendy.

The Morning After
Samsung Display

At Display Week 2021, Samsung Display showed off concepts like a double-folding OLED panel and a Slidable OLED display that extends horizontally. For larger flexible devices, it even had a 17-inch foldable panel. Finally, it showed off a laptop concept with an under-screen camera that could help get rid of bezels forever — as long as you don’t need to put a cover over it. Continue reading.

Amazon Music Unlimited plans now include HD streaming at no extra cost

Anything you can do, I can do... similarly.

The Morning After

Around the same time Apple Music announced a lossless streaming option, Amazon made its Music HD plan available to Music Unlimited subscribers at no extra cost. To Amazon’s credit, its upgraded service works starting today in the US, UK, Germany, Canada, France, Italy and Spain. That includes 70 million songs in high definition, more than seven million in Ultra HD and “a rapidly growing catalog of 3D Audio, including songs mixed in Dolby Atmos and Sony 360RA,” according to Amazon. Continue reading.

AT&T's WarnerMedia is merging with Discovery

The independent company might do a better job competing with Netflix and the rest.

AT&T purchased WarnerMedia as part of its $109 billion Time Warner acquisition in 2018. At the time, the telecom company said the deal was a "perfect match" that would mate top-tier content with AT&T's far-flung distribution network. Now WarnerMedia is combining with Discovery in a $43 billion deal to form a standalone company.

The new company will have Discovery President and CEO David Zaslav as its new leader, and WarnerMedia head Jason Kilar is reportedly negotiating his exit. One thing to keep an eye on is the Warner Bros. gaming studios, as they’re reportedly splitting up due to the deal, with some remaining within AT&T and others heading to the new company. Continue reading.

California DMV has Tesla 'under review' over Musk's FSD claims

Careful what you promise.

The California Department of Motor Vehicles appears to be actively investigating Tesla over CEO Elon Musk's audacious claims about his company's Full Self-Driving (FSD) technology. This comes barely a week after Tesla engineers privately admitted to the DMV that Musk had exaggerated the FSD system's capabilities on social media.

FSD is a $10,000 option for Tesla models and promises to do everything from change lanes in freeway traffic and take exits on its own to independently stopping at traffic lights and signs. However, this does not make them "fully" autonomous. Continue reading.

'Mario Golf: Super Rush' has speed golf and battle royale modes

There will be boss battles, too.

The Morning After

Ahead of releasing Mario Golf: Super Rush next month, Nintendo has revealed a bit more about what to expect from the game, including the speed golf mode. You and up to four friends will play at the same time. Not only will you try to complete a hole with fewer shots than your opponents, you'll want to do so faster than them as well. There will also be a battle royale-style speed golf variant called Battle Golf. The showdown takes place in an arena packed with obstacles and nine holes. The first golfer to capture three holes, by having the lowest stroke count at a given time, will be the winner. The game arrives June 25th. Continue reading.

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