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The Morning After: The next iPhone may focus on display upgrades

Surely it won't be called the iPhone 13?

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Mat Smith
August 11th, 2021
In this article: themorningafter, gear, newsletter
An iPhone XR laying on a white surface showing "What's new in iOS 15" on its screen.
Cherlynn Low / Engadget

As summer comes to a close, for the tech launch calendar we’re getting into new iPhone season. Before we even know, officially, what Apple will reveal, the question I’m always asked by friends, family and readers returns: Is it worth upgrading to the new iPhone?

I don’t know yet. Hah. The rumors, however, converge on hardware changes to the iPhone screen, which will probably arrive in the same sizes we saw on the iPhone 12 series. — something noted in Bloomberg’s latest report.

We might get always-on screen tech, utilizing a battery-efficient 120Hz display that should look smooth, while offering information and notifications on a lock screen without having to wake the iPhone up. Otherwise, so far at least, we expecting refinements to software-based camera features, a (predictably) faster mobile chip and perhaps stronger MagSafe magnets to keep your peripherals locked on. 

We’ll have to wait and see how much the rumors get right — will Apple call it the iPhone 13? 

Before all that, however, it's Samsung's day in the spotlight. Its Galaxy Unpacked event kicks off later this morning. We'll be streaming the full event, with analysis right after it wraps. It all kicks off at 9:40AM ET — join us on YouTube right here.

-Mat Smith

Xiaomi’s robot dog looks like a beefier version of Spot.

Watch out Boston Dynamics.

Render of Xiaomi's robot dog, the CyberDog, not to be confused with the British clothing retailer.
Xiaomi

Xiaomi has today announced the CyberDog, an open-source quadruped robot intended for developers to “build upon” and create applications for. Xiaomi says that this technology is good enough to enable CyberDog to follow its owner and navigate around obstacles. It is also capable of identifying posture and tracking human faces, enabling it to pick out and track individuals in a group. The path to mainstream robotics is paved with ‘dogs’ and humanoids that didn’t quite work out and for now, rather than selling this as a general-sale product, the company will produce 1,000 Cyberdogs for “Xiaomi fans, engineers and robotics enthusiasts.” Continue reading.

AMC theaters will start accepting Bitcoin this year

The chain’s newest shareholders are enthusiastic about crypto.

AMC announced that it will accept Bitcoin as payment for tickets and snacks at all US theaters by the end of 2021. Company chief Adam Aron didn't say how you'd make those payments, but he did hint that AMC was also researching other ways it could join the "burgeoning cryptocurrency universe." Continue reading.

Google removes Bluetooth from its Titan security keys

All-NFC keys.

The Google Titan key, both old and new styles.
Google

Google is streamlining its security key family. The search giant will now only offer two editions; one with USB-A and USB-C, both of which will pack NFC to enable it to be used by most mobile devices. That should reduce any confusion that would-be purchasers had with the current lineup, where some models didn’t work contactlessly. Continue reading

Xiaomi's Mi Mix 4 packs an under-screen selfie camera

The first smartphone with a Snapdragon 888+ processor.

Xiaomi Mi Mix 4
Xiaomi

If it’s not robot dogs, it’s another smartphone. The Mi Mix 4 is Xiaomi’s slimmest ceramic unibody smartphone yet, with a 6.67-inch 2,400 x 1,080 screen that hides a 20-megapixel selfie camera underneath the glass. Notably, the patch that hides the camera has the same 400ppi density as the rest of the panel, albeit with smaller pixels and transparent circuitry. In-screen cameras usually offer sub-par photos and often stand out from the rest of the smartphone screen, due to reduced pixel density. Xiaomi might have solved that issue, but we’ll have to see it in person to confirm. It’s the dawn of hidden selfie cameras, and Xiaomi and Oppo are leading the pack. Continue reading.

NYPD secretly spent $159 million on surveillance tech

The department paid millions for facial recognition, vans equipped with X-ray machines and more.

The New York City Police Department has spent over $159 million on surveillance systems and maintenance since 2007 without public oversight, according to newly released documents. As reported by Wired, The Legal Aid Society (LAS) and the Surveillance Technology Oversight Project (STOP) obtained the documents from the NYPD, which include contracts with vendors.

The NYPD made the purchases through a Special Expenses Fund, which meant it didn't need to gain the approval of the NYC Council or other city officials before signing the contracts. Continue reading.

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