Using your face to unlock your phone is great in normal times, but less than ideal when you’re masked up and avoiding germs. Apple already has a workaround in place if you own a new enough Apple Watch, and now it’s working on a fix for the rest of us. The most recent iOS developer beta enables users to open their device with just the geography of their eyes. The feature, which is currently being tested, will work with glasses users, although if you’re wearing sunglasses, you might have to take them off first.
At the same time, Apple has also reportedly been looking into enabling iPhones to work as standalone payment terminals. That way, it would be easier to settle bills between friends and, more importantly, enable small businesses to accept payments. That might pose a problem for companies like Square, who have made a name for themselves building external payment hardware for phones. But it would also give Apple a way to corner a big chunk of the payment processing market without breaking much of a sweat.
- Dan Cooper
The biggest news stories you might have missed
Someone call Jeff Goldblum.
This next story works better if you imagine William Shatner circa 1979 is reading it out to you. Researchers out of Curtin University have found something… odd, out there in space, a spinning object 4,000 light-years away. It’s been sending out a giant burst of polarized radio energy for a full minute, every 18 minutes, and keeps… appearing and disappearing every few hours. It’s a curiosity that the researchers think might be a magnetar, a theoretical neutron star spinning so slowly that it causes everything to look… strange. This discovery may have… implications for how we understand… the universe.
The gang over at Renault Nissan Mitsubishi has revealed a plan to invest around $26 billion in order to bring 35 new electric vehicles to market by 2030. Five new platforms will be built, with the crew pledging that technology and components will be shared to reduce waste. That will run from super-compact all-electric city cars through to beefy battery commercial vehicles. Meanwhile, California has unveiled a $10 billion plan to increase EV adoption, including cash to build out charging networks in low-income neighborhoods and discounts for low-income buyers.
But otherwise? Ehhhhh.
Your friend and mine Billy Steele has been road-testing the new Shure Aonic 40 ANC cans for a while, and now his verdict is out. The headphones, which are priced at $249, are designed to sit in that tier just before you start shelling out serious money for your ears. Sadly, while the price is right and the battery life is great, everything else is just a bit lukewarm for Billy’s trained ears. He also lamented the lack of comfort for bigger heads, and an overall lack of polish in the rest of the feature list.