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The Morning After: The new M1-powered iPad Pro, reviewed

And Android 12, tested.

iPad Pro
May 20, 2021 7:26 AM

Apple’s new iPad Pro is a showcase for its M1 processor, making its debut on its tablet family. Or perhaps it's a showcase for its eye-searingly bright XDR screen. It’s probably both.

Chris Velazco's review lays out how ridiculously powerful this iPad is. It'll be future proof for at least a few generations of upgrades. (You’d hope so, too, with prices for the 12.9-inch model starting at $1,099.)

iPad Pro

Because they use the same Apple-made processor, these iPads are just as powerful as the latest MacBooks, at least in that regard. At this moment in time, the iPad app ecosystem (and iPadOS) might not quite be ready for all this power. But when it does catch up, this could be the vanguard of the portable computer future.

— Mat Smith

Ford unveils its electric F-150 with 300 miles of range and 563HP

Two motors and full-time four-wheel drive.

The Morning After

The original F-150 Lightning was a sporty performance truck, but it didn’t have anything close to the horsepower, torque or 0 to 60 time of the new electric model bearing its name. Ford will start selling the first mainstream electric pickup (of several that are on the way, like the Cybertruck and Hummer EV) next spring, and a stripped-down commercial model can be had for less than $40k.

A more reasonably equipped XLT version will start at just under $53k, and if you opt for the extended battery version, you can expect up to 300 miles of EPA-estimated range, 563 horsepower and 775 lb.-ft. of torque, which outranks any other F-150 ever. The switch to electric means that under the hood, there’s a massive frunk, and Ford has included lots of abilities that let the truck power your job site, campsite and even your house for up to three days.

If you can find a DC fast charger and have the extended range model, it can charge the massive battery from 15 to 80 percent in 41 minutes, but at home getting from 15 to 100 percent (even with the fastest charger Ford sells) is an overnight job of about eight hours. If you’re planning a long drive, the navigation can work out a route that hits chargers when you need them, taking into account your payload, what you’re towing and even weather conditions. There’s a lot more to learn about the new truck, so read on, and if you’re interested, pre-orders are open with a $100 deposit. Continue reading.

Android 12 beta preview

A fresh look.

Google released the Android 12 public beta at its I/O developer conference yesterday, and those who don’t mind dealing with potentially buggy software can already try it out. The preview of the upcoming OS will come to Google’s own Pixel phones as well as devices from OnePlus, Nokia, ASUS and more. (For the record, it’s very simple to sign up with your compatible device. Even I was able to do it.) For now, the biggest changes are on the surface. It looks a lot more different, both more colorful and somehow tidier. Reviews Editor Cherlynn Low dives into all the changes. Continue reading.

Google is plugging support for the Matter smart home protocol into Android

This move could unite the fragmented smart home industry.

Matter was formerly known as Project CHIP, or Connected Home over IP. It's a collaboration between industry giants like Google, Amazon, Apple, Samsung and more to standardize the historically fragmented smart home ecosystem. Matter will support a variety of protocols and assistants, including Siri, Alexa, Google Assistant as well as Bluetooth, Ethernet, WiFi and Thread.

According to Google, Android will offer built-in support for Matter as well as ways to easily set up and control Matter-certified devices. It also announced its products with Thread, including the Nest Wifi, Nest Hub Max and Nest Hub (2nd generation), "will become connection points for Matter devices." Plus, Nest displays and speakers will be "automatically updated to control Matter devices," which Google promised will lead to "faster and more reliable experiences whether they use Wi-Fi, Thread or Ethernet."

Matter will bring about simpler setup processes and interoperability, and with this, Android phones can control all compatible Matter devices once support rolls out on a wider scale. Continue reading.

Apple exec Craig Federighi calls the state of Mac malware 'not acceptable'

He was testifying in defense of Apple's locked-down approach to the iOS App Store.

Apple has regularly knocked Windows for its malware issues, claiming its macOS is by far the more secure desktop operating system. However, the company just offered a surprising admission: macOS has its own malware problem. The acknowledgment came from Apple Senior Vice President of Software Engineering Craig Federighi, who testified on Wednesday in the company’s antitrust case with Epic Games. Federighi told the court in testimony that Apple had “a level of malware on the Mac that we don't find acceptable.” Continue reading.

Nintendo’s Switch Online service reaches 100 classic games

If you stretch the definition of 'classic'.

Nintendo will soon add five more games to Switch Online, bringing the total number of titles you can play through the subscription service to 104, across NES and SNES game libraries. The new games land on May 26th, and it might be a stretch to call them classics. Super Mario World, they are not. The SNES additions are Caveman Ninja, Magical Drop2, Super Baseball Simulator 1,000 and Spanky's Quest. Meanwhile, the lone NES addition is Ninja JaJaMaru-kun, which I’m sure you all remember and adore. Continue reading.

The Engadget guide to smartwatches

Do you need one, and if so, which one?

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The case for smartwatches is a little less muddy than it used to be. With features that can literally save lives (or at least track your steps and unlock your laptop), it might be time to shop around for a smartwatch that suits you. Our guide runs through the basics and our pick of the best wearables out there. And yes, it’s not just about the Apple Watch. Continue reading.

PornHub used AI to remaster the oldest erotic films in 4K

From the days before 480p.

The Remastured project used AI to restore and colorize skin flicks from as far back as 125 years ago. The porn giant harnessed machine learning and 100,000 adult images and videos to teach the AI how to colorize the films (perhaps it also learned a thing or two about how people passed the time 100 years before smartphones). Several algorithms were used to restore the films with "limited human intervention," according to PornHub. Continue reading.

Watch a 'blind' robot successfully learn to navigate stairs

Both up and down. Now that’s innovation.

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Dynamic Robotics Laboratory

Four-legged robots with computer vision can usually handle stairs with no issue, but getting a "blind" bipedal robot lacking LIDAR or optical sensors to do it is a whole other challenge. Now, researchers from Oregon State University have accomplished the feat with a bipedal robot called Cassie (from Agility Robotics). Why would you want a blind robot to navigate stairs? As the researchers pointed out, robots can't always rely completely on cameras or other sensors because of possible dim lighting, fog and other issues. So ideally, they'd also use "proprioception" (body awareness) to navigate unknown environments — like how we do it. Continue reading.

But wait, there’s more...

Microsoft will truly, finally kill off Internet Explorer in June 2022

Coinbase struggles with outages during cryptocurrency volatility

Twitter's auto image cropping had a bias toward white people and women

Most new NVIDIA RTX gaming GPUs will be crypto-limited

Bang & Olufsen's latest speaker is waterproof and made of aluminum

Qualcomm brings 10-gigabit 5G to laptops and home broadband

New trailers show what the Indiana Jones movies look like in 4K

HBO Max's ad-supported plan will cost $10 a month

TBS and TNT will start airing HBO Max exclusives this summer

JJ Abrams is bringing a new Batman animated series to HBO Max

'Call of Duty: Warzone' is adding Rambo and John McClane

Summer Game Fest returns June 10th to unofficially kickoff E3

The 'Zelda: Skyward Sword' Switch remake locks a fast-travel feature behind an amiibo paywall

Engadget Deals: The Apple Watch Series 6 is $60 off at Amazon and B&H Photo

The Morning After: The new M1-powered iPad Pro, reviewed