The Morning After: Samsung flip-flops on a One UI beta test

Plus, Star Trek’s big finish, Amazon shuts up shop and Quake II comes back.

Photo by Sam Rutherford/Engadget

We’ve all been in Samsung’s position, promising something before quickly realizing we couldn’t, or didn’t want to, actually follow through. But the Korean giant might get a record for the speed at which it walked back its initial pledge. It had intended to give Galaxy S23 owners the chance to beta test several One UI 6 features ahead of launch. Users in the US, Germany and South Korea would be able to see what tweaks the company had added to Android 14 and see what worked, and what didn’t.

Or that was the plan. Not long after the news dropped, Samsung began to walk back its promise. It told Engadget (and the rest of the media) it would delay the launch of the beta test until further notice, but with no justification. The initial announcement disappeared from Samsung’s press site, and everyone’s left mulling what could have been so problematic as to require this sort of scorched-earth approach.

—Dan Cooper

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Nine thoughts about the Star Trek: Strange New Worlds blockbuster finale

No spoilers here, I promise.

Image from
Michael Gibson / Paramount+

Star Trek: Strange New Worlds concluded its second season yesterday with a blockbuster finale. “Hegemony” pits the Enterprise crew against a formidable foe that requires every bit of their collective cunning for them to triumph. I jotted down nine thoughts both about this episode and also about the shape of the second season more generally. Which, it’s easy to say, has cemented itself as the best run of a live-action Trek in the streaming era.

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Amazon is reportedly cutting most of its in-house clothing brands

A cynic might say this is to fend off antitrust action.

Amazon is closing the majority of its in-house clothing and furniture brands, including Lark & Lo, Goodthreads and Stone & Beam. Reports say it’s canning 27 out of 30 brands, with Amazon saying the marques haven’t resonated with consumers. A cynic might argue this is Amazon getting its house in order ahead of potential antitrust action by the FTC. The US has previously probed Amazon’s ability to spot popular products made by third party sellers on its platform and produce a homegrown, er, variation under one of its own brands.

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Watch Virgin Galactic's first ever space tourist flight at 11am ET

Including the company’s first paying customer.

Promotional image of the Virgin Galactic 02 crew with their headshots and names on a black background.
Virgin Galactic

Yesterday saw Virgin Galactic’s first private passenger flight successfully take three civilians to the edge of space and back. It included its first paying customer, former Olympian Jon Goodwin, who coughed up $250,000 for his ticket all the way back in 2014. He was joined by a mother and daughter team of Keisha Schahaff and Anastatia Mayers, who won their seats in a fundraising draw. The stream of the event is available and, I’ll be honest, it’s worth a watch just for the chest-tightening moment when the crew starts floating in zero gravity.

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X CEO confirms video calls are coming to the platform

Because, sure, that’s its priority right now.

Xwitter CEO Linda Yaccrino has announced video chat is coming to the platform as part of its plan to become an “everything” app. The CEO said video calls would bolster work to turn X into a global town square, full of people exercising their right to free expression. Given the sort of free expression the company is currently endorsing, you might want to stick to your free video calling platform of choice — it’s not as if we’re hurting for those right now.

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The long-rumored Quake II remaster is out now on PC and consoles

Tweaks include widescreen support, 120Hz refresh rates and 4K.

Screenshot from Quake II Remastered, in which a weapon held from the player's point of view is pointed at a thing in the distance.
Bethesda Softworks

The long-awaited remaster of Quake II wasn’t just announced, it’s already available to play on most platforms. If you own the original on GOG or Steam, you’ll get a free bump to the new edition, with plenty of modern-day quality-of-life upgrades. The remastered edition also includes content cut from some versions and the original expansion packs, as well as a new expansion from MachineGames. Well, that’s your weekend sorted.

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