The Morning After: The best fitness trackers

If you're not looking to buy an Apple Watch...

Valentina Palladino / Engadget

Happy Friday! In yesterday’s newsletter, I explained how Apple was thriving in the world of wearables, but not everyone wants so many notification pings and a watch that needs charging daily. There is still very much a place for simpler wearables, and as we’re approaching holiday season, most of them are also less pricey than the high-end options from Apple, Samsung and Garmin.

Fortunately, we have Valentina Palladino on staff. She’s written about wearables for years, even before joining the Engadget team. She's now laid out what fitness trackers are capable of in 2021 and whether you should go for one or shop around smartwatches instead. Spoiler alert: Our top pick is a Fitbit.

— Mat Smith

Nanoleaf Lines are customizable smart light bars

Create line drawings or pretty patterns along your wall.

Nanoleaf Lines
Nanoleaf Lines

Nanoleaf’s stylish light-up tiles adorn plenty of modern homes (and YouTuber backdrops), but the company has added an even more customizable shape: lines. The Nanoleaf Line is a backlight LED light bar roughly 11 inches long. It can join to its siblings at either end or at a 60-degree angle. Nanoleaf Lines are available to pre-order today, with the nine-line starter kit setting you back $200, while three-line add-on packs will cost $80.

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Planet orbiting a dead star teases our own solar system's fate

Astronomers discovered a Jupiter-sized planet orbiting a white dwarf.

Scientists have spotted a Jupiter-like exoplanet orbiting a dead star that was once like our sun. According to a paper in the journal Nature, the white dwarf star and planet around 6,500 light years away provides a preview of what will happen to our own solar system in approximately five billion years. The finding indicates that planets with wide orbits are probably more common than inner planets. It also shows that some of our solar system's worlds may survive the Sun's death. Probably not Earth, however.

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What to expect from Apple’s October 18th Unleashed event

It’s Mac time.

MacBook Pro

On October 18th, Apple will hold its second event of the fall, and judging by the rumors, it’s likely to be a Mac-centric show. Let Igor Bonifacic walk you through our preview, from MacBook Pros to possibly cheaper AirPods.

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Apple extends repair program for crackling AirPods Pro buds

It's now active until October 2022.

Last year, Apple launched a repair/replacement program for AirPods Pro units experiencing sound issues, such as crackling or static. It was only supposed to last for two years after the buds were first sold on October 30th, 2019, which means the program was going to come to a close in a couple of weeks. As first noticed by someone on Reddit, though, Apple has quietly updated its program's information page to extend its availability. "The program covers affected AirPods Pro for three years after the first retail sale of the unit," the updated page reads. Funnily enough, I got my own crackling AirPods Pro fixed just last weekend.

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HTC’s Vive Flow is a lighter VR headset built for entertainment and wellness

It’ll cost $500.

HTC Flow

As the rumors earlier yesterday suggested, HTC has revealed a new kind of VR headset. The HTC Vive Flow is a pair of glasses weighing just 189 grams (6.6 ounces). They pair with a smartphone to let you play VR content or simply watch TV. It’s pitched as both entertainment and a meditative device.

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