June 29

The Morning After: Amazon launches a vinyl of the month club

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How can Samsung make its smartwatches as successful as the Apple Watch? Returning to the Google fold — or at least collaborating on wearable software — is a start. Samsung has already helped develop the latest edition of Wear OS, apparently improving responsiveness and battery performance. Now we have a glimpse of a more unified software experience between your Samsung watch and phone, called One UI Watch. According to the company’s MWC showcase, you’ll be able to adjust settings across both devices, while the menus on the watch will also mimic what you’re already probably used to on Galaxy phones.

The Morning After
Samsung

Yeah, I know, I’m not captivated either.

A few years ago, when Samsung developed its own mobile OS, Tizen, for both phones and wearables, it struggled to muster up third-party app support. With the new Wear OS inside, the One UI Watch will offer Google Play Store access, including apps from Adidas, Calm and MyFitnessPal, as well as core Google services, from Maps to Messages to YouTube Music. This will be crucial in helping Samsung turn a corner with its smartwatches. According to the latest figures from IDC, it remains a contender, but the Apple Watch still dominates the wrists of smartwatch buyers.

— Mat Smith

YouTube TV now supports 4K streaming, but it comes at a price

A new 4K Plus plan adds at least $10 to your YouTube TV subscription.

Finally, starting today, YouTube TV will have a new add-on called 4K Plus. As the name suggests, it'll enable 4K streaming, assuming you have a compatible TV and streaming device. The 4K Plus add-on also includes the ability to download recordings from your DVR to a phone or tablet, too.

4K Plus also lets you stream YouTube TV from "unlimited" devices when you're at home. The basic YouTube TV package can stream on three devices simultaneously. Unfortunately, this all comes at a fairly steep cost. The 4K Plus add-on costs $19.99 per month, on top of whatever your existing YouTube TV plan costs. (Right now, the basic YouTube TV plan starts at $64.99 a month.) That said, if you act quickly, you can get a price deal on 4K Plus — YouTube is offering a one-month free trial to new users, after which you can sign up for $9.99 per month, a pretty good deal over the standard price. Continue reading.

'Dune' release gets pushed back again

Warner Bros. plans to release it simultaneously on HBO Max and theaters.

The Morning After
Warner Bros.

If you've been waiting impatiently to see Denis Villeneuve's much-anticipated take on Dune, you'll have to keep on waiting. After being delayed to October 1st, 2021, from its original December 18, 2020, release date, Dune has been pushed back a further three weeks to October 22nd. Warner Bros. announced last year that its entire 2021 movie lineup, including Dune, would be released simultaneously on HBO Max. That move didn't sit well with director Villeneuve, who the decision online. Continue reading.

Microsoft’s first Windows 11 preview is available now

Test out the new OS today.

The Morning After
Microsft

Microsoft has begun rolling out the first preview for Windows Insiders. The build will show off the operating system's centered taskbar and redesigned Start menu, as well as its improved window management. But you'll have to wait a bit for some of the more advanced features, like the integrated Microsoft Teams chat and Android app compatibility. Check your PC before you get too excited, though. Continue reading.

Amazon launches vinyl record of the month club

For $25 a month.

Amazon is targeting newbie record collectors with its latest subscription. If you sign up to the Vinyl of the Month Club, you’ll receive a new record for your collection every 30 days or so.

You won’t know what records you’ll receive as part of the $25 plan until they show up at your door, but they’ll be classics from the “Golden Era of Vinyl” — the 1960s and ‘70s — chosen by curators at Amazon Music. Expect releases from Pink Floyd, Aretha Franklin and ABBA, so if your tastes fall outside of the mainstream of the mainstream, this might not be for you. At least the spirit of lives on. Continue reading.

Honda's first electric SUV will be called the Prologue

The mainstream EV is due in early 2024.

Honda finally has a name for its first electric SUV. The Prologue is coming in 2024, so there’s a little time to wait. You should also see the Acura SUV sometime in 2024, but that vaguer promise suggests this model will come later than its more mainstream counterpart.

Honda hasn’t offered much detail about what the Prologue will entail, although it reminded us that both the Prologue and its Acura counterpart will run on GM's Ultium batteries. Honda is still hard at work on its own electric car architecture. Continue reading.

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