Get ready to unfold. Galaxy Unpacked. August 11, 2021.

Mark your calendar: August 11 at 9:00am CDT is the official date and time for the next Galaxy Unpacked. As mentioned in last week's post — and as alluded to in the announcement — we should hear news on foldables, smartwatches, and earbuds. After you've followed these events long enough, it's almost as much fun seeing how right the leaks were. Like a game of bingo (no joke, I used to be on a team that did that).

This synopsis of Amazon trying to boost skills development with new features announced at Alexa Live last week feels spot on. Just from my own casual use with voice-enabled devices in my own home, I can confirm that most of my daily interactions are limited to basic functions as described in the article (Alexa or otherwise). Although I need to go back and rewatch some of the sessions, it has always been worth the viewing — especially if you're new to voice.

On the topic of voice, 2021 Toyota Sienna is getting a virtual assistant in place of an owner's manual. I have long thought that voice was best suited for situations like driving, when both your hands and eyes are occupied and diverting your attention could be dangerous. But serving as a smart, digital owner's manual just feels… well, smart! Once it comes out of pilot, I'd like to see them backport it to older models and for other OEMs to hop on board (I'm looking at you, Honda!).

This leans a bit more towards branding & identity, but SeatGeek just undertook a redesign. Unlike most of the news I share, I stumbled across this firsthand via the mobile app (where my Sporting KC season tickets are stored) and sought out their official press release thereafter. At first I wasn't a fan because change, but then I quickly realized that their drastic color palette change helps differentiate them from Ticketmaster (where my KC NWSL season tickets are stored). Oftentimes, brands redesign their identities for novel reasons, but in SeatGeek's case I think it was the right move.

And speaking of redesigns, Mobbin also announced a redesign this last week on Twitter. If you're not familiar, Mobbin is a screenshot library of mobile apps for both iOS and Android. I've used it quite a bit over the years and would definitely recommend you giving it a look. Also, file it under Things I Wish I Had Created.


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