Week 30

Samsung Galaxy Unpacked August Event

August Unpacked. Samsung announced the next Galaxy Unpacked event. The invitation itself is light on the details, but clearly it will be the launch event for the Z Fold 4 and the Z Flip 4 — which are currently available for pre-order. Aside from the two foldables, it is likely we will also see the Galaxy Watch5 announced. But the question I have is: Will we ever see a foldable iPhone?

Mobile Stats. Smartphone shipments fall to 9% globally in Q2 2022, new report shows. Despite improvements to phones overall, chip shortages and price increases have resulted in consumers drawing out their upgrade cycles. In terms of worldwide market share, Samsung took the #1 slot with Apple at #2, Xiaomi in third, and OPPO and vivo holding down fourth and fifth respectively. And with 10 million units shipped worldwide in 2021, I’d like to think that foldables had something to do with that.

Alexa Live… was last week and here’s a recap of everything announced. Better support for Matter via SDK, a new collection of APIs via the Alexa Ambient Home Dev Kit, and tips for better skill & routine development were included in the announcements. Unfortunately, I couldn’t make it to any of the sessions and only saw bits and pieces of the keynote while it was all streaming live. Luckily, we can watch the entire replay here.

Pixel 6a. In anticipation of the launch, reviews are out for the Google Pixel 6a. As a midrange handset, it shouldn’t be surprising that there are some compromises like a lower refresh rate, no wireless charging, and no headphone jack. However, some of the premium features such as in-display fingerprint scanner, quality photography, and Google’s own Tensor chip are still included. The linked review does a cross-comparison of features against the iPhone SE and the Galaxy A53 for better context (video available).

App Roundup: Amazon refreshed the Prime Video app. Snapchat is coming to the Web. Google Wallet was made available globally. Instagram rolled out a new map experience. Android “stole” the Bluetooth audio switching from iPhone.

From the desk of…

In last week’s Power On newsletter, Mark Gurman, Apple tech writer for Bloomberg, discusses Stage Manager for multitasking on iPadOS 16. Naturally, with my current mobile focus being on tablets in my professional life, it grabbed my attention. I’m not spoiling anything by telling you that Gurman has a less than favorable opinion of Apple’s new feature — he gives that away in the headline — and explains why with a list of points towards the end. But that’s not what I’m interested in today. Not exactly, anyway.

What I’m interested in is the resistance from Apple to let iPadOS evolve into macOS Lite (or Mobile or Touch or whatever you might call it). What I mean is — and I’m being totally self-serving here — why not just let the iPad be the touchscreen version of the MacBook? I know, I know… this gets us right back to the dilemma that Google has with Chrome OS versus Android for tablets (I also think that’s apples and oranges… a discussion for another time). But what I want — and I’m sure I’m not alone on this — is a touch-enabled MacBook with a detachable keyboard that supports Apple Pencil. Or, more specifically, I want to run design software (Adobe, Sketch, etc) on an iPad Pro like I can on a MacBook (and if you think I’m crazy, Microsoft is already doing this with Windows 11 and their Surface product line).

What I’m getting at is this: The more time I spend with multiple devices across the different operating systems, the less reason I’m seeing for the separation between laptops and tablets. As Gurman states, why reinvent design patterns for iPadOS that already exist on macOS? Other than to squeeze more dollars out of consumers, of course.


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