And a special good afternoon to all you umbraphiles out there! Last week was a lighter news cycle, but a handful of headlines still managed to break through (I suspect this trend will continue until the rumored iPad event in May). Pull off those eclipse glasses and give it a skim! 😎

Week 14 (03/31–04/06)

OnePlus AI Eraser. Opening a New Era of AI-Driven, User-Centric Innovation.

OnePlus… unveiled its new AI Eraser photo editing feature. Built on the company’s own proprietary large language model (LLM), the feature allows users to remove unwanted objects from photos, similar to offerings from Google and Samsung. With OnePlus’ small footprint in the US market, the bigger story here is the growing list of OEMs working to integrate AI into their handsets.

Apple… released iOS 17.5 beta 1 to developers. In it, we get a sneak peek at web installation for apps in the EU, design updates across apps & widgets, and anti-stalking features in the Find My app. Developer betas are intended for testing apps and reporting bugs in the system with the added bonus of giving the rest of us a preview of what’s to come. Includes screenshots.

Twitter / X… began giving out unsolicited blue checks to users. Specifically for accounts with more than 2.5k premium followers, the effort provides the verified badge along with the full paid subscription experience — for free. But it’s the UX of the checkmark itself that concerns me more, making its meaning confusing for both those who have received it and those who are evaluating the credibility of tweets.

& Beyond…

Amazon… abandons the “Just Walk Out” tech at Amazon Fresh stores. But the real lede is that the tech was an illusion — it relied on over 1,000 remote workers to process the transactions (my buddy Chris called it MechTurks 2.0). This one made it to my local morning news, which surprised me, but speaks to its newsworthiness.


The T-Mobile Sidekick’s Jump button made mobile multitasking easy. A historical piece revisiting the mobile experience of the early 2000s with non-touch displays, physical keyboards, and programmable shortcut buttons. I was on a student’s budget and still toting around my Motorola i500 plus when the Sidekick was released, but I can appreciate the constraints the team had to design through.



← Back to Notes