What do you really need from an alarm clock? Smart displays can be a little extreme to sit by your bedside, but having something that syncs nicely with your phone doesn’t hurt. Now Lenovo has followed last year’s Google Assistant-connected Smart Clock with this few-frills Smart Clock Essential.
As Cherlynn Low points out, its four-inch display doesn’t just tell the time, it also shows the current weather and temperature, along with your alarms and other status indicators. Of course, it has microphones for “OK, Google” voice commands, and a three-watt speaker to make sure Mat’s voice comes through clearly every morning. Maybe you don’t need a smart clock, but maybe you do need its built-in light to help you get around at night without waking anyone else up.
Netflix offers a collection of original movies and shows for free
No account needed.
Netflix has occasionally offered a movie or show for free as a preview in the past, like rom-com To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before, which was available to anyone for about a month. This time around, there are top-drawer movies and shows, including Bird Box, Stranger Things, Grace and Frankie and The Two Popes.
Only the first episode of shows are available, so you won’t be able to binge-watch the first season of Stranger Things, but there’s enough high-profile material to get people started... and hopefully sell them on the benefits of a subscription.
Apple's fall event could feature four iPhones, two Watches and an iPad Air
Busy time for Tim et al.
We heard you like iPhones. Try four of them. That’s just to start with, according to Bloomberg sources. Apple plans to release four new 5G iPhones with OLED screens, two basic 5.4-inch and 6.1-inch models and two Pro models with 6.1- and 6.7-inch displays. That last one would be the biggest iPhone yet.
Apple could also release two new Watches, including a successor to the flagship Series 5 and a Series 3 replacement that will go up against lower-end Fitbit-type devices. Meanwhile, the iPad Air will take cues from the 2019 iPad Pro with slimmer bezels — something we mentioned in yesterday’s newsletter. And that’s not all — even at this stage.
Expect a new, more petite HomePod and over-the-ear Apple-branded headphones, too. It’s… a lot.
Motorola’s One 5G packs a lot of features into a sub-$500 phone
Maybe it’s enough to make you think twice about a Pixel?
If you want a 5G-ready phone but don’t want to spend a lot of money, then this upcoming Motorola device could be a good choice. The One 5G is coming to AT&T first (a Verizon mmWave-friendly model will follow in October) for an unspecified price somewhere under $500, but the spec sheet is interesting: Qualcomm's Snapdragon 765, 4GB of RAM, 128GB internal storage plus SD card expansion slot and a 6.7-inch Full HD+ display with HDR10+ and 90Hz refresh rate.
It has NFC, 5,000mAh battery, side-mounted fingerprint scanner, a headphone jack and two lenses upfront, including an extra-wide one to get everyone in your selfies. Around back, there are four lenses, including a 48MP main camera plus a dedicated macro lens with its own ring light. Of course, the devil’s in the details, so we’ll need some hands-on time and confirmation of its future update schedule before this one gets a recommendation.
PayPal has an 'invoice' fraud problem
Think twice before clicking yes.
PayPal makes it easy for anyone to create and send invoices, which is great for small businesses — and scammers. Editor-in-chief Dana Wollman got one of the legitimate-seeming requests in her inbox and saw how it immediately puts a pending charge in your PayPal account. A spokeswoman said PayPal has “worked to remove the incorrect invoices, and ensure our customer's information is secure,” but you should keep an eye out to stop the con artists getting away with your cash.
Amazon's Prime Air can begin drone-delivery trials in the US
The FAA granted Amazon 'air carrier' status.
Amazon is officially an “air carrier.” The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) granted Amazon Prime Air the designation, and it means the company can begin its first commercial drone-delivery trials in the US. The company will use the same hexagon-shaped hybrid drones it showed off last year.
The pandemic may serve as an added push for autonomous deliveries. Amazon has seen a massive uptick in online sales in the past few months, helping to drive profits. With drones also sending out deliveries, it could be even better equipped to handle increased demand.