The Morning After: A transforming, flying car makes its first inter-city flight

·Bureau Chief, UK
·5 min read

Where's our flying-car future? Maybe it's finally a little closer. AirCar, a prototype car-plane-thing from Klein Vision made a trip between Nitra and Bratislava airports in Slovakia. After 35 minutes in the air, and making the landing, its inventor clicked a button, the wings tucked in and he drove the car home straight from the tarmac.

The company has worked on hybrid aircraft for more than 30 years. With 142 successful landings and 40-plus hours of test flights under its belt, Professor Stefan Klein is convinced that his third prototype is ready to go into pre-production.

AirCar
AirCar

What’s particularly interesting compared to other flying vehicles is this is very much a car (with a BMW petrol engine inside), not a drone or a vertical take-off and land (VTOL) machine. It’s more like a plane and requires a runway to get into the sky.

For the next stage, Klein wants to almost double the horsepower of the engine and believes the vehicle will be eligible for aircraft certification from European aviation regulators. Oh yes, along with an M1 road permit for when the wheels hit the ground.

— Mat Smith

iOS 15 beta hands-on

A surprisingly complete preview of the future.

An iPhone XR laying on a white surface showing
An iPhone XR laying on a white surface showing

The iOS 15 public beta is live today, which means a lot of us can now check out the latest features coming to iPhones later this year. (Warning: If you’re thinking of trying the public beta, make sure you’ve considered the risk of running preview software.)

Some of the updates getting the most buzz are the new Focus modes and FaceTime sharing tools, but there are also changes across Messages, Maps, Weather, Safari, Photos and more. Reviews Editor Cherlynn Low has been testing the developer beta ahead of wider testing: Here’s what she thought.

Volvo teases its future of 'pure' EVs

Its first EV built from the ground up.

Volvo Concept Recharge EV
Volvo Concept Recharge EV

Volvo's electric vehicles to date have been offshoots of existing car platforms, but that’s soon to change. The brand has unveiled a Concept Recharge design that shows the direction for the company's "pure" EV future — both in aesthetics and technology.

The Concept Recharge ditches the usual engine bay and tucks a large battery into a flat floor. That makes more interior space, of course, but also leads to shorter overhangs, a lower hood and a new roof profile. This also gives Volvo an excuse to streamline everything. Continue reading.

Loki and the Simpsons meet on Disney+ July 7th

Who’s the true god of mischief?

The Good, The Bart and The Loki
The Good, The Bart and The Loki

Thanks to the billions Disney spent adding Marvel, Lucasfilm and assets from 21st Century Fox, it’s time for the Simpson family to meet Marvel’s favorite cinematic villain: Loki. Fans of Loki have more than just a new episode of Marvel’s live-action series to look forward to next Wednesday. On July 7th, Disney will also release to Disney+ The Good, The Bart, and The Loki, a new Simpsons short, guest starring Tom Hiddleston. Continue reading.

Apple’s watchOS 8 beta has landed, too

Subtle but useful changes.

While the next watchOS might not represent as significant a change as iOS 15, it does bring new health and fitness tools, along with tighter iPhone integration. Apple's new health-centric features could interest those looking for a more holistic approach to wellbeing. The company has renamed its Breathe app ‘Mindfulness,’ adding Reflect to the existing breathing exercises. There’s also the introduction of Tai Chi and Pilates classes to the workout stable. Once again, Cherlynn takes a look at what’s new. Continue reading.

LG's QNED Mini LED TVs are coming to the US in July

More contrast than LED, brighter than OLED?

LG's 'QNED' Mini LED TVs are coming to the US in July
LG's 'QNED' Mini LED TVs are coming to the US in July

LG's lineup of QNED 4K and 8K TVs unveiled late last year will arrive in the US in July, the company has announced. They'll sit just below LG's flagship OLED and consist of two 8K models (the QNED99 and QNED95) along with the 4K QNED90, in sizes from 65 to 85 inches. The TVs will launch first in North America and arrive in other regions in the coming weeks.

Mini LED tech attempts to blend the characteristics of OLED and LED. Unlike regular LED models, Mini LED uses thousands of tiny LEDs, up to 30,000 for the 86-inch 8K QNED99. With so many more dimming zones, it should offer contrasts better than LED sets as well as brightness levels that go beyond OLED TVs.

LG didn't reveal pricing, but B&H Photo Video already has most of the lineup available for pre-order. Prices start at $1,997 for the QNED90 65-inch 4K model, with the 75- and 86-inch 4K QNED90 sets at $2,997 and $3,997, respectively. The flagship 86-inch model, meanwhile, is a heady $6,497. Continue reading.

Slack is getting a Discord-like audio feature called 'Huddles'

The company is trying to address Zoom fatigue.

Slack is adding real-time audio features. The messaging app is launching a new, Discord-like chat feature called Huddles. The feature, along with new collaboration tools for sharing pre-recorded audio and video, is, according to the company, meant to provide an alternative to the “endless stream of meetings” that have dominated many of our calendars over the last year and a half. Continue reading.

But wait, there’s more...

July's PlayStation Plus games include 'Call of Duty: Black Ops 4'

The iOS 15, iPadOS 15 and watchOS 8 public betas are here

Amazon calls for FTC Chair Lina Khan's recusal from antitrust investigations

United's new Boeing jets will offer Bluetooth audio with its in-flight entertainment

Apple's developer problems are much bigger than Epic and 'Fortnite'

Hackers exploited two flaws in event that remotely wiped Western Digital devices

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