Samsung 6.7 Inch Pocket-Sized Folder; Apple Watch Sleep Tracking; Amazon’s Alexa Eyeing Your Car; Facebook May Drop Like Counts

After the disastrous almost release of their first folding phone, you might think Samsung would tread cautiously…but you’d be wrong! Bloomberg.com is reporting that they are working on a 6.7 inch phone that shrinks to ‘a pocketable square’ when it’s folded inward like a clamshell. On the plus side, it’s supposed to be lighter and thinner than the Galaxy Fold. When (and maybe even IF) it is released depends in part to the acceptance of the revised Galaxy Fold. It will have a hole-punch selfie cam at the top of the inner display like the Galaxy Note 10. The two outside cams are rear cams when it’s open….and a front cam when the device is folded up. It uses UTG or Ultra Thin Glass for the inner display. That glass is only 3% as thick as normal displays.

Most rumors about the latest Apple Watch, which rolls out a week from today, have it as very much an incremental update…no major changes. According to 9to5mac.com, one thing to look for is sleep tracking…which won’t require any additional hardware to work. The report says that since picking Beddit along with its app, Apple has been working to integrate the sleep tracker into the Watch. The update will remind you to take it off and charge it before bed, so you can put it back on to track your sleep. (Or, as some have suggested, keep your present Watch, buy a new one, and use the older model as your ‘sleep watch!’ Apple would like that!) One cool feature…if you get up before your alarm, the Watch will detect this and turn off the alarm for you. It will also automatically enable Do Not Disturb when you go to bed. It appears that most or all of the new features will run on existing Apple Watches…again, we’ll know a week from now.

It’s a long game, but Amazon has been working on Alexa for cars for a couple years now. Fastcompany.com says it will do the usual things like streaming, messaging, voice calls, and reminders. But They are looking ahead to have Alexa do much more…like rolling the windows up and down, controlling the cabin temperature at the verbal request of the driver. Besides in-car commands, they see you using Alexa from the house…’Alexa, ask my car to get ready.’ If it is an electric car, it could turn on and warm the cabin before you head into the garage. It could also calculate the charge in the batteries, and determine if you were good to go for your commute…or to drive elsewhere, like the airport to catch a flight. (If you had Tesla’s Auto Pilot and it was fully in effect, imagine the car dropping you off and going home…then driving itself to the airport to pick you up—no shuttle, limo, or expensive parking!) Personally, I am not ready for Alexa in the car…not until it can make the jerk in the Prius driving 50 in the fast lane ahead of me get his entitled butt over into one of the right hand lanes!!

Facebook may soon start hiring the ‘Like’ counter on News Feed posts…allegedly to protect users from envy, and dissuade them from self-censorship. According to techcrunch.com, Instagram is already testing this in 7 countries including Canada and Brazil. At present, the test just shows a few mutual friends who have liked the post as opposed to the total number. Facebook will have to balance this out if they go forward with it….if advertisers don’t go for it, it may not happen. If they do drop Like counts, rest assured that THEY will still have that data…YOU are the product, after all!

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