Fitbits Now Available via Google Store; Apple May Be Making 7 Inch Folder Phone with Pencil; Metropolis Raises $41 Million-Automated Parking; Microsoft’s New Office App Comes to iPad

Fitbit watches and trackers are now officially for sale from the Google Store. 9to5google.com reports that you can now pick up your fitness band right there with Pixel phones and Nest thermostats. Right now, the Fitbit Sense, Versa 3, Inspire 2, and Charge 4 are on the site. Prices are the same as elsewhere, but a plus is that you can get purchase financing via the Store like is available for unlocked Pixel phones. Watchbands, chargers, and other accessories are also up on the site now. 

Folding phones got a pretty rocky start (looking at you, Samsung) and are pricey, but may well be the way to go if you’d rather not schlep around both a smartphone and a tablet. Now, Apple may have one in the works that could be out in 2023. It will have a 7.3 to 7.6 inch OLED screen, and utilize the Apple Pencil (although the leak says it will support an ‘activity pen.’) According to macrumors.com, the 7.6 inch screen would be nearly the size of the present 7.9 inch iPad Mini. The device would obviously be heavier and thicker than an iPhone, but as a way to ditch the iPad and just carry one device, it may be just the device some people need. 

LA based startup Metropolis is going after BMW owned ParkMobile in the automated parking realm. Techcrunch.com says the startup has raised $41 million. Upgrading ParkMobile’s license plate-based service with a computer vision based system that recognizes cars as they enter and leave garages has been Metropolis’ mission since founder and chief executive Alex Israel first formed the business back in 2017. The company hopes to expand to over 600 locations over the next year. They already manage 10,000 parking slots. The plate based system is in place with several firms. A friend in NYC says the little sign flashes when she leaves work…’Goodbye Ms X. Have a nice day!’ Personalized or creepy…you decide!

Microsoft’s new unified Office mobile app is now out for iPad. It rolls up Word, Excel, and PowerPoint into a single app. Theverge.com notes the app has been out on iOS as well as Android since 2019. Up to now, its run in a windowed mode instead of a fully optimized iPad app. BTW, if you prefer, the stand alone apps are still available and being updated on an ongoing basis. 



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