Samsung Unpacked Highlights; Apple Tap To Pay; Car Radio Glitch Locks on Single Station; Twitter Rolls Out Playback Speed for Videos

As is not uncommon, most of what Samsung rolled out at the latest Unpacked today had already been leaked. Theverge.com reports that the star of the show was the flagship Galaxy S22 Ultra. It is basically a Note, without the name…something Samsung has been running away from since some had fire issues a few years ago. That said, the Note has had a fiercely loyal following, so here’s the Ultra with an S Pen silo. Besides that, it is pretty much an evolutionary update. The handset has a 6.8 inch screen, the same cams as before, in a somewhat more boxy shape like the old note. The Galaxy S22 will go for $1199, and can be preordered today in phantom black, phantom white, green, or new burgundy. It goes on sale February 25th. 

Apple has announced its Tap to Pay for iPhone. We reported about this last week, but there’s a new wrinkle that was revealed today. According to 9to5mac.com, Apple will be partnering with third-parties, and making the platform available to app developers and other payment platforms besides Apple Pay. The NFC driven feature will be live late this year, and will support contactless payments over an iOS app on iPhone XS or later. It will work with either another phone or credit card that has a chip. The surprise vendor already on board is Stripe. They already have a landing page up to let businesses express interest in Tap to Pay on iPhone for Stripe Terminal. Apple announced that Tap to Pay will appear in an upcoming iOS software beta, and will be available to payment partners and app developers via new SDKs.

A software glitch in Mazda cars that is every radio programmer’s dream (if it is your station locked in, anyway) has confounded drivers of Mazda cars from model years 2014-17. Suddenly, the cars will only pick up public radio station KUOW. Geekwire.com notes that in a few cases, the infotainment systems have quit all together. Dealers report they are hearing from plenty of owners. The problem is apparently related to the switch to 5G. In my own case, I had update the software in my 2018 Honda by a certain date or lose connectivity, as that maker dropped 3G support. The cars still can use 4G (LTE) and 5G. If the Mazda issue is similar, some of these people who didn’t download the software update may have to get a new part at dealers installed. Not cool. At least Mazda says the dealers can submit a ‘goodwill request’ to the warranty department, but of course….the part is backordered everywhere!

Twitter has dropped another test feature. This time, it’s a speed adjustment for videos, ranging from quarter speed to double speed. According to Mashable.com, such a feature has been available on both Netflix and YouTube. The rub is, the video length is still 140 seconds for us regular humans, and up to 10 minutes for important content providers. In light of that, it appears that Twitter is going after TikTok more than trying to compete with the likes of YouTube. Twitter is also trying out a downvote button…but you can’t use it to give a thumbs down to Tweets….only to replies to Tweets. 



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