Google Drops Pixelbook; IG Reels Non-Engagement; Twitter Bows Podcasts; iOS 16 ‘Clean Energy Charging’

Google has killed its Pixelbook laptop, and broken up the team that was designing it. Theverge.com reports that the move was a cost-cutting one. Just earlier this year, Google had said they were proceeding to do more Pixelbooks ‘in the future.’ Google has had a hardware strategy to make good products and to try and show other manufacturers how to do the same. While that is working with their smartwatches and may with an Android tablet (due out next year), there are already plenty of good Android phones and Chromebook laptops. 

An internal memo leaked last month indicates that most Instagram Reels aren’t really setting things on fire. In fact, gizmodo.com notes that  “most Reels users have no engagement whatsoever.” Compared to rival TikTok, users in IG spend 17.6 million hours a day all together, while TikTok users rack up 197.8 million hours on short form videos. In the memo, Meta blames its lack of content creators and influencers. Also…over a third of Reels are apparently created on other apps, and ported over. 

If you are a Twitter Blue subscriber, and can’t get enough podcasts elsewhere, you’re in luck…in their redesigned Spaces tab, Twitter Blue members on iOS can now check out popular podcasts. Engadget.com says the feature isn’t intended to replace dedicated apps like Pocket Casts. Twitter just intends it to be a way for users to discover something new to listen to. The Spaces tab also includes themed audio stations. 

iOS 16 is out with its customizable lock screen…a feature Android has had for years, plus some other cool stuff like the ability to select a person or object and pull it right out of a picture to paste into a document or note, or a new picture. According to 9to5mac.com, another feature is coming later this year…it’s what Apple calls ‘Clean Energy Charging.’ Apparently, “Clean Energy Charging aims to decrease the carbon footprint of the iPhone by optimizing charging times for when the grid is using cleaner energy sources.” Apple will also add a dedicated iCloud Shared Photo Library later on. 



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