Today’s newsletter comes with a more accurate prediction of the big Samsung event — even if there’s probably already another Galaxy device leaked before it starts — and 100 percent more working links.
After all the teases and photos, there shouldn’t be many surprises, but if you want to know exactly what the next Galaxy Fold and Galaxy Note are like, then you’ll find out in a few hours. Watch along with us, right here at 10 AM ET.
Disney has over 100 million streaming subscribers
And it’s releasing ‘Mulan’ on Disney+.
With 57.5 million customers from Disney+, 8.5 million from ESPN (up from 2.5 million a year ago) and 35.5 million from Hulu (up from 27.9 million), Disney now counts over 100 million direct customers. However, it’s bringing in less money per user than other streamers, due to discounts, all while the pandemic has closed movie theaters and kept people away from theme parks.
Disney did manage a hit when it released Hamilton direct to Disney+, and it’s following up with something bigger. It will release its $200 million live-action version of Mulan on Disney+ September 4th. While it will also premiere in theaters in some countries, for many people, a ticket via streaming is the only way to get access. Details on the release are scant, but we’re told that subscribers who pay up $30 to see it will get to keep it in their library as long as their subscription remains active.
Google Play Music will start shutting down in September
Stop us if you’ve heard this one before: Google is shutting down an old service.
Google has offered a transfer tool to go from Google Play Music to YouTube Music, since May, and it’ll keep working after Play Music has stopped streaming. That tool brings over everything you’ve uploaded to Play Music, anything you purchased from Google Play Music, playlists you’ve created, streaming songs you’ve saved to your library and data about your listening habits.
You’ll want to do that (or use Google’s Takeout export tool to move your data somewhere else) soon because Google Play Music is going away. The big shutdown starts in September for Australia and New Zealand, then spreads worldwide in October. That shift will include the removal of Google’s Play Music store, too, so if you like to own your music, you’ll need to find another outlet.
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Watch SpaceX’s Starship prototype take flight
Last year, SpaceX flew a Raptor-powered Starhopper test vehicle, and now its first full-size Starship prototype has taken a 150-meter hop. Video from SpaceX shows the flight from a drone view and via cameras mounted to the SN5 prototype, which is missing a few elements, like a nose cone and body flaps. According to Elon Musk, after a few more tests, we should see those added when it’s time for high-altitude testing.
Finally, Apple makes SSDs standard with its new 27-inch iMac
Same on the smaller iMac.
Apple’s newest iMac isn’t an ARM-powered number but a subtle upgrade with new processors and graphics. That’s not all. There’s also a higher-resolution webcam with improved low-light performance and a new audio system that borrows the “studio-quality” mic setup first seen in some recent MacBook Pros. Most importantly, perhaps, Apple is finally making SSDs standard across the line, for both the 27-inch and 21.5-inch iMacs. Depending on which configuration you choose, you’re starting with 256GB or 512GB, but from there, you can go all the way up to 8TB. Price tiers remain the same, starting from $1,799, and the new Macs are available to order now.
Apple marketing chief Phil Schiller has a new job
And Greg Joswiak will now be the face of the iPhone.
Phil Schiller, the longtime face of the iPhone, has a new job. Not that he’s leaving the company: He’s now an Apple Fellow, acting as a top-level adviser after 33 years at the company. That all being said, Schiller remains in charge of the App Store and Apple Events. New SVP of Marketing Greg Joswiak, previously the head of product marketing, has been with Apple for more than 20 years.
Pepper the robot knows when you’re not wearing a mask
And it will tell you to put one on.
Pepper, part-time butler, railway station assistant, smartphone hawker and more, is now ready to slow the spread of COVID-19, with a new software update that adds AI image processing to detect whether nearby humans are wearing masks or not. And then tell them to wear one.
According to SoftBank Robotics, no personal data is used or stored, and the system works with masks that have complex patterns and color schemes. Pepper will also provide daily analytics, like the percentage of people complying with mask requirements.