Google steps up fight against iPhone by ripping off more Apple features

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Google rips off iPhone features
Spatial audio, unlock with Wear OS, and more on the way.
Image: Killian Bell/Cult of Mac

Google plans to make its latest Pixel and Wear OS devices more compelling alternatives to iPhone and Apple Watch by ripping off some of Cupertino’s most popular software features — including spatial audio and AirDrop.

The Android-maker revealed the long list of improvements, which will span all of Google’s software platforms as well as Windows, this week at the CES trade show in Las Vegas. Here’s what you can expect if you plan to ditch your Apple devices and swap sides.

Part 2: From PC pigsty to prim M1 Pro MacBook workstation [Setups]

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In round 2, I experiment with an open laptop stand, a mechanical keyboard with a wrist rest, a Magic Trackpad 2, an ergonomic mouse with a trackball and a monitor light bar.
In round 2, I experiment with an open laptop stand, a mechanical keyboard with a wrist rest, a Magic Trackpad 2, an ergonomic mouse with a trackball and a monitor light bar.
Photo: David Snow/Cult of Mac

I wrote recently about the shameful squalor of my previous “setup” — basically a borrowed PC laptop perched on a pile of junk — and my effort to build something worthwhile around a gleaming new 14-inch M1 Pro MacBook. Well, like a lot of people in the throes of building a computer setup, I found that second-guessing haunted me into buying a whole lot of alternative gear.

You know, for testing purposes. Trial and error. Not because of my apparent shopping addiction. Or not much, anyway.

Google mercilessly mocks those pretentious Apple videos Jony Ive used to make

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Google hilariously mocks Jony Ive’s Apple product videos
“Engineered for optimal haptic feedback to deliver the satisfying feeling of… click.”
Screenshot: Google

A new video for the Google Pixel 5a pokes fun at the ones Jony Ive used to make gushing about the smallest details in designs of Apple products.

While an homage, the video also exhibits a cutting edge. It highlights the new Android smartphone’s headphone jack, a feature Ive removed from iPhones. Still, Apple fans shouldn’t miss this well-made parody:

Samsung’s Galaxy Fold finally launches on its home turf this week

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Apple invents a unique, no-crease folding iPhone screen
And it only took an extra five months!
Photo: Samsung

Samsung’s long-delayed Galaxy Fold folding smartphone will finally go on sale on September 6. This comes five months after it was originally made available for preorder.

The troubled handset, which has undergone a major redesign, will launch in South Korea this week. it will be followed by select countries including France, Germany, Singapore, U.K., U.S. in the near future.

Samsung’s #greendontcare GIFs are the weirdest Apple diss ever

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Samsung's GIF
A look at some of Samsung's Apple-dissing GIFs.
Photo: Samsung

Samsung seems pretty triggered (as the kids say) by people dissing its green Android text message bubbles, compared to the blue bubbles of Apple’s iMessages. So much so, in fact, that it’s created a whole bunch of animated GIFs to, err… do something?

The GIFs portray scenes like a green snake eating blue bubbles and a creepy green salamander being inappropriately touchy-feely with a distressed blue bubble. Hey, it probably sounded hilarious when it was described in the team meeting!

Samsung and Huawei beat Apple in Q1 smartphone sales

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Apple display maker exec fired for embezzling millions of dollars
Apple still ranks no. 1 in profits, though!
Photo: Kristal Chan/Cult of Mac

Apple placed third in worldwide smartphone sales in the first quarter of 2019, suggest new figures from Gartner.

Samsung came in first place, with 71.6 million units sold in the three month period. Huawei followed in hot pursuit, with 58.4 million sales. Apple, for its part, sold 44.6 million units for the quarter: a decline of 17.6% year over year.

Samsung will reveal new shipping date for Galaxy Fold this week

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Galaxy Fold specs
The Galaxy Fold has been a bit of a headache for Samsung.
Photo: Samsung

Samsung’s boss Koh Dong-jin says that his company will announce its conclusion about the future of the Galaxy Fold this week.

Samsung has reportedly “reviewed the defect” highlighted in early reviews, and will announce its rescheduled launch plan in the U.S “in a couple of days.”

Samsung reports its weakest profits since late 2016

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Galaxy S10 lineup
Samsung's latest flagship phones are doing well, though.
Photo: Samsung

Samsung has reported its weakest profits in two years as first quarter earnings suffered from weak smartphone and memory chip sales.

While Samsung said that it expects things will be get better in the second half of the year, the immediate outlook isn’t great. Samsung posted operating profits of $5.4 billion for the quarter, its smallest since late 2016. By comparison, this quarter last year raked in $13.4 billion.

Samsung recalls glitchy Galaxy Fold review units

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Galaxy Fold specs
The Fold isn't the precedent-setter Samsung may have hoped.
Photo: Samsung

Having pushed back the launch of its Galaxy Fold folding smartphone, Samsung is now supposedly retrieving all units it sent reviewers — without issuing replacements. While there’s disagreement on whether the original units were meant to be returned after 10 days, it seems things aren’t quite playing out as expected.

This comes after early reviewers noted that the $1,980 handset suffered some serious screen problems.