Google’s big developer showcase unveiled an almost entirely new look for Android. Material You, which builds on the design changes of 2014’s Material Design, lets you pick a color palette for your smartphone. Fewer blacks, whites and greys, and — at least according to the presentation — more pastel tones than you can ever imagine.
Within Android 12, the system will analyze your wallpaper and determine colors that are dominant, complementary or "just look great." Those tones are then applied to items like the notification shade, lockscreen and widgets. Interestingly, once you've assigned your favorite look, it will follow you from your phone to other Google products, including the web, Chrome OS, wearables and smart displays. It’s a clever way of imprinting something familiar to everything Google you use in daily life.
Material You will arrive on Google’s own Pixel phones this fall and roll out to more of Google's products later this year.
For everything else teased during the Google I/O 2021 keynote, we’ve distilled it all right here.
— Mat Smith
Meet the portable desktop.
Now that Apple has plugged its M1 processor into an all-in-one desktop computer, the new iMac is thinner and lighter than ever before. Devindra Hardawar found it makes for an ideal family PC, with quick switching enabled by Touch ID, fast performance, an impressive 24-inch display and a design that flashes personality.
Of course, there are some compromises, with a limited number of ports available and specs that fall short of what professionals are looking for. It also doesn’t come cheap, and bumping up the RAM or storage gets expensive quickly, but without many strong PC competitors, this iMac stands alone. Continue reading.
Some of that data has to go.
Less than a year after their debut, Apple’s pricey headphones are facing an audio format they can’t handle. But $550 cans should be able to play CD-quality audio, right? As Billy Steele explains, the limitations of Bluetooth are behind the missing feature. But it may not be as big of a problem as it seems: He argues that support for Apple Music’s new spatial audio tracks, which is present in the AirPods Max, is something you’ll more easily notice than lossless vs. lossy. Continue reading.
After years without a major update, Wear OS is getting some love. The software's latest update is coming soon and was developed in collaboration with Samsung. This isn't the deep Fitbit integration some of us might have been expecting since Google completed its acquisition earlier this year, but it’s still a pretty huge deal. Samsung had previously split from Google’s wearable software, trying to forge its own path with Tizen. Now, it’s coming back to the fold. Continue reading.
Ford says the Lightning will have more power and torque than any previous F-150.
Ford will officially unveil the F-150 Lightning tonight at 9:30 PM ET, but it showed off the truck a day early when President Biden stopped by the factory. Biden drove a camouflaged prototype of the battery-powered pickup, but we got our first glimpse of its uncovered body sitting behind him next to several classic iterations of the truck that has topped sales charts in the US for 44 years in a row. Continue reading.
They popped up in the latest iOS and tvOS beta releases.
While we wait for next-gen AirPods to break cover, Beats could get here first. Discovered in the iOS and tvOS 14.6 betas by MacRumors, the Beats Studio Buds look to be tiny buds with no wires — and no stems either. The code also mentions noise cancellation, which would be a first for any Beats wireless earphone product. Given where these images came from, the products might soon be on their way. Will they work with Lossless audio? Continue reading.
And replaying 'Mass Effect 2' is your reward.
The original Mass Effect was definitely a rougher beast compared to its sequels. Legendary Edition fixes a lot of things, but Mass Effect is still the game you remember. Slog your way through it and get to the good stuff: Mass Effect 2 and the grand finale, Mass Effect 3. Mat Smith explains why the trilogy deserves a revisit. Continue reading.