CES 2020: Skagen unveils new Wear OS watch, Google Assistant gets new features, and more

All the craziness of the news out of CES 2020 has calmed down significantly, so this newsletter won’t be as long as the previous two. Luckily, there are still some stories out of the show that are worth mentioning as well as a couple of headlines that aren’t a part of CES but still deserve your attention.


Google adds a ton of new features to Assistant

Every CES, Google makes a big splash with a marquee attraction outside the Las Vegas Convention Center and a ton of news surrounding the Google Assistant. This year is no different.

I’m not gonna go over everything in this newsletter since I plan on writing a proper article on the news, but here’s a rundown of some of the features Google will be adding to the Assistant this year.

  • Easy setup for third-party smart home devices through smart prompts on your Android phone
  • Scheduled Actions
  • Added support for 10 different smart home appliances including Telus Wi-Fi Hub routers and August Smart Locks
  • Sticky Notes for Smart Displays
  • Speed Dials
  • Improved privacy

That’s already a lot, and there are a few I didn’t mention. Stay tuned for the article I’m writing which should be coming later today.

Skagen unveils new Falster 3 Wear OS watch w/ Snapdragon 3100

Also at CES this year, Skagen announced a new Wear OS-powered smartwatch called the Falster 3. Its big claim to fame is a really nice spec sheet which includes a Snapdragon 3100 processor, 1GB of RAM, a speaker for audible alerts and Google Assistant feedback, water resistance, and a 1.3-inch OLED display.

With specs like these, the watch will have to rely on good battery life in order to be a success. We’ll soon find out of this is the case as the watch goes on sale this week for $295. More details can be found in 9to5Google‘s article.

Apple iPhone 9 leaks in new renders

Jumping off the CEs bandwagon for a bit, Apple’s upcoming iPhone SE 2 (or iPhone 9, as it’s now being called) has leaked in a new set of renders courtesy of OnLeaks. The leaks suggest the phone will blend the designs of the iPhone 8 and iPhone 11 Pro with a stainless steel frame, a frosted glass back, and super chunky bezels around the screen. I’m not gonna lie, these renders don’t look too bad. I’m actually almost tempted to consider buying one of these phones so long as it looks like this.

Of course, the device will come with a Touch ID sensor, an A13 Bionic processor, a Lightning port, no headphone jack, and a single rear camera. We still don’t what this mysterious iPhone will be called, when it’ll come out, or how much it’ll cost, but that info is likely around the corner.

RIP: Sprint is killing Virgin Mobile

In a surprising twist, Sprint has announced that it’ll be shutting down Virgin Mobile in the United States. There’s no concrete shutdown date available, but it’ll likely happen soon. In the meantime, Sprint is helping customers migrate over to Boost Mobile where you’ll be able to pay the same price, keep your phone, and keep your number. Overall, it shouldn’t be too much of an issue jumping from the sinking ship that is Sir Richard Branson’s failed cellular network.

Hopefully, you found this shorter newsletter refreshing. I’ll get to work on a couple of articles and include them in tomorrow’s roundup of news. Note that you won’t see a newsletter in your inbox Friday morning. That’s because I’m taking that morning off from Wiretapped. My brain needs to relax after all this writing.

Talk to you later.

– Your pal, Max

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