Google’s long-rumored smartwatch could arrive on May 26th

There have been rumblings for quite some time that Google has been beavering away on its own smartwatch. Rumors last month suggested a Google-branded watch could arrive sometime in 2022, and now we have a slightly clearer idea of when it might debut.

Leaker Jon Prosser said the watch is currently slated to arrive on May 26th, noting that this is "the first we’ve seen a set date on the device behind the scenes." While that seems on the surface like an oddly specific date for something so far away, the timing lines up with the Google I/O developer conference, which usually takes place in May.

As with most smartwatches in the Android ecosystem, the smartwatch is expected to have a circular face, albeit with no physical bezel. It will likely have a heart rate sensor and other features adopted from Fitbit, which Google bought last year. The device could show off the extent of what Wear OS can do and be positioned as an Apple Watch competitor.

The release date isn't set in stone, of course. Nor is the name of the device, despite suggestions that it'll be called Pixel Watch. Still, it's something for Android and Pixel enthusiasts to keep an eye on.

Other rumors suggest a Pixel 6a smartphone is coming in May as well. It's expected to use the same Tensor chipset as the Pixel 6, though Google could ditch the headphone jack in the budget model.

Panasonic’s higher-capacity Tesla battery could enter production in 2023

Panasonic could start mass producing larger-capacity batteries for Tesla as soon as next year. The 4680 cell is said to boost the range of electric vehicles by over 15 percent. As Nikkei notes, that could boost the range of the Model S from 650km (404 miles or so) on a single charge to 750km (around 465 miles).

Although the battery is said to be twice as big as previous versions, it has a fivefold increase in energy capacity, according to Nikkei. As such, cars need fewer of the batteries, which are already 10 to 20 percent cheaper to produce. It's estimated that batteries account for 30 percent of the cost of EVs. A cost reduction could make EVs more affordable and hasten the transition to electric vehicles. What's more, a longer range means drivers won't need to charge batteries as often.

Panasonic, a long-time partner of Tesla, is reportedly investing around 80 billion yen ($704 million) on new equipment to produce the 4680. It's said to be expanding an existing plant in Japan and making the batteries there to begin with. Nikkei reports the company will start making the cells on a small scale this year to develop safe and efficient processes before entering mass production in 2023. It may mass produce the batteries in other countries later.

The company confirmed to Reuters that it was setting up a test production line in 2022, though didn't say when it will start making the batteries at a larger scale. "We are studying various options for mass production," it said.

Panasonic started working on the cell following a request from Tesla. The head of Panasonic's battery division said in November that the company hasn't ruled out producing the cell for other automakers, though Tesla is its priority. Tesla CEO Elon Musk previously said that although his company plans to make its own batteries, it would continue to source them from other suppliers.

Tesla announced the 4680 at a Battery Day event in September 2020. At the time, Musk said the cell and other developments could enable Tesla to start selling a $25,000 EV.

New Apple Macs, AirPods, iPads and more coming this fall

Apple is expected to hold a press event in March for the new iPhone SE3, a new iPad, and a new Mac, later on, this year is when the majority of the new Apple devices will launch including a range of new Macs. According to Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman, in his recent Power On newsletter, Apple […]

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OnePlus 10 Pro smartphone gets unboxed (Video)

The new OnePlus 10 Pro smartphone was made official earlier this month, the handset is only available in China at the moment. It is rumored to be launching in the US, Europe, and other countries sometime in March. Now we get to have a look at the OnePlus 10 Pro in a new Unboxing video […]

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Washington DC’s AG sues Google for ‘deceiving users and invading their privacy’

Google, no stranger to lawsuits about its practices these days, is facing a fresh legal broadside from Washington DC Attorney General Karl Racine. Racine (pictured) has launched an action claiming that Google has violated the Consumer Protection Procedures act in the state, specifically about location tracking. Essentially, Racine believes that while Google says its users can opt-out of having their whereabouts identified, such tracking remains in place. Racine's claim is being mirrored by similar AG-led lawsuits in Texas, Washington State and Indiana.

Much of this controversy was first publicized back in 2018 when an Associated Press report identified that location tracking remained active regardless of the user’s choice. The claim says that between 2014 and 2019, despite these promises, tracking data was stored in a Web and App Activity database. As our deep dive on the subject explained, Google did enable users to go in and erase their location from this file, but the process was slow and laborious.

“Google leads consumers to believe that consumers are in control of whether Google collects and retains information about their location and how that information is used,” says the complaint. “In reality, consumers who use Google products cannot prevent Google from collecting, storing and profiting from their location.” It added that the use of dark patterns to nudge a user to consenting to data collection is harmful to consumers.

This case follows a landmark action in Arizona, brought in 2020, where AG Mark Brnovich wanted the company to pay back ad money to users who though they had turned tracking off, but did not. In 2021, documents from that case emerged claiming that Google had further sought to obscure the settings that would enable a user to disable location tracking. 

Update Jan 24th, 11:28am ET: Google spokesperson José Castañeda has issued the following statement, saying that "the Attorneys General are bringing a case based on inaccurate claims and outdated assertions about our settings. We have always built privacy features into our products and provided robust controls for location data. We will vigorously defend ourselves and set the record straight.”

Google’s Nest Hub Max is down to $169 for today only

Those looking to add to their Google home setup can get the biggest Nest smart display for less today. Adorama has a one-day-only sale that knocks $60 off the Nest Hub Max, bringing it down to $169. That's even cheaper than we saw it a couple of weeks ago when a bunch of Nest gadgets were discounted across the web, and it's $11 less than the device's Black Friday price last year.

Buy Nest Hub Max at Adorama - $169

The Nest Hub Max earned a score of 86 from us when it first came out in 2019 and it remains a good option for those that rely on the Google Assistant and want a larger home hub with advanced smart features. It has a spacious 10-inch HD touchscreen on which you can do things like take a Zoom call, watch YouTube or Netflix and control all of the smart lights, thermostats and other gadgets in your home. Its stereo speakers help it sound better than the smaller Nest Hubs, so it'll be good for both video watching and music playing.

The built-in camera lets you do more than just take video calls. It enables Face Match, which is similar to Google's Voice Match feature in that it recognizes who's using the device so it can display information relevant to you including calendar alerts, messages and more. If you have more than one person in the house using the Hub Max, this feature will come in handy. The Hub Max also supports gesture controls, which allow you to do things like raise a palm to the camera to pause a video or song that's playing.

While it takes up more space on a countertop than a Nest Cam, the Nest Hub Max can act as one in your home, too. You can use the Nest Cam app to pull up the feed from the device's built-in camera, letting you keep watch over your home when you're away. So while most smart displays are multi-use devices, you're truly getting a lot of bang for your buck with the Nest Hub Max — especially when it's on sale like this.

Follow @EngadgetDeals on Twitter for the latest tech deals and buying advice.

How to check iPhone battery health and optimize charging

The iPhone battery and other smartphone batteries will slowly degrade over time, the more often it is charged. Apple has a feature where you can check your iPhone battery health and also optimize how the device charges to ensure that you get the maximum battery life out of your device. How do you check iPhone […]

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Samsung Galaxy S22 prices in Europe revealed

The Samsung Galaxy S22 smartphones will be launched at a Samsung Unpacked event next month, there will be three models in the lineup. The three models in the range are the Galaxy S22, the Galaxy S22+, and the Galaxy S22 Ultra and now we have some details on the pricing. The Galaxy S22 will start […]

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Sharkoon Skiller SGH50 wired gaming headset launches for €60

If you’re in the market for a wired gaming headset you may be interested in the affordably priced Sharkoon Skiller SGH50 priced at just €60 and offering a certified frequency range from 10 hertz to 40 kilohertz. The headset features a Circumaural design, is fitted with 50 mm speakers and weighs 342 g. Thanks to […]

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