Apple Watch Ultra teardown confirms it’s rugged, but not easily repaired

The Apple Watch Ultra is built to survive outdoors adventures, but you'll want to forget about repairing it yourself if you take a tumble. iFixit has completed a video teardown indicating that the Ultra isn't significantly more repairable than its regular counterparts. While there are external screws on the back, you're going to wreck a waterproofing gasket if you pry the rear open. And don't even think of getting through the front — it's difficult to avoid breaking the screen, at least without special tools.

It's also tricky to access the battery and other components. The teardown also illustrates just how much larger the speaker array is on the Apple Watch Ultra compared to the Series 8. Even if you're unlikely to ever use the siren feature those speakers are meant for, it should help with call quality and other audio-driven apps.

This isn't the advancement in fix-it-yourself friendliness you saw in the base iPhone 14, then. You'll need to take this to a pro repair shop if you land badly during a hike. Even so, iFixit is optimistic the Watch Ultra represents a path toward more repairable Apple wristwear. While it's not clear if future smartwatches will make that leap, it won't be shocking given mounting political pressure on the tech industry to create more easily maintained devices.

Meta tests easier account switching between Facebook and Instagram

Meta is testing two features that integrate Facebook and Instagram more closely together. On Monday, the company began rolling out a new interface on Android, iOS and on the web for switching between accounts. Provided you’ve added your Facebook and Instagram credentials to the same Accounts Center, you can use the feature to switch between the two apps without navigating to your phone’s home screen, multitasking menu or app drawer. The interface also allows you to see a count of all your notifications in one place.

At the same time, Meta is introducing a redesigned login and onboarding experience on Android and iOS. If you’re new to the company’s social networks, you can create one account and then use it to create additional ones. For those who already have both Facebook and Instagram accounts, it’s now possible to use the login information associated with one app to access the other – though you first need to add them to the same Accounts Center.

The new interface flow for creating Facebook and Instagram accounts

Meta will notify you every time you use an existing account to create a new one or you add an account to the Accounts Center. Additionally, security features like two-factor authentication will still work, preventing, for instance, someone from using your Instagram credentials to access your Facebook account.

While the new features are “currently limited to Facebook and Instagram,” Meta notes it will “continue to explore how to improve connected experiences across all of our technologies.” They arrive following the debut of Meta accounts in August and a recent downturn in both revenue and user growth for the company.

Split serves as both partition and air purifier for your space

If you live in a condo or work a lot in an office space, an air purifier is a must-have especially if you’re not able to open your windows often. Most of the time though, these devices are placed by the wall or close to the wall since you don’t want them to take up much space. It would be better though if you could place them in the middle of the room so it is able to “purify” the entire space well. So the idea is to make it multi-functional or at least integrate it into your room’s decoration.

Designers: Hyeona Cho, Seung-A Lee, Chae Eun Park

The idea for Split is to be a partition-type Air Purifier so you’ll be able to place it in the center of your room and it can also serve as a divider for your space. And of course, the main idea is that it will be able to absorb the dust and clean up the air in your workspace or living space. It looks like a very thin air conditioner and is designed to be 1200-1500 mm high so it can bring you “stable space separation” of big areas in the room.

The way it works is that it takes in the dust which is usually found on the floor and then “exhales” the clean air upwards and on the other side. There is a small display at the topmost part where you are able to turn it on and off and to adjust the air volume as well. You will also be able to see what level the indoor air you’re inhaling is at, whether it’s good or bad so you can adjust the volume accordingly. It’s also easy to clean as the two filters can be pulled out quickly on either side of the partition.

You can also connect two or more of the purifiers and they are designed to blend into your space. One side uses fabric material while the other side has a pattern type design, giving you the impression that you’re in two different but similar spaces. The product renders show three different colors: white, green, and flesh. I can see it fitting perfectly both in my home and in our office so hopefully, we do get an actual Split soon.

The post Split serves as both partition and air purifier for your space first appeared on Yanko Design.

Lenovo’s Smart Clock Essential with Alexa falls to an all-time low of $35

If you’re looking to add some digital smarts to your bedroom without buying a device that features a camera, smart clocks are the way to go. One of the better options out there is the Lenovo Smart Clock Essential with Alexa, and it’s currently on sale. Lenovo has discounted the device by 50 percent, making it $35 at the moment. We’ve seen the Smart Clock Essential go on sale frequently in the past. However, $35 matches an all-time low for the device.

Buy Smart Clock Essential in Misty Blue at Lenovo - $35Buy Smart Clock Essential in Clay Red at Lenovo - $35

Lenovo released the Smart Clock Essential with Alexa earlier this year. The main addition the new model introduced was support for Amazon’s digital assistant instead of its Google counterpart. Along the top, you’ll find four buttons for volume control, activating Alexa and setting an alarm. The front of the Smart Clock features a dedicated 4-inch LED screen that displays the time, weather, ambient noise level and other information. What the device doesn’t include is a camera. You also can’t use the display to stream video. The Smart Clock Essential is available in two colors: Misty Blue and Clay Red. Both are discounted as part of the current sale.    

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This coffee table with multicolored and oscillating legs was inspired by orbits found in outer space

I personally think a good coffee table can really light up a room. It instantly draws attention and sets the theme for the entire living room. Once a stunning coffee table has been set, you can start building the rest of the space around it – a comfy sofa, cute side tables, exquisite lighting, and elegant decorative pieces, are all brought together by the right coffee table. And one such coffee table I recently came across is the ‘Orbit’ coffee table.

Designer: Deniz Aktay

Designed by Deniz Aktay, whose prolific designs have enigmatically taken over the online design world, this coffee table is distinguished by its multicolored and interloping legs. Aktay drew inspiration for the table legs from the orbits you find in outer space. According to NASA, “An orbit is a regular, repeating path that one object in space takes around another one. Now compare the coffee table to the images we’ve seen in our school textbooks of planets orbiting the sun – pretty similar, no?

The coffee table features a round glass tabletop that is supported by three oscillating metal tubes. The tubes are interestingly intertwined, creating an intriguing visual mesh, which is further enhanced by giving each of them a different color. Aktay gave the tubes separate colors, to provide each element with a sense of individuality, and to help segregate them distinctly. This ensures that we notice and appreciate the unique construction of the table thoroughly.

In a time, when coffee tables are usually paid less heed to, if not ignored, Aktay’s Orbit coffee table instantly commands attention. It’s the kind of innovative design we all need as a centerpiece in our home, especially since the coffee tables found nowadays tend to be boring wooden rectangles. It’s a fascinating change, and I would love to see this concept as a tangible reality very soon.

The post This coffee table with multicolored and oscillating legs was inspired by orbits found in outer space first appeared on Yanko Design.

7-Eleven Crocs: Convenience Store Colab

Multi-national convenience store giant 7-Eleven has teamed up with Crocs to produce a line of branded footwear sporting the store’s iconic (but not necessarily tasteful) orange, red, and green logo colors. Those…wow, those are really something. They definitely stand out.

The collab footwear will be available in three styles: the 7-Eleven x Crocs Mega Crush Clog ($110), the 7-Eleven x Crocs Classic Clog ($70), and the 7-Eleven x Crocs Classic Sandal ($50). Of course, because they’re all in such high demand, you have to enter a drawing in order to win the right to buy a pair. And here I thought they’d set the prices so high that only the people who really wanted them would buy a pair. Boy, was I wrong?

Hey, different strokes for different folks — that’s what I have to remind myself. Granted, I’m not sure whose stroke these are or why, but to each their own. I’m not here to judge; I’m just here for a Slurpee and a Slim Jim.

[via FoodAndWine]

Aphex Twin’s free ‘sample mashing’ app feeds on your music library

Aphex Twin is finally ready to offer his mutation-driven music software to the world. Pitchforknotes Aphex Twin (aka Richard James) and engineer Dave Griffiths have released Samplebrain, a free "sample mashing" app that turns audio files from your computer into sample blocks you can use for projects. You can recreate a sample using tracks in your music library, or craft a "303 riff" from unexpected sounds.

The app is available in ready-to-use versions for Mac and Windows computers. You can build a Linux-friendly edition as well. As Pitchfork warns, you may need some technical know-how to use the app — this isn't for rookie musicians.

Samplebrain has been a long time coming, to put it mildly. James said he first envisioned the app in 2002, back when Drukqs was his latest release. He revealed that he'd hired an engineer to work on the software in 2014 (when he returned to music with Syro), but didn't say much else until now. There's a good reason for that, apparently. James and Griffiths realized the project became "slightly out of control" as they added more and more parameters, and James admitted he hasn't had much time to "explore [Samplebrain] properly." This is a bid to finally put the tool in creators' hands, even if it's in a rough form.

HBO releases its first ‘The Last of Us’ trailer

September 26th is The Last Of Us Day and HBO is marking the occasion with the first trailer for its highly anticipated adaptation of Naughty Dog's game. The clip, which runs for just over a minute and a half, includes some of the most memorable moments from the 2013 title (which just got a complete remake for PS5). It features the leaning building from an early level and a bombastic opening outbreak sequence, as well as the unmistakable sound of a Clicker. It seems that the show will draw from the Left Behind expansion as well.

For the uninitiated, The Last of Us tells the story of Joel (Pedro Pascal) and Ellie (Bella Ramsay). The pair travel across a near-future version of the US that has been left devastated by a fungal infection, which turns victims into aggressive, zombie-like creatures. The trailer does a solid job of capturing the terrifying atmosphere of the game.

It's clear HBO has high hopes for the series. Last month, it closed out a big sizzle reel that highlighted upcoming projects with the first footage from the show. While there's no specific release date as yet, The Last of Us will premiere on HBO and HBO Max in early 2023.

E3 will return to LA on June 13th, 2023

After missing 2022 altogether, one of the most important gaming trade shows will return next year. On Monday, the Entertainment Software Association announced that E3 2023 will take place between June 13th and June 16th at the Los Angeles Convention Center, with the event open to the public starting on June 15th. Ahead of the show proper, there will also be partner showcases that will start on June 11th.

Before announcing last year’s cancelation, the ESA had planned to host a digital-only event but later changed course. At the time, the organization said it would devote its resources to delivering a “revitalized physical and digital E3 experience next summer.” For next year’s show, the ESA has recruited the help of ReedPop, a company with experience organizing events like PAX, EGX and Star Wars Celebration.

The 2023 show will be an important one for the ESA. Even before the pandemic, E3 had waned in importance as companies like Sony decided not to take part in the 2019 edition. In many ways, the ESA also has yet to regain the trust of the industry after it inadvertently leaked the contact information of more than 2,000 journalists, analysts and content creators that same year.

WhatsApp users will soon be able to join a call by tapping a link

It'll soon be easier for WhatsApp users to invite other folks to join a call. Meta is rolling out the option to share Call Links. If you see one of these links, you'll be able to join a call with a single tap. You'll need the latest version of WhatsApp to use Call Links. From the app's Calls tab, you can select the Call Links option. You can then generate a link for a voice or video call to share with family and friends.

It's a handy feature, and one that we've already seen Apple adopt. Last year, the company started offering sharable FaceTime links that allow others to join calls from Android devices and Windows PCs. While Apple enables people to schedule calls ahead of time using links, WhatsApp will not offer a similar feature, a spokesperson confirmed to Engadget.

In addition, WhatsApp has started testing encrypted group video calls for up to 32 people, Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg said. The company will share more details on that front soon.

Update 9/26 11:53AM ET: Added clarification that WhatsApp will not allow users to schedule calls. 

Screenshots of the WhatsApp feature Call Links, which allows users to join a call by tapping a link.