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The Morning After: What to expect at Google I/O 2023

Pixels, everywhere.

Google

Google’s annual developer conference not only delivers on the software and web-based announcements but also on whatever hardware it’s been cooking up. In the past, that included smart speakers, phones, Chromebooks and everything else. For I/O 2023, we’re expecting lots of Pixel things. Rumors (and subsequent official teasers) point to Google’s first foldable smartphone, the Pixel Fold, as well as the latest midrange Pixel, the Pixel 7a.

The Pixel Fold will open like a book, similar to Samsung’s Galaxy Z Fold. Rumors suggest a 5.8-inch external screen and a foldable 7.6-inch 120Hz internal display. It has thicker bezels than the Z Fold, but it’s supposed to feature a durable, almost-gapless hinge and a battery that lasts 24 hours in normal use. It could cost up to $1,700.

At the other end of the “how much?!” spectrum, the Pixel 7a doesn’t appear too different from its predecessor; it might have a faster 90Hz display and a 64-megapixel main camera. Google reportedly plans to price the new phone at $499 – a little more than last year’s Pixel 6a, but still a fraction of the price of the Pixel Fold.

That’s not all. There is also the Pixel tablet, previewed at Google I/O last year, Android 14 (in testing since February) and maybe even a tease of the Pixel 8? Or even another smartwatch? Just two days to go…

– Mat Smith

The Morning After isn’t just a newsletter – it’s also a daily podcast. Get our daily audio briefings, Monday through Friday, by subscribing right here.

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Tesla unveils Model S Plaid track package that unlocks 200 MPH top speed

It has ceramic brakes.

Tesla has unveiled a $20,000 track package for its Model S Plaid, finally allowing it to reach the 200MPH top speed. The Model S Plaid vehicles the company delivered after they became available could only reach around 163MPH, which is fast, but not 200MPH fast. Turns out Tesla put a limitation on its software to prevent it from reaching its full potential. According to Electrek, the company wanted the vehicle to have bigger brakes first, so they could slow down better. The automaker first started offering the ceramic brake kit for $20,000 back in 2021, but it has yet to start installing it on customers' vehicles.

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The iPhone 15 Pro may not have solid-state buttons

A supplier suggested the parts are delayed.

TMA
TMA (Engadget)

You may recall rumors about the iPhone 15 Pro featuring touch-sensitive solid-state buttons. It now looks like Apple won’t replace the iPhone’s physical buttons for at least another year. In a shareholder letter spotted by MacRumors, Apple supplier Cirrus Logic said, “A new product that we mentioned in previous shareholder letters as being scheduled for introduction this fall is no longer expected to come to market as planned.” Cirrus already provides components for the iPhone’s Taptic Engine, so it’s got the Apple relationship. Cirrus previously told investors it was working on a new high-performance component that would arrive in smartphones sometime in 2023. That’s now less certain, apparently.

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‘Hogwarts Legacy’ adds a spider-free mode

The update arrives in time for the game’s launch on previous-gen consoles.

TMA
TMA (EA)

Arachnophobic Harry Potter fans, rejoice. A new feature in Hogwarts Legacy removes spiders entirely from the game. The update coincides with the title’s arrival on PS4 and Xbox One. The Hogwarts Legacy update (build 1140773) launched Thursday adds the new Arachnophobia Mode to the game’s accessibility options. It changes all enemy spider appearances to a floating meanie with glowing red eyes surrounded by hovering roller skates. (Arguably more terrifying?)

The mode also “reduces and removes spider skitters and screeches,” “removes small spider ground effect spawners” and “makes static spider corpses in the world invisible.”

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