Fold fixed, and 10 more things you need to know in tech today

Good morning this July 4th eve! Here’s your daily tech digest, by way of the DGiT Daily newsletter, for July 3, 2019, in case that wasn’t obvious!

1. Samsung reportedly completes Galaxy Fold redesign: Here’s how it was fixed

Samsung Galaxy Fold vs Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus vs Huawei P30 Pro

Continuing to report on the Samsung Galaxy Fold feels a little bit like a fool’s errand. It’s coming soon, says Samsung, we’ve fixed it! Meanwhile, we the public are still waiting for a release date on a device we first saw announced on November 7, 2018, and then unveiled proper on February 20, 2019, at the price of $1980.

We’ve previously published a full timeline following the Fold here.

But there are, now, more solid details about what’s happened to the device and what’s next.

What’s new: the fix is in

  • Citing anonymous sources, Bloomberg says Samsung has finally completed a two-month-long redesign of the Galaxy Fold.
  • The same sources suggest the phone is unlikely to appear at the Galaxy Note 10 event on August 7th in NYC, and we don’t know when it will appear at all.
  • The word is that the folding device will make it to shelves in time for the December holiday season, which will be crucial for sales.
  • (Not that anyone I know would be tucking away a $1980 device under a Christmas tree.)
  • With Huawei’s troubles having forced it to delay the folding Mate X until September, the short-term pressure is off Samsung.

What’s changed, specifically speaking:

  • The Fold device is said to have two main fixes.
  • The first is with the protective film, which now covers the entire screen more completely, said to now stretch into the outer bezels or margins, to be impossible to peel off by accident.
  • The second fix is the hinge.
  • It has been re-engineered to eliminate the crease that forms on the display when it’s in tablet mode.
  • The hinge, according to Bloomberg, has been pushed “slightly upward from the screen (it’s now flush with the display) to help stretch the film further when the phone opens.”
  • That also makes the film firmer, which should help make it feel more like a part of the display rather than a stuck-on cover.
  • There’s no word on the gap between the hinge and display though, but earlier reports out of Korea suggested that gap was being refined and minimized as well.
  • And no word if that oddly-shaped screen on the front will be changed at all.
  • Finally, the report indicates that Samsung is now producing the fixed components, and will “soon” (that word again) start shipping parts including the display and battery to a plant in Vietnam for final assembly and distribution in the future.
  • There is a giant catch though: Japan might have cut-off Samsung’s access to a crucial compound used in flexible screens, due to trade tensions with South Korea.

My lingering questions:

  • Will the Fold still feel like a first-generation, or will it be refined enough to be a kind-of Fold v2?
  • Will anyone pre-order?
  • Has Samsung really managed to eliminate the visible line or bump in the middle of the fold? Or is it just less noticeable now? I’m inclined to believe the latter.

2. The Huawei sage continues its confusing twists and turns, with a new report that the Commerce Department not changing its tune on a blacklist just yet (Reuters).


3. Google Pixel 2 XL vs Pixel 3a XL: What’s the better buy? (AA).


4. Firefox’s new Android browser might make a good Chrome alternative, eventually – a hands-on (AA).


5. US lawmakers tell Facebook to immediately halt the launch of its Libra cryptocurrency (The Verge).


6. Microsoft is teasing Windows 1.0, and everyone is confused (Engadget).


7. Google’s Jigsaw was supposed to save the Internet. Employees are saying it’s a toxic workplace with problems, huge turnover, and it sounds grim (VICE).


8. Lawsuit accuses Android co-founder Andy Rubin of hiding wealth from wife, running ‘Sex Ring’ (Gizmodo).


9. Cloudflare takes the blame and explains why so many websites hosted by it crashed yesterday at about 9am ET (datacenterdynamics.com).


10. It happened again: The 11-Foot-8 Bridge claimed yet another truck (BoingBoing).


11. Best photos from yesterday’s solar eclipse (Space).


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