The Nothing Phone (1) might have its own speaker to connect to soon
Nothing, makers of such devices as the Nothing Phone (1) and the Ear (1) TWS, might have something new on the horizon. According to (alleged) promotional renders, it’s looking like Nothing is gearing up for the launch of its first speaker. The news first appeared on 91Mobiles, via reliable leaker Kuba Wojciechowski.
The renders appear to be a part of the company’s marketing campaign, giving us a look at the speaker’s boxy design. The volume and power button placement is visible on the device’s side, with the Nothing logo residing on a tiny ring on the ‘front’ of the speaker. The buttons on the device’s other side are not yet known.
Underneath are what 91Mobiles believes to be two speaker cut-outs, with accompanying tweeters next to them. And those white cut-outs of the bottom? Those could be the speaker’s own built-in subwoofers.
At the time of writing, the renders are all we have to go on. There’s been no word as to when Nothing may release the speaker, and what the device’s tech specs will look like. If these images are promotional in nature, then an official announcement may be coming pretty soon. And if Nothing’s recent tweets are anything to go by, something is coming. We’ll just have to wait and see what.
Activision could soon be a Microsoft company (according to the EU)
It may not feel like it, but Microsoft has been trying to turn Activision Blizzard into a Microsoft company for over a year now. Soon after the $70 billion deal was announced, it was noticed by the European Union – which immediately halted the deal while a long investigation took place. A year later, it looks as though Microsoft may win the battle, with three people close to the deal informing Reuters that the European Commission could award EU antitrust approval on 25 April 2023.
Microsoft will first need to agree to “other behavioural remedies to allay concerns of other parties than Sony,” before the EU can approve the purchase, according to one of Reuter’s sources. This is in addition to Microsoft’s recent agreements to sell long-term licensing deals to rival companies for some of Activision’s larger games, like the Call of Duty franchise. It’s a better deal than the one that would have seen Microsoft sell the entirety of Activision’s Call of Duty division in order to complete the deal.
While the EU’s decision isn’t all that Microsoft needs to complete the deal, it could sway other opposing governing bodies to follow in the EU’s footsteps and grant the approval Microsoft is seeking. The UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) is set to make its official decision on 26 April.
Even if the CMA rules in Microsoft’s favour, the company still faces the USA’s Federal Trade Commission (FTC) approval to get the deal across the line. The FTC’s director of the Bureau of Competition, Holly Vevoda said “Microsoft has already shown that it can and will withhold content from its gaming rivals,” in a recent FTC complaint. A hearing held on 2 August between the FTC and Microsoft will determine Microsoft’s fate.
Source: Ars Technica
WhatsApp’s successful Brazilian trial run
Meta Platforms’ WhatsApp payment system breathes new life after Brazil’s central bank approved the app’s financial features launch on Thursday last week. Payments are meant for small and medium-sized businesses, making use of the app’s already-existing local peer-to-peer system.
Brazil’s WhatsApp users have had this feature for some time now, and have been able to pay each other since 2021. But now, with the central bank’s approval, business merchants will finally be able to receive payments from users.
Guilherme Horn, head of WhatsApp Latin America, shared an update via LinkedIn: “Soon, WhatsApp users will be able to pay for products and services directly in a conversation with Mastercard and Visa debit and credit cards.”
Meta has been using Brazil’s market as a sort of trial run, with the approval meaning similar features may soon as part of a much larger global rollout. Mark Zuckerberg used his Instagram broadcast channel to confirm the new features: “people will be able to pay small businesses right on WhatsApp. Excited to roll this out soon.” What that means for a South African rollout remains to be seen, though it’s likely we’ll be getting more news sooner rather than later.
The (unofficial) Xiaomi Mi Band 8
One of the better budget fitness trackers out there (at least, in our opinion), Xiaomi’s Mi Band, might have just revealed its next Mi Band via an accidental leak. The Go Android noticed a regulatory filing in Korea for the Xiaomi Smart Band 8, with a couple of images attached for our viewing pleasure.
Besides the images, which show the watch’s straps and pill-shaped body, there isn’t much else that was revealed in the Korean filing. We did get confirmation of a 3.87-volt battery and the inclusion of Bluetooth 5.1 which is odd, considering the Mi Band 7’s Bluetooth 5.2. Everything else though seems to be under wraps at Xiaomi headquarters until the official announcement.
Which will be sometime in mid-2023, judging by the company’s 2022 release schedule for the Mi Band 7. The device hit Chinese shelves in early May 2022, with a global launch a few months later in June. It’s likely that Xiaomi will stick to a similar schedule, meaning an announcement is probably coming soon.