Put that iPhone on fold
We’ve been eagerly awaiting a folding iPhone for quite some time now. No, seriously. Apple’s plans for a bendable smartphone in the market reportedly date back as far as 2018, and it hasn’t yet given up on those dreams of taking on the countless foldables already on the shelves. According to a new report from The Information (via 9to5mac), the three-trillion-dollar company has at least two clamshell-foldable smartphones cooking in the lab.
You’d think six years of ideas would be enough for a commercial model to have hit the market by now. Apparently not. Those models are described as being in early development, so don’t expect an ‘iPhone Fold’ before 2025. It’s said that Apple has been in discussion with component manufacturers for two different-sized models. The report also mentions a folding iPad, which began getting more attention after Apple ran into troubles with the folding iPhone’s development somewhere around 2020.
Those issues lie in Apple’s desire for perfection. It hasn’t been able to achieve the levels of durability and thinness required for it to be comfortably stowed in a pocket, leading to the company’s switch of focus to the foldable iPad. The bendy iPad — rumoured to feature an 8in display — wouldn’t be held to the same standards, as it wouldn’t be living inside a pocket. Apple is also looking at getting the crease just right before release — to better appeal to users looking to use it as a digital drawing display.
There’s no word on when either might be appearing at any of Apple’s events, but don’t expect it to be soon.
Meta’s taking a stand against political content. Kinda
If you only delve into Instagram and Threads to check up on family, friends, cat pictures and, let’s be honest, memes, Meta’s decision to stop force-feeding users political content probably has you excited. It isn’t abolishing political content entirely, with users still getting their usual flow of political content from the accounts they follow. Meta’s change, according to Instagram chief Adam Mosseri, will no longer “proactively amplify” those posts it deems political.
These changes won’t be going into effect right away, though they should be rolling out “over the next few weeks.” It’ll hit public accounts that feature in Reels or the Explore tabs or suggested content across Threads. As for what Meta considers political, it didn’t fully explain, but it did mention that it would involve current global social issues and election-related content.
If that is the sort of thing you’re after, Meta has said you’ll need to opt-in via Instagram or Threads’ settings, while those who don’t will have their feeds filtered by default. “Our goal is to preserve the ability for people to choose to interact with political content, while respecting each person’s appetite for it,” Mosseri said in a Threads… thread.
VW South Africa has some lofty carbon neutrality goals
In a bid to be more like its environmentally sustainable brethren globally, Volkswagen Group South Africa (VWSA) is investing heavily to achieve its goal of making its Kariega production plant entirely carbon-neutral by 2030. It’s already begun work on making that a reality, and good job, too: 2030 sounds a whole lot closer from this side of 2020.
With only six years left to pull off the feat, it’s “putting environmental sustainability first through a range of projects being implemented at its Kariega plant, as well as its sites in Sandton and Centurion,” according to a press release. It’s thrown R34 million at the rollout of solar photovoltaic panels at its sites alone, which are capable of generating 4,488 MWh of electricity annually. Newer panels at the Kariega plant — costing a further R55 million — will come into effect from September, adding another 4,500 MWh of power into the mix.
VWSA isn’t only targeting ways to get out from under Eskom’s feet. It has installed a total of 1.2-million litre rainwater harvesting tanks, for “use in various production areas.” It’s joined by the group’s on-site wastewater recycling facility which can reduce freshwater consumption by 26%, it said. And finally, it claims it knocked down landfill waste by around 5% in 2023, reduced cardboard box waste by 17 tonnes, and plastic waste by 46 tonnes in the past two years.
Dfiance is a new deck-builder with hints of Marvel Snap and Gwent
Ever since The Witcher 3 showed us that we had a taste for deck-builder card games, we’re willing to give anything similar a try. Marvel Snap has filled that deck-builder-shaped hole in our hearts, but after we got wind of a new free-to-play title by the name of Dfiance, we had to check it out.
Dfiance is about as indie as it gets. It was built from a team of 34 “creatives” all collaborating from around the world. It’s “not just a collectible cards game, [but] an immersive PvP experience with a rich backstory unveiled through each character.” That… sounds a whole lot like Marvel Snap.
The game is currently playing through its beta phase, though just about anyone with an internet connection can get a turn to play by playing through their internet browser. It’s also available on Mac and Windows desktops, though we were unable to find it on the App Store. Boot it up here, and you’ll be prompted to choose from the three factions on offer (we went with the Infernals) and it’ll generate a free deck for you.
Don’t expect Dfiance to hold your hand, either. It throws you into the thick of things and leaves you to wade through the cards available from the outset. Or you could consult the wiki for a little more help on, you know, the goal of the game (winning two of the three rounds by having more attack power). According to the game’s trailer, beta players will be rewarded with access to special cards (such as Beata the Tester), though it’s likely that progress will be reset when it’s time for the game to launch properly.
When that’ll be, however, we can’t be sure. The developer’s X account reckons Dfiance is in “late beta” so a full release might be right around the corner.