Tech Digest daily roundup: NHS app gains 2.7 million users since Covid status update


The NHS app has gained an additional 2.7 million users since a new version of the app has allowed people to show whether they have received the coronavirus vaccine. The app, separate from the NHS Covid-19 app, began enabling people to show proof that they had received the vaccine from 17 May, in order to travel internationally or attend sporting events, such as Wimbledon and Euro 2020 matches. The app already had other functions in order to access medical services, such as booking GP appointments. Between 17 May and 14 June, almost 5 million distinct users logged on to the app, with the Department of Health and Social Care stating that more than 6 million users had been reached in total. Guardian

It looks like we don’t have too much longer to wait to see Samsung’s new foldable phones: the Galaxy Z Fold 3 and the Galaxy Z Flip 3 have apparently gone into mass production, with around 50,000-70,000 units of each device being rolled out every day. That’s per the usually reliable Jon Prosser at FrontPageTech, who says that Samsung is on course to launch these devices at the previously rumored August 3 event. These folding phones are said to be going on sale on August 27, almost four weeks later. As Prosser himself says, that 50,000-70,000 figure is “staggering” – it suggests that Samsung expects sales of these devices to be a lot stronger than those of the Galaxy Fold 2 and the 5G Galaxy Flip, as more users embrace foldable display technology. Tech Radar

Leica has released its first phone for the Japanese market with the SoftBank exclusive Leitz Phone 1. The internals are shared with another Japan-exclusive phone – Sharp’s recently launched Aquos R6 with the only difference being in the phone’s design including the camera bump which is now circular and comes with its own Leica-branded lens cap. The Leitz Phone 1 comes with a 6.6-inch IGZO OLED display with a 2,730 x 1,260-pixel resolution and an adaptive 240Hz refresh rate display. The big highlight is around the back where we find the massive 1-inch camera sensor. It’s a 20MP shooter with an f/1.9 aperture and 19mm equivalent focal length. The selfie shooter on the front comes in at 12.6MP.  GSM Arena

The UK government has announced the four winners of its GBP20 million ($27.8 million) zero-emissions vehicle (ZEV) research and development competition, which was launched to identify projects to power up the electric vehicle revolution. The Department for Transport announced June 17 that the winning projects included an onboard plug-in device that provides drivers with data on battery health to improve the experience of buying secondhand EVs, and a kinetic battery that will provide a temporary power boost for charging the next generation of ultra-fast EVs at peak times in rural areas. The other two winning projects were a zero-emission ambulance with a hydrogen range extender designed from the ground up, and a solar-powered refrigeration unit for small commercial vehicles. S&P Global 

An unusual galaxy appears to be missing its dark matter, scientists have found. The unusual galaxy is challenging our understanding of how they form and evolve, the researchers say after detailed new observations. The latest study began when scientists looked deeply at a galaxy known as NGC 1052-DF2, or just DF2 for short. It is what astronomers refer to as “ultra-diffuse” – while it is comparable in width to our own Milky Way, it contains only 1/200th of the number of stars. The galaxy is odd in other ways: it does not see to have the central region, spiralling arms or disk that are observed in many other galaxies. And now scientists have confirmed what might be the most unusual part of the already strange galaxy. It seems to lack dark matter, which until now was understood as the necessary glue that helps galaxies form, holds them together and makes up the bulk of the universe. Independent

Chris Price
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