Tech Digest daily roundup: Vodafone delays European roaming charges


Vodafone is delaying the reintroduction of roaming charges in Europe by three weeks. The phone network had planned to bring in post-Brexit roaming fees on 6 January, matching other networks who plan to do so in 2022. But it said more time was needed for testing, and the change will now come in at the end of January. EE has also delayed resuming its roaming charges, which were planned for January, until March. Before the UK left the EU, users were able to use their calls, texts, and data allowance in their mobile plans in any EU country. But the EU trade deal of December 2020 gave mobile operators the option of reintroducing charges. BBC 

Petrol cars accounted for fewer than 50pc of total sales last month, with electric car giant Tesla becoming the best-selling brand in the UK. New electric cars made up just over a quarter of the total sold in December, while petrol cars’ market share dipped to 46pc, data from transport researchers New AutoMotive shows. Electric cars have grown from less than 3pc of new sales two years ago to 26pc last month amid falling prices and regulations encouraging cleaner transport. In December Tesla’s cars made up 9pc of the market, making it the most popular manufacturer in the UK for the first time since April 2020. VW was on 8pc and Audi 7pc. Telegraph 

We all want bigger and brighter TVs in our homes but these mega displays aren’t exactly portable…Luckily it seems Samsung has come up with a neat new way of making the big screen much easier to move from room to room. The firm’s new Freestyle gadget is a mini projector that can beam content onto any surface both inside and outside of your home. Samsung says that the lightweight device is powerful enough to create an image up to 100 inches in size which should be perfect for anyone wanting a cinema-style experience without buying a supersized telly. The Freestyle also includes some nifty tricks including a special cradle that allows it to rotate up to 180 degrees – enabling users to show high-quality videos on tables, floors, walls or even ceilings. Express 

Although Fossil launched two new smartwatches at CES today, there’s one big elephant in the room: the upgrade to Wear OS 3 won’t arrive for several months. To take the sting out of the wait, Fossil snuck in another new feature for its Gen 6 smartwatches: Amazon Alexa. As for when Alexa will arrive, you’ll have to settle for “coming soon.” Hopefully before Wear OS 3. In a statement to 9to5Google, Fossil says the update will come in the first half of 2022. This tracks with what Fossil told The Verge in a CES briefing, in which spokesperson Robyn Sills said Alexa would come to the Gen 6 devices “early this year.” The Verge

Samsung is continuing its quest to make its SmartThings platform your smart home app of choice, overhauling the interface, making the platform more friendly to tinkerers, and even bundling it with the company’s line of fancy Bespoke kitchen appliances. Now the company is making a standalone screen for controlling the smart home. Called the Home Hub, it’s a docked tablet—think of the universal remote control from back in the satellite TV days. (Which, uh, wasn’t that long ago.) You can use the Home Hub to turn off your Samsung TV, check on your appliances’ status, and monitor their energy use. Gizmodo

Google has announced new features for Android devices, focusing on greater integration between Android phones and laptop devices – both those made by Google and Windows PCs. “Your devices should instinctively know which of them you want to use and when”, Erik Kay, Google’s vice president of multi-device experiences, writes. To that end, Bluetooth-enabled headphones will be able to automatically switch to whatever devices the user is listening to. This update will be coming over the next few months. “If you’re wearing headphones to watch a movie on your Android tablet and you receive a phone call, the movie will pause and the headphone audio will automatically switch to your Android phone and then switch back to the movie when you’re done”, Mr Kay said. Independent