Tech Digest daily roundup: Google Pixel Fold will cost whopping £1749!
Google has announced its first folding smartphone, with a market-leading starting price of £1,749. That puts the Pixel Fold well ahead of the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold4, the world’s most expensive foldable handset, which comes in at £1,649. Like its competitor, Google‘s effort has a familiar smartphone form factor when closed but opens up into more of a tablet design with a 7.6-inch screen. Google said the Pixel Fold would be the thinnest foldable available when it launches next month, with pre-orders beginning today following its announcement at the company’s I/O event in California. Sky News
Google is attempting to reclaim its crown as the leader in artificial intelligence with, a “next-generation language model” that the company says outperforms other leading systems on some tasks. Revealing the cutting-edge AI at its annual I/O conference, alongside a foldable Pixel phone and a new tablet, Google said it would be built in to 25 new products and features, as the company races to catch up with competitors after years of producing AI research but few products. The Guardian
Bard, Google’s experimental tool that allows users to collaborate with generative AI in a way similar to OpenAI’s ChatGPT, has removed its waitlist process and is now welcoming users from over 180 countries to try it out. The news was announced at Google I/O 2023 alongside the confirmation that Bard is now available in Japanese and Korean. Furthermore, Google is planning on supporting 40 languages in the near future and will be expanding access to Bard in even more countries and territories. IGN
Twitter is officially beginning to roll out support for encrypted direct messages (DMs) on the platform, more than six months after its chief executive Elon Musk confirmed plans for the feature in November 2022. The “Phase 1” of the initiative will appear as separate conversations alongside existing direct messages on users’ inboxes. Encrypted chats carry a lock icon badge to visually differentiate them. That said, the opt-in feature is currently limited to verified users or affiliates to a verified organization. It’s also essential both the sender and recipient are on the latest versions of the Twitter apps across Android, iOS, and desktop web. Hacker News
Campaigners have warned that Vodafone turning off its 3G network will lead to people with older and more basic phones falling into “digital poverty.” Vodafone will be the first UK telecoms firm to stop providing 3G when it begins a nationwide phase-out in June. This will free up radio frequencies for faster 4G and 5G services, it says. Vodafone says it is working to support vulnerable customers, but campaign group Digital Poverty Alliance has criticised the switch-off. Vodafone UK’s chief network officer, Andrea Dona, said 3G use had “dropped significantly” – with less than than 4% of its customers’ data being used on its 3G network, compared with more than 30% in 2016. BBC
Binance, the world’s most popular cryptocurrency exchange, has attacked the Biden administration’s crackdown on the industry and said it hopes to gain regulatory approval in the UK. Patrick Hillmann, the company’s chief strategy officer, said it was a “very difficult time” to do business in the US and that the situation had been “very confusing over the past six months”. Meanwhile, he said the company would do “everything we possibly can” to secure approval in the UK. Telegraph