News

Essential fires 30 percent of workers, announces new mobile device

No, it’s not a smartphone

Published

on

Despite enjoying a year in smartphone royalty, Essential just isn’t that essential anymore. Preceding the Essential Phone’s launch, the startup gained substantial hype owing to its ownership. Headed by Android co-founder Andy Rubin, it promised an unrivaled Android experience wrapped inside a beautiful package.

Truly, the first Essential Phone garnered positive reviews across the board. Among others, it was one of the more beautiful phones in 2017. Unfortunately, the phone’s price deterred most users from switching. Naturally, the startup’s first outing failed to meet expectations.

Drawing from this initial disappointment, Essential hinted at an eventual buyout a few months ago. Moreover, Rubin cancelled the Essential Phone 2’s development. However, months later, the startup (and everyone else) clearly exaggerated its demise. The company and its plans for a second phone still exist.

Sadly, its continued existence is still in dire jeopardy. The company has recently announced major layoffs in its workforce. As of today, Essential Products has fired 30 percent of its employees.

Despite the astonishing number, the startup has maintained its silence on possible reasons for the pink slips. One can only assume that this stems from its failed sales targets. Regardless, Essential remains hopeful for the future. “We are confident that our sharpened product focus will help us deliver a truly game-changing consumer product,” according to a spokesperson for the startup.

Reportedly, Essential is already working on a second mobile device for the future. Unfortunately, the planned device will not succeed the Essential Phone. Instead, it will leverage artificial intelligence to deliver an autonomous mobile experience.

Notably, the startup hesitates to use the word “smartphone.” While the device can make calls and send messages, it hopes to do more. For one, it can call, message, and plan events on its own without user input. Essentially, the device will replace humans as the primary digital communicators.

By the end of this year, Essential will out a prototype for this device. By then, the startup will finally reveal a possible roadmap for the future. Presently, the future-less startup’s survival is anything but assured.

SEE ALSO: Essential Phone is now a true Pixel-like flagship Android phone for only $399

News

The Pixel Pass is official, will bundle the Pixel 6 with Google services

As cheap as $45 per month

Published

on

A bit before Google officially launched the Pixel 6 series, a leak revealed an upcoming subscription package called the Pixel Pass. The then-unannounced package bundles the new Pixel 6 with a host of Google products. Since the Pixel 6 series is now official, the Pixel Pass is now official, too. Here’s what the subscription plan will offer.

Announced with the Pixel 6 series, the Pixel Pass offers either a Pixel 6 or Pixel 6 Pro and Google’s other paid services like 200GB of Google One storage, Google Play Pass, YouTube Premium, and YouTube Music Premium, and Preferred Care coverage.

The regular Pixel 6 will sell for US$ 45 per month, and the Pixel 6 Pro will sell for US$ 55 per month. Google Fi subscribers can also save an additional US$ 5 from the price tag. Subscribers will pay for their chosen phones over two years. Regardless of which phone, the Pixel 6 will be unlocked. If you do the math, the package can actually save you money, compared to paying for the phone directly.

Additionally, the Pixel Pass will offer users the opportunity to upgrade to another Pixel phone after the initial two-year period. However, if subscribers cancel anytime during the subscription, they have to pay for the phone’s remaining non-discounted value.

The new subscription package introduces a new way to get a Pixel phone, similar to how Apple created the iPhone Upgrade Program. Unfortunately for those outside the country, the package is currently exclusive to the United States for now.

SEE ALSO: Here are new Pixel 6 features you should definitely try

Continue Reading

Enterprise

Facebook reportedly planning to change its company name

To focus more on the metaverse

Published

on

Facebook really doesn’t want to be Facebook right now. Amid the wave of situations plaguing the company now, Facebook is reportedly changing its company name later this month.

Reported by The Verge, Facebook is changing its company name to focus more on other products in its lineup. Currently, Facebook’s name comes from its huge social media network. Since the start of its network, the company already expanded into different industries including the virtual and augmented reality markets.

Facebook’s new name will reportedly focus on these new products which they have collectively named the metaverse. Even outside of its new peripherals, they also own other networks like WhatsApp and Instagram.

However, a paradigm shift might not be the only reason for a name change.

A tough whistleblower situation has recently revealed a lot of controversies going on behind the scenes of the social media platform. And it’s not their first controversy either. Prior to the ongoing situation, the company was already facing anti-competition controversies last year. A rebrand can potentially save the company from further damage.

Facebook isn’t the first among its contemporaries to create a new company outside of what it is known for. Google, arguably the most popular example of such, founded its current umbrella company called Alphabet. Though Google still exists, Alphabet deals with the brand’s other endeavors.

For its part, Facebook will reportedly announce its new name during its Connect conference on October 28.

SEE ALSO: Ray-Ban, Facebook team up to create Ray-Ban Stories

Continue Reading

Accessories

New MacBook Pros, AirPods 3 now for pre-order in Singapore

Time to splurge!

Published

on

MacBook Pros

Following Apple’s October event that saw the reveal of new AirPods and the much anticipated new MacBook Pros, the aforementioned devices are now up for pre-order in Singapore!

AirPods 3

The latest addition to Apple’s AirPods family features Spatial Audio and Adaptive EQ. Both features contribute to a more immersive and more surround sound experience as you enjoy your favorite tunes from Apple Music or your favorite podcasts.

It retails for SG$ 269. Delivery begins on October 26. That’s also when it’ll be available in Apple Stores.

MacBook 14″ and 16″

These 2021 MacBooks are the biggest update to Apple’s notebooks in years. Other than sporting the brand spanking new and super powered M1 Pro and M1 Max chips, the 14″ and 16″ MacBook Pros also got significant upgrades elsewhere.

Firstly, Apple has brought back the ports. Instead of just two Thunderbolt 3 ports, there are now three (3) Thunderbolt 4 ports, an HDMI port, and a must for pros — an SD Card slot. The 3.5mm jack also gets an upgrade allowing support for high grade headphones.

The display also gets an upgrade promising 1,000 nits of sustained brightness, as well as Promotion for that oh so smooth 120Hz refresh rate.

Pricing are as follows:

MacBook Pro 14″, M1 Pro, 512GB SSD — SG$ 2,999

  • 8-Core CPU
  • 14-Core GPU
  • 16GB Unified Memory
  • 67W USB-C Power Adapter
  • Comes in Space Grey or Silver

MacBook Pro 14″, M1 Pro, 1TB SSD — SG$ 3,749

  • 10-Core CPU
  • 16-Core GPU
  • 16GB Unified Memory
  • 96W USB-C Power Adapter
  • Comes in Space Grey or Silver

MacBook Pro 16″, M1 Pro, 512GB SSD — SG$ 3,749

  • 10-Core CPU
  • 16-Core GPU
  • 16GB Unified Memory
  • 140W USB-C Power Adapter
  • Comes in Space Grey or Silver

MacBook Pro 16″, M1 Pro, 1TB SSB — SG$ 4,049

  • 10-Core CPU
  • 16-Core GPU
  • 16GB Unified Memory
  • 140W USB-C Power Adapter
  • Comes in Space Grey or Silver

MacBook Pro 16″, M1 Max, 1TB SSB — SG$ 5,249

  • 10-Core CPU
  • 32-Core GPU
  • 32GB Unified Memory
  • 140W USB-C Power Adapter
  • Comes in Space Grey or Silver

Delivery begins on October 26. That’s also when it’ll be available in Apple Stores.

Continue Reading

Trending