• Mazda's first electric car opens up thanks to 'Freestyle' doors
    Style
    Richard Lawler

    Mazda's first electric car opens up thanks to 'Freestyle' doors

    Mazda is a bit late to the electrified party, but the small MX-30 crossover it just unveiled at the Tokyo Motor Show might have been worth waiting for. Besides its 35.5kWh lithium-ion battery and e-Skyactiv the showstopping feature here is the RX-8-like "Freestyle" door setup, with front and rear doors on both sides that open at the center "so customers can invent new and creative ways of using the car." Like the Tesla Model X with its Falcon Wing doors that open up instead of out, the Freestyle doors -- which open to 82 degrees in the front and 80 degrees in the rear -- are supposed to make getting people and things in and out easier than ever. This is no towering SUV however, while it's over 14 feet long, the top of MX-30 is only a little over 5 feet high. Mazda: One of the most outstanding features of the MX-30 is its unique center-pillar-less Freestyle doors with custom-designed hinges that allow the front doors to open to 82° and rear doors to open to 80°. This not only makes entering and exiting the car and loading and unloading cargo easier but also provides easier access for strollers and wheelchairs. The wide angle to which the front doors open was designed to facilitate this wide variety of usage styles. For example, the layout and the absence of a center pillar make it possible to bring a stroller right up beside the rear seat and smoothly and comfortably put a baby into a child seat while maintaining eye contact. The front door is opened first, followed by the rear door, and both can be opened without changing position. Opening the freestyle doors wide provides a new view and, in addition to improving access, opens a range of new possibilities for enjoying the car. For instance, drivers may wish to take time out of their daily routine to stop by the park, open up the doors and listen to the sounds of nature for a few moments or to use the car like base camp from which to enjoy outdoor activities with their friends. To further enhance the freedom of ingress and egress provided by the Freestyle doors, the height and shape of the door openings are designed in accordance with human characteristics. The rear door trim adopts a vertical grip that makes opening and closing the door easier and that does not place much burden on the wrist when reaching for it, even with the door wide open. The front seats are equipped with a walk-in mechanism that, with a single touch, folds the seatback forward and simultaneously slides the whole seat toward the front.1 The folding angle and slide distance were chosen in consideration of the occupant's body movements, ensuring smooth entry to and exit from the rear seats. The cross-section of the side sills and shape of the side sill garnish are also carefully designed to facilitate smooth, effortless exit from the cabin.

  • Adobe may reveal Illustrator for iPad in November
    Style
    Jon Fingas

    Adobe may reveal Illustrator for iPad in November

    Adobe's plan to bring full-featured apps to the iPad might not be limited to Photoshop. Bloomberg contacts claim Adobe will preview an iPad version of Illustrator, its vector graphics editor, at its MAX conference starting November 2nd. It wouldn't be ready until 2020, but it would give creatives another major tool if more narrowly-focused apps like Fresco aren't enough.

  • Test shows dark mode really can save battery life on OLED iPhones
    Style
    Steve Dent

    Test shows dark mode really can save battery life on OLED iPhones

    Dark mode is a key feature on iOS 13, but can it really extend your iPhone's battery life? If it's an OLED model, the answer seems to be a firm yes, according to tests done by PhoneBuff. They used robotic devices to perform identical tasks on two iPhone XS test devices, one in light and one in dark mode. That included watching a YouTube video, using Twitter, navigating with Google Maps and chatting on the Messages app.

  • The PlayStation 5 officially launches 'holiday 2020'
    Style
    Mat Smith

    The PlayStation 5 officially launches 'holiday 2020'

    Sony is offering up more drip-feed details about its next-generation console, but the major points are that, yes, it will be called the PlayStation 5, and you'll have to wait till the end of 2020 to play it. We also got the first new details on new controllers for Sony's next games machine. Think haptics. A few of 'em.

  • Android 10 phones may have to hide third-party navigation gestures
    Style
    Jon Fingas

    Android 10 phones may have to hide third-party navigation gestures

    Are you fond of the custom navigation gestures on your Android phone? You might have to go digging for them in the future. The 9to5Google team says it has obtained the latest Google Mobile Services agreement for device makers, and the terms reportedly require that phones ship using either Android 10's new gestures or the old three-button layout. Third-party gestures can stay, but they have to be hidden at least one level below in the Settings app. Vendors not only can't enable their own gestures by default, they can't even be advertised in the setup process or by a notification.

  • Apple's excellent Powerbeats Pro are $50 off
    Style
    Christine Fisher

    Apple's excellent Powerbeats Pro are $50 off

    Apple's Powerbeats Pro are one of our favorite true-wireless earbuds, and for a limited time, they're on sale for $50 off ( $199 ). That's a great deal considering that they're the best-sounding Beats headphones yet, and they're near the top end of the true wireless spectrum price-wise.

  • Fitbit Versa 2 review: A good, but unreliable fitness watch
    Style
    Cherlynn Low

    Fitbit Versa 2 review: A good, but unreliable fitness watch

    Hell is sitting in a hot yoga class waiting for your Fitbit to sync. It was my fourth day of reviewing the new Versa 2 , and I'd been having connectivity issues since the day after I received it. The watch refused to sync with my phone after initially pairing with no issue. I wasn't surprised -- this has happened with pretty much every one of the many Fitbits I've reviewed in the past . But that makes it all the more frustrating. I'm not the only reviewer with this issue either, and I haven't had major connectivity troubles with any other wearable I've tested. Samsung watches in particular connect quickly to my Android phones, as do most Wear OS devices.

  • Apple warns against storing its titanium credit card in leather
    Style
    Jon Fingas

    Apple warns against storing its titanium credit card in leather

    The titanium Apple Card looks slick (with the sound to match), but you may need to treat it gingerly if you expect it to look as pristine as the day you got it. Apple has posted a cleaning guide for the physical credit card that warns against storing it against leather and denim, lest they cause discoloration that "will not wash off." Yes, that's right -- you could end up with a nasty-looking card simply by putting it in your usual wallet or pants pocket. Many leather wallets have linings, and plastic cards have their own issues, but this suggests it's more delicate than some would like.

  • What to expect from Samsung’s Galaxy Note 10 event
    Style
    Chris Velazco

    What to expect from Samsung’s Galaxy Note 10 event

    Few companies revel in spectacle the way Samsung does, and if nothing else, the company's Unpacked event in Brooklyn will be an assault on the senses. Of course, all that spectacle serves a purpose: to get people hyped for its newest flagship smartphone, the Galaxy Note 10 . We're getting ready to lug our gear onto the subway and report from Barclays Center live on August 7th, but before we do that, let's take a moment to sift through all the things Samsung could (and should) announce in a few days.

  • Burger King takes the Impossible Whopper nationwide August 8th
    Style
    AJ Dellinger

    Burger King takes the Impossible Whopper nationwide August 8th

    Burger King announced today that it is adding the Impossible Whopper -- the chain's famous Whopper burger made with a plant-based patty from Impossible Foods -- to its menu nationwide . Starting on August 8th, you'll be able to go to any Burger King location in the United States and get your hands on the alternative meat burger.

  • Tesla's Megapack is a battery built for the electrical grid
    Style
    Jon Fingas

    Tesla's Megapack is a battery built for the electrical grid

    Tesla's utility-sized energy storage has become a practical reality. The tech company has introduced the Megapack, a container-sized battery meant for "large-scale" storage that could help quickly deploy renewable energy and even replace conventional "peaker" power plants that come online when there's high demand. A single Megapack has up to 3MWh of storage, or roughly 14 times the 210kWh of a Powerpack . That, in turn, leads to very rapid deployments. Tesla claimed it could deploy a clean 250MW, 1GWh power plant in less than three months, or four times faster than a similarly-sized fossil fuel plant.

  • Samsung will release the Galaxy Fold in September
    Style
    Richard Lawler

    Samsung will release the Galaxy Fold in September

    Three months. That's how long it has been since Samsung announced it would delay the Galaxy Fold due to issues that arose after reviewers got their hands on its nearly $2,000 device. People pointed out a hinge that could let debris fall inside and its screen protector as problem areas, and Huawei similarly delayed its folding Mate X. We've had speculation about how the company could fix it , rumors that a redesign is complete and hints that updates are incoming, but very few official statements until now. Samsung has revealed the next step for the Fold , which is to release the device in September in "select markets." The company listed several changes in its press release, and they're in line with the earlier rumors. Along with the press release, Samsung also released a gallery of photos of the device, and it looks to our eye pretty much like the Fold already did.