Lilbits: A DIY Spotify Box, Microsoft’s Surface Adaptive Kit for accessibility, Fairphone 4, and more
This week Microsoft introduced new Surface tablets, a new Surface Duo 2 phone, and a new Surface Laptop Studio that are all scheduled to hit the streets soon. But the company also unveiled a new Surface Adaptive Kit that’s designed to make those devices, and many others, easier to use for people with disabilities.
The kit is basically a bunch of stickers that you can attach to any laptop, tablet, or other device to make it easier to locate things like important keys or ports by touch or color. There are also “opener supports” that can be placed on a device to make it easier to open the lid or kickstand, for example. Microsoft hasn’t announce pricing yet, but the company says the Surface Adaptive Kit will be available later this year.
Here’s a roundup of recent tech news from around the web.
Surface Adaptive Kit guide [Microsoft]
Microsoft’s Surface Adaptive Kit stickers make laptops, tablets & other PCs more accessible with pull tabs for opening, tactile bump labels to help find important keys, transparent, tactile keycap labels and port labels. Coming later this year.
Microsoft’s Surface Adaptive Kit stickers make laptops, tablets & other PCs more accessible with pull tabs for opening, tactile bump labels to help find important keys, transparent, tactile keycap labels and port labels. Coming later this year. https://t.co/QTof20T5dd pic.twitter.com/jI8d5xxy2V
— Liliputing (@liliputingnews) September 23, 2021
Fortnite continues to be blacklisted in the App Store [@TimSweeneyEpic]
Apple has no plans to relist Fortnite in the App Store until it has exhausted all possible appeals of the recent ruling… which could take years. So don’t expect Fortnite on your iPhone or iPad anytime soon.
The EU’s USB-C proposal might give us a portless iPhone instead [The Verge]
The European Commission plans to require phone makers to use USB-C ports for wired charging, in order to reduce e-waste. But phones that don’t have charging ports, and instead only use wireless charging won’t need to comply. Apple could take that route.
Fairphone 4 5G Revealing Snapdragon 750G SoC Spotted on Geekbench [Fairphone]
Fairphone, a company that makes phones using ethically-sourced materials (and whose most recent phones have had modular, repairable designs), is gearing up to launch the Fairphone 4 soon. Leaked benchmarks point to a Snapdragon 750G SoC & 6GB of RAM. There’s no word on whether this model will support US network bands though (previous models have not).
YouTube gets official video downloads on the web, saving you from using some very sketchy sites [Android Police]
YouTube is testing a feature that lets YouTube Premium users download videos for offline playback on desktop computers. The experimental feature seems to only be available until October 19 though, so it’s unclear what Google’s long-term plans are here.
Brave Launches Brave Talk for Privacy-Preserving Video Conferencing [Brave]
Privacy-focused web browser maker Brave has introduced a new privacy-focused video conferencing service called Brave Talk. Based on open source Jitsi, and available through the Brave desktop browser, users can invite others using any modern browser.
Yes, of course there’s now malware for Windows Subsystem for Linux [The Register]
Researchers have discovered malware that tries to infect Windows PCs through Windows Subsystem for Linux.
Microsoft says the original Surface Duo will get Android 11 before the end of the year [The Verge]
The Microsoft Surface Duo 2 will ship with Android 11. But what about the first-gen model, which is still running Android 10? Microsoft says an Android 11 update will be available by the end of the year (you know, shortly after Android 12 is released).
New Android features coming this season [Google]
Google Photos Locked Folders feature is coming to Android 6 or later (previously Pixel-only). Other Android updates rolling out soon include using the Google TV app as a remote control, using facial gestures for accessibility controls & more.
Spotify Box [Evan Hailey]
The Spotify Box is a homemade device that you can plug into any preamp, mixer, or amplifier to stream music from Spotify while using the Spotify app on your phone as a remote control. It has an Allwinner V3S chip, a custom PCB, WiFi & BT, and Ethernet.
Epic Games is making it a little easier for game makers to port their titles to Linux and Mac. After making its Easy Anti-Cheat software available for free to all developers for Windows earlier this year, Epic is now adding support for Linux & macOS.