Technology

Save on Ring’s Peephole Cam, a shower-friendly Bluetooth speaker, and more

Today’s best deals are, as usual, a mix of returning favorites and some new ones that we’ve picked up along the way. While we featured some big-ticket items yesterday, today’s roundup is focused more on practical additions to your home that won’t cost a whole lot. One such product is the Ring Peephole Cam, which is cheaper for readers of The Verge with an exclusive offer code from Daily Steals. Instead of $130, which is the current price at Amazon, you can snag one for yourself for $107 with the offer code VERGERBELL used at checkout. Compared to Ring’s video doorbells, this one has an actual peephole you can peek through when someone is at the door. Sometimes, this is just faster than trying to get the Ring app to load and show you who’s waiting outside. It’s really easy to install — that...

Microsoft’s new Surface Dock 2 is made for the USB-C era

Along with the slew of other Surface-related announcements Microsoft made today — including the Surface Book 3, Surface Go 2, and more — the company is also introducing a new Surface Dock 2 docking station and a standalone USB-C travel hub. The Surface Dock 2 is not much of a design departure from Microsoft’s original model, which launched a handful of years ago; it’s basically a minimalist black slab. That said, it’s absolutely packed with USB-C ports — four of them, to be precise. Two replace the previous pair of Mini DisplayPort ports for transmitting video to a monitor, while the set on the opposite side of the Dock 2 can be used to connect or charge any other USB-C devices you have. Image: Microsoft In addition to its fleet of USB-C ports, the Dock 2 also has an Ethernet jack, a headp...

Microsoft launches Surface Book 3 with new Nvidia GPU options, up to 32GB of RAM, and faster SSDs

Microsoft is launching its Surface Book 3 today, with a big promise of 50 percent more performance than its predecessor from more than two years ago. There are no big design changes this time around, and there will still be two size options: a 13.5-inch model or the larger 15-inch version. It’s disappointing to not see any design tweaks, but there are some important changes under the hood that should improve performance all around. The Surface Book 3 will ship with Intel’s latest 10th Gen processors, with the base 13.5-inch model starting at $1,599 for a quad-core Core i5, and the 15-inch version using a quad-core Core i7 processor priced starting at $2,299. While the most basic 13.5-inch model will include Intel’s built-in Iris Plus graphics, there will be an option to move up to an Nvidi...

How the Surface Book 3 compares to the new MacBook Pro and other top laptops

Microsoft’s new Surface Book 3 is here, with an update that keeps the design largely the same as the previous model but overhauls the internal specs up to the top standards of what you’d expect from a 2020 laptop. The new laptops — once again, available in 13.5-inch and 15-inch sizes — promise improvements of up to 50 percent compared to their predecessors, with options for discrete Nvidia GTX 1650 Max-Q graphics cards on the 13-inch model, and the GTX 1660Ti on the 15-inch. (Enterprise customers will also have the option of the Quadro RTX 3000.) The processors have also been upgraded to Intel’s 10th Gen Ice Lake chips for better performance and battery optimization. The new Surface Book 3 models also can charge faster and offer the option to configure with up to 32GB of RAM for more deman...

How the Surface Go 2 compares to other low-cost tablets

Microsoft has announced the Surface Go 2, an upgrade to 2018’s Surface Go, and this new version packs a lot of new features, including a larger 10.5-inch display, a camera app for the rear-facing camera, and improved battery life. The Surface Go 2 also starts at $399.99, making it affordable enough for people who may just want a cheap Windows computing machine without the more expensive bells and whistles of a Surface Pro or Surface Pro X. The Surface Go has a lot of competition, however, and its rivals have similar screen sizes and lower prices. Apple’s $329 entry-level iPad was updated last year with a 10.2-inch screen size and a connector that lets you attach a Smart Keyboard to it. Amazon refreshed the Amazon Fire HD 10 tablet in 2019 as well, and that costs just $149.99. Samsung annou...

Joe Biden’s digital campaign hasn’t quite come into focus

The biggest story of today is the creeping sense that April was in many ways another lost month in the COVID-19 response, with the average number of new cases rising slightly throughout the month to around 29,500 per day. Large swathes of the country are preparing to re-open for business even as all signs point to the likelihood that, for all of our collective efforts to send the novel coronavirus into decline, it merely plateaued. Charlie Warzel raised the grim and yet wholly plausible prospect that Americans will simply normalize COVID-19 deaths the way they have normalized deaths from gun violence. A few hours later the president all but confirmed it. Around here we’re generally most interested in the push and pull between platforms and governments. But everything the platforms are work...

HyperX and Ducky collaborated on a limited edition version of the One 2 Mini keyboard

HyperX teamed up with popular mechanical keyboard maker Ducky to make a new limited edition colorway of its compact, 60 percent-sized Ducky One 2 Mini. In addition to splashing this keyboard with a matte black frame surrounding the keys and a glossy cherry red hosing on the bottom, it utilizes HyperX’s Red linear mechanical key switches. Each of those switches is covered in Ducky’s durable keycaps, which are said to maintain their grippy texture and their key label despite long-term use. This model costs $109.99, and you can pick it up through HyperX’s online store starting on Tuesday, May 12th. Only a total of 3,700 units will be made. Photo by Cameron Faulkner / The Verge In terms of niceties, the One 2 Mini has plenty of them. This keyboard plugs in via a USB-C to USB Type-A cable, so i...

Twitter tests a cleaner interface for threaded conversations

Twitter is showing some iOS and web users a new interface to make it easier to follow threaded conversations, the company has announced. A gif published by Twitter’s Support account shows the new test interface in action, with lines and indents making it much easier to see who’s responding to who in a Twitter thread. The functionality first came to Twitter’s prototype app twttr last year, and builds upon the iOS update released back in January. The changes are an attempt to make back and forth conversations “easier to read and follow,” according to the company. Current Twitter conversations can quickly become crowded and difficult to understand, especially when dozens of users are responding to each individual tweet in a conversation. It means that even a high-profile interview with Twitte...

Tinder will launch in-app video chats later this year

Tinder is going to launch its own in-app, one-on-one video chats later this year. Match Group, the brand’s parent company, announced the feature in its earnings release today. Details are scarce, but the fact that Tinder is even going to release this feature is big news. This would be one of the largest feature introductions for the brand, and an especially impressive undertaking considering Tinder has millions of users, and video calls can be places ripe for abuse. The company couldn’t share additional details with The Verge. Harassment and abuse could be difficult to screen for on video, as opposed to text-based messaging. But presumably, the team is either building its own offensive image detection system or looking to a third party to provide one. Users will also have to get used to th...

Virgin Galactic lost $60 million in first quarter, announces new NASA partnership for supersonic tech

Space tourism venture Virgin Galactic lost $60 million in the first quarter of 2020, down from the $73 million net loss it suffered at the end of last year, according to the company’s earnings statement today. The company says it earned revenue of just $238,000 this first quarter by “providing engineering services.” Along with these earnings results, Virgin Galactic is announcing that 400 people put down refundable deposits to fly on the company’s tourist spaceplane in the future. The full cost to fly on the vehicle is $250,000, but through a new initiative, Virgin Galactic allowed aspiring astronauts to put down just $1,000 to reserve a seat on a future flight. The company says those deposits represent “over $100 million of potential future revenue upon full ticket payment.” The deposits ...

Leak reveals new Sonos soundbar could be called the Arc and have up-firing speakers

Sonos may be close to releasing a new soundbar called the Arc, as apparent marketing images of the device have been shared on Twitter by leaker and WinFuture writer Roland Quandt. The Arc appears to have up-firing speakers and could be considerably longer than the existing Sonos Beam soundbar. You can see the images for yourself in Quandt’s tweet, embedded below: The first image in the top-left shows just how much longer the Arc might be compared with the 25.6-inch Beam. And the image of the Arc’s internals in the lower-left appears to show the new soundbar will not only have two upward-firing speakers, but also two outward-firing ones and four front-firing ones. It’s unclear exactly how much the Arc might cost, but Quandt replied to his own tweet with a clue: “price: money, lots of it.” D...

Spotify CEO expects Apple will ‘open up’ even more in the future

Spotify CEO Daniel Ek said he expects longtime rival Apple will “open up” iOS and its platforms more in the future as a result of contention with developers and growing antitrust concern from regulators, according to an interview with Ek published on Tuesday by Bloomberg. Spotify filed a regulatory complaint with the European Union last year, calling Apple’s mandatory 30 percent App Store cut a “tax” that stifles innovation and unfairly benefits Apple against its competitors. Spotify also cited Apple’s control over system-level features like its Siri voice assistant, which at the time did not work with Spotify but naturally did integrate with Apple Music. The complaint resulted in an ongoing EU antitrust investigation. “Long term, we do expect Apple to open up.” While the two companies hav...