Peloton’s ‘worst-kept secret’ is out (yes, it’s a rower)
Yesterday afternoon the Twitter account of digital fitness company Peloton tweeted an emoji of a person rowing a boat. That’s it; it’s the tweet. If you were wondering if that meant Peloton was sinking, you couldn’t be totally blamed – after all, Peloton’s third quarter results weren’t great, and its outlook for the next quarter isn’t great either. But a teaser video shared in a follow-up tweet revealed a Peloton-branded rower. It was a quick preview of the product, and the company has yet to share details on availability and pricing. (Trust me, we asked.) The long-talked-about rower was also Peloton’s “worst-kept secret on Earth,” as co-founder and chief product officer Tom Cortese described it in an interview with the Verge.
This future rower and the recently launched Guide Peloton are both niche hardware products, aimed at people who want to perform a specific type of workout. What’s probably getting less attention right now is the fact that Peloton also just announced that it will soon be allowing people to follow no peloton workouts, like walking and running, in its mobile app. This only underscores that Peloton is a subscription company that wants people to stay engaged with its apps as much as possible. New CEO Barry McCarthy has already piloted a program to reduce the upfront cost of hardware, while the price of access to bike and treadmill apps has just risen from $39 to $44 per month. So the rower, whenever it ships, is much less important as a standalone product and more part of a larger ecosystem.
Here are some news from the world of gadgets.
iPhones could finally have USB-C ports
In a perfect society, you wouldn’t need a different cord for each device. Fortunately, this utopian vision could come closer. According to Bloomberg journalist Mark Gurman, Apple tested new iPhones that have USB-C connectors instead of Apple’s proprietary Lightning ports.
While the faster, easier USB-C ports have become ubiquitous across all device categories, Apple has long been the most prominent. As Gurman suggests, Apple’s motivation may be adherence to a European Union decision to require manufacturers like Apple use the USB-C standard on all devices. This is not the only decision the company seems to have taken to get ahead of the legislation. Apple (reluctantly) started supply spare parts and the manuals of its devices after a law on the repairability of devices passed in France.
Gurman says Apple’s new USB-C ports won’t fit into iPhones until next year at the earliest. Still, it’s huge news for anyone who’s tired of accidentally jamming the wrong charger in their phone.
Foldables could go either way
You might think folding screens are entirely flexible, that’s sort of their whole problem. But most foldables only bend in one direction, either inward or outward. Some LG’s new technology aims to combine them into a single screen that can bend along a full 360 degree axis.
This week at an industry conference called the Society for Information Display, LG exhibited an 8-inch screen capable of doing so. The company claims the screen is able to withstand 200,000 bends before showing signs of wear. LG hasn’t offered a timeline for when it will make its way into a consumer product. However, companies are go ahead with foldablesif they will become the future of screens or not. Hopefully this gives them a little more, ahem, flexibility.
There’s a new OP-1
The OP-1 synthesizer is Swedish developer Teenage Engineering’s flagship drum machine. It’s a compact, feature-rich groove machine that’s popular with music professionals and enthusiasts alike. (Those willing to drop the $1,200 asking price, anyway.) This week, the company announced that the OP-1 got its first major update since its launch in 2011.
Called on Field OP-1the new model is thinner and lighter, and it packs even more features in its slim keyboard frame, including a high-resolution display, 32-bit sound, and 24-hour battery life (up to 8-10 hours on the original).
Teenage Engineering also co-designed the highly anticipated retro-styled gaming handheld Reading date. Although this particular device will not be reshipped until 2023, the new OP-1 field is available now. Unfortunately, it’s also more expensive than its predecessor, selling for a whopping $2,000. Good things may come in small packages, but they’re going to cost you.
It’s time to close the iPod doors, Hal
A moment of silence for the iPod, please. This week, Apple announced that it has stopped producing the iPod Touch, the last remaining product in its iconic line of music players. The original iPod was launched in October 2001, and its run is now over.
A string of Google gadgets
And in case you somehow missed it, Google held his I/O Developer Conference this week. The company used its main event to showcase an assortment of software and hardware updates. There are new Pixel phones, a more conversational Google Assistant, a few changes to make search more inclusive, and yes, even an actual Pixel Watch.
If you want to dig, here are all the hardware google announced this week. And here are all the news software updates. Also, hear some of WIRED’s gadget geeks take a deep dive on this week’s big announcements. Gadget lab Podcast.