This happened today

Renewables see record growth in 2021, but supply chain problems loom .

Photovoltaic modules at a solar power plant near Golmud, Qinghai province, China, on Saturday, Sept. 11, 2021. | Qilai Shen/Bloomberg via Getty Images 2021 is on course to break a global record for renewable energy growth, according to the International Energy Agency’s latest Renewables Market Report. ...

Spotify Wrapped 2021 is here to take over your social media.

Spotify Wrapped 2021 | Image: Spotify Spotify has released its eagerly anticipated Wrapped experience revealing the most listened to artists and albums for (most of) 2021. This year, it’s adding even more social media-friendly features that help you share your favorite music with a customized movie, aura, or playing cards. ...

Match will pay Tinder founders $441 million to settle lawsuit over financial deception.

Tinder's founders just won a partial victory in their lawsuit against Match Group over alleged financial trickery. Match has agreed to settle the case by paying $441 million from its cash reserves. In return, the Tinder co-creators will dismiss the claims from both the lawsuit and linked arbitration. ...

Amazon is working to fix its broken Appstore on Android 12.

Over the last month, Google Pixel and Samsung Galaxy S21 have noticed the Amazon Appstore doesn't work with Android 12. And we say it doesn't work, we mean it's almost entirely broken. Most people report they can't run any of the software they've downloaded from Amazon. Yet others say they don't see any apps when they visit the marketplace. ...

Luna Display Gains PC-to-Mac Mode, 5K Support and More.

The Luna Display dongle that's meant to turn an iPad or Mac into a secondary display for a primary machine today received a major 5.1 software update, introducing new features. With the new PC-to-Mac Mode, Luna Display owners can turn a Mac into a secondary display for a PC. PC-to-Mac mode follows PC-to-iPad mode, which was introduced in October. ...

Sony's $9,000 drone for its Alpha cameras is available for pre-order.

A few months later than originally planned, Sony has opened pre-orders for its first drone for professionals. The company says the Airpeak S1 is the smallest drone that supports a full-size, mirrorless Alpha camera.The debut model in the Airpeak line works with several Sony cameras, including the Alpha 1, Alpha 7S series, Alpha 7R series and Alpha 9 series. ...

When to Expect Apple to Release macOS 12.1 With SharePlay and More.

Apple released macOS Monterey in late October, but we are still waiting on several promised features such as SharePlay and Universal Control to be made available through subsequent software updates like macOS 12.1, which is currently in beta testing. The first macOS 12.1 beta enabled SharePlay on the Mac, allowing developers to prepare their apps to support the feature. ...

Digital car keys arrive on Pixel 6 and Samsung Galaxy S21.

Google has revealed a slew of features and updates for Android 12. Starting today, the digital car key function that was announced at Google I/O in May is available on Pixel 6, Pixel 6 Pro and Samsung Galaxy S21 for compatible BMW vehicles in select countries. You can use your phone to lock and unlock the doors, and start the engine. ...

Google announces grab bag of new Android features for the end of 2021.

Image: Google Google has a bevy of new features coming soon to Android, including new widgets for YouTube Music, Google Play Books, and Google Photos; new Android Auto features; and updates for Google Assistant and Google Photos. The company detailed the new features in a blog post. The biggest car-based addition is that from today Pixel 6, Pixel 6 Pro, and Samsung Galaxy S21 owners will be able to use their phones as a car key with “compatible BMW vehicles” in select countries. ...

General Motors announces it will build a new cathode plant in North America .

General Motors announced that it will construct a new cathode factory in North America for its electric vehicle batteries. The factory, which will be built under a joint venture with South Korea’s Posco Chemical, will process cathode active material (CAM), which represents about 40 percent of the cost of an EV battery cell. ...

Barnes & Noble announces new Nook GlowLight 4, says it cares for real this time.

Barnes & Noble has once again remembered that it ostensibly wants to sell e-readers and has announced the Nook GlowLight 4, a $149 e-reader that offers a refreshed design, more onboard storage, and USB-C charging to the company’s lineup. The last dedicated Nook e-reader, the GlowLight 3, was announced 49 months ago (to the day) on November 1st, 2017, although Barnes & Noble did give the Nook brand a shot in the arm earlier this year with a new, Lenovo-made budget tablet. ...

Hawkeye’s trick USB arrow is in desperate need of a dongle.

Photo: Marvel Studios In the third episode of Hawkeye, Kate Bishop (Hailee Steinfeld) does something very unexpected: she requests a USB dongle in the midst of a battle. The highlight of the episode is a scene where Kate and her reluctant mentor, Clint Barton (Jeremy Renner), are fighting their way through the Tracksuit Mafia amidst some hectic New York City traffic. ...

Nomad Launches 30W USB-C Charger and Sport Cables With iPhone Fast Charging Support.

Nomad today announced a pair of new products, including a new USB-C PD wall charger and new Sport Cables. These accessories are both available to order and ship out today on Nomad's website. The 30W USB-C GaN AC Adapter is a small, minimalist wall charger with a 30W power output that supports iPhone fast charging. ...

What’s the best student laptop? We asked students.

The Dell XPS 13 is one of the best laptops for high school and college students. | Photo by Amelia Holowaty Krales / The Verge Shopping for a laptop can be stressful — doubly stressful if you or your children will be learning online for the first time. Kids of different ages have a range of different laptop use cases and different needs. ...

Verizon and Bang & Olufsen made soundbars with Android TV built-in.

Verizon (Engadget's former parent company) isn't just relying on no-frills media players to push its Stream TV platform. The carrier has unveiled the Stream TV Soundbar (shown below) and Stream TV Soundbar Pro (at top), both of which mate Android TV with Bang & Olufsen's audio know-how and some high-end features to match. ...

Jabra Elite 7 Pro review: something’s missing.

Jabra’s latest earbuds impress on voice quality but arrive without the company’s signature feature Continue reading…

CVS Pharmacy’s Spoken Rx prescription labels are now available at all locations.

All CVS Pharmacy locations in the US now offer Spoken Rx prescription labels for blind and vision-impaired patients. | Photo by Victoria Arocho/Bloomberg via Getty Images CVS Pharmacy is expanding its Spoken Rx audio prescription labels to be available in all its pharmacies, after a trial run last year. ...

Reddit adds real-time typing and reading indicators to posts.

Reddit is introducing a handful of new features designed to make its social network feel more interactive. Starting today, you’ll notice the vote and comment counts on posts and feeds will increase (as well as decrease) in real-time. Additionally, you’ll see new typing indicators that will tell you when two or more people are replying to a comment. ...

Reddit is adding new real-time features, including a live upvote count.

Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge Reddit is introducing some big changes on Wednesday by adding new real-time features. Perhaps the biggest update is that the number of upvotes, downvotes, and comments will go up or down as they happen. That could give you a more accurate idea of the popularity of a post as you’re reading it, but I could also see people hitting an upvote or downvote in response to seeing others do the same. ...

'Spotify Wrapped' Recaps Your Listening History for 2021.

Spotify today made its annual recap feature "Spotify Wrapped" available to users on the iOS and Android app. This feature tracks your top artists, genres, songs, podcasts, and minutes listened, and generates graphics that are easily shareable on social media. There are a few new additions to Spotify Wrapped 2021, including "2021: The Movie," which pairs your top songs with classic scenes from movies; "Your Audio Aura," which visualizes your audio aura based on top music moods; "Playing Cards," which is an interactive quiz game about your listening habits; and "2021 Wrapped Blend," which compares your listening tastes with friends. ...

The best 2-in-1 laptops you can buy.

The perfect hybrid machine that’s just as good a tablet as it is a laptop still doesn’t exist. But, in 2021, companies like Microsoft, Apple and Google continued to improve their operating systems for machines that do double duty. Windows 11 has features that make it friendlier for multi-screen devices, while Android 12L is on the horizon and promises an optimized experience for larger displays. ...

Apple Adding iPhone 6 Plus to Vintage Products List Later This Month.

In an internal memo obtained by MacRumors, Apple said it will be adding the iPhone 6 Plus to its vintage products list on December 31, meaning that more than five years have passed since Apple stopped distributing the device for sale. Apple Stores and Apple Authorized Service Providers continue to offer repairs for vintage products for up to seven years, subject to parts availability. ...

Nothing's 'Black Edition' brings a modern touch to its funky Ear 1 buds.

Earlier this year, Nothing released a pair of relatively cheap $99 Ear 1 earbuds with a fun transparent case, wireless charging and decent sound quality. Now, the company (created by OnePlus cofounder Carl Pei) has unveiled the new Ear 1 "Black Edition" that retains the transparent case and funky design, but adds a smoky finish and black matte colorway. ...

'Fortnite' Party Worlds are purely social experiences made for the metaverse.

Epic has made acquisitions and otherwise signalled plans for a Fortnitemetaverse, but its latest move is one of the most obvious yet. The developer has introducedFortnite Party Worlds, or maps that are solely intended as social spaces to meet friends and play mini games. Unlike Hubs, these environments don't link to other islands — think of them as final destinations. ...

Deals: AirPods 3 Return to Black Friday Price of $149.99 ($29 Off).

After Black Friday and Cyber Monday ended, all of the best AirPods deals quietly disappeared. But, Amazon today has brought back the solid $29 markdown on the new AirPods 3 that we saw last week, offering the earbuds for $149.99, down from $179.00. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with some of these vendors. ...

Niantic buys gameplay recording app Lowkey to improve its in-game social experience.

Niantic has acquired another company to help build out its augmented reality platforms. The company has announced that it's acquiring the team behind Lowkey, an app you can use to easily capture and share gameplay moments. While you can use any screen capture application — or even your phone's built-in feature — to record your games, Lowkey was designed with casual gamers or those who don't want to spend time editing their videos in mind. ...

Urtopia e-bike is basically a computer on wheels.

The electrification of the bicycle has historically meant just that: A bike, but with an electric motor. You might find some other smart conveniences on higher-end models, but "less is more" has usually been the way. Urtopia, the latest e-bike brand from China, has other ideas. Its debut ride is, on paper, one of the most tech-heavy bikes we’ve seen. ...

Spotify's 2021 Wrapped is here to chronicle your year in music.

In early December, Spotify rolls out its Wrapped year-in-review so that users can relive their go-to artists, songs and podcasts from the last several months. Today, the service is debuting the 2021 installment with some familiar features and a number of new additions, both of which are personalized to each listener's streaming habits. ...

The Lenovo Smart Clock 2 bundled with a smart light is on sale for $25 right now.

Lenovo found success in the Google smart display space with its tiny smart clocks thanks to the devices' simplicity and affordable prices. The company introduced the modestly updated Smart Clock 2 this year and now Walmart has one of the best deals we've seen on it since its debut. You can pick up the Lenovo Smart Clock 2 plus one of the company's smart light bulbs for only $25, which is about $45 off its normal price. ...

Apple Makes Six (RED) Apple Watch Faces Available to Download and More for World AIDS Day.

For World AIDS Day today, Apple highlighted its long-standing partnership with (RED), which has raised $270 million to combat AIDS since 2006, launched its annual Apple Pay donation program and informative in-app collections, and is offering six downloadable (RED) Apple Watch faces. The six downloadable (RED) Apple Watch faces feature (RED)'s distinctive shade of crimson. ...

7-Eleven and Nuro begin autonomous vehicle deliveries in California.

7-Eleven has teamed up with Nuro for autonomous vehicle deliveries in Mountain View, California. Residents can place orders through the 7Now app and an AV might bring the items to their location.Autonomous deliveries won't cost customers anything extra. They're available from 8AM until 9PM PT every day, and the companies say orders should arrive in around 30 minutes. ...

Xbox gamers will soon be able to share gameplay clips via public links.

Xbox video game clips are about to become much more easily shareable via unique public URLs on the Xbox mobile app, according to a tweet from Microsoft's Larry Hryb (@majornelson). Those links will also be collected into a new "trending content" area so you can see what others are doing. ...

The Morning After: DJI's newest drone is all about the cameras.

DJI’s newest, technically impressive (and expensive) drone is here. It addresses issues with visual quality, short flight time and a simplified flying experience. Judging by Associate Editor Steve Dent’s review, it’s an incredible drone, even if some features were missing at launch. The Mavic 3 is peerless when it comes to image quality — so that speaks to who it’s aimed at. ...

Elon Musk Urges Customers to Buy 'Tesla Cyberwhistle' Instead of Apple Polishing Cloth.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk has encouraged customers to buy the "Cyberwhistle" for $50 instead of Apple's much-discussed Polishing Cloth. The product page, which Musk shared on Twitter on Tuesday evening, offers a limited edition stainless steel whistle with the same distinctive design of the Tesla Cybertruck:Inspired by Cybertruck, the limited-edition Cyberwhistle is a premium collectible made from medical-grade stainless steel with a polished finish. ...

Microsoft will be required to disclose sexual harassment cases after shareholder vote.

Microsoft's shareholders have forced the tech giant to write up an annual report that would detail how it handles sexual harassment cases within the company. Investors voted in favor of passing a proposal requesting the annual report at their recent meeting despite the company's recommendation that they vote against it. ...

Had It With the Dropbox App? Here Are Five Alternative Dropbox Clients.

The Dropbox app has a troubled reputation among Mac users. The client is often called out for using significant system resources, even when it's not doing anything in the background. And when it does lurch into action, syncing with Dropbox's servers can sometimes be painfully slow, for no obvious reason. ...

Tesla made a $50 'Cyberwhistle' and it's already sold out.

As he showed with the Flamethrower, Tesla CEO Elon Musk has a knack for selling weird gadgets that often have little to do with the company's main business. The latest example is a $50 "Cyberwhistle," a collectible whistle in the form of Tesla's Cybertruck, and it's already sold out. ...

HTC Vive Focus 3 gets more accurate hand tracking in new update.

HTC has rolled out a firmware update for the latest standalone Vive Focus that greatly improves its hand-tracking capabilities. The company says firmware version 3.0.999.284 significantly improves the feature's performance, stability and accuracy. HTC's Vive Focus 3 launched with hand tracking back in July, allowing users to use their hands as controllers. ...

Virtual modular synth VCV Rack 2 is now available.

VCV Rack 2 has arrived, and it could help you figure out if modular synthesis is something you can get into before blowing a fortune on it. The original app dropped in 2017, giving you access to thousands of virtual modules that let you try Eurorack for free. This upgraded app comes with a completely redesigned user interface with a dark room mode and a much better module browser than its predecessor. ...

Twitch will use machine learning to catch ban-dodging trolls.

Twitch is introducing a new machine learning feature to help streamers protect their channels from people attempting to avoid bans. Dubbed "Suspicious User Detection," the tool will automatically flag individuals it suspects may be "likely" or "possible" ban dodgers.In cases involving the former, Twitch will prevent any messages they send from showing up in chat. ...

Qualcomm's Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 will power the next generation of Android flagships.

Every December for the last few years, Qualcomm has held an annual event in Hawaii to announce its latest flagship mobile chipset. This year was no different with the company taking the opportunity to unveil the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1. That’s right, for the second year in a row, Qualcomm is moving away from the sequential numbering scheme that has defined its processors for years. ...