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‘Worst-Kept Peloton's

Peloton’s ‘Worst-Kept Secret’ Is Out (Yes, It’s a Rowing Machine)

Yesterday afternoon, the Twitter account for digital fitness company Peloton tweeted an emoji of a person rowing a boat. That’s it; that’s the tweet. If you wondered if that meant Peloton is sinking, you couldn’t be totally blamed—after all, Peloton’s third quarter earnings weren’t great, and its outlook for the next quarter isn’t stellar either.…

Yesterday afternoon, the Twitter account for digital fitness company Peloton tweeted an emoji of a person rowing a boat. This is the tweet. You might be wondering if this means Peloton is sinking. After all, Peloton’s third-quarter earnings were not great and its outlook for next quarter isn’t very good. A teaser video was shared in a follow up tweet and showed a Peloton-branded rowing device. The company did not share pricing information or availability details. (Trust me, we’ve asked.) As Tom Cortese, cofounder and chief product officer of Peloton, described the long-rumored rower in an interview for the Verge ., it was also Peloton’s “worst-kept Secret on Earth.”

This upcoming rowing machine and the recently launched Peloton Guide are both niche hardware products, catering to people who want to do a specific kind of workout. What’s likely getting less attention right now is the fact that Peloton also just announced that it will soon allow people to track non-Peloton workouts, like walking and running, in its mobile app. Peloton wants people to be as engaged as possible in its apps. This is why it’s a subscription company. New CEO Barry McCarthy has already piloted a program to lower the up-front cost of the hardware, while the price for access to the bike and treadmill apps just went up from $39 to $44 a month. The rowing machine is not a standalone product, but rather a part of an ecosystem.

Here’s some more news from the world of gadgets.

iPhones Might Finally Get USB-C ports

In a perfect society you wouldn’t need a different cord for every device. This utopian vision may be closer than we think. According to Bloomberg reporter Mark Gurman, Apple has been testing new iPhones that have USB-C connectors instead of Apple’s proprietary lightning ports.

While the faster, simpler USB-C ports have become ubiquitous across device categories, Apple has long been the most prominent holdout. As Gurman suggests, Apple’s motivation may be adherence to a decision by the European Union to mandate that manufacturers like Apple use the USB-C standard across devices. This is not the only decision that Apple seems to have made in order to stay ahead of the legislation. Apple (begrudgingly) started providing repair parts and manuals for its devices after a device repairability law passed in France.

Gurman says Apple’s new USB-C ports won’t slot into iPhones until next year at the earliest. It’s still a huge deal for anyone who is tired of accidentally inserting the wrong charger in their phone.

Foldables Could Go Both Ways

You may think of folding screens as fully flexible–that’s sort of their whole deal. Most foldables can only bend in one direction: inward or outside. Some new tech from LG aims to combine them into one screen that can fold along a full 360-degree axis.

This week, at an industry conference called Society for Information Display, LG showed off an 8-inch screen capable of doing this. The company says the screen is capable of withstanding 200,000 folds before showing signs of wear. LG has not yet provided a timeframe for when the screen will be available in mass-market products. Still, companies are barreling ahead with foldables, whether they’ll become the future of screens or not. This will hopefully give them a little more flexibility.

There’s a New OP-1

The OP-1 synthesizer is Swedish developer Teenage Engineering’s flagship beat box. This compact, feature-packed groove machine is popular among both musicians and hobbyists. (Those who are willing to plop down the $1,200 asking price, anyway.) This week, the company announced that the OP-1 has gotten its first major update since its launch in 2011.

Called the OP-1 Field, the new model is thinner and lighter, and it packs even more features into its slim keyboard frame, including a higher-resolution display, 32-bit audio, and 24 hours of battery life (up from eight to 10 hours on the original).

Teenage Engineering also codesigned the hugely anticipated retro-style gaming handheld Playdate. While that particular device isn’t shipping again until 2023, the new OP-1 Field is available now. Unfortunately, it’s also more expensive than its predecessor, retailing for a whopping $2,000. Although good things can come in small packages they will still cost you.

Time to Shut 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 launched in October 2001, and now its run has come to an end.

WIRED’s Steven Levy–who literally wrote the book on the iPod–goes in depth on the device’s demise.

A Gaggle of Google Gadgets

And in case you somehow missed it, Google held its I/O developer conference this week. The company’s keynote event was used to showcase a wide range of hardware and software updates. There’s new Pixel phones, a more conversational Google Assistant, some changes to make Search more inclusive, and yes, even a real-life Pixel Watch.

If you want to dig in, here’s all the hardware Google announced this week. And here’s all the new software updates. Also listen to some of WIRED’s gadget geeks dive deep on the important announcements on this week’s Gadget Lab podcast.

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