Skip to main content

Filed under:

Monday’s top tech news: an ultra year for tech?

Share this story

Just a few short days after Samsung announced not one but two “Ultra”-branded devices comes a report that Apple might be about to slap that same label on an upcoming iPhone. Over the weekend, Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman reported that Apple’s 2022 flagship iPhone lineup could include its first Ultra model. Apparently there’s a chance it could offer a higher performance camera system, faster chip, and / or a larger display than the Pro Max.

Second, if you have even a passing interest in Mario Kart, The Last of Us, or Pedro Pascal, then I implore you to check out Pascal’s appearance on Saturday Night Live. I won’t spoil it, but it’s-a good stuff.

Finally, I want to highlight a couple of interesting reviews that went up over the weekend. Announced last week alongside the Samsung Galaxy S23 lineup, the SmartThings Station is not only a hub to control your smart home, but it’s also a controller button and a wireless charging pad — both functions that provide a great excuse to have it easily accessible at all times. There’s also this fantastically overkill gadget from Nix which aims to help athletes keep hydrated while exercising.

For now, here’s a silly tweet to start your day:

Stay tuned, as we continue to update this list with the most important news of today: Monday, February 6th, 2023.
  • Fitbit’s service was down, but your smartwatch can sync your steps again

    Several colorful strap options surrounding a Fitbit Inspire 3
    Image: Fitbit

    Update February 7th, 9:52AM ET: There are reports Fitbit is experiencing issues again.

    No, it’s not you — Fitbit earlier today experienced a major outage.

    Read Article >
  • Fox’s Super Bowl LVII ads won’t include any crypto companies

    Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts and Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes are standing in football uniform with a blurry stadium audience in the background.
    Photo by Dylan Buell / Getty Images

    Last year, Super Bowl LVI was effectively the crypto bowl for companies like FTX,, Coinbase, and others. Now, with only a week to go until the Eagles versus Chiefs matchup, Sports Business Journal reports that while FTX and other crypto businesses bought Super Bowl LVII ad spots from Fox, they’ve all backed out.

    As LA faced off with Cincinnati for the NFL’s championship trophy, big-name celebrities like Matt Damon and LeBron James greeted TV viewers and attempted to convince them all to join the movement and invest in crypto. At the time, Bitcoin was valued at over $42,197.52 — but even after a rally in recent weeks, its price is down to $23,013.87.

    Read Article >
  • Here’s why Meta is shutting down Echo VR

    Art of Echo VR.
    Image: Meta

    Last week, Meta announced that it would be shutting down the widely praised VR game Echo VR in August. Since then, Meta CTO Andrew “Boz” Bosworth has shared some further details about the shutdown, and former Meta consulting CTO John Carmack has weighed in about the decision.

    In an Instagram AMA, Bosworth said that Echo VR’s playerbase, while “loyal as all get out,” had fallen into the “low ten thousands,” as transcribed by UploadVR. “Unfortunately, keeping things alive takes work,” Bosworth said. “This is not like a return on investment money standpoint; it’s just those resources could be put to other uses that I think will be useful to the now tens of millions of people who are in VR.” He also said Meta has some “regulatory constraints” that make it more expensive to maintain the game.

    Read Article >
  • Is that GPT-4 I can see?

    Microsoft is holding a special in-person event at its Redmond headquarters tomorrow, where it’s expected to announce a ChatGPT version of Bing. OpenAI powers ChatGPT and now CEO Sam Altman is posing for a selfie with Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, confirming tomorrow is all about AI. With rumors of the unannounced GPT-4 powering Microsoft’s ChatGPT integration, it looks set to be an interesting day ahead. The Verge will be covering everything live as it happens.

  • Exclusive: Sonos’ next speakers will be called the Era 300 and Era 100

    A 3D product rendering of the upcoming Sonos speaker, codenamed Optimo 2, as created by The Verge
    A 3D product rendering of the upcoming Sonos speaker, codenamed Optimo 2, as created by The Verge
    Product render by Alex Castro / The Verge

    Sonos is preparing a new generation of smart speakers, known as the Era 300 and Era 100, that will debut in the coming months, The Verge has learned. The speakers, which The Verge previously detailed under the codename Optimo, will be pitted against Apple’s $299 HomePod and other smart home speakers from Google and Amazon. The flagship Era 300 is designed to showcase spatial audio music tracks and Dolby Atmos content. Both speakers have a completely new design compared to existing Sonos products.

    The Verge can exclusively report the consumer-facing names as Sonos finalizes plans for the Era 300 and 100. As further evidence of the new Sonos product family, a document from Sanus, a manufacturer of TV mounts and speaker accessories, directly mentions the Era speakers. The document is for an $80 wall mount that’s compatible with both products. There’s also a second document that mentions floor stands for the Era speakers. Apparently priced at $220, the stands have a weighted base and will allow for “17 inches of height adjustment for optimal listening.” Both Sanus documents were published last month, according to a Google web search.

    Read Article >
  • Microsoft announces surprise event for Tuesday with Bing ChatGPT expected

    Microsoft logo
    Illustration: The Verge

    Microsoft is holding a major news event on Tuesday, February 7th. The software giant first mailed out invites to an in-person event at the company’s Redmond headquarters last week and is now officially announcing the event minutes after Google made its ChatGPT rival official.

    Microsoft’s event starts at 10AM PT / 1PM ET, and the company isn’t teasing much ahead of time. But it’s likely the company will focus on its rumored ChatGPT integration into Bing and its broader partnership with OpenAI.

    Read Article >
  • Twitter can now default to the ‘Following’ timeline on iOS and Android

    An illustration of the Twitter logo
    The choice has returned.
    Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge

    Twitter’s iOS and Android app will now default to showing you the last timeline tab you selected, whether it’s the algorithmic “For You” or the reverse chronological “Following” list. The company rolled out this feature on the web in late January after it changed the system for selecting your timeline earlier that month.

    The app now works mostly as you’d expect. If you switch to the Following timeline and close the app, it’ll take you back to the Following list the next time you open it. And if you leave it on the For You tab, that’s what it’ll default to.

    Read Article >
  • To scam a scammer!

    Scam hunter Coffeezilla decided to see if influencer Dillon Danis really meant what he said about feeling bad about people who got NFT scammed. So he set up an obviously-fake NFT project to see if Danis would promote it.

    Personally, my favorite part of this was discovering the going rate for NFT project promotion. It’s very cheap!

  • Apple releases 16.3.1 to fix issues with Apple TVs and HomePods.

    Following the launch of the new HomePod last week, Apple has pushed out a 16.3.1 update for its HomePod and tvOS software. The release notes are sparse: “general performance and stability improvements.”

    But one Reddit thread points to this being a fix to reports of new HomePods getting stuck on configuring after failing to update to 16.3 (Apple shipped them with 16.0). According to the thread, Apple Support confirmed this issue is widespread and that 16.3.1 should provide a fix.

    Apple has pushed a 16.3.1 update to HomePods and AppleTVs.
    Apple has pushed a 16.3.1 update to HomePods and AppleTVs.
  • Tesla’s Cybertruck sounds like a manufacturing (and safety) nightmare.

    Elon Musk’s decision to use stainless steel for his long-delayed Cybertruck could push steel development forward, as one metallurgist told The New York Times. Or it could be a death trap for drivers and passengers alike.

    Tesla has shared virtually no details about how it will overcome the challenges of working with stainless steel, which include safety. The steel used in most cars is designed to crumple in a crash, absorbing energy and protecting passengers. Stainless steel does not crumple as easily, exposing passengers to more of the force from impact.

  • AMC is about to make paying for theater seats more like booking an airline ticket

    A woman in a glittering suit looking to her right as she walks down a silvery hallway. On both sides, she’s flanked by numbers denoting different movie theater auditoriums.
    Nicole Kidman in AMC’s “We Make Movies Better” ad.
    Image: AMC Theatres

    Starting pretty soon, some tickets at AMC locations are going to be getting cheaper and more expensive depending on where you sit as the movie theater chain introduces a new tiered pricing scheme called Sightline.

    Today, AMC announced its plans to roll out Sightline at AMC, a new pricing structure that will split auditorium seats into three differently priced tiers in theaters across the country beginning this Friday. In a statement about the new program, Eliot Hamlisch, AMC’s chief marketing officer, described Sightline as an effort to get consumers thinking about buying movie tickets the same way they might events at “many other entertainment venues.” Hamlisch also said that the new pricing structure is meant to give people who have particular seats they like a better shot at securing them and noted that some seats will become less expensive.

    Read Article >
  • Introducing the Overwatch 2 dating sim

    Image of Overwatch hero Hanzo dressed as cupid firing an arrow at the screen.
    Image: Blizzard

    A long whispered prayer has finally been answered: Overwatch 2 is getting a dating sim. Stealthily announced as a part of Overwatch 2’s season 3 battle pass, starting on February 13th, players can go to to play a text-based dating sim in which they can choose to pursue either Genji or Mercy with the help of a Cupid-ified Hanzo.

    Check out the season 3 trailer below.

    Read Article >
  • Sony answers your burning PSVR2 questions in an extensive new FAQ

    Verge reporter Victoria Song wearing the PlayStation VR2 virtual reality headset.
    We’re just a couple weeks away from the launch of the new headset.
    Image: Vjeran Pavic / The Verge

    Sony has posted an extensive FAQ about the PlayStation VR2 ahead of the imminent launch of the next-generation virtual reality headset. Though a lot of the questions cover what we already know, the FAQ page includes a handful of interesting tidbits about what you can expect from the headset when it launches on February 22nd.

    Personally, I was most happy to see Sony confirm that there are more than 100 games in development for the platform. The headset will have an impressive launch window lineup that includes games like Tetris Effect, Rez Infinite, and, after a free update available on launch day, Gran Turismo 7, but now we know for certain that there will be a lot of games to look forward to down the line. The folks at Resetera currently count 122 games in development; I’m quite excited for the port of Beat Saber.

    Read Article >
  • Getty Images sues AI art generator Stable Diffusion in the US for copyright infringement

    Two side by side images show soccer players fighting for a ball. The left is a real photograph but the right is an AI-generated version, with distortion of the players’ bodies and faces.
    An illustration from Getty Images’ lawsuit, showing an original photograph and a similar image (complete with Getty Images watermark) generated by Stable Diffusion.
    Image: Getty Images

    Getty Images has filed a lawsuit in the US against Stability AI, creators of open-source AI art generator Stable Diffusion, escalating its legal battle against the firm.

    The stock photography company is accusing Stability AI of “brazen infringement of Getty Images’ intellectual property on a staggering scale.” It claims that Stability AI copied more than 12 million images from its database “without permission ... or compensation ... as part of its efforts to build a competing business,” and that the startup has infringed on both the company’s copyright and trademark protections.

    Read Article >
  • Nothing, Forever, the Seinfeld AI show, has been temporarily banned from Twitch

    Screenshot from an “episode” of Nothing, Forever featuring Larry standing in a kitchen underneath a big red circle with a line going through it.
    Image: Nothing, Forever / Twitch

    Transphobia ruins everything, from your favorite wizarding franchise to, now, your favorite AI show about nothing. Nothing, Forever, the 24/7/365 AI-generated Seinfeld spoof that has exploded in popularity on Twitch, is going dark for two weeks, as the channel’s been hit with a suspension. As reported by Vice, the suspension stems from Larry (totally not Jerry), making transphobic remarks in his standup routine, wondering aloud if trans people are mentally ill and are ruining the fabric of society.

    In a statement to The Verge, Skyler Hartle, co-creator of Nothing, Forever, wrote, “We are embarrassed, and this doesn’t reflect our values or opinions at all. This was the result of a mistake on our side that resulted in a technical issue.”

    Read Article >
  • The new season of Apex Legends won’t add a new character, but it does have a new weapon and team deathmatch.

    Respawn and EA’s battle royale shooter celebrates its fourth anniversary with a 16th season, dubbed “Revelry.” It arrives as its mobile version meets an untimely end, and players ask for changes to keep things fresh.

    Polygon has more details, including a reclassification of the game’s characters, a playlist of rotating alternate modes, and bot matches to help new players get their feet wet when it launches on February 14th.

  • Not everything needs to be a cinematic universe, Showtime.

    Now that Paramount Plus and Showtime are becoming Paramount Plus with Showtime, parent company Paramount Global is reportedly planning to flood the new service with spinoffs of its Dexter and Billions series.

    According to The Wall Street Journal, Showtime is considering up to four new shows connected to Billions — two of which might be titled Millions and Trillions — as well as a Dexter prequel with the possibility of more spinoffs focused on other characters from the serial killer franchise.

  • Apple’s second-gen AirPods Pro have returned to their best price yet

    A photo of the iPhone 14 next to Apple’s second-generation AirPods Pro. Both devices are wet with visible raindrops on them.
    The latest pair of Apple’s water-resistant AirPods Pro are $199 ($50) at multiple retailers.
    Image: Chris Welch / The Verge

    Good news if you were contemplating gifting Apple’s second-gen AirPods Pro as a Valentine’s Day present: they’ve returned to their lowest price yet. Regularly $249.99, the popular buds are available for around $199 at Amazon, Best Buy, and Target.

    If you’re unfamiliar with Apple’s latest pair of premium earbuds, here’s a brief summary: they offer significantly better noise cancellation and improved sound quality alongside a few new unique perks over their predecessor. Volume is much easier to adjust now that you can turn it up or down by simply swiping the stem, for example, while the new extra-small fourth ear tip should more securely fit smaller ears. Apple even improved the included MagSafe charging case, adding a new lanyard loop and built-in speaker as well. The latter, combined with Apple’s Find My app, makes it easy to find the earbuds should you lose them, as the case can make sounds. Read our review.

    Read Article >
  • Matthew McConaughey is secret agent Elvis in new Netflix animated series

    Netflix’s lineup of adult animation just got a little weirder. The streamer just revealed the first trailer for Agent Elvis and, with it, the news that Matthew McConaughey will voice the iconic signer. It’s a combination that makes a certain amount of sense, especially when you see the description of the show:

    The series comes via Sony Pictures Animation and was co-created by Priscilla Presley and John Eddie, with Mike Arnold — who wrote several episodes of Archer — serving as showrunner. While it’s the Sony studio’s first foray into adult-oriented animation (and the trailer is filled with all the requisite blood and cursing), Agent Elvis also looks like it will fit pretty snugly alongside other recent examples of the form, including Inside Job on Netflix and FX’s Little Demon.

    Read Article >
  • But what makes these two Birkins different, and what small feature about them divides the Hermes collector community?

    All memes aside, Bloomberg reporter Isaiah Poritz says closing arguments are scheduled today in the “first ever NFT trademark jury trial in Manhattan.”

    French luxury designer Hermès International SA is suing Mason Rothschild, the creator of “MetaBirkin” NFTs that are based on its iconic handbags. While Hermès views the collection as a ripoff, Rothschild says they’re art, and everyone else is wondering how NFTs are still a thing.

  • Samsung’s first OLED gaming monitor costs $1,499.99

    An image showing Samsung’s Odyssey OLED G8 display
    Image: Samsung

    Samsung first introduced the Odyssey OLED G8 at IFA 2022 in August, and it’s the first of the company’s gaming monitors to come with a quantum dot OLED (QD-OLED) display. Starting today, you can preorder the 34-inch display for $1,499 on Samsung’s website and select retailers.

    This should offer some improvement when it comes to color saturation and brightness, as we’ve already seen from Alienware’s similarly specced QD-OLED gaming monitor from 2021.

    Read Article >
  • Which M2 Mac is right for you?

    Apple makes a lot of Macs with M2 chips. There’s the regular M2, which you can get in a MacBook Air or MacBook Pro — but be careful of calling that the M2 Pro for short because there’s also a processor called the M2 Pro, which you can also get in a MacBook, but you can also get that MacBook Pro with this other chip called the M2 Max. If you’re confused, you’re not alone. There are many different chips and many different Mac computers currently up for grabs.

    The Verge is here to help. In this video, we walk you through the M2 Macs that Apple currently sells. Chris Welch (our resident Mac Mini expert) discusses the latest Mac Mini models, senior video producer Becca Farsace talks about her experiences editing on the M2 Pro and M2 Max chips, and I (hello) explain the 13-inch MacBook Pro and MacBook Air.

    Read Article >
  • Green light.

    We’re back and will have our normal coverage today.

    However, our thoughts are also with everyone affected by the disaster in Turkey and Syria where a pair of earthquakes, measured at 7.8 and 7.5, have reportedly killed over 2,300 people and left many trapped. The Associated Press, CNN, New York Times, and Reuters have the latest updates.

    EMSR648: Earthquake in East Anatolian Fault Zone


  • We’re getting the next episode of TLOU early thanks to the Super Bowl.

    The Last of Us Episode 5 will be available two days early on Friday, February 10th via HBO Max and HBO On Demand. It seems HBO isn’t keen on pitting its latest darling against the USA’s biggest sporting event, despite the game adaptation’s impressive viewership figures.

  • Dell to layoff 6,650 employees as demand for PCs plummets

    The sign for Dell Technologies at Round Rock in Austin, Texas.
    The layoffs will reduce the number of global Dell employees to its lowest point in six years.
    Photo by Brandon Bell/Getty Images

    Computer manufacturer Dell is set to cut about 6,650 jobs representing 5 percent of its global workforce, according to a report from Bloomberg. Announced in a memo on Monday, Dell Co-Chief Operating Officer Jeff Clarke said that the company’s previous cost-cutting measures, such as a pause on hiring and limitations on travel, have proved insufficient, and that the company is experiencing market conditions that “continue to erode with an uncertain future.”

    The layoffs were announced in the face of falling demand for PCs and laptops. Following a surge in PC sales during the global covid pandemic, most major computing manufacturers are now seeing a sharp drop in demand. Industry analyst IDC reported a 37 percent decline in Dell’s computer shipments during its recent holiday quarter compared to the same three-month period the previous year. Bloomberg reports that 55 percent of Dell’s revenue is generated from PC sales.

    Read Article >