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Tech Digest daily roundup: Disney+ subscriber numbers edge past Netflix

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Walt Disney edged past Netflix with a total of 221 million streaming subscribers at the end of the most recent quarter and announced it will launch a Disney+ option with advertising this December. In the just-ended quarter, Disney+ added 14.4 million Disney+ customers, beating the consensus of 10 million expected by analysts polled by FactSet, as it released Star Wars series Obi-Wan Kenobi and Marvel’s Ms Marvel. Combined with Hulu and ESPN+, Disney said it had 221.1 million streaming subscribers at the end of the June quarter. Netflix said it had 220.7 million streaming subscribers. Guardian

A trial took place at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham last weekend to see whether esports could take their place alongside traditional sports like swimming and athletics. A hundred players representing 20 different Commonwealth nations fought for medals in three different video games: Rocket League, Dota2 and eFootball. The trial was widely regarded as a success. The president of the Commonwealth Games Federation, Dame Louise Martin, told the BBC: “Going forward this will be a sport within the Games – that’s my personal opinion.” BBC 

Image: Urbanista

Urbanista is following up its solar-powered over-ear headphones from last year with a pair of solar-powered true wireless earbuds called the Phoenix, the company officially announced today. Like the headphones, Phoenix uses Powerfoyle solar panels produced by Exeger to extend their battery life with power from the sun’s rays. But unlike the Los Angeles headphones that have solar panels built into the headband, the panels aren’t included on the Phoenix earbuds themselves. Instead, they’re built into the Phoenix charging case. The Verge

Samsung Electronics unveiled its latest high-end foldable smartphones on Wednesday, keeping prices at the same level as last year’s in a bid to cement its leadership in an expanding niche market. The smartphone maker priced its clamshell Galaxy Z Flip4 at $999.99, and the 5G-enabled top-line Galaxy Z Fold4 with a 7.6-inch main screen to start at $1,799.99 in the United States, the same as the launch prices of last year’s models. “We’ve successfully transformed this category from a radical project to a mainstream device lineup enjoyed by millions worldwide,” said TM Roh, president and head of mobile experience at Samsung Electronics. Reuters 

Spotify is continuing its spree of adding long-overdue feature updates by overhauling its home screen to allow users to separate their feeds for music and podcasts. The new home page, which is currently rolling out to Android devices and will come to iOS “in the near future,” includes tabs to filter content for either Music or Podcasts & Shows. In the Music feed, users will see suggestions based on their previous listening, with album and playlist recommendations and buttons to instantly play, like and share. In the Podcast & Shows feed, listeners will find the latest episodes of their favourite shows alongside podcast recommendations. WhatHiFi

Facebook has defended itself after court documents emerged showing that it provided chat messages to police which are being used to prosecute a mother and daughter over an abortion. The messages are part of a case in Nebraska alleging that the pair performed an abortion at 28 weeks without a license and then attempted to conceal a dead human body. The alleged abortion took place before the US Supreme Court overturned Roe v Wade, which gave American women the constitutional right to terminate their pregnancies. Sky News 

Chris Price


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