Advertisement

ICYMI: the week's 7 biggest tech stories from Netflix tier changes to lofty Samsung health tech ambitions

 The Samsung Galaxy S22, Apple Vision Pro and Fujifilm X100VI camera on a yellow background.
The Samsung Galaxy S22, Apple Vision Pro and Fujifilm X100VI camera on a yellow background.

The world of tech has shown no sign of slowing from its breakneck pace following CES 2024 and the Samsung Galaxy S24 announcement. This week we saw Netflix announce major changes to its subscription tiers, Apple announce major changes to its app store and Denon unveil an impressive piece of home theater gear.

To help you get caught up on the past week we've compiled a list of the seven biggest tech news stories you need to know about.

In the coming weeks look out for the Apple Vision Pro launch happening on February 2, and the Super Bowl – which usually leads to a lot of Super Bowl TV deals so you can watch the big game on a sweet new 4K screen. But that's still to come; for now, here's our round-up of this week's action.

7. Where did all those Apple Vision Pros go?

Apple Vision Pro battery pack
Apple Vision Pro battery pack

Soon after Apple launched its Vision Pro preorders on January 19, some reported that what was probably a limited supply of units was already sold out. Did every Spatial Reality headset sell to a legitimate buyer? Seemingly not: we found a surprising number of Vision Pro preorders listed on eBay. And, yes, at a significant markup.

Unlike typical eBay offerings that show a real product and tell you it’s in “Good Condition,” these Vision Pro listings usually feature images from Apple’s Vision Pro site or are simply a copy of the preorder form. It’s not clear how buyers will get Zeiss lens inserts if they need them, or if the light seal is the right size. What’s worse is that the prices on these promises of access to Vision Pro are currently skyrocketing, with some being listed for as much as $7,000. Maybe you’ll want to wait until Apple does its own restock.

6. Netflix's Basic Tier goes bye-bye

A man watches the Netflix logo on a Toshiba TV with a remote in his hand
A man watches the Netflix logo on a Toshiba TV with a remote in his hand

Trust Netflix to infuriate us (and its wider user base) again with more price-based bad news. This week, the world’s best streaming service announced – via its Q4 2023 earnings report – that it plans to retire its cheapest ad-free tier and teased more price hikes are on the way.

Cue furious reactions all around. If, like us, you’re unhappy at the prospect of being forced to pay for the ad-supported tier or one of Netflix’s more expensive plans, you might consider canceling your Netflix account. Before you do, make sure you get your money’s worth by streaming some of the best Netflix movies or best Netflix shows around.

5. Galaxy AI won't be coming to the Galaxy S22

Samsung Galaxy S22 and Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus
Samsung Galaxy S22 and Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus

The Samsung Galaxy S24 (along with the Plus, and Ultra) was announced last week with some pretty impressive AI features. These cool new camera and translation tools won’t be exclusive to the new phones, though – we also learned that the Galaxy S23, Galaxy Z Fold 5, and Galaxy Z Flip 5 will get Galaxy AI upgrades in the coming months.

Unfortunately, despite the Samsung Galaxy S22, Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus, and Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra being barely two years old (and using the same chipset as the S23 FE, which may get the update) these older handsets won’t get the cool new Galaxy AI.

They will still get some new features in the upcoming One UI 6.1 update, though, so it’s not all bad news.

4.  The promising Fujifilm X100VI broke cover

The Fujifilm X100V camera on a yellow background
The Fujifilm X100V camera on a yellow background

The Fujifilm X100V has been out of stock for what feels like years, but this week brought some good news for fans of the retro compact camera series. An X100VI successor is now strongly rumored to be launching on February 20 – and it’s promising to be a major upgrade. 

This week’s rumors suggest the X100VI will not only get a new 40MP sensor (the same as the one in the excellent Fujifilm X-T5, one of the best mirrorless cameras) but that they will also have in-body image stabilization. With dashing film camera looks also on the cards, could this be TikTok’s new favorite camera? It’s looking likely.

3.  Apple’s App Store got its biggest ever revamp

iPhone 15 Plus review front straight
iPhone 15 Plus review front straight

Apple will be looking forward to the end of January – not only has it been forced to remove a health feature from the Watch Series 9 in the US, it’s now had to make major changes to the App Store in the EU. The headline news is that third-party app stores and app sideloading will soon be available to iPhone users in the EU. But that’s just the start.

Those pesky new regulations mean Apple will also have to open up iOS in other ways in the EU, including allowing non-WebKit browsers, alternative payment systems, and gaming streaming services in the App Store. Apple clearly isn’t happy about it, but EU dwellers can look forward to seeing some big changes in iOS 17.4 from March.

2. Denon announced an 8K AV receiver

Denon AVC-X6800H
Denon AVC-X6800H

Denon has unveiled a brand new 8K AV receiver that is the most impressive piece of home theater gear we’ve ever seen. It boasts seven 8K-ready HDMI inputs (supporting HLG, HDR, Dolby Vision, HDR10+, and Dynamic HDR pass-through), two HDMI outputs, and 11.4 audio channels (with Dolby Atmos, DTS:X, IMAX Enhanced, and Auro 3D) so you can hook up almost any conceivable immersive sound system.

The Denon AVC-X6800H is beyond flexible, though the powerful little gadget will set you back £3,000 in the UK – that’s around $3,850 / AU$5,795, though Denon has yet to confirm its price and availability outside of Europe, yet.

1. Samsung announced lofty health tech goals

The Samsung Galaxy Ring at the Unpacked 2024
The Samsung Galaxy Ring at the Unpacked 2024

Following the newly announced Galaxy Ring, Samsung has said it hopes to develop noninvasive glucose monitoring and continuous blood pressure tracking within five years. This would be a major leap forward for consumer health tech, and far beyond anything offered by its rivals like Apple.

Non-invasive glucose monitors do already exist, but they need to be replaced every week or two – something that isn’t possible for a smartwatch that costs you hundreds.

But Samsung seems confident it can work something out, we’ll just have to wait and see what it has up its sleeve and planned for your fingers and wrists.