A quick look at what made news this week in tech.
When OnePlus met PAC-MAN
You can now pick up a special edition of the OnePlus Nord 2 smartphone, themed on the classic arcade video game Pac-Man. The OnePlus Nord 2 × PAC-MAN Edition comes with the same powerful hardware specifications as the Nord 2, released in July, but features an Oxygen OS that gets a retro makeover. Classic icons, custom static and dynamic wallpapers—there’s a lot of other PAC-MAN content on this special edition phone that users can unlock. Apart from a classy glow-in-the-dark design at the rear, the OnePlus Nord 2 x PAC-MAN Edition also comes with a DIY PAC-MAN phone holder that features popular characters from the game. (Available on Oneplus.in, starting ₹37,999).
Track the AQI with this new app
Air quality in parts of north India, including Delhi, has plummeted to dangerous levels over the last few days. Fortunately, there are many apps you can use to track this and plan your day. This week, Ambee, a Bengaluru-based environmental intelligence platform, launched a new air quality and pollen monitoring app that displays real-time, street-level environmental data. Users can get insights on pollutants PM 2.5 and PM 10, their health effects, regular air quality alerts and personalised health recommendations on the app, which provides data from multiple locations around the world. (The Ambee app is available on Android and iOS).
A long, lunar drive
US space agency Nasa’s plans to take humans back to the moon through the Artemis mission might have hit a snag but that hasn’t stopped aerospace companies from innovating. Earlier this week, the American company Northrop Grumman announced that it is teaming up with AVL, Intuitive Machines, Lunar Outpost and Michelin—which specialise in a range of fields, such as lunar mobility systems and vehicle testing systems—to design a “lunar terrain vehicle” that can take Artemis astronauts around the Moon’s surface. The team led by Northrop Grumman is aiming to create an affordable, sustainable vehicle design that will aid human and robotic exploration of the lunar surface.
A new media player on Windows 11
Microsoft is testing a new Media Player app for Windows 11. In a blog post earlier this week, the company announced that the redesigned app, which supports both audio and video, is now being rolled out to all Windows Insiders in Dev Channel, where features are introduced for initial testing. The post says the new Media Player is better suited to the “look and feel” of Windows 11. The app, which includes full support for browsing, managing and watching your local video and audio collection, will replace the Groove Music app on Windows.
Tell your audio story in 99 seconds with Racket
There’s a new audio social app in town and it’s called Racket. Available on just the iOS App Store for now, Racket lets users explore a feed of micro podcasts that are no longer than 99 seconds. Users can create, edit and share their own audio stories. According to a TechCrunch report on the app’s launch, anyone can edit audio in the app easily, add relevant tags and a cover image to the recording, and publish it. The process takes less than a minute, the report adds.
While the audio social apps ecosystem is growing, with the likes of Clubhouse and Spotify Greenroom gaining popularity, Racket’s launch shows that there is a considerable amount of interest among users in the short audio snippets format. (For details, visit Racket.com).