Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge This is Hot Pod, The Verge’s newsletter about podcasting and the audio industry. Sign up here for more. Happy Tuesday! Got a super-packed issue of Hot Pod today for everyone. First off, I’ll take a look at Spotify’s chief public affairs officer’s lengthy new blog post about Apple’s App Store policies. Also, Apple’s iOS 17 will bring episode art to Apple Podcasts. What will that mean for podcasters? Before I hit the news, a couple of new developments. First off, Freakonomics Radio unveiled a new premium subscription today called Freakonomics Radio Plus. Members…

The Home Assistant Green can be the main command center for your smart home. | Image: Home Assistant Buy enough tech and you can’t escape the siren call of a smart home. Amazon practically throws Echo Dots at you. Google will sneak a Nest Mini in the box with almost anything you buy in its store. Good luck buying a new kitchen appliance that doesn’t beg to be connected to the internet. All of those come with platforms that are locked down and cloud-dependent, requiring you to bend to their corporate wishes to use them. But for the last decade,…

Who needs the drab white model, anyway? | Image: Nintendo It’s been an exciting week for Nintendo Switch fans. First, Nintendo announced a whole bunch of games as part of its latest Direct event, including F-Zero 99 — a battle royale spin on the classic racing title — and remakes of both Mario and Donkey Kong and Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door. And now, the Nintendo Switch OLED is on sale for an all-time low at Monoprice, where you can pick it up with free shipping and blue and red Joy-Cons for just $289.99 ($60 off). Unlike the standard Switch,…

Photo by Amelia Holowaty Krales / The Verge Google, Mozilla, Microsoft, and Brave have each issued critical security patches, reports Stack Diary. The patches address a vulnerability that an attacker could use to gain access to or run malicious code on your computer, and the companies acknowledge it’s been actively exploited in the wild. NIST classifies the vulnerability as severe. Other companies’ applications are affected — the vulnerability is linked to code used to render WebP images, which are widely used. The software version numbers containing the fix are below. Google: Chrome version 116.0.5846.187 (Mac / Linux); Chrome version 116.0.5845.187/.188…

A screenshot from a 2015 video interview, titled Oral History of Dennis R. Austin, that was published by the Computer History Museum. | Screenshot: Wes Davis / The Verge Dennis Austin, who co-created PowerPoint, passed away at his home in Los Altos, California, on September 1st, reports The Washington Post. His son, Michael Austin, said he’d had lung cancer that had metastasized to his brain, according to the Post. He was 76 years old. Austin studied engineering at several universities, including MIT and UC Santa Barbara, before going to work as a software developer, eventually joining the software company Forethought…

Honestly, I’d keep this grip attached at all times just for the wrist strap. Camera grips are back, baby. Continue reading…

Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge A federal judge in California’s eastern district has dismissed the Republican National Committee’s (RNC) lawsuit against Google over the company’s alleged “discriminatory” spam filtering, according to The Washington Post. The suit complained Google intentionally sent RNC political emails to Gmail users’ spam folders, and the RNC sought restitution for “donations it allegedly lost as a result” of those lost emails. The RNC cited a North Carolina State University study that found Gmail was more likely to mark emails from Republican campaigns as spam. One of the study’s authors spoke to the Post in…

Hi, friends! Welcome to Installer No. 3, your guide to the best and Verge-iest stuff in the world. Thanks to everyone who sent stuff in this week — we’re starting to get the hang of how this all works, and I really hope it’s fun and useful! I know I’ve already downloaded a terrifying number of new apps thanks to y’all. Only one housekeeping thing today: Installer now has an RSS feed! You can add this link to any RSS reader, and it should work (let me know if you run into issues). Also, Installer’s new homepage has every edition…

Illustration: The Verge Google is experimenting with a text-to-speech feature for Chrome’s reading mode on desktop, as reported by Android Police. I sometimes use a similar feature in Instapaper, and in Chrome, I could see it being a useful tool to listen to articles in the browser I’m already using while I work. The feature can apparently be found in Chrome Canary, Google’s bleeding edge version of Chrome, according to X user Leopeva64. If you have the feature, you can click a play button at the top of an article you’re looking at in reading mode to have Google read…

Illustration by Nick Barclay / The Verge Meta’s Messenger Lite app for Android is being shut down in September, as reported by 9to5Google. The app launched as a more, well, lightweight way to talk to people on the company’s Messenger platform (former Verge staffer Vlad Savov was a fan), but you won’t be able to use it after September 18th. When you open the app, you’ll apparently see a prompt that pushes you toward the main Messenger app, 9to5Google says. The app also isn’t available to download on Google Play if you haven’t downloaded it before. Meta confirmed the closure…

Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge Tesla owners with iPhones can now use Siri to trigger Apple Shortcuts automations without turning to paid third-party apps like Tessie to do so. The Tesla app’s newest update, version 4.24.0, dropped with a release note saying “Access your vehicle controls and climate from the Apple Shortcuts app.” To use Siri with Shortcuts, all you have to do is invoke Apple’s digital assistant and say the name of your automation. It’s a little clunkier than actual Siri integration, because to trigger Shortcuts automations, you have to memorize the names you’ve given them and…

Screenshot by Jay Peters / The Verge Apple has moved end call button once again with the latest iOS 17 developer beta. Now, it lives in the lower middle of the call screen instead of on the lower right. It’s a little change, but it might mean that iOS 17’s new call controls won’t feel quite as different once Apple officially rolls out the new software sometime this fall. The end call button has been in a new place since the first iOS 17 beta that was released in June, but it got some attention recently after some publications reported…

Illustration by The Verge Substack now lets you follow writers, offering a way for you to keep tabs on what a writer is doing without having to subscribe to their newsletter. When you follow a writer, “you can stay up to date with what they’re reading, liking, publishing, and subscribing to — through the Notes feed and on their profiles,” Substack says in a blog post. Substack is perhaps best known as a newsletter platform where writers can make money from getting people to sign up for paid subscriptions. But the platform has also been dabbling with more traditional social…

Photo by Mitchell Clark / The Verge Rivian CEO RJ Scaringe is fed up with companies exaggerating their environmental credentials. “There’s far too much greenwashing in the system,” he said in a recent interview. For Scaringe, it’s all too easy for a company to obfuscate the source of its power consumption, especially when it doesn’t actually create any new capacity for renewable energy. And consumers aren’t discerning enough to tell the difference. “This is just so conceptually complex,” he said, making a clear distinction between companies that buy renewable energy to cover their own emissions while also creating new capacity…

This Ecobee smart thermostat alerted me to a potentially catastrophic scenario in my home while I was on vacation. But there was little I could do about it from afar. When my HVAC unit failed while I was out of town, my smart thermostat warned me, and the rest of my connected home helped me figure out what was going on. Continue reading…

Illustration by Nick Barclay / The Verge After Netflix dropped its cheapest ad-free plan in Canada last month, it’s now doing the same in the US and UK, as first spotted by Cord Busters. Netflix’s support page in both countries states that the $9.99 (£6.99) / month basic plan is no longer available “for new or rejoining members.” If you’re already subscribed to the basic plan, you can keep the subscription as long as you don’t cancel it or change plans. But if you were looking to downgrade your Netflix subscription to a cheaper ad-free plan, you’re out of luck….

The Echo Pop (left) and Echo Dot (right) are just two of the many early Prime Day deals you can currently get. | Photo by Jennifer Pattison Tuohy / The Verge Amazon Prime Day may not start until Tuesday, July 11th, but early deals are already trickling out. We’re expecting to see some worthwhile discounts on wireless earbuds, noise-canceling headphones, tablets, TVs, smart home tech, games, and other gadgets on the actual days of, with the early deals functioning as a kind of small temperature check. As the ghosts of Prime Days past can tell us, the ahead-of-schedule deals are…

Illustration by Kristen Radtke / The Verge; Getty Images Overnight, users across Twitter began reporting that the older, and much better, version of TweetDeck has returned along with the free API access that made third party Twitter clients possible. TweetDeck was disabled last week when Twitter abruptly threw up a rate-limiting paywall and killed the legacy APIs that allowed the old version of the feature to function, while third-party apps were banned in January. An update this morning from Harpy developer Roberto Doering says they switched to the “old v1 API” to get it working again, but they also noted…

Pass issuers will need to enable the feature, though, so not every pass will be supported. | Illustration: The Verge Google Wallet is set to get a new pass sharing feature that some users have been asking for since the days of its predecessor, Google Pay. 9to5Google spotted that the search giant mentioned “adding a way to share your valuables in Google Wallet” in the Google Play system update list of features for Android devices for July. That rather vague entry has since vanished from the update list, but the Google Wallet support page can provide some additional information. A…

Cassian Bilton and Lee Pace in season 2 of Foundation. | Image: Apple It’s already been a pretty eventful summer for science fiction fans. Last week saw the finale of Apple’s post-apocalyptic series Silo, Strange New Worlds season 2 is keeping Star Trek going through August, and Disney Plus is still in the midst of Secret Invasion, its alien conspiracy offshoot of the MCU. Oh, and there’s the return of Black Mirror. On top of all of that, there are also a number of series making their debut in the coming weeks and months — so many, in fact, that…