Today in Tech: Penny for your tweets? X to charge users, OnePlus Open release date revealed and more

Today in Tech: Penny for your tweets? X to charge users, OnePlus Open release date revealed and more

X's beta testing for a paid plan will be set in motion in New Zealand and the Philippines. Read this and other tech news in edition of Today in Tech

New X (formerly known as Twitter) users could end up paying for each tweet— don't worry that's Elon Musk's plan to cut down on bots on X. In other news, Google is adding accessibility features to not just Maps, but also for Search and Chrome, while adding wholly new features to the Clock app. Apart from that, we now have the OnePlus Open launch date, which is the first foldable phone by OnePlus. Read more tech news in this edition of 'Today in Tech'.


In this edition:

  • OnePlus Open release date

  • New HP Pavilion series laptops

  • Passwordless login to WhatsApp

  • All new Apple Pencil

OnePlus Open launch date announced

In the wake of it's launch, the OnePlus Open is making waves across the web. Now, in a recent leak, reported price details and a release date have been announced. The phone will likely be launched tomorrow, i.e. 19th October, 2023. This comes from official OnePlus social media pages. Leakers have also suggested that the phone will ship with certain third-party apps to enhance the user experience. As for the price, the OnePlus Open is expected to be priced at Rs 1,39,999. After the launch, it is expected to be available from October 27. 

X will start charging new users $1 per year

Elon Musk announced that in an effort to tackle bots, new X users will need to pay $1 per year to post on the platform. They will still be able to read other posts for free. A test of this programme is being rolled out in New Zealand and the Philippines, before a global launch. Essentially, X will require new users in New Zealand and the Philippines to pay $1 to create accounts.

The reasoning is that it will be 1000X harder to manipulate the platform by bots, which are the main target of this change. This “Not A Bot” programme is expected to add to the significant efforts to reduce spam and bot activity.

Google unveils new accessibility tools for Maps, Search, Chrome

Updates on Maps, Search and Chrome are to help people accomplish daily tasks faster and easier. Lens in Maps uses AI and augmented reality to help people use their phone’s camera to orient themselves in an unfamiliar neighbourhood. Lens in Maps will be coming to iOS starting Tuesday, and to Android later this year. There are now wheelchair-accessible walking routes on iOS and Android wherever data is available.

There's a new feature in the Chrome address bar that detects typos and displays suggested websites based on what Chrome thinks you meant. For low-vision community, with Magnifier, you can use your camera to zoom in on something as you would using a physical magnifying glass. The app can also improve the legibility of text and lots more. Also, the ‘Guided Frame’ feature now recognises more than just faces.

HP launches new Pavilion Plus laptops

HP has introduced its latest Pavilion Plus notebooks in India. The new portfolio comes with IMAX-enhanced display for a superior viewing experience.

The laptops are powered by latest 13th Gen Intel Core processors, AMD Ryzen 7 series processors and up to NVIDIA RTX 3050 graphics for a seamless performance. They're also equipped with HP Presence 2.0 for smart-AI features, the laptops enable better collaboration and productivity.

The HP Pavilion Plus 16 laptop is available in Warm Gold and Natural Silver colours at a starting price of Rs 1,24,999. The HP Pavilion Plus 14 laptop is available in Moonlight Blue and Natural Silver at a starting price of Rs 91,999, said the company.

Passwordless login rolling out on WhatsApp

Logging into WhatsApp isn't something you do on a daily basis. However, when you have to do it, well, WhatsApp is making things easier for you. Moving away from case sensitive passwords and hassle filled 2FAs, they will now instead incorporate Face unlock, Fingerprint unlock, and even a PIN for the app. This is a pretty neat feature if you have multiple users on a single phone. Over the coming months, the feature will be rolled out to Android users, and iOS users in the near future.

Apple releases new and affordable Apple Pencil with USB-C

Apple has announced an "affordable" Apple Pencil that offers pixel-perfect accuracy, low latency and tilt sensitivity. With a matte finish and a flat side that magnetically attaches to the side of an iPad, the new Apple Pencil pairs and charges with a USB-C cable. 

It is compatible with all iPad models with a USB-C port. A sliding cap reveals a USB-C port to connect for pairing and charging. Overall, it is a great option for digital handwriting, annotations, marking up documents, and more. When used with M2 models, the new Apple Pencil also supports hover.

It will be available for Rs 7,900 (Rs 6,900 for education) beginning in early November.

Google Clock now has new Capabilities

Apart from just adding accessibility features to highly used apps, Google has also focused on the Google Clock App. It is now a lot smarter, thematically fits with Google's design language, and overall, aims to make for a more intuitive usage loop. The redesigned clock app will feature integrations with the Weather app, keeping you up to date. There's also the alarm sync feature, which keeps all alarms synced across devices. This puts a focus on smartwatches particularly, and ensures they won't lag behind in notifications and alarms.

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