Toyota’s got a This new Prius looks sleek and shiny. The auto press seems to agree with this assessment: It’s pretty cool. The Prius has been long regarded as a classic. Cooler than coldThe, with their oddly boxy teardrop shape. The 2023 Prius looks more chic than the Prius. It has a sleek body and squishes that Prius teardrop to make it look like a Tesla.
It’s still a combustion-electric hybrid that requires its fill of gasoline to run—sadly, the all-electric revolution hasn’t come for the old Prius yet. Toyota claims that it averages 57 MPG, making it the most fuel-efficient Prius to date. It will also have a 220-horsepower under-hood engine that will make it more agile. It’s a good price for a Prius. Ask your car person. Other new features include a hands-free driving mode and the inclusion of solar panels for topping up the battery while the car is stationary.
There will be two versions of the new Prius: the base Prius or the Prius Prime, which is slightly larger. Toyota hasn’t said when the cars will be available or how much they’ll cost, but look for them next year.
Here’s some other news from the consumer tech world.
Microsoft Teams Gets Games
Microsoft announced a new feature for its Teams video conferencing software: video games. Participants can now play games such as Solitaire, MinesweeperAnd Wonderment Right in the app. These games are intended for those who use Microsoft Teams for work. Nancy Baym, senior principal research manager at Microsoft, says putting games inside a workplace tool fosters a sense of human connection that’s badly needed after almost three years of remote work.
“People were able to be really productive, but they were feeling less connected, and that was having a lot of harmful effects,” Baym says. “Games are one of a number of really nice ways to just sort of gently intervene there and say, here’s an offering for you to build connection with one another in a low pressure kind of way.”
All of the games can be played by one player to reinforce this goal of building connections. (No, no, not even!) Solitaire). That means you won’t be able to quietly play a game by yourself as you pretend to listen to your manager’s manager drone on about quarterly KPIs. Although it may be a break from the workday’s constant stream of information, having a team of gamers could offer a pleasant distraction. We’ll see how long it takes for Zoom fatigue to give way to Minesweeper fatigue.
Look at Leica’s Large Lens Phone
Hey check it out, Leica made another smartphone to follow 2021’s Leitz Phone 1. What’s that? You ask, does it have a camera? Yes, it does. As you might expect from the illustrious camera brand, the Leica’s lens is the main attraction on the Leitz Phone 2. The top third of this phone is occupied by the single, big-ass lens. Its ocular-focused design counters all the subtly integrated smartphones camera lenses.
The Leitz Phone 2’s giant camera captures 47.2-megapixel images. A 6.6-inch OLED display on the opposite side lets you see all your stunning landscape photos and gorgeously detailed selfies. It can also be used to make phone calls, or any other type of communication. It will only be sold in Japan. Those outside Japan will have to purchase it as an import.
Netflix is Coming to Your Friends
Netflix account sharing is likely to be over. This week, Netflix introduced a new feature in users’ account settings called Managing Access and Devices. It allows a user to disable their Netflix account on specific devices—something that user can conveniently deploy to kick family members, friends, and roommates off their Netflix account. This is a simple feature that anyone can use to delete their credentials from the TV they have lost during a divorce. It will also be useful for those who want to prevent their ex from streaming shows on their behalf. But it’s also a move that sets the stage for Netflix’s purge of account sharing.
Netflix has been building toward this for months. The company has tested charging extra fees for additional accounts in a few countries, and it says it is looking to implement the program in nearly all of its markets next year. The company also rolled out an ad-supported subscription plan earlier this month.
Too Many Twitter Problems
Twitter was a success. Nearly all employees have left Twitter, and the site appears to be in freefall. Things are about to get more bizarre on the bird app. (Assuming the site continues to function. In whatever form Twitter continues to limp along, it’s never been more vulnerable to security threats.
This week on WIRED’s Gadget Lab podcast, security writer Lily Hay Newman talks through the ways in which Twitter’s precarious position could lead to hacking, data leaks, and the further spread of misinformation across the platform.