New Gorilla Glass is wildly better, and more tech news today

Your tech news digest, by way of the DGiT Daily tech newsletter, for Friday, July 24.

1. Gorilla Glass goes full Silverback

Gorilla Glass Victus is the latest in glass innovation from the people at Corning, who have been working on delivering better glass for smartphones since the original iPhone.

While Gorilla Glass is up to number 6 in its line, Corning has announced new glass and new branding, calling it Victus. Sure, fine.

But what’s interesting here is that Corning is saying the new Gorilla Glass Victus now brings two-meter drop protection (over six feet), and onto hard/rough surfaces, while doubling the scratch resistance over Gorilla Glass 6.

  • That’s quite something, because Corning has only ever announced better scratch resistance or drop protection – the twin pillars of mobile glass – but never both together.
  • Glass strength is a battle. Just like diamonds are very hard but brittle, and Sapphire glass as well, Corning tries to increase hardness against scratches, while making glass less brittle.
  • So, this is an event. And the hints are the Galaxy Note 20 will be the first to have it equipped when Samsung announces that phone in just under two weeks time.
  • You can watch Corning test out the new glass here. There is some joy in this, although most people will be looking for the certain YouTuber’s regular durability testing which usually tracks “scratches at level 6 with deeper grooves at level 7.â€� Will that change with Victus?

Glass nerds time:

My aluminosilicate enthusiast colleagues had some time on a call with Corning, and experienced at least slight disappointment that the next step towards unbreakable glass didn’t come from some breakthrough nanomaterial or from wisdom found in ancient texts.

  • Instead, Corning just tried more than 1,000 ideas from its sand/silica alchemists to make improvements.
  • Technical detail: “Most aluminosilicate glass solutions and previous generations of Gorilla Glass scratch at between 2-4 Newtons in the Knoop hardness test. Gorilla Glass Victus scratches between 7-10 Newtons. Combine that with a 25% improvement in impact resistance and you can see why Corning is so eager to get Victus into your hands.â€�
  • It also comes at no extra cost, given Corning’s manufacturing process didn’t have to change significantly.
  • But be warned. Phone manufacturers are rarely looking out for the end-user in terms of creating impervious devices. No one wants to lug around a brick anymore, so compromises for thin and light designs are everything.
  • The catch, therefore, is that just because a phone uses Victus doesn’t necessarily mean exponentially better performance.
  • Quote: “Manufacturers may well thin down Victus to provide only Gorilla Glass 6-levels of strength by using a thinner layer or glass.
  • “It’s all a question of rigidity, thinness, and potential space savings but is something to be aware of when you see “Victusâ€� appearing in marketing materials.â€�
  • That means it’s now on the smartphone industry and us as reviewers to challenge makers to provide details as to exactly what spec and thickness of Gorilla Glass Victus is on board. It needs to be a certain thickness to do the job.
  • Every 100nm (or 0.1mm) of glass is important for structural strength.
  • We’ll see if we can get markers to disclose the detail to help people who just happen to find phones a little more slippery.
  • In the meantime, watch for a possible announcement with Samsung on August 5.

2. Best of Android: Mid-2020 Reader’s Choice – It’s the final! Two finalists do battle, vote for your favorite now! (Android Authority).


3. Samsung starts Galaxy Note 20 reservations with a $50 instant credit (Android Authority).


4. The OnePlus Nord is here, but should you wait for the Pixel 4a? (Android Authority).


5. Oh boy: Intel says that it has delayed the rollout of its 7nm CPUs by six months, pushing it a full 12 months behind the company’s internal targets. Apple’s switch to its own processors makes more and more sense, and Intel’s aura in manufacturing takes another blow. Once legendary, now a long way behind TSMC (Android Authority).


6. Good inside glimpse behind the scenes at Facebook, as employees warn the company is “hurting people at scale.� According to this, Facebook employees get a little gift of $250 worth of ad credits. But employee credits may not be used for ads “related to politics or issues of national importance�, so issues relating to “civil and social rights,� “environmental politics,� “health,� are off-limits (BuzzFeed News).


7. This would be incredibly disheartening: Amazon reportedly invested in startups and gained proprietary information. Then, it would launch competitors, or offer better deals to the startup clients, often crushing the startups (Business Insider).


8. Here’s every new Xbox game Microsoft just revealed, including 8 minutes of Halo Infinite (Wired).


9. Disney’s next Star Wars trilogy gets pushed back, will debut in 2023, and upcoming Avatar movies are delayed too — and yep you probably know why (Engadget).


10. Meet the four frontrunners in the COVID-19 vaccine race (Ars Technica).


11.  Going nuclear: NASA’s Perseverance Mars rover gets its power source for July 30 launch (Space).


12. SpaceX satellites spoil a perfectly good view of Comet NEOWISE (Gizmodo).


13. “What can’t you believe STILL exists?� (r/askreddit). Like, the original Space Jam website.


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