I've got the whole world, on demand

From the desk of Rich on Tech

Happy Friday!

I’ll make this quick since most of my day will be consumed by watching Avengers: Endgame. By the time I park, buy popcorn, sit through the trailers and watch the actual movie, I’m thinking 4+ hours in the theater. Whew.

The hype is strong on this one and I fell hook, line and sinker. I’m sure it will be enjoyable.

On to this week’s tech news.

Failure to launch

By now you’ve heard that the Samsung Galaxy Fold is a flop. The company is taking another look at the design of the phone to see what’s making the screen fail so easily. I dunno, maybe the fact that it FOLDS IN HALF?

iFixit found that debris can easily get lodged behind the screen because of the hinge design. Samsung asked them to take down their teardown, and they did.

What about the hundreds of thousands of phones they already manufactured? They’re just sitting in warehouses. We’ll see if and when this thing actually launches.

Frenemies

Amazon and Kohl’s are an unlikely duo, but the companies are expanding a deal to offer easy returns for Amazon products.

Basically, there’s a special return desk inside Kohl’s stores where you can return stuff you buy on Amazon for free. I tried it and it only takes a few seconds. You don’t even need to package your stuff up. Just bring it in.

Kohl’s of course, gets a steady stream of customers inside it’s doors and gives each of them a special coupon that’s only good that day. I was able to walk out after a return, my wife took the bait and spent $45 after returning a $15 item.

Sell your home faster

Zillow is making it easy for anyone to add a free 3D home tour to their listing. The company has a new app called Zillow 3D Home that lets you use an iPhone to take pictures of your house.

Zillow uses AI to stitch them together and create a virtual walkthrough. This is something that used to take a lot of specialized equipment, time and know-how. Agents only did it for expensive or unique homes. Now everyone has access to the tech if they can get their hands on an iPhone.

Go paperless

Speaking of apps, there’s a new one for scanning paper into PDF. It’s fast and mostly free. It’s called Zoho Doc Scanner and it is very good. It might even replace my current favorite called Scannable. Just aim and you’ve got a PDF you can markup or even sign.

Lost and found

Timex coined the phrase “it takes a licking and keeps on ticking,” but Apple might have perfected it. We talked to a guy who lost his Apple Watch bodysurfing. Someone else found it 6 months later, 3 miles up the shore. The best part? It still worked.

Our story quickly went viral, and something tells me the guy we talked to isn’t switching to Android anytime soon.

Casino drinks on demand

Last week I visited Pechanga Casino to check out the latest way to order drinks: right from the slot machine you’re playing! It makes a ton of sense in our on-demand world.

You can browse categories, search for your favorite and totally customize your drink just the way you want it. If you have a club card, your drink will even find you if you move machines.

On the podcast

On my podcast, I talk about the tech stuff I think you should know about. Plus, I answer your questions! Here’s what we discussed this week:

  • Samsung postpones the launch of the Galaxy Fold smartphone

  • Unlimited movie theater ticketing apps compared

  • Amazon Key for Garage now available

  • Comparing streaming video services

  • Kohl's expands Amazon returns program nationwide

  • Remapping the Bixby button

  • Zoho Doc Scanner to turn documents into PDF's

  • Zillow's new AI powered app to create free 3D home tours

  • Disputing roaming charges

  • Sextortion emails

  • Buying Amazon Kindle books on an iPad

  • Hiding your birthday on Facebook

  • Google Fit on iOS

  • Apple Watch goes missing at sea.

I encourage you to take a listen! Don’t feel like going through the whole hassle of downloading the podcast through an app? Just ask a smart assistant to listen. Here’s how:

"Hey Google, Play the Rich on Tech Podcast"

"Hey Siri, Play the Rich on Tech Podcast"

"Alexa, Enable the Rich on Tech Flash Briefing"

Movie app shuts down

Last year I told you about a movie ticketing app (and competitor to Moviepass) called Sinemia. Yesterday, they said they are abruptly shutting down U.S. operations. Although I never had any issues with the service, I guess many others did. I’m sad to see them go, but clearly they were up against an industry that just doesn’t want to make seeing movies in the theater any cheaper.

Mystery Meat

Del Taco is now selling tacos made with plant based meat from Beyond Meat.

I had to do a taste test! Spoiler alert: I liked them a lot.

Watch the 60 second version here. Watch the longer Facebook Live here.

Curious what Beyond Meat is all about? Watch my visit to their El Segundo lab.

That’s a wrap! Have a fantastic weekend.

Rich

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