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Acast subscribers will soon get access to exclusive podcast groups on Facebook

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Your favorite podcast might soon have an official, easy-to-find forum. Meta has teamed up with podcast giant Acast to offer exclusive Facebook Groups for podcasts using Acast+ paid subscriptions. Link your membership to your Facebook account and you’ll have a ready-made place to discuss the latest episode with fellow fans — you won’t have to hunt for a message board or use social network hashtags. You’ll also get exclusives like livestreams and Q&A sessions with show hosts.

The two companies didn’t say when subscriber groups would be available. Several podcasts are involved in a testing period, including the beauty show Fat Mascara. The price you’ll pay will likely vary, but podcasters can enable Acast+ for free. 

Meta has struggled to compete in the podcasting realm, and began shutting down services in early June. The deal keeps the company involved in the category, however. The social media company can benefit from the rise of paid podcasts (through increased use of its services) without having to pour resources into creating or distributing content. This is the first time a podcast company is using Facebook’s new platform for Interoperable Subscriber Groups, but it might not be the last if Acast’s partnership proves successful.

All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.



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LG buys its way into the EV charging business

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LG is jumping into the EV charging business with the acquisition of a South Korean EV battery charger developer called AppleMango, it announced. The move will allow it to create “fully-featured” charging stations with a user-friendly interface and real-time control and management, it said. In particular, it will be able to leverage its “sturdy, dust- and water-proof” outdoor digital display tech. 

LG is well-established in electric mobility, developing batteries, screens and sensors for electric cars. It recently joined forces with Magna International to develop e-motors, inverters and onboard chargers for automakers. The acquisition will expand that, allowing it to marry the new charger capabilities with its current in-house EV charging management systems. It’ll also allow LG to “create synergy” with its current EV battery business and products like energy storage and energy management systems. 

AppleMango was established three years ago in 2019 and has developed proprietary tech like a slim and fast EV charger. LG will also work with partners GS Energy, which operates EV charging stations and IT provider GS Neotek to develop the necessary infrastructure. LG took a 60 percent stake in AppleMango, GS Energy a 34 percent stake and GS Neotek a 6 percent share, according to TechCrunch

LG plans to install an EV charger production line at LG Digital Park in South Korea by the end of 2022. The goal is to supply a variety of customers with custom EV charging solutions, including private residences, shopping malls, hotels and public buildings. 

All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.



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Apple’s entry-level MacBook Pro M2 has slower SSD speeds than its M1 counterpart

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Apple’s new 13-inch MacBook Pro M2 base model appears to have slower SSD speeds than its M1 predecessor. MacRumors reports that YouTubers Max Tech and Created Tech have both tested the 256GB base M2 model and discovered the SSD’s read speeds are around 50 precent slower than the M1 MacBook Pro with 256GB of storage. Write speeds are reportedly around 30 percent slower.

Testing was completed using Blackmagic’s Disk Speed Test app, and Max Tech even disassembled the 13-inch M2 MacBook Pro and found that Apple is only using a single NAND flash storage chip. The M1 MacBook Pro uses two 128GB NAND chips, and multiple chips can enable faster SSD speeds in parallel.

Other 13-inch M2 MacBook Pro models with larger SSD storage don’t appear to suffer from slower SSD speeds. Another YouTuber with a 512GB M2 model ran tests and found similar speeds to the M1 version, and most reviewers were seeded with fast 1TB models and didn’t find any speed issues.

If SSD speeds are an issue for you on the base 13-inch MacBook Pro, you’ll need to stump up an extra $200 for the faster 512GB model. But if you’re willing to do that, you might want to wait and see what’s inside the new MacBook Air. The base model will also be priced slightly less at $1,199, but if it has slower SSD speeds then there’s an identically-priced $1,499 512GB model that will presumably have the two NAND chips. Unlike the M2 MacBook Pro, the M2 MacBook Air also gets a big redesign — including new colors, a larger display, a 1080p webcam, and MagSafe charging.

We’ve reached out to Apple to comment on the SSD changes in the MacBook Pro, and we’ll update you accordingly if we ever hear back.



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Apple’s entry-level 13-inch MacBook Pro M2 may have slower SSD speeds than the M1 model

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Apple’s 13-inch 256GB MacBook Pro M2 may have worse SSD performance than the equivalent M1 model, according to testing by YouTube sites Max Tech and Created Tech seen by MacRumors. The $1,300 base model showed around 50 percent slower read speeds (1,446 MB/s compared to 2,900 MB/s) with write speeds 30 percent lower. 

Max Tech opened up the 13-inch MacBook Pro M2 and found that it only had a single 256GB NAND flash storage chip instead of two 128GB chips like the previous M1 model. That would mean the drive can only use two lanes in parallel, so performance is restricted to the speed of a single lane. 

The higher-end 512GB and 1TB models don’t appear to suffer from the issue, and many review units (like our own) shipped in a 1TB configuration. The slower disk speeds on the 256GB model could affect app loading times, file transfers and data fetching. Overall performance could also take a hit as the virtual memory (used when RAM is full) will be slower, and the base model only has 8GB of RAM. 

It’s not clear why Apple changed the configuration on this model, though the global chip shortage may be a factor. In any case, it’s something to consider if you’re looking at buying the 13-inch MacBook Pro M2. 

All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.



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