The Morning After: Netflix axes its ‘Basic’ plan

Netflix has removed its $10 Basic tier — once the service’s cheapest plan without ads — in the US and the UK. The company has updated its pricing page to say new and rejoining members in both countries can no longer sign up for the Basic tier. If you’re already on the plan, you can keep your membership as is (and pay $10 a month) until you cancel or change your subscription – or Netflix changes its mind, I’m guessing.

If new members don’t want to pay for a Standard plan, they must now make do with the Standard Ad-Supported tier, which costs $7 a month in the US and £5 in the UK. It supports Full HD streams and viewing on two devices at a time, like the no-ads Standard plan but lacks offline viewing. How many ads are you likely to see if you want to save money? Netflix says you’ll get an average of four minutes of ads an hour at around 15 to 30 seconds each, which, of course, you can’t skip. Streaming services are all looking to get more money out of us, whether they’re closing off their cheapest plans or increasing their base prices. YouTube Premium seems to be following .

– Mat Smith

The biggest stories you might have missed

It’s called Ajax.

Apple is working on its very own chatbot, according to Bloomberg sources. Engineers have cheekily named the toolset AppleGPT, but it’s actually called Ajax, as the large language model (LLM) was built using Google’s JAX framework. Sources indicate Apple has multiple teams working on the project, with one team devoted to addressing potential privacy concerns. This move comes after Apple CEO, Tim Cook, told Good Morning America that generative AI is something the company is “looking at closely.” According to Bloomberg, John Giannandrea and Apple’s senior vice president of software engineering, Craig Federighi, are leading the initiative.

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Another strong alternative to boring midrange phones.

Engadget

In 2023, when new generations of phones never seem quite as exciting as the last, Nothing has made the Phone 2 stand out. Its eye-catching design captures some of the best qualities of clear plastic gadgets from the ‘90s, but in a more sophisticated way. Nothing’s Monochrome UI asks users to be more thoughtful about how they use their device while giving them tools like the Glyph interface that can surface info and notifications in novel ways. It’s also very similar to the company’s first phone.

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The changes that matter most are the ones you can’t see.

After almost six years, Beats is back with new over-ear noise-canceling headphones. A significant update from the Studio 3 Wireless, the new Studio Pro is a familiar formula reconfigured from the inside out. A second-generation version of Beats’ own audio chip powers this new model, delivering improvements to active noise cancellation (ANC), spatial audio with dynamic head tracking and wired audio modes via USB-C connection. The one thing that hasn’t particularly changed? The $350 price.

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The $1,699 Dinobot stands 15 inches tall.

TMA

Robosen

Robosen announced a new auto-converting Transformer today. After launching its self-transforming Optimus Prime in 2021, the company set its sights on Grimlock, the Autobot-allied leader of the Dinobots, who changes from a robot into a mechanical T-Rex. The Grimlock collectible stands 15 inches tall in robot mode and 15.4 inches in dinosaur mode. Robosen describes its auto-transforming as “the epitome of auto-conversion” – all for just $1,699, or $1,499 for pre-orders.

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