Winners and Losers: Fitbit will get Googley, as Disney begins password crackdown

OPiNION: September is normally a busy month on the planet of tech, and 2023 has been no totally different. 

Meta stole headlines with the launch of the Meta Quest 3 and Ray-Ban Meta Glasses, with a brand new imaginative and prescient of the long run for digital and augmented actuality. In the meantime, Jim Ryan stepped down from PlayStation, Panos Panay ditched Microsoft for Amazon, and Xiaomi launched yet one more smartphone within the Xiaomi 13T Professional.

The Trusted Opinions 2023 Awards additionally passed off this week, as our group of specialists picked out the very best merchandise throughout a number of classes. 

However for this column, we’ve got chosen the largest winners and losers of the week within the tech world, and you will discover out our picks under:

Winner: Fitbit/Google

We’ve got a joint winner this week, and that’s as a result of Fitbit and Google have lastly mixed their finest qualities to launch a vastly promising wearable. Google accomplished its acquisition of Fitbit again in 2021, however it’s understandably taken time for the 2 corporations to start out singing from the identical hymn sheet.

The brand new Fitbit Cost 6 is the very first wearable from Fitbit to take full benefit of the Google connection, that includes quite a lot of useful Google apps resembling YouTube Music, Google Maps and the Google Pockets.

Fitbit already made nice coronary heart fee readers, however it has apparently been improved upon even additional for the Cost 6 with 60% extra accuracy due to a Pixel Watch machine studying algorithm. You additionally get all the wonderful Fitbit health options too, together with 20 new exercise modes. 

And for the cherry on prime, Fitbit is decreasing the launch value in comparison with its predecessor. The Fitbit Cost 5 was initially priced at $179.95 / £169.99, whereas the brand new Fitbit Cost 6 is obtainable for simply $159.95 / £139.95. 

We must wait till we are able to take a look at the Fitbit Cost 6 to find out whether or not it lives as much as the promising function set, however on the very least, it’s nice to see Google and Fitbit lastly collaborating to ship a health tracker with excessive aspirations for each software program and {hardware}. 

Disney Plus logo

Loser: Disney+

TV exhibits are actually unfold throughout so many various streaming companies that it’s troublesome to observe the most recent and best with out forking up a scary amount of money. This is the reason many individuals have resorted to sharing accounts with family and friends.

Nonetheless, Disney Plus has confirmed that it’ll begin proscribing password sharing in Canada as quickly as November 1 2024, with the crackdown prone to develop to different international locations within the following months. This implies Disney Plus subscribers will be unable to share their subscription with anybody outdoors of their family. You’ll nonetheless be capable to stream Disney Plus on portables outdoors of your private home, however they should be registered to your main private residence. 

This gained’t be a rule that may be simply bypassed both, as Disney will be capable to decide whether or not your IP deal with matches the first deal with. So if it detects that somebody is accessing the account from one other family, they’ll block entry and be prompted to enroll to their very own account as an alternative. 

Netflix enforced its personal password crackdown earlier this 12 months, and to date it seems prefer it’s been an enormous success, as Antenna studies that Netflix benefitted from 2.6 million new accounts in July 2023. There’s little question that Disney has been impressed by this success story.

However that is unhealthy information for TV streamers. Not solely are subscription companies changing into dearer, however the business can also be changing into extra fragmented. And now companies resembling Netflix and Disney Plus are eradicating the flexibility to share passwords, there are prone to be long-term penalties for the streaming panorama. It’s not attainable for everybody to join each single subscription service, so sacrifices must be made sooner or later.