The new USI 2.0 standard for styluses isn’t universal as defined

A report has uncovered compatibility issues with version 2.0 of the Universal Stylus Initiative standard that means older USI 1.0 styluses won’t work with newer USI 2.0 devices. The problem came while using Lenovo’s new Chromebook Duet 3, when it noticed that existing styluses weren’t working with the device. It seems the problem with the Chromebook Duet 3 is that its screen uses an in-cell design that combines elements of the display with a digitiser that handles stylus input. ChromeUnboxed reports that this is a more compact and cost-effective way to offer stylus input. But because support for the technology was only introduced with USI version 2.0, the Duet 3 doesn’t work with styluses made to work with USI 1.0 displays. USI chairman Peter Mueller confirmed the limitation in a statement. “Because the touch and display driver are more tightly integrated for in-cell, the touch sensing has to occur within certain timing windows in between the display being driven,” he said. Other features of USI 2.0 include support for styluses that can be charged wirelessly, an expanded colour palette, and a broader range of tilt and shading features.

Fairphone’s phone subscription gets cheaper the longer you look after your phone

Sustainable smartphone manufacturer Fairphone has announced a new subscription service that offers its latest phone, the Fairphone 4, for as little as €21 a month. Fairphone Easy is only available for customers in the company’s home market of the Netherlands for now, who’ll be able to rent the phone for anywhere between 3 and 60 months, but Fairphone spokesperson Ioiana Luncheon says the service could be expanded to more countries in Europe in 2023 depending on the results of this initial pilot. The subscription service is the sustainable manufacturer’s latest attempt to cut down on the environmental impact of smartphone production and it’s designed to encourage users to hold onto their existing phones for as long as possible. The monthly cost includes free repairs and there are also discounts that kick in for each year you manage to go without needing to repair it. Based on the minimum €21 per month pricing, it looks like it’d take a little under three years to pay as much in subscription fees as you would buy the Fairphone 4 upfront (the 8GB RAM / 256GB storage model provided with the subscription retails for €649).