Spotify wants to help novice podcasters sound like pros

Spotify is helping amateur hosts clean up their audio with a new background noise reduction tool in the Anchor podcast app.

The feature is called Audio Enhancement, which takes the form of a new button on Anchor’s recording screen. According to the ad (opens in new tab), all you have to do is record a podcast as normal, and when you’re listening to the audio, tap the button to drown out background noise, which also brings your voice to the foreground. Audio enhancement can be turned on and off during playback, so you can toggle to compare the two. despite what view video tips in (opens in new tab)you can use a pair of headphones with a microphone to record if you don’t want to hold your phone to your face.

Good – for beginners

Black Friday deals are set to make foldable phones popular

Not surprisingly, smartphones are a hot buy item on the Black Friday Deals. That’s a fact borne out in a recent study by the Consumer Trade Association (the nonprofit that brings you CES), which found that a smartphone is the number one gift adults want to receive this year. But then things get interesting.

Of the 50% of respondents planning to buy one of the best smartphones this holiday season, 30% of these generous people are planning to gift someone a foldable phone.

This could be the time for foldable phones – Black Friday, when they join everything from AirPods to air fryers as must-haves – and Samsung, the current leader in foldable devices, is prepared, along with its retail partners, to deliver some decent Black Friday foldable phone deals.

Samsung’s two newest foldable handsets are juggling numerous Black Friday sales.

In the US (if you’re in the UK, you’ll find deals just below), the cute and very portable Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4 is $150 off (opens in new tab) at the Samsung store, and that’s paired with a trade-in offer of up to $600. In other words, if you thought you’d have to drop $999.99 for this Android 13 handset, you’ll be pleased to know you can get it for only $249.

If you’ve got your eye on the more powerful and significantly larger Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4, then you can wait. save $400 on amazon (opens in new tab)🇧🇷 This is a slightly less attractive deal because it’s not clear if you can combine any trades, but it drops the price to $1,399 for the 256GB model.

The UK folding deals are a little different and perhaps a little less attractive. Instead of losing weight, you get a free Galaxy Tab (opens in new tab) when purchasing a Galaxy Z Flip 4 or Galaxy Z Fold 4 from John Lewis.

Black Friday deals Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4 and Z Fold 4

Which Samsung Galaxy Z foldable is right for you?

If I had to pick which foldable phone could be the big winner this Black Friday, I’d pick the clamshell-style Z Flip 4. In his review of the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4, our Senior Phone Editor Alex Walker-Todd said, “Samsung hasn’t reinvented its clamshell-style foldable, but the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4 does everything necessary for the company to keep his folding crown.”

The problem, though, is that foldables are slow to break into the mainstream. Samsung will tell you that it is sold 10 million foldables since the launch of the category in 2019, but ‘shipped’ does not equal sold. This could be why finding a Samsung Galaxy Z Flip or Samsung Galaxy Z Fold in the wild is as rare as Elon Musk admitting he made a mistake.

What stopped people from adopting these versatile devices en masse? It could be the price, as both devices start at the higher end of the spectrum. On the other hand, there have been solid deals on the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4 and Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4 since they were released earlier this year; nobody pays full price for these devices, and Samsung knows it.

(Image credit: Future / Alex Walker-Todd)

Maybe it’s their size. Foldable phones are, in their default state, folded, significantly thicker than just about any non-foldable smartphone. It could also be that nobody knows exactly what they would do with one of these devices.

On the plus side, there’s the ‘cool’ factor. I know I have fun taking one of Samsung’s Galaxy Z phones out of my pocket while I’m sitting on the train, slowly unfolding it and watching the people sitting around me give me sidelong glances.

Coolness aside, I don’t think most people realize how much more productive it is to have a phone-sized device that can transform into a real tablet. The Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4, which I reviewed in August, offers a massive 7.6-inch Dynamic AMOLED display and even accepts stylus input. That extra screen real estate is useful for multitasking with multiple apps on one screen, a feat that’s difficult to manage on smaller screens and basically impossible on an iPhone.

The Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4, on the other hand, isn’t just cute. You can unfold it halfway, place it on the table and use it as a hands-free camera or a really handy videoconferencing screen.

If the CTA study I mentioned earlier is correct, then I might not need to convince you to buy a foldable phone for yourself or a friend. But on the other hand…

There was another data point that the CTA shared with me that caught my attention. While smartphones are the number one gadget on most people’s holiday shopping lists, smartphones are only the fourth most likely product people are planning to give away.

So if you really want that foldable one, you better start planting some tips now.