Aug 18, 2017

Android O to get formal debut on Monday

Screenshot by Axios

Google plans to formally launch Android O just after next Monday's solar eclipse. A livestream is scheduled for 2:40 p.m. ET on Aug. 21.

"Android O is touching down to Earth with the total solar eclipse, bringing some super (sweet) new powers," Google said on an eclipse-themed teaser site. The software, which has been in testing for months, aims to improve battery life and add picture-in-picture multitasking on phones.

The creamy middle: Eagle-eyed enthusiasts noted that one of the accompanying files to a Google+ post had Oreo teaser in the file name, so that could well be the dessert-themed name for O.

The bottom line: Of course, what really matters is when the new software starts to show up on phones. Expect existing Google devices like the Pixel to be the first to get the update. As for new devices, the next Pixel will almost certainly be running O. And Samsung is due to debut the next Galaxy Note on Wednesday. It's either going to be one of the last flagship devices running Nougat or one of the first to pack Android O

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Surprise billing may be about to get worse

Illustration: Lazaro Gamio/Axios

The problem of surprise medical billing — which Congress failed to solve last year — is about to get worse, thanks to a feud between an insurance giant and a company that employs thousands of doctors.

The big picture Parents who have babies in intensive care, women with high-risk pregnancies and people who need anesthesia could receive unexpected bills in the mail as a result of the fight between Mednax, the physician-staffing firm, and UnitedHealth Group.

Go deeperArrow47 mins ago - Health

Companies are behaving like it's a recession

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Despite historically low interest rates, U.S. companies are being unusually frugal, holding back on issuing new debt and pumping up their balance sheets with cash.

Why it matters: Historically, when interest rates are low and the economy is strong, companies have levered up to increase capital expenditures and buy assets in order to expand. The opposite is happening now.

Coronavirus kills 2 Diamond Princess passengers and South Korea sees first death

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's Health Ministry. U.S. numbers include Americans extracted from Princess Cruise ship.

Two elderly Diamond Princess passengers have been killed by the novel coronavirus — the first deaths confirmed among the more than 600 infected aboard the cruise ship. South Korea also announced its first death Thursday.

The big picture: COVID-19 has now killed more than 2,200 people and infected over 75,465 others, mostly in mainland China, where the National Health Commission announced 118 new deaths since Thursday.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 9 hours ago - Health