Key Highlights

  • Empty malls becoming multi-use apartment complexes?
  • GoogleMeet catching up with Zoom and Microsoft Teams?
  • iPhone 12 to be offering two new camera modes?

Wonder what owners of empty shopping malls are thinking about these days now that e-commerce truly is the reality of shopping?

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One alternative owners of these empty malls around the country are considering is transforming their empty mall spaces into dynamic multi-use apartment complexes for affordable housing. According to BloombergNews, there is a dire need for affordable housing by multiple demographic and age groups particularly at a time of seemingly ubiquitous price increases.

The COVID economy has striped bare any illusions of economic equality as joblessness and income disparities have hit Black and Hispanic minority populations, the under educated, both essential and non-essential service workers, disabled workers and older/soon-to-be- retired workers who can no longer afford to retire, and independent contractors and gig workers. Soon, many of these groups may lose their current housing when eviction bans and/or forbearances become past tense. And when this happens, as both eventually will if they haven’t already, where is everyone supposed to live?

Retrofitted empty mall spaces may be viable options for affordable housing and a large-scale possible trend.  According to Brian Lake, a senior attorney at the Pacific Legal Foundation who focuses on housing issues, said, “We need to open up every opportunity possible to develop new affordable housing. Fannie Mae estimated we need an additional 2.5M units just to satisfy the long-term demand, and that’s before this year’s (pandemic) crises.”

Google integrated GoogleMeet into Gmail last month, free to users, and is adding new features to make it competitive with Zoom and Microsoft Teams. Some of those features include being able to add images or a blur effect to backgrounds on video calls real-time captioning, low-light mode and hand raising. Also, a tile view of up to 49 meeting participants may soon be possible on top of the already available meetings for up to 100 people with no time limits. Google is already previewing some of these Meet features with its education and enterprise customers.

And, never forget Apple’s ongoing quest for “best.” Apple’s fall offerings will most likely include the iPhone 12 Pro” and “iPhone 12 Pro Max, thanks to Apple’s A14 chip, that will feature a 3D camera and the ability to shoot 4K video at 120fps and 240fps. These devices are expected to sport 5G and a more flat-edged metal frame that looks similar to the 2020 iPad Pro models.


Thanks to BloombergNews, The Verge and Macrumors.


Also read: Could Pandemic Crisis Squash Push for More, Dense, Affordable Housing?, Affordability Often Linked to Price-to-Rent Ratios by State, Are Empty Garages An Answer to California’s Housing Shortage?

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