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⚡ Welcome again to The Weekly Authority, the Android Authority newsletter that breaks down the top Android and tech news from the week. This week the 165th edition fills you in on everything tech you might have missed...


🎃 Halloween's right around the corner so I've been busy decorating the house while also watching all the Halloween films. The first one's still my favorite.

October 23, 2021
Popular news this week
Google Pixel 6 event 2021 summary
Luka Mlinar / Android Authority

Google:

  • The Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro launched at Google’s Tuesday event, available to preorder now — despite the Google Store briefly going down — and on shelves October 28. Wondering how big it is compared to other phones? We’ve got some comparisons for both the Pixel 6 and the 6 Pro. And if you’re curious how the chip shapes up, check out our Google Tensor chip vs the Snapdragon 888 series comparison.
  • The Pixel Pass lets you pick up a Pixel 6 plus extras for one monthly price, starting at $45 a month with a two-year commitment, only in the US for now.
  • Meanwhile, Android 12 was finally released, but you might not be able to get it yet, unless you’ve got a Google phone. Google’s also planning to release more beta features starting in December.
  • And Google will cut its Play Store fees for subscription-based apps from January 1, 2022: down to 15% from its blanket 30% cut.

Apple:

  • Apple Unleashed event on Monday saw the launch of new 14- and 16-inch MacBook Pros, and new chipsets M1 Pro and M1 Max, which are billed to further beat Intel. Also, AirPods 3, and more.
  • But it looks like the chip shortage has finally hit Apple: orders for Apple’s newest products won’t ship until November or December. 

Samsung:

Huawei:

Microsoft:

Elsewhere:

Movies/TV:

Gaming:

Reviews
Google Pixel 6 Propped Outdoors
C. Scott Brown / Android Authority

Features

Weekly Wonder

This week we’re diving into tech history with a look at American inventor Thomas Edison.

On this week in 1879 — October 21, to be precise — Edison perfected the first commercially practical incandescent light bulb. Although it didn’t last quite as long as bulbs do today, racking up just 13.5 hours of light before burning out, his later attempts lasted longer, extending the bulb’s lifespan to around 40 hours.

Many people think Edison invented the light bulb, but that’s simply not true.

  • The light bulb was actually invented by a British scientist called Warren de la Rue, back in 1840. Warren’s invention use a coiled filament made of platinum, but due to the cost of the materials, it never became a success commercially.
  • He was far from the only one to have a go at inventing light bulbs: Back in 1800, Alessandro Volta, an Italian physicist, chemist, and electricity pioneer — also credited as the inventor of the electric battery — was already carrying out his own experiments. In 1799, Volta invented the voltaic pile, an early form of electric battery, proving that electricity could be generated chemically.
  • There were others creating early incandescent lamps too, but all attempts were commercially impractical, requiring the use of a high electric current and with an extremely short lifespan.

But back to Edison: He didn’t perfect the light bulb as we know it today on his first attempt. In fact, Edison began working on creating an incandescent lamp for indoor use almost 18 months before his success, using a filament made of carbonized cardboard that burnt out too fast.

  • He later experimented with different filaments, using palmetto, hemp, and various grasses, finally settling on bamboo. In total, he tested more than 6,000 vegetable fibers, ran 1,200 experiments, and spent $40,000.
  • After his success on October 21, Edison filed for a US patent on November 4, 1879, granted January 27, 1880.
  • A few months after the patent was granted, Edison discovered carbonizing the bamboo filament gave the bulb a lifespan of over 1,200 hours.

Edison went on to form the Edison Electric Light Company in New York City, demonstrating his light bulb for the first time in public on December 31, 1879. During the demonstration, he said, “We will make electricity so cheap that only the rich will burn candles.”

Things you never knew about Thomas Edison

  • The light bulb wasn’t Thomas Edison’s first foray into inventing. In 1869, he invented the Electrographic Vote-Recorder, to speed up the voting process. No more shouting “Yes!” or “No!” Just flip a switch, and votes would be counted electronically. Politicians weren’t fans of the invention, and as a result, it was a total flop.
  • In 1877, he invented the phonograph — or record player, as we know it today — but he can also be credited with inventing the fluoroscope, the tasimeter, and the electromechanical design for the Kinetograph, a motion picture camera.
  • After the phonograph’s debut, Edison began work developing creepy talking dolls with tiny phonographs that played children’s songs and “spoke” lyrics. He only sold 500 dolls, and critics said they couldn’t understand what the dolls were saying, so they never really took off.
  • Love cat videos? Thomas Edison made one of the first. In 1893, he built The Black Maria (known better as “The Dog House”), one of the first movie studios, at his labs in West Orange, New Jersey. During its time it made several short films, including the above movie about boxing cats…
  • Nikola Tesla worked briefly with Edison. The inventor and engineer was hired on June 8, 1884, and started work at the Edison Machine Works as an Electrical Engineer, earning $100 a year. He only stayed for six months, attempting to convince Edison of the potential of AC, before securing investment and selling patents that relied on AC to the industrialist George Westinghouse.
  • The Tesla-Edison feud was definitely a real thing, but the two men weren’t the staunch enemies they were made out to be. When Tesla lost his lab following a fire in 1895, Edison offered him a workspace. When Edison gave a lecture for the American Institute of Electrical Engineers, Tesla ensured he received a standing ovation.
Tech Calendar
  • October 26: Sony Xperia launch @ 11PM ET
  • October 26: Palm Bud Pros launch
  • October 27-28: 2021 Android Dev Summit
  • October 28: Redmi Note 11 launch
  • November 18-19: MediaTek Executive Summit

Tech Tweet of the Week

First: Can you believe it’s now backordered until November?

I GOT THE NEW POLISHING CLOTH ! pic.twitter.com/lMMrw9tNSI
— Sam Kohl (@iupdate) October 20, 2021

And this is everything…

The angry little face as the green beans get snapped.
I’ve been laughing at this for an embarrassingly long time. pic.twitter.com/jnR0P9kdGG
— Daniel Holland🎗🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿 (@DannyDutch) October 16, 2021

Have a de-light-ful week (sorry!)

Paula Beaton, Copy Editor

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