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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. The 168th edition has landed, with all this week’s need-to-know news right here.
☕ I've got some Chai Spiced Pumpkin Latte tea here to see me through these short, dark November days — sunset here today is at 4.05PM!
- Microsoft announced the Surface Laptop SE, its cheapest laptop yet at $249, and its first real Chromebook competitor, packing an Intel Celeron CPU, 11.6-inch display, and Windows 11 SE.
- Windows 11 SE isn’t quite a special offer but an education-targeted student-focused device with a bunch of limits to keep kids studying.
- Fresh leaks suggest we could see the Galaxy S21 FE and S22 early next year. And fresh specs and official renders leaked for the S21 FE 5G — it looks like the S21 FE will be available in both Snapdragon 888 and Exynos 2100 variants, depending on markets.
- Meanwhile, Samsung Galaxy A53 renders leaked, and there’s no headphone jack.
- Samsung announced its Exynos event for November 19, and though we’d hoped to see its first AMD-powered Exynos processor, Samsung took to social media to refute any Exynos launch, letting us know to expect “changes to social accounts,” whatever that means.
- And Samsung revealed the next evolution of smartphone RAM, LPDDR5X DRAM, promising 1.3x faster speeds and 20% less power consumption — it could debut in the Galaxy S22.
- The company’s reportedly stepping up its foldable phone production next year, with plans to produce 9.8 million fourth-generation foldables.
- Also this week, Samsung took aim at Apple with its free polishing cloth offer, seemingly only in Germany for now, following the announcement of Apple’s $19 polishing cloth last month.
- Finally, bad news for Dex users: Samsung will stop supporting its Samsung Dex system on Windows 7 and macOS machines from January 2022.
- The Moto Edge X could be the first announced Snapdragon 898 smartphone: we’re expecting it to be revealed next month…
- Motorola Edge 30 Ultra specs leaked— looks like a premium flagship with a Snapdragon 898, and fresh renders show a flat screen.
- Also leaked this week: Motorola Moto G Power specs and renders, with a rumored 5,000mAh battery.
- Google says unreliable Pixel 6 fingerprint unlock is a feature, not a bug: apparently, “enhanced” security algorithms are the culprit.
- And apparently, if a Pixel 6 runs out of battery, it breaks the fingerprint sensor. Um, what? Only a factory reset will fix that right now, so best keep your Pixel 6 charged until it’s fixed…
- The Google Pixel 6 might get face unlock smarts after all: there’s apparently evidence it’s in the works…
- A bunch of brands will support Android 12’s wallpaper theming option, but Samsung, Honor, and Asus won’t yet.
- Elsewhere, a Google manager confirmed we won’t see a Pixelbook 2 for awhile yet, if at all.
- It’s now safe for all Mac users to update to macOS Monterey after Apple fixed a bug that left Macs paralyzed.
- And Apple now lets you scan for evil AirTags that might be hovering nearby in iOS 15.2 Beta.
- Meanwhile, Apple backed down from screen replacements breaking Face ID after it was discovered non-Apple iPhone 13 screen replacements broke the login feature. There’ll soon be a software update to fix the problem, but no word yet when.
- In other news, Apple has reportedly hired former Tesla Autopilot software director Christopher Moore, a big hint the long-rumored Apple Car is in the works.
- OnePlus teased a Nord 2 Pac-Man edition that glows in the dark, with a “gamified” OS.
- And we got a first look at the OnePlus 10 Pro’s design, but renders are based on photos of an early real-life prototype, so they could be way off.
- SpaceX’s Dragon crew landed safely back on Earth on Monday after six months in space.
- And Wednesday’s SpaceX Crew-3 launch was a success.
- Meanwhile, NASA delayed moon landings until 2025, blaming Blue Origin’s legal tactics.
- Also in space news: A new origami lunar habitat can unfold into 750 times its own size — LUNAR’s lightweight carbon fiber shell protects inhabitants from temperatures as low as -22 degrees Fahrenheit (-30 degrees Celsius) and offers all the comforts of home.
- The Poco M4 Pro 5G was announced: It’s pretty much the Redmi Note 11, rebranded.
- Huawei’s US situation somehow got worse: The FCC will no longer approve or review applications from Huawei or ZTE, though it’s not clear yet if this also applies to consumer products.
- Meanwhile, YouTube is removing dislike counts on all videos from the public eye in a bid to protect creators from “dislike attacks” and other forms of harassment.
- Subaru revealed the Solterra SUV, its first electric vehicle, coming in 2022.
- And Rivian went public on Wednesday, raising billions for its EV aspirations — it’s reportedly worth $100 billion.
- Toshiba will split into three companies after years of scandals.
- And Seoul will become the first major city to enter the metaverse: “Metaverse Seoul” plans to allow its citizens to meet with avatar officials for “municipal administration” from 2023, with local celebrations also held in the metaverse.
- You can get your first month of Disney Plus for just $1.99, only until the end of this weekend (November 14.) Speaking of Disney Plus, it’s upgrading Marvel movies to IMAX, which means smaller black bars.
- Meanwhile, Disney Plus Day on November 12 celebrated the streaming service’s two-year anniversary, with new movies like Shang-Chi and Jungle Cruise available to all subscribers.
- Stranger Things Season 4 trailer landed, but you’ll need to wait until Summer 2022 for the season 4 Netflix launch.
- Our guide to what to stream this month: Tom Hanks’ latest, Star Trek: Discovery season 4, The Wheel of Time, and more.
- Here’s everything you need to know before you catch Ghostbusters: Afterlife in theaters from November 19 — the long-awaited direct sequel to the first two movies leans heavily on knowledge of the first 1984 movie, so we’ll be rewatching (we might skip the second one, though.)
- Surprise: Moviepass’ all-you-can-eat movie service could be making a comeback.
- Netflix Gaming is rolling out on iPhone and iPad a week after launching on Android, with the same five-game lineup.
- Thursday’s GTA: The Trilogy — The Definitive Edition launch didn’t go smoothly, with the Rockstar Games Launcher down for over 18 hours and the PC version pulled from Rockstar’s online store.
- And Forza Horizon 5 launched on Xbox — the reviews are glorious, with The Verge calling it “the best Forza Horizon yet.” With over 4.5m players, it’s the biggest ever launch for a first-party Xbox game.
- Meanwhile, work has started on Fallout 5, but the release is likely to be a long, long way off…
- In delays, Final Fantasy XIV”‘s “Endwalker” expansion is now delayed two weeks to December 7.
- Valve’s Steam Deck shipping is delayed to February 2022, while Panic’s Playdate console is also now delayed to “early 2022.”
- This week marks a year since the release of the PlayStation 5 (November 12, 2020) and the Xbox Series X/S (November 10, 2020).
- And it’s soon going to get even harder to buy a PS5 after Sony cuts back its manufacturing target by one million consoles.
- Lost PS4 exclusive The Tomorrow Children is set to return after the developer re-acquired the rights from Sony: The game servers shut down in 2017, now Q-Games will re-release it in “an evolved form.”
- Motorola Edge 20 Pro review: On the edge of success — “It doesn’t have all the bells and whistles of its competitors, but it makes do with solid build quality, excellent software, and cameras that stand out for their reliability.”
- Google 30W USB-C Power Charger review: One for the modern age — Support for the latest USB Power Delivery PPS specification makes this an excellent charger for cutting-edge flagships, not so great for older devices.
- Otterbox Folding Wireless Power Bank review: Down with the thickness — 18W speeds, plenty of charging standards, but pretty big and heavy.
- Amazon Echo Glow review: A fun little smart lamp for all ages — “An affordable Alexa smart lamp, built with kids in mind.”
- Withings ScanWatch review: A watch after your heart — With advanced sensors, this fantastic fitness tracker and solid hybrid smartwatch takes health tracking to the next level.
- What should you expect from smartphone cameras in 2022? Improved zoom, custom imaging chips, and more (Android Authority).
- Android 12L: Everything you need to know about Google’s OS for larger screens — Design elements, new features, and under-the-hood changes (Android Authority).
- Why Can’t People Teleport? In case you ever wondered, here’s the physics of teleportation (Wired).
- We now know the big bang theory is (probably) not how the universe began: The cornerstones of the theory, and why the universe is telling us a different story (freethink).
- Senior Couple Was Having Trouble With TLOU2. He Answered Their Craigslist Ad: What do you do when you’re stuck in TLOU2? Place a Craigslist ad, of course (Kotaku).
GTA: The Trilogy — The Definitive Edition launched on Thursday, so we thought we’d dive into some news surrounding launch day, then take a look at a few memorable moments from GTA history…
The Trilogy — The Definitive Edition is a remastered compilation of Grand Theft Auto III, Grand Theft Auto: Vice City, and Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, out now for PS4, PS5, Xbox Series X|S, and Switch.
- A day before the release, an hour of gameplay footage leaked online.
- Rockstar teased some gameplay comparison videos before the release.
- Rockstar also revealed it had removed some cheats from the game due to technical reasons.
- You can check out a full feature list detailing all the enhancements made.
- There’s some music missing from the soundtrack, Rockstar confirmed, though it’s not totally clear what’s made the cut. This video from IGN has all the confirmed radio tracks.
- On Thursday the game was temporarily pulled from the PlayStation Store after some players were able to access the game from midnight in their local timezone, a whole 24 hours early.
- Many fans weren’t happy with some of the changes in the remaster.
- There are also some hilarious memes doing the rounds mocking the new graphics.
- And it wasn’t smooth sailing after launch either, with the Rockstar Games Launcher down for maintenance for over 18 hours, hordes of unhappy gamers, and the PC version pulled from Rockstar’s online store, though it’s not yet clear why.
Most memorable GTA moments
If you’re feeling nostalgic for all things GTA, here are some of the most memorable moments from the franchise.
If you’ve never played any of the trilogy, be aware there are some spoilers ahead — and these videos are most definitely NSFW.
GTA III’s opening cutscene
The opening cutscene back in 2001 was a monumental moment for the gaming industry. Shifting from top-down 2D to 3D ensured this was a jaw-dropping experience for anyone playing the game back then.
GTA Vice City: Lance Vance’s betrayal (Spoiler alert!)
The game’s final mission, Keep Your Friends Close, sees Lance Vance betray Tommy Vercetti (voiced by Ray Liotta) and was one of the most cinematic GTA moments ever…
GTA San Andreas: “All we had to do was follow the damn train, CJ!”
GTA San Andreas had some pretty unforgettable scenes, like this one from The Wrong Side of the Tracks mission.
GTA IV: “Get out of there, you smell like cabbage!”
GTA IV: “They burnt it, Niko!”
The Roman’s Sorrow mission in GTA IV is one of the game’s most memorable moments, as Roman discovers his apartment burning.
GTA V: Mr. Philips
The general consensus may be that GTA V doesn’t have a great storyline, but it does have Trevor, and one of its greatest missions is the Mr. Philips mission.
GTA V: Trevor’s fence trip
When Trevor’s foot gets caught on the fence after shouting at Fraklin’s Aunt Denise and he has an explosive outburst it’s definitely one of the funniest unhinged Trevor moments in GTA V.
November 18-19: MediaTek Executive Summit
November 19: Samsung Exynos event
November 19: Ghostbusters: Afterlife release
November 24-30: Steam Autumn Sale
November 26-29: Black Friday and Cyber Monday weekend
November 30-December 2: Snapdragon Tech Summit (Snapdragon 888 successor?)
December 6-8: RSC-V Summit
December 8: Halo Infinite release date (Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, PC)
Tech Tweet of the Week
For those of you who’ve played Unpacking — or anyone old enough to remember a Game Cube…
This tweet about an article about a viral tweet is now more viral than the tweet itself. https://t.co/bc0MjvMwhm— Sanatana Mishra (@SanatanaMishra) November 10, 2021
And a little something extra (and cute): Watch this guy build an elevator for his elderly cat.
Have a great week ahead!
Paula Beaton, Copy Editor