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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 171st edition's got the lowdown on the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 chip, Samsung's Galaxy A13 launch, all you need to know about the FF14 Endwalker expansion, and more...
🤵 I grabbed Mafia: Definitive Edition half-price in the Black Friday PS Store sales and it's a seriously impressive remaster of a 19-year-old game.
- Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 8 Gen 1, the ninth major annual smartphone platform release in the flagship Snapdragon series, launched. We’ve got six key things you need to know, plus a deep dive into all the details.
- Qualcomm’s new chips target PCs, handheld gaming consoles: Qualcomm’s teaming up with Razer for its Snapdragon 8cx Gen 3 gaming platform, and its Windows on Arm chip, the 8cx Gen 3, is an improvement but unlikely to be a game-changer like the M1 chip was — but here’s a comparison to Apple’s best.
- MediaTek Dimensity 7000 specs leaked and could power cheaper Galaxy A phones, Poco M range, and more.
- Another Samsung Galaxy S21 FE leak shows off all the phone’s color options — looks like a choice of four colors at launch: black, white, pink, and green.
- Also this week, new details and renders of the Samsung Galaxy A73 leaked, could include 108MP camera and 33W charging.
- Samsung Galaxy S22 wallpapers allegedly leaked and you can grab them here, though it’s not clear yet how credible the original source is.
- Water-resistance could come to more budget Samsung phones in 2022: allegedly at least four Galaxy A models including the Galaxy A33.
- And Samsung officially launched the Galaxy A13, its cheapest 5G smartphone in the US, with a 6.5-inch 90Hz display, 50MP camera, and Dimensity 700 SoC.
- Google’s dishing out festive new features to Android, other products this month: Family Bell reminders, automatic permission management for older Android versions, and more.
- And ex-Google employees sued the company over its “Don’t be evil” motto.
- Google TV profiles delayed — the much-requested feature was announced early October, and individual user profiles have now been delayed for the next few months, but new Ambient Modes cards will roll out in time.
- Meanwhile, two new reports claim Google is developing an in-house, Google-branded smartwatch, a possible Apple Watch competitor, could debut next year. Finally?!
- Apple’s still working on a multi-device charger, or a future where all devices “can charge each other.”
- iPhone SE 3 rumored to launch before end of March 2022, a little earlier than expected,
- Xiaomi 12 series will be first to launch with the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1, and leaks point to a December 12 launch.
- Realme confirmed its first premium flagship is coming as Realme GT 2 Pro renders and specs leaked; if rumors are true this could be the most expensive Realme phone ever.
- It’ll also pack the latest Snapdragon 8 Gen 1.
- UK regulators blocked Meta’s Giphy deal, the first time the watchdog has reversed a Big Tech acquisition.
- And Meta’s crypto chief David Marcus announced plans to quit this week, stepping down at the end of the year.
- SpaceX could face risk of bankruptcy if it cannot achieve a Starship flight rate of at least once every two weeks next year.
- Astronomers spotted two supermassive black holes on a collision course: one 6.3 million times the mass of the sun, and both closer to earth — and each other — than ever before.
- And new ISS photos shot from the SpaceX Dragon by astronaut Thomas Pesquet are here, and they’re glorious.
- The FTC says “nope” to Nvidia buying Arm; other government organizations worldwide are also trying to stop the purchase.
- Twitter co-founder and CEO Jack Dorsey resigned from Twitter on Monday, handing the reigns to Parag Agrawal — and here are some of his weirdest tweets.
- Meanwhile, Square changed its name to Block.
- GM shows off new smart features coming to its car: “OK Google, start my car.”
- And crypto enthusiasts want to buy an NBA team, after failing to buy the US Constitution.
- Also in crypto: A Banksy’s being cut into 10,000 NFTs: Startup Particle is set to digitally slice Banksy’s “Love is in the Air” into “Particles,” up for sale in January.
- Meanwhile, someone forgot to test the Amazon Appstore on Android 12: users are unable to launch any apps downloaded from Amazon’s store, but a fix is coming.
- Fresh Honor 60 and Honor 60 Pro leaks leave little to the imagination.
- And the Nokia 9 PureView won’t get Android 11, HMD says just buy a new Nokia instead.
- Meanwhile, a new document shows WhatsApp, iMessage give the most info to the FBI: Signal and Telegram don’t give out much data.
- Also this week: South Korea will use VR to ensure elderly drivers are fit to drive. The country also plans to host the world’s first floating city by 2025, in the seas off Busan, built from hexagonal modules strong enough to withstand a category five hurricane.
- Finally, there’s a browser extension that lets you see dislikes on YouTube again, for now, anyway.
- The new trailer for The Matrix Resurrections is heavy on the déjà vu.
- The Witcher Season 2 star teases Ciri’s much bigger, more physical role.
- Only Murders in the Building Season 2 filming confirmed by Steve Martin — the pilot was the most-watched comedy premiere in Hulu history.
- Here are five reasons why you should be watching the Chucky series, if you’re not already
- Plus what’s new on Amazon Prime Video for December: Harlem, The Expanse’s final season, and more.
- And finally, Guillermo Del Toro shares update on his Frankenstein-inspired Pinocchio, arriving on Netflix towards the end of 2022.
- The best-selling console on Black Friday wasn’t the PS5, Switch, or Xbox Series X, but the Xbox Series S, likely because it was actually in stock.
- The latest Oculus Quest 2 update lets you film yourself in VR, but only if you own an iPhone, and only six VR games compatible so far.
- A new trailer for space RPG Starfield offers key insights into how the game might be structured, and Game Director Todd Howard teases two “step-out” moments.
- Following Grand Theft Auto: The Trilogy — The Definitive Edition’s bumpy launch, a major update released on Tuesday with over 100 bug fixes, including the rather weird bug that made it rain inside…
- Valve’s upcoming Steam deck won’t have any exclusives: “It’s a PC and it should play games just like a PC,” its FAQ reads.
- And Steam gaming support could be coming to Chromebooks.
- Prepare to pay more for a Razer gaming laptop next year: CEO blames “significant increases” to component prices.
- And Battlefield 2042 players are petitioning for mouse and keyboard support for the console version, with over 10,000 signatures so far.
- Finally, loads of new games are coming to Xbox Game Pass this month, including Halo Infinite (Dec. 8), Aliens: Fireteam Elite (Dec. 14), and Stardew Valley (Dec. 2).
- Tile Mate (2022) review: Living with longer limits — “The best affordable Bluetooth tracker for people that need both Android and iOS support.”
- Tile Pro (2022) review: Bigger, but is it better? With an all-new design, a durable IP67 rating, and replaceable battery, the Tile Pro’s ready for adventure.
- Blink Outdoor review: Security that fits the bill for Alexa — “It’s hampered somewhat by weak night vision, and the need to pay extra for incident recording when alternatives sometimes include this for free, but Alexa addicts will find plenty to like about this affordable, long-lasting wireless security camera.”
- Samsung Galaxy Watch Active review: Great hardware let down by erratic tracking — The activity tracking’s way off and needs re-tuning for this watch to become a serious contender.
- Lenovo Flex 5i Chromebook review: Cornering the middle market — Performance is average, but its stylish, appealing design, excellent keyboard, and good battery life earn this laptop our Recommended badge.
- Five years later, HMD Global’s handling of Nokia is a tale of squandered potential: “It might’ve started off on a high, but five years in, HMD Global is precariously close to the position the original Nokia found itself in” (Android Authority).
- Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 vs Dimensity 9000: Battle of the arch-rivals — Our specs comparison reveals which chip looks better on paper (Android Authority).
- Why the (expletive) can’t we travel back in time? “The reasons really seem random; there is nothing fundamental we can point to, no law or equation or concept that definitively explains why thou shalt not travel into the past.” (Ars Technica).
- A virtual world pioneer has doubts about the metaverse: Early metaverse architect Philip Rosedale, who oversaw “Second Life” company Linden Lab from 1999-2013, is unsure the metaverse will be a huge hit (Axios).
- One man’s quest to put Mexico City’s iconic street food vendors onto Google Maps: Street food establishments represent 50% of the country’s businesses, so crowdsourcing people’s favorites seems like a great idea (restofworld.org).
The Final Fantasy Endwalker expansion is finally here, in early access! Though the game doesn’t officially launch until Tuesday (December 7), early access opened on Friday, whether you’re ready for it or not.
Square Enix has been anticipating lengthy queues, blaming an influx of new players and the global chip shortage preventing new Worlds from being created for players to log into.
Who can play early access and when does it open?
A few handy things to know about early access:
- Early access started at 1AM PT/ 4AM ET/ 9 AM GMT on Friday.
- It’s only available to those who pre-ordered the game on Steam, the PSN store, or through the Square Enix site.
- The game costs $40 on Mac, PC, Playstation 4, and Playstation 5
- Square Enix’s Endwalker FAQs are a good place to find more information on early access.
- Early access runs until December 10, after which you’ll need a Final Fantasy Endwalker code to continue playing the game.
How big is the expansion?
The total file size for the full game and Endwalker on Steam is 80GB. With the full game taking up 60GB, it looks like a 20GB download for the expansion, so make sure you’ve got enough space.
Are there going to be long queues?
Queues are inevitable during any new game launch, particularly during early access for a game as popular as Final Fantasy 14.
The company posted some tips and information in a blog post earlier this week — here are a few key takeaways:
- As with many early access periods, inactive players will be kicked after 30 minutes.
- You may see Error 2002 codes when selecting a character, if the login server is experiencing high amounts of traffic.
- Players on the full version of the game are prioritized for login over Free Trial accounts.
- Even if queues don’t appear to be counting down, they’re still functioning, so don’t log out and lose your place!
- No accounts are able to create new characters during congested periods.
- Even once you’re logged in, you might also notice in-game queues when teaming up for instanced content like dungeons.
What’s new in Endwalker?
Endwalker is Final Fantasy 14’s fourth expansion, drawing the long-running story to a close. As well as new areas to explore, weapons, and raids, there are two more jobs: the Reaper, who summons specters to fight, and the Sage, who can heal and buff other players. The Viera also has a new male race, where previously there were only females.
Polygon has a great rundown of all the biggest changes to expect.
What’s next for the Final Fantasy franchise?
The hotly anticipated Final Fantasy 16 is on its way, and here are a few things you need to know:
- It’s said to be a PS5 console exclusive.
- It’s set in the fictional land of Valisthea.
- The continent will have six factions on the verge of war due to The Blight, a sickness that’s spreading across the land.
- No official release date has been confirmed yet, but the game is apparently “near to completion.”
- At the Playstation showcase event, a sign in the video intro said “Valisthea 06.16,” which has led to rumors of a June 2022 release.
- Trailers show a style similar to Final Fantasy 15 and the Final Fantasy 7 remake, though we haven’t seen much gameplay yet.
- December 6-8: RISC-V Summit
- December 7: Final Fantasy XIV’s Endwalker expansion official launch
- December 8: Halo Infinite release date (Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, PC)
- December 12 (TBC): Xiaomi 12 series launch
- December 14: Aliens: Fireteam Elite comes to Xbox Game Pass
- December 17: The Witcher Season 2 hits Netflix
- December 22: The Matrix 4 release date
Tech Tweet of the Week
The internet is magic sometimes. pic.twitter.com/qeVdNIbo92— Debbie Mia (@TheDebbieMia) November 14, 2021
Until next weekend!
Paula Beaton, Copy Editor