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April 25, 2021
⚡ Welcome back to another edition of The Weekly Authority, the Android Authority newsletter that casts an eye back across the top Android and tech news from the week.
📦 Tristan Rayner delivering you what you need. But I don't think I can deliver anything quite as good as this.
Popular news this week
Let’s start with the Apple news in a bundle, because there’s plenty out of the event that’s great, good, bad, and odd:
- Apple event: Apple held a Spring launch event this week where it launched new iPad Pros, redesigned iMacs, AirTags, a purple iPhone 12, a refreshed Apple TV 4K with a new remote, and services like Apple Podcasts subscriptions. Everything that launched is here. AirTags reviews are out, but we’re waiting for any word on the rest of the new products. One weird thing is that the Apple TV 4K remote doesn’t support Apple’s Find My network. I wonder if the next AirPods, Pencil, Watch (non-cellular) will have Find My UWB connections?
- Mini-LED display: Apple didn’t fully amp up its Mini-LED display tech in the 12.9-inch iPad Pro. It called it Liquid Retina XDR, more or less equating it to its definitely-not-Mini-LED $5,000 monitor it sells, known as the Pro Display XDR. This iPad Pro display has more Mini-LEDs, delivering 2,500 local dimming zones, some four times more than the Pro Display XDR. That brings it closer to OLED quality, and able to go much brighter. We’ve seen this in TVs but not personal tech yet. Let’s hope this is the start across brands and devices. The Verge details it pretty well.
- iPad Magic Keyboard error: Something very Apple and funny and silly is this news that emerged: Apple’s new 12.9-inch iPad Pro won’t work with the original $349 Magic Keyboard. It sounds like it might be because of the added thickness to the latest iPad Pro.
- Also, Apple leaks: A major Apple ransomware leak corroborates 2021 MacBook Pro features. The hackers unlocked Apple secrets via an attack on a supplier, it appears the 2021 MacBook Pro will include an HDMI port, MagSafe, SD card slot, and get rid of the Touch Bar (MacRumors). It’s a nasty bit of ransomware, and Apple isn’t the first, nor will it be the last, to get caught out.
- Android 12: The third Android 12 developer preview dropped, which included a round of visual changes that we may or may not see in the final release. Also, a little bit of data leaked from the Android 12 DP3 release: the Google Pixel 5a will likely be powered by the same processor as the Pixel 5. No “Whitechapel” custom chipset on the cheaper Pixel line.
- Samsung Unpacked: Next week’s Samsung event hasn’t been hugely leaked in advance, though we know it’s laptop-based, with said laptops likely sporting new 11th-gen Intel CPUs. Evan Blass leaked a few animations (Voice).
- Pixel 5a: A possible Pixel 5a camera sample has surfaced, courtesy of Google itself. It’s not super eventful but it seems it was from October 2020, interestingly enough.
- Chip shortage: The chip shortage has caused at least one new flagship phone to go out of stock.
- Audio clones: Facebook announced a bunch of audio-only products: Mark Zuckerberg wants you to talk. Who will use them? (Wired).
- OnePlus fix: The first OnePlus Watch update has made things less awful: fixing bugs, and improving things like GPS, fitness tracking, notifications, and, well, things it got wrong on the first try.
- Mars: The first flight on Mars took place this week (YouTube), a remarkable achievement from the Ingenuity helicopter. It added a second longer, higher flight on Thursday (NASA).
- ISS: NASA and SpaceX’s Crew-2 mission to the ISS took off spectacularly and successfully, with the first stage rocket landing on the drone ship, and four astronauts meeting the ISS over the weekend. Nice video of the liftoff here (r/space).
- And for gamers: Apex Legends is coming to Android and iOS. Free-to-play, with no paid items (always good), with Battle Pass if you want to unlock cosmetics. Getting more big games on mobile is great for those without consoles and PCs.
Dhruv Bhutani / Android Authority
- OnePlus 9R: This India-only OnePlus phone is very close to the OnePlus 9, and is almost like a OnePlus 8T V2.
- Speaking of the OnePlus 8T, the team revisited the OnePlus 8T with the good and bad six months later, including looking at its new price of $600.
- Redmi Note 10: An everyday workhorse that’s an easy recommendation.
- Razer Book 13: If it wasn’t for some keyboard oddness, this would be a killer productivity laptop.
- Let’s talk true wireless earbuds and extending battery life beyond two years
- Tesla’s Autopilot can be tricked into working without anyone in the driver’s seat (Consumer Reports).
- How do bots buy up graphics cards? In this article, the writer rented one to find out (PCMag).
- “They hacked McDonald’s ice cream machines—and started a cold war.” Great (tech) tale of David vs Goliath! (Wired).
- April 28: Samsung Unpacked
- May 18-20: Google I/O 2021
- May 19-20: Qualcomm 5G Summit 2021
Tech Tweet of the Week
[me telling my story how I survived a plane crash and lived on a deserted island for a year] it was crazy
[friend who once got a text from me where I accidentally called the grinch the grink] was the grink there?— brent (@murrman5) October 1, 2019
All the best,
Tristan Rayner, Senior Editor.
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