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⚡ Welcome back to another edition of The Weekly Authority, the Android Authority newsletter that keeps an eye out for the top Android and tech news from the week.
⚽ Tristan Rayner here, but also tuning in to E3 announcements as they happen, and the Euro 2020 tournament being played in, ahem, 2021!
The next Android 12 release and Apple’s big WWDC ensured this was another busy week. E3 kicked off too!
- Android 12: The second major Android 12 beta emerged from Google HQ with the first taste of the promised new design and themes, which do look great! The new privacy dashboard is here, which adds useful detail about exactly which apps are accessing which elements, like the microphone and location data. Google came out and said that the Android 12 beta has been the most popular beta release ever. Beta 2 has certainly fixed a bunch of bugs I was experiencing and is well worth a try if you’ve got the know-how.
- WWDC: Apple’s WWDC this year pushed Apple’s ecosystem another step forward. With updates to iOS, macOS, and the rest of Apple’s software on its devices, there were few complaints. However, it’s hard to think of exactly which change, out of a number of small improvements, really pushed the needle. It doesn’t help that many features were already on rival platforms like Android. No new hardware was unveiled, a disappointment for some who had banked on a new 15-inch MacBook Pro, but not unusual at a developer conference. Let’s look at some of the highlights:
- FaceTime is coming to Android and Windows.
- Apple has made changes to email privacy to limit data sent back to advertisers and marketers (Platformer).
- iPadOS getting split-screen options for multitasking.
- Also interesting, though less significant is Apple’s new quasi-VPN called Private Relay, only available for iCloud Plus members (CNET).
- Samsung: Samsung took the wraps off its new Isocell JN1 camera image sensor this week but went for the smallest pixel size in the industry… for reasons that don’t make sense to most tech enthusiasts — bigger is usually better!
- Pixel: Google also dropped a fresh round of Pixel features, including a new “astrolapse” mode for capturing the night sky, and secure locked folders in the Photos app too.
- OnePlus: OnePlus launched the Nord CE, which stands for “Core Edition.” It’s a new mid-range phone which resurrects the headphone jack but loses OnePlus’ alert slider. It’s a step below the standard Nord, but at a cheaper price too, starting at €299/£299/Rs 22,999, or about $315. Speaking of Nord phones, the OnePlus Nord 2 tech specs leaked in full, with the MediaTek Dimensity 1200 chipset expected to be a dramatic departure from OnePlus’ Qualcomm roots.
- Sony: The new Sony WF-1000XM4 earbuds have now launched. Sony’s latest top-of-the-line noise-cancelling earbuds received solid reviews — the $280 price tag is a sticking point, though.
- Xbox everywhere: Microsoft is now officially making Xbox-branded video game streaming devices. It’s working with smart TV manufacturers to incorporate Xbox Cloud Gaming/Game Pass, too!
- Hack: Game publisher Electronic Arts was hacked, with EA’s source code for game engines part of 780GBs of stolen data being sold on the dark web, apparently (Vice).
Tablet reviews this week!
- June 12-15: E3 is still going on until Tuesday, 15 June, which is also the Nintendo Direct event day.
- June 24: Microsoft “See what’s next for Windows” event
- June 28-July 1: MWC 2021
Tech Tweet of the Week
All the best,
Tristan Rayner, Senior Editor.