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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 back with you again figuring out what's what and what's not.
- Samsung Unpacked: At this week’s launch, Samsung unveiled Galaxy Book laptops designed to take on Apple’s M1 Macs, with AMOLED touchscreens, thin and light designs, and 11th-gen Intel Core CPUs. The Galaxy Book Pro offers a standard clamshell, while the new Galaxy Book Pro 360 goes for the 2-in-1 convertible or tablet option with a new hinge. Reviews to come!
- Galaxy S21 sales: Samsung announced a jump in its smartphone sales, on the back of the Galaxy S21 series. We also saw a report on the costs to Samsung to make the S21 range, which is strictly the bill of materials, leaving out R&D and marketing costs, and so on.
- OnePlus growth: OnePlus sees huge growth in Europe (up 388%), and doesn’t see the global chip shortage affecting it. Growth all around seems to be there, with Apple and Realme reporting sales growth too. Though, despite OnePlus’ confidence, chip shortages may hurt OEMs over the coming months.
- Google Play Store shakedown: Google is bringing sweeping policy changes to Play Store app titles and icons for a more honest, clear presentation of apps. This includes actual screenshots, not photos that aren’t of the app!
- Google I/O 2021: Google confirmed in a blog post that new smart home products will launch at I/O. No hints about what to expect.
- New Fire HD 10: Amazon’s 11th-gen Fire HD 10 tablets were quietly revealed. These Fire OS Android tablets tend to be solid for low-end usage or for kids, and are cheap enough. This time Amazon put out a “premium” Plus model, too, but the series still uses the same aging MediaTek MT8183 SoC from 2019.
- iMessage and Android: Detail from the Apple vs Epic case is emerging, with news an Apple exec wanted to bring iMessage to Android way back in 2013. The court case, by the way, starts next week.
- EU vs Apple: The EU just handed Spotify a big win against Apple, but a long way to go before anything firm comes out of this. Years, most likely.
- Font change: Microsoft is changing the default Office font after 15 years of Calibri, which replaced Times New Roman back in the day. Five possible new default fonts are on show (The Verge).
- EVs up: Global electric vehicle sales grew 41% in 2020 (Axios). Mind you, EV sales declined slightly in the US last year, as wider car sales fell too.
- PC games: Microsoft shakes up PC gaming by reducing the Windows Store cut from 30% to 12%, starting from August 1. No change to Xbox sales cut, and Valve still takes a 30% cut on sales from Steam (up to $10M). Oh, and the Windows Store isn’t great, either, but a revamp is in the works (The Verge).
- Xiaomi is on a roll, but it needs to fix its software inconsistency: MIUI is not the same across devices in terms of bugs and performance.
- They were ancient internet memes. Now NFTs are making them rich (Wired).
- “We need a Tesla for the cow.” The wild, dubious plan to feed cows seaweed (Gizmodo).
- How Pixar uses hyper-colors to hack your brain (Wired).
- Google is saving $1 billion per year as a result of employees working from home (LA Times).
- May 12: Zenfone 8 launch
- May 18-20: Google I/O 2021
- May 19-20: Qualcomm 5G Summit 2021
- June 7-11: WWDC 2021
Tech Tweet of the Week
All the best,
Tristan Rayner, Senior Editor.