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The Weekly Authority: 📱 Pick up a Pixel!
⚡ Welcome to The Weekly Authority, the Android Authority newsletter that breaks down the top Android and tech news from the week. The 215th edition here, with Google Pixel event news, S23 battery leaks, CD Projekt Red’s new projects, and a robot-plant-machete hybrid (keep reading, and it’ll all make sense).
🎃 I’m starting Halloween early with a horror movie night with friends this weekend. We’ll be watching Netflix’s new horror, Mr Harrigan’s Phone, based on the Stephen King novella of the same name.
Popular news this week
- Google’s Pixel event took place on Thursday: The Pixel 7 series is an iterative upgrade, with the Pixel 7 packing a 90Hz OLED screen and 50MP+12MP rear camera system, just like the Pixel 6, and the Pixel 7 Pro showing off a 120Hz QHD+ OLED display and a triple rear camera system, like the Pixel 6 Pro. Wired and wireless charging speeds and IP68 rating are the same as last year, too. The new Tensor G2 processor adds its machine-learning chops to features like Photo Unblur and faster Night Sight, while the Pixel 7 Pro adds camera-based Face Unlock.
- In case you’re wondering, these are the countries where you can buy the Pixel 7 series, with some new countries added to the list.
- We also saw the Pixel Watch, with Wear OS 3.5, Fitbit integration, and a sleek, circular design with an OLED display, plus health-related features including sleep tracking, ECG capabilities, and a heart-rate sensor. But at $350 for the Wi-Fi-only model, the much older processor and smaller battery than rivals make it appear poor value for money.
- Also, the Pixel Watch companion app has gone live on the Play Store.
- Plus, we got a peek at the Pixel Tablet — when docked, it provides a Google Nest Hub experience, and is powered by the Google Tensor G2. But no solid release date yet beyond 2023, and no word on pricing yet either.
- More Pixel event news: Google announces new privacy and security hub for Android 13.
- And Google Nest Wifi Pro announced: Some new features and some taken away.
- Google’s lifetime Pixel sales are a fraction of what Samsung sells in a year.
- Speaking of, Google reportedly wants to double its Pixel sales in 2023, apparently it’s also preparing a budget Pixel for launch “early” 2023.
- Google begins rolling out its iOS 16 Lock Screen widgets.
- Google also gave the Home app a huge overhaul, preview it soon.
- Also: Google Home expands to all Wear OS 3 smartwatches.
- Galaxy S23 Plus, S23 Ultra battery info leaks: There’s good news here.
- Samsung’s Expert RAW app comes to more Galaxy flagships. Is yours on this list?
- Samsung lays out its plan to mass-produce 1.4nm chips by 2027.
- This new OnePlus smartwatch is light on the pocket, but not on features, with heart-rate monitoring, SpO2 tracking, sleep tracking, and several other features on tap.
- OnePlus Buds Pro 2 leaks: What to expect from this Galaxy Buds Pro rival? Looks like we can expect an iterative upgrade for the most part.
- Xiaomi 12T Pro announced: Xiaomi’s first 200MP phone is here.
- Xiaomi’s most impressive Mi Band yet is rolling out globally, adds built-in GPS and a roomy screen to the Mi Band line.
- Nothing reveals the launch date of the Ear Stick.
- Apple no longer activates its proprietary SIM cards for iPads with cellular data — you’ll need to use an eSIM or carrier card to get online without Wi-Fi.
- Apple could upgrade the original AirPods Pro with a key new feature: Looks like Adaptive Transparency could be heading your way.
- And Apple will be forced to use new charger after EU votes for USB-C.
- Also: Now the iPod inventor is calling out iPhones for not using USB-C.
- TikTok will reportedly bring live shopping to the US this holiday season: Chinese social network Douyin plans to launch a live shopping TikTok shop later this year.
- Elon Musk is really buying Twitter for real this time, really, for sure.
- Meanwhile, judge in Twitter v. Elon Musk postpones trial to October 28 as the two sides work to hammer out a deal.
- NASA confirmed its Artemis launch will be postponed until at least mid-November.
- With orbital launch, Firefly takes an early lead in the 1-ton rocket race.
- And Crew Dragon launches safely, carrying first Russian from US soil in 20 years.
- It’ll finally be easy to understand USB-C cables and connectors, with branding changing to reflect data transfer speeds.
- Meanwhile, EU officially makes USB-C mandatory for smartphones, but here’s what’s next.
- Another day, another security breach: 2K warns users their info has been stolen following breach of its help desk.
- And hackers release 500GB of data stolen in LA school district ransomware attack.
- Boston Dynamics pledges not to build war robots: The company and other industry heavyweights signed an open letter pledging not to weaponize their platforms.
- UK startup Arrival’s unique ‘microfactory’ produces its first electric van: the company’s reportedly in talks to raise money to build and sell its EVs in the US.
- Amazon Glow is no more: Amazon’s killing off the interactive video-calling device, which has only really been available to buy for the past six months.
- Speaking of, Amazon’s Scout robot appears to have made its last delivery: The robot had been in testing since 2019 but there were “aspects of the program that weren’t meeting customers’ needs.”
- Shen the T.-Rex will become the first-ever Tyrannosaurus Rex skeleton to be sold at auction, expected to sell for up to $25 million.
- In science news, new trial finds first-ever Alzheimer’s drug to slow cognitive decline, though more information needed to understand how meaningful this treatment will be for patients.
- Horror flick Smile raked in $22m for Paramount in its opening weekend — check out the trailer if you’re brave enough.
- While we’re on the spooky stuff, here’s our pick of the best horror shows to stream for Halloween, plus our roundup of the best new Halloween streaming shows and movies.
- YouTube could be considering locking 4K videos behind its Premium subscription.
- Hulu’s going up in price next week: The streaming service is raising its rates October 10, so you’ll pay $1 more per month for ad-supported plans and $2 more a month for ad-free subscriptions.
- Something a bit less scary (or not): The Super Mario Bros movie trailer is out now, and fans seem underwhelmed by Chris Pratt’s Mario voice.
- We’ve also got our pick of the best new streaming movies this week, including mystery flick Luckiest Girl Alive and Lena Dunham’s Catherine Called Birdy.
- Finally, we saw another trailer for Netflix’s fantasy adventure Slumberland, featuring a colorful Jason Momoa with horns and a top hat, landing November 18.
- Cozy management sim Spiritfarer comes to Netflix Games this month, alongside Nailed It! Baking Bash, both available through the Netflix app on Android and iOS — and if you’re looking for more games to play on your phone, check out our best Android games roundup.
- Steam Next Fest kicked off Monday, running through October 10, with hundreds of free demos for PC games.
- And you can finally order a Steam Deck without making a reservation, plus get your hands on an official dock for $89.
- Sony’s new loyalty program, PlayStation Stars, launched in the US on Wednesday.
- Here’s how to request a Stadia refund — before it’s too late.
- Horizon Zero Dawn PlayStation 5 remaster reportedly in the works: It’s not clear yet whether this will be a from-the-ground-up remake, though it will see new character models, “overhauled textures,” and improvements to lighting and animations.
- Meanwhile, Sony’s betting big on PSVR2 with increased production plan: The company plans to have two million PSVR2 headsets ready for consumers by March 2023 — it took the first PSVR over a year to sell that many units.
- There’s an apparent PS5 jailbreak, but only for old firmware — but it could kickstart jailbreaking on the console.
- CD Projekt Red revealed a ton of new projects it’s working on, including codename Orion, the next Cyberpunk game.
- Dead Space remake’s £70 ($70) console price raises eyebrows: Pick up the game on PlayStation 5 or Xbox Series X/S and you’ll pay the $70 price, compared to its £50 ($60) cost on Steam — and it’s a remake rather than a fully new game.
- Apple Watch Series 8 review: Speedy and steady — “Apple’s flagship wearable doesn’t fully close the door on its Android rivals, but it still has a very healthy lead.”
- Xiaomi 12T Pro impressions: Back in the megapixel race — “The Xiaomi 12T Pro is a powerful affordable flagship that offers more than just a superlative sensor.”
- Chromecast with Google TV (HD) review: The new king of HD streaming – “The Chromecast with Google TV (HD) takes everything we loved about the 4K model: It’s fast, easy to use, and it supports tons of apps, games, and streaming services.”
- DJI Osmo Mobile 6 review: The best smartphone gimbal gets even better — “There are multiple new features, a better design, and new software tweaks to bring your smartphone videos to a new level. Of course, the device is still really expensive and Android users don’t get all the features or ease of use, but this is still the best consumer gimbal you can get.”
- Google Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro hands-on impressions: Staying consistent — “Google’s 2022 flagships are here, but will they be enough to entice you away from the Pixel 6 series?” (Android Authority).
- Google Pixel Watch hands-on: This would’ve killed in 2019! — “Three years ago, this smartwatch would’ve been a runaway success, but the bar is higher in 2022” (Android Authority).
- The FCC’s rules on space junk just got stricter: This could slow the growing orbital litter problem, that’s if people actually abide by it (Wired).
- There’s always money in the banana-peeling robot: “And that’s going to change the restaurant industry” (Morning Brew).
- Should I buy the Pixel 7 Pro or wait for the Samsung Galaxy S23? “Depending on what you’re looking for, the Samsung Galaxy S23 series might not be a revolutionary upgrade over the current Pixel 7 series” (Android Authority).
Viral British artist Mr Doodle completed his biggest project to date, covering every inch of his 12-room $1.54m mansion in Tenterden, near Kent in England, with his signature black and white doodles.
- Mr Doodle, real name Sam Cox, bought the house in 2020 and has covered every possible surface with his art — even the toilet and oven.
- This is to the dismay of the previous owners, who apparently pleaded with him not to doodle in the house.
- The massive project took two years to complete.
- Cox used 900 liters of white paint, 401 cans of black spray paint for the exterior, 286 bottles of black paint for the inside walls, and 2,296 pen nibs.
Mr Doodle’s success is all down to his social media accounts. To date, he has 2.7 million Instagram followers and over 95,000 YouTube subscribers.
- Cox has collaborated with brands like Puma and MTV Europe.
- And by March 2021, he’d made almost $4.7 million in sales in just over nine months.
- The artist made a two-minute stop-motion video of the process, which he shared in a now-viral Tweet.
We don’t recommend you try this at home, but if you’re looking to update your living space, you might want to consider setting up a smart home. Check out some of the best smart home devices, or read up on 5 things you should know before building an advanced smart home. We’ve even got the best budget devices for building a starter smart home, if you’re cash-strapped.
- October 11 @ 1PM ET: Meta Connect Conference (new VR headset?)
- October 12 @ 10 AM PT: Samsung Developer Conference
- October 13: Pixel 7 on sale
- October 26 @ 7PM PT: Nothing Ear Stick launch event
- November 8: Skull and Bones release date on Xbox Series S/X, PS5, PC, Stadia, and Luna
- November 9: God of War: Ragnarok launches on PS4, PS5
- November 15-17: Qualcomm’s Snapdragon Summit
- November 18: The Dark Pictures: The Devil in Me launches on PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series S/X, and PC
Tech Tweet of the Week
Um, this seems safe 😅
Living plant controls a machete through an industrial robot arm pic.twitter.com/jQYzMzoG0W— Canneo (@canneo2103145) October 4, 2022
Have a great week!
Paula Beaton, Copy Editor.