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The Weekly Authority: 📱 Pixels pick up stable Android 13
⚡ Welcome to The Weekly Authority, the Android Authority newsletter that breaks down the top Android and tech news from the week. The 208th edition here, with the arrival of Android 13 for Pixels, Dead Island 2 news, Samsung’s market concerns, and the mystery of Roanoke.
📦 This week I’ve been surrounded by so many packing boxes for my upcoming move. Not kidding, I could (and might well) build a box fort!
Popular news this week
- Stable Android 13 arrived for Pixel phones, but once you update on Pixel 6, you can’t go back.
- Speaking of Android 13, a weird Pixel update issue’s been giving users Android 12 instead — but Google says it wasn’t a mistake.
- The Google Pixel 7 could be getting four global models: FCC filings show two models with mmWave 5G and two without, much like the Pixel 6 series filings last year.
- And the Pixel 6 Pro gains a long-overdue display feature with new mod.
- Meanwhile, the Pixel Tablet might run a 64-bit-only version of Android.
- The Pixel Watch could be Google Fi’s first supported smartwatch.
- Also: Google’s embedding cloud gaming into its search results, allowing you to launch cloud streaming services (like Stadia) directly from search.
- It now sounds more likely that the Galaxy S23 Ultra will get a 200MP camera.
- Trading in your Galaxy Z Flip 3 for the new Z Flip 4? Samsung’s silently adjusted its trade-in options.
- Meanwhile, market concerns have Samsung worried it won’t sell as many phones as in 2021, as the company drastically drops its shipment target.
- And Samsung revealed its biggest ever gaming monitor: The Odyssey Ark is bigger than most TVs at 55 inches, with impressive specs.
- Remember we mentioned how the Nothing Phone 1’s brightness rating dropped suddenly by 40%? Nothing clarifies why it reduced the phone’s brightness and future steps.
- And Nothing Phone 1 update brings Adaptive Battery, camera fixes, more.
- The Motorola Edge was announced, but will a nice screen and better camera be enough?
- As well as revealing its new foldable last week, Xiaomi unveiled CyberOne, its new humanoid robot that’s 5.8 feet tall and likes to give out flowers.
- Apple iPhone 14 series launch date tipped, and it could be just under a month to go.
- Meanwhile, analyst believes iPhone 14 Pro storage will continue to start at 128GB despite rumors of a price increase.
- Apple reportedly tried to partner with Facebook to get a cut of its revenue.
- And Apple requires employees to work out of its offices three times a week starting in September: they’ll need to go into the office Tuesdays, Thursdays, and a day set by their specific team.
- Also: Zoom fixes security flaw that let attackers hijack your Mac.
- Interesting: Apple’s in talks to make Apple Watches and MacBooks in Vietnam for the first time.
- Why NASA Wants to Go Back to the Moon: The upcoming lunar mission will launch the ambitious Artemis program, building on the landings 50 years ago.
- Scientists discover ‘uncontaminated extraterrestrial materials’ in ancient asteroid sample, could contain important clues about the evolution of the solar system and the origin of life on Earth.
- And China’s mysterious spaceplane still hasn’t landed yet: the plane launched almost two weeks ago and is still flying around, with the Chinese government stating it would remain in orbit for a “vague period of time.”
- Peloton raises prices, slashes jobs, and says it will close many retail stores: The Bike+ is going up from $500 to $2,495 while the Tread will rise from $800 to $3,495. Madness.
- The tax credit of $7,500 for Americans buying electric vehicles isn’t as great as it sounds: It’s estimated 70% of EVs currently available in the US market won’t be eligible for the credit.
- And evidence supports that cars should have physical buttons, not just screens.
- Airbnb launches “anti-party-tech” to spot potential rulebreakers when they book, using an algorithm designed to look at various signals like the length of the trip, history of positive reviews, and weekend vs weekday bookings.
- California ban on ‘addictive’ social media fails, but would have punished features that hooked children.
- Meanwhile, the line between headphones and hearing aids is about to get way blurrier as the FDA announces approval for over-the-counter hearing aids.
- Speaking of headphones, Adidas will now sell you a pair of solar headphones: The RPT-02 SOL can be charged with natural or artificial light (like your bedroom light) for up to 80 hours of playtime.
- Chinese scientists say maglev ‘sky train’ floats without power using permanent magnets.
- Colossal Biosciences, the company working to bring back the woolly mammoth, sets its sights on reviving the thylacine, or Tasmanian tiger, declared extinct in the 1930s.
- Did somebody say Skynet? Google’s teaching robots to think for themselves.
- A robot Dog with an RPG strapped to its back was demoed at Russian arms fair.
- And Tesla’s humanoid robot is being built to mow your lawn — Musk says the Tesla Bot may be widely available within a decade to take on “boring” tasks at home. We can dream!
- Elsewhere, Adam Neumann of WeWork infamy has already secured a $350 million investment in his new real estate company, Flow, valued at over $1 billion.
- American Airlines is purchasing 20 of Boom’s supersonic Overture jets, expected to reach 1.3k mph, could fly commercially by 2029.
- Karma police calling: YouTuber’s channel banned after viral tantrum over $2 empanada enrages Spain.
- Wondering what to watch this week? Check out the best new TV shows to stream this week, including House of the Dragon, the GoT spinoff.
- Plus, we’ve got the best new streaming movies this week, from Shudder’s Alone with You to the moving and funny International Falls.
- She-Hulk: Attorney At Law premiered on Disney Plus on Thursday — before you watch, why not take our quiz to see how well you really know the MCU?
- MGM (which is owned by Amazon) is making a viral video show based on footage from Ring security cameras: Ring Nation will be “a modern-day, surveillance-tinged spin on America’s Funniest Home Videos, with Wanda Sykes as host.
- Bad Sisters landed on Apple TV Plus and Mashable’s review calls Sharon Hogan’s dark comedy one of the streamer’s best shows yet.
- We saw a trailer for road trip thriller End of the Road, and it looks pretty nightmarish, coming to Netflix September 9.
- A trailer also dropped for Wednesday, and our first peek at the new Addams Family actually looks fun.
- Speaking of nightmarish, Mashable’s Orphan: First Kill review is in, and we agree it’s preposterous that Orphan got a sequel — but we still can’t wait to see it, opening in theaters, on digital, and streaming on Paramount Plus August 19.
- Sad news:Actor Anne Heche has died aged 53. The Evening Standard‘s retrospective of her life and career includes a selection of her best movies.
- Meanwhile, Netflix’s ad-supported plan may block offline viewing, code suggests.
- And Walmart Plus members will soon get Paramount+ streaming as part of their subscription.
- Finally: Move over cable — Streaming takes cable’s throne for the first time in US.
- Hogwarts Legacy delayed again until February 10, 2023, but Switch users will need to wait a bit longer.
- But there’s some good news for Switch fans as Nintendo won’t be hiking the handheld’s price just yet.
- Meanwhile, Nintendo reportedly plans to boost Switch supply by shrinking its packaging: A smaller box means the company can ship more units.
- Take Two reveals a new Lord of the Rings game, promising something different, but it’ll be a while before we hear anything, with the game expected to launch sometime in 2024.
- And some news on Dead Island 2 with images and a release date leaking, plus story details: Looks like February 3, 2023 is the date for your diary, with the game supposedly set in LA.
- Saints Row’s coming to PC, PlayStation, and Xbox on Tuesday (August 23) and you can check out the story trailer before it lands.
- The latest Humble Bundle includes most of the Resident Evil back catalog, plus a 50% off coupon for Resident Evil Village.
- Meanwhile, this month’s Xbox Game Pass loses Hades, gets Immortals: Fenyx Rising (August 31) and indie gem Coffee Talk, plus sci-fi visual novel, Opus: Echo of Starsong (August 25).
- Wired has a great guide to playing games from your Netflix account.
- And if you’re planning on trading in your PS4 for a PS5, our guide will tell you all you need to know.
- Disney and Marvel will hold a games showcase on September 9 at Disney’s D23 expo, with new game announcements plus something new for Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga, and updates on upcoming titles like Marvel’s Midnight Suns.
- Razer Kishi V2 review: Still the best Android gamepad (for now) – “The Kishi V2 is a fantastic way to transform your phone into a handheld gaming machine, though the undercooked companion app and continued omission of a headphone jack leave the door open for new challengers to do better” (Android Authority).
- Sony LinkBuds S review — “If you’re after a more affordable pair of true wireless buds with good sound, extensive smarts, and impressive noise cancellation, the LinkBuds S tick those boxes” (Trusted Reviews).
- Samsung QE55QN85B review — “There’s lots to like about the Samsung QE55QN85B, but then again there’s a fair bit to be irritated by” (Trusted Reviews).
- Don’t fret foldable fragility, everything will be fine… probably — “Early foldables had a dubious reputation but modern handsets are much more robust” (Android Authority).
- Android 13 features: All the biggest new additions — From design changes to functionality improvements (Android Authority).
- Police used a baby’s DNA to investigate its father for a crime: “Small pinpricks of blood are used to screen newborns for serious health conditions — but this genetic data can have legal uses too” (Wired).
- Have scholars finally identified the mysterious Somerton Man? “New DNA analysis suggests a body found on a beach in Australia in 1948 belongs to Carl Webb, an electrical engineer from Melbourne” (Smithsonian Magazine).
- This startup wants to copy you into an embryo for organ harvesting: “With plans to create realistic synthetic embryos, grown in jars, Renewal Bio is on a journey to the horizon of science and ethics” (MIT Technology Review).
This edition’s wonder: Two things that happened this week in history, starting with texting on an Excel spreadsheet…
Spreadsheet texting was never a thing
Cast your mind back to the summer of 2002. Twenty years ago this week, Nelly’s Dilemma hit number one on the Billboard Hot 100, after its June release. That means it’s also 20 years since we saw Kelly Rowland in the song’s video.
- In the video, Rowland uses a Nokia 9210 Communicator to text her beau.
- The phone flipped open lengthwise, revealing a color screen and full keyboard.
- But instead of sending a regular text, Rowland appears to be typing a message into the phone’s spreadsheet app.
- If you think that seems a bit weird, you’re not alone. How would the SMS actually reach anyone?
- Apparently, Nelly explained in a 2016 interview that texting via spreadsheet “was the thing at the time.”
I might be showing my age here, but from what I remember, it most definitely was not “the thing.” If you’d like to weigh in on this (or if you actually remember it being a thing) I’d love to hear from you!
Also: The Roanoke mystery
On August 18, 1590, the governor of the Roanoke Island Colony returned from his supply trip to England to find his settlement deserted and no trace of the 100 or so colonists he’d left behind. There were no signs of violence.
- The only clue was the word “CROATOAN,” carved into the palisade surrounding the settlement.
- At first, it was thought the group may have moved to Croatoan Island, some 50 miles away, but a search of the island turned up nothing.
- To this day, the fate of the settlers remains a mystery.
- In 1998, archaeologists found evidence of extreme drought in the area from 1587-1589. Perhaps the settlers left the camp, but where did they go?
- Other theories believe they were absorbed into a Native American tribe, the Croatans.
There are loads of fascinating podcast episodes about Roanoke, from true history deep dives to fictional horror shows like Roanoke Falls. You can listen on the best podcast apps for Android — and while you’re here, why not check out the best podcasts launched in 2021.
- August 23-28: Gamescom annual computer and video game convention, Cologne, Germany
- September 1: OnePlus 10T pre-orders open (US)
- September 2-6: IFA Berlin
- September 10 @ 9 PM CEST: Ubisoft Forward showcase
- September 29: OnePlus 10T on sale
- October 6: Pixel 7 launch? (TBC)
- October 13: Pixel 7 on sale? (TBC)
- 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
Tech Tweet of the Week
Okay but who makes the machines that make these semiconductor making machines? They’re the real winners. https://t.co/XViBCp0R3Q— RL (@RizWanKenobi_) August 18, 2022
Something extra: This could be the cutest thing you’ve seen all week — check out this squeaky red panda cub.
Have a fantastic week!
Paula Beaton, Copy Editor.