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The Weekly Authority: 📱 Flip 4, Far Out, and foldable patents
⚡ Welcome to The Weekly Authority, the Android Authority newsletter that breaks down the top Android and tech news from the week. The 209th edition here, with our Galaxy Z Flip 4 review, a new Google foldable patent, Apple’s Far Out event, and an upcoming Days Gone movie — plus much more.
👻 This week I’m off to the Edinburgh Festival to see (or should that be hear?) three of Darkfield‘s immersive shows, Eulogy, Flight, and Seance — and I’m not going to lie, I’m quite scared but also excited!
Popular news this week
- Following its reveal a couple of weeks ago, the Galaxy Z Flip 4 started shipping on Friday, and our review is in (below).
- Meanwhile, Samsung’s bringing Expert RAW to the Galaxy Z Fold 4, and you can check out our guide if you’re not sure how to use it.
- Samsung brings Galaxy Watch 5 faces to Galaxy Watch 4 in new update.
- It may not be your favorite brand, but after a decade, Samsung deserves to be the “face of Android.”
- Samsung’s latest gaming monitors have Google Stadia, GeForce Now, and more built-in.
- New patent shows Google’s foldable phone with a bezel camera.
- Pixel owners beware: Wireless charging has stopped for some Pixel owners after Android 13 update.
- Google Pixel 7 prototypes get surprisingly extensive hands-on video.
- Google may make pairing Wear OS watches with new phones less of a headache.
- And Dev creates app that alerts you whenever you send data to Google, but there’s a catch.
- Meanwhile, YouTube’s adding a watermark to your shorts when you share them outside the platform.
- Nothing reveals Android 13 launch window on Phone 1, and it’s not soon.
- We asked what you thought of Xiaomi’s Mix Fold 2 and the results are in.
- Motorola quietly confirms which phones will get Android 13.
- Apple confirmed rumors, announcing its Far Out event, and it’s really soon — though there’s no word of the iPhone 14 launching, it’s all but certain at this point.
- Search ads could arrive in Apple Maps as early as next year, according to Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman.
- Former Apple employee pleads guilty to stealing self-driving car secrets: Xiaolang Zhang faces up to ten years in prison and up to $250,000 in fines.
- Meanwhile, Apple employees launch petition to protest return-to-office plans.
- Did you get spammed by the Facebook bug that filled users’ feeds with endless posts from celebrity accounts?
- Creepy: TikTok’s monitoring your keystrokes — The company’s in-app browser could be tracking your activity on outside websites and could even capture your credit card information or passwords.
- Twitter security is a huge mess, according to whistleblower Peiter “Mudge” Zatko, who’s just been fired as Twitter’s head of security and wrote a report outlining a whole host of issues, including that “more than half of Twitter employees had direct access to the service’s live code and data.”
- Elon Musk subpoenas Jack Dorsey as he prepares for October 17 trial — the subpoena “seeks information related to false or spam accounts and information about how Twitter reports on spam accounts.”
- Space Launch System heads to the launch pad ahead of maiden flight, on track for August 29.
- Meanwhile, the first commercial greenhouse in space is planned to launch by spring 2023.
- And the James Webb Telescope captures surreal images of Jupiter’s auroras.
- A $1,200 phone was the most popular Android phone in North America in Q2 2022.
- A surprise Fitbit launch on Wednesday saw Fitbit launch three new wearables: the Fitbit 2, Versa 4, and Inspire 3 are all available for pre-order now.
- And Sony announced a September 1 event, hinting at a compact device, which could mean the Xperia 5 IV is coming.
- The post-Leica HUAWEI Mate 50 series is officially launching next month, almost two years after the Mate 40 line.
- This week also saw the launch of the DJI Avata hybrid racing drone that’s easy to fly and offers a fun experience.
- Now even Redmi Note phones may skip the bundled charger: Is no phone line safe?
- Leak reveals Bose’s upcoming QuietComfort Earbuds II: they look significantly more compact.
- And this cool rugged Chromebook prototype is made of recycled materials — it’s no slouch when it comes to performance either.
- Elsewhere, T-Mobile is bringing Starlink satellite coverage to users, with a beta program expected by the end of next year — but there’s a big catch.
- Tesla is upping the price of its Full Self-Driving feature to $15,000 in North America, up from an already lofty $12,000.
- Speaking of, Tesla wants videos of its cars running over child-sized dummies taken down, alleges they’re defamatory.
- And UK drivers may not be liable for accidents when their vehicle is self-driving later this decade. Instead, manufacturers will take the fall.
- Also: Data privacy bill would give you more control over info collected about you and force companies to change how they handle data.
- Finally this week: DuckDuckGo now offers its anti-tracking email service to everyone, and adds new features, too.
- Over 10 million tuned in for the House of the Dragon premier, but just how much do you know about Game of Thrones? We’ve also got some shows like House of the Dragon you’ll enjoy.
- Speaking of fantasy, we saw a new LOTR: The Rings of Power trailer, and we’re excited — we also asked which you’re more excited about, House of the Dragon or The Rings of Power…
- We got a tantalizing 20-second glimpse of HBO’s The Last of Us adaptation, showing Pedro Pascal and Bella Ramsey as Joel and Ellie.
- Speaking of adaptations, Sony’s reportedly making a Days Gone movie, which may seem like a strange choice, but is likely down to the game’s newfound success on PC.
- And Umbrella Academy creator Steve Blackman’s adapting Horizon Zero Dawn for Netflix.
- Good news: Netflix’s ad-supported tier might not play commercials during newer original movies, possibly kids’ content too.
- Meanwhile, a new Google TV update improves speed and storage, finally.
- It’s been a week for security breaches: You should change your Plex password now as the service announced a potential data breach, and on Friday, LastPass also confirmed a breach, though the company said user data and master passwords weren’t compromised.
- Cineworld, the number two movie theater chain in the world, is preparing to file for bankruptcy.
- And the revamped MoviePass is making its comeback on Labor Day, launching a new beta service accessible by invite only — the service has already partnered with a quarter of US theaters, with pricing ranging from $10 to $30 per month.
- A new movie based on the rise and fall of BlackBerry recently wrapped production. Yes, really.
- Gamescom kicked off Tuesday night, and we’ve already seen Sony’s new customizable PS5 controller, the DualSense Edge, new footage for Hogwarts Legacy, The Callisto Protocol, and more, a Sonic Frontiers release date (November 8), and an official Dead Island 2 announcement — plus the announcement of open-world survival MMO Dune Awakening, Deck 13’s fantasy action RPG Atlas Fallen, New Tales from the Borderlands (coming in October), and much. much more.
- We also saw the reveal trailer for Destiny 2 Lightfall at the game’s showcase, which you can catch up on here.
- Speaking of Dead Island 2, you’ll apparently be able to use Amazon Alexa to distract zombies and trigger in-game actions.
- And we heard from former Bethesda Games Studio developer Jeff Gardiner, who unveiled new studio, Something Wicked Games. It’s making a brand new occult RPG called Wyrdsong, which looks, well, weird (but great).
- You can now play Death Stranding on PC Game Pass, but Sony says it wasn’t involved with the PC launch.
- PlayStation’s been hit by a $5.9 billion lawsuit for ‘ripping people off’ on digital games —the argument is the company shouldn’t be using its “near-monopoly” on the sale of digital games to enforce higher prices, like the 30% commission fee charged in the UK PlayStation Store.
- Sony also confirmed PS VR2 is coming to market “in early 2023.”
- The PS5 just got a price hike in Canada, Europe, and more regions — but US consumers aren’t affected, for now.
- And while we’re on the Sony subject, here are seven things you (probably) didn’t know your PS5 could do.
- Google Play Games opened its beta to let more Android users play games on PC.
- Meanwhile, Valve released a new beta that completely revamps the Steam mobile app, with a UI and framework overhaul plus several new features.
- Negative reviews of the new Saints Row game are flooding in, with VGC calling it “generic” and IGN saying it’s “more like a repetitive retread than a proper reboot,” though there are positive takes on it out there too.
- Finally this week: Zuckerberg confirms new Meta VR headset is arriving in October. And Meta accounts and Horizon profiles arrived on Tuesday, so you no longer need a Facebook login for your Quest.
- Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4 review: Happy as a clamshell — “There’s no doubt that the Galaxy Z Flip 4 will keep Samsung’s dominance in the foldable market rolling for at least another year.”
- Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 Pro review: Ready for adventure — “While several exciting new launches on the horizon could challenge the status quo, for now, this is the best Wear OS watch you can buy — just expect to pay a premium for it.”
- Samsung Galaxy Book 2 Pro review: Ultra-light delight — “While there’s still some room for improvement — particularly the awkward speakers and unwelcome bloatware — the Galaxy Book 2 Pro is an impressively compact ultra-thin productivity laptop that will delight all comers.”
- Galaxy Buds 2 Pro take the fight to Sony to be the king of noise-cancelling buds — They’re not the king of noise-cancelling, but perhaps a prince (Android Authority).
- With no real competition, Samsung is already coasting on its foldable lineup — “It’s still possible to blow a lead, even with the finish line in sight” (Android Authority).
- How to stop robots from becoming racist — “Algorithms can amplify patterns of discrimination. Robotics researchers are calling for new ways to prevent mechanical bodies acting out those biases” (Wired).
- To protect the ocean, some ships harness renewable energy — “Wind power is one of the ways companies aim to reduce the carbon dioxide that’s harming the ocean” (The Washington Post, $).
- These scientists are working to extend the life span of pet dogs — and their owners: “Anti-aging drugs are being trialed in companion dogs — but the goal is to find ways to have people, as well as beloved pets, live longer, healthier lives” (MIT Technology Review).
- Something I enjoyed reading this week: The man who bought Pine BLUff, Arkansas (maxread.substack.com).
I’m still surrounded by moving boxes, so I thought for this week’s edition of the Weekly Wonder, I’d look at some tech-related things that can help with your move.
Last week my colleague C. Scott Brown wrote about moving house, and how he realized that saving tech product boxes was useless.
- I must admit to being guilty of hoarding tech product boxes myself, with a “never know when it might be needed” mentality.
- However, they’re definitely an extra thing to sort and pack amongst a mountain of stuff, and ultimately I realized that the smaller I can get that mountain, the less stressful my move will be.
- I’ve binned about 90% of my tech boxes, keeping just a couple for larger items that are still in warranty, but they double as packaging for moving the items, so I figure that works.
We asked you if you kept your tech product boxes, and it turns out very few of you actually throw all your boxes away, with the majority (45.2%) saying they only threw out some of their boxes. Almost as many of you (44.5%) kept all your tech boxes, with just 10.3% of polled readers saying they threw all their boxes out — and that’s probably a sensible choice if you’re battling limited storage space.
Moving with your smart home tech
There’s so much to think about when moving home, like migrating your smart home tech, as well as considering home security for your new place.
- Smart doorbells, thermostats, locks, and outdoor security cameras — as well as other hard-mounted products — can all be cumbersome when moving, so it may make more sense to leave them behind.
- It’s often easier to invest in a new wireless security camera, smart video doorbell, or window coverings like smart blinds or shades rather than taking your existing smart home tech with you, though that can be prohibitive given the seemingly endless cost of moving.
Luckily, that’s not an issue for my move — I’m relocating from an older property that doesn’t even have electric lighting in all the rooms, let alone any smart home tech setup.
One thing I’m definitely aware of through all this, though, is the importance of getting enough sleep to combat the stress of moving. Sleep tracker apps are really helpful here, as are meditation apps — Calm has been helping me stay sane, but there are plenty of other good choices out there.
Roll on moving day!📦
- Now until August 28: Gamescom
- September 1: OnePlus 10T pre-orders open (US)
- September 1 @ 3 AM ET: Sony Xperia launch event (Xperia 5 IV?)
- September 2-6: IFA Berlin
- September 6: HUAWEI Mate 50 series launch
- September 7 @ 10 AM PT (1 PM ET, 7 PM CET): Apple’s Far Out event
- 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
- 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
TikTok taking over all forms of culture pic.twitter.com/6ZjOMzuihn— Trung Phan (@TrungTPhan) August 23, 2022
Have a wonderful week!
Paula Beaton, Copy Editor.