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The Weekly Authority: 👀 Pixel Fold renders break cover
⚡ Welcome to The Weekly Authority, the Android Authority newsletter that breaks down the top Android and tech news from the week. The 224th edition here, with Pixel Fold renders, our Reader’s Choice Phone of the Year Awards winner, sad Noodle news, everything you missed at The Game Awards, and more…
😅 I was going to let ChatGPT write this week’s intro, but it made up a random fact that didn’t check out, so I guess we’re not at any risk of being replaced by AI just yet! This week, I’ve been enjoying playing Cozy Grove on my new Switch (while being told I should be playing The Callisto Protocol, but nope, too scared).
Popular news this week
- New Pixel Fold leaks show one wide foldy boi.
- Spatial Audio support is coming to your Pixel via these apps.
- And your Pixel can now keep Wi-Fi on when Airplane Mode is enabled.
- Google picks the best Android apps and games of 2022; will your favorites make the cut?
- And Google published its top trending searches of the year.
- Good news for Chrome fans: Google Chrome is about to get less power and memory hungry — plus, it just got this Windows 95 feature.
- Google merges its Waze and Maps teams to cut costs, doesn’t bode well for Waze’s independence.
- Google Wallet preps ID card and driver’s license support for Android devices in the US.
- Google Photos tests new search function to let you find people by their face.
- Plus, New Google Camera update revives a key Pixel feature for older phones.
- Also: Google TV mobile app starts rolling out Material You redesign.
- The first photo of Samsung’s smart wireless charger spotted, and device specs too.
- Samsung’s Galaxy S22 falls to two zero-day hacks in one day, albeit at Pwn2Own hacking event in Austin.
- And Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 series is now getting a minor performance update.
- An official OnePlus 11 render leaked online, and it’s looking increasingly likely the Pro moniker’s been dropped.
- OnePlus announces it’s making a ‘fully customizable’ mechanical keyboard — more details coming December 15.
- Xiaomi 13 series finally gets a new launch date after previous delay: December 11 is the date for your diaries.
- Nothing says it’s in talks with US carriers for a future smartphone, but don’t expect the Phone 2 anytime soon.
- Motorola announces the new Moto G Play (2023), the latest in its budget phone lineup, coming to the US and Canada January 12.
- Apple makes plans to move production out of China, with turmoil at iPhone City propelling plans.
- There’s now a specific date for when Apple needs to stop using Lightning: December 28, 2024, though we’ll likely see a UBS-C iPhone well before then.
- Apple also announced big changes to App Store pricing with 700 new price points.
- And Apple is adding end-to-end encryption to iCloud backups: It’s also following Google’s lead by supporting physical security keys for Apple ID logins, as well as contact verification tech for iMessage.
- Facebook will use age-confirming AI to check if you’re old enough to date.
- Apple and Amazon resume advertising on Twitter, according to reports.
- Elon Musk reportedly wants his most ‘hardcore’ Tweeps to sleep in beds at Twitter HQ.
- That’s one way to solve it… Twitter Blue will reportedly cost $11 in App Store so Musk can avoid Apple fees.
- After the Artemis I mission’s brilliant success, why is an encore 2 years away?
- NASA’s developing a robotic arm that can function during the Moon’s frigid nights: COLDArm can withstand temperatures of -280 degrees Fahrenheit.
- And NASA’s Orion spacecraft snaps some mind-bending images from the Moon.
- The results are in for our Reader’s Choice Phone of the Year awards — but which phone took the crown?
- realme announces it’s launching the realme 10 Pro series globally: The 10 Pro starts at $319, the 10 Pro Plus at $379
- Looks like Tecno’s beaten OPPO to the punch: You can now buy a phone with a retractable rear camera.
- New AI chatbot is scary good: ChatGPT is causing jaws to drop, creating articles and poems that sound scarily human, but what are the risks? Right now, you can create an account and try ChatGPT for free.
- Photo editing app Lensa soars to the top of the Apple charts with its AI selfie generator.
- Telegram introduces no-SIM signups, auto-delete chats, and more.
- Meanwhile, Amazon wants to give you $2 a month to spy on your phone usage.
- Microsoft may be mulling a super app to take on Google and Apple.
- TSMC, the world’s largest contract chip maker, hosted a tool-in ceremony for its first factory in Phoenix, Arizona, on December 6, plans to triple its investment to $40 billion.
- Elsewhere, Rad Trike is a new three-wheeled car replacement from Rad Power.
- And Musk’s in trouble again: Nerualink faces federal probe, employee backlash over animal tests.
- First, some sad news: Kirstie Alley, star of Cheers and Look Who’s Talking, died at 71.
- Bad news for Roku device owners: You can’t get the cheaper Disney Plus with ads plan.
- Something more cheery: It’s the Disney Plus Christmas Guide to the best holiday shows and movies, from Home Alone to… Hawkeye?
- Streamed Wednesday on Netflix? The viral dance from the show is now all over TikTok.
- Speaking of, here’s the history of Netflix: The DVD rental company that changed the world.
- We saw a new trailer for HBO’s The Last of Us series, putting Joel and Ellie’s relationship in the spotlight.
- And it looks like when HBO Max and Discovery Plus merge, they’ll have a new name, which will apparently be “Max.”
- Meanwhile, some weekend watching inspo with the week’s best new streaming movies, including Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio. Plus, this week’s best new streaming shows, including Harry & Meghan.
- We sort of wish this was us: A Goonies fan has bought the house from the movie.
- Microsoft is raising its Xbox game prices: New, first-party Xbox Series X|S games will cost $70 at launch in 2023.
- The FTC is suing to block Microsoft from buying Activision, largely due to Sony’s complaints.
- Fortnite Chapter 4 brings a whole new map and Geralt of Rivia in the battle pass.
- Kotaku‘s review of The Callisto Protocol is in: Apparently, it’s one of the most ambitious games reviewer Ashley Bardan has played this year.
- If you missed The Game Awards on Thursday, you can catch up here — suffice to say, Elden Ring won Game of The Year, surprising nobody, and Friday’s Daily Authority has more. We’re covering some of the announcement highlights below, in the Weekly Wonder.
- Popular video game Sifu is being adapted into a live-action feature film.
- Meanwhile, Diablo 4 development plagued by chaos and mismanagement, claims new report, threatening June 6 release.
- And FromSoftware reveals Armored Core 6 for PS5, PS4, out next year.
- Google Nest Wifi Pro review: Wi-Fi 6E on the cheap — “Google’s Nest Wifi Pro is fast, good-looking, and easy to use. Just don’t expect built-in smart speakers this time” (Android Authority).
- Cricket Wireless vs Tello: Which carrier is better for you? “It may come down to a battle of price vs. features” (Android Authority).
- Eero 6 review: “A great budget mesh system that uses the latest Wi-Fi 6 technology” (Trusted Reviews).
- The Philips Hue Festavia are the smart lights I didn’t know I needed for my Christmas tree: “You can change them to just about any color, control them with Alexa, and even sync them with Spotify” (Tom’s Guide).
- Google Assistant commands: Here are the ones you need to know — including how to get Google Assistant to listen to you (Android Authority).
- A beginner’s guide to the Xiaomi camera app: Here’s what those settings and modes do — From the viewfinder to settings and camera modes (Android Authority).
- The quiet disappearance of the safe deposit box — “Once revered as the safest way to store physical valuables, safe deposit boxes are now being phased out by major banks. The move is already starting to backfire” (The Hustle).
- A recession looms over the posh world of influencers — “With energy prices soaring and inflation taking off, the business of flaunting luxury might stop booming” (Wired).
The Game Awards took place on Thursday night, and it was an action-packed event, to say the least, with new trailers, announcements, and of course, awards. Eurogamer has a great roundup, but here are a few announcement highlights:
We saw a reveal trailer for Hellboy Web of Wyrd, a roguelite action-adventure with cool comic book styling.
As if the prospect of the Silent Hill 2 remake wasn’t exciting enough, the world premier trailer for Post Trauma looks truly creepy and is going straight on my wishlist.
Bioshock’s chief developer Ken Levine’s back with a new game that looks a lot like Bioshock (no bad thing), called Judas, coming in 2023.
We were promised an update on Kojima’s next game, and we got it, though no great surprises: It’s Death Stranding 2.
Some awesome news for Hades fans — Supergiant announced Hades 2 and we saw a debut trailer.
I’m all over anything post-apocalyptic, so pretty excited for After Us, Silent Division’s new atmospheric adventure game, coming next year.
The final game I can’t wait for is Banishers: Ghosts of New Eden, Don’t Nod’s new action RPG, coming next year.
- On the VR front, we saw a world premier trailer for Horizon Call of the Mountain as well as a reveal of the upcoming Ghostbusters: Rise of the Ghost Lord, coming to PSVR 2 and Meta Quest in 2023.
- We also saw a story and gameplay teaser for Tekken 8, plus a new trailer for Street Fighter 6, out June 2, 2023.
- There was a first in-engine look at open-world survival MMO Dune Awakening.
- We saw a demo announcement trailer for Forspoken — you can play the demo now on PS5.
- And there was a trailer — plus an announcement date — for Diablo 4: June 6, 2023.
- On the DLC front, Sony revealed PS5-exclusive Horizon Forbidden West DLC Burning Shores, coming April 19, 2023, while we saw a trailer for Cyberpunk 2077 DLC Phantom Liberty (Idris Elba’s in it!) coming 2023. There was also a trailer for Dead Cells DLC Return to Castlevania, coming Q1 2023.
- We’ll finish up with the new trailer for Final Fantasy 16, dubbed Revenge, with a confirmed June 22 release date.
- No doubt many of these games will make it into our best PS5 games and best Xbox Series X/S games picks when they’re released next year!
- December 11: Xiaomi 13 series launch date
- December 14: OPPO Inno Day 2022
- January 5-8, 2023: CES 2023 (Las Vegas)
- January 12: Motorola Moto G Play launches (US and Canada)
- February (date TBC): Samsung Unpacked (Galaxy S23?)
Tweet of the Week
This ChatGPT MUD spell feels like a real first order approximation of the AI-conjured parts of the metaverse. https://t.co/UmXk3u3GwN— gfodor (@gfodor) December 4, 2022
Something sad: Noodle, TikTok’s ‘No Bones Day’ pug, has died at 14
Have a wonderful week!
Paula Beaton, Copy Editor.