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The Weekly Authority: 💻 Chrome's ad blocking's safe, for now
⚡ Welcome to The Weekly Authority, the Android Authority newsletter that breaks down the top Android and tech news from the week. The 225th edition here, with an update on Chrome’s ad blocking, OPPO’s new foldables, Motorola’s crazily-priced flagship, our favorite geeky podcasts for the holidays, and more.
⛄Just as we thought it couldn’t get any colder here, it was -8°C when I left the house this morning. Then I watched a documentary about life in Yakutsk, the world’s coldest city, where temperatures regularly reach below -30°C. Eek!
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Popular news this week
- Ad blocking in Chrome is safe again — at least until next March.
- Google announces its favorite Chrome extensions of the year: Tango is just one standout pick, creating a how-to guide when you record yourself walking through a process.
- RIP Passwords? Passkey support rolls out to Chrome stable, with a huge list of caveats.
- Google enables Matter on Google, Nest, and Android products you already own, making it easier to customize your smart home with other brands.
- Google explains how it works its AI magic to label speakers in Pixel Recorder.
- Bad news for Pixel owners: Google Store drastically cuts trade-in value of Pixel phones to no more than $205.
- Google Lens just became slightly less accessible on Pixel phones — you can still access it, but it’ll take a few extra taps.
- Google Home routines keep saying that the Nest x Yale lock has ‘been unlocked.’
- And YouTube users will get a 24-hour timeout if their toxic comments are removed, though they’ll be notified first.
- Samsung Good Lock is finally available in more countries: If you’re in Europe, Latin America, and a couple of Asian countries, you can now find the apps in the Galaxy Store.
- Samsung reportedly ditches Samsung, will rely on Samsung for future Samsung chips: Samsung has apparently formed a chip development team within its mobile unit, with the purported goal of making custom phone chips. The company currently relies on a sister unit for its Exynos chips.
- Oppo’s Galaxy Z Fold 4, Z Flip 4 rivals launch: OPPO Find N2, Find N2 Flip are here, though a global launch is still under discussion.
- OPPO Find X6 leak gives us a first look at OPPO’s next flagship.
- And OPPO claims its Bluetooth audio chip delivers wired quality.
- Motorola’s new flagship is here with crazy-good specs and a crazier price: A Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 and 165Hz screen for under $500? Yes, please.
- Meanwhile, a leak suggests Motorola may also be making a smartphone for its parent company Lenovo under the “ThinkPhone.”
- And Motorola expands the list of phones getting Android 13.
- Captured on video: iPhone 14 helps rescue couple from 300-foot canyon drop.
- Apple allegedly working on app sideloading for iPhones, but only for the EU market.
- And Apple has also just fixed a zero-day vulnerability on iPhones that was actively exploited by hackers.
- Tim Cook admits that iPhones use Sony camera sensors.
- Plus, Apple debuts new app: Freeform is designed for ideation and collaboration.
- Twitter to increase Tweet character limit to 4,000, Elon Musk says.
- And Musk has stopped paying the rent for Twitter’s offices.
- Twitter suspends account that tracked Elon Musk’s private jet, despite Musk previously saying he wouldn’t ban this account back in November.
- Off the deep end: Elon Musk starts banning critical journalists from Twitter. He also ignored the results of his own poll when users suggested he unban them “now.”
- Twitter is also now banning links to its competitor, Mastodon.
- A new bill seeks to ban TikTok in the US for good.
- And Instagram rolls out new features including Notes and Candid Stories.
- The Orion capsule splashed down in the Pacific, ending a massively successful Artemis I moon mission for NASA.
- NASA hid these Easter eggs for space nerds on the Artemis 1 Orion.
- Check out this cinematic video of the 25-day Artemis mission, captured in just 60 seconds.
- The star feature of next-gen ASUS laptops is from another dimension.
- ARM won’t sell its latest chip designs in China due to US and UK export controls.
- Scary: AI image generation tech can now create life-wrecking deepfakes with ease.
- These exclusive satellite images show that Saudi Arabia’s sci-fi megacity is well underway.
- You know you want to read them: The 50 best and funniest tweets of 2022.
- Elon Musk gets viciously booed by the stadium crowd at Dave Chappelle show.
- Tesla launches Steam integration for the new Model S and X vehicles, giving owners access to thousands of games.
- New research reveals the spray when a toilet is flushed — and it could reach up to 5 feet (1.5m) in height.
- Also this week: FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried could face up to 115 years in prison.
- Finally: US scientists boost clean power hopes with fusion energy breakthrough.
- Looking for something to watch this weekend? Here are the best new streaming movies worth checking out, including psychological thriller The Apology.
- Looking for something that the kids can watch? Check out our rundown of the 30 best kids movies on Disney Plus in 2022.
- Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio is a gnarly and spiritual fairy tale about what makes life beautiful.
- Is it worth upgrading to the Amazon Fire TV Voice Remote Pro?: Our own Roger Fingas gives his verdict.
- Amazon confirms it’s making a God of War TV show.
- Bad news for Henry Cavill fans: He won’t now return as Superman; James Gunn writing new movie.
- Video game Death Stranding’s getting a movie adaptation.
- Finally, the trailer for Adam Driver’s new sci-fi thriller 65 — from the writers of A Quiet Place — looks intriguing.
- Leaks suggest The Last Of Us Part 3 is already in production At Naughty Dog, but take this with a pinch of salt.
- Will Valve make a Steam Deck 2 or a ‘Pro’ model? Now we know the answer.
- Speaking of Steam, one of its most popular games is about watching rubber duckies float: Placid Plastic Duck Simulator gets a 98% positive review.
- The first reviews of High on Life on Xbox Game Pass are in, and here’s what the critics are saying (Pure Xbox).
- Amazon Games is branching out — It’ll publish Crystal Dynamics’ follow-up to Tomb Raider: Shadow of the Tomb Raider
- Speaking of Amazon, Prime’s giving out free games, including Dishonored 2, Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons, original Quake, and more.
- Epic Games is taking a bunch of Rock Band and Unreal Tournament games offline, leaves many questions about purchased songs and more.
- Also: 🐴 You can finally pet Roach in The Witcher 3! Give that horse the love she deserves.
- Plus: The folks over at Nintendo Life check in with their Nintendo Switch Year in Review — Most played games.
- The iPad Pro M2 makes an extraordinary tablet feel a little more ordinary (Android Authority).
- Razor EcoSmart Cargo review: An electric scooter built for two (Tom’s Guide).
- Bose Sport Earbuds review: “The Bose Sport Earbuds offer an excellent fit, with great comfort levels and a design that’s built to last. Add in a sufficiently enjoyable audio performance and clear call quality, and the Sport Earbuds are a great option for fitness fanatics” (Trusted Reviews).
- This year, I fell back in love with Chrome OS: “Do you know how much Chrome OS has evolved in recent years?” (Android Authority).
- We got an exclusive interview with Carl Pei about his plans for Nothing phones, and the challenges of running a tech company with a small team (Android Authority).
- How US police use counterterrorism money to buy spy tech: “A new report shows that federal aid from FEMA is often used to buy surveillance equipment, without the public knowing much about it” (MIT Technology Review).
- In a future filled With electric cars, AM radio may be left behind: “Carmakers say electromagnetic interference causes static and noise on AM transmissions, annoying customers. Broadcasters say they could lose a connection to their core listeners, who rely on the radio for emergencies” (NYT).
- New record set: DNA that was frozen for 2 million years has been sequenced — “The ancient DNA fragments come from a Greenland ecosystem where mastodons roamed among flowering plants. It may hold clues to how to survive a warming climate” (MIT Technology Review).
Hard to believe that this time next week, we’ll be winding down for a weekend of festivities and Christmas movies. But whether you’re celebrating with turkey, presents, and all the trimmings, or just taking a break from work to chill, we know you’re going to be keeping on top of all the tech news on the AA site, our Twitter, and over on YouTube too (you are, right?!)
For those days when screen time isn’t on the cards, we’ve put together a few of our favorite tech, science, and generally nerdy podcasts to help you get your geek on and stay on top of the latest news over the festive season. So here they are, our top picks — add one, two, or them all, to your podcast app of choice!
Best for an Android deep dive: Android Bytes
Mishaal Rahman and David Ruddock chat with Android experts and ask super-nerdy questions about all things Android, like “What are the hidden costs of building an Android phone?” If you need your Android fix over the holidays, this is a must-listen, with episodes ranging from 30 minutes to an hour — and there’s a huge back catalog to listen to, as well.
Best over breakfast: The Hustle Daily Show
The Hustle Daily Show remains one of my favorite podcasts for a quick catch-up of the day’s top stories. Hosts Zachary Crockett, Juliet Bennett Rylah, Jacob Cohen, and Rob Litterst provide a daily dose of offbeat and informative takes on all the latest business and tech news. Each episode’s around 10-15 minutes in length, making this a great way to get tech headlines over breakfast.
Best for smart home and IoT enthusiasts: Internet of Things
This weekly podcast is packed with news and analysis on smart home, industrial internet of things, enterprise internet of things, and more, from co-hosts Stacey Higginbottom and Kevin Tofel. Episodes run around an hour long, perfect for a lazy afternoon’s listening on the couch.
Best for behind-the-scenes stories: Business Wars
Not strictly a tech podcast but a riveting listen nonetheless, Business Wars dives deep into the cutthroat world of business as host David Brown shares the stories behind the world’s biggest business rivalries through clever sound design and reimagined conversations. New episodes land Wednesdays, and there are already over 450 for you to listen to.
Best for science nerds: Flash Forward
I’ve been a fan of Flash Forward since it began, looking at possible (and not so possible) future scenarios every week, answering questions like “How would diplomacy work if we couldn’t lie?” or “Could we all live underground?” Host and award-winning science journalist Rose Eveleth presents a combination of investigative journalism and audio drama that’s truly engaging. Sadly, the podcast itself ended in 2021, but its new immersive drama, Welcome to Vanguard Estates, has landed, and you can pick your own route through the story. It’s definitely worth a listen this holiday season.
Best for gamers: Kinda Funny Games Daily
When I can’t be bothered reading the games headlines from the week but want to stay abreast of what’s happening, Kinda Funny Games Daily is where I turn. This podcast’s vibe is very much a group of friends chatting about all things gaming, which I guess is why it’s the world’s most popular daily video game news podcast. Hosts Greg “GameOverGreggy” Miller, Tim Gettys, Blessing Adeoye, and Star Wars Rogue One writer Gary Whitta, the podcast covers the latest in PlayStation, Xbox, Nintendo, and other gaming news, with a cast of guests and games industry veterans.
While you’re here, why not check out our roundup of the best podcasts to listen to on Spotify? Or for something a little darker, we’ve also chosen some of the best true crime podcasts, though we don’t recommend listening before bed…
- 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?)
Tech Tweet of the Week
The comments here are comedy gold…
This guy’s about to found Dark Microsoft pic.twitter.com/tTiPX5ydOY— Brendan James (@deep_beige) December 3, 2022
Something extra: Awww, Christmas for dogs (h/t The Hustle).
Have a wonderful week!
Paula Beaton, Copy Editor.