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The Weekly Authority: 👀 Pixel 7a peek
⚡ Welcome to The Weekly Authority, the Android Authority newsletter that breaks down the top Android and tech news from the week. The 223rd edition here, with a first peek at the Pixel 7a, why you shouldn’t go for a stroll in NYC with $95,000 in iPhones, free Steam Decks, and more…
🎮 I may have bought a Nintendo Switch in the Black Friday sales, and have spent more time adding games to my wishlist than actually playing it so far! Seeing all the cozy games aimed at younger gamers left me wondering just how safe our kids are online, which brings us nicely to our sponsor for this week:
Thanks to Wondershare for sponsoring today’s newsletter!
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Popular news this week
- New leak gives us our first glimpse at the Pixel 7a; could take some design cues from the Pixel 7.
- Free Google One VPN is finally here for Pixel 7 series owners.
- Google Maps and Keep are no longer available on Wear OS 2 watches.
- And Google announces new Android features just in time for the holidays, including a new reading mode and Wear OS features.
- Also: Google’s Pixel Recorder app just got even better with speaker labels.
- The Galaxy Z Flip 5 could have two major design changes, most notably a larger external display.
- Samsung executive reveals when the Galaxy S23 could be unveiled.
- And all three Samsung Galaxy S23 phones have hit the FCC, revealing some details.
- Leaked OnePlus Nord CE 3 renders show a sleek phone.
- OnePlus now matches Samsung’s Android update pledge, but there’s a catch: No word on specific models just yet.
- Umm: Man discovers why walking in NYC with $95,000 in iPhones is a bad idea.
- Apple announces 2022 App Store award winners: BeReal took the App of the Year spot.
- Ever wondered what an iPhone with a Galaxy-style curved screen would look like? Have a look at this modded monstrosity.
- And iPhone Pro wait times hit new peak after factory disruptions — expect to wait as long as 37 days.
- Apple’s upcoming mixed-reality headset will run on “xrOS” platform: The “xR” apparently stands for “extended reality.”
- Also: Man used iPhone 14 satellite alerts to get rescued in Alaska.
- Elon Musk threatens to build an alternative to Android and iPhone, but here’s why we doubt it’ll happen.
- Musk is delaying Twitter’s paid verification to avoid Apple’s 30% cut.
- And, Twitter claims ‘none of our policies have changed’ as advertisers continue to flee.
- Meanwhile, Elon Musk suspends Kanye West’s account for breaking Twitter rules.
- A 12,000 lb. metal sculpture of Elon Musk’s head on a goat body riding a rocket parked outside Tesla HQ failed to elicit a response from the billionaire.
- NASA’s Orion capsule is now successfully orbiting the moon, marking the halfway mark of the Artemis 1 mission.
- Austin firm ICON wins NASA contract for lunar construction: Engineers will examine lunar regolith — dust and broken rocks — to determine their mechanical behavior in simulated lunar gravity.
- The hibernator’s guide to the galaxy: “Scientists are on the verge of figuring out how to put humans in a state of suspended animation. It could be the key to colonizing Mars.”
- Customers spent a record $9.1 billion online over Black Friday weekend.
- A Galaxy Z Flip 4-style foldable may be days away and it just leaked on video.
- Gorilla Glass Victus 2 launched, focusing on concrete drops: We’ll likely see this on several phones in 2023.
- Epic’s free app that turns real-life items into 3D models is available now on iOS.
- This upcoming smartwatch lets you store your earbuds inside it, and you can check out a hands-on video of it right now — though its launch date has been delayed, with no new date announced yet.
- New app trying to bring iMessage to Android may have found secret formula.
- You can finally have the same WhatsApp account on two phones; follow this guide. This is possible thanks to WhatsApp now supporting your account on tablets.
- Meanwhile, Rolls-Royce has tested a hydrogen-powered jet engine, a technology that could change the aviation industry in the future.
- Tesla recalled ~80k vehicles in China due to software and seat belt issues.
- Lastpass says hackers accessed customer data in new breach: That’s the second breach this year, though the company says passwords weren’t compromised.
- FCC bans telecom and video surveillance gear from Huawei, ZTE, and other Chinese companies.
- And Eufy cameras have been uploading unencrypted footage to the cloud without owners knowing.
- Elon Musk claims Neurlalink is about “six months” away from first human trial following a show and tell on Wednesday.
- Prescription poop is here: FDA approves fecal slurry for unshakeable diarrhea.
- Finally: UN adds French baguette to world heritage list, alongside kimchi and Arabic coffee.
- These were the top YouTube videos of 2022 — from Technoblade’s touching farewell to Will Smith’s infamous slap, and more.
- Speaking of, there are so many YouTube TV channels on the platform that it can be bewildering. We’ve listed them all here for you.
- From WandaVision to CHiPs, Rolling Stone has an excellent roundup of the best TV theme songs of all time.
- It’s coming — The Mandalorian Season 3: Release date, story, and everything else we know.
- Disney’s latest animated feature, Strange World, pulled in $11.9m this weekend, the company’s worst box office debut since The Emperor’s New Groove in 2000.
- And Disney’s new AI can make your favorite actor look older or younger.
- Nintendo released a new trailer for its upcoming Super Marios Bros. movie with Anya Taylor-Joy and Seth Rogan making appearances as Princess Peach and Donkey Kong.
- Dive into our pick of the best streaming movies this week, including must-see Norwegian Netflix original Troll and romantic comedy Bros.
- Loved Netflix’s creepy, kooky show? Here’s everything we know so far about Wednesday Season 2 on Netflix.
- Finally: If a Santa slasher sounds like your idea of a good time, check out Mashable‘s Violent Night review.
- Google begins refunding Stadia hardware purchases made on the Google Store: If you bought from Best Buy or another retailer, you’re out of luck.
- Amazon Luna is losing nearly 50 games before the end of the year.
- God of War Ragnarök became the fastest-selling first-party launch game in PlayStation history, with 5.1 million copies sold in launch week.
- And Ubisoft sets up next Assassin’s Creed with free DLC mission in Valhalla: You can download the Shared History quest to meet Rohan from the upcoming Mirage.
- ‘Half-Life: Alyx’ mod adds four hours of single-player content.
- Gran Turismo 7 is getting a one-0f-a-kind hybrid Ferrari next month as part of the game’s Vision concept series.
- Nintendo shuts down Smash World Tour, organizers ‘losing hundreds of thousands of dollars.’
- Overwatch 2’s season two trailer teases a new game mode and the latest map, going live December 6.
- And Chinese children’s addiction to gaming ‘resolved,’ says industry body.
- Finally: Want a Steam Deck? Valve’s giving away a ton of them during The Game Awards on December 8.
- I used Apple Fitness Plus for 7 Days: Here’s my honest review — “Apple Fitness Plus is a solid investment for access to fresh content and a variety of exercises, but it’s particularly valuable for those new to working out.”
- Alienware AW3423DWF QD-OLED gaming monitor review — “A minor update to an already great gaming monitor” (Tom’s Guide).
- Amazon Kindle Scribe review — “The Kindle just got weird, and I love it” (Digital Trends).
- LG Ergo Dual 27QP88D review — “The LG Ergo Dual 27QP88D delivers unmatched dual-screen versatility at a good price, and it’s got the quality for everyday work, but it’s tricky to use and won’t sate creative professionals” (Trusted Reviews).
- Spotify Wrapped 2022 is live: Here’s everything you need to know — What does your Spotify Wrapped say about you? And if you got “goblincore,” you’re not alone…(Android Authority, Mashable).
- What is Hive Social and can it become a serious Twitter challenger? — “It’s an Elon Musk-free zone!” (Android Authority).
- San Francisco’s killer robots threaten the city’s most vulnerable — “Law enforcement says that in some scenarios a lethal robot is the only way to protect public safety. Experts say the policy will harm communities of color” (Wired).
- GIPHY’s Top GIFs and clips of 2022 — did your favorite make the list? (giphy.medium.com).
- The great purpling: Streetlights in a bunch of cities are turning purple. Is it just a fluke, or a warning of the chaos to come? (Insider).
This week’s wonder comes courtesy of our friends over at The Hustle. Have you heard of Dabloons? You’re probably thinking of “Doubloons,” the Spanish gold coins that pop up in old pirate films now and then. But Dabloons are something different entirely — a user-generated TikTok game surrounding a fake currency.
- Cast your mind back to 2021 (we know, it feels like forever ago) when an image of a kitten’s paw with the caption “4 dabloons” went viral on Instagram, followed by a picture of a black cat and its paw.
- Before you could say “Meow,” the meme was everywhere, including Tumblr and Reddit, before finally spreading to TikTok. When it hit the latter, users decided they would “earn” Dabloons whenever the cat appeared.
- Ok, so Dabloons have no real-world value, but that doesn’t mean you can’t keep track of your earnings, which is exactly what some players started doing.
- According to The Hustle, “The ‘Dabloon cat’ itself evolved into a fantasy RPG merchant, selling weary travelers ‘stew’ in exchange for Dabloons, while others began roleplaying characters such as Dabloon thieves, shopkeepers selling potions to protect against Dabloon theft, Dabloon cops, and Dabloon lawyers.”
- Brands got on board too, including Ikea and Toys R Us.
- Sad news though: with some accounts giving away large numbers of Dabloons, Dabloon inflation hit hard.
- It’s all a bit of fun really, and it could be that millennials and Gen Z using TikTok enjoy being part of an economy where inflation, the prospect of a recession, student loans, and other financial worries are non-existent.
- It’s sort of fun to see people enjoying social media, for once.
- But if you’d rather invest in real cryptocurrency, check out our guide for everything you need to know.
- You’ll probably also want to eye up our glossary of crypto terms to help you decode the jargon, and while you’re here, take a peek at our comprehensive guide to cryptocurrency wallets.
- December 3-4: Indie Live Expo
- December 6: New DLC for Back 4 Blood (PC, PlayStation, Xbox) and Far Cry 6 (PC, PlayStation, Xbox) released.
- December 8: The Game Awards
- January 5-8, 2023: CES 2023 (Las Vegas)
- February (date TBC): Samsung Unpacked (Galaxy S23?)
Tech Tweet of the Week
When you see it…😂
Volkswagen Italy, please never change your Instagram handle. pic.twitter.com/BD2efn63za— Mick (@mikjcal) November 28, 2022
Something extra: It happened last week, but aww. Check out Winston, the winner of the 2022 National Dog Show!