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The Weekly Authority: Apple's Peek Performance
⚡ Welcome to The Weekly Authority, the Android Authority newsletter that breaks down the top Android and tech news from the week. The 185th edition here, with Apple event news, Google’s app archiving feature, PlayStation’s latest State of Play games, and more.
📚I’m back from my book festival trip up north, laden down with a huge pile of books that I’m already getting stuck into. Weekend plans: sorted.
Popular news this week
- Here’s everything Apple launched at its March event on Tuesday. Missed it? Catch the replay here.
- The iPhone SE 2022 sees a $30 price hike to $429, with new A15 bionic processor, 64GB storage default, 5G (only sub-6GHz, not mmWave), and software changes to the camera — basically, a specs bump.
- The new iPad Air 5 (2022) was revealed, gets an M1 chip but again no mmWave 5G.
- We also saw the new Mac Studio, aimed at those looking for high-end solutions for video/photography/design work.
- Meanwhile, the best-selling smartphones of 2021 are mostly Apple phones, with Samsung’s A12 taking the top Android phone spot.
- And updated Mac Mini will have versions with M2 and M2 Pro chip, possibly coming soon.
- Samsung Galaxy S22 benchmarked: Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 vs Exynos 2200 — Some surprising results.
- Meanwhile, Geekbench bans multiple Samsung flagships for “benchmark manipulation”: All Galaxy S10, S20, S21, and S22 models delisted from the Android Benchmark chart.
- Some more bad news: Samsung might ditch in-box chargers for budget phones too, looks like Galaxy A and M series phones could be next.
- And Samsung answers questions about throttling in Galaxy S22 and other flagships in its FAQs.
- Meanwhile, the company’s started rolling out a GOS update for the Galaxy S22 series, but only in South Korea for now.
- Also this week: Samsung confirms hackers stole company source code.
- And Samsung envisions a phone with a weird sideways folding screen: The display unfolds from the left to extend the top half of the phone, meaning you could have your camera viewfinder on the top half of the unfolded display and camera controls/a different app in the bottom half — but it’s just a patent for now.
- The Galaxy A53 might share some features with flagships, for better or worse.
- Finally, four years later, Samsung is still updating the Galaxy S9 flagships.
- Google may be developing wearables that respond to skin gestures: The idea is that users can touch their skin to issue commands to smartwatches and earbuds, using “Sensor Fusion” tech, but not clear yet when Google plans to implement this.
- Android 12L landing on Pixel phones now, will eventually come to products from Samsung, Microsoft, and Lenovo.
- And Google’s working on an app archiving feature that could mean you won’t need to delete apps to free up space on your phone, could launch with or alongside Android 13.
- Also this week: Google pushed a ton of updates to its apps recently Several new features for Messages, plus Google TV, Photos, Gboard, and more.
- And Google’s rolling out an Air Raid Alerts system for Android to help Ukraine.
- Leaked pic purportedly showed Carl Pei showing off a Nothing smartphone prototype to Qualcomm’s CEO at MWC last week.
- And Nothing announced an event for March 23.
- Stunning photo captures space station crossing the moon in jaw-dropping detail (Mashable).
- A new satellite system sucks in air to provide unlimited propulsion (Interesting Engineering).
- The closest black hole to earth doesn’t actually exist (Space.com).
- Spotify and Discord suffered a major outage on Tuesday, with everything back up and running within a couple of hours, though the issue’s root cause isn’t yet clear.
- SXSW started on Fri, running until March 20: The first in-person event since 2019, and Mashable’s got everything you need to know.
- Amazon launches “live radio” app Amp, lets you be your own DJ, which sounds pretty cool.
- Sony and Honda are teaming up to build electric cars, first model should launch in 2025.
- Meanwhile, the Xiaomi 12 series is finally launching in global markets next week, March 15.
- Color OS gains a new feature that could help detect spycams in a room.
- 2015’s Fairphone 2 has a new stable Android update, now running Android 10.
- And we’re finally seeing the end of the GPU shortage.
- If you haven’t seen it yet, Taika Waititi’s Our Flag Means Death is swashbucklingly good fun.
- The Batman saw the second-best opening of the pandemic era with $128.5 million debut.
- Disney Plus will add a cheaper tier with ads late this year: no mention of price or launch date yet.
- Speaking of Disney Plus, check out Mashable’s review of Turning Red, streaming now.
- Meanwhile, Amazon and Sony are tipped to be in talks about developing a new God of War TV series, with producers from The Wheel of Time and The Expanse reportedly involved.
- Seen the new Scream yet? Here are all five Scream movies ranked.
- And the Obi-Wan Kenobi premiere trailer is here — the show’s coming May 25.
- When you can’t decide what to binge next, give Netflix Roulette a go on the Reelgood website or app.
- Finally this week: The Adam Project’s now streaming on Netflix, and reviews are in.
- Check out the best games from PlayStation’s March 9 State of Play: Capcom’s Exoprimal, Returnal Ascension, and more.
- Elden Ring shatters Dark Souls records on Twitch and Steam, but isn’t running so great on PC, though a new patch will address this, but no date or timeline yet. Meanwhile, PlayStation 5 players have run into issues with the save system, with publisher Bandai Namco recommending regular manual saves and avoiding using the console’s Rest Mode.
- Bored of new Wordle variants yet? How about Heardle? Basically Wordle for music lovers — strangely addictive.
- Assassin’s Creed Valhalla DLC Dawn of Ragnarok launched on Thursday for PS4/5, Xbox Series One, Xbox Series S|X, PC.
- The next big superhero game from Warner Bros. is coming: Gotham Knights focuses on Batman’s allies and lands October 25.
- And GTAV Enhanced Edition and revamped GTA Online is out Tuesday, March 15, for PS 5 and Xbox.
- Finally this week in gaming: EA’s targeting an early 2023 release for its sci-fi horror game Dead Space remake.
- Samsung Galaxy S22 review: The best, in a small package — “A strong contender for the best small flagship, though the weakened battery life is its painful Achilles’ heel.”
- OnePlus 9 review: Serious business, cheap suit — Great display, speedy charging, and solid software, but so-so battery life and a cheap-feeling design.
- Sony Xperia 5 II review: Perhaps Sony’s best phone ever —”An ideal choice for media lovers, gamers, and budding photographers and cinematographers, even at its $899 price point.”
- OnePlus Nord CE review: A little less Nord for a little less money — Hard to recommend: “The hardware is underbaked, the design is forgettable, and the software experience — while good — can’t justify the phone’s existence when the older OnePlus Nord offers all of this and more.”
- Sorry, Apple, 64GB of fixed storage just doesn’t cut it in 2022: Just a quick look at the competition is enough to tell you that (Android Authority).
- Tested: The Galaxy S22 Ultra’s 45W charging is barely faster than 25W — Here’s why (Android Authority).
- What is blockchain technology and how does it work? Dive deep into all things blockchain (Android Authority).
- Online shopping is reshaping real-world cities: The rise of “dark stores” is changing the design — and feel — of neighborhoods (Wired).
- Meet the woman who builds the world’s most unique Airbnbs: We can’t guarantee you won’t want to book one, immediately (The Hustle).
With season 2 of Upload landing on Amazon Prime this week, we got to thinking about a virtual afterlife. Could it happen? And how close are we to an Upload-type scenario?
For those who haven’t seen the show (no spoilers), it’s the creation of Greg Daniels (Parks and Recreation, The Office) and it’s set in the not-so-distant future (2033), where humans near death can choose to be uploaded into a specific VR afterlife, for a price. The show’s packed with other bits of futuristic tech too, from drone traffic cops to self-driving cars and robot cashiers.
Futurists have already picked the show apart and discussed the possibilities of a digital afterlife, where our minds live on even though our physical bodies are long gone. And Upload’s far from the first show to tackle the subject: amongst others, Black Mirror’s San Junipero episode looked at life in a simulated reality that could be inhabited even after death.
Could a VR afterlife actually happen?
Futurist Richard Yonck says most of the show’s tech is too futuristic compared to where we’ll actually be in 2033. “Even the most rudimentary technology is many decades away,” he said in an interview with Geekwire. Others have called the upload tech in the show “highly implausible,” like Berit Anderson, writer and director of programs at Strategic News Service:
“Even if we could hard-code our memories on some kind of oversized hard drive, how would you code your emotions, your sense of self, your personality?”
- But “Mind uploading,” where a brain is scanned in detail and recreated in a computer simulation, essentially creating a new, immortal, digital form of that person, could actually be possible. The science of the brain and of consciousness increasingly suggests it’s a distinct possibility, with no laws of physics standing in the way.
- But would your uploaded mind still be you? The Wall Street Journal has some interesting thoughts…
- And there’s quite a lot to read on the complexities, technologies, and techniques that could be implemented.
- Unfortunately, even though it’s possible, we could be hundreds or even thousands of years away from it ever happening.
- Though there’s already at least one startup that’s been working on this idea since 2018… watch this space.
What would it be like to talk to “deceased” loved ones in a VR afterlife?
One of the things that made season one of Upload such a huge success was its focus on the human component. Yes, the characters have so much futuristic tech at their disposal, but really the heart of the show is about people and their relationships. Which got us thinking: What would it be like to interact with loved ones who now only existed in a virtual afterlife?
It might sound strange to say, but chances are it wouldn’t feel too different from the way many of us live our lives today.
- More of us work remotely than ever before, and that means many of us have never actually met our colleagues in person, communicating with them through video and text.
- Celebrities and politicians only exist through data to us.
- Would communicating online with a virtual version of a loved one feel any different than interacting with them in a physical space?
With age comes wisdom?
Then there’s the question of what it would mean for the future workforce.
- If people never truly die then there would be a wealth of knowledge out there for us to tap into.
- Most “living” people in the “real” world would be younger. Older generations would exist in VR, and some could choose to still work from there.
- In the future, many jobs requiring physical interaction, like driving a taxi, operating a grocery checkout, piloting a plane, etc, could be done by robots. But jobs that are all about the mind, such as teachers, journalists, researchers — even tech support — could be done by those who have had their mind uploaded to a VR afterlife.
- It’s quite a thought!
- It may also be that these uploaded minds could eventually rent a humanoid robot to spend some time outside their “virtual” world, in the “real” physical world.
Would you agree to be uploaded into a virtual afterlife? How do you think it would change the future? We’d love to hear your thoughts on this in the comments.
- March 11 – 20: SXSW
- March 15: Xiaomi 12 series global launch @ 7 AM ET
- March 15: Grand Theft Auto V and GTA Online launch for PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series S|X
- March 16: Xbox Spring Indie Showcase @1 PM ET
- March 23: Nothing event @9 AM ET
- March 25: Ghostwire Tokyo released for PS5/PC
- By end of March: OnePlus 10 Pro global launch
Tech Tweet of the Week
Something extra: A startup’s proposing dropping artificial human organs from space. Wait, what?
Paula Beaton, Copy Editor.