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The Weekly Authority: 👀 Android 14 preview lands, Bard AI fail
⚡ Welcome to The Weekly Authority, the Android Authority newsletter that breaks down the top Android and tech news from the week. The 231st edition is here with Google’s Android 14 developer preview and features, Bard AI errors, everything you missed at the OnePlus event, a Grammy whoops, and more…
🕵️♀️ The time has finally come for my Murder Mystery weekend away. The question is, whodunnit? More on that next week, if I survive the night…
Popular news this week
- Google released the first Android 14 developer preview.
- Plus, Android 14 could allow you to clone apps and login with two accounts at once, and it also has a hidden feature that can help you find and delete bloatware.
- Also: This new Android 14 feature may be meant for the Pixel 8.
- And Android 14 may bring better support for keyboards with touchpad gestures and modifier key remapping.
- You can keep an eye on Android 14’s release date with our update tracker.
- Don’t want to wait? Here’s how to install Android 14 on your phone right now, though we recommend only installing it on a secondary phone right now, just to be safe.
- Google announces loads of new updates coming to Search, Maps, and more.
- ICYMI: According to reports, Google has dropped nearly $400 million in Anthropic, a ChatGPT challenger.
- And Google will fight ChatGPT with ‘Bard,’ a similar AI-powered bot, only open to ‘trusted testers’ for now.
- Speaking of, Google’s Bard AI stumbles out of the gate, makes costly error in first demo: Shares in Alphabet dropped by over 8%.
- Got your eyes on a Google Pixel 7 or 7 Pro? Save big money right now on both devices, no strings attached.
- Speaking of, did you know how much it costs to make the $899 Pixel 7 Pro?
- And Pixel 7 Pro volume buttons seem to fall off with relative ease, at least for some owners.
- And Google Search will soon start blurring explicit imagery by default.
- Behold: The director of Blade Runner produced a short film using a Galaxy S23 Ultra.
- And this special BMW M edition Galaxy S23 Ultra is less special than expected.
- Plus: Samsung Clock app fixes Galaxy Watch syncing error in new update.
- Samsung Galaxy A34, A54 prices leak: Expect a price hike.
- One UI 5.1 bloatware does NOT take up 60GB storage on the Galaxy S23 series.
- The OnePlus 11 went global on Tuesday: It looks pretty similar to the OnePlus 10T, powered by a Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 2 chip, with improved ultrawide and telephoto lenses, the option of a model with UFS 4.0 storage, Oxygen OS 13 out of the box, and an IP64 rating, plus blazing-fast 80W wired charging in the US (100W for the rest of the world), though no wireless charging.
- OnePlus just officially teased its first foldable phone (we think), with a Q3 2023 release window.
- And the company also revealed its first Android tablet, the OnePlus Pad
- Plus, we saw the OnePlus 11R, but you won’t be able to buy it everywhere.
- Then there were the OnePlus Buds Pro 2, a pair of truly wireless earbuds that actually look pretty premium.
- You literally can’t get a faster charging phone than this one: 240W wired charging, anyone?
- And you can now buy a Coca-Cola phone for the price of 525 Coke cans.
- Apple could soon launch an Ultra iPhone of its own, according to the latest rumor from a reliable source.
- Another AirTag lost luggage story: AirTag reunites couple with luggage four months after airline lost it.
- And Apple may still be working on a feature Android phones have had since 2018.
- Plus: Apple Watch ‘Series X’ and Apple Watch SE 3 with larger displays rumored to launch next year.
- At Microsoft’s AI event on Tuesday, the company revealed ChatGPT-powered Edge browser, claims it will ‘reshape the web.’
- And Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella explains why AI can beat Google at search.
- Twitter redefines what makes a tweet with supersized 4,000-character limit, then goes down for 90 minutes on Wednesday, telling users they’d hit their daily limit on posts.
- Elon Musk claims Twitter will start sharing ad revenue with Blue subscribers.
- And Musk says ‘good’ bots can stay on Twitter for free.
- Also: Mastodon’s soaring user base has dipped.
- SpaceX will attempt Starship orbital test in March, says Elon Musk.
- Scientists just found a planet that’s stranger than you can imagine, and half of it may be inhabitable.
- And Secret Russian satellite breaks apart for a second time, spawning debris cloud: The debris could take more than 100 years to fall back to Earth.
- What could possibly go wrong? Bold plan to dim the sun by blasting moon dust into space could help cool Earth — Interesting idea, but it doesn’t actually tackle the cause of climate change.
- The Snapdragon naming scheme could get complicated (again).
- OPPO Find N2 Flip is coming next week, and it’s a global launch: February 15 at 2:30 PM GMT is the date and time to watch.
- The Xiaomi 13 Pro will finally leave China later this month.
- Good news: MagSafe cases are coming to Android phones thick and fast.
- Meanwhile, MVNO Visible will now pay for your phone service if you lose your job.
- We asked, you told us: Plenty of AA readers aren’t planning to buy a new phone in 2023.
- WhatsApp’s Status feature has received a major update.
- Canon has announced the EOS R8, the most affordable full-frame mirrorless camera.
- How to detect AI-generated text, according to researchers: The key is randomness.
- And Chinese tech giant Baidu confirmed it’s on track to introduce its AI chatbot, known as “Ernie Bot” in English, in March.
- Quantum breakthrough could revolutionize computing: Sussex University team transferred quantum info between computer chips at record speed and accuracy.
- The Last of Us, eat your heart out: Experimental vaccine would be the first to fight off fungi.
- Human-rat brain hybrid shows a way to cure blindness.
- Here’s the full list of winners at the 65th Grammy Awards — check out the Tech Tweet of the Week, below, for a comedy moment.
- Finally: Elon Musk to unveil ‘fully sustainable energy future for Earth’ at Tesla Investor Day.
- Netflix begins password sharing crackdown in Canada, US next on the list?
- No more HBO Max merge: Discovery+ will remain as a standalone streaming platform after all.
- With Valentine’s Day right around the corner, forget Netflix and Chill and set the mood for romance with our pick of the sexiest movies on Amazon Prime.
- Check out these 11 great movies from the 2023 Sundance Film Festival.
- More movie viewing inspiration: The best new streaming movies this week, including Danish horror film Attachment and Sam Mendes’ Empire of Light.
- ‘Extraordinary’ is a smart, sweary sitcom that just happens to have superpowers, and it’s renewed for season 2!
- I Know What You Did Last Summer gets new sequel with original cast.
- And Squid Game is coming to VR later this year: Netflix is partnering with Sandbox VR to create the game based on the hit Korean TV series.
- Plus: Toy Story 5, Frozen 3, and Zootropolis confirmed by Disney.
- Here’s everything announced at Nintendo Direct: Metroid Prime Remastered, Game Boy and GBA games, and more.
- Nintendo classic Zelda: A Link to the Past gets an unofficial PC port.
- Speaking of, the Nintendo Switch has outsold the PS4, but Nintendo sees tougher times ahead.
- Hogwarts Legacy launched on Friday and is already a top seller, breaking the record for most concurrent views on Twitch for a single-player game (1.2 million) but many outlets are refusing reviews following J.K. Rowling controversy, with others reviewing the game with a disclaimer, plus, a boycott of the game backfired.
- YouTuber puts The Office’s Michael Scott into Mass Effect (h/t Kotaku).
- We got a first look at the gameplay for driving survival game Pacific Drive.
- 15 games have already been killed, and 2023 just began.
- Plus: What creepy video game sounds do to your brain.
- Also this week: UK’s competition regulator “provisionally concluded” that Microsoft’s bid to buy Activision Blizzard would harm competition.
- OnePlus 11 review: Return of the old OnePlus? “There are some things you can’t go back to.”
- OnePlus 11 vs OnePlus 10T: Should you upgrade? Can’t decide? We compare both phones and give our verdict.
- POCO X5 Pro review: Upping the budget ante — “Poco’s latest phone brings a significant horsepower upgrade, but is that enough to stand out?”
- Apple AirPods Pro (2nd generation) review: It all adds up — “The AirPods Pro remain the best choice for iOS users thanks to improved ANC, touch controls, and other incremental upgrades.”
- Google Pixel 6a revisited: The good and bad, six months later — “The only thing standing between the Pixel 6a and greatness is the Pixel 7.
- Android 14 features: Everything you need to know — Including the inability to install apps based on Android Lollipop’s APIs and earlier (Android Authority).
- The Galaxy S23 seems boring, but it’s exactly what we wanted from Samsung: Sometimes, fixing glaring faults is the best new feature (Android Authority).
- For science and literature lovers: The physics of James Joyce’s Ulysses discussed (Ars Technica).
- How ChatGPT kicked off an A.I. arms race: “Even inside the company, the chatbot’s popularity has come as something of a shock” (The New York Times).
- The Last of Us’ original Joel was skeptical of the show: “Then he read the script and was blown away” (Wired).
- Also: UK proposes making the sale and possession of encrypted phones illegal — “The Home Office says it wants to target “bespoke” devices used for crime, but critics say it is unclear what a bespoke device is” (Vice).
Love the health benefits of walking but find yourself wishing you could get to where you need to be faster? Then you might want to pick up a pair of the world’s fastest shoes…
- We touched on Moonwalkers back in a November edition of the Weekly Authority, when the Kickstarter for the shoes was still headed toward its goal.
- Today we’ve got a lot more info on the speedy shoes for you…
- Shift Robotics, based out of Pittsburgh, has invented a pair of speed-boosting shoes that let you walk up to 250% faster — and you won’t expend any extra energy.
- Created by mechanical engineer Xunjie Zhang after he almost had an accident while commuting to work on his scooter, “Moonwalkers” are a sort of cross between shoes and motorized roller skates.
- The shoes strap onto the bottom of whatever regular shoes you’re wearing and each shoe weighs 4.2 pounds, with a range of about six miles.
- To activate the shoes, you just lift one of your heels and then twist it in, before setting it back down. To deactivate them (for example, if you’re climbing stairs), just lift the same heel and set it back down.
- Each shoe has eight motorized wheels, but they’re not freerolling, so you just walk faster to accelerate and slower to decelerate.
- At top speeds, it should take you around three feet to come to a halt, or about the same distance as when you stop jogging.
- Sensors in each shoe collect data on your gait, and that data’s used by machine learning algorithms to control the speed at which the wheels rotate.
Just how fast are Moonwalkers?
The average person walks at around two to four miles per hour.
- At three miles per hour, it’ll take you 20 minutes to walk one mile.
- With Moonwalkers, you can increase your speed to seven miles per hour.
- That means it’ll take you just 8.5 minutes to walk a mile.
- You won’t work up a sweat, though, as it feels sort of like being on a moving sidewalk at an airport.
What about rough terrain?
The shoes are designed to handle uneven and rough terrain, too.
- Moonwalkers can handle heavily cracked sidewalks, and uneven terrain, such as brick, cobblestone streets, and even gravel.
- The shoes take around 1.5 hours to recharge via USB-C.
- They best fit women with shoe sizes between 10.5 to 13.5 and men’s sizes 9 to 12, but the shoes have been beta tested with smaller and larger feet without any issues.
- There’s also a recommend user weight limit of 220 pounds, but if you’re heavier than this, you can still use them but you may experience a shorter range and slower speeds.
- Now, for the price. Shift is selling its Moonwalkers for $1,399 to US customers only right now, with deliveries starting in the summer.
- Right now, you can reserve a pair with a $50 refundable deposit, and you won’t need to pay the balance until a delivery date has been announced.
- You might want to leave your fitness tracker at home, though, as you’re not going to get accurate readings when wearing your Moonwalkers…
- February 6-13: Steam NextFest
- February 15 @ 2:30 PM GMT: OPPO Find N2 Flip global launch
- February 22: PSVR 2 launch date
- February 26: Xiaomi 13 series global launch
- February 27: Honor Magic Vs foldable global launch
- February 27-March 2: MWC 2023 Barcelona
Tech Tweet of the Week
can’t stop laughing at this guy announcing the Grammy win for Assassin’s Creed Valhalla pic.twitter.com/vz9bTVZFTX— Wendell (@RhodeToLove) February 5, 2023
Something extra: In case you missed it, here’s your chance to check out Pedro Pascal as everybody’s favorite Nintendo character…
Have a great week!
Paula Beaton, Copy Editor.