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The Weekly Authority: 💲Pixel 8 price hike deets leak
⚡ Welcome to The Weekly Authority, the Android Authority newsletter that breaks down the top Android and tech news from the week. The 253rd edition here with Pixel 8 price hike deets, leaked Galaxy Z Flip 5 and Z Fold pricing, the arrival of the Nothing Phone 2, and some insight into the race for commercial mind reading…
🤧 I’m back! Last week was a crazy combo of birthday celebrations and lurgy — luckily I celebrated early with a trip to Edinburgh dungeons and my favorite craft beer bar. This weekend is all about Oxenfree II: Lost Signals, which just landed on PS5 — I can’t wait to play!
Popular news this week
- Pixel 8 price hike details leak, but there’s also some good news.
- Here’s the Android 14 Easter egg and how you can see it yourself.
- Android 14 beta 4 is here, likely the final beta before the stable launch.
- Also: Android 14 release date — When is the next update?
- Google XR software lead quits, heavily criticizes company on way out.
- Want to give YouTube Premium a piece of your mind? Now’s your chance.
- No cap: Google finna yeet mid chatbot focused on Gen Z.
- And new Gmail ‘Offer times you’re free’ tool streamlines calendar scheduling.
- Plus: VPN by Google One will no longer place you in Texas if you live in New York.
- And Google is OK with Play Store apps selling NFTs now.
- Google really wants you to install that pending Android update.
- Finally: Google’s Project Tailwind is now NotebookLM, available to try today.
- Samsung’s new Galaxy S21 FE is here, and it’s pretty embarrassing.
- This 10.9-inch tab is expected to join Samsung’s Fan Edition revival this year.
- And Samsung Galaxy Tab S9 FE Plus leaked renders showcase Samsung’s cheaper tablet.
- Galaxy Z Flip 5, Fold 5 prices leak: A price hike could be on the cards.
- Samsung improves image quality, fixes errors in Expert RAW update.
- Plus: This Galaxy XCover 6 Pro rival brings a removable battery and microSD support.
- Also: Galaxy S24 Ultra could finally catch up to fast-charging phones from 2020.
- And Samsung could be testing ChatGPT integration for its own browser (APK teardown).
OPPO & OnePlus:
- The Xiaomi Pad 6 has launched in Europe after its previous China-only launch, but no Pro version in Europe just yet.
- Tesla is dodging Apple’s 30% App Store tax and Apple seems fine with that.
- And Apple launches online store on China’s giant WeChat messaging app.
- iOS 17 finally grabs two long-time Android features, and more.
- Reddit’s Contributor Program could earn you real money for your Reddit karma.
- Speaking of, Reddit is killing its Gold awards system, but an alternative is coming soon.
- Instagram’s Threads app reaches 100 million users within just five days.
- Twitter is blocking Threads links in searches — you can tweet a link to a Threads post, but it won’t show up in searches.
- NASA expands developers’ contracts for its next-gen spacesuits: Axiom Space and Collins Aerospace will modify their designs for new purposes.
- Here come the Moon landing missions (probably): Three for NASA, and one each for India, Russia, and Japan.
- And NASA’s Perseverance rover finds preserved organic molecules on Mars: “It’s not preserved matter from biological organisms, but the discovery is a boost to the rover’s mission: finding signs of ancient life on Mars.”
- Google Bard can now talk out loud and is available across Europe.
- Musk announces new AI company that seeks to “understand the universe.”
- Sarah Silverman is suing OpenAI and Meta for copyright infringement, claiming the companies trained their models on their works without their consent.
- Anthropic — the $4.1 billion OpenAI rival — debuts new A.I. chatbot Claude 2 and opens it to public.
- Dive into the week’s best new streaming movies, like Bird Box Barcelona, a spin-off of the 2018 post-apocalyptic horror film Bird Box.
- Or check out this week’s best new streaming shows, including Netflix’s noir thriller Kohrra.
- We’ve also got the very best Hindi movies on Netflix you should check out.
- Netflix announces new feature for victims of password-sharing crackdown.
- Google TV gets over 80,000 free movies and TV shows with The Roku Channel.
- Considering investing in a Roku device? These epic Roku deals start from just $19, and you don’t even need Prime.
- LG wants to turn your TVs and other products into ad and subscription machines.
- Tom Cruise’s Mission: Impossible 7 kicks off with $7 Million in box office previews.
- Nathan Fillion, Isabela Merced, and Ed Gathegi join James Gunn’s Superman: Legacy.
- And the Emmy Nominations 2023 are in: Succession, Better Call Saul, Andor, and more up for awards.
- Also, a new Ahsoka trailer landed with a first look at Thrawn.
- ASUS confirms ROG Ally microSD reader defect: Everything you need to know.
- US approves Microsoft’s Activision Blizzard deal, UK agrees to renegotiate, FTC appeals ruling.
- Play some retro games this weekend with the very best SNES emulators or the best NES emulators around for Android.
- What is FSR scaling on Steam Deck, and how do you use it?
- Is Windows 11 good for gaming in 2023? Speaking of, here’s how to check your GPU temperature in Windows, no third-party app required.
- Oxenfree II: Lost Signals landed on Wednesday on PlayStation, Switch, and PC, and reviews are in: Pushsquare says it’s “a relatively safe sequel that does little to veer off the familiar path of the first game, but with a new cast and location, it’s a story fans will be gripped by,” while Eurogamer says, “Oxenfree 2’s story is more spooky dimensional shenanigans involving ghosts and local legends, and it’s lovely stuff.”
- EA confirmed it’s making a video game based on Marvel’s Black Panther, a third-person, single-player adventure set in an “expansive and reactive world.”
- One of the most important games ever gets the release it deserves 40 years later: Karateka, by Prince of Persia creator Jordan Mechner was a colossal achievement in its own right.
- And a new study conducted by the Video Game History Foundation revealed 87% of video games released prior to 2010 aren’t commercially available on modern platforms.
- Nothing Phone 2 review: Should you buy it? “Follow the light.”
- HONOR Magic V2 Ultimate hands on: The foldable thinner than a ballpoint pen — “The HONOR Magic V2 is the world’s thinnest foldable but it doesn’t want to compromise on strength, battery, or camera.”
- Xiaomi Pad 6 review: Should you buy it? “If you’re after both value and grunt in an Android tablet, it’s hard to look away from the Xiaomi Pad 6.”
- Nothing Phone 1 vs Nothing Phone 2: Is it worth upgrading? “The Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1 chip on the Phone 2 brings in noticeable improvements that may tempt a lot of Phone 1 owners.”
- Google Pixel Tablet review: Should you buy it? “Is it a smart display? Is it a tablet? Yes. Sort of.”
- The Pixel 8’s rumored cameras could fix my biggest gripes with the Pixel 7 — “From a brighter Night Sight to better autofocus, the Pixel 8 series could address my biggest bugbears” (Android Authority).
- What is Google Chat, and how do you use it? “Even though it’s aimed at organizations, it’s open to everyone” (Android Authority).
- Can a MacBook Air fit into an Android addict’s lifestyle? “I picked up a 15-inch M2-powered MacBook Air to find out” (Android Authority).
- The risks of AI are real but manageable: “The world has learned a lot about handling problems caused by breakthrough innovations” (GatesNotes).
- What happens to your digital games when you die? Can you transfer them to friends and family? (How-To Geek).
Imagine being able to control your computer with your thoughts. It might sound like something from a sci-fi movie, but mind-reading tech is already here (h/t The Hustle).
- Brain computer interfaces (BCIs) connect your brain to external tech using a wearable device or a brain implant.
Until recently, the tech was mostly used to solve issues such as helping people with paralysis communicate, but a new wave of start-ups is changing that.
- The BCIs of the future will be able to read your mind and mold your behavior, all while you sit on your couch, and the market is expected to reach $5.34B by 2030.
- We already saw Elon Musk’s Neuralink make headlines after securing FDA approval to begin human trials for its surgically placed brain implants.
- Musk claims Neuralink could have therapeutic purposes, such as treating depression, but also hopes that one day it could be used to connect our minds with computers.
- Meta is also working on a BCI to tackle paralysis, and Mark Zuckerberg hopes the tech will later allow the public to use their minds to control digital devices.
- Other companies have been working on projects for years, such as Neurable, a company making BCI-run headphones that help boost focus, Mindmaze, which creates neurotherapeutics for a range of issues from strokes to Alzheimer’s, and Kernel, a company creating wearable tech for “neuroscience as a service.”
- Then there are the researchers and scientists studying how BCIs could change our future.
- At the Neuro-Machine Interaction Lab, research lab director Dr. Marvin Andujar is experimenting with brain drone racing, where you can race drones using just your mind. One day, this could enable those with disabilities to compete against able-bodied people.
BCIs in the future
- Of course, there are ethical concerns to consider, but as BCIs become more mainstream, how will they change the way we live?
- Neuromarketing could convince you to purchase products based on predicted brain activity.
- Employers could use this tech to promote mindfulness at work.
- Even Mercedes Benz is getting in on the trend, with its recent post about how this tech could one day improve your driving experience.
Food for thought, indeed.
- July 26: Samsung Galaxy Unpacked @ 7 AM ET(Galaxy Z Fold 5, Z Flip 5)
- August: Xiaomi Mix Fold 3 launch
- October 24-26: Snapdragon Summit 2023 (Snapdragon 8 Gen 3?)
Tech Tweet of the Week
Something extra: This is an interesting read from The Hustle about the economics of weather modification.
Until next week, have a great one!
Paula Beaton, Copyeditor.