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The Weekly Authority: 📱 Much ado about Nothing
⚡ Welcome to The Weekly Authority, the Android Authority newsletter that breaks down the top Android and tech news from the week. The 203rd edition here, with the Nothing Phone 1 launch, Galaxy Z Flip and Z Fold 5 rumors, July’s PS Plus lineup, World Emoji Day, and more…
🧊 The craziest deal I saw during Prime Day this year was a $500 ice maker (that’s after the discount). Does anybody really need ice that much? Needless to say, did not add to basket!
Popular news this week
- Nothing Phone 1 officially launched on Tuesday: A mid-range affair with 6.55-inch 120Hz Full HD+ OLED screen, 4,500mAh battery, dual 50MP cameras, and 8/12GB RAM, powered by the Snapdragon 778G Plus, plus 15W Qi wireless charging. The “Glyph” LEDs on the back can flash when you receive calls, pulse when you get a notification, and other functions, which is pretty cool. Pricing starts at £399 (8GB/128GB) but the phone’s not coming to the US (more in our full review, below).
- Google Pixel 7 Pro prototype leaks in implausible story, with one Twitter user allegedly getting their hands on a prototype through Facebook Marketplace — almost certainly not true, but still cool to see.
- Next time you see Android 13, it’ll be in stable form — but meanwhile, here’s what the latest beta brings.
- Google announced its Chrome OS Flex has exited beta testing and is available to all, so you can turn your old laptop into a Chromebook — plus here’s how to install it.
- And Friday marked the 10th anniversary of Psy’s Gangnam Style music video being posted on YouTube, the first video to reach a billion views. Has it really been that long?
- Plus: You can now use your Play Points for discounts at the Google Store.
- Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5 and Z Fold 5 rumors are already here, plus Z Fold 5 camera specs.
- The latest Samsung Galaxy S23 chipset rumor suggests Exynos could be out, Snapdragon in, and it’s from a reliable source.
- And Samsung’s One UI 5 beta leaks ahead of launch: Here’s what’s new.
- Samsung officially launched One UI Watch 4.5, based on Wear OS 3.5, likely launching on the Galaxy Watch 5 series, plus coming to the Galaxy Watch 4 series.
- Meanwhile, here’s what the new Galaxy S22 ‘Bora Purple’ color looks like — one for the K-pop tribe.
- Apple released public betas for iOS 16, Watch OS 9, and iPadOS 16.
- A report reveals Apple Car design goals: No steering wheel or brake pedal, flat seats for sleeping, large screens, and more.
- And it looks like Apple’s iPhone 14 Max is facing supply chain issues, according to Gizmodo and supply chain analyst Ross Young: There’ll be a Max and Max Pro variant and it’s the former causing woes as it uses a different display than its Pro counterpart.
- Also this week: US App Store revenue from non-game apps just topped games for the first time.
- NASA published the first stunning cosmic images taken by the James Webb Space Telescope.
- SpaceX’s Super Heavy Booster 7 exploded during a ground test at the company’s Texas base on Monday. According to Teslarati: “A cloud of well-mixed methane and oxygen gas was accidentally ignited,” and it “functioned like a small fuel-air bomb,” resulting in the explosion and shockwave.
- Japan wants to bring artificial gravity to the Moon using centrifugal force, proposing a 1,300-foot-tall lunar structure that would generate Earth-like gravity for inhabitants.
- Meanwhile, China tests gigantic drag sail for removing space junk.
- Who needs a Nothing phone when you can turn your existing phone into one?
- It’s official: The ASUS Zenfone 9’s coming on July 28.
- Qualcomm says its next Snapdragon chip for Wear OS smartwatches is ‘coming soon’.
- Montblanc Summit 3 has arrived: See how Wear OS 3 looks on a non-Samsung watch.
- And some of us still don’t have Windows 11, but here’s when Windows 12 could land as Microsoft could return to release schedules seen in years gone by.
- This hands-on with the LG rollable phone was doomed before it started.
- You can store and charge your wireless earbuds inside Nokia’s latest phone — a pretty neat idea.
- According to Bloomberg, 5% of new car sales in the US for the past six months have been fully electric vehicles. Could this be the tipping point where mainstream demand overtakes early adoption?
- Watch out for this unfixed, untraceable hack that can unlock and start your Honda remotely.
- Meanwhile, “Uber Files” reveal shady business: Over 124k emails, messages, and texts leaked by ex-Uber exec Mark MacGann reveal questionable behavior among execs.
- Now everyone can unmention themselves from Twitter threads, great if you find yourself in the middle of an unwanted conversation.
- It’s World Emoji Day on July 17, and the official Emojipedia released its draft designs for 2022’s new emojis, ranked by Gizmodo (more on that in the Weekly Wonder).
- Something I loved this week: The website Literature Clock finds a quote from literature mentioning the exact time it is. It’s not exactly useful? But interesting and strange nonetheless.
- Plus: A robot chef cooks all the dishes at this Tokyo restaurant.
- Finally: Hidden artwork revealed by X-Ray appears to be Van Gogh self-portrait, experts say.
- The Last of Us TV series finally gets a release window: looks like early 2023.
- And some exciting news for Black Mirror fans: We haven’t had a new episode since 2019, but season 6 is on its way, with Aaron Paul, Kate Mara, and Josh Hartnett all on board, amongst other famous names — hopefully coming next year.
- Severance, Squid Game, Stranger Things, and Yellowjackets snag Emmy nominations, with Squid Game making history as the first-ever non-English language Emmy nominee — Gizmodo has a great roundup of all the nominations.
- Reviews are in for Thor: Love and Thunder, and they’re not particularly great — Mashable says, “Chris Hemsworth is back, but that’s where the good news ends,” while the NYT is more positive overall, calling it “A God’s comic twilight.”
- Meanwhile, Chromecast with Google TV gets a fresh update after 7 months, but it’s not what we’ve been waiting for.
- And YouTube TV’s leading the live streaming market with over 5 million subscribers — it’s now the largest internet TV company in the US.
- Another trailer dropped for dark comedy Bodies Bodies Bodies, and the murderous Millenial weekend away looks like a lot of fun, in select theaters August 5, everywhere August 12.
- And we saw the first full-length trailer for Rob Zombie’s new movie adaptation of 60s TV creepy-comedy The Munsters.
- The first trailer for horror prequel Orphan: First Kill also landed and looks pretty spooky, in theaters August 19 and also streaming on Paramount Plus in the US.
- The live-action Resident Evil series landed on Netflix, and our AA colleague Fred Blichert has some thoughts.
- Plus: With Peaky Blinders’ sixth and final season over, here are 9 crime shows to watch on Netflix.
- Sony revealed its inaugural game catalog for new PlayStation Plus, available to Extra and Premium subscribers from July 19, including Stray, making its debut on launch day, FF VII Remake Intergrade, Marvel’s Avengers, two Saints Row titles, and five Assassin’s Creed games.
- And Sony announces PlayStation Stars loyalty scheme for PS5, PS4 fans, with rewards including PS Store wallet funds and games, launching later this year.
- And a new Walking Dead project debuts on Facebook — The Walking Dead: Last Mile has a months-long story that’s shaped by the decisions and actions of players, so everyone’s influencing what happens next, and time moves forward with each real-life day.
- Meanwhile, Aliens is getting a single-player action-horror game: Developer Survios is teaming up with 20th Century Fox for the title, currently referred to as “Aliens,” though we don’t know much more other than that it’s being made in Unreal Engine 5 for PC, as-yet-unnamed consoles, and VR.
- GoldenEye 007 remaster is still in limbo due to the Ukraine war: Some rumors from reputable sources claim the game’s complete and ready for formal announcement and launch, while Microsoft has yet to confirm its existence at all.
- And Rockstar’s sunsetting Red Dead Online: The multiplayer component of Red Dead Redemption 2 will no longer receive major content updates as developers focus on Grand Theft Auto 6.
- Speaking of Red Dead Online, players gathered online for the game’s funeral on Wednesday, a day-long affair attended by actor Roger Clark, the voice of RDR 2’s Arthur Morgan.
- Meanwhile, long-waited exclusive Bayonetta 3 finally arrives on Switch October 28.
- And Skate 4 is officially called skate, will be free-to-play with cross-play and cross-progression, but no release date yet.
- Looking for Switch games to play with friends? Here are the best multiplayer Switch games around.
- Plus: As temperatures soar, Nintendo issues Switch heatwave warning — don’t use your Switch above 35 degrees Celsius (isn’t that summer for many of us?)
- Nothing Phone 1 review: A bright debut — “Nothing’s debut Android smartphone effortlessly competes with the best budget phones at the first time of asking.”
- Amazon Fire 7 (2022) review: Carry-on companion — “While the hardware is far from the best, creature comforts like a microSD slot and a headphone jack make this small tablet a solid travel companion, especially for Prime subscribers.”
- Apple iPad Mini (2021) review: This one’s just right — “The iPad Mini is easily the best small tablet on the market, finally offering something for everybody.”
- Apple MacBook Pro (2021) review: The customer is always right — “Apple finally listened, reversing a half-decade’s worth of bad laptop decisions. The result: the best MacBook Pro in years.”
- POCO F4 review: The POCO F3 reloaded — “For the most part, a good value budget phone backed by impressively powerful hardware, but the ad-filled software and uncertain long-term support is still a letdown.”
- Where’s the cheap Pixel for the next billion people? “The Pixel portfolio needs a cheaper, entry-level option for the masses” (Android Authority).
- OnePlus 10T: Everything we know so far and what we want to see — An IP rating and a better ultrawide camera are on the wishlist (Android Authority).
- A new attack can unmask anonymous users on any major browser — “Researchers have found a way to use the web’s basic functions to identify who visits a site — without the user detecting the hack” (Wired).
- Jason Brassard spent his lifetime collecting the rarest video games. Until the heist — “The porn trilogy for Nintendos. Atari games from the 1980s. Pristine nostalgia, potentially worth millions, gone in a night” (Vanity Fair).
- The brain has a “low-power” mode that blunts our senses: “Neuroscientists uncovered an energy-saving mode in vision-system neurons that works at the cost of being able to see fine-grained details” (Wired).
This week marks World Emoji Day (July 17), and we already saw Emojipedia’s draft designs for 2022’s new emojis, which we weren’t that blown away by, to be honest (not sure when I’d use a goose emoji?). So it seemed like a good time to dive into all things emoji-related — because it turns out, those little icons we know and love haven’t really been around all that long.
It’s not a coincidence that July 17 is the date for world emoji day. Not only is it the date displayed on the calendar emoji, but it’s also the date iCal for Mac was announced at MacWorld Expo in 2002.
- The word emoji is actually a blend of two Japanese words: e (絵, “picture”) + moji (文字, “character”).
- We can trace the roots of today’s emojis back to 90s chatrooms.
- Back then, emojis were a bit more primitive, so you’d likely have used :) to smile at somebody or ;) to respond in a flirty or sarcastic way.
- Japanese designer Shigetaka Kurita is seen as the founding father of today’s emojis.
- In 1999, NTT DOCOMO, a Japanese cell company, released the first-ever emoji library: 176 emojis designed for pagers and cell phones.
- Kurita used a blend of illustrations, pictograms, Japanese graphic novels, and the Zapf Dingbats typeface to create the emoji library.
- You can see it on display at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City.
The emoji evolution
Did you know there are over 3,600 emojis in use today?
- Over 900m are used on Facebook Messenger every day.
- One in five Tweets contains an Emoji.
- And 50% of Instagram comments contain emojis.
- Face with tears of joy (😂) was the world’s most popular emoji from the time Emojipedia’s records began (2011) until March 2021, when loudly crying face (😭) took the top spot for 10 months — pretty understandable given all that was happening in the world. Today, face with tears of joy is back on top.
- Did you know you can still use Android’s cute yellow blob emoji?
- Nowadays, we use emojis on all our devices — you can even get them on your Chromebook.
Global emoji use reached new heights in July 2022, ahead of World Emoji Day:
- Over 22% of all Tweets sent in July (in the runup to World Emoji Day) included at least one emoji.
- From June to July 2022, we saw record-breaking emoji use, with the highest instances of emojis-per-tweet since Emojipedia’s records began in 2011.
As part of World Emoji Day, you can catch Emojipedia’s video series “Emojis Across The World” on the official Emojipedia YouTube channel, packed with contributions from global emoji experts and emoji lovers worldwide.
- July 19: Stray lands on PS5, PS4, PC
- July 28: Pixel 6a launch
- July 28: ASUS Zenfone 9 launch
- Late July/Early August: Possible OnePlus 10T launch?
- August 10 (TBC): Samsung Unpacked? (new Galaxy foldables, Galaxy Watch 5 series?)
- September 2-6: IFA Berlin
- September 10 @ 9 PM CEST: Ubisoft Forward showcase
- November 8: Skull and Bones release date on Xbox Series S/X, PS5, PC, Stadia, and Luna
- November 9: God of War: Ragnarok launches on PS4, PS5
Tech Tweet of the Week
Although today it has my sympathies I know this community will never die. #outlawsforlife— Roger Clark (@rclark98) July 13, 2022
Something extra: A brilliant story from Morning Brew and the BBC, “Police arrested a group of Indian con men who staged a fake Indian Premier League cricket match on a farm and duped Russian gamblers into betting on it.”
Enjoy your week!
Paula Beaton, Copy Editor.