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The Weekly Authority: 📦 Galaxy Unpacked, unpacked plus Google's foldable tablet
⚡ Welcome to The Weekly Authority, the Android Authority newsletter that breaks down the top Android and tech news from the week. The 255th edition here with everything from Galaxy Unpacked, the possibility of a foldable Google tablet, a Sony Xperia 5 V video leak, pizza-scented Xbox controllers, and more…
👻 This week I’ve been hunting for something new to get my teeth into now Oxenfree II: Lost Signals is finished (it was GOOD!) and I’m eyeing Gylt. I have a feeling nothing is going to live up to the spookiness of Oxenfree for now, though, so I’m also going to replay the first game. Can you believe it’s been seven years since it was released?
Popular news this week
Kicking off with everything from Galaxy Unpacked:
- Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5 is here: Price, specs, features, and all you need to know — 12GB RAM, up to 1TB storage, stronger glass, a more reliable hinge, and an IPX8 rating.
- And Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5 is here: Price, specs, features, all you need to know — a redesigned hinge, a larger cover display, and more.
- We have bad news if you wanted a Galaxy Z Flip 5 Bespoke edition.
- Samsung prototypes show Fold 5 and Flip 5 could have been very different phones.
- And Samsung reveals why the Galaxy Z Fold 5 doesn’t have an S Pen slot.
- Samsung says dust resistance on foldables isn’t easy, but it’s working on it.
- Plus: Don’t expect to use Google Wallet on the Galaxy Z Flip 5’s cover display.
- Samsung may have canceled plans to add DeX support on the Galaxy Z Flip 5.
- Samsung confirms a new Galaxy FE phone is coming, and Galaxy S23 FE spotted in new listing — expect slow wireless charging.
- Samsung Galaxy Tab S9 series is here: Price, specs, availability, and more.
- Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 is here: Price, specs, features, and all you need to know.
- And Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 Classic Golf Edition shows up in Korea.
- Samsung Galaxy A54 5G specs: Everything you need to know.
- Samsung’s Smart View can finally mirror your screen to Chromecast devices.
- Also: You might have to wait a really long time for the Galaxy Ring.
- And Samsung may have downgraded 8K video recording on the Galaxy S23 series.
- Report: Google could reveal a foldable tablet at I/O 2024.
- Google was the only brand to grow in the US (but there’s an asterisk).
- Google announces a new Play Store for foldables and tablets.
- Pixel Watch 2 leak suggests it’s lighter, but that may not be a good thing.
- Wear OS 4 is now official, but not for your Pixel Watch.
- Google ordered to pay $339M for stealing the very idea of Chromecast.
- Android 14’s work profile is changing how apps are suspended.
- Android 14 beta 4.1 lands with a long list of fixes before stable release.
- Android KitKat reaches its end as Google Play services discontinue support.
- Google is rolling out an Android feature to prevent unwanted Bluetooth tracking.
OPPO & OnePlus:
- Xiaomi reveals first Mix Fold 3 details: Everything the Z Fold 5 isn’t?
- Twitter has killed the bird logo and replaced it with an ‘X.’
- And Twitter wants you to pay to send more DMs.
- Also: Twitter CEO teases banking and payment plans in memo about X rebrand: Could Twitter start offering fintech services like savings accounts and debit cards?
- Meanwhile, Threads gets the chronological feed you’ve wanted since day 1.
- Plus: TikTok is adding text posts, similar to Instagram Stories.
- And Facebook surpasses 3 billion monthly active users.
- Whoops: Astrophysicist who claimed to find alien tech may have done the science wrong.
- SpaceX teases another application for Starship: Turning it into a commercial space station.
- ChatGPT Android app is now available for download on the Play Store.
- Bing Chat finally comes to Chrome and Safari (with two key limitations).
- Sony Xperia 5 V video leaks: A major change is coming for the series.
- HONOR’s first Flip phone is real, but when will it launch?
- Microsoft, Amazon, and Meta team up to challenge Google Maps and Apple Maps.
- WhatsApp introduces end-to-end encrypted 60-second instant video messages.
- Spotify confirms Premium price hike for a ton of markets, including the US.
- Dish and Amazon partner up to bring phone service to Amazon Prime users.
- Android’s earthquake alerts may have failed during deadly Turkey quake.
- Expect another price hike for your grandfathered Verizon plan.
- Transplant of fresh brain cells replaces diseased and aged ones: Researchers performed the transplant on mice and open doors to developing treatment for conditions ranging from Alzheimer’s disease to schizophrenia.
- Also: Superconductor breakthrough could represent ‘biggest physics discovery of a lifetime’ — but scientists urge caution.
- Dive into this week’s best new streaming shows, from Season 2 of Good Omens to Netflix’s docuseries How to Become a Cult Leader.
- Or try one of this week’s best new streaming movies for your weekend entertainment: Joy Ride sounds fun.
- Feeling the pinch? Check out the best free streaming services: Freevee, Pluto TV, Peacock, and more.
- Netflix adds new ‘My Netflix’ tab for quick access to saved shows and downloads.
- It’s here! Check out the trailer for season 2 of Apple TV+’s Invasion, premiering August 23, with new episodes dropping weekly.
- And if you’ve been awaiting season three of Only Murders in the Building (so, all of us then), a trailer has just dropped, with Meryl Streep entering the Arconia — streaming on Disney Plus from August 8.
- Reviews of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem are in — Empire says, “Inventively animated, giddily funny, and a surprisingly authentic take on the outsider experience: it is virtually impossible not to be charmed by these reptilian bros,” while Rotten Tomatoes gives it 95% on the Tomatometer.
- And a trailer for The Witcher Season Three Part 2 teases Henry Cavill’s final Geralt scenes (cue sobbing).
- Finally: Morgan Freeman and Josh Hutcherson turn back time in 57 Seconds trailer, expected in US cinemas and on demand on September 29.
- New Xbox update makes dashboard more functional and look way better.
- And Google Play Games on PC adds new games, keyboard remapping, and 60 new regions.
- August’s PlayStation Plus monthly games include Death’s Door and Dreams.
- And Futurama Fortnite event sees Fry, Leela, and Bender drop onto the island.
- The indie title that could make or break Netflix Games: “Netflix acquired its first studio, Night School, in 2021. Now it’s launching Oxenfree II: Lost Signals with the streaming service. How it fares could be a bellwether for indie success.”
- Meanwhile, Lords of the Fallen PS5 shows tons of promise in 18-minute gameplay deep dive.
- Also: Two classic Game Boy Color Zelda titles arrive on Nintendo Switch Online — The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Ages and The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Seasons are now available for subscribers.
- Sad times: Assassin’s Creed Valhalla update removes DLC events and seasonal content forever as Ubisoft cuts support for game entirely.
- Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5 and Z Flip 5 hands-on: The more things change — “The Galaxy Z Flip 5 gets the most noticeable upgrade, but both devices get a zero-gap design.”
- Hands-on with the Samsung Galaxy Tab S9 series: Any bigger? Any better? “Don’t fix what isn’t broken.”
- Hands-on with the Samsung Galaxy Watch 6: The bezel is back — “You spin me right round, baby, right round.”
- Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 vs Galaxy Tab S9: Should you upgrade? “Are minor improvements worth the extra cost?”
- Samsung Galaxy Tab S9 vs Google Pixel Tablet: Which tablet should you buy? “Does Google have what it takes to dethrone Samsung’s reign as the king of Android tablets?”
- Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4 vs Z Flip 5: Should you upgrade? “The new Flip isn’t a lot more powerful, but it does come with a few interesting upgrades.”
- Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 vs Galaxy Watch 4: Is it worth the upgrade? “Samsung’s smartwatches haven’t changed much over the years, so is an upgrade really necessary?”
- Here’s what it’s like at the world’s largest Samsung store: “There’s room in here for a cafe, a small theatre, a fun display of old phones, and tons of Samsung products for sale” (Android Authority).
- Forget other specs, water resistance is the best part of the Galaxy Tab S9: “If you’re paying $800 for a tablet, it better be more resistant to the elements” (Android Authority).
- Samsung Galaxy S23: Why isn’t there an Exynos model? “We won’t have to worry about which region has the more powerful processor this year” (Android Authority).
- The new Galaxy Z Flip 5 and Fold 5 aren’t always “thinner” — “Thinner, yes, but only when folded” (Android Authority).
- Twitter scammers stole $1,000 from my friend — so I hunted them down: “After scammers duped a friend with a hacked Twitter account and a ‘deal’ on a MacBook, I enlisted the help of a fellow threat researcher to trace the criminals’ offline identities” (Wired).
To celebrate the launch of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem, Microsoft’s made a pizza-scented Xbox controller. Cowabunga!
- Sadly — or perhaps happily, depending on your sense of smell — you can’t buy one of these as they’re part of a giveaway.
- The new design comes in four variants, one for each TMNT (Donatello, Leonardo, Michelangelo, and Raphael, like you needed a reminder). They’re pretty much just stock Xbox controllers, but if you want your gaming sessions to smell like cheese and pepperoni…
- How can you win one? Follow Xbox Game Pass on Twitter X and retweet this post, but you’ve only got until August 13 to do so. Or you can head to Microsoft’s Experience Center on Fifth Avenue in NYC on August 2 for a promo event, if you want to sniff one for yourself.
- We reckon this is one for the most hardcore heroes in a half-shell fans only…
- August: Xiaomi Mix Fold 3 launch
- August 11: Galaxy Z Flip 5 and Z Fold 5 on sale
- September 6: Starfield launches on PC, Xbox Series X
- October 24-26: Snapdragon Summit 2023 (Snapdragon 8 Gen 3?)
- January 2024: OnePlus 12 global launch
Tech Tweet of the Week
Something extra: It’s National Mustard Day next week, August 5, and Skittles has teamed up with French’s Mustard to create… mustard-flavored Skittles? Will you be trying them? (h/t: The Hustle).
Have an amazing week! Also, before I go, it might be time for me to bid you all farewell, as I think this will be my last week on The Weekly Authority. It’s been a blast and I’ll miss our weekly news dive — but things will continue without me, with all the top tech news of the week right here (though maybe slightly less talk of video games).😅
💀 In the words of Skeletor, until we meet again!
P.S., please subscribe to the Daily Authority, where you’ll still catch me on Tuesdays…
Paula Beaton, Copy Editor.