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The Weekly Authority: 📱 Pixel 7 Pro leaks

Pixel 7 pro leaks, an Asus ROG Phone 6 peek, Samsung's stock problem, and more — get the week's top tech news right here.
By
June 25, 2022
Google IO 2022 Pixel 7 pro
Google

⚡ Welcome to The Weekly Authority, the Android Authority newsletter that breaks down the top Android and tech news from the week. The 200th edition here, with Pixel 7 Pro news, Samsung’s stock problem, a peek at the ASUS ROG Phone 6, and much more…

☀️ It was the June solstice on Tuesday, which means summer is officially, astronomically here — and Scotland has been seeing a heatwave (which means about 24 degrees centigrade for us!)

Popular news this week

Google:

Samsung:

Poco:

Nothing:

Apple:

Amazon:

Elsewhere:

Movies/TV:

Gaming:

Reviews

samsung galaxy a53 standing
Ryan Haines / Android Authority

Features

Android Auto in Volkswagen ID.4 Google Maps Navigation
C. Scott Brown / Android Authority

Weekly Wonder

It seems strange to think that this week in 1946 saw the first delivery of mail by air. A jet plane took off from General Electric Air Research Lab in Schenectady, New York, on June 22 that year, as part of an Army Air Force demo, carrying a small quantity of mail to Washington DC and Chicago.

We say strange, as these days we’re on the brink of receiving parcel deliveries by drone. Last week, Amazon announced that customers in Lockeford, CA, would be among the first to receive drone deliveries later this year.

  • This is the first time Amazon’s made drone deliveries available to the public.
  • Drones will have the ability to fly beyond line of sight, meaning they can operate beyond the normal sight of the drone pilot.
  • The drones will drop deliveries at homes of customers in the town — which has a population of 4,000 —for residents who live within four miles of the planned drone facility.

These are bigger than your average drone though:

  • Amazon’s drones are 6.5 feet wide, four feet tall, and can deliver packages weighing up to 5lbs.
  • It costs Amazon $146k to build the current generation of drone, though it plans to cut this to $60k for the next generation.
  • The current generation of drone has a 5km range, but the next generation could triple that to 15km.

The size of these drones leads many people to ask, how safe are drone deliveries?

Drone delivery safety

Not all residents of Lockeford are pleased at the news. Some say that drones are an invasion of their privacy. Others are worried they could spook livestock.

  • Amazon says residents’ feedback will help shape the Prime Air service and future scaling.
  • But are they right to be concerned?
  • As of May 2022, Amazon had eight drone crashes in the past year, with one starting a brush fire in Oregon.
  • This has reportedly led to clashes with FAA inspectors after Amazon supposedly moved crash evidence and was slow to hand over data.
  • In the past, drones have injured people — in 2015, a photography drone knocked a woman unconscious at the Seattle Pride Parade, and this was much smaller than Amazon’s drones, weighing under 3lbs.
  • Research carried out by Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University team reported that test drone models weighing over 15lbs had a higher than 50% risk of inflicting serious head and neck injuries if they fell on people.

But there are logistics issues to consider too:

  • There’s no safe landing area for packages: porches are covered, there are often pets in back yards, and mailboxes are inaccessible to drones.
  • Options could include installing a drone delivery pad or delivering to a secure “smart locker” that the recipient accesses via code.

Not to mention security:

  • Amazon will need to ensure its drones are impervious to hackers, not only to prevent theft, but also to ensure there’s no risk to property, people, or even other aircraft.
  • If drones are hacked or malfunction and fall from the sky, their size and weight could pose a serious risk.

See also: The best drones you can buy in 2022

Are drones saving Amazon money?

It currently costs Amazon from around $4.50-$5.50 to deliver a package through third-party delivery partners, or $3.47 per package through its own logistics network

  • Delivery by drone through Prime Air will cost $63 per package in 2025, according to internal projections viewed by Business Insider.
  • But Amazon’s going for scale here and plans to strip back this cost as more locations are added and the number of drops to customers increases.

So are drones the future of e-commerce delivery? If Amazon’s initial rollout is successful, then you could be receiving drone deliveries sooner than you think.

Tech Calendar

  • June 26-July 3: Summer Games Done Quick
  • June 28: HTC Log In To The Future launch event (Metaverse phone?)
  • July 5: Asus ROG Phone 6 launch @ 8 AM ET
  • July 12: Nothing Phone 1 launch @ 4 PM BST (11 AM ET)
  • July 12-13: Amazon Prime Day
  • July 13: Samsung Galaxy XCover 6 Pro and Galaxy Tab Active 4 Pro launch
  • July 19: Stray lands on PS5, PS4, PC
  • July 28: Pixel 6a launch
  • August 10 (TBC): Samsung Unpacked? (new Galaxy foldables, Galaxy Watch 5 series?)

Tech Tweet of the Week

Rainbolt is a pro Google Maps player.
He can guess the location of a Google Street View after seeing it for 0.1 seconds. You may have seen his ridiculous skills in viral TikTok videos.
Here’s how he does it🧵 pic.twitter.com/9eCZL5Q8Zh
— Trung Phan (@TrungTPhan) June 15, 2022

Something extra: China says it may have received signals from aliens (an interesting read).

Have a great week!

Paula Beaton, Copy Editor.