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The Weekly Authority: 🔋Pixel 8's wireless charging could disappoint
⚡ Welcome to The Weekly Authority, the Android Authority newsletter that breaks down the top Android and tech news from the week. The 247th edition here with some news about the Pixel 8’s wireless charging, the launch of the Motorola Razr and Razr Plus, a confirmed launch location for the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5 and Z Fold 5, the Meta Quest 3 launch, and more…
🚀 This week, I finally made it to see Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 and it was every bit as good as I’d hoped. I might even go so far as to say it was my favorite of the trilogy?!
Popular news this week
- The Pixel 8 might not get the wireless charging boost you crave.
- Pixel Watch 2 could ditch Exynos for Snapdragon and gain more battery life.
- Oof, some Pixel Watch units are randomly popping open.
- Two more official Pixel Tablet accessories might still be in the pipeline.
- Google confirms it was working on a second foldable phone, so what happened?
- Also: Google wanted the Pixel Fold to feel like a passport.
- Google is changing a well-loved Pixel feature and you may not like it.
- This small Google Contacts change could have major consequences.
- Google Assistant third-party Notes & Lists integration is coming to an end.
- And Google spruces up Android, Wear OS with new tricks.
- Google Wallet will now let you add your gym card and any other pass with a photo.
- Meanwhile, Android 14 makes it possible to check your phone’s battery health.
- Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5 and Z Flip 5 launch location confirmed, and it’s a first.
- Samsung finally confirms blurry S23, S23 Plus cameras, says a fix is coming.
- Here’s how much it costs to make the Galaxy S23 Ultra.
- Meanwhile, the Galaxy S24 Ultra could get a potentially polarizing camera change.
- Whoops: Man drops Samsung phone into reservoir, orders whole thing drained to get it.
- And Samsung says the One UI 5 Watch beta is delayed.
- Plus: These Samsung Galaxy tablets just hit their best prices of the year with more than 30% off.
OPPO & OnePlus:
- OnePlus has listed the OnePlus 11 Marble Odyssey Edition in India — it’s the China-only Jupiter Rock variant with a new name, launching June 6.
- Long wait for YouTube Premium trial for some OnePlus users as OnePlus acknowledges issue but doesn’t give a time frame for fix.
- Apple will finally pay for broken keyboards on MacBooks.
- Reliable source claims iPhone 16 Pro series could be Apple’s largest.
- And Apple just launched an Android app before similar iPad or Mac apps.
- Also: Apple’s Reality Pro headset could be the sharpest and brightest by a mile.
- Plus: The stunning Apple Studio Display just got a big $250 markdown.
- On Wednesday we reported on a new update wreaking havoc with Surface Duo devices, and on Thursday Microsoft released a statement suggesting it’s “actively investigating” the problem, but no clarity on what’s actually going on or when we could see a fix.
- Popular anti-troll tool Block Party shuts down as Twitter launches new API subscription tier supposedly meant for “startups.”
- And Twitter is now worth one-third what Elon Musk paid, according to a valuation by Fidelity, which owns a stake in the company.
- Plus, Twitter’s head of trust and safety says she has resigned.
- Also: Twitter will now put Community Notes ‘fact checks’ on images.
- Reddit might destroy third-party Reddit apps (Update: Reddit stands firm).
- Japan will try to beam solar power from space by 2025, “deploying into orbit a series of small satellites, which will beam collected solar energy to ground-based receiving stations hundreds of miles away.”
- Mysterious ‘structures’ arranged in ‘stunning’ pattern found in space —the dashes, each five to ten light-years long, are pointing towards the black hole at the core of our Milky Way galaxy.
- Snapdragon Summit 2023 confirmed: Here’s when to expect Snapdragon 8 Gen 3.
- Meanwhile, MediaTek says its Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 rival will be a beast.
- We might see a flagship processor without little cores later this year.
- These were the most popular flagship phones in Q1: Only one foldable made the list.
- And here’s the number one reason people leave Android for the iPhone.
- Looking for a rugged phone? The Nokia XR21 is now available in the US.
- Meanwhile, family tech support gets easier as screen sharing comes to WhatsApp video calls.
- Speaking of, don’t type this very normal link into WhatsApp on Android, it will crash loop.
- Amazon is ending support for Alexa’s celebrity voices soon.
- And Garmin gives the Epix and Fenix 7 lineups a Pro upgrade.
- Also: The ASUS VivoBook Pro 16X laptop is a creative’s dream at this record-low price.
- Finally: Here’s all the NVIDIA news announced by Jensen Huang at Computex.
- Check out this week’s best streaming movies, from Tarantino’s Jackie Brown to The Social Network.
- We’ve also rounded up the week’s best streaming shows like the drag-tastical Drag me to Dinner and season 2 of neo-Western Joe Pickett.
- We got a season 6 release date and cast reveal for Black Mirror: Coming to Netflix June 15, so not long to wait, and it’ll be the most unpredictable season yet.
- PSA: To avoid malware, check for this before buying an Android TV.
- And it’s time to bid farewell to your first-generation Google Chromecast.
- Enjoyed the Night Agent? Check out these similar shows on Netflix.
- And if you’re looking for something free to watch this weekend, here are some of the best free shows on YouTube.
- The first predictions for the 2024 best picture Oscar race are in, with Maestro, Killers of the Flower Moon, and Oppenheimer all in the running.
- Speaking of, Oppenheimer receives R-rating in the US, Christopher Nolan’s first in two decades.
- The Meta Quest VR gaming showcase took place on Thursday, and we saw the Meta Quest 3 announced, retailing for $500 — plus we’ve got all the specs, pricing, availability, and more.
- We also saw a permanent price drop and performance boost for the Quest 2, down to $299 and $349 from June 4.
- The popular Yuzu emulator for Nintendo Switch is now on Android.
- Sony’s huge PS Store Days of Play sale is live now until June 12, with deals on games plus 25% off PS Plus subscriptions for limited time.
- PS Plus Essential games for June announced: NBA 2K23, Jurassic World Evolution 2, and Trek to Yomi are all now available.
- Naughty Dog says its Last of Us multiplayer game needs more time in the oven.
- ‘Silent Hill: Ascension’ interactive series trailer introduces the characters you can kill off.
- With the Xbox Games Showcase next week, latest teaser has Fable fans incredibly excited.
- And controversial military shooter Six Days in Fallujah releases in Early Access later this month.
- Also: Blizzard acknowledges Diablo 4 PS5, PS4 early launch faces invalid license issues preventing access.
- Finally: Xbox, Activision considering pulling games out of UK to close acquisition.
- Motorola Razr Plus and Razr (2023) hands-on: The Razr returns — “Bigger, better, and now there are two of them.”
- 8BitDo Ultimate Bluetooth Controller review: Should you buy it? “Who needs a Pro when you’ve got the Ultimate?
- Motorola Edge Plus (2023) review: Finally cutting edge — “This is an Edge (Plus) that’s spent time on the grindstone.”
- Motorola ThinkPhone review: It’s worth thinking about — “The ThinkPhone largely lives up to the proud tradition of the ThinkPad.”
- Google Pixel Tablet vs Samsung Galaxy Tab S8: Polar opposites — “Two great Android tablets that couldn’t be more different.”
- Google didn’t tease the Pixel 8 at I/O, why? “Google teased the Pixel 7 series at I/O 2022, but why didn’t it give us a look at the Pixel 8 series this time?” (Android Authority).
- Don’t ask Google’s new AI search to recommend you good phones, because yikes — “Obviously, this is still in the early phase, but Google’s AI can’t beat a human here yet” (Android Authority).
- Molly White tracks crypto scams. It’s going just great — “The software engineer’s cautionary Web3 blog pours cold water on cryptocurrency’s dumpster fires” (Wired).
- Sci-fi writer Ted Chiang: ‘The machines we have now are not conscious’ — “The visionary author on the limits of AI, the uses of science fiction — and why there’s a ‘market opportunity for volleyballs’” (FT).
- Lisa Su saved AMD. Now she wants NVIDIA’s AI crown — “AMD’s CEO orchestrated one of the great turnarounds in Silicon Valley history, driving the dying semiconductor maker’s stock price up nearly 30-fold in less than a decade. Next, she’s preparing for battle in the coming AI revolution — and she expects to keep winning” (Forbes).
Ever wanted a robot butler to do your household chores? Let’s face it, since seeing The Jetsons as kids, we’ve all dreamed of it — or maybe I’m showing my age here.
The good news is, the dream might be closer than you think, as London startup Prosper Robotics, founded by Shariq Hashme, a former OpenAI employee, is working on a “robot butler.”
- Though the household robot isn’t ready yet, the company hopes to start alpha testing with the first models in around eight months, with the robot on the market in around two years time.
- Hashme says it can do all the mundane household tasks we hate, from laundry to folding clothes, loading and emptying the dishwasher, cleaning floors and surfaces, and even preparing simple meals, like salad.
- The robot runs on wheels, with two arms it can raise and lower to do jobs. Its “hands” can straighten bedding, fold clothes, or put away dishes.
- It will come with a tool kit of up to 100 tools like a specialized mop or suction cups to help it perform tricky tasks (like removing Tupperware lids).
- Because the robot can hold knives, there are some safety concerns, but the company sees the home helpers as being operated remotely initially, while their owners are out at work.
- Hygiene was also a concern, but the robot will wear different sets of “gloves,” preventing any cross-contamination, and it can put these in the dishwasher for cleaning between tasks.
- It’s not as high-tech as it sounds quite yet, though. We’re still some way away from full automation as there’s not much data available out there to train a household robot on. These robots learn from doing the same tasks over and over, so right now, some more complex tasks (like making a salad) will need to rely on human operators.
- The company will charge a subscription fee to cover the robot’s insurance and maintenance, and to pay humans to teleoperate the robot using a VR interface. If you’re thinking this could be a privacy issue, Hashme says the interface blurs out text and human faces, but ultimately still allows a human operator to see inside your home.
The real challenge here is creating a household robot at a realistic price. Prosper’s butler will cost somewhere between $5-10k plus the subscription costs. So while it’s out of reach for many of us, we can expect to see it in the homes of those who can afford it in the next couple of years!
You can check out an early timelapse video of the robot in action here.
- June 5: Apple WWDC (Reality One or Reality Pro mixed-reality headset?)
- June 8: Summer Game Fest
- June 11: Xbox Games Showcase
- June 12: Ubisoft event
- June 13: ASUS Rog Ally Z1 Extreme model on sale
- June 20: Pixel Tablet goes on sale in stores
- July 26: Samsung Galaxy Unpacked (Galaxy Z Fold 5, Z Flip 5)
- October 24-26: Snapdragon Summit 2023 (Snapdragon 8 Gen 3?)
Tech Tweet of the Week
Oh, so very true, Tom Hanks…
Something extra: Watch this NVIDIA demo and imagine actually speaking to AI game characters (h/t The Verge).
Until next week!
Paula Beaton, Copy Editor.