Affiliate links on Android Authority may earn us a commission. Learn more.
The Weekly Authority: 💬 Bard's surprise public beta
⚡ Welcome to The Weekly Authority, the Android Authority newsletter that breaks down the top Android and tech news from the week. The 237th edition here with Bard’s surprise public beta, not one but two new phones from HUAWEI, Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 processor leaks, the latest on the TikTok ban, and a weird and wonderful Jack Daniel’s story.
🎮 I finally cashed in some credit I had at a local game store and got myself a copy of Bayonetta Origins: Cereza and the Lost Demon, after playing the amazing demo on Switch earlier in the week. It hasn’t arrived yet, but I can’t wait!
Popular news this week
- Google announced it was giving Pixel Superfans early access to its ChatGPT AI rival Bard before opening a surprise public beta: if you’re in the UK or US you can get yourself on the waitlist now.
- Severe “Acropalypse” security flaw found in the Markup tool on Pixel phones.
- Pixel 8 Pro could borrow a Pixel 7 Pro camera trick to improve low-light shots.
- And the Pixel 7a is right on the horizon. We explore if this is the right time to buy the Pixel 6a or wait for the new Pixel mid-ranger.
- Good news for Pixel 6 series owners: Google has rolled out the March 2023 security patch to the Pixel 6, Pixel 6 Pro, and Pixel 6a, so you’re no longer exposed to the security risk from affected Exynos chips.
- More good news: Google is finally fixing the pesky Pixel Watch alarm problem in its March 2023 update, and it’s here now.
- Also: Google Calendar on Android may finally let you set up custom birthday reminders.
- Plus: Google Messages may soon let you use AI to respond to text messages.
- And YouTube Music now suggests ‘Covers and remixes’ of songs you listen to.
- Galaxy Z Fold 5 and Flip 5 leak may reveal some welcomed specs: Hello, water drop hinge?
- Speaking of foldables: Galaxy Z Fold 3 gets the March 2023 security update, while the Z Fold 2 March 2023 security update fixes some serious issues.
- First Fold, then Flip, now Samsung could launch a Tri-Fold in 2023.
- Samsung Galaxy M54 launched: A longer-lasting Galaxy A54 with 108MP camera.
- Leaked Samsung Galaxy A24 promo reveals almost everything about the phone, could have a pretty impressive display for the price.
- Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 battery sizes revealed in new listing.
- Also: Samsung’s photo ‘remaster’ tool apparently added teeth to baby pictures: The software seems to be mistaking a seven-month-old baby’s tongue for teeth. How weird.
- New leak shows Apple’s removing an iconic feature from the iPhone 15 Pro.
- 8BitDo controllers now work with Apple devices, with six currently compatible models, more coming soon.
- And iPhones will soon have voice isolation in calls, catching up to the likes of the Pixel 7 series and Samsung Galaxy phones.
- HUAWEI drops a foldable: Mate X3 announced with a 7.85-inch 120Hz internal folding screen and another 120Hz 6.4-inch FHD+ curved front display, IPX8 rating, Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1 chip, and 4,800mAh battery with 66W wired charging, and 50W wireless charging.
- And HUAWEI P60 series announced: One for the photography enthusiasts with its triple rear camera system with 48MP primary shooter, 40MP 3.5X periscope shooter with RYYB color filter, and 13MP ultrawide lens.
- Microsoft debuted Bing Image creator, its new AI tool that creates images from your words.
- First Pixels, now the Windows snipping tool has a major privacy flaw.
- TikTok ban hearing: all the news on the US’s crackdown on the video platform as CEO Shou Chew testifies.
- New Zealand is the latest country to ban TikTok from government devices, citing security concerns.
- Got a question for Twitter’s press team? Expect a poop emoji auto-response.
- And Twitter Blue is now available globally, while legacy blue ticks are going away on April 1.
- Plus: Say hello to ads in Instagram search results.
- A new report by NewsGuard suggests GPT-4 is more likely to spread misinformation, when prompted, than its predecessor GPT-3.
- Speaking of, ChatGPT bug leaked users’ conversation histories.
- Also, OpenAI is massively expanding ChatGPT’s abilities to let it browse the web and more.
- Virgin Orbit reportedly preparing for insolvency in wake of rocket failure, is in talks with potential investors.
- And NASA’s AIM spacecraft goes silent after a 15-year run studying the Earth’s oldest clouds.
- Oppo Find X6 Pro announced: A phone that bets everything on its main cameras — but it’s a China-only device.
- Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 processor leaks: A 64-bit-only powerhouse?
- Meanwhile, we benchmarked the Snapdragon 7 Plus Gen 2 to see if it’s a rival to 2022’s flagship silicon.
- And more data suggests smartphones are going to get way more expensive soon.
- Tech makers must provide repairs for up to 10 years under proposed EU law.
- It looks like Pebble may be reborn as a small Android phone.
- And Amazon CEO Andy Jassy announces an additional 9,000 layoffs.
- The “Her” voice assistant allows you to interact with your emails by voice.
- WhatsApp just got a lot faster on desktop, adds support for 8-person video calls.
- In other news, it looks like NVIDIA is also getting into the AI image and video creation game with Adobe, Getty, and Shutterstock.
- And some shocking news: Photography specialist site DPReview is closing down.
- “Click-to-Cancel” rule aims to make unsubscribing less of a pain.
- Pack your bags: Finland is the happiest country in the world, according to the World Happiness Report 2023 (the US ranks 15th, while the UK doesn’t even make the top 15).
- Also: A journalist suffered injuries after he plugged in an explosive-laden flash drive that was mailed to him.
- In case you missed last week’s sad news: Lance Reddick, ‘The Wire’ and ‘John Wick’ star, dies at 60.
- Speaking of, Mashable‘s John Wick: Chapter 4 review is in, and it may be the best John Wick movie yet.
- The Last of Us’ famous ending was almost changed for the show (Spoiler alert if you haven’t watched the finale yet!)
- Season 2 of Yellowjackets is here, with new episodes streamingly weekly on Fridays, and Mashable‘s got some burning questions before you start watching.
- Love Rick and Morty? Here are some similar shows to check out for your weekend binge.
- We’ve also got this week’s best new streaming movies, from M. Night Shyamalan’s Knock at the Cabin to anime-musical Inu-Oh.
- Also: Paramount to remake Hitchcock’s ‘Vertigo,’ Robert Downey Jr. eyes lead role.
- And we saw a trailer for Big Shark, Tommy Wiseau’s follow-up to The Room.
- Plus: Apple to spend $1 billion a year on films to break into cinemas.
- Finally: If you loved Wednesday, here are some of the best Jenna Ortega movies and TV shows, plus where to stream them.
- Competition for Google and Apple: Microsoft wants to launch a game app store on Android and iOS.
- Looking for a new gaming phone? The ROG Phone 7 arrives April 13, and here’s everything we know so far.
- Waiting for the Meta Quest 3? Here’s everything we know so far and what we want to see.
- Diablo 4’s pre-order beta beset by connectivity issues and long queues.
- And there’s still time to play the Diablo 4 open beta this weekend: You’ve got until 3 PM EDT on Monday, March 27.
- Meanwhile, Disco Elysium’s Collage Mode allows you to write new dialogue for the game.
- Epic Games released a stunning new tech demo for Unreal Engine 5 (h/t IGN).
- Netflix plans 40 more game releases in 2023 as it pushes forward with plans to be global gaming force.
- Elden Ring named Game of the Year at the Game Developers Choice Awards.
- Speaking of, Elden Ring streamer vanquishes Malenia using only her voice.
- And Valve announces Counter-Strike 2 for summer launch.
- Also: A laptop designed to last generations — Framework is working on a 16-inch modular gaming laptop.
- Finally: Amazon’s expanding Luna to the UK, Canada, and Germany.
- Xiaomi 13 Pro review: Good omens — “It’ll put a spell on you.”
- Jabra Elite 4 review: Budget buds that are best for Android users — “These affordable earbuds have mighty features. Don’t let them get lost in the sea of other Jabra Elite earbuds.”
- Garmin Forerunner 265 review: Color me impressed — “The Forerunner 265 offers an affordable entry point into a truly feature-packed line.”
- Mint Mobile vs Cricket Wireless: Which is better for you? We compare pricing, phone selection, plans, coverage, and more to help you choose the best prepaid carrier.
- Our C. Scott Brown gained access to Google Bard: Here’s what it’s like (Android Authority).
- Why pay extra for expensive earbuds when cheap earbuds sound good enough? “You might be happiest in the middle” (Android Authority).
- Cold weather nearly wrecked our 2,500-mile electric car adventure, plus the Reddit AMA (Ask Me Anything) all about the limits of an electric car on a US road trip (Axios, Reddit).
- OpenAI: ChatGPT could disrupt 19% of US jobs, is yours on the list? “Researchers examine how OpenAI’s GPT technology could affect the workforce, and find ‘the influence spans all wage levels, with higher-income jobs potentially facing greater exposure'” (PCMag UK).
- How you can tell the AI images of Trump’s arrest are deepfakes: “Doctored images of the former US president went viral on Twitter. These are the telltale signs that they aren’t what they seem” (Wired).
It’s been a weird week, so we thought we’d share three of the weirdest stories from it, right here.
💬 15 unhinged responses from Google’s Bard AI
What a week it has been for Google’s Bard AI! Gizmodo‘s got a nice roundup of some of its most unhinged responses, and here are a couple of highlights…
Bard claims its scream would terrify you…
Bard’s favorite month? Maruary
And Bard has a thing for John Scalzi
Playing with Google Bard. It is flattering to me, if, alas, incorrect in the particulars.(Google, to its credit, is warning people the information Bard provides may be inaccurate, which, fair.) pic.twitter.com/JTUQpxmwig— John Scalzi (@scalzi) March 21, 2023
🎥 The Writers Guild of America considers letting AI write Hollywood scripts
This isn’t as bad as it sounds!
- Variety reported on news that the Writers Guild of America proposes allowing AI to write scripts for movies, as long as writers retain credit.
- Effectively, this means encouraging writers to use tools like ChatGPT to help with script writing, without needing to share credits with AI.
- It may also see studios handing writers scripts already generated by AI, where the writer’s job is to edit and polish the script, and they’ll retain full credit.
- It’s all about the industry treating AI as a tool, not a writer in itself.
- However, it remains to be seen whether the AMPTP will be receptive to the idea
💩 Jack Daniel’s takes a poop joke to SCOTUS
Whiskey maker Jack Daniel’s claimed a squeaky dog toy violated its trademark (h/t Morning Brew).
- The “Bad Spaniels” dog toy from VIP Products bears quite the resemblance to an iconic whiskey bottle.
- On the front, rather than saying “Old No. 7 Tennessee Sour Mash Whiskey,” it says “Old No. 2 on your Tennessee carpet.”
- Jack Daniel’s claims this confuses customers due to the similarity to the real product, and that the toy associates its “fine whiskey with dog poop.”
- After the district court initially sided with the whiskey brand, an appeals court ruled that, since the toy was a parody, enforcing the trademark could run afoul of the First Amendment, so VIP Products can continue making the toy.
- April 13 @ 8 AM EDT: ROG Phone 7 launches
- May 5: Hogwarts Legacy lands on PS4 and Xbox
- May 10: Google I/O 2023
- June 11: Xbox Games Showcase
- June 13-16: E3 2023
Tech Tweet of the Week
Destiny 2 players gathered in-game last weekend to pay tribute to actor Lance Reddick, shortly after news of his death.
Just went into Destiny 2, and, yeah, players are gathered around Commander Zavala, paying tribute to his actor, the late Lance ReddickReally touching.— Stephen Totilo (@stephentotilo) March 17, 2023
Have a great week!
Paula Beaton, Copy Editor.