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The Weekly Authority: 🌍 The best of MWC 2023
⚡ Welcome to The Weekly Authority, the Android Authority newsletter that breaks down the top Android and tech news from the week. The 234th edition here with all the best of MWC 2023, the cost of Pixel Watch components, launch deets for OnePlus’ first foldable, an Elden Ring expansion, and much more!
📚 I’m back from my Scottish sojourn, laden down with books from the crime writing festival I attended up north to add to my TBR pile, and there are a lot of dystopian titles there. Perhaps it’s no wonder, given the world we find ourselves living in!
Popular news this week
- Surprise! Pixel Watch BoM report reveals the actual cost of Google’s smartwatch.
- A mysterious Google device appeared on the FCC: Could it be the Pixel 7a?
- A YouTube clip from sci-fi epic Alien is crashing Pixel phones.
- Problem solved: After issues earlier this week, Google Assistant can control smart home devices once again
- The Pixel Buds Pro and Pixel Buds A-Series could get a ‘Sky Blue’ version.
- No T-Mobile? You may have a problem using Google Fi as it’s reportedly dropped US Cellular.
- Certifiable flagship: The Nothing Phone 2 will have a Snapdragon 8-series processor.
- Meanwhile, Nothing Ear 2 launch could be near as company posts cryptic bug teaser.
- And there’s a Nothing Phone 1 clone at MWC and Carl Pei just posed with it.
- You can now talk to ChatGPT on Snapchat, but don’t reveal any secrets.
- Twitter lays off manager who slept on office floor after Musk takeover.
- And more Twitter drama after Slack shutdown; employees play hooky.
- More Musk news: Elon might start up a ChatGPT rival, report says.
- Plus: Fast-moving Musk makes very slow progress turning Twitter into ‘everything app.’
- Also, Twitter’s next CEO may be Musk right hand: Boring Co. chief Steve Davis may be next in line.
- And Jack Dorsey’s Twitter alternative Bluesky is now available in closed beta.
- Signal will ditch the UK if a new encryption law is passed, according to the firm’s CEO.
- Scientists discovered a massive ‘forbidden’ planet that shouldn’t exist: Jupiter-sized TOI-5205b is so huge it challenges theories about how planets form.
- Lunar lander travels deeper into space than any other commercial aircraft: Japan’s Hakuto-R spacecraft charts new territory on a private mission.
- Plus: Should the Moon have its own time zone? The European Space Agency thinks so.
- Also: After flying four astronauts into orbit, SpaceX makes its 101st straight landing.
- Qualcomm built iSIM, not eSIM, directly into its Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 mobile processor.
- Thought 240W was fast? Redmi now has 300W charging tech!
- Color-changing phone allows you to choose from 1,600 different colors at will.
- This cool face-unlock sensor sits under the display and can be used for payments.
- Say sayonara to blurry photos thanks to this sharp camera tech.
- Meanwhile, easier eSIM transfers are officially coming to Android later this year.
- HUAWEI’s new watch looks like a G-Shock and Pop Swatch mashup.
- And Garmin’s Forerunner 265 and 965 are bright additions to the lineup, literally.
- Watch and wonder as we try to fix a Nokia G22 in five minutes.
- No cell coverage? No problem. Any phone can text over satellite with this gadget.
- And ARCHOS built a security camera that doesn’t need wires, not even for power!
- Work from car? Mercedes-Benz is bringing WebEx meetings to the new E-Class sedans.
- Ford patents car that can repossess itself and drive back to showroom.
- Wednesday was Tesla Investor Day, but Musk’s ‘Master Plan’ disappoints, no details on new cars.
- Elsewhere, ChatGPT and Whisper APIs debut, allowing devs to integrate them into apps.
- ‘We have made science fiction come true!’ Scientists prove particles in a quantum system can be rejuvenated.
- Wow: Augmented reality headset enables users to see hidden objects.
- Check out this week’s best new streaming movies, including Scorsese’s Bringing Out the Dead and neo-noir erotic thriller In the Cut.
- Apple TV Plus: Here’s the list of all of the movies and shows on the service.
- Speaking of movies, a Dead by Daylight film is in the works, and will be produced by Blumhouse.
- Dolby Atmos, Dolby Vision, and IMAX Enhanced: What’s the difference?
- We saw a trailer for Ted Lasso Season 3, returning March 15.
- And a first teaser landed for the TV adaptation of Fatal Attraction, starring Lizzie Caplan and Joshua Jackson, coming to Paramount Plus April 30 in the US (May 1 for the UK).
- Warner Bros. Discovery sues Paramount over ‘South Park’ streaming rights.
- Hawkins hits the stage: ‘Stranger Things: The First Shadow’ play will open 2023 in London’s West End.
- Also: Netflix’s Pornhub documentary trailer touches on sex trafficking allegations, arriving March 15.
- Plus: Star Trek: Discovery is ending with season 5 next year.
- Elden Ring expansion confirmed by FromSoftware: “Shadow of the Eldtree” is currently in development, release date unknown.
- The Outer Worlds remaster comes to PS5 next week, with DualSense support, various improvements — if you already own the PS4 game, you can upgrade for just $9.99.
- Just how impressive are the PS5 specs? Here’s what you need to know.
- Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty landed on Xbox Game Pass: The first major Game Pass launch of March 2023 is now available, with a 44GB download size on Xbox Series X.
- Speaking of, Xbox is giving away these official new Mandalorian Series X|S consoles, but unfortunately, you can’t buy them.
- And here’s everything announced at the February 2023 Pokémon Presents showcase, including Pokémon Sleep.
- Metroid Prime lovers, unite: The classic comes to Nintendo Switch Online next week.
- Elsewhere, Destiny 2: Lightfall leaves a bad first impression, feels underwhelming.
- And The Wolf Among Us 2 delayed into 2024 to avoid burnout and crunch.
- This is Meta’s AR/VR hardware roadmap for the next four years.
- Meanwhile, EA lays Off over 200 Apex Legends testers over Zoom call, basically its entire Baton Rouge studio.
- Also: Microsoft’s Activision Blizzard purchase will reportedly be approved by the EU.
- TECNO Phantom V Fold hands-on impressions: This foldable is cheap — “Between the folding screen with a minimal crease and ultra-thing glass, a bright and sharp external display, and a healthy level of horsepower, there’s a lot to like here.”
- Belkin BoostCharge Pro for Apple Watch review: Reliable, portable fast charging — “If you’re looking for a reliable, go-to spot to charge up your Apple Watch, the BoostCharge Pro Portable Fast Charger from Belkin is an easy buy.”
- HONOR Magic Vs review: Do you believe in magic? “HONOR is taking its best shot at disrupting Samsung’s foldable lead.”
- Xiaomi 13 Pro hands-on impressions: Lucky number 13? “No ladders, black cats, or broken mirrors required.”
- Realme GT 3 hands-on impressions: A high-performing beast from the East? “If you’re looking for flagship-tier power and stupidly fast charging above all else, the Realme GT 3 looks ready to deliver.”
- Motorola rizr rollable phone concept hands-on: They see me rollin’ — “Move aside, foldables, the latest coolness is here.”
- TCL NXTPAPER 11 hands-on: Glare today, gone tomorrow — “The TCL NXTPAPER 11 delivers a matte display, but don’t expect much else in terms of pure specs.”
- I tried Bing Chat on mobile, and I’m not going back to Google Assistant (Android Authority).
- I just charged my Magsafe iPhone 14 on a Qi2 wireless charger: “It works!” (Android Authority).
- As chat-based AI becomes more pervasive, we are all once again tech companies’ guinea pigs, argues this piece (Wall Street Journal).
- Inside the lab that’s growing mushroom computers: “The lead researcher says he is ‘planning to make a brain from mushrooms.'” (Popular Science).
- I asked an algorithm to optimize my life. Here’s what happened — “I spend all day making decisions, and they’re not always good ones. Could an algorithm do a better job of deciding what’s best for me?” (Wired).
Want to go to space but don’t have billions in the bank? Japanese start-up Iwaya Giken, based in Sapporo, aims to “democratize space” and make space travel accessible to all.
- The company’s Open Universe Project, which commenced in 2012, has just reached completion.
- It has created a two-seater 1.5 metre drum-shaped cabin designed to seat one pilot and passenger.
- The cabin will be lifted 15 miles above ground by a helium-filled balloon, and since this isn’t a rocket or spaceplane, no special training is required for space tourists.
- Taking off from Hokkaido, the flight will take around two hours to ascend, with one hour of viewing time followed by a one-hour descent back to Earth.
- The company revealed its project at a press event in Tokyo and hopes to bring the boarding price down from 24 Million yen ($180,000) to an as-yet-undisclosed five-figure sum.
- It has some stiff competition already from World View Enterprises (Arizona), which is developing a similar stratospheric balloon tour for $50,000 per person, with a 6-12 hour flight time.
- Other competitors include Space Perspective, charging $125,000 per passenger to transport you to the stratosphere in comfort.
- You can apply until the end of August for flights taking off early next year, with the first five lucky passengers to be announced in October.
- The prices are a far cry from what Blue Origin charges — even its “cheapest” tickets cost upwards of $1 million, with Virgin Galactic offering rides to the edge of space for $450,000.
- March 7: The Outer Worlds: Spacer’s Choice Edition launches (PS5, Xbox Series X, and PC)
- March 15: Samsung event (TBC, could see Galaxy A34 and A54)?
- March 17: Bayonetta Origins: Cereza and the Lost Demon lands (Nintendo Switch)
Tech Tweet of the Week
In 2017, Apple filed a patent for a way to turn your iPhone into a Macbook.How? There’s a laptop casing and you dock your iPhone in the trackpad section (and the phone provides the processor, memory and storage). We need this. pic.twitter.com/8uAG345SgF— Trung Phan (@TrungTPhan) March 2, 2023
Something egg-stra: 🥚 This man celebrated Easter early by breaking into a UK industrial park and stealing over $38,000 of Cadbury Creme Eggs and other chocolates (h/t The Hustle).
Have a most eggcellent week!
Paula Beaton, Copy Editor.