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The Weekly Authority: 👀 Everything Google I/O
⚡ Welcome to The Weekly Authority, the Android Authority newsletter that breaks down the top Android and tech news from the week. The 244th edition here and it’s that time of year again, Google I/O! If you missed Wednesday’s big event, we’ve got all the updates. Also in this week’s TWA, we’ve got loads of Motorola Razr 40 Ultra leaks, Sony’s Xperia 1 V launch, the latest on Microsoft’s Activision Blizzard deal, and Google and Wendy’s AI drive-through makeover — plus pricing, specs, and a release date for the ASUS ROG Ally.
🖌️ Since hearing about Sony’s shutdown of PixelOpus, I’ve started playing Concrete Genie, and it’s such a colorful, addictive little game; plus, it’s currently included with PS Plus Premium.
Popular news this week
- First up: Google I/O was on Wednesday, and you can catch up on everything you missed in the Weekly Wonder, below.
- Google is luring users to the Pixel Fold by overpaying for trade-ins.
- Thought ads on the Google Play Store couldn’t get worse? Think again.
- Google and Wendy’s team up to give the drive-through an AI makeover.
- And Android 14 Beta 2 arrives for Pixel phones, here’s what’s new.
- Also: you can now get the Android 14 beta on these phones, from OnePlus to Xiaomi.
OPPO & OnePlus:
- All signs point towards OPPO and OnePlus leaving France; is the rest of Europe next?
- No more MariSilicon? OPPO is shutting down its custom chip unit.
- HUAWEI Mate X3, P60 Pro launched globally on Tuesday: Premium hardware (and pricing).
- And new HUAWEI MatePad will be unveiled next week at event in China, alongside a new smartwatch and other gadgets.
- The iPhone 16 Pro series could finally get a longer display, which could change how you hold and use your iPhone.
- Report: iPhone satisfaction sees its biggest drop since 2012.
- Elon Musk has found his replacement as CEO of Twitter, but we don’t know who it is just yet.
- Twitter says a “security incident” led to private Circle tweets becoming public, but it “immediately fixed” the issue.
- And Twitter launched encrypted DMs, voice and video chat to follow.
- Plus, you can now react to Twitter DMs with any emoji.
- How to delete your data from ChatGPT: “OpenAI has new tools that give you more control over your information — although they may not go far enough.”
- How Europe is leading the world in building guardrails around AI.
- Sony Xperia 1 V launched: The best phone with a headphone jack.
- Poco F5 series launched: Flagship power, premium features for under $500.
- And MediaTek Dimensity 9200 Plus launched: A Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 for Galaxy rival.
- HTC U23 Pro leaks online: The one you Desire?
- Fairbuds XL launched: You can easily repair these headphones.
- Miss headphone jacks and microSD cards? These new flagships are for you.
- Back in April, we showed you a preview of Humane’s AI-powered wearable projector, and now we’ve got the full video of the TED talk where Imran Chaudhri demos the wearable.
- Waiting for a Google AirTag? Chipolo Find My Device trackers have you covered.
- Plus: Android’s Find My Device network gets even more options with Pebblebee trackers.
- The Oura Ring is getting even smarter with Lifesum sleep and nutrition tracking.
- And Wear OS 3 delay for Mobvoi watches isn’t letting up anytime soon, says Mobvoi.
- WhatsApp bug is making some Android phones falsely report microphone access.
- Elsewhere, researchers craft a fully edible battery from food-grade materials, though its capacity is terrible.
- Also: “Sleep language” could enable communication during lucid dreams.
- Finally: Congress eyes new rules for tech: Under consideration are a TikTok ban, keeping younger children off social media, and more.
- Weekend viewing at the ready: Our pick of the week’s best new streaming movies, including Steven Spielberg’s Academy Award-nominated The Fabelmans.
- If you prefer a new show to dive into, the week’s best new streaming shows include FX thriller miniseries Class of ’09 and Apple TV Plus’ City on Fire.
- Disney combines Hulu and Disney Plus, will raise price of ad-free plans.
- Does Peacock have live TV? We cover what’s included with your Peacock subscription at the free and paid tiers.
- Marvel’s Blade pre-production is on hold due to the Hollywood writers’ strike.
- Elsewhere, we saw a first teaser for Yorgos Lanthimos’ next movie: Poor Things will star Emma Stone, Mark Ruffalo, Willem Dafoe, Remy Youseff, and Christopher Abbott.
- Following last week’s teaser, Black Mirror unveiled episode titles for Season 6: Joan is Awful, Loch Henry, Beyond the Sea, Mazey Day, and Demon ’79.
- And Dan Stevens joins the cast of the Scream Team’s as-yet-untitled monster movie known as Radio Silence, also starring Melissa Barrera (Scream) and Alisha Weir.
- Also: Good Omens Season 2 is coming this summer, premiering July 28 on Amazon Prime Video.
- ASUS ROG Ally price, full specs, release date announced, and there’s not long to wait for the Z1 Extreme model.
- Sad times: It looked like we might be saying goodbye to the best Nintendo Switch emulator for Android – but wait! It might live on as Strato.
- Speaking of, here’s everything we know so far about the Nintendo Switch 2, and what we want to see.
- More sad news: Sony is shutting down PixelOpus, the studio behind Concrete Genie.
- Speaking of Sony, 23 games hit PS Plus Extra, Premium next Week in big update, including Humanity and Ratchet and Clank: Rift Apart.
- The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom launched on Switch Friday — a new trailer targets an unexpected demographic, and reviews are in, with The Guardian calling it “pure magic,” and Eurogamer saying, “Tears of the Kingdom is an astonishing, quite literally top-to-bottom sequel, adding complexity and splendor to the Breath of the Wild formula without sacrificing its enchantment.”
- European Commission reportedly set to approve Microsoft’s Activision Blizzard deal, as soon as next week.
- Meanwhile, Hollow Knight: Silksong is delayed, but no further news yet on when we can expect to see it.
- And NYC’s Tribeca Festival will feature several upcoming video games plus a documentary about Hideo Kojima.
- Google Pixel 7a review: Setting the (Real) tone — “The Pixel A series is all grown up.”
- Google Pixel Fold hands-on: A first-gen success? “First impressions are important, and Google’s Pixel Fold made a lasting first impression on me.”
- Google Pixel Tablet hands-on: Such a great idea — “Google looked for a good reason to make a tablet, and it found one. But there might be a fatal flaw.”
- Google Pixel 7a vs Samsung Galaxy A54 5G: Which is the best mid-range phone? “We pit the Pixel 7a against the Galaxy A54 5G to see which is the better phone in the sub-$500 price bracket.”
- Google Pixel 4a vs Pixel 7a: Is it time to upgrade to the latest Pixel A phone? “The Pixel 4a isn’t a spring chicken anymore; maybe the Pixel 7a is what you’ve been waiting for?”
- POCO F5 Pro review: Premium extras at an affordable price — “Wireless charging and a QHD+ screen for under £600? What’s the catch?”
- Google Pixel 7a camera shootout: Three steps forward, one step back — “Which phone will take the mid-range Pixel photography crown?” (Android Authority).
- WhatsApp comes to Wear OS, instantly makes my Pixel Watch more useful — “Voice message support, complications, tiles — what’s not to love?”
- You trained the chatbot to do your job. Why didn’t you get paid? “Data from top-performing employees can create AI helpers that boost everyone’s productivity — but also create new concerns over fair pay” (Wired).
- Inside the Italian mafia’s encrypted phone of choice: “A collaborative investigation reveals alleged members of the mafia are using encrypted phones from ‘No. 1 Business Communication.’ The company is linked to a high-profile American businessman, a Ukrainian technologist, and multiple convicted criminals” (Vice).
- The untold story of the boldest supply-chain hack ever: “The attackers were in thousands of corporate and government networks. They might still be there now. Behind the scenes of the SolarWinds investigation” (Wired).
Grab a cuppa and settle in as we’re about to dive deep into everything from Google I/O 2023, which took place on Wednesday.
All things Android 14
First up, some Android 14-related announcements.
- Next month we can expect to see some new features to help you create custom “cinematic” wallpaper or wallpapers using up to 14 emojis. This fall, Google will also debut a generative AI wallpaper maker.
- We’ll also see customizable lock screen clocks and shortcuts like Screen Record and Flashlight.
Of course, there was a ton of hardware revealed at the event, too, including the Pixel 7a, Pixel Fold, and Pixel Tablet.
Google Pixel 7a
We already knew a ton about the phone thanks to the constant stream of leaks and rumors, but in a first for A series Pixels, the Pixel 7a revealed its 90Hz display refresh rate and wireless charging — even if it is super slow at just 7.5W).
- Otherwise, there were no great surprises on the specs front: Under the hood, the Pixel 7a‘s powered by Google’s Tensor G2 chip, with a plastic back to keep costs down and the dual-lens camera system we’d expected, though the main lens gets an upgrade to 65MP.
- There are no pre-orders, and the Pixel 7a is available to buy now, but it’ll cost you more than the Pixel 6a did at launch, with a $50 price hike. It’s $499 in the US, just $100 less than the Pixel 7, $599 (CAD) in Canada, £499 in the UK, and €509 in the rest of Europe.
Google Pixel Fold
We finally saw the Pixel Fold, which Google claims is the thinnest foldable on the market (well, in the markets it’s sold in, at any rate). It also sports a more compact form factor than the Galaxy Z Fold 4.
- Specs-wise, it’s powered by the Tensor G2 chip, with 12GB of LPDDR5 RAM and 256GB or 512GB of onboard storage, plus a 120Hz FHD+ 2,092 x 1,080 OLED display.
- Like Samsung’s foldables, the Pixel Fold has a Flex Mode-style ability, and you can also take selfies with the main camera, using the cover screen as a viewfinder.
- As for battery life, it packs a 4,821mAh battery with 30W fast charging and wireless charging.
- Pre-orders are now open, though the phone isn’t yet available: general sales start in June.
- It’s only available in the US, UK, Germany, and Japan, and anyone pre-ordering will get a free Pixel Watch (unless you’re in Japan).
Google Pixel Tablet
We first laid eyes on Google’s Pixel Tablet at last year’s Google I/O, and pre-orders are now live, with in-store availability coming June 20.
- You can grab the Pixel Tablet in Porcelain, Hazel, or Rose, with 128GB or 256GB of onboard UFS 3.1 storage.
- It’s available in the US, Canada, Australia, Japan, the UK, and the rest of Europe, starting from $499/£599/€679/CA $699 for the 8GB/128GB model — around $20 more than the OnePlus Pad.
- As for other specs, the Pixel Tablet packs a 2,560 x 1,600 resolution LCD display, Tensor G2 chip, 8GB of LPDDR5 RAM, 128GB or 256GB of onboard UFS 3.1 storage, and 8MP front and rear cameras.
Google Pixel 8 and 8 Pro
We expected to see a teaser of the Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro at Google I/O 2023, but it wasn’t to be. However, here’s everything we know about the Pixel 8, and what we want to see.
Google Pixel Watch 2
There was also not so much as a peep about the Pixel Watch 2 at Google I/O this year, but you can check out everything we know so far while you wait.
There was also a whole slew of the usual other announcements outside of hardware:
- We saw announcements for Bard’s AI art generator, Google Maps Immersive View for routes, RCS, Google Home, Find My Device, and more.
- Then there were the AI announcements with updates, including PaLM2, Google Photos Magic Editor, Search, and Gmail’s “Help me Write.” Plus, Google’s opening up Bard to more users, and more countries.
- And here’s how you can try out Google’s exciting new AI-powered features for yourself in Google Labs.
- We also got some smaller reveals, like the new Pixel Buds A series colorway, Samsung’s XR headset, and the Pixel Tablet’s clever case. And Google announced Wear OS 4 is coming later this year, with a developer preview out now.
- Plus, a surprise! Google showed off a teaser for a new notebook concept, Project Tailwind, which is aimed at students and will be an “AI-first” notebook trained off of your documents.
- June 1 (TBC): Motorola’s two Razr foldables launch?
- June 1: Meta Quest VR gaming showcase
- 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
Tech Tweet of the Week
Have a great week!
Paula Beaton, Copy Editor.