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The Weekly Authority: 📱 Bye-bye Exynos?
⚡ Welcome to The Weekly Authority, the Android Authority newsletter that breaks down the top Android and tech news from the week. The 196th edition here, with Samsung Exynos chip news, updates from Computex and Microsoft Build 2022, a first peek at the Motorola Razr 3, Witcher 4 news,and more… phew!
📺 I’ve been excited all week for new Stranger Things episodes but it doesn’t feel like three years since we last saw the gang (who aren’t really kids anymore)!
Popular news this week
- A wild report claimed Samsung Galaxy S23, S24 to ditch Exynos chips for a few years, readying a “Galaxy-exclusive chipset” for 2025 — Samsung’s semiconductor division says “no specific decision” has been made yet.
- Samsung will open a software beta program for the Galaxy Watch 4 on June 2, could be a sneak preview of the software that could launch on Galaxy Watch 5 — South Korea only at first, will likely expand to other countries.
- And Samsung took its 200MP mobile camera out for a spin and printed a gigantic cat photo, as you do.
- Plus, Galaxy Z Fold 3 gets Samsung’s Expert RAW app — and access for other flagship devices is coming sometime before the end of 2022.
- Meanwhile, Samsung’s rugged Galaxy XCover 6 Pro is on the way, could be a huge power upgrade — we just hope it has a removable battery.
- Google has reportedly postponed the Pixel Fold again: the second reported delay for Google’s foldable, may only launch in 2023.
- The Google Pixel Watch may ship with USB-C charging: usual magnetic puck, but with a USB-C connection.
- Pixel 7 series reportedly may use the same display as its predecessor, but that may not be a bad thing.
- And Google launched Android 13 beta 2.1 for the Pixel 4 and newer phones.
- Your Android phone could soon get snore and cough detection abilities for sleep monitoring.
- Meanwhile, Google TV finally gets individual profiles after multiple false starts.
- Google started rolling out ads for YouTube Shorts.
- Good news for those with darker skin tones: Google Photos now getting Real Tone filters for more diverse skin tones.
- And phones shipping with Android 13 will require a technology created by HUAWEI: Google will make EROFS the default read-only file system (originally developed by HUAWEI) in Android 13.
- Plus, Pixel 6 owners aren’t happy with rapidly yellowing official cases.
- Computex took place in Taipei this week: AMD announced desktop Ryzen 7000 processors, based on the Zen 4 architecture, plus a “Mendocino” chipset that promises to boost battery life, Microsoft talked about Windows 11, and Nvidia’s keynote on Tuesday gave us a list of games that are being upgraded to include features like DLSS, NVIDIA Reflex, and ray tracing.
- Also, MediaTek announced Filogic 380 and 880 platforms, taking us one step closer to Wi-Fi 7 consumer products.
Microsoft Build 2022:
- Microsoft unveiled Snapdragon-powered Project Volterra: A mini-PC that packs AI hardware for developers. No price yet, availability later in the year.
- Also: Microsoft launched Power Pages, which takes on Wix and Squarespace for designing business websites with low-code. And, finally: Third-party widgets are coming to Windows 11, which might actually make them useful,
- Motorola confirms 200MP phone is coming in July: Motorola Frontier?
- Motorola might be pulling out all the stops with its third-gen Razr foldable: Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 Plus, upgraded cameras, RAM, and storage.
- And Evan Blass gave us a real-life look at the Motorola Razr 3: looks a lot like the Razr 5G (aka Razr 2) with some subtle differences, including the new dual-lens camera module.
- Xiaomi and Leica are partnering up for an ‘imaging flagship’ coming this July.
- Xiaomi launched the Mi Band 7, with bigger screen, a fresh UI, new features, and more colorways, but still no built-in GPS, and China-only for now, no word on global launch or availability yet.
- The Verge’s hands-on with Apple’s 79-pound iPhone repair kit to fix a 1.1-ounce battery “makes it look like the company supports right-to-repair policies without actually encouraging them at all,” seems a bit like overkill, though you do get all the pro tools.
- It seems like Apple’s self-repair process is reportedly “far from ideal” for many iPhone users.
- And Apple’s new app store rule‘s arriving June 30: If you can create an account on an app, the app needs to let you delete the account and data.
- Plus: New Apple leak reveals iPhone 14 price shock — according to Korean site ET News Apple has changed plans for the iPhone 14’s front camera, will supposedly now use a South Korean front camera with major upgrades in image quality, but apparently “the unit price of the iPhone 14 front camera has risen nearly three times compared to previous models.”
- NASA’s Planetary Defense team builds software to detect asteroids before they hit.
- And NASA’s planning to launch craft to unexplored orbit for Moon outpost.
- Also: SpaceX looks to raise $1.7 billion in new funding, boosting its valuation to $127 billion.
- Microsoft has filed a patent for a 360-degree foldable display, using flexible glass with a backplate to avoid creasing — should be stronger than other flexible glass designs.
- Official Nothing Phone 1 design details announced, including transparent case.
- Redmi Note 11T Pro, Pro Plus launched: Flagship-level power for Note line.
- Meanwhile, LG Display showcases transparent TVs with NFT art from Inspiration4.
- And Mastercard launched tech allowing biometric payment methods, so you can pay with your face or the palm of your hand.
- Dream of robots doing your household chores? Dyson could help with that.
- Speaking of robots, NY State is giving out hundreds of them as companions for the elderly, to combat “the West’s loneliness epidemic.”
- Plus: The end of an era as last street payphone in NYC is removed.
- Tributes poured in for actor Ray Liotta after his sudden death aged 67 in the Dominican Republic on Thursday — he was probably best known for Goodfellas and Field of Dreams, but Rotten Tomatoes paid its respects by ranking his best movies.
- The long-awaited Top Gun: Maverick hit theaters on Friday.
- And the first part of Stranger Things season 4 finally premiered on Netflix Friday — if you haven’t already binged, Mashable has a handy recap.
- Speaking of Netflix, can it actually stay on top in the streaming wars?
- Star Wars celebration arrived, running May 26-29, with announcements including the first teaser trailer for Andor, the announcement of Star Wars: Skeleton Crew, to star Jude Law, and Disney’s reveal that The Mandalorian season 3 is coming in February 2023.
- We also got to see the first trailer for Disney Plus’ live-action series Willow, arriving November 30.
- And the first “Indiana Jones 5” image was also revealed this week — though no trailer yet.
- The Bob’s Burgers Movie hit theaters on Friday too and Mashable’s review is in — plus here are eight episodes to watch before you see the movie.
- Plus, the first trailer for Marvel’s She-Hulk is here.
- Finally: Oh no they didn’t — Pooh and Piglet get dark in a horror reimagining of A.A. Milne’s beloved characters.
- Geralt fans, rejoice! The Witcher 4 has entered pre-production.
- Call of Duty Modern Warfare II’s coming on October 28, earlier than most games in the series.
- EA’s reportedly seeking a sale or a merger.
- And after some PS Plus players in Asia were hit with upgrade tax, being asked to pay the difference to upgrade from discounted membership, Sony backtracked and issued an apology saying it was a “technical error.”
- According to Kotaku and an investor briefing published earlier this week, Sony plans to expand significantly into PC gaming, aims to release a third of the games in its portfolio on PC by 2025, including Uncharted, The Last of Us, and God of War.
- Speaking of Sony, you may soon be able to actually buy a PS5, if you’re still waiting to grab one, as the company ramps up production to “unprecedented” levels.
- And Sony confirms God of War, Horizon, and Gran Turismo TV shows are in the works.
- Plus, Sony says PSVR 2 will have at least 20 games at launch, a blend of first- and third-party titles.
- Popular PC battle royale Naraka: Bladepoint is coming to mobile.
- Meanwhile, Microsoft confirmed it’s been working on a streaming device, codenamed “Keystone,” that will make it easier for users to access Xbox cloud gaming, but that we’ll need to wait a while for future iterations yet.
- Finally: Diablo Immortal pre-load began on PC on Friday, ahead of the game’s June 2 launch.
- OnePlus 9R review: OnePlus 8T, take two — “The specs sheet is solid, but the lack of any stand-out features leaves little to get excited about, and the camera performance is still sub-standard.”
- Motorola Moto G 5G (2022) review: The textbook Moto G deserves better — Long-lasting battery and ample storage, but it’s one step forward, two steps back here.
- This small USB-C puck lets me charge my Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 anywhere: The Elebase Galaxy Watch charger is a must, with a USB-C port, but no built-in cable.
- Amazon ASTRO Review: Too much Alexa, not enough arms — “While it’s not the robot we were looking for, ASTRO is rolling in the right direction (The Verge).
- ASUS ROG Strix Scar 15 (2022) Review: “This is a good laptop if you want a bold gaming machine, but other machines are more mature” (Trusted Reviews).
- How do I sell my used phone? Handy tips for those thinking of moving on (Android Authority).
- Samsung’s bundles are great incentives for buyers — so why isn’t Apple doing it? “If Samsung can do it successfully and get new customers, why is it any different for Apple” (Android Authority).
- Nuclear Fusion Is Already Facing a Fuel Crisis: “It doesn’t even work yet, but nuclear fusion has encountered a shortage of tritium, the key fuel source for the most prominent experimental reactors” (Wired).
- Pioneer Rediscovered: The Woman Who Brought Female Representation to Video Games — “The year-long search for Van Mai comes to a happy conclusion (gamehistory.org).
- How GDPR Is Failing: “The world-leading data law changed how companies work. But four years on, there’s a lag on cleaning up Big Tech” (Wired).
Are your favorite video games ones that came out years ago? Do you spend your days setting up emulators to play N64 classics? Or (like me) do you prefer more-recent-but-still-getting-on-a-bit games like the Uncharted series and the original The Last of Us? Axios Gaming recently shared this chart, originally tweeted by NPD analyst Mat Piscatella, which revealed some of the most-played video games in the US are older games.
- Games like Minecraft (2009), Grand Theft Auto V (2013), and The Sims 4 (2014) all got a top-three mention — in fact, Minecraft was the most played game in the country for the first quarter of 2022. Also in the top 10 are several sports games including Madden NFL 22 and NBA 2K22, while the inclusion of Call of Duty: Warzone should come as no surprise.
- Compare that to the number of people playing Elden Ring which, even though it sold millions of copies, was played less than 19 other games, according to the chart, including Skyrim (2011) and World of Warcraft (2004). Though bear in mind Elden Ring came out in February, giving it just a month to generate statistics.
- If you’re into older, classic games then the newly revamped PlayStation Plus tiers have something for you, with access to all your favorite games from consoles past.
- It seems like social gaming is the key to longevity, with multiplayer games or games that are fun to stream and watch charting higher than story-driven games.
- What does that mean for story-driven games?
Narrative-focused games like Horizon: Forbidden West, The Last of Us, Ghost of Tsushima, and The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt are still popular, with Xbox’s Phil Spencer stating in summer 2021 that Xbox would be building more narrative-driven games.
- This year we’ve already seen Elden Ring, Horizon: Forbidden West, and Dying Light 2 Stay Human, (which I’m loving right now).
- Games we’re looking forward to include Hogwarts Legacy, Stray, A Plague Tale: Requiem, and The Quarry, not to mention Forspoken in fall. While some of these have a multiplayer element, most are narrative-driven, focusing on single-player action.
Bear in mind that the top-played games look a bit different from the top-selling games:
- NPD revealed that the top-selling game for April 2022 was LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga.
- Closely following are Elden Ring and MLB: The Show 22, with two Nintendo Switch titles also making the top 5: Kirby and The Forgotten Land, and Nintendo Switch Sports.
- But the figures for the year-to-date 2022 put Elden Ring as the top seller, with LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga and Pokemon Legends: Arceus close behind.
If all this is making you want something new to play, why not check out our roundup of the best games on Steam in 2022?
What games are you most looking forward to this year?
- June 2: Diablo Immortal launch (PC)
- June 3: The Boys season 3 hits Amazon Prime Video
- June 6-10: Apple WWDC 2022
- June 10: The Quarry released on PC, PS5, PS4, Xbox Series X, Xbox One
- June 10: Jurassic World Dominion in theaters
- June 12: Xbox and Bethesda Games Showcase @ 12 PM CT
- June 20-23: Collision (Toronto)
- June 26-July 3: Summer Games Done Quick
Tech Tweet of the Week
This is why you film every shot on the course…— Tom Brady (@TomBrady) May 25, 2022
Something extra: From Trung Phan’s SatPost — This 13-minute video asks a former mobster if scenes from films like The Godfather and Casino are real.
Until next week!
Paula Beaton, Copy Editor.