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The Weekly Authority: 💲 Pixel-perfect Black Friday deals
⚡ Welcome to The Weekly Authority, the Android Authority newsletter that breaks down the top Android and tech news from the week. The 221st edition here, with Google’s Black Friday deals, all the ongoing Twitter drama, bad news for Blizzard gamers in China, and more.
🛒 This weekend, I can’t wait to relax before the madness of Black Friday hits! I’ve also spent a lot of time thinking about online privacy, following the news that Google will pay $392 million in a record-breaking privacy settlement. It got me wondering, how many sites hold our data, and just how safe is that data really? We shouldn’t lose sleep over that, though, not when services like Incogni exist. On that note…
Thank you to this week’s newsletter sponsor:
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Popular news this week
- Google Black Friday deals are here: Pixel 6a for $300, Pixel 7 for $500.
- We asked, you told us: Here’s how many Google accounts you have.
- And it seems like most of you haven’t had any major issues with the Pixel 7 series.
- Google Pixel foldable phone renders leak, but we’ve been burned before.
- Get some shut-eye: Google Pixel Watch now supports Fitbit’s Sleep Profile.
- Also this week: Google Fi’s throwing in a free year of YouTube Premium for Unlimited Plus subscribers.
- Plus: Google just launched a slew of helpful search features for Google Maps, Search, and more.
- Someone got hold of a Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra and snapped a few pics: Here’s how it holds up against the S22 Ultra and the Pixel 7 Pro.
- And Samsung’s older mid-rangers are starting to receive stable Android 13.
- It’s coming: OnePlus Pad is likely just around the corner, could launch in 2023.
- A new Motorola smartwatch just showed up out of nowhere: The Moto Watch 70 hasn’t yet been officially announced.
- And new details emerge about Motorola’s next flagship: Looks like a huge charging speed boost over Apple and Samsung devices.
- Not a cult: Apple fan pays $218,750 for Steve Jobs’ grubby sandals.
- Only the iPhone 15 Pro will get a speed upgrade with USB-C, says analyst: It sounds like the non-Pro models will get USB-C but no speed boost.
- Apple is upgrading the iPhone 14 Pro’s Always-On Display after months of user complaints.
- And Apple limits iPhone file-sharing tool used for protests in China: There’s now a 10-minute cap on receiving files via AirDrop, and the change is apparently planned to expand globally next year, to “mitigate unwanted file sharing.”
- Apple plans a 3D world and video service for its mixed-reality headset.
- Elon Musk issues ultimatum to staff: Commit to ‘hardcore’ Twitter or take severance, then softens remote-work mandate with Thursday email in bid to retain staff.
- Guess that didn’t go down too well: Twitter closes offices until Monday as employees quit in droves.
- Musk ended Twitter SMS 2FA , though it appears to be back up for some.
- Twitter’s paid verification rollout pushed to November 29 — Musk wants the service to be “rock solid.”
- Elon Musk heads to court over Tesla pay that made him the world’s richest person.
- And here are just some of the verified brand impersonations doing the rounds on Twitter right now.
- Also: One fake Tweet may have cost Twitter a lot, with Eli Lilly and Co. pausing its Twitter spend following fake account tweeting that insulin would be free — and it’s not the only company to do so.
- NASA finally launched Artemis 1 on Wednesday, following a series of delays: The unmanned Orion space capsule will orbit the moon for five days before splashing down off San Diego on December 11.
- Sonic booms heard across Florida as Space Force spaceplane returns to KSC after spending 908 days in orbit, but its purpose is still largely a secret.
- Scientists find ‘planet-killer’ asteroids lurking in an elusive place.
- OnePlus, Xiaomi, Motorola, and others confirm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 phones.
- Snapdragon Summit news: Qualcomm doubles down on augmented reality, spatial audio updates, more.
- Outward folding Xiaomi prototype leaks: A look at what could have been.
- Meanwhile, hot on the heels of the EU’s decision to standardize USB-C, the world’s second-largest smartphone market is also standardizing USB-C charging.
- New test shows loose RTX 4090 power connectors cause overheating and melting: Check your connector is firmly connected and isn’t bending to the side.
- More tech layoffs: Roku lays off 200 US employees, and Amazon’s CEO says the company will cut more jobs in 2023.
- You told us: This is the dead smartphone brand you’d resurrect.
- Sad news: If you wanted a Facebook smartwatch, you’re out of luck.
- Diesel’s latest smartwatch meshes chunky styling with Gen 6 technology: The Griffed Gen 6 will set you back $350.
- The wait is over: You can finally message yourself on WhatsApp!
- Also: You’ll soon be able to stream audio from your Android phone to your Windows 11 PC.
- Intel introduces real-time deepfake detector: FakeCatcher is the world’s first real-time deepfake detector and can supposedly detect fake videos with a 96% accuracy rate by detecting blood flow over a subject’s face — we remain skeptical.
- Netflix now lets you kick moochers off your account.
- Speaking of Netflix, here are the streamer’s best mystery movies to check out, from The Woman in the Window to the eerie Netflix exclusive The Good Nurse.
- Plus, if you’re looking for something to watch this weekend, our pick of the 21 best movies on Peacock should give you plenty of inspiration.
- Even more viewing inspiration: We’ve got the best new TV shows to stream this week, including Netflix’s 1899, plus the week’s best new streaming movies, like period drama The Wonder, starring Florence Pugh.
- A timely addition: YouTube TV gets a tiny new feature that makes a huge difference.
- Loving The Sex Lives of College Girls on HBO Max? Check out these similar shows.
- Amazon orders multiple Marvel-Sony shows, starting with Silk: Spider Society, developed by The Walking Dead showrunner Angela Kang alongside Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse producers Phil Lord and Christopher Miller.
- Pixar released a teaser for Elemental, its next animated feature, set in “Element City, where fire-, water-, land- and air-residents live together,” out June 16, 2023.
- Bradley Cooper’s set to star as Frank Bullitt for Steven Spielberg.
- Finally: A Streets of Rage movie written by John Wick’s creator is on the way.
- Control 2 is officially signed off, though it won’t be out for a while yet.
- The Game of the Year nominees are in for 2022’s The Game Awards: Elden Ring, Horizon Forbidden West, A Plague Tale: Requiem, God of War Ragnarök, and Xenoblade Chronicles 3, winners to be announced December 8.
- The Witcher 3’s next-gen update for PS, Xbox Series, and PC lands on December 14, free to anyone who owns the game.
- Here’s everything we know so far about the PSVR 2 — and what we want to see.
- A match made in hell: The ROG Phone 6 gets a Diablo Immortal edition, with Diablo-themed packaging, accessories, and more.
- Dethroned: PewDiePie is no longest the king of YouTube, with MrBeast surpassing the YouTuber by several thousand subscribers.
- Here’s everything coming to and leaving Xbox Game Pass in the next few weeks, including text-based point-and-click adventure game Norco.
- Speaking of Game Pass, Microsoft shelved Game Pass streaming box because it was too expensive.
- Meanwhile, Samsung expands cloud gaming to its older smart TVs, with new apps including the likes of Xbox Cloud Gaming, Amazon Luna, GeForce Now, and more.
- Also this week: Blizzard games to go offline in China as NetEase ends 14-year deal — Hearthstone, World of Warcraft, Warcraft 3: Reforged, StarCraft, Diablo 3, Heroes of the Storm, and Overwatch 2 will all stop operating in China, but upcoming releases World of Warcraft: Dragonflight, Hearthstone: March of the Lich King, and Overwatch 2’s second season will go ahead — Diablo Immortal is unaffected.
- Nothing Ear Stick review: Great if you don’t like sticking things in your ears — “If you hate sticking anything in your ear, you can stick Nothing in your ear” (Android Authority).
- OnePlus Nord N300 review: Simple to a fault — “The Nord N300’s inflexible cameras and limited software support hold back a budget phone with otherwise decent performance and great battery life” (Android Authority).
- HUAWEI Nova 10 Pro review: “The HUAWEI Nova 10 Pro offers a fantastic design, display, and main camera, but is hamstrung by major flaws” (Trusted Reviews).
- TP-Link Deco M3 review: “The TP-Link Deco M3 can fill a mid-sized home with Wi-Fi on a budget” (Tom’s Guide).
- Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 vs Dimensity 9200: Which chip will reign supreme? “There are plenty of differences between the two SoCs, but what does this mean for performance?” (Android Authority).
- How to get Netflix for free with T-Mobile: “The only thing better than Netflix is Netflix on T-Mobile’s dime” (Android Authority).
- Inside Elon Musk’s first meeting with Twitter employees: “With Twitter staff still reeling from mass layoffs and executive resignations, Musk took questions from employees for nearly an hour. Here’s everything he said” (The Verge).
- The quiet invasion of ‘Big Information’: Google and Facebook’s privacy violations are common knowledge. But the decisions of a less-known company, Relx, are also impacting people’s everyday lives (Wired).
- Sam Bankman-Fried tries to explain himself: “The fallen crypto CEO on what went wrong, why he did what he did, and what lies he told along the way” (Vox).
It’s been a year since Waymo announced its custom robotaxi for its ride-hailing service, and this week we finally got a peek at the vehicle.
- The robotaxi is the result of an OEM collaboration with Geely, specifically Zeekr, and “designed in Sweden.”
- “Waymo Driver” tech is integrated into every facet of the vehicle, from the sides and corners to the roof.
- Most notably, the steering wheel is totally absent; instead, there’s simply a screen between the two front seats.
- This will display self-driving status, music controls, and progress maps.
- There are further screens in the second row, behind the driver and front passenger seat.
- You can check out the robotaxi for yourself in this video.
Facing the future
Instead of the seats being reversed, like in most self-driving vehicles, the seats here face the road. Waymo said this is to “aid with awareness and prevent car sickness.”
- The company’s testing revealed people want to see what’s going on in front of them, even if they’re not driving themselves. We’re in agreement there.
- The vehicle also has sliding doors both front and back, which should make for easy entry and exit, plus tons of cargo space.
Don’t expect to be picked up by this robotaxi just yet, though. While it will eventually be part of the US Waymo One fleet, it could be a while before it takes to roads near you, with the vehicle’s availability set for “in the years to come.”
If you’d rather drive yourself than hail a robotaxi, we’ve got some good news: More spots opened up for the Android Auto beta program this week. We’ve got a breakdown of the new Android Auto UI, too.
- November 22: Evil West releases on PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series S/X, and PC
- November 25-28: Black Friday (and Cyber Monday) sales
- November 28-December 2: Amazon Reinvent
- December 2: The Callisto Protocol launches on PS4, PS4, Xbox One, Xbox Series S/X, and PC (not in Japan)
- January 5-8, 2023: CES 2023 (Las Vegas)
Tech Tweet of the Week
I think many people would disagree with you, Elon…
Twitter feels increasingly alive— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) November 13, 2022
Something extra: We all need a bit of cuteness in our lives, so check out Marowlyn Monroe:
Wishing you all a Happy Thanksgiving for next week,
Paula Beaton, Copy Editor.