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The Weekly Authority: A turbulent week for Twitter
⚡ Welcome to The Weekly Authority, the Android Authority newsletter that breaks down the top Android and tech news from the week. The 219th edition here, with Pixel 7 Pro durability tests, Twitter verification tomfoolery, a crazy Xiaomi concept, and more.
🤝 Hadlee and Jonathan here for this week’s edition, covering for Paula. We’ve got a lot to get through this week, so let’s get on with it!
Popular news this week
- Pictures of a Google Pixel 2 prototype with iris recognition have appeared online: An interesting look at what could’ve been. (Android Authority)
- The Pixel 7 Pro barely survived a durability test by JerryRigEverything: Nowhere near as bad as the OnePlus 10 Pro and 10T, though. (Android Authority)
- This could’ve been the first Android phone: A neat look at an early G1 prototype, five months before the iPhone launch. (Android Authority)
- Heavy Google searchers just got a great new Chrome feature: A side panel for searches, bringing to mind rivals like Edge. (Android Authority)
- YouTube is letting you add your favorite streaming services to your account, bringing to mind Prime Video Channels. (Android Authority)
- Google Hangouts is now officially dead and buried, so pour one out for the long-running service. (Android Authority)
- Also: Google could kill the standalone Street View app next year. (9to5Google)
- PSA: Pixel phones automatically turn into wireless charging pads when plugged in. (Android Authority)
- The Samsung Galaxy S23 is just around the corner, but should you buy the Galaxy S22 in the meantime? (Android Authority)
- Galaxy S23 Ultra camera specs have emerged and we aren’t surprised: The S22 Ultra with a 200MP camera, then? (Android Authority)
- Samsung wants an S Pen slot on its future foldables: The company apparently wanted one on the Z Fold 4 too. (Android Authority)
- Get early access to the Samsung Black Friday sale ahead of the November 18 sale date. (Android Authority)
- Listing reveals almost all of the details for Motorola’s next flagship: Snapdragon 8 Gen 2, 144Hz OLED panel, and triple camera setup. (Android Authority)
- New EU rules could force Apple to change how iMessage and other IM apps function, to make interoperability a reality. (Android Authority)
- Apple’s own 5G modems might come to iPhones later than expected, bucking a previously reported 2023 launch. (The Verge)
- New Mac app wants to record everything you do, so you can ‘rewind’ it later: The app will also use optical character recognition to let you search by text. (Ars Technica)
- Twitter verification could now cost $8/month for anyone and everyone who can pay: Elon Musk also reportedly plans to fire engineers if they can’t make the November 7 deadline. (Android Authority)
- A team under Musk is working to reboot Vine next year, but is it too late in light of TikTok’s success? (Axios)
- Instagram fixes outage that told millions their accounts were suspended: Did you notice this issue? (The Verge)
- We’re currently running a poll, asking whether you’d be willing to pay for a blue check mark on Twitter. (Android Authority)
- The FCC commissioner has called on the US to ban TikTok, citing security concerns. (Axios)
- China’s mystery spaceplane has ejected an object after three months in space, with suggestions that this could merely be a companion module or satellite. (Gizmodo)
- SpaceX successfully launches its first Falcon Heavy in 40 months: Those booster landings were pretty cool too, as this video by Trevor Mahlmann shows. (Ars technica)
- Construction of China’s Tiangong space station has entered the final phase with the launch of a lab module. (Space News)
- The DJI Mavic 3 Classic is the drone we wanted last year: This new drone offers the same powerful Micro Four Thirds camera and amazing flight time as the original Mavic 3 series, but at a lower price. (Drone Rush)
- This Xiaomi concept lets you use a full-blown camera lens on a phone: Xiaomi told us there won’t be a commercial release, but this is still pretty freaking cool. (Android Authority)
- Prime membership now has an entire ad-free Music Unlimited library with a big catch: It’s basically just shuffle only. (Android Authority)
- Inside the underground market for fake Amazon reviews: A pretty interesting look at how it all works. (Wired)
- Microsoft now lets you add pictures from your Android phone to Word and PowerPoint on the web: Microsoft’s Android integration is extending to specific services now. (Microsoft)
- Matter goes official as 190 devices get certified for the smart home standard: Apple, Amazon, Google, Microsoft, and other tech giants are backing it. (Android Authority)
- You now have to pay to use Pantone colors in Photoshop: Software as a service really is a joke. (Kotaku)
- Thawing permafrost in the Arctic could unearth viruses that were previously locked away: Covid-19BC, more like. (Wired)
- UK police fail to use facial recognition ethically and legally, study finds. (Android Authority)
- The official Avatar 2 trailer dropped: If anything, it’ll be a visual feast. (YouTube)
- The best ad-supported streaming plans for people on a budget (Android Authority)
- The 12 best Discovery Plus shows to stream now (Android Authority)
- What were the most popular streaming shows in October 2022? (Android Authority)
- Living to Breaking Bad: the film and TV series facing up to death (BBC)
- HBO’s The Last of Us series premieres January 15th (Engadget)
- Netflix renews The Witcher, recasts Liam Hemsworth as Geralt of Rivia (Engadget)
- Sling TV is raising its prices by $5, claiming that rising content costs are to blame (Variety)
- It turns out that the Netflix ad-supported plan might not work on some devices. (Android Authority)
- A rundown of the best new TV shows and movies to stream this week. (Android Authority)
- AMD’s first RDNA3 graphics cards are here, offering a chiplet design, FSR 3, and starting at $1,000 (Euro Gamer)
- Sony has revealed PSVR 2 pricing and launch info: Expect to pay $549.99 when it launches in February. (Android Authority)
- We’ve also got the first God of War Ragnarok reviews, with Polygon calling it “captivating and inconsistent.” (Polygon)
- And one of the game’s accessibility options is getting some praise: Checkpoint saves if you’ve reduced a boss character’s health to at least 50% (Games Radar)
- The Sims may finally have some real competition with Paralives: An indie game to look forward to ahead of The Sims 5. (Polygon)
- Embracer Group shuts down Montreal video game studio: The studio, responsible for titles like Hitman Go, had just been rebranded (Bloomberg)
- Microsoft promises eternal support for Call of Duty on PlayStation (Ars Technica)
- Staring at a small screen all day? You’ll probably enjoy this laptop: “In short, the ASUS Zenbook 17 Fold is a solid, if not fantastic, PC, that’s completely overshadowed by its main selling point — that beautiful folding screen.” (Android Authority)
- Apple TV 4K 2022 review: “Its performance is top-shelf, and the rest of the experience is a treat as well.” (Tom’s Guide)
- Shockz OpenRun Pro review: “They’ll probably never sound as clear as in-ear headphones with top-notch isolation, but it’s the very lack of isolation that makes them shine.” (Android Authority)
- Fitbit Versa 4 review: “The Versa 4 is a confusing step back as a smartwatch and only an average fitness tracker.” (Android Authority)
- Nothing Ear Stick review: “For an open design, I’m impressed with how comfortable and secure these earbuds are, along with how good they sound without having to position them in a specific sweet spot.” (Trusted Reviews)
- The past 2 weeks underscored the new Pixel line-up’s biggest weakness for me: Slow charging and short battery life are big issues if electricity is in short supply (Android Authority).
- Sorry Apple, I still much prefer Sony’s compact flagship: “Compact phones with most of the bells and whistles are a rarity only Sony dares to tackle.” (Android Authority).
- I can’t believe I waited this long to get a smartwatch: “For me, embracing the smartwatch life makes me feel like I’m in charge of my phone rather than the other way around. I don’t need it on my person at all times anymore.” (The Verge).
- The blue check rapture will render verification meaningless: “Some of us enjoyed sitting behind the velvet rope; we also enjoyed insisting we were behind said rope for practical purposes. The pay model destroys that delusion.” (Wired).
Like the idea of moving fast but don’t want to use a scooter/bicycle or break out into a jog? That’s where the quirky Moonwalkers come into play, strapping on to any pair of shoes.
- New Atlas reports that these are somewhat similar to strap-on roller skates.
- However, you actually need to walk while wearing them rather than skate.
- The team claims a 250% increase in walking speed too, owing to the “AI drivetrain.”
- You can stop in less than a meter from top speed and it automatically controls your speed when going downhill.
- What if you need to negotiate stairs? Well, a foot-driven gesture lets you switch to locked mode to do just that.
- Expect a range of up to six miles with USB-C charging taking 1.5 hours.
- The Moonwalkers are currently available for $1,099 on Kickstarter, and it’s achieved over $243,000 of its $90,000 goal.
- November 8: Skull and Bones release date on Xbox Series S/X, PS5, PC, and Luna
- November 9: God of War: Ragnarok launches on PS4, PS5
- November 9-11: MediaTek Executive Summit 2022
- November 15-17: Qualcomm’s Snapdragon Summit
- November 18: The Dark Pictures: The Devil in Me launches on PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series S/X, and PC
- November 28 to December 2: Amazon Reinvent
Tech Tweet of the Week
This format has resulted in loads of funny tweets:
Twitter laid me off today. If you know of any open positions for project managers or senior software engineers, let me know. I was in charge of the feature that made sure every time you tweeted about climate change you were served a fossil fuel ad.— David Ho (@_david_ho_) October 30, 2022
Something extra: It’s the beginning of the American Indian Heritage Month, and we’d like to say hello to all the indigenous folk in our audience! Did you know Motorola added a Cherokee language option to its Android 12 phones earlier this year?
Have a great week!