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The Weekly Authority: 📱 64-bit-only Pixel 7?
⚡ Welcome to The Weekly Authority, the Android Authority newsletter that breaks down the top Android and tech news from the week. The 216th edition here, with lots of Google news, Microsoft’s Surface Pro 9, Meta’s Quest Pro, and more.
💤 I’m going to see Smile on the big screen this weekend, and will report back on how scary it was. I have a feeling there may be some sleepless nights coming up!
Popular news this week
- The Pixel 7 series might be the first 64-bit-only Android phones.
- Google Tensor G2 is a 5nm chip, despite what the internet might say.
- These Pixel 7 features are coming to older Pixels soon, though some features are restricted to Tensor-powered Pixels.
- But Google reportedly says face unlock won’t be coming to Pixel 6 Pro.
- Meanwhile, Google flaunts the potential of Pixel 7 Pro’s zoom, night, and macro shots.
- Got a new Pixel Watch? An update is already waiting for you, with enhanced GPS accuracy and more.
- Google’s getting rid of its standalone Driving Mode dashboard, though don’t confuse this with Google Maps’ Driving Mode feature.
- And account handles are coming to all YouTube users very soon.
- Plus: Google Assistant is now in Contacts: Here’s why that’s a big deal.
- Also this week: Google finally commits to yearly Wear OS updates similar to mobile.
- And a password-free future comes to Android and Chrome today: Google is bringing passkeys to its platforms now, although a stable release is coming next month.
- The Pixel 7’s free VPN may last longer than you keep the phone, even if most of you don’t want to use Google’s VPN.
- Finally: Google’s 3D video calling booths, Project Starline, will now be tested in the real world — the booths use 3D imagery, high-resolution cameras, custom depth sensor sensors, and a breakthrough light field display to create a lifelike experience, all without a headset.
- Don’t expect a huge battery increase for base Galaxy S23, more of a slight boost.
- Here’s when Android 13 is coming to the Galaxy S22: The stable version is but a couple of weeks away.
- OnePlus N300 will have faster charging than most flagship phones: The upcoming budget phone may boast 33W charging.
- The iPhone 14 keeps calling 911 on rollercoasters: The new Crash Detection feature can mistake the turns and hard braking for a real emergency.
- Apple brings more of its services, including iCloud and Apple Music, to Microsoft platforms: iCloud integration in Windows 11’s Photos app, Apple Music on Xbox, and more to come.
- And Apple Card users will soon be able to open an interest-bearing savings account.
- Also: Major Apple VR leak reveals iris scanning, aluminum and glass design, prescription lens attachment.
- SpaceX, NASA delay Crew-4 astronaut landing on Dragon Freedom due to weather.
- William Shatner’s trip to space filled him with “overwhelming sadness.”
- A new VR exhibit takes you inside the James Webb Space Telescope’s images.
- And NASA confirms its DART mission has changed the trajectory of an asteroid in space.
- A Lenovo ThinkPad Smartphone could be on the way, though it could just be a rebranded Motorola device.
- Microsoft revealed the colorful Surface Pro 9 and other hardware: Also available with a Qualcomm/Microsoft SQ3 chipset.
- Oops! Microsoft may have accidentally given us a peek at Windows 12, though the design obviously isn’t final.
- Leaked DJI Mavic 3 Classic will be a cheaper version of its flagship drone, will likely lack the Mavic 3’s telephoto camera.
- Fossil Gen 6 smartwatches are getting Wear OS 3 and will allow iOS connections.
- Speaking of: Fossil’s Gen 6 Wellness Edition launched, the first Fossil Smartwatch to boast Wear OS 3.
- BMW will distract you with casual games while you charge your EV: The company’s teaming up with AirConsole to deliver games to cars starting in 2023.
- And Sony and Honda will open pre-orders for their first EV in 2025, hoping to start deliveries by spring of 2026.
- Meanwhile, Samsung and Google are using Matter to simplify syncing SmartThings and Google Home.
- And Roku is now a smart home company with lights, cameras, and more: Expect doorbells, cameras, smart plugs, and smart lighting.
- Fake Joe Rogan interviews fake Steve Jobs in an AI-powered podcast: The PR stunt was created by voice synthesis service provider Play.ht.
- You couldn’t make this up: A prisoner masterminded an Ocean’s Eleven-style robbery using a Samsung phone.
- FAA says Apple AirTags are allowed in checked baggage.
- Finally: Lab-grown brain cells play Pong (yes, really).
- First, some sad news: Angela Lansbury, star of Murder She Wrote, has died five days before her 97th birthday.
- We saw an extended teaser trailer for Star Trek: Picard season 3 at New York Comic Con plus a brief teaser for the fifth season of Star Trek: Discovery.
- Tizen OS will make its way to non-Samsung TVs this year, offering all the features found on Samsung Smart TVs, including Samsung TV Plus, Samsung’s free TV streaming channel.
- Our roundup of the best new streaming shows includes true creepy story The Watcher, now on Netflix, and a couple of big season finales.
- Speaking of Netflix, the streamer officially announced Netflix Basic With Ads: Its ad-supported plan will cost $6.99 a month, with four to five minutes of ads per hour — but not all Netflix shows and movies will be available on the plan, launching November 3.
- Would you pay $6.99 a month for Netflix with ads? Vote in our poll and let us know.
- Check out our pick of this week’s best streaming movies for the weekend, including Halloween Ends on Peacock.
- Before you watch Halloween Ends, check out Empire‘s roundup of every Michael Myers vs Laurie Strode showdown, ranked.
- Liam Neeson to star in Naked Gun reboot: Neeson would reportedly play Frank Drebin’s son, while director Akiva Schaffer (Chip ‘N Dale: Rescue Rangers) is also on board.
- Missed Meta Connect 2022? Meta announced the Quest Pro (along with a hefty price tag of over $1,000), and TechCrunch has a great roundup of everything else you missed.
- If the high price tag wasn’t enough to put you off, Meta may use the Quest Pro’s eye-tracking to serve ads: Um, no thank you.
- Some good news: The upcoming Quest 3 won’t be as expensive as the Quest Pro, with Zuckerberg confirming it will cost between $300 and $500.
- World’s first Chromebooks built specifically for cloud gaming announced: The Acer Chromebook 516 GE sports a 120Hz display with an RGB keyboard and 8GB of RAM, ASUS’ Chromebook Vibe CX55 Flip has a convertible form factor with a 144Hz screen, while the Lenovo Ideapad Gaming Chromebook features a 120Hz screen with a quad-speaker system.
- Elsewhere, the new Steam app officially launched on Android, with a redesign, more modern feel, and fast, smooth authenticator system.
- Paper Mario-style RPG Flynt Butler Wakes the Sleepy Castle confirmed for PlayStation 5, but the project still needs some additional funding and will hit Kickstarter November 1.
- Overwatch 2’s “auto-purchase” bug has been fixed but Blizzard still won’t issue refunds — though it’s giving away freebies to ‘Overwatch 2’ players to apologize for its rocky launch.
- And Modern Warfare 2 has the same phone number problem as Overwatch 2: You’ll need to link a phone number to access the game, and mobile phones with a prepaid plan “may not work.”
- Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales is coming to PC on November 18.
- Finally: Persona 3 Portable and Persona 4 Golden arrive on Xbox Game Pass, PlayStation, and Switch in January 2023.
- Google Pixel 7 Pro: All that and a bag of (Tensor) chips — “The Pixel 7 Pro is the best that Google has to offer. At just $899, it’s tough to find a better value in a flagship device — unless you buy the Pixel 7.”
- Apple Watch Ultra review: An adventurous expansion — “The durable build, upgraded battery life, handful of advanced tracking sensors, and safety features make this the first Apple Watch to tempt everyone from triathlon competitors to backcountry campers.”
- Vivosmart 5 review: Good, but not enough big strides — “Garmin hasn’t quite knocked it out of the park as it has with its other lines, making its relatively high asking price a little questionable.”
- Can’t decide between the Google Pixel 7 Pro and the iPhone 14 Pro? We may be able to help.
- Benchmarked: The Google Tensor G2 versus the competition — There might be more to the Pixel 7 processor than meets the eye (Android Authority).
- Face unlock: How does the Google Pixel 7 compare to the Pixel 4? Here’s what you should know (Android Authority).
- Here are 200+ photos taken with the Google Pixel 7 Pro: “We heard you liked photos so we took photos” (Android Authority).
- What happened to the virtual reality gaming revolution? “VR hasn’t taken over the world, but that doesn’t mean it has failed (Ars Technica).
- The psychological impact of consuming true crime: “From Serial to Netflix’s Jeffrey Dahmer series, it’s time to think about what pop culture’s fascination with murder cases does to viewers—and victims” (Wired).
- The GIF is on its deathbed — “The internet’s file format has been diagnosed as “cringe,” but there are other threats to its existence” (The Atlantic).
Just as we thought we’d seen it all, from robot vacuums we can’t live without and robot lawn mowers to Tesla’s Optimus robot, along comes a robotic exoskeleton that could help older adults or people experiencing mobility decline from disability to walk faster and more efficiently.
- A team at Stanford’s Biomechatronics Laboratory published the results of years-long research in Nature.
- The team created a boot-like robotic exoskeleton that provides assistance by reducing some of the friction and resistance caused by mobility impairments, providing an extra push to the calf muscles with every step taken.
- The boot differs from similar projects due to the machine learning model it uses to “personalize” the push it gives to the wearer’s calf muscles.
- This model was trained over years by exoskeleton emulators hooked up to students and volunteers.
- Researchers collected motion and energy expenditure data to understand how the unique way a person walks with the exoskeleton relates to how much energy they use.
- The exoskeleton will provide a slightly different pattern of assistance each time it’s used. It measures the resulting motion, then adapts to an individual’s unique way of walking, learning how to better assist the user next time.
- Customizing support for a new user takes around an hour.
Could we see it soon?
In a release, lab head Steve Collins said, “This exoskeleton personalizes assistance as people walk normally through the real world. And it resulted in exceptional improvements in walking speed and energy economy. Optimized assistance allowed people to walk 9% faster with 17% less energy expended per distance traveled, compared to walking in normal shoes. These are the largest improvements in the speed and energy of economy walking of any exoskeleton to date. In direct comparisons on a treadmill, our exoskeleton provides about twice the reduction in effort of previous devices.”
- The assistance provided is like removing a “30-pound backpack” from the user, according to Collins.
- So far, most real-world testing has been limited to treadmills.
- But researchers behind the project are readying it for use in the real world, and Stanford believes we could see it in practice in the next few years.
- October 26 @ 7PM PT: Nothing Ear Stick launch event
- 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 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
Tech Tweet of the Week
An old painting has people asking if time travel is real, because it really, really looks like a painting from 1937 shows a Native American man staring at a smart phone.https://t.co/x1YHCmaPW0— IFLScience (@IFLScience) October 14, 2022
Something extra: Love old maps? Then check out this historic cartography treasure trove you can browse online.
Have a great week!
Paula Beaton, Copy Editor.