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The Weekly Authority: Pixel 7 payments pain
⚡ Welcome to The Weekly Authority, the Android Authority newsletter that breaks down the top Android and tech news from the week. The 217th edition here, with Google Pixel 7 payments issues, Galaxy S23 specs, great news for Silent Hill fans, and more.
🎮 I’m really excited at the Silent Hill news, but now I’m craving a similar horror game to play. Any recommendations for me? I tried The Medium, but I’m too much of a wuss (though Alien Isolation was totally fine) 🙈
Popular news this week
- People are upset about this Pixel 7 flaw, and face unlock’s to blame.
- On the topic of flaws, has Google fixed the reception problems for the Pixel 7 series?
- And here’s when Pixel 7 owners will get free Google VPN.
- Meanwhile, Amazon hints at imminent Pixel 7a series launch, or does it?
- YouTube ends its 4K video for only premium subscribers experiment: non-premium users should have access to 4K again.
- YouTube Premium family plan’s getting a 23% price increase next month.
- Samsung losing ground to Apple prompts Google to double down on its own hardware: The company’s in the process of implementing a “Google-first” strategy that could see a number of its employees who work on services for non-Google devices shift to working specifically on the company’s own hardware.
- First EU, now India fines Google for abusing Android dominance — India’s competition watchdog also said Google must allow users to choose their default search engine upon initial setup.
- And Android 13 Go Edition launched, with some overdue features like the Google Discover screen and Material You.
- Also: Who needs iMessage? Google brings a ton of upgrades to Messages on Android.
- Leak reveals Samsung Galaxy S23 specs: Looks like SoC, software, and battery upgrades.
- And Samsung talks One UI 5 rollout, seamless updates hopes for One UI 6, and more.
- Meanwhile, the rugged Galaxy XCover 6 Pro is now available through Verizon.
- Motorola reveals rollable phone concept that extends from the top, could be the Z Flip of the rollable world.
- And looks like Motorola could double down on foldables next year: Here’s hoping these devices come to global markets.
- Apple launched new iPad Pro models with M2 chips with little fanfare, available to pre-order now — and the 2022 vanilla model loses the Home button and adopts USB-C for the first time ever.
- Apple also beefed up the Apple TV 4K, kills Lightning, and drops the price, though it’s still really expensive.
- Plus, iPhone SE 4 renders leak: iPhone XR reborn?
- Apple could copy this unique Pixel Tablet feature for iPads.
- Somebody wasted $39,000 on an unopened iPhone from 2007.
- Apple’s mixed reality headset reportedly uses iris scanning for payments and sign-ins.
- When even Zuckerberg is making fun of iMessage, you know you have a problem.
- Also: There’s more evidence that the iPhone 14 Plus is a sales dud.
- Meta’s selling Giphy after UK regulators blocked $315 million deal.
- Kanye (Ye) West is buying “uncancelable” social media site Parler hot on the heels of the rapper accusing Meta and Twitter of censoring him in recent weeks.
- And you’ll soon be able to schedule posts on Instagram.
- Also: Elon Musk reportedly wanted to lay off 75% of Twitter’s employees in a move that would make it near impossible to moderate content and ensure security.
- Huge, unusually powerful explosion in space just detected by scientists: Don’t worry though, it happened in a galaxy two billion light-years away.
- James Webb telescope spies ‘Pillars of Creation’ — cool, dense clouds of hydrogen gas and dust in the Serpens constellation, some 6,500 light-years from Earth — most famously photographed by the Hubble Telescope in 2014.
- Specs arrive for the unofficial Essential Phone sequel, but is it worth $1,000?
- Speaking of pricing, Nothing Ear 1 gets a huge price hike to $150.
- Android 13 support is coming to Windows 11 via WSA, but no word on a release date yet.
- Have you switched over to eSIMs yet? Let us know by voting in our poll.
- Fossil smartwatches start getting Wear OS 3 update with some major omissions: No access to Google Assistant.
- Nvidia “unlaunches” its 12GB RTX 4080 card, saying it wasn’t named right, after criticism it labeled the card with stats overstating its performance.
- Verizon alerts prepaid customers to recent security breach: looks like around 250 accounts were compromised.
- Starlink is officially launching Starlink aviation next year, offering speeds up to 350Mbps, with latency as low as 20ms, to planes equipped with its Aero Terminal.
- And Uber will start serving you targeted ads based on where you go, while you wait for your ride and during your journey, raising privacy concerns.
- Finally: Tired of laundry folding? AI breaks the robot folding speed record.
- Mashable‘s got the horrific true story behind The Watcher’s John Graff.
- Speaking of horror, Return to Silent Hill will bring Konami’s horror franchise back to movie theaters, fifteen years after the 2006 movie, with director Christophe Gans returning, but no release date yet.
- And we’ve got your weekend viewing inspo: The best new streaming movies, including horror sequel V/H/S/99, Hulu original horror movie Matriarch, and more.
- We’ve also got the best new TV shows to stream, including Amazon Prime Video’s sci-fi drama The Peripheral — and Empire’s review is in already.
- A new trailer dropped for Tom Hanks’ latest movie, A Man Called Otto, a remake of the 2015 Swedish comedy A Man Called Ove, itself adapted from the novel by Fredrik Bakman: Hanks stars as the grumpy, recently-widowed man whose neighbors help him back to becoming part of his local community.
- Elsewhere, the 4K Chromecast with Google TV is getting Android 12 now, with privacy tweaks and more.
- Broke up with your partner? Netflix profile transfers are for you: You’ll get to keep recommendations, lists, saved games, and more.
- Meanwhile, Netflix password-sharing crackdown will roll out globally in ‘early 2023’ — here’s how it could work.
- Konami confirms Silent Hill 2 remake is coming to PS5 and PC, but no word on a release date yet — we also saw reveals of three new games, Silent Hill: Townfall, from Annapurna Interactive and No Code, Silent Hill: Ascension, coming in 2023, from J.J. Abrams’ studio, Bad Robot, and Genvid, and Silent Hill f, from Ryūkishi07, an acclaimed psychological horror visual novel creator.
- Razer Edge pricing, specs revealed: Does it have the edge over rival handhelds?
- Microsoft’s building its own mobile gaming store to take on Apple and Google.
- Netflix is expanding into cloud gaming, opens new Southern California studio.
- And we got a first look at the Dead Space remake: Excited much, us?
- Speaking of new games, French game publisher Focus has some interesting titles out now and coming soon: A Plague Tale: Requiem launched Tuesday, and Evil West, about hunting vampires in the American Wild West, lands in November.
- Some big Minecraft news: Minecraft Dungeon’s Halloween-y additions, camel mobs, a Batman DLC, and an in-depth look at Minecraft Legends, launching 2023.
- Finally, Eurogamer has a neat roundup of everything you missed in Thursday’s Resident Evil showcase, including an action-packed peek at the RE4 remake, launching on March 24, more details of long-delayed multiplayer Re:Verse, and more.
- Google Pixel 7 review: A bargain that’s impossible to beat — “At just $599, the Pixel 7 is without doubt the best value phone on the market” (Android Authority).
- Google Pixel Watch review: Laying the foundation — “It’s not everything we were hoping for, but it’s a solid start” (Android Authority).
- Poco M5s review: “The Poco M5s is a great budget phone for streaming, browsing, and everyday use, though the quad camera can be hit and miss” (Trusted Reviews).
- Is the Pixel 7 series durable? We explain how likely it is you’ll break it — “We’ll break down just how durable it is and how the Pixel 7 stacks up against the competition” (Android Authority).
- It’s not the USB-C port, it’s what you do with it that counts: “The EU is solving the charging problem, but USB-C is far beyond redemption” (Android Authority).
- Lab-grown human brain tissue works in rats — “Tiny cell clusters called organoids integrated with the animals’ own tissue, a step toward developing sophisticated mini-models of the brain” (Wired).
- Hitting the Books: The women who made ENIAC more than a weapon — “You’ve never heard of them because, really, nobody has” (Engadget).
- Meta’s VR headset harvests personal data right off your face — “Cameras inside the device that track eye and face movements can make an avatar’s expressions more realistic, but they raise new privacy questions” (Wired).
This week we’d like to wish a very happy birthday to the console of many of our childhoods, the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES).
- The NES launched in the US this week (October 18) in 1985.
- It had already been released in Japan in July 1983 as the Famicom or Family Computer, selling over 2.5m units in its first year on sale.
- Where the Famicom was white, with red controllers and buttons, the NES was larger and mostly gray.
- At first, the NES only launched in New York City, followed by Los Angeles in February 1986.
- The 8-bit console didn’t release nationwide until September 27, 1986.
- On that same day, Nintendo released 18 games, including Super Mario Bros, Donkey Kong Jr. Math, Hogan’s Alley, Duck Hunt, Pinball, Wild Gunman, and more.
- The NES was the starting point for many popular franchises, with titles such as Final Fantasy, Castlevania, and Legend of Zelda.
- But the console’s most popular game was Super Mario Bros, which to date has sold over 40 million copies worldwide — and it’s the second-best-selling video game of all time behind Wii Sports.
Here are a few things we bet you didn’t know about the NES:
- A Nintendo World Championship cartridge once sold for $100,088 on eBay.
- Super Mario Bros has secret levels: You’ll need a top-loading NES, a Super Mario Bros. cartridge, and a copy of the NES game Tennis to access them though — plus this guide.
- Yes, we all love Zelda, but back in the day, the president of Nintendo’s State-side division thought the game had too much text and was too difficult to appeal to a US audience. Goes to show how wrong you can be!
- Nintendo created helplines for gamers: Back in the 80s, there was no internet to consult when you got stuck on your game. Nintendo launched the Powerline, a telephone service where players who were skilled at Nintendo games would help you out. The service was revived in 2016 for one weekend only to celebrate the NES.
- Final Fantasy is a huge franchise these days, but has humble roots as a single game on the NES. If you got bored battling dragons, you could take a break and play a traditional slide puzzle mini-game, though it was pretty tricky to access — you had to press “A” and “B” together 55 times in a row while on a ship. To think we complain about gamer’s thumb nowadays!
If we’ve got you in the mood for some retro gaming, you can pick up a NES on eBay these days for anywhere between $50 and $150. You could grab one of the best NES emulators for Android, or you could just grab a Switch to get your Nintendo fix. We’ve rounded up some of the best free Nintendo Switch games, including titles like Brawlhalla and Pokemon Quest, plus the best Switch eShop games you should totally get today.
- October 26 @ 7PM PT: Nothing Ear Stick launch event
- November 8: Skull and Bones release date on Xbox Series S/X, PS5, PC, Stadia, 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
Tech Tweet of the Week
Twitter needs this ❤️ pic.twitter.com/NS55We7uvQ— Puppies Heaven 🐶 (@HeavenPuppies) October 14, 2022
Something extra: Type any phrase into this website and it’ll show you which movies it was in. Strangely addictive.
Have a great week!
Paula Beaton, Copy Editor.