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The Weekly Authority: 👀 Pixel 7 launch date confirmed

Pixel 7 launch date, Apple event updates, Rick and Morty's GoW Ragnarok trailer, and more of this week's top tech news.
By
September 10, 2022
New Google Hardware Pixel 7 Pro Pixel Watch
Google

⚡ Welcome to The Weekly Authority, the Android Authority newsletter that breaks down the top Android and tech news from the week. The 211th edition here, with loads of Google news, including a confirmed Pixel 7 launch date, Sony’s upcoming Xperia event, Apple event updates, a Rick and Morty God of War Ragnarok trailer, and more.

📦 My moving day has finally arrived, so next time I see you all will be on the other side, inside the box fort that will inevitably be my life for the coming weeks (or months, depending on unpacking motivation). But at least the internet’s connected at the new place — priorities!

Popular news this week

Google:

Samsung:

Apple:

OnePlus:

Social media:

Elsewhere:

Movies/TV:

Two Hobbits in The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power
Amazon

Gaming:

Reviews

A Garmin Venu Sq 2 on a user's wrist displays the main menu.
Kaitlyn Cimino / Android Authority
  • Garmin Venu Sq 2 review: Squaring up to the competition — “The Venu Sq 2 brings a brighter display, better sensors, and even longer battery life to a line we already loved.”
  • Xiaomi Mi Box S review: Outpriced and outperformed — “If the Mi Box S is one of your only options then it’s still worth a look, but similarly priced devices from Google, Roku, and Amazon are all better buys.”
  • Oppo Find X5 Lite review — “An extremely competent all round mid-ranger, with a slim and light design, a competent camera, and speedy charging. However, it’s not the fastest, its display is nothing to write home about, and it generally lacks the single killer feature that its key rivals all have” (Trusted Reviews).
  • Logitech G715 review — “If you’re in the market for a keyboard that’s a little less aggressively styled yet still retains full mechanical function, then this model could be for you” (Trusted Reviews).

Features

eve energy and lighbulb matter display
Rita El Khoury / Android Authority

Weekly Wonder

Ethernet vs Wi Fi stock photo 3
Edgar Cervantes / Android Authority

Admittedly I’m in the UK, not the US, but moving home and switching my internet provider got me thinking: Just how fast and reliable is our internet really? Since the pandemic, more of us than ever before are working from home, and there’s nothing worse than your Wi-Fi going down and relying on your phone’s hotspot for internet connectivity (though you could always invest in a mobile Wi-Fi hotspot).

Even when my internet is up and running, it isn’t always as fast as I’d like — and sometimes it’s downright flaky (usually whenever I’m trying to binge a favorite Netflix show). Of course, if you’re paying for high-speed internet (classed as 25Mbps download speeds or faster), you might want to check out our guide on how to increase internet speed on your router, as there are a few things worth trying.

  • Data published recently by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) shows over 97% of Americans can currently access a home internet service from three or more providers at download speeds of 25Mbps and upload speeds of 3Mbps.
  • The growing consensus, though, is that these speeds simply aren’t fast enough for today’s needs, and I’m inclined to agree.
  • FCC data also revealed that almost 30% of Americans have access to three or more providers at 100Mbps download speeds and 10Mbps upload speeds, with almost 40% able to buy service at that speed from two companies.
  • These figures include satellite internet and fixed wireless service providers.

But is a choice of three providers representative of robust competition? Not really. In an interview with Axios, Angie Kronenberg, general counsel for trade group INCOMPAS, said, “You typically need four or more in order for there to be really robust competition.”

Things are very different when it comes to wired connectivity, too:

  • FCC data shows only around 56% of Americans can access a wired home internet connection such as fiber, cable, or ADSL from two or more providers at speeds of 25Mpbs (download) and 3Mbps (upload).
  • And only 11% of Americans have three or more options for wired connections at this speed.
  • A Consumer Reports Survey in 2021 revealed 26% of Americans said they had only one choice for a wired home internet connection, with 32% having two choices, and just 16% saying three choices were available to them.
  • This survey also revealed that the higher the number of available providers, the lower the cost of home internet.
  • From my own experience here in the UK, I’d agree with that. Living rurally (around an hour from a major city) has seriously limited the number of internet providers I have to choose from, and speeds are not as high as I’d like, though I’m still paying a comparable amount to city-dwelling friends with speeds twice as fast as my own.

What’s the other side of the story?

According to Axios, trade associations for telecom and cable companies say these companies have invested billions in their networks, increasing competition in the industry.

  • Cable trade group NCTA pointed to FCC data showing the percentage of Americans who can buy internet service from multiple providers at speeds of 100Mbps nearly tripled from 2016 to 2020.
  • And trade association USTelecom says speeds have increased, prices have declined, and companies are continuing to invest in their networks.

How are things changing?

Technical improvements mean fixed wireless is becoming more of a competitive threat, delivering high speeds to homes using wireless networks.

  • SpaceX satellite internet service Starlink has promised faster, more reliable internet service to rural parts of the country, though the FCC denied the company almost $900 million in funding, questioning whether the service can actually deliver the promised speeds.
  • The recent Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act will provide $42.5 billion in funding, to build internet networks providing speeds of 100Mbps (download) and 20Mbps (upload).
  • Corning, the largest US manufacturer of fiber-optic cable recently announced plans to build a new manufacturing facility in Gilbert, Arizona. Expected to open in 2024, it will bring around 250 jobs to the area and ramp up production in response to a spike in demand for fiber-optic cable.
  • Meanwhile, AT&T‘s fiber-first strategy aims to reach 30 million locations with fiber by 2025.
  • Verizon and T-Mobile are planning on expanding home services based on 5G wireless connectivity.

Tech Calendar

  • September 10 @ 9 PM CEST: Ubisoft Forward showcase
  • September 12 @ midnight ET: Sony Xperia event on YouTube
  • September 29: OnePlus 10T on sale
  • October 6 @ 10 AM ET: Pixel 7 launch
  • October 11 @ 1PM ET: Meta Connect Conference (new VR headset?)
  • October 12 @ 10 AM PT: Samsung Developer Conference
  • October 13: Pixel 7 on sale? (TBC)
  • 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 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

Are you as shocked as I am?

I was IN this movie and had no idea 😳 https://t.co/NudcEmaooE
— Gabrielle Union (@itsgabrielleu) September 6, 2022

Something extra: Striking photos taken by homeless photographers show a different side of London: Every year, charity Cafe Art gives 100 single-use cameras to 100 people affected by homelessness. The resulting images are turned into a calendar, with the project now also taking place internationally in Budapest, Sydney, Perth, New Orleans, and other cities worldwide.

Have a positive week!

Paula Beaton, Copy Editor.