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Weekly Authority: 👀 Pixel Tablet Pro deets leak
⚡ Welcome to The Weekly Authority, the Android Authority newsletter that breaks down the top Android and tech news from the week. The 229th edition is here with Pixel Tablet Pro leaks, Samsung’s big news ahead of Galaxy Unpacked, a OnePlus tablet, Dead Space reviews, and real-life tractor beams.
🤮 This week, I attempted to eat a pizza that was almost as large as me while watching the second episode of The Last of Us. For anyone who hasn’t seen it yet, eating during the show isn’t something I’d recommend!
Popular news this week
- Leak reveals new details about the Pro version of the Pixel Tablet, will use the second-gen Tensor G2 chip.
- Android 14 could block app sideloading to some extent, for older apps.
- And big changes in store for Android in India, may affect it globally in the future.
- Google adds new Chrome for Android feature to lock your Incognito tabs.
- And Google may rollout new Fast Pair feature when the Galaxy S23 launches.
- Here’s how ‘Flip to Shhh’ should work on Google’s upcoming foldable, the Pixel Fold.
- Don’t try this at home: Someone fitted a Pixel 5a battery into a Pixel 4a for 17% extra battery life.
- User profiles are coming: Google Messages could finally get this staple messaging feature.
- And you told us: Most of you think the Pixel needs more camera accessories.
- Big news ahead of next week’s Galaxy Unpacked: Samsung will use Snapdragon for the Galaxy S23 and other flagships globally.
- The Samsung Galaxy S23 might be more expensive everywhere else except the US.
- This is the other ‘Ultra’ device launching alongside the Galaxy S23 Ultra.
- Retail store leaks Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra hands-on video, camera test, and more.
- Meanwhile, these leaked S23 Ultra night mode shots suggest a big improvement.
- And if you’re waiting on a new foldable, here’s everything we know so far about the Galaxy Z Fold 5.
- OnePlus is launching a second 11 series phone apart from the OnePlus 11 on February 7.
- And the long-awaited OnePlus Pad could debut alongside OnePlus 11, plus renders leak.
- OnePlus 11 India price leaks: A better deal than OnePlus 10T?
- OnePlus Buds Pro 2 among first TWS earbuds to support this Android 13 feature, launching globally February 7.
- The third-party apps Twitter just killed made the site what it is today.
- Twitter’s working on an ad-free subscription tier.
- Facebook Messenger encrypted chats now include more of the features you expect, like themes, custom emojis, and profiles for group conversations
- CNET pauses publication of AI-written stories amid controversy — and the publication found errors in more than half of its AI-written stories.
- And ChatGPT passes MBA exam given by a Wharton professor.
- Also: ChatGPT users report $42 a month pricing for ‘pro’ access, but no official announcement yet.
- Plus: BuzzFeed is the latest publisher to embrace AI-generated content.
- A truck-sized asteroid came “extraordinarily close” to Earth on Thursday, passing by just 2,200 miles above the Pacific Ocean near Chile.
- Astronomers capture a radio signal from an ancient galaxy at a record-breaking distance.
- Freaky spiral over Hawaii likely caused by SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket.
- Plus: NASA and DARPA to partner on nuclear thermal propulsion demo — This could result in faster speeds and greater maneuverability for rockets.
- Q4 2022 was a disaster for smartphone sales, with the largest-ever drop.
- The tech for smaller video files is here, but your new phone won’t have it: A Qualcomm exec suggests that AV1 encoding or recording isn’t coming to mobile, but a next-gen option is in its sights.
- DOJ says it disrupted a major global ransomware group.
- Spotify announced plans to fire 600 employees, around 6% of its staff.
- Meanwhile, layoffs began at the Washington Post, which also shuttered its gaming section.
- But why are so many tech companies laying people off right now? Hint: it has nothing to do with revenue.
- Zero-emission vehicles made up nearly 19% of car sales in California last year.
- Lyft will now charge you wait-time fees if you make your driver wait longer than two minutes.
- Merriam-Webster has bought the popular Wordle alternative Quordle.
- Ever wanted to hypnotize yourself? There’s now an app for that.
- Gravity batteries in abandoned mines could power the whole planet, scientists say.
- Also: Researchers look a remarkably preserved dinosaur in its face — it’s been described as a one-in-a-billion find.
- The Xbox Walkman is real, and it actually plays cassette tapes, but you can’t buy one. Boo.
- Finally: After Disney closed its Splash Mountain ride, bottles of “authentic” Splash Mountain water are selling on eBay for up to $1k.
- Google Search has a creepy easter egg for HBO’s The Last of Us.
- Speaking of, The Last of Us does Tess dirty (Spoiler alert for those who haven’t seen episode two yet!).
- And Netflix reportedly plans to launch paid sharing by late March, meaning it’ll soon cost you to share your account with anybody outside your household.
- Don’t want to pay for streaming? Here are the best free movies and TV shows to watch on Tubi, including Western horror Bone Tomahawk, classic 80s dark comedy Heathers, and more.
- Or you could watch these free YouTube TV shows like The Prisoner or Space: 1999.
- More free stuff: Samsung wants to bring its free TV Plus streaming channels to TCL and other smart TVs.
- Last weekend, Avatar: The Way of Water became the sixth movie in history to cross the $2B mark.
- Wondering who’s up for an Academy Award? Variety has the full Oscar nominations list, with Everything Everywhere All at Once picking up 11 nods.
- As Lockwood lands on Netflix, Joe Cornish is ‘thinking about Aliens And Terminator 2’ while writing Attack The Block 2.
- Finally, we saw a teaser for Succession season 4, premiering March 26.
- Step aside emulation, I restored my old Nintendo instead: Our Dhruv Butani takes on a nostalgia project.
- Here’s everything announced at Xbox Developer Direct: Including a launch window for Redfall and a surprise game launch.
- Dead Space launched, and there’s an alternate ending, plus Engadget says it’s “the new benchmark for video game remakes.”
- Meanwhile, Forspoken reviews are in, and it doesn’t look good. IGN describes the game’s scenery as, “about as picturesque as a bowl of rocks with an Instagram filter slapped on,” while Gamespot gives it 5/10 and says it’s “visually stimulating and a musical delight, but boring combat, poor characterization, and loose movement mechanics make for a mediocre experience.” From what I’ve played, I can’t help but agree.
- Marvel’s Avengers won’t receive official support after September 30.
- Mass Effect veteran Mac Walters leaves BioWare after 19 years.
- A Japanese YouTuber’s pet fish spent his money in the Nintendo store after a livestreaming experiment went wrong.
- Monochrome Samurai action game Trek to Yomi comes to Nintendo Switch next week.
- And 343 Industries shares commitment to Halo, following layoffs.
- Finally: Fortnite on iOS and Google Play will be 18+ starting on January 30.
- The Amazfit Falcon flirts with premium watch territory: “Amazfit is raising its own bar, but does it get high enough?”
- The Amazon Echo Studio’s big update makes it one of the best smart speakers: “It’s still expensive for an Echo, but now you’re truly getting what you pay for.”
- A smart air quality monitor is showing me everything wrong with the air in my home: “Understanding the air quality in my home was the first step in getting my asthma under control.”
- Roborock’s Dyad Pro is a smart vac and mop without robot prices: “It’s not perfect, but it’s a fraction of the cost of equivalent robot vacs.”
- Roku Express (2022) review: All aboard the Roku Express? “If you only need a portable streaming player on the cheap, the Roku Express will just about do the job.”
- Google Pixel 7 and 7 Pro vs older Google phones: Should you upgrade? “The Pixel 7 series is Google’s best” (Android Authority).
- Fresh out of the box: 10 ways to make your Google Pixel 7 better: Including Face Unlock, Now Playing, and more (Android Authority).
- Why this universe? Maybe it’s not special — just probable: “Two physicists find that our universe has a higher entropy — and is therefore more likely — than alternative possible universes” (Wired).
- The many ingenious ways people in prison use (forbidden) cell phones: “Despite the security concerns of administrators, incarcerated people use phones to hustle, make TikToks or publicize prison conditions” (The Marshall Project).
- Easily distracted? You need to think like a medieval monk: Focusing wasn’t much easier in the time before electricity or on-demand TV. In fact, you probably have a lot in common with these super-distracted monks” (Wired).
- WTF is going on with absurd egg prices? Corporate greed, group tells FTC: “Egg producers’ profit margins are soaring as Americans struggle to keep up with price hikes, Farm Action said in a letter to the FTC” (Vice).
It may sound like something straight out of a sci-fi movie, but this week scientists actually built the first-ever working tractor beam. What a time to be alive!
- Tractor beams have existed in the world for some time now, but up until now, they’ve never been able to pull objects actually visible to the naked eye.
- Microscopic tractor beams (optical tweezers) are commonly used to pull nanoparticles and atoms in research and medicine.
- However, it’s much more exciting when we can actually see a tractor beam in action.
- Chinese scientists published a new study in Optic Express, covering their creation of the first tractor beam that can manipulate macroscopic objects, or things we can actually see with the naked eye.
- Ok, so everything was done in highly controlled lab conditions, with a “rarefied gaseous environment with a lower pressure than Earth’s atmosphere,” — and the object in question that was manipulated was a specific type of Graphene composite.
- But holy c***, they moved an object with a laser!
- From the study: “With our new approach, the light pulling force has a much larger amplitude. In fact, it is more than three orders of magnitudes larger than the light pressure used to drive a solar sail, which uses the momentum of photons to exert a small pushing force.”
- The experiment doesn’t end there, though, and the team of scientists, led by Lei Wang, will continue to push the possibilities.
- “This work expands the scope of optical pulling from microscale to macroscale, which has great potential in macroscale optical manipulations.”
- The non-contact and long-distance pulling approach may come in handy for various scientific experiments, according to Wang, and in the future, we could see tractor beams like this used to manipulate vehicles and aircraft on Mars.
- We may not yet have robots to cook us dinner and flying cars for every household, but this is pretty cool!
- February 1 @ 1 PM ET: Samsung Unpacked (Galaxy S23?)
- February 7: OnePlus 11 global launch (and OnePlus Buds Pro 2)
- February 22: PSVR 2 launch date
- February 27-March 2: MWC 2023 Barcelona
Tech Tweet of the Week
In it for the replies 😂
a member was accused of playing video games on his work computer and I got him cleared by proving conclusively that the employer-provided graphics card couldn’t handle the resource-hungry game his supervisor claimed to have seen https://t.co/FIS5yyIy78— Erik Strobl 🌹 🦝 (@erikstrobl) January 25, 2023
Something extra: Just a kitty enjoying a blow dry, because, aww.
Have a wonderful week!
Paula Beaton, Copy Editor.