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The Weekly Authority: 💻 Google parts with Pixelbook
⚡ Welcome to The Weekly Authority, the Android Authority newsletter that breaks down the top Android and tech news from the week. The 212th edition here, with Pixel 7 storage options, OnePlus 11 Pro renders, Sony’s State of Play and Nintendo Direct highlights, an “easier” way to make cup noodles, and more.
🥶 This week I’m feeling quite smug to be writing this from the comfort of my new couch, in my new apartment. Ok, so I’m still not unpacked, but I made it! In other news, the temperature here in Scotland dropped to 6°C this morning, so I may need to unpack my sweaters first…
Popular news this week
- Pixel 7 may have limited storage options, but it’s not all bad news: US consumers may have more options.
- Meanwhile, the next Pixelbook (and the Pixelbook team) are no more.
- That’s because Google is canceling projects left, right, and center in a bid to be more efficient — and it’s already canceled half the projects at its internal R&D group Area 120.
- Google faces a $25.4 billion fine over unfair advertising practices.
- Speaking of fines, Google loses the first round in its fight to overturn record-breaking EU fine.
- Elsewhere, wild leak suggests small Google Pixel flagship is in the works: This comes from a veteran leaker in China, but we’re still skeptical.
- When we said Google needs to improve its chips, this isn’t what we had in mind…
- Google’s preview program will give early access to new Home app features.
- And you can now hide your private browsing sessions on Android behind a fingerprint.
- Also: Google Photos gets tons of new features, including a collage editor.
- Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 series gets second update with performance improvements, only for Verizon Watch 5 and 5 Pro models, though.
- Meanwhile, Samsung aims to make global operations and products carbon neutral by 2050: It’ll invest more than $50 billion through 2030 to this end.
- Unofficial renders of the OnePlus 11 Pro leaked this week and the alert slider is back!
- At Tuesday’s Xperia event, Sony announced the Xperia Stream, a cooling accessory for the Xperia 1 IV with a variety of ports, but no word on pricing or availability yet.
- Xiaomi 12T series leaks in full: Another 200MP phone is coming.
- It appears Apple made a mistake with the iPhone 14 Plus: The lack of a delivery delay could suggest low demand.
- Apple reportedly plans to expand iPhone 14’s satellite feature to more countries, but it’s unclear exactly when.
- Looks like Apple copied Xiaomi with these lesser-known iPhone 14 features.
- Make sure to take care of your iPhone 14 battery: replacement cost is $99, 43% more than previous models.
- Dynamic Island games are coming to iPhone 14 Pro, though it’s early days yet.
- Apple’s iOS 16 dropped on Monday, now available for iPhone 8 or later.
- Leaked report from Instagram claims ‘most Reels users have no engagement whatsoever’: yet more bad news for Instagram as it battles TikTok.
- Speaking of, TikTok won’t commit to stopping US data flows to China: Its COO declined to make this pledge when testifying in front of the Senate Homeland Security Committee.
- Snapchat for Web is now available for everyone: Snap’s also launched new iOS 16 lockscreen widgets.
- The Webb Space Telescope snaps its first photo of an exoplanet.
- NASA’s asteroid-smashing spacecraft snaps first image of its target.
- And the UN wants to curb anti-satellite missile tests: This comes almost a year after a Russian test that created a debris field, threatening the International Space Station.
- Plus: China plans three missions to the Moon after discovering a new lunar mineral that may be a future energy source.
- Nothing posted some promising sales figures for the Phone 1.
- Why doesn’t Android have this iPhone always-on display feature?
- Speaking of iPhone: Someone just added a Dynamic Island on an Android phone — but do we really need it?
- We asked you if your current phone came with a charger, and there’s still time to vote before the results are in.
- Do you sleep with your phone in bed? Your chance to vote in our poll.
- And there’s now more choice for reading in bed: Amazon’s new Kindle blurs the line between Kindle and Paperwhite, though it’s slightly more expensive.
- Extreme heat in California knocked a key Twitter data center offline on Monday — internal memo warned another outage could result in the service going dark for some users.
- Elsewhere, a ton of new emoji just landed to spruce up your messaging game — and MacRumors revealed the top five emoji in the US.
- On the topic of new things, Bose QuietComfort SE headphones dropped out of nowhere this week, expected to have 24 hours of wireless playtime.
- And the Fitbit Versa and Sense series now have a keyboard…sort of.
- Meanwhile, rumor suggests Qualcomm could launch two versions of the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2: We could see an ultra-high frequency version.
- Biden to announce $900m to build EV charging stations: His goal is to make up to 50% of all vehicles sold in the US electric by 2030.
- HBO Max’s The White Lotus took home five gongs at the Emmys, beating Ted Lasso (four) and Succession (three).
- The new Google Chromecast HD might have a big advantage over its predecessor, but it may not be so cheap after all.
- Disney’s D23 event last weekend had lots of cool teasers and trailers, including an official trailer for Willow, several Star Wars trailers, a black and white trailer for Werewolf by Night, a trailer for Marvel’s Secret Invasion, starring Samuel L. Jackson, and much more.
- Mashable’s got some interesting reviews this week: “Tense social thriller” End of the Road (Netflix), “groundbreaking and glorious action epic” The Woman King (in theaters now), and classic rom-com Ticket to Paradise (coming to cinemas October 21).
- If you’re still stuck on what to watch this week, here’s our pick of the best new TV shows to stream, including season five of The Handmaid’s Tale, plus the best new streaming movies this week, from Ridley Scott’s epic The Last Duel to something lighter with black comedy Do Revenge.
- Paul Greengrass is adapting Stephen King’s Fairy Tale for the big screen: The book hit shelves earlier this month, and King believes the man behind several Bourne movies is “a wonderful choice.”
- Elsewhere, Glenn Powell and Regé-Jean Page will be Butch And Sundance for a new Amazon series set in an alternative history version of America.
- Also this week: We saw a new trailer for Park Chan-Wook’s Decision to Leave. described as “an intensely romantic cat-and-mouse thriller.”
- And Amazon greenlights Blade Runner 2049 sequel series.
- Finally: Netflix is holding its global fan event with first looks and company news on September 24.
- Missed Ubisoft Forward on Sunday? Highlights included Mario + Rabbids: Sparks of Hope gameplay, more Skull and Bones gameplay, stuff for the Division franchise, and a ton of Assassin’s Creed, including AC Red, set in Japan, AC Mirage, coming in 2023 and set in Baghdad, AC Codename HEXE, which looks sort of witchy, two undated mobile games (one announced for Netflix, the other set in China), and a multiplayer game codenamed Invictus.
- Tokyo Game Show 2022 started on Thursday running through Sunday: IGN has all the livestreams you need.
- At Disney’s D23 event, Disney Illusion Island was announced: the 2D co-op platformer starring Mickey Mouse and friends will come exclusively to Nintendo Switch in 2023.
- Eurogamer has a neat roundup of everything announced in Sony’s State of Play on Tuesday, but highlights included action-RPG Rise of the Ronin, a trailer for Tekken 8 (ooh!), some new PSVR2 games (like tabletop RPG Demeo), a new Hogwarts Legacy trailer, a glimpse of Yakuza spin-off Like a Dragon: Ishin, first-person driving survival game Pacific Drive, and much more.
- If you missed September’s Nintendo Direct on Tuesday, you can catch up here, but The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom headlined, coming May 12, 2023. We also saw an official announcement trailer for Pikmin 4, and Nintendo revealed Goldeneye 007 is coming to Nintendo Switch Online, with online play.
- Meta Quest Pro leaks online with unboxing video after claims prototype was left in a hotel room.
- On the topic of VR, Sony dashes hopes and confirms PSVR2 won’t be backwards compatible.
- Meanwhile, The Sims 4 is going free to play from October 18 across PC, Mac, and consoles, and current players will get a free content pack.
- And Discord finally comes to Xbox! Here’s how to use it.
- Which reminds us: Deathloop finally lands on Xbox on Tuesday, likely to only be on Xbox Series X/S consoles.
- Finally: Call of Duty Warzone 2.0 gets a release date and all-new third-person mode — November 16 is the date for your diaries.
- Samsung Galaxy A23 5G review: Searching for the middle ground — “Its sizable crisp display and equally large and long-lasting battery are excellent among budget phones, though it has some rough edges in tender spots” (Android Authority).
- HONOR MagicBook 14 (2022) review — “A solid productivity laptop, offering fast processing speeds, a great port selection, and good battery life. Its design isn’t so impressive, failing to stand out from rivals such as Apple and HUAWEI” (Trusted Reviews).
- MSI Summit E16 Flip Evo review — “A classy, fairly long-lasting semi-portable performance laptop with a large 360-degree 16-inch screen. The display of the version reviewed is not mind-blowing and you’d hope to see a glass touchpad at this level, but MSI has made few mistakes with this solid all-rounder” (Trusted Reviews).
- My temporary Apple envy is back, and it’s all about female health this time: “Apple is leading the charge in democratizing female health and automating part of cycle tracking” (Android Authority).
- Five-year update pledges don’t mean much without removable batteries: “Fixed batteries are a big reason why people give up their old phones, but a removable battery would help” (Android Authority).
- A GMO purple tomato is coming to grocery aisles. Will the US bite? “Most genetically engineered foods were developed to aid farmers. This one will try to sway over health-conscious produce shoppers” (Wired).
- Subtitle the world: “New tech is helping change what accessibility means for the deaf community” (Morning Brew).
- California’s heat wave is a big moment for batteries: |”Scorching temperatures in the Golden State are a test case for a more flexible energy grid” (Wired).
This week we’re wondering about the point of Thanko’s Cup Noodle Machine. Why does it exist? What’s its purpose? Exactly how much time is it supposed to save you? Who are these people that are too busy to boil water? Keep reading and you’ll find out exactly what we’re talking about.
Rise of the ramen
- Cup noodles, instant noodles, ramen… whatever you call them, there’s no denying that this staple student food has become a quick go-to snack for many.
- Love them or hate them, cup noodles are here to stay — they’re cheap, cheerful, and delicious, even if they’re not the healthiest choice.
Easier than boiling water
Since preparing cup noodles involves nothing more than peeling open the lid of the cup, boiling some water, adding it to the cup, and waiting for the ingredients to rehydrate, why would anyone create a gadget designed to simplify that process? Japan’s Thanko obviously thought the task could be easier.
- The Makasetei looks a lot like a Keurig coffee machine.
- This one takes noodle cups, not pods, though.
- Just pop off the plastic seal, place your noodle cup on the device, lower the mechanism, add water, start the machine, and set a timer.
- The Makasetei will automatically boil the water, add it to the cup, and then let you know when your noodley-goodness is ready.
- It doesn’t exactly sound like one of the best smart kitchen tech products around.
- Though Thanko’s no stranger to quirky gadgets, from its folding fan umbrella to its car rice cooker (yes, really).
We should add, the Makasetei will set you back $45, which seems like a lot to spend on a task that could easily be achieved with an electric kettle. Not to mention the kitchen counter real estate it’ll take up. True, it might come in handy if (like me) you’ve just moved house and have no idea which box you packed the kettle in. Or if you don’t own an electric kettle. And for those with a serious cup noodle habit, well, we guess it’s a bit of a novelty. Still… $45!
- 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
what the metaverse would look like in the real life pic.twitter.com/N6UT3TM8ip— MrMimi ⭕️ (@MrMimiEth) September 8, 2022
Something extra: This cheeky food delivery robot crashed a crime scene in LA.
Have a great week!
Paula Beaton, Copy Editor.