Welcome again to The Weekly Authority, the Android Authority newsletter that breaks down the top Android and tech news from the week. The 159th edition here to brighten your day.
The heatwave here has finally broken after the hottest day on record for over 100 years on Wednesday. Phew!
The weather may have cooled down, but all the week’s hottest news is coming right up…
Popular news this week
Apple: Apple announced its “California Streaming” online event for September 14, likely for the iPhone 13 reveal, possibly also the AirPods 3, and more. It’s reportedly in talks with Toyota about Apple Car production, starting in 2024, though Apple’s car chief is heading to Ford.
Samsung: Samsung announced its “Discover Samsung” event from September 20 to 26, with a new deal each day on phones and other tech, plus top tips and hacks. Galaxy S22 specs leaked this week, suggesting no 200MP camera sensor. Samsung is also reportedly working on a 576MP camera sensor, which could debut as early as 2025. The One UI 4.0 beta’s running late, while the Galaxy Note 9 will no longer get monthly security updates. And by year’s end, WhatsApp will stop working on some Galaxy phones.
Google: Google’s ad gave us a peek at the Pixel 6 in the flesh, while an Instagram promo teased a possible October 19 release. The Android 12 fifth beta launched, bringing the stable launch ever closer, though we still don’t have an exact date. And Google released updates to fix the Google Clock alarms issue.
Elsewhere: The Realme Pad launches in India on September 16, while Vivo launched its camera-centric X70 series. Xiaomi announced a new, longer update policy, and Fossil removed dozens of smartwatch faces. Meanwhile, Facebook launched its Rayban Stories picture-taking smart glasses and Amazon will sell its own branded smart TVs from October. And El Salvador became the first country to adopt bitcoin as legal tender but got off to a rocky start.
Movies/TV: Tributes poured in for Actor Michael K. Williams (54), best known for his role as Omar Little in The Wire, who died on Monday. This week also saw the first trailer for Matrix Resurrections land, while Top Gun: Maverick and Mission Impossible 7 are delayed again. Meanwhile, HBO Max launches in six European countries on October 26, and Hulu gets its first price rise in two years.
Gaming: Sony will let PS4 purchasers of Horizon Forbidden West upgrade to the PS5 version for free, but it’s the last game to do so — new cross-gen upgrades will now cost $10. Sony’s PlayStation Showcase on September 9 gave us a sneak peek at loads of upcoming games, including Wolverine, Spider-Man 2, and the God of War Ragnarok gameplay trailer. We also got another enticing glimpse of Ghostwire Tokyo, and the announce trailer for the Alan Wake remaster, coming to PlayStation for the first time this fall.
- Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 FE review: “The Wi-Fi version is the more sensible choice.”
- Xiaomi Mi Router 4A Gigabit Edition review: “An affordable router done right.”
- Doogee S96 Pro review: “A rugged experience coupled with a large battery that keeps on going.”
- Realme Book review: Solid on paper, but feels like an unfinished product.
- Google Nest Cam review: One of the best home wireless security cameras out there — it can do it all, but it ain’t cheap.
- iPhone 13: What to expect from Apple’s next smartphone and what we want to see — an improved display, smaller notch, and camera upgrades are top of the wishlist.
- Android 12: Everything confirmed so far — Google’s basically done adding new features as the fifth beta is released.
- Why the global chip shortage is making it so hard to buy a PS5: Harvard professor Willy Shih explains (The Verge).
- Why are hyperlinks blue? Who decided this, when, and what has been the impact? (blog.mozilla.org)
- Behind the art and atmosphere of Destiny: As the franchise celebrates its seventh anniversary, the game’s art team share never-before-seen concept art (Wired).
For this edition’s Weekly Wonder, we’re taking a look at Mike Flanagan, writer and director of popular Netflix series The Haunting of Hill House and The Haunting of Bly Manor (as well as many of our favorite horror movies).
Flanagan’s newest show, Midnight Mass, hits Netflix on September 24, so you’ve still got time to catch up on Hill House and Bly Manor before then — though this new show isn’t related to the other two.
Check out Netflix’s synopsis: “The tale of a small, isolated island community whose existing divisions are amplified by the return of a disgraced young man (Zach Gilford) and the arrival of a charismatic priest (Hamish Linklater.) When Father Paul’s appearance on Crockett Island coincides with unexplained and seemingly miraculous events, a renewed religious fervor takes hold of the community — but do these miracles come at a price?“
We can’t wait to see this when it lands later this month.
While we (im)patiently wait, here are some fun facts about Mike Flanagan, as well as a few of his other shows and movies — and where you can see them…
- Mike Flanagan was born on 20 May 1978, in Salem, Massachusetts.
- Despite only living in Salem briefly, the history of the area, including the Salem Witch Trials, left a lasting impression, giving him an interest in ghosts and the supernatural.
- Flanagan studied Electronic Media and Film with a minor in Theater at Towson University.
- He’s married to actress and screenwriter Kate Siegel, who has appeared in a number of his films, as well as The Haunting of Hill House and The Haunting of Bly Manor.
- His first film after graduating was Ghosts of Hamilton Street (2003), filmed in Maryland with a cast of local actors.
- Flanagan’s film Oculus was originally planned as a series of shorts, but following financing issues, he released a single short showcasing the back story. It gathered traction at film festivals, but producers wanted to shoot it as a found-footage film, and initially turned down Flanagan’s insistence to direct.
- He went on to direct Absentia in 2011, on a budget of $70,000, financed through Kickstarter. It wasn’t until 2011 that Flanagan really gained popularity when Netflix added Absentia — originally a direct-to-video release — to their streaming library.
- In 2012, Intrepid Pictures took an interest in Oculus and agreed Flanagan could direct. The film was released in theaters in 2014.
- Doctor Sleep, the follow-up to The Shining, was directed by Flanagan, who’s a huge Stephen King fan.
- He’s also a huge fan of H. P. Lovecraft, whose stories From Beyond and The Shunned House played a part in some of the ideas behind Absentia.
- Flanagan is signed up to direct The Midnight Club, an adaptation of Christopher Pike‘s teen thrillers, which we’ll hopefully see next year.
What else has Mike Flanagan written and directed?
- Absentia (2011) — Shudder, Amazon Prime Video
- Oculus (2013) — Amazon Prime Video
- Hush (2016) — Netflix
- Before I Wake (2016) — Netflix
- Ouija: Origin of Evil (2016) — Amazon Prime Video
- Gerald’s Game (2017) — Netflix
- Doctor Sleep (2019) — HBO Now, HBO Max, Amazon Prime Video
- The Haunting of Hill House (2018) — Netflix
- The Haunting of Bly Manor (2020) — Netflix
- Midnight Mass (2021) — Coming Sept. 24 to Netflix
- The Midnight Club (2022) – TBC
- September 14: Apple “California Streaming” online event @ 10AM PT / 1PM ET / 6PM BST (iPhone 13, possibly Watch Series 7, MacBooks, AirPods 3, more)
- September 15: Xiaomi Launch Event @ 5AM PT / 8AM ET / 1PM BST (possibly Xiaomi Mi 12, Mi 11T, Mi Pad 5, Mi Note 11)
- September 20-26: “Discover Samsung” event with deals on phones, TVs, and more.
- September 22: Microsoft Surface Event (possibly Surface Duo 2, new Surface laptop, new Surface Pro)
- Soon: Android 12?
- October 19: Possible Pixel 6 release date?
- October 21: Huawei event in Vienna, possibly P50 series launch
Tech Tweet of the Week
First, some Rick and Morty fun:
— Rick and Morty (@RickandMorty) September 6, 2021
Second: The replies here are golden — also worth reading the article that supposedly got Andy unverified…
apparently i am no longer Andy Holt pic.twitter.com/8yr7t97MP2
— Andy Holt (@iamandyholt) September 7, 2021
Have a verifiably great week!
Paula Beaton, Copy Editor