Dhruv Bhutani / Android Authority
⚡ Welcome to The Weekly Authority, the Android Authority newsletter that breaks down the top Android and tech news from the week. The 187th edition here, with the launch date for the OnePlus 10 Pro, Nothing Phone 1 news, and The Witcher 4.
🎮 This weekend I’m mostly enjoying saving Danny Trejo’s tacos during the free Far Cry 6 weekend, as well as soaking up the (rare) Scottish sunshine!
These flagship smartphones are powered by the MariSilicon X Imaging NPU, drastically increasing their photographic capabilities (especially in low-light situations).
Two lucky Android Authority readers will be receiving these premium smartphones, so make sure to enter the giveaway before March 30!
Popular news this week
Harley Maranan / Android Authority
- The Nothing event on Wednesday turned out to be just a teaser of the announcement of the Nothing Phone 1, arriving this summer, with an undisclosed Snapdragon processor, plus three years of OS updates and four years of security updates. Carl Pei talked about Nothing OS, a stock-style version of Android with Nothing’s minimalism and design language, fulfilling his long-standing ambitions for a more open ecosystem, a simple fast Android build, and minimal bloat. Catch up with what you missed here or take a deeper dive into things over on Thursday’s Daily Authority, with Tristan.
- Apple blocks Android TV users from renting or buying content on Apple TV app — You’ll need to use an iPhone, iPad, or other streaming device, and though Apple hasn’t said as much, it’s likely due to Google’s 30% commission fee.
- The first Linux distribution to offer native support for Apple M1 chips is out, still an alpha release, so expect bugs and missing features.
- Apple had a two-hour outage Monday afternoon, affecting the App Store, iMessage, Apple Music, and other services, plus corporate and retail systems, caused by a domain name system (DNS) issue.
- And Apple’s exploring its own version of CES 2022’s invisible headphones.
- Plus: Apple is working on a hardware subscription service for iPhones for 2023, tied to Apple One and AppleCare.
- Largest-ever Sony smartphone camera sensor just leaked: The Sony Exmor IMX800 could be a 50MP 1/1.1-inch unit, the largest ever from the brand and the largest smartphone sensor ever on the market, assuming nothing comes out before it — rumors suggest it could land with the Xiaomi 12 Ultra.
- Meanwhile, here are all the brands reportedly readying Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 Plus phones: One Plus (OnePlus 10 Pro), Xiaomi (Xiaomi 12 Ultra), and Lenovo/Motorola, so far.
- Okta hack puts thousands of businesses on high alert: The authentication company is used by 15,000 companies and seems like it was recently hacked by Lapsus$.
- Speaking of, cybersecurity researchers have apparently traced those responsible for the Lapsus$ attacks… seems a 16-year-old near Oxford in England is mainly to blame, as well as several other parties.
- New EU antitrust legislation regulating US tech giants is likely to set global standard, meaning WhatsApp, iMessage, Facebook Messenger, and the like “will have to open up and interoperate with smaller messaging platforms, if they so request,” plus targeted advertising limits, and “to include a requirement to allow users to freely choose their browser, virtual assistants, or search engines.” Legislation hasn’t passed yet but set to come by October.
- Meanwhile, WhatsApp is finally rolling out message reactions, available to some beta users right now and includes six different reactions: Like, Love, Laugh, Surprised, Sad, and Thanks.
- Realme’s GT Neo 3 is the first phone with 150W charging, and it doesn’t sacrifice battery health, apparently?
- Plus: Your next phone might have a color-changing leather back.
- Also, Arizona is the first state to allow driver’s licenses in Apple Wallet.
- Boston Dynamics hopes robot dogs are less creepy while fighting fires. Um, nope?
- Also this week: Snap buys brain-computer interface startup NextMind for future AR glasses.
- The annual Game Developers Conference has been running all week, the biggest in-person gaming event in North America since the start of the pandemic, with some interesting talks, including one from designer Michelle Clough on more complex depictions of interactive romance in games.
- Ghostwire Tokyo launched Friday and reviews are in: IGN praised the attention to detail of the Tokyo setting but said: “If the moment-to-moment gameplay — in particular its one-dimensional combat and uninteresting mission design — weren’t such a disappointment, Ghostwire: Tokyo could have truly captivated me. As it stands, the merely adequate stealth and action do little to add to the fantastic setting, but they don’t diminish its brilliance, either,” while Polygon called it “A charming but frustrating supernatural shooter.”
- You can now get Xbox Game Pass on your Steam Deck via the Microsoft Edge beta.
- And Nintendo finally adds folders to the Switch, kind of: It’s called “Groups” but doesn’t allow you to place anything on the Home Screen.
- CD Projekt Red confirmed it’s working on The Witcher 4, but we don’t have any more details just yet, though development is moving to Unreal Engine 5
- In PlayStation news this week, the PlayStation 5’s variable refresh rate feature is coming soon.
- And following the latest PS5 update on Wednesday, the Playstation Network suffered an outage affecting the PS Store, PS Now cloud gaming services, as well as any games, apps, or features that require a network connection. PS Now continued to have issues for a while, but things were back up and running next day.
- Meanwhile, new PS5 Pro rumors point to a release within the next couple of years, possibly as early as late 2023.
- Good news for Far Cry fans: Far Cry 6 (and its DLC including the Stranger Things crossover) is free to play from Thursday March 24 until Sunday March 27 at 7:00 PM UTC. You can also get up to 50% off the standard and gold editions of the game on the PS Store until March 30.
- Finally this week, yours truly penned a piece about current and upcoming PS5 exclusives that you absolutely must play.
- The Halo TV series landed on Paramount Plus on Thursday, but reviews aren’t great.
- We Crashed premiered on Apple TV+ on Friday, a drama about the rise and fall of WeWork, with mixed reviews so far.
- Fighting game Tekken gets a Netflix animated series — Tekken: Bloodline is coming later this year.
- Speaking of game adaptations, horror game A Plague Tale Innocence is also getting a TV series, to be filmed in France, though we don’t have any more details yet, though expect rats aplenty.
- And Netflix’s Archive 81 has been canceled after one season, though it was performing well, so not really clear why…
- Bridgerton season 2 is back! Mashable has everything you need to remember before you start bingeing, plus a season 2 review (spoiler alert).
- And The Batman held onto the Number one spot at the box office for the third week in a row.
- Also this week: You can now watch 100 TV shows on YouTube for free if you don’t mind ads.
- Meanwhile, The Lost City hit theaters on Friday and reviews are in, with The New York Times calling it a “cheerfully dumb comedy.”
- Wondering what to watch? The best new streaming movies this week include Will Smith’s King Richard and Guy Ritchie’s latest flick, Wrath of Man.
Eric Zeman / Android Authority
We’re huge fans of GIFs here at Android Authority. How else are we meant to express how excited we are for the weekend or exactly what we thought of the latest flagship phone release? But who was Stephen Wilhite, how did the humble GIF come to be, and why oh why does everybody pronounce it wrongly?
History in a GIF-fy
Stephen Wilhite was a computer programmer at CompuServe, the world’s first major online service provider, when he came up with the Graphics Interchange Format (that’s GIF to you and me). This was back in 1987, before the World Wide Web was even a thing.
According to The Washington Post, it all came about when Alexander “Sandy” Trevor, the company’s chief technical officer, asked Wilhite to create “an image file format that used lossless compression and could work across an array of computer systems.” The idea was that this format would allow anyone to share stock charts, photos, weather maps, and pretty much any other files between Apple, Commodore, Atari, IBM, or any other computers.
- It took Wilwhite about a month to create the format.
- The first GIF was a picture of an airplane with rolling clouds.
- It wasn’t originally created for animation but had been designed so it could be extended and stretched.
- It caught on pretty fast amongst developers, later becoming more generally used as internet browsers took off, not to mention Myspace.
- Netscape added the ability for GIFs to loop in 1995.
How is GIF pronounced?
In 2o12, Oxford Dictionaries named GIF the US word of the year. But there was fierce debate over how to pronounce it. Was it with a hard g, like “gift” or a soft g, like “Jif”?
- Wilwhite himself weighed in on the issue in 2013, confirming it was “Jif,” like the peanut butter brand.
- The debate’s still ongoing to this day though. Weigh in below in the comments section with your thoughts/preferred pronunciation!
- Time even created a timeline of the debate about how to pronounce GIF.
The legacy of the GIF
Wilwhite may be gone, but his legacy lives on in the GIF. According to The Hustle, shortly after his passing, Giphy posted its tribute: “Stephen Wilwhite Creator of the GIF 1948-2022,” displayed on top of a GIF of rolling clouds, in memory of the first-ever GIF.
Nowadays we all use GIFs, whether you prefer expressing embarrassment with a GIF of Homer Simpson backing into a hedge, or letting somebody know exactly what’s up with Robert Downey Jr. rolling his eyes.
Here are just a few of the AA team’s favorites:
- March 31 @ 10 AM ET: OnePlus 10 Pro global launch
- March 30: Death Stranding Director’s Cut comes to PC
- April 1: Galaxy A53 on sale (T-Mobile and Verizon from March 31)
- April 5: Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga lands on PC, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X/S
- May 9-11: Qualcomm 5G Summit (San Diego)
- May 11-12: Google I/O 2022
Tech Tweet of the Week
Not going to lie: quite excited about this.
Paula Beaton, Copy Editor.