Android Update

The Weekly Authority: Google’s possible Pixel secret

Pixel 7 Pro hazel rear of the phone on a book

Dhruv Bhutani /

⚡ Welcome to a haunting edition of The Weekly Authority, the newsletter that breaks down the top Android and tech news from the week. The 218th edition here, with Google’s secret high-end Pixel phone, Musk’s Twitter takeover, USB-C standards news, and cursed Halloween objects…

👻 Happy Halloween weekend! I’m celebrating early with a gothic fiction night at a local bookstore before heading off on vacation, leaving you with Hadlee and Jonathan next weekend. See you on the other side!

Popular news this week

Pixel 7 Pro hazel in hand

Dhruv Bhutani /


Social media:

  • It’s official: Elon Musk owns Twitter, and he’s already fired former CEO Parag Agarwal, CFO Ned Segal, and general counsel Sean Edgett, amongst others.
  • New report seems to confirm the worst fears about how TikTok uses data: A team at Chinese parent company ByteDance planned to harness data from the app to “monitor the personal location of some specific American citizens.”


  • Redmi Note 12 series launched: 200MP camera, 210W charging for under $400.
  • Passkeys — Microsoft, Apple, and Google’s password killer — are finally here: PayPal will give US-based users the option of logging in with FIDO-based passkeys, as will online services Kayak, eBay, Best Buy, CardPointers, and, among others.
  • The EU is finally moving forward with its USB-C standard, making USB-C mandatory for all electronic devices sold in the EU from fall 2024.
  • And Apple conceded to EU law: iPhones will get USB-C ports, making the switch next year.
  • Speaking of the EU: No new combustion engine cars from 2035, says European Union.
  • Meanwhile, Uber announced new safety features for riders and drivers, including reducing the number of left turns.
  • Android phones offered early US quake warning, beating iPhones to the punch.
  • And Android’s creator has returned with a surveillance startup.
  • WhatsApp recovered from a major two-hour outage that affected users worldwide, the app’s first major outage since last year.
  • Lego unveils spooky one-of-a-kind haunted house-themed RTX 3090 gaming PC.
  • Plastic recycling a “failed concept,” study says, with only 5% recycled in US last year as production rises.
  • Drone footage shows construction beginning on Saudi Arabian megacity The Line.


Only Murders in the Building season 2 - new on Hulu in June
  • Jesse Williams is joining the cast of Only Murders in the Building for Season 3, which will also star Paul Rudd. We’re excited.
  • Warner Bros.’ Black Adam opened at $67 million last weekend, the biggest opening weekend since Thor: Love and Thunder in July ($143 million).
  • We got a first look at sci-fi thriller T.I.M., about a humanoid A.I. gone horribly wrong.
  • And an official trailer for Netflix’s 1899 landed, giving us a look at the next project from Dark co-creators Baran bo Odar and Jantje Friese, arriving November 17.
  • Future Doctor Who seasons will air on Disney Plus, but will remain on BBC TV and iPlayer in the UK and Ireland.
  • Amazon oops: An internal server packed with Prime Video viewing habits was accidentally exposed, with around 215 million entries of pseudonymized viewing data.
  • Check out the best new streaming shows this week, including Guillermo Del Toro’s Cabinet of Curiosities (spoiler alert: It’s gory).
  • Plus, we’ve got the best new streaming movies this week, including Netflix’s The Good Nurse, based on a disturbing true story.
  • Also: The Simpsons goes anime for a Death Note tribute — it’ll be part of the next Treehouse of Horror Halloween compilation, airing Sunday, October 30.


cult of the lamb devolver digital

Devolver Digital

  • Cult of the Lamb is getting a limited-time event for Halloween: the Blood Moon Festival kicked off October 25 with a number of new activities and decorations for the season, ending November 10.
  • CD Projekt Red announced it’s remaking The Witcher in Unreal Engine 5: The project’s in the early stages of development and the game will be “rebuilt from the ground up,” so we shouldn’t expect it any time soon.
  • Modern Warfare 2 launched on Friday, and the physical disc contains 70MB of data, with a 150GB download.
  • Kotaku’s Zack Zwiezen played the first four hours of God Of War Ragnarök: “It’s mostly good news, as Ragnarök plays a lot like 2022’s fantastic God of War. But I’m a bit concerned about the balance between narrative and action in this highly-anticipated sequel.”
  • Fallout 4’s getting one last Next-Gen Update For PS5, Xbox, expect a performance mode for “high framerates,” 4K resolution support, and more.
  • And Bayonetta 3 reviews are in: says it’s “full of classic Bayonetta madness,” while The Verge called it “A sexy, stylish sequel that can’t nail the finale.”
  • Meanwhile, Sony’s seemingly quietly removed game expiry dates from PS Plus: Games are still listed in the “Last chance to play” tab, but there’s no longer a specific date for games leaving the service.
  • And a warning from Xbox’s Phil Spencer: Price hikes are coming next year.
  • Good news if you were excited by last week’s Silent Hill 2 news: You won’t be waiting too long as developer Bloober Team confirms the game’s in its “late production stage,” with Konami to provide more information on a release date soon.
  • Speaking of kids, those who play video games score higher on brain function tests, new study shows.
  • Finally: Every US PlayStation 2 game manual is now scanned in 4K — it took 22 years and over $44k.


Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 activity rings

Andy Walker /


WhatsApp stock photo from Dec 2022 5

Edgar Cervantes /

Weekly Wonder

robert the doll

Cayobo / Flickr

Whether or not you believe in the supernatural, October 31 is officially the spookiest night of the year, when goblins and ghouls roam and things that go bump in the night should never be investigated.

In the vein of all things Halloween-y, we came across this roundup of cursed objects from Atlas Obscura, which makes for excellent bedtime reading (please don’t).

  • It includes such delights as Robert the Doll, the haunted doll that’s resided at Key West’s Fort East Martello Museum in Florida since 1994. To this day, the museum receives regular reports of evils supposedly brought about by the doll, from divorce to car accidents.
  • Then there’s the cursed painting of a crying boy that was blamed for a series of house fires in the 1980s in the UK (we warned you not to read this after dark) 🙈.
  • Or how about the curse of the stolen amethyst? Stolen from India during the 1857 rebellion, it brought nothing but despair and devastation to its owners. Today it resides in the vault of London’s Natural History Museum, but its previous owner locked it away inside seven different boxes inside a bank safe, with strict instructions not to remove it until three years after his death. His note read, “Whoever shall then open it, shall first read out this warning, and then do as he pleases with the jewel. My advice to him or her is to cast it into the sea.”

If that’s not enough terror for you, Atlas Obscura has also very kindly rounded up some haunted house stories that make for excellent reading this All Hallow’s Eve.



Tech Calendar

  • November 8: Skull and Bones release date on Xbox Series S/X, PS5, PC, and Luna
  • November 9: God of War: Ragnarok launches on PS4, PS5
  • November 9-11: Mediatek Executive Summit 2022
  • 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

30 minute phone call

Twitter / Trung Phan

That does sound pretty terrifying:

Something extra: Check out this spooky comic from Morning Brew’s Max Knoblauch about how Spirit Halloween came to dominate America’s strip malls each fall.

Paula Beaton, Copy Editor.