Android 14 Beta 2 for Pixel phones is here!

It wouldn’t be Google I/O without a new build of Android for Pixel phone owners to test. And right on schedule, Google gave us Android 14 Beta 2. While we’ll flash it with you now, I’d recommend everyone on beta 1 or beta 1.1 jump into it quickly – that first beta sure was buggy.

Android 14 Beta 2 Release Info

Release Date: May 10, 2023

  • Pixel 6, Pixel 6 Pro, and Pixel 6a devices using Verizon as their carrier: UPB2.230407.014.A1
  • All other devices: UPB2.230407.014

Emulator support x86 (64-bit), ARM (v8-A)
Security patch level:

  • Pixel 6, Pixel 6 Pro, and Pixel 6a devices using Verizon as their carrier: April 2023
  • All other devices: May 2023

How to get Android 14 Beta 2 on your Pixel

With Google opening up Android 14 in the beta program for Beta 1 a few weeks ago, they’re basically saying it should be stable enough for everyday users, assuming users are willing to accept that some items might break. For beta 1, there were a lot of breaks and Google had to issue a 1.1 hotfix to address many of them. In most cases though, it should ensure that it’s more stable than a developer preview and that Google thinks you can run it.

Available for Android 14 beta 2:

  • Pixel 4a (5G)
  • Pixel 5 and 5a
  • Pixel 6 and 6 Pro
  • Pixel 6a
  • Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro
  • Pixel 7a (Maybe too soon?)

easy road: If you own one of these devices, the easiest way to get Android 14 Beta 2 on the device is to sign-up for the Android Beta Program (here). You’ll click the “opt in” button on that page to join, and then sit back and wait for Google to push an update as Android 14 is over-the-air.

Once you’re enrolled, you’ll go to Settings>System>Advanced>System Update. Google may not push it immediately and instead roll it out slowly throughout the day. Either way, feel free to check there to let Google know you want it after enrolling in the program.

manual way: Want to get updates faster or flash a factory image or OTA file via adb to feel more techie and important and smart? That is still an option! I’m going the OTA route, but factory images are also available. You can find the Android 14 Beta 2 factory image and OTA files here. For instructions on how to flash a factory image, you go here. For instructions on how to flash an OTA .zip file, you go here.

Already in an Android 14 beta build: If you’re already on an Android 14 beta build, Google says you’ll get the over-the-air beta 2 update. Of course, you can also flash a factory image or OTA file manually, since the over-the-air process often takes time to process.

Time to update to the latest Android 14!

Related Android 14 “What’s New” post:

Apple has confirmed that iOS 16.5 will launch next week

Apple has confirmed that it will release iOS 16.5 next week, with watchOS 9.5 also confirmed to arrive at the same time.

While Apple has yet to definitively confirm the release, it made the reveal window vague when it announced the Apple Watch face and the new Pride Apple Watch band, as well as its new Pride iPhone wallpaper.

Hidden beneath the newsroom post was a brief footnote announcing the new software that confirmed that, sure enough, the new software would be required to access the new wallpapers. And yes, both updates are just around the corner.

“New Pride Celebration watch faces and iPhone wallpapers will be available next week and require watchOS 9.5 and iOS 16.5,” Apple’s newsroom post said.

Unfortunately one shouldn’t get too excited about what’s to come. The update will allow users to start a new screen recording using Siri for the first time, while there will be a new addition to the Apple News app – adding a sports tab to make it easier for people to access sports. The news they want to see.

The iOS 16.5 update is likely to be the last one of its kind, with Apple moving towards the iOS 17 update after that. That software will be announced during WWDC in June, while the release won’t be made available to the public until September if previous years are anything to go by.

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Walmart’s new 4K Google TV box isn’t even $20

If the $29.99 and $49.99 Google-branded Google TV units aren’t in the budget, or maybe you just don’t like their remotes, Walmart has a new option that could be very interesting. Retailer’s New Onn. The Google TV 4K streaming unit is available now and costs just $20.

I’m not sure if there’s any sort of official name for this device, so we’ll just keep referring to it as the Onn. Google TV 4K Streaming Box. That’s what it says on the box anyway. Or maybe for short, just “On. Google TV Box.” That’s a bit better.

The device, priced at $19.88, supports 4K and Dolby audio and runs Google TV, so you can access all the TV apps on Google Play like Netflix, YouTube, Disney+, Hulu, Paramount+, ESPN, HBO Max (soon to be MAX only) and more. can It should also see regular updates with Google TV as the OS powers it all

It comes with a remote that has YouTube, Netflix, Disney+ and Paramount+ shortcuts, volume and channel change buttons, mute toggle, D-pad, Google Assistant microphone, power button and input switch. This remote appears to be 10 times better than Google’s own mini remote that ships with Chromecast with Google TV devices.

Walmart on Google TV

As for specs, the 4K streaming box from Onn. Has 2GB of RAM and 8GB of storage, 802.11ac WiFi, a quad-core Cortex-A35 processor, and connects to your TV via HDMI. It comes with a power adapter to keep things running and your first set of remote batteries. Walmart lists it as part number 28078468 (to help you find it) and the box measures 3.75 x 2.00 x 7.25 inches.

The device is apparently super guaranteed to be available now if you can find one. Your local store might have some or you might get lucky and find one online. I can’t find anywhere within 15 miles of the Portland area. Boo, I

Shop at Walmart Onn. 4K Google TV Streaming Box

Three brand-new OG Tesla Roadsters can sell for $1 million

No one has found three brand-new, never-used Tesla Roadsters that have been sitting in a container in China for ten years, and now it’s thought the trio could sell for around $1 million.

All three cars are considered undriveable because their decade-old batteries are completely dead, but that doesn’t seem to be stopping people from picking one of them up. Or all three, it seems.

Gruber Motors is a company that typically helps get Roadsters back up and running, and in this case the company is listed as selling the vehicle.

There have already been seven bids so far, including one at $500,000 for three cars. Report as Electric:

  • Bid 05/02/2023 – $50,000 each, for a total of $150K
  • Bid 05/02/2023 – $70,000 for Red VIN 1107
  • Bid 05/02/2023 – $76,000 for Red VIN 1107
  • Bid 05/03/2023 – $60,000 for Orange Sport VIN 1120
  • Bid 05/03/2023 – $200,000 for three
  • Bid 05/04/2023 – $225,000 for three
  • Bid 05/05/2023 – $500,000 for three

However, the owner of Gruber Motors said he expects all three cars to sell for more than that — all to be used as expensive additions to someone’s collection.

They should and will be a Picasso on the wall in some rich person’s collection, need not be static and functional. In my opinion, I project $1 million for all three.

If so, we can expect bidding to increase dramatically from here.

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Tesla has introduced the Model S Plaid Track Package

Tesla introduced the Model S Plaid Track Package for the first time, a feature that will enable a new top speed for owners of Tesla’s fastest car.

Tesla claims the Model S Plaid has a top speed of 200mph but it originally shipped with a top speed of just 163mph. Then, a new track mode was made available that increased the top speed to 175mph.

Tesla has begun selling a carbon ceramic brake kit for $20,000 that will upgrade the brakes to a point where Tesla feels more comfortable with their stopping power.

Then, the Tesla Model S Plaid Track package was teased with a post on Twitter that said it was “coming soon.” However, the package is now available to order online for $6,000.

as Electric Note, the new package adds new performance wheels and tires that can be used alongside the previous brake upgrade — meaning the whole thing will be a $26,000 upgrade for those starting from scratch.

Their $6,000 buyers will get:

  • Zero-G wheels (front) with 2x 20X10J, 285/35R20 Goodyear Supercar 3R tires
  • Zero-G wheels (rear) with 2x 20X11J, 305/30R20 Goodyear Supercar 3R tires
  • TPMS, Zero-G center cap, tire nut valve and lug nut cover

Tesla says the new package will be available in June 2023.

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5 Things I Miss After Switching

I heaped praise on the Galaxy S23 the other day, calling it “my happy little phone.” And it’s a really happy little guy who has taken over as my favorite phone right now because of its size, incredible battery life, solid camera, and software that I can tolerate. But just because that makes me happy doesn’t mean there isn’t everything I miss about not having a Google Pixel phone by my side.

So since I have to maintain my reputation as a Google salesman (I’m kidding), here are all the things I can’t wait to use again when the next Pixel wins me over.

1. Pixel Launcher

One of the best parts about Android has always come from the personalization side of things If you don’t like a feature or app that a company ships with their phone, you may have several options to replace it to meet your needs.

For me on every Samsung phone, the first thing I replace after finishing a review is the launcher. Samsung’s launcher is trash. Not only is it a nightmare to use when you open its app drawer, because it slides horizontally and is attached to the page, it also behaves in absurd ways, like when you try to do something as simple as add an app to your home screen. Even its way of zooming/expanding folders is annoying as hell. It’s the worst launcher on Android and it’s not even close.

I replace that launcher with Nova Launcher because I can customize it so that it almost matches what Google ships with the Pixel Launcher. I love Pixel Launcher, even as bare bones as it is. Whenever I spend a long time with a Samsung phone I miss it a lot.

There are many wonderful things for Pixel Launcher, such as the slickest app drawer, auto-show keyboard for system and app search within it, its fast scrolling and yes, its f*cking vertical layout. I love the way Google handles folders, the easy access to Google Search at all times, and its overall minimal environment Of course, the fact that I can’t remove the “at a glance” widget at the top of the main screen will put me off forever, but the rest feels like it was made for my style.

Galaxy S23 vs Pixel 7

2. Haptics

While Samsung’s phones have been ultra-premium in their set of features, design and how they feel in the hand, they continue to disappoint in haptics. I’m talking about the subtle jolts and vibrations you feel when carrying a phone around – Samsung isn’t great.

Know who is doing haptics? Well, there is Google, but so is OnePlus. In fact, OnePlus is probably the best at Android, but we’ve heard talk about the Pixel dammit. And the Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro have excellent haptics.

When you swipe back on the Pixel phone, swipe to the app drawer, type or do just about anything, the subtle bumps bring such satisfaction and joy. They confirm the action you’re taking while somehow adding to the experience. On a Samsung phone, those same bumps fall flat, aren’t timed correctly, or just don’t hit the same.

Now when using a Pixel phone, haptics are a big part of the Android experience and how it can take you deeper into the software. On Samsung phones, haptics still feel like an add-on that hasn’t been given enough love.

3. Lock screen clock

It may seem small, but Google’s lock screen clock is my favorite on Pixel phones. Specifically, I’m talking about that giant clock that takes up most of the screen when you don’t have any notifications to deal with. I actually wrote about it at length.

To sum up my love for this feature, it mostly boils down to serving as a big-ass clock that’s easy to read, but also as a notice that you’re all caught up and have nothing on your phone to deal with. If you look and you see a smaller version of it, you know you may have some work to do. It’s both beautiful and a part of Google’s best-in-Android notification system

Samsung’s lock screen clocks aren’t bad by any means, and I like the fact that you can customize them quite a bit. But no matter when you look at your Samsung phone, it always looks the same. The clock always stays the same size and is only joined by the notification icon as notifications arrive For me, it’s the size and position changes on Pixel phones that I really like Seeing that big clock is like hitting inbox zero in Gmail. It makes me happy.

Galaxy S23 vs Pixel 7

4. Performance

This might confuse the chip bros in the building, so let me try to explain. First off, the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 inside the Galaxy S23 is an interesting chip. It’s so ridiculously energy efficient as well powerful, that I’m struggling to see how we can improve it. Like, the jump from last year’s first 8 Gen 1 to this 8 Gen 2 is some next-level stuff. Hats off to Qualcomm. I have no complaints about the Galaxy S23’s performance.

But when it comes to Pixel phones and this new Tensor line of chips, the snappiness of the UI has a different feel when you touch it, when you interact with it, when you go from app to app or swipe from a screen. The latter, which no one else is doing. Every little touch of your thumb happens so quickly, so sharply, and so clearly that it almost feels like a step forward before you swipe home using gestures. Then you top that movement with Google’s Pixel experience and the beautiful animations and transitions of those haptics, and you’ve got a phone in your hands that moves like no other.

5. Camera

The results you get from a Galaxy S23 or a Pixel 7 camera are going to be very similar Both have excellent cameras that are good in every situation, so when I say I miss the Pixel 7 camera, it comes down to the little things.

The Pixel 7 camera gives me more confidence in all situations, whereas like the Galaxy S23 I’m still learning to trust it. I find the Pixel 7 camera slightly faster to open, focus, shoot and process than the Galaxy S23. I find its image processing more appealing to my eyes (the Samsung makes everything much warmer) and the night mode is almost as good as a Google phone. Google’s portrait mode remains my favorite, although something with the Samsung S23 is starting to change my mind.

In the end, I have absolutely zero regrets making this recent switch to the Galaxy S23. It’s a top tier phone without the price tag and should be a phone that more people buy But that doesn’t mean my eyes aren’t constantly searching for the next Google Pixel and another reason to go back. I miss some things.

Google Accounts now work with passkeys

Google announced support for Passkeys, allowing people to sign in to their Google Account without using a password

Google will require people to generate a new passkey per device, with the company saying access to your account will only be granted if the cryptographic private key stored on the device matches the one stored on Google’s servers.

When you sign in, we ask your device to sign a unique challenge with a private key Your device only does so if you authorize it by unlocking the device. Then we verify the signature with your public key.

However, setting up a new passkey on a new device is as easy as it sounds and once done, users will need to authenticate using their usual biometrics, be it something like Face ID or a fingerprint.

On the new device, you simply select the “Use a passkey from another device” option and follow the prompts. It doesn’t automatically transfer the passkey to the new device, it just uses your phone’s screen lock and proximity to authorize one-time sign-in. If the new device supports storing its own passkeys, we’ll ask separately if you want to create one there

It’s still early days for passkeys and more and more websites and services are starting to support them You’ll need to run a compatible web browser if you sign in on the web, of course, but once all the passkeys are set up it should solve the problem of people forgetting their passwords or getting leaked online.

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The Mobile Game of the Year contender is now available on Android

Lyra’s horizonWhat I call your new mobile game addiction, is now available for download on Android and iOS devices.

In this title, you fly around in what feels like an open island world, run with others and complete tasks. Compared to past Snowman titles, Laia’s Horizon seems to use a lot more content, with the player able to collect different caps that provide unique stats, as well as custom ones that enhance the flying experience.

I’ve had the chance to play the game over the past few weeks, and I have to tell you, if Marvel Snap hadn’t wasted my time, this would be the only mobile game I’d be playing. It’s fun, the controls feel very intuitive (after you get past the initial learning levels), and the world itself is very peaceful to settle into. As far as mobile games are concerned, it’s a 9 out of 10 for me. It doesn’t have the speed of Alto’s Odyssey, but this game is very enjoyable.

The only downside? You need a Netflix account to play it. Now whether you like it or not, on the bright side, there are zero ads and zero in-app purchases, thanks to Netflix being the publisher. I don’t want to hear any complaints.

Go have some fun!

Google Play Link

Apple has released the first Rapid Security Response update for iOS 16.4.1 and macOS

Apple today released its first Rapid Security Response update, upgrading the existing iOS 16.4.1 and macOS 13.3.1 releases to the new version.

This is the first time Apple has actually released a so-called RSR update that tests the release process as part of previous betas.

Rapid Security Response Updates 16.4.1 (a) and macOS 13.3.1 (a) are both designed to provide critical security updates to iOS 16.4.1 users and macOS 13.3.1 without the need to install the full iOS and macOS software. Although a device restart is still required, at least the download size is relatively small.

Users can download the update through the Settings app on iPhone and through the System Settings app on Mac, though those who want to disable the feature entirely can do so. The RSR update will be rolled into future traditional iOS and macOS updates, ensuring that people will eventually get the latest security fixes even if they don’t want to receive the RSR update directly.

If you don’t see RSR yet, it’s mentioned that Apple is gradually rolling out updates over the next 48 hours. However, some people can see the update and download it but are then told they can’t install it. Hopefully these teething issues can be resolved before future RSR updates are made available to the public.

If you still cannot download the RSR update, because the update is not offered or the installation fails, try again later.

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