News Weekly: Pixel 8a arrives, YouTube gets more AI, Motorola's new stylus phone, and more

A person holding an Obsidian Google Pixel 8a
(Image credit: Google)
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News Weekly is our column, where we highlight and summarize some of the week's top stories so you can catch up on the latest tech news.

This is Android Central's News Weekly, your go-to source for a concise roundup of the week's most significant tech stories. This is where we delve into the top headlines that provide the latest developments and innovations contributing to the digital landscape. 

This week, the Pixel 8a steals the show, YouTube gets a funky new AI feature, the Moto G 5g stylus launches, the Pixel devices get a new round of updates,  and Prime Video users are in for more ads.

Pixel 8a is here with more than a few upgrades

A person holding an Aloe Google Pixel 8a

(Image credit: Google)

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Google's budget-friendly Pixel 8a just dropped, and if you're looking for a device with all the new AI features packed in it at a reasonable price, this might be the device for you. 

The Pixel 8a has a 6.1-inch Full HD+ OLED screen with a 120Hz refresh rate. It runs on the same Tensor G3 chip as the Pixel 8 and 8 Pro, including features like the improved Magic Eraser, Zoom Enhance, Best Take, Audio Magic Eraser, and more. The device also has a Titan M2 security chip and a built-in VPN for extra security.

For the first time, the Pixel 8a offers a 256GB storage option along with 8GB of RAM. It also comes in two new colorways, Aloe (which is a limited edition) and Bay, alongside the usual Obsidian and Porcelain options.

With an aluminum camera bar, the Pixel 8a has a 64MP main camera, a new 13MP ultrawide camera, and a 13MP front-facing selfie camera. That helps users shoot 4K videos, with 60fps for the rear cameras and 30fps for selfies.

The Pixel 8a comes at a starting price of $499. In Canada and India, its retail price starts at $679 CAD and ₹52,999, respectively. There are also already some good Pixel 8a preorder deals you can take advantage of.

Youtube tests an AI feature that actually helps

YouTube Premium homepage on Android

(Image credit: Jay Bonggolto / Android Central)

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Much like the skip intro option on most streaming platforms, YouTube is also testing "jump ahead," an AI-assisted feature that will automatically skip to the best or most important parts of YouTube videos for YouTube Premium subscribers. 

It analyzes watch data from real users using artificial intelligence and machine learning algorithms to find the most-watched sections. Essentially, it's like skimming through the video instead of manually skipping through slower parts. 

YouTube's algorithm will pick these key points in a video, and you can skip them. Or, if you're in the middle of watching a video, you can "jump ahead" to the closest key point in a YouTube video. 

This option likely won't work for every YouTube video, as it is currently being tested. It could be based on how many views a video gets— because  YouTube needs a large enough viewer sample size to identify those key points. While these are some things we speculate, it is to be seen how YouTube will roll out this feature in the future. 

Hello again, Moto

A woman using the pen of the new G Stylus 5G 2024.

(Image credit: Motorola)

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Earlier this week, Motorola launched its mid-range Moto G Stylus 5G 2024, which, at first glance, has an upgraded design, an improvised stylus, and multitasking capabilities. The catch—Motorola claims the device can get enough power "for the day" in just thirty minutes.

Moto G Stylus furthers its capabilities with a 6.7-inch pOLED display that rocks a 120Hz refresh rate. Motorola adds that the Full HD+ resolution makes the display feel brighter, sharper, and clearer. Moreover, the company is touting the phone's multitasking abilities, stating users can take notes while binge-watching a show.

Stylus comes with a larger contact area and improved software, which enhances the pen's mobility for a smoother experience. Motorola has implemented a new UI when using stylus-specific features. Additionally, users can add an array of "favorite apps" for the pen that will appear when it's taken out.

The phone comes with a Snapdragon 6 Gen 1 chip and Android 14 out of the box. Like last year's edition, the 2024 G Stylus 5G boasts a vertical dual-camera array. It contains a 50MP primary lens, a 13MP ultrawide camera, and a 32MP centered selfie camera.

The device has a 5,000mAh battery with 30W TurboPower wired charging and 15W when charged wirelessly. It hits shelves on May 30 for $399 in Scarlet Wave and Caramel Latte. On the same date as U.S. consumers, Canadians can grab the phone for $499 CAD.

Pixel devices get their May update patches

Hands-on with the Google Pixel 8 Pro

(Image credit: Nicholas Sutrich / Android Central)

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The Pixel 8a was all the rage this week, but the other Pixel devices didn't feel left out since Google rolled out a new update for all Android 14 devices. 

Google announced the update rollout to Pixel devices running Android 14, including Pixel 5a and above. The update brings bug fixes and improvements for Pixel users with it. The improvements can be seen in the stability or performance of Bluetooth LE audio for eligible Pixel devices, including the Pixel Fold and Pixel Tablet. Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro users are said to get a new bug fix that will hopefully resolve their video recording vows. 

On the same day, all Pixel Watch models running Wear OS 4 began receiving the May security patch, which will be rolled out through the week. Unlike last month's patch, which has interesting features like watch vibration, the May 2024 patch really just includes security fixes. Details of the update weren't disclosed due to security reasons and we'd have to wait until the update is deployed to really get into it.

To install the May 2024 security update on your Pixel Watch, open the Settings app on your device and navigate to System > System Updates

Prime Video users are in for ad(ded) interruptions

Prime Video continue watching

(Image credit: Amazon)

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Streaming on Prime Video will get a bit annoying as Amazon announced that it will add three new interactive and shoppable ad formats to its streaming platform on living room devices.

The company said that Prime Video will now receive an expanded suite of interactive ad formats, including remote-enabled capabilities for living room devices that go a step ahead of the usual QR code that pops up in an ad.

Brands will now be able to showcase shoppable carousel ads during ad breaks in Prime Video shows and movies. Ad will also appear when a video is paused— interactive pause and brand trivia ads in Prime Video TV shows, movies, and live sports. 

Many people find ads on streaming platforms frustrating, and paying an additional $2.99 on top of their Prime Video or Amazon Prime subscription isn't something that everyone willingly does to get rid of ads. Instead, viewers painfully wait for the 15-30 sec ads to get done. Imagine another layer of interactive ads to steer your attention away.

Those are some of the biggest stories from this week. Meanwhile, here are some other stories that are worth catching up on:

Nandika Ravi
News Editor

Nandika Ravi is an Editor for Android Central. Based in Toronto, after rocking the news scene as a Multimedia Reporter and Editor at Rogers Sports and Media, she now brings her expertise into the Tech ecosystem. When not breaking tech news, you can catch her sipping coffee at cosy cafes, exploring new trails with her boxer dog or leveling up in the gaming universe.