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9to5Google Weekender: MWC 2023 is upon us, and this week’s top stories

MWC 2023 kicks off this weekend, with new smartphones and more. Here’s what to expect, and a look back at the top stories of the past week.

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Returning in full swing this year, MWC 2023 is set to begin in Barcelona this week. The annual conference, like CES, brings some of the best new tech to one place, and is set to see the global release of many new smartphones from brands around the world.

The event is set to bring the launch of the Honor Magic Vs foldable on a global scale, and also expected to see the debut of the Xiaomi 13 series too. Plus, we’ve already seen announcements attached to the show, such as MediaTek’s new chips with satellite connectivity and the first devices using that hardware. The CAT S75 smartphone and Motorola Defy II bring support for communicating with satellites, while the Motorola Defy Satellite Link brings that functionality to any Android or iOS smartphone via a Bluetooth connection and a special app.

Google also participates in MWC, with an Android booth on the ground at the show and, more importantly, a flurry of announcements. Stay tuned for this year’s round of news in the days to come, as well as more from brands including Lenovo, OnePlus, Oppo, and more.

MWC itself runs from February 27 through March 2, but expect news to start dropping as soon as today, February 26.

This Week’s Biggest Stories

Source: Google Pixel Fold will have a big battery

We exclusively reported this week that Google’s upcoming Pixel Fold will be a heavy foldable with a larger battery compared to Samsung’s Galaxy Z Fold 4. This comes as Samsung is rumored to cut down on the thickness of the Galaxy Z Fold 5, but the good news is that the Pixel Fold will also come with a larger battery size.

Google Messages is finally calling it “RCS”

In a minor but notable change, Google Messages is now calling RCS messaging what it actually is – RCS. Instead of solely referring to the feature as “Chat,” Messages now calls the feature “RCS Chat.”

Magic Eraser ends Pixel exclusivity

After debuting as a Pixel 6 exclusive, Google has announced that its useful and impressive Magic Eraser feature will move on from the latest Pixel phones and expand to all Pixel devices, as well as paying Google One customers on Android and iOS.

Magic Eraser Google One

You can finally open Google Maps while Android Auto is running

For years now Android Auto users have been unable to open the Google Maps app on their smartphone while connected to the car. In a change that’s rolling out now, Google appears to be finally removing that restriction.

More Top Stories:

What’s coming up this week?

In the coming week, expect our coverage of MWC, as well as our review of the Oppo Find N2 Flip later in the week. Our newsletter subscribers got an exclusive preview of that review, so sign up today so you don’t miss the next one!

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Ben is a writer and video producer for 9to5Google.

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