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9to5Google Weekender: Pixel 8 leaks, the ups and downs of YouTube TV, and this week’s top stories

Being a YouTube TV subscriber continues to be full of ups and downs.

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YouTube TV has been well established as the best overall way to stream live TV without traditional cable, and it’s a reputation that’s been earned. The service is reasonably priced while offering a good selection of channels, but it continues to go through ups and downs. For everything good that’s gained, there seems to be something lost.

For example, let’s look at just the past few weeks. YouTube TV subscribers were confirmed to get a discount on NFL Sunday Ticket when it debuts later this year, and the platform seemingly started rolling out better picture quality to subscribers in an unexpected, but absolutely welcome move.

But, on the other hand, YouTube TV also lost out on MLB Network just weeks ahead of Opening Day. And as that date gets closer, there’s no clear sign of whether it’s returning, despite some glimmers of hope. For MLB fans, it’s really a devastating loss, as YouTube TV also lost Fox Regional Sports networks prior to this, meaning that the only options left for MLB games and content are through ESPN, TBS, and Fox.

Sports fans are the ones who see the most volatility when it comes to YouTube TV, but it’s not like these random removals don’t affect others as well. YouTube TV famously had a major dispute with NBC Universal that nearly stripped major channels from the service, and YouTube TV was also at the center of a heated battle between Roku and Google in 2021.

And now, to top it all off, YouTube TV’s price is going up. Effective in April, the cost of YouTube TV will jump to $72.99 per month, up from $64.99. Google cites rising content costs as the reason for the higher cost, but when networks are so volatile – or just gone altogether – it’s certainly a tough pill to swallow.

Sometimes, it feels like being a YouTube TV subscriber is like a wild roller coaster ride, and you never quite know what’s coming next. Is it all YouTube’s fault? Surely not, but in the end it’s a pain for subscribers.

This week’s biggest stories

Vulnerability on Pixel: Turn off WiFi calling

Google’s Project Zero this week publicly disclosed a security vulnerability within Exynos-powered Android smartphones that, frighteningly, only requires an attacker to know a victim’s phone number in order to cause problems. This affects Pixel 6, 6 Pro, 6a, Pixel 7, and 7 Pro, as well as some Samsung, Vivo, and other Android devices. Until the fix arrives – namely the March 2023 Security Update on Pixel devices – Google recommends that users turn off both WiFi calling and VoLTE.

Pixel leaks galore

This week saw much of Google’s plans for 2023 smartphones revealed. This included our first look at both the Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro in leaked renders.

The Pixel 8 leaks showcase a smaller version of Google’s more affordable flagship device with some tweaks to the corners, while the Pixel 8 Pro moves to a flat display. The Pro device also has a mysterious new sensor on board.

google pixel 8 pro onleaks

Meanwhile, a major retail leak divulged the likely release dates of Pixel Fold and Pixel 7a, with both devices coming in June. That’s just in time for Google I/O, and a further price leak offers insight into how much the two devices will cost.

Google pulls the plug on Glass… again

Google confirmed this week that it has stopped selling Google Glass Enterprise Edition 2 and that, further, the product will lose support later this year. Sales ceased on March 15, 2023, with support for existing customers ongoing until September. That doesn’t mean the hardware will just cease working, but it won’t get further updates or warranty services.

More top stories:

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Ben is a writer and video producer for 9to5Google.

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