The official news today begin with Google and the rocky season they're going through when it comes to Pixel, and now it looks like repairs are a problem as well. We have a new report from the Verge which claims that personal information including internet accounts, data, photos and email of a user's Pixel 5a where compromised when she sent her phone in for repair through Google's mail-in repair service. The report says that this is "at least" the second report they've seen in the past few weeks, with the other person claiming their phone got hacked when they sent it in. When it comes to this case, she sent her broken phone back in October and even though she was charged for the repair, she never received the device after the repair period and her Pixel disappeared. Days later, someone tried to break into her phone to remove the two-factor authentication checks and she got the typical emails. She unsuccessfully tried to wipe the phone using Google's Android Device Manager and her information was compromised. Google has confirmed that they’re looking into this case but with little to no information. And, to be fair, Google's recommendations says that you should back up and wipe your phone before you send it in for repair, but what happens if your phone got bricked? So yeah, we'll keep you posted on any updates from Google but, I wouldn't send in my phone if I were you until we get a better response.
But alright, let's shift gears on to gaming for a change. Microsoft's Xbox Game Pass has been a success for Microsoft, racking up over 18 million users since it's release, with it being the primary reason I chose the Xbox Series X. And well, new reports mention that Sony wants to follow up on that success. According to Bloomberg, Sony is close to releasing their competitor for Microsoft's Xbox Game Pass. The service is reportedly codenamed "Spartacus" and it'll offer a catalog of modern and classic games for a monthly fee. It is expected to arrive in the Spring of 2022 and Sony is looking to merge PlayStation Now and PlayStation Plus once they deliver this service which makes a ton of sense. Oh and if you're into Cloud Gaming, people familiar with the matter also said that Sony is putting resources into expanding their efforts into Cloud Gaming. But, back to Spartacus, it'll have multiple tiers with the base tier mirroring what you currently get with PlayStation Plus which only means a few free games every month. The mid-tier would give users access to a "substantial amount of PlayStation 4 games" and PS5 games in the future, with the highest tear having extended game demos, online streaming and legacy games. We know that Sony has been outselling Microsoft for years when it comes to consoles but let's see how they compete with this subscription because Game Pass is pretty cool. Oh and the second reason I didn't get a PS5 is because I still can't find one.
Let's move on to wearables for the rest of the show, starting with Apple. This year Apple Watch leaks were hit or miss for most tipsters, as we were expecting a complete redesign to match iPhones but all we got was a rounder watch instead. Now we have a new report from Mark Gurman that tells us what to expect for 2022! In his latest newsletter, Gurman says that Apple plans to release the Apple Watch Series 8 and an update to the Apple Watch SE and more. Starting with the SE, we can expect the same design as the Apple Watch Series 6 and its same features meaning we could finally get the ECG, always-on display and blood oxygen, though I wouldn't hold my breath unless Series 8 is dramatically different. Gurman claims that Apple is also planning an entirely different Watch that will be considered a rugged version of the regular variant that may feature a case that's more resistant to scratches, dents, falls and more. Something that I find interesting here is that Gurman didn't really provide any details for the actual Series 8 Watch, but other analysts claim that we can expect for it to come in 2 sizes as usual, but it will bring new features that might include Blood Glucose and Pressure measurements. No word yet on if the flat design will happen but it's still pretty early for us to be talking design anyways. We'll see how the rumors evolve.
Finally, for the hottest news today, let's talk about Google and the upcoming Pixel Watch as leaks seem to be heating up in typical Google fashion. No full reviews just yet, but you know they're coming. If you remember, we got our first look back in April with some renders from Jon Prosser, and last week, a new Business Insider report brought it back to the spotlight. After that report, Prosser posted a new video with some fresh leaks. First off we got new pictures that are allegedly official marketing images from Google and not the 3D CAD renders we got before. From these we can see that it is called Pixel Watch, and if you think about it, the 3 different pictures match the Pixel 6's color variants, kinda hinting that we should get them before we get a new Pixel. He claims that the low quality images are to protect his source with the renders he shared earlier this year being very close to what the watch actually looks like. In case you missed it, we're expecting a round bezel-less display with a crown on the right side. Of course, with this being a Google Watch, it'll reportedly bring features like quick Google Maps navigation and voice call support. Finally, Prosser mentions that this Watch is not in danger of being cancelled, and we're getting closer and closer to an official launch though he didn't mention a date. We're not sure how Google plans to integrate Fitbit into the equation but we do expect something considering they haven't really done anything major since that acquisition happened.