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Created by Google, Android is a smartphone OS and platform that is open-source and open for any manufacturer to use to make a smartphone. Most Android phones use a version that is mostly provided by Google and requires Google services. Android phones can run Android apps, available from the Google Play Store, or, optionally, from other sources.

by:  Google


Nothing Reveals Design of phone (1)

Jun 15, 2022, 11:27 AM   by Rich Brome   updated Jun 16, 2022, 11:46 AM

New mobile startup Nothing has released a photo showing the official design of its upcoming smartphone, the phone (1). The unique design has a transparent back that exposes several components, including the NFC coil antenna. The company will hold a launch event to reveal further details on July 12th. Nothing was founded by Carl Pei, the former co-founder of OnePlus. Videos that have been released subsequently show the lightest white parts lighting up and flashing.


Apple's Move To iOS Tool Now Moves WhatsApp Messages

Jun 14, 2022, 10:36 AM   by Rich Brome

WhatsApp now supports Apple's "Move to iOS" system, making it easy for users to switch from an Android phone to an iPhone without losing their WhatsApp chat histories. Move to iOS consists of an Android app that users can download from Google's Play Store. It moves contacts, text messages, photos, videos, web bookmarks, mail accounts, and calendars to a new iPhone. It transfers the data over a temporary, private Wi-Fi network between the two phones. WhatsApp is taking advantage of support for third-party data in Move to iOS. WhatsApp data transferred this way is encrypted and unreadable until the user signs in to WhatsApp on their new iPhone.


Apple Intros Weather API for Apps, Even on Android

Jun 9, 2022, 2:05 PM   by Rich Brome

Apple has quietly announced WeatherKit, a new API that will let app developers integrate "hyperlocal" weather forecast data into their apps. This is the same kind of specific weather data previously offered by DarkSky, which Apple acquired in 2020. WeatherKit will be available across platforms — including Android — via a standard REST API. A Swift API will also be available on Apple platforms. The data available includes 10-day forecasts as well as a minute-by-minute precipitation forecast for the next hour. Wind and UV data will also be available.


Android 13 Reaches Major Milestone Toward Release

Jun 9, 2022, 1:53 PM   by Rich Brome

Google has released Android 13 Beta 3, which brings the OS to a key milestone known as Platform Stability. This means that new APIs used by developers are now finalized and won't change, so devs can move full speed ahead with Android 13 versions of their apps.


Android Will Support Braille Displays Natively

May 26, 2022, 11:50 AM   by Rich Brome

Google is adding full support for most braille displays directly to Android 13. Phones with Android 13 will support this important accessibility hardware without needing any extra software like BrailleBack. Google is also improving the braille experience on Android with new shortcuts. "Now there are shortcuts for navigating so it's easier to scroll and move to the next character, word or line. There are also shortcuts for settings and for editing, like jumping to the end of documents or selecting, copying and pasting." The braille features are part of Talkback, the accessibility suite that assists blind and low-vision users. The new braille support will roll out first as part of the next beta version of Android 13.


Google Revamps Android Auto Interface

May 13, 2022, 10:31 AM   by Rich Brome

Google is revamping the user interface of Android Auto, again. Split-screen mode will now be standard on all screen types and sizes, giving users immediate access to functions such as audio, messages, and maps, all on one screen. The interface will also flow to fill different screen shapes better, including ultra-wide and portrait displays. The new version of Android Auto will also update Google Assistant with new "contextual suggestions" for actions such as suggested replies, sharing arrival times with a friend, and playing recommended music. The new Android Auto will roll out "in the coming months".


Encryption Coming to Group Convos in Google Messages

May 12, 2022, 10:33 AM   by Rich Brome

Google has announced that it will bring end-to-end encryption to group conversations in its RCS-based Messages app, starting with an open beta "later this year". End-to-end encryption is already available for one-on-one conversations.


Unified Health Data Coming to Android

May 12, 2022, 10:21 AM   by Rich Brome

Google has introduced a new feature in Android that will let health and fitness apps securely access and share one unified set of health and fitness data across Android devices. The new Health Connect platform and API provides a central place on the device to store data such as activity, sleep, nutrition, body measurements, and vitals like heart rate and blood pressure. It also includes security, privacy, and permission features that give users "granular controls". Users must give permission for each app to have access, and users "will have the ability to shut off access or delete data they don't want on their device, and the option to prioritize one data source over another when using multiple apps." Google has developed Health Connect in partnership with Samsung. MyFitnessPal, Leap Fitness, and Withings have already started working with the platform, and it is now available to all developers.


Google Wallet to Replace Google Pay, Support Digital Driver's Licenses

May 11, 2022, 1:32 PM   by Rich Brome

In the coming weeks, Google will roll out a new app called Google Wallet that replaces the G Pay / Google Pay feature of Android. It will continue to support digital credit and debit cards, boarding passes, tickets, transit cards, vaccine cards, and student IDs. But Google is finally adding official support for state and government ID cards, including Digital Driver's Licenses in the US. You will be able to present your Digital Driver's License to authorities via NFC or QR code. Google is also working to add office and hotel keys. The name change reflects the ambition that it could completely replace a physical wallet.


Google Adds Virtual Cards to Credit Card Auto-Fill

May 11, 2022, 1:04 PM   by Rich Brome   updated May 11, 2022, 1:12 PM

Google will update Android and Chrome this summer to automatically use a one-time virtual credit card number when entering credit card info using auto-fill. The feature reduces the chances that you will be the victim of credit card fraud due to a data breach.


Sony's New $1,600 Flagship Sports Seamless True Optical Zoom

May 11, 2022, 10:13 AM   by Rich Brome   updated May 11, 2022, 10:43 AM

Sony has revealed its latest flagship phone, the Xperia 1 IV. It's the world's first phone with a true optical zoom lens that can adjust seamlessly from 85 to 125mm. The phone also has standard (24mm) and wide (16mm) lenses. All three lenses have the same 12 megapixel, 1/1.7" Exmor RS sensor with "Eye AF" 60 fps continuous auto-focus and exposure, and the ability to shoot 4K HDR video at up to 120 fps. The standard and zoom lens also have OIS. There's also a dedicated shutter button. The front camera has been upgraded with a larger 12 megapixel sensor. Several features let you use the phone together with a professional Sony Alpha camera. Every other spec and feature is top-end. The Xperia 1 IV also has an OLED display with 4K resolution, HDR, and 120 Hz refresh. It's powered by Qualcomm's top-end Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 processor paired with 12 GB of RAM. It has 512 GB storage and a memory card slot. It also has a 5,000 mAh battery and two-way wireless charging. The body features Gorilla Glass Victus on the front and back, with a frosted finish on the back. It's also rated IP65/68 for water and dust. It has a 3.5mm headphone jack, stereo speakers, 360 Reality Audio, High-Resolution Audio, and is "ready for" Bluetooth LE Audio. The Xperia 1 IV has excellent support for Verizon and T-Mobile 5G and 4G networks in the US, including mmWave 5G, as well as Wi-Fi 6E. It will come with Android 12. Color options include black and purple (available exclusively from Sony's web site.) It will ship September 1st, 2022 and is priced at $1,600. Pre-orders start today and, for a limited time, include Sony's latest WF-1000XM4 true wireless noise cancelling earbuds (a $280 value.)


Android 13 Reaches Public Beta

Apr 27, 2022, 10:57 AM   by Rich Brome

Android 13 has reached the public beta phase on the road toward a final release some time after July. Android 13 Beta 1 is available now for eligible Pixel phones. The first preview release was made available to developers in February. It introduced a new photo picker, themed app icons, and better quick settings tiles for third-party apps. The new Beta 1 introduces more granular permissions for media file access. This means that apps requesting access to your audio files will not also be granted access to your photos and videos, for example. Google promises they will have "more to share" about Android 13 at next month's Google I/O event starting May 11th.


Motorola Adds 5G to its 2022 Mid-Range Lineup

Apr 21, 2022, 8:00 AM   by Rich Brome

Motorola has announced two new mid-range phones with 5G. Both are essentially 5G upgrades of existing 4G models already announced for 2022. Both will come to a wide range of US carriers, including AT&T, Cricket, Boost, US Cellular, and Xfinity Mobile. Both have a 50 megapixel main camera, 5,000 mAh battery, 10-watt fast charging, fast-refresh display, water resistance, fingerprint reader, expandable storage, and a headset jack.

  • The moto g stylus 5G (2022) has a three key upgrades compared to both last year's model and this year's 4G model: a 120 Hz display (a first for the g series in the US), a Snapdragon 695 chip, and NFC. The LCD display measures 6.8 inches with FHD+ resolution. The phone also has an 8 megapixel wide/macro camera and 16 megapixel front camera. Naturally, it has a built-in stylus. While the base version has 4 GB RAM and 128 GB storage, versions will also be available with 6 or 8 GB RAM and 256 GB storage. Verizon will also offer a version with mmWave 5G. Motorola will sell it unlocked for $500 starting April 28th. Carriers are expected to sell it for less, at dates to be announced. It will come in two colors: seafoam green and steel blue.
  • The moto g 5G is essentially a 5G version of the moto g power (2022). Like that model, it has a 6.5-inch LCD display with HD+ resolution and 90 Hz refresh. The selfie camera does get a bump up to 13 megapixel. Extra rear cameras are a depth camera and 2 megapixel macro camera. It's powered by a MediaTek Dimensity 700 chip paired with 4 GB RAM and 64 GB storage. An unlocked version will also be available with 6 GB RAM and 256 GB storage. Motorola will sell it unlocked for $400 starting May 19th. Carriers are expected to sell it for less, at dates to be announced.
Both phones come with Android 12 and Motorola promises one major OS upgrade (to Android 13). Motorola is also committing to three years of bi-monthly (every other month) security updates.


Google Brings New Emoji to Old Versions of Android

Apr 19, 2022, 11:30 AM   by Rich Brome

Google has changed the way it handles emoji in Android to eliminate the entire concept of new emoji being unsupported in older software and devices. Starting with Android 12, new emoji can easily be added with a minor update. Previously, new emoji only came with a major OS update. But Google is also bringing this emoji-update capability to older versions of Android via its AppCompat API for developers. AppCompat generally brings modern features to older versions of Android for apps that use it. Now apps using AppCompat will automatically have access to newer emoji as they are released. Apple still ties emoji updates to major new versions of iOS, but iPhones enjoy a much higher rate of adoption for new OS versions.


T-Mobile to Offer OnePlus Nord N20 5G

Apr 19, 2022, 10:05 AM   by Rich Brome   updated Apr 19, 2022, 10:09 AM

T-Mobile will launch the OnePlus Nord N20 5G next Thursday, April 28th. T-Mobile and Metro by T-Mobile will be the exclusive US carriers for this mid-range Android phone. PCMag confirmed that the phone will sport a 6.43-inch, FHD+ AMOLED display with an in-display fingerprint reader. T-Mobile will offer the N20 for $282. AMOLED displays are uncommon in this price range. The Verge reports that the phone will be powered by a Snapdragon 695 chip paired with 6 GB of RAM and 128 GB of storage. Other specs includes a 4,500 mAh battery, 33-watt fast charging, and a 64 megapixel main camera.


Google Lens Now Lets You Refine a Visual Search with Text

Apr 7, 2022, 2:08 PM   by Rich Brome

Google has updated its Lens camera-based search tool with an experimental feature that lets you type in extra search terms to refine your visual search. Google calls this new image+text type of search "multisearch". For example, you can take a photo of a mug and add the word "pink" to find pink mugs. Other examples Google gives are: "Snap a photo of your dining set and add the query 'coffee table' to find a matching table" and "Take a picture of your rosemary plant and add the query 'care instructions'". The new multi search feature is available within the Lens feature of many Android phones, or from within the main Google search app. To use it, look for the new "Add to your search" button at the top of the full "Visual matches" results screen.


Google Will Remove Out-of-Date Apps from Play Store

Apr 7, 2022, 1:47 PM   by Rich Brome

Google is tightening its Play Store policies to require that apps be updated to newer APIs in order to remain listed for discovery and download. Newer Android APIs have "privacy, security, and user experience improvements". Google is making the change because users with newer and/or updated devices "expect to realize the full potential of all the privacy and security protections Android has to offer. [This change] will protect users from installing older apps that may not have these protections in place." While newly-submitted apps are already required to use the APIs of an Android version released within the past year, existing apps will now need to use the APIs of an Android version released within the past two years to remain in the Play Store.


Microsoft Revamps Apps That Link an Android Phone to a Windows PC

Mar 31, 2022, 2:27 PM   by Rich Brome

Microsoft is overhauling and renaming its apps that let you connect your Android phone to your computer and access many of your phone's functions and content from within Windows 11. The Your Phone app for Windows will now be called Phone Link. It also has a new, tabbed interface that put more focus on notifications. The companion app for Android is being renamed from Your Phone Companion to Link to Windows. Both apps will now share an identical icon as well. In addition to notifications, Phone Link also lets you access messages and photos, while your phone stays in your pocket, and even make phone calls. v


Nothing Teases its First Phone

Mar 23, 2022, 2:00 PM   by Rich Brome

Nothing has revealed the name and launch date for its first Android phone. The Nothing phone(1) will launch this summer. It will run a flavor of Android that the company calls Nothing OS. The company released a glimpse of the software (shown), and describes it as "distilling the operating system to just the essentials". It will have "bespoke fonts, colours, graphical elements and sounds. A first preview of Nothing OS will be available via its launcher that will be available to download on select smartphone models from April." Few other details of the phone were released; the design has yet to be shown. The company previously said the phone will be based on a Snapdragon "8 series" chip from Qualcomm. Nothing is a British company founded by Carl Pei, who previously co-founded OnePlus.


More Accurate Location Data Available on Flagship Android Phones

Mar 22, 2022, 9:55 AM   by Rich Brome

Trimble has launched a new, high-accuracy location solution for phones based on Qualcomm's top-end Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 and Snapdragon 888 chips. Trimble's RTX GNSS technology provides correction services that improve the accuracy of location data from GPS and other location data sources. Using RTX, phones can achieve meter-level accuracy, "a 5x improvement in location accuracy compared to typical accuracy available today." Trimble already works with Qualcomm to integrate RTX into Qualcomm's automotive solutions, where it provides lane-level guidance. Now it will be available to phone makers to include in flagship Android phones starting in the second quarter of 2022.


Tile Launches Anti-Stalking Tools

Mar 18, 2022, 12:14 PM   by Rich Brome

Tile has launched a new feature that lets anyone with a smartphone check if they are being tracked surreptitiously with a Tile tracker. This mirrors a similar set of features offered by Apple for its competing AirTags and Find My service. Tile's new "Scan and Secure" feature is part of the main Tile app for iOS and Android. It can be used by anyone, even without a Tile account. The updated Tile app with Scan and Secure "starts rolling out this week".


Samsung Galaxy A53 Coming to US in Two Weeks

Mar 17, 2022, 10:12 AM   by Rich Brome   updated Mar 17, 2022, 10:49 AM

Samsung today fleshed out more of its 2022 lineup of affordable Galaxy A-series phones. The new Galaxy A73, A53, and A33 are nearly identical in design and features, differing only in a few display and camera specs. All three models have a full-HD+ Super AMOLED display with a thinner bezel. The A73 and A53 have 120 Hz display refresh, while the A33 is 90 Hz. The screen sizes are 6.7", 6.5", and 6.4", respectively. The A53 has a 64 megapixel main camera with OIS, 12 megapixel wide-angle camera, 5 megapixel macro camera, depth camera, and a 32 megapixel selfie camera. The A73 bumps the main camera up to 108 megapixel, while A33 steps down the resolution a bit with a 48 megapixel main camera, 8 megapixel wide camera, and 13 megapixel selfie camera. All three models have 5G, a large 5,000 mAh battery, 25-watt fast charging, expandable storage (up to 1 TB), and a fingerprint reader. The stereo speakers have been made louder and support Dolby Atmos. The body uses Corning Gorilla Glass 5 and provides IP67 water resistance. Samsung has brought some key camera features from its flagship phones to the A series for the first time, such as 12-frame night mode, auto frame rate for better low-light video, and enhanced portrait mode with better edge detection. The phones ship with Android 12 (Samsung One UI 4.1), and Samsung will offer an industry-leading four generations of major OS updates. Samsung calls the new design Ambient Edge; both the A33 and A53 (shown in photo) will be available in black, white, blue, and peach. Samsung also announced an A23 for markets outside the US that steps down the specs with 4G and an LCD display. Samsung isn't commenting on US launch details for the A73 and A33 just yet, but the Galaxy A53 will be available on March 31st at T-Mobile and Verizon, as well as AT&T and Samsung.com on April 1st. It will start at $450 and come with 6 GB RAM and 128 GB built-in storage. Pre-orders start today and are eligible to receive a pair of Galaxy Buds Live.


Google Rolling Out New Features to Android

Mar 10, 2022, 6:03 PM   by Rich Brome

Google is using the modular nature of Google Play Services to add new features to Android in-between major OS updates. In addition to major updates to the Messages app, Google is also adding grammar correction to the Gboard, Google's smart onscreen keyboard. Live Transcribe will now have the ability to work offline. Nearby Share is being updated to let you quickly share media or files with multiple people nearby at once, instead of just one person at a time. Finally, Google Assistant now understands a "pay for parking" command, which automatically pays for car parking if you are parked in a street spot enabled with ParkMobile, available in over 400 US cities. This feature also includes new commands "parking status" and "extend parking".


Major Update to Google Messages Brings iPhone-Compatible Emoji Reactions

Mar 10, 2022, 11:25 AM   by Rich Brome

Google today started rolling out a major update to its Messages app, the default SMS and RCS messaging app on most new Android phones. It includes several major new features, but the biggest for most people may be automatic conversion and tidier display of emoji reactions from iPhone users. When an iPhone user "likes" or "loves" (etc.) a message in a conversation, it will now be displayed as a simple emoji attached to the original message, instead of a whole separate message with the original text repeated. Emoji reactions work between iPhones using Apple's protocol originally known as iMessage. They also work between Android phones using the open, industry-standard RCS protocol. But because iPhones do not support RCS and iMessage is a closed and proprietary, communication between iPhone and Android devices defaults to the outdated SMS/MMS protocols, which do not support newer features like reactions. So reactions are sent in plain text. This is still the case, but Messages will now intercept and "translate" these messages to present them properly. Another new feature is Organized inbox, which automatically sorts your messages into Personal and Business tabs. Messages can now also automatically delete one-time password messages after 24 hours, reducing inbox clutter. It can also help remind you to reply with "gentle nudges" when it detects that you may have stopped in the middle of a conversation for a period of time. Finally, when sharing a video, there will now be an option to share a link to that video on Google Photos instead of sending the video itself. That will enable users to share high-quality videos with iPhone users, instead of sending a very low-quality video via the outdated MMS protocol as before. (RCS allows sharing high-quality videos directly with other Android users.) Google says it will bring the link-sharing feature to photos as well in the future. Most of these features are available first for the English language only, with other languages to follow. The new version of Messages will "roll out over the coming weeks".


App Archiving Coming to Android

Mar 9, 2022, 10:39 AM   by Rich Brome

Later this year, Android will gain the ability to "archive" apps, a new action that remove around 60% of an app while preserving user data. The goal is to let users free up storage space, but help developers "prevent unnecessary uninstalls".


OnePlus 10 Pro Coming to America in a Month, OxygenOS to Remain Separate

Feb 28, 2022, 10:02 AM   by Rich Brome

After a period of relative silence outside of China, OnePlus has given an update on its global plans for 2022. The company's current flagship phone, the OnePlus 10 Pro 5G, will launch in North America by the end of March 2022. The phone was first launched in China in January. The company also announced a new focus on Canada and Mexico and an expansion to South America, dramatically expanding its presence in the western hemisphere beyond the US. OnePlus also announced that its OxygenOS flavor of Android will remain "independent", a major change from the previously-announced strategy of fully merging OxygenOS with sister brand Oppo's ColorOS. That move was controversial. "This new course was taken in accordance with feedback from our Community", according to OnePlus founder Pete Lau. While the two OSes will still have a merged codebase on the back-end "to allow for faster updates and better build quality", OxygenOS 13 will have "an experience that long-time OnePlus users will be familiar with while ensuring it upholds hallmarks of OxygenOS". This means "a light and clean experience that is close to stock Android and oriented towards usage globally". Finally, OnePlus revealed that a new OnePlus phone coming in the second quarter of 2022 will feature unprecedented 150-watt fast charging called "150W SuperVOOC". This technology "can charge a 4,500 mAh battery from 1-50% in just five minutes."


Motorola's new Edge+ has Dual 50 Megapixel Rear Cameras and 60 on the Front

Feb 24, 2022, 9:00 AM   by Rich Brome

Motorola has announced its new flagship phone for 2022: the Motorola edge+ (2022). Its most unique specs are the camera resolutions: 50 megapixel for both the main camera and wide-angle camera; the selfie camera also clocks in at an unprecedented 60 megapixel. The wide-angle camera doubles as a macro camera, delivering both auto-focus and 50 megapixel resolution for both wide and macro shots, which is a first. The new edge+ also has new and advanced support for an optional stylus. It also supports multiple scenarios connected to an external display, which Motorola calls "Ready For". This includes desktop-replacement and TV/entertainment modes, where the optional stylus can act as an "air mouse". But it also includes a new webcam mode where the phone's high-quality main camera can be used as a webcam for desktop video calls. This feature works both wired and wirelessly, and includes a subject tracking feature. As a flagship phone that will run $1,000 unlocked, it includes expected flagship specs such as a Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 chip, 6.7" FHD+ HDR10+ OLED display with 144 Hz refresh, 4,800 mAh battery, 30W fast charging, two-way wireless charging, Wi-Fi 6E, and Android 12. Motorola promises two years of OS upgrades and three years of security updates. It can capture 4K video in HDR10+ and still photos in 10-bit RAW. The phone is powered by a Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 chip (Qualcomm's best) and comes in several (somewhat-unusual) memory configurations: The unlocked model (for $1,000, or $100 less for limited time) has 8 GB of RAM and 512 GB storage. The phone does not accept memory cards. Motorola has yet to announce the launch date for the unlocked version (or any version). Verizon, Boost, and Republic will also offer the phone "in the coming months". Verizon will offer the phone with either 8 GB RAM + 128 GB storage or 12 GB RAM + 256 GB storage. Pricing for US carriers has yet to be announced, but in recent years Motorola phones have reached US carriers at far lower prices that what Motorola offers initially (unlocked). The Motorola edge+ will be available in "Cosmos Blue" or Stardust White".


Blu's G91 Max Offers Flagship Features for Less

Feb 23, 2022, 3:01 PM   by Rich Brome

Blu has launched the G91 Max, a follow-up to its G91 Pro affordable gaming phone. For just $250 (or less), the phone offers a large 6.8-inch FHD+ display, a 108-megapixel Samsung main camera, large 5,000 mAh battery, 18W fast charging, 10W wireless charging, reverse wireless charging, and a generous 8 GB of RAM. It has only basic support for US 4G networks such as AT&T, supporting domestic LTE bands 2, 4, 5, 12, and 13. Blu says the phone is available for just $150 ($100 off) in a "a flash deal while supplies last", however it's currently listed on Amazon for $180. The phone is powered by a MediaTek Helio G96 chip and runs Android 11. It has 128 GB internal storage and supports memory cards. It has a side-mounted fingerprint reader and 16 megapixel selfie camera. It's available in either Spectrum Grey or Sky Blue.


Android 13 Will Bring Improved Privacy, Personalization

Feb 10, 2022, 2:50 PM   by Rich Brome

Google today released Android 13 Developer Preview 1, with several new features that consumers can expect to see in Android 13 in the second half of this year. First, a new "photo picker" will let the system sit between apps and the user's content library, enhancing privacy. Users will now be able to quickly choose just one or more photos to share with an app, instead of granting the app access to their whole photo library. The feature will work with photos and videos, and with both local and cloud content. Similarly, a new API option will let apps manage connections to nearby Wi-Fi networks without needing access to the device's full location info. Google will also enhance Material You with themed app icons. Apps will now have a simplified, monochrome icon available that can be used with themed icons customized with the user's preferred color scheme (shown). Finally, a new API will make it faster and easier to place an app's custom Quick Settings tile in the user's notification shade. Google plans at least one more developer preview, followed by several beta releases April – July. The final release of Android 13 is planned for some time after July.


Android 12's Dynamic Color Coming to More Phones

Feb 10, 2022, 12:11 PM   by Rich Brome

Google announced that its "Material You" interface design — introduced with Android 12 and launched first on Pixel phones — will soon launch on phones from Samsung, OnePlus, and more. Specifically, these phones will all get the "dynamic color" feature, which automatically matches the user interface color scheme to your chosen wallpaper. This personalized color scheme applies not only to the system interface and Google apps, but also within third-party apps that have been fully updated for Android 12. The new Samsung Galaxy S22 series will ship with this feature, and a forthcoming software update will bring it to OnePlus phones such as the OnePlus 9 Pro.


Samsung Extends Android Update Promise to Five Years

Feb 9, 2022, 1:30 PM   by Rich Brome

Samsung today announced a new commitment to offering "up to four generations of One UI and Android OS upgrades" — as well as five years of security updates — on its premium smartphones. The company previously only promised three years of upgrades. This industry-leading commitment applies to the Galaxy S21 series (including the S21 FE), the new S22 series announced today, as well as the Z Fold3 and Z Flip3. The promise will also apply to future S- and Z-series devices.


Google Wear OS Watches Will Soon Unlock Android Devices Automatically

Jan 5, 2022, 2:23 PM   by Rich Brome

Google will soon launch a new feature of its platforms that will enable a Wear OS smartwatch to automatically unlock a paired Android phone, tablet, or Chromebook when close by. This mirrors a feature Apple has offered for some time. Google would only promise "in the coming months" as a timeframe for launching the feature. The company is also bringing its Fast Pair technology to more devices, enabling you to use your Android phone to instantly set up a new Chromebook, or more quickly add new smart-home devices to your home network.


OnePlus Teases 10 Pro Design, Specs

Jan 5, 2022, 7:30 AM   by Rich Brome

OnePlus has started releasing images and key specs of it next top-end flagship ahead of a formal launch event expected soon. A tweeted video and web site show the design of the OnePlus 10 Pro, while a tweet from OnePlus' founder lists the specs. The specs match what should be common for a top-end flagship phone in 2022. The phone is powered by a Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 chip, Android 12, and a 5,000 mAh battery. It supports 80-watt wired charging, 50-watt wireless charging, and reverse wireless charging. Its AMOLED display refreshes at 120 Hz. Its triple rear cameras with Hasselblad technology include a 48 megapixel camera, a 50 megapixel camera, and an 8 megapixel one. Other revealed features include Bluetooth 5.2, NFC, and stereo speakers. The amount of RAM and storage, display resolution and size, and rear camera functions are some of the specs yet to be revealed.


AT&T's Newest 5G Phone Offers Wireless Charging for $220

Jan 4, 2022, 1:00 PM   by Rich Brome   updated Jan 7, 2022, 11:16 AM

AT&T has announced the Fusion 5G, an AT&T-branded affordable 5G phone that will go on sale this Friday, January 7th for $220. Unusually for such an affordable phone, it supports wireless charging, and has a 48 megapixel main camera. The quad rear cameras also include an 8-megapixel wide-angle camera, 2-megapixel macro camera, and depth camera. It's powered by a MediaTek Dimensity 700 chip. Other features include a 6.82-inch HD+ display, 4,750 mAh battery, fast charging (fast charger included), NFC, a fingerprint reader on the back, 4 GB RAM, and 64 GB of storage (expandable). It runs Android 11. The phone is sourced through Emblem and appears to be a variant of the AT&T Radiant Max 5G, which is manufactured by FIH. The Radiant Max is also sold as the Dream 5G by Cricket.


Apple Releases Android App to Fight AirTag Stalking

Dec 14, 2021, 6:59 PM   by Rich Brome

Apple has released a new app called Tracker Detect that lets Android users scan for Apple AirTags that are potentially being used for stalking. The app doesn't require an Apple account. It specifically senses nearby AirTags (or similar devices compatible with Apple's Find My network) that have been separated from their owner but are nearby and stay nearby as the app user moves around. Once an AirTag meets the requirements as suspicious, the app user can command the AirTag to play a sound. The app user can then see instructions for how to disable the AirTag. While Apple's Find My network has strong protections to preserve privacy when used as intended, its potential use for stalking and similar illegal behavior has drawn criticism. Apple already has anti-stalking features available for iOS users, but extending this ability to Android is an important step for privacy and security.


Microsoft Teams Can Block 911 Calls on Android

Dec 8, 2021, 11:10 PM   by Rich Brome

Google has confirmed that Android phone users with the Microsoft Teams app installed may not be able to call 911 in an emergency in certain situations. The issue occurs only when someone has the Teams app installed but is not signed in. It also does not happen with versions of Android older than version 10. Users who may be affected are urged to make sure they are, and remain, signed in to Teams. If not, Google says that uninstalling and reinstalling the app "will address the problem in the interim". Microsoft will be releasing an update to the Teams app soon to permanently fix the issue. Google will also address the issue in its next monthly Android security update in early January.


Samsung Starts Rolling Out Android 12

Nov 15, 2021, 9:29 AM   by Rich Brome

Samsung has completed the beta period of its One UI 4 software for Android and started rolling out the final version to its phones, starting with the Galaxy S21 series. One UI 4 is Samsung's customized version of Android 12, which was finalized and launched by Google last month. One UI 4 includes many key features of Android 12, including improved widgets, visible indicators when the camera and/or microphone are in use, and a new privacy dashboard in the settings area. The S21 series will get the update starting today, while recent S series, Z series, and A series phones will get the update "soon". This includes the S10 series and newer, Note10 series and newer, all Z series and Fold models, and the Ax2 series models, from the A42 and higher.


Kyocera Intros Slim, Rugged 5G Phone for Consumers

Nov 11, 2021, 8:30 AM   by Rich Brome

Kyocera and Verizon today launched the DuraSport 5G, a mid-range 5G phone with the durability Kyocera is known for, but in a slim, pocket-friendly form factor. While Kyocera's DuraForce line is well-suited to the construction site, this model is targeted at those with an "active lifestyle" who want a phone that's rugged even without a case. The DuraSport 5G is rated IP68 and can be submerged in up to 6.5 feet of fresh water for up to 30 minutes. It's US military rated for drops (5 feet onto concrete), salt fog, humidity, temperature extremes, thermal shock, high altitude, icing, and more. The 6.1-inch full-HD+ display is protected by Corning Gorilla Glass 6 and works with wet & gloved fingers. The cameras are protected by Dragontrail glass. The phone also features a 48 megapixel main camera, 16 megapixel wide-angle camera, NFC, rear fingerprint reader, dual-band Wi-Fi (including enterprise network features), and USB-C 3.1. The 4,500 mAh battery can be fast-charged via Quick Charge 4, USB-PD 3 (up to 27 W), or Qi wireless (up to 8.1 W). The DuraSport 5G is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 480 chip and 4 GB RAM. The 64 GB of internal storage is expandable via microSD cards of up to 1 TB. A programmable shortcut button on the side can activate PTT. The phone's 5G support includes both mmWave and C-Band. The phone comes with Android 11 and is certified Android Enterprise Recommended by Google. The DuraSport 5G is available from Verizon today for $580.


Google Reveals App to Help People with Speech Impairments

Nov 10, 2021, 11:05 AM   by Rich Brome

Google has revealed Project Relate, "a new Android app that aims to help people with speech impairments communicate more easily with others and interact with the Google Assistant." The company is seeking early testers to help refine the app. After personalizing the app by speaking a set of phrases to train it, users can access three key functions. Ther first is "Listen", which transcribes speech into text. Others can read the text from the screen, or it can be cop-and-pasted into other apps. A Repeat mode takes the user's unique speech patterns and restates what they have said using a synthesized voice that is easier for other people (and devices) to understand. Finally, the app provides direct access to Google Assistant, so that Assistant can understand someone with a speech impairment as clearly as anyone else. If you have a condition that makes your speech difficult to understand, you can apply to help provide feedback on the Project Relate Android app as a trusted tester. Google has a long history of developing new accessibility solutions, and eventually folding them into its products, including Android.


Hands On with the CAT S22 Flip

Nov 2, 2021, 12:31 PM   by Rich Brome   updated Nov 4, 2021, 11:26 AM

CAT has a new rugged phone for T-Mobile. It's a rugged flip phone, but that's not the most interesting thing about it. What's wild is that this is a flip phone that runs full Android. Well, Android Go, but it has the Play Store and can run third-party Android apps. This possible because the main display inside is a touch-screen. It's an interesting prospect, potentially improving productivity for certain kinds of field workers. We checked it out in person. Read on for our first impressions.

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