Taking a look back at seven days of news and headlines across the world of Android, this week’s Android Circuit includes Samsung’s new 5G smartphone, thoughts on the Galaxy Z Fold Tab, Pixel Buds A-Series launch, Android’s advertising change, three new Oppo handsets, Huawei’s HarmonyOS adventure, Firefox updates, and moving from iPhone to Android.
Android Circuit is here to remind you of a few of the many things that have happened around Android in the last week (and you can find the weekly Apple news digest here).
Samsung’s 5G Surprise
Samsung has announced two new Galaxy A handsets. The Galaxy A22 5G continues to build up the South Korean company’s 5G enabled portfolio (there’s an 4G LTE version in the Galaxy A22 also available). Priced at £199 here in the UK, it will be Samsung’s cheapest 5G handset so far
“It comes with a 6.6-inch FHD+ TFT Infinity-V display, which has a refresh rate of 90Hz and includes a small notch for the front-facing camera at the top. A fingerprint sensor is housed on the side, for security. A 2.2GHz octa-core MediaTek Dimensity 700 (MT6833) processor runs the show, and the phone also sports 4GB of RAM. There is 64GB of on-board storage.”
How Many Folds In A Tab?
Looking further ahead, the teams at Let’s Go Digital and Yanko Design have sat down with the various patents, leaks, and announced displays to put together their concept images of the ‘Galaxy Z Fold Tab, a phone/tablet combo with a double-hinge ‘winged’ display
“This tablet smartphone also has a double folding line, but is folded only 2x as thick as when unfolded – comparable to the Galaxy Z Fold 2. In April 2021, LetsGoDigital already reported on a patent that Samsung Electronics has applied for such a type of tri-fold. fold smart phone . An additional advantage of this design is that space has also been made for the S Pen.”
New Pixel Buds Launched
Google has released a new set of Pixel Buds… the A-Series. In broad strokes these offer a premium audio experience for $99. They come with adaptive sound to tune the audio to your environment, bass boost for lower frequency sounds, hand hands free access to Google with the classic ‘hey Google’ voice activation
“Pixel Buds’ design is inspired by the idea that great things can come in small packages: Pixel Buds A-Series include up to five hours of listening time on a single charge or up to 24 hours using the charging case. And with the ability to get a quick charge — about 15 minutes in the case gives you up to three hours of listening time — you can keep listening anywhere.”
Android Advertising Changes
Developers who use Google’s ‘Advertising ID’ can expect to see a lot of identifiers along the lines of ‘0000000000’. Google is adding in new advertising privacy controls, and if users opt-out, developers will get an empty field. It’s worth noting this is an opt-out system, rather than Apple’s opt-in system, but it’s a solid step forward towards controlling your own information
“After this change goes live, apps on your phone will see a string of zeroes instead of your advertising ID if you disable personalized ads. Google Play Services will also alert all apps that have access to your advertising ID and related data, so that any existing data can be deleted. ”
Oppo’s Triple Header
Three new handsets from Oppo this week, as the Reno 6, Reno 6 Pro, and Reno 6 Pro+ arrive. Priced in the $600-$750 space, these are solid mid- to high- smartphones with faster refreshing 90 Hz displays and 65W wired charging
“The Reno series from Oppo continues to grow in numbers and the latest additions are the Reno 6, Reno 6 Pro and Reno 6 Pro+. The two Pro variants feature identical specs save for the cameras and chipsets with the Pro utilizing the Dimenisty 1200 SoC while the Pro+ is outfitted with the Snapdragon 870 instead.”
Huawei’s New Android Approach
Huawei has announced a slew of new products using Harmony OS 2. With more than 100 product to choose from, the highlights include a new smartwatch (the Huawei Watch 3 and 3 Pro), a new tablet (the MatePad Pro), and a wide range of smart home devices. Built on top of the Android Open Source Project, this should provide compatibility with the wider Android ecosystem, while giving Huawei more control over its destiny following its inclusion on the US Entities list
“Meanwhile, the company said the complete opposite thing to the German site ComputerBase, which quotes Huawei’s software president as saying “To make sure our existing users can still enjoy the experiences that they are familiar with in our phones and tablets, Huawei uses the open source code from AOSP in HarmonyOS on the condition of complying with open source license rules and fulfilling related responsibilities and obligations.”
Firefox Still In The Fight
Chrome may have pole position as the Android browser of choice, and Microsoft’s Edge is gaining popularity, but let’s not forget Firefox has an Android browser as well. Version 89.0 has just hit the release channel, and is available for download now.
Shruti Shekar wonders why Apple does not seem to be worried that 25 percent of iOS users witch to Android. The question comes from, you guessed it, internal Apple documents on show in the Epic Games vs Apple trial. Phone prices, ecosystem, and user lifestyles are all discussed:
“Ben Bajarin, CEO and principal analyst at Creative Strategies in California, said in an interview that a lot of people thought the number of users switching away from Apple was a lot smaller, and that more people were switching away from Android.
“The point (Apple) was trying to make, and questionable as to whether it’s a valid point, is that people do switch. They’re certainly not switching 40% of the time, but they use that stat and say look 20% or somewhere north of that some, on a quarterly basis, do leave iOS to go to an Android,” he said.”
Android Circuit rounds up the news from the Android world every weekend here on Forbes. Don’t forget to follow me so you don’t miss any coverage in the future, and of course read the sister column in Apple Loop! Last week’s Android Circuit can be found here, and if you have any news and links you’d like to see featured in Android Circuit, get in touch!