In this week’s top stories: we got our first look at a leaked Samsung Galaxy S10, discovered that Waymo’s self-driving cars are still managing to incite road rage in Arizona, and looked ahead to the Chromecast setup process becoming mobile-only.
Topping the charts this week, the Samsung Galaxy S10 leaked via Evan Blass, offering us our first real look at its punch hole cutout for the camera. The image seems to be of the standard Galaxy S10, codenamed “Beyond 1,” with the presumed Galaxy S10+ getting the codename “Beyond 2.”
We can see Samsung’s take on gesture navigation in this image, and perhaps that hints we’ll see that be the default option for this device. In a follow-up tweet, Blass also mentions that this device will offer reverse wireless charging as we’ve seen on the Huawei Mate 20 Pro.
In a somewhat humorous tale of man vs machine, we learned this week that Waymo’s self-driving cars have been running into their fair share of road rage incidents in Arizona, including a tire slashing. Despite the cars being self-driven, sometimes threats were made toward the Waymo vehicle’s safety driver.
In all these cases, Waymo or the safety drivers have not pressed charges. The Alphabet division directs its drivers to first contact the internal dispatch system during incidents. In fact, police contact is reportedly kept to a minimum, with one incident not reported until four days after it took place.
In a surprising change coming with Chrome 72, Google Chromecasts will soon require the Google Home app to complete setup. Up to this point, it was possible to set up a Chromecast using Chrome on a Mac or Windows computer.
This deprecation is already live in Chrome’s beta channel, with chrome://cast still available but only to determine whether your Chromecast qualifies for special offers like a trial of a streaming service, and not initiate setup. Chrome 72 for Mac, Windows, and Linux is expected to hit stable in late January.
Late last year, a number of Samsung’s Galaxy devices became eligible to beta test Android Pie. The latest beta version of Samsung’s vision for Android Pie arrived for Galaxy Note 9 users this week. The update includes fixes for critical problems like the ones plaguing the touchscreen.
These touch issues specifically include hard home button presses not registering when using navigation gestures and the stock keyboard not responding towards the bottom right of the Note 9 display. Pretty important fixes all things considered, so kudos to Samsung for getting these major issues resolved rather than waiting until a full Pie release to fix.
In a revelation that likely surprised no one, researchers proved this week that, in a study of 34 popular Android apps, at least 20 were found to be leaking private information to Facebook. Critically, this is being done without user consent, and is therefore almost certainly illegal, especially in light of Europe’s recent GDPR law.
In addition to the data being available to Facebook, any data collection runs the risk that it could be vulnerable to hackers. Facebook admitted back in October that hackers had been able to access data from 30 million users of the social network.
To cap off the week, we found concrete evidence that Google’s in-development Fuchsia OS is intended, one way or another, to be able to run Android apps. This is possible through a Fuchsia port of the Android Runtime being worked on inside of the Android Open Source Project.
Regardless, what is clear is that Fuchsia devices are intended to run Android applications. This should surprise no one, as Android is the world’s most popular operating system, and offering support for the vast wealth of Android apps in the Play Store will make the transition from Android to Fuchsia easier for users.
The rest of this week’s top stories follow:
- Early Moto Z4 Play leaks reveal teardrop notch, still has pins for Moto Mods [Video]
- LG G7 ThinQ kicks off 2019 w/ official Android Pie update
- Re-review: The Nvidia Shield TV is still the best total Android TV package in 2019 [Video]
- Motorola P40 full specifications allegedly leak w/ Snapdragon 675, punch-hole notch, 48-megapixel AI camera
- Oxygen OS OTA for OnePlus 6 adds Bluetooth EQ, Nightscape improvements, OnePlus 5, 5T get improved Wi-Fi
- Xiaomi foldable appears in sketchy leak w/ impressive tri-fold design that handily beats Samsung [Video]
- Google planning Band 48 shared spectrum (CBRS) support for Pixel 3 in future update
- Samsung Galaxy S10: Everything we know so far [Video]
- [Update: New dates, more devices] Here’s when to expect Android Pie updates on 25+ Samsung devices including Galaxy S8, Note 8, more
- Android Pie beta potentially heading to Galaxy Note 8, S8 and S8+
- Android Pie OTA now rolling out to some Samsung Galaxy Note 9 users in Europe
Google Assistant |
- PSA: Google Home Hub has a built-in Chrome web browser, here’s how to use it
- Lifesum launches Google Assistant app to log food, water by voice on Android, Home, and iOS
- Kohler launches new Verdera Voice lighted smart mirror w/ built-in Google Assistant
Apps & Updates |
- How to sign up for the Google Fit New Year challenge
- Google’s Grasshopper coding app downloaded by 1.6 million users since April launch
- Google Photos testing share menu revamp w/ carousels & compact design, similar to Maps, News
- 10 Android applications to kick-start your 2019 [Video]
- Google Search Featured Snippets highlighting answers on linked AMP articles
- Google app 8.91 preps Podcasts auto downloads, more Material Theme, ‘Top Apps’ redesign [APK Insight]
- You can now enable Google Chrome’s dark mode on Windows, here’s what it looks like [Gallery]
- Google is working on a fix for laggy tablet mode on Chrome OS devices including the Pixel Slate
- Asus unveils latest education Chrome OS devices at CES: two Chromebooks, new Flip, & first Tablet
- FCC approves Project Soli, allowing Google to continue with radar-based input method
- How to watch New Year’s Eve celebrations on Chromecast, Android TV, Chrome OS, Android
- YouTube Music presenting ‘New Year’s Rockin’ Eve’ this Monday on ABC