In this week’s top stories: the 2020 Google Pixel Buds get certified by the Bluetooth SIG, WhatsApp reaches a massive five billion installs, potential pricing for the Galaxy S20 gets leaked, and more.
In our first tangible bit of mid-year Made by Google news, the 2020 edition of the Pixel Buds were certified by the Bluetooth SIG this week. The newly certified Pixel Buds are true wireless earbuds which should see release in Spring of this year.
Looking further into the details of the registration, we find that the underlying Bluetooth hardware is apparently made by Bestechnic, rather than using a chip from the likes of Qualcomm, and supports the Bluetooth 5.0 standard.
Between now and when we’ll next see Made by Google hardware, Samsung is set to unveil and release their line of Galaxy S20 flagships. If the latest leaks are to be believed, the Galaxy S20 5G will retail for around €900, while the specced-out Galaxy S20 Ultra 5G should come in at €1300 when the series releases on March 13th.
Weinbach also mentions that, apparently, 4G variants of these devices will also be available with prices lowered by around 100 euros. Frandroid also backed up this detail, specifically confirming that these models will be available in France amongst other regions.
WhatsApp hit an Android milestone this week, reaching an unbelievable 5 billion installs worldwide. By doing so, WhatsApp follows in the footsteps of the Facebook app as only the second app to reach 5 billion installs outside of Google-made apps. It’s somewhat interesting to remember that WhatsApp is also owned by Facebook.
Considering that WhatsApp claims over 1 billion daily active users, it’s no real surprise that the app has reached that download figure on the Google Play Store. It’s worth noting that this figure includes pre-installed versions. Many Samsung smartphones come with the multimedia messaging app pre-installed. Huawei did until the recent US-China trade issues and blacklisting occurred.
In other app news, Google Drive’s perfectly capable web experience has been further upgraded to become a Progressive Web App. This means you can easily “install” a standalone shortcut to Google Drive as an “app” that works through your browser.
Unfortunately, this isn’t a complete experience yet. Apps like Docs and Sheets within Drive still open up those editors in your browser. Eventually, Google will probably get these services to the point of working completely in PWAs, but it’s not time just yet.
Lastly, Samsung is once again showing themselves as one of the best Android OEMs on the software side of things. Over the course of this week, the Samsung Galaxy S8, S8+, S9, S9+ and Note 9 have all received the January 2020 Android security patch in various parts of the globe.
All patches fix five critical vulnerabilities within the Android system, while it also protects against 17 vulnerabilities that only affect Samsung Galaxy devices. We’re expecting the update to have a wider rollout over the coming days and weeks. If you have the Galaxy S8, S8+ or Note 9, it may be worthwhile heading to your system Settings > Software update panel and checking manually for the January patch.
The rest of this week’s top stories follow:
- Huawei announces EMUI 10 update schedule starting this month w/ P30, Mate 20
- Supposed OnePlus 8 Pro 120Hz display settings, punch-hole leaked in hands-on photo
- OnePlus 7T: 5 reasons to still pick up the cut-price flagship [Video]
- [Update: Now available in US for $129] The Nokia 2.3 unveiled with Android One, 4000mAh battery but micro-USB
- Sony Xperia 5 review: The not-so-compact, ‘compact’ phone [Video]
- [Update: LG G8 too] LG is taking advantage of Android 10’s underused desktop mode
- OxygenOS 10.3.1 now rolling out for OnePlus 6/6T w/ 5Ghz WiFi fix, December patch
- [Update: Confirmed] Pocophone ‘Poco F2’ name revealed in Xiaomi trademark application
- Poco F1 gets its official Android 10 update w/ MIUI 11
APK Insight |
- Latest Google app beta details how Assistant ‘hotword sensitivity’ will work
- Google Tasks for Android hints at Hangouts Chat integration [APK Insight]
- Samsung Messages app is preparing Google Duo integration [APK Insight]
- Google Stadia 2.2 preps zooming in on captures, Assistant, more [APK Insight]
- Gboard 9.0 preps precise deleting, voice typing tweaks [APK Insight]
Apps & Updates |
- You can now customize your Android 10 gesture experience with gesturePlus
- [Update: Fixed] Latest Twitter for Android update crashing immediately on launch
- WhatsApp finally gains a dedicated dark mode in latest app beta update
Chrome / OS |
- LastPass deleted its Chrome extension by mistake, will be back soon
- Acer Chromebook 712 brings 3:2 display, 10th-Gen Intel from $329
Google apps |
- [Update: 3 more] Google releases new digital wellbeing apps for Android
- [Update: ‘Not supported’] Android Auto’s support for Google Assistant routines has been broken since 2018
- New ‘Lab’ poised to bring home screen Google Doodles to non-Pixel Android phones
- Third-party G Suite Add-ons for Gmail, Drive, and Calendar side panel rolling out
- [Update: Now available] YouTube TV will support the PlayStation 4 soon
- Play Books for Android drops navigation drawer for Material Theme switcher
- [Update: Answers] Google teases I/O 2020 with ‘Collaboration of the Cosmos’ puzzle
Google Stadia |
- Comment: Google Stadia is currently the best and worst place to play multiplayer games
- Stadia app badging your ‘Pro’ games, reveals ‘Balanced’ 1080p data estimate
- Sprint will fix your broken Samsung Galaxy screen for $49 regardless of your carrier
- [Update: Cloud Pink, high-quality] Samsung Galaxy S20 official renders leak w/ colors, prices
- Samsung Galaxy S20 display might default to 60Hz, Ultra uses stainless steel
- Galaxy S20 reportedly ditches dual-aperture camera tech after just two generations
- Samsung Galaxy Z Flip foldable may ‘lock’ at 90 degrees for apps like Google Duo
- Samsung Good Lock 2020 with Android 10 support is coming February 3
- Samsung Galaxy Z Flip has a traditional fingerprint scanner, tiny outer display
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