In this week’s top stories: Google begins selling its ADT-3 Android TV developer dongle powered by Android 10, the Android Flash Tool puts the latest AOSP on your Pixel, Android 10 arrives for the Samsung Galaxy S9, and more.
From time to time, Google develops and releases a hardware kit to promote development on Android TV. This year, Google has put their latest ADT-3 developer dongle up for sale to anyone willing to cough up the $79, but it’s been confirmed that this unit cannot run certain consumer-only apps like Netflix and Amazon Prime Video. That said, this is still the first Android 10 powered Android TV device of any kind to release.
The ADT-3’s SOC is an Amlogic S905Y2 with quad-core 1.8 GHz CPU and ARM Mali-G31 MP2 GPU that supports 4K 60FPS HDR HDMI 2.1 output. There’s 2GB of DDR3 RAM with 8GB of internal storage. The only other ports are power and micro-USB, while there’s a Bluetooth pairing/recovery button and LED status indicator. The entire dongle weighs 50 grams (1.76 oz).
While new versions of Android release roughly once a year, development on the OS continues year-round, making it sometimes difficult for app developers to keep up with the changes. Google is combating that with the Android Flash Tool, which can install the absolute most recent possible build of the Android Open Source Project onto your Pixel phone directly from your browser!
It’s important to note, though, that a vanilla AOSP build is not the refined Android experience you may be expecting. The Android Flash Tool is absolutely not a way to get a sneak peek at what Google has coming up for its Pixel phones, and should only be used by Android developers seeking to ensure their apps will work on the next major Android release.
On the Samsung side of things, the Korean giant has been making steady progress on bringing Android 10 to its Galaxy phones. This week alone, the Galaxy S9, Note 9, and Galaxy S10 5G have all received a whopper of an upgrade to Android 10, bringing with it Samsung’s OneUI 2.0.
Being a full OS upgrade, this is a sizeable update at around 2GB and will bring with it firmware version G9600USQU7DTA5 and even includes the January 2020 security patch. It’s a little smaller for those in Germany at around 1.8GB but it too comes with the January patch.
Every month, Google Stadia offers its Pro members a free game to expand their library. For February, Google is giving out 4A Games’ Metro Exodus as well as the first ever Stadia exclusive game, GYLT. Today being February 1st, both games are already available to be claimed now.
Dropping out of Pro are SAMURAI SHODOWN and Rise of the Tomb Raider: 20 Year Celebration. The latter title was just added last month, and is already set to disappear for new Pro customers at 9 a.m. PT on January 31, 2020.
Meanwhile, Thumper, Farming Simulator 19 Platinum Edition, and Destiny 2: The Collection will remain available to claim for a grand total of five titles.
Finally, in Pixel 4 news, the phone’s exclusive “new Google Assistant” appears to be expanding to a new set of people this week. At launch, the only way you were allowed to use the new Assistant was if you opted to use Android 10’s gesture navigation. With a recent beta update to the Google app, this appears to no longer be the case.
The rest of this week’s top stories follow:
- [Update: Hands-on images] Moto G8, G8 Power specs and renders leak w/ mid-range hardware, familiar design
- [Update: Now available] New Nvidia Shield TV remote will work w/ older models for $29
- [Update: Probably not] Huawei says it won’t start using Google apps again even if ban is lifted
- Google highlights 62 new emoji coming to Android 11 ‘later this year’
- OnePlus vows to improve video on all of its smartphones in 2020
Apps & Updates |
- Play Store prompting some to install Google Opinion Rewards for credits
- Google working on business messaging app that unifies Gmail, Hangouts Chat/Meet, more
- Google shutting down App Maker for enterprise in 2021
- [Update: Demo video] Google Phone 44 preps call recording and transcription [APK Insight]
- Messages 5.5 and Google Phone 44 betas add Material Theme icons
Chrome / OS |
- Googler suggests a new way for Chrome to display URLs to combat phishing
- Google Chrome for Android simplifies ‘Duet’ redesign, takes away features
- Google Chrome for iOS to disable Payment Requests in March
- [Update: Now in Canary] Chrome OS may gain ‘Quick Answers’ like Look Up on macOS
- Google’s 2020 Grammys ‘Most Searched’ ad marks Black History Month [Video]
- DuckDuckGo wants Google to change its EU search choice screen on Android
- Google working on human-like chatbots that contextually respond to anything
- Google activates SOS Alert for coronavirus in Search
Made by Google |
- Essential Chromecast tips and tricks you need to know [Video]
- [Update: Fixed] Another Google Home update is killing units in the Preview Program
- Google Nest Thermostats learning how to detect HVAC issues and offer alerts
- The Samsung Galaxy Note 9, Note 10 beat the Pixel to the February 2020 patch
- Samsung Galaxy Z Flip leaks in first official press renders w/ specs [Gallery]
- Android 10 heading to Galaxy S9 in February according to new update roadmap
- Huawei Watch GT/GT2, Honor Band 4/5 update adds new watch faces, optimizations
- Latest Wear OS update for Fossil Sport breaks always-on display, fix coming
- [Update: Test] YouTube Premium perk could give you a free channel membership every month
- YouTube Music can now show all new album and single releases
FTC: We use income earning auto affiliate links. More.