In this week’s top stories: Google devotes its homepage to Doodles thanking Coronavirus helpers for two full weeks, we reveal almost the full spec sheet for the Pixel 4a, the April security patch arrives on Pixels, and more.
As the coronavirus pandemic continues to take its toll on our society, there are millions of heroes that are continuing to help either directly by fighting the virus or indirectly by giving us all a sense of normalcy. This week, and continuing through next week, Google’s homepage is using a series of Doodles to remind us all to thank these unsung heroes.
This Google Doodles series — usually reserved for multi-week sporting events like the Olympics and World Cup — coincides with National Public Health Week in the US.
The first thanks public health workers and researchers in the scientific community. Given that there will be 10 in the series, Google is using the same basic format with the “G” sending a heart to an ‘e’ that’s been themed.
This week, our Stephen Hall was able to exclusively confirm almost the entire spec sheet for the Google Pixel 4a from a reliable source, along with the names of its two colors — Just Black and Barely Blue. Many of the details confirm what we had learned from previous hands-on leaks, including the Snapdragon 730 processor and 6GB of RAM.
We’re told that all Pixel 4a models will have a 3080 mAh battery and 6GB of RAM, and while previously leaks have shown a 64GB model, our sources say there is definitely a variant with 128GB capacity. We’re told the phone will have the usual 18w fast charging via USB-C, but once again, Google is for some reason skipping out on Qi wireless charging for their mid-range entry.
Elsewhere in Pixel news, Google rolled out the April 2020 security patch to their various Pixel phones. Unlike last month’s update, which brought the March Pixel feature drop, the April 2020 patch’s only major feature is a new “Require eyes to be open” option for the Pixel 4’s Face Unlock.
There are 12 issues resolved in the April security patch dated 2020-04-01 and 43 for 2020-04-05. Vulnerabilities range from moderate to critical, with the most severe relating to the media framework and a remote attacker possibly executing arbitrary code through a crafted file.
Over the years, the prices for OnePlus phones have steadily climbed from affordable up to comparable with other flagships. This year, it seems the OnePlus 8 Pro will be the most expensive phone the company has put out, by a longshot. To that end, we’ve asked you how much you would pay for the OnePlus 8 Pro, and so far $699 is the winning answer.
So, with all of that in mind, clearly these phones are going to be more expensive compared to models that came before. It would be pretty ridiculous to think otherwise, especially considering the cost of the Snapdragon 865 alone.
Finally, Google Fit saw a significant update this week, bringing a new design and a push away from “Move Minutes” to make “Steps” the more important metric. The Wear OS app has also seen the update, bringing both the app and its Tiles in line with the new designs.
Today’s updates are also reflected on Wear OS. The Google Fit app on the wearable platform adds two new Tiles. The first lets you quickly start a workout, as well as see “progress toward your goal through the day or week at a glance.”
Google Fit’s step-focused redesign is already available on iOS, and rolling out now to Android and Wear OS.
The rest of this week’s top stories follow:
- [Update: April 2020] The best affordable Android phones you can buy today
- [Update: Galaxy S9] Samsung Galaxy Note 8 now receiving the April 2020 security patch
- Huawei Watch GT2 update brings SpO2 blood oxygen measurement feature
- Google kills Android distribution numbers on the web, but we’ve got you covered
- [Update: Nokia 4.2 too] Nokia 7.2 now receiving stable Android 10 update
- [Update: US rollout] Samsung Galaxy S20 gets April security patch, more camera fixes
Apps & Updates |
- Google starts testing redesigned Assistant settings on Android
- [U: Reverting for some] Gboard for Android adds Google’s logo on the spacebar
- Google Search button disappears from Gboard on Android
- Microsoft’s new Chromium-based Edge is now the second-most popular desktop browser
Google Pixel |
- Pixel 3a: 5 reasons to still pick up this exceptional, affordable Android [Video]
- Alleged Google Pixel 4a retail box leaks hinting at an imminent launch date
- [Update: Orders cancelled] Google Pixel Buds 2 release date might be as soon as late April/early May
Google Search |
- More examples of Google’s 3D animals as the perfect quarantine activity
- These are the Google 3D animals you like best, and the ones you want added
Google Stadia |
- Google Stadia readying Android TV app
- Google Stadia 2.13 preps touchscreen gamepad, Android TV, more [APK Insight]
- [Update: Google confirms] Don’t be surprised when ‘Hangouts Meet’ becomes ‘Google Meet’
- Google Classroom adds Meet integration as premium video features extended, usage soars
- OnePlus 8’s prices leaked by European retailer, Pro starts at €919
- [Update: More Pics] ‘OnePlus Bullets Wireless Z’ leak in four colors, still not truly wireless
- Opinion: OnePlus missed the point of wireless charging
- OnePlus 8 Pro camera sample shows off ultrawide night photography w/ good detail
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