In this week’s top stories: Google reveals a bold redesign of Gmail for desktop and Android with Chat integration, the Google Store leaks a render of the Pixel 4a, the specs for the upcoming OnePlus Nord are confirmed, and more.
By far the biggest news of this week, affecting the most people, is the reveal of a new design for Google’s Gmail apps for Android and web to deeply integrate other G Suite apps like Chat, Meet, and Docs. Having leaked out early in a slideshow, Google later confirmed the details, sharing that Gmail is to become Google’s “home for work.”
Other slides show upcoming Google Meet features like hand raising, Q&A, meeting attendance, and blurred — as well as custom — backgrounds. Google officially announced these features last month, and will launch them over the coming months.
Fans of Made by Google devices were teased this week as the Google Store accidentally shared a render of the company’s upcoming affordable phone, the Pixel 4a. If this seems weird, know that the Google Store has leaked more than its fair share of unannounced devices over the past decade.
The image shows one Google Pixel 4a model in black with a green power button. It shows in detail the phone’s front-facing camera (in the form of a hole punch) and a single-camera design on the back that resembles its older sibling, the Pixel 4. There’s a nice speaker grill on top and a fingerprint sensor on the back.
OnePlus has its own affordable Android phone in the works for this year in the OnePlus Nord. Seemingly going back to the brand’s “flagship killer” reputation, the company has revealed the OnePlus Nord’s honestly impressive specs including a 90Hz display, 12 GB of RAM, and seemingly decent cameras.
In its second post, OnePlus also detailed the camera specs of the OnePlus Nord. On the back, there will be a 48MP primary camera using the Sony IMX586 sensor. That’s the same one found in the OnePlus 8 (not the Pro), which we found was a respectable offering in our review.
Elsewhere in affordable Android phones, our Ben Schoon took time this week to share his thoughts on the perfectly mid-range Samsung Galaxy A51.
At the end of the day, every budget phone that’s ever been released has been a matter of priorities. To fit the price constraint, there are tough calls with every specification, every component, and every last bit of the design. With Samsung, the clear priority with the Galaxy A51 was the screen, and in that area I think this phone is a success for the most part.
Finally, to celebrate World Emoji Day, Google unveiled its finalized designs for the new emoji coming with Android 11. In total, folks with Android 11 and Gboard can access 117 new emoji between new emoji and new gender/skin tone variations.
Those on the Android 11 Beta and latest Gboard preview can view and send the new characters by scrolling the main emoji list, but they do not yet appear in keyboard search. Additionally, the final redesigns for existing emoji are not available in Beta 2.
The rest of this week’s top stories follow:
- Samsung Galaxy Note 20 breaks cover w/ flat display, modest camera module [Video]
- Asus ROG Phone 3 leaks w/ refined but still familiar design
- Xiaomi Mi A3 mistakenly rolls out Mexican firmware globally, breaking dual-SIM support
- Realme X50 5G launches in UK w/ Snapdragon 765G, 120Hz display for just £299
- Samsung’s smaller Galaxy Tab S7 will apparently skip an in-display fingerprint sensor
Apps & Updates |
- Google Home for Android seeing fewer crashes after adopting Kotlin
- Google Maps can use Live View AR to calibrate your current location, orientation
- Google testing new Assistant design that brings Pixel ‘light bar’ to other Android phones
- Gmail is Google’s new ‘home for work’ following big Rooms upgrade, currently G Suite only
- NBC Peacock: How to get it for free on Android, where to stream, and how to cancel
Chrome / OS |
- Google experimenting with dual-touchscreen Chromebook
- Chrome 84 blocks intrusive notification requests, adds support for Web OTP API, PWA shortcuts
- Google loses control of ‘blogspot.in’ domain, breaking millions of websites
- Opinion: Now that I finally have a reason to play Google Stadia, I can’t put it down
- Google Cloud announces Confidential Computing ‘breakthrough’ that encrypts customer data in-use
Made by Google |
- Google Store kicking off month-long ‘Daily Special’ deals series tomorrow
- Today’s Google Store ‘Daily Special’ is $75 off Nest Hub Max 2-pack again [U]
- Google launches 2nd-gen Pixel Buds in 9 countries, colors arriving next month
- Pixel Buds picking up new features in addition to audio cutout fixes next month
- Are you buying Google Pixel Buds now that they’re in your country? [Poll]
- [Update: 3 more] OnePlus Fnatic Mode Easter egg unlocks exclusive hidden wallpapers [Video]
- OnePlus Buds will use Warp Charge to get 10 hours of power in 10 minutes
- OnePlus Buds will offer 30 hours of battery life between earbuds and case
- OnePlus Nord has a wide-angle front-facing camera so you don’t die by selfie stick [Video]
- Android 11 Beta 2 now available for OnePlus 8 and 8 Pro
- OnePlus Nord online pop-up shop coming as pre-orders sell out
- OnePlus Nord design revealed as Carl Pei talks costs, Buds shown too [Video]
- [Update: Global launch/pricing] Xiaomi Mi Band 5 goes official w/ 1.1-inch color display, magnetic charging, $30 price tag
- Xiaomi Mi TV Stick goes official w/ Android TV, only the 1080p version for now
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