In this week’s top stories: Google Pixel phones gain a new collection of ‘Curated Culture’ wallpapers, the February Android security patch arrives, OnePlus 7 series gets its last Android 10 based update, and more.
As part of Google’s many Black History Month celebrations, the company’s Pixel phones have gained a new collection of “Curated Culture” wallpapers created by Melissa Koby. Each wallpaper celebrates the diversity of the human race in its own unique way.
Rolled out via server-side update, the Curated Culture wallpapers are not tied to today’s February security patch for Google Pixel. It joins YouTube having a new “BHM” logo for Black History Month.
With February now properly underway, this Monday saw the release of the February 2021 security patch for Android for Pixel phones. Shortly thereafter, Samsung also rolled out February updates to Galaxy S9 and S20 series.
Following the December update, Pixel 4a 5G owners started encountering touch reliability issues. Edge taps, like when using 3-button navigation, would require several presses before registering. A fix “further tuning & improvements for touch experience” is included in the February security patch for the Pixel 4a 5G and Pixel 5.
Owners of last year’s OnePlus 7 phones should have received an update this week, bringing the January 2021 Android security patch. Notably, OnePlus has announced that this will be the last Android 10 based update before the OnePlus 7 series gets a stable update to Android 11.
The OTA updates should be available right now for those still running stable Android 10 builds on their OnePlus 7 series or OnePlus 7T series hardware. It’s also worth noting that OnePlus does not explicitly mention the OnePlus 7T Pro, but we believe the update is available for the slightly forgotten handset. You can also pull the OxygenOS 10.0.11 or 10.0.16 update by heading to Settings > System updates.
Google Drive began a transition process this week, merging its two separate desktop clients — Backup and Sync for business/enterprise and Drive File Stream for everyone else — into one “Google Drive for desktop.” By the end of the year, “Google Drive for desktop” will gain all of the unique features of Backup and Sync as well as the ability to back up photos to Google Photos.
Ahead of that, Google Workspace accounts can preview the new beta client by signing up for a preview.
This unification is meant to simplify the IT deployment process and reduce confusion around which app to use. It will also “result in better performance for end users,” a complaint for some today.
Lastly this week, Google teased a significant upgrade to the Fit app, including the ability to measure your respiratory rate — how many breaths you take in a minute — as well as your heart rate using nothing but your phone camera.
Google imagines Fit’s camera-backed measurements as a useful way to “track and improve day-to-day wellness.” The company has completed initial clinical studies to validate these features. It will start rolling out next month to Pixel owners that have the Fit app installed. Google plans to bring these capabilities to other Android devices in the future.
The rest of this week’s top stories follow:
- What to expect when you upgrade to Android 11 — New features, scoped storage, more
- Samsung has updated these phones to Android 11
- Android TV homescreen gets another revamp, this time w/ some Google TV goodness
- Google updates Android Beta Feedback app ahead of Android 12 Developer Preview
- Report: Google looking to limit data collection, tracking in Android apps
Apps & Updates |
- Google Home app prepares household ‘access’ roles w/ device restrictions
- Google Maps appears to be testing a new route option UI
- Google Discover tests marking each article with hashtags
- Google will delete your Play Music library later this month, emailing out final warning
- Clubhouse plans to start working on its Android app ‘soon’
Chrome / OS |
- The Great Suspender extension has been removed from Chrome Web Store for containing malware
- Android ‘Phone Hub’ begins arriving in Chrome OS for a select few [Gallery]
- ASUS Chromebook Flip CM3000 leaks as dual-use Lenovo Duet competitor
Google Assistant |
- [Update: Fixed] Google Assistant ‘device hasn’t been set up yet’ error breaks smart home voice control
Made by Google |
- Pixel Buds set to gain manual firmware update option
- Chromecast with Google TV update rolling out w/ December 2020 security patch
- Pixel 5, 4a 5G now support Standalone (SA) 5G on T-Mobile and Google Fi with February update
- Stadia app 3.2 teases Project Hailstorm, works toward voice chat and Android TV, more
- New Amazon CEO commits to making video games following closure of Google Stadia studios
- TicWatch Pro 3 update improves tilt-to-wake and Wear OS pairing, adds notification sounds
- Galaxy Watch 3 update brings SmartThings Find feature, more
- Latest Galaxy Buds Pro update improves noise cancellation and ‘Voice Detect’
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