In this week’s top stories: AAWireless dongle for wireless Android Auto begins shipping, Google Fit launches its camera-based heart and respiratory readings, Pixel 6 poised to move its hole punch camera, and more.

The biggest news this week is that the long-awaited AAWireless dongle, capable of adding Android Auto’s wireless connectivity to a car that only offers USB connection, is now shipping to Indiegogo backers. Since we last got our hands on an early prototype of the dongle, AAWireless has gotten a sleeker design and looks much more like a finished product.

The final AAWireless hardware also comes with a companion app for your Android smartphone that opens up some additional features. That includes, firstly, a set of instructions for users who need assistance in getting things running, such as ensuring Android Auto’s wireless mode is enabled on their phone.

Google Fit received an update this week, bringing a new set of measurement capabilities to the app which are Pixel-exclusive for a time. With nothing more than your camera, Google Fit can measure your heart rate and your respiratory rate within a reasonable amount of accuracy. Our Damien Wilde went hands-on with the feature to show how it works.

The camera measurements are rolling out to Pixel phones with version 2.51.19 of Google Fit. Once live, there will be new “Check your heart rate” and “Track your respiratory rate” cards in the Home feed. After dismissing those introductory prompts, tap the ‘plus’ sign at the top-right corner of the Respiratory and Heart rate cards to start a session.

Following an update to the Google Camera app, our team was able to discover some early tidbits about the likely Pixel 6 including the fact that front-facing camera would be downsizing and moving from the top-left to the top-center, a design choice that seems to be divisive amongst the community of Made by Google fans. More importantly, this phone will be able to record selfie videos in up to 4K, a significant bump from the Pixel 5’s 1080p selfie videos.

[Moving the selfie camera to center] would put the time and notification indicators back to the far left of the screen, mirroring the battery indicator’s position. To envision what this could look like, we’ve created a simple mockup screenshot of where the hole punch should go on this presumed Pixel 6 and how that affects the status bar.

Google’s current slate of Pixel phones, dating back to the Pixel 3, received a new distinction this week as the first Android 11 devices to have their security certified to the standards of Common Criteria’s Mobile Device Fundamentals (MDF). While the certification itself is meant more as a selling point for businesses, everyone can take comfort knowing their Pixel device holds up to this higher standard of security better than the average Android phone.

The certification, performed by an authorized lab, looks at “real-world threats facing both consumers and businesses.” This includes network eavesdropping and attack, physical access, malicious or flawed applications, and persistent presence.

Samsung rumored to launch ‘Galaxy Watch 4’ and ‘Watch Active 4’ in the next few months

Renowned leaker Ice Universe shared this week that Samsung has near-term plans for two smartwatches, the Galaxy Watch 4 and Galaxy Watch Active 4. Oddly, the “Galaxy Watch Active 4” is a successor to the “Galaxy Watch Active 2,” skipping the 3rd release altogether.

The real kicker here, though, is that Samsung is reportedly planning a release for this Galaxy Watch 4 series sometime during Q2 2021. That timeline starts in April, but extends to the end of June.

The rest of this week’s top stories follow:

Android |

Apps & Updates |

Chrome / OS |

Google Assistant |

Google TV |

Wearables |

YouTube |

Videos |

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About the Author

Kyle Bradshaw

Kyle is an author and researcher for 9to5Google, with special interests in Made by Google products, Fuchsia, and Stadia.

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