New Galaxy Confirmed, OnePlus Supercharges Fortnite, Living Without Google
Taking a look back at seven days of news and headlines across the world of Android, this week’s Android Circuit includes confirmation of the Galaxy Note 20, waterproofing the Galaxy Fold 2, Huawei’s life without Google, Android’s short support life, OnePlus enhances Fortnite, a big red Nokia recording button, and Google’s new developer tools.
Android Circuit is here to remind you of a few of the many things that have happened around Android in the last week (and you can find the weekly Apple news digest here).
Galaxy Note 20 Plus All But Confirmed
it was a safe bet that a ‘Plus’ version of Samsung’s upcoming Galaxy Note 20 would be coming, but now the existence of the model has been confirmed with documents from the Chinese regulator. It might not be named, but the model number matches up with Samsung’s corporate naming pattern for the Galaxy Note 20 Plus. James Rogerson reports:
“While there’s little doubt that the Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Plus is in the works, we’ve now seen the closest thing yet to official confirmation of that, as the phone has seemingly appeared on a Chinese certification database.
“Specifically, a phone with the model number SM-N9860 was spotted by MyFixGuide in the database of China’s 3C certification agency (an agency which the Galaxy Note 20 Plus would have to be certified by before it could be sold in China).”
More at TechRadar.
An attendee holds a Samsung Electronics Co. Galaxy Fold mobile device during an unveiling event in … [+]
© 2019 Bloomberg Finance LP
The Waterproof Fold
With its complicated hinge assembly, Samsung’s Galaxy Fold was… rather fragile. The Z Flip has improved that, and it looks like Samsung is hard at work to improve the Fold. Recently published patents suggest that waterproofing is on the cards for a future model. Ilse Jurrien reports on the patent, and another design touch:
“The utility patent is mainly about waterproofing the housing of a folding phone. Nevertheless, there are also several product images in the patent that show a smartphone that shows many similarities with the existing Galaxy Fold. Nevertheless, there are also a number of clear adjustments.
“For example, the device is equipped with a cover display that has different dimensions than the existing Fold. It is a narrow, elongated display, intended only for notifications. There have been rumors for some time that Samsung wants to change the front display.”
More at Let’s Go Digital.
Living Without Google For A Long Time
Thanks to Huawei’s inclusion on the US entity list, the P40 family shipped without access to the Google Mobile Services package; that meant no Google Play Store, no Google Maps, no Gmail, no YouTube, basically nothing from Mountain View. After spending a month or two of usage, how did the GSM Arena team feet on? Here’s a long term review of the P40 Pro, including the important PhoneClone utility:
“…the company’s Phone Clone service to transfer over your apps and data from your previous device. This is all pretty standard fare for Android devices, but note that you obviously won’t be able to restore from a Google backup of your prior phone.
“Additionally, Phone Clone does its best to transfer over apps, but don’t expect all of them to make it through. In fact, we found that quite a few of our most used apps didn’t make the cut. Clearly this depends on which specific apps you had installed on the other phone, and we’re not sure exactly how Phone Clone chooses the apps that it can transfer versus the ones it leaves behind.”
More at GSM Arena.
Do We Need More Android Updates?
The current norm for keeping Android updated on a new handset is two years of software updates, and a third additional year of security updates. With phones costing upwards of $1000, is that a long enough window of usage? Harish Jonalagadda thinks not:
“With the $399 iPhone SE changing the paradigm for value, it’s high time Android manufacturers extend software support on their phones. The iPhone SE runs the latest A13 Bionic chipset, and that means it will get updates for at least four years. This gives it a distinct advantage over every other Android phone in the sub-$500 segment.
“The new reality is that people are using their devices for longer than ever before. With budget and mid-range phones increasingly sporting much more robust hardware, there’s no reason to upgrade your phone on a yearly basis.”
More at Android Central.
Faster Fortnite From OnePlus
Working with OnePlus, Epic Games has launched the first mobile version of Fortnite to run at 90 frames per second for the OnePlus 8 Pro. The faster refresh rate should allow for a smoother graphical experience, increased responsiveness, and a better mobile gaming experience. OnePlus’ Pete Lau on the news:
“OnePlus and Epic Games have created one of the best Fortnite experiences ever on a smartphone. The OnePlus 8 Series delivers a smooth, high framerate Fortnite gameplay experience – that even current generation console game systems can’t match.
“OnePlus creates the best devices for mobile gaming through our industry leading display, speedy performance, and overall user experience designed with power-users in mind.”
The Big Red Record Button For Nokia Phones
HMD Global has announced that call recording is now included in its Nokia handsets running Android One in in India. As for privacy concerns, the application will broadcast “this call is now being recorded” into the conversation:
“To activate the recording, simply press the ‘Record’ button while on your call…
“To access the call recording later, simply visit the ‘Recents’ tab. If a call was recorded, you will see a ‘Recorded’ label below the contact’s name or phone number. Once you tap the call log entry, the call recording player will be shown with a play button. Call recordings are saved on your phone – not in the cloud – for convenient playback and privacy.”
More at Nokia’s website, and a hat tip to the Reddit thread.
Google has been hard at work with its developer tools for Android. This week saw the public release of Android Studio version 4.0. Product Manager Adarsh Fernando has some highlights:
“[These] include a new Motion Editor to help bring your apps to life, a Build Analyzer to investigate causes for slower build times, and Java 8 language APIs you can use regardless of your app’s minimum API level. Based on your feedback, we’ve also overhauled the CPU Profiler user interface to provide a more intuitive workflow and easier side-by-side analysis of thread activity. And the improved Layout Inspector now provides live data of your app’s UI, so you can easily debug exactly what’s being shown on the device.”
More from Google’s blog post.
Android Circuit rounds up the news from the Android world every weekend here on Forbes. Don’t forget to follow me so you don’t miss any coverage in the future, and of course read the sister column in Apple Loop! Last week’s Android Circuit can be found here, and if you have any news and links you’d like to see featured in Android Circuit, get in touch!