Returning to seven days of news and headlines across the Android world, this week’s Android tour includes all the details of the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro from the Tensor mobile chip and security updates to Face detection and voice input, Pixel Pass Program Announcement, Samsung’s custom Z Flip 3, Oppo is planning a new system-on-chip, Android 12 is coming for older Pixels, and Windows 11 is launching app support Android.
Android Circuit is here to remind you of a few of the many things that have happened around Android over the past week (and you can find the weekly Apple News Digest here).
Highlights of Google’s Pixel 6 and 6 Pro launch
Following the preview earlier this year, Google hosted the ‘big launch’ of the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro handsets this week. Shamelessly, a premium experience to compete with flagships from other manufacturers (at incredibly competitive prices), Google has looked into three key areas to promote handsets.
The first is the Tensor processor and the machine learning capabilities it offers, along with the additional processing power it offers:
“Until now, it has used chips designed by chip company Qualcomm. But he says the Tensor chip is up to 80% faster than the Pixel 5 as of 2020, while still being energy efficient. Important benefit of its new chip, Google says, is that it can do more on the phone itself, without being connected to the Internet – especially through Google’s popular virtual assistant. “
While a full analysis of camera images will have to wait for any embargo on revisions to be lifted, Google has – like many manufacturers – used camera technology in its smartphones as a representative for all hardware and software for the new device. The most eye-catching will be the “magic eraser” which promises to eliminate distractions (like a curious dog, a parked car, or clouds in a sunny sky) just by highlighting them. The real benefits are much more nuanced, like Real Tone:
“[following face detection], Real Tone then ensures that the automatic white balance of the photos is improved, so that darker skin tones do not appear paler than in real life. In addition, automatic exposure has also been improved, making it easier for the camera to capture your skin tone with precision, without making a person look unnaturally lighter or darker. Additionally, the improved color balance also captures different skin tones better, with reduced stray light also helping to prevent darker skin tones from looking ashy or washed out. “
(Opinion of confidence).
Google has promised five years of security updates for the new handsets, but in terms of Android updates, it has only announced three years of support. That would lead to October 2024, with Android 15 potentially the last update. Given that Google now controls the software and the system-on-a-chip, this seems like a missed opportunity.
“It’s a year longer than most smartphone vendors are willing to commit to, but it’s also a year shorter than what Samsung just promised. this big promise than to a number of its smartphones, but Google has a significantly smaller number of phones to support anyway. Samsung is also not the creator of Android, so the inability or Google’s reluctance to make it any better doesn’t really help it. “
As for the smaller features, Ben Schoon takes a look at some of the things that are easy to fall in love with; such as car crash detection, the powerful voice-to-text engine, and the capabilities to predict how long you might be on hold:
“Google has shown how confident it is in these phones, and based on first impressions, it seems like a perfect foundation for building a new era of Pixel phones. But people aren’t going to change unless they have a good one. While an improved camera and absurdly high prices are likely to result in a lot of upgrades, it’s the features that the Pixel 6 brings with it that Google needs to let people know to spark the interest of new buyers. can’t stand another year of boring “Smooth Stream” advertising. “
All your monthly Google with one pixel
Along with the new Pixel hardware, Google also launched the Pixel Pass, a bundle of subscriptions and services for US consumers to purchase the new handsets with extended warranty, Google One, Google Play Pass, and YouTube Music Premium all in one bundle. . Similar to Apple’s iPhone upgrade program, you can also stay informed about the release of new Pixel phones:
Also, customers should take note of what these regular upgrades entail. Like similar programs, you’re essentially renting a Pixel phone, which you can then easily swap in for a new one when time is of the essence. , it’s yours like any other phone. However, you then have to decide whether you want to stay on the plan and get a new Pixel phone, or cancel the plan. “
Make this flip yours
Samsung’s Galaxy Unpacked “Part 2” event this week saw the launch of a bespoke edition of the Galaxy Z Flip 3. At the time of ordering, you can make decisions about the frame and top sections colors and lower. Going down this road adds $ 100 to the price of the phone:
“You won’t be able to customize the Custom Edition with any color you want, but Samsung has plenty of options. You can choose a black or silver phone frame and front and back colors (i.e. top and bottom, if the phone is open) blue, yellow, pink, white or black. “
Oppo is preparing for the new chip war
The longer-term implications of Google’s launch of its own Tensor chip in the Pixel 6 family should not be lost. Certainly, competitors are working hard on their own designs; you can see this with the rise of image signal processors, but the full system on a chip will be as follows, with Oppo apparently joining the party:
“Oppo has stepped up its investment in chips since the US crackdown on Huawei. It has hired top chip developers and artificial intelligence experts from MediaTek, Qualcomm and Huawei, and continues its recruitment efforts in the United States, at Taiwan and Japan, according to industry executives and job listings.
Android 12 for all old pixel owners
Along with the release of the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro, Google has started offering Android 12 updates to Pixel handsets dating back to the Pixel 3. These handsets are of course under the control of Google, but Android 12 is ready to appear. throughout the ecosystem. . Considering the number of carrier / manufacturer combinations, this will take some time, but it does happen:
“This is the last operating system upgrade and the last security patch that the Pixel 3 and 3 XL are expected to receive. The Pixel 3a and 3a XL will receive their last patch next May. The company also has unveiled versions of Android 12 for Samsung, OnePlus, Oppo, Realme, Tecno, Vivo and Xiaomi in addition to others “later this year.” “
The ability to run Android apps on Windows 11 was one of the main features of the updated operating system, even though it was labeled as “available in the near future”. Well, if you’re ready to use a beta version of the Windows Insider program, you can start doing it right now, albeit on a small group of 50 apps while the system is tested.
“Running Android apps and games on Windows 11 will feel familiar, effortless, and integrated – as you might expect. You can easily run these apps side-by-side using the new Snap Layouts, Pin – them to your Start menu or taskbar, and interact with them via mouse, touch, or pen input. Android apps are also integrated into Alt + Tab and the task view to help you quickly switch between one application to another.
Android Circuit provides updates on the news from the Android world every weekend here on Forbes. Be sure to follow me so you don’t miss any coverage in the future, and of course read the sister section 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!