Things move fast in the Android world. There are lots of devices out there, tons of development, and bugs aplenty. This is your weekly look at the biggest stories in Android between March 1st and March 7th, 2019.
New Devices from Vivo, Meizu, Oppo, and Motorola
New devices are often the name of the game for Android—new stuff pops up all the time. This week there were four: a couple of oddities from Vivo and Meizu, a midrange device with a popup camera from Oppo, as well as a new staple from Motorola for Google Fi.
Vivo IQOO for Gamers
Vivo isn’t all that well known here in the states, but this Chinese company is well known for bringing insane concepts to the mobile scene. Its newest sub-brand IQOO—which stands for I Quest On and On apparently—is one for the gamers. This 6.4-inch handset packs a Snapdragon 855 chipset, 12 GB of RAM, and can get a full charge in just 45 minutes. Nuts.
Read more about this handset at Engadget.
Meizu Note 9 for China
Like Vivo, most US folks aren’t too familiar with Meizu. But they’re huge in China and known for bringing decent hardware. The new Note 9—not to be confused with that other Note 9, of course—is more of a midrange handset, however, with a 6.2-inch FHD display, Snapdragon 675, 4 or 6 GB of RAM, and 64 or 128 GB storage options.
You can learn more about the Meizu Note 9 over at XDA.
Oppo F11 with a Popup Selfie Cam and…MicroUSB Port
Sticking with the Chinese phone trend, Oppo drooped its new F11 handset this week, which comes with some killer specs and one really stupid feature. The design itself is fascinating, with a nearly edge-to-edge display thanks to its popup selfie camera, but the guts aren’t too shabby either. It has a MediaTek Helio P70 processor, up to 6 GB of RAM, and 128 GB of storage under its 6.5-inch FHD+ display.
The downside? It charges over micro USB. You can get the full skinny on the Oppo F11 over at 9to5Google.
Motorola G7 for Google Fi
Motorola phones may not hit the scene with as much fanfare as they once did, but the company still releases absolutely killer budget handsets that pack a lot of punch for the money. The G7 is no different—this $299 Google Fi phone keeps it real with a 6.2-inch FHD+ panel, Snapdragon 632, 4 GB of RAM, 64 GB of internal storage (plus an SD card slot), 15-watt turbocharging, and Android Pie out of the box. Good stuff.
Check out Google Fi for more info.
Device Updates from Huawei, Nokia, and Samsung
Because there are so many devices out there, devices updates happen pretty frequently.
- Huawei pushed Android Pie to the Mate 10 Pro. (Android Police)
- Nokia dropped a zero-day update for the camera-laden 9 Pureview. (9to5Google)
- Samsung also pushed a day-one update to improve the camera and fingerprint reader on the S10 family (Android Police).
Other Software Updates: Netflix HDR on the S10, Pocket Casts 7, Nova 6.1, and More
This week saw quite a few decent software announcements across the board from Netflix, Pocket Casts, Nova Launcher, and Google to name a few. Here’s the quick and dirty.
- Pocket Casts got bumped to version 7 with a totally redesigned interface. (9to5Google)
- Nova Launcher 6.1 Beta was released with a couple of new features. I personally think this is super cool because I also work with TeslaCoil on in-app text in Nova. (TeslaCoil Apps)
- Netflix added HDR support for the Galaxy S10 family and HD support for the Galaxy M. (Android Police)
- Tasker added support for Bixby button remapping so you can use the official feature to do unofficial things. (XDA Developers)
- Samsung Good Lock, which brings customization options to Galaxy phones, was updated to support One UI on the newest handsets. (XDA Developers)
- Google released its Duplex technology for digital assistant-guided restaurant booking in 43 states across Android and iOS. That’s a pretty big deal. (Google Blog)
- Google made the Android lock screen secure (and less convenient) when you use “OK Google” to bring up the Assistant. (How-to Geek)
- Gamers can earn in-game credit by watching ads thanks to a new Google Play initiative. (Engadget)
- Google Hangouts was officially removed from Wear OS. Rip. (Android Police)
- Android Q has officially been rooted even though it’s not available. Like, at all. Whoa. (John Wu/Twitter)
Other News: Bugs and More
There are always odds and ends stuff floating around out there—the quirky stuff or things that just don’t fit in anywhere. Here’s what we found most interesting this week.
- Android TV had a massive bug that gave Photos access to complete strangers. Google has deactivated Photos on Android TV while it tries to figure what exactly is going on here. This story is nuts. (Engadget)
- Meizu’s CEO said its portless phone was a “publicity stunt” after it crashes and burns on Indiegogo. Sound shady to me, but whatever. At least it didn’t meet its funding goal. (The Verge)
- Apparently, Samsung Galaxy devices lose value faster than other brands. I guess that means you should always buy used? (XDA Developers)
That’s pretty much all we have this week, but we always have our eyes open for new and cool stuff like this. If you happen to find something you think should be included, hit me up at firstname.lastname@example.org with a link. The rarer (or cooler!), the better. Peace.