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Taking a look back at seven days of news and headlines across the world of Android, this week’s Android Circuit includes a first look at the Galaxy Note 20, Google’s update to Action Blocks, OnePlus turning off the camera, chip choices for the Pixel 5, the Moto Edge Plus is reviewed, Surface Duo specs leak, and Google Play Music loses to YouTube Music.
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).
You First Look At The Galaxy Note 20
Samsung’s Galaxy Note 20 is going big. Ahead of its provisional launch later this summer, the latest leaks show a device that is larger than last year’s Note 10. The various renders built around the leaks show the similarity in the design language to the Galaxy S20 launched earlier this year. SamMobile reports:
"Those who loved how compact the Galaxy Note 10 was might be disappointed to hear that the Galaxy Note 20 reportedly features a 6.7-inch screen and is almost as big as the Galaxy Note 10+. The Note 20’s dimensions are said to measure 161.8 x 75.3 x 8.5 mm; the thickness will increase by 0.6 mm over the Galaxy Note 10 and Note 10+ if those figures are accurate, all thanks to the periscope zoom lens that also makes the Galaxy S20 Ultra the thickest Galaxy S smartphone in the series’ history.”Most Popular In: Consumer Tech
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Action Blocks Updated
Google has updated Action Blocks and a number of accessibility tools. Blocks is perhaps one of the more useful apps, essentially allowing macros to be created for complex tags which can be triggered by a single press of a customisable icon on a home screen. Dieter Bohn reports:
"For Global Accessibility Awareness Day, Google is announcing a few updates to its suite of accessibility features for Android. The biggest one is the final, public release of Action Blocks. They let you create big, customised buttons for relatively complex actions like playing music or calling somebody — tasks that might be difficult for people with a cognitive disability."
OnePlus Prepares To Turn Off Camera
OnePlus added a ‘color filter’ camera to the OnePlus 8 Pro, allowing different imaging effects to be added while a photograph is taken, including the curious ability to see through darkened materials (echoing an X-Ray image). Following the discovery this feature also applies to some clothing, the feature is set to be temporarily turned off in China while an update is worked on. Aamir Siddiqui reports:
"OnePlus has apologized for this and announced that it would temporarily disable the color filter camera. The update to disable this camera will be delivered within a week in the Chinese region… OnePlus hopes that this will be a temporary measure, and they will work on ensuring that the privacy concerns are addressed before re-enabling the color filter camera.”
Pixel 5’s Chip Choice
If Google’s upcoming smartphone, the presumptivly named Pixel 5, is aiming for a $699 price point, it’s not going to match every single specification of the current flagships from other manufacturers. And it looks like one of the savings will be in the System on Chip. The new smartphone may not ship with Qualcomm’s top of the line SnapDragon 865. C Scott Brown reports:
"While it’s not 100% clear which processor the Google Pixel 5 will utilize, it’s becoming more and more likely that the processor will not be this year’s flagship, the Qualcomm Snapdragon 865.
"…Since we recently found a rumor suggesting the entry price for the Pixel 5 could be as low as $699, all signs point to the new Pixel stepping out of the traditional premium territory and entering something more akin to “premium mid-ranger” territory.”
Moto Edge Plus Reviewed
There are flagships and there are flagships. With a network subsidised price of $1000, Motorola’s Edge Plus needs the specs to match that price. The team at GSM Arena have reviewed the device, starting with the design:
"A bunch of things you can't get on the lesser phone, however. The Edge+ is equipped with a high-end Snapdragon 865 chip (765G on the Edge), packs 256GB of fast UFS 3.0 storage (128GB of UFS 2.1 on the midranger) and with 12GB of RAM it's got 2 to 3 times more of it than the Edge (available in 4GB and 6GB trim levels). Okay, these differences do make a case for the top-dollar (top-euro?) pricing.”
Microsoft’s Surface Duo Specs Leak
Although the larger dual-screened Surface Neo has been delayed, Microsoft’s Android-powered Surface Duo is still on course for a release in ‘the holidays 2020’. More specs around the device have leaked this week, with the long lead time reflected in some of the choices. I took a look at them earlier this week:
"The core specifications for the Android-powered device are the Qualcomm SnapDragon 855 backed up with 6 GB of RAM. Storage of either 64 GB or 256 GB are being talked about. Also along for the rise is a 3460 mAh battery and USB-C connectivity
"Given the long development time of the Duo, presumably throughout 2019 ahead of its reveal to the public in October, the use of the SnapDragon 855 instead of this year’s SapDragon 865 makes. Sense. This suggests that the Duo will not be guaranteed 5G connectivity, as this is an optional extra on the 855.”
Although both are subscription services, the differences between Google Play Music and YouTube Music create two different experiences for those paying for the service. With Google Play Music being scrapped, leaving YouTube the only option, the push to increase minutes on YouTube is going to kill the user’s musical experience. Hadlee Simons reports:
"Google could’ve simply rebranded Google Play Music to YouTube Music instead, or considering Google’s recent attempts to bring all of its services back under the Google name with Nest, Android Pay, and the rumored Android TV rebrand, why not just Google Music? It’s not like Play Music didn’t already have YouTube video integration either. You’d think that deeper yet more thoughtful integration of YouTube’s vast library would’ve been possible without such drastic measures.”
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!
Source : https://www.forbes.com/sites/ewanspence/2020/05/22/android-news-headlines-google-pixel-5-samsung-galaxy-note-20-oneplus-8-pro-surface-duo/