Taking a look back at seven days of news and headlines across the world of Android, this week’s Android Circuit includes a first impression of the Galaxy S11, leaked Galaxy Note 10 Pro details, Google’s confirmation of the Pixel 4, the Almond Gold OnePlus 7 Pro, Huawei fights to replicate Android services, HMD Global’s complex portfolio of Nokia devices, and LaLiga’s courageous use of its Android app.
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).
First Impressions Of The Galaxy S11 Design
What happens if you gather together all of Samsung’s design patents, the trickle of leaked information, and extrapolate the changes made to read the current Galaxy handsets? Do you get close to the Galaxy S11 Thanks to the artistic work of the team at Let’s Go Digital, have we had our first impression of Samsung’s new design language?
As always with patents, the publication of techniques and methods does not necessarily mean that the hardware will be made available to consumers, but given what we know about Samsung’s smartphone plans over the next twelve months, I would expect this to be the ‘signature look and feel’ of the new family devices that will be launched in 2020, with the Galaxy S11 as the flagship device.
More here on Forbes.
New Galaxy Note 10 Pro Details Leak
We might be expecting the Galaxy Note 10 to launch later in the summer months, but it looks like Samsung has a larger phablet ready to go in the shore of the Note 10 Pro. With a quad lens camera, a central self camera, and minimal screen bezels, this looks ever bit like the South Koreans’ winter flagship. Forbes’ Grdon Kelly reports:
Hemmerstoffer’s renders clearly show Samsung has indeed scrapped the headphone jack. We already knew it had been pulled from the standard Note 10, but to lose it from the much larger Note 10 Pro is a blow and it’s odd Samsung would think its do-all smartphone was the best model to debut this unpopular change.
On the flipside, we know the Galaxy Note 10 Pro will also debut next-gen RAM and next-gen storage alongside some truly jaw-dropping fast charging speeds which leave the Galaxy S10 eating its dust. So has Samsung done enough? In a year when Apple is making a mess of the iPhone 11, it just might.
More here on Forbes.
Google Pixel 4 Schematics Leak
Also popping up this week were some schematics for Google’s next generation Pixel smartphone. The presumptively named Pixel 4 is following Apple’s design decision for an ugly camera bump at the rear, a lass construction, and will likely stick with a notched approach to accommodate the selfie camera. Stephen Hall reports:
There’s not much to glean from these early schematics-based renders, but there are some key details that we didn’t know previously. For one, you can see a large glass camera window on the back side, likely set to house multiple rear-facing cameras (2? 3?.. we’re not sure). There’s also an earpiece up top on the front, which might suggest we’ll see another notch on this year’s Google flagship.
This does give us a decent early idea of the overall build of the device, too — it’s clearly glass on the front and the back, it looks it’ll have a metal rail around the sides, and we can also see the presumed USB-C port down on the bottom. There’s also the usual volume rocker and power button on the right side. Notably, there’s no fingerprint sensor shown in these renders, pointing to a face-based authentication or in-display fingerprint sensor. Or both.
More at 9to5Google. Of course that all changed later in the week as Google decided to address the leaked images of the handset with the first official image of the Pixel 4 posted on Twitter:
The tweet was confident, bordering on cocky, but what Google revealed of the Pixel 4 has not been met with a positive response. More alarmingly, it seems Google has been living under a rock because the company is making a near-identical rear camera to the heavily leaked and widely hated new iPhone 11 design.
More on the minimal confirmation and the disappointed reaction from the geekerat here on Forbes.
OnePlus 7 Pro Turns To Gold
Last weekend OnePlus announced the Almond Gold OnePlus 7 Pro would be reaching the market in India. Now the third fashionable color is coming to the United Kingdom as the Shezhen-based manufacturer pushes its Swatch-like approach to marketing. Tom Pritchard reports:
So the OnePlus 7 Pro came out last month, shortly followed by the OnePlus a couple of weeks ago. Now all OnePlus fans had to wait for was the limited edition Almond OnePlus 7 Pro, sporting everything from the 7 Pro but in a colour that isn’t blue or black. Well it’s just been announced that it goes on sale on 25th June.
Only one Almond variant is available, and it has 8GB of RAM and 256GB of storage. So if you wanted the beat with 12GB of RAM then you’ll have to make do with a blue phone.
More at Gizmodo.
Huawei’s Struggle To Replace Google
Huawei is facing a long-haul in the OS market without Google’s support. Its Android-powered handsets are going to need third-party apps, and without the Google Play Store, it needs to get apps into its own App Gallery. Mishaal Rahman reports on efforts to reach out to developers to upload to the Gallery:
[A developer] reached out to us this morning with an email they received from Huawei. The email was an invitation to join AppGallery, an app store that the company says has “270 million monthly active users” on over “350m phones,” about half of which are sold outside of China. The email promises that developers will be provided with “full support” to help them publish their app on AppGallery, but it’s unclear exactly what kind of support will be provided to developers. Lastly, the email mentions a free invitation to a developer community of over “560k”, though we don’t know how active this community really is.
More at XDA Developers. This is part of a bigger push to develop an alternative Operating System in case the issues over access to Google’s Android (and Microsoft’s Windows 10) cannot be resolved. Yingzhi Yang and Li Tao look at the history and current efforts:
The Huawei OS is based on a microkernel that is light and can react quickly to adjustments and batches, according to the people with knowledge. Huawei engineers on the OS project have also studied Android and Apple’s iOS closely to learn from them.
One of the biggest technical challenges for the Huawei OS under development has been its compatibility with Android, one of the sources said.
Compatibility would enable a Huawei phone with its own OS to download and run Android apps seamlessly. Having a successful compatibility layer with Android would also mean that app developers around the world would not need to develop extra code for Huawei’s OS.
More at the South China Morning Post.
Cutting Down The Complex Portfolio Of Nokia Smartphones
HMD Global’s General Manager Pranav Shroff has highlighted the issue of complexity in its range of Nokia smartphones. Specifically the complexity of the naming scheme. What started out as a simple numeric scheme of one through nine has blossomed into a mix of decimal points, stray Xs, and the occasional Plus moniker. That’s going to change, as C. Scott Brown reports:
When asked what the plan is for the future, Schroff makes things fairly clear: “The intent is to do a lot less Plus models [going forward], if not get rid of them.” He then reiterated, “we will make sure that we will bring the simplicity back, and the clarity of our naming back to how we had envisioned it to be.”
More at Android Authority.
Just because an app can do something, doesn’t mean it should. The mobile app for the Spanish soccer league has been using the app to listen to match commentary, map the location of the phone, and determine if an ‘unlicensed public exhibition’ of a match i being show – e.g. in a pub or bar. The company has been fined for its actions Dami Lee reports:
Spain’s data protection agency has fined the country’s soccer league, LaLiga, €250,000 (about $280,000) for allegedly violating EU data privacy and transparency laws. The app, which is used for keeping track of games and stats, was using the phone’s microphone and GPS to track bars illegally streaming soccer games…
More at The Verge.
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!