Taking a look back at seven days of news and headlines across the world of Android, this week’s Android Circuit includes the Galaxy S11 camera leak, a new Galaxy S10 for Christmas, Microsoft’s new Office for Android, the damaging Pixel 4 decision, OnePlus rolls out Android 10, Huawei’s return to Google, and Bill Gates’ Windows Mobile dream.
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).
Samsung’s Galaxy S11 Camera Leak
Samsung’s plans for next year’s Galaxy S11 handsets will naturally include a new camera, and more details on this periscope-based camera model leaked out this week. Along with specs detailing a x5 optical zoom, we have a codename for the camera module. Hubble:
The latest details come from Dutch website Galaxy Club, who have picked up on the internal codename Samsung’s cutting edge camera. Already expected to feature a periscope arrangement of lenses and mirrors to allow for increased optical zoom, the unit is going by the code name of ‘Hubble’, which draws the obvious connection to the masterful space-based telescope that can see to the edge of the universe.
For a camera that looks to be boasting a 5x optical zoom, that seems rather appropriate.
More here on Forbes.
Is Samsung Planning A New Galaxy S10?
Samsung has far more models than the Galaxy S class, and some of them are arguably better fits for users than the flagship S series. So the news that Samsung is working on a highly-specced phone could mean the long-rumored S10 Lite is here… or is it the highest possible A class? I asked the branding question earlier this week:
The assumption by the geekerati is that this is a ‘Lite’ version of the Galaxy S10 family, presumably launching in time for the holiday season. But it doesn’t sync up with the launch schedules of the Galaxy S family.
To my mind this could be a ‘high-end’ handset in Samsung’s Galaxy A series of handsets. While the ‘A’ handsets do not get as much love from the geekerati, they are a key part of Samsung Mobile’s volume strategy. Bringing out a strong Galaxy A handset just before Christmas will boost sales but preserve the marketing power of the S Class.
More here on Forbes.
Microsoft Rolls Office Into A Single App
Although available as separate apps on Android (and iOS) for a number of years, this week Microsoft launched an integrated Office app to promote the suite o cloud-based services. Tom Warren reports:
This new app now feels like a central hub for Microsoft to showcase all of the new features it has been gradually adding to Word, Excel, and PowerPoint in recent months. There’s a prominent actions section that includes the ability to transfer files from your computer to a phone, convert images into text or tables, scan pictures into PDFs, and even scan QR codes. These were features that were always hidden away before, but they’ll likely be used frequently now that they’re surfaced up top in this Office app. They’re also useful quick tasks that you’re more likely to use on a phone than a PC.
More at The Verge.
The Design Decision That Damaged The Pixel 4
Google’s Pixel 4 and Pixel 4XL have come up for criticism, and much of it is down to the design decision to focus on features that the majority of users will be looking for, as opposed to the cutting edge features (such as shooting 4K video at 60ps). While the usage patterns may agree with that approach, how influencers interact with and help promote devices online does not. David Ruddock explains why:
Like that 4K60 video recording, I think Google’s reasoning for avoiding a war of escalation on specifications and features lies not in cost, complexity, or technical know-how. I believe that this is very specifically a manifestation of a philosophy which seeks to do the most with a product by doing the least, a kind of minimalism that is distinctly Googley.
Yet, it’s become increasingly clear that this is not a tenable strategy for Google. With all the data in the world supporting the premise that the Pixel 4 provides a smartphone experience which 80% of people should be happy with, there is no escaping that 20% who are, by and large, the people telling that 80% what is and is not a good smartphone to buy. And as a member of that 20%, the Pixels this year fall into the “is not” camp.
More at Android Police.
Older OnePlus Handsets Picking Up Android 10
OnePlus has, as promised, begun the roll out of Android 10 to older devices. 2018’s devices – namely the OnePlus 6 and OnePlus 6T – will shortly see the updated OS available as an over the air download. It’s worth noting this is a staged roll-out so it may not be immediately available to you, which might be for the best as some users are reporting issues. Kristijan Lucic has details on Android Headlines:
The company had to stop the OnePlus 6 update in order to fix fingerprint scanner-related issues, though that has been fixed quickly. It seems like OnePlus did not manage to squash all bugs, though, as several issues arose for users that installed Android 10 on their OnePlus 6 / 6T smartphones.
As far as we know, Android 10 is still rolling out to both phones, as we speak
Read more here.
Google Mobile Services Could Be Returning To Huawei Handsets
Following last week’s look at the Honor 9X and how it featured the Google Mobile Services, parent company Huawei’s hopes of being removed from the US Entities List – which would allow Google to do business with the Chinese-based company – have been raised. Zak Doffman has more details:
For Huawei, the immediate beneficiary of such a move will be the company’s new flagship, the Mate 30, a high-quality device let down by its lack of U.S. software. And so depending on the timing of the U.S. administration’s next steps, this shift could be a serious boost for Huawei’s holiday season and will certainly help bolster consumer confidence as millions head to stores with money to spend.
More here on the international issues.
How did Android become the dominant mobile operating system? Why did Microsoft lose that key battle in the first decade of the 21st century? And who does Bill Gates blame? Liam Tung has the answers:
Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates says he messed up the company’s opportunity to develop Windows Mobile because he was distracted by its antitrust case brought by the Justice Department. Had he not been distracted, Gates believes Windows Mobile would be what Android is today.
“There’s no doubt that the antitrust lawsuit was bad for Microsoft, and we would have been more focused on creating the phone operating system. And so instead of using Android today, you would be using Windows Mobile,”
More at ZDNet.
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!