Taking a look back at seven days of news and headlines across the world of Android, this week’s Android Circuit includes latest Note 20 leaks, Google leaking its own Pixel 4a, the wide angle of the OnePlus Nord, Huawei’ banned from 5G in UK, Microsoft’s influence over Android, and confirmation of Android 11’s emoji.
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).
The Problem With The Galaxy Note Camera
More leaks around Samsung’s upcoming phablet have handed us more details on the look of the hardware. Forbes’ Gordon Kelly examines the latest design, including the unsightly camera island:
“The best elements align with the stunning Note 20 Ultra image Samsung accidentally posted to its Russian website last week. These include super-thin top and bottom bezels, a smaller punch hole thanks to Samsung reducing the physical size of its front-facing camera, and an enhanced version of the Galaxy S20 Ultra’s 108MP camera array with a (much needed) new dedicated focus sensor.
“The downside is the video shows the rear camera array is massive, seemingly bulging out from the chassis even more than the Galaxy S20 Ultra. As such, it will be impossible to use the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra on a flat surface.”
More here on Forbes.
Google Leaks Pixel 4a
Google’s upcoming mid-range handset, the Pixel 4a, has leaked from an unexpected source… Google itself. Thanks to an errant store listing, we’ve had a look at the presumably official images of the handset. Chris Welch reports:
“Where is Google’s Pixel 4A? Sitting right on the company’s online store, as it turns out. Google seems to have mistakenly published an image of the Pixel 4A on its Canadian store. The text says “Nest Wifi,” but uh… that’s no Nest Wifi. The phone has already leaked extensively over the last few months, but this is a marketing render direct from Google — and it suggests that the 4A might finally be coming sometime in the near future.”
More at The Verge.
OnePlus Nord’s Wide Angle
The upcoming mid-range OnePLus Nord has a number of new features that will hopefully appeal to the target market. One of them is a new lens on the forward facing camera that will improve group selfies. Paul Monckton takes a closer look:
“In an official Instagram post, OnePlus has today confirmed that the company’s first-ever mid-range handset, the Nord, will ship with dual selfie cameras offering a maximum 105-degree ultra-wide field of view. This ultra-wide front camera enables you to fit more people into group selfies and to capture much more of the background in solo shots without the need for a selfie stick.”
More on the OnePlus Nord camera details here.
UK Government Halts Huawei’s 5G Rollout
Impacting on every smartphone user in the UK is the government decision to ban telecom operators from buying 5G kit from Huawei following “a technical review by the National Cyber Security Centre in response to US sanctions.” Further to the ban, any existing 5G equipment must be removed from the carrier networks:
“Digital Secretary Oliver Dowden told the House of Commons of the decision… that the cumulative cost of the moves when coupled with earlier restrictions announced against Huawei would be up to £2bn, and a total delay to 5G rollout of “two to three years”.
“This has not been an easy decision, but it is the right one for the UK telecoms networks, for our national security and our economy, both now and indeed in the long run,” he said.”
The ruling does not affect the sale of devices to consumers, although with Huawei’s inclusion on the US Entity List, these devices will not include the Google Mobile Services pack, denying Huawei customers access to the Google Play Store.
Microsoft’s Influence Over Android
Ahead of the Surface Duo’s release Microsoft has been quietly working on Android’s code, with commits to a number of open source areas including the base AOSP and the Chromium browser. It has also announced its work with Google on Progressive Web Apps, a project that could subtly change the direction of Android towards greater cross-device compatibility. JR Raphael looked at the issue earlier this week:
“For Microsoft, the move means more and more apps could run in identical forms on both Windows and Android — and thus despite the fact that it’s venturing into uncharted territory by fully embracing Android and steering folks into its own mini-ecosystem within Google’s universe, it can begin to offer a surprisingly consistent experience for anyone embracing a mix of Android and Windows (a fairly common combo for enterprise productivity and even general consumer use).”
More at Computerworld.
In perhaps the most exciting news you will read this week about communicating with tiny pictures, Google has confirmed the emoji that will feature in Android 11. Woo-hoo! Abner Li reports:
“..Google is sharing the final Android 11 character designs. We previewed them last month, and the company is now providing an overview of the 117 new emoji.
“There are 62 new characters, as well as 55 skin tone and gender variants, coming to Android 11. Google with Emoji 13.0 proposed changes to the Unicode Consortium that advocated for “more empathetic expressions and finding opportunities to bring equity to the keyboard”.”
More at 9to5Google.
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!
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