In this week’s news highlights: Google releases Android 13 for its phones, Pixel 6 owners can’t switch to Android 12, Pixel 7 nears launch with FCC approval, and more.
After months of beta testing, this week Google released Android 13, which may not look too different for the Pixel series. Android 13 does a variety of minor things, like updating the media player, introducing Bluetooth LE Audio support, and taking advantage of the monochrome launcher icons introduced in Pixel Launcher last year.
android 13 [also] continues Google’s work on optimizing the OS for tablets and foldables. the taskbar now features app suggestions and a drawer for quick access to all your apps and opening them in split-screen mode by dragging and dropping. In fact, multi-window mode is now enabled by default for all apps. However, those who have not been upgraded can benefit from mailbox compatibility mode.
One particularly notable aspect of the Android 13 update is that it includes a major security update for owners of the Pixel 6 series. Unfortunately, Google considers this issue serious enough that it is impossible to go back to Android 12 after having performed the update. Google has offered some additional details for those who like to tweak their Android devices.
This is an unusual move on Google’s part, but the reason for the change is a new bootloader update that “increases version anti-rollback”. Google has implemented this security measure in Android for several years, generally to prevent exploits from older software versions from being deployed on devices.
In other Pixel news, it looks like Google’s fall hardware event is getting closer to reality as the Pixel 7 and 7 Pro hit the FCC. The new public listings tell us that, just like last year, Google is including UWB connectivity, but only on the Pixel 7 Pro. Both phones should also be available in models with and without mmWave 5G.
We think the Pixel 7 Pro is GP4BC with only Sub-6 connectivity, while GE2AE (which also includes GFE4J on the FCC electronic label list) has mmWave. Both of these listings tout the presence of ultra-wideband (UWB), and Google is keeping that feature for the Pro phone for another year. So far, Google is using UWB for “precise spatial orientation and range” with Near Share and subsequent digital car keys.
Over the course of the past week, Samsung has steadily lowered its trade-in value quotes for customers looking to upgrade the Galaxy Z Flip 3 to the Z Flip 4. Where any of the phone’s three models – 128GB, 256GB and Bespoke – originally would earn you a trade of $900, now they are worth $700, $800 and $900 respectively.
While the credits for future Galaxy Z Flip 3 trade-ins seem to have been reduced, the change is not No seems to be happening retroactively. At least one user confirmed that his order still shows the full $900 credit on a 128GB trade.
We also reported exclusively this week that Google’s latest avenue to introduce face unlock for the Pixel 6 series, and possibly even the Pixel 7, involves using your fingerprint. From what we’ve been told, if the camera sufficiently recognizes your face, your Pixel will accept a less secure and therefore much faster fingerprint scan.
However, the question arises whether Google should use a better under-display fingerprint sensor. This new approach isn’t really face unlock in the way most people imagine it if you still have to place your finger on the screen. If anything, this approach is more in the service of the Pixel 6’s below-average fingerprint recognition speed with its under-display sensor compared to other devices, such as the Galaxy S22 series and other flagship Android devices.
The rest of this week’s top stories are as follows:
android 13 |
Applications and updates |
chrome/operating system |
Made by Google |
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