Taking a look back at seven days of news and headlines from around the Android world, this week’s Android Circuit includes a review of the Galaxy Z Flip 4, the Samsung Galaxy Store’s gaming boost, the OnePlus 10T 5G coming to the sale, nothing to slow down the Android 13 update, Google Play Games extends the PC beta, YouTube Music gets a much-needed update, and compares the security of Apple and Android.
Android Circuit is here to remind you of some of the many things that have happened around Android in the last week (and you can find Apple’s weekly news roundup here).
Flip 4 phone review
The Z Flip 4, Samsung’s foldable smartphone, unlike the Z Fold, which is more like a folding tablet, picks up a detailed review from Adnan Farooqui this week. They point out that the Flip 4 is very much a Flip 3 with lots of little improvements that add up to a great new phone. Here are his thoughts on the hinge as a good example:
“The hinge is nice and sturdy. Opening and closing the phone is a joy. Flex mode lets you open the screen to various angles to take photos, record videos, and more. It’s possible to unfold with one hand even though it feels like a bit awkward. There is still a gap between the two halves of the Galaxy Z Flip 4 and it will catch any loose items you may have in your pocket or bag. They could be a hazard to the foldable screen, but Samsung has also improved the durability of the foldable panel” .
Samsung Games Boost for Galaxy Store
Samsung is running two major game promotions this weekend, and additional content has been announced in both Genshin Impact and Pokémon GO. The problem is that these offers are in the Galaxy Store version, not the Google Play version, and you may need to save the game data in the cloud, uninstall the latest version and install the first:
“…until Sunday 8/28, players who download Genshin Impact 3.0 from the Galaxy Store and get the Prelude to Wisdom update can explore new characters from the nation of Sumeru. This week, in-game purchases will get 10% discount after each payment, up to 10 purchases by Genshin Impact players.
On Saturday, August 27, 2022, from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. local time, Trainers from around the world are invited to join in this special global event, the largest of its kind in Pokémon GO history. For the first time in Pokémon GO, players will be able to encounter Shiny Unown N and Unown X, if they’re lucky!”
(Samsung via XDA Developers).
Buy your OnePlus 10T 5G now
Following the announcement in early August, the OnePlus 10T 5G ‘built for performance above all else’ (reviewed here on Forbes) is now on sale in the UK via Amazon or the OnePlus homepage. Unlike the OnePlus 10 Pro, which leaned towards the camera, the 10T 5G focuses on the promise of power:
“OnePlus 10T 5G is powered by Qualcomm’s latest chipset, the Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1, which delivers 10% faster performance with 30% lower power consumption. This coupled with industry-leading cooling technology the industry and up to 16GB of RAM, makes the device the ultimate performance flagship.In addition, the device comes with 2 years of Android version updates and 3 years of security updates, which means it stays quickly throughout its useful life”.
Nothing prepares the moves to Android 13
Released in a flurry of optimistic statements about changing what it means to be a smartphone. Nothing Tech co-founder Carl Pei has indicated the arrival of the recently released Android 13 on the smartphone. And there are at least four months to go, with availability confirmed for the first half of 2023.
“…those hoping for a quick release of Android 13 on Nothing Phone 1 will be disappointed that they will have to wait until possibly the middle of next year. This is interesting, considering how little Nothing OS varies from the original Android. “
Google Play Games opens Beta for more PC gamers
Previously limited to the US, Google has opened up the Google Play Games beta program that runs on your PC to a wider audience. Players from Australia, Korea, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Thailand can join:
“Of course, savvy PC users have been able to run Android apps through emulators like Nox or BlueStacks, but running them in parallel with your OS can be incredibly taxing on your system resources, although the minimum specs to run Google Play Games are notably low. Google has stated that the minimum specs to run Google Play Games on a PC will allow almost any machine made in the last five years to run its catalog with ease.”
YouTube Music Library Update
Google’s use of YouTube as the main music player on Android – a solution that’s still a shadow compared to Google’s music player of yesteryear – is getting a reworked ‘Library’ tab to improve navigation. A few more iterations and we’ll get the full functionality of the music player back:
We’re seeing this redesign of the YouTube music library widely implemented today on Android phones and now on tablets, but not on iOS. Close the app from the Recents menu for this review to load. full listening history” is still available in the account/avatar menu. This is the biggest update to the app’s UI in a long time, as the playlist and album page redesigns are still only on Android tablets”.
(9 to 5 Google).
With all the talk about smartphone security in recent weeks, and a notable case study from Apple last week, a recent survey of user perceptions highlights the iPhone’s perceived strength compared to Android. Of course, this is not a scientific study, it just takes the mood of the room… but it is an Android room in which the manufacturers will have to express themselves more:
“Based on users of each type of smartphone, the iPhone 13 Pro Max felt noticeably more secure than the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra. In fact, iPhone 13 users were more than twice as likely to say theirs was the phone. safest smartest they’d ever had. Smartphones weren’t the only pieces of technology where Apple users reported an increased sense of security. Users of Apple iCloud Keychain (the company’s password storage app) were seven percentage points more likely than users of Google Password Manager to feel “extremely” secure about their password storage method.”
(Beyond Identity via BGR).
Android Circuit brings together news from the Android world every weekend here at Forbes. Don’t forget to follow me so you don’t miss any future coverage, and of course, check out the sister column on Apple Loop! Last week’s Android Circuit can be found here, and if you have news and links you’d like to see featured on Android Circuit, get in touch!