This week, on our weekly firmware news roundup: Sony Xperia 10 II starts receiving the latest version of Android, turns out that Samsung's latest flagship doesn't support seamless updates, and more!
What's New this Week?
- Double-tapping on the back of the phone, aka the "Columbus" feature, may yet make it to Android 12
- Sony Xperia 10 II is now receiving the latest version of Android
- One UI 3.0 rollout continues for the Galaxy S10 series
- Galaxy S20 series is now receiving February's patch while the Galaxy s8 gets January's
- Samsung Galaxy M21, Note 10 Lite, and F41 are now receiving the latest version of Android
- Turns out that the Galaxy S21 does not support seamless updates
- Mi 9T/K20 gets the latest security patch
Android 12 Rumors
The original Android 11 beta offered a feature that allowed you to double tap on the back of the phone to perform a registered action. But, unfortunately, Google had to scrap 'Columbus' when the stable version of Android 11 came out – probably because it wasn't that accurate.
According to our sources, though, Columbus may return on Android 12 for Pixel devices! And that can come in handy if you want a shortcut for taking screenshots, opening an app, or anything else at all that can be assigned to a gesture.
Whether or not this feature makes it to non-Pixel devices is still a mystery that only time will solve. In fact, take all the info we mentioned above with a grain of salt until it goes official.
Xperia 10 II
Great news for Sony Xperia 10 II owners! Your phone is now receiving the latest version of Android and with it, you can expect to get all of the features that it has to offer along with December's security patch!
You can currently find it in South East Asia – but we can safely assume that it'll soon become available for more and more regions.
And when it comes to features, you can expect to get everything that Android 11 brings to the table. We are talking about things like:
- Battery Care
- Chat bubbles
- Improved privacy controls
- One-time permissions
- Better notifications management
- Google's gesture-based navigation system
Galaxy S10 Series
As we mentioned last week, Samsung temporarily pulled the Android 11 rollout for the Galaxy S10 series without officially mentioning the reason why. Probably because of a system-breaking bug, though.
Thankfully, it looks like whatever the issue was, Samsung fixed it and the rollout is now continuing normally.
According to our sources, some users were experiencing issues with overheating, blurry photos, and other issues – which is why the update was paused. But, as per usual, take that info with a grain of salt.
If you had any issues with your Android 11 update, feel free to let us and everyone else know about them in the comments section down below!
Galaxy S20 Series and Galaxy S8
January hasn't even come to an end and Samsung is already pushing February's patch to the Galaxy S20 series! At the moment of writing this article, you can find it in the Nordic Countries, UK, and various regions of Europe including, but not limited to:
- And Netherlands
We don't expect to find any new features or improvements in this update. But if you do notice anything, feel free to let us and everyone else know about it in the comments section down below!
Also, chances are that the update will soon reach even more regions until it's available worldwide. So, keep your eyes peeled.
In other news, the Galaxy S8 rises up from the grave to get January's security patch! And it may not be the latest patch that's currently available – but this is still a welcome addition nonetheless.
We don't expect to see any new features or other major updates now. After all, it's been quite some time since the Galaxy S8 came out. We are just grateful that it's still receiving a monthly security patch every now and then!
Samsung Galaxy M21, Note 10 Lite, and F41
3 new Samsung devices are now receiving Android 11 with One UI 3.0 this week. As the heading above mentions, we are talking about the Galaxy M21, Note 10 Lite, and the rather unpopular mid-ranger, F41!
At the moment of writing this article, both the Galaxy M21 and F41 are getting the update in India while the Note 10 Lite's Android 11 has only been spotted in France. That said, we expect that it won't take too long before these updates roll out to more regions – if they are not already.
Just keep in mind that as per usual, this is an incremental update. It may take a while before all of you get your turn.
As for features, you can expect to get everything that comes with Android 11 and One UI 3.0. We are talking about:
- Google's gesture-based navigation mode (Only works with 3rd party launchers)
- Improved privacy controls
- Improved automatic brightness
- A revamped UI (Notifications, volume bars, etc)
- More AOD and lockscreen options
- Numerous improvements and minor additions to Samsung apps
According to our sources, it's not going to support seamless updates – and that's a bit of a minor inconvenience for when you need to install a major update.
See, normally, most of us can't install an Android system update while using our phone. Instead, we must allow it to reboot into the bootloader mode, wait while the update is being installed, then we wait for the phone to reboot, and if everything goes well, then we should be able to use it normally again. And that's the case with the Samsung Galaxy S21 as well!
While installing a system update, you just can't get out of that process no matter what. Even in a life or death emergency situation, trying to get out of a system update while it's being installed is futile as that will surely brick the phone.
One way to solve that is by using "Seamless updates". As the name implies, you can use seamless updates to keep on using your phone while a system update is being installed.
And this is possible due to the fact that seamless updates are using two different partitions.
One partition is the active/main one while the secondary partition can be used to install the update in the background. When the update is installed, the secondary partition becomes the main partition – and that's how you install a system update without having to reboot an Android phone.
Not to mention that if anything goes wrong, you always have the option of reverting back to the working partition.
The obvious downside to that is that you are sacrificing a few gigabytes of storage to hold another partition. But, with a minimum internal storage of 128 gigabytes, it's a mystery why Samsung does not include this feature on their latest flagship.
Xiaomi isn't the best at regularly delivering updates to their devices. Even upper mid-range to high-end models can end up waiting for months before receiving a minor update – which is the case with the Mi 9T/Redmi K20 now as well! It was just yesterday when we received the latest Android security update on our global variant!
And that's in Greece, so, we can safely assume that the update is already available to most of Europe as well. Just keep in mind that such updates are always incremental – which means that some of you are gonna have to wait a bit longer than others – even if you live in a supported region.
The update comes in at less than 200 megabytes while the changelog doesn't mention anything more than the security patch. Thus, chances are that you won't find any new features or improvements in it.
That's all for now. Feel free to come back next week for more firmware news!
Feel like we forgot to mention an important update? Got anything wrong? Then let us and everyone else know about it in the comments section down below!