This week, on our weekly firmware news roundup: Huawei introduces Harmony OS: their new operating system, Google releases the final beta version of Android Q, and more!

What's New This Week?

Google

Android Q Beta 6 is here

Huawei

  • Huawei announces Harmony OS: is this Android's replacement?
  • Y9 Prime gets updated to EMUI 9.1 with GPU Turbo 3.0

Xiaomi

  • Android Q open beat is now being pushed to Chinese Mi 9 and Redmi K20 Pro units
  • Android Pie is ready for the Mi Y2, but you may not want to install it just yet

Samsung

  • The latest update for the Galaxy Watch improves Swim Tracking
  • Night Mode for the Galaxy Note 9 is now also available in the US

Google

Android Q

The last beta version of Android Q is here. By looking at how much time is left before the stable version rolls out, this is probably the last major beta update that we're going to see for this version of Android.

As far as the changelog is concerned, most of the improvements and additions seem to be focused on the technical level in order to help developers.

If there's one change that concerns us, the users, then that's the improvements to the gesture navigation system and the ability to change the sensitivity.

We assume that Pixel users are going to be the first to receive this new update. But, other devices shouldn't be that far now either.

At the moment, we've seen the Nokia 8.1 receiving the Android Q beta 5 and the OnePlus 6/6T, 7, and 7 Pro receiving the beta 4. But, that's about it.

We'll let you know if anything else comes up. So, stay tuned!

Huawei

Harmony OS

Huawei recently announced Harmony OS: a new operating system that they are working on. It could be a replacement for Android, but Huawei hasn't mentioned anything like that just yet.

They did, however, mention that they as long as they can, they are willing to stick with Android. But, if for any reason, at any point, something makes them unable to do so, they won't hesitate to switch over to Harmony OS.

Harmony OS can run apps that are based on both Android and Linux while it also works across a wide variety of devices from phones to computers and even cars.

Furthermore, Huawei is going to turn it into an open-source project next year. So, there is a chance that other manufacturers like Xiaomi and Oppo may use it as well.

One solid reason for this to happen is because Harmony is more lightweight than Android. And who can't benefit from a faster OS?

If there's one complaint from us, then that would be the lack of Root support. Huawei says that this is a potential threat to security and privacy which is why they don't want to allow it in their ecosystem.

For now, Harmony OS is only going to be used on some smart-screen products. But, there are also plans for smart speakers, wearables, and more.

No mention has been made about a Harmony OS phone just yet. But, as mentioned above, if it comes down to it, Huawei is not going to hesitate doing something like that.

There have been rumors that the next Mate 30 Lite will come with Harmony OS installed. But, that's all there is to it right now.

Y9 Prime

The latest update for the Huawei Y9 Prime is here and it brings EMUI 9.1 to the table. One of the most notable features that you get from it is GPU Turbo 3.0 which should theoretically boost gaming performance.

Other than that, there is also the fact that it changes the file system format to EROFS. According to Huawei, this should give you a 20% increase in random read performance.

Obviously, there are also a ton of minor (and not so minor) improvements. If you're interested in them, you can learn all about EMUI 9.1 in this page.

That's all for now. We'll let you know if anything else comes up!

Xiaomi

Mi 9 and K20 Pro

Xiaomi started gathering Android Q beta volunteers for the Mi 9 and K20 Pro a while ago and is now pushing an open beta version to them. Also, since this is an open beta, everyone can get a taste of the newest version of Android.

Now, with that being said, do keep in mind that:

  1. This is a beta version
  2. And it's currently only available for Chinese units

First of all, this is a beta; which means that you can expect to encounter numerous issues and bugs. If your phone plays an important part in your daily life, then you can pretty much forget about trying out beta operating systems.

Second of all, Android Q for the above-mentioned devices is currently only available in China. We suppose that it'll soon arrive for global variants as well. But, nobody knows exactly when just yet.

So far, the only thing that we know; according to our sources; is that there are not too many drastic changes around the UI. However, there are quite a few improvements around privacy and security.

Mi Y2

We've got both good news and bad news. The good news is that your Mi Y2 is now getting its slice of Pie. The bad news is that this update seems to be creating a ton of issues.

To be more specific, there have been reports of video calling not working, touch screen issues, and more. So, you may want to postpone updating till those new issues have been fixed.

And that's a shame cause this update does bring other fixes and improvements to the table. Namely:

  • There's a new app lock
  • The issue where you couldn't delete contacts from SIM cards has been fixed
  • You can now use the fingerprint scanner after the face unlock
  • Media volume can now be restored after receiving a notification
  • Improved Mi Cloud optimization
  • And more

It weighs 1.4 gigs and brings a ton of fixes. However, the new ones that it introduces as well make it a no-go. Our advice is to just wait until the new issues have been fixed and, hopefully, no more bugs will be introduced after that.

Samsung

Galaxy Watch

A new update is being pushed to the Galaxy Watch in the United States while more regions are expected to join in soon. That is if they haven't already.

It weighs 15.36 megabytes and it improves swim tracking along with the overall system stability. Other than that, it also disables automatic alarm syncing with your smartphone.

Note 9

Night Mode for the Galaxy Note 9 has been available since June. However, back then, it had only arrived for German units.

Now, the same feature is being delivered to the US as well! To be more specific, only in Verizon units. However, we assume that the other carriers will join in soon enough.

Apart from Night Mode, this update also brings July's security patch with it. We don't have any information on size. But, seeing how it only brings one feature along with a security patch, it shouldn't be anything to worry about.

Feel like we forgot to mention something important? Got anything wrong? Then let us and everyone else know about it in the comments section down below!

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SOURCES: SAM MOBILE, GSM ARENA 1, 2, 3, MI COMMUNITY, PHONE ARENA, ANDROID DEVELOPERS

What's my model number?

There are several ways to locate your model number:

Option 1
On your device, go to Settings, then "About device" and scroll down to "Model number"
Option 2
Often times you can view the model number inside the device, by removing the battery
Option 3
Using Samsung's model/serial number location tool

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