This week, on our weekly news roundup: Google takes Huawei's Android license, the Galaxy Watch, Gear S3, and Sport get their One UI update, and more!
What's New This Week?
- Latest update for the Xiaomi Mi 8 brings DC dimming to the table (China only at the moment)
- OnePlus 7 and OnePlus 7 Pro join the Android Q beta
- Zen Mode and screen recorder soon to become available for the OnePlus 5/5T and 6/6T
- OnePlus 3 and 3T officially get their slice of Pie
- The latest update for the S10 series brings some serious improvements on the night mode feature
- Galaxy A70 receives improvements in camera and fingerprint sensor
- New One UI update is here for the Galaxy Watch, Gear S3, and Gear Sport
- Galaxy M10, M20, and M30 soon to get Android Pie
- Huawei banned from using Android - 80 days left for updating/supporting their phones
- Mate 20 Pro "kicked" out from the Android 10 Beta
The latest update for the Mi 8 is available in China and brings DC dimming to the table. We're expecting this to become globally available soon. But, we don't have an estimate at the moment.
In case that you don't know about it, most displays rely on PWM (Pulse Width Modulation) which effectively turns off and on pixels or the backlight at a certain frequency. A lower frequency results in a lower brightness level and a higher frequency at a higher brightness level.
The problem with this technology is that some users may experience eye-strain issues or witness flickering which is rather annoying and tiresome. Not to mention that it can give you a headache - especially if you spend long periods of time looking at your screen.
That's where DC dimming comes in. DC dimming controls the brightness by actually reducing voltage and/or amperage for each individual pixel. That allows you to lower the brightness level without experiencing headaches later on.
However, OLED displays don't play well with DC dimming - particularly if you are working at low brightness levels. That's because low voltage levels can ruin the color accuracy. So, do keep that in mind.
OnePlus 7 And 7 Pro
Good news for OnePlus 7 and 7 Pro owners: your device has now joined the Android Q beta. You can go ahead and give it a try if you wish to do so. You can find the link at the bottom of this article on the sources section.
However, do keep in mind that this is the developer preview - which means that it's most suitable for developers. Right now, Android Q is full of bugs and issues for both of the above mentioned devices. To name a few that are known:
- Ambient Display is not working
- System stability issues
- Cannot send SMS when VoLTE is on
- Navigation gesture is not working
- Recovery mode either
- Some apps may not function as expected when running on this release
- Issue with MTP that doesn't allow you to copy rollback file from PC to Phone
Overall, if you want to actually use your phone, don't install this beta yet. But, if you simply feel like messing around and don't care too much about the phone, sure, go ahead!
And if you're still interested in giving it a try, don't forget that you need to have at least 3 gigabytes of free memory and at least a 30% battery charge. Though, we'd recommend having your phone fully charged. Running out of juice mid-way through can potentially brick your device.
OnePlus 5/5T And 6/6T
OnePlus recently posted that they saw people installing Screen Recorder and Zen Mode manually on older OnePlus devices. Obviously, a few issues came up with that as both of those features were developed only for the 7 and 7 Pro.
It's recommended that you don't use these features until OnePlus fits them for the above-mentioned devices. So, with that being said, you can expect to see them in the open beta build of the 6/6T next week while they are bound to become available for the 5/5T and the stable releases as well.
Till then, you can try manually installing them. But, there are issues with both audio and notifications. So, do keep that in mind.
Android Pie is now officially available for the OnePlus 3/3T and is out on an incremental release. So, it may take a while until it reaches all of you out there.
Apart from the currently latest version of Android, you also get a new skin, last month's security patch, time range customization for DND, Gaming Mode 3.0, Google Duo support, Google Lens, along with minor performance improvements and bug fixes.
Again, this is a staged roll-out. Chances are that you're not going to get the update until a few days go by. And if you already have it, let us know how well it works out for you - or not.
That's all for now. We'll let you know if anything else comes up!
Galaxy S10 Series
The latest update for the Galaxy S10 series kinda went by unnoticeable for most people. However, the improvements prove to be very useful.
First of all, night mode now works with the ultra-wide lens as well. Obviously, the results won't be as good as with the main camera. After all, the ultra-wide lens has a smaller aperture which doesn't let as much light in.
At the end of the day, it's still a welcome addition since you'll be able to capture better low-light shots with better lighting and clarity.
Other than that, the night mode feature has been generally improved. The photos are less grainy and with lower noise levels.
But, do keep in mind that there is a small trade-off for that improvement. In order for the phone to capture better low-lighting shots, the shutter needs to remain open for a longer period of time. And while that results in better shots, it can also introduce blurriness with moving objects or if you simply shake your phone while taking a photo.
If you're interested in how shutter speed works and how to adjust it yourself, you can learn more about it on our photography tips for beginners.
Other than night mode improvements, now you can also use live focus mode with the telephoto lens. That effectively allows you to take pictures with bokeh effects without having to physically move closer to the object which you're trying to capture.
This update is currently available for all of the S10 series in Switzerland and it should soon be ready for the rest of the world already, if it's not already.
Oh, and let us not forget to mention that the latest Android security patch is included here as well.
The latest update for the Samsung Galaxy A70 is here and it brings a few minor improvements to both the camera and the fingerprint scanner. You also get May's security patch which is kind of a big deal.
To be more specific with the improvements, you now have the ability to use beauty filters live - even while recording videos. And as for the fingerprint sensor, Samsung only mentions that the performance has been improved.
We can probably safely assume that this result in faster and more accurate readings. Let us know about your experience with it in the comments section.
Apart from that, Samsung also mentions that there are minor improvements to picture quality and the overall stability of the phone.
The update weighs 376 megabytes. It's currently rolling out on India but it should soon become available in other regions as well.
Galaxy Watch, Gear S3, And Gear Sport
A new One UI update is currently rolling out for the Galaxy Watch, Gear S3, and Sport! Apart from the new user interface, it also brings a couple of new features.
First of all, you get improved tracking for both sleep and workouts. Then you also get high heart-rate alerts, the Daily Activity feature, along with improved workout tracking.
Furthermore, you can now manage background apps and sleeping mode can be turned on or off. Last, but not least, the update is also expected to slightly improve battery life.
Seeing how this is an incremental update and that we don't know which regions will get it first, it will most certainly take a while for it to reach everyone.
Galaxy M10, M20, and M30
According to our sources, Samsung will start rolling out Android Pie for the Galaxy M10, M20, and M30 on the next month in India. More specifically, the 3rd of June.
No mention has been made about other regions. But, we're expecting that the rest of the world will follow up pretty soon.
The USA is most likely the one that will stay behind the most as locked phones with slightly modified OS from the carriers is the standard there.
As for the security patch, there is no mention of it yet. But, we're expecting that it'll be May's security patch. 3 days are usually nowhere near enough for a manufacturer to push the latest security patch.
Yes, we know, we know. You've heard quite a lot about this subject in the last two weeks or so. But, for those of who haven't, here goes nothing.
The US government recently put Huawei on a sort of blacklist of manufacturers that are not allowed to do any business with American companies. This includes Google, Qualcomm, Intel, and more!
This is disastrous for Huawei as it blocks them from working with both their software and hardware suppliers. And seeing how Google is included on the ban list as well, this means that Huawei will no longer have access to Android.
For those of you who already have a Huawei device, you'll get about 80 days of support. After that, who knows?
If you are thinking of getting a Huawei device now, we'd advise you to reconsider as things are looking blurry at best.
The CEO mentioned that they may start creating their own devices from scratch with proprietary software and hardware. You can learn more on this subject on our dedicated article.
Mate 20 Pro
It was quite recently that the Huawei Mate 20 officially joined the Android 10 beta program. However, it seems like Google removed it from the list.
This is most likely due to the fact that Google has suspended the Android license from Huawei. After all, as mentioned above, US companies can no longer work with the Chinese tech giant and there's not much that they can do about it.
The 90-day extension that Huawei got is more about security updates rather than full-fledged ones with new features and stuff. So, it makes sense that the Mate 20 Pro and any other flagship will no longer get access to the Android 10 beta.
Lots of people are hoping that Huawei will be able to strike some sort of deal and keep on working with Google. But, with the US in the way? Tough call.
That's all for now. We'll let you know if anything else comes up. So, stay tuned!
Feel like we got anything wrong? Forgot to mention something important? Then let us and everyone else know about it in the comments section down below!
SOURCES: GSM ARENA 1, 2, 3, SAM MOBILE 1, 2, 3, ONE PLUS FORUMS 1, 2,
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May 20th, 2020