One UI is one of the most interesting Android skins around
Samsung One UI is a custom Android skin for Samsung smartphones and tablets. It is one of the most popular software skins, primarily due to the Korean tech giant being the second-best-selling smartphone brand in the world. If you own a midrange or flagship Samsung device like the recently released Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra, you've likely used One UI. But what is it exactly, and how does it differ from stock Android? This article takes a closer look at One UI, how it has evolved, and why it'll be sticking around for a long time.
More old hands could join the new team
At Android Police, we talk a lot about the best phones to get and the software features we want out of them. We don't often talk a lot about the people behind the details and decisions behind them, though we have talked around them thanks to news of layoffs in the past season. Okay, we do talk a lot about big personalities like Carl Pei of OnePlus and Nothing fame, but as he found out, the specific people he hires do ultimately matter to the product — we're learning that included the Nothing Phone 1 and will include the Nothing Phone 2.
Upgraded your Pixel phone to Android 13 and wondering what to do next? We've got you.
Android 13 is the latest and greatest iteration of everyone's favorite mobile OS, and it's on Google Pixel phones right now and should roll out soon to devices from Samsung and others. Compared to the major overhaul that was Android 12, the newest Android version is a relatively light release as far as new features go. Still, it features many small updates and tweaks to existing functionality. Here are eight tips and tricks for navigating the latest Android release on your Pixel.
The latest Android 13 QPR Beta has some goodies hidden underneath the surface
While we’re all eagerly awaiting the Android 14 developer preview, which should hopefully launch soon, Google is still busy with its extended Android 13 beta program to prepare the Android 13 Quarterly Platform Release 2 (QPR2), or the March Feature Drop. The latest release to come to us is the Android 13 QPR2 Beta 3, which is mostly concerned with fixing bugs, but it also has a few novelties hidden in the code. Here’s all we learned about Beta 3.
As usual, the most interesting features are still hidden behind flags
Google only just released Android 13’s first Feature Drop, but the company is already hard at work preparing the next update, which is supposed to come out in March 2023. Just like that, the first beta for this second Quarterly Platform Release (QPR) came out on December 12, 2022. While Google hasn’t spilled too many beans on what’s going to be new, avid experts took a look at what’s happening behind the scenes and which new features are going to be released as part of it.
Fewer exploding boats, but you do get a lovely swing!
Maybe we laid "The Dark Knight" on a little too heavy, but let us have our fun — we're sure you'll be having fun right along with us as the Android Police podcast covers the launch of Android 13. Plus, we've got Jerry Hildenbrand from Android Central to espouse terrific kernels, too.
It's a shocking point of no return
With Android 13 out of Google's hands and onto developers who are modifying the operating system for their own purposes, it's going to be a tricky road ahead. There are a number of new features the version bump brings that need to be tested, but before they can do that, they'll need to make sure of one crucial thing and that's to install Android 13 on both system partitions of their Pixel device. One developer has found out what happens when things go awry without that second updated partition.
One name across two years and three versions, with countless benefits and an impactful legacy
I’m clearly a big fan of Android, but even I can admit that the platform took a while to hit its stride. It wasn’t until Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich that Android arguably started to feel feature-complete in the face of its (dwindling) competitors. But it was the various Android 4.X Jelly Bean versions that truly made Android start to feel like home for me. It was the era of Holo’s UI refinement and declining jank, the rise of Play Services, and the golden age of Android ROMs. And ten years ago today, Android 4.1 Jelly Bean descended on the world.
Google’s latest Android release lets multilingual users mix and match as they need
Google is a pioneer when it comes to accommodating multilingual users around the globe. Gboard and Google Assistant support seamlessly switching between languages mid-sentence, allowing you to express yourself as you see fit (granted, Google still has its issues with bilingual voice input last time I checked).
The most personal design you could imagine, without lifting a finger
Material You is Google's new unified design language it first introduced with Android 12. In contrast to rigid design paradigms of the past, it's a design that extracts its colors from the part of your phone that you have the most control over and that is likely very individual to you: the wallpaper. Thus, it's likely the most personalized design language out there, so there are a lot of technical details to dive into.
"Benchmark cheating" is a symptom of a different problem that is only going to get worse with time
In the last month alone, both Samsung and Xiaomi have been caught adjusting the performance of their phones on a per-app basis in a way that some experts see as “benchmark manipulation.” On the one hand, smartphones are getting faster and running hotter every passing year, and something has to be done to fight that. On the other, treating certain apps differently isn’t always transparent to the user or “fair” when considering benchmarks. It’s a nuanced problem with no easy solutions, though there are a few ways it can be better — particularly if Google can address the issue more directly in Android itself.
Good luck getting around without a Google account
Using an Android phone without a Google account isn't a great experience. Sure, you can make calls, take selfies, record videos, and make calls, but you'll need to sign in with a Google ID to use preinstalled apps or download anything from the Play Store. If you don't have an account, it's easy to create and set up a new one on Android.