About Jay Bonggolto
Jay has spent the past several years yammering on about the crazy world of Android for various tech outlets. He has reviewed almost every type of phone, from entry-level models to rugged phones. When he's not writing, he goes for a long-distance trip with his camera and phones.
A Galaxy Z Flip 5 case has been leaked, backing up what we've previously heard
The cover screen size is likely to be a major competitive advantage for foldable flip phones in the future, with the Oppo Find N2 Flip laying the groundwork. Supersized cover displays will be a handy improvement given that they're the ones users see most of the time when their phone is closed. A larger cover display allows users to get more done with their phone without having to open it. We've previously heard that Samsung's next clamshell foldable may be leaning towards a larger cover screen with a folder shape, and a new leak backs up that claim.
Your 'Activity' tab is also moving to a new location
Google has made a number of improvements to the user experience of the Home app since its redesign was released for public preview last year, including changes to its look and feel as well as a slew of new features. One of the long-awaited tweaks that has yet to appear on the app is a redesigned lighting control, but that has changed with a new Google Home update.
It will reportedly ship with a 50MP camera, matching the regular S23
The Fan Edition phones are a more affordable version of Samsung's greatest phones, and they typically have decent cameras, although they are not traditionally on par with their flagship counterparts. The Galaxy S20 FE and S21 FE, for example, shared the same 12MP main sensor, whereas their more expensive siblings had a 64MP primary camera. If Samsung does plan to continue the Fan Edition line with a Galaxy S23 FE, it is likely that the new model will have an upgraded camera similar to the vanilla Galaxy S23 and S23+, as per a new rumor.
The changes may be hard to notice on your smart display, though
Google's mysterious new operating system, Fuchsia, is becoming more widespread each day without our knowledge. The company has been quietly developing the OS from the ground up as a non-Linux-based alternative to Android, with the software gradually spreading to Google's first-party smart displays since 2021. It first made its way to the first-generation Nest Hub enrolled in Google’s Preview Program, and then on the Nest Hub Max. As expected, Google is now pushing out the silent upgrade to Fuchsia on the Nest Hub (2nd Gen), meaning the secretive project is about to become the universal OS for the search giant's smart displays.
Another step toward completing the rollout across Google's apps
While Google has increased its efforts to roll out the Material You aesthetic to a number of its very own apps including Gmail, Maps, and Photos, a number of others like the Google News app on smartphones have yet to receive the treatment. But after all this time, the company is now finally making due for News users as they get a new look that's been in the works for about a year, maybe even more.
The free channels were announced earlier this month
Google stepped up efforts to bring its fight to many of the best streaming platforms by unveiling more than 800 free channels for Google TV earlier this month. The expansion has made the smart TV operating system a great option if you're looking for a way to watch your favorite shows and movies without having to pay for a subscription. The free channels are now making their way to a wider set of users in the United States.
End-to-end encryption will be added eventually
Google recently added a long-requested feature to its Authenticator app: the ability to back up 2FA codes to the cloud. The new feature syncs 2FA tokens across your devices via your Google account, addressing a major inconvenience in the app's previous implementation of two-factor authentication. However, shortly after the rollout, a team of security researchers warned against enabling cloud backup in the app, saying it's not end-to-end encrypted. According to a product manager at Google, this will be fixed down the line.
The cases are likely to have similar colors as the phone itself
Historically, Google has unveiled its top-of-the-line Pixel smartphones in October each year, and we expect this to continue in 2023. Before autumn rolls around, though, we have another phone launch to get through. Leaks about the Google Pixel 7a have kept our eyes glued to the search giant's next budget offering, with one reliable leaker showing off official-looking renders of the next-generation device and a few phone cases to boot.
Never download files or click on links in these emails
Phishing emails impersonating well-known brands and services are a common tactic used by cybercriminals to deceive unsuspecting individuals and gain access to sensitive information. It's always important to remain vigilant and cautious when receiving unsolicited emails, even if they appear to be from a legitimate source, such as the one recently detected by YouTube. The video-sharing platform has cautioned users about fraudulent emails that attempt to mimic YouTube channels.
The standalone dock could be available to purchase for $129
Although Google exited the tablet market in 2019, the company surprised everyone at last year's I/O event, where it provided a glimpse of the Pixel Tablet. Not only did the device mark Google's exciting return to a space it had long abandoned, but it also promised a secret weapon that could give many of the best Android tablets a run for their money by combining a tablet and smart home hub in one device. Yes, the Pixel Tablet aims to double as a Nest Hub-like smart display when docked to a speaker device. Last month, we saw a bunch of renders of what appeared to be the Pixel Tablet's charging dock, and a new Amazon listing seems to reveal the accessory's price and availability date.
The new Xiaomi TV Box S also features a more powerful CPU and Bluetooth 5.2
The streaming device market is slowly filling up with a few great options for 4K streaming media players, including the Chromecast with Google TV 4K and Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K. Walmart's own challenger was certified on the Google Play Console a few days ago: a new 4K Onn Google TV streamer that costs only $20, significantly undercutting the competition. It appears Walmart is not the only one introducing a new Google TV box, as Xiaomi teases its own 4K-capable set-top box with a handful of software and hardware upgrades.
The list view is getting a new indicator
If you're one of those people who take forever to respond to messages, turning on read receipts for every messaging platform you use is always a good idea, if only to be transparent with your friends or colleagues. Many of the top messaging apps out there like Signal and Facebook Messenger come packed with this feature so that you know when your messages have been read by your contacts and vice versa. Google Messages has had this ability since the inception of RCS, but it just got new read receipt icons at the bottom of each bubble in a chat. Now, the app is bringing those delivery status indicators to the conversation list, so you won't have to open a message to know if it's been seen or not.
The speed boost is due to the browser prioritizing speed over binary size
Google Chrome's recent updates have made the browser less of a resource hog than it was previously, thanks to Google's extensive under-the-hood fine-tuning to reduce the browser's appetite for CPU, memory, and battery resources. The latest improvements to Chrome take things a step further by making the browser 30% faster than ever, but only on high-end devices.
It'll save you a few taps when looking for a destination folder
Big changes arrived for Google Drive in recent months, the most notable of which was an updated UI meant to match Google's Material Design 3 language. The revamp was strikingly similar to Gmail’s new look, with a simplified design and less clutter. The search giant is now following that and releasing yet another facelift to the productivity app, though this time it only involves a minor aspect of the service: the location picker.
Questions remain about just how this Galaxy Z Tab would fold
Tablets are meant to give us a larger display for certain tasks that may be less ideal on smartphones, so it stands to reason that extending this screen size in creative ways is the logical next step. At CES 2023, we were teased with concept tablets that bend and slide, like Samsung Display's Flex Hybrid. But like flying cars, folding tablets have perpetually been several years away from reaching consumers. A new rumor, however, suggests that a Samsung folding tablet could materialize into a real product later this year.
Google Assistant games will be phased out in June
Google made some of the leading Assistant smart displays more fun with the launch of games in 2020, including classic titles such as Who Wants To Be A Millionaire, Voice Attorney, and Magic Word. More importantly, the move demonstrated Assistant's ability to sustain an ongoing conversation on the Nest Hub and Nest Hub Max. However, in typical Google fashion, these games have now been relegated to the Google graveyard.
The latest tweak lets you actually adjust your curtains, heaters, and more
Google finally fixed the Home app experience late last year with a new design for the smart home platform that promised fewer taps to control your IoT devices, alongside deeper customization options. The goal was to make the app a one-stop shop for configuring your smart home devices. However, there was still limited support for other smart tech in your home, including curtains and window shutters, until now. This appears to be changing, as evidenced by a few redesigned interfaces within the Home app.
Stream your Reolink or Wyze cameras to the app
While many of the best home security cameras work with Google Assistant, streaming live feeds to the Nest Hub or your TV via a Chromecast device, not all of them are compatible with the Google Home app. This means you're unable to view their live camera feeds from Google's smart home platform, forcing you to open proprietary apps from third-party vendors that built them. Until now, only Google’s newer Nest cameras and Arlo cameras have been available for streaming directly through the app, but Google appears to be expanding support to other models, including Wyze and Reolink.
The chatbot can rephrase your text or browse the web for you
With the AI arms race heating up, it's no surprise that tech behemoths like Microsoft are refocusing their efforts on incorporating AI into all of their products. In February, Microsoft integrated Bing AI smarts into the Bing Mobile app and Skype, aiming to be the first tech titan to bring massive language models to the mainstream. To that end, the Bing chatbot is now being integrated into another Microsoft product, SwiftKey Beta.
It also ensures that your data does not remain on remote servers once deleted
Knowing that nearly every app on our devices collects massive amounts of data about us can be unsettling. Thankfully, Google listened to user requests by rolling out the Data Safety section in the Play Store last year, showing what kind of data an Android app is accessing and whether it's shared with third parties. However, wiping our entire digital footprint from an app has not been a straightforward task. Google is now putting forth a simple way to delete our accounts from within an app and make sure our data is gone forever.