About Rajesh Pandey
Rajesh started following the latest happenings in the world of Android around the release of the Nexus One and Samsung Galaxy S. After flashing custom ROMs and kernels on his beloved Galaxy S, he started writing about Android for a living. He uses the latest flagship Samsung phone as his daily driver, although he's a Pixel fanboy at heart. And yes, he carries an iPhone as a secondary device. Rajesh has been writing for Android Police since 2021, covering news, how-tos, and features. Based in India, he has previously written for AndroidBeat, Times of India, iPhoneHacks, MySmartPrice, and other tech blogs. He also writes for AP's sister site MakeUseOf. When not working, you will find him mindlessly scrolling through Twitter, watching a movie, or going on long road trips. You can reach out to him on Twitter or drop a mail at email@example.com.
Here’s everything you want to know about Google’s upcoming tablet
Alongside the Pixel Fold, Google is rumored to announce the Pixel Tablet and the Pixel 7a at I/O 2023 later this week. The Pixel Fold and Pixel 7a have been extensively detailed in leaks, revealing their specifications and rumored pricing. On its part, Google has also officially showcased its first folding Pixel. The Pixel-branded tablet was the only exception so far whose specs were unclear, but even that's changing now as an Amazon Japan listing that prematurely went live has detailed everything about the device.
You still need to sign up for Bard’s waitlist
Following all the AI announcements from Microsoft and OpenAI at the beginning of the year, Google joined the party with Bard in early February. The AI-powered chatbot was then made available for beta testing in selected countries through a waitlist in March 2023. However, in typical Google fashion, Workspace account holders were not invited to the party, with Bard being limited to regular Gmail users. That's changing now, as Google has opened up Bard's waitlist for Workspace accounts.
Starting with Android 14 and One UI 6.0, background services won’t be randomly killed on Samsung phones
One of Android's biggest annoyances is how different devices handle background services. While Google has a set of guidelines on how background processes should be handled, Android manufacturers tweak their behavior to improve their devices' battery efficiency. Mostly, this breaks the app's intended behavior and offers a poor user experience. At I/O 2022, the company revealed its efforts to fix Android's background app issues. We saw the fruit of those labor with Android 14, which brings several changes for foreground services. Going a step further, Google is announcing a deeper partnership with Samsung to deliver a more consistent experience.
It's raining Pixel 7a leaks
The Google Pixel 7a is rumored to launch alongside the Pixel Tablet and the Pixel Fold at Google I/O 2023 in a few days. However, almost everything about the phone has leaked in all its glory, including hands-on images, marketing materials, and more. On its part, Google has only confirmed a new Pixel phone launch for May 11 in India. Now, adding insult to injury, teardown and first impression videos of Google's upcoming mid-ranger have also popped up online ahead of its debut.
This will make WhatsApp easier to use on Android phones with big displays
WhatsApp is now routinely adding new features to its platform. While this allows it to top our list of the best texting apps for Android, its UI leaves a lot to be desired. This is despite WhatsApp being among the first Android apps to adopt Material Design in 2015. Since then, though, the app's interface has only received minor UI improvements. This could soon change as WhatsApp has rolled out a bottom navigation bar to select beta testers of its app.
Nothing has posted the first teaser of the “premium” Phone 2
Carl Pei-owned Nothing created quite a hype for its first smartphone in 2022, the Nothing Phone 1. This was despite the phone's limited availability in selected European and Indian markets and the device itself being average at best due to its modest internals. Sure, its transparent design made it stand out from the best mid-range Android phones, but the software experience was a letdown. For 2023, the company has confirmed the Nothing Phone 2 will see a wider launch and use a premium Qualcomm chip. With the phone rumored to debut soon, Nothing has begun creating hype around it.
Chipolo, eufy, and Pebblebee trackers should be supported
Google has seemingly been working on its own version of Apple's Find My Network since at least 2021. Over two years later, all signs point to the impending launch of the network, which should make finding your lost or stolen Android phone easier. The "Finder network" should also benefit the rumored Nest tile tracker, which will seemingly be Google's alternative to Apple AirTags. But it won't be the only tracking tag to take advantage of the network, as many existing third-party Bluetooth trackers will reportedly benefit from it as well.
Detailed specs of the Motorola Razr 40 Ultra have leaked
Despite the limited success of its Razr foldables, Motorola has not given up on the lineup. This year, rumors suggest the company will expand the Razr 2023 series with two new additions with a slight name tweak, the Razr 40 and the Razr 40 Ultra. Renders of the latter have already leaked, showcasing its massive cover display. Motorola is also teasing the impending launch of the foldables. And now, a new leak has detailed the internal specs of the Razr 40 Ultra.
Rolling out as a server-side update
Since the release of Material You with Android 12, Google has slowly but steadily updated its suite of apps to adapt to its new design language. The transition has been slow, with apps like Google News getting their Material You makeover only recently. And then there's Files by Google, which picked up Google's new design language in 2021, though it always felt like there was room for improvement. That's happening now, as Files by Google is getting more Material Design 3 love, including a revamped homescreen.
A much-needed Google TV update will make your TV faster, free up more storage space
Google TV gave Android TV the facelift it desperately needed, but the revamp did not address many underlying issues plaguing the platform. This includes storage issues, slow performance, and long wake-up times. Google is now rolling out an update to Google TV to fix many of these problems. So, if you have a Google TV-powered television or a streaming device like the Chromecast, your experience is about to get a lot better.
The feature should go live soon
WhatsApp is among the best communication apps for Android. It is used by over a billion people daily to send billions of messages. That includes sharing cat and dog videos, memes, funny video clips, and GIFs with friends or family. While WhatsApp has supported GIF sharing for a long time, there's a weird quirk: you need to tap on the GIF to start its playback. This restriction makes sense for videos, but GIFs lose their relevance in a conversation if they do not animate automatically. Thankfully, this could soon change in the future.
Google is working on bringing the At a Glance widget to its smartwatch
Google's At a Glance widget is one of the best features of the Pixel Launcher. On newer Pixel phones, it can automatically surface relevant and contextual information depending on your location and time of the day, like when you should leave for the airport, earthquake alerts, and more. Even better, Google keeps improving the widget with timely new additions. The company is now reportedly working on bringing At a Glance to the Pixel Watch as a watch face complication powered by Google Assistant.
Samsung’s Expert RAW Astrophotography mode now works on two more premium Galaxy phones
The stock Samsung Camera app is very powerful, but you need to use Expert RAW to extract the maximum performance from the cameras of the best Samsung phones. It is like Pro mode on steroids, allowing you to capture RAW photos with multi-frame HDR. Samsung even added an Astrophotography mode to the app in October 2022. So far, this new feature was limited to the Galaxy S22 and S23 series. The Korean giant is now expanding the Astrophotography mode's availability to the Galaxy Z Fold 4 and Galaxy S21, its 2021 flagship smartphone lineup.
The inner display opens up in a late reveal
The Google Pixel Fold, the company's first foldable, is expected to debut at Google I/O on May 10th. As the event's date is fast approaching, more leaks and rumors about the Fold keep surfacing online. In the last few days, the Pixel Fold was spotted in a quick hands-on video, with another leak detailing almost everything about it. And now, high-resolution press images of Google's first foldable have made their way to the internet, giving us our best look at its design and the big cover display.
The Zenfone 9 gets its first crack at the Android 13 ROM
Along with LineageOS, Paranoid Android is among the last few popular AOSP-based ROMs still being actively developed. While LineageOS is known for its feature set, Paranoid Android is famous for delivering a smooth and stable experience. The latter started its Android 13 journey in October 2022 with stable Topaz builds beginning to drop this past February albeit only for selected devices. Since then, the dev team has slowly expanded its list of supported devices with timely new additions. In the last couple of weeks, the Paranoid Android Topaz-supported device roster has grown quite a bit with the addition of several Poco and Xiaomi phones.
The update is also available for the S21, S22, S23, and more
Samsung has consistently beaten Google in rolling out the latest monthly security patch for its devices. And unlike the big G, the company typically follows a set pattern, with the update usually going live at the beginning of the month or sometimes even a day or two before that. In Europe, the Galaxy S23 series was the first phone in Samsung's lineup to get the April 2023 patch. In the US, though, the Korean giant is commencing the April security patch's rollout with its 2022 foldables: the Galaxy Z Fold 4 and Flip 4.
A local Chat migration tool has been spotted in beta testing
WhatsApp allows you to back up your chat history to Google Drive, allowing you to seamlessly transfer it to another Android phone when required. The problem is that this is the only way to migrate your WhatsApp conversations between Android phones. You cannot transfer WhatsApp chat history between our favorite Android devices without a Google Drive backup. The Meta-owned messaging platform was spotted flirting with a cloud-less chat transfer option earlier this year, though. This tool has now popped up in testing for some lucky beta testers.
This could be the first time Google offers its Pixel lineup in four colors
The Google Pixel 7a is rumored to debut in a couple of weeks from now at Google I/O 2023. As that date is fast approaching, leaks and rumors about the upcoming mid-range Pixel keep surfacing online. A detailed Pixel 7a dump recently revealed almost everything about the phone, including its battery capacity, RAM type, and more. So far, all leaked renders have showcased the Pixel 7a in three colors. A new high-resolution render has now surfaced online, showing the phone in a bold coral color.
The company is working on the Razr 40 Ultra and Razr 40, not the Razr Lite
Motorola has not had much success with its Razr foldable lineup. For a while, it seemed like the company had given up on the market after the failure of the Razr 5G. But then, in August 2022, the company announced the Razr 2022 in China, which made its European debut soon after. For 2023, Motorola is reportedly looking to expand its foldable lineup with two new models. So far, rumors have suggested the cheaper model in the series would be known as the Razr Lite. A new leak, however, suggests that won't be the case.
Samsung's memory chip sales dropped hard when they usually bring in most of its profits
Samsung is the world's biggest smartphone manufacturer. It is also the largest supplier of AMOLED panels for smartphones. Other than this, the company is among the world's largest memory chip suppliers. Despite its varied business, Samsung expected a significant hit to its operating profits in Q1 2023 due to an economic downturn and lower consumer spending. True to its forecast, the company has published its earnings for the first quarter of the year, where it has reported a massive 95% decline in profits.