About Chethan Rao
Chethan Rao is a news writer at Android Police, primarily focusing on weekend coverage. He has covered tech for over a decade and has a soft spot for the latest Android hardware. CR usually scours the internet for live cricket streams or watches NBA highlights in his free time. He also enjoys the occasional hour or two of console/mobile gaming.
Google TV’s Apps only mode is getting a visual refresh
An update to the Android TV launcher enables the changes
Google TV has picked up a few updates in the recent past, including some not-so-exciting ones. However, it continues to power some of the best streaming devices on the market, especially if you’re invested in Google’s smart home ecosystem. Back in 2020, the company started offering an apps-only interface, which puts Google TV applications front and center, hiding away Assistant and personalized recommendations. Over this past week, one of our readers witnessed a new visual upgrade to this interface, with larger icons and a new grid format for apps while scrolling down from the banner.
Fairphone's repair-friendly over-ear ANC headphones have leaked in detailed renders
These headphones could utilize the same recycled materials as the Fairphone 4
Fairphone is rated among the most user-friendly smartphone companies in the world, with the manufacturer's Fairphone 2 outliving itself and receiving more security updates than Samsung or Google flagships. Not to mention the company's Fairphone 4, which launched back in 2021 and continues to be a favorite for those who prefer robust repair support. Last month, leaks pointed to the imminent launch of the Fairbuds XL, Fairphone's unannounced over-the-ear headphones. We're now being treated to renders of these ANC headphones, outfitted in green and black.
The HTC midranger no one asked for poses for the camera in elaborate leak
What year is this?
HTC's glory days of Android smartphones may be well behind it, with other manufacturers stepping up to fill the void. Nevertheless, the Taiwanese manufacturer still occasionally churns out new phones, albeit at a glacially slow pace. The Desire 22 Pro arrived last year and failed to make an impact, despite being packaged with marketing buzzwords like the "first metaverse smartphone." Just a month ahead of that model's first anniversary, HTC teased the launch of yet another metaverse-focused phone. A set of leaked images now offers a closer look at this upcoming mid-tier device — reportedly named the HTC U23 Pro 5G — along with a smattering of details on the phone's hardware specs.
Google Search may soon get a big AI makeover
Google is likely to showcase conversational AI 'Magi' at I/O next week
The emergence of AI chatbots like OpenAI's ChatGPT has caused a considerable ripple in tech and its neighboring sectors. While Microsoft appears to be in the driver's seat with hefty investments in ChatGPT, and by consequence, its Bing-powered chatbot, Google is making its own moves to garner an advantage in this highly competitive sector with Bard. Just days before Google I/O 2023, a new report is providing inside info on the company's plans for the future of Google Search — a revamped list of search results filled with social media posts, short-video content, and engaging AI-based conversations.
WhatsApp could soon let you report spam and inappropriate messages in group chats
Group admins are getting new tools to review content
WhatsApp has grown leaps and bounds since its inception over a decade ago. While there were a few stumbles along the way, specifically with regard to privacy, the fact remains that WhatsApp is one of the most frequently used encrypted messaging apps out there. Groups are an integral part of the WhatsApp experience, allowing participants to share texts and media with each other. Admins play the role of keeping things in order in addition to moderating content, and the task is infinitely harder when the size of the group exceeds 100 or more participants. An upcoming WhatsApp feature is looking to remedy this by allowing group members to flag a message or media, which would then be passed on to the admin for review.
WhatsApp will soon let you silence calls from all strangers
How did this feature not exist already?
As one of the world's most widely used messaging apps, WhatsApp has its ups and downs. Using the app to keep in touch with our loved ones regardless of distance is one of the benefits. But the barrage of telemarketing or spam calls has been an ugly side effect of the app's popularity. With millions using WhatsApp daily, one would imagine a feature to silence unknown callers would be built in. But that's currently not the case. Fortunately, the folks at WhatsApp are working on a way to silence all unknown callers with a simple toggle within the settings.
Google Chat will let you quote messages, making channels even more cluttered
The app already offers in-line threads
Google Chat has seen a big overhaul since it absorbed the beloved Hangouts app. The service enjoys all the conventional chat features, including groups and individual texts. One of the pet peeves of people who use Google Chat is the lack of messaging quoting in replies. This generally wouldn't be considered a major omission since the app already offers in-line threads. But it's always nice to have that extra option in a communications app, and Google will recognize that with a new server-side update to the app rolling out now.
WhatsApp is making missed calls more visible
Apple users have had this interface tweak for ages
WhatsApp is ubiquitous among the top encrypted messaging apps in the world today. While it's behind apps like Telegram in terms of features, the developers are slowly but surely catching up. Elements like GIF autoplay could finally be landing on the Meta-owned chat app, while tablets are on course to receive a much-needed usability upgrade. Both of these inclusions first appeared in the beta channel, though their arrival on the stable version of the app shouldn't be far away. Similarly, we have another minor addition appearing on WhatsApp beta for Android v22.214.171.124, pertaining to how people view missed WhatsApp calls.
The Google Pixel Buds A-Series could steal the Pixel 7a’s Sky Blue color
The hardware of the budget earbuds would remain the same, however
The Google Pixel 7a's arrival is barely a secret at this point. Google India pretty much confirmed the launch for May 11, a day after the phone is rumored to be unveiled at Google I/O 2023. Just a week out from the phone's release — which will reportedly be available in a Sky Blue version — a series of images has revealed the possible release of the Pixel Buds A-Series in that same color to match the Pixel 7a.
Google all set to split ringtone and notification volume sliders with Android 14
The company has been working on separating the currently unified volume controls for a while now
As we track Android 13 QPR3 Beta 3 for signs of what's to come for June's Pixel Feature Drop, we're all already looking forward to what Google has in store for Android 14 this fall. One of the features that's been requested for a while is separate ringtone and notification volume controls: while plenty of Android phones (including Samsung phones) offer them by default, Pixel users have gone without. It looks like Google is going to fix this with Android 14.
Upcoming T-Mobile Tuesday freebie leaked as a salute to the troops
The network's doing its part for Military Appreciation Month
T-Mobile Tuesdays is a fan-favorite rewards program with perks like boosted dining rewards, free season passes to MLB.tv, and as of more recently, Major League Soccer via Apple TV. Some new intelligence is now revealing the carrier's next freebie for its subscribers in time for Military Appreciation Month in May.
See how slick the Galaxy Z Fold 5's rumored hinge may be with these new renders
Maybe we won't need to mind the gap after all
Samsung is expected to unveil two new foldables this year — the Galaxy Z Fold 5 and the Galaxy Z Flip 5. Much of the talk surrounding the two phones has been about the upgraded cover display on the Galaxy Z Flip 5. But that doesn't mean the rumor mill has been quiet about its larger sibling. This month alone, we've learned that the next iteration in the Galaxy Z Fold series will be lighter and thinner than its 2022 version and we've also received some not-so-good news about its rear cameras. We're now coming across a handful of sharp-looking renders of the Galaxy Z Fold 5 ahead of its rumored July reveal.
YouTube Music announces broader rollout of podcasts in the US
Still no word on when podcasts will appear for non-US residents, though
Google's YouTube Music is constantly adding new features to its toolkit in a bid to take on giants like Spotify. One of the biggest additions to the platform in recent times is podcasts, with the head of YouTube's podcasts division, Kai Chuk, confirming the arrival of podcasts on the streaming service back in late February. While podcasts started appearing for some users in the subsequent months, the YouTube Music team is only now announcing a wider rollout of podcasts on the app for customers in the US.
YouTube Music’s new listening stats will let you show off your music tastes publicly
The feature hasn't been formally announced yet
Music streaming services like Spotify and Apple Music currently dominate the segment, but YouTube Music isn't too far behind. The app has seen a handful of exciting additions in the recent past, as real-time lyrics made their way to the platform, while Google also rolled out visual changes to the app's Library tab earlier this month. The app has now secretly gained a new social feature, enabling users to make their listening stats public.
Google gives Sheets, Docs, and Slides their biggest usability upgrade yet
The new tool search can be used to apply formatting and more on the fly
Google Workspace apps like Docs, Sheets, and Slides are great companions to get serious work done. But by now, all three of these services have amassed a plethora of tools scattered across different menus, making some outright impossible to discover some of them. To make the hunt less daunting, Google is doing what it's best at: It's introducing a search tool that helps you find all the hidden functions and features in the three apps.
Your most important WhatsApp chats could gain an extra layer of security
The chat service currently only allows users to lock the full app, not individual chats
WhatsApp for Android is constantly working on new features in its labs, with the app's beta versions giving testers an early glimpse of under-development features. Earlier this month, the Meta-owned platform was revealed to be working on adding a fingerprint-based lock to chats, a much-requested privacy feature on one of the top encrypted messaging apps out there. A new leak now offers additional context on this upcoming addition, which complements the existing ability to require biometric authentication upon app start.
The Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5 might borrow an unexpected iPhone feature
The foldable is rumored to break cover this July alongside the Galaxy Z Fold 5 and Galaxy Watch 6 series
The foldable smartphone business is expected to reach new heights in the US this year, with Samsung's Galaxy Z Fold 5 and Galaxy Z Flip 5 positioned to slot into the list of the best phones of 2023 when they are revealed in a few months. While rumors and leaks have already given us a good idea of what to expect from the two Samsung foldables, more information continues to arrive. This time it's about the Galaxy Z Flip 5, with leaker @Tech_Reve claiming that Samsung will leverage an Apple iPhone 14 Pro-style always-on display (AOD) with the clamshell foldable.
Latest Samsung Internet beta finally gives tablets some real attention
Big-screen tweaks arrive as part of Samsung Internet v21.0 beta
Samsung loves marching to the beat of its own drum, and rather than just push Chrome on all Galaxy users, it cooked up its own solution. Samsung Internet is the default browser on the top Samsung phones, and while there are myriad benefits of using the company's own browser, there are some areas where it still lags behind — like usability on tablets. The company seems to have realized the importance of performance across form factors, and right now Samsung's sharing some changes designed specifically for tablet users as part of the latest beta.
The Galaxy Watch 6's most anticipated feature really might be making a comeback
Samsung could unveil its new range of smartwatches this August
Samsung leads the pack of the best Android smartwatches with its Galaxy Watch 5 and Watch 5 Pro duo refining an already very successful wearable. However, the iconic rotating bezel, which we've seen on the Galaxy Watch lineup for a while now, got the boot with this latest generation. Fortunately, a recent revelation by a tech YouTuber indicated that Samsung might rectify this oversight and restore the rotating bezel for the Galaxy Watch 6. Now a notable source is chiming in with additional support for that idea.
Google Pixel Fold leak video offers our first good look at the foldable in the flesh
The most comprehensive Pixel Fold leak yet
It feels like we've been hearing about the Google Pixel Fold for the better part of forever, but now next month's Google I/O event is expected to finally mark the debut of the search giant’s first-ever foldable — in addition to the Pixel 7a and maybe even a Pixel Tablet. Thanks to a bevy of leaks so far, we’ve gotten a fair idea of what to expect from the foldable, including the design and camera departments. Over the weekend, known leaker Kuba Wojciechowski shared a video that might just be our very first real-life look at the Pixel Fold in action.