The Weekly Roundup
In these posts I'll comment on the most interesting mobile- and smart tech news I've catched during the week. I'll input how I feel about these as well as facts.
Android P Developer Preview Rollout
So you might know that Android P Betas are rolling out to other devices than the Google Pixel lineup. OnePlus, Essential, Sony, Xiaomi, Vivo, Oppo and Nokia all signed up to have their mainstream devices available for the Preview program and the beta released at Google I:O. Only Essential, OnePlus, Sony and Nokia have released the Third beta though with Essential releasing it on the first day and Oneplus a few days later.
I get that this isn't priority 1 for any of the companies but to me it feels like a quick publicity stunt if they don't follow through. I hope that's not the case. Considering that the latest update includes the Android 9.0 final APIs and such I really hope that companies push these updates.
RavPower Fast Wireless Charger
I've had a bad experience with Wireless Charging. I've only had it on my Samsung devices and I've always had some reason not to use it. My Samsung Galaxy s8 couldn't even charge on my Samsung fast wireless charging stand. It was, to be fair made for the Galaxy s7 and s7 edge but I feel like jumping one generation shouldn't make it obsolete. The old Samsung charging pad worked, but it didn't work to well.
But seeing as the Xiaomi Mi Mix 2s comes with Wireless charging and is the first phone made in Ceramic to do so (although there aren't many Ceramic phones to compete with) I decided to give it a try once again. I replaced my bedside usb-C charger with the Fast Wireless Charger with the not so exciting name: RP-PC014 from RavPower.
I purchased the charger from the Swedish store My Trendy Phone [Product Link].
It might not have the sleekest design out there, but it works for the bedside table. Best of all, it charges my Mi Mix 2s without hesitation. I mostly use this overnight though so the old Chromecast power adapter would have to do as companies don't see the need to include one in these boxes. A strange choice if you ask me. The charger is rated for fast wireless charging if you have a power adapter with the correct outputs. This is in no way the same thing as standard Fast Charging though.
I guess you could say that I'm back on team: Pro Wireless Charging!
Google Home: Continued Conversation
Google Assistant on all Google Home devices have received support for the requested feature continued conversation. This basically means that Google Assistant will keep listening for about 8 seconds (with lights blinking and accessibility sounds if you've activated those of course) for your next command.
No more "Ok Google what's the weather like" "Hey Google turn on the coffee and what's on my agenda today", "Hey Google Play Music", "Hej Google, Thank you".
From now on its "Hey google what's the weather like... Turn on the coffee and play some music... thank you". It's so much smoother!
And btw, if you say thank you he or she will respond and stop listening.
I wasn't kidding about the "Hey Google, thank you" one btw. We've done that at times.
Amazon released this feature for Alexa and called it follow-up mode on march 9th 2018.
What do you think of this Google/Amazon race going on? Do you feel like we benefit from this competition?
Android Messenger - PC sms support
If you follow the amount of apps Google has put out for messaging the amount can be confusing. The question is, should you care?
Well it finally happened! Android Messages can finally sync sms as well as chat messages with your computer, in the browser. To use this you need to enter the Android Messages web page and scan the QR code with the Android app on your phone. Remember to allow notifications. This means that it's for that specific PC and browser.
I know a lot of people in the tech community is screaming for an Android equivalent of iMessage. As far as I know only because of the sms/chat interaction. But is it really that big of a deal? iMessage would probably - remember that I say this without experience - not be as big if it came out today. All of my friends use Facebook messenger and I don't think I could persuade them to switch to Android Messenger, Allo or Hangout for that matter.
I get it. iPhone users love iMessage, but is that mostly because most of them have been using it for years or because it's truly superior in every way? We'll see.
Youtube Music - Spotify killer?
Youtube Music was released in Sweden this week! But can it compete with Spotify?
I will be using the music player in the upcoming months to compare it.
First off: Why isn't it Google Home compatible? Google, you can't release a new music service without it being able to play on your voice controlled speaker by voice commands. My Google Home get's all confused about the TV being turned off.
Youtube Music does have a huge headstart on music videos and I can finally listen to the Slipknot - Psychosocial / Justin Beiber - Baby mashup whilst using the screen for other things. Yes, that's a thing.
Is the Spotify head start to large - or is it still possible to compete with giants? I'll get back to you on that.
Bezel-less Displays and the Motorized Camera
The Bezel-less future is here! Sort of.
I see a lot of tech reviewers as well as random comments about the Oppo Find X and the Vivo NEX being unreliable because of the motorized camera parts. I guess a lot of the same people dislike the Notch.
Now wait. I know that motorized and movable parts are prone to damaging and in my opinion only a good warranty guarantee can save this. But let's not forget the incredible achievement these two companies have made. Not only did they beat Apple and Samsung at the Screen-to-body ratio challenge but they also did it in their own way. It's worth remembering that both companies are owned by BBK Electronics, the same company that own OnePlus, and that they obviosly chared some ideas. But at the same time they did it in different ways. Vivo makes the front camera hidden under a small motor as an anly option while Oppo actually made it a part of the design.
And speaking of fragile our phones break if we drop them anyway. camera lenses shatter, back crach and fall off and water gets in. But of course this makes creates another oppertunity for breakage. Oppo says that the phone will detect if it falls and insert the cameras again in 0.5 seconds. lets hope that it's enough.
I'm excited to see where this goes next. The Oppo Find X feels more exciting than the Vivo NEX. But on the other hand they fully cut out the fingerprint sensor for Facial scanning while Vivo managed to place it underneath the display. I like Face Unlock, don't get me wrong, but I would like to have the fingerprint scanner on the top device.
Instagram releases IGTV - Instagram TV
So, how do you make a Video focused app without being crushed by Youtube at the start line?
Enter Instagram TV. Focusing on vertical only video uploads at up to one hour per video. I've seen several Tech Youtubers trying to figure out what they're going to use it for while posting videos on the subject. It'll be interesting to follow the apps development and usage.
Fossil to release 7 new Wear OS watches in 2018
If you follow wearables as I do you know that the Fossil group release a lot of good looking Smart Watches, both with the Fossil brand and through other companies such as Michael Kors, Misfit and Emporio Armani.
In a listing on the FCC (Federal Communications Commission) in the USA Fossil is set to launch 7 new Smart Watches running Wear OS and that all of them will include NFC. That's great as it seems to be what the fashion brands have skipped in previous iterations. Unfortunately there's no mention on which SoC they will use but hope is aimed at the new Qualcomm Snapdragon Wear 3100.
I don't know about you but I'm excited.
Until next week!