Taking a look back at seven days of news and headlines across the world of Android, this week’s Android Circuit includes Samsung’s new folding screen, plans for the Galaxy S21, selected Black Friday deals, Emojis leaving Android updates, the mystery box from OnePlus, Huawei’s EMUI roadmap, and will Microsoft bring Android apps to the Windows store?
Android Circuit is here to remind you of a few of the many things that have happened around Android in the last week (and you can find the weekly Apple news digest here).
Samsung Galaxy, The Frugal Flagship
Following the lower than expected demand for 2020’s Galaxy S20 and the ongoing economic pressure of the coronavirus pandemic, Samsung is reportedly considering a lower initial run of Galaxy S21 handsets. The new flagship family is expected to be launched in January, and the order numbers reflect the estimated eight million lifetime sales of the Galaxy S20 Adnan Farooqui reports:
“According to reports in the Korean media, Samsung is initially going to produce 6 million units of the Galaxy S21 lineup. This includes the Galaxy S21, Galaxy S21+ and Galaxy S21 Ultra combined. These units will reportedly be produced in December and January. The new flagship series is expected to hit shelves by the end of January.”
Drawing The New Line of Foldables
It might be just a cartoon, but Samsung Display’s recent post around foldable displays offered a new form-factor to the fans of folding phones. Hadlee Simons reports on the potential design in Samsung’s ‘Display Of Things’
“…it recently teased a device with a multi-folding design. An accompanying image shows a foldable with a Z-style folding mechanism. In other words, the left third of the display folds inwards and onto the front of the center third. Meanwhile, the right third of the screen folds backwards, behind the center third of the display.”
Selected Black Friday Deals
Once more, the Black Friday holiday weekend is here, and retailers have a lot of deals on offer for those in the Android world. Some that are worth drawing attention
- Samsung Galaxy Bids (inc wireless charger case) – Amazon $40 discount. Link.
- Samsung Galaxy S20 Fan Edition 5G (128 GB unlocked) – Best Buy – $200 discount to $500. Link.
- OnePlus 8 Pro (256 GB unlocked) – Amazon – $200 discount to $700. Link.
Google Could Decouple Emoji From Android Updates
If there’s one thing the mobile world seems to love, it is new emojis. So the news that Google is working hard to remove emoji from Android OS updates so they can be updated as a standalone feature is going to be more than welcome. Aamir Siddiqui looks at the latest code commits to find out more about the project:
“These commits essentially make it possible for the system_server process to write updated font files to the /data/fonts directory. The data partition is mounted as read-write, so with this change, Google is allowing only the system_server process the permission to write to this directory. All apps will then read the font and emoji files from this directory for drawing text. Thus, updated font files, and by extension new emojis, can be pushed to the phone without needing an entire OTA update for this purpose.”
These changes have not been locked in, but the updates suggest that this more user friendly approach is being considered. More at XDA Developers.
OnePlus’ Mystery Box
OnePlus has a curious offer for Black Friday. It is offering ‘Blind Boxes’ for £10, down from the usual £30 cost. You buy one, and OnePlus will send you the box. As to what’s in the box, well the clue is in the name. That said, some enterprising redactors have been matching up the SKU numbers in their completed order to work out what could be arriving.
“I got a USB C to 3.5mm adapter and googling the SKU shows that I also have a wireless charger…”
“I think [I] got the 2 most expensive items: The wireless charger and Oneplus Buds (White) for 8.99€.”
Huawei’s Plans For EMUI
Huawei’s recently launched version 11 of EMUI, its OS based on the Android Open Source Project. Shipping in new devices, it has confirmed details of the roll-out to existing handsets. The key issue, certainly for users in North America and Europe, is that EMUI will not ship with support for Google Mobile Services
“The Huawei P40, Huawei P40 Pro, Huawei P40 Pro+, Huawei Mate 30 Pro, Huawei Mate 30 Pro 5G will receive the EMUI 11 update starting December this year, in regions like Middle East Africa, Russia, Asia Pacific, West Europe, and North East Europe. Latin American users will receive the update on these handsets in January next year. Huawei Mate 30 Pro models in India will receive the update in Q1 2021.”
Looking ahead to 2021, there’s the intriguing idea of Android apps running on Windows 10X (which isn’t that wild, given iOS and iPad apps are running under macOS). Zac Bowden brings us the nudge:
“I’m also told that Microsoft is toying with bringing Android apps to the Microsoft Store on Windows 10. I don’t know how far along this plan is or when it’ll ship, but I’m told it may show up in the 2021 timeframe. I’ll have more to share on this soon.”
Android Circuit rounds up the news from the Android world every weekend here on Forbes. Don’t forget to follow me so you don’t miss any coverage in the future, and of course read the sister column in Apple Loop! Last week’s Android Circuit can be found here, and if you have any news and links you’d like to see featured in Android Circuit, get in touch!