The biggest topics from this week include Google releasing Android 13 for its phones, the inability of Pixel 6 owners to revert to Android 12, the FCC’s clearance of the Pixel 7 launch, and more.
This week, Google unveiled Android 13, which may not feel all that different for those using the Pixel series, following months of beta testing. The media player has been updated in Android 13, Bluetooth LE Audio support has been added, and the monochrome launcher icons that Pixel Launcher released last year have been improved.
Additionally, Android 13 continues Google’s efforts to make the operating system more tablet and foldable device friendly. The taskbar now has program suggestions and a drawer where you can easily access all of your apps and drag and drop them to open them in split-screen mode. In fact, all programs now come with multi-window mode turned on by default. However, letterboxing compatibility mode can be useful for people who haven’t updated.
The Android 13 upgrade’s inclusion of a significant security update for owners of the Pixel 6 series is one of its more noteworthy features. Unfortunately, Google believes this problem to be so serious that once you’ve installed the update, it is actually impossible to go back to Android 12. For individuals who enjoy customizing their Android devices, Google has provided some further information.
Google is taking an uncommon action here, but the change is necessary due to a fresh bootloader upgrade that raises the anti-rollback version. This security feature was added by Google to Android for several years now to typically stop the implementation of previous software version exploits on devices.
In other Pixel news, the Pixel 7 and 7 Pro have arrived at the FCC, making it appear that Google’s upcoming hardware presentation is approaching. Similar to last year, Google is providing UWB connectivity, but only on the Pixel 7 Pro, according to the most recent public listings. Both phones should have mmWave 5G models and non-models available.
The Pixel 7 Pro, in our opinion, is an GP4BC device with only Sub-6 connectivity, whereas an GE2AE device (which, according to the e-FCC label’s listing, also has GFE4J) has mmWave. Ultra-wide band (UWB) is advertised in these two ads, with Google saving that functionality for the Pro phone for one more year. As of now, Google uses UWB for Nearby Share and later digital car keys to provide precise range and spatial orientation.
Samsung has been gradually lowering its trade-in value estimates for customers wishing to upgrade from the Galaxy Z Flip 3 to the Z Flip 4 over the course of the previous week. Whereas trading in any of the three phone models—128GB, 256GB, or Bespoke—would have fetched you $900, they are now each worth $700, $800, and $900, respectively.
Although it seems that the credits for upcoming Galaxy Z Flip 3 trade-ins have been reduced, the modification does not seem to be taking effect retrospectively. The full $900 credit on a 128GB trade-in is still displayed in full on at least one user’s order, it has been confirmed.
Additionally, we exclusively revealed last week that using your fingerprint is Google’s newest approach to introducing face unlock for the Pixel 6 series and perhaps even the Pixel 7. According to what we’ve been told, the Pixel will accept a less certain and hence far faster fingerprint scan if the camera is able to recognize your face properly.
But does this raise the possibility that Google may just deploy an improved under-display fingerprint sensor? Given that you still need to place your finger on the screen, this new method is not truly face unlock in the sense that most people think it should be. If anything, this strategy is more in support of the Pixel 6’s below-average fingerprint identification performance when compared to other devices, such as the Galaxy S22 series and other flagship Android handsets, with its under-display sensor.
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