Taking a look back at seven days of news and headlines across the world of Android, this week’s Android Circuit includes leaked Galaxy Z Flip 5 details, confirmed Pixel Tablet details, Xiaomi 13 Ultra camera specs, OnePlus Nord CE 3 Lite review, Play Store’s new accounts option, Microsoft’s weird AI decision, and Mario’s next mobile adventure.
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).
Galaxy Z Flip 5 Cover Display Leaks
One of the key parts of any new foldable phone is the cover screen… the secondary display you use when the phone is closed. Samsung’s next flip phone, the presumptively named Galaxy Z Flip 5, looks to have a display that covers most of one folded side:
“The display area on the outside of the Z Flip 5 will pretty much cover as much space as possible, enabling us to do a lot more without having to unfold the phone. Yes, the best use of the larger outer screen will no doubt be for taking high-quality selfies using the rear camera, but tasks like checking notifications and replying to messages should also be more convenient to perform.”:
Pixel Tablet Connections Leak
The ever-reliable FCC and the publication of regulatory filings brings us more details on Google’s upcoming Pixel Tablet.
“Now, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in the US has offered insights about the tablet’s connectivity options. For reference, the Pixel Tablet is thought to rely on similar internal hardware to recent Pixel smartphones, such as the same Tensor G2 chipset that also powers the Pixel 7, Pixel 7 Pro and the upcoming Pixel 7a.However, it seems that Google has equipped the tablet with an inferior Wi-Fi chip.Specifically, the FCC mentions Wi-Fi 6 connectivity;recent Pixel smartphones support the faster Wi-Fi -Fi 6E standard.”
Xiaomi 13 Ultra Launch Imminent
Leica has given us a heads up that its partnership with Xiaomi will continue, with the launch of the Xiaomi 13 Ultra later this month, a handset built on the Xiaomi 13 Pro that will heavily push the camera technology. All puns are now focused on Xiaomi’s Chinese “Open Day” on April 9th:
“Initially announced by Leica, the Xiaomi 13 Ultra will continue the “strategic cooperation” that has been in place since late 2022 between Xiaomi and the camera giant. Leica teased some substantial camera improvements mentioning “far-reaching significance.” This could hint that the Xiaomi 13 Ultra will launch with improved zoom capabilities.”
OnePlus Nord CE 3 Lite 5G Review
This week saw OnePlus launch an updated Nord CE handset in the OnePlus Nord CE 3 Lite 5G. I spent some time ahead of the launch with the handset, and my first impressions review can be read here on Forbes. In short, it’s a competent handset that does what it needs to do without much fuss:
“The OnePlus Nord CE 3 Lite builds on the Nord CE 2 Lite, but it doesn’t feel like a huge step up; it’s more akin to a refresh of a few components and a new lick of paint on a handset that was already delivering results and needed a little nudge to stay fresh and relevant… There may not be much that is stunning, but OnePlus has delivered a competent upgrade to the Nord CE Lite range.”
Play Store App Accounts Need New Option
Google is adding a requirement to apps that are listed in the Play Store (in essence, the vast majority of Android apps) that allow you to create an account with a service will also need to have a visible and easily findable option to delete that account as well, both in the app and on the associated website in case the app has been uninstalled:
“Moving forward, apps that allow account creation (from within the application), “must also allow users to request for their accounts to be deleted.” This deletion option must be “readily discoverable” inside the app and outside, like on the web. The latter requirement means a “user can request account and data deletion without having to reinstall an app.”
Microsoft’s Weird AI Decision
Microsoft has a really good Android keyboard in its SwiftKey app. Microsoft is adding the Bing Chat AI to the keyboard, so users can… speak to a chatbot? Maybe I’m old-fashioned, but the only AI a keyboard needs is to make its best guess as to what I am trying to type, not as a place to find out how many Home Runs the Giants have hit out of Comiskey Park this week:
“The Bing Chat integration inside SwiftKey includes the usual chat mode that offers access to the chatbot, or a tone mode that will rewrite any text right within the keyboard. If you were only using the Bing mobile app to access the chatbot, this new integration makes that app rather redundant if, instead, you’re willing to install and use SwiftKey everywhere.”
(PS: The Giants hit thirteen home runs).
While there have been a few titles, presumably to test the waters, Nintendo will not be focusing on any more mobile Mario titles. They might happen, but the company’s efforts will continue to be built around its own software and hardware working in tandem:
“After two moderately successful but dwindling iOS games, plus another that shuttered after two years, Nintendo is pulling Mario away from the mobile market. Released in 2016, Super Mario Run grossed $60 million in its first year, while 2019’s Mario Kart Tour has generated $300 million (compared to Mario Kart 8’s $3 billion and counting). Without explanation, Nintendo removed 2019’s Dr. Mario World from app markets two years after its release.”
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!