Taking a look back at seven days of news and headlines across the world of Android, this week’s Android Circuit includes new Galaxy S20 camera details, the new Galaxy Z Flip hinge, Nokia’s new handsets, MWC fights Coronavirus, the invisible OnePlus camera, Android’s App Store income, and saying goodbye to BlackBerry.
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).
Final Details On The Galaxy S20 Camera
With three lenses expected to appear on the Samsung Galaxy S20 and Galaxy S20+ (with four lenses on the Galaxy S20 Ultra), one of Samsung’s new software features is going to be attractive to photographers – each lens will generate a separate picture when the ‘Quick Take’ button is pressed. Tom Bedford reports:
“…the Samsung Galaxy S20 handsets will have a feature called ‘Quick Take’ which allows you to press one button and capture the same picture from multiple lenses. This could let you take a zoomed picture as well as a standard one, or an ultra-wide at the same time as the basic picture.
“ [Max] Weinbach specifies that the phone will take pictures from two or three lenses, so with the powerful Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra that’s expected to have four cameras, it might not use every snapper. In general, though, this should cover your photography bases.”
SHANGHAI, CHINA – NOVEMBER 09: An attendee takes photo of a Samsung Galaxy Fold smartphone on day … [+]
VCG via Getty Images
Improving Samsung’s Folding Hinge On The Z Flip
The Galaxy S20 is expected to be announced at next week’s Samsung Unpacked event, alongside the Galaxy Z Flip. Samsung’s second foldable smartphone for the mass market. New details on the hinge have been pated by Ishan Agarwal. Chris Smith has more:
“Agarwal provided new details about the Z Flip that suggest Samsung has been learning quite a lot from the Fold. The Z Flip’s hinge will supposedly include a special fiber that will stop dust and debris from getting inside the phone. That was a problem for the original Fold design, as debris was apparently responsible for destroying some screens. Even the redesigned Fold version that went on sale in September allowed particles to get inside the hinge.”
Which Nokia Handsets Should You Expect?
HMD Global is expected to launch a number of new handsets at MWC Barcelona later this month. Many are expecting the high-end imaging handset – the Nokia 9.2 PureView – but there are signals that the February event will be limited to the mid-range handsets that have driven the brand over the last few years. Rik Henderson reports:
“We’re not yet sure what will appear at the news conference, but there has been a lot of talk recently about the Nokia 9.2 PureView – a successor to the penta-lens Nokia 9 handset released last year.
It is thought, however, that device might not even make an appearance until later this year, in September. So, instead MWC might be reserved for some mid-range phone announcements and/or the rumoured first Android-powered feature phone.”
OnePlus Plans An Invisible Camera
Following on from the chromatic lens cover on the OnePlus Concept One shown off at Las Vegas, new details have shown OnePlus’ working on hding the camera lens in a consumer focused design. Adamya Sharma reports:
“Unlike the Concept One, this new patented OnePlus phone hides its rear cameras beneath a plastic flap. The images in the patent filing show a OnePlus 7T-like circular camera housing. However, this time, the lenses are stacked vertically instead of horizontally.
“There are two phone models depicted in the patent. One of them has three cameras and a flash, while the other has four cameras and a flash. Both of them have the plastic flap that conceals the camera sensors.”
Co-founder and director of the Chinese smartphone maker OnePlus, Carl Pei gestures as he speaks on … [+]
MWC Barcelona And The Coronoavirus Cancellations
There is a growing concern about the impact of the Coronavirus on MWC this year. With a number of manufacturers based in China, some manufacturers are pulling out of the show; some are sending executives to Europe now, effectively placing them under a 14 day ‘quarantine’ before hitting the show floor; and others will rely on European based personnel at the press events. The GSMA (organisers of the event) have addressed concerns and facilities put in place:
“The GSMA is in contact with exhibitor companies and is discussing preparedness measures being put in place both by the GSMA and by exhibitors. It is reassuring to know that colleagues around the world are taking active measures to contain and lessen any further spread of the virus. These measures include not only adhering to advice from the WHO and other health authorities, by respecting travel restrictions where they exist but also by arriving early in Spain to allow time for self-quarantine, ensuring access to masks and replacing attendees from high-risk countries with local European-based colleagues and representatives.”
Android’s App Store Income
Google’s quarterly earnings highlighted a number of departments, notably by breaking out numbers from YouTube and its hardware divisions. It also included financial details (for the first time) of the Google Play App Store, that drives third-party Android app sales and in-app purchases. Dieter Bohn reports:
“…a total of $80 billion paid out to Android developers, which is significantly less than the $155 billion Apple has paid out via the iOS App Store.
“Even if you account for Google allowing developers to use their own payment methods and made a bunch of other caveats, I suspect you can’t avoid the truth. The vast majority of phones on Earth run Android, and yet it is almost surely the case that there’s more money for developers in iPhone apps. That’s always been the conventional wisdom, but Google’s own numbers all but confirm it.”
Once the darling of the American smartphone revolution, 2020 could see the BlackBerry name leave the market. Currently TCL has licenced the name and have produced a number of BlackBerry handsets, but this deal comes to an end in August. Jacob Kastrenakes reports:
The bigger move here may be from TCL. The company has slowly built out its name over the past several years making phones under several different brand names, including BlackBerry, Alcatel, and Palm. This year, the company intends to start selling phones under its own name. Leaving BlackBerry behind may just give the company more time to focus on devices of its own.
More at The Verge. The question now is if the BlackBerry name will be awarded to another manufacturer, or if this is the end of the line.
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!