Taking a look back at seven days of news and headlines across the world of Android, this week’s Android Circuit includes the secrets inside your Galaxy S20, the first leak on Samsung’s Note 20, new ideas for OnePlus, the Huawei Mate 30 Pro review, Android security exploit,how Android phones may be insecure, and James Bond leaks a new Nokia.
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).
The Software Secrets In Your Galaxy S20
In the old days your computer came with a huge manual of everything hidden inside. Now it feels like your smartphone is packed full of secret functions that you will never find until someone tells you about them. Luckily the internet is very good at that. Jason Cipriani has nine features hidden away in the Galaxy S20, starting with better access to your notifications:
“The screens on the S20 lineup are only getting bigger, making it harder to use the phone with one hand. But instead of stretching your thumb all the way to the top of the screen, there’s a setting that allows you to swipe down anywhere on the home screen to easily view your notifications.
“Long-press on the home screen, then select Home screen settings, then turn on Swipe down for notification panel. Now, when you want to view your quick settings or pending alerts, swipe down anywhere on the home screen.”
Attendees inspect Samsung Electronics Co. Galaxy S20 smartphones during the Samsung Unpacked product … [+]
© 2020 Bloomberg Finance LP
The First Galaxy Note 20 Details Are Here
Looking forward to the summer, and it appears that Samsung will carry on with the Note range of ;arguer smartphones – there has been some speculation that the likes of the Galaxy S20 Ultra would negate the need for the Note, but different focus of the Note has won through… none more so than Samsung’s S-Pen digital stylus that lurks in the hardware. And with the Note’s codename reveale, it looks like the
“Prolific Samsung insider, Ice Universe, has revealed the first big news about the Galaxy Note 20 and that is its codename: ‘Project Canvas’. Moreover, given what we know about Samsung’s codenames, it means Note fans are in for a treat.
“While Ice Universe only gives the vague answer that there will be “new features in SPen”, in recent years Samsung has been naming its flagships after its passion projects while sticking to an art-based theme. For example, the Galaxy Note 10 was codenamed ‘Da Vinci’ who was acclaimed for his do-it-all brilliance, it was a great all-round phone. The Galaxy S20 was codenamed ‘Picasso’ because he was a revolutionary painter with incredible use of color, the S20 represented Samsung’s biggest step up in camera technology in years. And Canvas? It’s a progression from paper and writing, it’s for art.”
Who Has An Idea For OnePlus?
OnePlus, more than any other manufacturer, keeps its community engagement from and center. The latest program – Ideas – continues that process asking for user feedback on hardware and software, and then presenting those ideas for discussion online.
“IDEAS was created so that you, our OnePlus users, can share your feedback on ways to improve the OnePlus product experience for everyone. Unlike other existing feedback channels, this is a platform where every OnePlus user can comment on an idea or show their support by voting for it!
“We see huge potential in IDEAS. As a brand-new feedback platform, it also has room for improvement. As a global beta run, we are currently open to ideas that are related to software, which, we believe, is a perfect area for everyone to dive in.”
Huawei Mate 30 Pro Reviewed
The latest flagship from Huawei, the Mate 30 Pro, has a stunning design, a four lens camera system, and a waterfall curved-edge screen design. But there’s one crucial element missing. David Phelan reviews the handset, including that missing element. Google’s Mobile Services:
“On every other smartphone, this is a penultimate paragraph or addendum but here, it’s the main event. Huawei is forbidden from licensing Google Mobile Services (GMS) which include apps such as Google Maps, YouTube, Gmail and, most importantly, Google Play Store…
“I’d say that, although a return to full GMS available at purchase would be preferable, there is enough flexibility for what you can do that the absence of full GMS should not be an issue to put people off. When Huawei Maps, designed in conjunction with TomTom, comes to the phone in the future, there’ll be even less need for GMS.”
Is that enough to act as a deal breaker? Not for everyone, as Phelan explains. Read the full review here on Forbes.
Critical Android ‘Rooting’ Security Risk
A particularly dangerous vulnerability in certain Android devices, which has been known about for nearly a year, has been patched in the current security update from Google. Found in various chips from MediaTek it was possible, under certain circumstances. Davey Winder reports:
“The March 2020 Android security update bulletin has arrived, and it contains confirmation from Google of an elevation-of-privilege vulnerability (CVE-2020-0069) that not only affects millions of Android devices but which is also being actively exploited by cybercriminals.
“… For everyone else, applying the March 2020 Android security update as soon as possible, and any firmware patch from your device manufacturer is recommended. As is taking note of all the usual advice about being careful as to the apps you install, the permissions you grant to them, and where you install them from.”
How Many Android Devices Are Unprotected?
Speaking of security in Android, how many devices don’t have the latest security updates? According to Which magazine in the UK, more than 2 in 5 Android handsets are no longer receiving security updates. Andrew Laughlin investigates:
Based on Google’s own data from May 2019, 42.1% of Android active users worldwide are on version 6.0 or earlier: Marshmallow (2015), Lollipop (2014), KitKat (2013), Jellybean (2012), Ice Cream Sandwich (2011) and Gingerbread (2010).
According to the Android Security Bulletin, there were no security patches issued for the Android system in 2019 that targeted Android versions below 7.0 Nougat. That means more than one billion phones and tablets may be active around the world that are no longer receiving security updates.
Just before the Nokia 5.3 was confirmed, it was spotted in the latest James Bond trailer for ’No Time To Die’. The film may have been postponed, but the handset is still coming soon. Marin Ordulj reports:
“The new replacement of the immortal 007 agent of Her Majesty the Queen, did a commercial for Nokia 5.3, and the first shots of the phone just leaked. The photos do reveal that Nokia 5.3 is the phone that leaked before with the LED flash positioned in the middle of the camera module and surrounded by four cameras. Nokia Mobile went again for the Forrest Green color which makes the phone look stunning. Nokia 7.2 also looks much better in the Forrest Green than in Charcoal color.”
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!