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Pixel 7a Leaks, Galaxy Flip 5 details, Huawei downfall

A look back at seven days of news and headlines from around the Android world, this week’s Android Circuit includes Samsung’s Galaxy Flip 5 plans, Pixel 7a design leaks, OnePlus’ OxygenOS moves, new apps for WearOS, Microsoft’s plans for a Surface Insider program, and Huawei’s downfall. And why Elon Musk hasn’t launched a competing phone.

Android Circuit is here to remind you of some of the many things that have happened around Android in the past week (and you can find Apple’s weekly news recap here).

The new style of the Galaxy Z Flip 5 has been revealed

Foldable smartphones have many problems to overcome, and one of them is that no matter how the phone is folded, there will always be slight visual and physical distortion in the twist section. Samsung’s upcoming release of the Galaxy Z Flip hopes to address the following:

“Next year, the Galaxy Z Flip series may receive some of the most significant upgrades since the launch of the first model in 2020. The Galaxy Z Flip 5 will have a larger cover screen and a new hinge. The updated hinge design is said to make the foldable screen crease less noticeable.”

(SamMobile).

Pixel 7a design leaks

A consistent design language, as seen in Google’s Pixel line of smartphones, still leaves room for some style and identity with each phone. Of course, the Pixel 7a (expected to launch in early June 2023) follows its larger cousins, but it will come with some unique features as well:

Speaking of the front panel, the device will have thick bezels all around and a thicker chin. To place the front camera, the device will have a punch-hole cutout at the top center of the screen. The power button and volume rocker are located on the right spine of the phone, and a tray can be seen. The SIM card is on the left spine.”

(OnLeaks via SmartPrix).

OnePlus announces updates to OxygenOS 13.1

OnePlus has put itself at the forefront of discussions about smartphone security and updates with this week’s announcements; Four major Android releases and five years of security patches, starting with next year’s flagship phones. And this isn’t the only good news about OxygenOS:

This week, OnePlus has committed to four major Android updates and five years of security patches for select phone models launching next year…but the next version of OxygenOS, the OnePlus overlay for Android, which will launch globally in the first half of the year has 2023 also contains a host of other innovations. OxygenOS 13.1 promises significant improvements for users with increased security and a greater focus on accessibility features.”

(Forbes)

Google is working on new WearOS apps

There are some notable glitches in WearOS 3 (as we saw on the recently released Pixel Watch) in terms of apps and tiles. Google knows where they stand and is working to address some of them in the next release:

“…we learned that Google is testing both Gmail and Calendar for Wear OS. The experience was described as ‘complete’ to us, though we couldn’t tell if this involved creating an event or creating new emails. At the time Same, it’s no surprise we did the testing on the Pixel Watch.”

(9to5Google).

Android Insider Program for Surface Duo

It may not look like a regular phone (and it certainly doesn’t act like a phone if you use it fully), but Microsoft has been visually committed to Android for many years. The next step is to get more people involved in developing the program. Think Windows Insider, but for a new platform:

So far, Microsoft’s Surface Duo, which runs on Android, doesn’t have an Insider program, but that may be about to change soon. Gustave Mance on Twitter spotted references to the “Surface Insider Program” in the latest Android update available for Surface Duo.”

(Windows latest).

Huawei exit from Europe

At one time, Huawei was ready to challenge Samsung for the first place in the smartphone market around the world, take the lead in Europe, and enter America; Right up until it was included in the US Entity List that prohibits US companies from doing business with the China-based manufacturer. The dream died:

Huawei’s predicament was summed up by company founder Ren Zhengfei in a speech to executives at the company’s Shenzhen headquarters in July. He outlined the trio of challenges the company has faced over the past three years: hostility from Washington; disruptions from the coronavirus pandemic; and the invasion of China. Russia for Ukraine, which has upended global supply chains and heightened European concerns about over-reliance on countries like China.

(Political via WinFuture)

Finally…

No, Elon Musk isn’t going to make his own smartphone to take on Apple and Google … not least because this story began as a typical “hip” response to Twitter, but also because it would be incredibly difficult to get even a small slice of sales, let alone Critical mass for developers and users to make it viable:

There are many people attributing to Elon Musk’s cult of personality, and naturally, some Twitter users are responding to Musk’s tweet in support of his idea. Will these supporters actually get rid of the blue text bubbles from Apple to join Musk? It’s hard to say.

“On the business side, competitors like Apple and Samsung dominate the smartphone market in the US, and then there are competitors like Xiaomi, Oppo, and Vivo who have a decent market share for budget phones. It’s a small slice of the global smartphone market, but the competition will be fierce. “.

(inverse).

Android Circuit compiles news from the Android world every weekend here on Forbes. Don’t forget to follow me so you don’t miss any future coverage, and of course, read my sister column in the 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 on Android Circuit, get in touch!