Week 5

The Epic Standard. Galaxy Unpacked. February 9, 2022.

Unpacked 2022. Samsung announces the first Galaxy Unpacked of the year! As usual, aside from it being an obvious smartphone launch, the info is pretty vague. But going off some… ahem, subtle clues (and recent leaks) it will likely be the Galaxy S22 that drops. If the rumors are true, we may see an Ultra version that includes the S Pen in light of the decision to discontinue the Galaxy Note late last year. It might be interesting to track stylus usage as an input method.

Spring Event. Apple is also nearing its first product launch of 2022. Although we won't know for sure until the day of the event, the current speculation is we'll see the next iPhone SE and a new iPad drop. Apart from potential screen size changes, neither should have a huge impact on the app side of things. In typical Apple style, there's no firm date for the event as of yet (the invite usually gets sent out the week before, but it's likely to be in March or April.

Windows 11. A public preview will finally bring Android apps to Windows next month. This feature, which was announced last fall, demonstrates Microsoft's vision of where personal computing is headed as they continue to blur the lines between desktop and tablet experiences. And for those of us who support tablet apps, this means the Surface 2-in-1 line may soon be showing up in device analytics.

Wally App. Walmart buys into super app via a fintech startup. Donning the name One, the company "aspires to meet Americans' financial needs with a single app." The app will target both employees and customers as intended users of financial services focusing on budgeting, saving, borrowing, and investing. I'm mostly interested in seeing how they will craft the experience of such a "super app."

iPayment. Apple will reportedly allow iPhones to accept contactless payments. The service that effectively turns your iPhone into a payment terminal will roll out in the coming months. Since the advent of Apple Pay and its adoption, I've been wondering how long it would before Apple did exactly this.

From the desk of…

If I were to categorize my Android interests at the moment, they would probably fall into three buckets: tablets, foldables, and OEM skins. This week, we'll dip our toes into OEM skins. But before we do, I would advise checking your device analytics or giving these statistics a look before going into deeper waters. Alternatively, I also like to see what brands the major carriers offer for purchase.

Across the board, the most common skin is One UI by Samsung. Motorola is supposedly the closest to "pure" Android outside of Google, but they still assert an opinion via My UX. From a more global perspective, Xiaomi comes in with MIUI. Then there's ColorOS by Oppo, Funtouch OS by Vivo, and OxygenOS by OnePlus. Even though technically it's not Android, I'll include HarmonyOS by Huawei due to their market share. And there are still a few more OEMs that I didn't mention.

Trying to keep track of all the different flavors of Android may make you want to pull your hair out. And chasing OEMs that don't have a strong market share or aren't in your device analytics may be the definition of insanity. So why put forth the effort? Because regardless of how practical it is in a business sense, I'm still interested in what's going on outside of Apple and Google. And I believe we can learn a lot from the decisions of other software teams.




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