Week 6

Snapshot of iPhone Ultra concept by designer Jonas Daehnert

S23 Reviews. Like clockwork, the reviews for the Galaxy S23 line started rolling out. (Or, more specifically, the S23 Ultra.) The OLED display, new chip, and overall design are all notable, albeit modest, updates. But the most talked about feature, unsurprisingly, is photo — especially low-light — and video quality. And, given that Samsung has the lion’s share of the Android market in the US, the introduction of One UI 5.1 is also worth a mention.

iPhone… Ultra? You read that right — next year we could see the launch of an iPhone “Ultra”. Despite previous rumors of renaming the “Pro Max” to “Ultra,” it now appears it may be a separate, higher end model similar to that of the Apple Watch Ultra. It’s currently unclear what distinguishing features it might offer, but they would likely include industrial design, screen, chip, and camera… and it’s fun to imagine how it might look. Here’s the shorter version of the above article, if you prefer.

Google Event. Live from Paris, Google made multiple mobile-related announcements. At the event, Google Maps updates were announced for Immersive View, ‘glanceable directions,” and new features for EVs. The company also announced a redesign of the Translate app for both iOS and Android and that AI-powered ‘multisearch’ was going global on mobile devices. Microsoft also held a private presser, announcing ChatGPT Bing.

OnePlus Event. The OnePlus 11, the latest flagship phone, was announced globally. Already available in China, it will hit the global market with an updated processor, better camera array (one of its distinguishing features), and Oxygen OS 13 (based on Android 13). Also announced was OnePlus’ first Android tablet as well a possible teaser of an upcoming foldable. I know, I know, OnePlus is not a brand that we see very much here in the States (check your device analytics), but I still enjoy seeing what other OEMs are doing. Watch the replay here.

Android 14. And finally, the Developer Preview for Android 14 was released. In it, those participating will get a sneak peek at upcoming features as well as have an opportunity to provide feedback. Major themes for the the next release are workin across devices and form factors, customization, and privacy & security. For those looking to get started and test their apps, the preview can be set up and accessed via Android Studio SDK as well as on Pixel phones down to 4a (5G) — one of the other benefits of owning a Pixel device.

From the Desk of…

Nothing as in-depth as in previous issues this week, but I was asked last week to put together my thoughts and recommendations on running Android on Windows 11 for Surface tablet devices. I’m still in the process of doing that, so more to come, but I’ll include a short version of that write-up in a future issue.




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