Taking a look back at seven days of news and headlines across the world of Android, this week’s Android Circuit includes Samsung’s Galaxy A54 release, capturing the Moon, Google’s video unblur software, Pixel 8 Pro details leak, Exynos security exploits,OnePlus Pad preorders, Oppo Find X6 confirmed, and Google Glass finally shuts down.
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).
OnePlus Pad Pre-Orders Announced
The first tablet from OnePlus was teased at the recent Mobile World Congress, and now we have details on the pre-order period ahead of the launch date:
“OnePlus recently notified prospective buyers that preorders for the OnePlus Pad open on April 10. There’s still no word on the shipping date, though it shouldn’t be long after the preorders start, and we’ll likely get more info on that front as we near the April 10 launch date. If you’re on the OnePlus mailing list, the email has likely appeared by now, although it could be limited to certain regions.”
Samsung’s Difficult Second Album
Samsung has launched the Galaxy A54 5G, a mid-range smartphone that replaces the incredibly popular and versatile A53. It’s not going to top any benchmarks, but the handset sits in a sweet spot that gets the job done. Of note in the package is the long update software update promise:
“Both devices feature immersive Super AMOLED displays, measuring 6.4-inch2 on the Galaxy A54 5G and 6.6-inch3 on the Galaxy A34 5G. Both displays have been upgraded for astounding outdoor visibility, even under bright sunlight. With the enhanced Vision Booster and a 120Hz refresh rate, the displays will keep up with users as they move between different lighting conditions.
“Galaxy A54 5G and Galaxy A34 5G also guarantee up to four generations of OS upgrades and five years of security updates. These features allow users to access the latest software and security to maximize the smartphone lifecycle.
Shoot For The Moon
The Samsung Galaxy’s ability to take pictures of the moon has been promoted heavily by Samsung, but how much of the resulting image is optical and how much is computational? The latest ‘I’ve tricked the computer’ on taking pictures of the moon was posted on Reddit this week. The question of “what is a real photo” is becoming ever more complicated::
“But what exactly does “fake” mean in this scenario? It’s a tricky question to answer, and one that’s going to become increasingly important and complex as computational techniques are integrated further into the photographic process. We can say for certain that our understanding of what makes a photo fake will soon change, just as it has in the past to accommodate digital cameras, Photoshop, Instagram filters, and more.”
Unblur Your Moving Memories
Google’s photography editing tool in the Pixel handsets, allowing photos to be unblurred for an improved image, has been a popular feature. Now the software looks set to move to the moving image, with the team at 9to5Google finding options for Video Unblur in the latest Android code:
“As seen in the screenshots below, our team has managed to forcibly enable the UI for Google’s Video Unblur, but for now, the tool has no noticeable effect on videos. Most likely, the effect has not been fully developed yet. Once it works, we expect Video Unblur will give previously captured videos a sharper appearance with the help of machine learning.”
Latest Pixel 8 Pro Leaks
While we wait for the Pixel 7a (and potentially the Pixel Fold) to show up at I/O this year, Google’s Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro update later in the year has seen a leak on the handset design, with a flat screen and a smaller screen size driving the changes:
“Working with MySmartPrice and SmartPrix, respected industry insider OnLeaks (aka Steve Hemmerstoffer) has exposed both Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro designs — and they show Google will buck industry trends by making the displays on both phones smaller. In the case of the Pixel 8, surprisingly so.”
Zero-Day Security Exploits in Exynos Modems
A number of security issues have been discovered in the Exynos Modems used by many Android handsets, including a large number of Samsung Galaxy S and Galaxy A models, various Vivo handsets, and Google’s Pixel 6 and Pixel 7 handsets:
“Tests conducted by Project Zero confirm that those four vulnerabilities allow an attacker to remotely compromise a phone at the baseband level with no user interaction, and require only that the attacker know the victim’s phone number. With limited additional research and development, we believe that skilled attackers would be able to quickly create an operational exploit to compromise affected devices silently and remotely.”
For the moment, the Project Zero team has details on the best way to stay secure:
“Note: Until security updates are available, users who wish to protect themselves from the baseband remote code execution vulnerabilities in Samsung’s Exynos chipsets can turn off Wi-Fi calling and Voice-over-LTE (VoLTE) in their device settings. Turning off these settings will remove the exploitation risk of these vulnerabilities.”
(Google Project Zero via 9to5Google).
Oppo Find X6 Confirmed
The next Oppo handsets in its main range, the Find X6, is all set for a launch next week. It’s a busy week for new handsets, so will it stand out against the likes of the Huawei P60 and Mate X3?
“Oppo’s latest flagship phones have been in the news for a while. Leaks have suggested there could be three Find X6 devices this year — two Pro models and a standard variant. However, we may end up with just two versions, a vanilla and a Pro model. At least one of the phones, likely the Find X6 Pro, will feature a behemoth camera module at the back.”
Just before Apple is set to end speculation and reveal whatever it Mixed Reality headset will deliver, Google is pulling down the blinds on the last version of Google Glass as it sunsets the Glass Enterprise service:
“Sales ceased on March 15, and support ends on September 15, Google says. No further software updates are planned, but the end-of-support date is the deadline after which Google will no longer replace damaged devices. Glass headsets in the wild will still work after September 15, though, should businesses plan to continue using them.”
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!