There were two very interesting events this week. First, OnePlus has finally changed its mind and presented a smartphone, the price of which corresponds to what we consider to be the norm for this manufacturer. Now its lineup includes not only flagships and has a wide range of prices. Secondly, this week Corning unveiled a new super-strong glass for phones. Its performance is really impressive. There were other news this week, including from Google. Let's talk about it in our weekly news collection.
Soon, the phrase 'phone and hammer' will only bring a smile to memories of the silly YouTube video.
The toughest smartphone glass ever
How unpleasant it is to drop an expensive smartphone … Even if nothing happened and it was not injured, at the moment of falling you experience a real fountain of emotions that literally overwhelm. It seems that now you pick it up, and on the screen there will be a “metro map”. Then you pick it up and see that everything is fine. At this moment, you mentally thank those who, day after day, think about how to make glasses stronger and periodically release new solutions. So it happened now. Corning – the most famous manufacturer of glass for phones – has made a new glass to replace Gorilla Glass 6. It not only resists drops better, but also does something else.
The new glass will give you much more possibilities than the old ones.
In fact, the Gorilla Glass brand has long been closely associated with the smartphone industry. Corning was originally a cookware company, starting its journey almost a century and a half ago. Their field of activity is much wider than just glass for smartphones. For example, this particular company should be thanked for modern automotive glass and even for some discoveries in medicine and astronomy. But ordinary users know it precisely by the glasses for smartphones.
However, Gorilla Glass screen protection doesn't always mean that your phone is protected from scratches or damage. In fact, since 2014 and the release of Gorilla Glass 3, protection has gotten better. The most recent iteration of this screen protector is Gorilla Glass 6. It effectively protects against drops, but does not always resist scratches well, and it is difficult to get away from it.
The strength of a smartphone is sometimes more important than its characteristics.
The fact is that the glass that can bend a little when dropped does not break. Then, when the smartphone is deformed, it does not crack, but “works out” the fall. But in this case it will be softer and will not be able to resist scratches as well. If you make it super hard and not scratch, then it will just prick, as it will not be elastic. This problem has been familiar since ancient times, when blacksmiths were faced with a choice of which steel to make a sword. He either broke, but not dull, or vice versa.
Now good news has come from Corning and the company has released a new type of glass, which for some reason did not receive the Gorilla Glass 7 marking, but is called Victus. In Latin it means “to live”. The company says the new glass will resist scratches twice as well and withstand drops from almost two meters (6.5 feet)
Introducing Corning Gorilla Glass Victus, the toughest Gorilla Glass we've ever improved and made to resist drops and scratches alike. In our lab tests, Gorilla Glass Victus survived drops to hard, rough surfaces from heights of up to 2 meters, the official statement said.
The company also announced that the first smartphones to receive new glass will be Samsung. The company will use a new type of glass already in smartphones this year. What does this mean? Yes, apparently, this smartphone will be the Samsung Galaxy Note 20. That is, Note 20, Note 20 Plus or Note 20 Ultra will come with such glass.
This is an important step forward because manufacturers are making phones with great features. For this reason, users hold on to their devices longer, and the durability of the device is the key to long and happy use. Agree, few people want to use a smartphone, which in two years will be badly scratched, or even broken altogether.
It is very unpleasant when the glass breaks.
Dropping phones can cause breakage, but as we developed better glass, the phones experienced more drops and better resistance to scratches, which should positively impact device use, '' said John Bane, Senior Vice President, Corning. our engineers concentrate on one task. It was necessary to increase the strength or fight against scratches. We now asked them to focus on improving both metrics at the same time, and they were able to create Gorilla Glass Victus.
Notably, one of Corning's videos shows Victus is so good that if you had used it on phones that were developed just three or four years ago, you could have been using them for much longer. It would be almost impossible to break them if you did not try to do it on purpose.
How much pain is in this photo
John Bane added that besides Samsung, other device manufacturers will also receive such glass, but it will be closer to the end of this year.
I don’t know about you, but I really like this innovation. An extra 0.1-0.2 GHz and a couple of gigs of RAM are good, but in general there are already enough of them, but protecting your smartphone from serious damage is really great. Of course, you can use covers and screen protectors, but there are some peculiarities. Covers are not always convenient, and films / glasses have long become much less durable than screens, and are constantly either scratched or chipped off. The new glass should bring the end of this type of accessory even closer, and it's great when you don't have to worry about your new expensive phone. What do you think?
What is the name of the new version Android
It seems that we began to forget about the good tradition that accompanied Android for many years and was interrupted only at the 10th anniversary version. I'm talking about a clear association of the firmware version and the name of the dessert. There was a time when there were not only strict numbers, but also affectionate names, like “pie”, “marshmallow” and the like. For some reason, Google executives decided it was time to put an end to their own sweet tradition. One would think that desserts have been completely forgotten, but this is not so. In the depths of the company, names continue to be assigned and the company does not hide this, but rather openly speaks from it. What is going on?
Dessert names in Android have come to an end. Or not?
The tradition of naming versions Android after desserts really took root from the earliest firmwares. Gradually, the names changed, but the tradition for each new version to use the next letter of the alphabet as the first letter of the name of the dessert seemed eternal. True, many wondered what would happen if the letters ended. Now, most likely, we will not get the answer to this question, since the company has stopped telling us about the name of this or that version Android – only numbers.
Nougat, Oreo, Pie will remain in the memory of fans. And also in the form of figures next to the office of the company. They were funny and very much the essence of each version. True, to be honest, I don't know what is happening to them now and whether they still exist, but now they have already become history.
Such a lawn in front of the office looks interesting
It's time to answer questions about versions Android and that was done by Google VP and Project Manager Android Dave Burke. He shared information in the podcast All About Android. He said that the “green robot” still has versions with the name of desserts, only no one tells about them to ordinary users. They are used only for internal use, but the company does not hide them, although it does not advertise them.
He also noted that the company officially switched to version numbers, so Android 11, like Android 10, did not receive a postscript.
Explaining that engineers and developers continue to use the names of desserts internally, Dave Burke said it’s easier this way. For example, approaching an employee and asking what he is doing, it is much easier to get the answer “RVC” than to hear a number. Probably, it's easier not to get confused than naming adjacent numbers. By the way, “RVC” stands for “Red Velvet Cake”, and translates as “Red Velvet Cake”. A strange name, I agree.
Sometimes the abbreviated name is used in other projects of the company, which also receive a name based on the version Android. Only in this case it turns out to be shortened and looks only like the first letter. For example, “Q” or “R”. It turns out even easier, but at the same time you definitely won't mix up the versions. Having earned, 10 and 11 can be confused, and if a letter is assigned to the number, the probability of error will be lower. Someone is better guided in this way, and someone – so. And simply, someone may “prick” that the letter does not match and he will check everything once again.
With 'desserts' it is more pleasant.
Burke noted that Android 10 got the letter “Q” for a reason. According to the internal classification, this means Quince Tart, which is also the name of the dessert. It's good to see Google continue the fun tradition of naming its flagship software product for dessert. It's just a pity that such names do not go beyond the walls of the company. It was somehow more pleasant with them – at home, or something.
Dave Burke also talked about other things related to Android as part of the podcast. For example, he touched on the Project Mainline, the background killing of apps and permissions regarding the upcoming release Android 11.
This kind of creativity will no longer exist.
The new version will really have a lot of new things. At the same time, updates will affect not only the outer shell and functions that will be available to users, but also what will be hidden from them. I mean optimizing performance, increasing security, restrictions for smartphone manufacturers, and more. These “behind the scenes” changes are sometimes much more interesting than a new menu or some additional feature that users notice first.
If you are interested in listening to everything Dave Burke said, you can do it here. You might find something even more interesting for yourself than the versions Android and features that Google is working on. In the end, interviews with high-ranking employees are interesting because they can literally be taken apart to understand what awaits us. When a person knows literally everything about a product being prepared, he can either accidentally say something about something, or directly (perhaps indirectly, but consciously) hint at something. If you find something important in this interview that we have not discussed in this article, write to our Telegram chat. Let's analyze it together.
How Google tricked everyone
This spring Apple and Google announced a joint project to create a universal coronavirus patient tracking system for iOS and Android. It is a software interface that records users' contacts with each other, and then notifies them if someone from those with whom they met was infected with COVID-19. The companies claimed that their new development was completely secure because it was focused on privacy from the beginning, but this turned out to be not entirely true.
Tracking Coronavirus Patients May Backtrack Users
First, a little excursion. The tracking system itself in question is a regular API or, if you prefer, a kind of driver. And for the smartphone to start recording meetings between users, you need a special application, the development of which was to be dealt with by the local health authorities of each country. With their help, it would be possible to keep a record of the sick, who would independently report their diagnosis, and then an automated system would notify those with whom they met about the need to pass tests.
Google decided it could defy promises not to spy on users
But here's the problem. Despite the fact that Apple and Google assured that they did not collect data and did not have access to information about user movements at all, everything turned out to be exactly the opposite, at least in relation to Google. As the Ministry of Health of Denmark found out, Android with the installed application for tracking patients with coronavirus actually collects data on user movements and transmits it to Google. For this, smartphones use not only Bluetooth, as noted earlier, but also GPS.
Information about Google's foul play soon spread among the governments of different countries, which expressed their dissatisfaction with the company. They stressed that they do not agree to work with the company in the current mode, when it has the ability to record the movements of their citizens with an unknown purpose. Despite this, so far, no country has abandoned the use of a contact tracing system for patients with coronavirus. However, they did not rule out this possibility if Google does not correct the violation.
If Google does not give up on tracking users, it runs the risk of serious harm to it, and Apple
Users should be able to interact with the coronavirus patient tracking system without fear of violating their privacy. We are categorically not satisfied with the terms on which Google invites us to cooperate. Therefore, we are forced to insist that the company refuse to collect data through GPS-modules built into smartphones of users who have installed the application in order to protect themselves from infection, says Dr. Sang-Lee Kim, head of digitalization at the Swiss Ministry of Health.
Quite frankly, collecting data about users who have installed a contact tracking app is a very vicious practice. Not only does it undermine the credibility of the system itself, organized in order to protect the population, it also casts a shadow on Apple, which seems to have nothing to do with it. In any case, the Cupertino company has never been caught spying on users on its own, which is a bit discordant with Google's behavior, although they created this system together and, accordingly, should have initially excluded any possibility of surveillance.
Google said how much RAM a smartphone needs
The amount of RAM in modern smartphones has long reached the computer level. Therefore, now no one is particularly surprised when he hears about the release of the next device with 12 or 16 GB of RAM. In the end, everyone already understands that the manufacturer is simply trying to seem cool, although in fact this amount of memory is completely inapplicable. But if the maximum mark, above which manufacturers cannot increase the RAM of their smartphones, does not exist, then the minimum may soon appear.
Operativeness has always been important to Android, but behind the scenes. And now the era of publicity has arrived
First, a little excursion. Today Android – smartphones are divided into two segments: devices based on the classic version Android and devices based on the stripped-down Android Go. The first ones you know well. They are not subject to any special requirements or restrictions. But to the second – they apply, and how. Since these are entry-level devices, and the operating system for them is cut and lightened as much as possible, respectively, they do not need a powerful processor or a large amount of RAM. They even worked with 512 MB, which greatly influenced the 'average temperature in the hospital'.
Now all smartphones with 2 GB of RAM and less will only work on Android Go
Starting from the 4th quarter of 2020, the minimum allowable amount of RAM for smartphones based on the classic Android will be 2 GB. This is stated in the explanatory documentation intended for manufacturers, which was at the disposal of colleagues from XDA. The new rule – of course, after it comes into force – will apply to devices compatible not only with Android 11, but also with Android 10. Thus, Google expects to significantly increase the coverage of devices covered by under the new requirement.
All smartphones with 2GB RAM or less will need to run Android Go. This is a key requirement for compatibility with Google Mobile Services (GMS), a suite of service tools and mechanisms to ensure that your device works properly. This opinion was formed due to the fact that Google plans to prohibit the installation of GMS on smartphones with less than the recommended amount of RAM. That is, in fact, it will be possible to roll onto the device a stock version of the operating system, cleared of Google services. But to make it work properly, download applications from Google Play, etc. – not anymore.
It's best not to waste time on trifles and take a smartphone with 6-8 GB of RAM
Despite the fact that the new requirement looks somehow untimely, because there are almost no smartphones left on the market even with 3 GB of RAM, not to mention 2 GB, it can be considered both a guide to action for manufacturers and advice for consumers who choose a new device. After all, if 2 GB of RAM is the standard for devices based on Android Go, then 3 GB is already the minimum threshold that should be crossed if possible. Simply put, with the introduction of the new rule, it will be easier for users to navigate the characteristics when choosing a new smartphone and strive to buy devices with the maximum possible amount of RAM.
But, in fairness, it should be noted that everything depends on optimization. The same Pixel 4, with its 4 GB of RAM, works more than properly and demonstrates itself in no way worse than the Galaxy S20 Ultra, which in its top configuration has a whopping 16 GB of RAM. Why does he need so much, only Samsung knows. After all, it is banal to apply such a volume of RAM in real operating conditions. Therefore, I would recommend starting from the average indicators and choosing a smartphone with 6-8 GB of volatile memory. As they say, in reserve.
New cheap OnePlus
OnePlus has officially unveiled its new smartphone called OnePlus Nord. For a long time we thought that it would be called OnePlus Z, but it didn't grow together. How long have I waited for this device! Since the release of the eighth generation of the beloved smartphone by many, which took place in April this year, I have not ceased to criticize the company for the price it chose for the new product. No, well, really … That price tag was just a horse, but now the price is really very pleasant and the new smartphone will easily send many competitors to hell. Now we will live. Although…
At first glance, it turned out well.
After a huge amount of hype, hints and teasers, the company finally did it. We will not go into the ideological details of such a decision now. Perhaps we will talk about this later, but for now we just need to talk about what the new product is.
Despite the fact that the OnePlus Nord is a more affordable alternative to the flagship family that was introduced a few months ago, it's still cool. Primarily due to the fact that, despite the price cut, it was able to retain the bulk of the DNA of the line. And it's simple, it's not that average, judging by the characteristics.
OnePlus Nord officially launched this week and will have several pre-sale waves for its fans, with main sales starting on August 4th in Europe, India and the UK. The smartphone will not be on sale in the US yet. Not in the first wave of countries and Russia. It's okay, we'll find out how to buy or just wait a little.
The price of new items will be 24,999 rupees (approximately 23,700 rubles) for the 6/64 GB version, which will be sold only in India. The 8/128 GB version will cost $ 399 in the world (approximately 28,400 rubles). For a model with 12/256 GB memory, you will have to pay $ 499 (approximately 35,500 rubles). On the OnePlus 8, which starts at $ 699, the price tag seems much more humane.
The $ 399 OnePlus is much nicer to buy than the $ 699 one.
For the general market, there will only be two versions with 8/128 GB or 12/256 GB memory. There will be a separate version for India, which will receive more modest amounts of memory – 6/64 GB. Otherwise, all models will have everything the same. They will receive support for 5G, AMOLED – a screen with a frequency of 90 Hz, and the processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 76 5G, which not that much behind the 865th.
The body of the phone is made of plastic, but according to journalists who have already touched it, it looks very much like glass. The front screen is covered with Gorilla Glass 5. The smartphone will run OxygenOS 10.5 on Android 10. Naturally, an update to Android 11 is not far off.
On the front panel there are two front cameras with a resolution of 32 MP (normal) and 8 MP (ultra-wide). They are located in an elongated hole. The main camera received a Sony IMX 586 sensor with a resolution of 48 megapixels. It comes with an 8-megapixel ultra-wide, a 2-megapixel macromodule and a 5-megapixel depth sensor.
The battery will have a capacity of 4,115 mAh and will receive 30-watt charging, made using the same technology as in the OnePlus 8.
The smartphone will charge quickly.
The Nord has a lot in common with the regular OnePlus 8. The display is almost identical, the cameras are similar, and both smartphones are not IP rated. However, the OnePlus 8 Pro already looks much more interesting than the new sub-flagship. Fast wireless charging, IP68 rating and 3x zoom camera are already significant benefits.
It's too early to talk about this, because you need to thoroughly study it, but if you are a fan of the brand and do not accept the new policy of a company that has played with the flagships, the choice is obvious for you. In this case, you must definitely take this smartphone. Moreover, its characteristics are more than decent, and the price does not bite. Finally, OnePlus costs as much as it should, even with a simplified processor, which, by the way, will receive the Google Pixel 5.
At the same time, it will still work perfectly and it Oxygen OS will be able to please “connoisseurs of the genre”. You will also receive 5G which will come in handy in a couple of years. Well, save a couple of hundred dollars when compared to the OnePlus 8.
Let's wait and see, but so far the smartphone is attracting attention.
Let there be many alternative options for this money, which will often be no worse, but recently OnePlus stands somehow apart from the rest and you can give it another chance with such, at first glance, a successful novelty.
Now I'm ready to say that OnePlus has released the right phone. If for this it was only necessary to abandon the top processor, then I am glad that this happened. In the eighth generation, it would be time to grow up and abandon the brand's inherent maximalism and gigantomania. Better to take a second-in-class processor and make a smartphone much cheaper than endlessly chasing a unicorn.
At the end I'll add some tar to the honey barrel. Nevertheless, the price of this smartphone has somehow been reduced too much. We still need to figure it out. Maybe it is cheap, but in return it will torture you with ads and collect all the data you can, as some other manufacturers do? Anything can be. We need to figure it out.