Headliners of the outgoing week were Samsung and Google. The first managed to make the screens of her smartphones turn green, and then, in between, prices in Russia dropped significantly. The second released important updates to popular applications that should make the world a better and more enjoyable place, but these updates were not very good. At the very least, not all of them were justified and substantiated. What else was happening in the world this week Android? We will tell you in our traditional final news collection. Sit back, click 'read more' and let's figure out what's going on!
Samsung turn green! Google update!
Samsung smartphone screens began to turn green en masse
AMOLED – screens have always been considered more problematic than IPS. Even if we forget about the twisted saturation, which is almost never found, flickering, inversion of colors at not the most critical viewing angles and burnout still do not go anywhere and continue to cause inconvenience to users around the world. Another thing is that everyone knows about these shortcomings AMOLED, and when buying a smartphone with such a screen, they roughly understand what they are doing. But if the screen suddenly turns green, few people can tell how to behave.
Notice that your smartphone screen has turned green? Most likely, his calibration has lost
Some time ago, Galaxy S20 Ultra owners complained that their smartphone screen suddenly started glowing green. Despite the many versions put forward by sofa experts, only Samsung managed to determine 100% what actually happened. About 7-10 days after the complaints started popping up on the Web, the company's developers released a special update for the affected devices that fixed the problem as quickly as it appeared. Here are just a green screen – as in the saying about Fedot, to which hiccups should switch – suddenly appeared on all other Samsung smartphones.
The problem only affected devices that are receiving updates. So, the reason is in them
The green screen problem was reported by the owners of the following models:
- Galaxy S9
- Galaxy S9 +
- Galaxy Note 8
- Galaxy S10
- Galaxy S10 +
- Galaxy S10e
- Galaxy S10 Lite
- Galaxy Note 10 Lite
As you can see, the range of problematic devices is quite extensive. Moreover, interestingly, the green screen affected only those smartphones that are still supported. That is, the Galaxy S8, for example, is not among them. This can serve as direct evidence that the problem was caused by one of the latest updates and is of software, not hardware nature. I don't know if this fact will please you or not, but whatever one may say, there is still hope for a bug fix, and you can count on a patch with a bug fix in the very near future.
Despite the fact that Samsung does not officially comment on the problem, you can try to fix it yourself. According to users who have experienced greening of their smartphone screens, this effect appears at low brightness levels. This means that if you increase the brightness, the greenery should either disappear completely, or become less noticeable. Yes, this will naturally lead to an increase in energy consumption and a reduction in battery life. But then you can decide for yourself what to choose: contemplate the green screen or lose an hour and a half of work without recharging.
Green screen is usually caused by low brightness
Obviously, the problem in question is the same for all smartphones regardless of model. Most likely, it was caused by a calibration failure that occurred due to an incorrectly configured update. By and large, there is nothing wrong with that, and Samsung may in the very near future release a fresh update in which it will correct the flaw. Therefore, it is recommended to just wait for the developers to complete work on the update and release it to people.
However, if you are not satisfied with the current situation, you can contact Samsung technical support using this link. Describe the problem, tell us that because of this you cannot fully use your smartphone, and request a repair or a refund. Most likely, you will be directed to an authorized service center, where you will be asked to leave the device for diagnostics. Upon its completion, the specialists will make a decision on your problem and, possibly, satisfy the claim for reimbursement of the money spent on the purchase.
New features of mobile Google Chrome
Mobile Google Chrome and desktop are two different browsers. Despite the seemingly uniform framework, they differ greatly both in terms of architecture and functionality. For example, the mobile version does not have a built-in antivirus that would scan a smartphone for malware, does not support extensions, and in general does not overload either the processor or the RAM, which is good news. However, Google felt that the differences between mobile and desktop versions of Chrome are too many and need to be addressed.
Mobile and desktop Chrome are very different from each other
Google has planned a large-scale update for mobile Google Chrome, which will be released later this year. It will focus on the security of web surfing and the protection of user data. Google will not invent any new tools, but simply adapt the mechanisms for smartphones that were previously implemented in the desktop version. This should take the browser's security features to a whole new level, allowing it to more aggressively compete with third-party solutions like Apple, Mozilla and Opera.
Google wants Chrome to be more secure for users
There will be three significant innovations in total, which will be combined under the Safety Check package:
- The site check function will analyze the web pages that the user opens and identify fake ones among them. Thus, it will be possible to reduce the risk of theft of user data, who often cannot distinguish the original page from a fake one and voluntarily leak personal information to cybercriminals.
- The password check function will scan the passwords used by the user, calculating among them the hacked and potentially insecure ones. This will avoid situations with the selection of protective combinations and increase the security of accounts, regardless of the service to which they lead.
- The virus check function will not work exactly as it did in the desktop version. It will only analyze sites that the user has opened for spy trackers, malicious scripts and other slag, blocking them if they decide to look for the user's safety.
While the update is in beta testing and the planned innovations can be tested only in a special version of Chrome for preliminary tests – Canary. This is a so-called unstable build because it contains many experimental features that Google is testing to work with before migrating them to the release version of Chrome. It may take several months or even years before this happens. Therefore, even if you see some function in Canary, this does not mean at all that it will appear in the regular version of Chrome.
However, if you already have Chrome Canary installed, you can activate the above features in just a few steps:
- Open your browser and enter chrome: // flags in the address bar;
- In the window that opens, find the Safety Check function;
Security features can only be enabled in a test version of Chrome
- In the drop-down box under the function select “Enabled”;
- Restart your browser to apply the changes.
Google did not disclose when the security update will be released, but notes that it will be available later this year. Considering that the company generally allowed itself to talk about this, it means that the work on the innovations has already been completed, and now the developers are testing and debugging all the mechanisms to ensure their correct and well-coordinated work. Therefore, I would bet that the update itself with the planned innovations will be released to people even before the end of summer – in late July or early August.
How much the promised innovations will change our experience of using Chrome, I can not judge. On the one hand, I still don't come across phishing links (or maybe I'm just so good at distinguishing them from real ones?), And I haven't come across malicious scripts either. But, on the other hand, there are probably people for whom ensuring their own security is a rather difficult matter, and it is for them that such mechanisms should definitely benefit. True, whether this will make the user an even more greenhouse creature than it is now is a big question.
Every new feature of YouTube is viewed by users literally under a microscope. All because of the boundless and pure love for this service, which is used by an insane number of people around the world. This time YouTube decided to try to become like Instagram and introduce the ability to quickly publish short videos that are somewhat reminiscent of the famous “stories”, which have become a real boon and are gaining more and more popularity. Only now it turns out that video hosting is not very good. Remember how at school the teachers used to say “for their efforts five, in the subject – a C”? Or was it just my chemist saying that? In general, YouTube is not doing very well so far for one single reason.
YouTube is cool. Instagram cool. But is it necessary to mix them?
YouTube is testing a new, at first glance, interesting function of shooting and uploading videos for its authors via a mobile application. If it gets widespread, it will allow people to record multiple clips directly from the YouTube app and upload them as a new video. However, there is a limitation that, to be honest, looks a little odd.
Due to this limitation, creators will only be able to record 15 second clips at a time. Or does this only apply to the edited and prepared video clip? The explanations of the company are somewhat vague and it is still difficult to clearly understand what comes out of this.
To take a video, you must press or hold the record button. To stop recording, release the button or press it again. You can continue to do these steps until you get the video you wanted to shoot. You just need to remember that its duration cannot be more than 15 seconds.
Stories are very popular, but what does YouTube have to do with it?
It can be assumed that the company will not restrict its users too harshly and the limit will affect not the whole video, but individual clips of which it will consist. If this is not the case and YouTube chooses the first path, then this will become a big problem, since such an opportunity will hardly be needed by anyone.
Even so, we tend to believe that the limitation applies to individual clips rather than where they end up glued together – posting just 15-second videos would be pointless for many YouTube users. Yes, there are many … No one will be interested in this, except for a couple of people who always want some kind of experiments and enjoy not the level of usefulness of the innovation, but from the fact that this simply did not happen before.
This limitation is likely due to YouTube stories. It was possible to record and download such videos directly in the YouTube application. Since this feature was first introduced by the creators back in 2018, it would make sense for engineers to create a new overwrite feature for the available code from Stories.
Just like stories on other platforms such as Instagram, individual clips can be up to 15 seconds long, otherwise they will split. The difference is that Instagram automatically and seamlessly creates a new clip when you record something too long. But it doesn't seem to work for YouTube for some reason.
The key to YouTube's success is in its audience. Of course he wants to increase it.
There is no doubt that the YouTube team knows what they want to do and what should come out, but the concept itself looks a little strange so far. First of all, this is a little illogical due to the fact that users on YouTube do not go the same way as in Instagram.
Insta is needed in order to view photos and those same stories. That is, the process of use turns out to be more continuous there. You can flip through the tape as much as you have free time. Then you just minimize the application and go about your business. It's the same with stories. They are short, do not commit to anything and are updated themselves, offering only the most relevant of what is.
People go to YouTube more thoroughly. For the most part, they want not just to flip through the tape, although now it has such a thing, but to fully watch the video. That is, a person chooses a video on one of his favorite channels and gives it to the creator 10-20 minutes of his time so that he can tell him something interesting.
Many people scroll through the feed Instagram literally on the go. YouTube is completely different.
Of course, someone watches videos in chunks and YouTube has remembered the place where you left off from time immemorial, but this is rather an exception. You can flip through the tape for at least 30 seconds, and then return to this in half an hour. It is simply impossible to watch videos like that.
If YouTube tries to erase the line between him and Instagram, then something may come of it, but for this it must entice people and give them the opportunity to post and watch records more conveniently. Now everything is going along the path of maximum simplification and relief. The TikTok example demonstrates this very well. Of course, it's good to have a real harvester, which will show the movie and let you flip through the tape, but it will be somehow cumbersome. People won't want to go into the app and choose what to watch. They need to open Instagram and here it is, or start YouTube and see a selection of interesting things.
In general, as you can imagine, I don't really believe in YouTube's attempts to become like Instagram. And all these tapes and stories in the app are for me like Vladimir Solovyov unpacking his phone. Burnout, but nothing more.
Major update for 'Google Photos'
Google Photos is one of the coolest Google services. Not only does it allow you to store photos in high quality for free, it also represents a smart and very understandable directory, in which it is very convenient to search for previously saved images. It is especially cool that the service itself recognizes faces, events and locations and groups photographs of specific people, animals and phenomena. It is enough to write in the search 'Vacation 2019', 'Turkey' or 'Tuzik', and smart algorithms will find all the matches. But it turns out Google Photos can be made even better.
Google has released a Google Photos update that makes the service better
Google has released a major 'Google Photos' (download) update for Android, redesigning the app and extending its functionality.
The first thing that catches your eye is not so much the redrawn interface that has become even simpler and easier, but the changed number of tabs at the bottom. Now there are three of them, not four as before. Google hid the 'For You' tab from the home page, moving it to the 'Memories' section. Therefore, three main sections are now available on the main screen: 'Photos', where all pictures and videos are stored in chronological order, 'Find', which replaced the search bar at the top, and 'Library', which plays the role of the deceased 'Albums' tab.
Google Photos update turned out to be large-scale, although it is imperceptible at first glance
Despite the apparent consistency and intuitiveness of the previous interface layout, the new combination will make the use of 'Google Photos' more convenient. This is because the Find tab now contains a lot of new search tools. Firstly, icons of people, animals and events that were captured in photos and videos will be available here. Secondly, it became possible to search by cities that you have visited. And thirdly, a special map has appeared, which will display the pictures taken by you in different cities and countries.
In general, Google has done a very good job on the interactive component of the interface. This is clearly seen in the example of how, as you scroll through the photos in the 'Find' tab, the points move around the map, indicating the origin of the frame. Not that it’s very important, but sometimes it’s interesting to see where you’re getting carried away. This feature will be especially relevant for travelers who are constantly moving, and then cannot find a picture from a specific area.
The role of stories will be strengthened in the 'Photos' tab. These are small videos or collections of stitched photographs that relate to the same event. They will be located at the top of the screen and remind you of something from your past. In fact, it is a very convenient thing, because I myself never leaf through my old photos, which have already accumulated several thousand, but this format of reminders about events that have taken place allows me to feel a little nostalgic and remember the moments that I managed to forget.
Although Google has already released the update, it is rolling out gradually and may not be available to some users. This is done in order to be able to recall the update in case of any problems in the work of the innovations. However, if everything goes smoothly, it is obvious that the update will reach you in the next 5-7 days. Well, if you don't want to wait and you can't wait to try out the new features of 'Google Photos', download the APK file of the service from here and install it on your smartphone. It will replace the original application and will update as before.
Decrease in prices for Samsung smartphones in Russia
The increase in prices for smartphones is an event, although it is familiar to the Russian user, but not to say that it is so regular. Over the past 5 years, manufacturers have raised prices for their devices imported into Russia only a couple of times. Moreover, the first time was back in 2015, and the second – last month. But if 5 years ago all brands, without exception, took advantage of the opportunity to raise prices, now it seems that only Samsung decided to revise the pricing policy in the domestic market. Fortunately, the Koreans soon rolled back the prices of almost all devices to their original mark.
Samsung zeroed out and cut prices again
If you remember, in mid-May, Samsung raised prices for almost all of its smartphones, with the exception of the Galaxy Z Flip. But the rest of the flagship devices – not even the newest ones – added 10 thousand rubles in price. The only device that went up in price not by 10, but immediately by 20 thousand rubles, was the Galaxy Fold, which, after changing the pricing policy, was estimated at 179,990 rubles. The suspiciously flat numbers served as a hint that Samsung analysts did not bother too much about working out the pricing concept, but simply fulfilled someone's will from above. But, fortunately, this was a temporary phenomenon.
Prices for Samsung smartphones returned to the pre-quarantine level
I noticed this week that prices for many Samsung smartphones – at least in the official online store – have returned to April levels. Moreover, the reduction is presented not in the form of discounts, as is often the case, but as a new pricing policy. That is, you will not see any strikethrough.
- Galaxy S20: before – 79,990 rubles, now – 69,990 rubles;
- Galaxy S20 +: it was – 89,990 rubles, now – 79,990 rubles;
- Galaxy S20 Ultra: formerly – 109,990 rubles, now – 99,990 rubles;
- Galaxy S10: formerly 69,990 rubles, now – 59,990 rubles;
- Galaxy S10 Lite: formerly – 49,990 rubles, now – 44,990 rubles.
What exactly is the reason for the drop in prices, Samsung does not mention. Perhaps what happened was planned as an action aimed at compensating for the costs incurred by the Korean company during the pandemic and the depreciation of the ruble against the euro, in which the Russian office of Samsung purchases devices from the head office. And, perhaps, Samsung just realized in time that by keeping prices so high, they risked dropping demand in the already difficult times for Russians. At the same time, the price of Galaxy Fold for some reason did not return to the pre-crisis level.
Want to save money? Go to the gray market
However, in this case, one version does not exclude the other. That is, it cannot be ruled out that the Koreans from the very beginning planned to do exactly what they did. That is why the time interval between the increase and decrease in prices was so short – only about a month, or even less. But it should be borne in mind that Samsung could not predict the jumps in the exchange rate. Therefore, in May she had to buy smartphones at the rate of 81-82 rubles, and in June – at the rate of 76-77 rubles. That is, now we are offered to buy devices from a new batch, for which the Russian office paid less than a month earlier.
Has this made it more profitable to buy Samsung smartphones in official retail? Not at all. The reduction of 10 thousand rubles, which we have witnessed, still remains insufficient for the consumer to rush to stores for the flagships of the Korean brand. This makes no sense, given that in the gray retail, the same devices are priced at 20-30 thousand rubles cheaper, depending on the configuration, while they have the same warranty and are absolutely in no way inferior to the white models.