As usual, we present to your attention the traditional news selection of this week. During these seven days we learned that Google has released the first beta version of the new Android 11. This was expected by many and it happened. The only pity is that at the same time, as we assumed earlier, the Google Pixel 4a was not released. However, even without it, the company showed a sales record. We'll also talk about this, as well as how Google can optimize the work of games on smartphones so that they are more beautiful with the same performance.
At the end of each week, among other news, Google always gives you a reason to talk about yourself.
Google knows how to improve game performance on Android
In terms of software quality and optimization Android I have always been a cut below iOS. Unlike Apple, which required developers to adapt applications for all supported devices, Google could not put forward such a requirement. First, there are many more devices based on Android than iPhone and iPad combined. And, secondly, they all have different combinations of iron, with each of which you need to work on an individual basis. Nevertheless, Google has leverage over developers, and it looks like it finally decided to use it.
Google decided to make games for Android better
Google unveiled Android Performance Tunes for Developers to improve the performance of Android – devices in games. Despite the fact that it does not overclock the processor, the gain is achieved due to the more efficient use of available resources. With the help of Android Performance Tuner, developers get the opportunity to more thoroughly optimize their games for different combinations of hardware at once, in the future covering up to 99% of all devices under control Android.
Games for Android are often completely unoptimized, causing users to suffer
Basically, Android Performance Tuner is just an analysis tool or visual metric. Its application gives the developer the ability to track how the game works on a specific device. The tool notifies him about fps or performance drops, about problems with the correct display of graphics and special effects, and indicates possible ways to fix existing flaws. As a result, the developer just has to follow the proposed scenario and adapt the game properly.
One of the key problems with modern games for Android is low graphics performance. The developers do not take into account all the features of the graphics processors, which is why, firstly, the quality and detail of the picture suffers, and, secondly, the frame rate, which also has a negative impact on the perception of the gameplay. For this reason, Fortnite, which on iPhone is available at 60 fps, on the vast majority of Android smartphones only works at 30 fps, indicating a lack of optimization.
A very good difference between a game optimized by Android Performance Tunes (left) and an unoptimized game (right) can be seen in a couple of screenshots below. The image on the left clearly shows footprints on the water that appear after the boat has moved, a plant growing along the shore and a bush on the mountain in the background. On the right, there is none of this, and the picture looks very poor, causing a persistent feeling that the artists decided to cheat and simply did not finish some of the significant details that form the correct perception of the game.
Left – optimized game, right – unoptimized
However, there is one catch. Google does not oblige developers to use Android Performance Tunes in their games, offering it as an optional tool that you can use if you want. This means that those who are not interested in taking the time to learn and integrate a new in-game performance enhancer will likely not. After all, if users already download games and play them, it means that they are happy with everything, and therefore there is no point in trying to change something.
Therefore, for everything to work as it should, Google needs to make Android Performance Tuner a must-have tool for developers, without which games will not be published on Google Play. But even that would not have been enough. For maximum effect, the search giant needs to introduce a mandatory requirement for developers, obliging them to optimize their games for released devices every six months or a year, so that their owners can also enjoy the experience of playing at maximum settings regardless of hardware.
Google released the first beta version Android 11. How to download
The release of fresh updates Android is always an event. Even when Google just releases another security patch, users are already worried. Needless to say about the new version of the operating system, which is released only once a year. As a rule, we already know in advance all the innovations, the release date, and even the approximate release dates of test assemblies. But not in the case of Android 11, the presentation of which was first postponed for a whole month, and then completely canceled due to the unfavorable situation in the United States, postponing the launch of the beta testing program until better times. Greetings to you in better times.
Beta Android 11 is out now, but not for everyone
Google launched its beta program Android 11 this week, introducing the first test version. From a functional point of view, it is not much different from Android 11 Developer Preview 4, which was released two months earlier. The key difference between Android 11 Developer Preview and Android 11 Beta is availability. If the first was intended exclusively for developers, as evidenced by the name of the assembly, then the second is aimed at participants in the open beta test, to which any owner of Google Pixel smartphones can join.
Only Google Pixel owners can sign up for beta testing
- Go to the registration page for the beta testing program;
- Log in with your Google account to which your 'pixel' is linked;
- Find a device that qualifies for the beta testing program (Pixel 2/2 XL, Pixel 3/3 XL, Pixel 3a / 3a XL, Pixel 4/4 XL);
- Confirm registration in the program;
- Go to 'Settings' on your smartphone and open the section with software updates;
- Search for updates and install the latest beta build.
Frankly, I have never been particularly impressed with new versions Android. Most of the innovations that they proposed looked either inappropriate or turned out to be too confusing from the point of view of implementation, because of which there was no desire to use them. However Android 11 is not one of those. Obviously, Google realized that it was doing the wrong thing, and in developing this version of the operating system has refocused on making it easier to use compatible devices and system functions, while not forgetting about security.
Android 11 promises to be the most iconic update in recent years
- Google has divided incoming notifications into two categories. The first includes dialogs that are located at the top of the curtain, and the second includes application notifications that are located at the bottom. This is logical, because for us it is much more important to respond to an incoming notification than to see a mark about a like on a social network.
- Android 11 has a special bubble mechanism for each messenger. Bubbles are buttons for switching between interlocutors, so you can quickly switch between them, without having to look for the desired chat in the application itself.
- A special widget for controlling playback will be available in the notification curtain. With its help, it will be possible to turn on, pause, rewind and perform other manipulations with the content being played without opening the application.
- The system will have a special section with a history of all incoming notifications. There you can view all the messages that were sent to you, but were accidentally closed.
- Users will have the opportunity to hot-call the Google Pay menu, where they can select a payment card immediately before paying. It's strange that there was no such function before.
- The Scoped Storage mechanism will divide the memory into several independent cells according to the number of installed applications. Thus, it will be possible to prevent them from claiming each other's data for security purposes.
- Well, and, perhaps, the icing on the cake can be safely called the modular Project Mainline architecture, which separates the security mechanisms from the main OS. Thanks to her, Google plans to start distributing security updates through Google Play, bypassing the manufacturers themselves.
Since the beta testing program is public, third-party smartphone manufacturers will soon start joining it. This delay is due to the fact that the developers have to adapt the firmware for their devices, bringing it in line with the innovations Android 11. True, how many brands will agree to participate in the beta testing program has not yet been reported. But, as a rule, these are Samsung, Nokia, OnePlus, Xiaomi and Oppo. The latter, by the way, has already announced its readiness to release beta Android 11 for its smartphones.
Contrary to punctures: Google Pixel is selling better
The Google Pixel has always evoked somewhat ambiguous feelings. The first generation looked downright weird. The second is better, but still with flaws. In the third, the bangs looked more like a parody, and in the fourth, the battery did not work, leaving the owner with a minimum of autonomy. Probably the best model to date is the Google Pixel 3a. So everyone is waiting for the Pixel 4a to come out. Despite these failures, the search giant's smartphone is still selling better and better. What is this being done if each new model evokes such a wave of criticism? It is difficult to answer, but the device sets new records. What is it this time?
Google Pixel breaks sales records, but only its own.
The Google Pixel 4 was indeed far from being a success, according to some recent reports, but that hasn't taken away the momentum from Google that has led to even more lineup expansion. The latest IDC data brings us new insights into which the Google Pixel line is showing its best-selling 2019 ever. The figure cannot be called fantastic against the background of what is shown by Apple, Huawei, Samsung and Xiaomi, but the company has released its 7.2 million smartphones.
A report from last month showed that the Google Pixel 4 managed to sell close to 2 million devices in just 6 months, with most of those sales coming in 2020. How, then, did the company manage to sell so many smartphones in 2019? Especially considering that the “four” appeared towards the end of the year.
The answer is quite simple and I have already hinted at it just above. Most likely, these are sales of the Google Pixel 3a, which looked very good, sank nicely in the hand, took gorgeous photos and at the same time cost very humane money compared to the older brother of the Google Pixel 3 – only 399 dollars. It really was very inexpensive for that phone.
This smartphone seems to be the best selling smartphone on Google.
Google itself said that this smartphone sold well at the beginning of this year. In 2019, Google Pixel 3a sales grew from quarter to quarter. Sometimes he even managed to double his sales.
If you don't follow the analytics and economics of the smartphone market too closely, then 7.2 million may seem like a lot to you and it really is a lot. But if you look not in absolute terms, but in relative terms, then this figure simply pales against the background of competitors. Although they cannot be called competitors after this. For example, OPPO, which is only the fifth largest in the world in terms of sales, shipped over 114 million smartphones in 2019. And even if she has a much wider model range, the difference is simply colossal.
Of the famous brands that are constantly on the rumor, Google Pixel was only able to get ahead of OnePlus. As you can see, Google still has a lot to strive for and something to think about.
Interestingly, the best sales of smartphones of the search giant, apart from the United States, were shown in Western Europe and Japan – markets where they traditionally sell very well iPhone. Is it a coincidence or is Google Pixel called “iPhone to Android” for a reason? Probably not in vain I recommended it as one of the alternatives when switching from iPhone to Android – smartphones.
There are many smartphones on Android, but choosing is not always easy.
Despite the shocks in the production of the Google Pixel, which two top members of the development team have already paid for, the Google Pixel has other problems as well. Perhaps now another problem will become more, since the famous high-quality cameras for that smartphone were made by one of those fired employees of the Pixel team.
Dismissals or strange independent leaving of two people at once does not mean that everything is fine in the team. Most likely, something is wrong inside and this affected the quality of the product. Because of this, the company's management decided to take up personnel changes.
Another major problem with the Google Pixel is its price, especially against the backdrop of those very technical problems, such as poor battery life, which many people lack for the rest of the day. It is possible that this year, against the background of a general increase in prices for flagships, the company could increase sales. To do this, it would be necessary, at least, to release a smartphone no worse than last year (solving problems with the battery) and keep the price of last year. In this case, sales would start to grow, but the company chose a different approach.
There is little doubt that the Google Pixel 5 will not run on the top-end Snapdragon 865. Most likely, it will receive the Snapdragon 76 5G. This will not only save money on the filling of the device, due to which it will be possible to keep the price, but will also give one more advantage.
Google Pixel 5 can be anything. For example, like this.
The new Snapdragon 865 does not have a built-in modem 5G, which must be installed separately and take up space in the case. The slightly less productive 76 5G has a built-in modem. Such a chipset is much easier to install in a smartphone, it takes up less space and does not require a more extensive cooling system. Some solid pluses.
It turns out that by losing insignificantly in performance, the company receives a significant reduction in cost and the ability to install components more freely. At the same time, choose a more capacious battery. This solution looks very promising in the current situation. If you don't agree, please tell us about it in our Telegram chat.
In general, Google can afford to release smartphones without significant profits. She will not become poorer from this, since other activities bring her billions of dollars. Pixel for her is more a matter of honor and a toy for fans of the brand.
OnePlus will show a cheap smart TV
The market and the economy as a whole are so arranged that any business or any production should grow. Even if there was no such rule, the representatives of this very business would still like constant growth. At a minimum, it is needed in order for the business to bring money where it can bring it. This is how it happens when you produce cool smartphones and can offer people something new, under a brand that they already love. Moreover, this way you can create a whole infrastructure, like the one that works great for Apple, works well for Samsung, and which Huawei and Honor are striving for. This is how OnePlus decided to make TVs.
We are waiting for an alternative from OnePlus.
The company has already offered some accessories and the TV itself, as if trying themselves on that field. True, according to various information, she did not turn out very well. Moreover, she tried to do it mainly in the Indian market, which the company traditionally loves very much and which reciprocates. For example, judging by the leaks, it is in this market that the new OnePlus Z will go on sale for the first time, which will be a cheap but worthy smartphone to compete with other Chinese brands in the price range of $ 350-400.
The company's CEO Pete Lau has now posted an entry in Twitter. He said the company is making its premium television products more accessible to the Indian community. Perhaps this means that TVs will only be in this market, but if this is part of the company's long-term strategy, then it will definitely launch them on the global market. You just need to gain popularity in more niche territories such as India and China.
Everything is official.
According to the entry, it is worth waiting for a new TV on July 2 this year. It is difficult to say yet if this is somehow related to the release of the new cheap OnePlus Z, but the difference between their release dates, according to rumors, will be about a week. Perhaps their release will be combined under one date, but more information on this matter will appear a little later.
It is not yet known what the cheap OnePlus TV will look like.
We must not forget that OnePlus will face serious competition from manufacturers such as Samsung and LG, which are not only present in all global markets, but also have a lot of weight there. And they can also offer lower prices. Therefore, Lau will have to work hard to release a truly competitive product.
According to ET Telecom, OnePlus is announcing not one, but two TVs in July this year. One of them will be the base entry-level model, which will be priced at around $ 200. The other TV will be of higher quality, but the price will also be higher. The exact amount is not disclosed, but it should be in the range of $ 265 to $ 530. The spread is impressive, but it is too early to talk about any more specific figure.
Apparently, the price was not chosen by chance. According to research by Counterpoint, these two price segments account for almost 78 percent of the smart TV market in India. Based on this, we can assume that the new product will cost more in other markets.
As it usually happens in advertising, a very happy person watches the screensaver of the movie service. This time on a OnePlus TV.
Even if the new product is more expensive in other markets, it could still attract a lot of attention against the background of what the company showed earlier. Let me remind you that it was a TV that cost about $ 930, but if you wanted to buy a retractable soundbar for it, then you had to pay about $ 400 more for it. In this price segment, shoppers are more likely to aim for more established brands rather than trying to show their trust in a newcomer. Given this, it is not at all surprising that OnePlus wants to change something and enter more affordable segments, in which there are significantly more buyers and it is easier to compete.
Many people often claim that they don't watch TV, but they know all the TV shows and videos on YouTube very well. The fact is that you can watch TV in different ways. Some need federal channels, while others will simply be able to display content on it that they previously watched on a computer or smartphone.
You can also connect a game console to the TV, which will also appeal to many. Now this type of device is selling very well due to its lower cost and advanced features. This forces manufacturers to enter this business, and an additional incentive is the example Xiaomi, which was able to interest a lot of people with its TVs. Going along its path, the main thing is not to forget about one thing – that the price should be low, and the quality should be at least comparable to competitors. Then sales are likely to be secured.