In this week’s top stories: Google Home app adds Nest Wifi usage history, Pixel brand loyalty reportedly drops, OnePlus Watch won’t run Wear OS after all, and more.
Coinciding with the announcement of the second-gen Nest Hub, the Google Home app has been updated with increased functionality for the Nest Wifi family of devices. As of the update, you can now access a new “speed and usage” section in the Network info, with graphs for individual devices as well as the network as a whole.
These Nest Wifi usage graphs were previously a big omission for the Google Home app. That information was only available in the old Google Wifi client, which is now ripe for deprecation. Last year, Home added advanced Wifi settings and the ability to import existing networks.
A new report came out this week, suggesting that far fewer Pixel owners will buy a Pixel as their next phone, dropping from 84% down to 65.2%. By stark contrast, from the same report, 92% of iPhone owners surveyed said they would buy another iPhone as their next smartphone.
It’s honestly not all that hard to see why these numbers have dropped. Google’s Pixel lineup over the past two years have had some rocky points, with the very poor battery endurance of the Pixel 4 and the confusing lineup that is Pixel 4a, 4a 5G, and Pixel 5. With the company’s 2020 phones, we didn’t really have any major complaints on the quality of Google’s most recent phones, but the lack of larger XL models and a stagnating though still competitive camera are sure to have some users looking elsewhere.
One of the more anticipated wearables of this year is the OnePlus Watch, which at one point had been rumored to run on Google’s Wear OS platform. Instead, OnePlus’s Pete Lau detailed some aspects of the upcoming watch, including the fact that it would run on “RTOS” instead of Wear OS, for sake of battery life and more.
Lau further explains that the OnePlus Watch has a “stunning and burdenless design” as well as connectivity with OnePlus smartphones and TVs. A report from earlier today mentioned that the watch could be used as a remote for the Android-based TVs. Apparently, this will all come for an “affordable” price point too.
Android fans had much to look forward to this week, as Google launched the second Android 12 Developer Preview. We’ve carefully collected all of the changes, large and small, that can be found in the update, and also rounded up the most important ones into a video.
One of the more immediately noticeable changes about Android 12 on Pixel phones is that the dark theme is significantly lighter than before. On Android 11, the Google Pixel phones’ dark theme is an “AMOLED black,” but Android 12 is now using a medium grey that looks similar to the shade used in the dark mode of various Google apps.
Why the sudden change? We’re not entirely sure. Google proclaimed that even grey themes can save battery on OLED displays compared to white, so it stands to reason that a lighter grey would lessen battery savings. It’s an odd choice, but like I said, I dig the look of it.
The rest of this week’s top stories follow:
- Google readying crowdsourced ‘App install optimization’ in the Play Store
- ‘AAWireless’ dongle for Android Auto gets an unfortunate price increase due to CPU swap
- Walmart has its own ‘Onn’ streaming stick incoming w/ Android TV 10, Google’s remote
- Galaxy S20 update rolls out with yet more camera performance improvements
- TWRP 3.5.1 adds new features, preps Android 11 support
- Android’s new Fast Pair UI expands to Fitbit devices, plus more Bluetooth accessories
Android 12 |
- Google releases Android 12 Developer Preview 2 for Pixel phones
- How to install the Android 12 Developer Preview on Google Pixel devices
- Android 12 DP2: Google Pay surprisingly already works
Apps & Updates |
- Comment: An ascendent Google Fit makes the task of integrating Fitbit all the harder
- How well does FIFA 21 run on Google Stadia? [Video]
- [Update: Fixed] Google Nest outage takes down live video and history on Hello Doorbell, Cam IQ
- [Update: Now available] Google Maps dark theme for Android officially announced
Made by Google |
- Everything we learned about the next Google Pixel from the Android 12 Preview
- Google announces 2nd-gen Nest Hub with Soli-powered ‘Sleep Sensing’ for $99
- Some Google Pixel phones hit by Daylight Saving Time update bug
- Chromecast with Google TV issues w/ Dolby Atmos on Disney+ have apparently been fixed
- Switching to a Pixel 5 certainly feels faster than Google’s ‘mindful’ how-to video
- OnePlus Watch teased for March 23 unveiling because ‘you asked for it’
- Here’s a first look at a fingerprint-magnet finish coming to OnePlus 9 Pro [Gallery]
- Proposed OnePlus Watch specs include Warp Charge, OnePlus TV Controls
- YouTube TV adds 7 remaining Viacom channels as base package now at 104 networks
- New YouTube TV ‘Store’ highlights what channels you can subscribe to on televisions
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