In this week’s top stories: Google sends notices for a Google+ class action lawsuit settlement, the Pixel 5 may have gotten its launch date leaked, OnePlus teases Android 11 based HydrogenOS, and more.
In a week filled with hardware announcements from Samsung and Google, the story that captured most people’s interest this week is a suspicious looking, yet legitimate notice from Google informing folks of a class action lawsuit settlement. The $7.5 million settlement could give past Google Plus members as much as $12, depending on how few folks decide to file a claim.
Those who are part of the lawsuit’s class — the full definition is down below, but the short version is anyone with a Google+ account between January 1, 2015 and April 2, 2019 — should be able to go to the listed website and file their claim. If you’re included in that group, you have until October 8 to decide to claim, opt out of the settlement, or file an objection.
This week, Google finally took the wraps off of the Pixel 4a, over two months after we initially expected it to launch. In their announcement, Google calls the Pixel 4a the “helpful Google phone, at a helpful price,” and it’s hard to debate that claim judging from early reviews.
It is the second phone after the Pixel 4 to feature the new Google Assistant. On-device speech recognition and language understanding allow for faster commands. This in turn lets you navigate apps and perform certain actions hands-free. For example, you can search Google Photos and after finding the right image send it to a contact via voice. In addition to English, it now works in German, French, Spanish, and Italian.
While the formal unveiling of the Pixel 4a after its many delays is plenty exciting, our eyes, as always, are looking ahead to the next release. In the original version of Google France’s announcement of the Pixel 4a, it was spotted that the company included a date for when the Pixel 4a (5G) and Pixel 5 should launch — October 8.
This October 8 event would most likely be a full-blown Made by Google hardware event, serving as an opportunity for Google to launch their upcoming Android TV dongle as well as the recently teased successor to the Google Home.
OnePlus fans got their first glimpse at Android 11 this week, as the company announced an upcoming update to their China-exclusive HydrogenOS. While full details of the update should be unveiled on August 10, OnePlus spent this week teasing new features in their Android 11 update like an improved dark mode.
OnePlus also shows several designs for its always-on display, another overdue feature that users have been requesting for years. As seen previously, there are some slick and unique designs here, but also some more traditional options that play off of analog and digital clockfaces.
On the flip side of OnePlus news, it’s now been revealed that the smartphone company has struck a deal with Facebook. Specifically, their phones, starting with the OnePlus 8, come with Facebook App Installer, Facebook Services, and Facebook App Manager pre-installed in such a way that they cannot be uninstalled, only disabled.
With those apps installed and active, you might notice that updates for Facebook apps may come through that service instead of the Play Store. You may also notice that those services eat up little bits of data even while not in use, which is a tad concerning considering you don’t know what data is being sent back to Facebook.
The rest of this week’s top stories follow:
- Here’s everything new in Android 11 Beta 3 [Gallery]
- Google releases Android 11 Beta 3 ahead of public launch
- You can now use Google’s brand-new emoji, thanks to Android 11 Beta 3
- Android 11 Beta 3 hands-on: Top new features [Video]
- Here’s a demo of Cast Connect on Android TV as Google details supported apps
- Google launches Nearby Share on Android, rolling out now to Pixel & Samsung devices
- Surface Duo ‘for AT&T’ leaks in up-to-date and official-looking renders [Gallery]
- Google Home app will soon let you import Google Wifi networks
- Google Pay to launch digital bank accounts in 2021
- Google tests eye-catching Weather Tile redesign on Wear OS
- Google Play Music will stop working in October, MP3 store also shutting down
- Google Assistant now lets you create a ‘Family Bell’ schedule, Broadcast to specific rooms/devices
- Hands-on with all the interactive Google Nest Hub and Smart Display games [Video]
- Stadia now works w/ controllers on Android TV as it inches towards official support
- [U: Microsoft, Facebook respond] Apple confirms Stadia and services like it aren’t allowed on iOS
- [Update: 360-degree video] More Pixel 4a press renders leak ahead of launch w/ $349 price, specs confirmed
- Leaked Android document points to Google Pixel 5a, foldable Pixel, and more in the pipeline
- Google officially teases Pixel 4a (5G) and Pixel 5, starting at $499 and coming this fall
- Google discontinues Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL after less than a year [Updated]
- Google Pixel 4a Review Roundup: The overdue sequel nails the basics and the camera
- Google announces Pixel 4a w/ hole-punch screen, 128GB storage, & new Assistant at $349
- [Update: Confirmed + designs] Pete Lau drops major hint that OnePlus always-on display coming in OxygenOS 11
- OnePlus Buds review: Affordable OnePlus-only wireless earbuds [Video]
- [Update: More videos] Galaxy Watch 3 hands-on video confirms specs, hardware and software additions
- Samsung will provide at least 3 major Android updates to every flagship since the Galaxy S10
Author: Kyle Bradshaw.