Android Circuit: New Galaxy Note 20 Images, HMD Global’s New R&D, OnePlus Nord Confirmed – Forbes

Taking a look back at seven days of news and headlines across the world of Android, this week’s Android Circuit includes new images of the Galaxy Note 20, Samsung’s annoying ads, confirmation of OnePlus Nord, Huawei fights the app gap, HMD’s new R&D center, Google discontinues Pixel 3a, and Darksky is definitely closing.

Android Circuit is here to remind you of a few of the many things that have happened around Android in the last week (and you can find the weekly Apple news digest here).

This Is The Galaxy Note 20

With the leaks around Samsung’s Galaxy Note 20 building up, it’s possible to take all of the information and get a clear idea of the handset – something that the teams at Let’s Go Digital and Concept Creator have done to give us our best look at the Note 20 so far. I took a look at the design earlier this week:

“There’s not a huge amount of choices that a design team could make over the camera island. Packing in five lenses and flash, needs either a circular arrangement (much like Nokia 9 PureView) or a 3×2 grid. Samsung has decided on the latter. Other manufacturers have made similar decisions, as a result what could be a standout element now looks homogenous with similar flagship smartphones.”

More here on Forbes.

Samsung’s Annoying Android Ads

Do you want your smartphone to advertise to you? While Amazon continues to offer the Kindle at a discount if you will accept ‘special offers’ showing on the home screen, this is both optional and removable. That’s not the case with the latest Samsung Galaxy handsets, which now have ads in a number of core applications, including the Music app and the Dialler app. Max Weinbach explains:

“When you consider that Samsung not only sells among the most expensive smartphones money can buy, but that it’s blatantly using them as an ad revenue platform, you’re left with one obvious conclusion: Samsung is getting greedy. Samsung is just being greedy. They hope most Samsung customers aren’t going to switch to other phones and will just ignore and deal with the ads. While that’s a very greedy and honestly just bad tactic, it was largely working until they started pushing it with more ads in more apps.”

More at Android Police.

New OnePlus Handset Confirmed

OnePlus has confirmed a third handset to be launched this year, the OnePlus Nord. This will be the long-rumoured ‘Lite’ handset, although it is not carrying the ‘8’ branding of the flagship devices that were released earlier this summer. Chaim Gartenberg reports:

“OnePlus originally began by selling cheaper devices (the original OnePlus One started at just $299), but it’s become best known for its premium smartphones over the past few years (like the current OnePlus 8 and 8 Pro). …even the cheapest OnePlus devices right now start at $699. The new Nord line will look to alleviate that issue by offering cheaper phones than the company’s current offerings.” 

More at The Verge.

Huawei Fighting The App Gap

With the loss of Google Mobile Services, Huawei’s smartphone range is at a disadvantage in a number of territories (especially in the US and Western Europe). Its App Gallery team is working hard to bring in key applications, with BBC News, Lufthansa, and Tinder some of the big names arriving in June. Aamir Siddiqui looks at the latest win with Bolt:

“Bolt is a ride-hailing app, akin to Uber but for the European region. Bolt recently made into the news cycle for its venture into electric bikes for the city of Paris. Similar to what we saw with HERE WeGo maps that made its way to AppGallery recently, Bolt will be making its way to AppGallery soon to provide a decent alternative for a ride-hailing app service for users in Europe and Africa.”

More at XDA Developers.

More R&D For HMD Global’s Nokia Smartphones

HMD Global continues to innovate in the smartphone space and build on its reputation for enterprise support and security. A new R&D center is being founded in Finland. acquiring the assets of Valona Labs in the process:

“HMD Global, the home of Nokia phones, today announces it is acquiring assets of Valona Labs and launching a brand-new Centre of Excellence in Tampere, Finland. Combining HMD Global’s commitment to delivering secure, reliable and dependable mobile experiences with Valona Labs’ expertise in mobile, enterprise and cybersecurity software, the acquisition of assets will further build upon the company’s reputation as a global leader in smartphone software updates and security.”

More from the press release here.

Google Discontinues Mid-Range Pixels

While the Android world waits on the Pixel 4a to arrive, Google has decided that the Pixel 3a is no more. The popular handset is no longer being manufacturers, and you don’t have long if you want to buy one. David Ruddock reports:

“Google has confirmed that its Pixel 3a and 3a XL smartphones are now discontinued. No more stock will be made available on the Google store, and the phone will only remain available through a handful of 3rd party retailers as remaining units sell through. Google’s full statement… “Google Store has sold through its inventory and completed sales of Pixel 3a. For people who are still interested in buying Pixel 3a, the product is available from some partners while supplies last.” “

More at Android Police.

And Finally…

Following its purchase by Apple, Android users of the popular weather app Darksky were told that the service was on borrowed time. The team has logged a reminder that the cut-off date will be August 1st.

“Service to existing users and subscribers of the Android app will now continue until August 1, 2020, at which point the app will be shut down. Subscribers who are active at that time will receive a full refund. Weather forecasts, maps, and embeds available on the Dark Sky website will also shut down on August 1, 2020.” 

More at Darksky’s blog.

Android Circuit rounds up the news from the Android world every weekend here on Forbes. Don’t forget to follow me so you don’t miss any coverage in the future, and of course read the sister column in Apple Loop! Last week’s Android Circuit can be found here, and if you have any news and links you’d like to see featured in Android Circuit, get in touch!


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