Taking a look back at seven days of news and headlines across the world of Android, this week’s Android Circuit includes Samsung Galaxy S24’s AI plans, a new S-Pen, Pixel 8 Pro camera secrets, the Snapdragon alternative from Dimensity, lessons from the OnePlus Open, Android 14’s media bug, and a new smartlocks initiative.
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).
Samsung’s Galaxy S24 And AI
Samsung plans to leverage AI in the Galaxy S24 to improve the user experience. The company has announced on X its plans to do much of the AI work on-device through a neural processing unit rather than in the cloud.
“However, Samsung will not rely on third-party services to power the Galaxy S24 series’ AI features. Instead, the company wants to integrate AI directly into its software to make sure it works out of the box on all popular apps like Phone and Messages.”
New S-Pen Arrives From Samsung
Samsung has released a new S-Pen stylus as a standalone purchase. The Galaxy S-Pen Creator Edition. Priced at $99, it is larger than the S-Pen found in existing Galaxy phones and tablets, but slightly smaller than the Apple Pencil—which the design echoes. Of note is the lack of a battery for Bluetooth functionality, which does limit some of the expected features:
“While the stylus is said by Samsung to be its “most advanced S Pen yet” with enhanced tilt sensitivity, it also completely lacks a lot of the smart features Samsung has added to the S Pen over the years. For instance, Air Commands are not supported, as there’s actually no battery in this product. It does, though, still have the needed hardware to “snap” onto the back of a Galaxy Tab for storage.”
Samsung’s New Sensor May Already Be Out There
Samsung’s new image sensor, the 50 Megapixel Isocell GNK, is set to be one of the leading sensors in countless smartphones in 2024. And it might already be in action, with the Pixel 8 Pro potentially skipping the GN2 for this new hardware:
“However, it has now been revealed that it is using a newer sensor which has improved video recording and better HDR performance. It is a 1/1.3-inch sensor with 1.2µm pixels, Dual Pixel Pro autofocus, 8K 30fps video recording, 4K 120fps video recording, Staggered HDR, Smart ISO Pro, and the ability to capture up to 14-bit RAW image files. It can also capture full-resolution 50MP frames at 24fps and 12.5MP pixel-binned frames at 90fps.”
The Snapdragon Alternative
Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 chipset will be used in many of next year’s flagship smartphones, but other options exist. One is the Dimensity 9300 from MediaTek. Robert Triggs has taken a closer look at this option, and it shows promise, although it needs to be seen in action to get a definitive answer:
“MediaTek pairs its CPU with 8MB L3 cache and 10MB of system cache, for a 29% growth in cache size versus last year. Put all together, the Dimensity 9300 delivers 15% more performance at the same power or 33% lower power for the same performance as the Dimensity 9200. Alternatively, pushed to the max, the CPU setup delivers 40% higher peak performance than last year’s model. That all sounds promising, but we’ll definitely be keeping our eye on idle power consumption and thermals with this new design.”
The Lessosn Of The OnePlus Open
The OnePlus Open (and its close relative, the Oppo Find N3) may be the new kid on the block of global foldable. Still, the Shenzhen-based brand has brought some fresh thinking to the space that will hopefully push innovation by other manufacturers. One of the key differences is Open Canvas, the multitasking system found on the foldable:
“Open Canvas allows for a free flow of up to three apps, allowing for each app to use various aspect ratios. The experience is fluid, and rather than dealing with cramped windows pulling your attention back and forth, you can glean information from one app and quickly type it up in an email without feeling cramped.”
Google Addresses Android 14 Media Bug
Following issues with Android 14 affecting local storage of files on devices with multiple profiles, Google has begun rolling out a bug fix for the problem—one which has hit new and existing Pixel owners as their devices are some of the first to see the new version of Android. Forbes’ Janhoi McGregor has been following the story:
“In a blog post published last night on the Pixel support forums, a Google representative explained that the company is now rolling out an Android update over the next two weeks that “will return their devices to an operable state.” But, for more seriously affected users who are stuck in a bootloop and unable to access their phone, Google says that this update may not recover lost data.
Google, Samsung, Apple, and other smartphone and hardware manufacturers have partnered to create a standard for smartlocks and digital keys. Called Aliro, the process is still in its early stages but promises a connected world independent of the manufacturer.
“The point here is to build to a solution that can be widely adopted and trusted instead of the current marketplace of individual solutions or solutions that are done unique to this company or that company,” Nelson Henry of Allegion and the chair of the Aliro Working Group, told The Verge in an interview.
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!