Welcome to In Brief, the AndroidGuys tech briefing. Today is Wednesday, October 24th, and we’re taking a look at all the tech news you need to know. In this post, we want you to learn about the news the way you want to learn. We’ve embedded a podcast version of all this news below. If you don’t want to listen, you can read just like you normally would.
In today’s edition, Google Assistant comes to Chrome OS devices, OnePlus 6T passes through Verizon, Google will force OEM’s update older devices, and more news you need to know.
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Google Assistant comes to “all” Chrome OS devices
It seems that Google’s latest big push comes at a good time for Chrome OS users. The company has been bringing new updates to devices, while new products are coming out all the time.
From there, a new flag is available which will bring Assistant to “all” Chromebooks. While this is in testing, Google is still working out the kinks and the interface isn’t all that great just yet.
OnePlus 6T rumored to pass through Verizon certifications
Earlier this month, a report revealed that the OnePlus 6T could end up being compatible with Verizon. This is huge because up until now, OnePlus devices were limited to only working with GSM networks like AT&T and T-Mobile.
The latest report from PCMag claims that the OnePlus 6T has passed through Verizon‘s certification process. If true, this means that you will be able to use the 6T on Verizon without jumping through hoops.
We are already expecting to see the OnePlus launch its next device in a partnership with T-Mobile. Here’s to hoping that OnePlus is ready to make the plunge in the US and really take the market by storm.
The OnePlus 6T will debut at an event on October 29th in New York City.
Google plans to force OEM’s update to new versions of Android
Hot off the heels of the changes coming to Android in the EU, it seems Google is looking to get more from OEM’s. The Verge has obtained a contract which will require device makes to “regularly install updates for any popular phone or tablet for at least two years”.
The contract also states that OEM’s will be required to “provide at least four security updates” within the first year of a device’s launch. There are mandates for bringing security updates to devices in the second year, but there’s no mention of how many will be required.
It’s no secret that one of Android’s biggest issues comes down to software updates. Unless you own a Pixel, there is no telling when the next major update will be pushed to handsets, and security updates can be few and far between.
Samsung fined for slowing down smartphones intentionally
For years, Samsung has been accused of intentionally slowing devices down, with some instances beginning just a few months after launch. It seems that Italian authorities have found that Samsung is forcing unwanted updates on older devices.
An announcement has been made which shows that Samsung has been fined €5 million. The announcement surrounds the release of the Galaxy Note 4 where users were “incessantly pestered” to install the update.
Then, the users would complain on forums that the smartphone became practically useless, including lasting just a few hours before the battery would run out. Samsung has yet to respond to the fines, but it will be interesting to see how this turns out.
AT&T working on dedicated DirecTV Now Android TV box
For the last year or so, AT&T has been rumored to be making a dedicated DirecTV Now box which is based on Android TV. Today, we received reports that the device is alive and well and has even passed through the FCC.
Originally, the Android TV device was set to launch by the end of 2018, but AT&T CEO John Donovan stated that the company will “roll out trials in the first half of 2019”. We are hoping that this new Android TV box won’t just be available for DirecTV Now customers.
However, if the release finally happens, then we can hopefully see more similar devices launched in the future.
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