We’re back to bring you our Android Week in Review, where we cover stories within the wonderful world of Android that have made headlines throughout the last seven days. This week, we’re taking a look at Google, as the company has rolled out Android Pay to Android users while sending out invites to the company’s upcoming event that involves some new mobile gadgets. Samsung’s got its sights set on “the next big thing” with foldable smartphones. Lastly, Sony’s got a problem on its hands with the company’s most expensive new smartphone, the Xperia Z5 Premium. Without further ado, let’s dig in.
Android Payrolls out to Android users
Perhaps the biggest Android news of the week, Google rolls out Android Pay to Android users. The company announced Android Pay would arrive at some point, but it was assumed Google would wait for Android 6.0 Marshmallow. The company decided against waiting, though, and opted to roll out the mobile payments feature this week. You should have the Android Pay icon in your app drawer by now. The feature will allow you to use Near Field Communication, or NFC, to place your device near the pay terminal when purchasing a product.
Google has said that Android Pay will work in tandem with Google Wallet.
Google sends out invitations to its Nexus event, prepares to announce two new smartphones
As the owner of the world’s largest platform, Android, Google has much to live up to with each passing year and product announcement. Google has since spun itself into conglomerate Alphabet, with Sundar Pichai taking on the CEO role at Google. Google co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin are now heading up Alphabet, with Nest, Google (formerly the full company’s name, now relegated to the search engine and mobile responsibilities), Google’s car company, Google Auto, and other companies existing independently under the Alphabet label. Pichai will be in charge of the new Nexus 5X and 6P announcement as well as overseeing the arrival of Android 6.0 Marshmallow on Android devices in the near future.
In his new role, Google sent invitations to the press to invite them to its September 29th event in San Francisco. Google’s got two new smartphones on the way, one named the Nexus 5X (LG), and other called the Nexus 6P (Huawei). Google and Huawei are definitely getting closer to a partnership that will influence Americans to buy into Huawei and make it a household name; as for Google, Huawei’s partnership will help influence China to embrace Google. The company looks to repair relations with the country after moving away from earlier progress with China 5 years ago.
Alongside of the new smartphones and Android 6.0 Marshmallow, which will arrive pre-installed on the new Nexus devices, Google also looks to bring improvements to Chromecast, with a new shape and capabilities to boot. We’ve heard about a possible Nexus Protect protection plan for Nexus devices, which we’re sure Nexus buyers will welcome. We don’t know all the details, but we’re sure it follows in the same path as the HTC “Uh-Oh” Protection program, among others.
Sony confession dampens early reactions to Xperia Z5 Premium
Sony’s Xperia Z5 Premium has been marketed by Sony as the world’s first smartphone to boast a 4K resolution (3,840 x 2,160p), but the new screen resolution needs some clarification, according to Sony. The Japanese manufacturer said this week that while the resolution is 4K, the Xperia UI still lives on 1080p resolution. The image gallery and video playback is 4K, but everything else is in 1080p to ensure that two-day battery life claim that Sony touts proudly.
While that’s kind of Sony to think about users and battery life, it’s not quite as nice as Sony makes it out to be. The selling point for the Xperia Z5 Premium, apart from its 3,430mAh battery, is its 4K resolution. If I’m paying for an experience that only occurs in two activities on my smartphone (not even in the UI or web browsing experience), then what’s the point of calling this device “premium” or buying it in the first place? A smartphone that doesn’t showcase its selling point, 4K resolution, over the entire experience including the UI, has marketed a farce. It’s not really the world’s first 4K smartphone, but rather, the world’s first limited-4K resolution smartphone. The truly 4K resolution smartphone will come along, and the Z5 Premium will be quickly forgotten.
Samsung takes flexible displays to a new level with foldable smartphones
The Android world’s largest OEM is back with “the next big thing.” Not one to rest on its laurels, South Korean manufacturer Samsung is preparing to mass-produce two foldable smartphones. Both foldable smartphones would fold the same way (we presume), but would feature two different processors. A mid-range foldable smartphone would utilize a Qualcomm Snapdragon 620 processor while the high-end foldable smartphone would feature the upcoming Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 processor (this is a quad-core, btw). Rumors give the foldable smartphones microSD card slots and 3GB of RAM with a non-removable battery.
The project is currently named “Project Valley” and is rumored for January 2016, although Samsung has said nothing along these lines. It’s been rumored that the Galaxy S7 would run the new Snapdragon 820 processor, but Samsung’s early testing on the device could have something to do with the Valley project, Samsung’s work on manufacturing the Snapdragon 820, or both.
These are some major issues around the world of Android this week. Stay tuned, as we’ll be back next week to cover the wonderful world of Android.