A new settings and setup interface for Android Auto has been spotted rolling out. The changes aren't too drastic, but they do make for a smoother and slightly more attractive workflow, featuring a more general "connect a car" prompt with separate options for wired and wireless setup that follow.
The Polestar 2 is a very important vehicle. It's the first legitimate EV competitor to Tesla's Model 3, and Polestar's first mass-produced vehicle, both of which are incredible milestones. But we're taking a look at it from the perspective of another huge first: the debut of Google's Android Automotive, an in-car infotainment operating system designed to control everything from navigation and music to your air conditioning and traction control settings. Entrusting Google to build such a platform may sound a bit iffy if you're not familiar with the vehicle space, but if you are, you know automakers have been using Android for years, generally without Google's blessing (and often ludicrously old versions of the platform).
While most companies try to hide display cutouts with wallpapers, seemingly as as something to be ashamed of, Google took the route of highlighting the Pixel 4a's pinhole cutout as a feature in its series of fun new wallpapers for the phone. Unfortunately, the latest Android 11 Beta (which the Pixel 4a just got) applies a crop to wallpapers for a new zoomed-in animation it does when entering the multitasking menu or app drawer, and that breaks all the cleverly designed wallpapers.
The Shield TV is the best Android TV box you can buy. The main reason for this is software support, which exceeds that of any other Android TV device. That continues to be the case today, with the release of Shield Experience 8.2 — the 25th update released since the first Shield TV was launched in 2015, and it's available on every model, including the original.
Google's Pixel 4a just picked up their first OTA and factory images, but that's not the only thing they're getting today. Google is also making them eligible for the Android 11 Beta Program, and lucky owners can opt-in for the latest beta release, expected to be the last before stable lands, barring any last-minute bug-fixes, which Google likes to do now.
Most of us are probably fine with our 50" 4K smart TVs for $300-400, but if you want the best of the best and have some cash to burn, this 77" Sony Bravia 4K OLED TV is currently discounted to "just" $3,998 at a few retailers. Nobody ever said the best was cheap, but at least you can spend a few hundred dollars less than you normally would.
The FCC has published documents related to an interactive media streaming device and a more generic wireless device from Google. At least one of the two devices may be part of the next-gen push for Android TV, centered around a device named "Sabrina."
New Android releases always bring exciting new features to the table, but every once in a while, a beloved feature gets reworked or removed altogether. That's no different for Android 11, which made it more cumbersome to grant apps the permission to install APKs, requiring a restart of the application in question up until at least Developer Preview 4. While that requirement is still present on more recent builds, the situation is now slightly improved: when apps are programmed correctly, they'll restart the latest activity, making the experience as smooth as possible.
It's fair to say that Wear OS has been stagnating lately. Google announced a few updates for its smartwatch operating system last week, but they're more like minor improvements than the major overhaul many feel the platform needs. Fossil and its subsidiaries make a lot of Wear OS watches, and now the company is taking matters into its own hands with an exclusive update that adds new health-tracking capabilities, a Phone app tile, and more.