Android 12 DP2 just picked up its second bug-fixing update, bumping things numerically to DP2.2. This latest release includes a lot more fixes than DP2.1 did, including a fix for video encoding issues that I ran into, a crash tied to the Bluetooth section of Settings, disappearing widgets, and a failure to save Wi-Fi passwords, among others.
Until now, Google Maps and Waze (also owned by Google) were the only navigation apps to be fully supported on Android Auto — others were restricted to the phone interface. This is now changing as popular alternative Sygic becomes one of the first third-party navigation apps to have native support for Android Auto.
About eight months ago Google opened the door to a wider variety of apps that would integrate directly with Android Auto. The new categories were navigation apps (alternative to Android Auto's standard Google Maps), parking assists and locators, and databases for electric vehicle charging stations. Now those apps can roll out to users, no beta testing required.
Search has always been a core component of Android — the OS is made by Google, after all. But one of the coolest tricks of the system has been reserved for Google's own launcher and widget: the ability to search through both your own apps and web search results at once. That capability may be coming to all launchers and apps in the near future, according to developer documentation for Android 12.
Casio's G-Shock watches are well-known for their bold designs, offering water and shock resistance to athletes, workers, and any outdoorsy type. Despite shipping several ruggedWear OS gadgets in the past, none of its smartwatches have ever been included in the G-Shock series. While finding a suitable wearable for Android might be a challenge these days, Casio is looking to finally bring G-Shock into the 21st century with its massive new GSW-H1000 smartwatch.
Out with the old, in with the new: LineageOS cut support for Android 9 Pie earlier this year, and to make up for the loss, the open-source project has just released version 18.1 based on Android 11. It comes with official support for about 60 phones and tablets.
Android Auto has been around long enough to be adopted by all major car manufacturers, with the final holdout — BMW — having taken the plunge late last year. That still leaves out a few specialized car companies refusing to support Google's car-friendly service. You can scratch Porsche off that list, as the 2022 911 models will be the carmaker's first vehicles to include Android Auto.
Although a bunch of cars now come with advanced navigation systems, these can rarely beat the simplicity and expansibility of Android Auto. Sadly, though, Google's in-car service isn't globally available, leaving many users unable to properly use their favorite services from their ride's dashboard. Thankfully, Android Auto is expanding to 36 more countries, making it seamless to get directions, play music, and interact with Assistant, thanks to native integration with your car's infotainment system.
The Fiat 500 doesn't turn any heads, except perhaps those of car enthusiasts looking for an extended sneer. But it's a popular model: a cheap, fuel-efficient, and eminently practical grocery-getter for urbanites. For the upcoming model year, Google and Fiat have joined forces for a "Hey Google Edition" of the hatchback, offering more extensive integration with Google Assistant than ever before.
As far back as July 2019, we saw evidence that Google was preparing an easy-to-access translate feature in the recents/overview screen. This was finally announced by Google as part of December's Pixel Feature Drop, along with a similar feature for screenshots, but it's not appeared since. It now looks like it's finally showing up, although only in the latest Android 12 developer preview.