For many, the hardest part of having an electric vehicle is route planning on longer trips. In-range drives aren't really an issue, but if you have to stop to charge, it can be a bit of a hassle estimating when and where to do it, and it gets more complicated the longer the trip is. A conservative estimate just wastes time, which is already at a premium with you having to wait at each pit stop to top up. But for EVs with Google Maps built-in, like the recent Polestar 2 and Volvo XC40 Recharge, it's less of an issue thanks to some new tweaks rolling out now.
Every year, the Unicode Consortium releases new sets of emoji, adding ever more options to our already big selection of smileys. Unfortunately, Android stores emoji on the system partition, along with fonts, so a full system update is required to get the latest and greatest on your phone — particularly a nuisance if your phone's manufacturer isn't known to provide fast OTAs. That might be about to change with Android 12. Some commits have been merged that would make emoji and fonts updateable without a new OS release.
Touchscreen presses and gestures make up the vast majority of our interactions with smartphones these days, but sometimes it's nice to be able to perform an action without looking, as we could by squeezing the Active Edge to summon the Google Assistant on older Pixels. A similar feature that enabled double-tapping on the back of the phone was in the works for Android 11 but didn't make it into the final version. Thankfully, it seems like it will make a comeback in Android 12.
At the recently concluded CES 2021, TCL made a host of announcements about its upcoming 8K and mini LED TV range — one of which touched upon Google TV coming to its 2021 lineup. Now the company has a little news to share about its existing Android TV models, some of which are now confirmed to be getting an Android 11 update.
Long gone are the days when smartphones were tiny and cramped, and multitasking on them was a distant dream. With the adoption of larger displays and more flexible software, smartphones make it easier than ever before to do more at once. Split-screen, a native Android feature, already lets you work with two apps at the same time. Now Google is reportedly working on a way to make it even easier to multitask, with a new App Pairs feature for launching two apps simultaneously.
Asking for the Wi-Fi password always feels a little awkward, but Google has been working on ways to make the process easier. Android 10 allowed users to share network details via QR codes, and now it looks like Nearby Share could simplify things even further in an upcoming version of Android — possibly even this year's Android 12 release.
Touchscreens are great for many things, but gaming is not one of them. A better way to play games on smartphones is with the help of controllers and gamepads, and with the dawn of cloud gaming, they've sort of become essential for a console-like gaming experience on the go. Unfortunately, for some users, Android 11 is acting funny with controllers, and in certain cases refuses to recognize them or let them be remapped.
Android 11 is slowly starting to make its way to Samsung phones on US carriers, with the Verizon Galaxy S20 FE being the latest recipient. The update started hitting global S20 FE variants around a month ago, making its way stateside last week on the AT&T model. Now, it's Big Red's turn to send the OTA out.