If you're rocking a Galaxy S21, S21+, or S21 Ultra, and you want to check out the latest software goodies that Samsung is brewing up, you'll want to get involved with the One UI beta program. Version 4.0 is out to beta testers in the program today, and it has quite a few new changes. Chief among them, at least for owners in the United States, is support for eSIM cards, although this feature isn't working just yet. The feature was available previously in other countries and territories (as well as for the T-Mobile Note 20 and Note 20 Ultra).
Samsung released One UI 3.1.1 alongside the Galaxy Z Flip3 and Z Fold3, adding plenty of upgrades for its foldable lineup, like enhanced flex mode, drag and split, and the new taskbar. Thankfully One UI 3.1.1 is now available for all of Samsung's folding handsets, past and present, with some behind-the-scenes optimizations also making their way to Samsung's more conventional smartphones.
Samsung started updating its international devices with the September security patch just as August came to a close. Now it's time for customers in the US to get in on the action, as the unlocked Galaxy S20 and S21 begin to receive the September 2021 security update for themselves.
The new Wear OS-powered Galaxy Watch4 comes in two versions: the Classic, with a physical rotating bezel for easily navigating menus, and the non-Classic, which does the same thing with a touch-sensitive edge on its round screen. Samsung's latest software update addresses the latter, as some users were complaining of scrolling issues. It's available to download right now.
Xiaomi has made a name for itself thanks to its smartphone's excellent bang-for-the-buck ratio. But where there's light, there's shadow, and Xiaomi devices are usually among those that see the fewest Android version upgrades. That's about to change for the company's upcoming new flagship phones, to be announced September 15. Xiaomi has just shared that the 11T and the 11T Pro will get three generations of Android upgrades and four years of security patches, stepping right up to Samsung's recent commitment.
It's that time again, every* Pixel owner's favorite day of the month: security patch day! Updates for the Pixel 3, 3 XL, 3a, 3a XL, 4, 4 XL, 4a, 5a 5G, and the Pixel 5 should all be heading out via over-the-air update over the next few days. And since there's a (sort of) new Pixel on the block, let's all welcome the Pixel 5a to its first monthly security patch.
OnePlus Nord owners who are part of the company's open beta program should check their phones now: there's a new update headed down the pipe. It's not amazing in terms of content; the biggest practical addition is that the Android security patch is bumped up to August. But there's some big stuff in there if you really like the always-on display.
When it comes to smartphones, we all wish updates arrived faster and for more extended periods of time. As performance continues to improve with each passing year, upgrading to a new phone every two or three years can start to feel like an unnecessary expense. It's also an environmental concern, as many try to reduce waste created from constantly replacing gadgets. To that end, the German government has proposed a new policy that would extend the lifespan — and repairability — of your device for years to come.
Every month Samsung continues to impress with its commitment to timely security updates. Right now, the August 2021 security patch is rolling out to a number of high-profile Galaxy phones in the US, less than a week behind international models.
Google did a damn good job of keeping most features of the 2020 Pixel Buds but drastically reducing the price of the Pixel Buds A-series. They still sound pretty good, are quite comfortable to wear, and...still have some static. While a new update is not fixing that, it's getting rid of a pesky volume bug.