The title says it all: Without MST support, there's just no reason to use Samsung Pay. Over the past year or so, Samsung has effectively stripped Samsung Pay of its most compelling features, but its saving grace was MST — the technology that allowed Samsung phones to mimic a magnetic credit card strip, making them compatible with legacy payment terminals. But Samsung's latest smartphones, the Galaxy S21 series, debuted without MST this year — and all that's left of Samsung Pay is a bloated, ad infested app that compares poorly to Google Pay.
A big focus for Google in recent years when it comes to Android has been updates — specifically, in making them easier for hardware manufacturers to support. The two largest (public) efforts undertaken in service of this initiative to date are Projects Treble and Mainline, both of which have been designed to modularize and simplify the process of updating Android devices by making key portions of the OS less dependent on the underlying platform version. There's also clear evidence these initiatives are having a positive impact: Android 11 experienced the quickest adoption of any version of the OS to date.
After buying an iPad Air a couple of months ago, I was curious about the Google services experience on iOS. Over the previous years, I've frequently heard about features that roll out to Google's apps on its rival platform before making it to its own OS, so I wanted to dig into the biggest Google apps and services to see if they offered anything new on iOS that we haven't seen on Android. My investigation turned up several examples, seven of which are quite significant, plus a few other less substantial ones.
Yesterday's Stadia news has some fearing for the future of the platform. While the company hasn't announced that it's killing Stadia itself, some wonder if this step away from first-party games could be the beginning of the end. But it's the licensing news that's the most important detail: Google is opening itself up to a pivot that could be an incredibly smart move. In the long run, Stadia's original business model may have been doomed to fail.
Mozilla Firefox might be a beloved desktop browser, but on Android, its market share looks like nothing but a rounding error. That might be one of many reasons why Mozilla decided to rewrite its mobile browser from scratch with a new rendering engine, a revamped interface, better performance, and more privacy features. Now that Mozilla has had more than half a year to fine-tune the product, I decided to give this new Firefox a thorough test on my Android phone to see how it compares against the standard most people stick with, Google Chrome.
This story was originally published and last updated .
I've been a loyal Spotify user since what feels like the year the service launched, and a premium subscriber since 2014. Spotify premium has tons of great extra features, and I absolutely think it's worth the money if you're considering a paid music streaming subscription. But as I've been spending a lot more time at home of late, I've started watching a lot more YouTube, and the various pre-roll and mid-roll ads were starting to grate on me. Of course, you can remove those ads—by signing up for YouTube Premium. But that would also give me access to YouTube Music, meaning I'd technically be paying for two music services.
Every Sunday, we assemble the latest headlines, editorials, and exclusive content into the Android Police Newsletter and send it out to thousands of readers around the world. If you're not one of those readers, you might be missing out on the most important stories of the week, as well as content you'll only find in the newsletter, like the exclusive Galaxy Buds Pro Q&A you'll find below and our free wallpaper extravaganza. Here's all the important stuff featured in the Android Police Newsletter from January 24, 2021.
Family Link is Google's solution for giving children under the age of 13 access to its services. Parents have to set up their kids' accounts and are responsible for what they do on the web and their phones. There are also control instruments that allow parents to impose restrictions like bedtime and daily app limit timers, and get an exact breakdown of what children are using their devices for. Needless to say, kids hate the service, and they're vocal about it: The Family Link app for kids has a staggering 1.4 rating average on the Play Store, as pointed out by our regular tipster Anthony (thanks!).