By all accounts, Samsung's Galaxy Watch4 Classic is one of the best wearables ever made for Android devices. Thanks to Wear OS 3, its gorgeous hardware finally has competent software to match, complete with every app and service offered on the Play Store. It costs a pretty penny, but if you're looking for an even more premium experience, Samsung has you covered.
Today, the European Commission has put forward legislation that would require all portable electronic devices to have a USB-C port — including Apple's iPhone. The proposal itself hasn't yet gone into effect (it stills needs to pass a vote in the European Parliament), but as much as I wish Apple would finally put USB-C on the iPhone, I'm actually hoping it doesn't pass. For several reasons.
Unless you own an iPhone, you probably haven't thought about Beats much in a few years. Apple bought the company for three billion-with-a-B dollars in 2014, and its more recent products have been increasingly Apple-focused, Lightning charging ports and all.
But the new Beats Studio Buds break with that tradition. Like newer iPads and MacBooks, they charge with the correct cable (USB-C, that is) and support Fast Pair, meaning they're equally at home on Android as on iOS — and at $150, they look like a bargain next to the $250 AirPods Pro. But while I've certainly enjoyed using them, some missing features stop the Beats Studio Buds from being an unqualified home run.
Sony's on top of the game for active noise canceling. While the XF-1000XM3 isn't the latest model, it's still a technical marvel, and a great traveling companion if you're going anywhere even a bit noisy. These true wireless earbuds debuted at over $200, but today you can grab a certified refurbished set on eBay for just $65.
In January 2020, members of the European Parliament voted to establish a universal charging connection for smartphones sold in the EU. Since then, we've been waiting for this effort to be passed into law, and as of this morning, it's one step closer. The European Commission has now put forward legislation that would establish USB-C as a common charger for mobile devices, finally requiring a universal standard no matter the smartphone.
Google has been ramping up its efforts to get people to stop driving with a wheel in one hand and a smartphone in the other. Many of the things in Google's driving experience are getting an upgrade, if not an entirely new interface, including the classic Android Auto, the phone-oriented Assistant driving mode, and even the upcoming Android Automotive.
Accessibility is a subject that will affect us all eventually — some of us sooner than others. It's honestly pretty hard to make the topic attractive or marketable compared to Android's bigger, flashier features, But when you're limited from doing something in the "normal" way, accessibility matters a whole lot, and it's also a point of frustration when the very promise of technology is its flexibility and extensibility. To help with that, Google's adding two new features that help those with motor impairments use Android.
Today, Google has announced the rollout of a whole pile of "new" features for Android and Android Auto — 16 changes, by Google's count. Of course, this is Google, so "new" in many of these cases means they've been spotted in testing for months, and you may have been using many of them already. The tweaks cover a wide range, including accessibility improvements and Android Auto (which we'll cover separately to help streamline things just a little bit), but highlights include a new remote control for Android TV built right into your phone, an Assistant reminders hub, several time-saving Gboard improvements, and the trickle-down of a few Pixel-exclusive features.
In case you haven't heard, wearables are back in a big way. Thanks to a push by Google and Samsung, Wear OS 3 is the best the platform has ever been, but the Galaxy Watch4 series are only devices where you can try it out for yourself. If the launch prices put you off from picking up a new wearable, today's your lucky day. You can grab a Galaxy Watch4 from Amazon with a bundled Wireless Charger Pad Duo for less than the usual cost of the watch itself — but you'll need to act fast.
YouTube is a bit of a weird outlier when it comes to Android app design. While there are some interface inconsistencies among all Google apps, YouTube has long stood out as the app with a much shorter app header, a dated gray status bar, and more diversions from the norm. While its header retains its height for now, YouTube has at least finally added a seamless white status bar to its light theme.