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.
You may have heard that Sonos and Google are involved in a dispute over patent infringement in the US, with Sonos claiming that the search company used its power to steal intellectual property when they first partnered up. The legal debate isn't limited by borders, though. Sonos also brought Google to court in Germany, where it has managed to enforce a preliminary sales ban of a whole bunch of Google products using the Cast protocol.
Mozilla is trying to set itself apart from Google and Microsoft in the browser space with a focus on privacy and security. Part of that is a new product, Mozilla VPN. It came out of beta last year, but was previously only available in the US, UK, Canada, New Zealand, and Malaysia. It's now up and running in France and Germany as well.
So far, the only notable LG devices we've seen updated to Android 11 are the V60 and the Velvet (in South Korea, anyway). According to a support page on LG's German site, a few more phones will get the big software bump ... just don't expect them to be especially timely. Why would you, at this point?
Samsung's Galaxy Watch3 and Watch Active2 both have hardware support for ECG monitoring, but it is taking a long time to show up for everyone, since the feature has to be approved by each country's health agencies. It was exclusive to South Korea until September of last year, when it was enabled for use in the United States, and now it's coming to 32 more countries.
Microsoft released its first Android phone back in 2020, the Surface Duo. It's the only modern Android device with two side-by-side displays (not counting the add-on cases for various LG phone), and even though it's still a questionable buy at its new $999 retail price, Microsoft plans to sell it in more regions this year, starting with Canada, the United Kingdom, France, and Germany on February 18.
Up to now, Google has only Android users in the U.K., Ireland, France, and Brazil to download apps from the Play Store to partake in real money gambling. But starting from this spring, the company will enact a policy update to expand their availability to 15 countries including the United States.
It's not something those of us in the US consider often, but promo codes for free apps can't be issued by developers globally. Instead, Google maintains a list of countries that are eligible. Today's update is the first we've posted about in over two years; it adds five countries, but takes two away.
Samsung's One UI 3.0 on top of Android 11 edges closer to a stable release with news that beta testing has ended for some Galaxy Note20 devices. But with that end comes a new beginning: Galaxy S10 series devices are entering their own beta.