Nearby Share, Android's AirDrop equivalent, had been teased and leaked for over a year before it finally made its shy debut at the end of June. In its limited rollout, the feature was restricted to devices running Google Play Services beta, and was also governed by a server-side test. Only a small percentage of users got it, but it now appears to be rolling out widely and coming out of beta too.
As the U.S. continues to shun Huawei away from using any of its suppliers, the Chinese manufacturer is keen on retaining its foreign audience who are fans of their hardware but won't use an Android phone without Google apps. Enter the Huawei P30 Pro New Edition, the second reboot of the P30 Pro launched a year after the original P30 Pro came about.
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There are a lot of fun 3D objects like skeletons, cars, planets, and animals you can view in Google Search, which might be perfect to pass the time while you and your kids are stuck at home. The underlying technology enabling this is called Google Play Services for AR, formerly known as ARCore. It's an engine that powers most games and applications on Android that use augmented reality effects. However, since the framework has to be tuned for each device, Google has to periodically update Play Services to support new phones and tablets. Since the last time we covered the library, 42 more devices have been added to the roster.
A month ago, Austrian Huawei manager Fred Wangfei said the company wouldn't return to Google's apps and services even if the US trade ban lifted. The Chinese conglomerate tried to backtrack on that statement, but it would still make sense for it to work on its independence in case it finds itself caught in the middle of another trade skirmish. For Google, this isn't the best situation as it could lose a lot of revenue if Huawei succeeds. That's why it has made a formal application to the US government seeking permission to trade with Huawei, as reported by the dpa via Heise.
If you're already missing Android Beam and the way it allowed you to share links or files from your device to another easily, there's some good news and bad news all rolled up into one item: Google is planning on rolling out a new "Fast Share" protocol through a Play services updates that will allow Android devices to share assets to other devices, primarily using Bluetooth and Wi-Fi Direct connections.
Face unlock is more widely available on smartphones nowadays, but many of us seem to forget that Android has always had a barebones — albeit easily fooled — equivalent of the feature for years. Android Smart Lock's Trusted face was added in 2014 and has been accessible to users on all Android devices until recently. Now, it's completely gone from stock and OEM devices, running Android 10 or below.
Google Play Services is both a blessing and a curse. Over the years, the software has become the essential motor driving Android devices, with a lot of former system APIs being transferred to the all-encompassing software. Push notifications, background operations, fast GPS functionality, and more are bundled within the application. Unfortunately, this means that any bugs with Play Services will affect almost all devices running a Google-sanctioned version of Android. Such a bug has surfaced with the latest update to version number 18.3.82, which churns through standby battery regardless of which phone you're using.
Last week, the United States added Huawei to its 'Entity List', meaning US companies can't do business with Huawei without explicit government approval. A report from Reuters claims Google is ceasing most partnerships with Huawei, and future phones from the company won't have access to the Play Store and other services.