If you're into selfies, the Asus Zenfone 7 series is hard to beat. Thanks to a unique flipping camera module, you can capture high-quality photos or videos from either side of the screen. They're pretty great phones in general, with long-lasting battery life and a massive 90Hz AMOLED display. Unfortunately, the devices launched just weeks before Android 11's official release, and despite ZenUI's stock-like appearance, both models have been stuck running on an older version of Google's OS. Thankfully, Android 11 is finally coming to the Zenfone 7 series, with updates starting today in Taiwan.
This story was originally published and last updated .
Major updates of Android don't matter as much as they used to. Many components of the operating system are updated through the Play Store, so even if you're on Android 8 or 9, you can still access most of the same apps and features as someone on the latest release of Android 10. However, the security updates that Google releases on a monthly basis are still critical to keeping your phone or tablet safe. Dozens of securityflaws are discovered in components of Android each month, which is why Google releases monthly security patches.
Unlike app and API updates, the security patches can't be delivered directly to devices — phone manufacturers have to integrate the changes into their own flavors of Android, and release them as system updates.
Google's latest Pixel Buds were pretty polarizing when they landed last year, months after their announcement. Like them or hate them, one feature has been almost universally resented: The fact that updates are an automatic process with no user control. They just kind of happen while the buds are connected, and you can't do much to speed up the process. But according to a recent teardown, manual updates may soon be possible.
Samsung's software strategy has improved significantly over the past few years, turning the company from one of the worst OEMs for updates to one of the best. Last year, Samsung announced most of its devices would get three years of Android OS updates, and now it has updated its list of supported devices with a few additions and removals.
Last year, a change to the Android 11 Vendor Test Suite was spotted, indicating that phones launching with Android 11 and later would be required to support so-called "seamless" updates. This feature allows a phone to install a system update while it's running and simply reboot into the new environment without any user-facing delay. Unfortunately, that hasn't panned out. According to the latest Android 11 Compatibility Definition Document (CDD), Google has seemingly walked back that requirement, and we can confirm that the Samsung Galaxy S21 doesn't support seamless updates.
In what might prove to be the biggest Android news story of the week, today Google announced that all of Qualcomm's future chipsets, starting with the upcoming Snapdragon 888, will support three Android OS updates and four years of security updates. In layman's terms, that means some new phones landing in 2021 will probably get an extra year of updates — assuming OEMs step up to the plate and follow suit.
Saving payment information and passwords to Chrome can be super handy, but it currently works only if you choose to sync your settings on each device. Over the coming months, Google will make changes to the payment and password manager so that you can use it seamlessly even when Chrome sync is switched off.
A couple of weeks after Chrome 87 was released to desktop and mobile platforms, Google is rolling out Chrome OS 87 to the Stable channel, the final update of the year. Like the previous major update, 87 brings several new features and improvements to Chromebooks to enhance the user experience. Here are a few of the things Google announced today that are coming to eligible devices.
Around this time last year, Google began imposing a more strenuous review process on new apps and updates submitted to the Play Store. For many developers, this was only a minor inconvenience that slowed down publishing by a few hours or days. However, in the months since the COVID-19 pandemic began, a growing number of people have detailed delays of several weeks for new apps and even simple bug fixes.
Chrome OS Stable channel got a major milestone update yesterday, from 85.0.4183.133 to 86.0.4240.77. As with every new milestone update, this brings massive new changes to the table, offering several new features, bug fixes, and security enhancements to improve your Chrome OS user experience. Due to the sheer size of this update, there may be a few things we missed, but here is everything new we found in Chrome OS 86.