The very first time I ever used Android, it was loaded up as a live bootable partition on a MicroSD card shoved into my HTC Fuze. I'm sure the Windows Mobile installation on the phone's internal storage felt very jealous, because the rest is history. Samsung is hoping for something similar with its latest project: an interactive, web-based demonstration of Android made specifically for iPhone users.
Android 12 DP2 just picked up its second bug-fixing update, bumping things numerically to DP2.2. This latest release includes a lot more fixes than DP2.1 did, including a fix for video encoding issues that I ran into, a crash tied to the Bluetooth section of Settings, disappearing widgets, and a failure to save Wi-Fi passwords, among others.
It's been a busy start to the year for Ring. After releasing one of the most affordable smart doorbells on the market today, the company has returned with not one but two new cameras designed to keep your home monitored when you aren't around. In addition to a brand-new Video Doorbell 4, Ring is finally upgrading its popular floodlight with the new Floodlight Cam Wired Pro. Both versions are gaining some great improvements over the last-gen models.
Microsoft is betting big on Game Pass as the next-gen console war heats up, and on the mobile streaming front, it's winning. Streaming games to Android via Xbox Game Pass Ultimate has proven a popular (and free!) addition to the subscription service. But having a big library of games to play on the go doesn't help if you don't have a controller handy.
Google is one of the few companies of its size willing to commit to trying out new ideas on a large scale. While these projects are often killed off without restraint, it's still fun to see what new software is released from its labs each year. In its latest experiment, Google is launching some new WebXR apps for Chrome, designed to combine AR and VR to add new context to the world around you. From scannable social distancing to a virtual gallery of your memories, these new "XR experiences" are pretty wild.
High-refresh-rate displays are all the rage now, and even budget phones have started to get a taste of them. Now Samsung's new Galaxy F12 manages to introduce a 90Hz panel on a phone that doesn't cost more than the company's latest pair of truly wireless earbuds.
Google has been particularly slow with rolling out Assistant Driving Mode, which was announced at I/O 2019 but only made available in late 2020. Even then, it was limited to users in the US. But that's no longer the case as Google is now making the feature available for users in other countries too.