Apple Music Sing will allow fans to sing along to their favorite songs and will be available to subscribers worldwide later this month.
Apple Music expands its world-class lyrics experience with a new feature for fans to easily sing along to tens of millions of songs. Apple announced Apple Music Sing, an exciting new feature that allows users to sing along to their favorite songs with adjustable vocals1 and real-time lyrics. Apple Music Sing offers multiple lyric views to help fans take the lead, perform duets, sing backup, and more — all integrated within Apple Music’s unparalleled lyrics experience. Coupled with an ever-expanding catalog that features tens of millions of the world’s most singable songs, Apple Music Sing makes it fun and easy for anyone to participate, however and wherever they choose.
Apple Music Sing will be available later this month to Apple Music subscribers worldwide, and can be enjoyed on iPhone, iPad, and the new Apple TV 4K.
“Apple Music’s lyrics experience is consistently one of the most popular features on our service,”
said Oliver Schusser, Apple’s vice president of Apple Music and Beats. “We already know our users all over the world love to follow along to their favorite songs, so we wanted to evolve this offering even further to enable even more engagement around music through singing. It’s really a lot of fun, our customers are going to love it.”
With adjustable vocals and real-time lyrics, Apple Music Sing gives fans more control and even more precise timing while they sing along to their favorite tunes.
Apple Music Sing includes:
Adjustable vocals: Users now have control over a song’s vocal levels. They can sing with the original artist vocals, take the lead, or mix it up on millions of songs in the Apple Music catalog.
Real-time lyrics: Users can sing along to their favorite songs with animated lyrics that dance to the rhythm of the vocals.
Background vocals: Vocal lines sung simultaneously can animate independently from the main vocals to make it easier for users to follow.
Duet view: Multiple vocalists show on opposite sides of the screen to make duets or multi-singer tracks easy to sing along to.
Apple Music will also be launching a suite of more than 50 dedicated companion playlists featuring all of the epic songs, duets, choruses, and anthems that have been compelling people all around the world to sing — fully optimized for the Apple Music Sing experience.
Apple Music Sing will be available later this month for Apple Music subscribers worldwide.2
Apple Music Sing will be available on all compatible iPhone and iPad models as well as the new Apple TV 4K.
You can now share your car key in Apple Wallet with Android users,
starting with Google Pixel
If you happen to be an owner of one of the very few cars on the market with Car Key support, you are now able to share that car key credential with non-iPhone users for the first time.
Apple is working with the IETF and industry members to standardize cross-platform car key sharing. The first implementation of this support has landed today for Google Pixel owners. Google is working on rolling out support for all Android 12+ devices soon.
The Car Key feature allows Apple Wallet to treat unlocking your car in the same manner as you can conduct contactless payments with Apple Pay: Walk up to your car and then present your iPhone or Apple Watch to unlock it.
You can share car keys by using the Share button inside the Wallet app. You could previously send the key to other iPhone users. On iOS 16.1 or later, the Wallet app generates keys that also work with other supporting platforms, most notably Android users.
Share using the system share sheet with your favorite app like Messages, Mail, and WhatsApp. You can secure the process using an optional one-time code.
At any later time, you can revoke access to a shared car key. Simply open the Wallet app, select your car key and tap on the People icon to manage the current list of shared keys for that vehicle.
Apple’s partnership with the IETF was first announced at this year’s WWDC. The group is still working on a final specification to make publicly available for adoption by anyone. But for now, only Apple and Google have access to the necessary protocols and are working on the respective implementations privately.
It’s a really cool technology that furthers Apple’s goal to replace the wallet in your pocket, alongside other initiatives like Digital ID and Apple Pay. Hopefully, more Car Key compatible vehicles will be available soon.
Apple releases iOS 16.2 beta 4 to developers ahead of expected launch this month
Following the release of iOS 16.1.2 to iPhone users on Wednesday, Apple released iOS 16.2 beta 4 to developers on Thursday. Along with iOS 16.2, Apple has also been testing new betas for watchOS 9.2, tvOS 16.2, and macOS Ventura 13.1. Read on as we detail what’s new in these updates.
iOS 16.2 and iPadOS 16.2 include some notable changes. The Freeform collaboration app is now available to iPad, iPhone, and Mac users. There are also changes to the Home app, updates to the Weather app, and more.
On November 28, Apple also released a “Rapid Security Response” update for users running iOS 16.2 beta. Once the feature becomes available to everyone, Apple will be able to quickly fix security exploits without having to release a new version of iOS just for this.
In addition to iOS 16.2 beta 4, Apple has also made the following updates available to all developer beta testers:
Realme has been churning-out handsets at breakneck pace since its inception with the budget segment its happiest hunting ground. Hot on the heels of the new Narzo 20 trio – 20A, 20 and 20 Pro, Realme also decided to refresh its number series the Realme 7i.
In order to reduce the price of the Realme 7i, some hardware cut-backs naturally had to be made compared to the vanilla Realme 7. These notably include a slightly slower chipset, though one that does not sacrifice on modern connectivity, like Dual-Band Wi-Fi ac, but does cap video capture resolution at FullHD.
Screen resolution is bumped down to HD+, but the 6.5-inch display diagonal and the trendy 90Hz refresh rate have been preserved. And the last major bit is probably charging speed, which is set at 18W on the Realme 7i, compared to 30W on the Realme 7.
A chipset swap is a fairly-common cost-saving measure and we see it implemented in the Realme 7i. It uses the 11nm Snapdragon 662 chipset, which has a four by four CPU configuration, as follows: 4×2.0 GHz Kryo 260 Gold, 4×1.8 GHz Kryo 260 Silver and a modest Adreno 610 GPU. That’s paired with 4GB of RAM and either 64GB or 128GB of storage.
An 8GB RAM version, with 128GB of storage is said to exist as well, but we can’t really find it in the wild. The storage is of the UFS 2.1 variety, though, which provides a boost. In terms of raw performance, this definitely falls behind the MediaTek Helio G95 inside the vanilla Realme 7. Same goes for the Realme Narzo 20 Pro, also based on the G95, as well as the Realme 7 Pro and its Snapdragon 720G and the vanilla Realme Narzo 20, rocking a Helio G85.
It is built on top of Android 10 and our unit was still rocking the slightly older August 5 security patches.
Realme UI isn’t shy about its AOSP influences. We can’t complain either, since it manages to remain rather clean, despite having more options than most other custom Android skins. The Realme 7i even uses Google’s AOSP Phone and Messages apps.
The default icons are also very AOSP-like. Same goes for the notification shade and quick toggles area, as well as the recent apps interface.
Realme UI uses a conventional app drawer by default. Some of the noteworthy preloaded apps include Realme PaySa and Realme Link.
The app drawer is just an option in Realme UI, though. If it’s not to your liking, you can easily switch to a home-screen only based navigation model instead. Plus, an extra simple mode provides nifty versatility for older folks or remedial Android users, through its use of fewer and bigger UI components. Navigation can also be heavily customized, including quite a few gestures and things like an assistive ball.
Game Space is a nifty portal that has all of the expected distraction-avoidance options well covered. This includes muting calls and notifications. There are also some performance and battery tuning options thrown in the mix, so you can try to either squeeze-out a few extra frames or longer playtime from the modest hardware of the Realme 7i.
Finally, there is the realme Lab menu, where the company tends to offer upcoming features for early beta testing to end users. Realme is constantly working on new things.
The Realme 7i offers a rather unorthodox set of features and has an interesting position within the company’s current lineup. On the one hand, it is obviously an attempt to bring most of the important features of the vanilla Realme 7 at a lower price point, without really sacrificing too much. With a starting price of INR11,999 ($165/€140) for the 64GB variant and going up to INR12,999 ($175/€150) for the 128GB one, they clearly got the budget part of the equation right. Mind you, you still get a quad main-camera setup on the back, as well as the trendy 90Hz refresh rate on the panel. With a certain demographic the latter might make a a more tangible difference in perceived smoothness and responsiveness than a higher-end chipset, which Realme chose to forego.
After last year’s Pixel return to the flagship scene, 2022 brings more of an evolutionary upgrade to Google‘s phone lineup. The Pixel 7 and 7 Pro come with the usual chipset upgrade, a camera tweak here or there, and a refined design, on top of a handful of software novelties.
Naturally, our eyes are drawn to the Pro more so than the vanilla, so we’re starting our review journey with that one. One of the two key differences this year, looking at the spec sheet, is the new telephoto camera, which trades in the larger sensor size for a longer zoom reach – that doesn’t immediately strike us as an entirely positive development, though the 5x zoom is appreciated.
The other new bit is the chipset. The tailor-made Tensor G2 comes with some new CPU cores and a new GPU, as well as who knows exactly how many under-the-hood improvements, but is still manufactured on a 5nm process, when competitors are at 4nm.
Physically, the handset is the same as last year, but also different. The camera strip on the back is still here and just as prominent, only now it’s part of the aluminum frame and not a separate glass piece as last year.
And that’s more or less what’s changed for the 2022 Pixel Pro. Here are some of the important numbers before we get going.
The unboxing experience has remained the same as last year, when the charger went missing. Inside the white cardboard box, you’re getting a USB-C cable and USB-A-to-C adapter for transferring data from your older phone (maybe an iPhone?).
It’s only at this point that our Obsidian review unit was truly clean of smudges, but more on that on the next page.
Positioned against the big two – Apple and Samsung, the Google Pixel phonesat least make it somewhat easy on us to round up the alternatives. And with a base price of $900/€900/INR 85K, the Pixel 7 Pro is almost universally less expensive than either the iPhone 14 Pro Max or the Galaxy S22 Ultra.
The Pro Max, for one, is $200 pricier in the US, a whopping €550 more in Europe, and a similar 65% on top of the Pixel 7 Pro‘s asking price in India. The Google phone then doesn’t even have to be better than the iPhone to make a compelling enough case for itself – and in many ways, it’s as good. Sure, the iPhone may be posher and built tougher, but the Pixel is lighter and more compact-feeling. Not quite perfect, the Pixel’s camera system is superior to the iPhone’s in some ways. If anyone can compete with Apple on hardware-software integration, it’s got to be Google. The iPhone’s battery life is a strong advantage, admittedly, but need we reiterate the price difference?
It’s all the more revealing how good of a deal the Pixel 7 Pro is compared to Apple’s offerings when you consider that even the iPhone 14 Pro (non-Max) is $100/€400/INR 45K pricier.
The Galaxy S22 Ultra’s price isn’t as easy to specify since you can get one at more outlets than you can an iPhone. Still, a quick search at reputable retailers returns $1100/€970/INR 96K numbers, and those are, again, higher prices than what you can get a Pixel 7 Pro for. Now, the Galaxy has some unique selling points of its own, the most prominent one being the stylus. It’s got a battery life advantage over the Pixel, and actually charges faster (not a category where Galaxies often emerge victorious). There’s no clear-cut winner in a camera comparison here, and software can be a divisive subject between these two.
Apple iPhone 14 Pro Max • Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra 5G
It can then be argued that maybe the Pixel 7 Pro‘s main competitor is the Pixel 6 Pro. Taking some of the more contentious considerations out of the way, like software and camera differences (because, let’s face it, the 7 Pro’s camera system is not a giant leap coming from the 6 Pro), and without any of the advantages like the iPhone’s battery life or the Galaxy’s S Pen, the Pixel 6 Pro will do most of what the 7 Pro will, at some $250/€200/INR 20K less. You’ll be missing out on the new chipset, and all the known and unknowable goodies it provides, and also the AF-capable ultrawide, but the core reasons to go #teampixel are there.
Core Pixel defined, this year’s ‘small’ 7 comes in at a similar price as last year’s Pro. It has the latest chipset with all that entails but is missing a telephoto, though you may very well be perfectly okay with the perfectly okay Super Res 2x zoom.
Google Pixel 6 Pro • Google Pixel 7
Pixels have historically lacked mainstream appeal, and the lack of truly global availability is no small part of why that is so. This year, the list of countries with official Pixel presence has been expanded to 16, and maybe that will drive sales numbers up, even if a lot of the world will still be missing out.
And there’s quite a lot to be missing out on. The camera system is the single biggest Pixel 7 Pro selling point that comes to mind, and it brings some welcome improvements, even if a bit modest. That, of course, comes on top of what is a hard to quantify character that you simply can’t get on anything that’s not a Pixel.
Similarly challenging to put a number on is the software experience – benchmarks certainly don’t do the 7 Pro any justice. Android, the way Google envisions it, is a rather unique blend of simplicity and feature-richness, and here, it’s delivered to your fingertips with a level of fluidity only Apple can muster.
But it’s when getting to the numbers that the Pixel 7 Pro struggles to compete on quite the same level as a lot of the other big-name rivals. Battery life is markedly worse than on a current iPhone, and a Galaxy will likely get you better longevity too. Neither Apple nor Samsung are industry leaders in charging speed, but Googlehas become an industry… trailer? Two hours for a full charge can turn into an actual issue in day-to-day use, we reckon. And then, despite all the gushing over Pixel cameras, there’s potential for improvement here or there as well.
Ultimately, though, the Pixel 7 Pro is a compelling package that can easily win over other brand loyalists if given a chance, and the enticing pricing helps a lot. Meanwhile, the folks already on the #teampixel bandwagon will need more convincing, particularly if they’re already rocking the previous generation Pixel. But that’s true for mostly any smartphone sequel these days, ain’t it?
Lighter than the two main competitors, about as premium too; IP68 dust- and water-resistant.
Sharp, bright, color-accurate, with a high refresh rate, this display is stellar.
Android from the source, exclusive feature set, unrivaled perception of smoothness on this side of the OS divide.
Superb stereo speakers.
Great camera quality overall with an unmatched character that has a loyal following.
Less expensive than major competitors.
Below average battery life, perhaps partly a consequence of display refresh rate seemingly not as adaptive as advertised.
Very slow charging by today’s standards.
Certain software and hardware features are regionally limited – 5G, VolTE, and much of the on-board AI stuff (though admittedly, so is the phone’s availability, to begin with).
At first glance, the Reno 2F looks similar to the Reno 2. It comes in two colors, namely Lake Green and Sky White. The unit we have here takes on the latter colorway, and it changes hues, depending on how the light hits it. Upon closer inspection, there’s a ridge pattern all over the rear. You don’t get to feel its texture, though, as the Reno 2F’s back is protected by Gorilla Glass 5.
Similar to the standard Reno 2, the Reno 2F’s cameras are stacked vertically on the center rear. The ceramic O-Dot is also present, but instead of sitting below the cameras, it’s now located above them.
Upfront, the Reno 2F also has a full-screen, notch-less display. The chin on this device is slightly thicker than that of the Reno 2, however. Despite that, it’s not much of a distraction. Similar to the rear, the display is also protected by Gorilla Glass 5.
The Reno 2F also has a pop-up camera module, but it doesn’t adapt to the shark-fin design of the original Reno and the Reno 2. It’s your standard pop-up camera, and it lights upon rising and falling back into place. The light effects can be changed into several colors, or it can also be randomized if you can’t choose a particular hue.
On the left, one can find the volume rocker, while the right side houses the dual SIM tray and the power button. The power button is highlighted with a green strip. Like the Reno 2, the buttons are clicky and easy to reach.
Housed at the bottom of the device are the 3.5mm headphone jack, microphone, USB-C port, and single downward-firing speaker.
The Reno 2F looks somewhat identical to the Reno 2, especially at first glance. Just like its sibling, the 2F is also sleek, and premium and its curved glass back makes it comfortable to hold.
For hardware, MediaTek Helio P70 runs as the 2F’s chipset, paired up with Mali-G72 GPU and 8GB of RAM. We tested it through our standard benchmarks, and here are the results:
• AnTuTu: 148,130
• Geekbench: 293 (Single-Core), 1,442 (Multi-Core), 5,772 (RenderScript)
• PC Mark: 7,796 (Work 2.0)
• 3D Mark SSE: 1,273 (OpenGL ES 3.1), 1,255 (Vulkan)
• AndroBench: 474.1 MB/s (Read), 190.56 MB/s (Write)
The Reno 2F executed basic tasks well, whether it be taking photos, browsing social media, navigation, messaging, and the like. When it comes to gaming, however, frame drops happened from time to time. Even so, it’s not bad enough to ruin the gaming experience.
An in-display fingerprint scanner and face unlock recognition are the 2F’s biometrics options. They’re both quick, but there’s a slight delay with the face unlock. You would need to wait for the camera module to pop-up first before it can scan your face and unlock the device.
Just like any smartphone out there, the Reno 2F has its highs and lows. The 2F has an eye-catching colorway, a notch-less display, pleasant audio, has video stabilization, and pretty good battery life. But as expected, it has its imperfections. The pop-up mechanism looks average, frame drops happen here and there during gaming, selfies come out average-looking, and the photos produced turn out to be modest.
Do you even need a gaming phone when handsets like the iPhone 13 Pro Max or Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra are such capable pocket powerhouses? Asus thinks so, and the ROG Phone 6 is its latest attempt at giving you a smartphone by daylight, and handheld console by neon lights of your RGB-lit den.
If you’re not a gamer, then the ROG Phone 6 isn’t for you. It’s that simple. Starting with its design, this phone looks like it could transform into a tiny robot and take over the world; you’ll probably either love it or hate it. We love it.
Both the ROG Phone 6 and 6 Pro get a color screen around the back, a feature that was previously reserved for the Pro version. Also new, the ROG Phone 6 is available in both black and white – the latter looking particularly sleek when matched with the new selection of off-white accessories.
Given that the phone also sounds good and lasts a full day without a midday charge – thanks to its huge 6000mAh battery – it’s safe to say our general impression of the ROG Phone 6 has been an excellent one. That said, it isn’t perfect.
While gaming phone cameras are usually mediocre to bad, the ROG Phone 6‘s is just good enough. This phone is pricey, so it’s natural for us to expect a little more – possibly OIS on the main lens, a bit of telephoto reach or a wide/macro camera with autofocus.
The phone also misses out on wireless charging, which is becoming more ubiquitous, and is something of a must in the ROG Phone 6’s price bracket.
Despite those quibbles, the ROG Phone 6 is still the very best gaming phone you can buy. While it costs more than the Poco F4 GT, it’s more powerful and features a richer accessory suite. The Red Magic 7 and 7 Pro are also cheaper alternatives but lack the polish Asus brings to the table.
Asus ROG Phone 6: price and availability
Starts at £899 (US price TBC)
Available in three versions
Regional availability TBC
The Asus ROG Phone price ranges from high to eye-watering, starting at £899 for the standard version with 256GB storage and 12GB RAM. Alternatively, for £999, you can pick up the phone with 512GB storage and 16GB RAM. If you want to spend even more, the Pro version, which also has 512GB storage, but takes the RAM up to 18GB, – and adds an LED light on the back – costs £1,199. US pricing will be confirmed imminently, so we’ll update this as soon as Asus announces it.
This is the same pricing structure we’ve seen from Asus’s ROG Phone line before – charging more than much of the gaming phone competition but delivering a superior user experience. The Red Magic 7 starts at £529, in contrast, and is a great option for anyone who doesn’t mind a few rough edges. That said, Asus offers more storage at the ROG Phone 6’s starting capacity and a much more refined software experience.
We know the phone’s coming to the UK and will be available from Asus’s online store. Other regions and retailers are yet to be confirmed.
Value score: 4/5
Asus ROG Phone 6: design
Striking gaming phone look
Available in two styles
Excellent accessory support
As far as gaming phones go, the ROG Phone 6 is one of the more elegant options around with its curved, smooth, pearlesque, frosted glass back, and its rounded metal sides. If you close your eyes while holding it, despite being big, it’s still a comfortable, premium smartphone – nothing too standout. Open your eyes though, and you’ll be sucked into a world of RGB lighting, second-screen action, and Stargate-style glyphs.
Measuring 173 x 77 x 10.3mm, the ROG Phone 6 is a tall, relatively narrow thing that’s thicker than most smartphones, but doesn’t quite feel unwieldy. At 239g, it’s one of the heaviest phones on the scene, with the iPhone 13 Pro Max weighing just one gram more at 240g.
The curvy, frosty back and matte sides do make the ROG Phone 6 feel rich and alluring, but it is pretty slippery, so you’ll want to put a case on as soon as you start using it. Luckily, in the box, you get a lightweight, hard plastic shell that protects the corners and adds a little extra grip.
The ROG Phone’s screen is protected by Gorilla Glass Victus, and while the phone doesn’t sport IP68 water or dust resistance, it’s the first gaming phone with IPX4 splash-resistant certification. As for color options, the standard ROG Phone 6 is available in Phantom Black and Storm White, while the 6 Pro is available exclusively in Storm White.
Dotted around the curved metal frame of the ROG Phone 6are more ports than we’re used to seeing. In addition to the 3.5mm headphone jack – a unicorn by today’s high-end smartphone standards – there’s a second USB port on the side of the phone. This is for accessories, like the dock and fan, but also makes for a comfortable charging option when gaming in landscape orientation.
Asus doesn’t install a pre-fitted screen protector on the phone, but does offer up an official option as a separate purchase. We had no issues with the in-display fingerprint scanner, and also set the phone’s face unlock up to ensure we could get into it quickly.
The most standout design highlight of the ROG Phone 6 is definitely on the back. Sprinkled among a bunch of etchings and visual flourishes – as well as a confident, angular camera bump – is an OLED screen. This is horizontal on the Pro model, pictured above, and pitched at an angle on the standard ROG Phone 6.
More than just a flashy highlight for gamers, Asus adds some utility to the second screen. It can display your notification icons, and battery capacity while charging. Really though, who are we kidding? This thing is totally unnecessary – pure indulgence and we’re more than okay with that.
Asus ROG Phone 6 scorecard
Love it or hate it, the premium finish and gaming phone highlights make the ROG Phone 6 a standout in its category.
While the ROG Phone 6’s screen isn’t the sharpest around, it’s exactly where it needs to be for a gaming phone, and the image quality and brightness are on point.
Asus is the first to market with Qualcomm’s latest processor, which, matched with effective cooling ensures performance, whether gaming or simply using your phone is excellent.
The ROG Phone’s weakest area is its camera, despite improvements over its predecessor. Nevertheless, the main camera still impresses with good looking photos and videos.
With a bigger battery than the most smartphones and fast charging, it’s little wonder the ROG Phone 6’s battery impressed us. The only thing missing is wireless charging.
Asus has finetuned its gaming software to near-perfection over the years, and the latest iteration is stellar. We also like the dialled back theme that feels more stock.
While you can get a better camera phone for less, the ROG Phone 5 is the best gaming phone around, and that helps justify its confident, but not unreasonable price.
Buy it if…
You want a powerful gaming phone
The ROG Phone 6 is an incredibly powerful gaming phone that can handle even the more power-hungry games without getting too hot under the collar.
You love gaming accessories
Whether you want to clip the ROG Phone to your Xbox controller, use it like a Nintendo Switch with the Kunai Gamepad, or keep it cool with a fan – you can Megazord your ROG Phone 6 with a whole bunch of great-looking, RGB-lit gaming gear.
You have battery anxiety If you just use your ROG Phone 6 like a smartphone, then you can be confident it won’t die after a day. With its huge 6,000mAh battery, it easily makes it into a second day – and if you’re very careful, possibly even a third.
Don’t buy it if…
You’re on a tight budget The ROG Phone 6 is the most expensive gaming phone out now, and if you plan on picking up all its accessories, you’ll be spending a sizeable chunk of change on all of that. Past-gen ROG phones or the Poco F4 GT could be good alternatives.
You have shaky hands or love zooming
The phone’s camera is good, but it struggles in dimly-lit scenes, where hand shake can creep in and result in blurry photos. The camera also misses out on a telephoto camera, so you can zoom in up to around three times before things start to fall apart.
You love wireless charging
Gaming phones like the ROG Phone 6 don’t tend to pack wireless charging. That said, you can get plenty of very good wireless charging phones that pack stacks of power so look to phones like the iPhone 13 Pro Max or Galaxy S22 Ultra.
Gaming phones are always powerful, but they’re seldom polished. The ROG Phone 6 is both, matching best-in-class performance with effective cooling and a rich selection of accessories. While we wish Asus went a bit further with the camera and wireless charging, there are enough standout and unique highlights here to make it the best gaming phone available at launch.
Google is continuing to invite those who’ve signed up for the Google Home Public Preview program. Signing up gets you early access to a completely revamped Home app. Here’s how to make sure you’re on the list to join the Google Home app’s Public Preview.
The new Google Home app is a complete overhaul of the previous version. It brings a new UI, better device organization, and an easier camera management page. Overall, it boasts an easier and more thoughtful experience than the Google Home we’ve come to be reluctantly used to.
For those that want to get in early with the new app version, there’s something called a “Public Preview.” That Public Preview is a program that allows anyone to sign up and get a chance to view the new app before it’s released in full.
In order to get access, you need to wait your turn. Recently, more users have reported receiving invitations to join Google’s Public Preview. It doesn’t look like it’s a large number of invitations popping up, though it’s a slight increase. This just means Google is rolling out more and more invites.
How to sign up for the Google Home Public Preview
Signing up is the first step in order to getting an invite for the preview version. To do so, you just need an active Google Account.
That’s it! The Google Home app will notify you when the Public Preview is available to install on your device. You can always withdraw your request, too, if you so wish.
Google is definitely upping the number of people it’s inviting to join the Home app Public Preview. Getting on the list gives you a better chance of getting an invite before the public version fully rolls out.
Hands-on: The new Google Home app mostly sticks the landing [Gallery]
The Google Home app started off as a solid way to manage your smart home devices, but as it has been flooded with new hardware and taken on the legacy of Nest, it hasn’t felt as though it was keeping up. Now, Google is moving toward a new Google Home app that makes some big promises, and we’ve spent a couple of days gathering a few first impressions.
New sections break muscle memory for the better
The first major change you’ll find in the new Google Home app is the main page, which is drastically different from the previous design. If you have muscle memory for performing tasks in the existing app, you’ll have to relearn everything for the new one.
It’s worth it.
The original Home app was designed around the idea of using just two pages for every single thing. One page for all of your devices, the other for an activity feed.
The redesign expands on these pages dramatically.
Firstly, there’s the “Favorites” page. This is a customizable page, but it has a couple of static elements. At the top of the page there are dedicated shortcut to all of your cameras, all of your lighting products, Nest/Google Wifi devices and settings, and a button to access thermostats.
All of those dedicated pages are redesigned from their prior looks, with the cameras page showing a similar, but slightly revamped design. The lighting page organizes your lights by room with a prominent on/off toggle at the top of the page. A drop-down for each room that lets you quickly control individual lights with a tap. For me, this is a huge improvement!
The Wi-Fi page is simplified, something that’s definitely for the best as I always found the old design clunky and slow. You’ll see network status and the number of connected devices at a glance across the top, with options to share your password, manage family wifi, or run a speed test directly below, and further settings and history below that.
The climate page remains unchanged from the previous Home app design.
The rest of the Favorites page is really up to you.
By default, it’s blank, with an “edit” view allowing you to choose which devices appear on the page. You can have shortcuts for lights, locks, and more, as well as live views of cameras here. You can also have shortcuts for broadcasts, calling your home devices, or Google Assistant. It’s a useful page!
But, there are some complaints, of course.
My biggest problem on the Favorites page is that you can’t add a group of devices to the page. Each device shows as its own toggle. So, if you want one-click access to say, turn off all of the lights in a room, you can’t. While it doesn’t take much to get to that quick access toggle, it’s really frustrating that you can’t add a single room as a single button.
You also can’t reorganize the layout. It’s just based on alphabetical order and where devices are in your home. Realistically I want my Nest Cam with Floodlight as the first thing I see when I open the Home app, but that’s not an option unless I rename it or create a fake room.
Another thing I take some issue with is how this page in particular will work for users without a huge number of devices. My home is packed with various lights and smart home gear, so many of these changes make it much easier to control everything. But with fewer devices, I’d imagine a lot of the changes Google has made won’t feel as meaningful and actually might feel like a downgrade from the prior experience. Where the original Home app had your entire smart home front and center with clear organization, the new version puts some of that information under another layer. That’s great if you have a ton of devices, but much less so if you only have a few.
Moving on to other pages, there’s a dedicated page to show everything in your home, and this is virtually identical to the original Home app. Your devices are split up by room in a scrolling list. As a secondary means of access, this design works really well, and Google is also making the process of adding a new device a little more obvious with a floating button at the bottom of this screen.
The Automations tab replaces the “Routines” shortcut in the original Home app, and it’s a good way to signal Google’s intention for what the future will look like. Functionality is mostly unchanged from what we’re all used to, just with some light design tweaks. The Activity tab is similarly almost identical to the old Home app.
A dedicated settings tab does wonders
Perhaps the biggest improvement that comes with these pages is a revamped Settings page.
The top of the page easily shows your home members and below that, provides quick shortcuts to settings for your devices, rooms, and groups. It can get a little cluttered if you have a lot of stuff, but it works. Under that is a similar row with settings for integrating devices from other accounts, as well as video/music services and similar options.
There’s also an “add” button that shows every action that you might expect to fit that description.
And then underneath that, you’ll find two more sections of settings. “Home features” and “Nest services & support.” Both of these are concise and easy to navigate, and I genuinely can’t express how big of an improvement this is. Individual device menus, especially for newer Nest Cam products, are still easy to get lost in, but this is a huge step in the right direction for the Home app as a whole.
A side-by-side look really shows how much has changed.
Now Google just needs to find a way to not have three settings menus in the same app.
One of my biggest gripes with Google’s smart home effort over the past year has been with how drastically far behind the company’s newer Nest cameras have been compared to the older models. The Nest app was just so much better.
The new Google Home app fixes this in a big way.
That big way is basically to port the Nest app’s camera feed page into the Home app. You’ll see a live feed at the top of the screen by default with a list of events below it. Tapping an event shows the recording, assuming you have recording enabled. Above that there are buttons to view the feed in fullscreen or to switch the history to show a vertically scrolling timeline of your recordings. If you have 24/7 recording, it’s wonderful.
You’ll also notice two extra buttons. One “info” button that shows familiar faces in an event and other details, and an overflow menu that lets you turn off a camera, set “Quiet Time,” save a clip, or access “Familiar faces” or the larger history view. It’s a major improvement!
I still feel the Home app is a bit slower and a little less reliable on this page compared to the Nest app – part of that could be that I’m doing this testing while traveling – but it’s still a gigantic improvement.
The next big step here will be integrating the rest of Google’s Nest lineup into this new view. Google says this is happening “over the next year.” For now, they stick with the same view that doesn’t include any history.
There’s more to come
However, there’s still plenty left to come. The public preview of the Google Home app very much feels like it’s in an early state. Animations are a little choppy in some areas (like scrolling the devices page) and there are clearly some features that need to be improved. Plus, a lot of the underlying settings and pages are still using older designs, just with a new front-facing look or method of access.
That said, the general verdict I’ve come to over the past couple of days has been largely very positive. The app has a cleaner, more useful interface and a lot of improvements I’ve been begging for over the past couple of years. If all Google had done was deliver on a new Nest experience, I’d have been happy. But this new design feels like it will be able to handle a smart home for years to come.
How do I get the new Google Home app?
The new version of the Google Home app isn’t widely available just yet, Currently it’s a limited, invite-only public preview.
You can sign up for the Google Home public preview through the Home app under Settings (the button on the main page) > General > Public preview. Just tap “request invite.”
Apple is continuing to push into health care, this time striking a deal with Epic Systems for a Mac-friendly version of its health records app. As reported by Axios,the deal will see Epic Systems create a version of its health records tool that “is easier to run on Apple devices.”
Apple had reportedly pushed for Epic to create a “native version of the service” for Apple devices, but the two companies settled on this compromise of a version that is “easier to run on Apple devices” instead. Apple hasn’t acknowledged this deal, but Axios says it was confirmed by a “source inside Epic.”
The deal comes despite previous disagreements between Epic and Apple over health records and data sharing, Axios explains. Apple has pushed for easing health record sharing requirements, something that Epic is firmly opposed to. Epic argued that rule changes focused on “interoperability” will be “overly burdensome on our health system and will endanger patient privacy.”
Epic Systems is the largest electronic health records vendor in the United States, with “roughly half the population’s medical records” being stored in a system powered by Epic software and technology. The lack of well-developed Mac, iPad, and iPhone software from Epic has put inhibited Apple’s ability to tap further into the health records industry.
Given the pace at which things in the healthcare industry move — especially around medical records technology — it’ll likely be awhile before we see any results of this new deal. None the less, it could end up being good for the industry and consumers, particularly if it improves data integration with other Apple platforms and services.
After launching on Pixel phones earlier this year, Android 13 is now headed to Samsung Galaxy devices outside of a beta program. Here’s what devices have already received their update, and which ones will probably get it over the coming months.
What’s new in Android 13 on Samsung devices?
Android 13 is a pretty small update compared to Android 12 that came before it. Where that update completely reinvented the platform’s design on Pixel phones and introduced “Material You” theming with special colors, this year’s update is much smaller on the whole.
On Samsung smartphones, Android 13 brings a few system-level changes, including more colors for Samsung’s version of Material You, “Color Palette.” Themed icons on the homescreen now support third-party apps, too. There are also various privacy features on the lower levels, but the bulk of what’s new on Galaxy smartphones comes from Samsung.
One UI 5.0 is the latest version of Samsung’s skin on top of Android 13, and it brings a handful of new features. This includes “Privacy Detection” when sharing photos, a new Privacy and Security dashboard similar to the one Google built; a new lockscreen with more customizable features; “Maintenence Mode,” which hides user data when a smartphone is sent in for repair; stackable widgets; and more. The update was supposed to finally bring multi-user support, but Samsung removed it during the beta program.
Android 13 is already available on these Samsung devices
As of October 2022, Samsung has launched Android 13 for three smartphones. On October 24, One UI 5.0 with Android 13 started rolling out to all Galaxy S22 series devices globally, with some delays on carrier models and some regions.
This list will be continuously updated over the coming months with the latest additions marked in bold text. Check back regularly!
Samsung Galaxy S devices with Android 13
In October 2022, Samsung updated three devices to Android 13 as the Galaxy S22, S22+, and S22 Ultra saw updates to the latest version of Android and One UI 5.0. The update was launched globally on October 24, but is still expanding to certain regional variants and carrier models.
In November 2022, Samsung expanded the Android 13 update much further. On November 7, the update was launched on Galaxy S21 and Galaxy S20 series devices. The update started its availability in portions of Europe including Germany and Switzerland and is expected to roll out in other regions soon after. By November 14, the Android 13 update had expanded to the Galaxy S21 in India, Kazakhstan, and Russia, as well as some US carriers.
Galaxy S22 – Available globally
Galaxy S22+ – Available globally
Galaxy S22 Ultra – Available globally
Galaxy S21 – Available in Europe, India, Kazakhstan, Russia
Available in US on AT&T and T-Mobile
Galaxy S21+ – Available in Europe, India, Kazakhstan, Russia
Available in US on AT&T and T-Mobile
Galaxy S21 Ultra – Available in Europe, India, Kazakhstan, Russia
Available in US on AT&T and T-Mobile
Galaxy S20 – Available in Europe
Galaxy S20+ – Available in Europe
Galaxy S20 Ultra – Available in Europe
Galaxy Foldables with Android 13
Samsung has also started rolling out Android 13 to its foldable devices as of mid-November, but in a limited capacity. As of November 11, Samsung has released Android 13 to the Galaxy Z Fold 4 and Galaxy Z Flip 4, but only to those who were previously beta testing the update. The finalized update was launched in the US to unlocked owners, but should expand to other beta testers as well as all other owners fairly soon. By November 17, the update had launched widely to users that weren’t in the beta program, but still in a limited number of countries. The Galaxy Z Fold 3 and Z Flip 3 are also now getting the Android 13 update globally for those who were in the beta program.
Galaxy Z Fold 4 – Rolling out now starting in South Korea and India
Galaxy Z Flip 4 – Rolling out now starting in South Korea
Galaxy Z Fold 3 – Available to One UI 5 beta testers first
Galaxy Z Flip 3 – Available to One UI 5 beta testers first
Samsung Galaxy Note devices with Android 13
As Samsung moves away from the Galaxy Note line, there’s only a handful of Note devices that will ever see Android 13 officially. In fact, it’s really just the Galaxy Note 20 series, which started seeing its update in early November 2022. The Galaxy Note 20 and Note 20 Ultra picked up Android 13 in Switzerland first, and has expanded to the United States as of November 15.
Galaxy Note 20 – Available in Europe and the United States
Galaxy Note 20 Ultra – Available in Europe and the United States
The Android 13 update is moving quickly, and already available on select Galaxy A series devices. The Galaxy A53 was first in line on November 9 with the update launched in Europe and the UK. The Galaxy A33 was next in line on November 10 in Europe, while the Galaxy A73 came just a day later in Malaysia. The Galaxy A52 was also updated on November 17, the first device from Samsung’s 2021 mid-range lineup to be updated.
Galaxy A53 5G– Available in Europe and UK
Galaxy A33 5G– Avaialble in Europe
Galaxy A73 5G – Available in Malaysia
Galaxy A52 5G – Available in Russia
Galaxy tablets with Android 13
The very first Android tablets to be updated to Android 13 became Samsung’s Galaxy Tab S8 series on November 14. The update started rolling out to 5G versions of each tablet in several countries across Europe, but should expand to other models and regions soon.
Galaxy Tab S8 – Available in Europe, 5G only
Galaxy Tab S8+ – Available in Europe, 5G only
Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra – Available in Europe, 5G only
Other Samsung devices with Android 13
Outside of Samsung’s core product lineups, there are other devices getting Android 13 as well. That includes the rugged XCover 6 Pro, which was updated on November 14 alongside the Galaxy Tab S8 series. On November 15, Samsung released the update for its Galaxy M52 5G and Galaxy M32 5G in select markets.
Galaxy XCover 6 Pro – Available in Europe
Galaxy M32 5G – Available in India
Galaxy M52 5G – Available in Europe
When will my Samsung device get Android 13?
When will Galaxy devices get Android 13? If Samsung’s usual pattern holds up, most modern and supported flagship devices will be updated in a matter of weeks, with budget devices and other regional exclusives getting the update throughout 2023.
Generally speaking, most Samsung smartphones are now guaranteed major Android updates for at least three years after their debut, meaning there’s a pretty huge list of devices set to be updated. You can check the update policy for your Samsung smartphone below.
In a message sent to users in Korea through its Samsung Members app, Samsung has confirmed a preliminary list of devices and a roadmap of when it plans to roll out Android 13. The timeline was also backed up by messages in Malaysia and India. This timeline will likely vary a bit depending on your region and Samsung’s own pace, but it’s a good outline of what to expect.
Samsung Android 13 update schedule
Galaxy S22 – October 24
Galaxy S22+ – October 24
Galaxy S22 Ultra – October 24
Galaxy Z Fold 4 – November 17
Galaxy Z Flip 4 – November 17
Galaxy Z Fold 3
Galaxy Z Flip 3
Galaxy S21 – November 7
Galaxy S21+ – November 7
Galaxy S21 Ultra – November 7
Galaxy Note 20 – November 7
Galaxy Note 20 Ultra – November 7
Galaxy S20 – November 7
Galaxy S20+ – November 7
Galaxy S20 Ultra – November 7
Galaxy Tab S8 – November 14
Galaxy Tab S8+ – November 14
Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra – November 14
Galaxy Tab S7
Galaxy Tab S7+
Galaxy A53 5G – November 9
Galaxy A33 5G – November 10
Galaxy XCover 6 Pro – November 14
Galaxy Z Fold 2
Galaxy Z Flip 5G
Galaxy Z Flip
Galaxy S21 FE
Galaxy S20 FE
Galaxy Tab S7 FE
Galaxy Tab S7 FE 5G
Galaxy Tab S6 Lite
Galaxy S10 Lite
Galaxy Note 10 Lite
Galaxy A73 5G – November 11
Galaxy A52s 5G
Galaxy A52 5G – November 17
Galaxy A42 5G
Galaxy A71 5G
Galaxy A Quantum
Galaxy A Quantum2
Galaxy Jump 2
Galaxy A13 5G
Galaxy A32 5G
Galaxy M33 5G
Galaxy M53 5G
Galaxy M52 5G
Galaxy Buddy 2
Galaxy XCover 5
Galaxy Tab A8
Galaxy Tab A7 Lite
Galaxy Tab Active 3
Galaxy A23 5G
Galaxy A22 5G
Galaxy Tab Active 4 Pro
Galaxy M23 5G
Galaxy A13 LTE
Looking at Samsung’s update list from 2022 with Android 12, it’s almost guaranteed that other devices not on this initial roadmap will be added in time, but this gives us a pretty good idea of what to expect.
Last updated 11/18 to add rollouts for Galaxy Z Fold 4, Flip 4, Galaxy A series devices, and further Galaxy S expansions.
Samsung is now bringing Android 13 to the Galaxy S20 FE and the Galaxy S21 FE, starting in select regions.
Following updates to the rest of the Galaxy S20 and Galaxy S21 series, Samsung is now expanding One UI 5 to its pair of “Fan Edition” devices. The Galaxy S20 FE and Galaxy S21 FE are both getting Android 13 now via updates, though only in limited regions.
As SamMobile reports, the Galaxy S20 FE is getting Android 13 in Russia, carrying the version number G780FXXUAEVK3 and weighing in at roughly 2GB. It’s notable, though, that this is the Exynos-based version of the device, rather than the Snapdragon model that’s available in the United States and other regions.
Meanwhile, the Galaxy S21 FE is also getting Android 13 in some regions, including Europe. SamMobile notes the firmware version number G990BXXU2DVK3, and notes that the update is rolling out in some other regions.
As in most cases, Samsung usually starts these updates in select regions before expanding globally. Expect the update in other countries within the next week or two.
Samsung has updated over a dozen different smartphones and tablets to Android 13 so far, with many more to go. The company also launched Android 13 for the Galaxy Note 10 Lite this week in France.