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:
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).
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.”
Google Play services powers many key features on Android devices that might not be obvious to end users, and Google is now offering an explanation directly on your phone as part of a new approach.
If you go to Settings > Apps > See all > Google Play services, you’ll see a new “All Services” item as the first thing in the App info list underneath Disable and Force stop. Tapping lets you “See details about the services used on your device.” Google’s high-level explanation of Play services follows:
Google Play services helps to make your device more secure and reliable. It’s an important part of many of the features on your device, and it’s different from the Play Store app.
Keep in mind that turning off services can impact the way your device works.
The last line makes explicit reference to how some people disable it. Google specifically highlights 17 capabilities. Tapping takes you to settings pages, while the Info button next to things takes you to various support/help articles.
Of the devices we checked today, this is only appearing on Android 13 Pixel phones. The capability that lets Play services add this “All services” page to App info requires the latest version of the OS.
Account management: Used for secure sign-in and better control of your Google Account
Links to settings for: Device phone number and Google Account
Ads: Used to control ad preferences and prevent ad spam
Lets you: Reset advertising ID, Delete advertising ID, or Enable debug logging for ads
Also shows device advertising ID
Autofill with Google: Used to fill in your info, such as passwords and payment methods
Shows settings to enable/disable Autofill with Google
Links to your saved Personal information, Addresses, Payment methods, and Passwords, as well as Preferences
Contacts: Used to sync your contacts with your Google Account and other devices
Links to settings for: Google Contacts sync and Restore contacts
Data backup and transfer: Used to back up and restore your data, app settings, and account info
Links to settings for: Settings > System > Backup
Developer features: Used for features that app developers can include to make their apps better and more reliable
It’s no secret that Pixel phones – especially the Pixel 7 and 7 Pro – take downright fantastic photos. Of course, it’s always nice to have RAW images so you have a little more freedom in your editing process. This guide will take you through enabling RAW file picture capture on your Google Pixel.
No matter what device you shoot on, your final image will generally come out as one of two file formats – JPEG or RAW. Of course, we’re all familiar with JPEG files, which produce a perfectly fine photo. The caveat is that they’re lossy and stripped of all the surrounding detail and data that would make editing easier. With that, though, they’re incredibly easy to store and share without sacrificing much storage space.
On the other hand, a RAW photo is lossless and keeps a lot of that captured data available, making editing much easier. A RAW file on your Google Pixel – or anywhere for that matter – allows you to make greater adjustments without sacrificing overall detail. With that, a RAW file is much larger, and having many stored on your device can definitely bog it down and soak up space. On top of that, it isn’t widely supported as a readable file format without first being converted.
Related: Here’s what every camera on the Pixel 7 Pro does
Of course, if you don’t plan on doing heavy editing with your Pixel’s photos, there wouldn’t be a need to also capture RAW images. For those that do plan to, the Pixel 7 and 7 Pro are newly supported devices in Adobe’s RAW catalog, which means color profiles are supported from those devices. The Pixel 6 and 6 Pro are supported as well.
How to take RAW images on your Pixel
The Pixel’s stock camera app allows you to operate in a mode called RAW + JPEG, which will take both JPEG and RAW pictures on your Google Pixel. This option will inevitably take up much more space on your device, though if you plan on exporting the RAW images, this shouldn’t be an issue.
Enabling the feature is pretty easy and takes a quick setup. After that, you can toggle the RAW + JPEG option on and off.
On your Pixel, open the camera.
If you haven’t changed the default method, you can double-tap your power button.
Tap the camera settings drop-down button at the top.
Hit More settings.
Toggle on RAW + JPEG control.
Now, when you open the camera settings drop-down menu, you can tap RAW to get both RAW and JPEG images.
Taking RAW pictures on your Pixelwith this option enabled will result in an additional folder appearing in your Google Photos library called “Raw.” That folder is where you can find all of your RAW images to export or edit.
Tip: Don’t set the “Raw” folder to automatically back up to the cloud. This will eat your storage up like there’s no tomorrow.
How to export RAW images
If you plan on editing your RAW pictures elsewhere such as Adobe Lightroom, you’ll want to export your images. There are several ways you can do this without losing any image quality. Our suggestion would be to upload them to Google Drive to maintain quality and download them to the device you’re editing with.
If you plan on editing from your Pixel, you don’t have to export. Simply select images in your editing app from the Raw folder in your library and you’ll be able to tune them how you like.
Open Google Photos.
Select the “Raw” folder.
Open an image or select multiple and hit Share.
As mentioned, you can use Google Drive to upload your images if you wish. Doing it that way will keep your files at full size until you download them and edit them down.
Overall, the RAW image feature on Google’s Pixel lineup comes in handy. With newly supported RAW files from the Google Pixel 7 and 7 Pro in Adobe’s suite, it’s a little easier to edit those fantastic Pixel images.
Google is preparing to shut down the dedicated Street View app on Android, keeping the feature in Google Maps.
About APK Insight: In this “APK Insight” post, we’ve decompiled the latest version of an application that Google uploaded to the Play Store. When we decompile these files (called APKs, in the case of Android apps), we’re able to see various lines of code within that hint at possible future features. Keep in mind that Google may or may not ever ship these features, and our interpretation of what they are may be imperfect. We’ll try to enable those that are closer to being finished, however, to show you how they’ll look in case that they do ship. With that in mind, read on.
Google’s Street View is an easy way to get a 360° look at almost any given street on the planet, perfect for getting a sense of your next travel destination or simply exploring the world from the comfort of home. While the Google Maps app has long offered an easy way to hop into Street View, there has also been a dedicated Street View app on Android and iOS.
This standalone app served two distinct groups of people – those who wanted to deeply browse Street View and those who wanted to contribute their own 360° imagery. Considering the more popular Google Maps app has Street View support and Google offers a “Street View Studio” web app for contributors, it should be no surprise to learn that the company is now preparing to shut down the Street View app.
In the latest update, version 188.8.131.524371618, Google has prepared a handful of deprecation/shutdown notices for the Street View app. These notices are not yet visible in the app today, but our team managed to enable them.
In the notice, Google confirms that the Street View app is set to shut down on March 31, 2023, encouraging users to switch to either Google Maps or Street View Studio.
Street View App is going away
The app is going away and support will end March 21, 2023.
To publish your own 360 video, switch to Street View Studio. To view Street View and add Photo Spheres, use Google Maps.
However, one feature that is being fully shut down with the Street View app’s demise is that of “Photo Paths.” First launched last year, Photo Paths were intended as a way to let nearly anyone with a smartphone contribute simple 2D photos of a road or path that had not yet been documented by Street View. Unlike every other feature of the Street View app, there is no replacement for Photo Paths on the web app or Google Maps app.
Google’s Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro are important phones for a few reasons, but one of the biggest is how they support apps. As it turns out, the Pixel 7 series delivers the first Android phones that block support for apps that aren’t 64-bit. What does that mean for you? Let’s discuss.
It’s been no secret that Google has been working toward a future where Android is a 64-bit operating system, as opposed to one that still supports 32-bit software. What’s the difference between the two? In short, a 64-bit operating system can access drastically more memory addresses, which leads to improvements on both performance and security. Google boasted speed improvements to Chrome for Android, for instance, when it moved to a 64-bit build.
Android made the move to support 64-bit apps in 2011 with the launch of Android 5.0, but the platform has always supported 32-bit apps in the years since. It was in 2019 that Google moved to make 64-bit support a requirement for all apps distributed through the Google Play Store, Android’s primary source of apps, with the Play Store later ending serving apps that either didn’t support 64-bit or didn’t have a 64-bit version.
Now, Google is taking the next step by releasing the Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro with 64-bit only support for apps, but not through a firm block.
As Mishaal Rahman confirmed, the Pixel 7 series only supports 64-bit apps. The devices are not running on a 64-bit only version of Android, though, instead only blocking the installation of 32-bit apps with a message “app not installed as app isn’t compatible with your phone” appearing when a user attempts to install a 32-bit app.
What does this mean for you?
In theory, Google’s change to supporting exclusively 64-bit apps on the Pixel 7 series should have no noticeable impact on your experience.
This is largely because of the groundwork Google has laid out over the past decade on building up support for 64-bit in Android. One of the only apps that comes to mind as a 32-bit only app is the flash-in-the-pan hit Flappy Bird, which hasn’t been updated since the game’s monumental success and still-shocking closure. Rahman also points out that a version of the Pebble smartwatch app doesn’t support 64-bit, which means that the older smartwatches, which are technically still functional, though unsupported, can’t be paired to Google’s latest Pixel phones.
Notably too, there’s also a potential positive from this. Rahman claims that benchmarks for power efficiency and performance on devices with more than 4GB of RAM jump by 5-10%.
Meanwhile, Google’s Pixel Tablet is expected to be the first Android device that is truly 64-bit only, as Android 14 may make that move further for other devices.
Meta has issued a Facebook security warning to around one million users that their login credentials may have been stolen by scam apps.
While most of the apps were Android ones, 47 of them were iOS apps found in Apple’s App Store …
Many apps and websites offer third-party login options, with the most common ones being:
Login with Facebook
Login with Google
Login with Apple
The intention behind these login methods is to make it quicker and easier to start using an app, by skipping the need to register an account. However, a bad actor can also use this approach to steal your credentials.
Engadget reports that this is what a whole bunch of scam apps have done with the “Login with Facebook” option.
Meta is warning 1 million Facebook users that their account information may have been compromised by third-party apps from Apple or Google’s stores. In a new report, the company’s security researchers say that in the last year they’ve identified more than 400 scammy apps designed to hijack users’ Facebook account credentials.
According to the company, the apps are disguised as “fun or useful” services, like photo editors, camera apps, VPN services, horoscope apps, and fitness tracking tools. The apps often require users to “Log In with Facebook” before they can access the promised features. But these login features are merely a means of stealing Facebook users’ account info. And Meta’s Director of Threat Disruption, David Agranovich, noted that many of the apps Meta identified were barely functional.
Facebook security warning
If you have used one of the known scam apps, Meta will push a message to you in the Facebook app:
A security notice from Meta
You may have logged into Facebook from a malicious app designed to steal your Facebook account information.
To protect your information we recommend you secure your account immediately.
The site says that the iOS apps identified mostly appeared to be targeting business users, with names like Meta Business, FB Analytic, and so on.
Meta has provided the full list of apps to both Apple and Google, so that they can be removed from their respective app stores.
Apple of course argues that its app review process keeps users safe from scams, and this is why it shouldn’t be obliged by antitrust concerns to allow third-party app stores or sideloading of iOS apps.
This latest revelation could be said to provide ammunition to both sides of the debate. On the one hand, dozens of scam apps made it through app review despite the fact that (a) they were stealing credentials and (b) scarcely worked. On the other, there were far fewer of these apps in the App Store than in Google’s Play Store.
Most devices have some sort of battery saver mode, while Google’s Pixel lineup comes with an “Extreme Battery Saver.” So what is it, and what makes it extreme? This guide will take you through it.
On most Android devices, battery saver works in a very similar way. Unnecessary processes are turned off in the background, your screen’s refresh rate slows down (even to the point of turning off variable refresh rate entirely), and your phone switches to a dark theme to save energy. You might also experience the lack of certain features, such as the always-on display.
All of these limitations combined significantly improve your batter’s efficiency, and battery saver mode can mean the difference between a dead phone in two minutes or an extra 25 minutes of power, roughly speaking.
So what is the Pixel’s Extreme Battery Saver?
Beyond the regular battery saver, the Pixel’s Extreme Battery Saver is an added layer of battery efficiency. In fact, in order to use the latter, you need to initially have battery saver active.
Once it is, you can access the extreme version, which goes beyond turning off a couple of features. Rather, Extreme Battery Saver turns off most of your apps and completely pauses notifications from them. In essence, most nonessential apps completely halt background usage.
This feature is used for pretty dire circumstances and can get you even more battery life when you really need it. While you can’t access most apps during Extreme Battery Saver mode on the Pixel, you can choose to classify some apps as essential. After doing so, those apps become usable while the limitation is turned on.
How to turn it on
Before turning it on, you need to adjust a couple of settings that specify how you use it.
On your Pixel, head to your settings by swiping down twice and hitting the settings cog.
Hit Battery Saver.
Select Extreme Battery Saver.
Choose when to use it – you can choose to have it turn on automatically with regular battery saver or you can have your Pixel ask you first.
Choose your essential apps.
Note: Don’t go wild. The fewer apps you choose, the better your battery life will be.
Once you configure these settings, you can choose to have the extreme mode turn on after battery saver is initiated. The best way to turn the battery saver on is to access your Quick Settings on your Pixel and turn it on from there. We have a great guide on doing just that.
For the past three years Google has attempted to repackage its flagships phones into A Series phones that capture the Pixel essence at a far more attractive price point. The Google Pixel 6a even got the same custom Tensor chipset as the more expensive Pixels, further sweetening the deal.
The Pixel 6a is notably compact with its 6.1-inch OLED screen and far lighter at 178g (vs 207g for the Pixel 6). It perfectly captures the design, look, and feel of the more expensive Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro while strategically shaving costs down in places that doesn’t have a big impact on usability.
The Pixel 6a doesn’t have a charger in the box – a change that came with the Pixel 6 and 6 Pro. Google also axed the headphone jack in a first for the Pixel A Series.
Google Pixel 6a specs at a glance:
Body: 152.2 x 71.8 x 8.9 mm, 178g; Glass front (Gorilla Glass 3), plastic dual-tone back with horizontal camera bar, aluminum frame; IP67 water and dust resistant.
The Pixel 6a‘s camera is the tried-and-true Sony IMX 363 sensor, the same one that’s been used since the Google Pixel 2. Google only stopped using it on its premium Pixels this year, so we probably shouldn’t be surprised that the 6a didn’t get a different sensor. And we might still see the aging sensor up its performance when paired with the Google Tensor.
Pixel A Series have had excellent battery endurance historically. This time Google slightly reduced the battery size, but with a smaller screen and the Tensor chip we might be in for another solid run. We are also hoping that the 6a has addressed thermal performance weakness we saw with the 6 and 6 Pro. But let’s start with the unboxing.
Unboxing the Google Pixel 6a
The Google Pixel 6a comes in a slim package that we can’t really say covers even the essentials. You’ll no longer find a power adapter in the package, so the Pixel 6a comes with a SIM eject tool and 1-meter USB-C to C cable. We’re glad to also see the USB-C (male) to USB-C (female) “Quick Switch Adapter” for bringing data from another Android device or iPhone over a cable.
Now let’s dive into the testing, starting with the phone’s design, looks, and build. We’re excited for this one, so grab an icy beverage and enjoy the ride.
The Google Pixel 6a costs $449 in the US, £399 in the UK, and €459 across major EU markets. It is also available in India for Rs 43,999, where the markup caused by import costs is by far the highest.
There is plenty to choose from in this price range. One competitor selling for less is the Nothing phone (1), which is cheaper than the Pixel 6a. It has a higher refresh rate screen, respectable camera performance, and the unique Glyph design that is sure to stand out even amongst flagships.
If you’re after a small flagship device, the iPhone 12 mini is still available from Apple, though it is pricier than the 6a at $599. There’s also this year’s iPhone SE, which we’d avoid unless you really insist on getting an iPhone and it’s the only one you can afford (but then you probably wouldn’t be reading this).
Nothing Phone (1) • Apple iPhone 12 mini • Apple iPhone SE (2022)
The Samsung Galaxy A53 is a popular smartphone in the US for its lower price point. You get more features and a more impressive hardware sheet. There a high refresh rate display, large battery, IP67 rating, though the camera is not too stellar and the Exynos 1280 is not a great performer.
If you’re after a small Android flagship, the Zenfone 9 is at least worth mentioning. It’s priced out of competing with the Pixel 6a, but it’s a compact handset with a 5.9-inch AMOLED screen with 120Hz refresh rate and the Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1.
The Realme GT Neo 3T is in the same price bracket as the Pixel 6a and it has great battery life, a bright AMOLED screen with 120Hz, and excellent charging speeds. Its main camera is solid and can stand up to the Pixel 6a, but its ultrawide shooter is inferior.
The Nord 2T has a reliable camera and great performance with the Dimensity 1300 5G chip. There’s also 80W fast charging, but there’s no ingress protection.
Samsung Galaxy A53 5G • Asus Zenfone 9 • Realme GT Neo 3T • OnePlus Nord 2T
Before continuing with the verdict, we need to address an issue revealed by early testers of the Pixel 6a. It was confirmed that some devices were able to authenticate the device’s biometrics by using a finger that was not even registered to the device. The instances seem isolated, but they pose a serious security flaw with the device. Google is yet to addressed the issue, so it’s worth keeping an eye on and withhold purchase until it’s cleared if you often find yourself in environements where sensitive info might be exposed.
That aside Google may have finally mastered the A Series formula with the Pixel 6a. It managed yet again to capture the essence of the Pixel flagships into a more affordable phone that does not water down the overall experience too much. The 60Hz display and leisurly charging speeds count against it, but the overall execution of the 6a is great for its price. The
Shipping the 6a with a Google Tensor versus last year’s Snapdragon 765G and keeping the same $449 price point makes it a great offer. Camera performance remains solid, software and performance are polished and battery life is respectable. Plus, Google addressed performance throttling issues with Google Tensor on the Pixel 6a.
It’s arguably Google‘s most competitively positioned smartphone in a good while and one we can wholeheartedly recommend. The obvious asterisk here is that things stand differently in India where consumers have a huge choice in this price segment and the Pixel 6a‘s higher price makes it far less tempting.
Attractive, compact design that looks more expensive than it is.
Bright and accurate AMOLED display.
Good sustained performance from the Google Tensor this time.
Extended firmware update support; Voice Typing and on-device language processing is excellent.
Great all-around camera.
Isolated instances of a fingerprint security flaw are not acceptable.
60Hz refresh rate is not competitive for this price range.