This Week in Tech: Buggy iPhones, Windows 11, Amazon announcements, and more

This Week in Tech: Buggy iPhones, Windows 11, Amazon announcements, and more

The past week has been a bit quiet in the world of tech, though that’s because it was the calm before the storm of next week’s Android 12 and Windows 11 launches. Ahead of those OS launches, we’ve seen both Google and Microsoft continue to build up to the launches with new software updates. On top of that, we’ve seen some problematic iPhones, a plethora of Amazon hardware announcements, and, the biggest news, a hands-on of Android 12.1 — before Android 12 is even here. If you missed any of our coverage, here’s a brief recap of all the significant developments in the tech world this week.

Hands-on with Android 12.1

We got our first hands-on with Android 12.1 this week, and it has a lot of features exclusive to large screen devices like foldable phones. Given that Android 12 isn’t even out yet, this is a pretty big deal. It’s possible that Google plans to release its upcoming Pixel Fold device soon with this new OS version and all the new foldable features therein, but we don’t know when Google plans to launch the Pixel Fold nor do we know when Google plans to release Android 12.1.

New iPhone bugs and problems

The iPhone 13 series has been plagued with issues since its release, though most of them will likely be fixed soon. While there have been smaller issues where users couldn’t use the “unlock with Apple Watch” feature, for example, that’s not all there was. Some iPhone 13 users had trouble connecting to Verizon’s 5G UW network, and third-party apps couldn’t properly make use of the 120Hz display rate on the iPhone 13 Pro series out-of-the-box. The most troubling of all, though, was the discovery that, even when replacing the display with official hardware, a third-party screen replacement completely disables face ID on the iPhone 13.

Windows 11 updates

Microsoft is preparing for the full release of Windows 11, which will also arrive next week. In preparation, Microsoft rolled out Windows 11 build 22468 with VPN setting improvements. As well, you can now remove recent searches when hovering over the search icon. The rest of the changelog was pretty much just comprised of fixes.

The company also recently showed off the new Windows 11 media player… albeit accidentally, so they attempted to hide it. Since this is the Internet, that was obviously never going to work. The new app was simply titled “Media Player” and had the option to shuffle the current playlist or skip tracks. These aren’t common features to see in a video player, so it’s possible that Microsoft is unifying the video and music player experiences in Windows 11. We’ll find out next week, though.

We also saw the company roll out a new Paint app for Windows 11 Insiders. Microsoft is calling this a “modern spin on the classic app”, and that basically sums it up. With Windows 11, Paint is getting its first proper visual overhaul in a long, long time. It’s adding things like rounded corners and Mica. There’s also a new toolbar, new icons, and dropdown menus for brushes. Sure, it’s mostly a visual refresh, but it’s an app that a lot of people have used over the years.

New Microsoft Paint app for Windows 11

In a surprising move that might have been influenced by the Epic Games v. Apple/Google kerfuffle, Microsoft has announced that third-party web browsers and app stores can be served in the Microsoft store. You read that right; third-party app stores (so, the likes of the Epic Games Store) can be distributed through the Microsoft Store. In other craziness too, the company announced a lot of new Skype features, which is surprising as I’m sure many people thought that the company had abandoned the video calling platform in favor of Microsoft Teams. Speaking of Teams, Teams Phone also got a handful of new features for more modernized calling.

A bunch of Amazon product announcements

Amazon Astro

Amazon announced a ton of new products, the craziest of which is the Amazon Astro robot that follows you around your house. It costs $999 right now but will be priced at $1,449.99 in the future. Yeah, yikes. Apparently, it might not even be worth the price as rumors suggest it likes to throw itself down the stairs at any given opportunity.

The company launched a few other products, too, including:

Google app and feature updates

Google has been working on many things recently. From new Personal Safety app features to a brand-new search widget for Google Maps, there’s been quite a lot. The company also held its annual Search On conference, where it announced AI improvements for both Google Lens and Google Search. You can check out some of the other Google-related announcements below.

Other stories you should read

Along with these noteworthy announcements, we shared the following stories that you might have missed:

XDA’s thoughts on the latest hardware and software

Additionally, we published our hands-on of the Vivo X70 Pro Plus, a hands-on with Android 12 Developer Preview 2 on the OnePlus 9 Pro, and more.

About author

Adam Conway
Adam Conway

I'm a senior editor here at XDA-Developers. I'm also a 22-year-old Irish technology fanatic and Computer Science graduate. Lover of smartphones, cybersecurity, and Counter-Strike. You can contact me at [email protected] My Twitter is @AdamConwayIE and my Instagram is adamc.99.