This Week in Tech: Android 12 and Windows 11 released, Facebook outage, and more
As Adam rightly pointed out in last week’s edition of TWiT, the past week was nothing short of an exhilarating roller coaster ride at XDA and the world of tech in general. Two of the biggest OS launches of the year took place this week, and Facebook, along with all of its services, faced a massive outage. On top of that, one of the most distinguished members of our team also bid farewell (more on that later). If you’ve been caught up with something else and missed any of our coverage, here’s a brief recap of all the significant developments in the tech world this week.
Google officially announced Android 12
After months in beta, Google finally announced Android 12 earlier this week. While the company didn’t roll it out to its Pixel lineup, it started uploading the Android 12 source code to AOSP and confirmed its dessert name. A few OEMs also started rolling out beta releases of their latest Android skins based on Android 12, giving us our first look at the changes included in the latest builds. In addition, Google rolled out Material You redesigns for more apps; the company shared info about all the security vulnerabilities it patched in the newest release, and the first games to support Android 12’s Game Mode were released. Developers on our forums also rolled out the first Android 12 custom ROMs for various devices.
Microsoft started rolling out Windows 11
Windows 11 also started rolling out to users this week. However, unlike Android 12, Microsoft’s latest software update is now generally available to users. Be that as it may, we don’t recommend installing it on your system just yet, as it’s marred with bugs, and it seems to be facing performance issues on AMD CPUs. If you’re in the market for a new laptop, you’ll also be glad to know that OEMs like Razer and Acer have already started offering laptops running Windows 11 in several markets.
Facebook faced a massive outage
Earlier this week, Facebook faced one of the most extensive outages of recent times. The outage affected all of the company’s services, including Messenger, WhatsApp, and Instagram, and it even had a huge impact on other businesses that rely on Facebook services. While we’re pretty sure you didn’t miss this development, if you’re wondering what caused the outage, you should definitely check out Adam Conway’s detailed explainer.
More Pixel 6 news
After weeks of speculation, Google finally confirmed that it would launch the Pixel 6 on October 19. Ahead of the launch, we saw even more leaks about the upcoming Pixel devices. We saw photo and video samples from the Pixel 6 Pro, and a German retailer accidentally revealed the pricing and launch offers for the devices. Leaks also confirmed that the Pixel 6 series would feature Face Unlock capabilities, and Google would offer a new Pixel Stand with the devices. In addition, we got our first look at Gboard’s Assistant-powered voice typing feature that will debut with the Pixel 6 series, and we shared more official wallpapers from the devices.
Other stories you shouldn’t miss
Along with these noteworthy announcements, we shared the following stories that you might have missed:
- Realme GT Neo2 could launch in Europe with Android 12 preinstalled
- As Windows 11 rolls out, take a look at the past Windows version history
- Samsung’s next-gen Exynos chip with an AMD GPU will support ray tracing
- YouTube Music finally gains free background playback, starting in Canada
- Amazon is making a fridge that knows when you’re about to run out of food
- Reduce your carbon footprint with these new Google Maps and Flights features
- Massive Twitch leak reveals the site’s source code, Amazon’s Steam competitor, and so much more
- Google Assistant rolling out “Quick Phrases” that let you skip “Hey Google” for dismissing alarms and calls
- The Samsung Internet Browser is now available on the Galaxy Watch 4
- Nvidia GeForce RTX 3090 Ti said to launch with 450W TDP and a new power connector
- Realme shares details about its 4K Google TV stick ahead of launch
- Rewind no more: YouTube shutters down Rewind recaps after a decade of nostalgia
- OnePlus confirms that it will unveil the OnePlus 9RT and Buds Z2 later this month
- Plex not working anymore on your smart TV? This might be why
- There may not be a FIFA 23 game next year
- Apple is potentially releasing the M1X-powered MacBook Pro this month
- NVIDIA is reportedly testing an Android TV 11 update for the SHIELD TV
XDA’s thoughts on the latest hardware and software
Additionally, we published our reviews and comparisons for several new devices and software this week. You can check those out by following the links below:
- iPhone 13 Mini Review: The best small phone ever made
- iPhone 13 Review: Good value, but not as great as the Pros
- iPhone 13 Pro Review: Top-notch flagship from Apple, but with one camera flaw
- iPad Mini 6 Review: The perfect powerhouse for portable productivity
- Apple iPhone 13 Pro vs. Vivo X70 Pro Plus: Battle of the Pro-sumer Cameras
- Surface Pro 8 Review: It’s finally a modern PC
- Dell XPS 15 9510 Review: OLED, RTX, and all of your favorite acronyms
- Windows 11 Review: Fixing the wrongs of the past decade
End of an era at XDA
This week also marked the end of an era at XDA. Mishaal Rahman announced that he is stepping down from his role as XDA’s Editor-in-Chief.
Hello, I have some personal news to share. Today is my last day at @xdadevelopers. This will be surprising to many, and honestly, I’m still trying to process this myself. XDA has been such a big part of my life for the past 6 years that it’s hard to imagine I’d be posting this.
— Mishaal Rahman (@MishaalRahman) October 8, 2021
If you’ve been an XDA member for any length of time, you’ll know how significant of a role Mishaal played here at XDA and in the Android community at large. And while we’re deeply saddened by this news, we wish him the best for all his future endeavors.