This Week in Tech: New iPhones, Pixel 6 leaks, Android 12 updates, and Material You galore
This past week was quite a busy one in the tech world. Apple unveiled its latest iPhones, iPads, and Apple Watch, we shared a massive leak about the upcoming Pixel 6 Pro, Samsung and OPPO both showed off their Android 12 updates, Xiaomi launched its latest flagships, and Google released Material You updates for many of its apps. If you missed any of our coverage, here’s a brief recap of all the significant developments in the tech world this week.
Apple unveiled new iPhones, iPads, and the new Apple Watch
At its California Streaming event on Tuesday, Apple lifted the covers off the new iPhone 13 series, two new iPads, and the Apple Watch Series 7. Like last year, the new iPhone lineup consists of four models — the iPhone 13, iPhone 13 Mini, iPhone 13 Pro, and the iPhone 13 Pro Max. All of the new iPhones come with Apple’s A15 Bionic chip, better cameras, slimmer notches, and bigger batteries. In addition, the Pro models also come with ProMotion 120Hz displays.
Along with the iPhone 13 lineup, Apple showcased the new entry-level 9th-gen iPad at the event, which features the A13 Bionic chipset, a better front camera, and a new ISP. The company also launched the 6th-gen iPad Mini, which comes with a completely new design, new colors, the A15 Bionic chip, 5G support, Apple Pencil support, a USB Type-C port, and an 8.3-inch Liquid Retina display. Lastly, Apple also announced the Apple Watch Series 7, which offers 20% more screen real estate than the previous models, 20% better performance, and faster charging capabilities.
Google Pixel 6 leaks revealed new hardware information
We shared a massive Pixel 6 Pro leak this week, which corroborated quite a bit of information about Google’s upcoming flagship. We learned that the device will feature a 120Hz 1440p display likely with variable refresh rate support, UWB support, a 5G modem from Samsung, and a 5,000mAh battery.
We also learned that the device will pack an octa-core chip, consisting of two cores clocked at 2.80GHz, 2 cores at 2.25GHz, and 4 cores at 1.80GHz, coupled with a Mali-G78 GPU. Furthermore, we corroborated details about the Pixel 6 Pro’s RAM and camera hardware. On top of all that, we shared information on the Pixel 6 Pro’s connectivity features and specifications of the Google Tensor chip.
Google releases Material You design refreshes for several apps
After showcasing its new Material You design language at I/O 2021 earlier this year, Google started updating its vast suite of apps to conform with the new design guidelines. Over the last few months, the company has rolled out Material You design refreshes for quite a few of its apps. But with the Android 12 stable release right around the corner, Google significantly ramped up the Material You refresh rollout this week.
In the last few days, Google has officially rolled out Material You redesigns for its Workspace apps, including Gmail, Google Calendar, Google Meet, Google Drive, Google Docs, Google Sheets, Google Slides, and Google Keep. Without a formal announcement, the company also began rolling out updated designs to Google Photos, Google Phone, and Google Duo.
The company has also started testing the Material You redesign for Google Translate and a Material You home screen widget for YouTube Music. You can read about all that’s new in the latest updates for these apps by following the respective links.
Samsung rolled out a One UI 4 beta for the Galaxy S21 series
Ahead of the iPhone 13 launch, Samsung announced its first One UI 4 Beta based on Android 12 for the flagship Galaxy S21 series. As you’d expect, the update includes several new features, like redesigned and upgraded widgets, the AR Emoji Studio app, new privacy and security features, and much more. Check out our One UI 4 hands-on preview for an overview of all that’s new in Samsung’s Android 12 update.
OPPO unveils ColorOS 12
OPPO also unveiled the latest version of its Android fork — ColorOS 12 — this week, giving us a good idea of what to expect from the forthcoming Android 12 update for OPPO, OnePlus, and Realme phones. The software release packs several visual upgrades, a couple of new features for OPPO smartphones, smoother animations, performance improvements, and new privacy and security features. The company also shared the ColorOS 12 release timeline for quite a few of its devices, along with public beta release timeframes for a couple of OnePlus phones.
Xiaomi launched the Xiaomi 11T series, the Xiaomi Pad 5, and the Mi Band 6 NFC
Adding to the list of significant developments this week, Xiaomi launched its latest flagship smartphones, the Xiaomi Pad 5, and the Mi Band 6 NFC in Europe. The new Xiaomi 11T series includes two flagship phones, the Xiaomi 11T and the Xiaomi 11T Pro, with the former packing a MediaTek Dimensity 1200 chip and the latter a Snapdragon 888 SoC. The devices succeed last year’s Mi 10T lineup and feature high refresh rate OLED displays, flagship cameras, massive batteries, and insanely fast charging capabilities.
The new Mi Pad 5 is an affordable flagship tablet, featuring the Snapdragon 860 chip, an 11-inch 120Hz LCD, an 8,820mAh battery, and an impressive quad-speaker setup. The latest in Xiaomi’s Mi Band lineup of fitness trackers is just the NFC-enabled version of the Mi Band 6. It features a 1.56-inch AMOLED display, plenty of fitness tracking features, and a 14-day battery life. Meanwhile, the Xiaomi 11T Pro is more of an incremental upgrade than anything, but its insanely fast 120W charging impressed Adam in his review.
Windows 11 updates
We saw several significant developments related to Windows 11 this week. The new Windows 11 Photos app started rolling out to users, Firefox bypassed Microsoft’s restrictions to make it easier to change the default browser on Windows 11, Microsoft announced that it wouldn’t support Windows 11 on M1 Macs, and the company released several bug fixes with Windows 11 build 22458 on the dev channel. In addition, Microsoft started rolling out Windows 11 app updates to the beta channel, and we learned that Windows 11 VMs would require TPM 2.0.
Along with these major developments, we shared the following stories that you might have missed:
- Android 12 is scheduled to launch in early October for Pixel phones
- Microsoft releases Windows 10 build 19043.1237 – here’s what’s new
- South Korea fines Google for preventing OEMs from forking Android
- Here are all the new emoji coming to your phone with Unicode 14.0
- Nintendo Switch finally supports Bluetooth audio with new update
- Xiaomi’s Smart Glasses are more than a wearable companion for your smartphone
- DotOS 5.2 adds new features inspired by Android 12, including wallpaper-based theming and more
- Realme teases a TV stick with Google TV built-in
- Qualcomm’s mid-range SM6375 chip is reportedly aimed at mobile gamers on a budget
- WhatsApp may soon be able to transcribe voice messages
Additionally, we published our preview of the One UI 4 beta and reviews for the Realme GT, HP EliteBook 840 Aero, and the Xiaomi Pad 5. You can check these out by following the links below.