In this week’s newsletter: 

  • The Windows Subsystem for Android gets its first OS update
  • Google Assistant is available on the Galaxy Watch 4
  • Profiles on Google TV are finally rolling out
  • Android tablets, Wear OS, and Google Wallet? Everything old was new again at I/O 2022
  • …and other bite sized snacks that go great with dipping sauce 

Android in the news

💻 The Windows Subsystem for Android (or WSA for short) was updated this week, bringing the Android version up to 12.1. It also brings telemetry collection for diagnostic data, improved networking options, a redesigned settings app, better Windows integration, and more. You can read the full changelog on the Windows Blog

📊 Google updated the Android platform version distribution chart, which shows the global distribution across all Android OS versions. Android 11 and newer now holds the top spot, but Android 12 isn’t broken out individually. Google stopped publishing the charts and moved the data into Android Studio a while back, but 9to5Google took the liberty of converting it all to a pie chart for the nostalgists out there. Thanks, Kyle. We appreciate you. 

⌚ The Google Assistant is now available on the Samsung Galaxy Watch 4. That’s it. That’s the story. 

📺 A long time ago, in a land far away, Google announced profiles would be available on Google TV devices (like the “new” Chromecast). Well, they’re finally available. Maybe I’ll finally get The Bachelor out of my recommended feed. 

🌏 By the end of 2022, the Windows Subsystem for Android will launch in five more countries, including France, Germany, Italy, Japan, and the UK. There’s also a bunch of other Windows-related stuff that came out of Build if you’re interested. 

News for developers

  • Looking for the biggest Google I/O 2022 takeaways for developers? Here ya go
  • The Droid Chef has a nice tutorial on creating a custom progress bar using the Jetpack Compose Canvas API. Fortunately, this chef avoids all the anecdotal stories about how much their family loves when they cook up progress bars. 
  • You MAD, bro? Here’s a look at how Google advanced its Modern Android Development initiative at Google I/O 2022.

Android Bytes: How Android could replace your driver’s license

Apple and Google are moving forward in supporting mobile driver’s licenses. People are definitely asking questions about what goes into standardizing them and where some of the stumbling blocks might be in terms of privacy or liability. So, in this week’s episode, we have an expert walk us through what’s actually become a global standard that’s already being put into practice across different agencies across America. Our guest is David Kelts, director of product development at GET Group NA, one of the major vendors in deploying MDL systems in the U.S.

Listen now

Android Inside: Supernote

Let’s be real here: there’s something special about writing things down. With your hand. On paper. It’s truly becoming a lost art, especially as we transition more of our daily lives to digital-only. But what if you could have both? That’s what Supernote is all about. It’s a digital notebook with an e-ink display that offers a paper-like writing feel and full cloud backups, so you never lose anything. It comes in two sizes — the 7.8-inch A6X and 10.3-inch A5X — and runs a custom operating system called Chauvet that’s based on AOSP Android 8.1 and is optimized for note taking, markup, ebook reading (including Kindle), and even supports Word document editing. 

Older versions of the Supernote ran a custom Linux build, but Supernote switched to Android with the most recent releases because of its simplicity in developing and updating firmware. We agree, Supernote. Good choice. 

What we’re reading

It turns out that for Google, everything old is new again. Ars Technica’s Ron Amadeo highlights all of the Google I/O announcements that are new attempts to revive old or ignored products. Play it again, Sam!

Google has an on-again-off-again relationship with Wear OS. Android Police’s Jules Wang talks about why it’s time to start believing in Wear OS again after the most recent push to make it, well, good. 

Ever wondered why developing good software takes so long? This piece on Rock and Null offers some good insight. 

More from the Esper blog

Traditional mobile device management (MDM) tools like MaaS360 simply aren’t set up for always-connected, mission critical systems like point of sale, kiosks, and digital signage. They were never meant to deploy, control, or update these systems (let alone do it all remotely!). Esper's platform enables you to manage, monitor, deploy software (that you built) to your devices. Learn more about how Esper compares to traditional MDM solutions.