In this week’s newsletter
- Google’s shift from Conversational Actions to App Actions with Android
- Android 12 issues with Sony’s DualSense controller
- Want Esper socks? Hit us up.
- A closer look at a GPU exploit
- Privacy Sandbox DP3
Android in the news
⏫ Android 13 Beta 3.2 is now available with several fixes, including back gesture issues in some apps, At a glance settings scrolling, and more. This patch comes just one week after the Beta 3.1 patch rolled out last Friday.
📱 Samsung confirmed in a roundabout way this week that OneUI 4.1.1 will be based on Android 12L. This is great news for the company’s current foldable lineup.
🎮 The latest Android 12 update is causing mapping issues for Sony’s DualSense controller due to a change in key layout files in the kernel. A post has been made on the Issue Tracker, and a fix has already been found. There’s no word on when a patch will be released, of course.
🐛 We recently highlighted how GPU driver exploits are becoming more and more common on Android. A post on the GitHub blog highlights a bug in the GPU driver found in recent Qualcomm Snapdragon platforms. The bug lets an attacker gain complete control over the device, but fortunately, a fix is already available.
News for developers
- Google announced this week that it’s sunsetting Conversational Actions on Assistant devices in lieu of App Actions with Android next year. This decision will have a dramatic impact on all developers who rely on Conversational Actions, and as one dev highlighted on reddit, sometimes in a very negative way.
- With the third Developer Preview of the Privacy Sandbox on Android, developers can finally test all key APIs that’ll be coming to devices later this year. If you work on adtech or your app includes it, then you’ll want to check out what’s coming.
- Need a recap of everything Google announced at I/O last month? We have you covered here but if you’re just looking for the high-level announcements involving privacy, security, and the Android platform, check out Google’s latest blog post on the Android Developers Blog. There’s more discussion around the Privacy Sandbox (though it’s worth noting this was posted before DP3), the Google Play SDK index, and Android 13 here.
Android Inside: Neat.no
As Zoom meetings have quickly become commonplace in the modern work environment, the standards for acceptable video chat quality have also grown tremendously. That’s why Neat exists — to up the Zoom (or Microsoft Teams) game in meaningful ways. The company currently offers four products: the neat.bar, neat.bar pro, neat.board, and neat.frame. The bars are ultra-high quality meeting room devices that mount to TVs or monitors and integrate with an included remote touchscreen tablet for controlling meetings. They feature person tracking, high quality microphones, and support for up to ten people.
The neat.board and neat.frame are more of the same, but the board also features a large (65-inch!) integrated touchscreen for taking Zoom calls to the next level with full collaboration and markup. The frame is a 15.6-inch vertical screen designed for individual use at home or in the office.
All of neat’s products are based on AOSP Android 10 and receive regular firmware updates with new features and enhancements. This is a very cool, versatile way to utilize Android to serve a very modern, connected workforce.
Android Dessert Bites: exFAT is finally available on a Pixel
Google’s first Pixel to natively support the exFAT file system is the Pixel 6, though curiously it only works on Android 13. In this week’s edition, I dive into how Microsoft’s proprietary file system made its way to Linux and now Android.
What we’re reading
Android security and privacy lead Dave Kleidermacher has a fascinating look at Protected Computing — a concept that revolves around making sure a user’s data is just that: protected, private, and only accessible to them. It’s an interesting look at where we’re coming from and where we’re going in terms of digital privacy. This is a philosophy that Google is leaning into for Android (and beyond) moving forward, so it’s worth a look if this is something you’re interested in.
More from Esper
- Check out our new podcast, There’s a Device for That — every week, our head of engineering, Sudhir Reddy, will discuss how devices are creating experiences we never thought possible. The first episode is out now with Andy Vitus from Scale VP to talk about how DevOps for devices is changing the way we think about device management. Give it a listen here!
- Guided Access for Android doesn’t exist — here’s what to use instead
- How Android could help build a better Peloton Rower (and bike, and treadmill) for everyone