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Android 14 near-stable rolling out, greenlit for One UI 6 Beta!

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Google Project Gameface Android

Google today announced the rollout of the Android 14 Beta 4, which is considered near-stable. And of course, it’s great news for Samsung fans having the Galaxy S23 series smartphone, as it gives greenlit to the One UI 6 Beta.

Pixel phones could receive Stable Android 14 next month, while Samsung’s One UI 6 Beta comes quite near. With Beta 3, Android 14 reached Platform Stability and gave a boost to One UI 6 internal development.

And this near-stable Android 14 update is rolling out today, with a more polished user experience and functions. It has been speculated that One UI 6 Beta Program could go live in the third week of this month.

Initially, the Galaxy S23 series will be invited for Beta in select markets. While South Korea and the US markets are likely to get it in the early days, remaining markets like India and Germany could join with the 2nd Beta of One UI 6.

As of now, Google has not published what changes Beta 4 brings to the 2023 operating system. I will update this page as soon as the Pixel-maker details the revisions it made in this almost stable build of Android 14.

Update [Release Notes Added]

Developer-reported issues

  • Fixed a system issue that caused both notifications to stop appearing and Quick Settings tiles to stop working until the device was restarted.
  • Fixed system issues that sometimes caused VoIP apps to stop recording audio when the screen was locked or the app was put in the background.
  • Fixed an issue where the title of the currently playing song would abruptly disappear or be replaced with other information when transitioning a device from always-on-display mode to the lockscreen.
  • Fixed an issue that sometimes prevented devices from charging or allowed a device to charge but erroneously reported that there were issues with the connected charging cable or accessory.
  • Fixed a system issue that sometimes caused the Android System Intelligence service to crash.

Other resolved issues

  • Fixed an issue that caused the CredentialManager registry to fail when using more than one set of credentials.
  • Fixed issues where the HealthConnect API returned null pointer exceptions in some cases to calling apps.
  • Fixed issues that could cause boot loops and “Application not responding” messages on some devices.
  • Fixed an issue where some elements on the system UI didn’t retheme correctly when switching between day and night modes.
  • Fixed a system issue that caused the Picture-in-Picture (PiP) window to be unresponsive when using an app (such as Google Maps) in PiP mode and then locking the screen and reopening the app by tapping the notification on the lock screen.
  • Fixed an issue where the lockscreen wallpaper was sometimes reset to a blank, black screen when setting a new wallpaper for the home screen.
  • Fixed issues that caused poor UI animations in the launcher.
  • Fixed an issue where an intent picker dialog was incorrectly shown during work profile setup, which interfered with a user completing setup successfully.
  • Fixed an issue that caused the rounded borders on notifications to display incorrectly.
  • Fixed an issue where a device could sometimes become unresponsive if eSIM was disabled.
  • Fixed an issue where the lock screen sometimes got stuck with a blank, black screen.
  • Fixed an issue with ConnectivityService that could cause a device to crash and restart in rare cases.
  • Fixed an issue that sometimes caused the system volume slider to be stuck on the screen.
  • Fixed issues where the titles of some Settings pages were not announced correctly and some areas within the system Settings app couldn’t be accessed when TalkBack was enabled.
  • Fixed an issue that could cause fingerprint enrollment to fail if the device was rotated during enrollment.
  • Fixed an issue where connected Bluetooth devices were not ranked correctly in the system audio output switcher.
  • Fixed an issue where the notification shade didn’t close after tapping a notification to launch an intent. Fixed an issue that sometimes caused the analog clock to fail to display when viewing wallpaper preview.
  • Fixed an issue that sometimes caused only a right-side Bluetooth earbud to be paired.
  • Fixed issues that prevented app launch animations from playing correctly.
  • Fixed an issue where notifications from a prioritized conversation were erroneously dismissed when the group of non-prioritized notifications was dismissed.
  • Fixed an issue where the sharesheet sometimes crashed after pressing the copy button.
  • Fixed an issue where the UI didn’t return to the sharesheet workflow if a user edited an image from the sharesheet.
  • Fixed an issue that sometimes caused Face Unlock to fail.
  • Fixed an issue that sometimes caused a USB headset to consume additional power when connected to a device that was making a call using Voice over LTE (VoLTE).
  • Fixed a null pointer exception that sometimes caused the launcher to crash after launching an app.
  • Fixed an issue where, when using a device with a work profile, the Google Play Store app in the work profile would hang or crash when launched.
  • Fixed various issues that caused the system UI to crash in some cases.
  • Fixed other various issues that were impacting system stability.

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James is the lead content creator on Sammy Fans and mostly works on Samsung's firmware section. His first phone was the Galaxy S4 and continues to get new S series devices. Most of the time, James tries to learn about new technologies and gadgets but he also sneaks a bit of free time to nearby rivers and nature.

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Google’s Gemini Nano AI deal with Samsung on EU antitrust radar

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Samsung Google Gemini

EU seemingly investigating if Google’s Gemini AI deal with Samsung violates antitrust law. Regulators of the European Union seeking input from industry to know if Samsung’s Gemini AI deal constitutes anti-competitive conduct.

An EU document seen by Reuters indicates that the Commission wants the opinion of industry officials. The inquiry is about whether Samsung’s Galaxy S24 series with Gemini Nano would limit the pre-installation of rival AI chatbot platforms.

The query also includes whether Gemini Nano limits interoperability with other chatbots and apps on the Galaxy S24 series. Details are also required if there were any cases of failure in signing contracts with phone makers to pre-install AI chatbots.

“EU antitrust regulators are asking industry participants if Google’s multi-year generative artificial intelligence (AI) deal with Samsung hinders rival chatbots on Samsung smartphones.” – Reuters.

Earlier, EU competition authorities hinted at an antitrust investigation into Samsung and Google’s AI deal. The Commission’s Deputy Competition Commissioner asked to “understand the impact of pre-installing Google’s Gemini Nano on Samsung devices.”

The report notes that the executive committee distributed an 8-page questionnaire, with a response required by this week. Samsung and Google may be in trouble if the EU Commission observes any anti-competitive practices.

The Galaxy S24 series is the first to use the Gemini Nano AI model developed by Google. Both companies signed a multi-year partnership to fuel future products with the AI model. The Pixel 8 Pro also came pre-installed with Gemini Nano for on-device AI capabilities.

Samsung also brought Gemini AI to Galaxy Z Flip 6 and Z Fold 6 devices. Google is also preparing to introduce the Pixel 9 series next month, equipped with Gemini Nano. Apple is also in close-door talks with Google to include Gemini in iPhone models.

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Apple iPhone could support Samsung Wallet, Google Wallet in Europe

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Samsung Apple Canalys q4 2023

Apple iPhone users could soon be able to use Samsung Wallet and Google Wallet in Europe. Recently, the EU antitrust regulator revealed that Apple will open up its tap-and-go mobile payments system for third-party payment platforms in Europe.

KoreaTimes reports that the EU accepted Apple’s offer to open the NFC payments system. The iPhone maker agreed in favor of ending the antitrust probe began in 2020. It will expand Apple iPhone users’ choices beyond Apple Pay, such as Samsung Wallet and Google Wallet in Europe.

Apple’s agreement will be valid for a period of 10 years in EU territories. From now on, the US tech giant can no longer use its control over the iPhone ecosystem to keep other mobile wallets out of the market.

As Samsung Wallet looks to expand on the iPhone, Apple Pay is eating its market in its home ground. Following the launch in South Korea, Apple Pay is gradually gaining popularity. The company is expanding its support across categories to be acceptable everywhere.

European Union forced Apple to ditch its lighting port from products. The company replaced its lighting port with a universal USB C-Type port on iPhone models. iMessage is also adopting the RCS messaging standard that is heavily forced by Google.

Apple is also bringing place to third-party app markets on iPhones in Europe. Now with the latest development, iPhone users will be getting the choice to opt for a payment platform other than Apple Pay. It would be interesting to see whether Google or Samsung manage to make a solid entry.

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Gemini AI now functions on your Android’s lockscreen

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Samsung One UI 6.1.1 Galaxy AI

Google has upgraded the Gemini AI app to answer general questions even on your Android phone’s lockscreen. Initially, the company’s new Gemini app was limited to Google Assistant-level commands. Now, if you trigger Gemini on the lock screen, it will respond to some general questions.

The upgraded Gemini AI now allows you to “get answers on lockscreen from Gemini without unlocking your device.” You can now get weather information at a glance with the new Gemini application, but additional actions would require you to unlock the device first.

You can keep your phone locked if your query has been answered properly. If you prefer entering the whole user interface, just unlock the device using fingerprint or PIN. Once unlocked, you will get the keyboard in the popped-up state, offering seamless flow.

The Gemini app added a new “Gemini on lock screen” setting on the main preferences page. Google’s new “Gemini responses on lock screen” toggle completes the already available “Google Assistant on lock screen” option.

Notably, Google is rolling out this update to random users sequentially. You may soon notice the changes as soon as the update reaches your handset. As it’s the first deployment, you may not get responses to some basic queries, but not too long.

Similar to Google Assistant, Gemini was able to control alarms and timers, media (play/pause), and “some phone features,” like volume. As part of the “Utilities” Extension, the US tech giant is further enhancing the user experience through the Gemini app.

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