Google has launched its Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro smartphones with its Tensor G3 processor. The chip has a 9-core CPU and a 10-core GPU with ray-tracing support. Google claims the chip is optimized for efficiency and AI functions rather than raw power.
However, Google has also blocked App Store access to popular benchmarking apps like GeekBench and 3DMark for Pixel 8 series users. This is seen as a way to hide the chip’s performance shortcomings compared to other flagship processors.
Some users have bypassed this restriction and run these benchmarking apps on Pixel 8 series devices. As per the result, the Tensor G3 chip scores much lower than the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen2 chip in both single-core and multi-core tests. The GPU efficiency of the Tensor G3 chip is also behind the Snapdragon series.
Google’s decision to block GeekBench and 3DMark apps suggests it doesn’t have confidence in its chip’s performance and wants to avoid negative comparisons. Google focuses on AI enhancements and user experience, but better and higher performance is a main factor.
Google Play Store verifies government apps with a new badge
Google Play Store has started to show a government-verified badge for apps that are affiliated with the government. This badge helps users identify and trust the official apps that provide various government services and schemes.
The government-verified badge feature of the Google Play Store arrives with version 39.7.34. It appears next to the app name on the Google Play Store listing. It is rolling out gradually to provide the badge to all eligible apps.
Currently, the badge is available for apps in 12 countries, including India. Some apps like UMANG and ABHA have received the badge in India. However, Google has not disclosed the full list of eligible countries.
By verifying the government apps, Google aims to provide users with a more secure and reliable experience, especially to reduce fraud and spam on the Google Play Store.
Google Maps losing users to Waze over incident reporting on Android Auto and CarPlay
Google Maps is a widely used navigation app, but it has a feature that many users may not be aware of that is incident reporting. This feature, which was launched in 2019, allows users to report various road conditions and events, such as accidents, speed traps, construction, and lane closures.
However, this feature is becoming increasingly outdated and useless, as Google Maps has not supported it on the platforms that most drivers use nowadays – Android Auto and CarPlay.
Google Maps has not added the incident reporting feature to these platforms, even though it has been almost five years since its launch.
On the other side, Waze supports incident reporting on both Android Auto and CarPlay and recently updated its feature to make it more user-friendly and accessible. This is a huge missed opportunity for Google Maps, as it lags behind its rival app, Waze.
Android 15 Update Roadmap: Dev Preview, Public Beta, Platform Stability and Official Release
The countdown for Android 15 has begun as Google releases the first Developer Preview. At the same time, Google has also unveiled the roadmap for the Android 15 update. The preview program runs from February 2024 until the final public release to AOSP and OEMs, planned for later in the year.
Android 15 Update Roadmap
Android 15 is on the way, and developers can download the first Developer Preview (DP1) starting today and explore the new features, APIs, and behavior changes. There are only two developer previews, so don’t miss the second one in March.
The beta program will start in April, just before the Google I/O event where the big reveal will happen. There might be four or five betas before the final release.
Developers Preview 1: February
- Early baseline build focused on developer feedback, with new features, APIs, and behavior changes.
Developer Preview 2: March
- Incremental update with additional features, APIs, and behavior changes.
Beta 1: April
- Initial beta-quality release, over-the-air update to early adopters who enroll in Android Beta.
Beta 2: May
- Incremental Beta-quality release
Beta 3: June
- First Platform Stability milestone including final APIs and behaviors. Play publishing also opens.
Beta 4, 5: July August
- Near-final builds for final testing.
Final Release: October
- Android 15 release to AOSP and ecosystem.
Android 14 was launched in early October, and we expect the same for Android 15. Android 15 will be available for Pixel devices and other manufacturers soon after.