– Nov. 30th 2021 2:32 pm PT
Following the launch of Android 12 to Pixel devices, it’s been discovered that the update disables the once-handy volume controls for nearby Chromecast media sessions due to a “legal issue.”
Update: A Googler has shared a rough timeline of when this issue will have a “workaround” fix.
Before Android 12, if your phone was actively casting something like YouTube or Netflix to another device like a TV or smart display, you were able to use your phone’s volume rocker to adjust the Chromecast volume. Now that Android 12 is out, it’s this handy feature has stopped working.
When the problem was originally spotted in August, it was believed by many to simply be a bug of Android 12 Beta 3. A Googler eventually acknowledged the lack of Chromecast volume rocker controls, stating that this was “intended” and that a fix of sorts would be included with Android 12 Beta 5.
Fast forward to today, with Android 12 now out of Beta and available on everything from the Pixel 3 to the Pixel 6 Pro, the Chromecast volume issue has not been resolved. As spotted by Mishaal Rahman on Twitter, another Googler has once again confirmed that the Android 12 volume rocker cannot work with Chromecast sessions, and this is the intended behavior right now.
There was a legal issue that I cannot share in public place.
I don’t think there is an workaround in Android 12, and still working on it.
Once it is fixed, this bug would be closed.
In this second acknowledgment, the Googler mentions that there is a “legal issue” at play in Android 12’s removal of the volume rocker controls for Chromecast sessions. While they wouldn’t elaborate in the public setting, it seems likely that the removal is tied to the recent preliminary ruling that Google is infringing on the patents of audio company Sonos, a lawsuit that has been underway since early 2020.
Looking at the code change where the problem was introduced, it’s quite clear that Google intentionally disabled the volume controls for all “remote sessions.” The associated issue number is not available to the public, making it difficult to learn any more context behind the change.
Luckily, the issue will not permanently affect Android going forward. According to another comment from the same Googler, the issue is set to be fixed with Android 12L – instead referred to in the comment as “12.1.”
We didn’t want to make such a bad change but we had to do to address a legal issue.
We have been working on a solution to mitigate the situation, and it will be included in 12.1.
In general, this is good news, as it means Pixel devices should only be affected for a matter of months – with Android 12L assumed to launch around spring 2022 – but this solution leaves the Pixel 3 and possibly the Pixel 3a in a tricky place.
Just this morning, Google confirmed that the Pixel 3 will receive its final update in the first few months of next year. Meanwhile, Google has released the list of Pixel devices that will be able to install the Android 12L Beta, and the Pixel 3a is not listed. While not outright confirmation, it strongly suggests the Pixel 3a will also not receive the Android 12L update when it becomes available next year.
Update 11/3: As of today, the Pixel 3a is now poised to receive the Android 12L update, with Google adding that first-ever affordable Pixel phone to the list of Android 12L Beta compatible devices. That leaves only the Pixel 3 in the weird position of possibly permanently losing access to volume rocker controls for Chromecast sessions.
Update 11/30: In a new comment from a Googler, it’s been confirmed that the previously mentioned “legal issue” is indeed the recent patent lawsuit filed by Sonos. More importantly, the Googler confirms that a “workaround” is in-progress for the “next Android release” and that the problem has been “escalated again.”
It’s interesting to note that no Android version was specified, only “next Android release.” To that end, according to Mishaal Rahman on Twitter, the change may be included with the first Quarterly Platform Release (QPR) for Android 12. This means that an upcoming update for Pixel phones could see Chromecast volume rocker controls return well before the release of Android 12L. It’s too early to say when other OEMs would pick up the same fix.
The workaround for now – assuming you want to stay on Android 12 – is to use the Google Home app’s controls to tweak volume. For most Cast devices, you can also set up quick access to it through the “Device controls” quick settings tile available on Android 12.
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Kyle is an author and researcher for 9to5Google, with special interests in Made by Google products, Fuchsia, and Stadia.
Got a tip or want to chat? Twitter or Email. Kyle@9to5mac.com
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Apple Sold Over 40 Million iPhone 13 Models During the Holiday Season, Says Wedbush Analyst – MacRumors
Apple sold north of 40 million iPhone 13 models over the holiday period in a record number for the company, despite industry-wide chip shortages, according to Wedbush analyst Daniel Ives.
Last year, reports began emerging that demand for iPhone 13 models was slowing ahead of the holidays as delivery estimates for iPhone 13 models started to improve.
However in a new note to investors, seen by MacRumors, Ives said demand remained strong for the current iPhone cycle going into 2022, with demand outstripping supply be several million units in the December quarter, a positive sign for Apple as supply chain issues begin to resolve themselves in the first half of this year.
Based on our supply chain checks over the last few weeks, we believe demand is outstripping supply for Apple by roughly 12 million units in the December quarter which now will add to the tailwinds for Cupertino in the March and June quarters as the supply chain issues ease in 1H22.
According to Ives, China has been a major source of strength for Apple over the last 12 months and a key region for iPhone sales, particularly in relation to increased market share due to the “multi-year supercycle” afforded by the iPhone 12 and iPhone 13.
According to Ives, roughly 230 million of 975 million iPhone users worldwide haven’t upgraded in the last three and a half years, and the analyst believes Apple’s continuing smartphone sales will provide highly influential tailwinds as excitement builds for Apple’s much-anticipated mixed reality headset, which is expected to be announced in the summer.
Ives says the “linchpin” to Apple’s valuation re-rating remains its services business, taking in the likes of Apple Music, iCloud, Apple TV+, and Apple Fitness+, which Wedbush believes is now worth $1.5 trillion. On that basis, Wedbush predicts that despite reports of supply constraints, Apple’s chip shortages are a “transitory issue” and “nothing more than a speed bump” on the way to Apple becoming the first $3 trillion market cap company in 2022.
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Google Pixel 7 news and rumors: What Google’s next big phone could bring – BGR
The Google Pixel 6 represented a shift in direction for Google. The phone is the first to offer a Google-designed chip, in the new Tensor chip, plus it offers some incredible camera features, and more. But while Google has been building phones for a long time, the Pixel 6 is still a first-gen product in Google’s big new smartphone push. The Pixel 7, on the other hand, could be a truly amazing phone.
The Pixel 6 is still a relatively new phone, and as such, it will probably be a while before we see the Pixel 7. That said, we have already started hearing rumors about the upcoming device, and we’re pretty excited to see exactly how it turns out.
Want to learn more? Here’s everything we know about the upcoming Google Pixel 7 so far. Alternatively, if you’re more interested in the current-generation phones, check out our full Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro reviews.
The Google Pixel 6 boasts a radical new design, with a camera bar across the back of it, and that classic Pixel two-tone design in a number of stunning colors. We don’t necessarily expect the Pixel 7 to completely do away with that look, but it will still likely look a little different from the Pixel 6.
There aren’t any current rumors about the overall design of the Pixel 7 series, so it’s hard to tell exactly what it’ll look like. The Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro offer a few design differences — like the fact that the Pixel 6 Pro has a curved display. That was a controversial design choice, and it’s possible Google will return to a flat display for the pro model of the Pixel 7.
One of the biggest changes to the Pixel series with the Pixel 6 came in the form of the new Tensor chip. The new chip focuses on artificial intelligence, and helps give the Pixel 6 a super smooth feel, despite not being quite as fast as the latest Apple or Qualcomm chips in benchmarks. The Pixel 7 may take Tensor performance to the next level though. The new chip is said to have the model number GS201, and there’s no word yet on exactly what kind of improvements it will offer over the original Tensor chip.
The camera has been arguably the most important feature of the Pixel series for a long time now, and that’s only likely to continue with the Pixel 7. The Pixel 6 added some great smart features like Magic Eraser and Face Unblur. We have no idea what kinds of cool features could arrive with the Pixel 7, so we’ll have to wait and see.
When it comes to camera hardware, we’re also not sure what to expect on the back — but there are some rumors about what we’ll get on the front. The rumors suggest that Google will do away with a hole-punch cutout, in favor of an under-display camera. This technology would use a new reflector system to rotate being in display mode and camera mode, according to a patent filed by Google.
Pixel phones have long been released around the October time frame, and that’s unlikely to change for the Pixel 7. That said, given how far away from the release we are, it could still change.
When it comes to pricing, we expect the overall price to remain similar to the Pixel 6. As with the Pixel 6, Google will likely release two phones — a Pixel 7 and a Pixel 7 Pro. That means that the Pixel 7 could come at $599, and the Pixel 7 Pro at $899.
Christian de Looper has been passionate about consumer technology since childhood, but didn’t know writing about it could be a career until he started looking for online work during college. He was born in Canberra, Australia, and has lived in France, Minnesota, and now sunny Santa Cruz, California, where he test drives cars and puts every gadget he can get his hands on to the test.
Here’s what C-Band 5G is, and what Android phones can use it – 9to5Google
– Jan. 19th 2022 12:43 pm PT
Verizon and AT&T are starting to rollout out C-Band 5G coverage for their users in the US, bringing a whole new set of frequencies into the 5G game. So what is C-Band 5G and what Android phones are eligible for it?
In general, there are a couple of different variations of 5G. First, there’s the low-band variation, which is also referred to as sub6. Sub6 gets a much larger area of coverage but sacrifices speed in doing so. Even though low-band 5G is the slowest player in the 5G game, it’s still faster than 4G LTE. The other familiar version of 5G is mmWave. This standard sacrifices coverage for speed, reaching incredible speeds for 5G customers. Unfortunately, the caveat to this is sudden coverage loss and lack of connectivity indoors.
Verizon’s C-Band is finally rearing its head as the middle child between the two. Operating between 3.7GHz and 3.98GHz, C-Band is able to provide a much larger blanket of coverage while delivering faster speeds than low-band coverage. Not to mention, you can obtain a strong C-Band 5G signal even indoors with Verizon and AT&T.
The addition of this standard by these carriers is a welcome one, seeing as low-band 5G doesn’t seem to impress, and mmWave isn’t available for most of the US. Bridging the gap between the two, C-Band will be able to reach much more of the US while providing very fast speeds – generally anywhere from 500Mbps to 800Mbps, according to users on the Verizon subreddit.
As mentioned, the main two carriers taking on C-Band will be Verizon and AT&T. This, however, doesn’t mean that C-Band will be limited to these two giants. Smaller carriers like Visible, which relies on Verizon’s 5G network, will also be able to provide C-Band coverage to its users, according to MVNOReasearch (a Visible employee) on Reddit.
One major thing to note here is that C-Band 5G speeds will likely be capped at 200Mbps for Visible customers. This however doesn’t make the adoption of C-Band useless. Since C-Band will be able to cover a large amount of area, Visible customers will be able to take advantage of genuinely fast speeds in a larger, more reliable area.
As with any new frequency standard, it may take some time for devices to adopt C-Band. That being said, there are a few Android phones already out that will be able to take advantage of Verizon and AT&T’s C-Band 5G:
While the Pixel 6 and 6 Pro aren’t “currently certified” for Verizon’s C-Band 5G, the plan remains to bring the 5G spectrum to those Google-made devices. Verizon doesn’t currently have a timeline available.
Requirements to run C-Band are a little unclear as of right now, but we do know that the Samsung devices listed above run a Snapdragon X60 5G modem. On the other hand, the Pixel 6 and 6 Pro run a Samsung 5123b modem. In Verizon’s testing of its C-Band 5G network, a Snapdragon X65 chip was used. We hope to learn more about technical requirements as C-Band 5G on Android phones becomes widely available.
While the list isn’t massive by any means, it’s a good place to start. Going forward, Verizon has also said that phones it releases as of the addition of C-Band will have the capability to connect to this new standard. Verizon also expects to offer “over 20 compatible phones by the end of 2022.”
Both major carriers – Verizon and AT&T – are set to fire up C-Band on January 19, 2022. You may have to check with your carrier in order to ensure that C-Band 5G will be available to you under your current plan. For instance, Verizon is making C-Band available to users who are signed up for its Ultra Wideband plan, which includes the previous fastest speeds and coverage available. For AT&T, C-Band will be offered in the form of “5G Plus” and will be available in the majority of its unlimited plans.
Prior to the release and initiation of C-Band, the FAA had expressed concerns over the new standard. Though 5G is already safely in use in 40 other countries, according to Verizon, the FAA still feels it isn’t safe enough just yet to initiate around airports. Verizon and AT&T both feel the FAA was completely unprepared to handle this new 5G addition, given the time from development to deployment.
This has delayed C-Band’s release up until this point and may make it even longer before you find yourself using C-Band at local and major airports.
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