Android at MWC 2023
h2 Android Phones
Google recognizes the more intriguing recent Android phones, namely the hot-new Samsung Galaxy S23 series, as well as Xiaomi’s major flagship release of the Xiaomi 13 and Xiaomi 13 Pro. Both phones feature Android’s new digital car key functionality, which allows users to unlock their compatible vehicles with their phones, similar to Apple Wallet’s functionality. Oppo Find N2 Flip, one of the better foldable phones available, and OnePlus 11 also got recognition for their support of Nearby Share, Android’s response to Apple’s AirDrop.
Google also praises the recent OnePlus Buds Pro 2 and Xiaomi Buds 4 Pro for their adoption of spatial audio, delivering improved audio experience.
RCS, Google’s pride and glory that’s an important evolutionary step over simple SMS text messaging, also got some time under the spotlights at MWC’23. With end-to-end encryption and enhanced security, RCS positions itself as a very important chapter in messaging. Vodafone recently announced that all eligible Android phones on the Vodafone network will be able to “take advantage of RCS”.
h2 Software Updates
Google says that last year, more than half of all new features that got launched as part of quarterly OS support updates have reached devices running on the now-ancient Android 6. This means that billions of devices regularly get support and new features, on top of the regular critical security and privacy enhancements. Samsung, Xiaomi, OnePlus, and Oppo have all committed to providing longer support for their recent devices, with up to four years of major software updates and up to five years of security patches.
h2 Pixel 7 Series
Google unveiled the Pixel 7 series a few months ago, and it is expected that it could potentially unveil a Pixel 7a in the coming months, enriching its affordable phone lineup. The next flagship series, the Pixel 8, is expected to arrive in late 2023, and the Pixel Fold foldable could potentially arrive this year as well.