It’s Friday, the sun is shining and it’s time for our weekly mobile news round-up! This edition, we’ve got rumours on possible colours for the Samsung Galaxy S8, as well as updates on Google Assistant, Google Duo and Google Maps. Apple has also confirmed it is scrapping the 16GB storage option for future iPhones!
Google Assistant comes to more phones
Android’s virtual helper, Google Assistant, has only been available on Pixel and Pixel XL so far. But, the exclusivity is officially over, as the AI is branching out to more Android phones. The OnePlus 3 and OnePlus 3T are among the first to receive Google Assistant, as it’s now available on both devices. All you need to do is hold down the home button to launch your new helper.
Google Assistant goes further than Google Now, allowing you to control your smart home from your phone, as well as being more conversational. Don’t worry if you don’t have a OnePlus device; Google Assistant will be rolling out to other phones running Android Marshmallow or Nougat soon.
Apple has scrapped 16GB iPhone
After releasing the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus with 32GB as the lowest storage option, Apple has finally decided to drop the 16GB option for all future devices. 16GB has been the lowest default storage since the iPhone 4, but the company has finally realised it just isn’t enough space anymore. Many of us are no stranger to ‘Storage Almost Full’ notifications, so these will hopefully be a thing of the past from now on. The new default storage for new iPhones will be 32GB, with 64GB and 128GB options also available.
New Samsung Galaxy S8 colours revealed
The rumour mill is still turning ahead of the Samsung Galaxy S8’s release in April and the latest leaks suggest it will be available in three different colours: Black Sky, Orchid Grey, and Arctic Silver. Black Sky features a starry night sky, Orchid Grey has delicate pink tones, and Arctic Silver captures a chilly whiteout. The colours don’t seem to encompass the entire rear of the phone, with black edges at the top and bottom. While the leak has not been confirmed by Samsung, we won’t have to wait long to find out if it’s true.
Google Maps introduces real-time location sharing
The latest in a line of updates to Google Maps allows you to share your real-time location with selected friends and family. Gone are the days of lying about being on your way when you’re still in the house – the new feature will show your chosen contacts exactly where you are on the map, as well as allow them to track for whereabouts for a set duration of time.
If the idea of sharing your exact location through your phone strikes fear in your heart, don’t worry – Google has ensured that only the person you share it with will be able to see where you are. You can also turn off location sharing at any point. The update will be useful to share your ETA with people you’ve arranged to meet, as well as ensuring your children get home safe.
Google Duo enables audio-only calls
Google’s version of FaceTime, Google Duo, has added a new feature that allows you to call your contacts without using your camera. While this may seem like defeating the purpose of the app, the idea behind audio-only calls is to reduce the amount of data the call uses. The app will now detect when your connection is weak and switch from a video call to audio-only. Once your reception improves, you can switch back to video by tapping the screen.
That’s all the mobile news we have for you this week – be sure to visit The Hub again next Friday for all the latest updates.