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News Weekly: Samsung slips up and leaks its foldables, Google is getting rid of a Maps feature, and more

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June 08, 2024

AC News Weekly

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News Weekly Logo

News Weekly is our column, where we highlight and summarize some of the week’s top stories so you can catch up on the latest tech news.

This is Android Central’s News Weekly, your go-to source for a concise roundup of the week’s most significant tech stories. This is where we delve into the top headlines that provide the latest developments and innovations contributing to the digital landscape.

This week, Samsung accidentally leaked its own upcoming foldables, Google Maps is getting rid of Timeline on the web, Spotify is hiking its prices, first look at the Galaxy watch FE, and Google says it won’t confiscate Pixels parts anymore.

Samsung slips up leaks its Foldables

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Earlier this week, Samsung accidentally released official marketing images showcasing the Galaxy Z Fold 6 and the Z Flip 6 on the company’s Kazakhstan website.

According to a Reddit post, the ad showcases the Galaxy Z Fold 6 and the Z Flip 6 alongside the popular Galaxy AI features, which will likely debut with the flagship foldable phones next month. The shared image showcases the new design of the Galaxy Z Fold 6, which will now have sharp corners and flat sides similar to the Galaxy S24 Ultra. The Fold 6 will have a triple camera system at the rear, where all the cameras are stacked vertically. The Z Flip, on the other hand, may not see many changes when it comes to design.  However, the foldables are said to be powered by Snapdragon 8 Gen 3.

Samsung has been “dropping hints” about its summer Unpacked event, which we expect will take place on July 10. We expect to see the launch of the Galaxy Ring, Galaxy Watch 7, and foldables next month.


Another Google Maps feature bites the dust

Google Maps navigation.

Google Maps navigation.

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In its latest update, Google stated that it will remove the Timeline feature on the web version of Google Maps. The timeline, originally named “location history,” is a feature that lets you keep track of the places you’ve visited and the routes traveled.

In December 2023, Google changed where the location history was being stored. Users who have chosen to turn Location History on (it’s off by default) will see Google Maps’ Timeline saved directly on their device rather than the web, giving them even more control over their data.

This means that if you access Google Maps on the web, the Timeline will not show any history of the places you’ve visited. Instead, the company is pushing users to download the app and continue accessing the feature.

Users have until December 1, 2024, to shift from the web version to the app. Otherwise, all the saved data will be lost. However, the company says it will try moving up to 90 days of Timeline data to the “first-signed- device” after the deadline. Any routes or visits made before that period will be auto-deleted.


Spotify ups its prices, Gemini extension on the way

Spotify logo on an Android phone

Spotify logo on an Android phone

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Spotify announced Monday (June 3) that it would raise its Premium prices for the second time in a year. As a result of the change, Spotify Premium will cost more than other competing music streaming services like Apple Music and Tidal.

In a press release, as well as in an email to subscribers, Spotify justified the price increase by saying it would allow it to “invest in and innovate on our product features and bring users the best experience, we occasionally update our prices.”

“Over the next month, subscribers in the U.S. will receive an email explaining what this update means for their subscription.”

The price for a Premium Individual plan is now $11.99, a dollar more than the old rate. Spotify Premium Duo is up by $2 and costs $16.99—the old price of the Spotify Premium Family plan. Premium Family will now cost $19.99, a $3 increase. The updated prices are being rolled out nearly a year after Spotify’s last price hike, which was in July 2023.

Additionally, a discovery in Google’s app suggests that the company is working on a Spotify extension for Gemini. As spotted in version 15.22.2 of the Google app, a Spotify extension for Gemini might be coming. The availability of a Spotify extension would (ideally) let users quickly access their created playlists and discover songs, genres, artists, and more. Gemini will alert users with a string that reads, “starting to play on Spotify.” This looks like a message users see after telling the AI to play a certain song or playlist.


Sneak a peek at Galaxy Watch FE

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According to recent leaks, Samsung could be brewing a Fan Edition Galaxy Watch, and this week, we got the first look at a possible Galaxy Watch FE.

The leak comes from Sudhanshu Ambhore on X, who said that the watch features an aluminum body with water resistance up to 50 meters — thanks to its 5ATM and IP68 rating and could come in Black, Blue, and Rose/Pink colorways.

The tipster also shared that this budget smartwatch will sport a 1.2-inch AMOLED display accompanied by an Exynos W920 dual-core CPU with 1.18GHz clock speeds. Featuring 1.5GB of RAM paired with 16GB of onboard storage, and it will ship with Wear OS  out of the box. Keeping the lights on is a 247mAh battery capacity with a 30-hour battery life promise, and it also supports wireless charging.

The watch will likely be launched alongside the Galaxy Watch 7 series in July.


Google’s Pixel repair policy

The inside of a Pixel phone from iFixit.

The inside of a Pixel phone from iFixit.

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A recent discovery by YouTuber Louis Rossmann, highlights Google’s repair policy that will confiscate your Pixel if it has parts the company didn’t approve. The policy, effective since July 19 of last year, grants Google the right to retain Pixel devices sent in for repair if unauthorized components are discovered.

The specific clause, as found on Google’s website, states: “You will not send in a Device containing non-Google-authorized parts – if You do, Your Device will not be returned to you.”

This policy creates a conflict between your right to fix your own phone and Google’s desire to keep things under its control. Google’s repair policy extends to any accessories, like your favorite Pixel 8 cases, which will likely be relegated to the lost and found bin, assuming your phone even passes the “authorized parts” inspection.

However, following significant backlash from customers, the company says it will not retain phones for repair due to non-OEM parts.

“If a customer sends their Pixel to Google for repair, we would not keep it regardless of whether the phone has non-OEM parts or not,” a Google spokesperson told Android Central. “In certain situations, we won’t be able to complete a repair if there are safety concerns. In that case, we will either send the phone back to the customer or work with them to determine next steps. Customers are also free to seek the repair options that work best for them. We are updating our Terms and Conditions to clarify this.”


Those are some of the biggest stories from this week. Meanwhile, here are some other stories that are worth catching up on:

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