As yet another week draws to a close, it is time for me to give you a brief recap of what transpired in the world of tech in the past seven days and share with you our picks for the winner and loser of the week gone by.
Choosing our contenders this week was a bit difficult because the past week did not see the announcement of any groundbreaking products - except maybe for the announcements made by Samsung to expand their notebook lineup. Nevertheless, the team of editors at Nextpit had a brief discussion on Slack and decided to pick Oppo as this week’s winner, while scammy app developers as a whole were our pick for the loser for this week.
Before we explain the reasons behind these selections, let us take a quick look at some of the other notable developments that happened in the last seven days.
Hello, iOS 14.5
After beta testing for some time, Apple, earlier this week, finally released the stable version of iOS 14.5 for millions of iOS devices out there. The new OS is loaded with several new features that include the groundbreaking App Tracking Transparency option, and the ability to use the face unlock feature with masks on. More on iOS 14.5 in our detailed article here.
Choosing a specific resolution on YouTube mobile becomes more difficult!
This week also saw YouTube make an annoying change to its mobile app. Remember the option to choose between specific video playback resolutions? Well, that is no longer there, and instead, now you get more generic and dumbed-down options like “Auto,” “Higher picture quality,” Data saver,” and “Advanced.”
Well, the nerds out there can still choose a specific resolution, but that requires one more tap by going into the “advanced” option. Honestly, this might not be annoying for most folks out there. In fact, over time, we old-timers may come to love it.
LG shines in quarterly reports
We smartphone lovers might still be mourning the death of LG’s mobile division. However, LG as a whole seems to be doing a lot better already. The rest of LG’s divisions have posted a yearly increase in sales, and the company as a whole seems to be doing much better already! Maybe this was the right decision after all?
....and so did Samsung
Unlike its compatriot LG, Samsung did not have to spin off its smartphone division to post strong Q1 results. The Korean smartphone giant reported record-breaking revenues in the first quarter of 2021, buoyed by an increase in the sales of smartphones. Samsung, my friends, is here to stay!
Pixel 5a leaked (By Google, as always)
Google is notorious for leaking its own smartphones by any means possible, and the latest victim to fall for it is the company’s upcoming smartphone – the Google Pixel 5a. While Google did confirm the existence of this phone a few weeks ago, it wasn’t content at just that. So, in a recent blog post showcasing a few camera features, they posted images taken from, well, you guessed it right - the Google Pixel 5a. Thanks, EXIF! What would have we done without you!
Asus is done with flip cameras, it seems
Asus’ upcoming smartphone, the Zenfone 8, is set to be launched on May 12. In anticipation of the launch, the company has been teasing some of the features of the device. In the latest teaser, Asus revealed that the phone would get a dot-notch display. Looks like Asus is not interested in the unconventional flip camera design anymore. Sigh!
Let us now talk about our picks for the winners and losers for this week
Winner of the week: Oppo - for becoming Europe’s 4th largest smartphone brand
It has happened in Asia, and it is likely to happen in Europe as well. Chinese smartphone brands are taking over the world. While Huawei might have been stopped from achieving world domination by the Trump ban, there is nothing stopping other big brands like Oppo and Xiaomi from achieving what Huawei couldn’t. While Oppo is not yet that big a brand in Europe, as per a recent Counterpoint Research report, the company has broken into the list of top 5 smartphone brands of Europe. With a 3 percent market share, it now has set its sight on Xiaomi, Apple, and Samsung.
Loser of the week: Developers of scammy apps on the Google Play Store
Our loser for this week is not a single entity – but a group of people who are behind scammy, fake, and misleading apps on the Google Play Store. Turns out things will be difficult for them going forward.
Google, in a recent blog post, announced it would bring several policy changes to app titles, icons, and assets on its Play Store. The goal behind these changes is to ensure that people are not misled into downloading fake and spammy apps. Google confirmed that these changes would be enforced later this year. Google is currently giving app developers time to make sure they address these issues or risk getting kicked out of the Play Store.
This is great news for us consumers and should put a stop to the prolific spread of such spurious apps.
Do you agree with our choices for the winner and loser this week? Do let us know in the comments!