Windows 11: Thursday’s Windows 11 announcement was a big moment for Microsoft’s next-generation operating system. First, the useful facts: it’s a free update if you have Windows 10, and coming sometime in late October. As to what’s coming, there’s an overdue cosmetic set of changes, new features for gamers, better ways to snap applications and windows into place, easily configurable desktops for work, home, or gaming, new widgets, and much more. It’s a little more iterative than a revolution, making it feel like a Windows 10 Plus, but Microsoft is offering some major new features, like Android apps running natively — more on that next.
Windows 11 runs native Android apps! A genuine surprise was delivered during the presentation: Microsoft is bringing Android apps to Windows 11, natively, via Intel Bridge technology, and via the Amazon Appstore, of all places. There’s so much to discuss here and so much to play out in the months ahead. Still, Microsoft teaming up with Amazon’s Appstore for Android apps means no Google Mobile Services, meaning Google apps won’t work. So, it’s Android without Google, which may open up the ecosystem more? Confirmation of sideloading via APKs came later in the week, too.
Samsung’s next-gen foldables emerge: This was a rich week for uncovering Samsung’s next-gen foldables. First, FCC filings proved Samsung’s devices are very much coming. The documentation also detailed some of the key specs including Qualcomm chipsets, MST, and wireless and reverse wireless charging, plus S Pen support for the Fold 3. Later, we also had a first look at the Galaxy Z Fold 3 and Galaxy Z Flip 3 via renders from a reliable source.
MWC 2021: MWC is happening next week, but with some companies dropping out, we’re expecting a more tepid showing. However, Samsung announced a virtual event set for Monday, June 28, which looks like it will be talking smartwatches, though the latest rumors are Samsung might only talk about its software. The Galaxy Watch 4 series is instead expected to launch alongside Samsung’s foldable later this year. Here’s everything we know about the Galaxy Watch 4 series in the meantime.
Sony Xperia 1 III: Sony finally put up a pre-order date of July 1 for its Xperia 1 III, a powerhouse flagship with a classically Sony price tag: $1,299, or $100 more than the Galaxy S21 Ultra and Mi 11 Ultra. But maybe, just maybe, the list of features can convince you of its worth. We await reviews to determine how one of the best spec sheets of 2021 so far comes together in real life.
Apple’s sideload wars: Apple this week released a 16-page white paper where it says the ability to sideload apps (or, alternative app stores) would cause erosion of trust within its ecosystem (Apple). Apple is more interested in protecting its fiefdom than it is in iPhone security was the Android Authority reaction. Regardless of the swirling opinions, it looks like regulators will decide the issue, and Apple is just ramping up its lobbying. Tim Cook also called in Nancy Pelosi to argue for the iPhone. Big Tech has its work cut out in 2021 to maintain its preferred status quo. Also: Apple went after one of the most accurate and most prominent leakers, seemingly for being too good at leaking. Remember this got ugly back in 2006, in the Apple v. Does case? (EFF).
Swearing online: And in another case of free speech online, the Supreme Court said a school can’t punish a cheerleader for swearing on Snapchat (The Verge).