April 2024 – Mik4mob
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3 Android 15 features that could make your mobile life much easier

Android 15 looks set to introduce several features that allow users to perform simple tasks and see information at a glance.

These include a new screensaver that allows you to control your Google Home devices, the return of lock screen widgets for tablets, and changing your default wallet app for Google Wallet.

All three new features were found in the Android 15 Beta, which was released on April 11, 2024, and can be downloaded for Pixel devices. However, it’s probably better to wait for the full release to ensure the best stability.

We can expect the full release of Android 15 around Q3 of 2024, with announcements of some of Android 15’s new features at Google I/O 2024, held on May 14.

1. Return of widgets
Widgets could return to Android tablets’ lock screens as part of the Android 15 update.

Widgets offer quick access to key app information without opening the app itself, allowing you to see things like notes, emails, and calendars at a glance, but are only available from the home screen of Android devices.

Lock screen widgets used to be available to both phones and tablets back in 2012 as part of Android 4.2 Jelly Bean but were later removed in Android 5.0 Lollipop.

Currently, with your device locked, you have access to just three apps: Google Calendar, Google Clock, and the Google App. However, the potential update means you won’t have to unlock your tablet to access handy widgets like YouTube Music or your photos, contacts, and many others, thus adding an extra layer of customization to your device.

As previously reported, widgets were initially thought to be rolling out to only the Google Pixel Tablet. However, the lock screen widgets are expected to appear on Android tablets running Android 15 but not on Android phones.

Android Authority discovered the return of widgets after digging through the code for the Android 15 Beta. It found a new “communal space” that allows users to add widgets from select apps. This space can be accessed by swiping inward from the right side of the lock screen.

More details refer to a “glanceable hub,” which is where the widgets will be stored. They aren’t directly placed on the lock screen but on a page accessible from the lock screen which is still faster and more convenient than opening the apps directly.

2. Screensaver control of your smart home
The Android 15 update may introduce a new screensaver named ‘Home Controls,’ allowing users to access their home controls straight from the screensaver.

The update will add Home controls to that list, allowing you to control your compatible Google Home devices when your phone or tablet is charging.

This can include Google Nest devices like cameras, thermostats, and doorbells. Once selected and when the screensaver is active, Home Controls will display your favorite controls for enabled devices.

However, the Home Controls screensaver apparently only supports Google Home devices and not other device controls, meaning other smart home apps will need to develop dedicated screensavers of their own.

Screensavers have been part of Android phones since Android 9, allowing you to display photos, colors, or a simple clock while charging. The addition of Home controls could be helpful, and while it’ll be available on both Android phones and tablets, it’ll probably see more use on tablets.

Currently, to access the Google Home settings, you would need to open the Google Home app, activate it by using the Google Assistant or by using a lock screen shortcut or by selecting the quick setting tile.

While none of these are too difficult, the addition of a screen saver could be a handy time saver if you want quick access to your smart home settings and have an idle docked tablet.

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Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra vs. Apple iPhone 15 Pro Max

We couldn’t pass the opportunity to deliver the comparison between the ultimate rivals – the Galaxy and iPhone. Maybe you already know which of the two is your dream phone, but many people would like to know how these two match up against each other in more objective metrics. So, here it is – the Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra versus the Apple iPhone 15 Pro Max!

The Galaxy S24 Ultra has a larger screen – hence – it is the larger phone. It weighs more, too. But you should keep in mind there is a stylus housed inside its body.

Still, the size difference is mostly marginal. However, the design of the two phones is radically different. Samsung’s signature rectangle shape with right-angled corners and separate camera rings is just as recognizable as the iPhone’s rounded corners and arguably busier camera island. Both companies have had years to perfect these designs – there is nothing radically new here, but we are sure each one will have its own fans.

Both smartphones feature titanium frames, and both offer IP68 ingress protection. The iPhone has extended water protection since Apple claims it can survive in up to 6m deep water for half an hour, compared to 1.5m for the Galaxy.

The Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra has a larger display with higher pixel density and supports S-Pen input. It also offers a smaller camera cutout and higher peak brightness.

The iPhone 15 Pro Max display has a higher manual and automatic brightness than the Galaxy; it also offers Dolby Vision support on top of HDR10+ video.

Not to mention that the bigger camera cutout on the iPhone comes with Apple’s FaceID, which works for secure unlocking, and Apple has found a way to add some clever functionality around it with the Dynamic Island.

Overall, both displays are as premium as their makers can offer today. Nobody would be able to see the difference in the pixel density as it is not that major. Both offer outstanding contrast, brightness and color specs.

Before we wrap this section up, we should mention a few issues with the Galaxy S24 Ultra display. One of them is the slight graininess that can be observed at very low brightness levels when you use your phone in a dark setting.

Samsung also received a lot of flak for its muted color rendition, even in the Vivid color mode, but this has since been addressed with a firmware update, and users can now pick their desired level of Vividness with a slider.

So, wrapping up this section, you’d get the Galaxy for the combination of the S-Pen, the built-in fingerprint sensor and the smaller punch-hole selfie cam. You will go for the iPhone Pro Max if you lean into Dolby Vision content and you think you will enjoy the seamless FaceID and Dynamic Island functionality offered by iOS.

Battery life
The Galaxy S24 Ultra is powered by a 5,000mAh battery, while the iPhone 15 Pro Max has a 4,441mAh cell.

Despite the fact that the iPhone has a smaller battery capacity, it managed to beat the Galaxy S24 Ultra in our battery life test. It scored better across all of our test scenarios except for voice calls. And that is why its Active Use score turned out 16:01 hours compared to 13:49 hours for the Galaxy.

Both scores are excellent; it’s just the iPhone does better.