This week’s top stories: Wireless Android Auto on Android 11, Google Pixel 5 renders, more

In this week’s top stories: Wireless Android Auto coming to all Android 11 phones, new Google Pixel 5 renders leak, the Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra is reviewed, and more.

As we continue to approach the launch of Android 11, which has already seen three beta releases, Google still seems to have a few surprises up its sleeve. This week, we learned from a support page update that Android 11 will bring the ability to wireless project Android Auto to compatible, WiFi-equipped cars/stereos.

Pretty clearly, that means any Android phone from the likes of LG, Motorola, Samsung, Nokia, etc. that is released on or gets updated to Android 11 will be able to enjoy connecting wirelessly to Android Auto. Interestingly, that should also mean that Android One — though not Android Go — phones would be able to use Android Auto wirelessly once their Android 11 update arrives.

In Made by Google news, we got our best preview yet of the upcoming Pixel 5 from trustworthy leaker OnLeaks. In the new Pixel 5 renders and 360 video, we see a design that takes the hole-punch display seen in the Pixel 4a combined with the brushed metal look and feel seen in Google’s official teaser.

The design feels like a combination of the recently released Pixel 4a and the Pixel 4, taking the best of both designs and merging them into one device. So what can we glean from these Pixel 5 renders that we don’t already know? Well, in all honesty, nothing really major, as Google themselves revealed some design tidbits when unveiling the Pixel 4a a couple of weeks ago.

On the Samsung side of things, our own Ben Schoon took time to get to really get to know and review the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra, who it’s made for and more importantly who it really isn’t made for.

Samsung’s Galaxy Note 20 Ultra is a genuinely great phone. Arguably, it’s Samsung’s best phone. With a $1,300 price tag, it’s not a totally insane ask either — though, let’s be real, few phones are actually worth over $1,000.

However, this is just not the time for a phone this expensive to be hitting the market, and the proof is everywhere.

Elsewhere in Samsung news, the Korean electronics giant massively expanded the number of devices in their Android portfolio that are guaranteed a minimum of three Android version updates. Where this was once exclusive to their S series and Note series flagships, now their range of Tab S tablets and A series affordable phones will have an extended update period.

Samsung’s post is also pretty telling on how this applies going forward. The Galaxy S, Galaxy Note, Galaxy Z, and Galaxy Tab S lineups will see this policy as standard for all devices going forward. Meanwhile, the Galaxy A lineup will only see the policy on select devices.

Finally, Android TV took an unfortunate turn this week, as Google began rolling out homescreen ads — officially “cinematic highlights” — to everyone except Nvidia Shield TV owners. Luckily, you can still disable these Android TV ads for the time being, and our team has outlined how to do so.

So, what do these homescreen ads consist of? When you launch your Android TV device, you’ll see a new row at the top of the homescreen which cycles through content that is sponsored or a “Google Play Staff Pick.” There’s no auto-playing audio or video and your app row is still highlighted, but the new ads take up a huge portion of your screen […]

The rest of this week’s top stories follow:

Android |

Apps & Updates |

Made by Google |

OnePlus |

Wearables |

Videos |

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Avatar for Kyle Bradshaw Kyle Bradshaw

Kyle is an author and researcher for 9to5Google, with special interests in Made by Google products, Fuchsia, and Stadia.

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