The year ends and it is time to take stock of everything that happened in Android during 2021. Changes in the system, price drops in phones, small innovations that achieve better use of phones and much more: we review all the good things that happened to Android and also how bad it had to suffer.
Our operating system is a mature system, no one can say that I have deficiencies, that does not look attractive on the screen, Google has managed to make its offspring adapt its software to mobile phones, watches, televisions, cars and even washing machines. With more than thirteen years behind the back of our favorite android, we might think that he has little more to live. And the opposite happens: 2021 left a small large collection of memories. Let’s review them.
The best that Android has brought during 2021
It is not that this year has been especially turbulent in our operating system, rather the opposite: in general we could say that it was continuist. New generations of phones without too many changes, there were no disruptive technologies and no big software surprises. Still, 2021 was not bad either.
It is mandatory to make a general mention of the new operating system: Android 12 gets the limelight on its own merits. It is a version that puts more emphasis on privacy, artificial intelligence and personalization. And as in previous versions, Android 12 will not be available mainly on mobile phones until next year, 2022.
Material You y Material Theming
Automatic interface customization is now a reality with Android 12: both the icons and the shortcuts and applications change their tonality according to the chosen wallpaper. And without the user having to do anything: once all the apps and mobiles adapt the Android interface will look much more uniform and cohesive.
Google included in Android 12 the game mode, a way to enhance entertainment apps allowing the user choose what performance the phone runs at; in addition to giving the option of avoiding distractions or streaming the game. Most brands already offered it in their layers, with Android 12 the game mode comes to all phones.
Google has finally activated the call filter in Spain, a way of responding with the assistant to anyone who tries to call us. Thus, we avoid talking to telemarketers and strangers, also with any other with whom we do not feel like establishing a conversation. It is one of the best news of Google Assistant during this 2021.
Tizen and Wear OS, together
2021 was the year in which a milestone was established in the field of watch operating systems: Samsung and Google unified their respective platforms in the so-called Wear OS 3.0. The Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 were the first watches to acquire their novelties.
Tizen promises to add more fluidity to Wear OS, lower battery consumption and greater stability. At the moment there are no excessive improvements, but it has not expanded to more watches than the latest from Samsung. Be that as it may, that two companies like Google and Samsung turn to Wear OS is excellent news for Android.
Android apps on Windows 11
This move by Microsoft will further expand the scope of Android applications: it is possible to launch them directly in Windows 11. For this Windows uses a runtime system as emulator. And there are ways to launch any app on the system, including the Google Play Store itself.
Have the mobile WhatsApp application floating on your desktop, upload photos to Instagram from your app, smartphone games on your computer … And all with it. runtime system directly integrated into Windows 11.
The best mid-range ever
2021 brought us so many mobiles that brands had to struggle to stand out. And what was the main way to stand out from the competition? Include the most features at the lowest price. The result was tremendously positive for our pockets.
Phones like the POCO X3 Pro, POCO F3, Realme GT Master Edition, Realme 8 Pro or Xioami 11 Lite 5G NE show that buying a great phone has never been so cheap. And 2022 indicates that this trend will go up.
More years of updates
System updates are endemic to Android; and everything indicates that it will continue to be so for quite some time. Even so, 2021 expanded the three-year warranty on key updates and four years of security updates to a good number of brands.
Google offers this figure, also Samsung, Vivo, OnePlus and OPPO. Of course, not on all phones: higher-end models receive the most attention.
The “cheap” folding screens
They began as an anecdote, they went to the higher-end devices and this year They managed to reduce their access gap to a price that is not exorbitant. The credit goes to Samsung with its Galaxy Z Flip 3.
Not that the folding phone is too cheap, but it is undeniable that Yes, it has been available for a part of the public that is looking for a high-end mobile. And it is that for just over 900 euros it is available in stores; with numerous offers in operators and banks (also second-hand).
SAMSUNG Galaxy Z Flip 3 5G 8GB/256GB Negro (Phantom Black) Dual SIM F711B
Distribution figures come to life
We thought that Google had definitely killed them after a long time without updating them, but no: the company once again publicly communicated how widespread each version of Android is. As usual, the most used is the one that is one and two years behind the current one, Android 12.
Virtual RAM memory
It is not that adapting storage space to function as volatile memory is precisely new, but it has reached the Android phones of 2021 as one of the improvements to be highlighted. Expand RAM memory virtually can be counterproductive on mobiles with a certain power, quite the opposite of what happens in cheap phones. It is an improvement with which to expand the use of multitasking.
Seven things we are still waiting for
The time has come to do self-criticism with what we want in Android and it has not yet reached this operating system. Most wishes are old demands that, we fear, we will end up accumulating by 2022.
Guaranteed updates for all mobiles
It is true that the update process improved during 2021 by dint of adding more years of base versions and security patches, but Android is still a long way from matching what Apple does with its iPhones, for example. In addition, manufacturers prioritize their most expensive mobiles; leaving the cheapest ones in the lurch, often without even a big Android update.
More security and quality on Google Play
The review of apps in the store continues without maintaining the security and quality that the Play Store should have. There is a lot of news related to malware, all despite the fact that Google has been improving automatic protection against malicious software thanks to Play Protect. Between the restrictions of the App Store, and the wide sleeve of Google Play, there should be a middle ground that gives sufficient guarantees to Android users.
Gift apps from the Play Store
Google still doesn’t offer the option to give away apps on its Android app store. And it’s a shame: being able to give another user the app you were hoping for would be a good way to expand your app purchase.
Nearby Share compatible con Windows/macOS
Sharing with Nearby has become the “AirDrop de Android“It takes a bit to figure out how to activate it and how to send files to another Android, but the truth is that it works very well. Between Android devices, of course, because it is not compatible with desktop operating systems even though it was rumored to be included in Google Chrome.
Clipboard shared with computer
Ok, maybe sharing any file costs to implement, but Why not use a clipboard that syncs between Android and your computer? Chrome tried something similar, there are also apps that achieve this service with great success (like Clipt). At the system level, Google has yet to introduce the shared clipboard on Android.
Full desktop mode
Android 10 already included a native desktop mode, albeit disabled. Google still does not make it stable with Android 12, so we are still waiting for it: turn the mobile into a desktop interface by connecting an external display allows for extended use outside the office. Samsung DeX is a great example of this.
Complete restoration with app data
Restoring a backup while setting up a new phone has improved a lot, but it still doesn’t offer the experience it should as Android installs the apps without restoring most data. For someone used to changing mobile phones frequently, this is very annoying: once all the apps have been downloaded, you have to log in one by one; with the risk of having lost data because it was not saved correctly in the copy.