Google’s Find My Device icon gets a makeover ahead of big feature launch


  • Google is developing a stuff-tracking solution called the Finder Network to compete with Apple and Tile’s location-tracking services.
  • The updated icon for Google’s Find My Device app features abstract fan-like shapes that represent scanning and pinpointing lost objects.
  • The new version of the app could have additional features, including temporarily sharing device locations and editing contact information for accessories.

With most people losing their belongings almost on a regular basis, it’s no surprise that there’s been a sudden surge of Bluetooth tracking devices on the market. Thankfully, tech companies are also building out their own tracking networks. Google is one company that’s been looking into a stuff-tracking solution that uses its massive network of Android devices. When it rolls out, the new Finder network, as it’s aptly called, will expand the platform and bring it more in line with Apple and Tile’s location-tracking services. Ahead of its release, Google seems to have revamped the app’s icon with a more visually appealing look and theme.

As spotted by Android Police founder Artem Russakovskii, version 3.0.046-4 of Find My Device shows off an updated icon wearing Google’s colors, which include shades of blue, green, yellow, and red. We first caught a glimpse of the new icon back in June, when it appeared in a notification you get on your phone when you or someone else looks for a missing device.

It replaces the old green map pin engulfing a phone. Moreover, the new icon is more abstract, with two fan-like shapes that help to convey the idea of scanning and pinpointing. The updated design also looks like radar waves or sonar pings.

This is a fitting change, as the new Find My Device app will soon be able to track more devices, including Bluetooth trackers, apparently. So, in a way,

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WhatsApp makes navigating Communities easier with a new icon


  • WhatsApp is frequently adding new features to catch up with rivals like Telegram, with recent updates including a Discord-style general chat room and message editing for community admins.
  • The latest update introduces a visual overhaul for the community icon, using a stack of cards to signify the presence of group chats within the community.
  • WhatsApp is aiming to bring together community announcement groups and community groups under one roof in a future update, making it easier for users to navigate through their various chats in one window.

WhatsApp’s set of features is ever-growing, though one would say the platform is largely playing catch up to rival services like Telegram in terms of feature additions. The official rollout of WhatsApp Communities commenced last November, and the Meta-owned service has left no stone unturned in refining its functionality since then. Thanks to WhatsApp’s flourishing beta program for Android, we’ve picked up several clues about future updates to communities, including a Discord-style general chat room plus a message editing feature for community admins, among others. The folks at WhatsApp are making another change to communities in the form of a visual overhaul for its avatar/icon.

With this new beta update, the community icon features a stack of cards behind it, supposedly to indicate that this community has some group chats in it. While WABetaInfo claims this update is part of WhatsApp beta for Android v2.23.20.3, the site notes that some beta testers with versions and may also see this in action.

WhatsApp Community Stack Icon

As WABetaInfo puts it, this visual tweak aligns with WhatsApp’s plans to bring together the community announcement group and community groups under one roof, providing an easier means for people to navigate through their various chats from one window.

This minor change in the display image also makes

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The apps you can delete from your Google Pixel smartphone

Apart from a class-leading camera, AI features, and a smooth user interface, Google’s Pixel lineup is known for offering a bloatware-free experience to Android users. While several Google apps are must-haves for your digital life, deactivating or deleting irrelevant ones can declutter the app drawer and the homescreen. Here are the preinstalled apps you can remove from your Google Pixel smartphone.

Unlike the top Samsung Galaxy phones, Google doesn’t cram Pixel phones with duplicate apps and partner services. However, the number of preinstalled apps depends on your wireless carrier and a close eye for detail during the setup process.

Did you purchase your Google Pixel through a wireless carrier? After the setup process, you may see carrier apps on your phone. These are duplicates of the Google Phone, Messages, Contacts, and other apps. For this guide, we use an unlocked Pixel phone that you buy from Google. The default app situation differs when you get the latest Pixel from Verizon or T-Mobile.

Avoid installing bloatware on your Google Pixel phone

A phone lies on a table with the screen illuminated. The text says

When you first switch on the Pixel, the system asks you to insert a SIM card, connect to a Wi-Fi network, and add your fingerprint and face data. You can transfer data from an old Android or iPhone or start from scratch. When you choose the latter, the system may ask you to review additional apps from the following screen.

The Google apps are automatically selected, and it’s common to tap OK out of excitement. The system downloads these apps over Wi-Fi in the background. We recommend reviewing these apps and clearing the checkmark beside irrelevant ones.

Apps you can delete or deactivate from your Google Pixel phone

While deleting or deactivating preinstalled Pixel apps is easy, you shouldn’t remove essential apps like Camera, Google Play Store, Android Auto, and

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Google Play Protect isn’t waiting to scan your apps anymore


  • Google Play Protect now offers real-time threat detection by scanning sideloaded apps at the time of installation, functioning like an antivirus scanner on a desktop OS.
  • Play Protect already scans apps uploaded to the Play Store and allows manual scanning of apps and sideloaded APKs, but this update automates the scanning process for sideloaded apps.
  • The new feature is not yet available to most users, but it is expected to roll out with version 37.5 of the Play Store app in September 2023.

Google Play Protect is well known for scanning many apps — in fact, Android’s de facto antivirus tool scans more apps than there are people on Earth every day through its routine checks. Since Google Play Protect became its own app in 2021, many have speculated about what new features might be in store, and it looks like a big one is rolling out soon.

In its latest Google System Updates changelog outlining new features being added to the Android OS through app updates, Google announced that Play Protect now offers real-time threat detection thanks to install-time scanning of sideloaded apps. This was pointed out in a tweet by Mishaal Rahman, a well-known Android expert and contributor here at Android Police, which showed that Google will begin using Play Protect to scan apps downloaded outside the Play Store right at the time of installation.


This doesn’t mean that Play Protect wasn’t scanning apps before — Google scans every app uploaded to the Play Store to check for malicious code, and it has used Play Protect for this since 2017, giving you a report for your specific installed apps in the Play Store’s settings menu. You’ve also been able to manually trigger a Play Protect scan of your apps, including sideloaded APKs, from Android’s security settings

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Recent Google Wallet vulnerability could expose credit card information

What you need to know

  • Recent findings have unveiled a loophole in Android, particularly with Google Wallet.
  • Cards linked to the wallet risk exposing themselves if NFC and App pinning features are enabled.
  • Google is said to be aware of the issue, and the recent September 2023 security patch for Android devices might have fixed it.
  • The Pixel phones, however, are yet to receive the security patch.

Android screen pinning, aka app pinning functionality, is a nifty feature that lets users pin specific apps (via apps overview) on their screens. However, a recent security vulnerability has revealed that this feature can put your credit/debit cards at risk if linked to your Google Wallet.

A recent Github finding (via 9to5Google) has revealed a possible way to get your card details linked to Google Wallet through a general-purpose NFC reader (Flipper Zero, in this case). The finding suggests this is due to a logic error in the code when the device resides in lock screen mode — with app pinning enabled — and the NFC turned on. The risk is significant as user interaction isn’t necessary for this exploitation.

The Github member used a Google Pixel 7 Pro with App Pinning enabled and “Ask for Pin before unpinning” turned on. At least one card has to be linked to Google Wallet. Additionally, NFC has to be enabled with the “Required device unlock for NFC” option allowed.

In this state, the phone is vulnerable as pointing a POS (Flipper Zero in this case) at the back of the Pixel 7 Pro could read the card’s data (including card number expiry date) that was registered in Google Wallet.

This makes it possible for anyone with an NFC reader, like

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How to Transfer Data From iPhone to Android

Setting up a new smartphone can be a pain, but switching from one platform to another is downright intimidating, especially if you have a lot of apps and photos. Many people switch from Android to iPhone, but some do the opposite, moving from iPhone to Android in search of more hardware and customization options. If you’re a longtime iPhone owner who wants to explore Android, here’s how to become a green bubble (without losing your stuff in the process).

What you’ll need

How long it will take

The length of the transfer depends on how many apps and how much data you need to move. For example, I moved a total of 56 GB across four different email accounts, and it took about 30 minutes from start to finish. If you’re transferring 200 GB of data or more, it could take an hour or longer.

Before you begin

To get started, back up all of your iPhone’s data. You can use iCloud, use the Google One storage app, or store everything on a computer.

Next, turn off and deregister iMessage in order to properly send and receive text messages on your new Android smartphone. Go to your iPhone’s Settings menu, tap Messages, and turn off iMessage. In addition, while you’re in your iPhone’s Settings menu, tap FaceTime and turn off FaceTime. Then, to deregister iMessage, visit Apple’s support page for iMessage and scroll down to the “No longer have your iPhone?” section. Enter your phone number, click the confirmation link, and enter the code that Apple sends to your phone to complete the process.

Once you’ve disabled iMessage on your iPhone, you can start transferring your information and app settings to your new Android phone. You can do this in a few different ways, namely by using a direct connection

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One UI 6 lets you choose which apps to update when installing new Android versions


  • In the latest One UI 6 beta update, Samsung now allows users to choose which system apps they want to update alongside the Android OS.
  • This new feature gives Android users more control over their smartphones, allowing them to customize their device to their preferences even further.
  • While opting out of app updates may speed up the OS update process, it’s important to note that apps can still update on their own depending on your settings in the Galaxy Store or Google Play Store.

Android smartphones are renowned for the level of control people have over the OS. Whether that’s from gaining root access and really changing the look and functionality of your phone, or simply getting to place apps in specific places on the home screen grid, the possibilities are basically endless. Samsung added a very small touch to its latest One UI 6 beta update adhering to user control, as people can now choose whether to update specific apps alongside Android updates.

Previously, Samsung simply updated system apps — the preinstalled ones that weren’t downloaded from Google Play or sideloaded — in bulk only alongside software updates, and there was nothing you could do about it. Now, users can pick and choose which system apps get updated when installing a new Android version.

Tucked away in a small section of the Software update screen when installing One UI beta 3 is a box that reads, “Some apps can be updated along with this software update.” Underneath is an option that lets you Choose apps to update. Tap that, and you’re directed towards a new settings screen with a list of all Samsung system apps. Here, you can select which ones you want to update along with the system update. Any not chosen will need to be

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This app lets you use one of the best iOS 17 features on Android

What you need to know

  • iOS 17 introduces StandBy Mode for iPhone models, providing a smart display-like experience when charging. 
  • While some Android phones offer a similar interface, it’s not as feature-rich as what iOS 17 brings.
  • StandBy Mode Pro emulates this iOS 17 feature but includes a lot more customization than even what Apple will offer.

When Apple introduced iOS 17, there really weren’t a lot of “game-changing” features unless you’ve never used an Android phone before. But in my time testing out the iOS 17 beta on my iPhone 14 Pro Max, I’ve come to thoroughly enjoy the “new” StandBy Mode. 

Basically, this turns your iPhone into a smart display of sorts, complete with a digital clock and various widgets to show things like your calendar, upcoming tasks, or the weather. This is nothing new in the Android space, as Samsung phones offer something similar thanks to the always-on display, but it doesn’t really “hit the spot.”

As you might suspect, a bunch of apps hit the Play Store shortly after iOS 17 was unveiled, which aimed to bring StandBy Mode to all Android phones. But there’s one app that I’ve been relying on for a while now, and it’s slowly turning into one of my favorite apps of the year.

Aptly named StandBy Mode Pro, the app “turns your phone or tablet into a Smart Display while it charges.” But instead of just imitating the different clocks and widgets that you’ll find on the iPhone running iOS 17, there are quite a few more options to choose from. You can opt for the “Duo” mode, which splits your screen in half and places scrollable widgets on either side. 

Taking things even further, StandBy Mode Pro borrows the “night mode” from iOS 17, putting a red tint on

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How to use iMessage on Android and Chromebooks with Beeper

The debate about “blue bubbles vs. green bubbles” doesn’t seem like it’s going to end anytime soon. And there are plenty of people out there who prefer to use Android phones paired with a Mac but don’t want to be left out of group chats just because Apple hasn’t gotten on board with RCS just yet.

There are a few different solutions that have already been available for some time, but we’ll touch on those later. Instead, we’re going to walk you through the steps you need to take if you want to use iMessage on Android with Beeper!

What is Beeper?

Beeper promo hero render

(Image credit: Beeper)

Beeper got its start all the way back in 2020, with the company’s founder giving us our first tease in January 2021. Those who have been in the Android space for some time might recognize the person in charge of Beeper. Eric Migicovsky is at the helm of Beeper but was also the founder of Pebble smartwatches. 

What Beeper tries to do is consolidate many of the most popular messaging services into a single app. Currently, there is support for 15 different services, ranging from iMessage to Signal, and more recently, Beeper added support for Google’s RCS messaging platform. Here’s the current list of the different messaging apps that are supported by Beeper. 

  • iMessage
  • Facebook Messenger
  • Instagram
  • WhatsApp
  • Telegram
  • Signal
  • Google RCS
  • Android SMS
  • Google Chat
  • Twitter
  • Slack
  • Discord
  • LinkedIn

Instead of installing a bunch of different apps and throwing them into a folder, Beeper wants to take the headache out of messaging. There are pros and cons to doing so, as you’ll miss out on some app-specific features, but if you only care about seeing and responding to messages, then Beeper is the one-stop shop you’re looking for.

It’s also worth pointing

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Beeper bringing iMessage to Android is great, but I can’t help but feel nervous

If you’ve followed my writing here at Android Central over the years, you likely know that I’m a dual-carry kind of person. Most of the time, my primary SIM is in whatever the latest iPhone is, but I also carry an Android phone, usually a foldable. But with that comes some frustrations with communication between the two platforms, particularly when it comes to sending and receiving text messages, and that’s something that I hoped the Beeper app would be able to alleviate.

One of the biggest frustrations about being in the Apple ecosystem is that I can only see and respond to texts from my iPhone. I’ve tried different workarounds in the past, such as using AirMessage, but they never quite “stuck.” There have been many cases where I’d be using my Android phone only to have someone send me a message on a different platform because they needed a response.

For the majority of the apps and services out there, this isn’t really much of a problem. I just have a folder labeled “Chat” on my Home Screen, which is currently filled with eight different messaging apps. Well, technically, nine of you include Beeper, but that’s only in the Chat folder in the app drawer on the Galaxy Z Fold 5.

Getting started with Beeper

Beeper app on Mac

(Image credit: Andrew Myrick / Android Central)

To provide a few cliff notes for those who don’t know, Beeper is an app that was announced in 2021 by the same individual who released Pebble smartwatches to the world. The company’s tagline is “All your chats in one app. Yes, really.” It includes support for 15 different messaging platforms and can even become the default SMS app on your Android phone.

After putting my name and email on the waitlist ages ago (seriously, I don’t

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