Google thinks sound effects in the Phone app are a good use of dev time

Google is working on a new function called Audiomojis that will let you add sound effects to your phone calls. The attention to this new feature has done nothing but prove Google’s misplaced priorities. With users already facing numerous product frustrations, it seems counterproductive to focus on a feature that lacks a practical application. Instead of creating useless gimmicks, why doesn’t Google focus its resources on making Android better?

Aural absurdity

Need to gasp? There’s an app for that!

A Galaxy S24 Ultra calling a restaurant.

We recently reported on Audiomojis, Google’s upcoming phone call sound effects feature. With it, you can insert six sound effects into your phone call, complete with animations. Some of these effects include applause and sad (which I assume is a gentle sobbing sound). These effects could have been useful to use against telemarketers and scammers, but there’s a much more robust feature baked into Pixel phones for that. It’s called Call Screen and works like a charm, answering unwanted calls.

Audiomojis are coming for your Android phone

Sound-based reactions are currently in development for the Phone app

Aside from the sound, a related animation will pop up on your screen when Audiomoji is used, according to reports, adding another performative layer to the feature, which is exactly what you want when you’re on a phone call with your elderly aunt.

Unresolved issues

Google has a lot of other things to fix first

The Play Store is a dumpster fire filled with clones. Its algorithm barely works and, reviews are spammed by AI. Meanwhile, Android updates continue to be inconsistent across OEMs, and some devices will never receive core OS updates.

Then there’s Chrome, which is missing many features you can find on other browsers. For example, the ability to move the search bar to the bottom of the screen seems

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Google Phone might be making it super easy to switch to a Meet video call

What you need to know

  • Google is testing a feature in the Phone app that allows users to effortlessly switch from a regular phone call to a Google Meet video call.
  • Some users have noticed a new “Video call” chip in the Phone app during regular calls, showing up above the keypad, mute, speaker, and other options.
  • Tapping the button initiates a Meet video call without interrupting the ongoing voice call.

Google has been spotted trying out a fresh feature in the Phone app, which lets you switch super easily from a regular call to a Google Meet video call with a single tap.

A few users are seeing a fresh Video call chip in the Phone app when they are on a regular call, as spotted by Android Police. This new button pops up above the keypad, mute, speaker, and other options.

If you tap that chip, it initiates a Google Meet video call with the person you’re chatting with. Their phone rings, but the voice call keeps going, making switching a lot smoother than before.

This suggests that Google Meet is making a move to be more than just a business tool. With this potential feature in the Phone app, it seems Meet wants to be a bigger part of our everyday mobile chats.

For a while, iPhone users had it easy with FaceTime right in their dialer. Soon, Android users might get a taste of that too, as video calling gets seamlessly integrated into the Phone app.

If the person you’re trying to call doesn’t have the Meet app installed, tapping the chip whisks you to a screen suggesting you invite them to hop on Google Meet for video chat.

Some users have seen

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Why Are You Still Rooting Your Android Phone?

Years ago, on Fridays, we would share Custom ROM Friday posts that would highlight new and exciting developments in the world of custom Android ROMs. It was great times, as it seemed like the majority of our readers at the time were deep into running custom software and accessing root permissions for tweaking all aspects of their phones. These days, though, there only seems to be a handful of people still practicing the lost art of flashing.

The question popped into my head because a headline is making its way around reddit: Google Messages RCS is not working on rooted, custom ROM Android phones. I then thought to myself, that must really suck for 10 people. It’s my belief that hardly anyone is still rooting and romming, but I could be completely mistaken, which is why I’m out here looking for answers.

Regardless of whether people are doing it or not still, that doesn’t take away from how important it can be for some people. Custom ROMs might be the only way for select phones to ever see newer versions of Android, so even though I may not be flashing them myself, I do still thank all of the developers out there taking time from their day to enhance other peoples’ lives and devices.

Let us know, are you still rooted and and running a custom ROM? If so, why?

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Why You Need To Delete These Apps From Your Android Phone Today

A serious new warning this week, with Android users urged to check their phones for a set of very dangerous apps, which not only steal personal data but can even record phone calls. If you have any of these installed, delete them immediately.

This is just the latest such warning into malicious apps on both Google’s Play Store and the patchy collective of “user beware” third-party Android app stores.

The VajraSpy remote access trojan (RAT) was identified by the research team at ESET, which has named “twelve Android espionage apps that share the same malicious code,” six of which “were available on Google Play,” despite its defenses.

MORE FROM FORBESSamsung Galaxy Users Report Google ‘Update Ownership’ Alerts

ESET attributes the RAT to the Patchwork APT group in Asia. The apps, the team says, “were advertised as messaging tools apart from one that posed as a news app—VajraSpy has a range of espionage functionalities that can be expanded based on the permissions granted to the app bundled with its code. It steals contacts, files, call logs, and SMS messages, but some of its implementations can even extract WhatsApp and Signal messages, record phone calls, and take pictures.”

While there were very few installs from the Play Store, mostly confined to Asia, it’s not known how many apps were downloaded from third-party stores. Google’s official store is much more secure than the alternatives, but the fact these apps sneaked onto the Play Store in the first place will be a cause for alarm.

These apps appear to have been more targeted than other recent malware warnings. Users were sent links through chat apps, often under the guise of online romance. But the apps have also been available on

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This concept phone wants you to go app-free, but not entirely

Imagine a phone that knows what you want to do next and that proactively helps you move forward with your tasks. That’s what T-Mobile parent Telekom and the folks at Brain AI have teamed up to achieve, presenting their Concept AI Phone at MWC 2024. The vision is to replace the familiar app-based interface and workflow with an AI that naturally processes your requests and generates its own UI on the fly. In practice, things are a little less glamorous right now, but it’s still an interesting attempt at reinventing the smartphone wheel.

The idea of the concept phone is easily described. Rather than presenting you with a home screen filled with apps that all serve a specific and inflexible purpose, the handset does away with all this and, by default, presents you with one choice only: a big, friendly button you can tap to interact with the onboard Natural AI. The large action model itself, as Brain calls it, runs mostly on the device itself, powered by the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3, but can pull necessary information and data from the internet. This AI-based approach is supposed to put the action you want to take front and center rather than forcing you to switch from app to app to achieve what you want to achieve.


The AI can walk you through the whole process from idea generation to product purchase

Brain AI founder Jerry Yue compares his vision with the way the internet used to work before Google. You’d either have to know where to look to find what you want or you’d have to scroll through pages of keywords on Yahoo rather than searching and finding the exact things you need with Google. That’s the way apps work, in his opinion. Another disadvantage he sees with apps is

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Galaxy A52s 5G is the latest Samsung phone to get Android 12 and One UI 4

Last updated: March 1st, 2024 at 21:09 UTC+01:00

Samsung began updating the Galaxy A52 with Android 12 last week, and not to be outdone, the refreshed Galaxy A52s model is now getting the same Android 12-based One UI 4.0 update.

Galaxy A52s 5G customers in Korea should now be able to download and install Android 12 and One UI 4.0. Customers can identify the new update by firmware version A528NKSS1BUL7. The firmware package is accompanied by the December 2021 security patch, but of course, the big news here is One UI 4.0.

It usually takes Samsung a few days to a few weeks before it releases a new firmware update outside of South Korea once it debuts there. So, it’s reasonable to assume that the Galaxy A52s 5G everywhere will be running Android 12 and One UI 4.0 soon.

With One UI 4.0 onboard, the Galaxy A52s 5G delivers a refreshed user interface with a reworked design for Samsung apps, new color theme options, and redesigned widgets. The Galaxy A52s 5G in and of itself is a fantastic phone (check our review below for more info), so the addition of One UI 4.0 only helps to make it even better.

We counted over 60 new features when One UI 4.0 beta first hit the scene, so there are tons of changes (albeit many of which are small) to look forward to with this update. Check the video below for a quick overview. Of course, the beta program is over, so you can rest easy knowing that the Galaxy A52s 5G update is ready for the public at large.

You can download Android 12 and One UI 4.0 for your Galaxy A52s 5G either from the Settings app on your phone, or from the firmware section on our website.


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