Nothing Phone 1 Teaser

👋 Good morning! Before we hop into today’s tech events, we’d like to thank OPPO for sponsoring this newsletter!

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Head over to OPPO to learn more about the Find X5 Pro and get this slick new flagship in your pocket.

Nothing announcement

Carl Pei Nothing Event March 2022

Carl Pei took the stage yesterday to finally announce the Nothing Phone 1, an open secret in our tech world. But it wasn’t a launch, but an announcement of the launch.

The hard details in brief:

  • Coming Summer 2022, the Nothing Phone 1 will run Nothing OS on Android.
  • On the hardware, not much is known beyond partnerships with Qualcomm on the Snapdragon platform, Samsung, and Google.
  • On the software front, Nothing will bring some of Pei’s longstanding ambitions to Android smartphones: a more open ecosystem, a simple fast Android build, and minimal bloat.
  • The Nothing Phone 1 will get three years of Android updates and four years of security updates.
  • The Nothing OS launcher will be available for select smartphones from April.
  • There was also no real detail on the hardware, but this image was teased as a clue:
Nothing Phone 1 Teaser

But it was the vibe, man

  • The announcements above sort of sound like any new smartphone company trying to do the right thing by an enthusiast audience.
  • But Carl Pei is doing things very differently. He publicly thanked VC funds for giving him money, something I’ve never seen in tech.
  • He attacked Apple head on, directly, by saying there’s no alternative to the Apple ecosystem (and by doing so, also ignored that there’s certainly a Samsung, Microsoft, and Google ecosystem (or even Huawei?), which is fun!).
  • Pei strongly, strongly communicated that smartphones were once fun, exciting, borderline thrilling devices to see, hold, and use, harking back to the early days of iPhone, Android, and the intense technology advances we saw in the late 2000s and early 2010s.
  • It’s not a bad thing to lean on: new phones tend to evolve rather than innovate, and we all want to be truly excited by something again.

Healthy reality check:

  • That said, it’s extremely unlikely Nothing can do that. I imagine it can make a very nice phone with its partners at Teenage Engineering and its assembled design team, and leaning on a company like Foxconn to assemble it, and so on.
  • And Nothing OS seems fine for the audience that is interested in Noting.
  • But it’ll still be the basics that Nothing has to get right: camera, battery life, performance. And price, of course.
  • (You can add in radio, high-end imaging and video performance, durability, warranty, after-sales support, and so on, but camera, battery life, performance are the non-negotiables.)
  • The brand mystique, the want to create an open ecosystem, the desire to make things exciting… sure, that’s fun.
  • It’s great marketing; and Pei is a master marketer doing this again, after mastering how OnePlus grew its share.
  • But now, it’s details.

Roundup

📅 OnePlus announced that its OnePlus 10 Pro launch is happening: March 31, 10am. See, we told you it’d be late March! (Android Authority).

📺 The Google Play brand is in peril: now it’s been stripped of movie and TV show sales, meaning there’s just Google Play Books (Ars Technica).

🎨 Stephen Wilhite, creator of the GIF, has died. (And he pronounced it “jif,” even if I don’t) (The Verge).

🔐 Cybersecurity researchers have apparently traced the Lapsus$ attacks to …a 16-year-old from England. Several parties including another young person in Brazil are linked as well, but the main person: a teen living near Oxford (Bloomberg).

insta chrono screenshot

Tristan Rayner / Android Authority

Remember when Instagram had a chronological feed? Wonder no more, it’s back, on both iOS and Android.

  • It’ll take a little work to sort it out, and the default operation when you open the app seems to always be the algorithmic Home feed.
  • Definitely annoying that you’ll have to tap each time to toggle to chronological order, but hey.

What it is:

  • A press release from Meta unveiled two new ways to control your Insta feed, via Favorites and Following, both of which are chrono-based, not algo-based.
  • To use it, you tap on Instagram in the top left corner of your home page to choose what you see.
  • Favorites can include any of 50 accounts on a list, and people don’t get notified if you pop them in or bin them from the list of accounts you don’t want to miss.
  • Anyway, you have it now. It’s there. No more complaining. (Except about how bad Reels is?)

Cheers,

Tristan Rayner, Senior Editor.



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