New WhatsApp Features, Rootless Themes Return to Android, and More
While the past week has been pretty hectic in the tech world, the past week has been relatively slow. Other than some new information on the latest versions of the software, a few new WhatsApp features, and a few other Pixel 6 leaks, nothing significant has happened this week. However, this is only the calm before the storm, as the coming week will be full of major announcements from Apple and Samsung. Still, if you’ve missed any of our coverage this week, here’s a quick recap of all the important developments in the tech world this week.
New WhatsApp features
The popular Facebook owned messenger WhatsApp received a few updates this week. One of the updates to the stable channel introduced a new feature that has been in development for over a year – end-to-end encrypted backups. If you are a regular WhatsApp user, you can now install the latest update from the Play Store and encrypt your chat backup using a one-time password or 64-digit key.
WhatsApp has also received updates on the beta channel which gave us an overview of some features in development. We learned about an upcoming community feature in an APK teardown of the app, which will likely be another way to better organize groups in Messenger. We also learned that WhatsApp is working on improving the voice recording feature with a new option that would allow users to pause voice recordings.
Themes without roots are coming back to Android
Rootless themes are making a comeback with Android 12, thanks to the new Fabricated Overlays API. As XDA’s Zachary Wander pointed out in an article this week, developers can use a flaw in this API to implement themes without needing root access or signing permission. If you want to develop a rootless theme for devices running Android 12, you can learn more about the API by following the link above.
Along with this discovery, we got our first look at Android 12’s Compatibility Definition Document (CDD) this week. While it doesn’t include any changes of interest to consumers, it does describe new performance classes for devices running Android 12 for OEMs. You can read more about these courses by checking out our previous coverage.
Windows updates and performance issues
Microsoft this week rolled out the first post-launch update for Windows 11. The update introduced several bug fixes. However, there would have been no mention of performance issues on AMD processors. In fact, some reports suggest that the update is making the issues worse, so we recommend that you don’t install it if you have an AMD based PC. You might not have to wait too long to install the update, as Microsoft has already started testing a fix on the Windows Insider Beta and Release Preview channels.
Microsoft has also rolled out a new version of Windows 11 on the Dev channel, with redesigned emoji, support for update stack packages, and more. However, users would not be happy with the new emoji overhaul. Additionally, Microsoft has released Windows 10 build 19043.1288 and the Windows Subsystem for Linux to the Microsoft Store. We also got a quick rundown of Android apps running Windows 11.
Even more Pixel 6 leaks
Google seems to be struggling to keep a lid on information about its upcoming Pixel 6 line. This week we saw even more leaks about the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro, including more high-res renders, information on the Pixel Pass and a leaked device ad. Additionally, we spotted more details about the second-gen Pixel Stand in the latest Pixel Stand app update and learned that the Pixel 6 series could get Android 16 and an additional year of security patches.
Other stories not to be missed
Along with these remarkable announcements, we have shared the following stories that you may have missed:
XDA thoughts on the latest hardware and software
Additionally, this week we posted editorials, reviews, first impressions and comparisons for several new devices and software. You can consult them by following the links below: