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The biggest Android stories of 2021: Here's what you were most interested in

We've got the top five most popular articles, as well as the most popular topics of the year.

Published onDecember 24, 2021

The Google Pixel 6 in Sorta Seafoam color in hand showing the home screen and display
Jimmy Westenberg / Android Authority

The close of 2021 is only a few days away. Looking back on the year, we saw a lot of substantial stories surrounding Android, smartphones, and the other tech products we cover here at Android Authority. But what Android 2021 articles and topics mattered the most? Well, let us tell you!

We’ve got the top five Android articles of 2021 right here. We’ve also got the hottest topics and smartphones of the year, as gleaned from your reading habits on the site. We’re using page view data to come to these conclusions, so this should be fairly objective.

Take a stroll with us down memory lane and let’s see what the biggest Android 2021 events were!

Top 5 news stories about Android in 2021

Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra One UI software apps menu
Robert Triggs / Android Authority

The top story related to Android in 2021 is about apps crashing left and right one day. Thanks to a bad Android System WebView update Google issued in March, people awoke to find seemingly unrelated apps not working properly. It didn’t matter what phone you had or which version of Android you were on. Thankfully, Google pushed out a new update and everything went back to normal.

In second place, we’ve got an article from October about how you no longer need to issue the “Hey Google” hotword for some Google Assistant commands. Need to answer the phone? Just say “Answer” or “Decline.” You can do the same for alarms by saying “Snooze” or “Stop.” This must have been great news for a lot of people because this article was incredibly popular.

Related reading: Here are the Google Assistant commands you need to know

Up in third, we’ve got a fun bit of news from August that made thousands of folks very happy: Xiaomi giving out refunds for people who bought its first phone. The refund came as a store credit, but it was still a welcome surprise!

Fourth place belongs to a September article about a possible launch date for the Google Pixel 6 series. Considering this was one of the hottest phone launches of 2021, it makes sense that it’s one of the most popular news topics for Android in 2021.

Finally, the fifth most-popular Android news article of the year relates to Xiaomi losing its status as the world’s second-largest manufacturer. It was big news when the company made it to that milestone in July, but even bigger news when it lost the title in October.

Most popular topics in 2021

Google Store NYC Opening Tour
C. Scott Brown / Android Authority

You might not expect the most popular topic on Android Authority this year. Unbelievably, it’s stories related to chat service WhatsApp! The most-read article on the site this year related to WhatsApp and multiple other articles connected to it were incredibly popular. You guys really love WhatsApp, apparently!

While WhatsApp’s popularity might be unexpected, the runner-up is wholly predictable: Google. Whether it was the launch of the Google Pixel 6 series, Google Assistant news, or information on various Google apps and services, you guys love reading about Google.

The usual suspects were all hot topics this year, including Google, Samsung, Xiaomi, and OnePlus.

Honorable mentions here go out to the staples of Android Authority: Samsung, Xiaomi, and OnePlus. We also need to give a shoutout to LG, which became a popular topic early in the year when we found out it was leaving the smartphone industry.

Finally, we also can’t ignore how popular our surveys are. Whether it’s us asking for your opinion or telling you the results of a recent survey, you are always interested in seeing what your fellow readers have to say. In our list of the top 20 articles of the year, a whopping seven of them are either surveys or survey results articles.

Most popular Android phones in 2021

Google Pixel 6 Pro vs Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra in hand
C. Scott Brown / Android Authority

Without a doubt, the most popular smartphones of the year for Android Authority readers were the Google Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro. Whether it was leaks, opinions, or just straight-up information on the phones, you were all over everything Pixel 6-related.

Interestingly, the next-most-popular Android phone of 2021 is not a 2021 phone: it’s the Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra. Both our six-month and one-year-later re-reviews did incredible numbers. Likewise, the news that Samsung is apparently done with the Note line altogether also earned lots of your attention.

Of course, Samsung’s actual 2021 flagships also pulled in some huge page views. The Galaxy S21 series is extremely popular amongst our readers. However, the fact that the Pixel 6 series overshadowed the Galaxy S21 series is certainly notable. Be afraid, Samsung! Be very afraid.

Finally, there was a smattering of other phones that seemed to jump out of nowhere when it comes to popularity. Our article about how much of a disaster the Android 11 update was for the OnePlus 7 series saw huge numbers. Other older phones also saw significant readerships, such as the Galaxy S10 and the Google Pixel 4a. Interestingly, the announcement of the Redmi Note 11 series did really well, while other articles about it — including our full review of the global version known as the POCO M4 Pro — didn’t perform as expected.

That’s about it for Android in 2021. Have a safe and happy new year, everybody!

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