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Daily Authority: 🆕 Microsoft plus Android without Google

Microsoft's reorganization of some divisions around Android looks interesting for the year to come, and more tech news today!
By
April 4, 2022
Microsoft logo at MWC
Kris Carlon / Android Authority

☕ Good morning! There’s a giant fruit conference in Berlin this week, covering everything from new fruits,  topackaging, logistics, quality, buildings… I might try and pop along and see if there’s anything to report. Or eat!

Microsoft + Android

Microsoft confirmed a Windows Central scoop from last week: As part of the company’s usual re-organizations that occur around every 18 months, it has coalesced a new dedicated division around Android.

From the report:

  • “Announced by Chief Product Officer (CPO) Panos Panay in a memo earlier this week, the company is moving its Surface Duo OS, SwiftKey, Phone Link, Microsoft Launcher, and a handful of other Android teams under a new dedicated Android org called “Android Microsoft Platform and Experiences” (AMPX.)
  • “…This new dedicated Android division is designed to help the company double down on its Android offerings and really focus on the platform as a first-party endeavor alongside Windows.”
  • Let’s not ignore history: Microsoft has obviously had close Android ties through the years. My colleagues wrote all kinds of things about Microsoft dropping the ball, laying off most of its Windows Mobile QA testers, and so on.
  • In theory, in 2022, we can draw a line and say that was then and this is now, though there’s some unshakeable baggage…

Why it matters:

  • Microsoft continuing to invest in Android projects, and tying it into a single organization under Panos Panay tells you there’s something to this Windows+Android+Surface realm.
  • Microsoft also announced last week that Your Phone will now be known as Phone Link, as that app attempts to bring Android phones and Windows PCs closer together.
  • Expect more to come.

What’s next: 

  • Microsoft might be continuing to invest some of its power into Android but there are plenty of unknowns, like how closely it’s working with Google. It’s somewhat of a mystery relationship.
  • Microsoft partnering with Amazon’s Appstore vs the Play Store to bring apps to Windows 11 tells us enough to know Google isn’t exactly holding hands with Microsoft’s Android team.
  • Android isn’t owned exactly by Google, of course, although the development of Android certainly is.
  • It’s also still somewhat of a mystery as to how both the Surface Duo and Duo 2 managed to launch with so many terrible bugs.
  • (Though the good news is that apparently the Duo 2 is closer to where it should be now, after months of patches?)
  • And there will be a Duo 3 based on previously reported allocations of resources.
  • In terms of the extended Windows ecosystems, there’s Windows+Android, there’s Chrome OS+Android, and if you really squint, there’s Samsung One UI+Windows+DeX?
  • Nothing is as cohesive as Apple’s macOS and iOS, but the tie-ups are getting more significant.

Roundup:

👉 In case you missed it: Our OnePlus 10 Pro review, or as I suggested for a title: “Just buy the OnePlus 9 Pro” (Android Authority).

🍎 An update to the iPhone subscription plan rumors: You can’t keep the phone (Android Authority).

🔨 These LG phones are still getting Android 12 this quarter (Android Authority).

👉 WhatsApp could make it a little easier to start chats with unsaved numbers (Android Authority).

‍💻 More than 70,000 Russian tech workers have left the country by one estimate (AP).

🤔 Jack Dorsey “regrets his role in creating a centralized internet(Engadget).

📄 Google Docs will start nudging some users “to write less dumbly,” offering Grammarly-like experiences (The Verge).

🔫 Here’s the original Doom, but raytraced (YouTube).

📺 A new Roku Ultra may be coming soon based on a model number slip on its support pages, and here are five useful things it could do (CNET).

🐤 Late news: Apparently Elon Musk has bought 9.2% of Twitter in a “passive” stake …meaning, he isn’t being a stockholder activist, I guess? Anyway, Twitter shares are skyrocketing (Bloomberg).

🚁 Drone delivery started as weaponized hype, but long after the attention faded, Amazon, Alphabet, and more are continuing to roll out drone delivery across America, partly due to the FAA’s evolving regulation (WSJ, $).

🍕 Data leak from Russian delivery app shows dining habits of the secret police (though not actual food choices, sadly) (The Verge).

“Life advice from NYC chess hustlers” (annekadet.substack.com)

🥐 I really like Paul Ford so I’m biased towards this article already: “I finally reached computing nirvana. What was it all for?(Wired).

🚀 NASA delays SLS Moon rocket test due to safety concerns (Engadget).

🤔 “What’s a piece of information you learned that now feels almost illegal to know?” (r/askreddit).

Monday Meme

Oh no, it’s me:

mememe

Have a great start to your week,

Tristan Rayner, Senior Editor