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Daily Authority: 🤝 The Galaxy S23's best new feature?

Oh, new and improved Fast Pair, where have you been all our life?
By
February 23, 2023
Android 13 Fast Pair
C. Scott Brown / Android Authority

😁 Good day, Andy here once again! With Hadlee in Barcelona for MWC 2023, I’m again taking over the reins. Thanks to an early power cut, I had a late start to the morning, but we’re back for a few hours at least.

Setting up for greatness

google fast pair samsung galaxy s23 ultra
Dhruv Bhutani / Android Authority

The team has been playing around with the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra for quite some time, discovering its positives and weaknesses and understanding its advantages over its rivals. Now, AA’s Dhruv Bhutani got to grips with another positive — Android’s new Fast Pair system.

  • No one wants to spend the entire day setting up a smartphone.
  • For us, we go through this process many times a month when a new device drops.
  • Thankfully, Google is finally extending its Fast Pair service’s capabilities to encompass the entire smartphone setup process.

The process improves

  • Fast Pair is baked into Android and uses a combination of Bluetooth Low Energy and software to initiate a pairing response between two devices.
  • Initially, this was limited to accessories like headphones or earbuds. Now, those capabilities include smartphones.
  • So, how does it work?
  • When setting up a new phone (in our case, the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra), a prompt will appear on your existing phone with a QR code.
  • “Scanning the QR code on the phone popped open Samsung’s Smart Switch utility, after which it was a simple matter of choosing the apps and files I wanted to carry over to my new phone,” says Dhruv.
  • For older Android phones, you’ll need to jump through a few more hoops.
  • “The QR code and prompt to set up a new phone will still be there, but what they do is fast-forward Android’s regular setup by automatically connecting your new phone to your Wi-Fi and importing your Google accounts without making you type those,” notes Dhruv.
  • From there, you’ll still need to enter your Google password to enter Android’s usual restore process.

So what’s the verdict?

  • The new Fast Pair improvements are a welcome addition to the Android toolkit, especially since most Android OEMs have their own data transfer utility.
  • Fast Pair merely acts as a trigger for these utilities, but buyers who aren’t necessarily tech-savvy are immediately pointed in the right direction.
  • Dhruv is full of praise for these upgrades, but it’s also thanks to Samsung’s own software.
  • “The app not only moved my existing applications but also maintained the sign-in signatures for most of them. All my files were also copied and placed in the same location where they were before.”
  • For now, the new Fast Pair system is only available on Samsung’s latest smartphones, but keep an eye out for the adoption of the improvements across more major brands in the coming months.

Roundup

💬 Microsoft’s ChatGPT-powered Bing and Edge lands on mobile: You can now have even more awkward conversations with your phone (Android Authority).

🛎️ Not vibing with ChatGPT? Here’s a list of the best alternatives you can try right now (Android Authority).

🍏 We review the Apple Mac Mini M2: A compact computer with huge ambitions, but does it have the power to match? (Android Authority).

🏝️ Leaked images reveal a new Dynamic Island-like feature for Android: Realme’s solution is called MiniCapsule (Android Authority).

🐶 Apple is convinced my dog is stalking me, even though Rosie is clearly a very good upper (Engadget).

🎮 Not convinced by VR gaming? Gran Turismo 7 VR may change your mind (The Verge).

😐 Whoops: A viral Instagram photographer admits to posting AI-generated portraits, but can you tell the difference? (Ars Technica).

Thursday thing

Remember all those eventually-identified balloons found floating across North America just a few weeks ago? Japanese authorities have encountered something even stranger (h/t The Guardian).

  • What’s described as a large iron ball measuring about 1.5 meters across was found sunbathing on Enshu beach, Hamamatsu.
  • Although initial fears were that the ball was a weapon, X-rays suggest it’s entirely hollow.
  • There are also no indications that the ball was involved in North Korean or Chinese espionage activities.
  • Of course, there’s a boring theory of its origin.
  • Two raised handles on either side suggest that it’s part of a buoy mooring that somehow worked itself loose.
  • Alternatively, some people think it’s one of the Dragon Balls.
  • Others think it was a UFO that fell from the sky.
  • Well, we should know in the coming days exactly what the strange iron ball really is (when aliens come looking for it, of course).

Have a great Thursday,

Andy Walker, Editor.