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Android Central
Android Central
Nandika Ravi

News Weekly: Dbrand pays up for the 'huge fumble,' Oppo and Oneplus to get Google AI, and more

Dbrand X-Ray skins official image.
AC News Weekly
(Image credit: Android Central)

News Weekly is our column, where we highlight and summarize some of the week's top stories so you can catch up on the latest tech news.

This is Android Central's News Weekly, your go-to source for a concise roundup of the week's most significant tech stories. This is where we delve into the top headlines that provide the latest developments and innovations contributing to the digital landscape. 

This week, Dbrand received backlash on Twitter, Oppo and OnePlus are getting Google's AI models, Automattic announced that it has acquired Beeper, and Android 15 Beta brought archiving and TalkBack support. Plus, Google Photos brings its powerful AI editing tools to everyone for free.

Dbrand comes under fire

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Earlier this week, Dbrand, known for its device skins, was caught in a controversial storm and publicly apologized to a customer for making a joke about a customer's last name.

The company is known for being straightforward and snarky online, but this time, they took it a bit too far. The fiasco started when Bhuwan Chitransh contacted Dbrand on X about a MacBook skin purchased from the company that showed signs of discoloration. 

Dbrand's original post on X included a brash comment about the customer's last name, which many users found racist and outright offensive. One user told Dbrand to "keep the same energy in the apology tweet," to which the company replied, "No."

However, after over 7 million views to that tweet, Dbrand finally felt some sense of remorse and posted an apology on Wednesday, April 10, admitting that the company "made fun of a guy's name" and "it was a huge fumble." The brand also offered the customer $10,000 "as a gesture of goodwill" and rejected claims that the move was hush money.

"To clarify, this offer has no strings attached," Dbrand said in a DM to Chitransh. "We just want to make amends for our lapse in judgment and the chaos that ensued in your world."

Beeper gets acquired for $125 mil

(Image credit: Andrew Myrick / Android Central)

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Automattic, owners of WordPress, has reportedly acquired Beeper in a deal that cost them $125 million. According to a press release, the company states its recent acquisition of Beeper is part of its larger narrative to "push the boundaries of messaging." 

Beeper, the messaging platform, already supports 14 different messaging services in one app. Automattic said in a press release that it will look to merge Beeper's team with, a service the company acquired late last year. This is the"next step toward the dream of combining all online conversations in a safe, secure, and effective way." 

Beeper also announced it has launched its new, revamped messaging app on Google's Play Store for all Android users.

OnePlus and Oppo to get Gemini

(Image credit: Derrek Lee / Android Central)

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This week, at the Google Cloud Next '24 event, OPPO announced that it will bring Google's Gemini Ultra 1.0 to OPPO and OnePlus phones later this year.OPPO says the integration of Gemini Ultra 1.0 will "completely change the way users interact" with their devices.

Google unveiled Gemini Ultra 1.0, the AI LLM that powers the Gemini chatbot. Google says the LLM is designed to handle "highly complex tasks" and understands context to deliver useful recommendations and insights. What we do know is that Gemini will be coming to these phones later this year— but it's unclear which series of phones will get the LLM.

Nicole Zhang, General Manager of AI Product for OPPO and OnePlus, talked about the four key pillars that will drive the use of AI on phones: "It must utilize resources effectively, possess self-learning capabilities, perceive the real world, and bring creativity to its users."

Pixel gets new features with Android 15 Beta

(Image credit: Harish Jonnalagadda / Android Central)

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Google released the first beta of Android 15 on Thursday, April 11, which brought in-app archiving, TalkBack support, and more. Devices to get the first Android 15 beta are the Pixel 5a up to the latest Pixel 8 series, the Pixel Fold, and the Pixel Tablet. Android 15's first beta brings more awareness to how larger displays (foldable/tablets) experience apps. Google states it has enabled the software's edge-to-edge capabilities for apps by default.

This update primarily benefits developers as they no longer need to explicitly tell the app to enable such capabilities. Furthermore, those creating apps will find Google's Material 3 composables available for extra assistance.

Google states that users will be able to archive and unarchive unused apps, which will benefit all app stores. The OS is said to remove API and cached files but leave behind a user's data.

Another important feature that helps accessibility is the TalkBack support for braille displays. The software is only compatible with braille displays using the HID standard over USB and secure Bluetooth.

Google Photos brings free AI features 

(Image credit: Alex Dobie / Android Central)

Read more here.

This week, Google 'unlocked' its AI editing features on its Photos app and made them free to all users. This means that more users will have access to certain features and can use them at no extra cost and without a subscription. 

According to the company, features include Magic EraserPhoto Unblur, Portrait Light, and more. These will work on Android phones running Android 8 and newer or iPhones running iOS 15 or higher, and devices must have a capacity of 3GB or more. For Chromebook users, the features are limited to Chromebook Plus devices running ChromeOS 118 or higher.

But here's the catch: Magic Editor is set to expand beyond the Pixel 8 series, allowing "all Pixel devices" to make more complex edits. Despite the feature remaining free, Google will limit the number of edits made by Magic Editor if you're not a Google One subscriber. Android and iOS users will only be able to make 10 of these saves per month unless subscribed to a 2TB or higher Google One plan, which will unlock unlimited saves. Pixel users will also automatically have unlimited saves.

Those are some of the biggest stories from this week. Meanwhile, here are some other stories that are worth catching up on:

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