Google is responsible for curating a positive user experience for the more than 2.5 billion people who use Android devices worldwide, since the company has owned the operating system (OS) for these devices since acquiring the startup behind Android in 2005. It hasn’t been smooth sailing since then, however. In the past few months alone, Google has had to issue a number of alerts to Android users, from warning them about apps collecting their data to cautioning them about new hacking schemes. Now, the company has just issued a new alert about an update that will impact many loyal Android users. Read on to find out what Google is getting ready to change permanently.
READ THIS NEXT: Google Just Issued Another Urgent Warning to All Android Users.
Android users have had to adjust in a number of different ways recently as a result of changes from Google. One of these updates that has hit users the hardest is Google’s decision to update its payment policy and tighten billing service requirements for app developers. Many companies have since limited and removed certain features on their Android apps, likely as a way to keep their full revenue.
On April 1, Amazon stopped allowing Audible users to purchase audiobook titles with a credit or debit card on its Android app, The Verge reported. Soon after on April 4, Barnes & Noble notified shoppers that they would not be able to purchase digital books or other content from its Nook app for Android. Most recently, Hulu removed the option for users to make a new account or start a new free trial on its app for both Android and Android TV.
On May 11, Google unveiled its next major Android smartphone: the Pixel 6a. According to CNBC, the latest budget Pixel phone will be largely similar in design to that of the Pixel 6 from its flagship line, although smaller and cheaper. But just like the Pixel 6—which was released in Oct. 2021—the Pixel 6a will not have a headphone jack, Insider reported. Instead, users will only be able to plug in headphones through the USB-C port, which will require you to purchase an adapter if you want to use traditional headphones, according to the news outlet.
Google hasn’t used a headphone jack in its flagship Pixel line since the original Pixel and Pixel XL phones were released in 2016, Screen Rant reported. So while this is not the first time Google has removed the headphone jack from Pixel phones, it is a notable change from the last phone released in the budget Pixel line, as the Pixel 5a does include a headphone jack. According to Insider, Google’s budget line of Pixel phones was one of the last major smartphone lines to still include headphone jacks.
“On that note, there’s not much hope for Google resurrecting the 3.5mm headphone jack on future smartphones,” the experts at Screen Rant said, adding that it’s “extremely unlikely we’ll see the headphone jack return on the Pixel 7.”
This decision might come as a shock to Android users, especially because Google has explicitly touted the fact that its smartphones still included the headphone jack. After Apple kicked off the trend of moving away from this feature with the iPhone 7 in 2016, Google made a two-minute ad parodying Apple and loudly publicizing the Pixel 5a’s headphone jack in Aug. 2021, according to The Verge. The company has since reached the conclusion that the feature doesn’t fit in with the future of its products.
“We ultimately decided that including a headphone jack detracted from core product specifications and didn’t align with the Google ecosystem we are striving for,” a Google representative told Insider. “We significantly improved the Pixel 6a’s Bluetooth performance by adding Bluetooth v5.2 and dual chain support, meaning connected devices will have great audio range and quality.”
READ THIS NEXT: If You Get This Message From Google, Delete It, Experts Warn.