As Google continues to pursue Apple to open up inter-platform support between iMessage and RCS messaging, it looks like Nothing has taken the initiative to break down barriers between Android and iOS users with its recent announcement. Company CEO Carl Pei revealed that Nothing has been working on an app that will allow Nothing Phone 2 owners access to iMessage services and features.
More specifically, the app will come in the form of "Nothing Chats," a software feature developed in collaboration with Sunbird and its end-to-end encrypted messaging architecture. With the app, Nothing says that a user's message sent via Nothing Chats will appear as any other iMessage chat, complete with the signature "blue bubble" that so many iMessage users place importance upon.
"Nothing Chats allows for freedom of communication between anyone regardless of their brand of smartphone - which is how it should be," notes Pei. "We want to remind consumers that they do have a choice when it comes to device selection and that their daily behaviors should not be dictated by any one company."
The ongoing quest to develop iMessage and RCS compatibility support is something that Google has been trying at for some time now, given the popularity of Apple's messaging platform across North America. Most recently, Google is reported to be in talks with EU regulators about forcing Apple to integrate RCS messaging.
In terms of availability, Nothing Chats will be up for download on November 17th via the Google Play Store for Nothing Phone 2 owners. There's no word yet on whether or not this service will be available for devices from other OEMs, at least at the moment.
As Android 14 continues its descent into different Android brands, we recently got word that Nothing has announced that it was rolling out the Open Beta 2 for Nothing OS 2.5, which is powered by Android 14. This gives users early access to new improvements and enhancements from Open Beta 1.
In terms of new features, Open Beta 2 comes with new Glyph Interface functionality, including progress integration for the Google Calendar app, as well as new functions for the Glyph Timer which now supports time presets, quick access from the lock screen, and tap-to-open for the pop-up window. The Glyph interface can now light up as well whenever the device is used for NFC functionality.
Gesture controls have also gotten new additions, including predictive back gestures for all Nothing apps, more options for the double-press power button gesture, and improved reliability of the three-finger swipe gesture. Nothing does note that since this is beta software, users do run the risk of system instabilities.
Users enrolled in the Beta can update via the Settings app > System > System Update. Users can also sign up by heading on over to nothing.community. Nothing says it will give an update on the full Android 14 rollout to Phone (1) and Phone (2) devices at a later date.
You just gotta love Carl Pei. Not only does he have the greatest "X" username of all time (@getpeid), but he helped launch not one, but two mobile firms from scratch in OnePlus and Nothing, and both firms look as though they will be big successes in a very competitive industry. Pei makes sure that Nothing is completely transparent as he disseminates messages and videos to the public often.
Recently, Nothing released a video about a product it was working on that didn't make it to the marketplace, the Nothing Power (1). This was a pocketable three-in-one charger that included support for 65W wireless charging. It also was equipped with internal batteries that were designed to charge multiple devices at the same time such as your laptop and phone. It is also a power bank. And as you can tell by looking at the video, the Nothing Power (1) sports the Nothing design language
Thinking back about the device, Pei said that it was scheduled to be released after the Nothing ear (1) which was released in August 2021. Pei and his team had high hopes for the Power (1) and said that it was really innovative, or at least Pei thought so at the time. While the device never shipped, the company learned plenty of lessons from the Power (1).
It seems that one reason why Pei didn't release the product was because all of the features it had were already available even though Nothing was packaging them together in one device. While that might be considered one type of innovation, the founder of the company said that the product would not have lived up to the potential of Nothing. "I think we can do a lot more than that," Pei said. He added that while the Power (1) might have been a great product in 2021, the company's ambitions in 2023 are a lot larger.
Pei says that the company gave up on bringing the device to the marketplace when all of the different teams working on it reported about challenges they were having. One problem that Pei mentions is that with a charger that small, to have it charge at the speed that he wanted it to, the company had to be careful about the thermals so that the device didn't get too hot. And Nothing had to make sure that the device was safe and durable. The Power (1) couldn't pass Nothing's drop tests.
Canceling the Power (1) was painful, according to Pei, but was "ultimately the right decision." Since then, the company has released two smartphones, a sequel to the Ear (1), and the Ear (stick).
Customers love being given a choice, which is something that T-Mobile has come to realize as they have since announced that they will be scrapping a program that would have forced legacy customers to migrate to more expensive plans.
Earlier this month, a leaked internal memo revealed that T-Mobile was looking to force migration upon its customers who were still using its legacy plans to its newer and more expensive options. This was met with a lot of backlash as not all customers needed the features and perks offered by these newer plans and were happy paying for what they were currently using.
T-Mobile's CEO later claimed that this was only part of a "test" and that the carrier was trying to figure out what would work best for its customers. During the carrier's quarterly earnings call, the company essentially walked back on it where T-Mobile CEO Mike Sievert was quoted as saying:
"I think we've learned that particular test cell isn't something that our customers are going to love. We had planned it as a test cell, and then we aren't doing it because I think we've got plenty of feedback."
Had this plan gone through, T-Mobile customers would have been automatically upgraded to the newer plans, but they would also have the option to opt out. One of the problems with this plan is that not all customers may realize they have been upgraded which could have caused some issues. Making it opt-in would have been a better solution, but regardless, it looks like those plans have been scrapped.
The Nothing Phone (2) was announced earlier this year, the successor to the original Nothing Phone (1). The phone was launched with Android 13 on board but seeing as it is a 2023 flagship phone, it will obviously be updated to Android 14 (which has since been released for Google's Pixel phones).
For those who are curious about the update and want to see what they can expect, you might be interested to learn that Nothing has announced that Nothing OS 2.5 Open Beta 1 will be coming to the Nothing Phone (2).
The Nothing OS 2.5 update will be based on Android 14, so it should be able to give users an idea of what they can expect. According to Nothing, here are some of the changes users can look forward to in addition to the changes that Android 14 itself will be bringing to the table.
- Updated the widgets library interface so Nothing widgets appear more clearly.
- New photos widget, allowing you to display your favourite photos on both your Home Screen and Lock Screen.
- New screenshot editor and menu, allowing for more advanced editing features and quick deletions.
- Updated design of back gesture to be more in line with Nothing's style.
- Added the option to hide app icons on the Home Screen and app drawer. Swipe right in the app drawer to reveal hidden app icons.
- Capture screenshots quickly with a three-finger swipe.
- Customise the double-press power button to quickly access a chosen feature.
- Redesigned a joint Home Screen and Lock Screen customisation page for a more comprehensive view of options.
- Introduced the glass filter to make your favourite wallpapers extra unique.
- New solid colour wallpapers for a cleaner Home Screen appearance.
Users who are already enrolled in the beta can update to the beta via the System Update in the settings menu. For those who aren't enrolled, you can get yourself enrolled via Nothing's website. Keep in mind that this is a beta so there are bound to be bugs and issues that haven't been fully ironed out yet.
It might not be the best idea to use it as a daily driver unless you have a spare phone on you, but if you're curious you can check it out anyway. The company did not mention when the public release of Android 14 will be available for the Nothing Phone (1) and (2), but hopefully they will be able to push it out before the year is out!