Samsung’s February Galaxy Unpacked event is just around the corner, but a new tease suggests Google will have some presence at the announcement too.
The official Android Twitter account shared a tweet with a short, looping video teaser in the same vein as Samsung’s Galaxy event teasers. Additionally, the tweet teases that “[s]omething exciting is just around the corner” and suggests the Android team will be an Unpacked.
— Android (@Android) February 6, 2020
As pointed out by Android Authority, the Android account doesn’t typically tease device launches from third-party manufacturers. As such, it likely means Google is coming to Unpacked for an important reason.
One theory suggests that Google is coming to announce Google Duo integration with the Galaxy S20, which Samsung is largely expected to unveil at the event. A previous S20 leak suggested Google was working with Samsung to build Duo into the native messaging app that ships on Samsung phones. The rumour suggested that Samsung was working with a South Korean telecom company to enable the new video chat service, which would work in tandem with Google’s RCS messaging platform — already supported by Samsung’s messaging app — and allow users to send short videos smaller than 5MB in size to friends without getting charged for data.
However, there’s a lot that isn’t clear about the possible Duo integration. Specifically, it isn’t clear if it’d be available outside of South Korea or if utilizing RCS and its 5MB attachment limit is a legitimate way to dodge data charges.
While it could definitely be the reason Google will be at the event, considering the teaser tweet came from the Android account and not the Dup makes this seem unlikely.
Google could be demonstrating changes to Android to support foldables
A much more probable prediction is that Google will be at Unpacked to demonstrate changes to Android that optimize the operating system for foldable devices like the rumoured Galaxy Z Flip.
Google and Samsung have already worked together to optimize Android 10 for foldable displays, but it’s possible there are new features the companies want to show off together. Plus, the rumoured Z Flip is a significant departure from the Galaxy Fold Samsung announced last year. Likely, that means there are new features and optimizations designed specifically for clamshell-style foldables like the Z Flip or Motorola’s Razr that Google wants to show off.
Google Play Edition. Bring it back, I dare you
— Marques Brownlee (@MKBHD) February 6, 2020
Another possibility — but definitely a long shot — is that Google and Samsung are working to launch the S20 line with stock Android. There hasn’t been a Samsung phone with stock Android in years, not since the Google Play Edition Samsung Galaxy S4 or the Samsung-made Nexus devices.
Finally, it’s possible Google could announce a deal with Samsung to bring the Android 11 developer preview to the new Galaxy devices, but this is also highly unlikely.
Ultimately, we have no idea why Google will be at Unpacked. However, it’s bound to be interesting when we find out, which will be on February 11th, so stay tuned.