Google’s next smartphone is expected to be a cheaper version of the Pixel 6, featuring the same Google Tensor processor, but an older, less powerful camera system. Google hasn’t officially confirmed that the Pixel 6a is real yet… but it’s come pretty close with a mention of the unannounced phone spotted in a coloring book sent out to Pixel Superfans.

The only thing that’s confirmed at this point is the name… there are no specs or pictures. But it looks like someone at Google might have thought the phone would be announced by the time the coloring book shipped.

If you’re wondering where the link in the QR code in the image points to, it’s a new Colors With Google website where you can decorate a virtual phone screen or other pictures.

In other recent tech news, Google is hiring for its Android Tablet experience team, and while the job listing has the usual amount of hyperbole, it does hint at the possibility that Google could finally be starting to get serious about optimizing Android for use on tablets.

Apple, meanwhile, is making it easier to use its Face ID authentication system for iPhones when you’re wearing a face mask. Alyssa Rosenzweig continues an impressive run of creating open source graphics drivers for ARM GPUs… even for newer GPUs for which there are currently no devices running mainline Linux yet. And you may soon be able to charge your laptop and power drill’s batteries using the same USB-C charger… and DeWalt’s new USB-C adapter will even let you use batteries designed for power tools to charge your laptop.

Here’s a roundup of recent tech news from around the web.

Google Hints at Pixel 6a to Superfans in Coloring Book [Droid Life]

Google sort of confirms that the Pixel 6a is a real thing… by including what appears to be an accidental mention in a coloring book sent to Pixel Superfans.

iOS 15.4 Beta Lets You Use Face ID With a Mask On [MacRumors]

iOS 15.4 beta adds support for using Face ID while wearing a mask, without requiring an Apple Watch or any other device for authentication. That’s because Face ID identifies “the unique features around the eye,” once it’s setup for masks.


Google believes ‘Android Tablets’ are ‘future of computing’ [9to5Google]

Google is looking to grow its Android Tablet App Experiences Engineering team with a new hire, and the job listing hints that the company could have plans to take Android tablets seriously for the first time in years. Maybe.

Writing an open source GPU driver – without the hardware [Collabora]

Free and open source Panfrost graphics drivers for ARM’s Mali-G57 and G78 GPUs are almost ready to upstream into the Linux kernel… even though there are no devices with these GPUs running mainline Linux yet. Here’s how it was done.

Power tool companies have discovered USB-C — and DeWalt’s two-way charger sounds awesome

Power tool makers are adding support for charging batteries with a USB-C adapter… and at least one charging kit coming in March for $99 also lets you use power tool batteries as power banks that can charge your laptop on the go.

Keep up on the latest headlines by following Liliputing on Twitter and Facebook and follow @LinuxSmartphone on Twitter and Facebook for the latest news on open source mobile phones.

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2 replies on “Lilbits: Pixel 6a confirmed (sort of), USB-C charging comes to power tools, and Face ID works with face masks now”

  1. What google means under all that smugness is much of the same trend we’re currently on: UI is designed touchscreen and cell phone first because people aren’t allowed to not have smartphones, and any investment in usable desktop UI is only if it can be fit in the budget. Investing in tablet UI covers laptops well enough for google. They’d keep using phone UI for desktops if they could, but they have to do something now that phone screens are presumed to be >2:1 and only ever held vertically, which just isn’t how people use anything else.
    No one really complains, because no one wants to dream anymore. We’ve all just gotten used to depressing mediocrity. Too risky that people will hate you for trying to do something different.

    In fact it’s probably because so few people pay attention to power tools that they’re actually free to let batteries charge off of USB-PD.

  2. pixel are very good in past time, today?…. many better phones is better, pinePhone run sailfish os often than pixel
    today meybe price will change trend

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