Welcome back to another week of the Android Police Podcast. To catch us live on Hangouts On Air every Thursday at 5:30PM PST (subject to change as per the calendar widget below), just head over to androidpolice.com/podcast. For the unedited video show, click here (warning: this video is uncut). As always, we'll take your questions at 530-HELLO-AP and also at our email address: podcast at androidpolice dot com.
On this week's episode: Initial impressions of the Nexus 5X, 6P, and HTC One A9. Read More
There's an interesting line drawn in the sand between smartphone users and smartphone makers: for the longest time, many companies thought users wanted the thinnest, lightest phones on the planet (and for a time, I think they may have actually been right). But now, that's not how it is. Users don't care how thin their phone is most of the time — they just want it to last all damn day. All-day longevity translates in one way when it comes to form factor: thicker and heavier. That's basically the opposite direction the industry was heading up until recently, and now we're finally starting to see large batteries show up in phones. Read More
The Volkswagen Jetta is, admittedly, the occasional butt of car enthusiast jokes. Long considered a slightly snobby small economy sedan because of its comparatively high price of entry and less-than-great reliability reviews, the car didn't sell amazingly well here in the states for quite some time. Five years ago, VW tried to turn that sales situation around, completely redesigning the Jetta and drastically reducing the cost of many of its constituent parts - the result was the Mk.VI Jetta, and sales did go up quite noticeably.
But the car was compromised, and reviewers generally weren’t fans. Cost-cuts included things like fitting an unrefined rear beam-axle suspension system on most models, ditching optional leather trims, saddling the base car with a gutless 2.0-liter naturally-aspirated 4-cylinder engine, and conducting most of the design and assembly in Mexico instead of Germany. Read More
Words are for losers. As someone who makes a living putting them in a pleasing order, I should know. The future belongs to emojis, tiny, semi-open images that boil the nuances of self-expression down to a series of postage stamps. And at the moment, Apple's iOS has an advantage in that respect: a recent software update gave iPhones and iPads access to new emojis that don't appear on other hardware, like Android. So when Android users can't see the brilliance of a pixel art middle finger and thus miss the subtle meaning behind their iPhone-using friend's text message, the world is poorer for it. Read More
Earlier this week Blackberry's official online store posted a pre-order page for the Priv, a high-end QWERTY slider phone that also happens to be the company's first full Android device. Apparently that was a bit premature - it disappeared after a short time, but not so short that prospective customers didn't balk at the $749 USD starting price. Today the pre-order page is back with a slightly cheaper price: $699. Was the original page an error or did Blackberry see the quick reaction and adjust it down? We couldn't say. The page says the phone will start shipping on November 6th. Read More
Starting on October 28th, YouTube Red will let folks in the US start watching all the movie trailers, phone reviews, music videos, epic fails, adorable babies, cat clips, and rants they've been consuming for years, sans ads. In exchange, viewers hand over $9.99 a month instead, or $15 if they have a Play Music family plan.
Unless, it turns out, you're one of the early Play Music subscribers. Google is sending out emails to folks who hopped on board in the early summer of 2013 to inform them that when they are transferred to YouTube Red, they will get to keep their discounted $7.99 rate. Read More
Back in August, we spotted Google's new Sound Search widget tucked away inside an Android M Developer Preview. There are now two different Sound Search widgets in Marshmallow: one of them is bundled into Google's Search app and the other is from the dedicated Sound Search app, which has been upgraded to version 1.2.0 with Android 6.0 (on the other hand, the version in the Play Store still hasn't been updated for two years).
Despite the fresh coat of paint, the latest Sound Search app does lack some features that were available in the old version, not the least of which is the ability to quickly access your previously searched songs. Read More
If you've been waiting patiently for your top-of-the-line Google flagship phone to arrive, you won't have to wait too much longer. If you haven't been waiting patiently, you probably don't have long to wait either, but you should really be more gracious about it. We've been sent reports from multiple Android Police readers saying that their credit cards have been charged after ordering the Nexus 6P on the Play Store, which typically means that they'll be shipped very soon. At this point, all of them are in the United States.
These customers were presumably among the first to order the Nexus 6P from the Google Store, so those who got their orders in later will probably be looking at a week or more of delays. Read More
Android Wear devices have gone from novelty to necessity for many of us Android lovers in the past year. They are just so doggone handy, and some of them also make quite a fashion statement. One of the better looking devices on the market is the second generation Moto 360.
The problem the 360 has, along with every other Android Wear device, is that the battery depletes rather quickly, especially when compared to a traditional watch. Fortunately, the watch is pretty easy to charge thanks to a handy dock that is like a tiny little throne for your 360.
I mean, look at that thing, it's adorable. Read More
A constant source of consternation among owners of OPPO devices has been the heavily customized ColorOS and especially the slow speed of Android OS updates to it. OPPO has held strong to ColorOS, owing in large part to its reported popularity in Asian markets. Today, in an effort to appease enthusiast owners, OPPO has announced an initiative to support current devices with an AOSP ROM with limited customizations.
OPPO left some clues that they would do something like this, not that it comes as a huge surprise to anyone given the long demands for it. A company rep teased big changes just a month ago in an OPPO forum thread filled with whining about software updates. Read More