Android Police

Editorials

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Opinion: My early thoughts on Google's round icons (and consistency for its own sake)

By the time this post goes up, I'm sure most of our readers will have seen Google's circlified icons in the new Pixel launcher, bound for the new Pixel phones. I've been asked a few times what I think about the new launcher and, for the most part, I don't have a strong opinion. But I do have some thoughts about the circlified icons, some guesses at the rationale, and some thoughts about the downsides of consistency for its own sake. As with any written-from-the-outside post about design, I want to note up front that we aren't privy to any research, data, or other information Google used to make its decisions, so the best we can do is respectfully speculate and ponder.

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Chatting with Google: The many ways Assistant replaces or augments OK Google, Google Now, and Now on Tap

Hi Google, it's me Rita. I believe we've met before. Somewhere between Gmail, Google Photos, and Chrome, you must know a lot about me. Things I might not want others to discover, so hushhhh. (There are thousands of people reading us, let's not tell them about my love for Winnie The Pooh.) But our relationship doesn't feel equal; I barely have any information about you. Your new guy, this Assistant you've sent here to talk to me, I'd like to get to know him better. He looks a lot like the other guys you've sent before, Now and On Tap, but he seems special.

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Editorial: Google Allo looks a lot like WhatsApp, not Hangouts, and that's not necessarily a bad thing

... and a lot like Telegram. And Facebook Messenger. And plenty of other messaging apps too. But enumerating those would make for a very long title so I had to restrict it to the most popular messenger out there.

Google Allo, unlike its sister app, Duo, has its work cut out for it. While Duo doesn't have a clear competitor in the simple one-on-one mobile messaging field, especially on Android, Allo faces a roadblock of established opponents that have had years to develop their featureset, userbase, and public image. On the one hand, this gives Allo the opportunity to start fresh without any unnecessary remnants that other apps and services carry because of their older origins and the room to learn from what has and hasn't worked for them, but on the other hand, it also puts Allo at the very bottom of a very steep hill.

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LG, the V20 is your best chance for smartphone success in years - don’t screw it up

LG and the V20 could hardly have hoped for a more fortuitous turn of events in recent weeks. Samsung’s Note7 has been globally recalled for a serious battery defect, and replacement shipments are nowhere to be seen. The V20, by contrast, offers an increasingly rare removable battery. Meanwhile, Apple’s iPhone 7 duo have been unveiled without a headphone jack. The V20 proudly touts its high-end wired audio capabilities as being among the best in the smartphone world. It may be of little consequence that it will likely be the first, or at least technically first, phone to ship with Android 7.0 - but of much greater import is the fact that it will be available on all four major US carriers.

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Like them or not, Google's Pixel phones will be the iPhone competitor we've demanded for years

Last year, I attended the launch of the Nexus 5X and 6P. Google also introduced the Pixel C, a refreshed Chromecast, and the new Chromecast Audio at this event to an audience of maybe 100 to 150 journalists. For the biggest company in tech, it felt like a small affair, and if I'm honest, one without much sense of occasion. We were seated in an artsy venue in San Francisco in a room that had been converted into a sort of banquet hall. Front and center, there was a small stage. I watched Sundar Pichai walk up that stage to greet us good morning, much in the way the Senior Vice President Of Team Building would kick off ManageCamp '16 at the Hilton.

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Will the iPhone 7's capacitive home button finally mean the death of the Galaxy's physical one?

An iPhone 7 take that isn't about the headphone jack? Surprising! But yesterday's Apple announcement contained one piece of information that left me really wondering about the future of the world's most popular brand of Android smartphones. The iPhone 7 has officially ditched the physical home button - and I'd argue that decision makes complete sense. Failed home buttons have been a hallmark of iPhone ownership even from the early days, and relying on an oddly primitive, analog mechanical key as the access point to a device that will likely be used hundreds of times a day by the average owner doesn't really make sense in 2016.

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Meet the new guy: Jordan Palmer

When I was approached about writing an introductory post about myself, I really had no idea where to start. The point here is to get to know me a bit better, so I guess I will start with the basics.

I am currently a senior at the University of Colorado on track to earn my Bachelor's in Business Administration. Despite my major, I am obviously a huge geek. It began with the movie Tron, a film that ignited my imagination for the world of computers. Though, my primary focus at the time was on riding a lightcycle. The concept of the Grid led me to explore programming.

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CrossOver Preview runs Windows apps on Android and Chromebooks, even Photoshop

Last week, CodeWeavers announced that after three years of development, a preview version of CrossOver for Android would be released. Why was I so excited? Because CrossOver allows you to run Windows programs on Mac and Linux, and they brought their expertise over to Android. After trying out the Preview version for a week (which you can sign up for here), I'm extremely impressed by its capabilities, despite some major limitations.

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Meet the new guy: Richard Gao

I won that Bingle Bear Android figure from AP almost a year before I started working here.

Hey, I'm Richard. I'm a senior at a high school in New Jersey. You may have noticed that I've started writing a few Android Police articles during the past three weeks or so. I'm nowhere near as talented as fellow newbie Corbin is with software development, but I do share his love for Android and his habit of overspending on tech.

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Meet the new guy: Corbin Davenport

The boxes of all my Android devices (minus the watches).

When I started writing for Android Police earlier this month, some of you recognized me from when I installed Windows 95 (among other things) on my watch. But outside of me shoving emulators on my watches, I've worked on some cool projects and spent way too much on electronics.

I started trying to learn development when I was around 12, armed with a copy of Adobe Dreamweaver CS3 and my iMac G5. A year later, I started developing extensions for Google Chrome, which I still work on to this day. I still regularly update my first extension, Wikipedia Search.

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