Google's second try at wireless earbuds is going a lot better than its first attempt, but that doesn't mean the Pixel Buds are perfect. Users have complained of issues like random disconnects and audio cutting out from the start. Google tried to address some of these bugs in last month's feature drop, and now the company is rolling out a new firmware update that should fix a very specific kind of audio cutout.
Welcome to Monday, everyone. After a slow weekend, it would appear a few icon developers have released a solid collection of sales. We also have a few gaming standouts worth mentioning today, including the titles Baldur's Gate II, Kenshō, and Heroes of Loot. As always, I've highlighted all of the interesting titles in bold to make discovery easier. So without further ado, here are 28 temporarily free and 57 on-sale apps and games for the beginning of the week.
Almost exactly two years ago, Xiaomi pulled a page from OnePlus’ playbook and stunned everyone with the Poco F1 (or Pocophone F1), a phone with proper flagship specs that cost just $300. While the F1 cut some corners to achieve this feat (plastic build, no NFC), it still delivered amazing performance and battery life. Then in 2019, it was followed up by… crickets?
While Redmi’s excellent K20 Pro was technically the Poco F1’s successor, Xiaomi didn’t release a Poco-branded device last year. That changed back in February 2020, when the company announced it was spinning Poco off as a sub-brand.
It is a well-known fact that Google has a rough history with Bluetooth. While the Bluetooth situation on Chromebooks is improving thanks to recent development, many of us who pair Bluetooth peripherals to our Chromebooks like wireless earbuds or mice will know that the wireless experience isn’t perfect. In 2018, with Bluetooth devices on the rise and the launch of the Pixel Slate looming, Google likely felt pressured to tackle this problem. This led to an experiment with a brand new Bluetooth daemon, in an ambitious project known as NewBlue.
Following leak upon leak (and a pre-announcement), LG finally made one of its weirdest smartphones yet official during a live event. The LG Wing is a dual-screen handset with a swiveling mechanism — you can rotate its display by 90 degrees, revealing another smaller one underneath it. LG hopes that this unique form factor will help with multitasking, like when you're navigating in your car while listening to music or watching a video while chatting with friends. To make it even more unique, LG has also added a pop-up selfie cam.
Operating systems are incredibly complex pieces of software, so it's perhaps not too surprising that despite several beta releases, a few bugs snuck into the final release of Android 11. The update has apparently caused issues with Android Auto, leading to some drivers being unable to play music or read notifications.
Major updates of Android don't matter as much as they used to. Many components of the operating system are updated through the Play Store, so even if you're on Android 8 or 9, you can still access most of the same apps and features as someone on the latest release of Android 10. However, the security updates that Google releases on a monthly basis are still critical to keeping your phone or tablet safe. Dozens of securityflaws are discovered in components of Android each month, which is why Google releases monthly security patches.
I started out as a folding phone critic. In fact, I bought the Z Flip we reviewed this spring with the full intention of pointing out how dumb the idea was, except I was dead wrong. I fell in love with my little flip phone, and the last week spent with the Galaxy Z Fold2 has further cemented my change of heart. Folding phones are undeniably the future, and for the right folks, the Z Fold2 is a must-buy game-changer — though probably not for you.
Gaming phones are a newer niche for Android devices, and Nubia is one of the companies running headlong into this fledgling field. This past May, we took a look at the Red Magic 5, and we did not come away impressed thanks to numerous bugs and compromises. Now that the Red Magic 5S is here, and we can say for certain that features like internal cooling and a high refresh rate come at a cost: the Red Magic 5S is good for gaming but not much else.
The Red Magic 5 isn't a complete wash—its gaming-centric features and performance help to even out the device's lack of polish.
Over the past few years, smartphones have stopped evolving at a rapid pace and settled into iterative, yawn-inducing update cycles. Just like how a desktop PC from eight years ago can still handle basic productivity tasks in 2020, a flagship smartphone from two or three years ago isn't radically different from what you can buy today, and there’s only so much room for innovation in the flat glass slab form factor. This has sent some manufacturers to go back to the drawing board in search of something more radical and exciting. Samsung has released severalfoldablephones, LG is developing a dual-screen device, and now Microsoft has the Surface Duo.