I used Google devices exclusively for years. At the time, I loved my Nexus 6, Nexus 6P, the first two generations of the Pixel (XL versions), the Nexus 9 and Pixel C tablets, and even the Pixelbook. But after a few weeks with the Pixel 3 XL, I had to face a truth that I'd been trying to deny: Google hardware makes too many compromises. I went through at least three of each Pixel, all replaced on warranty for one reason or another. And the 3 XL wasn't faring any better in the software department, with the music app constantly being pushed out of memory and the camera failing to save many of the pictures and videos that I took.
There's a reason Google has become one of the most important companies on the internet: its core products like Gmail and search are great—when was the last time you looked something up with anything other than Google? And then there's Android, which under Google's stewardship has become the largest computing platform on Earth with devices ranging in price from dirt cheap to obscenely expensive. But Google doesn't always make the right call. In fact, it has royally screwed up on numerous occasions. Here are five of the worst Google missteps, as chosen by the AP staff in a spirited Slack debate.
I've been using the Pixel 5 I bought for myself for about half a year now. I'm kind of in love with it. Which is weird, because I'm in a definite minority among the Android Police staff. I'm going to take a few minutes to completely disagree with my editor-in-chief's assessment of the latest Google hardware… it's not like it would be the first time.
Kitting out my new house with smart home gadgets has been a blast coming from the rigid confines of a rented apartment. But one particular issue affecting the simplest of all smart home hardware is driving me a little nuts. I was actually a little shocked to see it hasn't been talked about more, and while I wrestle with trying to get hardware that behaves a little better, I'd like to rant for the public record about how inconsistent smart bulbs are.
The Pixel 4a has been out for seven months now, and leaks for a successor are beginning. It's usually at around this time that a phone starts to be a bad deal. Halfway through the typical year-long retail-available life, the launch price value proposition for most phones starts to wane. But the Pixel 4a bucks that trend, and I don't think it's too late to buy one. In fact, based on the leaks for the Pixel 5a, many of our readers may even want to pick one up now rather than wait.
My relationship with Twitter has ebbed and flowed a lot since I first joined the service in 2008. There were years when I was happily engaging with every follower and forging beautiful friendships that transcend time and distance, and years when I nearly disconnected completely, preferring to invest my time and efforts in in-person relationships. Now I live somewhere in the middle: I check Twitter a couple of times per day and I engage every now and then. I'd love to avoid using Twitter altogether, but sadly, doomscrolling is the best way to stay in touch with what's happening in Lebanon (the local news are a joke) and catch up on other tidbits of tech and medical news.
Controlling your smart devices with a speaker is very convenient, especially when you're busy cooking or are far from your phone. Most importantly, Alexa and Assistant work with a great number of devices and allow you to control all of them without worrying about which bulb or plug works with what platform.
Sadly, there are times when using your voice isn't a great option, either because your "smart" speaker isn't so intelligent and doesn't get what you're saying, or you just want to be keep things silent.
Chromebooks are on the rise. Chrome OS machines have been selling like hotcakes since 2020, and they've proven to be reliable and often affordable laptops for anyone learning or working from home. But many people are still asking themselves: Is a Chromebook really a good choice for me? In this article, we're exploring when you should buy a Chromebook, what limitations there are, and what has improved over the last year.
A year ago, I decided to retire my aging 2013 MacBook Air in favor of an HP Chromebook x360. I haven't turned my back on Apple completely and I'm still using a 2019 iMac at my desk, but for my mobile needs (well, more like working-from-the-kitchen-table needs given the pandemic), I've been using my Chromebook. Chrome OS changed quite a bit since I got the machine, and there are a lot of features I genuinely enjoy, but there's still a few little things that itch me enough that make me want to switch back to a MacBook.
Yesterday, we got our very first glimpse at the latest version of Android, but if someone handed a Pixel running it to you right now, you'd be forgiven for confusing it with Android 11. Beneath that lightly altered exterior, with its developer-facing changes, notificationtweaks, and subtly adjusted colors, a whole lot more is waiting to happen. And with the unfinished nature of those hidden changes, it's way too early to tell precisely what kind of an impact Android 12 will have — but it will be big.