Android Police

Editorials

11

After using a Netgear Orbi mesh router for a year, I can wholeheartedly recommend it

Frequent readers of Android Police may have noticed me mention a few times how slow and limited my home internet connection is. In ideal circumstances, it maxes out at 16Mbps; on regular days, it's half of that, and that's considered good for Lebanon. There are places where you can barely get 2Mbps. One single gadget has made that speed tolerable in 2020: the Netgear Orbi mesh router.

Read More
25

How to turn your old Android phone or tablet into a remote control for your smart home

Smart devices add a great level of convenience to your household, including the ability to control them remotely and using your voice. However, there are times when it's much easier to operate them the old fashioned way with the push of a button rather than with your voice. Sadly, not many come with physical controls, and even if they did, that would mean you'd have a bunch of remotes lying around.

To solve this issue, we've looked at how you can turn a phone or a tablet into a remote control for all of your smart home devices, without having to switch from one app to another.

Read More
50

Public webcams show just how empty coronavirus has made our world

With quarantines being imposed in many countries across the world, I've been wondering what our planet must look like right now. Empty streets, empty squares, empty towns, everything just... empty. If you surveyed from above, would it seem like humans have deserted Earth or are there still signs of our lives, if you looked closely? Then it occurred to me that I can easily snoop in on the world from the safety of my couch and discover its new, unprecedented facet with all the signs of civilization but no people. I started looking at live public CCTV camera apps and feeds and, after spending hours lost in the desolate streets, I ended up liking three apps, each for a different reason.

Read More
57

Nest outages prove that the smart home needs a local fallback

Google's Nest service has been down once, twice, thrice, four times, no, scratch that, at least five times in five months, four of which were in the last few weeks. A similar thing happened toward the end of 2018. After each failure, a fix, an apology, more disgruntled users, and hours lost without any security recording for owners of the brand's cameras. Seeing the same headline with the same story every day proves that we can't solely rely on remote servers for the smart home, and local fallbacks need to be the first feature baked in, not an afterthought or a bonus.

Read More
14

Coronavirus has upended the Play Store top app charts — here are the winners and losers

The coronavirus pandemic has changed the world in many ways, including how we work, study, or even communicate. This is even visible when you look at the apps people download on their phones, as some have become indispensable these days. We've analyzed top app charts from last month and compared them to today's to see how they've evolved, and some of the results are interesting.

Read More
69

Behind every delivery app is a person—tip them well, especially now

Right now, almost all of us are relying more on delivery and on-demand services than we ever have in our lives. Be it Instacart, Uber Eats, Grubhub, DoorDash, Amazon Prime Now, or Postmates, the gig delivery economy is operating at heretofore unseen levels. In many ways, this is great: it means Americans are staying home, reducing their exposure to others, and doing their best to flatten the curve of the coronavirus pandemic that is now spreading across the globe. But in using these services, it's critical to remember that the people bringing you these goods often aren't well paid, and rarely enjoy any kind of benefits.

Read More
31

Right now, a phone is just a phone (and that's okay)

Today, a Big Brand launched a Major Smartphone with Exciting Innovations. Even as a jaded veteran in this industry, I do always take the time to see who's doing what, what's new, and how the landscape is changing. In the past few weeks, though, the amount of attention I pay to smartphones (and tech at large) has plummeted, even the phones I'm using every day.

As I've been spending time with the Galaxy S20 and S20 Ultra, I've struggled to come up with anything to say about them that feels like it matters, even in some small way, given what's going on in the world right now.

Read More
391

Why I left Pixels behind and found a new home with Samsung

For several years I was a hardcore Google fan, turning my nose up at anything other than Nexus or Pixel devices. Last year, I traded in my Pixel 3XL for a Galaxy S10+, and I could not be happier. I switched because, after years of constant issues, I wanted to try something new. Now that I've made the jump and had time to reflect on it, I'd like to discuss what is keeping me with Samsung for the foreseeable future, as well as what I miss from the pure experience Pixels have to offer.

Read More
150

Google is protecting the Pixel 4 from the Pixel 4a, and it's hurting both phones

When it comes to A/B tests, Google is the de facto king. Be it chat apps, social networks, or email, Google loves to place multiple products into a virtual death match, with the prize being the chance to continue existing (or, often, just die later). This strategy has in equal parts frustrated and delighted fans over the years, because it allows Google to bring innovative and interesting products to life that otherwise would be shelved for functional duplicity. And right now, a real A/B test is taking place inside Google's smartphone division, between the flagship Pixel and the budget-tier Pixel "a" series.

Read More
187

Samsung should drop Qualcomm's bad fingerprint scanner technology

So far, I really like the Samsung Galaxy S20. I love its rich, vibrant, and buttery smooth 120Hz display. I love its excellent performance thanks to the new Snapdragon 865 chip. I love how quickly it charges, its more modest size compared to the S20+ and Ultra, and I love the improved haptic feedback experience. It's a good phone! Unfortunately, it still has one of the worst features of its predecessor: Qualcomm's utlrasonic fingerprint scanner.

When I first heard the Galaxy S20 would inherit the same fingerprint scanner (literally, it's the same exact part), I was hesitant. The Galaxy S10 series was marred by this scanner, so much that Samsung tried multiple times to "fix" it with various patches.

Read More