Android Police

Editorials

272

Google may push people to Gmail, but it's a bad substitute for Inbox

Some of my coworkers here at Android Police are under the mistaken impression that I'm an organized person, but they're wrong. I'm actually very disorganized, but it's thanks to tools like Inbox that I'm able to pass as normal in this line of work — at least when it comes to email. So I'm taking its scheduled death pretty hard. Even with the redesign, Gmail doesn't have the features it needs to replace Inbox.

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700

Apple's "cheap" iPhone Xr just ate Google's lunch

For years, fans and analysts alike have clamored for Apple to release a proper "mid-range" iPhone. Today, they finally got what they wanted - sort of. The new iPhone Xr represents an entirely new direction for the iPhone lineup, and one that poses a serious threat to "flagship" tier Android phones that lurk anywhere above its $749 MSRP.

While you may be thinking "there's nothing 'mid-range' about $749," be reminded that the iPhone Xs and Xs Max cost $1000 and $1100, respectively, making the all-new Xr a fairly significant price cut in Apple terms. It's also not even the smallest iPhone: the Xr features a 6.1" LCD (the Xs is a 5.8" OLED, the Max is 6.5") that Apple claims will wipe the floor with any other in terms of color accuracy, and given their history, I believe them.

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132

Phones are boring, so now we're making up conspiracy theories about them

The Pixel 3 XL may be the most reliably leaked smartphone of 2018. It's been seen on a train, it's been accidentally left in a car, appeared in about a half dozen hotels and airports, and it's even been reviewed by a Russian blog that managed to get one of a handful of stolen units that showed up in Ukraine. So much has leaked about the phone that essentially all of that wonderful pre-launch mystery has been sapped, and a sobering (if predictable) reality has set in: Google's next phone is not really all that different from any other phone released in 2018.

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208

I used a Galaxy Nexus for a week, in 2018 - it didn't go well

In what is partly an experiment and partly a series, I've been using the Galaxy Nexus as my personal phone exclusively for the last week. It has been a nostalgic experience, as the Galaxy Nexus was the first (good) Android device that I used full-time. And while the sentimental tech-romantic in me would love to tell you all that it's been mostly fine — like my week using the Nexus 5 — I can't. It's actually been pretty rough.

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103

10 things I'd like to see in the (presumably) upcoming OnePlus 6T

The OnePlus 6 is, without much question in my mind, one of the best phones of this year. On paper, it matches most of 2018's flagships, but the aggressive pricing makes it a great value when compared to most of its competition. Still, there are a lot of ways that the OnePlus 6 could be improved if the company sticks to its mid-generation "T" refresh, and I've put together a decent-sized list of all the things I'd like to see in the OnePlus 6T.

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116

A Google Pixelbook tablet seems imminent - here's what it needs to succeed

Rumors that Google will be launching a second-generation Pixelbook device this fall have recently begun to converge in a convincing way. Evan Blass - along with Kevin Tofel over at About Chromebooks - have provided the most compelling evidence yet. Blass, a very reliable leaker, says that Google will launch the device before the end of the year (he's usually right). Tofel, looking at commits for a device in the Chrome repositories codenamed 'Atlas,' discovered it is the only ChromeOS device aside from the current Pixelbook without an SD card slot. Finally, Chrome Unboxed spotted a commit showing that Atlas is booting on an image from the current Pixelbook.

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119

The most interesting smartphone innovations in the last year (or so)

We've seen our mobile devices evolve from novelties to ubiquitous, do-it-all pocket supercomputers in just a few decades. Lately, though, there's been a sense of fatigue about the progression of mobile technology: the breakneck pace of big-ticket advancements has slowed, and even devices which we can't find fault with just seem kind of meh. Smartphones have matured, and the days of the next big thing actually being something big are largely behind us, but that doesn't mean improvements have stopped altogether. Here are a few of the noteworthy innovations and trends we've seen over the past 12 months.

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216

Using a Nexus 5 is a surprisingly okay experience in 2018

Android hardware has come a long way in the last five years, and as we come up on that Pixel time of year, I've been thinking back on earlier Android handsets and the path we've taken to get here. In a useful coincidence, I was convinced into using a Nexus 5 for a week as my only personal phone with no backup — I like to take that sort of risk once in a while. This time I was pleasantly surprised, the Nexus 5 has aged a lot better than I expected it to.

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136

Gaming smartphones are the industry’s next pointless fad

If you follow smartphone news closely, chances are you've read about handsets “designed” specifically for gaming (or gamers). There's the ASUS ROG phone, the Xiaomi-backed Black Shark, one from ZTE sub-brand Nubia, and this really weird thing from a Chinese company called Doogee. There have been others in the past as well, including the recent Razer Phone and the long-forgotten Sony Xperia Play. While they've all taken slightly different approaches in defining what exactly a gaming smartphone is, all but the Sony have squarely targeted the PC gamer demographic - and for good reason.

In the world of PCs, gaming-oriented products have a long and storied history.

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134

Android 9 Pie revisited: Our 7 favorite and 3 least liked features

Almost two weeks have passed since Google served us a slice of its official Android 9 Pie. Some of us had followed for months as the different developer previews landed and weren't too fazed by the final release, but for those users who preferred to wait, there were many surprising changes from 8.1 Oreo to 9 Pie.

We've previously listed our five favorite Android P features and five least liked ones, but that was back in March, after the first developer preview and before the implementation of many other interesting changes. Today, we take another look at the final Pie release and see which features we like and which ones we're not too fond of.

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