Android Police

Editorials

189

Google's 2020 smartphone strategy looks like a mess

It sure looks like the Google Pixel smartphone lineup is about to get weird. Based on what we know so far, it looks like there will be a Pixel 4a, a Pixel 4a 5G, and a Pixel 5. A defunct Pixel 4a XL is out of the picture, and there was never even a leak suggesting the existence of a Pixel 5 XL to begin with. This has rightly left many bewildered: just what is Google trying to accomplish here? While I won't claim to have all the answers, I do think there's a lens worth interpreting this through, and that lens is Google's Silicon Valley rival, Apple.

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15

Google Stadia needs more social media features

Welcome to Stadia Feature Request Friday, a new series by Android Police where we dive into the features that are currently missing from Google's cloud gaming service (and why they should be included). In this debut article, we're going to talk social and community, and how a native social media network could promote a better playing experience for subscribers.

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21

Google's response to Android apps getting delayed or killed in the background leaves a lot to be desired

Google's Android AMA is underway, and the team's engineers have already answered the most hotly-anticipated question: How will Google fix the problem of inconsistent background limits across different manufacturers and devices? It's a long-standing problem where overly aggressive power management tweaks break functionality in plenty of apps, resulting in a headache for developers and frustration for users. According to the AMA, Google does plan on making a few changes to help fix things, but the company isn't doing all that it could.

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461

Ads are taking over Samsung's Galaxy smartphones — and it needs to stop

I've used a Samsung Galaxy smartphone almost every day for nearly 4 years. I used them because Samsung had fantastic hardware that was matched by (usually) excellent software. But in 2020, a Samsung phone is no longer my daily driver, and there's one simple reason that's the case: Ads.

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138

18 things Apple announced for iOS 14 that we want on Android

Every year, around Apple WWDC time, I like taking off my Android geek and fan cap, putting it aside, and enjoying what our friends-slash-rivals from Cupertino are doing for their users. While a few years ago, I might've enjoyed discussions about which OS was superior, these days I'm mellower and more pragmatic. iOS has borrowed a lot from Android and continues to do so, and vice-versa. The two ecosystems have a mutually beneficial rivalry and keep pushing themselves further, and in doing so keep pushing each other too.

That's why I have fun watching WWDC's main keynote. I expect Apple to implement a few features that I've been wanting on Android for years, and to add a few innovative and obvious options that I never knew I needed but now can't get out of my head.

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171

Apple is doing Google a huge favor with iOS 14

While WWDC contained some truly blockbuster announcements this year, iOS still tends to be the biggest takeaway for consumers at Apple's annual developer conference. And with iOS 14, we're seeing Apple borrow more than ever from the biggest competitor to its mobile OS, Android. iOS 14 really does seem intent on reaching feature parity with Google's platform, and while that's no doubt driven by a desire to bring more features and functions to Apple's smartphones—and keep people buying them—there's also a real argument to be made that this is a good thing for Android, too. As the two platforms become more similar, Android will likely start to benefit from an increased awareness among ordinary consumers that their phones can do things like use homescreen widgets or set a different default browser.

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224

Apple's chipset advantage has me more jealous than ever

A couple of months back, word got around that Google was designing its own smartphone chipset. Though similar chatter has circled the internet for years, Google itself has never commented on such speculation, and never confirmed its plans to get in the processor game. At WWDC this week, meanwhile, Apple doubled down on its commitment to chips in the biggest way it ever has. All that has me, as a lifelong Android user, feeling more than a little envious at the moment.

Apple has announced it will transition the last of its product line not using Apple chipsets to the company's own processors.

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12

Despite Google’s elaborate algorithms, it’s still too easy to manipulate Play Store ratings

Fake reviews on the Play Store are a topic talked about way too often, yet here we are again. Despite Google pouring tons of research into keeping the platform free of spam and malware (leading to quite some achievements, I must add), fake reviews remain a problem for Android device owners and developers alike. The problem is far from new, but apparently, malicious actors seem to be able to slip through the cracks again and again — and it appears their methods don't even have to be too sophisticated.

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17

Flying a drone is my personal cure for the lockdown blues

When we're all glued to the ground in the midst of a pandemic that's almost certain to last for many months to come, we all need to find pathways to escapism. Sure, books, videogames, and exercise are fine and dandy, but for the people who are seeking new perspectives when travel is prohibitively restricted, why not fly a drone? In the past year, things have come a long way to make it easier for people in urban areas to take off safely and easily.

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121

Android 11 isn't a 'boring' update, you're just not looking at it the right way

Android 11 has reached its "beta" milestone, and while we'll still probably see a few tweaks over the coming months, the general concepts and big-feature changes in the next Android release are just about set in stone. But while the common refrain is that Android 11 is a more minor (or even boring) update to Google's Android platform, the longer I use it, I'm not sure that's fair to say.

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