Android Police



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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mmWave 5G is facing more uncertainty than ever

Millimeter wave 5G hasn't had an easy time of it, as a technology. It's been panned for fickle connectivity, extremely limited coverage, and being too thinly-deployed to even meaningfully use (not to mention the absolute nonsense conspiracies some people are spreading about it). It doesn't help that mmWave only has one truly active booster in the United States—Verizon. The company says its existing plans for 5G mmWave deployments around the country haven't changed in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, but the current crisis raises a valid question: if we won't be gathering in large groups for the foreseeable future—let alone in stadiums or concert halls—does mobile mmWave even make sense anymore, and did it ever?

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Google has declared open war against its videoconferencing rivals

Today, Google announced that Google Meet—the company's young videoconferencing platform—would imminently be bundled into the Gmail applications for Android and iOS devices. It would receive front and center billing, and result in the Gmail app being bifurcated into two top level interfaces: Gmail and Google Meet. Gmail is one of the rare apps to enjoy a 5 billion-plus install count on the Play Store, meaning billions upon billions of Android devices worldwide will soon, by relation, have Google Meet as well (notably, Meet is still limited a few dozen large countries). There is now no doubt in my mind whatsoever: Google intends to win the videoconferencing war, and it intends to play dirty.

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Meet the new guy: Zach Laidlaw

Hey there, I’m Zach Laidlaw — no relation to those other Laidlaws that make video games. I’ve been scrawling words for Android Police since September 2019. While you won’t find me writing code or dissecting an APK, I pretty much always have a story to tell. I‘m a wordsmith at heart, exploring my relentless penchant for the mobile tech industry one sentence at a time.

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Chromebooks desperately need more than 4GB of RAM in 2020

Earlier this month, I had the chance to review Lenovo's new IdeaPad Flex 5 Chromebook. It's a great machine, with an excellent build quality and guaranteed Chrome OS updates for the next eight years, but it had one fault that kept me from wholeheartedly recommending the laptop — it only had 4GB of RAM.

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Spotify is holding my favorite podcast hostage with its terrible app

Last November, my favorite podcast—The Last Podcast On The Left—signed a 2-year exclusive distribution agreement with Spotify, for what was very likely a very substantial sum of money. That deal meant that as of February 2020, the show would only be available for Spotify users. And it wasn't just The Last Podcast On The Left, but the entire Last Podcast Network (LPN) and all of its millions of listeners. They would have to download Spotify to listen to new episodes of LPN's many popular shows, and they would no longer be able to do so via traditional podcast feeds (the exception being LPOTL Patreon subscribers, who can still access a traditional feed by paying $10/month).

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The 5 worst things about the OnePlus 8 Pro

The OnePlus 8 Pro is without question a critical success for the company, but its high price and limited availability have stoked the ire of many long-time OnePlus fans. We don't think those are the only issues with this $900 flagship, though: there are definitely areas where the 8 Pro may not satisfy even those who find its cost acceptable. We're going to break down the five things we think make the 8 Pro a less-than-ideal phone (if still a great one).

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The 5 best things about the OnePlus 8 Pro

The OnePlus 8 Pro is still a lot of phone for the money, even if its high price hasn't gone down well with a large section of the company's fan base. And the new features it adds like rapid wireless charging and proper waterproofing are unarguably big and long-sought improvements that bring OnePlus' new flagship to the level of phones like Samsung's Galaxy S20+, which costs hundreds of dollars more than the 8 Pro. Altogether, we still think there's a lot to like about this $900 phone, and here are the top five, standout features we think make it shine.

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OnePlus 8 Pro vs OnePlus 7T Pro — is the big price hike justified?

The OnePlus 8 Pro is by far the most expensive smartphone OnePlus has ever produced. At $900, it's within shouting range of "proper" flagships like the Galaxy S20 and iPhone 11 Pro. While it does come with the company's most impressive array of features ever, there's no doubt that fans of OnePlus have balked at the idea of a near-$1000 OnePlus smartphone — a phone from the company that debuted the original OnePlus One at just $300. Compared to even the outgoing 7T Pro, the 8 Pro comes with a big price hike, and that's what we're taking a closer look at in this article.

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The Pixel 4a has already lost to the iPhone SE

Apple launched brand-new iPhone SE this spring, and it's already been pitted against the expected Pixel 4a as the budget smartphone war of the year. But it's a war I think Google has already lost. With the Pixel 4a nowhere in sight, the iPhone SE continues to win praise from critics, is selling well, and no major flaws or issues have emerged. With Google not expected to launch the Pixel 4a until later this summer, I think the budget phone battle ended before it even had a chance to begin.

Let's take the two side by side. First, you've got the iPhone SE: a 4.7-inch display, a single 12MP rear camera, "iPhone 8"-ish battery life (so, totally fine), 64GB of storage, the powerful A13 Bionic processor, gigabit LTE with dual SIM (via eSIM), Touch ID, no headphone jack, IP67 water resistance, 18W fast wired charging, and wireless charging.

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