Android Police

Editorials

40

Samsung's Galaxy Watch Active would be a lot better with a little more Google [Opinion]

Up until recently, I’ve felt like every Android-based smartwatch available had been too big for me and too uncomfortable to wear for extended periods. I swore off the Wear OS platform after the LG Watch Style I was wearing couldn’t even make it through the first day of Google I/O.

I decided to give smartwatches a try again, but it was after I had worn Samsung’s Galaxy Watch Active at an event. I was excited by the 40mm size of the watch, and its silicone band looked just as stylish and as comfortable as the ones my friends had on their Apple Watches.

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53

Verizon's Google Pixel exclusive finally appears to be ending - it's about time

Following a report from 9to5Google this morning, we were able to independently corroborate that T-Mobile plans to sell Google's current Pixel 3 and 3 XL smartphones, as well as add that the upcoming (and still unannounced) Pixel 3a and 3a XL will also be available in T-Mobile stores. The exact sale date is unclear, but my guess is that it will be timed against the launch of the new 3a devices, which we're expecting on May 7th. T-Mobile being added to the Pixel roster isn't just news in the sense of T-Mobile, though - it's a pretty big deal in regard to the larger strategy with the Pixel brand and what the end of Verizon exclusivity means, as well.

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31

Using Verizon's 5G wasn't the disaster I expected, but it's a long way from practical

Verizon flipped the switch on its 5G network last week, a few days earlier than it previously promised. This is the first commercial 5G network in the US that you can actually use (AT&T doesn't count), although you'll need the Moto Z3 and the pricey 5G Moto Mod. Carriers will spend the next several months hitting you over the head with 5G marketing, but is it all hype? I had a chance to take Verizon's millimeter wave 5G network for a spin, and it did work better than I expected in some ways. However, it's a long, long way from being a good experience.

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93

[Update: Google+ is dead] Google+ dies today, by the hand of Google's apathy

After nearly 8 years in service, Google has called time on its social network effort, Google+. By now, any user that might have had some worthwhile memories on the platform should have downloaded their data — yesterday was the last day to do so. But from the last day to the first, the site was mired with challenges through and through.

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282

Inbox is about to die, and Google still hasn't brought its best feature to Gmail

As some of us are painfully aware, Inbox is set to die next Tuesday, April 2nd. Google has been pushing Inbox users back to Gmail since the original announcement last September. Initially, that transition was eased with promises that Gmail would eventually inherit Inbox's bundling, the email client's most useful feature. Six months later, a mere week before Inbox's euthanasia, Gmail still doesn't have bundles.

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129

Meet the new guy: Hagop Kavafian

Hello there, friends! I'm Hagop, one of the newest additions to the Android Police team. As we say, I'm part of the "night crew" because I'm based in France and I work hard on delivering news when America is asleep. Of course, I also focus on bringing content to our readers across the world, who get to read my posts fresh out the oven. What I love here is the diverse background our writers and editors have, how we work together, but also how awesome our readers are! In the few weeks I've been writing for AP, you taught me so much, and interacting with you has been a genuine pleasure, so thank you for that.

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75

Five perspectives on Wear OS for its five-year anniversary

Today marks the fifth anniversary of the original announcement of Wear OS (née Android Wear). The platform has iterated through several different generations of hardware, a change of name, and its software has evolved a lot through the years. With half a decade of experience now behind it, some of us here at Android Police decided to sit down and hash out our feelings for Wear OS in 2019.

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61

Google Assistant can read your screen and offer contextual info, just make sure you want it to

Google Assistant does a lot of things. This invisible artificial intelligence residing (partly) inside our devices can answer all kinds of questions, control our homes, help us plan our day, play our favorite music, and, with the addition of features like What's on my screen and Google Lens, glean more from what we're looking at and provide contextual answers. What you may not be aware of, and something I recently discovered (though it isn't very new), is that Assistant can read your screen even when you don't explicitly ask it what's on your screen. That has the potential to be very handy, but also extremely creepy if you didn't know it was possible.

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42

Huawei has now tried passing off DSLR photos as smartphone shots three times - it should know better

A few days back, stories broke that Huawei had tried to pass off not just one, but at least two photos as part of teaser images for the upcoming P30's telescopic optical zoom. Both were professional DSLR shots, one of which was easily reverse-searched as being from a stock image repository on the web, the other outed as shot by someone back in 2009. The facts came to light quickly and without much effort: Huawei was caught red-handed, and its later attempts to sidestep an apology seemed half-hearted at best (which, no: Huawei has not apologized - its statement admits no fault of any kind).

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75

Android Q's dark theme must be picture-perfect at launch, lest developers ignore it

Android Q has a dark theme - but you wouldn't know it reading any of Google's posts about the newest version of its latest mobile OS. There's not even a deeply-buried way to enable it inside Android - the only access point is via command line over ADB. It's the sort of thing you might have expected in the Android of 10 years ago, but that is hardly consistent with the highly polished image of the operating system Google tries to communicate today. It is, in a word, janky.

All jokes about Android's stability the bugginess of Pixel phones aside, Google has generally become much better about introducing new features in a usable and largely finished state in recent years.

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