Android Police

Editorials

159

It looks like OnePlus is killing its pop-up camera, and that's a bummer

When the first OnePlus 7 Pro renders trickled out, showing off what appeared to be a pop-out camera mechanism, even I was critical of the concept. External moving parts on a device that suffers as much abuse as a phone seemed like a design that was destined to fail, even in just a mechanical sense.

Well, I'm not afraid to say that I was entirely wrong. OnePlus' pop-up selfie camera has proven to be a fantastic idea, and I'm upset it looks like OnePlus' next high-end "Pro" phone won't get one.

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472

Chrome OS has stalled out

Nearly ten years ago, Google shipped an unassuming, totally unbranded laptop to a large group of journalists and tech enthusiasts as part of a 60,000 unit pilot program. That laptop was the CR-48, and it was designed to showcase a project Google had been working on internally for well over a year. It was called Chrome OS.

I was among the first of those lucky folks to receive a CR-48, and I used it as much as humanly possible for almost a year. It was kind of the worst: constant crashes, an insanely slow single-core Intel Atom processor, and questionable build quality would make it clear to anyone that it was very much a product built for dogfooding, not as a replacement for your Windows or Mac notebook.

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62

OnePlus enters 2020 more successful than ever—but it can't rest on its laurels

As 2019 ends and we enter a new decade, I felt the story of OnePlus deserved a bit more examination. In an email interview with CMO Kyle Kiang, I probed the history of a company that is often as shocking in its successes as it is in its marketing misfires. As it crests its sixth year as a smartphone vendor, it's more competitive than ever, coming a long way from the days when it could barely manage to build enough $349 OnePlus Ones using a tightly controlled and very annoying invitation system.

OnePlus has also transformed in ways I don't believe any of us predicted, going from a scrappy, value-first smartphone maker to a legitimate competitor in a field that includes some of the world's most recognizable brands: Samsung, Apple, and Google.

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116

It's almost 2020 and Gmail still doesn't have Inbox's bundles, which Google promised back in 2018

Google announced that it was killing Inbox all the way back in 2018. Though its death would ultimately be delayed until April of 2019, the news still hit hard for those that had grown dependent on the service's many exclusive email-managing tools — especially "bundling," which automatically sorted emails into adaptive categories for easy organization. In 2018, Google said that some of Inbox's features, including bundling, would be coming to Gmail, making our forced migration a little easier. But here we are a mere day from 2020, and Gmail still doesn't have it.

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169

Dear Samsung, please let me exclude screenshots from Google Photos backups

After years of using mostly stock-Android phones, I bought a Galaxy S10e for myself a few months ago, and I've used it almost every day since that point. While the software experience isn't perfect, Samsung does usually provide options to disable functionality I don't care for. However, there's one software quirk that can't easily be fixed: screenshots are constantly backed up to my Google Photos library.

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18

Two-factor authentication should be mandatory for all of your accounts, and it's time for companies to step up

Today, Vice published a story detailing the abysmal security practices of Amazon's Ring brand of smart home security and surveillance products after a spate of compromised passwords (which have been inaccurately described as "hacked," even by The New York Times, who should know much better) led to terrifying privacy breaches for consumers across the US.

Compromised passwords are an extremely common source of account breaches, whether as part of account dumps on the dark web or through simple social engineering. Passwords are, for all of their virtues, very bad as security measures. In a world full of bad actors looking to compromise your personal privacy for the sake of spying on you or taking advantage of you financially, your password should be one of several lines of defense protecting you.

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25

The OnePlus 7T Pro McLaren 5G is the first 5G phone I actually want to buy

My time with the OnePlus 7T Pro (deep breath) McLaren 5G has been relatively short, but also pretty dang informative. And my opinion on it has, as a result, formed about as rapidly as the supercars which share its namesake get to triple-digit speeds. It's no secret that the OnePlus 7 Pro is a favorite among the staff here at Android Police, and the 7T Pro is really just a tweaked and tuned variant of that phone. The McLaren edition simply maxes out the RAM and storage configuration and adds 5G.

Is $900 a lot of money for a OnePlus phone?

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6

Red Magic 3S not-review: I like this silly phone

I'll admit, I thought that Android gaming phones were a stupid idea. But after using the Red Magic 3S off and on over the last month, I'm happy to say that my attitude was wrong. That's not to say I'd recommend using one as your only phone — I wouldn't — but there's definitely a point to gaming phones, and the Red Magic 3S has a lot of potential, packing a great software experience together with price-defying hardware. I just wouldn't buy one to use as my only phone.

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71

Google hasn't updated Android's version distribution numbers in six months, avoids getting owned in Apple keynotes

One of our traditions here at Android Police was covering the monthly updates to the Android Platform Distribution statistics. The page revealed which versions of Android had how much market share, allowing us to track how quickly (or more often, how slowly) a system update was rolling out. However, the page has almost entirely been neglected for over a year.

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132

Super expensive folding phones distract from a simple truth: phones are boring now

Smartphones have become boring. And I don't mean that in some kind of ultra-enthusiast, super geeky, and technical way. I mean that, for most people, smartphones are not an interesting, let alone exciting, thing. Most people look at buying a new smartphone like buying a new pair of running shoes: you read some reviews on a few blogs, you browse Zappos, maybe you even go down to a local athletic store and try some on. In the end, you buy some shoes, you keep them for a couple years (or longer, I'm not judging!), and you replace them when they seem worn out.

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