This story was originally published and last updated .
Your Pixel 5 just arrived, clean, pristine, and unapologetically slippery with that speckled bio resin coating. It’s worth protecting, isn’t it? If you’re thinking about wrapping your new Google phone in a fancy case, we’ve rounded up five of the most compelling options on the market.
Android 11 was released earlier this month, following the usual handful of public beta releases. Even though the release might seem iterative and unimportant on the surface, there are dozens of high-level changes across the operating system. Just like every update before it, Android 11 makes your smartphone easier to use and more powerful, even if only slightly so.
We covered many of Android 11's changes as they happened, but now that the release is out and the dust has started to settle, it's time to check out Android 11 as a whole. The exact experience will vary across devices, but Android 11 is definitely an upgrade you should look forward to, assuming your phone or tablet will ever get it.
Google has announced a new streaming dongle, and it comes with perhaps the best evidence yet that time is cyclical: the new Chromecast runs "Google TV." No, not that Google TV—a new thing that's based on Android but designed for TVs. No, not that Android TV. I know, it's confusing. What's not confusing is that the dongle is essentially a better version of the Chromecast Ultra. It streams 4K video, has a remote, and there are some new features in Google TV. Granted, the new Google TV isn't perfect, but at $50, it's hard to complain.
This story was originally published and last updated .
Just a few bucks can save your brand new phone from disaster if you pick up a case. Every dent, ding, drop, and spill is an invitation for disaster, and just a few bucks can protect your multi-hundred-dollar investment. Since you'll probably get one, you may as well get a really nice one — after all, it's the part you'll touch the most. So here are our top five picks for the best Pixel 4a cases in a handful of categories.
Wireless chargers come in several shapes and sizes over the years, from stands to pucks and even orbs, but the mechanics behind how they work can make them kind of a pain. Positioning needs to be just so, or the coil on your gadget won't line up with the coil in the charger, and nothing happens. Multi-coil chargers have been a thing for a while, but the new Zens Liberty steps things up drastically, with sixteen coils stacked and staggered across its face. You can pretty much just dump your phone wherever, and it'll charge. It even looks pretty dang snazzy if you opt for the glass-topped version, but you'll pay €199.99 (around $215 right now) for that privilege.
CyanogenMod was the king of custom Android ROMs for years. Not only did it add plenty of great features on top of stock Android (Theme Engine, anyone?), but it also brought newer versions of the OS to devices that were never officially updated. LineageOS has done an excellent job of maintaining that legacy over the past 3+ years, and the project recently released version 17.1 of the ROM, based on Android 10.
So, what is it like to use LineageOS in 2020? Does Lineage's take on Android 10 feel significantly different than the stock OS? That's what I wanted to find out, so I flashed the latest build on my trusty 2016 Google Pixel and had a look.
Security and privacy are at the heart of our concerns with technology now. With every breach, hack, and vulnerability, we discover how frail this digital footprint we've created is. To protect ourselves, we make sure our devices are always updated with the latest security patches, we try to avoid suspicious sites and apps, we keep our eyes open for phishing attempts in our inbox, but that still isn't enough. If you have smart home gadgets or if you don't control every device in your household, you need network-level protection. Some Wi-Fi routers offer this, but the feature is usually tied in a monthly subscription.
Graphene has been dangled in front of us for over a decade as a new, magical material capable of solving all our technical problems, while steadfastly staying out of consumer products. It's a materials science fact with the mythos of science fiction, but it's finally percolating down into stuff you can actually buy, like this portable charger/battery. Made by a Chinese company called Elecjet, the Apollo Max promises 37Wh (10,000mAh) of capacity, 100W charging, 60W discharging, and a 19 minute recharge time. Unfortunately, that last claim is just science fiction.
Qi wireless charging's popularity has seen an ebb and flow since the tech's introduction. After growing slowly but steadily for several years, it stalled for a while, but is seeing a resurgence now with many popular smartphone makers supporting the standard. Flagships from Google, Samsung, Huawei, and several other Android brands are Qi compatible nowadays, and accessory makers have jumped on the trend.
Beside wireless charging pads and stands, many have combined the convenience of plopping a device on a surface and seeing its battery fill up with the simplicity of magnetic mounts, to create a product that's nearly seamless to use.
Google introduced the idea of a premium Chromebook (and a matching premium price tag) with the original Chromebook Pixel. Other companies have followed suit with devices like the Yoga C630 from Lenovo and some HP X360. In this competitive landscape, Acer has a compelling solution of its own: the Acer Chromebook 715. Acer's new high-end Chromebook sports an all-metal construction with MIL-STD 810G compliance, optional quad-core Intel Core i5 processor with up to 16GB of RAM, a full-size keyboard with a number pad, and an optional fingerprint reader. Currently, there is no other large Chromebook on the market that has those last two features.