If you follow enough tech blogs, it's probably pretty clear that interest in true wireless earbuds has increased dramatically over the last couple of years. It took a while for some traditional audio brands to jump on board, but you'll be hard pushed to find one that doesn't make a TWS set now, and it's even possible to find cheaper models that don't sound terrible these days.
Market analysis from Canalys shows that sales figures back up these observations — true wireless earbuds are the fastest-growing product in the audio segment, with an annual increase of 183% in Q3 2019, and they've surpassed wireless earphones (the ones with wires connecting the two buds) and wireless headphones (on-ear and over-ear) to become the most popular product category. Read More
Modern "smart" home standards have more than a few dumb things about them, like the fact that certain hardware often locks you into a specific ecosystem of supported devices and software. If something works with Alexa, it doesn't always mean that it will work with the Assistant or Siri, and that's not even mentioning the whole obnoxiousness of "hubs." Thankfully, a new open standard is being developed by some of the biggest names in the smart home industry, with Amazon, Apple, and Google all backing a new open-source approach via the imaginatively titled "Project Connected Home over IP." It's a complicated-sounding name, but what really matters is the fact that future smart home products will be more inter-compatible and secure. Read More
Black Friday is still weeks away, but retailers are already raring to tell us about their deals. Costco's holiday offerings aren't as jam-packed as, say, Best Buy's; there are no Pixel or Chromebook deals here. Still, there's plenty to chew on, especially if you're thinking about a new Samsung phone. Read More
It could only be a PhoneBuff video if you find a robotic arm flicking through a smartphone. The latest video on the YouTube channel pits the Google Pixel 4 XL against the Apple iPhone 11 Pro Max in a performance test. To nobody’s surprise, the Apple flagship took the lead while the Pixel 4 XL did show some signs of improvement over its predecessor. Even if you don’t approve of such speed tests, they do bring out some crucial points on how a phone handles demanding conditions. Read More
YouTube Music is slowly spreading its tentacles and establishing itself as Play Music's successor. While the service still lacks many essential features for some users, it's good enough for others. Its most recent addition is Siri support on iOS — while Android integration with Assistant is still iffy. Read More
Google Voice is quite a convenient service letting you call and text internationally for cheap. It's even a proper phone line replacement for some. There's one thing that we've been waiting for the service to implement forever, though: using your voice to initiate a ... Voice call. That's changing, but only if you have an iPhone or an iPad: In a collective slap in the faces of Android and Nest users, you can now talk to Siri to make calls or send text messages through Google's service. Read More
Another new week, another collection of deals. Today, you'll find a repeat of a great price on the Google Nest Hub, a sizeable discount on the Eufy Video Doorbell, and some cheap charging accessories. Read More
I have 500 words to tell you whether or not I think you should get Google Play Pass for $5 a month or if you're better off with an alternative solution. Frankly speaking, if you're the type that constantly uses a wide array of apps and games and are always curious enough to try just one more every so often, you should pull the trigger. But let's not get ahead of ourselves, here. Read More
Apple just announced its fifth-generation Apple Watch, and no surprise, it puts Google's Wear OS ecosystem to shame. Even with a headstart on wearables, Google has made such slow progress that Apple easily dominates the market. With the Series 5, Apple has adopted one of the last features that set Wear OS apart. We've waited years for Wear OS to click, and it's simply not happening. It's time for Google to rethink its approach to Wear OS before it slides completely into irrelevance. Read More
Today, Apple will announce some new iPhones. Before the year is through, it will sell tens of millions of these phones worldwide, with each sale averaging a price any other smartphone maker could only dream of. Around a month from now, Google will offer its retort, in the form of the Pixel 4. The Pixel 4 will not be the source of any grand claims about sales figures, because Google will probably be lucky to even crack a million units before 2019 ends, if the Pixel 3's struggles are any sort of evidence.
After three years and soon four generations of Pixel smartphones, Google has failed to generate meaningful marketplace traction for its in-house smartphone brand. Read More