For some reason, Pixel phones tend to exhibit the strangestbugs, and we might have just run into yet another weird one. Pixel 2 and 2 XL owners have been reporting for more than two years that some images available through the Google Wallpapers app make their SystemUI crash repeatedly to the point of a device shutdown. With no chance to change the wallpaper in that timeframe, they have to factory reset their devices to make them functional again.
Over the last three days, there have been widespread reports of Google Home smart speakers becoming entirely unresponsive. Most of those affected appear to be in the Google Home preview program, which allows the adventurous to test early firmware releases. While a factory reset has fixed the issue for some, for others, it reportedly makes things worse, rendering the device no longer discoverable.
Even though you probably don't notice that any of your Google Home devices are constantly receiving firmware updates, they get new software all the time. Most likely, you'll only realize it when something goes really wrong, which is exactly what more and more people are reporting on Google's help forum and Reddit. They say their Google Homes and Google Home Minis have been bricked following an OTA, and they receive little to no help from Google when they're outside of warranty.
You may remember that back in February at MWC 2019 in Barcelona, Energizer unveiled a boatload of phones. The most bizarre of the lot had a humungous 18,000mAh battery, dual pop-up front cameras, and it could seemingly also be used to break through glass in an emergency. In news that will shock nobody, it has spectacularly failed to reach its lofty Indiegogo crowdfunding target.
We don't often see much into the world of ultra-rugged smartphones and tablets as "normal" consumers, though we catch glimpses from time to time from the likes of CAT and such. These devices take many steps beyond the Galaxy S Active series in terms of durability. Since AT&T seems to be fond of these phones, it and Sonim have announced the XP8 for use on FirstNet. This phone looks like one solid piece of technology and, despite its middling specifications, it will cost a whopping $699.
Many of you probably know about the Anker PowerHouse, a massive 434Wh battery that can be had for $499.99. But if that was too much money for more power than you needed, Anker has just unveiled the PowerHouse 200, a smaller and less expensive version. It's still a giant brick of a battery, but if you just don't need 434Wh, this is the car battery-shaped battery for you.
Being able to remotely wipe your phone's data is a handy feature and, in conjunction with Android's Device Protection, can make your phone all but useless to a would-be thief. I say "all but" useless because there's always the possibility of a workaround or a deep compromise of your account information that could let a thief into your device in an extreme scenario. Granted, almost nothing can claim to completely eliminate the risk of data theft once your accounts are compromised, but there are steps that can be taken to at least mitigate the damage, even if just long enough to get back control of your stuff.
Google's approach to releasing preview firmware for upcoming versions of Android is evolving into a pretty cool system that allows developers to simply sign up a device and wait for the OTAs to come rolling in. However, no product launch is perfect, and this one is causing some real problems for some users. Complaints started rolling into the Nexus Help Form and AOSP Issue Tracker about devices that were left unable to boot after attempting to install the OTA. This problem is greatly compounded by the fact that many users are not able to unlock their bootloaders, which means they can't fix the issue with a factory image.