5G is either the biggest change to our wireless world in decades or the most overhyped marketing spin from carriers in as long - and it all depends on just who you’re asking. Cynical tech journalists like me have real reason to downplay the technology’s importance and relevance to ordinary consumers, but we needn’t get into all that here. Carrier and phone manufacturers, meanwhile, believe it will usher in a new age of devices and use cases we can’t yet fully imagine. The reality is probably somewhere in the middle - closer to the cynical end, I’d argue! - but I think regardless of how 5G plays out, it means very bad things for struggling phone manufacturers. Read More
Google’s hardware division is a rare success story inside a remarkably successful company - and one that has taken the better part of a decade to meet that definition. Its ambitions in the physical product space have grown from a geeky internet sideshow into a full-scale retail assault, and 2018 saw that ascendance continue. For all the naysayers it’s had - and there have been many - Google continues to position its hardware portfolio exactly where it needs to be: in stores. Chromecasts and Home Minis litter hundreds of Walmarts, Targets, and Best Buys, and Pixel smartphones are in Verizon locations across the country. Read More
Many of you are visiting family for the holidays, which means you're sharing meals, telling stories, and exchanging gifts. In fact, quite a few of you may be giving phones or tablets to family members this year. If you're a regular around here, you're probably also known as the resident gadget expert, an honor that is both a compliment and a curse — you know what I'm talking about. While you might be trying to avoid impromptu tech support work, we would like to encourage taking a few minutes to do something for the greater good: Clean the trash apps from your family members' devices. Read More
As you may have noticed, this post originally appeared on Android Police earlier in 2018. As much of the AP team is away for the holidays this week, we're showcasing some of our favorite posts of the year. Enjoy!
Going into this series, I hoped I’d get back to the T-Mobile G1/HTC Dream and be able to romantically wax about where Android came from. How the G1, though dated, still held up the promises made by Google's first Android effort back in 2008. Analytically, it's all true, but time has not been kind to the phone, and using it has made for a pretty rough week, even by my recent standards. Read More
Every two years, we buy a smartphone. At least, that’s what we’ve been told is reasonable to expect of the Average Person. And while reality means that this figure varies widely between any given two people, we do know that the companies that make and sell smartphones have this expectation. That, once a smartphone is two years old, most people are probably ready to get rid of it for something better. But there’s a wrinkle: everything we know tells us that’s changing.
In the early days of the iPhone - when it was exclusive to AT&T - the carrier’s upgrade policy allowed you to buy a new device every two years at a substantial discount in exchange for locking yourself into another two years of service. Read More
When it comes to home security, peace of mind and convenience are what matter to me, making a smart lock pretty damn appealing. We know that homes generally aren't targeted by burglars for a lack of obstacles, but for an abundance of opportunity (like an unlocked door!), and a smart door lock leaves one less thing to chance when you're away on vacation or at the office. All the locks in the world probably aren't going to stop someone truly determined to break into your home - so unless you're barring your windows and using solid exterior doors (and most US homes aren't), I don't think the physical security argument has many legs to stand on. Read More
Congratulations: You've finally developed your million-dollar app. You took a great idea, implemented it, built it into a polished UI, and tested it until you tracked down every last bug. Now it's ready for public release, so you can sit back, relax and ... earn just 70% of what users pay for your software? That doesn't sound right. Yet it's a position that mobile app developers everywhere find themselves in, one that's perched somewhere on the intersection between wildly unfair and mild extortion. Read More
I've been working my way back through Google's Nexus line, re-examining older hardware and software for fun and profit. After the Nexus 5 and Galaxy Nexus, my every-other-phone cycle landed me on the Nexus One: the first Nexus smartphone. Never having used Android 2.3 Gingerbread or earlier full-time, I was curious to see what it would be like. So far as I can tell, the experience I missed out on is gone forever. Read More
Last year, Apple's iPhone X literally changed how the company's customers used their phones, dropping such steadfast design choices as the home button and fingerprint sensor in pursuit of that all-screen dream. Yesterday's announcement wasn't as shocking, but it did democratize 2017's changes with the new, more affordable iPhone XR. In its own way, Apple is set yet again to change how its customers use its phones by delivering most of its flagship features at a new, more palatable price. Read More
Some of my coworkers here at Android Police are under the mistaken impression that I'm an organized person, but they're wrong. I'm actually very disorganized, but it's thanks to tools like Inbox that I'm able to pass as normal in this line of work — at least when it comes to email. So I'm taking its scheduled death pretty hard. Even with the redesign, Gmail doesn't have the features it needs to replace Inbox. Read More