Chrome OS may have supported Linux applications since 2018, but it debuted with quite a few limitations. Though GPU acceleration finally started to land for some Chromebooks in the middle of last year, the Linux container still hasn't been able to capture audio input for things like microphones. Or, at least, it couldn't until the feature silently landed with Chrome OS 79. Read More
The default hardware kit for most podcasters and live streamers consists of two widely known products: A Logitech webcam and a Blue Yeti microphone. The Yeti has become one of the most popular all-around mics on the market because it delivers high quality, versatility, and a distinctive look without breaking the bank. Blue is now launching a new member in the lineup called the Yeti X, taking everything from the original, but adding great lighting and powerful audio processing capabilities that will appeal to podcasters and a rapidly growing market of game streamers. Read More
Back in 2017, some original Pixels and Pixel XLs started experiencing microphone failures — theorized to be due to a hairline crack in the mic's solder. Google RMA-ed these devices, but the problem persisted in some replacement phones too, and a class action lawsuit was filed the following year. We now have word that Google has agreed to settle this lawsuit for $7,250,000 pending final court approval. Read More
The OnePlus 6T may have been our favorite phone of 2018, but it wasn't without its problems. Recently, we reported that OnePlus phones appear to be resetting battery optimization settings randomly, but it appears that OnePlus 6 and 6T may also have some good, old-fashioned microphone troubles, too: Many are experiencing issues with call and recording quality in third-party apps like Snapchat and WhatsApp. Read More
The Pixel line is known for, above all else, its wicked cameras. But one problem a certain type of mobile photography enthusiast has run into with the phones is that they don't currently allow for the use of external microphones in the default camera app. That's set to change next week, though. Read More
Google's Pixels are known for their software quality, but they're also known for launching with random issues, like last year's Pixel 2 audio quality problems when recording video. The theme continues with this year's Pixel 3 phones, and the first problem reviewers have noticed with Google's latest flagships is — you guessed it — another microphone/audio issue. Read More
Our phones being able to respond to voice commands is great: you can ask for a unit conversion in the kitchen without getting flour on your screen, or change your driving destination without taking your eyes off the road. What's less great is that to facilitate that convenience, phones have to be listening at all times, and stopping them from doing so is frustratingly convoluted. There are settings in multiple places that all seem like they should do the same thing, but don't. This guide will explain the menus you'll need to navigate to change these settings, the differences between all the similar-sounding options, and the drawbacks of each Ok Google-disabling method. Read More
If you've been following the WhatsApp rumors, you'd know that we've been promised a voice recording lock option for a while now and it's finally live in the beta channel on version 2.18.102 of the app. The lock won't show up immediately after you start recording a voice note, but after a few seconds it will appear with a little hint that sliding up will lock the microphone on.
Anyone who's used WhatsApp's voice recording knows that it can be a little annoying: you tap the microphone and have to keep it tapped while you're talking then release it to send the message or slide to the left to cancel it. Read More
Last month, a series of AOSP commits revealed that the next release of Android would block apps in the background from using the camera or microphone. It's a bit surprising that this feature didn't already exist, but recent privacy concerns (like the theory about Facebook listening to users) may have pushed Google to implement it.
As expected, the feature is officially part of Android P; idle applications can no longer access the microphone, camera, or device sensors. Read More