Last week Clubhouse announced that its highly-anticipated Android app was finally real, at least in the sense that there were a few people using it. At the time it was limited to "friendly testers" in a closed beta. Today it's available for all on Android. Well, sort of: "all" is still limited to those who have invitations to the audio chatroom service. But hey, at least you can use the app to reserve a username.
Wow, talk about a blast from the past. The gorgeous Timely Alarm Clock showed up on the Play Store in the summer of 2013, an example of what well-designed Android apps should look like in the Jelly Bean era. Just a few months later, Google gobbled up the developer Bitspin, and made all of the pretty add-ons for Timely free.
The Galaxy A series represents an excellent intersection of performance and price, and now there's a new option sold straight on Google Fi. Google's offering the Galaxy A32 5G, announced at the start of this year, sold directly from the Fi store. It's $280 outright, which is only a little more than you'll find the phone unlocked. But as good a deal as that is, new Google Fi customers probably shouldn't pick one up.
Taiwan-based manufacturer Asus is well-known for its PCs and, these days, its ROG Phones for gamers. But it's always had a stake in mobile tilted towards a wider audience, too. That stake gets a major update today with two new entries: the small and powerful Zenfone 8 and the highly-engineered Zenfone 8 Flip.
Xiaomi was labeled a national security threat in the United States during the waning days of the Trump administration, following similar action against Huawei and ZTE. The company filed a lawsuit against the US government in order to prevent the ban, and today, both parties have reached a settlement that will remove the technology giant from being blacklisted altogether.
One of the more persistent problems with Stadia is that, due to a relatively low amount of players versus established platforms like Xbox, PlayStation, and PC, its multiplayer games can sometimes feel a little empty. Destiny 2 will fix that problem sometime this fall ... or right the hell now, because the developers accidentally turned on crossplay a little early.
In a typical battle royale, the goal is to be the last one standing among a hundred combatants. When one of those combatants is a 300-foot tall radioactive lizard, you're going to need a little more than an UZI to take it down. The next update to Player Unknown's Battlegrounds introduces a crossover with Godzilla vs Kong, with Legendary's giant monsters set to duke it out on the mobile maps starting later this week.
Asus is still very much an also-ran in the smartphone world, but that gives it the space to try some unconventional designs that many find appealing. Take, for example, the Zenfone 6 and later, which elegantly solves the aesthetic issue of the notch by making its rear camera module flip around to the front when needed. Personally, I think it makes the Zenfone series some of the best-looking Android hardware there is. Asus isn't quite done with this design yet, according to a newly-leaked render of the unannounced ZenFone 8 Flip.
Google and other Android manufacturers try to keep on top of the hardware and software security, at varying degrees of intensity. But a vulnerability in widely-used Qualcomm SoCs disclosed by Check Point Research today was particularly alarming. It could theoretically allow a malicious app to patch the software for Qualcomm's MSM modem chips, giving it access to call and text history or even the ability to record conversations. Thankfully, most Samsung phones have already received a patch fixing the problem, and the rest is in for an update next month.
For most Android users, Microsoft's cloud storage will always play second fiddle to Google Drive. But those who are heavily invested in Office 365 or the Windows platform in general still want a good cloud storage app, and today the Android version of OneDrive is a little better. The latest update adds compatibility with the Chromecast and other casting devices.