Android Police

Articles Tagged:

opinion

189

Google's 2020 smartphone strategy looks like a mess

It sure looks like the Google Pixel smartphone lineup is about to get weird. Based on what we know so far, it looks like there will be a Pixel 4a, a Pixel 4a 5G, and a Pixel 5. A defunct Pixel 4a XL is out of the picture, and there was never even a leak suggesting the existence of a Pixel 5 XL to begin with. This has rightly left many bewildered: just what is Google trying to accomplish here? While I won't claim to have all the answers, I do think there's a lens worth interpreting this through, and that lens is Google's Silicon Valley rival, Apple.

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461

Ads are taking over Samsung's Galaxy smartphones — and it needs to stop

I've used a Samsung Galaxy smartphone almost every day for nearly 4 years. I used them because Samsung had fantastic hardware that was matched by (usually) excellent software. But in 2020, a Samsung phone is no longer my daily driver, and there's one simple reason that's the case: Ads.

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171

Apple is doing Google a huge favor with iOS 14

While WWDC contained some truly blockbuster announcements this year, iOS still tends to be the biggest takeaway for consumers at Apple's annual developer conference. And with iOS 14, we're seeing Apple borrow more than ever from the biggest competitor to its mobile OS, Android. iOS 14 really does seem intent on reaching feature parity with Google's platform, and while that's no doubt driven by a desire to bring more features and functions to Apple's smartphones—and keep people buying them—there's also a real argument to be made that this is a good thing for Android, too. As the two platforms become more similar, Android will likely start to benefit from an increased awareness among ordinary consumers that their phones can do things like use homescreen widgets or set a different default browser.

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224

Apple's chipset advantage has me more jealous than ever

A couple of months back, word got around that Google was designing its own smartphone chipset. Though similar chatter has circled the internet for years, Google itself has never commented on such speculation, and never confirmed its plans to get in the processor game. At WWDC this week, meanwhile, Apple doubled down on its commitment to chips in the biggest way it ever has. All that has me, as a lifelong Android user, feeling more than a little envious at the moment.

Apple has announced it will transition the last of its product line not using Apple chipsets to the company's own processors.

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121

Android 11 isn't a 'boring' update, you're just not looking at it the right way

Android 11 has reached its "beta" milestone, and while we'll still probably see a few tweaks over the coming months, the general concepts and big-feature changes in the next Android release are just about set in stone. But while the common refrain is that Android 11 is a more minor (or even boring) update to Google's Android platform, the longer I use it, I'm not sure that's fair to say.

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158

Google has declared open war against its videoconferencing rivals

Today, Google announced that Google Meet—the company's young videoconferencing platform—would imminently be bundled into the Gmail applications for Android and iOS devices. It would receive front and center billing, and result in the Gmail app being bifurcated into two top level interfaces: Gmail and Google Meet. Gmail is one of the rare apps to enjoy a 5 billion-plus install count on the Play Store, meaning billions upon billions of Android devices worldwide will soon, by relation, have Google Meet as well (notably, Meet is still limited a few dozen large countries). There is now no doubt in my mind whatsoever: Google intends to win the videoconferencing war, and it intends to play dirty.

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86

Chromebooks desperately need more than 4GB of RAM in 2020

Earlier this month, I had the chance to review Lenovo's new IdeaPad Flex 5 Chromebook. It's a great machine, with an excellent build quality and guaranteed Chrome OS updates for the next eight years, but it had one fault that kept me from wholeheartedly recommending the laptop — it only had 4GB of RAM.

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666

The Pixel 4a has already lost to the iPhone SE

Apple launched brand-new iPhone SE this spring, and it's already been pitted against the expected Pixel 4a as the budget smartphone war of the year. But it's a war I think Google has already lost. With the Pixel 4a nowhere in sight, the iPhone SE continues to win praise from critics, is selling well, and no major flaws or issues have emerged. With Google not expected to launch the Pixel 4a until later this summer, I think the budget phone battle ended before it even had a chance to begin.

Let's take the two side by side. First, you've got the iPhone SE: a 4.7-inch display, a single 12MP rear camera, "iPhone 8"-ish battery life (so, totally fine), 64GB of storage, the powerful A13 Bionic processor, gigabit LTE with dual SIM (via eSIM), Touch ID, no headphone jack, IP67 water resistance, 18W fast wired charging, and wireless charging.

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46

Of course Google should make a successor to the Google Home

The original Google Home was a wildly successful product. Google sold millions of its debut smart speaker, and when it came on the scene in late 2016 to challenge Amazon's Echo, while it lost the market share battle, Google showed the world a smart speaker didn't have to feel quite so dumb. It is plainly obvious Google should build a successor to this now-discontinued product.

The Home was the Volkswagen Golf to the Home Mini's Polo.

Subsequent launches of the Home Mini (replaced by the Nest Mini) and Home Max filled out Google's smart speaker range, and the Nest Hub and Nest Hub Max later offered a more visual stationary Assistant experience.

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22

CES 2021 is a bad idea

At earliest, the top infectious disease official in the United States says a coronavirus vaccine may be deployable at scale by the very tail end of 2020. If everything goes right, and the vaccine works. And not for everybody, at least not until early 2021. Again, this is at the earliest if everything goes exactly right. In unrelated news, CES thinks it can hold a giant convention next January.

CES brings well over a hundred thousand people down on the city of Las Vegas via airplanes from every corner of the globe. CES is known for its extreme human density, not just in the convention center, but in hotels, restaurants, public transit (yes, people use the monorail at CES), event venues, taxis, buses, clubs, and bars.

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