A couple of days ago Logitech announced the end of its long-running Harmony universal remote line in a rather un-ceremonial forum post. The writing has been on the wall for a while; the last major Harmony release was almost two years ago, and that was an expensive dud. But it's still a blow to a community of dedicated hi-fi users who've loved these gadgets for almost 20 years.
I have strong feelings on foldables—I think they're the future, but I also think you should absolutely not buy one right now. As cool as foldables phones like the Galaxy Z Fold2 might be, the technology is still very new. These phones are expensive and prone to more hardware issues than traditional flat phones. Because I am a giant nerd with questionable decision-making skills, I bought a Galaxy Z Fold2 for $2,000 shortly after release in spite of all this. It was great! Until it needed a repair. It's been a month now, and I still don't have the phone back, thanks to the combined incompetence of UPS and Samsung.
Chromebooks differ from regular PCs in many ways, but perhaps the most important distinction is that they have fixed lifetimes. Unlike traditional PCs, where you can keep updating the operating system until the hardware fails or becomes too ancient, Chromebooks use Google-made hardware platforms that are only guaranteed updates for a handful of years. Google has been gradually extending the support life for new Chromebooks, and now we're seeing the first models with nine years of guaranteed OS support.
Most companies have been putting out statements to assure customers during the coronavirus pandemic, and OnePlus is no exception. Following up on a post published last week, the company has just announced that it is extending warranty coverage and return periods to make things a little easier for customers. It's also working on a "back-up device program" that lets you apply for a loaner device while your own undergoes repairs.
The greatest long-term issue with Chromebooks is their fixed lifespan — unlike PCs, where operating system updates are not tied to specific devices, most Chromebooks only get between 5-6 years of updates. It started to look like Google was finally trying to change that last year, when the company gave most Chromebooks another year of software support, and now Google says at least some Chromebooks released this year will get eight years of updates.
Who can you go to when your phone starts misbehaving? Most people would pester the device maker or carrier, but maybe Google could be of some assistance. The official Android Twitter account now promises to answer questions on the social network tagged with #AndroidHelp. Naturally, people are using it to complain about updates.
Chromebooks are unique among their laptop peers in that they come with a built-in expiration date. More specifically, once a particular Chromebook model reaches end-of-life status, typically several years after its initial release, these devices will no longer receive OS updates. Just last week, Google extended the EOL timeframe for over one hundred Chromebook models. Now, Google is looking to improve transparency by making this information available directly through the settings app on Chrome OS devices.
One major problem with Chromebooks is that the support lifespan is fixed; once your Chromebook passes its End-Of-Life date, usually a few years from its release, it will no longer get updates. This is in stark contrast to traditional PCs, which can continue to receive updates (even if only through Linux) until the hardware fails. Thankfully, Google has just made this problem slightly less annoying.
Given the sheer amount of cars that now support Android Auto, you might be surprised to learn that the in-car software isn't actually supported everywhere. Today there are 40 countries that Android Auto is officially available in, with four of those added today and four added late last year.
Late last year, Google decided it was time to crack down on apps requesting SMS and call log permissions. Ostensibly, exceptions would be granted for categories including backups and automation, but as of now, there are still gaps which cover legitimate use cases. While some popular apps like Tasker have successfully secured exemptions, others like Cerberus have not. Instead, they've decided to strip out those permissions or risk facing the wrath of Google's upcoming January 9th banhammer, killing associated functionality and disappointing millions of long-time users to adhere to the Play Store's new policy.