Android Police

Editorials

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Meet the new guy: Paul Fidalgo

Hi folks, this is Paul, one of the newer writers here at Android Police. I have to begin my meet-the-new-guy post by acknowledging just how cool it is that I'm writing for this site, one that I have long admired as just about the smartest and most comprehensive site of its kind. Admittedly, I haven't been able to give as much time to the site as I had hoped when they first brought me on, but I'm having so much fun contributing what I'm able, and I intend to keep at it as long as they'll have me.

I started writing for Android Police in the middle of last December, and perhaps no one was more surprised to find my byline here than me.

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After 5 years with Samsung and LG, I moved to a Pixel 2 XL and... nothing has changed

I still remember when we used to bicker over iPhone vs Symbian, before Android took over the second part of that argument. I also remember when Xenon vs LED flash was the most controversial discussion in the smartphone world for several years - some of you may have been toddlers when that started. And I remember when apps weren't a thing, when 3G was the hottest novelty, when we thanked our lucky stars because companies stopped using massive proprietary charging and earphone ports, and when a smartphone with a 2.8" display (Nokia N95 8GB) counted as monstrous. Nowadays, we feel cheated when the second back lens in a phone doesn't bring a lot of improvement, or when the display's color shifts at an angle as if everyone is side-glancing at their phones all the time, when a device has a MicroUSB port and not USB-C, or when it takes a fraction of a millisecond longer for a swipe to register.

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Opinion: Mobile web apps are finally becoming an alternative to native apps

For over a decade, web-based applications have been replacing native programs - at least on the desktop. I manage my calendar with Google Calendar, check my email through Google Inbox, chat with fellow AP members in Slack, listen to music through Plex and Google Play Music, and talk with friends on Discord and Hangouts. Every single one of those services is available as a web app.

While web apps (and web "native" apps using frameworks like Electron) have replaced many traditional programs on the desktop, the same is not true for mobile. Native applications are not only the norm, but the only option for most services and applications.

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Android TV streaming boxes: An uneasy start and apparent death

Android TV is very much alive, as was made abundantly clear by the plethora of new Android TV powered televisions with Google Assistant capability shown off at CES 2018. Streaming boxes powered by Android TV, however, are conspicuously missing—the last Android TV set-top box to be released in the United States was the Xiaomi Mi Box in October 2016.

Apple TV and Amazon's Fire TV products both received hardware refreshes last September, while Roku products received hardware refreshes in October. In comparison, the three year old Nexus Player—arguably the flagship of Android TV—last received a software update in November, and will not be upgraded to Android 8.1 Oreo.

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I used the Google Pixelbook as my only laptop at CES - and it completely converted me

The Google Pixelbook is a truly excellent piece of hardware, as I stated in my review of it over two months ago. The refrain so often heard about Chromebooks, though, is that Chrome OS's limited application ecosystem prevents it from being a "serious" laptop operating system. As someone who frequently travels and has to be mobile as part of my job, I thought I'd put Google's laptop to the test in a live environment: CES.

Now, CES isn't quite the on-the-ground reporting slog it once was for Android Police. The number of smartphones announced at the show is tiny, and much of our work stems from various briefings and meetings rather than rubbing shoulders with attendees on the show floor.

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The US smartphone market is devolving into a Samsung and Apple market - and that's bad for Android

If you live in the United States and walk into a Verizon store, you have essentially four options when it comes to choosing a premium smartphone brand: Apple, Samsung, LG, and Google. Yesterday, we learned that continuing to expect LG will be one of these options probably isn't the best bet.

While there may yet be a premium LG phone that launches on Verizon, the Korean conglomerate looks poised to join Motorola as one of Verizon's when-it's-convenient handset partners, and is quite possibly on its way to the Verizon graveyard with the likes of HTC, Sony, and BlackBerry.

The same can generally be said of AT&T, T-Mobile, and Sprint.

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Opinion: In-screen fingerprint scanners are cool, but may be too late to matter

Here at CES 2018, I had a chance to look at what some of us probably considered mere fantasy a few short years ago: a fingerprint scanner that can see through a smartphone display. It sounds like something that must be so complex it would be beyond explanation, but really, the basic principles aren't terribly difficult to grasp.

The short of it is this: smartphone screens are light-permeable, because they are porous. The thinner the display, the more light-permeable it probably is, and OLED screens are the thinnest currently being manufactured. By shining a bright enough light through the porous display, a sensor can observe the reflection of your fingerprint against the display components and use that to create a computer-readable image.

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Opinion: Google has quietly become one of the world's most important hardware companies

As we say goodbye to 2017, I'd like you to think back to five years ago - specifically, Google five years ago. At that time, if I had told you Google was one of the world's most important consumer electronics manufacturers, you'd probably have laughed at me.

Mentally put yourself in 2012: Google's just announced the fourth Nexus phone, the Nexus 4, running Android 4.2 Jelly Bean, along with the Nexus 10 tablet. At Google I/O six months prior, it unveiled the Nexus Q - a device intended to be some sort of smart entertainment hub... and proceeded to cancel its public launch.

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Meet the new guy: Jason Hahn

Season’s greetings. I’ve been hanging around for the past two months, so it seems time for a proper introduction: My name is Jason, obviously. I currently work in a corporate communications role during the week and enjoy the privilege of writing for this site Saturday and Sunday mornings. Some of my earliest memories of technology involve an IBM PS/2 and a Robie Junior. What brings me here is my fondness for the world of Android, which began when I soft-bricked my Nexus 5 in January 2014.

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Switching to the iPhone, part three: Everything I hate about the iPhone X

I look at my phone. It vibrates. It asks for my password.

This is the single most annoying experience I have on a regular basis with the iPhone X. Face ID is at once pretty good and absolutely infuriating. The iPhone X is, as a result, the most frustrating smartphone I have used in recent memory. The iPhone X is also pretty great, but when it rubs me the wrong way, it really rubs me the wrong way.

Switching to the iPhone hasn't been without annoyances and sacrifices. In fact, it's come with quite a few, if I'm going to be honest with you about it.

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