Android Police

Editorials

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For those hoping Google's phones stay small, the Pixel 3 may be a savior

Smaller phones are much harder to come by these days, regardless of whether you're using Android or iOS. With the Pixel 3 in particular, and the fact that it's arriving nearly a month after the launch of the considerably larger iPhone XS and XS Max, and months after even larger phones like the Samsung Galaxy Note9, Google has the opportunity to appeal to those who prefer to wield pocketable devices. But to do so successfully, and to keep those of us with smaller mandibles interested in its hardware, it has to do it right.

I’ve lived the last year with the Pixel 2 with a 5-inch display as my daily driver.

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10 years of Android: Ten of the most important handsets from the last decade

Ten years ago this week, the first Android phone was announced - the T-Mobile G1. No one could have predicted the massive success that Android would eventually become; the OS now has over two billion active users worldwide.

In honor of Android's 10th birthday, we're taking a look at the most important and influential Google-powered phones of the past decade. Every one of these devices redefined Android in some way, by pushing the OS further into the mainstream, introducing design trends, or signaling the start/end of an era.

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Using the HTC G1, 10 years later: 2008's smartphone is effectively a dumbphone in 2018

Going into this series, I hoped I’d get back to the T-Mobile G1/HTC Dream and be able to romantically wax about where Android came from. How the G1, though dated, still held up the promises made by Google's first Android effort back in 2008. Analytically, it's all true, but time has not been kind to the phone, and using it has made for a pretty rough week, even by my recent standards. 

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Google Feed's success is leading a revolution in search - and it starts at the homepage

For decades (yes, Google is coming up on two decades), Google's trademark minimalist, all-white homepage has been the most successful effort to "branding" its ubiquitous search product. The Google search homepage appears on TV shows, in movies, video games, books, magazines, and news articles all over the world. Google's web search is so well-known and so dominant that "Googling" something quickly supplanted the actual word "search," because what else would you use to look something up? Bing? Hah (I'm waiting for That Bing Person now). Dramatically changing that instantly-recognizable layout might, then, seem like borderline-heresy given the success it's brought.

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Opinion: Google's 30% cut of Play Store app sales is nothing short of highway robbery

Congratulations: You've finally developed your million-dollar app. You took a great idea, implemented it, built it into a polished UI, and tested it until you tracked down every last bug. Now it's ready for public release, so you can sit back, relax and ... earn just 70% of what users pay for your software? That doesn't sound right. Yet it's a position that mobile app developers everywhere find themselves in, one that's perched somewhere on the intersection between wildly unfair and mild extortion.

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Opinion: Email app and Gmail add-on privacy really isn't that hard to understand

There are legitimate security concerns about Google, most recently around its handling of user location data. However, there are a growing number of media outlets and U.S government officials bashing the company for allowing Gmail add-ons and third-party mail clients to read user messages - which is required for them to function.

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Using a Nexus One in 2018 gives 'obsolete' a whole new meaning

I've been working my way back through Google's Nexus line, re-examining older hardware and software for fun and profit. After the Nexus 5 and Galaxy Nexus, my every-other-phone cycle landed me on the Nexus One: the first Nexus smartphone. Never having used Android 2.3 Gingerbread or earlier full-time, I was curious to see what it would be like. So far as I can tell, the experience I missed out on is gone forever.

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Android Police talks Apple: The biometric gap, shifting affordability, and Watch envy

Last year, Apple's iPhone X literally changed how the company's customers used their phones, dropping such steadfast design choices as the home button and fingerprint sensor in pursuit of that all-screen dream. Yesterday's announcement wasn't as shocking, but it did democratize 2017's changes with the new, more affordable iPhone XR. In its own way, Apple is set yet again to change how its customers use its phones by delivering most of its flagship features at a new, more palatable price.

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Google may push people to Gmail, but it's a bad substitute for Inbox

Some of my coworkers here at Android Police are under the mistaken impression that I'm an organized person, but they're wrong. I'm actually very disorganized, but it's thanks to tools like Inbox that I'm able to pass as normal in this line of work — at least when it comes to email. So I'm taking its scheduled death pretty hard. Even with the redesign, Gmail doesn't have the features it needs to replace Inbox.

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Apple's "cheap" iPhone Xr just ate Google's lunch

For years, fans and analysts alike have clamored for Apple to release a proper "mid-range" iPhone. Today, they finally got what they wanted - sort of. The new iPhone Xr represents an entirely new direction for the iPhone lineup, and one that poses a serious threat to "flagship" tier Android phones that lurk anywhere above its $749 MSRP.

While you may be thinking "there's nothing 'mid-range' about $749," be reminded that the iPhone Xs and Xs Max cost $1000 and $1100, respectively, making the all-new Xr a fairly significant price cut in Apple terms. It's also not even the smallest iPhone: the Xr features a 6.1" LCD (the Xs is a 5.8" OLED, the Max is 6.5") that Apple claims will wipe the floor with any other in terms of color accuracy, and given their history, I believe them.

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