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. Read More
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. Read More
Hey, I'm James Sanders. I started writing for Android Police in late October, though I've been writing about technology since 2013. I'm also (apparently) the first writer at Android Police who lives in Japan. Read More
I can already tell I’ll have a hard time going back to Android’s software navigation keys.
One of the most pleasantly surprising features of the iPhone X - and something that’s going to read like it’s straight out of Phil Schiller’s marketing playbook - comes in the form of what Apple removed from the phone: the home button. By forcing the issue of gesture navigation instead of going half-in with soft keys, Apple’s made a convert of me. I like gesture nav.
It’s also kind of broken. There’s no universal gesture to go back (some apps let you swipe from the left - sometimes), and the quick switcher button at the top left of the phone requires some serious thumb acrobatics to reach. Read More
On a fall day over eight years ago, I walked into an AT&T store in Davis, my college town, to see the iPhone 3GS. I held it, stared at it, looked at the price card, then back at the phone, and then down at the price card again. Reality began to set in.
I was locked into a contract with my Sony-Ericsson feature phone for another six months. I asked about early upgrade pricing - $200 on top of the $199 AT&T already charged for the phone - but I was a student, and my meager checking account balance could barely withstand the regular on-contract price and accompanying increase in the monthly service fee. Read More
"It's interesting." That's what I heard most often when I would show someone ZTE's bizarre dual-screen phone.
And, inevitably, "Who's it for?"
I never came up with a good answer. The Axon M is unlike any other smartphone on the market. Some people have made a point of likening it to the long-deceased Kyocera Echo, and while it is similar to that phone, the concept has evolved a fair bit. The Axon M is more mature, more considered, and more thoughtful - ZTE clearly spent time thinking about how a dual-screen phone would work, and how to minimize some of (though definitely not all) the pain points it would present. Read More
Two years ago, I drew up a little comparison between the duration of software support for iOS and Nexus devices, and the differences were stark. Whereas Google only committed to 24 months of OS updates on its flagship phones, Apple typically updates their iPhones for up to 5 years after release. At the time, I was somewhat hopeful that things would improve gradually over time: Google had just formalized the 24-month update policy a few weeks prior, and we were already seeing a few devices like the Nexus 4 and the 2012 Nexus 7 that were being kept up-to-date for 34 or 38 months. Read More
I've been using the Google Pixel 2 XL now for over a week. Its predecessor, the 2016 Pixel XL, is what I called the best Android phone ever six months after its release. I'm fairly certain that the 2 XL will take the original's title, at least in my opinion, without issue.
Before flaws, refinements
Around the internet, I am seeing a lot of revisionist history claiming the original Pixel XL was essentially a no-compromise, highly polished smartphone. Here's the thing: it wasn't.
The original Pixel had significant flaws, and in spite of them, I still thought it was the best smartphone I'd ever used. Read More
Allo was released on Google Play just over a year ago, on September 20th. It suffered a bit at the hands of hype between its early announcement at 2016's I/O and the actual release, which didn't come for months. But since then it has been a major part of the conversation when it comes to Android. Google made a big decision and faced a lot of criticism when it resolved to launch another messaging service. Now that it's been a year, how has it held up? Read More
A little-acknowledged but persistent problem has plagued every Google handset since the original Nexus One: Their most defining characteristics - Google's services and Android itself - are not unique to them.
With each new Google phone, consumers do often get their first chance to buy (well, assuming they're in stock - a big assumption) a device that ships with the latest version of Android. Or, they can wait four or five months and buy one that ships with that same version of Android from another, better-known vendor, typically with all of the major improvements and new features intact. Such a limited window of exclusivity on a highly iterative and admittedly quite geeky facet of a product all but ensures most people cannot be bothered to understand any of this. Read More