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Editorials

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Opinion: Essential could learn a lot from OnePlus - specifically, its mistakes

Since Essential launched the PH-1 last year, the phone has gained a cult following. Although the phone isn't without its faults, there aren't many other choices for a Snapdragon 835 below $500, and many people took advantage of last fall's Sprint and Amazon sales that saw the price fall lower, under $400. Essential also pioneered the "notch," which (like it or hate it) is only just now coming into vogue. The company and its products aren't perfect by any means, but one might even call Essential disruptive.

For better or worse, I’m reminded of another company that pioneered disruption in the flagship space: OnePlus.

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Android P initial impressions: Two weeks daily driving Google's latest OS

Android P is the latest iteration of Google’s mobile operating system, and it’s been available to test as a Developer Preview on the company’s Pixel phones for about a month now. I flashed the preview on my Pixel 2 XL a few weeks ago and have been using the phone as my daily driver since.

Overall, this is easily the most polished day-one build Google has released. I’m not having any battery drain issues, annoying app crashes, or random reboots. The P preview is, dare I say, very usable.

Still, flashing an early preview to your personal phone generally isn’t advisable.

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Playing PUBG Mobile with a keyboard and mouse might not be 'cheating,' but it's close enough

It's undeniable that PUBG Mobile is the biggest FPS release on Android in years—maybe ever. The full version of the game has attracted a lot of dedicated players, and naturally, there's significant interest in the mobile edition. The controls are bad, but they're the same level of bad for everyone... unless you connect a keyboard and mouse. That raises a question: is using a keyboard and mouse in a competitive mobile shooter the same as cheating?

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Ready or not, Chrome OS tablets must replace Android tablets

Android tablets are not and were not ever very good. There. I said it.

From the very first devices that launched without Google's blessing, to the overhyped, underdelivering ones that did, all the way through Google's last-ditch effort to save them, Android tablets never hit their stride.

Sure, there were some bright spots, occasionally. Like the 2013 Nexus 7, which was beloved for its low cost and simplicity. It was the antithesis of the $500 iPad: a frugal hot hatchback to Apple's fully-loaded luxury sedan. But the Nexus 7, and most small, inexpensive tablets, were short-lived in their mainstream popularity as our phones started growing larger and larger.

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Opinion: It should be easier to share and collaborate on some Google services, particularly Chrome and Contacts

For the first thirty years of my life, I was a lone wolf both offline and online. Then a funny Tinder conversation (of all places, gosh do I know!) with a stranger turned into a dinner, and we were pretty much inseparable since. Suddenly, most of the "me" decisions became "we," and as much as I like to think that choosing between Google Drive and Dropbox isn't a life or death situation, I do rely a lot on the services I use daily. They have to enable me to do things efficiently and smoothly, not stand in the way. My online choices were never a matter of flipping a coin but a thoughtful process that became doubly so when I knew I had to collaborate and share part of my data with someone else who might have different tastes and requirements than mine.

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Motorola is more at risk of becoming irrelevant than ever - can it be saved?

Motorola is in trouble. As it has been, frankly, for much of the past five-plus years. The Lenovo-owned smartphone brand once known for its positively prodigious portfolio hasn't announced a new phone in well over six months. That was the Moto X4, which got a mixed reception and has gone on discount so frequently of late that it seems poor sales are probably a given (granted, it's horrendously overpriced). But the X4 was never really competitive in its segment, and its reason for existence remains something of a mystery to me.

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Meet the new guy: Stephen Schenck

What's crackalackin', fellow mobile-tech aficionados? I'm Stephen, your resident News Editor and latest addition to the Android Police crew. I'm here to keep that sweet, sweet, Android info flowing, and make sure you stay at the head of the curve with the freshest news about your favorite mobile platform.

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Android P: Our 5 least favorite changes so far

Ten days have passed since we started digging into the Android P developer preview release, and while we've enjoyed many of the new changes and shared with you our five favorites, there are other modifications that left us scratching our heads a little. This is a developer preview, so things are expected to be buggy, some features could be experimental and could change with the next releases, but there are others that might be here to stay.

We've scoured our long, long list of Android P posts looking for those that we either don't like or that many of you voiced disapproval for.

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10 stupidly simple things I wish Google Home would do

I love my Google Home(s). I've been using two of them for nearly a year in my apartment, and they were recently augmented by a couple of JBL Link speakers with Assistant and a Google Home Mini at work. I call upon them frequently throughout the day to ask about the weather, play music, set reminders and calendar events, control my smart home devices, and more. And I have spent countless hours testing and checking everything they can do, which culminated in a very long but super detailed Google Home tutorial that I suggest you read.

However, as time passes, there are features that I find myself repeatedly yearning for.

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Opinion: Google Smart Lock for Passwords is underused, underrated, and I wish more Android developers implemented it

You'd be forgiven if you don't remember what Google Smart Lock, aka Smart Lock for Passwords, is. The functionality, which aims to bridge your Google-saved website and service logins on Chrome with those in your Android apps, showed up almost three years ago in the Android M Dev Preview then started rolling to pre-Marshmallow devices. Codenamed YOLO for You Only Login Once, it is the precursor to the Autofill API we saw in Oreo and a solution to all those services that don't use a Google/Facebook/Twitter account login.

Right now, I can count the apps that I know of that support Smart Lock on exactly two hands: Netflix and Netflix for Android TVWordPressFlipboardWazeNestNYTimes, FitbitNokia Health Mate, and most recently NBC.

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