About the Author

Ben Schoon


Ben is a tech geek with a soft spot for Android, Pixel/Nexus in particular. Constantly switching between devices that literally surround him, he can be found reviewing the latest smartphones on the 9to5Google YouTube channel and writing up the latest news. Ben also started a small publication called YourTechExplained, which still runs today. You can get in touch with him over on Twitter or by Email.


Ben Schoon's Favorite Gear


Yesterday Google officially revealed Stadia to the world, the company’s big game streaming project. Impressive is almost an understatement when looking at Google’s ambitious new product, and that’s before we even get pricing details or a list of games. There are still some details to be learned from the initial hands-on coverage, though. Here are some Google Stadia tidbits you might have missed.

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Moto Z4 render leaks w/ waterdrop notch, single rear camera, Moto Mod pins

Motorola hasn’t seen a whole lot of success in the past couple of years, but the company isn’t showing any signs of slowing down. Today, we’re getting our first peek at the Moto Z4 in a leaked render.

NBC Sports arrives on Android TV w/ subscription passes, access to dozens of sporting events

Android TV has been picking up a lot of steam in the industry, but apps are still its sore point. Today, the NBC Sports app has made its official debut on Android TV.

Generally speaking, Google’s services are fairly secure. Today, though, a vulnerability from Google Photos has been revealed which potentially exposed location history, before it was patched.

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Deal: Get Pixelbook at 25% off: $750!

Just a few days after Google started showing Doodles in the Discover feed, the Pixel Launcher is picking up that look in another spot. Today, we’re seeing a Spring animation from the Google Doodle appearing on the Pixel Launcher’s search bar.

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March 19

Google Stadia uses ‘Stream Connect’ for local split-screen multiplayer gaming

One thing I still sorely miss about older games is split-screen multiplayer with friends on my couch. Thanks to the power behind Google Stadia, that functionality is making a comeback with a feature called Stream Connect.

Machine learning opens up a world of possibilities in technology, and Google is bringing some of its advancements in that area over to gaming soon. With Google Stadia, game developers will be able to use an impressive new tool called Style Transfer ML.

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Exclusives are a huge part of the game industry, and it seems the new Google Stadia will be no exception. Alongside the service’s big reveal, Google announced its own studio, Stadia Games and Entertainment.

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Google Stadia supports ‘State Share’ and ‘Crowd Play’ for engaging friends and fans

Google Stadia does a lot to rethink how gaming should work, and two features it includes are going to make waves when it comes to engagement. Here’s what we know about Google Stadia’s State Share and Crowd Play features.

Google Stadia will support cross-platform play and bringing game saves from other platforms

One of the biggest struggles of any new platform is bringing on new users, and that’s especially true with gaming. To help its new Stadia platform take off faster, Google has confirmed that it will be supporting cross-platform play.

Qualcomm’s new smart speaker chipset promises better voice recognition, better audio, more

As the smart speaker market continues to heat up, Qualcomm is jumping into the ring to provide a new chipset for OEMs to use. The new Qualcomm QSC400 makes some big promises for future products, here’s what you need to know.

Dirty Unicorns custom ROM is shutting down ‘on a high note’ with Android Pie builds

While custom ROMs aren’t quite as popular as they were a few years ago, they still deliver a huge amount of customization and functionality to Android users that just can’t be found elsewhere. Now, an old favorite is shutting down. Dirty Unicorns has announced recently that it will shut down following Android Pie builds.

March 18

Google confirmed quite a while ago that its popular email app, Inbox by Gmail, would be shutting down sometime in Spring of 2019. The company neglected to confirm a specific date, however. Today, that date has been confirmed. Inbox by Gmail shuts down on April 2nd.

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The gaming phone market is only a couple of years old, and today Xiaomi is introducing its latest attempt to take over the segment. The Xiaomi Black Shark 2 is official — here’s what you need to know.

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ZTE’s Axon S and Axon V go all-display with ‘side-slide’ and protruding cameras

Slimming the bezels and avoiding the notch has ushered in some of the most interesting smartphone designs in years. Now, we’re getting a look at two new designs from ZTE in the Axon S and Axon V which try things we’ve never seen before, for better or for worse.

Huawei P30 Pro press renders leak, Samsung reportedly providing OLED display

Huawei is getting ready to launch its latest generation of flagship smartphones in the P30 family. Today, we’re getting new official-looking press renders of both the Huawei P30 and P30 Pro, as well as rumors of Samsung providing the display component.

Android Auto makes managing media, maps, and more in the car both safer and more convenient. However, sometimes it can run into problems with some vehicles. Buyers of the new Samsung Galaxy S10 are reporting issues with Android Auto, as well as a strange bug with Samsung’s One UI.

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More Android TV devices add full voice control via Google Assistant, Home following Nvidia Shield

Last year the Nvidia Shield, Android TV’s flagship offering, added full control via Google Assistant. Now, Android TV as a whole seems to be adding better Google Assistant controls for all devices using the platform.

In just a couple of weeks, Google is shutting down its social network, Google+. While you can download all of your data from the platform directly, the Internet Archive is making sure that content lives on by archiving all public posts on Google+.

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March 15

Before the days of fingerprint sensors and face unlocking, the only way into our phones was with a PIN or password. That’s why the addition of smart lock back in Android Lollipop was so appreciated. Recently, though, we’ve become aware of a smart lock flaw on Android that leaves your device unlocked for longer than it should. Here’s what you need to know.

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