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


GOOG: 922.22


When Andy Rubin’s Essential finally announced the details surrounding its first smartphone, people got excited. However, the excitement quickly started to fade away as the company missed shipping dates. Finally, we’re hearing when customers will be able to get their hands on the phone, and it’s a lot sooner than we expected.

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GOOG: 922.22


You can now use Schlage smart locks with Android devices

Smart home tech is rapidly growing in popularity, and there’s also a ton of new options hitting the market. Schlage has had its Sense smart home locks on the market for a couple of years now, and today it finally adds compatibility with Android devices.

It’s not easy for a startup to make it in today’s smartphone market, but Andy Rubin’s Essential might prove that it’s possible. While the company has yet to deliver any products, it has managed to bring its value as a company up in a major way, now being valued at over $1 billion.

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Everyone can use an Echo Dot: Just $50!

While Apple still has a strong hold on smartphone sales in the United States, the company’s grip on other markets is much less pronounced. In the case of Central and Eastern Europe, the company has once again slipped to third place, right behind Huawei as Xiaomi makes some notable gains.

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August 14

GOOG: 922.67


Samsung’s latest Note 8 teaser is all about doing ‘bigger things’ [Video]

We’re just a week away from the official reveal, and possible start of sales, for the Galaxy Note 8. Ahead of the event, Samsung has been teasing the phone in pictures and videos, and today, we’re getting a new ad designed to hype up the phone’s arrival.

YouTube is testing the ability to see live watch counts on any video

Out of all of Google’s services, it always seems like YouTube is the one that has the most tests going on at any given time. Today, a user has discovered (via Android Police) that the YouTube app for Android is showing the number of people watching a specific video at any given time.

We’re just a week away from the Galaxy Note 8’s announcement on August 23rd, but as with any phone launch, the bigger question is when the phone will actually go on sale. According to one Best Buy employee, it could be the very next day.

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Google offering up to 60% off select Daydream VR games this week

Daydream VR is easily at the top of the list when it comes to mobile VR, and the content library for Google’s platform continues to expand. Now, Google is offering a Summer Sale which gives a handful of Daydream titles discounts of up to 60% off.

August 13

GOOG: 914.39


My colleague Stephen Hall has been extremely vocal about the fact that vibration motors in Android smartphones are pretty terrible. Most have limited control over intensity and length, and in most cases, the OS itself just doesn’t do anything with it. Now, it seems LG is giving this area a bit more attention in its upcoming LG V30, and Immersion, the company behind the phone’s vibration motor technology, has given us some examples of how…

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August 11

GOOG: 914.39


Google has been messing around with rounded UI elements for the past couple of months through its various services, and now, that’s extending to Chrome for Android. In the latest update to the Canary channel of Chrome, v62, a new flag enables a “modern” look for the UI which introduces a rounded UI.

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The latest OnePlus 5 ad is full of unnecessary gore, lies, and serial killer selfies

The OnePlus 5 launched with a lot of hype, but also a lot of disappointments. Its price tag drove quite a few fans away, and some other initial issues kept others away. Now, we’re getting the another commercial for the OnePlus 5, and it’s… interesting to say the least. And by interesting, we mean terrible.

We’re just a few weeks out from the debut of the LG V30, and while we’ve seen a fair amount of leaks, there’s still a lot we don’t know about this phone. Today, a new report is claiming that LG has plans for not one, but two variants of the V30, both set to release this fall.

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August 10

GOOG: 907.24


YouTube Kids finally lands on Android TV

YouTube Kids has been available for Android and iOS for the past couple of years, but it’s rollout to TV platforms has been slower. We’ve seen a couple of devices pick it up, but today, Google’s own Android TV is finally picking up its own Android TV app.

Moto Z2 Force availability at major carriers kicks off today, Gamepad Moto Mod available for $80

Motorola’s Moto Z2 Force was announced late last month, and today it’s finally available for purchase. Unlike last year, the Moto Z2 Force is available not only on Verizon Wireless, but also at AT&T, T-Mobile, and unlocked, all right out of the gate.

Over the course of the past few weeks, Google has updated Android TV’s YouTube app with a massive redesign. For many, this new design was a major step backward, breaking crucial elements and ditching the previous perks of the older layout. One of the biggest complaints has been the lack of support for brand accounts. Now, Google is confirming that an update will soon fix that.

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August 9

GOOG: 922.90


One of Apple’s signature features since the iPhone 6s has been “3D Touch,” and some Android OEMs have since adopted similar technology. We’ve yet to see this in a major Android flagship though, but a new report out of Korea is claiming that Samsung is getting ready to bring a version of the feature to the upcoming Galaxy Note 8.

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Of Google’s various Nexus phones, one of my favorites was 2014’s Nexus 6. The “shamu” that it was, it turned out to be a pretty spectacular phone, and one that is still in use in my family. However, today’s Amazon Gold Box deal that cuts the price to $230 isn’t the best idea. Here’s why.

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Google slashes pricing on cloud SSDs by up to 63%

This week Google announced a significant price cut to its pricing on storage in Google Cloud Platform, giving customers access to high-speed SSDs for up to 63% less than previous prices.

Google Maps is probably one of the most used applications on your smartphone, and Google is constantly testing new ways to make it more and more useful. In the latest beta update for Maps for Android, Google has added several new features, including a picture-in-picture window for Android O users.

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August 8

GOOG: 926.79


There are new smartphones hitting the market constantly, but which is the best to pick up when you’re trying to save a buck or two? We’ve seen a lot of big releases in the budget market lately, so let’s take a look at all of the best affordable Android devices you can buy today.

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