About the Author

Ben Schoon

@NexusBen

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.

schoon@9to5mac.com

Ben Schoon's Favorite Gear

July 12

Samsung has been making some really good wearables for the past couple of years, so needless to say we’re excited to see what the company reveals next. Gear S4, Galaxy Watch, whatever Samsung has in store, it’s apparently coming at IFA 2018.

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When you look at the smartwatch market you really only need to look at the Apple Watch and Samsung’s Gear lineup to know what’s good. There are hybrid watches, some great third-party options from companies like Fitbit, and a handful of decent Wear OS options. However, for years now Google’s wearable platform has just been… boring.

Really, that comes down to a few things that I’ll get to in a bit, but I think a company has finally discovered how to stand out, and it’s Mobvoi with the Ticwatch Pro.

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

Chrome OS used to be the laughingstock of the OS wars, but today it holds a strong place in the market. Largely thanks to Android apps, the OS is only becoming more and more useful. One of the hardest parts of Chrome OS, though, is picking the right machine to run it on. So, let’s take a look at the best Chromebooks you can buy today…

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July 11

ZTE signs deal with US to lift trade restrictions w/ $400 million escrow payment & monitor

It finally might be over… soon. ZTE has been through a lot in the past several weeks following a severe ban on using products from the United States, but now a deal has finally been signed.

With new hardware and software options that continue to get better and better, there’s no time like now to buy a smartwatch. While iOS users are pretty limited in what they could buy, Android users have too many choices to count. Not sure where to start looking? Let’s go over some of the best options…

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Chrome OS adding support for Android app shortcuts with a right-click

With Chrome OS picking up support for Android apps, Google has slowly been bringing features from Android to the platform. Now, app shortcuts are preparing to arrive.

Earlier this year, Sony delivered the Xperia XA2 and XA2 Ultra for budget markets, and today that family is expanding with the unveiling of the Xperia XA2 Plus.

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July 10

Rumors are swirling about a new Samsung smartwatch, and perhaps the most interesting aspect of these rumors is that Samsung might be considering adopting Google’s Wear OS for the device. In the time since the first rumors surfaced, there’s been a lot of back and forth with what Samsung has planned. Let’s try to make some sense of it all…

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We’ve been hearing a lot about Samsung’s next smartwatch recently, but not many details have been corroborated to date. Today, an official logo for this device has hit the web, seemingly confirming the name.

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GeForce Now on Nvidia Shield TV will soon let you add your own titles, free in beta

One of the biggest perks of owning an Nvidia Shield TV since its debut has been gaming. With GeForce streaming, you can play high-quality PC titles on the streaming box. Now, Nvidia is bringing some big changes to GeForce Now on the Shield.

For the past few weeks, we’ve been keeping an eye on a new Chrome feature that lets users customize the look of the new tab page with custom backgrounds. Now, it’s been noted that this feature will integrate with Google Photos.

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The OnePlus 6 is easily one of our favorite Android smartphones so far this year, and it got a bit better last week with the reveal that it was going to arrive in Red. Now, that new colorway is available.

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One of the most powerful features of Google Maps has become the crowdsourced reviews available on the platform. Now, Google appears to be testing a method that makes leaving these reviews a lot easier for Android users.

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WPS is no longer available in Android P, Google may be ditching support for it entirely

Android P isn’t a major overhaul to Google’s mobile OS, but it has a whole lot of tweaks built in. One change that flew under the radar, though, has been the option to use WPS. Apparently, that feature may not stick around in Android.

After launching its Ticwatch S and Ticwatch E last year, Mobvoi is today officially launching the Ticwatch Pro. The dual-display smartwatch was first shown off earlier this year, and now it’s available to buy.

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July 9

YouTube for Android testing full-width thumbnails in subscription, trending feeds

Google regularly adjusts the look of its YouTube app for Android, and in recent months we’ve seen quite a few tweaks. Now, we’re seeing a slight adjustment to thumbnails on the various video feeds within the app.

Sony Xperia XZ2 Premium up for pre-order in US for $999, comes w/ free $279 earbuds

Have you ever wanted to spend $1,000 on a smartphone? Probably not, and if so, it was probably more likely to be from Apple or Samsung than Sony. Regardless, Sony’s new Xperia XZ2 Premium is now available for pre-order, and it actually comes with a pretty compelling bonus.

Google Search ‘Speed Update’ now rolling out, impacts mobile search rankings of the ‘slowest sites’

Early this year Google announced that it would be adjusting how it ranks sites on mobile search with a new focus on page speed. Today, the company has revealed that this new “Speed Update” is officially rolling out.

We’re still a good while out from the debut of Samsung’s next Galaxy S flagship, but in recent weeks the rumors have been picking up. This morning, a new report claims that Samsung is planning on adding another camera to the front of the phone.

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July 6

When you look at smart speakers, the primary use for most users seem to be streaming music. There’s no shortage of options that deliver excellent sound quality, but some of them are big, bulky, and expensive. Polk Audio is a renowned audio brand, and the company has recently debuted its first Assistant speaker, and it delivers a whole lot for its small size and affordable price…

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