Feature Today

At I/O 2022, Google announced that it will update over 20 of its first-party apps for large screens in a show of its commitment to the form factor. This will undoubtedly improve the experience for existing owners and is meant to encourage other developers to do the same. Here’s every Google app on Android that has a tablet update and what’s still to come.

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Feature May 21

Google’s legacy in earbuds is… complicated. There’s been a lot to love with the Pixel Buds series, but also some serious mistakes. Now, we’re preparing for the launch of the Pixel Buds Pro, and they have to learn from Google’s mistakes and problems to date.

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Feature May 11

After its previous payments push (which involved modernizing banking and making it mobile-friendly) ended, Google is back with something a bit more straightforward but equally ambitious. Google Wallet will replace the old Google Pay app installed on your phone, and — if the company gets its way — your physical wallet, too.

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Feature April 27

We’ve been waiting over five years now for Google to finally put its name on a smartwatch, to back the Wear OS platform that’s often felt neglected. Now, all signs point to the Pixel Watch making its debut very soon. There’s a lot of excitement, but the Pixel Watch will never live up to the hype.

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Feature April 21

Thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic it feels exceptionally longer than three-and-a-bit years since the Pixel 3 series was officially unveiled back in October 2018. With most people holding on to devices for longer than ever before, just how does Pixel 3 fare in 2022 now that Google has officially dropped support for the handset? Let’s find out.

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Feature April 19

Wireless Android Auto has been around for quite a while now, but for ages, it felt like something that only a brand new car would solve. That all changed with the arrival of wireless Android Auto dongles, and the Motorola MA1 dongle was pitched as the “easy” version, with a dead-simple experience and direct backing from Google. After a few months of use, though, I’m not so convinced MA1 is the best option.

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Feature April 15

As we get further from the release of the Pixel 6, we’re learning more about the Pixel 7. So far, what we’ve heard about the Pixel 7 makes it seem like it might be a relatively minor upgrade, but that’s not a bad thing. Here’s why.

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Feature April 11

While I think we all wish we could live in a world without smartphone cases, they’re a necessary thing for many. In my review of the Pixel 6 Pro, I said the phone was so slick it demanded a case. Recently, I picked up Bellroy’s leather case for my Pixel 6 Pro, and while I’ve been happy with it, it’s just short of being truly great.

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Feature March 28

The best camera in any situation is the one you have with you, and most of the time, that’s the camera on your smartphone. That’s why, over the past few years, mobile photography has become a crucial part of flagship smartphones, and the results are often incredible. But who has the best smartphone camera on Android? In “Shot for Shot,” we’ll let your eyes be the judge.

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Feature March 25

We’re all encouraged to keep our hands off of our phones while driving, but as our media shifts from the radio to streaming apps, that becomes just a bit harder. Over the past few weeks, I’ve been using Spotify Car Thing to control music on my drives, and while it’s a device full of great ideas, I can’t help but feel it’s somewhat redundant at this point.

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Feature March 22

Home security is important in today’s day and age, but it’s something that’s unfortunately not easy in Google’s ecosystem. While Nest cameras go a long way in protecting your home, Google pulled the plug on its only true security system, Nest Secure, in late 2020 with no replacement. Lately, I’ve been spending time with a SimpliSafe Google Assistant-compatible home security system, and it certainly goes above and beyond filling that need.

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Chromebooks have always been thought of as cheap laptops running a glorified web browser instead of an operating system, but times have certainly changed. Today, you can buy powerful Chromebooks and use them to run local Android and Linux apps and, now, that’s extending to games. Google has officially released Steam for Chrome OS, at least in its alpha state, and we’ve been able to take a first look at it in action.

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Feature March 14

I want to use a tablet. In that fantasy, I’d use a large screen to quickly go through tweets, email, news, and other torrents of information during more laid back periods of the day (breakfast, lunch, etc). With the launch of Android 12L and the impending launch of updates and/or new devices, I tried to live that dream. The entire time I was conscious of Google’s track record, but I was not ready for its first-party apps to disappoint me as much as it did.

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Feature March 4

Truly wireless earbuds have a variety of use cases, but their small and portable form factor have, for me, always been a great fit for ambient audio. That’s a purpose that most brands have basically ignored, short of Google’s Pixel Buds. The new Sony LinkBuds go all-in on mixing your music with the surrounding world, and I’ve been waiting years for these to exist.

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Feature March 3

Samsung’s Galaxy S flagship has long acted as the go-to device for Android users thanks to a consistent experience, top-tier hardware, and more. This year, Samsung is keeping up the same streak, with the Galaxy S22+ shining as a solid smartphone across the board thanks to refinements over the past few years, all while introducing one of the biggest upgrades we’ve seen in Samsung’s main smartphone in almost three years.

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Feature February 18

After the biggest launch for Google in years in late-2021, with the Pixel 6 and 6 Pro, alongside Android 12, just what can we expect in 2022? Here’s everything you need to know.

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Feature February 17

Samsung’s Galaxy Note series was a beloved lineup thanks to its standout feature, the S Pen. The brand officially died as of the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra, but Samsung wasn’t finished with its features. The Galaxy S21 Ultra and Galaxy Z Fold 3 both adopted S Pens, and this year’s Galaxy S22 Ultra is the Note reborn under a new name.

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Feature February 15

After the whirlwind launch of Android 13 Developer Preview 1, we have been diving even further into the first build of the upcoming OS to find some hidden gems and brand new features you might have missed.

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Feature February 9

Samsung has been getting better and better when it comes to Android update support, often beating Google’s own Pixel phones on speed and longevity. Now, Samsung has announced that it will offer four years of major Android updates on the Galaxy S22 and some other recent releases.

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The Galaxy Note is dead. Long live the Galaxy Note. Samsung just rebooted its popular Galaxy Note series by merging the design and signature S Pen into its new Galaxy S22 Ultra.

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Feature February 1

Some of my favorite earbuds in recent memory have come out of Jabra’s Elite lineup, with great fit, reasonable cases, and very good audio quality to boot. However, the company’s latest high-end model feels like a step back, as Jabra Elite 7 Pro has lesser sound quality despite its long-overdue addition of Google Assistant and other features.

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Feature January 27

Wireless Android Auto support is something rarely seen built into cars, but the rise of third-party dongles has made it much easier to bring this functionality to cars that don’t already have it. Tomorrow, a new wireless Android Auto dongle under the Motorola brand will officially launch, and – based on our brief first impressions – the Motorola MA1 seems like a great option.

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Feature January 21

Systems like Android Auto and CarPlay are designed to make interacting with messages, calls, and media safer and more convenient in the car, but when they first debuted they came with the caveat of requiring you to connect a cable. While that’s a simple task, it’s one that quick trips would often not really justify. That’s what AAWireless, a dongle that adds wireless Android Auto to your car, tries to solve.

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Feature January 14

The Galaxy S20 FE debuted as the answer to overpriced flagship smartphones in a time when many really needed the option. It led to the device being immensely popular, but a little over a year later the equation has changed, and the Galaxy S21 FE is a bit less enticing. That said, it remains a solid smartphone, and it’s one that’s ready and waiting for its inevitable discounts.

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Feature January 11

Google’s efforts to let Android better serve bigger screens is culminating in Android 12L, but the company’s decision to abandon in-house tablets leaves the upcoming version without a device to call home. However, the recent launch of the Lenovo P12 Pro gives Android 12L its one and only official large-screened development device – Here’s what it looks like.

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Feature January 10

Messaging is a core part of any smartphone, and it’s something that Apple has really nailed with the iPhone and iMessage. Googlers have voiced their frustration recently over how Apple uses iMessage as a tool for lock-in and while Apple’s resistance to RCS and other cross-platform standards is certainly annoying, the context of Google’s countless failures in messaging don’t really help the company’s case.

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Alongside the Pixel 6 series, Google unveiled an updated wireless charger designed for use with the latest smartphone series. A delayed launch meant that the Pixel Stand 2nd Gen was not available until a month after the release of the Pixel 6 and 6 Pro.

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Feature January 7

Wear OS is in a tough spot right now. On the one hand, the future looks brighter than ever, and Samsung is showing how good things can be. On the other hand, everything except the Galaxy Watch 4 is tough to recommend. Enter the Skagen Falster Gen 6, an upgraded version of one of my favorite smartwatch designs that is making the best of this difficult situation.

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Feature January 4

Samsung’s first big release of the year has arrived with the Galaxy S21 FE. With odd timing and a high price, though, it feels like a tough sell despite, after a few hours using it, it seems like a solid device.

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Feature December 25, 2021

Just got a new Android smartphone for the holidays? If it’s your first one it could be a little intimidating so, to get you started, here are 5 apps you should immediately install or set up on a new Android device. Alternatively, if you’re not already using these apps, it might be time to give them a shot!

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Feature December 22, 2021

Foldable smartphones still feel like a technology of the future, despite having been real and for sale for over two years at this point. I still nerd out just a little bit every time I open up my Galaxy Z Fold 3. Last week, Oppo unveiled its first foldable, the Oppo Find N, and it actually addresses a lot of the Fold’s pain points while still showing there’s no “right” way to make a foldable.

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Feature December 10, 2021

There are dozens of Google Assistant speakers and displays out on the market today, but most really just serve that one purpose of being a voice assistant with some music and/or video features. In 2019, Lenovo debuted its Smart Clock which was specifically designed with your bedroom in mind, and this year, it has a successor. For the past several weeks I’ve been using the Lenovo Smart Clock 2 with its wireless charging dock, and it evolves the original’s formula to be an even better fit for the bedside.

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Feature December 3, 2021

Do-it-yourself home security has been the way to go for many, with the costs of cameras and other smart home gear coming down and getting more reliable. Google’s Nest lineup has long been among the best in this arena even though it comes at a cost. After several years, Google is finally refreshing its Nest Cam lineup with the arrival of a brand-new lineup that’s headlined by the Nest Cam (battery). Is it a worthwhile upgrade? Let’s dig in.

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Feature November 18, 2021

Smart home cameras are an easy way to add a layer of security to your home or to just keep an eye on things remotely. Google’s Nest Cam lineup has long fulfilled that purpose, but in the six years since its previous indoor camera release, the competition has stepped up. Finally, Google has released a new Nest Cam (wired) for a lower price than ever, but the choice isn’t as clear as it used to be.

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Feature November 5, 2021

The Pixel 6 series is a reinvention of the company’s smartphone lineup, and that’s obvious on the Pro. The standard model, however, takes a step back with a design that feels more Google-ly, with specs that hold up to that flagship and a price that arguably makes it the best deal for a smartphone today.

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Feature November 4, 2021

Google started pushing Chrome OS tablets a few years ago, but with the Pixel Slate being a rather spectacular failure, the task of bringing that idea to life fell to the company’s partners. Lenovo was the first to strike excellence with its IdeaPad Duet in 2020, and now HP has brought the vision a step closer. I’ve spent a few weeks with the HP Chromebook X2, and I think it’s a bit closer to the “ideal” Chrome OS tablet.

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Feature October 26, 2021

The Pixel 6 series is the biggest revamp to Google’s camera experience since its beginning, and as we covered in our recent review, the results are stunning. One of the bigger additions is the Pixel 6 Pro’s telephoto lens, but with it not being available on the smaller Pixel 6, is it really that important? Let’s take a look.

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Feature October 25, 2021

2016 marked a major year for Google, with the launch of Assistant and its first self-made smartphone, the Google Pixel. It was a launch that changed the game for how we thought about Google’s hardware ambitions, but several generations in, things weren’t exactly working out all that well. The Pixel 5, despite being a relatively good phone, was a low point for the entire series. But finally, everything seems to have clicked into place. The Pixel 6 Pro is Google’s first true flagship with top-tier specs and the company’s own chipset under the hood, and it’s exactly what Google needed to put out at this moment in time.

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Feature October 23, 2021

Roku vs. Google: Who’s to blame in a battle that only stands to hurt YouTube users? [U]

This week, a feud between Google and Roku boiled over to the point where the YouTube TV app was removed from the Roku platform. Months later, the situation continues to escalate to where Google and Roku still haven’t solved their differences and the standard YouTube app may leave the platform by the end of this year.

Feature October 19, 2021

After months of official teasers and leaks, the most important Pixel phones to date have finally arrived. The Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro are the first smartphones with Android 12, the Google Tensor chipset, and Google’s brand new camera system. But they don’t really feel like Google phones anymore, at least not at a first impression.

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After three developer previews, five betas, and the AOSP release, Android 12 is ready to launch on Pixel phones as Google’s biggest mobile OS release in recent memory. The new Material You design language is a defining aspect of this Android version that spans every screen and interaction. The other big highlights are more privacy and security controls.

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At the Pixel Launch Event, Google fully detailed the Pixel 6 Pro after weeks of pre-unveils and teases. All the expected flagship specifications were confirmed, while pricing and availability is now official.

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Feature October 15, 2021

Samsung is now at its third generation of flagship foldables, and the Galaxy Z Fold 3 is the pinnacle of its achievements to date. Between better, more durable hardware, evolving foldable technology, and prices that keep inching their way down to sanity, the Fold 3 is a showcase for refinement in this field. But is it ready for the average customer?

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Feature October 7, 2021

I’ve been enamored by foldable smartphones ever since Samsung launched its original Galaxy Fold, but there’s no denying this technology is in its early days. Even as phones like the Galaxy Z Fold 3 and Galaxy Z Flip 3 inch their way into the mainstream market, it takes just one flaw to serve as a reminder that these phones still have some progress to make when it comes to durability, specifically with the glass.

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The fact that we haven’t seen a stable Android 12 release means that at least Samsung has the opportunity to catch up to Google with their One UI 4.0 Beta 2 update.

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Feature October 4, 2021

In a significant departure from previous years, Google today rolled out Android 12 to AOSP but did not launch any devices, including Pixel phones.

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Feature October 1, 2021

Compared to the last design language revamp, Google’s rollout of Material You is happening at a much faster pace. That Material You app update blitz comes amid a barrage of Pixel 6 advertising and that’s no coincidence. It’s the sign of a well-under-way vision at Google that has been sorely missing.

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Most smart home gear isn’t for everyone, but a smart doorbell is a piece of tech that arguably most folks should have installed. Google’s Nest Hello was one of the best options for a smart doorbell for years, but it came at a hefty cost and, as the competition improved, fell behind on many features. The new Nest Doorbell brings an updated design, a built-in battery, and several more new features. 

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