Feature September 15

Android 12 is the biggest update to Android in years, and it’s one that’s highly anticipated by many. However, as suspected, it seems like a lot of the update’s best features and biggest changes might not go beyond Google. That’s shown pretty clearly by Samsung’s take on Android 12, which just debuted in beta this week.

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Feature September 10

Robot vacuums are still very much a luxury, but they’ve come down in price considerably over the past several years to the point where, now, you can get something halfway decent for around $150. What’s more interesting to me, however, are the vacuums that are still a bit more expensive but are also much better at the job in question. Roborock has become a big name in that market, and the brand’s Google Assistant-connected Roborock S7 might be a perfect robot vacuum and mop. Here’s why.

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Feature September 8

Nearly seven months have passed since Google released the first developer preview of its next major mobile OS release. Android 12 Beta 5 is available today as the final update (and release candidate) before the public launch.

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Feature August 27

Foldable smartphones offer a lot of potential, but price has always been a prohibitive factor. For the first time, Samsung has dropped pricing considerably this generation, with the Galaxy Z Flip 3 coming in at $999. With a price that, frankly, is worth it, is there any reason to stick with a traditional smartphone?

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Feature August 25

It’s been nearly a year since Google pulled the plug on Play Music in favor of YouTube Music, and in the time since, Wear OS has been left without an official way to tie into Google’s streaming music service. Now, YouTube Music is finally available for download on Wear OS.

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Feature August 24

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 August 23

Truly wireless earbuds are a dime a dozen in today’s market, with so many models releasing that you’re sure to find one that perfectly fits your needs and budget. Next week, OnePlus will release the Buds Pro as its most expensive option yet, but also its best to date based on my first impressions.

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Feature August 18

You can buy truly wireless earbuds at just about any price point now, whether that’s super-premium options that cost well over $200 or super-affordable options that cost just $20. It’s the middle ground, though, which I find the most interesting. That’s where Samsung’s new Galaxy Buds 2 sit, and they accomplish their given task very well.

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Feature August 11

This year’s Android preview cycle sees two additional releases before wider consumer availability with the public launch. Android 12 Beta 4 is rolling out today for Pixel phones with “Platform Stability.” 

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Foldable smartphones are no longer a brand-new technology, but they’re still working to be as good as a traditional form factor. Today, Samsung is taking its biggest leap yet toward a durable foldable with the Galaxy Z Fold 3. Here’s what you need to know.

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One of the first thoughts around foldable smartphones is a high price tag, but that tune is changing. Today, Samsung is officially announcing the Galaxy Z Flip 3, its first foldable smartphone to carry a triple-digit price.

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Following its reveal at Google I/O earlier this year, Wear OS 3 is officially making its debut today with the return of a major name. Samsung is launching the Galaxy Watch 4 series on Wear OS. Here’s what you need to know.

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Feature August 10

Google TV came to life on last year’s Chromecast, then expanded to Sony’s pretty-darn-expensive Bravia TVs earlier this year. Now, though, the platform is coming to something more affordable. TCL is bringing several Google TV models to market this month, and I’ve had to chance to check them out in person.

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Feature August 9

Google made a big splash in 2016 with its original Pixel, not necessarily in terms of sales, but in terms of showing what a smartphone camera could really be capable of. The company has held up its camera prowess for the most part in the time since, but some areas have fallen behind the competition. Zoom is perhaps the biggest area the Pixel 5 falls behind, and it’s why I’m crazy excited to get my hands on a Pixel 6 Pro.

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Feature August 2

Following this morning’s tease, Google today announced that this year’s flagship phones are the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro. Both phones will be available in the fall and be powered by a brand new chip.

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Feature July 23

As Google’s Android TV platform continues to expand, the TVs running it are only getting better. For the past couple of months, I’ve been using the Hisense U8G that runs Android TV with a great display, and importantly, much better software performance than I expected.

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Feature July 22

At I/O 2021 in May, Google announced a total overhaul of its wearable platform. We’ve since seen the new OS previewed on an emulator, while Samsung has confirmed that the new Galaxy Watch will be the first to run it. Many questions remain about Wear OS 3, and Google today addressed the update situation for current watch owners.

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Feature July 16

Android 12 has brought a ton of new changes to smartphones, as we’ve detailed over the past few months. However, Android TV and Google TV are known for providing most updates independent of system versions. In Android TV 12 Beta 3, though, there are a few minor tweaks to Google TV and Android. Here’s what we’ve found.

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Feature July 14

Compared to last year, Android 12 is pushing back the release candidate build by one version with Beta 3 rolling out today as another “incremental Beta-quality release.”

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Feature July 12

As summers just keep getting hotter, most of us are looking for ways to cool down our homes conveniently. While you could pick up something like a Nest Thermostat or Ecobee to do that job, sometimes something as simple as a standing fan does the job. I’ll raise you one better, though. How about a standing fan that you can control with Google Assistant and use with battery power?

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Feature July 5

Google Stadia took its sweet time expanding beyond just the Chromecast Ultra for those who wanted to use their cloud gaming platform on their TVs, but the good news is that the time has finally come. Stadia is now available not just on Chromecast with Google TV, but virtually all Android TV devices. The question begs to be answered, though – does it matter what hardware you’re using?

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Feature July 2

After announcing that OnePlus and Oppo would be merging more teams behind the scenes, the inevitable has happened. OnePlus has just announced that OxygenOS and ColorOS will come closer together, though with the benefit of OnePlus devices getting three years or more of Android updates.

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Feature June 29

Zoom became a household name in 2020 as a result of COVID-19 lockdowns. It was clear pretty quickly, though, that the company wasn’t fully prepared for the massive influx of customers as security flaws and missing features quickly became evident. This week, over a year into the pandemic that’s made video calls more important than ever, Zoom is debuting its new PWA that enhances its functionality on the web and, specifically, on Chromebooks.

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Feature June 21

Google’s Android TV platform has been around for nearly seven years, but it’s only taken on traction in the past two or three. The reason? Primarily, hardware has been hard to find and, more specifically, affordable hardware. That’s why the Walmart “onn” 4K streaming box is so important — it’s one of the most affordable Android TV devices to date. 

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Feature June 18

Google Photos unlimited storage is ending — How to get the most out of free and paid tiers

Six years after its debut, Google Photos is about to change in a major way. Free, unlimited storage on Google Photos is going away at the start of June, taking away one of the platform’s most attractive offers. That doesn’t change all of the other valuable tools Google offers, though. Here’s how you can still get the most out of it.

Feature June 16

Tomorrow, the first permanent Google retail store opens its doors to the public in a project that the company has been working toward since 2016. Since there’s only one — with the company steadfastly not commenting on whether there will be more, here’s a tour of the site in New York.

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Feature June 14

A key part of Google’s integrated vision for productivity is routing everything through the Gmail apps. As part of Workspace becoming available “for everyone,” Gmail is getting streamlined navigation on the web, while Google Chat’s “Rooms” will soon be called “Spaces.”

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Feature June 11

As we speak, Google is actively rolling out Fuchsia OS for the first time starting on the first-generation Nest Hub as a replacement to the older Cast OS. It’s a huge milestone for the operating system, but given Google’s goal to make the replacement entirely seamless, can you actually tell the difference? Let’s take a look.

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Feature June 9

The first Beta at I/O 2021 last month rolled out the first aspects of the Material You redesign and Google is continuing to overhaul the next major version of its OS with the latest release. Over the coming hours, we will dive into Android 12 Beta 2 to chronicle all the new features and changes.

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Following Android 12 entering wider availability last month, Beta 2 is rolling out today to Pixel phones. This is the first of two incremental Beta-quality releases as the next release of Android nears its public launch.

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Feature June 7

The June update for Pixel phones is coming later than usual this month, but it does bring a Feature Drop that’s more packed than recent releases. Highlights include the ability to take Astrophotography time lapses and a Locked Folder for Google Photos, while several capabilities are now more widely available abroad.

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Feature June 4

The price difference between Pixel Buds and Pixel Buds A-Series is significant at roughly $90. With such a huge disparity between the two, how do Pixel Buds and Pixel Buds A-Series compare? What are you giving up on the more affordable product? Let’s break it down.

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Feature June 3

After a flawed first attempt at wireless earbuds in 2017, the second-generation Pixel Buds were, on paper, an absolute win for Google. However, over time, audio cutouts and complaints about battery life soured some users on the $180 earbuds. Now, the Pixel Buds A-Series are making their debut with virtually the same design, but a price that’s nearly cut in half.

After using them for the past week, I can definitively say they’re the better product.

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Feature May 27

Chromebooks have, over the past couple of years, graduated from the cheap alternative to Windows/Mac and have become real options in the laptop market. As a result, a lot of the hardware out there is solid but nothing remarkable. That’s the impression I walked away with after spending a few days with the new Acer Chromebook 514, a delightful laptop that does everything well.

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The first-ever physical Google retail location will open in Chelsea this summer. Ahead of that, here’s a sneak peek at the store in New York City and how it’s very much reflective of Made by Google’s friendly design language.

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Feature May 18

Google unveiled a massive visual redesign of Android at I/O today and it’s rolling out now. Over the coming hours, we will dive into Android 12 Beta 1 to chronicle all the new features and changes.

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Amid a slew of other announcements at I/O 2021, Google today launched Android 12 Beta 1 and showed off a massive visual overhaul for the first time. This release brings the next version of the mobile OS to even more Pixel owners with installation now possible through a simple sign-up.

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Well, we missed out on Google I/O 2020, but now it’s finally time for Google I/O 2021. While not in person, the annual developer festival in Mountain View, California has returned. The Google I/O 2021 Keynote kicks off at 10am PT/1pm ET, so read on for quick links to our roundup coverage over the last few weeks, some hot takes, and all the latest news about Assistant, Android 12, and ‘Material NEXT’, among many other things.

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Feature May 14

Security cameras around your home are a no-brainer way to feel a bit safer, but having them indoors is something that some users may not feel comfortable with. As has been a trend on webcams in recent years, Arlo is solving that privacy concern by putting a physical cover over its $99 Nest Cam competitor, the Arlo Essential Indoor.

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Feature May 10

While I/O is predominantly a developer conference, the kickoff keynote is Google’s biggest opportunity every year to show off new consumer services and products. After skipping a year, Google I/O is back for 2021. Here’s our preview of what we expect the company to show off next Tuesday.

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This week, a feud between Google and Roku boiled over to the point where the YouTube TV app was removed from the Roku platform. This story is still developing, but as it stands today, we’ve heard stories from both sides, so let’s try to summarize everything that’s happened so far.

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OxygenOS 11.0: The best new features for OnePlus devices [Video]

For hardcore OnePlus fans, OxygenOS 11.0 might not provide the look and feel that you’ve become accustomed to. But dig beneath the surface, and there are some solid OxygenOS 11.0 features that you might want to at least try before deciding you want to jump ship.

Feature April 27

Google Assistant is available on devices of all shapes and sizes, but the vast majority of useful smart speakers that support it are designed to be used in one place, indoors. I’ve been wanting a solution to bring Assistant and, in turn, Chromecast audio around my home wire-free. As it turns out, the Sonos Roam is exactly what I’ve been looking for.

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Feature April 22

Smartwatches for Android are a tough subject. Wear OS works, but it has a lot of flaws. Samsung’s Tizen-based smartwatches are great, but they’re also pretty expensive and work best on Samsung’s own smartphones. Fitbit smartwatches are excellent for fitness, but not so amazing for smart features. That’s why there was a lot of excitement for OnePlus to debut its own smartwatch, the OnePlus Watch. The final product, though, isn’t what most people wanted, and after using it for nearly two weeks, it’s hard to express just how disappointed I am in the OnePlus Watch.

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Feature April 21

Following a pair of patches in recent weeks, Google is rolling out Android 12 Developer Preview 3 (DP3) to Pixel phones today. This should be the final developer-quality preview before the Android Beta starts next month.

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Feature April 13

After years of its loyal community asking for a smartwatch, OnePlus has finally delivered with its $159 OnePlus Watch. We have a full review of the new product in the works, but in the several days I’ve spent so far with the OnePlus Watch, there’s been one major standout in the software; that’s not a good thing.

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Feature April 9

Despite rumors this morning to the contrary, Google has just issued an on-the-record statement that the “Pixel 5a 5G” does indeed exist and will not be canceled.

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Feature April 6

Now that LG is officially pulling its hat out of the smartphone ring, it leaves questions as to how the company’s departure will affect the market. At the high end, it doesn’t seem like much will change, but the story is completely different in the prepaid market, where LG’s departure is going to have a huge impact.

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