Android Overview Updated October 7, 2016


Android is Google’s mobile operating system, launched in September 2008, although its history technically began with the release of the Android alpha in November 2007.

9,047 Android stories

May 2011 - October 2016

Android Stories October 7

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Google’s new Pixel smartphone doesn’t really have much to justify its premium price on the hardware side. It has the “best smartphone camera ever” perhaps (that’s still yet to be officially determined, other than by DxOMark), there are some hardware optimizations, and the phone sports the super-new and super-fast Snapdragon 821. But other than that, Google is relying mostly on software to set this phone apart from the crowd. That’s fine by me, except for the fact that most of the software features Google is touting are only artificially exclusive to the Pixel.

One of the most obvious is Assistant, Google’s AI-powered evolution of Google Now that the Mountain View company is putting in a lot of its new products. It’s built-in to Allo, it’s the central interface for Google Home, and of course, it’s front-and-center with a new home button on the Pixel phones. What frustrates me, though, is that there’s not really any reason other than helping push the Pixel out the door to hold it back from last year’s Nexus phones. Google, the company that has long pioneered Android as “open,” is closing some things off…

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Even though we already know Google Hangouts isn’t fully going away (at least not yet), things aren’t looking good. According to an email sent to Google Mobile Services (GMS) partners, Hangouts will no longer be required to be preloaded on new smartphones (via Android Police)…

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Android Stories October 6

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One of the biggest questions surrounding Google’s Pixel that we’ve noticed people asking about is how its Verizon exclusivity will affect it. Being the only carrier Google has partnered with, we would hope that the company had pulled some strings with Verizon to keep tight control over devices sold through the carrier. But this is Verizon we’re talking about…

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The addition of Android apps to Chrome OS is a big deal, but sadly it’s also taking a while for Google to push that functionality to all models. So far only three Chromebooks can officially run Android apps, and while more are on the way, there are still plenty of Chromebook users who will be waiting for quite a while.

Luckily, there’s a trick to get early access. Thanks to some savvy Chromebook users over on Google+ (via Chrome Story) we’ve been able to find a way to install the Play Store on any current Chromebook which will at some point officially support Android apps. Please do note that this won’t work with many older models. If your Chromebook is listed here, odds are this will work.

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