As sure as the sunrise that follows after the moon, so is the torture that follows a newly released phone. This time around, it’s the turn of the smaller of Google’s new handsets, the Pixel 2, to face up to the softly spoken serial smartphone mangler, JerryRigEverything. And let me tell you right here, the scenes are borderline graphic.
Google has announced their own Advanced Protection Program, which looks much more like a security monitoring service than a traditional Google product. In the wake of so many credit card breaches and network vulnerabilities, though, this makes a ton of sense.
Earlier this year Samsung launched their Samsung DeX hardware designed to make it easier for a Galaxy smartphone to double as a desktop. To encourage more users – and more buyers – for this piece of hardware, Samsung is working to expand the ecosystem surrounding DeX. An important piece of that effort was announced this week when Samsung revealed it was working on a solution called Linux on Galaxy to bring the Linux operating system to their mobile Galaxy platforms and the larger format provided by DeX.
Announced during the first half of the year, but only recently available for purchase, the Essential Phone is a flagship device with steep price tag though not as high as some other flagship-level smartphones on the market. As a smaller company trying to get a foothold in the market, Essential is not in a position to be able to do things like BOGO offers. If you are interested in the Essential Phone but have not been able to deal with the regular $699 price tag for the unlocked version, some relief is available thanks to a special $100 off deal Best Buy is running at the moment.
A new design element was found several weeks ago in the Google Play Store that violated Google’s own Material Design guidelines. A nested navigation bar is suddenly appearing under a main tab of categories. As an example in the picture above, you can see Pop, Alternative, Rock, etc. under the main categories, Genre, Artist, Album, etc. Google has specifically said in the past, “Tabs should not be nested.” A wider rollout of this change is happening today.
If you travel around the globe, you’ve probably run into issues trying to watch your favorite movies and shows on different streaming services due to geo-restrictions. You can always use a full VPN to try and get around it, but Getflix offers something a little better.
Although it may not be a phone you will ever get a chance to buy thanks to being released only in China, HMD Global has officially announced the Nokia 7 smartphone. This mid-range phone is part of HMD Global’s continued resurrection of the Nokia brand and from a business standpoint, being able to offer a device in the large Chinese market is an important step.
Virtual assistants are heading to almost every device we can think of, from refrigerators to headphones, with Google Assistant and Amazon’s Alexa being the main culprits. While Google Assistant is baked into pretty much every Android smartphone today, Amazon’s Alexa has basically made a one-off appearance on Huawei’s Mate 9 and nothing since. That’s about to change, however, with the launch of Motorola’s Smart Speaker Moto Mod that adds Alexa to the Moto Z series of handsets.
Google has briefly teased their instant tethering feature for Chrome OS, and it looks like it’ll soon be officially rolling out to everyone’s Chromebook sooner rather than later.
The feature works by instantly turning your Android device into a hotspot for your Chromebook, assuming they were both using the same Google account. This was a quick way to get online with your Chromebook even without a WiFi connection.
Although it is getting rarer, every now and then we see examples of games or apps being released on different platforms at different times. One example of this is Monument Valley 2 which launched on iOS this past summer. The good news for Android users interested in the sequel to the popular Monument Valley game is that developer Ustwo is releasing Monument Valley 2 for Android on November 6th.
Back in June 2016, Amazon started the Prime Exclusive program that offered Prime members select smartphones at a nice discount, but just being a paying member wasn’t enough. The phones came with Amazon’s ads and offers plastered all over the lock screen. For many users, the lock screen is just a speed bump to get into the phone, so who cares if a bunch of ads are rotating around there. For enthusiasts, however, it can be a deal breaker and not worth the discount. The Moto X4, which is ironically also offered as a “pure” Android One phone, is joining the list of Amazon’s “ad phones.”