About Jay Bonggolto
Jay primarily writes news for Android Police. Before joining AP, he spent the past several years yammering on about the crazy world of Android for various tech outlets.
He has reviewed almost every type of phone, from entry-level models to rugged phones. When he's not writing, he goes on long-distance trips with his camera and phones.
What was their first phone?
I never got to own a mobile phone until I graduated from high school. After finishing secondary school, I purchased my first phone, the Sony Ericsson T610, which was released in 2003.
What phone do they have now?
At the moment, I'm using the Poco F5 Pro as my daily driver and the Vivo V27 Pro as my camera phone. Besides these handsets, my sling bag contains a slew of rugged phones and Chinese brands.
What is their favorite ever phone?
The Xiaomi Mi 8.
Google is reshuffling Assistant teams in a shift to generative AI
Google demonstrated its eagerness to catch up to rivals in the burgeoning AI race by unveiling a slew of generative AI features for its Workspace apps. The company's rush to hop on that bandwagon may have been spurred by the arrival of OpenAI's ChatGPT last year and Microsoft's introduction of its chat bot-powered Bing earlier this year. The competitive pressure is now pushing Google to reportedly shake things up on the Google Assistant team with a focus on generative AI.
The company may have jumped the gun too soon
Oppo and OnePlus were previously rumored to be exiting France, and then the entire European market, following the suspension of operations in Germany due to a patent dispute. Both the BBK-owned companies were quick to deny those rumors, saying in press statements that they wouldn't exit Europe and the UK, instead aiming to maintain stable operations in the region. However, Oppo has apparently just bowed out of France, which is one of its key European markets.
The renders surfaced six months ahead of its potential launch
A fairly recent leak started hyping up OnePlus' next big phone, the OnePlus 12, claiming to reveal its specs. The phone will mostly include incremental upgrades over its predecessor, including a slightly larger battery capacity, the return of wireless charging, and Qualcomm's upcoming Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 SoC. The OnePlus 12 isn't expected to make its debut until later this year, but another early leak has just revealed a bunch of details about the design and specs of the phone's cheaper variant, the OnePlus 12R.
Google wants to provide a 'personal assistant' for journalists
Tech giants spent the first few months of 2023 pumping out AI chatbots, with Google taking its biggest swing in the AI wars with a flurry of new AI-powered capabilities for its Workspace apps. For instance, Gmail has a generative feature that writes email drafts for you by taking older emails in the thread into account. Google Docs' "Help me write" tool has also been a massive help in quickly composing generic text for things like job descriptions, which would otherwise take a while to finish. The search giant has now found yet another place it can cram in generative AI: the newsroom.
Another annoying change to the platform's direct messages
Twitter's methods for persuading users to subscribe to Twitter Blue, from the paid blue checkmark and custom app icons to the edit button feature and longer tweets up to 25,000 characters, did not always sit well with the majority of its users. The blue check, for example, used to confer special status on any account bearing the mark, but it is now a commodity that anyone willing to pay $8 per month can obtain. And the edit button has always been regarded as a basic option that should not be restricted behind a subscription. But Elon Musk's Twitter never seems to run out of controversial features, and the most recent one — introduced late last week — unsurprisingly ruffled some feathers.
Enable this feature if you don't mind letting Google access more information about your browsing habits
Data breaches have unfortunately become commonplace these days, and consumers navigating the dodgy internet landscape are the usual targets. Affected users are often advised to change their passwords. Thanks to Google Chrome's Enhanced Safe Browsing, online threats can now be predicted before they happen, and users are able to receive a warning when their credentials are exposed in a data breach. However, the feature is buried deep in Chrome's Settings menu, which makes enabling this web protection tool quite a chore. Google is now promoting it in an app with billions of users: Gmail.
Check if your viewers have learned anything from the clips they've watched
With tons of information always accessible through our mobile phones and computers, there's almost no reason to commit so much knowledge to memory. However, YouTube found a way to facilitate actual learning when it unveiled an experimental feature last September that allows creators to create quizzes in the Community tab to gauge how well their viewers understand the educational content they churn out. The quiz feature has subsequently been rolled out in beta since then before presumably hitting the stable channel in March of this year, though only on Android phones. YouTube has now updated its Help Center page to indicate that quizzes have arrived for desktop computers as well.
Never leave Gmail again when creating an event from an email
In 2021, Google Calendar introduced a feature that it should have had years ago: the ability to show others your availability when setting an appointment. While the feature was initially available only to Google Workspace Individual subscribers, it opened up for more Workspace accounts last year, as long as you're forking over $12 per month for the Workspace Business Standard plan or a pricier tier. Google finally announced in June that the appointment scheduling feature was coming to personal Google account owners as part of Calendar's integration with Gmail, and the company is now following through.
The app will now launch in edit mode by default
Google has done a lot to improve Docs after a barrage of updates to Workspace that represent the biggest set of improvements for the app in over a decade. For example, the addition of a pageless format was a massive symbolic change for the service, and Google went on to transform Docs into a dynamic smart canvas for your documents, with features like creating polls and assigning tasks to colleagues via @-mentions. However, editing a document hasn't been exactly straightforward, as Docs always defaults to view mode when you open the app on Android. This is finally changing with a new update.
A new Undo button might be available on the beta channel soon
Gboard has a massive user base since it comes pre-installed on most Android phones — but even if this weren't the case, Google's virtual keyboard would still be a popular choice for its easy typing and useful features. Despite a plethora of treasures tucked away in the mustiest corners of its settings menu, Gboard has long ignored a much-needed feature: an undo button. This could soon change, as Google has been spotted developing a new feature in the app that will magically reverse those accidental taps.
This new version boasts 'a new smoky and matte finish'
While a relatively new tech startup, Nothing proved that it's finally mature enough to keep its devices on a regular update cycle. The company demonstrates this not only with the Nothing Phones but also with the Nothing Ear wireless headsets, which were its first line of products. We saw Nothing Ear 1's sequel last March, and our own Taylor Kerns thought the Ear 2 delivered decent sound quality and competent ANC at an affordable price point. The earbuds have now received a fresh coat of paint with the same specs and price.
Fairphone partners with Murena to bring a de-Googled phone to the country
Fairphone has always aimed to persuade the entire industry to act more responsibly for consumers and the environment by establishing a market for ethical products. However, its user-repairable smartphones have traditionally been hard to snag outside of Europe without paying hefty import fees. The Dutch company is now selling devices outside of that market with the launch of the Fairphone 4 in the United States, but there's a big caveat.
But only for RCS chats
Google updated the Messages app last year with an inline reply feature for responding directly to a specific message in a conversation. However, it requires users to have RCS enabled as part of Google's effort to convince carriers and developers to make RCS the standard messaging method despite existing compatibility issues with iOS devices. Direct reply is perhaps one of the most useful features to arrive on Google Messages' Android app in recent times, and it has finally landed on the web.
The email service ditches dynamic theming just days after adopting it
Google got around to applying dynamic theming to one of the last holdouts in its suite of first-party apps last week when it updated Gmail's icon in the notification shade. The small tweak meant that when you opened the notification shade on your phone, Gmail's icon was no longer red like before, making your unread emails stand out less among your unopened alerts. While dynamic theming gives an app's interface a more pleasing aesthetic, it didn't seem ideal in this case. As a result, a number of users voiced their displeasure with the change on Reddit, and Google has apparently walked back on the facelift and restored Gmail's vintage notification icon.
Bringing in citizen scientists to help you prepare for the rain or extreme heat
We don't need experts to tell us that the world is heating up — we can feel it all around us. As a result, people are searching the internet more for information about local weather conditions, and Google is often their first port of call. In March, the company launched heat alerts in the hopes of putting that information front and center in search results. Google may now be aiming to improve the accuracy of local weather information by using crowdsourced data.
A new 'Shop' tab is invading your screen
Renting or purchasing movies on Android TV is currently a convoluted process. Depending on your device, you have to go through either Play Movies & TV or the Google TV app If you're looking for a first-party way to watch movies without having to subscribe to a streaming service. Google is now streamlining how you can discover content to buy or rent by introducing a new "Shop" tab to Android TV.
You can still sign in to Pocket via your Google login or Apple ID
Mozilla attempted to build a better news aggregator than the leading Apple News alternatives in Pocket, a read-it-later app it acquired in 2017. The app, which started as a Firefox extension before evolving into a standalone offline reading app, has since received regular updates, the most recent of which was the ability to add articles to your lists on the web. In keeping with Mozilla's commitment to privacy and security, the company has now given Pocket users an ultimatum to migrate to Firefox accounts.
The top app bar could be redesigned in the style of Material Design 3
WhatsApp for Android has been adopting a more iOS-like design in recent beta releases, with the latest change being a bottom navigation bar. The service was also recently spotted working on a redesigned context menu for messages, bringing another aspect closer to the iOS version. These modifications reflect WhatsApp's desire to provide a more consistent user experience across platforms, likely due to the need to keep up with the leading messaging apps. In addition to those efforts, the Meta-owned platform appears to be giving the app's top bar on Android a subtle makeover.
Sheets can now generate generic templates based on your prompts
Google Workspace apps continue to gain generative AI boosts, as many other business productivity suites are adding new features for automating clerical tasks with a few quick prompts. The search giant is getting ahead of itself, allowing trusted testers to use Google Docs' and Gmail's AI writing assistants since March, similar to how it initially approached the rollout of Bard. Artificial intelligence has since popped up in other Workspace apps like Slides, except in Sheets, where it could prove transformative. That is changing now that Google has begun to integrate Duet AI into your spreadsheets.
iPhone users are getting new Google Lens, Maps, Calendar, and translation goodies on Chrome
Google wants Chrome to dominate not only PCs, but also mobile devices. There's no doubt that Chrome is one of the market's leading browsers, and that's likely to continue as long as it keeps picking up new features at its current rate. If you have Chrome installed on your Android phone, you probably already have access to a number of handy features that enhance your browsing experience. For the iPhone-toting users, some of those features are rolling out to Chrome on iOS this week and in the coming months.