37 articles published since June 07, 2023
About Jorge Aguilar
Jorge is a writer for Android Police. He likes to say he knows mobile phones enough to own an Android, but he has been writing for multiple industries that all revolve around tech. He has upgraded his phone but has never gotten the warranty, because he never had a phone long enough to use it. Upgrades all the way is what Jorge says!
A last-minute change to display hardware may be to blame
With more manufacturers making their own takes on foldable phones, flexible OLED touchscreens are becoming a hot commodity. Between hinge technology, ultra-thin glass layers, and extra moving parts, there are a lot of things to consider when lining up suppliers for these phones — even the smallest piece is subject to change before launch, as we're seeing with the OnePlus Open.
X brought a lawsuit to Center for Countering Digital Hate for allegedly targeting the site
Combating hate speech online may be a noble goal, but not everyone is in agreement about the best approach. The Center for Countering Digital Hate (CCDH) advocates for big tech companies to stop providing services to individuals who spread hate and misinformation. CCDH had publicly criticized X (formerly known as Twitter) for allowing hateful content on its platform, and now in a new twist, X has brought its own lawsuit against CCDH, accusing the organization of everything from flawed reporting to targeting its advertisers.
A brief change showed that the X rebrand may favor the name 'posts'
Elon Musk's push to change Twitter to X has gone through incredibly quickly if you consider how big Twitter is and how much its identity drives its value. When a company's worth is closely tied to its trademark, a rebrand should take time so users can adjust, but Twitter's transformation to X has happened at a breakneck pace. In fact, X's next step could remove another key element from its past.
These collectible Android surfers are available in your choice of colors
What kind of Android superfan can you be if you don't have at least a few (dozen) Bugdroid figurines? Every time Dead Zebra comes out with some new releases, we're eager to take a look, and recent ones have seen the Android mascot dress up like a reindeer, go to work in different outfits, and get ready for the Year of the Rabbit. Summer is in full swing right now, and Dead Zebra is getting right into those vibes with a pair of new Bugdroids that look positively built for the beach.
Its circular OLED screen acts as a new kind of car dashboard
Following Tesla's lead, most auto manufacturers have started using significantly larger dash-mounted screens in recent years. Newer cars even have integrations like CarPlay and Android Auto, letting you use your phone's apps on your vehicle's dashboard. While this has most automakers debating between portrait and landscape layouts, BMW went in a completely different direction on its latest Mini Cooper models.
Meanwhile, dim mode is getting axed
Dark mode has become increasingly popular in recent years, as users have grown to appreciate the benefits of reduced eye strain and improved battery life. Yesterday, Twitter — or X or whatever — announced that it would remove light mode and move exclusively to dark mode. Thankfully, cooler heads have prevailed and light mode will be staying around after some backlash, but another mode is still going away.
Multiple Google Assistant speakers were excluded from receiving the upgrade
Google has been upgrading some devices to its custom-built Fuchsia OS, and the assumption was that the Zircon-powered software would make its way to Assistant smart speakers as well. Google recently pushed Fuchsia OS to more second-gen Nest Hub units to bring parity with the first-gen Hub and the Nest Hub Max, so everything seemed to be going well. Now, Google appears to be pumping the brakes on its Fuchsia rollout.
The new chronological feed mirrors Twitter's, making it more tempting to switch
Threads is the new competition for Twitter, but it's missing a lot of the features that come standard on the older platform, like the ability to search by hashtag or subject. However, as time has gone by, the app has added more features and is starting to feel like a real contender. One such addition is a newly announced Following tab, which is a staple that Twitter keeps trying to bury.
Hovering your mouse or long pressing links could give you a sneak peek at pages
It's common to open a link just to see if a page is what you expect, and if it's not, click away quickly. But this takes up bandwidth and time, and the best browsers on Android are all about the modern conveniences. To that end, Google seems to be taking a page out of Apple's book with a Chrome feature that borrows heavily from Safari for iOS.
And you get to look at them every time you continue watching a show
Netflix has been trying to push some features on users that may not be as popular as the company thinks. For instance, the ability to rewatch movie trailers instead of the movies themselves isn't something you'd expect to need its own dedicated area. Luckily, Netflix has decided to move a lot of these fringe features to one place, but the change does come with some side effects.
It's now free to stream music, but many features are still locked behind Plex Pass
Plex Pass is a subscription service that nets you a variety of features on Plex, including offline playback and the ability to skip end credits in TV shows and movies. For the last few years, you've also received access to a surprisingly good music app called Plexamp when you subscribe. Now, Plex is amping up its music service by offering it free to all.
Shoppers can now use Amazon One to authorize payments at Whole Foods
Using an app or tapping your card to a terminal has made paying in stores like Whole Foods so much easier than handing over cash. Google Wallet, Apple Pay, and even Walmart have apps that make it easier for you to pay for your groceries through your phone. Now, Amazon is stepping in and taking payment to the next level by removing the need for devices.
A typo led to sensitive Pentagon messages being sent to a company that manages Mali's internet domain
Email typos are incredibly common, which is why the built-in spell check for email services is so popular. But when there's a typo in the recipient's email address, it can lead to more trouble than a typo in the message body. This is especially concerning when the misdirected email comes from a large corporation — or, in this case, from the United States military.
An AR mobile game that lets you touch grass while defending Earth
Space Invaders is an iconic game that most gamers are aware of because it is one of the first video games to blow up in popularity in the arcades. The player controls a laser cannon at the bottom of the screen and tries to defeat ever-encroaching aliens before they reach the bottom of the screen. The game has been remade and ported to multiple devices over the last few decades, even making its way to mobile. However, the concept for the game has been taken to the next level with the launch of Space Invaders: World Defense, this time with the help of Google's ARCore augmented reality tech.
Google Chat users can now hyperlink words with links
Google Chat is a great communication tool, but it has had a major flaw in regard to sharing links. Without being able to hyperlink a word, users have had to type out the entire URL or copy-paste it. It can really clutter a chat, making an unprofessional atmosphere, especially if it's a longer URL. Finally, Google has implemented a new feature that many chat systems — from Discord to Slack — have by default, the ability to hyperlink words in your messages.
YouTube Music has added a 'Dismiss queue' option in response to user feedback
YouTube Music's most recent update has gotten a lot of heat, mainly because of changes to the mini player that appears when you collapse the Now Playing UI. Users lost the ability to dismiss the mini player through a swipe down gesture — a popular function, as it was the only way to quickly clear the current queue aside from starting a new playlist. Thankfully, another update has provided a solution, but it isn't as convenient as a swipe.
Updated Play Store policy clarifies what is (and what's still not) allowed
Blockchain apps have been largely prohibited on the Play Store, and Google has long only allowed apps that allow users to remotely manage cryptocurrency, trading, and some other basic functions. However, Google has decided to loosen these restrictions with a policy update that could bring in a whole new genre to the Google Play Store.
Huawei reportedly partnered with SMIC to produce 5G chips in China
Back in May 2019, Huawei was banned from the US, being put on a list that prohibits American companies from selling products or services to Huawei without a license. These restrictions have made things very hard for the company, and for the last three years, it's been in crisis mode, trying to stop a downturn in profits as well as get past the sanctions. As it turns out, Huawei may have found a way to raise profits despite sanctions.
WhatsApp is beta testing a new feature to hide phone numbers in communities
Joining a WhatsApp community comes with a lot of benefits, like the ability to chat with workmates or like-minded people. However, once you join a community, your phone number is put out for everyone to see, even if all you do is react to a message. It has made users feel like there should be some kind of privacy option — luckily, WhatsApp seems to be providing one.
Users with Search Generative Experience enabled might notice some new swipe actions
Browsing the web on your phone tends to take a bit more work than browsing on your computer. Screen real estate is limited and there's no right-click option, so things like saving bookmarks and sharing links are just a little harder to do. In general, it's safe to say we need something more intuitive and fluid. In that vein, Google has introduced a way to save and send links using touchscreen gestures.