Chandraveer is a mechanical design engineer with a keen interest in all things Android, including devices, launchers, theming, apps, and photography. When he isn't using his mechanical keyboard, he's probably tweaking it or reading a book someone recommended. For him, unwinding usually entails four wheels, an engine, and great music.
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You’ve probably heard of luxury French audio brand Devialet at some point, or at least seen its $2,300 Phantom series speakers somewhere on the internet. If you’re one of the few people who has seen a Phantom speaker in the flesh or bought one, you’ll be excited to know that Devialet now makes a portable speaker called the Mania. It lets you take the same audio experience and conversation-starting design places.
The Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 is the brand’s latest and greatest smartwatch. Since it doesn’t rely on proprietary mechanisms to attach straps like the Pixel Watch, there are several materials and finishes Watch 5 customers can choose from, right from sophisticated tan leather to colorful silicone straps. Now, Samsung has two fresh additions of its own to the long list of your choices, both of which are metal straps.
Late in June this year, Google partnered with iFixit to offer genuine replacement components for the Pixel 2 through the Pixel 6. These parts could help any DIY enthusiast or small-scale electronics repair business fix broken Pixels without getting a Google technician involved. Now, replacement components for the Pixel 6a are available on iFixit’s website for the very first time.
The Xiaomi 12 Pro is one of the best smartphones the company has made, and as the year draws to a close, rumors about the upcoming Xiaomi 13 series are surfacing. Last week, we reported on the possible hardware specifications of what could be the Xiaomi 13 Pro, but now, we have what could be our first look at Xiaomi’s hardware design for the Xiaomi 13 and 13 Pro models.
Sifting through heaps of unread emails is everyone’s nightmare, and although email providers try their best, oftentimes their categorization and spam filtering utilities leave something to be desired. One of the best email apps for Android, Edison Mail, hopes to make spam management easier, and is now adding two — just ahead of the big holiday season ad barrage.
A recent Silicon Valley quake showed off the Android Earthquake Alert System’s efficacy. It reiterates how the loss of life and damage to property can be minimized by timely alert delivery. Google also has similar alert systems in place to caution against incoming floods, surging wildfires, hurricanes, and other natural calamities. In a significant step towards making many inhabited places safer, the company is expanding its flood forecasting and wildfire tracking services to several new regions.
We recently saw the Pixel 7 Pro put through the wringer by YouTuber Zack Nelson on his channel, JerryRigEverything. The phone survived, but just barely. Eager to pinpoint the likely reason for the phone breaking, Nelson used his trusty razor blade and a few other tools to take a look under the Pixel 7 Pro’s hood.
An app’s user experience is ultimately the sum of a whole slew of factors, including what UI elements look like, where they are placed, and when they're visible. Google is certainly aware of this, embracing Material You guidelines in a big way to keep things consistent across its apps — and their website equivalents. Now, the Gmail app is picking up a subtle tweak to its bottom navigation bar for easily jumping around between Gmail, Meet, Chat, and Spaces.
Since Google Lens made its debut on mobile in 2017, its capabilities have evolved through features like multisearch. Lens has also seeped into Chrome, silently replacing the reverse image search option. Since Lens is effectively an extension of Google Search, it seemed like a matter of time before we saw an option to use it from the Search homepage. Now, we have that option, making Lens even more accessible.
November is nearly here, and 2023 not far beyond that, bringing us all sorts of new phone launches, including the Xiaomi 13 series. We're likely to see that family include a few different models, including hardware that should be well-equipped to succeed the Xiaomi 12 Pro as one of the best smartphones the company makes. Now we're beginning to get our expectations in line, with a new spec leak attempting to shine some light on the upcoming Xiaomi 13 Pro.
When you're thinking about updating your Android apps, you don't have to look any further than the Google Play Store. The Store has seen its fair share of revisions as Android evolved over the years, like adopting the Material You design, and a complete redesign of the UI on Android tablets and Chromebooks. Now the Play Store app is picking up a subtle update to an update, if you will, with a visual tweak in the appearance of the app update button.
Android users have plenty of convenient options when it comes to taking notes and saving links to visit later. You've got your pick of the best note-taking apps, or could just rely on something you already use every day, like Telegram or Slack — those messaging services let you save messages for later and message yourself, respectively. WhatsApp seems to be interested in playing a little catch-up, and is now testing out its own improvements to self-messaging.
Spotify's recent issues with Apple's policies reiterate how much control companies like Google can command over software and technology. Google also has an iron grip on licensing technologies and software for smartphones and other gadgets, especially Android. Device OEMs are forced to choose between running Google's officially sanctioned version of Android or an Android fork on their devices. A recent agreement between Google and Amazon has resulted in a few Smart TV brands daring to offer new TVs with Fire TV OS while other products continue using Google's stock Android.
YouTube tries every trick in the book to get you started watching videos — and then switches to a whole different playbook, so you can never claw your way out of the video vortex. Recently, YouTube has been placing increasing emphasis on Shorts, even adding a Shorts shelf on YouTube for Android TV, but not everyone's a fan of that mobile-focused content. Thankfully, for people who despise short-form videos as much as they hate paying more for YouTube Premium, YouTube is now making it easier to only focus on the video formats you prefer.
Messaging services like WhatsApp and Telegram aren't just always trying to grow their user bases with new features, but find new ways to monetize those users through paid services. Telegram has offered a Premium subscription since June, allowing users to follow more channels, download files faster, and access additional features. Now the service has been spotted with individual messages and media locked behind a paywall.
Samsung makes some of the best Android phones money can buy today, and its Galaxy S22 models from this year are arguably the most appealing of them all — well, other than its luxurious foldable phones. We're now looking forward to the Galaxy S23 series, consisting of the S23 Ultra, S23 Plus, and vanilla S23 models. The latest hardware rumor is now attempting to build up our expectations for the flagship Galaxy S23 Ultra's 200MP primary camera.
The Google Pixel Buds Pro are the company’s third attempt at designing true-wireless earbuds, and a solid effort, at that. Unfortunately, it looks like some Pixel Buds Pro owners have recently had trouble activating Google Assistant using the “Hey, Google” hotword. The good news is that Google has now rectified the underlying issue with Voice Match and the Assistant language settings, so voice activation should work as intended with the Pixel Buds Pro.
Widgets are a great way to access critical functions of an app right from your home screen. Options like Google’s At a Glance widget let you glean important information like weather, your next meeting, and AQI alerts conveniently. Almost all these widgets update automatically in the background without being asked, so you get current information at all times — at least, they're supposed to. But now we're seeing Google’s Digital Wellbeing widget introduce a refresh button for when it needs a little reminder to keep things current.
Spotify is one of the best streaming apps for music available on mobile today. The service already offers podcasts, but you can now also buy and listen to audiobooks on it. Audiobooks became a part of the app in late September, though Spotify isn't happy with the user experience of purchasing this content when it comes to convenience and user-friendliness. The company pins the blame on all the hoop-jumping required to meet Apple’s ever-changing in-app purchase (IAP) policies. Matters aren't much better on Android, either.
Google’s ongoing efforts developing Chrome certainly don’t go unnoticed, considering it's the most popular web browser in the world by a landslide margin, across multiple platforms. Still, that doesn't mean it's perfect, and while the new Chrome 107 release includes improvements like support for HEVC hardware decoding in videos, and laying the groundwork for simplified login experiences down the road, long-standing issues like its infamous RAM hogging continue. Now there's finally some interesting progress towards doing something about that in development channels, with Chrome working on new tools for snoozing inactive tabs and freeing up system resources for other applications.