Jules joined the Android Police team in 2019. Before that, he was at Pocketnow. He loves public transportation, podcasts, and people in general. He also likes to take views from the bigger picture in technology from how people are attracted to it to how it's utilized across every other industry.
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We're on a schedule now. Well, at least Samsung is with Android 13: dozens of Galaxy phones across the globe are due to receive One UI 5 in the coming months. News came earlier this morning that Galaxy S21 series devices were getting the bump, but we're now getting word that the S20 and Note 20 phones are in the bag.
Whether you're out for a vacation or just need a crash pad for the night, you've got more choices than ever when it comes to on-the-spot accommodations. If you're going beyond the hotel, Airbnb is arguably the most prominent platform on the market — we think it's one of the best apps for Android-toting travelers — with property-owning hosts listing rooms, apartments, or even entire houses. The biggest issue for would-be guests, though, is the whiplash they get trying to figure out what they're really paying for your stay. Fortunately, the company's CEO says there should be a remedy on the horizon.
The format wars are nearly over — no, it's probably not the one you're thinking about. For as long as they could, Android phone owners have been plugging in external drives to move files about for one reason or another. But if your disk was formatted in anything other than FAT32, they were most likely out of luck. Nowadays, Google is helping Android make a determined comeback to tablets and other large form factors that might get hooked up to external drives with those difficult formats. Part of that comeback means getting over the NTFS hump.
Parliament may be a circus, but the United Kingdom government isn't all made up of incompetent hands — except for the ones who thought it'd be a good idea to store COVID-19 case data on Excel spreadsheets (it's true, look it up). That should lend a sense of reassurance or dread, depending on what the given objectives are. Take the National Cyber Security Centre for your consideration: it has just launched a program that systematically scans every internet-connected device based in the nation as an intelligence-gathering method to survey current hacking threats and security preparedness.
Google is doing its darndest to keep YouTube Music alive and kicking. That effort mostly comes through in a lot of little nips and tucks around the edges whether it's in the guts or the front end. Now, it may be time to tally up another one for the front end.
This week, we're settling down in our smart homes with the announcement of a bunch of gear supporting Matter, the new protocol that's supposed to unify the disparate Amazon, Apple, and Google ecosystems. Plus, a heaping side helping of Steam talk from the ChromeOS tests to our favorite games. It's the Android Police podcast.
Stop us if you've heard this before: your streaming subscriptions are getting more expensive. Oh, wait, we already wrote a story today about Sling TV jacking up its prices. Well, don't look now, but in another move you could call funny or depressing — maybe even a little of both — Disney-owned streaming services Disney+, ESPN+, and Hulu are set to raise their tolls on your viewership, especially when it comes to bundles and how much ad time you're willing to put up with.
We called the original Pixel phone "a very good phone by Google." Today, the Pixel 7 and 7 Pro stand as some of the best Android devices around and they run the latest version of the platform. That's never going to officially happen for the Pixel and Pixel XL for a variety of reasons, but owners have been able to take a crack at installing a sanctioned build of Android 13 by sideloading Google's generic system image onto their devices. It takes a lot of finagling, but it can be done thanks to the drive partitioning made possible by Project Treble, and it has just been done.
Google may be ailing in ad revenue right now and pushing harder on hardware, but it's also seemingly not against spending nine digits to buy an AI-powered imaging company focused on making avatars. That's reportedly what's just happened, according to a source familiar with the matter.
Between a bottle of Robitussin and disappointments all around from Apple and Google, I think you'll enjoy our "Oops, All Tangents" edition of the Android Police podcast this week. From MagSafe to money woes, it's all downhill from here. Grab a potato sack and join us on the slide!
We're generally fans of apps around here at Android Police, but when it comes to the ones that are simple, beautiful, and free, well, we like those ones more. Take, for instance, Dynamic Wallpaper — the newest app from designer .
Much ado has been made about Google's new visual branding for its Contacts, Messages, and Phone apps which the company introduced in the past couple weeks.They're not the best works of art, but they do convey just enough to stand for something. Up until now, though, you've probably seen the new Messages logo and maybe even the Contacts logo appear on your home screen. What's up with Phone? And what's this about how the Messages logo animates?
When it comes to phones and tablets, Google is making Android all about 64-bit apps. It's taken years of transition policy to whip app makers into shape and achieve this end. A couple weeks ago, we found out that the Pixel 7 and 7 Pro weren't installing 32-bit apps, perhaps signaling that the company was ready to end Android's 32-bit era. But there hasn't been official word on the matter until now.
During the peak of the coronavirus pandemic, Google Maps introduced a new layer which let users track the number of current COVID-19 cases as well as the trend in a given area. Since then, it's added special checkboxes for businesses that have taken precautions against the spread of disease. Nowadays, the visibility of the virus has faded thanks to a variety of reasons. Chalk up one more reason: Google Maps has dropped the COVID-19 filter.
Several countries prone to earthquakes have an effective national early warning system that lets their citizens take action seconds, perhaps even minutes before ground-level shaking begins. That's great for those countries, but most of the world — including most of the United States — does not have the systems in place to facilitate such advanced warnings. Google, though, has been working on spreading its Android Earthquake Alert System, which provides a literal surface-level warning to device owners in quake zones, across the world. Yesterday, the United States got to see it in action.
One important aspect about modern consumer technology is the ability to do what you want from where you want whenever you want. But when it came to controlling your smart home appliances through Google Home, users have had to rely on the mobile app for the longest time. Not anymore with the latest announcement from the company.
We all know the 5 'W's' (and 1 'H') of questionhood, but when it comes to getting Android 13 on our Samsung Galaxy devices, the word we've been missing out on was "when?" Many European Galaxy S22, Flip, and Fold 4 devices began getting One UI 5 this week, but, as you might've noticed, the whole world isn't Europe. We're getting a slightly better idea now as the company's just dropped a detailed device schedule. Just don't get too excited yet.
As Android Police's newsletter editor (go if you haven't already!), I've come to know the power of merge fields first-hand. If you don't know what they are, they're extremely useful in sending mass emails where, if you've collected the data from people, you can slot them into specific places as needed. It's how organizational senders are about to personalize their greetings to each recipient. Well, Google is giving its Workspace customers the power of something it's called merge tags in Gmail.
Scrappy smart home startup Wyze is out with a big update to 2020's Wyze Cam v3, a $20 camera with pretty decent imaging, cloud-powered subject detection, great audio pickup, a siren and spotlight, and did we mention it was $20? It's been one of the best security cameras out there. So, what does the Wyze Cam v3 Pro do for $50? Quite a bit more and faster.
Whether you're picking up one of the best budget Android phones out there or are looking to improve how you hear what you like to hear, Google's got it and it's got it cheap: the Pixel 6a, Pixel Buds Pro, and Nest Audio are all on sale this weekend with one of our most wanted smartphones of 2022 touching a record low price.