The Android smartphone market has long been rather stale, with many companies simply bumping up specifications rather than trying to innovate. Yeah, things like faster processors, better cameras, and 5G radios are great, but consumers are becoming indifferent to new phone launches due to a lack of innovation. It feels like evolution rather than revolution.
Thankfully, LG has retained its weird side, creating devices like the V60 ThinQ 5G, which pre-dates Microsoft's much-maligned Surface Duo. LG is willing to take risks, which is keeping Android fun and fresh. Today, the company unveils its latest innovative product -- the Wing 5G. This smartphone is like nothing you have ever seen. The main display flips out to unveil a second hidden display underneath. This creates a "letter T" form-factor, which should be great for multitasking.
POCO -- a sub-brand of Xiaomi Inc. -- is not a well-known name in the USA, but in China and other parts of the world, it is quite popular with Android enthusiasts. The young Chinese brand is synonymous with affordable smartphones that have impressive features. This is important, as it allows regular people to buy respectable Android devices without breaking the bank. Sadly, companies such as Samsung, are pricing their devices well out of reach of the common man. Quite frankly, even if you can afford it, spending more than $1,000 for a smartphone is rather foolish.
With all of that said, today, POCO unveils its latest affordable Android smartphone. Called "X3 NFC," it comes loaded with killer features such as a massive 5,160mAh battery with 33W fast charging. It is optimized for gaming with a special GPU and advanced cooling. Despite being a "mid-range" phone, it has a very impressive display with 120Hz refresh and a 240Hz touch sampling. The POCO X3 NFC even has a quad-camera array (with flash), so it should take impressive photos. And yes, it has a 3.5mm headphone port too! Sadly, all is not perfect -- it does not support 5G.
Email has become the preferred communication medium for both businesses and individuals. But useful though it is it can be incredibly frustrating as our inboxes are clogged with spam, advertising and other unwanted material.
Step forward Edison Software, the company behind the Edison Mail app, which is launching its new OnMail service in public beta. Designed to help users control their mail, OnMail lets you choose what can enter your inbox, what mail address reflects your identity, and how your mailbox is structured. Anti-tracking technology is built in to stop invasive ad targeting efforts too.
The new Android build adds several improvements to its built-in tracker and ad-blocking tools, plus makes even more use of the bottom of the user interface. It follows on from last week’s desktop release, which improved the browser’s pop-out video feature with the addition of a mute button.
10 months ago, at its Surface event, alongside the Surface Laptop 3, the Surface Pro 7, and the Surface Pro X, Microsoft had a surprise for everyone with Surface Duo, a foldable Android-based phone with two screens.
Today, the company makes the device available for pre-order in the US, with in-store and online sales beginning September 10.
For a while, it felt like tablets were the future of computing. Hell, Microsoft almost destroyed Windows entirely by wrongly transforming it into a tablet-first operating system with Windows 8. As we learned over time, however, laptops and desktops were not going anywhere. Microsoft thankfully righted the ship (mostly) with Windows 10. While iPad remains a popular device, Android tablets have largely dried up. Long gone are the good ol' days when Nexus 7 reigned supreme. Now, quality Android tablets are few and far between.
Thankfully, Samsung has not yet abandoned the Android tablet market. Today, in addition to new Note20 smartphones, the company revealed two new tablets -- Galaxy Tab S7 and S7+. The former has an 11-inch (2560 x 1600 120Hz LCD) screen, while the latter has a 12.4-inch (2800 x 1752 SuperAMOLED 120Hz) display.
When all of your devices are Apple, you can live quite happily knowing that everything works well together. When I owned a MacBook Pro, for instance, it was wonderful to get my text messages and phone calls on my laptop -- I didn't need to run and find my iPhone. The same goes for iPad -- I can get my iPhone calls and texts on the Apple tablet too. When my friends and family are nearby, and they use iPhone, I can easily share things with them using AirDrop.
If you aren't familiar, AirDrop uses a mixture of Bluetooth and Wi-Fi to allow you to wirelessly share things like files, photos, URLs, and more with other nearby Apple devices -- no need for an internet connection. This isn't just helpful for sharing with others, but with yourself too. When you want to transfer photos from your iPhone to your Mac, for example, you can use AirDrop instead of a USB to lightning cable. Many have wanted Google to copy AirDrop, and now, the search giant has thankfully done exactly that. Called "Nearby Share," it is coming to both Android devices and Chromebooks.
If you are a hardcore Android fan, you should buy a Pixel. Google’s phones may not always have the best specs, but they do offer the purest experience. They are the only way to truly experience Android as Google intends it, including timely OS updates. They are free of bloat, unlocked, and often very affordable. Best of all, they offer a remarkable photography experience.
Today, Google officially announces the highly anticipated Pixel 4a. It isn’t a flagship device, but with a $349 price, the Android 10 smartphone is an amazing value -- as long as you don’t care about 5G.
Biometrics have been a game-changer for consumer security. Not only can you unlock computers, tablets, and smartphones with facial recognition and fingerprints, but also, your finger can be used to decrypt encrypted storage devices. Are biometrics infallible? No. But still, the convenience makes consumers less likely to develop bad habits like having no password or pin at all on their devices! Never let perfect get in the way of better, folks.
Today, Google announces that it is integrating WebAuthn biometrics into its Chrome browser for Android. If you choose to store your credit and/or debit cards in the browser for easy checkout while shopping, you can now use your face or fingerprint rather than having to enter the CVC code from the card. In addition, Google is adding touch-to-fill, allowing you to easily fill in your information with one hand.
Nowadays, the internet isn't just a part of life -- it is life. While that is a rather cold reality, the fact is, most of us are glued to our devices these days. Sadly, this includes children too. Long gone are the days of boys playing baseball or girls skipping rope outside. Instead, it is all about TikTok, Instagram, and SnapChat. Kids don't want to be professional athletes or rock stars, instead wanting to be a famous YouTuber or Twitch streamer.
And so, parents have their hands full when it comes to monitoring their child's online activity. Back in the day, a family might have one desktop in the home, making it easy to know who is online and when. With tablets and smartphones, however, parents are often in the dark. Well, Microsoft has a new app that will empower parents in their quest to monitor their kids. Called "Microsoft Family Safety," it is available for both Android and iOS.
Microsoft has released a key update to its Remote Desktop app for Android. The app, which allows for the remote use of computers running Windows 10 Pro and Enterprise, Windows 8.1 and 8 Enterprise and Pro, Windows 7 Professional, Enterprise, and Ultimate, and Windows Server versions newer, now features full support for Virtual Desktops.
The update also brings the Android app in line with the iOS and macOS version, so all three versions of the app now use the underlying RDP (Remote Desktop Protocol) core engine. The latest version of the app also brings support for Android TV devices, but there's even more to look forward to.
LG is known for its revolutionary V-series and elegant G-series lines of Android smartphones. Over time, however, there became less of a difference between the two lines. Ultimately, LG's smartphone offerings became a bit crowded and confusing. Things felt a bit... stale.
This year, however, the company decided to go in an exciting and different direction. You see, with its new LG Velvet 5G phone, the company revamped its design focus and branding. For instance, it has a beautiful "teardrop" rear camera array. Today, LG announces that the Velvet is finally coming to the USA! You won't have to wait long either, as it will become available tomorrow -- on one carrier, at least. Best of all, it is shockingly affordable for a 5G smartphone.
Summer is here, but sadly, so too is COVID-19. True, much of the country is starting to "open up," but still, it is probably a good idea to limit your exposure to the public. Don't let that get you down, however, as there is plenty of summer fun to be had at home. If you have a yard, for instance, you can sunbathe and read books while laying on the grass. If you are lucky enough to own a pool, you can swim from the safety of your own property. Apartment dwellers can get in on the action too -- if you have a bathtub, you can sit in it and use your imagination to be transported to a tropical island (in your mind, at least).
Of course, just because it is the summer season, you don't have to do summery things. In fact, if you just want to sit on the couch with your smartphone and play games, watch movies, or listen to music, that is cool too. But what if your current smartphone stinks? Maybe it is slow, has bad battery life, or a cracked screen. If that is you, but you can't afford a new phone, don't worry -- we at BetaNews have five smartphones to give away! Best of all, it is a great smartphone -- the TCL 10 Pro. It has a beautiful screen with HDR support that is just perfect for watching Netflix!
With absolutely zero fanfare, Google has rolled out a system that lets you turn off RCS chat features to help avoid problems such as missing messages.
The simple form that has appeared online is very similar to the one used by Apple. The online system can be used even if you do not have your previous phone with you, so you can deregister your phone number from your computer.
When a book goes out of print the publishers don't pop round and remove old copies from your shelves. Similarly, when an app is discontinued it can be taken off the app stores but continues to linger on users' devices.
Mobile security company Wandera has been taking a look at what happens to these with an analysis of six-months' worth of apps that were removed from the app stores, along with apps that were installed on customer devices prior to the six-month period and, subsequently, removed.