Author Archives: JC Torres

Juan Carlos is a senior editor for SlashGear, covering mobile and computing since 2013. He is an open-source contributor, a mobile app creator, and actively involved in the KDE Projects as a developer and documentation maintainer. He holds two degrees in Philosophy and Computer Science. Email

Android 12 Beta 3 for Android TV adds 4K UI and refresh rate switching

Android 12 Beta 3 for Android TV adds 4K UI and refresh rate switching

Google just released the third beta of Android 12, taking the next version of the platform one step closer to general availability. While that announcement focused primarily on smartphones and tablets, those aren't the only incarnations of Android getting a big version bump. Android TV will soon also be based on Android 12, and the latest beta version brings the platform up-to-date on the latest trends in TV hardware as well as user privacy.

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Chrome HTTPS-First Mode will show a full-page warning on insecure connections

Chrome HTTPS-First Mode will show a full-page warning on insecure connections

Google has been driving a crusade against elements that make the Web insecure and dangerous. Knowing that not all users might be aware of or want to make an effort to change their bad security practices, Google is trying to enforce security on its end using Chrome as its carrot and stick for website owners and administrators. For years, it has been pushing HTTPS as the one and only way for websites to serve content, but it hasn't been 100% successful. Now it is announcing upcoming features and changes to the Chrome browser that will deal with those HTTPS holdouts while still letting users decide their own fate at their own risk.

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Netflix gaming plans confirmed by latest hire

Netflix gaming plans confirmed by latest hire

Netflix is still considered to be the king of video streaming, but its once vast empire has now been split among other rivaling kingdoms, including the Kingdom of Mickey Mouse. Despite the increased competition, Netflix has kept true to its core service of distributing videos across multiple genres. It hasn't dabbled in audio-only content like podcasts, for example, which seems to be experiencing a renaissance these days. It might, however, soon diverge into video games territory if its new exec is any indication.

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Google Pixel phones with Android 11 get a new battery health feature

Google Pixel phones with Android 11 get a new battery health feature

Battery life has become a major concern for smartphone users and manufacturers these days. While we wait for huge leaps in battery technology, most have resolved to make charging faster in the meantime. Battery charging, however, isn't a simple matter of turning something on and off like a light switch, and various conditions can actually lead to faster battery life degradation. To help prevent those scenarios, Google is implementing a new feature on supported Pixel phones that caps battery charging at 80% under certain conditions.

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LG webOS TV brings Amazon Alexa to third party TVs

LG webOS TV brings Amazon Alexa to third party TVs

It's not easy to determine which smart TV platform is really leading the market. Smart TV sales don't exactly correlate to the popularity or quality of the software that runs on them. Despite having been a close Google partner back when it still made smartphones, LG has opted to pave its own path with a proprietary spin of webOS made especially for TVs. It has opened up that platform to more TV makers and is now giving its own competitors one of its exclusive features, the ability to speak to Amazon's Alexa, even without an Alexa-powered speaker.

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Xbox Family Settings app can now manage kids’ spending

Xbox Family Settings app can now manage kids’ spending

Gaming consoles like the Xbox are often considered to be a solitary machine for a solitary gamer, but that hasn't been the case for the past years. Consoles have even become a means by which families spend time together at home or for kids to develop skills often associated with safe gaming. The latter is an important consideration for parents who want to give their kids access to consoles and the games available for them. The Xbox Family Settings app tries to make that task less of a chore, and its newest features promise to save parents money or prevent them from accidentally losing some.

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Kindle Vella is a mobile-first episodic story platform

Kindle Vella is a mobile-first episodic story platform

Reading on the go has become more fashionable recently, and as much as Amazon would prefer that people buy and use its Kindle eReaders or Fire tables for that purpose, it has to concede that some people prefer reading on their phones. While certainly possible, the smaller screen and mobile use cases don't exactly make phones conducive for long materials. That's why Amazon is launching its new Vella platform that divides and deliveries stories into serialized chunks that you can pay for per episode.

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Galaxy Z Fold 3 and Galaxy Watch 4 briefly appear in Samsung video

Galaxy Z Fold 3 and Galaxy Watch 4 briefly appear in Samsung video

We've seen quite a good number of leaks about Samsung's next products, and, in fact, there might be an overabundance of them. These are, of course, unofficial images, mostly renders, of the products, often based on other leaks and rumors. It's an entirely different matter when Samsung itself does the teasing, even for a split second. Unfortunately, this brief sighting of the Galaxy Z Fold 3 and Galaxy Watch 4 doesn't add anything substantially new to the growing body of knowledge about these products.

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OnePlus 9 Pro throttling explanation takes a jab at the Snapdragon 888

OnePlus 9 Pro throttling explanation takes a jab at the Snapdragon 888

OnePlus was plunged into the center of controversy again these past few days after something that would have flown under most people's radars. Very few owners of the new OnePlus 9 Pro had complaints about the phone's performance, at least not until some decided to compare it with its peers. The revelation and OnePlus' own admission that it was indeed throttling some apps for the sake of battery life and thermal management have become almost similar to the benchmarking cheating it got accused of a few years back. The company has now made a more official and detailed defense of that practice that makes a somewhat ironic point about the smartphone market's obsession with specs and figures.

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PC market grew in Q2 2021 despite global chip shortage

PC market grew in Q2 2021 despite global chip shortage

2020 and 2021 have so far been kind to the PC market that previously found itself battling for survival against mobile devices. While desktops and laptops will always have a place in the tech industry, recent changes to working and studying arrangements have cause PC shipments to spike and grow over the last year and a half. Although that growth is starting to slow down, the PC market still managed to grow in the second quarter of 2021, despite the ongoing component supply shortage affecting many industries around the world.

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Google Drive for Desktop offers a unified syncing solution

Google Drive for Desktop offers a unified syncing solution

Google is a company that often has multiple solutions to the same problem. That sometimes works well in weeding out ineffective products, but, most of the time, it results in confusion, inconsistency, and uncertainty. That's true not just in messaging apps, for example, but even when it comes to cloud syncing and backup. Fortunately, Google has been working to fix the latter with one sync client to rule them all, and that Drive for desktop application is now being made available for Windows and Mac users.

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OnePlus Nord 2 display confirmed to be like last year’s

OnePlus Nord 2 display confirmed to be like last year’s

OnePlus' new Nord series seems to be all over the place in more ways than one. The first OnePlus Nord was highly popular, but the models that launched in the US were a few steps down the ladder. While the OnePlus Nord N phones did offer budget-friendly handsets, the company's software commitment has left many disappointed. The OnePlus Nord 2 might embody that mix of the good and the bad, the future and the past, especially with OnePlus' confirmation of the display that the phone will have.

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