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Android in 2018: Trends and predictions

Android in 2018: Trends and predictions

It's the start of the new year so, naturally, it's time to dust off those crystal balls and magic 8-balls. And while we're no Nostradamus, we can still do a bit of intelligent guessing on what will happen next based on what has come to pass. And if 2017 is any indication, it looks like we're going to be in for a rather fun and, at the same time, rough 2018 in Android land. Here are some of the new things that could come our way this year, in no particular order.

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Android in 2017: the highs and the lows

Android in 2017: the highs and the lows

Another 365 (and one-fourth) days have passed. Naysayers have again been proven wrong. Android is still going strong and the open source operating system is going places no other OS has or can. But it hasn't been smooth sailing for Android in general or for Google and its OEM partners. But then again, every year has always had its ups and downs. Here are some of the highs and lows in Android land in 2017 that could hopefully serve as both inspiration and hard lessons learned for 2018 and beyond.

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Androids don’t slow like iPhone, but maybe they should

Androids don’t slow like iPhone, but maybe they should

Approximately one year ago, Apple made a bad decision in not properly announcing their iPhone slowdown measure with old devices with bad batteries. This week, Apple's bad-battery-iPhone-slowdown became public. Now several Android smartphone manufacturers are taking advantage of the negative feedback Apple's received as a result of said revelation. Motorola, HTC, Samsung, and LG have each announced that they do not slow down older smartphones. But they certainly could - and maybe they should?

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In The Last Jedi, subtext reigns supreme

In The Last Jedi, subtext reigns supreme

The Last Jedi has been out for a little more than a week at this point, and boy have Star Wars fans been divided. Some love it, some hate it, some are confused by it. As a Star Wars movie, it certainly isn’t something we’re used to, for a number of reasons. A lot of that revolves around subtext, which this movie is dripping in. That isn’t something we Star Wars fans are used to - both the original and the prequel trilogy were pretty straightforward about what was happening, spelling most things out for us as we watched. That The Last Jedi would make such extensive use of subtext is a bit of a curveball, and it can leave some people thinking that plot holes and rash decisions exist where they really don’t.

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Apple’s good reason for slowing old iPhones won’t help

Apple’s good reason for slowing old iPhones won’t help

It's fair to say that Apple's admission this week that no, your old iPhone getting slower isn't just in your imagination, has proved divisive. For years, the idea that an older iPhone would perform more slowly than it once did was dismissed as paranoia. Now, it turns out, Apple actually is adjusting power profiles on handsets like the iPhone 6s and iPhone 7, arguing that it's doing it for good reasons.

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A safe Galaxy S9 gives LG a huge opportunity in 2018

A safe Galaxy S9 gives LG a huge opportunity in 2018

As the Galaxy S9 approaches, you'd be forgiven for thinking smartphones in 2018 will be a battle between Samsung and Apple. Don't count LG out of the game quite yet, mind. Even though the rumors around the Galaxy S9 have been far more plentiful than those detailing next year's LG G7, that's not to say 2018 won't give "the other" South Korean phone-maker a rare opportunity to differentiate itself.

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Beyond iPhone X: 3 potential uses for Apple’s TrueDepth

Beyond iPhone X: 3 potential uses for Apple’s TrueDepth

Apple is investing almost $400m into the one of the companies responsible for its TrueDepth camera system on the iPhone X, and it's likely just the first step in rolling the technology out further in its range. The decision to grant millions from its Advanced Manufacturing Fund to Finisar, the US-based manufacturer of lasers used in TrueDepth, is being billed as a win for American industry; however, it'll also give Finisar the scope to make more advanced versions. As they get smaller, more capable, and more precise, that opens the door to putting the clever camera into new places.

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The Galaxy S9 must fix these three big S8 flaws

The Galaxy S9 must fix these three big S8 flaws

2017 had a bumper crop of smartphones, but the mobile world refuses to slow, and all eyes are on the Samsung Galaxy S9 in 2018. The company's flagship consumer phone - since, it would likely argue, the Galaxy Note 8 and its eventual successor are targeted at prosumers - has big shoes to fill, coming on the heels of the generally well-received Galaxy S8. Still, that doesn't mean there isn't room for improvement.

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A costly new phone doesn’t beat a free software update

A costly new phone doesn’t beat a free software update

I bet you'd rather have something for free than have to dish out a rather large pile of cash to get a new phone. I've been on a two-year cycle for the past 7 years or so, and before that I had a non-smart phone - and I had that thing for 3-4 years, without issue. I saw the new phones, I wanted the new phones, but I certainly didn't want to pay for the new phones.

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Qualcomm is preparing for war

Qualcomm is preparing for war

As it unveils the Snapdragon 845 and reveals its Windows on ARM plans, Qualcomm is getting all its friends together, and the omissions are conspicuous by their absence. The chipmaker is paving the way for 2018 with two high-profile launches, targeting not only its typical stomping ground of smartphones and tablets, but looking to finally broach a new and potentially lucrative segment too. That sets it on a collision course with some long-time rivals.

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Car subscriptions are here, but there’s no one-size-fits-all

Car subscriptions are here, but there’s no one-size-fits-all

Once upon a time in America, you went to your local auto dealership, gave them a wad of cash, and drove a car off the lot. Then came leasing, and drivers became temporary stewards of their cars in return for three year flexibility. Now, in the midst of an auto industry terrified of Millennial disinterest and general apathy, the hunt is on for the Next Big Thing in car buying. Only the way it's shaping up, you won't be buying a car at all.

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Google’s Pixelbook is wasted on Chrome OS

Google’s Pixelbook is wasted on Chrome OS

The status-quo in laptops has been upended. The MacBook Pro, once the darling of what seemed like every mobile user, has soured many with Apple’s resolute transition to next-generation ports and continued rejection of touchscreen displays. Microsoft, meanwhile, has demonstrated an unforeseen level of design creativity that borders on the obsessional, pumping out Surface hardware that has many macOS users second-guessing their platform of choice. And then there’s the Google Pixelbook running Chrome OS, a notebook both blessed and cursed.

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