opinion

Android Auto Wireless reminded me of Google’s big Pixel mistake

Android Auto Wireless reminded me of Google’s big Pixel mistake

Google enabling Android Auto Wireless is great news, but Pixel phones' lagging behind iPhone in one key area does put the brakes on how useful the update is. Putting down your smartphone while you're behind the wheel is safety advice all of us would do well to remember. I just wish I could put my Pixel 2 XL down on a wireless charger when I do.

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New Gmail redesign: 3 reasons we’re excited

New Gmail redesign: 3 reasons we’re excited

Gmail is, alongside search, one of Google's most popular core services, so it's hardly surprising that there's plenty of interest when it comes in for a redesign. Problem is, while new features can be exciting, there's always the risk that change for its own sake just makes dealing with your crowded inbox even harder. Happily, from the leaks we've seen that's not the case - read on for the three things we're most excited about the new Gmail.

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Can Apple bring itself to save HomePod?

Can Apple bring itself to save HomePod?

HomePod was meant to be Apple's triumphant splash in the smart speaker market, but the reality has been a little less rewarding. Official sales numbers still haven't been shared - and, most likely, never will - but reports this week suggest demand for the Siri-powered speaker has been a fraction of what Apple predicted. Ironically, though, there are a few fairly straightforward ways that HomePod could be improved. Apple could even do some of them without needing to change its hardware at all. The question is not so much how Apple could do it, really, it's if Apple could.

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This Battle Royale bandwagon can only be a good thing

This Battle Royale bandwagon can only be a good thing

Earlier today, LawBreakers developer Boss Key Productions announced a new battle royale game called Radical Heights. With PUBG dominating headlineslast year and Fortnite taking over the reins for 2018, it's no wonder developers want to try to capitalize on some of the hype by creating battle royale games of their own. Boss Key is almost certainly one of the first of many, many developers that will try to capture some of the obviously huge market for battle royale games over the coming months and years.

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Apple may be overthinking the new Mac Pro

Apple may be overthinking the new Mac Pro

The new Mac Pro should be easy for Apple, and the fact that it isn't is making people worried. A modern workstation has a lot in common with a workstation a decade old, or two: the fastest components available in a form-factor that doesn't tie you down. If there's one thing we know about Apple, however, it's that if there's an easy way to do something, or an alternative way that could be considered more elegant, it has an uncontrollable desire to chase the latter. The recipe envisaged by some of the more vocal would-be Mac Pro buyers seems a lot more straightforward.

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A 6.5-inch iPhone X Plus could fix Apple’s iPad headache

A 6.5-inch iPhone X Plus could fix Apple’s iPad headache

For a long time, Apple obstinately stuck to one of the smallest touchscreens in the smartphone industry. At a time when Android rivals were embracing phablets, the 4-inch display on the iPhone 5s was an odd point of pride for Apple and its users: their message, that iOS was so well designed, that it didn't require a vast screen in order to be functional.

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Android OEMs need a wake up call to fix the update problem

Android OEMs need a wake up call to fix the update problem

The Stagefright security vulnerability of 2015 give the Android world a scare. Unfortunately, that seems to have been short-lived and, sadly, ineffective in the long run. While it is fortunate that the exploit was never fully used to wreak havoc, that may have allowed the powers that be in Android land to settle back into their complacency and laxity. Updates still don’t come on time and even the security-critical ones can take weeks if not months. It may be cruel to say, but the Android platform probably needs to be shocked awake if it is to ever get its update narrative straight.

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HomePod is changing how I listen to music

HomePod is changing how I listen to music

Is Siri better than the Google Assistant, or worse than Alexa, or the downfall of Apple's HomePod, or the reason it's so good? The questions around the Cupertino company's first connected speaker are numerous and fairly predictable, just like the tests pitting one virtual assistant against another in fact. From the start I'd figured Siri makes an excellent guide through Apple Music - you can credit Apple's otherwise frustratingly tight integration between streaming service and speaker for that - but what I didn't expect was how much she would change how I listen to music.

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Apple’s Touch Bar needs to grow up

Apple’s Touch Bar needs to grow up

Apple’s biggest changes to its MacBook range in 2018 may be focused on overhauling the processors inside its notebooks, but it’s making the most of one of its most misunderstood features that I really hope changes this year. I was one of what seemed like only a few people - outside of Apple, at least - upbeat about the Touch Bar when it first arrived on the MacBook Pro in 2016, though even then it was clear there was room for improvement. Apple’s concept of a contextually changing array of shortcuts placed within easier reach of your hands on the keyboard had potential, but its first implementation felt cautiously tentative.

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We need a new Facebook [PART 1] [OPINION]

We need a new Facebook [PART 1] [OPINION]

Facebook is a meat grinder full of of meaningless links, shares, and pseudo-motivational text over images. It's a place where brands go to make their brands feel more personal. It's the place where a tornado of false stories are shared between middle-aged communities who don't know how to check their sources. It's a place where smartphone users go because they're addicted to checking the feed. Facebook is no longer a good place to communicate between friends.

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You’re going to want the Galaxy S9+

You’re going to want the Galaxy S9+

When it comes to the Galaxy S9, it looks like Samsung has joined the "bigger is better" crowd, and that's going to leave some buyers frustrated. The Android flagship, along with its Galaxy S9+ sibling, is expected to debut in just a few weeks time, at Samsung's next Unpacked event during MWC 2018. From what we already know, though, along with the new hardware the Galaxy S9 and S9+ will also present buyers with a new, tough decision.

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The Pickup is Growing Up

The Pickup is Growing Up

Given Detroit's history with the pickup, the fact that the North American International Auto Show 2018 was dominated by trucks probably wasn't much of a surprise. All the same, it's telling that these weren't the rough and ready workhorses of pickup tradition. Consumer demand, more stringent regulations, and an undeniable appetite for raising sticker prices on the forecourt have all forced the unthinkable: the pickup truck is growing up.

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