opinion

Google should just buy Essential

Google should just buy Essential

I feel like it's inevitable that Google will acquire Essential, and all of its assets. They've got the cash, Essential is in a position where being acquired wouldn't be the end of the world, and they're two companies that'd benefit from one another. Plus, it would seem that Essential is already getting in Google's good graces with early inclusion in the Android P Beta - hitting Build 1 starting today.

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Just don’t buy that smart speaker

Just don’t buy that smart speaker

Alexa isn't eavesdropping on your every conversation, secretly sharing them with whoever it likes, but even if it was there's an easy way to avoid that. The latest controversy over smart speakers and the Internet of Things comes down to privacy, as is so often the way, with Amazon's Echo accused of playing impromptu postwoman with a private chat recorded and shared.

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I’ve got one big question after Waymo’s autonomous car crash

I’ve got one big question after Waymo’s autonomous car crash

Waymo's computers may not have been at the wheel during the Arizona car crash last Friday, but eventually autonomous car developers will have to figure out just how human they dare let their AI drivers behave. While plenty of attention has been given to the technological barriers to self-driving cars, and a reasonable amount to the insurance and regulatory implications, there's a big black hole in one other key element. That's driverless car ethics.

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The games industry must learn Fortnite’s Battle Pass lesson

The games industry must learn Fortnite’s Battle Pass lesson

The video game industry is going through something of a tumultuous discovery phase at the moment. Whether it's purely down to greed or because of ever-increasing development and marketing costs, major publishers have decided that $60 per game just isn't enough anymore, and that these titles need to be monetized on an ongoing basis. Many of them have taken a page out of the mobile gaming playbook, implementing microtransactions in their games that usually take the form of loot boxes.

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The LG G7 ThinQ has a problem

The LG G7 ThinQ has a problem

Twenty-four hours after a new flagship smartphone debuts, we're meant to be excited, and that means the LG G7 ThinQ has a problem. Yes, the name is silly - it's pronounced "Think-Cue" not "Think," incidentally - and sure, the notch is controversial, but LG's biggest issue is apathy. A new smartphone is meant to be exciting. The G7 ThinQ is not.

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Apple’s smart glasses sound more like VIVE than Glass

Apple’s smart glasses sound more like VIVE than Glass

Apple's first AR/VR product is shaping up to be more like HTC VIVE Pro than Google Glass, and that's probably a good thing in the long run. If the latest leaks are true, the Cupertino company's first steps into augmented reality and virtual reality hardware will be a more streamlined version of the tethered experience slowly gaining traction among gamers. That may be less exciting than sci-fi style AR eyeglasses, but it's certainly more sensible.

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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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