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Tayo Olasope
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There’s been a few discussions about the Note 9. So who else is pre-ordering?

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So what’s the purpose of Android One if not for fast updates?

I thought this question raised by +Ted Salmon and +Steve Litchfield in this week’s podcast deserves a separate discussion thread. I feel the expectations for quick updates you both suggested as the purpose of Android One, misses the point of what Google intended for it. This isn’t surprising nor an unreasonable expectation from a consumer in a developed country. To set the context, I’ll share the early experiences of Android in a country like Nigeria, and the reason Android One was originally launched exclusively in developing countries.

Going back as recently as 2014/2015, the main options one had for Android phones in Nigeria were expensive Samsung, LG, and other mainstream flagships which most people could not afford, or a plethora of low end, low-spec devices made by brands like Tecno and Infinix. 1GB of RAM and 8GB or less storage were the dominant specs, and the bloatware that shipped with the phones were merciless. The Android versions were usually a generation or two old at launch, and never got updated. The user experience, and reliability were inconsistent, or poor at best. Windows Mobile devices like the Nokia 520 made much more sense.

It was for markets like these that Android One was launched, hence why it was initially limited to developing countries. The first round of phones had a minimum spec of 2GB of RAM, 16GB storage and minimum processor requirement. They shipped with the latest and clean Android versions, with a guarantee for 2 years of updates. More importantly these phones were cheaper than the lower specced devices that dominated the market. In a nutshell Google fixed Android for the masses in these markets. This continues to be the key purpose of Android One.

Alas, the variation in hardware specification and testing requirements of different Android One devices still mean that updates will not be quick enough for those expecting Nexus/Pixel type updates. Even Google does not promise fast updates, they only promise updates. Why manufacturers take time is a different discussion, but only Pixel phones will satisfy the quest for the latest and greatest.


https://www.android.com/intl/en_uk/one/

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I'm not particularly interested in politics, but it's uncomfortable reading that Google, a consumer brand with so much data about people worldwide, is going into a military partnership with a Government.

https://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2018/04/google-should-not-be-in-the-business-of-war-googlers-decry-pentagon-project/?amp=1

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It’s commendable that Apple publishes audit reports of labour violations in its supply chain. I find this as persuasive as a killer feature on a phone, and I’d like to see others following this example.

https://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2018/03/in-an-audit-of-supply-chain-partners-apple-found-increased-labor-violations-in-2017/#p3

The pre-orderers for the Samsung S9 & S9+ opened yesterday with hardly any fanfare, but not because these are bad phones, among the reasons this went unnoticed is that the quality of last generation phones have been so good, the marginal benefits of upgrading doesn’t justify the associated costs.

For me though, if I had been looking upgrade this year the only phone I’d have eyes on is the Nokia 7 plus. Where LG and HTC have failed, Nokia has shown that with decent hardware, and leaving Google’s software untouched - and minimising software development costs, there’s room to succeed.

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I've just noticed that Motorola no longer sell phones through it's motorola.co.uk website. All 'buy now' links now takes one to a drop down list to purchase on reseller sites. I hope this isn't an omen for Motorola :(

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Anyone getting this error when trying to download the PSC podcast with pocketcasts using cellular data? Wi-Fi works ok as do other podcasts on cellular.

I first noticed it about a month ago.
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The 128GB Pixel 2 XL is currently on offer on CPW for £729, which IMO is a more realistic price it should have been at launch. The upcoming Galaxy S9 plus would be undoubtedly more expensive. At this price (if maintained), the Pixel 2 XL is now top of my wishlist.

https://www.carphonewarehouse.com/google/pixel-2-xl.html#!dealType=sf&colour=white&capacity=128GB
Google Pixel 2 XL
Google Pixel 2 XL
carphonewarehouse.com

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This story reminds me of an occasion I phoned Fitbit to report a problem with my device syncing. As I described the problem in detail, the support chap interrupted me and put the call on hold. After a few minutes he return and told me they could see at their end that my sync had become irregular over the last few days, and immediately agreed to send me a new Fitbit. I was pleased with the outcome and hung up.

Later when I replayed the conversation did I realise how much of my privacy I was giving up to Fitbit without consideration of how they used the data. How their customer services knew my habits from years of data gathering to quickly resolve my issue.

They know how much I sleep, where I travel to work and on holidays, when I'm active, when I'm home, my heart rate patterns etc. Basically buying a Fitbit is akin to paying someone to hand over your personal health data to them. Little wonder they were keen to offer quick replacements.

Nonetheless I've continued to use Fitbit and looking forward to getting the ionic once the price drops further 🙈

https://www.washingtonpost.com/amphtml/world/a-map-showing-the-users-of-fitness-devices-lets-the-world-see-where-us-soldiers-are-and-what-they-are-doing/2018/01/28/86915662-0441-11e8-aa61-f3391373867e_story.html

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Google have done a lot to clean up the play store over the years, but there's still a whole lot more to be done. There's no way rogue apps mimicking established ones should be able to make their way onto the Play Store as in this example.

Users still have to be vigilant of apps even from the Play store, but this is inexcusable.


https://www.symantec.com/blogs/threat-intelligence/open-source-apps-google-play
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