Opinion: LG G5 needs great software if it’s going to be a market-leading smartphone

LG is a manufacturer capable of making brilliant hardware and well-considered smartphone designs. The LG G2 had impossibly thin bezels, unlike anything else on the market when it launched. Likewise, the G3 was the first mainstream smartphone to feature a Quad HD display. The G4 added to that with one of the best cameras we’ve ever seen on an Android phone and it gave us the option of really attractive, comfortable leather back panels.

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PSA: It’s not just you, Hangouts is having lots of service interruptions

Hangouts has been having more problems than usual the last couple days, but according to the G Suite App Status page, the service is now experiencing more interruptions. Like many others, I’ve been experiencing slow load times in the app and on the web, and message sends have been delayed or failed.

“We’re investigating reports of an issue with Google Hangouts. We will provide more information shortly,” the App Status page says as of 12:40 PM EST.

If you’re also experiencing any problems with Hangouts, you’re not alone.

Project Fi accidentally notifies users of throttling, says it’s experimenting w/ opt-in throttling to control usage

This afternoon multiple Project Fi users took to Twitter to complain that they had received a notification from Project Fi that the carrier would begin throttling their data due to “excessive data usage.” Project Fi was quick to reply to each user and apologize for the mistake. Now the carrier has taken to Reddit to give an official explanation…

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PSA: No, it’s not just you — Google Calendar is down

Update: It looks like service is being restored for some.

We’ve received a slew of reports this morning that Google Calendar — an app that is completely invaluable to the daily lives of many — is currently experiencing some extended (but, thankfully rare) downtime. Google has confirmed on its Google Apps status dashboard that many users of Google Calendar are seeing a “Server Error” page.

Problems were initially recognized at around 8:47 AM CT, and seem to be continuing almost as hour later with Google “continuing to investigate this issue” as of 9:35 AM. Additionally, we’ve spotted scattered reports of Hangouts being down for some, although the Google Apps dashboard is not showing any issues as of the time of this writing.

Apps Status Dashboard 2016-06-30 09-53-45

We’ll update this article when the service is back up.

Opinion: Google Home is extremely compelling for two big reasons, but it’s still losing a major battle with Amazon’s Echo

Along with the Pixel smartphones, Chromecast Ultra, Google WiFi, and more, Google also launched the Google Home, its Amazon Echo competitor. While this new product is insanely compelling, enough to where I’ve already pre-ordered despite owning an Echo, there is one giant obstacle it has to face: compatibility.

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Google Pixel Review: Android’s new flag bearer isn’t perfect, but it’s one of the best phones ever

We didn’t expect it to come as soon as it did, but Google’s first solely self-branded smartphone, the Google Pixel, is finally here. In light of how mature the smartphone market has become in the last few years, it’s hard for a new phone to stand out as something that takes anything more than a few baby steps forward. This phone isn’t that much different. But what is different is that it isn’t just any Android phone made by one of Google’s partners. This one is Google’s, and that’s special.

It’s special because Google really has made an effort at building a good top-to-bottom user experience. It’s special because Google has made some clear — in some cases major — improvements to its software and how it works with the hardware. It’s special because it has a great camera. It’s special because it’s the first Android phone to ship with the Google Assistant. It’s special because it’s the first Daydream-ready smartphone. It’s special because it’s the best portal to Google’s services, full stop.

But most of all, I think the Pixel is special because it seems to me that Google’s newly-rebirthed smartphone line has a lot of potential. Yes, there are some things that this phone doesn’t have. But what phone doesn’t? Let’s talk about what the Pixel has going for it.

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Opinion: The Essential Phone still looks great, but it’s quickly running out of time

When Andy Rubin officially took the wraps off of the Essential Phone in May, I was excited. The father of Android had just announced a brand new phone with a modern design, near bezel-less display, stock Android, and a modular system to go along with it. The Essential Phone sounded like any Android nerd’s dream come true, and while it still is, the company needs to act fast if it wants to hold the attention of its fans and potential customers.

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LG V20 Review: For spec-hungry Android enthusiasts, it’s the best Android phablet you can buy [Video]

2016 has been a tough year for the Android market. In previous years we couldn’t count on one hand the number of awesome devices, but this year there have only been a few to choose from. The Galaxy S7, specifically the Edge has stood out as a clear winner, despite the praise given to competing devices like the HTC 10. On the other hand, no one really cared about LG this year. The G5 was a flop by every definition.

Now in late 2016, there still isn’t much to pick from. The Galaxy Note 7 was close to perfection, and then it literally exploded in Samsung’s face. Google’s Pixel aims to fill the void, and redefine what an Android smartphone can and should be. However, if you’re not looking to get a Pixel, the LG V20 is 100% what you should be looking at, especially if you’re aiming for a big phone. Let’s take a closer look.

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