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Juan Carlos is a senior editor for 88gadget.info, covering mobile and computing since 2013. He is an open-source contributor, a mobile app creator, and actively involved in the KDE Projects as a developer and documentation maintainer. He holds two degrees in Philosophy and Computer Science. Email

Pixel Buds A feature drop includes a manual update option

Pixel Buds A feature drop includes a manual update option

Unlike their simpler wired predecessors, wireless earbuds aren't static accessories that you buy with a fixed set of features. At times, they aren't even "perfect" when they launch, instead leaving plenty of room for improvements or new features. Like many smart devices today, Bluetooth earbuds can be updated to add those missing experiences, and Google is rolling out one such feature drop for its mid-range Pixel Buds A series, as well as a somewhat hidden feature that could make the update process a bit easier.

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OPPO Retractable Camera wants to fix wobbly phones

OPPO Retractable Camera wants to fix wobbly phones

Camera bumps have become a point of distinction for smartphones these days rather than just a functional part of the design. A mobile camera's design is defined and constrained by the sensors and lenses they hold inside, which often results in bulky constructions that jut out from a phone's body. That, in turn, gives the phone an uneven back that presents certain usability problems. While work continues on shrinking those hardware components, OPPO is presenting an interesting solution that makes at least one of those big cameras move in and out of the body like a '90s point-and-shoot camera.

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Fairphone 4 proves repairability and durability can coexist

Fairphone 4 proves repairability and durability can coexist

Smartphones in recent years have become more powerful, more sophisticated, more luxurious, and at the same time also more durable. It is actually scandalous if a flagship smartphone doesn't boast an IP68 dust and water resistance rating, even though OnePlus continues to push back against what it insists is an expensive and non-essential certification. That durability and reliability, however, are often achieved by sealing the phone shut, making repairs more difficult than necessary. The Fairphone 4, however, is challenging those assumptions, and JerryRigEverything is putting it to the test to prove its assertions.

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Affordable foldable OPPO phone tipped right around the corner

Affordable foldable OPPO phone tipped right around the corner

Samsung clearly wants to make foldable devices mainstream, and, at the moment, it has a bit of a monopoly in that niche market. There are other options, of course, but Huawei's Mate X2 and Xiaomi's Mi Mix Fold aren't as widely available outside of China, and Royole's FlexPai 2 appearing in the wild is practically unheard of. Those won't be the only players in the foldable smartphone arena soon, however, and after years of teasing, OPPO might finally dive into the fray as early as next week.

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Google Pixel account hacks prompt outcry over mail-in repair privacy

Google Pixel account hacks prompt outcry over mail-in repair privacy

The past two years have seen a surge in demand for mobile devices, but acquiring them hasn't exactly been easy. Trying to get devices serviced may have been even worse, with many companies and service centers being forced to resort to mail-in methods. Those always come with some risks while the phone is in transit, but few owners probably expected that their privacy would be violated in the process. That's the nightmare situation that at least two Google Pixel owners have found themselves in, one with rather sensitive information published for the world to see.

The first incident flew under the radar after it was posted on Reddit last week. The account and post were removed, but Android Police was able to take a snapshot of the complaint for evidence. In a nutshell, the OP (original poster) claimed that his wife sent her broken Pixel phone in for repairs using Google's official mail-in service and discovered that nude photos from the phone were posted to the wife's social media account.

In this case, the Pixel couldn't be turned on in order to wipe the phone clean before handing it over for repairs, as Google advises. It wasn't clear but probably implied that the phone didn't have any security lock option set. It was, in other words, fair game for anyone who could repair the phone, which was what allegedly happened in this case.

The matter would have been written off as a fluke if it weren't for a second incident, this time involving a more popular user, game designer and best-selling author Jane McGonigal. The scenario was slightly similar, except that the hijacker couldn't find any incriminating images to use. The culprit in this case changed her email settings so that security warnings from Gmail and Dropbox would either be sent to spam or deleted.

Google is reportedly looking into the matter, but the case is still wide open. Of course, two incidents don't make a pattern, but it is suspicious that both cases involved an authorized service provider in Texas. Even just one of these, however, is enough to land Google in court, just as how Apple had to settle a similar case earlier this year (via The Verge) to the tune of millions of dollars.

Google does give instructions on what to do before handing over a Pixel phone for repairs, including doing a factory reset and securing your phone. Of course, that's not always possible, especially if the phone wouldn't turn on or if the screen is completely blank. It's always advised to put a screen lock on the phone, even something as simple as a passcode, but the lack of such a security measure is never an excuse for any authorized party to break into private property and steal things.

7 Reasons to Stop Using Microsoft Edge

7 Reasons to Stop Using Microsoft Edge

Microsoft is one of the granddaddies of the tech world, and one of its biggest claims to fame was Internet Explorer. Of course, that is history, and IE, as it would be known, became more of a liability in recent years before it was finally put to rest. Microsoft initially struggled with creating something to fill in the big shoes left by Internet Explorer, but it almost struck gold when it finally decided to build upon the open source Chromium browser for Microsoft Edge. Unfortunately, much of the good faith that Edge was able to build up is now almost completely lost, and we're laying out the reasons why Microsoft Edge is something you'll want to avoid for now.

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Chromebooks are about to level up

Chromebooks are about to level up

Chromebooks have seen a massive surge in sales since last year as many schools, families, offices switched to remote or at-home arrangements. This class of devices has always been designed and marketed for such situations, where most of the work and even play happens on the Web, either directly inside browsers or using Web Apps. Things have definitely changed a lot over the past few years, with Chrome OS gaining a lot of capabilities that might also require even more hardware power. Thankfully, that muscle is just around the corner from Qualcomm's newest Snapdragon Compute platforms, just in time for the potential arrival of S000.

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Android 12L tablet-friendly OS starts here, with Lenovo

Android 12L tablet-friendly OS starts here, with Lenovo

Google made a rather unexpected but definitely welcomed announcement in late October that puts a better focus on Android running on large screens, which included not just tablets but also everyone's favorite foldables. Of course, the easiest devices to target with Android 12L are tablets, so it's probably no surprise that a tablet is also the first to get the special spin's first developer preview. As announced back then, the Lenovo Tab P12 Pro is getting that preferential treatment, but its availability almost makes it pretty pointless for many developers.

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Google brings Family Bell and BMW Digital Key to Android smartphones

Google brings Family Bell and BMW Digital Key to Android smartphones

To help you get more out of the upcoming holidays, Google is rolling out a few features that, while not entirely new, are making their first appearances on Android. The features cover a variety of categories, including new widgets to make an Android smartphone's home screen more useful, simplified reminders for the entire family, and even the ability to lock and unlock certain cars with a Pixel 6.

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Broken Amazon Appstore on Android 12 may mean trouble for Windows 11 [UPDATE]

Broken Amazon Appstore on Android 12 may mean trouble for Windows 11 [UPDATE]

It might not exactly be common knowledge, but Amazon, despite its notorious rivalry with Google, actually distributes Android devices and apps. In fact, it actually rivals Google in that area as well, with its own ecosystem of Android apps and services revolving around its own Android Appstore. That said, Amazon may not actually be known in the Android world for keeping up with Google updates, and a recent issue with that could have implications for one of Windows 11's headlining features.

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Chrome OS 96 brings more camera features and Android Nearby Share

Chrome OS 96 brings more camera features and Android Nearby Share

Although Google is perhaps best known for Android as far as operating systems go, it does have a number of platforms under its name. Chrome OS is perhaps one of the most sophisticated because of the number of other operating systems it can support, including Linux and Android. In some aspects, however, Chrome OS feels like it's still catching up to what some of its peers already have. With the latest version 96, Google Chrome OS is getting quite a few of those, including an almost unique ability to control an external camera.

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Nokia 9 PureView Android 11 isn’t happening, HMD Global offers discounts instead

Nokia 9 PureView Android 11 isn’t happening, HMD Global offers discounts instead

When HMD Global took up Nokia's legacy, it wanted to make a good impression in the Android market. It set out to outdo larger companies by offering something those behemoths are rarely able to, promising long periods of software updates or "pure" Android experiences. Over time, however, the Android landscape has shifted a bit, and more phone makers are starting to do right by their customers. Ironically, it seems that HMD Global is now experiencing at least one problem in keeping that promise and is advising people to buy a new Nokia phone instead if they really want Android 11.

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