Leo says that phone manufacturers like Apple and Google are taking advantage of the hyper competitive nature of the tech blogging world that they are only giving out limited quantities of smartphones and at the very last minute for only 24 hours. This strategy was pretty interesting because it gave bloggers limited hands on time with their latest phones before they have to publish a review. As such, Leo says you don't really have time to focus on bread and butter features like battery life or issues like screen burn in. Instead, they're focusing on the newest features.
Robert wants a voice assistant that has the best artificial intelligence. He wants to be able to ask it a variety of different questions about the news. Leo says the Google Home is the winner in that category, but the Amazon Echo is the only device that lets you shop on Amazon. Amazon is also very good with music, and simple commands like setting a timer, and home automation tasks. There's also more than 50,000 third party skills on the Echo. The problem is that it's hard to find skills, and then he'd have to learn the specific syntax to use that skill.
Craig bought the Google Pixel 2 XL directly from Google. He hasn't experienced the burn-in issue, nor does he have to deal with the so-called "blotchiness" on a white background. He only got it with the Microsoft screensaver launcher.
Customers have been reporting a serious burn-in issue on the Google Pixel 2 XL, many had issues straight out of the box. Google has acknowledged the issue, along with a clicking noise, and hopes to fix it with a firmware update. But this could be a huge problem for Google. It's too bad, because Leo really likes the Pixel 2 XL. It has a beautiful design and a great camera.
Carson's LG G3 broke, and he wants to know what Android phone he should get next. His budget is $250. Leo says he likes the Motorola G5 Plus. It won't have as good of a screen or camera as the flagship level smartphones that start at $600. That being said, the screen will be just fine and the camera is still pretty decent. Also, the nice thing about the Moto G5 is that it's fast enough, and Motorola keeps the operating system very clean. Motorola also keeps its phones up to date.
This week Google announced a ton of new products, including a new Google Home and a donut sized version of Google Home (called the Mini) that Leo says may be better than Amazon Echo. Though Leo says that Amazon has a huge lead, in the long run, Google may have the advantage. Meanwhile, Amazon did get a shot in the arm this week with the announcement that Sonos will partner with Amazon to bring connectivity of Sonos to the Amazon Echo. But that may be short-lived since Sonos plans to work with Google and Apple as well.
Don is having issues with his browser extensions. They had been slow, but now it's worse. Leo says that it could be due to Chrome's built-in sync option that will transfer his bookmarks and themes to another browser. You'd think that Sync would fix it. Leo says that Don should try resetting Chrome to see what happens. He'll have to reinstall his extensions afterwards. If he's going to do that, though, he should try deleting Chrome and then reinstalling. He's also running into verification issues.
Deena wants to track her family with her iPhone. Leo says that a smartphone has GPS, an always on internet connection, it's designed to be a surveillance device. Always remember to have permission of the person you're tracking. For the iPhone, there's Find My Friends. There's also Life360. But her husband's phone is on Android, so how does he keep track of their son? Google Maps will let you share your location. Open Google Maps, tap the blue dot and select share location. It will time out after awhile though. That's the best option because it's free and cross platform.
John and his wife share an iCloud account and whenever his wife makes a phone call, it appears on his phone and vice versa. Why is that? Leo says it's because they're sharing the same Apple ID. They will also be getting the same text messages as well. Leo recommends having separate iCloud accounts and Apple IDs. Then share the contacts, calendar and other data with a shared Google account. That way it won't impact their phone calls, text messages, etc. All they'll need to do is add that account in their phone's mail, contacts, and calendar settings.
Google is announcing Android O Monday, and we'll find out what the "O" stands for. Usually it's dessert names, and it's hard to imagine it would be anything other than Oreo. That is a brand name, however, so Google would have to get permission to use it.
Android O will bring some new features, and many users will not get it. One of the biggest problems with Android right now is that companies who make Android phones and carriers that sell them are slow to update, if ever. The only people who will get it right away are Google Pixel owners, or those who have Nexus phones.