About Karandeep Singh
Karandeep has been with Android Police as a freelance writer since 2019, covering reviews for India, buyer’s guides for the US, and handy tutorials for everyone. He cares more about the impact of technology on people’s everyday lives than the superfluous features companies keep adding each year, which is central to his reviews and product recommendations.
In his previous life, he worked with Android Headlines to cover everything Android. He also wrote and edited for a handful of publications in India during his writing journey, which started in 2014. Ever since his first Symbian phone that had the iconic Ovi store to download apps, he has stuck to Android phones and is currently using a OnePlus 11. In his free time, he’s usually busy clearing his ever-growing backlog of movies and TV shows or tracking down an eatery he hasn’t been to yet. Chats about food go to Twitter DM and everything tech to karandeep (at) androidpolice (dot) com.
Call Screen on Pixels is picking up the 'Ask if urgent' chip
One of the niftiest tools exclusive to Pixel phones is their ability to answer calls on your behalf, saving you from dealing with spam or spending time making appointments. Call Screen on the Pixel 8 is getting an upgrade that makes the voice sound more natural to the caller along with a feature that will soon suggest contextual replies based on the call for easier interactions, say while reserving a table at a restaurant. While we wait for this handy feature to come out, Google is rolling out a new Call Screen trick that lets you take quick action when you receive a call from a saved contact.
Emoji reactions break the experience for anyone not using Gmail
Back in the day when emails were novel — and the predominant form of internet communication — people used them for both work and exchanging memes with their friends, just like today’s TikTok generation. But email’s purpose has changed considerably since that bygone era. Personal chats have moved almost entirely to one of several instant messaging apps, which are far more convenient and accessible. Meanwhile, emails have taken on a more serious role by often being the first requirement for setting up accounts for other services, handling your important personal and work communications, and keeping track of your orders and tickets — making them indispensable.
Not requiring third-party cookies for downloading files will also change how you share files
Google Drive and all the associated Workspace apps come with a bunch of handy collaborative tools that make it easy for you to share files with your team or friends. Its integration with Android smartphones and the top Chromebooks is remarkably good when compared to other cloud storage services. However, Google Drive is making some tweaks starting next year that will affect how you use download URLs in specific workflows, as it prepares to drop support for third-party cookies.
Wear OS 4 watches and older Samsung watches running One UI 5 are affected
Wear OS 4 made it to many of our favorite Android smartwatches a couple of months ago with a few noticeable inclusions like better battery optimization and native apps for Gmail and Google Calendar. Samsung even brought the latest update to its oldest Wear OS smartwatch models within a few weeks. While Google’s smartwatch OS has a few bugs that you can fix quite easily, this recent Wear OS issue is breaking Gboard in certain apps, and it appears to be affecting a lot of users.
There are a ton of ways to communicate online, ranging from Telegram and WhatsApp for personal chats to Slack and Workplace for office chats. Still, nothing has been able to replace emails, especially for work. But when you have tens of colleagues to email every day, it becomes tedious to manually type lengthy email addresses even if you have one of the best keyboards for your Chromebook.
The difference between the Pixel 8 and its Pro sibling is starker than ever
The Google Pixel 8 and the Pixel 8 Pro bring some typical generational upgrades to the table with only enough design changes to differentiate them from the Pixel 7 series on a close inspection. While these iterative updates don’t catalyze a major overhaul for the Pixel experience, the divide has clearly widened in one key area. The Pixel 8 Pro is now more “pro” than the standard Pixel 8, cementing the fact that it is not merely an XL version of its non-Pro sibling with just a bigger screen and battery. And that is both a boon and a bane for anyone interested in either Pixel 8 handset.
It's a part of Google’s plan to make generative AI and its use more responsible
Google rolled up its sleeves and doubled down its efforts on generative AI as soon as it felt the heat from ChatGPT (based on GPT-3 and now GPT-4). Today, the search giant has a ton of AI-based products in the works, from Bard and Duet AI to Assistant with Bard and an upcoming large language model (LLM) called Gemini. Amidst all the AI buzz, Google wants to make sure that its AI tools are safe for all users. In line with that, Google has decided to defend you in case any AI content generated using its tools lands you in legal trouble — but there is a caveat.
But we wish Google would come around and add them back
The Pixel 8 and 8 Pro are the best phones to come out of Google’s stable to date, and compared to their predecessors, they feel quite mature. The Pro model this year now comes with a ton of features that help it stand out, including the kind of video enhancements we’ve been asking for from Pixel phones for a long time. While there is a long list of features exclusive to the Pixel 8 and 8 Pro, a recent report suggests that Google had planned even more features for the duo but dropped them at the last moment.
Wi-Fi 6 matters because it isn’t just about faster speeds
The generational upgrade to Wi-Fi 6 brought along some significant upgrades to throughput over the same pair of 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands. It also made the multi-device handling a tad more efficient both on the router’s and the client devices’ ends. If you are in the market right now, chances are high that you will come across many routers that meet the Wi-Fi 6 standard — it’s becoming ubiquitous these days, so it makes little sense to settle for an older Wi-Fi 5 router in 2023. Considering how routers are long-term purchases, you are essentially investing in future-proofing your home network.
The OnePlus 11 could be yours for as little as $570
Plenty of high-end Android smartphones are fighting for your attention; some flaunt their unique features, while others tempt you with excellent value. Then there are foldables, too, that want you to jump straight into the future of smartphone innovation. But for me personally, my daily driver of choice has been the OnePlus 11 for a while, and I have little to complain about even after using it for quite a few months. And I'll tell you why it's a no-brainer right now during the Prime Big Deal Days sale that ends in just a few hours.
And you get free bezels with the TV as well — no, really
Samsung makes a lot of high-end 4K TVs that make the best of your favorite streaming device, but it's The Frame lineup stands out with its upmarket looks, complete with a boxy, no-gap design that gives your living room a luxurious facelift. These frame-style TVs don’t come cheap typically, but the company has slashed a full $648 off the 55-inch model’s usual price for this October Prime Day sale, making it quite a tempting buy at just under $1,000. Samsung is also throwing in a set of bezels, further elevating how the TV looks and blends in with the room’s decor.
Save a massive $80 on the newly launched Fire Max 11 tablet
Launched a couple of months ago, the Amazon Fire Max 11 is the most premium-feeling tablet from the company to date — but without an expensive price tag. It is packed with features that you’d want from a tablet in your everyday life, making it a reasonable purchase even without any discounts. But you’re in luck right now as the Fire Max 11 is available at its lowest-ever price of $150 for a limited period for Prime Big Deal Days. You're unlikely to find a better tablet at this price, tempting you to jump on this deal almost impulsively at this point.
Bring home your first foldable phone and save a sweet $200 this Prime Day
Foldables have always been at the top of the price ladder despite the recent downward trend, making them out of reach for most buyers. But seasonal sales and deals make them much more affordable, and that’s exactly what is happening with the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5. During Prime Big Deal Days, you can snag the newest Samsung flip phone in its top-end 512GB variant basically for the price of the standard Galaxy S23+, which doesn’t fold in half (more than once anyway).
Like Google, Samsung is now also pushing Apple to adopt RCS
After a series of failures with messaging services, Google zeroed in on Rich Communication Services (RCS) in the Messages app. The company has been zealously promoting its latest messaging venture, and sometimes even gets too far by naming and shaming Apple for keeping Android users out of its blue bubble club. It now looks like Samsung is also joining Google in pushing Apple to bring RCS to iMessage, which should ideally bring some feature parity for Android users.
Amazon has knocked a handsome 40% off its budget tablet
An 8-inch tablet is perfect for traveling as it can fit easily inside small bags and is ideal for kids as well. The Amazon Fire HD 8 serves those purposes really well and has a lot on offer for its usual price of $100. Just like several other Amazon devices, the Fire HD 8 has also received a massive 40% discount for the Prime Big Deal Days, bringing its price down to just $60. That’s the kind of deal you jump on without thinking twice!
Here are the very best NAS devices TerraMaster has to offer
TerraMaster enclosures are known for providing great bang for your buck by offering a ton of features at reasonable price points. That’s one big reason they are a preferred choice among home users and small businesses for their data storage needs, and why they made it to our favorite NAS enclosures list. Even compared to other brands like Synology, Asustor, and QNAP, you will often find that TerraMaster products get you more features per dollar, be it a desktop NAS, a rackmount unit, or a DAS.
Mesh routers can help you combat patchy Wi-Fi and dead spots
When a standalone router isn’t able to keep up with our growing internet needs, our first thought is usually to add a cheap range extender and call it a day. But these extenders (or repeaters) have more drawbacks than benefits and often leave you frustrated with their limitations. In most cases, you’d be better off upgrading to a proper mesh system for your home, which will be better equipped to fix all your networking woes once and for all.
Now the app can automatically scan and identify your important documents
The Files by Google is perhaps one of the smartest file management apps available for all the top Android phones. It comes loaded with features that let you automate a bunch of things, like cleaning up your phone storage, organizing your files, and even securing your sensitive stuff with a PIN lock. To make the app even better at handling your important documents, including IDs and health certificates, Google Files is now rolling out Smart Search more widely.
Turning 25 is also a good time for some introspection once you’re done partying
Google had a humble beginning as a simple search engine back in 1998. But if you look at it today, it has turned into a giant corporation that runs some of the biggest internet services, including Gmail, YouTube, Maps, and whatnot — it even has a self-driving car project of its own! While software has always remained Google’s forte, given it runs the biggest mobile operating system by user count, it got into the hardware business (it owned Motorola for a while), with its lineup of phones, tablets, and some great smart home devices.
This website takes you to the time when Google was just an infant
Google has turned 25! It has become such an ingrained part of our digital lives in all these years that not even a day goes by when we don’t use at least one Google service. The software our phones are powered by, the voice assistant that controls our smart homes, the email service we all can’t live without, and the app that stores our treasured family memories are all Google products. While these various services are now prominent parts of the Google ecosystem, Google Search remains at the heart of the company’s identity — you don’t just look something up on the internet, you google it.