Android Police

Stephen Schenck-Managing Editor

Stephen Schenck

Managing Editor

About Stephen Schenck

Stephen is a managing editor at Android Police, where he helps people find words that are good, and put them in orders that are good, too. Most of the time those words tell people about the latest smartphone news, keeping them in the know about the newest devices, most recent software updates, and next-gen features coming down the pike. He's been working in tech media for over a decade, including stints at Phone Arena and Pocketnow. Occasionally spotted across the American Northeast, Stephen can be cautiously approached after signaling goodwill by waving a shiny new phone in his direction. Although easily spooked by garish apps or aggressive notification alerts, in his native environment Stephen seeks engagement with kindred spirits, and is always happy to explain why your phone is too damn big. Stephen still uses Windows XP and thinks you should, too.

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Android 14 Beta 4 lets you trade security for speed when unlocking your phone

No more tapping 'enter' after punching in your PIN


We're getting down to the wire now with Android 14 developments, and today's Beta 4 release means we've got just a couple more builds left until we're ready for it to go official. Understandably, that means that Google's not so much interested in introducing bold new features right now, and what we're seeing is more along the lines of polishing up stuff we've been following for a while. That's exactly what's happening on Android 14's lock screen, as Beta 4 finally implements a user-accessible "auto-confirm unlock" toggle.

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It's nothing short of impressive, the extent to which modern technology is able to absolutely streamline even the most complicated tasks. Just think about how computationally intensive something as simple as snapping a picture with your phone really is, processing millions upon millions of pixels in response to a tap on the screen. With the Nest Wifi Pro, Google brings that same kind of idiot-proof simplicity to network management.

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Google's July update finally lands for the Pixel Fold

Downloads are now available, just a few days behind the rest of the Pixel family


Google's currently in the middle of maybe its biggest summer for new hardware in years, welcoming devices like the Pixel 7a, Pixel Tablet, and Pixel Fold to the party. Those new models all hit the ground running, and Google was quick to show them the same solid software support the Pixel name is known for. Last week marked the arrival of the July update for Pixel devices, and while we saw it land for the vast majority of hardware, the Pixel Fold was curiously absent. Today Google finally sets things right, releasing the Fold's July patch.

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Google's latest service to be killed off has reached EOL

It's the end of the road for the Grasshopper coding app


Google giveth, and Google taketh away. Sometimes, though, it feels like we get a whole lot more of the "taketh" than the alternative, and you never have to wait too long to hear about the next product or service Google has decided to put out to pasture. A few months back, we got word that Google was getting ready to turn off the lights on Grasshopper, an app built to teach new coders how to get started — and today, that day finally arrives.

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How Gmail's blue checkmarks were faked

What went wrong when scammers figured out how to impersonate legitimate senders


Trust is currency in our online world, and the links we establish between trusted parties enable everything from secure websites, to crypto platforms, to the software updates you install on your phone. The value we place in it is exactly what makes violating that trust so appealing to ne'er-do-wells and all the scammy operators hoping to make an illegitimate buck off you.

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June's Google Pixel Watch update arrives, even with Pixel Feature Drop a no-show

Maybe not /everyone/ was busy watching WWDC today


Today's the first Monday of June, and if you consider yourself a betting man (or woman), you may have felt that it was a reasonable assumption that Google was likely to release its latest Pixel updates today. After all, first Mondays are when we normally expect to see these patches drop, and Google even managed to whet our appetite for the Pixel Feature Drop (aka Android 13 QPR3) with some announcements late last week. With Monday upon us, June updates for Pixel phones are a (maybe not-so mysterious) no-show, but Google is still managing to throw us one small bone, with the release of the June patch for the Pixel Watch.

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Understanding who you can trust online is just a wildly complicated conversation, and for all the good advice we can offer, scammers are always coming up with new tools and techniques to trick people into putting their faith in them. That's why companies have long endeavored to develop easily understood, at-a-glance tests you can use to verify online identity — like the little blue checkmarks you'll see next to verified senders in your Gmail inbox. Unfortunately, it seems that at least some bad actors have found a way to abuse Google's system.

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Pixel Tablet tipster stokes rumor fire with conspicuously absent stylus and keyboard

How are you going to launch a tablet in this day and age without a stylus and keyboard?


We're just a couple days away from June, a month set to bring us a whole lot more than just the start of summer, with high-profile Google hardware like the Pixel Fold and Pixel Tablet set to finally land. And while we're incredibly excited to put that gear through its paces, our initial hands-on time with both the Fold and the Tablet have left us feeling a tad underwhelmed — or at the very least, expecting a little more. As we get ready for their arrival, a familiar voice is raising some questions about Pixel Tablet accessories, making us wonder what we might have gotten had Google launched its slate alongside a matching stylus and keyboard.

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Netflix password sharing is now officially dead

Crackdown comes to the US, with stupid-expensive extra member offer


Is it too early to harbor feelings of nostalgia for the early days of streaming? We've come a long way from just choosing between Netflix and Hulu, and while branding is always shifting, and players coming and going (or just buying each other out), Netflix has managed to weather the changes and maintain its premium position. Lately, though, the company has gotten serious about dropping one aspect of its past: the flagrant practice of subscribers sharing their account credentials with non-paying viewers. After some early tests, and getting started internationally, today Netflix finally brings its password-sharing crackdown to the US.

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Don't miss your chance to save $80 on Samsung's top smartwatch in this flash deal

Plus a guaranteed $120 trade-in credit when upgrading to the Galaxy Watch 5 Pro


Summer is the season of wearables — strap one on your wrist, pop in those buds, and leave that bulky phone at home. Modern fitness trackers and smartwatches are more full-featured than ever, and from mobile payments to listening to your favorite music, there's tons you can get done while out and about, even without a data connection.

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Android 13 QPR3 Beta 3.2 arrives with a whole bunch of connectivity fixes

Problems with Wi-Fi calls, SIM management, and more should all be resolved


Early May is always a busy time for Android enthusiasts, between all the news coming out of Google I/O and the latest platform builds to try out — we're just a few days removed from the release of Android 14 Beta 2. But while Android 14 still has a few months to go before it's ready for its formal release, Google's June 2023 Pixel Feature Drop will be here a whole lot sooner. Today we move one step closer, with the arrival of Android 13 QPR3 Beta 3.2 for Pixel phones.

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Google's making Location History better at automatically deleting visits to sensitive destinations

Just in case you don't want anyone stumbling across your private appointments


Your smartphone is a lot of things, including a super-powered location tracker that puts even an AirTag to shame. That's why it's so important to take the management of location data seriously. Google already keeps your account's Location History off by default, and last year it announced some additional protections for users who do opt in to use it, like automatically forgetting about trips to sensitive medical destinations. Today Google's revisiting that discussion, offering some new insight into this system and how it operates.

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Pixel Tablet video gives us a colorful look at Google's upcoming slate

This early preview comes courtesy of Milan Design Week


This year's Google I/O is just a couple more weeks away, and we're already very excited for it to bring us news about all of Google's upcoming hardware like the Pixel 7a, Pixel Fold, and the long-teased Pixel Tablet. Leaks surrounding the latter have really been picking up lately, with new info arriving about release timing, its companion dock, and maybe the most important question of all: pricing. But lest you think the pre-release info was drying up, we've still got maybe the best Pixel Tablet leak all week to check out, with the arrival of some great new videos showing off the new hardware.

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Netflix password sharing will be dead by summer

The crackdown spreads to the US this quarter


Streaming media is big business (as we all learned in season 3 of Succession), so it shouldn't be any kind of shock that, last year, Netflix started getting serious about cracking down on subscribers sharing their account credentials with non-paying viewers. Following some limited tests, Netflix seriously ramped things up a couple months back, expanding these efforts to prevent password sharing to nations like Canada. We all knew that, barring some massive customer backlash, its plans would soon spread to the US, and today it confirms just that, with paid sharing coming to the States sometime in Q2.

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Google Play Points are now better than ever

Get yourself some Google swag, or save money on DoorDash


We all want to load our smartphones with the best Android apps, and unless you're just an absolute glutton for punishment, chances are you're getting the lion's share of yours through the Google Play Store. Back in 2019, Google introduced its Play Points program, rewarding us for what we were doing anyway with a loyalty program tied to apps, IAPs, media, and subscriptions purchased through Play. Last week we heard about some enticing new rewards that could be coming soon to Play Points, and today Google goes official with its latest perks.

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Mint Mobile freshens up its plans with extra data, for free

What, are you going to say 'no' to free data?


Listen, we get it: money's tight for everyone. Prices are up all over the place, stock shortages persist, and there's this pervasive sense that our cash isn't going nearly as far as it did just a few short years ago. While some companies are only all too eager to profit from that shift, others are blessedly willing to throw us a bone. We're getting a nice reprieve along those lines just now, as Mint Mobile upgrades data plans across the board — without raising rates in the process.

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Google adds a mountain of Motos to its ARCore support list

Plus phones from OnePlus, Xiaomi, and more


Motorola sure feels like it's got some new smartphones just itching to drop, with us anticipating upcoming models like the Edge 40 and Edge 40 Pro. But as we wait to get launch details on what's next for the brand, a whole mess of Moto phones from last year are popping up on Google's latest addition to its ARCore support list — along with a dozen or so friends.

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Xgimi's latest MoGo portable Android TV projectors introduce some slick new image alignment tricks

The MoGo 2 Pro does automatic keystone correction without stopping playback


The versatility of portable projectors can be a bit of a double-edged sword. While it's great fun being able to move them around wherever you like and turn any blank wall into a giant video screen, that can also mean a lot of time spent tweaking the picture each time you relocate. This past January at CES, Xgimi showed off its latest projector lineup, including models introducing its new Smart ISA (Intelligent Screen Adaptation) 2.0 system for greatly streamlining that setup process. Now it's nearly time for the first projector with this tech to arrive, as Xgimi shares details on the release of the MoGo 2 and MoGo 2 Pro.

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Android 13 QPR3 Beta 2 is out now for your Google Pixel phone

New fixes are in the works for the next Feature Drop


April is right around the corner, and you are absolutely right to be concerned about phony tech announcements trying to take advantage of all us gullible fools. But we've still got a few days to go until we face that onslaught, and thankfully Google is taking the opportunity to get some new software out now, ahead of all that mess. It's only been two weeks since we got out hands on Android 13 QPR3 Beta 1, and today Google's already dropping Beta 2.

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Samsung's biggest foldable yet could join the Flip and Fold as soon as later this year

The folding display would stretch across three panels


For years and years, foldable screens teased us. They were absolutely a reality, but relegated to trade-show demos, still too temperamental and fragile for the real world. Thankfully, engineering caught up with the dream, and companies like Samsung managed to make folding phones a commercial reality. Now we're hearing about possible plans to bring some next-gen folding tech to a new Galaxy phone by the end of 2023.

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