All About Android 611, Transcript
Please be advised this transcript is AI-generated and may not be word for word. Time codes refer to the approximate times in the ad-supported version of the show.
Jason Howell (00:00:00):
Coming up next on All About Android. It's a brand new year and we've got a great episode for you. It's me, Jason Howell. We got Ron Richards, Mishaal Rahman, and our guest, Adam Conway from XDA developers. We have new details about some features behind the scenes, primarily coming to Android 14 Android is getting MagSafe support. That's really exciting. Three whopping years of Google's hardware plans leaked out a few weeks ago and we kind of walked through what that roadmap looks like. Youtube and YouTube TV, getting the NFL Sunday ticket. Why you should probably think twice about sticking with LastPass your feedback and a whole lot more, next! On All About Android
This is All About Android episode 611, recorded Tuesday, January 3rd, 2023. Magsafe Coming to Android. It's time for the twit audience survey, the annual survey that really helps us understand our audience so we can make your listening experience even better. Really, it only takes a couple of minutes. Go to twit.tv/survey 23 to participate and we really appreciate it. Don't wait. The last day to take the survey is January 31st. Thanks again. Hello and welcome to All About Android, your weekly source of the latest news hardware and apps for the Android faithful ringing in another year with you. I'm Jason Howell.
Ron Richards (00:01:38):
And I'm Ron Richards.
Mishaal Rahman (00:01:41):
And I'm Mishaal Rahman.
Jason Howell (00:01:43):
Yeah, we're here. Huyen is not here to ring in the new year cuz her power's out
Ron Richards (00:01:49):
And it's, and it's a bummer cuz this would've been this would as clo the closest we get to her one year anniversary of being on, on the team, right?
Jason Howell (00:01:56):
Oh, that's right. Yes. Right, exactly. Yeah, I
Ron Richards (00:01:59):
Didn't wanna make her feel bad earlier. I didn't wanna make her feel bad when she was saying she couldn't make it tonight, but we'll celebrate next week. But it's so great to be here for the first show of 2023. And Jason, neither of us and Mishaal included, none of us are in Vegas right now, so we win.
Jason Howell (00:02:12):
<Laugh> So good. So go us. That's right. This is the a total win. I'm really happy I'm not in Vegas. Of course, Consumer Electronics Show happening. We have some news from CES, but before we go any further with any of the news items and what's going on in the world, let's check in with our guest here for the first time joining us, Adam Conway from XDA-developers.com. Adam, it is great to get you on. I've read your byline, your, your work on XDA for quite a number of years at this point, and yeah, it's just awesome to have you here. Thank you.
Adam Conway (00:02:43):
Hey, thanks for having me.
Jason Howell (00:02:45):
Yeah, so tell us a little bit about the kind of writing, the kind of work that you do for XDA.
Adam Conway (00:02:51):
Jason Howell (00:02:53):
Adam Conway (00:02:55):
It's kind of hard to encompass it all into one, I guess sphere, but it's essentially just technical content. So reviews analysis, general kind of news stuff as well pertaining to Europe, because based in Europe. So it kind of depends on a day-to-day, week to week what exactly I'm covering. But recently we are doing a more renewed focus on technical content for 2023, which I am spearheading. So hopefully we'll be a lot more focused on that because that's the type of content I enjoy the most.
Jason Howell (00:03:25):
Yeah, that was gonna be my question is, okay, that's what you write about. What's your favorite thing to write about? Is it reviews of of gadgets? Is it really getting into the nitty gritty and the, the technical details of a particular technology that, that just came to Android or that they've just announced or whatever? Like if you had to pick, what would you say?
Adam Conway (00:03:44):
It's definitely the in-depth stuff. So like, for example, I do chipset analyses where I compare, well, chipsets. So that kind of stuff is interesting because it's a lot of things that other people aren't really necessarily doing, and it gives you an insight into, for example, the performance per wash of your devices, so how best it's doing with the the battery that it has, et cetera. So it's, it's, it's a more interesting kind of topic to me anyway that I enjoy writing about because it's, it's a lot more like thinking and analytical, which mm-hmm. <Affirmative> is fun. I enjoy a lot of that, so that's definitely my favorite. And that can link into reviews, et cetera. That can just be general kind of topics, but it often does kind of manifest through reviews where I'm getting devices and testing chip sets or whatever and writing about them.
Jason Howell (00:04:28):
Yeah, I've always felt like XDA does a really great job of that. Of course, Mishaal is you know, XDA, formerly XDA now at esper, but also fantastic at writing about these technical, these really technical details that like a lot of people are probably not writing about, because you've got to be able to understand these things and then put them into words that people can understand. And I, and I feel like you both do a really great job of that. So, and you and you two have some history, right? Mishaal, you were saying before the show that Mishaal was the one that reached out to you and brought you into XDA?
Adam Conway (00:05:05):
Yeah, so I started back in 2017 and Mishaal reached out to me in that August because I'd been writing tutorials and stuff for another smaller website and kind of was, they were linked on Reddit or whatever, and Mishaal reached out to me and I started working with XDA From then, it was actually the month before I started university and then went through, finished my degree and then at the end of it went full-time with XDA and took on a role as an editor and I've been moved up since. So, no, it's been a long, long time.
Jason Howell (00:05:35):
Mishaal Rahman (00:05:36):
Yeah, so back then XDA was a really kind of, I guess, amateur-ish operation. It was just like me and Mario who was the editor-in-chief when I joined and mm-hmm. <Affirmative>, basically I throw away reach out to Adam was, I saw some of his posts on I think website, pixel spot, and then I saw his Reddit handle and I'm like, Hey, lemme just DM this guy, see if he's interested in, you know, doing some for us. And that's how we kicked off. And like, that's how it ran until shortly after I left when they were, you know, acquired by a major, you know, media, online media publication. And then, you know, they're, they're kicking along and I'm actually surprised, like I was pleasantly surprised to see, you know, Adam be promoted into this new role because as you know, you know, when I don't want to talk about like how I feel about XDA or anything other website, but like, usually when these websites go through, you know, acquisition changes of hands, there's like a mm-hmm. <Affirmative> shift in focus on the content. You know you people might talk about, you might notice differences in content or more volume of this particular type of content, but to see Sure. A renewed focus on technical content is a welcome change in my view.
Jason Howell (00:06:46):
Yeah. It's part of, I mean, in my opinion, is part of the DNA of XDA, the DNA N of XDA Well, I like that. Yeah.
Mishaal Rahman (00:06:51):
And I definitely think Adam has, you know, what it takes to lead this type of content over overt XD eight.
Jason Howell (00:06:57):
Right on. Yeah,
Adam Conway (00:06:58):
I I definitely think it's it's definitely important for what XDA is and what it's known for and I'm really glad as well that kind of, cuz like you say, I mean, it's, it's no secret that, you know, a co any company that purchases another media company mm-hmm. <Affirmative> may wish to change its direction or whatever. It's not just exclusive to val net or anything, it's any major company. So I'm really glad that ValNET has kind of recognized the importance of what technical analysis is to XDA and wants to actually help it flourish and grow. And I'm, yeah, I'm really grateful to be able to do that. So hopefully, hopefully over 2023 it can grow and improve and get even better.
Jason Howell (00:07:34):
Yeah, indeed. Cool. Well, we'll be reading and it's just really great to get you on and you are sacrificing your sleep to a certain degree. It's 1:00 AM or at least it was when we connected with you almost a half an hour ago, so,
Ron Richards (00:07:46):
Well, hey, at least, at least it's, at least it's not 3:00 AM over
Jason Howell (00:07:49):
There. So <laugh>, which was our initial thought that it might be <laugh>, it's like, holy moly, catch
Mishaal Rahman (00:07:55):
A break from the, from the CES beat. You don't have to wake up at like 8:00 AM and do c s coverage. I'm just hoping Yeah. Open. That's the case,
Adam Conway (00:08:02):
<Laugh>. Yeah. No, no, thank thankfully thankfully No, after we have a, a bunch of people handling that, so no, I'm just, I'm just sacrificing sleep for a podcast instead,
Jason Howell (00:08:10):
<Laugh>. Excellent. Cool. Well we are thrilled to have you and appreciate the sleep that is lost as a result of you being here this evening. But we do have a lot of news. In fact, we've got a lot of your articles, Adam, we've got a lot of, we've got a couple of your articles, your, your news that sounds like a threat news that you've <laugh> like we've got your articles and I promise you we're gonna show 'em. So you better be Hold on
Ron Richards (00:08:33):
Hostage. Hold on, hostage. No, this is this, this, this, this week's episode is like the, is the Adam Mishaal show. I feel like as we Yeah. This rundown.
Jason Howell (00:08:40):
Yeah. <laugh>, it really is. It's gonna be Ron and I asking you questions, basically is what we mean. So without further ado, Burke, are you ready for the first news bumper of 2020? Make it
Ron Richards (00:08:51):
Jason Howell (00:08:52):
Make it good. You good? It better be amazing. Well,
I'm just want to wish everybody a happy news year.
Jason Howell (00:09:00):
Oh, Burke, for starting off on the wrong foot. Starting off. I don't know. I Hey, I thought that was good. I'm, I'm a fan of puns. I'm a fan of, yeah, I mean, I know you're not a dad that I know of, but that was a nice dad joke. If you were a dad that would qualify.
Thank you. I think?
Jason Howell (00:09:18):
<Laugh>, I like that. I like that he's not a, he's not a dad that we know of <laugh>, which leaves the little lingering mystery open. So I mean, I don't wanna assume, but
I'm not a father
Jason Howell (00:09:28):
Guess I'll <laugh> that you know of
That I know of
Jason Howell (00:09:31):
Burke's. Like, I didn't know I was gonna come on this show and, and make this sort of admission. Burke Burke, you don't treat the show as one of your children. Oh, <laugh>, it's
A good point. Yeah. The wine I keep in the basement,
Jason Howell (00:09:44):
<Laugh>. Oh, boy. Well that explains a lot. I'm, it's not true. That explains your level of quality for this show, Burke. Yeah, there we go. Just kidding. We love you, Mishaal. You've written about some of the early details in the next version of Android. Actually, you both have written about this <laugh>, but I thought we'd start with Mishaal because Mishaal, you had you had kind of broken some news I think a couple of weeks ago on some of these early details of what's coming in Android 14, by the way, for those of you who want to keep track of, of the dessert dujour of the year for Android 14, it is upside down cake. There's no mystery this time around. There's no guessing or anything. It's just like, eh, it's upside down cake, whatever. And it's only internal, you know, it's, it's been that way for the last couple of years. So what used to be the biggest news for us anyways, we had the most fun talking about desserts is now just a throwaway comment at the beginning of a news article that has really important things to talk about otherwise. So, Mishaal, tell us a little bit about root certificates, how those updates are gonna be impacted on Android with some of these changes that I think are coming Android 14, or is it possible that this is just somewhere in the future? Or do we know that it's Android 14?
Mishaal Rahman (00:11:01):
So I think, I think I actually want kind split this up between myself and Adam cause such a big Yeah. Content. And I know Adam's, you know, written a lot about this as well. So Adam, like you've written a lot. I think you did a really good explainer for what root certificates and SSL certificates are like, do you wanna start off with that? And I'll cover the bases on like how it's gonna be made updateable end of 14.
Adam Conway (00:11:25):
Yeah, that, that, sure, that works for me. So basically it's a part of a thing called Public Key infrastructure, which basically is, may possible buy the certificate authorities that we have at the top. And what these certificate authorities basically do is they are able to sign these well just these certificates, I guess, that essentially when you go to a website and it says your connection is secure, that is because it is assigned with a key that has been authorized by whichever the cert, whichever the certificate authority at the top is, or the ca and when it's says secure, it's because your browser has a copy of a root certificate and it's on what's called a root store. And it can then look at the certificate that the website is giving you, compare it to what it has in the root store and say, yes, these match this is an official certificate that is valid for whatever website you are viewing.
And so if you go to a website that, for example, may have a self-signed certificate where the owner of that website has signed their own certificate to secure the connection, your browser actually won't trust it and will tell you that. It will tell you that the website is not secure, that it can't verify the authenticity of the connection that you have. And that is a very important key aspect of most networking that we know of. It's not just websites, your phones, when they connect to even an OTA server to download updates, anything like that. All of this will generally be secured by something that in the connection process has an SSL certificate in there, or I guess a TLS certificate. The transport layer security is the name we would use now. So that is more or less the basis of how certificates work. And they then prevent Manon the middle attacks, which is where you may have somebody working in between the device and the website so long as they're using certificate pinning, which essentially is saying only use this certificate.
And if a user installs their own certificate, which in this case may be aligned to their own self-signed certificate it still won't work because then the app or whatever it's using certificate pinning will say, no, I want to use this certificate. So that is something then that if you were reverse engineering for example, you would need to patch that out somehow because it's something in the app where it needs a specific certificate. So it's all very kind of complex, but essentially it forms the basis of a lot of our online security when we browse the internet.
Mishaal Rahman (00:13:59):
Right. And thanks. And yeah, so the way it currently works with Android is that Android, the operating system has a built-in list of root certificates that are stored on the system image. And then as Adam mentioned, apps can also do what's to call certificate pin, which is selecting a list of certificates that they'll only trust and they won't trust anything else. So apps can use their own list. Firefox for Android, for example, uses his own list of root certificates users, you can install your own certificates through settings, but those are only stored in the user certificate store. The system certificate store, that requires an o t a update in order to update, because that's located on a read only part of the system image. So what Google is doing is they're introducing a mechanism to make that list of certificates updateable outside of O t a updates through a familiar mechanism, which I'm sure you've, we've talked about many times before.
Project Mainline aka the Google Play system updates. So by making this root certificate store updateable they're able to address anytime there's an issue, let's say a root certificate has expired, or like Google or other authorities have lost trust in the certificate authority that has issued that Route certificate, and they say, we want this out of our platform. So instead of pushing in OTA update out to every Android device, which, you know, could take months, maybe years because of how slow some carriers, OEMs, et cetera are, or how low end the device is, Google just could just push a singular update out through Google Play and patch the root store on all the Android devices.
Jason Howell (00:15:36):
Love it. And I've, I've just loved to see just how kind of the, the over li or the, the kind of broad spectrum impacts of Project Mainline and anytime there's this like new new aspect of Android that's fed into the mainline infrastructure and just, it, it, it feels so, like, such confirmation of what Mainline was, has always been intended to do was really kind of break the, the reality of needing to do an OTA update. And, you know, the, just the, the, the fact that so many of these devices never receive those things, therefore they never receive those features, you know, those updates. So so that seems like a really important component to kind of make its way into mainline. That's, that's pretty awesome. Have we heard about any, any other mainline kind of features or anything like that kind of on the horizon? Like I, I imagine Google's not just, you know, putting this one thing, you know, into the mainline infrastructure. There's probably gonna be more, I would imagine.
Mishaal Rahman (00:16:43):
Well, actually the very next piece of news that's on our list is also related to Project Mainline as it just so happens, there you
Jason Howell (00:16:49):
Go. <Laugh>, there you go. So tell us all about it. You're, you're of course somebody you should ask that Jason. Hell see. Sometimes you just like throw it in the air and it's like Health Connects actually.
Mishaal Rahman (00:17:02):
Jason Howell (00:17:02):
Is this the API you're talking about?
Mishaal Rahman (00:17:04):
Yes, this is what I was talking about. So I also you know, did the reporting on this, but you know, my former colleague Ali, sorry, my former colleague Adam, also did an extensive article in explaining what Health Connect is. So kind of wanted to also split this up. So Adam, why don't you you know, tell our listeners what is Health Connect and like, what's so cool about it?
Adam Conway (00:17:27):
So Health Connect is actually really, really interesting because let's say you have a me fit band and you, no, this isn't compatible with me fit, but this is just as an example. Let's say you have a Mefi band and you collect your data through it. So it's reading your heart rate, your s p two your steps, et cetera, all that stuff. And then let's say you use MyFitness P for food tracking and you want to have all of your data in the One app, you could have the MyFitness pile developers leverage kind of a, a connection to mefi, like maybe they work with Xiaomi to have an integration or Health Connect steps in. And instead what that does is it's essentially an API that apps can all interface with feed in their data to, and then apps that are authorized can then pull data from it.
So in this case, you would have Mefi pushing, you know, your steps and all that into Health Connect. And then MyFitness PAL could just read this data from mefi. And likewise, because it's just one api, you could have a Fitbit watch on your other wrist that's maybe, maybe that's only tracking your steps and maybe, you know, the ME Fit band is only tracking your SPO two. And in theory you could have all this feed into Health Connect, and then MyFi is PAL pulls all this data back out and can read it all for you. It's a thing that is currently in embed for people and it's in it's in very few apps currently. There's a very short list of apps that actually support it. And like I mentioned, Mefi isn't actually one of them, but it's an example of what it could do in the future. And it would essentially allow any app to, any health app to interface with any other health app with approval from Google through the use of Health Connect, which abstracts the data from the app.
Mishaal Rahman (00:19:12):
Awesome. And the way Health Connect works is like, in order to actually make use of it, you have to install an application called Drum Roll Health Connect, and that's available on Google Play <laugh>, it's, it's available on Google Play. It's completely free, but the problem is you have to install an app. So a lot of users, you know, won't even know what exists. They might have to be told about it through an in-app notification, or they might find out on social media or you know, whatever. But the fact that there, there's this one single step to install the app just by nature is gonna limit it. It's it's reach. There's not gonna be as many users who use this as are using like, you know, Fitbit for example. So what Google is aiming to do is they're trying to pre-install the Health Connect app in possibly Android 14, so that you don't have to go searching for it on Google Play. All you have to do is just load up your phone and it's already there. And the way this works, as I alluded to before, is through Project Mainline, they're working on putting it into a new project mainline module that'll be part of Android 14. And so when you upgrade or you get a new device of Android 14, health Connect will already be installed on the device because it'll be one of the new modular system components.
Ron Richards (00:20:28):
Hmm. Okay. So now this is, this is, and I'm, I'm being contrarian, I'm being devil's advocate here because this all sounds very cool and it's very neat, but if I don't care about fitness data or health generally <laugh> is this, thi this, when you say that this is gonna be pre-installed on Android, it could be pre-installed on Android four tv, it's starting to feel like Verizon bloatware, like you get this phone and it's got, here's another app, another thing that is doing for it. And that that doesn't, this isn't specifically about how the phone functions, rather how a niche set of users want the phone to function,
Mishaal Rahman (00:21:11):
Right? There's always that, you know, right. Worry that Android's gonna continue to add more and more apps and it'll get more bloated. But you know, that's, that's going to be the case. Like I, I don't think we're ever going to see a massive reduction in the number of apps and complexity of the os. Like there's going to be this, this yin and yang between like adding more features and then trying to reduce the impact on the memory and storage use. Like there's other things going on that'll try to, that'll mitigate some of that. But you know, there's always going to be added complexity. Like I don't think Android doesn't OS is going to get less complex as you know, time passes.
Adam Conway (00:21:48):
I, I think as well, it's kind of interesting to think about because if you have Health Connect as an app, that would be perceived as bloat, but if it's actually just something in your settings that won't be perceived as bloat, even though it's the same functionality. So it depends as well how Google presents it because it could end up being a thing that it's in your settings and the privacy or something, or it ends up being an app. We don't know. Currently it is an app, but we don't know what it will look like as a mainline module or how Google will play around with it or move it in the future. So, right. It, it entirely changes the perception of it based on just where it is as well.
Jason Howell (00:22:21):
Right. You could, you could really see at some point the settings to, you know I, cuz I don't think they already have like a health section or a health data section of the settings, but you could totally see one of those suddenly appearing in there, all of the operational components of the app inter intertwined into the os. But any of the user facing kind of tweakable features or whatever, just appearing in the settings and then you're right, it doesn't feel like, ugh, there's another app that I never use in the, in the app tray. Yeah. You know, it's just in the settings and you're either activate it or you deactivated and there's lots of that that already exists in the settings and it's just out of you. And I don't know, maybe it takes up a little space, but that's about it. So interesting when I, I already know this but I'll ask it anyways. At least based on the article, when do we expect to see the first remnants of Anne Rd 14 rolling out to people? Cuz we can compare it to last year. And it was pretty early. Like I remember last year we were here and it was the New Year's episode or you know, the post New Year's episode and it was like, I feel like we hardly had a chance to breathe before. Oh no
Ron Richards (00:23:31):
Breath. I was just gonna say I need a breather. I was gonna say I need a breather before, like, like literally I'm just starting to get comfortable with Android 13 and now we're already talking about 14. Come on.
Jason Howell (00:23:40):
This is the way it goes. What
Ron Richards (00:23:41):
Are we gonna, when are we gonna get it? It's gonna be like what later? Like last year? It was earlier than ever, right? It was like August.
Jason Howell (00:23:48):
Well that was the official release, but you had the develop preview. Yeah, yeah, yeah.
Mishaal Rahman (00:23:54):
Let me one sec.
Jason Howell (00:23:58):
<Laugh>, he's coming.
Ron Richards (00:23:58):
He actually has the date, he has the date in in his calendar and he is like, oh, developer preview is coming February teenth,
Mishaal Rahman (00:24:06):
I can't look it up now. And I, I couldn't say anyways because even the dates last year were kind of like, not set in stone, but I mean probably we'll see it again in February, like, like we did with DP one of Land 13. I don't think we should, it's probably going to be like an early another early release. Yeah, it is, it is pretty soon. But to be fair, like you know, if you think that's gonna be like the first public release for app developers and like users, right? Like OEMs, they, they already have like all the details. Like Google has already been like talking to them, you know, about all what's going on, right? So like out there they already have everything planned out or most things planned out. They just haven't fully implemented everything yet and you know, so we just have to wait a few months to see what they've been baking behind the scenes.
Jason Howell (00:24:50):
Yeah. Android 13 DP one release for the first time February 10th. So, you know, we got a month, we got a month to just relax Ron, a month of reprieve <laugh>
Ron Richards (00:25:04):
Jason Howell (00:25:06):
Come on. We like progress, right?
Ron Richards (00:25:09):
It's almost like they're getting too efficient here. Like too optimized, like, you know, like oh man, but oh well, well <laugh>
Jason Howell (00:25:17):
Actually, but, but I, but I also, looking back though, last year was a little different than this year because last year we had that point release that that hit in the middle. Yeah. So there really wasn't any break. It was like Android 13 and then immediately you had this point release and then there was the overlap with an or sorry, Android. Yeah, I'm getting a all confused. But you know, there was that, that point, the 12 point something release and then Android 13 soon after that. So it might feel a little bit more breather room ish. I think they had two concurrent betas going on as well with that, didn't they? Yes, they did. It was super confusing. I mean, <laugh> yes. It, it really felt like a little overwhelming at times.
Mishaal Rahman (00:25:59):
I mean that is going to happen again this year because we'll still have the Android 13 QPR betas like running same time as the Android 14 dp. Yeah. So that's never gonna stop. That's gonna continue to happen.
Jason Howell (00:26:12):
Yay. So just get used to it. <Laugh>.
Ron Richards (00:26:16):
Oh man. All right. So is, is that close to book on Android 14? Yeah, we move on. Sure. Yeah, yeah, we can move on. Well, because we
Mishaal Rahman (00:26:23):
Can move on, but it's not even close to closing the book.
Ron Richards (00:26:25):
No, true. Yeah. But
Jason Howell (00:26:26):
Yeah, but now and, and you know who's gonna be writing that book? Ron? Mishaal probably Mishaal. Let's, let's be honest.
Ron Richards (00:26:33):
True. Yeah. But but talk about Android 13 specifically. Another operating system that's based on Android 13 Lineage os which was was the successor of to Cgen Mod, if you remember longtime viewer of Cyd. Oh I remember. Let's, let's not, let's not forget. So Lineage OS has hit version 20 and it's currently based on Android 13 qpr, QPR one and Adam actually you got all the details about the features of this version. So what are some of the sta standouts of the latest version of Lineage? I feel like we don't talk about Lineage enough on this show, Jason, so I'm curious to hear what Adam has to say.
Adam Conway (00:27:12):
So there's a lot of like, so first of all, it's obviously been updated to Android 13. So you get pretty much all leave Android 13 based improvements. But you also get updates to the Lineage os application. So I system updated Jelly, which is the browser, the gallery, et cetera. And one of the biggest updates actually to come out of this release is the new camera application, which is called Aperture. And it replaces the default camera app that was present in Lineage os, which was originally basically just the A O S P camera. And it was very limiting. It didn't have a lot of features often on some devices as far as I remember, it didn't have proper auxiliary camera support, et cetera. And it would just be kind of difficult to work with. And a lot of users then at the end would just install Google Camera because like the, the stock camera app wasn't very good.
And the Lineage OS developers have essentially come out with Aperture, which has a ton of features including support for auxiliary cameras. The maintainers have to add that support. There's video frame array controls is full control of both EISs and oiss and there's a leveler as well for checking the device orientation. So you now you can turn your phone and it'll show you like if you're level or whatever. So that is a major improvement in Lineage os and as I mentioned as well, you get all of the Android 13 based features and improvements to the other apps. So it's just a way in general for people who may have devices who may not be supported as much anymore or who just want more control over their device to install line to install Android 13 and get the additional features of Lineage OS as well. And in the case of older devices get an update they wouldn't have gotten otherwise.
Jason Howell (00:28:54):
We have talked many times on this show over the years about the Root and the ROM community. It used to be years ago, a, a very big feature on this show because, well I know for my speaking you were one of them myself, I was one of them, I was doing it all the time. And then and then, you know, I started to slow down on the, the rooting and the ramming and then, you know, and slowly over time, you know, the phones just kind of had the features that I needed. Either that or I lost, lost Steam. Cuz it really takes a lot of effort and energy to continue doing that at the, the pace that I was anyways. It sounds like an addiction actually, now that I'm talking about it <laugh>. Maybe it is to a certain degree, but what's your take, Adam? I'm curious from the XDA perspective on things like Lineage. Like obviously this is still happening, but I don't know, my view is that things have really slowed down here. Like are are there XDA rider that that prefer to have the rooted, you know, the Lineage os running on their devices as opposed to stock? And if so, what what are the reasons that keep them there?
Adam Conway (00:29:59):
So it it, it's hard to say kind of how I, I think the customer ROM community, et cetera and people who make use of these customer ROMs is a different type of person now versus who would have back then. Yeah. So for example, when I, one of my, one of my earliest memories of the XDA forums was actually when I was like 13 or something and I was trying to install Minecraft on a HTC Desire C which hadn't gotten the necessary Android updates to play Minecraft. And I was like, okay, how do I play Minecraft on this thing? How do I get Android? I think it was 4.4 0.2 on this device. So I went and I found XDA and I installed it and I was able to play Minecraft on my phone. I was so cool and at that point that is, that was the utility of it for me was being able to get a game on my phone that for my phone that had never received an update basically.
Whereas now kind of you get apps that are, it's a better ecosystem all around for both apps and features across devices. People generally get at least some semblance of updates now on devices. And if you go out there and buy any phone so long as it's like running Android 11 or newer, you're pretty much gonna be able to run every app on the app store or on the Play store rather for a couple of years and you're not gonna really run into those kind of issues anymore. Whereas previously that was the case and then mm-hmm <affirmative> adding features to your phone, a lot of features now that were in Custom ROMs that you couldn't get on devices are now just preloaded on your devices anyway. So it removes that appeal coupled with the fact then that when you wrote and saw a custom rom or whatever, you are losing Google Pay cuz you are no longer generally passing to play Integrity API unless you go to a lot of work to get around that it serves as a deterrent.
So I think now people that want to use the likes of Linear, Joss, et cetera are doing it for a different reason than just wanting features, wanting games, wanting more control over the device. It's primarily, I feel like get away from Google because most people now that I know that use Lineage os are trying to get away from Google on their devices. And I think that is the big appeal. There is a definitely a place for customer arms, but I think for a lot of people it's a lot of hassle that isn't worth it to them for better or for worse. Which is a shame because there's a lot of amazingly talented developers who do incredible work and stuff like this new camera app, which is brilliant and amazing. There are fewer and fewer developers who have the interest to want to do this because there aren't as many people interested in using it, which I think isn't great. I think the overall people have kind of become happier with their devices in general, which is a good thing, but it does lead to kind of a reduced interest overall in customer arms.
Jason Howell (00:32:49):
Ron Richards (00:32:50):
Does do any phones actually come with Lineage on, on board, like out of the gate, right? Like
Adam Conway (00:33:00):
There's, there's the only, the e the the E os the marina one, it comes with a, yeah, it comes with a fork of lineage os, which is E os. I think that's the only device I know of that really comes with anything that's lineage based.
Mishaal Rahman (00:33:15):
There's also the fx FX Tech Pro which come, which I believe allows you to choose Lineage os as an option, but I don't, yes, I, it's, it's, it's a, yeah, I I believe there's a, I believe that you can choose to ship include Lineage os by default. Yeah. And I believe they also do ship, you know, regular Android bills as another option. I think that's the only device that supports multiple options in that sense.
Ron Richards (00:33:46):
Jason Howell (00:33:47):
Right. Runs both Lineage OS and Ubuntu. That was the FX tech Pro one X I think back in October, 2020. I remember hearing about that. Yeah. Interesting. It's, it's interesting to hear you, this is hear you delineate Adam between the reasons for using for rooting and ramming and flashing ROMs then versus now. And I think what struck me as I heard you kind of, kind of delineate the differences between the two is it's probably the same person type of person, it's just different reasons, right? Then it was the super technical person or the person who didn't mind becoming super technical because they wanted to ha get their phone to do things it couldn't do. Now it's the super technical or doesn't, doesn't mind getting super technical because they know enough about technology that they want to protect themselves from what they perceive as a bad Google or, you know, don't want all their data being swallowed up by a single company or whatever. It's probably the same person, it's just different reasons. <Laugh>.
Adam Conway (00:34:51):
Yeah, I I I definitely think the samari to that for sure.
Jason Howell (00:34:54):
Ron Richards (00:34:55):
So on, on the Lineages website they actually, if you go to stats dot lineage os.org, they publicly share the total number of active installs of the OS and they're up to 3.6 million as of today. Wow. With the most being, being in China, I guess, is that
Mishaal Rahman (00:35:15):
Cnn? Yeah. And that doesn't even,
Ron Richards (00:35:17):
Mishaal Rahman (00:35:17):
Yeah. China, that also doesn't even account for all the forks of Lineage os of which there are many including E os which is which is like a fork. Yeah. Which is based on awful lineage that also, you know, ship that also used their work as a base, but may have stripped out their lineage stats, you know, feature.
Ron Richards (00:35:35):
Yeah. So according to, according to their stats page, not including the Forks, you've got just under 400,000 installs in the US Right. With 698,000 installs from a country called Unknown, which I've never heard of, but
Jason Howell (00:35:51):
Yeah, I've never been there.
Ron Richards (00:35:52):
Yeah, it never been there. Yeah. Yeah. But no, but it's, I mean it's interesting to see that like 1.1 million in China, you know, 400,000 in the US V is VN Vietnam, right? 260,000 there, 104,000 in India, right? Like that's, you know, but it's, that's, I mean, three point numbers number, but it's, but it's, when you think about the number of Android devices out in the world, it it, that is a drop in the bucket that is not
Mishaal Rahman (00:36:18):
A lot. Oh, for sure. That India number is probably way higher if you're looking at, you know, total number of custom Ramm users considering how prevalent you know, the percentage of users from India is on Xca forums. There's just so many, you know, from from India in particular who are, you know, going on the forums to flash a custom ramma to the device. And it may or may not be Lineage os because there's so many different options available and a lot of them use the work that are based, that are, that the Lineage os maintainer have done to support Aos p on their devices, even though they might not be using Lineage os itself.
Jason Howell (00:36:52):
Hmm. Fascinating, fascinating. Yeah, I agree. Ron, we same, same word to describe it. <Laugh> cool stuff. Lineage OS 20. Awesome. Thank you. All right, we've got some hardware to talk about that's up next.
Ron Richards (00:37:17):
So Jason, as you're doing the rundown on the dock, I was cursing you because I can never pronounce Qi why's chart Chi. It's chi, right? Yeah. Okay. So
Jason Howell (00:37:27):
Yeah, I can, I, that's what I say. I, I don't know, is it chi or chi
Ron Richards (00:37:31):
Chi chart? Anyway, so
Mishaal Rahman (00:37:32):
I've always said chi
Ron Richards (00:37:34):
Chi. Yeah. Okay. Well regardless,
Jason Howell (00:37:35):
That's a chi as well. Yeah.
Ron Richards (00:37:37):
All right. Is Chi all around chief for everybody? There it is. So thanks to, thanks to the new CHI two wireless charging standard that was announced today at CES during the Wireless Power Consortium, which by the way, if you're looking for a good time in Vegas, it's the Wireless Power Consortium. That's where you want to be. That's where all the action happens. But at that consortium it, it was it was announced that with, with CHI two Wireless MagSafe Tech is coming to Android. It's this is made popularized by the Apple iPhones line of phones, but it's slotted to arrive near the end of the year, and CHI two will be up to 15 watt initially which is what iPhones initially can support. And that will go up once the specifications are completed. So if you've been jealous of your iPhone friends who can use the MagSafe kind of connector, wireless connector to charge their phone, it's coming to Android. So there it is.
Jason Howell (00:38:36):
So, okay. I've never used used mag tape, so I, I can't really can't really speak to how v it is or anything. My, but my,
Ron Richards (00:38:44):
My wife has, my wife has an iPhone and has a phone with uses and I got her the, the, the MagSafe thing, and it's, it just, it snaps into place, that's all. It just click. And so it's nice, I guess, but it, it's not like it's changed her life in any way, shape or form. So,
Jason Howell (00:39:01):
So it's snaps in the place. So, so the magnet obviously that snaps it there, but then the wireless charging so,
Ron Richards (00:39:09):
So ba basically she just, she just, she, at the end, at the end of the day, she just puts her phone on the base, it snaps under place, and she goes to sleep and she wakes up and is charged. So that's that's
Mishaal Rahman (00:39:19):
About it. I mean, I can definitely say it's, it, it solves a, solves a problem in that, you know, you a lot of times a lot of like low end wireless charges don't really have good indicators whether or not you're actually charging, or you might, I do know down your phone's barely misaligned and it's like kind on
Jason Howell (00:39:36):
Mishaal Rahman (00:39:36):
Man, and that's losing a lot of energy and like causing your phone to heat up a lot. Yeah, this is,
Adam Conway (00:39:42):
I've got, I've, I'm making sure I've, I've ran into many problems with that where yeah, like, let's say it's, it is, it's at night and I'm using my phone, you know, and I take it off the, the charging station. I'm like, right, well then I'm gonna scroll Twitter for a bit and then I get tired and I put it down, realized I did not put it down correctly, and I wake up, my phone's dead and I need to leave in 20 minutes.
Jason Howell (00:40:00):
<Laugh>. Yeah. What your phone doesn't that 200 watt charging in that, in that case you charge it from zero
Adam Conway (00:40:07):
Hundred. It's a, it's a Google Pixel currently, so God, no,
Jason Howell (00:40:10):
It doesn't <laugh>. It definitely does not if that's the case. Okay. So then I guess where my confusion was coming in is like, well, okay, so our, our Android phones already have wireless charging. So is the spec the magnet that holds it into place? It's not like the magnet is transferring the data or, or transferring the energy itself, the magnet's purely just holding it into place so that the wireless charging that already exists can pass through. Or does this change that wireless or that speck at all as far as how that wireless charging takes place outside of the magnet?
Mishaal Rahman (00:40:47):
So disclaimer, I haven't looked at the G2 speck, and I'm pretty sure the press release says that it's going to be published later this year, so I don't think it's even right.
Jason Howell (00:40:55):
Okay. So we don't
Mishaal Rahman (00:40:56):
Even really it, but they, but like, as you mentioned, like what it does add seems to just be the magnets, the magnetic hole. Okay. The, the charging itself will probably be the same. And what they're probably gonna do is they're gonna standardize the way those magnets are aligned so that, you know, like right now, if you get like a max safe compatible charger, like there are some reports where like people earlier have tried, hell, hey, this pixel phone actually supports max safe. Well kind of, kind of doesn't, like you can put it on, it might detach, attach a little bit, but the, the connection isn't really secure. So probably what they're gonna standardize is like the way the magnets are aligned on the phone end and like the, the charger end so that, you know, if you have a Q2 compatible charger and a Q2 compatible phone, those will always align.
Jason Howell (00:41:42):
Got it. And that's, that's incredibly convenient. I, I've totally had that situation where I put my phone on the wireless charger and go to bed and wake up in the morning and it hasn't charged a single percent. Like no, never again. I mean, I, I just plug, I have a wireless charger here. I never use it. I just plug in my phone just because, like
Adam Conway (00:42:00):
Yep. That's the same as me.
Jason Howell (00:42:01):
<Laugh> me too. Like why, like, I just don't need it. Yeah. But, but I'm realizing as we talk about this more, if I knew that just setting it on there, it snapped into place and I, and there was no ambiguity about it, I would totally use it. Yeah. So maybe that is the, the missing piece for wireless charging in my life. I don't know. So we, you know, of course we were gone for a couple of of weeks on a holiday break. You got a best of last week, so you didn't miss any, any, well, you missed a live show, but you, you know, we didn't skip an episode during that time. There has been news, of course, a lot of security news in the past couple of weeks which we can talk about that a little bit later when we get to feedback.
But there was this big story, this leak that happened courtesy, it was shared by Android authority. This spelled out, reportedly spelled out the next three years of Google's hardware plans. And so of course, you know, with this, with this report, you know, take it with a grain of salt. Although as you know, as, as fans of All About Android, we love talking about rumors just as much as news. So I don't know, it's, it's fun to dive into it. It's fun to imagine the world as specified by some of these rumors and especially in this regard. So Adam, you wrote about this. First of all, we're, we are at the very beginning of 2023 according to this. What are we looking forward to happening in 2023 is any different than what we've already kind of, kind of guessed is gonna happen? You know, we got the pixel tablet and you know, an a series release and whatever else may be affordable.
Adam Conway (00:43:43):
So the thing, the thing about this leak is that it's actually mind blowing just how far into the future that it goes. And of course the details on the taper off as it goes in the 2024 and then 2025 is very tentative. But generally speaking, a lot of plans like this don't reach very many people. But we've seen Google has been such a leaky ship in the past that yeah, I guess they just have a weird way of structuring how they disseminate information throughout the company and the developers because stuff like this, like this is one of the biggest, if it alters that'd be true. This is one of the biggest leaks I have seen in years, I reckon within the mobile industry. But going into 2023, I guess, like you said, we, we are in 2023 now. One of the differences is that, that the Pixel seven A which is expected to be launched this year will come a bit earlier than the last couple of years.
It's expected that it will launch at Google io, which I believe it says will be in April or May. The last time we saw a Pixel device launched at IO was the three A and then generally speaking, they came after that much later on the year. So this would kind of be a return to what we saw previously. Don't know if they'll end up sticking with that, because we're gonna be talking about that in a bit when we talked about 2024 and 2025. But other information given was the pricing, which they said would come in at 4 49 for the seven A, which is just the same as the Pixel six A. And then they also talked about the pixel fold which also would launch at Google io at a price of 1799. That's quite a lot. But in contrast to other foldable phones, it's around what we'd expect. And it's interesting as well because we've been hearing for a long time now that Google would be launching some kind of foldable device and then they wouldn't be launching it and then they would be launching it and then they wouldn't. So now it seems finally a lot of sign, there's a lot of smoke, basically a lot of science pointing to that. We are actually going to see the pixel fold come possibly yes, as soon as Google io alongside that.
Ron Richards (00:46:00):
I hope so. <Laugh> it
Adam Conway (00:46:02):
Would be great. I really wanna see it.
Ron Richards (00:46:04):
I really want it so badly. Adam, you have no idea. That's like my number one. I, I don't know, it was my number one wish from Google now the tablet, but I know the tablet is coming, so like I feel like that's less of a mystery. But man, I wanna see what this pixel foldable looks like. Oh man.
Mishaal Rahman (00:46:19):
So I just, I do want to just chime in and mention that, you know, the pixel folds launch, rumored launch date has been really, really up in the air. So Adam mentioned that the Android authority report mentions that the pixel fold will launch around io. Well, that's like that all itself by another report has been kind of contradicted. Like there was another report by the Korean publication via Elect, which says that there's going to be a Q3 production date and that it might release in October alongside the Pixel eight. So like, who knows at this point when this device is gonna launch.
Ron Richards (00:46:58):
Yeah. And and it's also like also the, the rumor of it launching at io, cuz Jason remember like IO used to have, you know, the, the hardware announcements and releases, but they've scaled back from doing that. Yeah. Or the quite a few years at this point. Yeah, right. Yeah, exactly. And so, so one has to wonder whether or not they're gonna compromise that to launch a device or do they use like they did with the tablet use IO to say, Hey, this is coming and this is how you can start optimizing for it and then it comes at a later date. Mm-Hmm. <affirmative>. Yeah, to be fair,
Adam Conway (00:47:29):
It depends what you kind of define as launch as well,
Jason Howell (00:47:32):
Right? What is Launch? Yeah,
Mishaal Rahman (00:47:33):
The exact wording, I'd just like to put out the exact wording in the Android Authority article says that those two phones a Pixel seven A and the pixel fold will launch around Google IO in April, LA May, it doesn't say specifically at io. So, you know, there's a lot of ambiguity
Jason Howell (00:47:48):
There. Yeah. Loose. Yeah, yeah,
Adam Conway (00:47:50):
Yeah. Mm-Hmm. <affirmative>, very true. But going into later on in the year, it's kind of confirmed, you know, there's going to be a Pixel eight and a Pixel eight Pro who saw that coming <laugh>. And apparently the Pixel eight Pro will have the same measurements and in its display and size as the Pixel seven Pro with what will presumably be marketed as tensor G three. But the Pixel eight is said to be shrunk down a little bit a little bit smaller than, than the Pixel seven. There wasn't anything said about a, the Pixel tablet or a Pixel tablet Pro that people there're currently rumors as possibly a pro version of the tablet. And nor was anything said about a Pixel watch successor or anything for 2023.
Jason Howell (00:48:34):
Hmm. Okay. Interesting. Okay. So that's this year surprise, you know, everything according to this report anyways. I'm sure there will be some, some variations, like, I don't know that these reports come out and every single thing is spot on. I'm sure Google wouldn't like for that to be the case, but 20 24, 20 25, it also talks about that those are things that most likely are gonna shift in, in different ways. But there's one really, I mean, there's, there's a lot of really interesting components to this, but one of the things that I think has, has me kind of scratching my head is this idea that they would get rid of the Aeries device, that the eight A might not actually happen. It all depends on how well the seven A does. And I guess when it comes down to it, if a device family isn't selling well, it makes sense for a company to say, well, it's not selling well, so let's, you know, let's get rid of it. We've got, we've got other places that we can extend our resources to. But I've always looked at the Aeries as being a pretty darn successful family of phones. Like, that would just really surprise me. Has, has, has it been overblown the the success or, you know, the, the good that's come out of the Aeries for Google? Is that what we're looking at?
Adam Conway (00:49:49):
I had thought that the Aeries had performed quite well. I mean, this is anecdotal and a lot of friends are computer scientists, <laugh>, so, you know, but I, I know a lot of people who bought an Aeries device who primarily wanted the really good camera. And I know lots of people who know other people who bought Aeries devices and the Aeries, like pixel devices in Ireland aren't that popular. But I've seen like a surprising number of a devices, and I had always thought that they had been quite successful because they're, there's some of the best mid-range phones out there by far. And I, I, I think that is more or less undisputed. Like they're incredible devices, particularly when it comes to camera, which is what a lot of people do care about. And the software experience is brilliant. You obviously have, you know, like now playing is one of my favorite features on any phone ever because I love music.
So when I'm out and about, I love having another playlist of like, all the songs that, that been playing around me. But yeah, no, the apart, according to this report, the the, the Pixel seven A might be the last Aeries device that we see on a yearly release cycle. Because the Pixel eight a's fate lies in how the seven A sells. So I don't know if that means that, you know, the a series device they're selling poorly or if the, this is more a thing of like, they're talking about it in terms of if it continues, its current trajectory, it's fine. Or if they wanted to do better, it, it seemed quite vague as to what the conditions are that would result in a cancellation are a slowdown of releases in the Aeries.
Jason Howell (00:51:23):
Mishaal Rahman (00:51:24):
I kind of feel like the Aeries is about to have an identity crisis. So if you look at the rumored specifications of the Pixel seven A, which you know, we'll be talking about more soon, like there's a, it's a rumor to have a 90 hertz OLA display. It's rumored to have a flagship ca level camera, and it's rumored to have wireless charging. So like at this point, what differentiates differentiates the pixel seven A from the pixel seven. So like a lot of of glass, why do you need a seven day the glass? Like that's it. Like, that's
Ron Richards (00:51:52):
It. It's big. Maybe
Mishaal Rahman (00:51:53):
Just the few software features, right?
Ron Richards (00:51:55):
Yeah. It's the, it's, it's, it's completely the, the, the, the physical beel build of the device, right? The, if you hold a, if you hold a six A or a seven A you know, or, or you know, or or six A up to next to a six, it feels, you know, for lack of a better word, cheaper, right? Because it lacks that glass and that metal. And it, to your point, Mishaal, I agree with you completely, that that seems to be the only differentiator. You know, maybe the battery is the battery, you know, like a little smaller. Like are the specs a little less? I need to go back, back in and look at it. But from a softer standpoint, there's, there's not a lot differentiating it. Yeah.
Mishaal Rahman (00:52:31):
Yeah. It's gonna have the same, generally the same software build you know, Android 13, whatever QPR two or QPR three, whatever, it's gonna have, you know, most of the same pixel features. It's gonna have the tensor g2. So like basically the build is what the main differentiator. And like at this point, is there really even a need for the, the seven when the seven A might be, like, how much cheaper is it gonna be? Like it's a rumor to keep its four $50 price tag? I think so like, you know, there's, there's, it's not much of a budget phone anymore. It's pretty much like a high-end, mid-range, like Right. It's no longer the budget series. It used to be, so like, I, I, I can understand why they're waiting to see how the seven A turns out. Like is it people, are people actually gonna buy it or they're just gonna continue to buy pixel seven?
Jason Howell (00:53:15):
That's an interesting conundrum to be in, right? Because, because as it creeps closer to the real deal, then, you know, then yeah, like, like you said, it's an identity crisis situation. So then does Google hold back that Aeries and make it less compelling? And how does that actually <laugh>, you know what I mean? It's, it's like a, as a company creating hardware, it's like you wanna give people more reasons to buy the thing that you have, but at a certain point, those the, they always start to overlap and it's like, well, what are we even doing here? Samsung would, you know, would've taken the approach, although they have it like a, an insane amount of different devices for all different price categories. But when I'm thinking of the Galaxy S series, you know, like they'd have the, I can't remember if the S 20 had the fan edition and the S 20 and then the S 20, you know, the, the plus and you know, all the different iterations.
But it's almost like they had the a series as part of the main series. Maybe is it, I don't know. Are they, are, are those even the same? Like, is that even worth comparing? I don't know. But it is interesting the identity crisis aspect of this. But I've just always thought that the Aeries was a damn good you know, high quality mid-range device family. It's the easy, it's the easy recommendation for someone when they're saying, Hey, I don't want to get a new phone, but I really don't wanna spend like more than $500. I'm like, oh, no brainer. I know exactly which one to tell you to get. So it'd be bummer if that went away.
Adam Conway (00:54:45):
Yeah, there is definitely though a lot to be said for when, when, when talking about how even current Pixel A devices, I'm thinking the six A versus the the six, it's like, because it's often sales on the six, it doesn't really make sense for a lot of people to get the six A if they're willing to wait just a little bit, because then it'll bring the siXDAown to pretty much the same price as the six A, and it is just a slightly better phone. And we're already, like, like you say, I mean like the seven A is gonna be a lot worse because then it's gonna have a 90 hertz display, et cetera, narrowing the gap even further. So then it's like, well, what, what, where do these devices sit next to each other? How, how close are they in terms of specifications? Is it wh which is worth actually buying? And is there a point to buying one of them? Because it could be the case that the seven A makes the seven redundant because you could be saving money and losing out on barely anything. So it kind of depends what ends up being the case and how the seven a kind of sits beside the seven and which is worth more money which, which is better value.
Ron Richards (00:55:52):
And I, I do feel we have to voice to Darrell Burke behind the scenes who is, who's ranting in our, in our Slack than only we can see. But the, the biggest differentiator being the screen size being that, you know, the, the, the, the A model being a smaller screen than both the, you know, than, than obviously than the pro, but also the regular model. So that, that's a big aspect of it as well. The phy, again, going back to the physical presence of it, so
Jason Howell (00:56:16):
Adam Conway (00:56:17):
Yeah. But that, that, that kind of ties us into this the, the Google Pixel nine then, and what's Said said about what, what, where the future goes for that. Because it's said that there's gonna be three devices with kind of taking a, a page out of Apple's book with a smaller Pixel nine than what is essentially a Pixel nine Pro, which is again, on the smaller side, and then what can be described as a Pixel nine Pro Max, obviously not an actual official name, but they're going already for kind of having a differentiation in sizing with smaller devices, which apparently the first is going to be the Google Pixel eight, and then see that come back with the nine, and then a larger phone and a smaller pro version. So Google sees to be doing weird things with the sizing of phones as well. So even like, yeah, I mean the, the differentiation between say, a seven A and a seven might just be the display size, but then you've got like a Google Pixel nine coming along with a smaller display as well, and then nine Pro and then a bigger nine pro, and then is a nine or an eight a gonna have a smaller display, or what would the eight A versus the nine be? And
Jason Howell (00:57:26):
It makes you wonder what's going on. Cause Google, even though my brain is exploding,
Ron Richards (00:57:32):
Jason Howell (00:57:33):
How do you think Google feels <laugh>? Yes. I feel you're paying Google. And we've spent a lot of time on this, but I do wanna mention 2025 Roadmap has another foldable, potentially a flip style foldable. So, oh yeah, you can put that on your radar, Ron, as far as
Ron Richards (00:57:52):
It's, oh, it's there. It's, it's on the radar. I'm waiting the pi the pixel foldables, man, I, I feel like that, that if, if anyone's gonna set the standard, it's gonna be Google, Samsung led the way, I'll give Samsung fully credit. Samsung gave the, gave the marketplace viability, and now Google's gonna come in and refine it. So I'm excited
Jason Howell (00:58:08):
Yeah, that you, okay. Yes, I agree. I love what Google does with their hardware, but is anyone gonna buy it? That's the question. Samsung has, has done a lot, and people are buying their devices. They are, people aren't buying the Aeries that, you know, potentially, or, or, you know, I don't know. Sometimes Google, I, I love what they do, but they still, they have a big challenge in actually getting people to buy their phones the way other people buy other companies phones. So
Ron Richards (00:58:39):
You are right, sir. You are right.
Jason Howell (00:58:41):
So we'll see what happens. But there you go. We've spoiled the surprise of the next three years of your life in regards to Google Hardware. You can blame and Android a authority. You can kind of blame Adam because Adam wrote the article afterwards. So you get partial blame Adam Woo, <laugh> great.
Ron Richards (00:59:01):
Make the guy stay up till 2:00 AM to get blamed for everything.
Jason Howell (00:59:04):
<Laugh>. Yeah, we actually do watch you come back. So I, I retract my blame, my call of alright, up next we've got some app news that's a, that's coming up right now.
All right. Intel is releasing the new unison app for cross device syncing. This was actually first announced in November of last year. And so, you know, syncing between our Android device and our computer, like, I don't have a Windows pc, so I don't know exactly, at least from experience what was possible before. I, I feel like I've heard, you know, like I, I know that you can, you can use this syncing easily with Chromebooks that, that, that functionality has, has been brought in. What is different, Mishaal? Cause you were the one that kind of brought this to my attention. What is, what is this enable that wasn't easy or wasn't possible before? How's this different?
Mishaal Rahman (01:00:12):
So to be honest, it isn't different. There are a whole lot of apps that promise this kind of cross device syncing functionality. Microsoft has their own, you know, it's called Phone Link, used to be called your phone. And now Intel has Unison, which supports Android and iOS. So Microsoft's phone link only supports syncing calls, text notifications, et cetera, between your Windows PC and your Android phone. Whereas Intel Unison supports doing the same, but also with your iPhone, if you have one.
Jason Howell (01:00:45):
Oh, okay. All right. But you still have to pick one device for the syncing. I think I read that. So, you know, if if you've got multiple devices, only one of those can be syncing at once. You can't have all of your <laugh>, your hand Android and, and iPhones syncing at the same time. That's probably a, a problem for a very small number of people. But but there you go. You gotta start somewhere. Cool. Right. Well, I don't, yeah,
Mishaal Rahman (01:01:09):
I guess there is something to note is that the fact that a big company like Intel is doing this is what makes it more noteworthy than, you know, there are a lot of apps you could probably download that, yeah, do this kind of functionality, but having Intel backing it, you know, they did promise, there's going to be some specific optimizations that are kind of not really detailed in, you know, we don't exactly know what the optimizations are, but there's gonna be optimizations for syncing files, et cetera. If you have an 13th generation, you know, Intel EVO processor on your PC and you use Android or iOS, like, we don't exactly know what's, you know, what is better about it, but the fact that it's Intel pushing it, and they're presumably gonna be working with some PC makers to pro possibly bake this in, you know, it's, it's gonna make things a little more convenient for users and possibly more energy efficient. And of course, you know, we know all know that Google announced something their own take on cross device functionality at last c e s that still hasn't been rolled out yet, but who knows, maybe later this week they could announce, you know, that rollout of that feature finally. And, you know, there's about all these Titans with all their pc, Android it syncing and functionality and you know who's gonna do it best.
Jason Howell (01:02:21):
Yeah. They all wanna sync the things. Who's gonna be the one that you choose? Yeah. cool. So that's Intel's unison app. I'm imagining Bri it's in the play store at this point. I did not actually search to the link for that.
Mishaal Rahman (01:02:37):
Yeah, it's on Play Store. Oh, yeah. A store and Microsoft store and presumably the Apple app store, but I haven't checked.
Jason Howell (01:02:44):
Okay. Yes. Intel with a huge registered sign, unison with a huge TM sign. <Laugh>, Intel, R Unison, tm. They gotta get there.
Ron Richards (01:02:55):
Legal is fun.
Jason Howell (01:02:56):
Yes. Isn't it fun? Okay, cool. That's in there now, Ron, you got the next one?
Ron Richards (01:03:01):
Yeah, so I, Jason, I don't know if you remember a couple of months ago on my, on my Google tv, Chromecast, blah, blah, blah I'd stepped on the remote and disabled it somehow and couldn't get it to work. And it turns out I had done some setting or whatever, something happened, I forgot exactly what happened, but the able, I was able to work around it was the fact that, I remember that the Google Home App app had a remote control function within the Google Home app to control Google TVs, which was so cool and was a great little workaround if you lose your remote. And now there seem to be expanding that to other supported TVs. Because the, as long as the TV your supported TV has the ability to support Nest Hub control, the Android TV remote built into Google Home app will work with it and control that tv.
As of now, LG and Samsung TVs are owners are seeing these controls. And it's just another little cool way. You remember at io how they talked about home was connecting the whole, you know, the whole ecosystem and, and the upgrades that they were making to the app. Were gonna make it even even more, you know, easier to connect things and bring 'em all together and make that the, the main, you know, hub of access. And this is just another example of it. So this is a neat little thing. If you're a Google, if you have the Google Home app, you have the LG or Samsung tv, or maybe other TVs are gonna start supporting it take a look at it. If you want to use your phone as a remote control, you can use the Google Home app. So, pretty neat.
Jason Howell (01:04:28):
This just made me realize, I don't know that I've gotten received the new home update. You know how they recently,
Ron Richards (01:04:35):
I don't know. I can't tell if I did or didn't. I th I don't think I did, but I don't know.
Jason Howell (01:04:41):
<Laugh>, I was thinking, yeah, it's too close. It's, if I did, it's too close.
Ron Richards (01:04:47):
I was thinking that the other day too, Jason, because I I got hit with one of those like modals on the app. It's like, tell us how you like the new app. And I'm like, isn't the new app?
Jason Howell (01:04:56):
Like, I can't really tell.
Ron Richards (01:04:58):
Adam Conway (01:05:00):
You see, see, one of the, one of the things I absolutely love this feature for is like, you know, when you have food or whatever, you go, you sit down on the couch, you're starting to, you go reach for the remote to go turn it on and watch something, and then you realize the remote is halfway across the room. There's no way I want to get up and get the remote. I don't wanna do that. I have my phone <laugh>. So this saves a lot of a lot of hassle for me because even totally, even like when, when the Chrome ca when Chromecast got support for having a remote built into Google Home app, it was a lifesaver for the number of times that I forgot what the remote was, and I wasn't bothered looking for it. So I think a lot of people, Samsung and LG TVs will, will love this.
Jason Howell (01:05:34):
I completely agree. Adam. I, the Android TV remote app was horrible, but, you know, and this was before it was integrated into the home app, right? It was just that app. It was horrible. But for those few moments, those few times where I'm like, I wanna watch something damnit and I've spent 10, 15 minutes trying to find the remote, it was nice to just be able to pick up my phone and just be like, just play <laugh>. Be done with it. Yep.
Ron Richards (01:06:01):
I can tell you when I, when I was locked outta the remote, when the remote just was non-responsive, this, this totally saved it. Yeah. This yeah. So it was great. So
Jason Howell (01:06:08):
Yeah. Yeah. So there you go. And then we have something NFL ridiculous Sunday ticket Football, football, football. Br if you were a football fan. And there was, once upon a time, my wife and I were football fans enough that we would buy the Sunday ticket on Direct tv. We probably did it like five years straight. This was before we had kids. Once we had kids, we stuck watching football together. It's like we lost our extra time to watch football. But it was incredibly expensive, and you just got like, you gotta be okay with watching a lot of football just to make it worth it. Right? Because I think it was like $400 or something like that over the course of the five month season. So anyways, DirecTV has had this for decade, literal decades at this point. It was rumored at one point that Apple was in negotiations to secure the new Sunday ticket. Turns out over the break this last last month it was announced that Google secured it for YouTube and YouTube tv and Ron is sighing,
Ron Richards (01:07:16):
It's ridiculous. It's
Jason Howell (01:07:18):
Ridiculous. He's defying. I
Ron Richards (01:07:19):
Don't know. I'm not a football fan, so I, it just, it just seemed, it just, I don't know. It's, I'm just
Jason Howell (01:07:25):
Sports ball. I,
Ron Richards (01:07:26):
I read, I, I read, I read an article before the holidays about all the jockeying for the Sunday ticket program and how like NFL was going Yeah. From streaming service to streaming service and doing negotiations, and how it seemed like YouTube was stepping up and was gonna do it, and the amount of money they spent on this is just ridiculous. And I don't know, I just, I, it just, it just baffled by it.
Jason Howell (01:07:45):
So <laugh>, well, turns out, yeah, sports fans, they, they, they're game, no pun intended to spend a lot of money. Thanks a lot bur to spend a lot of money on, you know, watching their, their football and yeah. So if $300 is the rumored price, it hasn't been confirmed yet, but supposedly it's gonna be that. And if, if so, that's less than it was on DirecTV. Still a lot of money. I guess, you know, I don't know. People will pay for the content that they're looking for. And this actually, they're gonna be updating the app as well. They're gonna integrate split screen viewing for the games. He can get up to four different games, which you could get on Direct tv, but it was, but I can't remember, like, I never, I never used that feature, so I didn't, I don't know if it was like locked in and it just showed you like the big plays happening and the different things or whatever. But
Ron Richards (01:08:38):
So Google spent 2 billion on this.
Jason Howell (01:08:42):
Wow. Okay. Well, for Google, probably not a lot
Ron Richards (01:08:45):
Of money. Yeah. Just to, just to, just to clarify that, like, so the, the, the, the bidding war on this between everybody that happened, you know, it's, it's it's, it's, but it ended up causing them 2 billion per season for a seven year agreement for the residential season. Seven
Jason Howell (01:09:01):
Years. Okay. Seven years.
Ron Richards (01:09:03):
Interesting. Yep. Yeah. Well, I mean, and, and the, and the thing is, it's like, it's a major shift for them to get people on the fence. Not, I mean, I, I mean, like, if you're an NFL fan and you feel the need to be able to watch every stupid game on sun, sorry, every game on Sunday, this is the only way to do it. And now you have to use YouTube TV to do it. Yeah. And you're gonna pay $300 on top of the 60 or whatever dollars, or it is, you know, like it, so it's just like, you know, it, it, it, it, it, this is, this is the kind of game changer that Legitimatized Direct TV back in the day, as you mentioned, Jason, and like Yep. And you know, like, you know, Monday Night Football, legitimatize, abc, like, like these major kind of moments in sports legitimatize, these different kind of platforms. And so, you know, we'll see if the users flock to it or not, so, yeah.
Jason Howell (01:09:48):
Yeah. I'd be curious to see how this works for an online streaming, you know, tv Yeah. Service. Like YouTube and YouTube tv.
Ron Richards (01:09:58):
Jason Howell (01:09:58):
Yeah. It sounds like no one on this, on this panel is a sports fan, so let's move on.
Ron Richards (01:10:04):
I am a sports fan. No, I, I mean, I'm a baseball fan, but, you know, and, and I, and there was a, and, and, and as we know, every year, every March T-Mobile gives me my mlb.tv access for free through T-Mobile Tuesdays. And so I'm happy to do it and, you know, but like I'm not a football fan, so that's the, that's the difference. Yeah. And baseball and football and streaming. The, the, the, and, and part of my frustration is the streaming, the costs in professional sports have, have, have ballooned to an unbelievable degree, both in terms of player salaries and, hey, I'm a Max fan, and those of who are baseball fans know what I'm talking about this, this past off season. The Mets spent the most out of any team, you know, and are paying a ridiculous exorbitant amount of money to these players. Thank you Burke. And, and that, that, what that does is that, that that has a waterfall effect all the way down to me, the fan, to ticket prices, to streaming you know, streaming costs to all this sort of stuff, because all the other costs are ballooning. And it's getting to a point where I don't, I don't know how much longer it, it can all exist, but mm-hmm. <Affirmative>, you know, money seems to be infinite in this world, which I, which is fascinating. So,
Jason Howell (01:11:12):
But Yeah. Yeah.
Mishaal Rahman (01:11:13):
Thanks. I will, I will say one thing that I'm kind of excited about, the other piece of news that's, you know, attached to this segment is about YouTube TV getting split screen support mm-hmm. <Affirmative>, and, you know, I'm, I'm curious to see, as you know, we progress through this deal as, you know, they actually start airing the games, like what other improvements they'll be adding to YouTube tv and maybe that'll trickle down to regular YouTube. You know, it's a big investment by Google, so obviously they're gonna, they're gonna do a lot to make the experience as good as possible so that people will continue to subscribe. So hopefully we'll see a lot of improvements that, you know, will actually benefit us even if you don't use, or, or watch, you know, N F L
Jason Howell (01:11:50):
Yeah. Yeah, for sure. I mean, I'm, I'm thinking of the split screen feature, what that would be useful for if it was, wasn't a sports like related thing, right? You can watch football and baseball at the same time. Well, yeah. Well, that's what I mean, like, sports related, it makes, makes a lot of sense. If you've got multiple sports networks or whatever, you could have, you know, it would be really great for like sports bars, <laugh>, they'd be like, oh, let's pull up our own grid of, of four channels or whatever. But you're probably not gonna, you know, pull up Titanic on one and
Ron Richards (01:12:22):
Jason Howell (01:12:23):
On the other. And I
Ron Richards (01:12:25):
Mean, I have a, I have a fr I have a friend who his DirecTV, and yes, he's in the sports, but he, I guess DirecTV has a setting where you can have four channels up at the same time. And while he's working, he's got CNN and, and MSNBC and Fox and like every news channel.
Jason Howell (01:12:40):
Okay. That would work. Yeah.
Ron Richards (01:12:41):
Cause he's a news junkie in that regard. For me, that's maddening. I I just wanna watch one thing at a time. Thank you. And I don't, and yeah, and like, and, and like, when picture and Picture first came out, I was like, great, you can watch the game and one thing while you're watching the show and the other, I'm like, no, I just wanna watch one thing and then I just want to Yeah. Have a little bit of focus and respect for what I'm watching.
Jason Howell (01:12:56):
Mishaal Rahman (01:12:57):
<Laugh> no. I mean, I'll say I'd love to have a split screen support in like a streaming service. I know like Adam and I are both eSports fans though, of like different eSports. But like, I would love to be able to watch two different streams of like two different matches being played, you know, of some, yeah. Tournament going on. And I'm sure, you know, anyone who watches an eSport will like, have that conundrum of like, how do I watch two different streams at the same time? Mm-Hmm. <affirmative>, oh, there, there you go. Demonst, we,
Jason Howell (01:13:22):
We can do it on Twitter. <Laugh>, why is this so hard? Youtube Okay, YouTube, <laugh>, come on. It's very much a common,
Adam Conway (01:13:31):
It, it is a common problem in eSports. Like, like Mishaal mentions where like for example both, both him and I are fans of CSCO Counterstrike and they'll often have two games going on at once. But especially in group stages. But obviously you can really only watch one or the other. So a built-in split screen option will be great, cuz otherwise what ends up happening is I end up either just having two chrome windows on my pc, or I'll pull out like my phone at the tablet and have
Ron Richards (01:13:56):
Both. I'm just gonna say, you do multiple devices and I feel like all the of, of all the things to watch eSport should be at the forefront of like a split screen. Like, it, it seems to lend itself to that so much more than other kind of things. So shocking that nobody's really stepped up and provided that as a service yet, but like Twitch or something, right? Yeah. Mm-hmm. <Affirmative>. Yeah. True. Crazy. All right. Well, moving on from YouTube TV and sticking on Google, we're gonna get our first tip from our Good friend, JR Raphael of 2023. And it's about everyone's favorite kind of app category, selfie apps. So Jr let's hear what you got to say.
Speaker 7 (01:14:36):
Hey, happy New Year. So, you know, we're in a little bit of an awkward time here. Technically, the winter break is over, we're back, we're here physically, even if not entirely mentally. And that's just it. I don't know about you, but my brain is definitely not fully powered up yet. I don't feel like thinking about productivity or trying to get anything important accomplished. So for this first tip of 2023, I thought we'd do something a little different, something slightly silly. And I wanna introduce you to a pair of pretty random off the Beaten Path Google Apps, apps that I'd honestly be pretty surprised if you had any idea that they existed. They're called Fabi, not flabby mind you, but Fabi, they come from Google's research division. And the first Fabi app is a selfie art camera. It let's you super impose yourself in front of all sorts of different animated backgrounds, like a bunch of twirling donuts, for instance.
Hey, why not Tasty, as those may be though, my favorite Fabi app is actually this next one. It's called Fabi Look. And it lets you change your hair to all sorts of wild colors in real time. All you do is swipe or tap on the screen, and bam, you can see yourself with all sorts of different looks. Red, orange, blue hair, whatever style you like. Personally, I think the Smurf vibe might be a pretty good book for me in 2023. Yeah, maybe not. You can check out both the Google made Fabi apps in the Play Store. They're free. There's nothing particularly unusual with them as far as permissions or data access go. Honestly, I'd be surprised if anyone at Google even remembered that these things still existed. But hey, they're fun to play around with even so, and if you want more fun stuff in your inbox each and every week, join me for my free Android Intelligence newsletter. Brings you three new things to try every Friday. No cost, no catch. Just head over to android intel net slash twit to get yourself started. That's android intel net slash twit. I'll see you there and I'll see you right back here next week.
Ron Richards (01:16:48):
Everybody loves a good, a good selfie hair color changing app. I I, I am shocked that this, this, yeah, most everybody, I am sh my, my daughter loves it on the, the stupid Instagram filter she makes me, we change her hair color on the, on the phone, stuff like that. Yeah. But shocked that this is coming from Mountain View. So, yeah, I, I mean, I had never heard of these and
Jason Howell (01:17:08):
I, I think chair's probably right? I don't know that Google remembers that they made them, I'm just kind of, kind of like, like the hair color changer just seems, seems like a feature of another app, not like an app that you've,
Ron Richards (01:17:20):
Well, but, but it almost reminds me of the old Microsoft Garage stuff that, that we had. Yeah, that's true. It, you know, like, of like, Hey, here's a fun experiment. Like, somebody's like figured out how to do this and they just put it out anyway, so you know, I I I, I liked it when Microsoft and Google had more r and d like, and put things out into the world. Like playful stuff. Yeah, exactly. Yeah.
Jason Howell (01:17:40):
Adam Conway (01:17:40):
It's actually, it's actually useful as well, cuz my, my girlfriend recently, she was trying to figure out what color to dye her hair. And she asked me, are there any apps that you know can, can replace your hair? And me not knowing about Fabi look, I was like, I
Jason Howell (01:17:53):
Adam Conway (01:17:54):
If if it was a week ago I could have said to her, yeah, check out this app from research at Google that apparently nobody at Google probably knows about at this stage <laugh>.
Jason Howell (01:18:02):
So she, she, she would've been like, you are brilliant. How did you know about this random app that's about changing hair color <laugh>?
Adam Conway (01:18:11):
And did I tell her check out All About Android
Jason Howell (01:18:13):
Ron Richards (01:18:15):
So what's interesting is that I did click on the Google Play store to see what other apps exist under the account research at Google. And there are seven, including the two Fabi apps. There are, there are five other apps that they have in there. One being live Transcribe and notification, which seems kind of familiar. Yeah. Right. And that's got, we've talked about that one that's got, yeah, exactly. We've talked about that one. But AI Test Kitchen and the Old Solely Sandbox. But project Activate looks pretty interesting where it's a, a unable to speak or use technology with their hands. So it's like an accessibility exploration app. Oh yeah. So yeah, for those with Als Muscular Dystrophy, cerebral Palsies, Chlor Multiple Sclerosis app and Aude activated customized preset communications of facial gestures. And that was updated September, 2021. So it's not like, it's like dead in the water, you know, like somebody, somebody's been maintaining it. Yeah. So interesting stuff. I think
Jason Howell (01:19:16):
I remember talking about that one too. I think I, I think we featured or you know, mentioned that when that one released cuz it was like, oh yeah, it's like creating macros or shortcuts with your facial gestures. Yeah. Very interesting.
Ron Richards (01:19:28):
Now that said, Fabi look, hair Color Changer has not been updated since June, 2019. So clearly whoever worked on that has moved on
Jason Howell (01:19:36):
Ron Richards (01:19:37):
But, but the Fabi selfie art camera app was updated in March, 2021, so yeah.
Jason Howell (01:19:42):
Okay. Fabulous. Yeah. All right, well thank you that, oh yeah, thank you Burke. Alright. And thank you JR for finding these strange little apps. See, we don't need the Android arena. We have JR <laugh>, he shows you some of the apps that maybe we would've brought into the arena back in the day. Coming up next little bit of your feedback, triple A Twit tv, if you feel like leaving a voicemail. Do you remember what those are? You can do that. 3 47 Show a a, a if you do that, just a gentle reminder, keep it short like a minute, maybe a minute and a half at the most. Sometimes we get voicemails, and I'm not kidding you, they're like five minutes. It's like you could say the most brilliant thing in the world and we're probably not gonna play five minutes of audio.
So just kind of keep that in mind. Philip wrote in to say, and this is very timely, says what I've run across is a glitch with Last Pass <laugh> and get in line Philip and getting Line Phillip, imagine that with all the hacks that's been going on with them, my master password no longer works and has never been changed, therefore, I cannot get logged into last pass. It was always running in the background on my Pixel six. Definitely not my favorite phone ever, but that's another story. I am looking for something to replace Last pass because of said problem above, I relied on it for many years, but can no longer deal with our hassles. I am looking for a free password manager. I'm having a difficult time finding one suitable. Could you please shed some light on your feelings about Last Pass?
Can you provide an alternative? I don't have the income to pay even a small amount, and I'm looking for a free solution. I always wanna support the devs, but at this time, I just cannot. Well, Philip, you're right. Lastpass has encountered a whole lot of not good stuff in the past few months on top of that. So, you know, and anyone who wants to find out about this by the way, and really get a good understanding of this, if this is perfectly timed earlier today, Steve Gibson had a fantastic episode that focused entirely. Usually he, he covers all the different security news topics and then has like at the end of the show, kind of like a feature, the entire show featured last pass, what happened, like the hack, how Last Pass fumbled multiple times on revealing exactly what happened and, you know, has been really not been very forthcoming at all as far as this information is, is related what Steve plans to do in light of recent recent information you know, different last pass or sorry, d different password managers that you can use if you want to replace LastPass, how to do that.
So do not miss that episode if you are at all interested in password security or you know, you're a LastPass user. I mean, it basically, like, I had already kind of decided that I'm transitioning away from LastPass. I've been using LastPass for years. They were a sponsor in the network. And actually the studio was named after them for 2020 because they, you know, they were largely how we were able to survive through the pandemic. They bought studio naming rights. So, you know, it's a little weird because we were so focused on last pass and then, then all of this stuff happened and they just fumbled completely. So, so definitely check that out. Twi.Tv/Sn. You can find today's episode. I think it's up right now. Steve recommended, and I am, this is, this is my plan, by the way. They are a sponsor on the network, but this is not a paid endorsement.
This is just my plan, regardless of that is Bit Warden. Bit Warden is an open source password manager. They have a free tier for personal use. That's exactly what you're looking for, Philip $0, you get unlimited passwords, unlimited devices, you get all of its core functionality and they bit Warden says it's always for free. Again, I promise you, this is not a paid ad. This is just the, the, the password manager that like, from knowing what else is out there. This one seems like the right one for me. They do have some paid for tiers, but you don't need those for what you're talking about. If you have like a family, if you want a family plan, you're gonna have to pay a little bit, but even then it's really not that much $10 a year for premium personal use and that, that gives you like two factor authentication and a few other features.
But yeah, it's real, it's a real mess. Like the, everything that happened with LastPass basically means that you know, somebody has owns all of those encrypted vaults, password vaults. So two fa, you know, two factor authentication isn't gonna save you. They, they own that in perpetuity. And so at some point, even if your master password was really, really long and, and strong, at some point down the line there is, you know, eventually there is the ability to crack that. So you know, I'm gonna go in and change all of my major passwords on all of the services, you know, the financial services, the really important things just to be safe because somebody owns that and if they are able to crack the encryption, that would not be good. So it's a real bummer, but you are not alone, Philip. There's a lot of people in that, in that position. Anyone else here on this panel been using LastPass impacted by this at all?
Ron Richards (01:25:11):
I mean, I'm a last pass user. The, as soon as the news hit, I changed my master password, you know, and I'm, I'm mulling what I do now, you know what I mean? Like, I don't necessarily want to go through and change all my passwords in every, every account. I mean, I've got hundreds and hundreds of counts in there, but like, if that's what it takes, that's what it takes. Yeah. my one question about moving to Bit Warden, is there a way to transfer Yes. What you have? You know what I mean? Like, is there a way to migrate to it? Right?
Jason Howell (01:25:37):
Yeah, yeah. There is, there's a migration pathway. And you know, a number of people at TWIT have done that already. Leo's done it. And you know, it does, it's not 100% perfect. My understanding, actually, the only thing that I've that I understand that really hasn't worked for some other folks at TWIT who have done this is that if you have images that are stored in that protected vault, the images aren't transferring over. So you might have to do those kind of manually, but you know, if you got protected notes and all of your passwords and everything, everything moves over, you
Also have to just make sure to get rid of that file that you're, because you can export it and then you import it and it's
Jason Howell (01:26:20):
Oh, yeah, yeah, it's
An unencrypted CSV file, so you
Jason Howell (01:26:24):
Just gotta, afterwards you gotta burn. Good point. <Laugh>, really good point.
Adam Conway (01:26:29):
Yeah. The, the other, the other alternative for people who may be kind of scared off of cloud-based password managers in general will be something like KeyPass, which is k e Pass that is like more roll your own solution where you can run it locally or there are plugins that you can get that make it cloud based if you maybe rent a server or something so that you can have it on your devices. But if you just want something that manages your passwords on your computer, that doesn't go anywhere else. That is an option as well for people who are looking to do that. And it's free completely. And like I mentioned that has plugin support, so there's a lot of different development and stuff that goes on for it, but it is very much a, like, like you control it, you are the one who needs to make it usable for you as opposed to just having an app that makes it convenient, which is 90% of password management, to be honest, is convenient.
Jason Howell (01:27:18):
Yeah, for sure. I, I mean, yeah. Yeah.
Mishaal Rahman (01:27:21):
I use KeyPass on a daily basis. It's my preferred password manager and like Adam mentioned, it is a more cumbersome solution than, than Bit Warden because Bit Warden is just one solution. There's one app you install on your phone and you know, there's one app you install on your pc and they use, I believe Microsoft Azure servers. They encrypt your database, whereas KeyPass, there's multiple different apps you could try on Android and there's multiple different apps you can install on Windows, and they all just have to support the, the KeyPass database extension that your, your database is stored locally. Like you actually have the file that you create and all your passwords are there. Mm-Hmm. <affirmative>, it's not an, it's not unencrypted CSV file, it's its own encrypted file and you can upload that to Google Drive, Dropbox OneDrive, whatever cloud hosting service you want. Or you could just keep it completely offline if you want.
Jason Howell (01:28:10):
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. I should also mention if you do plan on checking out Bit Warden, there is a self-hosted option as well there too, so you can do that. But yeah, key Pass is a, is a very very good alternative. So it's just a, it's a, it's such a, I mean it really is kind of worst case scenario, right? Like we, we, we, it's security and convenience at the end of the day, like you said Adam it's, we're we're told time and time again, our passwords need to be long. They need to be, you know, <laugh> a mixture of all these different characters, uppercase, lowercase symbols, blah, blah blah. So basically impossible for us to just know. So if it's impossible for us to know, then we've gotta put 'em somewhere. And it's, so it's really, it's, you know, it's the, it's the, the, I don't know, it's the, the deal that we make with the devil when we when we choose to put something that valuable in the cloud in some way and you hope that you can trust where you're putting it.
And it just, it's unfortunate that it happened this way with Last Pass cuz it really just means everybody has to, has to scramble and do something completely different. I think it's important it warrants that this isn't just like, eh, well maybe I'll stick around and see my personal advice is get off a last pass. Like they've, they've proven time and time again in the last few months, just how poorly they, they can handle a situation like this and I don't have any trust in 'em anymore. So how if you don't have to worry about all of this stuff once we switched to Paske. Yeah, that's true. Hey, that's, that's a really good point. Or at least, yeah. So that's, that's the benefit that Paske are, are being, you know, sold to us around is that hey, you know, this is a different way of doing passwords and it's doesn't suffer the same consequences. You know,
Ron Richards (01:29:58):
And, and not, not to put, not to take devil's advocate or contrarian to this topic. Cause I agree with you, it's immensely disappointing like that we got behind a a application like Last Pass and like really, you know, like you give, like talk about giving such a a you know, sensitive data, you, there's a level of trust there and you wanna make sure there's stuff we go through and, and you, you listened to listen to Steve, listen to security Now Steve outlines everything that happened. There's a bunch of blog post outlines, what happened. There's a lot of like poor decisions by last pass in terms of how they communicated this and you know, the timelines and all this sort of stuff dropping the news right before Christmas when not a lot of people are looking like things like that. Yeah. but it's important to also note that, that if you were a Last Pass user are a last pass user, you know, that, that the, the the encryption that your master password ha was, was done is done with an algorithm and, and what they call iterations, which is, you know, basically the iterations is how much work someone would need to do with a graphics card, with a graphics processor card to actually get it to, to, to crack your password.
Right? And, you know, and it, it can be anywhere from a year to 200 years or $7,000 to $1.5 million cost to that, that hacker to un to, to hack your master password and get access to that vault, right? And understanding that, you know, gotta think of like, okay, well if they, if they've got all this data, who are they gonna go after? More than likely they're gonna go after, you know, businesses, journalists, government people, you know, celebrities, you know, so like I have a little bit of secure, like I'm, you know, while there's some people who follow us, Jason and like us, it's a my, you know, like I'm not, I'm not a Kardashian, thank God. Like no one's trying to get into this stuff, right? So, so my hope is that I,
Jason Howell (01:31:45):
As much as you would like to be a Kardashian Ron no, you're not
Ron Richards (01:31:48):
A Kardashian. So, so like I I, my hope is that I, I, you know, whoever has these vaults, I'm a lower priority than, than, than, you know, someone who's in crypto who they want to get access to the, the, those financials and all that sort of stuff. It doesn't mean that that I I'm not gonna do anything, doesn't mean that I don't change my master password, I don't change my core account passwords, my financial stuff, all this sort of stuff, but but it, it's not, it's not as if like all of my passwords are out in the free and clear on the internet for anybody to use, you know, so just, just to level set that like, there, there is, you know, it's not a hundred percent doom and gloom, but it's pretty bad. So
Jason Howell (01:32:24):
Yeah. I mean, you know, at the end of the day when it comes to security, if you know that, that you've been compromised, that's Yeah. Right. You're right. It, it, it's probably unlikely that anything's gonna happen in the near term with my information that's out there as a result of this, but it's not, you know, it's, it's not 100% secure anymore. And that's just the reality. It's like, okay, well yeah, then you do, you know, in my opinion, for for myself, I do need to make, make a choice and do the uncomfortable thing
Ron Richards (01:32:54):
And switch. Yeah. And that's up to, and and that's up in order to everyone, everyone is up to their, their personal choice. But as Lisa said, last pass has has not done a lot to make us feel safe, and that goes a long way.
Jason Howell (01:33:05):
No, that's a bummer. Yep. So indeed. So there you go. I hope that's helpful.
Ron Richards (01:33:09):
Phil always can always use two factor on all your accounts. Please. Like, always use two factor. Yeah. Like, you know, I, I, you know, I'm, I'm, I've moved on from using two Factor to my phone to actually using Google Authenticator where I can, you know what I mean? Like these are, you know, the, the, you know, the the two A on Google is fantastic, like, it, like used whenever you're using an application that has the option to enable two A enable it do it
Jason Howell (01:33:32):
Please. Yep. So you get used to it. It doesn't take long for you to get used to the, what seems really inconvenient at the beginning, but it's really ends up not being,
Ron Richards (01:33:40):
And if you have Google messages as your SMS app, the nifty new stuff allows Dale delete to a text messages after 24 hours automatically. So you have to wor you don't have to go and clean up your, your SMS inbox which is a great little feature. So,
Jason Howell (01:33:55):
Nice. There you go. There you go.
Ron Richards (01:33:58):
All right, cool. So on that Sunny News, we moved to our next email from our good friend Jeff in Knoxville, Tennessee about something completely different where Jeff says, if there's ever a sign that Pixel advertising is working, this is it. I went to the Apple store today to buy an iPhone for my son for Christmas, and I was chatting with the Apple employee while he was completing my purchase and he started asking me about the Magic Eraser on my pixel phone and telling me how cool it looks, you know, that Pixel advertising is working when an Apple Store employee admits that he's a bit envious of this Pixel Fe feature. And there's a, that is a, one of the main reasons why Magic Eraser has been one of the cornerstones of Google's advertising in this round of Pixel. I think I told the story on the show the other day when I was, I was in the bagel place and I took out the Pixel seven and the guy was like, oh, is that that Magic Eraser phone? And like asked to see it and all that sort of stuff. Like people do notice the pH the photography stuff that the Pixel brings to the table, the features. Yeah. And so that, that's a very funny scenario where some, an Apple Store employee was asking about it. So
Jason Howell (01:34:59):
Funny's funny think it's funny though
Adam Conway (01:35:00):
As well. Yeah. Like it's a feature I don't end up actually ever using.
Jason Howell (01:35:04):
Exactly. That was exactly what I was gonna say. Adam took the words out of my mouth. <Laugh>, like, like it's, it's neat. It's neat.
Ron Richards (01:35:13):
I used it. I I used it a couple of weeks ago. We, we took a picture of my kids and my wife was like, oh, use Magic Eraser to get that stuff out the background. And I did it. So it was cool. So
Adam Conway (01:35:20):
That is the first person who has ever said, Hey, use Magic Eraser
Jason Howell (01:35:23):
Ron Richards (01:35:25):
Jason Howell (01:35:27):
Yes. How, how do you know it's, it's Ron's wife? It's because she knows what Ma Magic Eraser is on the pixel phone. Hey, you should use this, but even like, like off that Android host,
Adam Conway (01:35:38):
If you zoom in on photos when you use Magic Eraser, it's like, obviously, you know, most of the time it's gonna be for social media, so like nobody cares in that instance. But if you're using it, like to take a photo, I remember I used it in London where I took a photo and there were lots of people in the picture and I was like, oh, I'm gonna use Magic Eraser. It's automatically identified everybody and it was such a mess mm-hmm. <Affirmative> when it was done. Like when it removed the people, it was like, oh, well this just looks like there's loads of like ghosts. Like, it, it did not do a very good job at all. And it's kind of been a few instances where it's just, I don't, I don't want to use it because the results are not very good. And so it's become a thing now where I don't even think of it sometimes. It's worked very well. I've had one or two times where it actually was excellent, but nine times outta 10, I just prefer the original photo.
Jason Howell (01:36:27):
Mm-Hmm. <affirmative>. Yep. Same. Totally.
Ron Richards (01:36:30):
Listen, goo Google has inspired me to be on a mission to erase all the chain link fences in all my photos.
Jason Howell (01:36:36):
Adam Conway (01:36:38):
That doesn't work.
Jason Howell (01:36:39):
Ron Richards (01:36:40):
Sometimes you get this great little you get this great little you know, in Photoshop, the, the the, the copy, not the copy and paste tool, but the tool that replicates something in the other photo, you the stamp tool and you get that like weird kind of like wave, you get that effect. Yeah. So <laugh>, yeah.
Jason Howell (01:36:57):
Yeah. I'm trying, I'm I'm totally, I'm actually searching. Okay. I found it. I thought I could find this easily. Here I'm trying to f i I did this with Magic Eraser, with the Magic Eraser feature where you could draw in one time and I'm trying to see if I can quickly share this to Burke for my Google photos. So give me one second here. Yes. I
Remember judging you so much when you were ing it cuz I
Ron Richards (01:37:22):
Was like, ah, I wish you could find, I wish you could, I wish you could search by photos, edited photos, you know,
Jason Howell (01:37:27):
Like Yeah, no, I just, no, you know what I did, I did a search in Google Photos for chain link fence and it came up <laugh>. Yeah, yeah. That now that's awesome. So I just shared it in the slack. I don't know if you have that or if I should put it in the doc. You
Just shared the research link. Not that one.
Jason Howell (01:37:45):
Whoops. No. Oh, wait a minute. No. Did it not, it didn't work. Here hold on one second. I can wait. Create link. Create link copy. Okay. I'm putting it in the doc. It's a photos link and then I'm also putting it in our slack. And, and this is just the after <laugh> to give you a sense of what it looked like when I took the time to try and draw out the links. So, so you know, sort of, but nowhere near the Google io example that they showed. Why? Wow. It's like, you'd never know there was a chaining fence. <Laugh> <laugh>.
But if you go over to the green area to the left of the, of his feet. Yeah, there keep going, keep going and down and you can see right there was chain link all over that and there's a part of it that was a race that looks normal, but then there's another part of, now there's a big SMR black thing. Yeah, yeah. Now it's just smeared. It looks like someone just took a broom and just listed like sweep that one row but did nothing else. <Laugh>. Yes. Yes. Exactly. Exactly. Not perfect. Maybe something I wish Google photos.
Ron Richards (01:38:57):
I wish Google photos let you sort by photos you've edited cuz I can't find the, I wanna find the example, the one that I magic erased that I can't find it.
Jason Howell (01:39:06):
So Oh yeah, it's embarrassed. That's why <laugh>, it doesn't want you to know, doesn't want you to find it. All right. And finally we have reached the email of the week. That was, that was not a very triumphant throw to the email of the week. I'm sorry Irv, but you are the email of the week or your email is the email of the week. Anyways, Irv wrote in to say, I know Android Auto is a very touchy subject almost weekly on the podcast and I definitely hear your pain. I like you all, miss Android Auto for phone screens since my car also does not have the latest tech to have built in Android Auto in the Dash. I've relied on aa on the phone screen for years until Google pulled the plug and substituted Google Drive mode, which is garbage in comparison. And of course Google killed Google Drive mode unless you're actually using the Maps app to go somewhere.
Well that's not the way I use it. I like the AA interface to quickly get to the apps I needed. I think I found a really good replacement in Auto Z. It picks up where Android Auto left off off and I think it actually improves the overall concept. It offers its own maps view with navigation, but you can choose to use Google Maps or ways, et cetera if you prefer those. When navigating, when navigation is called upon music podcast and messaging apps are available via the interface. Much like Anne Android Auto offered with nice big app icons to tap when needed. It reliably auto launches when it connects to my car's Bluetooth, which would fail many times with Android auto and auto plays, whatever I was listening to from the last time I was in my car. I'm one month in and I'm a happy camper.
The app offers a seven day free trial, four subscription models to choose from. I chose the yearly subscription for 6 99, but there is also a lifetime subscription for 1399 if you really think it's great. So I wanted to pass that along since you were all Android auto fans and Auto zn just might fill that void that Google left behind. Thanks Irv. Thank you Irv, for sending in your app review. I love it when folks send in a review of hardware or apps that they're liking, especially cuz sometimes we, you know, people say, I wish there were more apps, you know, suggestions in the show and when you all run across an app that you really loving send in a review to us aaa twit tv like Irv did, and you also might be the email of the week. You never know could happen. But yeah, I was look, kinda looking at the interface looks, looks kinda nice. It's definitely different than what Google had with Android Auto, so it's a different approach, but you know, there's always an app to fill the void somewhere out
Mishaal Rahman (01:41:55):
There. So actually what a lot of people don't know is that there actually is a way to run Android Auto directly on your phone and it's, it uses a bit of like a, like a trick. So in Android autos settings or the developer mode. And what you can do is once you enable that, you can start the head unit server. So the way Android auto works is that you have this server, Android, Android auto running on your phone, and when you connect to your car's head unit through wire to wireless connection, you're projecting this interface that's running separately on your phone to the car's head unit. But instead there's a way to launch the Android Auto Head unit server on your phone and then connect to that server from your phone. So you're launching Andrew Auto and connecting to it all on your phone, all in this like one big circle.
And if you download this app on Google Play called Head Unit Reloaded, it allows you to actually launch Andrew Auto in this self mode. So go check that app out. It, it, it does have a subscription model is is a trial option. You can see if it works for you, but it does, I can confirm it does work. You're able to launch Android Auto on your phone screen this way and it is the full Android auto. It's not like a replica like you know, the Auto zn app that was mentioned in the email of the week, right? So try it out if you want. I believe there's a trial version of the app available. It, it's, it's a very neat option if you have like a, like a tablet that has LTE and you just run on, run Android Auto on that, stick it in the car. That's actually something I plan to do later on when I find time. But yeah, there's another option for you if you don't have Android Auto built into your car.
Jason Howell (01:43:30):
That's a great tip. Head unit, reloaded emulator for Android, I think is how it comes up on the Play store. That's what it's listed as on, it's 4 99, $4 99 cents to buy that. And you've got the kind of the big buttons is, I think I'm looking at the same one that you're talking about. Is it head unit receiver emulator for Android Auto? Yeah, this, this would be it, I think. Last update on June 21st, 2020. There we go. Cool. All right. And thanks again for emailing everyone who sends in an emails, we really do appreciate it. Aaa, twit TV and thank you for being our email of the week. And we've reached the end of this episode and it is time for Adam to go to bed because now it is, geez. Is it, it's
Adam Conway (01:44:20):
Actually 3:00 AM
Jason Howell (01:44:21):
Its, we did 3:00 AM We did it. We we made it, it <laugh> and is tired actually. Ti I was gonna say, is Adam actually tired at this point? He is
Adam Conway (01:44:32):
<Laugh>. I'm, I'm getting there. Yeah. <laugh>,
Jason Howell (01:44:33):
He's a trooper. Thank you so much, Adam, for sacrificing your sleep for us. It was a lot of fun having you on and we've gotta have you back. I love your energy and I love your knowledge. And if people also love your knowledge and wanna read your knowledge on, in the form of words on a screen, where can they do so, where do you want people to follow you?
Adam Conway (01:44:53):
So my Twitter is Adam Conway, ie. It's not Adam Conway, it's Adam Conway, ie. Where IE stands for Ireland. The Instagram is Adam c dot 99 and my Mastodon as well is at adamConway@mastodon.ie. So those are the various places where you can find me with personal words and then you can also find me on XDA just publishing random things relating to tactical content.
Jason Howell (01:45:19):
I mean, I should also mention you're very prolific. You write a lot of content for XDA, so I'm always in awe of, of people who write the, the, the breadth and, you know, so, so many articles going up all the time. Like, gosh, I just, I don't have that skill. So right on. Thank you Adam. Thank you. Really appreciate you coming on. Thanks
Adam Conway (01:45:39):
For having me.
Jason Howell (01:45:40):
Yeah, it's, it's our pleasure. Mishaal, always love having you on the show and love what you bring. What do you wanna leave people with here at the end of this first episode of the new year?
Mishaal Rahman (01:45:54):
So if you wanna follow me and find out what's happening in Android, I'm on Twitter at Mishaal Rahman, also on Mastodon on the Android developer server. So that's @MishaalRahman@androiddev.social the pretty lengthy you know, address, but if you wanna follow the work that I'm doing, I write at blog.esper.io, which is a company, it's not a traditional media publication. We're a company that specializes in device management for Android. So if you'll have a fleet of devices, you wanna manage them, check us out esper.io.
Jason Howell (01:46:27):
Right on, esper.io. Good to see you, Mishaal. Happy New Year and thanks man. We will have you back soon. And then Ron you're okay, you're fine. What I'm hanging in. Yeah, <laugh> always good hanging out with you, man. What do, what do you wanna leave people with <laugh>?
Ron Richards (01:46:45):
Yeah, just start the new year by following me. I'm still, you know, know I'm, I'm still on Twitter <laugh> and on Instagram at Ron xo. I'm also on Mastodon, just search Ron xo. You'll find me on mastodon.social or something like that. But yeah, that's it. Just to get excited for a new new year. Excited for counting the day slash months until we get our hands on that pixel tablet. And just excited for another year of Android with you, Jason, Mishaal, win Flo, the whole crew, even Burke, I'm excited to be here.
Jason Howell (01:47:16):
So <laugh>, even Burke. Well, thanks Rob. And yeah, big thanks to JR Ray Field for yes, for always giving us some great videos to play and into the new year. Looking forward to what he's got. Thanks to Victor behind the scenes, thanks to Burke, of course, behind the scenes for helping us do these, these shows each and every week. And you can find me at Jason Howell on Twitter, although I'm not really that active on Twitter right now. You can also find me on Mastodon twitter.social/ Jason Howell. Do not forget, we have a, a subscription tier called Club Twit that has been really helpful at helping us keep the lights on because, you know, it, the, the economy is just kind of a crazy thing right now. Sponsorships, you know, they fluctuate, but the club is always there, so we really appreciate it.
If you are a fan of twit, check out Club Twit, all of our shows with no ads. You also get exclusive TWIT plus podcast feed content, tons of extra content in fact and members only Discord. That's just a heck of a lot of fun. $7 a month, that's it. Seven bucks a month. You can pay for a full year, $84 per year if you do, if you go that route. But twit.tv/club twit is the place to go to check that out. As for this show, we do this show every Tuesday evening. It publishes late in the evening, early morning, even later in the evening and early morning for Adam where he's at. But twit.tv/a a a is the show page on the web where you can go and subscribe and then you don't have to wait up or even host the show in order to, you know, be awake when it comes through. You can just wake up the next morning and it'll appear on your phone and your podcast are like magic. So TWI tv slash a a a thank you so much for watching and listening and we will see you next time on All About Android. Happy New Year everybody.
I'm Jason Howell. What do you get your favorite geek who already has everything? Well, I know just the thing. It's a club Quit gift subscription, of course. Quit podcasts. Keep them informed and entertained with the most relevant tech news and podcasts available. And will The Club Twit subscription they get even more to get access to all of our podcasts ad free, the Members Only Discord exclusive outtakes behind the scenes and special content and exclusive shows like HandsOn Mac. Hands-On Windows and the Untitled Linux Show you can purchase
Speaker 8 (01:49:46):
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