The ups and downs of Android in 2017

    Picture: Jack Wallen

    The previous yr was actually a banner 365 days for Google’s Android platform. Though a lot of the ballyhoo was centered across the launch of Oreo, there have been a couple of highs to be discovered elsewhere. There have been additionally a couple of lows.

    Let’s gaze into the wayback machine and revisit among the huge ups and massive downs for the Android platform.

    First … the “ups.”

    Android Oreo

    This title has to go to the discharge of Android eight—aka “Oreo.” Of each launch Google has unleashed on the world, Oreo is by far the smoothest and securest. With the assistance of Google Play Shield, customers not should concern themselves with third-party antivirus and antimalware options, and so they may belief their units to be free from malicious code.

    Oreo additionally turned out to be a big step ahead for battery life and user-interaction. The builders managed to squeeze the proper quantity of type and performance into the discharge to shine and construct upon what they did with Android 7. On each machine I examined, Oreo made the expertise higher—in each efficiency, ease of use, and UI expertise.

    Google Assistant

    Subsequent up comes Google Assistant. Of each digital assitant to have ever existed, Google Assistant is fingers down the best. Not solely is it extremely straightforward to make use of, it will get issues proper. It is a very uncommon event that Assistant misses the mark. Assistant is so good that it could enable you troubleshoot your Pixel 2 (to a sure diploma). It integrates with different Google apps resembling Preserve, can play video games, make calls, ship cash, and far more. No different digital assistant like Siri or Bixby comes near this next-step evolution of Google Now.

    The Pixel Telephones

    The discharge of the Pixel units was a kind of uncommon events that would simply fall into each a “better of” and “worst of” class. Not that the units weren’t superb—they have been. Upon preliminary launch, each the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL have been heralded as the best Android telephone to have ever been created. There was a motive why Google drew on the skills of Too Many Zoos as a soundtrack to their promoting marketing campaign—as a result of the Pixel Telephones have been that good. Not solely was the spec’d to noticeably carry out, they each contained the only finest cameras on the smartphone market.

    However then the shine slowly pale to disclose points. The Pixel 2 XL suffered some fairly important burn-in on the display and plenty of Pixel 2 customers skilled unusual sounds emanating from their units. Google was fast to try to resolve these issues by means of patching, however the jury remains to be out on whether or not the fixes will work long-term.

    Even nonetheless, the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL are each exceptional units that stand on the high of the Android heap.

    So many near-perfect units

    The 2017 yr additionally noticed the discharge of loads of telephones that have been so near being excellent, however fell barely quick. One would not have to look far to see how reviewers needed to like the Important PH-1, if it weren’t for that digital camera. Or the Galaxy S8+/Note8 and their poorly positioned fingerprint sensor. Or possibly the Pixel 2 and its large bezels. Or the HTC U11 and it is extremely slippery floor. Or the evident lack of a headphone jack on so many new units.

    You see the place I am going with this. There have been so many flagship, or close to flagship, Android units that got here so near hitting that mark of perfection, however fell quick for one motive or one other.

    Do not get me fallacious, a few of these units are actually, actually good. In truth, I just lately bought an Essential PH-1 as my day by day driver. Exterior of the digital camera, the telephone is superb. And with Important working arduous to resolve that digital camera concern, my guess is the PH-1 would be the telephone to have within the first a part of 2018. It took me fairly a very long time to conclude the PH-1 was the machine for me—that is how good the enjoying discipline was, even with the assorted “flaws” in practically each machine.

    And now … the not so good.

    OnePlus benchmarks and Large Brother

    OnePlus is an organization that produces severely superb, flagship stage units at non-flagship costs. My day by day driver for the previous two years was a OnePlus three, and it served me very nicely. When the corporate launched the OnePlus 5, it was found the corporate was fudging the benchmarks. To make issues worse, OnePlus was discovered to be amassing information on its customers and even putting in backdoors that would steal information or root your machine.

    See: OnePlus phones have 2 factory-installed backdoors that could steal data or root your device (TechRepublic)

    Not cool, OnePlus. Not cool.

    Instantaneous apps … not a lot

    Instantaneous apps had loads of promise. Little of which was delivered. The concept behind Instantaneous Apps is the power to strive an app prior to installing it. I’ve at all times discovered one downside with that premise—putting in and uninstalling Android apps is extremely easy and quick. The concept of “attempting” a free app prior to installing it appears barely redundant. If this have been put in place for paid apps to function a kind of “trial” that will surely give myself and plenty of others pause to strive all these apps. Nonetheless, I can set up and uninstall a free app on Android nearly as rapidly as I can “strive” it. On high of which, there’s a very restricted assortment of Instant Apps available (Hollar, NTYimes – Crossword, Buzzfeed, Onefootball Dwell Soccer, Pink Bull TV, dotloop, and ShareTheMeal). That is it. Appears to me, the thought of Instantaneous Apps has but to essentially catch on, and won’t ever.


    It appears even with the discharge of Android Oreo and Google Play Shield the platform could not escape malware. One of many nastiest malware “tendencies” for 2017 was the multi-stage assault. A multi-stage malware would not comprise malicious code itself. As a substitute, the malware downloads payloads from different areas with the purpose of putting in malicious code onto the machine.

    See: New Google Play Store malware highlights disturbing trend of multi-stage Android attacks (TechRepublic)

    By September of 2017, those who ranked amongst Android malware victims numbered within the tens of millions, in keeping with Forbes—quoting researchers from Check Point—that quantity is above 21 million.

    Hopefully, with the continued assist of Play Shield, 2018 will see a drop in malware on Android. If that is not the case, Google can have a major problem on their fingers.

    The conclusion

    As 2017 attracts to a detailed, it is fairly protected to say that outdoors of the malware points 2017 was a powerful success for the Android platform. Definitely there have been units that would have used a bit extra R&D and bug squashing earlier than launch, however even with the issues these units may simply serve any consumer very nicely.

    I do not learn about you, however I am excited to see what 2018 has in retailer for Android.

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