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Home News What is Android One? All your questions answered

What is Android One? All your questions answered

Moto X4 Android One Julian Chokkattu/Digital Trends

Android is one of the biggest operating systems in the world, with over 2 billion active users as of May 2017. Unless you’re a diehard iPhone owner, it’s likely that you’ve used an Android device at some point in your life.

One of the reasons behind Android’s success is its flexibility. Many manufacturers adopt the Android framework and put their own spin on it, creating a manufacturer skin like Huawei’s EMUI or LG’s UX skin. This means companies can adopt Google’s operating system without worrying that their branding will be lost in the software.

But that strength is also a weakness; Android’s update adoption rates are tremendously low, and as of October 2018, only 19.2 percent of all active Android devices had updated to the second-newest Android update, Android 8.0 Oreo.

It’s a problem that reflects badly on Android as a whole — what’s a company like Google to do to fix it? Offering a version of stripped down Android that’s quick to update seems like a good shot. Say hello to Android One — here’s everything you need to know.

What is Android One?

Moto X4 Android One Julian Chokkattu/Digital Trends

But what is Android One? Its name gives little away, but it’s actually fairly easy to define. It’s a stripped down version of Android that’s as close to stock Android as possible. So that’s little else but the essential Google apps installed, and very little else added to the phone’s software — outside of a custom camera app, or software needed to support phone hardware. Not even Google’s own Pixel range has a variety of Android as close to vanilla as Android One. Simply put, it’s the closest to Google’s vision of Android as it’s possible to get.

Launched back in 2014, Android One was originally meant to be used on entry-level Android devices in developing markets like India, Indonesia, and other South Asian countries. Stripped of all unnecessary software, Android One’s slim load was meant to be the perfect accompaniment to the budget, low-power devices popular in such areas.

But as Android continued to grow, the needs of Android One grew beyond what those entry-level devices could easily provide. That’s why, in May 2017, Google introduced Android Go — an even more stripped back version of Android, rebuilt to accommodate lower-powered devices, and especially tuned to save mobile data.

Where did that leave Android One? It would have been easy for Google to let Android One slip away into obscurity, but instead, it saw an opportunity to re-use the stock Android OS. No longer restricted to entry-level and budget phones, you’ll now find the barebones Android build loaded onto a wide variety of devices, including some midrange handsets.

Why use an Android One phone?

Of course, that’s all very well and good for Google itself — but what are the advantages to picking up an Android One phone for you, the consumer?

First off, since Android One is not much more than stock Android, there’s very little extra added software to slow your phone down. The extra apps, skins, and other bloatware added into some Android phones can pay a big part in slowing performance, bogging down the phone’s hardware with software you might not actually want.

But don’t worry — you’ll still get all the great stuff you love from Android on an Android One phone. The Google Assistant, Google Lens, and other keystones of the Android experience are all included — alongside the latest features from Android 9.0 Pie, when that update comes to Android One.

The other major benefit is in update speed. Android phones have been lampooned for their terrible update speed for years, and that’s largely because of manufacturer skins. Whether the update be a small bug fix, security update, or a major update to Android 9.0 Pie, manufacturers need to adapt it for their particular software.

Android One phones aren’t as shackled. While updates do still have to go through each phone’s manufacturer, there’s much less to check and update, so updates will generally arrive much faster. It won’t be a day one patch like you’d expect on the Google Pixel range — but it should be far snappier than most other Android phones.

There’s also a cast-iron commitment to updates that comes directly from Google. Each Android One phone is guaranteed to get at least three years worth of security updates from its release date, and up to two years of major Android releases, too. So if you buy an Android One phone with Android 8.0 Oreo, you can expect to receive Android 9.0 Pie, and Android Q in its lifetime — as well as up to date monthly security patches.

Which phones support Android One?

Nokia 7.1 Julian Chokkattu/Digital Trends

So you love the idea of Android One — how can you go out and grab yourself an Android One phone right now? Unfortunately, it’s not that easy.

While Android One is picking up steam, it’s still far from being classed as a popular option. At the moment, Android One has been restricted mostly to entry-level, budget, and midrange phones, with only a few of the more powerful options having picked up the slimline operating system.

At the time of writing, there are only a few big names involved with Android One. Nokia is by far the most dedicated Android One disciple, and you’ll find the operating system on most of Nokia’s recent smartphone offerings, from the budget Nokia 6.1 and Nokia 7.1  — two of our favorite budget phones right now — to the flagship Nokia 8 Sirocco. Motorola has also dabbled in Android One with certain models of the Moto X4, and the more recent Motorola One range.

However, there’s room for expansion here, and we’re seeing more and more manufacturers test the idea of running Android One on some of their lower-spec phones. LG has announced a slightly downgraded version of the LG G7 powered by Android One, and it’s also highly likely Nokia’s rumored Nokia 9 PureView flagship will feature Android One. Google keeps a list of Android One handsets, but it’s not quite complete, and lacks LG’s G7 One.

Many would have written off Android One after the introduction of Android Go — but thanks to Google’s continued support, it’s clear the operating system is only just getting started.

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Cut the cord: This $25 HD TV antenna grabs streams from up to 50 miles away

TL;DR: This money-saving digital HD antenna is 58% off, and provides you with a ton of high-definition content.If you’re thinking about cutting the cord, you’re not alone. Many people have, and the reasons to get away from traditional cable continue to grow. Similarly, we’ve seen a rise in people who never even bother with signing an agreement with a cable provider.While a lot of us like Hulu, Netflix, and the other streaming players, some still like the local channels for live broadcasts of news, sports, and general programming. Awards shows, season finales, and playoff games are serious business and work best live. If you’re among those aching for the live shows, listen up.There are options that let you cut the cord, or not have to worry about signing up for cable. In fact, it’s cheap, too. Consider the current offer in the AG Deals Store: the Liger HDTV 50-Mile Ultra-Thin Antenna & Amplifier. Priced just $25, it’s all you’ll ever need to spend for your local broadcasts. The Liger HDTV 50-Mile Ultra-Thin Antenna & Amplifier is super thin, easy to set up, and receives signal from up to 50 miles away.It’s easy to install; plug it in and scan for channels with one click. Before you know it, you’ll have access to the channels available in your area for news, weather, and sports.Liger HDTV 50-Mile Ultra-Thin Antenna & Amplifier FeaturesRevamped range for up to 50 milesFine-tuned frequency picks up plenty of stations10 to 15dB gain strengthens premium picturesCan be used as a TV antenna amplifier boosterThe best part of this whole deal is you only pay a one-time fee for the antenna and end up with free TV for life. Get the Liger HDTV 50-Mile Ultra-Thin Antenna & Amplifier for just $24.99, or 58% off the original cost — at the AG Deals Store.Save even more!In addition to the savings above, when you buy through AndroidGuys Deals, for every $25 spent, you get $1 credit added to your account. What’s more, should you refer the deal via social media or an email that results in a purchase, you’ll earn $10 credit in your account.If this is your first time buying, then you are also eligible for a further 10% discount when you subscribe for email updates.How about a freebie?Not looking to spend any money today? That’s alright, we understand. Why not visit the AndroidGuys section for freebies and take something anyhow? Go ahead, grab two!

LG Wing pre-orders now available at Verizon

One of the most interesting phones that has come out in a long time, the LG Wing, is finally available through Verizon. With one of the most unique designs on the market, time will tell how durable the phone is. If anything, it will definitely be a head turner.Pre-orders are currently underway with the launch date of October 15.  The all-important question is how much it will cost. Indeed, Verizon and LG are pricing it at $999. If you go through the carrier’s payment plan, it will cost you $41.66 per month.Verizon has some pretty sweet offers for the LG Wing which will help interested buyers save money.If you add a line on select Unlimited Plans and you trade in an eligible device you get $750 offGet up to an additional $250 Verizon eGift Card if you port a number to Verizon while buying the LG WingIf you’re an existing customer on an eligible Unlimited Plan you can get up to $500 when you trade in an eligible device.If you buy the LG Wing, trade in an eligible device, and port a number you can get the Wing free. Unfortunately, I don’t have info as to what exactly the eligible devices are, but I would imagine roughly any flagship from Samsung, Apple, Google, and maybe even LG from the last 1-2 years would qualify.I may be part of a small minority here, but I’m legit excited for the LG Wing. It is almost a ray of sunshine in a sea of otherwise ‘same’ looking devices. Are you as excited for the Wing as I am?Let us know in the comments, we’d love to hear what you think about it!

The best phones available at Boost Mobile (October 2020)

Boost Mobile may no longer belong to Sprint, but that doesn’t mean it’s a completely different company under DISH. In fact, it’s largely business as usual to the average consumer. As is the case with other MVNOs, Boost has its own rate plans, customer service, and phone selection. Here, we’ll dig into the devices offered at Boost.We’ve gathered up a handful of the best phones you can purchase at Boost Mobile today. In addition to what’s offered through Boost, we always suggest buying an unlocked phone for use with a carrier. The options are plentiful in both directions and you’ll likely get something more powerful.Samsung Galaxy S20The Samsung Galaxy S20 reigns as the current king of the hill and is the standard bearer by which other phones are measured. For your money you’ll get a 6.2-inch Infinity-O display that reaches edge to edge and features a hole-punch front-facing 10-megapixel camera.Around back are a trio of cameras in the form of a 12-megapixel ultra-wide and 12-megapixel wide-angle, and 64-megapixel telephoto camera.Powering things are a Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 octa-core processor, 12GB RAM, and 128GB internal storage. Need more room for media? Toss in a microSD card and add up to 1TB more space.This one will be powerful enough to handle daily tasks for two or more years.Samsung Galaxy S20 at Boost MobileSamsung Galaxy A21The Galaxy S series gets all of the fanfare, but the Galaxy A line is just as good for a lot of people. Indeed, these lower cost options give consumers the same great Samsung design but with just the right amount of features. We’re talking maybe one-third the price yet still plenty of power.Standout features in the Galaxy A21 include a 6.5-inch HD display, and quad-camera (16MP main lens, 120 degree ultra wide, 2MP depth camera, and 2MP macro) array. An octa-core processor with 3GB RAM/32GB ROM is paired with Android 10, and the 4,000mAh battery should get typical users far beyond a full day.Samsung Galaxy A21 at Boost MobileLG Stylo 6For Notes, Photo Markups and DocsBig, practical, and the only one with a stylus, the LG Stylo 4+ provides users with a large screen and an extra bit of functionality. The 6.8-inch display offers up plenty of high-definition space for scribbling notes, marking up documents, and more.Running Android 10, the phone is powered by an octa-core processor with 3GB RAM. Storage comes in at 64GB but a microSD expansion card slot opens the door for up to 2TB external media.Wrapping things up, the LG handset has a triple camera configuration on the rear, front-facing 13-megapixel selfie camera, and a 4,000mAh battery.LG Stylo at Boost MobileMotorola Moto EStock Android on a BudgetWe absolutely love what Motorola does with its Android phones. They run a bare bones software experience that leaves things the way Google intended, and feature affordably priced alternatives to flagships.Here, you get a big (6.2-inch) screen, a very modern build of Android (10), and respectable smattering of mid-range hardware. Key details include an octa-core processor, 32GB internal storage, and a microSD card slot for external media.Other things we appreciate? A water resistant coating, USB Type-C charging, and a 3.5mm headphone jack.Motorola Moto E at Boost MobileCoolpad LegacyFirst-time BuyerOn the lower end of the spectrum we find phones which might be decent for first time smartphone users. Whether that means grandma or the ten year old who’s responsible enough for a handset, it matters little.The Coolpad Legacy rivals other, pricier models in terms of hardware but its rock-bottom price puts it among the most affordable.Key details include a 6.3-inch display, a dual (16-megapixel and 5-megapixel) rear camera setup, and front-facing 13-megapixel selfie camera. Inside are a quad-core processor, 3GB RAM, and 32GB storage; a microSD card slot allows for up to 128GB media.Coolpad Legacy at Boost Mobile

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