Google may revamp the Android One program after a gloomy first year

google android one revised program news general mobile 4g base
If a new report is accurate, Google plans to loosen the requirements for the Android One program, launched earlier this year. The rework comes after a dismal year for the program, managing to hit only three million unit sales across 19 countries.

According to The Wall Street Journal, Google is working with Lava — a popular phone brand in India, and an existing Android One partner — and may launch a new low-cost phone in the coming months. Google also plans to let manufacturers have more freedom to choose components, potentially remove some of Google’s less popular services, and set different prices. Until now, the Android One program has been tightly controlled by Google, and made it difficult for manufacturers to produce phones down to a low price.

Google will still want to maintain some control, because a key feature of Android One phones is the almost stock operating system that’s treated to frequent updates, much like Nexus devices. Whether these compromises and alterations will be enough for manufacturers to work on the Android One program more often remains to be seen.

So far, Google has only seen three million Android One sales across 19 countries. In India, the flagship country for the program, only 1.2 million Android One sales were recorded, according to research firm Counterpoint.

That accounts for 3.5-percent of the $50 to $100 Indian mobile market, less than half of the 7.5 percent Xiaomi managed to acquire with its similarly priced Redmi devices. Samsung and Micromax are strong competitors for Google in the region, and neither fully back Android. Instead, Samsung pushes its own Tizen mobile OS, and Micromax has partnered with Cyanogen.

Android One is not the only program developed by Google to bring more Indians online. Google’s parent company Alphabet recent engaged in talks with the Indian government on the subject of launching satellite balloons across the country, as part of Project Loon. Facebook is also heavily invested in bringing the 1.2 billion people in the country onto the Web, launching its free Internet initiative in the region earlier this year.


Four fake cryptocurrency apps were listed on the Google Play Store

It is a dangerous time to be going after crytocurrency on Android. Four bogus cryptocurrency apps were spotted on the Google Play Store this week, according to a report from cybersecurity researcher Lukas Stefanko. 

Sharp doubles down on the notch trend with Aquos R2 Compact

As if one notch wasn't enough, Japanese manufacturer Sharp unveiled a new smartphone that has two -- one teardrop style notch at the top, and a bigger notch at the bottom. Here's what the world's first dual-notch smartphone looks like.

Samsung will reportedly announce its folding smartphone at MWC in February

Samsung has been showcasing bendable display tech for a few years and now a folding smartphone might finally arrive. The Galaxy X, or perhaps the Galaxy F, may be the company's first example. Here's everything we know about it.

Google, Samsung, OnePlus, and Huawei face off in an Android battle royale

The good news is that there are some great options in the Android smartphone market right now. The bad news is that too much choice makes it tough to decide. We compare the Pixel 3 XL, the Galaxy Note 9, the OnePlus 6T, and the Mate 20 Pro.

Google's Wear OS update 'H' promises battery life improvements

Google has rebranded its Android Wear operating system to Wear OS. Removing the Android name may help people better understand Google-powered smartwatches, which also play nice with iOS devices. 
Smart Home

Huawei could soon take on Google and Amazon with a new digital assistant

According to a report from CNBC, Huawei is working on a new digital assistant that could try to take on the likes of Google and Amazon's Alexa. Huawei already has a digital assistant in China, but the new one will be aimed at markets…

Leak shows a third, budget Google Pixel 3 with a Snapdragon 670, headphone jack

The Google Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL are considered to be two of the best Android smartphones, but it looks like Google could be prepping a third. A budget Pixel 3 device that boasts some of the best features of the other two has been leaked.

Use multiple phone numbers on one device with Verizon’s ‘My Numbers’ app

For those who have separate phone numbers and devices for your work and personal lives, Verizon wants to help you get more organized. With its new "My Numbers" app, you can use up to four additional phone numbers on a single smartphone.

Need a quick battery boost? Try one of our favorite portable chargers

Battery life still tops the polls when it comes to smartphone concerns. If it’s bugging you, then maybe it’s time to snag yourself a portable charger. Here are our picks of the best portable chargers.

Instagram tool accidentally exposes user passwords. Were you affected?

Instagram's Download Your Data tool accidentally exposed the passwords of a small number of users. Here is the explanation on what happened, and how to find out which Instagram accounts were compromised.

New iPad Pro’s durability in question after it fails YouTuber’s bend test

The new iPad Pro models failed a bend test that was carried out by popular YouTuber JerryRigEverything. The result raises questions about the durability of the tablets, especially since customers are also reporting bending issues.

How to use recovery mode to fix your Android phone or tablet

If you’re having a problem you can’t seem to resolve with your Android device, or maybe you want to update it or wipe the cache, recovery mode could be what you’re looking for. Here's how to use it.

Black Friday 2018: The best deals so far

Black Friday is the biggest shopping holiday of the year, and it will be here before you know it. If you can't wait until November 23 to start formulating a shopping plan, we've got you covered.
Emerging Tech

Microsoft’s friendly new A.I wants to figure out what you want — before you ask

Move over Siri and Alexa! Microsoft wants to build a new type of virtual assistant that wants to be your friend. Already making waves in Asia, could this be the future of A.I. BFFs?