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New software for old phones: Pixel 2 gets Ubuntu Touch and unofficial Android 12 ports

The Google Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL smartphones were released in 2017 and they were pretty great phones with good performance and excellent cameras. But Google rolled out the last official update for the phones at the end of 2020, which means there’s no official Android 12 build for the Pixel 2 series and […]

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Lilbits: Roku kills private channels (goodbye porn and piracy), Google makes 2-factor authentication mandatory for more users

Roku is changing the way it allows developers to beta test channels… and that change will effectively close a loophole that has allowed companies and individual users to provide unofficial “private” channels over the years. One of the most obvious casualties will be porn sites, but there are thousands of different private channels that will […]

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Lilbits: ARM computers, Linux phones, and the Pixel 2 rides off into the sunset

After rocking a Google Pixel 2 as my primary smartphone for the past three years, I took advantage of a Google Fi Black Friday promotion and traded in my phone for a brand new Pixel 4a 5G for $298 after trade-in. There were two reasons I decided the time was right to upgrade. First, my […]

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Lilbits: DSL conundrum, Pixel 2 EOL, and a $6K Android camera

My first broadband internet connection was DSL. After years of dialup, the ability to surf the web with speeds measured in MB rather than KB per second felt like living in the future. But these days DSL is aging technology that’s been largely left behind by the proliferation of cable, fiber, and cellular technologies that […]

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Google Pixel 2 can toggle Do Not Disturb when you’re driving, new API will let third-party apps detect activity transitions

I tend to use my Android phone as a GPS device whenever I’m on long road trips… and sometimes I end up putting the phone in airplane mode just so that I don’t get distracted by notifications for incoming emails and other messages while I’m driving. But Google recently introduced a new “Driving Do Not […]

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Pixel 2’s Active Edge squeeze controls can do more than just launch Assistant (unofficially)

The Google Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL have a feature called Active Edge that Google borrowed from the HTC U11. Squeeze the sides of the phone and you can launch Google Assistant. Or squeeze when a call is incoming and you can silence the phone. And… that’s it. That’s all Active Edge does for […]

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Pixel 2 smartphones have a custom camera chip called Pixel Visual Core

The Google Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL have some of the best cameras available on a smartphone. They’re so good that they let a mediocre photographer like me take some pretty stunning shots. Part of that is due to the high-quality image sensors. Part comes from Google’s software which helps with everything from image […]

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If you take a lot of photos, the original Pixel has a perk the Pixel 2 does not

Google’s Pixel smartphones have some of the best cameras available on any phone. The 2016 model was one of the best available at the time… and the 2017 model is said to have an even better camera. If you use those cameras to snap a lot of photos, Google also offers a bonus feature: if […]