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8 phones still coming out in 2020: iPhone 12, Galaxy Fold 2, Note 20 and more – CNET

Despite the coronavirus pandemic, phone companies still plan to release new phones. While many of us are are operating under a budget, companies such as Apple and Samsung are at this very moment still building phones and still hope you’ll buy them. We’ll see how well that works out. Phones sales were down by 20% so far…

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8 phones still coming out in 2020: iPhone 12, Galaxy Fold 2, Note 20 and more     – CNET

Despite the coronavirus pandemic, phone companies still plan to release new phones. While many of us are are operating under a budget, companies such as Apple and Samsung are at this very moment still building phones and still hope you’ll buy them. We’ll see how well that works out. Phones sales were down by 20% so far this year by the end of March.Samsung Galaxy Fold 2This is the first Galaxy Fold. We still expect the sequel to make an appearance this year.
Angela Lang/CNET

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Samsung is one company betting that foldables are the future of mobile devices. It worked on foldable displays for years before unveiling its Galaxy Fold in February 2019. Samsung’s device, which expands from a phone into a tablet, captured the world’s attention, but it quickly ran into troubles. The company delayed the launch of the $1,980 Fold by five months from April to September after some reporters found screen defects in their review units. This year, it’s expected to launch Round 2, with what we’re currently referring to as the Galaxy Fold 2, building on what it learned from last year’s disaster and February’s Galaxy Z Flip. Samsung is expected to unveil the Galaxy Fold 2 on Aug. 5 at a virtual Unpacked event.Notable updates to the Fold could include a glass display instead of plastic and a bigger internal screen. Some rumors even suggest it will come with an S Pen stylus, and others say Samsung will introduce a cheaper Fold E or Fold Lite alongside the pricier Fold 2. Expected release date: AugustSamsung Galaxy Note 20The Note 10 in all its iridescent glory.
Sarah Tew/CNET
The fate of Samsung’s annual stylus-bearing flagship phone for power users is up in the air. Typically, we’d expect the new Note to arrive in August, guns blazing, to much fanfare and a splashy launch event. This year, who knows? An early rumor suggested that the Note 20 — following Samsung’s new naming convention for the Galaxy S20 phones — would appear as early as July. That seems wholly unlikely as the world hunkers down to weather this coronavirus pandemic. It’s possible that Samsung could host an online event like rivals instead of the usual stadium or music hall venue. The company didn’t reply to a request for comment on the topic.What is likely is that the Note 20 will build off the Galaxy S20’s key features, from 5G data speeds and a fast 120Hz screen refresh rate to those high-resolution cameras — whenever and however it’s eventually unveiled.Expected release date: August 2020Samsung Galaxy A series
Samsung
Samsung is going all-in on budget phones with its new Galaxy A series lineup. And when we say “budget,” we mean downright cheap in some cases. We have yet to actually use these phones, though, so hopefully that’s cheap in the best possible way. The 4G LTE lineup, which includes four phones, consists of the $110 Galaxy A10, the $180 Galaxy A11, the $250 Galaxy A21 and the $400 Galaxy A51, which is the followup to 2019’s Galaxy A50. Then we have the two 5G phones: The 5G version of the Galaxy A51 will cost $500, while the new Galaxy A71 5G comes in at $600. Again, that’s some really aggressive pricing from Samsung, and over the coming months we’ll know if they’re worth it even at the lowest prices. Expected release date: Available now through the end of the summer, depending on model

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Google Pixel 4A and 4A XLThe Pixel 3A.
Angela Lang/CNET
Last year, Google debuted budget versions of its Pixel phones, the Pixel 3A and 3A XL. The devices turned out to be a success for the company, so we expect follow-ups this spring. Rumors for the Pixel 4A and 4A XL include the same $399 starting price for the Pixel 4A (or perhaps even cheaper), a headphone jack and a new front-facing hole-punch camera. And in case there was any doubt, Verizon debunked a previous claim that it is dumping Pixel phones — it won’t, and said it will “continue to work with Google.”  Expected release date: JulyOnePlus NordAfter months of rumors about a possible new midrange OnePlus phone, the company confirmed it will be announcing a “new, more affordable smartphone product line.” The phone will be available in the UK and India, and it will be called the OnePlus Nord. Despite not releasing any specs, the company has already kicked off three limited rounds of preorders for some European countries. The phone is expected to cost under $500, but will not come to North America.Expected release date: JulyApple iPhone 12 
Angela Lang/CNET
The upcoming iPhone 12, 12 Pro and 12 Max (Apple has not confirmed the name of the phones, but we’ll go with that for now) face unknown waters ahead — suppliers in China have already shut down or are operating on limited capacity because of the outbreak, which may impact inventory in September when new iPhones are typically launched. Rumors for the devices are all over the place, with some stating the phones will have a radical new design and other leaks suggesting it will likely look similar to the iPhone 11 and 11 Pro. Some models could have 5G, others might not.Expected release date: Early SeptemberSony Xperia Pro Sony’s Xperia Pro has millimeter-wave 5G, as well as the slower kinds.
Sony
In February, Sony teased the Xperia Pro, a 5G phone aimed at professional video shooters. This could be the phone that knocks Apple’s iPhone off its video-prowess throne. It has the same triple-camera rear setup and Alpha camera features as the consumer-focused Xperia 1 II, and like its sibling packs a 6.5-inch, 21:9 ratio, 4K OLED display, a Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 processor and 8GB of RAM. The Pro also has 512GB of storage, and an HDMI/USB 3.1 port for outputting video. The Pro will support all flavors of 5G. The Xperia Pro doesn’t have a price yet, but will likely cost more than the Xperia 1 ii.Expected release: SummerLG Velvet
LG/Screenshot by César Salza/CNET
With its raindrop camera, curved screen and vertically stacked cameras, the Velvet marks a new design direction for LG phones. The 5G handset launches in Europe first and will come to countries in North America (including the US), Asia, Latin America and other regions at a later date. Though the company hasn’t released pricing yet, the phone is expected to fall in the $600-$700 range.Expected release date: July

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Android vs. iPhone: 7 things Apple phone owners wish they could do – CNET

Android phones have some features that make iPhone owners jealous. Óscar Gutiérrez/CNET The argument between iPhone and Android owners is as old as both platforms, and one I can’t see coming to an end anytime soon. With each announcement and release of major updates, both sides like to point out copied features or updates that…

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Android vs. iPhone: 7 things Apple phone owners wish they could do     – CNET

Android phones have some features that make iPhone owners jealous.
Óscar Gutiérrez/CNET
The argument between iPhone and Android owners is as old as both platforms, and one I can’t see coming to an end anytime soon. With each announcement and release of major updates, both sides like to point out copied features or updates that the other operating system lacks. In a lot of ways, the debate feels similar to politics, both sides just can’t find common ground. For example, Google recently announced the Android 12 developer beta. It’s available for only the very brave to try out right now, and while there’s not a lot of consumer-facing features activated in it quite yet, we do know that Google is borrowing the iPhone’s microphone and camera use indicators to enhance privacy. And more recently, Google announced it will start requiring Android app developers to list all the different types of personal data an app collects about users in its Play Store listing, just like Apple added in iOS 14.Conversely, when Apple released iOS 14 the iPhone gained new home screen widgets and the option to create custom app icons. Yea, Android users had fun with that oldie but goody.Even though Apple keeps adding Android-like features to iOS, Android users still have plenty of bragging rights over iPhone users. From being able to use two apps at the same time to Google Assistant and more customization options are, for now at least, some of the features Android owners can claim as their own. Below are seven things Android still does better than the iPhone. Facts. Don’t worry, though. I’ve given Android the same treatment by highlighting what the iPhone does better. Also facts.

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Use the apps you want, not the apps Google wants you to Yeah, yeah, yeah. Apple added the ability to set your default app for email or web browsing in iOS 14, but that’s it. Google has always given Android users the ability to set their default apps for a number of different tasks. Want to use a different app for text messaging than what came preinstalled? Do it. In fact, you should use Google Messages as your default app for its sweet chat features that are getting closer to being an iMessage equivalent. Finding the setting for default apps can take a little digging, but at least it’s there. 
Screenshots by Jason Cipriani/CNET
It isn’t hard to see which apps have been labeled as default on your Android device: Open the Settings app and go to Apps & notifications > Default apps. To change the defaults, select the app category, such as Phone app or Browser app and choose from the options.Google Assistant is always ready for you. 
Jason Cipriani/CNET
Google Assistant for the all the winsiPhone users have Siri, but Android gives you Google Assistant. Google Assistant is a much more sophisticated tool than Apple’s Siri for a slew of reasons, but the most important one is that it makes use of Google’s impressive database.  Google Assistant can understand common requests for businesses and names, plus it gets requests right more often than wrong. It also returns high-quality responses, drawing from Google Search, a tool that Siri doesn’t have access to. Google Assistant also tightly integrates with the phone’s other functions, to tell you when it’s time to leave for your next meeting and warn you that traffic will be heavy on the way home. If you have any Google Home or Nest Home smart speakers or other compatible devices, you can also use Assistant on your phone to control smart devices around your house like lights, outlets or your thermostat — even from afar. Split Screen is easy to use on an Android phone and increases the versatility of a phone. 
Jason Cipriani/CNET
And it’s built right into your Android device. “OK, Google” and “Hey, Google” are the two wake phrases. If you need help knowing what to ask, you can ask Google Assistant for a list of commands: “OK, Google, What can you do?” iPhone owners can also install the Google app to use Assistant, but it’s not built in and it’s not the default personal assistant.  Split-screen mode gives you two apps at the same timeEven though iPadOS supports using multiple apps at the same time, iOS 14 and the iPhone do not. Android users, however, have had split-screen apps since 2016 with the release of Android 7.0 Nougat. Using two apps is helpful if you’re trying to look up a contact’s phone number to send to someone on Facebook Messenger, or if you need to reference information in a document when composing an email. It’s unclear why Apple hasn’t added this feature to the iPhone yet, but perhaps it has something to do with the size of the app windows on the iPhone’s display as compared with the larger iPad.  Move icons around to arrange them, or delete them and only use the app drawer. 
Sarah Tew/CNET
The easiest way to use split-screen mode is to open the multitasking view and tap on the app’s icon at the top of its multitasking card — it’s the same icon you use to launch the app from your home screen. Select Split screen from the list of options, then select the second app you want to have open at the same time. (These steps might vary depending on which Android phone you use. For example, Samsung phones have their own version of the interface.) You can adjust the size of each app by dragging the small handle between the two apps to expand or decrease how much space each app takes up. Support at the OS-level for a stylus is a killer feature. 
Sarah Tew/CNET
The stylus is mightier than an Apple Pencil Not every Android device supports a stylus, but Android owners at least have the option to buy a phone like the Galaxy Note 20, Galaxy S21 Ultra or even Motorola’s Moto G Stylus. Having built-in stylus support means you can write notes, create sketches and edit photos with precision. It’s a tool that many users like, and on Android, it’s definitely an option. With Samsung expanding its S Pen to more devices like the S21 Ultra, one has to assume other Android-makers will follow. Samsung has led the way for years on bringing new features to Android, often beating out Google. Either way, Android fans already have some worthy options if they want a stylus. Rumors have circulated for years that Apple would bring Apple Pencil Support to the iPhone, but we’ve yet to see it happen. Customize your home screen just how you like it Apple’s approach to the home screen is still locked to placing all installed apps in a rigid grid, although you can now add widgets to the home screen and use custom app icons to mix up the overall look. However, the home screen on Android devices don’t follow a grid layout, allowing you to place apps anywhere you’d like. Both platforms let you make folders containing groups of apps. The benefit of Android’s approach is that you can customize the home screen by arranging app icons in any pattern of your choosing. The way your Android phone’s home screen looks is because of its launcher. But you’re not stuck with what comes preinstalled. 
Óscar Gutiérrez/CNET
Use launchers to fully customize your phone Launchers are the epitome of Android customization. These apps let you completely change how you interact with the home screen, the app drawer and even the app icons on your phone. Using a launcher on your Android phone allows you to customize almost every aspect of how your phone looks and behaves, making your phone even more personal than it already is.  Launchers like Nova Launcher, Microsoft’s Launcher, Apex Launcher and Action Launcher all add their own twists and features to your Android phone. For example, another popular Android launcher, Evie, emphasizes using a search bar to quickly find and open apps, or anything else on your Android phone for that matter. It’s minimalism at its finest.  I recommend taking some time to research the various launchers, trying a couple of them and really customizing the look and feel of your phone. Just be forewarned: The deeper you dive into the world of launchers, the more time and energy you’re going to spend on tweaking your setup. It’s hard to imagine a world where Apple ever lets something like this happen for the iPhone, although it appears it is loosening its grip on how much iPhone users can change the look of their home screen. The Wallpapers app is a must for any Android user. 
Jason Cipriani/CNET
Never get bored with automatically changing wallpapers If taking the time to find and customize a launcher feels like a lot of work, there’s another way to make your Android phone constantly feel fresh and it’s yet another thing your iPhone friends can’t do — use Google’s Wallpapers app.  The Wallpapers app refreshes the wallpaper on your home screen and lock screen daily, without you having to do a thing.  There are several different categories of wallpaper styles to choose from. Pick your favorite and let the app take care of the rest. Personally, I like to use the geometric shapes category. The wallpapers are unique and colorful. Granted, the iPhone now has wallpapers you can pick from that change based on whether or not dark mode is activated, and if you take the time to find or build a Shortcut, you can automate changing your wallpaper on a schedule — but it’s not as easy to use as the Wallpapers app. If you’re ready to switch to Android, or are looking to get more from the Android phone you already own, check out our list of the best Android phones of 2021. If you’re new to Android, make sure to change these Android settings right away. Then after that, we have some helpful tips for using Android 11. 

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Set up a VPN on your phone in under 10 minutes (yes, you need one) – CNET

Yes, you need a VPN on your phone. Sarah Tew/CNET It’s finally happened. After the long pandemic year you’re back at an airport or in a coffee shop, and you desperately need to use public Wi-Fi and save your phone’s data plan, but you’re worried about connecting securely. You’ve heard about VPNs, but they seem…

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Set up a VPN on your phone in under 10 minutes (yes, you need one)     – CNET

Yes, you need a VPN on your phone.
Sarah Tew/CNET
It’s finally happened. After the long pandemic year you’re back at an airport or in a coffee shop, and you desperately need to use public Wi-Fi and save your phone’s data plan, but you’re worried about connecting securely. You’ve heard about VPNs, but they seem complicated and costly. What to do? No worries. VPNs are easier to use than you think, and most are less expensive than you might’ve heard. Here’s how to get a VPN on your iPhone or Android phone — and get back to browsing safely — in under 10 minutes. Read more: Best VPN services of 2021Why do I need to use a VPN on my phone?Are all of the internet-connected apps on your phone up-to-date and running versions that were published later than, say, 2017? How about your operating system — is it the latest version from Android or iOS? If the answer to any of those questions is “I don’t know,” then you should use a VPN on your phone if possible. It may be hard for malicious actors to take advantage of everyday users on public Wi-Fi, but outdated software can give them the opening they need in order to steal the passwords to your most sensitive accounts. If you’re concerned about the risks of using public Wi-Fi to check sensitive work email, bank account balances, or airline ticket and passport information, a VPN can offer some peace of mind. Some of our top-rated options include ExpressVPN, Surfshark and NordVPN.Read more: NordVPN vs. ExpressVPN: Speed, security and price comparedChoosing a VPN for your iPhone or Android doesn’t have to be difficult.
Sarah Tew/CNET
Choosing the best mobile VPNWhether you’re using an iPhone or an Android device, your first step is the same: find a VPN you like that’s compatible with your device. Here’s how:1. Browse CNET’s lists of the best VPNs for iPhone and best VPNs for Android. If your aim is just to browse on public Wi-Fi securely, look for a VPN service that has servers located in your current country. The general rule of thumb is the closer the hardware, the quicker the connection. 2. Avoid free VPNs. We love 30-day guarantees and 7-day trial periods (and you’ll find a lot of those), but completely free VPNs are rarely safe, and are often just a way for unseemly companies to get hold of your data. If you’re looking to invest in a VPN for the long haul, you’re going to need more than 10 minutes of research time. But when you’re ready to take a deeper dive, CNET has reviews of many of the major players in the VPN space, and a guide for how to pick the right VPN for you. 

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How to use a VPN on an Android phoneNow that you’ve chosen the VPN you want to use, follow these steps to get it up and running on your Android device: 1. Open the Google Play store app on your phone and tap the search bar at the top of the screen. 2. Type in the name of the VPN you’d like to use, and select it from the list of apps that pops up. Take a look at the app’s creator to make sure you’re downloading the official app instead of a copycat. The name of the company and app creator should match up. Click Install and wait for the app to download. 3. Once the VPN app is installed, leave the Google Play store and return to your phone’s home screen to click on the VPN app and open it. 4. The first time you open any paid VPN app, you’ll be asked to provide your login information or to sign up for the service. If you’re asked to sign up using an email address (which is the case for almost all services), be sure to check your email for a confirmation link from your new VPN provider. For all of the apps listed in CNET’s VPN directory, the process will be largely the same: You’ll be prompted to choose and pay for your preferred level of subscription. We always suggest choosing a service that has a 30-day refund policy so you can test drive services until you find the one you like. Android devices require additional steps to keep a VPN permanently running in the background. We don’t recommend this for most users — a VPN kept running around the clock will quickly run down your battery, and may force you to hit your data limit too soon if you’ve chosen a VPN provider that caps its customers’ data use. That means by default, nearly any new VPN you use will only be in operation when you open the app and turn it on. Just remember to turn it off once you’re finished browsing. Read more: Avoid these 7 Android VPN apps because of their privacy sinsHow to use a VPN on an iPhoneHere’s how to get a VPN running on your Apple iPhone: 1. On your iPhone, go to your home screen and tap to open the App Store. 2. Tap the Search tab in the bottom right-hand corner of the screen, then tap the Search box near the top of the screen. 3. Type in the name of the VPN you’ve chosen, and select it from the list that pops up. Then tap the Get button that appears to the right of the app’s name. Like with any other app, you’ll need to confirm the app installation with your passcode, Touch ID or Face ID. 4. Once your install has finished, close the App Store and go back to your Home screen. 5. Just as with using a VPN for the first time on Android, using a VPN on iPhone for the first time means you’ll be prompted to create a new account and select your preferred subscription level. Make sure to check your email inbox for any confirmation links your VPN provider sends you if you’ve signed up using an email address. Nearly all VPN apps will prompt you to connect to an automatically selected server based on your location to enable the fastest browsing. From here on out, any time you’d like to use your VPN, all you’ll need to do is tap the VPN icon on your Home screen before you start browsing the internet, click the app’s button to connect, then go back to the VPN app and turn it off once you’re finished. There, now. Didn’t I tell you it was easy? More VPN recommendations

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Alexa’s cure for listlessness: How to make and manage lists with your Amazon Echo – CNET

It’s ridiculously easy to have Alexa add items to your grocery list the moment you think about them, especially in the kitchen when your hands are full. Chris Monroe/CNET I’m positively listless without lists — pun fully intended. My brain has this weird idle mode where, barring further instruction, it will immediately dive into a…

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Alexa’s cure for listlessness: How to make and manage lists with your Amazon Echo     – CNET

It’s ridiculously easy to have Alexa add items to your grocery list the moment you think about them, especially in the kitchen when your hands are full.
Chris Monroe/CNET
I’m positively listless without lists — pun fully intended. My brain has this weird idle mode where, barring further instruction, it will immediately dive into a rabbit hole that could end in watching a video on no-glue, no-screw Japanese wood joinery. (Seriously, it’s hypnotic.) I need lists to function as an adult in society and, if the confessions of friends and family are to be believed, so do a lot of other people. Back before mobile technology became ubiquitous and affordable, I carried a pocket notebook and a pen everywhere I’d go. Then along came smartphones and, with them, notepad apps. But then, one day, I learned how to make and manage lists with Alexa, and I’ve never looked back. It’s so much more intuitive to simply vocalize a grocery item I need while scanning the kitchen cupboards or to add an idea to my holiday gift list while I’m falling asleep without even opening my eyes. But what’s even better is what I see when I open the Alexa app to peruse my lists — while I was cleaning the kitchen or dreaming or whatever, Alexa was busy organizing my lists into categories. If ideas come to you as you’re trying to fall asleep, add them to a list with Alexa without having to open up your phone.
Chris Monroe/CNET
It doesn’t matter if I told Alexa to add “ice cream” in the morning, “apples” in the afternoon and “popsicles” and “bananas” in the evening. When I open my shopping list, both ice cream and popsicles are listed under “Frozen” foods, while apples and bananas are under “Produce.” And that’s the killer feature that makes list-making with Alexa so delightful. Here’s everything you need to know to get started making your own lists with Alexa.Alexa lists 101: The basicsTo add an item to a list, just say, “Alexa, add [item] to [name of list.]” Don’t worry if you don’t have the list you asked for created yet — Alexa will take care of that too. Regardless of what order you add items to your shopping list, Alexa will organize it into categories like “Frozen” and “Produce,” for easier shopping.
Chris Monroe/CNET
For example, I just said “Alexa, add ‘crossword puzzle’ to my Sunday Funday list.” The response was, “I couldn’t find a list called ‘Sunday Funday,’ should I create one?” Of course you should, Alexa! And add “veg in front of the TV” while you’re at it.To access your lists, open the Alexa app on your phone or tablet, tap More in the lower right corner, then tap Lists & Notes near the top. You’ll see the two default lists Alexa comes with, Shopping and To-do, followed by My Lists and any lists you’ve created (like Sunday Funday).When you’re finished with a list item (you’ve placed it in your grocery cart, for example), tap the square box to the left of the item to check it off. Don’t worry — checked items don’t disappear completely. They’re simply moved to the bottom of the list, where you can uncheck them if need be.You can also say, “Alexa, check off [item] from my [name of list]” to mark off items hands-free if Alexa is nearby (you’re wearing Echo Frames, say).You can shop your grocery list at Amazon Fresh or Amazon-owned Whole Foods. 
Chris Monroe/CNET
Advanced Alexa list-making techniques
Screenshot by Dale Smith/CNET
If you scroll all the way to the bottom of your shopping list, past all the unchecked items and checked items, you’ll arrive at a section called Popular List Items. There, you can tap to your heart’s content at a positively massive list of popular grocery items — super helpful to make sure you didn’t forget anything before leaving for a grocery trip.Speaking of all those checked items — you certainly don’t want those hanging around forever, right? You can do two things with checked items: Clear them out completely or hide them (so you can unhide them again later, should you so choose).First, while looking at the list on the Alexa app, tap the three dots in the upper right corner. To clear out checked items completely, tap Clear Completed. To merely hide them, tap Hide Completed. To catch a glimpse at those items again, you’ll have to tap the three dots again, then tap Show Completed.For bonus points, either from inside that same three dots menu, or right beside the three dots at the top of your screen, you can also Share your list with others (which also allows them to add items themselves) or Turn off list sharing to revoke access to shared lists.Shop your list at Amazon or Whole Foods because of course you canThere’s also a big blue button at the top of your shopping list which, no surprises here, will search Amazon and Amazon-owned Whole Foods for your items as soon as you tap it. If Amazon Fresh is available in your area or you shop at Whole Foods anyway, go ahead and try it out. (Unfortunately, neither of those is true for me, so I’ve never tested this feature.)That’s about as complicated as it gets, which makes this feature pretty simple, even by Alexa standards. Happy listing!

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