Every other Wednesday, the Essential team takes to Reddit to hold an AMA to answer any and all burning questions that people have about the company and its products. The most recent one was held on November 29, and as per usual, there's a lot to talk about.
For starters, Essential confirmed that a portrait mode is now available for its phone as an update for the camera app through the Play Store. In addition to this highly-requested feature, the update also includes better compression of JPEG shots and other general bug fixes and stability tweaks.
Speaking of software, an update to the existing 8.0 Oreo beta should be rolling out next week with improvements to Bluetooth performance, battery, and touch latency/choppy scrolling through the UI. Android 8.1 is also in the works, but Essential says it'll likely just push this out as a regular update without first running it through a beta.
Moving on to the hardware side of things –
- The Stellar Gray version of the Essential Phone should be available at some point before 2017 is over, but there's still no ETA for the Ocean Depth variant
- Essential is still working on the charging dock accessory, and along with sharing a couple hands-on photos of it, the company says that the final build was recently completed and that the price will be under $100
- When talking about reparability concerns that popped up for the Essential Phone, we got confirmation that a 2nd gen version of the device is in the works ("We are focusing on reparability for the next generation phone)
Lastly, while Essential didn't exactly address the recent allegations against Founder and CEO Andy Rubin, it did confirm that support for the existing PH-1 would continue on as per usual –
We absolutely will be continuing to support the PH-1 device including security patches, more camera features and additional worldwide carrier support throughout the lifecycle of the PH-1 device. We still have plenty of work, continued release milestones on the roadmap, and new features we want to deliver from the great feedback we get in these AMAs. We are looking forward to supporting you guys for a long time.
Those are the biggest highlights from this last AMA, but if you want to read the full thing for yourself, you can check it out here.
We may earn a commission for purchases using our links. Learn more.
Luna is both a safe bet and Amazon's best idea in years
Is "rolling your own" Netflix-style game library what we really want? Amazon thinks so.
Google's parent company settles shareholder lawsuit over sexual misconduct
Following sexual misconduct reports from 2018, Google has settled a shareholder lawsuit and announced major changes to how the company operates in these regards — including no severance packages for employees fired over sexual misconduct.
Pixel 5 and Pixel 4a 5G won’t launch until weeks after September 30 event
Google’s announcing its new Pixel phones, the Pixel 5 and Pixel 4a 5G, on September 30. Unfortunately, you’ll have to wait a while longer before they actually launch.
These are the best rugged Android phones
Living the rough and tumble life? Get yourself a smartphone that can handle everything you throw at it — or throw your phone at.