Features

Essential on getting Android Pie out on first day: ‘It’s the right thing to do’

You also have to be ‘scrappy and motivated’

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Essential, the makers of the Essential Phone, did what most smartphone manufactures (outside of Google) can only dream of doing: roll out the latest version of Android on the same day it’s officially announced.

On the surface, Essential may look like a struggling startup with little financial success and a bunch of products to get rid off, but deep inside, there’s a lot of hard work to be found.

That was the main ingredient to this minor (or major, depending on how you see it) victory which saw the Essential Phone receive Android Pie at the same time as Google’s own Pixel phones.

The company’s blog caught up with the engineering team shortly after securing the achievement.

When asked why it’s so important for Essential to release timely software updates, Program Manager Ron Cheung said that “Essential is showing that if you’re scrappy and motivated, you can get the latest dessert release on the same day Google releases it to the public.”

Jacin Ferreira, Quality Assurance Manager for Essential, put it more simply: “Because it’s the right thing to do for our customers. Our customer base is extremely important to us. And to show that companies — no matter how big or small — can keep your phone updated if they make it a priority.

Definitely the right attitude for any brand that’s out to please customers through extensive after-sales support, although it’s important to note that Essential does have only one phone in its arsenal. Other manufacturers have hundreds of devices to support at once, ultimately slowing down the distribution process.

Also, because Essential is such a small team, they admit that “there isn’t a lot of back and forth between multiple teams to bring this all together.”

Whatever the case, the Essential Phone is garnering an unlikely cult following because of the strong software support for a product that is no longer in premium pricing territory. With no successor in sight, the fan base for this one phone could last a while, especially if the monthly updates keep coming in.

Features

Her story: Shyama Golden

On childhood memories and creating work that make people more involved

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Shyama Golden is a visual artist from Brooklyn, New York. She was born in Texas, but also lived in New Zealand and Sri Lanka, where her family is originally from. These influences didn’t start coming out in her work until she became more distanced from them. “Sometimes you have to be taken out of an environment to realize what was special about it,” she notes.

The huge painting in her living room called Road Trip was inspired by both her Sri Lankan background and growing up in Texas. Central to the painting is a yakka, a demon character in Sri Lankan folklore that performs exorcism rituals to cure people of their ailments. Shyama says the rituals are something that people have been doing for thousands of years, although they are much less common now — almost like a dying art. In a way, she hopes to resurrect that through the piece.

Shyama draws inspiration everywhere — from distant sources, to forgotten artists, to old books, to obscure references — but so much of her work also reflects her own childhood memories.

“Sometimes you have to be taken out of an environment to realize what was special about it.”

Catsquatch is a collaboration between her and her husband. She did a large painting for it, but it’s also a children’s storybook that they wrote together — a story of house cats running away from home, yearning independence.

Her memory of seeing stray cats wandering everywhere while living in Sri Lanka is also evident in a portrait of the younger versions of her mom and her aunt.

The most notable facet of her body of work, however, isn’t their size or the presence of felines, but the number of digital portraits of women of color she’s drawn over the years.

From flat, minimalist digital work as a graphic designer, having the iPad Pro and Apple Pencil has allowed her to create work that still looks like an oil painting but at a much faster pace.

“What the iPad did is allow me to keep my style. It was really helpful to me because over two years I was able to output what used to take me 5-6 years,” says Shyama.

Among the portraits that she’s done, her favorite is the one of Indian author and activist Arundhati Roy for The Atlantic. She says she liked working on it because it tells a story within the portrait, “beyond just the face, it actually has a whole narrative to it.”

She also uses the iPad to do studies and mockups of what she intends to be a physical work. Initially drawn on Procreate using its symmetry feature, The Feminine Mirage uses a custom panel and a mirror to convey myths perpetuated by different social constructs. Although extremely challenging and time-consuming, she enjoys working on pieces that have a presence in the physical world but are still interactive as they make people more involved.

Her story: Shyama Golden

Shyama Golden is a visual artist whose memories of growing up in Texas and Sri Lanka are evident influences in a number of paintings that she's done. Most notable of her body of work, however, are theportraits of women of color she's drawn over the years using the iPad Pro and the Apple Pencil. This is her story.

Posted by Her GadgetMatch on Friday, 27 March 2020


Her story is a series featuring women we admire from a wide array of cultures and industries — women who excel and work hard at honing their craft by using the tools and technology they have at their disposal. They tell stories of their journey through life, their influences and dreams, their unique experiences, and how they navigate the modern world.

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Hands-On

Huawei P40 Pro Unboxing and Complete Hands-On

‘Visionary Photography’

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Everything you need to know about the new Huawei P40 Series. Yep there are 3 phones this year, the P40, P40 Pro and P40 Pro+. Yep a pro plus model!

In this video you get a P40 Pro Unboxing, Hands-On, some photo samples, and a camera comparison vs the P30 Pro.

Of course I’ll also answer you questions: What’s new? How is the P40 Pro’s camera vs the P30 Pro, and what’s it like without Google Play Services? And while you’ll have to wait for my full review for a verdict, I’ll try to answer the question, Is it your GadgetMatch?

Watch our Hands-On video.

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Dating

How to quench your thirst for dating in the time of social distancing

Combat that craving for someone’s affection!

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After self-isolating myself for more than two weeks already, I found myself on the verge of insanity. In true Britney Spears fashion, “My loneliness is killing me.”

But there’s a silver lining in this adversity. When we’re forced to do social distancing, there are ways you can cope with badly craving someone’s attention. Here’s how you can quench that thirst for dating or seeing your person.

Set aside time for your hobbies

This enforced social distancing has made a lot of people realize they don’t have much of a hobby. It’s time to rebuild yourself and realize hobbies are building blocks of your personality — a much-needed ingredient in dating.

Imagine being in a relationship with someone who doesn’t have any hobby except talking to you and making you their world? That’s a recipe for disaster; a gateway to a co-dependent, toxic, and potentially abusive relationship.

Now’s the time to do something else. You can create art, put together a collage using your old magazines, start journaling, or dabble in crafting. If you have an instrument, you can start playing music again. Have some books you hoarded from the last book sale? It’s time to read them.

There are a lot of things you can do, so set aside time for your interests. Your future self and your future partner will thank you.

Learn something new to develop yourself

Ever since I met my beau, I had this dream of becoming a trophy house husband. In my quest to achieving this silly fantasy, I’ve been learning stuff that my future self will thank me for, even if I don’t end up marrying the person I’m seeing.

Photo by Kevin McCutcheon

I’ve opened up cookbooks to learn and try new recipes, so I can make my person some homemade lunch with love when this is all over. I’m also getting into gardening, tarot reading, and most recently, making smoothies while dancing.

With all this extra time we used to spend on traffic, we now have time to do things we need to improve ourselves. Take advantage of this instead of overthinking your crush’s messages to you.

Level up your conversations

If you’re already seeing someone ~and you badly miss them~, it’s time to level up your conversations. Gone are the days you slide into their DMs, chat them on messaging apps, or send them an SMS (really?). It’s time to do video calls and voice calls, or start sending voice messages.

Conversing through the usual messaging and social apps just don’t carry the same level of emotional depth versus a face-to-face encounter. However, hearing or seeing them even through your smartphone’s screen is enough to make you swoon and fall for them again. Nothing beats the calmness your person’s face or voice gives especially on an exhausting, trying situation.

Also, connecting through video and voice calls is just a better way to communicate. You can clarify stuff easily, and there’s a lesser chance of misunderstanding because you can see and hear their tone and reactions. If you have a friend who’s in a long-distance relationship, ask them for some advice. This social distancing situation is a piece of cake for them!

Swipe around

If you don’t have anyone to obsess over, it’s high time you download dating apps (if you haven’t already). For a limited time, Tinder is offering its premium service for free. Set up your dating profiles, and start swiping!

Just make sure to never meet any potential matches until this is all over. Remember, social distancing is a must and you can’t self-quarantine yourself with another person while on lockdown. Behave properly and just chat sexily! You can start with getting to know the other person (especially their political inclinations so you know what you’re getting into).

Keep yourself healthy and well-sanitized

During a pandemic, it’s a must to keep yourself healthy. While there are no ways you can rapidly boost your immune system, it’s still a good practice to eat healthy food and sanitize yourself properly — something that everyone should’ve been doing whether there’s no outbreak.

Additionally, maintaining proper hygiene is a plus in anyone’s book. It’s definitely a turn on for the person you’re dating. Make sure to wash your hands the right way!

Photo by Jana Sabeth

Last but not the least, don’t forget to drink your water. When you drink a gallon of water, you won’t have time to listen to people’s drama and cater to your negative thoughts because you’ll be busy peeing. Stay hydrated, my dear friends!

SEE ALSO: How to disinfect your tech from the coronavirus | Coronavirus porn is trending on Pornhub | Here’s where you can donate to the COVID-19 outbreak efforts | 4 ways you can use TikTok to help during the COVID-19 crisis


As general rules, the CDC or The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention listed these to help with preventing the spread of COVID-19:

  • Stay home when sick
  • Cover coughs and sneezes
  • Frequently wash hands with soap and water
  • Clean frequently touched surfaces

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