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Essential discusses its next phone, Andy Rubin, Oreo, and Portrait Mode in Reddit AMA

Some of the folks from Essential took part in a Reddit Ask Me Anything thread yesterday to weigh in on a number of subjects — check out the highlights here.

Published onNovember 30, 2017

Essential’s Andy Rubin was revealed to be taking a break from Essential yesterday in the wake of a report regarding an “inappropriate relationship” he was alleged to have had while at Google. Though there must be a lot going on at the company currently, Essential continued with its bi-weekly Reddit “Ask Me Anything” threads yesterday where the team weighed in on a variety of topics.

Firstly, they did touch on Rubin’s absence, simply stating that it was “business as usual” at Essential. Naturally, Essential wasn’t going to leave it up to the hardware and software engineers to deliver any broader messages on that topic, so, for now, we’re still in the dark as to how long Rubin will be away for. The company also briefly mentioned its next smartphone — though whether this materializes isn’t exactly a certainty at this point.

Andy Rubin taking leave from Essential in wake of "inappropriate relationship" report

“We are focusing on reparability for the next generation phone,” said Essential, something that is believed to be a particular concern for the current device. “The iFixit article was a bit misleading in its approach for repair and oddly [iFixtit was] briefed on repair procedures but still tried to go through the back.”

This relates to the iFixit teardown where the company awarded the phone a 1 out of 10 in terms of repairability. The report couldn’t have been that misleading, though… right? I mean, the company just admitted it wants to improve this aspect of its next device. Google’s recent “there’s bugger-all wrong with the Pixel 2 XL display but we’re fixing it anyway” strategy springs to mind (that’s not a direct quote, by the way).

Meanwhile, Essential also said that a portrait mode would be rolling out to its camera app soon — a feature we’ve seen on a number of Android devices this year — along with “added exposure compensation for all regular camera modes” and “reduced JPEG compression to improve image quality.” You can download the latest version of the Essential Camera app, which includes the aforementioned updates, at the Play Store via the previous link.

Finally, Essential said that the second beta build of its Oreo software would be available at the official website “next week.” This, they said, would include “general fixes in Bluetooth performance, improved battery, and general stability improvements.”

You can read the full Reddit AMA here.

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