4 days ago

AC editors' apps of the week: Google Admin, MyRoll, Vivino Wine Scanner and more

Apps of the week

These are the apps we're loving this week

Apps — we all love them, and Google Play has a ton of them. Some are good, some are great, and some are mind-bogglingly terribad. Some are even Flappy. See what we're digging this week, and give them a try. There's a good chance you'll like at least a few, and apps need love, too. Think of the apps!

As always, be sure to tell us about any great apps we need to be using. The best part of our jobs is playing with apps — especially great ones.

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4 days ago

Poll: LG G Watch R or the Moto 360?


Now that we've got not one but two round Android Wear smartwatches in play — that'd be the Moto 360 and the recently-teased LG G Watch R, it's understandable if you're suddenly having second thoughts about where your loyalties lie.

Of course, we've yet to actually see the LG G Watch R (and that name doesn't exactly roll off the tongue, if in fact it's the official moniker), or strap one on. The Moto 360, however? Been there, done that, badly wanting the final product. (Which we should see in just another week or so.)

But it's not too early to make uninformed decisions. And so we ask you: Is the prospect of the LG G Watch R starting to sway you Moto 360 faithful?

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4 days ago

Unannounced smaller Sony tablet and smartwatch get a poolside leak


Sony may have indadvertedly leaked their own unannounced smaller tablet and a new smartwatch in a promo for the unrelated Sony SmartBand. The fitness band takes the lead in all the rest of the blocks of the Facebook promo page, but in one instead you can find a small unannounced tablet and an unannounced smartwatch. Could it be the rumored Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact and an Android Wear-powered smartwatch. We'll find out more at IFA 2014 in just over a week.

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4 days ago

From the Editor's Desk: Good games trump gimmicks

Swing Copters and Sky Force 2014

It's no secret that I was never a fan of Flappy Bird. Never mind that it basically was capitalizing on people's emotions — their frustrations, really — I just never found it to be a particularly good or fun game. And now we have Swing Copters. It's very much the same idea — your copter rises precariously; you tap to change its direction and keep it on course. Or not, because you'll probably crash in the first 2 seconds. (If not sooner.)

It's not fun, but it's free. And I stopped playing it after about four tries.

Meanwhile, I've spent way too much time this past week playing Sky Force 2014. It's one of those top-down airplane(esqe) shooters that very much reminds me of Tiger Heli and Twin Cobra, both of which I spent way too much time playing as a kid. Sky Force is one of those "free to play" games in which you don't pay a thing for the game itself, and it plays just fine, but it's got a few in-app purchases available that very much will speed you on your way, and get read of the interstitial advertising if you so desire.

So far I've probably spent around $10 on this free game. And I'm still enjoying the hell out of it. Haven't regretted spending a single cent.

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4 days ago

Round 'LG G Watch R' teased ahead of IFA unveiling

LG G Watch R

Teaser video gives us the quickest of glimpses at LG's next smartwatch

We've heard rumors from the Korean press in the past week that LG may be about to unveil a new wearable at IFA 2014, and now it seems we have conclusive proof. The official LG teaser video below makes it pretty clear that the company will indeed show off a new smartwatch at the Berlin trade show in just over a week. The "LG G Watch R teaser comes to us courtesy of LG's global YouTube channel, showcasing (in super-fast, blink-and-you'll-miss-it flashes) a rounded design, a side-mounted button and features like a step counter and compass. And rounded bends, whatever that means.

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5 days ago

Coin apologizes to backers, will run a free nationwide beta


Coin has now changed course and is hoping to earn back trust from customers by offering a free nationwide beta. Yesterday we learned that Coin — the sort of physical digital that aims to replace all the other cards in your wallet — would be shipping soon in limited (and beta) form to those who backed the project. Turns out backers weren't too pleased with Coin's decision and a huge backlash of complaints followed the announcement.

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5 days ago

Why should you use Twitter?

Why Twitter hero image

This skeptic is beginning to like and use Twitter more, but why?

Let me start with a little confession: I've been a little bit of a skeptic when it comes to the "microblogging" platform Twitter. I think I just saw it as a social media platform much lamer than the likes of Facebook or Google+. After all, what can you do with a measly 140 characters, right?

I'm coming around, though, and I actually enjoy using it now. Let me share some of my reasoning with you.

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5 days ago

Mini review: The Sprint Galaxy S5 Sport

Sprint Samsung Galaxy S5 Sport

A fitness-focused fraternal twin to AT&T's Galaxy S5 Active, the Galaxy S5 Sport is a welcome addition to Sprint's lineup

Think Samsung has gotten its money's worth out of the Galaxy S5 yet? Think again. Just when you thought the company tapped all of its flagship's marketing potential, another iteration — and another sales opportunity — has entered the ring. Meet the Galaxy S5 Sport, a Sprint exclusive that custom crafts the Galaxy S5 Active, which we met earlier this summer, into a durable, everything-proof companion for your fitness-driven lifestyle.

We spent a few weeks the S5 Sport to find out where it differs, or if it differs at all, from the Galaxy S5 Active, and how it stacks up against the rest of the super-charged Android flagships sitting on Sprint shelves this summer.

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5 days ago

Best new Android apps and games of the week: Swing Copters, Fragment, and more!

Fragment for Android

We've got another week chock-full of excellent Android apps and games hitting the Google Play Store. Flappy Bird creator Dong Nguyen is back to test the outer limits of patience with his latest game, Swing Copters. The folks from Pixite have ported over their first photo app, and the results are really impressive.

We've dug up plenty more Android games and apps that have just been released, though. Dive in and get downloading!

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5 days ago

Android Fragmentation — the seemingly impossible conversation


The meaning of 'fragmentation' tends to mold to whatever the argument is, for good or bad

I'm sick of it, you're sick of it, everyone who knows much of anything about Android is sick of it. "Fragmentation" is a word that gets bandied about when it comes to Android more frequently than just about anything else. It turns out that an open source operating system installed on devices made by hundreds of manufacturers all over the world, many of which don't really care whether Google releases an update, creates an unstable ecosystem.

Who knew.

We all know the answer we want to see in response to suggestions that Android is too fragmented to be functionally compared to other platforms in the world today. It took a little while, but Google came up with an Answer. The almighty Google Play Services, a suite of apps and tools that glue multiple versions of Android together into a mostly similar experience that any manufacturer can have access to. All those manufacturers have to do is agree to play nice in Google's sandbox, and basically do whatever Google says.

And Google says that 93% of all Android devices that they monitor are using the most recent version of Google Play Services, which means even if those devices aren't using the most recent version of Android they have access to almost all of the new features Google has announced within the last year. And 93% isn't bad at all, right?

So what's the problem here?

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