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1 week ago

You won't want to miss these huge savings on Nova Launcher Prime

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Do you own Nova Launcher Prime already? No? Well, fix that now, because Nova Launcher's premium version is on sale for 99 cents!

It's one of our favorite theming launchers. It's one of our favorite launchers period. It's one of our readers' favorite launchers. And while there's a lot you can do in Nova without ponying up for Prime, there's absolutely no reason not to do it when it's 80% off like this.

Almost all of our home screen themes are written for Nova Launcher, and we have a wonderful in-depth look at Nova Launcher's settings. Nova's also one of the most popular launchers around, so if you need help, you'll likely be able to find it in our forums, on social media, or in Nova's own communities.

So what are you waiting for? Go get your Prime on!

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1 week ago

OnePlus 3 vs. OnePlus 2: Getting better every year

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OnePlus 3 and OnePlus 2

Any time a new flagship comes out, it's great to get some perspective on where we came from.

In the case of the OnePlus 2 and the OnePlus 3, the old adage of "the more things change, the more they stay the same" rings true. In the last year, the same basic formula is at play here in terms of size, internal specs and overall quality of experience — but with just a handful of important tweaks make the OnePlus 3 much more desirable than its predecessor.

So after a year of using the OnePlus 2, how does the OnePlus 3 stack up as a replacement? We're here to handle that question.

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1 week ago

This is the lowest price we've seen for an unlocked BlackBerry Priv!

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If you have been waiting for the price to drop below $300 to pick up a BlackBerry Priv, your time has come. Right now, you can pick one up at eBay for just $299, which is the lowest we have seen it yet.

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1 week ago

Tumblr joins the rush to offer live video streaming support

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The micro-blogging service Tumblr is the latest to join the trend of offering live video streaming support for its audience. The new feature will roll out later today.

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1 week ago

Instagram is now used by 500 million people

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Instagram has announced that the popular social network is now used by 500 million people, and that a majority of those folks access it every day.

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1 week ago

Misfit Speedo Shine 2 will track your swimming stats and more for $120

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Misfit has introduced the Speedo Shine 2, its second-generation swim tracking wearable. It will allow swimmers to track steps, sleep and all the normal stuff as well as laps and other swimming related activities. On the outside it looks and feels just like a Shine 2, which it is with some additional functionality on the software side. This time around, Misfit is allowing owners of the Shine 2 and Ray to unlock the swim tracking portion with an in-app purchase of $9.99.

The Speedo Shine 2 retails for $119 and comes only in a silver version. It will include the tracker, a black sport band, white sport band with action clip, and a clasp. If swimming is something you take seriously, this is the tracker that you will want to make sure you are wearing in the pool.

See at Misfit

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1 week ago

How to take better photos with your Android phone

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How to take better photos with your Android phone

Take your Android photography to the next level with these tips and tricks for capturing masterpieces with your smartphone.

Many Android phones come with a high-quality camera designed to capture your subject's tiniest details and features, and while they're not technically on the same level as a DSLR camera, you can still take the perfect picture with just your phone if you know how to use it. Even if you're a beginner, you can quickly learn how to capture amazing photos with your Android phone (and if you actually are a beginner, be sure to check out our top 10 Android photography tips for beginners!)

Here are some helpful tricks to help you take better photos with your Android device!

Explore your camera settings

Get acquainted with your phone and all the camera settings before you start shooting, and you'll feel a lot more comfortable capturing your shots!

While shooting from your phone's stock camera is great for 99.9% of pictures — especially if you've got a recent Samsung, LG or HTC phone — playing around with the various modes and settings can really allow you to experiment and get creative.

Make sure your lens is clean

OnePlus 3 lensWhile this may seem like an obvious one, cleaning your phone lens can be a lot harder to remember than cleaning your DSLR lens. After all, there's no lens cap protecting your Android phone's camera from dirt and scratches like professional cameras have.

Carrying around a small lens cleaning cloth, or even having small micro fiber lens cleaning patches stitched to the inside of your purse or your jacket are simple ways to remind you to clean your phone lens and screen, so you're always ready to take the clearest shots with your phone.

Or just use your shirt.

Don't forget to clean your front lens, too! We break down how important cleaning your lenses can be in our top 8 tips to make you an Android photography expert.

Forget the flash: use external lighting

FlashDon't bother with the flash

When it's dark outside, it's a knee-jerk reaction to turn on the flash to light up your photos, but it's not always the best for picture quality. In fact, we'll go one further: Don't bother using your flash. Nearly ever.

Always try to find a natural light source when you're shooting your photos. If you're at a restaurant and want to snap a picture of your meal, try to get a seat by a window, so you can capture all the meal's details with the perfect lighting. If you're looking to take a selfie, try posing in front of a big window. This won't only make your face and features light up – even on a cloudy day – but it will darken the background and make you the center of attention.

If it's absolutely impossible to capture your picture without natural lighting (and sometimes that's the case), try your best to find another external light source, like a lamp or even a candle. While it may seem silly, almost any other lighting will look better than the flash, especially since you then have more control of what you choose to light and highlight in your photographs.

Crop, don't zoom

Just like your Android phone's flash, zoom is another readily available option for phoneographers that should be avoided like the photographic plague.

Zoom can lower the quality of your pictures, and you might actually be cutting out something you didn't notice in the photo that you may find amazing when you glance at the picture during editing.

It's hard to remember when you're shooting, but your Android device is not the same as a DSLR camera: you can't just zoom in on something and have the quality stay virtually the same. A lot of professional photographers avoid the zoom altogether and prefer to crop strategically in the editing process afterwards, so they don't miss out on anything they captured in the picture.

If you really need to get in close with your subject, pick yourself up and physically move closer to it rather than using your zoom. This is the best way to get creative control over your photo subject without using zoom to mess up the picture's overall quality.

Burst first, ask questions later

Bursting may seem like a lazy way to take pictures, but it's probably the most efficient way to capture your perfect shot!

Whether it be selfies, landscapes, or a masterpiece of a meal, using burst is a great way to take a bunch of photos without stress: just hold down the shutter button and your phone will take rapid-fire shots that you can browse through later to find the perfect one.

While a bunch of the pictures you take with burst will be terrible and totally unusable, there are bound to be a few gems hiding in there. Take the time to go through your burst shots and pick out the best ones, and always remember to delete the bad burst photos so they don't take up space on your phone.

Find a favorite photography editing app

SnapseedSnapseed is a popular editor.

After you're done shooting, you're going to want to up your photo game by editing your pictures with your favorite editing app.

There are plenty of photo editing apps to choose from out there, and all of them do their own unique things like overlay certain filters, allow you to edit brightness and contrast, and even add text or stickers to your photos.

Photo editing apps are also a great tool to have if you're not confident with the photos you've taken. You can even salvage some photographs through a little bit of editing and tweaking if you're worried about quality.

Follow your favorite photographers on social media

Sometimes taking the best pictures with your Android phone doesn't start with your camera app; it starts with a quick visit to social media to get motivated from Android phone photographers who are already taking beautiful pictures!

Following some of your favorite photographers on social media is an amazing way to get ideas, see what kind of art other people are creating, and get motivated to go out and start shooting. Some may even respond in the comments if you ask them how they shot a certain subject in a certain style or how they managed to edit a specific photograph to look a certain way.

Creep around the discover page on Instagram and see what other Android phone photographers have shot. Start by mimicking a style you're fond of, and it will eventually evolve into your own.

Some photographers on social media even share their own tips and tricks for shooting, so be sure to check out a bunch of different profiles for inspiration.

Your turn

Are there any tips and tricks for shooting amazing photos with your Android phone that we may have missed? Let us know in the comments below.

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1 week ago

Twitter videos can now be 140 seconds long

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Twitter is now allowing anyone to upload longer videos to their accounts. The new video length limit is 140 seconds, compared to the older limit of 30 seconds. Twitter's sister app Vine is beta testing a way to upload videos up to 140 seconds as well.

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1 week ago

Quick comparison: Honor 5C versus Honor 5X

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Honor 5C

How does the Honor 5X stack up against its big brother?

With the announcement of the Honor 5C, the Huawei-owned brand brings its best affordable phone yet to market. But it's been a mere six months since the arrival of the Honor 5X, a similarly specced handset at a comparable price point. The main differences on the surface: A larger 5.5-inch screen from the 5X, a faster, more efficient CPU in the 5X, and the bonus of NFC capability in the 5C.

Check below for a quick breakdown of how the two compare, and some side-by-side pics for good measure.

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1 week ago

China's Tencent will buy Clash of Clans developer Supercell for $8.6 billion

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China-based internet giant Tencent Holdings will join partners to pay $8.6 billion to purchase an 84.3% stake in Supercell, the Finnish developer responsible for titles including Clash of Clans. As reported by The Wall Street Journal, the developer is valued at $10.2 billion and is the latest investment by Tencent who also owns Riot, developer of massively-popular League of Legends.

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1 week ago

Samsung launches the Galaxy Tab A 10.1 2016 in South Korea

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Samsung has launched the Galaxy Tab A 10.1 2016 in its home market, with the tablet available in Wi-Fi and LTE-enabled variants. The Wi-Fi-only model will retail for 359,000 won ($310), whereas the LTE version will debut at 399,000 won ($345). The tablet will make its way to Europe, where the Wi-Fi model will sell for €289 and the LTE variant for €349.

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1 week ago

How to use Google Docs or Sheets offline on Android

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How to use Google Docs or Sheets offline on Android

This is how you use Google Docs or Sheets offline on Android.

Google Docs and Sheets are fantastic office tools that come free for all Google users. You can access your files across platforms thanks to Google Drive, and you can edit your files offline on your Android device. Make all new files available offline, and make individual older files available offline. Here's how.

How to make all new Google files available offline on Android

  1. Launch the Docs or Sheets app from your home screen or app drawer.
  2. Tap the menu button in the top left of your screen. It looks like ☰.
  3. Tap Settings.
  4. Tap the slider next to the Offline row so that it is blue (on). This will ensure new documents or sheets you create are available offline.

    Tap the menu button. Tap Settings. Tap the slider so it turns to blue (on).

How to make older Google files available offline on Android

  1. Launch the Docs or Sheets app from your home screen or app tray.
  2. Tap an older document you'd like to make available offline.
  3. Tap the menu button in the top right corner of the screen. It looks like three stacked dots.
  4. Tap the slider next to the Available offline row so that it is blue (on). This document is now available offline.

    Tap an older document. Tap the menu button. Tap the slider so that it turns blue (on).

Each older document must be given offline privileges — there is no all-encompassing offline switch for older documents.

How do you use Google Docs and Sheets?

Have you taken advantage of the ability to use Google Docs and Sheets offline? Let us know in the comments section below!

Android Marshmallow

Android Marshmallow

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1 week ago

Ultimate Ears' Boom 2 and Megaboom pick up Google Now integration

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Ultimate Ears is rolling out a firmware update to the UE Boom 2 and Megaboom that brings Google Now and Siri integration to the Bluetooth speakers. With the update, you can press the Bluetooth button and ask Google Now to play music, check the weather, search for nearby restaurants, and much more.

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1 week ago

Best Micro-USB cables

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Best Micro-USB cable

Wherein we help you pick a great Micro-USB cable.

Whether you have a smartphone, tablet or wearable, odds are that you've got a Micro-USB cable (or three) laying around. They're ubiquitous. Just in case you don't, here are some of our favorites.

EZOPower Micro-USB cable

EZOPower Micro-USB cable

If you need a longer yet inexpensive Micro-USB cable, the EZOPower Micro-USB cable works very well.

It's 6 feet long, so you have plenty of length to play with, whether you're charging your phone in your car or at home. With charging speeds of 2.1A, you'll top up your battery in no time at all.

Additionally, with its data transfer rate of 480Mbps, you can sync music or other files from your computer to your phone in seconds.

See at Amazon

ReTrak Premier Series Retractable Micro-USB cable

ReTrak Retractable Micro-USB Cable

If you're tired of dealing with messy cables while traveling, the ReTrak Retractable Micro-USB cable may be the one for you.

Available in black and seven bright colors, this Micro-USB cable retracts neatly into a small case — forget about wasting time winding and unwinding cables — a light tug pulls the cable into its casing. When expanded, this Micro-USB cable reaches a length of 3.2 feet in total.

Also, it has a transfer speed of 480Mbps, so you can sync music, pictures, or anything else from your computer to your phone in no time at all.

See at Amazon

Anker 10-foot Nylon Braided Micro-USB cable

Anker 10-foot-Braided-Nylon-Micro-USB cable

Anker's 10-foot Nylon Braided Micro-USB cable is a good choice if you have limited power outlets in a large room and you need the reach.

Constructed of braided nylon, this cable is strong, durable, and resists tangling. Anker claims that this cable has a lifespan of more than 4,000 bends, and customer reviews seem to back this up. Its gold-plated connectors aid in resisting corrosion as well.

Another benefit of this cable is that it gives you a 480Mbps data transfer speed, as well as fast charging.

If you want a durable, extra-long Micro-USB cable that's fast, the Anker 10-foot Nylon Braided Micro-USB cable is the one for you.

See at Amazon

Monoprice Premium Micro-USB cable

Monoprice Premium Micro-USB cable

The Monoprice Premium Micro-USB cable is well-rated by consumers for its durability and speed.

Sheathed in polycarbonate housing, its gold-plated connectors resist corrosion, and are durable besides. The housing is also slim, making this cable easy to use in tight spaces and easy to store as well.

Additionally, its 28/23 AWG wire means that it will charge up your device quickly because of its wider diameter — and with 6 feet of cable, you'll have enough play to connect your phone, whether you're in your bedroom, living room, or in the car.

If you're looking for a longer Micro-USB cable that's long-lasting, capable of fast charging speeds, and has a slimmer form factor, look no further than the Monoprice Premium Micro-USB cable.

See at Amazon

Anker PowerLine Micro-USB cable

Anker PowerLine Micro-USB cable

The Anker PowerLine Micro-USB cable is rated highly by consumers because it is very durable and performs its job well.

Made of Kevlar — the same stuff that bulletproof vests are made from — this cable isn't going to fray or otherwise break down any time soon. In fact, Anker boasts that it has a 10,000 bend lifespan, which customer reviews appear to confirm.

Additionally, its heavier-gauge wires are able to charge your device fast.

If you're looking for an inexpensive Micro-USB cable that will last for years without fraying and coming apart at the ends, the Anker PowerLine Micro-USB cable might be your best choice.

See at Amazon

And you?

We've laid out our picks for best Micro-USB cables, but how about you? What Micro-USB cables are you using and why are they awesome? Let us know in the comments below.

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1 week ago

Sony Xperia X, X Performance, XA, and XA Ultra now up for pre-order in the U.S.

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The Sony Xperia X series of phones will make their debut in the U.S. starting June 26, and are now up for pre-order. Unlocked editions of the Xperia X, X Performance, XA, and XA Ultra are available from Best Buy and B&H Photo.

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