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1 week ago

Slacker Radio brings the hits, hosts to Android Auto

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One of the original streaming music apps on Android is, of course, Slacker Radio. (We first started writing about it in November 2009.) And now on Android Auto, it's as much a part of this platform's future as it is its past.

Slacker — available in Google Play — dubs itself as "human-powered radio" that's "customized by you." (So the war between humans and machines continues here.) The free service is ad-supported. You can dish out $3.99 a month to listen to individual songs (sans ads), or $9.99 a month for full albums.

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1 week ago

In pictures: HTC Vive vs Samsung Gear VR vs Google Cardboard

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HTC Vive

We've been talking a lot about VR recently, and with good reason. There's a lot of exciting things happening all across this emerging tech market, and every company wants in on the action. Google's Cardboard VR initiative makes it simple and inexpensive to get a taste of the VR experience, while the HTC Vive plan to take gaming to an entirely new place later this year with SteamVR.

No one would seriously compare Cardboard to Vive, since one requires a serious gaming PC and the other works with just about every smartphone on the market, but when you look at the headsets side by side you can see how much they all have in common. Since we happened to have a Gear VR and a Google Cardboard unit with us during our last HTC Vive demo, it seemed like the perfect time to see what they look like side by side.

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1 week ago

A quick look at the Vinsic Wireless Charger

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It's slim, lightweight, and always stays lit up whether you're charging or not.

We were about due for another wireless charger review, and this time we've got our hands on the Vinsic Wireless Charger. It's a bit larger than the average charging puck, but still keeps a low profile on any desk or nightstand. Measuring in just over 6-inches in length and nearly 3.5-inches in width, it fits every device we have nicely, including the Samsung Galaxy Note 4. The entire charging pad is made of a smooth plastic that steals your fingerprints with a quickness, but is extremely lightweight — weighing in at nearly 3oz.

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1 week ago

This commercial suggests buying a Galaxy S3 ... in 2015

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Do not buy a Galaxy S3 for $250 in 2015 ...

This commercial for Total Wireless — apparently an offshoot of TracFone that you can get at Walmart — caught my eye last recently. Not because of the ridiculously awesome baby stroller. Not because I can relate with Dad Problems and feel I should offer solidarity whenever possible. No, it was at the end of the spot, when you're told "don't be oversold" and then learn about the 2.5 gigabytes of data for $35 a month.

And then you see it.

The Samsung Galaxy S3. A good phone, to be sure — when it was released in mid-2012. But not for $250 in mid-2015. There's nothing inherently wrong with these low-cost carriers. But bring your own phone. For less than $250 you can get a good Moto G. We're also fans of the ASUS ZenFone 2 and the Alcatel Idol 3 — current phones with current software and better hardware.

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1 week ago

This Galaxy S6 case doubles the battery and adds SD card support

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This Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 edge case aims to alleviate any issues you might have over battery life and lack of SD card support.

With a built-in 3,700 mAh battery as well as a built-in micro SD card slot, the Offgrid case looks like it was designed to fill the gap many think Samsung left with the Galaxy S6 when they moved to a new design. We've seen battery cases before, but the twist here is support (via USB OTG) for an SD card of up to 128 GB. Put in your SD card, pop the case on your Galaxy S6, and a flip of a switch changes from charging mode to storage mode.

Yeah, we're interested, too. We ordered one to check out — anyone else?

Buy the Incipio Offgrid case for $89.99

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1 week ago

Technology makes your workout easier to track

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Fitness apps and mobile technology have already come a long way. Now with Android Wear, they're going even further. The Wear Fitness Personal trainer is an intuitive app that actually counts your reps for you while you are mid-workout. That's not all either, this app comes packed with all the features to make your workout seamless with technology. So if you've been looking for a way to find tracking your workout easier, then we may have found the app for you.

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1 week ago

Weekend fun: 5 free and fun puzzle games

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Free puzzle games for Android

A lot of us use our Android phones for important things. Serious bizness and stuff. We need to stay in touch with our people, keep up with our calendar, listen to our boss deflate our spirit and destroy our dreams over Slack and other things that aren't nearly as fun as we want them to be. It's a necessary evil, and part of being an adult and having a job.

But there is always time to squeeze in a little fun when nobody is looking. (Don't look, Phil.) And there are plenty of games that you can play for just a few minutes at a time to get that fun injection. Whether you want a relaxing way to power through a bathroom break, or pass the time while your significant other is shopping for things you can't be bothered to care about (there's a reason they put benches in the mall), here are five great little apps that will help you pass the time.

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1 week ago

New life from leather: Does a new back make the LG G4 a new phone?

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LG G4 leather

I've been using a leather-backed phone for the better part of a year, now that I think about it. The 2014 Moto X started it all, with its Horween leather options. (And how could I not user a leather phone, right?) Plastic and metal are boring. Anyone can use those. Leather's just different. So when LG started teasing leather options on the LG G4, I knew what I'd be using.

But all leather is not created equal. And from the get-go we knew that what we had in the Moto X would not be the same as what we had in the G4. And that's not a deal-breaker by any means. Those are two very different phones. The G4 has as removable back and a number of leather options. So I figured at some point I'd be swapping things out. It was a matter of when, not if.

Two months. Not even two months, actually. That's how long it took me to spend too much money on a replacement leather back for the LG G4.

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1 week ago

This is the XShot Selfie Stick Deluxe with Bluetooth Remote

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Great for group and solo shots, this selfie stick's remote connects via Bluetooth for quick and easy capturing.

Fully extended, the XShot Selfie Stick Deluxe reaches 31-inches and collapses to a compact 8-inches — perfect for storing in a backpack, cargo pocket, or purse. If you really want to get crazy, keep it inside the fanny pack at your waist for the complete getup and embrace your awesomeness.

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1 week ago

Make sure your phone is never lost again with Wear Aware

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Wear Aware is here to save those of us who constantly are losing our phones. Whether it's putting down your phone and walking away, leaving it in the car and heading into the house, or forgetting you put it down in public, nobody likes the feeling of not being able to find their phone. That's where Wear Aware comes in, it's here to make sure you never walk away from your phone — and it doesn't walk away from you.

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1 week ago

Amazon Echo adds more sports scores

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The folks at Amazon continue to add small but cool new features to its Amazon Echo connected smart speaker. The company has sent out word that users can now ask, and receive, the latest sports scores and team schedules from the WNBA women's basketball league. They can also ask to listen to live concerts and events via TuneIn.

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1 week ago

Hands-on and first impressions with the Oppo R7

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Oppo R7

Chinese phone makers — Oppo included — are really starting to get their collective games together and are making stuff worth noticing.

The R7 is one of its latest, and while it's not targeting the absolute highest of the high end, it's wrapped up in a very premium looking — and feeling — package.

Here are our first impressions.

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1 week ago

Android Central 245: All Things Virtual

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Audio-only stream below

This week we dive deep into the Matrix and discuss the state of virtual reality and Android, and where things stand going forward. And that includes Russell's interview and Google Cardboard demo with the one and only Bill Nye The Science Guy!

Plus: Motorola and OnePlus have launches on the horizon, and we answer more of your questions live!

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1 week ago

Boost Mobile launches the Boost MAX+ by ZTE for $200

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If you're looking for a large device without a hefty price tag, Boost Mobile's latest offering might be worth a gander. Following up on last year's Boost MAX, Boost Mobile has launched the 5.7-inch Boost MAX+ by ZTE for a cool $200.

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1 week ago

How to edit your pictures in Google Photos on Android and the web

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How to edit your pictures in Google Photos on Android and the web

Google Photos has turned into a wonderful repository for every photo you take, and also works as a nice stand-in gallery replacement app on many phones. A gallery app isn't just about holding photos though, it's also about editing pictures before sharing them out anywhere you want.

Astute Google Photos users will recognize its editing powers aren't as strong as those found in Google+ previously or in many favorite editing apps, but that doesn't mean there isn't value to be had from making quick edits in Photos. Let us show you how.

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