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2 weeks ago

Best Accessories for Moto G5 Plus

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What are some of the best accessories available for the Moto G5 Plus?

Motorola's latest budget phone, the Moto G5 Plus, is shaping up to be quite the successor to the Moto G4. It's faster, shinier, and equipped with an improved rear-facing camera.

You'll want to take advantage of everything the Moto G5 Plus can do, including procuring accessories that can make life with your new mid-range mobile device more dynamic. Here are a few accessories to consider equipping yourself with for future adventures with the Moto G5 Plus.

Incipio NGP case

If you're looking for a lightweight rugged case, Incipio's NGP case is the right voice for you.

Featuring a textured back and bumper to ensure you maintain a solid grip, this one-piece polymer case is designed with enhanced drop protection — you'll notice the honeycombed interior which helps to disperse the shock when your phone inevitably hits a table or floor.

Precise cutouts means you'll have full access to the charging port and headphone jack as well as the volume and power button on the side.

Choose between black and berry pink and keep your Moto G5 Plus protected!

See at Incipio

LK Screen Protector (3-pack)

Planning to go bare with your Moto G5 Plus? At least consider a screen protector to shield its 5.2-inch LCD display. This three-pack of oleophobic screen protectors are precisely cut to fit the Moto G5 Plus. They're made from 9H tempered glass and are both scratch-resistant and shatterproof. Each protector is easy to apply and LK offers a lifetime replacement warranty should things go awry.

See at Amazon

iXCC USB Car charger

Get this Qualcomm Quick Charge-certified car charger for your next adventure on the road with the Moto G5 Plus in tow. This affordable package comes with a 3-foot Micro-USB cable, though you can grab another if you need something longer. The charger also comes with a two-year manufacturer's warranty.

The charger itself can charge any Quick Charge 2.0-compatible device. It also features built-in safeguards to help protect any device from overheating and overcharging.

See at Amazon

Raki 3-in-1 clip-on camera lens

The Moto G5 Plus's 12-megapixel rear-facing camera is actually quite capable, but you can take even more dynamic photography with a clip-on camera lens, like the affordable Raki 3-in-1 camera lens.

This multi-use concoction features an 180-degree Fisheye lens, a wide-angle lens, and a macro lens. It comes in four different colors, too, so you can get one that matches the color of your Moto G5 Plus. Best of all, the clip-on is compatible with any smartphone, so if you switch devices in the future you won't have switch clip-on camera lenses.

See at Amazon

Anker Waterproof Case

You'll inevitably come across a body of water in your adventures with your smartphone, even if that water is just in your bathtub. Keep the Moto G5 Plus's water-repellent nanocoating safe from deep water with this pouch from Anker. It's rated IPX8 for water resistance, which means it works in up to 100 feet of water. You can still use the touchscreen and the camera while it's inside the pouch, too, and it comes with a handy neck strap so your phone won't float away.

See at Amazon

Maono Selfie Stick

Yep. We're suggesting you purchase a selfie stick, but not just any selfie stick. This one is both a stick for extending the Moto G5 Plus in front of you for selfies and a tripod for keeping still for landscape shots and self-timed panoramas. It's also made of metal and features a programmable Bluetooth remote. And since there are no circuits inside the selfie stick, it's verifiably rainproof.

See at Amazon

Moto G5

See at Amazon

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2 weeks ago

How to manage existing albums, and create new albums with Google Photos

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Google Photos puts control of your photos in your own hands.

Google Photos makes accessing and sharing your photos from one place easier than ever. That isn't all it's here to do here, it also works very hard to organize all of your photos into albums, and easily manage who can see which photos. These albums let you easily share important moments with friends, as well as keeping more private moments for your eyes only.

Create a new album

Albums help to keep all your photos organized. Some folks like to save albums of specific events so they can find all the photos from their last family gathering, while others prefer to have larger albums that encompass entire seasons or years. It doesn't matter how you prefer to organize your photos, so long as you know how to create an album when you need it. While Google does a good job automatically arranging your photos, these are mostly by date which can make it difficult to find the specific photo you are looking for. When you create a new album, you'll see the dates of photos in it, along with other pertinent info.

  1. Open Google Photos.
  2. Tap the overflow icon that looks like three vertical dots in the upper right corner of your screen.
  3. Tap Album.

  4. Choose the photos you want in your new album by tapping on them.
  5. Tap Create in the upper right corner of your screen.
  6. Give your album a name.

Create a shared album

Shared albums are a unique feature that easily allows you to share your photo with anyone of your choice. When you create these albums, you get to decide who else has access to them. Creation is nearly identical to a normal album, save for the part where you share them with other people.

  1. Open Google Photos.
  2. Tap the overflow icon that looks like three vertical dots in the upper right corner of your screen.
  3. Tap shared album.

  4. Choose the photos you want in your new shared album by tapping on them.
  5. Tap Next in the upper right corner of your screen.
  6. Give your album a name.

  7. Tap Share in the upper right hand corner of your screen
  8. Choose who or where you'd like to share the album.
  9. Tap Send to invite people to view your album.

Add photos to a shared album

For some shared albums, you may want to add more photos to them as time pass. When you do need to add new content to the albums you have shared with friends and family, it's a very easy process. Additionally, every person that you have shared an album with can choose to receive notifications when you add new photos to this album.

  1. Open Google Photos.
  2. Tap the album icon at the bottom right of your screen.
  3. Tap Shared to open all shared albums.

  4. Tap on the shared album you want to add photos to.
  5. Tap the photo icon at the upper right of your screen.
  6. Tap the **photos you wish to add to the album.
  7. Tap Done in the upper right corner of your screen**.

Remove access to a shared album

There are times during which you may end up cutting ties with folks who have access to certain albums. If this happens, or you want to remove someone's access to a shared album, it's a very easy process. This means that no matter who you have shared your photos with, you can revoke that access. This is just another way that Google puts control over your photos directly into your hands. Just remember that you are deleting the shared album and revoking access to everyone who has access to it. Don't get scared though, because all of those photos will still be available from within the app.

  1. Open Google Photos.
  2. Tap the album icon at the bottom right of your screen.
  3. Tap Shared to open all shared albums.

  4. Tap the overflow icon that looks like three vertical dots to the right of the album you want to revoke access to.
  5. Tap Delete share.

Adjust the sharing settings for shared albums

While sharing an album is quite easy to do, it isn't just a one click option. You get to decide how much control the folks you share your albums with get when they see your photos. You can access a link to share photos with, allow other users to add photos to the album, and lets others comment on your photos. You can also see every person who has access to view the photos in this album, and block them if you want to keep the album but remove access for a single person.

  1. Open Google Photos.
  2. Tap the album icon at the bottom right of your screen.
  3. Tap Shared to open all shared albums.

  4. Tap the overflow icon in the upper right corner of the screen.
  5. Tap Sharing options.
  6. Use the toggle switch to allow others to add photos to this album.

  7. Use the toggle switch to allow others to comment on this album.
  8. Tap Copy link, to copy a link to share your album.
  9. Use the toggle switch to turn off sharing for this album.

  10. Tap the overflow icon next to a user's name.
  11. Tap Block person, to revoke access to your album.

Conclusion

Google Photos gives you tons of options for sharing and managing the photos that you've taken using albums. You can create new albums, and shared albums, along with tweaking just who can see and interact with the photos that you share. Are you a fan of using albums? Is there a trick that we missed for managing your albums? Be sure to drop us a comment below and let us know all about it!

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2 weeks ago

Two-factor authentication: What you need to know

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You should use two-factor authentication on every account that offers it. Here's an explainer of what it is, and why you want it.

Update, April 2017: In light of the recent round of celebrity phone hacks, we have refreshed this page with the most relevant information.

You see a lot of talk on the internet about two-factor authentication (or 2FA as it's commonly called) but most times its just people like us telling you to use it. And we'll continue that trend and start this bit of prose by telling you to use 2FA whenever and wherever you can. But we're also going to let you know what it is, and why it's important that you use it. Read on.

What is two-factor authentication?

To put it in simple terms, 2FA means that you need to present two different things from two different sources that prove who you are. Generally, there are three different types of ID that can be used for 2FA purposes when it comes to online accounts:

  • A thing that only you should know. Things like a password, a PIN, an account number, your street address or even the last four digits of your Social Security number fit the bill here.
  • A thing that you can hold in your hands. This means your phone, an authenticator fob like this one or a USB security key.
  • A thing that is part of you like your fingerprint, retina pattern or voice pattern.

When you have 2FA enabled on an account, you need two of these three things to get access.

You've been using 2FA for most of your adult life. The companies who process credit card payments for online retailers usually force you to enter the three-digit code on the back of your credit card as well as the card number, then provide the billing address. The numbers on the card (both front and back) are a way to make sure you have the card in your possession for the first method of authentication, then the address you provide has to match what the card issuer has on file as a second way to prove who you are. That's 2FA. Back when the world still used checks to pay for things, most businesses wanted two forms of physical ID from a well-recognized place like your state DMV or your school as a way to make sure you are the person whose name is on the top of the check. That's also 2FA. And to get those IDs usually requires multiple things from different places to prove who you are.

You've been using 2FA all along and probably didn't realize it.

Using 2FA for your online accounts is a little bit different, but still uses the same principle — if you can provide more than one method to prove who you are, you probably really are who you claim to be. For an account somewhere like Google, or Facebook or Amazon you need to supply a password. Your password is something only you should know, but sometimes other people can get hold of it. When you add a 2FA requirement — like an authentication token sent to your phone or a USB security key that you plug into your computer — a password is no longer enough to get into your account. Without both pieces of authentication, you're locked out.

Is two-factor authentication secure?

Yes and no. Using 2FA on an account is a lot more secure than not using it, but nothing is really secure. That scary thought aside, using 2FA is usually sufficient protection for your "stuff" unless you're a high-profile target or really unlucky.

Using 2FA is usually sufficient protection for your onlione accounts and services.

On the positive side, if you're using 2FA and some fake phishing email manages to get you to supply your password they still can't log into your account. The way most people use 2FA for online accounts is to have a token sent to an app on their phone and without that token, the email scammer isn't going to have any luck getting access. They will enter your account user name or ID, then the password, and then they need to supply that token to go any further. Unless they have your phone, the work involved in bypassing the second ID requirement is enough to get the bad guy to say "forget it!" and move to someone else.

On the other hand, if you are someone like President Obama or Mick Jagger, it's worth it to try and get into your accounts. And there are ways. The communication between the people supplying the authentication token and your phone are safe for the most part, so attackers go after the website or server asking for the credentials. Auth tokens and cookies can be hijacked by very clever folks, and as soon as one method gets patched they start looking for another. This takes a lot of knowledge and hard work so that means that the end result has to be worth it all. Chances are you and I aren't worth the trouble, so 2FA is a good way to secure our accounts.

How do I use two-factor authentication?

It's easier than you might think!

Setting up 2FA on an account is a three step process. You need to provide your current credentials by typing in your password again (this helps keep someone else from adding it to your account), even if you're currently logged into the service. Then you go into the account settings and enable 2FA on your account. This lets the server that manages your login know that you want to enable it, and they will get everything ready on their end after they ask what type of authentication you will be using — most common are codes sent to your phone as an SMS message or through an authenticator application. Finally, you affirm the change by supplying a token back to the server. If you're using an app this might be a barcode you have to scan or manually entering some information into the app. If you chose to use SMS a code will be sent that you need to enter on the website to finish things up.

The next step happens when you want to log into that account again. You'll enter a username or ID, then a password, and then be asked to supply an authentication number. That number is sent as an SMS if that's how you set things up, or in the app on your phone if you decided to go that route. You type that number into the text field and you have access.

Most services will store an authentication token on your phone or computer, so the next time you want to log in you won't have to supply the code again. But if you want to set up access from another place, you'll need a code.

Read more: How to set up 2FA on your Google account

The process for each service that offers 2FA will be slightly different, but this is a good example of how things will work.

Wrapping it up

Now that you know a little more about 2FA, we hope you're inspired to set it up and use it wherever you can. Most popular services — Google, Facebook, Twitter, Amazon, Steam and more — offer 2FA. It's fairly easy to set up and the peace of mind you'll have makes it well worth it.

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2 weeks ago

How is your Google Pixel holding up?

182

How well has your Google Pixel survived you?

I don't like using a case with my phone, and more often than not this decision means I pay a fairly hefty price in the look and feel of my phone over time. Most of that is because I'm also pretty clumsy, and generally speaking that's a bad combination. But this also gives me a decent look at how my personal phone holds up daily abuse over extended periods of time, and for the last six months that phone has been Google's Pixel XL in Quite Black.

Here's what I've found when I take a closer look at this phone.

Read more: Our favorite cases for the Google Pixel

Scratches and paint chips

Lets start with the most obvious damage, the stuff that would be there on every phone no matter what. This phone is covered in scratches, with little flecks of paint missing all over the edges. My phone has shared a pocket with keys, taken more than a couple tumbles off of my dresser and night stand, and has met the pavement at least twice while out and about. Scratches are expected at this point, and while you have to really look to notice any serious damage on the front glass, the back of this phone looks like it survived a warzone.

It couldn't be more obvious that the front and back glass on this phone are not made of the same stuff. This rear glass, which only exists as a way to ensure NFC and wireless radios work without issue, doesn't offer much in the way of visual aesthetic to begin with. The front, on the other hand, has some slight rubbing marks on the bottom corners, but only in the bezel area far from the actual display. The one scratch that is clearly visible on the display is only noticeable in direct sunlight, and it's off to the far right edge of the screen so it doesn't impact the ability to use the phone at all.

Light scratches started showing up on the back of this phone within the first week of use, so this is about what I expected after the six month mark. My biggest concern here is a scratch coming across the camera lens, which so far hasn't happened. The camera is under the same glass as the rest of the phone, so it seems like one of those things that will eventually happen to this phone if the phone falls in the wrong way. That fall would almost have to be directly on the lens for that to happen, so it's probably not a real concern.

As for the paint chips, the good news is most of them are entirely cosmetic. Despite all of the drops this phone has seen, there are no noticeable dents and only two scrapes I can actually feel with my finger as I run it across the phone. The rest of the visual damage isn't deep enough to indicate any damage to the inside of the phone, which is awesome. It speaks to the superior build quality here, and is a solid indicator that Google went with the right company to do its manufacturing.

Pardon my splotch

This is by far the weirdest "damage" I've ever had on a phone, and I'm not the only one to notice this particular issue. For whatever reason, the oleophobic layer in the top right corner of this phone has worn away in this odd stain pattern. It's almost like I dropped some kind of acidic jelly on this corner of the phone, and it sat there just long enough to eat away at the microscopic layer on this glass that pushes away oils from your skin.

Whatever causes this particular issue, it's unique to the Pixel.

That didn't actually happen, of course, but the stain is there all the same. It's only visible when I've run my finger across it and deposited oil on the glass. When I wipe away smudges with a microfiber cloth, that stain goes away entirely until I touch that area again. That corner typically requires a little more polish than the rest of the front of the phone, but after it looks fine. I've taken dozens of photos of the front of this phone where that splotch is completely gone, but every couple of days it returns.

The most bizarre part of this stain existing is not being able to explain how it got there. I don't pick the phone up from that corner, there's nothing about my day to day activities that causes me to interact with that corner, and I haven't spilled anything on the phone or used any cleaners I wasn't supposed to use. Most of it isn't even on the display, but up in the bezel.

I'm not the only one with this particular splotch on my Pixel, but I am the only one I've spoken to with this splotch located where it is. Most others have variants of this issue on the bottom corners of the phone, but it's never the exact same pattern and not usually in the exact same place. Whatever causes this particular issue, it's unique to the Pixel and once you notice it you tend to never leave your house without a microfiber cloth.

What about your Pixel?

Despite the many cosmetic issues my Pixel has, it's still holding up incredibly well and that's what is important. This is a solid phone that may or may not have a weird oleophobic problem, which is great news for anyone looking at what might come with the Pixel 2 later this year.

Before you drop into the comments to scold me for not using a case or skin, which isn't going to accomplish anything because I know what I'm doing isn't great for the phone and I'm not going to stop, I invite you to take a real close look at your Pixel and tell me what you see. Look at the places around the edges of your case, especially that back glass, and share what if any damage you see.

Google Pixel + Pixel XL

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2 weeks ago

How to back up your Android phone or tablet: The ultimate guide

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Some things can't be replaced if we lose or damage our phone.

There is an incredible amount of our lives on our phones. Settings to keep everything running, the music that keeps us going, our contacts and even photos of times and places and people we'll never be able to relive or revisit. Keeping all of this safe and backed up is important.

The companies that make the products we use every day know this and offer a wide assortment of ways to store our things in plenty of different places. The key is knowing the best place to store it all, and how to do it.

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2 weeks ago

Huawei sells 5 million Mate 9s in four months

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Huawei Mate 9

Sales up 36% from Mate 8, manufacturer says.

Huawei's big-screened Mate 9 was well received by critics, with overhauled software, a gigantic battery and a new dual-camera system. And it looks like the company's best "phablet" yet has apparently translated that into strong sales. Gizchina reports that at a Chinese press conference, Huawei noted that 5 million Mate 9s had been sold in the first four months of availability, up 36% from its predecessor, the Mate 8, during the same period the previous year.

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2 weeks ago

Something new will be revealed for Google Earth on April 18

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What could it be? Could it be virtual reality? We'll find out four days before Earth Day.

Google Earth is apparently headed for a redux. According to The Next Web, Google will hold an event on April 18 where it will unveil "the new Google Earth." That's four days before Earth Day — an entirely appropriate time to make such an announcement.

There aren't too many hints about what's on the horizon for Google Earth, but it's likely to be a major redesign of the app, which hasn't seen an overhaul in quite some time. Google Maps has surpassed it in functionality since its debut in 2001. It wouldn't be too surprising to see Google bundle in some virtual reality features, as well, akin to what it launched for the HTC Vive last year.

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2 weeks ago

Five major banks now offer Android Pay integration inside their mobile apps

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Bank of America, Discover, and USAA are among the first US-based banks to offer this feature.

Google has announced that some mobile banking apps will offer built-in Android Pay integration.

In the U.S., Bank of America, USAA, and Discover are among the first to offer this native functionality. Elsewhere in the world, customers with Bank of New Zealand and mBank, which is based in Poland, will see the ability added to their respective mobile banking apps.

In its blog, Google explained why it added this functionality:

This latest collaboration with banks expands Android Pay's capabilities as an open platform and moves us closer toward our goal of empowering mobile payments everywhere. We're continuing to integrate with additional mobile banking apps, so look for updates from your bank about this new feature.

You won't need to have Android Pay downloaded on your device to use Android Pay. The aforementioned banks will offer the NFC-reliant ability within their apps. All you have to do is select your default payment card.

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2 weeks ago

HTC 10 review 2017: The forgotten classic

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When I first reviewed the HTC 10, I called it "the best Android smartphone you're not buying." A year after its release, both of those assertions continue to hold water: the HTC 10 is still a really solid phone ... but it's still not selling well enough to stave off the regular flow of bad news.

Maybe that's because even a "really solid phone" isn't good enough to capture the public's imagination in the current climate of curved-screen contraptions, or maybe it's because the HTC 10 is still priced pretty high compared to similarly-specced competitors like the OnePlus 3T. Whatever the reason, an HTC 10 review for 2017 seemed appropriate before the company launched its next big flagship ... so an HTC 10 review for 2017 is just what you're gonna get. Click the video above for the latest Review Re-Do from MrMobile!

Still on the fence? Take a glance at Android Central's original review and all of their coverage of the HTC 10!

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2 weeks ago

Every Daydream app you can install right now, and a look at what comes next

Just go ahead and install all of them. You know, for fun.

Google's first Daydream headset is finally shipping to people who purchased the first Daydream phone, and are quickly finding it's not easy to locate the whole list of Daydream apps from the Play Store. While we've been having a lot of fun showing you the best free Daydream apps and the Daydream games everyone should have installed, the act of browsing for apps and then waiting for them to install while in VR isn't a good time.

To make it a little easier, we've tracked down the first wave of Google Daydream apps that are available to install now, so you can load up your Pixel with VR goodness and see what this new experience is all about.

Read more at VR Heads!

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2 weeks ago

Chrome's WebVR moves to Google Cardboard at the new WebVR Experiments site

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Now almost every Android phone can experience VR on Chrome through Google's new WebVR Experiments site.

Previously available for Google Daydream View headsets and the phones that power them, Google has followed up on the promise to expand the VR experience in Chrome, and in typical Google style they kicked off an entirely new website. At WebVR Experiments you'll find content for both Google Daydream and Cardboard, Android VR experiments, A.I. experiments and even what they call Art and Culture experiments.

If you don't have a VR viewer, you can order a Daydream View or Google Cardboard viewer from Google. In the meantime, you can view the experiments on your phone in 360 degrees by flicking your finger to move the virtual camera.

The new VR website launches with 13 different interactive, virtual things (we hesitate to call them videos), expanded from the original five. Google says more are on the way and you can even submit your own to make sure Google sees them. If you're a fan of VR this is one to keep an eye on.

Google Daydream

Google

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2 weeks ago

Galaxy S8 Impressions: 5 things you probably didn't know!

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In the weeks since the announcement, we've all had a chance to form our opinions on the Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8+. And there's a lot to get to grips with: a wealth of new features, gigantic screens and an even bigger price tag.

Nevertheless, many areas of the new phones remain misunderstood or under-appreciated, and so I've rounded up the top five misunderstood Galaxy S8 features — things you might not know about. (Or things you might even be wrong about!) Does Bixby suck? Will the Galaxy S8 have worse battery life than the S7? Is the camera the same as last year? How bad is that rear-mounted fingerprint scanner? And will the extra-large Galaxy S8+ mean there's no need for a new Note this year?

Check out my thoughts above, and be sure to subscribe so you don't miss our full Galaxy S8 video review in the near future!

Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8+

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2 weeks ago

Save up to 50% on your first month of service with The People's Operator

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The People's Operator is currently offering up to 50% off your first month, and is donating part of your bill to charity!

Thinking of making the move to an alternative carrier but aren't sure what the experience will be like? The folks at The People's Operator (TPO) are currently offering 50% off your first month of service on select 4G plans, making it even more affordable to give one a shot. There are a number of different plans available in this promotions, starting with the Kind Plan that includes 500MB of data and 1000 minutes a month for as little as $8 the first month. If you need more data and minutes, TPO offers plans as high as 3GB of data with unlimited minutes and texts, and the first month of service would run just $31.50.

You may be wondering what makes TPO different, and why you should consider them? Well, the alternative carrier actually donates 10% of your bill to a cause you love, which is something other carriers out there are not doing. Additionally, it offers GSM and CDMA coverage to make sure you have the best service available where you are, and the customer care is U.S.-based and available 7 days a week. You can give it a shot and see how things work out for you, or you can go all in and port your current number over with ease. This promotion runs through April 16, so don't miss out.

See at The People's Operator

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2 weeks ago

Best Battery Cases for Samsung Galaxy S6

Choosing a battery case for your Galaxy S6

What's the best battery case for Galaxy S6?

Updated April, 2017: Added Alpatronix's BX410. The other battery cases are still the best around for your Galaxy S6.

The Galaxy S8 is upon us, but if you're not ready to let go of your Galaxy S6, you may want to look for ways to extend battery life. Hell, you may have been looking for that from the start. If you're not ready to upgrade, check out one of these stellar external battery cases to help keep you charged up on the go.

Mophie Juice Pack (3,300 mAh)

Mophie Juice Pack

Mophie is sort of the gold standard when it comes to battery cases, and while that started with iPhone battery cases, it has smoothly transitioned to models for popular Android phones as well. There are two distinct Juice Pack models to fit the Galaxy S6 or S6 edge (and different color choices), but in either configuration they offer full device protection with a single case that also integrates a battery.

The Juice Pack is dramatically better made than any of the offerings here, as you'd expect for the increased price. It has a hard plastic shell that's rigid and tough, and on the inside has a soft touch coating to hold the phone tightly.

The Galaxy S6 fits in it with amazing precision, with just a very small lip over the front of the phone. It's just as large as any other battery case, and while the hard plastic coating is slicker it does have some grip to it. There's a standard "chin" at the bottom where the USB port joins up with the phone, and because of its thickness there's a headphone extension jack to use if you don't have headphones with a small jack on them.

The 3,300 mAh capacity lands between the other cases in this roundup, and Mophie gives it the claim of "up to 100 percent" additional battery for your GS6. Just like your phone's internal battery, it's rated for 500 full recharges, and you choose when to have it powering your phone with a convenient hardware switch on the back.

We tested the Juice Pack's capacity just the same as the others and found it added 90% battery to the phone in just under three hours, even while the phone was in use on mobile data. That's not bad — it charged more and faster than the other cases, despite having a smaller overall capacity. That just shows what you can get from the higher quality components in the Juice Pack.

It's pretty clear that if money is no object, the Mophie is the best choice, simply due to its fantastic build quality, slick design and highly-rated battery. Of course price is a factor for most picking up a battery case, and $99.95 is a steep asking price for something you may not want to use all of the time.

See at Amazon

PowerBear Extended rechargeable battery juice pack (3,500 mAh)

PowerBear

PowerBear's 3,500 mAh juice pack is a one-piece case that allows you to charge it and your Galaxy S6 simultaneously, all in a sleek and slim package that won't add a ton of weight to your pocket, which is really what you want out of a battery case, since they're supposed to be "power on the go".

PowerBear claims that you get an extra 130% charge out of this case, but it's more like the ZeroLemon case in this roundup – you're more likely to get about 50%, taking anywhere from three to four hours to charge.

This case has a handy on/off switch, so that you're not wasting power when you don't need to, which makes it a great everyday case or an excellent emergency case.

The PowerBear's design is pretty typical, but it's still fairly thin for a battery case and it fits quite seamlessly, so if you like your Galaxy S6 to be in a case but not feel that way, then the PowerBear is likely the best choice for you.

If you regularly kill your phone before day's end and want a battery case that will last you a while, then check this one out, since PowerBear offers a 2-year warranty, which should get you through the lifespan of your Galaxy S6 until you upgrade.

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ZeroLemon Slim Power battery case (3,500 mAh)

ZeroLemon

The ZeroLemon Slim Power Battery isn't quite the same setup as the others, as its battery and case are actually separate. The 3,500 mAh battery is a self-contained slab that has two USB ports on it — one for input, the other output — and a removable U-shaped USB connector so that it nestles up against the back of a Galaxy S6. The case is just a basic rubber affair, but it's designed so that the battery and phone can be held together inside comfortably while charging.

The battery is fully operational with other cables and can be used without the case, though the implication is that you'll be using the whole thing together most of the time. The case itself wraps the whole phone for a bit more protection than others, but the design means that the ZeroLemon setup is larger than others and offers a lower capacity. It also ships with a headphone jack extension cable due to its size, which is burdensome to say the least.

It has similar charge rates to the others, and when combined with the simple 3,500 mAh cell it was only able to charge up the Galaxy S6 by 50% — and that took about 3 hours and 45 minutes to do it. That's not very fast, and for a battery case that's bigger (and more expensive) than some of the others we expected to get a little more out of it.

The one benefit ZeroLemon has going for it is an explicit 180-day warranty — how much value you actually put in that is up to you.

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Alpatronix BX410 (3,500 mAh)

Alpatronix BX410

Alpatronix's case is relatively similar to the other options here, but it's still one of the best battery cases you can get for your Galaxy S6. Alpatronix doesn't make any bold claims of charging your phone "130%", but instead says that you'll be able to charge your phone up to 100%, which is fairly accurate, considering its 3,500 mAh battery. Your results may vary, depending on your usage.

As far as battery cases go, this one is pretty slim, adding minimal bulk and weight to your Galaxy S6. The camera cutout on the back is ample so as not to obstruct the lens, and you'll also find LED indicators on the back to let you know when the case itself if charged or losing power.

Alpatronix provides a lifetime warranty, so if there are any defects during the life of this case, you can let Alpatronix know and it'll be replaced.

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How do you stay juiced?

Got a favorite battery case that's still keeping your Galaxy S6 going? Let us know in the comments below.

Samsung Galaxy S6

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2 weeks ago

Burger King's latest ad prompts your Google Home to deliver Whopper facts

30

Turn the volume high enough and your in-home assistant will tell you all about the flame-broiled Whopper.

Update: Google has apparently disabled the Burger King advertisement. Now when you ask it about the Whopper, it merely cites Wikipedia.

We were positively ecstatic when Google initially announced the voice-activated, Assistant-enabled Google Home. Finally, a little gadget for our homes that harnesses the power of Google's search engine and it's external capabilities, the same way that the Echo became an extension of Amazon's shopping and media experience. But that dream is slowly dissipating as we realize these little gadgets aren't always used for altruistic purposes. Now that brands have caught on, they're becoming another way to deliver advertisements.

Burger King: "It's a cool way to connect directly with our guests."

Burger King is the next major company to showcase Google Assistant's ad-delivering capabilities, though it's important to note that the company did not launch this ad in tandem with Google. In a statement to Buzzfeed, Burger King President, José Cil, said the company saw Google Home "as a technology to essentially punch through that fourth wall." He added that it's "a cool way to connect directly with our guests."

Is it a cool way to connect? You be the judge. Here's the ad, and if you want to experience it fully, we suggest you turn your volume up so that Google Home — or your Pixel, for that matter — is triggered.

This isn't the first advertisement of sorts to appear on Google Home, though the Beauty and the Beast audio spot that debuted a few weeks ago wasn't nearly as abrasive. If you asked the Home about your day, the device offered a mention to remind you that the live action remake of the fabled Disney film was playing in theaters. And anyway, Google didn't consider this an ad. In a statement to The Verge, the company had said that "the beauty in the Assistant is that it invites our partners to be our guest and share their tales." In this case, it was Burger King's chance to tell the tale of its flame-broiled Whopper.

Burger King assaults Google Assistant on your Pixel, too.

It really hasn't been a good week for brands, and though Burger King hasn't physically assaulted anyone here, it's natural to feel personally assaulted by advertisements in the home on a device you had originally thought was for personal use.

At this stage in the game, however, it's a wonder if we should really be surprised. Google is a search and advertisement company first and foremost, and as long as brands are around, they'll leverage whatever they can to tell us to buy their products.

Google Home

Google Store Best Buy Target

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