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3 days ago

Just get a new MacBook Pro? Now is the perfect time to move to Android

26

USB-C is the port all of our new electronics will be using, except for the iPhone. Android is ready to hook up with your sexy new MacBook Pro.

Apple's new MacBook Pro was met with the same controversy that many new products garner. You can't please everyone, and there will always be a change or an omission that gets some folks riled up. We all do it, all the time, and this time was no exception. We're not pointing any fingers.

Ignoring all the hubbub for a moment, the new MacBook Pro is probably a great computer for any professional on the go who doesn't need extreme 32-bit single-precision floating point format performance, which requires a very expensive and power hungry graphics system. And since most of us don't have a Quadro P6000 in the computer on our desks at work, this means us. (And if you have a Quadro P6000 installed inside your desktop computer, I am so jealous.) It also looks great for folks who just want a high-end laptop to work on Excel sheets or look at Facebook and want to use macOS instead of Windows or Chrome. Rene has a really well-written and rational review at iMore that you should read if you haven't.

More: MacBook Pro (2016) review

One of the most common complaints you'll hear about the new MacBook is that folks are upset that they need so many dongles. With no SD card slot and USB-C ports, all the things you already have can't plug in without some sort of adapter. Including your iPhone. We can't fix every issue, but we know how to alleviate the problem of having one piece of gear with a standard, albeit new, port and the other having a proprietary port that's not going away anytime soon. Make the switch to Android!

The problem isn't with the MacBook Pro. Like the "regular" MacBook, it uses a standard USB Type-C port with USB 3.1 compliance and is specified for USB-PD (Power Delivery). You need to get used to that because that's where everything is going to be very shortly. And that's good. It's a better bus and interface that most things can benefit from when they use it. Even Apple, if they used it on the iPhone and iPad.

They would be able to transmit all the data they want to transfer through the external bus and would benefit from the engineering other companies have done on an open standard. But too much money has been sunk into the Lightning port already, and moving would cause a user revolt of epic proportions. You will need to use a special cable approved by Apple or a dongle of some sort to connect your iPhone to your MacBook Pro, and shortly the same thing will be said about every computer.

What to look for when buying a USB-C cable

The same can be said for Android phones. Last year when Microsoft, Google, OnePlus and others used a USB-C port on their phones it took courage was early in the life of the standard and the ports on the Nexus 6P or Lumia 950 or OnePlus 3 didn't support things like USB 3.1 speeds or Power Delivery, but since they used a recognized standard everything you buy today is 100% backwards compatible.

They were looking forward, and we complained about having to buy new cables the same way MacBook Pro buyers are complaining about dongles. But that's mostly done with, and USB-C to USB-C is simple and better than what we had before. Every "flagship" Android phone released from now until we get something "even better" will have a USB-C port with a bus specified for PD. Just like the MacBook Pro.

If you like the iPhone, but hate the dongles and having two expensive things that can't use the same stuff like a keyboard or webcam, know that phones like the Pixel and LG V20 are here for you. 2017's great Android phones will be, too.

And so will we.

Google Pixel + Pixel XL

Google Store Verizon

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3 days ago

Become a certified Project Manager for just $69!

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Project Management happens to be one of the fastest growing fields in several industries right now, and you may be looking to make a switch. But just how does one get started with Project Management and learning the ropes? Well, they take expensive courses that consume a lot of time, right? Wrong.

You don't have to spend a ton of time and money to begin learning the basics. Meet the Ultimate Project Management Certification bundle which provides you access to 9 comprehensive courses seven days a week, 24 hours a day. From learning the basics to getting more in depth with Six Sigma Black, this is a great way to jumpstart your career change.

With the bundle you'll get:

  • Access 9 comprehensive courses 24/7
  • Explore study materials for PMI Risk Management Professional, Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL), Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM), Certified Scrum Master (CSM), Project Management Professional (PMP), Six Sigma Green Belt, Six Sigma Black Bundle, PRINCE2 Foundation Certification, and PRINCE2 Practitioner Certification
  • Learn a structured approach to managing projects
  • Understand how to manage stakeholder engagement, service strategy process, & how to analyze data
  • Plan human resources needs & identify project risks
  • Use exam prep quizzes, tests, & mock exams to ensure you're ready to take on the real certification exams

Normally, a bundle like this would set you back around $4,300, but right now you can pay a fraction of that. For access at any time of any day to nine different courses, you can't really beat the $69 price tag here. From learning structured approachings to managing projections to planning upcoming human resource needs, and more, there is tons of valuable information here.

This huge 98% savings won't last though, so you'll want to grab it for yourself now before it is too late.

See at Android Central Offers

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3 days ago

AirDroid app vulnerable to 'man-in-the-middle' attacks

3
Android security

Remote management app could expose data to attackers — or compromise devices through hijacked update files.

Research by security firm Zimperium has shown that popular remote management app AirDroid is vulnerable to so-called "man-n-the-middle" attacks, leaving users' phones open to data theft or, at worst, compromise of the device through a hijacked update file.

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3 days ago

Motorola is taking a wait-and-see approach to wearables

67

Motorola isn't saying wearables are dead, but for now they're frozen.

Motorola has been in the wearables game longer than practically any other company. This was pointed out by Shakil Barkat, Moto's head of global product development and self-proclaimed "big fan of wearables," during a meeting with reporters at the company's Chicago headquarters this week.

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3 days ago

Ditch the wires with up to 66% off these Bluetooth headphones

0

Right now you can save up to 66% on a variety of SoundPeats Bluetooth headphones at Amazon, but only for today. The discounts range from the company's sport headphones right down to the truly wireless ones, so you won't want to miss out here. Whether you need to pick up some headphones to replace an older pair, or can't use your old ones in your new phone without a headphone jack, Bluetooth is the way to go these days.

If you need a new set of headphones, today is the day to buy a pair. This deal will end tonight, so be sure to act quickly and pick some up right now,

See at Amazon

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3 days ago

OnePlus 3T lands in India for ₹29,999; 128GB variant debuts at ₹34,999

1

The best phone you can get for under ₹30,000 in India.

The OnePlus 3T has made its debut in India, with sales set to kick off from December 14 exclusively on Amazon. The 64GB variant will retail for ₹29,999 ($440), while the 128GB variant will be available for ₹34,999 ($512).

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3 days ago

These are Google Play's best apps and games of 2016

1

The best of 2016 from Google Play.

Google Play has rolled out its Best of 2016 guide, highlighting the best-selling apps and games this year. As expected, Niantic's Pokémon Go turned out to be the most popular game of 2016, Game of Thrones was the most-watched TV show, and Scoompa's Face Changer 2 led the app charts.

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3 days 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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3 days ago

Best Smart Smoke Detector

Nest Protect

Nest Protect: the best Smart Smoke Detector you can buy today.

Best overall

Nest Protect

See at Amazon

When it comes to connectivity options, the Nest Protect has most everything covered. That's an important reason to want or need a smarter smoke detector and gives the Nest Protect a clear advantage and our pick for the best Smart Smoke Detector you can buy.

The bottom line: You need your Smart Smoke Detector to alert you of fire, smoke, and CO2. The Nest Protect is great at its main task and is able to let you know no matter where you might be.

Why the Nest Protect is the best

The Nest Protect ticks all the boxes on our list when looking for a Smart Smoke Detector. It's small and easy to install and has the three kinds of detection sensors you're looking for — photoelectric, ionization and CO2. And once it's been triggered, it has plenty of options to make sure you know when you're away from home.

The connectivity is what sets it apart. Nest has excellent apps for Android and iOS, the Nest website can tell you what you need to know about any alarm state and an interface with Alexa and Google Home can link in and extend the ways you are alerted.

Of course, it has to be a great smoke detector, too. The Nest Protect is a two-sensor detector with a stand-alone CO detector. It's designed to catch any fire early so there is less chance of any injuries or property damage and the latest software does a great job at ignoring false positives without missing any real ones.

Best for integration

First Alert Z-Wave 2-in-1

See at Amazon

If you're looking for something with deep integration in a complete smart home setup, you should consider the First Alert Z-Wave 2-in-1 detector.

It has the same three-sensor setup all of the best models share but instead of using Wi-Fi to connect through its own service and app, the First Alert connects to a Z-Wave hub. This connection can be bridged into any self-built system and most package home automation systems like Nexia Home Intelligence and Samsung SmartThings play nicely with Z-Wave devices. For the more technical buyer, these low-priced battery operated detectors can be part of a great complete home monitoring system

Bottom line: Z-Wave radios are a flexible way to work a detector into a home monitoring and automation system but setting things up can be complicated.

Conclusion

For most of us, a Smart Smoke Detector that's easy to set up and can "talk" to our phones is what we want when we're shopping. Of course, it has to do its primary job — warning us early when there is a real problem — very well. The Nest Protect excels at both.

Best overall

Nest Protect

See at Amazon

When it comes to connectivity options, the Nest Protect has most everything covered. That's an important reason to want or need a smarter smoke detector and gives the Nest Protect a clear advantage and our pick for the best Smart Smoke Detector you can buy.

The bottom line: You need your Smart Smoke Detector to alert you of fire, smoke, and CO. The Nest Protect is great at its main task and is able to let you know no matter where you might be.

*/

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3 days ago

Hands on with the new Mophie and Incipio Moto Mods for Moto Z

37

There are new Moto Mods on deck for the Moto Z family, and they're coming in the next couple of weeks.

While we've already seen the first — a 3,000mAh battery add-on from popular accessory maker Mophie — we can confirm that it is available now in the U.S., at Verizon, for $79.99. That's the same price as those from Incipio and Tumi, except with a 36% premium in battery capacity. It's also slightly thicker as a result: 0.35 inches compared to 0.27 inches.

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3 days ago

All SwiftKey themes for Android and iOS are now free

44

SwiftKey is a pretty cool keyboard. It's smart, too, and is the driving tech behind some other keyboards we really like. And starting today, all the themes that make it something other than boring black are free.

Getting them installed is easy. Slide or tap on the hamburger (the three vertical lines that open a menu) to the left of the Swiftkey prediction bar. Open the Themes panel and head to the SwiftKey store. You'll find about 100 themes — including some new ones in eye-blistering vivid colors — and they are all free for the taking.

Everyone likes free. Thanks, SwiftKey!

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3 days ago

The Samsung Gear S3: The watch that does everything

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The Samsung Gear S3 is a monster of a smartwatch that might just do everything you need — if you can fit it under your shirtsleeve. It provides notifications for email, Twitter, Facebook and most other apps; it monitors your health, sleep and steps; it even completes payments on older-model magnetic card readers using Samsung's Magnetic Secure Technology. Paying for your groceries is now as easy as punching the air by the card reader. (Just don't hit the bag boy.)

The display is beautiful, the software is smooth, the phone capabilities ... well, not everything's perfect. But it is a step up over the Samsung S2. Is it worth your money for the LTE version? How does it compare against the Apple Watch and Android Wear? Can MrMobile walk, carry coffee, and talk into his wrist at the same time? Check out Michael Fisher's Samsung Gear S3 Review and find out!

Stay social, my friends

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3 days ago

Daydream View headsets in Crimson and Snow now available for preorder

2

They will all look the same when your eyes are covered.

Google's put the Crimson and Snow colors of the Daydream View headset up for pre-order at the device store today. Shipping starts December 8 and the price — $79 US — is the same as the gray version that was already available.

For that matter, everything else is the same, too. You'll need to have a Daydream compatible phone — right now that means the Pixel or a Moto Z that's been upgraded to Android 7 — an active Google account to install the stuff needed from Google Play, and some free time in an uncrowded room.

A spirit of adventure helps, too. Check 'em out at the link below.

See at Google

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3 days ago

Best Cheap Android Phones of 2016

The Moto G4 represents the ideal experience for an inexpensive Android phone and is a fantastic value.

Best overall

Moto G4

See at Amazon

The Moto G line basically created the high-value low-cost phone segment, and years on has kept making great options that start at amazingly low prices. The latest, the Moto G4, builds on the same formula. You get a 5.5-inch phone that gives you a solid screen, 13MP camera, long battery life and most of Moto's great software features.

On the downside, the Snapdragon 617 processor and 2GB of RAM can sometimes come up short if you have expectations set by more expensive phones, and the hardware doesn't exactly feel inspired. But you have to give in somewhere.

Bottom-line: You really can't go wrong with a Moto G4 — it's the inexpensive phone that all other inexpensive phones are measured by.

One more thing: If you want to endure ads on your lock screen, Amazon will sell you a Moto G4 for $50 off.

Why the Moto G4 is best

Moto just knows how to get the most out of inexpensive hardware.

Ever since it debuted the Moto G and Moto E lines, Motorola has known how to take inexpensive hardware and make it sing with great performance and software features that elevated the whole phone above what you'd expect for the money. Now that Moto is part of Lenovo, things haven't changed: the Moto G4 is an excellent value.

From our Moto G4 review:

So is the Moto G4 worth the $199.99 price tag? In a word, yes. This phone packs a serious punch for its asking cost. You get fantastic battery life, a decent display, and a camera that delivers great results.

The Moto G4 isn't a spectacular specimen of finely crafted hardware or exquisite design, but that's not what you want in a cheap phone. You want to get a good screen, enough power, plenty of storage and a capable camera — the Moto G4 delivers on all points, while offering you a clean and simple software experience that isn't loaded up with useless cruft that slows down the phone.

If you're willing to spend a little extra money it's worth cerious consideration to get the Moto G4 Plus, but if you can't spend extra the baseline Moto G4 will handle your basic smartphone needs and then some.

Best backup

Honor 5X

See at Amazon

The Honor 5X is a perfect example of where the $200 price point smartphone market is headed. For a remarkably good $189, the first Honor phone to officially launch in the U.S. packs a metal body, decent screen and fingerprint sensor. The hardware certainly feels worthy of a higher price point.

Aside from being more than a year old now, the only real drawback to the Honor 5X is the software. Huawei's EMUI is still an acquired taste with some questionable features and things that still don't work quite as we might hope. But, there's a lot of good stuff, too, and some really useful features baked in.

Bottom-line: The Honor 5X is still a decent buy, and has gotten a lot better with its Marshmallow update.

One more thing: You might also consider the Honor 5C, which has far less spectacular build quality but a speedier CPU.

Best under $100

Moto E LTE (2015)

See at Amazon

Motorola's second-generation Moto E adds LTE to the mix, while retaining more of the premium features from more expensive Moto phones than ever before. You're looking at a basic 4.5-inch qHD (960x540) LCD display, and a Snapdragon 410 processor running the show in the LTE model (which is the one to buy).

Beyond that, the latest Moto E is an unspectacular but solid budget offering, with a decidedly basic 5-megapixel rear shooter and chunky plastic construction. It does have Moto's excellent software experience going for it though, and has been updated to Android 6.0 Marshmallow. For well under $100 ($87 at the time of writing), it's a great buy if you're on a strict budget.

Bottom-line: The Moto E LTE gets you basic smartphone functions and doesn't feel as cheap as the price tag would lead you to believe.

One more thing: Don't expect an update to Android 7.0 Nougat on the Moto E.

Best in Europe

Wileyfox Swift 2

See at Amazon

The Wileyfox Swift 2 is the British company's latest Android phone and has every right to be taken notice of. It costs a ridiculously cheap £119 and packs Moto G-matching hardware while undercutting it on price.

The display is nice, the battery life is pretty good, the overall appearance is on point and the software provided by Cyanogen is slick, speedy and bloat-free. It's not available officially outside Europe right now, but it's absolutely one of the best cheap phones money can buy. And with recent offers dropping the price to just £99, it really is a bargain.

Bottom-line: For those in Europe looking something a little nicer than a Moto E, with a fresh software experience, the Swift is a good choice.

One more thing: Don't be tempted by the lower-end Spark or Storm. The Swift is the only one we recommend.

Conclusion

If you don't want to spend over $200 and still want a great Android phone, the Moto G4 is the best choice. You don't get the best looking or feeling phone, but it offers a top-notch experience, especially for the price.

Best overall

Moto G4

See at Amazon

The Moto G line basically created the high-value low-cost phone segment, and years on has kept making great options that start at amazingly low prices. The latest, the Moto G4, builds on the same formula. You get a 5.5-inch phone that gives you a solid screen, 13MP camera, long battery life and most of Moto's great software features.

On the downside, the Snapdragon 617 processor and 2GB of RAM can sometimes come up short if you have expectations set by more expensive phones, and the hardware doesn't exactly feel inspired. But you have to give in somewhere.

Bottom-line: You really can't go wrong with a Moto G4 — it's the inexpensive phone that all other inexpensive phones are measured by.

One more thing: If you want to endure ads on your lock screen, Amazon will sell you a Moto G4 for $50 off.

Best Android phones under $400
Best Android phones under $100

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3 days ago

Here's what happened when I left Android and switched to an iPhone 7

70

What's it like to switch from Android to iPhone? Best thing ever, or worst thing ever? Perhaps some of you have already tried and know the experience first hand.

Whatever the case may be, join one of our first community reviewers (Eric) as he attempts the switch. Be sure to leave your comments below or hit us up on Twitter with your feedback. We'd also appreciate it if you shared some love with Eric on Twitter and YouTube.

Want to see YOUR tech videos on Android Central?

Making it happen may be easier thank you think! We're accepting applications right now for our Community Review Program. If accepted, you'll receive all sorts of resources including help and advice from our teams, free tech to rate and review, and massive exposure via our blogs and YouTube channels.

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