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5 days ago

Location services: What's the difference between the choices, and which should I pick?

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 What's the difference between the choices, and which should I pick?

Your phone knows exactly where you are. Is that good or bad?

Android phones come with a few options for location services, and these are useful for map apps, locating nearby shops, restaurants, and the like, but which one is the right one for you to use? Let's clarify the differences and help you out.

Accessing location services

To find and select your location services:

  1. Tap the Settings button on your Home screen.
  2. Tap Location under the Personal menu.
  3. Tap Mode.
  4. Tap the option you want to use for your location service.

    Tap Location, tap Mode, tap your option

Now let's have a look at what each of the three options mean.

High accuracy

When you select the High accuracy location service mode, you are allowing multiple networks to pinpoint your precise location (hence the name High accuracy). It calls upon every service available: GPS, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and/or cellular networks in whatever combination avaailable, and uses Google's location services to provide the most accurate location.

It might feel a bit like Big Brother is watching you, since your phone's location will be pretty well down to the street corner you're standing on, or the home address you're living at or visiting. Some people find it disconcerting, others find it comforting. Regardless, you'll probably want this mode turned on if you're looking for turn-by-turn directions.

Battery saving

A sure way to save battery life is to eliminate GPS from the location equation. Battery saving mode uses less battery-intensive location sources (Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and/or nearby cell towers) to figure out where you are using Google's location services.

Granted, this will not be as accurate as using them along with GPS, but you will still get a close approximate location and your maps or apps will still point you in the right direction within a few extra feet of where you are — all while saving valuable battery life.

Device only

Device only mode relies solely on the GPS radio signal built into your Android phone. It works in much the same way that a GPS device for cars does, using the GPS-designated network of satellites to find your phone's location. This means it will work in places where Wi-Fi and cellular network coverage are lacking, but will also end up using more battery power to determine your location than the Battery saver mode.

It will be a bit more time consuming for the information to reach you, but you'll get a pretty good idea of what's nearby; just keep in mind that some app features you might want to use won't necessarily function without the other networks.

Which one's right for you?

For the most part, if you're going to use location services you should leave your phone set to High accuracy. It eliminates guesswork and is the most precise location service you can use, so why not? Sure, switch to battery saving mode if you're running low but still need to use maps and other services, but High accuracy mode live up to its name when you absolutely need to know where you are and where you're going.

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5 days ago

Where to buy the Moto G4 Plus in Canada

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Looking to buy the Moto G4 Plus in Canada? Here's where you can obtain it.

The Moto G4 Plus (also known as the Moto G Plus) is one of the best phones in its price range, and is widely available in Canada. Here's where to buy it.

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5 days ago

Motorola will give you a free smartwatch when you purchase the Moto X Pure Edition

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Motorola is offering up a pretty sweet promotion which scores you a free Moto 360 Sport when you purchase the 64GB Moto X Pure Edition. That's right, if you buy a 64GB Moto X Pure Edition, which costs $399, the company will give you a free Moto 360 Sport, its fitness-focused Android Wear watch.

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5 days ago

AT&T Galaxy S6 edge+, Note 5 now receiving Marshmallow update

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AT&T has finally begun pushing the Marshmallow update out for the Samsung Galaxy S6 edge+ and Galaxy Note 5. The update brings Doze, enhanced permission controls, a slightly revamped user interface and more to both handsets. AT&T is the last major carrier in the U.S. to push out the update for these phones. The updates weigh in at around 1.4GB, so you will want to make sure that your phone is charged and you are on a strong Wi-Fi network.

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5 days ago

Best Chrome extensions for productivity

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Best Chrome extensions for productivity

The internet is simultaneously the best and worst tool for staying productive.

Whether you're a notorious procrastinator or just looking to block out some unwanted distractions when you need to buckle down and focus, here are the best Chrome extensions for staying productive.

Todoist

Whether you're already using Todoist across all your devices or are looking for a tool to keep track of ongoing tasks you have each day, the Todoist Chrome extension is a quick and easy way to stay organized and flag interesting or important websites that you want to reference or read later.

With the Chrome extension installed, you simply click the Todoist icon in the toolbar, which pops up the Todoist menu. From there, you're able to add and review tasks for yourself or quickly add an interesting website to your list so you can come back to it later.

If you try out the extension and really enjoy the way it works in Chrome, you'll be happy to know that Todoist features cross-platform compatibility with Android, iOS, OSX, Windows — pretty much everything under the sun — so your tasks and saved websites will be with you always.

See at Todoist

Block Site

If you find you're unable to keep yourself from time-wasting websites like Facebook or YouTube, the Block Site extension allows you to do just that.

You can set it to block specific sites for the entirety of your work day and make it so that any attempt to access said blocked sites redirect you to another site of your choosing. You're also able to block sites based on blocked words or adult content, which makes this extension a great option for parents concerned about what their kids might stumble across — or actively search for — when online.

Block Site includes other features, such as quick access to a context menu for adding sites to your blocked list, the ability to make the extension virtually impossible to uninstall (because kids are crafty and tech-savvy) and can block sites, even when browsing in Incognito Mode.

See at Chome Web Store

StayFocusd

StayFocusd is the perfect Chrome extension for anyone who struggles with procrastinating by wandering over to notorious time-waster sites such as Facebook, YouTube, reddit — whatever your procrastination poison happens to be.

It works in a number of ways. If you have a bad habit of sinking hours of valuable study or work time into a website, you can allot yourself a set amount of time for the day for the site. It defaults to 10 minutes, and once you've reached your maximum allotted time for the sites you've added to your restricted list, you are automatically blocked from the site the next time you try to go there.

It's totally customizable, so you can have a list of worst offenders on your block list and turn it on to keep your procrastination in check. Then there's the "Nuclear Option," which allows you to permanently block yourself from a website for a set number of hours. Be forewarned: Once the Nuclear Option is put into motion, it is irreversible.

If you're reading this and thinking "Sure, that might work for a while, but I know me and I'll definitely just change the settings whenever I want," StayFocusd has a feature that requires you to complete a difficult challenge before you're allowed to change the settings. It's seriously tough and requires so much focus that you'll soon realize you're just wasting time in your attempt to waste time. Stop that.

See at Chrome Web Store

OneTab

If you ever find yourself overwhelmed by having too many tabs open at once, OneTab is the Chrome extension you've been waiting for.

OneTab lets you condense a whole bunch of tabs all into (you guessed it) one tab. So let's say you're researching something and have a whole bunch of tabs open that you know you'll need to reference. With OneTab enabled, all you have to do is click the OneTab icon and Chrome simultaneously closes all tabs and creates a tab that includes a link to all the tabs you had open. Simply click the link and the tabs reopen for you.

Done with the tab and want to add it back to the list? Just hit that OneTab icon again and all open tabs are thrown back into the OneTab tab and timestamped, so you can go back and find a tab you had open in the morning.

What's more, by condensing so many tabs into just one, it will also boost the overall performance of Chrome by up to 95%, meaning you'll still have access to all the tabs you need without slowing down the entire browser. Total win-win!

See at Chrome Web Store

Be Limitless

The Be Limitless extension transforms new Chrome tabs into dashboards that will help keep you organized and on task.

Be Limitless features a slew of features. You can edit and create site categories, determine what counts as productive uses of your time and what's wasteful, and then track how long you spend on those sites each day. They also include a handy To-Do list in the top-right corner to help keep your days organized, and shortcuts in every new tab to frequently visited sites, compose an email, take down a quick note.

All this is packaged with a rotating collection of awe-inspiring photography and inspiring quotes with options to quickly share on social media. With Be Limitless, a new tab should enhance your productivity and open you up to more opportunities to get stuff done.

See at Chrome Web Store

What's your favorite extensions for staying on task?

Have any thoughts on the extensions we've listed here, or did we miss one? Let us know in the comments below!

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5 days ago

Latest Android N build breaks Google Maps on Android Auto [Update: Fixed]

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Update June 22: As promised, Google Maps has updated and once again works in Android Auto. All is now right with the world.

Put this one squarely in the "that's niche" category, but it's still a thing. Android N Developer Preview 4 keeps Google Maps from working properly in Android Auto.

Some in our forums note that it's only navigation that's not working. Others of us can't get it to properly launch at all on the head unit.

And it turns out this is a known thing. From the support and release notes:

The version of Google Maps included in Developer Preview 4 (9.30) crashes when used with Android Auto. This issue will be fixed in the next update to Google Maps (9.31), expected in the coming weeks.

So there's that. If you absolutely depend on Google Maps and Android Auto to go about your day — and you're running the Android N DP4 — it might be time to roll back. And remember that it's a developer preview.

All About Android Auto

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5 days ago

Best UK roaming data plans for the United States

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American flag

You don't have to pay an arm and a leg to use your phone in America.

A trip from Britain to the United States is a relatively long haul — between eight and eleven hours to jet off to the land of the free. And with such a lengthy journey, you might think that roaming in the US would be prohibitively expensive — but you'd be wrong. In fact, some of the major UK networks now offer US roaming plans that won't break the bank — in some cases with 4G roaming thrown in for good measure.

Let's take a look at the best UK roaming plans for the United States.

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5 days ago

Samsung Gear 360 review

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Samsung Gear 360

The quick take

Samsung's Gear 360 is the 360-degree camera we've all been waiting for. It stands out. It has the power of one of the world's biggest tech companies behind it... and it's a somewhat frustrating product. The software experience is the best we've used in this class of camera, bar none. The industrial design is excellent. But the Gear 360 is greatly hampered by its inability to fit in a pocket, by being (currently) locked to Samsung's own phones, and by inconsistent stitching in processed photos.

The Good

  • Excellent user experience
  • Every feature you could hope for
  • Good quality of photos and video
  • Seamless connection process

The Bad

  • Unique design isn't easily pocketable
  • Only works with Samsung's phones
  • Disappointing microphone
  • Stitch lines are very apparent

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5 days ago

New report states the Galaxy Note 7 will only come with a curved display

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There's a new report that states Samsung isn't going to bother releasing a flat-screened version of the Galaxy Note 7. According to the Korea Herald, the company only plans to roll out a curved display, usually found on Edge variants.

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5 days ago

The Samsung Gear 360 will cost $349 when it eventually goes on sale

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Samsung Gear 360

VidCon attendees get first dibs paying for the racquetball-sized 360 camera as Samsung opens its VR platform to user-generated content.

It's been about four months since Samsung announced the Gear 360 camera — its entry into the growing market of 360-degree cameras. In that time we've seen LG release its 360 CAM, and the excellent Ricoh Theta S has gained steam as well. But we've been waiting in earnest for the Gear 360 because, well, it's Samsung. Meanwhile, the company has given out scores of Gera 360s to attendees of its annual developer conference, and we've been able to import them from Korea for some time now. (Which we did.)

Finally, though, we've got more official information for those of us in North America. The Gear 360 will retail for $349 (that's right in line with the Theta S, by the way) and go on sale ... well, we're not really sure when.

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5 days ago

Wileyfox has new phones coming June 28

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Wileyfox Storm

Second-gen 'foxes set for unveiling at London event.

British startup Wileyfox turned heads late last year with two Cyanogen OS-powered smartphones at competitive price points. The Wileyfox Swift and Storm — selling for £129 and 199 respectively — were part of the broader trend in 2015 towards really affordable Android phones that actually delivered a decent user experience.

And now the company is preparing to launch a new round of handsets.

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5 days ago

The Moto G4 makes its way to India for ₹12,499

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The Moto G4 Plus was unveiled in India in May, and now Lenovo is introducing a more affordable Moto G4 option for ₹12,499. The main difference between the two models is that the latter does not come with a fingerprint sensor, and has reduced memory: 2GB of RAM and 16GB storage instead of 3GB of RAM and 32GB internal storage on the Moto G4 Plus.

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5 days ago

Former HTC CEO Peter Chou retires from company

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Peter Chou, who was HTC's CEO through its dramatic rise and fall in the smartphone world, has departed the company. An HTC spokesperson provided Android Central with the following statement:

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5 days ago

Samsung invests $1.2 billion to develop 'human-centered' IoT applications

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Samsung is doubling down on the Internet of Things. The company acquired U.S. cloud service provider Joyent earlier this month to power its IoT platform, and the vendor announced today that it will spend $1.2 billion over the course of four years in developing IoT applications, with the money evenly split between internal R&D and investing in other startups.

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5 days ago

Pocket Casts gets updated to 5.4.1 with a slew of bug fixes

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Pocket Casts — one of our favorite podcast apps — has picked up an update to version 5.4.1, bringing several bug fixes in tow. The app introduced a Material Design refresh earlier this year, and has steadily added new features, like audio effects, the ability to auto-download podcasts, playback sync between devices, and much more.

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