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4 days ago

Our favorite anti-slip car mats for your phone

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All the convenience of a car mounts without the hassle.

There's no arguing that car mounts are a sound investment for anyone who drives a lot and wants to keep an eye on their phone, but they have some drawbacks.

They can be tricky to install in the proper place for optimal operation, they can block some sight lines to the road, and not all car mounts can accommodate different-sized phones, making them hard to share between family members.

If you've encountered some of these problems with car mounts in the past, you should take a look at an alternative option. Maybe your problems will be solved with an anti-slip car mat.

What's an anti-slip car mat?

A small pad — usually made out of a gel — that you can put on your dash to hold small items in place by using minimal adhesive. It mostly uses the power of static electricity to hold things in place.

They can be installed on any dash, and you can slap your phone on them to keep it in place while you drive. Unlike a car mount, they won't block any vision through your windshield, meaning you can drive with the full confidence that you're as safe as possible.

Without further ado, here are some of our favorite anti-slip car mats for your phone.

SlipToGrip Cell Pad

For about $6, you can get two anti-slip car mats, so you have double the sticky space.

Each pad is 5 3/4 inches by 3 1/2 inches, and it comes with an alcohol swab to clean your dash before you install the mats, ensuring they stick to the dash properly.

See at Amazon


Easy Life Care silicone pad

For people who need a larger mat, Easy Life Care offers a 7-inch by 5-inch silicone pad, meaning even the largest phones can hang on.

You can clean the pad use warm water without losing any of its adhesive power, which means you can keep the pad as clean as you keep your car.

See at Amazon


Cautionary tales

If you look at the Amazon review for any of these car mats, you'll notice some horror stories that usually involve melted gel all over an angry customer's dash. It's probably best to avoid leaving a gel pad on your dash in hot sunlight for hours on end.

Needless to say, the reviews are pretty polarizing, and if you'd rather stick with a universal car mount, you can check out our top picks!

Do you have any personal experience with car mats?

Horror stories or enthusiastic praise I want to hear it all! Let me know if you've used a car mat before in the comments down below.

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4 days ago

Push-to-talk: Remember when phones were walkie-talkies?

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Gather round kids, and I'll tell you a tale of a time before text messaging was so ubiquitous, a time where a phone call was so easy, it only took one button… and man, it could be annoying. Not the tech, the people.

I'm Michael Fisher, AKA MrMobile, and I relived the glory days of flip phones and push-to-talk (so you didn't have to). Join me as I recollect what was great about this feature, what people did to ruin it, and how you too can push a button to awkwardly interrupt your friends and co-workers.

Featured Products

Stay social, my friends

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4 days ago

What is passthrough mode on Gear VR, and why should I care?

Passthrough mode on Gear VR lets you see the world around you through a camera

Generally the point of putting on a VR headset like Gear VR is to leave the real world behind temporarily. However, there is a way to see what is going on around you quickly, even if you are wearing your Gear VR. Passthrough mode lets you see your surroundings from the view of the camera on your phone - basically through a grainy square. It's not something you should need to do often, but you can definitely use it. Whether you want to use it is what becomes the more pressing question to ask.

Read more at VRHeads.com

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4 days ago

Great SAT Prep apps for Android to get you ready for test day

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These apps will help you to succeed on the big test day.

For many high school students, one of the biggest tests they will ever take is the SAT. It can cement their chances of getting into the university of their dreams, or derail those plans. While the SAT can be plenty stressful, by employing a solid studying strategy you can do everything to prepare yourself for the big day. These apps will make sure that you have a solid grasp on what you need to know on the big day.

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4 days ago

Grab Aukey's folding travel charger for just $5 right now!

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Update: This popular deal is back again with a new coupon code. Use code MPO8UHUK for the savings this time!

Right now you can pick up Aukey's compact folding charger for just $5 with coupon code MPO8UHUK, a savings of $3. Once folded this charger isn't much taller or wider than an SD card, and has two USB ports to allow easy charging of your favorite gadgets. It has a 2.4A output for making sure you are getting the best charging speed that you can, and thanks to its AiPower Adaptive Charging Technology it can ensure that the charge going to each device is safe and won't cause overheating, overcharging or anything else.

This time around the savings is only on the white version of the charger, and don't forget to use coupon code MPO8UHUK for the full savings. This deal is good for a few days, so be sure to grab one (or even two) if you are interested before they run out!

See at Amazon

For more great deals on tech, gadgets, home goods and more, be sure to check out our friends at Thrifter now!

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4 days ago

Learn to code your own Android app for less than $40

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Google Play is full of great apps, but not all of them always meet your needs perfectly. Ever have an idea for an app that you wish existed, but had no idea how to make it become a reality? Wish that you could make it for yourself, but don't know where to even begin? Don't spend all your time researching the things you need to get started, and instead start right here.

Save an extra 10% with code AC10 Learn More

The Ultimate Android N Development Bundle is a great set of resources that will get you right on your way. With five different courses that start you at the beginning and take you through the steps, you'll be well on your way to coding the app of your dreams, at your own pace.

  • Android 7: Master App Development - Beginner 1 - $79 Value
  • Android 7: Master App Development - Beginner 2 - $79 Value
  • Android 7: Master App Development - Intermediate 1 - $79 Value
  • Android 7: Master App Development - Intermediate 2 - $79 Value
  • Android 7: Master App Development - Advanced 1 - $99 Value

Learn to develop for much less! Learn More

Normally, this great bundle would set you back over $400 but right now you can pay a fraction of that. You can grab all five courses for just $39 right now, but if you use the code AC10 you can save an additional 10% from that price. This offer won't last long, so grab it while you can!

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4 days ago

How to stream music from your phone in an older car

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Upgrading your car stereo capabilities on the cheap.

Story time: I've got an older car, a 2001 VW Jetta, that still runs great but lacks some of the modern amenities that I would prefer to have in my car. Most notably, my car stereo still prominently features a cassette deck along with FM/AM radio.

Yeah, I'm pretty sure this setup was out of date back in 2001.

I'm well past using physical media for my music, so I needed to find a way to transmit the music from my phone to my car stereo. Ideally, I'd want a car stereo with a touchscreen and support for Android Auto — though I would easily settle for Bluetooth connectivity, or at the very least an AUX input in a pinch — but that would typically require either buying a new car or investing in a new car stereo that is also compatible with my 16-year-old Volkswagen. Neither of those options sound cheap or easy, so I turned to car accessories to help me out.

As a quick fix, I picked up a classic cassette to AUX adapter, which served its purpose well and wasn't too cumbersome despite dealing with the red wire. Unfortunately, the harsh nature of Canada's winter was none too kind to that wire, and it's now time to upgrade… but again, I'm still in no position to buy a new car or get a new car stereo.

Instead, here's my guide to connecting your phone to your car stereo on the cheap.

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4 days ago

How to delete an app from Android Wear 2.0

0

Easily delete apps from Android Wear with just a few taps.

Android Wear 2.0 may have bundled in more features than you could bargain for into one tiny little operating system, but in some instances it's helpful to have certain features when your phone is too far to grab.

Delete an app from Android Wear 2.0

  1. Swipe down and tap Settings.
  2. Scroll up and tap Apps.
  3. Scroll down to the app you want to remove and tap it.
  4. Tap Uninstall.
  5. Tap the checkmark to approve the changes.

And now, you're one app less!

Android Wear

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4 days ago

Xiaomi will launch its in-house Pinecone processor on Feb. 28

0

Xiaomi won't be presenting at Mobile World Congress this year, but the company is getting ready to unveil its in-house Pinecone processor next week in China. A recent post on China's Weibo suggests the SoC will make its debut on February 28.

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4 days ago

OPPO all set to unveil 'breakthrough' camera technology at MWC

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OPPO's "5x Project" will be unveiled next week in Barcelona.

OPPO has steadily risen through the ranks in China in recent years, and is now the largest smartphone vendor in the country. The company has announced that it will show off a new camera technology, dubbed the "5x Project," next week at Mobile World Congress. According to OPPO, the camera tech gives users "unprecedented ability to capture highly detailed images," with the company's global VP Sky Li calling it a "breakthrough" in mobile photography.

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4 days ago

The LG G6 will feature dual 13MP cameras at the back

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The LG G6 will come with dual 13MP cameras at the back with a 125-degree field of view.

LG is back with yet another teaser of the G6, this time highlighting the dual camera at the back. Earlier leaks showed off the rear of the device, which sported a similar camera setup as the LG V20. In a blog post, LG confirmed that the G6 will feature a dual 13MP cameras at the back, as well as a front-facing shooter with a 100-degree field of view.

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4 days ago

From The Editor's Desk: Fake news

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All the news that's fit to fake.

You'd have to insert your head fairly deep in the sand these days to avoid the term "fake news." It's seemingly everywhere, the notion that some media outlets either distort or invent the truth for their own gain. Recently, this has pertained mainly to politics, but the notion of artifice in our daily news consumption is not a new one — especially if you're a regular visitor to tech blogs.

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4 days ago

Digital Offers: Become an Ethical Hacker for under $45

1

There's a digital war raging on the Internet, mostly out of sight from the average online user. On one side, there are the malicious hackers looking to steal sensitive information and cause havoc. On the other side, there are ethical hackers testing security measures and looking for potential exploits so they can be patched up before harm is done.

Ethical hackers are in high demand these days, as governments and corporations alike find themselves increasingly vulnerable to hacking attacks. If you're up to the challenge, we've rounded up our favorite deals on ethical hacking and are offering them at a steep discount.

Certified Ethical Hacker Bootcamp

This bootcamp features 45 hours of content spread out over 144 lectures, throughout which you will gain practical experience with intrusion detection, policy creation, DDoS attacks, and more. You will learn about perimeter defenses, come to understand how Trojans, backdoors, viruses, worms are coded and spread, and learn how to scan & attack your own networks as practice. Understand Trojans, backdoors, viruses, worms, & more.

All these valuable course materials will be available to you for life, and you can't beat this deal — save 99% and get this bundle for only $45.

See at Android Central Offers


Ultimate Computer Security Bundle

This 7-course bundle will give you a comprehensive background - and certifications - in IT security, ethical hacking, Voice over IP security, data security, and more. Soon enough, you'll be fully certified and ready to enter the computer security job market with a complete arsenal.

All told, a course bundle of this caliber would typically cost upwards of $600, but you can get it 95% off — that's only $29! And once you've bought these web courses, you'll be granted lifetime access.

See at Android Central Offers


Pay What You Want: White Hat Hacker 2017 Bundle

We've saved (potentially) the biggest savings for last. With this bundle, you'll get access to up to eight different courses with values ranging from $50 to $200 and, as the title indicates, you pay only what you want.

If you pay below the average price paid, you'll get Python For Android Hacking Crash Course: Trojan Perspective — a course featuring 3.5 hours of content spread over 26 lectures. You also get a course called Wi-Fi Hacking with Kali, which teaches you how to find and protect personal and corporate networks from potential security breaches. You can get both of those courses for a dollar if you so please… but if you play more than the average price paid (currently under $20) you'll receive six more courses!

Beat the highest price paid and you'll be added to the leaderboard and be entered to win an awesome prize!

See at Android Central Offers

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5 days ago

Best Battery Packs For The Galaxy S6

21

The Galaxy S6 is still a great phone, but you might find its battery life to be lacking.

Still loving your Samsung Galaxy S6? That's fantastic. But what might not be so fantastic is your phone's battery life. Its 2,550mAh battery was never a strength so you might be struggling to make it through your day without relying on your charger. That's really inconvenient, as you can't utilize a regular charger just anywhere. That's where having a battery pack for your Galaxy S6 comes in handy.

We've selected the best battery packs for the Galaxy S6 that range from 3,000 mAh all the way up to 25,600 mAh. That means you'll have enough battery life to get you through the most demanding of days, no matter which option you go with.

Update February 17: Added the Powerbear battery case and removed the Anker Quick Charge Battery, which is currently unavailable from Amazon.com — but still available for Canadians.

TYLT Energi (3,000 mAh)

Not every portable battery has to be huge and unwieldy, but you still want it to charge up your phone quickly and efficiently. The TYLT Energi 3K battery walks the line nicely with a compact case that's made of durable hard plastic and contains 3,000 mAh of capacity. A built-in MicroUSB cable means you don't have to bring one of your own to charge up your phone, and an additional standard USB port means you can charge two devices at once if you need to in a pinch.

The capacity is just right for giving your Galaxy S6 a full charge, and when you get back home it won't take long at all to get the Energi 3K itself juiced back up and ready for your next outing. What's more, the price is just right at the moment at under $20.

See at Amazon

Powerbear battery case (3,500mAh)

This recommendation comes from Lexamundo in the comments. Some people might be hesitant to buy a battery case for their phone because they don't like the idea of adding so much bulk to their phone. This battery case tries to mitigate that by keeping a relatively sleek and slim profile while adding 3,500mAh of power to your phone.

Since it's a case, you'll also be protecting your phone from accidental drops and other potential damage, as it ships with a compatible screen protector as well. it also reroutes the phone's speakers to be front-facing, which is pretty nice. If you use NFC on your Galaxy S6 for Samsung Pay or other purposes, you may want to look at your other options as this case will block out all NFC functionality. But if extending the battery life of your phone is your main concern, this battery case will do the trick while still looking stylish and comes with a two-year warranty.

See at Amazon

KMASHI Quick Charge Portable Charger (20,000 mAh)

KMASHI's external battery bank has a capacity of 20,000mAh and can charge two devices simultaneously. It's got one regular USB charging port, and another Qualcomm Quick Charge 2.0 port which is compatible with your Galaxy S6.

This battery pack comes with a built-in LED flashlight for emergency situations and offers a sleek, somewhat rugged design, which means you can take it with you anywhere. Coming it at around 6 inches by 4 inches, it's about average size for a portable battery pack of this capacity. Given its size you'll be be able to fully charge your Galaxy S6 multiple times with this battery pack. You can get yours for under $50 on Amazon.

See at Amazon

Anker E7 Battery (25,000 mAh)

Saving the beast for last, Anker's Astro E7 has an impressive 25,600mAh battery inside and offers an incredible charging speed of 3A per USB port or 4A using all 3 ports.

Packed with Anker's PowerIQ technology, it will automatically detect the fastest possible charging speed when plugged into the Galaxy S6 — that goes for any device, too. It even comes with an LED flashlight built-in which could prove useful for camping trips among many other low light situations.

If you're after a battery pack for your Galaxy S6 that'll outlast the rest, this is a keeper. It comes with a micro-USB cable, travel pouch, and is available in black or white right now for $79.99.

See at Amazon

Samsung Galaxy S6

Amazon Verizon AT&T Sprint T-Mobile

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5 days ago

Best Android games according to you!

65

We want to know what games you're playing!

What games are you playing on your Android phones or tablets? We want to know!

We've started a thread in the AC Forums as a place to share your opinions on games you think more people should be playing. Look out for posts by me (Marc Lagace) and say hello! You can also comment below!

Updated February 25: In this week's edition, we shine a light Super Phantom Cat, Retro Grid, and Roller Coaster Tycooon!

Submit your gaming reviews and opinions!

Super Phantom Cat

I'm a real sucker for platformer games on Android, so when J Washburn recommended Super Phantom Cat in the comments as a Mario clone, I was all over it.

(Still waiting on Super Mario Run, Nintendo…)

Super Phantom Cat features bright and colorful graphics with a blocky, simplistic art style that's delightfully retro. You play as Chemist White, who was saved by Super Phantom Cat as a child. Years later, Chemist White is ready to embark on his own journey to Phantom World and learn how to use sprites to unlock super powers.

There are 11 worlds to play through, with each level filled with secret areas to explore, super powers to unleash, and multiple characters to unlock and play as. Also the controls are pretty amazing — like if Nintendo actually wanted to do a direct port of a Super Mario Game for Android, I would feel quite happy with controls this tight.

It's a free game, but there are ads you'll have to contend with.

Download: Super Phantom Cat (Free w/ads)

Retro Grid

This next retro recommendation comes from the forums, from Catalin K. Meshing classic retro graphical style with modern gameplay, Retro Grid mixes the fun of a classic top-down shooter game with a re-imagining of retro classics like Space Invaders, Snake, and other retro arcade classics.

This game features endless gameplay for as long as you can survive wave after wave of increasingly powerful enemies. Fortunately, the game throws many power ups and weapon upgrades your way as you play, and the dead-simple one touch controls for both shooting and moving allow you to take decisive action. It's a really solid game that's free to play with in-app purchases available to buy coins and ads once you've reached game over.

Download: Retro Grid (Free w/IAPs)

Roller Coaster Tycoon

This game was recommended by jmagnt7 in the comments and frankly I'll take every opportunity to recommend this nearly flawless port of one of the best simulator games ever made.

I spent a lot of time playing this game as a kid, and nearly as much time playing it on Android for my review last month. Given the smaller menus and buttons, it would really shine on the bigger screen of a tablet, but I had no major issues building coasters and managing my park finances on the 5-inch screen of my Google Pixel. And again, this is as pure a port as you'll find which means there's no in-app purchases (beyond expansion packs), delayed build times or any other free-to-play mechanics to deal with.

However, you do have to pay for this game — six bucks, which might seem steep for a port of an older PC game. But if you're a RCT fan, or interested in finding out what the hype is all about, it's well worth the money.

Download: Roller Coaster Tycoon ($5.99)

Android Gaming

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