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3 hours ago

My Disney Experience is a whole new experience in new update

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There is one thing you absolutely, positively must have at Walt Disney World.

It's not a Dole Whip. It's not a ride. It's not those trademark Mickey Mouse ears. It's an app. Walt Disney World has tied everything about your vacation to one lovely app: park tickets, dinner reservations, PhotoPass, hotel reservations and much of the resort's maps and information. If you're coming to the Most Magical Place on Earth, My Disney Experience is your lifeline.

And it's a whole new app in its newest update.

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1 day ago

Here's everything Google Assistant can do on the Pixel

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OK Google, let's see what you can do.

While currently in its infancy, Google Assistant is still capable of doing a lot of pretty cool things to make life that much easier.

From helping to book reservations and find transportation for your night out to setting your morning alarm without having to stare at a bright screen in a dark room, here's just some of the ways to use Google Assistant throughout your day. And it all starts by saying "OK Google".

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2 days ago

Google's Trusted Contacts is a simple way for families to have some peace of mind

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Getting your child their first phone is maybe as exciting for the parent as it is the kid. It's also scary as hell, yeah, but part of the idea of putting a computer in their pocket is so that you can keep in touch with them as they start branching out into the world — especially if things go wrong. (And they will at some point, right?)

Now emergency contact apps are nothing new. Various manufacturers have had them baked into their phones for some time now. (See Motorola Alert for one, and Samsung's SOS service for another. Google — which makes this little operating system called Android — has oddly been missing from that equation. Until now, with the release of Trusted Contacts.

Here's how it works.

Fire up the Trusted Contacts app and you'll get a short walkthrough of what to expect. And the app is easy enough to use that you probably won't need too much more instruction than that. First you'll select some contacts you want to use as your "Trusted Contacts." Add them, and they'll be sent an email that lets them know you think so much of them you want to put your wellbeing in their hands. (Presumably you've already done this anyway, but whatever.) They have to approve your request before anyone gets notified of anything.

Once that's done they'll show up in your list of Trusted Contacts. (Do note that at launch Trusted Contacts only works on Android, though iOS support is coming. But that won't keep you from adding someone who uses an iPhone — and they'll still receive notifications by email.) You can pin your contacts so that they're always present in your notification area, if you really want to keep track of things.

From there you have two basic options — share your location with your contacts, or request (nay, demand!) the location of your contacts.

Sharing your location

You've got a couple options for sharing your location with your contacts. You can do in the normal, non-emergency way, which allows you to select who will get to see where you are. Or you can send out an emergency blast (after a 10-second "are you sure?!?!" period) to every single person in your Trusted Contacts. They'll be notified on their phone, as well as by email. Simple enough.

Requesting a location

You also can ask your contacts to share their location with you. Basically as a "Where are you, are you OK?" sort of thing. They'll get a big, bright pop-up stating that you want to know where they are. If they approve, they'll be sharing their location for 24 hours, or until they manually stop sharing. If they don't respond back within 5 minutes their phone will automatically share its location for the next 24 hours.

There are limitations here, of course. It's possible for your phone to be somewhere other than where you are. Phone batteries die. This isn't the be-all, end-all of keeping folks safe, for sure. And it's really meant as more of a safety thing than a snooping thing. It doesn't hide the fact that someone can see where you are at all.

And you also have to have installed the Trusted Contacts app in the first place. For my money I'd love to see it baked in to Google's default suite of apps, unless it's going to conflict with a manufacturer's version. Because this is a basic safety service that really should be employed by anyone with a phone.

Need more Modern Dad? Hit us up on the your social network of choice!

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2 days ago

Best delivery apps for Android

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What's the best way to track a package on Android? Check out these package tracking apps!

The holidays are upon us and I don't know about you, but to hell with the mall. Give me a mouse and an Amazon account and I'll get the job done in 20 minutes with free shipping.

If you're shopping online from a bunch of different sites, it can be difficult to keep track of every purchase. Download a killer parcel tracking app and get your ducks in a row before a fat guy comes down your chimney.

Deliveries

Deliveries is likely one of the first names you'll hear when you want to find a great package tracking app. It supports over 40 shippers and couriers, as well as postal services in 21 countries.

You can sync your packages across your devices, and in most cases track packages using Google Maps, so you can see exactly where your stuff is at all times. You can even get notifications when shipping statuses are updated.

Download: Deliveries (Free, IAPs)

ParcelTrack

ParcelTrack is another wonderful tracking services that brings all of your incumbent deliveries into one place where you can monitor each one's status on the go.

You'll be provided with push notifications for shipping updates, and the very handy ParcelTrack Inbox simply extracts tracking numbers from the shipping emails you send its way, so you never need to tediously enter long tracking numbers.

Download: ParcelTrack (Free, IAPs)

AfterShip

AfterShip is a completely free service that helps you track your shipments with over 360 couriers and does it all ad-free.

The developer recently added a data sync feature so you can keep track of your parcels across your devices, and when you copy and paste in tracking numbers, AfterShip automatically detects the courier to save you the hassle.

Download: AfterShip (Free)

17TRACK

17TRACK is a great app to use if you like to often order from China or countries where shipping to North America is sometimes dicey at best. It supports over 170 postal carriers, as well as many, many of the world's largest couriers, like DHL, UPS, FedEx, and a ton more.

You get a custom widget for your home screen, alerts for status changes, syncing across devices, and you can add multiple tracking numbers at once, while the app auto-detects carriers and tracks your packages accordingly.

Download: 17TRACK (Free)

TrackChecker Mobile

TrackChecker Mobile might just be the most versatile package tracking app around and is great if you like to order parcels from those hard-to-reach places. It tracks packages being carried by over 550 couriers and postal services in 200 countries.

Customization is a big part of TrackChecker Mobiule's charm; you can choose how frequently you want to receive notifications, and you can even export and imports tracking information to and from your PC.

Download: TrackChecker Mobile (Free, IAPs)

Package Tracker Pro

Package Tracker Pro has been around for a long time, so it's no wonder that it's everyone's favorite paid tracking app. It offers you features by the boatload, in the form of customization options, sorting options, the ability to archive tracking numbers, route maps, and a whole lot more.

The other great benefit of buying Package Tracker Pro is the support you get from the developer. You can email or contact Minstech Software via its website with any questions or suggestions you might have.

Download: Package Tracker Pro ($1.99)

How do you keep track?

Do you use an awesome package tracking app not mentioned here? Let us know in the comments below!

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2 days ago

YouTube starts highlighting local content in India

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Get ready to see more content in regional languages on YouTube.

In a bid to localise further, YouTube will start showing more local content to users in India. The service will automatically determine your preferred language based on your watch history, user interface language, and location. Once it does so, it will start highlighting recommendations in that language on your home page as well as the trending page.

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3 days ago

Touch Circle is an awesome twist on the boring live wallpaper

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Live wallpapers have languished in recent years.

It's a shame, too, because there is so much potential for beautiful and useful wallpapers rather than a boring static image. Google's Wallpapers app utilizes a live wallpaper… but only to change out static images every day. Well, there are some developers who are looking to bring back the live wallpaper, and if they all start off as well as Touch Circle, this themer hopes to be swimming in them by summer.

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3 days ago

Get lifetime access to 1TB of cloud storage for only $39!

 Get lifetime access to 1TB of cloud storage for only $39!

Our current, tech-obsessed world demands a storage solution for your multimedia data, the most convenient being cloud-based storage which you can access from anywhere. Most cloud-based storage services charge a monthly fee, which, over time, adds up to quite a fee.

Those of you sick of subscription fees need a storage solution that requires a single payment for a lifetime of access. More importantly, you need cloud storage that is encrypted and can be accessed from all your devices.

Right now, Android Central Digital Offers has a deal on 1TB of cloud storage from Zoolz — a single payment of $39 gives you lifetime access. Does this seem cheap? It is! This is 98% off the regular price of $3600.

You will never be charged any extra fees, and you can access your cloud storage from multiple devices. Your data is protected with 256-AES encryption to better safeguard your stuff, and you can schedule backups and throttle bandwidth during uploads. Place files you know you won't soon need in cold storage — takes three to five hours to access — or place files you frequently need in standard storage that can be accessed instantly.

Considering 1TB of storage from other popular services costs about $10 per month, this deal will pay for itself in four months, and you can keep using it forever. Even if you don't think you need it now, you probably will need it in the future. Don't miss this great opportunity to snag 1TB of cloud storage for only $39!

See at Android Central Digital Offers

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3 days ago

Chrome for Android now lets you download videos and web pages for offline viewing

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You can now take entire web pages offline.

Google has announced that it is rolling out an update to Chrome for Android (55.0.2883.84) that gives you the ability to download videos, music, and entire web pages for offline viewing. You'll also be able to view and share your downloads without leaving Chrome.

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3 days ago

Google Duo updated with better camera rotation, major video quality improvements

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Duo now works better on slow connections.

Google's video-calling app Duo has been updated to version 5.0, bringing seamless camera rotation and "major video quality improvements." Duo technical lead Justin Uberti tweeted that the app will now work better over slower connections, a common problem in emerging markets.

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3 days ago

Star Wars: Galaxy of Heroes gets Android-exclusive content ahead of Rogue One premiere

2

This is the Android content you're looking for...

Another year, another Star Wars movie for fans to get hyped over. In celebration of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story premiering at theatres across North America country on December 16, Android gamers can enjoy exclusive content in Star Wars: Galaxy of Heroes, the massively popular collectable card game RPG set in the Star Wars universe.

Starting today, and exclusive to Android, you can grab the new Rogue One Heroes Pack for free. The pack includes K-2SO, the new Droid that will be featured in the Rogue One movie. Once unlocked, you're able to keep him forever and upgrade him to seven stars. Expect more Rogue One-based content included in the Heroes Pack.

This Rogue One content is only available for a limited time, so don't be a scruffy nerfherder — log in and grab your exclusive Heroes Pack before December 16 so you don't miss out.

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3 days ago

Google app update brings a dedicated news feed to your home screen

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Google Now gets broken up into two feeds.

An update rolling out to the Google app breaks up the feed into two separate sections — one dedicated to news updates, and an "upcoming" section that details your personal info, including daily schedule, flight info, appointments, and more.

The app still pulls in data from Gmail, Calendar, and other sources, but all that information now lives in the upcoming tab. By default, you'll see updates from your favorite news publications, people of interest, music, and sports teams. There's still the option to customize your feed, and Google says that the more you use the feature, the "more tailored and relevant" it becomes.

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4 days ago

Google just made Android app updates way smaller — again!

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App updates are awesome. Burning mobile data to download them isn't.

There aren't many people who turn off automatic app updates as soon as they get a new phone, but many who do say the biggest reason is data usage. If you only have 4GB of data in a month, losing 200 megabytes every month to seemingly-constant Instagram and Facebook updates is a waste of bandwidth. At the same time, not updating apps means efforts made to improve your experience have been lost until you remember to go look and see if there's an update for you the next time you're on Wi-Fi.

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5 days ago

Quartz 'texts' you the news with new app

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Quartz app gives you the latest news in conversational tone.

It can be hard to stay on top of what's happening in the news throughout the day. Quartz is trying to keep things conversational with its new news app that delivers you the headlines as if you're having a text chat with your best friend who just happens to also be a knowledgeable journalist.

If you ever feel overwhelmed when you check out other news sites or apps by the wall of sensationalized headlines vying for your clicks, you definitely need to check out Quartz. It pulls headlines and news stories from their own news site, along with other reputable news sources including The New York Times, The Guardian, and the BBC, delivering them one at a time.

If a headline is relevant to your interests, you tap the response to read more about the story. If you're not interested, tap "next" or "anything else" to move onto the next story. Headlines are occasionally coupled with semi-relevant animated GIFs (because it's 2016, so of course there's GIFs), and if a story requires a deep dive, you can always tap to go out to the original source.

There's some amount of customization you can do by swiping right. By default, the app will send you notifications for "really, really big news", as well as for any news items might be worth your notice along with a few daily pokes when there's a queue of things to read in the app. If you'd prefer a notification-free experience, it's easy to hit the switches on those features.

For a more chill way of staying on top of the day's biggest news, check out the Quartz news app from the Google Play Store.

The best news apps for Android

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5 days ago

Google's Trusted Contacts app lets you share your location with loved ones

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New Google app is designed to help keep you — and the people you care about — safe.

Google has today launched a new app designed to help you share your location with the people that you trust. With Trusted Contacts, you can add your closest friends and family members, and allow them to request your location at any time.

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5 days ago

Google Assistant now understands Hindi, but only in Allo

3

Google Assistant now offers quick replies in Hindi.

Back when Allo debuted, Google said that it would bring Hindi support to the messaging platform before the end of the year. The update is now being rolled out to the Android and iOS apps, allowing Google Assistant to understand and respond to queries in Hindi.

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