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1 day ago

Grab a lifetime license to pCloud for just $59!

Many people store tons of information in the cloud. Easy access from just about anywhere is key for us these days, but it can get costly, and people have different services for different files. Wouldn't it be nice to bring them all to one place, and not have it break the bank?

Meet pCloud premium cloud storage an easy way to sync up to 500GB of information in the cloud for easy access. That's right, no hunting down the files locally or being unable to access that important document when you aren't home.

With it you'll get:

  • Get 500GB of cloud storage & 500GB of download link traffic without taking up any space on your computer
  • Download & upload links fast & invite users to shared folders for easy collaboration
  • Enjoy high-level security w/ a 256-bit TLS/SSL connection
  • Boot up auto upload from your iOS or Android camera to get photos on the cloud fast
  • Sync your data across multiple devices automatically & w/ any folder
  • Access content of unlimited size w/ built-in video & player & HD video streaming
  • Backup your files from Dropbox, Facebook, Instagram, & OneDrive
  • Stream audio & video on all your devices w/ pCloud's built-in media players
  • Access on multiple devices, from PC & Mac, tablet, smartphone, & more

Put your files in the cloud with this lifetime subscription Learn More

Priced at just $59 for a lifetime subscription, this seems almost too good to be true. You won't need to pay more fees yearly, or worry about remembering to renew, it's good after the first purchase. With the ability to sync across multiple devices, stream audio and video and more, you'll want to check this out if you keep anything in the cloud.

Don't get forced to pay yearly fees or nearly $500 for this lifetime license by missing this deal, and instead be sure to act quick and get it for yourself now!

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3 days ago

Best e-book reader app for Android

33
Ebooks

Amazon Kindle is the best e-book reader that is available on Android. Their catalog is filled with thousands of titles from best-selling and new authors alike, as well as free books, along with magazines and periodicals.

Best overall

Amazon Kindle

See at Play Store

Amazon Kindle pulls ahead of the pack of e-book readers with its access to a huge library of content, which includes free books and content from indie publishers. Many classic books like The Count of Monte Cristo are absolutely free, and you can read them on your mobile device, or desktop with the Kindle app. There is a book out there for you no matter what genre you are looking for, and even includes independently published content.

Bottom line: With a huge selection of books, customizable options, and the ability to borrow books, Amazon Kindle is by far the best e-book reader for Android.

One more thing: If you decide to subscribe to Kindle Unlimited you'll have free access to thousands and thousands of books to peruse at your leisure, along with a catalog of free e-books.

Why the Amazon Kindle is the best

A gigantic library with thousands upon thousands of titles from new and unknown authors put Amazon Kindle at the top.

Kindle Select Publishing even publishes content of varying lengths from self-published authors, or are otherwise unable to find a brick and mortar publisher. You can find titles ranging from Stephen King or Joe Hill to Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie and Bell Hooks.

In the app, you're able to customize fonts, margins, line spacing, and organize the books you've downloaded into collections so that it's easier to find the book you want to read. Kindle will also remember the page that you left on when you switch devices. This means that you can switch between your phone, Fire Tablet, and PC without ever losing your page in the process.

Another benefit is that lots of local libraries will actually lend you copies of books via the Kindle app through Overdrive.

Best pre-loaded

Google Play Books

See at Play Store

Google Play Books gives you access to a vast book store. Some of the books are free. You'll also find some textbooks, although we'd like to see the textbook selection improve in the future. You can read books offline, use a dictionary to look up unfamiliar words, and have your notes and place in the book saved across multiple devices through your Google account.

If you have a family account set up, then you can share books between everybody without having to purchase them multiple times. As you purchase more books, Google will also show you books that are similar to ones you have already purchased, in order to find new authors you may not have heard of before.

Bottom line: Google Play Books has a great selection for the bibliophile in your family, and will likely be loaded onto your Android phone when you purchase it. Staying within the Google ecosystem also makes it easy to share your purchases with family members, and keep all of your media in one place.

One more thing: You can actually gift books to your friends and family from inside Google Play Books.

Best for the rest

Kobo

See at Play Store

Kobo Books is a great way to read your favorite books whether it's on your phone or tablet. They have a gigantic selection as you might expect filled with both new and established authors. This includes magazines and even children's books. The most popular and trending e-books are even updated hourly so that you don't miss an amazing story, even when it's coming from an author you've never heard of.

Kobo's free e-books are easy to browse and find what you're looking for. Everything is categorized so that you don't have to scroll through dozens of books you don't care about to find one that piques your interest. Kobo also includes a reading list, which lets you add items you are currently reading, as well as the books you intend to tackle. This makes it easy to keep track of your reading list, even when you're on the go.

As you begin to buy books and Kobo learns your likes, it will also build a recommendations list. This is made up of suggestions for new books or magazines, based on what you've already purchased. There is also a really awesome reading activity feature. It will show you how much time you've spent reading in the app, what books you are currently reading, a running tally of how many books you've read and how many pages you've turned in the process.

Bottom line: Kobo delivers an awesome reading experience with plenty of books to read through, as well as features that make finding a good book easier than ever. You can customize your reading experience, and since Kobo will learn your preferences over time, you'll find new authors with just a tap.

One more thing: When you sign up you'll get a $5 credit to be used towards your first book purchase.

Conclusion

While you might miss the feel of a book in your hands, or the smell of aged paper, there's a reason e-books are so popular: they can save you space and money. If you've made the choice to move solely to e-books, Amazon Kindle is the obvious winner with the largest selection of books, access to thousands of free titles, and plenty of features to customize your reading experience. No matter what you are looking for.

Best overall

Amazon Kindle

See at Play Store

Amazon Kindle pulls ahead of the pack of e-book readers with its access to a huge library of content, which includes free books and content from indie publishers. Many classic books like The Count of Monte Cristo are absolutely free, and you can read them on your mobile device, or desktop with the Kindle app. There is a book out there for you no matter what genre you are looking for, and even includes independently published content.

Bottom line: With a huge selection of books, customizable options, and the ability to borrow books, Amazon Kindle is by far the best e-book reader for Android.

One more thing: If you decide to subscribe to Kindle Unlimited you'll have free access to thousands and thousands of books to peruse at your leisure, along with a catalog of free e-books.

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4 days ago

How to share GIFs and search for emoji in Gboard

16

Share the perfect GIF or emoji using Gboard for Android.

Gboard (formerly Google Keyboard) is probably the best keyboard you can use for Android, and thankfully it is preinstalled on many handsets sold today, even those not made by Google.

One of Gboard's best little-known features is the ability to share GIFs straight into the text box of certain apps, as well as search for emoji when you just need to quickly find the perfect character. Here's how to do both.

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4 days ago

Snapchat's Universal Search is everything we ever wanted

10

Search for friends, content creators, groups and more with Snapchat's newest universal search feature!

While Snapchat is arguably one of the best things to come out of social media, well, ever, its interface and easy searchability have been seriously lacking.

In an interview with TechCrunch, Snapchat mentioned that it's rolling out a new interface that's designed for efficiency and speed, making it easy to find what you're looking for so you can get back to snapping.

What does this mean exactly?

Well there will be "quick chat" suggestions that will let you instantly open a friend's snap stories or messages, making sending snaps easy as pie. You can even make groups to combine snaps!

You can also search through Discover channels by using a few keywords, or particular Our Stories via their title.

When you tap and hold someone's card (that's marked with their Bitmoji or Snapchat icon), you get a quick look at their Snap profile. From here you can choose to chat with them or view their story.

What will it look like?

The search bar should appear at the top of the screen that opens when you first open Snapchat. It kind of just looks like a regular ol' search bar with your icon next to it.

Once you start typing in your search, quick chat options and groups will pop up, along with suggested friends and their available stories.

Can I search by Emoji?

Where there is a will, there is a way.

So? What do you think of Snapchat's newest search feature?

Do you think it'll help make navigating the app a heck of a lot easier? Or do you think it's another piece of clutter for the Snapchat screen? Let us know what you think in the comments below!

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4 days ago

A vast majority of Android users still don't have the latest emoji

109

Google's inclusive emojis mean nothing if only a small percentage of its users feel represented.

Software updates have always been a major headache for Android users. Frankly, it's a wonder that so many of us have stuck around this long as fragmentation remains a major issue on our beloved mobile platform. Especially considering that the lack of consistent software updates means that there are too many users without the same features that their other Android brethren are using on the regular, like the latest emoji.

You might be wondering: Why does it matter if I have the latest emoji? Well, think of it this way: just because you don't eat croissants doesn't mean there aren't others out there that want their croissant-loving ways recognized as the norm. As Emojipedia rightly points out, despite the fact that Google was the first to introduce more diverse emoji in Unicode 9, including a number representing the working female populace, it has no bragging rights because only 4 percent of Android's users are actually utilizing the new cast of characters. (The data is based on Emojipedia's internal findings.)

Apple, on the other hand, is doing a better job at making its users feel included based on the sheer fact that it controls software updates, thus pushing out those new emoji to a whopping 84 percent of its users. That's a major chunk of people who have access to emoji that represent them! As Emojipedia pleads:

A phone that can't see the 12+ months of new emojis is crippled as a communication device.

Sure, you could use a third-party keyboard app or a messaging platform like WhatsApp to streamline the emoji process on your yet-to-be-updated Android device, but that doesn't help everyone else. There are still 96 percent of Android users out there who can't see the new emoji offered on the platform, and thus, a big chunk of users who aren't seeing themselves represented.

I've been racking my brain on how to fix this problem, but I have no answer for you at the moment. We're still fighting for timely software updates on the Android platform. Emojipedia suggests spending your money where your mouth is, but that's not going to happen here at Android Central as we're all planning to continue wielding Android devices. The best we can do right now is continue to harp on Google on the issues of fragmentation because those who are left behind are not just missing out on new software features and security updates — they're also missing out on feeling represented by their mobile platform.

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4 days ago

Now you can easily hail a ride from Uber or Lyft inside Google Maps

18

Why did it take so long for this kind of functionality to come to Google Maps?

Google has announced that you can now hail a ride from your preferred ride-sharing service directly through the Maps app. Tap on the icon of the guy hailing a ride and Maps will offer you a complete list of ride options, including special offers and promotions for both Uber and Lyft.

The Google Maps update actually shows you where your car is, compared to the older version that merely offered a link to launch the app in another window. You don't even have to have the Uber or Lyft apps to hail a ride, though you will need an active account.

The new version is rolling out through Google Play starting today.

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4 days ago

Google's Toontastic 3D app lets kids create 3D movies

1

Google's latest kids app can conjure up stories, science reports and more!

Google's longstanding focus on educational apps has taken a turn towards fun with the launch of the company's latest kids app, Toontastic 3D. Available from today on Android and iOS, the app lets kids create their own animated 3D movies, choosing from "dozens" of characters, story types and settings, add their own voiceovers and mix background music, before exporting and sharing with the world.

It's designed to be a powerful yet approachable creative tool, and can be used for a both storytelling and school projects like science reports, with 3D drawing tools for an extra personal touch.

As the official site explains, the app aims to help kids express their creativity and develop their digital skills, as they build their creations and share them with friends and family. The new app is free to download (and free of in-app purchases too), and supports phones and tablets running Android 5.0 Lollipop and up.

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4 days ago

Best RPGs for Android

27
Best RPGs for Android

What are the best Android RPGs?

Role-playing games are wonderful, story-driven experiences that complement the mobile gaming experience nicely. Despite the relatively tiny mobile screens we're used to (yes, 5.7 inches is still small by gaming standards) RPGs allow us to get lost in fanciful worlds for a while.

In the case of some games, especially those ported over from PC, that "while" could be 20 or 30 hours! This makes the best RPGs worth their price in the Google Play Store. There are some duds in there, so we've hand-picked the best of the best to save you the trouble of digging.

If you're looking for more than just RPGs, be sure to check out our roundup of the best Android games of the year!

Crashlands

Butterscotch Shenanigans makes some quirky and hilarious games and Crashlands is no exception. In what might be the funniest mobile RPG to date, you play as Flux Dabes, a space trucker who's forced to crash-land (get it?) on an alien planet thanks to an alien jerk named Hewgodooko.

As you try to survive on this strange planet, you must craft your way through repairing your ship, build bases, tame wildlife to be pets, and fight the locals while crafting weapons and items from their corpses (it sounds morbid, but it's great).

If you love witty dialogue, a fun story, quirky games, and crafting over 468 items, then you should be playing Crashlands.

Download: Crashlands ($4.99)

Baldur's Gate and Baldur's Gate II: Shadows of Amn

Baldur's GateBaldur's Gate

If you're a D&D fan, then you're going to want the Baldur's Gate games on your phone ASAP. They use a modified version of the Advanced Dungeons and Dragons 2nd Edition rules and the original Baldur's Gate was credited with the computer RPG renaissance in 1998.

These are your classic fantasy games, wherein you start off knowing only the walls of the castle in which you were born, but are thrust into a war-torn world under mysterious circumstances. Venture off and take on mythical creatures, as well as real ones (like rats!)

If you like a good old fashioned romp around a medieval realm, clearing dungeons and slaying beasts, all while creating potions and bettering your character, then the Baldur's Gate games should be right up your alley.

Download: Baldur's Gate ($9.99, with in-app purchases)

Download: Baldur's Gate II: Shadows of Amn ($9.99, with in-app purchases)

Final Fantasy

Final Fantasy Brave ExviusFinal FantasyFinal Fantasy

One of the most beloved RPG sagas is on mobile in the form of 12 Final Fantasy games:

If you have any love in your heart for the series, then you'll definitely want at least one of these titles on your phone or tablet. Play your way through the entire sci-fi/fantasy saga if you want to and help Cloud stop Sephiroth, help Cecil stop Golbez, and help defeat Queen Brahne alongside Zidane.

Most of the adventures and a few spin-offs are there for you to spend hours and hours with, which makes them worth the cash (they can be as much as $20.99!). Just note that these games can take up a LOT of space, like upwards of 2 gigs. That being said, you're getting the full game with all of these, so 2GB doesn't really seem all the huge.

Whether you're up for medieval fantasy or futuristic sci-fi action, Final Fantasy has something for everyone, easily making them some of the best RPGs around for Android or any platform for that matter!

Download: Final Fantasy (Free-$20.99)

The Bard's Tale

Bard's TaleBard's Tale

The Bard's Tale centers on a rather sly dog of a protagonist who, rather than playing the hero, prefers the company of women and the comfort of ale. You head off on a goofy adventure with a drunken fellow who plays magical songs in order to heal party members, summon party members to help fight, and summon party members to take damage for him (he's kind of a dick).

This features an excellent voice cast, with The Princess Bride's Cary Elwes as the Bard, Tony Jay (Frollo from The Hunchback of Notre Dame) as the narrator, and Brian George and Carlos Alazraqui as additional characters.

If you love a fantasy adventure, but want a break from the dark tones of most RPGs, then check out The Bard's Tale and never be bored again; there are 50 enemy types, over a dozen bosses, tons of weird NPCs, and plenty of satire, sure to slake your thirst for hilarity. Definitely not for kids.

Download: The Bard's Tale ($1.99, with in-app purchases)

Evoland

EvolandEvoland

Evoland isn't the most original game of all time, borrowing elements from the Legend of Zelda, Diablo, and Final Fantasy to create a classic RPG adventure that might be a bit of a knock-off, but it's as fun as any of the originals, and there's a damn-good reason for its pilfering of the classics.

This game is all about the evolution of video games, starting you off with two colors and a 2D character. As you progress, you unlock new technologies and new graphics until you reach the modern, 3D/HD age.

Your sort of meta-journey is punctuated by references to classic RPGs and movies, so keep a sharp eye out and enjoy the Easter eggs thrown in as you battle and loot and level up.

If you love RPGs, no matter when they were made, then you'll love Evoland.

Download: Evoland ($5.49)

Pocket Mortys

Pocket MortysPocket Mortys

Like Pokémon? Love Rick and Morty? Does the Pope have lips? Is a chicken Catholic? At their core, the original Pokémon games were glorious RPGs and Pocket Mortys is about as close as you can get to (legally) playing the classic Pokémon games on your phone. (Yeah, Pokémon Go is a thing, but it's just not the same!)

You get to control Rick, who's just doing science in his garage when Mysterious Rick comes through a portal and challenges him to a Morty battle. After, Rick goes through the portal to the Council of Ricks, who confiscate his portal gun.

To get it back, you have to defeat the six Ricks sitting on the council, but before you can battle them, you must battle the Ricks from other dimensions and claim their badges. After all that's through, you have to go and capture every type of Morty.

This is probably the most twisted take on Pokémon you'll come across, but it's fun and branded with the cartoon's signature humor, making it a game that just makes you wanna get schwifty.

Download Pocket Mortys and SHOW ME WHAT YOU GOT.

Download: Pocket Mortys (Free, with in-app purchases)

Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic

 Knights of the Old Republic Knights of the Old Republic

This is the full K.O.T.O.R. experience, so if you're a Star Wars fan, this is definitely the mobile game you're looking for. It's a huge download, at 2.4GB, but you get all the force-wielding, lightsaber-swinging, Republic-saving goodness that the console games dazzled us with.

You get to choose your party from nine types of characters, travel to eight planets on the Ebon Hawk, and learn to use the Force, including over 40 powers. You also get to build your own lightsaber!

Knights of the Republic is the epitome of a classic Star Wars RPG and this port is totally worth the cash. This game even supports controllers if you prefer to play that way. As the Jedi's last hope, you decide the fate of the galaxy as you battle your way to becoming a hero or falling to the temptation of the Dark Side.

You decide!

Download: Star Wars: Knight of the Old Republic ($9.99)

Dragon Quest VIII

Dragon Quest VIIIDragon Quest VIIIDragon Quest VIII

Possibly the most popular game in the Dragon Quest series, Dragon Quest VIII: Journey of the Cursed King is available for android in all its cell-shaded beauty. It was the first widely released Dragon Quest title, being the first to hit the PAL region and the first to be called Dragon Quest in North America, where it was always called Dragon Warrior.

In this version, you play as the Hero, a Trodain guard, who embarks on a quest to reclaim a stolen scepter from the evil court jester, Dhoulmagus, who has cursed Trodain castle, turning the king into a troll, the princess into a horse, and everyone else into plants.

This is the full PS2 game, so it's 1.4GB, taking up quite a bit of space on your phone. But you get everything the original has to offer: epic, turn-based battles, crafting via the Alchemy Pot, and classic fantasy, presented in a gorgeous 3D anime style.

If you loved Dragon Quest VIII on PS2, you'll love it on Android too.

Download: Dragon Quest VIII ($19.99)

Mage and Minions

Mage and MinionsMage and Minions

Claiming to be the first RPG truly designed for controls, Mage and Minions is an excellent fantasy RPG that really does feel great to play. The controls are smooth and make sense to the mobile experience and the gameplay is fun and immersive.

You and your party are off on a quest to prevent Ragadam from taking over the world and ultimately destroying it, all the while battling skeletons and demons, collecting loot, crafting items and weapons, and casting spells to get the job done.

The spell-casting controls are particularly cool, since you have to draw symbols on your screen to summon different spells.

If you're looking for an RPG experience that was truly meant for mobile, then indulge in Mage and Minions.

Download: Mage and Minions (Free, with in-app purchases)

Dungeon Hunter 5

Dungeon Hunter 5Dungeon Hunter 5

This is one of the deepest RPGs on this list, featuring a story mode, an online mode, and co-op mode wherein you hack and slash your way through dungeons, all the while leveling up and unlocking new weapons, armor, and other upgrades you can craft to create even stronger weapons.

This game is HUGE. The initial download is 33MB, but you'll eventually be downloading gigs of data, since there are over 900 weapons to wield and hundreds of different spells and skills to acquire.

While online, you get to develop your own dungeons where your precious loot resides, defended by minions that you recruit and craft from Minion Shards. As an added defense, you get to build Trap Rooms within your dungeons in order to thwart those that might steal your treasure. Just be careful; you'll likely be on the receiving end fairly often!

Dungeon Hunter 5 is a big, immersive, versatile RPG that sucks you in and before you know it, it's the year 2100 and you're a pile of dust, still battling your way to herodom or riches (because apparently heroes don't get paid).

If you're looking for an awesome free RPG that you can play until Ragnarok, then dive into Dungeon Hunter 5 and definitely keep an eye on your data usage!

Download: Dungeon Hunter 5 (Free, with in-app purchases)

Did we miss anything?

What's your favorite RPG for Android? Did it make our list? Sound off in the comments below!

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5 days ago

The Android launcher experience on tablets is still terrible

40

It's not quite a desktop, but it's not quite a normal home screen.

The Android tablet experience is often awkward and awful, and that goes double for the launchers, which are inconsistent, inconvenient, and often times ugly. From third-party launchers to manufacturer versions of tablet layouts, there's a lot to be desired, and while part of that blame falls on developers, it also falls to Google, which has still not quite figured out how tablets should behave.

And it falls on us. Because we just don't know what we want.

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5 days ago

Facebook says new battery issues can be fixed with an app reset, no update on old battery issues

39

If your Facebook battery usage has been especially bad recently, it has apparently been fixed server-side.

You don't use Facebook and also get surprised by battery drain issues, especially with the ocean of data to support just how hungry both Facebook and Messenger can be, but recently several users noticed a dramatic spike in power consumption. Some users reported as much a 1% every minute when Facebook Messenger was open, and it turns out that's not the intended battery consumption rate for that app.

Facebook's Messenger lead David Marcus responded to a recent complaint about power consumption on Twitter recently with an explanation and an apology, and it looks like whatever was going wrong has been fixed.

Facebook itself is still a significant battery hog, but even when you're playing games with friends Messenger is usually not too bad. As the tweet suggests, if you're still experiencing higher than usual drain from Messenger, force close the app and restart it so the new connection is no longer affected by the server-side issue that has been addressed recently.

If you feel compelled to do this more than once because of continued battery drain, chances are you're experiencing something entirely different from this problem. Fortunately for you, it looks like the guy in charge is pretty responsive.

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6 days ago

Best apps to help you make habits and stick to them

2

Make a habit of making habits with these helpful tracking apps.

You're probably sick of hearing the same old clichés about getting a handle back on life. Well, I'm not here to give you that rah-rah speech. Whether you get back on the saddle is ultimately up to you, but I can help you on a journey by suggesting a few apps that are effective at helping implement healthier habits into your daily life.

Whether your goal for the year is to simply text your friends more often or to get into shape, here are a few Android apps worth trying out for yourself.

Habitica

If the standard check-it-off list of things to doesn't work for you, try to gamify your goals with Habitica. This app turns your everyday tasks and weekly goals into a riveting role-playing game. You can sign up with your Google or Facebook account and then create an avatar that looks like you. Every task, habit, and to-do that you cross off rewards you money and experience points that you can redeem for items and upgrades.

Be forewarned that there are quite a few nuances to Habitica. If you're serious about truly turning your daily life into a game, you'll have to stick with the program. There are penalties for not completing daily tasks. If you need help staying on track, you can join a guild with several others to ensure that your character is leveled up with completed tasks before the next boss fight.

Download Habitica (Free, IAP)

Todoist

Having trouble getting the day-to-day in order? Todoist can be a particularly effective aid in managing those daily, weekly, and monthly tasks, whether it's at work or in your personal life. The app is built using the standard Material Design layout, complete with a hamburger menu and floating action buttons. It's also cross-platform, so you can use it on your smartphone, computer, or smartwatch. You can also add tasks with Google Home or by forwarding an email.

Be aware that you'll have to pay an annual membership fee — around $30 a year — to unlock Todoist's full set of features, which also includes themes, push notifications, and the ability to sync up with Dropbox or Google Drive.

Download Todoist (Free, IAP)

Loop Habit Tracker

Loop Habit Tracker is merely a "simple" tracking app because it isn't bogged down by all the extra elements that tracking apps typically require of you. There are no due dates or sprint goals, nor do you have to log in to have others hold you accountable. All you have to do is press and hold when you've completely a task and move on with your day.

As you get through completing tasks, Loop Habit Tracker will aggregate all of that data for you into an easy-to-read detailed graph. The app lets you backup that data to take it with you, and it supports imports from other applications, including the popular app Habitbull, which did not make this roundup because of its confusing multi-tier payment options.

Download Loop Habit Tracker (Free)

Nomie

If you have trouble remembering to complete the minutiae of the day-to-day, Nomie might be your answer for getting it done. You can use Nomie to track anything. If you can assign it an icon and a name, you can track it. For every item you create, you can choose whether ticking the items has a positive or negative impact on your overall score. Best of all, Nomie is completely private. You don't need an account to keep track of your data. When you're ready to switch smartphones, simply carry over that data by exporting and backing it up to Dropbox.

Download Nomie (Free)

What about you?

Trying to implement a new habit this year? Found an app that you like? Share it in the comments!

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6 days ago

WhatsApp now lets you search for GIFs from within its interface

9

Spicing up your conversations with GIFs is easier than ever before.

The latest update to WhatsApp beta introduces GIF search, allowing you to search for and add GIFs without leaving the messaging platform. WhatsApp added support for GIFs a few months ago, although it was limited to sharing locally-saved GIFs. Today's update makes it easier to search through Giphy's extensive library and add GIFs directly from within WhatsApp's interface. The update also increases the media sharing limit from 10 to 30.

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6 days ago

Best File Manager

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ASUS File Manager

Asus File Manager is the best file manager currently available for Android. You can move, share and delete your files, as well as compressing them to help save space.

Best overall

ASUS File Manager

See at Play Store

ASUS File Manager manages to heave itself to the top of the file manager food chain on Android by delivering tons of great features that work well together to make your life easier in the long run. You'll see the usual features like moving, sharing and deleting the files on your phone, as well as less common features like compressing files, and streaming files located in cloud storage. Of course you'll also find the ability to easily browse your files, and manage your files with their cadre of useful disk tools.

Bottom line: ASUS File Manager delivers a great experience with all of the features you didn't realize that you wanted. From managing files, to storage, their features all work well together delivering a simple and easy to use app.

One more thing: ASUS File Manager is the highest rated file manager on Google Play, with over 600,000 reviews for a scored of 4.6. And despite the name, it's not exclusive to ASUS devices!

Why the ASUS File Manager is the best

ASUS File Manager delivers a great experience with tons of features, at the low, low, price of free.

I'll be clear, that when I'm looking for a good file manager what I'm most concerned about is price, quality, and features — although not necessarily in that order. With that being said, it's fairly clear how ASUS File Manager is able to climb to the head of the pack.

To begin with, ASUS File Manager is absolutely free. There are no add-ons, or pro editions that you'll feel obligated to buy in order to access all of the features that you want. One of the biggest perks here is the ability to share, save, edit and delete your files whether they are located on your phone, microSD card, or in cloud storage. When it comes to cloud storage, you've also got access to accounts whether they happen to be Dropbox, OneDrive, Google Drive, and more.

ASUS also gives you the ability to stream media that you've stored in the cloud. That means that you don't need to keep all of your photos or videos stored on your phone if you want to show them to friends, you can upload them to the cloud and still whip them out at a moment's notice.

Of course the most important aspect of any file manager is how easy it is to actually manage your files. Well, ASUS File Manager has you covered on that front as well. To save space on your phone, you have the ability to compress or extract files into and out of ZIP and RAR files. From the ASUS File Manager home, you can browse through all of your files and adjust them as necessary. Additionally their Disk Tools like the storage analyzer and recycle bin help you make sure that everything is exactly as you want it.

While you might find some of these features in other file managers, having them all in one place with an app that is easy to use, is why ASUS File Manager is the best file manager currently available on Android.

Best for Privacy

File Explorer

File Explorer

See at Store

File Explorer is currently the second highest rated file manager on Google Play with over 50 thousand reviews chiming in for a 4.4 rating. That's because what File Explorer does, it does quite well, delivering an easy and intuitive file manager that lets you easily handle your business.

While File Manager does have plenty of awesome features, to access absolutely everything offered you'll need to purchase File Explorer Pro. When using the app there are popups which will inform you of an error, as well as help you out in learning the app, making it far more intuitive than many of its competitors. When using File Explorer you'll be able to you can transfer files from phone to phone using Wi-Fi, it supports multi-windowed mode, gives you the ability to see the size of each folder on your phone, and offers a home screen to allow you to easily browse and adjust your files. However, to access features like extracting ZIP and RAR files, connect to Cloud storage, and directly browse your multimedia files you will need to upgrade to File Explorer Pro.

Bottom line: File Explorer is a decent option for those who don't need a ton of bells and whistles, or who prefer an easy and intuitive app to use. However, some of their best — and most useful — features are hidden behind a paywall.

One more thing: If you've been looking for an ad-free experience that also does not participate in user tracking, then File Explorer is definitely your best bet.

Best for multiple devices

ASTRO File manager

ASTRO File Manager

See at Store

ASTRO File Manager has been one of the best file managers on Google Play for years now, and with good reason. It's got an easy to use and intuitive UI which is always a solid plus, but it also comes at the lovely price of free. While ASTRO File Manager includes many of the same features as other file managing apps, it also has a few surprises that nobody else currently includes.

To begin with, ASTRO File Manager includes a task killer. This means that it's easy to kill tasks or processes killing your battery life, without a hassle. You also have access to File Manager Backup, which can be a boon for anyone who has to switch phones often, or is prone to losing their devices.

ASTRO File Manager also delivers the best features that you're used to have access to. You'll be able to deal with files located on your phone, SD card, Cloud Storage, LAN, and even on Facebook. There is also the ability to add FTP and SMB servers.

Bottom line: ASTRO File Manager delivers you the awesome features you need in order to access and organize your files, as well as a task killer, and the lovely ability to backup your filed before switching phones. With access to files on your phone, social media, and cloud storage, you'll always be able to access what you need with a tap.

One more thing: ASTRO File Manager is available in 13 different languages, making it ideal for non-english speakers and readers.

Conclusion

Plenty of us use File Managers in order to keep track all of the many files we have. While there are many dozens of them available on the Google Play Store, many don't offer the features or ease of access that you want — or need—in a file manager. Of the many managers out there, ASUS File Manager delivers the best experience and price, with all the features you could ask for.

Best overall

ASUS File Manager

See at Play Store

ASUS File Manager manages to heave itself to the top of the file manager food chain on Android by delivering tons of great features that work well together to make your life easier in the long run. You'll see the usual features like moving, sharing and deleting the files on your phone, as well as less common features like compressing files, and streaming files located in cloud storage. Of course you'll also find the ability to easily browse your files, and manage your files with their cadre of useful disk tools.

Bottom line: ASUS File Manager delivers a great experience with all of the features you didn't realize that you wanted. From managing files, to storage, their features all work well together delivering a simple and easy to use app.

One more thing: ASUS File Manager is the highest rated file manager on Google Play, with over 600,000 reviews for a scored of 4.6. And despite the name, it's not exclusive to ASUS devices!

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1 week ago

#DOUBLETAKE: Here were some of the CRAZIEST things at CES 2017!

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What were some of the most insane things that were at #CES2017?!

Okay, first off: CES is a gigantic wonderland of anything and everything techie and weird. That means that no matter which corridor you decide to hoverboard down, there's a chance you'll find something that could make you do a serious double-take.

While wandering around the massive halls of the Sands Expo and the Las Vegas Convention Centre, there were quite a number of things both big and small that had me wondering, "Huh. Hey. What the heck is that?" So as we explored, we kept track of the oddballs!

Here are a couple of bizarre gadgets that stuck out this year at CES!

The Force Trainer 2

For my ally is the Force, and a powerful ally it is. – Yoda

If you've seen Star Wars, then you've probably attempted to use The Force on something at least once in your life. Maybe you've practiced with automatic sliding doors or a perfectly-timed green light, but we all know that's luck (or someone just, like, walking passed a censor at the right time).

But what if we told you that you could actually use your mind just like Jedi? What if we told you that there was brain-sensing EEG technology that's been regularly used in military and medical devices that can allow you to take down enemy droids with just your mind?

Meet the Star Wars Force Trainer 2; an incredibly crazy/cool device that seamlessly mixes science and sci-fi to let you train to be a Jedi Master! All you have to do is focus, and make it so (THIS IS A JOKE. I KNOW THIS IS A QUOTE FROM STAR TREK AND NOT STAR WARS. PLEASE DON'T EAT ME).

See at Amazon

O'2 Nails

Having your nails done can not only be time-consuming, but it can get a bit, well, booooring.

Sure, you love you esthetician and nail artist, but having the same floral and jeweled designs time and time again can get dull and repetitive, and using a glitter, matte, or metallic polish is alright, but it really isn't that terribly daring.

That's why O'2 Nails is actually kind of a big-deal and a game changer in the aesthetic world: the little portable box pairs with an app that allows users to literally print images directly onto their nails.

The ARTPRO NAIL from O'2 Nails is an inkjet printer FOR YOUR FINGERNAILS! #nailart #ces2017

A video posted by iMore (@imoregram) on Jan 6, 2017 at 3:11pm PST

After applying a few base coats, you're good to pick your high-quality image – it can literally be anything as long as the picture is clear enough– and start paint-printing. Just sit still and in no time, you'll have puppies, kitties, or octopi on your nails!

(Oh, and it's not available online yet, but you can read about when it may be available and how much it'll cost right here).

To quote #BradPit in the movie #Se7en, "WHAT'S IN THE BOX?!" While that's a very good question, it's actually what comes OUT of the box that's super cool and amazing! This is the @o2nails_beauty, a device that allows people to print and truly customize their #manicure without any mess or hassle. The best part? It's portable! #CES2017 #O2Nails #LasVegas #SandsExpo

A photo posted by Android Central (@androidcentral) on Jan 6, 2017 at 3:39pm PST

HandL Butt Case

Oh, my, god. Becky, look at her butt. It is so big. – Sir Mix A Lot, Baby Got Back

We'll cut to the chase: The HandL Butt Case is exactly what it sounds like, and when I first heard about it, I thought it was super silly…

… until we actually had the opportunity to use and play with it.

Say what you want about the design, but HandL's Butt Case is an incredibly comfortable phone accessory with an (extremely) unique look and feel. While the brand makes plenty of more 'regular' looking cases, the function and design is always the same: a strip of leather that pulls up from with an elastic attachment to the case, so your phone can always stay secure in your hand.

Two words: Butt. Case. 🍑 #CES2017 #SandsExpo #iPhone #iMore #butt #buttcase #Handl @mikahsargent

A video posted by iMore (@imoregram) on Jan 6, 2017 at 7:20pm PST

Think a Stylering , but with more stability and, well, butt style!

Is it a thin case? No, not really, but the Butt case looks identical to a rear-end and is incredibly squishy and comfy, making it a super crazy, but super awesome phone accessory!

TLDR: Baby got back.

See at HandL

Play-Doh Touch Shape to Life Studio

Have you ever doodled a cool looking character and thought, 'Hey, he'd make a really awesome dude in a video game?' Well, what if you could physically build and put together any type of creature using something simple like, I dunno, Play-Doh, and have it scanned into digital, playable real-ness?

While never fear, because the Play-Doh Touch Shape to Life Studio is here!

Step one: Build cat-to-pus Step two: Scan cat-to-pus into reality and start playing! Seriously though, how cool is this @playdoh video game?! You can get SO creative and wild! We're obsessed! #CES2017 #ShowStoppers #LasVegas

A video posted by Android Central (@androidcentral) on Jan 5, 2017 at 8:38pm PST

All you have to do it take a little bit of Play-Doh, mush and model it into the ideal lil' creature of your dreams (I made a cat-to-pus!), scan your creation onto your iPad using the special scanning pad, and you're good to start playing levels with your self-made shenanigans.

The coolest part? Your character doesn't move in a standard sort of way – depending on how many legs and appendages your creation has, it will react and play in its own unique way!

See at Hasbro

iGulu Home Beer Brewery

If you're a big beer fan and love having an ice-cold glass of some delicious hops, then take a peek at the 2017 CES award-winning iGulu Home Beer Brewery!

iGulu is an automatic, technologically advanced beer-brewing machine. The machine boasts high-tech control systems and sensors, making brewing beer a smart and excellent process, suitable for beginners as well as for experts.

Now if you're worried about messing up your favorite beverage, don't be, because a smart control chip helps keeps things constantly monitored in real-time.

Users can even share and access a ton of different recipes by simply logging into the iGulu Library.

Happy boozin'!

See at iGulu

Nurugo

You're totally lying, and lying is bad for your skin, so... – Tammy, Bob's Burgers

While lying is probably bad for your skin, we would never lie to you when we say that the Nurugo is the next logical step in smart skincare maintenance. Afterall, it did win a CES 2017 innovation award!

Nurugo is an itty-bitty UV camera that attaches directly to your phone. From there, you just have to hold up the device to your face and start scanning! In a couple of seconds, a full report will appear on your phone screen, letting you know how big your pores are, if youn have dry or oily skin, and so, so much more.

At the moment, all the Nurugo can do is scan your skin and tell you what's up, but in the next couple of months, the system will be able to actually recommend things to do to clear up acne, dryness, or any other skin issue!

The Nurugo Micro is SICKKK! It scans and analyzes your skin, giving you metrics and recommendations for skin health!

A video posted by iMore (@imoregram) on Jan 5, 2017 at 1:30pm PST

See at Nurugo

So what do you think!?

Is there an item on our list that you think is the most out-there and bizarre? Were you at CES yourself, and saw something super cool? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!

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1 week ago

How to make a fitness app part of your daily routine

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Technology is transforming fitness.

It used to be that fitness apps were primarily used to count calories, and check in after workouts. That's no longer the case. There are dozens of fantastic apps out there, and they cater to what you are specifically looking for. Whether you're always looking for a new fun app to help motivate you along, or you've never been inclined to look into them at all, fitness apps can help make your average day healthier.

Keeping fit is easier than ever

Most of us get some amount of exercise every day, just by living our lives. We walk around, in some cases all day long. Plenty of fitness apps will track this and let you know what your activity level is like each day, including the number of steps taken and calories burned based off of your height and weight. There are apps which do this without ever even needing to be opened after you initially set them up.

Fitness doesn't have to be a chore, at least not with these apps.

If you're just starting a fitness routine, there are apps that can help build workout plans, count calories, give you videos so you can workout at home and much more. It might seem a little strange at first to have an app tracking your fitness level. By integrating these apps into your day you can see how active you already are, without ever having to hit the gym. That isn't to say that all fitness apps are made for that purpose. They've branched out, and the abundance of choice lets you determine what you need out of a fitness app.

More: 4 interactive apps that will keep you entertained

If you're looking for something that turns fitness into a game there is Zombies, Run!, The Walk, or even Pokémon Go. Nexercise is an app that turn fitness into an actual game, letting you earn experience points, level up, add friends and win prizes. Charity Miles donates money to a charity of your choice for the distance you run. Fitness doesn't have to be a chore, at least not with these apps. They take what you're already doing, and put a spin on it to make it fun and encourage you to do more.

One size fits all fitness is a thing of the past

Even if you aren't particularly fitness-minded, integrating an app into your life can be a benefit. With unobtrusive tracking apps, you can see your daily activity levels. While that might not seem like much, if you're a city dweller you could be walking miles every day without ever realizing it. These apps can help with your health as well, outlining when you have more energy for activity, or what your stamina is like. Some games even have fitness benefits that are purely accidental, like Ingress where walking around to capture portals is a game mechanic. Apps like Aqualert can even help to make sure you're drinking enough water. Fitness apps are no longer just for the people who live and breathe getting, and staying in shape. They're built now to be friendly to everyone no matter what your level of motivation might be.

With the ways that fitness apps have diversified, there really is something out there for absolutely everyone.

These aren't the apps from years ago which were tailored for a specific type of person to use. Rather, they have spread their influence and tried to find new niches for people who might not usually use a fitness app. The analytics and data can be fantastic if you're a fan of graphs and charts, but even better is the fact that using these apps can actually help you to live a healthier life. We only get one body, so why not treat it right with the help of technology?

It doesn't matter what your activity level is like on a day to day basis. Everyone can benefit from having a fitness app in their life. It can be something small like simply tracking your activity levels, or detailed down to your caloric intake and workout intensity. No matter where you sit on the fitness spectrum, there is an app for you. So are you using any of these apps, or is there a fitness app that you stand by already? Tell us all about it in the comments!

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