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14 hours ago

Cyanogen folder locking - how it works and why it is awesome

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Cyanogen folder locking

Perfect for privacy fans or parents who let their kids play with their phones.

Unless you have a native guest mode, every time you hand your phone over to someone else you're handing over your entire digital existence. Your photo gallery, browser history, chats, and anything not secured by a pin in the app are a tap or two away. Whether you've handed your phone off to a child to watch a video in the middle of the grocery store, a friend who needs to call a cab after their phone died, or your phone has gotten up and walked away with the help of some less-than-honest individual, protecting your data is important.

Lockscreens aren't bulletproof, Smart Lock even less so, which means it is worth exploring a second layer for those apps you don't want anyone but you to access. If you're using a Cyanogen OS device or something running CyanogenMod, folder locking is a perfect example of a second security layer. It's also baked right in to the OS, waiting for you to turn it on and enjoy it. Here's how it works.

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15 hours ago

See what's playing right from your wrist with the latest Shazam update

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Shazam has added Android Wear support in its latest update, which now allows you to identify who is playing right from your wrist.

No longer do you have to fumble to find your phone when you want to know who sings a particular song, thanks to the latest Shazam update. Included in this update is the addition of Android Wear support to the app, so users can now do everything right from their wrist.

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16 hours ago

Best alternative keyboards for the Samsung Galaxy S6

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Galaxy S6 keyboards

There are plenty of great keyboard choices for your GS6 right in Google Play.

If we're being honest, the built-in Samsung keyboard on the Galaxy S6 just isn't that great. It puts buttons in weird places, has some odd touch responses and is generally poor at auto correct, but that doesn't mean you're stuck with it. Of course you can switch out that keyboard with a free or paid option from Google Play, and that means you have dozens of choices available to you.

We've been using the Galaxy S6 plenty, and these are the keyboards we're happiest with after using them. Read along with us and see if one of these appeals to you as well.

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16 hours ago

Adobe will pull Photoshop Touch from Google Play on May 28

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Adobe announced that it would be discontinuing Photoshop Touch late next week.

Adobe will pull Photoshop Touch from Google Play on May 28. The company believes that their new mobile apps will better meet the needs of their customers going forward. While these tools are currently only available on iOS, Adobe announced that they are currently developing new apps for Android, which they will debut soon.

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17 hours ago

Google's OS X Hangouts Chrome app updates to something not awful

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If you've been suffering with Google's Chrome app (as opposed to the extension) for Hangouts (especially on OS X), keep an eye out for an update today. Mine just refreshed to what you see here — ditching the (mostly) single-column view for two columns that are much more akin to what you'd expect from a proper chat client.

In fact, after poking around for a few minutes, this is much improved over the previous iteration.

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19 hours ago

Hexy launcher is the latest from SwiftKey's Greenhouse incubator

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SwiftKey Hexy

The second release for SwiftKey's 'Greenhouse' innovation incubator isn't a keyboard — it's a launcher.

If you're looking for a new launcher to try out, a new one's available today from a slightly unlikely source — keyboard guru SwiftKey. Hexy launcher — so named for the hexagon-style UI — comes from SwiftKey's "Greenhouse" initiative, which as you might expect plants ideas and with the idea of seeing what grows from them. The Greenhouse already has produced an experimental keyboard called Clarity that aims to correct phrases and not just single words.

Hexy, meanwhile, automatically organizes your apps on the home screen and tries to predict what you're going to use next, with the most frequently used making up a central hexagon. That's not exactly a new idea, but it's been interesting to see which launchers do it better. And SwiftKey's long been known for its word prediction. You'll also be able to quickly filter through apps with the search bar, and there are options for widgets as well.

Hexy is available starting today from the SwiftKey Greenhouse, which you can find here.

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20 hours ago

HTC brings Mail app to Google Play for easier updates going forward

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In an effort to be able to provide updates faster, HTC has brought its Mail app to Google Play as a standalone download.

HTC has decided to put its Mail app as a listing in Google Play, allowing them to better control the update process of the application. With this new listing, HTC will no longer have to push out an OS update in order to bring new features, or squash any on-going bugs that may be taking place.

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1 day ago

Amazon starts offering Prime Now deliveries from local stores in Manhattan

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Amazon today announced that the Prime Now one-hour delivery service will now be offered from local stores, in addition to the wide range of products already available trough the company website.

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1 day ago

Sunrise Calendar now integrates your Wunderlist tasks and to-do lists

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Microsoft-owned Sunrise Calendar has introduced support for Wunderlist, allowing you to create, modify and view your to-do lists directly in the calendar app.

To enable integration with the service, head to Settings in Sunrise, select Add Account, choose Wunderlist and log in with your credentials. After logging in, you can select which lists from Wunderlist you want to access within Sunrise.

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1 day ago

Android 5.1.1 factory images, OTAs arrive for slew of Nexus devices [Updated]

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Google has posted the Android 5.1.1 factory image for the Nexus 9 (LTE) as the OTA rolls out to it, the Nexus 4, and Nexus 5.

Google has started pushing out Android 5.1.1 to three Nexus devices today: the Nexus 4, Nexus 5, and Nexus 9 (LTE). And if you're not up to waiting around, the factory images for all three devices have been posted as well.

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1 day ago

The difference between Cyanogen OS and CyanogenMod

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Cyanogen OS

The line between community and commercial benefits everyone, and it couldn't be easier to choose one or the other.

You'd be hard pressed to find Android fans familiar with concepts like rooting and flashing roms that don't know what CyanogenMod is. As a third-party replacement for the version of Android that came with your device that has been available since the HTC G1 — as nuts as it was to try and flash something on that phone — CyanogenMod has earned its place in the history of this platform. As Android grew, so did the people responsible for CyanogenMod, and now those people are a proper company working towards bringing their vision for Android to everyone by partnering with companies and being included as the release software. The software on these retail devices is a little different from the zip you can download and flash to replace your current version of Android, and to help differentiate between these two software versions you'll heard a different name associated with this retail variant — Cyanogen OS.

Branding aside, what exactly are the differences between the commercially available Cyanogen OS and the community maintained CyanogenMod? Let's take a look.

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1 day ago

The best camera apps for the Samsung Galaxy S6

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Samsung Galaxy S6 camera

Here you can find the perfect camera app for day-to-day shooting on your Samsung Galaxy S6.

There's little argument that the camera on the Samsung Galaxy S6 is phenomenal, so let's find ways to get the most out of it. We've scoured the Play Store to find the best Android camera apps out there so you can produce great shots quickly and painlessly.

The stock S6 app will optimize for the device's camera better than anything else out there, and Google Camera is an obvious pick (especially if you're hooked on Photo Spheres), but third-party options are always welcome. Keep in mind we're focusing on apps that are handling the actual picture-taking experience. There are other apps that do editing after the fact, but only incidentally have a shortcut for launching into the camera.

These camera apps aren't exclusive to the Galaxy S6 by any means. Odds are you'll find something useful here regardless of which Android phone you're packing.

READ NOW: Our top picks for Samsung Galaxy S6 camera apps!

Camera Zoom FX

Camera Zoom FX has been a mainstay camera app for a long time. Hardware buttons can be remapped to take a shot, or you can just tap anywhere on the screen to shoot (handy for shooting selfies blind). Burst mode, HDR support, voice activated shutter, and software stabilization help you shoot in a variety of circumstances. A timelapse function helps you make animated GIFs. On the post-processing side, there are plenty of bundled filters, and additional themed asset packs available for download. Of course manual controls for ISO levels and white balance are included. Some features will require a $2.99 upgrade to the premium version, but even the free one should meet most of your needs.

Download Camer ZOOM FX in the Play Store

Camera360

Camera360 is another massively popular camera app for Android. On top of fine-tuning ISO, contrast, and brightness settings as you shoot, a wide range of filters are available, which can be previewed on the screen before taking your picture. If you aren't using any automatic image back-up, Camera360 has a free and premium service for keeping shots safe in the cloud. Overall the interface is quite modern and sharp. The core app is free, with premium effects available through an in-app store.

Download Camera360 in the Play Store

Camera FV-5

Camera FV-5 is serious business. Automatic exposure bracketing, long exposure, time lapse, EXIF data, and a wide range of composition guides are just some of the goodies available for those that know what they're doing. Large, visible interface elements are very much in the style of a big-boy SLR. On-screen elements for ISO, f-stop, and shutter speed help you stay informed before taking the shot. The free version of FV-5 is feature complete, except it's limited by resolution. You'll need to pay $3.95 to upgrade and lift the limit.

Download Camera FV-5 in the Play Store

Manual Camera

Manual Camera for Android

Manual Camera provides clean, precision control over your shots. A handy dial interface helps you adjust shutter time, white balance, ISO, and exposure with minimal fiddling. You find a lot here in terms of post-processing, like filters or cropping, but depending on your sensibilities, this might be a good thing.

Download Manual Camera in the Play Store

A Better Camera

A Better Camera offers a full suite of camera utilities in a simple, clean interface. Unlike a lot of camera apps, you can shoot video with A Better Camera, including timelapse. Standard modes like Panorama and Night shot are there, plus some fancier ones like Best Shot which will pick out the sharpest picture in a burst, and Pre-shot, which will include images before you hit the shutter button to make sure you get the right moment.

Download A Better Camera from the Play Store

Your favorite camera apps for the Samsung Galaxy S6?

That's a sampling of the best camera apps available, but what are you using on your Samsung Galaxy S6 to take pictures? Let us know in the comments!

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1 day ago

HipChat goes native, receives a Material Design overhaul

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HipChat has received a large update in which it leaves web-view behind in favor of native, and even scores a Material Design overhaul as well.

The team behind the team communications app HipChat has just released a large update that improves the overall quality of the application. In this update the look and feel has been refreshed, thanks to an all new Material Design overhaul. Additionally they have ditched web-view in favor of a native experience, which will improve the overall functionality of the app.

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1 day ago

Spotify Now will build custom playlists around your day

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Spotify has announced several new features built around making the service into a complete entertainment experience.

Spotify has introduced a number of new features that help tailor the music your music listening to different parts of your day. The new Now section will serve up playlists tailored to activities and times of the day, like the early morning, for your commute, or when you go to bed.

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1 day ago

Twitch app now lets users watch past content from their favorite streamers

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Popular game streaming service Twitch has finally added video on demand (VOD) support to its Android app.

In an update to its Android app today, Twitch has finally added support for video on demand—a feature many gaming fans have been anticipating for a while.

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