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1 month ago

Second Screen apps — what are they and why would you want to use one?

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Second Screen

Companion apps for television and gaming can be a ton of fun

There are two kinds of people when it comes to the living room — those who would prefer smartphones, tablets, and laptops didn't exist when the big screen is on, and those who can't put their tech down when watching TV or playing a game.

While you're unlikely to bust your phone out in the middle of a theater, for a lot of folks having your phone handy in the living room is a must. Maybe it's to find out where you've seen that actor before, or to grab a map of the level you are currently in for a game, but having your phone or tablet nearby can actually create a more complete experience. Having our tech nearby all the time is what makes Google's Chromecast such a great setup anyway, so why wouldn't you want your Android phone or tablet to go one step further and complete your entertainment experience?

And there's a whole category of apps and services that apply to users who want a little more out of a TV show, movie, or video game. These apps are called Second Screen apps, and if you've got your phone nearby when the TV is on you probably want to check a few of them out.

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1 month ago

Limbo expands its scary-but-cool gameplay to Android

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Limbo for Android

Limbo, one of the best 2D side-scrolling games ever made for PCs and consoles, has finally made its Android debut. The game, from developer Playdead, is now available in the Google Play Store for the price of $4.99.

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1 month ago

Keeping your spending in check with Google Play credit

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Playing it up

Taking away your IAP keys

Google Play wants you to use a credit card for all of your purchases. And while that makes perfect sense, it's not always practical, especially on accounts used or controlled by your kids. And to that end, Google Play has a simple system you can use to rein in their — or your own — spending, and we know it works. How do we know?

We have kids of our own.

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1 month ago

Yelp buys Eat24 to make ordering takeout on your phone easier

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The online reviews company Yelp has acquired the popular restaurant ordering and takeout app Eat24. Yelp paid a total of $134 million for the company, with $75 million in cash and the rest in Yelp stock. Eat24, which allows users to order food from over 30,000 restaurants in 1,500 US cities and have those meals delivered, became a transaction partner with Yelp in 2013.

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1 month ago

Facebook's Internet.org lets Indian residents access basic internet services for free

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At a media event in Mumbai, Facebook announced that it is teaming up with Indian carrier Reliance in launching the Internet.org initiative in the country. The project, which aims to provide free access to basic internet services on mobile, will be available exclusively to Reliance subscribers in six Indian states, with more being added at a later stage.

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1 month ago

Sling TV opens its doors for everyone to try out the Internet TV service

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Sling TV, the Internet-based TV service that was first announced by Dish at CES 2015, is now available for anyone to access following an invite-only beta testing period. You can download the Android Sling TV app now from the Google Play Store. Dish has also announced that AMC has been added to its list of networks that can be accessed with its basic fee of $20 a month.

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1 month ago

Google to ditch SPDY support in Chrome in favor of HTTP/2 for faster browsing

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Google's Chrome browser will see a rollout of support for HTTP/2 in the coming weeks. HTTP/2 is designed to be the next generation version of the networking protocol for the World Wide Web, replacing the current HTTP 1.1. At the same time, support for a competing protocol, SPDY, will be ending in Chrome. The end result should allow for faster web browsing in the future.

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1 month ago

Humble Cartoon Network Bundle now has up to 14 games

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The Humble Cartoon Network Bundle for Android that launched last week now has added three more games based shows on the highly popular TV network. That means buyers can now get up to 14 games for a pretty cheap price in its "pay what you want" model.

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1 month ago

Skype for Android now lets users share photos with online and offline contacts

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Microsoft has updated Skype for Android devices in the Google Play Store, adding in a feature that will allow users to share photos with both online and offline contacts. The 5.2 version also includes some other improvements.

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1 month ago

Dropbox and Microsoft Office now play nice on Android tablets

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The generally-excellent Microsoft Office suite for Android tablets and Dropbox cloud storage service now work together, allowing users to open and edit compatible documents from Dropbox directly into the Office apps.

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1 month ago

Google acquires photo backup and sharing app Odysee

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Google has acquired Odysee, the online photo backup and sharing app. The team will join the search giant to help work on new products, leading Odysee to shut down on February 23. Should you use the service on your smartphone, all uploaded photos will be made available as a downloadable archive.

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1 month ago

AC editors' apps of the week: Ping, Flight Board, Capitaine Train and more

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Editors app picks

Our weekly app picks

Another Appday Sunday and we're back with a handful of our favorites to share. We've got apps to make life easy, apps to make you healthy, and apps that help you get where you want to go. And of course a game, because Jerry.

Give these a look and then take a minute to tell us all about the apps you are using and love so we can give them a try. We all find some of our favorites right in the comments on these posts!

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1 month ago

Ask AC: Can I install Android apps on more than one device?

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My Apps

Have all your apps, everywhere

We get questions, and often they are from users new to Android or from folks with their first smartphone. One question we get a lot is about installing an app from Google Play on more than one Android device. People want to use the same app they paid for on their phone and their tablet, or their work phone and their own phone, or share it with their family. Or they want to play the same game no matter which device they have on hand. We get it — we need to do the same thing.

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1 month ago

The best Android launchers of 2015

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Android Launcher

There are tons of launchers available for android — these are some of the best!

Launchers are the way Android users customize their smartphone and tablet experience. There's superficial stuff, like changing screen transitions, icons, and fonts, but the best Android launchers out there enable users to tweak the device's behavior to suit their daily usage, so long as you're willing to put the time into defining those customizations. You can make your home screens as simple or complicated as you wish, while tweaking every little detail or just taking what's given to you by default — but either way you can replace what your phone's manufacturer gives you with the install of a single app.

If you're looking for a change of pace from the out-of-box software experience on your phone, consider a new launcher. We've found the best ones available today, and listed all of the pros and cons of each.

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1 month ago

Hotel Tonight wants to spice up your Valentine's Day with themed room packages

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If you find yourself struggling to throw something together for Valentine's Day, hotel deals app Hotel Tonight has your back. Starting Monday, February 9, you'll be able to select from a couple of different Valentine's Day room packages from within the app.

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