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3 months ago

Feel great in 2017: Get fit with MrMobile

6

It's that special time of year! The time we all say "heck no, I'm not going to keep all this holiday weight!" and trundle off to the gym... for about a week. But not this year! You know it's going to be different, and you want some apps to help you keep to that goal.

MrMobile and his friends Jon Rettinger of TechnoBuffalo, Serenity Caldwell at iMore, Marques Brownlee at MKBHD, Krystal Key, Joshua Vergara at Android Authority, Safwan Ahmedmia at SuperSaf, and Jaime Rivera at PocketNow suggest their favorite apps to keep you getting healthy this 2017. Let us and them know which ones work for you!

Stay social, my friends

And thanks to all our friends who collaborated on this video:

Jon Rettinger [TechnoBuffalo]

Serenity Caldwell [iMore]

Marques Brownlee [MKBHD]

Krystal Key

Joshua Vergara

Safwan Ahmedmia [SuperSaf]

Jaime Rivera [Pocketnow]

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3 months ago

Best To-Do App

35

Todoist is the best to-do app that you can get right now. It offers tons of features, as well as access across PC and mobile devices.

Best overall

Todoist: To-Do List

 To-Do ListSee at Google Play

Of the many to-do apps that are available, Todoist easily rises to the top. It uses Material Design to deliver an intuitive and easy to navigate UI that offers plenty of options for your tasks. You can separate your lists out by project and use filters to only see the lists that you need access to in a pinch.

It also delivers a calendar that lets you see your tasks for the upcoming week, as well as a daily tab. It even delivers a profile that allows you to take a look at the tasks you have completed recently, which can help to keep you on task and track your progress towards goals. If you choose to upgrade to a premium membership, which will run you $28.99 a year, it gives you expanded access to your history, and delivers new features like the ability to tag your lists. With premium you can also access your lists across your phone, Android Wear smartwatch, and PC so that you always have access to your to-do list.

Bottom line: Between the features they deliver, and the ease of use, Todoist is easily the best app for for keeping track of everything you need to do. It's easy to use, and gives you options that let you take charge of your lists.

One more thing: Todoist Premium even gives you the ability to look back and see everything that you've gotten done, and which tasks you missed.

Why Todoist is the best

Todoist delivers a great experience that allows you to access your lists almost anywhere, and tag and filter them so that everything you need is right at your fingertips.

Being able to easily check your phone to see what you have left to do makes staying on top of everything in your busy life so much easier. Todoist will send you notifications both when a task you have listed is due, and with your task list for the day. It's a small thing, but it just makes things so much easier to deal with. Instead of having to remember to go through the app, it's right there waiting for you when you slide down your notification tray.

Part of Todoist's charm comes from how easy it is to add things to lists. Thanks to Material Design, the add button is right at the bottom of your screen. From right there you can date, tag, and filter your new list item all at once. Premium members get the option to tag people and further customize their list items as well.

Best for less

Google Keep

Google KeepSee at Google Play

Google Keep is primarily a note keeping app, but it does have pretty awesome to-do features baked right into it. It should be no surprise that it's well designed, and easy to use, since it is Google's own product. This also means that you may have it installed on your phone already and not even realize it.

You can easily create new lists from the add menu at the bottom of your screen, but to edit existing lists you'll need to find them within the app. Once you've completed a task on your list you can cross it off by editing the list, and tapping that item. It will then appear with a slash through it. This makes it easy to keep an eye both on what needs to be done, and what you have already completed.

If there is a list that has priority tasks on it, you can pin it. This will ensure that you can easily find and edit the list while you are out and about. In addition to typing in items for your list you can also add media. If you have a photo for a project, you can add it to your list to make it easier to find when you need it.

Bottom line: Google Keep offers great accessibility and ease of use. While it doesn't have tons of options for your to-do lists it can get the job done, and might even be installed on your phone already.

One more thing: To set a date for lists in Google Keep, you'll need to set a reminder with a time from within the list itself.

Best for Windows users

Wunderlist: To-Do list and Tasks

 To-Do list and TasksSee at Google Play

Wunderlist is a great app that is built specifically for to-do lists. It allows you to easily make customized lists which can be edited with just a few taps. In addition when you create new lists, you can also add other people to the list which lets you easily collaborate on projects with colleagues.

From within each list you can set dates and reminders, add subtasks for each item in a list, and add notes or files. This allows you to really customize your to-do lists and make sure that every step is listed out for you to check at a glance. If you add any of these to an item in a list, small icons will pop up next to it from the list view. This means you can tell when there are extra items involved in a task, before you just tap it to mark it as completed.

Wunderlist also offers a premium version of the app. The premium version allows you to upload larger files to your to-do lists, assign tasks in a to-do list to a specific person, and includes unlimited subtasks on list items for $4.99 a month. Because Microsoft owns Wunderlist, it is well integrated into the company's services, including Outlook.

Bottom line: Wunderlist lets you easily build and customize to-do lists with plenty of features to make getting everything done easy. It gives you the ability to easily collaborate, break big tasks into manageable chunks, and even upload files pertinent to specific tasks.

One more thing: You can talk to your collaborators from within the app by commenting in a shared list. This makes communicating with colleagues on a project simple and self contained.

Best for speed

Any.do

To-Do list, Task List-Any.doSee at Google Play

Any.do is an app that aims to keep you organized through to-do lists, and delivers a beautiful experience while doing just that. You can build multiple lists, and customize each one with the tasks you need to complete. Any.do will also link up with your Google Calendar if you sign up using your Google Account, which means everything is in one place.

When you add items to a list within Any.do, you get access to a range of features that are handy no matter what you're doing. You can add subtasks to list items, move task items between lists, add reminders, add notes with media attachments, and share list items with colleagues and collaborators. All of this together lets you have real power over everything in your to-do list. Clearing items when you finish a task is easy as well. All you have to do is swipe right across your screen to strike through completed items.

There is also the option to upgrade to a premium membership. You get perks like location based notifications, allowing more attachments to your lists, customizable colors, and access to a daily planner called Any.do moments.

Bottom line: Any.do gives you access to a well designed app with plenty of lists to help keep track of every item on your to-do list. With free features like collaboration, and Google account integration it can become an organizational hub for your schedule.

One more thing: Any.do moment will give you a breakdown of your tasks for the day, and it's just one of the perks of going all in with a premium membership.

Conclusion

There are plenty of apps out there that can help keep you on track with your to-do list. Not all of them are created equal though, and this was a collection of the best to-do apps available on Android. Each one has its own pros and cons, but there is one app that rises to the top as the star. Todoist is easily the best app for getting everything on your to-do list completed.

Best overall

Todoist: To-Do List

 To-Do ListSee at Google Play

Of the many to-do apps that are available, Todoist easily rises to the top. It uses Material Design to deliver an intuitive and easy to navigate UI that offers plenty of options for your tasks. You can separate your lists out by project and use filters to only see the lists that you need access to in a pinch.

It also delivers a calendar that lets you see your tasks for the upcoming week, as well as a daily tab. It even delivers a profile that allows you to take a look at the tasks you have completed recently, which can help to keep you on task and track your progress towards goals. If you choose to upgrade to a premium membership, which will run you $28.99 a year, it gives you expanded access to your history, and delivers new features like the ability to tag your lists. With premium you can also access your lists across your phone, Android Wear smartwatch, and PC so that you always have access to your to-do list.

Bottom line: Between the features they deliver, and the ease of use, Todoist is easily the best app for for keeping track of everything you need to do. It's easy to use, and gives you options that let you take charge of your lists.

One more thing: Todoist Premium even gives you the ability to look back and see everything that you've gotten done, and which tasks you missed.

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3 months ago

Learn coding, design and more with a lifetime subscription to Stone River Academy for $89!

Choosing a specific career in the field of app development, web design, and 3D-animation can be tough — each is a growing field with high demand for specialists, and you have many interests. What if you want to learn them all? How can you afford the education needed for each career, and where will you find the time to go back to school?

Stone River Academy might be the answer you're looking for; they've put together what can be likened to a complete tech-education bundle. Courses for all levels of knowledge are available, and you can learn at your own pace; course availability stays open indefinitely thanks to a lifetime subscription. Master app development, web design, 3D-animation, coding languages, and more. You have the ambition and you can squeeze time into your busy schedule, but how can this be affordable?

Enter Android Central Digital Offers. Right now, we're offering this lifetime subscription with over 110 courses and over 2000 hours of content for only $89. That's no mistake — that's a 93% discount off the regular $1445. You're essentially paying a one-time fee to be enrolled for life. No matter what comes in the future, you'll be already set up to tackle it. Talk about a head start.

Don't miss this awesome 93% savings! Learn More

There are a ton of courses to choose from, but each course is broken down into a comprehensive curriculum to help keep things sorted. Learn programming languages like Java, Python, and CSS, as well as the ins and outs of game development tools like Unity 3D. Not only will you learn development, design, and programming, you'll also acquire the skills needed to carve a career in the tech industry.

Do you want to always keep on top of current tech trends? With a lifetime subscription to Stone River Academy, you'll always have access to the latest courses — yes, new content is added all the time. Thanks to the broad range of content available, you might even discover a hidden interest. Imagine the possibilities available to you for only $89. The need for all sorts of specialists in the tech industry is high — why not get started today on a new career?

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3 months ago

Google Play Music: The Ultimate Guide

56

There is more music than you can imagine right at your fingertips.

While there are many apps that stream music, and stream it well, Google Play Music is Google's music service and as such is an app that comes on millions and millions of devices. While the app has gotten clunkier in recent years, the app is still undoubtedly one of the most useful on the Android scene, and with generous benefits to both paid and free users, it's an app worth getting to know.

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3 months ago

Best gadgets for dog owners

2

The right gadgets can help you to keep an eye on your dog, no matter where you may be!

Technology has made life easier for everyone in plenty of small ways, but you may not have considered how it could help you in taking care of your pet. From remotely feeding your dog when you have an early meeting at work, to keeping an eye on them with cameras, to tracking their whereabouts with GPS, there are plenty of awesome gadgets that can make life easier on you and Buddy both. That's why we've put together this list of the 5 best gadgets for Dog owners.

Furbo

While many pet owners wish they could bring their dogs with them everywhere, that isn't always quite feasible. Furbo gives you access to being able to see your dog, talk to it, listen to it, and even toss it treats, all by using an app on your phone. This means that whether you need to check on your dog from work, or when you're stuck in traffic, you'll always know what the rascal is up to.

Furbo is a smart camera with plenty of features that hooks into your home wifi. Once it's connected, all you need to do is download the app onto your phone and you'll be good to go. While it does have a slightly hefty price tag, making sure your dog stays out of trouble when you're at work is probably worth it.

See at Amazon

Whistle

While pet owners might trust their dogs not to run amok, sometimes accidents happen. Your retriever slips her leash because a squirrel takes off, or your husky hops the fence to take himself for a walk. While a microchip can ensure you find your pet if it's picked up, the Whistle GPS collar attachment adds a layer of security.

You can program alerts to let you know any time your dog escapes your designated home zone, check on your dog's activity level, and it's made waterproof and durable to take anything your dog puts it through. The Whistle device attaches to your dog's collar, and uses GPS monitoring to make sure you can always find your pooch when they get away from you.

See at Amazon

Nest Camera

Some dogs don't do well by themselves, or are prone to causing trouble when nobody is at home. If your puppy needs a eye on them while you're at work, then the Nest camera may be your best bet. Using the Nest camera you can make sure that you know if your dog manages to escape their crate, or if they're trying to break into your office.

With 24/7 streaming and recording, you can see everything as it happens, or look over what you've missed. This means you'll never wonder how the dog escaped their confines to tear apart the living room again. With multiple cameras you can even make sure that you have eyes on the entire house, even if you're across the country.

See at Amazon

Petnet

Sometimes our schedules don't quite match up with when you need to be home to feed your dog. Rather than coming home to trash all over the floor, you can employ the Petnet SmartFeeder. This feeder will let you feed your dog even if you get stuck in gridlock traffic, or need to stay at work late to finish up some paperwork.

Using the app on your phone you can precisely measure out meal portions, automate feeding times, and even check on how nutritious your brand of dog food is. You can even cater to how much you feed your dog by inputting their age and activity level. This means that even if you aren't home you can ensure that Fido never goes hungry.

See at Amazon

FitBark

Not all dogs need a lot of activity, but those that do can be destructive in the house if they get bored. That's just one of the reasons that keeping an eye on the activity level of your dog can be beneficial. With FitBark, you can easily keep an eye on your dog's activity. This means knowing if your dog is a bit more lethargic than usual, or if Duke has been running laps through the house for the last three hours.

If you like to go for run's with your dog, then you can connect FitBark to your Google Fit account to keep an eye on all of your dog's information. Using the app, you can get stats on each dog that has a FitBark attachment, and get insights on your dog's activity. This means setting goals for your dog's health so that your best friend is always in the best shape possible.

See at Amazon

That'll get your pooch's tail wagging!

These are just a few of the fantastic gadgets available out there for dog owners. Did we cover one of your favorites, or is there a gadget great for dog owners that we missed this time? Be sure to pop into our comment section and let us know about it!

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3 months ago

Best apps to download on a new Android phone

25

These are the apps you should immediately download on your new Android phone!

If you or someone you know just got their first Android phone, firstly… congratulations! Regardless which make or model you're using, you've got a very capable and customizable device, and it all starts with the apps found in the Google Play Store.

Google includes the full suite of very valuable apps which include Gmail, YouTube, Google Play Music, and Google Photos, but that's really just the tip of the iceberg. We've compiled a list of some of our favorite apps that we think you should consider when you're just starting out.

Authy 2-Factor Authentication

Securing your devices and accounts is very important, and no one does two-factor authentication better than the folks at Authy.

If you're unfamiliar with the process, two-factor authentication adds another layer of security by creating six-digit tokens that expire every 60 seconds. This extra layer of security will keep you safe from hackers and account hijackers and, best of all, Authy is free and supports most major multi-factor authentication accounts including Facebook, Dropbox, Amazon, Gmail, and thousands of other providers.

Download: Authy (Free)

Gboard - The Google Keyboard

There are a bunch of great keyboards available for Android, but the best of the best is currently Gboard, Google's own keyboard.

Gboard is completely free, supports gesture typing for both individual words and entire sentences, a bounty of languages, and a modest choice of themes.

Gboard employs Google's own speech-to-text engine for voice dictation, and while it might not be the best at predictive text, it does learn from your typed data across Google's apps and services. Gboard has pretty much every feature you'd want from a touch keyboard, including the ability to quickly search Google from virtually anywhere in your phone. It's fast, reliable, and minimalist, with theme options to tweak in the settings.

Download: Gboard - The Google Keyboard (Free)

Kindle

Book lovers who have made the switch to digital materials already know about the eponymous e-readers, but Kindle's app for Android lets you access all your favorite books from Amazon's e-book catalogue right from your phone, without having to lug another piece of tech around with you everywhere.

There are millions of titles available via Amazon, which include magazines and newspapers. There are thousands of public domain classics available, and you may even be able to check out e-books from your local library. Take advantage of reading in the digital age and customize your reading experience by adjusting font sizes, screen brightness and background color, while searching and dictionary functions built right into the app are perfect study tools for students working on essays and book reports.

Download: Kindle (Free)

Netflix

It's ubiquitous in our culture these days, and an absolute must-have for pretty much any device you own. In short, Netflix has come to exemplify how millions of people unwind and keep themselves entertained.

The Netflix app for Android lets you watch all your favorite shows using your phone data or when connected to Wi-Fi, with a recent update allowing for offline viewing of a large swath of the service's content. You'll also find full compatibility with Chromecast, allowing you to use your phone as a remote to control things while casting your favorite shows and movies to your TV. A subscription is required, but you probably know someone with a login you can borrow if $10 a month is too rich for your blood.

Download: Netflix (Free)

Nova Launcher

One of the best parts of using Android is the sheer amount of customization that's available to you — if you're willing to put in a little bit of work to do it. Android phones come with a manufacturer's default launcher pre-installed, but if you're looking for something different, Nova Launcher is a great option for theming and customizing your phone to reflect your personality, or your favorite shows or hobbies.

Nova Launcher lets you change icons, layouts, animations and more to completely tweak almost every aspect of your phone's look and feel to your exact specifications. We've included a link to the free version of Nova Launcher below, but if you're serious about theming, you'll want to check out the paid version. You'll also want to keep it locked on the Android Central home page, as we frequently post theming how-tos that give you step-by-step instructions for keeping your phone looking fresh and cool, like this recent article on Star Wars themes.

Download: Nova Launcher (Free)

Pocket Casts

Podcasts are amazing, and Pocket Casts makes listening to podcasts even better. While you might scoff at paying money for a podcast app when Google Play Music and Spotify do the same for free, the folks behind Pocket Casts have incorporated some really smart features that you need to know about.

For one, they've got this feature that trims out the silence in all the podcasts you listen to, and if you're a heavy listener, that time will really add up fast. Other features include a smart volume boost which increases the volume for voices while keeping background noise to a minimum, full integration with Android Auto and Android Wear, and cloud-based subscriptions and playback, so you can sync your podcasts between your phone and the web service or (more importantly) keep all your subscriptions when you switch over to a new phone.

Download: Pocket Casts ($3.99)

Pushbullet

Pushbullet lets you receive your phone notifications on your computer, so you don't have to constantly check your phone every time you feel the buzz. Anyone who works with a computer for a living knows how distracting checking your phone can be.

Pushbullet not only lets you see who's trying to contact you — via text and phone call, but also supporting popular messaging apps such as WhatsApp, Kik and Facebook Messenger — and lets you respond with your computer's keyboard. So, not only will you never miss a notification, you'll be able to quickly respond to the important stuff and dismiss the less-important stuff for later.

Download: Pushbullet (Free)

Spotify

Millions of people have made Spotify their go-to source for all their music, and for good reason. You're able to listen to a shuffled mix of music from nearly any artist or band for free, but the real fun begins when you sign up for Spotify Premium.

Not only does Spotify Premium provide better sound quality, it also removes ads and lets you play any song by any artist when you want across all your devices. You can also build and share playlists with friends and family, along with an option to download music to your device for offline listening. And then there's other smart features like Discover Weekly, which curates a playlist of new music Spotify knows you'll love based on the bands and genres you listen to on the regular.

Download: Spotify (Free)

Solid Explorer

You don't have to root your Android phone to conveniently access files on your phone. Solid Explorer lets you do all that and much more, though you'll need to play to unlock the full version.

Solid Explorer lets you organize and manage all your files, including those stored in cloud services such as Dropbox, Google Drive and more. You'll be able to read and extract .zip, .rar, and other compressed file formats, along with options of creating password-protected folders and .zip files within the app. And if you do decide to root your phone, you'll be able to use Solid Explorer to browse your system files with ease.

You can try Solid Explorer on a trial basis for 14 days before having to pony up for the full version.

Download: Solid Explorer (Free Trial)

theScore

Sports fans need to know the score at all times, and there's no better sports app out there than theScore. They've got full up-to-the-minute coverage for all the major sports leagues, including NFL, MLB, NBA, NCAA Football, NHL, English Premier League, La Liga, Champions League, World Cup and all major sports and competitions. You can personalize your feed to only include the sports and/or teams you're interested in, so you're never bothered by a score for a game you're not interested in.

Pair this with alerts for goals, key moments, final scores and breaking news and with one app you're never more than a quick glance away from the absolute latest, up-to-date information. It bills itself as "real time, all the time" and that's probably the best way to think about it.

Download: theScore (Free)

Uber

Uber is taking the world by storm and changing the way people think about getting around. Whether or not you've used Uber seems to depend on it's legal status in your city, or how frequently you travel. The taxicab industry is furious because Uber has jumped in with its ridesharing app and service that makes it way easier to get a ride somewhere.

Simply download the app, plug in your credit card or PayPal details, and you're ready to hail an Uber car to wherever you are. You can determine your fare estimation before requesting a car, and you'll be able to see details about the car and driver coming to get you an watch for their arrival on the app map as you wait. There's also different levels of service, from UberPool in which you share your ride with other riders for a cheaper fair, or UberBlack for a more upscale experience.

Download: Uber (Free)

Weather Underground

Weather Underground provides the most accurate hyper-local weather forecasts right on your phone, with interactive radars, satellite maps and severe weather alerts included so you always know what's on the way.

At a glance, you'll be able to view current temperature and conditions from your local weather station include temperature, wind speed & direction, humidity, dew point and visibility. Weather Underground also makes use of crowd reporting, fostering a community of weather enthusiasts who report live data from weather stations in their own backyards, with this crowd-sourced data generates forecasts that are targeted to your precise location. You'll also enjoy the option of customizable widgets, so you don't even need to launch the app to see your local weather conditions.

Download: Weather Underground(Free)

What are your suggestions?

These are our picks that would make up our Android app starter pack — what would be in yours? Let us know in the comments!

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4 months ago

Best launchers for theming

28

Customization is my favorite part of Android.

Android provides us with so much freedom, allowing us to completely scrap the setup and the launcher that came with our phones and replace it with something that suit us more. Years ago, before I knew what Nova Launcher and icon packs were, I was trying to make my phone look less blockish and boring. Our phones hold our lives — shouldn't they hold some of our personality and style, too?

Whether you've got theming down to an art or you're just looking for something a little more flexible than your current launcher, these are the best of the best when it comes to theming launchers. They are also two of the best launchers on the market, period.

Here's why you should have Nova Launcher and Action Launcher in your theming toolkit.

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4 months ago

Best Apps of 2016

70

Our favorite apps of 2016.

Apps are becoming the glue that connects all of our mobile experiences together. Messaging apps, productivity tools, and mapping utilities come together to make our Android-powered computers worth using. It's really hard to choose a favorite, but we'll try.

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4 months ago

Google Play: Ultimate Guide

50

How to get the most out of the Google Play Store

Google Play is the cornerstone of Google's ecosystem of content and has become a critical part of Android. It reaches almost all of Android and through Play Services is capable of fixing many of Android's problems. Google Play also is a content library and ecosystem that is accessible on more platforms than almost any other.

Born as the Android Market, it's grown from just a home for apps and is now the one-stop shop for applications, books, movies, music, TV shows — basically anything and everything that you can buy and use on your Android phone or tablet.

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4 months ago

3 perfect apps for editing holiday photos on the go

30

These are the apps to use for a quick photo edit.

Happy holidays! Now it's time the share those precious photographs from Christmas morning and the first night of Hanukkah, but not before ensuring they're dressed for success. You can crop them, tweak them, and give them new life with these easy-to-use apps for editing your holiday photos on the go — no computer required!

Pixlr - Free Photo Editor

Developed by Autodesk, this is one of the easiest photo editing apps available for Android. The app features over two million combinations of effects, overlays, and filters. You can use it to quickly crop a photo, do minor editing, and add a little sparkle to an otherwise dull pose. Pixlr is always updated with themed frames, too, in case you forgot to send out holiday cards and you're desperate for a way to send a quick email.

Pixlr - Free Photo Editor (Free)

VSCO

VSCO is what I use when I want to fit in with everyone else on Instagram — which is always, clearly, because I pretty much use this app exclusively for turning my boring social snaps into dynamic pieces of the past. TAG IT ALL THE THINGS.

In all seriousness, VSCO is good for adding some character to your photo and making your cheap phone look like it produces some artful masterpieces. Seriously, did you guys even notice I was shooting with a Moto G half the time? I used VSCO before posting to make it seem like the low-resolution quality was intentional. You can download and purchase a variety of punchy filter packs, or tweak the photo in your own manner with a plethora granular controls. When you're finished, you can upload to VSCO's own social network or save to share elsewhere.

As an added bonus, filter purchases are tied to your Google Play account, so you can easily switch devices without worry of losing your investment.

VSCO(Free)

Snapseed

For when Google Photos just isn't enough, there's Google's own Snapseed. The app features a ton of essential tools you'd find on a desktop photo editing app, like an on-screen histogram, lens corrector, healing brush — which works remarkably well — and an HDR tuner. There are also real, grown up frames and filters you can use to show off your smartphone photo-taking prowess. And if you're really on the go — like, say, in transit to your next destination — Snapseed has both JPEG and RAW support so you can make major edits to your big camera photography. Just be sure to bring a mobile card reader with you on your trip.

Snapseed (Free)

Got an app you like to use to edit your photos before sharing them online? Let us know!

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4 months ago

Daydream VR game Unthethered makes your voice the controller

2

Consider, if you will, if a comic book and a radio drama had a VR baby ...

New Daydream VR title Untethered is a new take on the VR game, mixing in comic and radio elements to craft an episodic video game you talk your way through. Forgoing a lot of clumsy virtual controls, you navigate the game using your voice and a laser pointer.

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4 months ago

How to buy and email a Google Play Gift Card

2

In need of a last-minute gift? Google's here to help!

A Google Play Gift card makes a great gift or stocking stuffer for any Android user on your shopping list. You can find gift cards at a number of popular brick and mortar stores, but if you've been trying your darnedest to avoid the hustle and bustle of the shopping season, Google has made it incredibly easy to give the gift of Google Play credits via email — right from the Google Play Store App.

This option is only available in the United States, so the rest of the world is stuck with the traditional gift cards. Bah humbug!

How to buy and email a Google Play Gift Card.

  1. Launch the Google Play Store app and tap the Menu bottom by the search bar.
  2. Tap Send Gift.
  3. Select the gift value you wish to send.

  4. In the next window, type the recipient's email along with an optional greeting.
  5. Tap Continue.
  6. Confirm all the info is correct and then tap Buy.

  7. You may need to enter your Account password to confirm the purchase.
  8. Your gift card will immediately be sent out via email.

You will also be sent a copy of the email with the Google Play gift code. If for whatever reason your recipient can't find the email with the gift code info, you can forward them your copy and it'll work just the same.

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4 months ago

Best travel apps for Android

40
Best travel apps for Android

What's the best travel app for Android?

Whether you're planning your first trip away from home or you're a frequent flier, there are a ton of travel apps available for Android that will help you find the best flight, learn a new language, or get the best information about your desired destination. Here are our favorites.

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4 months ago

Best Streaming Service in India

With Prime Video now available in the country, there are plenty of great options for streaming video on the go.

Best overall

Hotstar

See at Play Store

Hotstar is easily the best streaming service in India. At ₹150 per month, it is affordable, and offers a wide variety of content — both in regional languages and English.

With a catalog that has close to a thousand TV shows and nearly three thousand movies, you won't run out of things to watch on Hotstar. And as the service is owned by STAR — the largest broadcaster in India — you get access to live cricket matches.

Hotstar is available on Android and iOS, and the web.

Bottom line: If you're looking for a streaming service that offers the best TV shows, movies, and sports content, look no further than Hotstar.

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4 months ago

Russian Hackers used Android malware to track Ukrainian artillery

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More proof that you need to be extra careful downloading apps online.

Android software is everywhere these days, even finding use on modern battlefields. And just like the apps on your smartphone, downloading potentially compromised .APKs from unofficial sources can lead to unforeseen consequences.

A new report from American cybersecurity technology company CrowdStrike found that a hacker group known as Fancy Bear embedded a malware implant known as X-Agent into an Android app used by the Ukranian military. The group is thought to have ties to Russian authorities who supported rebel forces in Ukraine, and had previously been linked to the DNC email leaks in another report published by CrowdStrike.

From the CrowdStrike blog:

Late in the summer of 2016, CrowdStrike Intelligence analysts began investigating a curious Android Package (APK) named 'Попр-Д30.apk' (MD5: 6f7523d3019fa190499f327211e01fcb) which contained a number of Russian language artifacts that were military in nature. Initial research identified that the filename suggested a relationship to the D-30 122mm towed howitzer, an artillery weapon first manufactured in the Soviet Union in the 1960s but still in use today. In-depth reverse engineering revealed the APK contained an Android variant of X-Agent, the command and control protocol was closely linked to observed Windows variants of X-Agent, and utilized a cryptographic algorithm called RC4 with a very similar 50 byte base key.

The filename 'Попр-Д30.apk' was linked to a legitimate application which was initially developed domestically within Ukraine by an officer of the 55th Artillery Brigade named Yaroslav Sherstuk. In media interviews Mr. Sherstuk claims that the application, which had some 9000 users, reduced the time to fire the D-30 from minutes to seconds. No evidence of the application has been observed on the Android app store, making it unlikely that the app was distributed via that platform.

The report goes on to say that if the X-Agent malware was successfully deployed within the application, it would have allowed for accurate reconnaissance for rebel troops on the location of Ukrainian artillery positions. CrowdStrike found through open source reporting that "Ukrainian artillery forces have lost over 50% of their weapons in the 2 years of conflict and over 80% of D-30 howitzers, the highest percentage of loss of any other artillery pieces in Ukraine's arsenal." You can read the full report from CrowdStrike here.

This case is obviously a fairly extreme example of the damage hacked apps can do, but let this serve as a stern reminder to all of us about just how easy it can be to download malicious Android apps from the internet.

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