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2 months ago

30 days later — a Clash of Clans for Android follow-up

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Clash of Clans

As many people noted in the comments during our Clash of Clans series, I haven't been playing for very long. While we were winding down yet another crazy CES coverage day I noticed Phil pick up his Nexus 9 and furiously tap to collect a few resources, and when he caught my gaze he explained that his little girl was obsessed with this game so he picked it up. A quick look at my Google Play account confirmed that I had installed this game for my son a while back, but really didn't know anything about the game.

Today, I sit before you a changed man. It has been 30 days since I installed Clash of Clans, and it is now the game I play the most on all of my devices.

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2 months ago

How to get the most out of S Note on the Galaxy Note 4

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S Note on the Galaxy Note 4

Tips for taking notes, on your Note

S Note has been a thing on the Galaxy Note line for a while. Think of it as a full-blown notebook that you can write, type or even speak text into, then add snippets like a map, or a video or a picture to round it out. It's powerful and has a bit of a learning curve to make the most of it.

We've been using it on the Galaxy Note 4 for a bit, and have found a few tips that will make things a little easier and make your notes not only look better, but have a wee bit more function as well. The app itself walks you through the basics when you first use it, so let's go beyond those and make the most out of the S Note app on the Note 4.

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2 months ago

Updating your apps through Google Play

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App updates in Google Play

Keeping your apps up-to-date

Now that you have some great apps installed on your Android — whether you have just a few or have went wild and installed all the apps — you'll want to keep them all up to date. Apps get updated for different reasons. Sometimes developers offer new features or a new look to things, other times updates address pesky bugs that keep things from being perfect. Updates are important, and so is managing them on our end.

The Play Store app gives us a little leeway with how and when we update our apps. You can let things be more or less automatic and update themselves (apps that need new permissions are never automatically updated) or you can manually go through and inspect each update before it's installed. Both methods have their advantages.

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2 months ago

AC editors' apps of the week: Aftership, Limbo, TurboTax and more

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AC editors' apps of the week

Our weekly app picks

Another Appday Sunday is upon us, and we're back with more of our favorites to share. This is the place to find great utilities and productivity apps, or entertainment apps and games. We use plenty of apps of all types on our Androids, just like you do.

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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2 months ago

Check this Play Store setting before you do anything else

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icon shortcuts setting

App shortcuts are great, but can quickly overwhelm your homescreens

There are a few important settings in the Google Play Store app on your phone or tablet. Settings that keep the kids (or yourself) from making random in-app purchases, or content filtering for folks who want to sort mature-rated apps out of the store. But there is one setting that you need to look at before you do anything else — the one that adds a shortcut to your homescreen for each and every app you install from Google Play.

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2 months ago

Second Screen apps for Android - the perfect movie companion

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Second Screen movies

We've talked a little already about Second Screen apps in the living room, and how they can make watching some of your favorite television shows even more entertaining. It's cool to have access to that extra information if you are a big fan, and as that experience grows and continues to take shape it'll be interesting to see just how much information we get from those experiences. While this setup is fun for TV shows, it's incredible for movies. Additional content for a TV show is nice, but all of our movies today come with hours and hours of additional content for viewers to enjoy. The advent of Blu-Ray has only made bonus content even more popular, and to take that experience one step further we've now got Second Screen apps to offer full immersion.

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2 months ago

How to keep Facebook's app from making those annoying sounds

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Facebook

Facebook has decided to have its app make all sorts of exciting sounds like "bleep" and "bloop" and "blop" when you do things. Like when you like a post. Or when you refresh the feed. Or when you leave a comment. It's annoying at best. (And heaven help you — and especially those around you — if you're on an already-bleep-bloop-blop-happy phone.)

The good news is it's easy to turn off — and you don't have to mute your entire phone to do it.

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2 months ago

Android's in-app WebView now has a beta channel

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For developers that have utilized the in-app WebView component to display HTML content in their Android apps, we have good news: Google just launched a beta channel for said WebView. This means developers can now try out upcoming versions of the WebView and make adjustments to their apps and offer feedback to Google before it goes public — a welcome change from the olden days of having a new WebView behavior dumped on you with a new public release.

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2 months ago

Sharing app links on Google+

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Sharing apps

Sharing app links is easy — especially via Google+

Apps in Google Play are plentiful, and when you get right down to it, finding good apps can sometimes be a bit like finding a needle in a haystack, or a diamond in the rough. And diamonds are awesome, so you should share them with your friends when you find them. Sharing them on Google's own social platform Google+ is a little easier than most other platforms, but sharing your apps with the world certainly isn't hard, especially when you're doing it on your Android device.

Time to socialize.

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2 months ago

Fleksy keyboard updated with hotkeys and some Valentine's Day theming

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The Fleksy Keyboard team has released an update on Android for the official app, bumping it to version 5.2. This latest release of Fleksy introduces numerous new features, including two extensions. Hotkeys are the ideal solution for things you find yourself typing often (hello, emoji!) and a new color pops wheel lets you really personalise your pops.

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2 months ago

Instant for Android lets you track your smartphone addiction levels

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Instant for Android is an all-in-one tracking app that monitors your daily device usage, as well as fitness data and device unlock count. Want to know how many minutes you've spent on Facebook? Instant's app usage tab gives you an overview of time spent on each app.

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2 months ago

Microsoft adds PIN and pattern support to Next Lock Screen

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Microsoft has updated its Android-exclusive Next Lock Screen in the Play Store with some new features. The big addition is that users can now lock their smartphone with a PIN or pattern for the first time.

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2 months ago

HTC updates its Zoe app with a new engine, effects, transitions and more!

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HTC today has pushed out a pretty big update to its standalone Zoe app, which lets you stitch together images and video clips into seamless highlight reels.

The app's got a new highlight engine, which brings along with it some new themes, transitions and effects. (But don't worry, Islandia is still there.) It also makes it easier to download and save Zoes, discover new content from other Zoe users, and it's increased support for Android 5.0 Lollipop. You've also got the prerequisite bugfixes and performance enhancements as well.

Anecdotally, the update definitely has give the app a smoother and much more native feel to it. If you've yet to give Zoe a try, it's definitely worth looking at. The update's available now in Google Play.

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2 months ago

Watching television with Second Screen apps

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Winter is coming

There's an increasing number of people with a smartphone, tablet, or laptop in their hands during TV time. Whether it's for social commentary on your network of choice, completing a task during the commercial breaks, or you just want your internet connection handy in case an argument breaks out about some tiny detail (try watching "Marvel's Agents of SHIELD" in a room full of nerds), having your tech nearby is a must for some. This behavior, coupled with a desire to keep users focused on the core show as much as possible, has given rise to an increasing number of Second Screen apps for TV shows.

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2 months ago

Nokia updates HERE Maps for Android with new features and drops the 'beta' label

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Nokia has not only launched a big update for its HERE maps app for Android in the Google Play Store, it's also ditching the 'beta' label as it feels the app is "mature and stable enough to stand as a full production release." The update also brings a number of new features and improvements.

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