Headlines

1 week ago

Latest Pocket Casts update lets you get social with podcasts

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While listening to your chosen podcasts on the move, being social with others is among the least of your concerns, especially with headphones blocking outside sound. Shifty Jelly, the developer of Pocket Casts, has released an update to help make it easier to discover new content and see what other users of the app are listening to.

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1 week ago

Skype for Android updated with custom ringtones, photo sharing between conversations

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Skype for Android has received a pretty nice update today, bringing along some oft-requested features. Coming along in today's update are personalized ringtones and the ability to forward photos from your chats to other Skype users.

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1 week ago

Nuance's Dragon Anywhere hopes to take mobile dictation to the next level

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Nuance has announced a new, cloud-powered mobile version of its popular Dragon voice dicatation app. Called Dragon Anywhere, the app offers continuous dictation, syncing with various cloud services, and sync between your phone, tablet, and desktop.

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1 week ago

Opera Max aims to lower YouTube and Netflix data consumption in latest update

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Streaming YouTube and Netflix videos on a smartphone can use a lot of cellular and Wi-Fi bandwidth. However, the latest update to the Opera Max data management tool for Opera Software promises to cut down on data use from both services, but with little compromise in video quality.

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1 week ago

AC editors' apps of the week: Fallout Shelter, Robinhood, NBC Sports Live Extra and more

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apps of the week

Our weekly app picks

It's Appday Sunday and that means we're back with more of our favorites to share. Every week we bring a handful of great apps to the table and share them with everyone. Sometimes they are new apps, sometimes old standards, but every time they are apps we love to use.

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 week ago

Keep it classy with Luxury WatchFaces Android Wear

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Sometimes our technology works as a status symbol, and you want a watchface that reflects that. If that's the case, or if you're a fan of beautifully designed analog faces, then check out Luxury WatchFaces Android Wear. This app has several faces, all gorgeously designed to show off that piece of tech adorning your wrist.

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1 week ago

With Calendar for Android Wear, your schedule is never more than a tap away

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Being in control of your schedule and keeping track of the many events that fill our lives can feel like a juggling act. Smartphones have made it easier, by giving us easy access to our calendars while we're on the go. Calendar for Android Wear takes the ease of seeing your upcoming appointments a step further, by letting you see your full schedule from your Smartwatch. A simple calendar that lets you view your appointments, and syncs to the calendar on your Smartphone. If you don't always have the time to check your phone, then this Calendar for Android Wear might be right up your alley.

To open up Calendar for Android Wear, just say 'Ok Google, open calendar' or grab it manually. It should automatically sync with your current calendar app. There aren't any real options for customization, or settings, but that's because the app concentrates on doing everything right. It's a basic calendar view, with the month and year at the top of your screen.

The current date is denoted by a red box around the date. You'll also notice that while some numbers are black, there are red ones as well. The red dates are the days on which you have appointments in your calendar. If you want to check on your calendar for months other than the current one, a quick swipe to the left or right will let you go forward or back in time.

If it's a day where nothing is scheduled, then all you'll get is a little gray box informing you there are no events scheduled on that date. If you tap on a date, then you'll get a list of all the appointments you have scheduled. Tapping on a specific appointment will open up another screen with all the information you put into your phone.

This means whatever you labeled the event as, time, date, location and details are all available right there on your wrist. It's a simple but capable design that lets you see everything you need to, without digging for your phone at an inconvenient moment.

As mentioned earlier there aren't any options available with this app. This includes editing, deleting, or adding new events to Calendar for Android Wear. It does sync up with your phone very quickly though, so when you add an event via your Smartphone it shouldn't take more than a minute or two for it to show up on your Smartwatch screen. It's available on the Google Play Store now, and it's 100% free.

If all you need is an organized glance at your calendar, this is one of the simpler options out there. Will you be checking out this Calendar, or do you prefer a different one?

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1 week ago

This is how you'll use Samsung Pay on your Galaxy Note 5

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Samsung Pay

After initially teasing the launch of Samsung Pay back at MWC in March, Samsung finally unveiled the working technology and a launch date in conjunction with the announcement of the Galaxy Note 5 and Galaxy S6 edge+. We were on-hand at the NYC event to try Samsung Pay for ourselves in a demo setting — here's how it works.

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1 week ago

Android Central's back to school guide

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It's time to go back to school, and we'll make sure you're well-equipped.

For many students, it's time to hit the books again. Whether you're loading up for your first day at high school, finding your stride in college, or you're making the long haul in university graduate programs, we've got the best tech for back to school season right here.

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2 weeks ago

The Nova Material Watch Face keeps it simple

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Finding a Watch Face that gives you the info that you need to know, while keeping it simple aren't always easy to find. Many get you that info, but wind up looking cluttered, others have a clean and simple look, but you don't get the details you need at a glance. If that's the case then the Nova Material Watch face for Android Wear might have you covered.

The Nova Material Watch Face has a clean, understated look to it. It's got a fresh, minimalistic appeal while still getting you the information that you want out of your watch. Lets take a look.

The top of your screen has two indicators for notifications. On the top left is a small speech bubble, accompanied to the right by an envelope. Otherwise known as messages, and emails. If your inboxes are full of nothing but read messages, then you'll just see the icons themselves. On the other hand if you have unread messages, then a small colored bubble will appear with a number within it; the number of unread messages you have waiting.

The middle of your screen is where most of your information is waiting. In the middle of the screen is a 12 hour digital readout of the time. Just above it, is the current date, along with which day of the week it is. To the left of these you'll see a weather indicator to give you a clue about what to expect if you venture outside.

At the bottom of the screen you'll find your last two indicators. One is a wristwatch, and the other a smartphone, and both are surrounded by a small colored ring. The ring fills dependent upon the battery life of your Smartwatch, and Smartphone, along with a digital readout just below the icons.

If you're looking for clean, simple, and informative, Nova Material Watch Face could be the right fit.

Most of this watch face is black on white, with a few splashes of color. Unfortunately, if green isn't your color of choice you'll need to purchase the premium version of this watch face for $1.04. It isn't just minimalist in it's look either, there are no settings or options to fool with if you're rocking the free version. The paid version of Nova Material Watch Face only unlocks the ability to change the accent color — and there are a ton of colors to choose from.

If you're looking for clean, simple, and informative, Nova Material Watch Face could be the right fit. While it doesn't concern itself with giving you options to customize, it does give you the information you need most to plan your day. At the great price of free, it's certainly worth taking a look.

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2 weeks ago

Samsung Pay launching in Korea on Aug. 20, in the U.S. on Sept. 28

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Samsung Pay, Samsung's answer to mobile payments, is officially launching on August 20th in South Korea and on September 28th in the United States. Unlike other systems that depend on NFC or barcode scanning, Samsung Pay emulates the magnetic stripe of a credit card (in addition to including NFC for contactless payments support).

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2 weeks ago

How the Moto G 2015 handles hard-core heavy apps

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Apps

Some days, I love my job.

I've spent more than a few hours playing games on the new Moto G 2015. Not just any games, mind you, but games that are known to be pretty rough on the hardware inside an Android, and take it to its breaking point. 3D intensive games that turn your phone into a space heater. The fun games.

The good news is that I didn't melt anything or have to call any type of emergency services (this time). The little Moto G 2015 actually did better than I thought it would, though it isn't on par with the newest and thrice as pricey gear from Samsung or LG.

Here's how I spent my day.

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2 weeks ago

Bubble Cloud Widget + Wear brings a stylish launcher to your Smartwatch

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Convenience is the name of the game when it comes to Smartwatches, but at times getting to the app you need quickly can be a hassle in Android Wear. Bubble Cloud Widgets + Wear is a launcher that brings you gorgeous icons for all of your apps within swiping range. You've also got tons of options, and choices to personalize how everything looks and behaves.

If you haven't seen it yet, check it out below.

Bubble Cloud Widgets + Wear for Android Wear is available for free on the Google Play Store, with an option to purchase the premium version of the app for $2.49. When it first opens up on your watch, you'll see all of your apps arrayed with an icon for each in a colored bubble. You'll also see indicators for the date, battery power on both your phone and watch, and current internet signal. In the middle of all of this, is a clock.

If you swipe to the left, you'll get a second screen. This is dominated by a yellow bubble, which when tapped will bring you into settings. It's surrounded by more of your apps, depending on how many you have installed.

While you can access your settings via the watch, some options can also be found by using your phone. The options on your phone menu, are categorized between the App Launcher, and the Watch Faces. In App Launcher you'll see that you can change your background, adjust the size variance, freeze sizes, and access the Bubble Cloud Editor. There are also 3 options for the look of the bubbles in the launcher.

If nothing else, Bubble Cloud is a nice change of pace for your wrist.

Watch Faces contains all of the options pertaining to — you guessed it — the watch face. There are options for ambient mode, enabling reduced touch sensitivity, peek card options. There are also 3 faces available for Ambient Mode.

From your Smartwatch you can also bring up some additional settings not found on your phone, along with several you've already seen. All of the settings available from your Smartwatch are on a single vertically scrolling screen, you can navigate by swiping up or down. From here you can enable an app tray if you've got enough apps to require a second screen, choose between an analog and digital watch face, you can reduce screen sensitivity, stop the animation from apps launching, and access ambient mode options.

There are also quite a few options that get added if you purchase the premium edition of the Bubble Cloud Widget + Wear. It allows you to save contacts to your phone in an easy to reach place, send emails from your watch, and allows you to have multiple extra screens for your apps. That last one becomes particularly handy, if you end up having a lot of apps on your Smartwatch. It will also auto populate app bubbles, filling them with all the apps that fall into a specific category.

Bubble Cloud Widget + Wear is a fantastic launcher. It's got a nice clean interface, plenty of options, and unless you need those premium features it's absolutely free. If nothing else, it's a nice change of pace for your wrist.

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2 weeks ago

Twitter begins removing 140-character limit from Direct Messages

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After originally planning to do so in July, Twitter has finally removed the 140-character limit for Direct Messages on its service. Rolling out today, Twitter users will be able to send DMs with as many characters as they wish, another step for the company to make private communications on its service even better. Everyday, millions of tweets are sent about the news, sports and many other topics, which often times spark private conversations.

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2 weeks ago

Weather Time for Wear gives you the weather and all the options you might need

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Out of all the watch faces that you can currently find in the Google Play Store for your Android Wear device, weather apps are some of the most helpful at a glance. There are plenty of them out there right now, and one to take a look at is Weather Time for Wear.

It's free with in-app purchase options that unlock the good stuff, but mostly gets the job done well. Lets take a look.

Weather Time for Android Wear definitely has the design aspect of things down. The default screen is a blue sky with fluffy white clouds — even when that is not at all what it looks like outside — and all your information overlaid onto it. At the top of the screen you'll see the time, underneath that there is the date, and at the bottom of the screen you'll see the temperature along with an icon for weather conditions.

The free version of Weather Time for Wear gives you access to some options, but to get the full experience you'll need to drop $2.00. All of your options are available on your phone and they are all divided up into one of several categories; Weather Settings, Look and Feel, Notification Settings, Touch Event Settings, and General Settings.

Each category is named so that you can easily find the options you're looking for in a pinch. In Weather your options include one of three weather providers, as well as the location you want information for. You can use either your current location, or one you set manually. You can also adjust the units for your Temperature, Wind Speed and Pressure. With premium you can see far more than just the temperature, you can also see condition, location, step count, wind speed and several more.

Look and Feel is where you can adjust your background, ambient mode backgrounds, clock settings, date settings and battery indicator settings. There is plenty to play with here, even if you don't pick up the paid version. You have 12 or 24 hour settings for your clock, including the option to include seconds. You can also adjust the format and font of where everything sits on your watch face. While you need premium to grab the other weather screens, you can still change yours to a color of your choice.

Notification settings let you decide when and how cards show up on your smartwatch. There are vibrate settings for things like the temperature changing, or your phone disconnecting, but they are for the premium version. There is also a handy 'do not disturb' function, which disables those vibrations during selected hours. Touch event settings is a premium only option. It allows you to enact some extra nifty features. These include opening the current forecast when you tap the weather icon, opening your agenda when the calendar icon is tapped, and opening the agenda when the date is tapped.

Your last category is General Settings. This one has far fewer options, in that there are only 3 of them. You can adjust the 'Ok, Google' placement, change where the status bar sits, or show a system indicator shadow.

Weather Time for Wear does a great job of getting you the weather info you need to plan your day, while also giving you plenty of options. Considering everything you get with the free version of this app, the upgrade is very much a personal preference. Does this seem like the weather app for you, or have you already found one that works well?

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