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2 weeks ago

Master Arduino programming with this complete starter kit and eBook bundle

Many of us have dreamed about building a robotic servant, but jumping into that level of circuitry right off the bat isn't exactly feasible. It's best to start with simple circuits — things that control lights and buzzers — before moving onto more complex builds. What you need is an Arduino kit that starts at the bottom and moves up to more advanced projects through hands-on experiments.

Become a robotics pro with this Arduino bundle! Learn more

Right now, Android Central Digital Offers has a deal on the 2017 Arduino starter kit and course bundle. Instead of the regular $474, you'll pay only $75 — that's 84% off the regular price! If you've always been interested in circuity and creating your own electronic and robotic builds, now is the time to take the plunge.

The ARDX Arduino starter kit comes with everything you need to start tinkering, including 13 circuits, each with a breadboard layout. Once you've mastered the basics and feel confident enough to proceed, you'll be able to crack open one of eight eBooks full of projects and blueprints. Get started on robotics, wearables, and much more.

Become an Arduino pro now! Learn more

Ready to get started with Arduino? This starter kit and eBook bundle is the best way to immerse yourself in the world of circuitry. And at only $75, there's no better time than the present. Don't wait too long; this offer won't last forever.

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3 weeks ago

Good things are coming to VR and mobile graphics from the Khronos Group

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Open XR, WebGL 2.0, and glTF 2.0 aren't just buzzwords — they're new specifications to help beef up graphics rendering for smartphones, virtual reality headsets, and browsers.

There were a few exciting announcements to come out this week from the Khronos Group, the consortium behind the Vulkan API that helped your Galaxy S7 and Pixel soar despite graphics-heavy gameplay. As part of GDC 2017, the group announced several initiatives that will hopefully aid in standardizing 3D image rendering across the board, and thus make games look better on your smartphone and virtual reality more accessible across varying platforms. There's plenty of bullet points to go through, so let's get started.

"JPEG for 3D"

A boombox rendered with glTF.

Have you heard of the specification that will help three-dimensional graphics render more seamlessly? It's called glTF and it's a spec that was introduced last year. It's the sort of thing that will make gameplay easier for mobile devices. And it's the kind of thing that could help make the Chrome browser a bonafide operating system of its own. Imagine, playing games through your browser.

The Khronos Group announced that it's now finalizing the second iteration of that specification. glTF 2.0 will bring with it Physically Based Rendering (PBR), which will make it easier to conjure up assets. Essentially, you're programming the shade of the texture to create the model. You can read more about it in the official blogpost. At present, BabylonJS, three.js, Cesium, xeogl and instant3Dhub engines, and Sketchfab are all in the process of migrating over to glTF 2.0.

OpenXR

Who likes open standards? Khronos is introducing a new one called OpenXR, essentially an open standard for virtual reality and augmented reality apps. This will make it so that companies Steam and Oculus can develop titles and hardware that works interchangeably with the HTC Vive's hardware, or even the Daydream VR. It will also help lower the barrier to entry for the smaller app and device developers looking to enter the VR and AR space, in addition to easing away from any further fragmenting of the industry.

WebGL 2.0

Click here to see this live in your browser.

For the last bit of pertinent news, Khronos has revealed that WebGL 2.0 has been finalized and is shopping out to browsers everywhere. This isn't mobile-facing news, but if you're a Chrome or Firefox user, you'll have access to OpenGL ES 3.0, which will essentially make it easier for either browser to render 3D graphics. It's especially curious how this sort of functionality could work with Chrome OS in the future, considering it'll be baked into the Chrome browser.

If you'd like to read up on the Khronos Group's announcements this week, you can read the blog in its entirety here.

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3 weeks ago

Here's everything Google Assistant can do on your phone

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OK Google, let's see what you can do.

Google Assistant is starting to roll out to all Android phones running Marshmallow and Nougat. There's a lot of pretty cool things it can do to make life that much easier.

From helping to book reservations and find transportation for your night out to setting your morning alarm without having to stare at a bright screen in a dark room, here's just some of the ways to use Google Assistant throughout your day. And it all starts by saying "OK Google".

Update March 2017: Google Assistant has started rolling out to all Android phones running on Marshmallow and Nougat.

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3 weeks ago

You can now sign up for beta versions of Gboard and Google Play Services

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Get the latest Gboard and Google Play Services features before everyone else.

Google is now offering beta versions of Gboard and Google Play Services, allowing you to test out upcoming features before they're available to all users. Doing so is relatively straightforward — you have to head to the signup page for Gboard and Google Play Services and hit the "Become a tester" button.

Doing so switches you to the beta channel, and you should see the corresponding change on the Play Store:

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3 weeks ago

Spotify is testing a lossless Hi-Fi option as it hits 50 million paid subscribers

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Spotify is about to launch the 'ultimate music experience.'

Spotify announced back in September that it crossed 40 million paying customers, and it took the world's largest streaming service just five and a half months to pick up an additional 10 million subscribers. In a tweet, Spotify revealed that it crossed 50 million paid subscribers. 2016 was a great year for streaming services in general, and Spotify is now looking to continue its momentum by testing a lossless tier with CD quality audio.

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3 weeks ago

YouTube TV FAQ: All your questions answered!

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YouTube TV is coming, and you probably have questions.

It's always exciting to see a company like Google offer something new, but YouTube TV is not the first time this company has tried to do something innovative with streaming video. Here's what you need to know about Google's latest efforts to shake up television as we know it.

What is YouTube TV?

Think of YouTube TV as an internet-based cable television subscription. For a monthly fee, you can stream live television directly to your phone without needing an account through your local cable company. You can use this as a way to watch live television when you aren't at home, or you can completely replace your home cable service with YouTube TV.

Aren't there other apps that do this right already?

As a matter of fact, there are three rather popular services offering similar services. Sony's PlayStation Vue lets you watch and record live TV across many different screens, DirecTV Now is a satellite-free alternative to cable companies, and SlingTV exists as an alternative to watching your favorite shows with a cable box.

YouTube TV is looking to compete with these services by offering a price point in the middle of these services, with expanded features a promise of more consistent streaming video quality.

What channels do I get with YouTube TV?

Currently, YouTube TV is offering:

  • ABC
  • CBS
  • FOX
  • NBC
  • NBCSN
  • USA
  • FX
  • FreeForm
  • Oxygen
  • Bravo
  • MSNBC
  • Fox News
  • CNBC
  • FXX
  • FXM
  • SyFy
  • Fox Business
  • Local Now
  • Disney
  • Disney Junior
  • Disney XD
  • The CW
  • E!
  • Universo
  • Universal
  • Sprout
  • National Geographic
  • Nat Geo Wild
  • Chiller
  • ESPN
  • ESPN 2
  • ESPN 3
  • ESPN News
  • ESPN U
  • SEC ESPN
  • CSN
  • Fox Sports
  • BTN
  • NBC Golf
  • Telemundo
  • FS1
  • FS2

YouTube TV also includes YouTube Originals, which are shows and movies previously available only to YouTube Red subscribers.

There will also be the ability to add networks to your subscription for an additional fee. Currently, Fox Soccer Plus and Showtime are on the list of add-on networks to be available at launch.

Can I record shows with YouTube TV?

You can! YouTube TV includes a "Cloud DVR" service that allows you to record multiple shows simultaneously so you can watch them later. This feature includes a commercial skipping feature if you're watching a recorded show, available with a simple tap in the YouTube TV app.

This Cloud DVR service comes with unlimited storage, and videos you have recorded can only live on your account for nine months before they need to be erased.

How many people can use my account at the same time?

Each YouTube TV account allows you to connect up to six accounts in a family plan for no additional fee. Currently no other live TV streaming service supports six simultaneous users as part of the base price, and each of these connected accounts will get separate recommendations and offers based on their viewing habits. This means you kids can watch all the Pokemon they want and it won't interfere with reminders about Game of Thrones or Football.

So far, Google has not mentioned any need to prove those six people live in the same house or share any other Google services.

What do I need to use YouTube TV?

According to Google, YouTube TV will work on just about everything with a screen. Android and iOS apps will be available, as well as a website for watching and controlling your account.

If you have a TV with a Chromecast dongle or Google Cast service embedded, you will be able so stream anything from YouTube to your television easily.

How much does YouTube TV cost?

Right now Google is offering a flat rate of $35 per month for YouTube TV. There's currently no mention of the individual costs for the add-on networks.

This monthly plan does not include any contracts or commitments, so you can quickly cancel the service if you decide you are unhappy with it.

What about people outside of the US?

As is often the case with Google products and streaming TV services, YouTube TV is currently US only and will likely remain US only for quite a while.

In order to launch in other countries, Google needs to secure streaming rights in each country. That kind of thing takes a lot of time, so the current focus is delivering in the US for now.

Can I get YouTube TV now?

Not yet! YouTube TV is going to be available "soon" and when it is actually available it won't be available across the whole US all at once. Google's plan is to make the service available first in the largest US markets and expand rapidly after the launch. In case you are curious, the 10 largest media markets in the US are:

  • 1 New York, NY
  • 2 Los Angeles, CA
  • 3 Chicago, IL
  • 4 Philadelphia, PA
  • 5 Dallas/Ft. Worth, TX
  • 6 San Francisco/Oakland/San Jose, CA
  • 7 Washington DC/Maryland
  • 8 Boston MA/NH
  • 9 Atlanta, GA
  • 10 Houston, TX

To sign up so you can be notified of when this service is available in your area, head here and let Google know you're eager to try YouTube TV.

We'll be sure to update this FAQ as more information becomes available!

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3 weeks ago

Begin your Android development career with this professional bundle for $39

Ready to make a change in your career and start creating your own Android apps? Getting started can be a difficult task, there is a lot to learn, a lot of different ways to do things, and unless you have someone to chat with it can be hard to do on your own. There are a number of different ways you can begin your new path, and this bundle is one of the best.

Get started today for just $39 Learn More

Meet the Professional Android Developer Bundle, a great way for you to learn the basics and more advanced features of building Android apps. From an introduction to Javascript to the fundamentals of the operating system itself, there are countless hours of information here for you to move through at your own pace.

  • Introduction to Programming & Coding for Everyone with JavaScript - $295 Value
  • Fundamentals of Operating Systems - $295 Value
  • Building Android Apps That Work - $295 Value
  • Java SE 8 Programming Part 2 - $295 Value
  • Java SE 8 Programming Part 1 - $295 Value

Save big for a limited time! Learn More

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3 weeks ago

Serious work was put into the LG G6's wallpaper design

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Serious work was put into the LG G6's wallpaper design

There's more to it than you'd think.

Everyone loves to personalize their phone a bit, and that usually starts with a wallpaper. But before you download one of your own, you're going to start with a pre-installed wallpaper, and LG put some serious work into the default set on the LG G6.

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3 weeks ago

YouTube TV is a slick full cable television replacement

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For $35 a month, you can watch a variety of broadcast and cable networks on the same app you use for adorable animal videos.

Google has announced YouTube TV, and it's exactly what it sounds like. It's a $35-a-month TV service that packages a bundle of channels from the broadcast networks and various cable networks. The networks includes Fox, ABC, CBS and NBC, as well as their affiliated cable networks, including Fox News, ESPN, and Bravo.

The base package will include roughly three dozen channels. Operators like Viacom (MTV, Nickelodeon) and Time Warner (HBO) will likely not be broadcast since these are either still considered exclusives for pay TV or have successful standalone services already. Showtime is noted on the YouTube TV site as being available for an extra free, but that price hasn't been revealed yet.

Unlike, say, conventional cable, which is typically watched on a television set, YouTube TV will be pivoted as "mobile first." The company expects its subscribers will spend a majority of the time consuming content on smartphones, though they'll also be able to watch it through all the other mediums — including the traditional TV in the living room.

YouTube also heavily pushed the notion of better service to Recode recently. We'll let Peter Kafka explain it:

What YouTube is really pushing, though, is the notion that while it may have the same programming as its competitors, it will have a better service. YouTube product chief Neal Mohan says the company has been working on YouTube TV for two years; he promises that you'll see the results when you actually get to play with it.

Since you can't do that yet, here are some of the features Mohan has talked up:

A cloud DVR with unlimited storage space, included in the base package. (That's a feature Hulu has been talking about selling as an add-on to base package.)

A recommendation system powered by Google's AI.

"Reliability and scalability" — a not-veiled reminder that other digital TV services have had technical struggles when they first launched.

Kafka makes some other noteworthy points about YouTube TV, which will launch later this spring, including the fact that the service is likely to directly compete with Hulu, the other anti-cable streaming service.

Anyone eager to jump on this new way to catch television from your phone can sign up to be notified as soon as the service is available here. Are you signing up for YouTube TV? Drop us a line in the comments!

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3 weeks ago

Mozilla's first acquisition is bookmarking app Pocket

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Pocket is now a wholly-owned subsidiary of Mozilla.

Pocket is one of the best options if you're looking to save articles for reading later on your Android phone, but the app originally started out as a Firefox extension nine years ago. So it's only fitting that the company behind Pocket, Read It Later, is being acquired by Mozilla.

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3 weeks ago

Best adult apps in VR

Finding adult apps for VR is easy, finding awesome adult apps in VR can be more difficult.

Porn in VR is all over the place these days. In fact, all you have to do is a quick Google search and you'll find plenty of websites and apps that can give you what you're looking for. Not all adults apps are awesome though. So instead of slogging through the internet and hoping you find an awesome app, we've done the work for you. Below you'll find the best apps in VR for adult entertainment.

Read more at VRHeads.com

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3 weeks ago

Get a lifetime subscription to Hushed Private Phone Line for just $25

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Phone numbers should be kept more sacred than they are today. People just give them to any and everyone, and sometimes that backfires. Wouldn't it be nice to be able to give someone a secondary number and be able to keep your primary one for just your true friends and family? Well, you can, and it isn't too difficult.

Get a secured second number right now! Learn More

Meet Hushed Private Phone Line, an easy way to manage additional numbers from the same phone. With this lifetime subscription you'll have access to a combination of 3000 SMS or 500 minutes of calls per year, and you can pick from 100's of area codes when creating your phone number. Stop giving out your real number for those online deals, and instead be smarter.

  • Use included plan towards a combination of 3000 SMS or 500 phone minutes per year (North America 365 Plan)
  • Make calls & send texts from a private phone number without monthly fees
  • Choose from 100's of area codes across the US & Canada
  • Manage your communication from a single app
  • Access one lifetime number per account
  • Customize your voicemail
  • Set up call forwarding settings
  • Utilize Wi-Fi or data while you chat so you don't incur service charges

Lifetime subscription is just $25 right now Learn More

You'd normally pay just under $150 for a lifetime sub to the service, but right now you can pay much less than that. A one-time $25 purchase is much cheaper than you pay for any single month of cellular service, and since it is only being used once and a while you won't want to pay much more than that. The benefits are huge if you do a lot of stuff online, so be sure to grab one now!

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3 weeks ago

Google Assistant is coming to all phones running Marshmallow and above

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Get ready to interact with the Google Assistant on your phone.

The Google Assistant is available on the Google Home, Android Wear 2.0, Google's messaging app Allo, the NVIDIA Shield TV, and Android TVs, and Google is now vastly expanding its reach by bringing the AI-based virtual assistant to all phones running Android 6.0 Marshmallow and above.

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3 weeks ago

Best Password Manager For Android

Best Password Managers For Android

Keeping your passwords secure is rule one for security, and these apps help you keep it all safe.

Best overall

1Password

1Password

See at Google Play

1Password hits all of the features we expect from this sort of app: AES 256-bit encryption, password generation, fingerprint security, storage for all kinds of information and cross-device syncing; all with a well-implemented Android keyboard that lets you quickly paste login and password details from your secure storage.

1Password gets really powerful when you pay to upgrade from the free version. For $2.99 per month (billed annually) 1Password keeps all of your secure information synced across devices and you don't have to configure a thing. You can also upgrade to a Family or Team plan to share important information between multiple 1Password users.

Bottom line: 1Password isn't cheap, but it is definitely the easiest to use and most full-featured password manager available.

One more thing: For teams or families that need to simply and securely share passwords, 1Password is definitely the best choice.

Why 1Password is the best

You get everything you need with a single service in 1Password.

1Password has become the gold standard for cross-platform password managers, and that starts for most of us with the Android app. The app is well designed and implements all of the features we want. That means you get easy ways to store logins and passwords, but also other personal information and notes securely. Everything is secured with top-end encryption and synced across all of your devices — phones, tablets, and computers — with no additional setup.

The app offers one-touch fingerprint login for compatible devices, and also offers a keyboard that lets you quickly paste login information right into apps without toggling over to the full 1Password app. It's simple, and it just works the way you expect.

For many, 1Password is the best choice simply because it offers the best multi-user experience available today. For $4.99 per month, everyone in your family can have shared passwords and access to specific information from other family members, which is invaluable for some. 1Password Teams does the same, but for businesses that need to store and share large numbers of passwords.

For just individuals, 1Password is hoping you'll choose its $2.99 personal plan that offers automatic cross-device syncing, web access and of course regular updates. There's still an option to pay upfront for an individual app license for 1Password, but you lose automatic syncing and web support, which are of course two key features of what makes 1Password so great.

With a simple, powerful app and great sharing options between families or large teams, 1Password really does it all — and that's worth the price for many.

Best for less

LastPass

LastPass

See at Google Play

LastPass offers the same general set of features as 1Password, including secure encrypted storage of your information, fingerprint unlocking, auto-filling of logins for browsers and apps, as well as free cross-device syncing (which used to be a premium feature).

For a subscription of $1 per month you can get a "family sharing" setup with access for five distinct users, extra two-factor authentication options and 1GB of encrypted file storage.

Bottom line: For a full-featured password manager at a lower subscription price, LastPass should be considered.

One more thing: Most people will be happy enough with the basic free features of LastPass, but give the Premium subscription a look just in case.

Best for simplicity

Enpass

Enpass

See at Google Play

Enpass is a simple app that integrates every password manager feature you could ask for. There's app auto-filling, a built-in browser, fingerprint sensor lock, password generation and the highest level of encryption.

You'll pay $9.99 for the premium version of the mobile app, and that unlocks full premium features including access to the free desktop and Chrome apps. It works this way because you store the password data on your own cloud service of choice. Data is still encrypted before syncing, so everything is kept nice and secure.

Bottom line: Enpass is a great option for those who want to store passwords on their own cloud, without an additional monthly subscription.

One more thing: Enpass actually has a relatively functional free version if you want to cheap out for a bit before paying for the full feature set.

Best for free

Dashlane

Dashlane

See at Google Play

Dashlane offers industry-standard AES-256 bit encryption of your passwords, as well as secure cross-device syncing and on-device password generation. It's also able to store other sensitive non-password data such as IDs, credit card info, addresses, and secure notes.

Dashlane comes with its own browser that will auto-fill all of your accounts and passwords as you visit websites, but you can also elect to use its keyboard to easily insert passwords into other apps as well. The app blocks screenshots and offers several security measures to keep the app safe from unwanted users..

Bottom line: Dashlane is the best choice for someone who wants to use a full-featured password manager on one device for free, and if you need more you can pay for premium features.

One more thing: When you download Dashlane you get 30 days of the premium features for free to give you a taste of everything it has to offer.

Conclusion

For those who want the absolute best password manager for their phone, tablet, and computers, 1Password is the way to go. It has every feature you (and your family or company) want, and you pay a bit extra for that complete package.

Best overall

1Password

1Password

See at Google Play

1Password hits all of the features we expect from this sort of app: AES 256-bit encryption, password generation, fingerprint security, storage for all kinds of information and cross-device syncing; all with a well-implemented Android keyboard that lets you quickly paste login and password details from your secure storage.

1Password gets really powerful when you pay to upgrade from the free version. For $2.99 per month (billed annually) 1Password keeps all of your secure information synced across devices and you don't have to configure a thing. You can also upgrade to a Family or Team plan to share important information between multiple 1Password users.

Bottom line: 1Password isn't cheap, but it is definitely the easiest to use and most full-featured password manager available.

One more thing: For teams or families that need to simply and securely share passwords, 1Password is definitely the best choice.

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3 weeks ago

Advance your IT career for only $22.50

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Are you stuck in your current position in life because you need more training to get ahead? In the fast-paced and fast-growing world of Information Technology and Data analysis, it's important to keep up-to-date with all the newest techniques. Whether you're working in-house or are part of an independent data analysis/marketing firm, you're going to be stuck in an ever expanding ocean if you don't brush up on your skills.

Save more with code LEARN50 Learn More

Most likely the best way for you to gain the knowledge you seek is via online courses. The only problem is there are hundreds of them and deciding which courses are the right ones to take can be maddening. Lucky for you, Windows Central has got your back!

The Big Data Bundle is a series of courses that are specifically designed to get you ahead in your career. With this great offer, you'll have unlimited access to over 60 hours of course material that will teach you everything you need to know from the basics of Big Data collecting to the more advanced analysis and sorting of all that data.

Here are just some of the great courses available in this amazing bundle:

  • Learn By Example: Hadoop & MapReduce for Big Data Problems
  • Flume & Sqoop for Ingesting Big Data
  • Pig for Wrangling Big Data
  • Oozie: Workflow Scheduling for Big Data Systems
  • From 0 to 1: Hive for Big Data Processing

Programs like The Big Data Bundle can often go for hundreds of dollars, but if you enroll right now you can get all nine courses for only $22.50 with code LEARN50! That means you're saving over 90%!

Save big for a limited time! Learn More

Having lifetime access means you can go at your pace, so you don't have to feel rushed or be stressed about the amount of time you are taking. What are you waiting for? Take your IT or data analysis career to new heights by learning the newest techniques on the latest programs.

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