Headlines

1 week ago

WatchESPN and other Disney live streaming apps are now available to DirecTV users

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DirecTV customers now have full access to the video streaming mobile apps provided by ABC and its parent company Disney. That includes the WatchESPN app along with a bunch of other apps offering both live and on-demand video content.

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1 week ago

USA Today adds support for Android Wear

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USA Today Android Wear

USA Today — the No. 3 newspaper in the U.S. — this week pushed an update to its Android application that adds support for Android Wear smartwatches.

You'll be prompted to set up notifications for your smartwatch after updating, and you can choose when to get the twice-daily five-headline burst on your wrist. (I've left it at the default 9 a.m. and 6 p.m. times.) After that, just sit back and let it do its thing.

In addition to the Android Wear support, USAT has also added video playlists to its already excellent app, available now in Google Play.

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1 week ago

IFTTT launches new Do Button, Do Camera and Do Note apps, rebrands original app to simply 'IF'

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IFTTT, always the tinkerer's dream, is making some big changes today with the launch of a new set of apps and a rebranding of its main app. The three new apps, called Do Button, Do Camera and Do Note, are meant to be specialized single-use apps — accompanied by widgets — that are simpler to set up and can tie into your favorite products and apps to perform a single action very well.

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1 week ago

Google Docs update brings new features to Office Compatibility Mode

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Google Docs for Android scored a small update today that brings a couple of new, minor features. Coming along for the ride is support for cutting, copying, and pasting text, images, and tables in Office Compatibility mode. Additionally, you'll now have the ability to insert links into Google documents

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1 week ago

Google Play store: How to keep your kids from buying everything in sight

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Purchasing protection

Requiring a password for purchases will let you control who can buy what.

There are a lot of things to spend money on inside the Google Play store app on your Android. Some apps cost a few bucks, some have in-app purchases (some have too many) and others have subscriptions for monthly or yearly fees. Like everything else that can cost money, it's always a good idea to keep tabs on where and how the money is being spent — especially if you have kids using your Google account.

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1 week ago

Galaxy S5 owners: How's the Lollipop update treating you?

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Galaxy S5 Lollipop

Even more GS5s are getting Android 5.0, but is it a net positive for everyone?

After Lollipop started slowly rolling out to Galaxy S5 owners in Europe, Verizon put us back on alert with the big update to its own Galaxy S5. Sprint followed suit the next day and T-Mobile pushed a couple weeks later. As is the case with every major operating system update, some people are likely to hit a few snags when jumping between Android versions. There are some features and designs of Lollipop that are disliked, but there are also issues with the update process itself.

We've received a few emails to our tips inbox and read a few comments in the forums indicating there are issues, but that's also combined with plenty of folks who seem to be happy with the update. So, for those of you who have installed Lollipop on your Galaxy S5, how is the update working on your device?

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1 week ago

NBC brings live streaming to select markets with update to Android app

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NBC has rolled out a significant update to its Android app that brings live streaming functionality in select markets as well as the ability to watch full episodes of the network's classic shows. To access live streaming content, you're going to need a subscription to a cable or satellite partner in available markets, but you can watch older NBC shows such as The A-Team, Miami Vice, Battlestar Galactica and more for free even if you're not subscribed.

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2 weeks ago

Google Play Store and parents: how to control what apps are listed

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Content filtering in Google Play

Content filtering puts you in control of what you (or your kids) can see in Google Play.

Smartphones and tablets can be a great match for your kids. Open up Google Play, and you'll find there are plenty of educational apps and entertainment apps, and even clever applications that have managed to combine both at once. You'll find a lot of things you want to expose your young ones to, and they will be better for it.

You'll also notice that there are plenty of things in Google Play that you might not want your child to see. While Google doesn't allow things like hate speech or outright pornography in Google Play apps (see the content guidelines here), things like "fictional" violence or suggestive imagery, or apps that can share your location, are permitted. You need to be aware of these apps if you choose to keep your kids away from them.

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2 weeks ago

Monkey King Escape is Ubisoft's new endless runner for Android

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Monkey King Escape is a new endless runner from Ubisoft for Android devices from the Google Play Store. Loosely based on the Chinese novel Journey to the West, Monkey King Escape sees you run and fly across a mystical world in an effort to claim the title of Monkey King.

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2 weeks ago

Pushbullet now offers desktop replies for Whatsapp, Hangouts, and more

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The Pushbullet notification synchronization tool now lets users compose and send replies via five different messaging apps. Those apps would be WhatsApp, Telegram, Hangouts, Facebook Messenger, and Line. Pushbullet picked up text message reply support several months ago.

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2 weeks 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 weeks 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 weeks 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 weeks ago

Second Screen gaming apps — Ready Player Two

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Companion Second Screen

Companion Apps feel like the future of gaming, and that's awesome

As passive experiences, Second Screen apps for gaming are a "take it or leave it" kind of deal. They are nice to have if you are really into a game, or if you're particularly social on one gaming network or another, but most of these apps aren't giving you any sort of edge in the game. The few apps that stand out in this category are most commonly referred to as Companion Apps. These apps are designed to create an experience that is in the same world as the core game, and in many situations is played during the core game, but the look and feel to these experiences make it easy for a second player to act as your wingman and play by your side.

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2 weeks 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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