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4 weeks ago

Google makes it easier for Indian users to get started with Maps

3

Google is making it easier for Indian customers to get started with Maps.

Google Maps users in India are getting a new home screen that will make it easier for them to get started with the service. The home screen will include a quick action bar at the bottom of the page that pulls up a direction pane with commonly used modes of transportation — driving, public transit, walking, and ride-sharing services. Users will also be able to switch between satellite imagery and real-time traffic info, and download a particular area for offline navigation.

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4 weeks ago

Best apps and games for getting out and enjoying the outdoors

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Just because you like being on your phone doesn't mean you have to stay inside all the time.

Ahh, summer. For those of us who live in the North, it's that brief couple of months where we can go outside and comfortably enjoy the outdoors. And yet, it's still all too easy to stay inside, watch Netflix, and just lay about. Sometimes you need something to prod you up on your feet and set you off on a quick and fun adventure.

Whether you're looking to set up your fitness game, or simply spend a bit more time outside enjoying that fresh air, these apps and games are worth checking out — and stackable! I don't know about you, but the idea of playing Pokemon Go while outrunning zombies is pretty compelling...

c:geo

If you've never tried geocaching before, you're sure to be surprised with just how many little treasure hunts are hidden in plain sight all around you! It's a fun hobby that's really taken off due to cellphone GPS making it easier than ever for the average person to check it out.

Once you've registered and configured the app, geocaching is a fun activity you can do at any time, wherever you are. Simply load up an app, use the map to target a nearby geocache, then head to that location and start searching! The geocache will be cleverly hidden in the area. Once you've found it you sign and date the included, re-hide the cache exactly how you found it, then share your experiences online.

There are several geocaching apps available for Android, but c:geo is your best bet. It's an open source app that's super easy to use for beginners and includes all the features you need to start hunting. It's an unofficial client for Geocaching.com, one of the internet's biggest communities for geocachers.

So what are you waiting for? Grab some friends and head out on your own geocaching adventure!

Download: c:geo (Free)

Zombies, Run!

Part fitness tracker, part audio drama, Zombies, Run! is the perfect app for those of us who really need to be motivated to keep running. Developed by Six to Start, this app has been around for quite some time, but it's always a fun recommendation to throw out there for anyone looking to jumpstart (and maybe jump scare) a running routine. Simply load up the game on your phone, pop in your favorite workout headphones and head out on your adventure.

You fill the role of Runner 5, a survivor in an ongoing zombie apocalypse that must head out into the infected lands on missions to collect supplies and find new survivors. You're able to listen to your own music for the stretches, with the story cutting in between songs. If you start slowing down, you may hear the living undead creeping closer — and it proves to be pretty motivating if you're buying into the narrative. Of course, you don't have to run. If you'd rather not have your evening jog or walk spoiled by a pack of audio zombies chasing you, you can turn the feature off.

The base app is free, but you can pay a monthly or yearly subscription to unlock all the missions and content at once. If you've never tried it before, it's definitely worth checking out.

Download: Zombies, Run! (Free w/ optional subscription available)

The Walk: Fitness Tracker

If running from zombies is a bit too intense for you, Six to Start also has a step counter app that uses the same storytelling mechanic to tell a different story. Developed and based in the UK, you are the star of an audio drama that spans 500 miles of walking.

While Zombies, Run! plays like a horror movie, the story here is more like a political thriller movie: A bomb has exploded in Inverness Station and you've been given a package that just might save the world. You must keep walking to stay alive and deliver the package to the other side of the UK, dodging agents of evil as the story continues to unfolds as you walk.

There are 51 episodes to listen that total over 800 minutes of audio. The game will track your steps even when your phone is asleep also adapt to your individual fitness level, so that it never feels too easy or too challenging. It's another interesting app that might give you more reason to get up and take a walk outside, which is always a good thing.

Download: The Walk: Fitness Tracker ($2.99)

Clandestine Anomaly

Clandestine Anomaly is a pretty interesting game that turns your neighbourhood into a battleground between intergalactic rivals, with your smartphone supercharged with everything needed to keep the evil Leecher virus from taking over Earth.

One of the first thing you do in the game is outline the perimeter of the play area — about a square mile or so —and each new level pops up linked to a GPS location on a map. At its core, Clandestine Anomaly is a tower defence game where you use sensors to detect the Leecher pathways back to their spawning portals. You're able to play and destroy the oncoming waves from the comfort of your own home — but if you actually head to the area on the map where the battle is going down, you're able to use augmented reality to launch devastating attacks and gain the upper hand. In later levels, you need to be there to have any chance of being successful.

It's a really intriguing concept and while you only get four levels before you're required to pay to unlock the full game, it's worth giving it a shot if only for a cool look at how augmented reality can be incorporated into games.

Download: Clandestine Anomaly (Free w/ IAP to unlock full game)

Pokémon Go

A fairly obvious inclusion on this list. As we get closer to the one-year anniversary of the release of Pokémon Go, love it or hate it, it's still going strong with millions of regular players enjoying regular global events as they work to fill their Pokedex with the recently added Gen 2 Pokémon.

As we head towards summer, Pokemon Go may have a resurgence as we all look for more reasons to go outside for a walk somewhere. If you're thinking of getting back into the game or trying it for the first time, you might want to invest in Pokemon Go Plus, a Bluetooth accessory that lets you play the game throughout the day without using your smartphone. You can pick yours up at online retailers like Amazon or Best Buy.

Download: Pokemon Go (Free w/IAPs)

The ultimate outdoor challenge

If you're down for a challenge dive into the maps in c:geo, plan a nice long route with several geocaches on the way, then head out while playing Zombies, Run! and Pokemon Go with the Pokémon Go Plus all at the same time. See how many geocaches you can find, Pokémon you can catch, and zombie hordes you can outrun simultaneously in an hour.

Got any recommendations of your own? Drop us a comment!

Android Gaming

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1 month ago

Google Trips gets new ways to make your next vacation better

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New features let you find and share everything easier to make a vacation stress-free like it should be.

Planning your vacation can be a lot of work. And when you're done figuring it all out you need to get it organized and put somewhere that you can use it. Google Trips can help and some new features make it even easier.

Keeping track of your reservations is now easier because everything is in one place in one app. The new Google Trips keeps it all on one tab and lets you share any of it with the tap of a button. The person you're sharing with will get an email with all the details, and see them in the Google Trips app as well.

The best travel apps for Android

The next new feature lets you instantly update details for flights, car rentals, and hotel or restaurant reservations even if you haven't received any confirmation. Press the plus button while you're in the reservation section and enter all the details.You can even add notes that don't fit into a specific category.

Crowdsourcing is a great way to discover new things and you can now download destinations that have trended towards the top.

Finally, train and bus reservations are organized right along with flight and hotel reservations.

Having an app that keeps all your travel plans in one place makes things easier for everyone traveling. Being able to download it all so you can see it when you don't have a connection makes it even better. With these new features, Google Trips is the app you need to use for your next vacation.

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1 month ago

How to upload videos to YouTube

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Uploading videos on YouTube is easier than you thought.

YouTube is the biggest video platform on the planet, delivering everything from music videos to birthday parties to news and updates on the world. Uploading your own videos to YouTube is an easy process, with access to plenty of features to give you control over the end product.

How to upload a video to YouTube

  1. Launch the YouTube app from your home screen or the app drawer.
  2. Tap on the upload button on the right side of your screen. It looks like a video camera.
  3. Tap the video that you want to upload.

  4. Enter a title for your video.
  5. Tap a privacy option for your video. Your options are Public (anyone can see), Unlisted (anyone with a link can see), and Private (only you can see).
  6. Tap the arrow in the upper right corner of your screen.

How to adjust the length of your video

While it's easy to record a video for uploading to YouTube, you might want to adjust where the video starts or stops. YouTube makes this easy for you, allowing you to drag and drop where each video begins and ends.

  1. Launch the YouTube app from your home screen or the app drawer.
  2. Tap on the upload button on the right side of your screen. It looks like a video camera.
  3. Tap the video that you want to upload.

  4. Tap and drag the blue bumpers to drag and drop to the length you want your video to be.
  5. Enter a title for your video.
  6. Tap a privacy option for your video. Your options are Public (anyone can see), Unlisted (anyone with a link can see), and Private (only you can see).

  7. Tap the white arrow in the upper right corner of your screen.

How to add music to your video upload

When it comes to the options that you have before uploading a video, one of the most popular features is the ability to add music to your video.

  1. Launch the YouTube app from your home screen or the app drawer.
  2. Tap on the upload button on the right side of your screen. It looks like a video camera.
  3. Tap the video you want to upload.

  4. Tap on the music button on the right side of your screen. It looks like a musical note.
  5. Tap the plus sign on the bottom right corner of each track to add it to your video.
  6. Enter a title for your video.

  7. Tap a privacy option for your video. Your options are Public (anyone can see), Unlisted (anyone with a link can see), and Private (only you can see).
  8. Tap the white arrow on the right side of your screen.

How to add a filter to your YouTube upload

Not every video needs to look as realistic as possible, and with filters it's an easy process to go ahead and adjust the way that your video looks with as little effort as possible. You can pick from one of the filters YouTube has offered to immediately change the look of your video.

  1. Launch the Youtube app from your home screen or the app drawer.
  2. Tap on the upload button on the right side of the screen. It looks like a video camera.
  3. Tap the video you want to upload.

  4. Tap the magic wand on the right side of your screen.
  5. Tap the filter you want to use.
  6. Enter a title for your video.

  7. Tap a privacy option for your video. Your options are Public (anyone can see), Unlisted (anyone with a link can see), and Private (only you can see).
  8. Tap the white arrow in the upper right corner of your screen.

While uploading a video to YouTube can be a bare bones affair, by using the different features available to you it's easy to spice your video up in just a few short taps. You are able to adjust the way your video looks, whether it had background music, and adjust your privacy options all before uploading a photo.

Questions?

Let us know in the comments below!

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1 month ago

Make the Bixby button great again: BixRemap will open Google Now instead

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If Bixby isn't your thing, here's how to replace it with Google Now.

The Galaxy S8 has been mostly well received by everyone. Blogger and users who have scored their phones already are saying really good things, and even the naysayers are impressed with the hardware. It just seems like a damn good phone so far. But there is one thing a lot of folks are saying they would like to change: The Bixby button.

Bixby seems like a cool robot friend AI thing. Unless you're on Verizon or in Europe, that is. I won't dismiss it outright until I've tried it long enough to know if I like it or not.

But other people feel differently and want the convenience and familiarity that comes with Google Now and hate that the button is hard-programmed to open Bixby when pressed. Earlier methods to bypass this have been patched by Samsung as they "exploited" services that they didn't need to access in order to gain control over the button. But because Android developers are crafty and awesome, we have a new app that will save the day.

Developer Dave Bennett is using his own service (you'll need to enable it when you first run the app) that overrides the Bixby behavior. When you press the button, Bixby opens but is quickly backgrounded while Google Now opens. Ha! Awesome, Dave.

You can grab the app (it's free) from the Play Store link above. We don't know if Samsung will find this app not to their liking and patch it away, but it works today so live in the moment and show Bixby who is the boss.

Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8+

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About

The Galaxy S8, and its larger sibling the S8+, are Samsung's top-end devices for 2017 meant to appeal to the general consumer and power user alike. The two phones are only differentiated by screen and battery size: 5.8 inches and 3000mAh, and 6.2 inches and 3500mAh.

The displays have a new 18.5:9 aspect ratio with a QHD+ resolution, meaning they're extra tall and narrow. Samsung moved to on-screen buttons and reduced bezel size dramatically in order to fit as much screen into the body as possible. That moved the fingerprint sensor to the back of the phones, where it sits somewhat-awkwardly next to the camera lens. Iris scanning makes its return in a new-and-improved version from the Note 7.

Though the batteries haven't increased in size from the Galaxy S7 and S7 edge, the hope is that the improved efficiency of the new 10 nm processor inside will provide some help. The processor is backed up by 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage. Waterproofing and wireless charging are still here as well, plus a new USB-C port on the bottom. The rear camera is unchanged in terms of its 12MP sensor and f/1.7 lens, but has improved processing thanks to a new ISP and software.

Specs

Width Height Thickness 5.86 in
148.9 mm
2.68 in
68.1 mm
0.31 in
8 mm
5.47 oz
155g grams
  • Display:
    • 5.8-inch AMOLED display
    • 2960x1440 resolution
    • 18.5:9 aspect ratio
    • Dual-curve infinity display
  • Cameras:
    • 12MP ƒ/1.7 rear camera
    • Dual-pixel phase detection autofocus
    • 1.4-micron pixels
    • 8MP ƒ/1.7 front camera
  • Battery:
    • 3000 mAh battery
    • Non-removable
    • USB-C fast Charging
    • Qi + PMA wireless charging
  • Chips:
    • Snapdragon 835 processor
    • Samsung Exynos 8896 processor
      (varies by region)
    • 4GB RAM
    • 64GB internal storage
    • microSD card slot
    • Android 7.0 Nougat
  • GS8+
    • Samsung Galaxy S8+
    • 6.2-inch AMOLED display
    • 3500mAh battery
    • 6.28 in x 2.89 in x 0.32 in
      159.5mm x 73.4mm x 8.1mm
    • 6.10 oz / 73g

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1 month ago

Google Play Music becomes the default music app on Samsung phones and tablets

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Samsung customers will get a three-month trial and ability to upload 100,000 songs to Play Music.

Google has partnered with Samsung to offer Google Play Music as the default music player on the South Korean manufacturer's phones and tablets, starting with the Galaxy S8 and S8+, which are going on sale in the U.S. starting today. The partnership includes exclusive features for Samsung customers, including a three-month trial to Play Music. The offer is available globally, but is limited to new subscribers and not current Play Music customers.

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1 month ago

Google Photos: Ultimate Guide

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Save memories, store and catalog your photos, make edits, and more with Google Photos.

Google Photos is more than just an app for storing your photos. While on the surface it's primarily for backing up photos, there are more ways to edit and share hidden inside. You also have some serious control over every aspect of the photos. This goes from which folders get backed up, to the image quality you upload your photos to, to seeing the photos that you have shared in the past. It gives you a solid place to store and sync all of your photos so that you never lose one again.

How to set up Google Photos

Google Photos aims to be your one stop shop for all of your Photos. Before you can start to take advantage of the many things you can do by using Google Photos, you need to know the basics. This includes things like choosing your image upload quality, understanding the Google Photos Assistant, and choosing which device folders get synced with Google Photos.

Share your photos with friends

Google Photos makes it so easy to share your memories and photos with friends, family, and colleagues. You have control over who can see the photos that you share, and even set up specific folders for sharing.

Manage your photos

When it comes to keeping track of all of your photos, Google makes that easy for you to. You can create new folders, share specific folders, and even add to existing folders, or allow folks to collaborate and add their own photos to the folder you have invited them to.

Additional Features

Google Photos has plenty of additional features that you might not have heard about. Just because features are hidden a bit under the surface doesn't mean that you shouldn't check them out, though. With powerful photo editing built right in, there are some things you may not have seen about Google Photos.

Are you a fan of Google Photos?

Google Photos delivers a great app that can be used to share, save, upload, and even edit, your photos. With plenty of features that are easy to use, it becomes a great storage tool for the photos you take every day. Do you use Google Photos for storing your snapshots? Be sure to drop us a line in the comments and tell us about it.

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1 month ago

Best Android apps for your Chromebook

32

An injection of over 1,000,000 Android apps does a great job filling in the holes in Chrome.

Updated April 2017: This post was updated to make sure it's full of awesome apps for your Chromebook.

A few Chromebooks already have Android apps through Google Play. More are scheduled to get them, and most new Chromebooks will ship with the Play store working from day one. Android app support has also been announced for several Chromeboxes and the Chromebit. It's a slow process, but it is happening.

Android apps will change how you use your Chromebook. They have already changed things like how much storage is enough or how useful a touchscreen is on a small laptop. They fill a void that many people needed to be filled before they would purchase a Chromebook because they needed support for a particular app or just wanted a bigger selection. Android apps also help when developers who have a Chrome app aren't offering all the features with it and the Android app has them. They'll also expose more people to Chrome OS which will make native Chrome apps even better because developers will need to pay more attention to it. Android apps on Chrome are good no matter how you look at it.

Of course, some apps fill that void better than others. Here is the best of the best when it comes to Android apps for your Chromebook.

Slack

You might not use Slack, but you probably should. It's a cross-platform service where you can chat with friends or co-workers with necessary features like private chats (including private group chats) and voice/video calls. You can even program bots for your channel(s). We use it here at Mobile Nations as our primary way to communicate.

And the Android version of the Slack App is great! It's far better than the native Chrome offering and runs flawlessly in its own resizable window on your desktop. It's also integrated perfectly and notifications come in the same way all your Chrome notifications do. Slack is the first icon I click when I open the lid on my Chromebook.

See at Google Play

Quik

Quik is a great lightweight video editor built for Android phones and tablets. It's not a replacement for Final Cut Pro X or Sony Vegas or any other professional-level video editing environment nor does it pretend to be. But it is a really easy way to build a very nice video from a bunch of short (or long) clips.

Quik is from GoPro and works great with GoPro footage through the Android app or from the GoPro Plus service. But it can also pull videos from your gallery or Google Photos or Facebook until you hit the 75 clip limit. The editor has automated tools for things like smart cuts and highlights, but you can also do everything by hand. It's free, so why not check it out?

See at Google Play

Pocketcasts

There are ways to manage your podcast feeds via the web or through Chrome, but none of them are half as good as Pocketcasts.

Pocketcasts is one of the best ways to download and listen to the latest episodes from all of your podcasts on Android, and it works the same way on your Chromebook. You can let your list play in the background while you're doing anything else, and a click in the notification tray brings up media controls if you need to skip ahead or backward. It's also a good bit cheaper than the web version, though it's worth just as much.

See at Google Play

Unclouded

Now that you can use the Unclouded app for Android you have a way to access all your stuff in the cloud.

Chromebooks work really well with Google Drive. With a fast connection, it's just like working in an office where folders are on a central server but integrated into your files, too. If you use Google Drive for all your stuff you're set. But most of us use other services, too. Unclouded will put Google Drive, Dropbox, OneDrive, Box and Mega into its file explorer and you can open, download, upload and whatever just like you were working on a PC with an app from the company.

Just be careful you don't download everything if you have a Chromebook with limited storage.

See at Google Play

Firefox

You can't install another browser built to run on Chrome OS, but you can install one built to run on Android.

You can sync with other devices running Firefox, have the same privacy settings that you have on any other version of Firefox, and can use the same extensions across every installation. You can run the Android version of Firefox full-screen and set things to always serve the desktop page instead of mobile.

Chrome is a great browser. But it's not the only great browser.

See at Google Play

Microsoft Office

Microsoft may be struggling in mobile, but they rule the roost when it comes to the basic productivity tools we call an office suite.

Google Docs works great for most people. But Microsoft's offerings for Android do, too. You can install Word, Powerpoint, and Excel for Android on your Chromebook and get the same app you would have on a full-sized Android tablet. Which means they are pretty darn good. In fact, it's better using them on your Chromebook because you have a keyboard every time you open them. They still backup your documents to the cloud so your files are available from anywhere, and they're hundreds of dollars less than the versions for Windows or Mac — free.

Almost every app in Google Play will run on a Chromebook that has the Play store enabled. Be sure to tell everyone what apps you're using on your Chromebook that fill your app gap so we all can check them out!

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1 month ago

Google's latest update for PhotoScan makes it easier to share the nostalgia

4

This is also a friendly reminder that Google PhotoScan exists and it's worth using — just in case.

Remember PhotoScan? The app that lets you save digital copies of your printed photos to Google Photos? It's a neat way to store those old photographs, loose Polaroids, and school pictures in the cloud — just in case. Google has announced it's pushing out an update to the service. With it comes two new helpful tricks that will make PhotoScan easier to use.

The first new addition is the ability to turn off glare removal, which will enable you to scan in your photos with just the press of a button — rather than having to scan in each corner of the photo, as is typically the case when the glare removal option is turned on. The second new feature lets you immediately share your new scan with other people. You don't have to wait to log on to Google Photos and locate it to share with your bestie.

The PhotoScan update is minor, but it should make the app more user-friendly. It's also a helpful reminder the service exists. I, myself, am going to go through a couple of Polaroids right now. If you'd like to do the same, you can download the app for Android and iOS.

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1 month ago

Best Chrome extensions for watching video

25
Best Chrome extensions for watching video

Watching videos is better on Chrome when you use these browser extensions!

Chrome is a great browser, but it's the apps and extensions that really make Chrome shine brighter than the competition.

If you're addicted to watching videos — whether on YouTube, Netflix, or any other video service — we've got a collection of great Chrome apps and extensions designed to enhance your experience.

Update, April 19, 2017: We've added Video Resumer, and Floating for YouTube.

Turn Off the Lights

There's a reason why movie theaters turn off all the lights once the movie begins. Outside light can be distracting when you're watching video.

Turn Off the Lights brings a touch of that cinema experience to YouTube, Vimeo, Hulu, and others by dimming everything in the browser window except for the video.

Once you've added the extension to Chrome, simply click the lightbulb icon next to the address bar when you're on a video page and everything other than the video will dim to near-black. This is a fantastic feature if you're the type to watch videos at night in a darkened room, when the brightness from the white background is most glaring. When you're done watching your video, simply click the lightbulb icon again and the page returns to normal.

See at Chrome Web Store

Google Cast

If we're talking about Chrome and video, it's impossible to avoid mentioning Chromecast — it's the handiest little disc that lets you connect your smartphone or Chrome browser to your TV via HDMI.

Google Cast is a must-have extension if you've got a Chromecast (and you should really get a Chromecast). It allows you to connect and stream content from your Chrome tab quick and easy to your TV. You can use it to help increase your productivity by using multiple screens, or use it to decrease your productivity by streaming YouTube or Netflix. The choice is yours, Google Cast just provides the options.

See at Chrome Web Store

VideoStream for Google Chromecast

As mentioned, one of the coolest features for Chrome is it's integration with Chromecast via Google Cast.

VideoStream for Google Chromecast takes that feature and builds on it by converting your chrome tab into an app that allows you to load and stream local videos from your computer and stream them wirelessly to your TV.

Once you've got the app installed in Chrome, you'll find it in the Apps menu just below the Back and Forward buttons. Launch VideoStream in a new tab and you're able to load up videos from your computer or external hard drive directly into a video player in Chrome, which then allows you to cast that tab via Chromecast to your TV.

It works like magic, and means you'll no longer have to deal with HDMI cables and adapters when you want to stream video from your computer to your TV.

See at Chrome Web Store

Flix Plus by Lifehacker

Flix Plus by Lifehacker

If you're addicted to watching Netflix on your computer, then you need to check out Flix Plus by Lifehacker.

It adds a bunch of really cool features that you'll appreciate, such as integration with Rotten Tomatoes, IMDb, and Wikipedia for ratings and information, the ability to watch a random episode from a show you love, and enhancements to browsing that include moving "My List" to the top of the page and fading out shows and movies you've already watched or rated.

But arguably Flix Plus' best feature is how it hides spoiler content from episode thumbnails and synopses — especially important for when you're watching a show for the first time. When you're looking at a show's episode list, all the thumbnail images and episode info will be blurred out and only viewable when you mouse over them. If you're serious about avoiding spoilers when you're watching a TV show, this feature alone makes Flix Plus a real winner.

See at Chrome Web Store

Magic Actions for YouTube

Magic Actions for YouTube

Looking to get more out of your YouTube experience? Magic Actions is jam packed with handy features that make YouTube easier to use.

With the extension added, you'll see a new row of buttons just below the video window that allow you to control and customize all sorts of features for YouTube.

Some of the most notable features include the ability to control the video volume using your mouse scroll wheel, set YouTube to autoplay in HD whenever applicable, Cinema Mode, hide ads, automatically turning off those annoying video annotations — and that's just scratching the surface.

Definitely worth taking a look, however you are required to install the Click&Clean Chrome App as well during set up. The good news is you can easily remove the app after setting up Magic Actions.

See at Chrome Web Store

FasTube

FasTube

Sometimes you just want the video and nothing else. FasTube hears you, and delivers just the video — with faster load times!

As the name implies (FasTube... Fast Tube...), by loading only the video in a pop up window and ignoring the comments, thumbnails and everything else, makes videos load way faster. Like… stupid fast.

All you have to do is click the video's thumbnail image and BAM! The video pretty much instantly plays. FasTube also provides its own version of cinema mode, a button for rotating the video, and a button for sharing. The one thing you'll have to get used to is the pop up window, which will close the video instantly if you click anywhere else on the tab.

Oh, and if you want to see the description, comments, and related videos, all you have to do is click the video title. Pretty dang handy.

See at Chrome Store

Video Resumer

YouTube has tons of great content, and while there is plenty of bite-sized video, they also have some gems of longer documentaries. If you don't manage to finish the entire video in a single sitting, it can be hard to remember precisely where you left off. This extension does the work for you, resuming your videos where you stopped them, and not a moment sooner.

See at Chrome Store

Floating for YouTube

Floating for YouTube means that you'll never have to wonder where your YouTube video is playing. Instead of being a nested tab, it allows you to pop out and size the window that YouTube plays in. This is a great way to keep from losing YouTube when you have 20 tabs open and one of them is playing music.

Did we miss any killer extensions?

These are the best we could find, but maybe we missed something amazing. Share in the comments!

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1 month ago

Get a lifetime subscription to VPN Unlimited for just $39

Using the internet is becoming increasingly risky, and many people aren't taking the precautions necessary to protect their data and ultimately themselves. Using a VPN to protect yourself is more important than ever, but free services are often unreliable, slow, and unsafe. What you need is an affordable VPN service with a proven track record to keep your data private while you browse the internet. You have several devices, so you need it to work on multiple platforms, and you need servers close to you so you don't suffer from slow speeds.

Don't miss your last chance at this price! Learn More

Right now, Android Central Digital Offers has a sale on a lifetime subscription to the award-winning VPN Unlimited. A one-time payment of $39 never runs out — if you're unsure if this is the VPN for you, get the 3-year subscription for $19 and give it a good test.

VPN Unlimited has servers in over 35 countries to ensure internet speeds are fast and reliable. You can use your subscription on up to five devices at once and can delete unused devices and add new ones. The VPN Unlimited app is available in multiple languages and is compatible with iOS, Android, MacOS, Windows, and Windows Mobile.

Get it before the price increases! Learn More

Connecting to the internet with a VPN means your data is encrypted — unlike many other VPN services, there is no limit on data usage, and you won't experience any throttling. The internet isn't getting any safer, so why wait? This lifetime subscription deal for only $39 won't be available forever.

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1 month ago

Five important things iOS does better than Android

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Android and iOS have plenty of differences. Here are five places we think Apple is doing better than Google.

The internet is filled with words about Android and iOS and why one is better than the other. It makes for fun writing and reading because everyone likes to hear about why the thing they prefer is better than the thing they don't. but there are some important things each operating system does better than the other.

In a perfect world, Apple and Google would merge and the result (Gapple?) would make software with the best from both sides. Since that's never going to happen, let's look at five important things iOS does better than Android.

First read this: Five important things Android does better than iOS

Updates

The way Android and iOS are updated is very different. Google uses Play Services to handle many of the security and application compatibility parts of Android, and iOS updates don't include every feature for older models. But there is still no denying that updates are handled on iOS better than they are on Android.

Google is responsible because their name is tied to Android.

When Android is updated, only phones from Google that are currently supported can expect an update. Those phones are a very small portion of Android devices in the wild. It's difficult for Google to force another company to send an update because Google doesn't build Android: it only gives the source code to other companies who build it themselves. Once the code is updated Google can do no more.

That doesn't change the fact that most Android phones are using old software. It's the fault of the companies making the phones, but the blame will always fall on Google.

Junk apps

If you buy an iPhone from Verizon you won't have to hide the VZ Navigator app. The same can't be said for a Galaxy S8.

Step 1: Buy Android phone. Step 2: Try to delete all the carrier crap.

The small bits and pieces a phone needs to work on Verizon are built into iOS the same way they are built into Android. But the user-facing apps that you might not want use are not. Google has no say in how Samsung builds the software outside of the things required to use Google Play. That means Samsung and Verizon can make deals that leave you with junk you don't want to use. It's easy to never use the apps and ignore them in the app drawer, but have a look at the data they collect and send back to Verizon, which is now free to sell it to anyone it likes. We're picking on Verizon, but the same goes for every carrier and their junky apps.

Google's phones work on any carrier and don't suffer from the bloatware, but that's because Google builds Android themselves for the Pixel. This one's another of those things Google isn't directly doing but it still gets blamed for because it is in charge of Android. That's part of running a show this big, G.

Support

AppleCare is legendary. When you have a problem with your iPhone you can just walk into an Apple store and have it taken care of (thus AppleCare). Because Android phones come from so many different companies, there is no equivalent on the Android side.

Not that the companies making the phones aren't offering something. They all have their own customer care department, and even the Pixel has a way that lets you talk to a real live human if you have an issue or need some help. Samsung is expanding a retail presence in the west, but it's not even close to the AppleCare experience.

One company is in charge of everything on an iPhone and it offers better support, period. This becomes an important factor when you're buying a phone that costs close to $1,000.

iMessage

Apple's iMessage is both the best and worst messaging app to ever be created. It's a seamless process out of the box that lets you send texts or messages with rich content without installing anything. But it only works on Apple devices.

Green Bubble shaming can also work on the platform with 85% of the market.

Google has tried and failed at recreating this time after time. The biggest reason is that it wants a solution that works everywhere on everything, not just Android. The Hangouts app was able to do it, but the clunky interface and need to manually install it meant most people using Android weren't hanging out and Google is pushing it away from the consumer side. Allo is a great experience between two Android phones but doesn't include SMS so you can only talk to people who use Allo. And both apps were a tough sell to iPhone users because they have iMessage and it already works.

Google, please forget iOS for once and just make a messaging app that works great on Android and Chrome OS. Toss in a great Chrome extension for desktop users if you can and call it gold. Then force companies like Samsung to include it and put the icon on the home screen so people know it's there. Some things are worth fighting the EU over. You already have a good start with Allo.

Security and privacy

Apple collects data from everyone who uses iOS and does a good job of keeping it anonymous and in-house. Google does the same, regardless of what you might read from other places. But Android has some serious issues when it comes to security and privacy.

Updates are part of the problem. Your Pixel is probably protected against some random data-stealing exploit the latest botnet is pushing across the internet. Your BlackBerry does, too. But any other model — including the ones that sell by the tens of millions and drive Android's market share — might not. Google taking good care of your data doesn't matter when hackers get your bank login because you were tricked into installing something that old software allows.

Google understands internet security and privacy but some of that knowledge seems lost when it comes to Android.

Which brings us to the second part: permissions. Android does a good job at letting you decide what an app can and can't do, but it does a horrible job explaining what those permissions really mean. When an app can create accounts on your phone or read your identity you really deserve some explanation about why and how. A good developer will tell you why and how on their store page in Google Play. A good Google would force every developer to do the same then check to make sure they are telling the truth.

Sometimes being in charge of a thing means you have to have a firm hand. This is one of those times for Google. Strict rules for developers to follow if they use Google's store might cause an uproar on Stack Exchange, but it's better for users who aren't aware of how these things work. Those users are who security and privacy controls should be targeted at.

There are plenty of subjective reasons to like one over the other when it comes to Android versus iOS. But when it comes to core services and the way things are handled, there are some things Apple is doing better than Google. These are just five of them that we would like to see Google address as they continue to develop Android.

A better iOS means a better Android as developers on both sides are forced to fight for our attention.

Android Nougat

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1 month ago

Spotify's half-price student discount plan goes live in 33 more countries

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Spotify's half-price student discount plan is now available in 36 countries.

Spotify allows students to subscribe to its premium plan for 50% off in the U.S., UK, and Germany, and today the streaming service has vastly expanded the program to 33 more countries around the world.

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1 month ago

Apex Launcher is coming back in May with redesigned UI and new features

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A new version of Apex Launcher is coming next month.

We haven't hear much from Apex Launcher in a while, with the popular launcher picking up its last update on June 27, 2015. That's all set to change soon, as the folks at Apex Launcher have announced that a new version of the app — designed for Nougat — will make its debut next month.

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1 month ago

You can now browse Instagram even when you're offline

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Instagram gets an offline mode to better serve customers in emerging markets.

Instagram crossed 600 million users back in December, with a majority of its customers located outside the U.S. In a bid to make the app a more enticing option in emerging markets, Instagram is taking a leaf out of Facebook's playbook by rolling out an offline mode.

Instagram's Android app will now let you browse content that's previously downloaded in your feed, giving you the ability to like, save, and comment on posts and unfollow users even while you're offline. The changes will be synced to Instagram's servers the next time you go online.

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