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3 months ago

How to capture amazing video on your Galaxy phone

8

How do I capture better video on my Galaxy phone? With a little help from these tools!

Almost anyone, regardless of age or skill level, can play around with experimenting and shooting video on their Galaxy device.

With the help from some tools, a couple of simple tips, and some editing apps, you can turn your phone videos into some beautiful, memorable visual masterpieces. Plus, shooting video with your Galaxy is a blast because of its wide selection of toys and gear, room for creativity, and overall ease.

Shooting professional-looking video with your Galaxy phone is better than you think, so here's what you need to get started on your next mobile Hollywood blockbuster!

Gear

Just like someone who shoots professionally, you need some decent gear to capture the best quality video. However, because we aren't shooting anything too terribly intense, there's no need to break the bank or purchase crazy expensive equipment (unless you really really want to).

There are many inexpensive options available out there to bump up your overall Galaxy video quality, and the best part is you can choose to use one piece of gear, or all of them at once!

These are a few pieces of video equipment to consider using while shooting with your Galaxy phone.

External Lenses

External Lenses

Similar to a DSLR camera, switching up your lenses can change what your videos look like, how they feel, and the overall quality of your clips.

With the help of an external lens, it's easy to get creative and shoot your subject at different angles. You'll be more likely to do something unique with a fisheye, wide-angle, macro, or any other external piece rather than just your standard Galaxy camera. All you have to do is attach the lens, aim, and start recording.

Depending on the type of lens you're looking at shooting with, the prices can vary. Some can cost as little as a couple of dollars online (with decidedly low quality), while others can go up to $500+ for more serious phone videographers.

At the end of the day, the way you shoot will also influence the type lenses you buy. If you're looking to shoot more still, calmer videos, then magnetized or clamp-based lenses may be a great idea; if you're looking to shoot video that's a bit more fast-paced and intense, then you'll have to spring for a set of lenses that attach with a case (or even maybe find one that's waterproof).

Check out the XENVO Premium Lens Kit as a high-quality, reliable first lens option that won't leave you bankrupt.

See at Amazon

Tripod

Tripod

If you're looking to keep your shots steady and even, then using a tripod with your Galaxy is a must.

It doesn't matter if you're trying to capture a time lapse video, or attempting to get the perfect angle for your Instagram post, a tripod keeps your footage looking crisp and clean, taking your video from "Obviously shot on a Smartphone" to "Woah!"

Tripod types vary depending on the size of camera it's meant to mount, so it's unnecessary to spend a ton of money on something that specifically holds a larger DSLR or a video camera.

Smaller, less rigid tripods that move, twist, and bend in all directions work extremely well in tight spaces and weird positions, making them the best for shooting with your Galaxy phone as you can get the most creative results. You can pick up something like the JOBY GripTight GorillaPod to get the intended result.

As a bonus, smaller tripods that bend are also easier for storage, so it's great for shooting video on the go.

See at Amazon

External light source

External light source

Whether you're taking video of a friend's party, shooting action-packed skateboarding stunts, getting a timelapse at the lake, or anything in between, there's probably going to be room for an external light source to amp up your video quality.

Even though your Galaxy phone's flash produces quite a bit of light, it may not work while recording video. And although you can use the recording option in tandem with some flashlight apps, this can unfortunately oversaturate the image and wash-out the video if you don't have control over how much light is let in.

An external light is a great piece of equipment for recording video because there are plenty of options to pick from depending on the type of video you want to shoot. For example, the Universal Dimmable cell phone light is a great option if you're looking to brighten up your photos without jumping through any hoops.

There are more durable ones for action-packed videos, or simple LED lights for interviews, and with lights like these you can typically adjust and control the flood of light that you let into frame so nothing looks too washed-out.

See at Amazon

Microphone

Microphone

If you're just looking to film fun little montages or music videos, a microphone isn't a necessary piece of gear to have — your phone's mic will do just fine. But if you're looking to talk to people on camera and have every syllable picked up on audio, or record crystal-clear ambient sound, then looking into a portable microphone for your Galaxy phone might be a great option to consider.

Microphones can give some incredible sound quality to videos, even if the footage isn't 100% top-of-the-line: people watching videos can't stand barely-intelligible audio. Even though most modern Android phones have numerous microphones, having something like a case attached, or even the way you hold the phone, can cover the holes, severely distort the sound quality.

While microphones for video and DSLR cameras can be a few hundred dollars, you can find some compatible microphones for your Galaxy online that won't be too terribly expensive. The Rode Videomicro Compact microphone is under a hundred dollars and makes sound clear as crystal!

Keep in mind that while you're shooting video, the microphone will add some weight to your phone, so shooting with a tripod or a stabilizer might be a great option to keep your footage steady and pro-looking.

See at Amazon

Gear bag

Gear bag

Keeping your items stored can make sure that none of your gear gets damaged as you're moving around and shooting. Whether you're spending a lot or a little on video equipment, you want it to be working properly when you find the perfect shot.

You can either opt for a large, bulkier gear bag, or something a bit smaller depending on what you use to shoot.

If you're just shooting with external lenses, then a smaller roll-like bag, like the Photojojo Photographer's Pouch, could be good at keeping everything separated and neat, but if you're shooting with various tripods and lights, you might want something a bit bigger.

There are tons of options to pick from, but the key is to find something compartmentalized. Keep in mind that all this gear isn't as gigantic as DSLR gear, so even using DSLR bags designed for lenses that have multiple sections may be a good idea for hauling you Galaxy video equipment.

See at Photojojo

Shooting Tips

The ability to capture decent video is something most smartphones are capable of nowadays.

The difference between a cool video and an amazing video usually has way more to do with the person holding the camera, and the cool thing about people is they don't require a software update.

With that in mind, here's a couple of quick tips for shooting video on Android.

Vertical Videos

There's no nice way to say this, so I'll just come out and say it: if you're holding your phone vertically while recording video, you're doing it wrong.

The video you capture in portrait looks terrible to anyone watching the video, because the video doesn't fill the screen and makes enjoying the video you captured much more difficult. Any chance you have to turn your phone landscape to record video, you should absolutely do so. The resulting video will look much better, especially if you upload to services like YouTube for the world to see.

It's also worth pointing out that if you start recording a video vertically and rotate your phone to horizontal in the middle of recording, the video will not rotate with you. Instead you'll get something that is entirely unwatchable, because not only will the video be vertical but it will also be sideways.

Know when to use 4K

Lots of modern Android smartphones let you crank up the video resolution to 4K, and while this is an incredibly cool way to future-proof your videos by making sure the quality stands up to the test of time there's a few things about 4K that can cause problems for you.

Not only is recording 4K video incredibly expensive as far as processing power and local storage goes, but most of the first and second generation 4K-capable Android phones sacrifice things like video smoothing and stability for that higher resolution. This means 4K recording by someone with shaky hands or an attempt to capture something moving especially fast can actually wind up looking worse when recording in this higher resolution mode.

The best way to be sure your videos are going to be the best is to test out things like 4K before you go to capture something important, and be aware of the limitations found in whatever device you are recording with.

Be quiet

Whether you're running after something to catch a video of it, or you're just a loud breather all the time, it's important to be aware of how the sounds you make affect the video you are recording.

Shouting at someone on the other side of a Baseball field while holding a camera three feet from your face, for example, is a sure-fire way to cause everyone watching your video to cringe. It's not just shouting, in fact when you record something in a quiet place your Android camera could easily pick up on the sound of you breathing and focus on that instead of whatever you are recording.

It's not an easy problem to solve unless you are aware it is happening, and the easiest way to do that is to just pay attention to the sounds you are making and your proximity to the camera.

Settings

Every Android manufacturer does things just a little differently, and on top of that there are plenty of apps out there to take things even further with photos and videos. Being aware of what your app is capable of sets you up to record even better videos, as well as new kinds of videos that you never thought would be fun to capture.

The video settings menu for your camera app is your friend, and through it you could find yourself capturing 4K videos with laser focus, slow motion videos of your friend getting thrown in the pool, or even HRD video when you're in a place with questionable lighting.

The end result is better videos for every occasion, which isn't a big deal until you pull your phone out to capture that perfect moment. Use your settings, and have fun with your video!

Editing Apps

After shooting video on your phone, you'll want to be able to edit together your footage without exporting it to a computer.

Some editing programs are quite expensive, but you can edit creatively straight from your Galaxy phone screen without much hassle as long as you have the right apps to work with.

Here are a couple of editing apps that go hand-in-hand with shooting video on your Galaxy!

FilmoraGo

FilmoraGo is one the best option you have for smoothly editing through the footage you've captured with your Galaxy. One, because it's easy to follow along and understand the app's instructions, two, because the app has an incredible amount of creative options, and three, because it's just a great, overall video-editing tool!

After selecting the video clips you would like to string together, Filmora will give you little tips as your go throughout your editing process. If you think this is annoying, you can turn the option off when you first start compiling your video.

The variety of themes within the app give the user a ton of fun creative control, and if you didn't want to waste your time doing step-by-step editing, popping on a theme is a great alternative. You can pick from themes like fashion, 80's, winter, Chaplain, and much more.

With FilmoraGo, you can also get a bit more detailed with your video editing, adding in colored filters, titles, overlays, and more, all while editing the speed, the volume, and the length of specific clips.

Overall, FilmoraGo is a really fantastic, easy to use app that makes editing from your phone not only simple and headache-free, but also super fun! You'll soon be playing around with your settings, finding weird ways to splice clips together, and figuring out all the ways to turn your Galaxy videos into true Hollywood blockbusters.

Download: FilmoraGo (free)

VivaVideo

Slap a filter on it, add some music, and edit to your hearts content with VivaVideo, an unique Instagram-like video editor for your Galaxy phone!

The theme option is particularly great if you want some flashing editing and transition effects along with a couple of colored filters and some funky music. The great thing about VivaVideo is the wide variety of options that come along with the app, including themes that cater to country life, romance, pop art, retro, and more.

You can also add music to your Galaxy videos, or choose to keep the music going underneath your video from the theme you pick. With VivaVideo, you can even add special effects to your video, along with transitions, text, filters, and stickers to make your final product truly unique.

The worst part about VivaVideo? The watermark in the lower right corner. While the app is free to download, it costs $2.99 to be able to export your video without a watermark, and $3.99 to remove the watermark, remove the video duration limit, and get rid of all those pestering ads on the app.

Download: VivaVideo (free)

Triller

Sometimes you want to shoot great interviews or more serious moments with your Galaxy device, but other times you want to have a little fun and make montages and music videos.

Triller is a really nifty video editing app worth checking out that combines social media with video-making creativity!

After picking out a song from your library or the recommended music from Triller, you get to throw a filter on your video and customize the look of your clip. Then just angle and begin shooting to record your mini music video. The music will begin playing out loud so you know exactly what lyrics and music to follow along to.

While Triller seems a bit barren compared to other video editing apps for your Galaxy device, the thing that makes it truly unique is the social media and sharing aspect. Like apps like Vine and Instagram, you can post your video straight to your feed to have it seen by others around the world. You can also view other people's videos and get inspiration for creative storytelling ideas from them.

Download: Triller (free)

What do you recommend?

Is there a tool, tip, or app that we missed that can make shooting pro video with your Galaxy phone easier? Let us know what you use to shoot in the comments below.

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3 months ago

How to fix Google Now Launcher on the Galaxy Note 7 after using Secure Folder

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How to fix Google Now Launcher on the Galaxy Note 7

Samsung's Secure Folder gets in the way of Google's launcher.

Google Now Launcher is one of the most popular third-party launchers out there, but it unfortunately doesn't always play nicely with the Galaxy Note 7. It turns out that Samsung's KNOX security platform causes issues with Google Now Launcher when both are in use. That actually shouldn't be a surprise if you've used the Galaxy S7, Note 5 or S6, either — this longstanding issue has annoyed plenty of people over multiple generations of phones.

We have a couple of tips to hopefully get them both working together, though. Let us show you what you can do about it.

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3 months ago

You can now play solitaire and tic-tac-toe directly in Google search results

15

Goodbye productivity.

You can now play solitaire or tic-tac-toe directly in Google's search results. Just search for solitaire or tic-tac-toe in the search engine on the web or from your phone, and you'll get a playable version of either game above the search results.

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3 months ago

Your Nexus phone will soon automatically connect to open Wi-Fi networks

60

Google's Nexus phones get yet another great exclusive value-added feature.

Google's awesome Wi-Fi Assistant, which was previously available only to Project Fi phones, will be opening up to all Nexus phones in the coming weeks. The feature lets your Nexus — with your permission — connect to all open Wi-Fi networks that it finds, offloading data usage that would otherwise end up costing you on a limited mobile data plan.

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3 months ago

Microsoft's Arrow Launcher is astonishingly good

95

Microsoft's Arrow Launcher has a lot to offer.

Microsoft rolled out Arrow Launcher last year, following a positive reception for the company's Next Lock Screen. Both apps originated out of Microsoft Garage, a hub for Microsoft employees to work on projects and ideas that don't have a direct correlation to the company's broader software efforts. Other apps that have come out of Microsoft's Garage include the excellent Word Flow keyboard for iOS.

As for Arrow Launcher, the app has picked up momentum over the course of the year, gaining new functionality with regular updates. The most recent update rolled out earlier this week, adding a slew of new features: a fully customizable home page with widget and folder support, ability to annotate and share recent images directly from the home screen, live wallpaper support, and double tap to lock the screen.

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3 months ago

Beyond Nougat: What's next in Developer Previews, post-Android 7.0

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Nexus 6P and 5X

Android is getting even more Developer Previews, as it moves towards a new 'maintenance release' schedule beyond version 7.0.

Following the official release of Android 7.0 Nougat, there's a lot going on around the Android Beta Program, which started back in March with the first "Android N" Developer Preview build. The short version is this: We'll be seeing more Developer Previews in future versions of Android — and in the short term you might want to stay enrolled in the Beta program, even on the stable 7.0 firmware.

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3 months ago

Top 5 Android 7.0 Nougat features you need to know!

56

From new multitasking and notification features to battery and data-saving modes.

Android 7.0 Nougat is finally upon us, bringing a wealth of new features and some pretty significant changes to the way Android looks and behaves. We've already give you a comprehensive guide to everything new in Nougat, but the broad strokes are equally important — from new multi-tasking features on phones and tablets to smarter notifications.

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3 months ago

First Android 7.0 Nougat factory images now available

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Nougat

Better late than never: Now you can download Nougat factory images for the Nexus 9, Nexus Player and Pixel C

A little later than usual, Google has started rolling out the first of the Android 7.0 Nougat factory images for Nexus devices and the Pixel C. In addition to the Google-made tablet, Nexus 9 (WiFi-only) and Nexus Player owners can grab the new version of Android in its entirety and directly update over a USB connection.

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3 months ago

Opera rolls out a dedicated VPN app for your phone

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After integrating a built-in VPN in its desktop browser and rolling out a dedicated VPN app for iOS, Opera is now bringing the service to Android users. While there are several VPN services available for Android, Opera is looking to differentiate its offering by providing free unlimited access.

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3 months ago

Android 7.0 Nougat: Everything you need to know

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Android Nougat

The latest version of Android is here, and it's coming to a Nexus near you.

Android 7.0 Nougat is Google's way of refining what we already have, and adding some essential features to an operating system they were already happy with.

Since Android 5.0 we've seen how Google was shifting their design language on the phones they sell themselves and the apps and services that come on your phone. Android itself has followed this trend, and with Marshmallow we saw a flat but bold design that tied everything together.

Android Nougat doesn't make major changes to the way your phone looks or the way it "feels." But what Google has done under the hood brings some new features — and much needed polish — to our favorite smartphone operating system.

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3 months ago

Best Pokémon Go tips, tricks, and cheats

It's dangerous to go alone. Wait, what game are we talking about again?

Welcome to the life after level 5, Pokémon Trainer. It doesn't matter if you're Instinct, Mystic, or Valor right now, it's a war zone out there. There has never been a game to receive quite as much 24/7/365 action as Pokémon Go. You can take over a Gym in most areas right now and have it reclaimed for another team before you make it down the street. It's intense, exciting, and if you're not constantly playing you could find yourself at a very real disadvantage.

Unless, of course, you have this guide helping you out. We've collected a great list of tips, tricks, and sneaky little cheats to give you the upper hand when playing against other high level players out in the world. Are you ready for this?

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3 months ago

Android 7.0: Your language, your way

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Android 7.0 gives you a way to make sure you understand what is written and better tools for developers to help.

Choosing a language has been part of Android since the beginning, since being able to read and understand the information on our phone is vital. We've all seen it during the setup procedure on a new phone, and for some of us, that covers everything we need. We pick English or French or Spanish and trust that what we see will be in the language we prefer. We can then pick other languages to use the keyboard and switch if we ever need to.

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3 months ago

Android 7.0: Better and more interactive notifications

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Android N makes notifications more interactive and meaningful — and they can be backward compatible.

Getting notifications on your phone isn't something new or something that started with Android. Whether we're talking about annoying pop-up boxes or that addictive red blinking light, our phones have always been able to tell us it wants our attention.

But with Android 7.0, things are going to get a lot better, largely because developers now have more control over the way notifications are displayed.

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3 months ago

Samsung's Milk Music service ends for U.S. customers on Sept 22

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Fans and customers of the Milk Music service from Samsung have some bad news coming. As rumored, the service will be ended for customers in the U.S. on September 22, 2016.

A press release from Samsung's Newsroom says that the company has changed direction and has a plan to provide "the best music services available" across their Galaxy line.

We have made the strategic decision to invest in a partner model focused on seamlessly integrating the best music services available today into our family of Galaxy devices. We believe that working with partners will accelerate innovation, enhance device sales and provide amazing new experiences for our customers.

No word on what exactly Samsung is planning or what services may be incorporated into a new music platform, as Samsung says it has no additional details to share at this time. With IFA right around the corner, a great venue to unveil a new service is already in place. We're there, and eyes are always on Samsung during IFA. We'll make sure you know if any announcement is made.

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3 months ago

Best Reddit app for Android

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BaconReader is the best Reddit app for Android. Its long-established history of support, easy of use, and cutting-edge features make it a great app for all kinds of Redditors.

This post was last updated on August 18, 2016 with a new top pick.

Best overall

BaconReader

$1.99

See on Google Play

BaconReader has been around for a long, long time and users have enjoyed using it for just as long. It is one of the most-downloaded and most-reviewed Reddit apps on Google Play, and it got there by wooing users with slick features and maintaining them with stellar service and support.

BaconReader is carefully and pristinely laid out, making it easy to quickly browse and find something new and interesting to read, without stumbling around or leaving anything out. If BaconReader's beautiful design and feel seem familiar, their developer OneLouder is also the design of 1Weather, one of our favorite weather apps.

Bottom-line: BaconReader has robust features, support, and loyalty among its users. And while you can use it for free, it's more than worth upgrading to premium.

One more thing: If you ever need any help, BaconReader's subreddit is quite active and the developers are quick to answer most questions.

Why BaconReader is the best

BaconReader is one of the most well-established and most-used Reddit apps on Google Play, and it got there by being feature-rich, responsive to its users, and giving said users a lot to upvote about. It's a beautiful app with easy-to-understand settings, a highly intuitive interface, and the best damn subreddit manager I've seen.

BaconReader shows your subscribed subreddit list and lets you star important subreddits to keep them at the top of your list, handy for ones you use more often, especially those towards the end of the alphabet like r/todayilearned. You can also unsubscribe from subreddits with a simple tap of a checkbox — no going to each individual subreddit to unsubscribe, no double-taps or pop-ups to click through.

BaconReader's card view is more functional than most, showing only a part of the photo but allowing you to see more cards on a page. I wish that GIFs had the option to autoplay, as they do in the official Reddit app, but this card view is easy to browse and easier to act on than others.

In the BaconReader settings are both a charcoal-grey dark theme and an AMOLED-friendly black theme, perfect for browsing /gifs when your insomnia kicks in. You can also resize the font to best fit your device and your eyesight.

Best for long-time users

Reddit: The Official App

Free

See on Google Play

Reddit didn't have an official app for a long time. It finally debuted its official app as a beta in January and then dropped the beta tag in April. It's a clean app, it's a refreshingly simple app, great for users that don't want to hassle with pages and pages of settings.

That simplicity can also be a vice. You can't resize the text which is a shame because it's a bit on the small side. The app's dark theme and card views are just okay, but it can auto-play GIFs and videos in card view, which is amazing for GIF-centric subreddits.

Bottom-line: It's the official app, and it's off to a great start, but it's a little late and a little lacking. If you've already got your subreddit subscriptions where you want and browse a lot of GIFs, this is the app for you.

One more thing: Because of the concise feature set right now, the settings for Reddit: The Official App are wonderfully simple and easy to navigate.

Best for Beginners

Relay

$2.99

See on Google Play

This is the most beautiful of the Reddit apps and also one of the best explained. If you're new to Reddit or looking for an easy-to-navigate app, Relay has got your back with a simple layout and explainer tips the first time you use the app (or whenever you forget thanks to an option in the settings to turn it back on).

While many Reddit apps have implemented Material Design, no one has done it quite as boldly or as well as Relay. It is also one of the few apps to offer themes beyond the simple light and dark, offering pink and blue as well. GIFs may not autoplay, but the image pop-ups that appear when you tap a thumbnail beat the heck out of the image loading in a new window or in a browser, and the material transitions out of these previews are gorgeous.

Bottom-line: Colorful, highly customizable, and material to a T, Relay is a Reddit app that's it's hard to go wrong with, especially for newer Redditors and lovers of long threads.

One more thing: Relay's great for longer posts with lots of threads, like popular AMAs, because you can use navigation controls in the floating action button to skip between one thread and the next.

Best for Purists

reddit is fun

$1.99

See on Google Play

I said it two years ago and it still holds true: reddit is fun looks most like the Reddit site, which can be a good or a bad thing depending on your tastes. reddit is fun has a card view, and it also has three experimental beta themes if you're bored of the traditional views. Switching views isn't a simple toggle the way other apps do it, but at least you have more options when picking a theme and layout.

reddit is fun is great for users who need to watch their data usage or are using a slower device, allowing you to skip downloading thumbnails when off Wi-Fi. While most apps can't load user flair, reddit is fun can display what the flair would be if you were on desktop, for instance: usernamehere pikachu on r/Pokemongo.

Bottom-line: It's a traditional take on a Reddit app, but reddit is fun is more than willing to experiment in order to keep users happy and give them a classic Reddit feel on Android.

One more thing: You can unsubscribe from a subreddit from the navigation page rather than having to go a separate page or menu, nice for cleaning up your subreddit list while you browse.

Best overall

BaconReader

$1.99

See on Google Play

BaconReader has been around for a long, long time and users have enjoyed using it for just as long. It is one of the most-downloaded and most-reviewed Reddit apps on Google Play, and it got there by wooing users with slick features and maintaining them with stellar service and support.

BaconReader is carefully and pristinely laid out, making it easy to quickly browse and find something new and interesting to read, without stumbling around or leaving anything out. If BaconReader's beautiful design and feel seem familiar, their developer OneLouder is also the design of 1Weather, one of our favorite weather apps.

Bottom-line: BaconReader has robust features, support, and loyalty among its users. And while you can use it for free, it's more than worth upgrading to premium.

One more thing: If you ever need any help, BaconReader's subreddit is quite active and the developers are quick to answer most questions.

*/

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