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2 months ago

Amazon Prime Video is now available in India with tons of regional content

0

Prime Video is the best streaming deal right now in India.

Amazon's streaming video service Prime Video is now available in India. The service offers a healthy mix content — including recent Bollywood movies along with Amazon's original content like Transparent, The Grand Tour, The Man in the High Castle, and more.

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2 months ago

Best Keyboard for Android

219

Best overall

Gboard

Free

See on Google Play

Google originally designed the Gboard for the iPhone, and they took their time making it available for Android. The wait was worth it, as Google Keyboard has been rebranded and updated with great new features including integrated web search. The Gboard is completely free, supports gesture typing for both individual words and entire sentences, a bounty of languages, and a modest choice of themes.

The Gboard employs Google's own speech-to-text engine for voice dictation, and while it might not be the best at predictive text, it does learn from your typed data across Google's apps and services. If you've been using the Google Keyboard, you should check the Google Play store to update your phone to the Gboard.

Bottom-line: Gboard has pretty much every feature you'd want from a touch keyboard, including the ability to quickly search Google from virtually anywhere in your phone. It's fast, reliable, and minimalist, with theme options to tweak in the settings.

One more thing: Go into the keyboard settings and turn on the G button for quick access to Google search. You won't regret it!

Why Gboard is the best

The Google Keyboard was already our favorite keyboard for Android, but the new features added with the Gboard update simply makes the best even better. They just keep adding all the smart features that Android users have enjoyed from other keyboards and wrap it all in a quick and responsive (and free!) package.

You have the option of tap-typing or swiping around for words, one-handed or two. It features built-in search powered by Google, and also employs Google's speech-to-text technology, which will only get better fine-tuned as it's built out. And it even incorporates GIFs, which can be found alongside the full suite of Android emojis. If your phone doesn't already come with the Google Keyboard pre-installed, do your thumbs a favor and check it out.

Best for predictions

Swiftkey

Free

See on Google Play

For years, SwiftKey soared above Google's included keyboard, and it did — and still does — come pre-installed on many a phone and tablet. SwiftKey's prediction methods, called the "fluency engine," has made it the keyboard that many users and editors alike keep coming back to. SwiftKey has been pre-loaded on millions of devices over the years, including on Samsung's flagship phones.

While SwiftKey used to be a paid app, the keyboard itself went free in 2014, instead having its users pay for themes. SwiftKey has led the keyboard pack for a while, and was our readers' top response when we asked which keyboard they used. And it's still a great option in 2016.

Bottom-line: SwiftKey is a great option for those looking for an alternative to the stock Google keyboard.

One more thing: On the topic of themes, there are over 80 of them to choose from in all sorts of colors and styles to fit your personality.

Best for gesture typing

Swype

$0.99

See on Google Play

Swype is to SwiftKey as GM is to Ford. Both are established, respected, feature-rich keyboards. Swype allows you to swipe out words or whole sentences, and also supports typing in two languages at once, for bilingual users. Swype offers a free trial version, but the full version is only a dollar, and themes are an additional two dollars apiece.

Swype ties into Android's Accessibility features for TalkBack and Explore By Touch, which make Swype a keyboard vision-impaired users can learn more easily on their own. Copy/Cut/Paste functions are embedded as gestures in Swype's keyboard, too. Swype all the things!

Bottom-line: Swype originally introduced the world to fluid, swipe-based typing, and is still a quality keyboard for Android.

One more thing: Swype is great for sports fans, offering offers themes, including Major League Soccer themes.

Best overall

Gboard

Free

See on Google Play

Google originally designed the Gboard for the iPhone, and took their time making it available for Android. The wait was worth it, as Google Keyboard has been rebranded and updated with great new features including integrated web search. The Gboard is completely free, supports gesture typing for both individual words and entire sentences, a bounty of languages, and a modest choice of themes.

The Gboard employs Google's own speech-to-text engine for voice dictation, and while it might not be the best at predictive text, it does learn from your typed data across Google's apps and services. If you've been using the Google Keyboard, you should check the Google Play store to update your phone to the Gboard.

Bottom-line: Gboard has pretty much every feature you'd want from a touch keyboard, including the ability to quickly search Google from virtually anywhere in your phone. It's fast, reliable, and minimalist, with theme options to tweak in the settings.

One more thing: Go into the keyboard settings and turn on the G button for quick access to Google search. You won't regret it!

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2 months ago

The best part of taking a trip is Google Photos

32

Keep your vacation memories backed up and properly archived with the features built into Google Photos.

Vacations. They never happen soon enough and, for some of us, they're a luxury if they happen at all. That's why it's so important to not only relish every minute of free time but to also ensure that any memories you may have captured are properly archived and stored away for the next trip down nostalgia lane.

Google Photos is particularly helpful at making this happen. I recently took off on my first vacation since the new Photos features have made headway, including shared albums, high-resolution uploads, and the ability to create and edit movies. (Yes. It's been that long since I've taken some quality time off.) I took over 300 hundred photos with my Pixel XL, Galaxy S7 Edge, and Gear 360 while traipsing around New Zealand. Here's how Google Photos did all the hard work managing those memories.

Easy backup on the go

Admittedly, I may have committed a folly by purchasing the 32GB Really Blue Pixel XL, but Google Photos had me covered on my journey through Kiwi Land. Anytime I nearly hit my gigabyte limit, I'd find a Wi-Fi spot and get to uploading and offloading. It's exceptionally easy to do with Google Photos, too.

In the hamburger menu bar, simply tap the option to free up space and remove any photos and videos that have already been backed up to the cloud. Each shot taken with the Pixel XL took up about 4MB, so I hit my limit pretty fast. But whenever I cleared off those photos that were already backed up to the cloud, I recovered about 10GB of disk space.

You can also back up photos from other apps. I backed up all of my Instagram Stories and Snapchat snaps, as well as the folder containing content downloaded from the Gear 360. You can set up automatic downloads on any other mobile devices you might have in tow, too, so that everything is stored and ready to archive once you get home.

One note of caution, however: If you're concerned about redundant backups — for instance, you use Dropbox's camera upload feature for posterity — make sure that those photos are backed up before you free up disk space. I forgot to check and, as a result, a majority of my vacation photos were only backed up to Google Photos. That should suffice, but I like to have doubles in case disaster should strike. (Of course, you can download the photos again once they're uploaded, but unless you have a Pixel they may not have been sent to the cloud at their full resolution.)

Fully-functional photo albums

I love to snap every dynamic moment of my time away, but I hate the dread that settles in when I'm back and I realize that I have to individually tag and upload every single photo before I can share it. Thankfully, Google Photos did all that for me before I even got home.

Google compiled every relevant photo and video I had shot in New Zealand into its own, ready-to-share library. The album includes location stamps for each batch of photos, like the restaurants we ate at, the hikes we took, and the scenery we drove by. It started documenting those locales from the minute I touched down in Auckland and ended the day I flew back home to San Francisco. It even accounts for photos that I uploaded with other devices and paired those with relevant locales.

One thing to note, however: If you don't back up your photos during your vacation time, they won't be archived in this manner after the fact. I only backed up half of what I shot with the S7 Edge. Everything else had to be manually added to the album folder after Google had populated it with what was available. It's not a major deal, but it's something you'll want to keep in mind if you'd like to take advantage of Google's automated features.

A helpful Assistant

Who doesn't love a good home movie? The Photos Assistant offered up several videos of my trip based on the metadata of each file. I would have never thought to put together some of the clips that Photos compiled, but for the most part, it was right on the money.

Even better: You can add a bit of your own flair to the presentation by editing the video on your smartphone. In the Photos app, you can change the background music, tack on a filter, and edit the order of content. You can even add on any images and videos that Google may have missed. When you're finished, you can give the video a title and export it to YouTube for all to see. Just make sure that if you're not using the clips from the included music library that you're not uploading anything that's copyrighted — especially if you plan to show off your video publicly.

Google Photos can compile quick collages, too. If you'd rather not deal with choosing your own snapshots for an Instagram-friendly mock-up, Google will take a batch of photos you've shot in rapid succession and compile them for you. Of all the simple things that Google's Photos Assistant can do, this one is my absolute favorite. It's especially fun to include any outtakes.

How do you use Google Photos?

Have you used Google Photos on a trip? Did you like what it offered? Tell us!

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2 months ago

Digital Offers: Grab the Certified Ethical Hacker Bootcamp for just $45!

Not all hacking is bad hacking. The word itself is associated with negativity usually, but it can be used for just as much good as it can bad. Have you ever thought how cool it would be to research vulnerabilities and try to discover them on your favorite websites while working for them? It would be pretty sweet, right? But, how do you even get started?

Meet the Certified Ethical Hacker Bootcamp, a perfect way to get going. The bootcamp offers access to more than 40 hours of content that you can access at any time of the day, along with nearly 150 lectures on different topics. From learning perimeter defenses to gaining practical experience with DDoS attacks and more, there is a wide variety of great information here that will help you advance your current career, or help you make a move to a new one.

The bootcamp includes:

  • Access 144 lectures & 45 hours of content 24/7
  • Study by taking 600+ exam questions
  • Gain practical experience w/ intrusion detection, policy creation, DDoS attacks, & more
  • Learn about perimeter defenses
  • Scan & attack your own networks
  • Understand Trojans, backdoors, viruses, worms, & more

This sure sounds like it would cost a lot, right? Well, normally this bootcamp is priced at over $5,000, but right now you can pay just a fraction of that. You won't set yourself into a financial debt to try and learn something new here.

Priced at just $45 for a limited time you'll get everything mentioned above and even more. Don't miss out on this deal or you may regret it later.

See at Android Central Offers

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2 months ago

My Disney Experience is a whole new experience in new update

26

There is one thing you absolutely, positively must have at Walt Disney World.

It's not a Dole Whip. It's not a ride. It's not those trademark Mickey Mouse ears. It's an app. Walt Disney World has tied everything about your vacation to one lovely app: park tickets, dinner reservations, PhotoPass, hotel reservations and much of the resort's maps and information. If you're coming to the Most Magical Place on Earth, My Disney Experience is your lifeline.

And it's a whole new app in its newest update.

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2 months ago

Here's everything Google Assistant can do on the Pixel

56

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

While currently in its infancy, Google Assistant is still capable of doing a lot of pretty cool things 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".

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2 months ago

Google's Trusted Contacts is a simple way for families to have some peace of mind

11

Getting your child their first phone is maybe as exciting for the parent as it is the kid. It's also scary as hell, yeah, but part of the idea of putting a computer in their pocket is so that you can keep in touch with them as they start branching out into the world — especially if things go wrong. (And they will at some point, right?)

Now emergency contact apps are nothing new. Various manufacturers have had them baked into their phones for some time now. (See Motorola Alert for one, and Samsung's SOS service for another. Google — which makes this little operating system called Android — has oddly been missing from that equation. Until now, with the release of Trusted Contacts.

Here's how it works.

Fire up the Trusted Contacts app and you'll get a short walkthrough of what to expect. And the app is easy enough to use that you probably won't need too much more instruction than that. First you'll select some contacts you want to use as your "Trusted Contacts." Add them, and they'll be sent an email that lets them know you think so much of them you want to put your wellbeing in their hands. (Presumably you've already done this anyway, but whatever.) They have to approve your request before anyone gets notified of anything.

Once that's done they'll show up in your list of Trusted Contacts. (Do note that at launch Trusted Contacts only works on Android, though iOS support is coming. But that won't keep you from adding someone who uses an iPhone — and they'll still receive notifications by email.) You can pin your contacts so that they're always present in your notification area, if you really want to keep track of things.

From there you have two basic options — share your location with your contacts, or request (nay, demand!) the location of your contacts.

Sharing your location

You've got a couple options for sharing your location with your contacts. You can do in the normal, non-emergency way, which allows you to select who will get to see where you are. Or you can send out an emergency blast (after a 10-second "are you sure?!?!" period) to every single person in your Trusted Contacts. They'll be notified on their phone, as well as by email. Simple enough.

Requesting a location

You also can ask your contacts to share their location with you. Basically as a "Where are you, are you OK?" sort of thing. They'll get a big, bright pop-up stating that you want to know where they are. If they approve, they'll be sharing their location for 24 hours, or until they manually stop sharing. If they don't respond back within 5 minutes their phone will automatically share its location for the next 24 hours.

There are limitations here, of course. It's possible for your phone to be somewhere other than where you are. Phone batteries die. This isn't the be-all, end-all of keeping folks safe, for sure. And it's really meant as more of a safety thing than a snooping thing. It doesn't hide the fact that someone can see where you are at all.

And you also have to have installed the Trusted Contacts app in the first place. For my money I'd love to see it baked in to Google's default suite of apps, unless it's going to conflict with a manufacturer's version. Because this is a basic safety service that really should be employed by anyone with a phone.

Need more Modern Dad? Hit us up on the your social network of choice!

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2 months ago

Best delivery apps for Android

20

What's the best way to track a package on Android? Check out these package tracking apps!

The holidays are upon us and I don't know about you, but to hell with the mall. Give me a mouse and an Amazon account and I'll get the job done in 20 minutes with free shipping.

If you're shopping online from a bunch of different sites, it can be difficult to keep track of every purchase. Download a killer parcel tracking app and get your ducks in a row before a fat guy comes down your chimney.

Deliveries

Deliveries is likely one of the first names you'll hear when you want to find a great package tracking app. It supports over 40 shippers and couriers, as well as postal services in 21 countries.

You can sync your packages across your devices, and in most cases track packages using Google Maps, so you can see exactly where your stuff is at all times. You can even get notifications when shipping statuses are updated.

Download: Deliveries (Free, IAPs)

ParcelTrack

ParcelTrack is another wonderful tracking services that brings all of your incumbent deliveries into one place where you can monitor each one's status on the go.

You'll be provided with push notifications for shipping updates, and the very handy ParcelTrack Inbox simply extracts tracking numbers from the shipping emails you send its way, so you never need to tediously enter long tracking numbers.

Download: ParcelTrack (Free, IAPs)

AfterShip

AfterShip is a completely free service that helps you track your shipments with over 360 couriers and does it all ad-free.

The developer recently added a data sync feature so you can keep track of your parcels across your devices, and when you copy and paste in tracking numbers, AfterShip automatically detects the courier to save you the hassle.

Download: AfterShip (Free)

17TRACK

17TRACK is a great app to use if you like to often order from China or countries where shipping to North America is sometimes dicey at best. It supports over 170 postal carriers, as well as many, many of the world's largest couriers, like DHL, UPS, FedEx, and a ton more.

You get a custom widget for your home screen, alerts for status changes, syncing across devices, and you can add multiple tracking numbers at once, while the app auto-detects carriers and tracks your packages accordingly.

Download: 17TRACK (Free)

TrackChecker Mobile

TrackChecker Mobile might just be the most versatile package tracking app around and is great if you like to order parcels from those hard-to-reach places. It tracks packages being carried by over 550 couriers and postal services in 200 countries.

Customization is a big part of TrackChecker Mobiule's charm; you can choose how frequently you want to receive notifications, and you can even export and imports tracking information to and from your PC.

Download: TrackChecker Mobile (Free, IAPs)

Package Tracker Pro

Package Tracker Pro has been around for a long time, so it's no wonder that it's everyone's favorite paid tracking app. It offers you features by the boatload, in the form of customization options, sorting options, the ability to archive tracking numbers, route maps, and a whole lot more.

The other great benefit of buying Package Tracker Pro is the support you get from the developer. You can email or contact Minstech Software via its website with any questions or suggestions you might have.

Download: Package Tracker Pro ($1.99)

How do you keep track?

Do you use an awesome package tracking app not mentioned here? Let us know in the comments below!

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2 months ago

YouTube starts highlighting local content in India

1

Get ready to see more content in regional languages on YouTube.

In a bid to localise further, YouTube will start showing more local content to users in India. The service will automatically determine your preferred language based on your watch history, user interface language, and location. Once it does so, it will start highlighting recommendations in that language on your home page as well as the trending page.

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2 months ago

Touch Circle is an awesome twist on the boring live wallpaper

11

Live wallpapers have languished in recent years.

It's a shame, too, because there is so much potential for beautiful and useful wallpapers rather than a boring static image. Google's Wallpapers app utilizes a live wallpaper… but only to change out static images every day. Well, there are some developers who are looking to bring back the live wallpaper, and if they all start off as well as Touch Circle, this themer hopes to be swimming in them by summer.

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2 months ago

Chrome for Android now lets you download videos and web pages for offline viewing

8

You can now take entire web pages offline.

Google has announced that it is rolling out an update to Chrome for Android (55.0.2883.84) that gives you the ability to download videos, music, and entire web pages for offline viewing. You'll also be able to view and share your downloads without leaving Chrome.

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2 months ago

Google Duo updated with better camera rotation, major video quality improvements

9

Duo now works better on slow connections.

Google's video-calling app Duo has been updated to version 5.0, bringing seamless camera rotation and "major video quality improvements." Duo technical lead Justin Uberti tweeted that the app will now work better over slower connections, a common problem in emerging markets.

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2 months ago

Star Wars: Galaxy of Heroes gets Android-exclusive content ahead of Rogue One premiere

2

This is the Android content you're looking for...

Another year, another Star Wars movie for fans to get hyped over. In celebration of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story premiering at theatres across North America country on December 16, Android gamers can enjoy exclusive content in Star Wars: Galaxy of Heroes, the massively popular collectable card game RPG set in the Star Wars universe.

Starting today, and exclusive to Android, you can grab the new Rogue One Heroes Pack for free. The pack includes K-2SO, the new Droid that will be featured in the Rogue One movie. Once unlocked, you're able to keep him forever and upgrade him to seven stars. Expect more Rogue One-based content included in the Heroes Pack.

This Rogue One content is only available for a limited time, so don't be a scruffy nerfherder — log in and grab your exclusive Heroes Pack before December 16 so you don't miss out.

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2 months ago

Google app update brings a dedicated news feed to your home screen

7

Google Now gets broken up into two feeds.

An update rolling out to the Google app breaks up the feed into two separate sections — one dedicated to news updates, and an "upcoming" section that details your personal info, including daily schedule, flight info, appointments, and more.

The app still pulls in data from Gmail, Calendar, and other sources, but all that information now lives in the upcoming tab. By default, you'll see updates from your favorite news publications, people of interest, music, and sports teams. There's still the option to customize your feed, and Google says that the more you use the feature, the "more tailored and relevant" it becomes.

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2 months ago

Google just made Android app updates way smaller — again!

44

App updates are awesome. Burning mobile data to download them isn't.

There aren't many people who turn off automatic app updates as soon as they get a new phone, but many who do say the biggest reason is data usage. If you only have 4GB of data in a month, losing 200 megabytes every month to seemingly-constant Instagram and Facebook updates is a waste of bandwidth. At the same time, not updating apps means efforts made to improve your experience have been lost until you remember to go look and see if there's an update for you the next time you're on Wi-Fi.

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