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10 hours ago

Hugo Barra is leaving Xiaomi to return to Silicon Valley

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Xiaomi's global head Hugo Barra is leaving the company.

In a Facebook post, Xiaomi global VP Hugo Barra announced that he was leaving the company to return to Silicon Valley. Barra left Google in 2013 to head up Xiaomi's global unit, and in the three years since, he was instrumental in Xiaomi's growth overseas. The company is the third-largest smartphone manufacturer in India, crossing $1 billion in revenue last year, and has a foothold in key Asian markets, including Indonesia, Singapore, and Malaysia.

Barra mentioned that he will stay on in Beijing until February, following which he will take some time off before "embarking on a new adventure back in Silicon Valley."

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15 hours ago

This is Samsung's new 8-point battery safety check

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Samsung has a new, um, battery of tests for its upcoming phones.

Now that Samsung's Galaxy Note 7 fire investigation has concluded, the company is looking to the future, which means convincing customers that its upcoming phones are safe for everyday use.

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16 hours ago

Samsung to reveal Galaxy Note 7 investigation findings

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We will finally get a definitive statement from Samsung on the Note 7.

Samsung has announced that it will hold a press conference on January 23 in Seoul to reveal its findings after concluding an investigation into the Galaxy Note 7's failure and recall. The findings will be a culmination of Samsung's investigation over the past few months, as well as information from external organizations.

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21 hours ago

From the Editor's Desk: We like different phones, and that's OK

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 What's best for me may not be best for you

Diversity in Android means we can disagree on the 'best' phone, but still both have a great phone.

This week I wrote a three-month follow-up to our Pixel review, keeping up our tradition of returning to high-profile devices several months on to see how they've held up over time. As seems to be the case any time we talk about our favorite phones, there's a large amount of dissent in the comments section and on Twitter saying how far off base we are about determining that a phone is still the best.

There are a half-dozen great high-end phones available at any given time.

The argument usually boils down to "but it doesn't have x feature or y feature, which I always use." What's glossed over in these arguments is that you can absolutely be correct that this phone may not be right for you because it's missing a feature you want — but at the same time I can still say the Pixel and Pixel XL are the best phones available today. The diversity of the Android market — even when we're only talking about high-end, expensive phones — is still strong enough to give you several great phones to choose from at any given time.

You see, even our "best android phone" article is a list with multiple options on it. Sure we've determined that the Pixel still sits at the top, but at this point we also include the Galaxy S7, OnePlus 3T and Huawei Mate 9 as viable "best" alternatives for people with different tastes. We heartily recommend (and use ourselves) all four of those phones, and chances are you can find one in the group that appeals to you more than the rest.

They all offer different combinations of features for those who just have to have something specific. For people who aren't so discerning about one feature or spec, though, they're probably going to enjoy the phone we consider the top in the group: the Google Pixel. So understand that just because we have determined one to be the top of the heap doesn't mean your choice isn't also valid; this isn't a zero-sum game, there can (and will) be multiple winners here.

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23 hours ago

Best Android apps for your Chromebook

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

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 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 be. 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

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 day ago

Ultimate Guide to Samsung Gear VR!

Whatever you want to do with your Gear VR, we've got the details for you here!

Samsung's Gear VR is easily one of the most accessible VR systems that is available today. Running off of a Samsung phone, this headset has benefited from lots of small but important improvements. The end result is a portable entertainment center, offering up games and movies and a huge selection of new ways to completely immerse yourself in new worlds.

Here's everything you need to get the most out of your Samsung Gear VR!

Read more on VR Heads!

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1 day ago

The problem with Android permissions is too much information and not enough information all at once

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People freaking out over an Android app's permissions again was overdue.

It's a regular happening in the tech press. An app has questionable permissions and people freak out about it. Sometimes it's warranted, but most of the time it's because the people freaking out don't understand the Android permission model or haven't taken the time to see what reasons an app might have to need those seemingly sketchy permissions. And it's Google's fault. Sorry, Google, we love you, but this is all yours.

There are two ways to handle letting the user (that's you and me) know what an app needs to do or needs to see in order to function. One way is to plainly state everything up front before that user installs it so they know exactly what can be done and seen. In other words, the Android way (mostly). Another way is to carefully screen each and every app and have the user trust your screening process and know that the app isn't doing anything out of the ordinary. This is the Apple way. Both are good in some ways and bad in some ways.

It's Serenity and crew's job at iMore to tackle iOS issues on this front if it needs tackling— they're more knowledgeable about them than I am — but we really need to talk about Android permissions here and why they need some attention from big G.

I'm going to pick on our own Android Central app here because I can look through the code or build it myself and know exactly what it does, what it can do, and why. Let's start with what makes people freak out because there is a good example right in the picture above — prevent device from sleeping.

Why in the hell does an app to read a blog need to keep your phone locked awake? I don't blame you at all if this is the first thing you think. In fact, I want it to be the first thing everyone thinks because we all need to be a little skeptical when it comes to software that we install on our phones. But our app has no intention of keeping your phone running all the time, and unless there's a bug somewhere it doesn't. We need that permission so that the screen doesn't shut off while you're reading this.

Tell us what those permissions mean and we'll freak out less.

There are two very big issues here that Google can fix. One is hard but the other is easy, Like delicious pie easy. The hard one is to continue building out the APIs until we have one that can only keep the screen on. Let background data and everything else sleep until it's used and keep the CPU idling unless it needs to ramp up for something else a user is doing. That's all we're using the prevent device from sleeping permission for anyway. If Google makes that API, we'll switch to it. Until then, we need permission to keep your whole phone up and running even when we're not doing anything in the background.

The second and easier thing that needs to be done is to give more information here. Once you decide that you're going to give the user all the info about which permissions an app needs, you need to go a step further when you list them. What we have right now is either too much information or not enough information.

I am a nerd. I don't even try to hide it. Plenty of the people reading this will also be nerds. What we see now on Google Play when permissions are shown was written by nerds for nerds. I understand it, my fellow nerds understand it, but a normal person who just wants to install a cool new app might not. Consider this:

  • Prevent your device from sleeping. This application needs to keep your phone from going into a sleep state. This can only happen while the app is running and shown on your screen and may not be processor intensive. If you have any questions you should ask the developer using the contact information at the bottom of the page.

That took me like 30 seconds to bang out on my keyboard. (And 20 more to fix the typos because I think I can type really fast without looking at my keyboard but I actually can't.) It's not the greatest explanation of what this permission might mean, but it's a metric shitload better that what we have now. The people at Google are way smarter about Android than I am (but I challenge any and all comers to test my knowledge on Dunmer lore) and could do this even better. If they did, it would help people who actually bother to read the permissions when they see Twitter melting about an app needing GPS data because it's a free ad-driven app that needs GPS to show you those "relevant" Target ads when you're in the Target parking lot.

The Android permission model needs to be refined and explained. And not by nerds.

This isn't a new problem. Since Android became popular people have seen too much information about needed permissions without enough information about those permissions and what they mean. Then they (rightfully) freak out about it. I enjoy those freakouts. I get to sit back and watch people actually care about mobile security and their precious personal data for a day or two. But the app developers surely aren't very happy when it happens to them, and they are the reason Android is as popular as it is.

So how 'bout it Google? Can you make a change to give us everything we need to know when we actually look at an app's permissions without going to the Android Developer site and reading a bunch of documentation about them? We'll love you more.

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1 day ago

Meitu — What you need to know about privacy and the filtering app

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[record scratch] [freeze frame] [shot of Phil in Meitu app]

Yep, that's me. You're probably wondering how I ended up here ...

Every now and then we get hit with an app that seems to just take over. The latest — and god help me, I'm about to talk about selfies — is called Meitu. There's almost no way that you haven't seen it — or at least the results from it — in the past week or so.

It's one of those apps that takes your pictures and filters the hell out of them until you get something that looks like you, but not you. ln this case, you get a sort of China doll thing. It's available for iOS (in the App Store) and Android (on Google Play), and there's a good chance you've already seen it being shared all over Facebook and Instagram.

But you might want to think twice before you install it.

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So here's the gist. You take a picture either with the Meitu app, or use one you've already snapped. The app then makeups the hell out of you in a LOT of different ways. The kids love this stuff. The cool new feature everyone's talking about, though, is the "hand-drawn" filter. It'll take a shot of you — or someone else — and change you up.

And that's great. It's a lot of fun. I feel pretty already.

But there's also a reason why you might not want to install Meitu.

Apps that are loaded up with tracking code — analytics — aren't anything new. Pretty much every single app (or website) you've ever used has had some sort of analytics tracking built in. Developers need to know how their products are being used. But questions have been raised about the way they're implemented in Meitu, and rightly so. Particularly because it harvests your phone's unique IMEI number. There are better and less-sensitive ways to identify a device.

For its part, Meitu has said that the red flags are because the app originally was coded for use in China, which has to do things behind a government-controlled firewall. Fair enough. But that doesn't mean that's the right way to code things for the rest of the world. Ultimately, you're giving access to a lot of your data just slap some makeup on your mug. Choose wisely, and stay vigilant.

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1 day ago

Best Chromebook apps

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Make the most of your Chromebook with these apps.

Your Chromebook is a safe, inexpensive, and simple portal the internet but it can do so much more. Whether you want to get productive, have a little fun or keep in touch you'll find an app to help do it in the Chrome Web Store. Here's the short — and ever-changing — list of ones we think you have to try.

Polarr Photo Editor

One area where Chromebooks have traditionally been lacking is media creation tools. Photoshop for Chrome is a real thing, but it requires you to have an Adobe education license for Creative Cloud and live in North America. If you meet these qualifications you should definitely have a look, but for the rest of us, there is Polarr Photo Editor.

Polarr is beautifully done, filled with features and is extremely lightweight. It's an offline app so you can work without an internet connection and it's the best way to edit photographs on your Chromebook. Whether you need to turn RAW files into great photos or just touch up something before you share it on Facebook, Polarr Photo Editor can handle the job.

See at the Chrome Web Store

Skype

We're cheating a little bit here, but access to Skype is important enough to allow it.

Skype on the web now supports text chat and phones calls using standard internet communication protocols — that means it works on your Chromebook.

There are many different communication apps available — including Google's own Hangouts — but for many Skype is the de facto standard. Using your Skype account and Microsoft's official website, all you need to do is log and start Skyping.

For those who want it, there are also several launchers at the Chrome Web Store that let you launch the Skype site in its own window through an icon, but we think a bookmark is just as good.

Skype Online

Any.do

Any.do is one of the best ways to stay organized. It's a task manager, reminder list, calendar, and organizer all in one and it syncs across all your devices. It's also quite the looker!

Using the Any.do app for Chrome gives you the same tools and features as the client for your phone (Android and iOS) does plus the ability to drag and drop attachments, notes, and tasks using your Chromebook's trackpad. Any.do is scalable and great for keeping track of a few reminders or as a complete organization tool for your entire team.

See at the Chrome Web Store

Office Online

Your Chromebook gives you access to everything Google Docs has to offer. While that's more than enough productivity for some of us, if you work in a Microsoft environment Office Online is a must-have.

Using the same subscription you hold for the full version of Office for Windows or Mac, you get access to all the tools and features using your Microsoft account. You can view, edit and create files in Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, and Sway right from your Chromebook and synchronization with your OneDrive account means they are accessible anywhere. You can also work locally when you're not connected to the internet.

If you're a Microsoft Office user, Office Online is a no-brainer.

See at the Chrome Web Store

StreamDor

No list of great Chrome apps would be complete without StreamDor.

The internet is huge, and it's filled with awesome content if you know where to find it. StreamDor is a list of 20,000 movies that you can stream for free. Everything is legal and above the board, and there's no funny stuff going on.

The list is refreshed daily and you'll find old favorites as well as recent hits at high quality from sites like YouTube or Vimeo. While StreamDor doesn't serve any content themselves, the app is the perfect way to find it all in one place. It's free and a great way to relax during some down time.

See at the Chrome Web Store

Mighty Text

If you're still waiting for Android apps on your Chromebook, or you just don't want to install everything from Google Play, Mighty Text is a great way to get all your notifications.

Don't let the name fool you. Might Text is awesome and lets you read, reply and send SMS messages using your regular phone number. But it can also forward any notification from your phone right to your Chromebook screen. Folks who use an app like this will tell you how cool this is, and once you try it you'll be doing the same. It's one of those apps you'll wish you had tried earlier.

See at the Chrome Web Store

Your best?

Everyone has favorites. Jump in the comments and tell us what your best Chrome apps are! Sometimes jewels are easy to overlook when you have so many choices so you're helping everyone when you tell us what apps we need to check out.

This post was updated in January 2017 to stay current and list the best Chrome apps.

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2 days ago

Best accessories for Samsung Gear S2 and Gear S2 Classic

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Best accessories for Samsung Gear S2 and Gear S2 Classic

You've got the watch, now it's time to accessorize!

Your Samsung Gear S2 deserves some stellar accessories. From unique bands to carrying cases, we've found the essential accessories that you're going to want to get your hands on.

Watch bands

One watch band is never enough. Get one for every occasion or try out as many different materials as you can. Just keep in mind that watch bands are made to fit either the Samsung Gear S2 or the Samsung Gear S2 Classic.

Samsung Gear S2 bands

V-MORO rubber watch band

V-MORO rubber watch band

To give your Samsung Gear S2 a sporty look and feel, have a look at the bands from V-MORO. With seven solid colors and patterns to choose from, there's a band to match every look and mood.

The elastomer rubber is softer and more pliable than standard silicone bands and won't irritate or rub uncomfortably on your wrist. Wear it to the gym or with your favorite casual clothes for a fun look any day.

See at Amazon

Casetify

Casetify Woodland Camoflag band

For band patterns you won't find anywhere else, look no further than Casetify. Known for their original artwork, the brand has crafted five bands for the Samsung Gear S2 that are sporty, fun, and stand out from the crowd. Pictured here is the Woodland Camouflage pattern.

You can order your bands in small or large sizes, so pay attention to the sizing chart that accompanies each pattern before your make a purchase. They ship for free worldwide and make a fantastic gift for a friend or a treat for yourself.

See at Casetify

Samsung Gear S2 Classic bands

eLander stainless steel band

eLander stainless steel band

The classic look of stainless steel links pairs perfectly with the Samsung Gear S2 Classic and this band from eLander is a standout example. It's available in silver, but the stainless steel black is equally beautiful.

It comes with a toolkit for removing extra links and fits virtually any wrist. The clasp locks securely so your watch won't jostle around on your wrist and it's an excellent dressed-up alternative to the standard leather band, at a reasonable price.

See at Amazon

Casetify

Casetify diamond pattern band

Coming soon to Casetify's online store is the collection of bands for the Samsung Gear S2 Classic. Samsung's official site has been teasing them for some time now and it looks like they're going to be worth the wait.

The patterns are fun, unique, and tailored specifically for the Gear S2 Classic. Five vibrant patterns are on deck; pictured here is the Diamond White pattern. Get on their mailing list for a notification when the bands are ready to order.

See at Casetify

If these don't catch your fancy, check out more of our favorites in our roundup of the best watch bands for the Samsung Gear S2 Classic.

Screen protectors

You didn't spend your hard-earned money on your Samsung Gear S2 or Gear S2 Classic to get the face all scratched up. Put a screen protector on it!

Spigen tempered glass screen protector

Spigen tempered glass protector

Spigen is known for creating products that fit well and protect your gear. Their tempered glass screen protector fits both the Samsung Gear S2 and Gear S2 Classic and helps to stop your watch face from scratching, cracking, and overexposure to the elements.

It comes with easy-to-install wings so that you don't get gunk or fingerprints on the underside of the screen protector. The edges won't lift up on you and the tempered glass is incredibly thin, maintaining the touch sensitivity of the screen.

See at Amazon

Skinomi TechSkin screen protector

Skinomi screen protector

An alternative to tempered glass comes from Skinomi SkinTech. It still protects against incidental scratches and daily wear but is thinner than tempered glass and designed to be replaced if or when necessary, which is OK, since you'll receive six for the price of one.

The edges of the screen protector won't roll up and the TPU is UV-resitant, which means won't yellow over time. It remains virtually invisible to keep the original clarity of the screen as it should be.

See at Amazon

Charging docks

Get something nice to hold your watch while it charges. A charging dock keeps in in sight and displayed for bragging purposes, and wireless charging docks mean there's no need to tediously plug in your Gear S2 or Gear S2 Classic every night.

Samsung Wireless Charger Dock

Samsung charging dock

Samsung offers their own white or black charger dock for the Samsung Gear S2 and Gear S2 Classic. If you're feeling brand-loyal and want to stick to the product line, it's a well-reviewed charger for the price.

The cradle holds the watch securely on any flat surface, like your office desk, coffee table, or nightstand and it doesn't obstruct your view of the watch face, allowing you to show off the band you're currently using.

See at Amazon

Henoda charging cradle

Henoda charging dock

Take your pick of five colors when you buy a charging cradle from Henoda. It's small, lightweight, and made of soft rubber that will be easy on your Samsung Gear S2 or Gear S2 Classic.

The non-slip base will keep the charger in place on any flat surface, and if you already have a charger or cradle that you use at home, the Henoda is a great alternative for travel or to keep at your desk.

See at Amazon

Bluetooth headphones

On your morning commute, your daily jog, or just around the house, Bluetooth headphones come in awfully handy when you're wearing your Samsung Gear S2 or Gear S2 Classic.

Samsung Level U Pro Bluetooth headphones

Samsung Level U Pro headphones

Treat yourself to the Level U Pro headphones from Samsung. Available in black, blue, purple or bronze, they are well-designed and pair perfectly with the Samsung Gear S2 and Gear S2 Classic.

The joints are flexible and the headphones is lightweight and comfortable, as well as sweat and water-resistant, so a long run or a quick dash out into the rain won't do any harm. The battery life has up to nine hours of talk or play time, which is more than enough to get you through the day with vivid, concert-quality sound.

See at Amazon

SoundPEATS QY7 Bluetooth headphones

SoundPEATS Bluetooth headphones

Choose from 10 color combinations with headphones from SoundPEATS. Designed for active users, they fit snugly but comfortably in-ear and won't move, no matter how much you do.

Eight hours of talk or play time means you won't be searching for a way to charge them throughout your work day or your workout and the sweat-resistant material won't get sticky or uncomfortable. No matter how active you get, the Bluetooth connection won't waver.

See at Amazon

Carrying case

Your watch won't always be on your wrist. A carrying case will give you a safe place to put it when you're not wearing it.

BSI black leather case

BSI leather case

Compact and lightweight, this leather case from BSI will protect your Samsung Gear S2 or Gear S2 Classic when you need a safe place to store it. The outer case is a hard shell that can handle being tossed into your gym bag, carry-on, or suitcase.

The inner case is lined with soft fabric, so your watch won't be damaged when you're on the go and there's even room in the middle of the case to coil up and store a charging cable, so you don't have to rummage around the bottom of a bag to find it when you need it.

See at Amazon

CASEBUDi watch travel case

CASEBUDi travel case

How about a case made of ballistic nylon? They exist, they're inexpensive, and they do the job well. CASEBUDi makes travel cases for watches of all sizes and the Samsung Gear S2 and Gear S2 Classic will fit nicely.

The soft interior cushions your watch when the case gets tossed around in your bag, and the zipper and case come with a one-year warranty, so if the case is damaged in the process of protecting your watch, you can get a replacement easily.

See at Amazon

Found your favorites?

Have you come across some excellent accessories for the Samsung Gear S2 or Gear S2 Classic? Let us know in the comments below and tell us why they're the best of the best!

Samsung Gear S2

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img { width: 100%; height: auto; } .devicebox ul { display: table; margin: 0 0 10px; width: 100%; } .devicebox ul li { background: #f7f7f7; margin: 2px 0; padding: 4px 15px; } .devicebox ul li:hover { background: #fff; } .devicebox ul li:before { display: none; } .devicebox p ~ p { line-height: 1.25; } .devicebox p:first-of-type + p { padding: 15px; } .devicebox a.buy-link { border-radius: 5px; display: inline-block; font: 14px/31px "Proxima Nova Extrabld",Helvetica,Arial,sans-serif; text-align: center; } .devicebox a.buy-link, .devicebox a.buy-link:link, .devicebox a.buy-link:active, .devicebox a.buy-link:visited { background: #37B5D7; color: #FFF; } .devicebox a.buy-link:hover { background: #2694B2; text-decoration: none; } .devicebox a.buy-link:before { content: "\e61e"; font: 40px/0 "ac_iconset" !important; margin: 0 3px 0 -8px; vertical-align: middle; } @media all and (min-width: 1025px), all and (max-width: 800px) and (min-width: 660px) { /* div:not(.columns-3) excludes help menu content */ .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox { padding: 20px 0 25px; } .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox .video { float: left; margin: 0 30px 0 0; width: calc(100% - 375px); } .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox h3 + p { bottom: 37px; display: block; overflow: hidden; position: absolute; top: 60px; width: calc(100% - 375px); } .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox p img, .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox p > img { position: absolute; top: 50%; transform: translateY(-50%); } .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox p:nth-child(n+3), .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox ul { box-sizing: border-box; margin-left: calc(100% - 345px); width: 340px; } .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox p.list-head { margin-top: -5px; } } @media all and (max-width: 1024px) and (min-width: 801px), all and (max-width: 660px) { .devicebox h3 { text-align: center; } .devicebox ul, .devicebox p { display: block; } } @media all and (max-width: 800px) and (min-width: 660px) { .devicebox { padding: 20px 0 25px; } .devicebox .video { float: left; margin: 0 30px 0 0; width: calc(100% - 375px); } .devicebox h3 + p { bottom: 37px; display: block; overflow: hidden; position: absolute; top: 60px; width: calc(100% - 375px); } .devicebox p img, .devicebox p > img { position: absolute; top: 50%; transform: translateY(-50%); } .devicebox p:nth-child(n+3), .devicebox ul { box-sizing: border-box; margin-left: calc(100% - 345px); width: 340px; } .devicebox p.list-head { margin-top: -5px; } } @media all and (min-width: 1025px), all and (max-width: 800px) and (min-width: 661px), all and (max-width: 500px) { /* 2x buy buttons */ .devicebox a.buy-link { width: calc(50% - 2.5px); margin: 0 5px 5px 0; } .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-of-type(even) { margin: 0 0 5px 0; } .devicebox a.buy-link:last-of-type:nth-of-type(odd) { width: 100%; } } @media all and (max-width: 1024px) and (min-width: 801px), all and (max-width: 659px) and (min-width: 501px) { /* 3x buy buttons */ .devicebox a.buy-link { width: calc(100%/3 - 10px/3); margin: 0 5px 5px 0; } .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-of-type(3n):not(:nth-last-of-type(2)) { margin: 0 0 5px 0; } .devicebox a.buy-link:only-child { width: 100%; margin: 0 0 5px 0; } .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(2):nth-of-type(3n+1), .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(2):nth-of-type(3n+1) ~ a.buy-link, .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(4):nth-of-type(3n+1), .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(4):nth-of-type(3n+1) ~ a.buy-link { width: calc(50% - 2.5px); } .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(2):nth-of-type(3n+1) ~ a.buy-link, .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(4):nth-of-type(3n+1) ~ a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(odd) { margin: 0 0 5px 0; } } @media all and (max-width: 800px) { .devicebox { margin: 0 0 30px; max-width: none; width: auto; } } @media all and (max-width: 500px) { .devicebox { margin: 0 0 30px; max-width: none; width: auto; } .devicebox a.buy-link:before { display: none; } } .page-admin .devicebox {max-width: 350px;} .page-admin .devicebox .video_iframe {position: relative; height: 0; padding-bottom: 56.9%;} .page-admin .devicebox .video_iframe iframe {width: 100%; height: 100%; position: absolute;} /*-->*/ /*-->*/ /*-->*/

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2 days ago

Best legal add-ons for Kodi

38

Kodi has a ton of quality — and legal — content available.

Kodi is one of the easiest ways to cut the cord and say adios to your monthly cable bill. Formerly XMBC, Kodi is a front end that streams media. It's also super easy to install on just about anything that runs Android. Even if it's Android in name only, like Fire OS on the Amazon Fire TV stick. If it can install and run Android apps, you can install Kodi.

Installing Kodi is only the first step, though. A media streamer doesn't do much without media to stream. Setting up your own storage space and connecting it to your Kodi install is easy, but there's a whole internet out there filled with media to stream. You just have to know where to start.

YouTube

Of course, YouTube is on our best list. YouTube is a free service where anyone can upload media. That means some of it is the worst media you can imagine, but there are also plenty of gems you can stream to your TV using the YouTube Addon. And installing it is simple.

  • Open the settings and click the icon labeled Add-ons.
  • Depending on the version of Kodi you're running, you'll see an icon that says Install from repository or Get add-ons. Click it.
  • Choose the Kodi Add-on repository
  • Under Video Add-ons you'll see YouTube listed. Click it to install.

Twitch

I love Twitch. I don't know why, but watching interesting people stream interesting games or other non-gaming content is almost as fun as playing them. And the Twitch add-on for Kodi is a great way to watch them.

It's easy to navigate and use, even with a remote if you don't have a keyboard. It also supports your account login and you can chat and spam Kappa just like you can from a PC. Though you might want a keyboard for that. But seriously, check out Paul and the gang from Windows Central on Twitch and tell them kappa sent you!

Installing Twitch is done the same way as the YouTube add-on above, Just search Twitch instead of YouTube.

The list

Instead of writing out hundreds of great add-ons through the official Kodi repository, I'll direct you to the master list. You'll find names you know like Hulu and Netflix as well as networks and programming you have never heard of. Every one of these add-ons is also 100% legal and above the board — nobody from your ISP is going to be sending you a nastygram.

You'll install any of them the same way, right through the settings app on your Kodi box.

Official Kodi Video Add-ons

Our next three add-ons either aren't listed in the official Kodi repository or are updated so often it's better to get them from another source that's quicker to add the new content. We'll be using SuperRepo to install them.

Not everything at SuperRepo can make our legal list, but these are fine.

SuperRepo has tons of add-ons for Kodi. Some, like these, are completely on the level. Others fall into that gray murky area where ownership and copyright aren't clear. That means you need to be careful and not just install every add-on that catches your eye if you want to comply with rules and laws.

And you really should comply with laws. Following even stupid laws you hate is a great way to stay out of trouble. But if you do dive in where words like legal don't apply, use a VPN. Comcast or Time Warner or whoever you get your internet from is watching you.

To install the SuperRepo repository:

  • In the System category, open the File Manager.
  • Click the Add source icon.
  • Click the list (it might say "none") to open a text box where you can add a new source.
  • Type http://srp.nu in the text box, and give it the name SuperRepo. Click Done.

Now you'll see Super Repo in your file manager. The files you see will all install an add-on just by clicking on them.

USTVNow

This is the first one to find in your new SuperRepo source. USTVNow is an online version of the cable channels you'll find through your cable company. CNN, NBC, Cartoon Network and a ton more are available and you'll always be able to find something to watch. You'll also find USTVNow in the official Kodi repository, but for faster updates and all-around better service, we recommend using the SuperRepo source.

USTVNow (the name is a clue) is for people in the U.S. only and requires an account. You can set that up, as well as stream to your computer, at USTVNow.com.

FilmOn TV

FilmOn TV is a service that offers both free and premium content. Good, current content. Whether you're looking for UFC matches, catch up on your favorite cable show or watch a-list movies you'll find them at FilmOn TV. You can also watch over 600 live TV channels or set up a recording to watch a show at your leisure. Paired with USTVNow, FilmON TV makes cord-cutting easy.

You will need to set up an account at FilmOn.com.

Dbmc (Dropbox)

Dbmc isn't a full Dropbox client. It's a way to view or listen to stuff in your Dropbox. You can be boring and productive while looking at TPS reports or you can watch any video you have collected and uploaded into Dropbox. It's also a great way to build a slideshow of your photos on the big screen.

Dbmc is also available through the official Kodi repository, but we've found the SuperRepo version to be quicker on the updates.

Of course, you need a Dropbox account.

If you're using Kodi and have a favorite of your own that's not on our list, shout out in the comments so everyone can check it out!

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2 days ago

How to fix voice search problems on Gear VR

How do I enable voice search for my Gear VR?

When it comes to browsing the web in VR, Samsung has made it easier than most with the Samsung Internet app for Gear VR. The ability to surf the web and watching anything you come across is generally pretty easy, though reading isn't always the best experience.

A key part of this experience is voice search, making it so you don't have to type every character out by pointing your face at a key on a virtual keyboard. On occasion, this feature can become interrupted by other apps on your phone. Thankfully it's an easy fix, and one that can be handled in just a few minutes.

Read more at VR Heads!

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2 days ago

Best apps for learning a language

10

Rosetta Stone delivers a solid foundation for learning a new language.

Best overall

Learn languages: Rosetta Stone

See at Store

Rosetta Stone is already well known as a great way to begin learning a new language, but you may not have realized that it was available on your phone. With access to 28 different languages, a slow and steady pace that is great for building up your confidence, and optional live-tutoring, there is a reason that Rosetta Stone is king when it comes to language learning apps. Whether you're aiming to learn for fun, or you want to become fluent, this is a great place to start. This program will let you learn how to speak, write and read in a new language, with an emphasis on building confidence in pronunciation and the ability to sync progress across your desktop or mobile device.

Bottom line: Rosetta Stone delivers an excellent foundation for learning a new language with a program that focuses on practical conversational skills. With the addition of teaching you how to read, write, and listen for a rounded experience.

One more thing: While you do have to pay for the full version, you can access the first module of any language for free to try it out.

Why Rosetta Stone is the best

Rosetta Stone makes sure that the fundamentals are pounded into your head and offers features that make sure you're confident about what you're hearing, saying, and writing.

When it comes to language apps, Rosetta Stone may already be the first software you think of. There's good reason for that too. For years Rosetta Stone has dominated language learning on PC and it's mobile version is just as solid. While getting access to the full program is a bit pricy, if you'll motivated to really learn a new language it's worth the hit to your wallet in the long run.

Jill Duffy of PCMag gave it high marks for a foundation in a new language.

"Rosetta Stone is a wonderful, polished, and technically competent language-learning program, especially for beginners who are looking to build a foundation of knowledge on their own time."

While Rosetta Stone does have it's limitations, for those without a background in the language they're trying to learn, this is the most solid all around program. While it can be repetitive, that's to make sure that your new vocabulary sticks in your brain. At higher levels you'll also be able to read to the program while it listens to your pronunciation. Additionally it employs games likes bingo to help your association between individual words and their meanings.

One of the biggest perks to Rosetta Stone is how they introduce everything. Immersion is the key to learning with Rosetta Stone, combined with deductive reasoning. At time you'll need to guess a new word, but it's made easier by giving you choices of other words that you've already learned.

Best free

Duolingo

See at Store

While price isn't an option for some people, if you're looking for the best way to begin learning a new language on a budget then Duolingo is definitely the best bet. This free app has access to 20 different languages to learn from Vietnamese and Irish to Spanish and German. Unlike most other programs, Duolingo employs XP and leaderboards so that you can learn with your friends and turns language into a game to be played.

Each language is a little bit different, and the more popular languages do have access to far more module lessons. Each one starts out the same though. You'll deal with the basics before moving on to phrases and language specific lessons. The leaderboards will show you which friends on facebook use the app and will let you compete against each other. By completing modules you'll also earn EXP and Lingots which you can use to purchase extra modules. If you're learning with friends, you can also start clubs which allows you to turn learning a language into a group activity.

Bottom line: Duolingo makes learning a language fun, and with it's social aspects it's easy to learn a language with friends. Absolutely free, you never need to pay a penny in order to learn everything it has to offer.

One more thing: Duolingo also allows people coming back to a language to test past the basics and jump right back into learning new content.

Best for the rest

Babbel

See at Store

If you're looking for a solid middle of the road option for learning a new language, then Babbel ought to be your go to. It offers a subscription for access to the full catalog, but it isn't nearly as expensive as picking up a copy of Rosetta Stone. Each language is made up of a variety of courses from beginning vocabulary to grammar and writing in the language you are learning.

Each lesson must be downloaded to your phone, but they only take a moment or two and then you can properly jump in. Those lessons are also fairly short, making them easy to rock through when you're sitting on the train during your commute. There are currently 14 languages in the Babbel arsenal, from Spanish to Brazilian Portugese.

Bottom line: Babbel offers an affordable middle of the road option for learning a new language. There are 14 different languages available, with plenty of courses to get you working towards fluency in a new language.

One more thing: Each language must be downloaded as a different app, which can be a bit bulky if you download more than one at a time.

Best overall

Learn languages: Rosetta Stone

See at Store

Rosetta Stone is already well known as a great way to begin learning a new language, but you may not have realized that it was available on your phone. With access to 28 different languages, a slow and steady pace that is great for building up your confidence, and optional live-tutoring, there is a reason that Rosetta Stone is king when it comes to language learning apps. Whether you're aiming to learn for fun, or you want to become fluent, this is a great place to start. This program will let you learn how to speak, write and read in a new language, with an emphasis on building confidence in pronunciation and the ability to sync progress across your desktop or mobile device.

Bottom line: Rosetta Stone delivers an excellent foundation for learning a new language with a program that focuses on practical conversational skills. With the addition of teaching you how to read, write, and listen for a rounded experience.

One more thing: While you do have to pay for the full version, you can access the first module of any language for free to try it out.

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2 days ago

Here are the best deals from Amazon's Great Indian Sale

1

Amazon India kicks off first major sale of 2017.

It's day two of Amazon's Great Indian Sale, and the retailer is discounting several Fitbit fitness trackers along with phones, accessories, and much more.

Before we get to the deals, if you're not a Prime member yet, you should consider signing up right away. Amazon is running a sale exclusive to Prime members later today that'll see an additional 10% discount on Fitbit's fitness trackers. Prime in India costs just ₹499 for the first year, and you get a lot of value in the form of free two-day shipping options and access to Prime Video.

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