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1 week ago

How to watch BBC iPlayer outside the UK

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BBC iPlayer

BBC iPlayer's regional locking may scupper your attempts to view the Beeb's output when you're abroad. Here are a few handy workarounds.

BBC iPlayer has evolved into one of the best streaming services in the UK — free to use, with high-definition streaming and download support across multiple platforms. But if you're travelling outside the UK, you'll likely run into problems accessing iPlayer. That's because, being a UK-only service, access is blocked from outside the country.

Fortunately there are a few workarounds, all of which are relatively simple.

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1 week ago

HTC is sending out invitations for a closed Sense Home 8 beta on non-HTC phones

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HTC has been decoupling its apps for some time, and the vendor is now sending out invitations for beta testers to try out Sense 8 Home — the launcher on the HTC 10 — on non-HTC phones. The requirements for the closed beta include a non-HTC Android phone that's running Android 4.4 KitKat and above.

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1 week ago

Bought the OnePlus 3 in India? You'll have to manually activate the 12-month accidental damage cover

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The OnePlus 3 is now on sale from Amazon India for ₹27,999. OnePlus and Amazon have rolled out several launch day offers for the handset, including a free 12-month accidental damage protection plan, which is handled by Servify. However, it looks like you'll have to manually activate the plan, or stand the risk of losing out on free service should the phone get damaged.

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1 week ago

Instagram is adding a text translation feature

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After announcing that it has over 500 million users, Instagram has shared that it is working on a text translation feature that will go live next month. Once enabled, you'll see a "See Translation" button that automatically translates text in posts, comments or bios to your preferred language. At launch, 24 languages will be supported, and while there isn't a clear-cut timeline, the feature will be rolling out to all users globally within a month.

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1 week ago

Google Fiber is acquiring gigabit internet provider Webpass

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Google Fiber is acquiring San Francisco-based gigabit internet provider Webpass for an undisclosed amount. Founded in 2003, Webpass is focused on providing businesses — along with select residential markets — with gigabit internet connectivity, and its acquisition will aid Google Fiber's expansion. The acquisition is expected to close this summer following regulatory approvals.

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1 week ago

Confirmed: Huawei gearing up to launch EMUI 5.0 this Fall with a major redesign

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Huawei's EMUI received a significant boost with version 4.1, which made its debut on the Huawei P9. It looks like the vendor is working to bring the UI closer to stock Android, with version 5.0 said to offer an interface that resembles vanilla Android while offering a lot of customizability.

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1 week ago

6 tips to improve battery life on the Nexus 5X

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Nexus 5X

How do I improve battery life in the Nexus 5X?

While the 2,700mAh battery in LG's Nexus 5X can get you through the day on a single charge, depending on usage, we think you can probably get a little bit more out of it by making a few simple changes.

1. Turn off Ambient Display

Ambient Display is a feature that sends notifications to your screen when it's locked. It's useful to see what's going without having to unlock your phone's screen, but it does consume battery power.

To turn this feature off, follow these steps:

  1. Launch Settings from your Home screen, the app drawer, or the Notification Shade.
  2. Tap Display.
  3. Toggle the Ambient Display switch to off.

2. Mind your Bluetooth

Smartwatches are great and we love them, but you should be aware that they consume more battery than Ambient Display does. If you know that you need extra power, leave your smartwatch at home that day.

The same goes for fitness trackers, speakers, car audio systems, and just about anything else with a Bluetooth connection. When in doubt, disable Bluetooth!.

  1. Launch Settings from your Home screen, the app drawer, or the Notification Shade
  2. Tap Bluetooth
  3. Toggle the Bluetooth switch to off.

3. Lower your screen's brightness setting

The Nexus 5X has a beautiful 5.2-inch inch full HD LCD display that hits that sweet spot for size but is one of the most battery-intensive features of the phone.

Dial down how much battery your Nexus 5X's screen draws by decreasing the brightness level a few notches:

  1. Launch Settings from your Home screen, the app drawer, or the Notification Shade.
  2. Tap Display.
  3. Tap on Brightness level.
  4. Tap and drag the brightness bar to your desired level.

Alternatively, you can let Adaptive brightness manage the brightness level of your screen based on the amount of ambient light available:

  1. Launch Settings from your Home screen, the app drawer, or the Notification Shade.
  2. Tap Display.
  3. Toggle the Adaptive brightness switch to on.

4. Limit or turn off Location Services

Google's Location Services is useful for helping you get around town and some apps, such as Foursquare and Twitter, use it to determine your location as well. However helpful Location Services is, it can take a huge chunk out of your battery, especially when using GPS.

Location Services has three modes: High accuracy, Battery saving, and Device only. High accuracy uses GPS, Wi-Fi, and mobile network information to find your position, Power saving uses just Wi-Fi and mobile network information, while Device only uses only GPS. Of the three, the most power hungry modes are High accuracy and Device only.

If you need some form of location services on, choose Battery saving — it won't be as accurate, but it will save on battery. For the most power savings, turn off Location Services altogether. If you choose to turn off Location Services, some apps that rely on it may not function properly — just something to be aware of.

You can find all of these settings under Location in your Nexus 5X's Settings menu:

  1. Tap Location.
  2. Tap Mode to pull up the Location mode screen. From there tap the option of your choice:
    • High accuracy
    • Battery saving
    • Device only

To turn Location Services off, simply toggle the switch to off at the top of the screen.

5. Check apps' battery usage

Android keeps tabs on how much battery every app on your phone consumes and it's simple to check:

  1. Launch Settings from your Home screen, the app drawer, or the Notification Shade.
  2. Tap Battery.

Here you'll see a breakdown by app of how much battery they consume as a percentage of total battery use.

Video streaming services and games naturally will use more battery than others, but if something else is hogging the battery when it shouldn't be, you'll see it here.

6. Avoid streaming video

The Nexus 5X loses power more quickly when streaming video. If you can, download any video content you plan to watch to your device and watch it locally.

Here's how you can download content for offline viewing in Google Play.

  1. Launch the Google Play Movies and TV app from your Home screen or the app drawer.
  2. Tap the Menu button. It looks like this ☰.
  3. Tap My library.
  4. Tap the Download button next to the content you'd like to watch offline.

That's it. Now the content will download to your device and be available to watch any time you'd like, no internet connection necessary.

How about you?

We've given you some tips on how you can eek out a few more hours of life from your Nexus 5X's battery, but what about you? What do you do to make your battery last longer? Tell us about it in the comments below.

Want more information on the LG Nexus 5X? Have a peek at our review.

Nexus 5X

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1 week ago

Best cheap Android phones of 2016

There's never been a better time to buy a cheap Android phone and still get a top quality experience.

It used to be the norm that to get a good phone you'd have to spend a good chunk of change. But while the high end continues to progress at a predictable rate, the mid-tiers have suddenly become where the action is at. It's easier than ever to get a quality Android smartphone without paying too much for it. We daresay you can call it a "cheap" Android smartphone at this point and not feel bad about it.

For under $250 it's now possible to get a good phone by any standard — but it's worth taking care when spending this kind of money on a smartphone. Just as there are some great bargains to be had, there's also a lot of crap out there. So with that said, here's our roundup of the best you can get right now, broken down by their price and value.

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1 week ago

Best AT&T prepaid phones

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ATT store

Going prepaid with AT&T and in need of a phone? Check out our favorites.

Sure, you could pick up a prepaid phone straight from AT&T, but if you'll always have more choice by bringing your own unlocked device. That's why we've rounded up the best phones you can buy outright to use unlocked on the carrier.

Samsung Galaxy S7 and S7 edge

Samsung Galaxy S7 edge

A popular pick (and rightfully so) is the Samsung Galaxy S7 or S7 edge. All that was awesome about the Galaxy S6 has been enhanced and Samsung keeps giving the people what they want.

The battery life in the Galaxy S7 and S7 edge has been improved and extended considerably; in other words, bring on your busiest day and it will keep up with you. If your day involves rain or possible puddle or pool encounters, worry not; the Galaxy S7 and S7 edge are waterproof. Take that, Mother Nature. The fingerprint sensor is conveniently tucked into the Home button and works like such a charm you'll wonder how you've gone without one until now.

If you love photography with your Android phone, these are the phones you need to get your hands on. Photos turn out fabulously in just about any light and the Quad HD SuperAMOLED display on both phones keeps your pictures and streaming videos looking clear and sharp.

Need a little more convincing? Check out our reviews of the Samsung Galaxy S7 and the Samsung Galaxy S7 edge.

See at AT&T

LG G5

LG G5

For something completely different, have a look at the LG G5. The modular design is a new direction for LG and it makes the phone a unique offering in the world of Android.

You want a great camera? LG's got a great camera – three, in fact. Of course, you have your front-facing camera for those necessary selfies, but you also get two rear-facing cameras: a 16-megapixel main camera (same as the G4) and an 8-megapixel wide-angle camera. The fingerprint sensor is built into the power button on the back of the phone and it boasts impressive accuracy.

The Snapdragon 820 processor will keep you happily multitasking all day and the 5.3-inch Quad HD quantum display keeps your video streaming and app gaming in top form. The feel isn't as premium as the Galaxy S7 series, but that's what you'll trade for the G5's modular capabilities. The "Friends" ecosystem of add-ons includes items like camera modules that attach to the phone when you remove the base.

Want to know what we think about the LG G5? Check out our review.

See at Amazon

Nexus 6P

Nexus 6P

The latest Nexus phone has lived up to all the hype, and a long-awaited and well-executed phone from Google could be right up your alley — even as we enter the latter half of the year. You can't buy the Nexus 6P from a carrier, but you purchase it unlocked and bring it to AT&T.

The camera holds up well next to many current Android phones, offering 8 megapixels for the front-facing camera and 12.3 megapixels for the rear-facing one. It works in bright outdoor light or shadowy indoor environments and features laser-assisted autofocus for accurate focusing in the dark.

The 5.7-inch display and aluminum body look and feel modern, industrial, and comfortable in your hands. The fingerprint sensor uses Nexus Imprint and is located on the back of the phone, which is a departure from the way some manufacturers have been doing it, but 6P owners tend to like this feature having its own space away from the home screen or bezels. The nippy 810 Snapdragon processor and strong battery life round out the reasons the Nexus 6P is a good buy.

There's more to learn. Check out our review of the Nexus 6P to see what we have to say.

See at Amazon

HTC 10

HTC 10

HTC is back in a big way with the HTC 10, an outstanding 2016 flagship phone for the company that's been a little quiet lately. Although it's not offered directly from AT&T, the unlocked HTC 10 is compatible with the network and can be purchased from another retailer.

Crazy about music? Say no more: the HTC 10 features BoomSound Hi-Fi that's going to make all of your music sound stellar. The front-facing tweeter and bottom-facing woofer give you more volume than you could possibly need (with some help from Dolby, no less), and there's a dedicated amp in the headphone jack so that you can rock out in crystal clarity. The capacitive fingerprint scanner doubles as the home key; the set up for scanning is straightforward, easy, and secure.

The HTC 10 comes with either 32GB or 64GB of storage that can be expanded upon with a microSD card, which can be used as adoptable storage, so you'll never run out of space for photos or music. The 5.2-inch Quad HD display can be a little hard to see in bright sunlight, but the 10 makes up for this in other areas.

Need to know more? Get all the details on the HTC 10 from our review.

See at Amazon

LG Nexus 5X

LG Nexus 5X

For a solid mid-range phone, look no further than the LG Nexus 5X. You'll need to purchase it unlocked from another retailer and opt for the bring-your-own-device prepaid plan.

A smaller and lighter offering compared to other phones, the 5.2-inch display is clear and covered with Corning Gorilla Glass 3 and fingerprint-resistant oleophobic coating. The Snapdragon 808 Processor and dependable battery give you a full day of work and play without much to worry about in terms of bogging down the phone or searching for an outlet to charge up at. The phone is available in 16GB or 32GB, and for the price, you'll be better investing in the 32GB model.

The camera is one of the phone's best features, offering a 12.3-megapixel sensor for excellent color and detail capture. The phone also features Nexus Imprint fingerprint scanning, which sets up easily with six simple presses to the sensor.

See more on the LG Nexus 5X in our review.

See at Amazon

iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus

iPhone 6s Plus

Yes, this is Android Central, but no, we're not going to leave the iPhone off of the list when we're talking about the best phones to use on AT&T. They have much to offer and are worth considering.

The iPhone 6s has a 4.7-inch Retina HD display and the iPhone 6s Plus tops out at 5.5 inches. Shutterbugs will rejoice at the 12 megapixel camera for still photos and the 4K video capabilities, and they can bring those still shots to life with the Live Photos feature, which animates an image using a second and a half before and after the image was taken. 3D Touch sensors also recognize the pressure your fingertips put on the screen to easily open apps or preview content.

Touch ID keeps your iPhone secure and the storage capacity ranges from the standard 16GB up to as much as 128GB. Not too shabby, iPhone.

Thinking about making the leap to an iPhone? Check out iMore's reviews of the iPhone 6s and the iPhone 6s Plus.

See at AT&T

More, you say?

If you need to see more options before buying, have a look at some of the best unlocked phones and see how they stack up.

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1 week ago

How to use multi-window mode on Samsung Galaxy S7

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How to use multi-window mode on Samsung Galaxy S7

How do I use multi-window mode on Samsung Galaxy S7?

Although Android N will be bringing a split-screen functionality to all Android phones in the future, Samsung's Galaxy series of phones have been able to use multi-window mode for years now. This multi-tasking feature is extremely useful for people who are tired of moving back and forth between apps.

How to enable multi-window mode on Galaxy S7

Not all apps are capable of using multi-window mode, so only multi-window-compatible apps will appear when you activate multi-window mode.

  1. Press and hold the Recents key. It's the button to the left of your Home button.
  2. Open the first app you want to use.
  3. Open the second app you want to use. Note: you can't open the same app twice.

    Press and hold the Recents key, open the first app you want to use, and then open a second app.

The app that you are currently in will always have a blue outline around the edges, so you shouldn't lose track of where you are.

How to enable multi-window mode in from Recents menu on Galaxy S7

If you already have the app you want to use multi-window mode open, you can easily start a multi-window session from the Recents menu.

  1. Press the Recents key. It's the button to the left of your Home button.
  2. Tap the multi-window mode button on the app you want. It looks like to rectangles stack on top of each other. This button will only appear on apps that support multi-window mode.
  3. Tap second app you want to use.

    Press the Recents key, tap the multi-window-button on the app you want, and then tap on the second app you want to use.

How to enable multi-window mode from an app on Galaxy S7.

If you are already in an app and want to start a multi-window session, you can do so with just a few taps provided the app you have open supports multi-window mode.

  1. Launch any app from your Home screen or app drawer.
  2. Press and hold the Recents key.
  3. Tap on the second app you want to open.

    Launch any app from your Home screen or app drawer, press and hold the Recents key, and then tap on the secodn app you want to open.

How to adjust the size of the multi-window mode windows on Galaxy S7

  1. Press and hold the Recents key. It's the button to the left of your Home button.
  2. Open the first app you want to use.
  3. Open the second app you want to use. Note: you can't open the same app twice.

    Press and hold the Recents key, open the first app you want to use, and then open a second app.

  4. Press and hold the white circle in the middle of the two app windows.
  5. Drag the white circle to the spot you want.
  6. Let go.

    Press and hole the white circle in the middle of the two apps, drag the white circle to desired position, and then let go.

How to invert the app windows' positions in multi-window mode on Galaxy S7

You can quickly invert the positions of both apps that are open in Multi-Window mode. Not only will they switch positions, but the windows will also switch sizes.

  1. Press and hold the Recents key. It's the button to the left of your Home button.
  2. Open the first app you want to use.
  3. Open the second app you want to use. Note: you can't open the same app twice.

    Press and hold the Recents key, open the first app you want to use, and then open a second app.

  4. Press the white circle in the middle of both apps
  5. Press the invert positions button. It's the furthest left button in the multi-window menu.

    Press the white circle in the middle of the two app windows, and then tap on the invert positions button.

How to drag and drop content in multi-window mode on Galaxy S7

Some apps — fair warning it's a limited list— will allow you to drag and drop content between them when you have them in multi-window mode. If you try it with two apps that aren't supported, your Galaxy S7 will let you know.

  1. Press and hold the Recents key. It's the button to the left of your Home button.
  2. Open the first app you want to use.
  3. Open the second app you want to use. Note: you can't open the same app twice.

    Launch any app from your Home screen or app drawer, press and hold the Recents key, and then tap on the second app you want to open.

  4. Tap on the app window you want to drag and drop content from. The app you have selected will be surrounded by a blue border.
  5. Tap the the white circle in the middle of the two app windows.
  6. Tap on the drag and drop content button.

    Tap on the app window, tap the white circle, and then tap the drag and drop button.

From here you can now drag the content on the app window you have selected to the other app window.

How to minimize an app in multi-window mode on Galaxy S7

  1. Press and hold the Recents key. It's the button to the left of your Home button.
  2. Open the first app you want to use.
  3. Open the second app you want to use. Note: you can't open the same app twice.

    Press and hold the Recents key, open the first app you want to use, and then open a second app.

  4. Tap on the app window you want to minimize. The app you have selected will be surrounded by a blue border.
  5. Tap the the white circle in the middle of the two app windows.
  6. Tap on the minimize button. It's the two arrows facing pointing towards each other in a box.

    Tap on the app window you want to minimize. tap on the white circle, and then tap on the minimize button.

How to maximize an app in multi-window mode on Galaxy S7

  1. Press and hold the Recents key. It's the button to the left of your Home button.
  2. Open the first app you want to use.
  3. Open the second app you want to use. Note: you can't open the same app twice.

    Press and hold the Recents key, open the first app you want to use, and then open a second app.

  4. Tap on the app window you want to maximize. The app you have selected will be surrounded by a blue border.
  5. Tap the the white circle in the middle of the two app windows.
  6. Tap on the maximize button. It's the double-sided arrow in the box.

    Tap on the app window you want to maximize. tap on the white circle, and then tap on the maximize button.

How to close an app in multi-window mode on Galaxy S7

  1. Press and hold the Recents key. It's the button to the left of your Home button.
  2. Open the first app you want to use.
  3. Open the second app you want to use. Note: you can't open the same app twice.

    Press and hold the Recents key, open the first app you want to use, and then open a second app.

  4. Tap on the app window you want to maximize. The app you have selected will be surrounded by a blue border.
  5. Tap the the white circle in the middle of the two app windows.
  6. Tap on the close button. It looks like an X.

    Tap on the app window you want to maximize. tap on the white circle, and then tap on the close button.

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1 week ago

The best gamepads for the Samsung Gear VR

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If you're getting a Gear VR, you might want to get your hands on a controller.

Gaming on the Gear VR is a fantastic experience, right until you feel like your arm is going to fall off from holding it up to the D-Pad on the side of the headset for an hour. There's only so much Gunjack you can play in that position, and beyond shooting enemies from your space turret there are several games that require a gamepad to start playing. There's no shortage of Bluetooth gamepads for Android, but with your eyes unable to see your fingers you should be a little pickier about what you are gripping when gaming in VR.

Here's a quick look at our top choices for Gear VR gamepads.

This post was previously published in April 2016. It was updated in June 2016 with current products and links.

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1 week ago

theScore esports now keeps you up to date with competitive Call of Duty, Starcraft and more

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Fans of competitive Call of Duty and Starcraft II will want to check out the latest update to theScore esports. The app now tracks matches from those franchises, along with Blizzard's Hearthstone digital card game. The app also features a new "spoiler mode" to hides match results and alerts until you're ready to see them.

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1 week ago

Google introduces Android Basics Nanodegree program for those with no experience

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Following up on the previous Nanodegree program, Google has introduced an Android Basics Nanodegree program aimed to help complete beginners. There is no experience required for this, and the program will open this fall to all Udacity students. Google will also be offering a chance to win a scholarship for the Career-track Android Nanodegree.

From Google's announcement:

Upon completing the Android Basics Nanodegree, you also have the opportunity to continue your learning with the Career-track Android Nanodegree (for intermediate developers). The first 50 participants to finish the Android Basics Nanodegree have a chance to win a scholarship for the Career-track Android Nanodegree. You now have a complete learning path to help you become a technology entrepreneur or most importantly, build very cool Android apps, for yourself, your communities, and even the world.

It is great to see Google continuing to help people get started with developing apps and more. Would a program like this interest you? Let us know what you think in the comments.

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1 week ago

Dropbox is adding several new and improved productivity tools

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The cloud file storage service Dropbox announced a large number of new and upcoming productivity features, including creating Microsoft Office documents on mobile devices, a document scanner and more.

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1 week ago

Wherein we welcome Mr. Mobile the only way we know how

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So we hired Michael Fisher. Maybe you've heard of him. And while hiring is probably the hardest part of running any sort of organization, I can honestly say that without question he's is one of those people I'd sign on without any sort of hesitation. Do it. And so we did.

Turns out, though, that we had something different in mind for our special snowflake. Something that plays not just to Mr. Fisher's strengths, but ticks off some of the boxes that we're still working to fill. It's exciting as hell.

And dude's gonna do it everywhere. Hit up all these links ASAP.

So welcome, Mr. Mobile. While he's not directly working on Android Central, or iMore, or Windows Central, or any of our other sites, our paths most certainly will cross on occasion. Let's just hope he forgets about that little water joke.

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