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1 week ago

Using folders on your home screen and how to make the most of them

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Folders are kinda like TARDISes.

They're bigger on the inside, have a lot of cool toys hidden inside, and are easily disguised and overlooked. Folders are by no means a new concept for launchers, but they come with no small amount of stigma, especially when it comes to their looks. Thankfully, there are a few tricks for both using them and theming them that might help you learn to bite the bullet and fill up some folders.

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1 week ago

Struggling LeEco gets $2.4 billion investment lifeline from Chinese real estate company

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LeEco has gotten some much-needed cash from a new investor.

LeEco has been struggling financially as of late as it expands globally, but Chinese real estate holding company Sunac China Holdings seems to have faith in the company as it acquired stakes in three LeEco businesses for 16.8 billion yuan, or about $2.4 billion.

Sunac acquired relatively small stakes in LeEco's video streaming service and film production unit, alongside a 33% stake in LeEco's television hardware subsidiary. LeEco has had some interesting TVs of late, but the company as a whole has struggled to prove itself in global markets, especially in the U.S., and the company has undergone shake-ups, layoffs and has overextended itself, leaving the future of the company uncertain as it continues to refine and condense its plans going forward.

An investment like this is a considerable vote of confidence, but it still remains to be seen if LeEco can put it to good use. We can only hope.

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1 week ago

How to clean Daydream View

Your Daydream View is probably easier to clean than you think!

As you play with a headset, and share it with your friends, it's going to take some minor damage and accumulate dirt. To keep your adventures in VR as awesome as possible, then you'll need to know how to easily clean your headset. It can be a little bit trickier with Daydream View because it is covered in fabric and not plastic. Thankfully Google has made it easy to keep your headset in tip-top shape, and we've got a few tips to help you out.

Read more at VRHeads.com

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1 week ago

How to install Kodi on an Amazon Fire TV Stick

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The Fire TV Stick gets even better when you step outside of the Amazon App Store.

Amazon's Fire TV Stick is really cheap, really easy to use and delivers a ton of content to any TV. That's why it's so popular. But it's also a small computer that can run Android apps, including apps that you get from somewhere besides the Amazon App Store. Like Kodi.

Kodi is a video player. It can play local files or stream files from most any source, including the internet. A lot of people use Kodi because someone else is hosting streams full of pirated content. They're doing that for the same reason you would want to stream your own content — the Kodi front-end is pretty awesome. It's easy to understand use, has a simple setup procedure and was designed specifically for a big screen experience. There are plenty of media players, but Kodi is the one people keep coming back to.

It's also pretty easy to install on your Fire TV Stick if you want to stream media from somewhere other than Amazon's curated list of apps. Here's how it's done.

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1 week ago

At just $24 you won't be afraid to try some tricks with this mini drone

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Right now you can pick up Aukey's mini-drone for just $24 at Amazon with coupon code AU2DRONE, a savings of $6. You can control this drone with your smartphone, allowing you to fly it just about anywhere, and once you get good at flying it you can even start performing some tricks as well. It takes off and lands easily with just a single tap, and the controls are super responsive so you won't have to worry about delays. It comes with two extra sets of propellers, just in case you happen to crash and break one.

Being so small you can pack in just about any bag so you can keep it with you at all times. Remember to use coupon code AU2DRONE for the full savings. Will you be learning to fly with Aukey's drone? Let us know in the comments!

See at Amazon

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1 week ago

Five must-have games for your HTC Vive

Consider this your HTC Vive starter pack.

Playing a game in desktop-class virtual reality is unique. There's an emotional component that's tough to describe no matter how talented you are with words. The way your whole body moves to dodge the projectile headed your way, or that feeling when adrenaline kicks in and the music in the background becomes the choreographer for everything you're doing in the game. It's intense and fantastic, but the right game can take this experience to an entirely new level.

Here are five games you must have for the HTC Vive, no matter what kind of gamer you are.

Read more at VR Heads!

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1 week ago

Best new games for Android

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What's the latest games worth checking out in the Google Play Store?

There are thousands and thousands of games available in the Google Play Store, with more being added every month. With so much content hitting the app store, it can be damn near impossible to keep up on the latest releases and determine which games are worth your time.

Here at Android Central, we want to help. We'll be using this space to let you know about the latest gaming releases for Android that we think deserve your attention. We'll be checking in and updating this page weekly as new games are released, so refresh often!

hocus

This indie game is the definition of chill and answers the question "What if M.C. Escher designed a game for Android?" In this minimalist puzzle game, you must use your spacial reasoning skills to work a red cube through illusion-based mazes built from impossible structures.

It's a brilliant idea for a puzzle game, offering a casual challenge while calming music plays in the background. You'll reach zen-like states as you learn to move the cube across the different dimensions of the maze. There are 100 levels included in the main part of the game but — and this is where the real fun begins — you also have the option to build your own levels, as well as play levels designed by people around the world. Best of all, the game is free with no ads to break your flow.

Download: Hocus (Free)

Arrow.io

Frantic gameplay is at the heart of Arrow.io, a minimalist action game that puts you in control of a ninja archer as you do battle in arenas against online opponents. The game uses on-screen joystick to control your ninja — which will be a point of frustration for some — and swipes to fire your arrows as you hunt down your opponents collecting experience points and health along the way. Once you level up, you're able to select a new power up to help you in your quest to be the best.

Like Slither.io, the goal here is to rise to the top of your arena and stay there. But unlike slither.io, there's actually progress to be made here: you learn the ropes in the beginner arena, but then move on to more challenging arenas as your skills progress and your kill count grows. There's also a Team Play mode for playing with friends, as well as an offline mode where you can hone your skills against wave after wave of AI bots.

Download: Arrow.io (Free)

Star Wars: Force Arena

Star Wars: Force Arena combines frantic MOBA-style action with the card casting gameplay from Clash Royale, and wraps the whole thing in wonderful Star Wars nostalgia. Freshly released from beta, you'll want to check this game out.

Choose your side, choose your hero, then build out your deck of troop cards before you head into the online battle arena. You can jump into a one-on-one battle against another opponent, team up with a random opponent for a two-on-two battle, or join a guild and play alongside your friends. You'll need to keep winning to unlock more card packs, which gift you more credits and cards, which you'll need to upgrade your troops and level up your account. The game is free, but there are a ton of in-app purchases available if you're so inclined.

Expect a full review of this game in the near future, but you can check it out for yourself right now!

Download: Star Wars: Force Arena (Free w/ IAP)

Android Gaming

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1 week ago

Keep one of these three USB-C converters in your pocket at all times for just $6 right now

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Right now you can pick up Aukey's 3 pack of USB-C converters for just $6 at Amazon with coupon code AUK3USBC. The package comes with two converters to turn Micro-USB cables into USB-C and one to turn a regular USB-A cable into USB-C. Odds are you'll have a much easier time finding one of those two cables when you need some extra charge than you are to find a USB-C cable laying around, so this makes those cables useful to you. When you break it down to just $2 per adapter, you really can't go wrong with this deal.

Even if you've already invested in a few USB-C cables, these are still great to keep around. Keep one in your pocket at all times, just in case your friends don't have the right cable for you and you need some extra battery life. Don't forget to use coupon code AUK3USBC for the full savings!

See at Amazon

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1 week ago

Huawei Mate 9 now available on Three UK

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Huawei Mate 9

Prices for the 5.9-incher start at £31 per month.

Huawei's biggest and best phone yet, the Mate 9, arrives on store shelves in the UK today through Three. The carrier has Huawei's 5.9-inch flagship in space gray with 64GB of storage, with on-contract prices starting at £31 per month with a £99 upfront payment. (That'll get you the phone with a 1GB data allowance.)

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1 week ago

Make hitting your fitness goals in 2017 easier with this $29 fitness tracker!

2017 is finally here and this year you have promised to follow through on your resolutions. Increasing your fitness level, losing weight, and being more active is always a popular decision when it comes to making resolutions, but so many people fail because they don't set achievable goals. What if I told you technology can help you with that?

There are plenty of wearables, both smartwatches and activity trackers, that can help you achieve your fitness goals. Unfortunately, they can be pricey and you may not have the money to splurge on the latest and greatest, but you could spend a little cash on something reasonable. If this sounds familiar, Android Central Offers has the perfect fitness tracker for you!

The Striiv Touch Activity Tracking & Notification-Enabled Smartwatch gives you the ability to track your activity without the expensive price tag of high-end fitness trackers or smartwatches.

Wearing the Striiv Touch will allow you to keep track of how many calories you have burned, steps you have taken, and how far you traveled all from your wrist. Plus, the Striiv is sleek and fashionable so you never have to take it off; it's always in style.

Meet your fitness goals today! Learn more

Here are some other great features of the Striiv Touch:

  • Track steps taken, calories burned, distance traveled, and activity minutes all from your wrist.
  • Monitor the duration and quality of your sleep.
  • Set silent, vibrating alarms.
  • Receive alerts for texts, emails, incoming calls, Twitter, Facebook, and more!

Through Android Central Offers the Striiv Touch can be your for only $29.99! That's just a small fraction of what you would pay normally, with Android Central Offers you get a savings of 70%.

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1 week ago

Best Cheap Android Phones of 2017

The Moto G4 represents the ideal experience for an inexpensive Android phone and is a fantastic value.

Best overall

Moto G4

See at Amazon

The Moto G line basically created the high-value low-cost phone segment, and years on has kept making great options that start at amazingly low prices. The latest, the Moto G4, builds on the same formula. You get a 5.5-inch phone that gives you a solid screen, 13MP camera, long battery life and most of Moto's great software features.

On the downside, the Snapdragon 617 processor and 2GB of RAM can sometimes come up short if you have expectations set by more expensive phones, and the hardware doesn't exactly feel inspired. But you have to give in somewhere.

Bottom-line: You really can't go wrong with a Moto G4 — it's the inexpensive phone that all other inexpensive phones are measured by.

One more thing: If you want to endure ads on your lock screen, Amazon will sell you a Moto G4 for $50 off.

Why the Moto G4 is best

Moto just knows how to get the most out of inexpensive hardware.

Ever since it debuted the Moto G and Moto E lines, Motorola has known how to take inexpensive hardware and make it sing with great performance and software features that elevated the whole phone above what you'd expect for the money. Now that Moto is part of Lenovo, things haven't changed: the Moto G4 is an excellent value.

From our Moto G4 review:

So is the Moto G4 worth the $199.99 price tag? In a word, yes. This phone packs a serious punch for its asking cost. You get fantastic battery life, a decent display, and a camera that delivers great results.

The Moto G4 isn't a spectacular specimen of finely crafted hardware or exquisite design, but that's not what you want in a cheap phone. You want to get a good screen, enough power, plenty of storage and a capable camera — the Moto G4 delivers on all points, while offering you a clean and simple software experience that isn't loaded up with useless cruft that slows down the phone.

If you're willing to spend a little extra money it's worth cerious consideration to get the Moto G4 Plus, but if you can't spend extra the baseline Moto G4 will handle your basic smartphone needs and then some.

Best backup

Honor 6X

See at Amazon

For the new year the Honor 6X replaces its predecessor the 5X on this list. While you won't be blown away by magnificent design or all of the top-end features, the Honor 6X is an exercise in what you can get for about $250. You get a good enough screen, expandable storage and a fingerprint sensor, wrapped in a metal body that's better than the plastic offerings out there. There's also a neat dual camera setup around back that can take interesting-looking shots.

Sure it's stuck on Micro-USB and the software has yet to make the jump to Huawei's new EMUI 5.0 (and we can't wait for that to come), but you can't get that complete of a package in a phone this inexpensive.

Bottom-line: It doesn't offer everything, but it's a solid package for the money.

One more thing: Keep an eye out for discounts and promotional "flash sales" at lower prices.

Best under $100

Moto E LTE (2015)

See at Amazon

Motorola's second-generation Moto E adds LTE to the mix, while retaining more of the premium features from more expensive Moto phones than ever before. You're looking at a basic 4.5-inch qHD (960x540) LCD display, and a Snapdragon 410 processor running the show in the LTE model (which is the one to buy).

Beyond that, the latest Moto E is an unspectacular but solid budget offering, with a decidedly basic 5-megapixel rear shooter and chunky plastic construction. It does have Moto's excellent software experience going for it though, and has been updated to Android 6.0 Marshmallow. For well under $100 ($87 at the time of writing), it's a great buy if you're on a strict budget.

Bottom-line: The Moto E LTE gets you basic smartphone functions and doesn't feel as cheap as the price tag would lead you to believe.

One more thing: Don't expect an update to Android 7.0 Nougat on the Moto E.

Best in Europe

Wileyfox Swift 2

See at Amazon

The Wileyfox Swift 2 is the British company's latest Android phone and has every right to be taken notice of. It costs a ridiculously cheap £119 and packs Moto G-matching hardware while undercutting it on price.

The display is nice, the battery life is pretty good, the overall appearance is on point and the software provided by Cyanogen is slick, speedy and bloat-free. It's not available officially outside Europe right now, but it's absolutely one of the best cheap phones money can buy. And with recent offers dropping the price to just £99, it really is a bargain.

Bottom-line: For those in Europe looking something a little nicer than a Moto E, with a fresh software experience, the Swift is a good choice.

One more thing: Don't be tempted by the lower-end Spark or Storm. The Swift is the only one we recommend.

Conclusion

If you don't want to spend over $200 and still want a great Android phone, the Moto G4 is the best choice. You don't get the best looking or feeling phone, but it offers a top-notch experience, especially for the price.

Best overall

Moto G4

See at Amazon

The Moto G line basically created the high-value low-cost phone segment, and years on has kept making great options that start at amazingly low prices. The latest, the Moto G4, builds on the same formula. You get a 5.5-inch phone that gives you a solid screen, 13MP camera, long battery life and most of Moto's great software features.

On the downside, the Snapdragon 617 processor and 2GB of RAM can sometimes come up short if you have expectations set by more expensive phones, and the hardware doesn't exactly feel inspired. But you have to give in somewhere.

Bottom-line: You really can't go wrong with a Moto G4 — it's the inexpensive phone that all other inexpensive phones are measured by.

One more thing: If you want to endure ads on your lock screen, Amazon will sell you a Moto G4 for $50 off.

Best Android phones under $400
Best Android phones under $100

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1 week ago

Huawei P8 Lite 2017 unveiled with Nougat, hitting Europe this month

2

P8 Lite gets a 2017 refresh with EMUI 5.0 and Kirin 655.

Huawei has refreshed the P8 Lite with a 2017 model that features upgraded hardware in the form of a 5.2-inch Full HD display and a Kirin 655 SoC. The phone also comes with 3GB of RAM and a rather disappointing 16GB internal memory, but there is a microSD card slot.

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1 week ago

OnePlus 3 and 3T owners, how's the Nougat update treating you?

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OnePlus 3T

The phones with the best value in the business now have the latest software.

After a long wait of watching other phones get in on the Nougat fun, OnePlus 3 owners now have a full stable release of Android 7.0 for their phone. And though the OnePlus 3T is several months newer than its predecessor, the same feeling of "still waiting ..." was palpable when the phone launched running Marshmallow.

Now with the software update rollout in full force, tons of OnePlus 3 and OnePlus 3T owners are chiming in with their experiences of upgrading and getting situated on the Nougat software that has finally graced their phones. The experience isn't dramatically different from the company's take on Marshmallow, but getting the latest features is always welcomed — especially amongst the enthusiast crowd OnePlus caters to.

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1 week ago

How to share GIFs and search for emoji in Gboard

16

Share the perfect GIF or emoji using Gboard for Android.

Gboard (formerly Google Keyboard) is probably the best keyboard you can use for Android, and thankfully it is preinstalled on many handsets sold today, even those not made by Google.

One of Gboard's best little-known features is the ability to share GIFs straight into the text box of certain apps, as well as search for emoji when you just need to quickly find the perfect character. Here's how to do both.

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1 week ago

How to hide porn browsing history on your Chromebook

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Cover your tracks like a ninja with these tips for keeping your browsing habits private on your Chromebook.

The internet is filled with naked sweaty people doing naked sweaty things. It's also used by folks who like to look at them — but don't really want anyone else to know about it. While there's not much you can do to make sure nobody can see where you've been and what you clicked on, you can erase your tracks in case someone grabs your Chromebook and looks through the history.

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