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1 week ago

Best apps to help you make habits and stick to them

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Make a habit of making habits with these helpful tracking apps.

You're probably sick of hearing the same old clichés about getting a handle back on life. Well, I'm not here to give you that rah-rah speech. Whether you get back on the saddle is ultimately up to you, but I can help you on a journey by suggesting a few apps that are effective at helping implement healthier habits into your daily life.

Whether your goal for the year is to simply text your friends more often or to get into shape, here are a few Android apps worth trying out for yourself.

Habitica

If the standard check-it-off list of things to doesn't work for you, try to gamify your goals with Habitica. This app turns your everyday tasks and weekly goals into a riveting role-playing game. You can sign up with your Google or Facebook account and then create an avatar that looks like you. Every task, habit, and to-do that you cross off rewards you money and experience points that you can redeem for items and upgrades.

Be forewarned that there are quite a few nuances to Habitica. If you're serious about truly turning your daily life into a game, you'll have to stick with the program. There are penalties for not completing daily tasks. If you need help staying on track, you can join a guild with several others to ensure that your character is leveled up with completed tasks before the next boss fight.

Download Habitica (Free, IAP)

Todoist

Having trouble getting the day-to-day in order? Todoist can be a particularly effective aid in managing those daily, weekly, and monthly tasks, whether it's at work or in your personal life. The app is built using the standard Material Design layout, complete with a hamburger menu and floating action buttons. It's also cross-platform, so you can use it on your smartphone, computer, or smartwatch. You can also add tasks with Google Home or by forwarding an email.

Be aware that you'll have to pay an annual membership fee — around $30 a year — to unlock Todoist's full set of features, which also includes themes, push notifications, and the ability to sync up with Dropbox or Google Drive.

Download Todoist (Free, IAP)

Loop Habit Tracker

Loop Habit Tracker is merely a "simple" tracking app because it isn't bogged down by all the extra elements that tracking apps typically require of you. There are no due dates or sprint goals, nor do you have to log in to have others hold you accountable. All you have to do is press and hold when you've completely a task and move on with your day.

As you get through completing tasks, Loop Habit Tracker will aggregate all of that data for you into an easy-to-read detailed graph. The app lets you backup that data to take it with you, and it supports imports from other applications, including the popular app Habitbull, which did not make this roundup because of its confusing multi-tier payment options.

Download Loop Habit Tracker (Free)

Nomie

If you have trouble remembering to complete the minutiae of the day-to-day, Nomie might be your answer for getting it done. You can use Nomie to track anything. If you can assign it an icon and a name, you can track it. For every item you create, you can choose whether ticking the items has a positive or negative impact on your overall score. Best of all, Nomie is completely private. You don't need an account to keep track of your data. When you're ready to switch smartphones, simply carry over that data by exporting and backing it up to Dropbox.

Download Nomie (Free)

What about you?

Trying to implement a new habit this year? Found an app that you like? Share it in the comments!

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1 week ago

The rise and fall of Ara, Google's cancelled modular smartphone

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The story of how one of the most ambitious technology projects in history almost came to be.

Project Ara will always be one of the most fascinating and tragic stories in the history of smartphones. From its strange rise in 2013, boosted by its proximity (and similarity) to competitor Phonebloks, to its eventual goal of being released as a barebones $50 kit to enable low-income families in developing nations access to the internet, its ambition was always evident.

But in September 2016, after Regina Dugan left ATAP, the Google division in charge of Ara, for a job at Facebook, then-new head of hardware at Google, Rick Osterloh, suspended the project.

In the intervening three years, though, Ara developed a loyal and vocal group of supporters, many of whom mourned the project's passing with considerable emotion.

Harrison Weber of Venturebeat has the full story of how Ara came to be and what, with a few different decisions along the way, it might have been.

The sheer audacity that brought Ara to life — a phone you could create, block by block — made it impossible for [it] to succeed.

The dream of Ara: Inside the rise and fall of the world's most revolutionary phone

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1 week ago

Get a lifetime of learning with the eduCBA Tech Training Bundle for $49!

You have to be a lifelong learner in every workplace these days. You can't rely on the skill set you acquired back in school or during your initial training; the word you need to get cozy with is upgrade. If you don't take the time to upgrade your skills, the powers that be just may decide to upgrade to a new employee, and that's a scary thought. You need to have a toolbox that's diverse, but how are you supposed to acquire tech and business skills without the time to devote to a heavy course load? You're not in any position to go back to school, but it doesn't feel like you really have a choice.

What if you could learn from accredited professionals, at your own pace, when it's convenient for you? What if you had lifetime access to hundreds of online courses that cover such a broad range of tech and business topics that you'll never run out of new things to learn and add to your growing list of credentials? Forget the what if and just go for it!

The online learning experts at eduCBA have a Tech Training Bundle for $49. That's an incredible 97% off the regular price! This one-time, extremely low price grants you a lifetime subscription to over 500 courses in a wide range of fields. Your journey to a longer list of credentials and a greater set of employable skills is a simple click away.

Pick up a new skill in 2017! Learn More

Your lifetime access subscription gives you access to courses such as:

  • Ethical Hacking Certification
  • PHP Web development
  • iOS Mobile App testing and development
  • Bootstrap coding masterclasses
  • Linux systems and apps
  • Python code
  • Unity game development
  • Business analytics using R Programming
  • Hadoop Ecosystem masterclasses
  • Adobe Premiere Pro
  • ...and many, many more!

Online learning is the way to go when you're a working professional or just starting out and looking to make your mark. Become the tech and business guru you were meant to be with the eduCBA Tech Training Bundle for just $49 right now with Android Central Digital Offers!

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1 week ago

Will there be a Samsung Galaxy Note 8?

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Did you hear? Samsung made a phone. It exploded. It got recalled. Then it exploded again. The Galaxy Note 7 will go down as perhaps the worst smartphone launch in history, but does that mean the long-running series is dead and buried?

In the first in a new series or videos, we're answering your Android-related questions, and here's the first:

Will there be a Samsung Galaxy Note 8?

Check out today's video for my thoughts on this most flammable of burning questions, and hit the comments with questions of your own. If you're lucky, we might just tackle them in a future Ask AC video!

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1 week ago

Google Home is the perfect example of how to make technology for women

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It's all about the way it interacts, says Johna Paolino.

Have you ever thought about the fact that there are bigger implications to how you personally interact with your devices? Johna Paolino certainly thinks about it, and thus, has thanked Google in a Medium post for "paying closer attention...to the female users."

Paolino writes that Google Home is the first major at-home gadget that she's taken a liking to. A user experience designer at TODO, she attributes it to the fact that Google Home is the complete package: a well-named product that requires an element of conversation.

Paolino writes:

I've learned throughout my career that the most significant UX performance gains often come down to microcopy. This could not be more true here. Amazon is the name of a pioneering e-commerce platform and revolutionary cloud computing company. Echo is its product name, first to market of its kind. Alexa? Alexa is just the name of a female that performs personal tasks for you in your home.

Google Home, on the other hand, "is simply triggered with 'Google'. Google, a multinational, first-of-its-kind technology company. Suddenly a female's voice represents a lot more."

Paolino continues by explaining that Google Home's conversational nature, by extension, is more accessible.

The advancement of feminism requires awareness from both genders. It isn't isolated to how men treat women, but extends to how women treat each other. I am constantly making an effort to change my behaviors towards other women, and in this effort certainly prefer how I am asked to greet Google.

As a Google Home adopter myself, I have to agree. I love Home's conversational nature, and the fact that I can program it to talk back to me. And while Alexa is seeing quite a bit of proliferation, that's because it exists to extend Amazon's services rather than appeal to the user. "The smallest of user experience details matter."

That's why Paolino's believes Google Home is a more personal platform.

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1 week ago

Nokia teases Feb 26 unveil for upcoming Android phones

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Nokia will announce new products at Mobile World Congress.

HMD Global launched the first Nokia-branded Android smartphone over the weekend in China, called the Nokia 6. The phone is exclusive to the Chinese market, with Nokia stating that the decision to launch its first Android phone in the country was an "obvious choice" considering China is the largest smartphone market in the world.

In a video highlighting the Nokia 6, the company has mentioned that "more announcements" will follow on February 26, a day before Mobile World Congress officially kicks off in Barcelona.

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1 week ago

What is HDR?

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Your phone takes HDR pictures and your TV shows HDR video. Here's what that means.

HDR is a term that gets tossed around a lot, and it seems like it never really gets explained. It stands for High Dynamic Range, but it means different things depending on what exactly is being discussed. Let's break it down into simple terms so we all can understand what it means — and why it matters.

You'll see HDR being used as a descriptor in a lot of different products — cameras, televisions, microphones, and even industrial and medical equipment. In the generic sense, HDR means a thing has a wider range of acceptable input or output when compared to standard equipment. What we're going to focus on is HDR as it applies to camera and displays.

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1 week ago

How to fix 'You have downloads on too many devices' error on Netflix

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Getting a "You have downloads on too many devices" error on the Netflix Android app? Here's how to fix it.

When Netflix introduced the ability to download content offline, people were thrilled — and rightfully so! Now it's possible to take Orange is the new Black on the subway, or Jessica Jones on a plane. It means being able to store as much content as your device can handle and watching it whenever or wherever you want, internet connection be damned!

But there are some limitations. If you find yourself with an error message telling you that you have exceeded your device limit, there's an easy fix: delete the content from a device you're no longer using.

How to delete downloaded content from Netflix for Android

  1. Open the Netflix app.
  2. Tap on the menu button (three lines) on the left side of the screen.
  3. Tap on My Download.
  4. Tap on the title(s) you want to delete.

  5. Tap on the blue "phone" icon next to the title description.
  6. In the overflow menu, select Delete Download.
  7. Repeat for all content on the device, or use the edit button to delete all the episodes of a show.
  8. Make sure your phone is connected to the internet so Netflix acknowledges files have been deleted.

Why is this error happening?

The "You have downloads on too many devices" error comes from a limitation on how many devices per account can download offline content. The breakdown is as follows:

  • SD plan: 1 device
  • HD plan: 2 devices
  • 4K plan: 4 devices

Most people subscribe to the HD plan, which allows for offline downloads on two devices, say a phone and a tablet. You'll get the above error if you attempt to download content onto a third device.

What happens if I reset or lose my phone without deleting content?

It's possible to forget to manually delete offline Netflix content before resetting a phone, or before it is tragically lost. In that case, Netflix will continue acknowledging that device for 30 days, after which time it will reset the count. There's nothing you can do — though you may want to talk to Netflix's support if the issue is urgent — but wait it out.

How to download offline content on Netflix

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1 week ago

How to fix Galaxy S7 battery life problems

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The Galaxy S7's battery is bigger than before, but you still don't want to waste what you have.

The eternal quest for longer battery life in smartphones continues on, as evermore efficient chips and bigger batteries are in a battle with new software, apps, features and big screens. You want your phone to do everything, but also do it for a very long time — and those things are at odds, especially if you don't want to be chasing around a wall outlet everywhere you go.

The Galaxy S7's 3000 mAh battery is bigger than last year's Galaxy S6 and offers really solid battery life, actually, but if you consistently find your GS7 coming up short at the end of the day we have a handful of tips for you to get the most out of what battery you have.

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1 week ago

Lenovo P2 makes its debut in India with huge 5100mAh battery

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Snapdragon 625, 5100mAh battery, and fast charging for ₹16,999.

Lenovo's latest phone in India is the budget-centric P2. The phone will be going up for sale later today in Champagne Gold and Graphite Grey color options, and will be exclusive to Flipkart. The highlight of the P2 is the 5100mAh battery, which Lenovo says will last up to three days on a full charge. The company is also touting its new fast charging solution, which provides up to 10 hours of "normal usage" with a 15-minute charge.

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1 week ago

You can get the Honor 6X for just $199 today, but you'll have to act fast

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Honor 6X's first flash sale kicks off later today in the U.S.

Honor unveiled the budget Honor 6X last week, and the handset will be available for sale in the U.S. starting January 15 for $249 unlocked. Ahead of its debut, Honor is running a flash sale on its website that kicks off at 12 p.m. CST, in which it is offering the Honor 6X for $199, a $50 discount.

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1 week ago

U.S. airlines are no longer required to warn passengers about the Note 7

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The Note 7 saga is finally coming to a close.

The Federal Aviation Administration has announced that airlines in the U.S. will no longer have to notify passengers about the Note 7. The phone is still banned from all passenger and cargo aircraft, but with Samsung stating that it recovered over 96% of Note 7 devices, the Department of Transportation is lifting its requirement regarding pre-boarding notifications:

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1 week ago

WhatsApp now lets you search for GIFs from within its interface

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Spicing up your conversations with GIFs is easier than ever before.

The latest update to WhatsApp beta introduces GIF search, allowing you to search for and add GIFs without leaving the messaging platform. WhatsApp added support for GIFs a few months ago, although it was limited to sharing locally-saved GIFs. Today's update makes it easier to search through Giphy's extensive library and add GIFs directly from within WhatsApp's interface. The update also increases the media sharing limit from 10 to 30.

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1 week ago

Android Central 320: CES 2017 Retrospective with Windows Central

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Audio-only stream below

Join us as we look back on one the most interesting CES in years!

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1 week ago

Less than 1% of active Androids run Nougat, 29.6% on Marshmallow

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Marshmallow is running on nearly one third of Android phones, while Nougat sees slow growth.

Google's latest report on Android version distribution amongst active devices shows that nearly 30% of devices are now running on Marshmallow, up from 26% this time last month. Lollipop and KitKat both saw a slight dip, but together are still running on more than half of all Android devices.

Meanwhile, Nougat saw minor growth over the month of December — from 0.4% to 0.7% (split between versions 7.0 and 7.1). 2017 should see devices new and old adopt the latest Android software, but the typical rate of adopting a new Android version continues to be present even a couple months into Nougat being available.

One has to wonder how much of those KitKat and Lollipop numbers are holding strong in part to the growing prevalence of cheaper Android TV boxes and tablets that are typically running older software with no prospect of being updated. Anything running KitKat in 2017 isn't going to see any major platform update, and the same goes for just about any Lollipop device.

So that begs the question: How many Android devices do you own, and what versions of Android are they running? Let us know in the comments.

Android Nougat

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