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6 days ago

No, Project Fi will not destroy your Google Voice account (update: that was then, this is now)

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Project Fi

Changes in the Google Voice app have some worried that Project Fi will lose features.

This article was updated in February, 2017 with new information about both Project Fi and Google Voice.

In January 2017, Google Voice was given the big update many of us using it had been waiting for. A rich user interface with things like threaded messaging and MMS for everyone, as well as a new web interface all worked to make using Google Voice easier. But for some, namely Project Fi users, it put an end to being able to use the app the way we had been using it. And to add a little salt to the wound, we've all been hearing about how Hangouts — the only option for Fi subscribers to use more than one phone — is moving away to become some strange corporate enterprise thing.

If Hangouts morphs into something else, what happens to Fi users who need Google Voice features?

A Project Fi subscriber can no longer have a traditional Google Voice account. Both systems share the same infrastructure, so tying more than one number to the same account isn't possible. Your Project Fi phone number is your Google Voice number and vice versa. Before the update, users with a Project Fi-issued phone number were able to install the Google Voice app on a different phone or a tablet so sending and receiving SMS was available using the Fi number and calls would come in or could be made using the Fi number.

This update takes that option away, leaving Hangouts as the only method to use one number across different devices. And Hangouts is going away, at least as we know it today.

We reached out to Project Fi and heard the same well-intentioned line everyone eventually received; nothing to announce, Google understands the situation, pair of aces in the wrong places and all that. But there is light at the end of the tunnel when we veer away from the official word and look to the unconfirmed but reliable sources.

Google is said to be adding the functionality Project Fi users currently have via Hangouts into the new Google Voice. That could mean a merging of Fi and Google Voice, additional features in the Project Fi app for devices with a different SIM card and phone number, or a fix for Google accounts associated with a Fi account so that they can access the Google Voice app and its features using a Fi number.

Google's messaging strategy is an unknown and can be confusing. Still, we expect they have some plan in mind for folks paying them to use Project Fi. Google Voice has been a favorite for many since it was Grand Central and is still a great way to have a second number or use the same number everywhere. We hope it stays that way.

The original text of the article follows below.

News that Google was finally pushing Project Fi invites to a handful of people led to a whole lot of users asking those lucky enough to get in on the action what the experience was like. In doing so, a screenshot appeared that suggested using Project Fi meant destroying your Google Voice account. The dialogue box from the screenshot explains you can either bring your Google Voice number over to Project Fi, or you can use a different number with a caveat explaining your current Voice number will be released if you go with a different number.

If all you know about Project Fi and Google Voice comes from that one screenshot, there'd be plenty of reason to be concerned. Fortunately, after a quick chat with the folks at Google, we know things aren't nearly as dire as they seem.

Project Fi uses the same infrastructure as Google Voice, and all of those features follow with you from Google Voice to Project Fi.

The first thing you need to know about Project Fi is how the system is built to function. Fi operates on a special hybrid network that allows users to move seamlessly between Wifi, T-Mobile, and Sprint networks, with unique pricing that lets you pay for what you use and not a penny more. The service also lets you use your Fi number on devices that aren't connected to the Fi network. You can use your Fi number to make calls, send SMS, and access call forwarding and voicemail transcripts on anything running Google Hangouts, including your desktop.

Sound familiar? That's because Project Fi uses the same infrastructure as Google Voice, and all of those features follow with you from Google Voice to Project Fi.

Project Fi

Google Voice isn't being destroyed by this new service, it's growing up and becoming Project Fi. You have the same features that work the same way, with the added bonus of being able to use the Project Fi mobile carrier service if you choose. Remember, Project Fi is month to month, so you can jump on and off the service as you please. More importantly, Google has confirmed users who stop using Fi will be able to continue using the Google Voice features in Hangouts, only now it'll be called Project Fi when setting it up on new devices. If you want access to your old Google Voice information, like call history and old voicemail, there's a button to do exactly that inside the Project Fi web interface.

So relax, Google isn't taking Voice from you. If anything, Google is doing what folks have been begging them to do for well over a year now by bringing Voice into the modern era and tacking new features onto it. If you're only casually interested in Fi and don't want to move your Voice account over, you can use another Gmail account and get a fresh number generated. Otherwise, sit back and enjoy the ride.

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1 week ago

App Shortcuts on Nova Launcher: A little taste of Nougat

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Shortcuts are cool

App Shortcuts are cool, if you can get them. Problem being most can't.

App Shortcuts — the little dropdown menu of shortcuts sorted into specific activities — came with Android 7.1 rather than 7.0, and haven't been widely implemented in the 4 months since it started rolling out in the Android 7.1 developer preview. It's half Force Touch, half gestures on steroids, and all awesome when implemented properly. There's just a few problems with getting it implemented properly: we need more devices that can use App Shortcuts, and we need more developers who are willing to enable it.

That's where Nova Launcher comes in.

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1 week ago

Kodi or Plex: Which media server is best for Android users?

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Kodi and Plex may seem similar at a glance, but they offer entirely unique experiences and services.

Feature-rich media centers, like Kodi and Plex, are making it easier for more people to make the decision to cut cable out of their lives. The benefits are clear and plentiful: you get full control to watch what you want to watch, on whichever device you choose, with no ads or interruptions.

Android users are in an especially good position, as both Kodi and Plex are well-supported across all Android phones, tablets, and TV boxes.

Kodi

One of the main things differentiating Kodi from Plex is that Kodi remains open source and entirely free. The software has been built and maintained by a passionate community who are consistently offering updates and occasionally adding in new features. Whether you're using Kodi on a PC, tablet, smartphone, or Android TV box, you get the full software experience scaled to your device.

The Kodi client is available for Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, iOS (jailbroken), and even Raspberry Pi. Once installed, the easiest way to manage media with Kodi is to make it accessible locally on the machine. Adding local media sources in Kodi is a breeze, whether you're storing your files on the internal storage of your device, an external hard drive connected to your computer, or an SD card inserted into your smartphone or tablet. Kodi also allows you to stream media from any networked PC, though you'll need to be a bit tech-savvy to set that up for yourself. Kodi recognizes pretty much any file type, so you can throw all your videos, photos, and music in there and Kodi will handle it.

That's another advantage Kodi has over Plex — customization. With Kodi, you're able to download and change skins, including ones specifically designed for mobile devices. The latest update for Kodi set the default skin to a very mobile-friendly option, so now the decision to change the skin can be done for mostly cosmetic purposes.

There's been increased interest in Kodi boxes, which are essentially just cheap Android TV boxes that come with the Kodi app pre-installed. If you're thinking of going down this route, you'll probably want to get one with expandable memory, so you can conveniently load it up with all your favorite media.

Kodi supports a bunch of community-created add-ons, which is where things actually get a bit sticky.

Kodi also supports a large number of community-created add-ons, which is where things actually get a bit sticky. On one hand, there are perfectly legal add-ons that help you integrate other services you may use such as Dropbox and media sources such as YouTube and Spotify — even a Plex add-on if you'd like to. However, the most popular Kodi add-ons allow you to stream TV shows and movies from the internet and are unequivocally, 100% illegal. While the Kodi website covers itself by stating, in part, "The watching or listening of illegal or pirated content which would otherwise need to be paid for is not endorsed or approved by Team Kodi", there's no denying that a large portion of Kodi's user base is there strictly for convenient access to pirated content. If you morally object to using an application so closely associated with piracy, Kodi is probably not for you.

Download: Kodi

Plex

Plex is anchored by a web-based media server, which you're able to set up for free. To properly use Plex, you'll need to dedicate a computer to host your Plex Media Server. This can be a computer you use regularly or a dedicated machine and can be running Windows, Mac OS X, Linux, or a network-attached storage device. Once you've got your Plex Media Server setup, you're able to add all your digital media to the server and access it via the Plex web-based client on your PC or via the Plex app on any of your devices.

Plex is fully supported by Android, along with a whole host of other devices and platforms. No matter which device you want to connect to your TV, there's a Plex app for it: video game consoles (current and last generations of Playstation and Xbox, as well as the NVIDIA Shield), smart TVs, streaming devices (Apple TV, Chromecast, Roku TV etc.), and, of course, mobile devices (Android, iOS, Windows 10 Mobile). Since all your content is conveniently stored on a web-based server, you're able to access all your content across your devices. Nearly every file type is supported, and you're able to share your Plex server with other users as you would with a Netflix account.

Where Plex really shines is with its smooth user interface. Plex pulls metadata for all your movies and TV shows from reliable sources, so you get a nice preview image and description for each movie or TV show. You can also create playlists for not only your music but also episodes of your favorite shows. On top of all the fantastic organization, everything is easy to navigate no matter which device you're using. This experience is all available in the free version of Plex.

Another recently added feature that might make Plex a compelling choice is voice control integration with Amazon's Alexa. If you've got an Amazon Echo in your home, you can load up your music and video library into Plex and then use Alexa to send commands to Plex. This is a super exciting development for Plex and really helps to further separate it from Kodi.

Where Plex really shines is with its smooth user interface.

Plex also gives you the option to upgrade to Plex Premium. You'll want to check out the added features included in a premium subscription. Notable features include Mobile Sync, which lets you sync media to any device running the Plex app for offline access, the ability to create multiple user accounts, and a bunch of enhancements to the music section, including lyrics, Mood Mixes, and more. You'll also get early access to all the latest features being added to Plex, including Plex Cloud (currently in beta), which allows you to access your media without the need for an always-on PC action as your Plex Media Server. Plex Premium costs $4.99 a month, $39.99 a year, or $149.99 for a lifetime membership.

Download at Plex

Which is best?

At face value, Plex offers the smoother UI and better features, including the recently added Alexa Skills and centralized storage for your files that is then available across all your devices. On the other hand, Kodi, is entirely open source and customizable via skins and add-ons. If you've got an NVIDIA Shield TV or another brand of Android TV box or a tablet you'd like to dedicate to watching media, Kodi is a great choice — as long as you're okay with tinkering within the app and spending some time learning how to maximize your Kodi experience

Ultimately, the decision of which is best will come down to your needs. If you're looking to set up all your media just on one computer or device, Kodi is more than capable and fully customizable with the option of discovering some really cool add-ons. Tech-savvy folks might appreciate how Kodi is open source, and with Kodi, you don't necessarily need a dedicated computer to run a server.

On the other hand, the benefits of Plex being commercial software is that there's dedicated support for all your setup needs. Plex is a well-tuned product, and if you're able to dedicate a machine to being your Plex Media Server, you'll have a very good experience streaming your content to all your other devices — even without upgrading to the Premium edition.

Overall, we give the nod to Plex for its versatility, premium features, and for offering a more polished experience.

What do you think?

Which do you prefer: Kodi or Plex? How do you have your home media center set up? Leave a comment below.

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1 week ago

Which smart lights should you use with Amazon's Alexa?

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Amazon Echo

Alexa, turn off the Bedroom lights.

When you think about making your home "smarter", the first thought is usually towards the thermostat or your front door — things you have to drop everything to interact with. Lights are usually high on the connected home list, because for most people, using lights has been a part of everyday life since birth. Light switches are usually available as soon as you enter a room, and most people look for the cheapest possible way to light their home without needing to constantly replace bulbs.

There's a lot more to lighting your home than flipping a switch, though. Connecting your lights to your home, especially a home ready to use Amazon's Alexa service, makes a huge difference. Here's how you choose the right lights for you and Alexa!

Not all connected lighting setups are created equal

Step one for connecting your lights to Alexa is looking at your current lighting and deciding what needs to change. This is going to be a little different for everyone, but there are a few general options available.

Make your bulbs smarter — if you're currently running whatever was cheapest at the hardware store and have never considered LED lighting at all, all of your bulbs will likely need to be replaced. This leaves you with a lot of options, but will end up being fairly expensive no matter what route you go.

Make your light switches smarter — If you already have nice LED lights in your house, you may not need to replace your bulbs at all. There are smart light switches that will connect to your existing wiring and talk to Alexa in a way that lets you control entire rooms without replacing a single bulb.

Make your outlets smarter — If you have rooms in your house that don't have wired lighting, and you already have lamps and bulbs you like, there are smarter power outlets that will talk to Alexa and allow you to control the lights in that room without replacing bulbs or light switches.

Do you know which upgrade you need to make? Lets take a look at the best hardware for your situation!

The best way to make your bulbs smarter

If you're replacing all of the light bulbs in a particular room, you want lights that will quickly connect to Alexa just the way you want. You also want something that will make it easy to grow beyond a single room without a lot of extra effort. Here are the options available to you!

Philips Hue

Philips has been working on connected lighting longer than just about anyone else, and its Hue brand has a wide selection of lighting options to choose from. This includes standard lightbulbs, downlights, accent lights, and modular LED strips that can be added to just about any environment.

Hue bulbs are available in a standard white light option, as well as a fully configurable color solution, and have more third-party support than any other lighting setup right now.

See on Amazon

TP-Link

Connected bulbs are expensive, even when compared to standard LEDs. While it's nice to know these bulbs will basically function forever, it's still a lot of money up front to make your home lighting smarter. The TP-Link LED bulbs make this a little easier to swallow with a noticeably lower per-bulb cost.

There are fewer options available through TP-Link, but if all you want is a way to connect lights through Alexa, these bulbs are a great way to fill your house with smarter lights.

See on Amazon

The best way to make your light switches smarter

If you're already really happy with the lighting in your house and just want the lights to respond to your voice through Alexa, it's possible you only need to replace your light switches. Smart switches can replace your existing switches with physical on, off, and dimmer functions but also connect that wiring to your home so you can use apps or voice to control everything.

Lutron Caseta

Lutron Caseta

These switches make it easy to connect entire rooms to Alexa and are considerably less expensive than replacing all of the lights in your house. The replacement switch will work similarly to your existing switch and comes with a remote control so you can adjust the lighting without leaving the couch or shouting at Alexa.

This is the best option for people who have already put some thought into the temperature and brightness of the bulbs in their home and just want a little more control without walking over to the switch.

See on Amazon


The best way to make your outlets smarter

Some rooms aren't big enough to justify a complicated dimmer switch and aren't wired with light sockets in the ceiling. You plug in a lamp or two and it is enough to fill the room. While this is a great excuse for lighting a room entirely on floor or ceiling mounted LED strips, a more practical solution is to make your outlets a little smarter so the outlet itself is acting when you speak to Alexa.

GE Lighting Control Receptacle

GE Smart Outlet

The best connected home tech is the kind that disappears entirely while doing the cool thing you want it to do, and GE's receptacles do exactly that. These outlets are installed just like any other outlet, with a final step that allows you to connect to Alexa so you can voice control the outlet on and off.

It's simple, inexpensive, and can be used for a lot more than just lights if you were so inclined.

See on Amazon


SmartThings Outlet

If you only have one lamp you want to connect to Alexa and you aren't interested in doing any installations, it doesn't get much easier than the Samsung SmartThings Outlet. You plug it in, tap the button, and sync the outlet to an app on your phone. That app shares the connection with Alexa, which allows you to control the power headed to whatever is connected to that outlet.

This is the best way to quickly connect a lamp to Alexa and is simple enough that anyone can do it in minutes.

See on Amazon

Enlighten us

Are you already using smart lights, switches, or outlets? Which do you use? Let us know in the comments below.

Amazon Echo

Amazon Echo Dot

Amazon

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1 week ago

Every Chrome VR site you can visit through Google Daydream

Now you can browse the internet in VR with the help of Daydream.

It's hard to believe that it's only been two years since VR rejoined our cultural consciousness, since it seems to be everywhere these days. Previously the only way to enjoy VR with your phone was by downloading Cardboard or Daydream apps from the Play Store. However it looks like those days are quickly coming to an end. If you missed the news this week, Google has announced that you will be able to browse Chrome with a Daydream headset. It's up to individual sites to implement Chrome VR, but there are already a ton of great experiences that you can check out in VR from Chrome.

Read more on VRHeads.com

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1 week ago

Best science apps for kids

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Science apps for kids

Science is awesome, and with these apps your kids will learn that too!

Children are like little sponges that can soak up the world around them. While that includes the mannerisms of their parents and their environment, this is also when you have a chance to show them the wonder of science and have them get excited about it. While there are plenty of different ways to go about getting your child excited about science, you should definitely remember that there are plenty of apps out there specifically made to introduce children to the wide world of science — from learning about genetics through fun games to finding new science experiments that can be done with household supplies!

Here are the best science apps for kids:

Kid Science Amazing Experiments

Science Experiments for Kids

One of the easiest ways to get your kids intrigued about the wide world of science is by showing them some cool experiments. That's exactly what this app is made for. It has access to a bunch of different experiments that can be done safely within the confines of your home. This interactive app will first show you how to complete experiments, by having you complete them on the screen using step-by-step instructions. As you complete an experiment, the next one will become open to you.

While the app does focus on what is happening on-screen, it uses experiments that can be easily built in the real world as well. This means that your child can complete an experiment in the game, and then you can help them to recreate it in the real world. Many children learn through action, so by being involved in the experiment, they're able to see how everything works. The amazement on their little faces when they see how things happen is worth the mess just about every time.

If Kid Science Amazing Experiments is right up your child's alley, then it's also worth checking out their other educational apps. These include a variety of other science learning apps for kids, like learning body parts or more advanced experiments to try out.

Download: Kid Science Amazing Experiments (free)

Alchemy - Genetics

Alchemy - Genetics

Making learning fun is the easiest way for children to learn something new, because it keeps them interested and engaged. Alchemy-style games follow a basic premise: by combining one or more items, you can create something new. Alchemy - Genetics takes this premise and puts a little spin on it. In this game, your goal is to combine different animals in order to discover new breeds. You start with just 3 animals, with over 500 to discover. Your child will need to figure out which combination of the animals you have already discovered will allow them to find new creatures, and every animal you can unlock within the game is a real animal.

Now there isn't much instruction when you get started. You'll see a chart up at the top of the screen showing which animals you are trying to combine, with a small television screen to the right, which will show the newly discovered animal after a successful combination. At the bottom of the screen, you'll see three beakers — by tapping on them you can get instructions on how to play, as well as hints to help you find new animals. Tapping on the pink beaker to the left will give you instructions and controls for playing the game. The purple beaker in the middle will show you all the animal species that you have unlocked and are able to use in combinations. The blue beaker on the right will give you hints about animals you can unlock using the animal species you already have open to you.

While Alchemy - Genetics can be a little bit difficult to get started with, it's fun and easy to play once you get going. As your child unlocks new animal species, they will learn about animal species, traits used in genetics, and how animals can evolve into something new and strange. For anyone with a budding Biologist or Geneticist on their hands, this is a great option to continue fostering a love of Science. If you aren't a fan of ads, but your child falls in love with the game, you can get rid of them by upgrading to the full version of the game for $0.99.

Download: Alchemy - Genetics (free, premium version $0.99)

Animal Kingdom Science for Kids

Animal Kingdom Science for Kids

Animals are all around us everyday, and they're a walking, breathing example of how amazing science can actually be. If your child is constantly asking questions about animals, then this may be the app to get them more involved. Your child will have to answer questions in order to rescue animals. These questions ask things like where an Alligator moves fastest and what a Fish uses to breathe. While they will need to be able to read and answer multiple choice questions, these are not mind-bending zinger.

After they have finished a quiz, they will have rescued one of the animals available in the menagerie of beasties within the app. That animals will now show up in their Safari screen, where they can see the animals they have managed to get to safety. To unlock each of the 12 animals, they will need to complete a new quiz with new questions. While some of the questions can be a little bit tricky, this is a game that should be easily doable for those in Elementary school or who have already picked up reading without a problem.

There are a good number of ads on this app, but if your child is playing on a tablet instead of a phone, then they are far less distracting and in the way.

Download: Animal Kingdom Science for Kids (free)

Conclusion

Getting your child interested in science doesn't have to be a difficult task. After all, inquisitive little minds are always asking questions, and science can help them find the answers for themselves. Whether they need a visual experiment to see science fundamentals in action, or they're content with learning about animals via quizzes on their screen, there is definitely an app out there to help get them engaged.

Do you already have a favorite science app for your kids? Is there an excellent science app for children that we failed to mention here? Be sure to drop us a comment below and tell us all about it!

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1 week ago

Grab an LG V20, Samsung Galaxy S7 or S7 edge for just $360 at T-Mobile

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Right now at T-Mobile you can grab an LG V20, Samsung Galaxy S7 or Galaxy S7 edge for just $15 a month, or $360 full price, which is a savings of more than $300 on any of the phones. The discounts here are instant, so you don't have to wait for a rebate card to be mailed to you or monthly credits to appear on your bill. T-Mobile has already started pushing the Nougat update out to both Samsung phones, and the V20 of course launched with it, so you'll be able to run the current version of Android on either option without a problem.

This offer is only available for a limited time, so if you want to pick one up be sure to grab one now! You can take advantage of this as a new customer, or an existing one.

See at T-Mobile

For more great deals on tech, gadgets, home goods and more, be sure to check out our friends at Thrifter now!

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1 week ago

Microsoft rolls out Skype Lite in India with support for biometric authentication

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Skype Lite is designed to work on slow cellular connections in India.

After Facebook Lite and YouTube Lite (which is dubbed YouTube Go), it is now Microsoft's turn to roll out a 2G-friendly version of Skype in India. Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella showed off the app at an event in Mumbai earlier today, highlighting the fact that it was built at Microsoft's development facility in Hyderabad and tested extensively in India.

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1 week ago

Digital Offers: Learn to code with Python for only $22.50

Just about everything relies on some type of code nowadays. Cars are computerized; we use computers all day long, and we're glued to our smartphones from sunup to sundown. Python is a major coding language for apps and it's an excellent tool if you're wanting to enter the field of software development, especially if you want to build apps for a living.

Use code LEARN50 for additional savings! Learn More

But you can't just learn to code with Python overnight. You need training, and Python may not be offered at your college of choice. Or, you already have a full-time job and don't have the time to attend classes, day or night. You need online courses and you need to be able to take them at your leisure — even if that means it takes a couple years.

The Python Power Coder Bonus Bundle is a great way for you to get started and to learn to build apps from scratch and learn web programming, as well as other applicable skills that you can use to forge your career as an app developer or programmer. You'll get lifetime access to eight courses, totaling roughly 70 hours of content, and you'll build 17 apps during your studies.

Were you to go anywhere else for these courses, you'd end up paying over $700. But right now through Android Central Digital Offers, you'll only pay $22.50 for the whole bundle when using the code LEARN50. That's eight courses, over 600 lessons, and about 70 hours of content for over 93% off.

Save 93% on this bundle for a limited time! Learn More

It's a great time to get into the world of app development and programming for the web, but you first need the tools to get a foot in the door. Python is one of the biggest coding languages when it comes to apps and learning to use it and use it well is an invaluable asset right now. But don't pay over $700 for courses. Get the Python Power Coder Bonus Bundle for only $22.50 with code LEARN50 through Android Central Digital Offers.

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1 week ago

New leak shows off the LG G6 next to last year's G5

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LG G6's slim bezels get highlighted in latest leak.

The latest LG G6 leak shows off the device next to last year's G5. LG has previously stated that the G6 will feature a big screen in a small body, and it's easy to see that from the image posted on Weibo. In spite of featuring a 5.7-inch QHD+ display, the G6 is only marginally larger than the 5.3-inch G5.

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1 week ago

New Futurama game for Android promises to bring authentic experience for fans

16

Good news, everyone! Futurama may finally be getting a mobile game worthy of the show expansive universe of comedy.

Futurama is coming back! ...as a mobile game. Yes, despite the animated series final finale airing back in 2013, the show is getting a brand new game for 2017 in a partnership between FOX Interactive and game developers TinyCo. Unfortunately, we don't know any specifics related to gameplay or what sort of hi-jinx Fry, Leela, and Bender will be getting up to yet, so instead we're left to speculate based on clues from TinyCo's previous licensed titles.

TinyCo was responsible for bringing another popular FOX animated series, Family Guy, to the mobile platform with Family Guy: The Search of Stuff. It's a city building game with delayed build times and in-app purchases — as well as millions of downloads from the Google Play Store alone. It's hardly a stretch of the imagination to see how a show that's centered around an interplanetary delivery service could easily be developed into a lucrative, quest-based mobile game with a free-to-play model — but again that's pure speculation on our part.

At the very least, Family Guy: The Search of Stuff proves that TinyCo takes its source material seriously and takes the time to faithfully adapt the look, feel and humor of the original show to a mobile game.

And that's great news, because Futurama deserves a well-made mobile game more than any other franchise. Of all the great animated series that existed during the early 2000s, Futurama did the best job of capitalizing and embedding itself within the proliferation of nerd culture, and was literally kept alive thanks to fans showing support on the Internet. It was a incredibly creative and well-written show that offered a smart satirical look at the world and science fiction tropes won over the hearts of diehard fans… despite having been cancelled multiple times.

Family Guy: The Search of Stuff proves that TinyCo takes its source material seriously and takes the time to faithfully adapt the look, feel and humor of the original show to a mobile game.

And really, it's not like Futurama needs a mobile game, but it would be nice to have something to make up for the other game "based on the series": Futurama: Game of Drones an uninspired tile-swapping game with the Futurama characters and branding slapped on.

So it's heartening to hear that the developers behind this new title carrying the Futurama brand are huge fans of the Futurama series. As TinyCo's Head of Business Operations Michael Chen explained, the team has the added benefit of working so closely with the series' original cast and crew.

"Our team is all die-hard Futurama fans, and we work day in and day out with the amazing people that gave birth to the incredible Futurama world. It is a labor of love and we just hope that all of our passion, love, and hard work translates into something that befits this world and these characters we all love," said Chen.

"We work with the original crew every day on this game. They are an integral part of making the game the best it can possibly be. We firmly believe that you can't get to 100% authenticity for a game on a brand like Futurama without working with the folks that created it. They lived this world for so long and have such unbelievable passion and love for the world and what makes it tick, that without them you can only do so much to make it authentic.

Without revealing any specifics, Chen did specify that the game should take advantage of one of the core aspects of Futurama — going on zany space adventures — would be a big part of the game. And that's good because, as Chen acknowledges, there's a lot of pressure to deliver when you're dealing with cherished source material.

"We firmly believe that you can't get to 100% authenticity for a game on a brand like Futurama without working with the folks that created it."

"Yes there is added pressure, but the pressure for an authentic brand experience is the right pressure to have to push a team to deliver a better product," said Chen.

"When creating a game based on a world with beloved characters and universe it is an imperative that the experience is authentic in order to make it a game that's worth a player's time. If you have incredible mechanics and gameplay, but the world and characters are misrepresented or slapped on, you are doing your product and the fans of that brand a disservice."

As a Futurama fan, I'm cautiously optimistic to see what TinyCo and the Futurama crew have in store for us.

You can pre-register for the game in the Google Play Store or at www.youwillplayfuturama.com

See at Google Play Store

Android Gaming

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1 week ago

How to manage Chrome's Autofill feature

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Chrome's Autofill feature remembers typos, too. Good thing editing is so easy!

Having the Chrome browser remember your details when filling out forms on the internet can be handy. Most times when you sign up for any service or buy something online, you'll need to enter the same information each time and a secure way to enter it all at once saves time and means fewer errors. But it's only a good thing if all the info is correct.

Thankfully, changing the data stored for Chrome's Autofill feature is simple. So is turning it off completely if you would rather not have this information about you — including your credit card numbers — stored in the cloud.

When you first enter information about yourself, Chrome can save it if you have the Autofill feature turned on. The information it saves ranges from the relatively harmless to the sensitive, including credit card information, as mentioned above. Here's a list of what gets saved when you're using Autofill.

  • Name
  • Organization
  • Street address, including city, state or province, ZIP/post code, and country
  • Phone number
  • Email address
  • Credit Card information

Your name and address are tied to credit card data in Chrome's Autofill settings or can be data from Google Payments. We think Google Payments is a better place to store your Credit Card information, including the associated name and billing address, but we'll include instructions for managing it through Chrome for completeness' sake.

Autofill data is in the cloud, not on a device. You always need to be aware of what data you're saving and where you're saving it when it comes to your personal information.

You can add, edit, or delete Autofill information at will through Chrome, both on your phone or from a desktop version, like the one you find on a Chromebook. Because the data is stored in your Google personal cloud, the information is the same across all instances of Chrome you're signed into. That's another good reason to make sure you sign out when you're finished on any computer you share with other people.

How to change the Autofill data through the desktop version of Chrome:

  1. Open the settings menu and scroll down to Advanced Settings. Click to open them.
  2. In the Passwords and Forms section, click the Manage Autofill settings link.
  3. To add an address, click Add new street address.
  4. To add a credit card, click Add new credit card.
  5. To edit an existing address or credit card, hover over its entry and click Edit.
  6. To delete an address or credit card, hover over its entry and click Delete.
  7. Click Done when you're finished.

You're unable to change addresses stored in Google Payments through Chrome's settings. To edit one of these, follow the same procedure and then sign into Google Payments in the new tab that opens.

Changing your Autofill data on the Android version of Chrome is almost the same. You'll need to open the settings and tap the Autofill forms entry to find your existing data or add new data. Once open, you'll see the same data as the desktop, displayed in a single scrolling list for a better mobile view. Add, edit, or delete your data the same way as mentioned above.

Turning Autofill off

If you don't want Chrome to hold your data and fill out forms, it's simple to turn the feature off. You might want to do this on some devices and not others, and in that case, you need to look at how to select exactly what to sync between devices.

Read: How to choose what you sync on Chrome across devices

To turn Autofill off in the desktop version of Chrome go to Settings > Advanced Settings > Passwords and Forms and uncheck the box labeled Enable Autofill to fill out web forms in a single click.

To turn Autofill off in the Android version of Chrome tap Settings and then Autofill forms. Tap the switch at the top to toggle it to the off position.

Questions?

Let us know in the comments below, or ask Jerry in our forums.

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1 week ago

Amazon is offering $8.63 off nearly any purchase of $50 or more today only!

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Amazon has topped the charts on the annual Harris Poll for corporate reputation, and to celebrate you'll be able to save $8.63 on any purchase of $50 or more. Using the coupon code BIGTHANKS you can save yourself on that purchase you've been holding out on. Whether you are in the market for a new case to protect your phone, a battery pack to keep it charged, or even a better way to get Wi-Fi through your whole house, you'll want to make sure you get $50 in your cart to save with this promo.

Some great ways to use your discount include:

Remember, this discount is only good for today, and there are a few exceptions to it. You won't be able to use the coupon on orders placed through Alexa or Prime Now, and it doesn't apply to video games, digital content or Amazon Gift Cards. Be sure to check out all the details at Amazon and then load up your cart with the stuff you want so you can save today!

See at Amazon

For more great deals on tech, gadgets, home goods and more, be sure to check out our friends at Thrifter now!

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1 week ago

Using an Android watch with multiple Google Accounts

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LG Watch Sport

People with multiple accounts have some extra steps in Android Wear now.

Where previous versions of Android Wear acted as an extension of your phone, anything running Wear 2.0 is designed to work like it's a standalone Android device. A big part of setting up this experience is moving your Google Account over to the watch from your phone.

This is a fairly trivial thing to do with a single account, but if you use multiple Google Accounts on your phone and need information from multiple accounts to live on your watch, there're a few new things you're going to need to know about using Android Wear.

What does it mean to use multiple accounts on Android Wear?

Android Wear

When you move more than one Google Account to the watch, each becomes an option for Google's core services in Android Wear. For starters, it means you can install apps as either of your accounts from the Google Play Store app on the watch. Like the Play Store on your phone, this affects how you manage your apps, as well as where paid apps live when you buy them. Only one account exists at a time in these Wear apps as the "primary" app, allowing you to switch back and forth as you need.

It's important to make sure you have the right account set as your default.

The good news is notifications works seamlessly once you've moved your accounts over. If you get a notification from an account that isn't set as primary, you still receive it like you would any other notification and can interact without needing to manually switch between those accounts. This setup is a little more complicated than what was previously available for Android Wear, but it gives you a lot more flexibility and control regarding the notifications that show up on your watch and the things you can do with apps on your watch.

A good example of why you would need to switch accounts on a regular basis is Google Assistant. Even with multiple accounts available on your watch, you only want to use Assistant with a single account. Additionally, Assistant settings on your watch can only be adjusted on the phone with whatever account you currently have enabled on the watch. Since Google pulls data from the account you currently have selected, it's important to make sure you have the right account set as your default.

How to switch accounts on Android Wear

Most Google Apps on your phone have the ability to quickly switch between your Google Accounts. Watch apps aren't quite as functional, especially those that have not been updated to Android Wear 2.0. For all of Google's core functions, including Assistant, the default account is whatever you currently have enabled in the Play Store on your watch. This means, in order to set the correct Assistant for your watch, you need to have that account set on the Play Store.

Making the switch is simple.

  1. Go to the Play Store on your watch.
  2. Swipe down to access the Play Store settings.
  3. Tap the Accounts icon, and whichever account has green text next to it is the default account.
  4. To switch accounts, tap the account you want as the default, and you'll be returned to the Play Store.

Anything connected to Google on your watch will now use that account as the default.

Questions?

Let us know in the comments below!

Android Wear

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1 week ago

Grab this great battery pack for under £17 right now at Amazon UK

0

In need of keeping your phone and tablet topped up while you're away from home? How about this whopper from RAVPower, available from Amazon UK for one day only at £16.49. The battery pack comes with a substantial 16750mAh capacity with a pair of 2.1A USB outputs. That'll be enough to charge most phones about four times.

Despite its capacity it's still a fairly portable battery pack with a neat power level meter and, as ever, an included flashlight. It comes in either white or black and as it's a deal of the day the price will go back up real soon.

Grab it while it's hot!

See at Amazon

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