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2 days ago

AC editors' apps of the week: Leo's Fortune, Hexy Launcher, Wallrox Wallpapers and more

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apps of the week

Our weekly app picks

It's Appday Sunday and that means we're back with more of our favorites to share. Every week we bring a handful of great apps to the table and share them with everyone. Sometimes they are new apps, sometimes old standards, but every time they are apps we love to use.

Give these a look and then take a minute to tell us all about the apps you are using and love so we can give them a try. We all find some of our favorites right in the comments on these posts!

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2 days ago

How has your Galaxy S6's battery life actually held up over time?

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Galaxy S6 Power Saving Mode

Battery life on the Galaxy S6 isn't great, but after the hype has worn off we want to know how long your GS6 is lasting.

As we all know, the first few days of having a new device isn't the best time to measure battery life — you're using it a ton, learning all about it and pushing the battery to its limits. Folks have had their very own Galaxy S6 or S6 edge in their hands and pockets for well over a month now, and at this point battery life has probably settled down to a nice average number that we can rely on.

We want to hear how the Galaxy S6's battery life has held up now that you're using it like any other phone. Do you still have trouble making it through the day? Have you learned how to use quick charging and wireless chargers effectively to make it a non-issue? Or with tweaks in apps and usage has your Galaxy S6 turned into a phone you can rely on for long periods? We're curious to know what your experiences are.

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2 days ago

From the Editor's Desk: First phone for Daddy's little girl ...

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Moto X on a shelf

We finally got rid of our home landline a few months ago. But one thing my wife and I quickly realized was that we still needed some sort of "home" phone, just in case our soon-to-be-9-year-old gets off the school bus and finds there's no one here to meet her. I'd rigged up a Nexus 7 with Google Hangouts Dialer, but that was a clunky solution. We needed a real phone. Besides, I figured, it's probably time for Kid No. 1 to start learning about how to use phones.

The next question, then, was what to start her out with. The 2013 Moto X was a pretty easy choice. But recently I'd tried moving her over to one of those new unlocked phones. Doesn't even matter which one — and there a number of good options available from Alcatel One Touch, ASUS and others — the end result was the same. The newer phone was just too big for her still-child-sized hands. And just as important, I think, is the simplicity of the "stock" Android UI over custom jobs. Not that she couldn't figure them out, but it's just that with the Moto X she doesn't have to learn anything new. And there's something to be said for that.

So the kid's back on the Moto X. And I'm back to teaching her that maybe she doesn't have to use the phone to talk to me from the other side of the house.

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2 days ago

Quick look: The LG G4 official extra battery kit

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Your LG G4 has a removable battery, and this kit helps you make the most of it.

Say what you want about Quick Charge or wireless charging, for many power users and frequent travelers, nothing beats the instant 100-percent refill delivered by a removable battery. The LG G4 is one of the few high-end phones still offering this feature, and to fully take advantage of it you'll want LG's extra battery kit.

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3 days ago

Gesture controls and how to use them in Cyanogen OS

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Cyanogen OS gestures

Cyanogen gestures means your screen doesn't need to be on for your phone to be useful.

There are a handful of amazingly clever ideas out there for accessing certain parts of your phone as quickly as possible. Motorola's double screwdriver twist to launch the camera, Samsung's double home button tap, and LG's double volume button tap are among the best. Each of these behaviors are designed to get you access to the camera as quickly as possible, so you can go from pulling the phone out of your pocket to taking a photo as quickly as possible.

Unfortunately most companies stop at launching the camera, but there are plenty of other things users would like to be able to access with a single motion or gesture. Those with Cyanogen OS devices, or folks running CyanogenMod on supported devices, have a few more options at their disposal thanks to the gesture system on this version of Android. Here's how they work.

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3 days ago

Phil's favorite Android Wear smartwatches

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ASUS ZenWatch

So here we are, just about a year into the first generation of Android Wear smartwatches. I have them all. I've worn them all, some longer than others. And as I've said before it's interesting to see how much better design of the watches became in a very short amount of time, even while the internal hardware stayed consistent.

So let's take a look at the watches that have made my wrist tick (sorry not sorry), and why ...

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3 days ago

Chromecast app adds backdrop picture history, customizable backdrop speed

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A few usability improvements are hitting the Chromecast app with the latest update.

The new version of the app displays your current Chromecasts in a larger "card" style, with quick access to the settings and backdrops on each.

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3 days ago

Ask AC: Do I need a special cable for Android Auto?

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As we trudge through the early days of Android Auto, one question tends to pop up more than others in our Android Auto forums. And that is this:

Do you need a special cable to use Android Auto?

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3 days ago

Amazon Echo adds TMZ, NPR and more news sources to its Flash Briefing feature

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The Amazon Echo connected speaker can now offer news from more sources thanks to an update for its Flash Briefing feature.

Amazon continues to add new features to its Amazon Echo connected speaker. Today, the company emailed owners of the device informing them that the Flash Briefing option now has more news sources to choose from.

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3 days ago

Upgrading to leather: Taking your LG G4 to the next level

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Leather LG G4

Gone with plastic out of the box? It's easy to swap in a more premium back panel for your G4

In the weeks a head, thousands if not millions of buyers in the West will be getting their hands on the LG G4 in both plastic and leather flavors. But with the carriers likely to be getting their claws into the more attractive leather G4 variants, getting it might not be practical to get hold of your first-choice color or texture at launch.

Fortunately the G4's removable back panel means you're free to pick up plastic at launch and upgrade to leather later. That's what we've done with our grey plastic G4, swapping out the bundled polycarbonate rear for black leather.

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4 days ago

Alex's favorite Android Wear watches

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Moto 360

For all its flaws, I'm still using Moto's Android Wear watch instead of its more capable competition.

I've used a fair few Android Wear watches since the platform first launched almost a year ago. I've gone from the imperfect and frustrating LG G Watch to the functional but slightly clunky G Watch R, before finally settling on the Moto 360. But the 360 isn't the only watch I'd recommend — there are a few others worth considering, many of them more practical than Moto's circular wonder.

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4 days ago

Android Central 237: The Google I/O Preview!

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Audio-only stream below

The time has arrived. Or, rather, it'll arrive May 28-29. In San Francisco. For that is when the 2015 edition of the Google I/O developer conference is upon us. Or, rather, we're upon it. And so in this week's podcast we preview the things that shall come in the week hence. Or the things we think we'll see. Maybe. Hopefully.

If you at all care about Google and Chrome and Android and the Internet of Stuff/Things/Whatever, you don't want to skip this podcast.

And be sure to check out all our Google I/O coverage here!

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4 days ago

Android 5.1 is now available for the NVIDIA Shield Tablet

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The NVIDIA Shield Tablet is receiving an update to Android 5.1, which brings a number of performance improvements to the device.

NVIDIA is pushing out an update for its Shield Tablet (both Wifi and LTE models) that improves performance and responsiveness, adds support for Android for Work and more. The update to Android 5.1 is available on the tablet now for users.

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4 days ago

Congratulations to our Galaxy S6 case winner!

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Last week, we had a contest. This week, we have a winner!

Bret took you all on a lovely tour of some of the hottest Galaxy S6 accessories available right now. We asked you what your favorite S6 case in the store is, and chose one reply at random to win that case for their very own. It's time to see who won!

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4 days ago

T-Mobile approves Wi-Fi calling update for the Nexus 6, rolling out to small number of devices this weekend

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T-Mobile has finally approved an update for the Nexus 6 which enables Wi-Fi calling, a small group of people will receive the update hitting their devices this weekend.

Customers have been waiting for Wi-Fi calling to hit their Nexus 6 on T-Mobile, and now the update has finally received approval. T-Mobile Product Evangelist, Des, has confirmed that a small number of customers will begin seeing the update hit their devices as soon as this weekend. If all goes well they hope to roll it out to everyone over the next few weeks.

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