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6 days 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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6 days ago

Best new games for Android


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!


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)

Frantic gameplay is at the heart of, 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, the goal here is to rise to the top of your arena and stay there. But unlike, 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: (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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6 days ago

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


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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6 days ago

Huawei Mate 9 now available on Three UK

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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6 days 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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6 days 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.


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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6 days ago

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


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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6 days ago

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

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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6 days ago

How to share GIFs and search for emoji in Gboard


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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6 days ago

How to hide porn browsing history on your Chromebook


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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6 days ago

Xiaomi CEO admits the company grew 'too fast,' says that the 'worst is over'


Xiaomi CEO Lei Jun wants the company to focus on AI and internet finance in 2017.

During Xiaomi's meteoric rise in 2013 and 2014, the company was quick to point out sales figures — which catapulted from 7.2 million in 2012 to 18.7 million in 2013 and 61 million in 2014. That stopped in 2015 when Xiaomi failed to meet its target of 100 million sales. In the end, the company managed to sell over 70 million phones, falling short of its revised goal of 80 million. 2016 was a better year for Xiaomi as it solidified its position in India and held steady in its home market of China, but the company isn't ready to divulge sales figures.

In a letter addressed to Xiaomi employees, CEO and co-founder Lei Jun admitted that the company grew too fast, and that the brand will now focus on creating sustainable long-term growth:

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6 days ago

Lenovo K6 Power review: A multimedia powerhouse

Lenovo K6 Power review

The Lenovo K6 Power offers impressive specs and a compelling software experience that makes it one of the best phones in the entry-level segment.

Quick take:

Lenovo has been steadily gaining ground in India over the last 12 months, and the K6 Power is the company's best offering yet in the entry-level segment. With a metal body, decent internals, and amazing battery life, the K6 Power offers a lot for ₹9,999, making it one of the most desirable phones in this category.

The good

  • Compact design
  • Excellent battery life
  • Great stereo speakers

The bad

  • Average camera
  • Slow software updates
  • Weird placement of charging port

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6 days ago

Snapchat's Universal Search is everything we ever wanted


Search for friends, content creators, groups and more with Snapchat's newest universal search feature!

While Snapchat is arguably one of the best things to come out of social media, well, ever, its interface and easy searchability have been seriously lacking.

In an interview with TechCrunch, Snapchat mentioned that it's rolling out a new interface that's designed for efficiency and speed, making it easy to find what you're looking for so you can get back to snapping.

What does this mean exactly?

Well there will be "quick chat" suggestions that will let you instantly open a friend's snap stories or messages, making sending snaps easy as pie. You can even make groups to combine snaps!

You can also search through Discover channels by using a few keywords, or particular Our Stories via their title.

When you tap and hold someone's card (that's marked with their Bitmoji or Snapchat icon), you get a quick look at their Snap profile. From here you can choose to chat with them or view their story.

What will it look like?

The search bar should appear at the top of the screen that opens when you first open Snapchat. It kind of just looks like a regular ol' search bar with your icon next to it.

Once you start typing in your search, quick chat options and groups will pop up, along with suggested friends and their available stories.

Can I search by Emoji?

Where there is a will, there is a way.

So? What do you think of Snapchat's newest search feature?

Do you think it'll help make navigating the app a heck of a lot easier? Or do you think it's another piece of clutter for the Snapchat screen? Let us know what you think in the comments below!

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6 days ago

Google is bringing its bandwidth-saving RAISR image processing to your Android phone


RAISR let's Google show off your best photos without the extra bandwidth.

Google is constantly searching for ways to make it easier for us to share and use technology. Back in November 2016, they showcased RAISR, a new method for image processing that takes a low-res upload of a photo and uses machine learning technology to fill in the gaps between the pixels, so that the end-user gets the full resolution of the photo while using a fraction of the bandwidth and download time.

Google has been testing and refining this technology on its own social media platform, Google+, which has allowed them to take a low-res version of a photo, process it through RAISR, and deliver the photos to people on a subset of Android devices with near full-resolution quality while keeping the file sizes low. This cuts down on bandwidth constraints and load times while maintaining the integrity of the original images.

After a soft launch on Google+, it appears Google may be getting ready to unleash this image processing beast across more of its services and devices. In a recent blog post, Google+ Product Manager John Nack states that RAISR is now processing over a billion photos a week, an astonishing number when you consider its limited implementation. But of note is what Nack says in closing:

"In the coming weeks we plan to roll this technology out more broadly — and we're excited to see what further time and data savings we can offer."

The phrasing here is deliciously vague, as it's unclear whether that means the RAISR technology will simply be rolling out to be use on a wider subset of Android devices, but still self-contained within Google+, or spread across the wide spectrum of Google services and products.

Whatever happens, it's great to see Google continually developing and implementing these sorts of processes that allow us to share our favorite photos more efficiently. Once this technology is ubiquitous, we'll all reap the benefits of saving more data and time.

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6 days ago

A vast majority of Android users still don't have the latest emoji


Google's inclusive emojis mean nothing if only a small percentage of its users feel represented.

Software updates have always been a major headache for Android users. Frankly, it's a wonder that so many of us have stuck around this long as fragmentation remains a major issue on our beloved mobile platform. Especially considering that the lack of consistent software updates means that there are too many users without the same features that their other Android brethren are using on the regular, like the latest emoji.

You might be wondering: Why does it matter if I have the latest emoji? Well, think of it this way: just because you don't eat croissants doesn't mean there aren't others out there that want their croissant-loving ways recognized as the norm. As Emojipedia rightly points out, despite the fact that Google was the first to introduce more diverse emoji in Unicode 9, including a number representing the working female populace, it has no bragging rights because only 4 percent of Android's users are actually utilizing the new cast of characters. (The data is based on Emojipedia's internal findings.)

Apple, on the other hand, is doing a better job at making its users feel included based on the sheer fact that it controls software updates, thus pushing out those new emoji to a whopping 84 percent of its users. That's a major chunk of people who have access to emoji that represent them! As Emojipedia pleads:

A phone that can't see the 12+ months of new emojis is crippled as a communication device.

Sure, you could use a third-party keyboard app or a messaging platform like WhatsApp to streamline the emoji process on your yet-to-be-updated Android device, but that doesn't help everyone else. There are still 96 percent of Android users out there who can't see the new emoji offered on the platform, and thus, a big chunk of users who aren't seeing themselves represented.

I've been racking my brain on how to fix this problem, but I have no answer for you at the moment. We're still fighting for timely software updates on the Android platform. Emojipedia suggests spending your money where your mouth is, but that's not going to happen here at Android Central as we're all planning to continue wielding Android devices. The best we can do right now is continue to harp on Google on the issues of fragmentation because those who are left behind are not just missing out on new software features and security updates — they're also missing out on feeling represented by their mobile platform.

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