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1 week ago

A Nexus 5X from Project Fi is the best $199 Android phone you can get

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Nexus 5X

Sometimes it's better to find the right deal than go straight to a "cheap" phone.

A few weeks ago, my mother's scratched, cracked and generally destroyed Moto X 2014 finally gave up the ghost — the screen turned off, and it wasn't coming back on again. Being that she bought it at a discount already, it wasn't worth paying upwards of $150 to have the screen replaced. Instead, she sent me looking for the best phone for her around $200. It had to be relatively compact, have simple software she was familiar with and work on T-Mobile.

I thought about maybe what T-Mobile could offer in its prepaid store. I looked around eBay and deals sites for refurbished phones. I considered "budget" offerings like the Moto G4 and Honor 5X ... and then I realized the best phone for the money was right under my nose: I could buy a Nexus 5X from Project Fi for the fantastic price of $199.

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1 week ago

How to install and set up Authy for two-factor authentication on your Chromebook

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Authy is awesome if you want your two-factor authentication tokens on more than one phone. But it's not just for phones — it's great on your Chromebook, too!

We've talked about using Authy for two-factor authentication when you need your tokens on multiple devices, and how to get things all set up on your Android. If you've got a Chromebook, you'll also want to install the Authy extension. It's a minimal piece of software that only does exactly what it needs to do — fetch you a 2Fa token when you need it. Here's how to get it set up.

Download and install the Authy extension from the Chrome Web store. There's also an Authy Chrome app, which is recommended for Windows, Mac or Linux computers running the Chrome Browser. Either one will work, and the setup is the same. I recommend the extension for a Chromebook instead of a new app. When the install is done, you'll see a new icon to the right of the Omni-bar. Click it (or tap it) to open the extension window.

The setup screen will open. Authy needs to verify and authorize a new device on your account. Verifying everything is super-easy if you have Authy running on your phone, but you can also use an SMS message or a phone call to verify (or even set up a new account). For this article, we're going to assume you set up Authy on your phone. Because you should set up Authy on your phone. Just set up Authy on your phone, dammit.

Anyhoo, enter the phone number you have registered with Authy and click the button that says you're going to use another device to verify things. Now grab your phone, and check your notifications. You'll have one from the Authy app that says another device is asking for approval. Tap the notification (and enter your PIN for Authy if you set one up) and you can verify your Chromebook with a tap. You need to use 2Fa to set up Authy on a new device, but don't worry. You'll not need to do this again.

When things are done and you're approved, you'll see a list of the accounts you have in Authy. You'll also notice that you have a notification on the settings icon. Let's fix that setting first.

When you open the settings, you'll see Authy asking you to set up a master password for the extension. You'll need to supply this password every time you open Authy. You don't have to protect your Authy accounts on your Chromebook, but with no password, anyone can open the app and get a 2Fa token. I suggest you password protect Authy on your Chromebook. It's a minor inconvenience for an app you'll not need to open very often. But it's your call. I'll pretend everyone reading is going to protect the Authy app.

We're almost done. When you go back to the Authy window, you'll see a lock icon next to each account on your list. That's because you enabled encryption on your backups. You'll need to supply the encryption password to sync with your Authy account. To do that just tap the lock icon and enter the same password you used on your phone when you set Authy up.

And now you're done.

The next time you need to supply a 2Fa token on the web (or anywhere) you won't have to grab your phone. Click any account in the list and you'll get your token, with a handy button to copy it to the clipboard.

Your next step to protect your privacy is to add a USB Security key (or two) to your Google account so you always have a way in. Stay safe!

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1 week ago

Google has reportedly scrapped plans to launch high-end VR headset

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According to a new report, Google has scrapped its plans to release a high-end VR headset that would have competed with others like the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive. The project, which was building hardware and another operating system, reportedly had around 50 people working on it and was scratched in favor of just using Android. Back at Google I/O the company revealed DayDream, which is a VR platform that is already built on top of the upcoming version of Android, Nougat.

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1 week ago

Amazon Echo now able to recap National Convention results and more

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Amazon is back with another set of new features for the Echo, this time bringing more political information to the smart speaker and some Hamilton related features. With the National Conventions rapidly approaching, the Echo will now be able to keep you up to date with poll data and tap into daily politics brief. You'll be able to ask questions like "Alexa, ask WaPo Elections for the polls" or "Alexa, ask WaPo Elections for the Politics Brief" to find out more about what is going on.

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1 week ago

This tiny accessory will make your USB Type-C transition way less painful

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They're not expensive, but it would be a good idea for more companies to bundle this USB Type-C adapter in the box.

I received the new ZTE Axon 7 in the mail yesterday, and promptly unboxed it. (You can watch it over on our Facebook page if you haven't already.) The phone itself is a known quantity: powerful, sleek, and unlocked, all for $399. We'll have a review up shortly.

Inside the box, though, is something I didn't expect to be as useful as it has proven over the past 24 hours: a USB Type-C to Micro-USB adapter, which makes it easy to use all of those legacy cables I have configured around my house.

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1 week ago

How to connect a USB flash drive to your Android phone

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How to connect a USB flash storage device to your Android phone

How do I connect a USB flash storage device to my Android phone?

Say you're going to a party and your friends have asked you to play amateur DJ. Your phone has some music on it, but there's so much more on your thumb drive or external solid state drive. You don't want to bring an entire laptop to the party! Why not hook it up to your phone?

Another scenario: you're going on a long road trip or flight and you can't imagine anything better than watching movies the whole time. Problem is, you can't fit them all on the internal or removable storage on your Android phone. Bring your flash drive! It's full of movies!

Connecting a USB flash storage device to your Android phone is cheap and easy. Let's find out what you need and, finally, how to get everything connected and safely disconnected again.

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1 week ago

Android Central 297: Ze Moto Droid

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Audio-only stream below

What happens when we give Phil Nickinson and Michael Fisher 30 minutes to rap about the latest news on the upcoming Moto Z? This. This is what happens. We warned you. Or we should have warned you.

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1 week ago

Star Wars: The Force Awakens is now available on Netflix in Canada

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Netflix-using Star Wars fans in Canada, rejoice! Star Wars: The Force Awakens is now available on the streaming service in your country, and you can start streaming the latest entry in the saga right away.

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1 week ago

What I'm using: LD West smartphone holster

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My phones don't fit in my pockets.

I'm not talking about an Galaxy S7 Edge or a Nexus 6P, either. My HTC 10 does not fit comfortably in my front pockets. My Nexus 5X does not fit comfortably in my front pockets. And when I go look for other jeans, short of baggy cargo pants or a few jumpsuits, they don't fit well in those pockets either. And that's a problem, because I, like so many of us, spend just about every waking moment with my phone on me. I might not be using it every moment, but I need it on me as I walk around my apartment or around my TV station.

And now, doing that is about five times easier thanks to a gadget I never would've considered a year ago: the LD West smartphone and wallet holster.

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1 week ago

Yelp gets in on the Pokémon Go action with its own PokéStop filter

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Yelp just got a little more helpful to all of your Pokémon trainers out there. The service will now let you know which restaurants have Pokémon Go PokéStops nearby. The new capability is part of Yelp's filter options.

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1 week ago

Amazon Video now lets you download TV and movies to your SD card

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Amazon has updated its Video app for Android, making it easier for customers to take their favorite movies and TV shows with them wherever they go. Customers can now download videos to their SD cards, giving them more flexibility for offline viewing.

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1 week ago

Kyocera's Hydro Shore is a waterproof phone for the budget crowd

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Kyocera has announced the Hydro Shore, a budget-friendly waterproof phone available for AT&T's GoPhone pre-paid service.

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1 week ago

How to free up storage space on Android

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OnePlus 3 storage

How do I free up space on my Android phone?

There are a couple of super simple, straightforward ways to instantly give you more room for music, apps, photos, and more.

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1 week ago

Best travel apps for Android

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Best travel apps for Android

What's the best travel app for Android?

Whether you're planning your first trip away from home or you're a frequent flier, there are a ton of travel apps available for Android that will help you find the best flight, learn a new language, or get the best information about your desired destination. Here are our favorites.

Tripit

Tripit

Tripit lets you store all of your travel plans, including information about your itinerary, hotel, and car rental bookings in one convenient location. It can import this information direct from your email box, and you can easily share your travel plans with your family and friends. It'll even add your trips to your calendar.

Tripit is free, but there is a paid version called Tripit Pro, available for 99 cents, which removes the ads and updates you on any changes to your flights such as delays or gate changes. It will also inform you when a better flight becomes available and will let you change your flight plans in-app.

If you travel a lot, or even if you simply want an easy way to share your travel plans with people you know, give Tripit a try.

Download: Tripit (free)

Airbnb

Airbnb

If you're traveling on a budget or you're after an alternative travel experience, give Airbnb a try. It's free and helps you find places to stay, which are offered by private hosts in over 34,000 cities worldwide.

Whether you're looking for a luxurious house with a pool and hot tub for just you and your family, or you're open to sharing a room or suite with another traveler, Airbnb will help you find the right accommodations for you.

Communicate with the host directly through the app, as well as view pictures and get information about the offered amenities, the area the space is located in, price, and much more.

Download: Airbnb (free)

LiveTrekker

Livetrekker

LiveTrekker is a free travel diary app that lets you document your travels through interactive maps, pictures, video, voice, and text. In addition, you can share your travel experiences in real time or upload them to the cloud to view or share another time.

With the tap of a button, the app starts tracking your movements via GPS and displaying your route on a satellite map. Annotate this map with photos, video, or text, and you have a detailed documentation of your journey to share with others or play back at any time.

If you enjoy documenting your travels and sharing them with others, download LiveTrekker.

Download: LiveTrekker (free)

Skyscanner

Skyscanner

Skyscanner is a great little app for searching for the cheapest flights to anywhere you want to go. You can book flights directly from the app, and you can also search for and book hotels.

Pick a location you want to travel to and the app will quickly find flights to that location and sort them by the cheapest price. Skyscanner is simple to use, and lets you quickly get the information you want.

If you want to find the cheapest flight to anywhere, or you just want to check prices and dream about your next vacation, Skyscanner is for you.

Download: Skyscanner (free +IAP)

LoungeBuddy

LoungeBuddy

If you're a frequent flier or you know you're going to have a long layover somewhere, having a spot to relax, nosh on some tasty food, and have a little drink while you wait for your next flight may appeal to you.

Almost every airport in the world has lounges that are off-limits to the general public but open to people who have certain perks. Don't worry, though, lounges aren't just for the rich and famous — you may have the needed perks to get in without even knowing it, and that's where LoungeBuddy comes in.

Give the app a little information about yourself, such as whether you're flying business or first class, if you belong to the military, and which credit cards are in your wallet, and the app will let you know if you qualify for lounge access in over 900 airports worldwide. It will even let you book your chosen lounge in-app.

In addition, you can browse photos of each lounge and read reviews from other travelers.

Download: LoungeBuddy (free +IAP)

XE Currency

XE Currency

When you want to know how many pesos your dollar is worth while you're in Mexico, XE Currency, an app from the makers of the trusted currency exchange site, XE.com, will let you know in an instant.

XE Currency updates its rates every minute, so you always have the most accurate information, and it can also be used offline using saved data — no internet? No problem.

In addition to current rates, XE Currency offers market analysis information as well as charts that track your selected currency's rate over time.

If you want up-to-the-minute currency rate information, XE Currency is a must have for you.

Download: XE Currency (free)

Evaneos Travel

Evaneos Travel

Evaneos Travel is a free travel guide app with absolutely no in-app purchases or advertising. Using information compiled by seasoned travelers, it offers a wealth of information on destinations all over the world.

Evaneos is especially handy for people who want to veer off the beaten path a little bit. Each destination has reviews from other travelers that tell you what you can expect, sights you must see, what to avoid, the best time to go, and much more.

If you crave an adventure on your next trip, pick up the Evaneos Travel app.

Download: Evaneos Travel (free)

Duolingo

Duolingo

Learn another language for free with Duolingo, a language app that's similar to Rosetta Stone.

As of this writing, you can learn the following languages from Duolingo: English, Spanish, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Dutch, Irish Gaelic, Danish, Swedish, Russian, Ukrainian, Esperanto, Polish, and Turkish.

Each lesson includes a segment where you match a word in your chosen language to a picture and a section where you hear a sentence spoken and must translate it, as well as other types of learning tools.

You can take as much time to complete each section as you like and can also go back and repeat lessons you've already completed. If you're diligent about working with the app, you'll be speaking another language in no time.

If you want to learn another language for free, Duolingo is the app for you.

Download: Duolingo (free)

Google Maps

Google Maps

You probably already have Google Maps installed on your device, but if for some reason you don't, you can download it from Google Play for free.

Google Maps is a great map app that lets you plan your route and gives you directions to help you get there. It even has indoor maps for large places such as airports, stadiums, and malls. It will even tell you where the nearest restaurants and stores are based on your location.

If you haven't tried Google Maps yet, try it out next time you're traveling.

Download: Google Maps (free)


Hipmunk

Hipmunk

While Hipmunk does essentially the same things as many other travel apps that let you find and book flights and hotels, it has an interesting sorting metric for finding the best flight for the lowest cost.

It's called Agony and it's a combination of price, number of stops, and layover time. Flights that score low on Agony will be at the top of the list while flights that score higher will be sorted lower. So if you want the shortest flight with as few layovers as possible, for the cheapest price, you can quickly find it with Hipmunk.

If you're looking for the cheapest and least onerous flight for your next trip, try Hipmunk.

Download: Hipmunk (free)

What do you use?

Do you use an awesome travel app that we missed out on? Sound off in the comments below!

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1 week ago

Inkwire will let you share your Android screen without the need for a computer

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Sharing the screen of your Android phone is about to get even easier with Inkwire. This app, which is about to hit its Alpha stages, will allow you to share your screen with another Android phone. That's right, no need for ADB or even a computer. Developer Koush, who is well-known for previous apps like Vysor, ROM Manager and more, has revealed a brief description and some screenshots of the app.

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