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1 week ago

NVIDIA shows us all the right way to update a product line

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When 'old' models get all the features from the new everyone wins.

We expected a new Shield TV was in the works. The current model is one of the best Android products available and NVIDIA keeps it that way by constantly providing content and fine tuning the features and software. You can tell they care about the Shield name, and specifically a Shield set-top box. We didn't expect to see Google Assistant or the NVIDIA Spot that extends it to more rooms, though. And we never would have assumed that it all was going to work with the Shield TV we have now.

The reason they can do this is because the new Shield TV has the same hardware as the old Shield TV. And don't let that worry you. There's nothing "better" available yet and if anything, Android is the slowest part of the picture. The X1 scales to do a lot more than Android asks of it, and the GPU is the same architecture that millions of desktop gaming PCs are using to play AAA titles on high-resolution monitors. There simply isn't any better hardware available for an ARM machine designed to play videos and games.

What has changed, and what we'll need to buy to make our old Shield TVs do all the tricks the new Shield TVs can do, are the remote and gamepad. The gamepad looks just all around better and buying one is a no brainer. Goodbye, capacitive silly mess and hello real buttons that you can feel when you're playing a game. I am going to Borderlands the hell out of you. Besides, this is how you get to have Google Assistant when it's finished — through the mic in the gamepad. I'm not sure if I'm changing to the new remote just yet. Giving up the headphone jack for an IR blaster isn't something I want to do.

The old Shield TV with the new software might be the best Shield TV.

I'll come right out and say what a lot of people might be thinking — the "old" Shield TV with the new software is the best Shield TV. The new box has some changes I like — it's smaller, and the capacitive button on the top is gone. There are also some changes I don't like — the IR receiver is gone so my Harmony remote setup wouldn't work the way it does today where I can click a button (or yell at Google Home) and turn on the TV, set the AV box, fire up the Shield and set the lights to switch to dim blue mode. The SD card slot is gone because there isn't room for it, and with two USB ports that you can connect a hard drive or thumb drive to it was a little redundant. Still, some people will miss it and I have actually used it to look at pictures on my camera's SD card. Finally, nerds need to know that the Micro-USB port is gone, and you'll need an adapter (or cable) to talk to your new Shield TV from your computer through one of the USB-A ports. None of these are real issues, but unless you really need something smaller, there's no reason to buy a new Shield TV. But yeah, buy a new controller or two.

Overall, this is a big win for us and something you don't see very often on the Android side of things. Your "old" existing stuff still works really good. When new stuff comes along, there are usually a few things that you can't do without buying it. I'll take the money I would have spent to buy a new Shield TV and buy NVIDIA Spots instead. Thanks, NVIDIA.

NVIDIA Shield Android TV

Amazon

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1 week ago

What is IMAX VR and where can I check it out?

Where can I try out IMAX VR?

IMAX, the larger-than-life movie experience, has joined ranks with virtual reality to create a futuristic union of enormous fun. Here's what you need to know and where you can try out IMAX VR for yourself.

Read more at VR Heads!

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1 week ago

LG G6 rumor roundup

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LG has a lot at stake with the G6. What do they need to do to succeed?

It's safe to say that LG didn't take the world by storm with the G5 in 2016. The phone had a lot of things going for it, but the Korean company, whose mobile division has been in Samsung's shadow for the past half decade, emphasized its modular ambitions a bit too much without supporting it with actual accessories worth buying.

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1 week ago

Best tempered glass screen protectors for Moto G4

Best tempered glass screen protectors for Moto G4

Which tempered glass screen protectors are best for the Moto G4?

The best protection you can get for that lovely, large, 5.5-inch Full HD screen on your Moto G4 is a tempered glass screen protector. Why, you ask? Because tempered glass is four times as strong as regular annealed glass, and therefore can protect that precious screen from getting all scratched up. Here are our top picks.

Jasinber tempered glass screen protector

Jasinber tempered glass screen protector

The Jasinber tempered glass screen protector protects the screen of your Moto G4 without interfering with its functionality.

Measuring just 0.3mm, it is slim and compatible with most cases while its oleophobic coating repels fingerprints and makes it very easy to clean. Just a quick wipe with a soft, dry cloth will keep it sparkling.

If you're looking for a tempered glass screen protector that will fit your Moto G4 perfectly, work with most cases, and protect it from scratches without interfering with its function, then the Jasinber tempered screen protector may be the one for you.

See at Amazon

OMOTON tempered glass screen protector

OMOTON tempered glass screen protector

The OMOTON tempered glass screen protector comes with a lifetime warranty and is easy to install.

It is hydrophobic and oleophobic, which means that in repels water and oil — drops of water will bead on its surface and fingerprints will slough away. Simply wipe it with a dry, soft cloth to keep it looking pristine.

Designed for the Moto G4, it covers the flat surface of the screen completely and does not interfere with its functionality.

If you're looking for a perfect-fitting tempered glass screen protector with a lifetime warranty that's easy to install and easy to clean, give the OMOTON tempered glass screen protector a try.

See at Amazon

SPARIN tempered glass screen protector

SPARIN tempered glass screen protector

At just 0.26mm thick, you'll swear that your Moto G4's screen is naked while wearing the SPARIN tempered glass screen protector.

Coming with a lifetime warranty, the SPARIN tempered glass screen protector is easy to install and will protect your nice 5.5-inch display from scratches, fingerprints, and water marks.

Made for the Moto G4, it will fit your phone's screen perfectly and will not interfere with its touch sensitivity.

If you're looking for a thin tempered glass screen protector that's covered with a lifetime warranty, the SPARIN tempered glass screen projector is the one for you.

See at Amazon

Yootech tempered glass screen protector

Yootech tempered glass screen protector

The Yootech tempered glass screen protector is just 0.26mm thick and features rounded edges which help it fit better on the Moto G4. It doesn't interfere with your screen's touch sensitivity, either.

Coming with a lifetime warranty, the Yootech screen protector covers the flat part of the screen and protects from scratches while also repelling fingerprints and other oily residue. If it does get smudged, all you need to do is wipe it with a soft, dry cloth.

If you're looking for a screen protector that will keep your display looking in top shape, and that comes with a lifetime warranty, then give the Yootech tempered glass screen protector a look.

See at Amazon

PLESON tempered glass screen protector

PLESON tempered glass screen protector

Another one with rounded edges is the PLESON tempered glass screen protector.

It has an oleophobic, hydrophobic, and electro-coated surface that prevents not only fingerprints and water marks, but also repels dust particles.

It's also thin at 0.26mm, so you'll hardly know it's on your Moto G4. It comes with a lifetime warranty as well.

If you're looking for screen protector that doesn't attract dust particles and has a lifetime warranty, then the PLESON tempered glass screen protector is the one you want.

See at Amazon

Moto G4 and G4 Plus

Moto G4:

Amazon Motorola

Moto G4 Plus:

Amazon Motorola

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1 week ago

How to install new games on your NES Classic

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The NES Classic — you saw our first vid on it, right? — is a cool little piece of nostalgia. But it's sorely lacking in the games department. Or, rather, it REALLY needs a way to add games.

Fortunately the NES community has answered, and in a big way. And after a few rounds of tinkering we now have a super easy way to add games to the NES Classic.

I used the "hakchi2" method. You'll want to read through the instructions yourself, but here's the gist of how I did it, boiled down from a reddit post ... and another Reddit post. Full props to those folks!

You'll need at least Windows 7 to get this done.

OBLIGATORY WARNING: You're doing this at your own risk. If your teeth loosen and your eyes start to bleed, I didn't do it.

  1. Download hakchi2 and unzip: direct download link
  2. Browse to your saved ROMs, and decide what you want to install on the NES Classic. (I kept the original 30 games, too.)
  3. Find box art — either use your own, or just hit the handy Google button in the GUI to automagically search. (Nice touch!)
  4. Plug your NES Classic into your PC using the Micro-USB cable. Leave the console turned off. We're going to enter FEL mode.
  5. Hold down the reset button on the front. Then press (and release) the power button. After a few seconds, release the reset button. You won't actually see anything happen.
  6. You should now be able to hit the sync button in the hakchi2 program. (If you didn't get the FEL mode thing right, it'll tell you. I didn't do it right the first time and nothing blew up.)
  7. Reboot the NES Classic.
  8. Profit!

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See the NES Classic See the NES Classic controller extension

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1 week ago

Bloomberg: Andy Rubin readying launch of new AI-focused phone

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When the co-founder of Android makes a move, people pay attention.

According to a report from Bloomberg, Android co-founder and Google Robotics pioneer Andy Rubin has a team that's going to build the next big deal — an artificial intelligence-centric smartphone and smart home products that work together.

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1 week ago

Motorola is announcing a new phone at Mobile World Congress in February

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Motorola teases a new phone to launch at MWC.

Motorola is set to launch a new phone in Barcelona next month prior to the start of Mobile World Congress.

The annual show has become a traditional venue for manufacturers to launch phones for the European market, but many of them end up in North America and beyond.

Motorola is holding its event at 4:30pm on February 26, and while it's unclear what the Lenovo subsidiary is launching at this point, based on the render in the vague invite, it's unlikely to be part of its Moto Z line.

It's possible it may be another Moto X product, or a variant of the Moto M, which was released in Asia late last year, but the likely scenario is a new Moto G, which is due for a refresh after the successful Moto G4 and G4 Plus.

We'll have to wait and see; MWC 2017 is only a short time away!

More: Huawei's next flagship to launch at MWC 2017

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1 week ago

Video: LG G6 rumors, leaks, features and more!

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As is traditional in the weeks leading up to a new LG flagship phone, the Korean company has slowly started to trickle out details of its next big thing, the LG G6. We're expecting the new phone, which could be one of the first Snapdragon 835 devices, to break cover at Mobile World Congress in late February. And based on what LG has already teased, we're set for a new, unibody design, with the company moving away from the ill-fated modularity it introduced in the G5.

Other features likely to make it into the G6, based on LG's recent teaser, include water resistance — finally — and new camera tricks that'll let you "capture it all at once." Check out our video for more on what we're expecting from the first big Android announcement of the year!

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1 week ago

Snapchat Spectacles review: More than just a toy for Millennials

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Anyone can get into Spectacles as long as life-logging is the goal.

I confess: I am a sucker for the next cool thing in Millennial technology, though I'd argue that Snapchat Spectacles are more than that. Spectacles are the perfect example of accessible technology because anyone can don a pair as long as they have the slightest interest in capturing life 10-seconds at a time.

I've been using Spectacles for a few weeks now and though they're not my primary method of shooting stories, they are a helpful aid when it comes to capturing memories. They're also stylish — I've had a few passersby mention that they could barely tell there was a camera embedded inside. This is exactly what wearable technology is about: Making it easier for us to exist presently among our peers without being distracted by what's on our face.

Presently, you can't purchase a pair of Snapchat Spectacles outright unless you live near the Fifth Avenue pop-up shop. I purchased my pair through eBay for about $100 more than they're worth. Was it worth it for me? Well, let me tell you what life is like with a pair.

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1 week ago

This isn't the Galaxy S8, but it enshrines the trends of 2017

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This isn't the Galaxy S8, but it's fun to think about.

Many phone companies, particularly those based in Korea like Samsung and LG, enjoy teasing the technologies that will comprise their upcoming flagships well before those devices are announced. LG did it this week by announcing an ultra-wide 18:9 LCD panel that will likely live inside the G6, and now it's Samsung's turn.

The company's Samsung Display subsidiary has revealed its next-generation AMOLED panel technology, replete with DCI-P3 wide color gamut support and ultra-thin bezels, that will more than likely live inside the upcoming Galaxy S8. In one of the ads, there is even a phone that looks remarkably like what one would think, based on the rumors we've heard, an S8 to look like. But this nondescript render is surely not the actual Galaxy S8.

That doesn't mean that the model is worthless. Knowing that Samsung will likely eschew its longstanding dedicated home button for on-screen navigation keys and an embedded touch sensor, the Galaxy S8 will likely be an edge-to-edge wonder that looks much closer to the Xiaomi Mi Mix than the Galaxy S7.

The ad hints at optimizations made to the way Samsung's SuperAMOLED displays convey color, in particular reds, that pop out of the already heavily-saturated screen. And while we don't know the resolution, it's possible we'll see an S8 with a 4K screen — perfect for VR.

The next video is a little less interesting, but shows exactly what Samsung's goals are for this year's crop of AMOLED products, for its own phones and its competitors: accuracy, energy efficiency, and thin bezels.

Other than that, we don't know a lot about the Galaxy S8 from this. But it's still fun to speculate either way.

Samsung

Samsung is a massive South Korea-based multinational company that makes some of the best-selling phones, tablets and mobile accessories, but also spans industries such as televisions, appliances and semiconductors (like memory and processors). Samsung is the largest Android device manufacturer worldwide.

img { width: 100%; height: auto; } .devicebox ul { display: table; margin: 0 0 10px; width: 100%; } .devicebox ul li { background: #f7f7f7; margin: 2px 0; padding: 4px 15px; } .devicebox ul li:hover { background: #fff; } .devicebox ul li:before { display: none; } .devicebox p ~ p { line-height: 1.25; } .devicebox p:first-of-type + p { padding: 15px; } .devicebox a.buy-link { border-radius: 5px; display: inline-block; font: 14px/31px "Proxima Nova Extrabld",Helvetica,Arial,sans-serif; text-align: center; } .devicebox a.buy-link, .devicebox a.buy-link:link, .devicebox a.buy-link:active, .devicebox a.buy-link:visited { background: #37B5D7; color: #FFF; } .devicebox a.buy-link:hover { background: #2694B2; text-decoration: none; } .devicebox a.buy-link:before { content: "\e61e"; font: 40px/0 "ac_iconset" !important; margin: 0 3px 0 -8px; vertical-align: middle; } @media all and (min-width: 1025px), all and (max-width: 800px) and (min-width: 660px) { /* div:not(.columns-3) excludes help menu content */ .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox { padding: 20px 0 25px; } .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox .video { float: left; margin: 0 30px 0 0; width: calc(100% - 375px); } .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox h3 + p { bottom: 37px; display: block; overflow: hidden; position: absolute; top: 60px; width: calc(100% - 375px); } .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox p img, .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox p > img { position: absolute; top: 50%; transform: translateY(-50%); } .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox p:nth-child(n+3), .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox ul { box-sizing: border-box; margin-left: calc(100% - 345px); width: 340px; } .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox p.list-head { margin-top: -5px; } } @media all and (max-width: 1024px) and (min-width: 801px), all and (max-width: 660px) { .devicebox h3 { text-align: center; } .devicebox ul, .devicebox p { display: block; } } @media all and (max-width: 800px) and (min-width: 660px) { .devicebox { padding: 20px 0 25px; } .devicebox .video { float: left; margin: 0 30px 0 0; width: calc(100% - 375px); } .devicebox h3 + p { bottom: 37px; display: block; overflow: hidden; position: absolute; top: 60px; width: calc(100% - 375px); } .devicebox p img, .devicebox p > img { position: absolute; top: 50%; transform: translateY(-50%); } .devicebox p:nth-child(n+3), .devicebox ul { box-sizing: border-box; margin-left: calc(100% - 345px); width: 340px; } .devicebox p.list-head { margin-top: -5px; } } @media all and (min-width: 1025px), all and (max-width: 800px) and (min-width: 661px), all and (max-width: 500px) { /* 2x buy buttons */ .devicebox a.buy-link { width: calc(50% - 2.5px); margin: 0 5px 5px 0; } .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-of-type(even) { margin: 0 0 5px 0; } .devicebox a.buy-link:last-of-type:nth-of-type(odd) { width: 100%; } } @media all and (max-width: 1024px) and (min-width: 801px), all and (max-width: 659px) and (min-width: 501px) { /* 3x buy buttons */ .devicebox a.buy-link { width: calc(100%/3 - 10px/3); margin: 0 5px 5px 0; } .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-of-type(3n):not(:nth-last-of-type(2)) { margin: 0 0 5px 0; } .devicebox a.buy-link:only-child { width: 100%; margin: 0 0 5px 0; } .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(2):nth-of-type(3n+1), .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(2):nth-of-type(3n+1) ~ a.buy-link, .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(4):nth-of-type(3n+1), .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(4):nth-of-type(3n+1) ~ a.buy-link { width: calc(50% - 2.5px); } .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(2):nth-of-type(3n+1) ~ a.buy-link, .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(4):nth-of-type(3n+1) ~ a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(odd) { margin: 0 0 5px 0; } } @media all and (max-width: 800px) { .devicebox { margin: 0 0 30px; max-width: none; width: auto; } } @media all and (max-width: 500px) { .devicebox { margin: 0 0 30px; max-width: none; width: auto; } .devicebox a.buy-link:before { display: none; } } .page-admin .devicebox {max-width: 350px;} .page-admin .devicebox .video_iframe {position: relative; height: 0; padding-bottom: 56.9%;} .page-admin .devicebox .video_iframe iframe {width: 100%; height: 100%; position: absolute;} /*-->*/ /*-->*/ /*-->*/

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1 week ago

Kmashi's 10000mAh power bank will keep you charged on the go for just $9

4

Right now you can pick up Kmashi's 10000mAh power bank for just $9 at Amazon with coupon code JU7GRCLG, a savings of $5. With its larger capacity, you should be able to charge your phone or tablet anywhere from 2 to 4 times per charge of the battery pack, which means you shouldn't have to worry about powering your way through even the longest of days. It has two USB outputs so you can charge multiple devices at the same time, and there are built-in LEDs which show how much power is remaining inside of it.

Don't get caught with a low battery and no way to charge it while out and about. Be sure to pick one up with coupon code JU7GRCLG right now!

See at Amazon

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1 week ago

Best e-book reader app for Android

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Ebooks

Amazon Kindle is the best e-book reader that is available on Android. Their catalog is filled with thousands of titles from best-selling and new authors alike, as well as free books, along with magazines and periodicals.

Best overall

Amazon Kindle

See at Play Store

Amazon Kindle pulls ahead of the pack of e-book readers with its access to a huge library of content, which includes free books and content from indie publishers. Many classic books like The Count of Monte Cristo are absolutely free, and you can read them on your mobile device, or desktop with the Kindle app. There is a book out there for you no matter what genre you are looking for, and even includes independently published content.

Bottom line: With a huge selection of books, customizable options, and the ability to borrow books, Amazon Kindle is by far the best e-book reader for Android.

One more thing: If you decide to subscribe to Kindle Unlimited you'll have free access to thousands and thousands of books to peruse at your leisure, along with a catalog of free e-books.

Why the Amazon Kindle is the best

A gigantic library with thousands upon thousands of titles from new and unknown authors put Amazon Kindle at the top.

Kindle Select Publishing even publishes content of varying lengths from self-published authors, or are otherwise unable to find a brick and mortar publisher. You can find titles ranging from Stephen King or Joe Hill to Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie and Bell Hooks.

In the app, you're able to customize fonts, margins, line spacing, and organize the books you've downloaded into collections so that it's easier to find the book you want to read. Kindle will also remember the page that you left on when you switch devices. This means that you can switch between your phone, Fire Tablet, and PC without ever losing your page in the process.

Another benefit is that lots of local libraries will actually lend you copies of books via the Kindle app through Overdrive.

Best pre-loaded

Google Play Books

See at Play Store

Google Play Books gives you access to a vast book store. Some of the books are free. You'll also find some textbooks, although we'd like to see the textbook selection improve in the future. You can read books offline, use a dictionary to look up unfamiliar words, and have your notes and place in the book saved across multiple devices through your Google account.

If you have a family account set up, then you can share books between everybody without having to purchase them multiple times. As you purchase more books, Google will also show you books that are similar to ones you have already purchased, in order to find new authors you may not have heard of before.

Bottom line: Google Play Books has a great selection for the bibliophile in your family, and will likely be loaded onto your Android phone when you purchase it. Staying within the Google ecosystem also makes it easy to share your purchases with family members, and keep all of your media in one place.

One more thing: You can actually gift books to your friends and family from inside Google Play Books.

Best for the rest

Kobo

See at Play Store

Kobo Books is a great way to read your favorite books whether it's on your phone or tablet. They have a gigantic selection as you might expect filled with both new and established authors. This includes magazines and even children's books. The most popular and trending e-books are even updated hourly so that you don't miss an amazing story, even when it's coming from an author you've never heard of.

Kobo's free e-books are easy to browse and find what you're looking for. Everything is categorized so that you don't have to scroll through dozens of books you don't care about to find one that piques your interest. Kobo also includes a reading list, which lets you add items you are currently reading, as well as the books you intend to tackle. This makes it easy to keep track of your reading list, even when you're on the go.

As you begin to buy books and Kobo learns your likes, it will also build a recommendations list. This is made up of suggestions for new books or magazines, based on what you've already purchased. There is also a really awesome reading activity feature. It will show you how much time you've spent reading in the app, what books you are currently reading, a running tally of how many books you've read and how many pages you've turned in the process.

Bottom line: Kobo delivers an awesome reading experience with plenty of books to read through, as well as features that make finding a good book easier than ever. You can customize your reading experience, and since Kobo will learn your preferences over time, you'll find new authors with just a tap.

One more thing: When you sign up you'll get a $5 credit to be used towards your first book purchase.

Conclusion

While you might miss the feel of a book in your hands, or the smell of aged paper, there's a reason e-books are so popular: they can save you space and money. If you've made the choice to move solely to e-books, Amazon Kindle is the obvious winner with the largest selection of books, access to thousands of free titles, and plenty of features to customize your reading experience. No matter what you are looking for.

Best overall

Amazon Kindle

See at Play Store

Amazon Kindle pulls ahead of the pack of e-book readers with its access to a huge library of content, which includes free books and content from indie publishers. Many classic books like The Count of Monte Cristo are absolutely free, and you can read them on your mobile device, or desktop with the Kindle app. There is a book out there for you no matter what genre you are looking for, and even includes independently published content.

Bottom line: With a huge selection of books, customizable options, and the ability to borrow books, Amazon Kindle is by far the best e-book reader for Android.

One more thing: If you decide to subscribe to Kindle Unlimited you'll have free access to thousands and thousands of books to peruse at your leisure, along with a catalog of free e-books.

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1 week ago

Best Watch Bands for Samsung Gear S2 Classic

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Best watch bands for Samsung Gear S2 classic

Class up your Samsung Gear S2 Classic with some great watch bands.

If you've bought or are looking into buying the Samsung Gear S2 classic, then you're probably someone who enjoys the traditional watch look with some sweet tech under the hood.

We've rounded up the best watch bands for your Gear S2 Classic so that you can match your smartwatch to your personal taste and lifestyle.

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1 week ago

Using folders on your home screen and how to make the most of them

69

Folders are kinda like TARDISes.

They're bigger on the inside, have a lot of cool toys hidden inside, and are easily disguised and overlooked. Folders are by no means a new concept for launchers, but they come with no small amount of stigma, especially when it comes to their looks. Thankfully, there are a few tricks for both using them and theming them that might help you learn to bite the bullet and fill up some folders.

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1 week ago

Struggling LeEco gets $2.4 billion investment lifeline from Chinese real estate company

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LeEco has gotten some much-needed cash from a new investor.

LeEco has been struggling financially as of late as it expands globally, but Chinese real estate holding company Sunac China Holdings seems to have faith in the company as it acquired stakes in three LeEco businesses for 16.8 billion yuan, or about $2.4 billion.

Sunac acquired relatively small stakes in LeEco's video streaming service and film production unit, alongside a 33% stake in LeEco's television hardware subsidiary. LeEco has had some interesting TVs of late, but the company as a whole has struggled to prove itself in global markets, especially in the U.S., and the company has undergone shake-ups, layoffs and has overextended itself, leaving the future of the company uncertain as it continues to refine and condense its plans going forward.

An investment like this is a considerable vote of confidence, but it still remains to be seen if LeEco can put it to good use. We can only hope.

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