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1 week ago

Second Screen gaming apps — Ready Player Two

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Companion Second Screen

Companion Apps feel like the future of gaming, and that's awesome

As passive experiences, Second Screen apps for gaming are a "take it or leave it" kind of deal. They are nice to have if you are really into a game, or if you're particularly social on one gaming network or another, but most of these apps aren't giving you any sort of edge in the game. The few apps that stand out in this category are most commonly referred to as Companion Apps. These apps are designed to create an experience that is in the same world as the core game, and in many situations is played during the core game, but the look and feel to these experiences make it easy for a second player to act as your wingman and play by your side.

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1 week ago

Save up to 67% on PNY microSD cards, Flash drives and more today at Amazon

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Today is President's Day in the US, and PNY has chosen this federal holiday to run one of its big mobile accessory sales on Amazon. Prices in this collection of products. which include microSD cards, SD cards, Flash drives and battery packs have been cut by between 23% and 67%.

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1 week ago

Lollipop arrives for the Sprint LG G3

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The LG G3 on Sprint is today receiving its very own update to Android 5.0 Lollipop. Just as we said it would.

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1 week ago

No LG G4 until at least April, Korean news outlet reports

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File this one under expected and obvious: Korea Times is reporting that LG isn't announcing the next version of its flagship line — the LG G4, if the naming convention remains consistent — until at least April. That would give it distance from the Samsung Galaxy S6, which we're expecting to see at Mobile World Congress on March 1.

On the other hand, LG hasn't ever announced its flagship phone at Mobile World Congress. Instead, it used that stage in 2013 and 2014 to announce the LG G Pro and LG G Pro 2, respectively. We're not expecting a new G Pro model, with the LG G Flex 2 supplanting that line.

The LG G3 was announced in late May 2014 at events in New York and London.

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1 week ago

Samsung looks to regain market share in India with entry-level 4G devices

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Samsung is looking to increase its focus in India with the launch of three 4G-enabled devices that will go on sale in the region later this year. The new devices are slightly modified versions of existing products with LTE connectivity thrown in, and will be aimed at the entry-level segment.

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1 week ago

LG goes for the 'Urbane' look with latest G Watch iteration

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LG Watch Urbane

LG today has unveiled its latest Android Wear building on the original LG G Watch R and coming up with a more stylish and formal and all-metal "LG Watch Urbane" that's "designed for a sophisticated and cosmopolitan wearer." Available in gold or silver, it's still a standard 22mm model, so you'll be able to swap out straps if you like. LG's slimmed down the bezel, as well as the overall size and thickness. The stainless steel handle also has improve protection against scratches and corrosion.

Spec-wise, you're pretty much looking at the same as the original G Watch R, including a 1.3-inch, 320x320 Plastic OLED display, which is the best we've seen on a smartwatch thus far.

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1 week ago

LG Watch Urbane specs

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The LG Watch Urbane basically can be thought of as a slimmer, sexier version of the G Watch R. Full metal, same Plastic OLED display, same internals, and same Android Wear. This guy simply looks good.

Here are the full specs of the LG Watch Urbane:

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1 week ago

Weekly poll results: Do you use Google+?

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Google+ app

Who is using Google's social platform?

Google's own social platform Google+ is something of a dark horse in the social media world, and many have called it a failure for not attracting enough of their real-life contacts to replace Facebook or Twitter. However, the tech world, and Android users in particular have extra incentive — or blackmail, if you wanna look at it that way — to have you using it.

Your Google Play account wants a Google+ account to tie into for your reviews and ratings, and many beta testing communities are hosted in Google+, only showing their opt-in links once you join the group. The automatic photo and video backup on Android is done through Google+ Photos. So even if you don't use Google+ proper, you may very well be using Google+ in the Play Store, or Photos, or when you're commenting on a YouTube video.

But how many of you have given in to the big red plus?

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1 week ago

AC editors' apps of the week: Aftership, Limbo, TurboTax and more

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AC editors' apps of the week

Our weekly app picks

Another Appday Sunday is upon us, and we're back with more of our favorites to share. This is the place to find great utilities and productivity apps, or entertainment apps and games. We use plenty of apps of all types on our Androids, just like you do.

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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1 week ago

Check this Play Store setting before you do anything else

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icon shortcuts setting

App shortcuts are great, but can quickly overwhelm your homescreens

There are a few important settings in the Google Play Store app on your phone or tablet. Settings that keep the kids (or yourself) from making random in-app purchases, or content filtering for folks who want to sort mature-rated apps out of the store. But there is one setting that you need to look at before you do anything else — the one that adds a shortcut to your homescreen for each and every app you install from Google Play.

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1 week ago

FAA proposes new rules for small unmanned aircraft

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Parrott

The Federal Aviation Administration today is publishing new proposed rules for "small unmanned aircraft systems" — commonly (but not entirely accurately) referred to as "drones" — that would require an operator certificate and the user to be at least 17 years old. The proposed rules also would dictate when and where and how such "unmanned aerial systems," such as (but not limited to) the type controlled by smartphones and tablets could be flown.

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1 week ago

From the Editor's Desk: Quick hits ...

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The President's Day Weekend is seriously catching up with me — what, it's not a major party holiday where you live? — so I'll keep things short this week. Here are a few thoughts on the week that was, and the weeks ahead.

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1 week ago

Series premieres for Better Call Saul and Game of Thrones free on Google Play

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The series premieres for two of the most-talked-about shows right now are currently free on Google Play. Those shows would be Better Call Saul, which premiered just this month on AMC, and Game of Thrones, whose fifth season premiere is due out in April. The first episodes of each — Uno for Saul and Winter is Coming for Thrones — are free to watch for a limited time on Google Play.

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1 week ago

Gaming with Second Screen apps

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Second Screen Destiny

You might have mixed feelings about constantly checking your phone or tablet while watching a TV show or enjoying a movie, but gamers the world over keep their devices nearby no matter what. It doesn't matter if you are Team Xbox, PlayStation all the way, faithful to the Miiverse, or a member of the PC Gaming Master Race — Android has a place in your gaming setup. Second Screen apps for gaming have become a huge deal over the last year, especially when Microsoft and Sony went as far as releasing fantastic mobile apps for controlling their consoles.

Since most games require a constant focus and usually put a premium on occupying both hands, the purpose of Second Screen apps for gaming varies wildly by game. The one thing they all have in common, however, is the desire to keep you connected to your game even when you aren't playing.

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1 week ago

A quick look at OEM quick-charging chargers that charge quickly

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Quick chargers

One of our favorite features of late 2014 has got to be Rapid Charging. Or Turbo Charging. Or Fast Charging. The oversimplified version is that Qualcomm has a new standard — officially called Quick Charge 2.0, but phone manufacturers like to give it their own names — by which it can feed more juice more quickly into your phone, for a quick burst of energy. It then slows down the charging to finish the job. That initial burst comes with the byproduct of heat — and that's also something you want less of when it comes to smartphone performance and longevity of the battery itself.

But for us end users it really means getting our Android smartphones back into the game quicker than ever. And once you use it, you'll never want to use anything else.

There is one other downside, however. Chargers that use this technology need a little something extra that plugs into the wall, and that little something extra has turned out to not be as little as we're used to.

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