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2 days ago

Inside Cyanogen OS Themes

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Cyanogen OS Theme

The modding scene has been theming for years, so it makes sense that Cyanogen OS would be one of the most verbose offerings out there.

Theming and third-party versions of Android have gone hand in hand for quite a while now. Originally themes had to be applied on a system level, making it so you were effectively flashing entire roms to tint the whole OS in a shade of blue or purple. We've come a long way from that point, and now modifying the way certain elements look and behave are being baked right into the operating system. There are some out there who questioned whether a theme experience is something the "average consumer" is interested in, but by the end of this year theme engines will likely play a huge part in how many folks use their devices.

The Cyanogen OS theme engine is unlike anything else available on retail products today, but it's up to the user to decide if these differences and the availability of community-made themes actually make this a better product.

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2 days ago

A quick look at Spigen's Slim Armor Case for Galaxy S6 edge

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Utilizing dual-layers and a flush-folding kickstand, the Slim Armor Case from Spigen makes protection look good with the Galaxy S6 edge.

We're all about keeping things slim, especially when it comes to cases for the Galaxy S6 edge. With this form-fitting hybrid, you not only get protection against minor impacts, but also an enhanced grip that never gets hung up in your pockets. Take a peek of how it looks on the S6 edge, along with some pros and cons we've found after extensive use.

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2 days ago

Save up to 84 percent on Kingston MicroSD cards at Amazon for today only

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You can save big on Kingston microSD cards today at Amazon, with prices for the storage add-ons cut back as much as 84 percent.

Amazon frequently has big sales on Flash storage cards and today the retailer has cut back the prices on Kingston microSD cards by as much as 84 percent.

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2 days ago

U.S. Cellular to commence pre-orders of the LG G4 from May 29

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LG's latest flagship is going up for pre-order at U.S. Cellular later this week.

The LG G4 will be available from all major carriers in the U.S., and while the manufacturer has commenced sales in other parts of the world, it is believed that the phone will head Stateside sometime next week. For now, U.S. cellular has announced on Twitter that it will kick off pre-orders for the device starting May 29.

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2 days ago

Xiaomi Mi 4i is up for open sale right now in India

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As part of Flipkart's electronics sale, Xiaomi is offering the Mi 4i on open sale for two days, May 25 and May 26.

This is the first time the Mi 4i is available without registration since the device debuted in the Indian market over a month ago.

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2 days ago

Weekly poll results: are you buying a ZenFone 2?

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The ASUS ZenFone 2 came to the stage this week, hot on the heels of flagships from three of the largest manufacturers in the world.

While this phone may not quite go toe-to-toe with the 2K displays and the phenomenal cameras we've seen from the Samsung Galaxy S6 and the LG G4, the ZenFone 2 is quite prepared to take on a few other well-known phones and the niches they currently fill. With features like Dual-SIM card slots, expandable storage, and a nice big battery that keeps going and going, the ZenFone 2 and its low price tag are certainly catching a number of users' eyes, but how many of you are actually opening your hands, hearts and wallets to this scrappy new smartphone?

Quite a few of you it seems.

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3 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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3 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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3 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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3 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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4 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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4 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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4 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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4 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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4 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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