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3 days ago

AC editors' apps of the week: The Silent Age, Craft Check, Wallapop and more

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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

Five great Android apps to add a dash of science to your life

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We've gotten used to the fact that we our phones can be used as anything from a flashlight to a video camera at a moment's notice. It's easy to get distracted and forget just how awesome the technology that they're made up of actually is! That includes, of course, the science behind all of it. Science is all around us, and we use it to discover awesome new things every day whether it's a breakthrough in physics or medicine or astronomy — or simply in using your computer or driving a car. It's everywhere!

But if you don't feel like you have enough science in your life, then you've come to the right place. We've got five handpicked apps to help bring a bit more science to your day.

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3 days ago

Mobile Nations Weekly: Rumors, acquisitions, and accusations

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Android Lollipop

Everything is crazy.

For being in the weird pre-MWC quiet time, it was a busy week. The biggest news was a surprise acquisition: Microsoft snapped up keyboard app company SwiftKey for $250 million. The slow burn leading up to MWC got a little bit hotter with Sunday, February 21, being the official day for Samsung's next big event — *cough*Galaxy S7*cough*. Speaking of the GS7, it's backside got leaked, we asked what you want in the GS7 and you told us a lot, including waterproofing. Oh, and yeah, it's not an official phone or anything yet — but we're giving away a Galaxy S7 at Android Central!

When it comes to Apple, though, it was an interesting week. iPhone owners that had their phones fixed by unauthorized repair companies were suddenly locked out of their phones thanks to a generic error that turned out to be related to very legitimate securty integrity concerns and Apple found the quality of its own apps under assault — a fair argument, but one lacking in nuance or depth. Thankfully, there are plenty of fantastic third-party apps, like great drawing apps for the iPad Pro and excellent iPhone mail apps. Oh, and Apple's own Music Memos is really pretty great, while we're on the subject.

On the Windows front, it was update city. Windows 10 Insiders saw build 14257 , Windows 10 Mobile insiders got build 10586.71, and everybody is expected to get Windows 10build 10586.105 next week. Japanese manufacturer VAIO also made small waves with the introduction of their first Windows 10 Mobile handset, the "Phone Biz", which tells you exactly who they think that phone's meant for.

All of this and more, in this week on Mobile Nations!

Android Central — Billions

Samsung Unpacked invitation

It was a busy week filled with news from a ton of sources, with a little something for everyone.

Speaking of everyone, Gmail now has 1 billion monthly active users, as does WhatsApp, and Lollipop is still king in terms of market share among Android phones. In a bit of a shocker, Microsoft purchased SwiftKey for a reported $250 million.

Motorola, Google and Verizon all have some sort of Valentine's Day promos to save you some money.

It was another week of Galaxy S7 information, speculation and analysis, which makes sense as we get even closer to MWC at the end of the month. After Samsung finally unveiled the date of its launch event to be Feb. 21, we got a new leaked render showing off the backs of the phones. We also explored the idea of waterproofing coming back to the Galaxy S7 after being removed in the GS6.

Love Android? Then you'll love our new shirts!

CrackBerry — Ups and downs

BlackBerry Priv

The past week started off with a bang as BlackBerry released their latest security update followed by announcing the Priv in Australia but by the end of the week, there was a little bit of rough news as well as layoffs and departures within BlackBerry have appeared once again.

iMore — Best things ever

It's sounding like Apple's March 15 event is a go, but there's many a week still between now and new, so we've been rounding up the best drawing apps for iPad Pro, best mail apps for iPhone, and kicking off our all-new intructional series with how to make your own website when you don't know how to code.

Meanwhile, in our Experts column, Dave Wisksus of Airplane Mode explains why Music Memos is a songwriter's best friend and in community column, The Network, Myke Hurley of Relay.fm tell us why happiness is a podcasting family. Oh, and then there's this:

Windows Central — Updates for updates

Microsoft was busy again this week. Windows 10 build 14257 for Fast Ring Insiders was released for those on the PC. The update did fix a lot of bugs as Microsoft continues to optimize OneCore in preparation for new Redstone features. Likewise, Windows 10 Mobile build 10586.71 was released for all Insiders with new OS optimizations and fixes.

Next week, we're expecting build 10586.105 for PC as a cumulative update for non-Insiders and maybe mobile as well. And VAIO announced their first Windows 10 Mobile handset in Japan, dubbed the Phone Biz.

The Lumia 950 and Lumia 950 XL started to receive yet-another firmware update. The update should go wider in the coming weeks to other regions. Speaking of the Lumia 950 XL we're giving one away in a new contest.

We unboxed and gave a brief tour of the new 7mm thin Coship Moly X1 Windows 10 Mobile phone. Microsoft asked what HoloLens could do for the NFL with a new concept video. Finally, in a surprise move, Microsoft announced they are buying SwiftKey to integrate into their Word Flow keyboard.

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3 days ago

Sony Xperia Z5 and Z5 Compact (both sans fingerprint sensor) now available in the U.S.

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Sony Xperia Z5

A quick heads up that the Sony Xperia Z5 and Z5 Compact, as promised, are now available in the U.S. unlocked. As you'll recall from our Xperia Z5 review, these are 5.2- and 4.6-inch phones, respectively, at 1080p and 720p resolution. Both are powered by Snapdragon 810 processors and feature Sony's excellent 23-megapixel Exmor camera systems.

Missing form the U.S. models, however, are fingerprint readers, which are becoming more important as phones and apps update to Android 6.x Marshmallow.

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3 days ago

From the Editor's Desk: On Podcasts ...

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It was fun this week watching folks get all excited because one person (which grew to "some" by the time the Internet game of telephone got ahold of it) apparently got an early look at what podcasts in Google Play Music might look like. And it's probably pretty close — if you've used Google Play Music at all you should have a pretty good sense of how this'll work. Nothing too surprising there.

It's just really odd that it took Google so long after the death of (the poorly named) Google Listen to remember that podcasts are very much still a thing. And it has nothing to do with the "Serial phenomenon" (popular as the first season was) and everything to do with the shift in how we consume entertainment. That's hardly a new realization, of course. But the trick to a la carte is in discovery. If you don't know what's on the menu, you'll starve. And that's why it's all the more surprising that it took Google — the company that makes its living off organizing data — so long to get this back on its radar.

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4 days ago

Twitter CEO: 'We never planned to reorder timelines next week'

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Twitter is keeping its real-time chronological timelines, at least for now, according to posts from its CEO Jack Dorsey. The posts try to deny, at least in part, rumors from Buzzfeed that Twitter was planning to switch to a more algorithmic timeline, based on what it thinks its users want to see, as soon as next week.

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4 days ago

The Honor 5X was made for tinkering

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Most of us are more than happy to use our phone the way it came from the factory. Things mainly work as intended, and other than a few hiccups here and there, most new Android phones are more than capable of doing the stuff we want them to do. But for some of us, things need some changing.

If you fall into the second category and just love to mess with things — whether it makes them better, or just different — the Honor 5X is a phone you should be looking at.

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4 days ago

Front-facing speakers top your LG G5 wish list

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We asked, and you answered. Here's what you want to see in the LG G5.

It's February already, and that means that Mobile World Congress and its slew of new phones is only a few weeks away. With the anticipated arrival of the LG G5 on the horizon, there is no better time to start thinking about the features you're hoping to see. Phil asked what you want to see from the LG G5 — and boy did you answer.

After spending some time going through the comments here, as well as over on our Youtube channel, we put together the five features that you told us you were most hoping for in the LG G5. With the phone tipped for announcement in a short time and hopefully a release soon after, there is plenty to get excited for. Whether you're hoping for new features or improvements to existing ones, we've got the top 5 features right here.

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4 days ago

Why Amazon Echo is the one connected device you should buy

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Amazon Echo

I've used a lot of "connected" gadgets. The Amazon Echo is the only one that's actually getting better all the time.

The Internet of Things is still a mess. Few would argue that. There still are too many "standards." Google's Brillo/Weave solution is still in its infancy. Apple's HomeKit is a nonstarter for me or the obvious reason. "Works With Nest" works, I guess, but it still only goes so far. I've never messed with my router too much and am loving the simplicity of OnHub. For a person who does what I do, you'd think I'd be willing to put up with more difficult home tech. But, no. It's gotta be simple for me, for my wife, and for my kids.

Between the Nest and the Ring doorbell and the OnHub and legacy Dropcam and all the other stuff I've dragged through the house (NAS, Xbox, Amazon Fire, Chromecast, Canary, to name a few), I've had a lot of stuff come and go. Some I liked more than others. Some I still use.

But of all the connected tech I've brought into my house and into my family's life only one continues to get better all the time. That's the Amazon Echo. And if you have to choose just one piece of connected tech to buy, it's what I'd recommend.

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4 days ago

Chromecast and Chromecast Audio reportedly launching in Australia soon

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Chromecast

Australian residents soon will be able to purchase Google's new Chromecast and Chromecast Audio streaming media dongles. The price for both products will be $59.

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5 days ago

Here comes the switch: Twitter ready to launch algorithmic timeline

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According to a new report, Twitter may be about to flip the switch on a change that will significantly alter the way items show up in your timeline. With the change, Twitter will switch from showing tweets in reverse chronological order to algorithmically showing what it thinks users want to see at that moment.

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5 days ago

Sprint begins Marshmallow rollout for HTC One M9

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Android 6.0 Marshmallow is now starting to roll out to the HTC One M9 on Sprint, according to the carrier's software update page.

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5 days ago

Marshmallow update for Moto 360 (2015) now rolling out

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The Moto 360 (2015) is now receiving the latest Android Wear update update, containing support for Marshmallow features like Doze and more.

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5 days ago

Verizon issues security update for the Samsung Galaxy Note 4

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Verizon is issuing a new update for the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 on its network. Coming after last month's Android 5.1.1 update, this update changes the software version to LMY47X.N910VVRU2BPA1, and brings optimized device performance, fixes known issues, and applies new security patches.

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5 days ago

Android Central 273: Marital Aids ...

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Audio-only stream below

When you think of love, relationships and marriage, you think of the Android Central Podcast, right?

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