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2 days ago

How to hide your porn browsing habits on Android

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Nothing on the internet is really private, but you can keep your Android from saving a trail of where you've been.

We all use our phones differently. While some of us are Twittering and buying socks on Amazon when we're online, other folks are looking at other stuff. And they might not want anyone else who could be using their phone to see the things they have looked at. We don't judge (nobody should, really) but we can help.

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2 days ago

On the prospect of a 'Chromebook Pro' ...

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Or, how Google Consumer Surveys probably aren't a product roadmap ...

A story has been making the rounds this week on the idea of a "Chromebook Pro." As we all know, anything that's "Pro" has got to be better than what we already have. Because it's Pro. And so the idea of a Chromebook Pro is intriguing.

Google's second-generation Chromebook Pixel already is as Pro as it currently gets for a Chromebook. Intel Core i7 processor. 16GB of RAM. A couple of USB-C ports. Touchscreen. Glass trackpad. Backlit keyboard. That's pretty damned Pro. And it comes with Pro price tag, at $1,299.

But the prospect of something better? Something even more Pro? That's enough to get any nerd nodding their head.

A Google Chromebook Pro probably isn't a thing just yet.

Here's the thing, however. The idea of the Chromebook Pro comes from a survey that reportedly appeared in the Google Opinion Rewards app, and was passed on via Reddit. The question in question read thusly:

How would you think a Chromebook Pro is different than a Chromebook?

A fine question indeed, and the sort of thing that you might expect to see in Google Opinion Rewards. Or a fan forum. What Google Opinion Rewards is not, however, is a product roadmap.

If you're unfamiliar with Google Opinion Rewards, it's an app that asks you questions about products and businesses. Could be things you bought or are thinking about buying. Could be places you've been, or places you're going. It even throws in a few red herrings, just to keep you honest. In exchange for your time and data (because that's what you're giving it), you get a little bit of credit to spend in the Google Play Store. It's a sweet little system, and a great way to help finance your app habit.

This is a real survey. I know because I made it.

Anyone can submit a survey through Google Consumer Surveys. Click here and give it a shot. You have options to survey the "general population," which is a mix of folks on desktop and mobile, as well as those using the Google Opinion Rewards app. Or you can opt to only survey app users. Or you can get even more specific with "audience panels," wherein you survey specific ethnic groups, or folks on social media, or who use various services.

Unless a specific company outed itself at the start of the survey as the company asking the question (it's doubtful it was Google, and there's nothing in the Reddit thread to suggest that anyway), there's no telling who asked the question. All you need is a credit card and 30 seconds and you can start soliciting responses at 10 cents a pop, too.

Now that doesn't mean the idea of some sort of "Pro" Chromebook isn't a good one. The Pixel, while not inexpensive, has been a fine piece of machinery. And with Android apps coming to Chrome OS later this year (we're currently playing with them on the developer channel on a $250 Chromebook), it's only going to get more interesting. And, yes, Google almost certainly will make another high-end Chromebook at some point.

But an actual Chromebook Pro outed on Google Opinion Rewards? That's highly unlikely.

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2 days ago

Today is the best day to buy a Nest and save $50

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If you're looking to save some money heating and cooling for your home while also making it a bit smarter, Amazon's latest deal on the Nest Learning Thermostat is worth a look.

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2 days ago

Best e-book reader apps for Android

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Ebooks

Which e-book reader apps are best for Android?

Whether you want to bring your entire collection to the beach with you, or you want to re-read Game of Thrones in digital form on the morning train to work, there's a great reading app for Android available for you. Here are our favorites.

Google Play Books

Google Play Books

Chances are, this app came pre-installed on your Android device, so why not check it out? It's really not too shabby, and you get to stay within Google's ecosystem.

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.

Download: Google Play Books (free +IAP)

Moon+ Reader

Moon+ Reader

The free version of Moon+ Reader is a solid eBook reader. It has control gestures and the ability to set it so pages will automatically turn themselves. It is very customizable, so you can set whatever font type, background color, etc. you want. It also provides some interesting stats, like how many words you've read per minute on average.

Plenty of file types are supported, like .epub, .zip, .html, .mobi, and .txt and also includes several Open Publication Distribution System (OPDS) catalogs. pre-loaded with free books to download. You can also add your own catalogs.

Moon+ Reader Pro gets rid of the ads and adds important features such as support for .pdf files and optional password protection when opening the app.

Note that while it will read .mobi (Amazon Kindle) files, it will not open Digital Rights Management (DRM) protected Kindle books.

Moon+ Reader is the app you want if you already have an extensive library of books in multiple formats that you want to organize and access through a single app.

Download: Moon+ Reader (free)

Nook

Nook

Barnes & Noble offers a selection of books, newspapers, and magazines in its Nook app. Of course, Barnes & Noble would like you to mostly buy stuff from them, but they've also made it possible to add your own .epub and .cbz files to the app.

It's pretty easy to adjust font size, brightness, line spacing, etc. You can bookmark your place, too, and sync your position (and your library) across any devices to which you have this app installed.

Another benefit with the Nook app is that it allows you to create multiple profiles, so your entire family can use it without your kids stumbling upon your racy book collection.

Download: Nook (free +IAP)

Amazon Kindle

Amazon Kindle

Don't have a Kindle? No worries — you can shop the Amazon Kindle Store and read Kindle books on your phone or tablet with the free Kindle app from Amazon.

Amazon has a vast library of Kindle books — some are even free to download. You can also take advantage of Amazon Prime and find some textbooks as well. 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

Another benefit is that lots of local libraries will actually lend you copies of books via the Kindle app. Click here for more information on finding the nearest library that supports Kindle.

Download: Amazon Kindle (free +IAP)

FBReader: Favorite Book Reader

FBReader

FBReader: Favorite Book Reader is a basic e-book reading app that gets the job done. Its User Interface (UI) is nothing fancy, but for a completely free app that has zero, count them, zero ads, it'll do just fine.

Features-wise, it's no slouch, offering the ability to change the background color of the book and flip pages by using the volume up and volume down buttons on your device. Of course, you can customize other things, as well, like font size and type.

You can get books from Open Publication Distribution (OPDS) catalogs, such as Free Books Hub and Smashwords, and you can manually add your own. It's compatible with plenty of different file types, like .epub, .doc, .html and .rtf and lets you add books from your device's storage and/or SD card. However, it will not open Digital Rights Management (DRM)-protected files

Download: FBReader (free)

Universal Book (UB) Reader

UB Reader

Universal Book (UB) Reader is a basic e-book reader with a polished user-interface (UI) that supports .epub and .pdf files — even ones protected by Digital Rights Management (DRM).

You can add content from your device's storage or SD card, or you can download books, both free and paid, via the Feedbooks store.

The only knock on this app is that it won't let you add additional e-book catalogs from which to download content. However, since it's one of the few e-book readers that can open DRM-protected files, this may not matter to you.

The free app does have ads, but they are minimal — a simple banner at the bottom of the page and the occasional full screen ad without sound. You can get rid of the ads by purchasing the Premium edition via an in-app purchase for $4.99. The Premium edition also has some additional features, such as a text-to-speech option, the ability to password-lock individual books, and more.

Download: UB Reader (free +IAP)

Cool Reader

Cool Reader

Cool Reader is an absolutely cool reading app because it is free and and has no ads anywhere. It supports most e-book formats, such as .epub, .fb2, .txt, .rtf, .tcr, .html, .pdb, .pml and .mobi, but will not open files protected with Digital Rights Management (DRM).

You can add books from your device or you can grab fresh content via its pre-loaded Open Publication Distribution System (OPDS) catalogs such as Feedbooks, Project Gutenburg, and Internet Archive.

Download: Cool Reader (free)

Aldiko Reader

Aldiko Reader

Aldiko is simple and clean. It's easy to switch between night and day mode and alter text size and margins just by tapping on the screen when you're reading. You have access to the Feedbooks Store, and you can also add your own custom catalogs. Oh, and you can also import your own .epub and .pdf files with this app.

Expect to see some banner ads on the free version. Get rid of the ads, gain widgets, and the ability to highlight and write notes on .epub files by upgrading to the paid version.

Download: Aldiko Reader (free +IAP)

The bottom line

There are a lot of e-book readers available for Android users. Some of them only let you get books from one source, while others allow you get them from multiple sources, and even to curate your own library.

You might miss the smell of fresh ink and pressed paper, but at least all of your books will be in one convenient place in whichever e-book reading app you choose..

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2 days ago

VPInput lets you quickly bounce between your PC and LG phone

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LG has announced a new app for its G4, G5, and V10 smartphones that wirelessly connects them to your PC. Called VPInput, the app allows you to control your phone using your PC's mouse and keyboard.

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2 days ago

Facebook launches Save and Share extensions for Chrome

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Sharing and saving content around the web via Facebook just got a little easier if you're using Chrome.

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2 days ago

When you buy a Chromebook, get as much storage as you can

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Size matters when it comes to the storage space on your next Chromebook. Go as big as you can!

Chromebooks are inexpensive laptops, and some people even go as far as calling them network appliances. They fit the bill for the most part — they are designed to use remote servers for file storage (think Google Drive) and are a great interface to a computer network (the internet). But they also can run local programs, and with Android apps and the Play store coming to Chromebooks, they'll be running even more of those local apps.

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2 days ago

Avatar movie franchise is coming to your phone as a mobile strategy game

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Kabam has announced plans to release a massively multiplayer mobile strategy game that will be based on the Avatar sci-fi movie franchise from writer-director James Cameron.

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2 days ago

Moto G4 and G4 Plus will be available on July 12 starting at $199

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The Moto G4 and Moto G4 Plus will be officially available starting on July 12 at select retailers. Best Buy, B&H, Amazon and others will begin carrying both models then, with Republic Wireless making them available on July 28. Pricing for the Moto G4 starts at $199, and the G4 Plus will be available from $249.

These will be unlocked versions and compatible with both GSM and CDMA networks Motorola says.

In the U.S., the new Moto G⁴ will be available starting at $199 and Moto G⁴ Plus will be available starting at $249 beginning July 12 at Amazon, Best Buy, BrandsMart, B&H, Car Toys, Fry's, MicroCenter, Motorola, Sam's Club and Walmart.com. Moto G⁴ and Moto G⁴ Plus will be available at Republic Wireless beginning July 28.

To sweeten the deal, Best Buy will also be offering a $50 gift card with in-store and online purchases of either model made through July 30. Will you be picking one of these up? If so, let us know which one in the comments.

More: Moto G4 Plus review

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2 days ago

Amazon introduces Page Flip to help you page through ebooks while saving your spot

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Amazon has announced a new feature for its Kindle e-readers, Fire tablets, and Kindle mobile apps that brings the electronic reading experience closer to that of an actual book. The new Page Flip feature allows you to flip through a book while saving your current place, allowing you to quickly peek at previous or future chapter, appendices, and more.

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2 days ago

Best card games for Android

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Best card games for Android

Classic card games and fantasy card worlds on your Android phone? Yes, please!

For some, card games are the ultimate way to relax. Killing time on your morning commute or unwinding at the end of your day playing card games can happen on your phone now, which is fantastic. You can play solo or face opponents in virtual game rooms any time, day or night, in casino-style games or fantasy card games of every kind.

We've collected the best of both worlds with our rundown of the best card games for Android.

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3 days ago

Wileyfox Spark hands-on: What an £89 Android phone looks like

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British startup Wileyfox expands its product line into the budget space, once again tapping CyanogenOS on the software side — but as you might expect, there are a few compromises to deal with in phones priced between £89 and £130.

Wileyfox was part of the broad trend in 2015 towards decent phones that don't cost a whole lot of money. Partnering with Cyanogen for its software experience allowed the British firm to deliver a solid software experience and decent performance for well below £200. Recently, the more popular of Wiley's 2015 phones, the Swift, was been discounted to under £100, making it a great buy.

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3 days ago

Samsung is rolling out Android Marshmallow to Galaxy S5 Neo in Europe

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Samsung has reportedly kicked off its Marshmallow rollout for the Galaxy S5 Neo in Europe. This latest release brings Android 6.0.1 to the handset, adding a bunch of new features and improvements to the overall experience. According to reports, the update build number is G903FXXU1BPD4.

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3 days ago

Wileyfox unleashes the Spark — new Cyanogen OS phones starting at £89

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British startup Wileyfox grabbed a lot of attention last year with its competitively priced Storm and Swift, and the company is now announcing its third smartphone, the Spark. Set to be available SIM-free for £89.99, the Spark offers a 5-inch 720p display, 1GB of RAM, 8GB internal storage, a microSD slot, and Cyanogen OS 13.0 atop Android 6.0 Marshmallow.

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3 days ago

Wileyfox Spark, Spark X, Spark+ specs

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Wileyfox spark

Affordable new handsets powered by CyanogenOS.

British startup Wileyfox has taken the wraps off its latest handsets at an event in London this morning — the Wileyfox Spark series, which consists of three different variants.

The base model, selling for £89.99, features a 5-inch 720p screen, a quad-core MediaTek processor, an 8-megapixel camera, 1GB of RAM and 8GB of storage. The Spark+ ups the storage to 16GB, RAM to 2GB and the camera to a 13-megapixel sensor, for £114.99. And at the upper end, the Spark X takes the internals of the Spark+ and adds a 5.5-inch 720p display, for £129.99.

You'll find full details down below.

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