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1 week ago

Google's latest Android Experiment turns your phone into a paper plane


Throw a plane, not a phone.

After debuting it at Google I/O this past May, Google and Active Theory have released Paper Planes, an app and Android Experiment that means to bring people together on International Day of Peace (that's today).

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1 week ago

Here's every PlayStation VR game we've played so far, ranked!

We've been playing PlayStation VR games for a little while now.

With demo stations all over the US and Canada as well as several spots opening in the UK, there have been many opportunities to sit down — or stand up — and get some quality time in with PlayStation VR demo games. There's still a lot left to learn about the headset itself and how it functions within the PlayStation 4 ecosystem, but when it comes to the games we've tried it's clear there are some favorites. We've decided to rank our PlayStation VR experiences to date, including which games we will absolutely be buying at launch and which we're going to probably leave as a mostly positive demo.

Read more at VR Heads!

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1 week ago

Best Credit Card-Sized Battery Chargers

Best wallet-friendly credit card sized battery chargers

The benefits of a power bank in one small, compact package!

If you find your phone tapped out of battery power often, no doubt you've probably looked into portable power banks. If you like the idea of having extra power with you, but dislike having to carry around the extra weight, you may love these super small and thin power packs!

GMLYE Ultra-Thin

The GMYLE Ultra-Thin power pack has a capacity of 2,500mAh, which is more than enough to extend your phone's battery life for a marathon session of Pokémon GO.

The GMYLE is only about 5mm in thickness and about the same width and height as a credit card, so you don't have to worry about finding space to carry this thing around.

It starts around $17, and even comes with built-in Micro-USB and Lightning cables, which saves you the trouble of keeping track of your charging cords.

See at Amazon

PowerJet Ultra-Compact pocket power bank

Power Theory's PowerJet Ultra-Compact pocket power bank manages to pack a surprisingly big capacity at 4,600mAh, more than enough power to completely charge a Galaxy S7 and have a little left over.

The PowerJet also comes with a built-in Micro-USB cable, so you don't have to carry around a cord with you at all times. Plus, there is a little LED indicator which will flash red when it's at 10% capacity or less, so you know when it's time to charge it.

Due to its impressive capacity, the PowerJet does retail a bit higher than some of the competition, usually starting around $40.

See at Amazon

TravelCard Charger

Truly designed with portability in mind, the TravelCard Charger is a mere 4.7mm thick, making it actually small enough to fit inside your wallet with ease.

While its capacity is only 1,500mAh, it does have a few key features that are included in every power bank this size. The LED indicator will let you know when it's time to fill it up again, and it even has the ability to be charged while charging your device, so you should have no problem killing two birds with one stone.

The TravelCard has a built-in cable for Micro-USB and Lightning ports, so you shouldn't spend time having to untangle cords while you're on the go.

See at Amazon

Lankoo power bank

The Lankoo power bank is for the serious power consumer. It's got a capacity of 5,000mAh, meaning any phone you've got should be able to get a full charge from the Lankoo.

On top of its impressive capacity, the Lankoo also offers a fast charging speed. Its one USB port is certified 5V 2.1A charging speeds, meaning it shouldn't take you too long to recharge any phone.

The added bonus of the Lankoo, it comes in all sorts of fancy designs and colors making it visibly stand out from the rest of the competition.

See at Amazon

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1 week ago

Score an unlocked 64GB Galaxy S6 for just $389 right now!


Daily Steals is currently offering new unlocked 64GB Galaxy S6 for just $389 with the coupon code ACSEPT10. You'll have your choice of white or blue here, and it is for model G920A which is the AT&T model. Being that the Galaxy S6 doesn't offer expandable storage, it's great to have the 64GB built-in and considering many 32GB versions are selling for this same price it's great to have double the storage at no additional cost.

If you don't need the latest and greatest, or are looking for a backup phone, you won't want to miss out on this deal. Remember, you'll need coupon code ACSEPT10 for the full savings here.

See at Daily Steals

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1 week ago

These are the top Allo features you need to know


'Allo Allo.

Google's smart messaging app Allo is now available. The service competes with WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger, both of which boast a userbase of over a billion users. Google is looking to differentiate Allo with Google Assistant, a chatbot that provides answers to your queries by drawing on the search giant's machine learning smarts. AI is at the core of Google's strategy, and we'll see the assistant make its way into the Google Home and future products. And it's all kicking off with Allo.

These are the top Allo features you need to know. If you're just installing the app, be sure to check out our setup guide.

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1 week ago

Digital Offers: Bypass geo-restricted streaming services for $39

Every year, more and more people are cutting their cable cords and turning to online streaming for all their TV and movie entertainment — and it's clear to see why. Whether it's for the convenience to watch what you want when you want on whichever device you want, or simply to save some money every month, the trend shows no sign of slowing.

But despite being hosted and streamed from what was once called the World Wide Web, you often lose access to all your favorite streaming services if you leave the US. Sure, you can always use a VPN — if you're savvy enough to know how to set one up and can afford another monthly subscription in your life. And you'll want to have it available on all of your devices, not just your laptop. If you only care about accessing your streaming services, you need to get Getflix.

Getflix calls itself a Smart DNS, because unlike VPNs that reroutes and encrypts your entire connection through overseas servers, it only reroutes the parts of your connections required for online streaming. This means you'll be able to connect to public or hotel Wi-Fi and access a whole bunch of awesome streaming services such as Hulu, HBO GO, Amazon Instant Video and more! Best part, for a limited time only you essentially get lifetime access to Getflix for only $39!

To be clear, Getflix still requires you to have your own active subscription to the streaming services you want to use with it. And ironically, Netflix is not on the list of services supported by Getflix. But well over 60 streaming sites and services are, including popular music streaming services such as Pandora, Slacker and more. And Getflix also includes access to a free, optional VPN & SmartVPN account to encrypt all your traffic with 256Bit SSL encryption for the times when you need that, too.

Officially you get a 30-year licence to use Getflix — a value of over $800 — so you'll want to get in on this opportunity to save 98% on this deal and never worry about get locked out of your streaming services no matter where in the world you are!

See at Android Central Offers

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1 week ago

Xiaomi Mi VR Play review: Bringing VR to the masses


Xiaomi made fitness tracking accessible with its $15 Mi Band. It is now doing the same for virtual reality.

It's an incredibly exciting time for virtual reality. The HTC Vive and Oculus Rift are catering to the enthusiast segment, and for those looking to experience what the medium has to offer on their smartphones, there's the Gear VR, Homido V2, and the budget Google Cardboard.

And now Xiaomi is getting into the fray with its first VR viewer, the Mi VR Play. Like all Xiaomi products, the Mi VR Play is designed to disrupt the segment it is targeting by lowering the barrier to entry for customers looking to try out the platform. The headset costs just $15, the same price as Cardboard. And like Cardboard, the VR Play accommodates any phone with a screen size between 4.7 inches and 5.7 inches.

The shell of the Mi VR Play is made out of Lycra, which minimizes weight and makes it more comfortable to wear for a prolonged duration. It weighs 209g, which is less than the plastic-based Gear VR's 345g. There's a textured button at the top for navigation, and the headset features anti-reflective aspheric lenses. You slot in your phone at the front by undoing the two-way zipper, and there's plenty of foam padding that holds the phone in place inside the headset.

The inside of the headset (the part where you stick your face in) is roomy, and it didn't pose any problems for my admittedly large head. You can use the headset while wearing glasses, but it'll be a tight fit. The viewer comes with a strap that wraps around your head, and a top strap that holds the headset in place and ensures that it doesn't wobble when you move your head around.

For $15, the Mi VR Play offers tremendous value for money.

Xiaomi will introduce customized variants of the VR Play in denim, floral, leopard, camouflage, and user-generated designs at a later date, but for now, the company is selling the default black variant of the headset. Right now, Samsung has the mobile VR segment cornered, and while Xiaomi isn't competing in the same category, it is making smartphone-based VR accessible to more customers, especially in emerging markets.

As the headset is designed for a Chinese audience, the Mi VR Play comes with a dedicated app that includes a selection of 360-degree videos from YouKu, China's equivalent of YouTube, Conde Nast Traveller, and others. Xiaomi is investing significant resources into expanding its digital content library, which will see the addition of more VR content. Xiaomi is also going to bring VR integration into MIUI shortly, which will lead to a better experience when using the headset with the company's phones.

The VR Play box contains a QR code that lets you download the app, but if you're like me and are interested in using the headset outside of China, you can just download the Google Cardboard app and be on your way.

All apps and games designed for Google Cardboard work just fine on the Mi VR Play. I tried out the viewer with Xiaomi's Mi 5 and Redmi Note 3, and the overall experience was identical on both phones.

Should you buy it? Yes!

The Mi VR Play is not as polished as the Gear VR, but at one-fifth the cost, it doesn't have to be. Essentially, the headset is a much more robust implementation of Cardboard. It is aimed at getting customers interested in mobile VR, and by pricing it for just $15, it will succeed in doing just that. While Lenovo's Ant VR viewer also sells for roughly the same price, it isn't anywhere near as good.

If you're interested in getting your hands on the Mi VR Play right now, you can do so from third-party sites like GearBest for $20. You can pick it up for a limited time for $12.99 by entering the code LHXMVR. The site is also running a sale on other Xiaomi accessories, like the Mi Band 2.

See at GearBest

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1 week ago

How to download and share movies, music, and books on Google Play


Google Play is more than just an app store.

We know that Google Play is where you're downloading most, if not all, of your apps, but there's much more that they offer. There are millions of books and movies for you to escape into, and music for every taste and time. While it may still seem odd to some of us to buy movies on your phone, or to buy an album that doesn't come in a sleeve, there's plenty here to love and enjoy, and we're here to help you make the most of the entertainment side of Google Play.

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1 week ago

Morning brief: Allo arrives, HTC is up to something, and Xiaomi wants us to be healthy


You can now play around with Google Assistant, HTC is working a couple of interesting phones, and LeEco's Snapdragon 821 monster is here.

Today's turning out to be a wacky Wednesday, in large part thanks to the launch of Allo. The messaging service is giving us a first look at what's capable with the Google Assistant, and thus far, I'm liking what's on offer. In other Google news, Maps and Drive have received usability updates, and the company has managed to secure an extra three weeks to respond to EU's antitrust charges.

It looks like HTC is readying a tweaked variant of the HTC 10 for Sprint called the Bolt, which will likely make its debut next month. Another leak reveals that HTC is working on three new phones containing the Ocean codename. Meanwhile in China, LeEco unveiled the Le Pro 3, which is the second handset (after the ZenFone 3) to be powered by the Snapdragon 821 SoC.

Xiaomi is finally bringing its Mi Ecosystem products to India, starting with the Mi Air Purifier 2. Considering the deteriorating air quality levels in most parts of the country, the product could not have come at a better time. It's time for the news!

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1 week ago

Allo can send you messages on Android even if you don't install it

Allo notification

On Android, friends with Allo can bug you even if you haven't installed the app yet.

Update: Google has announced that it's opening up App Preview Messaging, which is the Play Services feature powering these notifications, to third-party developers. Allo is a great use case for this feature, but the documentation makes it clear Google sees uses for it beyond growing Allo's user base.

Google has built a unique trick into its new messaging app, Allo, which may help spread its reach throughout the vast Android user base. Allo can send messages to your Android friends, even if they don't have the app installed.

It'll look a little something like this:

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1 week ago

Allo and phone numbers: Everything you need to know


How Google's chat app handles phone numbers, multiple devices and switching phones.

Allo is tied to both your Google account — for intelligent predictions and Google Assistant — and your phone number, for helping friends and other contacts find each other. But the phone number requirement also introduces a few limitations in the way you can use Allo.

Here's a thorough breakdown of how things currently work.

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1 week ago

Traveling with Allo? You can swap SIMs without logging out

Allo + travel

You can activate Allo on your normal number and still use a local SIM for data.

In addition to being linked to your Google account, Allo is tied to your main phone number. That makes things tricky if you use multiple devices — unlike Hangouts, there's no easy way to use it on multiple phones at the same time right now. And the phone number tie-in might seem to make things difficult for travelers too — specifically being stuck on one phone number with the associated roaming costs when traveling abroad.

Fortunately, there's a simple workaround.

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1 week ago

How to install and set up Allo


A chatbot that leverages Google's machine learning and AI skills. Welcome to the future!

Google's smart messaging service Allo is finally available. The app differentiates itself from the plethora of messaging clients by integrating Google Assistant, which calls upon the company's vast machine learning and artificial intelligence capabilities to provide contextual information as and when you need it. Here's how you can get started with Allo.

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1 week ago

Allo is now available from the Play Store!


Google's smart messaging app Allo is finally becoming available to the public. The app is now available on Android and iOS. Announced back at I/O 2016, Allo is the first app to integrate Google Assistant, a chatbot that leverages the company's machine learning and AI smarts to provide answers, suggest replies to conversations, retreive your travel information, and so much more. Think of it as an evolution to Google Now.

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1 week ago

Verizon, Sprint start selling new Galaxy Note 7 as recall continues


Well it turns out those new Note 7s aren't just for exchanges; they're also for new sales.

Right on the heels of the announcement that 500,000 brand new Galaxy Note 7s have arrived in the U.S. for customer exchanges, Verizon and Sprint have started offering up the new phones for sale. Verizon's page places a larage notice on the product page indicating that these are new "safe" units, while Sprint simply picked up where it left off with no notice.

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