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19 min ago

Best multiplayer games for Gear VR

Games in VR are better when you get to play with friends.

Samsung Gear VR gives you access to tons of awesome games. If you've been hoping for games that you can play with your friends, you're in luck too. There are a few awesome games that you can check out with friends or use to make new friends in VR. We've got all the details so you can jump right in and find the games you enjoy most.

Reas more at VRHeads

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26 min ago

A USC fertility clinic now uses VR to aid men with "extraction"

0

VR is taking men away from a cold, sterile clinic and into a world that makes the grand finale a little easier.

From the minute we saw our first VR headset, we knew porn production companies would be in love with the idea. Here's a case where one such company is doing it for the greater good.

Motherboard (probably not safe for work) tells us that VR Bangers (age restricted and definitely NSFW) aims to provide standalone VR headsets chock-full o' porn to fertility clinics so that men can feel more comfortable while they do the deed. The first clinic to use these headsets is USC Fertility(this one is safe for work), part of the Los Angeles-based University of Southern California Keck School of Medicine.

The clinic was provided with AuraVisor standalone headsets stocked with 12 "premium" adult videos, and new videos can be added at any time by copying them directly to an SD card.

VR Bangers is said to be talking with other fertility centers and sperm banks to expand the program.

We're behind any idea that can ease stress and help couples who are having difficulty becoming pregnant, but our first thought echoes one brought up by Motherboard: How will you see the cup?

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49 min ago

Essential Accessories For Google Pixel and Pixel XL

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Perfect partners for your Pixel.

So you've just dropped a chunk of cash on a shiny new Pixel or Pixel XL — or maybe you're a longtime Pixel user who's been enjoying the phone since launch. In either case, a complete loadout of accessories is important.

Google has a wide range of first-party accessories for its first own-branded handset, and we've also rounded up some top essentials from elsewhere. Take a look!

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1 hour ago

Waze on Android Auto: Invaluable feedback and alerts with sub-par maps and routing

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Would it kill anyone to give us real-time reporting in Google Maps instead?

One of the best ways to take advantage of Android Auto is with navigation. No more messing with your phone to figure out where you're going and how long it'll take to get there. Just tell it where you want to go, maybe tap once or twice, and that's it.

And Google Maps has been brilliant for this. Missing, however, has been Waze. Until now.

Some 14 months after first being announced at the Google I/O developer conference — and after a few months of semi-private beta testing —  Waze is now available for Android Auto in public release.

As with anything Android and Google, there always are a few things you need to know, however. And these are they:

How to get Waze for Android Auto

Two apps you need: the Android Auto app, of course (because how else will Waze connect to Android Auto in your car, right?), and the Waze app itself.

There's one caveat here, though. While Android Auto will run without a connected head unit — there's a nice little car mode that you definitely should check out if you haven't already — Waze requires the full-on Android Auto experience. If you don't plug your phone into your car to use Android Auto, you'll just need to keep using the same old Waze app you've been using.

Why Waze on Android Auto? The feedback

Why would you want Waze when there's a perfectly good Google Maps app already installed? (Longtime Wazers already know the answer to this.)

User feedback. As in real-time notifications if you're coming up on a construction area or an accident. Or if there's a speed trap ahead. Or some other obstacle in the road.

When you're using Waze, you're able to report when you see issues other drivers might want to know about. And other drivers then see that information in real time, as a little icon on the screen, as well as through an audible alert. You can contribute to the cause, or not, but everyone gets to take advantage of it.

I've been using Google Maps on Android Auto for a couple years now, and it's been great. And I'll probably continue using it when I'm driving somewhere new. (More on that in a second.) But in town, where I'm less concerned about figuring out how to get where I want to go and more concerned about what's on the road on the way? That's where Waze is perfect.

Waze on Android Auto — the good, the bad, the ugly, and the "ads"

If you have Waze installed on your phone and are connected to Android Auto, you're good to go. Just hit the map icon again on the screen, choose Waze, and you're there. You can just let it run and see what things are like near your car at any given time, or you can set a destination, either with your voice or by tapping the screen. Pretty standard stuff, really. (Pro tip: Make sure you have home and work pre-determined, and take a few minutes to add other "favorite" places when you're not connected to your car.)

Real-time feedback from other drivers can be invaluable.

If you tell Android Auto to navigate somewhere, it'll default to whichever map app you were using last — Waze or Google Maps. That's a small thing (it'd be better to be able to say which app you want to use) and not something that's actually bothered me. It's just something to note.

We've already mentioned the real-time driver feedback. That's the "good" part of Waze on Android Auto. It's intuitive and mostly easy to use. If you're new to Waze, it could take a little while to get used to how far down into the options you have to go.

It takes three taps to report the most basic obstacle. For others, it's four. That's a few more taps than I want it to take. For instance, to report construction, you have to go through Main reporting button > Hazard > Hazard on road > Construction. (And that doesn't take into account that plenty of time there's construction that's not actually on the road, but that's another thing for another time.)

Waze on the left, Google Maps on the right. One is decidedly better looking.

And this is where we run into the first real miss with Waze on Android Auto. After more than a year in development (and that's just the time we know about), you can't use your voice to report cops or construction. That's a missing feature at best, and a liability at worst, taking your eyes off the road. (And keeping you focused on the drive ahead is the point of this whole thing.) That'll change at some point, I'm sure. But for now, it's missing.

The design itself of Waze's maps leaves a LOT to be desired.

And I'm not going to go into all the other things that veteran Wazers will note are absent from the Android Auto version. Because, frankly, I don't care. I don't want to worry about earning points or being able to virtually "wave" to other drivers. It's a bad idea in a phone app, and it's a bad idea in a native Android Auto instance.

I will, however, mention the other standout feature of Waze on Android auto, and it's not a good one. The design of the maps themselves is not good. That's a strange thing to say, given that Google owns Waze as well as Google Maps. But if you've ever wondered just how big a difference there was between owning the former and actually being responsible for the latter, here you go.

The visuals in Google Maps are so much better than Waze. That's true whether you're in a bird's-eye view or zoomed in at street level. (And Google Maps is smarter about when to use which, too.) That's true for the look of the streets and routes themselves, and it's true for the labels you see there, and on landmarks and destinations. It's exactly as good as we've come to expect from Waze, and nowhere near as good as what you want in a Google-owned map.

I'm also not crazy about the routing I've seen from Waze. (This isn't a new complaint.) Your mileage will vary depending on your location, of course. But Google Maps definitely is smarter about keeping me off side streets and avoiding more turns than necessary, even if there's more traffic on the major thoroughfares.

A local ad on Waze in Pensacola, Fla.

And finally, there are the "ads." While you've likely seen them on the phone version of the app, there aren't what you'd consider normal display ads anywhere in Waze on Android Auto — or in any Android Auto app I've seen, for that matter. But Waze still has featured businesses. "Branded pins," they're called. Wonder why Whataburger or Taco Bell are so prominent on your map? It's because they paid to be. And they're not the only ones. Anyone can buy an ad on Waze, including local retailers.

This actually hasn't bothered me maybe as much as it should. Is it silly? Yeah. Annoying? A little. Does it make me want to eat at either? Nope. I'd actually say in terms of what those of us in the business call "native advertising," it's actually done pretty well. Tap one of those pins and it'll give you a little info about the business, and tap again to navigate to it. It's not what I'd consider to be intrusive at all.

What's next for Waze?

There's still plenty of work to be done for Waze on Android Auto. The UI of the maps definitely needs work. You can't yet send your ETA to someone. And there are plenty of edge cases veteran Wazers can come up with. (Some things, however, are best left outside of Android Auto, I'd argue, where minimization remains a priority.)

For now? If you've got an Android Auto-compatible car or head unit, it's definitely worth checking out. While the user interface is lacking, the feedback from your fellow drivers can be invaluable.

All About Android Auto

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1 hour ago

A smartphone user's guide to staying focused throughout the day

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Plenty of Android apps are distracting, but some can be helpful at keeping you productive, too.

"Get off Instagram and stay off Twitter" has become my mantra as I work in silence at home, with every distraction at my whim and no one around to hold me accountable. Frankly, this is the perfect time for AI to come into play and save me from myself, but until I can command something like Google Home to keep me in check, I'll have to rely on a series of apps.

I see you, those of you placing your smartphone in front of you, right next to the keyboard so that you can glance at notifications throughout the workday. You thought you had everyone in the office fooled by putting it on silent mode. Don't feel bad: I'm the same, which is why I want to share my new routine with those of you who are just as glued to their smartphones as I am.

Employ a to-do list

Trello

Trello is an incredibly helpful tool if all you need to do is get what's inside your brain dumped out onto a project management board.

I start off every morning by peeking at my paper to-do list from the afternoon before. From there, I make any adjustments as I pore through email. Some people like to use Google Keep for its long-running to-do list feature, but I prefer the pen and paper method for the sheer fact that I like to doodle.

Then, I head into Trello, a robust project management tool that helps me organize my tasks for the week and offers satisfying visual feedback when I complete a project. The free version is limited in its functionality and only lets you choose one plug-in, but you can access your boards from a smartphone or browser.

Develop a routine

Fabulous

I respond well to bright colors and positive reinforcement, so Fabulous was a natural fit for ensuring I stuck to a consistent routine of daily check-ins and timely breaks. The app offers coaching based on research conducted at Duke University to help with common habits like drinking water and developing a nighttime routine. You might find you prefer its gamification elements if you're a fan of immediate feedback, though you'll have to pay a monthly membership fee to unlock all of its useful features.

If you like the idea of making a game out of developing a daily habit but would rather not spend any money, try out the personalized RPG called Habitica. Or check out our suggestions for other helpful, habit-forming apps.

Stay on task

Perhaps the most important part of the workday is how much you get done within a set period. My favorite app to use is Forest, which lets me "grow" a tiny forest based on how long I stay productive throughout the day. With every marathon of productivity, the app produces a virtual tree for me to plant in my forest. Each tree also garners me points, which I can then redeem to help plant a tree through Trees for the Future. The app silences my notifications and keeps me from going to the Android home screen, while the accompanying Chrome extension is useful for blocking Twitter and Instagram during peak hours.

For those of you who like more bells and whistles with apps that keep you on task, Brain Focus Productivity Timer has favorable ratings in the Google Play Store and receives consistent updates. The app lets you pause and resume work sessions and color code them as you need, and it disables Wi-Fi and sounds from catching your attention. If you spring for the pro version, you can unlock additional calendar integration, widgets, and compatibility with Android Wear.

There's one other app I use to stay on task — the task of sleeping, that is. I thought I could get away with an app that tracks my progress, but it doesn't penalize enough for me to care. SleepTown does, however, and it's a bit like Forest in that it requires me to do what I've set out to do, with great consequences if I don't.

SleepTown helps with keeping me off my phone after a certain hour. Like Forest, the more often I avoid picking up my phone after I'm supposed to be sleep, the more houses I build to add to the suburb of SleepTown. The app requires that you pay 99 cents to unlock the ability to save the houses to your town, but I'm finding the small price worth the utility.

How do you stay on track?

While researching for this article, I came across a vast number of methods for staying focused, including a helpful explainer from Lifehacker and this list of online tools. Or, you can take Wired's advice, and avoid push notifications entirely.

How do you stay on task? Do you even bother using your smartphone? Leave a comment and let us know.

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2 hours ago

Be Legendary with these Pokémon wallpapers!

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Your phone is full of Pokémon now. Don't you need a wallpaper that is, too?

Pokémon Go has been out for over a year now, and if you've lapsed your play in this summer heat (I know I have), then you're not alone. Whether you've been out raiding all weekend or you're just looking for a little nostalgic nerdiness on your home screen, we've got the Pokémon wallpapers for you!

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3 hours ago

Keep your phone charged no matter where you are for just $47

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If you're going to be away from a power outlet for quite a while, then that external battery pack you have will only charge your so much before it dies as well. You need an external power bank that runs on nature's battery.

Harness the power of the Sun for $47! Learn more

The ZeroLemon SolarJuice is an external solar battery with a 26,800mAh capacity, which can charge the average Android phone five to eight times, depending on the phone and your use. This battery bank features a USB-C port, a USB-A port, and a QC 3.0 port for capable phones, as well as a Micro-USB port for input if you can't wait on the Sun. The SolarJuice regularly retails for $99.99, but through Android Central Digital Offers, you can get it for $46.99, a savings of 53%.

If you're out on the trail or gone camping for a week, the SolarJuice can help keep your devices charged the whole time, and you can charge up to three devices simultaneously. The casing is rain-resistant, dirt-proof, and shock-proof, as well as compact and portable, making it perfect for the great outdoors. There's also a handy flashlight with four brightness settings to help you out in the dark.

If you're looking for a way to keep your devices charged no matter where you go, then you need a solar battery pack, and the ZeroLemon SolarJuice is one of the best around. Snag it for only $59.99 at Android Central Digital Offers.

Harness the power of the Sun for $47! Learn more

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3 hours ago

Meizu Pro 7 and Pro 7 Plus are now official with dual screens and dual rear cameras

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The Pro 7 Plus is first phone to be powered by MediaTek's 10nm Helio X30.

After months of leaks and rumors, Meizu's Pro 7 and Pro 7 Plus are now official. The standout feature on the phones is the secondary display at the back, which allows you to take selfies using the dual rear cameras. Meizu went with a similar configuration as Huawei for its dual camera configuration — the primary 12MP lens is an RGB sensor, and the secondary 12MP sensor shoots in monochrome. Meizu is using the same imaging sensors for both cameras, Sony's IMX386.

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3 hours ago

No, the international Moto Z2 Force doesn't have a headphone jack

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Moto Z2 Force, Galaxy S8

Moto sinks rumors of a 3.5mm headphone jack in the global model.

In the hours following the Moto Z2 Force announcement, rumors have percolated online suggesting that unlike the U.S. models, international versions of the phone, with 6GB of RAM and 128GB of storage, would feature a 3.5mm headphone jack. Predictable consternation followed, as it seemed Moto fans in the U.S. might be getting a raw deal — American Z2 Forces, like the earlier Moto Z, use USB Type-C for wired audio, as opposed to the older and more universal port.

However, we've been told by the manufacturer that there's nothing to these rumors, and that all Z2 Forces have the same USB-C port only for audio.

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3 hours ago

Best Small Android Phone

Best Overall

Google Pixel

See at Verizon See at Google Store

Like the iPhone and the Samsung Galaxy S8, Google's Pixel comes in two sizes: Really Big and Just Right. The latter is the Google Pixel with a 5-inch Full HD display that fits comfortably in the palm of any hand.

The Pixel is packed with a Snapdragon 821 processor and 4GB of RAM. It's available with up to 128GB of storage space. Its 2770mAh battery might not seem like much compared to other phones its size, but with its 1080p display and Nougat's revamped Doze mode, you'll likely be seeing a little bit more on-screen time than other devices in its class. The Pixel's 12-megapixel rear-facing camera is also still really impressive, even when compared to the abilities of the newer Galaxy S8.

Bottom line: If you're looking for Google's Android in a compact size, the Pixel is it.

One more thing: There's a new Pixel coming soon, but that doesn't damper our love for the original, especially since it's getting Android O any week now.

Why the Google Pixel is the best

It's Google in a handheld smartphone.

Google's Nexus devices feel like a relic of the past compared to its new Pixel lineup. The 5-inch Pixel is a particularly attractive package for anyone looking for a premium Android experience without all the extra software fluff. And so what if it sort of looks like the iPhone? It also comes in a really attractive Really Blue color.

Its performance is impressive, too, especially for a stock Android device. Its rear-facing camera produces some impressive photos and you can easily back them up with unlimited Google Photo storage. What's more: Google Assistant baked into the operating system is still awesome, not to mention it's become quite robust over time.

Best "still great" alternative

Samsung Galaxy S7

See at AT&T See at Sprint See at T-Mobile See at Verizon See at Amazon

Last year's Samsung flagship is this year's pint-sized alternative. On the inside, it's fueled by still-great internals, like a Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 processor and 4GB of RAM. It also offers solid battery life and an impressive rear-facing camera that you can confidently utilize as your primary shooter. Best of all, the Galaxy S7's screen is a 5.1-inch Quad HD Super AMOLED display, so even though it's a smaller screen, you'll still get stunning, TV-like quality from the dullest of YouTube videos.

Bottom line: It may be surpassed by the Galaxy S8, but the GS7 is still a welterweight fighter if we ever saw one.

One More thing: You can probaby pick up a new Galaxy S7 for around $400 these days if you have a keen eye for discounts.

Best for camera buffs

Huawei P10

See at Amazon

Not feeling what Samsung and Google have to offer? Try the Huawei P10 instead. This 5.1-inch device comes packed with a whole host of goodies, including 64GB of storage, Android 7.0, and a dual camera that's made in partnership with Leica. The P10 also boasts a new portrait mode, which works a lot like what you see produced by your friends who utilize it on the iPhone 7 Plus, and it's equipped with optical image stabilization, too. All this runs on Huawei's own Kirin 960 processor and 3200mAh of all-day battery.

Bottom-line: The Huawei P10 is a worthy choice if a good camera and all-day battery life are you main concern.

One more thing: The Huawei P10 will only work with GSM carriers. Verizon and Sprint are not compatible with this phone.

Best affordable phone

Moto G5 Plus

See at Amazon

The Moto G5 Plus is one of the best smartphone deals today. It's compact but not tiny, with a 5.2-inch Full HD display, and it packs a lot for that metal chassis, including a Snapdragon 625 processor and an excellent 12MP rear camera. The 3000mAh battery lasts a while, and the ultra-simple Android 7.1.1-based software is about as good as you'll get for the price.

Bottom-line: The Moto G5 Plus is an excellent choice if you're looking for an affordable unlocked phone in a compact size.

One more thing: If you want to save a bit of money, you can go with the Amazon Prime Exclusive version.

Best "really tiny" phone

Xperia X Compact

See at Amazon

Bet you didn't think we'd offer up a Sony smartphone as a choice, but the Xperia X Compact is worth the consideration—especially if you're looking for something that's under five inches. Inside, the Xperia X Compact runs on mid-range Snapdragon 650, 3GB of RAM, and a 2,700mAh battery. It's equipped with a 720p IPS display, though that's all you really need from a 4.6-inch screen. It also supports Quick Charge 3.0, so that you can quickly charge it up during your layover, and it offers a solid 23-megapixel rear-facing camera with laser autofocus.

Bottom-line: The Xperia X Compact is great for anyone who's been grumbling that smartphones are just too big in this day and age.

One more thing: Sony's got a pretty good legacy of smartphone updates, even on older devices.

Conclusion

Folks, if you're looking for a compact smartphone that's got as much power and capability as the laptop on your desk, the Pixel is the way to go. It's the perfect representation of the way Google wants you to use Android. And it's a mere 5 inches, which makes it comfortable enough for a variety of hand sizes. It's also got Google Assistant, which is quickly morphing into something more than just a cool trick to show your friends.

Best Overall

Google Pixel

See at Verizon See at Google Store

Like the iPhone and the Samsung Galaxy S8, Google's Pixel comes in two sizes: Really Big and Just Right. The latter is the Google Pixel with a 5-inch Full HD display that fits comfortably in the palm of any hand.

The Pixel is packed with a Snapdragon 821 processor and 4GB of RAM. It's available with up to 128GB of storage space. Its 2770mAh battery might not seem like much compared to other phones its size, but with its 1080p display and Nougat's revamped Doze mode, you'll likely be seeing a little bit more on-screen time than other devices in its class. The Pixel's 12-megapixel rear-facing camera is also still really impressive, even when compared to the abilities of the newer Galaxy S8.

Bottom line: If you're looking for Google's Android in a compact size, the Pixel is it.

One more thing: There's a new Pixel coming soon, but that doesn't damper our love for the original, especially since it's getting Android O any week now.

Update, July 2017: This post has been refreshed with the most up-to-date information. We still recommend the Google Pixel if you're looking for a really small phone, though the Huawei P10 is a close runner-up.

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4 hours ago

Slip this thin 10000mAh power bank into your pocket for just $15

1

Our friends at Thrifter are back again, this time with a slim portable battery that puts 10000mAh of power into your pocket for less!

We continue to demand more and more out of our phones these days, and that means battery life sometimes takes a hit. No one wants to sit attached to a wall all day to keep their phone charged, and luckily you don't have to. Aukey has recently released a new 10000mAh dual-USB portable power bank that is super slim, and right now you can pick one up for just $14.99 with coupon code AUPOWER2, a savings of $5. This power bank is 14mm thick, which is less than twice the thickness of a Google Pixel.

You can charge two devices at the same time using the cables of your choice, and at 10000mAh of capacity, you'll be able to charge most phones and tablets anywhere from 2 to 4 times per charge of the power bank. The side of it has four LEDs to show you how much power is left at a glance.

See at Amazon

More from Thrifter

For more great deals be sure to check out our friends at Thrifter now!

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4 hours ago

Best RPGs for Android

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Best RPGs for Android

What are the best Android RPGs?

Role-playing games are wonderful, story-driven experiences that complement the mobile gaming experience nicely. Despite the relatively tiny mobile screens we're used to (yes, 5.7 inches is still small by gaming standards) RPGs allow us to get lost in fanciful worlds for a while.

In the case of some games, especially those ported over from PC, that "while" could be 20 or 30 hours! This makes the best RPGs worth their price in the Google Play Store. There are some duds in there, so we've hand-picked the best of the best to save you the trouble of digging.

If you're looking for more than just RPGs, be sure to check out our roundup of the best Android games of the year!

Final Fantasy

One of the most beloved RPG sagas is on mobile in the form of 12 Final Fantasy games:

If you have any love in your heart for the series, then you'll definitely want at least one of these titles on your phone or tablet. Play your way through the entire sci-fi/fantasy saga if you want to and help Cloud stop Sephiroth, help Cecil stop Golbez, and help defeat Queen Brahne alongside Zidane.

Most of the adventures and a few spin-offs are there for you to spend hours and hours with, which makes them worth the cash (they can be as much as $20.99!). Just note that these games can take up a LOT of space, like upwards of 2 gigs. That being said, you're getting the full game with all of these, so 2GB doesn't really seem all the huge. You may have seen ads for Final Fantasy XV, but do note that game was not directly developed by Square Enix and is full of pay-to-win mechanics.

Whether you're up for medieval fantasy or futuristic sci-fi action, Final Fantasy has something for everyone, easily making them some of the best RPGs around for Android or any platform for that matter!

Download: Final Fantasy (Free-$20.99)

Evoland

Evoland isn't the most original game of all time, borrowing elements from the Legend of Zelda, Diablo, and Final Fantasy to create a classic RPG adventure that might be a bit of a knock-off, but it's as fun as any of the originals, and there's a damn-good reason for its pilfering of the classics.

This game is all about the evolution of video games, starting you off with two colors and a 2D character. As you progress, you unlock new technologies and new graphics until you reach the modern, 3D/HD age.

Your sort of meta-journey is punctuated by references to classic RPGs and movies, so keep a sharp eye out and enjoy the Easter eggs thrown in as you battle and loot and level up.

If you love RPGs, no matter when they were made, then you'll love Evoland.

Download: Evoland ($5.49)

Arcane Quest 3

Arcane Quest 3 is a mobile RPG game for fans of classic tabletop games. It's a turn-based RPG that mixes adventure, role-playing, and stragegy elements to tell an epic story of revenge and redemption. You create your adventurer from your choice of 10 unique classes as you battle hordes of orcs and other undead enemies as you fight to restore the honor of your guild and save your people.

On top of the main storyline, there are real-time multiplayer quests so you can team up with your friends and other players from around the world and unlock fantastic rewards. There's also a quest editor that lets you create, publish, and share your custom-made quests, as well as options to play quests created by other players.

There are hours of gameplay to be had there that's sure to please the hardcore RPG gamer, and all without implementing a pay-to-win mechanic. Definitely worth checking out for any RPG fans looking for a new time sink!

Download: Arcane Quest 3 (Free w/ IAPs)

Crashlands

Butterscotch Shenanigans makes some quirky and hilarious games and Crashlands is no exception. In what might be the funniest mobile RPG to date, you play as Flux Dabes, a space trucker who's forced to crash-land (get it?) on an alien planet thanks to an alien jerk named Hewgodooko.

As you try to survive on this strange planet, you must craft your way through repairing your ship, build bases, tame wildlife to be pets, and fight the locals while crafting weapons and items from their corpses (it sounds morbid, but it's great).

If you love witty dialogue, a fun story, quirky games, and crafting over 468 items, then you should be playing Crashlands.

Download: Crashlands ($4.99)

Baldur's Gate and Baldur's Gate II: Shadows of Amn

If you're a D&D fan, then you're going to want the Baldur's Gate games on your phone ASAP. They use a modified version of the Advanced Dungeons and Dragons 2nd Edition rules and the original Baldur's Gate was credited with the computer RPG renaissance in 1998.

These are your classic fantasy games, wherein you start off knowing only the walls of the castle in which you were born, but are thrust into a war-torn world under mysterious circumstances. Venture off and take on mythical creatures, as well as real ones (like rats!)

If you like a good old fashioned romp around a medieval realm, clearing dungeons and slaying beasts, all while creating potions and bettering your character, then the Baldur's Gate games should be right up your alley.

Download: Baldur's Gate ($9.99, with in-app purchases)

Download: Baldur's Gate II: Shadows of Amn ($9.99, with in-app purchases)

Pocket Mortys

Like Pokémon? Love Rick and Morty? Does the Pope have lips? Is a chicken Catholic? At their core, the original Pokémon games were glorious RPGs and Pocket Mortys is about as close as you can get to (legally) playing the classic Pokémon games on your phone. (Yeah, Pokémon Go is a thing, but it's just not the same!)

You get to control Rick, who's just doing science in his garage when Mysterious Rick comes through a portal and challenges him to a Morty battle. After, Rick goes through the portal to the Council of Ricks, who confiscate his portal gun.

To get it back, you have to defeat the six Ricks sitting on the council, but before you can battle them, you must battle the Ricks from other dimensions and claim their badges. After all that's through, you have to go and capture every type of Morty.

This is probably the most twisted take on Pokémon you'll come across, but it's fun and branded with the cartoon's signature humor, making it a game that just makes you wanna get schwifty.

Download Pocket Mortys and SHOW ME WHAT YOU GOT.

Download: Pocket Mortys (Free, with in-app purchases)

Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic

This is the full K.O.T.O.R. experience, so if you're a Star Wars fan, this is definitely the mobile game you're looking for. It's a huge download, at 2.4GB, but you get all the force-wielding, lightsaber-swinging, Republic-saving goodness that the console games dazzled us with.

You get to choose your party from nine types of characters, travel to eight planets on the Ebon Hawk, and learn to use the Force, including over 40 powers. You also get to build your own lightsaber!

Knights of the Republic is the epitome of a classic Star Wars RPG and this port is totally worth the cash. This game even supports controllers if you prefer to play that way. As the Jedi's last hope, you decide the fate of the galaxy as you battle your way to becoming a hero or falling to the temptation of the Dark Side.

You decide!

Download: Star Wars: Knight of the Old Republic ($9.99)

Dragon Quest

Possibly the most popular game in the Dragon Quest series, Dragon Quest VIII: Journey of the Cursed King is available for Android in all its cell-shaded beauty. It was the first widely released Dragon Quest title, being the first to hit the PAL region and the first to be called Dragon Quest in North America, where it was always called Dragon Warrior. (You can check out the earlier Dragon Quest games on Android as well)

In this version, you play as the Hero, a Trodain guard, who embarks on a quest to reclaim a stolen scepter from the evil court jester, Dhoulmagus, who has cursed Trodain castle, turning the king into a troll, the princess into a horse, and everyone else into plants.

This is the full PS2 game, so it's 1.4GB, taking up quite a bit of space on your phone. But you get everything the original has to offer: epic, turn-based battles, crafting via the Alchemy Pot, and classic fantasy, presented in a gorgeous 3D anime style. If you loved Dragon Quest VIII on PS2, you'll love it on Android too.

Download: Dragon Quest VIII ($19.99)

Eternium Mage and Minions

Claiming to be the first RPG truly designed for controls, Mage and Minions is an excellent fantasy RPG that really does feel great to play. The controls are smooth and make sense to the mobile experience and the gameplay is fun and immersive.

You and your party are off on a quest to prevent Ragadam from taking over the world and ultimately destroying it, all the while battling skeletons and demons, collecting loot, crafting items and weapons, and casting spells to get the job done. The spell-casting controls are particularly cool, since you have to draw symbols on your screen to summon different spells.

If you're looking for an RPG experience similar to dungeon crawlers like Diablo that was truly meant for mobile, then indulge in Eternium Mage and Minions.

Download: Mage and Minions (Free, with in-app purchases)

Dungeon Hunter 5

This is one of the deepest RPGs on this list, featuring a story mode, an online mode, and co-op mode wherein you hack and slash your way through dungeons, all the while leveling up and unlocking new weapons, armor, and other upgrades you can craft to create even stronger weapons.

This game is HUGE. The initial download is 33MB, but you'll eventually be downloading gigs of data, since there are over 900 weapons to wield and hundreds of different spells and skills to acquire.

While online, you get to develop your own dungeons where your precious loot resides, defended by minions that you recruit and craft from Minion Shards. As an added defense, you get to build Trap Rooms within your dungeons in order to thwart those that might steal your treasure. Just be careful; you'll likely be on the receiving end fairly often!

Dungeon Hunter 5 is a big, immersive, versatile RPG that sucks you in and before you know it, it's the year 2100 and you're a pile of dust, still battling your way to herodom or riches (because apparently heroes don't get paid).

If you're looking for an awesome free RPG that you can play until Ragnarok, then dive into Dungeon Hunter 5 and definitely keep an eye on your data usage!

Download: Dungeon Hunter 5 (Free, with in-app purchases)

Did we miss anything?

What's your favorite RPG for Android? Did it make our list? Sound off in the comments below!

Update July 2017: Added Arcane Quest 3 to our list and updated the other entries as needed.

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5 hours ago

Prime members can grab the Philips Hue Starter Kit for just $54 today

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Our friends at Thrifter are back again, this time with a new low price on the Philips Hue White Starter Kit!

Amazon is offering an additional discount on the Philips Hue White Starter Kit to Prime members, dropping it to its new lowest price. You can pick one up for just $53.62 for a limited time, which is a discount of around $11 from its everyday price. Retailers like Walmart, Home Depot, and Best Buy are currently selling the kit for $65.

If you've been looking to get into the whole smart home lighting game, and have yet to make the move because of price, this deal may be the best one out there. The Starter Kit comes with two white bulbs and the hub that's required for them to work.

  • Enhance your home with soft white lighting, controlled remotely wherever you are. Set timers and light schedules, automating your lights to make it seem like someone is home even when you are away.
  • With everything you need to get started, this easy-to-use kit comes with two A19 LED smart bulbs, able to fit standard table lamps and the Philips Hue Bridge that can control up to 50 lights.
  • Install the LED lights as you would install ordinary bulbs. They are pre-paired with the Hue Bridge, which allows you to control smart-bulb-equipped lamps and overhead lights via the Philips Hue App.
  • Easily expand your lighting system with accessories (sold separately), such as a Hue Dimmer Switch, Hue Tap, or Hue Motion Sensor. Pair it for automation with your existing Nest or SmartThings system.
  • With voice control for Alexa, Apple HomeKit, or Google Assistant, each kit includes two dimmable soft white A19 bulbs, a Hue Bridge, ethernet cable, power adapter, manual, and three-year warranty.

If you aren't already an Amazon Prime member, you can sign up for a free 30-day trial right now, and then you'll be able to grab this at the discounted pricing.

See at Amazon

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For more great deals be sure to check out our friends at Thrifter now!

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Allo: Everything you need to know

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Everything you need to know to get started with Google's messaging service.

Allo is a smart messaging service that relies on the Google Assistant to serve up contextual suggestions. Assistant lives on as a chatbot within Allo, and you can invoke it to offer recommendations on nearby points of interest, tell jokes, play games, and much more. It'll also suggest contextual replies in conversations, provide you with score updates for your sports teams, along with weather and news updates, and so on.

Interactions with Google Assistant are designed to be conversational in nature, and it'll also tell the best bad jokes. If you're just getting started with Google's new messaging service, we have you covered.

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How to use the archive feature in Google Photos

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Archive pictures on Google Photos to keep your main screen free from clutter.

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