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1 month ago

Google's longstanding search widget could add customization options soon

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The Google Search widget might be getting a suite of new customization tools for changing its shape, color, and more.

Ever since its inception, one of Android's strongest characteristics has been its ability to customize just about everything to your heart's content. There are a ton of third-party customization solutions throughout the Play Store, but thanks to a teardown of the Google app, it would appear that Google itself will soon be giving users more options for changing up the look of their home screens.

Right now, the Google app has three widgets that you can add to your home screens: Feed, Google, and Google Sound. The Google widget is the rectangular search bar that allows you to quickly initiate typed and voice searches, and while it's perfectly functional, you can't really change the look aside from adjusting its length.

Going from fixed widgets to customizable ones would be great.

Within the latest beta for the Google app, there are numerous mentions for something called "Google Bar" within strings of code, and once these strings are activated, an updated Google widget can be added to your home screen. However, the real magic happens when you tap on the Customize tab within the overflow menu.

Upon doing this, you'll see the Google widget on top of your wallpaper with four icons below for customizing the bar logo, bar shape, bar color, and bar shading.

Starting off with bar logo, this allows you to choose whether you want the full Google logo to be displayed or just a single "G." The bar shape option has three different shapes to choose from, including a traditional rectangle, a rectangle with slightly rounded corners, and a round bar not unlike what's found on the Essential Phone, Galaxy S8, and other 2017 flagships.

Bar color really gets the customization juices flowing, enabling you to turn the Google and other icons from white to gray, darkening the entire bar for a more stealthy look, and even two sliders for fine-tuning the color of the bar to your exact liking. Lastly, bar shading lets you adjust the transparency of the widget to choose whether you want it to be more solid or see-through.

Google has yet to comment on this latest discovery, and at this point, it's entirely possible that it could get scrapped and never see a public debut. However, I think it's safe to say that this is one feature most of us are chomping at the bit for Google to hurry up and release.

Google Assistant gains a search bar for easier app searching

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1 month ago

Emogi for Gboard brings thousands of animated stickers to Android

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Thousands of new animated stickers are now at your disposal with Emogi for Gboard.

Virtual keyboards have come a long way since the days of mourning over the loss of their physical counterparts, and one of the best ones on the market is Google's Gboard. There's already no shortage of emojis or GIFs to choose from within Gboard by default, but a new addition from Emogi is now adding thousands of animated stickers for you to annoyingly send to your friends.

Google added the ability to use stickers in Gboard at the beginning of this month, and while Emogi isn't the first sticker pack to be added, it does seem like an easy contender for one of the better ones we've seen so far.

The animated nature of Emogi's stickers makes them considerably more interesting than static sticker packs, and although Emogi hasn't said exactly how many are included, there are supposedly "thousands" to choose from.

Once you download Emogi for Gboard, open up Gboard, tap on the smiley face icon, and then the Sticker tab. From here, you'll be able to scroll through the most popular Emogi stickers or search for specific ones that you're looking for. Emogi says that its stickers are updated daily and come from "your favorite entertainers, brands, and cultural moments." I was able to search "Harambe" and find an animated sticker of our late prince, so I can confirm that Emogi truly is staying on top of trends that are definitely not old or outdated.

Per Emogi's CEO and Founder, Travis Montaque —

Google's decision to integrate stickers into Gboard solidifies the keyboard as one of the smartest and expressive tools people use to message today. Starting today, Emogi is sharing its library of original sticker content with Gboard users. Emogi's content enriches conversations - we're here to help Gboard users express themselves better when text isn't enough. We are excited to join Google in partnership.

Emogi for Gboard is free to download from the Google Play Store now.

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1 month ago

Microsoft announces Office 2019, teases new features

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As part of its Ignite conference today, Microsoft officially teased the next perpetual Office update, Office 2019.

Microsoft has announced Office 2019, the next perpetual Office update and the follow-up to the most recent release, Office 2016. Due for release in the second half of 2018, Microsoft says that preview versions of the latest Office suite will start rolling out in mid-2018, though it's unclear when exactly an Android version might be released.

Other than an announcement, Microsoft is fairly coy with what to expect. However, the company did tease certain improvements and features we can expect, including enhanced inking, new PowerPoint animations, and more. From Microsoft:

Office 2019 will add new user and IT capabilities for customers who aren't yet ready for the cloud. For example, new and improved inking features—like pressure sensitivity, tilt effects, and ink replay—will allow you to work more naturally. New formulas and charts will make data analysis for Excel more powerful. Visual animation features—like Morph and Zoom—will add polish to PowerPoint presentations. Server enhancements will include updates to IT manageability, usability, voice, and security.

It's definitely interesting to see another perpetual license version of Office on deck for release, particularly as Microsoft has put more and more emphasis on its Office 365 service in recent years. "Office 2019 will be a valuable upgrade for customers who feel that they need to keep some or all of their apps and servers on-premises," Microsoft says. We should learn much more about Office 2019 and what's new in the coming months as we move towards a preview release.

Do you use Office on Android? Let us know in the comments below!

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1 month ago

Plex adds its own personalized free news service

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Following its acquisition of Watchup, Plex is launching its first in-house content stream in the form of Plex News.

Plex is best known for being a home media server, running on basically any device you can imagine. For a while, you've been able to add in channels delivering third-party content, but now Plex is getting into that game on its own.

Plex News is launching as a free addition to the service for all users, though those with Plex Pass subscriptions will get a 48-hour head start on proceedings. You don't even need a Plex Media Server to try it out, literally anyone can use Plex News and get a taste of the Plex service for free.

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1 month ago

Chinese government blocks WhatsApp ahead of Communist Party meeting

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WhatsApp falls to the Great Firewall.

Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and most Google services are blocked in China, and WhatsApp is now joining that list. As reported by The New York Times, the Chinese government is cracking down on the Facebook-owned messaging service, with users all over the country facing disruptions.

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1 month ago

Best Password Manager For Android

Best overall

1Password

See at Google Play

1Password hits all of the features we expect from this sort of app: AES 256-bit encryption, password generation, fingerprint security, storage for all kinds of information and cross-device syncing; all with a well-implemented Android keyboard that lets you quickly paste login and password details from your secure storage.

1Password gets really powerful when you pay to upgrade from the free version. For $2.99 per month (billed annually) 1Password keeps all of your secure information synced across devices and you don't have to configure a thing. You can also upgrade to a Family or Team plan ($4.99 per month, billed annually) to share important information between multiple 1Password users.

Bottom line: 1Password isn't cheap, but it is definitely the easiest to use and most full-featured password manager available.

One more thing: For teams or families that need to simply and securely share passwords, 1Password is definitely the best choice.

Why 1Password is the best

You get everything you need with a single service in 1Password.

1Password has become the gold standard for cross-platform password managers, and that starts for most of us with the Android app. The app is well designed and implements all of the features we want. That means you get easy ways to store logins and passwords, but also other personal information and notes securely. Everything is secured with top-end encryption and synced across all of your devices — phones, tablets, and computers — with no additional setup.

The app offers one-touch fingerprint login for compatible devices, and also offers a keyboard that lets you quickly paste login information right into apps without toggling over to the full 1Password app. It's simple, and it just works the way you expect.

For many, 1Password is the best choice simply because it offers the best multi-user experience available today. For $4.99 per month, everyone in your family can have shared passwords and access to specific information from other family members, which is invaluable for some. 1Password Teams does the same, but for businesses that need to store and share large numbers of passwords.

For just individuals, 1Password is hoping you'll choose its $2.99 personal plan that offers automatic cross-device syncing, web access and of course regular updates. There's still an option to pay upfront for an individual app license for 1Password, but you lose automatic syncing and web support, which are of course two key features of what makes 1Password so great.

With a simple, powerful app and great sharing options between families or large teams, 1Password really does it all — and that's worth the price for many.

Best for less

LastPass

See at Google Play

LastPass offers the same general set of features as 1Password, including secure encrypted storage of your information, fingerprint unlocking, auto-filling of logins for browsers and apps, as well as free cross-device syncing (which used to be a premium feature).

For a subscription of $2 per month you can get a "family sharing" setup with access for five distinct users, extra two-factor authentication options, emergency access and 1GB of encrypted file storage.

Bottom line: For a full-featured password manager at a lower subscription price, LastPass should be considered.

One more thing: Most people will be happy enough with the basic free features of LastPass, but give the Premium subscription a look just in case.

Best for your own cloud

Enpass

See at Google Play

Enpass is a simple app that integrates every password manager feature you could ask for. There's app auto-filling, a built-in browser, fingerprint sensor lock, password generation and the highest level of encryption. And of course apps for all of the big platforms.

The desktop apps are free, but you'll pay $9.99 for the mobile app to unlock all of its features. That's just a one-time purchase, though, because you can store your Enpass data for cross-device syncing on your own cloud service of choice. Data is still encrypted, so you control it, and you also don't have to pay a monthly fee to keep the service going.

Bottom line: Enpass is a great option for those who want to store passwords on their own cloud, without an additional monthly subscription.

One more thing: Enpass actually has a relatively functional free version if you want to cheap out for a bit before paying for the full feature set.

Best for free

Dashlane

See at Google Play

Dashlane offers industry-standard AES-256 bit encryption of your passwords, as well as secure cross-device syncing and on-device password generation. It's also able to store other sensitive non-password data such as IDs, credit card info, addresses, and secure notes.

Dashlane comes with its own browser that will auto-fill all of your accounts and passwords as you visit websites, but you can also elect to use its keyboard to easily insert passwords into other apps as well. The app blocks screenshots and offers several security measures to keep the app safe from unwanted users.

Bottom line: Dashlane is the best choice for someone who wants to use a full-featured password manager on one device for free, but isn't as good as 1Password for the paid version.

One more thing: When you download Dashlane you get 30 days of the premium features for free to give you a taste of everything it has to offer.

Conclusion

For those who want the absolute best password manager for their phone, tablet, and computers, 1Password is the way to go. It has every feature you (and your family or company) want, and you pay a bit extra for that complete package.

Best overall

1Password

See at Google Play

1Password hits all of the features we expect from this sort of app: AES 256-bit encryption, password generation, fingerprint security, storage for all kinds of information and cross-device syncing; all with a well-implemented Android keyboard that lets you quickly paste login and password details from your secure storage.

1Password gets really powerful when you pay to upgrade from the free version. For $2.99 per month (billed annually) 1Password keeps all of your secure information synced across devices and you don't have to configure a thing. You can also upgrade to a Family or Team plan ($4.99 per month, billed annually) to share important information between multiple 1Password users.

Bottom line: 1Password isn't cheap, but it is definitely the easiest to use and most full-featured password manager available.

One more thing: For teams or families that need to simply and securely share passwords, 1Password is definitely the best choice.

Update Septmeber 2017: The list stands unchanged from before, but we've updated small details on pricing and plans.

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1 month ago

London refuses to renew Uber's license to operate due to safety concerns

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Transport for London announced today that it would not be renewing Uber's license to operate, citing Uber's current policies regarding safety and security as grounds for the decision.

According to a statement released by TfL, Uber's license will expire on September 30. However, Uber has 21 days to appeal this decision in Britains courts, and will be allowed to continue to operate while any appeals remain ongoing. The full list of reasons TfL gave for terminating Uber's license included its approach to reporting serious criminal offenses (such as sexual abuse) and its use of software (internally referred to as "greyball") that is capable of blocking law enforcement officials from gaining full access to the app.

General Manager of Uber London, Tom Elvidge, released his own statement in response to TfL saying approximately 3.5 million passengers and 40,000 drivers in the city use the app at least once every three months, and that those dedicated patrons would be "astounded" at the decision. He also rebutted the TfL's claims that Uber is unsafe:

Drivers who use Uber are licensed by Transport for London and have been through the same enhanced DBS background checks as black cab drivers. Our pioneering technology has gone further to enhance safety with every trip tracked and recorded by GPS. We have always followed TfL rules on reporting serious incidents and have a dedicated team who work closely with the Metropolitan Police. As we have already told TfL, an independent review has found that 'greyball' has never been used or considered in the UK for the purposes cited by TfL.

Despite this, London's mayor Sadiq Khan sided with TfL on all counts:

I fully support TfL's decision — it would be wrong if TfL continued to license Uber if there is any way that this could pose a threat to Londoners' safety and security. Any operator of private hire services in London needs to play by the rules.

As for customer response to Uber losing its license, feelings are mixed. Most individuals are on the company's side, citing the high price of alternative transport:

Others, however, seem to fall somewhere in the middle:

Uber is no stranger to criticism, having faced much controversy already this year involving sexual harassment claims and workplace misconduct. This resulted in the resignation of CEO and cofounder of the company Travis Kalanick as well as the firings of multiple employees, some of whom were higher-ups.

Uber has pledged to appeal the TfL's decision in defense of all the consumers and employees who regularly use its app.

Thoughts?

How do you feel about the TfL's refusal to renew Uber's operating license? Share your opinion with us in the comments.

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1 month ago

Best Android browser for porn [NSFW]

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When privacy and malware-blocking matter more than ever.

A lot of people want to use their phone to look at online porn. According to Pornhub's statistics, 72% of their total traffic (SFW Pornhub stats and press blog link) comes from mobile devices. And since Pornhub is listed as the 44th most popular site on the internet, that's a lot.

We don't judge here. What we want is for you to get the most out of your phone, whether that be fantasy football or porn. With that in mind, let's talk about the best Android browser for porn.

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Firefox Focus

Firefox Focus is the best Android browser to use to watch pornography on your phone. But best is very subjective here, as it is in all things.

The reasoning behind this pick is that if we're going to pick one app as best, it has to do two things better than the rest: block potentially malicious ads and leave no trace of what it was used for. By default, most online ad networks and tracking services are blocked when using Focus. The same blocking features are available in the regular version of Firefox, as well as extensions and plug-ins for a wide range of other browsers. But by doing this automatically, users won't have to worry about any configuration or setup to make sure they are blocking bad ads and cookies.

Erasing all trace of a browsing session is also dead simple. There is a button in the bottom right corner of the app, and with a single tap, you can erase your browsing history, cookies, web logins, and any text you entered any time during a browsing session.

Firefox Focus is pre-configured to block malicious content.

In addition, Firefox Focus also has no sync abilities and won't save bookmarks, which is a plus at a pure privacy level. Many other browsers claim to have a private mode, even Chrome. But a dedicated app with no way to talk to other apps means there is no way you can mistakenly add a bookmark or save a web search that can be seen in another browsing session.

There's also a level of trust to be considered. I believe Google or Samsung or LG or any other company when they make a clear distinction of the things they do not monitor, but Mozilla, the company behind Firefox, has a track record of not only honoring our privacy but also advocating for it.

These things were all factored into our choice, and Firefox Focus is the best browser to use when watching porn on your Android.

Download Firefox Focus from Google Play (free)



The 'Must-Have' features

Firefox Focus isn't going to be a choice for everyone. It's a very bare-bones affair, with no tabbed browsing, no bookmarks, no way to save web logins, and none of the other extras many love to see in a web browser. You can set Focus as your default web browser, but you probably won't. Being lean and blocking all the extra web traffic that ads can bring makes it fast and efficient, but with none of the convenience options we're used to having it would be a chore to use full-time. The lack of these features also means it won't be a part-time choice for a lot of people as well. Even when watching porn.

The things that make Firefox Focus private and secure also make in a chore for everyday use.

If you're going to use a different browser, make sure you can do a few things. First and foremost, make sure you can use it without leaving any trace of where you visited, when you visited, what you typed, and where you went next. This means no local history and no tracking cookies or services are left behind, even if they are used while you're browsing. Small files that tell a website operator information about your web usage can paint a profile which also lasts between sessions if those tracking cookies aren't erased properly.

Second, you need a way to block ads and scripts. Not because ads suck (and yes, we know even "good" ads can be horrible sometimes) but because porn sites have been known to use ad networks that distribute malware.

Even regular ads can be a bother, but malicious porn ads can actually be harmful.

Nobody is surprised when they hear about a legitimate ad company having a piece of malware make it through the screening process. No watchdog system is perfect. But we're talking about ads that aren't checked for content here. Websites make a lot more money by using this type of ad network, and malware authors know the system and where to buy advertising space. While you're not going to find a bad ad that can install an app or root your phone. You will find ads that corrupt your home page, hijack your web searches, and place bookmarks all over your home screen. You'll also see popups trying to trick you by claiming you are already infected with malware. Unfortunately, the only way to be safe is to block as many ads and scripts as possible.

Don't use Chrome to watch porn unless you have to.

The last thing to consider is who makes the browser you want to use. You can block everything, clean all your data when you're finished, and be extra careful not to bookmark a page or save a login. But you can't prevent the company who made the browser from collecting information while you're using it. As mentioned above, I trust Google, Samsung, and other well-known names when they specifically spell out what data they do and do not collect. But not enough to use Chrome's Incognito mode or Samsung's private browsing or a product from any company who makes collecting your data into a business. I also suggest you don't, either. Not when there are alternatives from other companies who don't turn your data into a profit.

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One more thing

After you've considered all this, the final step to go the extra mile is to use a VPN service. Your web browser can keep a website or a tracking cookie from gathering most information, but it can't keep the site you visit and the company who supplies your internet connection from seeing your IP address. Anonymized connection logs from a single IP address aren't necessarily damning, but they have been used by the entertainment industry to contact, and in some cases prosecute, people who illegally download music and movies.

Using any type of proxy means the website sees a connection from the proxy's IP address, and your ISP sees a connection to a proxy server IP address. This also kills the hopes of any company who wanted to track your online habits, which makes spending a few dollars a month on a reputable VPN company well worth it.

Like we said at the top of the article, we just want to help make sure you're safe and private when you think you're safe and private. Being informed makes you the type of person malware authors and online spammers hate. And that's a good thing.

We can't use every single web browser ever written for Android. If you have a favorite you use when you need some privacy or are worried about malware, tell everyone! Taking a minute in the comments to share your configuration makes the whole discussion better.

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1 month ago

Best VPN apps for Android

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Keep your browsing secure and anonymous with a quality VPN service.

Using a Virtual Private Network (VPN) when you're online is becoming increasingly important these days. While the internet is a public space, a VPN acts like an invisibility cloak and makes your online activity virtually anonymous, making it hard for someone to track you when you're online — whether you're concerned about your internet service provider, the government, or malicious hackers.

We've previously looked at the best VPN services across all platforms, but here we're going to specifically look at VPNs for your Android devices. These are apps that are free to download, but typically require you to pay a monthly or yearly subscription. We've run down the best, so check it out!

IP Vanish Nord VPN Express VPN PIA VPN Vyper VPN VPN Unlimited Who It's For Everyone Everyone Everyone Everyone Everyone Everyone Free Version? 7-day Money Back 3-day Trial 30-day Trial 7-day Money Back 3-day Trial 7-day Trial Lowest Price $5.19/​month $5.75/​month $8.32/​month $3.33/​month $5/​month $150/​lifetime Ad Blocking? No Yes No Yes No Yes Server Count 850+ 1350+ 1500+ 3200+ 700+ 1000+ P2P Allowed On P2P Servers Allowed Allowed Not Allowed On P2P Servers Connections 5 6 3 5 5 5 Router? Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Anonymous Payment? Yes Yes Yes Yes No Yes */ /*-->*/

Not sure if you need a VPN? We've got your explainer right here.

IP Vanish

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IPVanish VPN

There's a number of great reasons to go with IPVanish for your VPN services — and one reason that might give you pause.

First, the good: IPVanish features solid encryption, unlimited bandwidth, and lets you connect up to five devices simultaneously. The Android app offers a clean dark theme and is easy to use for beginners, with features that advanced users will appreciate. Connecting to and switching between servers is quick and easy as well making the overall user experience pretty great.

The only downside is that it's all based out of the U.S., which means there's a possibility of IPVanish being pressured to release user information to an outside agency with little to no advance notice to users.

Check out Cale Hunt's full review of the service via the Windows 10 app on Windows Central, or learn more at IPVanish.

Download: IPVanish VPN (Free, $10/month, $26.99/3 months, $77.99/year subscription)

Private Internet Access VPN

For those who are new to using a VPN, one of the most important features will be an easy-to-use interface. You want something as easy as flipping a switch. Private Internet Access offers just that, with an extremely simple Android app. Best of all, a yearly subscription is around $40, which is one of the lowest prices you'll find for a premium VPN.

Private Internet Access uses over 3,000 servers in 24 different countries and has received numerous nominations as one of the best commercial VPNs you can use. They don't log any of your online activity and the app is compatible not only with your Android devices, but also any computers running Windows, macOS or Linux.

Learn more at Private Internet Access.

Download: VPN by Private Internet Access (Free, $39.99/year or $6.95/month subscription)

ExpressVPN

ExpressVPN is another highly-rated premium VPN service that has been praised for its customer service and includes all the features you'd expect from a top-rated VPN such as unlimited bandwidth, unlimited speed, and strong encryption. You're able to connect up to three devices simultaneously via ExpressVPNs thousands of servers in more than 94 different countries.

The app for Android is easy to use for beginners, with settings and features that heavy users will appreciate. Subscriptions are a bit pricier but ExpressVPN offers a 7-day free trial and a no-hassle, 100% money-back guarantee for your first 30 days of service, so you can try it out for yourself.

Learn more at ExpressVPN.

Download: ExpressVPN (Free, $99.95/year, or $12.95/month subscription)

NordVPN

NordVPN is a great option if you're looking for an encrypted connection for up to six devices. Operated out of Panama, NordVPN has no legal obligation to record the activity of its users, so you can confidently connect to one of more than 1000 servers in 57 different countries.

It, too, comes highly recommended from a variety of outlets including CNET and PCMag, with an app for Android that's dead simple to use. Connect to a server with the press of a button and keep your phone protected when browsing on public Wi-Fi.

You can try NordVPN for free with a 7-day trial before deciding whether to commit to a subscription.

Learn more at NordVPN.

Download: NordVPN (Free, $69/year or $11.95/month subscription)

TunnelBear VPN

Don't mistake the cartoony layout of TunnelBear VPN's Android app — it's a simple-to-use app that offers serious VPN protection. You can create an account for free, which gives you 500MB of secure data a month but we'd recommend checking out a paid subscription that lets you connect up to five different devices at a time to servers in 20 different countries.

The Android app is actually fun to use, and you got to give TunnelBear credit for really doubling down on its name by really running with the concept. TunnelBear does not currently support torrenting, so if that's an important feature you're best to look elsewhere. If you're only looking for a casual VPN for your phone, TunnelBear is a great free option with affordable pricing for upgrading to the premium service.

Learn more at TunnelBear VPN.

Download: TunnelBear VPN (Free, $59.88/year or $9.99/month subscription)

Updated September 2017: Added IPVanish VPN to our list.

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2 months ago

Gmail now converts addresses and phone numbers to actionable links

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Gmail finally auto-converts addresses and phone numbers to links.

Google is adding a new feature to Gmail and Inbox that brings a much-needed feature to the mail clients. Starting today, addresses, emails, and phone numbers on Gmail and Inbox will be automatically converted to interactive hyperlinks.

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2 months ago

Best GPS trackers for kids

Best GPS trackers for kids

Keeping a closer eye on your children is now simple, safer, and more accurate with a GPS tracker. But what are the best options? Here are a few to check out!

It can be difficult to keep track of your children, and it can also be hard to gauge when it's appropriate to get them a cell phone or something a bit more mature in order to keep in contact with them.

GPS trackers are fantastic, potentially life-saving tools that help keep track of your little ones, so you won't have to worry about where they are. Just have them wear their GPS tracker like a watch, and the rest is up to your watchful eyes.

Here are a few great options to check out if you're looking for the best GPS trackers for your kids!

Tinitell

Tinitell

Stylish looking with a simple, modern design, the Tinitell GPS tracker is an innovative new smartband that worked effortlessly with an app from your smartphone.

Tinitell isn't only an interesting-looking, modern device, it's also an incredibly durable and resilient GPS tracker. Tinitell is designed to take some abuse, including splashing water and dirt (although the device itself isn't 100% waterproof by any means), and for a price tag of $126, you're certainly getting your money's worth.

With your smartphone, you can connect and monitor your child with a precise GPS tracker, and you can even call your child using the Tinitell app. The smartband can have up to 12 contacts listed, so they never have to worry about being stranded without anyone to reach out to if they're in trouble. To make a call, all they have to do is press the front of the band, say the name of the person they'd like to contact, and that's it!

The Tinitell comes in four different, vibrant colors, including aqua, coral, charcoal, and indigo. You can use a Ting SIM card with your Tinitell for around $12 a month.

See at Tinitell

GBD-GPS Tracker Kids Smartwatch

GBD-GPS Tracker Kids Smartwatch

With all-day tracking, three-way positioning, and even an additional fitness tracker element, the GBD-GPS Tracker Kids Smartwatch aims to make monitoring your children as effortless (and as accurate!) as possible.

Using a micro-SIM card, the GBD-GPS tracker is not only able to make two-way calls, but also immediate SOS emergency calls if your child comes in contact with unexpected danger. While some GPS tracking devices use one or two ways of triangulating your child's location, the GBD-GPS uses GPS, AGPS, and LBS positioning to paint a more accurate picture of where your child may be.

The GBD tracker allows parents to erect an Electric Fence, giving your child boundaries that will set off an alarm on your smartphone if crossed. If need be, parents can also call their child on their smartwatch for easy two-way talking, and can even use the app to set remote alarms and reminders for their children.

The GBD-GPS comes in three neon colors, including blue, green, and bright pink, so there's a color option to match almost every child's favorites. This particular gadget will set you back about $150.

See at Amazon

LG GizmoGadget

If you're a Verizon Wireless customer and are looking for a tracker that will allow your child to use text and voice to check in with you, then the LG GizmoGadget is an excellent option for a very affordable price range that starts at $27.

The GizmoGadget sports a 1.3-inch touch screen display, but in order for your child to make a call, they will have to press the physical button, and then use the touch screen to choose a contact. The GizmoGadget also allows you to pre-program up to 9 different texts messages that your child can send to 10 whitelisted numbers.

PC Mag rated the LG GizmoGadget 4.5 out of 5 stars:

The LG GizmoGadget is an excellent smartwatch for primary schoolers who need to stay in touch with their caregivers via voice and text.

The wearable also has a handful of other useful functions, including an activity tracker, a stopwatch, and a timer.

See at Verizon

dokiWatch

dokiWatch

Though the dokiWatch is designed for children 6 to 12, its sleek and modern looking design, high-quality, reliability, and wide range of color options make it a stylish (and incredibly practical) GPS tracker for people of all ages.

The dokiWatch claims that it's the world's most advanced 3G smartwatch for kids, and there's a lot to support that statement. The dokiWatch combines precise GPS, GSM, and Wi-Fi tracking technology with video call capabilities, voice calling, one-way text messages, fitness tracking, and so much more for around $200.

The smartwatch automatically uploads location data directly to your smartphone, meaning you'll never have to guess where your child is. Video and voice calling is almost instantaneous, while parents can remotely schedule their child's appointments and reminders from the dokiWatch's compatible app.

With the dokiWatch, children can send out SOS alerts if they're in immediate danger to their preset contacts, including their location and a recording of their surroundings. Parents can even enable Class Mode which will remove the distraction of the device while their child is in class by deactivating it at specific times.

See at Doki

What's your favorite?

Is there a GPS tracker you've been using that you're extremely happy with?

Please let us know which model is your favorite in the comments and we'll be sure to check it out!

Updated September 2017: All the options on this list are still the best of the best!

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2 months ago

How to use YouTube TV to get the most out of sports

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Watching the sports you crave is easy with YouTube TV!

YouTube TV not only lets you watch you favorite sitcoms and dramas, but it also gets you access to the biggest sports events on television. With so many channels, programs, and teams, it can be difficult to keep track of everything. That's why we've got the details on how to find every game you want to watch!

Search for a team

Finding out if YouTube TV has programming with your team is easy, all you need to do is a quick search for the Team name. Since a decent amount of the sports programming on YouTube TV is region specific this will let you see what programming featuring your team is available.

  1. Open the YouTube TV app.
  2. Tap the search icon.
  3. Type out the name of your team to search for it.

Watch live sports

While recording the game to watch it all later is awesome, the best part of sports is watching the game live. You can do that with YouTube sports, it just requires finding the event is the right tab.

  1. Open the YouTube TV app.
  2. Scroll down to the Sports tab.
  3. Tap to watch live sports events.

Add a sports program to your Library

  1. Open YouTube app.
  2. Tap the search icon.
  3. Type to search for the name of the program you want to add.

  4. Tap the program that you want to add to your Library.
  5. Tap the plus icon to add it to your Library.

How to add a sports team to your Library

  1. Open the YouTube TV app.
  2. Tap the search icon.
  3. Search for the team you want to add.

  4. Tap to select your team.
  5. Tap the plus icon to add all upcoming games to your library.

View scores from recent games

  1. Open the YouTube TV app.
  2. Tap the search icon.
  3. Search for the team whose scores you want to view.

  4. Tap to select your team.
  5. Tap See all completed games, to view all recent scores.

Questions?

Do you still have questions about watching sports on YouTube TV? Is there something important that we missed? Let us know about it in the comments below!

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2 months ago

Software magic brings HDR support to the Pixel and Pixel XL

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The first generation Pixel phones now include support for YouTube HDR.

YouTube began supporting HDR playback in late 2016, but there were not compatible smartphones to play back the HDR content. Since that time, the LG G6, Galaxy S8, Sony Xperia XZ Premium, LG V30 and Note 8 have all been released or announced with hardware-based HDR support. Now, it looks like last year's Pixel phones will be joining the party.

Android Police reports that the Pixel and Pixel XL now use software-based decoding in order to process HDR content, at least from YouTube. This leaves off other services like Netflix, which has been adding more and more HDR content lately.

Hardware-based decoding would perform better (and work with other services), but software-based decoding is a good way to support current devices. Android Police notes the next generation Pixel devices will include hardware-based HDR decoding, so those would presumably work with Netflix and other services. YouTube doesn't have a ton of HDR content, but there is a channel dedicated to HDR for those with the right hardware.

Have you tried YouTube HDR? Let us know down below!

Google Pixel + Pixel XL

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2 months ago

Best Android Launchers

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These are the best

Want to upgrade your Android experience? Try upgrading your launcher.

The way we arrange, organize, and interact with our apps on Android is called the launcher. Launchers usually consist of a series of home screens, where we can arrange app shortcuts and widgets and an app drawer. Every phone comes with a launcher, but when they drop the ball, there are endless third-party launchers that not only pick it up again but knock it clear out of the park.

Previous incarnations of this article have tried to claim that there is one launcher to rule them all, that there truly is a best launcher out there. I don't really believe that's possible, even though I have a launcher I personally value over all others. You use your phone differently than I do, and I use my phone differently than my co-workers do or my friends or my family. Everyone has their own perfect launcher, but if you haven't found your favorite yet, then here are a few launchers we think will satisfy users of every type.

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2 months ago

How to find the shows you want to watch on YouTube TV

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Finding the shows you want to watch isn't a hassle when you know what you're doing.

YouTube TV has access to tons of great programming from dozens of different channels. If you can't find the shows that you're interested in though, all of that programming goes to waste. We've got the details on how to find the shows you already love, and the new gems you haven't had the chance for yet right here!

How to search for a show

If you already know exactly what show it is you want to watch, then all you need to do is search for the title of the show!

  1. Open the YouTube TV app.
  2. Tap the search icon.

  3. Type out the name of the show you are searching for.
  4. Tap to select the show you want to watch.

How to search by genre

While watching the shows and movies you've seen before is easy enough, but sometimes you're in the mood for a specific genre. If that's the case you can just search by genre to find something new worth watching!

  1. Open the YouTube TV app.
  2. Tap the search icon.
  3. Tap the genre of the program you want to search for.

How to search by network

YouTube TV has access to a variety of different networks letting you watch great shows you know from cable. Using the search function you can view all of the shows from a specific network!

  1. Open the YouTube TV app.
  2. Tap the search icon.
  3. Tap the network you want to search for.

Questions?

Have you used the search function to find your favorite shows? Do you still have questions about YouTube TV? Let us know in the comments!

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