Since it’s clear that the camera on the HTC U11 is better than the Samsung Galaxy S8’s, we thought we’d take things to the next level. No one in their right mind would think that the HTC U11 would be … Read More

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Just because you chose Google’s Android over every other rendition doesn’t mean you should be left out of the wireless fun.

Mophie has concocted a clever solution for those of you who may adore your Pixel XL smartphones, but have been secretly ruing the day you abandoned your wireless charging privileges. The newly released Juice Pack case for the Pixel XL not only tacks on an additional 2950mAh battery, but it also adds Qi wireless charging capabilities.

The Juice Pack offers protective covering and up to 50 hours of additional talk time, claims Mophie. You can charge both the battery pack and the Pixel XL’s internal battery via a Qi wireless charging pad, though Mophie also mentions compatibility with “other wireless systems.” If you need even faster charging, you can plug in a USB Type-C cable instead and Juice Pack will prioritize re-juicing the Pixel XL first.

Perhaps the only drawback of the Juice Pack is that it tacks on an additional 3.8 ounces to your current load, making the Pixel XL an even bigger device. But if you need the extra energy and like the idea of tapping to charge, the Mophie Juice Pack for the Pixel XL sells for nearly $100.

See at Mophie

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Google! A giant among giants who other giants think are giant (yeah, how’s that for writing?) Google’s I/O conference this year has been plagued by the specter of yawns from journalists who wonder where all the fun of the previous year has disappeared to. But what were they expecting? It’s a developers conference!

I’m Michael Fisher, AKA MrMobile, and while it’s not splashy or gadget-heavy, there’s a lot to be interested in coming from I/O this year. From simple things like easy ways to save battery life on your smartwatch, to the ease of the Kotlin programming language, to the 50 billion apps a DAY that Google scans for malware, there’s a lot of cool things to do. Check out this video and Android Central’s coverage of the event for all the reasons you should be excited about what we saw at Google I/O.

Stay social, my friends

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Our friends at Thrifter are back again, this time with some extremely affordable Bluetooth headphones you should try!

If you’ve been considering making the move to Bluetooth headphones but don’t want to spend a ton to try them out, this may be the perfect set for you. Right now you can pick up Mpow’s sweatproof Bluetooth headphones for just $9.99 with coupon code WQMZZ4LE, which is a savings of $23. Keep in mind that at this price you won’t be getting Bose quality headphones, but if you are looking to try something out, or need a new set of headphones for the gym, these may be perfect for the job.

The headphones are lightweight and comfortable, and the non-slip rubber ear hooks help keep them in place. Odds are you can find sillier ways to spend $10 today, so why not give these headphones a shot!

See at Amazon

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

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PlayStation Move enabled games on PlayStation VR bring you into the heart of the game, and add an extra layer of immersion.

Many of the games on PlayStation VR only require you to use a DualShock 4 controller. However, there are a fair few that are either enhanced by using PlayStation Move controllers, or require them to play the game at all. Rather than taking away from the experience, Move controllers can really add to the immersion of PlayStation VR. That’s why we’ve collected the best PlayStation VR games that use PlayStation Move controllers for you to check out.

Read More at VR Heads!

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Samsung devices have reigned as the best Android smartphones for the past few years, but the HTC U11 looks poised to steal the crown this time. With its new HTC Boost mode, the U11 captures and processes images in the … Read More

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Drift is a common and irritating problem with Gear VR.

When it comes to being able to enjoy VR anywhere, Gear VR delivers a great experience. For the most part. However it’s been plagued with issues with the screen slowly and inexorably drifting away at times. This problem can be exacerbated by a number of things, but no matter why it’s happening it’s never fun. We’ve got a few tips to help you cut down on how often it happens, and how to deal with it when it does.

Read more at!

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The screen in front of you is now just the vessel for Google services.

It’s been noted several times and with many words that Google didn’t announce any hardware at Google I/O 2017. Never mind that we actually did talk of stand-alone Daydream devices and new Android Auto partners, the internet wants to hear about phones! All the phones!

Google started as a software services company and things have come full circle.

What we did hear tells us that to Google, phones no longer matter. Google is moving forward in ways that it only needs hardware, and not necessarily Android-based hardware, to use its services. This is exactly how it started all those years ago.

Google I/O has always been a developer conference, not a product announcement or a swap meet. Google will still offer a phone or two later this year, but the Pixel phones are built to showcase the services the company wants you to use and make sure they work properly without any third-party shenanigans. If we can believe the collective power of the internet rumor (and we should in this case), HTC is slated to build the Pixel hardware for at least one more year. But nobody presenting any sessions at Google I/O this past week is concerned about that. This was a developer conference.

Whether the best from Apple or Android Go, a phone is the window to Google’s new world.

We’ll still see big hardware announcements from the companies whose products make use of Google’s services: Samsung and Apple. They are manufacturers of some darn nice pieces of gear, and two companies in direct competition because they both do the same thing: hardware, software and services. But, primarily, they make the hardware we love.

Google, though, like Microsoft, is not a hardware manufacturer. It has never been, despite the existence of Chromecasts, Google Homes and Microsoft’s Surface tablets. It provides internet and cloud based services, and make them do things we love so we all keep using them. Much like we saw from Microsoft earlier this past month, it’s now all about what can happen on any screen. And Google thinks it knows how to capture your attention and keep it: by building better services using artificial intelligence.

We’ve spent the past few days making and hearing the Skynet jokes about Google’s new injection of AI into all the things. While the future can get very interesting when a company who knows everything about you also has machines that can problem-solve, right now AI is how Google is making the things they offer to us compelling to use. AI makes Assistant better, as well as Google Photos and Android and everything else.

Because Google understands how collaboration can make things better, it is also a big proponent of open source AI software and hardware with TensorFlow. This is working, and TensorFlow is the platform of choice for projects both large and small. This, in turn, makes Google’s AI stronger and better.

Google’s new circle of life: AI makes better services, We use better services and give them more data, AI uses the data to make the services even better. Everyone wins.

When machine learning can be used to improve an existing thing, we use it because it’s better. That gives more data to the machine and it learns even more. This is a cyclical action where every party involved is winning. We get a better service. Google gets more users. Machines get more data.

All this needs a device to access it. Google has spent years involved in the hardware side, through reference devices like the Nexus program, or operating system software, or leading the charge with phones and tablets and TV boxes in some other way. It doesn’t need to do this anymore because the device no longer matters for Google. The companies that specialize in making them will lead that charge, and in the end, they will all use Google’s services anyway.

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Cord cutters are raving about Kodi.

Update, May 2017: Added the Amlogic S912 Octa Core Android 6.0 TV Box to our list, along with a brief update on Kodi’s legality below.

If you’ve been hearing people talk about Kodi lately, here’s a quick breakdown of what it is, why it’s great, and a couple recommendations for Android TV boxes that come with it pre-loaded.

Now, the legality of pre-loaded Kodi boxes is being challenged in places like the UK, where five people were recently arrested for selling them. To be clear, neither the boxes themselves nor the Kodi software are inherently illegal, but these individuals were found to have pre-installed add-ons specifically used for illegally streaming live sports, films, and TV. If that behavior is concerning to you, you can always limit Kodi on your own Android TV box to ensure it is entirely legal.

What is Kodi?

Kodi is an open-source media center app that’s been developed and built out over the past decade. Its latest build is one of the most complete media centers you’ll find, allowing you to consolidate all your media — videos, music, and photos — into a single destination with a customizable interface that’s both stylish and easy to use. There’s also a slew of third-party add-ons available within Kodi, which grant you access to all sorts of streaming options from around the world. Kodi is widely available, with builds available for nearly all operating systems and devices. The latest version of Kodi, codenamed Leia, will be released soon. You can read more about the new features being included here.

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Why it’s great

Kodi makes it easy to organize and watch your favorite media from your computer, smartphone, or TV via a Kodi-enabled device. Available in the Google Play Store, Kodi can be installed on pretty much any Android device. While it’s pretty easy to setup Kodi on your own, there’s been increased interest in TV boxes that come with Kodi pre-installed. Simply connect these boxes up to your TV, connect them to your Wi-Fi and you’re ready to start streaming content. Depending on how much you’re planning to invest, these boxes can come loaded with 4K capabilities.

Top picks for pre-installed Kodi boxes

Given how versatile and easy it is to get Kodi, you may already have a device that’s ready to roll — whether you’ve got a computer hooked up to your TV, an Android TV device such as the NVIDIA Shield or the Xaomi Mi Box, or you’re looking for a new project for your Raspberry Pi.

But all these options take some setting up and tweaking, which is why many smart TV boxes are coming preloaded with Kodi. Sometimes referred to colloquially as “Kodi boxes,” these devices range drastically in terms of quality and security, but they’re also extremely affordable and requires very little setup. Take a look at some of these options available from Amazon for under $100.

Q-Box Amlogic S905 Smart TV Box

This Android TV box supports up to 4K playback, runs on Android 5.1 and comes pre-loaded with a bunch of popular apps, including Kodi — though you’ll probably need to do some tweaking to get everything up to date with the latest versions. You’ll be able to update and get more apps for other streaming services you might be subscribed to via the Google Play Store. There’s 16GB of internal storage available for your own media, along with an SD card slot on the back. The Q-Box comes with a remote, but also features two USB ports on the back if you’d prefer to control it with a mouse and keyboard.

Aesthetically, this box has a ring of pulsing light around the perimeter, which might feel a bit gaudy to some, but it can be disabled in the preferences.

See at Amazon

MX3 Advance Android TV Box

The MX3 Advance also is capable of supporting 4K playback and should handle all your binging needs without feeling sluggish. It also comes with Kodi installed and preloaded with a bunch of popular add-ons. There’s 16GB of internal storage along with an SD card slot so you can load up your personal media, and there’s also two USB ports on the back.

Those ports might come in handy since the included remote control has a very limited range and is not so good. You’d be better off getting a wireless controller (See the suggestions on the Amazon page for good options with built-in QWERTY keyboards) or using those USB ports for a keyboard and mouse combo.

See at Amazon

Amlogic S912 Octa Core Android 6.0 TV Box

As recommended by a commenter below, the Amlogic S912 is a great newer Kodi box option that you can buy for around $70. It’s running on Android 6.0 and comes with Kodi and a bunch of other useful media apps pre-installed. There is 16GB of internal storage, 2GB of RAM, and connectivity support for Bluetooth and Wi-Fi — and everything is packaged in a rather stylish package.

Each box comes with standard accessories including an IR remote, HDMI cable, power adapter and user manual. You have the option of connecting up your own keyboard and mouse to make searching for content easier. It’s a great, affordable option that should be ready to roll right out of the box.

[See at Amazon](

Your picks?

What are your favorite ways to access Kodi? Let us know in the comments below!

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 | Posted by | Categories: Android |

What do you do when the lights go out? Sure, you could use the light on your phone, but if you can’t charge your phone, then you’ll want to conserve power. Maybe you’re out camping or hiking, night falls, and you don’t even have your phone on you. Then what?

Get two flashlights for $18 Learn more

If you’re going to do things, do them up right. Don’t bother with some dollar store flashlight that you’ll have to toss because the plastic’s dried out. Get yourself a flashlight with a metal casing that can stand up to the rough life so that you can take it with you wherever you go: camping, hunting, in the car, whatever.

The UltraBright 500-lumen Tactical Military Flashlight is made of an aircraft aluminum alloy and has a range of about a mile in ideal conditions with adjustable zoom. Right now, a two-pack of these flashlights is only $17.99 at Android Central Digital Offers. They regularly retail for $100 together, so you save 82%.

The UltraBright flashlights feature three modes to fit every situation: bright, lower bright, and SOS mode. They come with a convenient storage case, so you can toss them in the trunk of your card and never lose them. The handy and sturdy clip lets you slap one on your belt and have it stay put until you need it. UltraBrights are light and only take one AA battery.

Get two flashlights for $18 Learn more

If you’re looking for a handy little flashlight that’s perfect in any situation, check out the UltraBright 500-lumen Tactical Military Flashlight two-pack at Android Central Digital Offers and pay only $17.99.

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