Monthly Archives: July 2017

5 Android apps you shouldn’t miss this week! – Android Apps Weekly!

Android Apps Weekly featured iamge
Welcome to the 202nd edition of Android Apps Weekly! Here are your headlines for the last week:

  • Google Play Music and YouTube Red may merge together into a single service. It seems only natural. You can subscribe to one and get the other free of charge. Merging them would just ensure that less confusion ensures when new users sign up. Lyor Cohen, Google’s head of music, stated that they’re evaluating how to bring the services altogether under one roof. We say they should do it.
  • Pokemon Go’s Chicago event was a disaster. The game’s servers were unable to handle the number of attendees present. Thus, many were not able to log on and enjoy the event’s festivities. The CEO of Niantic received boos when he was on stage. It was a fiasco. In response, all attendees got a Lugia for free, $100 in PokeCoins, and a refund for the event.
  • Fleksy had a busy week. They received new ownership. The app also received an update. The update fixed a few outstanding bugs. A company called Thinthing now owns Feksy. They announced that they would use the keyboard as a base for a keyboard platform. We don’t quite know what that means. It may be something like social media. It may just end up bloated like GO Keyboard. We’ll tell you more when we learn more.
  • The Elder Scrolls: Legends is out now for Android smartphones. The initial release was for Android tablets. It was reasonable to assume that phones weren’t far off. It’s having some early bug problems. Here’s hoping they fixed those up before doing a worldwide release. If not, just be patient. Bethesda has an excellent track record with mobile games so far. Fallout Shelter is still among the best out there.
  • Google may bring auto-playing videos to search results. Apparently, Google doesn’t understand why so many people use adblock to begin with. The auto-play videos will mark Google as the latest site to start using them alongside most websites, Facebook, Instagram, and even Twitter. It’s not great, but at least some of their video results so far haven’t been too bad.

For even more Android apps and games news, releases, and updates, click here to check out this week’s newsletter! There you can find more stuff that we didn’t have space for here, like WhatsApp’s one billion users announcement, Waze officially on Android Auto, and more! You can use the form below to sign up for the weekly newsletter if you’d like. You can also check out the Android Authority app for even faster updates!

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Paranormal Territory 2

Price: Free / $0.99
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Paranormal Territory is a new horror-puzzle game. You end up in a house rife with ghastly paranormal activity. Various objects in the house have varying effects on your perception. It also tries really hard to freak you out. The endgame is to escape from the house without dying. It’s not the deepest game ever. Additionally, it does look a little simple. However, you can try the game for free to see if you like it. The full version is a scant $0.99.
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deAMPify

Price: Free / $2.49
DOWNLOAD ON GOOGLE PLAY
deAMPify is an app that deals with Google’s AMP. It will un-AMP links in other places like Twitter, Google Hangouts, or even Google Assistant. Thus, the full page will open instead of an AMP page. The only place it doesn’t work is in Google Chrome. Anyway, it’s a good way to bypass AMP entirely if you don’t like it for whatever reason. The free version provides the basic function. The pro version removes ads, allows for customizations, whitelists, and even some Tasker functionality.
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deAMPify

Piani

Pianista

Price: Free with in-app purchases
DOWNLOAD ON GOOGLE PLAY
Pianista is a rhythm game. Most rhythm games use electronica, techno, dubstep, and other poppy, electric sounds. This one sidesteps that entirely in favor of classical music. It has a variety of songs from famous composers. It also features three speeds, various difficulties (depending on the song), and a 50-stage campaign mode. The mechanics are a bit weird. The timing could use a little more fine-tuning as well. However, aside from that, it’s actually pretty fun.
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Plexchat

Price: Free
DOWNLOAD ON GOOGLE PLAY
Plexchat is a new chat app. It takes on the likes of Discord, Skype, and other gamer-oriented chats. You can create a hub (called a Plex) for your group or the game you’re playing. There are ten levels of permissions. That should make moderators easier to promote and keep control of. You can even join public Plexes for games you play. The app is really buggy right now. It’s also pretty slow. We’re sure they’ll work that out eventually. We wouldn’t recommend it right now, but keep it on your radar. It has potential.
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Plexchat

What Hadjane Says Goes

Price: Free / $4.99 with in-app purchases
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What Hadjane Says Goes is a new RPG from Kemco. You play as Hadjane, the ruler of the underworld. Your minions have rebelled against you. Your goal is to put them back in their place. It has an action-RPG style along with retro graphics, a crafting system, various obstacles, and achievements. It also has a tower defense vibe. Each level will have more bad guys than the last. You can pick it up for free if you want .The paid version comes with a bunch of extra goodies to get you started.
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10 best Android horror games

April 10, 2017

 

10 best messenger apps for Android

January 5, 2016

If we missed any big Android apps or games news, tell us about it in the comments! Don’t forget to check back next week for more news!

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[Deal Alert] NYNE Bass bluetooth speaker with built-in subwoofer and mic $69.99 at Woot ($60 off)

If you are all about that bass (at least as applied to music) and you happen to be looking for a bluetooth speaker, then this deal is for you. Over at the popular daily deal site Woot you can pick up an NYNE Bass portable bluetooth speaker for a mere $69.99. This particular deal slid under our radar until now. But, if you are interested, there are still a few hours left to snag one.

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[Deal Alert] NYNE Bass bluetooth speaker with built-in subwoofer and mic $69.99 at Woot ($60 off) was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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HTC U11’s future update will reportedly enable Bluetooth 5 without hardware changes

From its mirror finish and solid build quality to its great audio and software experience, there is plenty to like about the HTC U11. An upcoming software update unofficially announced through an FCC filing, however, revealed the phone will have another feather in its cap: Bluetooth 5.

As our own Gary Sims eloquently puts it, today’s Bluetooth comes in two flavors: “Classic” and “Low Energy.” The former enables things like keyboards, mice, headsets, and speakers to communicate to other devices, while the latter, referred to as BLE, uses relatively less power and is designed for wearables and beacons.

See also:
How fast is Bluetooth 5 on the Galaxy S8? – Gary explains

How fast is Bluetooth 5 on the Galaxy S8? – Gary explains

June 8, 2017

Where Bluetooth 5, unveiled by the Bluetooth Special Interest Group (Bluetooth SIG) around this time in 2016, mostly comes in is in the boost to BLE’s range and data speeds. Thankfully, those performance increases do not lead to increased power consumption – Bluetooth 5 uses, at most, 2.5 times less power than its predecessor.

Since the new Bluetooth 5 chip set became available early in 2017, however, we have yet to see a slew of devices that support the new standard. The standard also has yet to significantly trickle down to the likes of headphones and wearables, so even though phones like the Samsung Galaxy S8 support Bluetooth 5, it is not much use if other devices do not.

The U11 will encounter that same conundrum once its software update lands, with the update not requiring any hardware change on HTC’s part. That probably means the hardware was already built-in, but a software update was needed to kick it into gear.

Bluetooth 5 does somewhat future-proof the U11, particularly for those who will hold onto it for more than a year, since future accessories will support the new standard. Keep in mind that the FCC filing does not say when the software update will land, but it should be sooner rather than later.

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10 best TV remote apps for Android

best TV remote apps for Android
One of the lesser appreciated features on an Android device is the IR blaster. It has a lot of uses. One of those is to control your TV. There are a variety of apps that are capable of it. However, there are also a ton of TV brands. That can make it hard to find a good pairing. Here, we round up the best TV remote apps for Android and at least one of these should work for you.


Google Home

Price: Free
DOWNLOAD ON GOOGLE PLAY
Google Home is definitely among the best remote apps. Its primary function is to control Google Home and Google Chromecast devices. That means you’ll need one of those to make this work. Otherwise, it’s fairly simple. All you need to do is pick a show, movie, song, image, or whatever. You then cast it to your screen. It can’t do things like change the channel. It also can’t change the volume. However, you can change the volume on your phone and that has the same effect. It’ll only get better as time goes.
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Google Home

Roku

Price: Free
DOWNLOAD ON GOOGLE PLAY
The official Roku app is excellent for Roku owners. The app allows you to control pretty much everything on the Roku. All you’d need your actual TV remote for is volume. The remote with the Roku app comes with fast forward, rewind, play/pause, and navigation buttons. It also comes with a voice search. It’s not what you’d think of when it comes to TV remote apps. However, those with a Roku don’t really need a full fledged remote app anyway. The app is also free.
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Roku

Smart IR Remote – Anymote

Price: Free / $6.99
DOWNLOAD ON GOOGLE PLAY
Smart IR Remote is one of the better TV remote apps. It boasts support for over 900,000 devices with more added on a frequent basis. It’s also not just for TVs. It includes support for DSLR cameras, air conditioners, and virtually any tech that has an IR blaster. The remote itself is simple and easy to read. There are also buttons for things like Netflix, Hulu, and even Kodi if your TV supports those things. It’s a tad expensive at $6.99. It does work really well, though.
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Smart IR Remote - Anymote

SURE Univeral Smart TV Remote Control

Price: Free / Up to $4.99
DOWNLOAD ON GOOGLE PLAY
Sure Universal Smart TV Remote Control is definitely verbose. It’s also one of the great TV remote apps. It works on a whole bunch of TVs. Like Anymote, it also supports other devices with an IR blaster. It has the added bonus of DLNA and WiFi support for casting photos and videos. There is even support for Amazon Alexa. We thought that was rather forward thinking. It also means that Google Home isn’t the only app here with support for a personal assistant app. It’s a tad rough around the edges. However, you can try it before you buy it.
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Twinone Universal TV Remote

Price: Free
DOWNLOAD ON GOOGLE PLAY
Twinone Universal Remote is one of the better free TV remote apps. It features a simple design. You should have no problems using it once you set it up. It should also work for most TVs and set-top boxes. There is even support for some devices that don’t fit into those categories. Right now, the only bad part is the advertising. Twinone doesn’t provide a way to get rid of them. We’d like to possibly see a paid version in the future to accommodate that. Otherwise, this one isn’t half bad.
DOWNLOAD ON GOOGLE PLAY
Twinone Universal TV Remote


Unified Remote

Price: Free / $3.99
DOWNLOAD ON GOOGLE PLAY
Unified Remote is one of the more unique remote apps. It’s useful for controlling one’s computer. This is advantageous for those who have HTPC (home theater PC) set-ups. There is support for PC, Mac, and Linux. It also comes with a keyboard and a mouse for better input control. It’s also great for Raspberry Pi devices, Arduino Yun devices, and more. The free version has a little over a dozen remotes along with most of the features. The paid version comes with everything, including 90 remotes, NFC support, Android Wear support, and more.
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Xbox

Price: Free
DOWNLOAD ON GOOGLE PLAY
The Xbox app is a perfectly good remote app. It allows you to access many parts of Xbox Live. That includes messages, achievements, the news feed, and more. There is also a remote built-in. You can use it to navigate the interface, open apps, and more. It’ll give you quick access to play/pause, rewind, fast forward, back, and other buttons that you’d usually need a controller to access. Many people use their Xbox as an all-in-one entertainment package. Those people can use this app to make it a little easier.
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Xbox

Yatse

Price: Free / Up to $6.49
DOWNLOAD ON GOOGLE PLAY
Yatse is one of the go-to remote apps for Kodi. It has a boat load of features. You can cast media to your streaming devices if needed. It also has native support for Plex and Emby servers. You can access an offline library, control Kodi in its entirety, and it even has support for Muzei and DashClock. We’re only at the tip of the iceberg when it comes to things this app can do. You can try it out for free. You’ll get every feature if you go pro.
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Yatse

Manufacturer apps

Price: Free (usually)
DOWNLOAD ON GOOGLE PLAY
Most TV manufacturers have remote apps for their smart TVs. These apps usually have all kinds of functionality. They connect to your smart TV over WiFi. That means you don’t need an IR blaster to make these work. You can change the channel or the volume. It’ll even let you select apps on the TV. Some of the manufacturer apps are pretty good. Samsung and LG tend to do an okay job with their apps especially. Some aren’t so great. We couldn’t test every manufacturer. Thankfully, pretty much all of their remote apps are free to download. Thus, you can try them out without financial risk. We have LG’s linked up. Just search for your manufacturer in the Google Play Store to find the others.
DOWNLOAD ON GOOGLE PLAY
Manufacturer apps

OEM specific remote apps

Price: Free (usually)
DOWNLOAD ON GOOGLE PLAY
Most phones with an IR blaster come with a remote app. You can typically find these in the Google Play Store. For instance, several HTC devices use Peel (linked). These are the apps that the manufacturers tested with their devices. Thus, it’s fairly likely that they’ll work at least okay. You usually don’t get a lot of features. However, OEMs include those apps on their devices for a reason. At least they usually do. Sometimes they’ll even pre-install the pro version so you don’t have to buy it. You might as well give these a shot first to see if they work since you already have them.
DOWNLOAD ON GOOGLE PLAY
OEM specific remote apps

10 best augmented reality apps and AR apps for Android

March 7, 2017

 

10 best Android Wear apps

June 30, 2016

If we missed any of the best TV remote apps for Android, tell us about them in the comments! This is an update of a formerly written article, so check the comments for some suggestions from our readers! You can also click here to check out our latest Android app and game lists!

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Weekend poll: Do you use Bluetooth headphones?

DSC07617

With smartphone makers seemingly dropping the headphone jack left and right lately, I’ve come to wonder if Bluetooth headphones are ready to swing in and replace our trusty wired headsets. I’ve been trying out a few popular sets of Bluetooth earbuds from companies like JLab and Jaybird, and while I understand the appeal over traditional wired headphones, I also see the downsides.

That’s not to speak of over and on-ear Bluetooth headphones, which are definitely seeing a steady uptick in popularity.

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Weekend poll: Do you use Bluetooth headphones? was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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