Fresh Meat: 10 new Android apps worth checking out
New apps need lovin’ too, right? Every day there are thousands of additions to the Google Play Store, but many go unnoticed and never receive the attention they deserve. We’ve shown in the past that this community can discover great apps and propel them to new heights. Our weekly Fresh Meat column highlights new apps with fewer than 100,000 installs. Browse our new Android app picks below and let us know which ones you enjoy.
Photo Editor Christmas
Description: Photo Editor Christmas is a powerful and unique photo editor for the Christmas season! Designed for the Christmas, this photo editor offers a large variety of effects, filters, posters and frames that will enhance your photos with Christmas spirit and make your photos taken during Christmas lovely, perfect and more beautiful.
Description: Built by a bunch of snowsports enthusiasts and instructors, the snowbuddy app is the most social winter sports app with stats, piste maps and challenges to play with your friends.
Home Design 3D
Description: For the first time for Android users, you will have access to a powerful app that allows you to create, design and customize all your plans and ideas.
Description: It’s easy and convenient for you to manage your Target Pharmacy needs including prescription refills, tracking refill status, convenient one-click prescription transfer, finding your nearest Target Pharmacy, and setting up notifications/reminders to take your medications.
Description: MixerBox is a compliant 3rd-party API client that lets you play music and videos from YouTube, SoundCloud and MP3s all within one app! (This is NOT an MP3 / video downloader app)
Description: Super is fun. It’s also quirky, colorful, and different. People who use Super usually laugh once they get into it. Go on, give it a try — it’s free!
Hide and Lock
Description: Hide and Lock is an easy-to-use app that instantly hides files or folders and protects them with a password. It enables you to hide pictures, photos, videos, documents or any other file on your device. It can also hide entire folders and their contents — instantly.
Description: The Yonomi app runs in the background of your phone and simplifies your life by automatically turning the lights on when you come home, announcing the weather in the morning, adjusting your thermostat when you leave your home, pausing the music when you get a phone call, and so much more.
Description: Dat Gif makes sharing gifs simple. Search for your gif, then select share from the three dot overflow button. Swipe through trending gifs, your pinned gifs, or a custom search of gifs.
Geek – Smarter Shopping
Description: Get trending products at 50-80 percent off what you would pay at your local stores. Get the smartest deals on headphones, watches, speakers, phone upgrades, car accessories, and electronics directly on your phone.
PureVPN App Review
By Sean Riley
PureVPN has been an established player in the Virtual Private Network space since 2007 and presently serves more than one million customers. I wouldn’t normally lead off an app review with a description of the company, but when one of the primary functions of the app is to protect your privacy, the fact that they have a long track record doing exactly that is of the utmost importance.
On the off chance that any of you are unfamiliar with VPNs, the short explanation is that by routing your online activity through a server, they will obscure your location and whatever you are doing online regardless of whether you are operating over WiFi from work, home, a public network or even over your wireless carrier.
Classic use cases beyond a generic desire for privacy in whatever you choose to do on the internet include accessing websites blocked by your work/school network, covering torrenting (be it legal or illegal) and accessing region-locked streaming content.
Armed with the knowledge of why you might want a VPN in the first place, let’s move to the specifics of PureVPN.
The app is free in the Play Store and once you have it downloaded, signup only takes about a minute. You are issued a username and password by PureVPN that will be used to sign into the app. There is a free level of service that lets you use up to 500MB (900MB if you complete a few social media activities) with a choice between three of their servers (USA, Sweden and the Netherlands), but you aren’t going to be streaming video or downloading many files with that cap. To unlock unlimited bandwidth and access to the rest of their servers you just need to open up the menu in the upper-right corner of the app and select “Buy Now.” You can opt for a monthly subscription for $4.99 or an annual subscription for $39.99.
Once you are logged in, PureVPN is dead simple to use. There is a gauge at the top of the screen that displays how much bandwidth you have left in your monthly allotment (again, for paid users this is unlimited), your IP address, your location, the location of the server you would like to connect to and finally a big green button labeled “Connect.”
As soon as you hit that green button the app connects to the currently selected server — it typically takes about 10 seconds to connect — and then your IP address and location will change to match that server location. At this point you simply exit the PureVPN app and go about your business as normal. A small key icon in the notification area will let you know that the PureVPN app is still working in the background. When you want to switch it off you just return to the app and click the orange “Disconnect” button at the bottom of the screen.
The full list of servers (87 countries in total) can look a little daunting when you first open it by tapping the small server shaped icon next to the last selected country, but PureVPN lets you filter that list by purpose. Some are fairly obvious, like the United Kingdom server to access BBC iPlayer and BBC Sports Streaming, but I would have had no idea which server to select for file sharing or maximum security and anonymity. This functionality was a recent addition to the app and makes the process considerably more straightforward for the novice VPN user.
One fairly consistent critique of VPNs is that they offer slow connection speeds. This could naturally preclude usage for streaming HD video, one of the more compelling use cases for a VPN in the first place. After over a week of testing with PureVPN I can say that I never had any buffering or issues with HD video playback through Netflix or BBC iPlayer.
I tested Netflix thoroughly across servers in multiple countries as the ability to access an extended library of Netflix content seems a remarkably useful option for cord cutters. To be clear, the download speeds through PureVPN are slower (3-5Mbps) than my standard connection (25-30Mbps), but given the use cases for the VPN, this shouldn’t present an issue.
With our audience, this is likely to be a bigger deal than for the average user, but PureVPN can be installed and running on up to five of your devices. That includes PCs, Android and even iOS.
I’ve been looking into VPNs for the last several months, but simply never managed to pull the trigger on one, which is why I was very interested in reviewing PureVPN when the opportunity presented itself. After just over a week testing the app for this review, I’m sold on the idea of using a VPN and on PureVPN specifically. As I mentioned early on in the review, the app is just so easy to use that it takes no time at all to jump in and out and be back to work or watching a video. If you opt for the full year plan you are looking at just over $3 a month, and whether you are going to use it to extend your cord cutting options, to keep yourself secure, to ensure your privacy or to get around blocked sites, that seems like a small price to pay.
Tylt VU wireless charger review
By Dima Aryeh
Wireless chargers, while very convenient, can be frustrating at times. Many chargers have their own way of centering a device on its lone charging coil, while others don’t include anything to center it at all. You’re left to carefully find the perfect spot where your device starts charging and make sure it doesn’t move from that spot.
Some chargers, like the Nexus wireless charger, use magnets to center the device if the phone or tablet has magnets in it in the first place. It’s finicky, but much better than nothing. Other chargers, like the cheaper Tylt VU SOLO, use a locating tab that’s adjustable to each individual device. But what if you didn’t need to move the device around at all? That’s where the Tylt VU comes in.
What’s in the box: VU charger, proprietary AC cable
Size: 7.5 x 3.5 x 3.1 inches
Weight: 5.7 ounces
Where to buy: Tylt
The Tylt VU is quite an interesting device. Instead of being a pad that sits on your desk like most wireless chargers, the VU acts as a stand for the device, holding it at a 45 degree angle. Other than an LED at the bottom of its front, it has no other defining features. It should be noted that this LED is quite dim and won’t light your room up in the dark, which is important to me.
The back has the power plug, but it’s tucked away to keep a clean appearance. The other end of the cable is a standard AC plug, so you have to use the included cable.
What makes the VU interesting is the inside of the charger. If you happen to take it apart, you’ll see not one but three wireless charging coils. This is how it manages to charge any smartphone of any height or coil position. The entire surface is now a charging surface, eliminating the need for fiddling with positioning. This is the best feature of the charger and why I use it every day. Put your phone on the charger and it’ll charge every single time.
The charging cable for the VU states that it puts out 0.75 amps, which is lower than the 1 amp of the VU SOLO (since you use any USB wall adapter) and the 1.85 amp output of the Nexus wireless charger’s wall adapter. However, I haven’t noticed a significant difference in charging speed between the three. Something probably limits all of them to a certain amperage internally (which is why the Nexus and VU SOLO chargers work with any wall adapter). Either way, the VU is by no means slow, though a cable is of course faster.
The Tylt VU is my favorite wireless charger out there, simply because it’s so easy to use. Place your device on this charger without worrying about alignment, as long as it’s centered horizontally, and it’ll charge every time. Plus, it’s useful to read notifications without touching the device, thanks to the angle it sits at. It’s a bit pricey compared to the competition at $70, but it’s more than worth the price. Head to Tylt’s site to pick one up for yourself!
Moto X (2014) just $359 through Motorola for Cyber Monday
By Sean Riley
The 2014 Moto X is one of our favorite devices right now, hence the recommendation in our gift guide, and that was at its already pretty reasonable $499 asking price. For Cyber Monday, Motorola is chopping $140 off the top, bringing the Moto X to the bargain price of $359 off-contract.
While this is still a hair above the OnePlus One, the fit and finish of the Moto X is unquestionably superior to that device and frankly on par with anything else we’ve handled this year. We saw this kind of pricing with the original Moto X, but the relatively low-end specs on that device always made that feel appropriate. That’s not the case with the 2014 Moto X, which is basically on par with the rest of the flagships, save for its lack of a QHD display.
Since it is available directly through Motorola, this deal allows you to roll your own Moto X with MotoMaker, and there is something amazingly satisfying about making all of the color choices on your device. If you want to go with one of the leather or wood back options, that’ll still set you back an extra $25. The $359 price seems like enough of a deal that buying off-contract is the way to go, but Verizon customers that are willing to commit to a two-year contract can use the deal to get the Moto X for just one penny.
Motorola apparently hasn’t shaken off the memory of their website troubles with Moto X sales last year and is continuing to require that users simply come register when the deal opens up at 11 a.m. CST this Monday, December 1st. You will just need to visit this page and they will send you a code that you must use prior to 11:59 p.m. on December 15th. The deal will remain available while supplies last or until 5 p.m. CST on Monday. Based on past sales like this, I would plan on being there as close to 11 a.m. as possible, as they have sold out every time.
Is this enough of a deal to get you to snap up a Moto X?
Amazon Fire phone price hits $199 without contract, year of Prime included
By Alex Wagner
Remember that time that the Amazon Fire phone cost $199 with a two-year contract? Well now you can get it for the same price without any kind of commitment.
The Amazon Fire phone is now available for $199 unlocked and without a contract. The GSM device plays nicely with AT&T, T-Mobile, MetroPCS, Simple Mobile and more, and each unit comes with a full year of Amazon Prime, which normally costs $99 on its own. The Fire phone launched in late July for $199 with a two-year contract or $649 without.
Since it comes with Amazon’s heavily-skinned version of Android and without any kind of Google apps support, the Fire phone isn’t going to appeal to folks that like their Android to be untouched. At $199 unlocked and with a full year of Prime, though, the device becomes pretty interesting, if anything just as a curiosity or backup phone.
What do you think of the Amazon Fire phone’s $199 no-contract price? Are you going to pick one up?
OnePlus One coming to India via Amazon from December 2
It’s official – the elusive OnePlus One will be hitting India from December 2, exclusively through the local branch of Amazon.
Last week, Amazon teased the “unbelievable” in a picture clearly showing the outline of the OnePlus One. Now the “unbelievable” materialized, and frankly everything is perfectly believable: the OnePlus One will sell through an invite system via Amazon.in. Invites will be specific to India, meaning that invitations acquired by users in other countries won’t work.
Amazon and OnePlus will be seeding 1,000 invites across the internet, and users will need to get hold of one in order to purchase the device. One avenue that is already open is subscribing to OnePlus’ newsletter. Once the invites go out (by December 2), customers will have 48 hours to complete the purchase. Buyers will also get invitations to give away to friends.
It appears that only the Sandstone 64GB model will be available at launch. No details on the price of the device, but according to some Indian outlets, it could be Rs. 24,990 for the 64GB model and Rs. 19,990 for the 16GB model.
To celebrate the announcement, OnePlus and Amazon cooked up a little video starring Amazon’s India boss and OnePlus CEO Pete Lau. Check it out:
Indian readers, will you be trying to buy a OnePlus One come December?
Source:: android authority
Motorola’s fun new ad highlights MotoMaker
In real life, customized Moto X devices are assembled in a highly efficient factory in Texas (or more likely China, since Motorola announced it’s winding down its American facility). A miracle of logistics, this process allows customers to pick from thousands of combinations and get their very own Moto X in a matter of day.
In the whimsical world of Motorola’s new ad, MotoMaker is one guy and his mad-scientist tools, handcrafting Moto X’s on the whims of his customer alter ego. Enjoy!
Source:: android authority
Amazon Fire Phone now just $200 without contract
This is a great, and interesting, shift for big A to make. On one hand, we have a device that is decently equipped, but has been all but laughed off for its overall underwhelming experience. However, at just $200, this phone is now in Moto G price competition. This may make a huge difference in sales, as the Fire Phone compares to the Moto G with twice as much RAM, at 2GB, 5 more MP in the camera, at 13MP and the more powerful Snapdragon 800 SoC, versus the Snapdragon 400 in the Moto G.
The general opinion at launch of the Amazon Fire Phone was that one could pick up a similarly spec’d Nexus 5, but with the pure Google Android experience, for as much as $100 less than Amazon’s initial offering of $450. Although the parallax feature of the entire Fire OS, called Dynamic Perspective, was very cool for a brief moment, the remaining perks, like Firefly and Mayday were all but lost or unnecessary for most seasoned Android users.
Perhaps the best perk with the Amazon Fire Phone is one that is made even sweeter with this new price tag. Purchasing the Fire Phone makes you eligible for one free year of Amazon Prime. The Prime service offers up Amazon’s impressive library of video, music and book titles, not to mention free shipping on all purchases, for the going rate of $99 per year.
Check out our rundown of impressions of the Fire Phone if you would like to learn more.
The unlocked GSM Amazon Fire Phone will work on most U.S. networks, except Sprint or Verizon. If this appeals to you, head on over to Amazon to grab your Fire Phone.
What do you say, is this the right price for the Amazon Fire Phone?
Source:: android authority
Motorola announces huge sale for the Moto X (2014) on Cyber Monday
With all these crazy deals for Black Friday, isn’t it about time that someone remembered the forgotten Cyber Monday? Motorola to the rescue, announcing the unlocked 2nd gen. Moto X (2014) will be $140 off this coming Monday. 1 cent will get you the Moto X (2014) with a Verizon contract and take 30% off on accessories.
The $140 savings on the unlocked Moto X (2014) brings this amazing device down to just $359.00. That’s Moto X (2013) territory.
The deal works on a first come, first served basis, requiring you to log into the Motorola website, here, on Monday, December 1st, 2014 between 11:00 and 17:00 CST. You will be provided a unique promotional code that is good until December 15th.
As a reminder, the Moto X (2014) is a 5.2-inch device with the Snapdragon 801 SoC, 2GB of RAM and a decently updated 13MP camera. Be sure to check out our full Moto X (2014) review for more details.
Let me recap those savings again. Motorola will have the 2nd gen. Moto X (2014) deal this coming Cyber Monday only, Dec. 1, between 11am and 5pm central time. You can get the unlocked Moto X for $359, a savings of $140, or get the device for just a penny with eligible Verizon contract. With either purchase, take an additional 30% off the purchase of any Moto X accessories. Head over to their announcement for more details.
More than a few of you have passed on the new Moto X (2014) because of its price tag, is now the time to buy?
Source:: android authority
Nexus 6 vs Samsung Galaxy Note 4
The Nexus 6 is Google’s first foray into the large smartphone space that has been dominated by Samsung. The Galaxy Note series, on the other hand, has grown from a niche product, to what many might consider Samsung’s true flagship with its latest offering, the Galaxy Note 4. While a comparison between the latest and greatest from both those companies are always interesting, this is the first time that things are on a more even playing field, and we are certainly excited to pit them against each other. Here is an in-depth look at the Nexus 6 vs Samsung Galaxy Note 4!
Editor’s Note – If you haven’t had a chance to see our thorough videos and comprehensive written reviews, see them here! Both were awarded our Editor’s Choice for a good reason!
Before diving into specific aspects of the design language, the obviously noticeable similarity between both devices is the size. While this is something we expect from Samsung and the Note series, the significant jump can take a little getting used to for all the Nexus fans out there. The size isn’t the only similar factor, but overall, the more rigid lines of the Galaxy Note 4 go up against the curved design language of the Motorola-manufactured Nexus 6.
The Samsung Galaxy Note 4 features a new metallic frame, a design element that was first introduced with the Galaxy Alpha, that holds together the 2.5D curved glass up front and the removable back cover, that is once again made from a textured plastic. Samsung’s signature button layout returns, with a physical home button, flanked by capacitive back and recent apps keys, found below the display, along with the volume rocker and power button on the sides. As always, you’ll find the S-Pen tucked away into a slot at the bottom right, easily accessible for when you may need it.
The Nexus 6 also comes with a metal frame and the 2.5D glass up front, with a back cover made from a hard plastic material and with a noticeable curve to it. With its slightly larger display, the Nexus 6 is a little bigger than the Galaxy Note 4 all around, completely encompassing the latter when placed on top of it. Two front-facing speaker grills are found above and below the 5.96-inch display of the Nexus 6.
Size is certainly a contributing factor to the handling experience, but the choice of build materials and design language play a big role as well. The flat sides and the textured back cover of the Galaxy Note 4 help keep the grip pretty secure, while with the Nexus 6, the hard plastic back and the curved sides make for a somewhat slippery experience, which is never a good thing, especially with a device of this size. If you’re moving to either of these devices from a much smaller one, it will take some time to get used to, but the learning curve will likely be steeper with the Google flagship.
Aesthetically, there’s not much to complain about with either smartphone. While the design language remains similar to previous flagships, the new material choices used with the Galaxy Note 4 add a certain amount of flair to the device. On the other hand, Google has banked on Motorola’s tried and test design from their own flagship, the Moto X (2014), only in a larger form factor, making for one of the best-designed Nexus devices yet.
Quad HD is the weapon of choice in the current display spec war, and while there might not be a notable difference from 1080p, we certainly aren’t complaining about the change. Both displays also come with AMOLED technology, with Samsung once again employing their tried and true Super AMOLED displays, to bring the high saturation and contrast you may come to expect from Samsung flagships. AMOLED is utilized by the Nexus 6 in a similar fashion, as its colors have some of that saturation and very comparable sharpness, though its main advantage is the activation of only a pixels for the Ambient Display.
Either screen allows for a fantastic viewing experience, with the Nexus 6 losing a little fidelity only at the sharpest of viewing angles. Though the display of the Nexus 6 is slightly larger, the overall media and gaming experience is largely the same, and basically amazing, on both. It is worth noting that if the high saturation of the Galaxy Note 4 display isn’t your thing, you do have the ability to adjust the color profile to your liking, something not possible with the Nexus 6, which also likely won’t require it.
Bottom line, both displays represent the pinnacle of current display technology, and you cant go wrong with either choice.
With both smartphones …read more
Source:: android authority