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

Android Apps Weekly featured image
Welcome to the 211th edition of Android Apps Weekly! Here are the headlines from the last week:

  • Google decided to not play nice with the new Amazon Echo Show. They pulled YouTube support earlier this week. Google allegedly gave no warning or notification. Google’s return statement indicated that Amazon’s implementation didn’t adhere to the terms of service. In short, the two companies are in a bit of a disagreement. We imagine it won’t take long to resolve.
  • Mozilla Firefox is about to get a lot better on Android. A bunch of things are changing when version 58 hits the Google Play Store. That includes a faster browsing experience, less RAM usage, a visual redesign, and more. The desktop version is getting a similar makeover. The company is also killing off Adobe Flash support in version 56.
  • Twitter is about to double the tweet character limit from 140 to 280. That means people can be awful to each other twice as much with half of the effort! Seriously, though, the feature is currently rolling out to select Twitter users. You can also test the feature yourself by with the Tampermonkey Chrome extension (Google Chrome only).
  • Super Mario Run received a fairly substantial update this week. Included is Remix 10, a new game mode. It sends players through ten short courses in a row. Daisy is also now a playable character. Some other additions include a new section called World Star and the ability to play music stored on your device while playing. The game is also temporarily on sale for $ 4.99. Get it while it’s hot!
  • GO Keyboard is allegedly spying on millions of its users. Research company Adguard ran a bunch of tests. The results weren’t great. The keyboard apparently collects various bits of sensitive information. Many antivirus apps identified some of the GO Keyboard plugins as adware as well. The app also communicates with various tracking networks but a lot of apps do that. Perhaps it might be a good idea to change things up for a bit.

You can find more Android apps and games news, releases, and updates from this week’s newsletter by clicking here! The form below is available for anyone who wants to subscribe and receive the newsletter in their email every week. You can also check out the Android Authority app for even faster updates!

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Another Lost Phone: Laura’s Story

Price: $ 3.49
Another Lost Phone: Laura’s Story is the next game in the Lost Phone franchise. The player finds a lost phone belonging to a woman named Laura. They must dig through the phone to find out why she disappeared. The player digs through various apps to investigate her life, her contacts, her messages, and even her photos. The mechanics are simple enough. It’s a sleuthing game and thus there isn’t anything particularly difficult about it. It is quite fun, though. The game runs for $ 3.49 with no in-app purchases.


Price: Free / $ 1.98
DirectChat is a nifty little chat companion app. It doesn’t send messages on its own. The app does allow other chat apps to use chat heads. That includes instances where it may not be supported. Thus, you can have them with WhatsApp, Hangouts, Allo, or whatever it is that you use. There are some customization options. a Do Not Disturb mode, a blacklist, a block list, and more. The free version contains ads. The pro version goes for $ 1.98. It removes advertising and adds a few extra features.

Pokemon Playhouse

Price: Free
Pokemon Playhouse is a Pokemon-themed kids game. Children can move around the game and interact with a bunch of different Pokemon. It’s a wildly simple title. There isn’t any reading or math skills required to play. It’s not even educational. The game is just there for fun. Nothing about the game is difficult. However, that can lead to a slightly boring game for kids who enjoy more challenging stuff. In any case, the game is entirely free with no in-app purchases or advertising.
Pokemon Playhouse

Google Family Link

Price: Free
Google Family Link is an app for parents. It allows parents to monitor their children’s activities on their smartphone. They can also do things like lock the phone down during certain times of the day. Thus, you can lock the phone when it’s bedtime. Parents have to make a linked Google account for each kid. Additionally, the kid’s phone has to run Android 7.0 Nougat at least. Some are having trouble porting existing accounts into this one. There are also some bugs here and there. Otherwise, it’s an app to keep your eye on.
Google Family Link

Middle-earth: Shadow of War

Price: Free with in-app purchases
Middle-earth: Shadow of War is a new hack and slash action game. It follows the story of Talion and his fight with Sauron’s armies. The game includes action RPG mechanics, tons of gear to collect, and iconic Lord of the Rings characters to recruit. Yes, it is a freemium game. Thus, it has freemium game elements. Other than that, the graphics and sound are decent and the game play is easy enough to learn. It’s worth a shot at the very least.

If we missed any big Android apps or games news, tell us about it in the comments. You can also hit me up on Twitter if there’s an app you think should be here!

Android Authority

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Using Samsung DeX as a PC for a week – can you really leave your computer behind?

Maybe I’m a tech masochist with a passion for frustration and struggles, but somehow I always find myself volunteering for these sorts of experiments – the kind you never really expect to work out as advertized. I’ve tried replacing a PC with a Chromebook, an Android tablet and even an iPad. So when Samsung said the Galaxy Note 8, and the S8 before it, can be combined with DeX to “leave your computer behind”, I just had to find out if it’s true.

Thus I found myself packing my powerful gaming laptop away and putting the Samsung DeX through its paces. I spent a week doing all my computer work with it. Every single bit; from emails to photo editing. Now it’s time to tell you whether I am happy to go back to a regular computer or not.

What is Samsung DeX?

Let’s start by getting you caught up with Samsung’s new toy. The DeX Station is an optional $ 149.99 accessory that can harness the power of the Samsung Galaxy S8 and Note 8 to offer a desktop-optimized version of Android. It comes with a couple of USB ports, a LAN port, USB Type-C for charging and an HDMI connection. Slide the top lid back and you will be presented with a USB Type-C male connector for docking your smartphone.

Once you’ve hooked the device to a monitor, keyboard and mouse, it becomes an Android PC. Of sorts. But don’t mistake the experience for an over-sized Android one. The UI offers multi-window support, a PC-like dock, optimized shortcuts and access to every app/file/function within your smartphone. Pretty neat idea, but is it worth it? Let’s find out.

Design & function

The DeX Station is simple and clean. Its minimal circular shape and slide-back lid make it a nice base for showcasing your smartphone, especially considering all cables and ports are hidden away in the back. Take some time setting it up and it will blend into any environment perfectly. This is great, because you don’t need to look at your phone at all when docked; the screen turns off and becomes inoperable.

The downside? This thing is a station, as in stationary. Essentially, it turns your phone into a desktop computer, a device you would “leave behind” anyways. Sure, it might be a good alternative for those who currently carry around full PCs from place to place – but who does that?

And those who use laptops as a daily driver will actually lose portability rather than gain it, as the DeX dock needs to be hooked up to an outlet, monitor, keyboard and mouse to work. How often do you find those lying around in cafes? DeX is really only one small piece of a much larger equipment puzzle, pretty much torpedoing the benefit of its being small and portable. And if it’s only really useful in one place with all its peripherals at hand, why not just use your regular PC?

That point aside, when you are setting DeX up, make sure you get your keyboard and mouse set up before anything else, especially if you will be using Bluetooth for any of your peripherals. Because you will have a hard time connecting these to your Galaxy S8 once the phone is docked, as the screen goes dead.

Now, the story would be completely different if there was a laptop dock, but that is a whole other topic we can’t get into here. As it currently stands, the DeX station will do just that… stand. It is not for the mobile warrior. Hence, the only way I see this working is if the user can survive with only using a phone, but could still benefit from a PC-like experience when in reach of a monitor and PC peripherals (like at home). But we can’t pretend that is going to be the case for many users. Most folks with no real need for a full PC are hardly going to be buying into a smartphone-based PC replacement solution, which begs the question: who is DeX really targeted at?


Assuming you’ve taken the leap of faith DeX requires, the execution isn’t half bad. From processing to files and apps, the whole experience is powered by our Samsung Galaxy S8 or Note 8. This smartphone is the brain and guts, which means you would essentially be running Android 7.0 Nougat, at least until the better peripheral support of Android Oreo arrives. Now, this is not like using an over-sized tablet (that is no way to live, trust me). Instead, Samsung has optimized the UI to look and operate more like a PC would. Seems like no easy feat, right?

General UI

The main desktop looks much like Windows’, automatically making most users feel at home. There are 3 main buttons in the bottom-left corner: All Apps, Recent Apps and Home. Next to them are a series of customizable pinned applications. Settings and notifications can be found in the lower-right corner of the screen.

I mean, throw a search area in there and you pretty much have a Windows taskbar, right? The desktop area doesn’t have to be empty either. You can throw commonly used apps in there (much like pinned programs).

App selection and optimization

If you are to replace a full PC operating system with a mobile one, I would say Android is your best bet. It can be customized to your will. But most importantly, the nearly three million Android applications available from the Google Play Store are at your full disposal.

Now, how well do all these millions of apps function when you have to work with a mouse, no touch screen and a large computer monitor? It’s a very different story to the small screen experience in your pocket, and the truth is it depends. Samsung did partner with some developers to get some applications optimized for DeX, but they are not many. The good news is that the majority of apps you’d want to use with DeX are DeX-optimized though.

The good news? Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint are in there! Those are definitely among the most popular apps and they work amazingly with DeX. You do need an Office 365 subscription to use them, though. I am also a fan of the Skype app, which was made to look much like the desktop version.

It was also great being able to use Photo Editor MG, but I did prefer the regular Adobe Photoshop Lightroom app from the Google Play Store. It already works very well with tablets, which translates well to desktop mode in this case. This is not always the case, though, which takes us to the next topic – app discrepancies.

Discrepancies and inconsistencies

Because most applications are optimized for mobile consumption and touch controls, things can get pretty awkward when trying to use them with DeX.

Dragging and using gestures is very common in Android, but this becomes a very non-intuitive experience when using a large monitor and a mouse. Samsung made an effort to make this fact known; you will often get a notification saying “some functions in apps are not supported by Samsung DeX”. Then there are apps like Amazon Shopping, which straight up won’t open.

Because all apps are made differently, there are plenty of inconsistencies. I hate the fact that in some messaging apps you can press enter to send, while this is impossible with others (e.g. Facebook Messenger). Having to use your mouse every time you send a message is annoying as hell. It may seem like a small thing, but it’s the kind of small thing that’s very noticeable in a desktop-like environment.

There is also the size factor. Some apps could be turned to landscape mode, while others were restrained to portrait. Then you have to deal with the fact that most can’t really be resized or expanded to full-screen mode. I found that it was much more convenient to use Chrome for all these services, which is what you would most likely do in a PC, anyways.

Messing with browser windows and tabs worked great though. I was able to open multiple windows and organize them around my desktop in true multi-tasking manner. But though this was the best route, I can’t exactly say it was a smooth ride either.

The Android Chrome app automatically chooses mobile sites, and there is no way to default to desktop versions. Basically, every time you open a tab you will have to go into the settings and hit “Request desktop site”. From then on, that tab will stick with full websites, but you will have to request a desktop site again for any new tabs. It’s an inconvenience, but until there is an option to always request desktop sites you will pretty much have to deal with it.

I also came across a few glitches. When using WordPress, for example, the whole page would resize when hovering over certain links. Sometimes I would have trouble scrolling (especially within Facebook). There were little things here and there. Not enough to exactly break the deal, but enough to become an annoyance. Again, for a non-PC user, these might be acceptable in a DeX-only world, but if you already have a PC or laptop laying around, you’d be much more likely to just use that.

Gaming and multimedia

Following the launch of the Galaxy Note 8, Samsung has introduced a few new features to the DeX experience. There’s now a full screen option for a bunch more games and a selection of other applications. To activate it, you’ll need to be using Samsung’s Game Launcher software, but once you’re in you’ll find games like Vainglory optimized for a traditional keyboard and mouse setup.

Other multimedia tasks have received some upgrades too. On the app side, Lightroom photo editing software now works in fullscreen. Meeting and video conferencing customers using Zoom, Meeting, or BlueJeans can display an extra display to callers, which can be edited in real time.

Regular phone functions

For all intents and purposes, your phone has officially become your computer with DeX. This leaves people wondering what is going to happen with regular phone functions? You have access to all your apps and services, so this means you get the same notifications and can react to them just as you would when using the actual smartphone.

The one thing that is annoying is answering calls. The screen goes dead when docked, meaning you have to fumble between the phone and the desktop set-up to choose which answering method you prefer. It’s possible to use physical speakers to make the call, or answer and then take the phone out of the dock. You don’t have to wait for the Galaxy S8 to switch from DeX to phone mode; the conversation can start right away, even as the phone is switching. Alternatively, one can set up a headset for calls.

Can you replace a PC with Samsung DeX?

So, can this little hub really take over your laptop or desktop PC tower? It certainly won’t for everyone, but some people could get away with it. I will say one thing – I have tried to replace my PC with multiple mobile devices in the past and so far Samsung DeX has gotten the closest to accomplishing this.

But that is not to say the experience is flawless. Remember: this is powered by a mobile device with software designed for smaller screens and touch displays. Regardless of how much Samsung tries to make the experience seamless, some things will get lost in the translation between mobile and stationary ecosystems. Things might change with Oreo to some degree, but that’s still a ways off for Samsung.

Using Android apps with DeX proved to be very inconsistent most of the time, and reliability is an important factor, but I believe Samsung did its best in this department.

It’s just hard to keep applications working smoothly when they are all made by different developers and for varying purposes. These are smartphone/tablet apps, after all. The few DeX-optimized apps available worked perfectly, though.

My biggest gripe was definitely the lack of portability. You can’t realistically use DeX on-the-go. For starters, it needs to be plugged to a wall socket. Then, you have to factor in the fact that it works with a monitor, keyboard and mouse.

None of that makes me believe you can really “leave your computer behind”. The DeX station is, by design, the thing one would leave behind, not the thing that replaces it. Unless you plan on bringing your whole desktop set-up around. So until Starbucks starts providing DeX areas along with their overpriced coffee, DeX really only has a home or office-based scope.

I could realistically only leave my real PC behind if I settled on using my phone for everything. While I do see some users taking advantage of this, most folks require more power from their desktops. People who use their mobile devices for literally everything could definitely benefit from large-screen desktop browsing and Word editing though. DeX could be great for this, and the fact that all your apps, services and files are in one device makes the transition as convenient as can be. But DeX replaces only a small fraction of what a PC offers.

In short, Samsung DeX is not a PC replacement, it’s a smartphone enhancement. So you better still plan on taking that laptop with you if you require some serious computing power.

Android Authority

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Crowdfunding project of the week: LAER laptop sleeve keeps all your devices charged

It’s Sunday and this means we are ready to bring you another ‘Crowdfunding project of the week’, where we highlight some of the hottest tech coming from sites like Kickstarter and Indiegogo. There’s no time to waste, so let’s jump right in.

Other featured campaigns: 

Keeping devices alive has become one of our biggest worries. This is exactly why I don’t mind carrying horrifyingly bulky battery cases or packs around. ARROE has something else in mind, though. They want to turn your laptop sleeve into the ultimate charging hub.

LAER not only protects your laptop from the daily dangers of being carried around. It will also keep all your devices alive with the integrated battery and set of ports made to support every gadget out there. It has USB Type-A and USB Type-C ports, not to mention Qi wireless charging. Yes! You can just place your Qi-compatible device on top of a circular charging area and begin juicing up.

Travel a bunch? No problem. Make sure to keep a charge with the included outlet adapters. It even has Bluetooth, which makes it possible to control it with an app. And TrackR support will help you keep more peace of mind when in fear of loss or theft. The package is as complete as it can get and we can’t help but recommend it. Just keep in mind you will have to wait a bit until its March 2018 estimated shipping window.

Those interested can sign up for as little as $ 100, which seems like a reasonable price for all you get. This package will only get you a 5,000 mAh battery, though. If you want a secondary 20,000 mAh pack you will have to pay at least $ 140. Who is signing up?

Android Authority

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Crowdfunding project of the week: Vintage Vinyl Bluetooth Speaker

Welcome to our ‘Crowdfunding project of the week’, where we highlight some of the coolest gadgets coming from sites like Kickstarter and Indiegogo. You can’t be browsing through hundreds of campaigns, so we do all the hard work for you. Let’s jump right into this weeks featured project!

Other featured projects:

Are you a vinyl fan? We know plenty of audiophiles are all about it. Today’s speaker will represent your love for records while giving any room an awesome vintage touch. In essence, this is simply a Bluetooth speaker; it is its design and materials that make it special. An actual vinyl is shaped to look like a horn loudspeaker, while the rest of the body highly resembles a classic gramophone.

Where things get fun is in customization. You can choose the album, as well as the label. Pledging $ 195 will get you a speaker made with an album representative of your genre of choice. Options include 60s Rock, 70s Rock, The 80s, Disco, Jazz and more. Pledge $ 205 and you get to create your own custom label or design the album artwork. You can even submit your own favorite album to be built into the speaker. If you don’t have it, pledge $ 250 and the team will find it for you.

It is not the cheapest Bluetooth speaker around, but you are buying more than just a speaker. This will be a representation of musical history and your own taste. Are any of you signing up?

Android Authority

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Is your Android phone rooted? [Poll of the Week]

Last week’s poll summary: Out of over 14,300 total votes, 45% of our readers said they need at least 64 GB of on-board storage in their smartphones. 29.4% said they’d be okay with just 32 GB, and 15.7% said they need a massive 128 GB of local storage in their phones. Only 5.5% of our readers said they can get by with 16 GB, and 2.6% said they’d be okay with only 8 GB of storage space.

Rooting may not be as popular in the Android world as it once was, but there are still a number of great reasons to go down this path. With a rooted Android phone, you can get rid of carrier bloatware, create backups, overclock or underclock your device, and much more. There are also device-specific reasons for rooting your Android device, such as remapping your Galaxy S8’s Bixby button to open Google Assistant without the need for a separate app.

See also:

Benefits of rooting your Android phone or tablet

March 7, 2017

But as the Android operating system progresses over time, many would argue there’s much less reason to root. Google and other OEMs have been doing a good job at bringing what used to be root-only features to Android. For instance, many people used to root their devices to get more customization options out of the phone’s software, but now manufacturers are including built-in theming engines in with their Android skins. Plus, rooting your Android device opens up a number of compatibility issues, especially when it comes to mobile payment and banking apps.

So, is your Android phone rooted? Why or why not? Be sure to cast your vote in the poll attached below, and let us know your thoughts on rooting in the comment section. We look forward to hearing what you have to say!

Next: Android Miracles: when seeing is believing

Android Authority

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

Welcome to the 182nd edition of Android Apps Weekly! Here are the big headlines from the last week:

  • Capcom is apparently working on bringing four more classic games to mobile. One of them is 1942, a classic top-down shooter that many people enjoyed back in the day. So far, Capcom has botched six Megaman releases this year so we’re hoping that this attempt goes a little bit better. We don’t have a time frame a release date just yet. We just know that they’re working on it.
  • Twitch received an update this week. In the update is a new thing called Pulse. Pulse is a lot like Facebook’s Timeline except for video streamers. It’ll make it easier for affluent members of the community to share clips, highlights, and even stuff like schedules. Followers can see these things and interact more. It adds a bit of nuance to Twitch’s otherwise cut and dry experience. It should be rolling out right now.
  • Google Play announced their first original podcast this week. It’s called City Soundtracks. It’s essentially a podcast version of VH1’s Behind the Artist. Each episode will focus on one artist and their hometown. Most are calling it an attempt for Google Play to promote its own service from within. However, it does sound genuinely interesting. It launched on March 8th with three episodes. It’s on Google Play now if you want to try it out.
  • Fireproof Games announced that a new Room game is coming. It’s called The Room: Old Sins. Like its predecessors, it’ll be a mix of an escape game and a puzzle game. There isn’t a lot of information available yet. However, we know it’ll take place in a house and will feature a very creepy dollhouse. There isn’t a definitive release date just yet. We just know that they’re working on it.
  • Word around the digital grapevine is that Spotify is preparing a lossless Hi-Fi option. Some users have reported seeing a prompt to upgrade to the new service. The prices ranged from an additional $ 5 to $ 10 for some. The likely explanation is that they’re testing to see what prices people like. This will put them directly in competition with Tidal as the only two companies that do lossless streaming. Also, Spotify announced that they’ve hit 50 million paid subscribers.

For even more Android apps and games news, updates, announcements, and releases, check out this week’s newsletter by clicking here! There you can find a bunch of stuff we didn’t have space for here, like a big Pokemon Go update that’s coming soon, Google Maps promoting the new King Kong movie, and Nintendo’s Joy-Con controllers actually working on Android. You can subscribe to the newsletter using the form below if you’d like and we’ll send it to you every Sunday. Also, check out the Android Authority app for even faster apps and games news!

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Splitter Critters

Price: $ 2.99
Splitter Critters is a unique puzzle game. You play as a few cute little critters and your job is to get them to the end of any given level. You do so by chopping up the level in such a way that they can proceed. That can involve chopping up the landscape so they can walk or even hacking up the place so that various obstacles can be overcome. It’s cute and surprisingly creative. You can pick it up for $ 2.99 and it has no in-app purchases or advertising.


Price: Free / up to $ 5.49
Cornerfly is an Android customization app. Its sole purpose is to make the corners of your screen rounded. You know, like you’d see on the LG G6 or the Galaxy S8. You can also configure the app for any individual application if you want to. The best part is that it doesn’t require root to use. You can use it for free. However, going pro will allow you to customize the corners and it’ll remove the advertising. It’s a little thing, but sometimes the little things can be fun. It’s free to download if you want to check it out.


Price: $ 3.99
Unworded is a narrative puzzle game. In this one, you’ll be tasked with little puzzles where you build objects out of letters. You’ll do stuff like use a J to make the handle for an umbrella or use an H to make smoke stacks on a boat. Along with the puzzles is a little narrative story that gets told to you as you complete levels. It’s an entertaining game, although we would’ve liked to see a bit more complexity in some of the puzzles. It’s $ 3.99, but there are no in-app purchases to get in your way.


Price: Free / $ 6.99 per month
BritBox is a new video streaming service. It’s for US residents only and that’s unfortunate. However, those with access can pick up a ton of TV shows, movies, and programs created in the UK. As a service, it seemed to work fairly well. We watched several shows without any buffering or lag problems. The UI isn’t much to look at, but it’s still pretty easy to move around. About the only real downside is a lack of super hit shows like Top Gear, Dr Who, Weakest Link, and some others. It’s $ 6.99 per month if you’re interested.


Price: Free / $ 2.99
Shadowmatic is a new puzzle that focuses on shadows. It works by placing a random object in front of a bright light. Your job is to twist and turn the object around until the shadow turns into a picture of something. The game includes over 100 levels, achievements, an arcade mode, hints, and more. You can get the first 14 levels for free and then you’ll be asked to pay $ 2.99 for the rest of the game through an in-app purchase. It’s fun, kid friendly, and the graphics in this one aren’t half bad.

If we missed any big Android apps or games news, tell us about it in the comment section below. Thanks for reading and don’t forget to check back next week for the next one!

Android Authority

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Crowdfunding project of the week: Long is a 36,000 mAh battery pack that isn’t huge


Crowdfunding sites like Kickstarter and Indiegogo have tech geeks spending money left and right on cool gadgets. This is because there is so much creativity in the industry, but financial limitations could keep smaller companies under the radar. Big players are no longer the only ones bringing the goods and we know there are great crowdfunding projects out there, but there are also some we could live without.

This is why we have created the ‘Crowdfunding project of the week’ series, where we feature the coolest of the bunch. Today we are taking a look at a portable battery pack named Long. Shall we jump right into the details?

Other featured projects: 

We have seen plenty of portable battery packs, right? All sizes and prices. So, what is it that makes Long special? Let’s start with its capabilities: this thing has 36,000 mAh of juice inside. To put that into perspective, a Samsung Galaxy S7 has a 3,000 mAh battery.

Nexus-6P-Gold-Hands-On-AA-(9-of-10)See also: Best USB-C portable battery chargers6

I have used such large batteries in the past. My favorite happens to be the LUXA2 P-MEGA, which has a 41,600 mAh battery inside. The only thing is that Luxa2’s battery is huge. It literally looks like it could be one of those compact PC towers. In comparison, the Long battery pack is still larger than what most of us are used to, yet portable and much thinner than previous competitors.

The inventors say this thing will offer “a few days” of charging, which is completely believable. And don’t think it can only handle smartphones and tablets. The Long protable charger is actually designed to power up laptops and other larger devices.


The surprises don’t end there. Wait until you hear this – the darn thing is going to be free. The guys at Long are hoping this will be a distribution item, as opposed to a retail product you can just go and buy. This means that, if all goes according to plan, some laptops will probably come with one of these.

But of course, this is a crowdfunding campaign, so there is a price right now. You can get a Long battery pack for as low as $ 40, which is really a steal for what you are getting. Their $ 10,000 goal is not close to being met yet, but the Indiegogo campaign is new and still has 2 months to go. Will you be signing up?

Check out Long on Indiegogo

Android Authority

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

varagesale Android Apps WeeklyVarageSale

[Price: Free]
This week’s Android Apps Weekly show is brought to you by VarageSale. VarageSale is a Craigslist kind of application where people can post things they want to sell and you buy them. Unlike Craigslist, you’ll be required to create an account before you can interact with the site which is a mechanic we liked a lot. From there, you simply search around, find the stuff you want, and then buy it.
During our testing, we found all kinds of stuff from cloths to electronics and even an engagement ring. You can browse various categories in areas near you and you can even leave seller feedback which helps show which sellers are the most reliable. It has a lot going for it and it’s definitely worth a shot if you’re getting ready to sell stuff or just want to look around. It’s totally free so check it out and show your support for the Android Apps Weekly show!

Get it now on Google Play!

varagesale Android Apps Weekly

Welcome back to Android Apps Weekly! Let’s take a look at the biggest headlines from the last week:

  • We managed to get a hold of the official Reddit beta application last week and wanted to show you what it was going to look like. It seems to have a modern design full of Material Design along with a few other fun features. We don’t know when it’ll be released but it seemed to work pretty well to us.
  • SoundCloud announced a new stations feature that will give users a chance to listen to music similar to how they do on Pandora. This comes not long after announcing signing deals with a couple of major labels and announcing that they’ll be turning into a legitimate streaming service to battle the likes of Spotify.
  • Nintendo has announced that people can start signing up for the closed beta of Miitomo, their first Android game, starting on February 17th. We know a lot about the game already and how it will emulate social media to an extent. However, we won’t know everything until we get our hands on it and that may be sooner than later.
  • Even though most of Apple’s apps have received a slew of terrible ratings in the Play Store, they seem to be doing pretty good. How good? Well, Tim Cook announced this week that even more Apple apps will likely be making their way to Android. We don’t know which ones yet, but our guess is likely iCloud and other productivity apps.
  • Perhaps the biggest app news from the last week was Microsoft purchasing SwiftKey for $ 250 million. There hasn’t been a lot of information from either company but the popular guess is that Microsoft is after SwiftKey’s legendary predictive algorithms and AI. For now, nothing is changing, but after seeing what happened to Sunrise Calendar and Accompli, we wouldn’t blame you if you were a bit worried.

For even more Android apps and games news, don’t forget to check out this week’s newsletter! We had a metric ton of news there that we didn’t have time for here. If you want to sign up, use the form below and we’ll send you the Android Apps Weekly newsletter every Sunday!

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sundance vr Android Apps WeeklySundance VR

[Price: Free]
Sundance VR is a newer application released with the idea of showing you full VR content including short films, music videos, and other types of VR stuff. It’s a newer app and there aren’t a lot of selections yet so you may not find the app overly enjoyable right now. However, if you own Google Cardboard or you’re interested in VR, I would keep this app in your crosshairs because it should get a decent selection of unique VR content eventually.

Get it now on Google Play!

sundance vr Android Apps Weekly

lego ninjago skybound Android Apps WeeklyLEGO Ninjago: Skybound

[Price: Free]
The latest LEGO game has hit the Google Play Store and like many were before it, this one is entirely free with no in-app purchases. This one continues the Ninjago series where the prior game left off and includes a lot of the same graphics and mechanics as prior Ninjago games. There is a stealth element where you can hide in the shadows instead of engaging in fights and the controls are very simple. It’s a great title for kids or adults and is especially great if you’re low on money.

Get it now on Google Play!

lego ninjago skybound Android Apps Weekly

marvel avengers academy Android Apps WeeklyMarvel Avengers Academy

[Price: Free with in-app purchases]
Marvel Avengers Academy is the latest adventure/simulation game out of TinyCo. They are the same developers who did Family Guy: The Quest for Stuff. The game lets you play as your favorite Avengers as teenagers who are just beginning to find their abilities. You’ll battle bad guys, level up your characters, and even do teenager stuff like go on dates. It’s a mixture of adventure and simulation so there will be some management here and there and then some action here and there. It’s free to download but does have in-app purchases.

Get it now on Google Play!

marvel avengers academy Android Apps Weekly

promo codes Android Apps WeeklyPromo Codes

[Price: Free]
Promo Codes is a new application that is meant to take advantage of the new promo codes feature in Google Play. It’s very simple. Developers sign up for the service and once per day, people using the app can check and see if they get a free promo code. If they do, they get a paid app for free. If not, well, better luck tomorrow. It’s a fun and unique way for developers to utilize their promo codes and even if the users lose out, they get to see a fun new app every day. This should be on every smartphone. Get it.

Get it now on Google Play!

promo codes Android Apps Weekly

adventures of mana Android Apps WeeklyAdventures of Mana

[Price: $ 13.99]
Adventures of Mana is a classic RPG that was originally released on Game Boy in the early 1990’s. Don’t worry, though, because Square Enix has updated the graphics and soundtrack to make it look way better than it did back then. The story line and content remains intact and you’ll play once again as the hero trying to keep the Dark Lord Glaive from reaching the sacred Mana Tree and destroying all life. It has simple, touch-based controls. There is also a steep price tag but at least there are no in-app purchases.

Get it now on Google Play!

Related best app lists:

If we missed any big Android apps or games news, tell us about them in the comments!

Android Authority

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Kickstarter project of the week: Pocket is a wallet and a portable battery pack


Kickstarter is teeming with innovation, but it’s also drowning in a bunch of experimental products that won’t really take off or improve your life. This is why we created the ‘Kickstarter project of the week’ series, where we hand pick the best projects we see hitting the popular funding website.

Other Kickstarter projects to see:

So, which is the lucky winner this weekend? I came across this nifty little gadget that is named Pocket. This accessory only does a couple things, but it does them very well. In a nutshell, it is a wallet that doubles as a battery pack.

As a wallet, it is actually quite a nifty product. It is thinner, made of plastic and seems to be quite resistant, but it is also helpful. The spring-loaded card slot fits 6 cards, and another one can be placed on the outside (good for NFC payments). On the other side we will also find a band for conveniently storing bills.

Best portable chargers and batteries featureSee also: Best Portable Battery Packs16

Now, what about that battery part? Packed inside this little gadget is a 1300 mAh battery. And you won’t be needing to carry any extra cables here. The Pocket comes with a couple charging cables integrated. One has a microUSB tip, while the other sticks to Apple’s Lightning connector.


1300 mAh is arguably a small amount of juice, but we must consider this unit is super small. Plus, it will never really get in the way. There wouldn’t be a need to remember putting it in your bag or think about it, so you won’t even feel like you re carrying anything extra. It’s always with you! Considering all this, 1300 mAh is nothing to scoff at. It just can’t really give you a full charge on an average smartphone.

Interested? You will need to back this project with at least $ 75 to get your hands on one. This is a good discount over the expected $ 99 retail price, right? There were cheaper offers available to early backers, but those are gone now.

Back the Phorce Pocket on Kickstarter


Android Authority

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

Welcome back to Android Apps Weekly! Yes, we’re giving Sunday a shot. Here’s hoping you like it!

jump'n'roll Fallout Pip-Boy Android Apps WeeklySponsored by Jump’n’Roll Eyeball

[Price: Free / $ 1.99]
This week’s episode of Android Apps Weekly is sponsored by Jump’n’Roll Eyeball. This is a 2D, side-scrolling platformer where you play as a giant eye with legs. Your goal is to maneuver obstacles and avoid danger to complete the levels. The game play is simple to learn but challenging to master as you’ll be both jumping and rolling a whole bunch.

Despite its simple look, the game can be quite difficult at times. It also comes with Google Play Games leaderboards so you can keep track of who has done it best. It’s a great little time waster and it’s free to download with a single $ 1.99 in-app purchase to remove ads. Give it a shot and show your support for Android Apps Weekly.

Get it now on Google Play!

Let’s get to those headlines!

  • Facebook has mandated that many of their employees must switch to using Android devices over their iPhones. The idea behind the switch is so more of them understand what the Android experience is like. Here’s hoping their batteries die as quickly as ours when using Facebook and the app gets some much needed improvements.
  • Scott Games has announced that there will be another Five Nights at Freddy’s game except this one will be an RPG. A trailer has been put out but otherwise not a lot of details are available right now. There’s no time frame on release yet but there will be a free demo to play eventually.
  • In a surprising move. Activision has purchased King, developers of Candy Crush Saga, for $ 5.9 billion. We’re not entirely sure why but this gives Activision a gigantic mobile presence that it did not previously have. For now, everything’s going to stay the same but expect to see some stuff next year as a result of this.
  • The latest Humble Bundle is now live! It currently includes six games with a seventh coming soon. Some of the games include Ys Chronicles 1, Block Legends, Rocket ROBO, and more. You can pay $ 1 and get three games or pay the average and get everything. Give it a shot and don’t forget to give to charity!
  • Microsoft made a lot of people angry this week with some unsavory changes to their OneDrive policies. Free storage has been dropped to 5GB and unlimited storage is gone. This is due to people backing up their pirated movie collections and using way too much space.

For even more Android apps and games news, updates, and new releases, don’t forget to check out this week’s newsletter. There we’ll have all the extra stuff we didn’t have time for this week! If you would like, you can sign up with your email address and we’ll send the newsletter to your inbox once per week!

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Custom Quick Settings Fallout Pip-Boy Android Apps WeeklyCustom Quick Settings

[Price: Free with in-app purchases]
First up this week is Custom Quick Settings. This is an app for Marshmallow users that allows you to create custom tiles in your Quick Settings menu. One of the lesser documented features of Marshmallow is the ability to do exactly this and the developer has put together this nifty app to make it easier for everyone. It’s free to download and it does not require root.

Get it now on Google Play!

custom quick tiles Android Apps Weekly

dead effect 2 Fallout Pip-Boy Android Apps WeeklyDead Effect 2

[Price: Free with in-app purchases]
Dead Effect was one of the most popular first-person shooters on Android a long time ago. Now its successor has arrived on the Google Play Store. It’s a sci-fi, post-apocalyptic shooter complete with horrific beasts, zombie-type monsters, and plenty of things for you to shoot and kill. The graphics are pretty good and the mechanics seem to be solid for a touch screen shooter. It’s free to download with in-app purchases, just be careful of those early bugs!

Get it now on Google Play!

beats pill Fallout Pip-Boy Android Apps WeeklyBeats Pill+

[Price: Free]
Oh boy, here we go again. Apple has released their second application in as many months. This one is called Beats Pill+ and it’s a simple application that can be used by Android owners to control their Beats Pill speakers. Like the last Apple application, it seems to work well and do its job but the Android community’s louder members wanted to let Apple have it yet again. For what it’s worth, the app is free.

Get it now on Google Play!

beats pill Fallout Pip-Boy Android Apps Weekly

fallout pip-boy Fallout Pip-Boy Android Apps WeeklyFallout Pip-Boy

[Price: Free]
The long-awaited companion app from Bethesda called Fallout Pip-Boy has been released to the Play Store. In a show of good sportsmanship, the company released the app to everyone, even if you didn’t pick up the optional armband. The app itself lets you interact with your Fallout 4 game and check out stuff like stats, inventory, map, radio, and there are even some mini-games. It’s free and if you’re getting Fallout 4, you should definitely have this.

Get it now on Google Play!

Fallout Pip-Boy Android Apps Weekly

signal private messenger Fallout Pip-Boy Android Apps WeeklySignal Private Messenger

[Price: Free]
Last and certainly not least this week is Signal. This app gained quite the following after Edward Snowden put his official endorsement into the application. It’s a messaging app with a plethora of security and encryption features to help keep those prying eyes away from your messages. It’s completely open source which is good and includes group chatting, phone calls, and more. If you want security, give this a shot.

Get it now on Google Play!

Signal Private Messenger Android Apps Weekly

Wrap up

If we missed any great news from the Android apps and games scene, tell us about it in the comments!

Android Authority

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