Thoughts on the Samsung Galaxy S6 from an iPhone 5c User

For the past two weeks, I have been using the Galaxy S6 and I have loved it. Don’t get me wrong – there is plenty I don’t like about the phone, but there is so much to love that the annoyances are easy to overlook. Reviewing the Sony Xperia Z3v made me think hard about switching back to Android, but the Galaxy S6 convinced me. This isn’t another full review (read our full review here), but rather my thoughts about the S6 as an iPhone user who still loves Android and misses it dearly. (more…)

DL Favorites: Podcast Apps

[DLF], or Droid Life’s Favorite, is a series of articles reviewing our favorite apps in a given category. The goal of these articles isn’t to extensively review every single option out there and determine which is “the best,” but rather to give you a few of our favorite apps in a category. This week we look at Droid Life’s favorite podcast app.

I listen to a lot of podcasts; twenty-two to be exact. I drive for at least an hour total commuting to and from work and I usually take an hour lunch break, so I always have at least two hours a day to fill with podcasts and music. Because I spend so much time listening to podcasts, it’s really important to me that I have a good looking, well designed podcast app.

I started listening to podcasts way before Serial made them “mainstream.” When I started listening to podcasts on Android my app of choice was Google Listen, an app that Google rarely updated and eventually abandoned. Today there are tons of podcast apps, but only one of them is really worth your time and money. (more…)

DL Favorites: Lock Screen Replacements

[DLF], or Droid Life’s Favorites, is a series of articles reviewing our favorite apps in a given category. The goal of these articles isn’t to extensively review every single option out there and determine which is “the best,” but rather to give you a few of our favorite apps in a category. This week we look at Droid Life’s favorite lock screen replacement apps.

Your lock screen is one of the most personal and important parts of your phone. It’s the gateway to your device, often adorned with an image of loved ones or fan art for the new Star Wars movie. But sometimes, the lock screens that come on our phones are annoying to use, limited in features, or just get boring after a while. I tried a ton of different lock screen replacements from Google Play, looking to shake things up, and these three are my favorites. (more…)

DL Favorites: Twitter Apps

[DLF], or Droid Life’s Favorites, is a series of articles reviewing our favorite apps in a given category. The goal of these articles isn’t to extensively review every single option out there and determine which is “the best,” but rather to give you a few of our favorite apps in a category. This week we look at Droid Life’s favorite twitter apps. 

I really love Twitter. I love Twitter so much I bought some Twitter posters to hang in my apartment (you can buy them here). There are a lot of Twitter apps out there for Android, but these four are my favorite.

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DL Favorites: To-Do List Apps

[DLF], or Droid Life’s Favorites, is a series of articles reviewing our favorite apps in a given category. The goal of these articles isn’t to extensively review every single option out there and determine which is “the best,” but rather to give you a few of our favorite apps in a category. This week we look at Droid Life’s favorite to-do list apps.

I’m almost always busy. My week is packed with my normal day job, my part time job at church, writing for Droid Life, and spending time with friends and family. It’s a good life and I like it, but if I don’t keep track of what I need to do then I end up remembering at the last minute and having to rush to get something done at the last minute or completely forgetting and having to disappoint someone. Having a good to-do list app is critical for me. Read on to see my recommendations for to-do list apps on Android.

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Smartwatches Aren’t Smart Enough

Smartwatches are back in the news again thanks to Apple’s latest event, and it has me thinking about a topic that I am tired of thinking about. It’s not necessarily that I don’t want a smartwatch or that I can’t see their prospective usefulness, but rather, much of the press seems to be going through the motions of gazing out at the distant future and hoping it appears on the latest wearable.

Almost everyone seems to agree that Apple failed to provide a story for the product, or the ideal reason why we should want an Apple Watch, which has led to some people remaining skeptical until they try it and others waxing on about how it, unlike Android Wear, is going to change everything. It’s that second group that I’m growing weary of. I keep hearing stories about how the Apple Watch is going to save so much time, and how it will enable us to be more personable since we won’t be looking at our phones anymore, and how it will remove friction from our lives when we use our watch for everything.

Are smartwatches really the thing that will make us better conversationalists, use our phone less, and get more work done? Let’s take a look at some of the promises we have been hearing about smartwatches and examine just how viable they are. (more…)

Choosing the Best Smartphone Camera [Opinion]

Megapixels. Sensors. Aperture. White balance. Shutter Speed. Optical Image Stabilization. Ultrapixels. ISO. Bokeh. Exposure.

Every year we see new flagship phones released, followed by more buzz words explaining why each OEM has the best camera on their smartphone. If you are not a camera aficionado, seeing these kinds of words probably raises more questions than it does answers. Do I actually need optical image stabilization in my smartphone? This phone has a 20 megapixel camera compared to this one’s 8 megapixel camera, so the 20 megapixel camera is better, right? How do I cure the f-stop blues?

Here’s the truth: in the best lighting conditions, any modern smartphone can take decent pictures, but it does take some education to know which smartphone has the best camera in the most situations. My goal is not to give you a Photography 101 lecture, but rather, to give you some basic pointers so you can better understand what different manufacturer’s cameras are offering. Read on to find out a little bit about how cameras work, what marketing information actually matters, and what this all means when you are comparing smartphone cameras. (more…)

Magic Touch: Wizard for Hire from Nitrome Now on Google Play

Magic Touch, the latest game from London-based development company Nitrome, puts you in control of a wizard who has been hired to defend a castle. As enemy knights descend from the sky via attached balloons, you swipe on the screen to cast spells that destroy the various types of balloons.

As you progress through the round, the enemy knights descend faster and require more spells to pop their balloons. Your goal is to stop as many knights as you can from reaching the castle; as soon as they do, it’s game over.  (more…)