Samsung Galaxy S6 Active Review

What happens when you take the best Android phone you can buy today and toss a protective shell on it, enlarge its battery, and make it waterproof? You get the Samsung Galaxy S6 Active, an AT&T exclusive that is aimed at the “active” crowd who enjoys working out, has a job that requires a tougher phone, or those who want a little extra protection around a phone without giving up flagship-level specs and experiences.

I’ve spent the last couple of weeks with the Galaxy S6 Active, taking it on daily runs and a couple of hikes, to try and put it through what I would consider to be “active” tests. I also used it as a daily phone for checking email, messaging, cruising YouTube, playing music, and running my favorite apps, which is the way most will use it, since most of us aren’t working out or smashing our phones with hammers 19 hours a day. I didn’t drive over it with a car or throw it off of a building, because well, that’s just stupid. I used it like an active person would.

This is my Galaxy S6 Active review.  (more…)

Why is Android Still the Second Platform Developers Work On?

Every year we see the same promise: this is the year that Android-first development will become a reality. At the same time we see big companies like Instagram repeatedly introduce new apps that are iOS-only. Android has been able to tout more market share than iOS for quite some time, but that doesn’t seem to have translated into app developers releasing Android apps at the same time as their iOS counterparts, much less Android-first. Over the past few weeks I’ve been talking with developers and researching why this is still the case.
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NVIDIA SHIELD Review

NVIDIA’s SHIELD set-top box is quite the little machine. A few of you may already have it in your home, given that it first became available back in late May, but just like smartphones, we like to take our time living with this tech in our own home, making sure we know the whole story before rushing to post a complete review.

I have been living with SHIELD hooked up to my TV in the living room for a little under a month now, and while most of my experience has been fantastic, it’s not NVIDIA’s hardware that causes issues for me at times; it’s Android TV. In the review below, we will go over the benefits of buying a SHIELD over a basic Nexus Player, plus the ups and downs of living with Android TV.

This is our NVIDIA SHIELD review. (more…)

The Best Android Phone You Can Buy Today

Every week, at least three or four or twenty people ask us in some way or another, “What phone would you recommend I buy?” In reality, they just want to know what the best Android phone is that they can buy today. I get why we get asked. After all, we handle every new flagship under the sun.

Since there are so many good phones these days, the decision hasn’t become any easier in recent years. Before, though, we use to worry about whether or not a phone could last two years. Now, the criteria is much more specific. People want to know which phone has the best camera or the best battery life or the best display. What’s the storage situation like? Is it made of metal or cheap plastic? How often does it get updated?

Rather than try and answer all of those questions in individual emails, we thought we may as well just put our thoughts out there every so often, so that everyone can see what we think the best Android phone is that you can buy. Don’t worry, though, we’ll keep this simple and to the point. You have other things to do.

Ready?  (more…)

3 Android Apps Worth Downloading – Periscope, Walloid Pro Wallpapers, Microsoft Hyperlapse

We are back again with 3 Android apps, not games, that we think are worth your time if you have not yet already downloaded them. During these posts, we like to showcase a few popular apps, as well as maybe not-so-known apps that deserve a bit of limelight.

This week, we are taking a look at Twitter’s Periscope, Microsoft’s Hyperlapse, and the Walloid Pro HD Wallpaper apps.

Each offers something very different, naturally, so be sure to look below and learn more about them if you have yet to try them out.
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5 Android Wear Watch Faces to Try: 70s, Minmo, Mustache, SpecOps, and Candy Shop

When I look for an Android Wear watch face, I try to find those that remind me of traditional watch faces or at the very least, fit nicely onto a round display to make the device on my wrist feel less futuristic and more classic. It’s not that I don’t appreciate the technology behind a smartwatch, it’s just that I want the watch on my wrist to look like a watch first before getting to all the extra notification, fitness tracking, and other stuff.

Once I find a watch face I like, I tend to stick with it for a while because I feel like there are few really classy options out there on Android Wear. I don’t know why, but watch face makers seem to want to cram as much crap into these things as is possible, when they really should be doing the opposite. A watch, at least an analog watch, should show you the time and date, and then maybe a battery percentage to keep you informed throughout the day. The rest of the stuff is just getting in the way of a great looking watch.

So after spending some time recently to see what’s new in the Android Wear watch face world, here are five I think you will appreciate.  (more…)

This is My Android: June 2015

After kicking off our “This is My Android” series in February with the Moto X (2nd gen), I told you that it probably wouldn’t take long before I found a phone to replace it. I didn’t say that because the Moto X was aging or falling out of favor with my pants pocket, it’s just that I knew what was on the horizon – the Samsung Galaxy S6. Shortly after Samsung’s new flagship launched and found its way onto my desk, I knew almost immediately that this was the phone that would replace the Moto X.

So today, this is my Android, the Galaxy S6.  (more…)

These Icon Packs are Hot: Polycon and Elun

What do you say we start off the week with a couple of icon packs to freshen up your home screens? After taking a mini break from icons that we consider hot, we get the feeling that a number of you missed this little ongoing feature of ours. So, we’ll try to be better about sharing the best in Android customization.

To kick things up again, we have two icon packs that are well worth the effort of installing. The first is called Polycon, a Material Design-heavy icon pack that brings a new flavor to the abundance of Material packs. After that, we wanted to draw some attention to an old favorite called Elun. We first showed you Elun almost a year ago, but it deserves a second look today, if anything, just to support the developer. Remember that icon pack we featured last week? As it turns out, the icon designs there may have been completely lifted from Elun, only sporting a new color scheme. That’s not exactly something we like to see, especially when it comes to the icon world, where your original designs and hours of hard work are what help you stand out. So if you feel like spending a buck to support the cause, give Elun another look. You can read all about the back story here.

Here we go!  (more…)