Monthly Archives: June 2018

Android

Master a new language with one of these Android apps!

Fascinated by a particular country or region and you’d like to be able to learn its native language? That’s awesome!

Learning a second language has been proven to strengthen cognitive abilities like intelligence and memory while lowering risks of brain aging and dementia.

Aside from that, language learning is fun and can expand your horizon of knowledge. After all, the world is becoming increasingly multicultural, so being multilingual might come in handy one day.

Today, students learning a new language have the option of modernizing their learning style by adopting an app. Indeed, there are many language apps available for Android users out there. And with the pace of technology adoption speeding up, you can now learn a new language from the comfort of your own home without a teacher.

See Also: Buyer’s Guide: Bluetooth Speakers

All you have to do is install the right apps to start learning the basics of grammar, pronunciation, and vocabulary.

So for those of you who dream of being able to speak fluent Swedish or Turkish one day, we’ve put together a list of some of the best language apps you can download on your Android right now.

Duolingo

What it is:

Duolingo is probably one of the most well-known language learning services out there. The app uses text, pictures and audio to help you learn new words and phrases.

Why we like it:

  • The app comes with a wide selection of languages you can learn, from the more common Spanish, French or German to the more exotic Japanese, Korean, Welsh, Vietnamese and Swahili.
  • Duolingo uses games to teach students the basics of the new language and that’s why it’s a great place to start for beginners.
  • The app also teaches you how to pronounce the new words.
  • You can track your progress with shiny achievements.
  • Cute green-owl mascot guides you through the lessons.

Install Duolingo

Memrise

What it is:

A language learning especially useful for memorizing characters, vocabulary and phrases. The app also incorporates questions and quizzes, so it’s not merely a flashcard app. The app is free to download, but to get access to certain tools you will need to pay.

Why we like it:

  • Memrise also uses gaming-style learning to teach you the foundations of the language you want to learn.
  • The free account gives you access to plentiful content (note: you will need to unlock the Pro version for additional features like chatting with users who speak the language you’re trying to learn).
  • The app uses adaptive learning technology, meaning it changes how it teaches you based on your performance. It’s certainly something you see the teacher do in the classroom.

Install Memrise

Innovative

What it is:

An app which gives users access to a wide range of lessons including audio and videos. It requires a subscription after the 7-day trial period expires.

Why we like it:

  • The app lets you choose between 34 different languages including English, French, Thai, Arabic, Filipino, Persian and more.
  • It offers a 7-day free trial which gives users access to basic learning tools such as full video/audio lessons with .pdf transcripts. These are supported by a vocabulary section.
  • Supports other advanced features such as the ability to create personal word lists or 1-on-1 learning with Your Own Teacher option. You can also get a personalized learning program & guidance. But you’ll have to pay to get access to them.

Install Innovative

Beelinguapp

What it is:

An app for people who prefer auditory learning, a learning style in which a person learns through listening. Beelinguapp is free to use but features some in-app purchases.

Why we like it:

  • Some people tend to learn faster simply by listening. Beelinguapp is an app based on this principle. It’s designed to help you learn a foreign language by practicing listening.
  • The app provides side-by-side readings of your favorite fairytales, novels and much more.
  • The app supports 12 foreign languages such as German, Italian and Chinese and includes a lot of interesting reading material.

Install Beelinguapp

Babbel

What it is:

An app which offers packs of lessons that cover certain abilities, including those targeted at beginners of advanced students. You get one lesson for free, but if you want more you’ll have to spend money.

Why we like it:

  • The app teaches you words and phrases and then asks you to spell them out, speak them aloud or fit them into sentences.
  • The app focuses on conventional learning and explains grammar rules as you go.
  • There’s the option of downloading lessons for offline use, so if you are going off the grid and want some study materials, this app is perfect.

Install Beelinguapp

Busuu

What it is:

A language-learning app with a very well-designed interface. It offers compelling lesson packages including a bunch of travel courses that will quickly prepare you for your next trip. The app is free to download, but you’ll have to pay to unlock some extra tools.

Why we like it:

  • You start off with a placement test, so you can start learning at the right difficulty level.
  • The app includes flashcards, grammar, writing and pronunciation exercise. Quizzes and games are also available for you to test your knowledge.
  • Learners can chat with native speakers, and even have them correct their exercises.

Install Busuu

Mondly

What it is:

Mondly is your new augmented reality (AR) language assistant that gives a unique spin to your language learning endeavors.

Why we like it:

  • Powered by ARCore, MondlyAR is like a foreign friend you can keep on your phone. It engages you in spoken conversation and gives instant feedback to your pronunciation.
  • The app tutors teaches new words by having you listen to conversations between native speakers.
  • Includes a special Verb conjugations module which teaches you full conjugations including the translation.

Install Mondly

So are you ready to learn a new language? Download one of these language apps to get started.

Android

What is an IP Rating for smartphones?

Have you ever found yourself looking at a new smartphone or wearable, wondering just what that IP68 rating means? How does that affect you as a potential customer or user? Does it differ from an IP67 rating? If so, how?

An increasing number of Android handsets and gadgets are being released with variations of an IP rating. Short for an Ingress Protection marking, it’s a two-digit code that signals how the device will stand up to the elements. It’s here where you can discern the difference between water resistant and waterproof products.

Specifically, the IP rating is a number that indicates what level of protection it has against both solids and liquids. The first number you’ll find in an IPXX number is how it fares against solid particle; the second number relates to how it handles with liquids.

Want to sell your phone? Here’s what to do during and after the sale

Take the Galaxy S9, for example. The new Samsung phone comes with an IP68 rating. But what does that really mean?

Using the chart below, courtesy of WestMarine, we can see that the phone is totally protected against dust as well as long periods of water immersion over one meter.

Many of the phones announced with IPXX ratings are either IP67 or IP68. Both are great to have, with one the latter simply giving users a bit of breathing room. The 67 means you can get into water up to 1 meter deep for up to a half hour while the 68 means longer periods of immersion and/or deeper depths.

ip+ratings

As you can see in the chart, the liquid number (8) is specified by the manufacturer. This means it will vary from one phone to the next and is not always the same. According to Samsung, the Galaxy S9 can withstand up to five feet of water for up to 30 minutes. This is why it ends up getting an IP68 instead of IP67.

Sometimes you might find a product with in X in the IP rating. All this basically means is that the device was not tested against the solids or liquids. An IPX8, for instance, means the same degree of water protection, but the manufacturer didn’t test against dust.

A few things to keep in mind

Water resistance testing is often done in fresh water; salt water can have a different impact on phones. Your device isn’t necessarily guaranteed to handle the ocean the same as a dip in the pool.

Taking a shower could also mess with your phone. The pressure that comes from your shower head or jets could damage the device over the long term. You might not see it right away, but repeated trips to the beach or showers may harm your beloved phone in the end.

Some devices may require you to cover ports (headphones, charging, etc.) to ensure water does not seep in. For example, the Samsung Galaxy S5 had a protective rubber boot which is needed to cover the charging port. Should you fail to close that up you’ll undoubtedly let water in and brick that phone.

Need to know: A look at Qualcomm Snapdragon processors

Temperatures can also impact the way your phone handles water, too. Saunas, steam rooms, and hot tubs could do harm to your handset. Oh, and if you can, avoid pushing buttons (volume, power, camera, etc.) if your phone is in water. Every little press is a tiny opportunity for water to find a way in.

See Also: Wikipedia IP Code

Android

More rumors point to Google entering the video game market

If you’ve been keeping up, there have been several rumors that Google is getting into the gaming console market, at least indirectly. The Yeti streaming service, for example, was suggested to compete with GeForce Now and PlayStation Now, and recently some new interactions were tipped off for the Chromecast that would most likely be used […]

Come comment on this article: More rumors point to Google entering the video game market

Android

How to Root Samsung Galaxy J7 Plus C710F

The Samsung Galaxy J7 Plus C710F can be easily and quickly rooted now that TWRP recovery is available for its Android system. Thus, if you were looking into unlocking your device, now you can achieve root in less than 5 minutes by using SuperSU and TWRP recovery. Anyhow, for a detailed tutorial that can guide […]

Android

Install TWRP Recovery on Samsung Galaxy J7 Plus C710F

Are you ready to tweak your new Samsung Galaxy J7 Plus C710F? If you do want to improve your overall daily Android experience and if you want to use your phone without dealing with factory restrictions then you should take a closer look towards the lines that will be explained below. There we will be […]

Android

Sling TV reorganizes, will offer a new free tier and more on-demand content

The market of internet streaming TV is getting more and more competitive every day, but it’s pretty safe to say Sling TV kickstarted the entire concept. There’s a few more services to choose from today, whether we’re talking about PlayStation Vue, DirecTV Now, or any of the other smaller, more specific bundles, but Sling TV […]

Come comment on this article: Sling TV reorganizes, will offer a new free tier and more on-demand content

Android

Gadgets and gear: 10 things to pack for a camping trip

Summer is the best time to get together as a family and go camping. Alternatively, you might favor solo adventures or going out into the wilderness accompanied only by a few friends. Regardless of your particular preferences, one thing is certain: summer isn’t complete without at least one camping trip.

With the vacation season upon us, it’s high time to start thinking about packing and preparing for your camping trip.

goTenna Mesh review: Private networks for going off the grid or during outages

But, before you head into the great outdoors, be sure to check out these camping gadgets that are guaranteed to make life easier on your camping trip. Here’s a rundown of some essential camping gear you might want to consider throwing in your backpack before you head out into the wild.

BioLite CampStove 2

This nifty gadget solves two major problems while in the wilderness –it cooks your food and keeps your phone charged.

Want to let the people back home know your safe? The BioLite CampStove 2 makes sure your phone never runs out of battery, while keeping you fed and happy. Use wood to build a small fire in the compact stove’s chamber in order to start generating energy from heat.

With the BioLite CampStove 2, you won’t have to spend money on a stove AND a power bank. You can get both in one package. The gadget is available for purchase for $129.

BioLite CampStove 2 purchase link: Amazon

OffGrid Solar Backpack

Are you the kind of person who can’t go off on vacation without taking all of your gadgets along for the ride? Well, then you might need something like the OffGrid Solar Backpack.

The bag is perfect for easily carrying your smartphones, DSLR camera, tablets and laptops with you. It also keeps them charged thanks to the embedded high-efficiency solar ETFE solar panel. The backpack has a total maximum output of 10W at 6V and also sports a built-in 12,000 mAh 44W battery.

Oh, and if you care about the environment, you’ll be pleased to know the OffGrid Solar Backpack is made of 33 Recycled Plastic Bottles (Recycled PET Fabric). You can grab it for $199.

OffGrid Solar Backpack purchase link: Voltaic Systems

Sitpack 2.0

Love taking pictures of animals while enjoying the outdoors, but hate having to stand all those hours waiting for the perfect shot? Well, the Sitpack 2.0 portable chair gives you a place to sit while you’re on the go. It also improves your posture while you sit and promotes blood circulation to your legs.

The chair has a weight capacity of up to 100kg/220 lbs and offers adjustable height to fit all sizes. It’s available for $49.99.

Sitpack 2.0 purchase link: Amazon

DemerBox Bluetooth Speaker

Want a soundtrack for your camping trip? The DamerBox Bluetooth Speaker is the ideal candidate to fulfill this role, as it has a 100-ft range, so you can truly explore. The device also has an incredible battery which should be able to support up to 50 hours of playtime.

To make sure it doesn’t get easily damaged, the DamerBox was designed to be waterproof. Additionally, the speaker has an extra space on the inside so you can store your smartphone, camera or anything else you need to keep safe.

The speaker is available in four colors including Black, Orange, Pesaro Green and Blue. Get it for $399.99.

DemerBox Bluetooth Speaker purchase link: Amazon

Cairn XL Smart Lantern

You’ll probably need a light source for your camp, so you might want to consider the Cairn XL Smart Lantern. Capable of 250 hours of light, the lantern works also as a power bank that can juice up your mobile devices (up to four times).

It’s a smart lantern, so downloading the the Lander app you give you remote controls such as powering it on/off, color control, dimming and more.

The device boasts an ultra-bright 350 lumen and is also IP65 rated against dust and water. It sells for $99.

Cairn XL Smart Lantern purchase link: Lander

Spot X Satellite Messenger

Going on a solo adventure? You need to think about safety. With the Spot X Satellite Messenger, you’ll be able send messages to those back home even as you find yourself in an area without coverage, using satellite communications.

What’s more, the Spot X also features real-time location tracking and a very useful SOS feature. There are no pre-installed maps on board, but you do get a digital compass that can be programmed with waypoints to help you navigate through remote places.

Other highlights include 10-day battery life and water-and-drop-proofing. You can grab it for $249.99.

Spot X Satellite Messenger purchase link: Findmespot

Cauldryn Water Boiling Bottle

Purifying the water you drink in the wilderness is highly important. Some rivers and lakes might look clean, but there are millions of organisms in fresh water. If you don’t purify it, there’s a good chance you could get extremely sick.

So investing in something like the Cauldryn Water Boiling Bottle should be on your high-priority list when you go camping. Simply pour the water in and turn the bottle on and it will start boiling the content. In addition to heating, the Cauldryn can also keep the water at a correct temperature all day.

The gadget is battery-powered, but you can also plug into an AC or DC power supply via USB for infinite boiling. The Cauldryn is currently on sale for $129.00.

Cauldryn Water Boiling Bottle purchase link: Cauldryn

Exotac nanoSTRIKER Fire Starter

It’s not always easy to start a fire by yourself in the wild. Fortunately, the Exotac nanoSTRIKER Fire Starter has your back. The tiny gizmo provides users to up to 3000 fire-starting strikes per pieces and will get the job done even if it’s a little wet.

What’s more, the rods are replaceable and the striker is ultra-sharp tungsten carbide. You can grab one starting at $25.44 and up, depending on color.

Exotac nanoSTRIKER Fire Starter purchase link: Amazon

Suunto Traverse Alpha

A proper adventure watch could be a great addition to your camping gear list. Like the Suunto Traverse Alpha.

The device boasts durable quality and packs a full set of outdoor features including GPS navigation, hunting/fishing options, moon phases, sunrise alerts, weather trends and more. It’s made in Finland and compliant with military standards. Get yours for a discounted $399.20.

Suunto Traverse Alpha purchase link: Suunto

Gosky Monocular Telescope

When you’re a bird watching enthusiast or accomplished hiker, having a nature monocular at your disposal becomes indispensable for your adventures.

Which is why you might want to check out this monocular by Gosky. It boasts a robust but compact design with adjustable eye cups for optimal viewing. And offers 8x magnification with the 32mm objective lens thus offering the perfect equilibrium between magnification and light transmission.

Furthermore, the Gosky monocular is waterproof, fogproof and shockproof so it can be used in all weather conditions. It will set you back with $62.99.

Gosky Monocular Telescope purchase link: Amazon

goTenna Mesh review: Private networks for going off the grid or during outages

Android

Verizon and Verizon Prepaid now offering Samsung Galaxy J3

Verizon Wireless on Friday confirmed that it now offering the Samsung Galaxy J3 as part of its postpaid and prepaid services.

Announced earlier this month, the Samsung Galaxy J3, features a 5-inch HD display, 8-megapixel rear camera with f/1.9 aperture, and 5-megapixel front-facing camera (f/2.2).

Powered by Android 8.0 Oreo, the phone has an octa-core Exynos processor, 2GB RAM, and 16GB internal storage.

SEE ALSO: Verizon offering military discounts on Unlimited plans

Rounding hardware out, the Galaxy J3 has a 2,600mAh battery and the standard fare of connectivity. In terms of software touches, the phone has Samsung Easy Mode UI for larger icons and fonts as well as Bixby Home app for learned recommendations.

SEE ALSO: Verizon announces new Above Unlimited plan, mix-and-match option for families

The phone is sold as the Galaxy J3 V through Verizon’s postpaid service with a $168 retail price. Broken down over 24 months it comes out to $7 per month. It is available through Verizon Prepaid as the Galaxy J3 3rd Gen where it has a $124 sticker price.

Android

Enter to win a free Super NES Classic Edition

One of the hottest game consoles you can find today is one part brand new and one part decades old. More specifically, it’s all about the 90’s and 16-bit gaming. Indeed, the Super NES Classic Edition is one of those retro devices that takes players back to a more simple time. It’s a top seller and has plenty of great titles included.

Games Include

  1. Star Fox 2
  2. Super Mario World
  3. Super Mario Kart
  4. The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past
  5. F-ZERO
  6. Super Metroid
  7. Street Fighter® II Turbo: Hyper Fighting
  8. Super Punch-Out!!
  9. Super Castlevania IV
  10. Donkey Kong Country
  11. Mega Man® X
  12. Kirby Super Star
  13. Final Fantasy III
  14. Kirby’s Dream Course
  15. Star Fox
  16. Yoshi’s Island
  17. Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars
  18. CONTRA III:THE ALIEN WARS
  19. Secret of Mana
  20. EarthBound
  21. Super Ghouls’n Ghosts®

So awesome is the Super NES Classic Edition that we want to put one in your hands. That’s right, we’re helping to give one away!

Bring back the gaming magic of the ’90s with the Super NES Classic! Nintendo has gone full nostalgia mode with this super portable console, allowing you to play 21 classic Super NES games. Plus, with two controllers included, you can play some of the best, genre-defining two-player games of all-time, like Super Mario Kart and Street Fighter II Turbo: Hyper Fighting.

How to Enter

All you have to do to throw your name in the proverbial hat is log in via Facebook and check a box. Once you do you’ll have two entries. Share the contest on Facebook or Twitter and you can rack up additional entries. Moreover, you can earn extra chances by sharing a URL with friends and family.

Note that although you are signing in via Facebook, your information is not being collected by the social media platform. Our friends at Stack Commerce are backing the giveaway and use the information on their end.

The giveaway is open from now until July 15, 2018 so there’s plenty of time for you to pick up a handful of entries!

While you’re over at the AndroidGuys Deals Store, be sure to check out some of the other discounted products and more. We’ve also got excellent prices on popular services with lifetime subscriptions!

Android

Embracing the notch: top Android smartphones that have a screen notch

Whether you love it or love to hate it, the notch is here to stay in 2018. Notched displays are all the rage right now and basically, everyone is jumping on board the train.

Months after the iPhone X came out in September 2017, the notch started to crop up in smartphone launches by some Android vendors, keen to lure users who may desire the unique iPhone X aesthetic but at a cheaper price.

So what iPhone X-inspired Android smartphones can you get right now? Below you’ll find a list of models from key Android OEMs that have joined the trend.

LG G7 ThinQ

Announced last month, LG’s G7 flagship has a notch and an LCD display. But if you’re not a big fan don’t fret. You have options. You can either black out the bars on each side of the notch for a more traditional look. Or you can opt for LG’s other recent flagship, the V35 ThinQ. It’s notch-less and on top of that, it features an OLED display instead of LCD.

Anyway, going back to the notchy LG, the phone offers a 6.1-inch screen with 19:5:8 aspect ratio and 3120 x 1440 resolution. Like most flagships launching today, the G7 ThinQ includes a powerful Snapdragon 845 processor. Coupled with 4 or 6GB of RAM and 64GB or 128GB of storage, the phone should be among the fastest on the market.

On the new handset, LG leverages AI capabilities which it hopes will make the phone stand out. For example, the device comes bundled with a series of AI-powered camera features like being capable of analyzing the scene and automatically serving up the filters that make the phone look better.

LG G7 ThinQ purchase links: Verizon | T-Mobile | Sprint | Best Buy | B&H Photo

Huawei P20 and P20 Pro

Huawei’s P20 and P20 Pro are some of the most eye-catching devices we’ve seen this year. Both are available in a variety of colors, but the P20 Pro stands out due to its unique Twilight back. It features an eye-watering blue-to-purple gradient that changes tone depending on how the light hits it.

But that’s not the only reason you might want the P20 Pro. The phone comes with a three rear-camera assembly comprised of 20, 8 and 40-megapixel sensors. And like always, the cameras are Leica-optimized, so the phone should be able to take some stunning pictures.

As you’d expect the rest of the specs are pretty impressive too. The P20 Pro sports a 6.1-inch FullHD+ OLED display, 6GB of RAM and 4,000 mAh battery. As for the standard P20, it ships with a 5.8-inch FullHD+ LCD display, 4GB of RAM and 3,400 mAh battery.

Both are powered by Huawei’s Kirin 970, which is one of the first SoCs to come with dedicated hardware for AI, in the form of an NPU. The unit can do things like automatic scene recognition when taking photos.

Huawei P20 Pro purchase links: Amazon

OnePlus 6

The OnePlus 6 is the Chinese company’s biggest and most ambitious phone to date. It makes the jump to an all-glass design that gives the still-affordable flagship an even more high-end vibe. Even so, the handset still doesn’t come with wireless charging. On the bright side, it has Dash charging which fully juices up the phone in one hour.

The phone also features a gorgeous 6.3-inch AMOLED display, notch and all. If don’t think you can learn to live with the display cutout, you can easily hide the notch area from Settings.

When it comes to performance, the OnePlus 6 is a beast coming with a Snapdragon 845 and up to 8GB of RAM and 256GB of storage. Yes, there’s no microSD, but you get plenty of storage by default.

On the back of the phone, there’s a 16+20-megapixel camera setup with f/1.7 which should be able to deliver some great shots. The front-facing selfie camera is of 16-megapixel variety, so users won’t be disappointed when taking self-portraits either.

OnePlus 6 purchase links: OnePlus

Xiaomi Mi 8

Launched to celebrate Xiaomi’s 8th Anniversary (8 is a big deal in China), the Xiaomi Mi 8 packs great specs and a face reminiscent of the iPhone X.

The phone comes with a 6.21-inch AMOLED FullHD+ display and a great 88.5% screen-to-body ratio.

Much like the OnePlus 6, the Mi 8 relies on a Snapdragon 845 and ships with 6GB of RAM and up to 256GB of storage. There’s also the Mi 8 Explorer edition that packs 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage. It also comes with a few other perks like the see-through glass back and pressure-sensitive in-display fingerprint scanner.

Returning to the standard Mi 8, on the back you get dual cameras with twin 12-megapixel sensors. The phone also uses AI to identify scenes and apply the best settings, as well as for “Studio Lightning” portrait photography. What’s more, Xiaomi’s new flagships caters to selfie lovers by putting a 20-megapixel sensor on the front.

Xiaomi Mi 8 purchase links: Oppomart

ASUS ZenFone 5Z

The ASUS ZenFone 5Z is perhaps the most affordable notchy phone in the list. Pity, it has yet to go on sale yet. But we expect it to drop this summer with a $499 price tag.

In return for this sum, customers will get a phone with a 6.2-inch display with 90% screen-to-body ratio and FHD+ resolution. The Snapdragon 845 processor makes a return here once again. The phone will be offered with 6 or 8GB of RAM and 64/128 or 256GB of storage.

As for cameras, the ZenFone 5Z has a 12-megapixel camera with f/1.8 and an 8-megapixel sensor with 120-degree wide-angle lens on the back. On the back, there’s a rather standard 8-megapixel camera.

Essential Phone

In case you weren’t aware, it was actually the Essential Phone and not the iPhone X which first brought the notch to the Western market. Since its release, many other notchy phones with updated hardware have made their way onto retail shelves.

But even so, the Essential Phone remains a pretty decent handset. Especially since it’s currently priced at $499.

The device boasts a 5.71-inch LCD display with 2560 x 1312 resolution and relies on last year’s Snapdragon 835. It ships with 4GB of RAM and 128GB of storage and runs stock Android. On top of that, it gets frequent updates, even before other flagships from major OEMs like Samsung and LG.

Essential Phone purchase links: Essential | Sprint | Amazon | Best Buy