If you’re determined to save money by watching Star Wars: The Force Awakens at home through a streaming service… well, you’d better live in the True North Strong and Free. Netflix tells Variety that the timing of its Disney deals will only let it stream the new Star Wars flick in Canada, starting some time in August. You see, the service’s Canadian Disney agreement covers movies released in 2015 onward, which includes The Force Awakens — in the US, you’re stuck with movies debuting in 2016 or later. We certainly wouldn’t expect UK availability when even Disney’s own streaming service won’t have Star Wars movies, let alone a rival.
The Android world never sleeps, and that’s certainly been the case for this past week.
This week we’ve managed to bring you our unboxing and first impressions of Google’s new Nexus 6P and Nexus 5X smartphones, as well as an initial hands-on with HTC’s new One A9. That’s not all, though. We’ve brought you full reviews of the Sony Xperia Z5, Z5 Compact and Samsung Gear S2, which you won’t want to miss!
A first look at the new Nexus phones
Nexus 6P unboxing and first impressions
While we didn’t have enough time to bring you our full review, we brought you the next best thing. Don’t miss Josh’s unboxing and first impressions of Google’s new Nexus 6P.
Nexus 5X unboxing and first impressions
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Wondering what we think of the Nexus 5X so far? Check out Lanh’s Nexus 5X unboxing and impressions after 48 hours with the device.
Hands-on with HTC’s hero device
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HTC is doing something different, yet still incredibly familiar. Can the One A9 stand out from the crowd, or is it too much of a copycat? Check out Josh’s hands-on and first impressions with the HTC One A9.
- HTC One A9 first impressions: trying some new things
- HTC One A9 officially announced: everything you need to know
Sony Xperia Z5 review
Sony’s new Xperia Z5 is one heck of a smartphone, but has it changed enough from past Sony devices? Don’t miss Krystal’s full review of the Sony Xperia Z5.
Samsung Gear S2 review
The Gear S2 may be one of the best smartwatches on the market, but are there any caveats that come along with Samsung’s newest wearable? Find out more in our full review.
Sony Xperia Z5 Compact review
If you’re in the market for a smaller handset, the Xperia Z5 Compact may be the phone for you. Check out Gary’s full review to learn more.
Tips and tricks for your S6 and Note 5
Wondering how to make the most of your Galaxy S6 or Note 5’s software? Gary walks us through some TouchWiz tips and tricks.
Android Apps Weekly
NBA 2K16, new Google Play Store, Minecraft: Story Mode is out – you don’t want to miss Joe’s newest episode of Android Apps Weekly!
Should OEMs focus on smaller phones?
Now that large-screened smartphones are here to stay, should device manufacturers make it a point to put more focus on smaller devices? Don’t miss Matthew’s written opinion piece attached below, and check out Jayce’s video for more speculation.
The LG V10 is the company’s flagship device to carry it through the end of 2015, offering a more premium experience than the G4 that launched earlier in the year. There’s a bit of uniqueness to the V10, too, with its secondary display offering quick access to apps. But for all that it can be praised about, the V10 is not off to a great start in LG’s home country of South Korea. Consumers have not been very receptive to handset even after the LG lowered its price from $689 to $615 and analysts are projecting that the V10’s poor performance in South Korea will is not going to change anytime soon.
Market research firm ATLAS Research & Consulting found that the V10 was not included in the top ten of smartphone sales in South Korea from October 8-14. Devices from Samsung, like the Galaxy Note 5 and a multitude of low-end hardware, and Apple’s iPhone are leading in the country, especially after the latter initiated a price drop of its own. And LG certainly won’t be helped by the iPhone 6S and iPhone 6S Plus’ arrival in South Korea this month.
Here in the United States, consumers are still waiting for Verizon, AT&T, and T-Mobile to begin selling the V10.
Come comment on this article: Sales of the LG V10 have been soft in South Korea
I have owned a Google Cardboard viewer for roughly a year now and have played tons of games and demos on it. However, out of all the games I have tried, my favorite is still one called InMind VR. The reason for this is it has everything you want in a virtual reality game. The graphics are good, the controls are great, and, above everything else, it’s just fun to play. InMind VR is not a very long game, only a few minutes, but that’s what makes it fun. Once completed, you can pass it off to your friend to play and then they can enjoy InMind VR too.
Since this is a video game, there has to be a story. Like most virtual reality games, the story is ultra basic. Basically, it’s in the future where modern medicine has the ability to shrink you down to destroy problems directly inside a human brain. The patient suffers from depression and you must destroy all the “bad neurones” before it’s too late. It’s not really a medical game or very scientific, but that’s the idea of what you are doing. They make it fun and the looks are more space aged than medical.
“The future is nigh. The humanity is standing upon the brink of a new era where modern healthcare makes tremendous scientific advancements. With the help of nanotechnologies a surgical prototype bathyscaphe allows its operator to shrink to a microlevel and travel inside the patient’s body.”
You are also on some sort of pre-configured track, but you can see all around the inside of the brain. It’s more like a roller coaster track that can go in all directions, but mainly goes forward. As you are zipping around, bad neurones are forming all over. You must destroy them as quickly as you can. The roller coaster never stops so you must be as quick as possible to destroy them or the roller coaster will continue on. The more bad neurones you destroy, the better your score will be. Like I said, pretty basic, but really fun.
I have played many virtual reality games and usually the graphics just aren’t that great. If you are used to playing on a PlayStation 4, moving to most virtual reality games will look horrible. Obviously, there are a lot more limitations with a mobile game, especially one of this kind, but InMind VR brings that perfect balance of realism mixed with video game characteristics. It’s not trying to trick you to believe that you are actually inside a real brain with photographic imagery, but instead everything looks very futuristic with heavy color saturation. All the lights and effects really make playing fun and exciting. This coupled with the ability to look all around really does give you a new experience compared to regular video games.
If you are using a Carboard viewer, the graphics are mainly based on your phone’s resolution. If you have an Ultra HD or 4K display like on the Sony Xperia Z5 Premium, it will look the best. Lower resolution phones should be able to play it, but you won’t get the same immersive feeling due to the screen door effect. This means there will be black lines forming squares that look the same as if you look through a window with a screen. However, in this case, the lines you see are the pixels. This isn’t anything to do with InMind VR and you will have the same problem with all virtual reality content, but I had to point it out as some people may think it looks bad when it isn’t the games fault.
The main limitation of virtual reality games, and mainly Google Cardboard games, is there is only one button on the device. You can buy a controller to play them, but they have to be designed with one-button use in mind. This is clearly a large limitation and the main reason why virtual reality games aren’t usually that great. However, one-button controls are not a limitation for InMind VR because it doesn’t use it at all. Since the Cardboard viewer is on your face and your phone is inside, the movement of your head provides control. When you physically move your head around, that moves the “gun” around allowing you to see everything around you. When you see a “bad neurone” forming, you look at it for as long as you can until it is fixed. You know it’s gone bad because it will be red and there will be a circle that must be complete in order to fix the neurone. Once you stare at it long enough, a beam will shoot out and turn it green.
The controls are another big reason why I like this game. The original Google Cardboard viewer has a magnetic button that doesn’t always work with all phones and will never work if the radio it needs to work is on the other side of your phone. For example, my aged Samsung Galaxy S III has the special radio it needs on the bottom of the device and not the top. You can’t just flip your phone around, meaning you can never use the button. The second Google Cardboard viewer solves this problem, but it’s still a little weird to press a button on the side of your head especially since it’s attached to cheap cardboard. However, InMind VR should work on every phone without any issues since it doesn’t use the button at all.
The fun level is really all that matters when it comes to virtual games. If you don’t believe you are in some other world, at the end of the day, the game has failed. Being in a 360-degree environment, especially if you have a Cardboard viewer that’s strapped to your head, makes everything in InMind VR seem a lot more real. All the colors and flashing lights really take you into another world. The fact that objects are literally all over the place and you have to physically move your head around to destroy them is truly next level. It is an experience that only VR games can provide. Everyone that I let play this game always thinks the experience is awesome.
Although you may not be playing InMind VR daily, it is definitely a game you need to check out. Whenever I want to impress people and get them hooked on virtual reality, this is the first game I let them play. It’s very easy to understand and fun for all ages. Also, as I mentioned earlier, many games look only as good as your phone’s resolution is, but this game doesn’t matter as much. I tried it on my older Samsung Galaxy S III with a 720p display and on my Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge with it’s Quad HD display and the fun level was close to equal. Of course, it looked better on the Galaxy S6 Edge, but it’s not always about looks, it’s about the feeling you get while playing.
Come comment on this article: [App Review] ‘InMind VR’
With Sony’s mobile future uncertain, the Japanese giant really needs to hit a home run if they want to win over today’s smartphone consumers. With that goal in mind, Sony recently unveiled three new members of the Sony Xperia family. For those that prefer smaller screens, Sony gave users the Xperia Z5 Compact, which we recently reviewed in full. Sony also surprised the world with the Sony Xperia Z5 Premium, a pricey addition that pushes the envelope with the world’s first 4K display. Holding the middle ground, we have the standard Xperia Z5.
I recently was able to get my hands on the Sony Xperia Z5, and spent a great deal of time getting familiar with it. How does this new flagship compare to its predecessors? Is this the Xperia we’ve all been waiting for? We find out in this comprehensive review of the Sony Xperia Z5.
The design of the Z5 will be very familiar to those who have followed the Xperia series over the years, keeping the company’s iconic Omni-Balance language, albeit with a few tweaks that help further refine the looks. I’ll be honest, this is not my favorite smartphone when it comes to design, but I do think it has a sense of luxury and elegance to it, more so than most other phones on the market right now.
Around the Z5 we have a smooth metal frame with frosted glass on the back. In the top left corner of the rear, you’ll find the 23 megapixel camera with it’s LED flash underneath. The design certainly looks rather beautiful and feels good too, but the glass does admittedly make the phone a little slippery. The phone isn’t too thick it is a little bigger than the Z3+ (aka Z4) at 7.33mm all around, though it is pretty light at 154 grams.
The front of the phone sports the 5.2 inch HD screen, with some decently sized bezels on the top and bottom. Above it, is the front facing camera and a little notification light, that by default is white, but you have the freedom to change it. If you look a little more closely at the front of the Z5, you’ll notice the front facing stereo speakers on the top and bottom, almost hidden to keep the front of the phone looking very clean. The speakers certainly sound pretty good, though they are not very loud. Regardless, the Z5’s speakers are better than any speaker found on the bottom or back of other competitor devices.
On the right side of the phone, we are greeted with the same familiar signature layout, including the beloved camera shutter button, though the volume rocker is now located even further down than before. Unfortunately, this unconventional placement makes it a little awkward to press, whether you’re using the phone in your right or left hand. The power button can still be found in the middle of the right side, though it has been supersized a bit in order to accommodate the fingerprint scanner found within.
This year, Sony designed this power button to be flush with its border so you have to kind of push into the phone to activate it. It does have a nice squishy click to it but it can be a little hard to initiate that click with it being so flush with its side. As for the quality of the scanner? It does a pretty good job, though the area is rather small for a scanner. The Z5’s scanner might not be as fast as some of its competitors, but it gets the job done. And overall, the reliability is decent.
Moving to the bottom of the phone, we’ll find the micro USB charging point and what looks like a lanyard hole. Not really much to see here.
On the left side is where we can access our sim card, as well as our micro SD card. The problem is, it’s really hard to access them. First you have to use your nail to undo the flap and then continue using your nail to pull out the thin plastic housing. One reason these may be so hard to access is because they need to be kept well protected, as this phone is IP68 certified dust proof and water resistant. Sony does say however, that this does not apply to seawater.
In a world where many flagships are moving to QHD, or even 4K in the case of the Xperia Z5 Premium, the Xperia Z5 opts to stick to 1080p. The 5.2-inch IPS screen packs a resolution of 1080 by 1920, which results in a 428 ppi pixel density. It’s a pretty nice screen, and in terms of colors, it’s fantastic. Colors are very vibrant and whites are very white, maybe leaning a little towards the warm side, but they still look very nice. If you want a more saturated image, you can easily do so within settings. The screen gets pretty bright too, and though you may have trouble seeing it in direct sunlight at times, it offers better brightness than a number of its competitors.
Apart from colors though, the HD screen is not quite as beautiful as many other phone displays out there, even those that are still rocking 1080p. It almost appears that the Xperia Z5 is a slight step back from the Z3+, as it seems like there is a very slight haze over everything. Coming from the OnePlus Two that has an even lower pixel density than the Z5, the Z5 definitely is the weaker in terms of screens. When triggering fast animations, like the pull down notification menu, text and icons seem to have a subtle ghosting effect to them, more so than other HD phones.
All that being said, the display is definitely not bad and out performs a lot of displays when it comes to color representation. But in the other areas, it falls a bit behind.
Performance and hardware
Just as we saw with the Sony Xperia Z3+, the Xperia Z5 offers a Snapdragon 810, backed by the Adreno 430 GPU and 3GB RAM. There’s also 32GB internal storage and microSD for further expansion. All the normal connectivity options are here including Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, GPS, Bluetooth 4.1, 4G LTE, and NFC. As mentioned earlier, the phone also offers up a fingerprint scanner, waterproofing, and fairly high-quality front facing speakers.
Whenever you hear “Snapdragon 810”, you get curious about overheating and whether it’s a legitimate problem. So does the 810 make the phone hot? Yes and no.
When I first got the phone and installed all of my apps, it got hot. But from what I could tell, just as hot as it did on my LG G4, Note 5, and OnePlus Two when doing the same thing. In normal use however, I never noticed the phone getting the slightest bit hot. When doing more CPU intensive stuff like gaming, the Z5 did get noticeably hot but no more so than just about any other phone I’ve used.
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Technically the Z5 may overheat a bit more than other processors, but I wasn’t able to notice it just by feeling. Gary Sims tested this more in depth in his Z5 Compact review and found that for an app to stop working due to heat issues, you really have to be doing something crazy-intense like shooting 4k video for over 20 minutes.
Heat may not be a major issue for most users, but how well does the Z5 perform? Pretty good. The UI is smooth and lag-free for the most part, and the 810 provides a great experience when it comes to gaming and general performance.
One very minor annoyance is the battery size, however. With this phone being 10 grams thicker than its predecessor, you would think Sony would be able to put a bigger battery inside. For some reason, Sony went the opposite direction, with the 2900 mAh battery actually being 30 mAh smaller than the Z3+.
Does this actually make a huge difference in the long run though? Thankfully, no. Like many other flagships coming out in 2015, you’ll be able to get an entire day’s life out of it as long as you don’t overdo it on screen time. This is even more true if you use the many battery saving modes Sony packed into the software like Stamina Mode and Ultra Stamina Mode.
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Without using any battery saving modes I was able to get at least 4 1/2 to 5 hours of screen on time with the Xperia Z5 and that’s with spending a lot of time browsing the web, sending lots of text, and taking some pictures throughout the day.
Overall, the Xperia Z5 has a very reliable battery and the addition of Quick Charge 2.0 will allow you to top off the battery quickly for those days when you need a bit more oomph to make it through your day.
After keeping the same camera for the last few generations, the Xperia Z5 finally saw the sensor bump up from 20.7 MP to 23 MP. Along with this improvement, you’ll find autofocus and LED Flash, though unfortunateyl there is no optical image stabilization onboard. For what it is worth, the software video stabilization in it does a pretty nice job, even if it’s not quite the same.
I was pretty excited to test out this camera because some of the best smartphone camera sensors are supplied by Sony, and all over Sony’s website they boast about the picture quality this thing can take. They even flaunt the megapixel count on the back of the phone. Unfortunately, the camera is not as great as you would think and on top of that, the whole megapixel count is very misleading.
Even though Sony is boasting that the Xperia Z5 is a 23 megapixel camera, that should really mean 8. Yes, the Z5 is capable of shooting in 23 megapixels but for whatever reason, the camera software is not optimized for it, so when comparing a 23 MP shot to an 8 MP shot, the 8 MP shot will often times look undoubtedly better. Better color, better dynamic range, and better-looking textures. Sony seems to know this as well as 8 megapixels is enabled by default. But there are times where 23 megapixels look better, so it just makes things a little confusing. If you don’t want to have to mess around with these settings, just stick to 8.
To be fair, in normal lighting conditions pictures are actually very nice. There’s a lot of detail in these pictures and colors look very good, and they have a nice saturated look to them. There’s a little sharpening going on but most of the time it leads to a better picture. Dynamic range looks very good. Sometimes it can overexposed a little but nothing too unusual.
Medium light pictures is where the quality will begin to take a dip. They still look very nice, but you will start to see some purple creeping into the darker areas of the photos. And then when you get into low light, even more purple appears. Anything that is dark looking will have this purple hue to it, making it look pretty bad.
The same can be said for the front facing 5.1 megapixel camera. In good light, pictures look very good. Nice details and it exposes perfectly. In medium light, selfies are still great. Even in low light, selfies look pretty good. Details are lost and photos can be a bit grainy but the colors are better than the rear facing camera in low light it seems. To get that purple hue in selfies, you have to go to extreme low light.
Video looks very good on the Z5. Everything seems exposed correctly and even though there is no Optical Image stabilization, the software makes up for it and creates a pretty smooth image. I’ll admit I was pleasantly surprised. 4k is available too, although when shooting for long periods of time, the phone may overheat. There’s also tons of camera features and effects like AR effects, multicamera, face in picture, and more.
For a Sony camera so hyped up and really only good in bright lighting conditions, it definitely leaves a little more to be desired. That said, there are certainly worse cameras out there.
The great thing about Sony’s Xperia phones is their software. The Xperia Z5 is running Android Lollipop 5.1.1 and it actually looks fairly close to Stock Android. There are a number of additions Sony added to the software experience, but not so much as to make stock Android’s designs unrecognizable. For example, you can change the clock style on the lockscreen to some different options, and you can rearrange the icons or even hide some in the notification pull down.
The freedom to decide which icons are shown on the status bar is present with the Z5’s software as well. So you can hide the battery percentage or time, kind of like what you’re capable of doing with Android Marshmallow. Themes are also available that include live wallpapers that move depending on where you touch.
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As far as extra apps go, Sony has included Movie Creator for making movies from your photos, TrackID which is Sony’s music recognition app, Lifelog for tracking calories and other fitness info, Wisepilot for turn-by-turn navigation, and three Playstation apps – PlayStation, PSN, and PS Video.
The important thing is that everything runs very smoothly. When you first turn on the phone after powering off, there will be a bit of lag for at least a couple of minutes but after that you shouldn’t notice any stutters or crashes. By default, the app opening and closing animations are bumped up to make the overall experience feel very snappy.
|Display||5.2-inch 1080p display|
|Processor||Qualcomm Snapdragon 810|
|Storage||32GB with microSD|
|Waterproofing||IP65 / IP68, capless USB|
|Network||LTE (4G), LTE Cat6, UMTS HSPA+ (3G), GSM GPRS/EDGE,|
|Connectivity||Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, Bluetooth 4.1, NFC, A-GPS / Glonass, USB 2.0|
|Camera||Main cam: 23MP cam with Exmor RS sensor, fast autofocus, 4K video capture and output, 23mm wide-angle G Lens, 5x clear image, HDR, ISO 12800 photo / 4000 vide, Steadyshot tech
|Software||Android 5.1 Lollipop with Sony UI|
|Dimensions||146mm x 72mm x 7.3mm, 154 grams|
Pricing and final thoughts
As is typical with Sony’s flagships, North American launch details are still pretty scarce, though you can get the phone throughout much of Europe and Asia right now. For those in the US, it’s also possible to easily find international versions of the phone through retailers like Amazon for around the $650 mark.
So, is the Sony Xperia Z5 worth picking up over it’s predecessor, the Z3+? Well, there’s really not much new here. There is a fingerprint scanner that works very well. There’s a new and bigger camera sensor, but it doesn’t really make much of a difference. The internals are practically identical. Personally, I don’t think it’s worth upgrading if you already own the Z3+.
That said, if you are upgrading from an older Xperia (Z2 or Z3, etc) or are someone who is simply looking for a reliable, elegant looking phone with an enhanced near-stock Android experience, the Sony Xperia Z5 could be a good choice if you can look past a few shortcomings.
So, there you have it for this in-depth look at the Sony Xperia Z5. What do you think of Sony’s latest flagship? Let us know down in the comments below!
At the start of 2015, Under Armour formed a strategic partnership with HTC that would task the hardware manufacturer with designing products to work with UA Record. Both companies would be moving into the connected health and fitness sector that’s already crowded with offerings from Fitbit, Nike, Apple, Jawbone, and many more. The original release date for the partnership’s first product, the Grip, was scheduled for February; however, HTC continuously delayed the device and commented in July that a launch was coming “later this year.”
Nine months after the activity tracker debuted, we now know that the HTC Grip will not arrive in 2015.
The following statement was sent to Phandroid:
As we continue to develop the Connected Fitness platform and elevate our product offerings, Under Armour and HTC have decided to launch a fully integrated digital ecosystem of products early next year. This global launch will provide the tools needed to help athletes of all levels track, manage and improve their health and fitness. Our teams have done a remarkable job bringing these products to life and we’re excited to share them with the public soon.
It does seem that the Grip will be joined by additional products as the statement reads “a fully integrated digital ecosystem” is coming next year. But no one knows exactly what Under Armour and HTC will bring alongside the Grip. Maybe the two are going to make wireless earbuds or a smartwatch focused on fitness. We’ll just have to wait and see what happens next year barring another delay.
Come comment on this article: Don’t expect to see the HTC Grip in 2015
Apple’s widely rumored electric car may not be fully autonomous, but it may well have some smarts. The company has hired Jonathan Cohen, who until this month was the director of NVIDIA’s deep learning division — in other words, a form of artificial intelligence. Cohen’s LinkedIn profile only mentions that he’s working on a nebulous “software” effort at Apple. However, his most recent job at NVIDIA centered around technology like Drive PX, a camera-based autopilot system for cars that can identify and react to specific vehicle types. While there’s a chance that Cohen could be working on AI for iOS or the Mac, it won’t be surprising if he brings some self-driving features to Cupertino’s first car, such as hands-off lane changing or parking.
[Image credit; NVIDIA, Flickr]
Source: Jonathan Cohen (LinkedIn)
Budgeting is a very important aspect of handling your money, as it’s often way too easy to spend your money as you please without a plan in place. And thankfully, putting that plan in place is something you can do right on your smartphone, thanks to developers who have created some very handy budgeting applications. Gone are the days of writing down your income on an easily lost sheet of paper!
Wallet is a personal favorite tool of mine as it’s one of the most polished options out there for Android. It works just as you might expect any budgeting app to function. You can enter income, expenses, saving plans, add up your debt to begin chipping away at that, and so on. It has some very reliable cloud synchronization, allowing you to quickly and easily access all of your budget information from any device.
Wallet is truly the most polished budgeting app for Android. Why? Wallet lets you do seamless and neat things like adding receipts, warranties, creating shopping lists, and it even allows you to export reports into PDF files. It’s a very handy application for those that need this detailed information.
Mint is another fan-favorite budgeting application. It allows you to track expenses across all of your account, set up bill reminders and alerts, which will send you emails and text messages to notify you of upcoming bills. You can set up financial goals, such as a vacation you want to take or a pricey item you want to buy, and Mint even lets you get your credit score and offers helpful advice to improve that score.
Mint is truly your personal finance assistant and will get you on the right track at no cost to you! It also has bank-level security, so there’s no need to worry about anyone getting their hands on pertinent information.
You Need A Budget
The You Need A Budget (YNAB) app for Android is the perfect companion to the popular desktop budgeting software. YNAB has all of your basic budgeting functionality, but also lets you to easily split transactions, automatically track spending across all of your accounts, help you to stay aware of how much you have on the go, enter transactions swiftly and easily on the go, and much, much more.
YNAB will cost you $60, which isn’t a bad price to pay for how polished the software is and the freedom that it brings. If you’re not sure about it, there’s also a free trial you can take advantage of to see what it’s all about. Keep in mind that, while the full version does cost $60, it’s a fully-featured budgeting app that, in my experience, has saved me a lot more than $60. With the purchase, the YNAB team even offers free budgeting training videos to help you learn how to handle money better. At least for me, it was a great investment.
Spending Tracker is an easy and user-friendly way to quickly track your outgoing funds. It will let you quickly enter in any incoming money and easily categorize what you need to spend it on, whether that be water, heat, rent, eating out, and so on. There’s even some graphs an charts Spending Tracker creates to show you the percentages of where your money is going, how much your saving, and so on.
It’s a neat budget tracker that gets back to the basics!
Goodbudget is a regularly updated and supported budgeting application that allows you to take control of your finances by employing the envelope system. You can track envelope balances, split transactions between envelopes, import bank account statements for automatic envelope tracking, and more.
One of the cooler things about Goodbuget is that it actually creates reports based on your income, expenses, and spending habits, allowing you to get a detailed look at where all of your money is going. It’s a free download and is definitely worth a shot.
Last up on our list is Level Money, an award-winning finance tool that can connect to over 18,000 different US financial institutions. Level Money not only does your standard budgeting, financial report creation, and calculations to stay in your monthly budget, but it also offers top-of-the-line security with 128-bit SSL and AES encryption. You can hook Level Money up to track transactions in your personal bank account, but since Level Money is a read-only tool, hackers won’t have access to your bank account on top of the security already put in place.
I particularly like the reports and insights Level Money creates, giving you a big picture idea of where your money is going, what you can cut back on, and it even averages it all out to tell you how much you’re spending on a per day basis. It’s also the first financial application to be Android Wear compatible, meaning you can get a quick glance at your budget even on the go without pulling out your smartphone.
It goes without saying, everyone needs a budget to properly take control of their finances, and with just a couple of minutes of your time, each and every one of these applications will help you do that. As mentioned before, budgeting is an important aspect of taking control of your money before it takes control of you. I personally use EveryDollar and other times You Need A Budget, and it truly makes spending guilt free when you know you have cash allocated for certain things.
There’s freedom in having a budget, and these will get you on the right track!
Come comment on this article: Best Budgeting Apps 
Whether spurred by work regulations or the desire for personal data security, many of us spend more time than we’d like entering PIN codes and passwords to access our devices. Biometric authentication tools, specifically fingerprint sensors, can help us reclaim those moments by providing access with the touch of a finger. The technology isn’t new, but it’s only in the past few years that it’s started to become standard on mobile devices. This week, we trace the ascent of the fingerprint sensor, from its early days as a peripheral to the embedded technology that’s simplifying and securing our mobile lives. Slideshow-332525
Noticed any weird squares or random characters from your friends with Apple devices lately? It could be because of a recent update for iOS that has introduced 184 brand new emoji characters.
For those of us with Android phones and tablets, we may not have to wait too long to start using the taco emoji. Android executive Hiroshi Lockheimer has posted on Twitter, announcing that his team is working on some new emoji due to popular demand.
So I have a feeling y’all want new emojis? a) Thanks for the feedback, b) We’re on it, and c) Sorry!
— Hiroshi Lockheimer (@lockheimer) October 23, 2015
While Lockheimer did not detail what exactly the new emoji are or when it will be available on Android, the most likely candidates for new emoji are the new characters introduced in Unicode 7.0 and 8.0, which range from hot dogs and popcorn food items, to middle-finger and Vulcan hand gestures.
Let’s hope we all reach emoji parity sooner than later, I know I will love to use the unicorn and popcorn emoji.
Source: @lockheimer, Android Authority
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