Android News, Apps and Games

Wednesday, 20 June 2018

Samsung Galaxy S9 is ready to shimmer in sunrise gold

Samsung is paving its newest phones in gold, giving the four-month-old Galaxy S9 and S9 Plus a shiny color refresh in the US starting next week.

Officially known as 'Sunrise Gold,' today's fresh hue joins the four existing Galaxy S9 colors: Lilac Purple, Midnight Black, Titanium Gray, and Coral Blue. Gold is new, at least to the US. It's previously launched in the UAE, parts of Europe and parts of Asia.

The gold colored phone has satin gloss finish to it, according to Samsung, which says it "wraps the smartphone in a tranquil glow." And of course there's an over-the-top trailer for the new gold S9 to go with that hyperbolic language.

Where to buy a gold S9 in the US

There are two places where you can buy the gold Samsung Galaxy S9 and S9 Plus.

Best Buy will have the phone on sale starting on Sunday, June 24, with support for US carriers Verizon, AT&T and Sprint, along with the unlocked S9 and S9 Plus in gold.

Samsung is offering the phone in its newest color, too. Its official website is touting the unlocked version of the phone, which can be used with any carrier, including T-Mobile.

Posted By: Xyber Galaxy on Wednesday, 20 June 2018

ChickenPOP! review – a clucking good time

Why did the chicken cross the road?

Having spent the last few hours playing ChickenPOP!, we assume it was to avoid being fired into the air from a cannon and attacked by a killer angel.

The aim in ChickenPOP! is to get a chicken as high as you can (not like that.) You get it off the ground with a cannon, but after that your only means of upwards propulsion is bubbles.

Wherever you tap your finger on the screen a bubble appears, and if your hen lands on it she’ll bounce and spin through the air, ragdolling around at various more or less predictable speeds and trajectories.

Failure is never more than one wrong move away. The best tactic is to try and get your bubbles directly beneath the hen, so that it bounces in a nice slow high arc. But if you get the angle just a little bit wrong you’ll struggle to recover.

After falling just a small way, the hen gains so much momentum that no bubble can save it, and a game over screen awaits.

Missteps aren’t your own enemy, either. There’s also the bees that buzz about, threatening to pop your bubbles, the birds that swoop and knock you off course, and the drones that actively pursue you. Fortunately you can destroy these last obstacles with a few well aimed collisions.

Next up is the space section, which is completely different from the first section. Here you control a rocket as it travels through space, your hen dangling from a rope behind it. Various asteroids and satellites and other space detritus drift across your path and you have to avoid them to survive.

Finally, you arrive in heaven, which as everybody knows is on the other side of space. But there’s a small problem: animals aren’t allowed in heaven, so you face a volley of arrows, divine beings, and flying bibles as you climb the screen once again on a succession of bouncy bubbles.

To play all three of these stages you’ll almost certainly have to pay to unlock them, because ChickenPOP! is an incredibly challenging game.

You can also pay to unlock three extra chicken variants — a rooster, a chick, and a chicken wearing a space helmet — and to remove ads from the game, but these are all strictly cosmetic.

The level unlock really isn’t. Without it, you’ll struggle to get past ChickenPOP!’s first stage. Getting good isn’t easy, but the flipside of this is that it’s very satisfying when you pull off an impressive run, bouncing your hen far up into the clouds and taking down a few pesky drones and angels on the way.

ChickenPOP! has some shabby elements, particularly in its sometimes lacklustre presentation, but in other areas it looks great, with smooth 3D sprites reacting realistically as they get buffeted about. It’s also quite funny.

But it’s not for the faint of heart. If you’re in the market for a bizarre, fun, ridiculously challenging casual game, it’s worth downloading ChickenPOP! to check it out. You can download it now via the App Store and Google Play.


The post ChickenPOP! review – a clucking good time appeared first on Gamezebo.

Posted By: Xyber Galaxy on

The best Google Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL deals in June 2018

Well we've got some good news and bad news on the Google Pixel 2. The bad news first of all, is that deals on the smaller version of the search giant's phone just won't budge. They were sensationally low around the sales season (we're talking sub-"0 per month low), but now you'll struggle to find Pixel 2 deals for less than £800 over the two year contract.

The good news - and it really is very, very good news - is that Pixel 2 XL prices just crashed! You can now get the 6-inch QHD+ version for less than £25 per month without having a ridiculous upfront charge to contend with. It's way cheaper to buy a big-screened Pixel 2 deal right now.

Whichever handset you covet, you can use our comparison chart below to identify the best Pixel 2 deal for you. Google's quest to build a smartphone as popular as the latest iPhone and Samsung Galaxy flagship mobiles took a massive step forward when the original Google Pixel launched last year. And its successor - the aptly named Google Pixel 2 - has continued the stellar work.

Need some more convincing? Our exclusive 10OFF voucher code with knocks a tenner off the upfront cost of any deal. And there's a summary of our expert review at the bottom of the page.

More options: Samsung Galaxy S9 deals | Samsung Galaxy Note 8 deals | iPhone 8 deals | Google Pixel and Pixel XL deals | SIM only deals | Best mobile phone deals 

The best Google Pixel 2 deals in the UK today:

We've scoured the UK's networks and retailers to home in on the best Pixel 2 deals. You can get the new Google smartphone on O2, Vodafone or EE - the choice is yours...

The best Google Pixel 2 XL deals in the UK today:

Want that bigger QHD+ screen? Go for the Pixel 2 XL instead if you plan to use your phone to stream films and TV. But you'd better be prepared to pay for the privilege - the price really shoots up, as there are fewer retailers competing on price.

Google Pixel 2 deals for SIM-free: how much does the phone cost?

When the Pixel 2 hit the market, we were urging people to buy the handset outright and combine it with a cheap SIM only deal. The Pixel 2 costs £629 and the Pixel 2 XL will be £799 to buy SIM-free and adding in a SIM plan for a fiver a month made financial sense. But now that contract plans have shot down in price, they are now the more cost-effective way to go.

There's no doubt that the Pixel 2 is one of the very finest Android phones out there, but the Pixel's successor is a familiar story of incremental improvements rather than whole-scale change. The feature that might just get you buying are the top-of the-line cameras for photos and video. While the delightful screen, great-sounding speakers and slick Android operating system will all appeal to a range of smartphone users.

Read TechRadar's full Google Pixel 2 review
Read TechRadar's full
Google Pixel 2 XL review

Posted By: Xyber Galaxy on

Oppo Find X vs Vivo Nex: the all-screen smartphone showdown

Posted By: Xyber Galaxy on

Best workout apps we've used: improve your fitness in just 20 minutes a day

We all have busy lives, it comes with the times we live in, and while this does wonders for productivity, it can mean that it is increasingly difficult to find the time or energy to stay in shape. Either we’re neck deep in social obligations or we’re constantly grinding for a paycheck – either way we’re not exactly eager to set aside huge amounts of time to work out every week. However, the best fitness apps will help you stay fit, and they’ll do it without requiring a huge time commitment.

Winter is coming, and the warm summer weather is a distant memory, so everyone is going to want to spend their time indoors. While this is great for your video game backlog or Netflix queue, it’s more important than ever to stay active, especially with all of those delicious – albeit high-calorie, holiday meals. The best fitness apps are ready for this cold weather snap, and will supply you with quick High-Intensity-Interval-Training (HIIT) routines that will fill your exercise quota in no time flat.

There are three golden ideals that all of the best fitness apps will strive to reach: convenience, affordability and sports science. These features combine to make fitness apps that can revolutionize the way you look at fitness and exercise. Plus, with the best running gadgets, you can finally say goodbye to those pricey gym memberships and personal trainers.

There is a catch, though. There are hundreds of fitness apps on iOS and Android – as with any other kind of app – which makes finding the best fitness app for your personal needs and goals a hassle. Don’t worry though, you can save your energy for those intense workouts you’re already planning, because we’ve gone ahead and created a list of the best fitness apps you can install right now.

1. Nike+ Training Club 

Free: iOS, Android

With this very comprehensive and extremely stylish app, Nike offers 100+ workouts varying from endurance, mobility and strength with a host of both swift, 15-minute workouts and longer endurance sessions, so you can constantly change up your workout.

AirPlay and AppleTV support (along with Chromecast mirroring) will display the instructions on a larger screen or speaker system, and it even features a lot of famous athletes (including Rory McIlroy, Ellie Goulding and Serena Williams) busting a sweat with you as ‘motivation’.

An added bonus exists if you use the Nike+ Run Club app, as all your jogging efforts will be automatically synchronised to your Nike profile too, giving a complete picture of your fitness.

2. Freeletics

Free (Coaching from £2.28 ($2.69 / around AU$4) per week): iOS, Android 

Freeletics offers a host of workouts that are all centered around high intensity interval training, or HIIT. This platform revolves around four free platforms – Gym, Bodyweight Workouts and Training, Nutrition and Running.

Bodyweight was the app that started it all, and really pushes you to your limit through moves (that unsurprisingly use the weight of your body) such as sprawls, jump squats, pull-ups, burpees and sprints that you must finish as quickly as possible. 

There are videos for each exercise demonstrating proper form, and there is a great social aspect to the app which motivates you to stick to your plan, and push yourself to beat your personal bests.

If you opt to pay the subscription to access 'Coach', you get all the different workouts (satisfyingly named after characters from Greek mythology) and a workout plan tailored to your goals and current fitness levels. 

There is a further subscription that you can pay to access Nutrition, which gives you weekly nutrition plans to complement the intense workouts. 

3. Sworkit

Free (£3.98, ($4.99 / around AU$7) per month): iOS, Android

Tell Sworkit the type of workout you’re looking for (strength, cardio, yoga, or stretching) and the amount of time you’ve got to do it (anywhere from five minutes to an hour), and the app delivers moves to follow during your sweat session.

Choose to upgrade and the app will enable you to customise your workouts by setting the number of reps and the areas of the body you want to focus on.

It’s a simple system that offers great workouts for those already armed with knowledge of the areas they want to target.

4. Daily Burn

Free (In-app purchases from £7.99 ($10, around AU$13.50)): iOS, Android

Daily Burn is like your own private YouTube fitness channel, offering 500 workout videos taught by expert trainers, lasting from 15 minutes to an hour.

Your money gives you the power to pick and choose just what’s right for your workout, and if you can ever conceive of getting bored with what's on offer, more videos are added regularly.

There are also 20 different programs – from high-intensity cardio to yoga – and each workout can be streamed to Apple TV, Roku, Fire TV, Chromecast, Android, iPad, iPhone, iPod, laptop or desktop…so you’ll have no excuses for not being able to access the right session at the right time.

It does seem a little expensive, but with the range of options and ways to stream the content it’s perfect for those committed to getting in shape.

5. Daily Yoga

Free (with in app purchases): iOS, Android

Fitness isn’t just about squat-thrusts and burpees, and this app explores alternative ways to stay fit by packing in high definition video as an ideal introduction to the ways of the Yogis.

All the routines are under 30 minutes and there are 50 classes available – the Yoga for Runners is particularly recommended if you’re a jogger and getting worryingly stiff – and each session is categorised according to the body part you want to focus on.

6. Seven

Free (£3.99 ($3.53 / around AU$7) per month for premium): iOS, Android

Treating fitness like a classic (but basic) video game, Seven sets you the challenge of working out for seven minutes a day for seven months using no more than a chair, wall and your own body weight.

You start with three lives but missing one day will lose one of them (shown as a heart, rather menacingly) and missing three in a month will reset your progress to zero.

If you stick to it you’ll see results, but it’s worth paying the extra per month for the premium workouts to avoid the monotony of the free routines.

7. Workout Trainer

Free (pro version £5.58, $6.99 (around AU$10)/month): Android, iOS (Apple Watch and Android Wear compatible)

With a dizzying selection of over 1000 intense workouts ranging in length from five to 15 minutes, each with step-by-step audio and video instructions, if there’s nothing in Workout Trainer to tempt you from the sofa you’re in serious trouble.

As well as the standard workouts, you can build your own custom routines and share them online, as well as trying out some of the community-created routines yourself.

A Pro subscription gives a big upgrade in features, such as advert-free HD workout videos and even more routines to torture your screaming muscles with.

8.  Pilates Training from Fitivity

Free (pro version costs £3.99 ($5, around AU$7)): iOS, Android

Pilates is all about strengthening the core – specifically the back, abdomen and hips. Ask any fitness pro and no matter what level of fitness you are, they’ll harp on endlessly about the importance of this area for back strength, balance, posture, strength and flexibility.

While not offering everything you could want – few Pilates apps are perfect, we've found – Fitivity offers all the instructions you need to start training your core, with simple-to-follow routines.

Do it for the three free weeks and, if you want more, the pro version will give you unfettered access when you pay up.

9. Pact

Free: iOS, Android

Tried all the above but still can’t seem to find 15 minutes to work up a tiny sweat? Does money motivate you more than the idea of a healthy heart and a six-pack?

If so, you need Pact, the first app that encourages you to gamble on your ability to get fit.

Wager how many days you reckon you can work out, put some money where your mouth is and get running.

It pairs with your phone’s GPS as well as with RunKeeper, Fitbit, Jawbone Up and MapMyRun and the more you stick to your programme the more cash you can win from competing lazy members.

10. Runtastic Training series

Free (upgraded versions £1.99 / $1.99 / AU$3.99) : iOS, Android
Runtastic sounds like it's only good for one thing, but actually it's brilliant at bodyweight strength training too.

There are loads of apps by Runtastic - confusingly, a lot of them seem to do similar things but look completely different - but we're really into Sit Ups, Squats, Press Ups and Pull Ups at the moment, as they're just so friggin' simple.

Simply start the app, it'll tell you where to hold your phone, and how many reps to do. You'll get rest targets (which the more hardcore of you can skip) and the progression every couple of days feels manageable. You can even save your workout progress to the cloud and use other devices when needed.

The free version only gets you to level one, but by the end of that you'll be fully into how much stronger you're getting and the upgrade cost to Pro is fully worth it. If you've been an Adidas MiCoach user in the past, you'll get free access to the Pro apps automatically too (thanks to Adidas buying Runtastic fairly recently).

High-intensity interval training (HIIT) has been gaining in popularity recently, and for good reason – a workout that promises big results from short workouts is going to sound pretty appealing to people who are short on time. HIIT even came to the Apple Watch in watchOS 4.

Here we will explain a little bit about what HIIT is, and a few apps that you can use to for this new workout method, which is exhausting but has the potential to super-charge your results.

There are three different energy systems used by your body during exercise, one aerobic system that uses oxygen as fuel, and two that are anaerobic, using lactic acid and phosphates as their fuel. Long-duration cardio training (running, swimming, cycling) is dependent on the first of these energy systems, as it's the only energy system that can continue to feed muscles for long periods of time. 

The problem with this is that low-intensity training burns a relatively small amount of calories, so in order to achieve a caloric deficit for weight loss, a large amount of this exercise needs to be done. 

High-intensity exercise, on the other hand, burns a large amount of calories, but you’re unable to sustain it for long enough that it makes a significant difference to overall fitness. 

HIIT bridges the gap between the two training disciplines by interspersing short periods of high-intensity exercise with periods of low-intensity, to help you recover while still burning calories.

Does it work?

One of the most popular forms of HIIT is something called Tabata training, which is eight rounds of 20 seconds maximum intensity and 10 seconds low intensity. If you’re doing the math and thinking that only works out at four minutes of exercise, you’d be right – but done right it will be one of the worst four minutes of your life.

Tabata training was developed as a method of training by Japanese scientist Dr Izumi Tabata, as a method for improving the sprint times of Olympic ice skaters. 

He discovered that by doing these short bursts of maximal effort interspersed with periods of low effort, not only did the athletes get similar aerobic gains to a group doing a much longer more traditional workout, but they exhibited anaerobic gains that the control group didn’t show.

To oversimplify this, it basically means that if you work smarter, you can get the same – or even better – results as from slogging away for ages on the treadmill. Plus, as a little bonus, you get the benefits of an effect called EPOC, which stands for excessive post-exercise oxygen consumption, which basically means that as your body works to address the oxygen deficit in your system you keep burning calories long after you've finished exercising.

As this is a very intense form of exercise, it puts strain (good strain, but strain none the less) on your heart, lungs and muscles. You should consult a doctor before starting any exercise regime, especially one as intense as HIIT.

Enough science! How do I do it?

You basically need three things for HIIT: an exercise of your choice, will power, and a timer. 

The exercise needs to be something you can do for extended periods of time. Static bike is perfect, because it’s easy to shift quickly between low and high intensity. Running machines can work, but they need to be set up to alternate between the intensities, and, depending on your level of intensity, it can get risky having sudden changes of speed that are happening out of your control.

Rowing machines and elliptical machines both work well too. The elliptical machine is actually one of the best in terms of getting a full-body workout, but for some reason has a stigma attached to it. 

A lot of people do burpees as a HIIT exercise, which seems to make sense because it’s a full-body exercise, but the fundamental problem with these is that you're likely to reach muscular fatigue, which will inhibit your ability to push yourself to your desired level of cardiovascularly. 

If you don’t have access to a gym, or would just prefer to do your exercise using body weight, then skipping, star jumps, and even jogging on the spot can all be employed.

Timers. You mentioned timers…

This is where the tech comes in. Obviously you could use a stopwatch to set your periods, but frankly who has time for that? Luckily there are a number of apps on the market specifically designed to help you plan and carry out your HIIT session. 

There are so many to choose from that the selection process can be pretty daunting. To help you out, we've chosen our favourites…


Seconds is an app for creating your own exercise timers. It has templates for circuit training, Tabata, HIIT, and custom timers. You can adjust the length of the high- and low-intensity periods, you can adjust the number of sets you’re going to be doing, and you can name the exercises – so if you’re doing a circuit it’ll tell you you’re on the kettlebells next. 

During your workout it gives clear audio signals for starting and stopping, and the screen has a massive countdown on it, so even when sweat is streaming into your eyes you should still be able to see how long you have to go before you can rest. 

Seconds is free to download and use, but gives you the option to upgrade to Seconds Pro, which allows you to save timers; very useful if you're going to be doing the same workout four times a week.

Runtastic Timer & Intervals

Runtastic, as the name might suggest, is from a running company, but don't let that put you off. A timer is a timer, and this is a good timer, and the app is easily the most aesthetically pleasing of your options.

It's very easy to customize, and can either give you beep prompts or voice feedback.

Like Seconds, it's free to download, but if you want to unlock the full range of timers and get rid of the ads you can pay a small in-app fee. 

Tabata Timer Interval Timer

Tabata Timer has a very simple interface, but it does everything you need of it. When you open up the app it gives you the option to change your prep time, work time, rest time, and number of cycles. Once you’ve put your desired specifications in, you just hit Start and away you go. 

Tabata Timer works in the background, so if you want to move over to your music app mid-workout you’re not going to stop the timer, which is surprisingly useful. Also, Tabata Timer works with Google Fit, so if you use that app it’ll transfer over your data from your workout.

Tabata Timer is free to download, with the option to upgrade to the premium version (with a number of different affordable plans) if you want to save more than two workouts. 

What about the willpower?

That's up to you. Sorry. 

Posted By: Xyber Galaxy on

The best iPhone SE deals in June 2018

It finally seems to have happened. iPhone SE deal prices may finally have bottomed out. After the fanfare that met Apple's 2016 launch of a budget handset, iPhone SE prices have fallen steadily since. But after a few months of plateaued contract plans, we reckon that the SE is now as cheap as it ever will be - there are are now plenty of tariffs going for less than £20 per month, which is frankly fantastic value.

The tech world rejoiced when the iPhone SE was released. Finally a new Apple phone that doesn't require you to remortgage your house - unlike the iPhone X! It looks and feels exactly the same as the iPhone 5S. But instead of sporting two-year-old hardware it's fully up to date, with a super-fast CPU and graphics, and the 12MP iSight camera straight out of the iPhone 6S.

If cheap iPhone SE deals are what you seek, then you've definitely come to the right place. Use TechRadar's comparison chart to easily find the ideal plan, or scroll down further to find our pick of the best SE deals on the market.

More options: iPhone 8 deals | iPhone 7 deals | iPhone 6S deals | iPhone deals | Best mobile phone deals | iPhone SE review

Best iPhone SE deals across all UK networks:

Lower down the page you'll be able to read about all of the best iPhone SE deals on a model-by-model and network-by-network basis. But first of all here are the best deals so you can instantly see what the best offers are from EE, O2, Three and Vodafone.

Launched back in March 2016, the 'Special Edition' iPhone SE was a rare example of Apple dropping its entry-level price to allow bargain-hunters a piece of the iPhone pie. It reduced the screen size from the iPhone 6, but kitted it out with the same camera as the iPhone 6S. In short, it's a premium smartphone with a lower price tag – and we like that!

Read TechRadar's full iPhone SE review

Now let's break down the best iPhone SE deals by network...

Best iPhone SE deals on EE

Best iPhone SE deals on O2

Best iPhone SE deals on Vodafone

Best iPhone SE deals on Three

Posted By: Xyber Galaxy on

The best iPhone 6S deals in June 2018

Posted By: Xyber Galaxy on

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