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App Reviews

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Nanoleaf Aurora review: The coolest and most extravagant smart lights you can own

Some of you may have already heard about the Nanoleaf Aurora. These modular triangular light panels can be formed in any shape you like and are WiFi-enabled, allowing you to control them via your phone or Google Home and Alexa. But those of you who haven't will probably scroll down to see the high price tag and scoff in disbelief. $229.99 for a set of 9 light panels and a music module is a rather extravagant price to pay. But that's exactly what the Nanoleaf are: extravagant. They go a step beyond smart lights like Hue and LiFX and straight into "cool art deco" territory.

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Hands-on: Food for All lets you buy restaurant meals that would otherwise be thrown away

What if there was an app that got you half-off food at some of the best restaurants in town, and all you had to do was place an order earlier in the day, and pick it up a bit later than usual? Well, there is, and it's called Food for All. Even better, the grub you grab was destined for the trash can, so you get to feel good about helping decrease food waste too. 

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Hands-on: Battery Charge Limit for rooted devices keeps your phone's battery healthy

Those of us here at Android Police have a lot of phones, and that's putting it lightly. It's not just because we like basking in the light of a dozen tiny differently calibrated displays (though that is one of the unofficial perks). We actually need different hardware and software configurations on hand to test and compare against. Between device compatibility for new apps, checking APK releases for differences, and test environments, our desks end up being monuments/graves to recent phone history. Obviously, those phones are no use to us if they aren't charged. But, keeping them continuously topped-up isn't very good for the batteries, either.

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Sam Ruston's new app Hurry is a beautiful countdown timer for events

Fans of Android developer Sam Ruston's applications, such as myself, will be excited to hear that he has just released one more. The app, called Hurry, is a countdown timer that uses notifications and widgets to help you keep track of upcoming events. It is a simple concept but executed with the developer's usual insane attention to detail, especially in relation to material design and animations. 

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Hands-on with Adapticons: Making your own icons was never this easy or customizable

There was a time when I could spend hours setting up a new homescreen on my phone. Choosing a new wallpaper, finding the best icon placement and alignment, obsessing about icon pack zips and rars until I stumbled upon the perfect one for my setup, then adding and moving and removing widgets to fit with everything. Now, I just open Backdrops from time to time to get a new wallpaper and I keep the same homescreen setup without even bothering with icon packs. The reasons I've abandoned icon packs are many: learning curve to spot your icons under new designs, it's rare to find a pack that covers all my icons, and icon masks, just like Android O's new adaptive icons, are plain terrible.

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Francisco Franco's new app Gratus is a novel tool that reminds you to stop and appreciate life

Today the well-known developer Francisco Franco has released a new app: Gratus. It's a bit hard to describe, but it's meant to provide you with appreciation and motivation when you might be feeling a bit down. The name itself means "grateful" in Latin, and it's an apt summary of the intended effect. Think of it as a repository for all the things you enjoy. 

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[Update, G+ Post] Francisco Franco makes his productivity timer 5217 free to try

5217, a productivity app made by well-known developer Francisco Franco, has been updated with a new Freemium payment model. Anyone that might be interested in trying new methods for boosting productivity can install the app and give it a try for 10 free work cycles. In addition to the new payment model, 5217 has been updated to include a host of new notification options, Android Wear support, and stats for users.

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Hands-on with Hulu TV: Great, but I'm confused about the audience

Some of you might know that Hulu rolled out a Live TV service to their existing streaming platform. I've spent a bit of time checking it out (if you do things right, kids, watching TV can be work) and I think I'm in a good position to provide a reasonably educated opinion on the service. Overall, I'm a bit confused about who, exactly, it's for.

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Synology DiskStation DS416play review: Cloud who? Personal servers can be cool and feature-filled too

This is one of the most difficult reviews I've had to write to date. I've been using the Synology DS416play for several months, yet everytime I sat down to start writing, I felt overwhelmed by what I should and shouldn't discuss and eventually found myself drifting to work on another simpler and more urgent news article. I love detailed reviews, I enjoy delving deep into every single feature a product offers and discussing its benefits and limitations, as evidenced by the lengthy reviews I've written on Android Police over the years. But if I wanted to do the same for this NAS, I knew I'd end up with 10K+ words at the very least without even scratching the surface of many options.

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Libby can give you access to tons of free books and audiobooks on your phone with just your library card

Those of us with a library card now have another means of easily accessing the local library’s free eBook and audiobook collection. OverDrive, a long-time manager of eBook collections for libraries, recently released their new Android app Libby.

For the uninitiated, a library card can get you a lot more than a dog-eared copy of The Girl on the Train these days. Most public libraries have long since entered the digital age and provide patrons with the convenience of eBooks and audiobooks at the same free price. It is worth noting, though, that not all library networks are the same, and many publishers place restrictions that can hinder use of some devices.

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