Last month, I was loafing round the house with my phone wondering how cold it was outside. Being the ridiculously technology-glued person I am, I started searching for a weather station that integrates with the Web, tablets, and smartphones. Obviously, stepping into the sun was out of the question, because I’m a vampire — they’re real! After a few clicks, I found the Netatmo, a very slick looking solution to checking the weather when you’re not in a walking mood.

The very idea of this may sound ridiculous, I know. However, there is a purpose for everything and I decided to give Netatmo a try. After all, Wired and Time wouldn’t feature it unless there is something more than the basic weather station. Or so I thought. (more…)

Whether you’re reading a riveting novella, an insightful piece of long-form journalism, or the latest post from your favourite blogger, the written word has the ability to capture the imagination and make long, tedious journeys just slip away. In modern times, though, reading has become more than just words on a page or screen. A plethora of apps is available to make books more social, and news better suited to your interests.

To narrow down your options only to those that are worthy of a download, I’ve compiled a list of the most innovative social reading and news recommendation apps that the Play Store has to offer.

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Christmas morning is here and we all feel the same excitement while rushing to check the gifts under the tree. As geeks and technology addicts, we’re hoping for gadgets and more gadgets, especially the Android kind. We’re not picky either, we’ll take anything from a phone to a tablet, an NVIDIA Shield, or an Android TV Stick.

If you’re lucky enough to be a recipient of such gear, you’re certainly excited to set it up and load it with excellent apps and games. Or maybe, this is your first foray into the Android ecosystem and you have no idea how and where to get started. That’s why we’ve combed through the hundreds of posts we published this year to roundup the best content for you.

From apps to games, how-tos, and opinions, you’ll find enough articles here to last you weeks. So get your browser tabs ready for an onslaught of articles, press that power button on your shiny new gadget and follow us down this wonderfully geeky journey. But keep in mind that we are not responsible for the amount of time you spend glued to your screen and away from your family today!

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Football games frequently appear on the Play Store and normally the only games worth considering are the likes of FIFA 14 from the most established developers. New Star Soccer is a new twist to the standard concept of a football related game, and it will appeal to many users. Read on to find out why!

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When Ubisoft’s massively successful franchise ‘Assassins Creed’ was released for consoles a few years ago, gamers just couldn’t get enough. The seemingly endless world made for a fantastic environment for a free-running assassin. After a few more iterations, things are slowing down on the console front, and heating up on smartphones.

The developer has just released the much-anticipated Assassins Creed Pirates’ for Android and iOS prompting mixed reviews on the Play Store. Ubisoft say that players will “break the rules” to “challenge empires and build a fortune”; an ambitious claim for a game restricted to smartphones. Let’s see if the newest Assassins Creed will live up to its huge expectations.

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Most Android users have installed, and uninstalled, dozens of launchers in an attempt to improve or personalize their devices. A lot of these users find that a cool launcher skin can cover up an outdated OS interface, but can slow down the device. This is a shame as Android lends itself so well to customisation and launcher modifications — as evidenced by our epic coverage of the different available options in our Customization Month.

With KitKat installations climbing every hour, a lot of space and processing power on Android devices will be freed up for a better, more robust launcher that truly ticks all the boxes. MyColorScreen’s Themer is trying to be that launcher.

The company has just announced the launch of the app’s public beta onto the Play Store. Before this, it had been in private beta and required an invite code and direct download from their website. Users running Android 4.1 and up should find their devices supported. Let’s take a look at the launcher and the amount of customisation it permits.

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As part of my new fitness routine that involves starting a C25K program, I have also taken up sit-ups and squats. The reason I picked these two exercises is that I have improved the strength of my arms and legs a lot with running and swimming, but my core, back and quads are still in deplorable shape. I could easily try to do short series of sit-ups and squats, but I was in no way able to go beyond 30 or 40 without feeling like my muscles were being ripped apart.

So similarly to my running training, I turned to my phone and the Play Store to find apps that would help me gradually increase my strength and improve my endurance. I was instantly drawn to Runtastic Sit-Ups Pro and Runtastic Squats Pro, not only because of the big brand name behind them, but also because of the apps’ design and features. It was an excellent choice and I’ll explain below why Runtastic’s suite should be on your phone too if you are interested in fitness.

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There was a time, in a previous life, when I was able to run an hour daily without breaking a sweat. Then I injured my foot, couldn’t exercise for a year, got lazy and gained weight, until I was eventually unable to walk for more than 10 minutes without complaining of fatigue. I’ve been trying however, for the past 10 months, to find the glory of old. I started with swimming regularly, then added walking, hiking and eventually decided to ease back into running.

I had heard of the Couch to 5K program — commonly referred to as C25K — and figured it would be the perfect way to go back to my runner routine. I looked on the Play Store for C25K apps, found many that seemed way too complicated or expensive for the purpose, then I landed on C25K Trainer. It is the most simplistic app you can find but it is essentially all you really need if you want to start running.

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They don’t make games like Double Dragon anymore. While the parallels between coin-guzzling arcades in the 80s and today’s free-to-play mobile fare run more than skin deep, it remains a relic. Simple, straightforward, and brutal, it’s uncompromising from the get-go.

No special “mobile” difficulty can blunt its force — nor that of its sequels Double Dragon 2: The Revenge and Double Dragon 3: The Rosetta Stone. All three are reproduced here in their full glory, warts and all, with touch controls for the gamepad-lacking and the usual host of extra features that you’d expect from a re-packaging of a classic series.
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Email is the arena for an almighty battle of innovation right now. Ever since Mailbox introduced its shiny new side-swipe sorting to iOS, there have been innumerable reinventions of the veteran communication platform, with new clients arriving, by the bucket-load, on pretty much every OS.

Android has been no exception to this rush — in fact, it has been at the forefront. Google, itself, has made the official Gmail app a market leader in terms of intuitive design, whilst apps such as SolMail and Dextr are well-made alternatives, each with a slightly different approach to inbox sifting and sorting. There are plenty more where those came from, as well.

Take new email client, CloudMagic, for example. With a sleek interface and all the usual tricks of the email 2.0 trade, it looks like a great, free download. But how does it measure up to the fierce competition?

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