AC editors’ apps of the week: Authy, NYT VR, AirBNB and more

Our weekly app picks

It's Appday Sunday and that means we're back with more of our favorites to share. Every week we bring a handful of great apps to the table and share them with everyone. Sometimes they are new apps, sometimes old standards, but every time they are apps we love to use.

Give these a look and then take a minute to tell us all about the apps you are using and love so we can give them a try. We all find some of our favorites right in the comments on these posts!

Russell Holly — Android Device Manager

I rely on the ring function in Android Device Manager more often than I'm comfortable admitting, but I almost always use the browser version. During the recent snowstorm we had here, my home office dropped well below freezing and I remembered there was an app I could use instead.

Since you don't have to have the app installed in order to access the location and ring functions, you can still use the app to find any of your Android phones or tablets. It almost feels like one of those things that should be installed by default, but either way this is a tool everyone should have nearby.

Download: Android Device Manager (Free)

Alex Dobie — AirBNB

This might seem like a no-brainer, but if you use AirBNB with any kind of regularity, you really should download the company's Android app. The official AirBNB app wraps up all the major features of the short-term rental service into an attractive, Material Design-influenced package. For guests, the app offers a quick and easy way to search specific cities or areas for accommodation, with filters to narrow down the selection. And there's also quick access to starred listings, messages and upcoming trips. If you're a host, the app also lets you manage your own listings and respond to messages from guests.

It's really useful to have all this information to hand when you're checking into an AirBNB, or just looking for places to stay while on the move. And the process of requesting and paying for a place is streamlined and efficient too.

Download: AirBNB (Free)

Phil Nickinson — NYT VR

You've seen the video of the star-spangled youngsters Trumping the crap out of that Trump rally in Florida, right? Well if it wasn't embarrassing enough in standard format (OK, it wasn't just "in Florida" — it was in my hometown, about a mile from where I current sit), the New York Times has included it in its latest story in the NYT VR app for Google Cardboard. "The Contenders" isn't all about Trump, of course, (in fact it leads with Cruz and Sanders), and it's very well done, telling 11 stories so far, from nature and the industrial future, to dropping food in impoverished nations and the Paris terror attacks. And if you don't have Google Cardboard, you can view it normally as well. Give it a look.

Download: NYT VR (Free)

Jen Karner — Where's my Water? 2

Where's my Water? 2 is a fun puzzle game of a different variety than you usually see. Your job is to get water, or in some cases vapor, to the Alligator family. You'll have to challenge your brain through several different modes of play, each of which requires a different strategy to rise to the challenge. You'll never need to worry about energy or asking friends for help either, to move forward you just need to collect enough duckies and the path will open.

The earlier levels are easy, but once you get going they get trickier and trickier. If — or more likely when, you get stuck you can get a hint, which ends up being ridiculously handy. You can also connect to Facebook if you want to compete against friends, and it's a great game for kids as well.

Download: Where's my Water? 2 (Free, in-app purchases)

Ara Wagoner — Yahoo Weather

I go through a lot of widgets, especially for weather, but Yahoo widget tackles a small niche for me: it's a picturesque peek at the place in the world I'm always wishing to be at: Walt Disney World. Yahoo Weather plugs into another Yahoo property, Flickr, in order to put geo-tagged photos to the locations you plug in. This means if you're in New York, you see pictures of New York in the sun or the snow.

Or, if you're interested in the weather in Bay Lake, FL, you can see pictures of Walt Disney World. I've got a Yahoo Weather widget on my home screen with the current conditions for the Most Magical Place on Earth, and thanks to the refresh button on the widget, I can just hit refresh and pull up new photos while I'm bored or longing for my old stomping ground. This widget will not leave my home screen in the foreseeable future... or at least until after my next vacation.

Download: Yahoo Weather (Free)

Andrew Martonik — Authy

I know this app has been highlighted before, but I'm finally able to pick it personally as I've broken down and moved to Authy from Google Authenticator. As the number of accounts I have with two-step authentication increases, it gets to be more and more difficult to switch between phones (which as you'd imagine, I do often). With Authy, you register your two-factor accounts into the app and they'll actually sync across devices — Android, iOS, Chrome — so you'll have your codes everywhere. No more scanning QR codes, no more SMS verification; you just have your two-step authentication on whatever device you're using.

The app isn't the prettiest out there (let's be honest, neither is Google Authenticator), but the functionality is what matters here. Being able to seamlessly switch devices without worrying about being locked out of an account is wonderful.

Download: Authy (Free)

From the Editor’s Desk: Android, airlines and what’s to come

It's been a few years now since the FAA (and other regulating bodies) lightened up on the use of personal electronic devices on airplanes. So we can now listen to music and watch videos and crush all the candy and crossy all the roads we want before the plane ever takes off.

That's barely scratching the surface, of course, especially when you take into consideration what passengers and the airlines could do with a full mobile OS baked into in-flight entertainment. JetBlue recently announced an update to its IFE system that will be "built on the Google Android platform," and initially hit its Airbus a320 models.

Frequent fliers will note that any number of IFE systems have used Linux for some time. (I see the Penguin hit Delta's IFE on reboot every now and then.) But a full Android build will allow for easer, faster development. Widgets. Apps.

"The vast majority of deployed in-flight entertainment systems run on various Linux builds, which really limits the level of customization an airline can apply to it," says Jason Rabinowitz, an avid transportation fan and data research manager at Routehappy. "Basic GUI updates take an eternity and performance leaves a bit to be desired."

That's putting it mildly, of course. And the shift to a full mobile operating system opens up a world of possibilities. JetBlue is just one of the early ones here in the U.S.

"Airlines are increasingly experimenting with device pairing, NFC payment, multitasking and connectivity," Rabinowitz says. "The new system JetBlue is implementing should allow passengers to stream internet content straight to the seat-back screen using the on-board Wi-Fi."

Mobile payments maybe have been slow to take off in the U.S., but not having to whip out a credit card to pay for a drink or rent a movie at 30,000 feet? That's a very good thing.

Assuming it all works, of course.

A few other thoughts on the week that was ...

That's it for this week. Time to go do some housework. I'm following these instructions.

Vivo Mobile launches the mid-range Y51L in India

Vivo India has announced the launch of Y51L in the Indian market. The vivo Y51L is assembled in the company's new manufacturing plant in India. As one of the top 10 smartphone brands in the world, vivo entered Indian market in December 2014.

Speaking on the newly launched Y51L, Alex Feng, CEO of vivo India, said:

The Indian smartphone market is tech savvy and price sensitive. The affordable segment is the growth driver, as the young generation today looks for a phone which is best in features, beautiful in design and is priced competitively. Last year, we witnessed huge sales and positive demand for products in the budget range across markets, which boosted us to launch the Y51L. The new launch will further strengthen our hold on the market and help us establish ourselves among our consumers.

vivo Y51L specifications

Category vivo Y51L
Operating System Android 5.0 Lollipop-based Funtouch OS 2.5
Display 5-inch (960 x 540) IPS
Processor 1.2GHz quad-core Snapdragon 410
Internal Storage 16GB, expandable up to 128GB with microSD
Rear Camera 8MP
Front Camera 5MP
Dimensions 143.8 x 71.7 x 7.52 mm
Weight 157 grams
Battery 2350mAh

Last year, vivo introduced its Y series by launching several major models including Y27L, Y31, and Y15S priced between ₹6,000 and ₹13,000. With Y51L this year, the company will aim to grow its market share in India. The vivo Y51L is available for a price of ₹11,980 ($176).

The Honor 5X is available today for $199, here’s what you need to know

OK, folks. Today's the day. The Honor 5X — a decent (if imperfect) choice in the $199 market — is available starting now. If you're still on the fence, you definitely need to read our complete Honor 5X review.

And beyond that, here are some hot takes you don't want to miss:

And if you've got any other questions, sing out! We'll do our best to answer 'em!