Recent Articles | Android Central

Order Google Pixel: Google Store | Verizon Shop Chromebooks: Asus Flip | Acer R13

Headlines

1 week ago

Samsung chief arrested in South Korea over bribing charges

22

Samsung Group's de facto leader Jay Y. Lee is facing jail time over bribery charges in presidential scandal.

Samsung Electronics vice chairman and heir-apparent to Samsung Group Jay Y. Lee was arrested on Friday morning in South Korea on bribery charges linked to a presidential corruption probe. Last month, a Korean special prosecutor sought an arrest warrant for Lee, but a judge ultimately turned down the request. This time around, the judge granted the arrest after "new charges and evidence" were presented.

Read more and comment

 
1 week ago

'Really Blue' Google Pixel now up for pre-order in the UK

6

Really Blue Pixel is coming to Carphone Warehouse and EE.

Google has announced that it is bringing the Really Blue Google Pixel to the UK via EE and Carphone Warehouse. The phone is now up for pre-order on EE, with in-store availability at Carphone Warehouse kicking off from February 24.

Read more and comment

 
1 week ago

T-Mobile rolling out Nougat update to Galaxy S7 and S7 edge, starting with beta users

81

Final Nougat build going out to beta testers on T-Mobile Galaxy S7 and S7 edge.

T-Mobile has started rolling out the stable Nougat release to the Galaxy S7 and S7 edge, with those enrolled in the Galaxy Beta Program receiving the update first. As the update is now hitting those that are already running beta versions of Nougat, it weighs in at 117MB. It also includes the February security patch.

Read more and comment

 
1 week ago

HTC leaves 'ultra competitive' entry-level smartphone market to focus on turning a profit

28

Expect only mid-range and high-end flagships from HTC moving forward.

HTC is hoping that less is more when it comes to smartphone offerings. Chia-Lin Chang, President of HTC's Smartphone and Connected Device divisions, says the Taiwanese company will stop chasing high sales numbers in the entry-level smartphone markets and instead focus on designing and selling highly profitable devices.

This news comes from HTC's quarterly conference call with investors, wherein the company announced a fourth straight quarter posting an operating loss. When asked how the company plans to shift its strategies for 2017, Chang responded in part by saying "We are going to get out of the entry level part, which I think is ultra competitive and we're not necessarily going to benefit from a profitability perspective here. To us, profitability on the smartphone is going to be quite important."

Chang continued by saying the company plans to focus on mid-range to high-end products moving forward, stating the company is planning to release only seven "key SKU" (stock-keeping units) in 2017.

The strategy does make sense, given how crowded the budget phone space has become —especially in the competitive overseas markets of China and India. Instead of chasing high sales figures with cheaper devices, the plan will be to focus on mid-range devices and premium flagships with higher profit margins — such as the forthcoming HTC U Ultra and U Play.

Only time will tell if this new strategy will lift HTC's smartphone division out of the red, but at least we're sure to see the top tier of smartphones from HTC moving forward.

Read more and comment

 
1 week ago

AT&T decides to get competitive, expands unlimited plan to everyone

132

AT&T is matching its competitors by opening up unlimited data to everyone.

AT&T has decided to throw up its proverbial hands after a week of intense competition in the mobile space, saying that as of February 17 its unlimited plan, which is currently only available to DirecTV customers, will be expanded to all postpaid customers.

Starting tomorrow, AT&T1 will launch a new AT&T Unlimited plan. The plan will be available to all consumer and business postpaid AT&T wireless customers.

The new AT&T Unlimited Plan will include unlimited talk, text and data on 4 lines for $180. Business customers can also take advantage of their additional corporate discount. You can also make unlimited calls from the U.S. to Canada and Mexico, and send unlimited texts to over 120 countries. Plus, customers on this plan can talk, text and use data in Canada and Mexico with no roaming charges when they add the Roam North America feature for no additional charge.

Prices remain unchanged — it's still $100 for the first line and $40 for the others, with a $40 monthly discount on the fourth after two billing cycles. That's considerably more than T-Mobile's and Sprint's options, but at $180 for four lines is right in line with Verizon, which AT&T considers its biggest competitor (though it shouldn't given how many postpaid customers it is losing to T-Mobile).

Unfortunately, unlike T-Mobile's most recent move, AT&T's unlimited plan includes its data-compressing Stream Saver feature, which lowers video quality to 480p by default. And there's no tethering, which is disappointing, especially when the other three big carriers include at least some tethering in their unlimited plans.

Are you switching to AT&T, or to this plan if you're already a customer, now that its unlimited plan is open to everyone? Let us know in the comments!

Which unlimited plan should you buy?

Read more and comment

 
1 week ago

Grab a HP Chromebook 14 for just $211 right now, a savings of $39

2

Right now you can pick up HP's Chromebook 14 for just $211 at Amazon, a savings of $39 from its regular price. Equipped with an Intel Celeron processor, 4GB of RAM, and a 16GB SSD, you'll be able to breeze through tasks on the 14-inch display and get things done. Chrome OS may not have as many features as Mac OS or Windows does, but if you are looking for something to create documents, browse the internet, and play around on social media, a Chromebook may be the perfect choice for you.

If you'd rather, you can grab one for the same price at Walmart right now. These prices may not last long, so be sure to get your order in before the price goes back up.

See at Amazon

For more great deals on tech, gadgets, home goods and more, be sure to check out our friends at Thrifter now!

Read more and comment

 
1 week ago

What to do when an app freezes on Android watches

9

Android Wear apps don't always behave.

Google's Developer Preview program makes it easy for active developers to make sure their apps work great with new software updates before users get to touch them. Unfortunately, not every app in the Google Play Store is maintained by an active developer. That means sometimes your favorite app might misbehave on an Android Wear 2.0 watch.

The most common frustration with old apps on the new Android Wear is an occasional freeze. The app locks up, and the whole watch UI stops for a little while in order to sort things out. Most of the time this app freeze is temporary, not more than a second or two of inactivity. If you find yourself stuck for longer, here's how to break free and get back to enjoying your watch.

Tap that power button

Every Android Wear watch has a crown button on the bezel of the watch, and in Android Wear 2.0 it's called the Power Button. Pressing this button in from just about any screen in the OS should immediately return you to the watch face, basically closing the app you were just in and leaving you to either try again or move on to something else.

Android Wear doesn't have an app switcher or system activity monitor — thank goodness — so you mostly have to trust that this power button has closed the app you were in instead of returning you to a frozen activity. In our testing, the apps are almost always closed.

Set your watch on its charger

The Android Wear charging screen often works as a decent bedside clock, because it's basically a separate watch face that only exists when the watch is being charged. This charging UI interrupts anything currently happening on the watch, which means if you're nearby your charger and an app misbehaves you can quickly drop the watch on the charger and reset the activity.

This should only ever be necessary if the power button reset didn't work, which is extremely rare from our testing, but if you do need this reset it will work every time.

Reboot the watch

Some apps just weren't meant to be installed on Android Wear 2.0, but before you can uninstall those unsightly creations you need to restore your watch to working order. That may mean a full reboot of your watch, and fortunately that doesn't usually take long.

Press and hold the power button on your watch for five continuous seconds. You'll feel an extended vibration, the screen will go dark, and as you remove your finger from the button the display will light back up and the Android Wear boot animation will begin. Once the watch has restarted, you can go eliminate the apps that weren't behaving and leave a review for the next person eager to give this a try.

Android Wear

img { width: 100%; height: auto; } .devicebox ul { display: table; margin: 0 0 10px; width: 100%; } .devicebox ul li { background: #f7f7f7; margin: 2px 0; padding: 4px 15px; } .devicebox ul li:hover { background: #fff; } .devicebox ul li:before { display: none; } .devicebox p ~ p { line-height: 1.25; } .devicebox p:first-of-type + p { padding: 15px; } .devicebox a.buy-link { border-radius: 5px; display: inline-block; font: 14px/31px "Proxima Nova Extrabld",Helvetica,Arial,sans-serif; text-align: center; } .devicebox a.buy-link, .devicebox a.buy-link:link, .devicebox a.buy-link:active, .devicebox a.buy-link:visited { background: #37B5D7; color: #FFF; } .devicebox a.buy-link:hover { background: #2694B2; text-decoration: none; } .devicebox a.buy-link:before { content: "\e61e"; font: 40px/0 "ac_iconset" !important; margin: 0 3px 0 -8px; vertical-align: middle; } @media all and (min-width: 1025px), all and (max-width: 800px) and (min-width: 660px) { /* div:not(.columns-3) excludes help menu content */ .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox { padding: 20px 0 25px; } .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox .video { float: left; margin: 0 30px 0 0; width: calc(100% - 375px); } .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox h3 + p { bottom: 37px; display: block; overflow: hidden; position: absolute; top: 60px; width: calc(100% - 375px); } .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox p img, .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox p > img { position: absolute; top: 50%; transform: translateY(-50%); } .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox p:nth-child(n+3), .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox ul { box-sizing: border-box; margin-left: calc(100% - 345px); width: 340px; } .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox p.list-head { margin-top: -5px; } } @media all and (max-width: 1024px) and (min-width: 801px), all and (max-width: 660px) { .devicebox h3 { text-align: center; } .devicebox ul, .devicebox p { display: block; } } @media all and (max-width: 800px) and (min-width: 660px) { .devicebox { padding: 20px 0 25px; } .devicebox .video { float: left; margin: 0 30px 0 0; width: calc(100% - 375px); } .devicebox h3 + p { bottom: 37px; display: block; overflow: hidden; position: absolute; top: 60px; width: calc(100% - 375px); } .devicebox p img, .devicebox p > img { position: absolute; top: 50%; transform: translateY(-50%); } .devicebox p:nth-child(n+3), .devicebox ul { box-sizing: border-box; margin-left: calc(100% - 345px); width: 340px; } .devicebox p.list-head { margin-top: -5px; } } @media all and (min-width: 1025px), all and (max-width: 800px) and (min-width: 661px), all and (max-width: 500px) { /* 2x buy buttons */ .devicebox a.buy-link { width: calc(50% - 2.5px); margin: 0 5px 5px 0; } .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-of-type(even) { margin: 0 0 5px 0; } .devicebox a.buy-link:last-of-type:nth-of-type(odd) { width: 100%; } } @media all and (max-width: 1024px) and (min-width: 801px), all and (max-width: 659px) and (min-width: 501px) { /* 3x buy buttons */ .devicebox a.buy-link { width: calc(100%/3 - 10px/3); margin: 0 5px 5px 0; } .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-of-type(3n):not(:nth-last-of-type(2)) { margin: 0 0 5px 0; } .devicebox a.buy-link:only-child { width: 100%; margin: 0 0 5px 0; } .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(2):nth-of-type(3n+1), .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(2):nth-of-type(3n+1) ~ a.buy-link, .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(4):nth-of-type(3n+1), .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(4):nth-of-type(3n+1) ~ a.buy-link { width: calc(50% - 2.5px); } .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(2):nth-of-type(3n+1) ~ a.buy-link, .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(4):nth-of-type(3n+1) ~ a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(odd) { margin: 0 0 5px 0; } } @media all and (max-width: 800px) { .devicebox { margin: 0 0 30px; max-width: none; width: auto; } } @media all and (max-width: 500px) { .devicebox { margin: 0 0 30px; max-width: none; width: auto; } .devicebox a.buy-link:before { display: none; } } .page-admin .devicebox {max-width: 350px;} .page-admin .devicebox .video_iframe {position: relative; height: 0; padding-bottom: 56.9%;} .page-admin .devicebox .video_iframe iframe {width: 100%; height: 100%; position: absolute;} /*-->*/ /*-->*/ /*-->*/

Read more and comment

 
1 week ago

Google's 'Andromeda' looks to be hiding in plain sight

24

Fuchsia and Andromeda are certainly a thing, but it's still not clear exactly where they will fit into Google's plans.

Set your way back machines to August 2016, and one of the things you might see is talking about a mystery operating system from Google named Fuchsia. We took a look at it when people started noticing it was being worked on, and got some really cool clues about what might be going on.

More: 'Fuchsia' operating system project is interesting, lacking details that make it matter

This post was updated February 16 with new information about Fuchsia and Andromeda.

Work on the project hasn't slowed and now semiconductor analyst Daniel Matte's blog Tech Specs has a new take on a more mature Fuchsia, and why it's where Andromeda is going to start.

Matte has taken a second deep look into how Fuchsia is going to be built and what it might be able to do. The very basics are in place — a new LK-based microkernel dubbed Magenta will power an operating system designed from the ground up to be modular and adaptable to most any modern hardware. Combine Magenta with a new rendering engine (escher) and a user interface layer based on the Dart programming language with an all-new widget and application framework named Flutter to bring it all front and center and you have what Fuchsia needs to become an actual living piece of software.

I think for all Fuchsia devices, the Android API and runtime will continue to function as before, except now the underlying OS will be Fuchsia, and the kernel will be Magenta, not Linux.

Matte says this is going to be Andromeda. And he has plenty of evidence to support his idea. Fuchsia isn't hidden. All the work on the kernel, the framework, and associated bits and pieces is being done in the open where anyone with an interest can have a look. It's been this way from the beginning, and as it evolves it becomes a bit easier to guess what Google is trying to do here.

After some communication with people at Google Matte has more insight about what we're seeing here as well as what's to come. Andromeda sounds like the interface and application layer for large-screen devices like tablets and laptops. Running atop Fuchsia and leveraging scalable floating windows, Andromeda could look very much like Chrome and be optimized for mouse and keyboard use as well as touch. In other words, very much like the Chrome OS we have today but using the newer more modular Fuchsia as a base.

Fuchsia and the Magenta kernel can also power the Android runtime and application framework, and Matte suggests that this will happen. Eventually, the Android runtimes will be phased out in favor of newer, but compatible, software like Mojo. This would be of little consequence for the end user but offer developers and hardware manufacturers more ways to build the things we want to use.

More: How Google can use Andromeda to conquer everything

Based on the code that's been checked into the project so far, Matte suggests we're seeing a ground-up operating system designed to run on ARM, MIPS, and Intel x86 processors. It's not a merging of Chrome and Android, but a new system that can power Google's existing products — Chrome and Android — while furthering a new application platform to be ready for the evolution of hardware.

I agree with his assessment. What I see tells me that this all-in-one OS will attempt to fix the pitfalls of shoehorning a PC system onto smartphone hardware or doing the opposite and using an Android style platform with more capable PC hardware. All-in-one systems will happen and are going to be the future, and Google is trying to find ways their existing products can fit into it. But Google can't abandon two wildly successful products and instead has to start at the bottom so change can come while support for the software we use can continue.

Maybe everyone looking at Fuchsia and Andromeda is wrong. That's certainly a possibility. But Google is working on something that's going to be big. Whether or not it will also be successful is the question. We can't wait to find out.

Android Nougat

img { width: 100%; height: auto; } .devicebox ul { display: table; margin: 0 0 10px; width: 100%; } .devicebox ul li { background: #f7f7f7; margin: 2px 0; padding: 4px 15px; } .devicebox ul li:hover { background: #fff; } .devicebox ul li:before { display: none; } .devicebox p ~ p { line-height: 1.25; } .devicebox p:first-of-type + p { padding: 15px; } .devicebox a.buy-link { border-radius: 5px; display: inline-block; font: 14px/31px "Proxima Nova Extrabld",Helvetica,Arial,sans-serif; text-align: center; } .devicebox a.buy-link, .devicebox a.buy-link:link, .devicebox a.buy-link:active, .devicebox a.buy-link:visited { background: #37B5D7; color: #FFF; } .devicebox a.buy-link:hover { background: #2694B2; text-decoration: none; } .devicebox a.buy-link:before { content: "\e61e"; font: 40px/0 "ac_iconset" !important; margin: 0 3px 0 -8px; vertical-align: middle; } @media all and (min-width: 1025px), all and (max-width: 800px) and (min-width: 660px) { /* div:not(.columns-3) excludes help menu content */ .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox { padding: 20px 0 25px; } .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox .video { float: left; margin: 0 30px 0 0; width: calc(100% - 375px); } .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox h3 + p { bottom: 37px; display: block; overflow: hidden; position: absolute; top: 60px; width: calc(100% - 375px); } .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox p img, .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox p > img { position: absolute; top: 50%; transform: translateY(-50%); } .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox p:nth-child(n+3), .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox ul { box-sizing: border-box; margin-left: calc(100% - 345px); width: 340px; } .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox p.list-head { margin-top: -5px; } } @media all and (max-width: 1024px) and (min-width: 801px), all and (max-width: 660px) { .devicebox h3 { text-align: center; } .devicebox ul, .devicebox p { display: block; } } @media all and (max-width: 800px) and (min-width: 660px) { .devicebox { padding: 20px 0 25px; } .devicebox .video { float: left; margin: 0 30px 0 0; width: calc(100% - 375px); } .devicebox h3 + p { bottom: 37px; display: block; overflow: hidden; position: absolute; top: 60px; width: calc(100% - 375px); } .devicebox p img, .devicebox p > img { position: absolute; top: 50%; transform: translateY(-50%); } .devicebox p:nth-child(n+3), .devicebox ul { box-sizing: border-box; margin-left: calc(100% - 345px); width: 340px; } .devicebox p.list-head { margin-top: -5px; } } @media all and (min-width: 1025px), all and (max-width: 800px) and (min-width: 661px), all and (max-width: 500px) { /* 2x buy buttons */ .devicebox a.buy-link { width: calc(50% - 2.5px); margin: 0 5px 5px 0; } .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-of-type(even) { margin: 0 0 5px 0; } .devicebox a.buy-link:last-of-type:nth-of-type(odd) { width: 100%; } } @media all and (max-width: 1024px) and (min-width: 801px), all and (max-width: 659px) and (min-width: 501px) { /* 3x buy buttons */ .devicebox a.buy-link { width: calc(100%/3 - 10px/3); margin: 0 5px 5px 0; } .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-of-type(3n):not(:nth-last-of-type(2)) { margin: 0 0 5px 0; } .devicebox a.buy-link:only-child { width: 100%; margin: 0 0 5px 0; } .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(2):nth-of-type(3n+1), .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(2):nth-of-type(3n+1) ~ a.buy-link, .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(4):nth-of-type(3n+1), .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(4):nth-of-type(3n+1) ~ a.buy-link { width: calc(50% - 2.5px); } .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(2):nth-of-type(3n+1) ~ a.buy-link, .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(4):nth-of-type(3n+1) ~ a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(odd) { margin: 0 0 5px 0; } } @media all and (max-width: 800px) { .devicebox { margin: 0 0 30px; max-width: none; width: auto; } } @media all and (max-width: 500px) { .devicebox { margin: 0 0 30px; max-width: none; width: auto; } .devicebox a.buy-link:before { display: none; } } .page-admin .devicebox {max-width: 350px;} .page-admin .devicebox .video_iframe {position: relative; height: 0; padding-bottom: 56.9%;} .page-admin .devicebox .video_iframe iframe {width: 100%; height: 100%; position: absolute;} /*-->*/ /*-->*/ /*-->*/

Read more and comment

 
1 week ago

Best Third Party Watch Bands for Moto 360 (2015)

10
Best third party watch bands for the Moto 360

Don't like that plain leather band that you got with your Moto 360? Strap on one of these!

Updated February 2017: Added the Barton Quick Release soft rubber band for people who want a cheaper alternative to the MODE bands.

The Moto 360 (2015) comes with a pretty nice leather band on its own, but if you're looking to give it an upgrade — or just a new style — we've rounded up some of the best third-party watch straps for your strapping smartwatch!

Important Note: Make sure you know the size of band you will need for your Moto 360! The Moto 360 2nd Gen comes in three different sizes that require three different watch band widths.

  • Men's 42mm case uses a 20 millimeter band.
  • Men's 46mm case uses a 22 millimeter band.
  • Women's 42mm case uses a 16 milimeter band.

With that in mind, we have rounded up some of the best third party wristbands for the Moto 360 that we could find. We divided them up into the material they're made of, so you can focus on the type you really want.

Leather

We know that the Moto 360 already comes with a leather band, but that doesn't mean you don't want a different one. Whether you want a different color, a different thickness, or just one that you think looks nicer, leather bands are definitely worth checking out.

MOTONG genuine leather band

MOTONG genuine leather band

This leather band is a little more defined than the one that ships with the Moto 360. The stitching along the sides and the two-toned wash really makes this band pop when it's on your wrist.

It only comes in the one size (17.5cm) so it may potentially feel too tight or too loose on your wrist. The good thing about leather is it's easy enough to poke an extra hole or two to make sure you get the right fit.

See at Amazon


Hadley-Roma genuine leather strap

If you want a band that stands out a little more than the stock Moto 360 leather band, Hadley-Roma's band has a really nice look to it. The leather is worked to look slightly worn and the stitching along the band is very contrasted to give the band a defined look.

It also comes treated with a water-resistant coating that is useful to help prevent sweat and light amounts of rain from wrecking the leather.

See at Amazon


Sport

Typically made out of silicone, sport bands are ideal for people who are very active. The bands are waterproof and very tear-resistant.

VIMVIP silicone sports watch band

This is a pretty typical sports band that's made out of silicone, so you can rest assured that your sweat won't ruin it, which makes it perfect for working out.

The band itself doesn't look like anything special, but it does have the added bonus of having a texture inside. This means the band doesn't move around as much and can still allow air to move in between your skin and the watch. This means less chance for any skin irritation.

See at Amazon


Lwsengme silicone band

Lwsengme silicone band

If you want a sports band that will stick out from the crowd, look no further than the Lwsengme silicone band.

It's textured silicone gives it the look and feel of a high-end watch strap at a fraction of the price. It's stainless steel clasp and quick release system will make sure you can swap this out anytime you need Lwsengme silicone band comes in a few different color combinations and the holes in the band aren't just for securing the watch to your wrist, they also increase air flow allowing you to wear the band longer without risk of skin irritation.

See at Amazon


Barton Quick Release soft rubber band

As mentioned by the user "tlaswell" in the comments below, Barton's quick release band is perfect for people looking to change bands often.

Barton's soft rubber band has a slightly textured inside, meaning air can flow between your skin and the band providing extra comfort for extend periods of use. The rubber is durable and washable, so you never have to worry about keeping it looking clean.

Barton's quick release comes in a variety of colors, such as Black, White, Slate Gray, Aqua Blue, and more. The bands are also available in all the Moto 360 sizes —16mm, 20mm, and 22mm — so you can find the perfect fit for your Moto 360.

See at Amazon

Metal

Metal bands are super durable and very stylish. An excellent way to make your Moto 360 look high-end and polished.

GOOQ stainless steel metal band

A metal watch band doesn't always have to mean links. GOOQ's watch band is made from a stainless steel mesh, which gives it a neat textured look and feel. The great thing about the mesh is arm hair doesn't get pinched inside it, which makes moving the watch around on your wrist much more comfortable.

The clasp is also made of stainless steel which makes this whole band pretty rust-resistant. The durability of the metal will also help it from showing any wear and tear.

See at Amazon


Fitian stainless steel band

The Fitian's metal band we've featured here is your more classic metal band. It's comprised of stainless steel links and connected by two spring pins that are easy to install. This is your classic metal band that you just can't go wrong with.

See at Amazon


MODE Bands

MODE band

MODE bands were just released from Google and they get rid of the hassle of dealing with those tiny pins all the time. They might just be the easiest bands you have ever installed! This neat video on the MODE site, shows you just how simple clipping one of these to you Moto 360 actually is.

To use them all you have to do is replace the original pin that is on your Moto 360 and then add the MODE pin. From there it's just a matter of sliding your MODE band over the pin, and locking it shut!

Hadley Roma is the only company making the MODE bands right now, and they start around $50. Don't forget, want size band you will need.

See at Android

Moto 360 (2015)

Motorola Best Buy

img { width: 100%; height: auto; } .devicebox ul { display: table; margin: 0 0 10px; width: 100%; } .devicebox ul li { background: #f7f7f7; margin: 2px 0; padding: 4px 15px; } .devicebox ul li:hover { background: #fff; } .devicebox ul li:before { display: none; } .devicebox p ~ p { line-height: 1.25; } .devicebox p:first-of-type + p { padding: 15px; } .devicebox a.buy-link { border-radius: 5px; display: inline-block; font: 14px/31px "Proxima Nova Extrabld",Helvetica,Arial,sans-serif; text-align: center; } .devicebox a.buy-link, .devicebox a.buy-link:link, .devicebox a.buy-link:active, .devicebox a.buy-link:visited { background: #37B5D7; color: #FFF; } .devicebox a.buy-link:hover { background: #2694B2; text-decoration: none; } .devicebox a.buy-link:before { content: "\e61e"; font: 40px/0 "ac_iconset" !important; margin: 0 3px 0 -8px; vertical-align: middle; } @media all and (min-width: 1025px), all and (max-width: 800px) and (min-width: 660px) { /* div:not(.columns-3) excludes help menu content */ .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox { padding: 20px 0 25px; } .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox .video { float: left; margin: 0 30px 0 0; width: calc(100% - 375px); } .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox h3 + p { bottom: 37px; display: block; overflow: hidden; position: absolute; top: 60px; width: calc(100% - 375px); } .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox p img, .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox p > img { position: absolute; top: 50%; transform: translateY(-50%); } .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox p:nth-child(n+3), .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox ul { box-sizing: border-box; margin-left: calc(100% - 345px); width: 340px; } .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox p.list-head { margin-top: -5px; } } @media all and (max-width: 1024px) and (min-width: 801px), all and (max-width: 660px) { .devicebox h3 { text-align: center; } .devicebox ul, .devicebox p { display: block; } } @media all and (max-width: 800px) and (min-width: 660px) { .devicebox { padding: 20px 0 25px; } .devicebox .video { float: left; margin: 0 30px 0 0; width: calc(100% - 375px); } .devicebox h3 + p { bottom: 37px; display: block; overflow: hidden; position: absolute; top: 60px; width: calc(100% - 375px); } .devicebox p img, .devicebox p > img { position: absolute; top: 50%; transform: translateY(-50%); } .devicebox p:nth-child(n+3), .devicebox ul { box-sizing: border-box; margin-left: calc(100% - 345px); width: 340px; } .devicebox p.list-head { margin-top: -5px; } } @media all and (min-width: 1025px), all and (max-width: 800px) and (min-width: 661px), all and (max-width: 500px) { /* 2x buy buttons */ .devicebox a.buy-link { width: calc(50% - 2.5px); margin: 0 5px 5px 0; } .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-of-type(even) { margin: 0 0 5px 0; } .devicebox a.buy-link:last-of-type:nth-of-type(odd) { width: 100%; } } @media all and (max-width: 1024px) and (min-width: 801px), all and (max-width: 659px) and (min-width: 501px) { /* 3x buy buttons */ .devicebox a.buy-link { width: calc(100%/3 - 10px/3); margin: 0 5px 5px 0; } .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-of-type(3n):not(:nth-last-of-type(2)) { margin: 0 0 5px 0; } .devicebox a.buy-link:only-child { width: 100%; margin: 0 0 5px 0; } .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(2):nth-of-type(3n+1), .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(2):nth-of-type(3n+1) ~ a.buy-link, .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(4):nth-of-type(3n+1), .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(4):nth-of-type(3n+1) ~ a.buy-link { width: calc(50% - 2.5px); } .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(2):nth-of-type(3n+1) ~ a.buy-link, .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(4):nth-of-type(3n+1) ~ a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(odd) { margin: 0 0 5px 0; } } @media all and (max-width: 800px) { .devicebox { margin: 0 0 30px; max-width: none; width: auto; } } @media all and (max-width: 500px) { .devicebox { margin: 0 0 30px; max-width: none; width: auto; } .devicebox a.buy-link:before { display: none; } } .page-admin .devicebox {max-width: 350px;} .page-admin .devicebox .video_iframe {position: relative; height: 0; padding-bottom: 56.9%;} .page-admin .devicebox .video_iframe iframe {width: 100%; height: 100%; position: absolute;} /*-->*/ /*-->*/ /*-->*/

Read more and comment

 
1 week ago

Sundar Pichai replies to 7-year-old's request to work at Google

28

We all need a feel good story every one in a while. This one will undoubtedly warm your heart.

Need a little pick-me-up? Check out this wonderfully sweet story about Google CEO, Sundar Pichai. From the BBC:

After discussing her father's work, Chloe Bridgewater decided she would like to work for Google and penned a letter beginning "dear Google boss".

The letter — which you can read in its entirety at the BBC — details little Chloe's dream to nab "a job with Google" and "do swimming in the Olympics." She also mentions that she has "only ever sent one other [letter] and that was to Father Christmas."

Here was Pichai's full reply:

"Thank you so much for your letter. I'm glad that you like computers and robots, and hope that you will continue to learn about technology.

"I think if you keep working hard and following your dreams, you can accomplish everything you set your mind to - from working at Google to swimming at the Olympics.

"I look forward to receiving your job application when you are finished with school! :)

"All the best to you and your family."

Pichai even signed the typed-out letter with his actual signature. Read the story in its entirety at the BBC.

Read more and comment

 
1 week ago

ZTE officially teases the Gigabit Phone for MWC 2017

7

The company will showcase the "forward-looking" capabilities of its first Gigabit smartphone, in addition to a few new devices.

Straight from the mouth of babes, ZTE has announced what it plans to showcase at this year's Mobile World Congress 2017, happening February 27 in Barcelona.

The official press release states the following:

The introduction of the forward-looking smartphone, the ZTE Gigabit Phone, marks an important cornerstone for the 5G mobile era. The ZTE Gigabit Phone is revolutionizing connectivity with a new standard of download speeds, 1Gbps, bringing a qualitative leap to a new world of mobile experience by making 360° panoramic VR video, instant cloud storage, entertainment upgrades and fast cache of ultra Hi-Fi music and movies possible.

Moreover, visitors are also welcome to experience ZTE's flagship smartphone, the newly updated Axon 7 with both Android Nougat and Daydream by Google. ZTE is set to launch a range of new devices as part of the highly acclaimed Blade series.

Is a gigabit-capable smartphone really forward-looking? Or is this merely an attempt to establish relevancy for a product that most people aren't even aware is on the horizon? Either way, we'll likely be hearing more about the ZTE Gigabit Phone once the world's biggest smartphone show is officially underway.

Read more and comment

 
1 week ago

The problem with Google Assistant on Android Wear and Google Home

13

Google Assistant still lacks any sort of chain of command when using it across multiple devices. And now your watch has it.

A big part of the Android Wear 2.0 update is the inclusion of Google Assistant. If you've never used it, Google Assistant is like a friendlier version of Google Now that can remember things and help you by doing more "stuff" than the original could. It's pretty cool, and even though it's not been around for long we've already seen it get better and smarter. And now, it's on your watch.

Assistant is on different devices with different hardware and different abilities.

That means you can tell your watch to do things like add milk to your shopping list, tell you the weather or how traffic looks for your evening commute, or even play a movie on your Chromecast. It can do all those things and will. But Google Assistant acts differently depending on what device it's running on, and there are some things your watch can't do as well as other devices can and even some things your watch can't do at all. And you'll notice that right away if you already have a Google Home.

Google Home can't show you pictures of cats if you ask it to. If you have an Android TV, it will try to show you pictures of cats on it but will eventually tell you that it just can't do that. It makes sense because Google Home has no display. Your watch can show you pictures of cats but it also has limitations, and it's not going to be able to play the latest episode of your favorite Netflix show. It's a little frustrating but expected. At least until LG or Motorola makes a version with a projector module, anyway.

The internet is made of cats and now you can have them on your wrist.

If you have both a Google Home and a new Wear 2.0 watch, things can get even more frustrating. Google Assistant doesn't yet "decide" which device is best to use when trying to answer your questions. By default, any time Google Home can hear you ask Assistant to do something, it will try to do it. Even when it can't do it, or when you want it to be done through your watch.

For example, if I'm in the bathroom combing my hair and getting ready for work I might want to know if traffic on my commute looks good. If I ask Assistant, and if Google Home hears, it will answer through the Home speaker instead of showing the traffic card on my watch. Or it will do both. Or it won't do either. And there is no setting of any type to tell it what you wanted to be done in a case like this.

Google Home trumps everything else when it comes to the Assistant chain of command.

This isn't something new with your watch and people with both a Google Home and a Pixel have seen the same issues since Assistant became a thing. Your phone will tell you that things are being answered on another device and Google Home will tell you it can do that thing when it can't do it. Google knows what's up here and they have some sort of solution in the works. But that doesn't help us in the here and now.

We don't have any real advice how to get one Assistant to do some things and the other Assistant to do other things. Nobody does, and all you can do is turn off the microphone on one or the other (or both when Google doesn't need to hear things) which isn't very great. But know that it's not just you or something you're doing wrong, and we're all waiting to see what Google does to fix it since Assistant is going to be on plenty of other things in the near future.

Read more and comment

 
1 week ago

LG Watch Style vs Apple Watch: which is the best smartwatch?

28

It's not exactly a choice, but how do these watches compare?

Asking whether an Android Wear watch is better than an Apple Watch here on Android Central may seem a little silly. After all, you can't use an Apple Watch on Android so it doesn't really matter right? Also, why are we comparing the technical lesser of the two watches Google and LG released as the Android Wear 2.0 standard bearers to Apple's one flagship watch?

Here's the thing — it doesn't make sense to compare the LG Watch Sport to the Apple Watch. They aren't competing products. For starters, one is nearly twice the thickness of the other and offers its own cellular connection as a totally standalone platform. The other is an Apple Watch. They aren't comparable products by any stretch, but the LG Watch Style is positioned perfectly to compete with Apple on their own turf.

So how does the new LG Watch Style with Android Wear 2.0 compete with Apple's Series 2 Watch? Lets take a look!

Hardware

It couldn't be more clear by looking at these watches side by side that Apple and Google wanted watches that disappeared under a dress shirt and didn't get in the way until you actually wanted to interact with them. In effect, these watches are identical in height and thickness. Apple manages to shave a couple tenths of a millimeter here and there, but when wearing the watches it's impossible to feel or see the difference.

Where you will see a substantial difference is width, due in no small part to the biggest physical difference between these two watches. Apple's legacy of rounded rectangles made its way to the Apple Watch, while LG joined the ranks of many other smartwatch manufacturers with a round body. Historically, Android Wear have been noticeably larger than the Apple Watch but the LG Watch Style does a great job showing off what a round watch at Apple's scale looks like.

Both watches offer up a stainless steel version of their watches, but for LG that more durable metal is the default option. Apple's aluminum Watch variants are the less expensive base models, and are not quite as durable as their stainless counterparts. The underside of both watches are not the metal you find on top in order to support wireless charging. Apple's Watch uses glass to support the sensors for fitness monitoring, while LG's underside is a rigid plastic with no fitness sensors. Both watches include magnetic chargers that snap into place quick and easy, so there's no confusion about whether your watch is being charged.

Fitness sensors aren't the only thing the Watch Style is missing when compared to the Apple Watch. There's no NFC radio built into the Watch Style, so Android Pay from your wrist is not an option on this version. Apple's Watch also includes a second button on the casing instead of just the rotating crown button, which can be customized for rapid app access. You also won't find a speaker on the LG Watch Style, and whether that matters to you or not you can't miss the one on the side of the Apple Watch.

One huge things both watches do incredibly well is auto-brightness with no sensor shelf or "flat tire" on the face of the display. The top-down look for both of these watches is fantastic, and both watches handle brightness controls quickly and efficiently. In many cases LG's Watch Style is just a hair faster when adjusting to extreme light changes, and a big part of why is the LG Watch Style display never fully turns off. The always-on display in this and most Android Wear watches keeps a dimmed version of the watch face or a glanceable version of the app you're using without consuming a ton of power, which isn't available on the Apple Watch. Instead, Apple turns off the display to conserve power and activates the display when you lift your wrist.

There's a lot to like about both of these watches, especially when you start looking at customization. Google's leather MODE watch band is included with every LG Watch Style so you can quickly swap watch bands to accessorize as you see fit, and Apple's proprietary watch band system is practically legendary at this point. There are dozens of different bands to choose from in just about every material, all built specifically for the Apple Watch. You've got plenty of options either way you go, but you're significantly more likely to wander through a mall and see a watch band you like that works with your LG Watch Style. Unless, of course, you're wandering through an Apple Store in your mall.

Software

This may shock you, but Android Wear and Watch OS are fairly different. I know, take a minute if you need. I'll wait.

Apple designed WatchOS from the ground up to be style first. It's very pretty, it's very animated, and when you want to actually do something it can be a little clumsy. Everything starts with the watch face, and a quick swipe left or right will give you access to other faces. This means you can use a fitness-focused watch face at the gym in the morning, a more professional face during the work day, and a silly watch face in the evening when you're crashed out on the couch or out with friends.

Each watch face has been built by Apple, with personalization sections called Complications that allow you to inject data that is important to you. This can be a step counter, email notification, apps, weather, and personal contacts. Some complications are larger, and can display more information, but you don't have a lot of control over their placement because you don't have any control over the watch faces themselves.

Press the crown in, and you get a hexagonal grid of bubbles with app icons. There are no names for these apps, so you need to know what your icon looks like when it's roughly 1/6 the size of the icon on your phone. You can move your apps around so the ones you use most are closest to the center, but there's not much else going on here. Like the iPhone, you can't uninstall any of the "core" Apple apps that are included. Other watch apps can be installed from the App Store, but the bigger your hex grid gets the more tedious it is to locate an app you don't use frequently.

Apple Watch Apps are largely sidecar versions of apps on your phone, and are great for quickly interacting with existing data. Fitness apps pass data back to the core apps on the phone, but are very much installed and used primarily on the Watch. Apps on the Watch are frequently slower than their phone counterparts, which is to but can also leave you wondering why you don't just pull your phone out. The most important exception to this is Siri, which launches quickly and delivers nearly the same experience as you expect on the phone.

In typical Google fashion, Android Wear is built to be largely predictive. Also in typical Google fashion, it's really cool when it works and deeply frustrating when it doesn't. When you start playing music on your phone or casting something to a television, the player controls are immediately there for you to interact with. If you have a calendar appointment with a location, you'll get a notification with traffic aware data telling you when you need to leave in order to arrive on time.

Google's OS now starts with a watch face and includes very little else until you press the physical button, which is a significant departure from the original layout of this OS. Watch faces can be quickly switched around with a swipe left or right, and the ability to shop for watch faces right on your wrist opens up a nearly unlimited number of customization options. There are several third-party tools for building your own watch face from scratch if you are so inclined, but the included watch faces offer a fair amount of personalization through Complications.

Google and LG have done a great job building a watch that actually looks and feels like a watch that fits smaller wrists.

Complications give you the ability to grab data from apps, launch apps, access media playback controls, report weather, and all of the other fairly standard options. Not every watch face supports Complications right now, but those that do include many options for data position and amount of data presented. This is a fairly new system for Google's ecosystem, but like the ability to make watch faces it has been adopted quickly.

Pressing the crown gives you a list of apps, sorted alphabetically save for the last app you used, which sits at the top of the list. Swiping or scrolling through this list, even with many apps installed, can be done quickly. Each app icon comes with an app name, but not even app functions the same. Google has a healthy mix of sidecar apps and apps that are installed directly on the watch, meaning some apps pull data from the phone while others can exist and function without a phone connected at all.

One of the more important apps installed on the LG Watch Style is the Google Play Store. This gives any LG Watch Style owner access to Google's entire catalog of apps and watch faces for this watch even if the phone is not connected to an Android phone. This is great news for iPhone users that find themselves embedded in the Google ecosystem, since it also means apps can be installed directly to the watch by using the Play Store web interface. On an Android phone the difference is fairly minimal, save for new notifications about updating apps directly on the watch.

Which is better?

Calling something the "best" invites a lot of subjective criticism, but there are things about each of these watches that are decidedly better than its counterpart. Apple does an incredible job fitting as much hardware as they do in such a small body, but the consequence of this is a battery that can't power the display all the time. Google and LG have done a great job building a watch that actually looks and feels like a watch that fits smaller wrists, but sacrificed quite a bit in the process.

As for which software is best, it's not easy to say. Apple's OS is more visually pleasing, but frequently requires more taps to accomplish the same task on Android Wear. While Google's predictive software is very nice when it works, the failure rate is still far too high to be considered a solid feature for most. It's also worth pointing out Google's massive library of watch faces entirely dwarfs any claim to personalization Apple can claim.

Really, what this comes down to in many cases is price. The LG Watch Style at $249 has a stainless steel body and a nice leather strap in the box. A comparably assembled Apple Watch is $599, plus whatever you'd pay for a leather strap instead of the sport band included in the box. Even if you compare against the aluminum Apple Watch, there's still a $150 price difference before you add in a leather watch strap. The big question is whether Apple Watch is actually $150 better than the LG Watch Style, and unless you really want to pay for things from your wrist and get a constant look at your heart rate the answer is probably no.

Android Wear

img { width: 100%; height: auto; } .devicebox ul { display: table; margin: 0 0 10px; width: 100%; } .devicebox ul li { background: #f7f7f7; margin: 2px 0; padding: 4px 15px; } .devicebox ul li:hover { background: #fff; } .devicebox ul li:before { display: none; } .devicebox p ~ p { line-height: 1.25; } .devicebox p:first-of-type + p { padding: 15px; } .devicebox a.buy-link { border-radius: 5px; display: inline-block; font: 14px/31px "Proxima Nova Extrabld",Helvetica,Arial,sans-serif; text-align: center; } .devicebox a.buy-link, .devicebox a.buy-link:link, .devicebox a.buy-link:active, .devicebox a.buy-link:visited { background: #37B5D7; color: #FFF; } .devicebox a.buy-link:hover { background: #2694B2; text-decoration: none; } .devicebox a.buy-link:before { content: "\e61e"; font: 40px/0 "ac_iconset" !important; margin: 0 3px 0 -8px; vertical-align: middle; } @media all and (min-width: 1025px), all and (max-width: 800px) and (min-width: 660px) { /* div:not(.columns-3) excludes help menu content */ .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox { padding: 20px 0 25px; } .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox .video { float: left; margin: 0 30px 0 0; width: calc(100% - 375px); } .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox h3 + p { bottom: 37px; display: block; overflow: hidden; position: absolute; top: 60px; width: calc(100% - 375px); } .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox p img, .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox p > img { position: absolute; top: 50%; transform: translateY(-50%); } .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox p:nth-child(n+3), .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox ul { box-sizing: border-box; margin-left: calc(100% - 345px); width: 340px; } .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox p.list-head { margin-top: -5px; } } @media all and (max-width: 1024px) and (min-width: 801px), all and (max-width: 660px) { .devicebox h3 { text-align: center; } .devicebox ul, .devicebox p { display: block; } } @media all and (max-width: 800px) and (min-width: 660px) { .devicebox { padding: 20px 0 25px; } .devicebox .video { float: left; margin: 0 30px 0 0; width: calc(100% - 375px); } .devicebox h3 + p { bottom: 37px; display: block; overflow: hidden; position: absolute; top: 60px; width: calc(100% - 375px); } .devicebox p img, .devicebox p > img { position: absolute; top: 50%; transform: translateY(-50%); } .devicebox p:nth-child(n+3), .devicebox ul { box-sizing: border-box; margin-left: calc(100% - 345px); width: 340px; } .devicebox p.list-head { margin-top: -5px; } } @media all and (min-width: 1025px), all and (max-width: 800px) and (min-width: 661px), all and (max-width: 500px) { /* 2x buy buttons */ .devicebox a.buy-link { width: calc(50% - 2.5px); margin: 0 5px 5px 0; } .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-of-type(even) { margin: 0 0 5px 0; } .devicebox a.buy-link:last-of-type:nth-of-type(odd) { width: 100%; } } @media all and (max-width: 1024px) and (min-width: 801px), all and (max-width: 659px) and (min-width: 501px) { /* 3x buy buttons */ .devicebox a.buy-link { width: calc(100%/3 - 10px/3); margin: 0 5px 5px 0; } .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-of-type(3n):not(:nth-last-of-type(2)) { margin: 0 0 5px 0; } .devicebox a.buy-link:only-child { width: 100%; margin: 0 0 5px 0; } .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(2):nth-of-type(3n+1), .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(2):nth-of-type(3n+1) ~ a.buy-link, .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(4):nth-of-type(3n+1), .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(4):nth-of-type(3n+1) ~ a.buy-link { width: calc(50% - 2.5px); } .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(2):nth-of-type(3n+1) ~ a.buy-link, .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(4):nth-of-type(3n+1) ~ a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(odd) { margin: 0 0 5px 0; } } @media all and (max-width: 800px) { .devicebox { margin: 0 0 30px; max-width: none; width: auto; } } @media all and (max-width: 500px) { .devicebox { margin: 0 0 30px; max-width: none; width: auto; } .devicebox a.buy-link:before { display: none; } } .page-admin .devicebox {max-width: 350px;} .page-admin .devicebox .video_iframe {position: relative; height: 0; padding-bottom: 56.9%;} .page-admin .devicebox .video_iframe iframe {width: 100%; height: 100%; position: absolute;} /*-->*/ /*-->*/ /*-->*/

Read more and comment

 
1 week ago

The Best PlayStation Exclusives

20

Best Horror

Until Dawn

See at PlayStattion Store

Until Dawn doesn't necessarily play like most horror games. Instead of immediately waking up in the middle of a bloody disaster, or in an empty town, it takes a more cinematic route. You play as five friends returning to the same mountain lodge where two of their friends disappeared into the mountains the year previous.

During your night on the mountain you'll have to deal with someone else who has followed you up there, along with something that has been living on the mountain for a very long time. Until Dawn doesn't have you constantly shooting, but the gameplay is directly based upon the choices that you make. While it's entirely possibly to make it to Dawn with everyone in your party, you'll have to be smart, fast, and ready to survive in order to pull it off.

Bottom line: Until Dawn is a fun thriller that brings a horror movie to life on your game screen. It's got tons of potential for replay, and will keep you on your toes as you attempt to survive the night.

One more thing: You'll probably have to play through the entirety of the game at least twice before being able to get every character safely to Dawn, but it is entirely possible.

Best puzzle game

The Last Guardian

See at PlayStation Store

Puzzle games on next generation consoles have become a somewhat rare genre. The Last Guardian aims to break that cycle. The follow up to PlayStation 2 classics Ico and Shadow of the Colossus, The Last Guardian has you playing a small boy who stumbled upon a wounded beast called Trico, while lost in crumbling ruins. The aim of the game is to get Trico up to the top of the ruins where presumably more of his feathered friends are hiding out.

You'll have to explore the environment by climbing and crawling around, as well as occasionally snagging a ride from Trico to get from area to area. You'll find crates of butterflies to feed your furry winged dragon friend, and occasionally have to hide and let Trico fight the armored up blue-eyed guardians of the ruins. The puzzles — as mind bending as they are — actually play second fiddle to the story which is told mostly through the gameplay itself. It's a visually beautiful game that will capture your attention almost immediately.

Bottom line: The Last Guardian is a gorgeous and fun puzzle game interlaced with a beautiful story sure to captivate you in the process.

One more thing: One of the flaws in The Last Guardian are the camera angles. They can be seriously terrible, and might make you want to give up on the game, but it's worth it to power through.

Best Action

Uncharted 4: A Thief's End

See at PlayStation Store

The Uncharted series has long be a mainstay when it comes to PlayStation exclusive games. Uncharted 4: A Thief's End continues in that tradition. Combining exploring ancient ruins, shooting down enemies, and a story following Nathan Drake's quest to reunite with his long lost brother, this is an excellent follow up to the original trilogy.

Drake returns in excellent fashion, and he isn't alone either. You'll run into a cast of characters that are mighty familiar if you've played the original Uncharted Trilogy. If you're new to the series, it gives you enough details to keep you in the loop with what has happened thus far.

Bottom line: Uncharted 4 is an excellent game if you like the adventure genre. Finding artifacts, running through ruins around the world, and neatly tying up the story of Nathan Drake in a bow.

One more thing: This is the last game inside of the Uncharted Universe, so it's definitely worth giving a shot.

Best Story

Last of Us Remastered

See at PlayStation Store

The Last of Us is one of those break out titles that makes you want to immediately purchase a PlayStation console in order to play. While it originally debuted on PlayStation 3, the Remastered version came out specifically for PlayStation 4 and includes the Left Behind DLC. While this is at its core a combination of horror and action, the real gem of this game is this story.

The Last of Us takes place decades after a fungal infection has basically destroyed the world and sent mankind running. When a girl who might have the ability to help create a vaccine appears, Joel goes out of his way to get her to the resistance fighters. This means fighting through swarms of zombies, exploring ruined cities, dealing with cannibalistic human hunters, and plenty more. I could easily wax poetic on this game for hours, because it really is just that good.

Bottom line: The Last of Us Remastered brings an excellent game that will draw you in and capture you almost effortlessly. The story of Joel and Ellie as they fight towards their destination is one that definitely should not be missed.

One more thing: Last of Us Remastered includes a Game+ mode which allows you to replay the game with all of the upgrades you have crafted during your first play through.

Conclusion

There are plenty of exclusive games on PlayStation, and these are just some of the best. As we move forward there are more excellent exclusives coming to the fore. As you begin to explore these games and the many others that can only be played on PlayStation there will be laughs, tears, and furious curses waiting for you. Is there a PlayStation exclusive that should have made our list? Are any of your favorites here? Be sure to leave us a comment and let us know about it!

Read more and comment

 
1 week ago

Hail to the Chief with these Presidential wallpapers

34

Presidents Day is about more than selling mattresses.

Though it may be called different things around the country, Presidents Day is a celebration of our nation's founder George Washington and the Presidents that have followed in his footsteps. It is a day to brush up on our history, a day to celebrate our unique American experience... and yeah, it's another excuse for car dealerships and mattress stores to push some product the American capitalist way. In the spirit of showing what it means to be "presidential", here's some stylish and patriotic wallpapers for your devices.

Read more and comment

 
Show More Headlines

Pages