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2 weeks ago

All LG Watch Style colors are down to $180 at Best Buy again

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Excellent Style at a stylish price.

The LG Watch Style has seen its first major price cut, not even two months into its retail life. The watch isn't even available in Canada yet, and already Best buy is cutting the price down to $179.99 for all three colors.

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2 weeks ago

Don't miss these awesome deals on Kmashi's portable battery packs!

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Our friends at Thrifter are back again, this time making it more affordable to keep lots of power with you all the time!

Update: These popular battery packs are on sale again with new coupon codes. Be sure to grab one now!

Right now you can score some sweet savings on Kmashi's portable battery packs at Amazon with a coupon code. For as little as $9 you can grab a 10000mAh power bank to charge your favorite gadgets while on the go without tethering yourself to a wall. The batteries are rather small and high capacity, ranging from 5000mAh to 15000mAh. The higher capacity models both have two USB outputs to charge multiple devices at the same time if needed, and recharge via microUSB.

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2 weeks ago

You can now check out YouTube TV (if you're living in the right city)

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If you live in New York, L.A., San Francisco Bay Area, Chicago, or Philly, you can sign up and try YouTube TV today!

Cord cutters, the day has arrived! Today, Google has launched YouTube TV, its new TV streaming service, rolling it out in five major metropolitan areas across the U.S. — New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco Bay Area, Chicago, and Philadelphia. If you live in one of those areas, you can go and sign up for YouTube TV here. Google is giving away the first month of YouTube TV for free so that everyone can try it out before subscribing. You can head to the Google Play Store and download the YouTube TV app

Google announced YouTube TV back in February as part of its plan to take on the cable companies. It's aiming to target cord cutters by offering live streaming access to 40 TV channels for only $35 a month, with optional add-ons available for Showtime And FOX Soccer Plus. For a limited time only, Google's also offering to throw in a complimentary Google Chromecast once you've made your first monthly payment, which is a pretty sweet deal.

YouTube TV FAQ: All your questions answered!

Here are the full details of what channels and features are included in the service, from the Google blog post:

  • Live TV streaming from ABC, CBS, FOX, NBC, ESPN, Fox Sports Networks, Comcast SportsNet and dozens more. YouTube TV gives you the best of live TV, from must-see shows like "Empire," "The Voice," "The Big Bang Theory" and "Scandal," to the live sports you want from the NBA, MLB, NFL, and NCAA. Based on where you live, you'll get your local broadcast TV stations covering local sports and news. You'll also get dozens of popular cable channels, including FX, USA, Disney Channel, Bravo, MSNBC, Fox News. And you can add Showtime or Fox Soccer Plus for an additional charge. In total, YouTube TV will give you more than 50 networks, listed below.
  • A cloud DVR, with no storage limits. With YouTube TV, your cloud DVR can record as many shows as you want, simultaneously, without ever running out of storage. You can keep each of your recordings for nine months.
  • TV when it matters, where it matters. You can watch YouTube TV on your phone, tablet or computer — and you can easily stream to your TV with a Google Chromecast or Chromecast built-in TV (we'll be supporting even more connected TV devices later this year). And your cloud DVR goes with you, so you can stream your recordings on any device, whenever you want and wherever you go in the U.S.
  • YouTube Red Originals. With a YouTube TV membership, you can watch all of our YouTube Red Original series and movies right in the new YouTube TV app.
  • Six accounts included. You can share your YouTube TV membership with your family and roommates, and each account will receive its own unique recommendations and cloud DVR with no storage limits. Your household can watch up to three streams at a time.
  • More networks coming soon. We're excited to announce that AMC, BBC America, IFC, Sundance TV, WE tv, and BBC World News will be included soon at no additional charge. These networks will join Telemundo and others listed below as networks coming to YouTube TV soon after launch. This means you'll be able to watch shows like "The Walking Dead," "Doctor Who," and your favorite telenovelas. And you'll also be able to add Sundance Now or Shudder for an additional charge.

Have you had a chance to check out YouTube TV yet? Let us know your first impressions in the comments below!

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2 weeks ago

Motorola's next flagship will be called the Moto Z2

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When? We don't know. All we have to go off of is a brief tweet.

It's about that time of year again, where every Android phone maker has either already shown off their flagship smartphone for the year or is in the process of prepping it for launch. According to a tweet from notorious smartphone leaker, Evan Blass of Venturebeat, Motorola is next on the list with the follow-up to last year's modular Moto Z.

The second-generation Moto Z2 will be modular, just like its predecessor. We saw a tease of a what's to come at the company's MWC press conference earlier this year. Sprint was also using it to show off its upcoming Gigabit LTE service, which is interesting considering Verizon's history of shackling the Motorola brand. And while we don't have details about what's inside the purported Moto Z2 just yet, we can surmise there's a Snapdragon 835 on the inside by the sheer fact it supports Gigabit LTE.

Motorola — nay, Lenovo — is wholly committed to the Moto Mods and the smartphones that support them. But it's likely we won't hear too much more on the company's next flagship until the next Lenovo technology summit rolls around, which is where the Moto Z was originally introduced.

Moto Z, Moto Z Force and Moto Z Play

Motorola Verizon

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2 weeks ago

Best Ultra Thin Cases for Google Pixel

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What are the best ultra-thin cases for the Google Pixel?

Updated April, 2017: Added new super-thin case options.

The Google Pixel is a brand new, sleek and stylish phone, so having a big bulky case on it might not be the most ideal thing for those who want to keep the minimalist beauty of the device while still showing it off (and keeping it protected!)

There are plenty of cases to pick from when it come to customizing your Pixel, but with so many options available, which one should you go with? Here are our choices we think you should consider while picking out the best ultra-thin case for your Google Pixel!

Maxboost mSnap Thin case

If you're looking for a Google Pixel case that's thin and out of the way, but that still adds a little bit of protection and security to your phone, then take a peek at the highly-rated and recommended Maxboost mSnap Thin case!

Designed to precisely snap to fit your Google Pixel and built with durable 4-side protection that covers your phone's corners, along with a raised bezel to protect your Pixel's screen, the Maxboost mSnap Thin case may be thin, but it will also protect your phone from day-to-day wear and tear.

You won't have to worry about pulling your Pixel in and out of the case to charge it, either: the Maxboost mSnap Thin case comes with cutouts for your speakers, charging ports, and buttons. You can pick up the mSnap in vibrant colors like turquoise or rose gold, or in a standard color like black.

The best part? The case is less that $15, so you won't have to break the bank to find a case that works for you!

See at the Amazon

Pixel Case by Google

Keep your Pixel protected and secure without the weight and inconvenience with the Pixel Case by Google.

Designed and built with a silicone exterior to provide extra shock absorption from high falls, the Pixel Case by Google comes finished with a high-quality microfibre interior for additional protection. Simply slide on the flexible, yet perfectly-fitting case, and your Pixel is ready to go!

Unlike some minimalist cases that only come clear or in basic colors, Google's case comes in a number of bright, fun shades to match your sense of style, including grey, blue, green, coral, and peach.

See at the Google Store

DGtle Anti-Scratch case

With an anti-scratch guarantee and a sleek, ultra-thin design, the DGtle case is another ideal partner for your Pixel if you're looking for a case that isn't bulky or cumbersome!

Made from a durable TPU material to protect your Pixel against any outside trauma or force, and designed to be firm, yet flexible, this non-slip DGtle case is a smart minimalist option to consider as you hunt for the perfect case.

The case fits snugly to your Pixel to protect it, and comes in a clear style, or you can also pick and choose from frosted purple, pink, mint, blue, gray, and so many others!

See at Amazon

Spigen Liquid Crystal case

Protect your Pixel in true minimalist style with the Liquid Crystal case from Spigen.

If you're looking for a truly ultra-thin case, Spigen has you covered with the Liquid Crystal. The case is made from a clear TPU material and is extremely flexible and lightweight. With some clear cases, smudges and dirt can easily gather on the back of your phone, but Spigen's inner-dot pattern prevents any grime from muddying up the look of your Pixel.

While the Liquid Crystal only comes in one color (clear), and might look like a bit of a flimsy case, it's actually voted one of the best Pixel ultra-thin cases out there, so check it out if you're looking for a reliable option!

See at Amazon

Bear Motion Ultra Slim case

Snap, secure, and go with the Bear Motion Ultra Slim case for your Pixel!

With full-access to all ports and buttons, the Bear Motion case is a great accessory to partner with your Pixel. While it's not as protective as other cases on this list, it's super-slim design is perfect for minimalists who are looking for a simple, stylish look and feel.

This lightweight case will protect your Pixel from small scratches and bumps and comes in five different color choices, including bright red, black, navy blue, gray, and forest green.

See at Amazon

Maxboost Liquid Skin case

Designed with a durable, flexible material to protect your Pixel from drops and scratches, the Maxboost Liquid Skin case is an ultra-thin option that only adds a mere 1.2mm to the bulk of your phone!

Paired with an anti-scratch coating, full-access to all buttons and ports, and a snug fit, the MaxBoost Liquid Skin case is a great choice to consider for your Pixel. The case is designed from a strengthened material to add additional protection to your phone, too.

The Liquid Skin case also comes with a lifetime warranty, just in case.

See at Amazon

What's your pick?

Is there a minimalist, ultra-thin Pixel case that you simply cannot get enough of? Have you found the perfect combination of simplicity and protection? Style and functionality?

Let us know what you think in the comments below!

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2 weeks ago

These are the PlayStation VR games coming out in April!

What new games does PlayStation VR have in store for April?

Playstation VR has a great selection of games for you to browse through for your adventures in VR. Happily, the list of games is always expanding, and adding new titles for you to choose from. If you've been trying to figure out what is appearing this month, we've got you covered. While there are only a handful of new releases for April, we've got them all here for you!

Read more at VRHeads.com

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2 weeks ago

How to save your home and work addresses in Google Maps

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Save your home and work addresses to get directions faster.

Google Maps makes it easy for you to save frequently visited addresses such as your home or work locations, allowing you to get directions quickly without having to enter them manually every single time. Doing so also allows you to use voice commands to say, "navigate to home" to get turn-by-turn directions to your house from your current location.

Then there's the ability to explore points of interest near your location. Just ask Maps, "theaters near home" to get a list of theaters in your vicinity. You can also customize the icons for your home and work addresses. Given how simple it is to save your home and work addresses, it should be the first thing you do once you get started with Google Maps.

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2 weeks ago

Put down the phone and go outside

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Better yet, put it into Airplane Mode and live free.

Locking gazes with someone is remarkably beneficial. A study found that it makes us more selfless and empathetic. We're more likely to remember the details of the interaction with that other person after the fact. But to truly reap the benefits of looking into another's eyes, you have to put the phone down.

In this age of constant and seemingly never-ending connectedness, the act of proverbially logging off might seem like too much of a personal commitment. And quite frankly, that's because it is. The modern smartphone has ostensibly changed the way we work and how we socialize, and too often we can become caught up in the ritualistic mindlessness of scrolling through social media feeds and watching other people's lives acted out through video stories.

It's called escapism

my woods.

I'm not surprised by the studies that show we're a technology obsessed society, or that there are so many of us who spend time on it in an attempt at evading what ails us, or what bores us. This is called escapism. At present, some of us are avoiding politics, while others are avoiding more serious threats to our emotional or physical well-being. Life is tough! But at least there's the internet.

I'm of the belief that there is such a thing as productive escapism, however, so I've started escaping to the woods. It's just as good for you as staring into someone's eyes, and it doesn't require socializing. Rather than go on Twitter, Instagram, and any of the other social networks that I've pinned to my home screen, or read through my long lists of bookmarks from the failing New York Times, I've opted to spend more time outside — away from the news, away from the people on the internet, and away from my smartphone.

I've opted to spend more time outside — away from my smartphone.

This is a difficult practice for me. I'm a gosh darn millennial who's had a computer in front of her for most of her life. The computer — which later became the internet — was my escape from the doldrums of being a teenager in the suburbs; from the heartbreak of failed assignments in college; and now, from the stresses of the day-to-day. Old habits die hard, and mine is to scroll endlessly through social media on my smartphone as I lay in bed, paralyzed by the fear of the unknown.

I've found refuge in the great outdoors, however. I use Google Maps to get where I'm going, but when I'm there I switch to the radio and set my Pixel XL to do not disturb. I bring a book or magazine to peruse — something to keep me occupied. I sit outside with my cheese and crackers, and I remain present. The only distractions here are the bugs buzzing near my ears...and my food.

Of course, you can find other hobbies of your own, if sitting outside is simply not your thing. But I encourage you to start a practice of disconnecting from your smartphone and any other internet-connected device at least once a week. Start with half an hour. While you're out, revel in the present; in the people around you, or the animals joyfully wagging their tails. And remember to breathe, because life still goes on even if you don't have your smartphone.

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2 weeks ago

AT&T's excellent-but-expensive unlimited plan now comes with free HBO

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Get some Game of Thrones on the go with AT&T's new deal.

AT&T is giving away HBO with its unlimited plan as a response to fervent competition from T-Mobile and Verizon, and its increasingly close ties with its mobile and DirecTV divisions.

The company has announced that all AT&T Unlimited Plus customers will get access to HBO wherever it is available — through DirecTV Now or HBO Go — and that existing subscribers to the service through DirecTV will begin receiving it for free.

Customers who have Unlimited Plus but not HBO on DirecTV get a $25 monthly credit that can be put towards the service.

The move comes after both T-Mobile and Verizon have begun making it easier to watch content through wireless networks, either by zero-rating services like Verizon's Fios TV for mobile subscribers or, in the case of T-Mobile, zero-rating all video streams.

Advertisement

AT&T's unlimited wireless plan is currently the most expensive among the Big Four carriers, with one line beginning at $90 per month and two rounding up to $145 (with $20/month increases thereafter), but the company hopes that this HBO tie-in will bring more people into the fold.

More: Which unlimited plan should you buy?

See at AT&T

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2 weeks ago

How to stream your PC desktop to your Gear VR

How to stream your PC desktop to your Gear VR

How do I mirror my desktop on my Gear VR?

It might sound crazy, but streaming your PC's desktop to your Gear VR is quite possible thanks to a couple of free apps for your phone and your PC. Why stream to your Gear VR? Using your desktop in VR is an incredible experience, whether you're watching a movie or playing a game. That's right — any games on your PC can be played on an enormous screen within Gear VR.

Ready to get started? Here's what you need to download and how to get everything working together.

Read the full article at VR Heads!

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2 weeks ago

Netflix's new ratings system gets a thumbs-up

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Netflix has a new ratings system, and it's all about simplicity.

Netflix has rolled out its new ratings system and recommendation engine, replacing the five star-based option for the simpler, more participation-friendly "thumbs-up, thumbs-down."

Netflix has had star ratings for much of our history, but we've learned through over a year of testing that while we've used stars to help you personalize your suggestions, many of our members are confused about what they do.

That's because we've all gotten used to star ratings on e-commerce and review apps, where rating contributes to an overall average, and the star rating shown next to a restaurant or a pair of shoes is an average of all the reviewers. On those apps, being a reviewer can be fun and helpful to others, but the primary goal isn't always to help you get better suggestions.

In contrast, when people see thumbs, they know that they are used to teach the system about their tastes with the goal of finding more great content. That's why when we tested replacing stars with thumbs we saw an astounding 200% increase in ratings activity.

That 200% increase in ratings activity, according to the company, should lead to more accurate recommendations, since an increasing number of Netflix's near-100 million user base is going to be participating in the program, improving the algorithm for everyone.

Netflix is doubling streaming quality without increasing bandwidth

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2 weeks ago

Best Clear Cases for Moto G5 Plus

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Moto G5 Plus

Keep one of the best budget phones around protect but not covered up.

The Moto G5 Plus has set a new gold standard for budget phones, and despite its price tag, you should still protect your investment. The new design is quite attractive, so if you don't want to cover it up, you can get an awesome clear case.

Here are the best around!

Cimo

Cimo

Cimo's cases always fit really well and their clarity is excellent. Made from flexible TPU, these cases have a great in-hand feel that's not slippery, so you won't be fumbling your Moto G5 Plus all the time.

There's a raised bezel around the front of the case to protect your phone's screen when you lay it face-down, and the ports and buttons ore cut out precisely.

It's important to note that clear TPU will almost always yellow after some time due to the way it absorbs sunlight. But for around $8, you might as well grab a few.

See at Amazon


Sparin

Sparin

Sparin's clear case is designed with extra protection around the corners, which is the most important area to protect against drops and dings. Any good impact on your phone's corner will likely be a killshot. The extra corner padding also adds raised areas on the corners, helping you to grip your larger phone more easily without dropping it.

This is another TPU case, so it's flexible yet durable, and the edges are just a little softer to help with shock absorption and grip. The anti-scratch coating will help keep your case and phone looking pristine, and Sparin's lifetime warranty will protect you should there be any product defects.

See at Amazon


Poetic Affinity

Poetic Affinity

Poetic's Affinity series is available for just about every phone imaginable, and that's because the Affinity is a great clear case that fits precisely and gets the protection job done. These cases aren't completely clear, featuring a cool black line pattern on the back that gives your phone some form, though the lines are minimal and don't cover up your Moto G5 Plus.

The Affinity's TPU is rigid, providing solid protection against drops and bumps, and the harder black plastic reaches over the corners to add even more protection to the most vulnerable parts of your phone.

See at Amazon


Love Ying

Love Ying

Love Ying's cases are for folks who don't want to cover up their Moto G5 Plus but might like to add a splash of color.

These TPU cases do come in clear but are also available in mint, pink, and purple. These colored options are translucent, so you can still admire the look of your G5 Plus, but put a bit of your own personal spin on it. These cases are extra slim, adding very little bulk to your phone, making them perfect for your pocket.

See at Amazon


Rethinking clear cases? Check out our other favorite cases for Moto G5 Plus.

Gonna grab a clear case?

Let us know in the comments below!

Moto G5

See at Amazon

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2 weeks ago

AdventureQuest3D is the huge MMORPG you can play on a phone or PC

3

AdventureQuest3D wants to give you the freedom to keep play across all your devices.

Bringing a massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) to life is no small task — let alone creating something that's playable across multiple devices — but Adam Bohn and his team at Artix Entertainment appear to be well on their way to creating something pretty special.

Bohn (better known by the gaming community as "Artix von Krieger") is the founder and CEO (and Paladin) of Artix Entertainment, an independent game developer and publisher best known for creating flash-based role-playing games, AdventureQuest, DragonFable and AdventureQuest Worlds to name a few.

"We want to take AdventureQuest Worlds and our previous game DragonFable, and the essence of the original AdventureQuest and build a true 3D game that you could play anywhere."

The team continues to work on its biggest and boldest project yet, AdventureQuest3D, a MMORPG with cross-platform compatibility across your mobile devices (Android and iOS) as well as your desktop computer or laptop (Windows or Mac). The game was initially funded as a Kickstarter project back in 2015 and represents the next big progression in the company's marquee franchise.

"We have a game called AdventureQuest Worlds," said Bohn. "It's a MMO flash game that's been running for seven years and, just like the original AdventureQuest, these games have all been updated every week since they've been released.

"Our mission with AQ Worlds was to create a 2D version of WoW that you could play in your browser. Now, we want to take AdventureQuest Worlds and our previous game DragonFable, and the essence of the original AdventureQuest and build a true 3D game that you could play anywhere."

It's a massive undertaking which requires the development team to ensure the game runs smoothly across all platforms.

"All devices log into the same world, so you're playing with people who might be on their PC, or Apple phones, or tablets, or they've got a game-enabled toaster or something," said Bohn. "It sounds a lot easier than it is, and I think we've perfected how we're doing it, but every time that Unity does a major update, we have to every asset in the game. It can be a crazy nightmare at times."

Such an undertaking would be a huge challenge for a major studio, so it's even more impressive when you consider the size of the team working on the game. The team is comprised of just twelve programmers and content developers, including Bohn himself, who are tasked with simultaneously fleshing out new content for players to explore while also continuing to improve and tweak the gameplay during beta. On top of all that, each platform has its own little quirks that the team has to contend with to ensure that gamers have the same experience no matter which device they're logged in to play on.

Such an undertaking would be a huge challenge for a major studio, so it's even more impressive when you consider the size of the team working on the game.

Despite the daunting challenge, developing a cross-platform MMORPG makes a lot of sense in 2017. Though the genre is a favorite for millions of players around the world, games have necessarily been confined to one platform at a time, and typically that platform has been PC/Mac. 2010 was arguably the biggest year for MMORPGs, with the genre's biggest title World of Warcraft's reaching peak popularity with over 12 million active subscribers.

But much has changed since 2010. Most notably, perhaps, the emergence of the smartphone as an essential device that affords us plenty of power for the basic stuff like accessing social media and the internet, while also offering more high-end processing power as the technology has improved. And while there are certainly other MMORPGs available for Android, Bohn says that limitations on mobile devices up until around two years ago made it really tough to create something like AdventureQuest3D that would look and play just as good on your phone as it does on your PC.

We've also become a much more mobile society in general, thanks to smartphones and tablets granting us the freedom to do more on the go without having to be chained to a desktop computer. Even the convenience of lugging a laptop around can feel a little outdated at times.

And that's ultimately what makes AdventureQuest3D a compelling option for fans of the MMORPG that don't spend as much time behind a computer as they once did. Artix Entertainment has built up a nice following from its 15 years developing web-based RPGs, which continue to receive weekly updates with new content. The team plans to apply the same approach to AdventureQuest3D when the full game launches in October to give gamers new storylines to experience.

First impressions from the beta

If you're curious to see what this game is like, you can check out the open beta by downloading the game from the Google Play Store. The team is still fleshing out many of the early storylines, but the opening tutorial will give you an idea of what the tone that Bohn and his team are striving for — that is, a seriously deep game in terms of gameplay, customization, and story that doesn't take itself too seriously. So expect cutscenes with a whole bunch of witty dialog and puns. So many puns.

It's not fair to judge a game that's still in beta, but from what I've seen it's off to a great start.

"I'd like [our games] to consistently be unusual, weird, and crazy," said Bohn. "That's how the original AdventureQuest games were, and that's what's really going to make [AdventureQuest3D] unique — it's going to be densely-packed with oddness. And that's something that the cookie cutter, 'We're just trying to run you through a loop and harvest our way into your pockets' games… They don't really offer that."

Since the game is still in beta and constantly in flux it wouldn't be fair to pass judgment on the game in its current state, but from what I've seen it's off to a great start. The graphics look excellent on my Google Pixel, from the cutscenes to exploring the world with my character.

Something that really surprised me about AdventureQuest3D on Android is how reasonable is its file (APK) size. You would expect a massive open-world 3D RPG might take up a huge chunk of storage real estate. Instead, the game only downloads assets as required as you move from realm to realm, activate new quests and interact with NPCs, and clears the cache when they're not needed.

The stereotype associated with MMORPGs is that they're huge time sinks that almost certainly require marathon gaming sessions to complete specific quests. Given mobile is such a key platform for AdventureQuest3D, Bohn says the developers have been careful to walk the line between offering quick quests that can be completed in short spurts of gameplay but without sacrificing depth and storyline for endless fetch quests.

Of course, one of the biggest appeals of MMORPGs is the ability to play alongside your friends and other players on quests. Artix Entertainment have included a really smart feature to make it much easier to meet up with wherever your friends are in the game: Summon Codes. When you share a summon code with a friend, they're able to jump into the game and spawn wherever you are. It certainly beats having to manually travel in-game to find your friends in whichever realm or server they're in.

AdventureQuest3D is scheduled for a proper released in October, but you can jump in early and play the beta. Maybe I'll see you in the game!

Download: AdventureQuest3D (Free)

Android Gaming

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2 weeks ago

Common Google Pixel problems and how to fix them

109

Pixel problems? Here are the most common problems and how to fix them.

The Google Pixel is one of our favorite devices, but it has its share of problems. The good news is that because Google updates its phones directly, and issues monthly patches, there's a good chance your problem has been solved through software.

Updated, April 2017: This post has been updated with the latest information and fixes that came with Android 7.1.2.

What is the actual problem?

Like every story based on extremes, the reality is somewhere in the middle.

It's a phone. The interoperability of hardware and software is very complicated, and even though it now has much greater control over both, Google is still unable to check for every conflict before it ships.

The important thing to know is that not everyone is experiencing problems. The issues with the Pixel appear to be isolated and not endemic of the entire product lineup.

Let's go through each one to see where we stand.

Band 4 LTE issues

Early on, it became apparent that the Pixel was having trouble connecting to LTE networks that relied on Band 4 (AWS) in certain countries, specifically Canada, Chile, Venezuela, Puerto Rico, Argentina, Ecuador and others in the region. The phone, though compatible with Band 4 LTE, was staying on HSPA+.

That changed when Google issued the Android 7.1.1 update in early December, with many people finding their LTE connections upon booting up.

  • Best fix: Update to Android 7.1.2
  • Status: Solved

Audio distortion issues

Some Pixel owners found themselves dealing with audio distortion from the speaker at max volume — in fact, it was one of the most prevalent problems with the Pixel, largely because it is easy to reproduce. You either have the problem or you don't.

The issue stems from using particular apps, or playing back movies and music at high volumes; anything above a certain point — usually 80% to maximum — causes the audio to clip.

Google claims that the March security patch that was sent out with Android 7.1.1 fixed the problem for most people, and the wider Android 7.1.2 update fixed it for the rest. You should be good now.

  • Best fix: Update to Android 7.1.2
  • Status: Solved

Boot loops

Android phones falling into boot loops are not uncommon, and some manufacturers (ahem, LG) seem to have higher rates than others.

But shortly after the Pixel was released, and timed more frequently with monthly security updates, people began reporting instances where the phone would fall into an endless boot loop — failing to start up and rebooting when the process failed — forcing a factory reset through the Recovery menu.

On Google's product forums, a dozen threads with myriad entries each tell the story of frustration, especially since many of the Pixel and Pixel XL users were forced to perform hard resets, losing data in the process. Google's official word is to seek individual service through the Pixel's 24/7 customer support feature, but there are no permanent solutions just yet.

  • Best fix: Factory reset and, failing that, replace your Pixel
  • Status: Ongoing

Pixel shutting off at close to 40% battery

People have reported that the Pixel sometimes shuts down at 30% battery. Likely exacerbated by the cold weather in the northern hemisphere, the issue, according to Reddit user bal00, has less to do with software than with the state of batteries themselves.

If you've got a battery with a high internal resistance and a power-hungry load like the camera demanding a lot of current, other devices like the processor will see their supply voltage drop, and if it drops low enough, the phone will shut off. That's what's going on when a phone turns off with 40% battery left. There's plenty of water in the tank, but all the build-up inside the valve restricts the flow so much that the pressure takes a nosedive.

The strange part is that unlike the Nexus 6P, which has been in the market for over a year, the Pixel is new, as are the batteries inside them. Google says it has solved the problem with Android 7.1.2, adjusting the way the software deals with these drops in voltage.

  • Best fix: Update to Android 7.1.2
  • Status: Solved

Bluetooth shutting off unexpectedly

When Google updated the Pixel with the February 2017 security patch, people began reporting that the Bluetooth radio would randomly shut down without prompting. Google quickly identified the problem and rolled out a fix in Android 7.1.2.

  • Best fix: Update to Android 7.1.2
  • Status: Solved

So what can you do?

First thing's first: Google's Pixel is, like all other phones, not perfect. That its hardware and software are overseen by Google doesn't preclude it from having problems. Despite the numerous issues noted above, the Pixel is not disproportionately problematic compared to other Android phones.

You have three options if you have a severe issue with your Pixel:

  • Seek out counsel from Google through the Pixel Support feature: Google may be able to walk you through a temporary or permanent fix.
  • Update or revert your software: The issue(s) you're experiencing are likely software-based and an update could be the answer.
  • Replace your phone: If nothing works, or you're stuck in a permanent boot loop and a restore doesn't seem to be doing the trick, seek a replacement from Google or your carrier. The Pixel is still under warranty, and unless you dunked it in water or threw it onto cement, you shouldn't have an issue getting a new one.

What issues are you facing?

Are you facing issues with your Pixel? If so, any from the list above? If not, has it been flawless or still prone to derping every once in a while?

The good news is that Google will likely fix the majority of the Pixel's major issues with software updates, and faster than usual given its ability to push out updates directly.

Google Pixel + Pixel XL

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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;} /*-->*/ /*-->*/ /*-->*/

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2 weeks ago

These are the best steering wheels for playing PlayStation VR

Steering wheels can bring a racing game to life in VR.

The best part about VR is fully immersing yourself in a new experience, transporting yourself into a game and feeling like you are really there. Anybody who has spent time with a driving wheel on a normal video game already knows that these accessories can really add to the feel of each race. That feeling is only amplified once you are hooked into your PlayStation VR. How do you pick the best steering wheel though? That's where we come in, with all of the best steering wheels for racing with PlayStation VR.

Read more at VRHeads.com

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