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1 day ago

These are the exclusive games for PlayStation VR

These are the exclusive games for PlayStation VR

Which games are exclusive to PlayStation VR?

PlayStation VR is here and its library of games continues to grow. We love that a lot of our favorite titles from other platforms are also available on PSVR, but the real meat lies in the exclusive stuff.

What are the exclusive games, you ask? Here are all the titles that you'll only be able to play if you own a PS4!

Read more at VR Heads!

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1 day ago

Best podcast app for Android

105

Best overall

Pocket Casts

$3.99

See on Google Play

Pocket Casts does what any good podcast player should do: it loads quickly, has great discovery tools, has effects for cutting down on silences, and it looks great doing it. Shifty Jelly, the company behind Pocket Casts, has put a lot of love into making the app as full-featured as possible without alienating beginners just looking for an easy-to-use podcast app.

With tablet support, Chromecast output, and easy ways to store content on microSD cards, Pocket Casts is our pick for the best podcast app on Android.

Bottom-line: Pocket Casts offers not only an amazing discovery and listening experience, but its synchronization system lets you listen to your favorite shows on iOS, Windows and the web.

One more thing: Themes! Pocket Casts has an amazing dark mode that looks great on AMOLED displays, or when you're browsing at night.

Why Pocket Casts is the best

Easy to use, powerful for pros.

Pocket Casts is one of the first apps I download on a new Android device, and one of my most-used apps. Even as other popular music streaming apps like Google Play Music and Spotify have added podcast support, I go back to Pocket Casts for its useful tools, intuitive features and navigation, and ability to create on-the-fly playlists using the Up Next feature.

Chris Welch of The Verge had this to say about Pocket Casts for Android:

Above just being a vehicle for your podcasts, the standout aspect of Pocket Casts is definitely its design. It's a tremendous showcase for Google's Material Design, with fluid animations and color schemes that shift colors based on a podcast's artwork. Your subscriptions are arranged in a tiled screen with big, beautiful artwork for every show, and Pocket Casts has a seemingly endless array of preferences, playlist filters, and auto-download settings, so you can tailor it fully to your liking.

One of the main virtues of Pocket Casts is its synchronization system: after purchasing the app for $3.99, you can create a free account and have it sync with the iOS, Windows and web versions. Not only is the podcast artwork beautifully shown in high-resolution, but it's easy to subscribe and add certain episodes to playlists once you have subscribed to a particular show.

Small things, like a dedicated In Progress category, details the episodes you've only half-finished, while an amazing discovery network based on category, location, or podcast network makes it super simple to find the best content on the internet.

Finally, Pocket Casts can cut down the length of a show by removing silences or speeding up the playback up to three times, which is incredible useful if, like me, you subscribe to way too many shows and need to get through them as soon as possible every week.

Best for beginners

Google Play Music

Free

See on Google Play

Play Music is relatively new to the podcast scene (weird, right?), but Google's streaming music service integrated podcasts with aplomb — especially since it fits right into the existing user interface you're already accustomed to. Some of Play Music's podcast prowess is derived from the app's simplicity: a great discovery portal, and lots of choice, without overburdening the user with features. Plus, there's great Chromecast and Android Auto support built in because, well, it's Google!

Bottom-line: For the simplest experience to get started with, Google Play Music is the ideal place to listen to your podcasts. And because it's already installed on your phone — there's very little setup required!

One more thing: Play Music syncs your podcast subscriptions across devices and platforms, so if you subscribe to a bunch of great shows on your Android phone, those shows will be there when you log in through the web.

Best for bingers

Stitcher

Free

See on Google Play

It seems that Stitcher has been around forever, and on Android that is just about true. But the app has gone through some major revisions over the years, and has emerged as one of the best places to queue up a bunch of audio content for those long trips or head-down work sessions.

Even as podcasts have grown mainstream, and many apps, like Pocket Casts, have emerged to take on that burgeoning market, Stitcher still fulfils its promise of making it super easy to "stitch" a whole bunch of episodes together. The interface may not be as slick as Pocket Casts or GPM, but there's no better app for discovering new and weird shows and sitting back to listen to them.

Bottom-line: If you're looking to discover new and interesting shows and podcasts, Stitcher is still unrivalled. It has a huge database of content and, after subscribing to a few shows, Stitcher knows what you like, and will recommend some great stuff you've likely never heard.

One more thing: Stitcher isn't just about podcasts: it works with notable brands like NPR, CNN, Fox News, ESPN, and BBC to push breaking news alerts throughout the day, just like a live radio program.

Best overall

Pocket Casts

$3.99

See on Google Play

Pocket Casts for Android is, simply, worth the price. It's got one of the best interfaces for playing and discovering new shows, and Shifty Jelly, the developer, is always adding new and useful features to its new versions. Plus, those change logs are hilarious! While it does cost some money up front, you'll be happy to chose to bring your subscriptions over to Pocket Casts.

Bottom-line: Pocket Casts offers not only an amazing discovery and listening experience, but its synchronization system lets you listen to your favorite shows on iOS, Windows and the web.

One more thing: Shifty Jelly, developers of Pocket Casts, are very receptive to feedback, and are always looking to make the app as good as it can be. That's another reason to purchase Pocket Casts: it promises to receive the best and most relevant features as soon as they come out.

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1 day ago

At just $23 you won't be afraid to try some tricks with this mini drone

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Update: This popular deal is back again with a new coupon code. Be sure to use code HEBVQMG4 at checkout for the savings!

Right now you can pick up Aukey's mini-drone for just $23 at Amazon with coupon code HEBVQMG4, a savings of $6. You can control this drone with your smartphone, allowing you to fly it just about anywhere, and once you get good at flying it you can even start performing some tricks as well. It takes off and lands easily with just a single tap, and the controls are super responsive so you won't have to worry about delays. It comes with two extra sets of propellers, just in case you happen to crash and break one.

Being so small you can pack in just about any bag so you can keep it with you at all times. Remember to use coupon code HEBVQMG4 for the full savings. Will you be learning to fly with Aukey's drone? Let us know in the comments!

See at Amazon

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

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1 day ago

Qualcomm announces Snapdragon 835 VR dev kit, Leap Motion integration

0

Qualcomm rolls out a VR dev kit, teams up with Leap Motion to bring natural interaction to mobile VR.

The Snapdragon 835 will be powering this year's flagship phones, but Qualcomm is increasingly looking to virtual reality as a growth driver. To that effect, Qualcomm included several features in the Snapdragon 835 that make it an ideal platform for mobile VR, including 15ms motion-to-photon latency and six-degrees-of-freedom for precise motion tracking.

The company has now introduced a VR development kit, which has a head mounted display (HMD) powered by the Snapdragon 835 and an upgraded VR software development kit. The reference design headset allows users to experience virtual reality untethered, offering a 2560x1440 AMOLED display split between both eyes, six-degrees of freedom (6DoF) motion tracking via two monochromatic cameras with fish-eye lenses, two monochromatic VGA global shutter cameras with depth sensing, and a host of sensors.

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1 day ago

What is an alternative mobile carrier?

50

Alternative mobile carriers are often cheaper and just as reliable as the networks they rely on.

Alternative carriers abound around the world, and are becoming an increasingly reliable source of low-cost connectivity in the U.S. Also known as an MVNO, or Mobile Virtual Network Operator, these alternative operators are often no-frills, and cost less than the incumbent networks on which they operate.

What is an alternative mobile operator?

The idea behind an MVNO is simple: instead of spending the billions of dollars building an entirely new nationwide network, companies enter into deals with the incumbent providers in a particular country — in the U.S., that's T-Mobile, AT&T, Verizon, and Sprint — to resell access to their networks. These often come in the form of contracts, where the smaller companies will buy space on the network — voice, messaging and, of course, data — at a heavily discounted, bulk rate, and sell it to you, the customer, for a profit.

This benefits everyone in the equation: the incumbent gets a bunch of money upfront to invest back into its business, or give to shareholders in the form of dividends; the alternate provider gets to sell access to the network at a lower cost to the incumbent while still making a profit; and you, the user, gets to purchase access to a high-quality, fast and reliable network at prices lower than those incumbents.

Such a market only works when there is robust competition in the wireless market, which increasingly exists in the U.S. and is extremely common across Europe, where the market was built with alternative providers in mind.

So what's the big deal?

Alternative providers don't often have the financial resources to build their own networks, which is why they purchase wholesale acces to the companies that do, like the ones mentioned above. But because these smaller companies don't have the overhead of maintaining a network — the virtual in the term MVNO — they have more flexibility to provide service at lower costs. For people looking just to connect to a network without all the frills and fringe benefits that come with a contract, these are great options.

Because these smaller companies don't have the overhead of maintaining a network, they have more flexibility to provide service at lower costs.

The other thing is that MVNOs are usually aimed at single account holders — most eschew the share or family plan model of the larger incumbents — or specific demographics that may not be hit directly by the Big Four. In other words, alternative carriers are exactly that: meant to capture the customers remaining in the margins, or those looking to pay bottom dollar to avoid the often-superflous frills — T-Mobile Tuesdays come to mind — that are, many times, built into the cost of the plans of the incumbents.

Some alternative carriers, such as Cricket Wireless and Boost Mobile, are owned by the Big Four themselves — AT&T and Sprint, respectively — which allows the major incumbents to get ahead of any customers who want to leave by offering them a simplified, often discounted alternative that keeps them in the network.

More than one network

But many alternative carriers don't just use one network. We've talked many times about Project Fi, which works with Google's Nexus and Pixel phones to make service incredibly easy and convenient. Well, Project Fi does't just connect to one network; it connects to four — T-Mobile, Sprint, U.S. Cellular in the U.S., and Three in then UK — deciding between the top one dynamically depending on the coverage.

Instead of spending the billions of dollars building an entirely new nationwide network, companies enter into deals with the incumbent providers in a particular country.

That's another advantage of these virtual operators: they can negotiate great deals with a number of carriers, and thanks to the beauty of the SIM card, give customers the best option wherever they are.

Fewer phones

Finally, one thing to keep in mind about alternative networks is that the companies often don't offer the latest and greatest smartphones. In fact, they often don't sell phones at all. That's because they don't want the hassle, and the overhead, of having to stock expensive devices they may not use. That's where unlocked phones come in.

If you're savvy enough to buy a phone that you know will connect to the network of a particular carrier, you can save big money over the same two-year period a phone is usually paid off when on a big carrier.

Your turn

Are you subscribed to an alternative carrier? If so, which one, and why? We're really curious, so let us know in the comments!

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1 day ago

Best Chromebook

Update, 22 February 2017: Our new pick for best Chromebook is the Samsung Chromebook Pro, bumping the Acer Chromebook R13, which is now our budget pick.

Best overall

Samsung Chromebook Pro

See at Amazon

Samsung and Google have built the best Chromebook you can buy with the Samsung Chromebook Pro. It's incredibly well built, has one of the best displays of any laptop and has the horsepower to handle anything you throw at it. And handle it well.

The bottom line: For anyone who wants to use a Chromebook on a regular basis, and values getting extra performance and hardware quality at an added price, Samsung has made the Chromebook for you.

One more thing: There's also a Samsung Chromebook Plus, built with a slightly slower ARM processor and available for a bit less money.

Why the Samsung Chromebook Pro is the best

Samsung has built a powerhouse with an incredible display.

The display on the Samsung Chromebook Pro is a 12.3-inch 2400x1600 IPS touch panel that steals the show. It's beautiful to look at and supports a stylus, which makes it the first Chromebook with a pen.

That doesn't mean everything else isn't great, though. The 6th generation Intel processor will power through websites, spreadsheets and presentations in Google Docs and Android apps while you're working, or play something from Netflix on the gorgeous screen when you're not.

With a more power-hungry configuration that many other Chromebooks, the Chromebook Pro still had great battery life. It will last most people a full workday (8-10 hours) on a single charge. And when it's time to charge the battery, you'll appreciate the standard USB-C charging instead of a proprietary input. With the right cable, your Chromebook Pro will charge anywhere your phone does.

The Samsung Chromebook Pro is a great all-around package, and right now it's the best Chromebook available.

Best on the go

ASUS Chromebook Flip (C100)

See at Amazon

The ASUS Chromebook Flip was rather unassuming and a little confusing when it was first unveiled, but has turned into a mini revelation. This little laptop with its 10.1-inch display and folding design that turns it into a pseudo-tablet is the go-to choice for anyone that wants a good, inexpensive and hyper-portable Chromebook.

For less than $300 you're getting a 1280 x 800 touch screen, a metal build, great battery life and solid performance. If you're always on the move and looking for a great Chromebook, you can't do much better than this.

Bottom line: The Chromebook Flip is also one of the first models slated to pick up Android app compatibility through the Google Play Store, which could tip the scales a bit for folks looking to be ready for the new feature addition.

Best on a budget

Acer Chromebook R13

See at Amazon

The Acer Chromebook R13 is a mid-range offering that seems like it should cost more. It has a 1080p IPS touch screen for interaction with Android apps, can fold back into various modes for an all-touch experience, and charges using the new USB-C standard rather than an older connector.

The standout feature of the Chromebook R13 is the great way it's built. It's solid and well machined and not something you would expect from a sub-400 dollar laptop. The Chromebook R13 is an excellent choice for anyone who wants a premium product without a premium price.

Bottom line: The Acer Chromebook R13 looks and feels like a laptop that would cost a lot more, and is a great choice for savvy shoppers.

Conclusion

There's a Chromebook to satisfy most any need that you may have. Whether you're buying for yourself, as a gift, or giving guidance to someone else for their own purchase, be sure to start here before making a buying decision. For most people, though, most of the time, the Samsung Chromebook Pro is the overall best bet.

Best overall

Samsung Chromebook Pro

See at Amazon

Samsung and Google have built the best Chromebook you can buy with the Samsung Chromebook Pro. It's incredibly well built, has one of the best displays of any laptop and has the horsepower to handle anything you throw at it. And handle it well.

The bottom line: For anyone who wants to use a Chromebook on a regular basis, and values getting extra performance and hardware quality at an added price, Samsung has made the Chromebook for you.

One more thing: There's also a Samsung Chromebook Plus, built with a slightly slower ARM processor and available for a bit less money.

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2 days ago

How to set up Kodi profiles

0

Your family can have their Kodi their way. It's as easy as setting up some new Kodi profiles.

Your kids want to watch something on your Kodi system, but you're not so keen on filling up your add-ons list with child-friendly channels. That's fine, because just as you can with popular services like Netflix, you can create profiles for your kids to keep their stuff separate.

The process for creating Kodi profiles is not immediately obvious, because it's not exactly user-facing. But it's also not very difficult, as long as you know where to look.

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2 days ago

Samsung's 10nm Exynos 8895 chipset is now official

34

Samsung's high-end SoC for 2017 gets detailed.

Samsung announced last year that it was partnering with Qualcomm to build the Snapdragon 835 on its new 10nm FinFET manufacturing process. The company is now introducing its own chipset based on the new node, the Exynos 8895. The SoC falls under the Exynos 9 Series, and the node shift along with an improved 3D transistor structure means that the Exynos 8895 delivers 27% more performance or 40% less energy consumption when compared to 14nm chipsets.

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2 days ago

Korean media says LG G6 will launch on March 10, Galaxy S8 debuting globally April 21

28

We now have launch dates for this year's biggest flagships.

A report out of Korea's ET News suggests Samsung and LG have finalized the launch dates for their upcoming flagships. The publication states that the Galaxy S8 — which is rumored to be unveiled in New York on March 29 — will be launching globally on April 21, while the LG G6 is slated to become available on March 10 following an unveil at Mobile World Congress later this week.

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2 days ago

Sony launches the 'world's fastest' SD cards

2

Sony's latest SD cards are designed for photographers shooting in 4K.

Sony's upcoming SF-G series of SD cards will be the fastest in the world, according to the company. The SD cards will be debuting sometime in the month of March, and will be available in 32GB, 64GB, and 128GB storage configurations. The cards feature read speeds of 300MB/s and write speeds of 299MB/s, which Sony says will come in handy not only for shooting 4K content, but also for transferring large amounts of data to a computer.

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2 days ago

Huawei P10 shown off in new leak, EMUI 5.1 and 360-degree camera teased

4

Huawei P10 gets shows off once again ahead of its official debut.

Huawei confirmed last month that it would launch the P10 at Mobile World Congress. We saw the device break cover earlier this month, which showed off the blue, gold, and green color options it will be available in, and today we're getting a look at the press renders of the Huawei P10 ahead of its official unveil.

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2 days ago

HTC 10 is picking up the Nougat update in India

5

Nougat update is now available for the HTC 10 in India.

HTC rolled out the Nougat update to the HTC 10 back in November, with unlocked units in the U.S. receiving the update first. The company has since rolled out the update to customers in the UK at the end of last month, and is now making Android 7.0 Nougat available to Indian users.

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2 days ago

Galaxy S8+ specs materialize: 6.2-inch extra-tall display with rounded corners expected

144

This is shaping up to be a big phone ... but not as big as you'd think.

We're still over a month away from an expected announcement of the Galaxy S8 and S8+, and that means we're well into the flow of leaks. The latest, which comes from @evleaks, details purported specs for the larger Galaxy S8+ — and aside from physical size it looks to be very similar to the smaller Galaxy S8.

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2 days ago

Instagram's new gallery feature lets you showcase up to ten photos and videos

0

Post more than one memory at a time without overloading your followers.

blank

Ever wanted to post a bunch of pictures in a row on Instagram, but felt too bad about inundating timelines? Instagram's new gallery feature lets you attached up to ten photos or videos to a post to share multiple scenes from a memory with your friends and family.

The new feature is easy to use. Simply tap on the "Select Multiple" option when creating your post and then tap up to ten existing photos or videos from your gallery. When you're finished, Instagram will publish the post to your timeline with a small dotted indicator bar on the bottom of the photo to lets your followers know there's more to see if they swipe left.

The update is available today for Instagram on Android. If you haven't seen the update already, you can grab it directly from the Google Play Store.

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2 days ago

Here's every bit of the LG G6 prior to the announcement

111

Well, there it is. After leak upon leak, there is now very little left to learn about the LG G6.

Thanks to prolific leaker, Evan Blass, you now know exactly what the LG G6 will look like. As predicted, it's got tiny bezels, two cameras, presumably of different focal lengths, and a fingerprint sensor on the back. That's what we can see in this render.

Aside from that, we've learned that the phone will have a 2:1/18:9 aspect ratio, along with waterproofing, (unfortunately) a Snapdragon 821 processor, and perhaps a larger battery than the 2800mAh cell on the G5 because... drum roll please it's sealed in.

Now that the full picture of the LG G6 is coming into focus, are you more or less excited than before? And what would it take for you to pick one up over a Galaxy S8, which is presumably coming just a month later with a considerable faster processor and similarly slim bezels.

LG G6

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