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4 days ago

Samsung's Exynos processors to power Audi's next-gen infotainment systems

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You want high-end processors in everything, even your car.

Samsung doesn't use its own Exynos processors in all of its phones and tablets, but it has struck a deal with Audi to start using its chips in its cars to power its next-generation infotainment systems. The announcement states that Samsung will be providing its "flagship" processors, which bodes well for the performance of in-dash applications.

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4 days ago

Top 5 tips and tricks for your new Huawei Mate 9

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Huawei Mate 9

The day-one checklist for that freshly-unboxed Huawei Mate 9.

The Huawei Mate 9 is upon us, and it's Huawei's best phone yet. (Go read our review!) If you're picking one up over the next month, as release time approaches in Europe in the U.S., you'll want to know what to get to know your phone's most important customizations options, tweaks, tips and other tricks.

We've been using the phone over the past month, and we've rounded up the top five essential options you'll want to check out the day you get your device.

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5 days ago

ComiXology is getting an exclusive Adventure Time comic

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Wield that axe, Marshall Lee.

Fans of the Adventure Time universe are about to find themselves needing ComiXology in their lives, as one of its alternate universe characters gets his own three-part story. In a continued effort to promote their new push for original content, Amazon has a year of exclusive comics planned for ComiXology and Kindle owners.

At the top of their publishing list is Adventure Time: Marshall Lee Spectacular, a three story comic all about the alternate version of Marceline the Vampire Queen from the perspective of Ice King's fan fiction. If you're unfamiliar with the series, it really doesn't get less confusing from here.

This three-part series includes an original song performed by Marshall Lee, and is available as either a $3.99 one-time purchase or free to ComiXology Unlimited subscribers. If you're not a part of the $5.99/month subscription service, Amazon offers a 30 day free trial so you can see what's going on. For those who would rather not bother with ComiXology at all, the comic is also available directly from Amazon for the Kindle app.

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5 days ago

Best Chrome extensions you didn't know existed but should be using

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10 Chrome extensions you didn't know existed but should be using

What are the best Chrome extensions I should be using?

Update 16 January 2017: We've refreshed this list to ensure you're kept up to the latest when it comes to the best Chrome extensions you should be using.

The amount of time most people spend browsing the internet continues to rise each year, and Google's Chrome browser attempts to be the most comfortable and versatile browser out there. To aid in its quest, Google allows for developers to market small software extensions that modify and (in most cases) ameliorate your browsing experience. Here are 10 Chrome extensions you didn't know about but should be using.

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5 days ago

Microsoft is finally testing Cortana for your lock screen!

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"Hey Cortana, catch up to Google Assistant."

Microsoft's progress with Cortana for Android has been slow, but undeniably constant. As voice services go Cortana is arguably more capable than Assistant or Siri, but the implementation on Android hasn't been complete enough to ever seriously consider replacing Google's services. It's an uphill climb for Microsoft, especially now that Google's Assistant is coupled with Google Home as a more complete solution, but the next big step has finally arrived in the Cortana beta channel this morning.

This doesn't appear to be a full lock screen replacement like Microsoft has done with other apps in the past.

In what Microsoft is calling a "VERY Alpha build" in the Cortana beta community, support for Cortana on your lock screen is being tested. This update starts by asking if you'd like to enable Cortana, and if you agree to test the new feature you'll see Cortana's ring at the bottom of your lock screen. This doesn't appear to be a full lock screen replacement like Microsoft has done with other apps in the past, but you do gain some new information by interacting with the Cortana ring.

Swiping right on the rings pulls the Cortana itinerary view into frame, which gives you access to all of the traffic, calendar, and news events you've told Cortana you want to see in your feed. There's also a microphone icon should you want to communicate directly with Cortana, but for right now it doesn't look like "Hey Cortana" works when the display is off. It's possible Microsoft will have that working as work on this Alpha build continues, but even without that feature this step forward is significant.

If you want to try this out before it is rolled out as a standard feature, sign up for the Cortana Beta group here.

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5 days ago

Where to buy a used VR headset

VR is expensive. Buying used might be the solution.

From the Samsung Gear VR up to the HTC Vive, you're not going to get a decent VR experience for cheap. The Gear VR starts around $100, but if you're not sure about VR just yet, $100 is a lot to spend on trying something.

Used VR headsets are popping up more and more as the technology continues to develop, but selection is fairly limited for now. We know where you can get used headsets, but there are a few things to consider before diving into second-hand VR.

Read more at VR Heads!

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5 days ago

Best Samsung Galaxy S7 Charging Docks

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What are the best charging docks for my Samsung Galaxy S7?

If you are really concerned about taking care of your Samsung Galaxy S7, you might be a bit hesitant leaving it charging on a table, where it's free to be knocked off the ground by an errant elbow or a clumsy pet. That's where a charging dock can come in real handy.

The Galaxy S7 is also special in that it supports Qi wireless charging, meaning you can elevate your Samsung Galaxy S7 off the table or counter with a dock that'll also keep it fully charged when it's time to go.

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5 days ago

Beginner's guide to Star Wars: Force Arena

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Feeling a little overwhelmed with Star Wars: Force Arena? I'm here to get you started.

Most multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA) games are pretty complicated. They have a lot going on the screen during battles, tons of different units you can deploy, and often they can be confusing to start.

Even with the in-game tutorial, I found there was quite a bit of information I wish I knew about Stars Wars: Force Arena before I started challenging real players from across the world. Luckily for you, I went through the confusion, so you don't have to. This guide is meant to help you have a better understanding of some of the game's mechanics, which hopefully will help you win!

Play Star Wars: Force Arena today!

Know the different card types

There are four types of cards in Star Wars: Force Arena and each one plays a different role. Not every deck has to have all four types to be successful, but balancing your deck with different kinds of cards is not a bad way to get a feel for the game. The card types are as follows:

  • Leader: Prominent Star Wars characters (such as Princess Leia and Darth Vader) that lead your troops into battle. There are a ton of leaders in the game, but you can only have four of them (two Rebel Alliance and two Galactic Empire) activate at a time. You can swap leaders out as you acquire them.
  • Squad: These are cards that will spawn units onto the battlefield. Stormtroopers, Wookie Warriors, and even Tanks are all squad cards.
  • Support Cards: These are cards that affect the game in different ways but don't spawn units onto the battlefield. These cards can help you hurt enemy units and structures — like X-Wings and Tie Fighters — or some provide status effects to units on the field — like stun grenades and Hyper-Adrenal.
  • Structure: These cards will spawn structures onto the battlefield that can attack enemy units, good for defending your leader or turrets.

Card Rarity

Not all cards are created equal; some are significantly rarer to find; the rarer the card, the harder it is to find in the game.

  • Legendary: These are leader cards and are the rarest cards in the game.
  • Unique: These cards will have an orange background and are tied to a specific leader, meaning they can only be placed in decks with that leader. In the image above Director Orson Krennic is my leader and Death Squad Leader is his unique card.
  • Epic: These cards are quite powerful and rarely in packs in the lower tiers.
  • Rare: Not as hard to find as Epic cards, but you still won't find any in lower tier bronze packs.
  • Common: Just like the name says, you'll find these cards all over. Common cards have gray backgrounds.

Understanding Card Stats

In Star Wars: Force Arena you deploy units by using different cards. Each leader has a deck of six cards that you can swap out from the Deck menu at any time. To build a good deck you are going to need to know how to read the cards stats.

General card stats

Every card has a list of basic stats that will tell you how much damage it does, how much health it has, and various other relevant information.

Most cards have these basic nine stats:

  • Health: This number is how much health the any given unit or squad has.
  • Movement Speed: How fast the unit moves during battle.
  • Attack Range: How far away the unit can attack another target.
  • Attack Power: The higher the attack power, the more damage the unit will do.
  • Attack Speed: How fast the unit can attack.
  • Deployment Time: How long it takes for the unit to appear on the field.
  • Damage Per Second: The amount of damage the unit can inflict per second.
  • Target: What type of enemy units the card will attack.
  • Unit Count: How many units spawn when deployed.

Other important card stats

Certain cards have other unique stats that affect different units and structures on the field. You'll mostly see these stats on specialize infantry and aerial support cards — the Dressellian Sniper and Tie Fighters are two prime examples.

  • Leader/Squad Attack Power: How strong the card is against an enemy leader or squad.
  • Building Attack Power: How strong the card is against enemy buildings. (Turrets and shield generators)

In the simplest terms, certain cards do different amounts of damage to different types of cards; that's when you'll see these two stats pop up.

Advantages and Disadvantages

I am still flabbergasted that the Star Wars: Force Arena tutorial doesn't cover advantages and disadvantages because it's so imperative that you know them to be successful.

You can see a list of what each cards advantages and disadvantages are by tapping on advantages when you're looking at a card's stats. Here you will see a list of other cards that your card is strong against and weak against.

Learning these advantages and disadvantages is often the difference between victory and defeat. If you see an enemy tank on the field, you will know what cards to use to counter the attack.

Upgrading cards

To progress further in Star Wars: Force Arena you will need to upgrade your cards; you do this by collecting multiple copies of the same cards. You get cards by opening packs, and there are currently about four ways to receive card packs.

  • Play packs: Each time you play a match will earn you play points — three points for a win, two points for a draw, and one point for a loss. Once you have ten play points, you can open a victory card pack. You can only open two play packs every 24 hours.
  • Free packs: These are time locked for a few hours at a time. The longer the wait, the better the cards.
  • Victory packs: When you win matches you will be awarded a card pack. These take the time to unlock, but you can unlock them right away by using crystals. The longer the wait to open the better the cards.
  • Purchase packs: Packs can be purchased with a premium currency called crystals. You do get some crystals in Play Packs, but it will take a long time to work up enough crystals to buy a pack.

Once you collect enough of one type of card, you will notice a green flashing bar underneath cards that are ready to upgrade in your Deck menu. Select the card you want to upgrade and then tap on upgrade. It will cost you credits to upgrade your cards, the higher the level of your card the more duplicates you'll need to acquire and credits you will need to spend to power it up.

Level Up

Upgrading your cards is important because it gives you experience points and levels you up. When you level up the amount of health your turrets and shield generator have increases, making you harder to defeat on the battlefield.

Pro tip: if you're going to spend money in this game early on, it's better to invest in credits to level up as quickly as you can. Once you progress further in the game then switch to buying card packs will be more important.

Tiers and Divisions

Tiers and divisions are how Star Wars: Force Arena's matchmaking system works. In practice, you should never have an opponent who is drastically above you or below you in the rankings. You climb divisions and tiers by collecting rating points.

As you win or lose matches, you will gain or lose rating points. You will climb divisions a couple of times before you reach a new tier, which will give you access to new (often more powerful) cards. Plus, the higher tier you are will give you access to better victory card packs.

Missions

Completing missions gives you the ability to unlock new leader cards and other various legendary cards. Once again the tutorial makes no mention completing missions, and it's important to unlock critical heroes. I want Han Solo, thank you very much.

You complete missions by completing different objectives one at a time. You can see these objectives by tapping the yellow button in the top right corner right next to the settings button in any menu. Basic missions unlock specific leaders, while special mission unlocks a random legendary card.

Once you have completed an objective — like Open 1 Play Pack — you'll need to come back to this menu to claim the objective as completed. Each objective also gives you various awards to help sweeten the deal. Always be working towards these objective as fast as you can.

Play Star Wars: Force Arena today!

What did you wish you knew?

What are some other aspect of Star Wars Force Arena you wish you knew before playing? Let me know in the comments below.

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5 days ago

Digital Offers: Become an Ethical Hacker for under $45

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There's a digital war raging on the Internet, mostly out of sight from the average online user. On one side, there are the malicious hackers looking to steal sensitive information and cause havoc. On the other side, there are ethical hackers testing security measures and looking for potential exploits so they can be patched up before harm is done.

Ethical hackers are in high demand these days, as governments and corporations alike find themselves increasingly vulnerable to hacking attacks. If you're up to the challenge, we've rounded up our favorite deals on ethical hacking and are offering them at a steep discount.

Certified Ethical Hacker Bootcamp

This bootcamp features 45 hours of content spread out over 144 lectures, throughout which you will gain practical experience with intrusion detection, policy creation, DDoS attacks, and more. You will learn about perimeter defenses, come to understand how Trojans, backdoors, viruses, worms are coded and spread, and learn how to scan & attack your own networks as practice. Understand Trojans, backdoors, viruses, worms, & more.

All these valuable course materials will be available to you for life, and you can't beat this deal — save 99% and get this bundle for only $45.

See at Android Central Offers


Ultimate Computer Security Bundle

This 7-course bundle will give you a comprehensive background - and certifications - in IT security, ethical hacking, Voice over IP security, data security, and more. Soon enough, you'll be fully certified and ready to enter the computer security job market with a complete arsenal.

All told, a course bundle of this caliber would typically cost upwards of $600, but you can get it 95% off — that's only $29! And once you've bought these web courses, you'll be granted lifetime access.

See at Android Central Offers


Pay What You Want: White Hat Hacker 2017 Bundle

We've saved (potentially) the biggest savings for last. With this bundle, you'll get access to up to eight different courses with values ranging from $50 to $200 and, as the title indicates, you pay only what you want.

If you pay below the average price paid, you'll get Python For Android Hacking Crash Course: Trojan Perspective — a course featuring 3.5 hours of content spread over 26 lectures. You also get a course called Wi-Fi Hacking with Kali, which teaches you how to find and protect personal and corporate networks from potential security breaches. You can get both of those courses for a dollar if you so please… but if you play more than the average price paid (currently under $20) you'll receive six more courses!

Beat the highest price paid and you'll be added to the leaderboard and be entered to win an awesome prize!

See at Android Central Offers

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5 days ago

What is the total cost of an HTC Vive?

What is the total cost of an HTC Vive?

How much does an HTC Vive cost when I buy all accessories?

With the recent unveiling of a few new pieces of their virtual reality setup at CES 2017, it begs the question: How much is the total cost of an HTC Vive? Let's break things down in terms of cost per item, and let's also take a look at some PC options to run it.

Read more at VR Heads!

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5 days ago

Motorola releasing Nougat for unlocked Moto Z in Feb, Moto Z Play in March

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Nougat for the unlocked Moto Z is coming sooner than you think.

Waiting is never easy, especially when the wait doesn't make sense. In the case of the unlocked Moto Z, sold directly to consumers by Motorola, users have been waiting nearly two months for an update to Nougat that was rolled out to the Verizon variant in late November. Usually, unlocked versions receive updates first because they require purportedly require less testing and don't need to adhere to carriers' strict guidelines for network performance and optimization.

The good news is that Motorola has confirmed to us that Nougat will be rolling out to the unlocked Moto Z in February, though the spokesperson neglected to say when in the shorter month it would arrive. The person also let us know that both the Verizon and unlocked versions of the Moto Z Play, our favorite mid-range phone of last year, would get Android 7.0 in March.

The discrepancy between the Verizon and unlocked versions of the Moto Z is due to the fact that the former was released in late July, while the latter came out at the end of September. It may seem like there's nothing between the two, but they're on separate software paths, with different teams working on them, since the unlocked version is optimized for AT&T and T-Mobile.

The Moto spokesperson hinted, but would not confirm, that the Moto Z Play update would arrive for unlocked and Verizon units at the same time during March.

Moto Z, Moto Z Force and Moto Z Play

Motorola Verizon

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5 days ago

Get regal with these Disney Princess wallpapers!

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It's a good time to be a Disney Princess fan.

We've got a new Beauty and the Beast coming up with a star-studded cast, Tangled's got a new series coming out this spring, and we've got more princesses coming back to the big screen and the Great White Way! There's a lot to cheer on, and we've got some wallpapers to keep that princess pride on your home screen while you wait for your favorite royals' returns.

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5 days ago

Video: Google Pixel vs OnePlus 3T camera showdown!

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The OnePlus 3T is a legit competitor to the Pixel XL, and for a whole lot less money than Google's latest phone -- almost $400 less, in fact. In terms of specs and user experience, they're both pretty similar. However, if you stump up the cash for a Pixel XL, one thing that gets you is Google's legendary Pixel camera.

We've all seen the ads — it's supposedly the "best smartphone camera ever!" And that plays out in real life too — the Pixel does take spectacular photos. So how does the cheaper challenger measure up? It's time to find out, in our Pixel vs 3T camera showdown video!

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5 days ago

How to take light painting photographs with the Honor 6X

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Take the guesswork out of light painting and let the Honor 6X do it for you.

The Honor 6X features a solid rear-facing camera that's equipped with a bevy of fun camera modes to help spark creativity. One of those features is light painting mode, a photographic technique that can only be composed with a long exposure.

Most smartphones now come equipped with "manual" camera settings so that you can control things like the exposure and shutter speed, but the Honor 6X helps take the guesswork out of setting that up. Here's how to use it.

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5 days ago

Google app for Android gets offline search to deal with spotty connections

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The Google app for Android is now better at dealing with intermittent connectivity issues.

Google has been streamlining its search efforts to deal with spotty connections, and today's update to the Google app for Android includes a new offline search feature. If you're looking something up on Google and lose connectivity in the middle of the query, the app will now save your search, and deliver the results as soon as it detects an internet connection.

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