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1 week ago

How to make your old Android phone secure against Meltdown and Spectre vulnerabilities

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What you can do to try and keep your data safe from prying eyes.

Worried about the Meltdown and Spectre security flaws, but not ready to buy a new phone just yet? You're not alone and there are a few things you can do to keep "safer" from exploits on the phone you love (and already paid for).

The first thing you need to know is that both Meltdown and Spectre aren't anything that has been seen outside of a Google research lab. They're fairly serious bugs, so you shouldn't ignore them, but you do need to remember that they were found, patched and then announced by the Project Zero team at Google and not something anyone found through suspicious activity or others using them to hack any data.

Of course, that doesn't mean nobody will try to use the flaws to hack others, so due diligence is still required.

A software update is the only real fix

Unfortunately, the only way to make your phone inherently secure against side-channel memory exploits is with an operating system update.

Not everyone is ready to install an unofficial OS on their phone, and that's OK.

For some phones, that's just not going to happen. Even for phones that were well supported when it came to updates and security patches — once they reach what's called end-of-life no more are going to come. For Google's phones that means anything older than the Nexus 6P or Nexus 5X aren't going to get a patched version of Android. Other companies will have different policies here, and you should check with the company who made your phone if you think it's new enough to still be supported.

There are other options, though. If your phone has an unlocked bootloader and you're feeling a bit adventurous you might find a community-built open-source version of Android made for your phone. Nexus phones and Samsung phones are popular models with "good hackers" and oftentimes community software is just as stable and feature-rich as the factory version. Once in a while, even more so.

We're not going to suggest that everyone try to load an alternative OS onto a phone. but if you have the basic computer know-how to give it a shot head to XDA developers and search to see what might be available.

Search for your phone at XDA Developers' forums

You'll find plenty of phones from Google, LG, Samsung, OnePlus, and more listed, and there's a good chance you'll find a new OS to install that is patched against Meltdown and Spectre.

The common sense approach

For most people, this is the way to go. Both Meltdown and Spectre are native exploits against computer hardware (remember, your phone is a tiny computer!), but both still require some sort of malware to be installed to do anything.

Thankfully, keeping yourself malware-free isn't nearly as difficult as some would want you to believe. Make sure you have a lock screen and encryption enabled on your phone so apps can't do anything while the screen is off, then follow three simple rules:

  • Only install software from Google Play
  • Read and understand any permissions an app asks for
  • Only use a web browser you can trust when it comes to security

The first is easy — stick to Google Play for all your apps. There are plenty of other trusted places to get Android apps, but when it comes to keeping safe from a security issue that's in the spotlight sticking with Google is the easy way to do it. And while every now and then you'll hear stories of apps slipping through official app stores from Apple and Google, these are rare instances and don't discredit the advice that sticking with those official stores is still the best practice. Sticking to Google means you have their tools in your corner, and things like Play Protect are nothing to sneeze at.

App permissions often don't make sense without some background information. Ask someone to be sure.

Permissions can be a bit more tricky. Apps written for phones running Android Marshmallow or newer will ask you for permissions before they do anything and your phone has a spot in the settings where you can grant or block any app permissions. Software written for older versions will ask you before you install the app, but once you say yes and install it assumes you really meant it and the app can do everything it asked to do (because you said it could!). If you see anything that looks strange when it comes to an app asking to do something on your phone, ask someone why before you say yes. An ounce of prevention and all that ...

There's no easy way to say a web browser is secure when it comes to internet malware. As people learn newer tricks to try and mine your data, web browsers might need to be updated to prevent it. That means the web browser that came with your phone might not cut the mustard here. This is important always, but the side-channel memory exploits used for Meltdown and Spectre could be embedded in a script you run through your browser.

Google and Mozilla are both in front of the Meltdown and Spectre exploits and doing all they can to keep you safe.

We can recommend both Chrome and Firefox for anyone looking for a secure browser that is still feature-rich. Chrome goes the extra step of using Google's safe-browsing service to filter out any websites that contain malware so you won't even visit them. Both Chrome and Firefox have announced that they are doing all they can to protect users against Meltdown and Spectre, and the companies behind them — Google and Mozilla — are great at minding the store here.

There are plenty of other web browsers available in Google Play and both user feedback and company announcements can help you see which are ready to protect you against web malware.

Download Chrome from Google Play

Download Firefox from Google Play

You are the weak link

Like all things when it comes to security on our phones and connected gadgets, the user is the most important and most vulnerable part of the picture.

In an ideal world, companies would spend the money and update all of their products whenever something like this happens, but that's just not going to happen. At least not without some stricter consumer protection laws when it comes to technology. And not everyone can afford to, or even wants to, run out and buy the new thing every year. That means it's on us once the company who got our money is done supporting a product.

Be mindful of what you install and follow a few sane practices while you use your phone and you'll be doing all you can to stay safe!

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1 week ago

Skagen's first Android Wear smartwatch costs $275

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Available soon between $275 and $295 depending on the style you choose.

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For a while now, it seems like companies that have the biggest interest in Android Wear are that of fashion brands. Kate Spade recently announced its first Android Wear-powered gadget, and now Skagen is joining the party with its Falster Smartwatch.

Skagen's released hybrid smartwatches in the past, but this is the first one from the company with a touchscreen. Similar to most all of Skagen's other products, the goal is to make the Falster Smartwatch as minimalistic as possible. The body is sleek, there's no flat-tire on the screen, and there's just one physical button on the right side.

Exact specifications have yet to be announced, but we do know that the Falster Smartwatch will ship with Android Wear 2.0, has support for the Google Play Store, and offers "activity tracking." The watch will be compatible with Android devices running 4.4 or later, and if you have an iPhone on iOS 9.0 or newer, you're also in the clear.

Skagen says the Falster Smartwatch will be available for purchase soon, and depending on what style strap and color you choose, the price will range from $275 up to $295.

Kate Spade is the latest fashion brand to launch an Android Wear watch, on sale now from $295

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1 week ago

Hisense announces two Android TVs with Google Assistant and Alexa

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Introducing the H10E and H9E Plus.

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Android TV has had a surprisingly big presence at CES 2018, and one of the companies responsible for this is Hisense. Hisense announced a slew of new televisions for its 2018 lineup, and the two highest-end models (the H10E and H9E Plus) are both powered by Android TV as opposed to the much clunkier Hisense OS.

Hisense H10E

Starting first with the H10E, this is Hisense's most premium TV for the year. It's essentially a more powerful version of the H10D that came out in 2017, and one of the biggest upgrades comes in the form of its 2200 nits brightness rating compared to the H10D's 1000 nits. The panel is obviously 4K, and there's even support for HDR and Dolby Vision.

There's no word on pricing or availability, but we do know that the H10E will only be available with a 75-inch screen size.

Hisense H9E Plus

As for the H9E Plus, you'll find a lot of the same here. There's a 4K panel and Dolby Vision, and you have the choice of either a 55-inch or 65-inch display. Unfortunately, just like the H10E, there's no word on pricing or availability.

Both the H10E and H9E Plus are powered by Android TV, and as such, you've got access to the Google Assistant. However, if just one virtual assistant on your TV isn't enough, you can also use Amazon Alexa.

Westinghouse has a 43-inch 4K Android TV that costs just $350

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1 week ago

Project Linda just made the Razer Phone a lot more interesting

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What if your phone could become a computer? It's a question Motorola, Microsoft, HP, Samsung, and Huawei have all tried to answer – and now Razer's getting in on the fun. While the Razer Phone doesn't necessarily ring all my bells, it certainly has enough power to bring Project Linda's laptop to life. With a 13" display, Chroma keyboard and a battery big enough to charge the phone three times over between top-ups, the Project Linda notebook is plenty compelling – and its ingenious re-use of the Razer Phone's screen, fingerprint sensor and speakers only reinforce its allure.

But can anyone make the notion of a laptop-smartphone hybrid work in 2018, or is Project Linda doomed to follow Project Valerie into the dustbin of history? You won't find the answers in the above video, but you will see the coolest smartphone dock of 2018 (so far). Join me for the Project Linda Hands-On!

Stay social, my friends

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1 week ago

Razer's Project Linda turns your phone into a laptop

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Razer Project Linda

Razer is trying its hand at the holy grail of mobile computing: your phone is also your laptop.

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It's been the dream of smartphones for well over a decade, and basically every attempt so far has been a failure. Razer is now giving it a shot and, to be honest, Project Linda is the best version of "your phone is also your laptop" that we've ever seen. It might even be good enough to actually work.

Let's just say up front that this is a prototype. Razer likes to do this thing where it rolls out a concept product (like a laptop with three 17-inch 4K displays) to gauge interest and get feedback. Since this isn't a final or complete product we're not going to talk too much about specs or price or availability. What Razer Project Linda is, however, is the fullest and best realization of a dream of mobile computing.

Project Linda is a shell for the Razer Phone, turning the high-powered device into an Android laptop. But unlike past attempts at this concept, which have almost universally used a middling laptop design and poor cabled or wireless phone connection, Razer designed Project Linda to accept the Razer Phone into a cavity carved out where a traditional laptop's trackpad would go. It connects via the USB-C port, with a plug that mechanically (and loudly) sticks into the phone for power and data — and to simply hold it in place. The high resolution display of the phone becomes the trackpad, flanked by a pair of smartphone speakers — that can easily rival most laptops — that are now pointing right at you. There's even a slot carved out along the front to provide easy access to the phone's side-mounted fingerprint sensor.

The laptop shell itself is based on the highly regarded Razer Blade Stealth, with a similar compact and spartan design. Project Linda sports a 2560x1440 120Hz 13-inch LCD and a full-sized Razer keyboard complete with customizable Chroma lighting. The laptop shell offers a USB-C port, USB-A (in signature Razer neon green) and a headphone jack, plus 200GB of storage and a large 53.6Wh battery capable of recharging the Razer Phone 3-4 times. It all lands in a package that's 2.76 pounds.

The software is filled with eye candy, but also concerns over app support.

There's still a lot for Razer to sort out. We were told that it wants to add touchscreen support as well as HDMI-out for hooking up to even bigger displays. But those things are pretty simple. The bigger hurdle here is the software. Android isn't very well positioned to make use of a 13-inch display, and just doesn't offer robust support for this kind of dual-display system, so Razer is having to build that itself with its relatively small Android team. The current concepts that Razer showed us have a more desktop-like interface that makes better use of that extra screen, plus a few ideas that it has for using the Razer Phone's display as a secondary source of information when you have a wireless mouse connected.

Beyond all of Razer's own work just to make Project Linda's core operations a reality, apps (and more importantly for Razer, games) would also need to support the dual-display system. That's going to require an API from Razer for developers to implement in their apps — a big ask for the small (if dedicated) Razer Phone user base.

That's assuming that Project Linda ever sees production. Over the years several of Razer's "Project" concepts have moved into reality, but not all of them make the jump. And if it does, we have no idea what price you'll be looking at, though knowing Razer and the penchant for going all-out, it won't be cheap.

When the Razer Phone was announced, its 8GB of RAM seemed like overkill. But when hooked up to a laptop like this with intentions for higher-performance applications, it doesn't seem so ridiculous now. We want to see this evolve and become a reality.

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1 week ago

Kate Spade is the latest fashion brand to launch an Android Wear watch, on sale now from $295

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Android Wear seems like it's almost exclusively for 'fashion' brands at this point.

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CES 2018 isn't so much slated as a smartwatch show as previous years, but for Kate Spade it's as good an opportunity as any to launch its first Android Wear watch.

Fossil, which owns the Kate Spade brand, has released other "hybrid" mechanical/electronic smartwatches under the name previously, but this is the first all-touch device for KSNY.

The watch style is defined by the scalloped waves around its bezel, and it comes in three different color and band combinations: yellow gold with a black leather band, rose gold with a tan leather band, and rose gold with a matching link bracelet. The case is stainless steel and waterproof up to 1ATM, and has a rotating crown for non-touch interaction, but doesn't have a heart rate sensor.

Another attempt at getting fashionable brands in on the smartwatch game.

We're looking at 1.19-inch circular AMOLED display here at 390x390 resolution, and all three have the same overall case size of 42 mm — but with a narrow 16 mm band. The smartwatch is using identical internals to Android Wear watches from the whole of 2017: a Snapdragon Wear 2100 processor, 4GB of storage, Bluetooth 4.1 LE and "24 hours" of battery life — though no mAh capacity was offered at launch.

The one bit of software differentiation that Kate Spade has to offer is a "Choose Your Look" watch face customization app. Right on the watch screen, you can make a custom watch face using classic Kate Spade styling, a variety of color choices and with functions just the way you want them. You can save custom watch faces to return to later, too. It's a nice little nod to the fashion-forward tendencies of someone who's buying a Kate Spade watch. This is similar to the recently-launched Michael Kors Sofie watch, with which it shares a striking resemblance.

The smartwatch goes up for pre-order online starting today, and will hit stores starting in early February. Pricing is set at $295 for the leather strap models, and $325 with a metal bracelet. If there's one thing this watch truly has going for it, it's the potential to leverage current Kate Spade relationships be in a ton of retail locations.

See at Kate Spade

Press release:

kate spade new york Enters the Touchscreen Smartwatch Market with Playfully Sophisticated, Feminine Style in Exclusive Pre-Sale Beginning Today

"Choose Your Look" Watch App Provides Unparalleled Fashion Customization, Allowing Customers to Live Colorfully Every Day

NEW YORK, NY – January 9, 2018 – Today at CES, kate spade new york announces the debut of the brand's first touchscreen smartwatch. Available for pre-sale starting today, and launching widely in February, the feminine smartwatches are versatile, multi-functional and playfully sophisticated. The all-new touchscreen smartwatches build upon the existing kate spade new york wearables collection, which also includes hybrid smartwatches designed for women.

The touchscreen smartwatches are available in three styles for her: a rose gold-tone case and bracelet; a rose gold-tone case with a soft vachetta leather strap; and a yellow gold-tone case with a smooth black leather strap. A delicate scallop-patterned case surrounds the full-round 1.19-inch AMOLED display that features 390x390 pixel resolution and an ambient light sensor to enhance battery life. Additional iconic spade detailing on the crown gives these touchscreen smartwatches a distinctly kate spade new york look.

Compatible with both iOS® and Android™ phones, the new kate spade new york scallop touchscreen smartwatches are powered by Android Wear™ 2.0, Google™'s smartwatch platform, and the Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ Wear 2100 processor. The smartwatch connects to her phone via Bluetooth technology and offers user-friendly notifications and messaging, downloadable third-party apps, and extra help from Google Assistant. The kate spade new york scallop touchscreen smartwatch also offers the following features:

  • Receive notifications directly to your wrist, such as calls, texts, and other alerts
  • Download third-party apps through the on-watch Google Play™ Store
  • Call up your Google Assistant by pressing the crown or saying "Ok Google;" ask about the weather, set a reminder for happy hour, or get directions
  • Track steps, calories burned, distance and more with Google Fit
  • Stream your favorite tunes right from the watch, when you are connected to phone or WiFi, with the Google Play Music app

Unique to kate spade new york, the watch includes the "choose your look" watch app. By answering a few simple prompts about the look she's wearing – including time of day, color of her outfit, tone of her jewelry, and color of her handbag – the watch dial that perfectly complements her outfit will appear.

"The kate spade new york girl is connected at all times. And now, with our 'choose your look' watch app, she has access to the most feminine, fashion-forward and customizable smartwatch functionality to-date," said Mary Beech, executive vice president and chief marketing officer, kate spade new york. "Whether she's wearing pink, stripes or dots, our scallop touchscreen smartwatch will match her outfit, tying her look together with a unique kate spade new york twist."

The kate spade new york scallop touchscreen smartwatch also features customizable, animated dials that will delight her as she moves through her day. Winking eyes, falling daisy petals and zooming New York City taxicabs keep up the fun with every step. Lastly, exciting weather effects on the dial let the wearer check to see if the weather is sunny, raining or cloudy in her location.

The touchscreen smartwatch will be available for pre-sale starting January 9 and available in-store and online beginning February 2018.

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1 week ago

Razer is shutting down the cloud storage for the Nextbit Robin

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The Nextbit Robin's Smart Storage will be shutting down on March 1st.

When it was released in early 2016, the Nextbit Robin featured something we hadn't seen before or since: rather than being able to be expanded via microSD, the Robin offered every user 100GB of cloud storage for backing up infrequently used files and apps.

The world has changed for Nextbit and the Robin since then, with the company itself being sold to Razer and sales for the Robin stopping immediately afterwards. Warranty support ended six months later, and today the company announced that all users would be signed out of the Smart Storage feature on March 1st. The Verge reports that customers will need to have all their cloud-saved data backed up by that date. The sync server will be shut down on January 15th, and app restore will not work after then. Customers who want to keep using their Robin after that date will need to manually pin the apps to the device.

The spirit of the Nextbit Robin lives on in the Razer Phone, but that doesn't make things any easier for current users who loved the Robin. Are you still using your Nextbit Robin? Let us know down below!

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1 week ago

BlackBerry Motion is coming to the U.S. Jan 12 for $450

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The BlackBerry Motion is getting a U.S. release date, but its price may scare some away.

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Starting January 12, BlackBerry Mobile fans will be able to purchase the Motion, which until now has been available in Canada and some European, Asian and Middle Eastern markets, on January 12 for $450.

The phone has the same basic bones as the popular KEYone, but lacks the keyboard and tones down some of the higher-end specifications. For instance, its 12MP camera uses a cheaper sensor, so photos aren't quite as sharp, and the 5.5-inch 1080p display doesn't have the same color reproduction and viewing angles.

Still, the phone runs BlackBerry's ultra-secure and super-speedy version of Android 7.1, with an update to Oreo on the way. It also has a massive 4,000mAh battery and is IP67 water and dust resistant, the first for a BlackBerry device.

BlackBerry Motion specs

There's plenty to like about the Motion, including its interesting design and rugged build. If you're interested, the phone goes on sale on January 12 at Amazon and Best Buy.

If you'd rather wait for something newer or slightly more upmarket (and don't want to import one of the beautiful new Bronze Edition KEYones), BlackBerry Mobile is promising at least two new devices in 2018.

See at BlackBerry Mobile

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1 week ago

New BlackBerry KEYone Bronze Edition goes really well with whiskey

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It's a BlackBerry KEYone, but it goes well with sipping the good stuff.

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Every once in a while, after a long day on the job, I sit down on my leather chair with a thumb of good whiskey and just spend a few minutes looking really good while drinking whiskey.

But every time I do that I keep my phone in my pocket because none of them are appropriate to put on the table next to my delicious glass of whiskey. Until now.

Today, BlackBerry Mobile unveiled a Bronze Edition of its KEYone smartphone, and while it shares all of the specs of its Black Edition counterpart, it has one very important advantage: it goes well with whiskey. Preferably good whiskey, because that's what a phone like this deserves, but any whiskey — even Canadian whiskey — will do.

If you don't believe me, look at these photos. Picture this phone on a table next to a glass of whiskey. It just works.

Unfortunately for you (and me), my brief time with the BlackBerry KEYone Bronze Edition took place at 9am, which was too early to ask the lovely people at BlackBerry Mobile for a demo whiskey. But rest assured when I procure my own BlackBerry KEYone Bronze Edition, I will take photos of it on a nice table next to a glass of good whiskey and you'll understand.

Until then, know this: the phone is coming to select countries in the EMEA region, but pricing and specific availability isn't yet clear. It will be the first KEYone with dual-SIM capabilities, because whiskey drinkers need two phone numbers. It will also have 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage.

Are you as excited about the BlackBerry KEYone Bronze Edition as I am? Do you drink good whiskey? We should talk, preferably in the comments down below.

🥃

BlackBerry KEYone

Amazon Best Buy BlackBerry Mobile

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1 week ago

Might Google Assistant and the Lenovo Smart Display be the whole-home hub the Echo Show isn't?

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The Amazon Echo Show has left plenty of room for Google and Lenovo to make a better product. The question is will they. ...

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The just-announced Lenovo Smart Display is better than the Amazon Echo Show, says our own Andrew Martonik. He's seen it. I haven't. But I'm inclined to believe him.

For as excited as I might have once been about the Echo Show, any luster wore off pretty quick. More than six months in, it's still pretty worthless as a way to glance and gather important information. It no longer can play videos from YouTube — pretty much the only video source that matters. And one of the other tentpole features — the ability to watch a security camera in real time — really is more of "Alexa, please show me my camera in hopes that something's actually going on in front of it, and take a few seconds to do so."

In other words, the Echo Show is still a pretty passive device. You have to tell it what you want and what to do, rather than it actually showing useful newsworthy headlines. Or popping open my Ring camera when it detects motion. (The latter is something that happens on all my phones, and all my computers, and all my tablets.)

The Echo Show is not the whole-home hub we've always wanted. ... So will the Lenovo Smart Display fill that gap? It could.

Take my biggest gripe — the lack of proactively displaying useful information. OK, the Echo Show gives the time and weather quite nicely. That's not even table stakes, though. That should be the equivalent of an LED showing that the device has power.

For a number of years now, the driving force behind what Google does has been to give you the information you want not just as quickly as possible, but to predict what it is you're going to need to know and show it to you that much sooner.

Or, as one reasonably smart person asked way back in 2012: "How long before Google Now becomes your home screen?"

Google has a pretty big trump card with YouTube and services built into millions of phones.

Then there are the hooks. The things that let the device talk to the services.

Sure, the Echo Show can display calendar information, but that requires the extra step of connecting Alexa to whatever calendar service you use. If you're getting a Google-powered thing like the Smart Display, chances are you're already using Google services like Calendar and Contacts. That takes care of calendar info, as well as finding folks to call through the included Duo service. (Of course, you'll have to have folks actually using Duo, but I have a feeling that'll be easier to do than getting them to use Alexa calling, as it's way more likely to be built into a phone.)

So that's another hurdle leaped.

Then there are the basic services. Don't discount Amazon's on principle — Prime Music is good. So is Prime Photos, and the Echo Show is a great digital picture frame. Alexa calling works very well. And Amazon's got a ton of video to watch. But it doesn't have YouTube, and Google's not letting it have YouTube. And they all require separate downloads — Google has the bonus of being preloaded on its Android phones.

So the Lenovo Smart Display will have services that are easier to get to, services that may be missing (OK, banned) from the Echo Show, and fewer steps to integrate everything in the first place.

But I'm getting ahead of myself. Way ahead of myself.

We need to know about third-party services. We see Nest cameras working, which is great. But companies not own by Google need to have their services working with this sort of product. And they need to work better than they do with the Echo Show.

And, frankly, we just need to see what else happens here. Presumably, this new implementation of Android Things will be a big topic of conversation at this year's Google I/O developer conference. The two models of Smart Display — the $199 8-inch version, and the $249 10-incher — won't see the light of day until sometime toward the end of next summer. That gives Google tons of time (says the person not actually doing any of the work) to work on things on the software side. And will Google be doing its own hardware, as rumored, and end up competing with its partner Lenovo on this front? And what else might Amazon do in the meantime?

And then Google and Lenovo have to actually sell the thing.

So, yeah. There's a lot to get excited about here. Maybe Google will be the one to give us the whole-home hub we've been wanting. (I want it, so I presume the rest of y'all do, too.)

But we've got a while to wait. And Google's got work to do.

Google Hardware

Google Wifi:

Google Amazon

Google Home:

Google Best Buy

Chromecast Ultra:

Google Best Buy

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1 week ago

Ranking the Best PlayStation VR add-on Experiences

PlayStation VR add-on experiences deliver new content in ways you might not expect.

There are already plenty of new games available on PlayStation VR, but what you might not expect are the new VR add-ons to PlayStation 4 games you're already playing. There aren't many of these floating around, but we've got the details on each PlayStation 4 add-on experience here today.

Rise of the Tomb Raider

Rise of the Tomb Raider is still a brand new game for PlayStation players, and it includes a VR add-on. You may already be acquainted with Lara Croft, and her family's gigantic home. If you aren't though, the Rise of the Tomb Raider allows you the ability to the shadowy, cobwebbed filled Croft Family Manor.

The entire experience is only about 10 minutes long from beginning to end. However, it's an interesting walk around the house. You can select it from the main menu to play, and it takes place partway through the main story. Named Blood Ties, it takes place after Lara's father dies. Since he left no written will, Lara is served an eviction notice and must find evidence to prove that the Manor rightfully belongs to her.

The manor is dilapidated and falling apart, but absolutely filled with old memories for Lara. From drawings to paintings, and plenty more there is a lot to explore here. You can choose between playing with a Dualshock 4 controller, or PlayStation Move controllers. Since this add-on occurs partially through the main story, you'll need to finish the Syria portion of the game before it unlocks for you to check out.

See on PlayStation Store

Star Wars Battlefront

Star Wars Battlefront lets you fight against rebels or the empire depending on the battle. With the add-on experience, you'll be able to pilot an X-wing through a mission in space. Between juking right, and dodging left, all the while firing at enemies and trying to avoid their weapon fire. Being able to feel like you are in an X-Wing fighting back against the empire has been a shared dream amongst plenty of fans, and with this content exclusive to PlayStation VR, you can live it out.

See at PlayStation Store

Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare

When it comes to First Person Shooters, the COD franchise has been dominating the genre for years. With Infinite Warfare's Jackal Assault, you can jump into VR and enjoy the game on an entirely new level. Now unlike many other add-on experiences, this is not a full level in the game, and you don't need to purchase the game in order to try it out. That's because this is just a demo level which can be downloaded directly from the PlayStation Store. Don't let that stop you though. If you've been curious about how a First Person Shooter acts in VR, this is an excellent chance. During a routine training mission, you are attacked and have to jump into a Jackal in order to defend yourself.

See at PlayStation Store

Hyper Void VR Levels

Hyper Void is a modern-day Galaga, where your goal is to kill all of your enemies in order to get through the wormholes you're stuck in. Now, you can experience the battling of enemies in VR, which is great for this game. Killing spaceships and aliens in the VR world is a great way to enjoy this game. This add on is completely free on the PlayStation Store so you can play to your hearts content!

See at the PlayStation Store

Super Stardust Ultra: VR Experience

Super Stardust Ultra is another alien shooter game, but this one takes place on your own planet. When you play this game in VR, you're sitting in the cockpit of your star fighter and taking on the invading aliens. This VR add-on will cost you $9.99, but it is definitely worth it!

See at the PlayStation Store

Do you have a favorite?

While there aren't many add-on experiences for games in PSVR, the ones we did find add a new experience to games you may already know and love. Have you tried out any of these add-on experiences? Is there an add-on we didn't mention here? Let us know about it in the comments!

Why are we talking about PlayStation VR games on Android Central? Let us explain.

PlayStation 4

Amazon

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1 week ago

Should you buy the Note 8 or wait for Note 9?

15

There's always something better right around the corner.

Without a doubt, the Samsung Galaxy Note 8 was one of the best large phones to come out in 2017. Samsung absolutely redeemed itself last year following the Note 7 debacle, and with a gorgeous display, excellent S Pen features, and stunning design, the Note 8 is still a joy to use.

However, because of the industry we're in, there really is always something better coming around the bend. One of our forum users reached out to the community to see if they should upgrade their Note 4 to the Note 8 or hold off for the Note 9 later in the year, and these are some of the top answers:

*/
j_hansen 01-08-2018 04:10 AM “

I came from note 4 and as much as I loved it, the 8 is just a completely different level of beast, I had planned to keep the 4 as a spare but sold it 2 weeks later as I wasn't even looking in it's direction after first day with the 8

Reply
*/
amyf27 01-08-2018 05:27 AM “

Really depends on your situation. Note 8 is a very, very good device. It isn't plagued with the issues from the Note 7 days. Note 9- not even out yet. If you're in no hurry, may as well wait. Or if cost is of any concern, wait a little while and when the Note 9 comes out the Note 8 will be discounted and too save some cash.

Reply
*/
strikeIII 01-08-2018 10:04 AM “

If you get the N8 it'll be a huge upgrade over the N4 then when you go for the N9 from the N8 it probably won't feel that much greater to you. Just a thought. Maybe wait for the N9 just to make it that much more of an experience.

Reply
*/
terobaje 01-08-2018 10:31 AM “

If you can use your Note 4 for another 8 months then wait for Note 9. If not, get a Note 8.

Reply

How about you – If you were in this situation, would you pick up the Note 8 or wait for the Note 9?

Join the conversation in the forums!

Samsung Galaxy Note 8

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1 week ago

How to Enable 2-Step Verification in Gmail

40
Google Authenticator

Using two-factor verification makes sure that you — and only you — have access to your Google account.

In light of the recent security issues surrounding Meltdown and Spectre, we refreshed this content in January 2018.

Security breaches happen. This one saw 273.3 million email accounts — including Gmail accounts — compromised. This is why we strongly recommend enabling two-step verification (or two-step authentication, as it's also known) for your Google account.

This process will put a stop to anyone's efforts to access anything — including Gmail and all other Google services — that uses your Google account credentials when logging in because you need more than a password to verify that you are the account owner.

What is two-step verification?

Two-step verification adds an extra layer of security to your account. Think in terms of withdrawing cash from an ATM — you must insert your card and enter a personal identification number. In the case of a Google account, with two-step verification enabled, you must enter a password and a code that is sent to your phone by call or text, or through an authenticator app on your phone.

Although it will now require extra steps to access your Google account, two-step verification is invaluable. Using two methods to authenticate who you effectively doubles your account security, and makes sure you're only able to log in if you have both the right password and a valid authentication token. It is still recommended to change your current Google password if you haven't already. Without further ado, let's enable two-step verification.

Use Google's simple two-step authentication

Google has it's own very simple two-step verification system. It's something the company debuted in mid-2017 and the setup is simple — Google will send a verification code to the phone number registered with your account, and once you reply with the code you're enrolled.

Then, whenever you need to sign into your Google account on a new device you'll get a notification on your phone. Tap it and you are good to go. it couldn't be more simple, and it's easy to switch phones or numbers in your Google account settings via any web browser if you lose your phone or change your number.

If you'd rather use the more traditional way, read on!

How to enable two-step verification in the Google Authenticator app

You can use "traditional" two-factor authentication with your Google account, where you get a code through a message or an authenticator app. Here's what you need to do.

  1. Launch your web browser from your computer desktop.
  2. Type g.co/2sv into the address bar.

    Double-click on your browser. Type g.co/2v into the address bar.

  3. Type in your password.
  4. Click on Sign In.

    Type in your password. Click on Sign In.

  5. Click Off under 2-Step Verification.
  6. Click Turn On.

    Click on Off. Click on Turn On.

  7. Type in your password.
  8. Click on Sign In.

    Type in your password. Click on Sign In.

  9. Click on the flag drop-down menu and select your country.
  10. Type in your phone number.

    Click on the flag menu and click on your country. Type in your phone number.

  11. Select either Text message or Phone call.
  12. Click on Try It. You will receive a text message or phone call containing your code.

    Select either text message or phone call. Click on Try It.

  13. Type in the code you received on your phone.
  14. Click on Next.

    Type in the code you received on your phone. Click on Next.

  15. Click Turn On.

    Click on Turn On.

Now you have two-factor verification enabled for your Google account. Next, let's have a look how to enable the Google Authenticator app on your phone to make things even more secure and convenient.

How to prepare your account for the Google Authenticator app on Android

Click on this link from your computer to get started.

  1. Click on Next
  2. Click on Switch to app.

    Click on Next. Click on Switch to app.

  3. Click on Android.
  4. Click Continue. You will now see a barcode on your computer screen. Keep this barcode on your screen and continue with the steps below.

    Click on Android. Click on Continue.

  5. Tap the Play Store on the Home screen of your Android phone.
  6. Type in Google Authenticator in the search bar.
  7. Tap the Search button.

    Tap the Play Store. Type in Google Authenticator. Tap the Search button.

  8. Tap the Google Authenticator app. It's the result by Google Inc.
  9. Tap the Install button.
  10. Tap the Accept button.

    Tap the Google Authenticator app. Tap the Install button. Tap the Accept button.

  11. Tap the Open button when the download is complete.
  12. Tap on Begin Setup.
  13. Tap on Scan a barcode.

    The the Open button. Tap Begin Setup. Tap on Scan a barcode.

  14. Scan the barcode visible on your computer screen.
  15. Tap on Open browser.
  16. Tap on OK.

    Scan the barcode. Tap on Open browser. Tap on OK.

Now, instead of getting a text or voice message with a verification code, you will use a unique code in the Google Authenticator app every time you log in to your Google account on any device. This code changes every 30 seconds, and when you use it, it has to match the current code that Google is expecting for that time window. Anyone attempting to access your account who doesn't have your phone in their hands will not receive the code and will thus be unable to log in. Safety first, everyone!

Conclusion

Even though your Google account might have been spared this time, there is no telling when another hack or leak can occur. Any service that offers two-step verification should be taken advantage of, as it essentially puts a firm stop to unverified access attempts. Stay safe!

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1 week ago

Sony packs Google Assistant into its new wireless earbuds

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Sony's new truly wireless sports earbuds will have Google Assistant. Eventually.

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Google Assistant headphones will be coming thick and fast throughout 2018 it seems and Sony is also jumping aboard with the WF-SP700N truly wireless earbuds.

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1 week ago

This $7 toolkit comes with 38 pieces to help repair your gadgets at home

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Complete small tech repairs at home!

Update: Unfortunately the coupon code has expired, though even at $10.99 this toolkit is still worth having around!

It's time to stop living with your broken tech and attempt to repair it on your own. This 38-piece Jackyled Precision Screwdriver Tool Kit comes with nearly all the tools you'll need to replace your screen, swap out a hard drive, and much more. Right now you can pick one up for just $6.59 when you use the coupon code 4VLEIPT6 during checkout at Amazon, saving you a little over $4 on the purchase.

  • 38-IN-1 TOOL KIT: Provide different kinds of screwdriver bits for you, Our bits are made from S2 alloy steel, red color. The magnetic of bits are stronger than traditional bits. No longer worry about the screws falling off when you repair your device.
  • PRACTICALLY PRODUCTION: The handle is made from stainless steel, cover with a non-skid rubber material. With rotatable end and anti-slip rubber cover, it helps you repair your device easier. 2x plastic pry open housings without damaging.
  • PROFESSIONAL PHONE REPAIR: This kit provides a professional tool for repairing mobile cell phones, PC, watch, and other computer electronic devices.
  • POCKET-SIZED CARRY CASE: All the kits are organized in a pocket-sized carry case so that you can take it anywhere you go. It is a plastic one. Lightweight and compact design.
  • 1 YEAR WARRANTY: 60 days changing or refunding without reasons. JACKYLED Products are sold and shipped by Jackybrand. If you purchase a product from another seller, please request a refund as it is a counterfeit. JACKYLED is the only Authorized Dealer of Jackybrand products.

Having a toolkit like this around has saved me many times and more than paid for itself after the first use. Whether you are looking to fix something now, or want to have one around for those just in case moments, you won't want to pass up this deal.

See at Amazon

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