Sony has debuted Blood Bowl 2‘s launch trailer ahead of the game’s impending release on September 22nd. As with its Sega-based spiritual predecessor, Mutant League Football, BB2 allows players to control a ragtag team of orcs, humans, elves, goblins, trolls and other fantastical beings — each with their own special abilities. And while the basic goal of the game is the same as the Madden franchise (“usually the team with the most points wins the game,” the famed coach/sportscaster once quipped), brutality isn’t just allowed; it’s strongly encouraged. I mean, who needs to tackle when you can run down that running back with a spiked steamroller or flatten a tight end with a flying body slam? The game will be available on PS4, XBone and PC.
Source: Sony PlayStation (YouTube)
Roland may have already teased its upcoming ‘Boutique’ line of synthesizers, but thanks to a leak, we now have a lot more info. The trio of instruments offers modern takes on the classic Jupiter 8, Juno 106 and JX-3P synths with the JP-08, JU-06 and JX-03. Of course, this isn’t the first time Roland has turned back the clock, as it revealed the AIRA line in 2014 that included new versions of the TR-303 and TR-808. The JP-08, JU-06 and JX-03 are all sold as individual modules, with the option of docking them in a K-25m keyboard that packs 25 velocity-sensitive keys (hence the name). The trio also feature 16-step sequencers, can run off four AA batteries and connect to your computer via USB. Slideshow-322297
In addition to Roland’s own AIRA line, the reissues continue to pile up. Yamaha’s Reface instruments broke cover earlier this year, and there’s Korg’s MS-20 mini and ARP Odyssey that all jack up the nostalgia. The most interesting part about these Boutique synths? For me, it’s the price. The leak suggests they’ll retail for $299 (JU-06 and JX-03) and $399 (JP-08), so you can buy the complete set for $1,000. Of course, that keyboard is likely to cost extra. It also says that the anticipated release date is November 8th, so we’re sure to see an official announcement from Roland is the near future.
Via: Fact Magazine
The Humble Bundle team has been on a roll as of late. Just a few days ago, we told you about the awesome developer-focused Humble Weekly Bundle that could score you a $300 application design suite for just $12. If that didn’t suit your gaming needs, though, you’ll be happy to hear that the latest Humble Mobile Bundle is out now, and it features some killer games.
Humble Mobile Bundle 15 features a total of six great games that, if purchased separately from the Play Store, would cost you about $351. Today you can get all six for just over $4, which is definitely a steal.
If you pay at least $1, you’ll score these three games:
- Real Boxing (Premium)
- Governor of Poker 2 (Premium)
To get access to the last three games, you’ll need to beat the average donation price (currently about $4.33):
- Great Little War Game 2
- Tiny Guardians
- Desert Golfing
As always, more games will be added to the Bundle in a week or so. All titles featured in this list are DRM-free, too. As is the case with all other Humble Bundles, you can choose where your money goes – between the developers and two different charities (Electronic Frontier Foundation and Worldreader). If you’re interested, follow the source link below to get started!
One frequent complaint of smartphone users is the limited amount of battery life our tech devices have. With the constant trend toward making devices thinner and lighter, battery life is a key tradeoff to be considered, and some users find their devices not lasting as long as they’d prefer.
For those pushing their devices to the limit, Apple has added a new feature to iOS 9 that is designed to help you conserve those last few drops of juice when you wont be able to charge your iPhone anytime soon. The new feature is known as Low Power Mode, and it can increase your battery life up to three hours but at the expense of some functions of your device. It is only available on iPhone devices running iOS 9.
Enabling Low Power Mode only takes a few steps.
- Open the Settings app on your iPhone.
- Select Battery from the menu list.
- Toggle Low Power Mode to the On position.
- The battery icon will turn yellow to indicate that you are using Low Power Mode.
Low Power Mode reduces your iPhone’s performance and cuts out some background activities. For example, mail must be fetched manually, background app refresh is disabled, and motion and brightness are reduced.
Benchmarks have shown the iPhone’s CPU performance with Low Power Mode on is significantly reduced in an effort to save on power consumption, so while simple tasks may continue to work just fine on an iPhone in Low Power Mode, more demanding ones may become sluggish.
You don’t have to keep Low Power Mode on all of the time; you can manually shut it off whenever you want. However, the general impression of users has been that the real-world slowdown is not so severe that you can’t continue to use your iPhone.
With iOS 9, you will receive a prompt when your iOS device goes below 20 percent of its battery power left. The popup will allow you to quickly toggle Low Power Mode on so you can still use your device for only the most necessary of functions until you are able to recharge it.
This feature might be familiar to Apple Watch owners, as Power Reserve is a somewhat similar feature designed to allow the wrist-worn device to continue functioning as a basic watch as the battery drains toward zero by cutting off all other functions of the device.
Low Power Mode is a nice addition to iOS 9 for improving the performance of your iPhone’s battery.
Apple today seeded the first beta of OS X 10.11.1 El Capitan to public beta testers, just days after first releasing the beta to developers and roughly a week and a half before OS X El Capitan will be released to the public on September 30.
The new beta is available through the Software Update mechanism in the Mac App Store.
The first beta of OS X 10.11.1 introduced support for Unicode 8 and new emoji like taco, burrito, cheese wedge, hot dog, middle finger, and unicorn head. The emoji are also included in iOS 9.1, which is also in testing.
Beyond new emoji, there have been no other outward-facing changes discovered, suggesting OS X 10.11.1 is a minor update that will bring bug fixes and performance enhancements. According to Apple’s release notes, the beta offers stability, compatibility, and security improvements.
While Apple has ended launch-day pre-orders and in-store reservations for the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus, the company is suggesting that those customers still intent on purchasing one on launch day visit an Apple retail store Friday for a chance at scoring some of the remaining launch-day stock at those locations. But for customers in four U.S. states, China, Japan, and Hong Kong, these walk-in sales are not an option, notes The Oregonian.
The disclosure was made in a footnote on Apple’s press release this morning making a final announcement about Friday’s launch plans and reporting record adoption of iOS 9: “iPhone is available by reservation only in China, Hong Kong, Japan and US stores in tax-free states.”
The four U.S. states with Apple retail stores that are affected by this policy include Oregon, Delaware, New Hampshire, and Alaska. Montana is the fifth U.S. state without a statewide sales tax, but Apple does not have any retail stores located in the state.
The reason behind the ban on walk-in sales in these states is likely their attractiveness to scalpers.
Because Apple limits the number of unlocked phones, the brokers – sometimes called “sharks” – recruit homeless people and the elderly to wait in line and buy phones on their behalf. The phenomenon lasted for months outside Apple’s downtown Portland Apple Store after last year’s September launch of the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus.
While sharks patrol Apple stores all over the country, they are especially visible in Portland. That may be because Oregon doesn’t have a sales tax, so sharks operating here can add several percentage points to their profits by getting their phones.
Hong Kong has long been a popular location for iPhone scalpers to operate as they attempt to move gray-market phones into China, but with China having taken on increased importance for Apple and in fact being included in the first wave of iPhone 6s launches, both countries are likely in Apple’s crosshairs this time around as it hopes to limit those snapping up limited supplies of the new devices to resell for significant profits.
If there’s one thing that remains constant it’s that we don’t like our Android devices to look the same for very long. Yeah, we know, it’s ironic. One of our favorite things to do is to regularly change up the home screen and lock screen of our phones. This means we’re always on the hunt for new icons, wallpapers, and widgets.
We’d like to highlight a handful of apps today that work with widget apps Zooper Widget and Zooper Widget Pro. If you’ve ever installed them then you know just how flexible and fun they can be. Indeed, one widget app can offer numerous, and sometimes infinite, possibilities.
What you’ll find below may not be brand new but we certainly do admire them. Moreover, we’re very fond of how they can easily spruce up an otherwise boring or humdrum layout. First things, first: download Zooper Widget Pro and get ready for some fun!
MIN for Zooper pro
We know you. You don’t like clutter and a busy home screen full of icons and distraction. No, you’d rather keep it lean with the minimal stuff, preferring instead to tuck things away behind the scenes. That’s why we’re recommending this one; it’s everything you want, which is almost nothing. The widgets are text-based and simplistic and take a backseat to your wallpaper. This isn’t to suggest they’re boring, though, as we really dig the font and placement. FREE
Retro Zooper Skins
For those who prefer a large, flat-colored clock or calendar widget. We actually find this one works best when you let it take up half of your screen. This free app includes some two dozen widgets, each with a different feel and design. You won’t want to add much else to your home screen once you put one of these widgets in place. But, if you do, the single color approach complements just about an icon pack you can find. FREE
Fuse for Zooper Widget Pro
Updated quite a bit, and with new designs along the way, you’ll find all sorts of layouts and options. Sure, some of them are a little more busy than others, but we wager to guess a few of you might enjoy some of the looks nonetheless. In addition to the clocks and weather stuff you’d expect, there are also media player widgets and other goodies, too. FREE.
stun zooper widgets
With more than five dozen widgets included in this bundle, there’s surely something for everyone. That means the clean and minimal stuff just as much as those screens with… a little more. Each design is unique in its own right but feels cohesive when viewed as a collection. We had a tough time figuring out which of this developer’s widget packs to highlight, but if these aren’t your style, then something else from mz design will be. It’s all sharp stuff and looks way better than the stock widgets. $1.41
Typographical Zooper Theme
Although this one requires the installation of a third app (Media Utilities) and a small fee, you’ll be glad you listened to us here. There are more than 200 widgets to pore through and the inclusion of some 80 fonts make sure you never create the same design twice. We’re really into the text-based widgets for time and weather lately and think these are some of the best around. If you’re into deeply personal widgets and home screen creations then you should look no further. $1.50
The post Five Zooper Widget apps you need to download today appeared first on AndroidGuys.
If you’re looking for a convenient, inexpensive way to keep your gadgets charged up in the car and at home, we may have a deal for you. Right now, you can purchase an Aukey 3-Port Travel Wall Charger for just $8.99 from Amazon, and an Aukey 4-Port USB Car Charger for only $6.99. Both of these chargers have accumulated a 4/5 star ratings on Amazon, so these are definitely quality products.
The Travel Wall Charger and USB Car Charger come with three and four USB ports respectively, allowing you to plug in multiple devices. They both feature AIPower technology, which will automatically detect the input of your connected device to charge your device at the proper speed. One thing to note is that neither charger is Quick Charge 2.0 compatible, so your gadgets will charge at their normal speeds.
The Travel Wall Charger is listed as $14.99 on Amazon right now, but using the coupon code 35SPW7UO will drop it down to $8.99. The USB Car Charger is listed as $12.99, and you can use coupon code 72TU2QWZ to drop the price down to just $6.99. If you’re interested, head to the Amazon links below to get the discounts!
If you’ve been listening in on our Android Authority Podcast or following the web, you’ll know that I’ve lamented on more than one ocassion the fact that Samsung weren’t bringing the Galaxy Note 5 to Europe. As someone who has owned every Galaxy Note smartphone, Samsung’s decision was certainly frustrating, especially as it was very likely I would end up getting one.
Fast forward a few weeks and I’ve been using the Note 5 as my main smartphone for the past week. How does it compare to past Galaxy Note devices and is it a true Galaxy Note device? Let’s take a closer look as I share my first thoughts on Samsung’s latest phablet.
Like previous years, the Note 5 follows a similar design to the Galaxy S6 and offers a Gorilla Glass 4 backed front and rear with a metal frame holding everything together. One key difference is the back, which is curved like the Galaxy S6 Edge and I personally think this design makes the handset a lot easier to use.
One of the biggest issues I found with the Galaxy Note 4 was the flat back and thin profile, which made the handset quite difficult to use in one hand. The curved edges on the rear of the Note 5 change this and mean that when it’s in your hands, the back sits naturally within the contours of the palm. The design itself is something that I thought I would be unhappy with, but once you begin to use it, you realise just how natural it actually feels.
While the curve design of the rear is nice, the glass finish is less so; past Galaxy Note devices have often had a leather back, which improved grip and I’ve definitely noticed that the Galaxy Note 5 is rather slippery in the hand. As someone who doesn’t use a case – mainly because it will make a large smartphone appear even larger – the leather back provided much needed grip but the slippery Galaxy Note 5 has already tried to escape my hands (thankfully, it didn’t succeed!)
At 7.6mm thick, the Note 5 is certainly the thinnest Note device ever made and by a considerable amount; while 1mm or 0.7mm may not seem like a lot, in smartphone terms, they were the difference between sleek and thick. At 8.6mm thick, the Note 4 felt premium in the hand and quite sturdy and was slightly thicker than the Note 3 (8.3mm), thanks to a tweak in the design and slightly larger battery.
Despite the smaller thickness of the Note 5, it still feels sturdy in the hand but a key question (that I hope I never have to answer) is whether it can handle being dropped. I’ve previously dropped each Note at least once and while they’ve all survived – and the Note 4 survived without as much as a dent – I do think the Note 5 will be less fortunate.
Turning to the front, Samsung has clearly tried to make the Note 5 as small as possible. Previous years has seen Note devices offer large displays (with large bezels surrounding them) but with the Note 5, Samsung has been conscious about the overall size of the smartphone. As a result, the Note 5 is slightly shorter and thinner than the Note 4 and with a 75.9% screen-to-body ratio, it’s clear that Samsung couldn’t have made the phablet any smaller without reducing the screen size.
Personally, the smaller profile of the Note 5 actually means it is easier to use. In past years, I’ve often struggled to use the Note in one hand but aside from stretching to reach the top left corner (when the phone is in my right hand), the Note 5 is easy enough to use with one hand. A point to note however, is that it does feel like it might slip when used in one hand but this is likely to apply to many large screen devices.
Overall, the design of the Note 5 feels like a Galaxy Note device but it does have a few key differences. The curved back is more ergonomically friendly than I expected it to be, the slightly smaller profile of the handset makes one-handed use easier, but the glass finish on the back remains a concern.
The contentious changes
As with all previous Note devices, there are a few things that set the Note range apart from the rest of the Galaxy family and in the Galaxy Note 5, these have been changed. How do they impact on the ‘Galaxy Note experience’?
The lack of removable battery and back cover means the Galaxy Note 5 is no longer a traditional Note in the sense of previous devices. A key part of the Note experience was being able to strip off the back cover and swap the battery when it was running low, but the biggest criticism of the Note 5 has been the lack of removable battery.
Like the Galaxy S6 series earlier this year, the Note 5 is now a unibody device with no removable back cover and with a smaller battery than previous years, the battery is something that many are – understandably – concerned about.
Samsung claims the 3000mAh battery can last a full day’s usage, but does it deliver? With previous Notes, I’ve often struggled to get a full days’ usage (at least with the Note 3 and Note 4) and they had larger batteries, so the Note 5 battery was something I was quite concerned with.
Having used the phablet for a few days now, I can safely say that the battery is not a concern. At least from first testing, I’ve struggled to drain more than 80 percent of the battery in a full day’s usage. As usage varies according to each person, here’s a quick run through of how my phone is currently set up:
- Downloaded Apps: 48
- Email Accounts: 9 (all Gmail)
- Screen Brightness: 60%
So what’s the average battery life? In almost a week of testing, I can say it’s approximately 15 to 18 hours with around 4 to 4.5 hours of screen on time. Yes, it is better than previous Note devices (no doubt due to optimisation), but the lack of removable battery means you can’t swap it out when the battery gets low.
Samsung went to great pains to highlight that the Note 5 (and the S6 Edge+ for that matter) charges a lot faster and while it certainly does charge faster, it’s a small consolation for the lack of removable battery. I’m yet to hit the stage where I really miss the removable battery, but it’s only a matter of time. Until then, at least, the lack of removable battery and the overall battery life on the Note 5 is not something I’m concerned about.
Removing the back cover and the swappable battery also means that Samsung followed the design of the Galaxy S6 by removing the microSD card slot. The Galaxy S6 came with either 32GB, 64GB or 128GB storage but with the Note 5, Samsung has dropped the largest storage option.
I’ve got the 32GB version of the Note 5 and before this, I had the 64GB version of the Galaxy S6 Edge. When transferring everything over to the Note 5, the smaller storage option became an issue as I couldn’t transfer over my videos (my S6 Edge has 30GB worth of photos and videos).
This is quite frustrating as in previous years, a memory card would have solved this issue and while it was easy enough to clean up my photos and remove the rubbish that had accumulated there, it was quite frustrating that I had to do this. Having previously insisted that a lack of space was something that never affected me, this was a reality check that was probably needed.
Given that I stream music and only install a handful of apps, my storage is mainly used by photos and videos and I fully expect that the lack of storage on my Note 5 will affect me sooner, rather than later. Granted, cloud storage makes it easy to offload everything to the cloud to free up space, but I can already see that 32GB may not quite cut it for me.
One thing I have noticed across both the Note 5 and the S6 Edge is Samsung’s reasoning behind dropping the expandable storage; the company claims that microSD cards slow a handset down and also claims that its UFS storage is up to 4 times faster than a microSD card and I agree with both.
On my Note 4, I remember the handset becoming quite slow when I loaded over 30GB worth of data onto the microSD card, but with the S6 Edge and Note 5 having the faster storage, I’ve noticed it’s a lot faster to access anything stored. That being said, if you’re thinking of picking up the Galaxy Note 5, be sure to carefully consider how much storage you need and spring for the higher capacity version.
With every iteration of the Galaxy Note, Samsung seeks to improve the S-Pen experience and the Galaxy Note 5 is no different, with the redesign delivering an S-Pen that feels closer to a more traditional pen than ever before.
Before we look at what the new S-Pen can do, let’s clear one thing up: PenGate. Call it what you will but the bad press suffered by Samsung thanks to the ability to insert it ‘backwards’ or the ‘wrong way around’ is certainly enough to put people off on buying the handset.
Having used the S-Pen all I will say is: this is making a mountain out of a molehill. Yes, you can insert it backwards and I’m sure somewhere a designer at Samsung has been spoken to but come on: it’s not exactly difficult to know that the thin nib end goes in first and even in the dark, I’ve not yet once tried to insert it the wrong way. Like I said: much ado about nothing.
Now to the new features and having been quite impressed by the S Pen on the Galaxy Note 4, the new pen certainly needs to be a marked improvement. For the most part it is, with the new push eject system making it quite easy (and reassuring) to pop the pen out. Once you do, the new Air Command menu is much nicer than the old one, mainly because it blocks out the background and from there you have a range of options:
- Action Memo: Very similar to the Note 4, the Action Memo lets you scribble a note with ease. A particularly cool feature is being able to take the pen out and write a quick memo on the screen while it’s switched off but you’ll find that you actually disable this feature pretty quickly.
- Smart Select: Just like previous years, you can select a small section of the screen and then share/edit it and the lasso tool especially, is a welcome improvement to the Smart Select experience.
- Screen Write: This has to be one of my favourite features on the S-Pen, as you can take a screenshot of a page and then scribble any notes on top of this. A particular cool new feature inside Screen Write is the ability to scroll capture, which means you can capture an entire webpage or book, even if its not all displayed on the screen.
- App Shortcuts: This is an interesting addition to the S-Pen as you can now set shortcuts to your three favourite apps. I have this set up to be S-Note, Twitter and Instagram but I hardly use those shortcuts from there; instead, an alternative is to use apps that are compatible with the S-Pen, such as Evernote, OneNote and S-Note.
Samsung hasn’t brought the Note 5 to Europe (at least, not yet) and while the company is yet to reveal exactly what prompted this decision, one rumour suggests it is because people apparently don’t use the S-Pen in Europe. Do you need the S-Pen? In a word: Yes.
While it won’t be essential to some, I particularly like using for everything from jotting down notes, scrolling long pages and even occasionally typing, while holding the Note 5 at a distance. The pressure sensitivity has been improved on this year’s S-Pen and simply put, if you’ve liked any previous version of the S-Pen, you’ll enjoy this years’ iteration.
So what about other changes in the Note 5 experience? There’s a few key differences that I’ve noticed – not least in the camera and the performance – that form a key part of the experience.
After the impressive performance of the Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge earlier this year, it was to be expected that Samsung would keep mostly the same internals for the Note 5. That means we have an octa-core 64-bit Exynos 7420 processor with two pairs of four cores and a Mali-T760MP8 GPU.
A key difference is the additional GB of RAM in the Note 5 and this makes all the difference; while my Galaxy S6 Edge did eventually shows signs of struggling, the Galaxy Note 5 is still as fast as when I first started using it, despite having all of my data and apps on it.
Like all smartphones, the Galaxy Note 5 will eventually slow down but 4GB RAM means it should take much longer than previous years to do so. The extra RAM also means having 15+ apps open in the background doesn’t impact the performance of the smartphone, and this is certainly a welcome improvement.
As we touched on in the Android Authority Podcast last month, the Galaxy Note 4 is arguably an iconic smartphone because it was the first time Samsung smartphone cameras could challenge any other device. Samsung followed this up with a very impressive Galaxy S6/Edge camera and this same camera comes to the Note 5, so you could reasonably expect it to be better than the Note 4, right?
One of the features that transformed the Note 4 camera was Optical Image Stabilisation, which meant images captured were no longer full of noise (like on the Galaxy Note 3). Naturally, this came to the S6 and Edge along with the Note 5 and while the S6 Edge had a great camera, I’m less than impressed with the Note 5.
Whether it’s down to this particular unit, the design of the Note 5 or the size but OIS doesn’t seem to be doing as good a job as it did on both of the previous devices. Instead, images occasionally come out quite shaky (which would suggest this is down to OIS, which is enabled in the camera settings). On most occasions, however, the Note 5 camera certainly impresses as you can see below.
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When you do get a non-noisy image, the images themselves are excellent and Samsung has definitely bought the quality of the S6 and S6 Edge camera to the larger form factor. Overall, the camera is probably one of the best you can get on an Android smartphone and if the camera on your smartphone is important to you, the Note 5 probably won’t disappoint.
Final Thoughts – is the Note 5, a real Galaxy Note?
When Samsung announced the Note 5, many people reacted by bemoaning the lack of removable battery and expandable storage and saying the Note 5 wasn’t a real Galaxy Note device. As I say though, you can never judge a handset by the specs list and the Note 5 is firmly in this category.
On paper, it may not seem like a true Galaxy Note device (mainly due to the storage and battery) but in person, it’s very much a Note handset and possibly my favourite handset in the range. Yes, for some users, the lack of expandable storage and removable battery will be a concern but for me, it’s a happy compromise for a better design, that’s actually smaller and easier to manage than the Note 4.
Galaxy Note 5 vs
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Having shown the Note 5 to a handful of Note 4 users, the jury is out whether the Note 5 is worth the upgrade. Out of five people, three said they liked the handset while two said they preferred the Note 4. Whichever way you look at it; the Note 5 is definitely a real Galaxy Note but whether it’s for you depends on whether you can handle the compromise.
What do you think of the Galaxy Note 5 and are you a Galaxy Note user? Would you upgrade/buy the Galaxy Note 5? Let us know your views in the comments below guys and don’t forget to check out our full Galaxy Note 5 review.
Details have been rather scarce on Apple’s rumored electric car project, but there’s some new info today. Wall Street Journal reports that Cupertino is “accelerating” the codenamed Project Titan effort, internally calling it a “committed project.” What’s more, WSJ’s sources indicate Apple is aiming to ship the first vehicle in 2019. Yes, that means you’ll have to wait a while to get behind the wheel, but we should be hearing more detailed info soon enough, especially when the company begins testing on public roads. Perhaps what’s more interesting, though, is the report says the first car won’t be fully autonomous, despite that type of system being part of the long-term plan.
This latest report also says that Apple will triple its team of 600, which already includes automotive experts. Tim Cook & Co. are reportedly moving forward with the project after looking into the potential for building its own car, including meeting with government officials in its home state of California, for over a year. Apple’s entry into the industry would follow self-driving car efforts from a number of auto makers, including its main tech rival. Given what we know about Google’s on-going project, it’ll be interesting to see what that first vehicle will look like when it drives away from 1 Infinite Loop.
[Image credit: FABRICE COFFRINI/AFP/Getty Images]
Source: Wall Street Journal