Now is the time to get a mobile gaming controller if you don’t already have one. Power A’s MOGA Pro Power controller is available through Amazon for just $32, a discount of 60%. It offers full-size control for supported games and even has a built-in 2200mAh battery so that you can continue gaming even when your phone’s battery is begging for mercy. The controller connects to mobile devices via a Bluetooth connection, but you can place it into the controller’s stand for easy use.
Come comment on this article: [Deal] Power A’s MOGA Pro Power controller is discounted at Amazon
Google recently went through a major restructuring under newly formed parent company Alphabet. Since the forming, the company has gone through some controversy with its abc.xyz domain, but now, Google seems to have bought the entire alphabet as a domain.
Yes, folks, the entire alphabet. Google is now the owner of abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz.com. Why? Well, Google hasn’t given us a reason besides “missing” a few letters between abc and xyz in their URL. Here’s the official statement by way of a Google spokesman:
“We realized we missed a few letters in abc.xyz, so we’re just being thorough.”
In reality, Google probably purchased the domain to stop someone else from doing it in the future, as is commonplace. Right now the domain just points towards a dead page, but it wouldn’t be surprising if Google had the URL redirect to its actual abc.xyz domain.
Interestingly, the domain was already taken. In fact, someone bought it way back in 1999 and its been parked ever since. That said, this was a private sale that no doubt involved a lot more money than just your standard $12 or $13 for a new .com domain.
Come comment on this article: Google privately buys abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz.com because they were “missing” a few letters
iPhone 6s and 6s Plus sales will expand to several additional countries on October 23 as part of a fourth wave launch, with the device becoming available in Serbia, Moldova, Belarus, Ukraine, and Guam.
There are no Apple retail locations in those countries, but various Apple Reseller Stores and carriers will begin offering the two new iPhones on that date.
Starting tomorrow, iPhone 6s and 6s Plus sales are expanding to more than 40 additional countries around the world. Currently, the devices are only available in first wave launch countries that include Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, New Zealand, Puerto Rico, Singapore, the UK, and the United States.
Launches in various countries will happen on the following dates:
- October 9: Andorra, Austria, Belgium, Bosnia, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Greece, Greenland, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Isle of Man, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Maldives, Mexico, Monaco, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and Taiwan
- October 10: Bahrain, Jordan, Kuwait, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and United Arab Emirates
- October 16: India, Kazakhstan, Malaysia, South Africa, and Turkey
- October 23: Belarus, Guam, Moldova, Serbia, and Ukraine
The iPhone 6s and 6s Plus will continue to expand to additional countries throughout 2015, as Apple has said it plans to make the two devices available in more than 130 countries by the end of the year.
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Tis’ the season to raise some prices. Netflix will increasing their standard monthly subscription fee from $8.99 to $9.99 a month come November 11th. The cost increase is fairly marginally when you consider the amount of commercial free binge watching content you get from them when simply streaming. The last monetary change was in 2014 when Netflix added went from $7.99 to the current $8.99. Prior to that they kicked in a 4 device streaming limit plan in 2013 for $11.99.
The Netflix website is already showing the price change and is likely due to the standard 30 day free trial offer they always offer. If you aren’t a Netflix subscriber then you can look at the pros/cons of the various packages. The gap between subscriptions is now $2 each, but you gain quite a bit between them with the Premium package being the best bang for your buck if you have multiple HDTV’s and tablets.
For all you current subscribers, nothing will change. If you currently sport the $8.99 plan, your monthly payment won’t change in the slightest. All new subscribers going forward will be the only ones effected by the small increase.
The post Netflix raising standard plan by $1 come November 11th appeared first on AndroidSPIN.
Facebook has been toying with the idea of adding a ‘dislike’ button to its posts for some time, though the company thought the idea could use some work. CEO Mark Zuckerberg raised his concerns last month about adding a ‘dislike’ button to the social network, in fear that users would use the button as a way to downvote posts rather than to express empathy.
Today we’re getting our first look at the new feature the company has been working on. Facebook has just announced that it’s now testing Reactions, which can be thought of as a more expressive Like button. Instead of liking or disliking a certain post, Reactions will allow you to choose between a number of different emotions, including love, awe, humor and sadness. You can access the new Reactions by long pressing on the Like button, and selecting your desired emotion from there.
Facebook has begun testing Reactions in Ireland and Spain. Since this is a pretty substantial new feature, the company says it will learn from the testing period and make adjustments to the feature before it rolls out to other regions.
What are your thoughts on Reactions? Do you think you’ll use this feature when it launches in your region, or are you planning on sticking with the simple Like button?
The world suddenly freezes when you see your phone falling straight into water. Whether it’s a pool or a toilet, you just know nothing good will come out of the next few seconds. After all, that’s a high tech device that’s likely worth multiple hundred dollars, and chances are very high that it will be deemed unusable. That is, unless you have one of those awesome waterproof smartphones. But most of us don’t, so we have to resort to other methods.
Let’s start by telling you that saving a water-damaged phone is pretty much a coin flip. Nothing can guarantee the device will actually be rescued. And if the gadget has already been harmed, there are high chances that damage is permanent. Regardless, often times the stars align and you end up saving that precious technology that holds all your important data and connects you to the world.
With the help of the following tips, we aim to increase the probability of your phone making it through such disaster. So let’s dig in.
Take it out of the water and make sure it’s off!
I know it’s hard to react quickly when such a devastating event takes place, but you must snap out of it! The longer your device stays underwater, the lower its chances of survival are. You must dig in there and take that phone out of the water right away. Yes… even if it’s in the toilet!
Once the phone is out of the water, make sure it’s off and stays that way. Even if it seems fine… it is important to shut it off just in case. If the phone is still on, just shut it down or take the battery out if you can. Then put it in a safe place, preferably on a flat surface over some paper towels.
What not to do
The following actions can mean the difference between a totaled phone or a survival story. You better be careful what you do. Before we jump into finding a solution, let’s try to prevent major failures you could cause.
- Do not turn on the phone, as we already mentioned. Electrical components don’t play well with water when operating.
- Don’t plug it in either! For the same reason.
- Don’t press any keys. This can push water further into the phone. It’s best to try to mess with the phone as little as possible.
- Don’t shake or blow into the device. This could also push water into deeper areas of the phone. Especially try to avoid blow driers – not only because of the blowing part, but also because of the following point.
- Do not apply any heat to the phone. Remember excessive heat can also damage the phone. You don’t want to add more damage!
- Don’t move the phone around too much. Same deal; you don’t want the water moving around inside the phone.
Disassemble the phone
And don’t mistake this step with “take the whole darn phone apart”! What I mean is that you should remove everything that is user-removable. If you back cover is removable, take it off. Similarly, try to remove the battery (if you can), SIM card and SD card. Lay it all out in the paper towel.
Now, if you are an experienced tech specialist of sorts and know the ins and outs of a phone, and don’t mind risking voiding your warranty, you can go ahead and take the whole phone apart too. It might help with drying up every single piece faster.
Try to dry the exterior with a paper towel
We first have to try to get rid of all the excess water found in the exterior of your phone. Use the paper towel to dry out every component. Just make sure you don’t mess with the phone too much. Gently dry everything out without moving things around too much.
You could try a vacuum cleaner
Of course, there are areas the paper towel can’t access. And while we told you not to blow anything into the phone, we didn’t tell you not to suction the water out. In fact, a vacuum cleaner can suck off bits of water from the phone without too much risk. Just make sure the suctioning doesn’t make the phone move around excessively. Oh, and try not to use one as big as the one in the picture!
Time to dry it out
The hardest part is coming, because it involves leaving the phone untouched for an extended period of time. This means you can’t use your smartphone! If you have another phone you can borrow, just make sure the SIM card is completely dried out and stick it into the working handset. Otherwise, just resort to smoke signals, public phones and all that archaic stuff.
So how do you dry your phone out? You could just leave the phone on top of the counter or inside a drawer, but some people like giving it a little help. The idea is to put it in an environment that will ease its drying process. A very common practice is to put the phone in a Ziploc bag full of rice and let it rest there for about 2-3 days.
But why rice? Mostly because it is something readily available at most homes. The idea is that rice is very good at absorbing humidity in the air, making the phone’s environment drier and hence helping dry out the device. But there are alternatives that could be better.
Among better options are silica gel packs, which are those little packets you often find in shoes or electronics boxes (and you can’t eat). It’s not like all of us have these laying around, though, but if you think ahead of time you, could get good deals on Amazon.
And while we are on the whole thinking ahead topic – you could also buy a water rescue kit. I happen to like Kensington’s EVAP bundle, which includes a special bag and silica gel packs. Kensington states this is 700% more effective at drying moisture than rice is, though it’s hard to say how true their claim is. Still, it might be worth the investment.
The moment of truth
So you did everything you could and a few days have passed by. It’s time to see if all your efforts paid off. Take the phone out of wherever you left it and put it all together. Then plug the phone in and try to turn it on. If it works, you have succeeded! Stay on the lookout for any odd behavior, though. At least for a few days. Something may still happen. Also, test all the components. Make a call to see if the microphone and earphone work, test the speaker, etc.
Now, if the phone doesn’t work, it’s time to accept defeat and take it to a professional and see if it can be salvaged. You can also claim insurance if you have it.
Not to sound like a doctor, but after this point we have really done everything we could. Sometimes you just have to let the phone go, guys. Hopefully most of you get it back up and working, though!
Hit the comments and tell us your experiences! Have any of you tried these methods? What other tips do you have for your fellow phone dunkers? Hit the comments and share your 2 cents!
The MiiVerse website is about bringing Nintendo’s online community together, among other things. But up until today, the virtual hub was missing features that could have made it even more useful. Thankfully, Nintendo has revamped the site (again), adding a handful of social tidbits that users are bound to appreciate. Along with now being able to see what’s trending on MiiVerse, you can also get a quick glimpse at how other players across the network are doing on their games — via the Play Journal feed. And in case you’ve never visited it, you can check out the refreshed site at miiverse.nintendo.net.
The original Chromecast proved that big surprises can come in small packages. Even though it was just a $35 HDMI dongle the size of a pack of gum, it had the power to transform any TV into a smart one, as long as you had a smartphone, tablet or computer nearby. Sure it wasn’t as full-featured as other media streamers, but for the price, it was a bargain. Fast-forward to 2015, and there’s a brand-new Chromecast in town with a new look and a promise of faster speeds, all at the same price. No, it’s not that much better than the original, but it still delivers great bang for the buck.Slideshow-326622
Hardware and setup
While the original Chromecast took the form of a chunky stick, the 2015 model looks more like a hockey puck with a 4-inch HDMI cable attached. The reasoning behind this new design was to accommodate TVs with HDMI ports that are too narrow for the first Chromecast. Indeed, the original even came with an HDMI extender to fit in those tight spaces. Thanks to that short, flat cable on the new model, however, the extender is no longer needed. The only potential downside is you’d have to have it hanging off your TV in a rather unsightly way, but if your set’s ports are mostly on the rear, that’s not as much of an issue.
If you decide to carry the new Chromecast around with you, that HDMI cable has a tiny magnet at the end of it that snaps easily to the rear of the device when folded over, which makes it a little more portable. It also now comes in three different colors — red, yellow and black — which seems a little silly if it’s tucked out of sight, but it’s a nice little touch all the same especially if you plan on giving this as a stocking stuffer (Note that the red and yellow versions are available only on the Google Play Store). Other design improvements include the addition of a small reset button located on the side that you can use to power cycle the Chromecast in case it crashes or gets stuck. There’s an LED power indicator as well.
Setting up the new Chromecast is as easy as ever. Just like the original, the new version has a micro-USB port that you can attach to either your TV if it has a USB connection or the included power adapter. Once you have it all plugged in, you’ll be prompted to go to Google’s Chromecast setup URL, where you’re encouraged to download the new Android or iOS app to setup your new device (more on this app later). Google also supports the ability to set up your Chromecast on Windows (7 and higher) as long as you download the desktop Chrome app. Even though it’s not available right now, it appears that you’ll also be able to do so on Mac OS X (10.7 and up) in the future. I used both the Android and iOS apps and the process was pretty straightforward — you’re basically telling the Chromecast which WiFi network to use, along with any associated WiFi password. While you’re doing that, you can also assign a name to your Chromecast, which is useful if you have more than one in your home.
Another major hardware difference between the new Chromecast and the old one is that the new model supports dual-band WiFi 802.11ac (2.4/5GHz). This means that the streaming should not only be faster, but also perform better in congested areas like apartment buildings since the 2.4GHz frequency is typically more crowded than the 5Ghz one. The rest of the internals, on the other hand, are pretty similar to what we saw on the original: There’s a slightly improved processor (the Marvell ARMADA 1500 Mini Plus SoC), the same 512MB of SDRAM and the same display resolution of 1080p.
Features and software
As far as features go, not much has changed. Just like the original Chromecast, the new model lets you cast video from any compatible app to your TV. Simply tap the little cast logo in the app, select the name of your Chromecast from the menu and voila, you’re ready to go. Most popular video-streaming apps are already Chromecast-compatible. They include Netflix, Hulu, HBO Go, YouTube, WatchESPN, CBS and of course, Google Play. Also on board are sports apps like NFL, MLS and MLB.TV, and the new Showtime Anytime app. The most glaring exception appears to be Amazon Instant Video, which appears to have opted out, at least for now.
With so many compatible apps, it can be a chore to figure out just what shows are available to watch. That’s where the new Chromecast application comes in — it’s the same one that you’d have downloaded to set up the Chromecast in the first place. Announced alongside the new hardware, the new app is really the star of the show in that it brings much-needed search and discovery to the party. It’s available on Android and iOS and is compatible with both the old and new Chromecasts.
Search is certainly one of the app’s more useful features. Instead of having to hop in and out of a dozen different apps, you can simply enter in a keyword — say, The X-Files — to see just what apps and services the show is on. You can enter in the keyword either by typing or with Google’s voice search. From there, you can simply hit “Watch” and your app of choice will launch. The downside so far is that search only brings up results from certain apps — Netflix, Hulu and Google Play options will show up, but nothing from HBO Go, for example. However, I’m told that it’s possible for them to be added to search later on. There’s also a “What’s On” tab that displays a rotating carousel of shows from various services like Netflix and YouTube, as long as the app is already installed on your phone. What I also appreciated was a list of Chromecast-compatible apps and games that you can get from the Google Play store. And of course, you can change the backdrop image of what’s on your Chromecast screen via the app too.
Aside from TV shows and movies, you can also send whatever’s on your Chrome browser to your Chromecast-enabled TV just as before. Although it’s currently in experimental mode, you’re also able to mirror your entire desktop screen on your TV, not just your browser. If you’d rather play music instead of video, popular streaming apps like Rdio, Spotify and Google Music are supported as well. However, you might consider Google’s new Chromecast Audio instead if you’re more of an audiophile who’d rather play songs through a pair of good speakers than your TV. And if you feel like sharing vacation photos with your friends instead, the new Google Photos app now supports Chromecast too.
It’s worth noting here that because the Chromecast has no remote control, you’ll have to use your phone or tablet to control playback and volume levels. That isn’t a problem most of the time, but when I’m home, I usually prefer to have my devices sitting in the charger rather than on my living room table. The Chromecast does support an HDMI-CEC protocol that lets you use any TV remote with it, but this capability varies from TV to TV.
Other noteworthy features include a guest PIN so that your visitors can control the Chromecast without having to log onto the network, plus a Fast Play mode that automatically queues up the next video in the playlist as you’re finishing the last one. Fast Play wasn’t available for testing at the time of this review, although Google tells us that third-party apps should start supporting it before the end of the year.
There’s really not much different between the old and new Chromecast in terms of functionality. The feature set is identical, and the setup is the same as well. The biggest difference is that the new Chromecast promises faster speeds. I compared both the old and new devices by loading videos from Netflix, Hulu and YouTube and found that the new Chromecast is indeed faster overall. On the old model, Netflix videos loaded in about nine to 10 seconds while they appeared in just five or so seconds with the new Chromecast. Hulu videos displayed about eight seconds faster while YouTube videos loaded about seven seconds faster. Obviously, the speeds will vary depending on the video quality and your network at home, but the new Chromecast’s hardware updates do appear to have improved performance.
That said, I don’t think the difference of a few seconds is that important. The load time on the old Chromecast never really bothered me, and I don’t see myself caring that much if a video loads seven seconds faster. The difference would really be if you live in an apartment building or neighborhood where the 2.4GHz frequency is congested, and thereby likely to slow down your WiFi connection. With the new Chromecast’s support for the lesser-used 5GHz frequency, that should free up a lot more bandwidth for your video-watching needs.
In the increasingly crowded field of media streamers, the Chromecast has plenty of competition. Its biggest rivals are arguably Roku, Apple and Amazon. Both Roku and Amazon offer HDMI stick versions of their streamers, which go up directly against the Chromecast. The Roku Streaming Stick is $50 and comes with a remote control. The Amazon Fire TV Stick, on the other hand, is $40 and also comes with a remote, although there’s also a voice remote version of the Fire TV Stick that is $50. Both have their own TV-centric UI so smartphone/tablet apps aren’t necessary, and both also have native support for Amazon’s Instant Video, which the Chromecast lacks. Unlike the new Chromecast however, they only support 802.11a/b/g/n and not the faster 802.11ac.
But if you’re willing to cough up more money, Roku’s and Amazon’s more expensive set-top offerings pack in a lot more features. They all have remote controls and Ethernet ports, which is handy for when WiFi is too unreliable. The newly released Roku 4 supports 4K video, dual-band 802.11ac and voice search, plus a remote-finder ability. The new Amazon Fire TV also supports 4K video, dual-band 802.11ac and it even has a microSD card slot for external storage. Of course, the Roku 4 and Amazon Fire TV are much more expensive at $130 and $100, respectively (you can also still get the older Roku 3 for $100), but that much added functionality is certainly worth it. And, of course, if you’re an iTunes die-hard, Apple’s latest TV offering is really your only option at $149.
Alternatively, you could also opt for the Nexus Player or the NVIDIA Shield TV, both of which use Google’s new Android TV interface. The former is just $99 while the latter is $200. Both have dual-band 802.11ac, but the Shield TV is certainly the better of the two thanks to its 4K support and beefier Tegra X1 processor.
In the end, the new Chromecast is really less of a 2.0 product and more of a 1.1. Yes, the new internals are improved and the support for dual-band 802.11ac makes it better for those who want a faster and more reliable signal. The new circular design with the attached cable makes it easier to fit in the rear of most TVs and it’s also a lot cuter. But it’s otherwise not too different from the original Chromecast. If you were satisfied with the WiFi performance of the old one, then I see no reason to upgrade at all. The real differentiator is the new Chromecast app for search and discovery, and as that’s available on both versions of the hardware, I would simply stick with the old one.
But if you somehow haven’t picked up a Chromecast yet, then you should certainly look into one. Although it lacks the bells and whistles of the competition, its bargain-basement price bundled in with its plethora of features makes it the best deal in entertainment-media streamers today. Certainly, don’t feel like you should get one if you can afford a beefier set-top option, but if you simply want to dip your toe in cord-cutter waters without spending a lot of money, the Chromecast is definitely the way to go.
It’s been just a few days since the FCC granted AT&T’s waiver request that allowed the company to finally turn on its WiFi calling feature, and now WiFi calling is officially live. AT&T confirmed as much in a blog on its site, and it works just as you’d expect. Right now, only an iPhone with iOS 9 will work, but as long as you’re on a WiFi connection, your phone will route calls through that connection if you cellular signal is bad. It’s a feature that T-Mobile and Sprint have provided for a while now, but regardless it’s good news for a select group of customers on the USA’s second-biggest wireless network. We’re hoping that other phones besides the iPhone soon, but if you are among that select group of compatible customers, you can give it a try now.
[Image credit: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg/Getty Images]
During its Max design conference this week, Adobe previewed a number of features that are currently in the works. For example, the company is building a tool called Monument Mode that’ll allow you to remove unwanted people, cars and other objects from those vacation photos with a single click. The idea here is that when you visit a popular landmark (or monument), it can be difficult to snap a good photo in a crowd. Monument Mode employs an algorithm that distinguishes between moving and stationary objects, so if someone walks in the frame, you can make the necessary edits quickly. The tool actually captures live footage, nixing those moving objects to create the shot you can actually use.
While Monument Mode may be the most attractive tool Adobe teased, it has a whole lot more up its sleeve. The company is working on a faster way to rid images of photobombers and other unwanted items, too. This tool employs “an artificial intelligence engine” to do the heavy lifting without all of the steps that are currently required. Details are scarce on the tech for now, unfortunately, but it could do wonders for a photographer’s retouching workflow. There’s also a feature for adding enhanced perspective to photos, a quicker method for creating printable 3D portraits from flat photos, Project Faces to lend a hand with custom typography and a load of other items. Adobe is clear that these are very much in the R&D stage right now, and there’s a chance they may not make it into any of its Creative Cloud or mobile apps. It’s still neat to have a look at what’s in the works, though, even if this show-and-tell ends up being nothing more than a tease.