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31
Oct

The best chainsaw


By Doug Mahoney

This post was done in partnership with The Sweethome, a buyer’s guide to the best homewares. When readers choose to buy The Sweethome’s independently chosen editorial picks, they may earn affiliate commissions that support their work. Read the full article here.

The best chainsaw for most people is the cordless Ego Power+ 16″ Chainsaw, a decision we reached after spending five days in the New Hampshire woods with six chainsaws, and having a pro tree worker with 14 years’ experience use them on the job for an additional three days this summer. He couldn’t have been more clear in his judgment: “The Ego is definitely the best one.”

The Ego is powered by a battery, so compared with a gas chainsaw, it’s far simpler to start, easier to maintain, quieter, and doesn’t emit exhaust. For power, it’s comparable to a 30 cc to 40 cc gas-powered saw, which is small on the chainsaw spectrum, but is the recommended size for general property maintenance, storm cleanup, and light firewood work. Unlike many of the other cordless saws we tested, the Ego had little problem cutting through oak, maple, and even a 17-inch-thick pine. The battery has a long run time, giving us over 60 cuts through a 7-by-7 block of fir—and the only other cordless tool this capable costs about $150 more. For ease of use, it has a tool-free chain tensioner, a feature usually found on premium gas saws. Last, the battery included with the Ego is compatible with the company’s mower and string trimmer, both of which we also recommend.

Who this is for

Chainsaws are expensive and dangerous and not everybody needs one. We have more thoughts on chainsaw safety, as well as some details on the protective gear you must wear any time you pick one up, in our full guide. If you’re undecided about if you do need a chainsaw, start out doing your lighter pruning work and tree maintenance with the peace and quiet of a well-made, sharp, quick-cutting pruning saw.

If a pruning saw isn’t cutting it (so to speak) and you need to do work on a larger scale, a chainsaw becomes essential. The saws we recommend are general-purpose, light-duty saws for regular property maintenance, storm cleanup, and light firewood work. These are quality saws, but, again, they’re on the small side of the chainsaw spectrum, so they’re not designed to spend day after day, week after week felling 40-foot trees. They have solid capabilities and can take down a fairly large tree (during testing we successfully felled and cut a 17-inch-thick pine), but they’re really designed for lighter yard work. Because of their smaller size, they’re also safer and easier to maneuver than larger saws.

How we picked and tested

The tested saws. Photo: Doug Mahoney

The best chainsaw for most people is a cordless battery-powered saw. These have power equivalent to a gas saw in the 30 cc to 40 cc range, which is on the small side for a chainsaw, but more than adequate for general home use. Cordless chainsaws avoid the hassles inherent with a gas-powered tool, including pull-starting, maintenance, and prepping for winter storage. They’re also considerably quieter and don’t emit exhaust, and the weight is roughly the same (usually between 12 and 14 pounds). Though going cordless over gas costs more, we feel that it’s a trade-off worth making due to the long-term simplicity inherent in a cordless tool. Battery life is a concern with any cordless tool, but a decent cordless saw should handle a considerable amount of light cutting.

In choosing saws to test, we zeroed in on ones with a tool-free chain tensioner. Instead of a specialized, easy-to-misplace tool, tool-free tensioners employ knobs or dials built into the saw itself. Using this criteria, we dismissed tools from Husqvarna, Ryobi, Greenworks, and Echo. We avoided top-handled saws, which are smaller and have only a cumbersome single handle in line with the bar, and corded electric saws, because they need to be tethered to an outlet. That’s often inconvenient—and worse, it renders them useless if you need them after a bad storm has knocked out power (and knocked down trees).

Out in the woods testing the saws. Photo: Doug Mahoney

We evaluated the saws in a number of settings. First, we looked at battery life by making cuts through a block of fir 4-by-4s (totaling a 7-inch-square of solid wood) until the batteries emptied. During this test, we also timed five cuts from each saw and averaged them to get a sense of their cutting speed.

Second, we took the saws into the woods of New Hampshire and spent five days getting a jump on next year’s firewood situation. As part of this, we took down a number of small, medium, and large trees, limbed them, and cut them into 16-inch lengths. We also cleaned up a lot of deadwood and did some lighter brush clearing. This process had us testing the saws on softwoods like pine and fir as well as more dense wood like oak and maple. While using the saws, we kept an eye on ergonomics, maneuverability, and overall ease of use.

After this, we put the saws in the hands of Jon Lounsbury, a professional tree worker since 2002. He used the saws for three days on a clearing project where he and his crew worked with trees up to 7 inches in diameter. He also spent time cutting up firewood with each saw.

We did all of our testing with the factory chains on the saws. In most cases they were manufactured by Oregon, and in all cases they were anti-kickback chains. (Anti-kickback chains are designed to reduce the chances of the chain catching on the wood, which can cause the bar to very quickly jerk back toward the user’s torso and head.) Other chains are available that can alter and increase performance, but as Springer told us, with an entry-level saw no one is going to take off the chain. Regular chains have a much deeper bite and though they remove more material, they’re more prone to kickback—a situation worth avoiding.

Our pick

The best chainsaw for most people, the Ego Power+ 16″ Chainsaw. Photo: Doug Mahoney

After all the tests were done, all of the trees were down, and all the sawdust mushed into the mud, we recommend the cordless Ego Power+ 16 Chainsaw as the best option for yard maintenance, light firewood work, and storm cleanup. It’s a great combination of power, run time, convenience, and cost. It’s a cordless saw, so it has none of the upkeep, noise, or exhaust of a gas engine, but it doesn’t skimp on power, cutting just as well as a high-end gas model of similar size.

Of the tested saws, the Ego’s battery had the best run time and fastest cuts (tied with a saw typically priced $150 more) and is compatible with a number of other tools we recommend. On a single charge, it made 62 cuts through the 7-by-7 block of fir, considerably more than the majority of the tested cordless saws. The Ego has a convenient tool-free chain-tensioning system with oversized dials that was easy to use even while wearing gloves, which wasn’t the case with many of the other saws we tested. It’s also among the least expensive cordless saws with a tool-free tensioner (and priced about the same as a high-end gas saw). All of these reasons are why Lounsbury told us, “The Ego is definitely the best one.”

The cordless nature of the Ego makes it much easier to maintain. It doesn’t require storing gas in your garage, any engine maintenance, or fussy winterizing. As Clint DeBoer of Pro Tool Reviews wrote in his review, homeowners “may appreciate the ease-of-use afforded by a tool that will never require a spark plug change or special fuel stabilizers to carry it through winter.”

The one thing that Lounsbury didn’t like about the Ego is that the bar-oil reservoir has a small filter on it, which really slows down the filling process. The filter is meant to catch any gunk or debris from falling into the reservoir, so it has a good reason for being there, but Lounsbury said that he’s in the habit of just wiping the area clean before taking the cap off. We tested the saws in the middle of summer, but Lounsbury said that using cold-weather bar oil is going to compound the problem because it’s so thick. “Imagine pouring honey through that filter.” He said, “If this was my saw, I’d cut the filter right out of there.” The good news is that the filter can be removed along with the cap.

The Ego also stalled out from time to time, especially when we were pushing the saw through thicker, harder wood. Among the cordless tools tested, the Sun Joe, Oregon, and Ryobi saws stalled more often, but the more expensive DeWalt hardly ever stalled out. It’s easy enough to start the Ego back up, so it’s more of a nuisance than anything else, but it is a reminder that the saw does have an upper power limit.

Runner-up

Our runner-up: The DeWalt 40V Max XR 16″ Chainsaw (DCCS690H1). Photo: Doug Mahoney

If the Ego isn’t available, we also like the DeWalt 40V Max XR 16″ Chainsaw (DCCS690H1). It offers similar run time and cutting speed as the Ego, and stalled out less often during tough jobs. We also liked how the chain got up to its top speed faster than the others. On the downside, the safety switch is awkward to use, the cap to the bar-oil reservoir is poorly designed, and, unlike the Ego, it usually ran out of bar oil before the battery died, which had us constantly checking the level while we worked. It’s also a very expensive saw, typically about $150 more than the Ego.

Both the DeWalt and Ego made the same number of cuts through the fir beam (62) and the large pine out in the woods (17). They also matched results during the timed cuts through the 7-by-7-inch fir block (8 seconds). With lighter cuts, like tree limbs and smaller-diameter trees, the two saws felt equal, but during more aggressive work, like the 17-inch pine, the DeWalt stalled less often.

Despite its issues, the DeWalt delivers when it comes to power and run time. It’s just too expensive to be our primary recommendation. With the battery life and power being so similar to the Ego’s, we feel that the needs of most people would be satisfied with the less expensive saw.

Care and maintenance

Any chainsaw requires a little bit of upkeep, even a cordless one. But as Springer said, “Unlike a lawnmower, a chainsaw requires constant attention”—whether it’s cordless or gas-powered. By this, he’s talking about chain tensioning and bar oil.

Bar oil is poured into a reservoir in the saw, from where it slowly “leaks” onto the chain through a hole. This lubricates and cools the chain as it’s cutting. We found that with the cordless Ego, a tank of oil ran out at about the same time the battery did. Springer’s advice is to not only keep the tank filled, but to also “make sure the hole is clear enough that it’s actually oiling.” Sawdust and gunk can block the delivery hole, shutting off the flow of oil. The owners manual should have specifics on this.

Also, the chain needs to be kept at the correct tension for efficient cutting. New chains do stretch, so this is something to keep a close eye on when you first get a saw. The owners manuals all go into the specifics of adjusting the chain tension.

Lastly, keep your chain sharp. This means keeping it away from the ground, as one swipe against dirt and rocks can really destroy the chain’s cutting edges. Files and sharpening kits are available; another option is to get two or three chains and rotate in a new one when one gets dull. Most hardware stores and service dealers have sharpening services if you don’t want to do it yourself.

This guide may have been updated by The Sweethome. To see the current recommendation, please go here.

Note from The Sweethome: When readers choose to buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn affiliate commissions that support our work.

31
Oct

Toyota has eyes on ZipCar-style vehicle leasing services


ZipCar-style car sharing services, where you pay to rent a vehicle by the hour, are already a thing across much of the US. But Toyota is looking into the idea of individuals being able to lease out their own cars on an hourly basis to make some extra cash. The manufacturer has teamed up with a startup called Getaround to begin a limited trial of the proposition at the start of next year. In order to make that work, however, the company has had to work out an easy way of enabling third parties to access your ride. That’s where the Smart Key Box, or SKB, comes in.

The Smart Key Box is a new gadget from Toyota that’s designed to be installed into your vehicle with almost no muss or fuss. It’s essentially a way of avoiding having to hand your key to strangers, who instead will get a code sent to their smartphones. That device will then interact with the SKB over Bluetooth, enabling them to open the doors and start the engine at the tap of a screen. Toyota’s Smart Center will manage the marketplace element of this, and will manage the reservation system on behalf of the users.

The pilot program will take place in San Francisco this January, and will also involve a leasing program for users who pay off their lease with car-sharing charges. If successful, Toyota will consider expanding the service to other places, including Japan. After all, some of its biggest rivals are already working on competing products, such as GM’s Maven service.

Source: Toyota

31
Oct

iPad regains share in a shrinking mobile tablet market


Apple’s share of the tablet market has been sliding for a while, but it’s making a comeback… if not for the reasons the company might prefer. Strategy Analytics estimates that the iPad climbed from 19.1 percent of the market in the third quarter of 2015 to 19.9 percent a year later. However, that’s mainly because the market as a whole shrank 10 percent. The analysts believe that many tablet manufacturers’ shipments dropped year-to-year, and that Apple simply experienced a smaller decline than most. The one major exception is Amazon, whose $49 Fire tablet helped its shipments more than double.

This doesn’t necessarily mean that Apple is on the wrong track. Strategy Analytics argues that the iPad Pro line puts Apple “on the path to recovery” by giving the company a laptop-like tablet that wasn’t an option before. However, it does show that Apple is consciously veering away from the strategies of its peers. Many of its Android rivals are shifting attention to 2-in-1 Windows tablets, like Lenovo’s Yoga series or Samsung’s TabPro S. Researchers say that Windows hybrid and tablet shipments jumped 25 percent year-over-year in the third quarter — some of those are bound to be from companies no longer convinced they can sell Android tablets as full-on computer substitutes.

The data suggests that the tablet market isn’t so much dying as maturing. Basic mobile tablets will still have an audience among those who just want to read books or watch video, but higher-end slates are taking hold. People want “everyday computing devices” that really can fill in for a conventional PC, according to analysts, and they’re willing to pay more for these devices.

Source: Strategy Analytics

31
Oct

Is tech billionaire Peter Thiel prepping for a life in politics?


“I occasionally get involved, but don’t want to make it a full time thing.”

That was how Peter Thiel answered a question about his future in politics today. But, after he spent roughly 15 minutes delivering what amounted to a polite version of Donald Trump’s stump speech to the National Press Club, it’s a little hard to take him at his word.

Peter Thiel would hardly be the first major player in Silicon Valley to try and make the leap into politics. Meg Whitman and Carly Fiorina both took a stab at getting into government.

For months now Thiel has found (or placed) himself in the center of a firestorm around politics, both personal and national. Today’s speech in front of the Press Club, and the follow up interview with Thomas Burr of the Salt Lake Tribune and president of the National Press Club, was the first time he publicly defended his $1.25 million donation to Trump’s campaign following the release of an Access Hollywood tape. In that now-infamous tape the candidate brags of being able to sexually assault women because of his fame. That Thiel would brush off those comments as unacceptable, then immediately suggest that sexual assault is not a reason to deny Trump your vote is not surprising: This is a man who wrote in 1996 that many instances of date rape are “seductions that are later regretted.” Though, he has since apologized for those words.

What was surprising was that Thiel’s speech sounded at times, less like an endorsement of Trump, and more like the first awkward steps of a man preparing to take his show on the road. It was several minutes before he even mentioned Donald Trump by name. Thiel spent the first chunk of his address railing against the cost of healthcare in America, government waste, foreign wars and stagnant household income. While he did eventually get to addressing his support for Trump (“I don’t think voters pull the lever in order to endorse a candidates flaws… we judge the leadership of our country to have failed”), he spent most of his time talking about his personal political views and what he sees wrong with this country.

Thiel railed against military intervention, free trade and attacked the democratic party. He even suggested that Hillary Clinton might lead us to a nuclear confrontation with Russia. He also spent significant time testing out what he hoped would be a signature talking point: “bubbles” and “bubble thinking.” The baby boomer tendency to embrace bubbles is what led to the collapse of the housing market and our seemingly intractable conflict in Iraq, he says. He even briefly seemed to acknowledge that Trump’s candidacy was unprecedented… to put it politely: “No matter how crazy this election seems, it is less crazy than the condition of our country.”

He also called out Silicon Valley for being disconnected from the rest of the country. He says where he lives people are doing “just great.” But quickly pointed out that most people don’t live in the San Francisco Bay and “most Americans haven’t been part of that prosperity.” He pointed to this as the reason why voters embraced Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump. And he may have inadvertently illustrated just how out of touch Silicon Valley types are when he complained that a poor “single-digit millionaire like Hulk Hogan” has “no effective access to our legal system.”

Now, much of this speech could simply be taken out on the road to support Trump, and there’s a good chance it will. But Thiel is clearly looking to the future, and one that likely doesn’t involve a president Trump. “No matter what happens in this election, what Trump represents isn’t crazy and it’s not going away.”

During his interview Thiel said that the media made a mistake in taking Donald Trump “literally” but not “seriously.” Maybe he’s right on the latter point (the former is a conversation for another day). But I’m having the opposite problem with Thiel after today’s speech. I do take him seriously when he says, “I think my future is going to continue to be in the tech industry, that’s what I’m good at,” but I certainly don’t take him literally.

31
Oct

iPad Pro Accounted for Less Than One-Third of Apple’s Tablet Sales Last Quarter


While the iPad Pro lineup has increased Apple’s tablet revenue based on higher price points, helping offset a lengthy slide in units sold, the latest data from market research firm IDC claims the iPad Air and iPad mini lines accounted for more than two-thirds of Apple’s tablet shipments in the fourth fiscal quarter.

Apple officially reported 9.26 million iPads sold in the quarter, representing late June to late September, but it does not break down its tablet sales by individual model. IDC did not share its methodology behind calculating iPad Pro sales specifically, but vaguely notes that it uses proprietary tools and research processes.

Despite selling some 600,000 fewer iPads compared to the year-ago quarter, Apple’s tablet revenue remained flat at just over $4.2 billion in the quarter. The reason: iPad Pros cost more. The higher ASP is important for Apple as the worldwide tablet market continued its slump last quarter.

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IDC estimates tablet shipments dropped to an estimated 43 million units in the quarter, marking a 14.7% year-over-year decline. Apple led all vendors with 21.5% market share, up slightly from 19.6% in the year-ago quarter, while Samsung trailed in second with an estimated 6.5 million shipments and 15.1% market share.

Amazon and Chinese competitors Lenovo and Huawei rounded off the top five with an estimated 3.1 million, 2.7 million, and 2.4 million tablet shipments respectively in the quarter. Amazon saw explosive 319.9% growth due to its Amazon Prime Day sale in early July that led to a huge surge in shipments of its Fire tablets.

During its recent earnings call, Apple financial chief Luca Maestri said the company is “highly successful” in the tablet market, with 82% market share of premium tablets priced above $200. Meanwhile, IDC said other vendors are “racing to the bottom” with low-cost, sub-$200 traditional and detachable 2-in-1 tablets.

“The race to the bottom is something we have already experienced with slates and it may prove detrimental to the market in the long run as detachables could easily be seen as disposable devices rather than potential PC replacements,” said Jitesh Ubrani, senior research analyst with IDC.

Related Roundups: iPad Air 2, iPad mini 4 (2015), iPad Pro
Tag: IDC
Buyer’s Guide: 9.7″ iPad Pro (Caution), iPad Mini (Caution), 12.9″ iPad Pro (Caution)
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31
Oct

Out of dishwasher detergent? Use this tip – CNET


31
Oct

Gate Labs Gate Release Date, Price and Specs – CNET


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Gate Labs

Why bother with a bunch of pesky accessories when you can have a single device do all of the heavy lifting? That’s the idea behind Gate Labs’ Gate smart lock. As a Wi-Fi deadbolt with a built-in keypad, camera, motion detector, speaker, microphone and “call” button, Gate promises to do much more than your standard app-enabled lock.

Gate is in the middle of an Indiegogo campaign, and the product has already raised more than double its original $70,000 funding goal. The $179 “Super Early Bird” price tier is sold out, but folks worldwide can still preorder Gate for $214, with shipping slated for March 2017 (roughly £175 and AU$280 at the current exchange rate). Given Gate’s projected retail price of $300, that’s still a decent discount for backers.

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While we haven’t seen a product quite like Gate, it does remind me of a fellow Indiegogo project — the ill-fated Goji Smart Lock. We wrote about Goji back in 2013 when a connected lock was a pretty revolutionary idea, let alone one with an included camera. But roughly three years later, Goji’s backers are still waiting for their product. That means Gate has the chance to be the first DIY smart lock-doorbell-camera hybrid to make it to the mass market.

So, what exactly are Gate’s claims? Check out the rundown to the right, straight from the team’s crowdfunding page. Basically, Gate Labs took cues from today’s smart locks, smart doorbells and smart security cameras and designed a single product to perform all of those functions.

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Gate Labs

I like that Gate relies on a rechargeable battery rather than AAs a la August’s Smart Lock, but I do question its battery life. August runs primarily on Bluetooth LE to conserve power, but it does give you the option to add in Wi-Fi connectivity via either a Connect module or August’s Wi-Fi Doorbell Cam so you can access the lock outside of Bluetooth range as needed. Gate claims its rechargeable battery should last for up to four months, but that could easily vary depending on usage.

And, like other smart locks available today, Gate also comes with a companion app for remotely accessing your lock, the camera’s live feed and the two-way talk intercom function.

How to install the HomeKit-enabled August Smart Lock

You can install August’s second-gen Smart Lock in minutes flat. Here’s how.

by Megan Wollerton

Close




Drag

As far as integrations with other manufacturers’ products go, Gate Labs says the lock will work with Amazon Alexa, the online retailer’s digital, voice-controlled assistant, so you can control the lock hybrid with voice commands. Gate Labs also plans to add HomeKit, Nest and IFTTT integration in the future. All of that sounds nice, but it isn’t that simple. In particular,
HomeKit
products, which are powered with Apple’s digital assistant, Siri, require a built-in chip that necessitates second-gen hardware. Most likely, that means early Gate adopters won’t have that functionality unless they buy an updated version of the lock in the future, and there’s no guarantee that Gate will make a second-generation of the lock.

We’ll track the Gate’s progress and try to get our hands on one next year. Stay tuned.

More fabulous smart lock coverage
  • Have a smart lock? Yeah, it can probably be hacked
  • Goji Smart Lock: The lock that knows who knocks
  • Next-gen August learns new tricks, locks out the competition
  • Smart lock buying guide
  • Unleash your front door’s potential with these 7 smart locks
31
Oct

Bose QuietControl 30 review – CNET


You’ve probably seen plenty of people wearing neckband-style wireless headphones, which LG pioneered with its top-selling Tone series. But think of Bose’s upcoming QuietControl 30, which ships this September, as the ultimate neckband-style Bluetooth headphone. With impressive sound and active noise reduction, it’s the wireless successor to the QuietComfort 20 and will list for the same price: $300 (£230 or AU$400 converted).

New Bose wireless headphones
  • Bose intros 4 new wireless headphones you’re going to want (hands-on)
  • Bose SoundSport Wireless (hands-on): The Bluetooth sports headphone you’ve been waiting for
  • Bose QuietComfort 35 (hands-on): Finally, an active noise-canceling wireless headphone from Bose

Not only is the build quality really good but the headphone fits very comfortably, with an open design. By open I mean that you don’t jam the earbud into your ear. Thanks to Bose’s Stay-Hear+ eartips, which come in three sizes, the bud sits loosely in your ear yet remains securely in place.

The only downside to an open design is that ambient sound leaks in and normally a headphone like this wouldn’t be good for noisy environments. But that’s where the noise canceling comes in. Even though the design is open, ambient noise gets muffled, and what’s a little different from Bose’s previous active noise-canceling models is that you can manually adjust the level of noise cancellation by pressing a button on the integrated remote or moving your finger up and down a slider in Bose’s free Connect app for iOS and Android devices.

Battery life is rated at 10 hours, which is decent for this type of Bluetooth headphone, and protective carrying case is included. While Bose doesn’t advertise that the headphone is sweat-resistant, it is, and this headphone is suitable for gym use and maybe even running if you don’t mind the feel of a having something around your neck while running.

Bose QuietControl 30 (pictures)
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The QC30 is designed to be used as a wireless headset and it’s a really good one. It muffles ambient sounds like wind and crowd noise so callers can hear you better — and you can hear callers better. There’s also a side-tone feature that allows you to hear your own voice in the headphones as you speak so you don’t raise your voice while talking.

In my limited listening test at Bose’s launch event for the product, I couldn’t make a definitive judgment about its sound quality (we’ll have a full review when the product ships in September), but you can expect similar performance to that of the wired QC20, which sounds very good for an in-ear noise-canceling headphone.

This isn’t the only new wireless Bluetooth noise canceling headphone in Bose’s line up. There’s also the flagship QuietComfort 35, a full-size wireless model with best-in-class noise cancellation. Given the choice between the two, my personal inclination would be to wait for this one, but the QC35 certainly has its own appeal.

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The included carrying case.

Sarah Tew/CNET

31
Oct

Become a CompTIA certified IT professional with hundreds off this comprehensive training bundle


Getting started in the IT field can be difficult at the beginning. There is so much that you should know, so many certifications that you will want to have, and it can get quite expensive in a short amount of time. You could spend lots of money and time to learn the basics and get started, or you could do it in your free time at an affordable price.

For just $60 you can get started with this bundle that offers all the information you need to get a bunch of certifications under your belt. Many spend that $60 each month on things like coffee, fast food, and other frivolous stuff, so why not put it towards getting these five certifications?

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With this bundle you can train for these certificates:

  • CompTIA A+ certification is widely in demand globally, as it offers the initial momentum to get into the technology vertical
  • CompTIA Network+ certification accelerates professionals to leap high in the technology vertical
  • CompTIA Security+ SYO-401 will accelerate professionals even further
  • CompTIA Cloud Essentials, Cloud + certification is a globally recognized certification in IT service management
  • CompTIA Cloud Essentials Professional certification demonstrates one’s knowledge on cloud from a business & technical perspective

Normally priced at over $4000, this huge 98% savings is something you won’t want to pass up. You’ll have the materials you need to get tons of certifications and jump start your IT career. The information can be accessed online or on your phone, and it will be available for two years, so you can study at your own leisure.

If you are seriously considering a change in careers, you’ll want to grab this bundle at just $60 instead of its regular $4100 price tag.

See at Android Central Digital Offers

31
Oct

Halloween Home Screen Theme Roundup


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This is Halloween! This is Halloween! Smartphones scream in the dead of night!

This is Halloween, everybody pick a theme! Trick or treat till the app is gonna crash in fright!

You’ve probably got a costume for tonight, right? Well, do you have one for your phone? You don’t want to leave your most important device out of the fun, do you? Especially when you can make your Android phone look like anything, from an old iPhone to a Pokedex and everything in between. Android themes are amazing, and there’s no better time to try one of our many Android themes than Halloween! So dress up your phone! Who knows? Maybe you’ll like it so much you keep these decorations up ’til Christmas.

Star Wars

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Speaking of Christmas, we’ve got Rogue One coming up, and while we’re saving some new themes for closer to release day, there’s nothing saying you can’t rock our Rebel Alliance themes until then! We’ve also got a Sith theme for our friends on the dark side, and the most adorable BB-8 theme you can raise a torch to!

Star Wars Themes

Pokémon Go

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Valor, Instinct, Mystic, we love all trainers and their Pokémon, though some are clearly better than others. (coughcoughMysticcoughcough) In this spirit, we have home screen themes to show off your team spirit as you enjoy the spirited event going on right now in the game. And for those seeking peace between the teams, we have a little something for you, too!

Pokémon Go Themes

Finding Dory

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Want a theme for your phone that’s both adorable and functional? This Finding Dory theme takes advantage of Google Keep’s colors and widgets to make a theme that’ll help you be a little less forgetful than Dory as you struggle to remember which houses you still need to hit and which to avoid.

Finding Dory Theme

Captain America Civil War

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We got Cap. We got Iron Man. We got Spidey. We got Panther. We got Widow. Whichever side of Marvel’s Civil War you fall on, there’s a theme for you, and these themes are amazing every single day of the year, but they add an extra touch of AWESOME to your costumes for tonight.

Captain America Civil War Themes

. Superman

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It’s a bird! It’s a plane! No, it’s ANDROID! Okay, these themes don’t come with utility belts or capes, but they are amazing themes for the Dark Knight and Man of Steel that you can rock on Halloween or any other night of the year. Because you’re Batman!

Batman vs. Superman Themes

Suicide Squad

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I dunno if anyone else is still humming the soundtrack from Suicide Squad of if it’s just me, but Harley’s theme is playful, colorful, and ever so slightly crazy, so it’s perfect for Halloween! Deadshot’s muted theme is both deadly efficient and drop-dead beautiful. So be a bad guy this holiday and get your Suicide Squad on with these lovely themes.

Suicide Squad Themes

Deadpool

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Deadpool treats every day like it’s Halloween: he dresses up in a sexy costume, tricks a bunch of bad guys, and tries stealing treats from everyone he can. This is perhaps the most complex theme we’ve ever done, but hey, if you’re willing to give Maximum Effort, this fourth-wall-breaking theme might just be for you.

Deadpool Theme

iPhone

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Halloween’s a wonderful night for getting in costume and tricking people, so grab your Android, slap this iPhone theme on it, and go see how long it takes your friends to realize they’ve been had. Bonus points if you can show them how awesome Android’s home screens can look by switching back to a more creative theme once their minds have been blown.

iPhone Theme

Windows Phone

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Say what you will about Windows Phone, dressing your Android up as one for Halloween can also lead to some fun pranks. Also, considering the robust Android offering Microsoft offers, this could also be a gateway into some of their apps you’d never considered (or known). No Ninja Cat costume is complete without one!

Windows Phone Theme

MrMobile

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Our favorite tech reviewing YouTuber MrMobile was honored with his own home screen theme shortly after his launch earlier this year. If you wanna go to a party as MrMobile, get some gel in your hair, a Star Trek communicator and this theme on your phone. Stay mobile, my friends.

MrMobile Theme

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