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2
Feb

‘Fire Emblem Heroes’ now lets you fight for your friends on iOS and Android


Why it matters to you

Gamers are always looking for free-to-play opportunities, and now Nintendo is fully embracing the business model for the first time with Fire Emblem Heroes.

Nintendo’s long-running Fire Emblem series makes the jump to mobile devices this week with the launch of Fire Emblem Heroes. The game is rolling out to both the App Store and Google Play on Thursday for free, with European and Japanese players among the first to get their hands on it.

“This is your adventure — a Fire Emblem that’s like nothing you’ve seen before!” said Nintendo in a press release detailing its new games this week.

More: Fire Emblem series will get four new Nintendo games by 2018

That’s certainly true. Unlike the other, full-price Fire Emblem titles, which permanently give you heroes for use in the game’s tactical role-playing stages, Fire Emblem Heroes uses a free-to-play “Orbs” system. Either by using real-world cash or by clearing levels in the game’s story mode, you can summon a variety of characters from past games like Lyn from Fire Emblem: The Blazing Blade — simply known as Fire Emblem outside of Japan — and Lucina from Fire Emblem: Awakening.

A number of these heroes have also made an appearance in the Super Smash Bros. series, either as a fighter or a trophy, including Awakening‘s Robin and Mystery of the Emblem‘s Marth.

Additional characters were voted into the game over the last few weeks, with Path of Radiance‘s Ike leading the poll. Of course, Ike is among the best characters in the series, so fans are doing their duty admirably.

Fire Emblem Heroes‘ story mode will also introduce a selection of all-new characters in the Kingdom of Askr, and an “Arena” mode will allow you to compete against other players around the world for the chance to win extra rewards.

Fire Emblem Heroes is just one of four Fire Emblem games that Nintendo plans to launch by the end of 2018. In May, Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia, a remake of Fire Emblem Gaiden, launches for Nintendo 3DS, while Fire Emblem Legends hits both New 3DS and Nintendo Switch this holiday season. A full-fledged Fire Emblem game will then hit the Switch in 2018.

2
Feb

Acer XR382CQK monitor aims at gamers, may appeal to professionals as well


Why it matters to you

If you’re gamer who also needs a nice display for creative work, then the Acer XR382CQK provides the QHD and 100 percent sRGB color gamut you’ve been looking for.

The verdict is in — there has never been a better time to buy a new PC monitor. Display quality and technology is better than ever, with numerous manufacturers pumping out more and more excellent options.

We highlighted some of the best displays announced at CES 2017, and things haven’t slowed down much since. The gaming market is also being well served with a host of new monitors being announced and the latest is Acer’s XR382CQK.

More: Rise of HDR and 4K on display in the top 5 monitors at CES 2017

The Acer XR382CQK is a 37.5-inch QHD (3,440 x 1,600) resolution monitor in the typical 16:9 ultrawide format. It’s also curved, at 2300R, and sports a ZeroFrame design that minimizes bezels to keep gamers immersed in the action. The IPS panel supports 172-degree horizontal and 178-degree vertical viewing angles, and a 100 percent sRGB color gamut.

Where Acer’s newest display is optimized for gaming is in its refresh rate and response times, which come in at 75Hz and 5ms. AMD Free Sync technology is on hand to provide smooth, stutter- and tear-free gaming when mated with AMD Radeon GPUs.

In addition, Acer’s GameView technology allows gamers to quickly switch between customized display profiles to enable in-game tweaks and black levels can be adjusted to ensure that threats can be quickly visualized in the darkest scenes. Finally, ambient lighting effects can be customized to provide pulsing, flashing, and rippling effects.

In terms of design, the XR382CQK enables ergonomic adjustments including the ability to tilt from minus-5 degrees to 35 degrees, swivel plus or minus 30 degrees, and adjust the height by up to 5.11 inches. Two integrated 7-watt speakers utilize DTS sound technology for enhanced gaming audio, and the displays offer blue light filtering, ComfyView, and low-dimming technologies to help avoid eye strain.

Connectivity is provided by HDMI 2.0, DisplayPort 2.1, and USB Type-C (Gen1) with up to 5Gbps data transfer, while a USB 3.0 hub with four ports provides for additional connectivity options. A cable management system keeps everything clean and organized.

The Acer XR382CQK is available at $1,300. Acer provides a three-year parts and labor warranty, with an online community available for engaging other Acer customers.

2
Feb

Haters gonna date: This app finds you love based on your dislikes


Why it matters to you

While most dating apps rely on mutual interests or physical attraction, Hater instead looks to connect people based on their mutual dislikes.

The enemy of your enemy doesn’t have to just be your friend — he or she can be your special friend. That’s the hope of Hater, a new dating app that seeks to bring people together based on a different sort of connection — the mutual dislike of anything from vegetables to minivans. Launching publicly on February 8, Hater knows that when it comes to relationships, it’s not all about hearts and flowers.

“What we hate is an important part of who we are, but it’s often swept under the rug in our public persona,” said Brendan Alper, CEO of Hater. “We want people to express themselves more honestly. Plus, it’s easy to start a conversation with someone if you know you both hate pickles.”

More: Dating app Coffee Meets Bagel taps Yelp, Spotify to help plan your first date

The app still utilizes the same swiping function familiar to Tinder, Bumble, and Hinge users, but instead of swiping on people, users swipe on topics. As the user base grows, so does the list of issues. Based on your mutual dislikes, Hater creates a compendium of your most compatible potential matches, which you can then browse through at your leisure.

Automatic icebreakers are also built into the app. After all, you already know what you and your matches have in common — a mutual disdain for cilantro, black-and-white photos, or cacti, for example.

hater dating app screen

hater dating app screen

hater dating app screen

“Dating is supposed to be fun,” Alper said. “Somewhere along the line, dating apps lost sight of that. Hater wants to bring it back.” Be warned, however, that while Hater may be a tongue-in-cheek environment, it’s no excuse to act a fool in the app. “Hater absolutely does not stand for hate speech or bigotry — particularly animosity toward races, religions, or body types,” the app notes in its terms of service. “Our team carefully moderates the topics, and we have a strict one-strike policy for anyone who abuses our guidelines.” 

So get swiping, friends. Sometimes, hate can turn to love.

Download for iOS

2
Feb

Plextor M8Pe 256GB SSD review


plextor-m8pe-256gb-nvme-ssd-product-90x9

Research Center:
Plextor M8Pe

As prices have dropped on solid state drives, the benefits of hard disk drives are quickly waning. Newer SSDs are three to five times faster than HDDs, and modestly sized drives are readily available for under $100. For those seeking even more power, there are NVMe drives, which leverage faster PCIe 3.0 connections to triple speeds once again.

But there’s a problem: to take advantage of the latest, you may need a system upgrade. Most NVMe drives connect over the relatively new M.2 standard, since typical SATA connections aren’t fast enough. A small handful of manufacturers have put time and money into building drives you can install in your PCIe slot, like a GPU.

Plextor promises similarly ludicrous speeds with the M8Pe.

The Plextor M8Pe reflects that evolution with a sleek heatsink, LED lighting, and the promise of top-end speed. Our review unit is a 256GB model, the kind you might use as a boot drive, or as a second system drive for games and production data you need at a moment’s notice. It sells for $180 on Amazon and most other retailers.

At promised speeds four times that of 2.5-inch SSDs, you’re going to pay a premium for both the form factor and the connection standard. Yet, in spite of that, the Plextor M8Pe ends up a good value.

Stealth bomber design

For better or worse, the M8Pe we received was clad in a red and black heatsink that will fit right in with the gamer-themed components that have taken over the market. This trend isn’t as visible in gaming desktops as it is in laptops, but if you have a fancy color-coordinated battle station, it’s certainly something you’ll want to consider.

Plextor M8Pe PCIe SSD
Brad Borque/Digital Trends

There are two LED lights built into the M8Pe, a white light for power on top, and a red light for activity on the side. They fill their diffusers well, but aren’t bright enough to distract from any fancier lights or RGB LEDs. Plextor includes a half-height PCIe adapter bracket for smaller cases, and it only uses the x4 PCIe 3.0 lane, so it doesn’t get in the way of mATX boards with one PCIe x16 slot, and fits in happily alongside multi-GPU configurations.

Not the fastest, but surprisingly close

Newer NVMe SSDs aren’t just leagues faster than mechanical drives. They also typically outpace more traditional SATA SSDs by three to five times. Plextor promises similarly ludicrous speeds with the M8Pe, and largely delivers.

The Plextor M8Pe flies past even the outrageously priced Intel 750 Series drives in terms of read speeds. It’s important to note that the first three drives in the graph above are NVMe, while the Western Digital Blue SSD is a more typical SATA drive. That should give you an idea of the gap between the two.

More: Intel 750 Series SSD review

However, the Plextor option falls behind in write speeds. Beating on the SATA-based Western Digital Blue SSD. Samsung’s 960 Pro — found in our Digital Storm Aventum 3 test system — claims the top spot here, and sits right around the same price point as the Plextor. It’s only available as an M.2 drive, though, so you’ll have to pay $20 for a PCIe adapter if your motherboard lacks built-in compatibility.

Our HDTune benchmark is more demanding, and there the differences between the 750 Series and M8Pe disappear. Once again, Samsung’s 960 Pro takes a noticeable lead, making a strong case for the M.2 form factor moving forward. Access time is the only spot where the 960 Pro falls behind, and the other two drives shine.

Overall, the Plextor M8Pe performs similarly to more expensive drives in all but the most demanding situations, and is one of a just a few offerings at that price, within the form factor. Zotac’s Sonix AiC drive is the only one that promises similar speeds at a lower price point, but good luck finding one for purchase. We also have not reviewed it, so can’t confirm its performance.

Warranty

Plextor bundles the M8Pe with an impressive five-year warranty. The Intel 750 Series has the same warranty coverage, as does the Samsung 960 Pro. For high-end drives, a long warranty is standard.

Plextor M8Pe Compared To

plextor m pe  gb ssd review wd blue tb

WD Blue 1TB SSD

plextor m pe  gb ssd review intel ssdpress

Intel SSD 750 Series

plextor m pe  gb ssd review seagate backup plus ultra slim tb portable external hard drive

Seagate Backup Plus Ultra Slim…

plextor m pe  gb ssd review lacie porsche design slim p

LaCie Porsche Design hard drive

plextor m pe  gb ssd review samsung t portable tb usb external

Samsung T3 Portable SSD MU-PT2T0B

plextor m pe  gb ssd review transcend ts tssd s

Transcend SSD370

plextor m pe  gb ssd review crucial bx

Crucial BX200 960GB

plextor m pe  gb ssd review toshiba q

Toshiba Q300 480GB HDTS748XZSTA

plextor m pe  gb ssd review samsung portable t press image

Samsung Portable SSD T1

plextor m pe  gb ssd review iosafe press

ioSafe Solo G3

plextor m pe  gb ssd review iosafe rugged portable casing gallery

ioSafe Rugged Portable

plextor m pe  gb ssd review hp mediasmart server ex

HP MediaSmart EX487

Corsair Flash Survivor (8GB)

Crucial Gizmo! 256MB

Our Take

Plextor’s M8Pe fills a much-needed spot in the high-end storage upgrade path for systems that are a generation or two behind, but still relevant. Its read speeds are among the best we’ve seen, and its write speeds are competitive, making it a solid option if you can find the 256GB model for $180 or so.

Is there a better alternative?

The DT Accessory Pack

Corsair Hydro Series H100i v2 Extreme Performance liquid CPU cooler

$103

EVGA Supernova G2 850W power supply

$119.59

Intel 7th Gen Intel Core Desktop Processor i7-7700K

$349.89

Corsair Vengeance LPX 16GB RAM

$125

There’s a wide variety of options in the SSD market, but very few in the PCIe form factor — most of them are 2.5-inch SATA drives, or us the newer M.2 connection. If you’re on an older motherboard, the Plextor may be the only way to achieve cutting-edge performance. Intel’s insanely expensive 750 Series is the prime alternative, and it performs well in all situations, but the Plextor drive seems a better value.

How long will it last?

While NVMe SSDs are basically the bleeding edge of what’s available right now, Intel’s Optane system is lurking right around the corner. Compared to these, the Plextor may seem a little old-fashioned, but its strong performance means it should be relevant for years.

Should you buy it?

Yes, if you have an older PC you’re looking to spruce up with even faster storage. Popular chips like the Core i7-4790K still power impressive gaming rigs, but their motherboards lack the M.2 slots needed for the very latest drive. The Plextor M8Pe is an affordable compromise that brings cutting-edge speed to the masses.

2
Feb

Microsoft wants Windows 10 hardware makers to get creative in 2017


Why it matters to you

Microsoft wants makers of Windows 10 devices to step up their respective games this year, which should bode well for users of those products.

During Microsoft’s WinHEC conference in Shenzhen, China, the company revealed what it wants to see from Windows 10 device makers in 2017. Microsoft seeks to grow the modern computing experience by putting an emphasis on delivering detachables, convertibles, and ultraslim devices this year. Microsoft also wants these devices to be complemented by gadgets and peripherals that highlight what it calls “hero experiences.”

Microsoft defines “hero” as a major feature only offered with Windows 10. For instance, Windows Hello can be used with fingerprint scanners and face-recognition-capable cameras. There’s also Cortana, which enables users to search the web, set reminders, schedule appointments, and more using voice commands. Windows Ink is another “hero” feature, one that supports stylus-based input.

More: Microsoft’s Project Neon visual design has Windows 10 developers revved up

Microsoft discovered that devices are more attractive to buyers when they support features like facial recognition and pen-based input. But they also need to drive long-term consumer satisfaction. That means using great processors, batteries promising 10 hours of uptime or more, and fast boot times. The image quality needs to be superb, and apps should load almost immediately. Screens should be based on IPS panel technology and sport a default resolution of no less than 1,920 x 1,080.

Finally, Microsoft wants to see ultraslim, 2-in-1, and all-in-one (AIO) PCs starting at 8.82 inches thick. The mobile units should include a precision touchpad, while all new Windows 10 devices in 2017 should showcase innovations provided by manufacturers such as special hinges and borderless frames.

Microsoft expectations for 2017 can be broken down into five categories:

PCs for the Modern Creator:
These devices should consist of 2-in-1 detachable or convertible form factors. They should include user-facing and world-facing cameras, and support Active Pen technology. They should also support simultaneous touch and pen inputs as well.
—————
Modern Peripherals for Everyone:
These devices should support Cortana, Windows Hello, and Windows Ink. The packaging will have specific labels so that consumers know the device is compatible with a specific Windows 10 hero feature.
—————
PCs to Power Mixed Reality:
Microsoft wants this batch of devices to push the form-factor envelope with creative 2-in-1 and backpack designs. OEMs need to think about using processors with multiple threads. Discrete GPUs will be supported initially, followed by integrated GPU support toward the 2017 holiday season.
—————
PCs for the Gamer & Media Fanatic:
These devices should include VR-ready graphics chips that support DirectX 12, and screens supporting High Dynamic Range and a wide color gamut. Devices should also support Xbox peripherals and feature a “standout” design to win customers over visually.
—————
IoT Devices for Verticals:
Microsoft will focus on smart manufacturing, smart retail, and smart homes in 2017. The company will roll out new features for these three verticals in Creators Update, set to arrive in the spring.

It looks like 2017 will be an interesting year for Windows 10 and Microsoft’s customers. as interesting new form factors and peripherals hit the market. As the presentation revealed, these devices will support special Creators Update features, virtual reality, augmented reality, and the hero features provided in Windows 10.

2
Feb

Microsoft wants Windows 10 hardware makers to get creative in 2017


Why it matters to you

Microsoft wants makers of Windows 10 devices to step up their respective games this year, which should bode well for users of those products.

During Microsoft’s WinHEC conference in Shenzhen, China, the company revealed what it wants to see from Windows 10 device makers in 2017. Microsoft seeks to grow the modern computing experience by putting an emphasis on delivering detachables, convertibles, and ultraslim devices this year. Microsoft also wants these devices to be complemented by gadgets and peripherals that highlight what it calls “hero experiences.”

Microsoft defines “hero” as a major feature only offered with Windows 10. For instance, Windows Hello can be used with fingerprint scanners and face-recognition-capable cameras. There’s also Cortana, which enables users to search the web, set reminders, schedule appointments, and more using voice commands. Windows Ink is another “hero” feature, one that supports stylus-based input.

More: Microsoft’s Project Neon visual design has Windows 10 developers revved up

Microsoft discovered that devices are more attractive to buyers when they support features like facial recognition and pen-based input. But they also need to drive long-term consumer satisfaction. That means using great processors, batteries promising 10 hours of uptime or more, and fast boot times. The image quality needs to be superb, and apps should load almost immediately. Screens should be based on IPS panel technology and sport a default resolution of no less than 1,920 x 1,080.

Finally, Microsoft wants to see ultraslim, 2-in-1, and all-in-one (AIO) PCs starting at 8.82 inches thick. The mobile units should include a precision touchpad, while all new Windows 10 devices in 2017 should showcase innovations provided by manufacturers such as special hinges and borderless frames.

Microsoft expectations for 2017 can be broken down into five categories:

PCs for the Modern Creator:
These devices should consist of 2-in-1 detachable or convertible form factors. They should include user-facing and world-facing cameras, and support Active Pen technology. They should also support simultaneous touch and pen inputs as well.
—————
Modern Peripherals for Everyone:
These devices should support Cortana, Windows Hello, and Windows Ink. The packaging will have specific labels so that consumers know the device is compatible with a specific Windows 10 hero feature.
—————
PCs to Power Mixed Reality:
Microsoft wants this batch of devices to push the form-factor envelope with creative 2-in-1 and backpack designs. OEMs need to think about using processors with multiple threads. Discrete GPUs will be supported initially, followed by integrated GPU support toward the 2017 holiday season.
—————
PCs for the Gamer & Media Fanatic:
These devices should include VR-ready graphics chips that support DirectX 12, and screens supporting High Dynamic Range and a wide color gamut. Devices should also support Xbox peripherals and feature a “standout” design to win customers over visually.
—————
IoT Devices for Verticals:
Microsoft will focus on smart manufacturing, smart retail, and smart homes in 2017. The company will roll out new features for these three verticals in Creators Update, set to arrive in the spring.

It looks like 2017 will be an interesting year for Windows 10 and Microsoft’s customers. as interesting new form factors and peripherals hit the market. As the presentation revealed, these devices will support special Creators Update features, virtual reality, augmented reality, and the hero features provided in Windows 10.

2
Feb

Patent shows an external battery for the Apple Watch to improve its charge


Why it matters to you

You would get more use of your Apple Watch on a daily basis with an external, portable battery.

One of the most common complaints about the Apple Watch is its battery life. What good are GPS and step tracking, after all, if your battery is dead? Luckily, Apple appears to be working on a solution. A patent published by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office shows a portable charger that can be embedded in the watch’s wristband or attached to an existing band.

The filing “Charging apparatus for wearable electronic device” describes an external battery with “more cells” that will either partially or fully charge a paired Apple Watch. It transfers power using induction, a two-way design that uses an inductive coil to facilitate the flow of electricity — the same technique employed in the Magnetic Charging Cable that ships included with every Apple Watch.

More: Apple Watch Series 2 review

When it comes to the battery’s placement, Apple proposes several solutions. It could fit under the watch’s body in order to protect its “sensitive internal components,” or made curved so it could fit around a watch band’s interior. Or it could be embedded directly into an Apple Watch band accessory.

Perhaps anticipating that such a battery could affect the watch’s suite of sensors and generate an uncomfortable degree of heat, Apple’s proposing mitigating measures. A translucent window would allow the passage of light from, say, the Watch’s heart rate sensor, and a series of sensors would limit the battery’s charge rates when the Watch was being worn.

Apple’s not the first to entertain the idea of an external watch battery. The Wipowerband, a polypropylene plastic band, packs a 250 mAh high-density rechargeable cell that attaches to the Apple Watch’s standard connector. The silicon Reserve Strap, meanwhile, slots a tiny inductive charger with a lithium polymer cell between your wrist and the watch.

More: Apple WatchOS 3 review

Apple has tried to work around the Apple Watch’s power constraints in other ways, historically. The latest version of the Apple Watch’s operating system, watchOS 3.1, features battery optimizations, and the Apple Watch Series 2 was made slightly thicker than its predecessor in order to accommodate a larger battery.

In our review of the Apple Watch Series 2, we found it more than adequate for the average person. Moderate-to-light use got it through a day and a half, roughly, and sometimes a bit more. But we had to charge it most nights.

Apple says its watch offers “all day battery life” — up to 18 hours of normal use, which it defines as “90 time checks, 90 notifications, 45 minutes of app use and a 30-minute workout with music playback from Apple Watch via Bluetooth, over the course of 18 hours. That is certainly on par with the competition, but here is hoping the company engineers a better solution in the future.

2
Feb

The difference between BlackBerry and BlackBerry Mobile


blackberry-mercury-pre-production-2.jpg?

It’s time to make a few things clear: there’s BlackBerry the software company, and there’s BlackBerry Mobile, the hardware vendor.

As we move into the month of CrackBerry’s 10-year anniversary, and the return of CrackBerry Kevin, we thought it was important to highlight a few key differences between the BlackBerry we knew and the one we’re likely going to continue writing about.

From CrackBerry:

Late last year, BlackBerry signed a software and brand licensing deal with TCL granting them the rights to design, manufacture, sell and provide customer support for BlackBerry-branded mobile devices. Additionally, TCL is managing all sales and distribution and will serve as a global distributor of new BlackBerry-branded mobile devices along with their dedicated sales teams. Effectively, this means TCL is designing, building and marketing BlackBerry Smartphones for themselves, not for BlackBerry. BlackBerry is supporting TCL in this partnership, but TCL is now driving the Android-powered BlackBerry Smartphone train in almost all markets globally.

blackberry-mercury-pre-production-18_0.j

This helps distinguish BlackBerry the software company — yes, the one that still builds secure Android versions and various Android apps in addition to mobile device management solutions across multiple platforms — from the TCL-owned BlackBerry Mobile, which builds the actual phone hardware.

Again, from CrackBerry:

When it comes to Mercury, the accurate statement would be to say that BlackBerry Mobile is officially unveiling the BlackBerry Mercury at Mobile World Congress on February 25th. It would be incorrect to say that BlackBerry is.

From a journalistic perspective, this is an important distinction, because the people we’re dealing with at BlackBerry Mobile — owned by TCL — are different from those at BlackBerry proper. But for you, the user, it’s also important, since BlackBerry Mobile now controls the facilities for building BlackBerry hardware, and the two companies will work together on software updates. While it’s not clear at this point whether BlackBerry itself will control the bulk of the software update or if that will be under the purview of BB Mobile, the companies have assured us that the BlackBerry proper will have final say over the digital signature of each build, ensuring the high mark of security is maintained on all future devices.

It’s important for the user to know the difference, since BlackBerry Mobile now controls the facilities for building BlackBerry hardware, and the two companies will work together on software updates.

BlackBerry ‘Mercury’ will be a test of that new relationship; BlackBerry itself has, for a number of years now, distanced itself from the actual production of its smartphones, but now that responsibility is entirely out of its hands. TCL, the company that has turned Alcatel (formerly Alcatel OneTouch) into a reputable hardware vendor across the world, knows what it’s doing, and based on the devices we’ve used — the DTEK50 and DTEK60 — and ones we’re about to — ‘Mercury’ — we’re pretty confident things are only going to get better for the BlackBerry hardware brand in 2017 and beyond.

Cleaning up the Confusion: What you need to know about BlackBerry and BlackBerry Mobile

2
Feb

Google Hands Free is dying, and this Reddit thread perfectly encapsulates our frustrations with Google


It looks like the pivot isn’t going well.

new-google-logo.jpg?itok=NRw_qyf9

Back in March of last year, Google announced a Bay Area only test of a service called Hands Free. It was an alternative payment solution for people who thought taking their phone or wallet out of their pocket was a lot of work. The “hands free” part came from you having this new app on your phone and saying the words “I’ll pay with Google” at the register. When those words were recognized, you signed your initials and the transaction was suddenly complete.

These jabs at Google perfectly illustrate some of the things a lot of users view as mistakes made by Google recently.

Hands Free only worked at a handful of stores in the Bay Area, and never really expanded beyond the initial trial group, which might have something to do with why the service most people have never heard of just announced it’s shutting down.

It’s possible we’ll see some similar features baked into Android Pay at some point in the future, but for now there’s no value in getting excited about that potentially happening. Instead, take a look at this snippet from the Reddit thread where this sunset announcement was shared — and know you aren’t alone in being frustrated with Google right now.

hands-and-free.jpg?itok=VGoMsW7Z

While admittedly hilarious, these jabs at Google perfectly illustrate some of the things a lot of users view as mistakes made by Google recently. Take a look at Allo and Duo, or rather don’t because it’s clear by the app ranking no one is using Allo, and it’s not clear anyone ever actually opened Duo again after the first day it was available.

The bulk of the features available in these two apps would be amazing in Hangouts, but that product is supposed to be weirdly re-positioned for business use even though to many people already use it for personal communication. Meanwhile, there’s a lot of folks hooked up to Google right now that are just happy Google Voice isn’t actually getting killed off like so many rumors claimed. It’s hard to get messier than this situation.

There’s no harm in trying something new, in fact with a company the size of Google there needs to be a constant exploration of new things. Hands Free sounds like a neat experiment that ended in a decision to use that tech elsewhere, which is a thing that happens sometimes. And it really would be cool to see this tech show up in Android Pay some day instead of continuing to break down individual features into separate apps.

2
Feb

What to do when games don’t line up in Daydream


daydream-doesn%27t-line-up-redirect.jpg?

It’s irritating when things don’t line up in Daydream View, but there are some things to check when it happens.

You’re all ready to sit down and knock out some rival wizards in Wands after checking out some videos when suddenly your headset doesn’t seem to be working properly. When the game or app opens up, it isn’t displaying correctly and you’re definitely unable to enjoy it the way it is meant to be played. If this has ever happened to you, you’re probably aware of just how irritating it is. If this happens, there are a few things to check.

Read more at VRHeads.com

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