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10
Mar

Wander down Nostalgia lane with a Gameboy Emulator on Gear VR!


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Rocking out to your favorite Gameboy games in now easier than ever.

As games evolve and grow, one console replaces the next. This means that after a few years you may realize that you no longer have the system to properly run your favorite games, or even worse, that you still have the system but it’s so old it can’t even hook up to your television anymore. That’s where emulators come in. They allow you to run the games that you love on your PC or laptop, using downloaded ROMS to load up the game you want to play.

Well, now emulators have gone a step further. That’s because there is an emulator for Gear VR that will allow you to play original Gameboy games, and we’ve got all the details for you here!

Read more at VR Heads!

10
Mar

Huawei P10 ranks near top of DxOMark camera tests, but can’t beat the Pixel


Picture this.

The Huawei P10 has a lot to love, especially with a Leica-powered dual camera array and a manageable one hand-friendly size. The setup may be close to last year’s P9, but it’s taken the Mate 9’s excellent 20MP monochrome sensor to give it a big boost in the detail department, coming close to the Google Pixel’s photo quality in DxOMark’s tests.

What exactly does that mean?

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In the breakdown of the P10’s setup, DxO did extremely well in low-light and in capturing fine details, but it sometimes came up short in bright scenes. If you’re someone more prone to taking in the nightlife rather than recording a day at the beach, the P10 may be a good fit for you. Detailing on the P10 was great, even compared to the Pixel, but autofocus was a bit slow, and the P10 suffers from the same artifacting DxO has observed on other mobile devices with the Leica lens.

At the end of the day, the P10’s camera’s pretty great for a smartphone camera, and the 87 score puts it above the current iPhone 7 and a full two points higher than its predecessor. That said, 87 still wasn’t enough to top the Samsung Galaxy S7, the HTC 10, or dethrone the Google Pixel.

And if this is how the P10 scored, we wonder how the P10 Plus will do.

More: Our first samples from the even-better Huawei P10 Plus!

10
Mar

Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with these wallpapers, and a pint


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Go green with your phone, not your face, with these St. Paddy’s Day wallpapers!

St. Patrick’s Day is coming, and while as adults St. Paddy’s means a whole lot of drinking and some sweet parades, as children our first introduction to the holiday consisted of unsuspecting kiddies being ganged up on and pinched for not wearing green on a seemingly random day in March. Well, not wearing green on your shirt doesn’t mean you deserve to get pinched. Just set one of these wallpapers until the holiday is safely passed.

And if you see a green beer, walk the other way. Quickly.

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This kaleidoscopic fractal makes me want to drink, gamble, and fall into its mesmerizing symmetry all at once. The shamrocks and the diamonds play together well, and a gentle but not overwhelming green covers the scene.

I will say that technically if you shorten St. Patrick’s Day is should be St. Paddy’s, but I can’t argue with the beauty of this wallpaper.

St Patty’s Day by SuicideBySafetyPin

four_leaf_clover_wallpaper_by_pohlmannma

I know four leaf clovers are lucky and associated with the holiday, but regular old three-leaf closers are beautiful, too! And quite soft, they’re excellent for strolling through barefoot. This clover may not be as lucky as the four-leaf variety, but it is just as pretty and just as suited to be your wallpaper.

Four-leaf clover wallpaper by pohlmannmark

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Now this is a lovely fractal. Between the intricate shamrocks here are beautiful lotus-type blossoms, adding some contrast and some extra color, so your wallpaper isn’t tip-to-tail green. The detailing on each clover and petal of the flowers is remarkable, and this is a wallpaper I wouldn’t mind keeping on my home screen well into the spring, and maybe into the summer to remind me of cooler times.

Four-Leaf Clover by Zueuk

the_shamrocks_can_also_cry_by_deviant_ka

This macro wallpaper has an awesome name, an awesome look, and it gives you a seemingly normal wallpaper with hints of holiday theming. The reflections on the dew drops, the veins on the leaf, everything seems so so big, and reminds us that there is wonder in even the tiniest of nature’s wonders.

The shamrocks can also cry by Deviant-Kaneda

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Want your home screen to feel drunk even if you haven’t downed three pints of green beer yet? I give you Meristem, a green fractal that’s lopsided and makes me dizzy if I stare at it too long. It’s pretty, but also pretty disorienting. But hey, you know how they did psychedelic in the 60’s to counteract LSD, maybe this wallpaper works like that for beer goggles….

Maybe…

Meristem by Shortgreenpigg

10
Mar

LeEco continues to expand beyond LeMall with new national retail partnerships


You will soon be seeing more LeEco products at a retailer near you!

When LeEco landed in the U.S. last year, the Chinese technology company attempted to sell directly to American consumers by launching its LeMall e-commerce store, kicking things off with a with a flurry of flash sales to try and build a customer base quickly. It was… less than successful.

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In 2017, LeEco began to pivot, selling its wares through more traditional retail outlets. First, it tapped Target to start selling the Le Pro3 and Le S3 on its website and then turned to Amazon to sell its phones and TVs.

Today, LeEco announced it’s further expanding its national retail partnerships to make it easier for American consumers to buy its smartphones and TVs. In its latest blog post, LeEco has announced new retail partnerships with HSN, BrandsMart USA, Fry’s, as well as expanding into more Best Buy locations over the next few months.

Only time will tell if these new retail outlets will help bolster LeEco’s stateside sales. Both the LeEco Le Pro 3 and Le S3 are decent budget phones with pretty decent internal specs, so there definitely should be a market for them.

10
Mar

You won’t have to pay to play ‘Quake Champions’


The upcoming Quake Champions will be free-to-play. Or not. It depends on how you want to approach it. “At its core, it’s a free-to-play game with the option to buy the Champion Pack and just get in and play with all the Champions,” developer Bethesda Softworks’ creative director Tim Willits recently told Polygon. The Champion Pack is basically the full-priced version of the game, giving access to everything you’d expect from a retail title right out of the gate. But, if games like League of Legends and Dota 2 have taught us anything, it’s that dropping $60 up-front is a huge barrier to entry for people around the world.

That’s why Quake Champions will offer a way to play the game without spending money. Using earned, in-game currency called “favor,” you can play with other characters for a limited time period.

“I don’t want to use the word ‘rent,’” Willits told the publication. “You do spend favor to have access to them for a limited amount of time, yes. But you don’t spend any real money on it.”

Polygon says that favor will be easy enough to earn and that you can spend it on things besides access to other characters too, like new skins for said characters.

Given the popularity of LoL, Counter-Strike and Team Fortress 2 simply by way of their accessibility, this seems like it could be the best way to go about structuring the new Quake’s business model. That’s especially true when you consider that the aforementioned games are incredibly popular in places like eastern Europe and South Korea, where gaming cafes are bountiful. Bethesda made its eSports aspirations for the game explicit when it debuted last year; this helps prove that it wasn’t just hollow talk.

Source: Polygon

10
Mar

Best LG G6 cases: Protect your new LG phone


LG’s latest flagship smartphone, the LG G6, has arrived – and it’s totally different than its predecessor.

The company has ditched the modular concept it introduced with last year’s LG G5, opting for a metal-and-glass sandwich for the LG G6. This, of course, means you need an entirely new case for the new phone. It’s always a little bit of a shame to put on a case to cover a smartphone up, but without one, its beautiful frame would undoubtedly become covered in dings and scratches in no time.

  • LG G6 initial review: The first truly great flagship for 2017

Fortunately, there are plenty of cases available at launch, so you’ll have no trouble finding something absolutely perfect to protect it. Here’s a roundup of the best LG G6 cases we’ve stumbled across so far, but you can expect an update to this piece when we come across more. So, if none of these catch your eye just yet, don’t worry.

Amazon

Spigen Rugged Armor

Spigen’s case will protect your phone without making it as thick as a book and it looks good too, thanks to the carbon fiber texture on the rear and clear port cutouts. In terms of protective features, Spigen said it offers spiderweb shock absorption on the interior and Air Cushion Technology in all the corners. If you want a sleek case that’ll insulate the LG G6 from damage, get the Spigen Rugged Armor.

Price: £6.99 at Amazon.co.uk / $13.99 at Amazon.com

Amazon

Spigen Thin Fit

If you like the look of Spigen cases but absolutely hate any added bulk, then you should check out the Thin Fit case from Spigen. It doesn’t offer the type of drop protection you see in other Spigen cases, but it’ll prevent most nicks. Keep in mind your ports and side buttons are out in the open, and it’s so thin that NFC and wireless charging can get by it. We’re talking basic coverage here, but it works.

Price: £9.99 at Amazon.co.uk / $11.99 at Amazon.com

Amazon

Ringke Air Prism

Ringke makes really nice-looking cases, such as the Air Prism, a one-piece case made from soft TPU. It has a geometric pattern on the back, promises drop protection, and comes with all sorts of textures to ensure you always have a solid grip on your LG G6. It’s available in different colours, including black, rose gold, and clear, so you should be able to find one that suits you and your new phone.

Price: £6.99 at Amazon.co.uk / $10.99 at Amazon.com

Amazon

Supcase Rugged Holster Case

Supcase is a two-piece case with a front plate that has a built-in screen protector. Its multi-layered protection system relies upon TPU and polycarbonate materials to ensure shock absorption. It even has an impact resistant bumper and belt clip holster that swivels 360 degrees, making it a great accessory for anyone – especially belt-wearing fathers – who like to have quick access to their phone at all times.

Price: £16.99 at Amazon.co.uk / $14.99 at Amazon.com

Amazon

Mangix Water Resistant Case

Before you get too excited, remember there is a difference between waterproof water resistant. This case will protect your phone from splashes, the rain, and snow, but you cannot carry it into the pool with you. The exterior has hard shell, while the interior is flexible TPU. There are also six screws in the front, along with a screen protector, so your phone will definitely be protected from drops and falls.

Price: $29.99 at Amazon.com

Amazon

Trianium Clarium Series Case

Some people (*cough* minimalists *cough*) just want a simple, clear case, because it offers basic protection from bumps while still allowing them to show off their new device for all to see. Trianium’s Clarium Series cases are a perfect example. With one, your phone will get all-around protection, but the case itself is still pretty slim and lightweight, and of course, it’s clear and can display your new LG G6.

Price: $7.99 at Amazon.com

Amazon

LK Wallet Case

Don’t forget other cases aren’t solely about protection and looks. They can be practical and functional. Wallet cases, for instance, offer the convenience of storing your phone, cash, and cards all in one place. LK Wallet case also happens to offer full protection, thanks to the TPU inner shell and leather exterior. You can fit three cards inside, as well as folded bills, and it folds up to create a kickstand.

Price: $9.99 at Amazon.com

Amazon

Wellci Flip Case

Similar to a wallet case, the flip case is different from most protective coverings. Usually there is a slot or two for cards, and they don’t cover the entire smartphone, nor do they have a magnetic lock to keep everything inside. But they certainly look stylish and will safeguard your phone against minor drops. The cutouts in Wellci’s case are also very precise – plus, there’s a kickstand for your phone.

Price: $9.99 at Amazon.com

10
Mar

‘Sonic Mania’ finally gives its lead character a unique special move


When Sega invited me behind closed doors to get an early look of Sonic Mania at GDC last month, I wasn’t expecting much. I’d seen the trailers and indeed, it looked like a grand homage to franchise, but I was surprised to find that the game is more than that. Mania doesn’t just bring players back to the 16-bit era with classic graphics and gameplay — it adds to it. This retro Sonic throwback gifts its mascot with new abilities, new levels and incredibly smooth pixel animation.

Think of Sonic Mania as an evolved approach to how Christian Whitehead handled the Sonic The Hedgehog, Sonic The Hedgehog 2 and Sonic CD HD remasters. It embraces the spirit of classic Sonic games while subtly improving upon almost everything — starting with the heroic blue rodent himself. “Tails flies, Knuckles can glide and climb,” Sega’s Aaron Webber told Engadget. “Sonic had nothing.” Somehow, the game’s titular character became its least versatile. Sonic Mania fixes that, giving the blue hedgehog a new “drop dash” move that lets the player drop down from a jump into an accelerated, controllable spin-dash attack. Once on the ground, players can instantly change direction without coming out of the attack. It’s a simple, easy-to-use move that finally puts Sonic on the same level as his sidekicks.

Sonic Mania also makes the most of modern hardware. Sure, it still looks like a game plucked out of the Sega Genesis library, but it’s tuned to run at 60 frames per second. That may not sound like much, but it’s the kind of specification boost that allowed the team to cram in beautiful, fluid character animation. Simply put, there are more animation frames in every action Sonic and friends perform, from the way the blue hedgehog cranes his neck to look up to Tails’ end-level victory dance. This smooth character work really shines on the game’s title screen, where Sonic performs a 360-degree spin within the frame of the game’s logo. “That took the animator almost two weeks,” Webber said. “There’s a huge amount of frames in it.” Indeed, it looks gorgeous.

Despite these gameplay and technical changes, Sonic Mania still feels very much like a classic Sonic title. That’s probably because most of the staff are die-hard Sonic fans with roots the fan community and experience making unofficial hedgehog games. The passion shows in the painstaking recreation of the first game’s Green Hill Zone (an homage filled with new secrets and areas to explore) and Studiopolis Zone, a new level that merges the flash of the classic Casino Night Zone with a Hollywood theme. Webber says the team “tried to find a balance between ‘We’re making something new,’ and ‘We’re making something that isn’t too far from what the originals were.’” The final game isn’t due out until later this year, but if my early impressions are anything to go by, Sega nailed it.

10
Mar

The Engadget Podcast Ep 31: Look Inside America


On this episode a trio of out-of-towners — managing editor James Trew, senior editor Aaron Souppouris and senior editor Mat Smith — join host Terrence O’Brien to talk about the latest tech news. First they’ll discuss Consumer Reports decision to start considering security and privacy in their ratings. Then try to figure out just what the hell the New York Times is thinking by putting tweets in the print edition of the paper. Then lastly they’ll talk about the latest out of Wikileaks and yell a whole lot about what a terrible person Julian Assange is.


Relevant links:

  • Consumer Reports now rates product privacy and security
  • New York Times reporters’ tweets will appear in its paper edition
  • Apple says it’s already patched ‘many’ Wikileaks iOS exploits
  • WikiLeaks claims to have the CIA’s hacking toolkit

The Wind Down:

  • Nine Inch Nails – The Fragile (2017 Definitive Edition)
  • Raye – Second
  • Lovesick
  • The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

You can check out every episode on The Engadget Podcast page in audio, video and text form for the hearing impaired.

Watch on YouTube

Watch on Facebook

Subscribe on Google Play Music

Subscribe on iTunes

Subscribe on Stitcher

Subscribe on Pocket Casts

10
Mar

YouTube made VR gaming videos for Google Daydream and Cardboard


You might have come across a few 360-degree gaming videos on YouTube since last year. Chances are, those are some of the results of the platform’s partnership with creators and publishers formed in an effort to experiment with the production of VR gaming videos. They transformed all kinds of content into 360-degree experiences, from trailers to Let’s Play and even gaming-themed live action videos. YouTube has now collected all of them in a playlist aptly entitled “Step Into The Games.” As you can see, they include familiar names like Minecraft, Super Mario Bros, Psychonauts, Need for Speed and Call of Duty.

For maximum immersion, you’ll have to access the playlist using the YouTube VR app on Google’s Daydream or Cardboard headset. You can still play them on a mobile device or a computer, though — you’ll just have to drag your screen or move your phone around to see everything the 360-degree videos can offer.


Source: YouTube

10
Mar

Airbnb might soon be legal in Japan


Looks like Airbnb is faring a lot better in Japan than in its own home: it might soon be able to legally operate within the country. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s cabinet has given its blessing to the proposed rules that will be imposed upon the service, and they’re now on their way to be approved by Japan’s National Diet. While home owners won’t have to worry about breaking the law when they list their properties, the service’s legalization comes with a price. The rules include a 180-day limit on rentals per year, and not all home owners are happy with the restriction.

As you know, some people buy properties with the intent of listing them on Airbnb all year round. It can be especially lucrative in Japan, with its booming tourism industry — some hotels in the country can be fully booked months before Sakura season. In 2016, 3.7 million of the 24 million tourists who visited the island nation stayed in an Airbnb, making it the company’s fastest-growing market.

The lack of proper regulation allows home owners to make a decent profit off their properties. But once Airbnb becomes legal, they’ll have to secure a landlord’s permit and an operating license to rent out their properties for over 180 days. They can’t cheat either: the website will add a new feature that will automatically hide rentals that exceed the annual limit. The company’s Japanese division knows that it could affect some of their hosts, but it believes what’s important is “that there will now be clear rules governing home-sharing.”

Source: Bloomberg

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