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16
Mar

Cog: Endless games have never looked so good (Review)


In a marketplace where more and more endless games are trying to compete for new users, developers are just starting to realize that they need a differentiating factor in order to survive the app carnage. Cog, by Interactive Monster, offers gamers what is expected from an endless game: simple gameplay, no-nonsense controls, and challenging gameplay. However, Cog is also a gorgeous game to look at, with very fluid animations and superb accompanying sound effects.

Developer: Interactive Monster
Price: Free

Overview

Normally, reviews start with a setup section, but there’s no setup needed for Cog. You just launch the game and it starts right away. There’s no tutorial either, but, with a little trial and error, you will get what are you supposed to do in no time.

You control a white orb and have to move it from one ring to another. This is done by tapping anywhere on the screen. Doing this will propel your orb in an upwards position (or to the left, if you’re playing in landscape orientation.

Easy, right? Well, the game isn’t called Cog just because it sounds cool. There are cogs everywhere trying to block your road to success. A small touch to one of these cogs and it’s game over for you.

Striking visuals are the first thing you will notice in this game.

Also, the walls that surround the stage collapse towards you, so the time you have to go from ring to ring is very limited.

To aid you in your journey, the game throws at you spheres with useful items. For example, you can get an hourglass that slows the cogs around you, so that you can proceed through the perils of this world in a more analytical way.

There’s also a bomb that destroys all cogs for the next two rings and a shield that puts a protective aura around your orb to give you a second chance in case you screw up.

General Impressions

The items scattered through the stage are very useful.

When you combine all of these elements, they yield a very interesting, fast-paced and challenging gameplay. Even though you have to plan your movements carefully, if you are not fast enough, then the window to advance to the next ring will be gone and it will be game over for you.

The items that the game throws around are extremely useful, especially the shield. Going through the stage knowing that any mistake you make will not be the end of it all gives you a huge peace of mind.

Even though the game can get very addicting and it is a joy to look at, it suffers from the same issue as many games on the Play Store: zero replay value. Other than increasing your high score and completing the achievements available (not through Google Play Games, but rather a proprietary achievement system), there’s very, very little you can do.

There’s supposedly a Rankings tab where you can see how your score compares to other users around the world (and weep as you see how your score gets crushed by others), but I couldn’t manage to find it.

Graphics

The obligatory screenshot of my highest score is provided for your amusement.

This is definitely one of the highest points of this game. The game is absolutely stunning. The background has these star-like circles that fly through, there are moving cogs everywhere and it changes color as you advance through the stage.

Even though the game looks amazing, it is definitely not pushing the processor to its limit, so this results in the game playing very smoothly, even on my kind of low-end Nomu S10. Even the animations for the game over screen are very nice and fluid. There’s absolutely nothing to dislike about this game graphics-wise.

Sound

The game has several background songs so that you don’t have to listen to the same song over and over again. They are very relaxing tunes, just appropriate to help you concentrate on the mayhem going in front of your eyes.

Sound effects that accompany your actions are not your typical SFX. They sound very mechanical, kind of what you expect from listening to moving parts in robots. Very appropriate for a game called Cog!

Conclusion

Cog manages to immerse the player into a stage full of moving perils, striking visuals, great sound and a dead-simple goal. However, this game is lacking in the replay value department, with very little incentive to keep going other than increasing your score. If the developers improve this aspect, maybe through the addition of other gameplay modes or some kind of progression, then they will have a winner on its hands. Even then, Cog is definitely worth trying for those moments where all you need is some quick fun.

Download and install Cog from the Google Play Store.

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16
Mar

Researchers use Intel’s Software Guard Extensions to conceal malware


Why it matters to you

This kind of discovery demonstrates why ongoing security research is so important, as even a major company like Intel can be subject to unseen vulnerabilities.

Intended to help users keep their systems safe and secure, Intel Software Guard Extensions is a set of CPU instructions that can make particular portions of code and data private. However, a new paper suggests that SGX could in fact be used to facilitate a malicious attack.

Samuel Weiser and four collaborators from the Graz University of Technology in Austria have published research that demonstrates how SGX can be used to conceal a piece of malware. Within minutes, this technique was used to gain access to RSA keys hidden in SGX enclaves, according to a report from The Register.

More: Password manager Dashlane now integrates with Intel SGX for hardware security

The researchers developed a method of monitoring vulnerable cache sets that allowed them to spot the telltale signature of an RSA key calculation. “Key recovery comes in three steps,” reads the paper. “First, traces are preprocessed. Second, a partial key is extracted from each trace. Third, the partial keys are merged to recover the private key.”

Tests were run on an SGX-capable Lenovo ThinkPad T460S, which was running Ubuntu version 16.10. The team found that a single cache trace offered access to 96 percent of a 4,096-bit RSA key, and it only took eleven traces for the complete key to be assembled. The process took less than five minutes.

The authors of the paper said it’s possible to block the type of attack that they’ve demonstrated. However, the responsibility of addressing the vulnerability falls to Intel, as changes made to operating systems could end up causing further damage to the SGX model.

This isn’t the first time that Weiser has gone public with evidence that SGX is vulnerable. In January 2017, he was part of a group of researchers that published a paper that demonstrated how its input-output protections could be abused to gain access to private user data.

16
Mar

Qualcomm’s Snapdragon is no longer just a processor — now it’s a ‘platform’


Why it matters to you

Qualcomm’s tech is what makes many of our phones work — and the company will continue to build all sorts of innards our devices need.

Qualcomm’s Snapdragon team is evolving. The Snapdragon is best known for being a line of processors, including the Snapdragon 820 and 835, for mobile devices. Now, after almost a decade of releasing Snapdragon processors, the company has announced that Snapdragon is no longer a line of processors — it’s now a platform.

So, instead of referring to Snapdragon as the “Snapdragon Processor,” it will instead now be known as the “Qualcomm Snapdragon Mobile Platform.” Some of the processors in the lineup will be booted from the Snapdragon family altogether, including the Snapdragon 200 series, which will now be a part of the “Qualcomm Mobile Platform.”

More: Apple vs. Qualcomm: Everything you need to know

So what does this all mean? It’s a slightly strange rebranding, but the point is that Qualcomm wants to develop a full platform. It’s important to note that its hardware isn’t going to change — the Snapdragon 835 will still be a mobile processor in the Snapdragon family. Qualcomm wants to emphasis, however, that the Snapdragon 835 SoC is more than just a processor — it’s a full collection of bits and pieces, including the processor itself, a GPU, a modem, and a few pieces of software that help make all those pieces work together.

It does kind of make sense — the word processor is generally associated with a CPU, and the Snapdragon SoC simply is not just a CPU. In fact, what really sets Snapdragon SoC’s apart from other chip-makers is the system-on-a-chip component, which are fully custom. It’s clear that Qualcomm simply wants to shift some of the attention to all the non-CPU bits it also builds.

As AnAndTech notes however, a big risk here is that the word “platform” is pretty overused in the tech industry these days, and as such it doesn’t really end up holding all that much meaning.

As mentioned, the Snapdragon 200 family will be leaving the Snapdragon series altogether and joining Qualcomm’s “Mobile Platform.” The 200 series hasn’t been rebranded just yet — which does make things a little confusing. Considering the fact that the 200 series was the lowest series in the Qualcomm family, however, helps convey that the company wants Snapdragon to be a high-end name.

16
Mar

Qualcomm’s Snapdragon is no longer just a processor — now it’s a ‘platform’


Why it matters to you

Qualcomm’s tech is what makes many of our phones work — and the company will continue to build all sorts of innards our devices need.

Qualcomm’s Snapdragon team is evolving. The Snapdragon is best known for being a line of processors, including the Snapdragon 820 and 835, for mobile devices. Now, after almost a decade of releasing Snapdragon processors, the company has announced that Snapdragon is no longer a line of processors — it’s now a platform.

So, instead of referring to Snapdragon as the “Snapdragon Processor,” it will instead now be known as the “Qualcomm Snapdragon Mobile Platform.” Some of the processors in the lineup will be booted from the Snapdragon family altogether, including the Snapdragon 200 series, which will now be a part of the “Qualcomm Mobile Platform.”

More: Apple vs. Qualcomm: Everything you need to know

So what does this all mean? It’s a slightly strange rebranding, but the point is that Qualcomm wants to develop a full platform. It’s important to note that its hardware isn’t going to change — the Snapdragon 835 will still be a mobile processor in the Snapdragon family. Qualcomm wants to emphasis, however, that the Snapdragon 835 SoC is more than just a processor — it’s a full collection of bits and pieces, including the processor itself, a GPU, a modem, and a few pieces of software that help make all those pieces work together.

It does kind of make sense — the word processor is generally associated with a CPU, and the Snapdragon SoC simply is not just a CPU. In fact, what really sets Snapdragon SoC’s apart from other chip-makers is the system-on-a-chip component, which are fully custom. It’s clear that Qualcomm simply wants to shift some of the attention to all the non-CPU bits it also builds.

As AnAndTech notes however, a big risk here is that the word “platform” is pretty overused in the tech industry these days, and as such it doesn’t really end up holding all that much meaning.

As mentioned, the Snapdragon 200 family will be leaving the Snapdragon series altogether and joining Qualcomm’s “Mobile Platform.” The 200 series hasn’t been rebranded just yet — which does make things a little confusing. Considering the fact that the 200 series was the lowest series in the Qualcomm family, however, helps convey that the company wants Snapdragon to be a high-end name.

16
Mar

3D printers and robot arms: This is what small-scale automated manufacturing looks like


Why it matters to you

By taking over menial tasks, these machines may facilitate more fulfilling roles for humans.

Brooklyn-based 3D printing factory Voodoo Manufacturing has a new employee that never sleeps and won’t take lunch breaks. Dubbed Project Skywalker, the system demonstrates what the company calls the first fully functional robot-operated 3D printer cluster.

“One of our near-term goals at Voodoo is to lower our costs by 90 percent over the next three to five years in order to compete for higher-volume part runs,” Jonathan Schwartz, co-founder and Chief Product Officer, told Digital Trends. “Ultimately, however, we intend to build a fully-digital factory, in which digital files are provided as input, and physical parts are produced as output.”

In the meantime, Voodoo will use Skywalker, which consists of a robotic arm and nine 3D printers mounted on server racks. As the printers churn out objects, the arm collects and moves them to a conveyer belt where they can be picked up by employees. Voodoo calls the robot a harvester and insists it will save employees time from menial tasks but won’t take their jobs.

“Skywalker will not be replacing any of our employees,” said Max Friefeld, co-founder and CEO. “It will enable them to focus on higher-value tasks compared to what we’ll be using robots to automate.”

More: The startup behind the world’s fastest 3D printer is back with version 2.0

Friefeld projects that over time this increased efficiency will enable the company to hire more human employees in more fulfilling roles. “We don’t think of automation as a zero-sum game, where a robot gaining tasks means that a person must lose tasks or their job,” he said. “This is true because manufacturing demand and output in the United States, the world, and at Voodoo is growing rather than staying constant or shrinking. This is a trend we expect will continue, mostly thanks to the efficiencies gained by automation.”

Schwartz says the Skywalker system will help produce products from prosthetics to keychains, and even custom parts for hardware. However, this is Voodoo’s own special project and the group has no plans to make it commercially available at this point.

16
Mar

Could Apple use AirPods for fitness tracking? New patent filing suggests yes


Why it matters to you

If you want to keep better tabs on your health and fitness, you’re set to get more and more devices that can help you do so.

Apple is putting more and more of a focus on fitness tracking, and that’s unlikely to change anytime soon. While the Apple Watch will continue to get better at tracking your health and fitness, it looks like Apple could soon use another device for tracking — AirPods.

A new patent application has been discovered by the folks over at AppleInsider, and it shows that Apple may be working on a pair of AirPods packed with sensors that will allow them to track your health and fitness — on top of obviously functioning like a pair of headphones.

More: Apple’s Find My AirPods feature makes it nearly impossible to lose your ‘buds

Sensors that are listed in the filing include a PPG sensor, which is already used in the Apple Watch and is a common way to track heart rate by shining a light onto the skin and measuring the variations in reflections. That tech can also be used to characterize the blood. The patent application also mentions the use of a VO2 sensor, which detects the maximum amount of oxygen someone can use during exercise. Not only that, but it also notes an EKG sensor and ICG sensor could be used to detect the electrical activity of the heart.

The news highlights a trend that sees tech companies taking more and more of an interest in health and fitness tracking. Wearable devices are increasingly fitness focused, and whether Apple uses AirPods for fitness tracking or not, that trend is likely to continue.

AirPods themselves were first launched at the end of 2016, and have met with quite a bit of success, to the point where the availability of AirPods has been limited since the launch. It will be interesting to see if Apple intends to integrate biometric sensors into AirPods. If the company does, it could help make them even more popular than they already are.

16
Mar

Wear your favorite place as a piece of personalized jewelry


Why it matters to you

This startup will let you carry your home on your finger, or at least, have a map of your home turned into a ring you can wear every day.

Home may be where the heart is, but it can also be … on your finger. Thanks to a new Kickstarter project, you can take your favorite place and wear it, either as a ring or as a pendant, as a stunning geometric design. Dubbed “You Are Here,” this personal map jewelry lets you choose any place on the planet and turn its map into a unique accessory.

You’ll serve as your own designer for this highly personalized piece — simply pay a visit to the online interactive map, enter any address or place, and zoom in and drag the map around to finalize the frame you’d like to capture. Your selected map will then be “further refined and embedded into your selected jewelry design at the studio,” the You Are Here team explains on its Kickstarter page. Ultimately, your design will be transformed into metal, and subsequently plated with 24K gold or silver.

More: The best smart jewelry you can buy

Whether it’s your hometown, the setting of your first kiss, or the road trip of a lifetime, you can memorialize the place or the journey with this piece of jewelry. You can choose from a number of different finishes — whether you want a lapel pin promising “clean and understated design” that is the “perfect unisex piece to adorn any jacket or pocket,” a pendant with three different necklace lengths to choose from, or a statement ring with an open back that can be adjusted to any one of your fingers, you can wear your memories with pride. All collection designs are available in either 24K gold or sterling silver plating with a matte finish.

Currently, you can order your own piece on Kickstarter for the early bird price of $99 (the final retail price is currently slated to be $129). Pieces are expected to be shipped in July of this year.

16
Mar

Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 launching March 24, pre-orders start March 17 at $599


It won’t be cheap, but you also don’t have many other options.

Initial leaks about price proved to be correct, as now we know for sure the Galaxy Tab S3 will go up for pre-order starting March 17, with in-store availability coming March 24. The price, as expected, is a smooth $599 that puts it up in the same territory as Apple’s iPad lineup of the same size.

For that money you’re getting Samsung’s most powerful tablet yet, but also one that gets a bit closer to modern specs than previous models. The 9.7-inch display is backed up by a Snapdragon 820 processor, 4GB of RAM, 6000mAh battery with fast charging through its USB-C port, and 32GB of storage with an SD card slot as well.

samsung-galaxy-tab-s3-3140_0.jpg?itok=Xd

Though you get the new, larger S Pen in the box to get all of your writing and drawing done, you’ll have to pay extra for the redesigned and improved keyboard case. It’ll set you back an extra $129, and chances are if you’re going to buy this big and powerful tablet you’ll want to at least strongly consider picking one up. The Tab S3 comes with pogo pins in its left edge made specifically for the keyboard, meaning the keyboard case itself can be thin because it doesn’t have a battery.

The flip-around folio case that’ll protect the tablet and prop it up for long viewing sessions will set you back $59, and if you happen to lose your S Pen (because it doesn’t go inside the tablet) a replacement will also be $59.

More: Galaxy Tab S3 hands-on preview

You’ll be able to buy the Galaxy Tab S3 — again, starting March 17 or in-store on March 24 — from Best Buy, Amazon and Samsung’s own website, so it shouldn’t be tough to get your hands on one if you want to order in the next week or just hit a store. You can choose between black and silver models, and of course remember to save a little extra money to consider that keyboard case.

See at Best Buy

16
Mar

These Beauty and the Beast themes will bring some magic to your Android phone


beauty-beast-themes-belle-prince-red.jpg

Theme as old as time… true as it can be…

Beauty and the Beast is coming back to theaters with a big, bold, live-action telling of our favorite bookworm princess. As a diehard Disney fan, this means breaking out the Nova Launcher and the KWGT to get my theme on. There’s a lot of iconic characters to cover in Beauty and the Beast, and without further ado, here they are!

We invite you to relax, pull up a chair, as Android Central proudly presents… your themes.

Belle

beauty-themes-belle-beafriend-angled.jpg

Belle is a bold, brainy bookworm who wants the world to see past her beautiful exterior to the intellect and ingenuity inside. While Belle has and always will be defined to the world and her fans by the yellow dress, I wanted to portray Belle’s theme the way I think she’d use a home screen: elegant but functional, with her passion for books in full view.

This theme wouldn’t have been possible without the exceptional skills of Virginia Poltrack of Fat Russell watch faces, who made this perfectly-fitting wallpaper!

  • Belle’s Bookcase Wallpaper
  • Whicons (Free)
  • 1Weather
  • KWGT Pro
  • Belle Music Widget Preset for KWGT
  • File manager app to move the Belle Music Widget Preset into the Kustom/widgets folder
  • Launcher with resizable widgets, custom icon support, custom grid sizes, and padding support. These instructions and this theme were drafted on Nova Launcher and I highly recommend using it for this theme as we’re going to be dealing with some ridiculously precise widget placements here.

Long-press the wallpaper on your home screen until a series of options appear.
Tap Wallpapers.

Tap Pick image.

belle-theme-screens-01.jpeg?itok=unpSUGG

Select your downloaded Belle’s Bookcase Wallpaper.
Center your wallpaper. If your screen is wider than the image, make sure when you zoom in that you stay at the top of the image, cutting off some of the wood at the bottom rather than cutting off the top shelf.

Tap Set wallpaper.

belle-theme-screens-02.jpeg?itok=IDGFzrU

Open Nova Settings.
Tap Look & feel.

Tap Icon theme.

belle-theme-screens-03.jpeg?itok=uGBC1Eq

Select Whicons.
Return to the home screen and long-press the app drawer icon until the icon menu appears.

Tap Edit.

belle-theme-screens-04.jpeg?itok=1AhW_lO

Tap the icon box to edit it.
Select Whicons.

Scroll down to G for Google. Select Google Play Books, a symmetrical open book.

belle-theme-screens-05.jpeg?itok=UJtFbij

Tap Done to confirm the icon change.
Long-press the wallpaper on your home screen until a series of options appear.

Tap Widgets.

belle-theme-screens-06.jpeg?itok=oiWZg_o

Press-and-drag a 1Weather Compact widget to the bottom row of your home screen.

In the configuration window, change Background to Dark.

Change Background opacity to 0%.

belle-theme-screens-07.jpeg?itok=NOTdzlG

Change Accent to White (top row, middle).
Tap Done.

Open Nova Settings.

belle-theme-screens-08.jpeg?itok=xNQEa5R

Tap Desktop.
Under Page indicator, tap Indicator color.

Tap Turquoise (third row, fourth column)

belle-theme-screens-09.jpeg?itok=612kMsV

Tap the back arrow in the top left corner to return to the main Nova Settings menu.
Tap Folders.

Under Window, tap Background.

belle-theme-screens-10.jpeg?itok=SRz52jE

Tap Custom (fifth row, fourth column).

Change the color to #a66e2100.

belle-theme-screens-11.jpeg?itok=RQStz68

Tap OK.

Return to the home screen.

belle-theme-screens-12.jpeg?itok=b8y6RMu

Belle’s Music Widget

beauty-themes-belle-music-widget-closeup

Putting a custom-tinted music widgets perfectly inside the top bookshelf takes a little tinkering on any device it’s on. Because of the complexity it can entail, I’m keeping the instructions for it to its own section. I’ll try to be as clear as I can and explain things as I go, but this is definitely on the advanced side of our spectrum.

These instructions were drafted with KWGT Pro and Nova Launcher on a Google Pixel with a 6×6 desktop grid with height padding set to small for both the dock and desktop. I mention the padding because that will figure into how the widget fits into the shelf.

Before we begin, download the Belle Music Widget Preset into the Kustom/widgets folder on your device using a file manager. If you can’t find that folder, open the app up once so that the app can create the folders.

Long-press the wallpaper on your home screen until a series of options appear.
Tap Widgets.

Press-and-drag a 4×2 KWGT widget to the top two rows of your home screen.

belle-music-theme-screens-01.jpeg?itok=B

Long-press the widget until a Nova menu pops up.
Tap Resizeand stretch the empty widget until it covers the entire top shelf. If it’s just barely not covering the top/bottom of the shelf, long-press the widget until the menu pops up and tap Padding.

Tap the widget to configure it.

belle-music-theme-screens-02.jpeg?itok=A

Tap Exported in the top carousel of tabs.

Tap Belle Music Widget.

belle-music-theme-screens-03.jpeg?itok=L

Save the widget using the floppy disk icon in the top left bar of the Kustom editor.

Return to the home screen.

belle-music-theme-screens-04.jpeg?itok=2

Now that we have the widget preset loaded, we need to see what adjustments need to be made to have the white backer of the widget cover the whole shelf, and to have the top left corner of the Material Music Komponent line up with the white backer. Take a look at how close you are to where we need to be, and from there, we have a few adjustments to make:

Adjusting the backer to the shelf

Tap the widget text to open the KWGT editor. (Tapping the album art should take you into the music app instead.)
Tap Shape in the Items tab of the editor.

To adjust the rectangle width-wise, change the Width in the Shape tab.

belle-adjust-backer-shelf-screens-01.jpe

To adjust the rectangle height-wise, change the Height in the Shape tab.
To move the rectangle up or down in the widget box, adjust the YOffset in the Position tab.
To move the rectangle left or right in the widget box, adjust the XOffset in the Position tab.

Whenever you wish to return to the home screen and check your edits, Save the widget using the floppy disk icon in the top left bar of the Kustom editor.

belle-adjust-backer-shelf-screens-02.jpe

Adjusting the music component to the white backer

Tap the widget text to open the KWGT editor.
Tap Material Music Komponent in the Items tab of the editor.

To adjust the size of the music komponent, change the Scale in the Layer tab.

belle-adjust-white-backer-screens-01.jpe

To move the komponent up or down to align the album art with the top line of the the white box, adjust the YOffset in the Position tab.
To move the komponent left or right to align the album art with the left line of the the white box, adjust the XOffset in the Position tab.

When you have the top left corners of the komponent and rectangle aligns as you wish, Save the widget using the floppy disk icon in the top left bar of the Kustom editor.

belle-adjust-white-backer-screens-02.jpe

Adjusting the touch shortcuts

Once you have the widget set as you’d like, you can edit the widget to so that you don’t re-open the editor every time you hit the text instead of the playback buttons.

Tap the widget text to open the KWGT editor.
Pull the tabs list halfway down the page to the left so that you can see the Touch tab.

Tap the Touch tab.

belle-adjust-touch-controls-screens-01.j

Tap Kustom Action => Advanced Editor.
Tap Kustom Action to bring up the types of commands you can trigger.
Tap None.

Save the widget using the floppy disk icon in the top left bar of the Kustom editor.

belle-adjust-touch-controls-screens-02.j

With this touch action saved, you won’t re-open the editor by tapping the widget. If you need to edit the widget in the future, you can reach the editor by opening the KWGT app.

Beast

beauty-themes-beast-stained.jpg?itok=XgV

The Beast is a brash, angry, and uncaring individual that Disney has somehow made us all care about more than should be reasonable. We do love a good underdog story, or underbeast story, as it were, but the Beast’s whole existence before he meets Belle is consumed by two things: the curse that transformed him, and the enchanted rose that acts as the countdown clock to his eternal punishment as a beast. It is only fitting that his theme is also dominated by these two things as well, with the unnatural fuschia accenting the unnatural magic the Enchantress struck him with.

  • The Rose She Offered: Wallpaper by The-Cat-Speaks
  • Lines Icon Pack (Free, $1.99)
  • 1Weather
  • Launcher with resizable widgets, custom icon support and folder customization

Long-press the wallpaper on your home screen until a series of options appear.
Tap Wallpapers.

Tap Pick image.

beast-theme-screens-01.jpeg?itok=NraRJ4o

Select your downloaded The Rose She Offered Wallpaper.
Center the rose on your screen as best you can.

Tap Set wallpaper.

beast-theme-screens-02.jpeg?itok=hhjLxHl

Open Nova Settings.
Tap Look & feel.

Tap Icon theme.

beast-theme-screens-03.jpeg?itok=8UFlNyS

Select Lines.
Return to the home screen.

Long-press the app drawer icon until the icon menu appears.

beast-theme-screens-04.jpeg?itok=ho6fswJ

Tap Edit.
Tap the icon box to edit it.

Select Lines.

beast-theme-screens-05.jpeg?itok=ChLcuIu

Scroll down to D for Disney.
Select Disney, the Disney D.

Tap Done to confirm the icon change.

beast-theme-screens-06.jpeg?itok=4q8brzb

Long-press the wallpaper on your home screen until a series of options appear.
Tap Widgets.

Press-and-drag a 1Weather Tabbed widget to the bottom row of your home screen.

beast-theme-screens-07.jpeg?itok=jpfmLeN

In the configuration window, change Background to Dark.
Change Background opacity to 0%.

Change Icon Set to White.

beast-theme-screens-08.jpeg?itok=tMWs29E

Change Accent to Fuschia (second row from the bottom, middle).
Tap Done.

Open Nova Settings.

beast-theme-screens-09.jpeg?itok=nVN6VId

Tap Folders.
Under Window, tap Background.

Select Purple (second row, third column).

beast-theme-screens-10.jpeg?itok=K3k9ccw

Tap the back arrow in the top left corner to return to the main Nova Settings menu.
Tap Desktop

Under Page indicator, tap Indicator color.

beast-theme-screens-11.jpeg?itok=0ht4vg8

Select Purple (second row, third column).

Return to the home screen.

beast-theme-screens-12.jpeg?itok=zFh8I2r

Prince Adam

beauty-themes-prince-ballroom.jpg?itok=D

Wait, Beast has a name?! Yes, yes, he does! And because I feel like Prince Adam would keep a reminder like this on his home screen not only to remind himself of his humanity but of his recovery. In honor of his transformation, this theme follows our previous Beast theme very closely, but things are a little brighter and rosier.

  • Enchanted Rose Wallpaper by Tigermint
  • Whicons (Free)
  • 1Weather
  • Launcher with resizable widgets, custom icon support and folder customization

Long-press the wallpaper on your home screen until a series of options appear.
Tap Wallpapers.

Tap Pick image.

prince-adam-theme-screens-01.jpeg?itok=q

Select your downloaded Enchanted Rose Wallpaper.
Zoom in on the wallpaper, cropping the black bars at the top and bottom.

Tap Set wallpaper.

prince-adam-theme-screens-02.jpeg?itok=v

Open Nova Settings.
Tap Look & feel.

Tap Icon theme.

prince-adam-theme-screens-03.jpeg?itok=_

Select Whicons.
Return to the home screen.

Long-press the app drawer icon until the icon menu appears.

prince-adam-theme-screens-04.jpeg?itok=r

Tap Edit.
Tap the icon box to edit it.

Select Whicons.

prince-adam-theme-screens-05.jpeg?itok=r

Scroll down to K for King.
Select King, a symmetrical crown with a fleur-de-lis pattern.

Tap Done to confirm the icon change.

prince-adam-theme-screens-06.jpeg?itok=d

Long-press the wallpaper on your home screen until a series of options appear.
Tap Widgets.

Press-and-drag a 1Weather Tabbed widget to the bottom row of your home screen.

prince-adam-theme-screens-07.jpeg?itok=3

In the configuration window, change Background to Dark.
Change Background opacity to 0%.

Change Icon Set to White.

prince-adam-theme-screens-08.jpeg?itok=l

Change Accent to Custom (rainbow in the top left box)
Drag the arrow in the right-hand color bar between red and purple.

Drag the color circle in the left box to the top of the box about a third in from the left.

prince-adam-theme-screens-09.jpeg?itok=H

Tap OK.
Tap Done.

Open Nova Settings.

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Tap Folders.
Under Window, tap Background.

Tap Custom (fifth row, fourth column).

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Change the color to #9ad77ba2.
Tap OK.

Tap the back arrow in the top left corner to return to the main Nova Settings menu.

prince-adam-theme-screens-12.jpeg?itok=F

Tap Desktop

Under Page indicator, tap Indicator color.

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Tap the most recently used color (sixth row, first column) to use same pink you just used on your folders.

Return to the home screen.

prince-adam-theme-screens-14.jpeg?itok=X

Gaston

beauty-themes-gaston-concept-art.jpg?ito

He may use antlers in all of his decorating, but there’s no way Gaston’s wallpaper wouldn’t just be a selfie. There’s just no way. And lacking Gaston’s selfies, his profile portrait from Gaston’s tavern is just about as good as it gets. Also keeping to Gaston’s simplistic and narcissistic nature, this theme is devoid of widgets, because Gaston wouldn’t know how to use them, and he wouldn’t stand for any of his lovely form to be covered up.

  • Gaston’s Profile Wallpaper
  • Absolute Red Icon Pack ($0.99)
  • Launcher with resizable widgets, custom icon support and folder customization

Long-press the wallpaper on your home screen until a series of options appear.
Tap Wallpapers.

Tap Pick image.

gaston-theme-screens-01.jpeg?itok=bfgPwA

Select your downloaded Gaston’s Profile Wallpaper.
Adjust the wallpaper to keep Gaston fully on the screens. On some device this may mean cutting off part of his rifle.

Tap Set wallpaper.

gaston-theme-screens-02.jpeg?itok=3daLQq

Open Nova Settings.
Tap Look & feel.

Tap Icon theme.

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Select Absolute Red.
Return to the home screen.

Long-press the app drawer icon until the icon menu appears.

gaston-theme-screens-04.jpeg?itok=yRjLtN

Tap Edit.
Tap the icon box to edit it.

Select Absolute Red.

gaston-theme-screens-05.jpeg?itok=qpgJkx

Scroll down to D for Deerhunter.
Select DeerHunter 2016, a stag icon.

Tap Done to confirm the icon change.

gaston-theme-screens-06.jpeg?itok=_soBm_

Open Nova Settings.
Tap Folders.

Under Window, tap Background.

gaston-theme-screens-07.jpeg?itok=ye1CUX

Tap Red (second row, first column).
Tap the back arrow in the top left corner to return to the main Nova Settings menu.

Tap Desktop.

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Under Page indicator, tap Indicator color.
Tap Red (second row, first column).

Return to the home screen.

gaston-theme-screens-09.jpeg?itok=lH8Hzs

Lumiere

beauty-themes-lumiere-oil-light.jpg?itok

Our golden candelabra gave me a good amount of trouble, as womanizers are wont to do, but I believe I’ve managed to maintain the maitre d’s suave style while imbuing a rosy motif and some modern magic to his setup here. Lumiere is a showman whose very being is quite musical, so we have a nice big widget front and center for him.

  • Brass Wallpaper by shortgreenpigg
  • Golden Icons (Free)
  • 1Weather
  • KWGT Pro
  • Lumiere Music Widget Preset for KWGT
  • File manager app to move the Belle Music Widget Preset into the Kustom/widgets folder
  • Launcher with resizable widgets, custom icon support, dock tinting, adjustable padding, and custom grid sizes.

Long-press the wallpaper on your home screen until a series of options appear.
Tap Wallpapers.

Tap Pick image.

lumiere-theme-screens-01.jpeg?itok=OCLui

Select your downloaded Brass Wallpaper.
Center your wallpaper.

Tap Set wallpaper.

lumiere-theme-screens-02.jpeg?itok=Z-bb1

Open Nova Settings.
Tap Look & feel.

Tap Icon theme.

lumiere-theme-screens-03.jpeg?itok=VJaT5

Select Golden Icons.
Return to the home screen.

Long-press the app drawer icon until the icon menu appears.

lumiere-theme-screens-04.jpeg?itok=9rbWS

Tap Edit.
Tap the icon box to edit it.

Select Golden Icons.

lumiere-theme-screens-05.jpeg?itok=pjBbt

Scroll down to N for NFL.
Select New Orleans’ Fleur-de-lis

Tap Done to confirm the icon change.

lumiere-theme-screens-06.jpeg?itok=lJD6U

Open Nova Settings.
Tap Folders

Under Window, tap Background.

lumiere-theme-screens-07.jpeg?itok=gXsgT

Tap Black (first row, fourth column).
Tap the back arrow in the top left corner to return to the main Nova Settings menu.

Tap Dock.

lumiere-theme-screens-08.jpeg?itok=o_n32

Tap Dock Background.
Under Shape, tap Rectangle.

Under Content, tap Color.

lumiere-theme-screens-09.jpeg?itok=9NkYs

Tap Black (first row, fourth column).
Under Transparency, drag the slider to 60%.

If your phone uses on-screen buttons, tap Draw behind navigation bar.

lumiere-theme-screens-10.jpeg?itok=Bo6BN

Tap the back arrow in the top left corner twice to return to the main Nova Settings menu.
Tap Desktop.

Under Page indicator, tap Indicator color.

lumiere-theme-screens-11.jpeg?itok=_t6tF

Tap Gold (fifth row, first column).
Under Layout, tap Width padding.

Tap None.

lumiere-theme-screens-12.jpeg?itok=XaZNX

Return to the home screen.
Long-press the wallpaper on your home screen until a series of options appear.

Tap Widgets.

lumiere-theme-screens-13.jpeg?itok=Lczta

Press-and-drag a 4×2 KWGT widget to the top two rows of your home screen.
Long-press the widget until a Nova menu pops up.

Tap Resize.

lumiere-theme-screens-14.jpeg?itok=ijeKf

Resize the empty widget until it covers the top two rows of your screen.
Long-press the widget until a Nova menu pops up.

Tap Padding. This should extend the widget to the edges of your screen.

lumiere-theme-screens-15.jpeg?itok=XVAiN

Tap the widget to configure it.
Tap Exported in the top carousel of tabs.

Tap Lumiere Music Widget. If you don’t see it, then you haven’t copied the preset at the top of these instructions to the Kustom/widgets folder.

lumiere-theme-screens-16.jpeg?itok=HMYvy

Save the widget using the floppy disk icon in the top left bar of the Kustom editor.
Tap the Layer tab.

Adjust the Scale until the music komponent reaches to the left and right edges of the box.

lumiere-theme-screens-17.jpeg?itok=p58hN

Save the widget using the floppy disk icon in the top left bar of the Kustom editor again. (Yes, again!)

Return to the home screen.

lumiere-theme-screens-18.jpeg?itok=nbliS

Cogsworth

beauty-themes-cogsworth-radial.jpg?itok=

Our favorite mantle clock has a short fuse, a meek disposition, and some of the best comedic lines in the film. He’s a clock on a schedule and someone who demands to be in the know at all times. While he may not be as musical as Lumiere, I’ve not doubt he’d keep a music widget on his home screen so that he could strike up some Bach or Mozart to keep him mellow as he puts up with the insanity of the household.

  • Wood Grain image for wallpaper
  • Hypno Clock Live Wallpaper (Free, $2.50)
  • Golden Icons (Free)
  • KWGT Pro
  • Cogsworth Music Widget Preset for KWGT
  • Launcher with resizable widgets, custom icon support, dock tinting, and custom grid sizes.

Open Hypno Clock.
Tap Set live wallpaper.

Tap Apply.

cogsworth-theme-screens-01.jpeg?itok=QOX

Tap Layout, zoom, and scrolling.
Using the Original layout, adjust the scale to put the gears as large or as small on the screen as you like. I’ve tried to put the center of the bottom-most gear as close to the center my app drawer button.

Press the back button to return to the main menu.

cogsworth-theme-screens-02.jpeg?itok=Xzt

Tap Special Effects.
Under Fluid movement, tap Slow.

Tap Ghostly Gears.

cogsworth-theme-screens-03.jpeg?itok=juQ

Press the back button to return to the main menu.
Tap Paint your components.

Tap Seconds needle to open the Select components menu.

cogsworth-theme-screens-04.jpeg?itok=Wmu

Scrolls down and tap COLOR EVERYTHING.
Scroll the color bar on the right side until you reach a nice goldenrod.

Press the back button to return to the main menu.

cogsworth-theme-screens-05.jpeg?itok=ZIO

Tap Background image.
Tap Import new image.

Select your downloaded wood grain image.

cogsworth-theme-screens-06.jpeg?itok=USk

Scroll down through Available background images and select to your downloaded wood grain.
Tap the slider under Adjust background image darkness and drag it towards about 50%.

Return to home screen.

cogsworth-theme-screens-07.jpeg?itok=E6d

Open Nova Settings.
Tap Look & feel.

Tap Icon theme.

cogsworth-theme-screens-08.jpeg?itok=l-X

Tap Golden Icons.
Return to the home screen.

Long-press the app drawer icon until a Nova menu pops up.

cogsworth-theme-screens-09.jpeg?itok=HZj

Tap Edit.
Tap the icon box to edit the icon.

Select Golden Icons.

cogsworth-theme-screens-10.jpeg?itok=jJG

Scroll down to C for Cogsworth.
Select the Clock icon that features a solid face and three watch hands, one pointing down, one pointing to 10 and one pointing to 2.

Tap Done to confirm your change.

cogsworth-theme-screens-11.jpeg?itok=4yX

Open Nova Settings.
Tap Folders.

Under Window, tap Background.

cogsworth-theme-screens-12.jpeg?itok=GJc

Tap Custom (fifth row, fourth column)
Change color to #a66e2100.

Tap OK.

cogsworth-theme-screens-13.jpeg?itok=59p

Tap the back arrow in the top left corner to return to the main Nova Settings menu.
Tap Dock.

Tap Dock Background.

cogsworth-theme-screens-14.jpeg?itok=aGQ

Under Shape, tap Rectangle.
Under Content, tap Color.

Tap the most recent color to select the same shade of brown we just used (sixth row, first column).

cogsworth-theme-screens-15.jpeg?itok=t4M

Under Transparency, drag the slider to 60%.
If your phone uses on-screen buttons, tap Draw behind navigation bar.

Tap the back arrow in the top left corner twice to return to the main Nova Settings menu.

cogsworth-theme-screens-16.jpeg?itok=TWL

Tap Desktop.
Under Page Indicator, tap Indicator color.

Tap Gold (fifth row, first column).

cogsworth-theme-screens-17.jpeg?itok=Hax

Under Layout, tap Width padding.
Tap None.

Return to the home screen.

cogsworth-theme-screens-18.jpeg?itok=hAi

Long-press the wallpaper on your home screen until a series of options appear.
Tap Widgets.

Press-and-drag a 4×2 KWGT widget to the top two rows of your home screen.

cogsworth-theme-screens-19.jpeg?itok=JCm

Long-press the widget until a Nova menu pops up.
Tap Resize.

Resize the empty widget until it covers the top two rows of your screen.

cogsworth-theme-screens-20.jpeg?itok=3u3

Long-press the widget until a Nova menu pops up.
Tap Padding. This should extend the widget to the edges of your screen.

Tap the widget to configure it.

cogsworth-theme-screens-21.jpeg?itok=FzR

Tap Exported in the top carousel of tabs.
Tap Cogsworth Music Widget. If you don’t see it, then you haven’t copied the preset at the top of these instructions to the Kustom/widgets folder.

Save the widget using the floppy disk icon in the top left bar of the Kustom editor.

cogsworth-theme-screens-22.jpeg?itok=owk

Tap the Layer tab.

Adjust the Scale until the music komponent reaches to the left and right edges of the box.

cogsworth-theme-screens-23.jpeg?itok=--T

Save the widget using the floppy disk icon in the top left bar of the Kustom editor again. (Yes, again!)

Return to the home screen.

cogsworth-theme-screens-24.jpeg?itok=mfC

16
Mar

When the hell are we going to get Star Trek: Bridge Crew?


Captain’s Log, Stardate 94807.36. Our hunt for Ubisoft’s epic masterpiece continues.

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Nine long months ago, the folks at Ubisoft took to the stage with legends from all over the Star Trek universe to show us what it would be like to be on the bridge of our very own starship with friends. It’s every Trek fan’s dream, and not only is there going to be a game all about that experience, but you’ll be able to play online with your friends at different stations on the Bridge. Not only did Star Trek: Bridge Crew sound like a dream, but it’s one of several Ubi games that are truly cross platform in the VR world.

And you can’t play it yet. In fact, none of us can. The game has been delayed on multiple occasions now, but it looks like there may finally be a real launch date for this epic new game.

Read more at VR Heads!

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