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4
Jun

Valve promises a low fee for direct-to-Steam game publishing


When Valve unveiled its plans to simplify game publishing through Steam Direct, it struggled to settle on a fee. Did it want to go low and make publishing more accessible, or go high to prevent abusers from putting out a never-ending stream of garbage? After a long deliberation, it’s going with the former price. Valve has revealed that it will charge indies a $100 recoupable fee — the lowest it was willing to consider. The company made the choice after looking at community discussions and realizing that it was hard to justify anything more than the minimum cost. Instead of using the price as a quality filter, it’s betting that thorough oversight will be enough.

Valve is promising to “closely monitor” game submissions and use human input to verify that Steam’s store algorithm is surfacing the truly interesting titles. Combine that with greater transparency and you may not have to worry that a hastily produced knockoff is getting more attention than an original gem.

The gaming giant is also rethinking its Curators feature to give these advisors more power when recommending titles for you to play. It’ll be easier to Curators to create personal lists that offer specific advice, such as games to buy during a sale. They’ll also get to showcase more of their own content (such as their YouTube material), and it should be faster for them to obtain pre-release access to a title. Curators are optional, so you don’t have to see their selections if you’re comfortable shopping on your own.

There’s still no firm date for when Steam Direct will go live. However, the fee by itself already gives a feel for what you can expect. While $100 isn’t a throwaway amount, it’s small enough that even a solo part-time developer can publish on Steam with relatively little trouble. If Valve had ventured toward the higher end of its fee range (it was leaning toward $500, but could have gone as high as $5,000), it might have limited Steam Direct to more dedicated creators. In other words, you can expect to see more personal projects that aren’t quite so focused on turning a profit.

Source: Steam Blog

4
Jun

TouchArcade iOS Gaming Roundup: Waking Mars, Magic Quest: TCG, Minecraft, and More


Over at TouchArcade, we’ve been running around like maniacs all week getting ready for the WWDC and E3 double header that we’re about to fly to the West Coast for. The event scheduling gods were kind to us this year, allowing us to attend both events.

For whatever reason, the last few years have had WWDC and E3 taking place on the same week, and we’d opted to attend E3 over WWDC as it’s a overall safer bet that there will be more relevant things for us at a gaming event. With WWDC tickets shifting to being luck of the draw, it’s entirely possible that there just won’t be that many iOS game developers for us to talk to. Either way, better late than never, read on for the big things that happened this week in the world of iOS gaming.


Our 2012 game of the year, Waking Mars, finally got updated to 64-bit. If you’ve never played it before, now is a great time to check out the game as it just became way more future proof. Waking Mars is a very unique game that’s hard to pigeon hole into any one specific genre. I suppose calling it a “puzzle platformer” would make the most sense, as you’re exploring the caves of Mars, but instead of having an array of weapons, all of the tasks in the game are accomplished by planting things. It’s a great premium experience, and one I wish we saw more of these days. For more on Waking Mars, check out our review.


Magic Quest: TCG was released this week, and while the title of the game could not possibly be more generic (and the gameplay is about what you’d expect of a fantasy collectable card game), it does have one really awesome feature we wish were in more games like this. In Blizzard’s Hearthstone for instance, like most other free to play collectable card games, your collection of cards is locked to your account. Sure, there are clever ways each of the games in this genre allow you to craft cards with your duplicates, but that’s about it. Magic Quest: TCG, on the other hand, has a full-featured player-driven auction house where players can sell their cards to other players. It’s a cool feature we’d love to see in more games.


Knights of Pen & Paper 2 has re-launched as a free to play game. It’s never a great sign when a developer needs to retune a game’s monetization (as it typically means the game failed in its original state), but Knights of Pen & Paper 2 works pretty well as a free to play game. We dinged the game when it was first released in our review, but that isn’t true anymore as the game has seen significant updates since its release. In the game, you play a light-hearted spin on the RPG formula told through an interesting blend between tabletop RPG mechanics and what you’d expect of an actual RPG video game. It’s definitely worth checking out if you like non-traditional RPGs (particularly when they’re free).


Vainglory is the king of mobile MOBA’s, but it hasn’t really felt like it has caught on in any meaningful way outside of its hardcore playerbase. Session times of the original game mode ran upwards of 20 minutes, which is a lot to ask when most mobile gamers are used to playing a few minutes at a time. They’ve since introduced other game modes which significantly shorten the session length, and in this most recent update those two modes, Blitz and Battle Royale, both got a lot of attention. They just added a new talent system which spices up these modes even further. If you’re looking for something like DOTA 2 or League of Legends for your iOS device, Vainglory is as close as you’re going to get.


Minecraft Pocket Edition is undoubtedly the most accessible version of Minecraft out there, but it has always lagged behind both PC and console iterations of the game when it came to its feature set. With each update, that becomes less and less true, particularly with this week’s addition of the Minecraft Marketplace. Fourteen pieces of new content are now available in the in-game store, ranging from new worlds and new survival spawns to texture packs and skin packs. If you have kids who play Minecraft on their iPad, they’ve probably already asked you to buy some of this stuff. If not, get ready, because that’s coming.


If there’s going to be any game that’s going to steal Hearthstone’s thunder, it’s Elder Scrolls: Legends, a similar collectable card game set in the Elder Scrolls universe. (The same as Skyrim, Morrowind, and others.) The game is far more complicated than Hearthstone, and plays a lot closer to Magic the Gathering, which can be a good or a bad thing depending on what you like or don’t like about Hearthstone. Anyway, while the game has been available on the PC and iPad for a while now, it’s slowly making its way to mobile. It was just released on Android with it coming to “other” mobile phones early this summer.


Reigns is an incredible game, and if you haven’t played it yet, you need to stop what you’re doing and go grab it from the App Store. The game is controlled entirely through Tinder-like swipes, and you play the game by making binary decisions by either swiping left or right. What’s fascinating about playing Reigns is that from a gameplay perspective, it could not be more simple, but they’re able to do incredibly complicated things just by swiping right or left. The developers gave a talk at GDC where they discussed the design of the game (seen in the above video). It’s a fascinating presentation that dives deep into the nitty gritty of the thought process behind building Reigns.


As far as other new games to check out this week are concerned, Yankai’s Peak is a fantastic puzzle game where you’re rotating pyramids around a puzzle board. The concept is incredibly simple, but like many great puzzle games, gets amazingly difficult to the point that we got stumped for the first time barely ten levels in. If you’re looking for something that uses a little less brain power, Noodlecake’s Bouncy Hoops somehow manages to combine the Flappy Bird “flap” controls and basketball. It’s stupid how well it works and how impossible it is to put down.

Last, but not least, is Sega’s Crazy Taxi Gazillionaire, which is a clicker idle game that is so weird that you have to try it. Crazy Taxi is/was a frantic driving game, so to remove all of the actual driving while still feeling distinctly Crazy Taxi is … very odd, in a good way.

Anyway, that’s about it for this week’s big iOS gaming news and game releases. For all this and more, be sure to visit TouchArcade where we post this sort of stuff around the clock!

Tag: TouchArcade gaming roundup
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4
Jun

Hangouts calls on iPhones now appear as regular voice calls


It took a while, but Google Hangouts has finally followed in Facebook Messenger’s footsteps and started taking advantage of iOS 10’s Callkit. That means calls you receive on Hangouts will appear as regular voice calls on your iPhones’ lock screen — but only if you want them to. Callkit gives VoIP services the ability to use Apple’s stock Phone app, so you can ring people through Hangouts from within the stock app itself. If you’re the recipient, the only indication that it’s a VoIP call is a small mark underneath the contact’s name telling you that it’s using Hangouts audio. That way, you won’t wander to an area without coverage by mistake while talking on the phone.

You don’t have to tolerate the new feature if you’d rather have VoIP calls that look distinct from ones made through mobile networks, though. In fact, you have to manually activate it by going into Settings inside the Hangouts app. Just toggle “Answer on lock screen” to activate it… or to switch it off if you change your mind.

Via: 9to5mac

Source: Hangouts (iTunes)

4
Jun

Major identity manager breach exposes sensitive user info


Identity and password management services are, in theory, supposed to improve your security by promoting tough-to-guess passwords and otherwise keeping logins under lock and key. However, the concentration of high-value data also makes them a juicy target for hackers — and OneLogin is finding that out the hard way. The business-centric identity management provider has warned users of a US server breach that compromised sensitive info. While OneLogin initially provided only a handful of details in a blog post, Motherboard learned that an email warned customers their info had been taken. Moreover, the attackers compromised the “ability to decrypt” data — don’t count on your login being safe just because there was encryption involved.

The email recommends aggressive steps to protect accounts, including generating new keys, tokens and security certificates. Naturally, OneLogin also wants individual users to change their passwords. None of these are small feats if you’re a customer — effectively, you’re rebooting your entire sign-in infrastructure.

This doesn’t necessarily mean that you should stop using identity and login management services, or that every service will face a similar fate if there’s a hack. OneLogin notably keeps the decryption keys on its systems, while services like LastPass don’t. You may be hosed if you forget your master login for a site like LastPass, but you won’t have to worry so much if there’s a breach. Regardless of what you use, the incident is a reminder that you’re striking a balance: you’re trusting someone else with your data in return for greater convenience.

Via: Motherboard, Krebs on Security

Source: OneLogin Blog

4
Jun

The Samsung Chromebook Plus might be the best place to try new Android features


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A Chromebook has a newer version of Android than almost every phone.

If you want to check out the latest features for Android as soon as you can you know what phone to buy: The Pixel. But you still won’t be able to check out every feature because a few are always going to be dependent on screen size. The Samsung Chromebook Plus has you covered. It’s just a better buy in 2017 than a Pixel C and offers the same level of Android support. We’re seeing this now, and it’s not likely to change unless we get new hardware from Google this fall.

Android 7.1.1 for Chromebooks is available right now if you’re willing to run Chrome Canary.

A disclaimer is in order. the Chromebook Plus only has Android 7.1.1 if you run the ChromeOS Canary build. We’re not sure exactly when it will come to more usable branches or even to the stable build, but know that Google is focusing on getting Android on Chrome to the latest version and keeping it there when Android is updated. I don’t recommend anyone who has a Chromebook and enjoys using it to switch to Canary because there will be headaches and broken things. That’s what Canary is — a test bed for things to see how broken they are and what needs to be changed. But if you’re a developer who needs to get ready for what’s next with Android TV or tablets or even other Chromebooks, having it available outside of an emulator is pretty awesome.

A look back at the Google I/O 2017 session Android Apps for Chromebooks and Large Screen Devices shows us why. ChromeOS can look at the version of Android it is running and then adjust how app windows are drawn. Apps target for versions before Marshmallow will show in a static view. Apps targeted for Marshmallow will have two views: windowed and full-screen. Apps targeted for Nougat will be completely resizable.

Cool new features need cool new devices to test them on.

This addresses a major problem that isn’t new or unique to Chromebooks — how to handle legacy applications with no support for new features. It also means the Chromebook Plus is a perfect tool for developers who want to update existing apps or write new ones that support the latest version of Android.

This will carry on when Android O becomes final. The Pixel (or whatever new device Google offers at launch) will be great for testing notification features and new ways to conserve power, but things like universal Picture in Picture are important to test on a larger device. This is all great for developers but it also means people like us — regular users who want the most from their purchase — have a better experience.

samsung-chromebook-pro-lid.jpg?itok=Wn5H

This is happening because of how the software on a Chromebook is updated. Samsung has the final say before any updates come to the stable channel, but it doesn’t get to decide how these updates are built or what features they will include. The manufacturer can install an app or extension (most don’t, but ASUS has) on top and certainly has some input on what goes into a new version but the system, including the Android version, is from Google. This is probably why not every Chromebook gets updated at the same time, but it also means that every one of them will be feature by feature identical.

We would hate this on our phones but expect it in a laptop. Every computer running Windows or MacOS has the same system software on it. Regardless of the reason, it means that the Chromebook Plus is almost a required tool for developers and the device to have if you want access to everything a new version of Android has to offer.

We expect every laptop from Apple or Microsoft to have the same features, and Chromebooks follow suit.

I also have a pretty good feeling inside that Samsung and Google are working together on the whole multi-window experience for Android, because it’s pretty important for both companies. Samsung has great support for sizable floating windows, but only for apps developed specifically to support it. It’s really improved and a cool feature on the new Tab S3, and is really needed if they want to continue development for DeX. But what Samsung needs is for Google to build in support at the system level with an intelligent way to support apps that are old. Since there are no extra hurdles when updating the Chromebook Plus, it appears to be the test bed.

Maybe we’ll see a large-format device from Google later in 2017. Maybe not. But the next version of Samsung’s Android software will be better because of the Chromebook Plus. And so will everyone else’s.

Chromebooks

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  • The best Chromebooks
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4
Jun

SpaceX re-launches a Dragon capsule for the first time


SpaceX is no longer limited to reusing rockets — it’s reusing capsules, too. The private spaceflight outfit has launched a refurbished Dragon cargo capsule (namely, one last used in September 2014) as part of a resupply mission to the International Space Station. While the vehicle isn’t as complex as a Falcon 9, this shows that it can endure multiple launches (SpaceX is targeting three) without a hitch. That’s important for reducing the overall costs of spaceflight, especially when manned Dragon missions become a reality.

The team also successfully landed the Falcon 9’s first stage at Cape Canaveral, although these touchdowns are becoming nearly routine at this point. SpaceX wants to land as many rockets as possible going forward, but it’s limited until Falcon Heavy arrives and it can routinely expect to have enough fuel for return trips.

It’ll be a while before SpaceX can reuse every last inch of a rocket. Elon Musk is aiming for 2018. If and when that happens, though, it could mean a lot for space travel. Rather than throwing away millions (if not billions) of dollars’ worth of equipment with every launch, both SpaceX and government agencies would only have to worry about replacements when the hardware either fails or reaches the end of its usable lifespan. That, in turn, could open the door to both more frequent launches and missions that would otherwise be too expensive to justify.

Source: SpaceX (YouTube), NASA

4
Jun

Verizon beefs up its prepaid plans’ data allowance


Verizon’s prepaid plans will look a lot more enticing come June 6th: the mobile carrier has tweaked its current offerings, giving each tier a bigger data allowance. You’ll now get 3GB of data instead of 2GB for $40 and 7GB instead of 5GB for $50. The 10GB tier will stay, but it will now cost you $60 rather than $70 — makes sense, considering Big Red recently introduced an unlimited tier for $80. Like the new unlimited plan, though, these revamped options come with a downside. You won’t be able to stream videos in their full glory and will be limited to 480p, no matter which tier you choose.

In addition, the company says it “may prioritize your data behind other customers” in case of network congestion. Not to mention, your speeds will be throttled to 128kbps once you’ve used up your data allowance for the month, unless you’re on the unlimited plan. (The good news is that if you still have some unused data left by the end of a billing period, it will carry over.)

If those “gotchas” don’t faze you one bit, you can use any Verizon-compatible smartphone with the plans, including top-of-the-line choices like the latest iPhone and the Galaxy S8. The company is also giving away a $100 store credit if you sign up, but only for a limited time.

Source: Verizon

4
Jun

Unihertz Jelly review: a tiny phone with huge aspirations


Unihertz claims its new Jelly device is a “4G smartphone for everyone”. Similar statements have been thrown around before, but in an industry where a 5-inch screen is now considered “small” we have to ask ourselves if this 2.45-inch handset can keep up. Fortunately, it is extremely affordable, with the base price set at $79 from Kickstarter.

This tiny phone sure has huge aspirations. And whether you think it is a worthy purchase or not, it is getting plenty of attention from the press. We even covered it in our weekly ‘Crowdfunding project of the week’ series. Why? Mostly because it is not made with the same cookie-cutter strategy the industry has fallen into. It is unique, and has surprisingly good capabilities for its price range and form factor.

See also:related image

Crowdfunding project of the week: Jelly is a tiny phone running Android Nougat

4 weeks ago

We have now spent some quality time with it and can tell you it is definitely an interesting experience. Let’s jump right into the nitty gritty to see if it is a phone any of you would be interested in.

Design & build quality

If there is anything that stands out about this phone, it is that it doesn’t stand out. At least not in terms of form factor. This little guy is meant to hide away in any pocket. It can even bring a purpose back to that coin pocket no one really knows what to do with anymore. The Jelly is minuscule by today’s standards, measuring in at 92.4 x 43 x 13 mm. This means it can easily fit in a kid’s hand palm.

The Jelly is the king of one-handed operation.

The Jelly is so diminutive you almost forget there is a smartphone in your pocket. I would just throw the thing anywhere.

And let’s not forget the confident grip and ability to reach any part of the screen with your thumb. The Jelly is the king of one-handed operation, that’s for sure. But of course, the smaller design also comes with its downsides.

My chubby fingers sure had a hard time typing. I quickly downloaded Swiftkey and heavily relied on its corrections to type more efficiently. By the way, any full keyboard will take up at least half of the screen, meaning you will have to sacrifice some content visibility. And pray you won’t ever have to tap on a small link, because it will be no easy feat. Overall, the phone’s small size is both a blessing and a curse.

Now, in terms of build quality you can’t really expect too much. This is a super affordable handset, and it looks and feels like one. It is completely made of fingerprint-loving plastic, but Unihertz did a pretty good job with what they were given. It does feel pretty sturdy and nothing is loose. This is a good accomplishment considering the phone doesn’t tout a unibody design. And some of you will actually love this. Not only is the back removable, so is the battery! Under it there are also a couple SIM card slots and a microSD card slot.

The Jelly has everything you can expect out of a smartphone, to one degree or another. There are cameras in the back and front, a flash in the rear, two volume buttons on the left, a power button and microUSB port on the right, a 3.5 mm headset jack up top and three capacitive navigation buttons right below the 2.45-inch screen. Pretty standard stuff, but still impressive considering no components were removed from the equation in the making of this miniature phone.

Display (or lack thereof)

The second most important highlight here is the screen… yes, that itty bitty thing. Having a smaller display makes it possible to reduce resolution without sacrificing too much quality, but keep in mind this is still a super low-end handset. This panel has a 240 x 432 resolution, and you can really tell that’s the case. Unihertz definitely didn’t go out of its way to provide an outstanding experience in this department.

While we are not saying the screen is horrendous, it just isn’t up to par with current standards. Pixels can be noticed effortlessly, thanks to that 201.7 ppi. In comparison, most smartphones nowadays tend to surpass the 400 ppi threshold (even affordable 1080p ones). Colors are a bit washed out too.

Clearly, the Jelly phone is not made for media consumption.

Clearly, the Jelly phone is not made for media consumption. Content will look small and pixelated. But hey, the thing costs 79! For that price you can’t really complain too much, and the experience is definitely not dreadful.

Sound

Once again, this little guy is not meant to keep you too entertained. It offers the basics, and basic sound it has. The speaker is not too loud or high quality, but it gets the job done. Just don’t expect it to fill up a room with your favorite tunes. For that you will have to use either Bluetooth or a wired connection to your headphones/speaker.

Performance & Software

Is the Jelly usable? Well that depends on your standards and expectations. The phone is not too demanding, so the 1.1 GHz quad-core processor and 1/2 GB of RAM don’t have a hard time pushing through simple tasks. Swiping through home screens and navigating through the Android UI is surprisingly smooth. Data won’t be a problem either, as this little guy supports 4G LTE.

Swiping through home screens and navigating through the Android UI is surprisingly smooth.

You do start noticing the device’s lackluster power once you throw more serious applications at it though. Try to open Facebook, Instagram or even Gmail and you will find yourself waiting several seconds.

Flappy Bird works like a charm though, so at least you can get some gaming done with the Jelly. Just don’t try playing any graphics intensive titles: most won’t even open.

Heck, you don’t really even have sufficient internal storage to spare for true mobile games. So you’ll need to be careful with how you use your available memory. The base version of the Unihertz Jelly has only 8 GB of internal storage. The Pro iteration makes things a little better with 16 GB, but that is still not too much.

As for software, there is one nice big surprise in store: it comes with near-stock Android 7.0 Nougat out of the box, which is definitely a nice treat from Unihertz. Only 7.1% of devices are currently running Google’s latest Android version and we know plenty of you have bought 10x more expensive devices that still don’t have Nougat.

Despite rocking the latest version of Android, you should expect to make many concessions to use it on the Jelly phone.

There is a little elephant in the room, though. The Jelly’s size makes software a bit janky at times. Though we always expect Android to scale to all screen sizes, this doesn’t go well all the time. For example, go to the Google Play Store and check out your app library; you will see icons and an “install” button very clearly, but the writing between them gets cut off to just a couple letters (good luck trying to read that). Certain icons and UI elements will often overlap each other too and large images and writing are often cut off.



Android is not exactly optimized to run on a screen this size, so we wouldn’t exactly blame Unihertz for all of this, but it is definitely a factor to consider. Sometimes things will look a bit off and other times they will be near unusable. Despite rocking the latest version of Android, you should expect to make many concessions to use it on the Jelly phone.

Camera

These days, cameras are among the most important components in a smartphone. Consumers are often looking for the phone that can take the best shots and we’ve put together a shootout of the most popular smartphones in the market. The Unihertz Jelly won’t ever be making it to that competition, but can it still take a decent enough photo all things considered?

See also:related image

Photo Fight: Galaxy S8 vs LG G6, Xperia XZs, Huawei P10, Pixel XL, OnePlus 3T

April 21, 2017

It has an 8 MP shooter in the back and a 2 MP selfie camera, but we all know megapixels don’t mean too much in terms of picture quality. How good are these sensors? They are… alright. And what about that image processing? Ummm…

Pictures are a bit washed out, often blurry and pretty noisy. Higher levels of light don’t help the camera much, either. At least the colors from the rear camera have good color reproduction, though. One weird thing to note, I did feel like the front-facing camera did a better job getting crisper images, but it washed out the colors a little more.




Overall, neither camera is really good, but this phone is not made for demanding photo enthusiasts. It is for the very basic user who might want to take a casual shot from time to time. I wouldn’t recommend the Jelly for camera use, but it has the shooters there, just in case you need to capture a good moment.

Battery life

One thing about under-powered devices is that they are also resource-friendly and can make a battery last for much longer. Unihertz states that its 950 mAh battery can stay alive for up to three days on a single charge, but our experience shows otherwise.

During my time with the Jelly, at best I was able to make it last a bit over a full day. I didn’t have to struggle to keep it alive for a full work day, either. It never died on me before going to bed, and ultimately that is what people expect from smartphones nowadays. I wouldn’t advise that you rely on it for a weekend trip without outlets, though.

At best I was able to make the Jelly phone last a bit over a full day.

Pricing and final thoughts

The Unihertz Jelly is portable, easy to use and insanely affordable. But of course, affordability comes with its sacrifices, which is why it may sound like I was bashing this phone a little too much. Unihertz had to cut plenty of corners to accomplish making the Jelly at this price. The real question is whether the phone is worth its low price tag or not.

Those who back the Kickstarter campaign can get the Jelly or Jelly Pro with a $30 discount on the expected retail price. This takes you down to $79 for the base version, while the Jelly Pro goes for $95 (retail: $109 and $125, relatively). Making a decent smartphone at this price point is not easy, and we believe Unihertz is definitely up to something here.

It was refreshing to forget about the struggles of fitting a modern phone in an average pocket. It was certainly a blast to the past, and we can’t deny we miss that level of portability. The screen, speaker, cameras and performance may not be amazing, but they are not meant to be. And the device can definitely get the job done. Someone who doesn’t need all the bells and whistles of a more expensive handset will definitely be happy about keeping a healthy wallet.

Unfortunately for the Jelly, there is already a lot of much fuller featured competition in the $100 price range. Very little of that competition runs the latest version of Android, but there are far fewer compromises to make. For example, you can get a second generation Moto E for just $69.99 with none of the software jankiness and a two inch larger display than the Jelly phone.

Is it the Jelly phone for everyone? We wouldn’t say so, but there is definitely a market for it. Some people do prefer a simpler experience with the ability to download just a few extra applications. It’s kind of like a smart feature phone of sorts… or a good secondary device for the glove compartment. And while it won’t be making anyone jelly, it is probably worth the asking price if its uniqueness piqued your interest.

Check out the Jelly phone

4
Jun

Protect your BlackBerry KeyOne with one of these cases


Update: Added new cases from Incipio and BlackBerry.

The BlackBerry KeyOne may be an Android smartphone manufactured by TCL, but it also sports a traditional QWERTY keyboard, which has been generating excitement among those who continue to long for that tactile sensation afforded by a physical keyboard. If you can’t wait to get your hands on one, or your new BlackBerry device has just arrived, then you should be thinking about how to safeguard that aluminum body and 4.5-inch screen. Thankfully, we’ve rounded up the best BlackBerry KeyOne cases we’ve found so far, whether you prefer something sleek or stylish.

Incipio Octane Pure Case ($30)

Incipio Octane Pure Case

You’ll enjoy decent drop protection with this case from Incipio. The Octane Pure Case combines hard, polycarbonate backing that allows the BlackBerry logo to shine through, with a flexible TPU bumper made from Incipio’s impact-resistant Flex2O material. The latter component comes in clear or black varieties, but regardless of which you go with, the fit is perfect. There are also pronounced button covers that are easy to find without looking, as well as cut-outs that provide easy access to your phone’s camera and various ports. If you prefer something slimmer, check out Incipio’s NGP cases.

Buy one now from:

Incipio Amazon

Official BlackBerry KeyOne Smart Flip Case ($58)

Official BlackBerry KeyOne Flip Case

Crafted from genuine leather, this official BlackBerry KeyOne case is stylish and functional. There’s a handy window in the front cover that enables you to see the time and check notifications at a glance. Inside, a minimalist shell hugs your phone and generous openings provide unfettered access to your phone’s buttons and ports. There’s also a cut-out at the top, so you can take calls without removing the case, and a cut-out on the back, so you can still use KeyOne’s camera. The Smart Flip Case is expensive, yes, but it should guard against minor bumps. There’s even a soft, inner lining to keep your KeyOne looking good.

Buy one now from:

Mobile Fun

Noreve Tradition B Leather Case ($55)

Noreve Tradition B Leather Case

Easily the best BlackBerry KeyOne case currently available, Noreve’s luxurious, folio-style, real leather wallet is extremely well made. The soft, padded leather exterior comes in a range of different textures and colors and has a secure magnetic closure. Inside there’s room for a couple of credit cards and a slim plastic shell, which holds your KeyOne snugly and securely. There are generous openings for easy access to ports and controls, and you’ll find a cut-out on the back which allows you to use the main camera.

Buy one now from:

Noreve

CoverON TPU Bumper Case ($9)

CoverON TPU Bumper Case

With a hard, polycarbonate back panel, and a flexible TPU bumper, this affordable, slim case offers some protection without cramping the KeyOne’s style too much. We like the patterned version with the teal bumper, but you can also get a completely clear case, or opt for the clear back with a black or teal bumper section. It has tactile button covers and openings for your camera and ports.

Buy one now from:

Amazon

TopACE Transparent TPU Case ($9)

TopACE Transparent TPU Case

If you like the idea of a clear case that showcases BlackBerry’s design, but you prefer soft, malleable cases, then this could be the one for you. It’s a simple, soft TPU case that’s easy to fit. It has precise cut-outs for your ports and camera, and pronounced button covers for volume and power. The matte finish adds some grip and it should guard against minor falls and bumps.

Buy one now from:

Amazon

ONX3 Faux Leather Pouch ($5+)

ONX3 Faux Leather Pouch

Maybe you prefer a pouch, or you want something cheap to tide you over until some better BlackBerry KeyOne cases are released? In that case, you might want to opt for one of these fake leather pouches. The interior is soft and velvety and there’s a tab you can pull to slide your phone out easily. It comes with a set of earphones, but we wouldn’t expect much from them at this price. The pouch itself comes in a wide variety of different colors.

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4
Jun

Need to clean up your Mac? Here’s how to quickly uninstall apps


Sometimes we can use computers for days, weeks, or even years before we need to do something — and realize we have no clue how to do it. You may know this feeling, for example, if you’ve recently discovered there are some programs on your Mac that you want to delete. While MacOS has many benefits, it isn’t always obvious how to get rid of apps that you no longer need, and the operating system doesn’t come with an instruction manual to tell you what to do. So lets look at the easiest ways to uninstall apps on your Mac, and what apps you cannot delete.

How to uninstall apps you downloaded from the App Store

This applies to pretty much any app you’ve downloaded from the App Store — Evernote, Pixelmator, Plants vs. Zombies, etc. If you’re looking to uninstall one of these apps from your system, here’s the quickest and most efficient way to go about it.

Step 1: Head over to the Dock and look for an option that says Launchpad — the icon showcases a silver rocket ship. Apple’s proprietary keyboards also have a dedicated Launchpad key (F4), and swiping three fingers and your thumb together using an Apple trackpad will allow you to launch the program. Point being: You have several options if one is causing you trouble.

Launchpad

Step 2: Once open, Launchpad will replace any current windows with a grid of apps, listed in alphabetic order. You can view, open, and rearrange apps here if you want, but you’re mostly using Launchpad as a tool for deleting unwanted software.

Step 3: Click the app you want to delete, and hold until the icon starts to jiggle. If you’ve ever used iOS, you know what this is about — the jiggle motion indicates that an app is ready to be moved or deleted. This is easy to do on touchscreen or with a mouse, but it may take you a few tries with the a trackpad, so be patient.

Step 4: When the icon starts jiggling, you should see an “X” appear in the upper-right corner of each icon. Now, simply click this button and confirm your decision with the Delete button to rid your machine of the app in question.

That’s it! Also, don’t worry about accidentally deleting an app that you want to keep. You can reinstall any of the apps you’ve deleted — without having to pay for them again — by going to the App Store and downloading them as you normally would.

How to uninstall apps that aren’t in Launchpad

If you don’t see the program you want to get rid of in the Launchpad, don’t worry! There’s still probably a way to uninstall it. However, you’ll have to work a little harder this time around. Here’s what you do.

Step 1: First, click Finder in the Dock — the icon resembles a smiling computer screen. Afterward, either search for the app that you want to get rid of, or head over to the Applications folder and scroll through until you find the app in question.

Step 2: Check to see if the app has its own folder. If it does, select this folder to look inside. Many larger or older apps are typically bundled with an Uninstaller, which will get rid of the app for you. If the app folder includes one of these Uninstallers, click it. This will automatically run the Uninstaller, which will give you a unique set of instructions for deleting the software.

TrashStep 3: If the app doesn’t have its own folder or an Uninstaller, you still have options! Click the application icon in Finder, hold it, and drag it to your Dock. Toward one end of your Dock you should see a wastebasket icon, which signifies the Trash. Drag the app icon here, and it should transport the app to the Trash. You can program your Trash to auto-delete after a certain amount of time, or you can Ctrl-click the Trash and select Empty Trash to delete the contents immediately.

Apps that you can’t remove

Keep in mind that there are a number of apps that you will not be able to uninstall. These are apps that are part of MacOS, play an integral role in Apple services, and generally represent the Apple brand to such an extent that Apple won’t let you get rid of them. These include Safari, Mail, and many of the other apps that naturally appear in your Dock.

While there is no getting rid of these apps, that doesn’t necessarily mean you have to keep looking at them. If you want to pretend that they aren’t there, Ctrl-click these apps in the Dock. Then, select Options in the resulting menu and click Remove from Dock. This is a nice little way to clear up space in your Dock, even if you can’t permanently delete this software.




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