Skip to content

Archive for

16
Aug

How to use Bixby Vision


bixby-vision-hero.jpg?itok=b5RH0orq

Bixby Vision can help you find images, shop and even translate text from different languages!

Bixby Vision for Samsung’s Galaxy S8 delivers a feature built to take your pocket assistant to the next level. Using Bixby Vision you can extract or translate text, search for images similar to what your camera sees, shop for those items, and plenty more. With so much going on it can be hard to get a decent grasp on everything. That’s why we’ve done the hard work for you, and detailed out everything you need to get the most out of everything Bixby Vision can do!

  • How to open Bixby Vision
  • How to adjust Bixby Vision Settings
  • How to extract text with Bixby Vision
  • How to translate text with Bixby Vision
  • How to shop using Bixby Vision
  • How to search for images using Bixby Vision

How to open Bixby Vision

Bixby Vision is located within Bixby Home, which means you’ll need to know where to find it!

Open Bixby Home on your phone.

Tap the Bixby Vision icon at the top of your screen. (It looks like an eye.)

bixby-vision-open.jpg?itok=ivEeiN5n

How to adjust Bixby Vision Settings

There are a number of different settings within Bixby Vision that can be turned on or off via toggle. Here’s how to adjust them to your liking!

Open Bixby Vision on your phone.

Tap the Menu button in the upper right corner of the screen. (It looks like three vertical dots.)

bixby-vision-settings.jpg?itok=DZH4_0im

Tap Settings.

Tap the toggle to turn on or off specific settings.

bixby-vision-settings2.jpg?itok=3Xi2CqAk

How to extract text with Bixby Vision

Bixby Vision is able to capture and extract text from what it sees. It just takes a few taps to do, and it’s pretty simple.

Open Bixby Vision.
Scan an item to capture text.

Tap Text.

bixby-vision-extract-text.jpg?itok=WhggO

Tap extract. (it looks like a T at the bottom of the screen).

Tap Save to save extracted text.

bixby-extract-text2.jpg?itok=1n-3kjNI

How to use Bixby Vision to translate text.

When you use Bixby Vision to capture text in another language, you can automatically translate it. Here’s how to do it.

Open Bixby Vision.
Scan an item to capture text.

Tap Text.

bixby-translate-text.jpg?itok=0AKD0AOP

Tap Translate.
Swipe your finger over the text you want to translate.

Swipe up to see all of the translated text.

bixby-vision-translate2.jpg?itok=bUOOvdN

How to shop using Bixby Vision

After scanning an object with Bixby Vision you’ll be able search for it on amazon so that you can purchase it for yourself.

Open Bixby Vision.
Scan an item to capture it.

Tap shopping.

bixby-vision-shopping.jpg?itok=-xJONZV1

Tap the item you want off of the list.
Tap add to cart.

Tap proceed to checkout to purchase from Amazon.

bixby-vision-shopping2.jpg?itok=okXPdpTx

How to search for images using Bixby Vision

Bixby Vision can search for images similar to one you capture on your screen. This feature is still a bit rough, but depending on the image it can find you what you’re looking for.

Open Bixby Vision.
Scan an item to capture it.

Tap image to search for similar images.

bixby-vision-image.jpg?itok=3La4Jon_

Questions?

Do you still have questions about using Bixby Vision? Is there more going on here that we ought to have mentioned? Drop us a line in the comments below and let us know about it!

Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8+

  • Galaxy S8 and S8+ review!
  • Galaxy S8 and S8+ specs
  • Everything you need to know about the Galaxy S8’s cameras
  • Get to know Samsung Bixby
  • Join our Galaxy S8 forums

Verizon
AT&T
T-Mobile
Sprint
Unlocked

16
Aug

Inside the battery-free cell phone of the future


battery-free-cellphone-call.jpg?itok=h2j

The battery-free phone runs on ambient light and RF signals, though it’s not enough to power your favorite game.

Batteries: You can’t live with them, you can’t live without them, and I recite that cliche because I know you’re nodding along with me right now. Smartphone battery packs have become bigger so that they last longer, and a majority have been infused with fast charging technology. But a dead battery remains a major pain point, especially since we’ve become so reliant on mobile devices.

But what if you didn’t have to worry about the battery at all? Or ensuring it’s charged every night? What if you didn’t have to fret about running out of juice in the middle of the day? University of Washington researchers are working toward that reality. They’ve discovered a way to harvest power for the smartphone without cables and physical battery packs. Instead, the phone relies solely on ambient radio signals and light. It’s exactly what it sounds like: a battery-free smartphone.

Zero power required

battery-free-cellphone-close.jpg?itok=vl

Photo credit: Mark Stone/University of Washington

Researcher Shyam Gollakota, an associate professor at the University of Washington, called the battery-free cell phone the “first functioning cell phone that consumes almost zero power.” It works by taking advantage of the tiny vibrations in a phone’s microphone and speaker and converting those motions into an analog radio signal that can communicate through a cellular base station. “This process essentially encodes speech patterns in reflected radio signals in a way that uses almost no power,” explains the news release. “To transmit speech, the phone uses vibrations from the device’s microphone to encode speech patterns in the reflected signals. To receive speech, it converts encoded radio signals into sound vibrations that are picked up by the phone’s speaker.”

The first functioning cell phone that consumes almost zero power.

The device currently requires you press a button to switch between transmitting and listening modes, so it’s not exactly a touch-and-go experience like a regular smartphone. But in the future, the technology could be integrated into standard cellular network infrastructure and Wi-Fi routers to offer battery-free cell phone coverage.

I talked to Vamsi Talla, a research associate on the battery-free project, about the battery-free cell phone and what it takes to power such a device. “Our group had been working on battery-free devices and low power communication for the last five years,” said Talla. “This projects builds on some techniques that we have developed. For example, the battery-free phone uses a zero power analog backscatter microphone, which I developed in 2012. Then, we combined that with an analog headphone system and ambient backscatter communication.”

Talla and the research group, which also consists of two graduate students and two professors, initially started the project in early 2016. “I built two different hardware versions of the phone prototype,” he said. The initial one was powered by ambient RF signals transmitted through cell towers. The second added “a tiny photodiode (solar cell) to harvest energy from ambient light in a typical office or home setting.” In situations where it’s RF-barren — say, you’re in the forest or the middle of nowhere — the phone will harvest the light around you for power.

battery-free-proto.jpg?itok=fXYWq9WM

Photo credit: University of Washington, Battery-Free Cellphone

The battery-free phone prototype is comprised of a number of components you used to be able to buy at a Radio Shack: antennas, a power harvester to capture energy from ambient RF signals and solar cells, a microphone that listens for reflections and backscatter to record and transmit speech, a receiver, a headphone jack, a digital communication system, a small micro-controller, and a few LEDs and capacitive touch buttons for help with operating the device. Don’t expect to be playing games on the device anytime soon, however, as there’s not enough energy generated to power that sort of thing. “Unless we redesign that component, it might be hard to power it only with RF waves,” added Talla.

The battery-free phone prototype is comprised of a number of components you used to be able to buy at a Radio Shack.

Current phones consume up to ten-thousand times more power than what’s available from ambient light and RF signals. The research team had to reduce the power required to transmit and receive speech to a few microwatts. It was no small feat, explained Talla. “The amount of power that can be harvested from RF signals depends on the distance between the phone and the cell tower. Typically, one to 100 microwatts can be harvested from ambient RF signals. We redesigned the battery-free phone’s architecture to reduce the power consumption by about 10,000 times so that it can be continuously powered from the tiny amount of power that is available.”

The research team’s next objectives are to improve the battery-free phone’s operating range and ensure that conversations are encrypted.

If you’d like to know more about the battery-free unicorn — er, I mean, mobile phone, you can peruse the full research paper for yourself, which was published in early July. You can also read more at the Battery Free Phone project’s official page.

16
Aug

Add some color to your home with 3rd-gen Philips Hue bulbs for $41 each


Our friends at Thrifter are back again, this time with a great deal on the latest Philips Hue bulbs!

Philips Hue is one of the biggest names in the smart lighting space, but the price of its bulbs can hold people back from adding them in every room of their house. From time to time we see some great deals on the bulbs, and now is one of those times. Right now you can pick up 3rd-gen Smart LED bulbs (white and color ambiance) for $41.07 each. This is a savings of around $9 from the normal $50 selling price.

B&H Photo has also matched this price point.

philips-hue-bulb.jpg?itok=gV1N2kXY

  • Choose between millions of colors and shades of white light to light your home, wirelessly control with your smartphone or tablet, and sync your light immersively to music, games, and movies.
  • Requiring the Hue Bridge (sold separately) for the full Hue experience, this bulb fits standard-size table and floor lamps. Enjoy richer shades of green, cyan, and blue with improved design.
  • Install the LED light as you would install ordinary bulbs, then pair them with the Hue Bridge, which allows you to control smart-bulb-equipped lamps and overhead lights via the Philips Hue App.
  • Easily expand your lighting system with accessories (sold separately), such as a Hue Dimmer Switch, Hue Tap, or Hue Motion Sensor. Pair it for automation with your existing Nest or SmartThings system.

You will need a Philips Hue Bridge in order for the bulbs to work in your home. If you haven’t already begun your own Philips Hue setup, you can pick up this Starter Kit for $64.99, which comes with the Hue Bridge and two white bulbs. The Hue Dimmer Kit is also down to $27.98 today, which comes with another white bulb and the dimmer for your wall.

See at Amazon

More from Thrifter:

  • How to get the most out of your Amazon Prime membership
  • How to save money when driving

For more great deals be sure to check out our friends at Thrifter now!

16
Aug

Deal: Grab the LG Watch Style for a crazy low $108


The LG Watch Style is on sale for $107.99 with a coupon code.

For those that have yet to hop on the smartwatch bandwagon, eBay has a pretty compelling deal on the LG Watch Style, one of the launch devices for Android Wear 2.0. Right now you can get the watch for $107.99 by using coupon code PSCHOOL20, which saves you $27 from its listed price of $134.99

lg-watch-style-3067.jpg?itok=bRQP7D6N

Flo noted in her review of the LG Watch Style that the device was the first smartwatch she felt comfortable wearing since most smart watches are bulky and not particularly well suited to smaller wrists. She also noted the 240 mAh battery inside the watch was enough to get through a single day or two days with lighter use. One key downside for the Watch Style is the lack of NFC, which means users can’t use the watch with Android Pay. That’s a hard pill to swallow at the suggested retail price of $250, but much easier at $108.

Are you interested in picking up the LG Watch Style? Let us know down below!

See at eBay

16
Aug

Eufy Genie review: It’s like an Echo Dot, only less expensive and not as good


eufy-genie-1.jpg?itok=P-bF_JhU

Find the extra $15 somewhere, because what you save on the Eufy Genie isn’t worth the Echo Dot features you lose in the process.

The Eufy Genie was announced with a decent amount of internet fanfare because (a) we love to get excited about EVERYTHING and (b) the prospect of an even cheaper Amazon Echo Dot actually is something to pique our interest. What’s better than a $50 Dot? How about something that’s a close relative for a mere $35.

That, folks, is the Eufy Genie. It’s made by Anker (you know them from basically every sort of mobile accessory imaginable) and it’s pronounced Eww-fee.

And, yes. You can think of it as a third-party Echo Dot, only cheaper.

And also with a few caveats. Let’s take a look.

The Eufy Genie: Larger, cheaper, and almost as good

The Genie (as I’m going to refer to it from here on out because I’m tired of saying Eww-fee in my head) is actually a little bit bigger than the second-generation Echo Dot. It’s just a smidge wider and about a third taller. But it also looks better with the taper at the top — one of those little design differences that can go a long way.

The shell is glossy plastic, but the top is rubberized — another nice touch. You’ve got the same buttons as the Echo Dot as well: Volume up and down, a mute button for the mic for the times you want a little extra privacy, and a manual action button so Alexa will listen to you. (I don’t think I’ve ever actually used that button other than to set up Wi-Fi again, but OK.)

Don’t be dazzled by the $15 you save with Eufy Genie … You get what you pay for. Or not.

Setup is similar as with an Echo Dot. The Genie doesn’t come with your Amazon account info preloaded, of course, and you’ll have to download the EufyHome app, either from Google Play, or from Apple’s App Store. (Ironically, it’s not in Amazon’s App Store.) You’ll connect your phone to it and feed it your Wifi password, and that’s that.

All in all, a very Echo-like experience.

And using the Genie is pretty much the same, too. You talk to it and are greeted with what very much sounds like the exact same Alexa voice you’re used to. I can’t quite decide if the speaker is a little better on the Genie. If it is, it’s not by a whole lot. It’s interesting that the sound points downward and bounces off a table — OK, I guess that’s interesting — but for the most part the quality is about the same.

But that extra $15 you save on the Genie means something’s missing, right?

Yep.

The Eufy Genie doesn’t have Bluetooth. So you can’t pair your phone to it for music, and it can’t play music to Bluetooth-connected speaker. For that you’ll have to rely on the 3.5mm jack in the back, and the included cable. The Genie also doesn’t take advantage of the new Alexa calling just yet — that’ll come later in a firmware update, Anker tells me. And if for some reason you’re only running a 5GHz Wi-Fi network, you’re out of luck. This one’s 2.4GHz only.

Maybe that’s a big deal to you, and maybe it’s not. If you just have to have Bluetooth or really want to stash one of these somewhere for a kid or older relative to give you a shout without having to have a phone on hand, then you’re going to need to pony up the extra $15 for an Echo Dot.

I also think the Genie doesn’t respond to voice a well as the Echo Dot, which almost certainly is due to it having fewer microphones. (This was especially true when I had some music playing.) That one’s definitely bigger than just a minor annoyance.

Should you buy the Eufy Genie?

If you want something that looks better than an Echo Dot and for the most part acts the same, go for it. But you’ll be missing out on a few features, the biggest of which I’d say is Alexa messaging and calling. And the thing with the microphones would certainly bug me over time.

Me? I’d spring the extra $15 for an Echo Dot. But Anker also has shown Amazon how a better-looking Echo Dot can be done.

See at Amazon

Amazon Echo

  • Amazon Echo review
  • Echo Dot review
  • Top Echo Tips & Tricks
  • Tap, Echo or Dot: The ultimate Alexa question
  • Amazon Echo vs. Google Home
  • Get the latest Alexa news

See at Amazon

16
Aug

FrontRow is a livestreaming smart necklace with two cameras


Ubiquiti has announced a wearable necklace equipped with two cameras for live streaming.

For a lot of users, wearables are not an essential product. They’re certainly nice to have, but not as necessary for day to day life as a smartphone or laptop. I’ve personally used a Pebble, a couple Android Wear watches, and a Vector Watch before giving up on smartwatches altogether a few months ago. Google Glass is another interesting concept, but only focused on the enterprise for now and too expensive to justify for most people.

FrontRow-press_0.jpg?itok=bAxF6eDd

Now Ubiquiti, makers of the excellent Amplifi mesh Wi-Fi router, has announced the FrontRow (via Android Police), a necklace wearable that looks pretty interesting. The FrontRow features a round touch display (there is a flat tire), with two cameras for live streaming events to YouTube Live, Twitter Live and Facebook Live. The battery in the unit is said to be good for about 1 hour and 50 minutes of either recording or live streaming, or 50 hours of standby. When the battery is dead, the device can be charged over a USB Type-C connection with USB-PD fast charging.

The main camera on the device is an 8-megapixel, f/2.2 lens that can record up to 2.7K at 30fps and a 151-degree field of view. Most importantly, the main camera features optical image stabilization to combat shaky cam footage. The rear camera features a 5-megapixel, f/2.0 sensor that can record up to 2K at 30 frames per second and an 85-degree field of view. As for audio, the unit has stereo microphones for recording and a mono speaker for playback.

The device includes 2GB of RAM and 32GB of storage, an unspecified quad-core processor, software based on Android, and Bluetooth 4.1 and Wi-Fi 802.11b/g/n/ac for offloading video to a smartphone. The Frontrow is available in both black and rose gold, with the black option available now on Amazon, and the rose gold version coming September 15th. The FrontRow will work with both iOS and Android devices.

FrontRow-press-2_0.jpg?itok=EYhV83P1

Curiously missing is support for Instagram and Snapchat, along with any mention of dust and water resistance. The latter would be especially important for a livestreaming wearable like this. I have reached out to the company about these features and will update the post when I hear back.

Are you interested in the FrontRow? Let us know down below!

See at Amazon

16
Aug

Best shooter games for Android


modern-strike-online-review-hero.jpg?ito

Spill some blood with the best Android shooters currently on the market.

We’ve rounded up some of the best shooting games across Android for those who always need a target. We have the full gamut here, ranging from simple, single-tap games to full-blown first-person shooters that nearly bring the console experience to your phone and tablet.

  • Modern Strike Online
  • N.O.V.A. 3
  • Bullet Force
  • Hitman: Sniper
  • Combat Squad
  • Modern Combat 5: Blackout
  • Overkill 3
  • Unkilled
  • Dead Trigger 2
  • Dead Plague
  • Major Mayhem
  • Pew Pew 2
  • Gunman Clive

Modern Strike Online

Not interested in anything other than the thrill of online multiplayer? Modern Strike Online offers just that: a pure online FPS experience packed with features and game modes we’ve come to expect from the genre. Once you’ve leveled up some you unlock all six game modes, which include the standard fare you’d expect — free-for-all, team deathmatch, seek and destroy, and a hardcore mode. In-game currency can be bought via in-app purchases or earned via daily rewards, crates and generally kicking ass. Spend your gold and credits on new weapons, armor, and accessories for your character. There’s a decent amount of customization available for kitting, with over 30 types of weapons available to rent or buy.

It’s as complete an FPS as you’ll find on Android. You’ll want to head into the settings first to customize your controls and screen layout and tweak the graphics quality to optimize gameplay on your device. By default, your gun will auto-fire as soon as an enemy enters your crosshairs — you can switch this off in the settings, but it’s actually a pretty handy feature to have when you’re already using your thumbs to move and look around. Yes, there’s the occasional in-game ad and constant pressure to invest real cash, as is the case with most mobile games these days, but it’s not terribly invasive and there’s plenty of fun and loot to be had relying on the free crates and daily rewards.

Download: Modern Strike Online (Free)

N.O.V.A. 3: Freedom Edition

N.O.V.A. 3 picks up the story of former N.O.V.A. commander Kal Wardin as he crashlands in San Francisco amid an ongoing battle. Gameplay is mixed with cutscenes that tell the fairly in-depth story — it might, in fact, be the reason you keep coming back to N.O.V.A. 3.

Play against enemy A.I. units or play multiplayer over local Wi-Fi or the internet. Gameloft implements some measures against cheaters and boosters, namely encouraging players to record or document the actions of said cheaters.

Controls are responsive and targeting is aided by tapping a button to aim down sights, a nice feature for those with big fingers. There are some ads displayed on the menu screens and a popup once in awhile when you die, but nothing the experienced mobile gamer can’t handle.

Download: N.O.V.A. 3 (Free)

Bullet Force

Looking for nothing more than solid online FPS action? Look no further than Bullet Force!

This game supports 20-player battles and includes popular game modes including Team Deathmatch, Conquest, Free-For-All, and Gun Game. The graphics are pretty great for mobile and the on-screen controls can be tweaked as needed. There are over 20 weapons to unlock and customize and if you’re out of service range, don’t fret! You can play offline matches against bots and keep your skills sharp.

Download: Bullet Force (Free w/IAPs)

Hitman: Sniper

Hitman: Sniper finds you, Agent 47, stationed with a sniper rifle outside an estate filled with rich people, bodyguards, and a certain high-priority target. Your job is to take your time, plan a course of action, and begin removing enemies any way you see fit (as long as it’s through a scope). Each mission has different objectives you can complete for extra money, which you can then spend on weapon upgrades and new sniper rifles. If you’re especially proud of a mission, use the Share Replay function to share gameplay footage with your friends.

This game has nice graphics and great mechanics: you must lead enemies who are on the move and must account for their sometimes unforeseen actions. They will not shoot back but will take cover and move around the map attempting to help your prime target escape. Controls are easy and responsive, meaning you won’t have too much trouble lining up the shot. The music is great, especially when you miss a couple of shots and set off some alarms, and the voice acting is also above par for mobile games. Get your heart beating with this great shooter, and enjoy no ads or in-app purchases.

Download: Hitman: Sniper ($0.99)

Combat Squad

Tired of mobile first-person shooters that feel too familiar — almost cookie-cutter? Combat Squad brings an extra layer of tactical strategy to the table by having you control your own squad in one-on-one battles against online opponents. It works by letting you “dive” in and out of controlling your squad members, while the remaining teammates follow your lead via A.I. control.

You’ll need to build up a diverse squad and strategically control each member of your team to achieve victory. The gameplay and controls here are great, so if you’re looking for a fresh take on the genre for mobile, give Combat Squad a try!

Download: Combat Squad (Free w/IAPs)

Modern Combat 5: Blackout

Did someone replace my phone with a console? Modern Combat 5: Blackout is a first-person military shooter that gives you a real video game experience from the palm of your hand. Beginning with an escape mission in Venice, the campaign follows Caydan Phoenix as he travels the world battling Raiders and the World Liberation Army. Customize your soldier’s loadout and special abilities to best suit your playstyle — more options are unlocked as you rank up.

Gameplay is smooth and the controls are easier to manage than most shooters, likely due to the fact you can modify all settings, including audio, control, and HUD. Modern Combat 5 has beautiful graphics for a mobile game and runs without hiccups on an LG G4.

New to Modern Combat 5 is a PvP multiplayer mode that has five game modes: Free for all, VIP, Squad battle, Capture the flag, Zone control, and Team battle. Test your skills against players around the world and work your way up the global leaderboard. This game has minimal ads, though it does have some micro-transactions.

Download: Modern Combat 5: Blackout (Free)

Overkill 3

Overkill 3 is a third-person shooter that guides you through the level, also known as being on rails. Your job is to aim and shoot bad guys. Sounds easy? Overkill lets you choose a difficulty before each boss fight, meaning your recent disposal of entry-position bad guys has no bearing on what is to come.

Choose a loadout from the armory before each mission and unlock new weapons and gear as you progress through the game. You must collect stars by completing specific objectives during each mission — the stars are used to unlock more missions. A tally at the end of each level keeps track of your progress, so you’ll never be unsure of where you stand.

Graphics are not as great as other shooters, but Overkill 3 features a co-op mode that lets you team up with a friend or random player to crush the enemy. Ads are few and far between, but there are many in-app purchases.

Download: Overkill 3 (Free)

Unkilled

Unkilled takes you on a wild, zombie-killing ride with a variety of enemies for you to slay using a variety of weapons. Some missions require different weapons and gadgets, meaning you must enter your armory to upgrade current weapons and purchase new ones. There are plenty of upgrades and weapons rewarded to you for free as you move through the ranks, and you will feel like you’re achieving something each step of the way.

The controls are easy to use and sensitivities are adjustable. Your weapons will shoot automatically when you are aiming at a zombie except when you’re in a static mission; here you will aim and shoot using both thumbs.

There are two play modes available now — campaign and skirmish ops — with multiplayer apparently coming soon. Skirmish ops pits you and your base against other players and zombies. Defend yourself or go on the offensive; either way, you will find yourself moving up the leaderboard as you expend bullets and bash brains.

Ads are infrequent but in-app purchases are everywhere.

Download: Unkilled (Free)

Dead Trigger 2

Dead Trigger 2 continues to be the quintessential zombie-shooting experience on mobile. The graphics are amazing, though the game hardly takes itself seriously — there are lots of tongue-in-cheek references and over-the-top baddies to mow down. This version is a little different in that players now have their own hideout and a crew that can build stuff for them. The controls have also been streamlined for touch; all you have to do is move the crosshairs over a zombie, and if you’re in range, you’ll automatically start shooting.

There are tons of missions to enjoy, and the in-app purchases have been scaled back with the removal of the premium currency — now you can buy and build everything yourself without spending a cent.

Download: Dead Trigger 2 (Free)

Dead Plague

Dead Plague is an outstanding top down shooter that absolutely deserves a place on this list for its brilliant graphics, frantic gameplay, and support for online co-op play. You play as a member of a strike team that’s been dropped on an island where a zombie plague has broken out. You must fight your way through the swarms of zombies to find the DNA samples that are humanity’s only hope to finding a cure.

There’s a nice variety of enemies to battle, including some epic boss battles, along with a full arsenal of weapons to choose from. With tight dual-stick digital controls and an engaging campaign that you can play alone or online with friends, Dead Plague stands out as one of the best shooters for Android.

Download: Dead Plague (Free w/IAPs)

Major Mayhem

Major Mayhem is a fast, simple run-and-gun side-scroller. Players simply tap on ninjas, secret agents, or whoever else the president has commanded you to wipe out. There’s some kind of storyline in there about a girlfriend or something, but really, you just tap your targets as the pop out from behind cover.

It sounds simplistic, but the great cartoon feel, over-the-top storyline, and wide range of unlockables provide excellent bite-sized gameplay.

Download: Major Mayhem (Free)

Pew Pew 2

Pew Pew 2 is a classic top-down shooter game with a funky, retro art style. Don’t let the wireframe graphics fool you, though — there are some great visual effects thrown in here to make this game as gorgeous as it is frantic. New in Pew Pew 2 is a single player campaign where players dig through labyrinthine stages, but the real fun is found in the various infinite play modes. You can unlock new ships and game modes as you progress, too.

There aren’t any in-app purchases or ads to be seen here, which will be refreshing for many gamers.

Download: Pew Pew 2 ($2.57)

Gunman Clive

Gunman Clive is a throwback to early 2D platformers — we’re talking NES difficulty and mechanics. Run, jump, and shoot as Clive makes his way through traps, puzzles, and enemy gunmen. The control design reminded me a lot of NES with its directional pad and two button interface — responsive and easy to control.

In an arena of mostly flashy, cutting edge graphics, the monochromatic visual art design might be enough to cause you to overlook this dusty gem. This game isn’t about great graphics — it’s about challenging gameplay and a soothing soundtrack. Be prepared to lose track of time as you try just one more time to reach the end of the stage.

Adding to the retro feel and offering a nice change to the norm, Gunman Clive does not require any device permissions, does not have any in-app purchases, and does not display any ads.

Download: Gunman Clive ($1.99)

Did we miss any?

Let us know in the comments below your favorite shooter available for Android. If none of these games put the ammo in your clip, check out our roundup of the best Android games.

Updated August 2017: Revamped our list with the inclusion of Bullet Force, Combat Squad, and Dead Plague!

16
Aug

Alexa integration now available for UE Boom 2 and UE Megaboom speakers


Logitech has added Amazon Alexa to their UE Boom speakers.

Amazon’s Alexa platform has proven to be very useful for companies that want to create smart devices that are already part of an existing ecosystem. The latest addition to that ecosystem is the Logitech UE Boom 2 and the UE Megaboom.

ue-boom-2-1.jpg?itok=Tjr2id7W

The speakers added Google Now integration last year, but users now have one more option for their smart assistant: Alexa. Listeners will need to update the UE Boom or UE Megaboom companion app to update the firmware on the speakers before Alexa integration can be enabled.

Curiously, the update changelog specifies that the integration will not work if the user has a Huawei Mate 9, Google Pixel or OnePlus device. From the Play Store listing:

WHAT’S NEW

  • Amazon Alexa voice integration on UE BOOM 2. The Amazon Alexa voice integration on UE BOOM 2 feature works through a quick press to the Bluetooth button on your UE BOOM 2. Amazon Alexa voice on UE BOOM 2 is available in the United States, United Kingdom, and Germany only. Huawei MATE 9, Pixel, and OnePlus phones are not supported.

The speakers do not feature always on microphones, so users will need to press the Bluetooth button on the speakers to trigger Alexa.

Do you own a UE Boom 2 or MEGABOOM and plan on using Alexa? Let us know down below!

See UE MEGABOOM at Amazon

See UE BOOM 2 at Amazon

16
Aug

Best Tempered Glass Screen Protectors for the Moto E4


moto-e4-review-20.jpg?itok=MLNB9Pcs

The Moto E4 may not be an expensive phone, but it’s still worth a lot to you. Make sure its screen stays scuff-free!

The Moto E4 is a pretty new phone, but it only takes a second for it to drop out of a pocket and shatter into a million pieces. Don’t mean to scare you, but it’s the truth! And while a replacement can cost as little as $70 from Verizon, or $100 from Amazon, it doesn’t make the experience any less traumatic.

What you want in this situation is a high-quality tempered glass screen protector, which, when attached properly to a phone’s screen, adds both an improved touch surface and a layer between you and a broken screen.

The Moto E4 has only been out for a little while, but here are the best tempered glass protectors we’ve found so far.

Sparin Moto E4 Screen Protector

619lhkW0qVL._SL1000__0.jpg?itok=u1Wtbjpp

This two-pack of Sparin protectors has a nearly perfect rating, and for good reason: Sparin is a well-known and reliable company, whose cutouts are precise and of high quality.

Like all good screen protectors, Sparin’s has a hardness rating of 9H, and while that number is up for debate, it says that keys, coins, and other metals won’t do much damage. Of course, a hard glass sheet doesn’t prevent cracks and breaks, but that’s the whole point — if this one breaks, you can replace it.

You can find a two-pack of Sparin’s Moto E4 screen protectors for $7.99.

See at Amazon

Supershieldz Moto E4 Screen Protector

61ovwi5fgAL._SL1039__0.jpg?itok=wrROi-SN

If you’re looking for a great two-pack of tempered glass screen protectors, Supershieldz is a reliable brand that has been proven time and time again.

Like Sparin’s options, the $6.99 Supershieldz pack offers 9H hardness, along with an easy, dry installation process that doesn’t leave bubbles. Like all good screen protectors, Supershieldz’s is anti-fingerprint and hydrophobic, so water just wicks off without affecting performance.

And there’s a lifetime warranty so if the protector breaks or malfunctions for reasons that aren’t user-related, it can be replaced.

If you want something a bit more robust and color-matching, Supershieldz is the only company amongst our picks that offers a black, “full-cover” option for the Moto E4, covering all of the cutouts and the fingerprint sensor.

See at Amazon

Wimaha Moto E4 Screen Protector

61WeUOUsdaL._SL1000_-1_0.jpg?itok=x4yBIL

This is becoming a trend now, but the Wimaha two-pack of tempered glass screen protectors for the Moto E4 provides 99% clarity and 9H hardness, with an easy installation that doesn’t require water.

At $7.99, Wimaha’s option is an affordable choice, especially since it offers a 100% risk-free trial — customers can call in to get a refund if they’re not satisfied. Wimaha also says that its protectors offer a 2.5D “round edge” to “avoid chipped and sharp sides.”

Each set comes with a full set of instructions, along with wet and dry wipes, dust absorbers, guide stickers and more.

See at Amazon

Are you going to be buying a tempered glass screen protector for your Moto E4? Let us know in the comments!

16
Aug

Go full-on Kodi power user status with Logitech’s K400 Plus Keyboard for $18


Our friends at Thrifter are back again, this time with a great deal on Logitech’s K400 Plus wireless keyboard!

These days just about everyone has a smart TV or something smart connected to their TV, like an Xbox One, Kodi, Android TV, etc. Navigating the interfaces and trying to type in things as simple as a URL can quickly become a pain if you don’t have a keyboard to do it. Logitech’s K400 Plus wireless keyboard is a great way to solve this problem, and right now you can pick one up for just $17.99. This is the lowest price that the keyboard has hit, and it provides quite a bit of functionality for the price.

logitech-k400-keyboard.jpg?itok=tUL7EE6o

  • Wireless TV keyboard with touchpad: Enjoy effortless control of your TV-connected computer
  • Plug-and-play setup: Setting up K400 Plus is a snap. Plug the tiny Unifying receiver into a USB port and start the fun.Use the keyboard receiver to connect up to six Unifying devices to your computer.
  • Comfortable, quiet keys and large (3.5-inch) touchpad: The ideal HTPC keyboard
  • 10-meter (33-foot): wireless range Watch video, browse the web, chat with friends and more, without annoying delays or dropouts.
  • Familiar, media-friendly key layout: Eliminates any learning curve while adding easy-access volume controls and arrow keys
  • Plug-and-play design: Unifying receiver makes setup of your TV keyboard a snap
  • 18-month battery life You might forget this keyboard needs batteries: Virtually eliminates the hassle of replacing batteries, Use the on/off switch to extend battery life even further.
  • Wide compatibility: Works with Windows 10 or later, Windows 8 or 7; Android 5.0 or later; Chrome OS

At $18 you can totally justify having one of these around the house for the random times that you may need it. Even if it isn’t something that you use daily, the times when you do go to use it you’ll quickly realize it was worth the purchase!

See at Amazon

More from Thrifter:

  • 5 travel apps to help you save big on hotel stays
  • Upgrade your makeup bag on a budget this summer

For more great deals be sure to check out our friends at Thrifter now!

%d bloggers like this: