Skip to content

Archive for

31
Aug

Best iOS app deals of the day! 6 paid iPhone apps for free for a limited time


Everyone likes Apple apps, but sometimes the best ones are a bit expensive. Now and then, developers put paid apps on sale for free for a limited time, but you have to snatch them up while you have the chance. Here are the latest and greatest iOS app deals available from the iOS App Store.

These apps normally cost money and this sale lasts for a limited time only. If you go to the App Store and it says the app costs money, that means the deal has expired and you will be charged. 

SnowHaze

SnowHaze is a powerful private browser developed to truly protect your data on the internet. SnowHaze is used like every common browser with the big advantage of having your personal data safe.

Available on:

iOS

C-Time

Your time is precious. C-Time is the app that helps you see how much of your valuable time you spend at certain places, or doing certain things.

Available on:

iOS

Typic

Typic is a simple app that allows you to add text to photos. Create quotes, beautiful typographic text layouts, or design a greeting card, all in the same app.

Available on:

iOS

NiteFan

This app will allow you to choose between the sounds of 4 different fans to help you fall asleep when your head hits the pillow. Play one type of fan or mix them together to create your own custom fan sound.

Available on:

iOS

Make a Face

Make a Face is photography software to create unique, animated composite pictures and videos of faces. If you like creating interesting photos and animations of the faces of your friends and family, this is the app for you.

Available on:

iOS

Crop Video

Crop Video is an easy video cropping application that allows you to crop videos conveniently and in seconds. The app offers a unique “Crop” function to select only the most beautiful and important parts.

Available on:

iOS




Advertisements
31
Aug

‘Star Wars: Jedi Challenges’ hands-on preview


Research Center:
Star Wars: Jedi Challenges

If a Star Wars film a year isn’t enough to satisfy your appetite for a galaxy far, far away, perhaps taking the mantle of a Jedi will. Disney and Lenovo have teamed up for Star Wars: Jedi Challenges, an augmented reality game where players wield a lightsaber to fight enemies like Kylo Ren, fend off blaster fire from Stormtroopers, and play Holochess. It’s all made possible with Mirage AR, a Lenovo-built headset that uses your smartphone to power the experience.

We got a brief chance to try our luck fighting Kylo Ren in an early development unit, with pre-release software. Did I feel like a Jedi? Surprisingly, yes.

Take up your lightsaber

Lenovo’s Mirage AR looks like a helmet you’d find the rebels wearing, except a little too polished. The strap sits on top of your head and around, keeping the headset secure — similar to the HTC Vive. On the top right side, there are three buttons for controls, and the top left edge is where you can insert your Android or iOS smartphone. You’ll need to install the companion Star Wars: Jedi Challenges app to make it all come alive.

While it may look like a completely enclosed virtual reality headset, the Mirage AR actually has a transparent display, which is where the gameplay is projected. This means you’ll be able to see the real-world environment while engaging in the Jedi challenges.

The headset comes with a Lightsaber Controller, designed to look like Rey’s lightsaber hilt (formerly Luke and Anakin Skywalker’s), and a Tracking Beacon. The tracking beacon is placed on the floor, and it keeps the experience stable, helping the fisheye cameras on the headset track the player’s movement. The Lightsaber Controller, as the name suggests, acts as a controller, featuring two buttons to perform actions and commands.

There’s no fake blade attached to the Lightsaber Controller, but when you’re engaged in a Jedi challenge you’ll see the beam light up on the headset’s display. You can move the lightsaber around to deflect attacks, or assail your enemies. Haptic feedback in the hilt makes the hilt feel more convincing, while the AR graphics are rendered in a ghostly blue that should be familiar to Star Wars fans.

Three challenges, quick play

You can choose from three game modes when you put on the headset. Of course, we went straight to the Lightsaber Battles. It’s the game mode we’ve all wanted to play ever since we saw the first lightsaber duel in ‘Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope.’

You’ll be able to see the real-world environment while engaging in the Jedi challenges.

Once you leap into the game, you’ll find yourself fighting against Stormtroopers equipped with the Z6 riot control baton, which can block lightsaber attacks – just like what Finn faced ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens.’ Once you’ve mastered that, you can square off against Kylo Ren.

Flashes warn you when you need to block an attack, and offer suggestions for when you should strike, which makes the game rather simple. Fighting felt accurate in most cases, though there moments when the beam didn’t quite match where the Lightsaber Controller was, which obviously broke the immersion. We tried a pre-release unit with pre-release software, so kinks may still need worked out.

We never had an issue with the graphics, though. Kylo Ren looked just as menacing as he was in the movie, and while our fight with him ended in victory, it wasn’t easy.

The other Jedi Challenges, which we didn’t get to try, are Strategic Combat, and Holochess. Strategic Combat lets you “marshal the forces of the Republic, Rebel Alliance, and the Resistance against the might of the Separatists, Empire, and First Order.” It’s basically a tower defense game where you can deploy X-wings to destroy enemy AT-ATs. Star Wars characters will also appear, working both for and against us.

Star Wars: Jedi Challenges Compared To

Samsung DeX Station

Oaxis InkCase i7 Plus

Ampy Move

Neo Smartpen N2

Motrr Galileo

Typo keyboard case

Moga Mobile Gaming Controller

Hasbro My3D

Iomega SuperHero

BlackBerry Presenter

Callpod Chargepod

Griffin Elan Holster

Holochess is a little less intense, as it mimics a game played between Chewbacca and R2-D2 in the original movie. You use holographic aliens to gain more territory, and control over the board. On paper, this sounds the least exciting – but a VR chess game set in the Stars Wars universe could be great, and might have more replay value than the lightsaber battles.

Available soon, for just $200

The Mirage AR headset coupled with Star Wars: Jedi Challenges will be available on November 1, but you can pre-order it now from Best Buy and Lenovo’s website for $200. You can check if your smartphone is compatible here. We think only the most hardcore fans will go for the headset at that price, given that it has just three games, but a Lenovo spokesperson says there will be updates to add more game content after the headset is released. If so, it could become an easy, approachable entry into augmented reality gaming.

31
Aug

LittleBits Droid Inventor Kit lets you channel your inner Star Wars engineer


Why it matters to you

LittleBits wants to teach kids circuitry through Star Wars. Enter the Droid Inventor Kit.

If you’ve ever dreamed of designing your own droid, the new LittleBits kit has your name on it.

On Thursday, LittleBits, the startup behind kid-focused educational toys like Code Kit, announced the Droid Inventor Kit, a collaboration with Disney and Lucasfilm that lets kids design, create, and build Star Wars–inspired mechanical creations.

“Today we are continuing a global inventor movement that empowers young people to participate in a story that inspires them to be creators, not just consumers of technology,” LittleBits CEO Ayah Bdeir said in a statement.

The Droid Inventor Kit includes all the parts kids need to build a droid, and step-by-step instructions and how-to videos that break down the difficult steps. But there’s more to the Droid Inventor Kit than meets the eye. With the companion Droid Inventor app for smartphones, kids can send their bots through 17 special Star Wars missions and unlock new capabilities as they progress. The final reward? Learning how to create their own R2D2 units.

The Droid Inventor app’s also how kids control their droid creations — and how they earn rewards for it. They can drive their droids manually or let them drive themselves, and get digital stickers when they decorate their droids with crafts and household objects.

Bdeir, who founded LittleBits in 2011 with the mission of creating an educational platform that encouraged self-directed problem solving, thinks toys like the Droid Inventor Kit could help close the tech industry’s gender gap. Already, he said, LittleBits products have an adoption by girls at around 35 percent — an industry high.

“We’ve created a gender-inclusive product that celebrates kids’ own self-expression and ingenuity, while showcasing the same characteristics of imagination, grit and invention that are embodied in the Star Wars franchise,” Bdeir said.

The Droid Inventor Kit goes on sale August 31 for $100 at Walmart, Amazon, Apple Store, Disney Store, and littlebits.cc. It comes with 20 Droid parts, six modular “bits,” three sticker sheets, and a free download of the LittleBits Droid Inventor app.




31
Aug

How to get set up with YouTube TV


youtube-tv-set-up.jpg?itok=5eE9H29C

To enjoy YouTube TV, first, you need to get setup.

YouTube TV offers a great way to access the cable shows you don’t want to miss without the full price tag that a cable subscription inevitably comes with. If you’ve been considering YouTube TV as a viable alternative in your quest to cut cords, first you’ll need to get set up. We’ve got the details for you here to get started!

  • How to set up YouTube TV
  • How to stream a program on YouTube TV
  • How to access YouTube TV Settings

How to set up YouTube TV

In order to get started with YouTube TV, you’ll need to set it up first. This only takes a few moments, and you can try out this app for free before you’re charged for the service. You’ll just need to follow the prompts on screen and enter your payment info, and you’ll be good to go!

Download and install YouTube TV.
Tap Try it Free.

Tap the Google Account you want to use.

youtube-tv-setup1.jpg?itok=_oR5V3a8

Tap Next to let YouTube TV find your location.
Tap Allow.

Tap Let’s Go.

youtube-tv-setup2.jpg?itok=hOenynYH

Tap Next.
Tap Next.
Enter your payment information.
Tap Buy.

Tap Take Tour to get started.

youtube-tv-setip3.jpg?itok=QAwttJRm

How to stream a program on YouTube TV

When you’re ready to watch that awesome program you’ve been waiting for, it’s easy to jump right in. Just a few taps, and you’ll be able to start watching!

Open the YouTube TV app.
Tap the program you want to watch.

Tap the program again to start the program.

youtube-tv-stream-program.jpg?itok=hPVAU

How to access YouTube TV settings

There are times when you’ll need to know where the Settings for YouTube TV are hiding. It’s here that you can adjust billing info, add accounts, adjust privacy settings, and more.

Open the YouTube TV app.
Tap the Google user icon.

Tap Settings.

youtube-tv-settings.jpg?itok=0LIz4U0Z

Questions?

Do you still have questions about getting started with YouTube TV? Is there something we didn’t cover that we should have? Let us know in the comments below!

31
Aug

5 Alexa-enabled devices you need to check out!


Echo isn’t the only Alexa-enabled device in town.

What can you use Amazon Alexa with? What can’t you use with it in 2017 actually is the better question to ask. But in addition to being able to use Alexa to control various devices, Alexa also comes baked into any number of products.

That means you won’t necessarily need to have an actual Amazon Echo laying around. And while not all of these devices will truly take the place of a full-blown Echo device, they can fit the bill in certain niche circumstances. For instance: I wouldn’t strap an Echo Dot to my wrist and try to use it as a watch. That would be silly.

What’s not silly are these five products that have Alexa built in and look to get things done just the same.

Martian Victory/Passport Smartwatches

martian-victory.jpg?itok=GBhgSc0_

I was an early adopter of smartwatches, having worn most everything Android Wear made available in the early days. I’ve kinda soured on a watch that I have to charge every day, though.

Martian’s Victory watches are kind of intriguing, though. First and foremost is that they look like an analog watch, because they are. But they also have a little text-only display that feeds you some basic notifications. (It’s a lot like what I’ve enjoyed with the Steel HR watch.) And these watches also have microphones, so you can bark orders at Alexa with them.

So yes, It’s Alexa on a watch, which is kind of cool if you need that sort of thing. And it’s still kind of cool if you don’t. Prices range from around $180 to about $230.

See at Amazon

Logi ZeroTouch car mounts

These are cool. It’s sort of your standard magnetic car mount. There’s a suction cup version or an air vent mount, both of which pair with a little metallic disc that you tuck into a case or stick to the back of your phone. (Ugh, but it’s gotta work somehow.)

That’s the mounting side of things. There’s also an app side of things that brings much greater in-depth hands-free options than what your phone might do out of the box. (That’s maybe less true for the Android folks now that Android Auto is available on phones, but it’s still very true for iPhones.

All in all? A cool little way to use Alexa in your car, at a decent price of about $50.

See at Amazon

Eufy Genie

The Eufy Genie isn’t quite an Echo Dot. But it’s trying real hard, and it still looks pretty good. In fact, I’d say it looks better than the Echo Dot. And at just $30, the price is better than the Echo Dot.

The only thing that gives me any real hesitation here? It’s got fewer microphones than the Echo Dot, so it’s possible that it won’t hear you quite as well as the Echo Dot does.

If that’s not something you’re going to worry too much about, then have at it! If there’s one thing I’d want to do to improve the Echo Dot, it’s in the design department. And the Eufy Genie definitely ticks that box.

See at Amazon

Ecobee 4

ecobee4_front_highres.jpg?itok=ehyfgdc6Controlling a smart thermostat with Alexa isn’t anything new. You can do that with Nest. You can do that with an Ecobee 3. But what makes the Ecobee 4 so awesome is that you don’t actually need another Echo device around to control it. This one has its own built-in microphone and speaker.

That means that you don’t need another Echo (or Echo Dot, or whatever) to control it — you just speak to the thermostat itself. And it also means that the Ecobee 4 can do just about everything that the full Echo devices can do. (Short of Alexa Calling, that is.)

If you’re looking to get a more connected home without having to take up another outlet with a little Echo Dot, definitely give this a look. It’s not inexpensive at about $250, but it’s also a very good smart thermostat.

See at Amazon

Vobot Smart Radio

vobot-1.jpg?itok=eyqni3kt

This little thing still resides in the bedroom of my youngest daughter, and she’s had a surprising amount of fun with it. Vobot isn’t what I’d call an Echo Dot replacement — having to press a button to have Alexa listen to you is a nonstarter for me.

But for my kid who’s just learning about this stuff? It works just fine. Plus she now has a fun little alarm clock and way to play music in her room, all in a package that costs just $50.

See at Amazon

Amazon Echo

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

See at Amazon

31
Aug

Deal: Get 50% off Samsung Galaxy Note 8 lease price from Sprint


galaxy-note-8-black-in-hand-top-back.jpg

New Sprint customers who are looking to pick up a Galaxy Note 8 can get 50% off the lease price ($960 SRP) and pay just $20.00/month with $0 down via an 18-month lease.

Plus, if you purchase the device by September 24, you’ll receive a free Galaxy Foundation Kit that includes either a 128GB EVO+ memory card & Fast Wireless Charging Convertible ($189.98 value) OR a Samsung Gear 360 camera ($229.99 value).

This deal requires a new line of service activation and an 18-month lease. Well-qualified customers are eligible. There are taxes on any device you go with and you’ll have to pay that up front regardless. If you cancel your service, the remaining device balance will become due.

Sprint’s Unlimited Freedom Plan

If you’re looking to pair up your new phone with a plan, Sprint’s Unlimited Freedom is one of the cheapest on the market at $50 for the first line or $22.50 per month per line for 4 lines with the 5th line for free, with autopay. These savings last until 10/31/18 then prices are $60/mo. for line 1, $40/mo. for line 2 and $30/mo per line for lines 3-5.

Sprint Unlimited Freedom comes with:

  • Unlimited talk, text, and data. Once you’ve reached 23GB of data, your speeds may temporarily slow down during times of high network congestion.
  • HD video, 1080p
  • 10GB of 4G mobile hotspot

Preorder your Note 8 from Sprint today — with devices shipping as soon as September 5th — or wait until September 15th and pick up one online or at a Sprint store. Also, you can upgrade at any time to the latest Galaxy device after making 12 full payments.

Buy Galaxy Note 8

31
Aug

Amazon’s new multi-room audio is a Sonos competitor — if you don’t care about quality


sonos-playbar-lifestyle-hero.jpg?itok=hO

So Amazon Echo — or, more specifically, the OG Echo, Echo Dot, and Echo Show — can now do multi-room audio. That is, they can all play the same music at the same time, in different rooms.

That’s a big deal. If you sell multiple speakers, you need to be able to do multi-room playback. Amazon’s nearest direct competitor in this sort of thing — that’d be Google and Google Home — has done this for some time now.

So, too, has Sonos. But this needs to be made abundantly clear:

For as good as the Amazon Echo and Echo Show are, they’re not Sonos. They’re not a Play:1, the least expensive of the Sonos stable at $199. And they’re definitely not of the quality of the Play:3 ($299) or Play:5 ($499).

If you’re comparing Amazon Echo’s multi-room audio to a @Sonos, you’ve obviously never used a Sonos.

— Phil Nickinson (@mdrndad) August 29, 2017

Start with the actual speaker hardware. The original Echo is decent, especially if you can get it at the current sub-$100 sale price. The Echo Show isn’t awful either when it comes to audio. It fills a need in the kitchen, where things tend to be a little noisy a lot of the time.

amazon-echo-2017-1.jpg?itok=MF46L-sQ

But neither the OG Echo nor the Echo Show — or Google Home, for that matter — can hold a candle to the stock audio quality of the Play:1. (Which I also keep in the kitchen because — well, it doesn’t matter why. It’s not normal to have this much stuff in one place, but that’s the hand I’ve been dealt.)

Three speakers, one obvious winner: Sonos.

And that’s before you get into the whole Sonos TruePlay thing, which individually tunes each speaker for improved sound in whatever room it’s in.

How do you make an already-great speaker even better? This is how.

That’s something that neither Amazon nor Google currently do with their speakers.

Echo continues to grow by leaps and bounds, but Sonos is in another class of its own.

I haven’t mentioned Apple’s HomePod speaker yet. And that’s because, save for SEO purposes, there’s no real reason to worry about comparisons. You can’t yet buy one. And it’s not expected until later in the year anyway, so any mention until then is moot. Same goes for the Harmon Kardon Invoke, which will sport Microsoft’s Cortana assistant. You can’t buy it yet.

So yes, Sonos and Google are the only current “competitors” for Amazon’s multi-room audio. But they’re just not on the same playing field. Not by a long shot.

And that’s something you need to keep in mind as you read headlines that pose Amazon’s new multi-room as some sort of Sonos competitor. For one, it’s way cheaper. But the sound quality from Sonos is exponentially better.

And in that sense, Amazon ain’t competing at all.

Amazon Echo

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

See at Amazon

31
Aug

SanDisk Ultra 400GB microSDXC is the world’s largest microSD card


The SanDisk Ultra 400GB microSDXC UHS-1 card will retail for $249.

SanDisk has rolled out the world’s largest capacity microSD card at IFA. The 400GB card can store 40 hours of Full HD video content, and transfers files at up to 100MB/s. SanDisk’s parent company Western Digital was able to double the capacity of the 200GB card — which made its debut two years ago — by turning to a new production process.

sandisk-ultra-400gb.jpg?itok=juxkmcka

SanDisk’s card also meets the SD Association’s Application Performance Class 1 (A1) spec, hitting a minimum random read/write speed of 1500 and 500 IOPS respectively. What that essentially means is that you’ll be able to use SanDisk’s 400GB card to run apps.

The card is also waterproof, shockproof, X-ray proof, and resistant to temperature changes. SanDisk is also rolling out a ten-year limited warranty.

And now for the price — the SanDisk Ultra 400GB microSDXC UHS-1 card will retail for $249.99.

See at Amazon

31
Aug

Tesla’s Hyperloop ‘pusher pod’ sets 220MPH speed record


After dropping the idea for the Hyperloop, leaving the development to others, then getting back into the game, Elon Musk is showing a lot more interest in it. He recently held a student competition at his SpaceX headquarters, helping one team hit 201MPH on the 0.77 mile-long track. Now, Telsa itself beat that record with the “pusher pod” vehicle, which hit a new mark of 355 km/h (220MPH), according to an Instagram from Musk.

We took the SpaceX/Tesla Hyperloop pusher pod for a spin by itself a few days ago to see what it could do when not pushing student pods (some need a push to get going, e.g. passive maglev). Got up to 355 km/h (220 mph) before things started 🔥. Kind of like racing with a tugboat. Maybe able get past 500 km/h (about half speed of sound) next month with a few tweaks or maybe tiny pieces …

A post shared by Elon Musk (@elonmusk) on Aug 30, 2017 at 10:27pm PDT

Musk said that things started to get 🔥 after that (yes, he used the fire emoji), “kind of like racing with a tugboat.” However, the team will try again next month with “a few tweaks or maybe tiny pieces,” and Musk thinks that 310MPH should be doable. During the student competition, Musk mused that a future team should easily be able to hit 500 to 600MPH on the same track.

Those sound like big boasts, but Musk isn’t one for hyperbole, and often tries to tamp down expectations instead. For instance, he has predicted that SpaceX Falcon landing tests will end badly, and believes that the first Falcon Heavy to launch probably won’t make it to orbit. Anyway, with Hyperloop now part of his purview along with Tesla and SpaceX, expect Musk’s companies to dominate the tech news cycle even more than usual.

Source: Elon Musk (Instagram)

31
Aug

Duolingo brings its flashcard learning app to Android


Duolingo launched an app called Tinycards last year to help you out on subjects other than languages. Unfortunately, it was an iOS exclusive until it came to the web a few months ago. Now, the flashcards app is finally available on Google Play, giving millions of Android-only users around the globe access to its interactive lessons. They will also be able to access the 200,000 custom decks created by veteran users, which include a wide range of topics, including Harry Potter, Game of Thrones and Star Wars trivia. If they can’t find anything that suits their purpose, they can always make their own sets, as well.

A spokesperson told TechCrunch that it took some time to create an Android app, because Duolingo has a relatively small team, and their focus is on the main app. “Also, great Android developers are pretty hard to find!” he added. Now that it’s available on the world’s most popular mobile platform, teachers and students from developing nations can use it as a free and easy-to-use study aid in the classroom.

Source: Tinycards (Google Play), TechCrunch

%d bloggers like this: