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This wireless controller lets you get your ‘Fortnite’ fix anytime, anywhere

If you haven’t joined the millions of gamers who are enjoying the free-to-play Fortnite: Battle Royale right now, you’re missing out. This multiplayer title from Epic Games features a combination of third-person shooter and fort-building gameplay and has taken the world by storm. With a legion of players joining in worldwide and streamers like Ninja – as well as some celebrities like Drake – breaking Twitch records, it’s kind of a big deal.

You don’t even need a PC or console to enjoy Fortnite, as the game has been in such high demand that developer Epic Games recently ported it to iOS, with an Android version coming later this summer. One notable feature of Fortnite is that it allows for cross-platform play, meaning that PC, console, and mobile players can all duke it out together no matter what system they’re playing on. (Other game devs, take note.)

As you might imagine, trying to play a fast-paced action game like Fortnite (or similar titles such as PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds) on a phone or tablet touchscreen puts you at a disadvantage when you’re up against an enemy who is using a controller or a mouse and keyboard. Thankfully, wireless controllers like this one from Ipega can take full advantage of Bluetooth connectivity to solve this little problem, leveling the playing field when you’re getting your Fortnite fix on the go.

The Ipega Bluetooth gamepad looks and feels like a modern console controller, with four action buttons, four shoulder buttons, two analog sticks, and a D-pad. What makes it perfect for mobile gaming, however, is the flip-up phone cradle that holds your iOS or Android smartphone tightly in place while you play, effectively turning your phone into a mobile gaming setup.

Although the gamepad is perfect for mobile titles like Fortnite and PUBG — games that you really don’t want to play without a controller — its Bluetooth connectivity means you can also use it with your PC. Simply pop the included USB receiver (which tucks neatly inside the controller when not in use) into your computer and jump right into your Steam library. It’s perfect for tablet gaming, too.

The Ipega Bluetooth controller is a hot item right now, and if you don’t want to order one from China and have to wait weeks for it to ship and make it through customs, then you can grab it from a U.S.-based seller on Ebay right now for just $42 while stock lasts.

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ARM aims to match laptop performance with new Cortex-A76 CPU


ARM is gearing up to give Intel a run for its money in the laptop space.

ARM has unveiled its next-generation CPU design, and it’s setting its sights firmly on Intel’s laptop throne.

ARM is billing its new Cortex-A76 CPU as a laptop workhorse, citing a 35-percent performance improvement over its last-generation design. That’s backed up by a 40 percent uptick in power efficiency and a fourfold increase in performance for AI and machine learning tasks.

“The new Cortex-A76 also delivers 4x compute performance improvements for AI/ML at the edge, enabling responsive, secure experiences on PCs and smartphones. This level of performance, power efficiency, and flexibility changes how consumers engage with their new PCs,” ARM says.


With the Always-Connected PC effort from Microsoft and its partners now in full swing with Windows 10 on ARM, it’s no wonder ARM is going all in on pitching its next chip design as a contender for laptops. One of the main selling points is battery life, which can exceed 20 hours with current ARM-based Windows 10 devices. And while a persistent LTE connection and instant-on capabilities are nice, battery life gains are what could ultimately threaten Intel’s stranglehold on the market if Windows 10 on ARM is a success.

Still, there’s a long way to go. Currently, very few Windows 10 on ARM devices have been announced, leaving the market mostly to single offerings from HP and ASUS. However, as the year wears on, there’s plenty of potential for the market to expand, especially if ARM’s claims hold up.

The next step is up to partners like Qualcomm to release chips based on ARM’s Cortex-A76 design. Microsoft is working closely with Qualcomm with its Windows 10 on ARM efforts; the current generation of devices, for example, is based on the Snapdragon 835 platform. A Qualcomm chip based on the Cortex-A76 could prove to be a valuable boost to future laptops and tablets.


What to Expect at WWDC 2018: iOS 12, macOS 10.14, tvOS 12 and watchOS 5 But No Hardware

Apple’s annual Worldwide Developers Conference starts off on Monday morning with a keynote event that’s set to take place at 10:00 a.m. This year’s event will be something of a surprise, because we haven’t heard many details on what’s coming.

Apple uses WWDC to preview new versions of iOS, macOS, tvOS, and watchOS, and this year will be no exception. Oftentimes, new hardware, such as refreshed Macs, debuts at the event, but this year, rumors suggest we’re only going to be seeing software from Apple.

In the post and video below, we’ve outlined everything that we expect Apple to introduce at WWDC based on the rumors that have circulated in the months leading up to the event.

Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos.

iOS 12

With iOS 12, Apple is going to focus on introducing bug fixes and improvements to existing features in an attempt to avoid some of the issues that popped up with iOS 11 over the course of the year.

Apple was initially planning to introduce a range of new features that included a refresh of the Home screen with a redesigned app grid, a revamped CarPlay interface, improvements to core apps like Mail, and new features for the Camera and Photos apps, but these features have been delayed until 2019, according to Bloomberg, to focus on under-the-hood improvements.

That doesn’t mean there will be no new features in iOS 12, though, and we are expecting to see some significant additions to the iOS operating system.

Bloomberg has said Apple plans to introduce some kind of cross-platform functionality with macOS that’s designed to allow developers to create a single app that will work on iPhones, iPads, and Macs, which would successfully boost the number of Mac apps available for download. Right now, Apple uses entirely separate stores for Mac and iOS apps.

There is some question about this feature, however, as Daring Fireball’s John Gruber says it’s planned for 2019, not 2018.

Apple is planning to add new Animoji on the iPhone X, and landscape support for Face ID may be coming as a feature that’s designed for the upcoming iPad Pro models that are expected to adopt Face ID. Landscape support will also presumably be available for the iPhone X.

In addition to new Animoji, we may see Animoji integration into FaceTime, allowing people to use the animated emoji characters when making a video call. Apple is said to be working on multi-person FaceTime calls, but it’s not yet clear if this functionality will be ready for a 2018 debut.

Another major new feature planned for iOS 12, which will be a focus of the update, includes a suite of new digital health tools that are designed to let users better monitor how much time they spend on their iPhones and iPads and how much time is spent within apps. These tools will also be available for parents to monitor their children’s device usage. The aim with Apple’s new digital tools is to alleviate concerns about smartphone addiction.

Enhanced Do Not Disturb controls will go hand in hand with the digital health tools, giving users more options for automatically rejecting calls and silencing notifications.

Apple is planning to announce ARKit 2.0, a new version of the augmented reality tools that allow developers to build AR experiences into their apps. ARKit 2.0 will focus on multiplayer gameplay, letting two players see the same virtual objects, and it will allow for persistence, which means virtual objects placed in an augmented reality app will remain in place between sessions. So, for example, you could put a virtual painting on the wall with an app and when you open it up again, the painting will still be there.

With iOS 12, Apple is expected to expand the NFC capabilities of the iPhone beyond simple mobile payments, allowing users to securely unlock doors with NFC technology.

Several other smaller features are planned for iOS 12 according to rumors, such as a redesigned Stocks app, deeper Siri integration in Photos for search purposes, a revamped interface for importing photos into an iPad, and a revamped iBooks app, which could be renamed to just “Books” and offer a “Today” section much like the iOS App Store.

Make sure to read our full iOS 12 roundup for more details on what to expect in iOS 12 and beyond, as it also covers the features that have been delayed until iOS 13.

macOS 10.14

As mentioned above, macOS 10.14 may be gaining support for cross-platform apps, allowing apps designed for iOS to also run on the Mac. As part of this initiative, some iOS-only apps like Health, Home, and others may also be available on the Mac going forward.

Aside from the hint of cross-platform functionality, we haven’t heard many details on what we can expect to see in macOS 10.14. Daring Fireball’s John Gruber believes Apple is planning a Mac App Store redesign that would bring it inline with the new App Store for iOS that Apple introduced with iOS 11. A new App Store redesign would make sense given rumors of cross-platform apps.

We’re expecting Apple to add support for the new Apple Filesystem for Fusion Drives in macOS 10.14 based on some recent comments from Apple engineering chief Craig Federighi, but beyond that, new features coming in macOS 10.14 will be a surprise.

Read our macOS 10.14 roundup for additional details on what to expect in the next-generation version of macOS, including what it might be named.

tvOS 12, watchOS 5 and New HomePod Software

Along with iOS 12 and macOS 10.14, we’re going to see updates to tvOS 12 and watchOS 5, but we haven’t heard details on what new features might be coming in these software updates.

tvOS and watchOS (especially tvOS) are historically smaller updates than macOS 10.14 and iOS 12 and don’t receive as much attention, leaving the features largely a surprise. We do know that we’re getting a rainbow-themed pride watch face, but the watch face will be available to everyone following WWDC rather than bundled into watchOS 5.

This is the first WWDC where we’ve had the HomePod, but it too has its own operating system and may get revisions on the same update schedule as Apple’s other software updates. Check out our HomePod roundup for more details on the last HomePod software update (11.4).


There are some years where Apple uses the Worldwide Developers Conference to launch new hardware products. As an example, in 2017, Apple unveiled new iPad Pro models and debuted refreshed MacBooks, MacBook Pros, and iMacs.

We’ve heard some analyst predictions and sketchier rumors pointing towards possible product launches at WWDC, but a recent report from Bloomberg suggests Apple will not be introducing any hardware at the event at all, instead focusing on software.

Should this information be wrong, we’ve outlined the other rumors we’ve heard about potential product launches that could be coming at WWDC.

New Notebooks and iMacs

The MacBook, MacBook Pro, and iMac lineups are all due for a refresh, and were updated at the Worldwide Developers Conference last year.

Bloomberg says Apple is working on refreshes for the 12-inch MacBook and the MacBook Pro with next-generation Intel chips, but those updates will not be ready until later in this year.

The same goes for a rumored low-cost notebook that will serve as a successor to the MacBook Air – it won’t be ready for a summer launch.

Current iMacs, MacBooks, and MacBook Pro models will be going more than a year without an update if there’s no June refresh, and it’s not clear when these machines will see an update if not in June. September alongside iPhones is a possibility, as is a launch earlier or later in the year via press release or a separate event.

For a full rundown of all Mac-related rumors, check out our MacBook, MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, and iMac roundups.

iPad Pros

Apple is working on a revamped iPad Pro that adopts the TrueDepth camera system for Face ID along with smaller bezels and no Home button, turning the iPad into something of a giant iPhone X.

We’re still expecting two sizes, somewhere around 10.5 and 12.9-inches, but the new iPad Pro models will be able to adopt larger displays while maintaining the same body size thanks to the aforementioned slimmer bezels.

2018 iPad Pro mockup via Benjamin Geskin
A TrueDepth camera system for the iPad Pro will allow the device to adopt Animoji, and a new feature rumored for iOS 12 will allow Face ID to work in landscape mode, something not currently possible on the iPhone X.

While the iPhone X uses an OLED display, Apple’s TrueDepth-equipped iPad Pro is expected to continue to use an LCD display due to the difficulty and expense involved to obtain larger OLED panels. Inside, the new iPad Pro is expected to adopt a faster, more efficient A11X chip and an Apple-designed GPU.

Bloomberg has said the new iPad Pro will launch “a little more than a year” after the last iPad Pro update, which indicates a September launch, and former KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has also said a release won’t happen until sometime in the third quarter of 2018.

It doesn’t sound like we’re going to see the new iPad Pro models at WWDC, but some analysts have predicted a June launch. Take a look at our iPad Pro roundup for full details on what to expect from a next-generation tablet.

iPhone SE 2?

Rumors about an iPhone SE 2 have been all over the place, making it difficult to nail down what Apple has planned for a second-generation 4-inch iPhone SE.

We’ve heard rumors suggesting everything from small design changes to a major overhaul that includes Face ID camera system and an iPhone X-style design, something that seems unlikely for a device that Apple has positioned as its most affordable.

A case maker’s rendering of what the iPhone SE 2 will look like, which could be inaccurate
Recent rumors seem split between an iPhone SE design that includes a glass backing for wireless charging and the aforementioned iPhone X-like design, but based on what we’ve heard, it sounds like at least some of these rumors may be confusing a second-generation iPhone SE with the 6.1-inch LCD iPhone Apple is said to have in the works for its fall 2018 iPhone lineup.

A lot of the iPhone SE 2 rumors have come from less than reliable supply chain sources in Asia with little information provided by trustworthy sources that have a proven track record and are known to provide accurate details.

Given these mixed rumors, we don’t have a clear picture of what an iPhone SE 2 is going to look like, and because everything is so up in the air, it’s also difficult to nail down a launch date.

We’ve heard several rumors suggesting a launch could happen during the first half of the year, in the summer, and at WWDC, which suggests a June launch, but again, these rumors need to be viewed with some skepticism especially amid reliable information suggesting no hardware at WWDC.

Make sure to read our full iPhone SE 2 roundup to get an idea of how mixed the rumors have been.

Beats Accessory With Siri Integration?

Apple analyst Gene Munster believes Apple may be planning to introduce a Beats-branded product that includes Siri integration as a low-cost HomePod alternative. The device would not be branded as a HomePod, but would function in a similar manner.

Munster does not specify a product, but this would presumably be a speaker like the Beats Pill+, which would be able to do all of the same things the HomePod can do at a lower cost. Munster believes such a product could be priced around $250, $100 less than the HomePod.

We’ve also heard a rumor from the Chinese supply chain that suggests a rumored lower-cost HomePod will be under the Beats by Dre brand. It’s not clear if these are two separate rumors or if Munster’s prediction is based on this information. We’ve heard no other rumors suggesting Siri integration in Beats products, but it’s a possibility.

AirPower and New Wireless AirPods Charging Case

Apple announced the AirPower in September and said it would be coming at some point in 2018, and since that announcement, people have been eagerly awaiting the accessory, which is designed to charge the Apple Watch Series 3, AirPods, and iPhone X, 8, or 8 Plus all at the same time.

Rumors suggested the AirPower would launch in March, but that didn’t happen, and we now have little idea of when Apple will make it available for purchase.

It’s possible it will launch following the Worldwide Developers Conference with Apple taking the opportunity to unveil it after a major event, but we have no solid evidence suggesting that’s the case.

The AirPower will be accompanied by a new Wireless AirPods Charging Case, which is necessary to allow the AirPods to charge via the AirPower. Apple will presumably update the AirPods in its store to ship with the new case, while customers who already have AirPods will be able to purchase it separately. More detail on the AirPower and AirPods Charging Case can be found in our AirPods roundup.

New Apple Watch Bands and iPhone/iPad Cases

Apple updates its selection of available Apple Watch bands on a seasonal basis. We last saw new bands in the spring, and with supply of those bands beginning to dwindle, it’s time for a refresh.

We’re likely to see new summer colors for Apple’s band lineup, and Apple may also refresh its available iPhone and iPad cases, especially if the company opts to unveil new iPad Pro models at WWDC. These cases and bands may not be announced at the keynote event, but could be quietly added to the store afterwards.

MacRumors WWDC Coverage

What are you most hoping to see Apple launch at WWDC? Let us know in the comments. Make sure to tune in to MacRumors on Monday, where we’ll have live coverage of the event both on the site and on our MacRumorsLive Twitter account.

Following the keynote, we will also have ongoing coverage of all of the announcements and everything that’s discovered over the course of the week.

Related Roundup: WWDC 2018
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A new laser eye surgery fixes your vision without any gnarly eyeball slicing

As someone who wears glasses, the idea of corrective laser eye surgery is certainly tempting. But then you start reading about how the invasive surgery is actually performed, along with some of (admittedly rare) risks, and suddenly glasses don’t seem so bad. Things could change, however, thanks to research coming out of Columbia University. Researchers there have developed a new noninvasive laser eye surgery which could permanently correct vision — minus any of the less pleasant-sounding aspects of regular laser surgery.

“The main difference between our approach and commonly used refractive surgeries is that in our method there is no flap cutting and no ablation,” Sinisa Vukelic, a researcher on the project, told Digital Trends. “Patients with thin corneas and other abnormalities that make them ineligible for refractive surgery could be treated with the proposed treatment, which in turn increases the population of eligible patients.”

The new methods involve something called a femtosecond oscillator, an ultrafast laser capable of delivering pulses of low energy very quickly. Using this laser, it’s possible to change the biochemical and biomechanical properties of the eye’s corneal tissue. Unlike laser-assisted corrective surgeries like Lasik, this can be done without thinning — and thereby potentially weakening — the cornea. Instead, the procedure involves using the laser to ionize the water molecules within the cornea. This creates a reaction oxygen molecule which interacts with collagen fibrils to selectively form “crosslinks” or chemical bonds that change the eye’s properties. Doing this can alter the overall corneal curvature of the eye, modifying its refractive power in order to correct the patient’s vision.

“We have done a lot of basic science to prove the principle and establish the technique,” Vukelic continued. “We have also done a lot of work on animal models which has proven the efficacy of the proposed treatment. At the moment, we are working on a clinical prototype. We do hope to disseminate this technology to the public, and we also hope that it will be widely adopted.” Clinical trials are planned to begin by the end of 2018.

A paper describing the work was recently published in the journal Nature Photonics.

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It’s still short of a billion, but Windows 10 adoption hits a big milestone

Microsoft once stated that it hoped Windows 10 would reach a billion devices within a few years of release. While we aren’t quite at that stage yet, the numbers are steadily growing and at its latest Build conference, Microsoft revealed that more than 700 million Windows 10 devices were now in operation around the world.

The adoption of Windows 10 has been a little different than previous generations of Windows. Microsoft made waves with its latest operating system by offering free upgrades for Windows 7 and 8.1 users as it transitioned to more of a software as a service model for its flagship operating system. That appears to have paid off with faster adoption rates than its predecessors.

Although Windows 10 install numbers are behind where Microsoft may have once hoped it would be nearly three years after its debut, they are better than both Windows 7 and 8. Windows 7 had sold 630 million copies three years on from its release, while Windows 8 was on pace to report just two-thirds of that — though Microsoft stopped reporting after only 200 million devices were recorded after 15 months.

Most impressively, Windows 10 growth actually appears to be accelerating. After achieving 350 million installs after a year, it reached 500 million in 2017. Now at more than 700 million, it could well hit a billion installs before 2020.

As WindowsCentral points out, the only caveat to these numbers is that Microsoft does count a lot of different hardware types as Windows 10 devices — we aren’t just talking desktops. You have to factor in laptops, Surface 2-in-1s, Xbox One consoles, Hololens, and Windows 10 mobile devices.

That said, unifying the Windows platform has been a major goal of Microsoft in recent years. Alongside making its operating system more modular and able to evolve with users — rather than the periodic releases of yesteryear — it’s looking to build unique Windows systems for different devices that are all based on its Windows Core OS experience. That’s not something we’re expecting to be realized for a few years, but if you’ve been keeping an eye on things like Windows 10 S, you know Microsoft has some intriguing tricks up its sleeves.

For those of you wanting the full Windows experience with no restrictions, here is what you can enjoy in the latest big update.

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Take control of your LG G7 ThinQ with these helpful tips and tricks

Julian Chokkattu/Digital Trends

As LG’s newest flagship, the LG G7 ThinQ offers the perfect blend of gorgeous design and powerful specs. While it packs many of the same features you will find on other Android phones, it has a few awesome tricks up its sleeve. If you have managed to get your hands on LG’s latest and greatest, here are a few of our favorite LG G7 ThinQ tips and tricks to get you started.

How to customize or turn off the top notch

Love it or hate it, the notch is becoming a common feature on smartphones. However, if you’re a traditionalist and prefer a notch-free display, LG has you covered.

If you wish to remove the notch from your display, simply go to Settings > Display > New Second Screen. Select the Custom radio button and tap on the black circle below. If you wish to change the way the corners on the app display, you can also adjust that under the App Corners heading.

How to turn on the Always-on display

One of our favorite Android features is the Always-on display. The feature allows you to easily see the time and various notifications even when your display is turned off.

Setting up the Always-on display on your LG G7 ThinQ is simple. Go to Settings > Display and toggle on the Always-on display option. Once the feature is enabled tap the overflow (three-dot) icon to customize your display, change its brightness, or turn it off during certain times.

How to enable Floating bar

If you’re looking to access certain apps and features quickly, you’ll want to check out the Floating Bar on the LG G7 ThinQ. With Floating Bar you simply swipe from one side of your screen to access app shortcuts, capture screen GIFs, control the music player, and find frequently used contacts.

To enable Floating Bar, simply go to Settings > General and toggle on Floating Bar. Once the feature is enabled, tap the overflow (three-dot) icon to customize its position and active features.

How to disable Smart Bulletin

Since LG customizes Android for its phones, things are a little different than what you’ll find on phones with the stock OS. For example, instead of seeing the Google News Feed when you swipe right from the home screen, you will see something called Smart Bulletin.

Smart Bulletin allows you to quickly access features you use on a regular basis. From the Smart Bulletin screen, you can get customized app suggestions, keep track of your health goals, catch up with news, and even use the built-in music app.

While all of these features sound nice, some people just aren’t fond of Smart Bulletin. Luckily the feature is easy to disable. Simply long-tap on the home screen and select the Home screen settings icon. From this window, you simply need to toggle off the Smart Bulletin feature.

How to emulate an E-Ink screen for reading

One of our favorite features on the OnePlus 6 is the Reading mode. The feature allows you to switch to a monochromatic display that looks similar to that of an ereader. A similar feature, called black and white mode, is available on the LG G7 ThinQ. If you want to give black and white mode a whirl, go to Settings > Display > Comfort view and toggle on the Black & white slider.

How to set up Face Recognition

Want to unlock your phone with a quick glance? Well, the LG G7 ThinQ has you covered. With the G7 you can select from one of several different options to unlock your phone. Fingerprint authentication may be the quickest, but facial recognition is a lot more fun.

To set up face recognition go to Settings > Lock screen & security and tap the Face Recognition tab in the Biometrics section. Tap Next and enter your PIN; if you’ve not set up a PIN you will need to do so before you can continue. From here select Next and follow the prompts to register your face.  Once you’re finished you can tap Improve face recognition and Advanced face recognition to make your phone more secure.

How to get awesome sound (with headphones)

When you use the LG G7 ThinQ, it’s easy to see audio was a priority for the smartphone giant. In addition to the new Boombox mode, LG also added several new features to help you get awesome sound when using headphones.

If you want to tweak your sound preferences, first plug your headphones or earbuds into the 3.5mm jack on the bottom of the LG G7 ThinQ. Then go to Settings > Sound > Sound quality and effects. From this screen, you can normalize volume, tweak the equalizer, and turn on DTS:X 3D Surround or Hi-Fi Quad DAC.

How to use the G7 ThinQ with one hand

Although the LG G7 ThinQ features a 6.1-inch display, it’s pretty easy to hold. While you shouldn’t have a problem holding it one-handed, it may be hard to navigate the far edges of the display. Fortunately, the G7 ThinQ has an option that allows you to easily use the screen with one hand.

To enable the feature go to Settings > Display and toggle on the Mini view slider. Once enabled, simply slide your finger across the navigation icons to minimize the screen. To return to the full-size display, simply tap the X icon in the upper righthand corner.

How to optimize your LG G7 ThinQ

Sure, your new LG G7 ThinQ is blazing fast when you first pull it out of the box, but what happens in a few months when you’ve taken a chunk out of your storage for apps and photos? Not to worry, it’s easy to optimize your LG G7 ThinQ from the settings menu.

When it’s time to clean up your phone, just go to Settings > General > Smart Cleaning and tap the Optimize button. If you optimized your phone and are still having performance issues, you may want to test your hardware; to do so just tap the Test hardware button at the bottom of the screen.

How to turn on Comfort view

There is a good chance you’re one of the many people who glance at their phone display before bedtime, so you will want to check out Comfort View on the LG G7 ThinQ. Comfort view allows you to make adjustments to your screen to minimize blue light, in hopes of getting a better night’s sleep. If you’re finding yourself sleeping fitfully or waking unrefreshed you may want to check this feature out.

Setting up comfort view only takes a few seconds. Go to Settings > Display > Comfort view. From the Comfort view screen you adjust the blue light filter, and schedule active times for the feature.

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How to get Microsoft Office for free

Microsoft Office can be expensive: The standalone versions of the software, which are becoming increasingly rare as Microsoft grows Office 365, start around $150 and only go up from there. Subscriptions to Office apps start at $7 per month or $70 per year, and quickly increase for professional versions of the software. The good news is that future versions of the software will probably be the same price. The bad news is that that can be costly for consumers.

Either way it’s a lot to spend for basic productivity tools, but there is some good news. If you’re not a power user and don’t need all the latest, premium features, you can save a lot of money on Microsoft Office.

How does free sound? Let’s take a look at your options for how to get Microsoft Office for free!

1. Use the free web and mobile apps

Microsoft has been gradually expanding the number of apps you can use online for free, and now offers an impressive suite that can easily merge with downloaded apps if necessary, and has plenty of functionality for the average project.

It’s also really easy to sign up: Go this web page, pick the app that you want (scroll down for all options), and log into your Microsoft account to get started. If you don’t have a Microsoft account, signing up is easy—plus, since you need Office Online, it’s a good idea to create one anyway. This allows you to use Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, Calendar, and other traditional Microsoft apps. It also gives you access to more niche apps, like Sway, an interactive report/presentation app; People, which is an advanced, Skype-friendly contact list, and, for uploading and sharing documents.

So, if this is all here and available for free, why does the rest of this article exist? Because while these apps are useful, they’re also limited to only work for very basic functions. They don’t offer the full features that Office 365 provides and, of course, you need an online connection to use them. It’ll work for simple tasks, like putting together a simple document — but it won’t work for more complicated tasks.

2. Get Office through your school

If you are part of an education organization (student, faculty or staff), take time to enter your school email address on this site and see if you can get a version of Office 365 for free. Microsoft extends this to all students, but your school needs to be signed up first or just get very lucky.

If your school isn’t part of the program, an administrator can sign you up easily. The benefits are basically the same as the trial version of the software, with the addition of a separate Class Notebook for class management, unlimited online meetings, and intranet customization options.

3. Try a free 30 day trial of Office 365

Ahh, the free trial lives on. If you want to experience Office 365 for free, you can – for a full month. Just head to the free trial page and sign up. The trial allows you to download Office 365 on up to five PCs or Macs, and allows you to use the Office mobile apps on up to five tablets and five phones. Plus, you get 1TB of OneDrive cloud storage for each user to experiment with. The trial includes the Office 2016 versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, and other apps.

The downside is that you only get a month of service, which obviously isn’t beneficial if you need long-term use. Another caveat is that Microsoft requires your financial account information before the download and will start automatically charging you after the month is up, which can make disentangling yourself from Office 365 a little difficult (which is the point). It’s a good way to try out the full version of Office 365 to see if it offers enough to be worth the price tag but be ready to cancel if you don’t want to be charged.

Side note: Some product offers can be a little tricky, like the “Try Office 365 Personal for free” hook on the Microsoft Store. Be warned that this is still referring to the one month trial version, even if it doesn’t come right out and say so. In addition, don’t try those “free product key” websites, which tend to be pretty sketchy and rarely deliver.

4. Sign up for an evaluation (30 to 60 days)

Over at its TechNet Evaluation Center, Microsoft also runs an evaluation program that allows you to test out certain Office apps for a period of time. This includes Project Professional 2016 (60 days), Visio Professional 2016 (60 days), and Office 365 ProPlus (30 days). It’s basically another way to get a free trial, but with more specific and full-featured software.

However, remember that it is an evaluation period, so the service will stop after the set period of time. Also, Microsoft may use this service to help work out the kinks in newer apps, so don’t expect everything to be perfect the first time around.

Don’t forget that you can use free Microsoft Office alternatives

If you need Office-like apps and need them fast, there are a lot of free versions and alternatives out there. These apps tend to have interfaces very similar to Office apps, and their files can often be transferred over to the Office suite with little to no hassle.

That makes these solutions great in a pinch — or just when you need to save some money.

Editors’ Recommendations

  • You can download a free sneak peek of Office 2019 right now
  • Microsoft’s OneDrive now has your back in a ransomware attack
  • Windows 10’s Mail app may display an Office 365 ad for some users
  • How to edit a PDF
  • The best PDF editors


Lenovo’s Yoga Book with the cool touch keyboard may get a follow-up this fall

Julian Chokkattu/Digital Trends

Lenovo appears to be working on a follow-up to its Yoga Book according to a listing on the Bluetooth SIG website. It’s labeled as the Yoga Book 2 Pro along with the Yoga Book Pen 2. This is a 2-in-1 we’ll likely see this fall during the back-to-school season although the “pro” branding seemingly suggests older students much like the original target audience for the Surface Laptop sporting Windows 10 S. 

We don’t know any of the hardware specifics associated with the Yoga Book 2 Pro just yet outside the obvious Bluetooth connectivity. The original version launched in August 2016 during the IFA show in Germany packing either Windows 10 Pro or Android Marshmallow (aka Book UI). It was followed by the A12 in 2017 sporting a larger screen and a smaller price, but without the Yoga Book branding. 

At its heart, the Yoga Book is a 2-in-1 device although Lenovo heavily uses the “tablet” term. It sports a tablet-like 10.1-inch screen that is connected to an all-black “touchscreen” of the same size using a unique, 360-degree three-axis hinge. 

“The hinge is engineered to be smaller and features a custom-made three-axis hinge, with 130 different mechanical pieces comprising five different materials,” the company says. “Lab tested more than 25,000 times, the Yoga Book form offers a smooth, seamless transition between the four modes — Browse, Watch, Create and Type.” 

It’s this touchscreen that makes the Yoga Book unique: It replaces a physical keyboard with a touch-based Halo Keyboard that appears when needed. Want to draw or manually write? The Halo Keyboard will convert into the Create Pad supporting the included Real Pen stylus. Lenovo’s peripheral supports 2,048 levels of pressure so that every stroke looks just as good in digital form as it does on paper. The benefit here is that, unlike tablets, your hand isn’t blocking the screen when you draw. 

The current model still in stock relies on Intel’s Atom x5-Z8550 “Cherry Trail” mobile processor, 4GB of system memory (LPDDR3), and 128GB of storage. The screen itself is based on IPS technology providing wide viewing angles and rich colors. It packs a 1,920 x 1,080 resolution, 16.7 million colors, and a brightness of 400 nits. The screen is joined by an 8MP auto-focus camera on the back and a 5MP fixed-focus camera on the front. 

As for other specifications, the Yoga Book measures just 0.38 inches thin, provides Wireless AC (433Mbps) and Bluetooth 4.0 connectivity, and relies on an 8,500mAh battery promising up to 13 hours on a single charge. The Windows 10 Pro version ships in Carbon Black while the now-depleted Android stock shipped in Gold or Gunmetal. 

What Lenovo plans to shove into the Yoga Book 2 Pro is anyone’s guess although you’ll likely not see an Atom processor in this installment. Given the A12 was a larger 12.2 inches, perhaps we will see the Yoga Book 2 Pro move up into laptop territory with a 13.3-inch screen, an eighth-generation Intel Core processor, and maybe even discrete graphics. A Chrome OS-based version is possible, too, even though the rumored first-generation Yoga Book version never showed up in 2017.

Editors’ Recommendations

  • Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga Gen 3 vs Microsoft Surface Book 2 13
  • Lenovo Yoga 920 review
  • Microsoft Surface Pro (2017) review
  • Asus ZenBook Flip 14 vs. Lenovo Yoga 920
  • Lenovo Yoga 730 13-inch review


Ticketfly goes offline after refusing to pay hacker’s Bitcoin ransom

Ticketfly has been down since Thursday, May 31, after a hacker had digitally attacked the Eventbrite-owned ticketing website and leaked stolen customer information. The hacker who called himself IsHakdz vandalized the site by replacing the website’s content with an image of Guy Fawkes from the film V for Vendetta along with the phrase “Your security down I’m not sorry.” The page also contained links to files allegedly containing customer information, prompting Eventbrite to temporarily shut down Ticketfly until the security situation could be assessed and resolved.

“Following recent site issues, we determined that Ticketfly has been the target of a cyber incident,” the company said in a statement. “To protect our clients and fans, and to secure the website and related data, we have temporarily taken all Ticketfly systems offline.”

In addition to breaching Ticketfly while keeping the site’s HTTPS certificate intact, the hack also affected Brooklyn Bowl, Pear Street Warehouse, and Lafayette Theater, according to The Verge. And because Ticketfly was unable to comment on what information may have been compromised during this attack, if you’ve recently made any transactions through Tickefly or any of the affected sites, you may want to keep an eye on your credit card statements and credit report. Motherboard was able to confirm that home addresses, emails, and telephone numbers of customers were part of the files leaked by the IsHakdz. Additionally, the hacker said that he may release more stolen information on his website, PCMag reported.

The hacker claimed to have initially warned Ticketfly about the site’s vulnerability that would allow him to take control of the site and all its database, but he demanded a payment of one Bitcoin to reveal the details. Ticketfly didn’t reply, and it appears that the hacker went ahead and put his knowledge to use in hacking Ticketfly’s site, Motherboard reported.

If you had purchased a ticket for an upcoming event from Ticketfly, a support page notes that these tickets may be available at the door. You’ll need three forms of ID, Ticketfly advised, which includes an original photo ID and a copy of the printed digital ticket. If you’re not the original purchaser, you’ll also need a note from the buyer authorizing you to pick up the tickets.

Editors’ Recommendations

  • Malware attack hits Chili’s restaurants, customer payment info nabbed
  • Hackers could have credit card numbers of 880,000 Orbitz users
  • Infected online chat service stole payment info at Best Buy, Delta, Sears, more
  • Facebook acts as unwitting sales platform for identity thieves
  • Email encryption flaw gives hackers full access to your secret messages


The Mito drone captures underwater action without the nausea-inducing footage

Underwater drones open up ocean exploration without getting wet, but placing a drone in the current can create some shaky footage. Startup Navatics is attempting to fight that with an aquatic drone equipped with stabilization. Now on Kickstarter, the Navatics Mito is a remotely operated underwater vehicle (ROV) with a 4K camera and advanced active stabilization.

The Mito uses a floating teether to transmit signals to the controller, but the teether also uses a built-in solar panel to extend the battery life of the drone from two hours to up to a four-hour run time. The drone is rated to dive to 135 feet and the teether allows for 165 feet of navigation away from the float.

The drone uses four thrusters to move underwater and can also tilt up or down up to 45 degrees without changing the depth. Mito can travel as fast as four knots, which is about 6.5 feet per second.

The ROV is equipped with a 4K, 30 fps camera for video, with eight megapixel still photos. Two LED video lights are also built onto the drone. Underwater footage often suffers from odd colors, so the drone’s app, available on iOS and Android, also has built-in color correction.

The drone is operated with an included controller that also uses a slot to attach a smartphone. The built-in camera can livestream to the app for navigation in 1080p quality.

Navatics says they built the Mito to fit into a carry-on suitcase or backpack at 15 inches on the longest side. The drone weighs 6.6 pounds.

“With Navatics Mito, our goal is to create an underwater drone with the ability to stream high-quality video and maneuver with maximum stability to get the best footage,” Navatics CEO Andreas Widy said in a statement. “We want to provide this professional level experience so that anyone from the hobbyist consumer to the professional videographer can experience the marine world without limitation.”

Navatics is a 2016 startup sparked from a college project of the founders at Hong Kong University of Science and Technology. The Mito is the company’s first underwater drone.

Navatics is using Kickstarter to crowdfund its first drone. The group reached its funding goal after five hours on the platform. Pledges that include a drone start at $1,199. If the Mito is successful, it’s expected to retail for $1,999.

Editors’ Recommendations

  • Funding Nemo: Kickstarter underwater drone streams 4K footage from the deep
  • Underwater swarms and sonar-bombing drones: Meet the deep-sea Xprize finalists
  • The best drones of 2018
  • Yuneec Breeze review
  • Slice through the water like a dolphin with the AquaJet H2, now on Kickstarter

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