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9
Jun

PlayStation VR: The Ultimate Guide!


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Let this be your extended user manual for all things PlayStation VR!

It wasn’t all that long ago VR was considered either something simple you added to a phone for a quick distraction or something amazingly complex for those who could afford the lengthy requirements of ownership. Sony created a compelling middle ground by doing what they do best — making something you actually want to have in your living room. PlayStation VR is a companion for your PlayStation 4 that elevates your current games and helps you explore an entirely new way to feel like you are the character you’re playing.

Being able to fully enjoy this experience requires more than just taking one out of the box. Here’s our complete user manual for all things PSVR! Don’t forget to stay updated with our PlayStation VR Newsfeed!

Try before you buy!

Which PlayStation 4 should I use for my VR system?

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There’s more than one box named PlayStation 4, but don’t panic! They all work with PlayStation VR, but one may offer better experiences. If you’re using a PlayStation 4 Pro, you have a few more options than you would with a normal PlayStation 4. Here’s what you need to know!

  • Which PlayStation 4 is the best for VR?
  • How to keep HDR support when using PlayStation VR
  • Every PlayStation VR game enhanced through PlayStation Pro

Meet your PlayStation VR

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Now that you’re settled on which console to run, you’re ready for the unboxing of your new piece of equipment. Sony’s first efforts in VR are incredible, and in several important ways, quite a bit ahead of the more expensive Desktop PC-based system. If you don’t already own a PlayStation VR, here are a few reasons you should seriously consider dropping everything and grabbing one today!

  • I tried PlayStation VR and bought a PlayStation 4 the next day
  • How to get the perfect PlayStation VR room setup
  • PlayStation Move controllers vs HTC Vive controllers vs Oculus Touch controllers
  • Why there’s no “screen-door effect” in PlayStation VR
  • PlayStation VR vs Oculus Rift
  • Everything you can do with a PlayStation VR besides gaming
  • The true cost of PlayStation VR
  • Where to buy used VR headsets

See PlayStation VR at Amazon

Getting started with your PlayStation VR

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Taking PlayStation VR out of the box is step one, but there’s a lot more you should know about making sure you and whoever you share this system with have the best possible experience. You need space to move around, and you need to make sure the headset stays comfortable while you are doing so. Here are the best ways to get yourself not only set up but comfortable!

Don’t worry, we know updates can be a little scary so we even have a walkthrough of Everything different about the new PlayStation VR for those who have had their consoles a little longer!

  • How to set up your PlayStation VR
  • How to get the perfect PlayStation VR room setup
  • What’s the ideal camera height for PlayStation VR?
  • How to make the most of your PlayStation VR play space
  • How to get the perfect fit for PlayStation VR
  • Readjust your VR space after decorating for the holidays
  • Everything you can do with the PlayStation Aim controller

Now that you’re set up, check out some of the best gear to add to your PlayStation VR! We’ve gone through and tested quite a few products to find you the best not just in performance, but fir your wallet too!

  • Best headphones for PSVR
  • These are the best travel cases for PlayStation VR
  • The best charging docks for PlayStation VR
  • The best HOTAS controllers for PSVR
  • Best place to buy you PlayStation Aim controller

Getting to know Cinematic Mode

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PlayStation VR isn’t just for playing virtual reality games. In fact, anything you can do through your PlayStation 4 can be done through PlayStation VR thanks to Cinematic Mode. A wide virtual screen that floats in front of you and fills your vision can free you from distractions, and maybe for some, become the only screen you use to enjoy your PlayStation.

  • What to expect with PlayStation VR Cinematic Mode
  • PlayStation VR’s Cinematic Mode got an update and it’s better than ever!
  • The best VR180 videos to watch on PSVR
  • Best 3D Blu-Ray movies to watch on your PlayStation VR
  • The best music videos to watch in VR
  • How to watch 360-degree and 3D YouTube on PlayStation VR
  • Get the best possible 3D Blue-Ray experience with your PlayStation VR
  • Best events you can watch live on PSVR

Gaming in PlayStation VR

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This is what we’re all here for, right? Leaning over a virtual pool table to sink the perfect shot, losing your balance a little as you fling your body from tree to tree, and screaming as a demon gets a little too close before you squeeze the trigger. VR games are intense and incredibly enjoyable. The audio and video fill you and replaces the real world, letting you dive in and become someone else for a little while. Here’s what we’ve found so far!

Don’t forget, every month we update the PlayStation VR games coming out this month! So be sure to check out that list often to see what new types of experiences are coming your way!

The best games

  • The best PSVR games Updated often!
  • The most anticipated PSVR games Updated often!
  • The best PSVR games for move controllers
  • The best shooters for VR
  • The best PlayStation 4 games for kids
  • The best free games your probobally haven’t heard of
  • These are the exclusive games for PlayStation VR
  • The best multiplayer games for PlayStation VR

Looking for a certain game type?

  • 20 minute games for under $20 on PlayStation VR
  • The most physical games for PSVR
  • Every PlayStation VR game with HOTAS support

Apps

  • The best free apps for PlayStation VR
  • PlayStation VR add-on experiences, ranked!

Available game reviews, tips, and tricks

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Seeing lists of the best of the best not enough to get your blood pumping to decide which game to choose? It’s okay, we’ve got a few detailed reviews on the games you really wanna check out, complete with some Tips and Tricks as well! Don’t see a review listed here for a game you wanna know more about? Let us know in the comment section below!

  • Rick and Morty: Virtual Rick-ality Ultimate Guide
  • Doom VFR: Tips, Tricks and Cheats
  • Skyrim VR review: a clumsy, hilarious trip through a familiar world
  • Skyrim Tips and Tricks for survival
  • Monsters of the Deep: Final Fantasy XV review
  • Farpoint review
  • Rec Room review
  • UltraWings review
  • Werewolves Within review
  • Star Trek Bridge Crew review
  • RIGS: Mechanized Combat League review
  • Battlezone review
  • Eagle Flight review

Doing more with PlayStation VR

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Gaming is an increasingly social experience, and that means some games are meant to be shared with everyone. That can occasionally mean sharing with others — even those who don’t have a PlayStation 4. Sharing can also be as simple as a screenshot, or maybe you’re ready to share your whole session on Twitch. Whatever your choice, know that your hardware is built to listen (unless you tell it not to). Here’s a helpful list of how-tos when it comes to your PlayStation VR!

Commands

  • How to take a screenshot in PlayStation VR
  • How to change the screen size in Cinematic Mode
  • How to update your PlayStation VR

Equipment

  • The best driving wheel for PlayStation VR
  • How to turn off the microphone on your PlayStation Camera
  • PlayStation VR and macOS can play together thanks to MacMorpheus!
  • How to connect PlayStation VR to your PC

Helpful Hints

  • How to get the best Twitch stream with PlayStation VR
  • How to buy PlayStation 4 games from the Japanese store
  • How to view comments while streaming

Troubleshooting

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Like anything, your PlayStation VR may not always behave exactly as it should. To help with that, we’ve assembled a troubleshooting guide to help you deal with everything that could potentially go wrong with your headset.

  • How to deal with a shaking image in PlayStation VR
  • Check out our PlayStation VR Troubleshooting Guide!
  • Change the color hue of your room to help with tracking
  • Your wireless headphones will not work with PlayStation VR
  • How to prevent lens fog in any VR headset
  • How to deal with Aim controller drift
  • How to deal with menu stutter on PlayStation VR
  • How to fix every tracking issue on PlayStation VR
  • Fixing lense scratches on your VR headset
  • How to get the best light calibration
  • How to deal with nausea while playing PSVR
  • How to deal with blurry images in PlayStation VR
  • Getting your PSVR to work with a Christmas tree, or any other multi-light source!

Selling your PlayStation VR

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Maybe you’ve decided this isn’t for you, or maybe you’re in immediate need of some cash. Whatever your reason, if you need to sell your PlayStation VR quickly there’s no need to rush out to the closest electronics shop and take their slim values. You have options, and we can help!

  • How to clean your PlayStation VR
  • Getting the best deal when selling your PlayStation VR

Updated April 2018 We’ve updated the article with several more helpful articles as well as including a Troubleshooting Guide!

PlayStation 4

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  • PS4 vs. PS4 Slim vs. PS4 Pro: Which should you buy?
  • PlayStation VR Review
  • Playing PS4 games through your phone is awesome

Amazon

9
Jun

HTC U12+: Everything you need to know


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This is HTC’s big flagship for 2018. Thinking about picking it up? Here’s what you should know!

HTC may not be that well-known in the U.S., but if you ever take some time to look at what the company’s kicking out, you’ll see that it knows how to make an excellent phone. There’s a reason it was chosen to create the first-ever Android device, after all!

HTC’s last two flagships, the 10 and U11, were both top-notch phones that flew under the radar for a lot of people. The same will likely be the case for the U12+, and should you decide to pick it up, this is what you can expect.

Read and watch our hands-on preview!

Our review of the U12+ will be coming soon, but in the meantime, why not check out our hands-on preview?

Even though this isn’t a definitive review, we still cover a lot of ground — including the phone’s specs, highlight features, design, and much more. There really is a lot to talk about!

If you want an idea of what it’s like to mess around with the U12+, definitely give these a watch and read.

HTC U12+ hands-on preview: Big, beautiful, unattainable

Take a gander at the specs

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The U12+ is HTC’s flagship phone for 2018, and as such, it’s equipped with some of the best tech around.

Between the blazing-fast Snapdragon 845, an impressive set of dual cameras, IP68 dust/water resistance, and a large 3,500 mAh battery, the U12+ has everything you could ask for in a 2018 flagship.

HTC U12+ specifications: Dual cameras, BoomSound, Edge Sense 2 for $800

HTC’s got three colors to choose from

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If you like to make sure your phone stands out from the crowd, HTC’s got you covered with the U12+.

The phone’s available in three colors, including Ceramic Black, Flame Red, and Translucent Blue.

Ceramic Black is the most subdued of the trio, looking more gray than anything else. However, if you want something that really sticks out, the color-changing Flame Red and see-through Translucent Blue will be right up your alley.

There’s no wireless charging despite the glass back

You might think the U12+ supports wireless charging thanks to its glass back, but similar to the OnePlus 6, wireless charging is nowhere to be seen.

Thankfully, HTC does offer Qualcomm QuickCharge 4.0 to help you refuel the U12+ in no time at all. We certainly would have liked to see wireless charging make an appearance, but c’est la vie.

A word on the U12+’s “buttons”

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The power button and volume rocker on smartphones haven’t really changed that much over the years, but for whatever reason, HTC decided to shake things up by removing physical buttons altogether and replace them with button-shaped nobs that don’t actually move at all.

Similar to the Force Touch trackpad on Apple’s recent MacBooks and the home button on the iPhone 7 and 8 series, putting force on the U12+’s “buttons” will trigger a vibration through the phone and perform the desired action — such as turning the screen off or changing the volume.

HTC says they made the change to help with the phone’s IP68 rating, but we came away less than impressed with their performance during our hands-on preview.

How does the U12+ stack up against the competition?

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In a bubble, the HTC U12+ would easily be the best phone you could buy. However, the Android space is anything but.

We’ve seen a lot of excellent smartphones so far this year, and with prices creeping up all the time, it’s important you spend your money wisely on something that’s going to serve your needs as best as possible.

Here are the most recent phones we’ve put against the U12+:

HTC U12+ vs. Samsung Galaxy S9+: Which should you buy?

HTC U12+ vs. LG G7 ThinQ: Which should you buy?

Edge Sense is more powerful and customizable than ever before

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The U11 was the first gadget to tout HTC Edge Sense, allowing you to squeeze the phone to open apps, take pictures, and more.

With Edge Sense 2, HTC made using your phone while laying in bed less of a hassle.

That functionality makes a return on the U12+ in the form of Edge Sense 2, and as the name suggests, lets you do even more than you could on the U11.

Most notably, Edge Sense 2 allows you to trigger certain actions with other gestures instead of hard squeezes, such as light taps. On the U12+, you can double-tap the left or right side of the phone to shrink the UI down to a one-handed mode. Double-tap the right, the screen goes to the right. Double-tap the left, it goes to the left. That might not sound very impressive, but it should prove to be incredibly useful in day-to-day use.

Something else we’re excited about is a sub-feature of Edge Sense 2 called “Smart Rotate.” The sides of the phone can detect how you’re holding it, meaning that even if auto-rotate is on, the screen won’t flip horizontally by accident. If you’ve ever been frustrated by your phone’s UI flipping all over the place while trying to use it while you lie in bed, the U12+ just solved that problem once and for all.

The U12+ is expensive

There’s a lot to like about what HTC’s done with the U12+, but one aspect you may not be too keen about is the price.

If you’d like to own the U12+, you’ll need to cough up a hefty $799 in the U.S. for the model with 64GB storage. Want more room with 128GB? Get ready to pay $849.

HTC does offer 0% interest financing through its website to stretch that price over the course of 24 months, but even so, this is a phone that’s going to put a big dent in your wallet.

See at HTC

To make matters worse, you can’t buy it on any U.S. carrier

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The U12+ is being sold through HTC’s own website in the States, but that’s it. Unlike phones from Samsung, LG, and just about everyone else, you won’t find this thing in your local carrier store.

HTC fans or people that want the U12+ bad enough will be able to purchase it just fine, but that lacking carrier support means HTC isn’t getting the U12+ in front of eyes of potential customers that may not even know the phone exists.

Speaking of carriers, the U12+ works on AT&T, T-Mobile, and Verizon

On the plus side, folks that purchase the U12+ shouldn’t have any trouble getting it to work on the carrier of their choice.

The U12+ is compatible with AT&T, T-Mobile, Verizon, and any MVNO that uses those carrier’s networks (such as Cricket Wireless, MetroPCS, etc.)

There’s no support for Sprint, however, so Big Yellow subscribers are going to have to sit this one out.

Updated June 2018: Completely overhauled this guide now that the U12+ has been announced.

9
Jun

MacRumors Giveaway: Win a New iPad and Balance Folio Clear Case From Speck


For this week’s Friday giveaway, we’ve teamed up with Speck for something special. We’re giving away a brand new 32GB sixth-generation iPad paired with one of Speck’s iPad cases, the Balance Folio Clear.

Priced at $44.95, Speck’s Balance Folio Clear is made from a clear, durable polycarbonate that keeps your iPad protected but visible, leaving the design and look of the iPad unobscured. The case has been drop tested and will keep the iPad safe from scratches, bumps, and short falls.

The Balance Folio Clear includes a built-in adjustable stand that can be positioned in several angles for typing, watching videos, and more, and when closed, there’s a secure clasp that keeps everything shut tight for travel. Sleep/wake magnets are included so your iPad turns on or off when the cover is opened or closed.


For a folio-style case, the Balance Clear adds little bulk to the iPad with the clear rear shell and thin protective front cover in black or blue.

Speck is pairing the Balance Folio Clear with a 9.7-inch 32GB WiFi only sixth-generation iPad, which was released back in March and is the newest iPad Apple has available for purchase. It offers an upgraded processor and Apple Pencil support.


To enter to win the giveaway, use the Rafflecopter widget below and enter an email address. Email addresses will be used solely for contact purposes to reach the winners and send the prizes. You can earn additional entries by subscribing to our weekly newsletter, subscribing to our YouTube channel, following us on Twitter, or visiting the MacRumors Facebook page.

Due to the complexities of international laws regarding giveaways, only U.S. residents who are 18 years or older and Canadian residents (excluding Quebec) who have reached the age of majority in their province or territory are eligible to enter. To offer feedback or get more information on the giveaway restrictions, please refer to our Site Feedback section, as that is where discussion of the rules will be redirected.

a Rafflecopter giveawayThe contest will run from today (June 8) at 11:00 a.m. Pacific Time through 11:00 a.m. Pacific Time on June 15. The winner will be chosen randomly on June 15 and will be contacted by email. The winner will have 48 hours to respond and provide a shipping address before a new winner is chosen.

Tags: giveaway, Speck
Discuss this article in our forums

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9
Jun

Last Call: Deal for 3 Months of DirecTV Now and Apple TV 4K at No Cost Expires Today


As we’ve followed DirecTV Now’s ongoing offer to get an Apple TV 4K at no extra cost when paying for three months of the live streaming TV service for $105, it’s been somewhat unclear how long the deal would last. According to our affiliate, today’s the last day to take advantage of the deal, as the three month offer will expire later tonight.

Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with DirecTV Now. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment, which helps us keep the site running.

Afterwards, the deal will return back to prepaying for four months of DirecTV Now at $140 to get the Apple TV 4K at no cost, which will last only for a few days through Tuesday, June 12. After that date, the offer — which kicked off seven months ago in November 2017 — appears to be ending for good.

The deal continues to provide the best savings for a 32GB Apple TV 4K online (regularly $179), so if you haven’t used it yet — or if you want another Apple TV 4K in your house — check out the steps on how to redeem it below:

  • Visit DirecTVNow.com’s landing page for the deal
  • Click “Redeem & Stream”
  • Select the “Live a Little” package to get the Apple TV at the lowest possible price
  • Choose if you want to add another stream and premium channels, or click “Skip for now”
  • Click “Add to plan” under the Apple TV 4K box in the Special offer section
  • Click “Continue” and go through the account creation and checkout processes

Although some users keep their DirecTV Now subscription after the three month period ends, many also choose to cancel the service before they’re charged again. Even if you cancel, the Apple TV 4K will be yours to keep once you go through with the sale. DirecTV Now promotes the offer as one for new subscribers only, but existing subscribers can claim it by using an alternative email address from their original account, or by setting up an iCloud email alias.

Head over to our full Deals Roundup for even more of the latest discounts going on this week, including our new and exclusive sale partnership with Twelve South on accessories that will help you declutter and organize your desk space.

Related Roundup: Apple DealsTag: DirecTV Now
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9
Jun

The LG Q Stylus provides a cheaper way to be ultra-productive


Looking for a stylus-equipped phone, but don’t want to drop $950 on the Samsung Galaxy Note 8? Then you’re in luck — LG has announced that the LG Q Stylus will soon be coming to the midrange smartphone market as a range of three models: The standard LG Q Stylus, the LG Q Stylus Plus, and the lower-powered LG Q Stylusα (Alpha).

As you might expect, specs vary depending on the device chosen. The LG Q Stylus Plus is the most powerful of the three, boasting 4GB of RAM, along with 64GB of onboard storage. The standard LG Q Stylus and Q Stylusα will both come with 3GB of RAM and 32GB of storage. No matter which model you pick, you’ll be able to boost the available storage by up to 2TB with a MicroSD card, while an Octa-Core processor does its thing behind the scenes.

There’s plenty of room to stretch your stylus out on each of these devices too — a bezel-light design means that each model of the LG Q Stylus comes with a huge 6.2-inch 18:9 FullVision Display, running a 2160 x 1080 resolution. That’s pretty sharp for a midrange device, and plenty of room to jot down notes with the stylus. A screen that size will need plenty of juice, and it gets it, with a hefty 3,300mAh battery.

The phones will run Android 8.1 Oreo, and will offer some advanced stylus usage outside of just being a finger substitute. Users will be able to create gifs from videos, personalize images, and record notes and memos while the screen is off. LG’s also included QLens, the image recognition software that debuted on the LG V30S ThinQ. The software intelligently recognizes landmarks, objects, food, and even celebrities, and provides information based on the subject.

There’s also a capable camera setup on each of the phones. The standard Q Stylus and Stylus Plus will feature a 16-megapixel lens on the back, accompanied by an 8MP (or wide-angle 5MP) selfie lens around the front camera. The Q Stylusα sees a small drop in camera fidelity, but still packs a decent 13MP rear camera and the 5MP wide-angle selfie shooter around the front.

Finally, the LG Q Stylus will also include DTS:X sound, IP68-rated water and dust-resistance, and USB-C fast charging.

The LG Q Stylus will be launched as a limited range in North America and Asia this June. Availability of each model will be dependent on the market, and pricing information will be available closer to release.

Editors’ Recommendations

  • The LG Q7 range brings premium innovations to the midrange market
  • LG V35 ThinQ vs. LG V30: Is the newer model worth the extra cash?
  • LG G7 ThinQ vs. LG V30: Which LG flagship phone is best for you?
  • LG V35 ThinQ vs. OnePlus 6: Can LG’s latest flagship beat an Android favorite?
  • LG V35 ThinQ vs. LG G7 ThinQ: Which phone prevails in stablemate showdown?


9
Jun

You can now put Alexa on your wrist with this new Apple Watch app


If you want to find a way to free Alexa from your Amazon Echo and instead find her a home on your wrist, there’s a new app that can help with that. Meet Voice in a Can, a new thirdparty app initially spotted by the Verge, which allows you to use Alexa on your Apple Watch. No longer will you be tied to Siri when using your iEmpire wearable — now, if you prefer Alexa’s smarts to those of Apple’s native smart assistant, you can have your cake and eat it, too.

The stand-alone Apple Watch app requires only a Wi-Fi signal or LTE connection — you don’t need an iPhone in order to use Alexa on your wrist (at least, not with this app). While Apple itself has limited the number of digital assistants you can utilize to just one (Siri, of course), Voice in a Can leverages a watch complication in order to bypass Apple’s restrictions. All you need to do is sync the app to your existing Amazon Alexa account, then tap on an icon within the app to launch Alexa and have her respond to your queries.

Alas, because this is a third-party app, there are a few (rather important) things that Voice in a Can can’t do. For example, Alexa on your Apple Watch won’t be able to make calls, play music, or make the same announcements you could find on an Amazon Echo. That said, you can use it to leverage all the various smart home features you’ve come to expect from Alexa; for example, you can tell Alexa to turn on or off your lights, check your laundry cycle, or do anything else that you would be able to do from a normally Alexa-compatible device.

We should warn you that like other Apple Watch apps, Voice in a Can isn’t exactly the fastest app on the market, and for now, you’ll actually have to pay in order to get Alexa on your wrist. The app will set you back $1.99 (still cheaper than buying an Echo device). Of course, Apple may one day offer Alexa support on the Apple Watch, as it did for the iPhone, but if you don’t want to wait, this app may be the workaround you’ve been in search of.

Editors’ Recommendations

  • Alexa will automatically boot up personal app preferences based on your voice
  • Alexa Announcements will help you save your voice by serving as an intercom
  • You can now use Alexa on your tablet to call your contacts
  • How to change Amazon Alexa’s voice
  • You can get Amazon Alexa push notifications on weather, package delivery, more


9
Jun

Brace yourself! The age of keyboard-less laptops is upon us


Asus, Lenovo, Intel all came to Computex 2018 with a laptop that has two screens — and no keyboard. The news came just days before Dell was rumored to be working on a similar devices, and after years of speculation that both Microsoft and Apple have them in the works.

What gives? People aren’t exactly itching to ditch their keyboards — but, then again, they didn’t know they wanted an iPhone or an ultrabook, either. The big names in laptops seem convinced that laptops with a traditional, physical keyboard are on their way out.

Intel is leading the way

Intel isn’t known for consumer-facing devices, but its technology does enable new designs. Intel often sets the agenda for where things are headed. Today’s ultra-thin laptops likely wouldn’t exist without Intel’s ultrabook push.

Intel surprised everyone at Computex with a dual-screen prototype device called Tiger Rapids. It’s clearly made in the vein of the Microsoft Courier or the original Lenovo Yoga Book — a small, 7.9-inch 2-in-1 device resembling a spiral notebook. It’s not just small, it’s tiny! It’s even thinner than an iPhone 8.

It doesn’t have a keyboard, but where the keyboard deck would normally be is an E-ink display that can handle handle typing, inking, and touch equally. Intel also had a version with a standard, secondary LCD screen. While it can be used as a more conventional display, the E-ink version provides much better battery life — up to 15 hours, according to Intel.

Like Intel’s other hardware products, Tiger Rapids isn’t something you’ll be able to pick up at Best Buy. But before the end of year, you can bet you’ll see Intel and Microsoft’s manufacturing partners like Dell, Lenovo, and Asus following suit. In fact, if you want to see a dual-screen laptop that’s already turning heads, just look at what Asus has been up to.

The future is now

Asus’ Project Precog is a a concept meant to represent the future potential of this form factor, if only we’d check our assumptions at the door.

You might be surprised to see such an advanced conception come from a company like Asus, but let’s not forget the company’s past. Asus was a leading partner with Intel on the first ultrabooks, built the first detachable 2-in-1, and made netbooks a thing.

Precog combines contextual AI technology with a dual-screen setup that unlocks touchscreen capabilities in ways not previously possible. One example is a feature Asus calls ‘Intelligent Touch,’ which seeks to transform the entire keyboard deck into a more contextual space.

“Intelligent Touch automatically recognizes the input device you’re using and changes the virtual interface accordingly,” the company says. “It can automatically adjust the keyboard location depending on where you place your fingertips, or automatically switch to stylus mode when a stylus touches the lower screen.” 

The bottom screen will know the kind of activity you’re trying to accomplish, and provide the corresponding tools you need. If a mouse is plugged in, space for the touchpad will be disappear. If you’re using touch interfaces, the keyboard itself will disappear.

That’s only the beginning

Neither prototype is perfect. They’re only concepts, and don’t address the need for a tactile experience while typing. After all, laptops are meant for productivity, and digital keyboards must be improved to increase speed, comfort, and accuracy. But that’s coming. Numerous patents and experimental solutions are in the works.

This puts the spotlight on Microsoft and Apple. Rumors of a Surface Phone have circled Microsoft for years. Now that we’ve seen Intel’s idea of what such a 2-in-1 device would look like, the chances we’ll see a similar device from Microsoft later this year have significantly increased.

Surface Phone concept

On the other side of the pond, Apple insists that the Mac and the iPhone will be two separate platforms for the rest of eternity. Yet Apple is trying to bring iOS apps over to the Mac, and has been actively experimenting with dual-screen laptops behind closed doors. It’s likely the Mac’s Touch Bar is only the beginning of a transformation toward a dual-screen MacBook.

We’re not saying physical, mechanical keyboards will cease to exist. Some people will always want that, and for them, they’ll always exist. Most people, though, should get ready to kiss that keyboard goodbye.

Editors’ Recommendations

  • Intel hopes to kick-start dual-screen Windows 10 market with its own designs
  • The best Chromebooks
  • Here are the best iPad Pro keyboard cases to pick up with your new tablet
  • Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 review
  • Here are the 15 best iPad keyboard cases, from the Mini to the Pro


9
Jun

Yahoo Messenger will soon die as Squirrel lives on in its wake


Yahoo Messenger, one of the longest standing instant messaging applications, is set to close its doors for good on July 17. The service will continue to function as normal until then, but from that date onward, chats will no longer be accessible and instant messaging will cease to work.

The free messaging client first launched in March 1998 as Yahoo Pager and was renamed Yahoo Messenger a year later. In order to compete with its contemporaries like ICQ, Yahoo Messenger allowed users to customize the look of their client, write custom status messages and integrate their address book, alongside basic instant messaging functions. Over the years though, as its usage waned, Yahoo scaled back its deployment to just iOS, Android, and web clients, shuttering the Windows and Mac clients in August 2016.

Now the whole platform is shutting down for good. Yahoo claims that it is doing so to better address the changing communications landscape and that it would be focusing on “building and introducing new, exciting communications tools that better fit consumer needs.”

One of those is its currently invite-only group messaging application called Yahoo Squirrel, which offers customization and organizational tools for chatters beyond that of Yahoo Messenger. Although you can’t just sign up, Yahoo advises anyone interested to contact the email address on the Squirrel site to request an invite code.

For those who don’t want to lose access to the classic conversations they enjoyed on Yahoo Messenger in the future, they will be able to download the chat logs in their entirety for the next six months. To do so, head to the downloader request site, sign in and complete the verification system. Once done, you will be given access to download your chat logs.

While longtime fans of Yahoo Messenger may be saddened by its impending demise, it’s no surprise that such a service is no longer considered worthwhile by the company’s new owners at Verizon. With platforms like Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, and Snapchat sporting billions of combined users, Yahoo Messenger is not the competitive tool it once was. As TechCrunch points out, it’s likely that this move is part of Verizon’s own overhaul to focus more on content delivery across networks and platforms, rather than providing those digital pipelines itself.

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9
Jun

Yahoo Messenger will soon die as Squirrel lives on in its wake


Yahoo Messenger, one of the longest standing instant messaging applications, is set to close its doors for good on July 17. The service will continue to function as normal until then, but from that date onward, chats will no longer be accessible and instant messaging will cease to work.

The free messaging client first launched in March 1998 as Yahoo Pager and was renamed Yahoo Messenger a year later. In order to compete with its contemporaries like ICQ, Yahoo Messenger allowed users to customize the look of their client, write custom status messages and integrate their address book, alongside basic instant messaging functions. Over the years though, as its usage waned, Yahoo scaled back its deployment to just iOS, Android, and web clients, shuttering the Windows and Mac clients in August 2016.

Now the whole platform is shutting down for good. Yahoo claims that it is doing so to better address the changing communications landscape and that it would be focusing on “building and introducing new, exciting communications tools that better fit consumer needs.”

One of those is its currently invite-only group messaging application called Yahoo Squirrel, which offers customization and organizational tools for chatters beyond that of Yahoo Messenger. Although you can’t just sign up, Yahoo advises anyone interested to contact the email address on the Squirrel site to request an invite code.

For those who don’t want to lose access to the classic conversations they enjoyed on Yahoo Messenger in the future, they will be able to download the chat logs in their entirety for the next six months. To do so, head to the downloader request site, sign in and complete the verification system. Once done, you will be given access to download your chat logs.

While longtime fans of Yahoo Messenger may be saddened by its impending demise, it’s no surprise that such a service is no longer considered worthwhile by the company’s new owners at Verizon. With platforms like Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, and Snapchat sporting billions of combined users, Yahoo Messenger is not the competitive tool it once was. As TechCrunch points out, it’s likely that this move is part of Verizon’s own overhaul to focus more on content delivery across networks and platforms, rather than providing those digital pipelines itself.

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9
Jun

Android Messages points to upcoming native texting client on Chromebooks


Google could be following Apple’s lead with iMessage by linking Android Messages to Chrome OS. Evidence of a native texting client appears on a new commit in Chromium Gerrit although there are no specific details about how the integration will work. A separate commit describes pairing a Chromebook with an Android device that’s handled “in the browser process.” 

With Apple’s hardware, iMessage for iOS and Message for MacOS rely on Apple’s cloud to synchronize messages between the two. These clients can be associated with a phone number or an Apple ID. For instance, if the recipient has an iPhone and iPad, all messages are tied to the phone number even though they also appear on the iPad. If the recipient switches to an Android phone but still has the iPad, texting via iMessage and Message are tied to the recipient’s Apple ID address instead, and don’t show up on the Android phone. 

Meanwhile, Google is still pushing for a final messaging solution within Android. Typically, texting apps are at the discretion of the manufacturer, such as how Samsung’s lackluster in-house Messages app installed as the default SMS client on Galaxy smartphones. Android Messages isn’t exactly stellar either, but it’s the closest Google has come to an integrated iMessage alternative. Allo is feature-rich, relying on Google Assistant, but it’s not meant for SMS texting (currently on hold too). 

That said, the texting aspect of Android is still somewhat of a mess. Adding to Google’s pile is the Rich Communication Services platform, or simply Chat, that’s a new initiative aiming to replace SMS messaging. It will offer everything you use now, such as image inserts, group chats, read receipts, and so on, but promises a “richer” experience. This service will be provided by AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, and Verizon possibly by the end of the year, and baked into Google’s Android Messages app. 

Google is also bringing Android Messages to the web. Evidence of the browser-based version appeared in Android Messages 2.9, showing that a browser could be used to pair a PC running the online client with Android Messages installed on a phone by scanning a QR code. Linking to your Google Account is also part of the pairing process. 

With Messages for Chrome OS, Google appears to be taking a Mac approach with a dedicated texting client. But given the platform’s web-centric roots, it will probably be no different than using the browser-based version, only you won’t need a browser to use the service. You’ll likely be provided with a QR code to pair the native web app with Android Messages on your smartphone.  

When Google’s native messaging client will actually appear in Chrome OS is unknown for now, but the company is supposedly inching toward a finalized web-based version as seen in Android Messages 3.2. Digging into the code shows that you’ll have the ability to temporarily disable notifications on your phone if you’re currently using the web-based client. In addition to Chrome, the platform will support Firefox, Microsoft Edge, Opera, and Safari. 

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