Update June 29, 2018: Pokémon Quest is a fun new adventure that’s the best new game available for Android this week. Great job, Nintendo!
Nintendo has done a fantastic job adapting its iconic game franchises for mobile, and its latest, Pokémon Quest, is a surprisingly great game. Like, really surprising.
I’ll be honest in saying that I wasn’t overly enthused about Pokémon Quest when it was first announced. So Nintendo plans to take its cute and cuddly collectible creatures and make them even more cutesy in a colorful new mobile game? And it’s not just a straight port of one of the classic GameBoy games?
Hard pass, right?
Boy how foolish I was to question Nintendo. They’ve managed to create a game that balances some of the best parts of the Pokémon games you remember — collecting and battling Pokémon — while introducing new game mechanics that we’ve seen before in other games but feels fresh here.
The game has you exploring the newly-discovered Tumblecube Island, a mysterious place where all the Pokémon are cube-shaped. The place is full of wild Pokémon and loot, and it’s up to you to explore and extract as much loot as you can. First, you set up camp and cook up meals to attract Pokémon to your camp, then you power up your team and head out on expeditions to battle wild Pokémon, including some epic boss Pokémon.
Best of all, Nintendo didn’t implement a restrictive “freemium” model here. Sure, there are PM Tickets which are used as in-game currency, but you can play through the entire game without using them, and they’re there to let you instantly complete certain tasks.
Overall, it’s a really fun and charming game that’s definitely worth checking out this weekend!
Download: Pokemon Quest (Free w/IAPs)
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Take your barbecue to the next level with these great grilling gadgets.
For most Americans, the Fourth of July is about spending time with family and friends, firing off a couple fireworks, and grilling up some delicious food. Check out these great gadgets that offers supreme control over your BBQ and allowing you spend less time watching the grill and more time entertaining your family and friends.
- GrillEye Smart Meat Thermometer
- iGrill2 by iDevice
- Refuel Smart Propane Tank Gauge for Smartphones
- Char-Broil Digital Electric Smoker
- Lynx 30-Inch Freestanding SmartGrill
GrillEye Smart Grilling & Smoking Thermometer
For $70, the GrillEye smart meat thermometer takes the guesswork out of cooking the perfect burger or steak by monitoring the internal temperature of the meat, notifying you via Bluetooth when it’s cooked to perfection.
Everything is housed in a small unit that features a built-in stand and includes an anti-glare screen so you can easily read the temperature. All you need is the GrillEye app on your phone, a solid Bluetooth connection, and a hot grill to get going.
Simply go into the app and select the type of meat you’re cooking, as well as your preferred doneness. There are six probe ports to use which allow you to track the wellness of six different meats at the same time, so you’ll be able to precisely monitor the temperature of whatever you’re cooking for all your guests.
Once you’ve got everything set up, you can sit back and relax until the app notifies you that your food is done. The GrillEye features 300 feet of Bluetooth range so you can enjoy the company of your guests as you wait for that notification.
The display on the device itself also shows you the current temperature and the target temperature for each probe so you can check in on how things are cooking without having to lift the lid and letting any heat escape. Works with BBQs or smokers. Get yours for just $70.
See at Amazon
iGrill2 by iDevice
The Weber iGrill2 is another great tool for tracking your BBQ with your phone so you can spend more time entertaining and less time over the grill, with everyone getting their steak cooked exactly the way they want it.
This one comes with four color-coded meat probes, so you can conveniently track each slab of meat individually and mingle with your guests without standing over the grill, thanks to 150 feet of Bluetooth range.
If you are frequently cooking for picky guests who like their meat cooked to a particular doneness, the iGrill2 is the perfect device for you.
You can pick up the iGrill2 for about $117.
See at Amazon
GasWatch Bluetooth Propane-level Indicator Scale
Few things are more disappointing than getting ready to barbecue, only to find out that your propane tank is empty. The GasWatch is a scale for your propane tank that lets you monitor your propane tank from wherever you are, wirelessly, via the GasWatch app.
The gauge, placed under the propane tank, acts as a dedicated scale. So instead of having to bend down, lift the tank, and guess how much propane is left, the Refuel Smart Propane Tank Gauge does all the heavy lifting for you for only $45.
If your phone isn’t on you, you can use the LED indicator that magnetically mounts to your barbecue to check at a glance if you’re good to grill or need to refill.
See at Amazon
Char-Broil Digital Electric Smoker
Whether you’re a beginner or expert smoker, the Char-Broil Digital Electric Smoker will allow you to perfectly slow-cook your favorite meals and go about your day without having to constantly check in on things.
Set up your smoker within range of your home’s Wi-Fi signal, and you’ll receive notifications to your phone through the Char-Broil SmartChef app when the smoker has preheated or when your meat is ready to go.
That means you’re able to get everything cooking and then go for a run, go hang out with your guests or get work done until you’re notified that your food is ready to eat.
With a smoker box that can provide 6.5 hours of smoke, four chrome racks, 726 square inches of cooking space within the unit, along with cooking options and recipes for beef, poultry, pork, and seafood built into the app, you’ll be able to keep your friends and family well-fed without having to dedicate your whole day to the cook.
You can pick up the Char-Broil Digital Electric Smoker on sale for $167 down from its regular price of $399 — a great investment if you’ve been looking for a quality smoker.
See at Amazon
Lynx 30-inch Freestanding SmartGrill
Filed under ultimate fantasy, the Lynx SmartGrill lets you set and control your BBQ with your smartphone or even just your voice.
That’s right. You’re able to slap your meat down on the grill and tell your BBQ what your cooking and how you want it cooked and the SmartGrill will do everything else for you. Peruse the SmartGrill by Lynx app for delicious recipes, then once you’ve done the meal prep, the SmartGrill takes over from there.
From the app, the SmartGrill will tell you when it’s time to flip and when your food is cooked to perfection. And it’ll remember how you like your steak cooked, so you can tell it you’re cooking steaks and it will set the heat accordingly.
Featuring backlit blue LED control knobs, a dual-position internally-powered rotisserie, and fold-down stainless steel shelves, it’s got the looks to go along with the smarts. And in case you were wondering, all the electronics are housed in a weather-proof compartment under the hood and the SmartGrill also comes with a vinyl cover to protect it from the rain.
This is the perfect grill for someone who loves to invest in emerging technologies and also has an insatiable appetite for BBQ. These grills start at $7,000 for the 30-inch model and go up as high as $10,000 for the 42-inch model.
See at Lynx
Did we miss anything?
Is there a connected device you use for BBQing that we didn’t include? How do you like your steak? Let us know in the comments below!
Updated June 29, 2018: Step up your Fourth of July BBQ celebrations this year with these great grilling accessories!
Site wide. Save big. Happy Friday.
Today eBay is taking 15% off just about everything with the code PERFECTDAY. You will need to make a minimum purchase of $25. It has a maximum potential savings of $100, so you can spend as much as $667 and still save with this deal. You can only use the code once on one shopping cart, but you can use the code on everything in that cart instead of just one item. While it can be used site-wide, the few excluded categories include Coins & Paper Money, Gift Cards & Coupons, and Real Estate. This deal expires at 12 p.m. Eastern tonight, June 29.
These eBay deals have been popping up pretty frequently this year. We’ve seen a couple of rare sales featuring as much as 20% off site-wide, but 15% off is also pretty dang good. Usually eBay’s sales are very limited in scope, so it’s exciting to see one so all-encompassing. It has worked so well, the site has started making it a regular practice this year. Today’s deal is more-or-less identical to the 15% off sales we’ve seen recently, and while that’s not quite the best sale we’ve seen from eBay it does mean you have another chance to save on the sort of products we really don’t see go on sale very much.
If you’re a little unsure about eBay itself, remember that this sale isn’t dealing with auctions. You don’t have to bid on your favorite items and wait to see who else bids. We’re talking about “Buy It Now” products. Also, many major retailers like Best Buy and Newegg have eBay storefronts where you can find a lot of the items from their main web sites. Stick to those stores, top-rated sellers, and people with a lot of great feedback from the last six months or so. You’ll be taking a lot less a risk that way.
A few of the best ways to save include:
- Bose QuietComfort 35 II wireless headphones – $297.49 (from $350)
- Xbox Live Gold membership 12 months – $42.49 (from $50)
- Nintendo Labo Robo Kit – $66.29 (from $78)
- God of War video game – $50.99 (from $60)
- Dyson V6 Motorhead cordless vac refurb – $152.99 (from $180)
Keep track of all the best eBay deals as we find them on Thrifter.
See at eBay
In a sea of good budget phones, should you buy what Moto’s selling?
A lot of ink is spilled over expensive flagship phones that cost an arm and a leg — and $1000. But most people don’t need a phone that costly.
The Moto G6 is one of those phones that really, truly delivers everything you need in a smartphone at a reasonable $249 price. But should you buy it? Let’s walk through the reasons why and why not.
First, are the specs good enough?
The Moto G6 comes with everything you’d expect in a phone: a Snapdragon 450, 3GB of RAM, 32GB of storage, a 3000mAh battery, a 12MP rear camera, a fingerprint sensor, and a 5.7-inch HD display. It also runs Android 8.0 out of the box.
Let’s address the elephant in the room: is the Snapdragon 450 platform powerful enough to do what needs to get done? The answer is yes.
While it may seem like it’s a significant downgrade from the Moto G5 Plus’s Snapdragon 625, it’s basically the same chip. The only major difference is the speed of the individual cores — they run at 1.8GHz compared to the 2.0GHz on the S625. In real-world use, the two chips are indistinguishable. But the Snapdragon 450 has all the same power efficiencies of modern Qualcomm chips.
If you don’t know what all this means, don’t sweat it: just know that the Moto G6 is plenty fast enough for gaming, Instragramming, and everything else you need a phone to do.
How’s the battery life?
Everyone wants their phone to last well into the evening, and the Moto G6 delivers, too. The 3,000mAh battery is plenty big on its own, but combined with the Snapdragon 450 and Motorola’s power-effiienct build of Android, you’re not going to need to worry about battery life.
Is the camera any good?
It is! In fact, it’s better than any $250 phone we’ve reviewed to date. Check out the quality for yourself.
There’s a 12MP main camera with an f/1.8 lens for real depth of field, and there’s also a secondary rear sensor that provides depth information for features like portrait mode and color cut-out. The second sensor isn’t great, and neither are the portrait photos that come from it, but the primary one is good enough that it doesn’t matter.
Here are some more photos.
The selfie camera is pretty good, too.
What else do you need to know?
The phone is made of Gorilla Glass 3 front and back, and it’s got curved sides, so it can be a bit slippery. I’d recommend buying a case for your Moto G6 as soon as possible. (I like this clear case if you still want to see the shiny finish.)
And if you’re upgrading from an early Moto G phone, you’ll notice the G6 charges with a different type of cord. It’s called USB-C, and it’s awesome — and reversible!
Finally, the phone works on all major U.S. carriers, so once you buy it you don’t have to worry about whether it will work if you switch providers.
What are the main competitors?
The Moto G6 doesn’t exist in a vacuum. The $200 to $300 price range is full of great options, like the $269 Nokia 6.1 and the $199 Honor 7X, but neither provide the same well-rounded experience as the Moto G6.
Honor 7X review: A budget champion
Why you shouldn’t buy the Moto G6
There are a couple things that keep the Moto G6 from being a sure thing. First, the screen isn’t amazing, and it doesn’t get bright enough to easily use outdoors, so if you spend a lot of time in the sun this probably isn’t the phone for you.
Second, Motorola isn’t great about releasing software updates, so don’t expect to receive monthly, or even quarterly, security patches. Or, when Android P comes around, to see it in 2018. While Motorola has committed to improving its update cadence, we haven’t seen much evidence of that yet.
Why you should buy the Moto G6
For all the reasons I stated above, plus more. This is a $250 phone that looks, feels, and performs like one double the price.
It’s also available through Amazon’s Prime Exclusive program for $235, which makes it an even better deal.
See at Amazon
Moto G6, G6 Plus and G6 Play
- Moto G6 Plus review: Mastering the art of the mid-range phone
- Moto G6 review: Finding success in compromise
- Moto G6, G6 Play, and G6 Plus specs
- Join our Moto G6 forums
Apple has expanded carrier billing to TIM in Italy, Bite in Latvia and Lithuania, U Mobile in Malaysia, Singtel and StarHub in Singapore, Sunrise in Switzerland, and O2 in the UK, according to an updated support document.
The payment method enables customers to make purchases in the iTunes Store, App Store, and Apple Books, and pay for an Apple Music subscription, without needing to link a debit or credit card to their Apple ID account. Instead, purchases are added to a customer’s phone bill, and paid in full when due.
The payment method is already offered by select carriers in Austria, Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Japan, Hong Kong, Italy, Norway, Russia, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, the Emirates, and the UK.
Meanwhile, Apple Maps lane guidance has expanded to Croatia and Slovenia, according to Apple’s updated iOS Feature Availability page.
While navigating with Apple Maps via iPhone or CarPlay in those countries, a set of directional arrows will now appear at the top of the screen that indicate which lane your vehicle should be in to exit a freeway or complete a turn.
Apple Maps lane guidance debuted in the United States and China in iOS 11. The feature has since expanded to Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Croatia, Czech Republic, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Poland, South Africa, Sweden, Switzerland, and the UK.
Tags: Apple Maps, carrier billing
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One week after unveiling its new live streaming service “WatchTV,” AT&T has now begun rolling out the platform’s app on fourth-generation and fifth-generation Apple TV boxes, as well as on iOS [Direct Link] (via BestAppleTV). The service is a free add-on for anyone on AT&T’s new “Unlimited &More” and “Unlimited &More Premium” cellular plans, and is also available as a $15/month service for everyone else.
Like a few other live TV platforms, WatchTV includes just over 30 channels that you can stream live, including breaking news and film channels (but not sports). The service has 15,000 titles available to watch on demand, and subscribers to AT&T’s new &More Premium phone plan will be able to add one of several premium services for no extra charge: HBO, SHOWTIME, Cinemax, Starz, Amazon Music Unlimited, Pandora Premium, or VRV.
The full list of channels on WatchTV includes:
- Animal Planet
- BBC World News
- BBC America
- Cartoon Network
- Food Network
- Hallmark Channel
- Hallmark Movies & Mysteries
- Investigation Discovery
- Lifetime Movies
- Sundance TV
- TRU TV
- WE TV
Channels coming soon after launch include:
- Comedy Central
- MTV 2
Users can stream on up to two devices at the same time, but WatchTV does not have a cloud DVR feature or any local news stations. Other than tvOS and iOS, the app is out now on Android, Amazon Fire TV, and Google Chromecast.
WatchTV is a direct result of AT&T’s acquisition of Time Warner, with many of the channels on the service falling under the Time Warner umbrella. This week, the company raised the price of of the “administrative fee” it charges customers, which was speculated as a move to offset the debt incurred by its $85.4 billion purchase of Time Warner, although AT&T denied that by stating the administrative fee price is “standard” across the wireless industry.
Discuss this article in our forums
Honda is retiring its amazing Asimo robot.
News of company’s decision to end development of the robot came via local media. But Honda insisted Asimo’s talents will not be wasted, with much of it incorporated into other technology produced by the company, such as mobility aids and autonomous vehicles.
Asimo, which stands for Advanced Step in Innovative Mobility, first appeared on a Honda drawing board in the mid-1980s. The curtains came off the initial version in 2000 and wowed commentators for being the first robot to walk independently and climb stairs, though admittedly the process didn’t always go too smoothly.
The 4-foot-3 robot tipped the scales at 119 pounds and had a myriad of truly impressive capabilities.
For starters, it could walk smoothly, run at a speed of 5.6 mph, and hop on the spot with amazing fluidity, and with far greater skill than even most of today’s humanoid robots. In fact, its agility was so remarkable that sometimes you couldn’t help wondering if there was actually a Honda employee inside pulling all the moves.
But Asimo’s talents extended far beyond its physical skills. Multiple sensors enabled it to recognize people’s faces, postures, gestures, and speech, allowing it to converse with humans and take commands. Asimo even had the ability to identify different voices speaking at the same time and could respond to different instructions from each one. It could hold and move objects with its human-like hand, and sign language was a part of its repertoire, too.
Although it’s the end of the road for Asimo, a number of the engineers who helped develop it are continuing with other projects using elements of the robot’s technology, with several reported to be working on Honda’s autonomous-car project using their acquired knowledge of sensors and artificial technology.
The Japanese automaker showed off four new robots last year that incorporate some of Asimo’s smarts. Among them are a companion robot and a small, autonomous, off-road vehicle.
Honda produced several different versions of Asimo, with the last one emerging from the workshop in 2011. With the likes of Boston Dynamics making great advances in recent years with their own super-agile robots, one can only imagine how awesome Asimo might be today if Honda’s engineers had continued developing its skills over the last seven years.
- Starship Technologies gets the cash to make its delivery robot dream a reality
- The LAPD does its part to cut down on smog, adds ebikes to its patrol fleet
- Uber focuses on safety improvements as it battles to regain its London license
- Uber gears up for its latest scheme in the tricky Japanese market
- PlayStation boss says PS4 is reaching the final phase of its life cycle
(in)Secure is a weekly column that dives into the rapidly escalating topic of cybersecurity.
Wi-Fi Protected Access (WPA) is something that internet users the world over have enjoyed the protection of for nearly two decades in one guise or another, but because it’s so unobtrusive, you might never have noticed it.
With the certification of a third-generation of that protection, (WPA3) it’s as good a time as ever to brush up on what this important security standard does and what a new version could mean for your future wireless access and hardware choices.
What does WPA actually do?
Although the original WPA was introduced in 2003, it was swiftly replaced by WPA2 in 2004 and until recently, that’s been the standard security system in place for home wireless networks and built in to just about every home router you could buy. Indeed in order to claim that a router supported “Wi-Fi” manufacturers had to include WPA2 security in their product.
WPA is a method of protecting the content you transmit between your wireless device and your router. WPA2 implemented strong encryption of wireless connections so that once the router acknowledges that your device’s Wi-Fi password matches the one in its memory, devices not connected to the network can’t snoop on the traffic you’re sending back and forth.
What’s different with WPA3?
Much as WPA2 was seen as a leap in protection for wireless internet networks, WPA3 makes a similar step forward in securing the data of the network’s users by enhancing encryption to 128-bit. It also expands beyond the home in a few interesting ways.
With WPA3 you’ll be able to connect smart devices lacking a display to your network by using a device like your smartphone.
WPA3 introduces “Simultaneous Authentication of Equals,” otherwise known as the Dragonfly Key Exchange system. It makes passwords resistant to dictionary hacks by requiring network interaction in order to attempt a login. That boils down to users being able to use easy-to-remember passwords, whilst still protecting their network from easy infiltration.
Even if you end up enjoying this new security feature though, we’d still recommend you use a complicated password and save it in a password manager.
WPA3 also takes a stab at protecting typically vulnerable public networks. Where open Wi-Fi networks in airports, coffee shops, and hotels have been easy hunting grounds for hackers in the past due to completely unsecured and unencrypted connections, WPA3 will change that with new security protocols. “Individualized data encryption” provides a fully encrypted, one-off connection for those connecting to a WPA3-certified router over an open Wi-Fi network. That means that the connection between your device and the router is encrypted, despite the fact that you never entered a password to use it.
The Internet of Things (IoT) has also received much attention under WPA3. With so many smart devices having no display, WPA3 makes it so that you’ll be able to connect these devices to your network by using a companion device like your smartphone. Instead of tapping in a password though, you’ll be able to scan a QR code, providing a quick and secure method of getting a new IoT device online.
Governments and corporations will be able to take advantage of WPA3 Enterprise too, which provides even greater security with stronger encryption options. At a minimum, WPA3-Enterprise offers 192-bit encryption, but there are also options for 256-bit and even 384-bit encryption for different authentication settings.
Will my router support it?
While we know many router manufacturers are keen to implement WPA3 security in new products, it’s not clear if existing routers will be able to.
Qualcomm, Silicon Motion, Marvell, Huawei Wireless, and Hewlett Packard have pledge support for WPA3.
Cisco recently stated that it was looking for ways to implement the enhanced security measures of WPA3 in its existing lines of networking hardware. It didn’t state whether this was something we could expect to see in just select models — or in a wide range of existing hardware though.
Linksys contacted Digital Trends to confirm its commitment to bringing WPA3 security to new and existing hardware, though again wasn’t able to provide any firm guidelines of if or when it would come to specific models.
“Linksys plans to support next-generation WPA3 security,” Linksys said in its statement. “This functionality is highly dependent on the Wi-Fi chipset provider, thus support will be on a case-by-case basis. If legacy products are supported, Linksys will deploy automatic firmware updates to all enabled products. In many cases, WPA3 support will be offered in newer chipset and products. More details will be released at time of availability.”
Intel too has committed to implementing the new standard where possible. GM of Intel’s Wireless Solutions Group, Eric Mclaughlin said, “Intel supports WPA3 and through our involvement in the test bed, we are helping our customers incorporate WPA3 into their products for enhanced security protections.”
Other companies which have also pledged support for WPA3 include Qualcomm, Silicon Motion, Marvell, Huawei Wireless, and Hewlett Packard. While most if not all of these companies will implement WPA3 in their new hardware, it remains to be seen how many WPA2 certified products that consumers and businesses currently own will be able to meet the new standards of WPA3 certification with software updates. It’s possible that such devices will be limited, as companies will likely be more interested in selling new products with certification, than adding that functionality for free to existing hardware.
When will WPA3 be available?
The first WPA3 certified devices are expected to debut towards the end of 2018, with companies like Qualcomm claiming to already be in the process of making chips for smartphones and tablets that will give them full support for the new standard. It’s possible that we’ll see certain devices retroactively certified before then, but as of yet nothing like that has materialized.
At the very least the transition process of most wireless networking hardware to WPA3 will begin in 2018 and will no doubt continue into 2019. If you’re considering buying a new router or other wireless-networking hardware, it may well be worth waiting until later in the year to see which devices will support WPA3. Before long, WPA2 will be more of a legacy standard. WPA3 may also come to new hardware hand in hand with the 802.11ax wireless networking standard which debuted last year.
- What is WPA3?
- Updating your router to WPA3 could protect your home Wi-Fi network
- How to buy a Wi-Fi router
- How to reset your router
- How to tell if someone is stealing your Wi-Fi
With two rumored screens, Microsoft may be positioning its highly anticipated foldable PC as the ultimate convertible computing device. Known by its Andromeda code name and widely believed to debut as the Surface Phone, Microsoft’s dual-screen PC could be used in up to five different configurations, depending on the orientation of the screens. This is up from the three configurations found on many hybrid laptops, like HP’s Spectre x360 and Lenovo’s Yoga series.
Code from Windows 10 build 17704 obtained by Twitter user @h0x0d reveals that Microsoft is creating different usage scenarios based on how the screens are oriented around the 360-degree hinge. The screens can show different content and be used in different context based on the positioning of the hinge, and the device can operate in closed, flat, convex, concave, and full modes.
Credit: Twitter user @h0x0d
Presumably, closed mode is where the screens face inward, concave is similar to today’s laptop mode, convex is similar to tent mode, flat could be similar to tablet mode where the screens are fully opened to create a larger combined display surface, and full mode could represent both screens facing outward. Modern hybrid laptops today can convert to only laptop, tablet, and tent modes.
Although it’s not exactly clear how Microsoft will design the user experience around the modes, MS Power User reported that “the API would mean applications will be able to respond to changes in the orientation of the device, with Microsoft in patents suggesting that in tent mode the device could display an alarm clock and in convex mode one side could present an on-screen keyboard like a laptop to users.”
Microsoft’s Andromeda has been showing up in a number of leaks recently, and it’s reported that the device could be announced as early as late this year. Although there is a lot of anticipation around Andromeda — Microsoft debuted the concept initially as part of its Courier project nearly a decade ago — Microsoft isn’t the only one rumored to be working on dual-screened devices. Intel recently showed off a few concepts under its Tiger Rapids codename, which the chipmaker said would get adopted into commercial designs from Lenovo and Asus. Dell is also rumored to be working on its own dual-screen PC under the Project Januss code name. Unlike the Tiger Rapids concepts that Intel is pioneering with Lenovo and Asus, however, Andromeda may take on a form factor that’s more compact than a laptop and the device could represent Microsoft’s newest push into the smartphone and mobile computing space.
Additionally, Microsoft’s recent work on its Windows 10 operating system may suggest that the company is ready to embrace having a second glass screen replace the keyboard portion of a laptop. Microsoft’s testing SwiftKey integration to make it easier to type on glass, and the company is bringing inking support to the Windows 10 Mail and Calendar apps, a move that may make a dual-screen device more appealing to paper planner addicts.
- Microsoft leak hints dual-screen Andromeda device targets launch later this year
- Intel hopes to kick-start dual-screen Windows 10 market with its own designs
- Brace yourself! The age of keyboard-less laptops is upon us
- Dell is reportedly working on its dual-screen version of the Surface Phone
- Dell’s new patent application shows how a two-screen laptop deals with DRM
Everybody needs a writing app — here’s what we recommend.
Whether you’re writing essays for school, drafting updates for your blog, or just jotting notes, everybody needs a writing app. There’s no shortage of them on the Play Store, and in theory it shouldn’t be hard to find a good one — it’s just a place to type, right?
Turns out there are quite a few useful features that you might want to look for when settling on a writing app. You probably want an app that syncs with other devices — Android or otherwise — so that you can pick up where you last left off. Diverse file support is good, too, for those times you need to export .doc files or PDFs.
It’s hard to argue with an app that comes pre-installed on most Android phones. Google Docs is an entirely cloud-based app that can be accessed from any machine that’s signed into your Google account, and has full support for images, text formatting, and a wide array of file formats.
One of the best parts of Google Docs is its collaborative nature, with the ability to share your documents with others and even write simultaneously within the same file. You can even notate certain sections of a document with editor’s comments for the other writers’ reference. Best of all, it’s completely free, without any in-app purchases or tiers to worry about.
Download: Google Docs (free)
Microsoft Word is another classic writing app, and it’s one that you probably grew up using on your computer before smartphones were even around. Word works a lot like Google Docs, though it syncs to OneDrive rather than Google Drive (you can also set it to sync with Dropbox). The interface is familiar if you’ve used recent versions of Word on the desktop, and the app also serves as a PDF reader.
Some of the features, including custom headers/footers and file history, require an Office 365 subscription, so power users that need to meet specific formatting standards for, say, college essays, may not be able to get away with using Word for free. But for the majority of users, the free version should offer plenty of functionality and hold up to alternatives like Google Docs.
Download: Microsoft Word (free)
iA Writer is a fantastic writing app that focuses more on simplicity than formatting — though it does allow for the latter, as well. It features its own file browser for your documents, as well as the ability to sync your work to Google Drive or Dropbox, and best of all, it’s cross-platform with support for iOS, Windows, and MacOS.
One of iA Writer’s most unique features is its focus mode, which obscures the sentences you’re not currently working on, but there’s plenty of other great features like Markdown support, night mode, and the ability to publish directly to Medium. iA Writer is free on Android, but keep in mind that you’ll need to shell out some cash to use it on your computer.
Download: iA Writer (free)
The go-to for nearly every college student, Evernote is an immensely popular writing app that’s also equal parts organizer, planner, document scanner, to-do list, and much, much more. The interface can be a bit overwhelming at times, but in return, you get a wealth of features unmatched by the competition.
Evernote syncs your notes and files within its own cloud service, and offers apps for almost every device you can think of, as well as a web interface. Like the other note-taking apps in this list, you can export your writings as PDFs or other file formats, and Evernote can import from PDFs as well. If you shell out for Evernote Premium, you’ll benefit from things like unlimited device access, offline notes, PDF annotation, and much larger storage.
Download: Evernote (free)
Which is your favorite?
Do you swear by one of the writers listed above? Or have you been using something else throughout the years? Let us know in the comments!
The best journaling apps for Android