Everything that’s new in OxygenOS
Have a OnePlus phone? Here’s what’s new with your latest update.
OxygenOS is the software that powers OnePlus phones, and even if you’re not enrolled in the Open Beta, it’s still frequently updated with new features and bug fixes to keep an eye out for.
It can be tough to keep track of what’s new, so we’ll be updating this guide with each new OxygenOS update that’s rolled out.
July 30, 2018 — Improved photo clarity, group messaging, and more come to OnePlus 5/5T with OxygenOS 5.1.4
The OnePlus 5 and 5T are getting a new OTA update to OxygenOS 5.1.4, and while it’s not a particularly large upgrade, there are still a few welcome changes we’re excited to see.
First off, you’ll find a new feature in the battery settings called Sleep Standby Optimizations. Once turned on, your 5/5T will learn your sleeping patterns and turn off network usage when it detects you’re catching some zzz’s. Right before your wake up, your network access will be re-enabled so you don’t miss out on emails, Twitter mentions, or other notifications you got while asleep. OnePlus says this helps to reduce battery usage throughout the night and can be enabled by going to Settings -> Battery -> Battery optimization -> Advanced optimization -> Sleep standby optimization.
Along with this, you’ll also find improved photo clarity with the camera, support for group text messaging, the July 2018 Android security patch, and general bug fixes with the Gallery app.
July 20, 2018 — OnePlus 3/3T get July 2018 security patch with OxygenOS 5.0.4
Have a OnePlus 3 or 3T? You should be getting an OTA update soon that updates it to OxygenOS 5.0.4.
This is a pretty minor update, with the highlight being the July 2018 security patch. On the camera side of things, OnePlus has added a fix for an issue when adjusting manual ISO in third-party camera apps and improved the image quality for the front-facing camera.
You’ll also find bug fixes for a parallel WhatsApp crash issue and problems users have had when zooming in with the front camera in Snapchat.
This update is rolling out to all OnePlus 3/3T owners now, and if you have the phone but it’s enrolled in the Open Beta, OnePlus says it’ll update the download link once the global rollout is finished so you can switch back to a stable build now that the beta program has ended for the two older phones.
- OnePlus 6 review
- OnePlus 6 vs. OnePlus 5T: How much changes in six months?
- OnePlus 6 vs. OnePlus 5: Should you upgrade?
- These are the official OnePlus 6 cases
- The OnePlus 6 doesn’t work on Verizon or Sprint
- Join the discussion in the forums
The best live events in VR this month
It’s almost like you’re there.
Between the International Champions Cup or your favorite sporting team having a match, watching live events in VR can be quite rewarding. We all wish we could make it out to the stadiums and fields our favorite performers are in, but sometimes that’s just not in the cards. But, don’t you worry, the other option you have is to watch your favorite shows and sports in VR. Here you can feel like you’re actually in the crowd without having to spend hundreds of dollars on tickets.
Check out the live events coming to your PlayStation VR and Oculus Go in August!
You can find the Next VR app on your PlayStation VR or Oculus Go. It offers countless wonders when it comes to watching live events in VR. One of the spectacular events they’ll be covering for the rest of July, and into August, is the International Champions Cup. If you’ve been watching it on your TV instead of inside of your VR headset you’re missing out! Outside of the ICC, you can also find a few comedy skits on the 26th and the 30th of July. Find it on Oculus.
Outside of the live events listed below, you can also check out their line up for live sports. NextVR offers VR viewing for WWE, NFL, NBA, Boxing and even live concerts! You can see all of the channels they offer by clicking here.
NextVR August schedule
August 2 @ 12 AM
– International Champions Cup | Barcelona vs. AS Roma Match Highlights
August 2 @ 7 PM
– Gotham Comedy Live
August 6 @ 12 AM
– International Champions Cup | AC Milan vs. Barcelona Match Highlights
August 6 @ 12 AM
– International Champions Cup | Real Madrid vs. Juventus Match Highlights
August 6 @ 8 PM
– School Night! Live From Hollywood
August 9 @ 12 AM
– International Champions Cup | Real Madrid vs. AS Roma Match Highlights
August 9 @ 7 PM
– Gotham Comedy Live
August 13 @ 8 PM
– School Night! Live From Hollywood
August 20 @ 8 PM
– School Night! Live From Hollywood
August 27 @ 8 PM
– School Night! Live From Hollywood
See the NextVR full schedule here!
See on PlayStation store.
YouTube live events
Another option you have for live events on both the PlayStation VR and your Oculus Go is on YouTube. For PlayStation VR you’ll want to download the app to watch your videos, and for Oculus Go all you need to do is go to the browser. All you have to do to find amazing live content, at any time, is search “Live Stream” in the search bar. Make sure you subscribe to your favorite live streamers so you can be notified next time they’re live!
See on PlayStation Store.
Besides NextVR or Youtube, which is available to both PSVR and Oculus Go, there are a few exclusives to PlayStation that are worth checking out. Here’s all the information you’ll need to find the best live events that are exclusive to your PlayStation VR.
Did you know that your PlayStation Vue is compatible with your PSVR? Not only that, but the quality of the video actually surprised me quite a bit. Not only did the resolution seem really well, but the 3D sound really made me feel like I was in the middle of the audience. Aside from the normal TV channels, you’ll find that Vue also offers a variety of live sports. It’s got everything you could need, including ESPN, ESPN2, Showtime (sports), FOX Soccer Plus, CBS Sports Network, ESPN channels, NFL Network, MLB Network, NBA TV, Big Ten Network (BTN), and Eleven Sports.
While PlayStation Vue doesn’t have custom content like NextVR you can still find quite a bit of great things to watch. If you’re already subscribed to Vue for your PlayStation make sure you take advantage of its full potential by plugging in your VR headset.
See on PlayStation Store.
Here’s all the information on the exclusive apps for Oculus Go when it comes to watching live events. Over at Oculus, they seem to be taking a priority in bringing the community together. One of the fears when it comes to VR is that you’ll wrap yourself in this new world and forget the people outside. Now, you don’t need to worry about that. Oculus Venues is an absolute game changer when it comes to livestreaming events in VR, and here’s why.
Oculus Venues is the most fun you’ll have watching live events in VR. Not only does it put you in the crowd like you’re really there, it puts you in a crowd of other viewers as well. Yes, this means you’ll have seats in a stadium that you can give commentary, cheer or chat with during the events. People across the world are watching the same shows as you, so why not watch together? This takes bringing a community together to a whole new level.
If you prefer watching alone, no worries! The schedules for Oculus Venues almost mirror the schedules for NextVR entirely.
Late July and entire August Oculus Venues schedule
July 26 @ 7:00 pm PT
– Gotham Comedy Live
July 28 @ 8:00 pm PT
– International Champions Cup: FC Barcelona v Tottenham Hotspur
July 30 @ 8:00 pm PT
– School Night! Live from Hollywood
August 2 @ 7:00 pm PT
– Gotham Comedy Live
August 3 @ 7:00 pm PT
– Lionsgate Presents: Reservoir Dogs
August 5 @ 7:00 pm PT
– Lionsgate Presents: Sinister
August 6 @ 8:00 pm PT
– School Night! Live from Hollywood
August 9 @ 7:00 pm PT
– Gotham Comedy Live
August 13 @ 8:00 pm PT
– School Night! Live from Hollywood
August 19 @ 7:00 pm PT
– Lionsgate Presents: Apocalypse Now
August 20 @ 8:00 pm PT
– School Night! Live from Hollywood
August 26 @ 7:00 pm PT
– Lionsgate Presents: National Lampoon’s Van Wilder
August 27 @ 8:00 pm PT
– School Night! Live from Hollywood
See on Oculus Store.
What will you be watching?
Tell us in the comment section below, or shoot me a tweet telling me which live events you’ll be checking out. Already watched a few? Let us know what your favorites are!
When is the best time to sell your phone?
The sooner, the better.
We’re quickly approaching that time of year where smartphone manufacturers all drop their top-of-the-line flagships almost simultaneously — we’re eagerly awaiting Samsung’s Galaxy Note 9 announcement on August 9th, along with what we suspect is the Moto Z3 the week prior, and a number of other phones from the Pixel 3 to the LG V40.
If you’re the type to buy the latest flagship as soon as it drops, you’re probably going to want to sell your current phone to make some of the money back — but as anyone who’s done this before knows, resale pricing fluctuates pretty drastically on phones, so when exactly is the best time to sell yours to make the most profit?
Let’s start with the obvious: if you have a spare phone handy to get you by through the interim, sell your phone before its sequel comes out. As soon as Samsung announces the Note 9, the Note 8 will see a reduction in retail pricing, typically knocking off around $100. That won’t necessarily translate to $100 less resale value overnight, but you can definitely expect to make less money on your Note 8 after August 9th.
If you really want to maximize your profit (and again, assuming you have a spare phone), you can even sell your phone a few months in advance — maybe right around the time the next phone’s announcement date first gets teased. Resale value tends to deteriorate by a small amount each month, but the Galaxy Note 8 was still averaging at over $600 on Swappa as recently as March. That should cover a good chunk of the total cost on the Note 9, even if it starts around $1000.
Swappa charts the decline of Galaxy Note 8 resale value over the course of its first year.
If, on the other hand, you’re a normal person without a backup phone and you’re planning on replacing your only device, don’t worry — you can still make a good chunk of cash back on your phone after its replacement arrives! Again, the closer you can get to the phone’s initial release date, the better, but this is a good time to take a look around for launch promotions. Carriers are usually happy to take in your old phone in exchange for a steeply discounted financing offer, since it’s an easy way to lock you into their service without much adverse effect. Just be careful; in most cases, if you cancel your service before the financing period ends, you’ll wind up owing the phone’s full original amount.
In short, sell your phone as early as you can get away with to ensure the best possible deal, but don’t sweat it too hard if you’re a few months late. You’ll still make less money, but the difference is typically pretty minor, and at the end of the day you’ll still be able to knock off a good amount from your next purchase.
Are you selling your phone as soon as possible to jump on one of the upcoming flagships? Are you an experienced veteran of the resale market with tips and tricks for first-timers? Let us know in the comments below!
Selling your Android phone: Everything you need to know!
Where to buy the Moto E5 series in the U.S. and Canada
Your ultimate guide for buying the Moto E5 in North America.
Motorola first introduced its Moto E series in 2013 as an even cheaper alternative to the already affordable Moto G line. Moto E phones aren’t the most powerful or flashy around, but Motorola’s used this product line year after year to offer quality phones at wickedly low prices.
This year’s Moto E5 series is no different, with Motorola offering three different options in the forms of the Moto E5, E5 Play, and E5 Plus. The regular E5 isn’t being sold anywhere in North America, but there are plenty of carriers offering the E5 Play and E5 Plus throughout the United States and Canada.
If you rely on Sprint’s network but want to get cheaper monthly rates, Boost is the way to go. Motorola says that Boost is carrying both the Moto E5 Play and Moto E5 Plus.
The E5 Play has a regular price of $99.99, but right now Boost is selling it for just $79.99.
Pricing details for the E5 Plus have yet to be announced, but that information should be made available soon.
See at Boost Mobile
Alternatively, Cricket Wireless is one of the go-to pre-paid carriers in the States if you prefer AT&T’s network without the company’s high monthly rates.
Similar to Boost Mobile, Cricket Wireless is selling the E5 Plus and E5 Play. However, Cricket’s altering the naming so that the E5 Plus is the E5 Supra and the E5 Play is the E5 Cruise. Despite the different names, these are still the same versions of the phones everyone else has.
The Moto E5 Cruise/Play is available now and costs $99.99 for customers adding a line or upgrading an existing one. If you want the E5 Supra, you’ll need to pay $179.99.
See at Cricket Wireless
Pre-paid networks are great for some customers, but for others, traditional post-paid plans still reign supreme.
Sprint is one of the few U.S. carriers selling the Moto E5 series through post-paid options, and it’s got both the E5 Plus and E5 Play. The Play isn’t available quite yet, but the Plus is on sale for $288 outright or $0 down and then $12/month for 18-months on a Sprint Flex lease.
See at Sprint
T-Mobile officially began selling both the Moto E5 Play and E5 Plus on July 28, and as expected, pricing is similar to most everywhere else.
For the E5 Play, you’ll pay either $150 upfront or can finance it at $6/month for 24 months. If you want to go for the larger and more powerful E5 Plus, you’ll need to cough up $225 or $9/month for 24 months.
See at T-Mobile
Verizon’s own pre-paid service has seen some solid upgrades over the past few months, and it’s definitely one of your best bets for getting Verizon service with affordable month-to-month rates.
Unlike all of the carriers we’ve talked about so far, Verizon is only selling the Moto E5 Play. The phone costs $69.99 and comes with 16GB of expandable storage.
If you’re searching for the E5 Plus, you won’t find it here.
See at Verizon
Similar to Verizon, Virgin Mobile will only sell the Moto E5 Play on its network.
See at Virgin Mobile
Xfinity is one of the newest brands to enter the wireless space, and just like Verizon and Virgin, is only selling the cheaper Moto E5 Play. Xfinity Mobile uses Verizon’s towers for its service and is a pretty compelling deal for folks that already get their internet and TV through the Xfinity.
If you’re interested in getting the E5 Play through Xfinity, it’ll set you back either $119.99 upfront or $5/month for 24 months with 0% APR.
See at Xfinity Mobile
Moving over to our friends in the Great White North, you’ll only find the Moto E5 Play in these neck of the woods.
The Moto E5 and E5 Plus won’t be coming to the country at all, and while that’s a bummer, the E5 Play is available at a variety of carriers in the area.
According to Motorola, you’ll be able to pick up the E5 Play at Bell Canada, Chatr Mobile, Fido, Lucky Mobile, Rogers, SaskTel, and Virgin Mobile through pre-paid plans. Additionally, Videotron will sell the phone post-paid and Freedom Mobile will offer the option of getting the E5 Play pre or post-paid.
Moto E5, E5 Plus and E5 Play: Everything you need to know!
Updated July 30, 2018: Added T-Mobile to the list!
What’s new on Netflix for August 2018
Disenchantment, from Simpsons creator Matt Groening, premieres Aug. 17. (Image credit: Netflix)
Disenchantment, The Ozarks, and plenty more land in the eighth month of the year.
Ah, August. A sure sign that summer is starting to come to a close. (Someone really needs to tell the weather that, though.) The kids are going to get ready to go back to school. Football is starting back up.
And some really good shows are coming to Netflix. The Simpsons creator Matt Groening is back with Disenchantment, for one. The animated series “follows the misadventures of a hard-drinking princess, her feisty elf companion and her personal demon.” And who can’t relate to that?
Plus the acclaimed The Ozarks is back, and sure to be as much of an upper as it was the first season.
All you have to do is make sure you’re a Netflix subscriber.
Coming to Netflix on Aug. 1, 2018
- Batman Begins
- Chernobyl Diaries
- Edge of Fear
- Gran Torino
- House of Deadly Secrets
- Los tiempos de Pablo Escobar: Season 1
- Million Dollar Baby
- No Reservations
- Once in a Lifetime Sessions with Moby
- Once in a Lifetime Sessions with Nile Rodgers
- Once in a Lifetime Sessions with Noel Gallagher
- Once in a Lifetime Sessions with TLC
- P.S. I Love You
- Steel Magnolias
- Switched (Netflix Original): High schooler Ayumi’s perfect world evaporates when her envious classmate Zenko somehow steals her body, her boyfriend and her life.
- The Aviator
- The Golden Compass
- The Informant!
- The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring
- The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement
Coming to Netflix on Aug. 2, 2018
Coming to Netflix on Aug. 3, 2018
- Brij Mohan Amar Rahe (Netflix Film): Faking his death to escape the realities of his uneventful life worked out well for Brij Mohan — until he was sentenced to death for his own murder.
- Cocaine Coast (Netflix Original): In 1980s Galicia, Spain, a young fisherman becomes a prosperous cocaine smuggler by providing Latin American suppliers with a European entry point.
- Dinotrux Supercharged: Season 3 (Netflix Original): Whether by land, air or sea, the Dinotrux tackle some of their biggest builds ever while facing the double threat of brothers D-Structs and D-Stroy.
- I AM A KILLER (Netflix Original): In this true-crime series, history’s most notorious killers recount their stories from their points of view in their own chilling words.
- Like Father (Netflix Film): After she’s left at the altar, a workaholic executive ends up on her honeymoon cruise with her estranged father. Kristen Bell and Kelsey Grammer star.
- Marching Orders (Netflix Original): Follow the Bethune-Cookman University Marching Wildcats as they fight to keep their spots on the field, memorize routines, balance their academic careers, and maintain their social lives.
Coming to Netflix on Aug. 4, 2018
+Flavors of Youth: International Version (Netflix Original): Memories in a bowl of steaming noodles, a fading beauty finding her way and a bittersweet first love — all in these stories of city life in China.
+ Mr. Sunshine (Netflix Original, streaming every Saturday): A young boy who ends up in the U.S. after the 1871 Shinmiyangyo incident returns to Korea at a historical turning point and falls for a noblewoman.
+ On Children (Netflix Original): These uncanny tales reveal a world where individuals face the tragic consequences of social pressure, parental oppression and family dysfunction.
Coming to Netflix on Aug. 5, 2018
- Paid in Full
Coming to Netflix on Aug. 9, 2018
- Perdida (Netflix Original): A policewoman whose childhood friend disappeared in Patagonia years ago starts a new search to find answers, and soon finds her own life in danger.
- The Originals: Season 5
Coming to Netflix on Aug. 10, 2018
- 72 Dangerous Animals: Asia (Netflix Original): From fangs to claws to venomous stings, they all wield deadly weapons. But which creature will be crowned the fiercest of all?
- Afflicted (Netflix Original): Baffling symptoms. Controversial diagnoses. Costly treatments. Seven people with chronic illnesses search for answers — and relief.
- All About the Washingtons (Netflix Original): Hip-hop icon Rev. Run stars opposite wife Justine in this scripted comedy about one couple’s attempts at balancing work, romance and family chaos.
- Demetri Martin: The Overthinker (Netflix Original): With his signature one-liners and drawings, Demetri Martin muses on doughnut holes, dogs, sports bars, the alphabet’s most aggressive letters and more
- Insatiable (Netflix Original): In this darkly comic series, a disgraced civil lawyer turned beauty pageant coach takes on a vengeful, bullied teenager as his client.
- La casa de las flores (Netflix Original): The outward perfection of a family-run flower business hides a dark side rife with dysfunctional secrets in this darkly humorous comedy series.
- Million Pound Menu (Netflix Original): Next-generation restaurateurs get the chance to open their own pop-up eateries to impress the paying public — and a panel of discerning investors.
- The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society (Netflix Film): A writer bonds with the eccentric residents of Guernsey when she decides to write about the book club they formed during the WWII German occupation.
- The Package (Netflix Film): When five teens go on a spring break camping trip, an unfortunate accident sets off a race against time to save their friend’s most prized possession.
- The Ponysitters Club (Netflix Original): A young horse enthusiast teams up with her best friends to rescue and rehabilitate animals on her family’s beloved ranch.
- Voltron: Legendary Defender: Season 7 (Netflix Original): After saving Shiro and defeating Lotor, the Paladins are finally able to set a course for Earth. After a perilous journey, they discover that their home planet is not how they left it.
- Zion (Netflix Original): Born without legs and stuck in foster care for years, teenager Zion Clark hopes to overcome his circumstances and become a competitive wrestler.
Coming to Netflix on Aug. 11, 2018
- No Country for Old Men
Coming to Netflix on Aug. 13, 2018
- Alexander: The Ultimate Cut
- Splash and Bubbles: Season 2
- The Nut Job
Coming to Netflix on Aug. 15, 2018
- Adventures in Public School
- The 100: Season 5
Coming to Netflix on Aug. 16, 2018
- Evan Almighty
- Wish I Was Here
Coming to Netflix on Aug. 17, 2018
- Disenchantment (Netflix Original): This animated series from Matt Groening follows the misadventures of a hard-drinking princess, her feisty elf companion and her personal demon.
- Magic for Humans (Netflix Original): From baffling people on the street to orchestrating elaborate tricks, Justin Willman blends good-natured magic with grown-up laughs.
- Pinky Malinky (Netflix Original): Pinky Malinky sees the bright side of everything, including being born a hot dog. With his BFFs in tow, this little wiener takes a bite out of life.
- Spirit Riding Free: Season 6 (Netflix Original): Lucky and the PALs canter into more adventures with a new chapter of the Frontier Fillies. With each new challenge, Lucky, Spirit and the PALs work together as they run wild and live free.
- Stay Here (Netflix Original): Designer Genevieve Gorder and real estate expert Peter Lorimer show property owners how to turn their short-term rentals into moneymaking showstoppers.
- The Motive (Netflix Film): An aspiring writer with no imagination seeks inspiration for his novel by manipulating the lives of his neighbors so that he can write about them.
- To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before (Netflix Film): Lara Jean’s love life goes from imaginary to out of control when her secret letters to every boy she’s ever fallen for are mysteriously mailed out.
- Ultraviolet (Netflix Original): In this offbeat crime series, an online community of amateur sleuths uses an unconventional mashup of high-tech and low-tech methods to solve cases.
Coming to Netflix on Aug. 19, 2018
- The Investigator: A British Crime Story: Season 2 (Netflix Original): No body. A condemned husband. A daughter desperate for the truth. The closer you look, the stranger it gets.
Coming to Netflix on Aug. 21, 2018
- Year One
Coming to Netflix on Aug. 23, 2018
- Deadwind (Netflix Original): Just months after a tragic loss, detective Sofia Karppi investigates the murder of a woman with ties to a Helsinki construction company.
- Follow This (Netflix Original): Follow the reporters at BuzzFeed as they probe topics ranging from quirky internet crazes to safe injection spaces for opioid users.
- Great News: Season 1
Coming to Netflix on Aug. 24, 2018
- Ask the StoryBots: Season 2 (Netflix Original): How do ears hear — and why can’t I eat dessert all the time? The StoryBots tackle these and other tough questions in an all-new season of asks.
- Bert Kreischer: Secret Time (Netflix Original): Comedian Bert Kreischer is ready to take his shirt off and “party hardy” with his debut Netflix Original stand-up special, Bert Kreischer: Secret Time. Considered one of the best storytellers of his generation, Bert regales the audience at the Trocadero Theatre in Philadelphia with stories about zip-lining with his family, his daughter practicing softball with an imaginary ball, and upstaging ex-NBA player Ralph Sampson at a childhood basketball camp.
- Ghoul (Netflix Original): A newly minted military interrogator arrives at a covert detention center to discover that some of the terrorists held there are not of this world.
- The After Party (Netflix Film): When an aspiring rapper goes viral for all the wrong reasons, he thinks his career is over. But when his best friend gets them into a wild NYC after party, he gets one more chance to make the impossible happen.
- The Innocents (Netflix Original): When a teenage couple runs away to be together, the extraordinary gift they possess unleashes powerful forces intent on dividing them forever.
- Trolls: The Beat Goes On!: Season 3 (Netflix Original): As the trolls turn a new enemy into a friend, Poppy trains Branch in “hair-jitsu,” Smidge woos a crush and DJ Suki learns to throw the best party ever.
- Young & Hungry: Season 5
Coming to Netflix on Aug. 28, 2018
- The Good Place: Season 2
Coming to Netflix on Aug. 29, 2018
- Inequality for All
Coming to Netflix on Aug. 31, 2018
- Inside the Criminal Mind (Netflix Original): Explore the psychological machinations and immoral behavior that define the most nefarious types of criminals.
- Ozark: Season 2 (Netflix Original): The Byrdes face danger from every side as the cartel, the Snells and the Langmores all threaten to bring down the new life they’ve built in the Ozarks.
- Paradise PD (Netflix Original): From “Brickleberry” creators Roger Black and Waco O’Guin comes this adult animated comedy about a backwater Southern-fried police department.
- The Comedy Lineup: Part 2 (Netflix Original): A cadre of promising up-and-coming comedians delivers a rapid fire series of stand-up performances.
- The Laws of Thermodynamics (Netflix Film): Jilted by his girlfriend, a man likens his lack of luck in love to the laws of thermodynamics in this documentary-like romantic comedy.
- Ultimate Beastmaster: Survival of the Fittest (Netflix Original): An inspirational group of new contestants who have overcome significant adversity come together to take on the world’s toughest obstacle course.
- Undercover Law (Netflix Original): Undercover agent Amelia returns from the jungle with unsettling video footage, sparking a new operation. Arrested drug mule Alejandra is offered a deal.
What’s leaving Netflix in August 2018
Leaving Aug. 1
- 3000 Miles to Graceland
- Adventures in Babysitting
- Can’t Buy Me Love
- Care Bears: Welcome to Care-a-Lot: Season 1
- Finding Dory
- Harold & Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay
- Reasonable Doubt
- The Killing: Seasons 1-3
- Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story
Leaving Aug. 2
- 10 Rules for Sleeping Around
Leaving Aug. 5
- 13 Assassins
Leaving Aug. 6
- Welcome to Me
Leaving Aug. 10
- St. Vincent
- Leaving 8/12/18
- For a Good Time, Call…
Leaving Aug. 13
- Help, I’ve Shrunk the Family
Leaving Aug. 16
- Being Flynn
- Enter the Battlefield
- Jem and the Holograms: Seasons 1-3
- Littlest Pet Shop: Seasons 2-4
- Pound Puppies: Seasons 1-3
- Seeking a Friend for the End of the World
- The 40-Year-Old Virgin
- The Adventures of Chuck & Friends: Season 2
- Transformers Prime: Seasons 2-3
- Transformers: Rescue Bots: Seasons 2-4
Leaving Aug. 23
- Sausage Party
Leaving Aug. 25
- The Road
- The hardware you need
- All about streaming services
- What channels are on which service
- FREE over-the-air TV
- How to watch sports
- Join the discussion
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Jump Force for PlayStation 4: Everything you need to know
Naruto, Goku, and more are coming to the same fighting game.
Anime fans know all too well how heated discussions over crossover battles can get. Can anyone beat Naruto? Is Goku the strongest Super Saiyan? What would happen if these two iconic characters clash?
While we’re often left to our own devices to imagine these things – there’s a whole YouTube series on it, even – Bandai Namco is finally making it possible to let you figure it out in video game form. That’s thanks to Jump Force, a new fighting game that features popular anime characters from the weekly Shonen Jump manga publication. Let’s jump right into everything you need to know about it!
What’s new with Jump Force?
We’ll periodically update this article when Bandai Namco reveals new information about Jump Force that we think you’ll want to know, so check back every so often to get the full scoop on the upcoming anime fighter.
July 23, 2018
Surprising no one, everyone’s favorite Bleach characters will be jumping into the fray. Bandai Namco has announced that Ichigo Kurosaki, Rukia Kuchiki, and Sosuke Aizen will be playable characters in Jump Force.
The company also revealed a new Hong Kong stage where these characters will battle it out. These stages are meant to blend locations in the Shonen Jump world with real-world locations. You can get a glimpse of the Hong Kong stage in the screenshot above.
What is Jump Force?
Jump Force is an anime lover’s dream. Nostalgic feelings of those Saturday mornings you spent watching Goku charge up his powers for 8 episodes of Dragon Ball Z or Naruto finally getting a handle on his nine-tailed fox rush through your veins. You live for those anime fights.
And until now, those anime fights were mostly contained within their own universes. Now you can bring these characters into the same fighting game and have them battle it out for real.
For now, we know that Jump Force features characters from four popular anime and manga series. Those would be Naruto, Dragon Ball Z, One Piece, and Death Note. You’ll be able to fight with various popular characters from those series, with Naruto and Sasuke from Naruto, Goku and Frieza from Dragon Ball Z, and Luffy and Zoro from One Piece being confirmed.
Ryuk and Light Yagami from Death Note are confirmed as in-game characters, however, it’s noted that they won’t be playable. We’re not sure what sort of role they’ll have in the game. They could be support characters that you call on to help you during battle, but there has been no specific mention of their exact intent.
The characters emerge with a high degree of detail and a mouth-watering graphical art style. It’s weird to see some of these characters in 3D for the first time – the 3D version of Luffy, for instance, felt like a big shock – but Bandai Namco has seemingly done an excellent job with character modeling to make each character feel familiar. It’s also impressive how cohesive everything looks despite these characters coming from vastly different styles of animation and art.
Jump Force is a 3vs3 Tag Battle fighting game played on a circular 3D plane akin to the Naruto Storm games, meaning you will select an opening fighter and two other characters to be tagged in at any time during a fight. Curiously enough, all three of your fighters share the same health bar, so tagging fighters in is less about extending your health pool and more about allowing you to pull off cool tag team combos or managing matchups.
To that end, Jump Force won’t be difficult for anyone to get into. Early gameplay shows that it’s an approachable fighting game. You can button mash and pull off some meaty combos if you’re not big on learning the intricacies of fighting game mechanics. Each face button on the controller can be mashed to pull off different moves.
That’s not to say there won’t be an opportunity for more engaging combat, though. Advanced mechanics such as tag juggling and a special meter will give more serious players an edge, though it doesn’t look like it’ll be so much of an edge that a newcomer will feel oppressed.
Some may write Jump Force off for that reason, and that’s fine. But it’s clear that Bandai Namco found it important to let even the most casual anime fan enjoy this rare mashup game.
When can you play it?
Jump Force is scheduled to launch in 2019. There’s no hard release date set just yet, but we do know it’ll be available on the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC once it finally arrives. You can pre-order the game at Amazon.com right now for $59.99.
See at Amazon
Be sure to keep it tuned here for further updates about the game as we’re sure to learn more about the roster, fighting mechanics, and pre-order bonuses as we inch toward release.
How Noodlecake Studios came to rule Android gaming
Everything you wanted to know about the quirky mobile game publisher from Saskatoon!
The folks at Noodlecake Studios have been busy as beavers lately, helping to polish and publish outstanding games such as Suzy Cube and Alto’s Odyssey, amazing new titles for Android gamers to check out. All told, the team has helped publish well over 100 games to the Google Play Store.
Based out of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, this plucky studio is far removed from Silicon Valley and Canadian tech hotspots in Montreal and Vancouver but has managed make a major impact on the Android gaming industry.
The following is a Q&A we had with Ryan Holowaty, one of the core members of the Noodlecake team who talked to us about porting games to Android, the latest trends in the gaming industry, and most importantly what’s the story behind the name Noodlecake?
The history of Noodlecake Studios
Noodlecake Studios has been developing and publishing games to Android for seven years. What started as a group of friends wanting to try their hands at developing a game for Apple’s new iPhone has evolved to become one of the premier mobile game publishers.
Android Central: How was Noodlecake first founded? Is there a story behind the studio name?
Ryan Holowaty: Noodlecake was founded way back when the iPhone was first being released in Canada. Jordan Schidlowsky and Ty Haugen, our two co-founders, created the first version of Super Stickman Golf, called Stick Golf back then, and released it to the App Store as a bit of an experiment. The game took off and warranted the creation of Super Stickman Golf and the formation of the studio. At the time I and many others including Jordan and Ty were all working at a local software firm. When the game became successful, they took the leap to form the company and brought me and other key members over to help run things.
The name came purely from dealing with the lack of domain names available. We knew that all one-word domains are gone unless you create some new fake buzzword so instead we wanted to take two easy to spell and fun sounding words and mash them together. After a few beers at the local pub, Noodle cake or Noodlecake was born.
AC: For a studio in a small market like Saskatoon, how important is it to find local talent from the University of Saskatchewan? How has the industry evolved in world-class Canada over the past seven years?
RH: It is very important. Almost our entire staff are U of S grads. The computers science program here is top notch and has been producing world-class talent for years now. The industry isn’t huge yet here as many other provinces have grant systems in place for supporting game development, so it is a bit harder to get started without that help.
The University is teaching a game design course now, so that helps prepare students for the industry and small studios are starting to pop up all over the place. Most notably Studio MDHR, the creators of Cuphead, are partially based out of Regina. There was a time when it was only us and it is exciting to see that change.
AC: What were some of the challenges and/or advantages of starting a mobile game studio in the “middle of nowhere”?
RH: The lack of government support is definitely a roadblock for new studios. There are small-scale programs you can find but Saskatchewan is a resource-based province. So unless you are in agriculture, oil and gas or mining, the government really hasn’t set much up for technology.
However, that has formed a bit of a “we are going to do it without you then” attitude and a lot of cool technology companies have been created here. It is also hard to bounce ideas off other studios or go visiting other developers unlike in big centers like Montreal or Vancouver where game dev meetups are happening all the time.
But on the flip side, the cost of living is so much more acceptable it is much easier to turn a profit. Unlike the obscene costs of living in the valley, you can retain so much more of your earnings on reasonable rent and other lower costs of living. And as long as we make trips to conferences like GDC, we are able to do the face to face meetings that are so important for growth, so it all balances out nicely.
Porting to Android
Noodlecake has done a fantastic job porting games to Android, from quality ports of gaming classics (realMyst), outstanding indie game releases from Steam (Death Road to Canada, Getting Over It with Bennett Foddy, and helping iOS developers publish their games for Android audiences (Really Bad Chess, Random Heroes, Suzy Cube, Alto’s Odyssey).
AC: How does the team decide which game studios to work with, and which titles are worthy of the time and effort required to port over to Android? Do you reach out to developers or are indie studios constantly knocking at your doors looking for help bringing their games to Android?
RH: The porting aspect of Noodlecake has shifted over the past few years. Initially, we offered to port games as a way to bootstrap our publishing division. Over time as our publishing network grew, porting became more of an add-on for some developers who need help, but not the main focus of the studio. So most times that we do ports only — for example, Death Road, Alto’s Adventure and more — they are for more high-profile developers who focus on iOS only. So we have become a bit more selective in our porting process and lean to these types of established games if we are not doing a full publishing deal on iOS as well.
AC: What are the steps involved to port a game to Android? Are there some genres or Android devices that are especially tricky to work with?
RH: It really depends on how the game was developed. A few years back many developers were using Cocos2d which could not compile to Android. This is where our porting tech really came from. We were able to cross-compile their iOS code to an Android device. However, today most developers are using Unity which can already compile to Android. The catch here is optimization and support.
There are so many Android devices out there that they range wildly in their costs and hardware quality. The easiest rule of thumb is to develop for the lowest-end device. This can be either the oldest device you can get your hand on or the cheapest. Usually, cheaper hardware is cutting corners in places by using lower RAM or more basic touch controllers, which can cause serious issues on new games.
AC: What are the biggest hurdles developers face when porting their game from Steam to mobile, or from iOS to Android?
RH: Steam to mobile or mobile to Steam can be a big hurdle purely due to player expectations. Even though full console quality games are available on mobile first, there is a stigma that they are small baby games if they debut on mobile first. And in some instances this is true. If a game is designed to be more of a quick, one-touch arcade game, then it probably doesn’t belong on desktop however the lines continue to blur in that respect these days.
From a technical standpoint, the big one is how you control the game. Touch screens games are designed differently than ones you have to use a keyboard and mouse or controller for. So adapting them can be both technically challenging and also time-consuming. For example on a mobile device, you select a button by pressing it with your finger. So in many cases, you don’t need what is referred to as a selected state for the button.
However, using a controller you need to use the D-Pad to move to the button. So to show players what they have selected, you have to create a newly selected state of the button by either changing the color or adding some sort of marker to it. This extra level of development for all your UI can be very time consuming when going from mobile to PC.
The mobile game industry
AC: What’s the Noodlecake philosophy behind making the decision to make a game paid vs free-to-play with ads vs free-to-play with microtransactions? For example, Alto’s Adventure and Alto’s Odyssey were paid apps on iOS but was ported to Android as free-to-play games with in-app purchases.
RH: For us, it is a combination of what the developer wants to do and what we advise to do. In many cases, the developer wants to keep the game always premium or F2P on both and that is what we do. However, it is our job to educate the developer as to what we think would be the best model. It is our philosophy that in the end, the game is the developer’s art and we are not here to mess with that. We just want to help them bring the best product they can.
In the case of Alto’s Adventure, the Snowman team acknowledged that there is a big difference in player behavior on iOS and Android and that premium games have a much harder time on the Android platform. So it was actually their idea initially to do the conversion. We just helped them develop a free-to-play version we thought would ride the balance of still feeling like a premium experience but make F2P monetization choices.
AC: It’s been almost a year since ZPlay, a Chinese tech firm, bought a 70-per-cent stake in Noodlecake. How has that partnership impacted your reach into the Chinese market? What are some of the biggest differences between Chinese and North American gamers?
RH: It has given us access to a new market that is really just starting to show its potential. Because of the recent crackdown by the Chinese government on piracy, all games now require a registration number that is given to games after they apply to the government. This process is slow and very hard to complete if you are not in China, so having a partner on the ground opens the doors to the market there.
As well platforms like WeChat are now integrating HTML 5 versions of games into their platforms and those are proving to be very lucrative if you have the right type of game. For example Leap On! has been converted for H5 and is being sold on WeChat and QQ as a free game with advertising support. The revenue numbers coming in from that are topping anything we did on iOS and Android.
AC: With more smartphone makers testing the waters of “gamer phones” and flagship specs allowing for nearly console-quality gaming experiences on your smartphone, where do you see the mobile gaming industry headed?
RH: I think the more interesting side of this is how Nintendo, one of the biggest names in video games, has bridged the gap in the other direction with the Switch. I think what we are going to see is more of a unification of consoles becoming more portable and phones becoming more console-like and meet somewhere in the middle.
What you’ll see then is adapters and things that allow you to swap out large screen experiences with portable ones through docks and cables etc. Razor is working on a shell that you actually just drop the Razor phone into and it turns the phone into a full-fledged laptop.
AC: The app stores are often dominated by flash in the pan trends or imitators that try to copy successful formulas (see: match-3 games, Flappy bird, Pokemon Go AR-style games, Battle Royale games, etc.). Any predictions as to what the next trendy game style will be?
RH: There is definitely a shift towards multiplayer games using the “games as a service” type model and I do not think that is going away anytime soon.
We really have no time for imitators/clones of games and I think that is a whole can of worms that needs to be addressed by the platform holders like Apple and Google. But if I knew the answer to what the next big trend was going to be, I think I would be working on the game and probably wouldn’t tell you until it was out 😉.
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Grab two of TP-Link’s energy monitoring smart plugs for just $30 today
Monitor your usage from anywhere.
Amazon currently has this 2-pack of TP-Link smart plugs marked down to $29.99. That’s $6 better than the last couple deals we’ve shared and one of the lowest prices we’ve ever seen. The 2-pack of Mini smart plugs is $10 off at $45 if you prefer to be able to stack two smart plugs in the same wall receptacle.
The HS110 smart plug can be scheduled from anywhere in the world to automatically turn on and off as you wish, allowing you to enhance your daily life in a multitude of ways, like setting up your lights to turn on right before you get home from work each day or connecting it to your kid’s TV so you know they’re not watching cartoons while they’re supposed to be doing homework. You can even control these smart plugs with your voice when paired with an Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant device like the Amazon Echo Dot or the Google Home Mini.
See at Amazon
BlackBerry KEY2: Everything you need to know
Like the BlackBerry KEYone? You’re going to love the KEY2 😍
Following a heap of rumors and leaks, BlackBerry finally unveiled the highly-anticipated KEY2 on June 7, 2018. The KEY2 is a direct successor to last year’s KEYone and retains the same general design while offering upgraded specs across the board.
There’s a lot to unpack with the KEY2, so let’s go ahead and get into it.
The latest BlackBerry KEY2 news
July 30, 2018 — BlackBerry’s next phone will be the KEY2 LE
Earlier this month, a hands-on photo appeared showcasing a new BlackBerry phone that’s expected to be a lite version of the recently released KEY2. Following that, an FCC document has now confirmed that this handset will go by the name of the BlackBerry KEY2 LE.
We were previously expecting this phone to be called the KEY2 Lite, but as the branding above shows, BlackBerry is going with KEY2 LE instead.
It’s not entirely clear what LE will stand for, but seeing as how we’re expecting it to be a more affordable version of the KEY2, Lite Edition is the most likely contender.
All the big details
Read our full review!
The KEY2 doesn’t do too much that’s different to the KEYone, but it improves everything in either minor or major ways. Three areas, in particular, get focus: performance, keyboard quality, and design.
There’s no doubt that the KEY2 is a faster, better-looking version of its predecessor, but how do things like the camera, battery, and typing experience hold up in day-to-day use?
For the full lowdown on the KEY2, check out Daniel’s review! 👇
BlackBerry KEY2 review: Just my type
See how it compares to the KEYone
The BlackBerry KEYone was no slouch of a phone, but with the KEY2, BlackBerry made upgrades in just about every area imaginable.
Between higher-end specs, the addition of dual cameras, improved keyboard, and more, the KEY2 is a better gadget in just about every regard.
However, if you already shelled out $550 for the KEYone last year, is it really worth spending another $650 this year? Let Daniel help you out with that dilemma in the comparison below 👇
BlackBerry KEY2 vs. BlackBerry KEYone: Should you upgrade?
The design is mostly the same
One of the main reasons the KEYone stood out so much was thanks to its productivity-focused design. Instead of releasing a glass, all-screen slab like so many other companies, BlackBerry kicked out a chunky, physical keyboard-touting phone.
With the KEY2, that theme is present once again.
The KEY2 measures in at 151.4 mm x 71.8mm x 8.5mm, making it taller, yet thinner, than the KEYone. The screen is once again a 4.5-inch panel with a 1620 x 1080 resolution, and the 3:2 aspect ratio makes a return, too.
You’ve got access to 35 backlit keys on the physical keyboard, and similar to the KEYone, the spacebar doubles as an integrated fingerprint sensor.
It’s got more RAM and a faster processor, but the battery is slightly smaller
Although the KEY2 may look similar to the KEYone on the outside, it’s got a lot of improvements under the hood.
Last year’s Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 processor and measly 3GB RAM have been replaced with a Snapdragon 660 and impressive 6GB RAM. You also have your choice between 64 or 128GB of internal storage, both of which can be upgraded to 256GB via a microSD card.
The battery is ever-so-slightly smaller at 3,500 mAh compared to the KEYone’s 3,505 mAh unit, but thanks to the power-sipping nature of the 660, the KEY2 should still be a battery champ.
BlackBerry KEY2 and 6GB of RAM: Why it’s a big deal
BlackBerry steps up to dual cameras
The single 12MP rear camera on the KEYone was fine. It had the capacity to take decent photos, but often struggled in low-light and produced very shakey 4K video.
You don’t buy BlackBerry phones for their excellent cameras, but this is another area where the KEY2 should offer some serious improvements.
Around back, BlackBerry’s outfitted the KEY2 with dual 12MP sensors. The primary one features a large 1.28um pixel size with f/1.8 aperture while the secondary one touts a 1.0um pixel size and f/2.6 aperture. You can record video in 4K at 30 FPS, dual-tone flash helps to brighten dark scenes, and there’s Phase Detection Autofocus.
In regards to the selfie camera, you’re looking at an 8MP sensor that’s capable of recording 1080p video at 30 FPS.
You’ll need to cough up $650 to own one
As you’d expect, the KEY2’s many enhancements have resulted in a steeper price tag compared to last year’s model.
While the KEYone started out at $550 in the U.S., the KEY2 is $100 more expensive at $650. Elsewhere, the KEY2 will cost €649 EU, £579 GB, and $829 CDN.
Specifics on the U.S. release are still up in the air, but BlackBerry’s since confirmed that the KEY2 is coming to Canadian retailers and carriers in July.
Where to buy the BlackBerry KEY2
- BlackBerry KEY2 review
- BlackBerry KEY2: Everything you need to know!
- BlackBerry KEY2 specs
- BlackBerry KEYone review: Coming home
- Join our BlackBerry KEY2 forums!
Buy the BlackBerry KEY2
Updated June 27, 2018: Added our full review of the KEY2.
Everything you need to know about Sony Playlink
Turn your phone into a controller with Sony Playlink.
Sony Playlink games deliver a new kind of experience on PlayStation 4 by linking up your phone with your console. While these new games can easily be played solo, they’re really meant to be played with friends, as each one turns your phone into a controller.
Playlink is fairly new, but here’s a look at all of the things that make it fun!
What is Sony Playlink?
We first heard about Playlink at E3 2017, where we got a sneak peek at this new kind of gaming. Playlink games are built to be social experiences, best enjoyed with a few friends. They aim to be easy to pick up, even for those folks who don’t usually ever touch a game controller.
You use your phone or tablet as a controller, which means it’s a wireless gaming experience with all of the action played out on your television, making it easier to ensure that everyone can play at once.
Sony Playlink doesn’t exactly have an extensive catalogue of games, but the company is continuing to support it slowly. We’ll be sure to keep you up to date with any new features or games that come to Sony Playlink.
July 25th, 2018
At E3 2018, Sony announced a handful of new games coming to Sony Playlink this year. With the beloved classic UNO and Just Deal With It!, a compilation of five card games, you’ll never need to buy a deck of cards again. The previously announced Knowledge is Power is getting a sequel titled Knowledge is Power: Decades, which tests your knowledge of pop culture trivia through the ’80s all the way up until today. The other games joining Sony Playlink include Ticket to Ride, Melbits World, WordHunters, and Chimparty.
What kind of games are available?
There are currently eight games to choose from for the PlayLink experience, most of which are for a large group. There is a one player game now in the mix, however.
Whether you’re learning more about your friends in a game like That’s You, seeing who is the smartest in Knowledge is Power, or singing your heart out in SingStar Celebration, PlayLink games are a lot of fun when you’re in a group.
If you’d rather play a game like this on your own, try out Erica when it becomes available to really get a feel for this kinds of games. If you’re a Planet of the Apes fan, they now have a PlayLink game you can play with up to four other people.
Check out all of the PlayLink games available now!
What do I need to play Playlink games?
In order for everyone to enjoy Playlink games, you’ll first need to download one of the Playlink games from the PlayStation Store. Each person who plans on gaming will also need a smartphone or tablet.
Most importantly, you’ll need Wi-Fi that both your PlayStation 4 console and all of the mobile devices can connect to or you can make your PlayStation a wireless hotspot that everyone can connect to. There isn’t a main Playlink app that you need to use. Instead, each game has it’s own app that can be found in the Google Play Store.
How does it work?
Each game is a bit different in terms of mechanics and controls, but the basic premise remains the same. Once your mobile device is connected to the same network as your console, you just need to open up the companion app on your phone and sign in.
After you’ve done this, your phone will sync up with your console and act as a controller with all of the action playing out on your television.
Do I need a group to enjoy Playlink games?
While Playlink games are really made to be played with friends, it isn’t mandatory. Different games offer different functionality in single player mode, but you can definitely play by yourself if that’s more up your alley.
Do you still have questions about Sony Playlink? Do you plan on checking it out with friends? Are the Playlink games up your alley? Let us know about it in the comments below!
Updated July 2018: We’ve added lots of new info on the latest Playlink games.
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