Apple today updated its dedicated Shortcuts app for iOS 12 devices to version 2.1.1, introducing support for the new iPad Pro models that are set to be released tomorrow.
Apple’s 11 and 12.9-inch 2018 iPad Pro models are the latest Apple devices that will work with the Shortcuts app, which is designed to let you create multi-step shortcuts and automations using first and third-party apps that can then be activated with Siri commands.
With Shortcuts, for example, you can create an automation to do something like turn on the thermostat at home using the Nest app, text your roommate that you’re on the way with Messages, and open up the Maps app with directions home all with a single “I’m going home” Siri command spoken when leaving work.
Shortcuts are deeply customizable, with Apple’s Shortcuts app providing a gallery of Shortcut suggestions along with the tools to create your own.
In addition to support for the new iPad Pro models, the 2.1.1 update introduces a long list of bug fixes, as outlined in Apple’s Shortcuts support document.
- Fixed an issue where some actions (including Send Email, Dictate Text, Run Home Scene, and Vibrate Device) may not work when invoked from Siri
- Fixed an issue where the Set Flashlight action caused an error message to appear
- Fixed an issue where the Call action wasn’t able to dial phone numbers with special characters (such as * or #)
- Fixed an issue where entered decimal numbers may not be recognized properly in locales that use a comma as the decimal separator
- Fixed an issue where the selected photo album in the Save to Photo Album action may be reset to “All Photos”
- Fixed an issue where the Toggle Alarm action wouldn’t disable alarms until the “Enable” switch was turned on and back off
- Fixed an issue where the Speak Text action spoke using lower-quality voices
Shortcuts can be downloaded from the App Store for free. [Direct Link]
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We’re just over two weeks away from Black Friday 2018, and in preparation we have begun compiling sales that we know are coming in our dedicated Black Friday Roundup. This Roundup includes sales on Apple devices and other tech-related items that have been shared early ahead of the shopping holiday, or in some cases have leaked online.
So far, we know that Target will have sales on iPhone, Apple Watch, and iPad mini 4. Apple Watch Series 3 will be marked down by $80 (as low as $199 for the 38mm GPS only model), and the iPad mini 4 will be available for $249.99, a $150 discount from the regular price of $399.99. Macy’s is matching Target’s sale on Apple Watch Series 3, and Costco will have its on sale on the 32GB 9.7-inch iPad from Early 2018, priced at $249.99, down from $319.99.
Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with some of these vendors. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment, which helps us keep the site running.
So far, other major retailers with Black Friday deals we know about include Belk, Kohl’s, JCPenney, and Dell, so we’re still waiting on other companies like Best Buy, Walmart, The Home Depot, GameStop, and more. The shopping tracker site BestBlackFriday.com is keeping track of all these ad scans, deals, and more. For specific discounts, offers, store times, and more related to Black Friday, be sure to keep an eye on our Black Friday Roundup as we’ll continuously update it leading up to November 23.
Ahead of Black Friday, Anker has outlined its promo codes for the month of November, this time including a few USB-C cables and accessories that will pair well with the new 2018 iPad Pro. The full list of Anker’s new Amazon sale can be found below, and be sure to pay attention to the expiration dates and place your order before the codes are discontinued.
PowerPort Wireless Qi-Certified Charging Stand – $16.99 with code ANKER253, down from $19.99 (exp. 11/8)
Soundcore Spirit Pro IP68 Headphones – $39.99 with code SDCREPRO, down from $49.99 (exp. 11/18)
Roav VIVA 2-Port USB Car Charger – $33.99 with code ROAVFF44, down from $59.99 (exp. 11/30)
Powerline II USB-C to USB-C 2.0 (6ft) – $8.39 with code ANKE8482, down from $11.99 (exp. 11/30)
Powerline+ USB-C to USB-A Cable (Gray and Red; 2-Pack; 6ft) – $9.99 with code CABLE266, down from $12.99 (exp. 11/30)
Powerline+ USB-C to USB-A Cable (Gray and Red; 2-Pack; 3ft) – $7.99 with code CABLE265, down from $9.99 (exp. 11/30)
Powerline+ 10ft Lightning Cable (All Colors) – $13.49 with code ANKERPLN, down from $17.99 (exp. 11/30)
PowerLine II USB-C to C 2.0 Cable (3ft) – $6.99 with code ANKE8481, down from $9.99
Mobile accessory company Targus recently began a new 15 percent off sitewide sale that will last until the end of 2018, timing that will be perfect for both early and late holiday shoppers. Targus is known for its laptop bags and cases, luggage, iPad cases, and the company also makes multiple docking stations that support USB-C/Thunderbolt 3. You can get 15 percent off your order using the promo code TARGUS15SAS, which includes items on the Targus sale page.
Additionally, Targus is offering free shipping with no minimum using promo code FREESHIPPINGSAS. These codes can’t be used within the same order, however, so you’ll have to choose which works best with your purchase. For all orders, Targus offers free shipping when your cart exceeds $35. Head to Targus to start browsing, and you have until December 31 to place your order and take advantage of the sitewide and free shipping promo codes.
Over on iTunes, this week Apple introduced an “Iconic Moments” movie sale, offering a group of films at a reduced price of $7.99 with new pieces of cover art that reference memorable moments within each film. Check out all of the movies in the list below, and if you’re interested be sure to pick up the movies before next Tuesday, when the iTunes Movies store will refresh again.
$7.99 Iconic Moments
The Polar Express
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies
Singin’ in the Rain
Crazy Stupid Love
A Clockwork Orange
A Nightmare on Elm Street
A Star is Born (1954)
Empire of the Sun
The Bridges of Madison County
Rebel Without a Cause
The Lost Boys
The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring
Bonnie and Clyde
If you’re on the hunt for more sales as holiday shopping begins, be sure to visit our full Deals Roundup, which today includes a flash sale on the official Apple Leather Case in Taupe for iPhone X and iPhone 7 Plus/8 Plus, priced at $22.99 on Best Buy.
Related Roundup: Apple Deals
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Apple Store Openings This Month: The Westchester, Third Street Promenade, Bangkok, and Likely Champs-Élysées
Apple has announced that two of its retail stores in the United States will reopen over the next week following months of renovations, while two brand new locations are also expected to open in Paris and Bangkok.
Apple Third Street Promenade prior to renovations this year
Apple The Westchester in White Plains, New York is set to reopen Saturday, November 10 at 10 a.m. local time, while Apple Third Street Promenade in Santa Monica, California is slated to reopen Saturday, November 17 at 10 a.m. local time. Each store has received a facelift based on Apple’s latest retail design.
Apple is celebrating the reopening of its Third Street Promenade store with colorful artwork and Today at Apple sessions.
“We’re celebrating the vibrant creative minds that fill Santa Monica with color through a new wave of inspiring Today at Apple sessions,” the store listing on Apple.com says. “From snapping creative selfies to developing a unique sound — and an hour of discovery just for kids — it’s all happening at Apple.”
Apple Third Street Promenade first opened in 2003, before relocating in 2012 to a larger space with a glass rooftop. The Third Street Promenade is a pedestrian-only, outdoor shopping district in the downtown area of Santa Monica.
Apple The Westchester is located in an indoor shopping mall of the same name in downtown White Plains, New York, an affluent community in Westchester County, roughly 30 miles north of Midtown Manhattan. The store originally opened in September 2002 as one of Apple’s first 50 retail locations worldwide.
Elsewhere, Apple previously announced that its first retail store in Thailand will open at the Iconsiam shopping mall in Bangkok on Saturday, November 10 at 10 a.m. local time. Like the Third Street Promenade store, Apple is celebrating its first Thai store with special artwork and Today at Apple sessions.
And in Paris, France, a brand new Apple Store will “soon” open along The Avenue des Champs-Élysées, one of the city’s most iconic streets. The store will replace the nearby Apple Carrousel du Louvre, which permanently closed last month.
Related Roundup: Apple Stores
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Apple today released an updated version of iOS 12.1 for the iPhone XR, one week after the initial launch of iOS 12.1 and a little over a week since the iPhone XR’s October 26 launch.
The new iOS 12.1 software for the iPhone XR carries a build number of 16B94, a slight change from the original 16B93 build number.
The update doesn’t appear to be showing up on devices that have already installed iOS 12.1, suggesting the new version of the software is designed for customers who have not yet upgraded their iPhone XR devices to the iOS 12.1 update. Why Apple released an updated version of iOS 12.1 for the XR is unknown, but it’s likely to include minor bug fixes.
iPhone XR owners who have not yet installed iOS 12.1 can do so over-the-air by going to Settings –> General –> Software Update.
iOS 12.1 is a major update that brings a host of new features to the iPhone XR. It brings support for the eSIM, a digital SIM that lets you activate a cellular plan from a carrier without the need to use a physical SIM card.
eSIM support is not yet available from U.S. carriers, but AT&T, Verizon, and T-Mobile are working on implementing support before the end of the year. Other carriers around the world have begun introducing eSIM support.
iOS 12.1 also brings a new real-time Depth Control feature, which lets you adjust the depth of field of your Portrait Mode photos before you capture them, and it adds support for Group FaceTime calls with up to 32 people.
Other new features include more than 70 new emoji and several important bug fixes that should entice anyone who has not yet installed the update to do so.
Excessive skin-smoothing with the front-facing camera, for example, has been addressed, with Apple updating the Smart HDR feature of the iPhone XR’s camera to use a sharper base frame to preserve more detail.
The update also improves cellular connectivity on the iPhone XR and fixes bugs with voicemails, the phone app, Screen Time, Family Sharing, and more.
Related Roundup: iPhone XRBuyer’s Guide: iPhone XR (Buy Now)
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The day after we published a heads-up on what to expect from Amazon’s Black Friday deals, the online giant released a rolling schedule with special pricing for its own Amazon-branded devices.
The following Amazon device deals will be available for unspecified limited times starting on the dates below. It’s likely Amazon may offer additional deals on its own brand devices. We’ll cycle back to update this information as it changes.
Starting November 16:
Fire 7 Kids Edition tablet: $70, will be discounted $30
Amazon’s Fire 7 Kids Edition Tablet has a 7-inch display, 16-GB of storage, and comes in a blue, kid-proof case. The tablet has a kid-safe browser and easy-to-use parental controls.
All-New Fire HD 8 Kids Edition tablet: $90, will be discounted $40
The All-New Fire HD 8 Kids Edition Tablet sports an 8-inch high-definition display and 32 GB of storage. The battery is rated to run up to 10 hours per charge.
Fire HD 10 tablet with Alexa Hands-Free: $100, will be discounted $50
With its 10.1-inch 1080p, full HD display and 32 GB of storage, the Fire HD 10 Tablet with Alexa Hands-Free also has Dolby Audio and dual-band Wi-Fi.
Fire HD 10 Kids Edition tablet: $150, will be discounted $50
Amazon’s largest made-for-kids model, the Fire HD 10 Kids Edition, has a 10.1-inch 1080p full HD display, 32 GB of storage, and the same blue kid-proof case found in smaller models.
Starting November 18:
Fire TV Stick with Alexa Voice Remote: $25, will be discounted $15
Amazon’s best-selling Fire TV Stick comes with a first-generation Alexa TV remote control.
Fire TV Stick 4K with all-new Alexa Voice Remote: $35, will be discounted $15
The Fire TV Stick 4K includes an all-new Alexa Voice Remote to launch and control 4K Ultra HD streaming with support for Dolby Vision, HDR, HDR10+, and Dolby Atmos.
Fire TV Cube with Far-Field Voice Control and 4K UDH/HDR: $60, will be discounted $60
Control your TV hands-free with the Fire TV Cube with Alexa built in plus support for 4K UHD and HDR. An all-new Alexa Voice remote is also included with this streaming media player.
Starting November 21:
Blink XT 1-cam system: $79, discounted $51; a 3-cam system for $230, will be discounted $90
The Blink XT Home Security Camera System includes motion detection. The system includes a wall mount, HD video, 2-year battery life, and cloud storage.
Starting November 22:
Echo Dot (2nd gen): $20, will be discounted $20
The second-generation Echo Dot smart speaker introduced millions of people to the Amazon Alexa voice assistant.
All-New Echo Dot: $24, discounted $26
The third-generation All-New Echo Dot has a fabric side cover and a larger, more powerful speaker. Pair two for stereo music.
Echo (2nd gen): $69, will discounted $31
The second-generation Echo includes Dolby sound processing and works with Alexa to play music, set alarms and times, control your smart home, or make digital phone calls.
All-New Echo Plus: $110, will be discounted $40
The All-New Echo Plus has a built-in Zigbee smart home hub plus updated Dolby speakers.
All-New Echo Show: $180, will be discounted $50
The second-generation, All-New Echo Show has a 10.1-inch HD display and premium sound. Stream HD video, make video calls, and monitor your smart home cameras with the Show.
Echo Spot: $90, discounted $40
Use the Echo Spot‘s display to view cameras, make video calls, or watch video flash briefings.
Amazon Smart Plug: $5 with the purchase of an Echo device
You can use the Amazon Smart Plug with Alexa to control lights, fans, appliances, and more in your home with your voice.
Fire 7 tablet with Alexa: $30, will be discounted $20
The Marine Blue Fire 7 Tablet has a 7-inch display, 8 GB of storage, and works with Alexa.
All-New Fire HD 8 tablet with Hands-Free Alexa: $50, will be discounted $30
The All-New Fire HD 8 tablet has an 8-inch HD display, 16 GB of storage, and works with Alexa hands free.
All-New Fire HD 8 tablet and Show Mode Dock bundle: $80, will be discounted $40
Bundle the All-New Fire HD 8 Tablet with the All-New Show Mode Charging Dock to hold your display for easy viewing while charging the tablet’s battery.
Fire HD 10 tablet and Show Mode Charging Dock bundle: $150, will be discounted $60
Featuring a 101080p full high-definition display, the Fire HD 10 Tablet and Show Mode Charging Dock bundle let you stream high-quality video to watch from across the room.
Kindle Paperwhite (7th gen): $80, will be discounted $40
Amazon’s Kindle Paperwhite E-reader has a 6-inch high-resolution display with a built-in adjustable light. The battery lasts weeks on a charge.
We strive to help our readers find the best deals on quality products and services, and choose what we cover carefully and independently. If you find a better price for a product listed here, or want to suggest one of your own, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.Digital Trends may earn commission on products purchased through our links, which supports the work we do for our readers.
- Amazon slashes prices on Fire TVs, Kindles, and Fire Tablets
- Here’s how to pre-order everything Amazon announced this week
- Alexa can play smart home camera video recaps on Echo, Fire devices
- Amazon has an even dozen new smart devices. Here’s how to order
- Which Amazon Echo should you buy?
Bill Roberson/Digital Trends
The flagship card from Nvidia’s Pascal generation, the GTX 1080 Ti, might have seen a jump in popularity after the somewhat lackluster launch of the RTX Turing series, but it wasn’t to last. Production of the cards has reportedly now stopped and supplies of the powerful GPU are running low. If you want one, waiting for Black Friday might mean missing out.
As powerful as the new 2080 Ti is, our review and many others found that the performance between the more conservative RTX 2080 and the last-generation 1080 Ti was pretty close. That led to a big upswing in purchases of the 1080 Ti, as its price came down a lot with the debut of the new cards. But that may not remain the case for long as supplies supposedly begin to dwindle.
Production for the GTX 1080 Ti reportedly stopped earlier this month, and GamersNexus reports that manufacturers are now running low on inventory. This is leading to shortages at retailers, who are presumably trying to source cards from other territories to try and keep some stock in the U.S. ahead of the planned tariffs that will come into play in early 2019, potentially raising prices for all manner of hardware, graphics cards included.
There hasn’t been much of an effect on the second-hand market as of yet, with lots of 1080 Ti’s that were once used for cryptocurrency mining still being sold. That does present a potential upgrade path for those who are keen to stick to last-generation hardware, but it is important to remember that such cards were likely run hard for long periods of time, which won’t have done much for their longevity. And they likely ship without any kind of warranty.
The question now arises as to what such dwindling stock will do to the price of RTX-series cards. Nvidia effectively stacked the new generation of GPUs on top of the Pascal generation, rather than replacing it, so there isn’t a clear, similarly priced alternative to the 1080 Ti just yet. Nvidia may adjust prices to fix that, especially with talk of new, affordable AMD cards on the horizon, but we’ll have to wait to find out.
- Nvidia GeForce RTX 2070 joins the ray tracing future on October 17 for $499
- RTX 2070 vs. GTX 1080
- Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 Mobile sighting hints at more powerful gaming laptops
- Alienware to offer Threadripper 2 CPUs in new Area-51 builds
- Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 vs. GTX 1080
Best answer: The Google Home Mini is made to blend into your home decor, but it’s not made to stand up to steamy showers and splashy sinks. For a waterproof Google Assistant speaker, you’ll need to look to third-party options, like the TicHome Mini.
- Amazon: TicHome Mini ($100)
- Best Buy: Google Home Mini
The Google Home Mini is made for dry land, not hot showers
It doesn’t take long to look at the Google Home Mini and see that this device was not made for wet environments. The “acoustically transparent” fabric that covers the top of the Google Home Mini may be durable, but the touch sensors below it — as well as the overall wiring and circuitry of this compact speaker — are not protected against water ingress from spills, splashes, and dunks.
The Google Home Mini is a $50 smart speaker with a slim profile; waterproofing it would likely have raised costs, required a size increase, or both. It’s understandable that Google omitted it in its pursuit of a compact and affordable speaker.
That has not stopped many users over the years from sticking one in their bathroom to control music while they shower — and it is an option — but long-term damage from the steam is possible, especially if your bathroom has poor ventilation. If you really want to use a Google Home Mini in the bathroom, there are wall mounts and outlet shelves available to keep it away from your splash-prone sink. You’ll still need to mount your Google Home Mini across the room from the shower, though, and that combined with an echo-y shower can make it hard for Google to make out your commands.
Why not buy a Google Assistant-powered speaker that’s made to be used in the shower? One that is not only IPX6 (resistant to powerful water jets) splash-proof, but portable?
The TicHome Mini was one of the first third-party Google Assistant speakers to hit the market, and it is still one of the smallest in both profile and price that has water resistance and an internal battery for portable listening. It has a handy leather strap for easy carrying and hanging from a shower curtain hook as I shower every morning. The internal battery also lets you keep your music streaming as you bring it from room to room without having to stop the music or reboot the device, allowing me to bring the Mini into the bathroom for my shower and then return it to a Micro-USB charger as I settle in the bedroom or in the living room.
The TicHome Mini is about the same size as the Google Home Mini, but since it packs water resistance and a 6-hour battery into that slightly larger chassis, it it more expensive. For a device that has actual water resistance and the portability to follow you from the kitchen to the backyard during barbecue cookouts and pool parties, I’m willing to pay a little more.
$100 at Mobvoi
Take Google Assistant from room to room during your morning routine
This stylish hockey puck of a speaker packs IPX6 “splashproof” water resistance, the glorious geekiness of Google Assistant, and a battery for up to 6 hours of portable playback into a petite package that’s easy to carry around the house.
Google Home Mini
$49 at Best Buy
You can’t quite beat Google for an affordable, stylish Google Assistant speaker.
The Google Home Mini is a little donut of sound, smarts, and style, and its color choices help it blend in or stand out with just about any decor in your home. It’s not waterproof, but it is a popular speaker with dozen of wall and ceiling mounts available for it.
The patch is steadily rolling out to users as we speak.
Yesterday was November 5, and in the Android world, that means it was a day for a new security patch.
The November 2018 patch was officially released yesterday afternoon, and with it comes the usual assortment of bug fixes and some Pixel-specific tweaks such as improved picture-in-picture performance and enhanced notification stability.
Looking through the Android Central forums, it looks like most people have already gotten the update.
11-05-2018 02:51 PM
Mine is downloading now, too. I don’t know if it matters but I’m in Mexico with a Telmex ISP.
11-05-2018 04:15 PM
It was 91MB on Verizon. I have a Panda 2XL and it just finished. Took about 20 minutes total.
11-05-2018 07:13 PM
This update changed the look of my home screen just a bit. I use dark theme and the search bar at the bottom used to be a light gray “G”. Now it’s the colored one and the assistant button was added at the right of the bar. Also some old app icons that used to not be round are now in circle icons. (Stock launcher).
11-05-2018 09:59 PM
Just started downloading a few minutes ago , on the Pixel 2 XL
This is the first I got the update(OTA) on the day released in a long time
What about you? Have you downloaded the November 2018 security patch?
Join the conversation in the forums!
Fortnite is an intense game that needs a pretty capable Android phone run it properly. A multiplayer match involving up to 100 unique players is bound to be a bit glitchy at times, but for the
As of November 2018, the Galaxy Note 8 offers the best value for .
Samsung Galaxy Note 8
$513 at Amazon
$899 at Samsung
Best phone for Fortnite.
Sure, the Galaxy Note 8 has been dethroned by the Note 9, but if we’re looking at things from the perspective of an obsessive Fortnite player, it might not be really worth upgrading to a massively expensive new phone when last year’s model has got so much going on. It’s got more than enough RAM to give you top performance when playing Fortnite, and the big display and battery mean you can see more and play longer.
Why you should buy the Note 8
With 6GB of RAM, a brilliant 6.3-inch Infinity Display, and all-day battery life, the Note 8 has all the specs you need to get the most out of Fortnite. You won’t get much use out of the S-pen or the excellent dual-camera setup playing the game, but those uniquely awesome features simply make the Note 8 a great phone to use when you’re not gaming.
Of course, the reason the Note 8 is deeply discounted is that its successor, the Galaxy Note 9, is now available. If your wireless contract is up soon and you’re able to get the cost spread out over the length of your new contract, the Note 9 is a pretty compelling phone, which offers upgraded specs across the board along with a redesigned S-pen. The Note 9 was specifically launched alongside Fortnite for Android along with an exclusive skin and complimentary V-Bucks for preordering customers. If you missed out on that pre-order deal, getting the Note 8 at a lower price will be just as good for any Fortnite player.
Is it a good time to buy a Note 8?
Unless you’re keen to splurge on the Note 9, it’s still a great time to buy the Note 8. You can buy a Note 8 outright from carriers like T-Mobile for around $700, or on contract for $30 a month, and Amazon has Certified Refurbished Note 8 phones available for around $500
Reasons to buy
- Big, bright display is beautiful
- A great phone with plenty to offer
- 6GB of RAM is ample for Fortnite
- Cheaper than Note 9
- Headphone jack
Reasons not to buy
- Underwhelming speakers
- Somewhat disappointing battery life for size
The Next Note
Samsung Galaxy Note 9
$820 at Amazon
For those who want the best.
Is the Galaxy Note 9 Samsung’s best phone to date? It’s pretty easy to argue yes. Does the Note 9 have improved specs over the Note 8? Yep, pretty much across the board.
But is it worth spending a ton of extra money for the purposes of playing Fortnite? Probably not. Still, it’s obviously a great phone that might be worth getting if your wireless contract is up for renewal and you can snag a sweet trade-in deal with your wireless carrier.
This phone has great specs for gaming and the 6.4-inch display makes it a fantastic device for playing Fortnite, but it also includes some other great hardware features including a headphone jack, a microSD card slot, and support for wireless charging.
Gamer Phone V2.0
Razer Phone 2
$799 at Amazon
The best phone for gamers… for now…
For anyone who owned and loved the first Razer Phone, there’s a lot to love about the Razer Phone 2.
Razer went ahead and made the screen brighter and focused on improving the camera with better sensors and processing software, and added in water-resistance, wireless charging, and a customizable RGB logo on the back that can be set up for app notifications. Performance-wise, you get the top-end specs for the best gaming experience and the 120hz display refresh rate for buttery-smooth action like you’ve never seen before.
The Razer Phone is a powerful device with a Snapdragon 835 processor and 8GB of RAM. It also has good software features such as Game Booster which blocks notifications and lets you prioritize game performance or battery life when you’re gaming. And there’s something to be said about Razer’s decision to keep a light touch the on software side — The Razer Phone 2 ships running Android 8.1 Oreo with Nova Launcher as the default launcher.
Fortnite has proven to be one of the biggest Android releases of 2018 — but it’s not exactly a game that you need
But if you want the best of all worlds, the Galaxy Note 8 has everything you need to slay in Fortnite.
Credits — The team that worked on this guide
Marc Lagace is the Apps and Games Editor at Android Central. He’s been a gamer for most of his life and actually took a university course on Video Game Theory — which he aced! You can reach out to him on Twitter @spacelagace..