Friday, March 31, 2017

Sprint offers its Galaxy Forever plan with Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus preorders

If you are a full-fledged Galaxy phone fan, this week’s official reveal of the Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus likely felt like Christmas had arrived in March. Now one of the carriers that’s taking pre-orders for the phone, Sprint, is reviving its Galaxy Forever plan for people who take the plunge on the new smartphones and want to make sure they get the next version of the Galaxy.

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Galaxy Forever, which Sprint started with the launch of the Galaxy S7 in 2016, allows buyers of the Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus to lease them from the carrier. After the customer has made 12 months of payments on that lease, he or she can upgrade their device immediately to the next version of the Galaxy phone, which in theory should be available by the time that 12 month experience ends.

If the person decides to wait a while, they can upgrade to any smartphone from Sprint after paying for 18 months. They will also have the option to completely purchase their current phone or continue to pay from month-to-month.

The Galaxy S8 is available now from Sprint for payments of $31.25 per month, or you can get the Galaxy S8 Plus for $35.42 per month. The phone is scheduled to go on sale on April 21, and pre-orders can also get the new version of the Samsung Gear VR headset with its new controller, along with other bonuses, for free.

Best Xbox Live Deals April 2017

Gaming consoles get all the attention from fans. Gamers stood in line for hours waiting for the Xbox One to arrive. They clamored to get their hands on the Xbox One S when Microsoft revealed its HDR and 4K capabilities in 2016. In 2017, many of them will flock to stores to get their hand on Xbox Scorpio, Microsoft’s upcoming Xbox One hardware upgrade. Many gamers, both casual and hardcore, forget to show the same kind of dedication to finding Xbox Live deals as they do getting their hands on the console and its games. Sams Club has Xbox Live Gold for as little as $56.98. CDKeys has it for as low as $45.99.

The difference in enthusiasm is both understandable and strange. People care a lot about the console that they’re putting underneath their television. They can touch its controller and feel its casing. Xbox Live Gold isn’t like that. With Xbox Live, you’re getting a code that you enter into your console that unlocks features. Because there’s nothing to touch or feel, most people don’t go looking for Xbox Live deals. They simply pay whatever they’re told the standard asking price is.

Use these Xbox Live deals to save on multiplayer and more.

Read: 11 Essential Xbox One tips for New Owners

Maybe everyone should pay more attention to Xbox Live deals, though. The Xbox One costs you one flat fee. So do your games. Xbox Live Gold is an ongoing cost. If you want to enjoy multiplayer in your favorite titles, you’ll need a subscription to Xbox Live. Even Party Chat, the system that allows gamers to jump into audio and text conversations with their friends on Xbox Live, is a part of Xbox Live Gold. Xbox Live Gold also includes access to digital game downloads at no additional cost.

Read: Is Xbox Live Gold Worth Buying?

Don’t wait until you’re against a wall and have no way to enjoy your multiplayer titles. Use the best Xbox Live deals available to save as much as you can on Microsoft’s online gaming service.

Best Xbox Live Deals: Live Gold

Here are the best Xbox Live deals. Each of them unlocks Xbox Live Gold entirely. That means subscribers can download the free games included in Xbox Live Games with Gold, save cash by buying discounted titles in Xbox Live Deals with Gold and play games with other people.

Best Xbox Live Deals: Xbox Live Currency

Xbox Live Gold isn’t to be confused with savings for Xbox Live currency. Xbox Live currency comes in standard dominations. You can’t purchase Xbox Live with it. You can pick up anything in the Xbox Store. That includes television shows, movies, video games and downloadable content for video games.

What’s the Catch with these Xbox Live Deals?

What’s the catch with these Xbox Live deals? Requirements for each are different.

Some Xbox Live deals will require that you purchase a physical card. These cards have to be mailed to you, meaning you don’t immediately get to enter them into your console and unlock their benefits. When you do receive them, you’ll need to scratch away the silver area on their back and input the code hidden on them into Xbox Live. You can do this from your computer or smartphone on here. Remember to log in using the same Microsoft Account that you use on your console.

Digital codes will arrive immediately at whatever email address you supply the retailer. These codes must also be entered into the redemption area on To be clear, all of these Xbox Live deals should work for new and renewing Xbox Live users.

Remember to not buy multiple codes if you only have a single console. Xbox Live Gold includes a feature called Xbox Live Home Gold. Home Gold allows you to share your games and Xbox Live Gold access with everyone else that plays on the same console, whether you’re logged into your console at night.

Good luck with these Xbox Live deals.

A new BlackBerry-branded Android tablet could be in the works

BlackBerry is still trying to reinvent itself as a software company, but it is allowing its name to be used on Android hardware devices made by others like the DTEK 50, the DTEK 60, and the upcoming KEYone. Now the CEO of BlackBerry, John  Chen, has hinted strongly that we could see the company’s name on an Android-based tablet.

Blackberry KEYone announced: here’s what you need to know

February 25, 2017

CrackBerry reports that in his remarks to financial analysts today as part of its fiscal fourth quarter 2017 conference call, Chen said that BlackBerry is moving into the next phase of its licensing program and that means that “you may soon see a BlackBerry tablet”. He added that he could not make any promises on releasing such a product, but he did state that one of BlackBerry’s partners is “very excited to build a tablet based on Android, and so they wanted us to give them the portfolio rights to do that.”

Chen did not state which company wanted those tablet rights. BlackBerry currently has agreements with China-based TCL Communication, India-based Optiemus and Indonesia-based PT BB Merah Putih that allow those companies to make and sell smartphones with the BlackBerry brand name. Chen said today that the tablet proposal was “not a 100% committed thing” but if it does happen, BlackBerry would receive royalties from its sales. The tablet would also use BlackBerry software and Chen stated it would handle “the QA and portfolio management”

If such a tablet is released, it would not be the first such device with the BlackBerry name. In 2011, the company released the BlackBerry PlayBook, a 7-inch tablet that ran on its own custom OS. Even with a ton of marketing and advertising, the PlayBook ultimately got mixed reviews and poor sales.

Minecraft Discovery Update Release Date & Features

There’s no bigger video game phenomenon gripping the world today than Mojang’s Minecraft. Part survival game and world building tool, Minecraft has sold millions of copies and spawned its own story related franchise, Minecraft Story Mode. This April, Mojang and its partner developers are planning something big for lovers of Minecraft. They are calling it the Minecraft Discovery Update, and it’ll add tons of new things for players to craft and experience.

The Minecraft Discovery Update is just the latest in a vast set of improvements that Mojang has made to the game over time. New refreshes and upgrades arrive for different versions of the title regular. Minecraft is available on tons of different devices. That being said, they don’t always stay in sync. The original version routinely has upgrades that other versions of the game have to wait for. That’s why the Minecraft Discovery Update release is such a big deal. Gamers on the iPhone and more will finally get new additions to the title, like llamas.

Here’s what you need to know about the Minecraft Discovery Update release date and more.

Minecraft Discovery Update Release Date

Despite revealing the game update, Mojang didn’t say too much about the Minecraft Discovery Update release date in its blog announcing the upgrade. We can assume that the game update will launch soon because its being publically talked about. Usually, Minecraft upgrades and new content aren’t revealed too ahead of their release. This keeps them fresh on people’s mind.

Read: Where You Should Download Minecraft & Minecraft Pocket Edition

All the Versions Getting the Minecraft Discovery Update Release

We may not know the Minecraft Discovery Update release date, but we do know which versions of the game are getting the upgrade. At least, for now, some players are going to find themselves left out. Mojang says that this update is for “Pocket and Windows 10” editions of the game. That means that Minecraft Pocket Edition for iPhone and Android users can expect the upgrade. If you have the game on an iPhone, iPad, Android tablet or Android phone, you’ll get this update.

Minecraft Windows 10 Edition, that is the version available from the Windows Store, is getting the Minecraft Discovery Update too. This is the same version that unlocks when you purchase a Java copy of the game. Coincidentally, Minecraft Windows 10 Edition is $9.99 for a limited time.

Read: Minecraft Windows 10 Edition: What You Need to Know

It is not yet clear is if the Minecraft Discovery Update will include the Windows phone versions of the game.

Minecraft Discovery Update Android Beta

We do know that Android users will be able to get their hands on the Minecraft Discovery Update first. That’s because Mojang is planning a Minecraft Discovery Update Android Beta. We don’t know when gamers will be able to join the program. “We’re not ready to open the beta up quite yet, but as soon as we are we’ll let you know,” a post on the notes.

Minecraft Discovery Update Crafting

Gamers will get the opportunity to die their beds with the Minecraft Discovery Update. Glazed Terracotta blocks and concrete blocks are included in the update too. Players can smelt ingots and remix mobs’ movement properties too.

Read: Minecraft Pocket Edition Finally Supports Crafting

It’s not yet clear what other kinds of materials we can expect. For sure, Mojang is holding something back. The company plans to reveal more of what’s in the Minecraft Discovery Update in the not too distant future.

Minecraft Discovery Update Features

Bartering with a cartographer for a treasure packs is just one of the features we know are coming with the Minecraft Discovery Update release. Another is the ability to put supplies into a llama pack or shulker box.

There’s a Forest Mansion that players will need to find too. The Enchantment of Frostwalking will allow gamers to pass a river to get where they need to go. Using the Enchantment of Mending ability, players can keep their weapons sharp and ready for better when they come across dangerous enemies. Illagers will attempt to stop players from claiming the materials in the Forest Mansion.

We don’t know when the Minecraft Discovery Update will arrive, but we absolutely know its price. Add-on packs for Minecraft Pocket Edition and Minecraft Windows 10 Edition cost money, but upgrades to the game don’t. The Minecraft Discovery Update will be completely free, just as all updates have been. Updates to the game simply download directly from the iTunes App Store, Google Play Store and Windows Store automatically.

Expect more news about the Minecraft Discovery Update in soon. In the meantime, it’s a good idea to look for updates for other versions of the game too. Mojang has confirmed there is a Minecraft Nintendo Switch Edition coming for Nintendo’s new console.

Blizzard's first eSports stadium opens for 'Overwatch'

The Blizzard eStadium, as it’s named, seats up to 250 fans. Our Engadget colleagues got a tour of the event center, which the company will use to host both local matches and international tournaments for the Asia-Pacific region. While we only managed to snag photos of the company swag up for sale at the venue’s shop, it’s a good bet that their snack bar will be stocked with jokey goods matching Blizzard’s particular sense of humor.

Blizzard will break in the eStadium on April 8th with the first games in the Overwatch Pacific Championship, the studio-run competitive league based in Taipei. Eight teams from Taiwan, Japan, Australia and Thailand will compete for 11 weeks, with the top three advancing to the playoffs and, eventually, this year‘s Overwatch World Cup. The venue will expand to host matches from other games in Blizzard’s competitive retinue, like Hearthstone and Starcraft 2. Maybe one day, we’ll even see the remastered Starcraft: Brood War grace its fresh gamer halls — a perfect mix of old nerdity and new.

Blitz Brigade: Rival Tactics will turn the GameLoft shooter into a tactical strategy game

A while back, GameLoft released Blitz Brigade, a team-based first-person shooter similar in style to Team Fortress 2, complete with over-the-top action and characters. Now the company is spinning off that game with a new entry, Blitz Brigade: Rival Tactics. This tactical strategy game looks like it will be GameLoft’s answer to similar mobile titles like Supercell’s Clash Royale.

Best Strategy RPGs and Tactical RPGs on Android

July 14, 2016

Like Clash Royale, Blitz Brigade: Rival Tactics looks like it will have a cartoon-like art style, but with a G.I. Joe vs Cobra influence rather than a fantasy theme. The game will allow players to select a team of eight units from a large number of hero characters, vehicles and power-ups. Your online squad will fight in PvV battles in arenas against opponents, and you can also make alliances with other players as well.

GameLoft has already set up a pre-registration page for Blitz Brigade: Rival Tactics, which you can check out at the link below. Registering and liking the game’s Facebook, Twitter and YouTube pages will help to unlock pre-release goals for all players like getting more in-game cash, opening up crates in the game and taking part in daily challenges. There’s no word yet on when Blitz Brigade: Rival Tactics will be released.

Pre-register for Blitz Brigade: Rival Tactics

Best Samsung Galaxy S8 Deals

The premium new Samsung Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+ are finally official and will be available on April 21st. They’re also pretty expensive. As expected, buyers have a ton of Galaxy S8 deals to take advantage of. With that in mind below is a continuously updated list of the best Galaxy S8 deals we can find. From $100 off to a free Gear VR 2 headset and more.

Samsung announced both phones on March 29th and made them available for pre-order the following day. All major carriers are offering each, not to mention retailers like Target, Best Buy, Walmart, Sam’s Club and others. If you’re looking to get the best Galaxy S8 deal or price around read on for more details.

Read: What Galaxy S8 Color to Buy: Black, Gray or Silver?

During the first couple of weeks more deals and discounts will be announced. Then we’re expecting to even see some buy one get one free options at some point. For now though, these are the deals that can be found right now. Oh, and Best Buy has one of the best deals anyone can get. Or check out Sam’s Club.

After Samsung unveiled their new Galaxy phones Wednesday mobile carriers quickly took action. Enticing customers to upgrade or buy from them with lots of options. From freebies, promotions, discounts and other Galaxy S8 offers.

We’ll start with the main deal for everyone who pre-orders, then continue to breakdown all of the best Galaxy S8 deals as they’re announced. This list will be updated continuously, so check back often.

Galaxy S8 Deals For All

First things first, is the deal that everyone who pre-orders the Galaxy S8 or S8+ can get. Similar to last year Samsung is giving everyone a free Gear VR 2 virtual reality headset with the new motion controller. That’s $129 for the headset and $39 for the controller, absolutely free.

All you need to do is pre-order the Galaxy S8 or S8 between March 30th and April 20th to qualify. Some carriers may extend this deal beyond April 20th.

To redeem your free headset after getting your phone delivered to the door, head to the Samsung promotions website and fill it out.

Additionally, for a limited time, buyers can also get Samsung’s new premium over-the-ear headphones by AKG and a 256GB memory card for just $99. Which will ship with your free VR headset. A 256GB micro-SD card alone costs more than $99. So this is a pretty good bundle. The AKG headphones are over the ear, not the free in-ear buds that come in the Galaxy S8 box.

One more thing, those who pre-order and use Samsung Pay will instantly be eligible for platinum status with the Samsung Rewards program.

Best Buy Galaxy S8 Deals

Perhaps the best deal we’ve seen yet is directly from Best Buy. They’re going all-in for the Galaxy S8. Those who opt to buy one in their stores will be heavily rewarded. Best Buy will be giving out some additional Gear VR Oculus certified content on top of the headset from Samsung, worth a total of $279.

However, the best part is the instant savings. Pre-order the Galaxy S8 from Best Buy and get $50 off, or $100 off the Galaxy S8+. This is layered on top of deals from Samsung, or anything specific from individual carriers. Search around enough, and you could end up with a pretty sweet list of savings. It looks like those savings are off the monthly payments. So it’s a small difference, but will still save you up to $100.

Verizon Galaxy S8 Deals

While carriers are still just getting around to making formal announcements, revealing pricing and payment plans, Verizon already is teasing a pretty good deal for buyers. Getting the latest Galaxy from Verizon will cost $720 or $840 outright, but of course they have payment plans.

However, if you trade in an eligible smartphone that’s less than 2-years old and sign up for a new Verizon unlimited plan, the cost is severely discounted.

With a qualifying trade in and installment agreement plan the Galaxy S8 will be $15 per month for 24 months, which is $360 total. Basically half off. Then, the same deal applies to the S8+ but payments will be $20 a month for 24 months which is $480 total. Instead of paying around $720 or $840 after two years of monthly payments.

Additionally, all Verizon customers can get the free Gear VR 2 headset and the extra $99 bundle from Samsung.

Sam’s Club Deals

Like Costco, Sam’s Club is getting in on the Galaxy craze too. The retail superstore has some pretty good savings, including all activation fees waived completely. Click here for more details.

Buy a Galaxy S8 or S8+ from Sam’s Club on AT&T, Verizon or Sprint and get a free $150 gift card. In addition to the free Gear VR from Samsung. Of course. Even the US Cellular version at Sam’s has special pricing and another gift card option. To get these deals and no activation fee buy one before April 23rd.

AT&T Galaxy S8 Deals

As expected AT&T has some deals along with their famous buy one get one free offer. Not to mention big savings on other Samsung products offered by them in select stores. Here’s the full rundown of AT&T’s options.

  • Up to $750 in credits towards another Samsung Galaxy S8 or S8+

  • A Samsung Gear VR included, along with a controller powered by Oculus and an Oculus content bundle

  • A Samsung Gear S3 for only $49 with a 2-year service agreement

  • And, for only 99-cents, you can get a Samsung Tab E and/or a Samsung Gear S2 when you activate 2-year service agreements

Basically you can get two Galaxy S8 or S8+ phones for the price of one. AT&T won’t just give you the second one, but instead add $750 worth of credit to your bill in small monthly payments. Making the S8+ essentially $100 for a second person, or the regular Galaxy S8 completely free.

Of course they have the free Gear VR too, and are offering some decent incentives on the Gear S3 or Gear S2 smartwatches. Although both of those watches require a data plan, which is an extra $10 a month. More details can be found here.

Walmart S8 Deals

Your neighborhood Walmart has some excellent savings as well, like usual. In fact, they are offering the lowest prices we’ve seen yet for the Galaxy S8, in addition to another $150 off for those who sign a contract.

Head to Walmart and get either phone at a great price. The regular Galaxy S8 is only $659, and the bigger Galaxy S8+ rings up at $759. As a comparison most carriers have the S8+ for $840. Installment agreements for Verizon, AT&T or Sprint get another $150 off. T-Mobile is not included in this deal.

It’s worth noting early leaks suggested Target would be offering low prices and $100 gift cards too, so check out a nearby store just in case.

T-Mobile Galaxy S8 Deals

As of right now the only deal from T-Mobile is the same one from everyone. Which is the free Gear VR 2 headset and motion controller. No other discounts or savings have been announced at this time.

That being said, expect T-Mobile to give buyers the option of a free year of Netflix, or a subscription to for free, or something similar. Once we know more we’ll share all the details.

Other Details

So far it looks like hands-down the best deal is trading in an old phone at Verizon, or picking up a new Galaxy from Best Buy and getting some instant savings. Or Walmart. Over the course of the next month or two we can expect buy one get one free deals, maybe even a free TV of some sort, and many other things.

This is one of the most popular smartphones and expected to be the biggest Android launch of 2017, so all eyes will be on Samsung and their new phones. Once we hear from Sprint and other smaller carriers or find additional deals we’ll update this post.

Check back periodically, as we will add each new deal as they’re announced. In the meantime, learn more about these phone at our Galaxy S8 Portal.

[Update: US and Canada to get phone in May] BlackBerry KEYone launch delayed

Update: Steve Cistulli, the president of TCL Communication North America, has posted on Twitter stating that the US and Canada launch for the BlackBerry KEYone “will be in May”.

Original story: The BlackBerry KEYone, the upcoming Android-based smartphone with the company’s familiar physical keyboard, was officially announced in late February at MWC 2017. At the time, BlackBerry and the phone’s manufacturer, TCL Communications, said the KEYone would go on sale in April. Now it looks like we will have to wait a while longer to get our hands on this phone.

LG G6 vs BlackBerry KEYone quick look

February 26, 2017

As reported by MobileSyrup,  BlackBerry CEO John Chen held a conference call with financial analysts today to talk about  the company’s fiscal fourth quarter 2017 earnings. During the call, Chen said that TCL would begin their first manufacturing production for the KEYone run sometime at the end of April. As a result, Chen said the KEYone’s “worldwide availability is going to be later than May.” There’s no word as to why the production run on the phone got delayed.

When the BlackBerry KEYone does launch, it will have a 4.5-inch display, a 2 GHz octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 processor, 3 GB of RAM and 32 GB of onboard storage, with a microSD card slot for adding up to 2 TB of additional storage. It will also have a 12 MP rear camera, an 8 MP front-facing camera and a 3,505 mAh battery. It will ship with Android 7.0 Nougat out of the box.

The biggest feature for the phone is the physical keyboard that looks very much like the ones on classic BlackBerry devices. It will include support for touch gestures designed to emulate the  Blackberry trackpad, and users can take advantage of up to 52 customizable shortcuts so they can quickly launch apps without using the touchscreen. The keyboard will also have a fingerprint scanner built into the spacebar. The BlackBerry KEYone is scheduled to be priced at $549 when it does launch in the US.

Blackberry’s revenue for its last fiscal quarter was $286 million, which was slightly below those numbers from a year ago, but still beat prior expectations. The company recorded a net loss of $47 million, which was much better than the $238 million loss it had a year ago, and again today’s numbers were better than expected.

German law urges parents to rat out kids' illegal downloads

The precedent-setting decision by the Federal Court of Justice (BGH) charged the parents of three children with a €3,500 fine after someone in the home illegally downloaded Rihanna’s 2010 album “Loud.” The father stated that Germany’s Basic Law protects family members from testifying against each other and refused to out which child did the deed. The court didn’t force him to reveal the perpetrator, but held him liable in their stead.

If parents refuse to name the guilty party, the decision establishes, whoever gets the bill for internet service is ultimately responsible to pay the fine. But nobody will be forced to “deliver their children at knifepoint,” state prosecutor Christian Rohnke reportedly said.

How to Reset a Frozen LG G6

This guide shows you how to reset a frozen LG G6. If your LG G6 locks up, you can use this to restart it without going to a store for help. You will not lose data when you reset a frozen LG G6.

There is no removable LG G6 battery, so you cannot simply remove the battery if the phone locks up, freezes or becomes unresponsive. Instead, you need to use a key combo to reboot a frozen G6.

Read: LG G6 Features You’ll Love and Hate

This does not erase any data, but if you are working on something in an app you may lose the last few changes you made, which is fairly normal when you reboot something using a button combo.

How to Reset a Frozen LG G6

How to reset a frozen LG G6.

How to reset a frozen LG G6.

Here are the steps to reboot the LG G6. It’s the same as taking a screenshot on the LG G6, but you need to hold the buttons longer. In fact, you may take a screenshot when you are doing this.

Hold the power button and the volume down button for about 10 seconds. That is the fingerprint reader/power button on the back and the volume down button on the side of the phone.

You may see a small pop up telling you to keep holding the buttons after about five seconds, but if the phone is frozen that may not appear.

Hold these buttons to reset your frozen LG G6.

Hold these buttons to reset your frozen LG G6.

Let go of the buttons when the phone vibrates and reboots. After about 30 seconds or so the phone will reboot and if enabled you will need to enter your passcode or pattern to boot.

When this is done, you should be ready to use the LG G6 again and the problem should be gone. If you continue to experience a frozen LG G6 when you use a specific app, you may need to update the app or uninstall and re-install again. You shouldn’t need to reset a frozen LG G6 very often. If you do, it is the sign of a bigger problem and you may need to back up and completely reset your phone to start over.

If you need to completely reset your LG G6 and wipe the data, you can do this from the phone being off and using the same keys.

How to hard reset the LG G6.

How to hard reset the LG G6.

Hold the power button and the volume down button until you see the LG logo. Let go of the power button for a second and then hold it again. 

You’ll see a screen that lets you use the volume buttons to select Yes to delete all user data. This will completely remove your apps, user information and photos, so only do this if you need to start from scratch.

Starbucks to open a mobile order-only store in Seattle HQ

Starbucks introduced its mobile ordering system two years ago, and since then, it’s been immensely popular – in fact, so popular that the firm is testing a mobile order-only store within its Seattle headquarters.

Starbucks app finally lets you save your favorite drinks, voice commands coming soon

January 30, 2017

According to Reuters, Starbucks said in a letter to its employees that the company would be opening a new mobile order-only cafe inside its Seattle headquarters next week. In an effort to increase customer convenience, the company introduced mobile orders in 2015: instead of physically going into the store, you could simply select your drink from a menu within your app, pay in advance, and receive an estimated pick-up time.

But ironically, customers just ended up waiting in a virtual line, most locations suffering from inundations of mobile orders. The coffee chain is hoping that a dedicated mobile order and pay location might make a difference. Currently, the Seattle headquarters has two Starbucks cafes that serve more than 5,000 company employees. One of those is, according to Reuters, one of the top three stores in the US for mobile ordering.

If successful, we are bound to see more of these around the US.

Starting next week, all mobile orders from the building will be sent to the new mobile-only store, which is said to feature a large window for pick-ups, and you can even watch how your drink is made. Though it’s not yet clear whether a move to mobile order-only stores will facilitate a faster and bottleneck-free way of ordering and receiving drinks, if successful, we are bound to see more of these around the US.

In the meantime, if you don’t have the Starbucks app yet and want to give it a try, here’s a link to the Play Store:

Download Starbucks app from Play Store

What are your thoughts on mobile order-only stores? What’s your experience been with Starbuck’s app? Let us know by leaving a comment below!

8 Best Galaxy S8 Screen Protectors

The new Samsung Galaxy S8 has a big and beautiful 5.8-inch Infinity display with curved glass on both sides of the screen. For the first time ever neither phone has a flat screen. As a result most will want complete protection. With that in mind, below we’ve round up the best Galaxy S8 screen protectors.

One question we keep getting is regarding the fancy new 5.8-inch screen on the S8, and if users can add a screen protector. More importantly, a tempered glass screen protectors instead of cheap film covers. Don’t worry though, the answer is yes. Screen protectors work, and there are tons to choose from so owners have it ready the day their Galaxy S8 arrives.

Read: 15 Best Galaxy S8 Cases & Covers

We’ve already detailed some awesome cases to keep your phone looking new, and highlighted all of Samsung’s official Galaxy S8 accessories. However, the most important thing for users will be the screen. Keep your phone looking new by choosing one of the many outlined below.

The Galaxy S8 and S8+ will officially be released on April 21st in stores and online. Meaning future owners and potential buyers have a few weeks to stock up on accessories. And while we’d recommend a case and a few extra USB Type-C cables, screen protection is by far the best accessory one can buy.

Out of the box your S8 will be extremely durable. Samsung is using strong shatterproof and scratch-resistant Gorilla Glass 5 on the front and the back. Then, it’s water resistant with an IP68 rating. Additionally the screen now has rounded edges instead of sharp corners. This isn’t just for looks, it actually adds durability and more surface area to prevent damage if dropped. However, screens will still get damaged and protection is recommended.

Read: 13 Galaxy S8 Features All Owners Will Love

Whether it’s from keys in a purse and pocket, drops or other incidents, screens break and scratch. Thankfully this is one of the most popular smartphones on the planet, and all mainstream brands are offering accessories. Below is a collection of the best Galaxy S8 screen protectors from brands we know, use and trust. Some are typical “HD film” covers that fit the curve perfect. Then, the rest are durable real glass just like what comes on the phone.

Popular brands like Spigen, SuperShieldz, Moshi and others have protection worth buying. Additionally, expect top quality screen protectors from Zagg, Tech21 and many other 3rd party manufacturers. Without further delay, keep your Galaxy S8 safe and new with any of the great options in our slideshow below.

Apple invests in Indian developers with a new app accelerator

“I think what we hope from this accelerator is that we can help the local market create apps for customers in India that better meet the needs of our growing customer base here,” Schiller said. “We also think we can help developers here at the accelerator to make apps that reach further around the world, because there’s an entire world that wants their software too, and having that opportunity is something that’s of benefit to them and now people here can help them learn more about that and take better advantage of it.”

Apple CEO Tim Cook first announced the accelerator last May, so it’s a bit surprising it took almost a year to make it a reality. The company is likely keeping its eye closely on India as a growth market following slowing sales in China. The accelerator won’t do much to combat Android’s foothold in India, but it could be a way for Apple to court developers who are looking to branch out from Google’s ecosystem.

April Fools’ 2017 tech pranks: Google Maps go Pac-Man and iFixit Micro tech toolkit

Not in the mood for April Fools’ pranks? Too bad, because you’re getting them anyway. And because April 1 falls on a Saturday this year, you’re getting them a day early.

April Fools’ publicity stunts pranks from tech companies are already making the rounds, and to save you time – and the stress of having to sift through them to read the real news – we’re rounding them up here.

Pac-Man invades Google Maps (again)

Wait, is it 2015 again? Looks like Google’s mapping software is prone to invasion by legendary 80’s game franchises. This time around it’s Ms Pac-Man. Just push the pink button in the updated app to start playing in a random location from around the world.

iFixit: What is this, a toolkit for ants?

“Why go big, when you can go really small?” asked the handy folks at iFixit. Indeed, why? Meet the new Micro Tech Toolkit, a thoroughly tested set of micro tools for your micro gadgets.

T-Mobile ONEsie

Meet the T-Mobile ONEsie, the world’s first full-body wearable, the brainchild of self-dubbed “genius visionary” John Legere. It gives you “unlimited coverage” (get it?) and more stats and data that you could ever hope to comprehend, unlike all other wearables out there, which are “complete and utter crap.” It’s comfortable too. Read the press release.

OnePlus Dash Charge energy drink

Dash Charge quick charging is one of the key selling points of the OnePlus 3T. Now OnePlus wants to banish sleep with Dash Charge energy drink. Get a full day’s worth of energy in just half an hour and end the tyranny of sleep. Because sleep is just a big lie designed to sell mattresses. Learn more here.

More coming soon! Let us know what’s your favorite so far.

Twilio now lets developers send and receive faxes

No, this is not an April Fools’ joke: cloud communications platform Twilio today announced the launch of its “programmable fax” service.

While Twilio’s general focus has been on reinventing the phone company (with a focus on developers), fax is a decidedly old-school technology. But it’s an old technology that is still an important tool for many businesses and government offices. “Our mission is to fuel the future of communications,” Twilio VP of product Patrick Malatack told me. “Even though fax is not a futuristic technology, it’s something we’ve been asked about by our users.”

Twilio trialed the fax product with a number of companies, including the NY-based pizza delivery service Slice. Local pizza shops tend to have their own culture and often, that doesn’t involve having a lot of computer equipment to take orders — but they probably still have a fax machine. Slice can now send orders for its drivers to those shops using Twilio’s fax service.

Faxes are also still quite popular in the health care and real estate worlds, for example, and the company hopes that its new service will allow some companies to at least automate part of their workflow thanks to this new service.

As Malatack noted, the developer experience for sending faxes isn’t all that different from Twilio’s MMS picture messaging API, for example. While that API takes JPG files as its input, the fax API uses PDF files.

Twilio will charge developers $0.01 per faxed page, plus the company’s usual telco cost for completing the calls.

Equity Podcast: Dropbox’s capital appetite and average revenue per dog

Welcome to the third episode of Equity, TechCrunch’s newest podcast. Each week we dive into the startup and venture capital worlds, with a special focus on where they collide.

This week our own Matthew Lynley is off, so Katie Roof and myself sat down with a pair of venture capitalists from Canaan Partners, an investment shop with just over $3 billion in raised funds.

Maha Ibrahim (a former Bullish interview, and future Disrupt guest) and Hrach Simonian from Canaan have made a combined 38 investments in 15 companies to date, according to Crunchbase data.

This week we discussed the massive Dropbox debt facility (and its historical echoes), the rough situation at Munchery, and the M&A market including Katie’s scoop on the Rover-Dogvacay tie-up, and all things Amazon.

It was a fun episode, so subscribe, pour a drink, and hit play.

Equity drops every Friday at 6:00 am PT, so subscribe to us on iTunes, Overcast, Pocketcast, Downcast and all the casts.

Editor’s note: Alex Wilhelm is the editor-in-chief of Crunchbase News.

Verizon reportedly wants in on this streaming TV thing

It makes more sense for Verizon (AOL and Engadget’s dear parent) to offer a cable cord-cutting service immediately. It has just 4.6 million cable TV subscribers compared to 22.4 million for Comcast, and with seven million broadband users, could immediately boost those figures. It would also be a way for Verizon to offer a bundled TV streaming service with its wireless plans if it wanted, much as AT&T does with DirecTV Now.

Unlike Comcast, which has been testing its Stream online TV service since 2015 in limited markets, Verizon has never done live TV streaming — apart from the much-derided go90, which mostly features lower-tier and internet content. The company has already signed a pact with CBS with rights for “future digital platforms, with specifics to be released at a later date,” Bloomberg notes.

If the rumors are accurate, and assuming Verizon can sign enough stations to make a streaming TV bundle attractive, it’ll supposedly launch the service this summer for about the same price as DirecTV Now, which runs $35 a month for 60 channels. That would give consumers three main live TV options — Sling TV, DirecTV Now and Verizon — and several more limited offerings, including Playstation Vue and Hulu.

Verizon’s service may also push Comcast into rethinking the scope of its own launch, which would add another nationwide service to the fray. That would make a lot of services for only two million subscribers to internet-based live TV so far. Considering all the cord-cutting happening right now, however, operators seem willing to try anything new.

10 Ways to Fix Bad iOS 10.3 Performance

If your iPhone, iPad or iPod touch is locking up, freezing, or lagging after the iOS 10.3 update we have a few things to try before taking the device down to the Apple Store for treatment.

Apple’s iOS 10.3 update delivers an impressive set of changes including new features, a ton of security patches, and some useful tweaks. It’s a solid update but iOS 10.3 is far from perfect.

iOS 10.3 problems are starting to popup and some iPhone, iPad and iPod touch users are noticing performance issues. We’ve heard about UI lag, random reboots, apps locking up, and more in the days since the iOS 10.3 update’s release.

While your first inclination might be to contact Apple Support or schedule a Genius appointment at an Apple Store, there’s a very good chance you’ll be able to fix your iOS 10.3 performance issues yourself. In fact, it might take you just a few seconds.

Today we want to share some tips that’ve worked for us in the past. Here’s how we’ve managed to fix bad iOS performance in the past and these might work for you and your version of iOS 10.3.

Restart Your Device

If you start noticing poor performance on your device, the first thing we recommend is a simple restart. This will take you just a few seconds but it could have a significant impact on your device’s performance.

iOS 10.3 is now out for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch.

Most of you already know how to do this but if you’re new to iOS, simply hold the power button down, slide to power down your phone or tablet, and then hold the power button down again to power the device back on.

Reset Your Network Settings

If you’re seeing slow downloads on the internet, in apps, or in the App Store, we recommend resetting your network settings to see if that clears up the issue.

To do this, go to your Settings > General > Reset > Reset Network Settings. This will cause your device to forget your Wi-Fi passwords so make sure you have all of those handy before you start the process. It should only take a few moments to complete.

If this doesn’t help fix your connectivity issues, we’ve got some more remedies available on our list of fixes for common iOS 10 problems.

Cleanup Your Device

If you’re running out of space on your iPhone or iPad do some spring cleaning. Reducing the amount of clutter on your device could provide you with a nice boost to your device’s speed and overall performance.

If you’ve owned your device for awhile there’s a good chance you’ve accumulated tons of items you no longer use. Maybe it’s videos you no longer watch or need, maybe its an app or 10.

Whatever the case, it’s a good idea to track these files and apps down and delete them. You might be surprised at how much space you’ll clear up.

To quickly check how much space you’re using on your internal storage, head into your Settings > General > Storage & iCloud Usage and select Manage Storage.

Update Your Apps

If you’re dealing with poor app performance you’ll want to check to make sure your apps are up-to-date.

If you don’t have automatic updates turned on it can be hard to stay on top of app updates. Developers have been pumping out updates in the first half of the year and there’s a chance you might’ve missed an important release.

Head into the App Store and see what you can find. Just make sure you read reviews before you install a new version.

Stop Automatic Downloads

Automatic app downloads are extremely useful if you’re the kind of person that’s unable to stay on top of app updates. That said, the feature will make your device’s GPU work which could lead to poor performance or weird battery drain.

If you’re fine with manually updating your apps, at least temporarily, try disabling Automatic Downloads on your device.

To do this, go to Settings > iTunes & App Store. Once you’re there, you’ll want to toggle the switch to turn off Updates located in the Automatic Downloads section.

Stop Background Refresh

Background Refresh is another useful feature that could be hampering your device’s performance,

With this feature turned on, your apps will be refreshed with new information while the app is in the background. For example, your Facebook feed will constantly be updated without having to actually open up the app.

Shutting this function down could help your device’s CPU so it’s worth a shot if you don’t need instant access to your data.

To do this, go to Settings > General > Background App Refresh and toggle Background Refresh off. This will shut it down completely.

You also have the ability to go down your list of apps one-by-one and make a selection on a case-by-case basis if you wish to do it that way.

Reduce Transparency & Motion Effects

If you’re noticing choppy animations and transitions try reducing transparency and motion effects on your device. Let’s start with Motion Effects.

iOS 10 provides you a sense a depth when you tilt your device and when you open and close your various applications. Adjusting this feature a bit could help smooth out iOS 10.3’s performance on your phone or tablet.

To reduce Motion Effects in iOS 10.3, go to  Settings > General > Accessibility and toggle Reduce Motion on. Note that reducing Motion Effects will disable some features like the bubble effect in the Messages app.

Now that you’re in the Accessibility part of your device’s settings you’ll want to try reducing transparency. This will reduce transparency and blur effects. By reducing these features, you could help your device’s GPU.

To Reduce Transparency, tap Increase Contrast and then tap the toggle to turn on the Reduce Transparency function.

Downgrade to iOS 10.2.1

If you’re ok with hopping off iOS 10.3 completely you might try downgrading to the iOS 10.2.1 update. If you were having an excellent experience on iOS 10.2.1, it’s definitely worth a shot.

For a short time, Apple is signing off on iOS 10.2.1 which means you can transition your device to the older version of iOS 10.

The iOS 10.2.1 downgrade will close up in the near future so you’ll need to move quickly if you think this might help.

For more on the iOS 10.2.1 downgrade, take a look at our walkthrough.

Try the iOS 10.3.2 Beta

Beta software can be problematic but there are times where users actually see improvements over the official software. If you’re desperate, you might try the iOS 10.3.2 beta to see if it helps your device’s performance.

iOS 10.3.2 is a small release (as of right now) so don’t expect to see any new features or tweaks. Apple hasn’t announced an official iOS 10.3.2 release date yet so we’ll be moving through the beta without a timeline.

Start Over

If nothing here helps, and you can’t find a fix anywhere else, you might want to factory reset your phone.

If you can’t take your device into an Apple Store, try erasing your device and starting over from scratch. This has been known to have a positive effect on performance, particularly on older devices.

Before you reset your phone to its factory defaults, you’ll want to make sure you’re completely backed up. You’ll also need to put aside an hour or two of free time to make sure the process goes smoothly.

If you’ve backed everything up and you’re ready to wipe your device clean, head into Settings > Reset > Erase All Content and Settings to get started.


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