Thursday, April 19, 2018

How to Add a GIF to the Galaxy S8 Always On Display

In this guide we’ll show you how to customize the Galaxy S8 always-on display. In fact, you can add a GIF right to your screen and see it even when you turn the screen off. Samsung’s always-on display is a popular feature people love, and with the Oreo update, they made it even more customizable.

The always on display gives you small bits of information at a glance even when the screen is “off”. Information like the time, date, battery level, and incoming notifications. However, along with dozens of clocks and hundreds of customization combinations, now you can add a GIF to it.

Read: How to Turn Off the Galaxy S8 Always On Display

To get started, go to Settings > Lock screen & security > and scroll down to Lock screen & Always On Display. Then, check out our quick video for more details on customizing the Galaxy S8 AOD.

Samsung recently changed how and where you go to change and customize the Galaxy S8 always on display. As you can see in our video above, it’s no longer in the “display” section of settings. And, customization is somewhat hard to find. If you can’t watch our video, here are the step-by-step instructions.

How to Customize the Galaxy S8 Always On Display (Add a GIF)

You can select from over a dozen different clock styles for the Galaxy S8. Then, each style has different options, fonts, colors and more. In the end, there are hundreds of possible combinations when it comes to customizing your screen. And with the introduction of GIF support, you can add even more. That includes downloading a GIF from the internet and using it on your always on display. Here’s how.

  • Open Settings in the app tray or hit by hitting the gear-shaped settings button in the pulldown bar

  • Find and select Lock screen & security

  • Scroll down to the Always On section and tap Clock and FaceWidgets

  • Choose Clock Style

  • Now choose from the many options

From here you can scroll through a wide selection of customization options on your Galaxy smartphone. Samsung has clocks, calendars, background images, moving wallpapers, and yes, GIF support. Click the 11th square at the bottom, then select add GIF from the middle, and you’re all set.

As you can see, we added a GIF to the always on display on the Galaxy S8. Now, every time you turn off your screen a small area will turn back on, and you’ll see that GIF.

Other Details

When you tap on “add GIF” you can select the red minus sign in the middle of the screen, then tap the big PLUS sign. This lets you add a GIF right from your phone. This way you can use a clip from the internet, or from a video you took with the Galaxy S8 camera. The choice is yours.

Keep in mind that this is on the lock screen, so the GIF can’t be too long. Otherwise, you’d get significant battery drain. It also only loops the GIF once, likely to reduce battery usage. Still, it’s one more neat thing you can do on the Galaxy S8. Before you go, take a peek at these 10 other cool things your phone can do. Or, get a new case from our roundup of the 25 best Galaxy S8 cases.

The best earbuds under $100 are actually under $40

BE2 Earbuds

The Optoma NuForce BE2 Earbuds offer everything you could want from a wireless in-ear headphone experience.

We’re all looking for a pair of high-quality earbuds that aren’t going to break the bank. Right now on Amazon you can grab a pair of the new BE2 buds for only $39. It’s rare you’ll find earbuds of this caliber at such great value. 

What’s so special about them?

When it comes to selecting wireless earbuds, your first question is likely to be about battery life. This is an area in which the BE2 model really comes into its own. These buds can be used continuously for up to 10 hours without charging. Even if you’re heading out for the whole day, there’s little chance of them letting you down.

The NuForce BE2 delivers an unprecedented audio experience at an affordable price

Looking for sports use? The NuForce BE2 Earbuds have an IPX5 water-resistance rating. That means they’re proven to withstand actual jets of water. Unless the sport you have in mind is the backstroke, they’re the ideal gym buddy. Working up a sweat or getting caught in the rain won’t trouble your listening experience at all.

Headphones are lightweight tech so there’s always a risk that they could be delicate and fiddly. Optoma has thought this through, and they’ve given the BE2 a uniquely durable and functional design.

A polycarbonate craft means that the BE2 Earbuds are extremely lightweight. But if you are the type of person who’s prone to fraying headphones, you can rest easy. The cables on these buds are reinforced with Kevlar. That’s a material five times stronger than steel and used to make bulletproof vests. It would be tough to snap them if you tried.

BE2 earbuds

Another nice little design touch is the magnets in the buds themselves. When they’re not pumping high-quality sound into your ears they’ll naturally stick together, avoiding a fight to untangle them before each use.

How do they feel?

Given how many hours you can use them in the day, you’re going to want buds which are a great fit. With the BE2 buds you won’t be disappointed. Optoma have patented their Spin Fit Twin Blade ear tips which are designed for optimal comfort, providing superior stability and improved noise isolation. Before long you won’t even notice you’re wearing them.

“Optoma makes it easy to go wireless on any budget with the impressive NuForce BE2.” -Digital Trends

“Throughout our testing, we never once felt that the NuForce BE2 was offering a sub-par experience compared to its more expensive siblings.” -TechRadar

Of course, there would be little use in the BE2 buds having such a wealth of top features if they didn’t have the sound quality to match. Fortunately, Optoma is writing checks that it can cash. The BE2 is the only model in its price range which supports AAC, ensuring maximum Audio quality and connectivity with Apple products such as your iPhone or iPad.

You can pick up a pair of BE2 Earbuds in either White or Black, and they also have a built in microphone for fielding calls on the go. Nothing has been overlooked in this stylish piece of tech.

Promotions like this don’t come around often, and they don’t last very long. To find this great offer on Amazon hit the button below.

4 Reasons to Buy Battlefield 1 & 3 Reasons to Wait for Battlefield 2018

EA’s Battlefield 2018 announcements are getting closer, but the release date is still months away. That makes buying Battlefield 1 a very tempting proposition. In this guide we’ll take you through some reasons to buy Battlefield 1 in 2018 and some reasons why you might want to save your money and wait for the new game.

Battlefield 1’s been out for a little more than a year now and in that time DICE’s released some huge updates and four DLC expansion packs. The fourth and final DLC, Apocalypse, takes Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC gamers to some of World War I’s most iconic battlefields.

The developer continues to release new patches and with the Battlefield 1 CTE still active, we could see new Battlefield 1 features emerge throughout 2018.

After skipping 2017, EA’s confirmed a new Battlefield game for 2018. The Battlefield 2018 release date is confirmed for October and EA will showcase the game in June at its EA Play 2018 event in Los Angeles.

The company hasn’t confirmed the setting of the game, but rumors have hinted at a return to the battlefields of World War 2. Battlefield 2018 rumors have also outlined potential features including game modes, maps, vehicles, gun attachments, and other gameplay elements.

As the year goes on you might find yourself wondering if you should buy Battlefield 1 or save your money for Battlefield 2018. Here are some reasons you might want to pickup a copy of Battlefield 1 and some reasons why you might want to hold out.

Buy Battlefield 1 Because It’s Still Really Good

Buy Battlefield 1 Because It's Still Really Good

Battlefield 1’s been out since October, 2016. It’s pushing the two year mark, but don’t let that stop you from picking up a copy. 

The Battlefield 1 that launched in 2016 is much different than Battlefield 1 in 2018. The game is far more polished thanks to a steady flow of bug fix updates and DICE’s released a ton of free and paid content for Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and Windows PC. 

While games like Fortnite and PUBG have likely taken away some of Battlefield 1’s player base, it’s still quite easy to hop on and find a fully populated game of Operations, Conquest, Frontlines, and other popular game modes. 

We recently needed a break from PUBG and had a blast playing a mix of old maps and new maps across Battlefield 1’s various game modes. 

We expect DICE to continue supporting the game throughout 2018 with new challenges, new bug fixes and enhancements, and, if we’re lucky, new content.

Battlefield 1 is getting older, but it’s still a blast to play, particularly if you can group up with a full squad of friends. 

Boom Boom Pow – Wonderboom Speakers 55% Off Now

Bluetooth Speakers

This week archaeologists dug up treasure belonging to Danish King Harald Bluetooth in northern Germany. Nice find, but it won’t change his real legacy: Bluetooth speakers!

Summer is so close you can almost feel it. There’s all kinds of outdoor action to be had, and great soundtracks to be played. All you need to get the party going is these Wonderboom Waterproof Portable Bluetooth Speakers.

4.4/5 – Over 500 Amazon customer reviews
9/10 –

DailySteals have been up to their bargainous tricks again. They’ve price-dropped a pair of these stylish Bluetooth speakers from $200 down to just $89.99. You can even save a few more bucks with our exclusive promo code (see below).

The two can be paired for the full surround sound effect, but they’re also independent so you can split the cost with a friend and start a party each.

Bluetooth Speakers

This small-yet-powerful speaker is perfect for the bathroom, the beach, or the pool. Pretty much anywhere you want clear, crisp, dynamic sound.

It’s waterproof to 3 feet, which is more than ample since it floats. It’s also drop-proof. We haven’t looked up what that means, but we assume it’s hard to break. It sounds like the ideal speaker for any outdoor adventure, and the critics love it.

More Wonderboom facts:

  • Big 360-degree sound.

  • Hang loop easily straps speaker to any bag or backpack.

  • Rechargeable 10-hour battery.

  • 100 ft. Bluetooth wireless range.

  • Tap to play, pause or skip songs.

  • Connect two speakers for even bigger sound.

  • Works with Bluetooth wireless smartphones, tablets and other devices.

There are three lively colors to choose from: Subzero Blue, Phantom Black, or Stone Grey. You can a get matching pair or mix it up with two different colors.

These are refurbished stock which is why they’re such a hot deal for a high-end Bluetooth speaker, but it also mean they’re in limited supply. Make sure you don’t miss out. Hit the button below to get the Promo code and find the deal.

The AAPicks team writes about things we think you’ll like, and we may see a share of revenue from any purchases made through affiliate links. To see all our hottest deals, head over to the AAPICKS HUB.

Looking for a new phone or plan? Start here with the Android Authority Plan Tool:

This smart tool lets you filter plans by phone, price, data tiers, and regional availability. Stop overpaying for cell service you hate and a phone that you’re tired of. Use our Compare Phones & Plans tool to fully customize your mobile experience and painlessly transition from one carrier to another!

How to Fix Galaxy S8 Airplane Mode Battery Drain

Samsung Galaxy S8 Oreo users are complaining about severe battery drain while using the device’s Airplane Mode setting. While we wait for a permanent fix, we want to guide you through some fixes to try if the problem surfaces on your device.

As the Samsung Galaxy S8 Oreo roll out makes progress we’re starting to hear about the problems plaguing those that’ve upgraded from Nougat to Oreo.

Galaxy S8 users are reporting a variety of bugs including abnormal battery drain. Abnormal battery drain is a common problems, particularly after moving a device from one operating system to another.

In particular, Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+ users are complaining about bad battery life when flipping the phone to Airplane Mode. Airplane Mode kills connections like Wi-Fi and Bluetooth and it’s designed to help conserve battery life, not hurt it.

The problem looks like it’s (mostly) impacting Galaxy S8 users in Europe and users are seeing abnormal battery drain, sometimes up to 20%, when the phone is idling.

Samsung is apparently aware of the issue, reports indicate that it could be a coding problem, but it’s unclear when or even if the company will issue a permanent fix.

Fortunately, it looks like there’s a way to temporarily fix the issue should you encounter it on your Galaxy S8, Galaxy S8+, or Galaxy S8 Active.

How to Fix Galaxy S8 Oreo Battery Drain

While some users have apparently tried factory resetting the device and clearing the cache, those don’t appear to have an effect on the Airplane Mode battery draining issue.

However, it appears some Galaxy S8 users experiencing the problem have temporarily fixed the issue by switching the phone into 3G/2G network mode before turning on Airplane Mode. This option is located in the Galaxy S8’s settings in Settings > Connections > Mobile networks.

The other option at the moment is to completely avoid using Airplane Mode until Samsung is able to work out a fix for the problems.

There’s a chance the company will issue a remedy inside the next security update for the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+, but there’s no guarantee.

Other Galaxy S8 users have been complaining about more general battery life problems where the phone’s battery appears to drain faster than normal.

If you don’t think your battery life issues have anything to do with using Airplane Mode, please take a look at our list of fixes for bad Galaxy S8 battery life.

There’s a very good chance it’s one of your apps causing the issue, but there are also some settings tweaks you should try in order to get a handle on the issue.

4 Reasons Not to Install Galaxy S8 Oreo & 11 Reasons You Should

Install Oreo If You Want to Improve Your Security

Install Oreo If You Want to Improve Your Security

If you value your security, and we assume all of you do, you should think about installing the Galaxy S8 Oreo update soon after it arrives for your phone. 

Samsung continues to release important security patches for Galaxy-branded devices and your Galaxy S8’s Android 8.0 Oreo update should bring the latest patches from Samsung, and Google, to your phone. 

The Galaxy S8 Android Oreo update delivers the company’s latest security update, but we expect upcoming releases to come with newer security patches.

If you’re curious about Samsung’s security updates, you can read more about the changes on Samsung’s website

If you failed to download an older security update from another month, you’ll get those patches when you go to install Android Oreo on your Galaxy S8 for the first time. 

The Galaxy S8 Oreo update also comes with security improvements to Samsung Pay, Samsung’s popular mobile payment solution. If you use Samsung Pay, you should probably download the Android Oreo update soon after it arrives for your phone. 

It also comes with some enhancements to Find My Mobile including the ability to remotely back up Secure Folder to Samsung Cloud when you lose your phone and a way to lock up Samsung Pass using Find My Mobile.

On top of those features, Oreo comes with enhancements to the device’s Biometrics. Features that use biometrics like your face, fingerprints, and irises are only available when you use a secure screen lock type (pattern, PIN, or password).

If you decide to switch to a non-secure screen lock type (Swipe or None), the device will automatically suspend biometric authentication for unlocking and for verification in apps like Samsung Pay and Samsung Pass. 

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

PUBG Mobile gets less-intense Arcade Mode in latest update

  • Version 0.4.0 of PUBG Mobile includes two new modes, a new setting, and optimizations.

  • Arcade Mode lowers the number of players from 100 to 24, while Training Grounds lets you try out weapons and vehicles.

  • The update is rolling out now.

Tencent Games pushed out version 0.4.0 of PUBG Mobile, with the update containing new modes, a new setting, and some optimizations for the popular battle royale game.

First up is Arcade Mode, which lowers the number of players on the map from 100 to 28. Unlike regular PUBG Mobile matches, which include a variety of weapons, Arcade Mode picks one of six variations for players to use for the entire match: shotguns, sniper rifles, all weapons, melee, pistols, and item heaven.

The only concern we have is the nature of Arcade Mode. PUBG Mobile is already less intense than its PC counterpart, and a mode that further removes that intensity might make the game more hollow than before.

The mode is meant to attract new players and ease them into PUBG Mobile, however, so we will see if it lives up to that billing.

The update also introduces Training Grounds, another new mode that lets you try out all of the game’s weapons and vehicles. Unless you leave early, you get 30 minutes in Training Grounds and are joined by several other players.

Editor’s Pick

Keep in mind that you cannot die or receive damage in Training Grounds. Also, the mode does not support the game’s new dusk setting, which should make things a bit tougher for players.

Finally, the update includes over 20 optimizations, which should help the game run better.

Version 0.4.0 of PUBG Mobile is rolling out now through the Play Store and weighs around 242MB. Make sure to check out our PUBG Mobile tips and tricks feature, as well as our guide on how to change your name and appearance in PUBG Mobile.

iPhone SE 2 Release Date Tips

If you’re interested in the rumored iPhone SE 2 there are some things you should take care of before the device arrives.

The iPhone SE 2 is a rumored successor for the popular 4-inch iPhone SE Apple launched in March of 2016. iPhone SE 2 rumors have picked up steam in 2018, but it’s still unclear if Apple will release a new iPhone SE to go along with its rumored iPhone X successors.

iPhone SE 2 rumors have outlined potential features including a design that’s based on the iPhone X and iPhone 8, a new processor which would mean improved battery life and speeds, and a cheap price point. It’s music to the ears of those who’ve been hoping for a new iPhone SE, but these rumors are far from confirmed.

Multiple sources claim Apple’s working on an iPhone SE 2 for 2018, but they don’t agree on when the launch will take place. Some claim it’ll happen this summer at WWDC 2018 while other, more credible sources, claim the iPhone SE 2 release date will land much later in the year, if it lands at all.

There’s no guarantee Apple launches a brand new iPhone SE 2 in 2018. Ming-Chi Kuo, a respected analyst that’s accurately predicted Apple products in the past, says “Apple is unlikely to have enough spare resources to develop a new iPhone model for launch in 2Q18.”

That said, French website Consomac has unearthed new Apple iPhone filings in the Eurasian Economic Commission (EEC) database.

The database includes several unknown iPhone models running iOS 11. They are listed with model numbers A1920, A1921, A1984, A2097, A2098, A2099, A2101, A2103, A2104, A2105 and A2106.

The same site discovered similar filings for an unannounced iPad shortly before the company revealed a revamped 9.7-inch iPad at its spring event in Chicago.

While many of you are better off buying or waiting for another device, some of you might want to wait for the iPhone SE 2. If you’re thinking about waiting, you’ll want to use the time between now and rumored release date to prepare.

Preparing for a phone’s release date can be difficult, particularly if said release date is unconfirmed. That said, there are some things you should think about as we approach Apple’s second hardware release window this summer.

This guide will take you through some steps we think prospective iPhone SE 2 buyers should take right now and in the weeks ahead.

Take a Long Look at the iPhone SE

Take a Long Look at the iPhone SE

Before you commit to waiting for a phone that might not exist, make sure you research the iPhone SE model that does.

Apple’s iPhone SE is getting older, but that doesn’t mean it’s getting worse. In fact, we’d argue that it’s getting better.

Not only is the iPhone SE much cheaper than it once was, it’s still running Apple’s iOS software with ease. We’ve had an excellent experience on the latest version of iOS 11 and the device should only improve once Apple rolls out its iOS 11.4 update.

While Apple is expected to phase some small-screen iPhones (iPhone 5s) out this year, the iPhone SE will almost certainly get upgraded to iOS 12.

There’s also a very good chance it’ll get a major iOS release in 2019 as well. Apple typically delivers four major software updates before pulling the plug. 

The iPhone SE is setup well for the future and it’s a solid choice in 2018. Make sure you go hands-on with it. 

Sunday, April 15, 2018

2018 Mazda CX-9 Review

The 2018 Mazda CX-9 is a beautifully bold-looking three row SUV that delivers impressive handling for the size and a high-end interior that looks and feels beautiful. This is the larger sibling to the CX-5 and, with it, you get room for seven passengers, easy access to the third row as well as optional all wheel drive.

Available in four trim levels and starting at $32,130, the CX-9 offers a wide range of safety and driver convenience features. It’s not as roomy as the Chevy Traverse and you won’t find Apple CarPlay or Android Auto on the CX-9, but Mazda offers nicer handling. Mazda is adding Apple CarPlay to some vehicles, but it is not clear if it will come to the 2018 CX-9.

Deal: 35% off the ZeroLemon JuiceBox portable charger

portable chargerNo bells or whistles here. The ZeroLemon JuiceBox portable charger is just extremely effective.

This rugged power bank can keep all of your devices charged on long trips, hiking excursions, or – I dunno – spirit quests, or whatever else would keep you away from wall sockets for an extended period of time. Walk all the way to Mordor and back without your Pixel 2 dying on you.

The JuiceBox is actually very compact for a high-volume portable charger, clocking in at about the size of your smartphone, so it won’t feel like you’re lugging around a car battery with you.

Walk all the way to Mordor and back without your Pixel 2 dying on you.

It can charge devices that require anything from USB Type-C, PD, or regular microUSB cables. Quick Charge 3.0 support means rapid replenishment for your phone. Plus a meaty 20,100 mAh should let you keep several devices breathing for all but the most extended journeys. 

portable charger

In a nutshell, this portable charger is everything the minimalist, pragmatic user is looking for. No frills, just lots of battery power and fast charging crammed into an unobtrusive product.

The JuiceBox at a Glance:

  • Massive 20,100mAh capacity can recharge a modern smartphone 7+ times.

  • Fastest Type-C in & out portable charger.

  • Built-in smart protection keeps your devices safe from over-charging, over-voltage, over-current, & short circuiting.

  • Easy to hold & convenient to carry for instant power supply.

Normally the ZeroLemon JuiceBox goes for a cool hundred bucks, but for a limited time you won’t have to break a Benjamin to snag one. They’re currently going for 35 percent off at Tech Deals, meaning you can pick up yours for just $64.99.

In the market for a portable charger? This one looks pretty stellar in the bang-for-buck bracket. Hit the button below to grab yours before they’re all gone!

The AAPicks team writes about things we think you’ll like, and we may see a share of revenue from any purchases made through affiliate links. To see all our hottest deals, head over to the AAPICKS HUB.

Looking for a new phone or plan? Start here with the Android Authority Plan Tool:

This smart tool lets you filter plans by phone, price, data tiers, and regional availability. Stop overpaying for cell service you hate and a phone that you’re tired of. Use our Compare Phones & Plans tool to fully customize your mobile experience and painlessly transition from one carrier to another!

Saturday, April 14, 2018

Is Xbox Game Pass worth buying?

Xbox Game PassIt’s 2018, and there are membership programs for just about everything. Binge-watchers have Netflix, music-lovers have Spotify, and now gamers are getting the same treatment with the arrival of Xbox Game Pass.

For the uninitiated, Xbox Game Pass is a program that grants members unlimited access to a catalogue of Xbox One and Xbox 360 games at a monthly price. Similar to Netflix, new titles are added regularly, which means users have the opportunity to dabble in a variety of new content throughout their membership. Plus, Microsoft exclusive titles (like Netflix Originals) are another huge perk.

And, considering the fact that most Xbox One titles hit the shelves at around $60 (plus an additional $20 or $30 if you’re getting DLC), Xbox Game Pass could very well be a cost-effective option for those looking to play new and classic games without going over budget.

Of course, with a setup like this, Xbox Game Pass’ value hinges on the quality of its game catalogue. And, given the fact that heavy-hitters like Sea of Thieves and Halo 5 are populating its digital shelves, it is definitely worth your time, or, at the very least, the two-week free trial.

Here are three games available on Xbox Game Pass that make it worth the buy:

Sea of Thieves — Combining shared-world multiplayer with a seaworthy aesthetic, recently-launched Sea of Thieves lets you set sail solo or with friends as you explore, fight, and plunder your way to pirate glory. From ship-to-ship sea battles to swashbuckling skeletons, this game is loaded with enough action and loot to make your online experience one to remember.

Robocraft Infinity — Added this month, Robocraft Infinity taps into the high-octane thrills that come with competitive multiplayer games as you create and fight robots in the Battle Arena and Team Deathmatch mode. You and your team can take on other players using a variety of jet cars, tanks, flying warships, helicopters, drones, dinosaurs, and other robots as you duke it out online.

Halo 5: Guardians — Halo 5: Guardians lets you continue the saga of Master Chief as you access a new, epic campaign with up to four-player cooperative gameplay that spans three worlds. Combine this with the massive Warzone multiplayer game mode and enhanced level-building tools, and you’ll have plenty of content to game through.

You can try out a free two-week trial now:

The AAPicks team writes about things we think you’ll like, and we may see a share of revenue from any purchases made through affiliate links. To see all our hottest deals, head over to the AAPICKS HUB.

Looking for a new phone or plan? Start here with the Android Authority Plan Tool:

This smart tool lets you filter plans by phone, price, data tiers, and regional availability. Stop overpaying for cell service you hate and a phone that you’re tired of. Use our Compare Phones & Plans tool to fully customize your mobile experience and painlessly transition from one carrier to another!

2 Reasons to Pre-Order Red Dead Redemption 2 & 3 Reasons to Wait

With the Red Dead Redemption 2 release date set in stone, Xbox One and PS4 users are thinking about putting in a pre-order. While some of you might want to pre-order Red Dead Redemption 2 ahead of its October street date, many others are better off taking a rain check.

In late 2016 Rockstar finally confirmed Red Dead Redemption 2, a follow-up to the studio’s critically acclaimed Red Dead Redemption.

In the year (and some change) since the initial announcement, the companies involved have confirmed a few key details. The game will feature an expansive Online mode. It will feature a PS4 exclusive. And it will be released on October 26th for the Xbox One and PlayStation 4.

Take-Two, the parent company of Rockstar Games, says that October 26th release date should stick and there won’t be any further delays.

Rockstar’s finally confirmed a very specific (and very delayed) Red Dead Redemption 2 release date and pre-orders are live on the developer’s website and via popular retailers like GameStop.

Like most games, the highly anticipated title is $60 without a deal.

As we push toward the game’s release date this fall, many people are trying to decide if it’s worth putting in a pre-order ahead of the highly anticipated launch.

Today we want to share some reasons why you might want to put in a Red Dead Redemption 2 pre-order today and why you might want to wait a few more weeks before putting in an order for a game that should be one of the year’s very best titles.

Pre-Order If You Want Red Dead Redemption 2 ASAP

Pre-Order If You Want Red Dead Redemption 2 ASAP

If you loved the first Red Dead Redemption and you know you’ll want to jump into new one as soon as humanly possible, you might want to just get it over with and put in a pre-order right now. 

Many of you have been waiting seven plus years for a new Red Dead Redemption to arrive. While Red Dead Redemption 2 won’t feature the exact same locations and characters as the first game, it will be set in the same world with tons of missions to complete, places to see, and things to kill. It’ll also include some familiar faces. 

Rockstar’s long development cycles are hard to sit through, but the payoff is almost always worth it and there’s a very good chance Red Dead Redemption 2 will be worth the long wait. 

The game will feature an extensive single-player campaign and it’ll also feature a massive online component that will likely mirror Grand Theft Auto 5 Online. 

The developer notes that the game’s “vast and atmospheric world” will provide “the foundation for a brand new online multiplayer experience.” 

If you think you might want to start ranking up your character the second Red Dead Redemption 2 Online goes live, think about putting in a pre-order. That is presuming it arrives at launch.

GTA 5 Online arrived after the game’s initial release.

Friday, April 13, 2018

Do Google’s new wallpapers include an Android P name hint?

  • Google shared half-a-dozen Spring-themed wallpapers on its Instagram account.

  • One of the wallpapers is a collage of Popsicles. Is that a hint of what the Android P name will eventually be?

The Android P developer’s preview gave us our first look at the new features in the next iteration of the Android operating system. But what the preview didn’t clarify is what the “P” will stand for this time around. Pie? Pancake? Pop Tart? Parfait?

Google may have dropped a big hint today when it shared six colorful, Spring-themed wallpapers on its Instagram account. One depicts a bunch of kites flying around; another shows a woman with a big hat riding a bicycle with her little dog.

But one of the wallpapers is a collage of Popsicles. Android Popsicle, anyone?

Editor’s Pick

Traditionally, Google is not the type of company to drop hints that blatant and direct when it comes to Android version names. With that in mind, it seems unlikely that this is a way of Google saying, “Hey, Android P is going to be Android Popsicle.”

However, the company sharing this wallpaper could be a hint that we should cross Android Popsicle off the list of potential names. After all, if it’s sharing this wallpaper, and it’s not a hint that the name will be Popsicle, then that only can mean that it’s a hint that the name will not be Popsicle, right?

Believe it or not, Popsicle is a trademarked product name, owned by Unilever. Google used KitKat and Oreo for its Android naming scheme, which are both trademarked, so clearly there’s precedent for Popsicle to be the possible name. But Google would never be this direct. Would it?

Regardless, you can download the wallpapers Google shared by clicking here to visit a Google Drive page. You can preview the images by clicking on the gallery below.

15 Best Moto G5 Plus Cases

These are the best Moto G5 Plus cases to protect your phone and keep it looking new. With a big 5.2-inch screen a case is highly recommended. As a result, we’ve gathered up some excellent options worth buying today. The Moto G is one of the best budget smartphones on the market, and just because it’s cheap doesn’t mean you shouldn’t keep it safe.

Cases for the Moto G5 Plus come in multiple different styles, colors, and materials to get exactly what you need. Some are super slim, others are very robust, but all of them should keep your phone pretty safe.

Read: 5 Best Moto G5 Plus Screen Protectors 

Considering the Moto G lineup is one of the best-selling Moto phones, a lot of companies make cases or accessories. That’s why we were able to find some priced as low as $5, which is certainly cheaper than replacing a broken screen for $100 or more. Then, you can spend from $10 to $30 to get the most durable cases from reputable brands we know and trust. Furthermore, we have cases with kickstands, leather cases and more to fit any users needs.

For the price, the Moto G5 Plus is an exciting smartphone. Once you save money on it, you’ll have some leftover for accessories, like a case. It has an all-metal design and a decently sized 5.2-inch 1080p HD display. Not to mention the latest version of Android, fast charging, and more. All of which you’ll want to protect.

Moto’s metal design is pretty durable, but cases keep our devices safe from life’s daily hazards. A high-quality case from trusted brands is the best route, but a cheap $6 TPU case is better than nothing. For extra protection, more expensive cases have screen protectors built-in or use more durable materials.

Read: Best Android Phones Under $300

Whether you choose a cheap TPU case or want something stronger, we have you covered. So get a screen protector, a micro-SD card, some accessories and most importantly a case.

In closing, don’t take the high prices you see in carrier stores or Best Buy and let it turn you off from getting a case. Cases are a small investment for our much more expensive devices. The slideshow below offers affordable Moto G5 Plus cases worth buying. Get one today and keep your phone safe.

Spigen Rugged Armor ($12)

Spigen Rugged Armor ($12)

First up is Spigen, a company who reliably makes some of the best and most trusted cases for a slew of products. With each new phone, we can expect at least a few choices from Spigen. 

Out of all the options they provide, the Spigen Rugged Armor is usually one of my favorites. It’s what we recommend the most. Mainly because it features a lightweight and thin yet very durable and flexible TPU design. The inside is spider-webbed with thicker TPU for added strength, and it has raised edges around the front of the device. As a result, it protects the entire phone, including the glass when it lays face-down on a table. 

All of their cases are precision cut to offer the perfect fit and have a nice design. The Rugged Armor has a two-tone glossy finish with a faux carbon fiber design for added styling. TPU cases may not be expensive, but they’re one of the best when it comes to overall protection. 

Get it today for $11.99 on Amazon

12 Things to Know About Battlefield 2018

Battlefield 2018 is confirmed and today we want to take you through some things we know, and a few things we expect, from a game that could take us to the battlefields of World War 2.

In February, DICE released the fourth Battlefield 1 DLC expansion dubbed Apocalypse. Apocalypse is the final piece of downloadable content for Battlefield 1, but it’s not the end of the road.

DICE will continue to update Battlefield 1 with bug fixes and improvements. That said, we don’t expect much from the content side as the company shifts its attention to the next Battlefield title.

Last year, EA confirmed plans to release a new Battlefield game in 2018 after skipping 2017. EA DICE did release Star Wars Battlefront 2, but the game was hammered for its controversial looting system.

We don’t know a ton about the next Battlefield game, a game we and others (including DICE team members) are calling Battlefield 2018, but we do have some important information to share with Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and Windows PC owners, especially those interested in trying the next entry in the long-running Battlefield series before its official street date.

In this guide we’ll take you through everything we currently know and everything we think we know about Battlefield 2018 and its release.

This includes a look at the Battlefield 2018 release date, the Battlefield 2018 demo, the Battlefield 2018 trailer, and a peek at some of the rumors that’ve surfaced in recent months.

It’ll be a few weeks before EA DICE unveils Battlefield 2018 in full, but this guide will help you set proper expectations for the summer and beyond.

Battlefield 2018 Release Date

Battlefield 2018 Release Date

We don’t know much about Battlefield 2018, but we do know when to expect the game to arrive for Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and Windows PC. 

EA hasn’t confirmed an exact release date for the next Battlefield game, but it has confirmed an official release window.

The company says it plans to release the next Battlefield game in October, 2018, assuming there aren’t any delays in development. 

Battlefield 1’s worldwide release took place on October 21st, but there were actually three Battlefield 1 release dates. 

Battlefield 1 opened up for EA and Origin Access members on October 13th. Those who pre-ordered the Battlefield 1 Early Enlister Deluxe Edition got access on October 18th while those who bought the standard version of the game got access to the game’s content on October 21st. 

Don’t be surprised if EA offers some pre-order incentives this year. Look for multiple editions and, perhaps, an early Battlefield 2018 release date. 

Galaxy Note 5 Oreo Update: 6 Reasons to Get Excited & 2 Not To

The Samsung Galaxy Note 5 Oreo update isn’t official, but there’s a chance (albeit a small one) it gets upgraded to the current version of Android. With that in mind we want to take you through some reasons why you should and shouldn’t get excited about a potential Galaxy Note 5 Oreo release.

Samsung’s Android Oreo update is finally rolling out though it’s limited to select devices in select regions.

The company is starting with the Galaxy S8, Galaxy S8+, and Galaxy Note 8, but the software should come to mid-range devices and older phones like the Galaxy S7 down the road.

Nothing is confirmed, but there’s chatter about Android Oreo updates for two fossils. Rumors (and T-Mobile) have hinted at Android Oreo updates for the Galaxy S6 and Galaxy Note 5, Samsung’s flagships from 2015. If this happens it would represent a major shift.

Apple, one of Samsung’s top rivals, likes to keep its iPhones upgraded with new software for four years before it cuts off support. Samsung typically offers two years of major Android upgrades.

The Galaxy S6 and Galaxy Note 5 are more than two years old so there’s a chance both (officially, at least) stay put on Android Nougat. If that happens many users will continue to get security patches and bug fixes, but Samsung and its carriers won’t support Android Oreo features.

There’s also a chance Samsung steps out of its comfort zone and offers Android Oreo to Galaxy Note 5 users in the United States and other countries around the globe.

If the Galaxy Note 5 does get Oreo, and that’s obviously a big if at this point, we’d expect it to come with some of the changes Samsung’s brought to the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy Note 8. Some, but not all.

With that in mind we want to take you through some of these potential changes. This is based on the Samsung’s Oreo updates and the way Samsung’s handled software updates for older phones in the past.

We also want to take you through some potential disappointments that we think will help you set proper expectations as we push deeper into the year.

Better Security

Better Security

If Samsung decides to offer a Galaxy Note 5 Oreo update it’ll bring enhanced security to the former flagship.

The Samsung Galaxy S8 Oreo update comes with improved security for Samsung Pay, but there are some other potential enhancements you should know about. 

If a Galaxy Note 5 Oreo update rolls out it’ll likely include the latest security patches from Google and Samsung.  

If you failed to download an older security update from another month, you’ll get those patches when you go to install Android Oreo for the first time. 

The Android Oreo update also comes with enhancements for Find My Mobile. Improvements to Find My Mobile include the ability to remotely back up Secure Folder to Samsung Cloud when you lose your phone and the ability to lock up Samsung Pass using Find My Mobile.

The Galaxy Note 5 should continue to get security updates for the foreseeable future so make sure you keep an eye out for new Oreo builds as we push into the year. 


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