Friday, January 19, 2018

WhatsApp launches new messaging app for small businesses in US and UK


A new version of WhatsApp has hit the Google Play Store in selected markets. Aptly named WhatsApp Business, the app is purpose-built for helping small business communicate with their customers via the Facebook-owned messaging service.


As of today, small business owners in the US, UK, Italy, Indonesia, and Mexico can take the app for a spin by downloading the app and registering a new business account. This can later become a Confirmed Account – like those launched last year – once WhatsApp checks the phone number details match your business.




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As well as profile space for details like a company email, address, website, and a general business description, the app also includes “smart messaging” tools such as automated replies to frequently asked questions, greeting messages, and customizable away messages during non-work hours.


In addition, WhatsApp Business provides simple analytics so business owners know which messages are the most effective. It’s also compatible with WhatsApp Web, so you can check your messages and respond via a desktop browser.


Android Police also note that users have the option of registering a landline number. This differs greatly from the regular app which restricts accounts to a mobile number.


The business-focused account doesn’t interfere with the regular WhatsApp experience either, as users can happily use both apps on the same device. You can try the app for yourself – as long as you’re in one of the five selected countries – by clicking the Play Store button below.


For everyone else, WhatsApp noted in a blog post that the app will roll out around the world “in the coming weeks”. Considering the same blog post notes that “over 80% of small businesses in India and Brazil” use WhatsApp for business purposes, it’s safe to expect those two countries will be next in the pipeline.

Google Fuchsia OS seen running on a Pixelbook — here are the details



  • Ars Technica has gotten Google’s mysterious Fuchsia platform up and running on a Pixelbook.

  • The new OS supports smartphone and laptop display formats, though many features remain unfinished.

  • A recent apps menu and split-screen mode are functional, but app buttons are nowhere to be found.



Google Fuchsia is another operating system that the company is developing alongside Chrome OS and Android. Google’s been working on it since 2016, but has remained tight-lipped about the project. We checked it out back in 2016 when it was in a bare-bones state, but now, Ars Technica has got the latest version up and running on a Chromebook. Here’s what’s new.


The current version of Fuchsia runs on a UI called Armadillo, based on Google’s own “Zircon” kernel; unlike Android, this doesn’t rely on Linux. Instead, Fuchsia has been built from the ground up and its official documentation says the platform “targets modern phones and modern personal computers with fast processors.”


Ars Technica


This dual-system approach is clear immediately as, even from the log-in screen, there is an option to use the display in laptop or mobile device modes (you can even select portrait or landscape orientation). Though there’s no reason to use the smartphone-like screen on the Pixelbook right now, it does a good job of showing off how Fuchsia could eventually work on both devices.


Fuchsia is much further along than last time we checked in on it, with a working trackpad and keyboard, touchscreen, and USB ports (which also allow you to connect a working mouse). Wi-Fi isn’t working, however, along with numerous other features, and the Pixelbook was said to be very hot when running it: it’s clearly still in the early stages of development.


Ars Technica


There isn’t much to see on the home screen right now: there are battery and Wi-Fi indicators like on your Android phones, along with date and time, but no app icons to speak of. These can be launched via a local search panel, however, after you type in their name.


So apps are a thing, as is the recent apps menu. This will build up (live) thumbnails of recently used apps in the same way Android does, which can then be swiped away or dragged on top of each other in a (vertical or horizontal) split screen mode.


Ars Technica


That’s about all we got to learn about the system in the short playthrough, and it looks like Fuchsia could still be years from a full release. What’s more, the Armadillo UI might not be the one that ships with the final version—at least, not without some big additions like app buttons and system settings.


For now, you can check out a video of the software in action over at Ars Technica. Give us our thoughts on Fuchsia in the comments.

Thursday, January 18, 2018

5 Things to Know About the iOS 11.2.5 Update

Apple’s iOS 11.2.5 update remains in beta for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch, but a release should be getting close now that the company’s released its sixth beta to developers and the public.


The iOS 11.2.5 update is official though it’s still unclear if Apple will release iOS 11.2.3 and iOS 11.2.4 before it lands for iOS 11 users.


The company recently pushed an urgent iOS 11.2.2 update, but that doesn’t mean iOS 11.2.3 and iOS 11.2.4 are next in line. Apple could also simply choose to release iOS 11.2.5 if no additional updates are required.


The incoming version of iOS 11 comes with a iOS x.x.x firmware version which means it will likely be a maintenance release for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch users.


Apple’s maintenance releases typically come with a short list of fixes, enhancements, and patches. That said, iOS 11.2.5 could be a  bit bigger than your standard bug fix update.


While iOS 11.2.5 will almost certainly fix some iOS 11 bugs and performance issues, it looks like it could bring at least one new feature to iPhone and iPad users.


In this guide we’ll take you through the most important things to know, right now, about the iOS 11.2.5 update’s changes, the iOS 11.2.5 release date, the iOS 11.2.5 beta, and the iOS 11.2.5 release time.


iOS 11.2.5 Beta


If you don’t want to wait for Apple to release the official version of iOS 11.2.5 you don’t have to. You can try the update on your device right now via the company’s iOS 11.2.5 beta.



Apple’s iOS 11.2.5 beta is available for developers and those in the Beta Software Program. The Beta Software Program is free though it requires an Apple ID.


Pre-release software isn’t for everyone and the iOS 11.2.5 beta could cause major issues on your phone or tablet. Beta testers have already tracked down several annoying bugs and we expect the list to grow as more people decide to jump onto the software.


If you’re interested in trying iOS 11.2.5 ahead of its release date, check out our pre-installation guide to the iOS 11 beta. It’ll help you avoid some common mistakes.


You’ll also want to check out our list of reasons to, and not to, install iOS 11.2.5 beta on your phone or tablet. Most people should avoid it.


If you decide to try the iOS 11.2.5 beta and you encounter bugs or performance issues, you’ll want to report those issues to Apple. This way, Apple can improve the final version.


How to Downgrade from iOS 11.2.5 Beta


Fortunately, there’s a way to get off the iOS 11.2.5 beta if the update starts causing problems.


As of right now, iOS 11.2.5 beta users can downgrade to three official versions of iOS 11: iOS 11.2, iOS 11.2.1, and iOS 11.2.2. There’s no way to downgrade to anything older than iOS 11.2.


The downgrade process is rather straightforward and our guide will walk you through the steps you’ll need to take in order to get off iOS 11.2.5.


iOS 11.2.5 Release Date & Time


Apple hasn’t confirmed an iOS 11.2.5 release date. And with no media launch date in sight, the company might not announce one ahead of time. iOS release date announcements are typically reserved for major launch events.


The company typically hosts a spring launch event in March though we’d be surprised if Apple kept iOS 11.2.5 in beta for two more months.


Apple says it plans to release a new iOS update in “early 2018” with “new features that give users more visibility into the health of their iPhone’s battery, so they can see for themselves if its condition is affecting performance” but it’s unclear if it’s referring to iOS 11.2.5 or another version of iOS 11. It could be that it pushes it in the developer beta its promised to release in February.


All signs point to an imminent release so keep an eye out for an iOS 11.2.5 release in the near future.




The exact iOS 11.2.5 release date is hard to pinpoint, but the iOS 11.2.5 release time isn’t.


Apple’s iOS 11.2.5 update will most likely arrive around 10AM Pacific on release day. iOS 11.2.5 betas for developers and public testers should also arrive around 10AM Pacific.


Apple typically releases new beta updates every 1-2 weeks though releases typically come faster once the company gets close to the final release date.


Here’s what the iOS 11.2.5 release time looks like for other regions in the United States and countries around the world including Australia, India, and Japan:


  • Eastern – 1 PM

  • Central – 12 PM

  • Mountain – 11AM

  • London – 6 PM

  • Moscow – 9 PM

  • New Delhi – 10:30 PM

  • Shanghai – 1 AM

  • Tokyo – 2 AM

  • Melbourne – 3 AM

  • Auckland – 5 AM

iOS 11.2.5: What’s New


iOS 11.2.5 beta testers have discovered several potential features on board Apple’s sixth betas.



According to iOS 11.2.5 users, the beta re-introduces AirPlay 2.


AirPlay 2 was first announced as part of iOS 11 over the summer and it’s the first major upgrade to the company’s audio streaming in seven years. As such, it comes with some exciting features including multi-room audio playback from iOS and higher level buffering.


The iOS 11.2.5 beta also includes a new Siri ability where users can instantly stream a news podcast when the service is asked about the news. This feature is also rolling out to iOS 11.2.2 users.


iOS 11.2.5 beta 6 also appears to patch up a malicious link exploit.


If you receive a specific GitHub link through the Messages app, your iPhone or iPad can lockup or respring. The Messages app will also become unusable. Fortunately, the iOS 11.2.5 beta comes with a fix for the exploit.


Beta testers have also discovered a few additional tweaks and bug fixes. The change log is still short, but Apple could add to iOS 11.2.5 as it progresses through the beta.


iOS 11.2.5 Jailbreak


Jailbreak users should avoid the iOS 11.2.5 beta.


The iOS 11 update has been jailbroken for devices running iOS 11.0, iOS 11.0.1, iOS 11.0.2, iOS 11.0.3, iOS 11.1, iOS 11.1.1, or iOS 11.1.2. The LiberiOS jailbreak is for advanced users only and it doesn’t include Cydia.


There isn’t a working jailbreak for iOS 11.2, iOS 11.2.1, iOS 11.2.2, or the iOS 11.2.5 beta and we aren’t expecting one to emerge anytime soon.


For more about the iOS 11 jailbreak, take a look at our roundup.


12 iOS 11.2.5 Release Date Tips & Tricks






Start Preparing Right Now


Start Preparing Right Now

We’re getting closer to the official iOS 11.2.5 release which means you should start doing some prep work. 


If you need to, use it to cleanup the storage on your device. Go into your device’s storage and delete the files (photos, apps, etc) you no longer need. Cleaning up your device could also improve your device’s performance.


Now would also be a good time to start backing up the data stored on your device(s). If you don’t know where to start, you’ll want to dig into our guides covering iCloud backups and iTunes backups.


Make sure you track down all of your login information before the iOS 11.2.5 update arrives. Have your Apple ID/iCloud login and the login info for your important apps and services ready to go. iOS 11.2.5 could log you out of some of your apps and services. 


If you want to download the iOS 11.2.5 update right when its released, make sure your device has at least a 50% charge (or you’re near a charger) around 10AM Pacific Monday-Friday.


This might seem tedious, but a little prep work will help you avoid major problems before, and after, the iOS 11.2.5 update’s release. 


Italy’s antitrust body is investigating Apple and Samsung over planned obsolescence



  • The Italian government opened a probe into Apple and Samsung phone complaints.

  • Italy’s antitrust body alleged both companies diminished phone performance to push people toward new phones.

  • Neither Apple or Samsung has commented on the matter.



Italy’s antitrust body announced Thursday it is looking into complaints regarding Apple‘s and Samsung‘s alleged use of software updates to push people to buy new smartphones.


According to Reuters, the Autorità Garante della Concorrenza e del Mercato (AGCM) says both companies executed “a general commercial policy taking advantage of the lack of certain components to curb the performance times of their products and induce customers to buy new versions.” This policy, says the watchdog, possibly infringes on several articles of Italy’s consumers’ code.


This alleged infringement could cost Apple and Samsung millions of euros in fines, if both companies are found guilty.


AGCM possibly gained interest in the matter when Apple confirmed it slows down CPU speeds of older iPhone models. The Cupertino company said it throttles speeds to prolong the usability of the lithium-ion batteries in older iPhones.




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Even though Apple said this was for our own good, the news added fuel to the fire that it purposely slows down older iPhones to get people to buy the latest and greatest. Apple has since launched a program that replaces an out-of-warranty iPhone’s battery for $29.


That did not stop numerous entities from suing the Cupertino company, with France wondering whether Apple violated the country’s planned obsolescence laws. This ruckus seemingly aided the “Right to Repair” legislation, though, which recently gained some traction among lawmakers.


Since Apple’s announcement, Android device manufacturers like HTC and Motorola confirmed they do not throttle performance via firmware updates. Samsung remained notably quiet amidst the announcements, though that might have been best — its smartphones were known to slow down in a matter of months.


Apple and Samsung have yet to comment on the matter, so we will make sure to update you with the latest information as we get it.

Twitch takes on YouTube with new Video Producer tools



  • Twitch is debuting a new set of tools for content creators called Video Producer.

  • Streamers can now debut new, pre-made videos to their audiences at set times.

  • Streamers can also set up reruns so new subscribers can see older content.



Twitch announced in a blog post today that it’s debuting new tools for content creators. The new tools, called Video Producer, let creators make landing pages for new videos and rerun their previous content.


The biggest change is that streamers can now upload pre-made videos and debut them at a specific time. The premiers must have a landing page, where creators can add a countdown timer to increase the anticipation.


Twitch is also allowing content creators to set reruns. As the name suggestions, these are videos that have already aired and can be played again. The thought here is that just because it aired once, not everyone got to see it. Subscriber counts can vary wildly as streamers become more popular, so it’s beneficial to them to replay their content several times.




Editor’s Pick





Many content creators stream games on Twitch, then take clips from their stream and upload it to YouTube. It seems like Twitch would rather keep those videos and the viewers on the site rather than letting them go somewhere else to view the content. These moves appear to do just that. On YouTube, videos are uploaded and go live immediately or at a set time, but Twitch wants to make videos more like a movie premiere. The video’s landing page will feature countdown timers and special popcorn emojis, and alerts will tell users when to tune in.


These moves make a ton of sense for both Twitch and its streamers. The streamers have already built a following on the site. It doesn’t make a ton of sense to force users to go to another site for more of your content. For Twitch, it’s all about keeping viewers coming back. The more often that viewers come back for content, the more loyal they become. Additionally, it increases the chance that people may purchase a paid subscription to a streamer or donate bits to them, and Twitch gets a part of both of those transactions.


The new features also make sense on a larger scale. Amazon owns Twitch, and has been publicly feuding with Google, who owns YouTube. Recent trademark registrations indicate that Amazon may start its own YouTube-like streaming site, but maybe it doesn’t have to with changes like these.

12 Best Work Apps for Windows 10

The best work apps for Windows 10 are essential to almost everyone’s workflow. Some are native versions of apps and services you use on your iPhone or Android device, like LastPass, Slack and Evernote. Windows 10 also has a great set of work apps that use its most unique features. Drawboard PDF, Office Lens, Office Mobile and OneNote all work with digital pens, a mouse and a keyboard. You can lock some of them with a Windows Hello camera and search their contents with Microsoft’s Cortana personal assistant.



The 2017 Dell XPS 13

Read: 56 Best Windows 10 Apps in 2018


Best Work Apps for Windows 10


Despite being very solid ways to get things done, the prices of the best work apps for Windows 10 varies. Many of these apps have free trials. Others are completely free to use. Microsoft’s work apps require a subscription to Microsoft’s Office 365 service to do more than just edit things you’ve created on other devices. There are work apps on this list that have a flat fee and others that cost you each month.


Here are the best work apps for Windows 10 in no particular order. Download them and boost your productivity today.


Drawboard PDF



Whether you have a Windows 10 PC with touch and a pen or not, you need Drawboard PDF installed. It is essential if you find yourself conducting business on your PC regularly.


Drawboard PDF allows you to read and scribble on any PDF someone sends you. Use it to sign documents and add notations to anything. A built-in browser lets you manage multiple PDFs at a time and its highlighting tools can easily emphasize important details for later reading. Support for the Surface Pen, Surface Dial and other accessories makes it a great companion for any Windows 2-in-1. That’s why its one of the best work apps for Windows 10 you can download.


Drawboard costs $9.99 from the Microsoft Store.


Buy Drawboard PDF from the Microsoft Store for $9.99


Microsoft Office Mobile



You don’t need to install the bloated and heavy Microsoft Office 2016 suite on your PC. Switch to Office Mobile instead.


Microsoft Office Mobile includes modern versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote. Unlike the full-fledged programs, these apps scrap the complicated features that people don’t use that often. That’s why they take up so little space. They’re also ready for touch and pen input. Built-in collaboration tools and syncing let you share what you’ve made with someone else and work together it in real-time.


Read: How to Get Free Microsoft Office in Windows 10


Most of Office Mobile requires a subscription. It’s free to create and edit digital notebooks with Microsoft OneNote. Editing anything in Word, PowerPoint or Excel requires at least a $6.99 subscription to Office 365. If you only need to view an existing document, Office Mobile is free.


Download Office Mobile


Office Lens



If your device has a decent camera, you can scan every document or whiteboard you come across with Office Lens. Office Lens saves scans as a PDF, presentation, Word document and an image file. Scanning with the app and sharing it with OneNote builds a database of files that you can search from your PC, phone or tablet.


Download Office Lens from the Microsoft Store


Dropbox



Dropbox is a very popular cloud storage service that lets you leave large and small files online. If something ever happens to your PC, you can download whatever you have stored on the service and continue working. Free users get two gigabytes of storage. A terabyte of storage on Dropbox costs $9.99 a month.


Download Dropbox Mobile from the Microsoft Store


Evernote



Evernote is an online digital notebook app. If you already use the app on your smartphone or tablet, it’s smart to install this app on your PC.


Create an Evernote notebook and you have a convenient place to leave your most important thoughts, web clippings and images without having to write anything down on paper. The app syncs whatever is in your notebook to a cloud service for back up. Real-time collaboration lets you and someone else work on an Evernote notebook together.


Evernote is free to download and that’s why it belongs in this best work apps for Windows 10 breakdown. That being said, a $39.99 subscription adds more storage for your cloud notebook and email support.


Download Evernote from the Microsoft Store


Photoshop Elements 2018



The most well-known image editing tool is now available in the Microsoft Store. Photoshop Elements 2018 includes every feature the standard app does, including different layouts depending on your skill set, layering and great tools for adjusting hue and saturation.


When you buy Photoshop Elements 2018, it’s linked to your Microsoft Account. Because of that, you don’t need to keep track of a product key or install an update utility that runs every time your PC starts. The app costs $99.99.


Buy Photoshop Elements 2018 from the Microsoft Store for $99.99


Microsoft To-Do



To-Do is Microsoft’s replacement for Wunderlist. Like with that app, you create detailed tasks lists that sync between different devices. A special My Day breakdown lets you see all the things you need to get done next with just a glance. You set the due date, add notes or add a reminder.


Download To-Do from the Microsoft Store


Slack



Windows 10 finally has a version of Slack that receives new updates quickly and has a Live Tile. Notifications from the app also surface in the Action Center, so you immediately know when there’s an important message pending.


Slack for Windows 10 is free. If you work in an office that already uses the service, it’s one of the best work apps for Windows 10 you can download today.


Download Slack from the Microsoft Store


8 Zip



Install 8 Zip on your PC and you can work with compressed file formats Windows 10 doesn’t yet understand, like 7z. 8 Zip also lets you compress files, so with it, large stashes of pictures, music, and photos take up less space on your computer than they would without compression. Use the app to encrypt important files so they’re useless if you don’t unlock them with Windows Hello fingerprint readers and iris scanners too.


Buy 8 Zip from the Microsoft Store for $14.99


LastPass



Don’t keep your passwords saved in a text file or written in a notebook. Install LastPass on your Windows 10 PC.


With LastPass, you create a searchable database with all your important account information in it. This database will also sync to companion apps for iPhone and Android. Accessing this database is simple for you, just enter your master password. Encryption protects the password database you create from being used to compromise your accounts.


LastPass is free to download. That alone makes it one of the best work apps on Windows 10. A monthly $2 subscription lets you easily share passwords with other people and create an emergency contact if something should happen to you, cementing that status.


Download LastPass from the Microsoft Store


Sticky Notes



Sticky Notes is already installed on your PC. Open it and create as many digital notes as you want. The app supports digital pens and a mouse and keyboard, so it’s useful no matter what set up you have. The notes stay on your screen unless you switch away from them, making them perfect for people who use more than one monitor. If you allow her to, Cortana will create links and reminders from things you write in your notes.


Read: How to Use Sticky Notes for Windows 10


Microsoft Whiteboard



For anyone that finds themselves needing to quickly iterate on great ideas, Microsoft made Whiteboard. Whiteboard is a digital canvas. You draw or paste images to the canvas and share your changes with other people in real-time. Digital tools, like a ruler and compass, make designing anything more natural than it would otherwise be on a PC.


Microsoft Whiteboard is free to download.


Download Whiteboard from the Microsoft Store


7 Best Windows 10 Hard Drives & External Storage






Seagate 2TB Barracuda Internal Hard Drive – $59.99


Seagate 2TB Barracuda Internal Hard Drive - $59.99

The Seagate 2TB Barracuda Internal Hard Drive is what you buy when you’ve almost filled the hard drive in your desktop PC.


It comes with 2 terabytes of storage and communicates to the rest of your PC using a SATA connection. Because it’s a traditional drive and not a solid state drive, it makes a little noise as it searches for your files. The platter inside the drive spins slower than other drives, so it’s not the fastest storage solution there is, but it is faster than the 5400 RPM hard drives that most low-cost desktop PCs have inside them.


You can either put this drive inside your Windows 10 PC and have it act as a second pool of storage or remove the original drive and replace it with this one. In both cases, it’s a good idea to have a service like Geek Squad or Staples Easy Tech handle it if you’ve never added a drive before.


Buy the Seagate 2TB Barracuda Internal Hard Drive from Amazon for $59.99


Sony is staying in the smartphone business, but for the wrong reasons

Sony Logo


Sony’s smartphone business has been struggling for a while now. The company’s handsets don’t have the same appeal as those made by Samsung, LG, or HTC, partly due to their dated design and high price tags.


Due to poor smartphone sales and bad financial results over the years, some have speculated that Sony would leave the smartphone market altogether. Now it looks like that’s not going to happen. In an interview with The Guardian, the company’s CEO Kaz Hirai set the record straight.


During the interview, Hirai said that Sony will stay in the smartphone business for strategic reasons, so the company will “have the opportunity to play in the next paradigm shift.” You can read the entire quote below:


The reason we’re doing that is not because we think smartphones are the future, but because we have to have some devices connected to a network in order to communicate. If we get out of the [communications] space, we won’t have the opportunity to play in the next paradigm shift.


It’s not about the smartphones of today; it’s more about looking beyond smartphones – at what are we going to be doing – and to be a player in this space; ideally to be a leader. For that strategic reason, I want to make sure we stay, not in the smartphone business, per se, but in the communications business.



We’re happy to hear Sony is not calling it quits, as more competition is always better. It forces companies to innovate and brings down prices.




Editor’s Pick





However, based on Hirai’s quote, it seems like Sony has almost given up on smartphones. The CEO didn’t mention anything about what changes the company will make that would enable it to take on the bigger players in the market. Staying in the mobile world purely for strategic reasons is not a great plan. In fact, it’s a recipe for disaster.


Sony has to step up its game and release attention-grabbing smartphones that can increase sales. The company has to focus on the now and not just on the “next paradigm shift”, which is likely still far, far away.

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Google shares prototype images of Pixel 2, Pixelbook, more

Google



  • The head of Made by Google revealed some images of early prototypes for some of Google’s most recent hardware.

  • The images depict the development process of the Pixel 2, Pixelbook, Daydream View, and Google Home products.

  • Ivy Ross, the lead designer, talks about how she approaches the design of Google hardware.



In the cutthroat mobile device industry, secrecy over the development process of a flagship smartphone is paramount. Tech sites do their best to make educated guesses about what upcoming devices will be like, but ultimately the design of most smartphones isn’t 100% known for certain until they are officially revealed by the manufacturer.


That’s why it’s an exciting day for Google hardware fans, as the company just shared a collection of images showcasing prototype designs for some of its major 2017 products, including the Pixel 2, Pixelbook, Daydream View, and line of Google Home smart speakers.


Ivy Ross, the head of the Made by Google team, was interviewed by the managing editor of the Google blog. In the interview, Ross discusses how she approaches the design of all Google hardware, what it’s like being a woman in a male-dominated industry, and how she gets the inspiration for her work.


Google


The whole interview is a very interesting read, but the real stars of the show are the handful of images showcasing early design ideas. The Pixel 2, it seems, always had a black glass back, but the fingerprint sensor wasn’t always surrounded by a metal disc. In fact, at one point it was fully colored blue. The camera configuration varied from prototype to prototype, and even the Google “G” logo went through some wild changes.


Google


As for the Pixelbook, the lid always had the same two-tone look as the Pixel and the Pixel 2, but different colors were incorporated as the design evolved. The keyboard and trackpad layout looks like it didn’t change much though, at least not according to the photo provided.


Source url


Only one prototype of the Daydream View appears, but a ton of early sketches are revealed. And a pic of a meeting between a small group of people deciding on fabric choices for the Google Home line is shown, although the products in the image don’t look much different from their retail versions.


What are your thoughts on the prototypes?

5 Things to Know About the January 2018 Battlefield 1 Update

DICE is poised to roll out a new Battlefield 1 patch later this month and today we want to guide you through the update’s release date, release time, and changes.


The January 2018 Battlefield 1 update looks like it will be a substantial update for Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and Windows PC owners.


In addition to the usual set of bug fixes and enhancements, the January patch is set to deliver the second half of the Turning Tides DLC to Premium Pass holders and anyone looking to buy the DLC as a standalone expansion.


Last month, DICE pushed the Turning Tides Gallipoli campaign to Premium Pass holders inside the December patch and this month it will release the DLC’s North Sea content which includes a new faction, two new maps, and a brand new vehicle to pilot.


The release date is extremely close and today we want to go over everything we know, and think we know, about the January 2018 Battlefield 1 patch for your console.


Battlefield 1 January 2018 Update Release Date


DICE hasn’t confirmed an official release date for the January patch, but there’s a good chance it’ll roll out sometime after January 22nd. Here’s why.



January 22nd is the end date for DICE’s current Operations Campaign (Fire & Ice) and its Turning Tides free trial. The Turning Tides free trial allows anyone with the base game to try the Gallipoli campaign for free.


Battlefield 1 January 2018 Update Release Time


We don’t have an official release date to share just yet, but we can tell you when to expect the January patch and the rest of the Turning Tides content to roll out for your console.


We expect DICE to follow its usual release protocol which means we’ll most likely see servers go down sometime in the morning in late January.


If the company sticks to the usual downtime, look for the release time for the Xbox One, PS4 and Windows PC to look something like this:


  • PC: Multiplayer will be offline for 2h starting 08.00 UTC / 12.00 AM PT.

  • PS4: Multiplayer will be offline for 2h starting 10.00 UTC / 2.00 AM PT.

  • Xbox One: Multiplayer will be offline for 2h starting 12.00 UTC / 4.00 AM PT.

DICE typically confirms the exact timing shortly before the roll out. You’ll find the details over here on its official forums.


Turning Tides Content


The January patch should be accompanied by the North Sea content from the Turning Tides DLC.



Turning Tides’ North Sea content includes two new maps, Heligoland Bight and Zeebrugge, the British Empire: Royal Marines faction, and a new C-Class Airship.


For details on those changes, take a look at our guide to Turning Tides.


Bug Fixes


The January patch is also set to bring a long list of bug fixes and tweaks to Battlefield 1. The list is subject to change, but we expect most of these changes on board the finished product.


Rifles


  • Fixed slower than intended deploy times on the Vetterli-Vitali and Farquhar-Hill.

  • Fixed higher than intended recoil on the Farquhar-Hill.

  • The Carcano’s one shot headshot range has been extended to 110m.

  • The M1903 Experimental and M1917 Trench Carbine are capable of 3HKs within 12m.

  • K Bullet animation refinement for M91 and Carcano.

  • Resolved an issue causing M1917 to use Automatic reload time for both and Manual and Automatic reload, resulting in a slower Manual reload.

  • Vehicle damage performed by K Bullets fired from the Martini-Henry Sniper are now properly tracked for the Overwatch Service Assignment.

In this update, DICE is slightly tweaking the damage models for several Medic rifles. This is mainly through setting up a damage curve so there’s better control over their Bullets To Kill (BTK) steps.


  • Farquhar-Hill Damage Drop-Off Start 34 -> 46.33

  • Farquhar-Hill Damage Drop-Off End 52 ->59

  • M1907 SL Damage Drop-Off End 55.6 -> 60

  • Autoloading 8 .25 Drop-Off Start 19.5 -> 16

  • Autoloading 8 .25 Drop-Off End 40 -> 45

  • RSC 1917 Vertical Recoil 1.8 -> 1.5

  • RSC 1917 Horizontal Recoil 2.2 -> 1.8

  • RSC 1917 Rate Of Fire 163 -> 179.9

  • The SMG 08/18 Optical’s First Shot Spread Multiplier has been reduced

  • Automatic weapon tuning

  • LMGs now have slower zoom-in speeds to further differentiate them from SMGs.

  • LMGs and SMGs now have slightly increased vertical recoil.

  • The vertical recoil bonus on the Storm package for SMGs and LMGs has been reduced slightly.

LMG


The bipod for LMGs will now remove spread increase while firing entirely when mounted, however the reduction in horizontal recoil is smaller than before. Overall this change makes heavy MGs with high first shot spread multipliers benefit slightly more from the bipod, while high fire rate LMGs with high horizontal recoil will receive less benefit.


SLR


  • Improved the mid range performance of the shorter ranged SLRs by extending damage dropoff slightly.

  • Fedorov Avtomat: +5m to 4 hit kill and 5 hit kill ranges

  • Autoloading 8 .25: +5m to 3 hit kill and 4 hit kill ranges

  • M1907: +7m to 3 hit kill and 4 hit kill ranges

  • Cei Rigotti: +10m to 3 hit kill range

Lever Action


  • Increased the 2 hit kill range of the Russian 1895 trench from 47m to 70m.

  • Increased one hit kill headshot range from 41 to 64m.

  • For the cavalry version of the 1895, two hit kill range is increased to 90m, and one hit kill headshot range to 84m.

  • Maschinenpistole M1912/P.16

  • Fixed an incorrect first shot spread multiplier.

  • Fixed an incorrect first shot recoil multiplier.

  • Fixed incorrect recoil decrease.

  • Arisaka

  • Fixed lower than intended recoil decrease.

  • M1917 Trench Carbine

  • Fixed moving, crouched hipfire which was less accurate than intended.

  • Removed first shot spread increase modifier since this weapon is not automatic.

  • Fixed incorrect recoil decrease.

  • Martini-Henry Grenade Launcher Tweaks:

  • Inner blast radius reduced from 2m to 1m.

  • Fixed a bug where the Martini-Henry Grenade Launcher did not use its arm time resulting in higher than intended damage.

  • Martini-Henry Grenade Launcher ammo count reduced from 21 to 11. *

AT Mine:


  • Damage increased by 50%.

  • Blast radius adjusted to 2m.

  • Infantry placed mines (both AT and Tripwires) have been adjusted so that players can no longer stack them close together. There is now a minimum radius between each mine that must be cleared for it to be placed. To compensate for this, the power of each individual mine has been increased.

Tripwire Mine:


  • HE now deals twice as much damage to sprinting players.

  • GAS now has a small 15 damage explosion when it is tripped. This allows it to deal some damage to players who walk through it with the gas mask already equipped. This explosion also doubles its damage against sprinting players.

  • Infantry placed mines (both AT and Tripwires) have been adjusted so that players can no longer stack them close together. There is now a minimum radius between each mine that must be cleared for it to be placed. To compensate for this, the power of each individual mine has been increased.

Options/Settings


  • Added custom color blind colors settings in the video options.

  • World icons size and opacity customization in the gameplay options.

  • Hit indicator now can be customized with different color for critical hit kills.

  • Detailed minimap/full map customization in the gameplay options added.

  • The player outlines now comply with the colorblind settings.

Map/Mode


  • Removed all Elite kits from War Pigeons mode.

  • Fixed an issue that would allow Defenders to spawn Airplanes for the third sector of Cape Helles in Operation Gallipoli.

  • The Ottomans now use the Gotha Bomber on Cape Helles.

  • Decreased the amount of tanks to one each, following the feedback from the community received on CTE, on Frontlines Sinai Desert.

Gameplay


  • Reduced the requirements of the Ribbon of Justice from 5 kills in a round to 2.

  • Fixed issue with medic primary weapons not being available in Armored Kill.

  • Fixed a bug that allowed the Bristol Attack Plane and Ilya Muromets Heavy Bomber to utilize weapons from multiple packages.

  • Greatly improved the reliability of AA guns when firing against bombers from certain angles.

  • Fixed an issue that allowed the player to use some Pistol Carbines while swimming.

  • Added mid-round Team Balancer. Currently not activated on Operations and Rush.

  • Increased the mine removal radius for the A7V Heavy Tank.

  • The AT Rocket Gun and similar weapons can now be fired from the passenger seat of vehicles.

  • BF1 no longer exposes interlaced video modes in the PC video options. If you have previously experienced blurry output on PC due to the game running in a full screen interlaced mode, please re-select a mode in video options to update your profile settings to use a progressive display mode.

  • Fixed a bug where certain VFX would trigger when colliding with invisible geometry.

  • Fixed issue with VOIP volume option not behaving as it should.

  • Fixed bug where spectators would be kicked from the game if the last player left.

  • Fixed some bugs related to players being disconnected while connecting to a game server.

Due to the size of the list, we expect the January 2018 update to be a fairly sizable download. The update will be a mandatory download for all players, not just those who own the Premium Pass.


What’s Next


DICE hasn’t confirmed the rest of its plans for 2018, but we should get details soon.


The company is planning to release one more Battlefield 1 DLC expansion after Turning Tides though Apocalypse is still without a specific release date.


DICE says Apocalypse DLC announcements are imminent so we should get our first look at the mysterious DLC in the near future.


The developer typically puts some space between its DLC releases so don’t expect next month’s patch to come with Apocalypse content. It’ll likely head into the CTE before the final product is revealed.


For more on Apocalypse, take a look at our roundup below.


10 Things to Know About Battlefield 1 Apocalypse DLC






Apocalypse DLC Release Date


Apocalypse DLC Release Date

It’ll be a few more weeks before we hear about Battlefield 1’s last DLC expansion. 


The Apocalypse DLC release date is confirmed for early 2018. The developer hasn’t pegged a specific day or month and we probably won’t get anything firm as it continues to promote Turning Tides.


DICE typically puts a few months between its DLC packs so don’t expect Apocalypse to arrive right after the second Turning Tides DLC release. There’s a very good chance we won’t get Apocalypse until March, April, or later if we’re unlucky.


One thing we do know for sure is that when Apocalypse arrives, Premium Pass holders will get access to the content two weeks before everyone else. That’s one of the perks of the game’s Premium Pass.


We expect the first Apocalypse details to arrive in early 2018 as the company looks to keep the ball rolling following the release of Turning Tides.


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