Android fans are getting an early gift from Google this year thanks to the Google Play Cyber Weekend 2015 sale that just went live. The sale gives Android users terrific deals on mobile apps, games, movies, music and more. We’ll go over some of the highlights below. DON’T MISS: 15 best online Black Friday sales that are live right now Here are some good deals on popular mobile games: Dragon Quest II: $2.49, 50% off Final Fantasy VI: $7.99, 50% off The Dark Knight Rises: $0.99, down from $6.99 Ticket to Ride: $2.99, 50% off Lifeline: $0.99 Android apps: Ultimate Guitar Tabs: $0.99, 66% off KeepSafe Premium: 50% off Moon+ Reader Pro: $1.49 Dashlane Password Manager: Premium in-app purchase costs $19.99,
It’s finally happened: the 4K Ultra HD revolution has left the star-studded homes of the video elite and landed right here in Everytown, U.S.A. Named for a pixel density that’s around four times higher than 1080p HD, 4K has been champing at the bit since way back in 2013. But this year, TVs bearing the technology finally crossed the $1,000 line en masse — and that means it’s time to seriously consider betting on one for yourself. While it’s true that 4K content hasn’t kept pace with the hardware, it’s coming soon and from all directions. And even if you’re not all that impressed with 4K’s resolution, the TVs have some real advantages over current 1080p sets, boasting better future-proofing, the latest processing and motion technologies, and more. As such, our updated list of the Best TVs under a grand is flush with awesome picks from the 4K landscape, as well as a few humongous HD TVs — because in TV land you can never go too big. Follow along here to find the best TVs under $1,000. If $1,000 is a too rich for your budget check out our picks for the Best TVs under $500. The Best Samsung UN55JS7000FXZA SUHD TV ($1,000) At CES 2015 last year Samsung pulled the veil off its latest and greatest TV innovation: SUHD. It’s short for Super Ultra HD TV, and we got our first glimpse of these vibrant new displays at a posh poolside event that showcased some of the most vivid colors ever produced from an LED TV. The secret to SUHD is a brighter, 10-bit panel coated with a nano-crystal layer, which Samsung says helps to improve the color accuracy. Along with a better, brighter panel, the JS7000 comes loaded with 4 HDMI and 3 USB inputs, processing extras like local dimming to improve contrast, and Samsung’s decked-out Tizen Smart Hub with all the streaming apps you’ll need to keep you glued to your couch long into next year. Settled on the lowest rung of the SUHD lineup, the TV’s performance will suffer just a bit — especially since the native refresh rate is only 60Hz, meaning high-speed content may suffer without motion processing help. Still, this is Samsung’s big new thing, and the fact that you can get one of these babies for under a grand is actually pretty damned surprising. In other words: grab one. Screen size 55 in Display technology LED Backlighting Full Array Refresh rate 60 Hz Buy it now from: Amazon The Rest LG 60UF7300 Ultra HD TV ($900) While LG’s 60-inch class is technically just 59.5 inches from corner to corner — who knows where that extra half-inch goes — if you don’t think a damn-near 60-inch 4K panel at this price is a screaming deal, you’ve got some marbles to collect somewhere. In fact, this set was in strong contention for our number one pick. Along with top resolution and a huge screen, the real gift that comes with this set (and all new LG smart TVs) is webOS 2.0, which offers an intuitive, lightning-fast user interface and all the major streaming apps including the elusive Amazon Prime. The IPS panel means black levels won’t be stellar, but it also means brilliant color reproduction enhanced by LG’s ULTRA Luminance processing. And seriously, at this price and size, this 4K Ultra HD set is another no-brainer. Screen size 59.5 in Display technology LED Backlighting Edge-lit Refresh rate 120 Hz Buy it now from: Best Buy Vizio M55-C2 4K Ultra HD TV ($900) Vizio has been muscling its way into flat screen prominence for years now with an aggressive price-to-performance ratio, and the M-series is a prime example. Offering an impressive combination of features and picture quality at an extremely manageable price point, this 55-inch display brings full-array local dimming with 32 independent zones for excellent contrast, a six-core processor for snappy performance, and a native 120Hz panel for excellent motion response. Add in 4 HDMI inputs and a loaded smart interface, and it’s easy to see how this once-budget brand has punched its way into the big leagues. Screen size 55 in Display technology LED Backlighting Full Array Refresh rate 120 Hz Buy it now from: Amazon Best Buy Walmart Sony XBR49X830C 4K Ultra HD TV ($800) Sony TVs may be pricier than others for their size, but there’s a reason for that: The company’s processing is still some of the finest in the business, allowing Sony TVs to squeeze out excellent performance and extremely accurate colors from an average LED panel. While the X830C may be a hair smaller than its 4K Ultra HD competitors on our list — and therefore less likely to allow your eyes to see the full effect of its dense pixels — it still offers impressive color accuracy and motion performance, and above average contrast. Plus Sony sets come with a few other perks, including the capable Android TV smart platform, as well as the ability to stream PS3 games straight to your TV. Screen size 49 in Display technology LED Backlighting Edge-lit Refresh rate 120 Hz Buy it now from: Amazon Best Buy Walmart Samsung UN55JU6500 4K Ultra HD TV ($900) While it’s not part of the new SUHD mafia, this TV still packs a punch for its price point that sits $50 below our proposed price cutoff. Along with 4K resolution, the TV packs full-array local dimming (just like our top pick) allowing for better contrast — and since this is a VA panel, it should boast rich black levels, too. We still prefer the SUHD set at the top of our list, but barring that, this fully loaded 4K Ultra HD set is a prime second choice. Screen size 55 in Display technology LED Backlighting Full Array Refresh rate 60 Hz Buy it now from: Amazon Best Buy Walmart LG 55UF6450 4K Ultra HD TV ($700) While not nearly the monster deal presented by the first LG on our list, at $900 this 55-inch hunk of 4K action is still a contender — so much so that we would’ve been blown away by this price just 6 months ago. Of course, that was then, and this is now. The most obvious drawback of choosing this TV over the UF7300 is the fact that it’s five inches smaller from point to point — which is a bigger compromise in screen real estate than it sounds. It also doesn’t offer the True-Black Control processing of its sibling, so contrast will likely take a ding, and the native refresh rate is only 60Hz, so motion performance will suffer too. It does have webOS 2.0 and 3 HDMI inputs, so this set is no slouch when it comes to features, but if you can get the UF7300, it’s the superior choice. Screen size 55 in Display technology LED Backlighting Edge-lit Refresh rate 60 Hz Buy it now from: Amazon Best Buy Walmart Sharp Aquos LC-65LE654U HD TV ($1,000) If you just want the biggest TV you can find, and you don’t care about 4K, this TV fits the bill nicely. Moreover, if you’re looking to save some serious cash, you can step down to the 55-inch model and scratch around $400 off the price. While black levels or contrast won’t compete with the top of the heap, the LE65eU is a plus-sized set that’s bright and vibrant, and loaded with enough inputs and features to sit in the captain’s chair of your home theater. Screen size 65 in Display technology LED Backlighting Edge-lit Refresh rate 120 Hz Buy it now from: Amazon Best Buy Walmart Samsung UN60J6200 HD TV ($700) If there’s one great thing about the passage of time, it’s the falling of prices. If you’d have told us you could get a 60-inch Samsung HD TV with full-array backlighting for $850 last year, we’d have asked nothing more than where to sign. And though we still think going for 4K Ultra HD is the right move in the current landscape, if you’re not convinced of the need for 4K yet, this TV will do you right. It’s only got 2 HDMI inputs, and doesn’t boast a whole lot of other features, but excellent color reproduction, solid contrast and black levels, and all you’ll need in the smarts department make the J6200 a solid choice for your primary TV — and an awesome choice for the back bedroom. Screen size 60 in Display technology LED Backlighting Full Array Refresh rate 120 Hz Buy it now from: Amazon Walmart Vizio E65-C3 HD TV ($1000) Here’s another television that makes the case for size over performance. While it’s HD TV resolution is merely mortal, unlike nearly all similarly-sized TVs in its price range, the E65-C3 offers full-array backlighting with local dimming, helping it reach richer black levels, along with better contrast and uniformity than the majority of its peers. Add in a solid smart platform and a claimed 240Hz native refresh panel, and the E-series is a prime choice in the HD arena. Like others of its ilk, taking a step down to the 55- or 50-inch models also provides a mega-bargain, dropping hundreds of dollars with each size class. Screen size 65 in Display technology LED Backlighting Full-array Refresh rate 240 Hz Buy it now from: Amazon Best Buy
While Black Friday continues to creep into Thanksgiving day, with stores opening as early as 3 p.m., Cyber Monday remains a core celebration falling on the Monday after the big shopping weekend. This year, many retailers, even those traditionally brick and mortar, are joining in on the Cyber Monday craze, launching sales that last all week long. Stay tuned here and we’ll keep you updated on new, worthwhile deals as they get announced. As Cyber Monday goes into full swing Sunday night and into Monday, here are the webpages to keep watching for deals and other special offers: Best Cyber Monday deals by store Amazon | Best Buy | Dell | HTC | Huawei Kmart | Kohls | Motorola | Newegg | Overstock Sears | Target | T-Mobile | Walmart The good deals (so far) Amazon Amazon is looping Cyber Monday into its other ongoing Black Friday sales and deals. Through the week after Thanksgiving, customers can keep purchasing Black Friday deals like their $50 tablet for for just $35. This comes in addition to other great deals, such as a year of unlimited cloud storage for just $5, and $100 off Phillips Fidelio noise-cancelling headphones. Amazon Fire ($35) Amazon’s crazy-cheap $50 tablet is even cheaper now this Cyber Monday. The sale continues on this modestly powerful tablet for just $35 through Cyber Monday. Philips NC1/27 Fidelio ($100 off) Amazon is taking $100 off these high-end Philips noise-cancelling headphones for a quieter holiday season, even when the whole family is around. Amazon Cloud Drive Unlimited Everything, one year ($5) Need some extra space for all those photos and videos? Amazon is diving in to compete against Google and Dropbox with a dirt-cheap offer for a year of unlimited cloud storage. Next page: Best Buy Cyber Monday deals! Best Buy TVs Samsung UN65JS9000 Curved 65” 4K Ultra HD 3D Smart LED TV ($3,000) Samsung’s massive, curved, Ultra HD behemoth is half off, though a hefty penny nonetheless. This deal from Best Buy is great if your home needs a new centerpiece in time to watch the Sugar Bowl. LG 65UF8600 65″ 4K Ultra HD Smart LED TV ($2,000) If Ultra HD is on your mind but without any curves, LG has a deal on a TV you might be interested in. Sony XBR65X850C 65″ 4K Ultra HD 3D Smart LED TV ($1,800) Sony is pushing down the prices on its TVs this Cyber Monday over at Best Buy, offering up a huge 3D TV as part of a week-long holiday sale. Samsung UN65JU7100 65″ 4K Ultra HD 3D Smart LED TV ($1,700) Samsung’s not-so-curved, but 3D-enabled Ultra HD TV is also on sale this Cyber Monday with a steep discount from the sticker price. LG 55UF6450 55″ 4K Ultra HD Smart LED TV ($700) LG also has a slightly smaller Ultra HD TV on sale this Monday, clocking in at $500 off the retail price. Samsung UN40JU6500 40″ 4K Ultra HD Smart LED TV ($600) Samsung’s 40-inch Ultra HD TV is 40 percent off and a great deal for those who need a nice, high-definition TV for a real steal this holiday season. Laptops Dell Inspiron 15, 8GB ($300) Dell is offering its mid-range Inspiron with a touch screen and 8GB of RAM for $130 off the retail price. Lenovo ThinkPad Yoga 14, 8GB ($860) Lenovo’s bend-over-backwards laptop the Yoga 14 is $240 off this holiday season for those who desire a new laptop-tablet hybrid. Acer Aspire R14 2-in-1, 8GB ($650) Acer’s own 2-in-1 laptop-tablet hybrid is also on sale for Cyber Monday, offering up an i5 processor and plenty of RAM for enhanced productivity. Best Cyber Monday deals by store Amazon | Best Buy | Dell | HTC | Huawei Kmart | Kohls | Motorola | Newegg | Overstock Sears | Target | T-Mobile | Walmart Next page: Dell Cyber Monday deals! Dell Dell is having all sorts of sales on its own online store this Cyber Monday, including laptops, tablets, and even game consoles. Doorbuster sales Monday, November 30 at 8 a.m. EST Inspiron 23 7000 Series, 8GB ($500) Interested in a new, all-in-one PC? Dell has its 23-inch, touch-enabled desktop with a fully-tiltable stand at a deep discount. Xbox One 500GB Gears of War Bundle ($300) Ready to get the new Xbox this holiday season? Dell’s limited bundle includes a sweet Gears of War theme and charging stand for your controllers. The console includes both Gears of War Ultimate Edition and Halo 5: Guardians for your gaming pleasure. Inspiron 15 3000 Series, 4GB ($200) Need a cheap, easy to use laptop with a touch screen? Dell is offering up the entry-level Inspiron for just $200 at a $120 discount. Venue 8 7000 Series tablet ($200) Need a new Android tablet? This one comes in at just $200 and includes a high-resolution display and Intel HD Graphics. Dell E2715HM 27” Monitor ($180) This Dell Full-HD Monitor comes $120 off and makes a great deal for the holidays and a great addition to your computer workstation. Dell AD211 Bluetooth Portable Speaker ($40) Need a way to play tunes from your iPhone while on the go? Grab this sleek Bluetooth speaker at a $30 discount during Dell’s Cyber Monday sale. Monday, November 30 at 12 p.m. EST Inspiron 15 5000 Series (AMD) with touch screen, 8GB ($400) Prefer an AMD processor or lower price? Dell has you covered with this 15-inch touch-enabled laptop. Inspiron Desktop (AMD), 6GB ($250) If you’d prefer a desktop or the lower price, grab this desktop model for a dirt cheap $250. Monday, November 30 at 5 p.m. EST XPS 8900, 16GB ($700) This fully powered desktop for high-end performance is $100 off on Dell’s website this Cyber Monday. Monday, November 30 at 8 p.m. EST XPS 13, 8GB ($950) This online exclusive features Dell’s high-resolution Infinity Display, tons of memory, and a sleek, thin form factor, all at a decent discount. All day sales Alienware Area-51, 16GB ($2,800) Dell is taking $500 off its most powerful desktop computers this holiday season, including the Area-51 gaming computer. Samsung UN55JS7000F 55″ 4K Smart Ultra HD TV ($1,000) TVs are on sale at Dell, with this 55-inch Ultra HD TV available for $600 off the retail price. Dell Inspiron Desktop Gamer Edition, 16GB ($750) This gaming computer is $250 off the retail price and includes plenty of memory, as well as an AMD Radeon R9 360 graphics chip for better gaming. Dell Inspiron 13 7000 Series 2-in-1, 8GB ($730) Interested in a 2-in-1 hybrid computer? Dell is offering its own brand of the hybrid laptop for $175 off the retail price. Dell S2716DG 27 Monitor ($630) Dell has a huge, G-SYNC enabled monitor on sale for $170 off this Cyber Monday, including support for NVIDIA’s smooth, 144-hertz viewing technology. LG 49UF6430 49″ 4K Smart Ultra HD TV ($500) Dell is even selling TVs on sale, with the LG 49-inch Ultra HD TV available for $200 off retail price. Microsoft Band 2 Activity Tracker + $50 Dell Promo eGift Card ($250) Get a free $50 gift card when you buy the latest Microsoft Band through Dell’s online store. Dell U2414H UltraSharp 24 Monitor ($200) Snag this Dell Full HD monitor for $140 off Dell’s retail price, making it a great deal for anyone in need of a new display. Vizio 38″ 2.0 Sound Bar ($70) No TV is complete without great sound, and great sound requires a sound bar such as this Vizio brand one for 30 percent off. Best Cyber Monday deals by store Amazon | Best Buy | Dell | HTC | Huawei Kmart | Kohls | Motorola | Newegg | Overstock Sears | Target | T-Mobile | Walmart Next page: Best HTC Cyber Monday deals! HTC HTC is starting off the Cyber Monday fun with 40 percent off the HTC One M9 for a grand total of $390. You can also grab their weird Re Camera for 60 percent off. HTC One M9 ($390) HTC is celebrating Cyber Monday by selling its flagship phone, the HTC One M9, for 40 percent off. Read our full review of the smartphone and decide for yourself if it’s worth buying. HTC Re Camera + Re Protection Pack ($80) HTC has its weird remote camera on a deep discount for Cyber Monday, clocking in at 60 percent off and with a free protection plan included, too. Best Cyber Monday deals by store Amazon | Best Buy | Dell | HTC | Huawei Kmart | Kohls | Motorola | Newegg | Overstock Sears | Target | T-Mobile | Walmart Next page: Huawei Cyber Monday deals! Huawei Huawei is offering Cyber Monday customers a modest $50 off any of their smartwatches, including the new, aptly named Huawei Watch. The deal starts Sunday, November 29 and goes all week long. Huawei P8 Lite ($50 – $200 off) Huawei is offering its 5-inch smartphone the P8 Lite for between $50 and $200 off, depending on the model you buy. It features a Qualcomm 8-core processor, Gorilla Glass 3, and Dual SIM capabilities. Huawei Watch ($50 – $100 off) All Huawei smartwatches on sale during Cyber Monday this year, including the newly reviewed Huawei Watch. All of them feature Android Wear and some seriously sleek looks. Best Cyber Monday deals by store Amazon | Best Buy | Dell | HTC | Huawei Kmart | Kohls | Motorola | Newegg | Overstock Sears | Target | T-Mobile | Walmart Next page: Kmart Cyber Monday deals! Kmart On Kmart, the deals will start on Cyber Monday and continue all week. On Monday, Kmart is offering 50 percent off a Samsung subwoofer for $90 to put some bass in your home theater, as well as 40 percent off all Nerf products to help get the kids some toys. Each day the week will feature different deals themed after different products, such as toys on Tuesday Dec. 1, and feature all kinds of discounts across the store. Kodak PIXPRO AZ361 Digital Camera ($130) Kodak’s 16-megapixel camera might not be the latest and greatest Nikon or Canon, but is still a useful point-and-shoot at a price that can’t be beat. Samsung HW-J355 2.1 Channel 120 Watt Wireless Audio Soundbar ($90) If you’re in need for a sound bar to enhance our TV experience, this Samsung 120-watt speaker is $110 off and includes an additional subwoofer. Best Cyber Monday deals by store Amazon | Best Buy | Dell | HTC | Huawei Kmart | Kohls | Motorola | Newegg | Overstock Sears | Target | T-Mobile | Walmart Next page: Kohls Cyber Monday deals! Kohls Kohls is offering its Cyber Monday sale starting the Saturday after Black Friday and lasting all week long. Electronics LG 4.1-Channel Home Theater Bluetooth Sound Bar w/ Subwoofer ($500) LG’s higher-end 4.1-channel Speaker system includes a wireless subwoofer so you can worry less about cables and care more about a better home theater experience. For Cyber Monday, Kohls is selling it for 20 percent off retail price. Sharp 2.0 Channel Bluetooth Sound Bar ($100) Another option for those looking to add some sound to their TVs can consider Sharp’s 2-channel Bluetooth sound bar. It’s not only a less expensive model, but also $50 off the retail price this Cyber Monday. LG Wireless Streaming Blu-ray DVD Player ($70) Kohls is offering an LG Blu-ray player with wireless streaming capabilities for $30 off the retail price this Cyber Monday weekend. Small appliances Nutribullet Special Edition 600-Watt Nutribullet Blender ($60) This powerful, 600-watt blender for personal-sized smoothies is available for $20 off this Cyber Monday. Best Cyber Monday deals by store Amazon | Best Buy | Dell | HTC | Huawei Kmart | Kohls | Motorola | Newegg | Overstock Sears | Target | T-Mobile | Walmart Next page: Motorola Cyber Monday deals! Motorola Motorola will be also launching a sale on its online store this Cyber Monday, featuring a week-long sale on its popular phones and smartwatches. Motorola Moto 360, 1st Gen ($150) Looking for a cheap Android smartwatch? Grab the first generation of the Moto 360 for $100 off the retail price. Motorola Moto G, 2nd Gen ($100) Need a cheap, but powerful smartphone? Motorola’s latest in the Moto G budget line is available this Cyber Monday for $80 off the retail price, making it a great deal for those in need of a new Android smartphone. Best Cyber Monday deals by store Amazon | Best Buy | Dell | HTC | Huawei Kmart | Kohls | Motorola | Newegg | Overstock Sears | Target | T-Mobile | Walmart Newegg Newegg is Cyber Monday headquarters for millions of tech fans and computer builders. Newegg plans to host a week full of deals and other savings, starting on Black Friday and rolling into Cyber Monday. Asus ROG G-Sync Gaming Laptop ($1,380) This massive, gamer-oriented laptop is on sale for more than $500 off the retail price. It is powered by a Nvidia 970M graphics card, 256GB solid state drive, and 16GB of RAM. LG 43LF5100 43″ 1080p 60Hz LED HDTV ($285) Newegg is offering up TVs just like the many other retailers out there, including this 43-inch Full HD TV for more than $200 off the retail price. Asus Transformer Book T100HA ($295) This Asus 2-in-1 hybrid computer features both the latest version of Windows, as well as a new USB Type-C connector for charging and connectivity. Asus Memo Pad 8 ($100) Grab this dirt cheap Android tablet for $80 off the retail price this Cyber Monday holiday. Hamilton Beach 46893A Stainless Steel Melitta Coffee Maker ($41) Coffee is always essential, and even Newegg offers discounts on small appliances like this Hamilton Beach coffeemaker for $40 off the retail price. Esky Amplified HD Digital Outdoor HDTV Antenna with Motorized 360 Degree Rotation ($27) If you’re thinking about cutting the cord and going for free over the air television, you’ll need a high end antenna to ensure good reception. This amplified outdoor antenna is $13 off, helping make cord cutting all the easier. Best Cyber Monday deals by store Amazon | Best Buy | Dell | HTC | Huawei Kmart | Kohls | Motorola | Newegg | Overstock Sears | Target | T-Mobile | Walmart Next page: Overstock Cyber Monday deals! Overstock We’re still waiting on all the deals from Overstock, and you’ll be the first to know once its Cyber Monday deals go live. Best Cyber Monday deals by store Amazon | Best Buy | Dell | HTC | Huawei Kmart | Kohls | Motorola | Newegg | Overstock Sears | Target | T-Mobile | Walmart Next page: Sears Cyber Monday deals! Sears Sears is lining up all kinds of deals on its website in time for the Cyber Monday fun. Sears is pushing 25 percent off all clothing, footwear, and other apparel on its website, as well as some other spot deals, such as $600 off a NordicTrack elliptical machine, or $360 off a Craftsman 26-inch snowblower. NordicTrack ACT Elliptical ($800) This NordicTrack Elliptical can help you keep those New Years Resolutions in check this Cyber Monday, while saving $500 off the retail price. Sears Craftsman Quiet 208cc Dual-Stage Zero Turn Snowblower ($810) Winter is coming, and while you’re watching the next season of Game of Thrones the last thing you want is to waste time shoveling snow. Sears will take $360 off this snowblower in just in time before the snow starts falling. Best Cyber Monday deals by store Amazon | Best Buy | Dell | HTC | Huawei Kmart | Kohls | Motorola | Newegg | Overstock Sears | Target | T-Mobile | Walmart Next page: Target Cyber Monday deals! Target Target has all sorts of Cyber Monday deals lined up for its stores and online shop, but first and foremost is an impressive 15 percent off storewide. This deal stacks on some week-long promotions, furthering the money you can save. Some other deals starting on Cyber Monday include 50 percent off Sennheiser headphones, and 25 percent off all Dyson vacuum cleaners. Samsung UN48JU6400FXZA 48″ Class 2160p 120Hz Smart Ultra HD Quad Core TV ($600) This 2K TV from Samsung is 50 percent off for the holiday season from Target and features a beautifully smooth 120HZ refresh rate for an even better video experience. Swagway x1 Hands-Free Smart Hoverboard ($399) If you wanted one of the most awesome (but also ridiculous) ways to get around town, this hoverboard has to be it. Plus Target is taking $100 off in time for Cyber Monday. Xbox One 500GB Gears of War: Ultimate Edition Bundle ($300) This Gears of War Ultimate Bundle is just $300 and includes not only a $50 discount, but also a copy of the new Gears of War coming out in 2016, plus beta access early next year. Dyson DC50 Ball Compact Allergy Upright Vacuum (30% off) Target is taking 30 percent off its Dyson compact vacuum this Cyber Monday, as well as 25 percent off all other Dyson vacuums available at Target. Best Cyber Monday deals by store Amazon | Best Buy | Dell | HTC | Huawei Kmart | Kohls | Motorola | Newegg | Overstock Sears | Target | T-Mobile | Walmart T-Mobile T-Mobile is firing up free data for everyone this holiday season, giving all Simple Plan customers unlimited LTE data through February. The Uncarrier is also giving free storage upgrades on all of its iPhones on Cyber Monday. Starting at 5 a.m. PST, customers can purchase a 64GB iPhone 6S for the price of a 16GB iPhone 6S, saving $100. You can also double your 64GB iPhone 6S for a 128GB iPhone 6S instead. iPhone 6S 64GB ($650) Save $100 on Cyber Monday and grab the iPhone 6S 64GB for the price of a 16GB model. iPhone 6S 128GB ($750) If you want even more space, the iPhone 128GB model is the same price as an iPhone 6S with 64GB of storage. Best Cyber Monday deals by store Amazon | Best Buy | Dell | HTC | Huawei Kmart | Kohls | Motorola | Newegg | Overstock Sears | Target | T-Mobile | Walmart Walmart Samsung UN48JU6400FXZA 48″ 4K Ultra HD 60Hz LED HDTV ($600) Walmart is also offering this solid Samsung TV for 50 percent off during the Cyber Monday craze, featuring an Ultra HD resolution for high quality viewing. Beats by Dr. Dre Drenched Solo On-Ear Headphones ($99) If you were waiting for a chance to grab the stylish Beats by Dr. Dre headphones, now is your chance. These headphones are $50 off, clocking in at just $100 for Air Hogs Helix Video Drone ($75) Drones are all the craze these days for some amazing aerial videos, and Walmart is joining in by offering a video-enabled drone for just $75 during its Cyber Monday sale. This one comes $35 off the retail price. LG BP255 Blu-ray Player ($50) Blu-ray players are getting cheaper and cheaper with every passing year, and now Walmart is offering an LG Blu-ray player for just $50 during the Cyber Monday sale, $30 off the retail price. Best Cyber Monday deals by store Amazon | Best Buy | Dell | HTC | Huawei Kmart | Kohls | Motorola | Newegg | Overstock Sears | Target | T-Mobile | Walmart
The Chinese manufacturer Huawei has unveiled its new flagship phone, the Mate 8, a phablet with a groundbreaking powerful chipset. The design of this 4G compatible device is a continuation of the Huawei Mate 7. Huawei Mate 8 will run Android Marshmallow (6.0), with Huawei's own EMUI skin on top.
Measuring cups are notoriously inaccurate when it comes to, you know, measuring. Give three people a cup and ask them to fill it with flour and you’ll get back three different weights. It’s why lots of chefs and bakers swear by weighing out ingredients. It’s a whole process, though, to convert a recipe to ounces or grams yourself. The Drop Kitchen Scale dose the work for you, and with its accompanying iOS app, it will guide you through a recipe — effectively negating the need for (mis)measuring cups. As long as you don’t want to get too exploratory in the kitchen, it works really well. Small scale With its red silicone top and droplet shape, the Drop looks low-tech, almost like the top to some container you’ve misplaced. It’s pretty small — just under six inches in diameter. The only clue to what’s beneath the silicone is a little red light that softly illuminates when you push the divot that serves as its button. And that’s all it is to my fiancé, who has an Android phone. Everything else happens on the iPhone app; there’s not even a display so you can use it as a regular scale. Once the app is downloaded, tap the button on the scale to pair it with your phone via Bluetooth. There isn’t a whole lot on the settings page to deal with; you chose whether you want grams or ounces, and Fahrenheit or Celsius. If you create an account, you can do things like save your favorite recipes. Of course, it’s not like you’ll easily get lost among the Drop app’s recipe list. The search function is pretty straightforward and has filters for things like meal, diet (gluten-free, vegetarian, paleo, low fat, dairy-free, vegan, low sugar, and nut-free), difficulty, total time, (less than 30 minutes to over two hours), and occasions. But also, the app only has 271 recipes total. Drop paired with Good Housekeeping and the food community Food52 to make the recipes, and they’re definitely delicious. Drop emphasized quality over quantity when it comes to the recipes, and it shows. Also, the Drop’s legacy as a baker’s tool is evident. Here’s the breakdown when it comes to recipes in each category: Breakfast and brunch: 87 Lunch: 34 Dinner: 29 Sides: 32 Appetizers: 16 Desserts: 114 Snacks and treats: 93 To go along with Drop’s delicious thyme and garlic marinated chicken, I tried to find a recipe for Brussels sprouts. There weren’t any — and I couldn’t import my own. Drop says it’s working hard on this feature, but for now, it’s like the difference between buying a single cookbook and having the Internet’s whole database of recipes at your fingertips. Whip it up The Drop scale has a lot of features that make it better than the regular dumb scale we have in our kitchen, but it’s not perfect. I weighed a lemon on the regular scale, and it instantly told me it was 4.7 ounces. Provided you have the app, you can use the Drop as a regular scale, too, but I had a weird experience with it. The scale feature climbed like I was watching a thermometer all the way to 4.7 ounces. This didn’t happen when I put a half-full (7.6 ounces) can of soda on it, though. It seemed to have a bit of trouble with light measurements. I noticed this when making the (much raved about) lemon poppy seed cookies. When you’re making a recipe, the app has a really cool feature: a dashed line that indicates how much of an ingredient you need. As you pour in the flour or lemon juice, the space below fills up with white. Once you reach the right amount, the app automatically moves you forward to the next step. The 0.2 ounces of baking powder fluttered below the line, seeming to take far more than the teaspoon the recipe called for. For larger amounts, though, like the two cups of flour, everything worked fine. Sometimes the app doesn’t automatically skip forward — if you’re mixing something together, for example. For that, there’s the button on the scale itself. Hit it with batter-covered fingers and it will move the app along. It’s way better than getting goo on your phone… or phone germs on your food. I made two batches of the cookies, and the results seemed perfectly consistent both times. The same might not be said if I was using my imperfect measuring cup. Another really useful thing about the Drop is its “scale up” feature. While I can’t do something like tell it to double the recipe, I could put in twice the amount of butter, then hit the scale up button. It would then automatically apply the new measurements to the rest of the recipe. Maybe it’s not the ideal way to double a recipe, but it’s really useful if I accidentally didn’t buy enough poppy seeds, for example. If I start with that measurement, the Drop adjusts everything down to fit the quantity I have. This is especially useful for something like chicken, when packages never give you exactly a pound. The app tries to be self-contained. It gives you little hints and tips for certain steps, has a built-in timer, and lets you swap out ingredients. You can’t substitute anything for bananas when making banana bread, but it gives a whole list of sugars you can use if you don’t have brown on hand. Overall, I found the recipes really easy to follow and the results fabulous. I do have one bone to pick with the app’s new cocktail feature, however. Much like with baking or cooking, it walks you through the steps of crafting 21 drinks. I tried the Moscow Mule and was dismayed to find that it didn’t call for any lime juice. It tells you to garnish with a lime, sure, but it doesn’t actually prompt you to pour any in. I’ve never seen a Moscow Mule recipe that didn’t call for it (nor has my brother, a former bartender). Even Oprah’s recipe, which weirdly adds simple syrup, has lime juice. Drop told me it’s making the cocktail recipes in house. After trying the Moscow Mule, I took their drink recipes with a salty rim. Conclusion The $100 Drop seems like a good tool to bust out when you’re baking cookies — just not if you’re making your grandma’s secret recipe. If you could upload your own recipes to the Drop app, it would easily become a tool for daily use in the kitchen. But If you’re paleo, for example, there are only six recipes on the entire app that fit your dietary restrictions. With fewer than 300 recipes and an occasionally wonky scale feature, you might not pull the Drop out to make dinner every night — but you’ll be happy when you do. Highs Easy to use Good recipes Consistent results Clean, compact design Lows Limited recipe database Scale readings sometimes fluctuate No display on the scale itself
Android Marshmallow is on its way, or so we have been told. Jack Wallen believes the Android upgrade process is broken, and presents a three-step way to fix it.
2015 has already graced us with a slew of quality from Chinese smartphone manufacturer Huawei, from the Nexus 6P and the Honor 7 to the Mate S and the P8. It seems like the Chinese firm is ready to excite the smartphone landscape once again with the Mate 8, the sequel to last year’s Mate 7. Much like with the Mate 7 before it, the most striking aspect of the Mate 8 is its gargantuan 6-inch, 1,920 x 1,080 resolution display. As big as the screen may be, however, Huawei made sure to emphasize the Mate 8’s ergonomics just as much, which is why the relatively high 83 percent screen-to-body ratio makes sure to make the phone easier to handle than you might think. Related: Check out our review of the Nexus 6P Also an improvement from the Mate 7 is the Mate 8’s internals, with the octa-core 2.3GHz Kirin 950 processor the star of the show. Offering a 100 percent performance boost over the Kirin 930 processor found in the Mate 7, the Kirin 950 brings with it an i5 co-processor, which will handle speech recognition, reduced location-based power consumption, and low-power MP3 consumption, among other tasks a typical processor would normally need to handle. Elsewhere, the Mate 8 retains the rear-mounted fingerprint sensor found on the Mate 7, though it’s now a circular design rather than the square design of yore. In addition, the Mate 8 seems to incorporate more aluminum into its DNA, with the 2.5D curved glass front panel making sure those side swipes feel more natural. Finally, the Mate 8 runs Huawei’s EMUI 4.0, the company’s own flavor of Android 6.0 Marshmallow. Unfortunately, Huawei left out several other key specifications, such as the resolutions of the front and rear cameras and the amount of internal memory, among other key details. It’s rumored that the Mate 8 carries a 20.7-megapixel camera on the back and an 8-megapixel selfie shooter, with the smartphone coming in two flavors: one with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage and the other with 3GB of RAM and 32GB of storage. If the idea of another aluminum Huawei smartphone sounds good to you as much as it does to us, the Mate 8 will be available in Champagne Gold, Moonlight Silver, Space Gray, and Mocha Brown. As for region availability, the Mate 8 will be available in China starting in the first quarter of 2016. More information, which likely includes pricing for different regions and more specifications, will be revealed during CES 2016. Next page: Rumors about the Huawei Mate 8 before launch Design may be reminiscent of the Mate 7 More photos of what could be the Huawei Mate 8 have been leaked by GforGames. The new photos show four different colors we can expect for the Mate 8: black, silver, gold, and what we suspect is a rose gold. We see once again the edge-to-edge display spotted on previous photo leaks, along with the fingerprint sensor and dual-LED flash on the back. The design, if it turns out to be accurate, is very attractive. Related: Huawei Ascend Mate 7 hands on The photos were originally leaked on Chinese news site iMobile and microblogging service Weibo, but both have been taken down. Before this, OnLeaks revealed some new details earlier in November on what could be the Mate 8. In a spate of tweets, OnLeaks showed what looks like the back, front, and sides of the Mate 8, along with a short video of the device. The photos posted are quite convincing. The Mate 8 uses the same all-metal aesthetic as the Mate S, and has a fingerprint sensor on the back. OnLeaks said that the Mate 8 will not feature USB Type-C. No comments have been made on the screen or megapixel size. No physical buttons appear on the front of the leaked device, meaning we’re likely going to see software buttons. The display appears to be full edge-to-edge, with the Huawei logo and front-facing camera the only areas of non-screen on the front of the smartphone. However, this could be an optical illusion, generated by a black screen and matching black borders. Our first look at what could be the Mate 8 came from a Chinese source in late July, when a pair of renders showing the device were published online. The pictured phone’s design resembled the Mate 7 from 2014, right down to the large fingerprint sensor on the rear. On the front, the display has very thin bezels, and what looks like a flash unit is set above it, opposite the front-facing selfie camera. Subsequently, a short video was published an then deleted from YouTube, showing a hands-on with a phone said to be the Huawei Mate 8. The design was slightly different to the phone in the leaked picture. On the rear, the flash unit was off to the side of the camera lens, rather than between it and the potential fingerprint sensor. There was no obvious Huawei branding, with the name ‘Miahen’ used instead, but this could be creatively altered to make the company’s name. There were changes to the front, with no evidence of a front-facing flash, and the selfie cam lens and ambient light sensor sat to one side of the speaker. The phone was shown in a gold color. Premium body, high specs rumored The Mate 8, which drops the Ascend sub-brand in accordance with the Huawei’s new device naming conventions, seems categorically premium. According to a source in China, it’ll feature an all-metal body and extraordinarily thin bezel around a 2560 x 1440 touchscreen. The internals sound just as uncompromising: a 20.7-megapixel rear camera with a Sony sensor, up to 4GB of RAM, a fingerprint sensor, and support for Cat.6 LTE service. Reportedly driving the powerhouse is Huawei’s in-house Kirin 950 with eight CPU cores, a processor that the source claims matches or bests the performance of Qualcomm’s upcoming Snapdragon 820. Another report states Huawei will make two versions of the Mate 8, one with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage space, and the other with 3GB of RAM and 32GB of internal memory. It also adds the front facing camera may have 8-megapixels. However, the report questions whether the Kirin 950 chip will be ready in time for the Mate 8, and Huawei may be forced to go with an alternative. Related: Here’s some confidence for you: Huawei wants to chase down Apple and Samsung in the U.S. This fits with earlier leaks indicating the Mate 8 would sport a Kirin 930 processor, and those reports also linked the phone with a 16-megapixel camera with optical image stabilization — but suitably high-end components are in line with previous Huawei Mate phones. Last year’s Ascend Mate 7, for instance, featured a massive 4,100mAh battery, 3GB of RAM, and a high-contrast IPS panel. It’s reasonable to speculate the Mate 8’s screen size will be roughly in line with its predecessor, and the gigantic P8 Max. This Chinese source agrees, stating it will measure 6-inches and have a 2K — which we’ll take to mean 2560 x 1440 pixels — resolution. A few unknowns remain. It’s likely the Mate 8 will run the newest iteration of Huawei’s Emotion UI overlay, but it’s unclear how radical a change it’ll be from the version (Emotion UI 3.0) that debuted alongside the the Ascend Mate 7. As for price, don’t expect the Mate 8 to be cheap. The Ascend Mate 7’s going rate in the UK was £399, or about $623. November 26 event teased According to Chinese blog Mobile Dad, Huawei has started teasing an event on November 26, which could see the arrival of the long-rumored phone. The teaser image shows a large figure 8, and states the Mate model line will return. It seems like a safe bet the phone on display will be the Mate 8, but it’s unofficial for now. Where will the Mate 8 be sold? If the Ascend Mate 7’s performance is anything to go by — Huawei shipped 1 million units in its first month of availability — the Mate 8 will undoubtedly sell well in China. But Zhiqiang Xu, president of the company’s U.S. division, earlier this year expressed ambitions beyond the mainland, asserting that 2015 would be “critical for Huawei” in its quest gain a U.S. foothold. To that end, Huawei has committed to improving its American portal for unsubsidized, unlocked device sales by staffing call centers in the U.S. and offering free shipping to and from local repair centers. The company has so far been reticent to brings its flagship devices to U.S. shores — the Ascend Mate 7 never landed stateside — but that could change with the Mate 8. Previous Updates: Updated on 11-25-2015 by David Curry: Added in more possible photos of the Huawei Mate 8. Updated on 11-18-2015 by David Curry: Added in new photos of the apparent Mate 8. Updated on 11-02-2015 by Andy Boxall: Added in news the Mate 8 may launch on November 26 Updated on 08-04-2015 by Andy Boxall: Added in a short video which may show the Huawei Mate 8 Updated on 07-23-2015 by Andy Boxall: Added in leaked picture that may show the Huawei Mate 8 Article first published on 07-22-2015
Hotel customers are enjoying a new way of reaching out to the Hyatt hotel chain through social media. Through a marketing partner called Conversocial, the hotel operator is testing Facebook Messenger as a social channel for customer service. This tool opens up new channels of support engagement. It puts the Hyatt corporation squarely in the center of where many conversations are happening, while offering immediate assistance to a new audience. Using the app, users will be able to easily reach Hyatt. They can also make reservations and engage in live conversations with the company’s chat support team. They will be able to ask about availability, reservation info, room features, and more as easily as through a phone call or email. New channels Hyatt has been active in customer support through Twitter. However, when the two platforms are compared, Facebook’s large user base will open access to a wider audience. Twitter’s audience is limited in comparison. There are a number of users that either don’t have an account or have abandoned the service. Related: Facebook Messenger for Android reaches 1 billion downloads Hyatt sees a personalized advantage through the features on the system, and responsive exchanges with the company are the end goal. Customers can actively view status updates, such as when messages have been read, when people are typing, and other notifications. Big audience, big potential In March, Facebook set the path for Messenger support for businesses. Hyatt became one of seven brands actively testing the Businesses on Messenger tool. Facebook says that it has more than 700 million active monthly users on Messenger. This new channel for customer service delivers a fresh relevance to customers in a way that they are familiar with. Access, fast service, and fast response are elements that will refine customer engagement for more companies to explore in the future.
We all have workplace issues to deal with, but at least the IT guy isn’t filming an action TV show featuring him fighting off villains with guns — lots of guns — in the office. That’s the premise of a new series from CollegeHumor, which has created a scripted remake of its 2008 web series Fatal Decision. The new show will only be available on Verizon’s free mobile go90 streaming video app (available on iOS and Android). There are 52 slated episodes of the Zach Reino-starring series produced by CollegeHumor’s Big Breakfast team, according to Variety. The show, which had its soft launch last week, will post new episodes on the mobile streamer each Wednesday. Related : It’s a time-traveling team-up in the first trailer for DC’s Legends of Tomorrow “Fatal Decision, which is loosely based on the CollegeHumor web series of the same name, is the ultimate movie within a movie,” said CollegeHumor head of video Sam Reich in a statement. “We hope that audiences get invested both in the story—that of Josh Mullen, trying to make an action series—and the story within the story—that of Jack Maxwell, unstoppable action hero.” The go90 exclusive is part of CollegeHumor’s deal to post ten new clips to the mobile streamer each month. Variety does note that, while CollegeHumor syndicates to partners like Vessel, Conde Nast Entertainment, and Samsung, most of the entertainment entity’s video audience remains on YouTube. “While CollegeHumor has been fortunate to pursue a variety of distribution opportunities, YouTube remains at the core with a primary AVOD window going to that platform,” said CollegeHumor general manager Shane Rahmani to the industry publication. go90 launched as a mobile-only free video service aimed at millennials in October. Its catalog of 8,000 TV episodes and clips include more than 35 exclusive series with content from AwesomenessTV, Vice, and Endemol Beyond USA. The streamer also recently inked a deal to bring a limited number of live NBA games mobile phones for free.
It would be nice if all Android phones could upgrade to Android 6.0 Marshmallow as soon as new software is released but we know that’s pretty much impossible. However, PhoneArena has posted a really handy guide letting us know when we can expect some top Android phones to get Marshmallow in the near future and it has some very specific intel on Samsung’s popular flagship Galaxy devices. MUST WATCH: Once you see these 10 movie mistakes, you’ll never be able to unsee them Here, according to PhoneArena, is when you can expect your Samsung phone to get Marshmallow: Galaxy Note 5 (December 2015) Galaxy S6 edge+ (January 2016) Galaxy S6 (January 2016) Galaxy S6 edge (January 2016) Galaxy Note 4 (February 2016) Galaxy
Few sports remain as polarizing both on and off the field as the sport of American football. Though it’s continually bogged down by an array of constant criticism — i.e. lack of oversight, the (massive) concussion issue, 2014’s domestic violence problem, etc. — the NFL continues to chug along, making a pretty penny for players and owners alike. But you know what its greatest achievement is? Getting literally every TV set, cell phone, tablet, or otherwise, to tune in every Sunday morning from September to January. The NFL knows how addictive it is for fans. We certainly can’t look away. Related: Watch college football on any screen with our live streaming guide The NFL’s popularity knows no boundaries, but the same can’t be said about the broadcasting of its games. Whether you’ve decided to forgo cable and join in on the budding cord-cutting revolution, live in an area that doesn’t show your favorite team’s games, or have some obstacle or another in your way, it’s not always easy to get your NFL fix. To help, we’ve compiled this comprehensive guide on where to stream all the NFL action on tap for the regular season and playoffs. So put on your favorite Tim Biakabutuka jersey and find a comfortable spot on the couch, here’s your (digital) front row ticket to the NFL. Thursday CBS Sports After offering free streams of a few Thursday Night Football games during the 2014 NFL season, CBS decided it would offer an even larger selection of Thursday Night Football games this season. On tap to broadcast Thursday Night Football games from Week 2 to Week 8, CBS once again partnered with NFL Network to bring these regular season games to a wider range of fans. By visiting the CBS Sports website on the night of a game, you have free access to the exact cable broadcast they’d find on TV. Sunday NFL Sunday Ticket Once again this season, DirecTV offers people the option of buying NFL Sunday ticket subscriptions without having to build it into a separate TV subscription. Basically, you get all the perks of NFL Sunday Ticket without requiring the installation of a satellite. Everyone wins. The packages themselves come in three varieties: stream games to a computer, phone, or tablet ($200 for the season); stream games via a video game console ($260 for the season); and the last package combines the previous two options ($360 for the season). Moreover, the highest tier for Sunday Ticket also gives users the ability to tune into its Red Zone Channel, as well as its DirecTV Fantasy Zone. While this represents one of the most comprehensive ways to watch the NFL this season, it does come with a few caveats. First, Sunday Ticket only grants users the ability to watch games on Sunday, so this means users won’t have access to each week’s Thursday Night Football and Monday Night Football contests. However, DirecTV does offer special student pricing which costs just $25 per month for Sunday Ticket access, so if you’re a student — or just say you are — you’ll have the ability to score every Sunday football game for less. Fox Sports Go Adding to the growing stable of television networks offering NFL streams this season is none other than Fox. NFL fans with a compatible cable subscription from such providers like Comcast, Time Warner Cable, Verizon FiOS, or Charter (among others), have access to 104 streamable football games this season. You need to visit Fox’s Fox Sports Go app, enter in the required subscription information, and then your desired football game appears. Unfortunately, this option only works on devices which stream to your television, meaning those who fancy streaming games on their phones will have to forgo this option altogether. NFL Network If you want to go straight to the source, the NFL Network offers access to streaming and RedZone, depending on your cable or satellite provider. RedZone is the best way to watch all the Sunday games at the same time, and will roll through when teams are close to making a scoring play, often splitting the screen between two games. If you’re a fantasy guru, this is a great way to stay on top of all your games, and you’ll never miss a touchdown. You need a service provider that allows the NFL Network (sorry Comcast users). NFL GamePass Beginning this year, NFL.com decided to offer a new streaming option called GamePass, though it isn’t as desirable as you’d imagine. For just $100 for the entire season, a GamePass subscription allows you the ability to stream any regular season game after it’s aired, and also gives access to rewatch any games played from 2009-2015. Obviously the biggest draw to watching the NFL is watching it unfold in real time, so this option doesn’t really offer much for football fanatics. But hey, options. Sunday Night Football NBC Sports live stream Because NBC airs each Sunday Night Football game throughout the season — as well as a Thursday Night Football game on Thanksgiving — the network also streams the games online via NBCSports.com. Better, each game streamed on NBC’s website is free and doesn’t require any sort of paid cable subscription to view. Get used to Cris Collinsworth and Al Michaels’ in-game banter, though. There’s going to be a lot of it. Monday Night Football WatchESPN WatchESPN is an online-only companion service that lets you stream live games — of any sport — which, in this case, means Monday Night Football. You must have a paid subscription to a compatible cable provider, but this doesn’t always mean you need to have a cable package that includes ESPN. Perhaps you know someone kind enough to “lend” their username and password tied to their cable account. ESPN only holds the rights to air Monday Night Football games, so this won’t work for Sunday games. However, the WatchESPN app is available for phones and tablets, so you can catch Monday night’s action no matter where you are. Sling TV Subscribers to Dish Networks’ cord-cutting Sling TV get live access to a wide variety of channels, which includes ESPN. With access to ESPN’s live broadcasts, Slingers have the ability to stream Monday Night Football games each week and won’t have to shell out any more dough than the $20 per month they already spend. Questionable streaming sites Keep in mind that most of the illegal streaming options available come loaded with unwanted spam and a barrage of pop-up windows. Leaning on such links can be frustrating, particularly when it comes to finding quality video and audio feeds with little buffering. Related: How to connect your laptop to a TV However, you must also keep in mind many of these sites illegally broadcast the content, and your computer is at a high risk of malware when using them. Nevertheless, you’ll notice the deep selection of links available to you once you find an adequate streaming site on the Web. Notorious sites — though technically legal given they only provide links to various broadcast streams instead of broadcasting the copyrighted content — fall upon the gray areas of the law. Note: As a rule of thumb, never click on any link which asks you to download any HD Players, update your streaming software, or to install any “required” media players. These are often just spam links that could infect your computer with viruses. Other resources NFL subreddit An incredible resource for information about almost anything, Reddit has more than enough NFL information each week to satisfy any fan of the sport. Reddit’s loyal user base generates the site’s wealth of content, which is both a blessing and a curse. You’ll find heaps of NFL-themed pictures, videos, and even alternative streaming sites during game days. ESPN’s Gamecast Though not a video option, ESPN offers its signature play-by-play Gamecast presentation for each NFL game during every week of the season. Simply head over to the NFL scoreboard page via ESPN’s website, click your desired game, and a Gamecast window opens. This feature shows real-time events including completed passes, penalties, interceptions, or long TD runs. Gamecast also lists each team’s stats, every game’s box score, and gives you access to all social media activity pertaining to the day’s games. Next page: Week 12 matchups and game times… Thursday – 9:30 a.m. PST Philadelphia Eagles (4-6) @ Detroit Lions (3-7) P rediction: Eagles 24 Lions 20 Thursday – 1:30 p.m. PST Carolina Panthers (10-0) @ Dallas Cowboys (3-7) P rediction: Panthers 30 Cowboys 13 Thursday – 5:30 p.m. PST Chicago Bears (4-6) @ Green Bay Packers (7-3) P rediction: Bears 13 Packers 24 Sunday – 10 a.m. PST Oakland Raiders (4-6) @ Tennessee Titans (2-8) P rediction: Raiders 17 Titans 10 Buffalo Bills (5-5) @ Kansas City Chiefs (5-5) P rediction: Bills 16 Chiefs 13 Tampa Bay Buccaneers (5-5) @ Indianapolis Colts (5-5) P rediction: Buccaneers 17 Colts 23 New York Giants (5-5) @ Washington Redskins (4-6) P rediction: Giants 30 Redskins 20 New Orleans Saints (4-6) @ Houston Texans (5-5) Prediction: Saints 17 Texans 28 Minnesota Vikings (7-3) @ Atlanta Falcons (6-4) Prediction: Vikings 26 Falcons 20 St. Louis Rams (4-6) @ Cincinnati Bengals (8-2) Prediction: Rams 17 Bengals 31 San Diego Chargers (2-8) @ Jacksonville Jaguars (4-6) Prediction: Chargers 20 Jaguars 17 Miami Dolphins (4-6) @ New York Jets (5-5) Prediction: Dolphins 23 Jets 20 Sunday – 1:05 p.m. PST Arizona Cardinals (8-2) @ San Francisco 49ers (3-7) Prediction: Cardinals 27 49ers 10 Sunday – 1:25 p.m. PST Pittsburgh Steelers (6-4) @ Seattle Seahawks (5-5) P rediction: Steelers 17 Seahawks 20 Sunday Night Football – 5:30 p.m. PST New England Patriots (10-0) @ Denver Broncos (8-2) P rediction: Patriots 27 Broncos 24 Monday Night Football – 5:30 p.m. PST Baltimore Ravens (3-7) @ Cleveland Browns (2-8) P rediction: Ravens 9 Browns 13
Sometimes, letting go of the past is easier said than done, particularly when there are still people in the world who would rather depend on so-called “dumbphones” than modern-day smartphones. Enter Microsoft, with the recently-announced Nokia 230 and its dual-SIM counterpart. The Nokia 230 carries very humble specifications. It’s equipped with a 2.8-inch, 240 x 320 pixel resolution display. Running on the Series 30+ platform, the Nokia 230 is equipped with 16MB of RAM, and the MicroSD card slot gives the phone up to an 32GB of internal memory. Related: Samsung made an Android flip phone with two screens called the W2016 The 1,200mAh battery should give the Nokia 230 a maximum of 27 days standby time, 23 hours of 2G talk time, and 52 hours of music playback. Around front lies a 2-megapixel camera, which — funny enough — is actually higher resolution than some smartphones’ front-facing cameras nowadays. Finally, a 2-megapixel camera with flash can be found around back. Because of the hardware, don’t expect anything close to 4K video recording, as the front-facing camera only allows for 480p. The rear camera, meanwhile, records 320 x 240 resolution videos. Interestingly, both cameras feature flash modules, which is quite the rarity in dumbphones. Crucially, the Nokia 230 comes pre-loaded with Opera Mini, Bing Search, and MSN Weather, while the 2.5G support ensures you’ll actually be able to use the apps. However, much like with other dumbphones, you’ll need to switch back to Mini SIM to take advantage of the connectivity. Finally, seeing as the Nokia 230 is a candybar dumbphone, expect to use the nostalgic T9 keyboard if you want to get some typing done. If you’re intrigued by what the Nokia 230 has to offer, it’ll be available this December for roughly $55. However, unless you live in India, Asia, or the Middle East, expect to import one.
Hiring a home security guard who can keep you constantly updated on the goings-on around your house (and send you pictures and video to boot) is expensive. It’s also a bit unrealistic — after all, unless you live in a museum or a bank, it seems unlikely that your guests will find personnel standing guard against intruders. But just because you don’t have the world’s largest collection of Impressionist era paintings or billions in other people’s cash doesn’t mean you don’t deserve unparalleled protection. Which is why the Angee is such a brilliant innovation. Described as the world’s first truly autonomous home security system, Angee is an advanced security and communication system that moves with you, talks to you, and best of all, adapts to your daily routine. Think of it as a security TiVo of sorts, with the capacity to “learn” its environment and the people it’s meant to protect. To use Angee, simply download the app, pair it with the sleek, black console, and then place security tags at entry points or at points around your home you’d like Angee to look after. Arming and disarming the device is fully automated through a two-step authentication process of phone and voice recognition. And from there, security is all downhill. With 360° visibility and motion-tracking technology, Angee can automatically turn towards whatever is happening in its vicinity, thanks to its unique sensory technology and algorithm-enabled intelligent trigger system. Because Angee recognizes members of your household (either by their voice or the Bluetooth signal on their phone) and learns their exit and entry patterns, it can detect suspicious activity, including movement by someone it doesn’t know, changes in background noise, or even unfamiliar voices. Related: Amazon resets some customer passwords over security fear If Angee feels something is alert-worthy, it’ll send you a notification via the mobile app (available on both iOS and Android), and will proceed to stream video to show you exactly what’s going on. But Angee is much more than a security system. A sort of personal assistant, Angee can be controlled by your voice, and can answer phone calls, check your calendar, or even remind you to prepare for the weather (you don’t want rain coming in through your open windows). And because it’s completely portable, weighing in at just 1.3 pounds, and has a re-chargeable battery life of around 10 hours, you’ll never be left alone in the dark when it comes to home security. “We’ve created a home security system that is reliable and easy to use, and offers features that far exceed other systems in a similar price range,” said Angee Co-founder and CEO Tomas Turek. “Angee adapts to your specific environment and to your personal preferenc es, making you feel safe and comfortable. I think we’ve made an important step toward connecting people to their homes in a new and meaningful way.” Already, Angee has raised $531,107 from its Kickstarter campaign, far surpassing the original $250,000 goal the team had set. And now, they’re moving forward with another crowdsourcing effort on Indiegogo, where you can also pre-order one of these nifty Nest meets Amazon Echo devices for the early bird price of $312.
In an effort to offer customers in 3G markets a cheaper smartphone alternative, LG announced the LG Ray X190. The 5.5-inch LG Ray is not full HD, but it features a 720p resolution. The phone also sports a metallic design and a removable 3,000mAh battery. A 1.4GHz octa-core processor powers the device, along with 1GB of RAM, which is disappointing — even for this budget phone. The device’s design is similar to other LG phones, with the volume rocker on the back of the phone. It also includes familiar features such as Knock Code to unlock the phone and Gesture Shot for the camera. The speaker looks as though it is placed on the back of the phone, which means sound may be muffled by your hand or the surface of a table if it’s face up. Related: LG cancels LTE Watch Urbane launch due to complicated hardware issue The Ray runs Android 5.1 and houses a 13-megapixel rear camera, as well as an 8-megapixel front camera, which is decent for a phone in this tier. “Customers in 3G markets continue to be a priority for LG so we will continue to develop new products with these consumers in mind,” Juno Cho, president and CEO of LG Electronics Mobile Communications Company, said in the blogpost. “No matter the country or the device, every LG customers will receive a unique user experience with a balance of design, performance and value.” The LG Ray will most likely not be seen in the U.S. market. While the price hasn’t been announced yet, the phone has been rumored to cost around 15,000 rubles or about $232, according to Android Authority. The LG Ray is rolling out to former Soviet Union countries soon, followed by several parts of Latin America. The color options include silver, gold, and titan black.
Sleeping bags and tents are popping up near the big box stores, but don’t worry, it’s just America’s intense need to bargain hunt once again. Black Friday is coming, and if you want to survive this weekend with a few deals under your belt, you’ll need all the help you can get. We’ve got you covered once again with our list of must-have apps for the big shopping weekend, so you can get an upper hand on whatever deals you might be hunting for. This year our apps guide covers a range of useful apps, including some that help you keep track of Black Friday ads, compare prices, clip coupons, and everything else in between you and that doorbuster. Below are the four categories of apps covered. With even just a few of these apps, you’ll lead the Black Friday charge like a pro, even if you’re only running on an hour of sleep, a latte, and three cans of Mountain Dew. Jump to Deals and alerts | Navigation | Price comparison Alerts and deals At the heart of Black Friday is the need to bring order to the chaos of ads and offers at hundreds of stores. Here are some apps to consider that will help you keep track of deals, find alerts on the stuff you want, and so much more. Dealnews Black Friday 2015 Dealnews pulls information on Black Friday sales and ongoing deals from thousands of websites and retailers. All you have to do is sort through this app and pick the stores you plan to visit. Once you do, you’ll have access to their Black Friday ads, and the ability to set alerts when retailers issue new prices both in-store and online. The app is designed just for Black Friday to keep an eye on all the special deals, but you can also use it for Cyber Monday and other deal days that come before and after the big day. Available for: iOS Android SlickDeals Imagine having your own army of deal hunters who share with you the very greatest ways to save money on Black Friday. Powered by a community totaling more than 2 million members, SlickDeals is that very army, one that offers up a host of features that enable your on-the-fly Black Friday and Cyber Monday shopping. Not only do members post the very best deals they find, but SlickDeals also lets you monitor for on-the-spot deals that quickly go out of stock. You can also set alerts if something you’ve been looking for is posted as a deal by a fellow community member. Available for: iOS Android Flipp Flipp is an all-in-one flyer, coupon, and savings tracker for your smartphone. Whether it’s for the coming Black Friday madness or just another weekly visit to the supermarket, Flipp helps guide you through every step of the way. Flipp has added new features that enable you to easily add coupons from various store circulars and print them via email. That way, you can plan your entire Black Friday invasion right from your smartphone. Available for: iOS Android Shopular There are plenty of apps out there that handle your Black Friday alerts and notifications, but Shopular is one that not only handles all the deal alerts, but also keeps track of your coupons, cash back, and other rewards in the process. Shopular lets you scour major retailers for deals, while marking off special coupons that you can use directly on your smartphone when checking out. You can even rake in cash back through the app to save you even more money during the holiday season. Available for: iOS Android Shopkick Catching a deal is a great achievement in its own right, but you can sweeten it further with the help of an app like Shopkick. Shopkick works by awarding points — aka “kicks” — every time you walk into a retailer. It will make offers and suggestions based on your interests, and let you know what deals are going on at the store you’re visiting. You’ll also get important contact and store details as you walk in. The kicks you earn can later be redeemed for gift cards at all sorts of stores, including Target and Starbucks. Available for: iOS Android Mint Mint, Intuit’s personal finance app, is hardly a Black Friday shopping app. That said, when you’re running around the mall, the last thing you want to be worrying about is which credit card to use when you make it to the register. Rather than sort through each of your credit card apps in the midst of the Black Friday chaos, the Mint app lets you manage everything from one application, allowing you to view credit card balances without fumbling through your individual bank accounts. While many use Mint already to manage finances, the app is especially helpful on Black Friday, given you can keep an eye on your spending without getting lost in a throng of apps. It’s also great for tracking each credit card and tagging transactions to help you find them later. Available for: iOS Android Next Page: Navigation Navigation Once you’re ready to hit the road, it helps to have a little extra guidance, as millions of Americans will fight tooth-and-nail to beat you to the mall or shopping center. Here are apps to help navigate not just your route to the mall, but also find parking and the stores you want once inside. Point Inside If you don’t frequent your local mall, making your way around on Black Friday is no easy task. The Point Inside app for malls and airports gives you an easy way to map your Black Friday adventure with built-in maps for hundreds of malls across North America. Point Inside gives you access to offline maps of your favorite malls and shopping centers ahead of the big day. Before you arrive, you can plan your attack, figure out the best place to park, and get a sense of which stores you want to visit and when. Plus, it helps to have a copy of the mall map on your phone so you don’t end up aimlessly wandering. Available for: iOS Android Waze Once you’re on your way to the mall, it’s good to take the route with the fewest traffic delays, speed cameras, and unwanted police activity. The Waze app, now owned and operated by Google, is perfect for monitoring conditions on the road. Waze works by tracking activity among its millions of users, sharing the information for smarter driving. It works like any other GPS in lieu of Google Maps or Apple Maps, while also allowing you to share your driving experiences and help other drivers. It’s another way of getting an edge while out and about on Black Friday. You can even have Stephen Colbert lead the way. Available for: iOS Android Windows Phone ParkWhiz If your Black Friday adventure will bring you into or near a major city, then you already know the chaos that comes with finding a parking spot. If you’re in an especially urban area where you may need to visit a parking garage, you can actually reserve your parking space ahead of Black Friday with ParkWhiz. ParkWhiz partners with thousands of parking garages across the country, offering an easy-to-read map of prices, availability, and other information about parking garages in your area. This app only supports parking opportunities from supported garages that charge for parking. If you’re wondering what free or nearby mall parking is available, you’ll still need to search for a spot like everyone else. If you were going to pay either way, this app can even get you a discount on some garages. It essentially guarantees you parking in cities where an open spot is rarer than a four-leaf clover. Available for: iOS Android Jump to Deals and alerts | Navigation | Price comparison Next Page: Price comparison Price comparison Once in the store, it helps to have a few apps on hand that will help you make sure there’s no better deal, either nearby or online. You’d be surprised how often regular-priced items sit alongside items on sale to encourage their purchase. Apps like these use your camera in order to assess the true value of the products you find. Shopsavvy Shopsavvy is a must-have app for comparing prices on the items you want with online retailers and those in your neighborhood. You scan the barcode found on the product packaging, and Shopsavvy will plug that code into an online database to discover not just similar prices at other major retailers, but also product availability, details, and other useful information, without you having to manually type in the name. The app also helps by offering product suggestions and similar item interests based on what you scan and search for. Available for: iOS Android Amazon Everyone knows Amazon, and it never hurts to keep Amazon on your mind during your Black Friday shopping, especially if you have a Prime account. A second opinion could be the difference between discovering a deal that’s hot or not, and Amazon is the quickest and easiest way to find out if the product is available on the massive online retailer, and whether it’s cheaper. Plus, with retailers such as Best Buy finally beginning to match their prices with Amazon’s own deals, it gives you an easy way to get yourself a discount at the register. You can even scan items to search for them on the mega-retailer’s website. Available for: iOS Android Windows Phone ScanLife Want to compare prices and earn points for free stuff? ScanLife allows you to scan the Universal Product Codes (UPCs) that every item you buy has, in order to compare its price with other major retailers. As you scan and compare, you’ll get access to special deals, as well as accrue points that can be redeemed for gift cards and other goodies. You can also see what other people are scanning to find deals you may otherwise miss. Available for: iOS Android Windows Phone BlackBerry Some parting advice Mastering the Black Friday rush requires wits of steel, plenty of caffeine, and all the help you can get. These apps are all valuable in their own way, and can also help you at any time of the year. Just because they provide a swath of Black Friday offers doesn’t necessarily mean they don’t work the other 364 days of the year. If you can master Black Friday with these apps, then any other shopping trip will be a breeze, and you’ll never miss out on a deal while on your way to the store. Whether it’s just for the big day or for any other deal hunt, we hope the odds are forever in your favor! Jump to Deals and alerts | Navigation | Price comparison
A new official Star Wars game from EA that combines iconic characters with RPG complexity is now available on iOS and Android. Players can travel throughout the recognized Star Wars universe in order to find and recruit a host of characters from the existing franchise, from Luke Skywalker to Darth Maul. You can strategize on which characters complement each other most, then make your custom teams more powerful with new gear and loot you win from battles," said John Salera, Executive Producer on Star Wars: Galaxy of Heroes.
Whether you're a budding Jedi Knight or a novice Sith Lord, you'll soon be able to enjoy a virtual reality experience from a galaxy far, far away on Google's inexpensive VR peripheral. At present, neither Google nor Disney has revealed the name of the program, but has promised "a compelling story, which ties directly into the opening of Star Wars: The Force Awakens." The VR program is not an autonomous app, but rather an upcoming part of the official Star Wars app on iOS and Android. Since Google Cardboard is more or less a glorified phone holder, those who do not have one can still watch the tie-in videos, even though it may not seem quite as immersive.
Mobile payments aren’t exactly new. In fact, all previous attempts to kill the wallet have failed miserably. However, now that Apple Pay is available to all iPhone 6 and 6 Plus users, mobile payments are heating up. Banks, stores, and companies are jumping on the bandwagon and eagerly pledging their support for Apple Pay. It seems as if new partners are joining every day, so we’ve put together this handy list of all the major partners, which we’ll update as more are added. Here are all the brands and countries that support Apple Pay. Updated on 11-25-2015 by Malarie Gokey: Added news that Apple Pay may soon launch in China, as Apple reportedly strikes preliminary deal with UnionPay. Click on a link to go to a section: List of countries List of stores List of banks Use on Apple Watch List of apps Apple Pay is coming to China soon Initially, Apple Pay only worked in the United States, but Apple is interested in brining the service to users in many countries. Next up, appears to be China, according to reports. In late November, Bloomberg reported that China’s UnionPay and Apple have reached a preliminary agreement to bring the mobile payment service to the country by 2016. Other rumors point to an early February 2016 launch. If such an agreement has been struck, it’s a big win for Apple Pay. China’s UnionPay already has 5 million terminals in the country for payments, so working together would help spur Apple Pay adoption. Credit card issuers and banks are still being consulted, mainly because of concerns over transaction fees. Related: Apple pushing to get Apple Pay into China, early February launch reported Apple reportedly charges a 0.15 percent fee for every transaction made with its system. Although U.S. merchants are used to paying as much as 2 percent in total fees, Chinese merchants typically pay a mere 0.38 percent. The issue of fees is a reoccurring theme for Apple Pay, but assuming the parties involved work out a deal, UnionPay and Apple will bring Apple Pay to China together soon. It seems that UnionPay decided to ally itself with Apple in hopes of beating out the competition from Tencent and Alibaba. Much earlier on, a job posting spotted by iClarified showed that Apple is also seeking an Apple Pay Site Reliability Engineer for China. This person would be responsible for Apple’s team of employees in China who are “focused on the front line customer experience and the back end integration of Apple systems with our Network and Banking partners.” The fact that Apple is ramping up for an Apple Pay launch in China is no surprise, but the job listing seems to indicate that the launch may happen in the near future. It’s already in the Australia, the UK, Canada, and U.S. The first country to get Apple Pay other than the States was the U.K. You can read our full guide to Apple Pay in the U.K. here. Now, the payment system also works in Canada and Australia, albeit in a limited capacity. Only Canadians and Australians with American Express cards can use the service at present, but AmEx cards that have been co-branded with banks won’t work. The Sydney Morning Herald says there are 6.8 million AmEx cards out of 42 million credit cards in the country, which is pretty decent. It’s also unclear how many stores in Canada and Australia will support Apple Pay, though Tim Hortons, Indigo, McDonald’s, Petro Canada, and Staples were mentioned for Canada. In Australia, the stores include David Jones, Myer, McDonald’s, K-Mart, Telstra, Coles, Woolworths, Target, Starbucks, Officeworks, Hoyts, Zara, Bunnings, and Shell. Other banks and stores will likely join the service soon in both countries. In mid-October, TD Canada Trust accidentally leaked that Apple Pay would arrive as early as November. The bank quickly apologized for the mistake on is website, but this leak could indicate that TD Canada Trust will soon be a partner. Related: Square now accepts Apple Pay and Android Pay in 100 local businesses and counting Earlier on, sources stated that Apple is in talks with Canada’s six biggest banks, which account for 90 percent of all bank accounts in the country, to bring the mobile payment service to their customers, reports the Wall Street Journal. The Royal Bank of Canada, Toronto-Dominion Bank, Bank of Nova Scotia, Bank of Montreal, Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, and National Bank of Canada, were all mentioned in the report. Apparently, the banks may launch Apple Pay at different times, unnamed sources said, because some have bigger concerns over Apple’s requirements than others. Apparently, Apple may charge Canadian banks more to use Apple Pay than it charges American banks. Another sticking point may be worries over security and fraud. Some banks want to require the use of a PIN number in addition to the Apple Pay process, which is authorized with a fingerprint scan. Naturally, Apple may object to that request, if it’s made, because it will slow down the mobile payment process. In Australia, transaction fees seem to be a sore point, too, reports the Sydney Morning Herald. In the U.S., Apple reportedly gets about 15 cents on every $100 spent. In Australia, most banks charge a smaller transaction fee of just 50 cents per $100 spent, and in the U.S., that number is $1 for every $100 spent. The Herald report states that Apple is demanding the same cut of the transaction fee in Australia that it gets in America, even though the fees are different. Similar objections have been raised by other countries, including China. Australian banks are also concerned that Apple Pay may distract customers away from their new products. However, the biggest reason why Australian banks are leery of the deal seems to be that they have to pay money into a fund called the New Payments Platform, which aims to bring a new payment option to Australian customers and businesses. The banks worry that Apple pay may be included in the new system without having to pay its fair share to join. These issues could be resolved, though. Additionally, Visa Europe stated that it is working with Apple to bring the feature to Europe as soon as possible. On February 24, Visa Europe announced the launch of something called “tokenisation,” a super secure way of conducting mobile payments without exposing card and account details. Beyond that, it’s easily disabled in the event of a phone being stolen. Tokenization was a key driver in Apple Pay’s launch in the U.S., and is in use by Visa, Mastercard, and American Express. Its official introduction in Europe indicate’s Visa is making sure it’s prepared for Apple Pay’s eventual launch, which may by hastened by this important step. According to the press release, Visa tokenization will be online in mid-April. Related: Apple limits NFC on iPhone 6 models to Apple Pay In mid-December, a pair of job postings popped up on Apple’s website for a London-based intern who would “drive the roll-out” of Apple’s new mobile payment system across Europe, the Middle East, India, and Africa. The post was spotted by iClarified before Apple removed it. The intern would be responsible for forging partnerships with “payment networks and merchants across Europe,” the job description reads. Based on this report, it seems likely that Apple Pay will arrive in Europe relatively soon. Apple Pay works at 700,000 locations, will reach Starbucks in 2016 At the Recode mobile conference in October 2015, Apple VP Jennifer Bailey said Starbucks, KFC, and Chili’s restaurants would all accept Apple Pay in 2016, with the former starting a trail run before the end of this year. Don’t get too excited just yet, there’s no firm action date for any of them. These new Apple Pay stores will join the 700,000 stores across the U.S. that already accept the mobile payment system, a figure announced at Apple’s own Spring Forward event in early 2015. Apple started out with just 220,000 locations back in September 2014, and the number has grown month after month, despite initial resistance from competing mobile payment platforms. Rite Aid, a founding member of the exclusionary, rival CurrentC consortium, has reversed course and announced it’ll support Apple Pay and other contactless transaction methods soon. All of the company’s 4,600 stories will begin accepting contactless payments starting August 15, according to a press release. Rite Aid isn’t the first supporter of the CurrentC platform to change its mind about Apple Pay, which indicates that the tide is turning in NFC’s favor. Several big box retailers support Apple Pay, including Best Buy. Target is also reported to have plans for Apple Pay in the pipeline. Target CEO Brian Cornell told Recode the retailer will add chip and PIN technology to its checkouts before the holiday season of 2015, but Apple Pay will have to wait. Still, the CEO sounded optimistic that Apple Pay will soon be available at Target. On Apple’s website, the company lists its own store, Bloomingdales, Macy’s, Duane Reade, McDonald’s, Sephora, Petco, Panera Bread, Staples, Nike, Walgreens, Subway, Whole Foods, Marriott, and more as participating stores. The list continues to grow, with dozens of clothing stores, restaurants, and other retailers signing up. Also, chances are, if you see the NFC mobile payments symbol on a cash register, Apple Pay will work at that store, too. Related: Apple Watch uses skin contact to secure mobile payments Apple pay already works in 40,000 Coca Cola vending machines, but tap to pay will roll out to 100,000 Coke machines before 2016 arrives. Also, thanks to an earlier deal with USA Technologies, 200,000 vending machines and self-service terminals will now support Apple Pay. You’ll be able to tap-to-pay at vending machines, laundromats, parking terminals, and other automated check out systems with your iPhone instead of pulling out quarters and crinkled dollar bills. In September, iPhone users will be able to pay admission to national parks with Apple Pay, Tim Cook announced at the White House Summit on Cybersecurity and Consumer Protection. @SingAsana To clarify, Chevron is working alongside Apple to integrate Apple Pay at the pump, but a timeline is not set. — Chevron (@Chevron) December 29, 2014 You can already pay for your gas with Apple Pay at many gas stations, but you have to go inside to do so. Since most customers prefer to pay at the pump, Chevron announced via Twitter that it’s working with Apple to bring Apple Pay to the pump. Although there’s no official timeline set for the debut of tap-to-pay terminals at the pump, Chevron stated earlier that the new service may arrive at select gas stations as early as 2015. Just weeks before the launch, we saw businesses gearing up for the payment system’s big debut. The Panera Bread right below our New York office has new payment terminals that support Apple Pay. Even our local Foodtown grocery store in Queens, NY has signs posted at every register, announcing support for Apple Pay. Apple Pay will also branch out to more large venues and tourist attractions, such as amusement parks and stadiums. The mobile payment service already works in select stadiums’ concession stands around the country. In late December 2014, WDMagic revealed that a few Disney World locations will accept Apple Pay on Christmas Eve, with more locations to follow in 2015. The vast majority of stores, quick service restaurants, bars, and ticket sales booths for rides and other attractions will accept mobile payments from the start. Full-service, sit-down restaurants will receive the technology later on. More and more banks support Apple Pay Apple already has deals inked with the four major credit and debit card providers: Visa, Mastercard, Discover, and American Express. Previously, only personal AmEx cards were supported, but in early August, American Express added support for corporate cards. Apple also has the support of more than 600 banks and credit unions as of October 20, 2015. “Businesses today are going digital, and American Express is at the forefront of digital innovation, helping companies to streamline their payments systems and simplify their processes,” said Greg Keeley, the Executive Vice President of Global Corporate Payments at American Express. “We continue to invest and expand digital offerings for our corporate customers in ways that maximize security and enhance the user experience.” In late April, credit card provider Discover finally signed a deal with Apple that will bring Apple Pay to those with Discover credit cards in the fall of 2015. Now, every major credit card company in the U.S. has Apple Pay support. In addition, many of America’s leading banks, including Bank of America, Capital One, Chase, Citi, and Wells Fargo have signed up. Users can even send money transfers from Apple Pay at Western Union locations. By the start of August 2015, Apple Pay had gained support from more than 400 institutions in the U.S. alone, including many small, regional banks. You can check out Apple’s full list here. In early July, the company added 23 more banks, including major credit unions that serve 450,000 people in Texas. In February at the White House Summit on Cybersecurity and Consumer Protection, CEO Tim Cook announced that Apple Pay will soon support government employees’ credit cards, federal benefit cards for veterans, and social security benefit cards. According to Bloomberg, the government’s deal with Apple Pay includes the Direct Express payment network and government cards from GSA SmartPay. Related: Tim Cook says money will be forgotten by history, thanks to Apple Pay At the summit, Cook also hinted that Apple Pay will replace every card in your wallet one day — even drivers’ licenses. “We can imagine a day the not-so-distant future when your wallet becomes a remnant of the past,” he said. “Your passport, your driver’s license, and other important documents can be digitally stored in a way that’s safe, secure, and easy to access.” By mid-December, Apple confirmed to the New York Times it supports cards “that represent about 90 percent of the credit card purchase volume in the United States.” The company most recently added SunTrust, Barclaycard, USAA, TD Bank North America, and Commerce Bank to its list of partners. As such, anyone who’s a customer at these banks has the ability to link up their credit or debit cards with Apple Pay and make payments on the go at any store that accepts Apple Pay. Related: Apple Pay: What is it and how do I use it? We explain PNC, US Bank, and Navy Federal Credit Union also support Apple Pay. Seeing as the system supports the most popular credit and debit card makers, it seems likely that many other small banks are following suit. During its October iPad launch event, Apple announced that 500 more banks agreed to support Apple Pay when it launched in October. By October 20, 2015, Apple had added 100 more banks and credit unions to the list, bringing the total above 600. For a full list of banks that work with Apple Pay, follow the link. Non-traditional banking and payment companies are also pledging support for the system. Jack Dorsey, the CEO of Square, told CBC that Square will support Apple Pay and Bitcoin payments on its newest registers. Square’s registers are widely used by artists, small indie shops, and other stores, especially in large cities. Alternative registers from First Data’s Clover and others like Poynt, already support Apple Pay. A French payment company called Ingenico recently signed a deal with a Spanish luxury brand named Loewe to let customers use Apple Pay. Twitter is also reportedly testing a buy button on its site that will support Apple Pay. You can use Apple Pay on Apple Watch, too Although we already more or less knew that Apple Pay worked on the Apple Watch, now we’ve seen a demo of it at Apple’s Spring Forward event. Seeing as the Apple Watch has NFC technology built-in, it too can tap to pay. With the Apple Watch, you don’t have to physically tap it against the terminal, you just need to get close enough for it to register. A tap of the side button will bring up your credit card, and then you’re good to go. Applications Online shoppers will also be pleased to note that Apple Pay works with several apps, and more will be added shortly. The Apple Store, Target, AirBnB, Uber, Lyft, Groupon, Instacart, OpenTable, Panera Bread, Sephora, Spring, Starbucks, Tickets.com, and other apps all work with the new system. We’ll continue to update this article as more partners are announced. Next page: A list of article udpates Previous updates: Updated on 11-19-2015 by Malarie Gokey: Added news that Apple Pay launched in Australia. Updated on 11-17-2015 by Malarie Gokey: Added news that Apple Pay launched in Canada and is coming to Australia next. Updated on 11-16-2015 by Malarie Gokey: Added rumors that Apple Pay may launch in Canada on November 17. Updated on 10-20-2015 by Malarie Gokey: Added news that Apple Pay works with more than 600 banks and credit unions as October 20, 2015. Also added new rumor that Apple Pay will arrive in Canada this November. Jump to the list of countries and list of banks for more. Updated on 10-09-2015 by Andy Boxall: Added news that Apple Pay will come to Starbucks, KFC, and others in 2016. Updated on 08-18-2015 by Malarie Gokey: Added news that Apple’s plans for an Australian launch have hit a snag. Updated on 08-11-2015 by Kyle Wiggers: Added news that Rite Aid will begin supporting Apple Pay on August 15. Updated on 08-11-2015 by Malarie Gokey: Added news that American Express corporate cards will now work with Apple Pay. Updated on 07-07-2015 by Malarie Gokey: Added news that 23 more banks now support Apple Pay, and some U.K. users with the Santander bank have set up their cards on Apple Pay already, even though the official rollout hasn’t happened yet. Updated on 06-02-2015 by Malarie Gokey: Added news that 12 more banks have been adding, brining the total up to more than 300 institutions. Updated on 05-28-2015 by Malarie Gokey: Added news that may Target add Apple Pay support soon, but chip and PIN technology comes first. Updated on 04-28-2015 by Malarie Gokey: Added news that Discover credit cards will soon have Apple Pay support. Updated on 04-17-2015 by Malarie Gokey: Added news that Apple Pay may launch in November in Canada. Updated on 03-09-2015 by Malarie Gokey: Added news that Apple Pay is now accepted in 700,000 locations, will work with 100,000 coke vending machines before 2016, and can be used on the Apple Watch. Updated on 02-24-2015 by Andy Boxall: Added news that Visa has introduced new payment technology which could pave the way for Apple Pay’s launch in Europe. Updated on 02-13-2015 by Malarie Gokey: Added news that Apple Pay is headed to national parks and will support government employees’ debit cards, the federal payment cards for veterans, and social security benefit cards. Updated on 01-27-2015 by Malarie Gokey: Added news that 200,000 self-serve kiosks and vending machines will support Apple Pay. Added news that Western Union will support money transfers from Apple Pay. Updated on 12-30-2014 by Malarie Gokey: Added news that Chevron may install new payment terminals with support for Apple Pay at gas station pumps. Updated on 12-29-2014 by Malarie Gokey: Added news that Apple Pay may hit the UK in 2015, as Apple enters talks with banks. Updated on 12-22-2014 by Malarie Gokey: Added news that Apple Pay may soon arrive at select Disney World locations. Updated on 12-18-2014 by Malarie Gokey: Added news that Apple Pay may soon arrive in Europe, based on recent job postings. Updated on 12-16-2014 by Malarie Gokey: Added news that 90 percent of credit cards now work with Apple Pay. Updated on 10-16-2014 by Malarie Gokey: Apple Pay will launch with 500 banks a partners and many more retailers who will accept it when it launches on October 20.
Here are some audio files for iOS, Android, and Windows phones.
As The New York Times brings new attention to VR, immersive journalism could drive not only changes in the media industry, but mainstream adoption of the technology.
Fossil revealed the Q Founder and a selection of other smart wearable devices recently, but waited until the end of November before putting its flagship Android Wear smartwatch — called the Q Founder — on sale. Now it’s available for us to buy, we need to look at what it offers, so here’s everything you need to know about the latest traditional timepiece-inspired smartwatch on the market. The Q Founder is the result of Fossil’s close partnership with Intel and Google, and it’s the former’s Atom processor inside the watch, rather than the more common Qualcomm Snapdragon chip seen in other devices. Google has provided the Android Wear operating system, ensuring the Q Founder works with both Android and iOS smartphones, plus Fossil has added a selection of its own tweaks to the OS. Related: This is TAG Heuer’s $1,500 Carrera Connected smartwatch These are available through the Fossil Q app, which is separate to Google’s Android Wear app, and provides alternative Fossil designed watch faces, plus a feature called Q Curiosity, where little (and often very silly) challenges are presented each day. The aim is to ‘make every day a little more interesting than the last,’ according to Fossil. There’s also comprehensive fitness tracking. Fossil has chosen a screen similar to the one used on the Moto 360 smartwatch, so it has the familiar flat-tire, not-quite-circular look. The Intel Atom processor isn’t named, and neither is the amount of RAM. There’s 4GB of internal memory though, along with sensors for activity tracking, and Bluetooth. The 400mAh battery has an estimated 24-hours of usage before it needs recharging on the special, included base plate. Those with thin wrists may want to try the Fossil Q Founder out for size, because it’s a hefty, big-screen smartwatch. The face is 46mm wide and 13mm thick, which is about the same width as the LG Watch Urbane, but several millimetres thicker. The IP67-rated water resistant body is also heavier at just over 71 grams, a lot more than the 50 gram Apple Watch Sport for example, but this is to be expected given the stainless steel strap. The stainless steel Q Founder is available to purchase through Fossil’s website right now, where it’s priced at $295 in the U.S., or £280 in the UK. While the U.S. price is competitive, it falls in the same range as the Watch Urbane from LG, it’s one of the most expensive Android Wear options in the UK. The leather strapped version isn’t available at the time of writing, but we’ll update here when it goes on sale.
Chances are you’ve heard about virtual reality for most of your life, in one form or another — and it probably hasn’t impressed you. Blinding yourself with a geeky looking headset has long felt like the ultimate in antisocial behavior. Oculus and Samsung think they can change your mind with a new, affordable Gear VR, which is priced at just $100. The latest Gear VR is Samsung’s third model, but the first one it doesn’t consider a development unit. Available on four major Samsung phones out now, it has more than 100 games and apps. While not the most affordable virtual reality headset for phones (see: Google Cardboard), it is the best — by a wide margin. More comfortable at half the price The final Gear VR is a lot more comfortable to wear than the two Innovator Editions that came out in the last year (each at double the price, $200). It’s also the most comfortable mobile VR headset out yet, especially if you consider its added functionality. For starters, it’s about 18 percent lighter than its predecessors, and most of that weight comes from the elimination of the needless hard plastic straps that helped hold the previous units in place. While meant to make the old headset feel more secure, they actually made it bulky. As before, Samsung sells the Gear VR in any color you want (as long as it’s white), but Samsung has removed a cheap-looking gloss coat that covered the last one. The new Gear VR has a matte coating that doesn’t pick up fingerprints and feels more luxurious. Changes to the Gear’s dimensions have made it large enough to fit over most glasses. Increasing the size to accommodate them means some users will notice light leak around the edges, but we didn’t see much evidence of it, and certainly didn’t find it distracting. Overall, the upgraded rubber mask and felt pads fit snugly and should last longer than the crummy foam pads on earlier models. You can remove and wash the new pads as well, which is nice if you happen to be working up a sweat (no, we don’t want to know why you are). Related: Ready to jump into VR? We’ve found the best current and upcoming headsets Like the previous versions of Gear VR, this model has an added motion sensor that’s about 10 times more accurate than the accelerometers and gyros in the phone. It’s surprisingly accurate and far superior to mobile VR units that rely on the smartphone’s sensor alone. The Gear VR also isn’t just a cradle for your phone; it connects to it and works with it. For example, if you take off the VR headset, it shuts off the screen. And when you put on the headset, Oculus software starts automatically on your phone (we used a Galaxy Note 5). Most VR headsets don’t have controls at all, let alone a smart interface like this. Upgraded controls Samsung has added a Micro USB port so users can charge a phone while VRing, but more importantly, the directional touch pad on the right side is far easier to use and understand. There are now indentations to indicate which directions are up, down, left, and right, as well as how far to slide your finger. Smack in the middle is a circle – your virtual OK button. A separate Back button still exists as well. This works a lot like the Home button on your Android phone, taking you back to the home screen. Jessica Lee Star/Digital Trends Jessica Lee Star/Digital Trends Jessica Lee Star/Digital Trends Jessica Lee Star/Digital Trends The Gear VR software interface still has a blocky, flat design, reminiscent of Windows 8 or the Xbox One. A recently played big game or app sits dead center, along with some other app/game suggestions. On the left and right sides are the Library and the Oculus Store, where you can find other apps. Selecting what you want to do is as easy as looking at it (there’s a cursor) and tapping the OK button on the headset. Scrolling through pages of apps is easy, but it takes a minute to figure out you have to swipe down on the touchpad to do it. Awesome games, but few apps Virtual reality is fun to try, but the reason you should try a Gear VR is those games that actually show it off. Yes, there are some apps as well, but most everything worth downloading is a game. We liked the Netflix app, but couldn’t get it to play video. Hopefully an app update will fix this. You can browse Facebook, watch 360-degree movies and videos, or check out Twitch, and there are some rudimentary rooms where you can socialize with others. However, these social experiences weren’t more interesting in VR than on any other device. But when it comes to games, there’s a good variety to choose from. No, there’s nothing on the level of Fallout 4 yet, or any game that may eat up 80 hours of your life, but there are numerous bite-sized titles that make novel use of the headset. Related: Heads up: The best VR headsets under $100 Our favorite game so far is Gunjack , a simple arcade-style space shooter. It has no special story, but the 3D graphics are crisp and the accuracy of aiming at alien spaceships by simply looking at them is unmatched by any traditional video game. First-person Temple Run VR is also a blast, and a bit horrifying. If you thought those things chasing you were gorillas, prepare for a surprise when they eat you in VR. The highlight is Land’s End , created by the developers behind smash hit Monument Valley . It’s easily the most relaxing game experience I’ve had all year. Land’s End lets players float around serene islands, solving simple puzzles with your telekinetic powers. While the graphics are simple, the developer’s artistic style makes the most of what’s on screen, and the result proves that VR doesn’t have to be photo-realistic to maintain immersion. Darknet , Ikarus , and Omega Agent also offer unique blends of action and fun. Omega Agent , in particular, is like a VR version of Pilotwings , where you fly a jetpack around a city. Don’t worry — it has a shotgun on it. If you buy a wireless controller like the Steel Series Status XL we used during the review, you can play more complex games, as well as classic arcade games like Sonic the Hedgehog . Such titles don’t play differently in VR, but the headset acts as a massive display. We’ve had the Gear VR for about a week and seem to find some new gem every time we open the store. Because apps are acquired through the Oculus Store (not Samsung’s app store), developers working on Oculus Rift games may choose to support the Gear VR, as well. It’s not flawless The Gear VR is a lot of fun, but like all current VR headsets, it suffers the “screen door effect.” Samsung’s compatible phones have extremely high-resolution displays, yet pixels (and the gaps between them) become visible when the screen is an inch from your face. Adjusting focus on the headset using the rotating wheel up top is easy, but it’s difficult to avoid tinkering with it because things never look as crisp as you wish. Perhaps it’s just me, but I got very excited about watching VR Netflix in bed. I was disappointed to find the Gear VR only works well when you’re sitting up straight. It cannot easily adjust to a relaxed, laying position. This is a shame since several of the apps involve lying on the beach and chilling out in a virtual world. If you can figure it out, some apps have Void modes that let you reorient the headset, but it’s complicated and not as pretty. Finally, there’s the issue of sharing. To use this, you have to plug in your phone — but what if your friend or family member wants to play? Unless they own a Galaxy S6, S6 Edge, S6 Edge Plus, or Note 5, they will have to use yours. That’s fine for a few minutes, but the thought of missing hours of texts, calls, and notifications stressed us out. If you buy a Gear VR for your kids, make sure they own their own fancy Galaxy S6. Battery life Battery life isn’t a huge issue. The Gear VR doesn’t take batteries; it’s entirely powered by your phone, and it will suck up battery as much as a 3D game would. Samsung added a Micro USB charger to the Gear, so you can charge it while using, but that makes it easy to become tangled. The headset does turn off the screen when you aren’t wearing it, but the battery seems to drain much faster than in ordinary idle. We expect Samsung will fix this issue over time. Related: Homido VR headset review For now, battery life isn’t a massive concern unless you play Gear VR for hours and hours at a time. Warranty information Samsung covers manufacturing and battery defects in the Gear VR for one year after purchase. If you drop it, someone steals it, or it gets too wet and won’t work, it’s not covered. Samsung does offer extended Protection Plus coverage for its phones, which cover spills, cracked screens, and other accidents. This program has a two-day replacement time window. Conclusion If you own a Samsung Galaxy S6, S6 Edge, S6 Edge Plus, or Note 5, we highly recommend the Gear VR at its new $100 price. Thanks to a fantastic collaboration between Samsung and Oculus, the Gear VR is the best mobile VR experience on planet Earth. No other virtual reality experience is this complete or easy to access. There aren’t many great apps yet, but there are nearly 100 games, and more than a dozen of them will entertain you for hours. We hope options open up to access the world of Oculus on more Android phones, and the iPhone, in the years ahead. Now, if you’ll excuse us, we’ve some games to play. Highs Only $100 Best mobile VR hardware Works with all four major Samsung phones Fantastic games and apps Lows Some light bleeds through the edges Only available on four Samsung phones
Fans of the Droid Maxx series finally have something to get excited about. After two years of waiting for a sequel, Verizon and Motorola finally teamed up again to release a worthy successor to its first Maxx, the Droid Maxx 2. The Maxx 2 is actually a re-branded Moto X Play, which is a more affordable version of the Moto X Style. It features a good balance of mid-range and high-end specs. Since the Moto X Play isn’t available in the States, we welcomed the Maxx 2 with open arms. At $384 (or $16 for 24 months) off contract, the Maxx 2 is not only competitively priced, it’s able to hold its own against other flagships. Simple design Motorola doesn’t make the flashiest phones in the world, but the company knows how to build quality handsets. Whether it’s an entry-level Moto E or the flagship-caliber Droid Turbo 2, Motorola always invests a lot of time in its craftsmanship. The Droid Maxx 2 isn’t a flagship phone, so you won’t find a metal body or frame, but Motorola’s choice of materials give it a premium look and feel. The back has an etched pattern with a soft rubber-like texture, which offers fantastic grip with none of the slipperiness found on other phones. The silver frame adds to the premium look, even though it’s plastic disguised as metal. The body has a nano coating that acts as a water repellent. The phone shouldn’t be mistaken for waterproof, but it will be able to survive accidental spills, splashes, and light rain. A major highlight of the design has to be its size, which is 149.8 x 78.0mm. The iPhone 6S Plus is 158.2 x 77.9mm, which is much bigger. Considering that both phones have massive 5.5-inch screens, the Maxx 2 has a clear advantage. It’s a lot easier to use and hold one-handed. The downside is that the Maxx 2 is thicker. It’s actually 7.6mm at the sides, but the rounded back pushes it to 9.2mm at its thickest point. In comparison, the iPhone 6S Plus is only 7.3mm thick. However, the Maxx 2’s rounded back gives you the impression that it’s thinner than it actually is. Jessica Lee Star/Digital Trends Jessica Lee Star/Digital Trends Jessica Lee Star/Digital Trends Jessica Lee Star/Digital Trends Although Motorola didn’t open up its Moto Maker customization engine for the Maxx 2, the removable back can be swapped out for a different color, which is arguably a benefit because you can change it any time you want. Looking at the front of the phone shows speakers at the top and bottom that could easily be mistaken for stereo sound. Unfortunately that’s not the case, as the speaker phone and media playback sounds will only fire through the bottom speaker. The top speaker is reserved for in-ear phone calls. Fantastic display and performance Mid-range phones usually come with a below-average screen to keep the price down. However, the Maxx 2 sports a generous 5.5-inch 1080p screen, which equates to a resolution of 1,920 x 1,080 pixels. This is the sweet spot, since it offers the perfect balance between viewing experience and battery life. The screen is an LCD panel instead of the traditional AMOLED screen that we’re accustomed to on past Motorola phones. As such, it’s technically not as energy-efficient, but the battery size more than makes up for that. Although the colors don’t pop as much as they would on an AMOLED screen, the Maxx 2 looks sharp and viewing angles are very good. Plus, it performs well in sunlight, which is usually the case with LCD panels. The Droid Maxx 2 features the octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 615 processor. Although a mid-range chip, it’s more than adequate for just about anything you can throw at it. Videos and games play smoothly, and I didn’t notice any stuttering or lag when navigating the user interface or opening and closing apps. Internal storage is limited to 16GB, but the included MicroSD slot means that you can add up to an additional 128GB for all your pictures, music, and videos. As mentioned before, this phone doesn’t have stereo sound, but at least the one speaker is front-firing. The sound is nothing to brag about, which is expected for a phone in this price range. Crazy good battery Battery life is becoming increasingly important because so many phones continue to fail to last through an entire day. Motorola has been a leader in battery life ever since the company introduced the Droid Razr Maxx back in 2012. The Maxx 2 sports a whopping 3,760mAh battery, which is rather large for a phone of this size. The similar-sized iPhone 6S Plus only has a 2,750mAh battery, and the larger Galaxy Note 5 features a 3,000mAh battery. As such, the Maxx 2 is one of the most dominant phones in terms of battery life. In our battery rundown test in which we play continuous video while the phone is connected to 4G LTE (not Wi-Fi) and the display is set to about 60 percent brightness, the Maxx 2 performed spectacularly. It went from 100 percent to 0 percent in 11 hours and 4 minutes. How does this translate in real life? Motorola promises 48 hours, which is not out of the realm of possibility with moderate use. Last weekend, I went from Friday morning well into Sunday without charging it once. Power users are likely to be limited to 30-36 hours, but even that’s phenomenal. When it comes to most smartphones, you begin to panic when you hit 30 percent battery, but 30 percent on the Maxx 2 is like 80 percent on most other phones. On top of the amazing battery life, you also get quick charging capability, or as Motorola calls it, “turbo power.” That’s just another term for Qualcomm’s Quick Charge 2.0. If you do find yourself in a pinch, you can juice up pretty darn fast using a quick charger. Starting from 0 percent, our tests showed that the Maxx 2 will charge to 25 percent in just 20 minutes, 50 percent in 45 minutes, and 100 percent in 2 hours. This means that you can grab 12 hours of life after just 20 minutes of charging, or about 24 hours after just 45 minutes. The downside is that a quick-charging compatible charger doesn’t come in the box. You can buy one directly from Motorola, or any third-party charger will work, as long as it’s certified with Qualcomm’s Quick Charge 2.0 standard. Unfortunately, wireless charging isn’t onboard, but you won’t miss it with battery life like this. Average camera Motorola has never blown anyone away with its cameras, but the company has improved greatly over the past couple of years. The Droid Maxx 2 sports a 21-megapixel main rear camera along with a 5-megapixel front-facing lens. When you consider the rear cameras on the iPhone 6S and 6S Plus are 12-megapixels and the Galaxy S6 sports 16-megapixels, this is very generous for a phone in this price range. However, it’s not all about the megapixels. Megapixels only make it easier for you to crop images, but none of that matters if the quality is subpar. The Maxx 2 handles brightly lit situations very well, but the lack of optical image stabilization shows up in low-light shots, in which a decent amount of noise is present. There is a Night Mode, which does cut down on the noise, but at the expense of lowering the megapixel count down to 3.7. Ouch. The camera software itself is very minimal with limited controls. It’s meant to be a simple point and shoot. In fact, it’s so simple, that you can tap anywhere on the display to capture a shot. For those who like to tweak things, there is a drag to focus with exposure control option. Although it has a high megapixel count, the Maxx 2 cannot record 4K video. This isn’t going to be a big deal for most people, though. It can record up to 1080p (1920 x 1080) at 30 frames per second, which is more than enough. The front-facing camera doesn’t include flash, but the display can be used for the same purpose. There is also a Best Shot mode that will automatically pick out the best selfie photo from a series of shots, but I was unable to get that to work. Useful Motorola software The Droid Maxx 2 runs Android Lollipop 5.1.1 out of the box, which is a bummer since the Android 6.0 Marshmallow update has been available for over a month. However, Motorola and Verizon promise that the Marshmallow update is coming very soon. What separates Motorola from other Android manufacturers is its software on top of Android. While other manufacturers continue to muck up Android with a different look and useless apps, Motorola preserves the pure Android experience and includes some very useful features. New for this year is Moto Loop, which again, shows Motorola’s prowess in offering stuff that fits into your everyday life. This app is the perfect way to keep track of each family member’s location and also offers the ability to send messages to each other. You can set certain locations where family members can auto check in. That way, you will be notified when your child gets to school and home, plus, you can always check the real-time location as well. If this isn’t enough, Moto Loop can also automatically control your Nest Thermostat or Philips Hue lights when you get home. Other familiar apps like Voice, Display, Assist, and Actions are all back again. Voice allows you to initiate commands without the need to wake your phone. You can ask questions, set reminders, play a song, and more. Display shows your notifications without the need to turn on the full display. All you need to do is nudge your phone and they will appear. Assist recognizes when you’re at home, driving, at work, or any other custom location. You can adjust the settings for when you’re at each location, like whether you want your text messages read to you, notifications silenced, and more. Actions opens the camera with two flicks of the wrist. Droid Zap, a past Verizon exclusive, is also back with the Droid Maxx 2. This app allows you to share photos and videos directly with other friends near you. It’s perfect for parties and group outings. It’s available on other Android phones, as well as iOS (Motorola Zap), so your friends don’t have to own a Droid-branded phone. Warranty Motorola’s Limited Warranty for the Droid Maxx 2 covers fixes for one year. After that, you’ll have to pay for repairs or to extend your coverage. Motorola will not repair or replace phones that have water damage, either. Out-of-warranty repairs cost $175. You can read more about the limited warranty here. The Maxx 2 has a special screen program, which isn’t as extensive as the ShatterShield promise Motorola offers on the Droid Turbo 2. Motorola will give you one free certified replacement within 2 years of purchase, if you break yours. Motorola offers a few more paid options for those who need more protection. Moto Care Accident Protection covers accidents that affect the functionality of the device, like drops and spills. It comes with an additional 3 or 12 months of Motorola’s standard limited warranty. It’s more expensive, though, and prices vary widely based on how many months you signup for and what device you have. Prices are between $15 – $70 for 15 months of coverage or $25 – $100 for 24 months of coverage. The $13-$20 Moto Care Extended Service Plan covers an additional 12 months of Motorola’s standard limited warranty, with an unlimited number of claims and low deductible. You can read more here. Conclusion At $384 off contract, you’re going to have a hard time finding a better value smartphone. The OnePlus 2 and Asus Zenfone 2 are worthy contenders at $330 and $300 respectively, but neither one will work on Verizon Wireless or offer this kind of battery life. On the other hand, the recently announced HTC One A9 will work on Verizon, but it costs $500. The best competitor might be the Google Nexus 5X, which sells for $400. It will work on Verizon, and it has a better camera, but its battery life can’t hold a candle to the Droid Maxx 2, and we don’t recommend it as a viable alternative, based on our terrible experience with the phone. The Droid Maxx 2 is exactly what the Honda Accord is for automobiles. You get rock-solid performance with a near luxurious experience for a lot less money. If you’re looking for a new phone that won’t break the bank and is built to last, you can’t go wrong with the Droid Maxx 2. Highs Amazing battery life Solid Build Large 5.5-inch screen Near stock Android experience Quick charging Lows Average camera Mono sound Quick charger costs extra
Don’t think you need a home security camera? Here’s a really cute reason to get one. The Ulo is an adorable little home-monitoring owl on Kickstarter that communicates through eye expressions. The Kickstarter has been wildly successful, hitting its original goal of $223,119 on November 1. As of publication, the device sits at $827,030, with 9 days left in the campaign. The device was created by Vivien Muller, who is known for other inventions such as the Electree and the WatchMe. The device, which needs to be connected to Wi-Fi, communicates through eye expressions. For example, when Ulo’s battery is around 10 percent or lower, the owl will look sleepy and tired. Other animations include blinking when you take a snapshot, or squinting when someone is watching its live video feed. The owl’s eyes follow all movement in its vicinity, which can be really cute during the day, but kind of horrifying when you’re walking around in the dark at night. Related: WatchMe may be the cutest Apple Watch charging stand you can buy — for now The Ulo’s big, cute eyes use an LCD display, similar to the ones on smartwatches. You can customize the eye color, shape, and size through the Ulo webpage or app. Certain features, such as the 1080p camera, were added in after the Kickstarter campaign hit certain milestones. As the campaign is nearing the end of the listed features, all that’s left for it to reach is Spanish voice control and facial recognition. The campaign just passed the milestones to unlock voice control in English and French. Ulo has a capacitive button on top, which turns it on, and double tapping it sets it to Alert Mode — but those are the default options. Muller says users can configure custom and secret sequences to trigger Ulo to turn on or off and to turn on Alert Mode. What’s pretty neat about Alert Mode is that it also activates when your smartphone leaves your Wi-Fi network. When you reconnect, it disengages. While on, all movement is recorded in an animated GIF and sent via email. Ulo from Vivien Muller on Vimeo. In Alert Mode, eye expressions are not displayed, and the device can last for a week on full charge in this mode. In the normal mode with eye expressions, the Ulo needs to be recharged every two days, or you can leave it plugged in. The device ships with four magnets should you want to place the Ulo on the wall or ceiling. Related: Withings Aura review If you want to take a peek at what’s going on at home or wherever you left the Ulo, users can watch and listen to the live feed on the Ulo’s secure webpage or Android and iOS app. The device only stores a few minutes of video locally. Taking a snapshot sends the image as a secure webpage directly to your email or your Dropbox account. Although an animated owl may not be the scariest thing for a robber to see, it is an adorable home monitor. Muller says the device is compatible with IFTTT, the Web-based service that lets users create chains of commands. So for example, if you have other connected devices in your home like a Philips Hue bulb, you could make an IFTTT recipe for Ulo to turn on the lights when it detects movement. Users can also use IFTTT to make Ulo show emotions with the weather, so you can make the owl look grumpy when it’s raining. The adorable little owl, also the Kickstarter Staff Pick, costs 200 euros and packs the following: Round 1.22-inch LCD screen 1080p 30fps surveillance camera and motion sensor under the two-way mirror beak Mono microphone Capacitive button at the top of the owl Neodymium magnet under the rotative base Four Adhesive neodymium magnets Wi-Fi 802.11ac module Orientation sensor Li-Po rechargeable battery Micro USB to USB cable Speaker On the Kickstarter page, Muller said he expects the Ulo to ship late 2016. If you want one, you can get your Ulo on the Kickstarter page here.
Ever look at a plate placed in front of you and think, “What the hell is that?” Or more often, “How many calories is that?” DietSensor can tell you. This app tells people what they need to know in the absence of a nutritional label, and is perfect for people that have to monitor their diet. The DietSensor app was chosen as CES 2016 Innovation Awards Honoree in the Software and Mobile Apps category. Award winners get a vast increase in exposure at the event and afterwards, including the right to use the winner’s stamp. Of course, what makes the app truly stand out is the actual sensor. We took a look at SCiO, the handheld sensor that works with DietSensor, earlier this year at CES. It uses spectrometry for chemical analysis, in this case analyzing the way the unique molecules of food affect light. Hold it about half an inch from homogeneous food — food with the same texture as a glass of OJ, as opposed to mixed vegetables — and the sensor compares the near-infrared signature with patterns stored in the cloud. It will relay nutrient info to your phone via BLE (Bluetooth low energy) and create a food log in the DietSensor app. Snap a pic with your phone to complete the process. Calories, carbs, protein, fat, and alcohol levels are covered. At the very least, it handles the record-keeping hassle. Related : SmartPlate uses cameras and sensors to determine your dinner’s nutritional value A sensor for food is generally handy when forging into areas where nutritional labels are scarce. Besides, nutritional labels are old fashioned in the face of this tech. Every once in a while, you might have to manually enter a meal that the sensor doesn’t recognize. In that case, you can look through DietSensor’s iPhone and Android app database of foods, scan a barcode, or enter it yourself. The cloud holds more than 600,000 different foods from 50 countries and is accessible in 19 languages, so no matter your native tongue, you’re unlikely to feel left out. Once you’ve input the foods, DietSensor does the heavy calculations for you by figuring out what you should have more of or cut back on, and even the ideal times to eat, based on your health profile. Some of this might seem obvious, but you’ll be surprised at the detail that can go into a healthy diet. The app will coach you toward your nutrition goals using a progression chart with all your info. DietSensor is aimed at people with conditions that require them to keep a close eye on their diet. SCiO with DietSensor can be especially helpful to diabetics, or people with cardiovascular disease. Of course, those struggling to lose weight and athletes trying to hit the pinnacle of physical fitness can make good use of DietSensor. And as the database grows, the uses for SCiO itself may grow beyond food. Unfortunately, it’s not exactly tailored for people with allergies, since it deciphers the general content of food and may miss traces of materials that might prove harmful if someone is prone to severe reactions. Further, SCiO hasn’t set store shelves just yet, and the year is fast drawing to a close. DietSensor with SCiO is set at $250 for early bird pre-orders. The DietSensor app is free, and will launch next year.
Calling Black Friday the Super Bowl of commerce would be an understatement on the level of saying the sun is hot. Even with last year’s Black Friday weekend experiencing an 11 percent decline, the holiday weekend still attracted over $50 billion in sales. This year, retailers are slashing so many prices, the pre-Black Friday deals could warrant the weeks prior to being its own holiday. But, do not narrow your choices to the $5 Skylanders Friends 3D Backpack or that 1 cent stack of paper because you were overwhelmed by the savings. Let Digital Trends’ annual Black Friday help you sift through the vast array of deals and discover the best ones. Updated on 11-24-2015 by Keith Nelson Jr: We’ve added to More Deals. We will update this guide regularly with more of our favorite deals as Black Friday nears. Also, please note that because most of these deals are in-store only, there are not always links. We will add links as they become available. Best Black Friday deals by store: Best Buy | Office Max/Depot | Amazon | Walmart GameStop | Target | Sam’s Club | More Deals! Best Buy Samsung TV with Xbox One 500GB Lego Movie Video Game Bundle ($500) Revisit all your favorite Lego adventures on pristine 40-inch Samsung LED for under $500. 49-inch LG Smart 4K TV ($500) LG’s $1,500 4K TV from last fall is now a third of the price and still as sharp as ever. 64GB iPad Mini 4 ($400) Apple’s two month old addition to the iPad family is 20 percent off for the holiday season. Canon EOS Rebel T5 DSLR with 18-55mm and 75-300mm Lenses ($400) For the price of a new Canon EOS Rebel T5i, you get two lenses worth a combined $300, basically for free. Huawei Watch ($350 and below) Huawei is offering $50-$100 off of its Black and Silver smartwatch models. Huawei P8 Lite ($225) Get Huawei P8 Lite, with its crisp 15 megapixel back camera, for under $250. 60-inch Samsung Smart 4K TV ($800) Enjoy one of Samsung’s rarest TV models for half the price. Samsung 65-inch Smart 4K 3D TV ($2,000) Samsung’s 3D TV are each under $2,000 and all on sale. The 65-inch model is $800 off, and the 55-inch will cost $1,500. Best Black Friday deals by store: Best Buy | Office Max/Depot | Amazon | Walmart GameStop | Target | Sam’s Club | More Deals! Office Max/Office Depot SanDisk Ultra USB 3.0 Flash Drive ($10-$25) Whether it’s 32GB, 64GB, or 128 GB, a SanDisk Ultra USB 3.0 won’t cost you more than $25. Epson Expression Home XP-420 Wireless Color Inkjet All-In-One Printer ($50) Print from your computer, tablet, or smartphone with this Wi-Fi-enabled printer for $50. Adobe Photoshop Elements 14 ($60) Transform images however your imagination sees fit with Adobe Photoshop Elements for 40 percent off. Linksys EA6900 Smart Dual-Band Wireless Router ( $100 ) Surf the Web smoothly with this Linksys wireless router for half off. Dell Inspiron 15 – 3000 Series Laptop with AMD A6 Processor ($200) Normally retailing for $350, this high-powered Dell laptop is yours for under $200. Best Black Friday deals by store: Best Buy | Office Max/Depot | Amazon | Walmart GameStop | Target | Sam’s Club | More Deals! Amazon TCL 32-inch Roku Smart LED TV ($125) Enjoy Roku’s extensive library of apps on 32 inches of TV glory for over 33 percent off. Sennheiser HD 598 SE Over-Ear Headphones ($125) Currently selling listed at $250, Amazon promises sell these high end headphones for under $125. Barska Starwatcher 400x70mm Refractor Telescope ($49.50) For less than a Greyhound trip from NYC to Syracuse, you can gaze thousands of miles into space. Amazon Fire TV ($75) No cable? No problem. Amazon is taking 25 percent off its flagship set-top box. Jawbone UP3 ($100) Track your body’s vitals on the go, for more than 40 percent off. Kindle Paperwhite ($100) For under $100, put a library in the palm of your hands. Acer Home Theater Projector ($300) Turn your home into a movie theatre Acer’s Home Theater Projector at $200 off. Best Black Friday deals by store: Best Buy | Office Max/Depot | Amazon | Walmart GameStop | Target | Sam’s Club | More Deals! Walmart Samsung 55-inch Curved 4K Ultra Smart TV ($1,000) At nearly half off its list price, this Samsung 55-inch curved Smart TV is a great value at $1,000. Speck CandyShell Phone Case ($10) Durable phone cases for the every iPhone from the 5 to 6S Plus and even the Samsung Galaxy S6, all $10 each. 12,000mAh Portable Charger ($15) Charge multiple devices at once for hours with this dual-USB portable charger. Jabra Bluetooth Headset ($14) If you still want a Bluetooth headset, for whatever reason, here’s a cheap one that probably won’t disappoint. Crock-Pot Stainless 5-Qt. Slow Cooker ($10) Reheat that Thanksgiving dinner for more than 60 percent off. iPad Air 2 ($400) Apple’s iPad Air 2 usually starts at $500, but you can find it for $400 at Walmart. Fitbit Charge HR ($120) The Fitbit Charge has a heart-rate monitor, great battery life, and is a fantastic choice if you want a fitness band. Philips Shoqbox Mini Waterproof Bluetooth Speaker ($20) Its small and won’t power a party, but this is a great starter Bluetooth speaker. Best Black Friday deals by store: Best Buy | Office Max/Depot | Amazon | Walmart GameStop | Target | Sam’s Club | More Deals! GameStop Mortal Kombat X GameStop Limited Edition ($50) Want to see Scorpion in his Kold War outfit? Buy the Mortal Kombat X GameStop Exclusive Limited Edition for under $50. Borderlands: The Handsome Collection ($30) Borderlands and Borderlands 2 are over $100 together, unless you buy this Borderlands: The Handsome Collection deal for more than $70 off. PS4 500GB bundle with Uncharted: Nathan Drake Collection ($300) Get a new PlayStation 4 and one of the highly heralded Uncharted series for under $300. Xbox One 500GB bundle with Gears of War Ultimate Edition ($300) Get the original Gears of War and a beta download for Gears of War 4 with this Xbox One bundle. Best Black Friday deals by store: Best Buy | Office Max/Depot | Amazon | Walmart GameStop | Target | Sam’s Club | More Deals! Target Apple TVs (25% off all) You can get the 32GB and/or 64GB Apple TV model for under $150. Ninja Mega Kitchen System ($130) Blend, juice, crush, and mix all your favorite ingredients with the Ninja Professional Kitchen System for under $130. Pebble Time Smartwatch ($130) Check emails, stay updated in sports and more all from your phone with the Pebble Time Smart Watch for 30 percent off. Parrot Bebop Drone ($394) You won’t find many smartphone-controlled drones for under $500, but Parrot Bebop is one of them. Canon EOS Rebel T5 EF-S 18-55mm IS II Lens Kit ($400) Get this Canon DSLR camera set for less than half of its original price. LG 49-inch Class 2160p 120Hz UHD 4K TV ($500) Hard to beat a 49-inch 4K TV from LG for under $500. Samsung 60-inch Class 1080p 120Hz LED TV ($698) Get this 60-inch Samsung LED TV for more than $300 off. Best Black Friday deals by store: Best Buy | Office Max/Depot | Amazon | Walmart GameStop | Target | Sam’s Club | More Deals! Sam’s Club iPad Air 2 64GB ($450) $150 off 64GB iPad Air 2 and $175 off 128GB iPad Air 2, both with Wi-Fi and cellular capabilities. PS4 500GB bundle with Uncharted: Nathan Drake Collection ($300) Experience all three games of Nathan Drake’s treasure hunt adventure for $300, and get a PS4 to play them on. Xbox One 500GB bundle with Gears of War collection ($300) A new Xbox One, the original 2006 Gears of War remastered and Gears of War 4 beta are yours for $300. Swann 8 Channel 1080p HD Surveillance System ($350) You can get eight small surveillance cameras with 1080p HD resolution from Swann for 30 percent off. Vizio 58-inch 4K LED Smart HDTV ($700) Released earlier this year, you can already get this $1,000+ Vizio 4K TV for about $700. Samsung Smart TVs ($1,400-$2,400) Get a 65-inch Curved 4K Smart TV for about $1,480 or a 75-inch Ultra HD 4K Smart TV for $2,400. Best Black Friday deals by store: Best Buy | Office Max/Depot | Amazon | Walmart GameStop | Target | Sam’s Club | More Deals! More Deals! Staples Multipurpose Paper, 8 1/2″ x 11″, 500 Sheets (1¢) After Staples’ $7.98 rebate, this deal on 500 sheets of multipurose paper makes a penny for a thought seem grossly overpriced. Cuisinart SPB-7CH Blender, 7-Speed ($30) Run to Macy’s to get a Cuisinart multipurpose blender for 75 percent off. Bella 13401 3.5L Stainless Steel Deep Fryer ($8) For less than a full course meal, start making your deep fried dreams a reality with Bella Stainless Steel Deep Fryer from Macy’s. HP Officejet 4630 e-All-in-One Printer ($50) Print, scan, copy, and fax with one machine all for under $50 at Staples. Motorola Droid Turbo 2 ($123) Verizon will let you purchase its shatterproof phone for $5.16/month for two years, dropping the price from $624 to $123. LG V10 ($271) Verizon will let you buy one of its flagship phones for $11.33/month, dropping its price by over $350. Nespresso Inissia Espresso Maker ($120) This compact espresso maker will run you less than $120 after Macy’s two 30 percent and 15 percent discounts. Energi Sliding Power Cases ($25-$40) Energi is cutting prices of its sliding power cases for select iPhone and Samsung Galaxy phones in half. Kenmore 24-inch Built-In Dishwasher w/ PowerWave Spray Arm ($480) Kenmore’s built-in dishwasher and its Power Wave spray arm cleans dishes from all angles is $400 off at Sears. HP Envy 17 ($700) Get this HP Envy 17 for under $700. Be sure to check the specs, but we’re usually fans of HP’s Envy series. Alienware 15 ($1,200) For any serious computer gamer, Dell’s Alienware 15 deal is a must have. Final specs aren’t out yet, so double check them. Best Black Friday deals by store: Best Buy | Office Max/Depot | Amazon | Walmart GameStop | Target | Sam’s Club | More Deals!
We loaded up Apple Pay and Android Pay to see how far we could get paying for items with our phones.
In the spirit of the holidays and to boost usage of its Android Pay platform, Google announced a holiday campaign where the company will donate up to a million dollars to support the 6.4 million children in the education system with special needs. Each time someone uses Android Pay, from now until December 31, the company will donate $1 — until it hits $1 million — to special needs education projects. The campaign is a push from Google’s charitable arm, Google.org, which is teaming up with the Android Pay team and DonorsChoose.org. Related: Exercise for a cause with Fitbit’s FitForGood DonorsChoose.org is an online charity that makes it easy for teachers to post classroom project requests and for people to support them through donations. Once a project is funded, the company ships the materials — ranging from pencils to microscopes — to the teacher. On Black Friday, the Google’s donation will double for every purchase made with its mobile payment system. “Teachers spend nearly $500 out of their own pocket each year to outfit their classrooms with enriching projects and programs,” said Sherice Torres, marketing director for Android Pay, in the blogpost. “Since each student learns differently, let’s support special needs classrooms across the country to make education more inclusive for every kid.” Related: Tap to buy: A complete guide to Android Pay Though Google Wallet has been around for a while, Google launched Android Pay in September. It’s a more secure tap-and-pay service that requires NFC and is built into the Android framework. Unlike the old Wallet app, for Android Pay, you only need to have your phone unlocked to pay with your phone. Simply place it on the credit card terminal (if it has a NFC logo) and that’s it, you’re done. The fingerprint sensors on new Android flagships bring added security, too. Google says more than 1 million locations accept Android Pay, but with Apple Pay building interest in contactless payment, NFC adoption could rise. Mobile payment company Square announced recently that it will now accept mobile payments, thanks to a new contactless reader and chip-card reader. The new feature is being tested with 100 local businesses in major cities such as New York and Chicago. While adoption is growing, many banks and businesses are lining up to support mobile payments. You can check if your bank supports Android Pay here, and you can grab it on the Play Store for Android here.
Samsung may be well known for the Galaxy S, Edge, and Note flagship smartphone series, but it was the Galaxy A series that started Samsung’s new tradition of using premium materials such as metal. The Galaxy A series isn’t as well known as the other phones, but the Korean giant has released a number of models, including the Galaxy Alpha, Galaxy A3, Galaxy A5, Galaxy A7, and Galaxy A8. Apparently, Samsung believes there is still a market for the A series. The company appears to be readying the Galaxy A9 for sale. Here’s everything we know so far. Updated on 11-24-2015 by Kyle Wiggers: Added a recent Geekbench upload which corroborates earlier leaked benchmarks. Related: Samsung’s new big-screen metal Galaxy phone is its thinnest yet Mix of mid-range and high-end specs Samsung traditionally includes mid-range specs on the A series phones, even though they feel as premium as any of the company’s flagship phones. However, the most recent Galaxy A8 model did get a decent mix of higher-end and mid-range specs to satisfy a wide range of consumers. Recent AnTuTu and Geekbench benchmarks indicates that Samsung could be thinking the same with the Galaxy A9. The phone has a model number of SM-A9000, which is an indication that it will be the Galaxy A9. It reportedly features a 5.5-inch Super AMOLED screen with a resolution of 1080p (1,920 x 1,080 pixels), which is smaller than the Galaxy A8’s 5.7-inch display. According to the benchmark, the phone is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 620 chip, which is a 64-bit octa-core processor consisting of a quad-core Cortex-A72 and a quad-core Cortex-A53. It will also have an Adreno 510 GPU, 3GB of RAM, and 32GB of internal storage. The benchmarks don’t reveal anything about the cameras on the Galaxy A9, but we suspect that the rear and front cameras will be at least 16-megapixels and 5-megapixels, respectively, since that is what the Galaxy A8 sported. Related: Samsung Galaxy O rumors: ‘O’ might be for Oculus, if it’s a virtual reality device Bear in mind that although these benchmarks give us a good indication of specs, the devices tested are usually early models, so things can change. For example, this test unit is running Android 5.1.1 Lollipop, which is understandable for now, but the final phone could have Android 6.0 Marshmallow onboard. Design Nothing has been revealed yet in terms of the design, but we’re expecting the Galaxy A9 to continue the Galaxy A series tradition of using premium materials such as an aluminum frame. We also won’t be surprised if the Galaxy A9 is super thin, since the Galaxy A8 was only 5.9mm thick. It’s hard to believe that Samsung could go much thinner than that, but each Galaxy A phone has been thinner than its predecessor. Availability and pricing The Galaxy A8 was just announced in July, so we are probably a few months away from an official Galaxy A9 launch. In early October, the components of the Galaxy A9 were shipped to India for testing, according to a Zauba manifest. Since it was just the components, it’s clear Samsung isn’t quite ready to release the Galaxy A9 just yet. It will more than likely arrive early next year. Perhaps we will see it at the Consumer Electronics Show in January. Either way, it’s unlikely that the Galaxy A9 will launch with a U.S. carrier. As to pricing, it may to cost about the same as the Galaxy A8. Currently that phone is selling in India for Rs 32,500, which translates to about $500.
The execution of two high-profile politicians, Salahuddin Quader Chowdhury and Ali Ahsan Mohammad Mujahid, has fueled the civil unrest growing in Bangladesh. In response, the government has banned Facebook, Messenger, WhatsApp, and Viber, under the allegation that those services are being used to commit crimes. The execution is seen by some in the country as an abuse of power, after the two politicians were sentenced to death for war crimes committed three decades ago during the Bangladesh war for independence. Chowdhury is the most senior official in Bangladesh to be charged with crimes against humanity. Related: Messaging app Viber’s new (and cute) social games are out now for iOS and Android This is not the first time the government has banned chat apps in Bangladesh during times of civil unrest, Viber and Tango faced a similar ban earlier in the year as the government tried to discourage protests. In 2010, Bangladesh banned Facebook for an online competition to draw the prophet Mohammed. Bangladesh also announced it would “snoop” on bloggers using Facebook to insult Islam in 2013. “The government has planned to stop operation of these apps for the time being in order to arrest the perpetrators,” said Prime Minister of Bangladesh Sheikh Hasina. Facebook and Viber have not commented on the government’s new ban. Internet service providers (ISPs) were ordered by the government to ban the apps on November 11, but the ban has only come into place this weekend. According to sources inside Bangladesh, some ISPs are keeping all traffic away from the apps, while others seem to be incapable of holding back the traffic. Quite a lot of mobile users are simply bypassing the ban, using a VPN or proxy to avoid it. It is similar to Turkey’s reaction to civil unrest, banning Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube until protests died down. In a world where one person can organize a protest on his phone, shutting down chat apps is seen as an optimal solution, at least for some governments. The U.K. government even looked into blocking social apps after the London riots, after it was revealed that the protests were organized on BlackBerry Messenger.