There are plenty of great games for Gear VR available for free!

When it comes to finding great games for Gear VR, the Oculus Store delivers tons of great content across the genres. Whether you’re low on cash at the moment and looking for a fun new game, or you’re new to VR and trying to ease your toes into the water, it’s a breeze to find fun new games available for free. There’s actually an entire category dedicated to free games and apps, and we’ve gone through it to find the gems you should be checking out!


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 | Posted by | Categories: Android |

Being able to charge your phone or tablet faster at home — and more importantly when you’re on the go — may be one of the biggest improvement we’ve seen in mobile tech in some time.

Updated May 2, 2017 with the latest information about Qualcomm QukckCharge 4.0.

And while one of the many cool things about living in 2017 is not necessarily needing to understand how a lot of the tech around you works, if you take the time to better understand what you are using there’s a good chance you’ll get more out of it. A perfect simple example is the power supply you use for your smartphone.

If you’ve purchased a new phone recently, there’s a good chance the power supply in the box is capable of charging your phone significantly faster than any of the other chargers you have in the house. This little slice of magic is called Quick Charge from Qualcomm, and it’s a two-step process that promises to safely charge your phone faster than any other tech out there right now.

Quick Charge 4.0

Starting with the Snapdragon 835, Quick Charge 4.0 promises even faster charging that’s safer than ever before.

Quick Charge 4.0 has three key improvements: It’s 20% faster and 30% more efficient than Quick Charge 3 and runs about five degrees Celsius cooler. Additional “battery saver” features will prolong the life of the battery in your phone, and QC 4.0 is said to be fully USB-C USB-PD (Power Delivery) compliant.

Hearing faster and more efficient is standard for any update. This time they mean it.

We all love faster charging and batteries that live longer. But the last feature in our list is perhaps the most important. The latest Android Compatibility Definition Document, Google has strongly recommended manufacturers move away from non-standard USB-C charging solutions like Quick Charge and adhere to the USB-PD spec. With QC 4.0, you’ll not only be able to extend your phone usage by up to five hours with just five minutes of charging, but won’t have to worry as much about matching the charger to the thing being charged.

QC 4.0 also includes the latest iteration of Qualcomm’s custom power management algorithm, Intelligent Negotiation for Optimum Voltage (INOV). Additions include real-time thermal management which will regulate the temperature during power delivery to keep things safer and more efficient. New power management ICs are also part of the picture and will come with QC 4-ready devices.

Expect to see devices with Quick Charge 4.0 starting in the first half of 2017.

Quick Charge 3.0

In late 2015, Qualcomm released Quick Charge 3.0. Using the same basic science and technology as they did with Quick Charge 2.0, you’ll be able to charge phones using QC 3.0 compatible equipment even faster.

In laboratory tests using a 2750mAh battery, a Quick Charge 3.0 enabled device went from 0% to 80% charge in 35 minutes, while a device without Quick Charge 3.0 using a conventional (5 volt, 1 amp) charger achieved just a 12% gain in the same 30 minutes.

It works using what Qualcomm is calling Intelligent Negotiation for Optimum Voltage (INOV). This is a new computational algorithm that allows the device being charged to determine the power level it needs at any point in time, which means it’s always working with the most efficient and optimized power transfer rate. Support for a wider range of voltage options — 200mV increments from 3.6V to 20V — means your phone can dynamically target one of dozens of charging levels.

Quick Charge 3.0 is implemented the same way previous versions were, and all QC 3.0 equipment is fully backwards compatible with Quick Charge 2.0 and Quick Charge 1.0 devices. QC 3.0 supports USB Type-A, USB Type-C and micro USB, as well as proprietary connections. It’s easy for manufacturers to use QC 3.0 on a wide variety of chargers and devices.

Quick Charge 2.0

Quick Charge 2.0 is a Qualcomm-made platform, which the company describes as a “comprehensive suite of battery management technologies” for charging your device using any ordinary Micro-USB cable. The two requirements for Quick Charge 2.0 are a Snapdragon-based smartphone or tablet and a Quick Charge 2.0-certified power supply. Because this is a proprietary mechanism, both the power supply and the phone or tablet have be licensed and certified by Qualcomm in order to function properly. Since nearly every new smartphone that offers Quick Charge 2.0 comes with a compatible power supply, you almost always have what you need to take advantage of this technology out of the box. (Some 2014 phones, like the Moto X and HTC One M8 had the capability but shipped before the wall chargers were ready.)

You will find Snapdragon-based devices where the manufacturer has opted out of paying for a license to use Quick Charge 2.0, for example the OnePlus One, so be sure to check the specs on your next device to be absolutely sure you’re getting this feature if you want it.

Most of the heavy lifting for this technology is done through the power supply — the part you plug into the wall or into your car. Most power supply bricks that come with phones today offer at least 5 volts at 1 amp of power. In some cases you’ll see as high as 5V at 2.1A output on your power supply brick, which will charge most smartphones and tablets noticeably faster. Qualcomm’s Quick Charge tech allows for multiple options to be used in charging a device, and they come in several shapes and sizes. For example, the power brick in the Droid Turbo offers 5V at 1.6A, 9V at 1.6A, and 12V at 1.2A output. Quick Charge 2.0 is designed to support greater power outputs than what is offered by the Droid Turbo, but we’ll likely only see that if the manufacturer licensing the technology determines it necessary — and safe.

Quick Charge 2.0 is built to charge your device quickly, but there are specific power outputs that apply to the current state of your battery. In other words, it won’t juice up faster unless it needs to.

The tech works by knowing the current condition of your battery and intelligently regulating the power your device is receiving. As a result, your phone will not charge from 70 percent to 100 percent nearly as fast as it will from 0 percent to 60 percent. This is why you see almost every Quick Charge ad brag about the ability to go from “dead” to over “half-charged” in as little as 30 minutes. As you can see from the power options offered by the Droid Turbo charger, topping off the battery uses the more common charging mode of 5V at 1.6A output. This isn’t a bad thing. In fact, it’s a vital safety measure to keep your phone from exploding, and it is also something to keep in mind if you’re the type to keep your phone topped off any chance you get.

More: Check out our Futurology series for more on the the science of the battery in your phone

The biggest question to come from the existence of this technology is almost always about battery life, specifically whether or not this technology is damaging the total life expectancy of the battery in your device. As a general rule, slower charging keeps your battery functioning as intended for longer than rapidly charging the battery. (A side-effect of the higher charge rate is heat. And heat, generally speaking, is the enemy of electronics.) That said, there’s no evidence to support the notion that users would notice any negative effects associated with constantly using Quick Charge over the average life span of a smartphone, which is a little over two years. As long as we’re all still using lithium-ion batteries in smartphones, the potential for anything negative to happen with your battery is no different with Quick Charge than it is through any other charger, which is to say next to zero as long as the battery isn’t being abused.

Here’s what Qualcomm had to say on the subject when we asked them:

Quick Charge 2.0 does not change the way battery charging takes place today. The level of the current going into the battery is controlled by the OEM and depends on battery capacity, battery type, and other factors. Quick Charge 2.0 allows device manufacturers to achieve the full rated capability of the batteries they choose while still meeting the performance and safety standards set by the battery manufacturer. With Quick Charge 2.0, the life of large-format batteries (2000mAh and above) will be in line with that of smaller format batteries charging from traditional USB chargers.

There’s a lot of discussion surrounding the practical applications of Quick Charge 2.0, and whether or not the tech is worth investing in as a user. Quick Charge is widely seen as a workaround, so manufacturers can continue to put batteries in their devices that either aren’t large enough to get a resource-intensive user through an entire day or continue to make it so batteries are not removable. While everyone should want to live in a world where smartphones can survive whatever we throw at them and still have plenty of battery life remaining at the end of the day, reality just hasn’t caught up yet.

If anything, Quick Charge is a way to use your phone without having to rely on things that cripple your usage like Ultra Power Save Mode. Being able to plug your phone in for a couple of minutes and have the necessary juice to survive the evening is significantly nicer than making your phone barely worth using, and so long as the battery in your phone is designed to handle Quick Charge 2.0 it’s a welcomed addition to the ecosystem.

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Nissan’s Signal Shield is meant to block out all signal to keep you focused. But why not just put the phone away?

If you’re finding it hard to keep yourself from checking in on notifications, missed calls, and social media status updates while on the road, perhaps you shouldn’t be driving at all. Or, you could get a Faraday cage of sorts built into the armrest, as Nissan is suggesting with its new prototype.

The Signal Shield is a bonafide Faraday cage built into the arm rest of the Nissan Juke. Once you place the phone inside, it cuts off all mobile, Bluetooth, and Wi-Fi signals. You won’t see any messages or be able to check in until the phone comes out.

Guarantee your mobile will never distract you while driving. Introducing #Nissan Signal Shield

— NissanUK (@NissanUK) May 3, 2017

“The Nissan Signal Shield concept presents one possible solution for giving drivers the choice to remove all smartphone distractions while driving. This is about delivering more control at the wheel, not less,” Nissan Motor GB managing director Alex Smith told The Telegraph. “Some drivers are immune to the activity of their smartphone, but for those who struggle to ignore the beeps and pings, this concept provides a simple solution in this very connected world we live in.”

I can understand the temptation to check your phone when you’re stuck in bumper-to-bumper traffic and bored out of your mind, but these days, I feel like I see more drivers hitting the pedal to the metal at 60 miles-per-hour while face down in a text message. I only drive a few times a week, but it’s often for long distances, and you can bet I see someone breaking the law within minutes of hitting the road.

Having a smartphone in the car isn’t the issue here; it’s having the discipline to put it on silent and leave it in your bag or pocket when you should be paying attention to the road. And if you don’t, perhaps you should consider taking the bus around town. That way, you can use your phone to your heart’s desire until you reach your destination.

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 | Posted by | Categories: Android |

Even attachments from legitimate sources appear to contain illegitimate vibes.


5:15 ET From Google:

We have taken action to protect users against an email impersonating Google Docs and have disabled offending accounts. We’ve removed the fake pages, pushed updates through Safe Browsing, and our abuse team is working to prevent this kind of spoofing from happening again. We encourage users to report phishing emails in Gmail.

4:00 ET

After looking at a few of these and seeing investigations from others on Twitter, we have a clearer picture of what’s happening.

It appears that a third party developer has created a service that uses your Google login to authenticate. Somehow this service was able to use the name Google Docs. Attachments that need you to authorize this service are being sent using previously phished Google accounts, and upon clicking you’ll be asked to give access to things like reading and sending an email (so more phishing emails can be sent) as well as access to your account. While this should be a huge red flag to anyone, it’s likely working well for the people doing the account phishing.

Google is aware so we expect this to stop being a thing shortly. For now, don’t authorize any service and visit your MyAccount page and disconnect access to anything named Google Docs

The original post is below.

Have you checked social media lately? There’s a bit of buzz making the rounds about Google Docs spam popping up in people’s inboxes. The spam comes as an email attachment from even the most legitimate Google Docs users, including educational institutions and other professional organizations that rely on the document-storing cloud service.

MASSIVE phishing attempt via @Google Docs going on right now!! If you get invited to open a doc, DON’T CLICK IT!

— Chad Wingerd (@chadwingerd) May 3, 2017

I just got an email from my daughter’s school, with malware embedded in a Google Doc. I can’t help but like Google even less now.

— Vernon E. L. Smith (@VernonEL) May 3, 2017

Here’s your official public service announcement to please check the attachments before you open them; Check the address of the person who sent it, and maybe even give the person a call to ask if they sincerely meant to send along a PDF.

There are very few details about what the malware contained actually does and where it originated, but we’ve reached out to Google for more information.

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 | Posted by | Categories: Android |