This Sunday would be a good time to spend that Google Play credit!

Now there’s another reason to play Pocket Mortys. Besides being incredibly fun, Adult Swim Games has pledged to donate any cash it makes via the game on Sunday, October 1 to help Hurricane Maria relief in Puerto Rico.

The game itself is free to play, but ads and in-app purchases can make for a sizable amount of money, especially now that we have an extra incentive to hand it over to the company. It’s fun to play and chances are you would probably spend a little coin because of it, but this news removes any excuse to not part with a buck or two.

If you’re wondering how to be good humans, play Pocket Mortys on Sunday when all proceeds benefit hurricane relief efforts in Puerto Rico.

— Pocket Mortys (@PocketMortys) October 1, 2017

Remember, Google Play credit can be used to buy in-app purchases, and plenty of us have upwards of $100 or more by using the Opinion Rewards app. There’s no better time to spend it!

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 | Posted by | Categories: Android |

According to a new rumor, the Google Ultra Pixel will feature dual-cameras, a new kind of fingerprint scanner, and get rid of Android’s navigation buttons.

Update September 30: This story turned out to be a hoax by YouTuber BRECCIA. He’s apparently looking for work if anyone would like to hire someone to deceive your clients.

Original article below:

Google’s Pixel 2 event next Wednesday will be here before we know it, and alongside the highly anticipated Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL, we’re also expecting Google to show off a Home Mini, and Pixelbook to go alongside its latest flagship smartphones. However, according to a new rumor that just popped up, Google is also working on an even more premium handset in the form of the Google Pixel Ultra.

Arun Maini from the YouTube channel Mrwhosetheboss uploaded a video in which he talks about an email that he received from an anonymous source. In this email, Maini’s source sent him images and videos that supposedly reveal a Pixel Ultra phone that we haven’t heard about up until now.

The photo that shows off the Ultra Pixel the most is that of a laptop with a screenshot of what appears to be a promo image. It shows off the front of the Ultra Pixel with very slim top and side bezels (similar to what we’re expecting from the Pixel 2 XL), along with professional-looking artwork and wallpaper to match.

Next to the phone itself, we see branding that reads “Ultra pixel” and underneath “Phone by Google.” The font used looks to be right in line with what Google’s been using for other marketing material, but the lowercase “p” for “Ultra pixel” is an oddity. This could be a typo on Google’s end, or it could be a sign that this whole image is entirely fake. You can watch Maini’s video to be the judge yourself, but what we’re seeing here does look legitimate.

The Ultra Pixel might feature dual-cameras and a fingerprint scanner under the display.

Maini continues on in his video to say that the Ultra Pixel will have a dual-camera system (something we’re not expecting in the Pixel 2 or 2 XL ) and a “new kind of fingerprint scanner.” We don’t have any concrete info to judge just what this means, but there is the chance that this means Google will be implementing a fingerprint scanner that’s embedded under the display of the Ultra Pixel. Technology like this does exist, but we’ve yet to see it in a mass-produced consumer handset. It’s not necessarily impossible for Google to pull off something like this, but the likelihood of it happening is still up in the air.

Lastly, and perhaps the most interesting, the Ultra Pixel will supposedly do away with Android’s Back, Home, and Recent navigation buttons in favor of a system that’s based purely on gestures. Another photo that Maini received shows a swipe up gesture on the Ultra Pixel to access the phone’s multitasking screen, and in another instance, we see a screenshot of three phones next to each other with the text “The future of Android is Fluid.”

What does all of this mean? It’s entirely possible that Google is working on an Ultra Pixel phone to be released alongside the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL, with the Ultra Pixel being the company’s true flagship for 2017. This is identical to what Apple just did with the iPhone X, and with Google’s intent to beat Apple and its own game, we wouldn’t be surprised at all by a move along these lines.

As for the removal of Android’s navigation buttons, that’s a different story. I don’t doubt that we’ll see a drastic change in the way we interact with the Android OS at some point in the near future, but seeing as how this is the first time we’ve ever heard of such a proposal, I’m inclined to believe that the navigation buttons will be staying where they’ve been for all these years — at least this time around.

Thankfully, we only have to wait until next Wednesday to stop with all of the speculation.

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 | Posted by | Categories: Android |

Reset and recuperate with friends both online and off.

Weekends are all about taking time to shake away the work-week brain dust. No matter your job, work can get stressful and everyone needs to find time to step away and remember how to enjoy themselves. That could mean something quiet and relaxing or extreme and adrenaline pumping, or anything in-between. And while you’re winding down from it all here’s the place where you can get together with friends and chat about anything.

I like to spend my downtime with either a fishing pole or a guitar in my hands, and it seems like everything is awesome while I’m doing either. My job is filled with cool stuff that I enjoy, but it still can be stressful so I value doing the other things I love whenever I get a chance. I imagine most of us feel the same way, even if you’ve not yet found the job you love.

More of that fun and possibly stressful work will be heading our way very soon, as we get our keyboards and minds lubricated to prepare for Google’s October 4 hardware show. Andrew and Russell are headed to San Francisco, Daniel is going to get together with Google Canada and the rest of us will be typing furiously and watching the live stream. Nobody is sure exactly what Google’s one big thing will be this go ’round, but we’re sure they will drop a bomb about something while they show off the new Pixel 2 phones and other products. They always do.

It will be fun, and we’ll be ready!

So what are you up to this weekend? Jump into the comments below and let’s talk about it.

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 | Posted by | Categories: Android |

Best Cases for Moto G5 Plus

30 September 2017

What are the best cases available for the Moto G5 Plus?

Motorola’s latest budget phone, the Moto G5 Plus, is quite the follow up to the Moto G4 Plus.

If you recently picked one up on sale, you should reinvest some of the money you save on a case to keep it in tip-top condition. We’ve rounded up a wide variety of cases here —from heavy duty rugged to slim and sleek — so you can find the one that fits your lifestyle best!

Ringke FUSION case

Ringke has a good reputation as a solid case manufacturer, and for good reason: its Fusion series always fits and protects well without adding too much bulk.

The Moto G5 Plus version, available in Clear, Rose Gold Crystal, or Smoke Black colors, is no exception. All versions leave a clear back while the two colored options merely accentuate the sides of the phone. The case covers the ports with little flaps, preventing water from getting inside, and the TPU covering is reinforced at the corners to ensure MIL-STD 810G drop protection.

See at Amazon

Supcase Unicorn Beetle Pro with Built-in Screen Protector

Do you regularly head out into the great outdoors with your phone and need a case that’s rugged enough to take on the elements? Supcase offers its Unicorn Beetle Pro case, which features rugged, dual-layer protection and a built-in screen protector.

It combines a rugged polycarbonate shell with soft TPU to create a durable case with a sporty design. Supcase brags that this case exceeded military shock standards by surviving a 4-foot drop test 26 times so if you’re prone to dropping your phone this is the case for you. All the ports are covered to keep out dirt and lint with access to the phone’s ports and buttons, and also comes with an optional swiveling belt clip holster. It’s come in sleek all black, or premium color cases.

See at Amazon

Spigen Rugged Armor case

Spigen makes some of the best cases you can buy, with their Rugged Armor lineup offering a great balance between style and functionality without adding a ton of bulk to your phone.

This one-piece case is made from flexible TPU with an internal spider-web pattern to help disperse the shock from drops along with Spigen’s Air Cushion technology in the corners. The screen is protected with a raised lip around the front, and on the back, you’ll find a precise cutout around the camera along with glossy, carbon fiber textures at the top and bottom of the case which increases your ability to maintain a solid grip on your phone.

Precise cutouts around the ports and raised tactile buttons ensure the functionality of your phone is never impeded. For a great, lightweight case that offers rugged protection, you really can’t go wrong with Spigen.

See at Amazon

Incipio NGP case

If you’re looking for a lightweight rugged case, Incipio’s NGP case is the right voice for you.

Featuring a textured back and bumper to ensure you maintain a solid grip, this one-piece polymer case is designed with enhanced drop protection — you’ll notice the honeycombed interior which helps to disperse the shock when your phone inevitably hits a table or floor.

Precise cutouts mean you’ll have full access to the charging port and headphone jack as well as the volume and power button on the side.

Choose between black and berry pink and keep your Moto G5 Plus protected!

See at Incipio

Tudia Ultra Slim case

Tudio’s Ultra Slim case for the Moto G5 Plus is a very stylish option for protecting your phone. it features stylish carbon fiber designs at the top and the bottom of the backplate, which both looks great and helps with grip.

Made with high quality TPU, this sleek case won’t add much bulk to your phone, while the raised edge around the screen help keep your phone protected when it’s face down on a surface. It’s available in three color options: black, grey and navy blue.

For a really stylish and slim option for protecting your Moto G5 Plus, the Tudia Ultra Slim case can’t be beat!

See at Amazon

Cimo clear case

Cimo’s cases always fit really well and their clarity is excellent. Made from flexible TPU, these cases have a great in-hand feel that’s not slippery, so you won’t be fumbling your Moto G5 Plus all the time.

There’s a raised bezel around the front of the case to protect your phone’s screen when you lay it face-down, and the ports and buttons are cut out precisely.

It’s important to note that clear TPU will almost always yellow after some time due to the way it absorbs sunlight. But for around $8, you might as well grab a few.

Interested in checking out other clear case options? Check out the best clear cases for the Moto G5 Plus!

See at Amazon

Poetic Revolution

If rugged protection is the name of the game for you, you’ll want to consider this Poetic Revolution case for the Moto G5 Plus. It offers full protection for your phone, including a front plate with a built-in screen protector that also adds water resistance to the mix.

This two-piece case combines polycarbonate and TPU on the back to provide a balance of shock absorption and scratch protection, while the front plate is made of solid PC and includes a screen protector to keep your screen protected better than any other case on this list.

There’s a lot of smart design elements in play here, including grippy textures along the side edges of the phone, lint/dust flaps over the ports at the bottom, and ‘edgy’ corners that give the phone a fresh and unique look. Despite all the features and protection built into this case, the profile remains relatively slim so you’re not carrying around a plastic brick in your pocket.

See at Amazon

LK Leather Wallet Flip case

If you’re looking to keep your phone, ID, credit cards and cash all in one place when you’re heading out for a night on the town, the LK wallet case is your best bet.

Available in both black and brown color options, this case features three card slots on the inside cover, including a windowed slot that’s perfect for your ID, and also includes a pocket for carrying cash as well. Your phone is held in place via a soft TPU shell that offers quality protection in the spots you need it most: the corners. Fold over the front cover to use it as a kickstand for viewing, then use the magnetic clasp to keep your screen protected in your pocket.

Do note that some of the Moto G5 Plus’ functionality may be impeded when the front cover is closes, including the twist and chop gestures for launching the camera and flashlight respectively. Those require the infrared sensor to work properly which is covered by the case when closed. It certainly shouldn’t be a dealbreaker for most, but it’s worth mentioning before you make the purchase.

See at Amazon

Which case will you pick?

We want to know which cases work best for you, so let us know in the comments below!

Update September 30, 2017: We’ve added the Ringke FUSION case because it’s great and you should buy it.

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 | Posted by | Categories: Android |

What do we want from the Google Pixel 2?

A new, delicious version of Android is here, so now we’re looking to the next big Google announcement: new phone hardware.

Up until recently, we thought this year’s crop was to be a fairly predictable update to last year’s — two devices built by HTC with improved specs and a newer version of Android. But things change.

Here’s what we do know: two phones, with an unveiling on October 4, 2017 in San Francisco. The rest? Read on for more.

Google Pixel 2 — HTC ‘walleye’

The first rumors around next-gen Pixels suggested that HTC would once again be the manufacturer of two Pixel phones in 2017, and that perhaps the company had signed a multi-year contract with Google for the privilege. Previous Nexus and Pixel devices have been named after various kinds of aquatic life, and so when references to devices named “walleye” and “muskie”, appeared, they fitted the bill. Both “walleye” and “muskie” were expected to be from HTC, with updated designs similar to that of the original Pixels.

In June 2017 the news broke that “muskie,” the larger of the two HTC phones, had been canceled by Google in favor of a new Pixel — this time produced by LG.

Specs in the Pixel 2, according to rumors, would unsurprisingly include Qualcomm’s very latest processor — likely a Snapdragon 835. Recently those rumors have been corroborated by a report on XDA suggesting the smaller Pixel 2 would feature 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage. The screen size would purportedly stay around 5 inches, with a 1920×1080 display resolution.

In August 2017, the leaks really began: we saw the first “live” photo of the Pixel 2, which greatly resembles the original smaller 5-inch Pixel with a few small alterations, including a much larger camera module and less glass on the top of the phone. Later on, we got to see a set of official renders that leaked, corroborating the design and confirming 64GB of internal storage. Pricing was also rumored at $649, or $749 for 128GB of storage.

We also learned the smaller Pixel will do away with the 3.5mm headphone jack of the original and instead opt for dual front-facing stereo speakers, a compromise that we’re sure won’t be to everyone’s taste.

In another leak, we saw the front and back of the Pixel 2 in slightly more detail, festooned as they were in barcodes and stickers, all the while confirming the familiar design language.

And in the most definitive of non-photo leaks we’ve received so far, the Pixel 2 passed through the U.S. telecom regulator, the FCC, telling us a few new things about it, including a confirmation that it’s being manufactured by HTC. First, the phone is definitely going to be running the Snapdragon 835, and it will include HTC’s Edge Sense “squeeze-the-sides” technology, though for what purpose remains to be seen.

Google Pixel 2 XL — LG ‘taimen’

In March, it emerged that a another potential Pixel device was being produced, codenamed “taimen”, likely bigger than both “walleye” and “muskie.” Now we know that “muskie” is no more, leaving us with just one big-screened Pixel — “taimen.”

Leaked specs for the device from benchmarking sites include a Snapdragon 835 processor and 4GB of RAM, like the HTC-made Pixel 2. Multiple reports later confirmed that LG would be the manufacturer of the new, larger phone.

In July, we got our first look at the Google Pixel 2 XL in all its glory, thanks to a render produced in-house by Android Police based on information seen by them. As well as revealing many key design features, like a slightly curved glass front (though with a flat OLED screen, apparently), the render shows just one rear camera, and the return of the fingerprint scanner around the back. It bears a passing resemblance to LG’s own V30 handset in terms of proportions and edge curvature.

The renders were backed up by later leaked versions, this time in both black and white, from the folks over at Droid-Life (shown above). Once again we see a shrunken glass back portion, and smooth metal all the way down. A power button sits above the volume keys on the right side (when viewed from the front), and the fingerprint sensor sits on the back roughly where it did on the original. It also shows a larger camera cutout, once again with just a single lens.

According to AP’s report, “taimen” would have a 6-inch, 18:9 aspect ratio display (again, like the V30), and will also include the Edge Sense-like squeeze feature, where users can squeeze the phone to make certain things happen. Google Assistant was once again suggested as a likely contender for squeeze-activated functionality.

Ultra Pixel — a third Pixel? (Probably not)

An odd leak only days before the Pixel 2 event suggests that Google may release a third Pixel, dubbed Ultra Pixel, at the October 4 event.

While this is extremely unlikely, the source claims that Google will release a phone with dual cameras, a completely bezelless screen, and an interface that does away completely with Android’s on-screen navigation buttons. Some of this information is reportedly corroborated by photos that show the term ‘Ultra pixel’ on what appears to be marketing materials. Others have (probably correctly) suggested that if they’re anything at all, they may merely be marketing materials for the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL.

Google, LG Electronics and LG Display

Earlier this year, it was revealed that Google wants to spend nearly a billion dollars with LG Display to secure OLED panels for its upcoming Pixel phones. LG Display is a separate company from LG Electronics, which creates phones, but the two are connected (LGE is the largest shareholder in LG Display), and it stands to reason that Google would give the latter a manufacturing contract to ensure the success of the former.

OLED displays are the future of screens, and Google wants a piece of the market.

OLED displays are the future of mobile optics, and LG is ramping up production for its own devices and to compete with Samsung Display, which largely has the market cornered. The first Pixel phones were affected by enormous and frustrating manufacturing delays, and though Google never specifically pointed to a shortage in OLED displays, experts believe that may have been a factor. With its sequels, Google wants to ensure it has a reliable supply of panels, and giving LG the rights to manufacture one of its Pixels goes a long way to making sure that happens.

The move makes sense, since LG is ramping up production of phone-based OLED displays for its own LG V30. It’s also worth noting that Google and LG have a long history of partnerships on Nexus, Android Wear and Google Play edition devices. LG has historically been keen to team up with its major partner in the mobile space.

Design and hardware features

The smaller Pixel 2, manufactured by HTC, is expected to share much of its design with its predecessor, though it will gain stereo speakers. Google and LG are clearly moving towards the “bezel-less” ideal of smartphones in 2017 for the larger Pixel 2 XL. Both phones look to be clad in the same smooth, almost-featureless metal body that we saw on the original Pixels.

Nevertheless, at least Pixel 2 XL’s larger screen should address the main design criticism of the original Pixels: their large bezels, which look even sillier now that the Galaxy S8 and LG G6 are on the market. What could put off buyers is the fact that the Pixels may not offer a 3.5mm headphone jack.

It looks like the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL will share a similar design aesthetic.

A more recent XDA report suggested that both Pixel 2 and Pixel XL 2 will have a few more hardware goodies to look forward to, including an HTC U11-like “squeezable” frame that would launch Google Assistant. An all-new ambient display could make the Pixel series a bit more like Moto Display, allowing users to interact with what they see of their notifications without turning the screen on — a direct benefit of having an OLED panel. And that OLED panel could allow Google to offer a true sRGB color option in its display settings, something that has until now been relegated to the little-visited (for most people) Developer Options.

Google Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL Specs

The specs for the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL are coming together, and we’re getting a clear picture of what most high-end phones look like at the end of 2017 — with a couple interesting diversions.

Category Pixel 2 Pixel 2 XL
Manufacturer HTC LG
Operating System Android 8.1 Android 8.1
Processor Snapdragon 835 Snapdragon 835
Display 5-inch, 1920×1080 (16:9) 6-inch, 2880×1440 (18:9)
Storage 64/128GB
Camera Single rear camera, single front-facing camera, EIS Single rear camera, single front-facing camera, EIS
Security Rear fingerprint sensor Rear fingerprint sensor
Water resistance IP68 IP68
Price $649 / $749 $849 / $949

In early September, we learned that unlike earlier rumors, Qualcomm has no plans to launch a Snapdragon 836 processor to replace the Snapdragon 835 this year like it did with the Snapdragon 821 in 2016.

We also learned in a recent leak that Google will once again forgo optical image stabilization (OIS) in favor of electronic stabilization, which fared so well in the previous Pixel devices. That same leak also confirmed that the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL will both be IP68 water resistant.

Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL software — Android 8.1

Similar to last year, the Pixel 2 series may launch with Android 8.1, a version that may remain exclusive to the phones for a couple of months. Android 8.0 Oreo is finalized and released to current Pixels, so it’d make sense for the first maintenance release, version 8.1, to ship with the new Pixels.

That strategy allowed Google to roll out some great new features for all phones running Android 7.0 Nougat while keeping some exclusive features for the Pixels, which ran Android 7.1 when they launched a few months later. At the same time, Google’s excellent Pixel Launcher remains unique to the lineup, as does Project Fi support, which should fall over to the phones, too.

We don’t know anything specific about what we’ll see on Android 8.1 right now, but we’re keeping our ear to the ground and will update this as we know more.

More: What you need to know about Android 8.0 Oreo

Pricing and availability

When will the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 be announced? That’s easy — the event is scheduled for October 4 in San Francisco, with satellite events in Toronto and London. Early leaks point to a price jump to $849/$949 for the Pixel 2 XL, while the smaller Pixel 2 will stay at the same $649/749 price as its predecessor.

If there’s one silver lining to the prices, it’s that the base storage on both phones has gone up to 64GB — more space for your stuff.

Other announcements

The Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL aren’t the only things being announced at Google’s October 4 event. We saw leaks of a smaller Google Home Mini, which should debut for $49 in three colors — with Google Assistant on board, of course.

And Chromebook fans will be excited to learn that Google plans to release a Pixelbook convertible with a detachable screen and touchscreen support starting at $1149, along with an optional powered pen for $99.

There’s also going to be a slightly refreshed Daydream View VR headset, likely to accommodate the taller footprint of the Pixel 2 XL.

Update, September 20: This article was last updated with the latest information on all the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL leaks.

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 | Posted by | Categories: Android |

It’s been eight years since wireless charging first came to smartphones with the Palm Pre, but it took Apple building it into the new iPhone 8 and iPhone X to make it matter to the mainstream. That’s no snarky jab at Apple or its customers; in fact the iPhone’s newfound embrace of wireless charging is reason to celebrate for all those who’ve ever known the joy of cutting the (charging) cord!

That’s because wireless charging is about to return to the scene in a big way – and this time, there’s no pesky standards war to get in the way of progress. I’m MrMobile and here’s everything you need to know if you’re treating your smartphones to a wireless charger in 2017.

Featured Products

Stay social, my friends

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The Huawei Mate 10 might not be a smartphone, but it will be packed with some pretty interesting AI tech.

Huawei is scheduled to host a press event in just a couple weeks on October 16 to unveil its Mate 10 flagship phone, and leading up to said event, Huawei has released a promo video to tout the Mate 10′s biggest feature – artificial intelligence.

In the promo video, Huawei says that the Mate 10 “sees”, “thinks”, and “learns” just like humans do, and that the phone is “alive with potential” to “unlock your potential.” Huawei’s main focus for the video revolves around the tagline “This is not a smartphone”, suggesting that the Mate 10′s AI capabilities will be able to go above and beyond what our current handsets are capable of.

We already know that the Kirin 970 processor powering the Mate 10 will feature its own neural processing unit, and although we aren’t entirely sure what the full potential of this chip will mean for the phone, Huawei has said that the Kirin 970 and its AI tech will be able to process image recognition of 200 images in 6 seconds and produce photos that are sharper in less time.’

As for the Mate 10 being able to see, think, and learn, those are features that we’re going to have to see shown off at Huawei’s event before we really understand what’s being touted here. Services like the Google Assistant and Alexa are already extremely helpful for performing a wide array of voice commands, but the system that Huawei’s describing sounds like it’ll go deeper than what we’ve seen from AI systems in smartphones to-date.

It’s still up in the air as to whether or not Huawei will be able to deliver on the promises it’s making for its latest smartphone that’s not a smartphone, but thankfully we only have a few more days to wait to see what the Mate 10 smartphone brings to the table.

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How we’re spending our leisure time.

Everyone has a bit of quiet downtime once in a while. Whether you’re sitting quietly at home or trying to relax on a plane or just giving your busy mind and hands a break, it’s important to relax.

A good way to do that is to read a book, listen to some music or watch a movie or show. See what’s caught our attention for the week of September 29.

Daniel Bader

So, Star Trek: Discovery. I watched the first two episodes this week and, while visually impressive, the show left me a bit cold. Not that I don’t like the protagonist Michael Burnham, played by Sonequa Martin-Green, but because it’s a bit difficult to understand where the series is going to go. Set 10 years or so before the first Star Trek series, when Klingons and the Federation were on the brink of war, I feel like the series is purposefully giving us both a long-term antagonist and fuel for at least a season’s worth of war. But that’s it — I’m not sure how the series will be able to sustain itself given that it’s being framed as a serialized, binge-friendly show.

I love Star Trek, and think Discover has a lot of potential, but I have this lingering feeling that it’s going to end up disappointing me. I hope I’m wrong.

Ara Wagoner

This week, while I’ve been fighting off a sinus infection, I’ve been needing something light and cheery. I’ve been listening to the Deluxe Beauty and the Beast soundtrack and the Legacy Collection Pocahontas soundtrack.

Also, after mentioning it in this week’s Wallpaper Weekly, I’ve been rewatching Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid again. It’s hilarious, adorable, light-hearted, and makes me wish I had a live-in maid who could fly and didn’t need a paycheck.

Tom Westrick

As far as content consumption, I’ve been mostly reading this week. The Play Store is having a sale on Batman comics for Batman Day, so I picked up the entire No Man’s Land storyline as well as the first volume of the Rebirth series. I’ve started reading No Man’s Land, and I’m enjoying it so far. I’ve also been reading Patton Oswalt’s memoir, Silver Screen Fiend and listening to Satya Nadella’s memoir, Hit Refresh on Audible.

I haven’t been watching too much TV this week, but I did get Plex DVR set up, and I’m looking forward to watching my recording of West Side Story this weekend. For music, I’ve been listening to the Blues Brothers soundtrack all day today.

Jen Karner

This week I’m going for some throwbacks when it comes to my fiction addiction. This means some Ray Bradbury in the form of From the Dust Returned, and October Country. I’m also mowing through another Stephen King classic, Salem’s Lot.

In terms of watching, I finally got around to watching Netflix’s “History of Hip-Hop” which is brilliant, and just so much knowledge and history about how the genre was born and then evolved over the years. If you’re a music fan, it’s worth at least one watch, maybe two. I’m also finishing up my annual binge of The Walking Dead, before the show returns to air for the new season.

Jerry Hildenbrand

I went to the “real” bookshelf this week, where I found a nasty, yellowing paperback I picked up from a swap meet ages ago but never got around to reading. I hope those stains are coffee and not blood 😕.

Anyways, Richard Zacks’ An Underground Education is turning into the best 30-cents I’ve ever spent. Knowing trivial facts about the legal war around the original sewing machine, the real history of erotica and how Benjamin Franklin might not be the saint that history paints him as is fascinating. Even if none of it’s true. I’ll sort that truth part out once I’m done reading.

Oh, grab Concrete and Gold from your music store of choice. Yes, it’s not like a normal Foo Fighters album, and sometimes that means it’s better. This is one of those times.

Your turn

What are YOU reading, watching, or listening to this week? Let us know in the comments!

Update, September 29, 2017: This is an occasional series where we tell you what we’re into, so check back often!

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 | Posted by | Categories: Android |

Anker’s latest gadget, the Nebula Capsule, is a portable projector that runs Android, supports Chromecast, can stream 4K video, and costs $349.

For most of us, we know Android as the operating system that powers our smartphones, tablets, and possibly watches and TVs. It’s not uncommon for the OS to be injected into other types of gadgets and gizmos to create for some truly neat tech, and the latest product to do just this is the Nebula Capsule.

The Capsule comes from Anker’s Nebula subbrand, and it’s being advertised as “the world’s most advanced pocket cinema.” The little gadget gets the pocket part right by having nearly the same size as a 12-ounce can of soda, but while its dimensions may be small, there’s a lot of tech packed into this guy.

First and foremost, the front of the Capsule is where you’ll find its projector camera. Nebula is using Digital Light Processing (DLP) technology and a special IntelliBright algorithm that should help for producing the highest quality picture that’s viewable even with the lights on. By default, you’ll get a picture of 654 x 480, but you’ll be able to get resolutions up to Full HD and 4K (with a screen size up to 100-inches wide).

Nebula also says that the Capsule is the “world’s first projector” that kicks out 360-degree surround sound. Over 9,000 holes throughout the Capsule’s aluminum grill should allow for a solid audio experience, and when you don’t have time to watch a movie, you can connect your phone or other device to the Capsule via Bluetooth 4.0 and cast your tunes to it.

Nebula’s Capsule runs Android 7.0 Nougat out of the box with a custom software interface that makes finding your content as easy as possible. A quad-core A7 processor should offer more than enough power for all of your media consumption, and if you blow through the estimated 2.5-hours of battery life for continued video playback, it’ll come as good news that the Capsule supports Qualcomm QuickCharge 2.0 for a 100% recharge in just 2.5-hours as well. Add this together with Google Chromecast support, dual-band Wi-Fi, and 8GB of built-in storage, and you’re looking at a fully-featured product.

You can back the Nebula Capsule on Indiegogo right now for as low as $249 for an early bird price, but when the device officially launches in December, it’ll go up to $349.

See at Indiegogo

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The LG V30 and V30+ will be available soon from all major U.S. carriers.

After leaks and pre-announcements, the LG V30 was made official at this year’s IFA conference. However, availability and price were not announced at the event, leaving potential buyers curious as to when the phone would be available. We now know that it’ll be arriving on October 5.

AT&T, T-Mobile, and Verizon have already announced their availability for the V30, but in a press release LG said the V30 and V30+ will be available from all major carriers within the next two weeks. Still unknown at this time is any sort of unlocked offering. Availability, color, and price will vary from carrier to carrier. The only difference between the V30 and the V30+ is the former includes 64GB of internal storage, while the latter includes 128GB. It’s not clear which carriers will get the V30+, but it’s looking like either Verizon or Sprint, or both.

LG is also stepping up its warranty game with the release of the V30. Instead of the standard one year of warranty coverage, the V30 and V30+ will be eligible for LG’s Second Year Promise which equals out to a full two years of support. It began with the G6 earlier this summer, and is most likely an attempt to ease customer fears after previous LG devices faced bootloop defects. The one caveat is that customers will need to register for the additional year of warranty support, rather than automatically have the support with their purchase. From LG Electronics’ Chang Ma:

We are so confident in the V30′s quality, that in addition to the manufacturer’s first year limited warranty, we are now offering free second year coverage upon registration. Plus, enjoy a service experience that gets you a replacement phone quickly. That’s LG’s promise to you.

Time will tell if LG is able to support the devices for the full two years, but it’s a nice gesture. LG also said that it will bundle the updated version of Google’s Daydream VR headset with select V30s, which may be why the company is waiting until after Google’s October 4 event to release the phone.

Are you interested in picking up the LG V30? Let us know down below!

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