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Updated: 4 hours 42 min ago

The best wireless headphones available in India for March 2019

Tue, 03/19/2019 - 01:45

Best Wireless (Bluetooth) Headphones: Welcome to TechRadar's guide to the best wireless and Bluetooth headphones you can buy in 2019.

The disappearing 3.5mm headphone is the reason these headphones have come to represent the epitome of convenience. Not to mention, the aspect of their portability.

Most people prefer wired headphones because they supposedly provide a better audio experience, when in fact, it's possible to get that same pristine quality with wireless headphones. The only feature that gets added is the convenience of being hands free and wire free.  

You might've been hesitant to cut the cord before – everyone has heard horror stories of wireless headphones' poor battery lives or awful sound quality. But it's tough to ignore the utility of wire-free listening. 

Forget having to run a wire down your top every time you want to listen to music on the go, or struggling with a cable to get your phone out of your pocket, wireless headphones are a convenience dream.

Headphones, no strings attached

So what makes wireless headphones so special? And how do you determine the best wireless headphones from a whole bunch of wannabes? 

Easy. You try dozens of wireless headphones and stack them against one another, mono a mono. (Well, stereo a stereo in this case.)

While these headphones are great for anyone looking to go wireless, they're especially practical when you consider the growing amount of phones launching without headphone jacks. Looking to finally ditch the cord? Here are the top 10 wireless headphones:

For the last three years, the Sony 1000X series of headphones have been our favorite wireless headphones on the market. They sound great thanks to a combination of superb wireless codecs - aptX and Sony's proprietary LDAC tech - and keep outside noise at bay thanks to Sony's ever-improving noise-cancellation algorithms. 

If you are a frequent traveler looking for the best noise-canceling headphones, or someone who’s stuck in a noisy office, the 1000XM2 is nearly as good as the M3. But what M3 gets is more style and comfort topped with even more dynamic noise cancellation technology. They’re very similar to the predecessor, but the price difference in India is still not enough to let M2 stand higher in terms of value for money proposition. 

Read the full review: Sony WH-1000XM3

Bose took the already-excellent QC35 and updated with Google Assistant. The headphone is identical in every way save for the new Google Assistant button. This means you still get the class-leading noise cancellation Bose is known for, good sound quality, and incredible comfort. Said simply, they sound great and their battery life is long enough for all but the longest of flights.

If you're looking to save some money, however, consider the original Bose QuietComfort 35. They can also be found for far cheaper these days, and if you're not fussed about having Google Assistant built into your headphones then you can save yourself some money while you save up for QC35 II. 

Read the full review: Bose QuietComfort 35 II

The Beyerdynamic Amiron Wireless are the best-sounding wireless headphones you can buy, period. Sound is spacious, detailed, and makes you want to rediscover your music library. Their bulky design and average noise isolation make them terrible for travel but if you’re looking for the best sound from a wireless headphone, this is it.

Read the full review: Beyerdynamic Amiron Wireless

Although they're a much better looking, and sounding, pair of headphones, the Sennheiser Momentum Wireless (not to be confused with the smaller, cheaper, Sennheiser Momentum On-Ear Wireless) are kept off the top spot of the list by their premium price point, which puts them out of reach of all but the most committed of music lovers. 

But for those that can afford them, these are a no-holds-barred wireless headphones are oozing with positive qualities. They're comfortable, hard-working set of headphones that will likely last for years.

Read the full review: Sennheiser Momentum Wireless

If you're a frequent traveler you're probably all too familiar with headphones that can't hold a charge and can't block out sound, let alone sound very good. Let us introduce you to the Plantronics BackBeat Pro 2, one of the few headphones on the market that can do all of the above and cost less than half as much as one of the bigger names like Beats, Bose and Sony. 

They also include a neat little feature that allows them to automatically turn off when you're not wearing them, meaning you're able to easily maximise their battery life without much effort. 

If we had to boil it down to its core, the BackBeat Pro 2 offers an excellent travel headphone with incredible battery life, supreme comfort, the ability to pair two device as once and, most importantly, good sound quality for the cost.

Read the full review: Plantronics BackBeat Pro 2

The AKG N60NC Wireless sound like a pair of headphones that should be much more expensive than they are. 

At their mid-range price point the headphones offer fantastic value for money, with great sound quality and a level of noise-cancellation performance that's on a level with the much more premium entries on this list. 

Our biggest issue with these headphones is the fact that they're on-ear rather than over-ear, meaning that we found that they got uncomfortable over longer periods. 

Regardless, the benefit of this is that this is a fantastically compact pair of headphones, and if you're willing to make the trade-off then these are great for the price. 

Read the full review: AKG N60NC Wireless

If you want a pair of wireless headphones without breaking the bank, and you don't fancy the in ear Optoma's above, your next best bet is the Jabra Move Wireless. 

These headphones may look like a budget buy, but don't let that fool you: this set of on ear Bluetooth headphones is nothing but an all-around stellar product. From the fun and edgy design to excellent performance, these cans come recommended for anyone interested in wireless on the cheap.

Read the full review: Jabra Move Wireless

Sony WH-H900N

Sony's second pair of headphones on this list could be called the champion of noise cancellation on a budget. The WH-H900N h.ear on Wireless NC is one of the best options in this range since it lasts forever between charges without compromising on sound quality and comfort.

Sony has topped up their headphones up with Hi-Res Audio which ensures more natural sound output and better bitrate than before.  

Beats Studio 3 Wireless

If you’re not too picky about audio, you’ll love the Beats Studio 3 Wireless. They look good, are comfortable and sound decent while releasing the pressure valve of city life with active noise cancellation.

Add great battery life and an Apple W1 chip and you have headphones that are very easy to get on with, particularly if you own an iPhone. 

Read the full review:  Beats Studio 3 Wireless

When you think of noise-cancelling headphones you probably picture bulky over-ear cans like the Bose QuietComfort 35 or the Sennheiser Momentum Wireless, but three years ago Bose turned its noise-cancelling chops to in-ear headphones, and the result was the excellent Bose QuietComfort 20i.  

Soon after that came the Bose QuietControl 30 (QC30, for short). These neckbuds offer the best noise cancellation of any in-ears we’ve tried and are comfortable enough to wear around your neck for long flights. Add to that the fantastic wireless capabilities of these headphones and you have the recipe for success. 

While we'd love to see a true wireless pair of headphones from Bose, the QuietComfort 30 are a tried-and-true stopgap that you'll enjoy all the same. 

Read the full review: Bose QuietControl 30

We're constantly reviewing new wireless headphones so do get in touch if there is a set that you'd like us to take a look at.a

Categories: Tech News

PC gamers will be able to test Halo: The Master Chief Collection before release

Mon, 03/18/2019 - 21:48

Following Microsoft’s recent announcement that it would be bringing Halo: The Master Chief Collection to PC, the computer and gaming company has revealed that PC gamers will be able to test the title ahead of its release.

The early testing is part of the Halo Insider Program, which fans of the franchise can sign up to in order to “provide feedback and insights” on in-progress game releases and other “franchise initiatives”.

It’s worth noting that not every member of the Insiders Program will be selected for testing, and although we have a vague release date of ‘later in 2019’, the opening for early testing is even less concrete.

The game so nice, you'll have to buy it twice

The Halo: Master Chief Collection was first released for Xbox One in 2014, but the package will be available on PC for the first time at some stage in 2019, and it'll be sold on both the Steam marketplace and Microsoft’s own storefront. 

Included in the package is Halo Reach, Halo: Combat Evolved, Halo 2, Halo 3, Halo 3: ODST, and Halo 4, although they won’t all be made available simultaneously, with Microsoft announcing a sequential release of each title in chronological order (as above).

There is a catch, however – as Kotaku reported, the collection won’t be a part of the Xbox Play Anywhere program, which means that if you already own it on Xbox, you’ll still need to buy another copy in order to play it on PC.

Categories: Tech News

Xiaomi's Black Shark 2 is set to be the mother of all gaming phones

Mon, 03/18/2019 - 21:24

Last year's Black Shark proved to be a decent, if unremarkable entry into the gaming smartphone market for Xiaomi, but now the Chinese phone maker seems set to deliver the goods with its follow-up, the Black Shark 2.

Announced today, the Xiaomi Black Shark 2 boasts a pressure sensitive 6.39-inch AMOLED display, allowing players to achieve differing on-screen actions depending on how hard they press. 

That's not the only surprise that Black Shark 2's screen has in store, thanks to the inclusion of a Samsung-made in-display fingerprint scanner for tough biometric security.

Now you're playing with power

In terms of raw power, Black Shark 2 seemingly outclasses recent gaming phone competitors like the Razer Phone 2, sporting the latest Snapdragon 855 processor and Adreno's new 640 GPU, which is said to offer a 20% performance increase over the Adreno 630.

Like its predecessor, Black Shark 2 packs a 4,000 mAh battery, though its fast charging capability has been raised from 18W to 27W, ensuring the handset recharges at a much quicker rate. 

As for the Black Shark 2's camera, Xiaomi has opted for a dual sensor 48MP/12MP primary camera setup and a 20MP front-facing lens for selfies.

Available for purchase in China (or from your nearest grey importer) from today in either Frozen Silver and Shadow Black, Xiaomi Black Shark 2 is priced at ¥3,199 (around $476 / £359 / AU$671 / AED 1,750) for the entry-level model with 6GB of RAM and 128GB of storage, all the way up to ¥4,199 (roughly $625 / £471 / AU$881 / AED 2,297) for the top end 12GB/256GB configuration.

Categories: Tech News

Watch AFL and Watch NRL bring Australia's football codes to global audiences

Mon, 03/18/2019 - 20:28

Football – no matter the code – is more than just professional athletes kicking a ball around a field. It’s sweat, blood and tears from a passionate fan following. Every year, when Footy and League season begins Down Under, fans of the sports prepare to cheer on their favorite teams, either by heading to the stadium or watching every game on free-to-air television.

For audiences outside of Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific Islands, though, there has been no easy way to keep up with every try and scrum… until now.

Watch AFL and Watch NRL are two subscription-based international streaming services that offer audiences globally the opportunity to enjoy every match during Premiership season live or on-demand.

Kick off the 2019 Premiership season

Both streaming services can be subscribed to either within Australia or anywhere else in the world via the respective websites, but it must be noted that the content available on both services is only viewable outside of Australia.

For Aussies, this means it's a great idea to sign up for a week or a month if you know you'll be out of the country during some of the season's crucial games.

Subscribers also get live access to the dedicated Fox Footy and League channels to keep you updated on all the latest news, analysis and related entertainment shows available on those channels.

Three subscription tiers are available for each service:

  • Weekly: US$17 / £13 / €17 / AU$19 
  • Monthly: US$28 / £22 / €28 / AU$33 
  • Annual: US$149 / £125 / €149 / AU$189.

Watch AFL also includes all the women's matches from the AFL Women's league as well.

While both services can be streamed on a browser of choice, they also have their dedicated Android and iOS apps, and can be cast to a TV via AirPlay or Google Chromecast. There is also an Apple TV app for both services available to download via the App Store, but an Android TV app is currently unavailable.

How to subscribe

If you’re a footy fan, then all you need is a Watch AFL subscription, but if you prefer League, then sign up for the Watch NRL service. If you are a fan of both formats of the game, then you’ll need subscription plans for both services as signing up for one won’t give you access to the other.

Subscribing is as easy as heading to the Watch AFL and Watch NRL websites, choosing a plan and setting up an account, and while the subscription renews automatically, you're free to cancel any time. You can start streaming immediately as long as you’re outside Australia – no VPN needed.


Categories: Tech News

Nvidia GTX graphics cards will get ray tracing this April

Mon, 03/18/2019 - 19:00

Up until now, Nvidia has been treating ray tracing as an exclusive feature available only to its Turing RTX graphics cards, but now the company is suddenly enabling it on graphics cards as low-end as a GeForce GTX 1060.

On the first day of GDC 2019, Nvidia announced that it will introduce a driver in April that will enable both Pascal and Turing GTX graphics cards to render ray tracing effects using DirectX Raytracing (DXR). The list of supported graphics cards includes both the recently introduced GeForce GTX 1660 Ti and GTX 1660 as well as everything in between a GTX 1060 (6GB) and Titan X.

These Turing and Pascal GTX cards will be able to handle games running with basic RT effects and a low ray count – or, in other words, RTX Low settings – though your mileage may vary with the titles you play.

Image Credit: Nvidia

How well does it work?

In our briefing, we were told Battlefield V should run well on most cards and at RTX Medium to High settings due to the game primarily rendering only ray traced-reflections. Meanwhile, certain shadow heavy scenes in Shadow of the Tomb Raider (which still has yet to receive its RTX and DLSS patch) could bog down your GPU. 

Metro Exodus is the most punishing of the bunch as it uses ray tracing technology to power its global illumination engine. Nvidia stresses users would see the best experience with an RTX graphics card.

According to Nvidia, ray tracing coming to GTX cards was always on its roadmap. However, this statement seems in direct opposition to all of the company’s marketing and figures that previously said ray tracing could never be done on a traditional GPU without dedicated RT Cores.

If anything, it seems like Nvidia is trying to get ahead of the possibility that next-generation consoles – the PS5 and Xbox Two – might feature ray tracing. Nvidia would be in a tight spot if these future consoles could render games with DXR and its high-end, albeit previous generation, graphics cards couldn’t.

In a smaller, related note, Nvidia also announced that it is introducing DXR into the Unreal Engine and Unity. With ray tracing technology being integrated into the two major game engines that powers 90% of the games in the world, we’ll likely (or hope) to see more ray traced-games in the near future.

Categories: Tech News

Best Nvidia graphics cards 2019: finding the best GPU for you

Mon, 03/18/2019 - 17:41

Nvidia's graphics cards have long been pack-leaders when it comes to performance, often making them the best graphics cards around. Where AMD may offer a great value, Nvidia's flagship cards like the RTX 2080 Ti push performance to the limit. So, when you're looking for a card to spend your money on, it's worth seeing what the best Nvidia card you can get is. 

Whether you want to build the most powerful gaming rig possible, are looking to put together a compact Mini ITX build, or just want to get the most framer per second for your dollar, there's an Nvidia graphics card to fit the bill. We've got our rankings for the best Nvidia graphics cards in a variety of categories, so you can find the right GPU for your build.

Image Credit: Techradar

Nvidia's Turing graphics cards didn't come cheap when they first launched, but that was in part because there wasn't a mid-tier model. Now the GeForce RTX 2060 is here, and it offers a balance or price and performance. For 1080p gaming, you'll get stellar visuals and frame-rates while also having the ability to toggle on ray tracing for supported games. It can even let you jump up to 1440p or 4K, making it a viable option for high performance in eSports and high quality in AAA titles. 

Read the full review: Nvidia GeForce RTX 2060

 Image Credit: Techradar 

There's no doubt that the Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 Ti is a total pain in the budget, coming in a price higher than plenty of complete gaming rigs. But, there's also nothing else that can compete with a RTX 2080 Ti in terms of performance besides maybe a board partner's version of the RTX 2080 Ti . If you want the highest frame rates at 4K or the best looking ray-traced graphics, the RTX 2080 Ti is the way to go. That is, as long as your budget can handle it.

Read the full review: Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 Ti 

Image Credit: Techradar

The Nvidia GeForce RTX 2070 succeeds the GTX 1070 with a hefty dose of extra power. It comes with a major markup in price, but if you're looking for a graphics card that will tackle 4K or high-FPS gaming at 1440p, the RTX 2070 is ready, and it's a good chunk cheaper than the next highest-end RTX card. The RTX 2070 can put out a staggering 120fps in Shadow of the Tomb Raider running at 1440p, so you can count on it for buttery smooth gameplay in plenty of games. Just be ready to pay the RTX tax, whether or not you plan to use ray tracing.

Read the full review: Nvidia GeForce RTX 2070

Image Credit: Techradar

Given how few games are using Nvidia's ray tracing and Deep Learning Super Sampling technologies, it's not necessarily the most delightful thing to see the price hike on Nvidia's RTX graphics cards. That's what makes the Nvidia GeForce GTX 1660 Ti so great. It eschews the ray tracing and DLSS to offer a focus on value that helps make it worth every penny. When it comes to card that offer the most performance per dollar, it doesn't get much better than the GTX 1660 Ti, and this PNY model offers a healthy dose of extra performance with its overclocking. You'll be able to enjoy almost any game smoothly at 1080p, and shouldn't be afraid to check out 1440p either.

Read the full review: PNY GeForce GTX 1660 Ti XLR8 Gaming OC

Image Credit: Nvidia

If you're involved in creative workloads like 3D design or video editing, you might be running into some serious VRAM needs. In those cases, it can be worth it to have a graphics card that is going to give you tons of headroom to keep information in the GPU's memory, instead of constantly needing to load it in from your storage solution. While it comes at a high price, Nvidia's Quadro RTX 6000 loads up on 24GB of GDDR6 memory while also packing plenty of performance. And, you can combine multiple cards for even more performance.

Image Credit: Techradar

High resolutions and high framerates are one thing. Nvidia's GeForce RTX 2080 can handle 4K with aplomb and keep 1440p gaming buttery smooth without the need to dial down settings. But, it can also meet the needs of VR enthusiasts. Beyond the power needed to meet the needs of VR headsets' high refresh rates, the RTX 2080 comes with the VirtualLink VR connector, meant to make connecting VR headsets that much easier.

Read the full review: Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080

Image Credit: EVGA

If you're trying to keep your build small so it doesn't take up a ton of space in your room, you might be looking at a Micro ATX build. And, mini graphics cards can be a major helper there, since a graphics card tends to be one of the bigger components attached to a motherboard. EVGA has a well-priced model in the RTX 2060 XC Black Gaming. It may be thicker than your typical dual-fan variant, but that extra radiator thickness helps it dissipate heat with the single fan, and its short length can help it fit in tight builds. 

Image Credit: Techradar

While the higher end graphics cards get all the hype, they tend to have a worse performance-per-dollar value then budget cards. And, while AMD often hits that sweet spot, Nvidia sometimes remembers to offer value as well. That is represented nowhere better than the GTX 1660. Gigabyte offers the GeForce GTX 1660 OC 6G for an excellent budget price while still giving you a touch of overclocking, so you can enjoy 1080p or even 1440p with some tweaked settings. Best of all, you won't need to take out a mortgage to afford this card.

Read the full review: Gigabyte GeForce GTX 1660 OC 6G

Image Credit: Techradar

With all the new Turing cards coming out, Pascal may be easy to forget about. But, if you're into eSports games, you're probably more concerned with getting 1080p at 120+ FPS. And, you can do that with the older Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 no problem. For popular eSports titles, the GTX 1060 has enough power to run 1080p even at high settings and still get smooth visuals. Best of all, the prices are driven down by newer cards, so you can score a GTX 1060 at a discount. 

Read the full review: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060

Image Credit: Gigabyte

When you're trying to maximize performance for your graphics card, you might turn to liquid cooling. And, the Gigabyte's Aorus RTX 2080 TI Xtreme Waterforce 11GB comes with the card, radiator, tubing, and fans you need to get started. The serious water cooling solution allowed Gigabyte to push the RTX 2080 Ti  well beyond its base specs. This model has a base clock higher than the Founders Edition's boost clock. And, to top it off, there's a little flair of RGB lighting on the radiator fans and card's metal backplate.

Categories: Tech News

You have until Wednesday to get this super cheap £11.99 a month broadband deal

Mon, 03/18/2019 - 15:15

If you haven't yet taken the chance to secure your next year of internet for a mere £11.99 per month, then we suggest that you shake a leg. The scarcely believable bargain broadband deal comes to an end this Wednesday.

When it comes to cheap broadband deals, this effort from little-known Onestream manages to top the rest. Forget Plusnet, Post Office and Vodafone for the next few days, because only Onestream can give you monthly bills as low as this - the next cheapest we've seen is £4 a month more.

Check out this astonishingly cheap broadband deal from Onestream here

For that you get unlimited broadband, average speeds of 11Mb, a free router (with £9.99 delivery fee), free activation and your phone line included, too. And because this offer is only available to TechRadar readers, you get a comforting level of smugness thrown in gratis as well!

But when the clock strikes midnight on Wednesday night, this internet tariff will be no more. So if you like the idea of paying a fraction more than a tenner every month for your broadband, you'd better get in there quick.

Our exclusive cheap broadband only deal details: How does this compare to other broadband deals?

So you already know you won't get a cheaper ADSL package than this, but what else is out there if you decide that you don't want to take a punt on Onestream.

For ADSL, it's a bit of a toss up between £17 per month TalkTalk and internet from Plusnet that costs £18.99 p/m but throws in a £50 pre-paid Mastercard.

When it comes to cheap fibre, your best option lies with Vodafone right now. For just £21 a month, you can currently get its 35Mb Superfast 1 plan - a bargain on fast speeds.

Or if you like your broadband package with a beefy bonus, how about BT. For £29.99 BT is offering up its Superfast Fibre package with a whopping £100 pre-paid Mastercard. 

Categories: Tech News

Anthem update news, DLC, tips, patch notes and more

Mon, 03/18/2019 - 14:36

Anthem, BioWare's cooperative, team-based shooter is a change of pace for the makers of Dragon Age and Mass Effect. With a focus on cooperative PvE combat popularised by the likes of Destiny, it landed amid a swirl of hype and expectation, which it has so far failed to meet.

Anthem has a big challenge in front of it then – with arguments that its endgame content is weak, its loot system broken and its story not up to scratch when compared with previous narrative-driven BioWare RPGs, it's fighting to win back the hearts of those who were initially in awe of its promise.

With EA backing it and BioWare's heritage at its heart, there's hope yet that Anthem will be redeemed. It's being touted as a "living" game after all – one that will evolve over time to keep its fans entranced long after launch – and the likes of behemoths such as Destiny and Fortnite all went through rough launches before becoming gaming juggernauts.

So what's the latest Anthem news? When's the next update? And what does the future hold for Anthem? Read on for everything you need to know about the Iron Man simulator.

As we said in our full Anthem review:

"It is a game of oxymorons and inconsistencies. The story is designed to be single-player but the game is clearly not. The gameplay is an absolute joy but is stifled by the repetitive nature of the end-game. The character animations are truly sublime, but most of the characters themselves are cliché and predictable. 

"Anthem is a fun game, and a stunningly pretty one, but with flaws in nearly every other aspect of its design. It will improve with patches, updates, and a strong community, but it isn’t a particularly strong foundation. This is less an anthem, and more an annoying earworm..."

  • Anthem review: check out our complete, in-depth verdict in our full review
Anthem update news and Anthem patch notes
  • What's new? A server-side update will see an increase in legendary loot drops.

One of the main complaints (bugs, even) relating to Anthem is the quality of its loot. It's been all-but-proven to be pointless, given that the game scales a player's power over the course of play. A small update on March 15 2019 aimed to address that.

"In the latest server-side update, we've made some notable changes to the loot drop rate in specific scenarios, which will take effect immediately in a server-side tuning update," the team said on publisher EA's website.

"These changes include: Masterwork & Legendary drop rates have been increased for Grandmaster 2 and Grandmaster 3 difficulty levels, and Masterwork & Legendary drop rates have been increased for harder enemies at all difficulty levels. 

This includes: Legendary Ancient Ash Titan, Elite Ancient Ash Titan, Legendary Fury, Legendary Ursix and Legendary Luminary."

It is a positive early update from the team, as it begins to collate issues the game's core fans are uncovering. And it proves a sight more positive than having to figure out how to stop some consoles from crashing when playing the digital version of Anthem – a harrowing early bug the developers rushed to squash.

Anthem tips and tricks guides

Anthem is a complex game. With four classes to master, a ton of loot to uncover and large world to explore, it can be daunting for a newcomer, and difficult for even a long term player to master.

Get ahead of the pack with our selection of Anthem guides, designed to help you get your Iron Man-like Javelin suit fighting fit as soon as possible.

Anthem DLC – what's next?

Anthem is an ongoing project at EA and BioWare, a game that both companies expect to support for many years, with a player base that will grow and evolve along with the game.

How do both teams hope to achieve this? Through regular content drops, that's how. As pictured above, EA and BioWare have already mapped out the "ongoing narrative of Anthem", with updates mapped out already until May 2019.

This first "Act" is called "Echoes of Eternity", with March 2019 introducing the "Evolving World" chapter, April 2019 the "Stronger Together" chapter and May 2019 bringing the ominous sounding "Cataclysm" chapter.

Evolving World will focus on battles with huge bosses such as Titans of War, Ruin, Bane and Havoc in freeplay mode, as well as new Legendary missions and a Scar Infestation freeplay event.

Stronger Together will expand the endgame with a new Mastery System for the skill tree progression, as well as host of new freeplay events, more legendary missions, a new Stronghold called "The Sunken" (which will have its own weekly challenge) as well as the introduction of leaderboards and guilds.

As for what the Catyclysm brings, little is known at the moment beyond the promise of new freeplay events, missions and new items. We'll presumably find out more as the year rolls on.

But what about paid DLC? EA has yet to announce it's mid-to-long term plans for Anthem. We'd expect it will follow a similar path as Destiny, which had a continued supply of small improvements and features added, interspersed with larger paid-for DLC packs, before an eventual sequel. 

That is, of course, if Anthem can prove its staying power... Here's hoping – there's a gem at the heart of Anthem, waiting to be dug out. We're hopeful that we'll one day be playing Anthem at its strongest.

  • More interested in EA's sports offering? Here's everything we know about FIFA 19
  • All image credits: EA / BioWare
Categories: Tech News

Best Moto phones 2019: finding the best Moto smartphone for you

Mon, 03/18/2019 - 14:34

Since Lenovo purchased the Motorola brand, the company has come out with an ever-broader range of phones for plenty of price points. That can make it a bit confusing when picking between them, so here's a list of the best Moto phones on the market.

While none of Motorola's phones go toe-to-toe with flagships like the iPhone XS or Samsung Galaxy S10, they are reliable and well-specced for their cost. Some of these can overlap, so we'll be sure to point out what each one is best suited for.

That's why we've made this buying guide: to suggest the best Moto phones out now and point out the pros and cons for each.

The company has a leading mid-range model, the Moto Z3, that can be augmented with attachable Moto Mods...including an upcoming one that will allow users to hook into Verizon's 5G network in the US. 

Its just-released, lower-cost G7 line is a bit more affordable, with four options to pick from that vary in price and power (though some are restricted by region).

Image credit: TechRadar

The Moto Z3 is the prince of the Moto line – not just for having the highest specs in the series, but because it had a bona-fide strategy to keep the phone relevant into 2019: the 5G Moto Mod. Assuming it isn't beaten to the punch by the Samsung Galaxy S10 5G, when this Moto add-on comes out, the Moto Z3 will be the first 5G-capable phone to hit the market. 

Of course, there are a lot of caveats to that fact – namely, that the mod is only coming to Verizon, and will only work in that carrier's very limited 5G coverage areas – but it's still an impressive claim for a sub-flagship phone. 

Yes, the phone doesn't have the beastly specs of top-tier flagships – but at half the price, the Moto Z3 boasts impressive value. It sports a Snapdragon 835, which is respectable if dated, and comes in two respectable if unimpressive versions: 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage, or 6GB of RAM and 128GB of space (expandable via microSD to up to 512GB).

That's enough for streaming multimedia and moderate gaming, which look good on the phone's 6-inch (2160 x 1080) AMOLED display. Combine that with basic dual 12MP rear cameras and an 8MP front-facing selfie shooter and you have a good phone sitting somewhere below the OnePlus 6T and lesser-performing mid-range phones. The phone's glass back and side-mounted fingerprint scanner are similarly middle-luxe – a good compromise if you want performance at a lower price.

Read our hands-on review: Motorola Moto Z3

Image credit: TechRadar

The Motorola Moto G7 Plus is the top performer of the brand's G7 family, which counts four phones this time around. The G7 Plus is the standout model, though it may not reach your region: Motorola confirmed the device isn't coming to the US.

But if you can pick the phone up, you won't be sorry. For sub-midrange price, you'll get a Snapdragon 636-powered phone with a decent 4GB RAM and 64GB of storage (expandable up to 512GB). The phone even has one up on the more powerful Moto Z3 with its 3.5mm headphone jack.

So why the G7 Plus and not, say, an older (but still hefty) Moto Z2 Play? Simple: Android 9 Pie out of the box. That leads us to recommend the phone even over other more powerful Moto phones (like the Moto Z2 Force, which is nearly identical to the Z3), and the G7 Plus has other benefits of a later release date, like speedier Fast Charging and a higher screen-to-body ratio.

Read our in-depth review: Motorola Moto G7 Plus

Image credit: TechRadar

Why list the Moto G7 here? Sure, it's slightly less powerful than the G7 Plus, but it's also available in more regions (including the US), so we're covering our bases in case you don't want to pay international shipping on your budget-plus phone.

You don't miss much going for the G7, either: its Snapdragon 632 chip is a bit less powerful, sure, and its frame is plastic instead of aluminum. But the rest of its specs are essentially the same, which means you're getting a phone that's nearly as nice at a discount.

That means 4GB of RAM and 64GB of space, a 6.2-inch LCD display and dual 12MP + 5MP rear shooters/an 8MP front-facing camera for a great price. Plus it comes with Android 9 Pie right out of the box.

Read our in-depth review: Moto G7

Image credit: TechRadar

If you're looking for the ultimate Moto value, think about digging back into the reserves. The Moto Z2 Force came out in mid-2017, but it's still a relative powerhouse – and you can find it for a bit cheaper than the newer Moto Z3.

Despite over a year between releases, the Z2 Force packs the same Snapdragon 835 processor as its successor. Its screen is even higher resolution at 2560 x 1440, though its 5.5 inches are smaller than the Z3's display. 

Unfortunately, the Z2 Force shows its age in its chin and top bezels, which are significantly larger than those on phones released today. But if you don't mind not sporting the sleekest phone on the block, the Z2 Force has most of the newest top-tier Moto phone at a lower price.

And it works with Moto Mods -- including, eventually, the Moto Mod 5G, which will expand functionality to the earlier Z2 phones at some point after it's released on April 11.

Read our in-depth review: Moto Z2 Force

Image credit: TechRadar

The third phone in the budget Moto G7 line is the G7 Power, which doesn't vary much from the standard G7 – aside from its enormous battery. Yes, for those of you who tire of recharging your phone everyday, here's one with a 5,000mAh battery.

Other phones have reached such heights, but they're either expensive flagships (like the gaming-focused Huawei Mate 20 X) or battery-focused brick-thick novelty items (like the Energizer Power Max P18K). The G7 Power is a much more affordable, sensible and normal-looking phone than others that offer its level of battery capabilities.

Otherwise, the phone is basic but not bottom-tier, with a Snapdragon 632 and either 3GB of RAM and 32GB of storage (in the US) or 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage (elsewhere). Its 6.2-inch LCD screen is large but not terribly impressive (1570 x 720px). But in combination with the giant battery and an accessible price of $249 / £179 (around AU$330), the Moto G7 Power is a heckuva bargain.

Read our in-depth review: Moto G7 Power review

Categories: Tech News

SMBs could be the key to stopping UK data breaches

Mon, 03/18/2019 - 14:00

Small businesses are key to preventing future data breaches in the UK according to a new report from Business in the Community (BITC) that details how SMBs can be part of the solution to prevent cybersecurity issues from impacting customers.

The report, launched to coincide with 'Would you be ready? Week', aims to raise awareness of business resilience in organizations across the UK. Surprising though, BITC's report revealed that 40 percent of the SMBs surveyed had not taken any action on cybersecurity in the past 12 months.

The organization also found that one in three small businesses do not have any cybersecurity strategies in place at all and more than three quarters (77 percent) said they have no policy for controlling access to their data systems.

According to the City of London Police, which handles fraud in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, more than 2,000 cybercrimes were reported by businesses in 2018 affecting thousands of customers.

Responsibility to customers

Small businesses make up 99.3 percent of all private businesses in the UK and thus they have a responsibility to both their customers and the supply chains in which they operate to handle data safely and securely.

BITC is urging UK SMBs to assess how vulnerable they are to cybercrime this week and make improvements to their current levels of protection.

The business outreach organization's CEO Amanda Mackenzie OBE explained that small businesses can suffer just as much as their larger counterparts as a result of cybercrime, saying:

“While it's often big companies which hit the headlines as victims of digital crime, when a small business is struck by a cyber attack  decades of hard work can be erased in moments. The business owners suffer. The supply chains suffer. Most of all - communities suffer."

To prevent falling victim to cybercrime, BITC recommends that UK SMBs provide cybersecurity training for their employees, back up their data securely and protect themselves from viruses and malware by using antivirus software.

  • We've also highlighted the best antivirus to help protect your business from the latest cyber threats
Categories: Tech News

Sound and vision in perfect harmony: discover Sony’s extraordinary XG95

Mon, 03/18/2019 - 13:26

Some TVs have great pictures. Some, great audio. But only the Sony XG95 matches its extraordinary picture quality with Sony’s incredible Sound-from-Picture Reality for an incredible audio-visual experience.

Let’s start with that stunning display. Available in 55-inch, 65-inch, 75-inch and a whopping 85 inches, the 4K Full Array HDR LED panel features local dimming with 'TRILUMINOS' technology to give you a much wider dynamic range than conventional LED TVs

Sony calls it X-tended Dynamic Range PRO, and it gives you up to six times the contrast of conventional sets. 

That means darker scenes are darker and bright scenes are brighter, and it’s particularly impressive on night shots where dazzling lights pierce the deepest blacks. It can work its magic on HD sources too, upscaling closer to 4K quality for remarkable clarity.

You can enjoy the XG95’s better, brighter, more beautiful color no matter where you sit: the XG95 has Sony’s impressive X-Wide Angle technology for wonderfully wide viewing angles.

Incredible power for incredible pictures

Everything you see is brought to you by the X1 Ultimate processor. The X1 is the most powerful processor that Sony has ever made, with object-based HDR remastering, Super Bit Mapping HDR, Dynamic Contrast Enhancer and Precision Color Mapping. 

What makes it so special is that it can detect hundreds of individual on-screen objects and enhance them intelligently, adjusting brightness, detail and color to deliver an incredibly bright and realistic picture. 

The X1 Ultimate also brings X-Motion Clarity, which keeps the action smooth and clear no matter how fast and furious it becomes. 

It intelligently analyses the on-screen action, minimizing blur and delivering true color with no loss of brightness, while its dual database processing reduces on-screen noise and dynamically improves pixels in real time. 

Image credit: Sony

Sound and vision in perfect harmony

The XG95 doesn’t just deliver incredible pictures. It sounds incredible too. Its Acoustic Multi-Audio system does something incredibly clever: it uses two sound-positioning tweeters in the rear of the TV to make the sound appear as if it’s coming from the very centre of the picture. 

Because those tweeters are paired with powerful bass reflex speakers there’s plenty of low-end for action scenes and music, all of it perfectly aligned with the on-screen action.

If you’re a movie buff, you’ll love the way the XG95 sounds. The amazing Dolby Vision visuals are teamed with Dolby Atmos to fill any room with immersive surround sound. 

A truly smart TV

The Sony XG95 is a truly smart TV, and that starts with the smart remote. You can connect set-top boxes and other devices via HDMI and then connect them all with a single smart commander. 

Its slim, rounded design, enhanced button layout and integrated microphone for voice control means it’s really easy for all the family to use.

Voice control isn’t the only smart feature you’ll find in the XG95. Google Assistant is built right in to help you find new entertainment, check schedules and even control your smart home, and you can also control your XG95 with Alexa or stream from Android or iOS devices. 

Image credit: Sony

Meanwhile Netflix Calibrated Mode gives you the same picture quality you’d find on a studio evaluation master, and a dedicated Netflix button takes you straight to your favorite shows. 

That’s not all. There’s built-in YouView for catch-up shows from the BBC, ITV, All4 and Demand 5, one-touch and timer recording of any digital broadcast to USB storage and effortless Bluetooth connectivity for wireless headphones. And it’s all wrapped up in a clean, minimalist design that keeps you focused on what’s important: the picture.

Want to find out more about the Sony XG95 and its incredible combination of sound and vision? All the information, right here!

Categories: Tech News

Best Samsung smartwatch: our top choices for Tizen wearables in 2019

Mon, 03/18/2019 - 13:20

Samsung is one of the very best smartwatch makers on the planet competing against the greatest devices on the market including the Apple Watch 4 and Fitbit Versa.

The company has been making smartwatches since 2013 when it introduced the square-faced and (by today's standard) woefully lacking Samsung Galaxy Gear. We've seen various iterations of its wristwear over those last five years, and the company has since come into its own with its latest few wearables.

Below we're going to talk you through the very best Samsung smartwatches that you can buy right now, which includes the likes of the Samsung Galaxy Watch and the Gear series from a couple of years ago.

We'll also mention the Samsung fitness trackers the company has created. Note that they're all ranked in terms of functionality, so we take into account what you can do with each watch, its design, the price and much more when curating this ranking.

You should also note that we have yet to properly try the Samsung Galaxy Watch Active for our full review process, and the same goes for the new Galaxy Fit series of activity bands. We expect those wearables to feature in this list very soon.

The very best Samsung smartwatch we've tried is the Galaxy Watch. We've yet to fully get our Samsung Galaxy Watch Active review underway, but that device is going to have a tough time competing with the full-featured Galaxy Watch.

This is undeniably Samsung's most well-designed smartwatch. It comes in two variants, which are quite dramatically different. If you're looking for the largest watch, you'll want the 46mm version that comes with a bright 1.3-inch display.

Then there's also the smaller (yet thicker) 42mm variant. Both watches feature a rotating bezel that allows you to easily navigate around all of the features the smartwatch offers.

It's a feature you won't get on any other smartwatch at the moment, and it works so well on the Galaxy Watch that it's one of its biggest selling points. Both feature Samsung Pay, GPS, swim tracking and a lot more. 

This watch will work as both a fitness device as well as a premium looking timepiece. We've tested the larger version of the watch more than the smaller one, and we've found it lasted for around four days with average usage.

If you're certain you want a watch that sports Tizen software, your best choice right now is the Galaxy Watch.

Read the full Samsung Galaxy Watch review

On paper, the Samsung Gear Sport doesn't sound all that different to the Galaxy Watch but if you were to compare the two watches you'll notice a lot of differences. 

The company smoothed out a lot of the problems with the Gear Sport, but you may be fine with them considering how discounted the price of the Gear Sport now is.

A lot of what you get on the newer generation is here alongside the latest in Tizen software, so you've got access to all of the apps that you'll get on the Samsung Galaxy Watch.

The screen on the watch is large and easy to navigate around. The watch can track your location when you're running, and you can upload music to your watch and listen to it through Bluetooth headphones; overall there's lots to love here.

If there's a big downside, it's that the overall visual design isn't as slickly implemented. All of that said - it's still a good-looking watch that you may want to have on your wrist if you're after a high-spec device but you don't want to spend lots of money.

Read the full Samsung Gear Sport review

The Gear S3 isn't far off the Gear Sport either, but the watch is a touch older making it a lot harder to recommend.

If you can find the Gear S3 for a lot less than the Gear Sport it may be worth getting that instead, but in our searches around for price we've struggled to find it for a suitable amount.

Instead, you'll be better off buying either the Galaxy Watch or Gear Sport with a bit of extra money or checking out our full best cheap smartwatch guide for a look at the best wearables you can get right now.

Read the full Samsung Gear S3 review

Any other Samsung smartwatches?

You may still be able to find the Samsung Gear S2 or even the original Gear, but we wouldn't recommend buying these in 2019.

Instead, look to the watches at the top of this page as these older devices are unlikely to be updated in the future and may soon become obsolete.

Unless you find an absolutely incredible deal, we think it's worthwhile spending extra on the above or considering a watch that doesn't run Tizen software.

Best Samsung fitness trackers

Samsung's Gear Fit 2 Pro is one of the best looking fitness trackers with an impactful, bright and clear 1.5-inch Super AMOLED screen that wraps around the device. There aren't many fitness trackers on the market that look this good.

It's comfortable to wear when you're working out, and it comes with a couple of features that make it better than its older and cheaper sibling, the Gear Fit 2.

Perhaps the most important is the fact you can have offline Spotify playback on the tracker. That allows you to sync playlists to your wristwear, connect up some Bluetooth headphones and head out without your phone when you're exercising.

That's especially useful as the tracker itself comes with GPS built-in as well as all of the other fitness features you'd expect like exercise tracking, and a heart rate monitor too.

It's also slightly more durable than the Gear Fit 2 with military grade protection that should make it even more likely to survive what you put it through. That exact protection is MIL-STD-810G, and it may be a reason you want it more.

The exact upgrades of the Pro aren't as exciting as some would have hoped, but considering the price is similar between these two devices we'd recommend going for the newer and more accomplished tracker.

Read the full Samsung Gear Fit 2 Pro review

This is much more of what we've said above, but it's just missing a couple of those extra features and comes for a little bit less.

It's older too, so it may be Samsung gives up with updating the software for the Gear Fit 2 quicker than it will for the Pro. That said, we don't know for certain that'll be the case yet.

Overall, if you don't want Spotify playback or a more durable design you may find the Gear Fit 2 is a better option for your next fitness tracker. That's especially the case if you find it for the right price, but quite often we've weirdly found the Gear Fit 2 Pro is now cheaper than Samsung's newer tracker.

Read the full Samsung Gear Fit 2 review

 Photo illustration: TechRadar; Samsung

Categories: Tech News

Worldpay acquired in $35bn deal

Mon, 03/18/2019 - 13:11

In the largest deal to date in the quickly growing electronic payments industry, Fidelity National Information Services (FIS) has announced that it will acquire Worldpay for around $35bn.

While other industries have grown increasingly concerned about trade tensions and a global economic slowdown, the financial technology sector is consolidating at a rapid rate with McKinsey predicting that global payments will reach $3tn a year in revenue by 2023.

FIS' announcement that it will acquire Worldpay comes a little more than a year after the US firm Vantiv paid over $10bn for the payments company that was created in Britain and spun off from the Royal Bank of Scotland in 2010.

FIS and Worldpay will have annual revenue of around $12bn with adjusted core earnings of around $5bn once the deal is completed following regulatory approval.

Worldpay acquisition

Worldpay has a considerable presence in the UK and is a major player in the card payments sector while FIS creates software for banks and asset managers.

Both companies said the deal would lead to an organic revenue growth outlook of six to nine percent through 2021.

FIS Chief Executive Officer Gary Norcross explained that the Worldpay acquisition would benefit both companies and their shareholders in a statement announcing the deal, saying:

“Scale matters in our rapidly changing industry. Upon closing later this year, our two powerhouse organizations will combine forces to offer a customer-driven combination of scale, global presence and the industry’s broadest range of global financial solutions. As a combined organization, we will bring the most modern solutions targeted at the highest growth markets. The long-term value we will create for clients and for shareholders will set the bar in our industry and will create a range of new career opportunities for our employees. I have never been more excited about the future of FIS.” 

Via Reuters

Categories: Tech News

Video editors for iPhone: get creative with the best video editor for your handset

Mon, 03/18/2019 - 12:41

With a great video editor on your iPhone, you can give ordinary video clips a professional edge that will make them impossible to skip over.

iPhones are brilliant for shooting video: recent ones can capture 4K video at a speedy 60fps and automatically stabilize the recording to reduce the worst of the shakes.

That’s great, but for best results you really need a video editing app too. In most cases that enables you to join multiple clips together, add titles and effects, get rid of unwanted sections and turn your footage into something you’ll want to show off.

There are lots of video editors for iPhone in the App Store, ranging from simple apps designed for social media sharing to high-end apps that you could easily make entire movies with and specialist apps for specific tasks. Some are cheap, others cheerful, and some are both. Whether you want to amuse your friends or make a masterpiece, these are the apps we think you should consider.

iMovie. Image credit: Apple

We think Apple’s iMovie is the best iPhone video editor for casual users. It’s powerful enough to produce very impressive results, simple enough for absolute beginners and doesn’t cost any money.

Like all iOS video editors it’s a little fiddly on iPhone, but it’s superb on the iPad’s bigger screen – and you can connect a keyboard to use keyboard shortcuts for even easier editing.

As you’d expect it integrates very well with Apple’s other apps and features, such as Photos, iCloud Drive, Mail and Messages, and you can stream via AirPlay to an Apple TV. 4K video is supported on iPhones 6 upwards (and iPad Air 2 onwards).

Image credit: Luma Touch LLC

If you find that iMovie isn’t quite powerful enough for you, LumaFusion delivers many of the features of higher-end video editors without losing the simplicity you want on iPhone.

It’s a multi-track video editor for iPhone with three audio/video tracks and an additional three audio tracks for narration and effects, and in addition to the built-in effects and transitions it also supports chroma keying for green and blue screen effects.

In addition to local and cloud storage it also supports WD Wireless Pro drives, and if you want to subscribe to the optional Storyblocks service you also gain access to thousands of royalty-free images, videos and sounds.

Image credit: Adobe

As a video editor for iPhone, Premiere Rush CC is very good, with four video and three audio tracks and a typically user-friendly interface: if you’ve used Adobe’s iOS image apps you’ll pick it up immediately.

The sound tools are particularly good at balancing, reducing sound and ducking audio so narration is always clear, and the app makes it easy to export for the major social media services such as Instagram, Facebook and YouTube. Projects can be opened on desktop in Premiere Pro CC, Adobe’s heavy-duty video app.

As with other Adobe iOS apps, the free offering is limited: you can only export three times. To unlock unlimited exporting and sharing you’ll need the $9.99 monthly sub. That gives you a licence for iPhone, iPad and desktop along with 100GB of cloud storage.

Image credit: Samer Azzam

Filmmaker Pro is a slightly more advanced alternative to iMovie, with particularly good colour options, filters and green screen support. This video editor for iPhone includes video grading, something iMovie doesn’t, and it enables you to choose between nearly 200 different fonts for your text overlays.

Filmmaker Pro can shoot video too - but not in the free version: like many such apps the full feature set requires in-app purchases. Unlocking removes the watermarks that the free version puts on video, and you can choose between monthly and annual subscriptions. Like iMovie, it supports 4K video on most iPhones and iPads (iPhone 4K support begins with the iPhone SE).

Image credit: Apple

You wouldn’t use Clips to make a serious video project on your iPhone unless you were some kind of masochist, but for quick video messaging and social media sharing it’s hard to beat.

It’s exceptionally easy to use, comes with stacks of stickers from the likes of Star Wars movies and Pixar movies, and you can easily add a soundtrack from the supplied library or from your own music collection. The voice-controlled titling is a nice feature and the all-important filters are present and correct too.

If your device has the TrueDepth camera for FaceID, you can also use the clever Selfie Scenes feature to put your animated avatar in front of an animated background.

Image credit: Magisto Ltd

Magisto is another video editor designed for social media sharing, and it’s been created for people who have zero video editing experience.

It can turn static photos into an animated slideshow, automatically apply features such as video stabilisation and cropping, and easily share the results via the likes of Facebook, Instagram or WhatsApp.

The core features are free; $6.99/£6.99 a month gets you the Premium version with support for longer movies, but if you want to be able to edit and reorder scenes you’ll need the Professional package for a whopping $29.99/£29.99 per month. If you pay yearly that drops to $89.99/£89.99.

Image credit: GoPro

Quik - GoPro Video Editor isn’t just for GoPro users, although it integrates with GoPro Plus and can recognize faces, smiles and certain actions from GoPro footage. It also works with your photo library and includes support for Live Photos.

As the name suggests it’s designed to make video editing quick: all you need to do is select the photos and video clips you want to use and it’ll do the rest.

It’s easy to reorder clips, change the formatting and speed up or slow down footage, and you can add the usual stickers and text. It doesn’t do 4K, though: videos are 1080p or 720p.

Image credit: Fidel Lainez

If you want to turn a bunch of clips into a seamless whole or stick emoji on your snowboarding footage, VideoGrade isn’t the iPhone video editor for you. It’s designed to do one thing and one thing only: color grading.

Color grading is the process of changing or enhancing the colour of something, and it’s what makes movies really pop. 

You can use it on photos and Live Photos as well as on video, and you can make adjustments ranging from incredibly subtle to ridiculously dramatic depending on what you want to achieve. There are over 40 different adjustments, you can save presets for easy recall in future and it renders 4K video quickly and effortlessly.

Categories: Tech News

Bose speaker sale at Amazon: save up to $150 on home speakers and soundbars

Mon, 03/18/2019 - 12:17

March Madness officially starts tomorrow, and that means online retailers are slashing the prices on best-selling TVs and audio systems. Starting today, Amazon is having a big tournament sound sale on speakers and soundbars from top brands such as Bose, Sony, and Vizio. The sale includes big discounts on wireless speakers, sound bars, receivers, subwoofers, and home theater systems.

You can get the top-rated Bose Home Speaker 500 on sale for $349. That's a $50 discount and the best price we've seen for this powerful speaker. The Bose 500 works with Amazon Alexa, so you skip songs, turn up the volume and more all with the command of your voice. The Bose speaker also has a compatible app that you can use to control the speaker. The Bose Music App allows you to browse all of your music in one place, jump from service to service and lets you create your own customized presets. 

Despite its compact size, the Bose 500 produces powerful audio by offering two custom drivers that point in opposite directions for wall-to-wall stereo sound. Bose claims to have the widest sound of any smart speaker, so if you're looking for a speaker with powerful audio and voice control - the Bose 500 might just be the one.

Shop more of Amazon's big tournament sound deals below and make sure take advantage of this limited-time sale while you can.

Read more about the Bose speaker with our Bose Home Speaker 500 review and shop more of the best cheap Bluetooth speaker deals and sales that are currently going on.  You can also shop the best cheap 4K TV deals and sale prices that are also going on. 

Categories: Tech News

MySpace loses 12 years of music during server migration

Mon, 03/18/2019 - 12:09

The former social media giant MySpace has apologized to its remaining users after a server migration resulted in a huge loss of data.

A message has appeared on the company's site warning users that “any photos, videos and audio files” uploaded more than three years ago may no longer be available.

For several months now, users have complained that links to music were no longer working and now in a statement MySpace has finally revealed why, saying:

"As a result of a server migration project, any photos, videos, and audio files you uploaded more than three years ago may no longer be available on or from MySpace. We apologize for the inconvenience."

Data loss

Kickstarter's former CTO, Andy Baio explained via Twitter that the data loss could amount to around 50m tracks by 14m artists being lost. Baio also raised his own suspicions over whether or not the data loss was actually accidental, writing:

"Flagrant incompetence may be bad PR, but it still sounds better than 'we can't be bothered with the effort and cost of migrating and hosting 50 million old MP3s'." 

NewsCorp acquired MySpace back in 2005 for $580m but then later sold the company to the ad targeting firm Specific Media in 2011 for $35m.

While the site may no longer have the draw it once did in the now crowded social media space, many users still depended on it as an archive for the music they loved in its heyday. 

Via BBC

Categories: Tech News

New iPad Air is just a rebadged iPad Pro 10.5... and that's no bad thing

Mon, 03/18/2019 - 11:05

Apple's getting rather good at recycling and re-issuing its top products, isn't it? The new iPad Air has launched, with the tagline 'Power isn't just for the pros'.

Another line could be 'Power ripped from the Pros'... as the new iPad Air is almost identical to the iPad Pro 10.5, the device launched in 2017, but updated with a couple of internal tweaks and an all-new name - while removing nearly all reference to the iPad Pro 10.5 from its site.

Crucially, it's been given a huge price drop as well - meaning Apple has essentially just slashed the price of one of its Pro models and found a way to make it a 'headline' iPad sale for the next couple of years at least.

It's an interesting move, and shows the shift in how Apple is approaching the creation of new products.

Let's take a quick look at what's actually the same here though. The chassis, screen and Smart Connector are all identical. The Touch ID sensor is there, the Pencil support is for the older model (not the wirelessly charging one), the Lightning connector remains and the stereo speakers are the same.

There are a few differences though: the camera on the older iPad Pro 10.5 is 12MP with an f/1.8 aperture, where the new Air is just 8MP with f/2.4, as the 'non-pro' users wouldn't need it as much presumably.

The weight is a touch lighter on the iPad Air (we're talking a few grams), the screen possibly doesn't support 120Hz refresh on the newer model, and battery capacity is slightly lower.

That latter spec won't be noticeable though, as Apple has packed in the far more powerful and efficient A12 chipset, over the A10X Fusion seen in the iPad Pro 10.5, so the 10-hour battery life is apparently preserved.

That's key: the new iPad is around 33% cheaper but is far more powerful. In just using the same manufacturing techniques it's developed already, the cost of production is reduced and means less wastage too, as it can maintain many of the same parts.

In an era where the 'big new thing' is often massively different for the sake of it, having something that just rebadges the older tech and boosts it where needed is a neat move - both from a cost perspective and environmentally.

By shifting the 'Pro' moniker from the iPad Air, it also makes it feel more accessible - the distance between the base-level iPad and the next most-powerful model has closed significantly and could incite more people to spend a little more, especially as there's now the option of the Smart Keyboard too.

The quiet shift

However, it's worth remembering the overall cost of this iPad is still a fair bit higher than the $499 / £479 / AU$779 base price if you want to kit it out with all the accessories.

The Smart Keyboard is an extra $159 / £159 / AU$235, and the Pencil an extra $99 / £89 / AU$145. It's, of course, entirely up to you if you want to go for these options, and if you're just after a spot of extra power then it's your choice on whether you want to spend a little more cash.

It feels a little bit tired to draw on this trope though: like most things Apple, you can spin the line of 'it's too expensive!' when you write about the headline price. The whole point of Apple's multi-choice line up is that you pick the flavor you want / need. The new iPad Air lacks the 512GB option, but that was always an expensive, but useful, option for those wanting to use the Pro 10.5 in a professional capacity.

With the question of whether you go for the basic iPad from last year or the new iPad Air, you're also getting a lot more screen and (possibly, as we've not had this confirmed) the powerful four speakers that bring an extra dimension to multimedia playback.

The larger, more powerful iPad Pro range still exists for those that want to be all professional in their tablet-ing. (Image credit: TechRadar)

The iPad Air is Apple's statement that the needs of the 'pro' have moved on, and the spec list it was offering with the Pro 10.5 simply wasn't enough - although still would be desirable for some consumers, so it shaved off a few small specs that the more casual user wouldn't use (because if the iPad is your main weekend camera, you've got a problem) and brought the price down.

It's also kept the Lightning connector, as well as the 3.5mm headphone jack... the loss of both of these on the new iPad Pro 11 and iPad Pro 12.9 is one of the most irritating parts of the tablet, and would be sorely missed by the non-pro users.

So with the iPad Air, you're now getting almost everything the impressive iPad Pro 10.5 offered for a lot less - and if you need the raw power as well as a top-end screen then the higher-end iPad Pro range still exists for you to sample.

However, there were very few rumors that pegged these new iPads to launch today, so spare a thought for anyone that spent hundreds more on a Pro 10.5 in the last month... they're going to be using that superior camera as hard as they can.

Categories: Tech News

Best text to speech software of 2019

Mon, 03/18/2019 - 11:00

Having emerged in the 1970s, text to speech systems could easily be described as a veteran technology. Used in a wide variety of software and hardware products, they’re essentially computer programs that can artificially produce human speech.

But there’s no denying the fact that this technology has evolved rapidly over the past few decades. Text to speech applications are particularly useful to people who struggle to read text, like those with learning disabilities such as dyslexia.

However, it’s also changing the lives of blind people, who are able to browse the web and read text via these apps. Such technology has advantages for people who are learning second languages, too.

This software is also popular in business environments, with people utilizing it to boost productivity. For instance, if you’re working on multiple tasks at once or are trying to remember important information, you can get these apps to read documents aloud. Here are some of the best premium speech synthesis apps.

  • Want your company or services to be added to this buyer’s guide? Please email your request to desire.athow@futurenet.com with the URL of the buying guide in the subject line. 

Image Credit: Amazon

Alexa isn’t the only artificial intelligence tool created by tech giant Amazon; it also offers an intelligent text to speech system called Polly. Employing advanced deep learning techniques, the software turns text into lifelike speech. Developers can use the software to create speech-enabled products and apps. 

It sports an API that lets you easily integrate speech synthesis capabilities into ebooks, articles and other media. What’s great is that Polly is so easy to use. To get text converted into speech, you just have to send it through the API, and it’ll send an audio stream straight back to your application. 

You can also store audio streams as MP3, Vorbis and PCM file formats, and there’s support for a range of international languages and dialects. These include British English, American English, Australian English, French, German, Italian, Spanish, Dutch, Danish and Russian. 

Polly is available as an API on its own, as well as a feature of the AWS Management Console and command line interface. In terms of pricing, you’re charged based on the amount of text characters you convert into speech. The Free Tier allows for up to 5 millions characters per month for twelve months, but if you need more than that it costs $4 per million characters for speech. 

Image Credit: Linguatec

Based in Germany, Linguatec is another company that’s been creating text to speech applications for a number of years. Now in its 15th edition, Voice Reader can quickly convert text into audio files. 

With the standard edition costing €49 (£42/$57) per voice, it’s a little on the expensive side - but you’re able to convert text such as Word documents, emails, EPUBs and PDFs into audio streams quickly. You can then listen to them on a PC or mobile device. What’s more, you can choose from 67 different voices, and there’s support for up to 45 languages such as French, Spanish, Italian, Danish and Turkish.  

The aim of this software is to improve productivity. For instance, you can get the application to read out manuscripts for speeches, lectures or presentations to look out for incorrect word ordering or missed-out words. Overall, the user interface is sleek and easy to use. You can quickly adjust the speed, pitch or volume of audio files, and each export option is clearly listed.  

When it comes to technical requirements, the software works with Window Vista, Windows 7, 8 and 10. Each voice will take up to 1GB of disk space, and it works best if your device has at least 2GB of RAM.  
 

Image Credit: Capti

Speech synthesis applications are also popular in the education world, where they’re used to improve comprehension among other things. Capti Voice is one such effort, letting you listen to anything you want to read. With it, you can personalize learning and teaching, as well as overcome language barriers.   

Positioned as an offline and online reading support solution, Capti Voice is used by a range of schools, colleges, businesses and professionals across the world. Supporting more than 20 languages, the app can be used to improve vocabulary and as part of active reading strategies. It can narrate a range of content, including ebooks, articles and web pages. 

You can also use the software with cloud storage platforms such as Google Drive, OneDrive and Dropbox, and it’s universally accessible across a plethora of devices, content formats and age groups.

There's a free version for personal use, which allows for a lot of features but not the higher-end ones, such as higher-quality voice samples. You got those with the Pro version, which is billed at either $1.49 per month or $17.99 annually. The Educator level is advertised as from $0.50 per student per year, but for larger schools this means the software could become quite expensive to license.

Image Credit: NaturalReader

If you’re looking for a cloud-based speech synthesis application, you should definitely check out Natural Reader Online. Aimed more at personal use, the solution allows you to convert written text such as Word and PDF documents, ebooks and web pages into human-like speech.  

Because the software is underpinned by cloud technology, you’re able to access it from wherever you go via a smartphone, tablet or computer. And just like Capti Voice, you can upload documents from cloud storage lockers such as Google Drive, Dropbox and OneDrive.  

Currently, you can access 56 natural-sounding voices in 9 different languages, including American English, British English, French, Spanish, German, Swedish, Italian, Portuguese and Dutch. The software supports PDF, TXT, DOC(X), ODT, PNG, JPG, plus non-DRM EPUB files and much more, along with MP3 audio streams. 

There are three plans available, with the most basic Web Free allowing for unlimited use of basic voices, and up to 20 minutes use of Premium Voices. Web Premium unlocks these and up to one million characters of speech per month, priced at $9.99. Premium plus allows all features for $15.99 per month.

Image Credit: Voice Dream

There are also plenty of great text to speech applications available for mobile devices, and Voice Dream Reader is an excellent example. It can convert documents, web articles and ebooks into natural-sounding speech. 

The app comes with 186 built-in voices across 30 languages, including English, Arabic, Bulgarian, Catalan, Croatian, Czech, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, French, German, Greek, Hebrew, Hungarian, Italian, Japanese and Korean. 

You can get the software to read a list of articles while you drive, work or exercise, and there are auto-scrolling, full-screen and distraction-free modes to help you focus. Voice Dream Reader can be used with cloud solutions like Dropbox, Google Drive, iCloud Drive, Pocket, Instapaper and Evernote. 

Pricing for the app is $14.99 for the app for iOS, with further in-app purchases to unlock additional voices. For Android, the app costs $7.99, also with additional in-app purchases to unlock additional voices.

Image Credit: iSpeech

Other text to speech software to consider

There are a number of other software applications you can try or buy for converting text to speech (TTS), each one tending to focus on a different aspect. For example, some specialize in one area, such as providing speech for documents, or providing narration for ebooks. Then there are other software solutions that aim to be as comprehensive as possible. Each one has its own advantages and benefits, according to different user needs. We'll list some of the other speech-to-text options below:

iSpeech is especially good at providing text-to-speech in different audio formats. It can read text from most any document format and even chat apps, and save to Wav, MP3, ogg, wma, aiff, alaw, ulaw, vox, MP4 and other audio  formats. What's even better is that it provides mobile apps for use not just for Android or iOS devices, but also Blackberrys. 

Zabaware Text-to-Speech Reader has a range of voice options available to read any text, and there's a free version in which you can access the basic synthesized voice. However, there are upgrade packages available to use more realistic-sounding voices, not least the Cerevoice and AT&T voice packages, both starting at $24.95 as a one-off purchase.

Audio Book Reader is one of the more simple offerings, intended to help read ebooks aloud on your existing device. While it's capabilities are more limited than offers, it's Freeware and therefore costs nothing to try and use. You can also customize how the voice sounds by changing pitch and speed to suit your personal tastes.

Read4Me TTS Clipboard Reader is another simple but surprisingly versatile text-to-speech application that uses a pre-installed SAPI5 TTS voice to read the contents of your clipboard when a hotkey is pressed. This is where Read4Me TTS comes into its own, as you can set different hotkeys for different voices, and even languages. It can even auto-detect which language is to be read from. Better still, it's free to download, install and use. 

T2S: Text to Voice is an Android app that uses Google's own text-to-speech software. You can open or import a text file to be read, and save the output as an MP3 file. It also has a feature called Type Speak, which will provide audio for text as you speak, which could be especially helpful for people with communication problems. It's free to use, but does contain ads.

Categories: Tech News

Asus gaming laptops: how to find the best Asus gaming laptop for you

Mon, 03/18/2019 - 10:59

Every year PC gaming gets bigger and bigger, and the hardware that powers it gets more powerful. But, what if you want to take that power on the road? Well, there are plenty of Asus gaming laptops that will let you do just that.

With powerful hardware, gorgeous displays and dazzling aesthetics, Asus gaming laptops are leading the scene right now. But, picking the right one for your needs can get a bit complicated. So, you should ask yourself what you plan on doing with an Asus gaming laptop: do you want to play Apex Legends on the go, trying to be the last one standing? Or, do you want to experience Devil May Cry V in all of its edgy glory?

No matter what kind of games you want to play, there will be an Asus gaming laptop for you. And, we went ahead and gathered up some of the best Asus gaming laptops on the market, so you can spend less time shopping and more time in game. We also included our exclusive price comparison tool, so you can get a sick deal on the Asus gaming laptop of your dreams.

Image Credit: Asus

If you travel a lot, but you don’t want to be separated from the best PC games when you do, finding a thin and light Asus gaming laptop like the Asus ROG Zephyrus S GX701 is a dream come true. Rocking up to an Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080, there isn’t a AAA game out there that will be out of reach. Plus, it’s so thin, light and stylish that you’ll want to take it everywhere you go.

Read the full review: Asus ROG Zephyrus S GX701 

 Image Credit: Asus 

Sometimes a thin and light gaming laptop just isn’t going to cut it. Sure, they’re fun to carry around to play games on the subway or something, but when you need to pull out the big guns, a thick desktop replacement like the Asus ROG G703 is going to be your best bet. This beast only comes with an Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 and can be packed with up to 64GB of RAM so you’re going to cut through everything without a problem. As long as you have the cash, this is the most powerful Asus gaming laptop you’ll find anywhere.

Read the full review: Asus ROG G703 

 Image Credit: Asus 

When you go out looking for an Asus gaming laptop, you’ll find plenty of budget options and a lot of extremely expensive devices. However, the Asus ROG Strix Scar Edition is the best of both worlds, bringing performance on par with the best gaming PCs without setting you back thousands of dollars. It’s not the slimmest laptop in the world – not even the slimmest laptop on this list, but in terms of hardware, you’re getting exactly what you’re paying for, and we can’t complain about that.

Read the full review: Asus ROG Strix Scar Edition 

 Image Credit: Asus 

The Asus ROG Strix Hero II is marketed as a laptop for esports, and while its 144Hz display and RTX 2060 GPU is great for that, this Asus gaming laptop is capable of so much more. At 1080p, this attractive mid-range laptop should be able to play most, if not all, AAA games at 1080p with all the settings maxed out. It is a bit on the expensive side, but so are all Nvidia RTX laptops.

Read our hands-on: Asus ROG Strix Hero II 

 Image Credit: Asus 

We here at TechRadar love a thin and light gaming laptop, the ability to bring the best PC games on the road without having to compromise on performance is a win. And, while many super thin gaming laptops come with an extremely heavy price increase, the Asus Zephyrus M manages to keep things reasonable. We haven’t been able to get our hands on it for testing but, trust us, this isn’t a gaming laptop you’re going to want to pass on. It has yet to be refreshed with Nvidia RTX graphics, and while that’s a bummer, it does mean that you’ll likely find some sweet deals. 

Categories: Tech News

You can get a free Google Home Mini if you subscribe to a Spotify Family plan

Mon, 03/18/2019 - 10:48

If you’ve been thinking of signing up to Spotify Premium, but haven’t quite made the jump yet, this could give you the final push you needed: Spotify is now giving away a free Google Home Mini to everyone who signs up to a Family Plan.

A Spotify Family Plan costs £14.99 per month, and gets you Premium account for up to six family members, which means you can all listen to music without ads, skip tracks, and download music to your device. 

Control your smart home

The offer will last until May 14, and will need to be redeemed by May 24. It's not just for new customers either; Spotify's website says that "new and existing primary account holders are eligible to redeem a Google Home Mini from the Google Store."

While it's not the best smart speaker in terms of audio quality, the Google Home Mini is a great way of buying into Google's smart home ecosystem, for the relatively cheap price of £49. 

As it comes equipped with Google Assistant, it's always at the ready to help you find answers, turn on the tunes, dim the lights, start a TV show and more by using nothing but your voice.

Via What Hi-Fi?

Categories: Tech News

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