Ahoy, mateys! For today’s Player Ready gaming livestream on PCWorld’s Twitch and YouTube channels at 12:00 p.m. Pacific, PCWorld’s Adam Patrick Murray and Macworld’s Leif Johnson will be sailing the seven seas in the piratey survival MMO Atlas.
Nor is this a humdrum noobie show where you end up watching someone punch trees and rocks for an hour. Leif and guest Joseph Bradford have been playing Atlas since its Early Access launch on December 21, and they already have a ship ready to go for a morning of treasure hunting, sailing, ship battles, and swashbuckling with zombies.
This week, the spring release season begins in earnest. “But Hayden, didn’t we just finish up the holiday release season?” Yeah, tell me about it. But the Resident Evil 2 remake next Friday kicks off about a month and a half of non-stop games, from Total War: Three Kingdoms to Far Cry: New Dawn to The Division 2 and Anthem and more. So many more—and you’ll find a few pertinent trailers below, as the marketing machines proceed apace as well.
Also up this week: EA cancels yet another Star Wars game, Valve recaps its 2018 stats, Forza kills the Floss, IO opens a second studio, Epic updates its refund policy, and Mortal Kombat 11 gets the full reveal treatment.
For some, two of the best products Microsoft ever produced are Windows Mobile and Windows 7—and support for both are ending in about a year’s time.
Earlier this week, Microsoft reminded customers that official support for Windows 7 ends on January 14, 2020, even posting an official reminder page to encourage customers to hurry up and adopt Windows 10.
Now is also the time for Windows phones to finally accept their fate: Windows 10 Mobile, version 1709, will lose support on December 10, 2019. At that time, Windows 10 Mobile users will no longer be eligible to receive new security updates, non-security hotfixes, free assisted support options, or online technical content updates from Microsoft for free, Microsoft says. In other words, no new patches. Backups, at least, will persist until March 10, 2020. It’s even worse if you own a Microsoft Lumia or Lumia XL: June 11, 2019 will be the last date those devices are supported.
The Amazon Echo lineup has long been a popular pick for making homes a little smarter, and the Echo Dot Kids Edition brings those same smarts to the littlest members of your household. Today, you can snag the Echo Dot Kids Edition for $40 on Amazon, down from a list price of $70 and the lowest we’ve seen it.
This compact smart speaker comes with Alexa built in for convenient voice control. Kids can do everything from controlling other connected devices to asking Alexa to answer questions and tell stories hands-free. With one year of included Amazon’s FreeTime service included with your purchase, kids will be able to tap into a whole library of family-friendly content.
NordVPN promises a private and fast path through the public internet, with no logs, unmetered access for 6 simultaneous devices and access to 5,232 servers worldwide. They are currently running a promotion, but you'll have to use this link to find it. Its typical price has been discounted for 3 years of service -- a good deal at just $2.99 per month. See the $2.99/month NordVPN deal here.
If you need to upgrade from the stiff mouse that came with your PC, Walmart has a killer deal on an entry-level version of Razer’s ultra-popular, ultra-comfortable DeathAdder gaming mouse. The Razer DeathAdder Expert is just $25Remove non-product link right now. For comparison, it carries an MSRP of $50 and is available via a third-party seller on Amazon right now for $40.
Few things in technology are guaranteed to bring you actual joy, but Creative’s Super X-Fi just might qualify for that list.
In short, the Super X-Fi distills decades of audio work into a tiny, portable dongle no bigger than a USB thumb drive that transforms smartphone, laptop, or PC audio with “holographic audio,” according the company.
While that sounds like a lot of superfluous ad copy, we have to admit that after weeks of using the Super X-Fi, the company is on to something. We’d almost believe Creative’s claim that it has found the “holy grail” of audio, but we’re disinclined to recall the Quest Knights just yet.
You might not have heard of iOttie—which sells all sorts of accessories and products, ranging from car and bike mounts to wireless charging pads. I hadn’t until receiving a couple of its charging pads. But after putting the iOttie iON Wireless Stand through our tests, I’ve come away rather impressed.
Let’s take a closer look.
Note: This review is part of our roundup of wireless charging pads. Go there for details on competing products and our testing methods for both Android phones and iPhones.
The iON Wireless Stand, just like the rest of the company’s wireless charging products, is covered in cloth-like fabric. The material is reminiscent of that on a Google Home Mini. There are three colors to pick from—ruby, ash, ivory, which translates to red, gray, and white.
Whenever see a billboard while driving down the highway or see a stylish animation on your favorite website, you have experienced graphic design firsthand. Behind each of these beautiful designs is a graphic designer trying to catch your attention through art. If you’re interested in captivating viewers with your stunning visuals, you’ll need experience in a handful of programs, and this $39 Certification School is a great place to start.
Data breaches are becoming increasingly more common, but today’s is a doozy: 1,160,253,228 unique passwords and email addresses have been attributed to a breach that’s being called “Collection #1.”
The collective list of 773 million email addresses from several sources, published to the cloud storage service MEGA, was reported by Troy Hunt, the owner of the HaveIBeenPwned website, which indexes hacked information. The number of email addresses makes it the largest breach ever uploaded to Hunt's site, he said. But there’s also 21,222,975 unique passwords released within the breach, stored in plain text for the world to see.
Boosting your storage is always a good idea, and today, gobbling up a lot of gigabytes doesn’t have to be expensive. You can grab the 400GB SanDisk Ultra microSDXC card for just $83.98 on Amazon, down from a list price of $250 and a crazy low price for such a substantial amount of storage.
This card will bring a whole lot more space to your Android device, PC, or even your Nintendo Switch on the cheap. With transfer speeds up to 100MB/s, you’ll be able to move up to 1,200 photos in a minute, and the connected SanDisk Memory Zone app helps you view and move files even easier. This microSD card is designed to help speed up app launch speeds and performance, too.
If you haven’t upgraded to the glorious 4K HDR life yet, now’s the perfect time to see what you’re missing for cheap. Best Buy is selling a 43-inch 4K HDR Toshiba Smart TV with Amazon’s Fire TV built-in for $200Remove non-product link. That price beats Amazon’s all-time historical low by $50 and the current Amazon price by $100.
Quicken is still the king of personal finance software, but the last several years have brought a legion of challengers to its throne. Just glance at our personal finance software guide to see how stiff the competition has gotten. Perhaps that’s why Quicken 2019 has introduced a feature that devoted users have long desired: a browser-based companion app that lets them manage their finances from any internet-connected device. This streamlined tool gives Quicken a user-friendly vibe that will likely appeal to people weaned on web services like Mint and Nerd Wallet.
The thin-and-light Arteck HB030B Wireless Bluetooth Keyboard arms road warriors with a single input for their devices. Supporting the four major commercial operating systems (Windows, MacOS, iOS, and Android), this keyboard provides a fairly comfortable typing experience and a little pizzazz with multicolored backlighting.
The compact Arteck keyboard measures 9.7 x 5.9 x 0.24 inches and weighs less than half a pound, making it an ideal travel companion. It’s powered by a rechargeable lithium battery and includes a USB charging cable. Arteck claims a single charge will give you up to six months of battery life, provided you only use it for a couple of hours a day with the backlight turned off. That further underscores that this is meant to be an out-of-the-office solution, not your daily driver.
Stay on top of the latest tech with PCWorld’s Digital Magazine. Available as single copies or as a monthly subscription, it highlights the best content from PCWorld.com—the most important news, the key product reviews, and the most useful features and how-to stories—in a curated Digital Magazine for Android and iOS, as well for the desktop and other tablet readers.
In the January issue
On the cover of the January issue is our hands-on of Qualcomm's Snapdragon 8cx reference laptop, a fresh attempt to be faster. Our lab tests will tell you how Snapdragon stacks up against Intel. We also examine two of the top DNA testing services, explaining their differences and we help determine which one might be better for your situation. Plus, you'll find an exclusive first look at Creative Labs’ high-end SoundBlasterX AE-9; you have to hear it to believe it.
Microsoft’s Insider preview builds for 19H1, the next major update for Windows 10, haven’t been packed as chock full of new features as in releases past, favoring tweaks and adjustments instead. The Windows Insider Build 18317 released on Wednesday also goes this route, most notably by separating Cortana from the Windows 10 search box.
The new build also includes new ways to import fonts, a tweaked Windows Console for Linux, and a separate process for the Start menu, a behind-the-scenes change that’s being made for stability’s sake.
The most significant change is the separation of Cortana and the search box, which Microsoft has been testing with a few Insider builds previously. “This will enable each experience to innovate independently to best serve their target audiences and use cases,” Microsoft executives wrote in a blog post.
A good remote can make all the difference with a streaming device, adding control and convenience to the cornucopia of content options available. Now, Amazon’s Fire TV lineup is adding much more power to its viewing experience with a slick new remote, and you can grab one today for just $15, a unheard-of 50 percent drop from its list price of $30.
This remote is easy to use but comes with plenty of bells and whistles, including Amazon’s Alexa digital assistant built-in for voice control. To take that even further, you can also connect this remote to an Amazon Echo. If you use it to control a Fire TV Stick (note that it won’t work with the 1st-gen edition), you’ll finally be able to manage volume and power from your remote, with an infrared emitter that allows it to control your TV, A/V receiver, or soundbar.
Buckle up, on-the-go gamers: We get excited when a laptop with Nvidia’s GeForce GTX 1060 inside goes on sale for $700, but right now, Newegg is selling the MSI GV62 with a GTX 1060 for just $619Remove non-product link. That’s a ridiculously good deal. The bad news is, in true Newegg style, you have to pay $769 upfront and then get a $150 mail-in rebate.
Imagine, all you’ve ever known are the dank tunnels of the Moscow subway system. You were raised there, amid the shacks and hovels of a city’s survivors, attacked daily by vicious mutant animals, short on food and water, rarely venturing above-ground lest you succumb to radiation—or, more likely, other scavengers.
And then one day you leave, and you find out it didn’t have to be that way, that there’s life outside Moscow. There are places the nuclear bombs didn’t touch, or at least left a lighter impression, where people live on almost like nothing happened.
Such relief, to have made it out alive. Such disappointment, that it didn’t happen sooner.
From cryptocurrencies to decentralized apps, blockchain technology is powering an Internet revolution. It’s a bit surprising, then, that there are so few of us who are truly aware of its capabilities. If you want to get ahead of the curve and understand how blockchain is going to impact the Web, then getting the 2019 Blockchain Developer Mastery Bundle is a must. You can grab it on sale for only $19 today.
If you’re still using a business landline, you’re likely not doing much business in 2018. Video conferencing is as commonplace as sending an email, and remote team members are increasing by the minute, making internet-based communication systems essential for any rising company. So if you’re finally looking to get your office set up with a state-of-the-art communications system, look no further than RingCentral, an award-winning VoIP (voice over internet provider). RingCentral offers comprehensive, affordable packages for any size organization, and you can set it up in minutes for as low as $19.99 per month.
Android phones might get a bad rap, but they’re actually quite secure. Or at least they can be.
With a little work, your Galaxy, Pixel, or OnePlus phone can be a veritable fortress, virtually impenetrable to hacks, attacks, and bad apps. So whether you’re looking for a little extra security or a complete lockdown of your phone, here’s everything you need to keep your data from falling into the wrong hands.
Android security: Default protection
Even if you skip the entire set-up process and ignore every safeguard prompt, your Android phone still does plenty to keep your information safe.
Google has built a malware scanner right into the Play Store called Play Protect. First and foremost, it runs a safety check on apps before you download them, but more importantly, it also checks your phone for any apps that may have gone awry since you downloaded them. If it finds any, it will warn you via a notification and in extreme cases delete them from your device on its own. You can check your Google Play Protect settings and see the apps it scanned in the Updates tab inside the My apps & games section of the Play Store.