Riptide GP: Renegade now available for non-Shield Android devices

Almost three weeks ago, Vector Unit released the much-anticipated racing title Riptide GP: Renegade to Google Play, though it was only available for NVIDIA Shield devices. If you don’t own a Shield device and have been waiting patiently to play it, we have some good news for you. The fast-paced racing game is now available for non-Shield Android smartphones and tablets!

As noted in our previous post, Riptide GP: Renegade adds some much-needed improvements to the Riptide franchise that should be a hit with fans. Unlike its predecessors, Renegade features a story mode that allows you to play as both a racer and a fugitive. Though there are some big changes this time around, gameplay will be quite similar to what we’ve seen in other Riptide titles.

In Renegade, you’ll play a hydrojet racer who needs to prove he is still the best racer on the planet, even after being framed and banned from pro Riptide GP racing. You’l race illegally through city waterways, dodge cops, and, of course, perform some super sick stunts.

best android gamesSee also: The best Android games181

You can also take part in 8-player online matches, take part in ghost race challenges, and even play locally in split-screen races with up to 4 players.

Interested? Riptide GP: Renegade is now available in the Play Store for just $2.99. Trust us, you’ll want to give this one a shot.

Get it from Google Play

Android Deals – Aug. 24th, 2016: Sony, NVIDIA & More!

In today’s Android Deals, we have a nice deal on Sony’s Android TV which is typically over $700. Now it’s down to just $549. This TV is a 43-inch 4K TV, so it’s a pretty high-quality one and it’s got plenty of pixels to keep everyone happy. Not to mention the fact that it has Android TV built in, so there’s no need to buy something like the NVIDIA SHIELD TV for it.

Now onto the rest of today’s deals.

Back to School Deals

LG Google Nexus 5X 16GB – $199

Samsung Galaxy Gear S2 SM-R730V – $99

BLU R1 HD – $49

OnePlus 2 – $239

Sony MDR-XB650BT EXTRA BASS Bluetooth Wireless NFC Over-the‑Ear Headphones – $49.99

Wenger SwissGear Sherpa 16″ Laptop Backback – $39.99

TaoTronics Wireless In-Ear Earbuds Sweatproof Sports Earphones – $24.99

HP Chromebook 14-ak020nr – $199

Other Deals

Motorola Moto 360 (2nd Gen.) – $179

BlackBerry Priv STV100-1 32GB – $299

LG G3 VS985 32GB – $99

Sony Playstation 4 Console – $319

Jabra Move Wireless Headset – $59

Sony XBR-43X830C – 43-Inch 4K Ultra HD Smart Android LED HDTV – $549

Photive PH-BTE70 Wireless Bluetooth Earbuds – $27.90

Micro USB Cable RAVPower 6-Pack – $12.99

Braun Series 9 9090cc Electric Foil Shaver for Men with Cleaning Center – $264

Marshall Stanmore Wireless Bluetooth Stereo Speaker System – $179

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC7b QuietPoint Active Noise-Cancelling Closed- Headphone – $79.99

House of Marley Liberate Midnight Bluetooth Wireless Speaker – $39.99

Samsung – Galaxy View – $349

ASUS C201 11.6 Inch Chromebook – $159

Acer Chromebook 15 CB5-571-C1DZ – $242

ASUS Chromebook Flip – $260

Acer Chromebook R11 Convertible – $263

Fitbit Surge Fitness Superwatch – $199

Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mirrorless Digital Camera with 14-42mm 2RK lens – $399

Fujifilm X-T1 16 MP Mirrorless Digital Camera with 3.0-Inch LCD and XF18-55mm F2.8-4.0 R LM OIS Lens – $1399

Garmin vívosmart HR Activity Tracker – $129

Samsung CF591 Series Curved 27″ LED-lit Monitor (LC27F591FDNXZA) – $279

Remington F5-5800 Foil Shaver – $44.99

Jabra Move Wireless Stereo Headset – $68.50

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Galaxy Note 7 Pre-orders Begin Shipping In Germany

Samsung’s latest flagship phablet, the Galaxy Note 7, was finally announced officially on the 2nd of this month at an event in New York City after weeks of rumors, leaks and speculations. While the major U.S. carriers started taking pre-orders from the very next day, would-be buyers in most other countries had to hold out just a bit longer, with Germany being a case in point. Samsung had originally announced that it would start shipping pre-orders in the country from the 30th of this month, although, it now seems that early birds have already started getting their Galaxy Note 7 units by mail about a week or so ahead of schedule.

According to reports published in the German tech media, many people in the country have started receiving their brand new Samsung phablets over the past few days. Interestingly, just about everybody who’ve received their handsets had pre-ordered the base 64GB model in Black Onyx. Reports also indicate that they had also selected the Gear VR headset as their free gift. So if all of that is anything to go by, people in Germany who pre-ordered the 64GB Black Onyx Galaxy Note 7 model but is yet to receive their handset, should expect it to arrive sooner rather than later. The device is apparently being shipped out directly from the South Korean firm’s warehouse in neighboring Netherlands, so it shouldn’t take too long to reach their intended destinations in Germany either.

Meanwhile, major carriers in the U.S. also have a habit of shipping pre-orders ahead of schedule. Earlier this month, Verizon and T-Mobile customers in the country reported that they had started receiving their pre-ordered Note 7 units even before the device had officially gone on sale in the country. Since that time, though, the device has actually gone up for sale in the U.S. and by all accounts, has been received well by consumers. One point to note here is that while the Galaxy Note 7 models available around the world come with an almost identical feature set, the device being sold internationally is a tad different under the hood than the American and Chinese versions. While the U.S. model (SM-G930) ships with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 820, the European variants (SM-G930F) are powered by the Exynos 8890.

Galaxy Note 7 German pre-orders KK (1) Galaxy Note 7 German pre-orders KK (2) Galaxy Note 7 German pre-orders KK (3)

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Android Pay to support Chase next month

android-pay-1

Android Pay now supports a lot of banks around the world, but Chase is the one big US names that has been strangely absent from this list, until next month it seems. According to a leaked document that apparently comes straight from a Chase employee, the bank will be supported by Google’s NFC payment system come early next month.

The document states that Chase consumer credit cards bearing Visa branding, along with business and consumer debit cards, and Chase Liquid cards will all be supported with Android pay from September 7th. That’s just a little over two weeks away.

Chase Android Pay document

AndroidPay_Terminal_BR___FOR_DISTRIBUTION_HighresSee also: Android Pay launches loyalty card integration, starting with Walgreens7

The rest of the document just gives us details about Android pay that we already know, such as that Android Pay is only supported on devices with NFC running Android 4.4 KitKat or higher. With Chase on board, US customers looking to make use of NFC mobile payments have their pick of the Bank of America, Wells Fargo, and HSBC, to name just a few. You can see the full list of supported banking networks over on Google’s website.

This is certainly good news for Chase customers, but how many of you are using Android Pay regularly?

Iris Scanners to Trickle Down to Budget Devices Soon?

Yesterday, Samsung Electronics held a meeting where the company discussed the details of iris scanning technology used on the Galaxy Note 7, and the reasons why this is the most secure identification method save for DNA analysis. Interestingly enough, South Korean semiconductor company Dangwoon Anatech Co., Ltd. also had an announcement regarding iris recognition yesterday, revealing that it has developed a technology that combines an IR (infrared) filter with a regular front-facing camera to allow for iris recognition on lower-end and more affordable devices.

According to Samsung, Iris scanning technology is the most secure identification method, and can only be surpassed by DNA analysis. However, during yesterday’s meeting, Samsung Electronics’ Kim Hyeong-seok explained that “mucus and blood from inside a mouth need to be collected to obtain information about one’s DNA”, and “because it takes more than an hour to analyze this information, it is realistically impossible to use DNA information on portable devices”. As such, iris scanning technology is the next best thing after DNA analysis, and this is the reason why the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 was equipped with this additional security feature along with a fingerprint recognition sensor.

But although Iris scanning technology is very secure, fitting this technology on a smartphone is a costly endeavor. Then again, fingerprint recognition sensors were exclusive to the premium smartphone market in their primetime too, and it’s logical to assume that, if iris scanning technology catches on, it will eventually be used in other market segments as well. In fact, Dongwoon Anatech Co., Ltd. made an announcement on August 23, revealing that it has developed a technology that incorporates a selfie camera and a filter (image below) which can be actuated to act as an infrared filter when required for scanning the iris. According to the company, an integrated module occupies a smaller area within a smartphone and leads to reduced production costs which, in turn, can allow for iris recognition technology to be used for smartphones outside the high-end market segment. Dangwoon Anatech announced that it is “currently working on [a] design with South Korean and foreign smartphone camera module manufacturers” in a quest to tackle the cost barriers of low and mid-priced smartphones, and bring iris authentication technology in the hands of more consumers.

Dongwoon Anatech IR Filter

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Professional Services Review, Australian Government Website Hacked

A Syrian hacker claiming to be code-named “RxR Hacker” has somehow hacked into Professional Services Review, Australian Government official website (http://psr.gov.au/). The hacker had defaced all pages of the website, leaving a message about Freedom for Syria in Arabic and English with a Syrian Flag. The hacker had left the following message on its deface […]

The post Professional Services Review, Australian Government Website Hacked appeared first on Tapscape.

MIT Scientists Invent Self-Assembling Phones

The idea of modular phones, devices that can be easily modified by their users still sounds incredible even if it just recently became a reality in the form of LG G5 and a couple of other similar pocket companions. And while industry experts are still arguing about whether modular phones are just a fad or here to stay, a small group of MIT scientists already came up with an evolution of this concept – the self-assembling phones. Namely, the Self-Assembly Lab at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) recently presented a prototype of a phone that assembles itself.

Sounds impressive? That’s not even the best part: as it turns out, the MIT scientists concluded that designing a phone prototype that’s capable of putting itself together requires no particularly hi-tech procedures. More specifically, these unique creations are assembling themselves in cement mixers. Depending on the speed of rotation, the current prototypes can be assembled in under a minute. Is that description too abstract? Check out the GIF at the bottom of this article to get a better idea of how the entire process works.

So, what kind of magic makes this work? Well, for starters, the components these prototype phones are made of all feature a lock-and-key mechanism thanks to which they can only be attached to the right parts once they quite literally bump into each other inside a spinning cement mixer. Speaking of bumping, the rotation speed of the mixer must be carefully set before the self-assembly process begins. It has to be fast enough to toss the components around but not so fast that it ends up breaking them. Other than the aforementioned lock mechanism, the components are also secured with a special adhesive once they’re set in place and MIT scientists have already discussed the possibility of replacing the adhesive with magnets in the future.

Needless to say, this invention has the potential to completely revolutionize the smartphone manufacturing process. It’s still far from being polished enough for commercial implementation but the potential is definitely there. Naturally, if it ever makes its way into the industry, it’s likely going to be yet another cause of the rising technological unemployment rates but that’s an issue for another day and one which society likely won’t tackle before it absolutely has to.

MIT self-assembling phones cement mixer

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Samsung+: Taking a closer look at Samsung’s help and assistance app

Samsung+ review AA 2

If you happen to live in the U.S. and own a Galaxy Note 7, Galaxy S7, S7 Edge, or pretty much any other Galaxy device from the past few years, you’ve probably heard of Samsung+. For those unaware, it’s a pre-installed application that comes on most recent Galaxy devices, aiming to provide users with personalized, live expert help in just a few taps.

Let’s be honest – if you’re reading this, you probably know a thing or two about smartphones. So why would you need a help and assistance app if a simple problem arises? The thing is, Samsung+ offers much more than Wi-Fi and Bluetooth advice, and it’s not just for the less tech-savvy users out there. Let’s take a closer look and see just what this app is all about.

samsung galaxy note 7 hands on aa second batch-20Related: Samsung Galaxy Note 7 – The Beginner’s Guide4

The basics

When you launch Samsung+ for the first time, you’ll be given a brief overview on how to navigate through the app. You can perform a quick search if you already know what you’re looking for, or simply swipe through six different tabs – Live Help, Diagnostics, Answers, For You, Explore and Community.

Samsung+ For You AA

The For You section is the first thing you’ll see after launching the app. This is where you’ll receive tips and tricks regarding your registered Samsung devices, as well as topics popular in the Samsung community that you might like. Smartphone aficionados might not find a ton of useful information in this tab, though it’s perfect for folks looking to make their device setup process go a little smoother.

Speaking of the less tech-savvy users out there, the Answers tab is perfect for basic troubleshooting problems.

A digital instruction manual

So, you thought you’d be nice and buy your parents brand new Samsung Galaxy phones for Christmas. Little did you know, this automatically made you the go-to tech support person in the family. Fun!

If you’re in a pinch and don’t have the time to walk through how to perform the more basic tasks – setting alarms, taking screenshots, playing music – Samsung+ will definitely help. Just navigate to the Answers tab, choose the category you’re looking for, and you’ll be presented with a number of useful walkthroughs and how-tos relating to Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, device features, battery and power saving tips, and more. Seriously, there’s tons of useful information here.

If somehow these walkthroughs don’t do the trick, though, there are a few more steps you can take to get the help you need.

Live customer support

By far the most impressive feature in Samsung+ is the Live Help section. With just a few taps, users have the ability to chat with Samsung representatives over the phone or through video.

After my video chat was connected, it was smooth sailing from there

Call support is offered 24 hours a day, while video chat support is offered from 7am-10pm CST. Both methods worked quite well for me, but as you might expect, video chatting was a slightly bigger hassle. I made three video calls in all, though I was only able to make the video work for one of them. After everything was connected, though, it was smooth sailing from there.

Once connected, I had to fork over my device’s IMEI, my name, email address and phone number in case the call was dropped at any point.

You might be thinking, wouldn’t it just be easier to chat on the phone rather than using video? Well, for certain scenarios, phone calls work great. But the app’s video chat support combined with the Samsung Assist feature is where it really shines.

Samsung Assist allows you to share your screen with the representative and let them operate your device to see if they can fix the problem. Don’t worry – you don’t need to use this feature if you don’t want, and you need to grant permission before they take control of your device. Basically, Samsung reps can do anything on your device aside from performing a factory data reset. They also don’t have access to the physical buttons, either, so they can’t power off your device or soft reset it.

As of right now, Samsung Assist is only available on the Galaxy Note 7, Galaxy S7, S7 Edge, Note 5, S6, S6 Edge and S6 Edge+. Additional device support will be added in the future.

Honestly, the whole Live Help section of this app is a game changer. Again, it might not be super useful for seasoned smartphone veterans, but it can really help less tech-savvy folks in a bind.

A simple, easy-to-use diagnostics app

Samsung+ review AA 5

Samsung+ isn’t only about tech support. If you’re looking for more real-time stats regarding your device’s battery, data, storage and more, the Diagnostics feature will do the trick.

This is my favorite part of the app. If you’re experiencing any problems with your device (poor battery life, bad internet connection, etc.), all you need to do is head to this page to try and figure out what’s wrong. Samsung+ will scan your device and let you know if your battery temperature is too high, if it’s charging at the correct speeds, if your Wi-Fi is secure enough, and many more useful tips.

Samsung+ is also a full-fledged diagnostics app

There are also two useful features to help you optimize your battery life: Battery Forecast and Battery Optimizer. Battery Forecast will tell you your current battery percentage, when it’s predicted to reach empty, and how long you need to charge the device to reach a certain percentage. This is super helpful if you’re planning on going out for the night and have a low battery. Battery Optimizer, on the other hand, scrolls through your settings and lets you know what to change to achieve better battery life. For instance, in the screenshot below you’ll see that my screen timeout is set to 30 seconds, which is much less battery-friendly than if I were to set it to, say, 15 seconds.

Data Monitor and Storage Manager tools are also found in the Diagnostics section of the app, allowing you to keep better track at your remaining data usage and on-board storage. As you’re probably already aware, all Android devices have built-in data monitor and storage manager features, so these two aren’t really all that necessary. Still, it’s nice to see them baked into the app, so users can access all of their diagnostics info in one place.

Oh, and one other thing – there’s also a built-in Speed Test section that can test your Mobile or Wi-Fi connections. Pretty neat, right?

A place for Samsung die-hards

Samsung+ review AA 6

If you’re not having any problems with your Galaxy device, Samsung+ can still be quite useful. The Explore and Community sections are there for you to learn more about your devices. For instance, navigating to the Explore section will give you access to camera tips and tricks, tips on how to to multitask, and more. I’m not sure if the Explore tab will be useful for everyone out there, but it might be fun to poke around if you’re looking to learn more about your device.

For die-hard Samsung fans, or even for folks who just want to learn more about their Galaxy devices, Samsung+ offers a full Community section. It’s here that you’ll be able to read and ask questions about Galaxy S and Note devices, tablets, wearables, TVs and more.

thumb galaxy note 7 review aa (1 of 1)Related: Samsung Galaxy Note 7 review103

From what I’ve been able to tell, the Samsung Community could be quite helpful if you’re looking to resolve device-specific issues, or if you’re just looking to geek out with other fans around the world. As for how the Community section is implemented in the app, that’s a different story. It’s not particularly fast, and it doesn’t really have an intuitive layout. Since everything is either black or white in this section, it can be tough to differentiate between links and plain text, too.

Wrapping up

Samsung+ is a useful help and assistance app that will come in handy in more ways than one. Not everything you find in Samsung+ will be for everyone, but the features it offers are pretty compelling and work well for the most part. Whether you’re a tech-savvy user or someone who is new to the smartphone world, you’ll likely find something useful in this app.

Get it from Google Play

Daydream VR will debut “in coming weeks” with big Google content push

Daydream

When Google announced its Daydream virtual reality platform in May, it showed a number of applications which were in development to help make the experience great. Though most of the apps it showed off at its annual I/O conference were proprietary experiences such YouTube, the company announced that it would be opening up the platform to developers to produce new content for smartphone owners to enjoy. Now, Google has announced that it is partnering with companies such as Hulu to produce 360 degree content which will help populate the platform with experiences for everyone to enjoy.

While headsets such as the HTC Vive and Oculus Rift have a high barrier to entry, Daydream allows anyone with a compatible smartphone to experience virtual reality content on the fly. Requiring little more than a VR viewer and the phone itself, users can witness the content in a whole new way, becoming much more immersed in the applications they use everyday.

It’s revolutionary, said Finn Staber of Wave VR, commenting an his recent VR concert experience. “While competitors are targeting users willing to spend hundreds of dollars for top-notch VR equipment, mobile will reach mass audiences.”

While Hulu is planning to introduce its new 360 degree content for a variety of developing platforms, the company is waiting for Google to debut its new VR service before this content is launched. Daydream is set to release alongside Google’s new Nexus devices within the next month or so, and should introduce a whole slew of new content.

Alongside the Hulu launch comes new original content which Google is pouring funding into. The company is enlisting the help of a number of YouTube stars such as the Dolan twins and Justine Ezarik to create a selection of 360 degree videos for viewers to enjoy. For film makers looking to produce their own content, Google is placing some pretty strict standards on hardware used. To be eligible for Google’s Jump VR film program, film makers must use a certified 16-camera rig such as the Go-Pro Odyssey, priced at $15,000.

It’s set to be an exciting year for Google’s new platform, which should help to revolutionize the already amazing space that is mobile VR. With Google’s enthusiasm and funding pouring into the development of the new platform, Daydream should quickly become a popular option for those looking to experience the new tech.

This post was originally published on our sister site, VRSource.com.

You Can Now Pre-Order An NFC Payment Ring

Near Field Communication (NFC) is a very short-range method of wireless communication between devices used mostly for quick interactions. While it has a much shorter physical range than WiFi or Bluetooth, it is ideal for certain uses like mobile payments, when security requires that the device should be very close by. It also has other uses, such as automation of tasks; for example, an NFC sticker can be used to configure a WiFi network on a smartphone with a single tap.

NFC is most common in mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets, but lately, it has been making its way to wearables such as the Samsung Gear S2. And there is a new type of NFC-enabled wearable device coming soon that may be the smallest and most practical application yet: the NFC Ring. The NFC Ring, which originated as a Kickstarter project three years ago, has recently become available. And the latest implementation, which includes mobile payments, is now almost finally ready for release. In terms of physical design, buyers can choose from either black or white ceramic. The sizes are customizable to make sure you get the perfect fit. It doesn’t look like a technology device, but rather just resembles a traditional ring. However, there are some key features that make it quite unique. To start off with, the NFC Ring has the ability to make mobile payments through Visa simplifying the checkout process even further in comparison to smartphone-based mobile payments. It can also be used as a means of unlocking a smartphone or tablet simply by tapping the back of the device. In fact, for those with an NFC-enabled door lock, it can even be used to unlock your door with a quick tap. And these are just some examples if the many potential uses it has. Using automation apps on your phone, you can use it to automate just about any task.

While certain models of the NFC Ring are currently available to order, the mobile payment-enabled ring is only available for preorder at this time. The cost to preorder the ring is £39.99, which is about $53 U.S. Unfortunately, the company’s web page does not list the release date of the product, so it is unknown when you can expect it to be delivered. If you’d rather not wait, and don’t mind purchasing a ring that does not have the payment technology built in, head over to their web page using the source link below and check out some of their other options.

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