EA reportedly cancelled a Star Wars: Battlefront spinoff in 2019

EA cancelling Star Wars games is rapidly turning into a yearly report.

What you need to know

  • Electronic Arts holds an exclusive deal with Disney to develop Star Wars games.
  • Over the last few years, multiple potential games have been cancelled.
  • According to a new report, another game was recently cancelled.

It’s no real secret that Electronic Arts (EA) has had a rought time developing Star Wars game since signing an agreement with Disney to be the sole publisher using the license in 2013. Multiple projects have been canceled, with Visceral Games being shut down after its game was cancelled. According to a new report via Jason Schreier at Kotaku, yet another game has been canceled.

This new game, reportedly codenamed Viking, was to be an open-world spinoff of the Star Wars: Battlefront games. Schreier writes that it was originally intended to launch in fall 2020, alongside next-generation consoles, the Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5. It was being developed by EA Vancouver with assistance from Criterion after EA Vancouver’s prior open world game was cancelled, a game that in turn was using assets from Visceral Games’ cancelled title.

While the report is only now coming to light, Schreier states that this game was actually cancelled sometime back in the first half of 2019. He also states there are two remaining Star Wars projects in development at EA Worldwide Studios. One of these is a sequel to Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order, being developed by Respawn. Considering that Fallen Order has so far sold over 8 million copies, this isn’t surprising. The other game is reportedly a “smaller, more unusual project” being developed by EA Motive.

We’ll continue to provide updates on this story if any more information becomes available.

Become a Jedi

Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order

Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order box art

$40 at Amazon $60 at Walmart

Respawn nailed it

This is the Star Wars game we’ve all been waiting for. It takes the best elements of Tomb Raider, Metroidvanias, and a dash of souls-likes to create a memorable and fun experience with amazing combat that makes you feel like a true Jedi.

Get More PlayStation

Sony PlayStation

Playstation 4 Pro From $400 at Amazon
Playstation 4 Slim From $300 at Amazon

from Android Central – Android Forums, News, Reviews, Help and Android Wallpapers


The latest Gboard beta is faster, with better support for handwriting

The keyboard now also recognizes handwriting input in Tibetan!

What you need to know

  • Google just released a new beta for Gboard.
  • The release focuses particularly on improving performance by reducing start-up times and latency.
  • It also adds better support for handwriting input.

Google’s Gboard is one of the best Android keyboards out there. It’s also the default keyboard on many phones, meaning you’re most likely using it on your phone right now. And while keyboards aren’t the fanciest of apps, they most definitely are among the most important, underlying our interactions with almost every other app.

Because we hop in and out of it all the time, it’s essential to have a keyboard that’s performant and doesn’t take ages to load-up. That’s why Google, with the latest beta for Gboard (via Android Police), is going back to the basics and focusing on improving start-up times and reducing keyboard latency, so your input is registered as soon as you tap a key.

In addition, for those who prefer handwriting instead of typing, Google is also expanding Gboard’s functionality in that regard. With the new beta, handwriting input in English will now support spelling corrections, as well as next-word predictions, much like the typing keyboard.

Moreover, while Gboard already supports handwriting for a wealth of languages, the company is continuing to work on improving access to technology by adding Tibetan as one of the supported languages for handwriting.

Google should eventually push the updates to the stable release but if you’d like to get your hands on the new features immediately, you can go ahead and sign up for the Gboard beta here.

Earlier in the month, Google also pushed a more light-hearted update to the keyboard called ‘Emoji Kitchen’ that lets you mix and match emoji for some really hilarious creations. I don’t know if a poop emoji with hearts implies love or disgust, but either way, you can now send it to your significant other and try and find out.

Gboard vs. SwiftKey: Which Android keyboard should you use?

from Android Central – Android Forums, News, Reviews, Help and Android Wallpapers


Bethesda is pulling most of its games from NVIDIA GeForce Now

Another major publisher removes support for NVIDIA’s streaming service.

What you need to know

  • Bethesda Softworks publishes multiple game franchises including Fallout, The Elder Scrolls and Wolfenstein.
  • Bethesda Softworks is pulling most of its games from NVIDIA GeForce Now streaming, with the exception of Wolfenstein: Youngblood.
  • Recently, Activision Blizzard also pulled its games from the service.

While the NVIDIA GeForce Now streaming service is seeing quite a bit of attention shortly after coming out of beta testing, more and more publishers are pulling their games. Today, NVIDIA confirmed on its forums that Bethesda Softworks is pulling most of its games from GeForce Now. The lone exception is Wolfenstein: Youngblood, which will remain for the time being.

Bethesda Softworks is the games publishing arm of ZeniMax, publishing several franchises from the companies’ studios, including the Fallout, Elder Scrolls, Wolfenstein and Doom games. Bethesda Softworks isn’t the first publisher to pull out however, as Activision Blizzard recently pulled all of its games, including Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, the best-selling game of 2019 in the U.S.

It hasn’t all been bad news recently, as CD Projekt Red confirmed that the highly-anticipated Cyberpunk 2077 would support GeForce Now on day one. We’ll continue to provide updates as publishers either support or pull out of the service. NVIDIA GeForce Now differs from many streaming services in that it allows users to stream their own PC games that they buy, either in limited sessions for free or with extended sessions at $5 a month.

GeForce Now

Free at NVIDIA

NVIDIA’s cloud game streaming service is one of the best available today, delivering lag-free gaming at 1080p/60fps. The fact that you can access NVIDIA’s servers for free makes it an easy sell, and the $4.99 plan makes it an immediately enticing option for seasoned gamers.

from Android Central – Android Forums, News, Reviews, Help and Android Wallpapers


The best heavy duty cases for the Note 10+

The Galaxy Note 10+ was designed to be a big workhorse of a smartphone, but it’s far from being a rugged phone with all that glass used on the front and back. No matter what job you work for a living, phone drops can and will happen. You’re better off to be prepared for when the inevitable happens with a heavy-duty case.

Multilayered protection

SUPCASE Unicorn Beetle Pro

Staff pick

The SUPCASE Unicorn Beetle Pro style of case is one of the most ruggedly designed smartphone cases around. From its front plate that helps to protect the screen to the built-in kickstand and optional belt holster and clip, this case pretty much offers it all.

$16 at Amazon

Most trusted brand

Spigen Tough Armor

Spigen has always taken a measured approach to its phone design, going for a more clean look even for its more rugged phone case offerings. The Tough Armor series offers dual-layer protection reinforced with great shock absorbing technology and a pop-out kickstand that lays flush with the case exterior.

$17 at Amazon

Texas tough

Armadillotek Vanguard Series

Armadillotek is a Texas-based company that makes cases as tough as the shell of the animal that inspired the brand name. The Vanguard Series is designed to be rugged and slim with a built-in kickstand and a cover over the charging port. A reliable option to be sure.

From $19 at Amazon

Honeycomb protection

Poetic Premium Hybrid

Poetic’s heavy-duty option for the Note 10+ lives up to its name, offering a premium look and design that combines a TPU-lined bumper with a rigid and transparent honeycomb prism backplate that will look amazing with any of the available Note 10+ colors, but especially that Aura Glow finish.

From $10 at Amazon

A clear choice

Ringke Fusion X

Ringke’s Fusion X series is about as close as you’ll get to a truly rugged clear case. Ringke hasn’t skimped on the protection where you need it most — in the corners and along the edges of the display — but leaves the backplate crystal clear so your phone can shine through.

$10 at Amazon

Wireless charging compatible

Encased Rebel Armor

Encased says they’ve designed their Rebel Armor case to “protect your Note 10+ at all costs”. That includes a dual-layer design with a unique impact dispersion system along the inside of the TPU sleeve and ergonomic accents that makes the phone easier to hold. It’s also been designed thin enough to not interfere with wireless charging.

$16 at Amazon

Don’t let your Note 10+ take unnecessary damage

Seriously, I get it. You don’t like the idea of buying an expensive phone and covering up all that beauty with a case. But just think back to that moment when your naked phone took a nasty fall and the anxiety as you bend over to inspect the damage, thinking “I should have just put a case on it!”

Don’t let that happen to you with your Note 10+ — not when there are so many stylish options out that still keep your phone protected. Our top pick in terms of pure rugged reliability is the SUPCASE Unicorn Beetle Pro which is about as rugged a case as you can buy for any phone, designed with accents and textures to ensure the phone never slips out of your hand.

For a more minimalist design, there’s the Spigen Tough Armor which doesn’t muck about much with fancy accents and keeps a very clean look and feel. But if you simply must show off the back of your phone — and we wouldn’t shame you for it with a phone this gorgeous — we have to recommend the Ringke Fusion X which does a great job of combining heavy-duty protection in the corners and edges with a stylized clear backplate.

from Android Central – Android Forums, News, Reviews, Help and Android Wallpapers


Google is testing a quick share button for the Chrome toolbar

It’s only available in Chrome Canary for now.

What you need to know

  • Google is testing the inclusion of a quick share button in its mobile browser.
  • The button can be found in the top toolbar, right next to the URL bar.
  • The feature is currently only available in Chrome Canary and requires you to turn on an experimental flag.

If you feel like sharing webpages in Chrome is a little too slow, I’ve got some good news for you. The Mountain View giant is currently testing the addition of a quick sharing button to its mobile app — albeit only on Android, at least for now.

As discovered by XDA Developers, the latest build for Chrome Canary includes an experimental flag that enables this feature. It’s not enabled by default, though, so even if you’re on the latest build, you won’t see the change unless you manually enable it.

That’s really easy to do, however. Just type in “chrome://flags” into the URL bar, and then search for the “Share button in the Top Toolbar” flag. Once you’ve found it, enable the flag and restart the browser.

As the flag’s name implies, you should now see a share button in the top toolbar, right next to the URL. Obviously, this is meant to enable one-tap sharing, though it offers an only marginal improvement over the current UI, which requires you to first click on the three-dot button before finding the share option in the resulting drop-down menu.

Is one click really that much better than two? I guess we’ll find out soon, depending on whether Google decides to ship the feature in stables releases of the browser.

Google’s Chrome browser could soon gain Live Caption support

from Android Central – Android Forums, News, Reviews, Help and Android Wallpapers


Facebook will pay you $5 for your recordings

$5 is $5.

What you need to know

  • Facebook will offer users money for their audio recordings.
  • This is part of a new Pronunciations program in its Viewpoints app.
  • Users will have the chance to make up to $5 from 10 recordings.

Facebook will offer users compensation for their voice recordings, the firm announced this week This is part of a project to improve its Portal smart home products. Dubbed Pronunciations, it’s part of its Viewpoints market research app. For users who are selected, Facebook will prompt them to say “Hey Portal”, plus the name of up to ten Facebook friends. This earns you points in the Viewpoints app which you can cash out in PayPal.

Facebook offers users the chance to ake up to 5 recordings, which would then give them 1000 points, or $5 when all is said and done.

“Participants record phrases within the app, which helps us improve name pronunciation recognition in our products to better serve the people that use them,” a Facebook spokesperson told the Financial Times this week.

You won’t be making much from Facebook’s Pronunciations program, but at least it’s a legal way for firms to improve their data collection without leaving consumers feeling shortchanged.

Last year, Google was criticised for secretly recording audio from its Google Home users. While it makes a provision for that in its terms and conditions, customers didn’t quite understand the full implications. With this, the trade-offs are at least stated upfront.

Anker Powerline+ C to C 2.0 Cable (6 ft)

$9 at Amazon

Keeping your phone plugged in while traveling is a constant pain, but a nice long USB cable can alleviate some of the stress of using those hard-to-reach outlets. Anker’s cables are robust, and this six-foot example is a great travel companion.

Anker PowerCore 10000 USB-PD battery pack

$46 at Amazon

When you’re traveling you don’t want anything to slow you down, so make sure you have a portable battery back that charges your phone quickly. This Anker 10000mAh pack supports 18W USB PD and it’s incredibly light.

AUKEY CC-Y12 18W PD Car Charger

$17 at Amazon

This is a super-compact USB-C car charger you can plug in and forget it’s there until you need to charge your phone at top speed. Isn’t that handy?

from Android Central – Android Forums, News, Reviews, Help and Android Wallpapers


Save big on the Galaxy S20 with the best deals and discounts

Want to buy the S20? Here’s where you can save the most money.

Samsung’s latest and greatest — the Galaxy S20 — has arrived. It’s packed with impressive specs and features, making it one of the most well-rounded phones you can buy in 2020. You also have plenty of options to choose from, with Samsung offering the S20, S20+, and S20 Ultra all at the same time.

However, as appealing as the new phones are, they’re going to cost you. The base Galaxy S20 has a steep starting price of $1000, the S20+ kicks things up to $1200, and you’ll pay a hefty $1400 for the privilege of owning the top-tier S20 Ultra.

If you’re interested in picking up an S20 for yourself but have sticker shock from those price tags, fear not. We’ve gathered up all of the best deals and discounts on the S20 to show you how you can get Samsung’s latest flagship without totally breaking the bank.


Starting first with Samsung, arguably the best place to buy the S20 from, you can buy all three models of the new phone — the S20, S20+, and S20 Ultra.

There are a couple of different promos being offered, the easiest of which to get is up to $200 in credits to use for future purchases on Samsung’s website. Just pre-order one of the phones and you’ll get free money. The breakdown is as follows:

  • $100 credit if you pre-order the Galaxy S20
  • $150 credit if you pre-order the Galaxy S20+
  • $200 credit if you pre-order the Galaxy S20 Ultra

If you have a phone to trade-in, things get even better. You can get up to $700 off when trading in a phone, and the credit is offered instantly at the time of purchase. Here are a few examples of what Samsung’s offering:

  • Galaxy Note 10 — $700 credit
  • iPhone 11 Pro — $700 credit
  • Galaxy S10 — $600 credit
  • Pixel 4 — $600 credit
  • iPhone 11 — $600 credit
  • Galaxy S9 — $300 credit
  • Pixel 3a — $200 credit

Pre-orders begin on February 21 with official sales starting March 6.


From $300 at Samsung

Samsung makes it easy to save on a new S20. If you’re just buying the phone and nothing more, you can get up to $200 in credits for future purchases. If you have a phone to trade-in, you can potentially get $700 off your purchase.


Amazon is the largest online retailer on the planet, so it shouldn’t be any surprise that it’s selling the Galaxy S20. First, let’s start off with the basics.

All three versions are up for grabs on Amazon, meaning you can buy the S20, S20+, and S20 Ultra. All four colors are also here, so whether you want Cloud Blue, Cloud Pink, Cosmic Black, or Cosmic Gray, Amazon has you covered. The phones are eligible for Prime shipping, meaning you’ll get one or two-day delivery depending on where you live.

You can buy the phones outright at the normal retail prices, but you’ll definitely want to pick up the bundle Amazon is selling.

No matter which model you buy, you can get it with a free pair of Galaxy Buds and Samsung’s Duo Wireless Charging Station — a total value of almost $160. These are the first-gen Galaxy Buds and not the new Galaxy Buds+, but it’s still a fantastic deal.


From $1000 at Amazon

Although Amazon isn’t offering direct discounts on the Galaxy S20, it is throwing in a free accessory bundle. Pre-order the phone, and you’ll get free Galaxy Buds and Duo Wireless Charging Station — a $160 value!

Best Buy

Best Buy is the go-to electronics retailer for a lot of folks in the U.S., and as you’d expect, it’s selling the entire Galaxy S20 lineup in all of its glory. Whether you want to buy the S20 on AT&T, Sprint, Verizon, or unlocked, Best Buy has you covered.

Right off the bat, pre-ordering the S20 from Best Buy will get you up to $200 in credits to use on Samsung’s website for a future purchase. Just pre-order the phone and you get the credit.

If you have a phone to trade-in, the savings really start to add up. After eligible trade-in and activation of your new phone, Best Buy is advertising the following prices:

  • Galaxy S20 — $149.99 ($6.24/month for 24 months)
  • Galaxy S20+ — $349.99 ($14.58/month for 24 months)
  • Galaxy S20 Ultra — $549.99 ($22.91/month for 24 months)

That’s a savings of $850 for each phone, which definitely isn’t something to scoff at.

Finally, Best Buy is the only place where you can get the S20 in an exclusive Aura Blue color.

Best Buy

From $150 at Best Buy

With a bit of work and patience, you can save big on the S20 when you get it from Best Buy. After trading in an eligible phone and properly activating the S20, you can save up to $850 — not to mention the $200 Samsung credit that’s offered with your pre-order.

Sam’s Club

Sam’s Club might not be the first place you think of looking when going out to buy a new phone, but if you’re in the market for a Galaxy S20, it’s definitely worth checking out.

You can get all three models of the S20 at Sam’s Club, and pre-orders open on February 12 at 12:01 AM ET. If you place your pre-order between then and March 1 at 11:59 PM ET, you’ll get a $200 Sam’s Club eGift card.

Sam’s Club does require that you get the S20 on an installment plan with AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, or a two-year agreement with U.S. Cellular, so keep that in mind. You’ll also need to make sure the purchase is completed between March 6 and March 8.

On top of the $200 Sam’s Club eGift card, pre-ordering an S20 will also get you up to $200 in credits for use at Samsung’s website.

Sam’s Club

From $1000 at Sam’s Club

For Sam’s Club shoppers, you can get up to $400 in free money when pre-ordering the S20 — including a $200 Sam’s Club eGift card and a $200 credit for Samsung’s website.


AT&T is also carrying every version of the S20, so whether you want the regular S20, S20+, or S20 Ultra, you can get it here. In addition to buying the phones outright at the full retail prices, AT&T also offers 30-month financing with 0% interest:

  • Galaxy S20 — $33.34/month for 30 months
  • Galaxy S20+ — $40/month for 30 months
  • Galaxy S20 Ultra — $46.67/month for 30 months

If you sign up for a new AT&T Unlimited Extra or AT&T Unlimited Elite plan, you’ll be able to get a Galaxy S20 for free or a Galaxy S20+ for $200. Along with buying the new plan, you’ll also need to port over an existing number, purchase the phone on an installment plan, and trade-in an eligible phone. Those are quite a few hoops to jump through, but it could potentially save you a lot of money.


From $33/month at AT&T

If you can jump through all of AT&T’s various hoops, you could get a Galaxy S20 for free or an S20+ for $200. Otherwise, its 30-month financing plans have the phones starting at just $33.34/month.

Boost Mobile

Boost Mobile is a pre-paid wireless provider that’s powered by Sprint’s network, and if it’s your carrier of choice, it’s got you covered with the Galaxy S20.

Boost is only selling the baseline S20, which means no S20+ or S20 Ultra. You’ll also need to buy the phone outright at the normal retail price of $1000. If you switch to Boost from another company, you can get up to four lines with unlimited data for $100/month.

If you’re interested, you’ll be able to buy the S20 on Boost starting March 6.

Boost Mobile

$1000 at Boost Mobile

Boost Mobile is skipping over the S20+ and S20 Ultra, and instead just selling the regular Galaxy S20. You’ll pay the full $1000 retail price to own the phone, but switching over to Boost could save you money on your monthly wireless bill.


For those of you that rely on Big Yellow for your wireless service, you’ll be able to get the Galaxy S20, S20+, and S20 Ultra with some impressive savings to boot. You can buy the phones outright, or take advantage of monthly financing.

Sprint has two offers you’ll want to keep your eyes on, the first of which lets you get a Galaxy S20 for $0/month when you trade in a Galaxy S8 or newer. Even better, the phone can be in “any condition.” You will need to switch to Sprint from another carrier in order to get this deal, but if you’ve been thinking about making the transition anyways, this is a solid promo.

If you’re already a Sprint customer but still want to get your hands on the S20, leasing the S20, S20+, or S20 Ultra will allow you to get another S20 for free when you put both on a Sprint Flex lease plan.


From $1000 at Sprint

Sprint has two notable deals for the S20. If you switch from another carrier, you can get the phone for free just by trading in a Galaxy S8 or newer. Otherwise, existing customers that lease an S20 will get another one at no extra cost.


T-Mobile, everyone’s favorite Un-Carrier, will sell every model of the S20 family. That includes the Galaxy S20, S20+, and S20 Ultra (you know the drill by now). You can buy the phones outright if you want, or finance them over the course of 24 months while paying 0% interest.

  • Galaxy S20 — $0 down | $41.67/month for 24 months
  • Galaxy S20+ — $150 down | $50/month for 24 months
  • Galaxy S20 Ultra — $200 down | $58.24/month for 24 months

As for deals and discounts, T-Mobile customers can get up to half off the price of any Galaxy S20 when trading in an eligible device. There’s also a BOGO deal worth checking out, which lets you buy one S20 and get another for free when adding a line to your account. Alternatively, you can get a $1000 credit and put that towards an S20+ or S20 Ultra and greatly reduce your out-of-pocket costs.

Tying all of this together, you’ll get up to $200 in credits for Samsung’s website just for placing a pre-order.


From $42/month from T-Mobile

You can buy all three versions of the Galaxy S20 at T-Mobile, with a BOGO deal letting you buy one S20 and get another for free. If you have a phone to trade-in, you can also take up to half off the retail price.

U.S. Cellular

U.S. Cellular isn’t the largest carrier out there, but if you rely on its service for your wireless coverage, you can rest assured that it’s carrying the entire Galaxy S20 family. At its normal retail prices, U.S. Cellular will offer all three phones on 30-month installment plans.

  • Galaxy S20 — $33.30/month for 30 months
  • Galaxy S20+ — $36.63/month for 30 months (128GB) or $44.99/month for 30 months (512GB)
  • Galaxy S20 Ultra — $43.30/month for 30 months (128GB) or $53.33/month for 30 months (512GB)

If you’re a new customer and switch to U.S. Cellular with an Everyday or Even Better Unlimited Plan, you can take $500 off the Galaxy S20, S20+, or S20 Ultra. If you’re an existing customer, you can upgrade your phone to any of the S20 models and get $200 off.

Adding to the free money, you’ll get the same Samsung credit of up to $200 if you pre-order between February 21 and March 5.

U.S. Cellular

From $33/month at U.S. Cellular

Whether you’re a new or existing U.S. Cellular customer, you can get great savings on the S20. New customers that switch save $500, with existing customers saving $200 off the price of the S20, S20+, or S20 Ultra.


Verizon offers some of the best wireless coverage in the United States, and it’ll officially begin pre-orders for the S20+ and S20 Ultra on February 21 at 12:01 AM ET. Regular sales begin on March 6 and the phones will be offered both online and in Verizon stores.

The S20+ will set you back $49.99/month over the course of 24 months, with the S20 Ultra going for $58.33/month for 24 months. Those payment plans come with 0% interest, so in total you’re still paying the normal retail price of $1200 and $1400, respectively.

When pre-ordering either the S20+ or S20 Ultra, Verizon will give you up to $200 in credits to spend on Samsung’s website.


From $50/month at Verizon

We’re expecting more promotions to be announced soon, but in the meantime, Verizon’s offering up to $200 in Samsung credits when you pre-order either the S20+ or S20 Ultra.


Visible is a digital carrier that uses Verizon’s nationwide network for its coverage, and it too has the Galaxy S20 family up for grabs.

Sales for the S20 at Visible begin on March 6, with the regular S20 getting a special promotional price of $984 and the S20+ going for $1176. Visible will also sell the S20 Ultra, with it going for just $1392.

You can sign up for Visible for just $40/month (taxes and fees included), or create a Party Pay (aka family plan) and pay just $25/month per line for four lines of service.


From $984 at Visible

To match its affordable monthly service rates, Visible is selling the Galaxy S20 and S20+ for just $984 and $1176, respectively. If you want to step up to the S20 Ultra, you’ll spend $1392.

Xfinity Mobile

Xfinity Mobile is the Comcast-owned wireless service available exclusively to Xfinity Internet subscribers, and it’s been confirmed to offer the Galaxy S20, S20+, and S20 Ultra. Regular sales begin March 6, with pre-orders opening February 21.

If you switch to Xfinity Mobile from another carrier between February 21 and April 5, you’ll get $300 off any of the S20 phones. If you already have Xfinity Mobile, buying an S20 will get you a $300 pre-paid gift card. Either way, you’re saving a lot of cash.

In addition to selling the phones online, you’ll also be able to buy the S20 at physical Xfinity Stores.

Xfinity Mobile

From $1000 at Xfinity Mobile

No matter if you’re a new or existing customer, Xfinity Mobile makes it easy to buy the Galaxy S20 and save $300 in the process. New customers that switch get $300 off the S20’s asking price, while existing members earn a $300 gift card.

from Android Central – Android Forums, News, Reviews, Help and Android Wallpapers


Which 45W charger is best for the Galaxy Note 10+?

Best answer: Despite the Note 10+ using open standards for its 45W fast-charging, the only charger we can be sure will charge the phone at full speed is the official Samsung fast-charger. The PPS standard isn’t included in many chargers right now, and many listings claiming to have PPS are inaccurate at the moment.

Open standards aren’t always easy standards

When Samsung said the Note 10+ was going to charge via USB Power Delivery, I was so happy, I could sing. PD chargers are everywhere these days, and I have them scattered about my apartment and gear bags so that it’s easy to get a quick top-off. But then came the word that PD wasn’t enough, and that Samsung had a number of requirements beyond Power Delivery:

  • A 45W USB-C Power Delivery 3.0 charger that supports:
    • PPS (Programmable Power Supply) — this is a subsection of Power Delivery 3.0, and there are few chargers out there to support it so far.
    • 10V/4.5A charging speed
    • PDO (Power Delivery Objects) — this negotiates the voltage/speed between the charger and the phone. It’s what makes the difference between your S20 Ultra getting the more standard 10V/3A and 10V/4.5A from a charger.
  • An e-marked USB-C to USB-C cable

PPS is a standard that’s predicated on Power Delivery 3.0, but it’s still pretty new and is hardly used by anyone yet. Worse still, there are many chargers out there that say they’re “Power Delivery 3.0(PPS QC2.0),” but aren’t actually PPS. Even name brand products had PPS listed in their spec sheets without it actually being in the product, which was a huge problem when the Note 10+ first launched.

Where are all the third-party options?

Six months ago, Samsung’s unique 45W charging profile was only supported by the Note 10+, and now it’s only supported by two — the Note 10+ and the new Galaxy S20 Ultra. The hope was that third-party accessory makers like Anker and Aukey would start making PD chargers compatible with Samsung’s 45W profile, but no reliable options have arrived so far, at least not for wall chargers.

We’ve seen a few 45W power banks and car chargers arise from third parties, but for wall chargers, your best bet by far is still the official Samsung charger. Not only is it sure to work with the Note 10+, but it comes with an e-marked cable, and this little bundle has come down in price since it debuted last year.

First-party fast charger

Samsung 45W USB-C Fast Charging Wall Charger

Samsung’s official PD charger is surprisingly compact and affordable for a first-party fast charger. It’s also the only charger we’re confident will charge the Note 10+ at top speed.

Power banks is an area where Samsung hasn’t released a 45W model yet — though Samsung is debuting a 25W power bank alongside the Galaxy S20 launch — but third parties have made a few so far. ELECJET makes two: a 10,000mAh model on Indiegogo for over $100, and a 20,000mAh model available on Amazon for $60. The bigger capacity and lower price make the latter a bit more compelling.

On the go option

ELECJET PowerPie 20000mAh Power Bank

$60 at Amazon

Big capacity, low price

Need to recharge your Note 10+ in a hurry while running around a convention or theme park? The PowerPie can recharge the Note 10+ over 5 times before it runs dead.

from Android Central – Android Forums, News, Reviews, Help and Android Wallpapers


GDC 2020 isn’t dead just because Sony and Facebook pulled out

Indie developers make up a large portion of attendees and events at GDC.

The Game Developers Conference (GDC) is going to have a few less companies this year. Both Sony and Facebook have announced that they’ve pulled out of the event, citing coronavirus concerns. This comes a couple of weeks after another major tech conference, Mobile World Congress (MWC), was canceled completely after companies backed out due to similar health concerns — even if the Spanish government denies this was the case.

Though MWC won’t have a show this year, GDC isn’t going to face a similar fate. This is partially because while Sony and Facebook are big names, they aren’t that important to the event.

Another thing to keep in mind is that MCW was set to take place in Spain. GDC, while having a significant international audience with developers from all over the world, takes place in San Francisco. That MWC was based in Europe likely played a role in its cancelation as well.

Whatever announcements had been planned to take place, at least in Facebook’s case, will instead happen online. So you don’t need to worry too much that this threw a large wrench in any reveals, though I can’t speak for what Sony had in mind with the PS5, which is still set to release holiday 2020. Either way, a dedicated reveal event for the PlayStation 5 seems more likely than it would have at GDC, where other announcements take take up some of the spotlight.

Related: Coronavirus: How COVID-19 shut down the tech industry

GDC isn’t a show like E3 or Gamescom. It’s more of an inside baseball event for game developers, students, companies, and press. That’s not to say companies don’t show off their latest products for consumers (Google revealed Stadia at GDC last year), but it’s generally not the focus for AAA studios. A significant portion of GDC is dedicated to independent developers. The Indie Megabooth has a large showcase, and it’s featured over 700 indie titles at events around the world since 2011. The Independent Games Festival (IGF), one of the largest of its kind, even takes place at GDC, complete with a summit and awards show. It’s here that the industry can promote indie devs and innovation within the community.

The event is as much for networking as it is for showing off your latest project. It’s about collaboration, learning, and recognizing each others’ successes, or finding the right relationships to grow your audience. It’s a place for developers to talk unionizing and to celebrate each others’ achievements at the Game Developers Choice Awards. This is a huge event for the industry where discussions of all kinds take place. That shouldn’t be overlooked; you don’t need Sony or Facebook for that.

And if you haven’t heard of alt.ctrl.GDC, then I have some news for you. It’s amazing. Visitors can test out games that can’t be played using traditional controllers, mice, or keyboards. Some of 2020’s entries include games that can be played using a stuffed giraffe and riding it like a horse. There’s even a mow milking simulator with “realistic udders.”

While Sony and Facebook are big names, they aren’t that important to the event.

The organization behind GDC, Informa, even noted that though its China-based exhibitors either had to push their participation or would only send North American staff to their booths, the situation only affected “around 2% of the total GDC attendance” and around “10 out of 550 companies hosted at GDC this year.”

Informa is not canceling the event, and a statement from GDC outlines that it will follow Center for Disease Control (CDC) and World Health Organization (WHO) protocol.

We believe that, based on the strict U.S. quarantine around coronavirus and a large number of enhanced on-site measures, we are able to execute a safe and successful event for our community. Locally, the Department of Health for both the State of California and the City of San Francisco support the convening of public events.

GDC 2020 will take place from March 16-20 in San Francisco, and they’re still be plenty to show. Sony and Facebook’s absence isn’t nearly as major as some people think.

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WhatsApp group chats may not be as private as you think

All it takes is a simple Google search.

What you need to know

  • WhatsApp group chats may be far less private than one would imagine.
  • Invite links for private WhatsApp groups can be easily found via a Google Search, meaning anyone could potentially join a private chat.
  • The issue likely stems from a mistake on WhatsApp’s part.

A journalist for DW News this week tweeted out a grim warning: “Your WhatsApp groups may not be as secure as you think they are.”

The reason for his concern? Invite links for WhatsApp groups are being indexed by Google’s search engine, meaning that if a link to your private group exists anywhere on the internet, anyone could potentially find the link and join your group with just a quick Google search.

Doing so is as simple as typing in “” into the search bar on Google. Once you do, you can see that Google has indexed up to 470,000 such links, meaning hundreds of thousands of groups could potentially be accessible this way.

Admittedly, some of these links could have been intended for public sharing by their group administrators, but as discovered by Vice News and some Twitter users, some of the groups indexed by Google almost certainly weren’t meant to be public.

You can find groups belonging to NGOs and other organizations. Some of the indexed groups possibly also contain illegal material, with one Twitter user even identifying groups that seemingly pertain to child pornography.

WhatsApp has issued the following statement to Vice:

Group admins in WhatsApp groups are able to invite any WhatsApp user to join that group by sharing a link that they have generated. Like all content that is shared in searchable, public channels, invite links that are posted publicly on the internet can be found by other WhatsApp users. Links that users wish to share privately with people they know and trust should not be posted on a publicly accessible website.

However, as app reverse-engineer Jane Manchun Wong points out, WhatsApp could have avoided many of these groups being indexed by changing some of the settings associated with group invite links, such as by using the ‘noindex’ meta tag.

The issue had been pointed out to Facebook’s bug bounty program by a researcher last year, but the company ruled that it did not warrant a bounty with a statement similar to the one given to Vice.

WhatsApp passes the 2 billion monthly users mark

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