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15 Things You Can Do in Android 12 That You Couldn’t Do Before


Android 12 is here, rolling out first to Pixel devices and then to everyone else, depending on your phone manufacturer and carrier. The latest version of Google’s mobile operating system is packed with new stuff for you to explore, and these are the 15 features to check out first.

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The Article Was Written/Published By: David Nield

What’s New in Chrome 95, Available Today

If you feel like the last Google Chrome release just happened, you’re not alone. Version 95 of the popular browser is available starting today on October 19, 2021. This update includes improved security for payments, the ability to save Tab Groups, and more.

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The Article Was Written/Published By: Joe Fedewa

New iOS 15 Feature Is Deleting User Photos from iCloud


New versions of an operating system are always a big deal. They’re highly anticipated so that you can check out all the new features – features that are supposed to help you. But sometimes these photos don’t end up helping as much as they should. Sometimes they even do more harm than good. This is the case with iOS 15 that was just released last month. A new iOS 15 feature that saves photos sent to you through iMessage does so, but if you delete the message thread that sent the photos, the photos get deleted from iCloud.

Deleting an iOS 15 iMessage Thread Deletes Saved Photos from iCloud

It’s such a great feature – in theory. You don’t need to manually save your photos from your text messages, as iOS 15 will automatically save them to your iCloud. However, if you delete the iMessage thread in iOS 15 that sent the photos, later when an iCloud Backup is performed, the photos will be deleted from iCloud.

Unfortunately, your iCloud photos are removed after you delete a message thread, even if you manually save the photos. It’s not only… Read more14791579.gif

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The Article Was Written/Published By: Laura Tucker

Apple is reportedly on track to release its new MacBook Pro this fall


Apple has already updated the iPhone, iPad and Apple Watch for the holiday season, but we’re still waiting on an update to the Mac lineup. There have been plenty of rumors about a totally redesigned MacBook Pro coming out this fall, and the reliable Mark Gurman at Bloomberg reported in his Power On newsletter that an M1X-powered MacBook Pro will arrive “in the next month.” Apple has typically held Mac-focused events in October or early November; the first M1-based Macs were announced in early November of last year.

As noted by 9to5Mac, Gurman predicts that there will be two M1X variants, both 10-core processors with eight high-performance cores and two efficiency cores. The difference between the two chips are in the graphics department — Apple may be offering an M1X with either 16 or 32 graphics cores. As for Apple’s other Macs, Gurman says that the company is working on a high-performance chip for a future Mac Pro, and an M2 for the MacBook Air, iMac and lower-end MacBook Pro models. 

Rumors have swirled all year long about Apple’s next MacBook Pro revision; the first 13-inch M1 model that was released last fall was essentially identical to the one it replaced, aside from the Apple Silicon inside. And Apple’s 16-inch MacBook Pro hasn’t been updated since it was released in late 2019, so the whole lineup is due for a refresh. 

Potential changes include new 14- and 16-inch models with a redesigned case that’ll bring back more ports like HDMI and an SD card slot. It might also bring back a MagSafe-style power charging port, and Apple is expected to drop the Touch Bar, which was first introduced with the 2016 MacBook Pro revision. 

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The Article Was Written/Published By: Nathan Ingraham

Microsoft Just Leaked Windows 11’s New Media Player

Microsoft recently held a Windows Insider webcast, and the company accidentally showed off a new app called “Media Player,” which was first spotted by Windows Latest. It could replace the current Windows Media Player, the Movies & TV app, or even both.

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The Article Was Written/Published By: Dave LeClair

Saints Row gets a gritty reboot set in the ‘weird west’

Saints Row, the class-clown of GTA-esque open-world sandbox games, is no more. In its place is Saints Row, a reboot of the series with a back-to-basics focus on ground-level crime and violence. In the seven years since Gat out of Hell was released (we’re not counting Agents of Mayhem), the world has moved on, and so too must Saints Row.

Welcome to the Weird West

Image from Saints Row (2022)

Deep Silver / Volition

The new game is called Saints Row (which we’re told has no subtitle, despite the repeated use of the “Self Made” tagline even on the box art), and is set in Santo Ileso (Spanish speakers, does that pun work for you?), a stand in for America’s Four Corners region which the developers are calling the “weird west.” There are Route 66 signs scattered across the landscape and the desert that surrounds the city, with its patchy grass and tall mesas, looks a lot like Arizona. The neon-strewn casino district (El Dorado) seems to be inspired by those found in Albuquerque. And the financial area, at least from the trailers (and to my British eyes) seems to have been pulled from downtown Santa Fe.

Santo Ileso is made up of nine individual districts with each one designed to use a different traversal method. Running and driving will work best in some regions, while players are encouraged to fly a wingsuit off the top of the financial district’s skyscrapers to cover long distances. Or you can steal a VTOL-equipped craft and just make merry havoc all over the city as you go. The game was built in a brand new, as-yet unannounced engine and these new environments are designed to take advantage of the power that next-gen consoles — if we can still call them that — can offer.

The developers say that Saints Row’s focus is, at least early in the game, going to focus on the material concerns of its young crew. These disaffected millennials turn to crime to, for instance, put food on their table, feel part of a community and pay off their student loans. Chief creative officer Jim Boone says that it’s, broadly, a “contemporary” millennial “power fantasy.” It’s only later that the game’s focus switches to the sort of empire-building that, in the previous series, eventually saw your character becoming president.

Cover art for Saints Row (2022)

Deep Silver / Volition

As the game progresses, players can buy property and businesses which opens up new game modes and levels. You can choose where to put those businesses, too, like putting a garbage collection site in the middle of the financial district. The choices you make here will, for instance, engender resistance if you start putting toxic waste next to wherever the one percenters live and work. And, as you take over more of the city, the bigger your power base will grow.

The storyline sees your ragtag quartet encounter three distinct gangs, each of which owns a chunk of Santo Ileso. The Panteros, for instance, are a bunch of muscle-car enthusiasts who try to use their superior strength to defeat you in combat. Marshall Defense Industries, meanwhile, is a local weapons developer with its own mercenary army equipped with a range of sci-fi weapons and superior marksmanship. Then there are the Idols, a group of Kawaii Cyberpunk Anarchists wearing light-up cat ear helmets who overwhelm you with numbers in a fight.

Meet the new boss

Images of the Saints Row cast

Deep Silver / Volition

As far as we know, references to Steelport, the 3rd Street Saints, Johnny Gat, Kenzie and anything else from the prior series are gone. Or, at least, will be relegated to the odd, deeply buried easter egg for die-hard fans to root out while they’re immersed in this new world. In their place is a trio of characters that work to support your player’s unnamed and customizable protagonist.

There’s Eli (pictured, 2nd from right), an MBA student who works as the team’s planner, speaking in the language of startups, investment and business. Then there’s Neenah (pictured, right), the team’s driver, who had aspirations of becoming an anthropologist but got sucked into working as a mechanic for Los Panteros. Rounding out the quartet (of which you are the fourth member) is Kevin (pictured, left), a topless thrill-seeking DJ who, like his fellow Idols, loves wearing a Kawaii Cyberpunk helmet and wreaking havoc.

The player character is, as before, infinitely customizable — although it’s not clear how broad those options are. Deep Silver says that you’ll have access to the “most advanced suite” of customization tools ever seen in an open-world game.

One of the questions raised in the roundtable with the game’s developers was that of cultural appropriation. The six people made available for interview were all middle-aged white men, creating a game set in a region where a significant proportion of the population is Latinx or Hispanic. Creative director Jim Boone said that diversity was important, and there was an explicit focus on making the team producing the game as diverse as the characters in it.


Images taken from promotional material for 'Saints Row' (2022)

Deep Silver / Volition

In terms of what we can expect from the new title, Boone said that some of the major inspirations for this film came from the cinema. He cited three titles: John Wick, Baby Driver and Fast and Furious Presents: Hobbes and Shaw as key influences. From the first, you will be able to spot some of the brutality in the combat and some of the melee takedown moves are cribbed from the film’s action sequences. The experience of driving has been pulled from the second, while the third’s penchant for over-the-top action helped provide a baseline for how stunts would work in the new game.

There will also be a broad degree of Fast and Furious-inspired vehicle customization in which every playable ride can be fixed up. The desert that surrounds Santo Ileso, for instance, has plenty of rough terrain that can be used to crest dunes and chase or evade your enemies. Consequently, players can even jury-rig the game’s garbage truck as a heavy-duty off-road vehicle.

Playing together

Images taken from promotional material for 'Saints Row' (2022)

Deep Silver / Volition

Saints Row is coming to the PS4, PS5, Xbox Series X, Xbox One and, for PC gamers, the Epic Games Store. The developers said that cross-platform co-op will be available from the start, and you can play the entire campaign through “untethered co-op play.” One thing that was mentioned was the ability to “prank” your co-op partner, stymying their progress in order to advance your own.

The elephant in the room

Images taken from promotional material for 'Saints Row' (2022)

Deep Silver / Volition

There are more than a few reasons why Volition chose to make Saints Row, rather than Saints Row V. Boone said that the classic series of games were very much “of [their] time,” with tastes and attitudes having moved on. And it can’t have helped that the company’s last attempt at a reboot, Agents of Mayhem, received lukewarm reviews and poor sales, forcing Volition to make layoffs in its wake.

Lead mission designer Jeremy Bernstein added that the original story, by the end of Gat out of Hell, had burned through all of its narrative runway. When your player protagonist has conquered Earth, ascended to Godhood and escaped hell, there’s not much you can do to top it. Bernstein compared the problem to the James Bond movies circa Moonraker, saying that once you’ve done James Bond In Space, the gritty realism of For Your Eyes Only is one hell of a tonal shift.

But is it still fun?

Images taken from promotional material for 'Saints Row' (2022)

Deep Silver / Volition

The team wanted to assure us that while the juvenilia that marked the previous series was gone, the irreverence would remain. Bernstein said that it would be pretty much impossible to make a “grimdark Saints Row game” for obvious reasons. And while the developers didn’t elaborate much on silly weapons, like the Penetrator (Saints Row The Third’s infamous Dildo Lance) and the Dubstep Gun (from Saints Row IV), they said one or two had made their way into the title. You’ll also, once again, be able to ragdoll yourself into traffic under the auspices of committing insurance fraud.

If I have a concern, it’s that I always found Saints Row a more enjoyable franchise than GTA because of the emphasis on fun. The challenges soon became repetitive, but the breadth of ways in which you could complete a mission (and the fun weapons) helped smooth the edges. The emphasis here, so far, has been on the difference between the new game and its predecessors, with less discussion on how fun it all is. Maybe that’s just savvy marketing, and the new title will be just as fun and silly as franchise diehards are hoping. But it’s something that I’d like to see more of, or else I’d get the feeling that the title may lose the one thing people are so desperate for it to have.

Saints Row is scheduled to launch on February 25th, 2022 for current and next-generation consoles.

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The Article Was Written/Published By: Daniel Cooper

Android 12 is almost ready as latest beta focuses on platform stability


Google has released the fourth beta of Android 12, and while there aren’t any major new features here, it marks an important step in the operating system’s development. Android 12 has now reached platform stability, meaning work is complete on most of the underlying tech. Google said in March it was hoping to hit platform stability in August, so it’s right on track.

“Android 12’s APIs and all app-facing behaviors are finalized,” according to Google. That means developers can start their final Android 12 compatibility tests without worrying things will change much. A final Android 12 beta will emerge in the coming weeks. 

Google is expected to roll out Android 12 broadly in the next couple of months, likely alongside the Pixel 6 lineup. While there might be more features in the pipeline, we may not learn about those until Google gives an in-depth look at its new flagship handsets. 

If you’d like to try out the Android 12 beta, a number of devices have access to it. Along with Google Pixel, OnePlus, Xiaomi and ZTE phones, it’s also available on Google TV.

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The Article Was Written/Published By: Kris Holt

DJI Releases Its Most Affordable Drone Ever and It Still Fits in Your Hand

The iPhone SE series achieves affordability by marrying old and new hardware to make something better than the model it started as. Now DJI, one of the popular drone companies, is pulling the same trick with a new DJI Mini SE, and in the process, brought the price down to $299.

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The Article Was Written/Published By: Josh Hendrickson

‘Hades’ is coming to Xbox and PlayStation on August 13th

Zagreus might struggle to escape the Underworld, but he’s no longer bound by the confines of PC and Nintendo Switch. Hades, widely regarded as one of the best games of 2020, is coming to Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 4 and PS5 on August 13th. It’ll be on Xbox Game Pass on Xbox and PC on the same date.

Supergiant Games says the dungeon-crawling roguelike is targeting 60 frames per second at 1080p on Xbox One and PS4. It’ll run at up to 60 fps in 4K on Series X/S and PS5. 

Physical editions will come with a bonus download code for the soundtrack and a 32-page booklet. The Xbox One and Series X versions will be available on the same disk. Both the physical and digital PS4 versions offer a free upgrade to the digital PS5 version. 

Unfortunately, unlike the Switch version, you won’t be able to transfer Hades saves between PC and Xbox or PlayStation consoles. Still, Xbox and PlayStation owners will at last get their chance to tackle Hades again and again and again in a couple of months.

Update, 8/12/2021: The listing is now live.

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The Article Was Written/Published By: Kris Holt

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