Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 Announced with Snapdragon 855 SoC, in-display FPS & More

The South Korean Giant has announced its Galaxy Tab S6 which will be the successor of its Galaxy Tab S4. Furthermore, the tablet will come with an enhanced S Pen which will come with remote control functionality and wireless charging capabilities with a built-in BLE remote control features for S...

The post Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 Announced with Snapdragon 855 SoC, in-display FPS & More appeared first on PhoneRadar.

Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2 Leaks Reveal its different colour options

The Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2 is going get official on 5th of August as they have teased the same few hours back and now the latest official-looking press renders of the upcoming wearable device reveal its color options. Well, the leaks suggest that the device will be coming in...

The post Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2 Leaks Reveal its different colour options appeared first on PhoneRadar.

Chromebooks could soon get face unlocking, starting with the Pixelbook 2

We’ve officially heard from Google that its upcoming Pixel 4 flagship smartphone will feature Apple-esque face unlocking thanks to a complicated array of sensors and camera systems on the front of the phone, but that might not be the only Google device gaining this biometric security measure.

A recent discovery by specialist website Chrome Unboxed has found mention of Face Detection in an update for the Chromium open-source project, which itself is responsible for the ChromeOS software that powers Chromebooks. (Eeesh, that’s a lot of Chrome…)

While this in itself isn’t solid proof that the feature is definitely happening, when coupled with the aforementioned Pixel 4 announcement, it's a fairly strong hint that Google will start implementing its Face Unlock in future Chromebooks.

Chrome Unboxed convincingly makes the case that the source code updates suggest the new feature is being “aggressively worked on” for ChromeOS and we could well see its debut in the anticipated Pixelbook 2 (believed to be codenamed 'Atlas') alongside the Pixel 4 launch this October.

What isn't known is how many older Google laptops the new tech will come to. While we know that the Pixel 4 will include an array of infra-red, dot-projector and other dedicated face sensors, the same isn’t true of most existing Chromebooks.

As such, if the feature is rolled out to older Chromebooks, it’s likely that facial recognition will be used as an optional layer of security to add more convenience – the suggestion being that, on Google laptops that only have simple webcams, users will need to enter their passcode once after booting the device, but could then quickly unlock the device using a face scan for the rest of that session.

Although any speculation surrounding the successor to the excellent Pixelbook must of course be taken with a grain of salt for the time being, the addition of Face Detection to Chromium does indeed look like it's almost official... we just don’t yet have any solid information on when it will become publicly available.

Netflix offers first look at de-aged De Niro in trailer for Scorsese's The Irishman

It's been a long time coming, but Netflix has finally dropped the first trailer for Martin Scorsese's biggest crime epic to date, The Irishman, which is said to have cost upwards of $140 million (USD).

Based on the book 'I Heard You Paint Houses' by Charles Brandt, the film follows WWII veteran Frank Sheeran (Robert De Niro), a real-life hitman who was allegedly involved in the infamous disappearance of union boss Jimmy Hoffa (Al Pacino), which is a mystery that remains unsolved to this day. 

So why the huge budget? As the story takes place over the course of multiple decades, director Martin Scorsese (Goodfellas, Casino, Gangs of New York) and his team have employed expensive and cutting-edge de-aging technology to make some of its cast appear up to 30 years younger in certain sections of the film.

The extensive de-aging work can also be blamed for the long wait leading to the film's release, with Scorsese's longtime editor Thelma Schoonmaker telling Yahoo in February that the production is "youthifying the actors in the first half of the movie," and that "the second half of the movie they play their own age. So that’s a big risk."

Based on the trailer below, it certainly looks like Scorsese and Co. have pulled off the de-aging effect – we'll know for sure when the film lands on Netflix and in theaters this US fall.

NBN plan comparison: best value options (updated July 2019)

With the NBN rollout well underway and expected to reach its completion target by 2020, there's a good chance you've already got access to the nation's high-speed network. While different addresses and areas have access to different connection types, one of the toughest choices customers will face is deciding which provider to go with, which speed tier to choose, and how much data they'll need.

On this page, we'll break down the best NBN plans currently on offer, whether it be the most affordable offering, the highest speeds and data allowances, or the overall best value. Along with our hand-picked choice offers, this page will feature a live tracker of the best NBN plans as, and when, they're put on offer, so you can be sure to get the best deal available right now!

Best NBN plans

After years of waiting, many Australians are now finding that the NBN has finally reached their area. If you do have access to a fibre connection, it's definitely worth considering one of the plans below. While a great many plans offer unlimited data, there are still some that don't, and others will sacrifice certain perks in order to cut costs, so keep an eye out for what's included and what's been left out.

Editor's Pick: Best Value

Editor's Pick: Premium Package

Editor's Pick: Budget Plan

Live-updated NBN deals: today's best-value plans

  • Want to see other broadband options? You can use our broadband plan finder to compare a huge range of Australian NBN, broadband and cable plans!

Other factors to consider

It's important to note these recommendations do not take into consideration other factors which could make certain deals a better option for you. For instance, do you already have a Telstra or Optus mobile plan and home phone line? If so, sometimes combining them with their respective NBN plans could save you some money.

When applying for new NBN deal, make sure you're not already signed up to a contract you can't get out of – most contracts are on 12 or 18 month terms, so it's important to contact your current provider before committing to anything else. 

Another thing worth noting is some services may not be available in your area. If a particular deal seems good to you, head over to the provider's website to find out if it's available at your address. 

The best SIM-only plans in Australia: updated August 2019

When it comes to mobile plans, those that come bundled with a handset tend to steal the limelight, but if you've already got a phone you're happy with, then SIM-only plans present an excellent opportunity to save some money.

As the name implies, a SIM-only plan is any plan that doesn't bundle in a phone, whether it's on a 12-month contract or a no lock-in situation where you simply pay month-to-month, there is often a great deal of value to be found in these plans.

To make it even easier for you, we've gone through each of the SIM-only providers available to Aussies right now and have hand-picked the best deals we've come across, whether they're big on data, low on cost, or an excellent middle-ground overall.

Editor's pick: Best SIM-only plans under $25

Editor's pick: Best SIM-only plans under $40

Live-updated SIM-only deals: Plans under $40

Editor's pick: Best premium SIM-only plans

Live-updated SIM-only deals: Plans over $40

Should I go SIM-only?

If you a) want to save some money; b) don't want to be tied into a lengthy contract; c) already own a perfectly fine phone; or d) all of the above, then going SIM-only is well worth considering. In fact, you're probably in one of two situations if your thoughts are turning to a SIM-only mobile plan:

  1. You're coming to the end of your contract and your phone is still fighting fit (if it isn't, then head to our best mobile phones deal page to see what plan you can grab alongside a phone), but otherwise going SIM only on your current phone is a no-brainer. You'll wind up paying much less than you are under contract, and you can often stick to a rolling month-to-month arrangement so that if your circumstances change, you can change with them.

  2. It's time for a shiny new smartphone and you want to get the best value humanly possible. You'll have to find a few hundred bucks (or thousand at this stage) up front for the handset (be sure to check our SIM free comparison chart) but you'll end up better off at the end of it all. Plus, if you're a commitment-phobe, most SIM-only plans don't require you to sign up for two years like you would with a normal contract.

What SIM card size do I need?

There are three sizes of SIM card that you can get for your phone, and the one you need will depend on your handset. It's been a while since the traditional, so-called standard SIM (15 x 25mm) has genuinely been the staple in new phones. Instead, any phone you've bought within the last five or so years is much more likely to require a micro (12 x 15mm) or nano (8.8 x 12.3mm) SIM – the iPhone 5 was Apple's first mobile with a nano SIM, while Samsung began using the smallest size in its Galaxy S6.

Before you purchase your new SIM, double-check the manufacturer's website to see what size you require. And if you're simply not sure, most networks now simply send out a triple SIM, so you'll get one of each size.

What contract length should I get?

Unlike with a contract, there's a lot more flexibility available when it comes to how long your SIM-only plan will last. Two year commitments are virtually unheard of, with the norm being either one year or rolling one month contracts for ultimate flexibility. You can often get better prices if you tie yourself in for 12 months, especially on larger data tariffs. But sticking to one month at a time means that you can effectively hand pick a new plan to suit you every 30 days or so.

How much data do I need?

Because you can change your plan up more regularly than a normal, lengthier contract, it's less crucial to get this nailed from the start. But if you're thinking of grabbing a 12-monther or just put a personal pride on getting things right first time, then we'll help you pick out the sweet spot of data for you.

Firstly, check your phone to see how much data you've been using to date, and whether you have the tendency to use more than your current allowance every month. Then, if you're still unsure, check out our guidance: 

  • 0-1GB Tiny amounts of data on SIM only plans could be a blessing or a curse. If you're putting it in a rarely used phone that will scarcely be away from wi-fi then it makes total sense. But if you end up with one because your head's turned by the incredible price, then you could end up paying more if you continually go over your allowance.
  • 2-3GB For anybody who needs data for little more than the occasional Google Maps route planning, 2GB and 3GB plans come cheap and give you much more freedom to scroll away online away from the wi-fi.
  • 4-8GB If you can't leave the house without having a music streaming service like Spotify pouring into your ears, then it might be worth paying for some extra GBs of data.
  • 10-16GB This is a significant amount of data and some networks offer it for a very appetising price. Whether streaming music, downloading podcasts, watching social media videos, or all three is your thing - you should be covered.
  • 20-30GB Only smartphone junkies that need regular (and hefty) data fixes need bother with this avalanche of GBs. You'll be able to rinse Netflix, Spotify and online games without too much fear of topping out.

The SIM-only plans on this page are checked regularly, so make sure you visit often if you want to get the most up-to-date information on the plans that are currently available!

These could be the names of the 2020 Samsung Galaxy A-series phones

The 2019 range of Samsung Galaxy A smartphones has proven pretty popular with phone fans, and we're already looking forward to what affordable smartphones we'll see in 2020. We've now heard word of what they may be called – but the names aren't as glamorous-sounding as we might have expected.

According to trademarks filed by Samsung with the European Union Intellectual Property Office and spotted by Dutch site LetsGoDigital, the names of the new series of Galaxy A smartphones will simply add a '1'  to the corresponding models in the current series – so they'll be the A11, A21, A31, A41, A51, A61, A71, and A81.

If you were expecting to see the Samsung Galaxy A100, and then the A1000 in 2021 (because, let's face it, things with 'thousand' at the end always sound cool), then you're going to be disappointed if those trademarked names are indeed used.

Samsung wisely gave its 2019 A phones, including the affordable Galaxy A30, extremely popular Galaxy A50 and bizarre yet novel Galaxy A80, more distinct names than the 2018-and-prior phones, which were rather confusingly labelled – and they proved to be an impressive set of mid-range devices, so it makes sense for Samsung not to tinker with the naming too much for the 2020 models.

We don't really know anything about the 2020 Galaxy A series phones just yet, although news of possible spin-offs like the Samsung Galaxy A70S, and an enigmatic Samsung Galaxy A90, has muddied the water slightly.

We'll likely get more news of these phones in early 2020, after the launch of the Samsung Galaxy S11, as this would echo the launch of the 2019 Galaxy A phones after the Galaxy S10 reveal.

There will likely be lots more rumors and leaks surrounding the devices before then, though, so stay tuned to TechRadar to keep up to date.

Get triple the data and cheap bills with EE's new flexible 30-day SIM only deals

Commitment-phobes and bargain hunters, boy have we found the SIM only deal for you. Coming from EE - the UK's fastest 4G network - a new range of flexible contracts promising plenty of data and affordable pricing.

Competing with the commitment-free SIM providers cropping up across the market, EE is now offering a range of 'Flex Plans'. These EE SIM only deals allow you to sign up and quit whenever you want, meaning your plan can last from one month to as long as you like - forever even!

The really tempting feature of these plans is the fact that up until September 30, EE is tripling the data on its two cheapest plans for the first three months. That means 6GB for the price of 2GB or 15GB for the price of 5GB.

That combined with features including your unused data rolling over each month, EE boosting your data plan by 500Mb every three months and those impressively fast speeds make these offers really stand out.

We've listed the two triple data plans down below so you can see which price point you prefer. Or, if you prefer the comfort of a full 12 month contract or something entirely different, read our guide to the best SIM only deals.

EE's flexible SIM only deals + triple data:

What other flexible SIM only deals are there?

If you're feeling tempted by the promise of ultimate 1 month flexibility, there is one other brand that stands out - Smarty.

It's a name with far less recognition than EE but what it does well is flexibility. With Smarty you can grab everything from a 1GB data plan up to unlimited, all with 1 month rolling contracts.

Right now, Smarty is also offering a reduced price on its 2GB data plan, offering one of the cheapest options around. 

Global smartphone market slips 1.2% to 360m units in second quarter

The global smartphone market slipped 1.2% year on year in the second quarter to 360m units, mainly due to the declining Chinese market.

According to Counterpoint Research, the decline was for the seventh consecutive quarter while China alone accounted for over one-fourth of the global smartphone shipments.

Samsung benefited from the US-China trade war with a 7.1% growth to 76.6m and capturing more than one-fifth of the global smartphone market share.

Tarun Pathak, Associate Director at Counterpoint Research, said that Samsung has completely overhauled its product portfolio this year with its ‘A and M’ series, targeting the sub $300 price segment aggressively.

“The flagship ‘S’ series, which Samsung launched three devices instead of the usual two, covering wider price points, also continued to do well. Samsung was also one of the first OEMs to launch a 5G device – S10 5G, which remains popular in the 5G adopting countries,” he said.

After Samsung, Huawei, Oppo and ZTE launched its 5G devices.

The research company expects more than 20 million 5G devices to be shipped this year.

Huawei to face bumpy road ahead

On the other hand, Huawei, which is at the epicentre of the US-China trade war, registered a 4.6% growth during the quarter to 56.7m units, capturing a 16% market share.

Pathak said that the effect of the US ban in May did not translate into falling shipments during this quarter but it will not be the case in the future.

Speaking to TechRadar Middle East, he said that Huawei’s shipments during the second quarter were on parallel with the first quarter but the vendor did a brisk business in China compared to overseas markets.

“The uncertainty of the US ban remains as nothing on the supply chain is official yet. The chipset and component outsourcing might not be a critical factor for Huawei but the Google OS is the critical part.  It has to be seen about the refresh Mate series by the end of the year,” he said.

In the coming quarters, he said that Huawei is likely to be aggressive in its home market and register some growth there, but it will not be enough to offset for the decline in its overseas shipments.

“This will further lead to the decline of the overall smartphone market in 2019. However, the gap created in the market by Huawei gives a window of opportunity to other OEMs, especially Samsung, to leverage,” he said.

However, the real effect of trade sanctions on Huawei will be felt in the third quarter and shipments in overseas markets are estimated to register a steep decline.

Marketing muscle 

Quoting a survey conducted by the research firm in Europe, Pathak said that 40% of the people are still cool about Huawei and most expect positive for the brand.

“They [Huawei] can increase the capex of the brand by increasing warranty to two years and after-sales service. In China, the demand for Huawei phones has increased amid a slight decline in sales in other parts while consumers are upbeat about the brand,” he said.

Huawei is a brand with great marketing muscle to overcome any uncertainty in the mind of the consumers with great marketing campaigns, he said and added that things will become clear within two to three months and if Google deal does not go through, Huawei will become more aggressive going forward.

Meanwhile, Apple’s iPhone shipments fell 11.9% to 36.4m, a third consecutive quarter of decline.

“Amid the slowdown in China and likely launch of 5G capable iPhone in 2020, Apple will have to concentrate its efforts on emerging markets,” he said.

Pathak said the highlight of the quarter was Realme, a subsidiary of BBK Electronics, entering the top 10 for the first time.

Realme recorded 848% year-on-year growth in the quarter, albeit from a small base to 4.7m units.

BBK...second-largest smartphone manufacturer

BBK is now the second-largest smartphone manufacturer globally after Samsung. BBK houses Oppo, Vivo, OnePlus and Realme.

Realme recorded 848% year-on-year growth in the quarter to 4.7m units.

The combined global smartphone market share of Chinese majors Huawei, Oppo, Vivo, Xiaomi, and Realme reached 42% in the second quarter, the highest ever.

 “It took only a year for Realme to achieve this feat. This is one of the fastest ramp-ups. Strong performance in India and expansion overseas drove its growth,” he said.

The best PS4 Pro prices, deals and bundles in July 2019

So you're thinking about PS4 Pro deals or maybe a bundle? Well we can certainly help you out there as we're always checking out the latest sales.

Maybe you're upgrading from your older PS4 so you can dive into 4K gaming? Or maybe you've never had a PS4 and are thinking you may as well start with the best. All solid choices, especially if you're already set with a 4K TV, even better if it has HDR too.

There are some fantastic-looking games out now to really make a PS4 Pro shine; Red Dead Redemption 2, Spider-Man, God of War, and Detroit: Become Human are all serious lookers and jaws are bound to drop further when The Last of Us Part 2 eventually sneaks onto our 4K TVs.

You'll find all of the latest and best PS4 Pro prices from the big name stores in our comparison chart below. There's not too much difference in price between retailers at this time of year, but we're constantly on the lookout for the latest deals and bundles. Looking to buy in Australia? You'll want to take a look at our AU page.

If you'd prefer a standard PS4, then check out our PS4 bundles (USA) or PS4 deals (UK) pages. Don't forget to top up your subscription with one of our discounted PlayStation Plus deals too.

So keep this page bookmarked to stay informed of the latest PS4 Pro bundles. If you're looking for more information on the PS4 Pro, take a look at our handy Q&A below the bundles.

PS4 Pro bundle deals (USA)

Worthwhile PS4 Pro bundles have been scarce in the US for the last few months. The PS4 Pro on its own often goes out of stock and firmly sticks to the regular $399 price most of the time. Some stores have even jacked up the price beyond the MSRP. This long after release, we're not cool with that and you shouldn't be either. As a bare minimum, you want at least one game with the console for $399. We've dug out the best options for the 4K console on its own too.

PS4 Pro bundle deals (UK)

Need an extra controller on the cheap? Take a look at the best DualShock 4 deals. We also have a guide to the best PlayStation VR deals too.

Cheap PlayStation Plus deals

If you're buying a PS4 Pro, you'll probably need a cheap PlayStation Plus deal too. PlayStation Plus (aka PS Plus or PS+) allows you to play PS4 games online, along with access to the Instant Game Collection, a bunch of free games for your PS4 each month. The default price for a year is now £49.99. We've shopped around for you though and found a range of prices. So check out our guide of you want the best PlayStation Plus deals.

What is the PS4 Pro?

Essentially, the PS4 Pro is an upgrade of the PS4, rather than a 'next-gen' console. The keywords to take in from the PS4 Pro are 4K and HDR. The new machine will allow game developers to include 4K options in their games, so expect the likes of Red Dead Redemption 2, God of War, Uncharted 4, Spider-Man, Days Gone, Horizon: Zero Dawn and more to look even better on a 4K TV.

HDR, or High Dynamic Range, is the other buzzword to be excited about as the PS4 Pro will allow for extra detail to be seen on a range of games and also a wider range of colors not usually displayed by traditional HD TVs.

Will my old PS4 games work on PS4 Pro?

Absolutely. If you're planning on upgrading to a PS4 Pro from an older PS4, all of your games will still work. Not every title will be patched to take advantage of the new 4K/HDR capabilities, but the default upscaling (if you have a 4K TV) will more than likely see some improvement to the visuals and the improved console power may give the frame-rate a boost on some titles.

What else can I watch in 4K/HDR on PS4 Pro?

The PS4 Pro is compatible with 4K and HDR, and the content options for both are increasing all the time on services like YouTube and Netflix. Amazon Prime Video is yet to be updated for 4K content on a PS4 Pro though, so you'll need to check out the Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K deals if you want to enjoy 4K Prime.

Does the PS4 Pro support 4K Blu-rays?

No. This was a surprise if we're honest, especially as both the Xbox One S and Xbox One X consoles do. It's a bit of a gamble for Sony, but at the same time, 4K Blu-rays are very expensive for now and many consumers look to digital services to provide their 4K movies and TV content instead.

Do I need a 4K TV to run a PS4 Pro?

No, the PS4 Pro will still work on a regular 1080p TV, you won't get the benefits of upscaling or HDR though. You may see a slim amount of extra detail, or frame-rate boost, but we wouldn't expect a massive leap.

If you are thinking of buying a 4K TV soon, then it's probably a good idea to splash out on the PS4 Pro instead of the regular or new PS4 Slim as it'll future proof you for a while. Be sure to look out for a TV that supports HDR too, in order to take full advantage of the PS4 Pro's capabilities.

Will PlayStation VR be better on the PS4 Pro?

Yes, but only a little. The PlayStation VR frame-rate is better on PS4 Pro and the resolution gets a bit of a bump too. PlayStation VR will certainly work on the older PS4s too, you don't need a PS4 Pro to get involved there.

Does the PS4 Pro have optical audio support?

Yes! The optical audio output has been removed from the PS4 Slim though, which is a massive shame. PS4 Pro owners though will still be able to use optical connections for their soundbars and sound systems.

What are the best games on PS4 Pro?

We've dived through our back catalogue of PS4 games that have received a PS4 Pro update patch to see which ones look the best and have a noticeable difference. Take a look at our extensive feature - The best PS4 Pro games.

Apex Legends makes EA a fortune, while The Sims 4 continues to print money

Apex Legends is one of the major drivers of EA’s current success, with the game making a load of money, and up to 10 million people playing the battle royale on a weekly basis. Also, veteran title The Sims 4 is still raking in cash despite being released five years ago.

All this was revealed with EA’s latest financial report, which shows the firm is doing well, with revenue hitting $1.21 billion (around £1 billion, AU$1.75 billion) and surpassing expectations.

CFO Blake Jorgensen believes Apex Legends will be a big money-spinner for the next 10 years, no less, and it’s now one of EA’s most reliable cash generators along with FIFA and The Sims.

Despite its age, The Sims 4 expansion packs and content downloads were up no less than 55% year-on-year – buoyed by a recent free giveaway (back in May) which led to 7 million fresh downloads for the game.

So it seems that those folks who were happy to get the game for free, were also happy to fork out for some DLC once they were hooked. This coming year will see more content than ever delivered for The Sims 4, EA reckons.

Seasons to be cheerful

Back to Apex Legends, and EA claims that Season 2 of the battle royale has outdone its expectations.

In a conference call, CEO Andrew Wilson noted of Apex Legends: “We have 8 million to 10 million people on a weekly basis playing the game.” And it’s apparently also the fastest-growing game EA has ever witnessed.

How does 10 million weekly players compare to Fortnite? We don’t have figures to draw any conclusions on this front, sadly (or with PUBG).

Of course, it doesn’t sound quite as strong as when Apex Legends launched and hit 25 million players in its first week, but obviously that sort of momentum was never going to be kept up.

The good news for those who enjoy EA’s shooter is that it’s proving itself to be more than sustainable, despite recent suggestions that takings from the game were falling (although that was back in May, before Season 2 launched).

EA pointed to the future of Apex Legends ushering in all manner of goodies including a full esports league, mobile game, and Season 3 being bigger than ever (naturally).

Meanwhile, on the esports front, the Apex Legends Preseason Invitational has been announced and will be held in Poland come September, featuring 80 teams competing from across the globe, for a prize fund of $500,000 (around £410,000, AU$725,000).

Via Reuters, Wccftech, EA

Windows 7 is putting UK hospitals at risk

The NHS is putting itself at risk of a cyberattack by failing to update its computers from Windows 7, new research has warned.

A government report has found that about three-quarters of NHS computers are still running Windows 7.

This is despite Windows 7 having less than half a year left before Microsoft ends officially supporting the outdated OS.

'Deeply concerning'

The news was discovered in an official response from the Department of Health and Social Care to Jo Platt MP, a shadow cabinet office minister after she posed an official parliamentary query.

"With less than six months before Windows 7 support expires, it is deeply concerning that over a million NHS computers, over three quarters of the total NHS IT estate, are still using this operating system," Platt said.

Questions have been raised over the cybersecurity capabilities of the NHS since it was ravaged by the WannaCry ransomware attack in May 2017. The NHS was hit with estimated costs of around £92m, with 20,000 appointments needing to be cancelled.

Platt added, "The WannaCry cyber attack two years ago starkly proved the dangers of operating outdated software. Unless the government swiftly acts and learns from their past mistakes they are risking a repeat of WannaCry."

The reply, from Jackie Doyle-Price, parliamentary under secretary of state for mental health, inequalities and suicide prevention, revealed that 1.05 million NHS computers were still running Windows 7

She noted that the NHS' migration process to Windows 10 is well underway, stating, "All NHS organisations, with the exception of one which had already upgraded to Windows 10, have signed up to receive Windows 10 licences and Advanced Threat Protection."

"Deployment of Windows 10 is going well and in line with target to make sure the NHS is operating on supported software when Windows 7 goes out of support in 2020."

Microsoft is set to remove support for Windows 7 in January 2020, meaning it will no longer provide regular security updates for the software. The company has said it would be prepared to offer customised patching and support packages, but would charge heavily for doing so.

Via ZDNet

The best cheap PS4 bundles, deals and prices in the July sales

Ok, let's do this. E3 2019 has shown us some great upcoming games and you're finally after a cheap PS4 bundle deal. This is a fantastic time to buy in as so many of the best PS4 games are super cheap nowadays. So you've got plenty of great games to enjoy for less once you take advantage of these super low prices. Naturally, lots of the below PS4 bundles come with the hottest new games. And yes, we've tracked down the new Limited Edition Days of Play PS4 for you too. 

We're on the hunt for the lowest PS4 prices all year round, so we aren't easily fooled by the fake deals that don't actually save you any money over buying the games individually. We're here to help save you as much money as possible. We also want you to play the games everyone's shouting about which is why we're going the extra mile to track down PS4 and PS4 Pro bundles with the likes of Days Gone, Red Dead Redemption 2, FIFA 19, Spider-Man and more. Sometimes though, you can get a load of older games with a cheap PS4 for even less money, so we'll keep our eyes out for those offers too.

This page lists the best cheap PS4 prices in the UK, but we also have dedicated guides for US readers and our Australian ones too. Below you'll find a comparison chart that automatically pulls in the freshest and cheapest PS4 deals from UK retailers, followed by our hand-picked selection of the best PS4 bundles that offer the best value discounts on the additional software or accessories. After those deals you'll find we've also covered the same options for the PS4 Pro prices.

cheap ps4 slim deals

The PS4 Slim is... slimmer, quieter and smaller

The PS4 Slim launched (with no games included) in September 2016 for around £259 (500GB) or £310 (1TB) and has now replaced the original fatter PS4. The new console is smaller, lighter, more power efficient and cheaper than the remaining stock of the older PlayStation 4 deals nowadays, so you're not paying more for the refined tech. We'd advise you check out the cheap PS4 bundles further down this page as many of them are cheaper than buying the console on its own or you can get a lot more for a spending a bit extra on top.

You'll often find that the most attractive way to get a cheap PS4 is with a bundle with extra hardware or extra games. These are the best PS4 bundle prices currently available in the UK – we update these deals on a regular basis.

Extra PS4 retailer links:

Want to look through some more cheap PS4 deals? It's ok, you're only hurting our feelings a little. The links below will take you straight to the PS4 console deals section of the following websites, just in-case you fancy digging out a bargain of your own.

ps4 pro deals

The PS4 that offers 4K HDR gaming and Netflix

Essentially, the PS4 Pro is a 4K upgrade of the current PS4, rather than a 'next-gen' console. The keywords to take in from the PS4 Pro are 4K and HDR. The new machine allows game developers to include 4K resolution and High Dynamic Range options in their games, so expect the like of Red Dead Redemption 2, Shadow of the Tomb Raider, God of War, Uncharted 4, Horizon: Zero Dawn and more to look even better on a HDR-enabled 4K TV. You'll also be able to stream 4K content from Netflix and YouTube. Want to get the right TV? Then check out our cheap 4K TV sales and deals page. We've seen big discounts as Sony fights off the latest Xbox One X deals too.

If you're buying a PS4, you'll probably need a cheap PlayStation Plus deal too. PlayStation Plus (aka PS Plus or PS+) allows you to play PS4 games online, along with access to the Instant Game Collection, a bunch of free games for PS4, PS3 and Vita each month. The default price for a year is £50. We can do better than that though, so check out our selection of the best PlayStation Plus deals.

Need an extra cheap PS4 controller? Don't forget to check our Best DualShock 4 deals. Or maybe a cheap PlayStation VR deal?  If you're still torn, maybe you'd prefer one of our Xbox One deals

Android Auto has a new dark mode, but the smartphone version is being killed off

The in-car version of Android Auto has a new dark mode and more streamlined interface rolling out now, but Google is planning to kill off the companion smartphone app.

According to Android Police, Android Auto for phones will be replaced by the existing Google Assistant app, which will receive a new interface (called Google Assistant Driving Mode).

You'll be able to launch the new mode by simply telling your phone 'Let's drive' – a command that currently either opens Google Maps or performs a search.

It's not clear exactly when the old app will be deprecated, but California-based Google has said it will happen in the summer, so we're expecting it to happen in the next month or so.

Behind the wheel

Meanwhile, the in-car version of Android Assistant is getting a makeover, with a new dark mode rolling out worldwide. Google teased the slick design back in May, and it's now arriving on dashboards.

The update isn't just a different color-scheme, though. Google has also made several more practical changes, such as updating the navigation bar to reflect what you're currently doing. For example, if you're playing music while navigating, the bar will show your next instruction along with controls for the media player.

There's also a new Auto-launch feature, which launches your preferred navigation app and fires up your music the moment you plug in your phone. It might seem like a small change, but anything that shaves a few moments off the morning commute is always welcome.

Spend your lunchtime playing Diablo in your web browser

There goes any chance of you leaving your desk this lunchtime – Blizzard's original Diablo game from 1996 can now be played in a web browser.

Hosted by the Blizzard-loving developers at Rivsoft, visiting gives you access to the shareware version of the game, "based on source code reconstructed by GalaXyHaXz and devilution team."

That gives you access to the first two areas of the game's giant dungeon, and makes one of Diablo's three character classes available. However, if you own the game from a site like GOG, you can go one better. According to the site, "if you own the original game, you can drop the original DIABDAT.MPQ" file onto the loaded browser page, and access the full game from within your browser.

Hellish beginnings

If you're a latecomer to the franchise, or just can't wait until Diablo 4 and Diablo Immortal release, going back to the original game is a fascinating experience.

Lots of what makes the series so addictive remains, from the ghoulish monsters to the isometric viewpoint and moreish loot cycle. It's far simpler than the Diablo series would eventually become (and more than a little buggy), but it's also hugely ahead of its time – you wouldn't have World of Warcraft Classic or even the likes of Borderlands 3 without it.

And, it works surprisingly well as a browser game too. There's no lengthy conversations or start-up cut scenes – just a quick sojourn to the moody town of Tristram and then hours of imp-smashing, skeleton-whacking adventure.

Head here to give it a play. Just make sure your boss or teacher doesn't catch you when you should be working.

Venture capital firms show keen interest in investing in food-tech space

As much as 15 years ago – possibly even more – countries, in the Middle East, for example, began buying up farmland to secure food supply. If the same capital had flowed into plant-based foods or clean agriculture, the world would be a very different place than it is today.

In any case, the current skyrocketing interest in the future of food is great for the world in general.

KBW Ventures, one of the first movers in the food-tech space, provided backing to startup Memphis Meats, and joined a whole huge A-list of forward-thinking investors and futurists.

 “When we first went into Memphis Meats, that was a great moment for the future of food; investors lined up and supported a startup that was using technology to provide the world with the future of protein,” Prince Khaled bin Alwaleed bin Talal Al Saud, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of KBW Ventures,  told TechRadar Middle East.

Tackling food security

Speaking ahead of his participation at Bloomberg Live’s event dedicated to venture capital on August 1, in San Francisco, California, Prince Khaled said that he is endorsing companies like Memphis Meats for the future of humanity in terms of the environment and the obvious cruelty-free aspects.

“It makes me even prouder to see the biggest sceptics want to join the ever-growing number of VCs backing food tech. The future of food is about technology alleviating the harm that conventional methods, like factory farming, have on the environment, but it is also about food security. All of this is within our reach with modern-day research and technology,” Prince Khaled said.

Prince Khaled thinks that bio-science is the most exciting thing to happen in venture capital in a long time, that along with carbon capturing and neuroscience. “Three years ago, if I said the words ‘food tech’, I would have had a blank look as a response. Now, people are waking up to this massive market,” he said.

From a venture capital perspective, he said it was great getting in early obviously, but there are still tons of companies raising and lots of chances to invest. “I encourage everyone to jump in early but be picky with whom you invest your money with; this is the just the beginning,” he said.

Plant-based meat substitutes

A number of challenges were raised when Prince Khaled participated in a discussion around plant-based investing and venture capital in San Francisco recently. “Something else that wasn’t discussed but should have been in the politics around language; there are lobbyists trying to limit the use of the words ‘meat’ and ‘milk’ – mostly because they are intimidated by the market potential of plant-based products,” he said.

Moreover, he said that they [lobbyists] want to prevent people from buying alternative proteins despite the taste and texture is just as good and they’re better for the people. “Many traditional industries in history have fought waves of innovative technologies; it’s an old formula that doesn’t work. They can fight, but the advancements speak for themselves,” he said.

“Tim Hortons, a franchise in Canada, announced that they will be serving the ‘Beyond Burger ‘patties. This follows the announcement that US-based Carl’s Jr. will serve the ‘Beyond Famous Star’ burger in partnership with Beyond Meat, a Los Angeles-based producer of plant-based meat substitutes founded in 2009. Burger King also announced the ‘Impossible Whopper ‘in partnership with Impossible Foods. These are powerhouse partnerships that no one would have believed could happen even two years ago. Beyond’s super successful IPO has catapulted plant-based products into the spotlight, and subsequently into the wheelhouse of investors who were previously were skeptical,” he said.

Folia, a conceptual menu developed by Chef Matthew Kenney and KBW Ventures, was recently  piloted in Beverly Hills at the Four Seasons, and is now made available at all the hotel’s outlets and also in-room dining. Folia then launched in the GCC at the Four Seasons Bahrain Bay in Manama as KBW Ventures’ first Middle East instalment.

“We want to give everyone the opportunity to enjoy a true ‘health food’ section of hotel menus developed by a master chef, presented at a superior venue with great service. We are now cementing our newest two venues in a very important Middle East city and it should happen around mid-August or early September,” Prince Khaled said.

A diverse portfolio

KBW Ventures’ main investment areas are in varying technology segments like innovative logistics, deep tech, bio-sciences and food science. “Some of our investments are business-to-business (B2B), so not consumer-facing but highly original and groundbreaking research and technology. I think one of the biggest missed opportunities by investors in the MENA region is skipping over B2B tech, mostly because it is probably not something they have an interest in understanding - some of these companies have complex products and services, so a lot of research and market knowledge is required before committing to a round,”  he said.

For Prince Khaled, bio-sciences still tops the list in terms of inspiration and the future of food from cellular agriculture to fermentation to plant-based protein. He believes that products like clean meats can be brought to market sooner than most people think.

“I find more naysayers than supporters about this actually, but the technology is advancing quickly. I’m always talking about putting your money behind your beliefs, but in this case, you don’t even need to believe in the sustainability arguments or the ecological benefits,” he said.

The truth is when bio-science companies perfect the clean meat formula, in terms of its cost, he said it will be a market that explodes overnight. “The gross inefficiencies in the traditional meat industry will cause it to implode on its own.  A lot of people love meat and are oblivious to where it comes from or what the process is to get it on his or her plate; clean meat allows them to eat a completely cruelty-free and antibiotic-free, hormone-free steak or chicken or duck without any of the other stuff so pervasive in the conventional meat marketplace,”  he said.

Prince Khaled is betting big on the potential of technology that can find solutions to sustainable development, food security, and the application of that technology to various problems like financial inclusion. “We do like companies that have a social good element as part of the business model, but we’re not married to that idea. It does still have to have the potential to scale and turn a profit; because that is where the future of solving these pressing issues lies.

“We want to see companies that are bold and studied. Big ideas are excellent, but there has to be logic and real-world interest and need for any idea to be considered by KBW Ventures,” he said.

Using drones to save lives

Prince Khaled said that solving the ‘last mile’ for delivery issues in the Middle East has been one of the biggest discussions in tech over the past few years.

“The focus - with startups especially - is primarily B2C though. Businesses recognize the consumer element: ‘How do we get access to the really under-served demographic of potential customers? How can we convert these people into buyers?” he said. 

KBW Ventures recently invested in US-based drone delivery company Zipline, and Prince Khaled said that the company has huge potential to use its drones for important healthcare applications.

“For Zipline, the thinking is that we can help save lives by facilitating access to lifesaving medical supplies – including biomaterial. I do believe there’s potential in MENA for Zipline, especially in North Africa.

“I can confirm that we have initiated early conversations about Zipline’s application. Zipline is an example of tech for good, and we’re proud of their significant progress,” he said.

Treating companies like Zipline as a logistics company, and not just as a medical supply company will lead to even more opportunities, he added.

“As soon as regions like North Africa or the EU open their skies up to drone delivery, Zipline will have hundreds of thousands (if not millions) of hours of flights under their belt with a very successful end result,” Prince Khaled said.

Vote for the winners of the TechRadar Mobile Choice Consumer Awards 2019

It's time to crown the finest performers in the mobile world with the TechRadar Mobile Choice Consumer Awards 2019, and we need your help to pick the winners from our stellar shortlists. And there are great prizes to be won!*

You've already helped our judges narrow down our fantastic longlists to the star-studded shortlists you can see at the bottom of this article, and we're calling on you again to help our judges pick the winners from these exclusive shortlists.

The good news is that voting is now open, so please take a moment to have your say on who should claim a coveted award.

Voting for the winners of the TechRadar Mobile Choice Consumer Awards 2019 will close at 5pm BST on August 28, so make sure you don't miss out.

Once we've counted all the votes, and consulted with our expert judges, we'll announce the winners at the TechRadar Mobile Choice Consumer Awards, on October 10 2019 in London.

Vote now in the awards

The 2019 Awards Shortlists

Congratulations to all our shortlisted nominees for the 2019 TechRadar Mobile Choice Consumer Awards.

Best Repair Service

  • Apple Care
  • CeX
  • i-Fix
  • iSmash
  • O2 Repair
  • Team KnowHow
  • Timpson

Best Recycling Service

  • CeX
  • Envirofone
  • Mazuma Mobile
  • Music Magpie
  • O2 Recycle
  • Samsung Recycle
  • Vodafone

Best Wearable

  • Apple Watch 4
  • Fitbit Inspire
  • Fitbit Inspire HR
  • Fitbit Versa Lite
  • Garmin Forerunner 945
  • Samsung Galaxy Watch
  • Samsung Galaxy Watch Active

Best Value Phone

  • Honor 10 Lite
  • Huawei P Smart 2019
  • Moto G7 Power
  • Nokia 4.2
  • Samsung Galaxy A20e
  • Sony Xperia L3
  • Xiaomi Redmi Note 7

Best Mid-Range Phone

  • Google Pixel 3a XL
  • Huawei P30 Lite
  • OnePlus 7
  • Samsung Galaxy A50
  • Samsung Galaxy A70
  • Sony Xperia 10/10 Plus
  • Xiaomi Mi 9

Best Camera Phone

  • Google Pixel 3/3 XL
  • Huawei Mate 20 Pro
  • Huawei P30 Pro
  • iPhone XS/XS Max
  • Samsung Galaxy Note 9
  • Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus
  • Sony Xperia 1

Best Gaming Phone

  • Asus ROG Phone
  • Huawei P30 Pro
  • iPhone XS Max
  • OnePlus 7 Pro
  • Razer Phone 2
  • Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus
  • Sony Xperia 1

Phone of the Year

  • Google Pixel 3 XL
  • Huawei Mate 20 Pro
  • Huawei P30 Pro
  • iPhone XR
  • iPhone XS/XS Max
  • OnePlus 7 Pro
  • Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus

Best Value Network

  • EE
  • giffgaff
  • O2
  • Sky Mobile
  • Tesco Mobile
  • Three
  • Vodafone

Best Networking for Roaming

  • EE
  • giffgaff
  • O2
  • Sky Mobile
  • Three
  • Virgin Mobile
  • Vodafone

Best Network for Data

  • EE
  • giffgaff
  • O2
  • Sky Mobile
  • Three
  • Virgin Mobile
  • Vodafone

Best Customer Care

  • EE
  • giffgaff
  • O2
  • Sky Mobile
  • Tesco Mobile
  • Three
  • Vodafone

Best Network

  • EE
  • giffgaff
  • O2
  • Sky Mobile
  • Three
  • Virgin Mobile
  • Vodafone

Best Smart Home Device

  • Amazon Echo Dot (3rd Gen)
  • Amazon Echo Plus (2nd Gen)
  • Amazon Echo Show (2nd Gen)
  • Amazon Echo Show 5
  • Google Home Hub
  • Google Nest Hub Max
  • Ring Stick-Up Cam

Best Online Retailer

  • Amazon
  • Carphone Warehouse
  • EE
  • O2
  • Vodafone

Best High-Street Retailer

  • Argos
  • Carphone Warehouse
  • EE
  • John Lewis
  • O2
  • Three
  • Vodafone

Best In-Store Customer Experience 

  • Argos
  • Carphone Warehouse
  • EE
  • John Lewis
  • O2
  • Three
  • Vodafone

Best Quad-Play Provider

  • BT
  • EE
  • Sky
  • Virgin

*Terms and Conditions: Voting is open to everyone, however to take part in the prize draw you must be a UK resident. Under 18s must obtain parental consent to enter this competition and be able to demonstrate this to TechRadar's reasonable satisfaction. Nominations must be received by 17:00 (BST) 28/08/2019. The winner will be selected at random from all correct entries received and will be sent the prize free of charge. By taking part in the voting and the competition, you agree to be bound by the full terms and conditions which can be found here

Ashes 2019 live stream: how to watch every England vs Australia cricket Test from anywhere

Forget World Cups and Twenty20s - winning the Ashes is the biggest feather in a cap for any cricketer from old rivals England and Australia. Thursday sees the start of the latest chapter in the 135-year sporting story and you'll be able to watch all of the action between England vs Australia no matter where you are in the world with our 2019 Ashes live stream guide.

It's one of oldest sporting rivalries and the Ashes series still stands as the pinnacle of Test cricket. England will be desperate to win back the Ashes on home soil, having been thrashed 4-0 Down Under 18 months ago. While for the Aussies it's an opportunity to make some positive headlines after their recent ball-tampering scandal and a World Cup campaign that ended at the semi-final stage after promising so much more.

The home side appear to have huge strength in depth when it comes to bowling, but big doubts remain over their batting line up going into the series. Jofra Archer's superb showing at the World Cup which saw him take 20 wickets during the tournament,ensured his place in the squad for the first Ashes Test. His pace, added to the quality brought by Jimmy Anderson and Chris Woakes makes England a formidable force with the ball.

However, last week's one-off Test against Ireland at Lords only served to highlight just how unconvincing England's batting order still looks, with it clearly lacking a settled top three order.

Australia go into the series with former captain Steve Smith, David Warner and Cameron Bancroft all reinstalled to the line-up after completing their bans for the infamous sandpaper ball-tampering scandal. Their middle and lower middle-order however, looks decidedly weak and inexperienced on paper.

If Australia are to avenge their recent humbling in the World Cup semi-finals against their arch-rivals and win their first series in England since 2001, then it'll likely be down to fast bowling department, which boast a potent mix of James Pattinson's pace and Pat Cummins' machine-like accuracy.

It's set to be a fascinating series - follow the instructions below to watch all of the action where we'll tell you how to grab an England vs Australia Ashes live stream from pretty much anywhere on Earth. The great's absolutely free in Australia.

Watch an Ashes live stream when away from your country

For cricket fans in the UK, Australia, India or the US and looking to find out how to watch the Ashes, we've got all the details about the broadcasters with the rights to show the England vs Australia Test series in your region below. 

If you're away from home country and looking to see the action you'll likely to find you won't be able to thanks to geo-blocking. Thankfully there's a way to alleviate that frustration. By using a VPN you'll be able to watch the game without having to resort to watching via an illegal feed from a dodgy website you've discovered on Reddit.

England vs Australia: how to watch the Ashes in the UK

How to live stream the Ashes 2019 in Australia for FREE

How to get an Ashes live stream in New Zealand

How to watch England vs Australia: live stream in India

How to live stream England vs Australia in America

Who has won the Ashes the most?

Australia are currently ahead on 33 Ashes series wins to England’s 32 and five series drawn

Who is favourite to win this year's Ashes?

The hosts England are currently installed as favourites with Betfair.

How to watch the Women's Ashes

We have no idea yet whether it's a precursor for what will come in the men's version, but the Aussies have given England an absolute drubbing in the female series. A whitewash in the ODIs, a trouncing in the Test and business as normal in the T20s. The last match takes place in Bristol at 6.30pm BST / 3.30am AEST on Wednesday, July 31 with Australia looking to complete a perfect tour.

And the viewing options are actually exactly the same for the men's Ashes. So you're looking at Sky Sports Main Event or a Now TV sports pass if you're in the UK and the NIne Network's GEM station and the 9Now app if you're Down Under.

Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 revealed today, Galaxy Watch Active 2 to follow next week

We had initially expected Samsung to unveil the new Galaxy Tab S6 tablet and Galaxy Watch Active 2 smartwatch alongside the Galaxy Note 10 on August 7, but the company will now unveil those former products ahead of its next smartphone.

July 31 - that's today - is the official unveiling date for a new tablet from Samsung, according to an official video that teases it alongside the smartwatch.

We're expecting to hear all about the tablet at 10AM ET (7AM PT, 3PM BST or midnight ACT on August 1 for those in Australia) but it's currently unclear if the company will be hosting a livestream or if the details will just drop on the company's website.

The video doesn't outright confirm it'll be called the Samsung Galaxy Tab S6, but the 20 second teaser definitely shows a tablet with a stylus and gives us a quick glimpse at the edges of the device.

A smartwatch is also pictured in the video, but it's clear we won't be hearing about that until August 5.

We expect this to be the Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2, and while it's difficult to make out any changes in the video it definitely shows a device without a rotating bezel, which matches with other leaks we've seen.

Samsung's Galaxy Tab S6 is expected to come with the latest Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 chipset inside, which is the first time we've seen Samsung's tablet range embrace the latest power available at the time.

Others specs include a AMOLED display with a resolution of 2560 x 1600 and a 7,040mAh battery. On the rear is a dual-lens camera that's expected to harness both a 13MP f/2.0 main lens and a 5MP f/2.2 secondary one.

Those waiting for the Note 10 are expected to have to continue waiting until August 7 when the company is hosting an Unpacked event in New York, but this allows the company to focus on its phone on that day while giving us some exciting news in the next week too.

The best TV shows on Foxtel Now: the top television series to stream right now

UPDATE: We've now added HBO's Barry and Chernobyl series to our list of the best TV shows on Foxtel Now – check out the next two slides to find out more about them!

Joining Netflix and Stan in the Australian streaming landscape, Foxtel Now gives Australians the easiest way to access Foxtel to date – especially if you own a Foxtel Box.

Offering an unparalleled selection of TV shows in its library (so long as you've subscribed to the right packages), Foxtel Now is currently providing access to some of the biggest and best shows of any streaming service in Australia. In fact, if you have multiple packs in your subscription, you may find yourself with an overwhelming amount of content.

With that in mind, we've created this TechRadar guide to the best TV shows to stream on Foxtel Now at the moment (in no particular order). We'll keep this best TV show list constantly updated with the latest series that you should be watching and also tell you why.

One of the best new comedies in recent years, Barry follows a hitman (played by Bill Hader) caught in an existential crisis who joins an acting class in order to track his latest target. Of course, Barry soon finds that he has a knack for performing, as it allows him to safely express the darkness within him to a group of people without judgement. These people include classmate Sally (Sarah Goldberg), whom Barry is immediately smitten with, and Gene (Henry Winkler), his eccentric acting teacher. And while things are looking good for Barry, his killer work commitments threaten to derail all of his newfound relationships.

A harrowing recounting of the worst man-made disaster in human history, namely the Chernobyl nuclear accident of 1986, this HBO miniseries details the arrogance that led to the event and the Soviet cleanup (and cover-up) efforts that came after. While it might take a few moments to get used to Ukrainian and Russian characters speaking with British accents, you quickly get over it because the performances (from actors like Jarred Harris, Stellan Skarsgård and Emily Watson) are so good. Elsewhere, the show oozes authenticity at every turn – from its use of real locations, to its exceptionally accurate retelling of events, Chernobyl is bound to go down as the definitive dramatisation of this horrific event.

Perhaps the biggest show in the world at the moment (especially as its in its final season), Game of Thrones is required viewing for fans of fantasy and prestige television. Based on George RR Martin's best selling series of fantasy novels, the show follows a number of powerful families as they wrestle for control over the fictional realm of Westeros. While they're all doing this, the undead threaten to destroy the entire world. Will they come together to prevent this from happening? It doesn't seem likely... If you haven't gotten around to watching it yet, Foxtel Now has all eight seasons available to stream in an instant. If you hurry, you might be able to catch-up before its highly-anticipated ending is spoiled!

One of the most relevant and gripping television shows of our time, Mr. Robot follows a group of hackers who attempt to take down the world's biggest corporation. We follow Elliot (Rami Malek), hacker-extraordinaire and cybersecurity engineer, as he orchestrates the biggest hack in history, all while battling social anxiety disorder and clinical depression, among other problems. But is he really the one in charge, or other there darker, more sinister forces pulling the strings? A modern masterpiece of television.

Set in the formerly gritty New York City of the 1970s, this new series from David Simon (The Wire, Generation Kill) follows a number of characters operating around Times Square during its sleazy heyday. This includes a pair of twin brothers (James Franco in both roles), a college dropout (Margarita Levieva), several hookers (including Maggie Gyllenhaal) and their pimps (including Gbenga Akinnagbe and Black Thought from The Roots) and a cop who's tired of corruption in the force (Lawrence Gilliard Jr). An eye-opening look at the sexual revolution and the dawn of New York's porn industry, The Deuce is similar in tone and style to Simon's other HBO masterpiece, The Wire.

This Australian drama has picked up a decent local following and has even aired in New Zealand and the UK. Inspired by the Australian 80s soap opera series Prisoner, Wentworth is set in a contemporary re-imagination of the same fictional women's detention centre. Following a mother who has been separated from her daughter after being convicted of the attempted murder of her husband, the series tracks her introduction to life within the Australian correctional system.

Supergirl is one of the best shows in the CW's 'Arrowverse', and regularly features cameos from the likes of The Flash and Arrow. What makes the show great however, is its progressive storytelling, which puts issues like sexism
and racism in the spotlight and deals with them in a way that only Supergirl (perfectly played by Melissa Benoist) can. That it also occasionally brings spectacular heroes like Superman and Martian Manhunter into the mix is just the icing on the cake.

A terrific NZ/Australian drama starring Elizabeth Moss (Mad Men, The Handmaid's Tale), Top of the Lake: China Girl sees Robin Griffin (Moss) investigate the murder of a young girl found on Bondi Beach. Joining her in this season is Gwendoline Christie (Game of Thrones) as a Sydney detective who helps Griffin on the case. One of Foxtel's best original shows.

Based on Michael Crichton's classic science fiction movie of the same name, the HBO version of Westworld expands the mythology of the universe, in which rich people visit a Wild West themed resort filled with incredibly lifelike robot NPCs. The show explores the inner workings of the park, as well as a robot revolution that is on the cusp of taking place. A fantastic series that rivals Game of Thrones in terms of budget and scope, Westworld is highly recommended.

The Sopranos is a highly regarded American-Italian mob show based in New Jersey in the early 2000s. Tapping into the psychologically introspective culture of New York and the classic family/crime dynamic found in many mobster films, The Sopranos explores the difficulties of juggling both a functioning crime syndicate and a nurturing family environment, through the prism of a psychologist's chair.

Featuring the most jaw-dropping houses in the country, Grand Designs Australia follows host Peter Maddison as he showcases a number of people who attempt to construct their dream homes. The kind of show that makes you simultaneously entertained and envious, Grand Designs Australia is a terrific Foxtel Original.

Based on a comic book series of the same name, The Walking Dead is an American horror drama set in the aftermath of a zombie apocalypse. Former Sheriff's Deputy Rick Grimes heads up the survival party attempting to find his wife, daughter and shelter from the impending danger of this new world. We hope you enjoy watching your favourite characters ruthlessly killed on a near-weekly basis, because The Walking Dead delights in shocking its fan-base.

If uncomfortable comedy is your bag, you're going to love Curb Your Enthusiasm, starring Seinfeld co-creator Larry David as himself. Imagine Seinfeld, only with a much more insufferable protagonist, sans laugh track and with a tonne of swearing and you get the idea of what this show's about. After a hiatus of several years, the show is back with a brand new 9th season which Foxtel Now fast-tracks as new episodes arrive. If you ask us, that's pretty, pretty, pretty good.

An action-packed series that dials its violence and sex up to ludicrous levels, Banshee sees an ex-con (Antony Starr) released from jail after 10 years only to immediately assume the identity of a dead sheriff in an Amish country town called Banshee. Before long, he's up to his eyeballs in trouble involving a local gangster (Ulrich Thomsen), and an ex-lover (Ivana Miličević) who has put her criminal past behind her, all while trying to keep his real identity under wraps. Trashy and addictive, Banshee is almost too entertaining!

From Mike Judge (Office Space, Idiocracy) comes Silicon Valley, a hilarious show about a young startup called Pied Piper and its various misadventures navigating the tech capital of the world. Whether it's internal struggles or outside pressure from tech giant Hooli (a clear Google stand-in), the team must do everything it can to keep its company afloat in an incredibly competitive landscape. A must-watch for tech enthusiasts.

Regarded by many (this writer included) to be the greatest television series of all time, The Wire paints a portrait of an American city (in this case, Baltimore) the way that no other show has done so before. Framed against the backdrop of America's 'War on Drugs', The Wire shows both sides of the struggle, focusing on the environment that produces street dealers and turns innocent children into hardened killers, while also examining the issue from the police's perspective, showing how bureaucracy prevents it from affecting any real change. Raw and uncompromising, The Wire is unlike any other crime series you've seen.

HBO's western series Deadwood was devastatingly cancelled before its time, but thankfully we can relive the show's harsh and brutal world on Foxtel Now in its entirety. Ex-lawman Seth Bullock (Timothy Olyphant, clearly loving his status as a cowboy hero) arrives in the lawless frontier town of Deadwood to start a hardware business and provide for his dead brother's family. Before long, the crime and corruption of this town, headed by bar owner Al Swearengen (Ian McShane), forces Bullock back into the life he tried so desperately to leave behind. A truly magnificent show, Deadwood is binge-worthy bliss. Also, with news that a Deadwood follow-up movie could be in the works, now's a great time to reacquaint yourself with this classic series.

Tuesday, July 30, 2019

Windows 10 S Mode release date, news and features

Windows 10 S was first revealed back in May 2017 as a standalone OS, but it faced some controversy at launch. A lot of the criticism stemmed from the fact that it limits users to apps found on the Microsoft Store. Luckily, users can switch out of Windows 10 S Mode for free. Still, the lightweight operating system has proved instrumental in getting Windows 10 the over 825 million installs it has today.

Windows 10 in S Mode makes a lot of sense for specific users and devices. The Microsoft Surface Go, for example, a cheap alternative to the Surface Pro, only has a low-power Intel Pentium Gold processor, which means that it’s an ideal candidate for Windows 10 S. 

We’ve also seen reports of people getting Windows 10 S running on a Raspberry Pi 3, which makes a lot of sense for the lightweight OS. Microsoft is also rumored to be working on Windows Lite, which will further the lightweight nature of the OS, to compete with the best Chromebooks.

Windows 10 S Mode is also able to take advantage of any Windows 10 updates, like the October 2018 Update and the now-available Windows 10 May 2019 Update. What does this mean for Windows 10 S users? Simply that they get nifty features like the May Update’s “Light Mode” and useful storage space tools, as well as the possibility of playing Xbox One games natively.

Even now, a few years after its initial release, Windows 10 S is still a large part of the Windows 10 landscape, so we thought it would be the perfect time to dive in and explore everything this lightweight version of Windows can do.

Make sure you bookmark this page, as we’ll keep it updated with all the latest and greatest Windows 10 S information that appears.

Cut to the chase

  • What is it? Windows 10 without x86 and x64 apps
  • When is it out? Available now
  • What will it cost? Free to all schools using Windows 10 Pro

windows 10 s mode

Windows 10 S release date

Windows 10 S initially launched on May 2, 2017, with devices using the OS trickling out over the next few months. Fast forward to 2019 and Windows 10 S is bigger than ever, making lower spec Windows 10 devices more versatile now than ever before. 

Eventually, there will be a UI toggle that’ll let Windows 10 users switch in and out of S Mode (this was not available at the original time of this writing). Sadly, switching out of S Mode is a one-way street and permanent. Fortunately, if you need more than what this light OS can offer, you can get out of S Mode easier than you think – simply go to the Windows Store and search for “switch out of S Mode”.

At the moment, to get Windows 10 in S mode, you are required to have the qualifying devices that are already enabled in S mode. You can also ask your computer manufacturer to see if you can get it installed in a new device you are purchasing. Unfortunately, Windows 10 S is not for individual sale, but it is issued to IT administrators in education as well as laptops found in stores and online. It’s no coincidence that Windows 10 S is focused on the education sector, where Google’s Chromebooks are having unparalleled success and popularity.

windows 10 s mode

Windows 10 S price

Windows 10 S is basically free for users. Microsoft subsidizes the cost of the OS to hardware manufacturers, assuming they’re not getting Windows 10 S for free. Essentially, as a user, you don’t really pay for Windows 10 S Mode, instead you’re paying for the hardware running it. 

With the exception of premium devices like the original Surface Laptop, you can find devices running Windows 10 S Mode starting at just $189 (about £146, AU$251) and cap out around $299 (about £239, AU$396). PC makers across the board – including Dell, HP, Asus, Acer and Lenovo – all have Windows 10 S Mode-powered devices in their stables.

However, now that Windows 10 S Mode is a thing, it’s a toggle that won’t cost you anything extra. Both Windows 10 Home and Pro S Mode users are able to go to the Windows Store and opt out of S Mode. Although, again, the conversion only works one way – out of S Mode. At least, at the moment.

There might be a switch in the settings app of a future build that will let users go back and forth, but so far, opting out of it is permanent.

windows 10 s mode

What is Windows 10 S?

Microsoft designed Windows 10 S to serve as a lightweight yet more secure version of Windows 10 for lower-end devices. By lightweight, that also means that in “S Mode,” Windows 10 will only support apps that are downloaded from the Windows Store.

This talk of a version of Windows that can only download Microsoft-approved apps is familiar, isn’t it? Microsoft believes it has perfected this approach since the turbulent days of Windows 8 RT and Windows 8 with Bing – both of which tried to position Microsoft as the sole provider of apps through curation.

The great thing about this, though, is that it allows for a startup time of under 5 seconds, instead of Windows 10 Pro’s startup time of 30 - 40 second. Additionally, configuration settings (such as Wi-Fi, webcam, etc.) across an entire classroom of students is as easy as inserting a USB stick in each of their laptops.

Being in competition with Google’s Chrome OS, Microsoft has, of course, also positioned Windows 10 S to be a more secure PC operating system. However, its resilience to viruses is mostly a side-effect of the inability to install apps not approved by Microsoft, since historically, Windows viruses have tended to come from untrustworthy internet downloads.

Should you find a must-have app that isn't available in the Microsoft Store in Windows 10 S, you can switch from Windows 10 S to Windows 10 Home or Pro simply by going to the Windows Store and searching for “switch out of S Mode”. Microsoft used to charge a fee for this service, but now it’s free for everyone.

Microsoft will also allow users that upgrade to Windows 10 Pro to move back down to Windows 10 S. And now, Microsoft is rumored to be working on a Windows 10 Lean Mode, which will be even more lightweight and locked down. 

Oddly enough, the shiny new Surface Laptop 2 now ships with Windows 10 Home, not in S Mode like the previous.

That said, what exactly can you expect to see included in devices running Windows 10 S? Well, the Edge browser, OneNote and Windows Ink are all givens. The standard Movies and Groove Music apps, not to mention Maps, Mail and Calendar, are obvious picks as well. 

Of course, we won’t see x86/x64 program support on a Windows 10 cloud operating system until sometime in 2019 when the previously mentioned Polaris is expected to come out and implement a ‘virtualization container’ for each of your favorite legacy applications. This means that, yes, should everything work according to plan, there will be a Windows 10 cloud OS that can emulate the .exe’s of the past.

In spite of its limitations, Windows 10 S still features File Explorer. And, while many of the laptops that come with the lightweight OS pre-installed may ship with smaller capacity SSDs, Microsoft’s upcoming introduction of OneDrive Files On-Demand will allow users to access files stored in the cloud and view them the same way as locally stored content.

All things considered, there are still questions looming regarding the viability of Windows 10 S. Fortunately, as new developments emerge to address those criticisms, you can count on us to cover them right here in this article.

Bill Thomas and Gabe Carey have also contributed to this article

Images Credit: Microsoft


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