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Month: September 2020

‘IncrediMarble’ is a Sandbox for Creating Massive Marble Contraption Monstrosities, Launching October 8th

One of the more interesting developments to come out of the 2020 pandemic is the rise of marble racing. Yes, marble racing. In a world where basically all sports were put on hold, people racing a bunch of marbles against each other in elaborate tracks dug out of sand captured the attention of those craving some competitive entertainment, and it was also quite refreshing to see just how serious and professional the folks running these marble races took things. It is a legitimately exciting sport that I’m very happy to have discovered, but there’s also something almost hypnotic about watching a bunch of marbles fumble and flail down their sandy courses. It’s ASMR-like. Well if you enjoy staring at a dizzying amount of marbles traveling down complex pathways, the solo developer Dave Kap aka Art of the State has got a game for you. It’s called IncrediMarble and it’s pretty much exactly what you’d think it would be. Check out the trailer. While it seems like the main goal of IncrediMarble is to give you a massive sandbox that you’re able to build whatever crazy marble courses your mind can dream up, there is a subtle scoring aspect to it all. You’re able to go back and refine your designs to increase the amount of money you’re able to make, and in this way IncrediMarble has the same sort...

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The Pixel 5’s Extreme Battery Saver is coming to older Google phones

Credit: Google Google has introduced an Extreme Battery Saver feature with the Pixel 5 and 4a 5G. The feature pauses most apps, slows your CPU down and limits numerous features/ It’s coming to older Pixels in time. Many phones have battery saver features to squeeze an hour or two of extra life out of a device, but Google is taking that a step further with Pixel phones. It’s launching an Extreme Battery Saver feature alongside the Pixel 5 and 4a 5G for those moments when you absolutely can’t afford to lose your connection to the outside world. Turn on Extreme Battery Saver and Android will pause most apps (and their notifications), throttle the processor, turn off location scanning for Bluetooth and Wi-Fi, reduce the screen timeout to 30 seconds, and disable extras like your work profile and hotspots. That’s on top of existing Battery Saver changes like losing “hey Google” access. You can still unpause apps if necessary, but your phone will otherwise be much quieter than usual. Related: Why is my phone’s battery draining so fast? It sounds harsh, but Google is promising real gains: the Pixel 5 and 4a 5G should keep running for up to 48 hours with Extreme Battery Saver active. That may be enough to make it through a weekend camping trip or an extended power outage. You’ll currently need one of the two...

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Google Assistant can wait on hold for you during lengthy phone calls

Credit: Google Google Assistant has a new Hold for Me feature that waits on calls until there’s an answer. You don’t have to listen to hold music for ages. The preview is only available on the Pixel 5 and 4a 5G in the US for now. Google’s Duplex phone call handling is clever, but the company may have just addressed an even greater issue: having to endure hold music while you wait for customer service. Alongside the Pixel 5 and 4a 5G, Google has revealed a Hold for Me preview in Assistant that waits on the line until there’s an answer. The feature uses Duplex and Call Screen tech to let you ignore the usual hold music and “your call is important to us” messages until there’s a person on the other end. You can see a transcript of any spoken content. When a human picks up, you’ll get an alert that they’re waiting to talk to you with a button to return to the call. Read more: Google Pixel 5 buyer’s guide You can’t listen to music or other audio while you’re on hold. Hold for Me works entirely on the device, though so you don’t have to worry about transmitting info. Google is only making Hold for Me available to a handful of users at first. You’ll need a Pixel 5 or 4a 5G in the US,...

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Draft EU law would let you remove preinstalled phone apps

A draft European Union law would require companies to let  you remove preinstalled apps on phones and computers. This Digital Services Act would also require Big Tech to share data with rivals. The finished law is expected by the end of 2020. Do you despise having non-removable bloatware on your phone or computer? In Europe, at least, you might not have to put up with it for much longer. The Financial Times reports (via Reddit) that a draft EU law, the Digital Services Act, would let you uninstall preinstalled apps on “large platforms.” There aren’t many details, but the potential law could also ban companies from both preinstalling their own apps and forcing others to “exclusively” preinstall that software. It’s not clear just which apps would be subject to the draft law, although it appears primarily aimed at “Big Tech” companies that strike deals to include their apps, like Facebook and Google. The EU fined Google for allegedly pushing phone makers to bundle its apps on Android phones. Google said companies weren’t forced to include its apps, but that was recently called into question after Epic Games accused it of blocking LG and OnePlus deals that would have offered Fortnite and other software beyond the Play Store. Related: Android users are twice as likely to uninstall apps than iOS users If it passes, the legislation could theoretically let you...

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SwitchArcade Round-Up: ‘Pokemon Sword & Shield: The Crown Tundra’ Dated, Today’s New Releases, the Latest Sales, and More

Hello gentle readers, and welcome to the SwitchArcade Round-Up for September 30th, 2020. In today’s article, we’ve got a bunch of news items to look at. Lots of updates, mostly. There are a couple of new releases to look at, though nothing wildly exciting. I mean, it’s Wednesday. We finish things up by looking at the incoming and outgoing sales, as we tend to around these parts. Let’s go for it! News ‘Pokemon Sword & Shield’ Expansion ‘The Crown Tundra’ Coming Oct 22nd Well, it looks like my initial assumption yesterday was a safe one. The release date was revealed for the second part of the Pokemon Sword & Shield Expansion Pass, The Crown Tundra. The expansion will arrive on October 22nd, bringing a new story, Legendary Pokemon from past games, and the Galarian Star Tournament with it among many other improvements and additions. If you don’t own Pokemon Sword or Pokemon Shield yet, a special bundle containing the game and the Expansion Pass will be available from November 6th at retail. ‘Animal Crossing: New Horizons’ Fall Update Now Available It’s just about time for October, and although there are much scarier things going on this month than vampire and witch costumes, the world of Animal Crossing remains a fine escape from reality. The planned Fall Update has arrived, and after you’ve downloaded and installed it you’ll find things...

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