Google buys part of HTC’s smartphone business, including Pixel team

Google is buying part of HTC's smartphone business, the companies announced today, putting an end to several weeks of intense rumors about an acquisition.

Here's how the deal breaks down: a team of HTC employees, "many of whom are already working with Google to develop Pixel smartphones," will join Google's hardware business, according to a statement. HTC is to receive $1.1 billion in cash as part of the transaction.

Also included in the deal is a non-exclusive license of HTC intellectual property, meaning HTC can continue to make products, including phones, under the company brand.

The HTC Vive virtual reality division remains intact, as does HTC's other product divisions. The deal is expected to close in early 2018.

from TechRadar – All the latest technology news


15 iOS 11 changes Apple didn’t tell you about

The iPhone X launch event was a funny old thing: while Apple execs got excited about turning themselves into real-time animated poo emojis, some absolutely killer features didn’t get a mention. 

iOS 11 is packed with improvements, but some of our favorite changes haven’t hit the headlines. There's been just too much before the software launched. 

Here are fifteen iOS 11 features Apple really should have made more fuss about and you may not realize exist even after you download it.

1. Automatic Setup

You won’t notice this until you restore your iOS device or add a new one, but in iOS 11 you can now get all the key information – iCloud Keychain passwords, Wi-Fi logins, system preferences – from an existing iOS device. It works in much the same way as pairing an Apple Watch 3.

2. Auto-fill passwords

Safari’s password management is a wonderful thing – until you leave Safari and have to remember passwords for third party apps. That’s changing in iOS 11, and developers will now be able to give you access to your Safari passwords in apps too.

3. Auto-Join

Fed up with your iPhone or iPad ignoring your super awesome Wi-Fi network for next door’s completely crappy one? Auto-Join is your friend: just select the network you don’t want to use and toggle Auto-Join off.

4. Call the cops

iOS 11 introduces a new panic mode: if you tap the power button five times it brings up the option for Emergency SOS. If you select it it will call the police (112 in the UK, 911 in the US) and notifies your location to any emergency contacts you’ve specified in your Medical ID. Needless to say this isn’t something to mess around with unless you really are dealing with an emergency. The feature also disables Touch ID and Face ID so you can’t be made to unlock your phone without consent.

5. Echo your messages

It’s hardly one to hold the front page for, but if you like the special effects in Messages there are two new ones for you to enjoy and your recipients to endure: Echo, which bounces copies of the message all over the screen, and Spotlight, which darkens the screen except for a circle around your message.

6. Edit your Siri questions

If like us you spend more time shouting at Siri for mishearing you than you do getting results, iOS 11’s new Tap To Edit in Siri will make you weep hot salty tears of joy. Now when Siri hears “call mum” as “show me some badgers, my eyes are melting” you can simply tap to edit and either choose from the suggested options or type the correction in manually. Admittedly this does kind of defeat the point of a voice-controlled assistant, but from what we’ve seen of Siri in iOS 11 so far s/he is much more understanding than before.

7. Handwrite your emails

iOS 11’s Mail app gets a feature from last year’s Messages update: you can now add scribbled text to your emails. To do it, press and hold the screen until the copy/paste pop-up appears and then slide until you see Insert Drawing. That opens a blank sheet you can scribble on to your heart’s content; when you’re done the scribble is placed as an inline image in the body of your email.

8. Live Photos in FaceTime

There’s a bit of a trend in iOS 11, with features introduced for one app starting to appear in others. This one’s a good example: the Live Photos first brought to the camera app are now in FaceTime. Just tap the button in the bottom left camera to take a Live Photo of the person at the other end using whatever camera they’re looking at you through.

9. Mute messages

If you’ve lost interest in a conversation or just don’t want to be alerted every time your network provider wants to try and sell you stuff, Messages’ new Hide Alerts is your new best friend. In Messages’ list of current conversations, slide the one you want to mute to the left. You should new see a new option in front of Delete: Hide Alerts. Tap it and enjoy the silence.

10. QR codes

QR codes are often useful, especially for coupons, e-tickets and other handy things, but before iOS 11 you needed a third party app to read them. Not any more: QR scanning is built right into the Camera app in iOS 11.

11. Quick screenshot editing

In iOS 10, when you took a screenshot (Home and Power simultaneously) it’d go straight to your Photos. Now, though, it hovers briefly in the lower corner of the screen. Tap it and it opens in an editing window where you can scribble on it, magnify bits of it, sign it or add text.

12. Record your screen

No need for a third party screen recorder any more: there’s one baked into iOS 11’s Control Center, although it doesn’t appear in the default set of buttons. To get it, go into Settings > Control Center > Customise Controls and add it from the More Controls section. Once you’ve done that you can turn it on and off from its icon in Control Center.

13. Scan documents into Notes

We weren’t sure if this was going to be an iPad-only feature, so we’re delighted to see that document scanning has made it to the iPhone after all. Open Notes and either create a new note or open an existing one. Now, tap on the circular icon with the plus sign in it and then on Scan Documents. It’s handy for thinning out the receipts, coupons and other confetti that quickly fills your wallet or purse.

14. Smart Invert

You’ve been able to invert the colors in iOS for ages, but iOS 11 introduces a new option that effectively delivers the much-wished-for Dark Mode. If you go into General > Accessibility > Display Accommodations > Invert Colors and turn on Smart Invert, iOS 11 will invert colors in the interface but not in images or media. It’s a bit hit and miss on third party apps but works well on Apple’s own.

15. Squash the keyboard

If you have an iPhone Plus you’ll know that unless you’re the BFG, it’s impossible to type with one hand. Not any more. If you press and hold the Emoji icon in the keyboard you’ll now see three keyboard designs. The normal keyboard is in the middle but the other two icons enable you to squash the keyboard into the left hand side or right hand side of the screen respectively. It’s great for when you can’t use two hands to type or text.

from TechRadar – All the latest technology news

iOS 11 Control Center won’t actually turn off Bluetooth or Wi-Fi

iOS 11 brings with it a significantly revamped Control Center, and love it or hate it, there's a bit of a 'gotcha' when it comes to Bluetooth and Wi-Fi. 

Turns out that turning off either one in the Control Center doesn't actually toggle them off. You'll need to go to the Settings to turn Bluetooth and Wi-Fi off entirely.

Apple notes the paradox on its 'Use Bluetooth and Wi-Fi in Control Center with iOS 11' support page:

"In iOS 11 and later, when you toggle the Wi-Fi or Bluetooth buttons in Control Center, your device will immediately disconnect from Wi-Fi and Bluetooth accessories. Both Wi-Fi and Bluetooth will continue to be available[.]"

This is so features such as AirDrop, AirPlay, Apple Pencil, Apple Watch, Handoff, Instant Hotspot and Location Services continue to work, Apple says.

But it also potentially leaves iPhones and iPads vulnerable, especially because users might think they turned off Bluetooth and Wi-Fi when those are actually still running.

Turning off Bluetooth and Wi-Fi is usually recommended because it helps save battery life and prevents your device from connecting to suspect networks. If you forget (or simply don't know) that your device is searching for networks, it could pose problems. 

Apple also has some odd conditions for toggling Bluetooth and Wi-Fi back on if you toggle them off from within the Control Center. For example, the radios will fire back up at 5am local time everyday and if you restart your device. 

Via Motherboard

from TechRadar – All the latest technology news

Best sci-fi movies: fantastic films to stream or buy in 2017 in the US

Welcome to TechRadar's list of best sci-fi movies, which includes captivating science fiction movies that you can stream now on Netflix or Amazon Prime.

You only have to take a quick look at the box-office results over the last couple years to see which genre sits on top of the hill when it comes to cinema. You nailed it: it's science fiction.

No genre has captivated viewers with awe and wonder quite like sci-fi. From artificial intelligence and biological mutations to deep space discovery and alien creatures (sentient or not), sci-fi offers a look at a strange new world, and sometimes a future that’s just a little bit nearer than we’d prefer.

Just like something foretold in a sci-fi movie from the ‘50s or ‘60s, you now hold the power to stream movies directly from the internet to your television. And, with science fiction’s demand at an all-time peak, there’s never been a better time to be a fan of all things strange and unnatural.

Keeping that in mind, we’ve culled through the major streaming services and found all of the best sci-fi movies your streaming powers can summon and, for those who'd prefer home viewing without loading, found links to the Blu-rays of every film on this list. 

Oh, and knowing how quickly movies can appear and disappear on Netflix and Amazon Prime Video, we will keep this article updated. So, if you don't see anything you like right now, keep checking back to see if your favorites are ready to watch.

A great script, practical effects and nigh-perfect casting all come together to make Hellboy a modern sci-fi cult classic. 

Hellboy is the story about a demon who fights for the forces of humanity while in the service of the Bureau of Paranormal Research and Defense. When the forces of evil, led by Rasputin himself, endangers all life in the world as we know it, Hellboy and his partners must now step in and save the day. 

This surprisingly emotional film is based on the well-known Dark Horse comic series of the same name, and it was skillfully brought to life by the singular vision of acclaimed director Guillermo del Toro, who is known for his peculiar in-camera special effects. While an R-rated reboot starring Stranger Things actor David Harbour is currently incoming and sure to be a raucous good time, the 2004 original is a watershed cult film that should be high on your must-watch list.

Even if Cloverfield’s brilliant marketing campaign often comes to mind before the film itself, it’s still worth seeing this unique monster movie event brought to us by one of today’s finest directors – Matt Reeves (War for the Planet of the Apes, the upcoming Batman film).

The movie follows a group of New Yorkers that find themselves trapped as a horrifying monster falls on New York City. The survivors, with the help of a portable camera, need to chronicle the attack.

Now, while Cloverfield probably won’t be remembered as a sci-fi masterpiece, this handycam-riddled thriller has already spawned quite a faithful cult following and received a distantly related sequel (essentially in name only, but still). If you’re looking to kill some time, you certainly won’t find yourself bored watching this one. 

Artificial intelligence obviously isn’t exactly a new theme in the science-fiction genre, but Ex Machina stands as one of the most unique and wholly unsettling films in recent memory regardless.

Ex Machina tells the story of a programmer, Caleb Smith, who wins a contest that sends him to the estate of his firm’s CEO, Nathan Bateman. Upon arrival, Caleb discovers that he’s been unwillingly selected to be the human component in a Turing test to discover the consciousness and abilities of Nathan’s AI creation, Ava. The moral lines begin to blur for Caleb as he comes to realize the implications of Nathan’s invention. 

Writer and director Alex Garland practically lives neck-deep in the grey area of ethics with this film, weaving together complex characters and themes that will challenge you long after the credits have rolled. If you’ve never seen it, put on your thinking cap and prepare for a challenging thriller of a sci-fi movie.

In classic post-apocalyptic style, The Road is all about survival. After Earth falls prey to calamity, a man and his son take the long journey across America to the ocean, fighting to hold on to their soul. All around them are bloodthirsty gangs who would see them apprehended as slaves, or much worse. 

Although there are hundreds of films in this genre and tone, execution really is everything. John Hillcoat’s vision comes across flawlessly on screen and packs an emotional punch that won’t leave you quickly. And with phenomenal performances from Viggo Mortensen and Kodi Smit-McPhee, The Road is a worthy entry in the ever growing list of post-apocalyptic science fiction movies.

After Star Trek: Into Darkness left some (not all) fans confused or disappointed on the direction the promising reboot was heading in, Fast and Furious director stepped in to put some new life into the third installment. The result was a fun and fast paced romp that may have stumbled at times, but still delivered the type of deep space adventure that long time Trekkies had been yearning for. 

The young cast is as electric as they’ve ever been, including a heartfelt final performance by Anton Yelchin as the fan favorite Pavel Chekov. Idris Elba plays an intimidating, if forgettable villain that would have been right at home in a story arc of Star Trek The Next Generation. In the end, Beyond isn’t a cinematic masterpiece by any stretch, but it’s still an exhilarating entry in a franchise that helped build science fiction into the cultural phenomenon it has become.

Even to this day, Steven Spielberg’s adaptation of Michael Crichton’s exciting novel, Jurassic Park, exists as a benchmark for the entire science fiction genre. With extremely well written characters, special effects that have aged surprisingly well and a solid premise to hold it all together, it’s pretty hard to find any problems with Jurassic Park. 

If you’ve been living under a rock and have never seen it, Jurassic Park follows a group of scientists who find themselves on wealthy philanthropist John Hammond’s island, the home of a soon-to-open theme park with living, breathing dinosaurs. But, when a storm disrupts the power on the island, their “walk in the park” becomes a waking nightmare. 

Even if you've already taken the ride before, Jurassic Park is a tremendous sci-fi glory that should be enjoyed again and again. 

Looking back at 2008, all of the weight of the still new Marvel Cinematic Universe rested entirely on the shoulders of Iron Man, a comic book character with a ton of potential, but not much popularity in the mainstream. But that all changed almost overnight thanks to this fresh and unique origin story and the inimitable presence of Robert Downey Jr. 

Director Jon Favreau turns this classic rags to riches story on its head, taking the arrogant billionaire arms dealer named Tony Stark and tearing him down until he becomes the hero we would all come to love. Although the villain of the film is disappointing (reminder: it’s an MCU film), the humbling journey of Tony Stark is enough to drive the plot forward and is responsible for the very existence of the current Marvel Universe. If you haven’t seen this one in a while, watch it again and return to the simpler days of superhero films.

This film didn’t make the Governator a household name for no reason. Over 30 years since its release, The Terminator still stands as a landmark in the science-fiction genre, and is arguably James Cameron’s crowning achievement. 

If you’ve never seen this classic sci-fi/horror flick, The Terminator tells the story of a woman who’s on the run from a cybernetic assassin from the future, and the man who was sent back to save her. While the franchise went completely off the rails after the second installment, the original film is a harrowing and refreshingly focused tale of survival, featuring chase sequences that are truly what nightmares are made of.

This original sci-fi horror classic remains as timeless as Schwarzenegger himself and should be near the top of your streaming list if you’ve never seen it.

If there was ever a staple in the sci-fi genre, it’d probably be E.T. 

Steven Spielberg’s heartwarming tale of an innocent alien stranded on Earth and the young boy who welcomed him in remains an iconic family classic some 35 years since it first hit theaters. From Reese’s Pieces to that famous shot of Elliot and E.T. flying their bike in front of the moon E.T. is brimming with imagery that conjures up all the nostalgia and happiness of childhood wonder. 

Even if you’ve seen it a hundred times, E.T. is certainly a worthwhile stream in your sci-fi marathon.

While many of the films on this list could be called “great” and “groundbreaking”, there are few that could be labeled “generation defining”. 

The Matrix follows a hacker named Neo, whose eyes are opened to his world for what it truly is – a simulation created by robotic overlords that live off of the humans who created them and is maintained by the mysterious Agents. Once unplugged, Neo and the crew of the Nebuchadnezzar fight the Agents at every turn and struggle to set humanity free.

When the Wachowski’s delivered The Matrix in 1999, the world had never seen anything like it. Blending martial arts-inspired choreography with the most groundbreaking effects ever put to screen at that time, The Matrix was and is a marvel to behold. Even as some of the effects begin to age, the ingenuity of the script becomes more evident. 

Although the sequels sadly never lived up to the promise of the original, The Matrix is a marvel to behold and a hallmark in science-fiction history. 

As the first film outside of the saga and the first prequel since Jar Jar Binks, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story had a lot riding on it. It had to strike a balance between originality and familiarity that could have easily backfired and been rejected by old and new fans alike. Thankfully, Rogue One was a rousing success all across the board. 

Taking place before the original Star Wars, Rogue One tells the tale of the brave band of rebel spies led by the tenacious Jyn Erso who risked everything to steal the plans to the fearsome Death Star. The forces of evil, led by Director Krennic, Grand Moff Tarkin, and Darth Vader himself meet the rebels in combat to prevent their plans from falling into the wrong hands. 

The final result of Rogue One was a gritty war film that wasn’t perfect, but stands as an excellent entry into the already expansive Star Wars universe. From a visual perspective alone, this is well worth the stream.

Director Rian Johnson is positively oozing with creativity and character, a trait that helped him land his current gig as director of Star Wars: The Last Jedi. But before we get his undoubtedly unique spin on a galaxy far, far away, it’s worth revisiting the film that got him there. 

Looper is a time-tangled mobster film that positively shatters any mold it could fit in. It pushes the boundaries of what makes the sci-fi genre what it is and the result is a singular film that will be talked about for generations. While the ride is a little rough at times, Bruce Willis and Joseph Gordon-Levitt both shine in this sci-flick that needs to be seen to be believed.

What can be said about Stanley Kubrick’s science-fiction masterpiece that hasn’t already been said a thousand times? Simply put, 2001: A Space Odyssey is the genuine article to which just about every space film has to endure comparison — for better or worse. 

Although not everyone considers it Kubrick’s best work, it has to be considered amongst the most ambitious films ever made, narratively and visually. Any true fan of the genre must make the pilgrimage through this unusual, iconic, and mesmerizing space epic directed by one of the all-time great filmmakers.

As Marvel’s cinematic success has expanded, so has their creative sandbox. A Doctor Strange movie would have been a fool’s dream just a decade ago, but now the master of mystic arts has his own film with top-notch special effects, a dream team cast, and a talented director to helm it. What a time to be alive! 

For those not in the know, Doctor Strange follows the story of Stephen Strange, a talented surgeon with an ego to match his skillset. After a car accident, Strange loses the use of his hands and loses his sense of purpose. On his journey to find healing, Strange stumbles into the mystic arts and finds a deeper purpose in magic, spirituality and sorcery. 

While formulaic at times, Doctor Strange is a blast from start to finish, riddled with humor and enough sci-fi and sorcery babble to make your head spin. 

Before Brad Bird gave us animated classics like Ratatouille and The Incredibles, there was the Iron Giant – the story of an alien robot who forms an unexpected friendship with a young boy in Rockwell, Maine. When government forces become skeptical of the Iron Giant’s intentions, the boy must find a way to save his new friend from destruction. 

Although the Iron Giant has maintained a steady following, it’s never gotten the widespread recognition it deserves for being a thoroughly brilliant piece of science-fiction filmmaking. If you skipped out on this film, hop on over to Netflix and give this modern animated classic a shot. 

Of course Star Trek gets two spots on this list! We’re talking sci-fi, right? 

The Wrath of Khan is the follow-up to the original motion picture and reached cinematic and emotional heights that many would argue have never been met again in the franchise. In the film, Kirk, Spock, and the crew are confronted with the enigmatic villain known simply as Khan, someone Kirk had run into years before. As the pieces begin to move, the crew of the enterprise find themselves in a showdown with one of the most powerful villains in the universe. 

With a tight script, a brilliant performance by Ricardo Montalban, and an ending nearly as iconic as Star Trek itself, The Wrath of Khan is what sci-fi is all about. Treat yourself to streaming this one on either Amazon or Hulu.

Chris Nolan aims for the stars with Interstellar and the film suffers as a result. It’s too clever for its own good, with an ending that is pure Kubrick in its obscurity. Despite its flaws, though, Interstellar is still a wonderful, bold movie. It’s set in a time when food has become scarce on Earth so a mission is planned to go ‘interstellar’ and seek out a planet with Earth-like properties seen through a wormhole. Nolan shot a lot of the film with an IMAX camera so visually it’s superb, it’s just a shame the script doesn’t quite match. It’s still worth viewing, though, as a flawed Nolan movie is far better than most movies released.

Michel Gondry’s mind-melding look at memories is light sci-fi but sci-fi nonetheless. Its plot has something of a reverse Total Recall vibe to it, Clementine (Kate Winslet) suffers a bad breakup from Joel (Jim Carrey), to make sure that she suffers no more she undergoes a procedure that will rid her of her memories of them both together. Not to be outdone, Joel goes for the same procedure with sometimes heartbreaking consequences. This is a beautiful, strange movie and still Gondry’s best. He takes a lot of his creative learnings from the music videos he created before Eternal Sunshine and puts these shots to good use in the movies. It may well be the best performance from Carrey, too.

Duncan Jones second sci-fi spectacle, after the superb Moon, sees Jake Gyllenhaal as Colter. He's a soldier trapped in the body of someone else, who has to relive a train ride over and over until he can figure out who the bomber on the train is. While the plot device is reminiscent of Edge of Tomorrow, it actually has more in common with ‘90s TV show Quantum Leap, with Jones even nodding to this with the casting of Scott Bakula as the voice of Colter’s father. And at only 90 minutes, the film gives you no time at all to breathe, or space to try and figure out just what is going on. This is no bad thing as it also leaves you wanting more.

Given Mars Attacks is a pastiche of ’50s sci-fi movies and comic books of old, it’s fitting that now Tim Burton’s film looks as dated as what it was mocking, thanks to the overuse of early CG. But that doesn’t detract too much from the film, which is a brilliant burst of bubblegum sci-fi. The plot is wafer thin: aliens come to earth and want to blow everything up with a massive laser. But with a cast list that’s AAA (Jack Nicholson plays the president, Glenn Close the first lady and even Tom Jones makes an appearance) jokes swathed in satire and some brilliant Ed Wood style effects, the film still holds up today as a manic triumph. 

Gareth Edwards had only one film under his belt (the low-budget Monsters) before he was handed this monster of a movie. Despite his slim CV he made decent work of the Godzilla legend, even if the giant lizard is a little camera shy at times. Edwards sets his Godzilla tale both in San Francisco and Japan where Godzilla and other monsters are summoned after unusual tremors cause a nuclear power plant meltdown. When we do get to glimpse Godzilla, the giant lizard looks magnificent but these shots are few and far between. Edwards decides to evoke suspense through Spielberg reaction shots and clever camera positioning which makes this movie a slow burner, rather than the all-out action fest it could have been.  

Robert Zemeckis’ Contact is one of the most intelligent, thought-provoking blockbusters of the last 20 years (it was released in 1997). Based on the book by renowned cosmologist Carl Sagan, the movie depicts a lifelong hunt for life on other planets by Elli (Jodie Foster) and is a stunning study or belief and determination. Zemeckis always surprises with his movies choices – this is a director with both the Back To The Future trilogy and Flight on his CV – but he’s perfect for Contact, using at-the-time cutting-edge special effects and subtle-but-brilliant audio cues to highlight the possibility of alien life. It’s testament to how good the movie is that only recently have we started to see intelligent sci-fi films back in the cinema (the Planet of The Apes series, Interstellar and Arrival to name a few) but none of them match Contact when it comes to boiling down high-concept ideas, making them fit for a mainstream audience.

Pop quiz: which low-budget British movie stars a Star Wars hero, an upcoming Doctor Who and is directed by the original writer of Ant Man? That’s the provenance Attack The Block now has, thanks to its stars John Boyega and Jodie Whittaker taking on two of the most iconic franchises and director Joe Cornish now firmly camped in the Hollywood Hills. Before this infamy, though, Attack The Block still stood out as a fantastic slice of sci-fi that’s been given a very distinctive British flavour. Based on the idea that aliens have come to earth and decamp in a South London estate, the film marries two disparate ideas to great effect, creating one of the most original movies around. 

Christopher Nolan challenges the perception of dreams and reality in this high-octane, high-concept thriller based on a group of thieves who steal through ‘inception’ – putting their victims in a dreamlike state, tapping into their conscience and uncovering a bevy of secrets. Leonardo DiCaprio is the head of the group, who is burdened by his past demons but his latest hit offers him a way out and puts the crew on the ultimate assignment. Nolan paints a puzzling picture with Inception, asking questions but never really offering up answers which will be frustrating some. But stick with it and you’ll be rewarded with one of the most original and entertaining movies in years.

from TechRadar – All the latest technology news

The best WiFi extenders: top 8 devices for extending your Wi-Fi

The best Wi-Fi extenders will make your life a whole lot simpler if you have many computers, smartphones and tablets that require concurrent Wi-Fi connections wherever you are in your home or office. Even if you only have one device but have a large space to cover, the best Wi-Fi extenders can help make certain you’re connected to the internet wherever you may go in your home.

There’s only one catch: with a lot of Wi-Fi networks, you’ll have a modem and a single wireless router located close to it or built directly into it. Now, this does work for very small apartments or flats reasonably enough. But, if that router isn’t set up in a central location, or if you have walls and floors between your device and the router, you may not get the most reliable Wi-Fi experience.

That’s where Wi-Fi extenders are advantageous, as they connect to the original Wi-Fi network and then boost the signal, so you can watch Youtube in the upstairs bathroom even if your router is down in the basement.

There's a giant market for amazing Wi-Fi extenders out there, so to help you find the perfect solution for your situation, we've constructed this list of the best Wi-Fi extenders for 2017.

Netgear is a huge player in home and office networking, and they’ve put their tremendous expertise to good use here with the AC1200 WiFi Range Extender EX6150. The EX6150 model is a modest device that you can plug directly into an electrical outlet.

This Wi-Fi extender has a quick and easy setup, with no need to use an installation disc. Just follow the straightforward instructions and, just like that, you'll have speedy and reliable Wi-Fi all over your entire home or office.

D-Link's inconspicuous Wi-Fi Dual Band Range Extender (DAP-1520) is small and unassuming, meaning that almost no one will even notice it's there – meanwhile it’s dutifully sending Wi-Fi throughout your home or office.

The small and modest design does come with an problem, though: it doesn’t offer an Ethernet port for extending a wired connection. Also, opposed to some Wi-Fi extenders, the antennae are internal, which makes for a more stylistically pleasing device, but it does mean range is somewhat diminished.

TP-Link is a brand in networking that is slowly becoming more and more popular in the West and, with devices like the TP-Link RE350 AC1200 Wi-Fi Range Extender, it’s difficult not to see why: it does the job well, it's affordable and the design looks pretty good, too.

It may not be the fastest Wi-Fi extender on the block, but it offers a great range, thanks to two external high-gain antennae and an LED on the front displaying how strong the signal quality is, giving you a convenient guide to installing this device in the best place for the ideal results.


If you're honestly thinking about expanding your Wi-Fi network, then the Netgear AC1200 Desktop WiFi Range Extender (EX6200) is absolutely worth some consideration. Many other Wi-Fi extenders are small devices that sit in an outlet, but the EX6200 looks more like a router or modem.

While the size may rub some people the wrong way, it does enable it to boast a range of features – including five Ethernet ports for wired devices, which other Wi-Fi extenders are unable to offer. High-powered amplifiers ensure your Wi-Fi can reach all parts of the building, and a quad-core CPU helps make the network faster and more stable.

The Linksys RE6500 AC1200 is an additional Wi-Fi extender that looks more like a router. The more robust design allows Linksys to offer four gigabit Ethernet ports, which means that you are allowed to expand your network to internet-connected devices that need a wired connection.

It also has an audio output jack which allows you to connect it to speakers or an audio system, allowing you to stream digital music from your PC to your sound system.

If you’re searching for an affordable option to expand your Wi-Fi network, and you don't mind making a few compromises, then the D-Link DAP-1320 Wireless N300 Range Extender may be what you’re looking for. This small device doesn't come with any Ethernet ports, and it doesn't offer dual bands or 802.11ac, presently the fastest form of Wi-Fi.

Still, it is well-built and designed, and it's a quick, simple and affordable way of expanding your Wi-Fi network if you’re not anticipating too much network traffic.

Yep, another D-Link device. The D-Link Wireless AC1200 Dual Band Gigabit Range Extender DAP-1650 is a great mid-range Wi-Fi extender that brings some of the features of more expensive extenders, such as multiple Ethernet ports and USB, while also featuring a small and unobtrusive design.

Not only does it look good, but it's priced well. The only issue is that due to its compact size and internal antennae, its range isn't as large as it could be.

AVM Fritz!Box 3490

The Linksys Velop makes a sound argument for a wireless mesh network’s ease of setup. With the aim of replacing both your router and your now-antiquated range extender, the Velop arrives at a time when companies like Google and Netgear are doing the same thing. The main way Linksys hopes to differentiate its contender in the wireless mesh networking space is with a user-friendly setup that anyone with a smartphone can understand. With just a visit to the App Store or Google Play marketplace, you’ll have the Linksys Velop running in a matter of minutes.

Read the full review: Linksys Velop

from TechRadar – All the latest technology news

T3 award winners for this year’s best gadgets announced

The T3 awards have now come to an end, and we’ve got the full list of all the tech that left with an award under its little digital arm. The big winners of the night were Amazon and Sony, with four and three awards respectively. 

Amazon took three awards for its hugely popular smartspeaker the Amazon Echo: Smart Home Product of the Year, Innovation of the Year, and the much coveted Gadget of the Year. Separate to that, Amazon also took home the gong for Retailer of the Year. 

Sony’s winnings were spread over slightly more diverse categories; it took home Best Bluetooth Headphones (over/on ear) with the Sony MDR-1000x’s, Best TV with the Sony A1 Series, and Best Camera with the Sony α9

While these are all great devices, none of those top our lists for best wireless headphones, best TV or best camera

Other big winners

For phones, the big winner was our favorite, the Samsung Galaxy S8, taking home Phone of the Year. For those on a more modest budget, the TechRadar recommended Honor 9 took home Best Mid-range Phone. 

Other notable winners from the night were Netflix for Best Video Streaming Service, Philips Hue for best Connected Lighting, and Nintendo took home Brand of the Year. 

What’s interesting about Nintendo winning that particular award is that it is voted for by T3 readers in conjunction with the panel. Other awards with audience participation in voting are Retailer of the Year, Phone of the Year, and Gadget of the Year. All other categories are voted upon by a panel of experts from the tech world.

And because we thought you’d like it we have compiled a list of the winners that we thought you’d care about:

  • Want to see how the winners compare with what we think is the best tech in the world? Check out our Best Gadgets list.

from TechRadar – All the latest technology news

The best waterproof speakers available today

Bluetooth speakers are already one of the quickest and easiest methods to play your music wherever you go. We’ve already shown the best Bluetooth speakers you can buy today, but what if you want one that will withstand a drop into the ocean?

Even if, for some reason, you don’t intend on taking your Bluetooth speaker swimming with you, it’s still nice to know it can survive a spilled drink or an accidental fall into a sink or a pool. 

Obviously, waterproof speakers of the past didn’t sound quite as good as non-waterproofed ones, over the years they have slowly gotten better. Now, they not only sound great, but they feature much longer battery life and some are even small enough to throw into your backpack.

There are dozens of waterproof Bluetooth speakers for sale now, so which one should you choose? Don’t worry, we’ll go over the best waterproof speakers for you, so that you’ll know exactly which waterproof speaker fits your needs the best. Let’s dive in.

Here’s a quick glance at our top 10 best waterproof Bluetooth speakers list:

1. JBL Charge 3
2. UE Wonderboom
3. UE Boom 2
4. Fugoo Style
5. UE Megaboom
6. Bose SoundLink Color II
7. UE Roll 2
8. Fugoo Go
9. Philips BT6000
10. Creative Muvo Mini

Below you'll find our choices in full detail. Questions? Comments? Concerns? Shoot us an email. 

The JBL Charge 3 puts forward an ludicrously affordable package. The battery can last over 20 hours, can charge your mobile device if you need it, offers the heartiest bass of any speaker in this list and even is priced at a very affordable level. Sadly, it’s not exactly the most portable speaker, as it is quite hefty, but bass addicts, who don’t mind carrying around a the extra weight of a larger speaker, should put the Charge 3 at the top of their list.  

Read the full review: JBL Charge 3

Ultimate Ears will never not make it onto our list of best Bluetooth speakers, and this time is not different, as UE Wonderboom effortlessly deserves its place near the top of our list of best waterproof speakers as well. This tiny speaker punches well above its weight class, not only providing heavy bass for a speaker so tiny, but music also sounds balanced and fluid. Plus, you can also pair the Wonderboom with two devices at the same time. Even if it doesn’t project the largest soundstage and lacks a speakerphone option, the Wonderboom still ticks all the right boxes.  

Read the full review: UE Wonderboom

The UE Boom 2 is the bigger sibling of the UE Wonderboom, providing even more invaluable volume and cleaner detail. It also lasts around 25% longer than the Wonderboom and includes useful options, like NFC and aux-in, for older devices. It’s a little bigger and heavier, but with that extra weight it does provide longer battery life. (Oh, and if you need even more power, the Megaboom – also from Ultimate Ears – is a pretty great option, too.)   

Read the full review: UE Boom 2

If you still don’t know about Fugoo, you’re certainly missing out on some of the best waterproof speakers in the world. The Fugoo Style not only offers the longest battery life of any speaker on this list, (40 hours!) it also comes in at a tiny one pound. Fugoo’s design philosophy is to offer different ‘jackets’ (Style, Tough or Sport) to fit around its ‘core’ speaker to fit different styles. The Fugoo Style offers a great blend of size, sound fidelity and battery life for an affordable price.  

Read the full review: Fugoo Style

The UE Megaboom is at the very peak of Ultimate Ears’ line of waterproof Bluetooth speakers. Its larger size means that the Megaboom can get loud and can last up to 20 hours at a sensible volume. Bass is stronger and richer than its smaller UE Boom 2 and Wonderboom brothers. This is the speaker for anybody who wants to really blare their music at a party. For people who want to save some cash, however, the JBL Charge 3 is half the price and performs similarly.  

Read the full review: UE Megaboom

Bose is well known for making fantastic sounding audio equipment, and the SoundLink Color II is no different. This small speaker packs a stealthy punch, providing deep bass with a nice impact, but it obviously can’t match the sound of the larger speakers in this list. Now, while the SoundLink Color II sounds great, you should note that it’s not entirely waterproof. It’ll survive splashes and rain, but you don’t want to drop it in the bath. 

Read the full review: Bose SoundLink Color II

The UE Roll 2 offers a unique disk form factor that’s perfect for taking to the pool. The speaker comes with its own float, which lets you listen to and control your tunes in the pool, something no other speaker on this list can do. It might not sound quite as good as the UE Wonderboom, as it’s lacking in the bass department, but it’s still a solid sounding speaker. If you don’t care about the form factor and float, however, the UE Wonderboom is the better buy. 

Read the full review: UE Roll 2

The Fugoo Go is a unique Bluetooth speaker that comes with a built-in bungee cord, like the UE Roll 2, to help you mount it to different things. The Go can also pair with another Go speaker to play in stereo, something that other speakers on this list can’t do. Sure, UE allows you to pair up multiple speakers for more volume, but you won’t get true stereo playback. While we recommend the Fugoo Style for its class-leading battery life and excellent sound, the Fugoo Go is a good alternative for a lower price.

Read the full review: Fugoo Go

The name ‘BT6000’ doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue, but this Philips speaker offers a lot for the price. Since it’s a couple of years old now, the BT6000 can also be found for quite a discount, adding to its value. Sure, it might not have the longest battery life and lacks bass at low volumes, but it still sounds great among the newer competition. But, like the Bose SoundLink Color II, users should note that this is a splash-proof only speaker, so don’t dunk it in the pool.

Read the full review: Philips BT6000 

Like the Philips, the Creative Muvo Mini is a couple of years old now but can still stand up to modern competition. This tiny speaker offers impressive sound and is quite a bargain. We loved it for its 10-hour battery life, balanced sound and affordability. Creative didn’t skimp on features either with this budget speaker, offering NFC and aux-in, something that not every speaker on this list offers.

Read the full review: Creative Muvo Mini

from TechRadar – All the latest technology news