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Dec
10

Things have been quiet on the Ben Affleck front since his appearance in Justice League last year, but now the star has returned with his first Netflix Original film, Triple Frontier.

Directed by J.C. Chandor (A Most Violent Year), the film follows a team of former US Special Forces operatives who plan to steal millions of dollars from one of the most dangerous drug cartels in South America. 

Based on Triple Frontier's thrilling first trailer, which arrived today, it appears the team's plan quickly spirals out of control, leaving them to fend for their lives in hostile territory with no back up from Uncle Sam this time around. 

Affleck leads a star-studded cast of actors in the film, including Oscar Isaac (Star Wars: The Force Awakens), Charlie Hunnam (Sons of Anarchy), Pedro Pascal (Narcos) and Garrett Hedlund (Tron: Legacy).

Sure to be a hit with fans of Narcos and Sicario, Triple Frontier is scheduled to land in theaters and on Netflix in March 2019 – you can check out the film's trailer below.


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Dec
10
Christmas gift ideas 2018: the best tech gifts in Australia for every budget
Posted by Sharmishta Sarkar on 10 December 2018 03:19 AM

‘Tis the season to get shopping with Christmas just round the corner. At TechRadar, we understand that finding the perfect gift for your loved ones can be hard. So we're here to help you find options that go beyond advent calendars, perfumes and wine.

If you want to make an impression and watch those grins erupt on the faces of your loved ones when they finally rip off the wrapping, you'll want something that lasts. And the latest gadget can do just that.

Technology is evolving so quickly that if you decided on a gizmo last year, there's always something new to choose from this year. And we understand it can be quite overwhelming to find a gadget that makes for a great gift at this time of year.

To help you find the gift that will make your friends and family wonder if you've been intercepting their mail to Santa, we went a-hunting and found some of the best tech gift ideas that will make you the best person this Christmas.

And there's something for everyone in our gift ideas – presents that would suit every budget, from e-readers to connected toys, smart home products to gaming gear.

To make it easy for you, we've divided our gift ideas into sections. If you've got a particular budget in mind, then jump right to the section you need and take a gander at the options we have for you.

Fujifilm Instax Mini 9

 Got a teenager who loves taking pictures? The Instax Mini 9 is a new addition to Fujifilm's instant camera range, and this little compact bundle makes taking pictures a whole load o' fun. There’s a selfie mirror to ensure framing is right, there’s a close-up lens attachment for shooting up to 35cm away and the brightness can be adjusted to your satisfaction. There’s a few bright colours to choose from and the Instax Mini 9 is available from various retailers for less than $100.

Google Home Mini smart speaker

Has a loved one been talking about smart home gadgets all year? Gift them the Google Home Mini – the bite-sized smart speaker from Google – so they can get help with organising their day, keeping up with the news or even doing the little chores like switching lights on and off. It’s the roommate that will not encroach on personal space.

Google Chromecast

This nifty little gadget is one of our favourite streaming devices and it’s the best way to watch your favourite shows on Netflix or Stan, streaming direct to your non-smart TV. The Google Chromecast isn't capable of streaming in 4K, for that you'll need the Chromecast Ultra, which is also available for under $100.

Amazon Echo Dot (3rd gen)

Google isn't the only big tech company to offer smart home products on a budget. Amazon's Alexa is here to help too, with the latest 2018 range of Echo smart speakers. The puck-like Echo Dot is the smallest of Amazon's Echo range and can help you keep up with the news, listen to music, control your smart lights and much more, all with voice commands.

Tile (Mate & Pro)

Know someone who keeps misplacing their keys or wallet? Consider giving them a Tile Bluetooth tracker, a white square puck that will audibly let you know its location via Bluetooth as long as you’re within a 100 feet radius of it. While there are different Tile trackers to suit everyone, the latest range is the 2018 Mate and Pro trackers that come with replaceable batteries.

Beyerdynamic Byron in-ear headphones

These unassuming wired in-ear 'buds are a great budget option for someone looking for good sound for a low price. With surprisingly spacious and clear sound, the Byron has punchy bass and lively mid-to-upper frequencies that flatters most genres you can throw at it. Chuck in a carry pouch and three sizes of ear-tips and you'll be struggling to find a better way to drop $59.

Ryze Tello

This very affordable drone threatens to be educational while being fun. Made in partnership between Ryze Robotics and DJI, the quadcopter has a 720p camera which shoots reasonable footage and takes acceptable photos that are full of colour and life. The drone can flip, capture rotating shots and long rising ones. The Tello is primed for those who want to learn how to code with Scratch or an SDK – a terrific initiative and a big reason to gift one.

GoPro Hero

This budget action cam is easy to use, comes with voice control and produces excellent Full HD footage. It's got a refined design and polished controls, and although it's not as feature-packed as GoPro's other action cameras, it's perfect for the novice user or the budget-conscious.

Ticwatch E

If you thought smartwatches are expensive, think again. This Android Wear smartwatch has all the essentials anyone needs on their wrist at a very affordable price. It may not be the best-looking wearable either, but it sure is great value for money.

Ticwatch S

Another example of how affordable smartwatches can be. The Ticwatch S has a lot more features than the Ticwatch E, and yet comes in well below the $300 mark. It exceeds expectation for something at this price range – it's well designed, a joy to use and feature-packed. And although the Ticwatches run on Wear OS, they're compatible with iOS as well.

Google Home

Smart speakers are fast becoming mainstream but Google's Home are still popular, and pocket friendly too. It's perfect for anyone looking to set up home automation as well as get a speaker with decent sound. And with Google Assistant at your beck and call (literally), controlling a smart-home setup is easy as. 

Amazon Echo Plus (2nd gen) 

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The Echo Dot's bigger brother also has a 2018 model. If you want big sound from a smart speaker without spending too much money, then this one is for you. And with Alexa built in, you can easily control your smart home, check the weather, have an audiobook read out to you, and so much more.

Sonos One smart speaker

Sonos One

This is Sonos' first first Wi-Fi speaker with Amazon Alexa built in and it comes at a price that is far more approachable than previous offerings. Sonos is able to play the field a little bit with the company's CEO hinting that the already smart speaker would be adding Google Assistant support soon.

Nvidia Shield TV 4K media player

If someone you love is craving a do-all media player, the Nvidia Shield TV is our top pick. It's a tad more expensive than basic media players, but it runs Android TV OS, meaning there's heaps of apps available. Plus its Tegra X1 processor gives it heaps of grunt for running even the most demanding games.

Philips Hue smart lighting systems

philips hue starter kit deals

Setting up a voice- or app-controlled smart lighting system is easy with the Philips Hue starter kits. You not only get a couple of bulbs, you also get the all-important Hue Bridge, without which your lights won't work. If you think your loved one would like additional bulbs to add to the house, they're easily available. You can get the Philips Hue in White Ambiance – you can change the light temperature across the white to yellow range – and in White and Colour Ambiance – change not just the temperature, but the colour to suit your mood.

UE Boom 2 portable speaker

While this has been superseded by the Boom 3, the second-generation speakers are still one of our favourite Bluetooth options. It's also affordable, comes in some fun colour options and can keep the party rocking for hours together. And it's not afraid of water either, so take it to the pool or the beach and carry on listening.

Jabra Elite 65t true wireless headphones

These absolutely-no-cables headphones are a perfect balance of usability, features, and sound quality. The long battery life means you won't be fishing for the charging case as often as the competition, and are one of the first examples of the true wireless format doing almost everything right, including the warm audio profile and the ability to activate ambient sound mode.

Fitbit Charge 3

The Fitbit Charge range has traditionally provided all the fitness metrics the average person needs for as little money as possible. Building on the achievements of its predecessors, the Charge 3 adds 5ATM water resistance, and now includes the useful Fitbit Pay hardware so you can leave your wallet at home. And the screen is now bigger too, thanks to smaller bezels.

Kindle Paperwhite (2018)

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Got a lover of books in the family? Instead of finding them shelf space for their growing library, get them an e-reader that won’t burn a hole in your pocket. The latest Kindle Paperwhite is still one of the best Kindle options in the market, with a combination of a sharp screen, improved typography, waterproofing and an affordable price.

Kobo Clara HD

With one of the most responsive screens on a basic model of an ereader, the Kobo Clara HD takes reading to the next level, especially for those on a budget. The Clara HD’s 6-inch front-lit display integrates a blue-light filter which uses your timezone to automatically change screen brightness at night to reduce your exposure to sleep-disrupting blue light. The Clara HD also introduces a new ‘rapid page turn’ engine which allows you to quickly move forward in an ebook by holding down on the bottom-left corner of the screen.

Google Daydream View VR headset 

An affordable option for exploring the wonders of VR is Google Daydream. This headset is light, durable and features smart sensors that track movements and gestures. Currently the headset is compatible with just Google’s flagship phones, but is poised to work with many more Android smartphones in the future.

PlayStation 4 Slim

If you have to shop for a gamer and your budget allows for it, you could consider a gaming console. The PS4 Slim effectively replaced the original PS4 when it launched in September 2016. This smaller, lighter and more power efficient model also ends up being cheaper than the model it replaced. You can snag a 500GB console for under $450, while the 1TB model, with a game included, could be found under the $500 mark as well.

Xbox One S

Sony’s console isn’t the only option there is when it comes to gaming consoles. Microsoft is in the game too. At once more elegant and more powerful, the slimmed-down design of the Xbox One S ditches the external power brick and chunky looks of the original Xbox One. More importantly, it comes kitted out with 4K visual support meaning you'll be able to watch specialised Blu-Ray and Netflix content in 4K. And with the latest Xbox One X already flooding the market, the price for the older model has fallen.

Apple Watch Series 3

If someone you care about has been craving a bite of an Apple Watch but has been put off by the cost, then the Apple Watch 3 will make a great gift. For under $500 you can get the GPS version of the Watch in either the 38mm or 42mm sizes and in a variety of band options. And it can go for a swim too.

Kobo Aura One

For readers who want the best, Kobo’s latest offering is a great gift, albeit premium. With a 7.8-inch screen designed to keep sleep patterns intact and a waterproof body, it’s a great travel companion that can store a heck of a lot of books.

 Nintendo Switch 

The Switch is versatile – it can be used as a handheld device for taking along on boring commutes or can be used as a tethered console for home use. It’s got a premium feel that matches its premium price tag, but it’s one heck of a console with plenty of fun games, retailing at around the $460 mark.

Sony WH-1000XM3 wireless noise-cancelling headphones

These cans are the epitome of the wireless headphone realm right now. They have a comfortable comfortable lead over its competition (we're looking at you Bose QC35) and the settings deep-dive you into an app that makes for a truly formidable bet beast. The audio out of the box is warm, organic and flattering across the board, and with the premium construction and style to match, it's hard to recommend anything else.

ViewSonic M1 mini projector

The small size and reliance on battery power usually means portable projectors can only offer so much when it comes to brightness and screen size. Despite those restrictions, this LED unit from ViewSonic shines with a top brightness of just 250 lumens and resolution of 854 x 480. If that doesn't sound too bad, this makes for a great gift for someone who loves showing off family movies during Christmas.

Lenovo Smart Display (10-inch)

It's smart displays like this that will soon make the likes of Google Home and Amazon Alexa obsolete. Although there are two sizes available, the bigger 10-inch option is not only great for videos, it also brings with it big sound. And with a Google Assistant visual and voice interface available, any smart-home setup can easily be controlled. That display also means recipes are right where you want them! 

Samsung Galaxy Tab A 10.5 (2018)

Sharing the same screen size and 7,300mAh battery as the higher tier Galaxy Tab S4, Samsung's 10.5-inch Tab A is terrific value for money for those who want a good quality tablet experience without breaking the bank. It's got a 1080p LCD display, a mid-tier Snapdragon 450 processor, 32GB of onboard storage and 32GB of system memory, which is pretty decent when you consider its astonishingly affordable price tag.

Nikon D3500

If someone you love is keen on photography and wants to get more creative with the art, this little DSLR is a good starting point. It replaces the very popular D3400, bringing a remarkable long battery life and excellent image quality to an already reliable snapper. There's also a handy guide mode added to the D3500 which will walk a beginner through the steps of using the camera. 

GoPro Hero7 Black action camera

While it may share many of the headline features that its predecessor boasted, the Hero7 Black comes with a bunch of improvements as well. The addition of the all-new HyperSmooth image stabilisation is the most significant one, which delivers gimbal-smooth footage. The TimeWarp feature allows combining time-lapse footage with stabilised hyperlapse. So if money is no object, this is the best action camera you can buy today.

Xbox One X

While not technically a 'next-gen' console, the Xbox One X is still a powerful upgrade over the current Xbox One lineup. The target audience is gamers with a 4K HDR TV who want to squeeze the best graphical performance possible out of their console. The Xbox One X comes in just the 1TB flavour, however. 

PlayStation 4 Pro

Like the Xbox One X, the PS4 Pro is for 4K gaming. HDR, or High Dynamic Range is another 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 colours not usually displayed by traditional HD TVs. 

DJI Spark

While the Spark may not be the most powerful drone available today, this palm-sized quadcopter makes flying a drone and taking aerial footage plenty of fun for everyone, no matter their proficiency in flying drones. While it launched with a price tag of $859 last year, you can find the DJI Spark for much less now.

Canon EOS 200D

This new DSLR from Canon is compact, lightweight and a great gift for anyone wanting to step into the world of DSLR photography. For the kids beginning their photographer dreams or for the grown-ups who want to know more, the 200D has a touchscreen display with a guided menu which is very useful to have. It’s very easy to use and has reliable picture quality too.

Apple Watch Series 4

Featuring a new and more efficient S4 chipset, a 30% bigger screen, a haptic crown dial, 'walkie-talkie' messaging, 16GB of onboard storage and more advanced fitness tracking than ever before, the Apple Watch 4 is a serious upgrade. It's neat to get six hours of independent GPS fitness tracking and LTE music streaming straight to your Bluetooth headset.

Microsoft Surface Go

Microsoft Surface Go

Microsoft's new Surface Go takes a lot of the best elements from the Surface Pro line and repackages them into a budget 2-in-1. What, perhaps, is the killer feature of the Surface Go is Windows 10S, which allows the Windows Store-only operating system to run really well on CPUs that about half as powerful as a 2-in-1 running a Core i5 processor.

Asus Chromebook Flip

Although Chromebooks are still a little bit foreign to Aussie shores, the Chromebook Flip from Asus is the unit to beat. It's definitely worthy of its premium stature with a gorgeous screen, tactile keyboard and a classy design that's equally as comfortable to use in tablet mode or as a traditional laptop. If you're willing to drop a few extra dollars on a gift that will go the distance, the Chromebook Flip is the way to go.

Willing to go the distance and gift someone you love something expensive? Then think out of the box and get them one of our choices for the best techy Christmas gifts.

Apple iPhone XR

If you've got an Apple fan in the family who needs a new phone, then the iPhone XR, while expensive, offers a relatively cheaper way to get the latest flagship without having to pay the eye-watering prices of the other two. Available in a multitude of colours, along with an excellent battery life, this is our choice for the best new iPhone.

Google Pixel 3 / Pixel 3 XL

For the best smartphone camera in town, you can't think beyond Google's latest flagships. While the regular sized Pixel 3 is a great camera phone in its own stead, the larger Pixel 3 XL will suit anyone who prefers a phablet. And the night-time photos taken on the Google Pixel 3 handsets will be well worth the money spent on them.

DJI Mavic Air

It's hard not to love this premium foldable drone that captures stead 4K video at 60fps, yet fits into a backpack or a jacket pocket. It's currently the best consumer drone available on the market today and perfect for any aerial photography/videography enthusiast. 

Asus Zenbook 14 UX433

Most modern laptops don't feature a number pad, yet Asus has found a way to bring back the num pad in a most ingenious way in the ZenBook UX433 – it's on the track pad. This 14-inch laptop also has a NanoEdge display that has thin bezels, giving you plenty of screen real estate. And not only is it a marvel to look at, it also performs just as beautifully.

Asus Strix Scar II GL704

Take the gamer in your life close to where the action is with the ROG Strix Scar II GL704 gaming laptop. With really narrow bezels, the 17-inch screen gives the player a bigger stage, while the latest generation Intel's Core i CPUs and Nvidia's GeFroce GTX 1060 graphics chips give it plenty of grunt to take on the toughest adventures. 


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Dec
10
The 10 best gifts for runners in 2018
Posted by Gareth Beavis on 10 December 2018 01:53 AM

Hey there party people - we're back once again, with the ill behavior, to buy our loved ones the things they'll actually enjoy.

You're here, clearly, for one thing: your friend / partner / parent / offspring are runners and you've got no goshdarn idea what to actually buy them because either you don't think you're good enough to know, or the idea of lacing up trainers and letting people SEE YOU run fills your very nights with terror.

Well, here's tip one: if you're sure you can't get them socks, you're mega wrong. We runners love socks, and the more expensive they are, generally, the more we'll love them. In fact, go nuts with all running gear - get the size right and we're jubilant that it's not slippers.

But perhaps you want to be a little more targeted, feel like you're getting them something they REALLY want. Have they been dropping hints about finally getting a running watch? Keep moaning about their headphones? These are the gifts to go for.

Or perhaps you've already forked out for their 'big present' and you're looking for some decent stocking fillers - I've got you covered there too.

Now, this is by no means an exhaustive list - when it comes to reviewing and ranking tech in my 'day job' we're always superbly thorough and compare many models. 

THIS list, however, is made up of things I've tested out or would buy myself and can vouch for - most of it I've stress tested it and it's still going, so that's got to be a good thing, right?

I hate fitness trackers. They're just pointless - they need charging all the time, they give you data about your life you don't know what to do with... in short, they're gamifying things without a victory, where actual running watches do all that and so much more.

But the Moov Now was the first that I actually want to keep on my wrist - for a couple of reasons. 

Firstly, it has a six month battery life, so no need to charge. Secondly, while it does track steps and sleep you can 'activate' it to help you run faster, get fitter, do HIIT workouts and even monitor swimming through a clever app.

My main reason for loving it, however, is that it's got a brilliant cadence training program that forces you to learn to stride more quickly (and efficiently). If your running partner wants to get faster in races, tell them to use this for a few weeks and watch their times tumble.

I didn't want to put this in the list this year because, well, the Moov Now is a few years old and should have been superseded. You can't fault things that work though, and this is still a neat and inexpensive buy.

It's still number one in our list of best fitness trackers too - and while it might not stay there for long, it's still a cracking buy.

I really wanted to replace this from my list last year - but there's every reason to buy the Garmin Forerunner 235 watch. Firstly, while it's getting older (and older), the price is coming nicely down and the fact it's still working well is helping it remain front and center as a popular watch.

The tracking is accurate. You can get updates from your phone when you're running so you don't need to dig it out, and it even keeps your steps counted and sleep quality monitored too.

It comes with a heart rate monitor built in, but I'd still recommend buying a separate HRM strap as well as the wrist-mounted sensor can be prone to spitzing out at times.

This is a strong choice as a present for someone looking to make the upgrade to a 'proper' running watch - the Polar M430 is also definitely worth a look as an even cheaper option though.

I tried Zwift Running a little while ago, and while I found it a really engaging way to get over the mundanity of treadmills. Plonk an iPad in front of you on a treadmill (or run in front of a TV with Apple TV) and you’ll see your avatar following your speeds through a virtual world.

However, it was quite  expensive to get into - even if you have an iPad already, you either need a compatible treadmill or a footpod from Stryd, which wasn't cheap.

Well, now Zwift has launched its own, and for $29.99 (around £25 / AU$40) you’re getting speed and distance data, and a calibration directly set up for the Zwift experience. 

I’ve not tried it myself yet, but I’m definitely going to be picking one up in the new year for when I’m bored senseless on a treadmill and it’s too icy to step outside.

This is a no-brainer for me: yes, it’s expensive but at the same time it’s an indispensable part of my running arsenal. The vibration can go to crazy-strong levels, and it honestly feels like someone gets inside your tired muscles and washes them clean after - check out my more in-depth look to see just how enamored I am.

Garmin did a really great thing this year: added Spotify to its newer running watches. This was previously only available on the ‘only so-so for running’ Samsung Gear S3 or Gear Sport, or the Apple Watch if you have an Apple Music subscription.

Now, it’s on a ‘proper’ running watch with the Garmin series - the Fenix 5 Plus and 645 Music are the two with the internal capacity to store tunes, and I’ve gone for the former simply because the latter didn’t impress me on battery life in my heavy testing.

The Fenix 5 Plus is a bit overkill (plus it's heavy and rather expensive) for most users though, so while it’s frickin’ awesome to be able to ditch the phone and still be able to track technical interval sessions with ease, I’m hoping that for 2019’s gift guide I’m going to have something more affordable to recommend.

The first versions of these headphones were something that I lauded a few years ago when I put them on the for the first time: the fit meant that, finally, I had some Bluetooth headphones that would not fall out.

These upgraded versions are very much worth buying for the runner in your life: they’ve got the same strong fit, but also have upgraded sound quality, more tactile buttons for skpping tracks (a godsend when you’re trying to sprint through a session and need to jump to a more energetic song) and voice information on connection and battery life where previously it was just beeps. 

A little more expensive, yes, but there’s also a notable improvement in sound quality, particularly in the bass elements.

We all need a phone as runners, but your intended giftee probably already has a smartphone and you're not willing to buy them a new handset just to let them run better.

However, this phone from Nokia is a strong choice for two reasons: firstly, it's got a microSD card slot so you can load it up with music from that dusty old MP3 selection (sadly this isn't Spotify compatible), and with monster battery life you'll easily be able to get through any distance of run without it losing charge.

Secondly, it's pretty darn cheap as you can see with the prices below - yes, it's a secondary phone, but it'll also be a great festival / leave in the car / crap, my iPhone is out of battery handset to have around.

Thirdly, it's a proper unit - accidentally chuck this onto a path mid run and you won't need to worry about it being instantly covered in smashes.

I’m a creature of habit - I’ve been rocking up to Parkruns for a few years now wearing an assortment of superhero running tops, and I still love it now. 

The newer versions for this year are out, but there are loads to choose from and will always see you stand out in a race (people get bored of calling out names, but they’ll always cheer for a chap in a Spiderman top at mile 22 of a marathon).

I used the Bowflex SelectTech 560 models for a little while, and although they're really handy to have in the house, the fact these models were Bluetooth enabled seemed rather pointless, as the rep counting just didn't really work (nor did I find I needed it).

But I was impressed with the form and functionality, so if your runner has a gym membership simply to lift weights here and there, variable dumbbells that let you select a different weight with a quick twist are a real win - and you can do 95% of the workouts you get in the gym with little space and travel needed. An expensive choice but an easy win.

It looks like a belt. It kind of is. But it's a perfect stocking filler - it's a band that flips around your waist to hold your phone, keys and cards.

Previously I used the Running Buddy, a magnetic purse that clipped onto your shorts really strongly, but could pull them down if you ran too fast. Don't ask how I know that*.

The Flipbelt is so unobtrusive I forget it's there half the time - you can slip a phone in with ease, there's a clip for keys and you can even buy running water bottles to slip in as well.




*(on an unrelated note, maybe buy them some shorts with a strong drawstring.



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Dec
10
The best upcoming TV shows and movies on Netflix
Posted by Stephen Lambrechts on 10 December 2018 01:32 AM

UPDATE: Jennifer Aniston's new film Dumplin' has been added to our list of the best upcoming movies on Netflix, along with a trailer and release date. Watch it and find out more about the film on the next slide!

Netflix has changed the way we engage with television shows and movies forever, giving us the most convenient way to experience both from the comfort of our living rooms, laptop screens or smartphones. 

With a rapidly growing library of shows on the service and a huge lineup of projects in the works, we've put together a list of the best upcoming TV shows and movies on Netflix for 2018 and beyond. 

The shows and films on this list have been hand-picked based on how excited we are for them, meaning that it's not intended to be a complete release schedule. Instead, consider it our curated list of the coolest looking Netflix Originals currently in the works. 

We've also included upcoming seasons of already established shows which we're really eager to see. So without further ado, these are the best TV shows and movies coming soon to Netflix.

From Shinji Aramaki (Appleseed) and Kenji Kamiyama (Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex) comes the brand new Netflix Original animated GitS series, Ghost in the Shell: SAC_2045. Not much else is known about the new series, other than it marks the return of Major Motoko Kusanagi (whose new look for the show can be seen above) and that it will debut sometime in 2020. 

Release date: 2020

Saddle up, space cowboys, because Spike Spiegel and crew will return in a brand new, live action Cowboy Bebop series from Netflix! We don't know much about it as yet, though it has been confirmed that series creator Shinichiro Watanabe will be involved as a consultant on the show. The original show followed a band of misfit bounty hunters, each haunted by their own past, as they travelled the galaxy trying to keep food in their bellies. Packed with incredibly action, amazing style and lovable characters, Cowboy Bebop is ripe for further adventures – provided Netflix can stick the landing. Christopher L. Yost (Thor: Ragnarok) will write the new series, while Josh Appelbaum, Andre Nemec, Jeff Pinkner and Scott Rosenberg will act as showrunners.

Release date: TBA

Jim Henson's classic family film The Dark Crystal is getting an official follow up from Netflix, and not only that, it will forgo CGI and feature puppets exclusively – just as Henson would've intended. The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance will see a returns to the world of Thra, and will follow three Gelfling as they start a rebellion against the evil Skeksis in an effort to save their home. You can watch the first behind the scenes teaser below. 

Release date: TBA

Arguably the hottest actor in martial arts cinema right now thanks to his starring turns in The Raid films, not to mention his supporting turn in the upcoming Mark Wahlberg actioner Mile 22, Iko Uwais has signed with Netflix for a 10-part series that takes place in San Francisco's Chinatown district. Uwais plays an aspiring chef who becomes an assassin tasked with restoring balance among the ancient triads that rule city. In case you need more convincing, Uwais will also act as the lead fight choreographer and stunt co-ordinator on the show, which also stars Byron Mann (Altered Carbon), with John Wirth (Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles; Falling Skies) acting as showrunner. 

Release date: TBA

First published in 1978, the novel Watership Down told an survival story about a group of rabbits that venture out of their warren to find a new home in an attempt to escape tyranny and oppression. An animated version came shortly after, and while it looked like something akin to an old Disney film at first glance, its content would be considered incredibly bleak and disturbing to most children. Now, Netflix and BBC have teamed up to produce a new four-part Watership Down animated series and have already lined up some big names to lend their voices to the project, including John Boyega, James McAvoy, Gemma Arterton, Nicholas Hoult and Sir Ben Kingsley. Expect it to be even darker than the original. 

Release date: 2018

Having assembled an amazing cast for his next movie (now known as Velvet Buzzsaw), writer-director Dan Gilroy (Nightcrawler) looks set to deliver a fantastic Netflix Original film in the future. The film will star Nightcrawler alums Jake Gyllenhaal and Rene Russo, along with John Malkovich, Daveed Diggs, Natalia Dyer, Tom Sturridge, Billy Magnussen and Zawe Ashton. The film has been described as a horror thriller. Sounds intriguing to us!

Release date: TBA

Exciting news for fans of Martin Scorsese's classic gangster films – the director is bringing The Irishman to Netflix in 2018, and Robert De Niro, Joe Pesci, Harvey Keitel and Al Pacino (working with the filmmaker for the very first time) are all along for the ride. The Irishman follows a mob hitman (De Niro) as he recalls his possible involvement in the murder of Jimmy Hoffa, and is based on the best-selling book by Charles Brandt. If you're a film buff and aren't excited about this, you may need to check your pulse. 

Release date: 2018


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Dec
10
Google Maps, Mail and Photos: top tips to make you a mobile master in seconds
Posted by Andrew Williams on 10 December 2018 12:38 AM

Google's core apps are almost designed to be taken for granted by owners of Android smartphones – Gmail, Maps and Photos are always there, delivering some of the core functions we use our handsets for. 

But dig deeper into what these apps can do, rather than just using them on autopilot, and you'll discover a bunch of handy features you may never have known existed. 

So let's take a look at some of the Google app features you may not have used before – we're confident that a few of these will make it into your daily routine. 

The features below are designed for Android phones, but most of them are equally applicable to iPhone users - we'll highlight where that might not be the case.

Google Maps

How to cache map areas in Maps

Google Maps lets you save huge chunks of map data, and this can be very handy. A phone doesn’t need mobile data to track your location, as it can use satellite-based GPS – but without downloaded or 'streamed' maps, it’ll look like your location is being tracked on a blank page. 

If you have the storage capacity on your phone you can download a rectangle hundreds of miles wide, and even more in the north-south axis. However, just saving a few square miles that you navigate around regularly should make Google Maps feel seamless. 

To select an area to download, tap Offline Maps in the Google Maps menu, then Select Your Own Map. You’ll see a map that you can pinch and drag to fit the cached area window, along with how much storage space it'll take up.

How to use Street View on your phone

You can do a lot in Google Maps, but parts that Google doesn’t think you’ll want to use every day aren’t always the easiest to find. Street View is a good example. 

The app doesn't let you zoom into Street View when you're in Satellite view, as you can in a browser, but in any of the view modes you can tap and hold on a point on the map to bring up a red map marker, and you'll then see a thumbnail image at the bottom-left of the screen – tap on this and Street View will launch from that point on the map. 

Log where you park your car

There are whole apps dedicated to letting you log where you've parked your car, but Google Maps can do it for you too. 

Just tap on the blue dot that identifies your location and menu will pop up that lets you find nearby spots and share your location – and also save that spot as your car’s parking location. 

This logs it as a saved point on the map, making it really easy to find – you'll want to remember this tip next time you're visiting an out-of-town shopping mall or parking at an airport.

Gmail

Creating a signature

Many of us use signatures for our work email, but few of us do so for our own accounts. 

You can add you own with just a few taps, and this will only apply to emails sent from your phone. In Gmail, tap the three-line icon to open the menu, scroll down to Settings and then select the account you want to add a signature to. 

Scroll down the Settings screen and you’ll see the Mobile Signature option. This lets you type in a message that’ll appear at the bottom of your mails – it might be the perfect place to apologize in advance for any egregious autocorrect errors you your phone makes. 

Gestures

If you want to change how Gmail feels to use, you can customize its gestures. As standard, when you flick left or right on an email it gets archived. However, you can change this, and make left and right swipes do different things – your options are delete, mark as read, move to a folder, snooze or no action at all. 

This is one of the clearest ways to make the Gmail interface work smarter for you – although if this all seems like overkill then it probably means you’re a 'no action' kind of gesture user. 

You’ll find these controls in the General Settings sub-menu in Settings, under Swipe Actions, although this tip doesn't work with the iOS version of the app.

Shortcut search commands

Ready to get nerdy? Gmail offers a search feature that, we’d bet, 99% of people don't know about. But if you have an inbox crammed with 10-plus years of emails and you need to find one, or you want to have a clear-out, Gmail's 'search operators' are invaluable. 

These are codes that you type into the search bar, and here are some examples:

Size:0000000 Change those zeroes to a number and Gmail looks for emails that are larger than that number, in bytes. So 1000000 will look for emails that are roughly larger than a megabyte. 

Older_than:1y – No surprises here: this command brings up all emails received more than a year ago. 

Has:attachment – This filters emails that include an attachment

Has:YouTube – Handy if you want to see emails that include a YouTube video 

If those don’t sound especially useful for your needs you can check out the full list of commands at the Google website.

Make your emails look more interesting

Start adding color and formatting to your emails and you quickly risk entering Comic Sans territory in terms of taste; however, if you’re emailing your friends, rather than your boss, maybe it doesn’t matter. 

You won’t see formatting options as standard when composing an email on your phone. To bring them up, long-press some text to select it and then select Format from the pop-up menu to bring up a bar of options. 

Among other things you can use italics, underline phrases, change font colors and add highlighting to text.

If you're using an iPhone, you're limited to only italics, bold and underlining - perhaps Google thinks iOS users don't have time for such frippery (or it was just too hard to implement).

Google Photos

How to free up space on your phone

If you've had your phone for any length of time, no end of storage will be taken up with photos of your kids, your lunch, and the occasional accidental snap of the inside of your pocket. 

Google Photos offers the best way to quickly free up a lot of storage space, short of deleting those 4GB games you only played once. 

In the Settings menu there’s an option called Free Up Space. This removes from your phone shots that have already been uploaded to Google servers, assuming that you've turned on photo backups. 

The one thing to note is that if you use Google’s free 'unlimited' online storage you’ll then permanently lose the photos at their original quality. To get around this you'll want to back up your favorite shots to your laptop or desktop computer, if you still have one. 

On a Windows computer, plug the phone into a USB port and enable USB file transfers in the phone’s drop-down menu – you can then drag and drop photos in Explorer as if your phone was a USB stick. The process is similar on a Mac, but you need to download the Android File Transfer app, available direct from Google. 

Using search

Search is perhaps the most sneakily powerful part of Photos, making full use of the clever software Google always has working behind the scenes. 

You can probably guess some of the kinds of searches you can make – type in a place name, for example, and Google Photos uses the geocaching tag on the image find suitable matches. Search for a particular month and, sure enough, photos from that month will show up.

However, you can also search for all kinds of objects, because Google automatically AI-scans your images as part of the process. Want pics of puppies, cheese, pizza, castles, rocks or faces? Just type in that term and Google Photos works its magic to find what you’re after. 

Settings images as your wallpaper

Google Photos lets you set your phone wallpaper right from the app (if you're not on an iPhone, that is), and many of you may have done so already; however, the whole point of this article is that we're not assuming everyone’s an Google whiz kid.

To set one of your photos as your wallpaper, find the image in the Photos app itself. Now tap the three-pip Settings menu button in the top-right of the screen and select Use As. 

This will bring up a sub-menu of options, such as setting it as a WhatsApp profile picture (if you have that app installed), as well as making it your Android wallpaper. 

Making your images more social-friendly

Google Photos Assistant offers many ways to tweak your photos before sharing them online – and the less capable your phone's camera, the more important editing becomes. 

There are two parts of this to explore. First, just open up a picture and select the button that looks like a column of sliders. This opens up the editing menu. Photos keeps this part simpler than most image-editing apps, with a just a row of presets and Light, Color and Pop sliders. 

For a natural look just apply the Auto preset, which adds a little more oomph to your shots without altering their character too much. 

All done? The next top pick is Collage, found in the Assistant tab. This fits multiple shots into a single image, for a fetching 'lifestyle' look. 

Brought to you in association with Nokia and Android One, helping you make more of your smartphone. You can learn more about the new Nokia 7.1 here, and you'll find more great advice on getting the most from your phone here.


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