Windows 10 could soon overtake Windows 7 in popularity

There’s good news and bad news for Microsoft in the latest numbers from Netmarketshare, with Windows 10 continuing to grow in popularity, while its Edge browser continues to be ignored by most users.

Netmarketshare is a company that monitors which operating systems and web browsers are used on the internet, giving us a good idea of the kind of market share the software enjoys.

According to November’s numbers, Windows 10 was installed on 38.14% of PCs, while Windows 7 use dropped to 38.89%.

Microsoft will be pleased to see users are leaving its older operating system for its new one. However, Windows 7 remains the most-used desktop operating system, but if this trend continues, we could see Windows 10 finally over take it soon.

Unloved Edge

While Windows 10 is growing its userbase, Edge, Microsoft’s web browser that comes preinstalled with Windows 10, continues to perform poorly, with the browser dropping to 4.22%. Not only is this well below the current market leader, Chrome, and its 65.57% market share, but it’s also a drop from the month before, when it was on 4.28%.

With more people using Windows 10 but fewer using Edge, it points to a real problem Microsoft has with encouraging people to stick with the browser. Not only is Edge already installed on Windows 10, but Microsoft issues a number of prompts, ads and warnings when people install a rival browser.

Despite these efforts, people are still leaving Edge. If Microsoft doesn’t do something soon, the web browser’s decline could be terminal.

  • Here’s our pick for the best web browsers of 2018

Via MSPowerUser

The best cheap TV deals and sale prices for Christmas 2018 – 4K TVs for less

We’re into prime Christmas shopping territory now and that means this is a great time to get a cheap 4K TV deal! So if you’re ready for the world of Ultra HD take a look at the highlights of the best TV sale prices below. We’ve thoroughly searched through the early sales to bring you the best offers on the net. So whether you’re looking for an XL 4K TV to serve as the focal point of your home theater system, a modestly sized set for the bedroom or kitchen, or an entry level TV for the kids, you’re sure to find something that meets your specifications and budget.

You will find all of our carefully curated deals below. We’ve divided them into three different size categories immediately after our pick for the best cheap TV deal of the week. These days you really don’t have to pay much more to get a Ultra HD 4K set instead of an older-style HD one. If you’re after the hottest tech in TV though, you may want to take a look at the cheapest OLED TV prices.

Whether you want a small TV with a price tag to match or something to show all the colours of the rainbow (and a few million more) with HDR, we’ve found plenty of options. Read on to find the TV you want at a great price!

cheap 75-inch TV deals prices sales Sceptre

TechRadar’s cheap TV deal of the week

Cheap TV deals (40-49 inch)

Cheap TV deals (50-59 inch):

Cheap TV deals (60-85 inch):

More cheap TV sales:

Not found the right cheap TV for you today? Or maybe you’d prefer to directly browse the TVs at your favourite retailers instead of our highlights of the best cheap TV deals? We’re updating this page on a regular basis, so you may have better look another day. If you want to take a look for yourself now though, here are the direct links to a the full collection of TV deals at multiple stores. 

  • Amazon
  • Walmart
  • eBay
  • Jet
  • Tiger Direct
  • P.C. Richard & Son
  • Newegg
  • Samsung
  • B&H Photo and Video

Best TV streaming service 2018: Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, and more compared

Best TV Streaming Service 2018: Welcome to your definitive guide to the best, most worthwhile streaming services you can subscribe to today in the US.

The cord-cutting movement has grown and grown in recent years and no one is surprised. There are many reasons for that, from shifting viewing behaviors to online streaming, sky-rocketing cable bills full of features and channels no one watches and, of course, a huge selection of truly fantastic TV and movies on many streaming services online. 

Not only are there dozens of streaming services on the market, each of which offering a cornucopia of content that we can stream any time, anywhere, there are plenty new ones on the way.

For example, right now you’ve got your cable alternative mainstays like Netflix and Amazon, plus HBO Now for your Game of Thrones fix, and if you’re still interested in live TV without the bill at the end of the month, services like YouTube TV, Hulu and Sling TV are happy to fill in the gaps. 

What’s more, Disney is set to shake up the online streaming scene soon with Disney+. The new subscription service will be owned and operated by Disney and is set to land some time during 2019. 

If that just sounds more confusing and the last thing you need is another streaming service to add to your monthly outgoings, then remember that Disney+ is likely to house most of the Marvel and Star Wars content. Which means for a lot of us it’s a no-brainer. 

We know what you’re thinking. All this choice is great. Almost too great. If you were to subscribe to everything, you’d wind up paying more than you did for cable. So, with that in mind we’ve set out to find the best online TV streaming services, a definitive list of the services you absolutely need to subscribe to right now, plus a few more that are well worth your consideration.

Are you ready to kill off cable and step into the world of streaming? Pick your poison from the list of services below and don’t forget to budget for Disney+ when it arrives next year. 

1. Netflix

If you’re a connoisseur of movies and/or TV, there’s only one must-have player in town and that’s Netflix. It is, unequivocally, the biggest and best streaming service, despite not always stocking its digital shelves with must-have new movies and TV; that said, this is the staple streamer you need to own if you ever plan on cutting the cord and surviving without it. 

These days, most smart TVs have Netflix apps and finding a streaming box without it is the equivalent of finding a needle in a haystack. The quality of the movies and TV we tried – mostly streamed in Ultra HD – on both TV and on tablets is exquisite.

best online TV streaming services

Since launching its own content in 2013, Netflix’s originals library has swelled to an enormous size, boasting dozens of award-winning shows including Stranger Things, Orange is the New Black, The Crown, Master of None, House of Cards and a bunch of Marvel shows like Luke Cage, Daredevil and Jessica Jones. 

The impending launch of Disney+ looks set to take a good chunk of Disney-owned properties off the service, though – Disney own LucasFilm, Marvel, and Pixar, after all – so the library might start feeling less colorful pretty soon.

Netflix runs on a PC and Mac, Apple TV, Xbox One, PS4, Amazon Fire TV (and Amazon Fire TV Stick), Android phones and tablets, Windows Phones, iOS devices, internet-enabled TVs and Blu-ray players, and streaming players from Philips, Roku and Western Digital.

Don’t forget you can also give Netflix a spin with the 1-month free trial to see if it’s worth your money.

Verdict: 5/5

2. Amazon Prime Instant Video

Amazon and Netflix are two sides of the same coin. Saying one is better than the other is kind of like saying jelly is better than jam.

That’s not to say they’re identical – they most certainly are not – but the differences are few and far between.

First off, in terms of availability, Prime Instant Video is available for PC and Mac, the Kindle Fire HD, iPad, Xbox One, PS4, internet-enabled TVs and Blu-ray players, Sony’s Home Cinema system, Sony’s Network Media Player and myriad other minor devices that will go unmentioned.

Like Netflix, Amazon has its own set of original series – Transparent, The Man in the High Castle, and Mr Robot among others – but, generally speaking, they don’t receive the same fanfare as their Netflix-bred brethren.

Although Netflix is as guilty as dud programming as the rest of them, it’s worth mentioning Amazon Prime does get some pretty terrible new additions from time to time. So always check out guide to the best Amazon Prime TV shows (US) or best Amazon Prime TV shows (UK) before you dive in head-first. 

Best online TV streaming services

The two big differentiators between the services are the fact that access to Amazon’s streaming service comes standard with a subscription to Amazon Prime, and Amazon has its own proprietary set-top box, the Amazon Fire TV.

The £69/$69 (around AU$90) streamers aren’t the only connected devices with access to Amazon obviously, but engulfing yourself into the Amazon ecosphere greatly improves your chances of falling in love with Prime Video.

As far as its cost, a subscription to Amazon Prime will run up around $7.99/£7.99 per month, which is the same as Netflix’s basic plan, though you get access to Amazon’s music streaming and premium delivery services with your membership.

Like Netflix, Prime Instant Video also offers a 30-day free trial so you don’t have to pony up any money when you first start.

Verdict: 5/5

3. Hulu and Hulu Plus

Video streaming service Hulu offers big-name titles like The Simpsons, Saturday Night Live, and South Park alongside a huge number of titles from NBC, FOX and Comedy Central. It’s also the only streaming service app on the Nintendo Switch aside from the newly-included Youtube app.

Hulu comes in two flavors: the standard on-demand streaming service you’ve always known and loved, and the new Hulu with Live TV.

The former works well and is well worth its cost of entry. Sure, it’ll run you $7.99/m and air with a few advertisements, but it’s nothing you’re not used to coming from traditional cable. On the homepage you’ll find highlighted shows based on your past visits to the site as well as curated content from Hulu HQ. This includes game trailers, new movie trailers, popular clips from last week’s new episodes as well as a few themed playlists.

Best online TV Streaming Services

The other option on the table is Hulu with Live TV, a cable alternative that will run you around $39.99 a month – which is, unfortunately, limited to the US. The service fulfills its name by offering you a bevy of live TV channels and 50 hours cloud DVR service and two simultaneous screens. This is a bit less than the next contender on our list – YouTube TV – which offers more screens and unlimited DVR space.

The biggest problem with Hulu is that it lets users run head first into the paywall, keeping you from the content you’re most apt to pay for.

Some call this good business. Some call it extortion. Wherever you stand on the subject the fact that you get so much free content upfront means that the old adage of “you get what you pay for” definitely does not apply here.

Verdict: 4.5/5

4. YouTube and YouTube TV

Ask someone what they think was the biggest internet revolution of the 21st century and they’ll probably say it was YouTube. And with good reason – the user-generated video-blogging site has changed the online landscape forever.

It lets anyone, however well known they are (or not), whatever the quality of their content and wherever they hail from, upload their weird and wonderful videos for anyone around the world to watch at their convenience. The beauty of YouTube is that in the blink of an eye it’s taken the broadcasting power from the bigwigs and placed it right in our hands.

OK, so it might not have stopped people wanting to watch a high quality, professionally made production in their living room TVs, but it’s an insight into how TV might be produced in the future. After all with YouTube you don’t need a big budget – or indeed any budget at all – to produce your own TV series and establish a massive following.

best online TV streaming services

While the free portion of YouTube will always remain the most popular (the latest statistic says that a whopping eight years’ worth of content is uploaded each and every day to the site), but if you’re looking for quality content, YouTube TV is also an excellent option worth considering.

A subscription to YouTube TV is on the expensive side at $40 a month, but you’re treated to a fair amount of content – around 60 channels replete with cloud DVR functionality. The service is available only in the US for now, however, and even here it’s only available in around 100 markets around the country. Still, if you’re lucky enough to be in one of those areas, it’s the best live TV streaming service out there right now.

Verdict: 4/5

5. HBO Now and HBO Go

As a streaming service with ties to more traditional broadcasting models, HBO Go requires you to have a paid cable subscription to access its content. If you’ve got one of those, subscribing to HBO Go is an absolute no-brainer – it’s free for you! Go on, download it right now and put our word to the test.

If borrowing mom and dad’s cable account info isn’t in the cards and the ominous cable bill is too threatening to even consider, there’s HBO Now, a $15 per month service that gives you access to HBO’s entire content library. 

Alongside the new shows of Game of Thrones, Silicon Valley and West World you’ll also find heaps of big-budget films, new and old, and the stable of HBO classics like The Sopranos, Deadwood, Oz, True Blood, Sex in the City, Rome and The Pacific. The service doesn’t get as many updates as say, Netflix, Hulu, or Amazon do, but episodes are typically added within hours of them airing on cable.

Best online TV streaming services

HBO is a bit more selective about which device it interfaces with than Netflix and YouTube, but so far you can find it on Amazon Fire TV, Android/iOS, Apple TV, Chromecast, Roku, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, Xbox One and the whole line of Samsung Smart TVs.

Verdict: 4/5

Sling TV

6. Sling TV 

We’ve spoken at length about Sling TV in our review but in case you missed it, here’s what you need to know: Sling TV is live TV streaming from DISH whenever and wherever. But unlike traditional cable or satellite, there’s no contracts, no equipment and no costly bill at the end of the month.

Sling TV is a kind of cure-all for the cord-cutting generation, something that we knew we needed but no company stepped up to make. That said, it’s everything cable’s not. It’s affordable. It’s no-obligation. And there are absolutely zero sales reps trying to stop you from canceling your contract.

Best of all, you won’t have to give up some of the perks cable provided in the last few years like the ability to pause live TV or watch something that aired up to 72 hours ago.

But let’s get down to brass tacks. $20 a month gets you a TON of cable channels – ESPN, ESPN2, TNT, TBS, HGTV, DIY Network, Food Network, Travel Channel, CNN, Cartoon Network, ABC Family, Disney Channel and AMC, and many, many more.

If the included channels aren’t enough, Sling TV sells nine add-on packages for $5 a month that add around five channels each and focus on a particular theme (International News, Latino Programming, Sports, etc…) 

Sling TV is available on iOS, Android, Amazon Fire TV and Amazon Fire TV Stick, Xbox One and Roku TV, plus select LG and Samsung smart TVs and on PC and Mac via the website portal. 

It’s not without limitations, however. The standard Sling TV package, called Sling TV Orange, while available on a plethora of mobile and living room gadgets, will only work on one device at a time and, admittedly, at $20 per month doesn’t present the same content-to-dollar ratio that Netflix or Prime Instant Video provide.

Verdict: 3.5/5

Crunchyroll

7. Crunchyroll

Call us crazy but there’s something endearing about a streaming service that knows exactly what its audience wants. Crunchyroll is the streaming service any anime, manga or East-Asian cinema fan in your life has always wanted and never knew about.

Founded by Berkeley graduates back in 2006, Crunchyroll started as a bootleg website of sorts where users uploaded their favorite shows without permission of the original owners. Not the humblest of beginnings. Fast-forward to 2015 where the service has over five million community members, 200 series available on tap and is worth, when last checked, $100 million.

While you won’t find genre staples like Dragon Ball Z, Digimon or Pokémon around, most of the site’s 200-plus series are available to watch for free in SD, typically prefaced with a 20-second advert. Watching any content in full 1080p HD requires a $6.95 monthly subscription to the service, just be sure to check out the 14-day free trial before you begin.

Besides the slick web interface, Crunchyroll is available on iOS, Android, Windows Phone, PS4, Wii U, Xbox One, PlayStation 3, PlayStation Vita, Xbox 360, Chromecast, Apple TV, Roku, Google TV and Samsung and Panasonic’s line of Smart TVs.

Verdict: 3.5/5

Twitch

8. Twitch

For a certain crowd, Twitch (formerly known as Justin.tv) is about the best invention since sliced bread. Essentially it’s a livestreaming platform that focuses primarily on videogames where you can find everything from world tournament coverage to someone muddling their way through that indie darling you had your eye on buying.

It’s not traditional by any means, but you’ll find plenty to see and do on Twitch. Best of all the app is free on almost any platform you can think of: iOS, Android, Xbox One, PS4, Chromecast, Amazon Fire TV … you name it, it probably has a Twitch app.

Twitch may be limited to a niche audiences of gamers at the moment, but the platform clearly shows promise. Amazon bought the service wholesale in December of last year for a cool $970 million. Whether you count it as real TV programming, however, is another question.

Verdict: 3/5

9. iTunes / Google Play Store

Second-to-last on our list are iTunes and its Android counterpart, the Google Play Store.

Every other entry on this list has one factor going for it – it’s either free or offers a buffet-style, all-you-can-stream option. Apple and Google’s primary storefronts don’t offer that.

Payment is always done per title – which makes sense when you want to stream, say, the latest movie once per month – but is one of the most illogical ways to consume media if you plan on binge-watching anything.

That said, they’re not all bad. In fact, there’s no better way to own a digital copy of your favorite film or TV series than to buy it off one of these. Its ability to transfer any movies or TV shows straight to your mobile device makes these two of the slickest staples in the streaming world. Didn’t have time to finish that movie on your desktop last night? Save it to your iPad and watch the rest of it on the way to work the following morning. Easy.

iTunes isn’t perfect, we’ll admit. It’s a little bit clunky and slow at times, while Windows aficionados will baulk at the need to install Apple software just to get access to something you want to watch. Conversely, the Google Play Store will have you shelling out $3.99 for an SD version of a film that came out years ago, even if it’s available elsewhere for free.

But that’s the real Marmite bit of these e-commerce services. You pay to play or you can take your business elsewhere.

Verdict: 2.5/5

Crackle

10. Crackle

While creating this list, we gave some serious thought to leaving Crackle off completely. With a poor selection and even poorer streaming quality you’d be forgiven for never knowing about Sony Pictures Entertainment’s unfortunate streaming offshoot.

Crackle offers a rotating selection of a few dozen films from motion picture studios’ archives that focus on six categories: action, comedy, crime, drama, horror and sci-fi. One month you might see a kitsch classic like Ghostbusters, while the next you won’t be as fortunate and will only find a few throw-away films from the ’90s. Warning: Each film is streamed in standard definition, and a tiny ad floats at the bottom of the screen throughout the entirety of your stay.

What helped it make the cut? Its price. Streaming any one of the few dozen movies and TV shows found on Crackle’s website is completely free, no strings attached. Keep in mind that advertisements pop up before each movie starts, and expect a few intermittently throughout the film.

Should you choose to endure it, Crackle is available on iOS, Android, BlackBerry, Nook, Kindle, Roku, PlayStation TV, Chromecast, Roku, Amazon Fire TV, most Blu-ray players, smart TVs, game consoles including the PS4, PS3, Xbox One, Xbox 360 and PlayStation Vita, online and T-Mobile TV.

Verdict: 1.5/5

  • Best set-top box: the top six streaming media players for 4K and HD TV reviewed

AirPods upgrade rumored for 2019, with an all-new design in 2020

When it comes to Apple predictions, tech analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has a better record than most, so it’s worth paying attention to his latest update on the future of the AirPods. Kuo says an improved pair will arrive next year, with support for wireless charging, followed by a major upgrade in 2020 with an all-new design.

As 9to5Mac reports, the case for the new AirPods will be where the wireless charging magic happens, thanks to a component upgrade. The earbuds themselves are set to get better Bluetooth technology too, according to Ming-Chi Kuo.

Kuo doesn’t specify what exactly the all-new design might involve, but there are only so many shapes that work for a pair of earphones. One of the big upgrades previously rumored for the next-generation AirPods 2 is “hey Siri” integration – so you’ll be able to access Apple’s digital assistant without getting your phone out.

Apple’s best-selling accessory

Other whispers from the rumor mill have suggested extra sensors will be fitted inside the next AirPods to enable various kinds of health and fitness monitoring. It’s possible that the new AirPods will be able to augment whatever tracking is happening on your phone, adding to the number of ways the Apple Health app can keep tabs on your well-being.

In his most recent report, Ming-Chi Kuo also says the AirPods have been Apple’s most popular accessory ever in terms of sales. He expects Apple to be shifting more than 100 million pairs of AirPods by the time 2021 rolls around.

What we didn’t get this time is any mention of the AirPower charging mat that Apple previewed way back in September 2017 and since seems to have forgotten about. It’s possible that we’ll see the AirPower mat (or something like it) finally appear in early 2019 when the next revision of the AirPods earphones see the light of day.

  • Xiaomi launches AirPod rivals for those on a super-tight budget

5 ways to change the way the world looks with your phone and delight your kids

Augmented reality (AR) is one of the newest and fastest-developing areas in smartphone tech – and, no, it’s not just about pointing your phone’s camera at products in the supermarket to find out whether they’re cheaper online.

AR can be fun, and educational, too. It will let the little ones draw sculptures in 3D like a preschool Rodin, make Lego creations without you having to spend any money on sets, and learn about ancient Egypt. 

All you’ll need are either an iPhone of the 6S generation (2015) or newer, or a phone that runs Android 7.0 or newer. Got that sorted? Here are five AR apps you should try. 

Lego BrickHeadz Builder AR

Download: Android

Have you seen how expensive Lego sets are? Letting your kids loose on the AR alternative may only cement their love for these pricey colorful bricks, but it’s one way to stop them asking for a new real-life set right now

Lego has made a bunch of game-like apps that let you build creations brick-by-brick, and then bring them to life with animations and movement. BrickHeadz Builder AR is the most ambitious, as it transposes the process of making Lego creations onto the real world. 

This initially sounds incredibly fiddly, but your kids are eased into it, and it’s a great demonstration of the fidelity of augmented reality hardware. 

If your children find it too tricky, you might want to install one of Lego’s non-AR apps. Lego Duplo Train is perfect for young children. Too simple? Juniors Create & Cruise is a little less simplistic, and Lego Creator Islands is another step up in the level of interaction. 

Civilisations AR

Download: iOS / Android

The traditionally tech-cautious BBC has already experimented with augmented reality, producing Civilisations AR. It turns your phone into a mini museum, letting you discover real-life exhibits by dropping them AR-style onto your kitchen table. 

Your kids can then explore them, using a virtual flashlight to highlight parts, and read more about them in the written guide. All of the exhibits are real-life objects, and Civilisations AR tells you the museum in which they’re housed. 

Planning a visit to the British Museum during the school holidays or on a trip to the UK? Civilisations AR is a neat way to get them to engage before you even get there. This is probably an app only older children will enjoy, though, as while the text is easy to read, it hasn’t been watered down to suit a very young audience. 

Crayola Color Blaster

Download: iOS / Android

Had enough of our educational picks? Crayola Color Blaster (it’s Color Blast AR at the App Store) is pure silly fun. It’s an augmented reality game in which you blast zombies and dragons with paint, and have to move around your home to avoid them. 

This isn’t a violent game, so it’s perfect for kids, but you do lose paint bucket ‘lives’ if the waves of enemies catch up with you. 

There’s a story mode that teases the most entertainment out of a simple AR action style, and an arcade mode that does the trick for a quick five-minute splatter-fest. Both of these modes are free to play in Crayola Color Blaster.

Star Walk 2

Download: iOS / Android

The star map was one of the original uses for augmented reality. Google released its Sky Map astronomy chart in 2007, and a phone app version appeared not long after Android was born. 

You can still download and try that app on an Android phone – it’s called Sky Map. However, there are now much more advanced and visually appealing takes on the same idea, and Star Walk 2 is one of the best. 

Point your phone at the sky and you can use it to identify constellations, and zoom in to see information on planets and star clusters. 

The amount of information packed into Star Walk 2 when you dig a little deeper is sensational. The only issue is that the app is a little heavy-handed with ads; however the ad-free version is well worth the $2.99 (£2.99, AU$4.49) price if it sparks your kids’ imaginations.

Just a Line

Download: iOS / Android

This is an official Google AR app, and it’s brilliant. 

On paper, Just a Line sounds almost too simplistic: it lets you draw in AR, with a white line of one of three thicknesses. There’s no color, and no textures or brush styles. 

However, in practice it’s spellbinding. Just a Line doesn’t feel like drawing – it’s closer to creating a sculpture in 3D space, or virtual 3D printing, with the movement of your phone teasing out the line in all directions rather than just on a flat plane. You can then pan around your creation in seamless 3D.

Just a Line even lets you draw with another person in the same 3D environment, using another phone or tablet that supports ARCore, Google’s augmented reality standard. 

You can also record a video of your painting sculpture in action. This is most definitely not ‘just a line’.

  • 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.