Google is Siri’s favorite search engine again

Poor Bing. Microsoft’s underdog search engine used to have a quiet home on iOS and Spotlight for the Mac, but Apple today said in a statement to TechCrunch that it’s parting ways with Bing for most search services. 

Instead, Apple is turning to the common-as-air search engine from the folks in Mountain View. 

“Switching to Google as the web search provider for Siri, Search within iOS and Spotlight on Mac will allow these services to have a consistent web search experience with the default in Safari,” Apple’s statement said, emphasizing the appeal of uniformity.

But Apple isn’t embracing Google in its entirety. Bing will still be the default engine for image searches for both Siri and Spotlight, possibly because Bing’s searches aren’t as curated as Google’s (which, among other things, makes it a big hit with the porn community). 

No going back

Video searches, rather pragmatically, will default to YouTube searches. Keep in mind that’s still technically a win for Google.

And if you don’t like Google and want to change it back? Too bad. iOS won’t let you change the default engine for Siri, although you can work around it and flat-out ask Siri to search for something on Bing.

Apple didn’t give any reasons for the switch apart from the desire for consistency, but it’s possible money was involved. 

As CNBC first reported, the Bernstein research firm made a splash in August when it suggested Google could be paying Apple as much as $3 billion a year to remain the default search engine on Safari for iPhones and iPads. 

In that context, maybe Google’s just trying to get a little more bang for its seemingly bottomless bucks.

  • Don’t miss our hands on iPhone X review

Amazon cuts 4K content prices to stay up to speed with Apple TV 4K

Earlier this month, Apple announced it would start pricing videos in 4K on iTunes at the same price as HD videos to celebrate the launch of the Apple TV 4K, and there was much rejoicing. 

Apparently, there was a lot of negotiating from competitors, too. Today, Amazon slashed the prices on all of its own 4K videos, making them infinitely more affordable than they were just hours ago.

According to Pocket Lint, until recently you could find yourself paying as much as $30 for a 4K video from Amazon US. Now, though, you’ll find some of the titles for as low as $5, while newer programs will cost you a little more. But only a little: you probably won’t have to spend more than $20.

The catch? Amazon still has a pitiful 4K selection compared to iTunes. The silver lining, though, is that some of those 4K videos will likely come free with a Prime membership when Amazon finally releases its expected app for the Apple TV 4K.

For that matter, Amazon itself is expected to release a new Fire TV box with 4K and HDR support soon as sales of the old model have temporarily ceased and leaks of newer models are starting to pop up.

The price slash is a seemingly small bit of news that could have a massive impact, as few things spur the adoption of new technology quite like making that technology affordable. With more accessible pricing, in other words, the 4K revolution is at last coming to the people. 

Via The Verge

  • Here are some great 4K HDR movies and TV shows to get you started with your new Apple TV 4K

Best headphones and speaker deals and offers at GITEX Shopper 2017

If you’re looking for a comfortable pair of noise-cancelling headphones, then look no further than the Bose QuietComfort 35. With both wired and wireless capabilities, these headphones are great for long-haul flights or when you need a bit of focus when working in a noisy coffee shop.

Emax is currently selling the Bose QuietComfort 35 for a reduced price of AED 1,299, down from AED 1,449.

The Libratone Too might be small, but is capable of pumping out some seriously loud tunes. It’s rechargeable, easy to carry around, and not to mention it’s super-stylish to boot.

Sharaf DG are currently selling the Libratone Too at the bargain deal of AED 499.

The Samsung HW-MS651 Soundbar is a great solution if you want a stylish upgrade to your living room audio. With Bluetooth and Multiroom support, there’s plenty of ways you can enjoy some stellar audio on this Soundbar.

Samsung are selling the Samsung HW-MS651 Soundbar for AED 1,449 along with an AED 200 gift voucher.

In the market for an affordable gaming headset? The Steelseries Siberia 350 is the perfect pick – it’s affordable, easy to setup, and is built for long hours of gaming.

Jacky’s Electronics is currently selling the Steelseries Siberia 350 for AED 319, down from AED 599.

Another great noise-cancelling contender is the Sony MDR-1000X. It comes in a variety of colors, and offers high-res audio for supported file formats. You can also swiftly lower the audio volume just by cupping your hand over the headset, which is great is someone needs to ask you a quick question.

Jacky’s Electronics is selling the Sony MDR-1000X at AED 1,299, down from AED 1,599.

  • Best phone deals and offers at GITEX Shopper 2017
  • Best camera deals and offers at GITEX Shopper 2017
  • Best TV deals and offers at GITEX Shopper 2017
  • Best laptop deals and offers at GITEX Shopper 2017

Twitter is testing a lite version of its Android app

Whether you make butter, soft drinks or social media apps – if you’re not offering a lighter version of your original product you’re doing something wrong and missing out on a potentially huge number of consumers.

Back in April of this year, Twitter joined the ranks of Facebook, Google, and Microsoft by creating a streamlined version of its mobile site called Twitter Lite. Now it’s taking this one step further with the Twitter Lite app.

The app seems to be largely the same experience offered by the Lite browser site, providing all the key features of the main Twitter app including timeline, Tweets, Direct Messages, trends, profiles, media uploads, notifications, and more. 

Data deprivation

However, it’ll work efficiently on 2G and 3G networks and a data-saving ‘media free’ mode will blur out any images or videos until the user specifically indicates they want to view them. 

Twitter Lite is currently an Android-only app and is being made available through Google Play in the Philippines. This limited release makes sense considering these data-friendly apps are geared towards attracting users in emerging mobile markets without 4G connectivity and slow and unreliable wireless networks. 

There is, however, usually interest in other parts of the world where data plans are expensive and customers are looking for ways to make their tariffs go further. Twitter has, however, said that the Twitter Lite app is just an experiment at the moment, so it’s not clear whether it will ever be rolled out to wider markets than the Philippines. It’s worth remembering that rich media is still important to advertisers, so there may not be as much of an incentive to offer a lite version in some territories.

In the meantime, other users interested in a more stripped-back Twitter experience will have to continue to use the admittedly less convenient but equally as function-filled browser version. We’ll update here if and when that situation changes. 

  • Via Beta News
  • Facebook has launched Messenger Lite in hundreds more countries

OLED iPhone X may come in larger sizes in the future (but not smaller)

Want all the face-recognising, bezel-less OLED goodness of the iPhone X, but don’t much fancy the large 5.8-inch screen size? You may be out of luck then – while Apple may well be planning an even larger iPhone X, rumored plans for a smaller 2018 edition have now been shelved.

That’s according to the Korea Herald, which claims Apple has revised its initial strategy to cater for the increased popularity in ever-growing screen sizes.

Apple is said to have given its display suppliers, including Samsung, an initial order for three iPhone screen sizes for 2018 – a 5.28-inch size, another batch of the 5.8-inch screens, and a new 6.46-inch supply, too. And while that larger size has made the cut, the smaller device is no longer being considered.

OLED-on-arrival?

In an interesting side note, however, the source claims that Japan Display has been approached for an LCD, not OLED, screen at that six inch size. This would stray from the current expectation that, as Apple’s premium design, all iPhone X models would continue to offer an OLED display. 

At this early rumor stage, it’s hard to say where the truth may lay – our gut says that anything bearing the iPhone X name, whatever the size, will stick with OLED, rather than confusing one of the line’s USPs.

The only way is up for iPhone sizes it would seem, then. Those looking for iOS in a phone size that’s more discrete should still turn their attentions to the 4-inch iPhone SE.

  • Hands on: iPhone X review

The best laptop for writers: the 10 best laptops for authors and journalists

If you’re a writer, or you’re in a job where writing is a big part of your day-to-day life, and are looking for the best laptop to suit your needs, then you’ve come to the right place.

We’ve gathered together the very best laptops for writers, taking into consideration the specific needs that writers and journalists need when looking for a laptop. That includes a comfortable keyboard that can be used for hours on end, a clear, easy to read, screen, long battery life and a slim and compact design that allows you to take your laptop with you where ever you go.

Because you’ll be mainly using your laptop for word processing and research, it means you don’t need the most cutting edge components. This can help keep the price of your laptop down. Also, even if you’re not a full time writer, author or journalist, it doesn’t means you’re not writing a lot for your job. Emails, reports and presentations all require a laptop that is comfortable to write on.

What’s more, our funky price comparison tools will show you where you can buy each one for the absolute cheapest price, so you won’t have to trawl through the web comparing prices. If you want to see a more comprehensive list of prices and retailers, simply click the ‘view all prices’ link on each widget!

The best laptops for writers:

Thinkpad X

Lenovo took an existing form factor and refined it to deliver the new 2016-2017 ThinkPad E470. Powered by the 7th generation Intel Core processors, this particular SKU has a 14-inch FHD anti-glare display, powered by a discrete Nvidia Geforce 940MX 2GB GPU. While a discrete graphics card may be a bit overkill for writers, it means you’ve got a fast performing machine that can also handle the odd game when you need a break.

Equipped with a spill resistant keyboard, a TrackPoint and a 3+2 buttons click pad, the E470 has more than enough ports and expansion capabilities to keep the average user happy. Shame that it doesn’t do DisplayPort, so no 4K output.

If you’re looking for a sleek machine that’s powerful and easy to carry around, then you’ll love the Asus Zenbook UX310UA. As an ‘ultrabook’, this is a device that combines style with top-of-the-range components. For writers looking for a laptop, this means you get a brilliantly-performing machine that you won’t need to upgrade for years, and thanks to its slim design it’s easy to take with you if you do a lot of writing while travelling. The keyboard is a decent size which makes writing on it a pleasure.  Like most laptops of this kind, it comes in various specifications so the cheaper versions have Intel Core i3 CPUs and full HD screens while the most expensive options come with a super high res display and Intel Core i5. Whichever one you go for, though, you’re getting a fantastic laptop. 

Read the full review: Asus Zenbook UX310UA

A Chromebook doesn’t run Windows, Android or Apple’s Mac OS. Instead it’s powered by Google’s Chrome OS – a super lightweight operating system based on the Chrome web browser. It’s a great way to save money on a laptop, and if you’re buying a laptop to use primarily for writing, it’s a great choice, as Google Docs can be used as a word processor, and you of course also have the Chrome browser for research. The Chromebook Flip is the best Chromebook out there at the moment, offering truly premium build quality, a fabulous touchscreen and keyboard and excellent performance. All while offering great value for money too. 

Read the full review: Asus Chromebook Flip C302
See more like this: The best Chromebooks 2017

If you’re after a cheap laptop for writing that offers something a bit special, look no further than the Lenovo Yoga Book 2017. As with all Yoga devices, the screen folds flat so you can use it either as a tablet or a laptop. To add more versatility, Lenovo has now added the option to buy it with either Windows 10 or Android 6.0 onboard – which one you choose will depend how you’re more likely to use the device. The screen on this thing defies the cheap asking price and the keyboard and capacitive touch-keyboard are both fantastic too. The built-in Wacom digitizer stylus allows you to hand-write notes on the touchscreen, and then save them to the web – or convert it into text – which makes it the perfect device for quickly writing down notes when inspiration strikes.

Read the full review: Lenovo Yoga Book
See more like this:
The best 2-in-1 laptops 2017

The Microsoft Surface Pro 4 is 2017’s best laptop for you if you’re looking for the perfect cross between a nimble Windows tablet and a fully functional laptop. The base version of the Surface Pro 4 is just a tablet – you get the main unit itself with kickstand but if you want the Surface Pen or the fantastic Type Cover keyboard you’ll need to pay extra for a bundle or buy it separately. Again, this is a great laptop for writers who can use a stylus to jot down their notes to later turn into editable text. If you are buying the Surface Pro 4 as a device to use as a writer, then we strongly recommend buying the Type Cover keyboard, which adds a comfortable to use keyboard that also doubles as a protective cover for the screen.

Read the full review: Microsoft Surface Pro 4
See more like this: The best 2-in-1 laptops 2017 

HP

The 255 G5 is HP’s entry-level business laptop and is a solid candidate should you be looking for a straightforward, reliable, workhorse at a bargain price. It’s a great laptop for writers, as it has solid (if unspectacular) specifications, while keeping the price at a reasonable level. If you want a similar laptop with an Intel processor, rather than AMD, then the HP 250 G5 is worth looking into. There are various configurations of both the HP 255 G5 and the HP 250 G5, so it’s worth shopping around and finding one with the right components for your needs.

If you’re after the latest and greatest laptop from Apple, welcome to the 13-inch Macbook Pro with touchbar. It’s the best laptop Apple has ever made, and builds new features into the classic design. Of course the headline feature is the touchbar – it’s a thin OLED display at the top of the keyboard which can be used for any number of things, whether that be auto-suggesting words as you type or offering Touch ID so you can log in with just your fingerprint. This makes it an excellent laptop for writers, and if you love Apple’s way of doing things, then you’ll love the Macbook Pro with touchbar. The reason why it isn’t higher in our list of best laptops for writers is the price: this is an incredibly expensive laptop, and if you’re just using it for writing, then there are plenty of much cheaper alternatives. However, if you’re an Apple fan that wants a machine for performing more complex tasks, as well as writing, then there really is no other choice.

Read the full review: Apple Macbook with touchbar (2017)
See more like this: The best Macs and Macbooks 2017

If you want the Microsoft Surface Pro 4 but you want to spend a lot less, the Acer Switch 3 2017 is definitely the your best option. It’s designed around essentially the same concept as the Surface Pro and it’s a less capable thanks to slightly lower power innards, but for most tasks, especially writing, it’s a brilliant little machine. What’s more, to add further value this 2-in-1 laptop/tablet comes with the keyboard upgrade which means no little extras to pay for. As usual it comes in several different versions, with USB Type-C, 8GB RAM, an IPS display and Intel Core i3 7100U CPU coming with the more expensive option.

Read the full review: Acer Switch 3
See more like this: The best 2-in-1 laptops 2017 

The Acer Chromebook R11 is probably the best cheap laptop around at the moment, and it’s a great laptop for wirters. Like the Acer Chromebook Flip higher up this page, this laptop runs Chrome OS so does away with all the overheads that Windows brings. Consequently it’s able to run nice and fast on less powerful components, which means a very cheap price! Its touchscreen is decent, though it’s only HD, and it will flip to become a tablet too. What’s more, it’ll run practically all day thanks to its excellent battery life. So if you’re looking for a capable but very cheap laptop that you can whip out and begin writing on, then this one is your best bet.

Read the full review: Acer Chromebook R11
See more like this: The best Chromebooks 2017 

If you’re looking for a larger and more powerful laptop for writing on, then the Dell XPS 15 could be for you. Packing the same InfinityEdge technology as the smaller XPS 13, the screen extends right to the edge of the machine which means it’s as small as it’s possible to make a 15-inch laptop in 2017. It’s quite pricey though, depending on which version you get. The very top end version has a 4K color-accurate display, which may be a bit of overkill for a laptop for writing on, but it gives you more flexibility if you want to use this laptop for various tasks. Crucially, the large keyboard is also very comfortable to use.

Read the full review: Dell XPS 15

  • Want more choices? Check out our list of the best laptop 2017

Super Mario Run is getting a major update next week

If you’re still playing Super Mario Run on iOS or Android, or you’ve got an inkling that you’d quite like to get back into the groove of playing it, you’ll want to know that Nintendo is planning a significant update for the mobile game which lands on September 29 (that’s next Friday).

We haven’t seen much in the way of upgrades since the game first appeared at the end of 2016, but the new features might be enough to tempt some gamers back to the title or even get a few Mario fans playing it for the first time.

As announced on Twitter, the update brings with it the ability to play as Daisy (taking the number of fully playable characters up to seven), and a new mode called Remix 10 – apparently it mixes up short snippets of existing levels in different ways, and throws in some extra rewards and collectable items, to give you a fresh challenge.

New levels, your music

That’s not all: there’s also a new world called World Star, with nine new levels, new enemies, and new gameplay mechanics. World Star gets unlocked after you’ve completed worlds one to six.

Finally, you’re going to be able to listen to your own music while you play (and if you do, the characters will be shown wearing headphones). To sweeten the deal, the price of the game will be halved between September 29 and October 12, so snap it up quickly (if you haven’t already) to get the best possible price.

It’s been a while since Super Mario Run got some love from Nintendo (which has had other launches on its mind) but better late than never – it’s good to see the gaming giant staying committed to its mobile titles months after they first hit.

  • These are all the Super Mario Run tips and tricks you need to know

Via Polygon

Best alternatives to MacBooks for music making

In 2002 the arrival of Mike Skinner’s ‘The Streets’ legitimised music that had been produced at home on a laptop, and the inexorable rise of the ‘bedroom producer’ began.

Since then laptops have become more powerful, more portable and more capable of running the kind of high end software (Logic Pro, Ableton Live and Pro Tools to name a few) you would normally associate with a professional recording studio, and it’s the norm for a band (at any level) to utilize a laptop in their live setup. 

Apple, with its Mac Garageband and Logic first-party music making software, has often been the go-to machines for those looking to record their own tunes. But, if you’re a struggling songwriter waiting for your big break, buying into Apple hardware can be a pricey investment.

However, in the last few years the progress of technology has meant you can now get laptop performance in significantly smaller devices, namely tablets and 2-in-1 ultraportables, making producing music at home or on the road more convenient than ever, without needing to make the dive into Apple’s MacBook line. 

With that in mind we have rounded up the best devices for music producers in search of their next production tool, when a Mac just isn’t an option. Let’s get started. 

Now in its fourth generation, the Microsoft Surface Pro has been taking the fight to the MacBook since 2013, and the latest version is hugely compelling for music makers.

Build quality is excellent, and the magnesium uni-body casing feels robust enough to endure life on the road but is also pleasingly light at only 770g. 

The 12.3-inch screen is bright, crisp and clear. The panel is particularly luminous, so great in low light/club conditions, and the high pixel resolution means using a DAW (Digital Audio Workstation) such as Cubase isn’t fiddly, especially when using the Surface Pen (sold separately £59.99/$94.95 AUD/$59.99 USD). 

Power comes from an Intel Core i5-6300U and 8GB of RAM and provides enough grunt to run most resource intensive music production software on the Windows Pro OS. Don’t expect it to power Pink Floyd’s next stage show though, with the battery life of around four hours disappointing.

Nevertheless, the excellent Type Cover £149.99 ($249.95 AUD/$159.99 USD) is a joy to use and the USB 3.0 port makes hooking up MIDI equipment easy.

Read the full review: Microsoft Surface Pro Review

The iPad Pro 12.9-inch may be one of Apple’s most misunderstood products (who wants/needs a giant iPad?), but it makes a stella platform for music creation – arguably even more intuitive than the company’s MacBook offerings.

Importantly, the iPad Pro runs iOS 11, Apple’s mobile operating system, so you can’t run full DAWs as you might on the Surface Pro. What you can do is take advantage of the App Store’s unparalleled wealth of music making apps (including Korg synthesizers and even FL Studio), and Apple’s GarageBand (essentially Logic Pro light) remains the best entry level DAW around. It’s a great introduction to digital music making. 

Build quality, weight (677 grams) and the phenomenal screen (2732 x 2048 pixels) are all impressive, but we’re not such a fan of the Smart Keyboard’s raised rubber keys.

However, we were impressed by the four-speaker audio system, and the lack of a USB port is somewhat compensated for by the fact that many DAW manufacturers let you use the iPad as a controller (connecting via Bluetooth).

Read our hands-on review: iPad Pro 12.9

The 2-in-1 market endured a stuttering start, but persistence pays off and the Yoga 720 proves you can have the best of both tablet and laptop worlds.

The device offers a great deal to the music maker. The Intel Core i7 combines with 8GB of RAM to make it powerful enough to run complete DAWs, one USB and two USB-C ports make this ideal for connecting sound cards or MIDI equipment (you can always use a USB-C to USB 3.0 converter if you want more of the latter) and the battery life of nearly eight hours offers you the freedom to make music on the move without need for a power point. 

Build quality is very high and the sturdy hinge mechanism makes transitioning from laptop to tablet easy, the latter letting you use touch to manipulate instruments and effects to a greater degree than a mouse/keyboard combination ever could. 

Finally, the JBL speaker system offers a nice little extra in terms of audio performance. 

Read the full review: Lenovo Yoga 720 review

You wouldn’t associate a Chromebook with music production: they lack the necessary meaty specs to process and render software instruments over multiple tracks. However a growing number of apps in the Chromebook Web Store and an online DAW called Soundtrap make the Dell Chromebook 11 considering – especially on a budget.

Originally designed for the classroom this is a rugged device that suits life on the road and the excellent battery life of nearly 10 hours provides some of the best portability in this group. The 180 degree hinge lets you achieve a comfortable viewing angle in any situation – perfect for making music in cramped conditions – and the stereo speakers are pleasingly loud.

The Chrome operating system is simplicity itself and will be broadly familiar to anyone who’s ever used an Android phone, but it’s important to remember the Chromebook needs an internet connection to access most of its features (although offline functionality is constantly improving).

Once online we suggest you head straight for Soundtrap. Here you can create sketches of songs over multiple tracks, and even share them with collaborators. 

Bringing up the rear is Samsung’s equivalent of the Surface Pro: the Galaxy Book. A large, 12-inch device that boasts an attachable keyboard (included in the price) and stylus, or S-Pen, that encourages you to make use of the device’s touch capabilities. 

Build quality is good, if a little plasticy, but the screen is superb and produces razor sharp images that are extremely rich in color. When you’re not making music, games and movies will look great.

A good amount of power is provided by a Core i5 processor and 8GB of RAM so you’re music making applications should run without issue and, unlike the iPad Pro here, the Windows operating system means you aren’t locked into one ecosystem, offering you flexibility in choosing what those applications are.

Pleasingly two USB ports provide plenty of space for attaching MIDI equipment such as a keyboard or microphone and the battery life of around four hours is about industry standard.

Read the full review: Samsung Galaxy Book review

The 20 best online games you should play today

Update: We added the ‘educational’ Asteroids typing game: Ztype.

Though owning one of the best gaming PCs is undoubtedly an enjoyable way to play many great games on the platform, these days it’s not entirely necessary. Whether you’re on Windows, macOS, Linux, or something else completely, you can still enjoy some wonderful online gaming experiences straight from your browser.

Without requiring downloads or purchase, these games are a comfortable and affordable way to pass a few minutes.

From simple text-based adventures to Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Games (MMORPGs) that boast stunning 3D graphics, there’s an astonishingly wide assortment to choose from.

The only thing that might cause you some issues (other than the lack of an internet connection) is potential compatibility issues. For example, Chrome doesn’t support the 3D game engine Unity while Firefox, Opera and Safari do. 

That said, more often than not the same game that requires Unity compatibility will still be available as a separate app in the Chrome Web Store. So, if you’re not willing to break your Chrome commitment, you can still get your game on.

Gabe Carey also contributed to this article

  • Playing on a Mac? Also check out the best Mac games

Not everybody is a fan of golf as a real-life sport, but we think we can safely say there’s a place in everyone’s heart for golf of the crazy variety. 

Wonderputt is a game that’ll give you access to the kind of mini golf courses you have only dreamt about with tiny ski slopes, UFOs, lily pads and herds of sheep that mow the grass to reveal a new green for you to play on. 

The game has a kind of puzzle box design so, although you can see the entire course from the start of the game, after you play each hole it morphs and shifts to become slightly different and reveal new sections. It instills a sense of wonder, taking something that’s already fun in real life and adding an inventive twist you’ll only find in a game world.

  • Play it here

If Frank Zappa made video games, he would’ve made Frog Factions. Created by Berkeley developer Jim Crawford, this game recalls the surrealist humor of Jeff Minter and Ron Gilbert. 

We don’t want to get too far into what Frog Fractions actually involves because it’s at its best when you go in with no idea of what’s about to happen. Suffice it to say that, on the surface level, it appears to be a silly and forgettable game. But, when you dive deeper, it has so much more to offer in the most silly and hilarious ways possible. 

Make sure you have the sound cranked to get the whole story.

Frog Fractions actually ended up being so popular that a sequel was created and released (though, for a cost) on Steam. It’s called Glittermitten Grove and you can find it here. 

  • Play it here

Kanye West has caught a lot of heat over the years for his ridiculous antics and ostensibly skyrocketing confidence. While you may even be familiar with his sometimes incomprehensible stream of tweets, you probably haven’t seen The Stanley Parable developer Galactic Café’s take on the famed hip-hop artist’s social media presence.

Life in the West, though barely a game, will have you grinning from ear to ear upon realizing that not only are your keyboarding skills effectively useless, but typing out tweets as, well, undeniably Kanye as “Man… whatever happened to my antique fish tank?” results in Final Fantasy combat music that’ll leave you reaching for a controller.

  • Play it here

Bomberman on the original PlayStation was one of the best crafted and most addictive multiplayer games ever to be created. Game of Bombs seeks to emulate this virtual drug. And, as an added bonus, to get the multiplayer experience you’ll no longer need to fish around a drawer of knotted cables for a MultiTap – just go to the website and play a gigantic version of Bomberman online with players from around the globe. Oh, the joys of the digital world!

  • Play it here

This text-based online multiplayer zombie game is filled with little in-jokes. Upon starting the game you’re greeted with the cheerful message “Be positive! You’re going to die. Every time.” 

In the top right is actual server time and, when that hits 23:00, the zombies will come out to play. During the daylight hours, you and the other players must work together to build defenses for the following night reminiscent of Fortnite. This game is surprisingly involving and you’ll constantly have to remind yourself that it’s not really impacting your life but you’ll definitely become invested in the online community.

  • Play it here

If you haven’t played any of Czech developer Amanita Design’s games, then you are missing out on some of the quirkiest, funny and elaborate point-and-click puzzlers of recent memory. 

The third game in this space-aged series is was released back on March 24 on Steam, but you can play the one that started it all back in 2003 for completely free. Chapter One of Samorost 2 is also online. And, be sure to check out their other games, Machinarium, Shy Dwarf and Botanicula.

  • Play it here

Get ready to invest a lot of time into this one.This isn’t your average top-down tower defence game; this is more like if you took Zelda and crossed it with Crash Bandicoot. Collect supplies, build bases and explore dungeons, you get the idea. It can be installed as an app from the Chrome Web Store or played online in any browser using HTML5.

  • Play it here

Described by the developers as ‘The Ultimate Tribute To The NES’ most of the jokes will probably only ring true if you are above a certain age. But, that’s not to say that younger people won’t find something to love here – if you appreciate a good toilet joke, you have a place here.

Written by the team behind the comedy website I-Mockery, it stars Abobo who is actually a standard recurring mid-boss in classic ‘80s beat-em-up Double Dragon. His son is kidnapped and he must battle his way through various NES-themed levels to rescue him. It’s all done with warm affection to Mario, Zelda, Contra and Mega Man.

  • Play it here

Like tanks? Like deathmatches? Then Tanki might well be the browser game for you. Graphically it’s like an upgraded Quake, with several Deathmatch arenas, some snowy, others full of luscious green plants. The aim, in all however is the same: blow up as many tanks as you can. There are tons of turret upgrades, leave enemies cold with the freeze gun or pummel them repeatedly with the dual shot and rail gun.

Controlling the tank is a little fiddly but ultimately rewarding. The turret moves separately from the base so it’s possible to move one way while shooting in a completely different direction like an actual tank can. There are several games modes including Team Deathmatch and Capture The Flag. Graphically it’s impressive and looks close to a high resolution version of a PS2 or Dreamcast game.

  • Play it here

A lot of popular Steam games and console titles owe their popularity to sites like Miniclip and Newgrounds, hosts to countless free-to-play titles from small studios with marginal publishing budgets. 

Few of these success stories ring as true as Superhot, a first-person shooter developed in Unity where time comes to a standstill when you do, giving you plenty of time to form coherent strategies. In a sense, Superhot blends elements of both popular FPS games with turn-based strategy mechanics for a genuinely unique and fun browser-based experience.

  • Play it here

Browsing the web isn’t the only thing that’s improved with the intervention of Google Chrome; web-based games have gotten better as well. Whether you’re on a Mac, a PC or even a Chromebook, Unity-based Rad Soldiers will run smoothly in a normal browser window.

The turn-based shooter game starts off as expected. You choose a character avatar who is then accompanied by a soldier with a whimsical unsoldier-like name, such as Hipster Dave. Once you’ve gotten enough practice, you can even play online with friends. Rad Soldiers will then pit you up against your buddy in a shooter that may be unusually slow, but it’s also incredibly smart.

  • Play it here

Like Superhot, Spelunky has humble beginnings. Originally developed by Derek Yu as freeware and remade for the Xbox 360 in July 2012, the game was ported to HTML 5 by Darius Kazemi (and made available as a Chrome app) shortly after. Because it was created in GameMaker, Spelunky may not be visually impressive, but its randomly generated environments and brutal permadeath system qualify it as a modern classic.

The goal of the 2D platformer is to collect as much loot as possible in a series of underground tunnels. Sounds easy, right? Wrong. Populated by obstacles like traps and enemies of various species, Spelunky’s world is as challenging as it is addictive. 

Luckily, by default, you’re equipped with a whip and your own two feet with which you can besiege enemies. And, if that’s not enough, you can always be resourceful and use surrounding objects as weapons. Good luck.

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A free-to-play massively multiplayer online role-playing game, Runescape might not look like much, but it’s actually a huge deal. Documented by the Guinness World Records, Runescape is considered the world’s most popular free MMORPG, with over 200 million registered players, as well as the most frequently updated game.

Like many MMOs, the latest version of Runescape – namely Runescape 3 – takes place in a medieval setting, complete with dragons, queens, goblins and even chickens. It’s not exactly an example of fine art in terms of its visuals, but for a game that’s been around for over 15 years why would it be?

As long as you’re equipped with some recent edition of Java, you should be set to start fighting, trading and even playing mini-games with other players in the world of Gielinor. Be careful, though, as Runescape is widely known for being highly addictive.

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If you recently played the new Doom game and are wondering where developer id Software got its start, look no further than Wolfenstein 3D. Though it wasn’t the first title to come from superstar duo John Carmack and John Romero, Wolfenstein 3D played an important role in heavily inspiring the first-person shooter genre.

In fact, although it’s a far cry from, well, Far Cry, Wolfenstein 3D is often considered the first true FPS by purists. Kill Nazis and see how gaming has improved since 1994 in this important snippet of history. Experience Wolfenstein 3D for yourself completely free of charge, courtesy of the Internet Archive.

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There are few games as close to their source material as The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. Created by the writer of the original novel, Douglas Adams, in conjunction with Infocom’s Steve Meretsky, the game is more of a historical relic than a piece of software which stands the test of time. 

A text-based adventure, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy was originally released in 1984 for Apple II, MS-DOS and Commodore 64, among other platforms. Since it’s only vaguely based on parts of the book, you’re sure to have a unique experience that Douglas Adams so lovingly tailored to us so many years ago.

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On the surface, Spaceplan is yet another repetitive clicking game designed as a means to distract you from the tasks at large. But dust off that geometrical cover and you’ll realize there’s something really special about this game.

If you’re not one for games that take themselves too seriously, Spaceplan is for you. In fact, you spend most of your time fixing a ship using an interface called the “Thing Maker,” which, as the name suggests, lets you build things to repair your ship and navigate through space. Once you get a few “things” up and running, the core game mechanic works on its own.

You’ll spend most of your time waiting as you do other stuff (like your job, for example) as you accumulate watts used to power your things. It’s the perfect game to keep open in another tab to poke at for a few seconds when your boss is looking the other way. The witty dialog is merely a bonus.

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The mainline Dragon Age franchise has drawn in a lot of fans who just can’t get enough and this is a browser game that may appeal to them. There are many things to love about the series but the dialogue, characters and lore are up high on the list of most and this game takes the story even further.

Created by Failbetter Games in partnership with Bioware, The Last Court is a tesxt-based Dragon Age adventure that fills the gap between Dragon Age 2 and Dragon Age: Inquisition. 

The game revolves around a disgraced Orlesian town, its ruler, and their quest to get back into the good graces of the Orlesian royals. 

You can choose what kind of person the ruler is (a hunter or scholar) and this choice will determine how you approach your play. You’ll have to raise your towns levels of Dignity, Freedom and Prosperity while fending off internal revolution and outside invaders. 

Gameplay is card-based where cards instigate events and action points are collected and spent.

The game is free-to-play and although you can spend real money on action points, they refresh reasonably frequently and it never really feels necessary to purchase them. It’s a slow-building but enjoyable game and although it’s not essential to the Dragon Age universe, it works with it well.

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Our Instagram feeds may be filled with unicorn bagels, unicorn ice cream, and unicorn hair but the only thing we care about is unicorn robots. 

Robot Unicorn Attack is a simple endless-runner that will hold your attention for hours. It’s been popular online for a while and there’s good reason for that. It’s simultaneously stylish and silly but it’s utterly addictive. Something that’s helped by the inclusion of Erasure’s ‘Always’ endlessly looping in the background. It should be grating but somehow it only improves the game. 

You’ll always want to be with it, and make believe with it, and live in harmony, harmony, and love. 

You’ll find it free to play right here. 

If you’re a fan of indie music, then you’ve probably heard of Japanese Breakfast. This rising star of the indie scene, in promotion of her sophomore album, released this retro-styled turn-based RPG. 

Not only does Japanese Breakquest have great music, as you would expect from a game ostensibly made by a musician, but it also has a ton of cool indie references scattered around that will delight anyone who is a fan of that kind of music.

The game basically expands on the story for Japanese Breakfast’s “Machinist” music video, wherein she is stuck on a spaceship, where she tries to build a mechanical body for her AI lover. It’s a little bizarre, but it’s lighthearted and fun throughout, and even has midi versions of all of the songs off of her 2017 album “Soft Sounds From Another Planet”

While the game’s target audience might be indie fans, there’s still plenty of charm that will affect anybody who plays it.

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What do you get when you take a classic arcade game and make it controllable entirely through keyboarding skills? That’s right, you get ZType. 

This deceptively brilliant browser game takes the simplistic formula of Asteroids, and replaces the joystick with your keyboard, spitting ships down at you that you can only take out by quickly typing the words attached to them. 

It might sound easy but as the waves get higher and higher, the game only gets more difficult. This means that you’ll need to type quickly (and accurately) in order to make it to the higher levels. Eventually you’ll start getting extremely long words that’ll fire one-letter missiles at you that you have to take out in order to proceed. 

Plus, I mean, you can legitimately use the excuse “it’s educational”. What’s not to love?

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Best phone deals at GITEX Shopper 2017

HTC’s latest Android top-tier device called the HTC U11 is one of the best phones from this year. It features a 5.5-inch screen, a brilliant 12MP camera and is powered by the Snapdragon 835 processor with 6GB of RAM.

Axiom has discounted the price on the HTC U11 at GITEX Shopper 2017 from AED 2599 to AED 2399 and is throwing in a Wild Craft BackPack as well as a Headset.

If you are looking for a smartphone that packs the highest screen quality and resolution, the Sony Xperia XZ Premium features a stunning 5.5-inch IPS display with Triluminos Display technology for the best of colors for every video and image. The industry leading 3840 x 2160 resolution supports HDR10 base video. The phone is also the first to feature a 19MP camera with 960fps slow motion recording.

Emax has discounted the price on the Sony Xperia XZ Premium at GITEX Shopper 2017 from AED 2699 to AED 2499.

The Huawei P10 Plus comes with the same set of specifications as the P10, but with a bigger 5.5-inch display and the best dual-lens camera in the industry with a 20MP monochrome sensor and a 12MP image RGB sensor. 

Emax has discounted the price on the Huawei P10 Plus at GITEX Shopper 2017 from AED 2599 to AED 2174 giving you a savings of over AED 400.

The Moto G4 Plus is an entry-level smartphone that packs a 5MP front facing camera, a modest 1.3 GHz quad-core processor and runs on Android 7.1 Nougat.

Sharaf DG has discounted the price on the Moto G4 Plus at GITEX Shopper 2017 from AED 649 to AED 528 making the very affordable phone even more affordable. If that’s not enough, it’s also throwing tons of free stuff with it such as a free cover, a 32GB microSD card, an OTG cable, HaveIt headphones worth 199 AED and McAfee Internet Security worth 299 AED.

If you don’t need the latest/greatest flagship smartphone, then your best option is to pick up the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge. Even though it’s last year’s model, it still has a fantastic design, a brilliant 12MP camera and a stunning 5.5-inch Super AMOLED curved display.

Emax has discounted the price on the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge at GITEX Shopper 2017 from AED 2599 to AED 1799 giving you a savings of over AED 400.