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Geekbench 4 benchmark suggest an 18-core Cascade Lake-X chip

5 hours 31 min ago

While the Cascade Lake Xeon CPUs has been out for a few months now, Intel still hasn’t shared any concrete information regarding Cascade Lake-X. However, this recent leak could indicate that, despite delays, Intel is gearing up to roll these long overdue high-end desktop (HEDT) chips soon.

Hot off the heels of its Ice Lake chips release, Intel looks like it has no plans of slowing down. Tom’s Hardware recently reported that another possible Cascade Lake-X processor (CPU) has made an appearance on the Internet.

An unknown processor with the codename, Intel 0000, appeared in the Geekbench 4 database on August 16 inside a Dell Precision 5820 Workstation. According to Geekbench’s benchmarking data, this CPU boasts 18 cores and 36 threads, putting it in the perfect position to succeed the Intel Core i9-9980XE. 

Bearing the Stepping 7 identifier, Tom’s Hardware thinks that this chip could be an 18-core Cascade Lake-X processor.

Outperforming the Intel Core i9-9980XE

Not much else is known about this mysterious Intel 0000 chip. What we do know is that it boasts 18 cores, 36 threads and a base clock speed of 2.19 GHz. Although that base clock – as well as that 3.28 GHz maximum boost clock – is a tad worrying, it might just be that Geekbench 4 made a mistake identifying them. That, or the chip is still in its early stages.

Either way, it’s already looking promising. It appears to outmatch the Intel Core i9-9980XE by 3.36% in single-core workloads and about 7.4% in multi-core workloads, beating out i9-9980XE’s 5,212 (single-core) and 50,837 (multi-core) benchmark results, again indicating that it could replace the Skylake-X Refresh flagship.

If it is still being fine-tuned by Intel, we may be looking at an even better performance that could rival or even eclipse whatever AMD has in store with their 3rd-generation Ryzen Threadripper.

France vs Scotland live stream: how to watch today's rugby international online from anywhere

6 hours 58 min ago

The Rugby World Cup 2019 is getting close and so it's time for the international warm-up matches to start heating up. France vs Scotland will be the first in a double-header between the two nations that should give them a chance to show what they've got in stock for the world. You can live stream the France vs Scotland rugby action from anywhere using this guide. 

The latest big matching of the two sides was at this year's Six Nations where France beat Scotland 27-10. Of the total 93 matches between the two sides since 1910, France has won 54 while Scotland has had to settle with just 36 wins, with three draws.

This time Scotland will have Saracens centre Duncan Taylor on the starting line, after returning from a two year break because of a knee injury. This will earn him his 22nd cap for Scotland where he will appear alongside captain Stuart McInally and another injury returned player, former skipper John Barclay.

It should be an enjoyable warm up game for both teams ahead of the World Cup and it's a match you can watch live - no matter where in the world you are - by following our France vs Scotland live stream tips below.

How to live stream rugby union when you're not in your country

If you're outside your country of residence - whether that be the UK or anywhere else (see your other options below) - and try to start streaming the rugby via your native broadcaster, you'll soon discover that you can't as it is location restricted. Fear not, the action is still within your reach. All you need to do is download and install a VPN to effectively trick your computer into thinking that it's back home. That way you can enjoy your home coverage (as long as you do so in compliance with the broadcaster's Ts&Cs) without delving into the dangers of an illegal stream.

How to live stream France vs Scotland in the UK

Live stream France vs Scotland in Australia

Scotland vs France in New Zealand

How to watch a France vs Scotland live stream in the US

iPhone 11R release date, price, news and leaks

7 hours 24 min ago

Apple is largely expected to release three new iPhone models this year, and among them we’re likely to see a successor to the iPhone XR, which for now we’re calling the iPhone 11R – though that might not be its launch name.

We’ve got more on names below, but more importantly we’ve also collected all the leaks and rumors we can find about the iPhone 11R’s design, specs and features.

Being an iPhone, and being this close to launch, a lot has been leaked, so there’s plenty to get stuck into. We’ll also be sure to update this article whenever we hear anything new, so check back regularly for all things iPhone 11R.

Cut to the chase
  • What is it? The successor to the iPhone XR
  • When is it out? Signs point to September 10
  • What will it cost? A lot - but less than the iPhone 11
iPhone 11R release date and price

The iPhone 11R is sure to land in September, as that’s when Apple typically announces new handsets. More specifically, it’s very likely to land on September 10, as an image showing this date has been found in the iOS 13 beta.

Even before that though, we predicted that it would be announced on September 10, as in the last few years the announcements have taken place on the Tuesday or Wednesday around that date.

Wednesday September 11 is unlikely for obvious reasons, so the Tuesday was our best guess, with pre-orders likely opening on Friday September 13, and the phone probably going on sale on Friday September 20, based on past form.

However, the iPhone XR actually went on sale later than the iPhone XS range, with people unable to buy it until October 26 of 2018, so we can’t rule out a similar delay here. Though sources do suggest they will all go on sale at the same time, and either way a September 10 announcement is still likely.

Even that isn’t set in stone though, with @evleaks (a reputable leaker) posting a timeline that suggests a late September announcement for the iPhone 11 range.

As for the price, there aren’t any real rumors about that, but much of a price rise for the most basic model seems unlikely, so we could be looking at something similar to the $749 / £749 / AU$1,229 starting price of the iPhone XR.

The iPhone XR was a 'budget' model, so the 11R likely will be too.

iPhone 11R or just iPhone 11?

One thing that we’re unclear on is what the iPhone 11R will actually be called, with one source pointing just to ‘iPhone 11’ (with the two more premium models being called iPhone 11 Pro and iPhone 11 Pro Max).

There’s also the question of whether ‘11’ will be used, or whether Apple will opt for ‘XI’. Or perhaps the number will be dropped altogether and we’ll simply get the ‘new iPhone’ or the iPhone R.

iPhone 11R design and display

The consensus so far is that the design won’t be changing much for the iPhone 11R, meaning you can still probably expect a notch and a similar overall look.

The one key difference that has been heavily rumored is the look of the cameras though, as these are now expected to sit in a square block at the top left corner, making them rather more prominent than the iPhone XR’s small single-lens snapper.

Most leaks so far show the more premium iPhone 11 models, but the video below gives you a look at the possible design of all three, complete with that camera change.

The source of this video also claims that the iPhone 11R will be 150.9 x 75.7 x 8.3mm, which is identical dimensions to the iPhone XR. So if true then there really won’t be many changes at all.

Another difference could be the colors, with the iPhone 11R rumored to land in black, white, yellow, lavender and green shades, as you can see in the image below, showing shards of glass supposedly intended for the phone.

You can also see the possible design of the iPhone 11R again, this time in the form of case moldings. Elsewhere we’ve similarly heard talk of black, white, gold and dark green shades. There’s also the possibility of a ‘rainbow’ finish on some models – though expect this to be subtle if it appears at all.

Slightly less convincingly we may also have seen the iPhone 11R in the wild, appearing in the reflection of a Galaxy Note 10 Plus. It’s not the best of looks, but it shows the redesigned camera that we’re expecting.

As for the display, rumors suggest that will stay at 6.1 inches and continue to use LCD, rather than OLED. However, it’s said that the screen could sport some improvements, such as better anti-aliasing. So don’t expect a big change here. Think subtle.

iPhone 11R camera

This is the biggest change we’re expecting for the iPhone 11R, with rumors not just pointing to a new square shape, as detailed above, but also to an extra lens, with the iPhone 11R thought to have two rear lenses, where the iPhone XR has just one.

It’s possible that it could even have three, as some phones in the range reportedly do, but two is looking the most likely number for now.

It’s expected that these lenses will both be 12MP, but a source claims that they will be ‘new’, suggesting some upgrades.

It’s not clear what roles the two lenses will serve – one is expected to be a standard lens, but the other could either be wide-angle or telephoto based on leaks (with the iPhone 11 Max getting all three). If we had to guess, we’d say the 11R would get the telephoto lens, as the iPhone XS had a main and telephoto combination. One report has also said as much.

We’ve also heard that the image signal processor might be enhanced, and that the front-facing camera will be boosted from 7MP to 12MP, and will incorporate an extra layer of glass to improve the quality of photos.

The iPhone 11R could go from one lens to two.

iPhone 11R battery and specs

According to one source, the iPhone 11R could have a 3,110mAh battery, which would make it around 5.7% larger than the 2,942mAh one in the iPhone XR. That’s not a big jump, but then the iPhone XR already has the best battery life of any modern iPhone, so that might be all it needs.

Elsewhere, respected analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has said to expect a battery increase of around 5%, which tallies with the rumor above, so they could well be on to something.

As for charging, while some early reports suggested Apple might move to USB-C, most rumors point to Lightning remaining. This is believable, especially in the case of the iPhone 11R where Apple will be trying to keep costs down.

The iPhone 11R might charge fast though, with claims of an 18W charger potentially coming in the box, though elsewhere we’ve heard that it will stick with slow 5W charging, so we’re not sure what’s true here. If we had to guess, we’d say faster charging on this basic model is unlikely.

Moving on to core specs, Apple is sure to include a new chipset, likely to be dubbed the A13. Storage meanwhile could come in at 64GB, 256GB and 512GB capacities, or 128GB, 256GB and 512GB, depending on which rumors you believe – though in both cases it’s not clear whether all iPhone 11 models would get all these sizes or not.

As for the operating system, that’s sure to be iOS 13. What the phone almost certainly won’t have is 5G.

iPhone 11R other features

The iPhone 11R is sure to have Face ID of course, but it could be even better this year, with one source saying that it will work from a wider range of angles.

Beyond that we’re moving into the territory of unlikely things. It’s rumored for example that at least some iPhone 11 models will support the Apple Pencil, but we’re not convinced, and if any do, the iPhone 11R will be last in line.

We’ve also seen patents for a camera designed for underwater photography, and an in-screen fingerprint scanner that would let you place your finger anywhere on the screen to unlock the phone. But patents often don’t get used, and if these ones do we’d think they’re too premium for the features to appear on the iPhone 11R.

Man City vs Tottenham live stream: how to watch today's Premier League football online from anywhere

7 hours 52 min ago

One week into the new Premier League season and it feels like it never went away - Manchester City are back to scoring hatfuls' of goals and Harry Kane is doing the business for Spurs. The two meet on match-day two and you can see who comes out on top today with a Man City vs Tottenham live stream - no matter where on Earth you are.

Manchester City won a dramatic title race last time around and are clear favourites to make it three in a row at the bookies. Never ones to rest on their laurels, they've laid out almost £140 million during the summer, primarily on strengthening at the back, with João Cancelo and Angeliño joining the champions. Sergio Aguero and Gabriel Jesus were both on the score sheet against West Ham last weekend, and Raheem Sterling's hat-trick completed the 5-0 thumping. They alrteady look in imposing form.

Spurs came from behind against new boys Aston Villa to win 3-1 this time last week. Kane scored twice after new boy Tanguy Ndombele equalised. But the North Londoners will be casting their memories back to last season's Champions League quarter-finals where they fought their way to a famous away goals victory against City. Can they upset the odds again today?

Today's match looks set to be a fascinating encounter - check out our guide below on how to obtain a Man City vs Tottenham live stream - regardless of where you are in the world.

And to find out how to watch the rest of the weekend's games and beyond, check out our guide on how to live stream the 19/20 Premier League football season

Use a VPN to watch Premier League football from outside your country

If you're abroad this weekend but still want to watch your home coverage, you'll need a VPN to do so. That's because your normal coverage will be geo-blocked. It's really easy to do and stops you having to tune in to some dodgy stream you've heard about on Reddit.

How to stream Man City vs Tottenham live in the UK 

How to watch City vs Spurs: US live stream 

How to watch a Premier League live stream in Canada

How to live stream Man City vs Tottenham in Australia

How to watch Manchester City vs Spurs: New Zealand live stream 

How to live stream Manchester City vs Tottenham in India

Does Call of Duty: Modern Warfare go too far, or is this a better reflection of war?

7 hours 55 min ago

Normally, after a game demo concludes, there’s a brief moment of applause for what was just presented. It’s a small token of appreciation by those in attendance, a thank you for the work that was put into the demo that just played on-screen and a rare chance to give some direct adulation to those who work so tirelessly on these games.

After our recent Call of Duty: Modern Warfare demo ended, however, that applause was nowhere to be found. The group of us, 10-15 total, sat in stunned silence absorbing what we’d just saw. However, where some might think that silence insulting, we’re willing to bet that reaction was exactly what Infinity Ward, the game's developer, was looking for. 

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare will try to set a new bar in storytelling for the franchise later this year, and the 20-minute presentation proves it’s taking a different approach - one that’s more dramatic and impacting than ever before.

A familiar premise…

The demo presented to convention goers starts off with the Infinity Ward team explaining what’s going on in the scene we’re watching: there has been a terrorist attack in London’s Piccadilly Circus leaving dozens dead or wounded, and those responsible are tracked to a three-story townhouse in northern London. 

While you'd expect it to be all flash and bombast from here on out, Infinity Ward takes things in another direction entirely.

It’s up to a special task force comprised of Sergeant Garrick (the player’s character), Modern Warfare mainstay Captain Price, and two other British special forces operatives to infiltrate the house and neutralize the cell, with orders to shoot any hostiles on sight. 

For Call of Duty, this is well-trodden ground: terrorists attack a city, the troops are sent in to neutralize the threat, and the story unfolds from there. No one would claim that Infinity Ward is reinventing the wheel with this premise. But while you'd expect it to be all flash and bombast from here on out, Infinity Ward takes things in another direction entirely.

Image Credit: Infinity Ward / Activision

...told in an unfamiliar way

Back in the game, the troops assemble at the back door of the house in the dead of night, sneaking through tight alleyways in order to reach it. After a brief pause they enter the home, night vision equipped, and find a small group of people at a table discussing the attack. We don’t even know these people are terrorists until one calls the attack “a failure” and starts to discuss next steps. 

Once we have that audio clue, the fight is on. 

Price shoots out the lone light bulb in the room and the team moves in, taking out the armed men and women one-by-one. Bullets hit the bodies with precision, the enemies slumping into lifelessness with sickening realism. We hear muffled sounds above us, loud whispers and shouts of warning, as the team slowly ascends the narrow stairs.

She pleads that she has been forced to stay up there, that she’s innocent ... It’s discovered that she was going for a detonator, to what is never explained, and Price remarks that they were lucky to have neutralized her.

On the second floor each team member takes a door and opens it, with player character Garrick finding a single woman with her hands up. She reaches for a rifle and Garrick fires, killing her instantly. Later we’d see another woman make a quick movement, but this second woman instead picks up a baby and consoles it. Garrick does not shoot, but we are left not knowing what would happen if he had.

We hear more commotion toward the bathroom, and as we approach bullets suddenly explode through the door. A few shots into the wall later, and we see our assailant lying in the bathtub in his own blood. After some more action above us it’s time to ascend again, taking the tight staircase to floor three. 

It’s more of the same here, but one of the special forces is shot through the door he chooses by a terrorist, leaving us one man down for the rest of the mission. Once the third floor is cleared we go up to the attic, where we meet one final woman with her hands up. She pleads that she has been forced to stay up there, that she’s innocent, before she moves toward a nearby table and is shot dead. It’s discovered that she was going for a detonator, to what is never explained, and Price remarks that they were lucky to have neutralized her. 

The demo ended here, giving us some time to catch our breath and mentally process what just happened. 

Image Credit: Infinity Ward / Activision

Deafening silence

What lasted about 20 minutes felt like it went on for ages thanks to the slow, methodical pace of the demo, and all of the elements that led to that feeling are in line with Infinity Ward’s new approach to Modern Warfare. 

This was less like Call of Duty games we’ve come to know over the years and more in line with a nuanced film like Zero Dark Thirty.

This was a demo focused on bringing us war as it’s fought now, not as was “modern” back when Call of Duty 4 debuted in 2007. It’s a remarkable shift in format and tone, one that we certainly did not see coming. 

The name Call of Duty carries with it an expectation of bombast and a pageantry of sorts, loud explosions and deafening gunfire raining out of every battle. A few well-known examples withstanding, previous games were marked with adrenaline, each of them coming out of the gates guns blazing. 

This new Modern Warfare eschews all of that, instead ramping up the tension with deafening silence, total darkness, and building tension through tight quarters. Each step on those staircases made our muscles tighten, each opening of a door filled with anxious anticipation. This was less like Call of Duty games we’ve come to know over the years and more in line with a nuanced film like Zero Dark Thirty. 

Best superhero games: what to play while waiting for Marvel's Avengers to assemble

8 hours 55 min ago

Avengers: Endgame may have wrapped up the MCU in a neat (albeit emotional) bow but we are still looking to scratch that superhero itch - and we're hoping Crystal Dynamics' Marvel's Avengers game will be just the ticket. 

Marvel’s Avengers sees players taking on the roles of the most popular Avengers characters around in a single-player, story-driven game which also features four player co-op missions - because you can't save the world alone.

In addition, new characters, regions, and missions will be added for free post-launch, as part of a continuous multi-year plan for the game. But who is on the super roster? The playable characters revealed so far are: Iron Man, Captain America, Black Widow, Hulk, and Thor. Kamala Khan, aka Ms. Marvel was also briefly shown at the Marvel Games Comic-Con panel, and Hawkeye has been heavily hinted at.

While Marvel’s Avengers isn’t out until May 15, 2020 that doesn’t mean you have to go without your superhero fix. So, in preparation for the long wait, we’ve assembled 10 of the best superhero games you can Hulk-smash through until then.

God of War (2018)

God of War (2018)

Kicking us off is TechRadar’s Game of the Year for 2018, God of War. Introducing mature and emotional writing, hard-hitting tactical combat, and characters we fell in love with, God of War is an exceptional reboot of the beloved deity-murdering series and a secretly sensational superhero game.

The greatest superhero fight ever to grace a videogame can be found at the beginning of Kratos’ Nordic journey. A one-on-one battle so ferocious, determined, and destructive, it’s hard to imagine any superhero fight bettering it, in any medium.

Gaming’s greatest weapon, Kratos’ Leviathan axe, works identically to Thor’s hammer, allowing the player to throw the Leviathan, and call it back with the press of a button. Excitingly, the developer behind the axe, Vince Napoli, now at Crystal Dynamics, is responsible for making the heroes in Marvel’s Avengers feel like the powerful heroes we know and love.

LEGO Marvel Superheroes 2

LEGO Marvel Super Heroes 2

TT Games’ LEGO titles have been consistent sources of wacky fun since the release of LEGO Star Wars in 2005. LEGO Marvel Superheroes 2 doesn’t revolutionize the block-breaking formula, but with the same LEGO charm, comedic chops, and hundreds of playable Marvel characters, it’s another fantastic TT Games success story.

Where the sequel excels beyond its predecessors is in its hilarious and inventive narrative. Time-travelling villain Kang the Conqueror uses his power to mash together a plethora of classic Marvel locations like 2099 New York City, Asgard, and Wakanda, to form the open-world of Chronopolis where players engage in a cosmic showdown with Kang.

Just Cause 3 (with Sky Fortress DLC)

Just Cause 3

Superhero games don’t have to be about powerful people in colorful spandex, like God of War, sometimes a superhero game is defined by its mechanics, rather than its characters, and Just Cause 3’s Sky Fortress DLC has one hell of a superhero mechanic.

Rico Rodriguez’s bombastic third adventure already feels heroic with the wingsuit and inventive grappling hook, but Sky Fortress ups the ante with the rocket powered Bavarium Wingsuit. This powerful upgrade allows Rico to soar through the air like a winged Iron Man, with only a slight boost cooldown to restrict your flight. Like Iron Man, the Bavarium Wingsuit also possesses homing missiles and a machine gun to wreak havoc from the skies.

Batman: Return to Arkham

Batman: Return to Arkham

Batman: Return to Arkham collects the first two games in Rocksteady’s acclaimed series, Arkham Asylum and Arkham City. Arguably, these are two of the greatest superhero games ever made, with Asylum in particular becoming a game-changer in terms of free-flowing action-game combat. 

In the 10 years since Rocksteady’s first shot at the Dark Knight, that combat system has been adopted as more-or-less an industry standard. Stealth mechanics, captivating villains (including Scarecrow’s incredible psychological horror interludes), and more gadgets than you can shake your batarang at, Rocksteady’s first forays into Batman’s world are masterful, and set the precedent for superhero videogames.

Batman: Arkham VR

Batman: Arkham VR

Developed by Rocksteady, Batman: Arkham VR lets players don the cowl and embark on a short, but sweet experience from Batman’s perspective. There’s no thrilling combat experience here, but there is a gripping murder mystery that sees you become the ‘World’s Greatest Detective’, using your motion controllers to interact with Gotham City and its villainous inhabitants. 

Arkham VR is a flawed gem that is worth experiencing if you love the detective sections in Rocksteady’s mainline Arkham titles.

Infamous: Second Son

Infamous: Second Son

One of the PlayStation 4’s first exclusive titles, Infamous: Second Son sees players take on the role of Delsin Rowe (voiced impeccably by Troy Baker), a person with extraordinary abilities known as a Conduit, on a mission to take down an anti-Conduit organisation. 

As a Conduit, Delsin is able to absorb the powers of other Conduits. Delsin subsequently absorbs multiple powers, each with their own traversal mechanics and combat styles, and accompanied by a beautifully unique style and flair.

A black and white morality system doesn’t detract from what is a great superhero/anti-hero story, with wonderfully fluid and fast traversal, stunning neon-infused visuals, and a vast arsenal of powers. If immense power is what you’re looking for from a superhero game, then Sucker Punch’s Infamous: Second Son delivers that in spades.

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate

Marvel’s Avengers, like the Avengers MCU movies, will focus on the art of the hero team-up. Iconic characters who have never shared the stage before join forces or face off against each other, it’s a formula that’s worked miracles for Marvel, and one that’s worked for decades for Nintendo too.

While their colorful cast of characters may not scream ‘superhero’ in the same way Captain America does, there’s no way to talk about the hero team-up without mentioning Nintendo’s Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, the king of the crossover. Mario, Link, Donkey Kong, Cloud, Kirby, Samus, Star Fox, Snake, Isabelle; Super Smash Bros. Ultimate on Nintendo Switch features all of these characters plus 70 more in what is, arguably, the most ambitious fighting game of all time.

Assassin's Creed Odyssey

Assassin's Creed Odyssey

Crafting a follow-up to the excellent Assassin’s Creed Origins is no small task, let-alone following it with a title as adored as Assassin’s Creed Odyssey. Kassandra (the only real character choice) is a fantastic protagonist, with an instantly lovable personality and attitude.

Her journey through Ancient Greece and beyond is one brimming with superhero-like abilities: no fall damage, a powerful Sparta Kick to send foes flying, unmatched fighting strength, and a rainbow unicorn as your steed. This is the Wonder Woman game of your dreams.  

Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3: The Black Order

Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3: The Black Order

The perfect stop-gap between the more tonally serious Avengers: Endgame and Marvel’s Avengers, Team Ninja’s Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3: The Black Order is a light-hearted, funny, comic book-inspired romp. Like the previous games in the series, Ultimate Alliance 3 is an isometric, co-op button masher in which players assemble a team of four from a possible 36 iconic Marvel heroes to defeat escalating threats. 

Crazy team attacks, well-crafted CGI cutscenes featuring that MCU charm, deep RPG elements, and plenty of incentive to replay. Despite some glaring camera issues, stopping Thanos from using the Infinity Stones has never been as joyous.

Marvel's Spider-Man

Marvel's Spider-Man

Insomniac Games were the perfect studio to bring Marvel’s most popular hero exclusively to the PlayStation 4. Marvel’s Spider-Man is a triumph in almost every way, and Marvel Games have a real challenge on their hands to replicate Spidey’s success with Earth’s Mightiest Heroes. Insomniac crafted its own unique interpretations of classic characters with finesse and planted them in a narrative that captivates from start to finish. Could we see any crossover between Marvel’s Spider-Man and Marvel’s Avengers?

Arguably, Insomniac also crafted the greatest feeling traversal mechanics in videogames. Web-zipping through New York City at breakneck speeds never gets old. Even if you don’t care for Spidey’s fantastic story, his web-swinging makes Marvel’s Spider-Man unmissable. ‘Nuff said.

Huawei could be about to reveal its own rival to Google Maps

9 hours 25 min ago

Not only is Huawei busy developing its own operating system to potentially replace Android, it's also got an in-house mapping service in the pipeline as well, according to reports.

Based on reporting by China Daily, the mapping service is aimed at software developers more than end users: apps offering step-by-step directions, cab hailing and similar tools will be able to take advantage.

The new service is called Map Kit, apparently, and is going to include support for real-time traffic reports as well as augmented reality features (perhaps similar to the AR layers that have recently been added on top of Google Maps).

Russian internet service Yandex is being tipped to supply Huawei with the bulk of the mapping data it needs, which will be added to data taken from infrastructure that Huawei already has in place.

Putting Huawei on the Map (Kit)

It's another interesting twist in Huawei's ongoing attempts to put a safety net in place, should it lose access to Google's apps and services – which still might happen as a consequence of the current trade hostility between the US and China.

In recent weeks it seems the US stance towards Huawei has softened, though the Chinese tech giant obviously wants to prepare for the worst, just in case.

Rolling out a full mapping service is a big challenge though. Google and Apple remain the big players in the field, regularly adding new information to their maps, and driving fleets of cars around the world to capture street view imagery.

Depending on how the Huawei-Google relationship develops from here, it might be a while before we see Huawei Map Kit appear – but Huawei seems to be covering all the bases in its contingency plans.

Via The Verge

Move over Three - Smarty's 25% discount on unlimited data SIM only deals is back

9 hours 31 min ago

A few months ago, we saw lesser-known SIMO provider Smarty drop an offer to top the rest of the market - 25% off its unlimited data plan. And now, Smarty has brought it back, once again reclaiming its title of best unlimited data SIM only deal around.

So what are you paying after that 25% cut to the price? This offer works out at just £18.75 per month. Down from £25, this is a pretty major saving for a complete lack of caps on your data usage.

But, here's the great news. This deal doesn't just appeal with its affordable pricing and massive data cap. With Smarty, you're only on a 1-month rolling contract, meaning you can leave whenever you want.

Smarty even offers the ability to use your unlimited data as a hotspot, allowing you to connect your laptop, iPad or even console without fears of running out of data.

Interested? You can see Smarty's offer down below in full. Or check out our guide to the best SIM only deals to see what other options are currently available.

Smarty's superb SIM only deal in full: What other SIM only deals are available?

While no unlimited data SIMO is going to beat this, Three sits in a close second place. With two separate unlimited data offers, one for two years at £20 a month (with half price bills for the first six months) and the other for one year at £20 a month, Three isn't far behind Smarty. So if you like your SIMO from a name you know or will be missing the end date of this deal, Three could be the way to go.

Or if £18.75 is still more than you're willing to spend, Three is yet again the choice to go for - offering 8GB of data for just £9 a month.

Finally, for those who prioritise speed over everything else, we would recommend Carphone Warehouse's 20GB for £20 a month on EE. More expensive than Smarty but you get access to the UK's fastest 4G speeds. 

Honda CR-V 2019: plenty of tech and oodles of space

10 hours 55 min ago

The Honda CR-V is the world's best selling SUV, and the 2019 model is capable of hauling families and their luggage in comfort, while also providing a wide array of tech goodies to make the journey easier, more enjoyable and less tiring.

With updated styling to go along with the tech it's an SUV for the here and now, assuming you want a large people carrier and not a more compact mid-size or small Sports Utility Vehicle.

As well staples such as cruise control and a reversing camera, the Honda CR-V also offers up a HUD (heads up display) and slick smartphone integration to keep the tech-enthused happy behind the wheel. We put some serious mileage on the CR-V to find out how well it all comes together.

Honda CR-V design and drive

The Honda CR-V is long, tall and wide. If you're uncomfortable maneuvering in small spaces, this isn't the car for you. But if you're someone who needs space for people and all their belongings, the CR-V has it in spades.

One of the first things we noticed when we climbed up, into the driver's seat of the Honda CR-V was just the sheer number of cubby holes that were available. 

The door pockets are some of the deepest we've seen, and the central divide between the front seats provides a key tray, ample cup holders and additional storage space (the latter of which is hidden under the sliding armrest).

There's plenty of space in both seat width and head height, making the cabin a comfortable and airy place to be. Honda has improved the sound proofing for the 2019 CR-V too, which means things are quieter when you're on the move.

Our model came with a panoramic sunroof (an optional extra) which stretched from the front to the rear seats, flooding the car with additional light if you opt to open the blind.

In the back and there are three seats which can comfortably accommodate three adults on a long trip with a decent amount of leg room. If the back seats are going to be frequented by kids, they'll have oodles of space.

A powered tailgate - which can be engaged from the key or a button to the right of the steering column - makes accessing the sizable boot easier, and once open you'll comfortably be able to fit several large suitcases in.

Moving back to the front seats, and during cold months you can take advantage of the heating function (sorry back seat passengers, no heated seats for you), plus the driver can also benefit from a heated steering wheel.

On the roof, next to the sunroof controls, is a sunglasses storage section which actually has a handy second function. Press the panel and it'll open up, allowing you to grab or put away your sunnies, but click it up once and you'll notice it has an additional rear-view mirror, allowing driver and front seat passenger to keep an eye on the kids in the back. 

Our Honda CR-V was an all wheel drive (AWD) model, which provided good traction and balance on the road. The ride was smooth, and cornering felt stable with what felt like good weight distribution, making steering the CR-V easier.

Acceleration is okay, but it's not the sharpest in responding to your right foot. Once it's caught up though, the CR-V moves at a decent pace. The automatic gearbox does the job nicely, but for those who want a little more control you can opt to use the paddle-shift gear levers mounted just behind the steering wheel.

While a 2.0 litre engine sits at the heart of the Honda CR-V, it also has a self-charging battery pack as part of its hybrid setup. The result is an extended range from a single tank of fuel, and we were easily able to get over 500 miles in between fuel stops.

You can also opt to go fully electric with EV mode, although the Honda CR-V can only go a handful of miles in this mode so anything longer than popping to the shops will require the petrol engine.

Something which did surprise us a little however, was the horn. For such a large car, the sound is surprisingly feeble on the Honda CR-V. Press it in anger and it'll do little to elevate your mood!

Honda CR-V tech and specs

As we've mentioned, the EX trim of the Honda CR-V comes with plenty of tech. There's the heated seats and wheel, automatic lights and wipers, climate control, powered tailgate, reversing camera, parking sensors and cruise control to get us started.

Cruise control on the CR-V also comes alongside adaptive lane assist, which sees the car keep you in lane if you start drifting to the lines by gently tugging the wheel in the correct direction.

It's one of the better lane assist features we've used, with the CR-V doing a surprisingly good job of following the curvature of the road. 

You do have to keep a hand on the wheel that's providing some resistance, otherwise you'll get a flashing visual warning on the dash and, if you ignore it for too long, an audible tone too telling you to pay attention and keep your hands on the wheel.

Both cruise control and lane assist take a moment to learn how to operate, with Honda's on-wheel controls not the most intuitive around. After a few attempts we worked out the required combination of presses, but it could do with being a little more straightforward.

The on-wheel controls can be a little confusing

Similarly, the heads up display (HUD) wasn't immediately obvious as it wasn't on by default for us. There was a HUD button on the wheel, but that didn't enable the display. Instead there was a separate button to the right of the wheel which needed to be pressed.

This saw a small glass window rise up between wheel and windshield, providing you with information such as current speed, speed limit and next navigation direction.

It worked nicely, and puts this useful information in your eye line of the road, which meant we didn't keep having to glance down at the instrument cluster - in turn making us a safer driver.

The instrument cluster on the Honda CR-V is all digital, which means it can show you much more than just your speed, revs and fuel level. The central display can also show you what music is currently playing, navigation directions, car stats such as tire  pressure and much more. 

However, navigation of the menus for this display is again a little fiddly, making it difficult to work your way to what you want. Over time we did become more familiar with the navigation requires, but they could be better.

Shifting focus to the large 7-inch touchscreen display which sits a-top the center console, and there's plenty of space to view maps, audio channels and more.

The touchscreen does require a certain amount of force from your taps to register - it's not quite as responsive as your smartphone's display - but it generally works well.

Honda's built-in satellite navigation system does the job, but it's not as good as Google Maps or Apple Maps. The good news is you can plug your smartphone into the Honda CR-V and use the dedicated mapping and audio apps on the car's touchscreen thanks to the inclusion of Android Auto and Apple CarPlay.

The real bonus here on the CR-V though, is the navigation directions from your smartphone's mapping app get relayed to the digital display in the instrument cluster and the HUD. 

This doesn't happen in all vehicles, with many keeping third-party navigation services on the main screen only. It means it's just as easy to follow directions from Google or Apple as it is from Honda, and it makes for a much better driving experience.

And to ensure you and your passengers keep their devices topped up, the Honda CR-V comes with two USB ports in the front, and two in back.

  • John McCann is getting behind the wheel to give you an alternative look at the wealth of cars – and the tech inside them – available today. From super-fast sports cars to tech-packed hatchbacks, he'll take you through a range of makes, models, power and price tags in his regular TR Drives column.

Windows 10 preview refines search and adds GPU temps reading to Task Manager

11 hours 40 min ago

Windows 10 has been graced with a new preview build for the update due to land in the first half of 2020, and this is the first release which has introduced a lot of changes, albeit none of them are major new features.

The highlights for build 18963 (which is rolling out to testers in the fast ring) include the addition of GPU temperature readings to the Task Manager, so when you pull the latter up, you can see how hot (or cool, hopefully) your graphics card is running at a glance.

This is only for discrete (i.e. not integrated in the processor) GPUs, but it’s a much-requested feature, and means you don’t have to install some kind of third-party monitoring app to check the temperature of your GPU.

Windows search has also been improved to be more intelligent, and pick up on, for example, spelling mistakes when you’re rifling through files and folders looking for stuff.

Microsoft gives the example that previously, search would have been unable to cope with spelling mistakes like “powerpiont” and “exce;”, and these would have returned no results – but now, search will automatically correct these to “powerpoint” and “excel” respectively.

Interestingly, this feature is not just coming to testers, but the retail release of Windows 10 in English-language territories, because it’s a server-side change (meaning you’ll need to be connected to the internet to benefit from these automatic spelling corrections).

Searching for settings has also been tweaked to add a ‘related:’ line below the best match result, giving you related options and clarifying why the result is being presented to you. Again, this isn’t just for testers, but also for the retail release of Windows 10 – but only in the US. This feature will expand from just settings to include app searches in the coming weeks.

Finally in other non-tester related news, Microsoft is bringing the revamped Search Home experience – which gives quick access to your recent search activities, and most-used apps – to those using the October 2018 Update. It was previously only available to folks on the May 2019 Update.

Note carefully

Notepad has got quite a bit of attention in the recent past (including the introduction of wrap-around search), and as of this preview build, future Notepad updates will be automatically piped via the Microsoft Store. That’s useful because it means Microsoft will be able to update Notepad as it goes along, rather than having to wait for major feature updates for Windows.

Microsoft has also given some users the ability to rename virtual desktops (with these new names persisting after reboot). We say some users, because this particular change is only live for 50% of testers, but will be rolling out to more in time.

There are a load more minor changes, including refinements to streamline the process when you change your Windows account picture, and as ever, check out Microsoft’s full blog post for all the details.

There are some known issues, and probably the most interesting nugget here (which was also acknowledged in build 18950) is a reference to a ‘cloud download’ option when you are resetting your PC in the Windows Recovery Environment. Microsoft notes: “This feature is not working quite yet. We’ll let you know once it is, so you can try it out!”

So hopefully it won’t be too long before you can try out the ability to reinstall Windows via an internet download, as the rumor mill has previously indicated.

Wales vs England live stream: how to watch today's international rugby 2019 online from anywhere

11 hours 59 min ago

After a somewhat one-sided 33-19 match last weekend at Twickenham, Wales and England will be facing off for the second match of a double-header in preparation for the Rugby World Cup 2019. Make sure you don't miss any of the action with our complete guide to how to live stream Wales vs England.

Switching from Twickenham last weekend to Principality Stadium in Cardiff, Wales are back on their home turf. We can imagine England are walking into this match feeling confident - Wales not so much.

The home side have a lot of making up to do. They sneaked in a few impressive tries and some strong performances in the scrum, but England's top all-round performance and their not-so secret weapon - George Ford - were all too much to compete with.

No doubt Eddie Jones and his men will be hoping to bring home a second victory and a determined Wales will surely be bringing their A-game. In other words, this is a match not to be missed. And luckily for you, we've tracked down all of the information you need to watch a Wales vs England live stream.

Whether you're in the UK or you're a fan from another country trying to watch the showdown, we have all of the times and locations for you. We've even found the best ways to watch Wales vs England if you happen to be away on holiday.

How to stream Wales vs England live in the UK for FREE How to live stream today's rugby from outside your country

If you happen to be out of your country while Wales and England face off, then don't worry - your holiday isn't ruined! You can still catch all of the action. All you need to do is download and install a VPN to effectively trick your computer into thinking that it's back home. That way you can enjoy your home coverage (assuming you comply with the broadcaster's TS&Cs), minus the risk of using a naughty stream from an illegal source.

Live stream Wales vs England in Australia

Live stream Wales vs England in New Zealand

How to watch an Wales vs England live stream in the US

You can now buy a brain stimulation headset to treat your depression

12 hours 55 min ago

Could a headset and smartphone app really treat depression? That’s the claim made by Flow for its medically-approved brain stimulation headset, a device that nudges your neurons with a gentle electric current, and one you can buy and use in your own home.

Flow is a medical technology company founded in 2016, and is currently based in Sweden. Its CEO, clinical psychologist Daniel Mansson, founded the company after writing his master’s thesis on brain stimulation, and has years of experience working at the crossroads between psychology and software. 

We've heard of electric shocks from headphones helping you to juggle, but can a hardware product really succeed in place of, or even begin to aid existing medical treatments for depression?

To get my head around the potential health benefits of a product like this, I spoke to Flow’s CEO Daniel Mansson, while handling a Flow headset to get a sense of the hardware on offer.

What is the Flow headset?

The Flow headset attaches to your forehead with two suction pads

The Flow headset looks a bit like a miniature VR headset, except the curved white visor sits solely on your forehead, with a band hooking over the top of your head to hold it in place.

The box also comes with a box of single-use cloth pads to place between your skin and the suction pads on the headset, given that your skin likely wouldn’t respond well to direct electrical currents.

Treatments last around 30 minutes, “with 18 sessions over a 6 week period” (three times a week) or “as long as necessary”. The headset is designed to be used in tandem with a virtual therapy app, which helps to inform users about depression, and the kind of “lifestyle changes” the patient can make to do with their diet, exercise regime, sleep hygiene, and meditation (the app is only on iOS).

"The headset delivers a gentle electrical signal"

There’s something slightly unnerving about the idea of self-administering a mild form of shock therapy, but there are existing forms of treatment that use the same underlying technology: transcranial direct-current stimulation (or TDCS). 

This treatment is a non-invasive way of stimulating the brain with mild electric currents, using battery-powered electrodes. 

Flow’s website states that “People diagnosed with depression often have a lower activity in the left frontal cortex of their brain. The headset delivers a gentle electrical signal which activates neurons and rebalances activity in the frontal lobe. 

"The headset is based on a well-researched brain stimulation technology called Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation which, in clinical studies, has been shown to reliably improve symptoms of depression.”

Hang on, is this a real thing?

The Flow app gives advice on ways to supplement your treatment and aid your mental health

It the claims sound somewhat sci-fi, the technology has been undergoing numerous medical trials, with the evidence being enough to get the Flow headset approved for medical use in the UK and Europe. 

Mansson tells me that Flow is seeking similar medical approval in the US, and is in talks with the UK’s National Health Service to offer the headset through prescription.

The treatment is listed on the NHS website as a method of possible treatment, and the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) asserts there are “no major safety concerns”, though patients should be taken through the risks and side effects associated with it.

You are strongly advised not to use the headset without approval from a physician and an official diagnosis of Major Depressive Disorder. Anyone with a “pre-existing neurological” condition, or with broken skin at the point of contact with the headset, should be especially wary. 

I erred on the side of caution here – as someone more familiar with anxiety treatments than those used for depression – so can’t speak about the effectiveness myself. 

However, both the British Journal of Psychiatry and New England Journal of Medicine have published the results of randomly-controlled trials using the kind of brain stimulation utilized in the Flow headset. 

Randomized trials show some unwelcome side effects, though the technology may have promise

Both trials cited above worked with several hundred patients (289 in the former, 245 in the latter), with the British Journal of Psychiatry calling the treatment “comparable” to “antidepressant drug treatment in primary care”. 

The New England Journal of Medicine, however, was more hesitant, reporting “more adverse” effects – such as “skin redness, tinnitus, and nervousness [...] and new-onset mania” – without obvious improvements compared to other forms on therapy. Another study published by online journal Brain Stimulation advised against its use for patients prone to seizures or epilepsy.

Flow’s CEO Daniel Mansson says the company worked for over two years on “making sure that all of the safety standards and good manufacturing practices were met and documented” before getting the stamp of approval in June 2019.

But some scepticism is appropriate, given the inconsistent results of the mental health treatments previously available to patients in the UK and Europe. 

Depression, for all its prevalence in our society (the World Heath Organization estimates 300 million people living with the condition worldwide), is really not understood very well – and there are a host of different strategies for tackling the affliction. 

You might be recommended in-depth psychoanalysis to understand underlying psychological causes, given cognitive behavioural therapy to tackle behavioural symptoms, or given medication as a chemical solution – if not a combination of the three, with varying degrees of success.

You might also not be recommended these things when you need them, given how hard mental illness can be to diagnose. So offering a DIY solution you can buy yourself – circumventing lengthy and potentially triggering consultations, even if you’re not meant to do so without medical approval – does offer a convenience in its own right.

"The combination of the brain stimulation headset and therapy app,” says Mansson, “creates a new, very powerful, but also very safe, at-home treatment solution.”

Treating yourself

HeadSpace is popular app for fitting meditation and self-care into your daily routine

There’s been huge growth in kind of self-care and meditation apps like HeadSpace – often actively recommended by GPs in the UK – offering ways to manage stress, pain, or anxiety.

"We are seeing a shift from pharmacological treatments to more digital therapy-based alternatives"

Naturally, cost becomes an issue when patients are expected to find healthcare solutions outside of national health services. The Flow headset costs £399 (around $480 / AU$710), without any supplementary costs – while the HeadSpace app, by comparison, will set you back $95 / £72 / AU$149 for a year’s subscription.

Mansson makes sure to say Flow is only one tool “in the toolbox of treatments”, but as a commercially-available hardware product, it has the potential to change the way patients commonly receive treatment, especially if the costs are scaled down.

“Right now we are seeing a shift from pharmacological treatments to more digital therapy-based alternatives,” says Mansson, “which empower patients and motivate them to treat their own condition from the comfort of their home.

“Given that brain stimulation devices (if medically approved) offer few side effects and are affordable and accessible, it makes perfect sense that devices such as Flow will become increasingly popular.”

So... should I get one?

Well, not off your own bat. The jury's out on the efficacy of tDCS, even if it's slowly gaining more traction as a potential aid for major depressive disorder.

Given the growing push towards more digitally-based therapies and care treatments, though, the signs suggest that there’ll be more treatments like these being suggested by medical practitioners going forward.

But neither Flow or I would recommend picking this up on a whim, and you really should wait until your doctor recommends it, to help with your specific needs.

For more information you can head to the Flow website.

The Apple Watch Series 5 launch date may not be far off

13 hours 25 min ago

We haven't heard much in the way of leaks and rumors about the Apple Watch Series 5, but the next generation of Apple's wearable is still in the pipeline, according to respected analyst Ming-Chi Kuo.

According to Kuo, the fifth Apple Watch is going to see the light of day in the second half of 2019, with September the most likely month for a launch.

Considering that the four previous Apple Watches have all launched in September, that's not much of a surprise, but this is a confirmation of sorts. The original Apple Watch is the only one that hasn't launched in September, arriving in April 2015.

Unfortunately Kuo doesn't share too much about what to expect from the Apple Watch 5, but we've previously heard that a new ceramic casing could be on the cards, even if sleep tracking doesn't make the cut this year.

Another big September for Apple

Apple has already shown off the watchOS 6 software that the Apple Watch Series 5 is going to come running: the update includes new features like a separate app store for downloading apps from your wrist.

Of course the Apple Watch Series 5 isn't the only new hardware device that is scheduled to get shown off in September. New iPhones are also on the way, with big improvements to the rear-facing camera on the cards.

Apple hasn't set a date for the iPhone launch as yet, but code in the latest iOS 13 beta suggests that Tuesday September 10 is going to be the big day.

If that turns out to be true, we might well get the Apple Watch Series 5 shown off at the same time. As always, TechRadar will be at the event bringing you all the news and new hardware as Apple announces it.

Via MacRumors

How to enable Dark Mode on iOS 13 and iPadOS

13 hours 55 min ago

After years of customer requests, Apple has finally bought Dark Mode to iPhones and iPads with the upcoming iOS 13 and iPadOS releases. 

Not just a palette swap, Dark Mode offers a significant boost to battery life for OLED iPhone users (iPhone X, iPhone XS and XS Max) by conserving power that would usually be used to light more pixels.

It also provides a display which is easier on your eyes in darker environments - perfect if you're using your iPhone or iPad in bed.

  • Tap Settings
  • Tap Display and Brightness
  • Tap Dark Mode

While developers have enabled their own Dark Modes within apps before, this is the first time Apple has included at a system level - meaning it permeates all sorts of apps, from contacts, to messages, to photos and Apple Music.

If you want to send your device into an emo phase, read on to find out how to enable Dark Mode on iPhone and iPad. It's worth noting though, this will only work on the current public betas of iOS 13 and iPadOS.

The final of build of these software platforms are expected to hit devices in September 2019, as a free software update.

How to enable Dark Mode on iOS 13

As you may imagine, how to enable Dark Mode on iPhone and iPad starts in the Settings app. Head there, and then tap Display and brightness.

You'll then find two small screenshots showing both Light and Dark mode - so take your pick. One tap on the Dark Mode image is all you need, and you'll see the Settings menu itself change color.

It really is as easy at that, but you can be cleverer with it...

How to schedule Dark Mode

Did you spot the "Automatic" toggle on the previous window? That allows your iPhone or iPad to switch to Dark Mode at sunset, before switching back to light mode at sunrise.

You can add a custom schedule, too, by tapping to Options menu that appears when you hit Automatic.

This will allow you to use Light Mode throughout the day, for example, and then Dark Mode from say, 5pm onwards.

How to enable Dark Mode from Control Center

This is one of Dark Mode's lesser known tricks, but a good one. There's a simpler way to activate Dark Mode on iPhone and iPad than having to dig into your settings menu or scheduling it.

Bring up the Control Center shortcuts panel on screen (by swiping up from the bottom of your phone if it has a home button or down from the top right corner if it doesn't have one), and press down on the Screen Brightness slider to make it bigger.

In the bottom left corner, you'll find a toggle labelled "Appearance" which you can use to quickly switch from Light Mode to Dark Mode.

Three's 100GB data bargains now include iPhone XR deals - don't miss out

14 hours 48 min ago

It's safe to say Three has been running the show recently when it comes to big data mobile phone deals. The network has taken dominance over the competition in recent months on a number of handsets and now it has dropped an absolute winner on one of our favourite handsets - the iPhone XR.

Here's what you need to know. You're getting the iPhone XR, complete with its stylish colouring and largest Apple battery on the market with 100GB of data. The price you're paying to get that heap of internet usage - just £42 a month and £29 upfront.

Take a quick gander through our guide to the best iPhone XR deals and you'll see that absolutely crushes the competition in pricing. Not to mention the fact that with 100GB of data, you're set to stream for hours, game for days and social for...well, the whole month straight. And because you'll be on Three, you also get access to the network's usual Advanced Plan perks like roaming in 71 destinations worldwide and access to Three's Wuntu app for weekly offers and the odd free coffee.

You can see this offer in full down below in all of its big data goodness. Or, if it's just not quite what you were looking for, check out our guide to the best mobile phone deals for everything currently available.

This big data iPhone XR deal in full: So what's so good about the iPhone XR?

As one of the best iPhones currently on the market (well, until the iPhone 11 comes out!) there is a lot to love with the iPhone XR. Above everything, the battery really stands out. This is the largest and best performing battery on any Apple device at 2942 mAh.

Sporting Apple's Liquid Retina display and a powerful A12 bionic chip, going for Apple's more budget flagship doesn't have to mean taking a hit on specs.

Read our full iPhone XR review

Should you use a smartwatch or fitness tracker if you have a skin condition?

14 hours 55 min ago

When I started using a Fitbit Versa Lite to track my steps (and, in theory, exercise, if I ever did any), I quickly noticed that the fitness tracker was irritating my skin.

I’ve got a history of skin conditions, with eczema rearing its head from time to time. Before long, a rash started to form on my arm, and after a little while longer using the device my skin started to peel away too.

That’s a grim image, I know, and it was quite an alarming thing to happen on my wrist. Was I just allergic to the silicon Fitbit strap or was I wearing it too loose, causing it to shake and rub? 

Was the eczema even involved, even though smartwatches don’t contain anything that usually brings it out for me?

To find out more about how skin conditions could be exacerbated by wearable technology, I spoke to Dr Anjali Mahto of the British Association of Dermatologists. 

Mahto has written extensively on the subject of skincare and conditions, and I posed the question of whether smartwatches and fitness trackers should be avoided when you’ve got a skin condition.

How does wearable tech affect skin conditions?

Our first question for Mahto was about which skin conditions can be affected by wearables: “It’s possible for inflammatory skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis to be exacerbated by wearable technology.” So while not all skin conditions can be affected, some of the most common can.

“Tight fitting clothing, jewellery or watches would generally not be recommended for people with an inflammatory skin condition as they can cause a flare-up of the condition from rubbing the skin.” Mahto elaborated, and this is probably exactly what caused my initial reaction.

The Fitbit Versa Lite

If you’ve not got a skin condition, you’re not in the clear though. “Straps can be a perfect environment for bacteria to grow,” so your skin isn’t exactly going to be clean even if it doesn’t affect you. 

Mahto continues, “This bacteria is usually harmless, however if somebody has broken skin due to an inflammatory skin condition there is the risk of infection, although this is not a commonly reported problem.”

What should you do if you react to your fitness tracker or smartwatch? “This is likely a sign that the device is causing issues, and you should consult your GP or dermatologist if you’re worried about a change in your skin.”

How can you use wearable tech if you have a skin condition?

If you’ve got a condition like eczema or psoriasis, but are in love with your smartwatch or fitness tracker, don’t worry - you don’t necessarily have to lose your favorite gadget. Instead, there are some steps you can take to avoid harmful use.

“It’s important to allow your skin to breathe by not wearing [wearables] for long, extended periods of time,'' Mahto told us. 

While you might appreciate the waterproof nature, or sleep tracking functions, it might be worth taking your device off in the shower or while you’re taking your post-work nap to let your skin breathe.

Remember to take your watch off now and again

In my experience, I found regularly changing which wrist I wore the Fitbit Versa Lite on also gave my skin the time off it needed.

Mahto continued “It would also be recommended to ensure you clean your skin where you’re wearing the device, as well as cleaning the device itself with an anti-bacterial solution.” 

A June 2019 study from Tic Watches found that smartwatches can be three times as dirty as an average toilet. Fitness trackers were found to be eight times as dirty as the average toilet, but regular cleaning is the advice that the site gives. 

If you’re in the market for a smartwatch, and have a skin condition, you should also bear in mind what the wearable is made of. Mahto said, “Contact allergies are very common, particularly nickel allergies. Therefore, devices which contain nickel could lead to skin problems such as itchy rashes.”

I also found that changing the Versa Lite’s band from a silicon one to cotton helped, and there are plenty of Fitbit Versa bands to choose from. There are plenty of different fitness trackers and smartwatches, and bands for them, that by shopping around, you can find one that doesn’t affect your skin.

New Zealand vs Australia live stream: how to watch today's rugby match from anywhere

16 hours 1 min ago

It's not long now until the Rugby World Cup 2019 is underway so it's that time of the year where all the world's best union teams test their abilities in the warm-up games. This time it's local neighbours New Zealand and Australia that will go head-to-head on the field. You can watch all the action and assess the teams' form with a New Zealand vs Australia live stream and this guide. 

Australia have already hosted New Zealand for the first leg of the Bledisloe Cup and now it's time for the decider as the Wallabies head over to the All Blacks' home turf.  And it's the Wallabies who will go into the game on top, after beating New Zealand in the first leg, 47-26 in Perth. As such they've only made one change to the starting line-up for this next game as lock Adam Coleman replaces injured Rory Arnold.

On the other hand the All Blacks have decided to dump their wonder wingers Ben Smith and Rieko Ioane and centurion prop Owen Franks. If Australia can win at Auckland, for the first time in 33 years, they will return home with the cup. Having lost their last 22 tests in New Zealand, it's a tall order.

As such this should be a very exciting, hard fought game, and you can watch it all where you are using this New Zealand vs Australia live stream guide.

How to watch the rugby from outside your country

Down below, there's the local broadcast options if you're in Australia or New Zealand, as well as the UK, US and Canada.

If you're abroad this weekend and try to live stream the rugby online from your country's broadcaster, you'll be annoyed to discover that it won't work due to geo-blocking. Thankfully, using a VPN service will allow you to watch today's rugby union action no matter where in the world you are.

How to live stream the Wallabies in Australia for FREE

How to watch the All Blacks in New Zealand

How to stream New Zealand vs Australia live in the UK 

How to watch New Zealand vs Australia: US live stream

How to live stream New Zealand vs Australia in Canada

Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Plus unboxing and first 24 hours

16 hours 43 min ago

With the Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Plus finally in hand, we're able to do an unboxing, offer details about what's included, and tell you how the phone performs. 

We're on our way to a full Note 10 Plus review, but need more time to test things like battery life and the camera. That means we'll be doing 24-hour and 72-hour recaps of our findings, updating you on our feels toward the phone in real-time.

In the last day, we got to inspect the Note 10 Plus size and build quality (it's big, but feels thinner than other Note phones), run a few performance tests, and take a few photo samples with the front and rear cameras – including some lowlight shots.

Samsung built an impressive phone – but one at an impressively high price at a time when there are several other options out there including several Samsung phones, like the Galaxy S10 and Galaxy S10 Plus. Is the S Pen stylus worth the extra cash?

Here are our early findings after unboxing the Note 10 Plus.

Note 10 Plus unboxing

We got the Note 10 Plus in the reflective Aura Glow finish, meaning it takes on the colors of its surroundings, often exhibiting a cool rainbow effect. This is different from the cool Ocean Blue and Lavender Purple colors on past Note phones that has a matte finish.

Plastic-wrapped Note 10 Plus: Opening the Note 10 Plus box, the first thing that we noticed is the phone is sitting there protected in plastic on the front and back. Yes, you can peel both sides without worry, unlike the troubled Galaxy Fold, in which the plastic film over the screen was essential to its functionality. Not the case here.

S Pen: The Aura Glow version of the Note 10 Plus comes with an S Pen in a deep blue color, one that's smaller and thinner than prior S Pens. And yet its functionality has improved with more tech inside: a gyroscope and accelerometer have been added to enable motion controls – that's in addition to the Bluetooth LE we saw in the Note 9.

USB-C charger: Our favorite part of the Note 10 Plus unboxing was seeing the newish 25W USB-C charger, offering fast charging speeds out-of-the-box. You may not know this, but the Samsung Galaxy S10 5G came with the same 25W charger. 

But the Note 10 Plus is going to be a significantly more popular phone, so it'll be a first for many fans who are used to Samsung's old USB-A charger block and slower 15W charger speeds. There's a USB-C-to-USB-C cable included in this box, too.

Other tools: There's a SIM card ejector tool, USB-A-to-USB-C adapter, and a claw-like tweezer tool for replacing S Pen stylus tips when they wear out.

What's not here: Normal headphones. That's because the Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Plus doesn't have a 3.5mm headphone jack, instead relying on the USB-C charging port and the included USB-C headphones for personalized audio. 

Samsung is among the last phone manufacturers to axe the standard headphone port in a flagship phone. Bonus: The USB-C headphones are AKG earbuds, so they're at least of good quality if you don't opt for wireless earbuds.

Also not here: A 3.5mm-head-jack-to-USB-C adapter to use normal earbuds. They're inexpensive on Amazon if you need one.

Big, but thinner, and the pinhole has shrunk

The Note 10 Plus is a mighty big phone – its 6.8-inch screen has me yearning for the innovation of the Samsung Galaxy Fold. It's meant for extra-big hands, whereas the 6.3-inch Note 10 screen is suitable with big-to-normal-sized hands.

The phone can fit in jean pockets fine, but summertime shorts with smaller pockets or almost all back pockets? It's just begging to slide out when I sit down. We had that happen to us with big glass phones like this before. This one is just bigger.

It's just begging to slide out of the pocket of my summertime shorts when I sit down.

What helps is the fact that the Note 10 Plus is 7.9mm thin, meaning it's slimmer than last year's Note 9 by almost a full millimeter. It's still easy enough to wrap in one hand without a Note 10 case, but you'll need two hands to operate it properly.

I did run into a few jarring false touches when tightly gripping this massive handset, often encroaching on the sides of the curved screen. But it's not as bad as when I first started playing with Notes (starting with Note 3) when they had extra-sensitive displays compared to an iPhone.

The center-aligned punch-hole front camera isn't as distracting as you might think. So far, it's easy enough to ignore and is 26% smaller than the Galaxy S10 punch-hole. 

The most likable perk: the outline of the front camera lights up when you take a timed selfies (like the S10 series does, but this will be a first for Note users). That's incredibly handy when you're taking a group selfie and non-Samsung-phone-owning friends want to know where to look. 

Note 10 Plus performance

This is the fastest Samsung we've tested, and we have the Note 10 that's packing the Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 chipset and 12GB of RAM. It doesn't have the souped-up Snapdragon 855 Plus chip that's appeared in a few Android phone in recent weeks, but it's no slouch.

At the end of the day, the tit-for-tat numbers don't matter nearly as much as some people like to claim. This phone is incredibly fast.

With a Geekbench multi-core score of 10,849, it's among the fastest Android smartphones we've ever tested. But it's not the fastest phone. That title still belongs to the iPhone XS, soon to be replaced by the likely far speedier iPhone 11.

What's important is that these raw benchmark numbers tell us that the Note 10 is fast enough to run the top 3D games for years to come and also act as a device to link up to Windows 10 and handle desktop-like apps in Dex mode. At the end of the day, the tit-for-tat numbers don't matter nearly as much as some people like to claim. This phone is incredibly fast.

First Note 10 camera samples

We're still using the camera in a variety of situations, and our next update before the full Note 10 review will include many photo samples and comparisons to the Google Pixel 3, iPhone XS Max and Huawei P30 Pro.

But here's a taste of what we're seeing so far.

The actual still photos exhibit bright and punchy colors, more saturated than the often dull, but color-accurate pictures out of a current-gen iPhone. It's a lot like we saw on the S10 Plus.

The big Note 10 camera upgrade is in its video capabilities, so we'll be testing video stabilization in side-by-side comparisons. Is it really better? Can it compete with GoPro's in-camera EIS stabilization? That's something we're testing on Sunday in the 72-hour update. 

We need the sun to set and rise a few times before we get full use of the camera in a variety of scenarios.

Ongoing tests for a full review

We have a lot more to say about the Note 10 Plus, and we should. This is Samsung's most advanced and most expensive non-folding smartphone. But we can't come to a conclusion with a star-rating just yet. One-day reviews aren't our thing.

We're going to be testing the Note 10 battery life, both in labs and in the real-world (so far, it's excellent), and continue to snap photos with the camera in good light, medium light, and low light. There are four cameras on back (if you include the Live Focus depth sensors) and one embedded in the front display.

Clearly, unboxing the Note 10 was just step one. We have a few more tests to run before we stamp a final review score on this device and figure out where it goes in our best phones list.

Epic Games Store update brings new features

17 hours 35 min ago

The Epic Games Store has rolled out a new update which introduces a few new features, including that long-awaited cloud save support. 

Epic Games Store users have been noticing for a while now that cloud saving has been in testing and, in a blog post, Epic confirmed that 17 games on the store now have cloud saving enabled, adding that the list will only grow over time. 

All Ubisoft titles on the store already support cloud saves thanks to Uplay integration and any upcoming games that support cloud saves will have them enabled at launch. 

What's new?

Outside of cloud saves, the update also introduces keyless integration for Humble Bundle users. Now, if you link your Epic account with your Humble Bundle account any purchases you make will automatically appear in your Epic library without the need to type in a redemption key. Epic has said this is just one step in a larger plan to form partnerships with other “highly reputable digital game sellers” in order to establish an open ecosystem for players. 

Product pages have also been given a refresh, meaning more informative games descriptions and additional images and videos so that you can get a better idea of what you’re buying. 

As far as the future is concerned, Epic has said that, among other things, it’s in the final stages of its new patch optimization for developers which will reduce patch download sizes and, therefore, download times. As well as this, game libraries will soon have a new look which will see more games displayed at once and allow for filtering and sorting for easier navigation. 

Epic Games does still have a longer-term roadmap with some more significant features and updates to come—a shopping cart and achievements are among the features that are still some months away. 

Pokemon Sword and Shield trailer reveals some new battle mechanics

17 hours 54 min ago

The Pokémon World Championships are taking place right now and that makes it the perfect time for Nintendo and Game Freak to drop some brand new Pokémon Sword and Shield information, including a new trailer. 

The new details revolve around the game’s updated and layered battle system which will have some new attacks and abilities as well as some new items to use. 

New abilities will include Galarian Weezing’s Neutralizing Gas, which, as the name suggests, will neutralize the abilities of all other Pokémon on the battle field (including those of your teammate as the trailer shows with the failure of poor Rotom’s Levitate). We're not sure what happens if two Galarian Weezings go head to floating head and we're even less sure we want to find out. 

In a similar vein, Corviknight is shown to have a Hidden Ability called Mirror Armor which will allow it to reflect any stat-lowering effects back at its opponents. 

Hidden Abilities, it’s been confirmedin a blog post, are slightly more special than standard abilities as they’ll only feature in Pokémon that have been caught in Max Raid Battles (so a Corviknight you catch from a normal encounter won't have the Mirror Armor ability). 

These Max Raid Battles, coincidentally, are the way to encounter another kind of special Pokémon: one that's capable of Gigantamaxing. If you’re really lucky you might go into a Max Raid Battle and come away with a Pokémon that can Gigantamax and has a Hidden Ability but that’ll be a very rare event and you’ll have to take part in a lot of Raids. 

The first new held item revealed in the trailer is Room Service, which will lower the speed of the Pokémon holding it during Trick Room. The other is Eject Pack which will switch the holding Pokémon out of battle if its stats are lowered, allowing you to replace it with another from your team. 

New moves are always exciting and the trailer reveals one called Breaking Swipe, an attack capable of hitting two Pokémon at once and lowering their attacks. 

Max Moves

The biggest (and we mean that literally) detail to come from the trailer is with regards to the new Dynamaxing mechanic. 

You can Dynamax any Galar region Pokémon as long you have the Dynamax band (making this different to the aforementioned Gigantamaxing, which only some Pokémon species can do) and those you ‘make big’ will never feel the inconvenient effects of flinching. Even better, their powerful Max Moves will have secondary effects that could see your team gain advantage in battle. Max Geyser, for example, is a Water-type Max Move that will bring rain to the battlefield, strengthening Water-type moves and weakening Fire-type moves, something that could really give you the edge.

Finally, a few more details on the Online Battle Stadium have been confirmed. Players with a Nintendo Switch Online subscription will be able to connect over the internet and compete in single or double battles. These battles can be ranked or casual, with the former involving facing trainers of similar ranks to try and earn points to move up, while the latter is, well, just for fun. 

Pokémon Sword and Shield will release on Nintendo Switch on November 15. If you’re attending Gamescom 2019 this month you can get hands on with the game at Nintendo’s booth on the show floor.