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All posts by Hadlee Simons

  • Yep: Chromebooks to get Google Play Store, outselling Macs in US

    Be sure to catch all the news, views and analysis of Google I/O 2016 on Gearburn via our portal, and live blog. Several weeks after it first leaked, Google has announced that its Play Store is indeed coming to Chromebooks. The world's most popular app store will be coming over to Chrome OS pretty much intact, the company said in a blog post. "This means you'll be able to download and use Android apps, so you can make a Skype call, work with Office files and be productive offline - or take a break with games like Minecraft, Hearthstone or Clash of Clans,"...

  • Google I/O 2016: Android N, Android Wear 2.0 and Daydream VR

    Be sure to catch all the news, views and analysis of Google I/O 2016 on Gearburn via our portal, and live blog. It wouldn't be a Google I/O conference without the company touching on its various iterations of Android, right? Anyway, the company shed more light on Android N, the latest version of its all-conquering mobile platform. First of all, what will the final name be? More Android N news (including VR!) Well, Google has revealed that the community will be responsible for naming Android N, with users able to visit android.com/n to drop suggestions. From Nutella to Nutmeg, it seems like many possible...

  • Alcatel Go Play: another budget waterproof phone hits South Africa

    The Hisense Infinity KO set a high bar for budget waterproof smartphones after its release earlier this year. But Alcatel is hoping to get a piece of that pie with the Go Play handset. The company announced that the rugged phone is now available at Cellucity and at "selected Foschini, The Fix, Donna Claire, Markham, Total Sports or Sports Scene, Exact, Sterns, American Swiss or Hi stores". The device has a recommended retail price of R3499, which makes it R500 cheaper than Hisense's own device. What's Alcatel offering for the price though? There's the IP67 water resistance (up to one metre of water for...

  • Google I/O 2016: Google Home, Assistant announced

    Be sure to catch all the news, views and analysis of Google I/O 2016 on Gearburn via our portal, and live blog. The Mountain View giant has announced Google Home at its I/O conference, a take on Amazon's Echo device. Much like Echo, Google Home is a little circular speaker, with users giving voice commands to the device to get things done. For starters, Google Home lets you stream music directly from Google Play, or local music via Android or iPhone casting, the company confirmed. "Google Home lets you ask Google about anything you want to know," a Google representative said on-stage, owing to...

  • Google I/O 2016: Allo and Duo apps revealed

    Be sure to catch all the news, views and analysis of Google I/O 2016 on Gearburn via our portal, and live blog. Let's face it: Hangouts leaves a lot to be desired. Google fans have been pining for a replacement app for a while now, so we're glad to see Google reveal Allo at I/O 2016. The Android and iOS app is touted as a "smart messaging service", harnessing your cellphone number for starters (much like WhatsApp). Allo also delivers integrated Google Search - kind of like Gboard, right? But one of the coolest features is the smart reply capability, akin to Inbox, which allows...

  • Bushido Bear, Titan Quest & more: this week’s top mobile games

    Welcome to Gearburn’s Mobile Game Picks of the Week, a weekly series in which Hadlee takes a look at the latest, most entertaining, or time-consuming mobile games on portable screens. On the lookout for the best mobile games but have no idea where to start? Well, it's time for our weekly look at some of the more notable titles to be launched in recent days. Two drastically different hack-and-slash titles, a Monument Valley-style game and an "interactive adventure" title round out our picks this week. Bushido Bear An action game about a sword-toting bear? Yeah, Bushido Bear ticks most of the boxes for a quirky mobile...

  • What do reviewers think of Homefront: The Revolution?

    It's usually a bad sign when there are no reviews out ahead of a major videogame's release. After all, if the publisher thinks the game is decent, they'd have the confidence to let it out in the wild, right? I was hoping that Homefront: The Revolution would buck the trend and actually be a worthwhile experience, but the first reviews are not pretty. In fact, they're rather damning. A lack of polish? Jim Sterling of The Jimquisition called the PC version "appalling" and gave it 1/10, lamenting the unfinished nature of the title. "Even if one were to get the game running with any modicum of...

  • Nintendo NX: why the rumoured shift to cartridges would make sense

    Rumours have emerged this month that Nintendo is expected to ditch disc-based storage in favour of cartridges/cards for the Nintendo NX console. Whether it's true or not, a switch to flash-based cartridges isn't quite a backwards move. Sure, cartridges are more expensive to produce than discs and there might be potential obstacles regarding capacity, but we can think of a few reasons why Nintendo should go for it. Loading screens? What are those? One of the best things about the cartridge-toting N64 was just how few loading screens you saw in games. By comparison, the PlayStation 1 saw copious amounts of loading...

  • IGN acquires GameTrailers archive, YouTube channel

    In a spot of rather big gaming media news, IGN has announced that it has acquired the content of recently shuttered website GameTrailers. As part of the deal, IGN also acquired GameTrailers' YouTube channel, delivering the announcement via the channel itself. "Although GameTrailers.com is shutting down, IGN is committed to archiving GT's massive library. That means all the countdowns, retrospectives, reviews and original shows won't just disappear," GameTrailers co-founder Brandon Jones said in the video announcement. Related: GameTrailers closing down after 13 years Jones added that IGN would continue to update the YouTube channel with the latest trailers. The co-founder also shed more light on...

  • How and where to find retro games & consoles in South Africa

    When it comes to modern video games and consoles, we've got it pretty good in South Africa. Old-school gaming though? Well, that's a different story. It can be rather tough to find the likes of the Super Nintendo or SEGA Dreamcast if you don't know where to look. Here are a few places to check out before going the Amazon/eBay route. The Gaming Source An online store, The Gaming Source was established in 2009, offering a variety of new and second-hand games and consoles for sale. The website's stock is rather varied, featuring current-generation products and the ever-important retro goodies. A quick visit to...