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Fortnite for Android is launching today exclusively on recent Samsung Galaxy devices

August 9, 2018 Alex 0

One of the worst-kept secrets in gaming has turned out to be true: the Android version of Fortnite will be available exclusively on Samsung devices at launch. But it’s not just the new Note 9 and Tab S4 getting Fortnite; owners of a range of recent Samsung devices — the S9 / S9 Plus, Note 8, Galaxy S8 / S8 Plus, Galaxy S7, Galaxy S7 Edge, and Tab S3 — can all start playing the beta today. You’ll be able to install Fortnite from either Samsung’s Game Launcher app or Epic’s new installer, both available here.

The official announcement from Samsung comes after a handful of reports pointed to the possibility, most recently following a leak of the game’s APK. The exclusivity period will last “for the next few days,” according to Samsung. That…

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Samsung adds Bluetooth to the Galaxy Note 9’s S Pen, making it more powerful than ever

August 9, 2018 Alex 0

The Galaxy Note 9 is here, and like every Galaxy Note device before it, one of the highlights of the Note 9 is the thing that separates it from most other smartphones: the S Pen stylus.

This time around, Samsung is upgrading the S Pen in a big way: it’s adding Bluetooth Low Energy, turning the stylus from a mere note-taking accessory into a full-fledged remote control for your phone.

The S Pen gets supercharged for the Note 9 with Bluetooth
As the original rumors suggested, the addition of Bluetooth adds a ton of new tricks to the S Pen. You can use it as a remote camera shutter, a presentation remote with Samsung’s DeX, and for music controls. Pressing and holding the button opens the camera by default, but that shortcut can be…

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Facebook launches Mentorships, matching people within Groups to help them guide each other

August 9, 2018 Alex 0

Facebook — under fire for the role it has played in helping spread misinformation through its social media platform — has been turning its attention to more positive applications of its tools, such as strengthening communities, fundraising for good causes, and maybe even finding The One. Today comes the latest in that list: the company today announced the official launch of Mentorships, a free service that will pair people who need help or guidance with those who can provide it.

Mentorships will start first with a focus on mentoring opportunities within specific Groups. This is a sizeable opportunity in itself, with collectively about 200 million Group members across the social network. Facebook’s product manager for Groups, be extending the feature to a smaller selection of Groups before inviting participants more widely.

When we first spotted Facebook testing Mentorships nearly a year ago, we’d guessed it would be a service focused on career advancement, coming as it did so soon af..

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Anchor launches Listener Support feature to help podcasters get paid

August 9, 2018 Alex 0

Anchor’s been gaining a fair bit of steam lately with its dead simple mobile podcast editing app. The New York startup has also been branching out in some interesting ways, including the recent launch of a Manhattan-based studio designed to give podcasters access to far better equipment than the usual Skype setup.

Today, it’s taking on another key issue with upstart podcasts: monetization. Anchor is launching Listener Support, a Patreon-style subscription service (with a very NPR name) that lets podcasters make a little money for their hard work.

Once enabled on an Anchor dashboard, hosts are encouraged to share a link in their show notes, where listeners can plunk down $0.99, $4.99 or $9.99 a month for the privilege of audio content. After the money starts flowing in, hosts can collect their earnings by hitting the Cash out now button.

Anchor’s taking a 4.5 percent servicing fee from the subscriptions, on top of Stripe’s standard 5 percent processing charge. iOS and Mac users ca..

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Hinge Health raises $26M Series B to tackle musculoskeletal pain

August 9, 2018 Alex 0

Hinge Health, the San Francisco-based startup that offers a tech-enabled platform to treat musculoskeletal (MSK) disorders — things like knee pain, shoulder pain, or back pain — has raised $26 million in Series B funding.

Leading the round is Insight Venture Partners, with participation from the company’s Series A backer Atomico. In fact, I understand that the London VC firm has doubled down on its investment and has actually increased its stake in Hinge.

The new round of funding brings total raised by the company to $36 million since being founded in 2015 (and originally based in London). Hinge Health founders Daniel Perez and Gabriel Mecklenburg still maintain a majority stake and control of the board.

Billing itself as digitising healthcare, Hinge Health combines wearable sensors, an app, and health coaching to remotely deliver physical therapy and behavioural health for chronic conditions. The basic premise is that there is plenty of existing research to show how best to treat M..

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Discord is launching a game store

August 9, 2018 Alex 0

Just a few weeks back, Valve moved into Discord’s turf a bit with a dramatic overhaul of Steam’s chat system.

Today, Discord is returning the favor by playing with the idea of selling games through its namesake chat platform.

The company says it’ll launch a beta of the game store later today, though it’ll initially be limited to a small slice of its userbase (which now sits at 150 million users). More specifically, the beta will roll out to just 50,000 users from Canada at first.

It’ll be dabbling in game sales on two fronts: they’ll directly sell some games, while other games will be added perks for its Discord Nitro subscription service.

Whereas Valve has massively increased the number of games on Steam over the last few years by opening up to third parties through things like Steam Greenlight or (more recently) Steam Direct, Discord is pitching this as a more “curated” offering with a slimmer number of options. At least at first, they say they’re aiming for something that feels ..

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Google launches Cameos, a video Q&A app aimed at celebs

August 9, 2018 Alex 0

Google has launched a new video-based Q&A app called Cameos on the App Store, which allows people to answer questions about themselves, then share those answers directly on Google. The app appears to be aimed at celebrities and other public figures, who are often the subject of people’s Google searches. With the Cameos app, they can address fans’ questions in their own voice, instead of leaving the answers up to other websites.

The feature is an extension of the company’s “Posts on Google” platform which has been slowly rolling out over the past couple of years, giving some people and organizations the ability to post directly to Google’s search result pages.

Initially, “Posts on Google” was open only to a small number of celebrities, sports teams and leagues, movie studios and museums. But last year, it expanded to local businesses who could then publish their events, products and services. This spring, it opened up to musicians.

Those invited to use the service have been able to p..