Those clever executives at Microsoft released the new Xbox One the week before Thanksgiving, ready for our long weekend packed in a room with family looking for a way to get some energy after a haze-inducing turkey meal with all the trimmings. Now that the Xbox One is here, we're adding these fitness games to our living rooms. Refuse to let the postbird coma get you down, and break in the latest gaming device with these sweat-inducing titles.
Ever wish you could take on Black Friday with a secret weapon? One that would help you brave the crowds and come out victorious? Well we've got, not one, but five of 'em to help you out! After you've stuffed yourself with turkey, load up on these apps that will make your shopping experience not just tolerable but enjoyable. Bring on the challenge!
- ShopSavvy — Scan a bar code to see if the product you're about to buy is actually discounted. ShopSavvy scans available prices for identical products online and in nearby stores so you can see if you're getting the best deal.
- Aisle411 — Android and iPhone users can get custom views of participating stores with Aisle411 to help you find what you're looking for fast. Or at least faster than the folks that don't run to the electronics section. Also included is a list maker so you know what to grab.
- BFAds — Scan the available Black Friday ads, make your shopping lists, and reference items on the go. You can search by item or category, and even compare prices between stores.
- Amazon Price Checker — Even though you won't likely find any Black Friday prices on this app (available for Android and iOS), you will be able to see the regular price of an item, which will tell you if they've actually been discounted, or if you're about to get scammed at the register.
- BuyVia's Black Friday 2013 — BuyVia has a standard, Black Friday, and Cyber Monday app (available for Android and iOS), each of which compares prices at different stores. This one even alerts you to real-time deals on desired products so you're one of the first to know about a discount.
- Shopkick — For all the shopping you're doing, you might as well get some rewards. Shopkick (available for Android and iOS) has partnered with stores like Macy’s, Best Buy, and Target to not only help you discover the best products available but to give you points just for walking into the store or making purchases. You can then redeem points for gift cards. Score!
Happy Thanksgiving! We're getting into the spirit of stuffing our faces early with some side-splitting memes. What's Thanksgiving without turkey, pumpkin pie, and Grumpy Cat? Before you chow down, let out a laugh (or 12) with memes that tell it like it is. From food coma cats to hipster jokes, your entertainment awaits.
Grumpy Cat Sees Your Thanksgiving and Raises You a Frown
What a brave soul you are for hosting a holiday. It takes a special kind of person to plan the party and take charge of the turkey; but, if you're inclined to actually enjoy the company of friends and family this year, you may want to enlist a little help.
We've gathered eight essential apps that every host needs to plan and prep a successful Thanksgiving dinner. These apps for iOS won't do all the work, but they will take the guesswork out of managing meals and guests. For stress-free holiday hosting, follow our Thanksgiving Day golden rule: give gratitude, delegate tasks, download these dinner-planning mobile apps, and, most importantly, save room for dessert!
No Thanksgiving would be complete without Charlie Brown, Snoopy, Lucy, Linus, and the rest of the Peanuts gang. Before gouging on turkey this Thursday, bring the kids 'round to savor the interactive Charlie Brown Thanksgiving app for iPhone and iPad ($6) and Android ($3).
The app allows Peanuts fans to enjoy the Charlie Brown special in a whole new way. A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving turns 40 this year, and the interactive app celebrates this over-the-hill birthday with a remastering of all the original illustrations.
Touch, tilt, and slide through all of your favorite Fall-themed Peanuts moments. Move Lucy's football as Charlie attempts to kick, or help Snoopy put snacks on the table before the Thanksgiving feast.
The digital story is narrated by Stephen Shea, the original voice of Linus van Pelt. Parents can set the app to three different reading modes: read to me, read myself, and autoplay. In the latest version, two new scenes have been added to the story and the director's cut is now free.
Your favorite virtual dependents are BACK. Earlier this year, we thoroughly exhausted ourselves with the Tamagotchi mobile app for Android and iOS, and now Bandai is fueling our nostalgia yet again with the announcement that the portable digital pet devices will return in 2014 as Tamagotchi Friends!
Tamagotchi Friends brings back the familiar egg-shaped hardware with three buttons to navigate the menu of necessities like play, eat, health, and — most important of all — the pooper scooper.
But don't be mistaken: the virtual pet toy has been updated to meet modern expectations. Aside from the care and keeping of their Tamagotchi friend, owners can interact with other Tamagotchi friends by "bumping" the device against another to send text messages, exchange gifts, and just have a quick visit. Every time they "bump," owners earn "Gotchi points," which can be used to buy jewelry, meals, and other items. There are six new characters to choose from and five new minigames.
Tamagotchi Friends will hit the US market by Fall 2014, and we'll let you know as soon as they are available.
Limited weeks ago to in-store pickup via pre-orders online, the iPad Mini with Retina Display now has walk-in purchase availability at Apple stores nationwide according to CNET. The new tablet, which has the same display as the new full-sized, 9.7-inch iPad Air, can still be purchased online, if a store visit is daunting.
The iPad Mini Retina has more storage capacities than its iPad Mini brethren. The WiFi version will come in 16GB ($399), 32GB ($499), 64GB ($599), and 128GB ($699). A 16GB cellular model is $529, with pricing continuing up at 32GB ($629), 64GB ($729), and 128GB ($829). At the 16GB base model, the Retina display Mini is $100 more than the 1024-by-768 resolution iPad Mini.
The iPad Mini with Retina does have some different hardware packed inside in addition to the display settings. It uses an A7 chip with Apple's new 64-bit architecture and M7 motion processor, the same chips used in the iPhone 5S. WiFi signals are boosted by MIMO technology. Unlike the iPhone 5S, the new iPad Mini does not come in that champagne gold; the iPad Mini with Retina is available in space gray and silver.
Do you think the iPad Mini with Retina display is worth the upgrade?
Secret Santa is arguably one of the best holiday traditions, but if your friends aren't meeting in advance to pick a name out of a hat, get help from a tool that promises to keep the names a secret.
- Elfster will organize your party and gift exchange. As the organizer you set up the exchange, input money limits, sign up and exchange dates, and create an invite to send to guests. Once they accept and all guests are accounted for, Elfster "draws" names and then emails your guests letting them know who they need to shop for.
- Secret Santa Random Name Generator selects names for a Secret Santa group and automatically sends participants an email. All you need to share are email addresses, the number of presents for each participant, and names of the participants.
- Sneaky Santa delivers more than a cute name. The site lets you virtually draw names for your group, set up gift rules, and send an anonymous message to the participants. The design is a little old school, but you can customize your site with a picture, which means you have an excuse to Elf Yourself or Scrooge Yourself again!
- Draw Names saves group information, so you can draw from the same group of people again and again. There is also an option to input your wish list and view the wish list of the person you've selected.
- Secret Santa Generator lets you add rules (like person A can't pick person B), which is useful when two people live in the same household or your group doesn't want to pick the same people as last year.
Somewhere in the deep, dark bowels of the Internet, an overzealous cybercitizen is waiting to ruin your Fall TV season with spoilers. It's not safe on the web! Doctor Who's 50th anniversary special airs this Saturday, Nov. 23, and all your friends are feeling all the feels on Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr now that the Doctor's fate is revealed.
Beware: plot-ruining land mines await you in cyberspace. That is, of course, unless you employ the help of digital downloads that'll block any special-wrecking spoilers on Chrome, Twitter, or Tumblr. Watch the video to find out the one danger zone that surprised us and the one tip that rules them all.
In late July, Sundar Pichai, SVP of Google Chrome, Android, and Google Apps, announced a "new device from Chrome to unify the Chrome experience across all devices." The Google executive is hoping to unify laptops, tablets, phones, and, now, TVs.
Chromecast is a small device that works with Android and iOS devices, no larger than a USB stick. It pulls content from your phone, tablet, or laptop and displays the media on your high-definition TV. Today, Google also delivered some good news for fans of Game of Thrones — it was announced that the Chromecast is now compatible with HBO Go.
- Chromecast plugs directly into a TV's HDMI port.
- Once Chromecast and your device are connected to the same WiFi network, your TV is ready to stream content.
- A "cast" button
will appear after opening the YouTube, Chrome, or Netflix apps on your device.
- After pairing the device by pressing the "cast" button, you will be able to control video volume, play/pause, and add content to a "TV queue" from a laptop, tablet, or phone.
- For now, Chromecasting is available for Google Play (music, movies, and TV shows), Netflix, and Chrome web browsing (beta only).
An important thing to note is that unlike Apple Airplay, Chromecast does not mirror the device's screen. Chromecast pulls YouTube and Google Play content from the cloud, which means that you can check your email or surf the web on your device and the TV display will be unaffected.
Chromecast essentially merges the best features of Apple's two big screen streaming options. Like Apple TV, Chromecast talks to your Google Play account so you can watch the movies, music, and TV shows you purchased on a large display. And like Airplay, Google's new device can wirelessly stream what's happening on your laptop, phone, or tablet (as long as it's in the Chrome web browser).
But Chromecast's most compelling feature is its ability to identify multiple devices — and give multiple users control of what's happening on the TV. For example, if one person is Chromecasting a Netflix show through their iPhone (say, House of Cards) and decides to leave the room, a second person can pick up their Android tablet and open the Netflix app, and Chromecast will recognize that there's a second device available. That second device will be able to control what's happening on TV while the primary device is away.
Chromecast originally came with three free months of Netflix (a $24 value), but the media streaming device was so popular at launch that only a limited amount of buyers received the Netflix deal. This week, Chromecast returned to Best Buy with the Netflix promotion — and sold out within hours.