During GDC 2018 this week we got something of a blast from the past as we checked out Shift Quantum from Fishing Cactus, which is set to be published by Red Panda on Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, Playstation 4, and PC. The origins of the game date back to over a decade ago with the original Shift Flash game, which you can still play today. The main hook is that each level is made up of black areas and white areas, and pressing the shift key would switch which area would be the “active” one. So say the ground was black and the sky was white, hitting the shift key would flip things so the white would become the ground and the black become the sky. This is used to solve various puzzle platforming levels, and that original Shift even made its way to iPhone way back in 2009 and was a perfect fit for the touchscreen. Shift Quantum takes that defining shifting mechanic and builds it out with new levels, a fantastic new art style, a compelling narrative, and even a fully featured level editor. While sadly a mobile version of Shift Quantum isn’t in the cards, it’s at least coming to the Nintendo Switch as well as the other major consoles and PC, so check out our hands-on time with the Switch version below and look for a launch in the next coming months.
Wireless charging isn’t exactly new technology. Its existence can be traced back to over a hundred years ago when it was first discovered by no other than Nikola Tesla. Back then, it was used as a transformer circuit that produces high-voltage electricity. But fast forward to the 21st century, the technology has evolved into something called Qi wireless charging, in which people can juice up their smartphones with just a charging pad.
This activity used to be something that only Android users and Starbucks guests enjoyed. But now that Apple has adopted the tech, it has been catapulted into mainstream status. If you own any of the latest iPhones, or an advanced Android device (Samsung Galaxy S6/S7/Edge, Note 5, LG G4, Nexus 6, Motorola Droid Turbo, Nokia Lumia 1020/920/928), you can power up your phone sans the wires with a Qi wireless charger like the Takiso Walnut Qi Charger.
But this sleek-looking charger is more than meets the eye. It boasts of a slew of other features, including:
Handcrafted from North American walnut wood, this minimalist charger will blend seamlessly into your living room, bedside table, and workspace, yet it’s still compact enough to be lugged around everywhere.
Unlike traditional chargers, this one notifies you when your phone is still charging and when it’s finally fully juiced up, so you don’t have to check on it from time to time.
This fast-charging pad automatically disconnects your device once it reaches 100% to prevent overcharging and to increase the long-term life of your smartphone.
It is also equipped with smart technology that provides temperature control, surge protection, and short-circuit prevention, all working to prevent your precious smartphone from being damaged.
Charging the Apple Watch while traveling can be a little tricky. Generally, I lug along a super-long charging cable and a wall plug to get the job done when on holiday. Nomad — makers of great Apple Watch straps and accessories — offers a stylish and super-portable charging solution called the Pod Pro. The Pod Pro wraps […]
My kids are crazy for PopSockets ($ 10–$ 15) and I understand the appeal, especially now that the company has come out with a car vent mount option ($ 15). You have likely already seen these on the back of someone’s phone. You attach the adhesive back of the PopSocket to the back your iPhone case and then can pop it open and use it as a stand for your device or a means to get a better grip on your iPhone.
Aside from its use as a stand or finger grip, a PopSocket is also a great way to decorate your phone with an image or design or even logo of your liking. PopSockets even offers a very reasonable $ 15 custom option where you just upload a photo, select colors, and even add text in your own font. There is also an option for corporate branding. And now the car vent clip adds a new element of usefulness. You simply slip the phone into the mount and let gravity keep it in place.
At the recent Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, PopSocket showed off tons of designs including licensed images from franchises like Harry Potter. They even have a higher-end Swarovski® Crystals options. My only concern is that they are semi-permanent; if you’re careful when installing a PopSocket, you can reposition it but not easily re-attach it without new sticky tape. I’d like to see an industrial-strength Velcro® option. And they aren’t compatible with some silicone or waterproof cases. Plus, the device itself might interfere with Qi-based wireless charging.
Tons of designs including licensed images
Customize your own
Swarovski® Crystals options
Vent mount option
Corporate logo options
Repositionable, but semi-permanent adhesive
Might interfere with Qi-based wireless charging
Not compatible with some silicone and waterproof cases
If you want to dress up your case, and add a finger grip, PopSockets has a lot of designs to choose from.
During PAX West this past September, Eli and I stumbled across a bank of kiosks featuring upcoming Steam games, and one in particular caught our eye with its really neat art style. That game was Plunge from developer Spooky Buns Games, and it’s a rogue-lite dungeon crawler with an almost board game-like isometric viewpoint. It combined “slide until you stop” block-pushing puzzle mechanics with more traditional dungeon crawling, and it looked really awesome. Lucky for us, when we stopped to chat with the developers they mentioned that Plunge was indeed destined for mobile in addition to desktop. Here is a fairly recent and lengthy gameplay video showing Plunge in action.
This week we learned that Spooky Buns will be at GDC showcasing Plunge at the Indie Megabooth, and since we’ll be at GDC covering the event like we usually do, we’ll make a point to stop by and check in on the game’s progress. No pricing has been decided and there’s no solid release date set just yet beyond sometime in “mid-2018” but I’m curious to see how the game has come along since we saw it last September. If you’re liking the look of Plunge as much as we do, then keep your eyes on TouchArcade for our GDC coverage starting March 19th for an updated look at this promising upcoming game.
Electric bikes are a dime a dozen these days, but a new one from Copenhagen-based startup Kvaern has two things that stand out: a unique compact style and a solar-powered battery pack for charging.
The €999 ($ 1,200) Kvaern bike is pedal-assist (meaning you still have to do some work) and uses a 250W motor that’s built into the frame to get up to 15 miles per hour in just a few seconds, according to the company. An integrated battery is good enough for about 30 miles of range, which also pops out for easy charging.
If you want to go all in on that green e-bike lifestyle, though, Kvaern is also selling a 360wH battery and solar panel combo for €449 ($ 548), so you can power the bike with nothing but sunlight.
As expensive as the iPhone X is, you’re going to want to protect it from scratches, drops, water, dust, and more. I’ve used Catalyst cases before, so I tried the Waterproof Case for iPhone X ($ 89.99) with my daughter’s iPhone X. As protective as the Catalyst case is, it’s still surprisingly slim. The iPhone X is water resistant, but this case makes it waterproof to 10 meters.
The slim design ensures the case is compatible with Qi-charging. There’s even an included lanyard, which is another way to protect your phone, as you’re less likely to drop it in the first place. My only concerns are that the rubber flap can be tricky to keep in place and it’s only sold in one color—black with clear back and front.
If you don’t need the waterproofing feature, Catalyst offers impact-protection cases, in more color choices and at less than half the price. Speaking of saving money, if you have expensive Apple AirPods, they can be easy to lose; so I’d recommend Catalyst’s Waterproof Case for AirPods, especially the Glow-In-The-Dark option. For under $ 30, you can clip your AirPods to your backpack or purse and even find them in the dark.
Compatible with Qi-charging
Rubber flap can be tricky to keep in place
Only one color
Whatever your iPhone case requirements are, Catalyst can probably meet your needs.
Starting a new car company is tough. In fact, it's nearly impossible. Then Tesla pulled it off. As we transition from the internal combustion engine to electrification, startups and even a few established players are taking a chance on EVs. Building… Engadget RSS Feed
With Valentine’s Day just a little over a week away, finding a unique gift for your favorite female tech-lover just got a bit easier. Gift her with a beautifully made Apple Watch band designed for women by women. Bezel’s & Bytes transforms Apple Watch into jewelry with its decidedly-female collection of metal-accented bands that’ll go […]
Once thought to be a thing of science fiction, wireless charging has finally arrived in real life. And now that the new iPhones are fully compatible with Qi wireless charging devices, there’s never been a better time to get in on the cordless revolution. This Takiso Walnut Qi Charger combines wireless convenience with unparalleled style, and it’s on sale for only $ 34.90…. Read the rest of this post here