Various tests–like this one at PCWorld–show Windows 10’s Movies & TV app offering more than double the battery life of VLC and other video players. This is because Movies & TV uses hardware acceleration, though, and VLC can too–you just have to enable it first. Then, you’ll be able to enjoy the advanced features of your favorite video player without the battery hit.
Microsoft’s Xbox One includes a 500GB hard drive, but games are getting larger and larger. Halo: The Master Chief Collection takes up more than 62GB alone, even if you have the game on a physical disc. Here’s how to free up space so you have room for more games.
Now is arguably the best time in the history of the platform for Android users—the OS is getting better, updates are getting (slightly) quicker, and there are several excellent handsetS to choose from. If you’re not into the whole “manufacturer skin” that most are offering these days, however, it can be slightly less exciting to buy a non-Nexus phone. But giving your phone a “stock Android” look and feel isn’t as hard as you think.
Is your computer unstable? There may be a problem with its RAM. To check, you can either use a hidden system tool included with Windows or download and boot a more advanced tool.
Macs automatically go into a low power sleep mode when you leave them idle for several minutes, or when you close your laptop’s lid. Some Macs also support “standby mode”, which is basically the same as hibernate on a Windows PC. Here’s how to configure when your Mac hibernates.
Boot up or restart your Mac and it’ll make the traditional “startup chime” sound”. This lets you know the Mac is starting up properly, but it isn’t appropriate if you’re booting up your Mac in a quiet location like a library, or if someone is sleeping nearby.
Android Wear has been around for a couple of years now, and it’s honestly one of those things that you don’t know how much you’ll use it until you actually have it. There are some really good, useful tools available for Wear that will make your life simpler, but we want to highlight a handful of apps that will also help you live a bit healthier.
NVIDIA’s ShadowPlay offers easy gameplay recording, live streaming, and even an FPS counter overlay. It can automatically record gameplay in the background–just on the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One–or only record gameplay when you tell it to.
Android has come a long way in terms of battery life over the last few years, and the built-in tools for monitoring battery usage have gotten significantly more useful. Still, sometimes the stock options just aren’t enough. Thankfully, there are ways to easily gauge your battery usage, remaining time, and even hunt down apps that are stealing your precious juice.
Chromebooks can now download and install Android apps from Google Play, and it works pretty well. But not every Android app is available in Google Play. Some apps are available from outside Google Play as APK files, and you can install them on your Chromebook with a bit of extra work.
The Performance Monitor is one of many useful tools buried deep in Windows. It can generate a System Diagnostics Report with information about problems and suggestions of how to fix them. If your computer isn’t performing well or is experiencing another problem, this quick report might be able to help.
Microsoft’s Xbox One has limited support for some types of physical keyboards, but not mice. Connect a keyboard and you can use it to type text more conveniently than using the on-screen keyboard with your controller.
Sony’s PlayStation 4 includes a 500GB hard drive, but games are getting bigger and bigger–Grand Theft Auto V alone requires 50GB of space on the hard drive, even if you have the disc. Here’s how to free up space–and upgrade your PS4’s storage capacity so you can fit more games.
You’ve invested a lot of energy gathering and curating so many great movies and TV shows in your Plex Media Server, wouldn’t it be great if you could share all that content with your friends? With a few small tweaks, you can–we’ll show you how.
Robot vacuums sound great. They do the vacuuming for you, saving time and hassle. And they’ve come down in price, too–you can get a decent Roomba for a little over $300. But while plenty of people seem happy with their Roombas, I decided to return mine. Vacuuming still isn’t fun, but a solid cordless vacuum is more useful to me than a gimmicky robot.
Thanks to the frequent sales, PC games just cost less than console games. If you’re patient and know the tricks, you can save quite a bit of money. Almost every game seems to regularly go on sale.
Sony’s official PlayStation app, available for both Android phones and iPhones, allows you to remotely control your PS4. Use it as a playback remote or a keyboard for quickly typing without relying on the PS4’s controller and on-TV keyboard.
The Oculus Rift is locked down by default, and will only run games and apps from Oculus’s own store. You’ll see an “Unknown Source” message on the Rift if you try to run something else. But change one setting, and you can use Valve’s SteamVR or any other Rift-enabled app or game.
The Oculus Rift offers a polished virtual reality experience, even though it doesn’t have the room-scale virtual reality or touch controllers like the HTC Vive–yet. Here’s how to set up your Oculus Rift, and what you’ll need to know ahead of time.
Microsoft removed Windows Media Center from Windows 10, and there’s no official way to get it back. While there are great alternatives like Kodi, which can play and record live TV, the community has made Windows Media Center functional on Windows 10.
Minecraft is a great game for kids, no doubt about it, but that doesn’t mean it’s not a wee bit frustrating for smaller children. If you have a younger player and you’d like to adjust the game to their age and skill level, we’ve got more than a few tweaks to help make Minecraft frustration free for the whole family.
Microsoft’s Xbox SmartGlass app allows you to launch games, browse TV listings, and control apps on your Xbox One. You can even use it to stream live TV from your Xbox One to your phone. It’s available for Android phones, iPhones, Windows 10 and 8, and even Windows phones.
You’re sitting at your PC and you receive a text message, so you pick up your phone, unlock it, read the message, and type one back using the tiny touch screen keyboard. Why not use your PC instead? If you’re already sitting at your computer, you can easily take advantage of your computer’s keyboard to send and receive text messages.
Android allows apps you to subscribe to apps and services, including Google’s own Google Play Music, through Google Play. If you subscribe to an app, Google will automatically bill your saved payment method until you cancel the subscription.
If you’ve ever tried to do anything advanced on your Android phone, you’ve likely heard (or read) the term “USB Debugging.” This is a commonly-used option that’s tucked away neatly under Android’s Developer Options menu, but it’s still something that many users enable without giving it a second thought–and without knowing what it really does.