Age of Mythology: Retold launches for PC and Xbox on the same day | Digital Trends

Age of Mythology: Retold launches for PC and Xbox on the same day | Digital Trends

Xbox Game Studios

Microsoft and World’s Edge gave us our first glimpse of its upcoming remaster of real-time strategy game Age of Mythology: Retold during Friday’s New Year, New Age livestream. They also confirmed that it will launch on PC and Xbox later this year.

Age of Mythology: Retold’s segment of the livestream began with Art Director Melinda Rose introducing the gameand  teasing that it will contain all-new 3D character models, animation, textures, and UI. Rose also highlighted the details of the character models for units like Medusa, Pegasus, and Cerberus. Each time players upgrade a unit, their design will change slightly. We then got a look at its key art, as well as confirmation that Age of Mythology: Retold will be released later this year. It will launch on both PC and Xbox at the same time and is the first World’s Edge game to do so.

Age of Mythology: Retold is a remaster of the 2002 fantasy RTS Age of Empire spinoff by Ensemble Studios. It was first teased in October 2022 by Microsoft, but we hadn’t heard much about it since then. Over the past several years, Microsoft has made a concerted effort to revitalize Age of Empires with several remasters, console ports, and the release of Age of Empires IV.

During this livestream, World’s Edge revealed that this has allowed the series to surpass over 50 million players. Age of Mythology: Retold is aimed at adding to that number, as are other things revealed during the New Year, New Age livesteam, like the Victors and Vanquished expansion for Age of Empires II, new civilizations for Age of Empires III, a spring update for Age of Empires IV, and Age of Empires Mobile.

Age of Mythology: Untold launches on PC and Xbox later in 2024. Like all first-party Microsoft games, it will be on Xbox Game Pass from day one as well.

Editors’ Recommendations






How to enable Apple Music lossless audio on Apple TV | Digital Trends

How to enable Apple Music lossless audio on Apple TV | Digital Trends

Despite having spent hundreds of hours listening to lossless audio from Apple Music on my iPhone since the feature launched, I’ve done very little listening to the format via my Apple TV. Or at least, I thought I had done very little listening. As it turns out, I had done zero lossless listening via Apple TV, a fact that a video from Audioholics’ Gene DellaSala makes abundantly clear. Lossless audio is not turned on by default on that device.

Thankfully, the fix is easy and only takes a few clicks of your Apple TV remote. DellaSala’s video runs you through the steps, but I’ve reposted them here as a quick reference.

Unfortunately, these steps only apply to the three generations of the Apple TV 4K. Lossless audio from Apple Music isn’t supported on other Apple TV models.


Simon Cohen / Digital Trends

Switch the Apple Music audio quality setting from High Quality to Lossless

To get lossless audio from Apple Music on an Apple TV 4K, follow these five easy steps using your Apple TV remote or the Remote app on your iPhone.

Step 1: From the Apple TV 4K’s home screen, open the Settings app.

Apple TV 4K: Home screen with Settings app highlighted.

Simon Cohen / Digital Trends

Step 2: Scroll down and select the Apps menu item.

Apple TV 4K: Settings menu.

Simon Cohen / Digital Trends

Step 3: Scroll down and select Music under the App Settings heading.

Apple TV 4K: apps settings.

Simon Cohen / Digital Trends

Step 4: Take note of the current setting for Audio Quality under the Audio heading.

If it says “Lossless,” you’re already getting lossless audio quality from Apple Music, congrats!

If it says “High Quality,” move on to the next step.

Apple TV 4K: Apple Music settings.

Simon Cohen / Digital Trends

Step 5: Scroll down and select Audio Quality from under the Audio heading.

Apple TV 4K: Apple Music audio quality settings.

Simon Cohen / Digital Trends

Step 6: Highlight, then select the Lossless option.

The check mark should move from the High Quality option to the Lossless option. If it doesn’t, select the Lossless option again.

To confirm that the change worked, use the back button to return to the Music screen. You should now see “Lossless” in the Audio Quality field.

Apple TV 4K: Apple Music audio quality settings.

Simon Cohen / Digital Trends

Now that you’ve got lossless audio for Apple Music enabled on your Apple TV, we should point out one small caveat for audiophiles. While the steps above ensure that you’re getting the best possible audio quality from Apple Music on Apple TV, lossless audio isn’t actually Apple Music’s top quality level.

Included with every Apple Music subscription is access to the service’s collection of “hi-res lossless” tracks. These tracks are streamed in 24-bit/96kHz or higher resolution, but unfortunately, the Apple TV 4K is currently limited to regular Apple Music lossless quality of up to 24-bit/48kHz.

As DellaSala points out, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with 24-bit/48kHz. In fact, in many circles this resolution is considered the entry level for hi-res audio. Still, if you want to hear the very highest quality from Apple Music, you’ll need to use a hi-fi or headphone DAC that’s compatible with iPhones or Android phones. These will let you decode hi-res lossless tracks from the Apple Music mobile app.

Editors’ Recommendations






Are Kindle books free? How to read on your Kindle for free | Digital Trends

Are Kindle books free? How to read on your Kindle for free | Digital Trends

While real books still hold a special place in our hearts, there’s no denying an Amazon Kindle is an exceptional piece of kit. Whether it’s simply to save yourself some shelf space (or avoid buying a new bookshelf), to read in the dark, or to give you a lightweight way to travel while carrying lots and lots of books, no avid reader should really be without a Kindle. Best of all, unlike physical books, it’s not too hard to find Kindle books for free.

We have a list of some of the best free Kindle books you can get, but it’s not a comprehensive guide, and you might be looking for something more to your tastes. As such, here are a number of ways you can find free books for your Kindle, from the most simple to the more complex.

Kindle Paperwhite on top of Kindle Scribe

Joe Maring/Digital Trends

How to get free Kindle books on Amazon

Surprisingly, Amazon is the easiest place to get free Kindle books. Yes, there are plenty of free books on Amazon, with available titles including older works that are in the public domain now, as well as first entries from a series that entice you to buy the rest to finish the story. If that sounds good to you, getting hold of these books couldn’t be simpler.

Step 1: Open up the Amazon website or app, and search for “free Kindle books”.

Step 2: Find one you like.

Step 3: Select Buy now with 1-click.

How to get free Kindle books from your library

Did you know you can get Kindle books from your library for absolutely nothing? Libby is a free service that lends out digital library books from across the U.S., and if you’re in the States, it can send them straight to your Kindle as well. All you need in order to get started is a library card.

Step 1: Start by downloading the Libby app for Android or iOS.

Libby App iOS

Michael Archambault/Digital Trends

Step 2: Open the app and complete the sign-up process by finding your library and entering your library card number.

Step 3: Now, you’ll be able to browse your library’s selection in the app. Select a title to borrow.

Step 4: Head to your Shelf > Loans to find your chosen title.

Step 5: Select Read with > Kindle.

Step 6: If you haven’t linked accounts already, you’ll be sent to an Amazon page to sign in.

Step 7: Sign in and choose the Kindle device the book is to be sent to.

Step 8: Finally, choose Get library book to have the book sent to your device.

How to get free Kindle books with Amazon Prime

Did you know an Amazon Prime membership also gives you access to thousands of books through

? While you technically pay a subscription for access to Prime Reading, if you’re paying for Amazon Prime anyway, Prime Reading is a handy bonus.

Prime Reading gives you access to unlimited access to a catalog of books, audiobooks, comics, and magazines at no extra charge. It also comes with a free book every month for a prerelease title. It’s a great deal and one that many people forget they have.

Step 1: To find your Prime Reading options, open the Amazon app or head to the Amazon site.

Step 2: Open the menu (in the bottom right of the app), and select Prime > Prime Reading.

Step 3: On the website, you’ll need to select All > Kindle e-readers & books > Prime Reading.

Step 4: From here, you can use the search bar to search just within Prime Reading, or you can browse the main page’s selection.

Step 5: Once you find an option you like, select it and choose Add to library.

How to get free Kindle books with Project Gutenberg

The final option can be applied to a number of websites that offer free digital books, but as Project Gutenberg is the most well-known, we’ve chosen to highlight this one.

Project Gutenberg is an enormous repository of some of the most famous books in the world, all of which have fallen into the public domain. As such, you can grab them and read them for absolutely nothing. You’ll need to send each book to your Kindle, but that’s not too difficult; here’s how it’s done.

Step 1: Head to the Project Gutenberg website on your phone or PC.

Step 2: Search for or browse until you find a title you want.

Step 3: In the downloads of your chosen title, select one of the downloads. Select a file marked EPUB or Kindle.

Step 4: Once you have the file, head to the Content and devices page of your Amazon account, then select Devices.

Step 5: Find your Kindle, and copy its individual email address.

Step 6: Open your email app (or website), insert your Kindle’s email address, and attach the file for your new book. Send it, and it’ll be sent to your Kindle.

Editors’ Recommendations






Ring Stick Up Cam Pro vs. Canary Pro | Digital Trends

Ring Stick Up Cam Pro vs. Canary Pro | Digital Trends

When it comes to premium indoor security cameras, few are as popular as the Ring Stick Up Cam Pro. Available in both wired and battery-powered formats, it’s a versatile camera that’s well-suited for most home security systems. However, the lesser-known Canary Pro offers many of the same features as the Ring Stick Up Cam Pro — yet is often on sale for a much lower price.

But is the Canary Pro better than the Ring Stick Up Cam Pro? Or should you just buy the popular Ring product? And, more importantly, what sort of ongoing monthly fees are required for these cameras? Here’s a look at everything you need to know.

Pricing and monthly fees

Jon Bitner / Digital Trends

The Ring Stick Up Cam Pro costs $180 for both the battery-powered model and the plug-in model. A monthly plan isn’t required to use the product, but you’ll miss out on key features like video history and smart alerts without one. That means most users will want to sign up for Ring Protect Basic, which will cost $5 per month starting on March 11, 2024.

Here are some of the standout features offered with Ring Protect Basic:

  • Video history for up to 180 days
  • Snapshot capture
  • Person and package alerts
  • Rich notifications

The Canary Pro costs $169, but is often on sale for much less. In fact, it’s not uncommon to see it discounted to as little as $90. That immediately makes it more appealing than the Ring Stick Up Cam Pro — but its sticker price doesn’t tell the full story.

Like Ring’s camera, the Canary Pro works best with a monthly subscription plan. In this case, you’ll be looking at Canary Premium. Without Canary Premium, you’ll only be able to receive motion alerts, check your live feed, activate two-way audio, and a few other basic features. Canary Premium costs $13 per month. Here’s a look at a few of its standout features:

  • Person detection
  • Video clips
  • Video history
  • Custom activity zones
  • Desktop streaming
  • Upgraded customer support

That’s eerily similar to everything offered by Ring Protect Basic, yet it’s nearly three times as expensive. So while you might save a few bucks upfront with the Canary Pro, anyone planning to use the device over several years will quickly recoup their losses when purchasing a Ring Stick Up Pro.

Winner: Ring Stick Up Cam Pro

Design and installation

The Ring Stick Up Cam Pro on display the 2023 Amazon Fall Devices and Services event.
Phil Nickinson / Digital Trends

The Ring Stick Up Cam Pro is a good-looking, but rather bulky device. It features a black faceplate that holds the camera unit and speakers, and is surrounded by a white chassis. Standing over six inches tall, it’s easy to spot when placed on a countertop or table. Aside from resting it on a flat surface, Ring allows for the unit to be mounted on a wall.

Getting the Ring Stick Up Cam Pro working is a breeze. The battery-powered model is arguably the easiest to install, as you won’t have to worry about any wires. Regardless of which model you pick, after getting it powered up, you’ll need to sync it with your mobile app and Wi-Fi network. And since it supports dual-band 5GHz, you shouldn’t run into any compatibility issues. Once that’s done, you’re ready to start using the camera.

The Canary Pro is only sold as a wired unit. It’s unfortunate that it needs to be tethered to an outlet, as the battery-powered option available with the Ring Stick Up Cam Pro gives you the freedom to place it virtually anywhere in your home. Canary designed the unit to look sleek, and it’s arguably better-looking than Ring’s product (though it’s just as large at six inches tall). Setting up and installing the Canary Pro is rather simple, though it only works with 2.4GHz networks — which could pose issues during setup depending on your network.

Winner: Ring Stick Up Cam Pro

Resolution and night vision

The Canary Pro on a table.
Canary

The Ring Stick Up Cam Pro films in 1080p and supports HDR for enhanced colors. When operating in the dark, it supports color night vision. The unit also films in a generous 155-degree viewing angle, allowing it to capture large portions of your property.

The Canary Pro films in 1080p, though it uses black-and-white night vision when filming in the dark. Its viewing angle isn’t quite as generous as Ring’s, maxing out at 147 degrees. It still captures a significant chunk of your home, but can’t quite compete with the 155-degree diagonal view offered by Ring.

Winner: Ring

Features and spec list

The Canary Pro on a shelf.
Canary

The Ring Stick Up Cam Pro is strictly a security camera. It offers impressive video capture, a great viewing angle, a simple installation, and a robust smartphone app that lets you customize nearly all aspects of its performance.

By contrast, the Canary Pro does a little bit of everything. It’s billed as a monitor that provides “total home security and intelligence,” as it does more than just capture motion events. Beyond filming, the Canary Pro will also monitor air quality, ambient temperature, and humidity. That makes it a compelling purchase for homes seeking a “do-it-all” device that doesn’t break the bank.

Winner: Canary Pro

Which is the better security camera?

The Ring Stick Up Cam Pro is the best option if you’re looking for a security camera. Not only does it offer a better viewing angle and vibrant HDR video, it’s available as both a battery-powered unit and a wired unit — giving you the flexibility that makes it easy to fit into your home. Toss in the robust Ring app for easy customization, and it’s one of the best security cameras you can buy. You can also operate it without a Ring subscription, though its functionality will be limited. Consider picking up the Basic plan to get the most out of your system.

The Canary Pro is no slouch, but its hefty monthly fees and slightly worse video quality make it less appealing than the Ring Stick Up Cam Pro. However, homes that would benefit from an air quality monitor should give it a closer look. It’s not quite as robust as a standalone air quality monitor (and it’s not an air purifier), but it has some unique capabilities that make it a great purchase for the right smart home.

Editors’ Recommendations






Kanto Ren active speakers with HDMI take aim at your TV room | Digital Trends

Kanto Ren active speakers with HDMI take aim at your TV room | Digital Trends

Kanto Audio

The Canucks at Kanto Audio are at it again, announcing the addition of another new set of powered speakers to its lineup. The Kanto Ren are a 100-watt pair of active speakers that, in a first for the company, offer HDMI ARC connectivity.

After unleashing its new Ora Desktop reference speakers a few months back and then announcing their cousin, the Ora4, at CES 2024 last month, the Canadian speaker maker has set its sights on TV connectivity with the Ren, a $600 set of compact powered speakers that can be connected to your TV with HDMI ARC and be controlled with an included remote or with your TV’s remote, with the help of CEC. The new connectivity makes the Kanto REN an intriguing soundbar alternative.

But, of course, that’s not all the Kanto Rens can do. In line with its other speakers, the powered bookshelf speakers offer all kinds of connectivity options, including Bluetooth 5.3 that supports SBC and AAC codecs, as well as USB-C and optical inputs that can support a resolution of up to 24-bit/96kHz for high-resolution playback from sources such as computers, digital audio players, network streamers, smartphones, and more.

The back and inputs of the Kanto Audio REN powered speaker.
Kanto Audio

For the more analog inclined, the Kanto Ren also have RCA line-in and a 3.5mm input for connecting things like turntables, DVD players, and other devices (you will need a turntable with a built-in preamp or an external phono stage, though). The REN also features a dedicated subwoofer output for adding extra bass to the proceedings, and if the aforementioned Ora review is any indication, that extra bass will be just booming.

Driving the Kanto REN speakers is 100-watts of Class D amplification with 200 watts of peak power to the speaker’s 1-inch silk dome tweeters and 5.25-inch mid-woofers. Kanto says the speakers will deliver “clear highs, detailed midrange, and impressively powerful bass.” They’ll also feature a couple of sound modes for TV watching — Vocal Boost for lifting dialogue,and Night Mode that will balance out any peaks and lows in the audio volume so as to not wake your household up when there’s an explosion in the action movie you’re watching.

With six colors — black, white, cream, green, brown, and orange — the Kanto Ren powered speakers will retail for $600 and be available in July. If you happen to be in Bristol, England, this weekend however, ,you can check them out at the Bristol Hi-Fi Show.

Editors’ Recommendations






PlayStation VR2 PC compatibility is being tested by Sony | Digital Trends

PlayStation VR2 PC compatibility is being tested by Sony | Digital Trends

When ILMxLAB learned about the PlayStation VR2, Director Jose Perez III thought it was a “no-brainer” for the studio to bring the Oculus Quest game Star Wars: Tales from the Galaxy’s Edge to the new headset.
“We’re always looking at how we can push the fidelity of the work that we’re doing,” Perez III tells Digital Trends in an interview. “PlayStation VR2 is ridiculously powerful; we got really excited about what we could bring to that. We started talking with our friends at Sony because we had a great relationship with them for Vader Immortal, and it was really a no-brainer. Then, you put the headset on, you start feeling the haptics, and you start seeing what you can do with the visual fidelity and lighting, and it’s like, ‘Oh, this is awesome!'”
Star Wars: Tales from the Galaxy’s Edge – Enhanced Edition | Official Trailer | PS VR2
PlayStation VR2’s launch and its first wave of games are nearly upon us, and Star Wars: Tales from the Galaxy’s Edge Enhanced Edition is one of those titles. This is a make-or-break time for VR, which is still struggling to move into the mainstream but could become more popular if Sony’s headset can offer a compelling and accessible virtual reality experience. Ahead of its release, Digital Trends spoke to Director Jose Perez III and Producer Harvey Whitney from ILMxLAB to learn about the process of crafting one of these critical “no-brainer” launch games and PlayStation VR2 will ultimately stand when it comes to the future of VR gaming.
The power of PlayStation VR2
Star Wars: Tales from the Galaxy’s Edge was originally released for Meta Quest VR headsets in November 2020. It’s set on the planet of Batuu, which people also explore at Dinsey parks, and follows a Droid Technician who gets caught in the middle of a grander fight against the First Order after crash-landing on the planet. At the time, it was meant with decent reviews and only got better as its story was completed and expanded with the Last Call DLC.
After getting the “Enhanced Edition” of the game for PlayStation VR2 greenlit, ILMxLAB actually had to go and make it. As the team was dealing with new hardware for the first time, producer Harvey Whitney thought it was good that the team’s first project on PlayStation VR2 was an enhanced version of an existing game.
“Early on, knowing that we already had the content that was created for the original, that changes things quite a bit,” Whitney tells Digital Trends. “We’re not redeveloping the story and coming up with all of that. We just had that opportunity to work as a team and ask, ‘What do we really push here, and where are the changes that we want to make, and what we can do to really take advantage of this hardware?'”

The VR space is full of different headsets with unique specs, with the much higher specs of the PS VR2 standing out. The PlayStation VR2 sports some impressive specs compared to its VR peers, displaying content in a 4000×2030 HDR format at a 90Hz or 120Hz frame rate. Plus, games have the PS5’s power, spatial, and brand new Sense controllers to take advantage of, rather than the 2013 console and 2010 motion controls that limited the original PlayStation VR.
PlayStation VR2 supports Roomscale, Sitting, and Standing play styles, which added more complexity as Tales from the Galaxy’s Edge supports all three. Thankfully, Perez III that bringing Tales from the Galaxy’s Edge to PlayStation VR2 was relatively manageable because of how impressive the system’s specs were.
“A lot of the development processes are similar [to other VR platforms],” Perez III says. “We’re still working inside of Unreal, and we’re doing a lot of those same processes. But we don’t have to look at performance quite as much as we do on some of the other devices, so we’re able to open up a lot of things or not be as concerned about certain things. That comes with better hardware.”
Better hardware, better games
Looking at the biggest games of the PlayStation VR2 launch window lineup, the visuals of titles like Horizon Call of the Mountain and the VR modes of Resident Evil Village and Gran Turismo 7 are impressive. In our discussion, Whitney also made it quite clear that one of the real advantages of working on this remaster was not having to worry about strict limitations on the visuals or even the audio. “We got lucky in the sense that there’s a lot more to PlayStation VR2 that we hadn’t had previously,” Whitney says. “We could really push the graphics and make it shine. But then there were also some other things that came into play. We totally redid the audio, it sounds amazing.”

7 hidden iMessage features you need to be using | Digital Trends

7 hidden iMessage features you need to be using | Digital Trends

Digital Trends

Apple’s iMessage is a widely used messaging app with over 1 billion active users. It was launched in 2011 and is deeply integrated into Apple devices, allowing iPhone, iPad, and Mac users to exchange text messages, photos, videos, and more seamlessly across platforms.

Over the years, Apple has introduced many new features to the Messages app. You probably use some of them every day, but others are easy to overlook and forget about it. Below are a few of our favorite hidden iMessage features — and ones you should be using if you aren’t already.

Pinning messages

Screenshot showing pinning messages on iPhone.
Digital Trends

With iMessage, you can communicate with both individuals and groups. However, sometimes, it can be challenging to track meaningful conversations or specific content when you receive messages from multiple sources, such as organizations or companies. This is where message pinning comes in. This feature allows you to save essential conversations or specific content at the top of your Messages app to access them easily. Starting with iOS 14, Apple allowed you to pin up to nine conversations at the top of the Messages app.

To pin a conversation, drag and drop it to the top of the Messages app. Alternatively, you can long press on the conversation and select Pin from the pull-down menu.

Mark messages as unread

Screenshot showing how to market a message as unread on iPhone.
Digital Trends

We receive many messages daily, and when we see a new message, we often feel the urge to open it immediately. However, some messages require a response, which can sometimes be forgotten if we don’t reply immediately. Unfortunately, just opening a message can make it harder to remember to send a reply later since it can get lost in the shuffle.

One way to ensure important messages are not missed is to mark them as unread. This helps isolate them from other messages and serves as a reminder to address them later. To mark a message as unread on your iPhone, long press on it, then select Mark as Unread from the pull-down menu. Easy, no? A dot on the left side marks unread messages.

Message threads and tags

Screenshot showing how to reply to a thread on iPhone.
Digital Trends

Starting with iOS 14, Apple made it possible to reply directly to a message within a conversation. This allows you to highlight specific messages or people, and it’s especially handy if you’re in busy group conversations.

To do so, go into the conversation, then identify the message bubble to which you want to reply. Next, touch and hold that bubble, then tap the Reply button. Type your message as you usually do, then choose the Send button.

When replying this way, you also tag a specific person by typing their name. This person might be part of the thread, and they’ll receive this mention on their device.

Find deleted messages — and recover them

Recovering deleted messages in the Messages app on an iPhone.
Digital Trends

Have you ever accidentally deleted a message thread in iMessage? It can be frustrating, but don’t worry because there’s a solution. On your iPhone, you can view recently deleted messages for up to 40 days before the system permanently removes them from your device. If you act quickly, you can recover the messages you thought were lost forever.

To retrieve deleted messages on your iPhone, open the Messages app and tap the Edit button in the top-left corner. Then, tap Show Recently Deleted. Here, you’ll find a list of deleted threads and the number of messages lost in each thread.

Although you cannot read the thread from this page, you can recover it by tapping the circle to the left and selecting Recover at the bottom of the screen. After doing so, the messages will be restored to your main messages page. Alternatively, you can tap Recover All if you want to recover all of your deleted messages at once.

Bubble and screen effects

Screenshot showing how to add message effects on iPhone.
Digital Trends

Text alone might not be enough to convey a message. That’s where screen effects come in. The tools, which have been around for a few years, include bubble effects, full-screen effects, camera effects, and more.

To send a message with a screen effect, press and hold the Send button rather than tapping it. This displays two options: Bubble and Screen effects. This allows you to send a message with your bubble slamming into the screen, a fancy firework effect, and more. Only other iMessage users will see these effects, however, so they won’t work if you’re sending them to someone with an Android phone.

Shake to undo

screenshot showing what happens when you shake your iPhone in the Messages app.
Digital Trends

I’ll admit, the shake to undo feature is one I didn’t know about until I sat down to write this article. Regardless, it’s genius. If you type out a message and don’t like what you typed, you can delete it entirely. All you have to do is shake your iPhone and then respond to the prompt on the screen.

The feature works exactly how you’d expect, but it doesn’t work after sending the message. In other words, shaking your iPhone won’t unsend the message. However, even this is possible if you’re sending a message to another Apple user and less than 15 minutes have passed since you sent it.

Shift your keyboard

Screenshot showing how to activate the one-handed keyboard on iPhone.
Digital Trends

You may encounter situations where typing on a keyboard the length of your iPhone using both hands may not be practical, such as when you have only one free hand available. This is when the aptly named one-handed keyboard comes in handy.

Open the Messages app on your iPhone and start typing. Tap and hold the Smiley icon at the bottom left of the keyboard to access the keyboard settings. Choose the option to have the keyboard move to the left or right side of the screen, depending on which hand you prefer. This will allow you to type comfortably with one hand. You can use this tool anywhere the keyboard is on your device, not just the Messages app.

Hopefully, this list of hidden iMessage features will give you something new to try or remind you of a feature you might have forgotten. The Messages app is packed full of great features, so enjoy them, whether you have an iPhone 15 Pro or other Apple device.

Editors’ Recommendations






One year later, PlayStation VR2 has yet to impress me | Digital Trends

One year later, PlayStation VR2 has yet to impress me | Digital Trends

Giovanni Colantonio

One year ago, I took my first step into virtual reality with the PlayStation VR2. One year later, I haven’t walked much further.

I spent a long time watching the VR sect of the gaming medium from the sidelines, curious about this new form of interaction, but never taking the full plunge. Impressed with the PSVR2’s specs and confident in Sony’s first-party capabilities, I bought it at launch in February 2022. After a week of use, I wrote that I “anticipate it’ll be a very supplemental gaming style for me in the future, not something I’ll want to do for hours every day.”

That’s a very generous reading of what ended up happening.

Following that article, my use of PlayStation VR2 became much spottier due to a dearth of content. I’d pick it up occasionally for work when new VR games like Crossfire: Sierra Squad or Arizona Sunshine 2 would come out. That would elicit a spurt of interest, but a lack of consistent additions to its lineup has left it sitting on my shelf most of the time. Now that I have a Meta Quest 3, I doubt I’ll be playing much more on it unless Sony can get its first-party support for it together.

PlayStation VR2, one year later

After a year of using PlayStation VR2, I’m disappointed in my $550 purchase. There was a honeymoon phase when it initially launched as I explored the headset’s launch lineup, all of which was new to me. It was a bit uncomfortable to use for long periods, and it lacked exclusives outside Horizon Call of the Mountain and VR modes for Resident Evil Village and Gran Turismo 7. I hoped this would improve over time as I got used to wearing it and more games started to come out.

A red robot bird attacking.
Sony

Regarding comfort, I’m getting less nauseous playing VR games now than I was a year ago. That’s an aspect of the VR experience that does improve with time. Unfortunately, I still don’t find the headset itself comfortable. I mess around with it a lot each time I put it on, but after 30 minutes, it always starts to hurt my nose and forehead. I might be willing to fight through the pain if the games were good enough to justify it, but they haven’t been.

The most woeful aspect of PSVR2 one year later is the lack of first-party support. Last year, it only got two new Sony-published games: Horizon Call of the Mountain and Firewall Ultra. The former was a great introductory experience, but the latter was a buggy multiplayer shooter that left a bad taste in my mouth. Horror exclusives like The Dark Pictures: Switchback and Resident Evil 4 VR aren’t my cup of tea, and outside of that, I only had a solid Before Your Eyes VR conversion and the entertaining, but extremely repetitive Synapse.

I enjoyed some other VR experiences throughout that time, like Rez Infinite, but overall, the headset’s 2023 game lineup didn’t do enough to elicit continued interest from me. My headset became a novelty to put on every few months, not a permanent addition to my gaming rotation. The situation didn’t seem so hot for developers making games for PSVR2 either.

First person gameplay from Firewall Ultra.
Sony Intreactive Entertainment

First Contact Entertainment, the studio behind the Sony-published Firewall Ultra, shut down in December 2023. “After almost 8 years of working with the most amazing team I’ve ever had the pleasure of being part of, I’m sad to announce that we will be closing our company First Contact Entertainment by the end of the year. The lack of support for VR within the industry has eventually taken its toll. As a AAA VR game developer, we are just not able to justify the expense needed [going] forward,” the developer wrote on Facebook.

If that’s the sentiment from a Sony-backed developer, I’m not optimistic about year two of PSVR2 exclusive support.

PlayStation VR2 vs. Meta Quest 3

My opinion on PSVR2 shifted even further this year when I tried out the Meta Quest 3. After obtaining the headset with a copy of Asgard’s Wrath 2, my interest in VR reignited a bit as I once again entered the honeymoon phase with a new piece of hardware. While I wasn’t a fan of how often Meta asks for my data while using the thing, it’s a decidedly more comfortable headset than the PSVR2. It’s smaller, making it a bit easier to adjust on my large head. It also doesn’t feel like it’s pressing into my face as much, meaning my Meta Quest 3 play sessions have lasted longer.

I tried Journey to Foundation on both headsets for a head-to-head comparison. I did find that it looked a bit better on PlayStation VR2, so if performance and visual fidelity are what you mainly care about with VR, Sony’s headset still has that going for it. That said, VR games generally look a bit dated visually, so I didn’t mind the slight visual downgrades Journey to Foundation received on Meta Quest 3.

Horizon Call of the Mountain is missed, but Meta Quest 3’s game library feels much more impressive than the PSVR2’s. When it comes to traditional games, I enjoyed Out of Scale: A Kurzgesagt Adventure, but what impressed me the most were mixed reality experiences. I’ve had a blast with Pillow, a minigame collection you can play lying down, and Demeter, a Moss-like platformer where the stages are laid out in your own room. VR is at its best when it’s playing with perspective, not when it’s showing you yet another way to reload a gun.

Demeter gameplay on Meta Quest 3.
Novelab

Considering all the buzz the Apple Vision Pro has been getting, mixed reality and spatial games will likely become the new hotness for VR headsets. That’s something PSVR2 is just not equipped for, and the system doesn’t currently have enough exclusives or first-party support to put much faith in Sony’s more old-school VR approach. Right now, the only PSVR2 exclusive on the horizon is the flight combat game Aces of Thunder, which is lackluster heading into year two of the platform’s life span. Sony has a lot of work to do if it wants to reinvigorate my interest in its VR offerings or it needs to admit its lack of plans for support outright.

The Meta Quest 3 is a cheaper, more comfortable headset. It has a vast library of games and other VR and MR content, and I have more confidence in Meta’s first-party support. Even then, I’m still not playing with it nearly as much as I play my on PC, PlayStation 5, Xbox, or Nintendo Switch. My assessment that VR would stay a supplemental gaming experience for my last year was accurate. I’m just more disappointed now that I understand just how niche the use case for the PSVR2 is within my own VR usage, just one year after launch.

Editors’ Recommendations