The 10 Apple Arcade launch games you have to play

Let’s just get this out of the way: if you’re at all interested in high-quality mobile games and you own an iOS device, Apple Arcade is a no-brainer. The subscription service launches tomorrow for $4.99 a month, and it’s making its debut with a huge range of excellent games from renowned studios like Ustwo, Simogo, and Capy Games. If there are even two titles that pique your interest, that’s worth the price of admission.

The biggest problem with the service right now, though, is that it can be overwhelming. There’s just so much. It can make figuring out where to start almost paralyzing. For the past few days I’ve been digging through the Apple Arcade lineup to pick out the 10 games I’d recommend most, spanning a number of genres and play…

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Nextdoor’s new Kindness Reminder wants to stop neighbors from being so mean

Image: Nextdoor

Nextdoor, the social networking app for neighborhoods, is adding a new Kindness Reminder feature to try and dissuade neighbors from posting mean comments. Now, if you try and post a comment that is too similar to one that’s been flagged in the past, the app will prompt you to edit your response and provide a link to community guidelines.

Over the years, Nextdoor has gained a reputation for the petty, and occasionally mean comments that some of its users leave on the platform, especially compared to rival neighborhood message board Front Porch Forum. The best examples of these can be found on the Twitter account Best of Nextdoor which, somewhat unsurprisingly, the company’s ex-CEO Nirav Tolia wasn’t particularly fond of.

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Facebook’s oversight board could bring a justice system to a platform that needs one

Illustration by Alex Castro / Th

About a year ago, after Mark Zuckerberg floated the idea on a podcast with Ezra Klein, I argued that Facebook needed some kind of Supreme Court. “A perfect content moderation regime likely is too much to hope for,” I wrote at the time. “But Facebook could build and support institutions that help it balance competing notions of free speech and a safe community. Ultimately, the question of what belongs on Facebook can’t be decided solely by the people who work there.”

In the months since, Facebook’s vision for its Supreme Court — which it has decided to give the rather less glamorous name of independent oversight board — has rapidly come into focus. Today, the company offered us the most details we’ve had on the plan to date. In a series…

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Are these the first smartwatches built around Google’s new $40 million tech?

Fossil Collider FTW7008, FTW7010, FTW7009 (from left to right).

Remember how Google paid the Fossil Group $40 million for its secret smartwatch tech and R&D personnel? At the time Fossil and Google told Wareable that Google had acquired “new product innovation that’s not yet hit the market,” that would sit within the Wear OS family. Well, this may be our first look at that product. Pictured above are three hybrid wearables that go by the name “Fossil Collider DIANA Smartwatch,” currently available for preorder from a variety of retail sites for around €200 / $220.

The most important word in that name is “Diana.” According to a new report from Wareable, Diana (a blend of “Digital” and “Analogue”) is Fossil’s internal name for the hybrid smartwatch technology that Google licensed. It was originally…

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Google Assistant gets a second voice option in nine countries

Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge

Google is launching new voices for Google Assistant in nine countries today, adding a secondary voice option outside the US for the first time. When users set up a new Android phone, the default voice will also be chosen at random, so there’ll be a mix of people getting the old and new voices, though you can still change later if you want to.

New voices are available for Dutch, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, and Norwegian in their respective countries. New English voices are also being launched in India and the UK.

Google’s Assistant — like all of the other major smart assistants — launched with a traditionally female-sounding voice. Google has been trying to move…

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Starbucks Japan is selling pens with built-in NFC wallets

Starbucks is releasing a new hardware product in Japan this month, and it’s a pen. Not a stylus or anything — an actual pen, with “coffee brown” gel ink, a drip coffee machine-inspired design, and the built-in ability to pay for things at Starbucks.

Starbucks Touch: The Pen,” for that is its name, contains an NFC reader that’s linked to a digital wallet. It works with FeliCa technology, which is ubiquitous in Japan and powers Starbucks’ popular domestic card system. I’m not totally sure how this is better than using mobile payments, but I guess if you want to leave your phone at home and get down to Starbucks for a hardcore study session, this could be useful.

This is actually the fourth product in the Starbucks Touch line in Japan,…

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HP’s new Elite Dragonfly business laptop has mass appeal

Photo by Cameron Faulkner / The Verge

HP’s latest EliteBook, the Elite Dragonfly, doesn’t look like a business laptop. It comes in a shade of deep blue, and its lightweight magnesium build looks and feels more like a premium consumer laptop than something made for the commercial industry.

The 13.3-inch Elite Dragonfly weighs less than 1 kilogram (2.2 pounds). It’s far lighter than HP’s previous EliteBooks, light enough to carry with one hand. HP is clearly trying to take on other feather-light competitors like the LG Gram. And even though it doesn’t weight much, the machine doesn’t feel cheap, and it’s stuffed with ports and features.

This is a 2-in-1 laptop, so it can bend 360 degrees, in case you want to use it as a tablet or write on its display. It supports active…

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Pocket Casts is making its podcast app free and launching a subscription service

Pocket Casts

Pocket Casts, a popular podcast app, is changing up its money-making strategy and launching a subscription service. The company previously charged users between $4 and $10 to download the app, depending on the OS and platform. The app will now be free, but users will have the option to pay $0.99 per month, or $10 per year, for a premium service.

The subscription service, called Pocket Casts Plus, includes access to desktop apps, exclusive app icons and themes, and 10GB of cloud storage for people who want to upload their audio and video content. People who previously purchased the desktop app will be given three years of Pocket Casts Plus for free.

Pocket Casts CEO Owen Grover imagines that podcast creators will use the cloud storage to…

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Taiga Motors’ Orca is a $24,000 electric watercraft with a two-hour battery

Images: Taiga Motors

Montreal startup Taiga Motors has spent the last few years tackling the tricky task of electrifying snowmobiles, but it’s now turning its attention to making cleaner and quieter personal watercraft. The company unveiled a pricey new Jet Ski-style watercraft called Orca at an event in Toronto Tuesday night that can last for up to two hours on a full charge.

The Orca has a top speed of 65 miles per hour, and has 134kW of power (about 180 horsepower) on offer, which sounds like it will make for a fun ride. The 23kWh battery can be charged on standard or level 2 (240V) outlets, or more quickly with a DC fast charger (from 0 to 80 percent in 20 minutes), provided owners can find one of those near enough to the water (or with enough space to…

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When two big streamers ditched Twitch, Fortnite suffered too

Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge

If you visit Twitch right now and click on the Browse tab, you’ll see a constantly updated list of the most popular games on the site. As I’m writing this, there’s a conspicuous absence from the big three: Fortnite. And its absence may be because two key streamers aren’t on Twitch.

According to the metrics site Twitch Tracker, Fortnite dropped from pole position, where it had been holding steady for months, and has lately been hovering somewhere around third or fourth. Right now, in the early afternoon on a Tuesday, the top three games on Twitch are World of Warcraft: Classic, League of Legends, and Just Chatting (a category that generally features people talking to their viewers directly).

So where’s Fortnite? It’s free and available…

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