Microsoft Flight Simulator will launch on August 18th on PC

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Microsoft Flight Simulator will launch on August 18th for PC. Microsoft has been holding private alpha testing of the new game in recent months, and it’s ready for preorder and preinstall today. Microsoft Flight Simulator is the latest installment in the hyper-detailed series that has been running since the 1980s. It follows the release of Microsoft Flight Simulator X: Steam Edition in 2014.

“We have been thrilled and humbled by the support and dedication that has fueled the Flight Sim community for the past 38 years,” says Jorg Neumann, head of Microsoft Flight Simulator. “Since the launch of the very first Microsoft Flight Simulator in 1982, we knew it was finally the right time to develop the next-generation version of Microsoft…

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OnePlus confirms Nord will have an ultra-wide selfie camera

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Image: OnePlus

The upcoming OnePlus Nord will have a selfie camera with an ultra-wide 105-degree field of view. OnePlus confirmed the news in a video posted to the Nord’s Instagram page. Although it didn’t confirm the resolution of the camera, a previous report from Android Central said that the phone will have two selfie cameras: one 8-megapixel wide-angle camera and a main 32-megapixel selfie camera. OnePlus has previously shown a prototype device with dual selfie cameras during a documentary about the Nord.

In the feature’s announcement video, OnePlus positioned the ultra-wide selfie camera as an alternative to using a selfie stick, meaning it should be helpful for taking selfies of groups, or just of yourself alongside more of your environment….

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Streaming this week: Greyhound on Apple TV Plus, Cursed on Netflix, Close Enough on HBO Max

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This week’s list of original streaming shows has a little something for everyone, I think: Tom Hanks as a heroic Navy captain fleeing Nazis, a new series from the creator of Regular Show, a twist on the King Arthur legend that focuses on the Lady of the Lake, and Zac Efron who is traveling the world for some reason.

Greyhound (Apple TV Plus, now playing)

Greyhound is a Navy action movie set in World War II with Tom Hanks playing a captain whose ship is one of a convoy of Allied ships being chased by Nazis in submarines. Hanks wasn’t too thrilled when it was announced that Greyhound would land on Apple TV Plus instead of in theaters, and Polygon says the movie’s spectacle is somewhat diminished since it’s not on the big screen. But…

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Ubisoft’s Hyper Scape enters open beta today

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Image: Ubisoft

Ubisoft has announced that the open beta for its upcoming battle royale shooter Hyper Scape kicks off on PC today. In addition to a trailer for the beta, Ubisoft also debuted a new cinematic trailer detailing some of the game’s story.

Hyper Scape launched first as a technical test on July 2nd, with Ubisoft giving access to some Twitch and YouTube creators so they could stream the game. The launch was a huge success, with Hyper Scape rising to the top of the Twitch charts that day. In his experience with the technical test, my colleague Nick Statt found the game to be a fun and polished take on the battle royale formula.

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Watch Dogs: Legion has millions of playable characters, but most feel the same

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NPCs were a big part of the first two Watch Dogs games; their colorful histories and biographical snippets would pop up when you scanned anyone in the game world, mostly for comedic effect. But in Watch Dogs Legion, Ubisoft is taking that potential and expanding it into a core part of the game — or at least, it’s trying to.

The idea is simple: all those NPCs, with all their strengths and weaknesses, are now actual playable characters that can be recruited as part of your hacktivist army. Need to sneak into a building site? Recruit a construction worker who can sneak in undetected. And with procedurally generated characters, Ubisoft says that the number of potential recruits ranges in the millions.

Unfortunately, for all the hype, after…

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Assassin’s Creed Valhalla’s new Vikings don’t change up the formula much

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It’s been nearly two years, but Ubisoft is finally gearing up to release a new Assassin’s Creed game. Assassin’s Creed Valhalla is billed as “the ultimate viking fantasy,” set not in the fjords of Scandinavia but in the fields and rivers of England during the ninth century Viking invasion. Players are put in the role of Eivor, a Viking from Norway, as they attempt to lead their people to establish a settlement in England.

It may have new Norse trappings and some refreshed gameplay modes and features, but after spending three hours running around Valhalla’s open world, it feels a lot more like an iteration of 2018’s Assassin’s Creed Odyssey than a drastically different experience.

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Watch the first trailer for Far Cry 6, featuring Giancarlo Esposito

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Image: Ubisoft

Ubisoft debuted the first trailer for Far Cry 6 as part of its Ubisoft Forward digital conference today. The cinematic trailer didn’t have any gameplay, but showed a city in revolt under the regime of a character played by Giancarlo Esposito, who is perhaps best known as Gus Fring in Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul.

Far Cry 6 is set to launch on February 18th, 2021 for PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Xbox Series X, Xbox One, PC, and Google’s Stadia cloud gaming service. It’s the latest entry in the series since 2019’s Far Cry: New Dawn, a post-apocalyptic sequel to 2018’s Far Cry 5.

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How to watch Ubisoft’s Forward game conference

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Watch Dogs Legion

Ubisoft is hosting a digital press conference to show off what would have been its slate of E3 game announcements. The event is called Ubisoft Forward, and though it’s a strange time for the studio to announce new projects — amid several high-level execs leaving the company after being accused of sexual misconduct and harassment — that hasn’t slowed it down. You can expect to see “plenty of exclusive game news, exciting reveals, and much more,” according to the publisher. With several games in development, like Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla and Watch Dogs: Legion to name two anticipated examples, there’s plenty still to show off. Perhaps we’ll see some extended PS5 and Xbox Series X gameplay demos for those games and hopefully others, like…

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Fitbit Charge 4 gets ‘smart wake’ alarm and dynamic GPS with latest software update

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The latest software update to the Fitbit Charge 4 gives two big upgrades including dynamic GPS, and a “smart wake” option. First reported by 9to5Google, the new features are now rolling out to all users.

Dynamic GPS allows you to connect with the GPS in your phone if it’s in range, which may help with location accuracy and preserve the Fitbit’s battery life. If your phone isn’t close enough, the tracker will revert to its internal GPS, which can drain the battery more quickly.

The Smart Wake feature is a pretty cool addition; it will work along with the wearable’s sleep tracker, and set alarms to wake you at the time you’re likely to feel most rested. Another new option allows users to decide how long the screen display stays on once…

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7 new trailers to watch this week

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Photo: Hopper Stone / WarnerMedia

I love when books and films take place over really short periods of time, and I recently watched two that work within a similar time frame back to back: Booksmart (which I was seeing for the first time) and Cloverfield (which, if I’d ever seen before, I had completely forgotten). Both take place mostly over the course of a single night, which kicks off after a short setup sequence introduces their cast of characters.

The movies aren’t particularly alike, but side by side, it was clear what a comparably amazing job Booksmart does in getting its events rolling. The main character is set up in all of 30 seconds with a glance over her bedroom, and nearly every other character in the movie is established over the next 15 minutes. Then the…

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This weekend, you can still save $30 on the Apple AirPods Pro at Verizon

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Photo by Amelia Holowaty Krales / The Verge

This weekend, you can still get the biggest discount we’ve seen yet on Apple’s AirPods Pro truly wireless earbuds. The sale is happening at Verizon, and you can save $30 on a set of Apple AirPods Pro online only. Most discounts for this model are in the $15 to $20 range, but this deal at Verizon brings them down to their best-ever price of $220. The AirPods Pro are the best truly wireless earbuds for people who own an iPhone, according to The Verge’s Chris Welch. They sound great and pack in active noise cancellation, and specifically for those who own an iPhone, Apple Watch, or other Apple tech, they can quickly switch between playing audio on different devices.

Another notable deal comes from Best Buy where the GoPro…

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Samsung’s 5G Galaxy Z Flip may have been fully revealed in these latest leaks

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We knew a 5G variant of Samsung’s vertically folding Galaxy Z Flip clamshell was on the way, after the first images leaked earlier this month. Now, we have an entire leaked video and a set of rumors about the new “Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5G” that seems to leave nothing to the imagination — and suggest it might be ready for Samsung’s upcoming August 5th Galaxy Unpacked event.

Basically, it looks like it’ll be practically the same folding phone but with a faster processor and 5G.

Based on phone leaker Evan Blass’ video — which shows the phone from practically every angle — it looks practically identical to the original LTE version that went on sale on February 14th. The…

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How to set up and use email templates in Gmail

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Stock

Photo by Gareth Fuller/PA Images via Getty Images

If you, like me, find yourself writing the same email over and over again, or copying and pasting the same message multiple times, Gmail gives you an easier option. By creating and saving email templates, you can insert them the next time you compose a message and save yourself some time.

You can store up to 50 templates at a time, so it’s easy to create different templates for different situations. Here’s how.

Create an email template:

  • Click on the cog icon in the top right corner of your screen.
  • Select “See all settings.”
  • Open the “Advanced” tab.
  • Scroll down to “Templates” and select “Enable.”
Make sure you’ve selected “Enable” under “Templates.”
  • Click “Save Changes” at the bottom of the menu.
  • This will take…

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Apple warns customers not to close its laptops with a camera cover attached

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Photo by Vjeran Pavic / The Verge

Though it might strike some people as obvious advice, Apple has published a support page that warns MacBook owners not to close their laptop with a camera cover in place. Damage like a cracked display could result, according to the company, because “the clearance between the display and keyboard is designed to very tight tolerances.” MacRumors spotted the advisory, which Apple posted on July 2nd.

Those little plastic camera covers with a sliding mechanism are super common nowadays. Heck, I remember getting one as a holiday gift from The Verge’s parent company, Vox Media. But they could spell disaster for your laptop screen if you shut the laptop with the cover still on, and Apple’s laptop repairs are extremely costly. Even with…

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HBO Max is getting a Batman spinoff show based on the upcoming Robert Pattinson movie

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HBO Max has announced a new TV series focused on the Gotham City Police Department, which will be a spinoff of Matt Reeves’ upcoming The Batman film (which is set to star Robert Pattinson at Bruce Wayne / Batman).

The new series will be set in the same world as Reeves’ film and will be produced by Reeves and Dylan Clark (who’s also producing The Batman). Boardwalk Empire creator Terence Winter is set to write the series.

The series promises to “build upon the motion picture’s examination of the anatomy of corruption in Gotham City” and “further explore the myriad of compelling and complex characters of Gotham,” with the goal of launching a “new Batman universe across multiple platforms.”

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How to prevent being tracked while reading your Gmail

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Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge

All of those obnoxious marketing emails that crowd your inbox aren’t just pushing a product. They’re also tracking whether you’ve opened the email, when you opened it, and where you were at the time by embedding tracking software into the message. Just type “email tracking” into your search engine and watch all the software apps appear.

There are a variety of methods used to track emails. For example, one of the simplest is a redirect link. Let’s say you click a link in a promotional email that leads to the page for a product you want to buy. The link has been coded to be trackable; it will go to another server with a variety of data, like what browser you are using or where you clicked the link from, before it takes you to the article.

B…

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How to keep your email from getting out of control

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A woman works from her home in streaming contact with a...

Photo by Salvatore Laporta/KONTROLAB/LightRocket via Getty Images

Staying on top of your email can be overwhelming, time-consuming, and tedious. It’s not hard to rack up a large number of unread emails. And for that reason, it’s easy to keep checking your constant influx of messages — at the expense of other tasks.

I have multiple email accounts, and I struggle with keeping that unread count low. So I did some research and compiled advice on how I could get better at managing my inbox. Here are some helpful tips I found for making your inbox easier to handle, spending less time dealing with emails, and making sure you don’t forget to respond to an important message.

Don’t check all of your emails as they come in

Since emails land in your inbox throughout the day, it’s easy to get distracted by them,…

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The rumors around Google’s 2020 Pixel phones are getting stranger by the minute

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Photo by Vjeran Pavic / The Verge

Google’s 2020 Pixel lineup may look a bit different than usual if the latest product names found in the company’s Google search app are any indication. Instead of the expected Pixel 5 and Pixel 5 XL monikers, Google is apparently working on a “Pixel 4a (5G)” and a “Pixel 5,” via 9to5Google.

Those two phones were previously discovered under the codenames of “redfin” and “bramble” by XDA-Developers. Both were set to offer a Snapdragon 765G processor with built-in 5G support. There was also a third device, codenamed “sunfish,” featuring a Snapdragon 730. But today’s leak confirms which phone names go along with each of those codenames, and it could indicate a big shift for Google’s Pixel strategy this year.

The last device is the simplest:…

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What we know so far about iOS 14 from previewing the beta

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Apple’s beta versions of iOS 14 and iPadOS 14 were released to the public this week, and The Verge’s Dieter Bohn was able to preview the new features, which you can now try for yourself.

This week on The Vergecast, co-hosts Nilay Patel and Dieter Bohn welcome back deputy editor Dan Seifert to examine what’s new in the updated iPhone operating system. From home screen widgets to default browser apps to putting captions of photos, the crew covers everything they experienced from using the software themselves.

In the second half of the show, they discuss the news of Google discontinuing its budget smartphone, the Pixel 3A, before any announcement of releasing the next-generation Pixel 4A. What does this mean for the future of Google’s…

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The world is finally coming around to Starship Troopers

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Photo illustration by William Joel / The Verge

The Verge is a place where you can consider the future. So are movies. In Yesterday’s Future, we revisit a movie about the future and consider the things it tells us about today, tomorrow, and yesterday.

The movie: Starship Troopers (1997)

The future: Two hundred years from now, Earth is governed by the United Citizen Federation, a new world order where people are defined as either citizens or civilians. To be a citizen, you must enlist in the UCF marines, which will earn you the respect of your peers and the right to vote. Not much is divulged about the lives of those not enlisted; it’s implied they don’t really matter much. Everyone wants to be a good citizen, everyone wants to enlist.

The UCF needs a steady stream of recruits, too:…

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