8 Great Stealth Games You Can Play on PC

If you like sneaking around the world, creeping up behind people and knocking them out (or taking their life), we’ve got some games for you to check out. These eight PC games let you indulge your inner thief, without all the pesky run-ins with law enforcement.

styx-master-of-shadows

Styx: Master of Shadows

Styx is a goblin thief who can use nooks, crannies, and shadows to conceal himself until the time is right to strike. You’d better bring your “A” stealth game as well, as the combat is a bit of an afterthought, and being forced to resort to it often leads to your demise. Luckily, the world is well-designed, with plenty of options for concealment and vertical movement. You can also check out the sequel, [i]Styx: Shards of Darkness[/a].

10 great PC games you may have missed in 2017

Now that we’ve taken a peek at the best PC games of 2017—so far, at least—it’s time for our other biannual tradition: Rounding up some of the top PC games of 2017 that might have escaped your notice. The smaller indie titles, the B-games, the ones that slipped between the cracks here at the site and maybe slipped through the cracks in your Steam library too. New PC game releases are a dime a dozen these days, after all.origin steam games

Some of these games have flaws, some are definitely suited for a niche audience, but they’re all interesting—and ultimately that’s what makes PC gaming itself interesting. All of these games can coexist on the platform. We’re living in a golden age for games. We’re spoiled for choice.

And here are 10 games that prove it—everything from a modern Where’s Waldo to a Monty-Pythonesque point-and-click to a sci-fi detective story, and more.

 

6 great Android features missing from iOS 11

 

Call me a flip-flopper, but the new features in iOS 11 have me thinking of jumping back to iOS after switching to Android barely a year ago.

Indeed, the new version of iOS brings such enticing features as a revamped App Store, a customizable Control Center, and drag-and-drop for iPad users, plus such catch-up features as one-handed typing and easy person-to-person payments.

But returning to iOS would mean leaving behind many Android features I’ve grown to love, from the ability to set up multiple user profiles to one-touch Google searches on whatever’s onscreen at a given moment.

Read on for six awesome Android features that iOS 11 has yet to match, starting with..

Multiple user profiles

Given all the innovations coming to the iPad courtesy of iOS 11, from the ability to drag-and-drop elements from one side of the split screen to the other and the new, persistent app dock, you’d think Apple would toss in a feature that’s been standard on Android for years: user profiles, perfect for letting family members in a one-iPad household create their own personal iPad spaces.

Multiple user profiles

Ben Patterson

If you’ve been waiting for Android-like user profiles to arrive on iOS, bad news: they’re still missing in iOS 11.

For whatever reason, though (privacy concerns, perhaps?), Apple has yet again passed on adding user profiles to the iPhone or iPad. That means if you share your iPad with your toddler or teenager, you’re sharing all your iPad data, too, including your e-mail, your open browser tabs, your Facebook app, everything.

Multiple Do Not Disturb schedules

Android has really spoiled me with its “automatic rules” for Do Not Disturb mode. With automatic rules, you can set up multiple Do Not Disturb schedules for weeknights, weekends, meetings, and any other scenarios you dream up. For example, I have Do Not Disturb set to turn itself off early (as in 6 a.m.) on weekday mornings, while on weekends, Do Not Disturb keeps things quiet until about 8.

Multiple Do Not Disturb schedules

 

Weekly poll: What makes a great camera?

We already found out what you guys think is the best use of dual camera, but now we’ll gauge your opinion on a more fundamental photography issue. This time around we’d like to know what matters to you guys the most when evaluating the quality of a camera.

Tuning the output of any smartphone’s camera is all about finding the right balance. What makes this so hard is that everyone’s priorities are different, so there’s no universal solution.

For example some people love their colors more saturated so the images appear punchier, but boosting saturation inevitably leads to an increase in the noise levels. A more neutral color reproduction works better in terms of noise, but it may produce flat unappealing images on many occasions.

And then there’s the matter of applying sharpening in post processing – it may make an image appear sharper by highlighting detail, but it also makes noise more prominent.

You can always use noise reduction to tackle that, but it will inevitably take away some of the fine detail, so you really can’t have it all.

Finally there’s the matter of dynamic range – phones with their small sensors are typically very limited here, so the general rule is the more the better. Or just use HDR and combine multiple shots in a single picture to get the best of both worlds. Go overboard with that, however and you end up with a low-contrast unrealistic image that might irritate some.

Let’s see then – cast your votes below! You can pick more than one answers this time as most people have more than one criteria when it comes to image quality.

HTC needs more than great hardware to make a comeback

 

HTC has had a rough few years.

Back in the days of the HTC One, the company’s hardware was class-leading. No other manufacturer had made a phone quite like the HTC One, with a unibody aluminum design that looked just as great as it felt. The new Boomsound speakers blew away every hint of competition on the market, as no one had really seen dual speakers quite like this before. Though the company opted to iterate on this design for another three generations, other manufacturers began to catch up. Samsung moved from a plastic-y, cheap-feeling set of flagships to the all-glass unibody designs we see today. Even smaller brands like ZTE and Huawei started producing high-quality options at extremely competitive prices.

It’s no secret that HTC still produces incredibly interesting hardware. The Edge Sense feature present on the new HTC U11 may seem strange to some, but it is absolutely different than any hardware manufacturers have  put out in quite a long time. The company is working to step away from their all-metal unibody designs in order to differentiate themselves from the pack, but is interesting hardware enough to get customers to buy devices again?

READ MOREHTC U11 review

While the industry was evolving to compete with HTC’s hardware, quite frankly, HTC hasn’t done much to improve its software. Many manufacturers have chosen to lean down their software offerings but still contribute great additions to Android, and HTC has joined them to cut down Android to a pretty extreme extent. In fact, HTC’s version of Android is pretty much as barebones as you can get on a non-Pixel or Nexus device. You may be fine with that, as quite a few of us have been asking manufacturers to slim down their customizations for a long time. But at a certain point, you need to ask – what makes these phones so exciting? HTC’s software trim happened almost four generations ago, and yet the UI has barely evolved ever since.

The gallery above shows screenshots from the HTC One M9, HTC 10, and HTC U11. Do you see what I’m getting at? Sure, there are a few differences here, but overall we’re getting an extremely similar look and feel here. Quoting our HTC U11 review:

Sense is still one of the cleanest takes on Android, but it is starting to feel a little dated and in need of a refresh. The U11 was a perfect opportunity for HTC to do that, but unfortunately that didn’t happen.

So what exactly does HTC need to do to make a comeback? The company’s hardware is definitely innovative, but it doesn’t excite people like it used to during the metal unibody days. Edge Sense is pretty innovative, but is is enough to attract customers that have moved on to adopt offerings from Samsung and others? There is so much amazing competition on the market these days, it’s becoming quite difficult for HTC to climb their way back to the top.

Price is a huge factor that HTC is going to need to consider moving forward. The company wants to be seen as a premium brand and prices their devices that way, but the public no longer considers them in that vein. Especially when you make anti-consumer moves such as getting rid of the headphone jack simply to follow the trend of the industry, your customers are not going to want to purchase your devices. When phones like the Samsung Galaxy S8 are cheaper than HTC’s flagship, that is going to be a strong point for customers to consider. Why would you buy a phone with less features when your largest competitor comes in cheaper?

And the competition isn’t only coming from Samsung. Companies like OnePlus are hitting the industry hard with more value-oriented options that continue to impress us. Heck, even HTC is competing with HTC. Now priced at $499 and even cheaper on sale, the HTC 10 continues to be a solid option which could be seen as higher quality and a better option than the U11 on many fronts.

HTC may need to take the value-oriented approach to move their way back to the top. Some might argue that it shouldn’t do that as it might tarnish its reputation, but offering a competitively-priced device with top-of-the-line specs could vastly improve sales. Sure, this would reduce revenue, but at least it would move more phones. Have you seen anyone out in the wild with an HTC 10, U Ultra, or U11? Probably not. Customers need a better reason to purchase these phones over offerings from Samsung and others, and pricing could be a great way to do that.

Last but not least, the company needs to make sure it can keep these things in carrier stores. The HTC 10 was and still is a fantastic device, but whatever spat they had with AT&T absolutely destroyed the sales of the device. Reviews were very solid on release, and the body was very reminiscent of original HTC One M7. Heck, the thing even had a DAC that many audiophiles acclaimed as one of the best ever included in a smartphone. I’m not sure what happened between AT&T and HTC that caused this thing to be unavailable from the carrier, but not offering a device on the 2nd largest carrier in the world is not good for sales.

The company hasn’t offered a flagship directly from AT&T since then, so it’s going to be more difficult for customers to actually purchase these devices. As much as the industry is starting to move towards buying devices outright, carrier subsidization is still alive and well. Most customers still buy their phones from physical stores, and HTC is going to have a hard time making their way back to the top if they can’t get these devices into consumer’s hands.

What do you think HTC needs to do to make a comeback? Would better pricing be enough? Does it need to rethink its software? Let us know your thoughts. We’d love to see the company come back into the limelight.