The best virtual reality you can experience with a phone

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Aging Civic Si still has a bit of pep in its step

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Sleek, cutting-edge 4K TV puts out impressive picture

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How to use iOS 9’s fancy back button

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Jason Cipriani/CNET

Since its inception, iOS devices have used a single home button navigating between apps. Click once to get back to the home screen, double-click to multitask. Case in point: Say you were in the Messages app and a Facebook notification required your attention. Tapping on the notification would result in the Facebook app launching, and nothing more.

If you wanted to get back to Messages, you’d need to press the Home button twice to bring up the multitasking interface, the tap on the Messages card.

With iOS 9, however, that process has been streamlined with a new back button of sorts.

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Tapping on the link atop the screenshot would, in this case, take you back to Twitterrific.
Screenshot by Jason Cipriani/CNET

As you can see in the screenshot above, when you switch to another app be it due to a notification or tapping on a link, the top status bar will now display a link that takes you back to where you were in the previous app.

I know this may seem minor, but after you begin using the link to go back, you soon realize just how useful it is. Gone are the days of double-clicking yourself between apps.

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Get to know the security features in Edge

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Sarah Jacobsson Purewal/CNET

Windows 10 looks like it will ship with both Internet Explorer 11 and Microsoft’s new Edge browser. So why should you use Edge over IE11? Because Edge is more secure — in fact, Microsoft has disabled several “legacy” technologies in an effort to ensure Edge doesn’t fall prey to the same (bad) reputation as IE.

Just the necessities

Edge is evocative of Google Chrome, but it’s even more minimal — mainly because it doesn’t currently allow any add-ons. Microsoft has removed several legacy IE technologies from Edge to create a secure browsing experience. These include Browser Helper Objects, toolbars, VBscript, VML, ActiveX, and Java.

Microsoft says it plans to bring a “modern, HTML/JS-based extension model” to Edge (similar to what exists in Chrome and Firefox), but not until later this year.

Private browsing

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Sarah Jacobsson Purewal/CNET

Like most browsers, Edge has a private browsing feature called InPrivate. When you use InPrivate browsing, Edge will not store cookies, history, or temporary files from your session. To open a new InPrivate window, click the button and choose New InPrivate Window. You can also use the keyboard shortcut Ctrl + Shift + P.

Advanced settings

Some of Edge’s security features can be turned on or off at your discretion from the Advanced settings menu. To manage these features, click the button, go to Settings, and click View advanced settings.

In the advanced settings menu, you can turn on features such as pop-up blocking, Do Not Track requests, and the SmartScreen Filter. SmartScreen, which was introduced in Internet Explorer 8, performs reputation checks on websites and protects against phishing. You can also choose how Edge deals with cookies (Block all cookies; Block only third-party cookies; Don’t block cookies) and saved form data/passwords.

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Sarah Jacobsson Purewal/CNET

To clear your browser history in Edge, go to Settings and, under Clear browsing data, click Choose what to clear. You can manually clear your browsing history, cookies and saved website data, cached data and files, download history, form data, passwords, media licenses, pop-up exceptions, location permissions, full screen permissions, and compatibility permissions. Choose the items you want to clear and click Clear.

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Set Facebook to play videos in HD on the Web


Nicole Cozma/CNET

Chances are, your friends on Facebook share a video or 20 each month. Whether these are news stories, a (supposedly) amazing tip for your health, or a cute cat video, you probably want to see them in the best quality available. Thanks to a reminder shared by Ghacks, you can change the default playback settings and attempt to view the HD version each time. Here’s how:

  • Head to your Facebook account on the Web.
Facebook main menu.
Nicole Cozma/CNET

  • Click the Facebook menu in the top right-hand corner and choose Settings.
  • On the left-hand side, click Videos.
Facebook settings.
Nicole Cozma/CNET

  • Next to Default Video Quality, change the drop-box to HD if available.

Now each time you play a video on Facebook, if an HD version is available, it will load for you automatically. Keep in mind that videos will use more bandwidth in HD and may take a bit longer to load, depending on connection speed.

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Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 showcases sharp design in two sizes (hands-on)

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How to adjust the backlight strength, time-out length of the Pebble Time

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Jason Cipriani/CNET

You can now adjust the backlight intensity of the Pebble Time. The chance comes after a recent firmware update bringing the smartwatch to version 3.2 of Pebble OS.

In order to adjust either setting, your Pebble Time watch will need to be updated to version 3.2. Launch the Pebble Time app on your device and it should prompt you; if not, go to Support > Update My Pebble Time.

Once updated, click the middle button on the watch, then select the Settings card. Scroll down the list until you find Display and select it with the middle button.

Two new options will be present in this list: Intensity and Timeout.

Intensity is better described as brightness, as it adjusts just how bright the backlight is when active. I found the Blinding setting to be the best out of the four options. Clicking the middle button cycles through the various settings, with the backlight adjusting along the way.

Timeout determines how long the backlight stays on when activated.

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Make Chrome and Firefox faster with just one click

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Don’t run Chrome or Firefox without OneTab. Seriously.
Screenshot by Rick Broida/CNET

If you’re anything like me, you keep a lot of browser tabs open. And unless your PC is a serious powerhouse, that can choke performance across the whole system.

In my case, trying to run more than 8-10 tabs in Google Chrome results in a noticeable performance hit. And this on a reasonably speedy Intel Core i5 system.

The obvious solution? Close some tabs. But that’s no good for me, because I often keep pages open that I need to refer to later in the day. Bookmark them instead? That’s a hassle, and ultimately unnecessary because I don’t need those pages after I’m done with them.

The better solution: OneTab. Available for Chrome and Firefox, this extension performs one simple — but essential — task: It shoehorns all your open tabs into a single tab, thereby vastly reducing the amount of memory consumed by the browser.

It works like this: When you find yourself staring at too many tabs, just click the OneTab icon that gets added to your browser’s toolbar after installation. Presto! Now there’s just one tab, and it’s the OneTab tab. Click it and you’ll see all your previously open tabs in list form, all sorted by the date and time they were, er, OneTabbed.

To restore any tab, just click it. You can also click Restore All, Delete All, or Share as Web Page — this last a great way to quickly share a bunch of links with a friend or co-worker.

Click More and OneTab gives you the option of naming, locking or starring that particular tab group.

I don’t use those features much, but OneTab’s core function is a lifesaver. Immediately after clicking it, I notice a considerable improvement in system performance. In fact, on many occasions I’m reminded that I don’t “need a new PC because this one has gotten so slow.” Rather, I just have too many tabs open.

Click. Fixed.

Want to learn more about OneTab? Read Matt Elliott’s more in-depth coverage of the extension’s sanity-saving capabilities. Looking for more ways to give Chrome a boost? Here’s another quick fix for your slow browser.

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How to change text size, vibration intensity on the Pebble Time


Jason Cipriani/CNET

Pebble Time users have an OS update waiting in the Pebble Time app. The update, firmware version 3.2, brings with it some much-needed features and tweaks.

Two of those tweaks give Pebble Time owners control over the system font size and vibration intensity.

Before either of the mentioned settings will be available, you’ll need to ensure that your watch is running the latest OS. The easiest way to accomplish this is the launch the Pebble Time app on your iOS or Android device. If you’re not prompted to update your watch, you should be good to go.

Should you not have the options outlined below, and the app hasn’t prompted you to update, you can force it to check for an update opening the menu, then visiting Support > Update Your Pebble.

With that out of the way, and your watch updated, let’s take a look at how to change the text size on your watch.

  • Press the middle button to open the menu.
  • Press the up button once, and select the settings icon.
  • Next, scroll down to Notifications and press the middle button to select it.

At the bottom of the list is a Text Size option. Selecting it with the middle button will present three different size options to pick from. Once you select a text size, you’re taken back to the previous screen with the size change implemented.

As you probably noticed, just above the text size option is listing titled Vibration. Selecting it will cycle through four different intensity levels: disabled, low, medium, high. As you cycle-through the settings, the watch will vibrate in accordance with the respective setting.

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