Sea of Thieves to get ‘new and improved’ quest system soon

We may get proper quests soon.

Sea of Thieves is an exploration-based pirate game that features great sailing mechanics, but the open-ended plot doesn’t appeal to everyone. You have to find your own path and that doesn’t sit well with those who prefer single-player experiences. Luckily, developer Rare is aware of these problems and Executive Producer Joe Neate promised a substantial overhaul of the quest system at the Fun & Serious Festival in Bilbao, Spain.

The winners of Mobile Nations' 2018 Community Awards

Kicking off a new year is always a great time to reflect on the previous year. While on the blogs we tend to look at the best devices, the greatest apps, and things of that nature, there is another section of our sites that deserves attention and appreciation as well: the forums and the volunteers and members that make our communities so amazing.

We take great pride in our community and know that without the people who invest their time voluntarily helping out, answering questions, welcoming newcomers, and generally keeping our sites clear of spammers and junk posts, we wouldn’t be the site we are today. With that in mind, we’d like to take the time to show some love and highlight folks who go above and beyond daily to make sure our communities remain awesome for everyone!

We opened up the table for suggestions from our volunteer team for outstanding community members, and the nominations poured in! So without further ado, here are some volunteers and community members that have stood out over the last year!


Best New Member – Crusader03

Biggest BlackBerry Fan – bb10adopter111

Most helpful member – Conite

CrackBerry volunteer team MVP – ECM

Top Poster in the CrackBerry forums – Conite

Android Central

Best New Member
– Kodak2

Biggest Android Fan
– Mustang7757

Most helpful member
– B. Diddy

Android Central volunteer team MVP
– Javier P

Top Poster in the Android Central forums – B. Diddy

Rocket League is fun, hectic, and only $10 right now

Big demolition energy.

If you haven’t played Rocket League yet, literally what are you even doing with your life? This game is a combination of soccer and racing, complete with physics-based gameplay, rocket boosters, demolitions, and the world’s wub-wubbiest soundtrack. It’s one of the most fun games I’ve ever played, and if you haven’t joined the club yet, now’s the time. Rocket League is down to just $9.99 right now, which is half off the normal price.

Best microSD card for Samsung Galaxy Book2

We’ve spent a lot of time with the Galaxy Book2 and know that many users will need to expand its storage. Luckily, that’s easy to do.

The Samsung Evo Select is an inexpensive microSD card with enough speed to make transferring files quick and easy.

Our pick

Samsung Evo Select

$25 from Amazon
One of the best values per dollar

The Samsung Evo Select is an incredibly quick microSD card with 100MB/s download and 90MB/s upload.

Why would you want this microSD?

The Samsung Galaxy Book2 only has one storage option, 128GB. That’s not a small amount of storage, and might be enough for many students and workers who use the cloud, but if you have larger entertainment files or photos, you’ll want to expand your device’s storage.

Get buff and stuff with the $200 PowerBlock Personal Trainer Set

Crush your goals.

Amazon has the PowerBlock Personal Trainer Set on sale for $199.99, which is $75 off the average price. It has excellent reviews and this price is the best in history.

If you’re part of the huge amount of people that set fitness goals for your New Year’s Resolutions, this set is perfect for you. You’ll get a pair of adjustable dumbbell weights that can adjust from 5 to 50 pounds in 2.5-pound increments. The selector pin lets you change weights easily, and these are more compact and balanced than traditional dumbbells. The padded handle protects your wrists, too. Your purchase includes a ten-year limited warranty.

To keep your workout space protected, consider picking up some ProSource Puzzle Exercise Mats while they’re discounted.

See at Amazon

Set the mood with discounted Philips Hue White Ambiance bulbs and more

It’s lit!

If you’re getting started with you smart home and want to add some more Philips Hue bulbs to your setup, today’s deals are for you. You can pick up a pair of Philips Hue White Ambiance bulbs in A19 or BR30 sizes for just $37.99. That’s thanks to a price drop to $39.99 from a regular price of $50, and an on-page coupon taking a further 5% off the price at checkout.

White Ambiance bulbs from Hue allow you to not only control the brightness of your lighting, but also choose from a range of white shades from cool to warm to set the perfect mood. You can control your lights via the Hue app or hook them into your smart home with Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant and Apple HomeKit compatibility. To do so, you’ll need to link them to a Hue hub if you don’t already have one set up.

What does 2019 hold for Xbox? Here are our predictions for the New Year.

What does the future look like for Xbox and gaming at Microsoft? Our gaming editor Jez Corden has some predictions for 2019.

2018 was a year of preparation for Microsoft’s gaming ambitions. The company spent a ton of money acquiring some big industry names in terms of employees and studios. That includes inXile Entertainment, led by Brian Fargo of classic Fallout fame. Obsidian, known for its unwavering dedication to RPGs. Ninja Theory, and its award-winning work on Hellblade, and Forza Horizon’s Playground Games, which is arguably Microsoft’s most successful non-Minecraft studio in recent times.

We’ve been getting rumors about next-gen consoles in the form of codenames Lockhart and Anaconda, seeing glimpses of “console-quality” game streaming via Project xCloud, and we also have a bit of an idea of what exclusive games are on the horizon.

Let’s have a peek into the crystal ball and make some educated guesses on what 2019 may look like for Microsoft, considering where Redmond is now, and where it has been.

Keep your new smartphone powered up with Anker's Qi Wireless Charging Pad

If you have a phone that supports wireless charging and haven’t picked up a wireless charger, you’re doing it wrong. Correct that today.

This Anker Qi Wireless Charger is down to just $12.99 at Amazon. This is almost half off its usual price of $24.99 and is limited to today only. If you recently got a new smartphone with wireless charging built-in, you need a wireless charging pad in your life.

The Qi-certified charging pad can power up any Qi-enabled smartphone including the newest Samsung Galaxy series, the latest iPhone models, Google Pixel 3, and many more. If you want an easy way to ensure your phone’s battery remains full, add one of these charging pads to your desk or nightstand and you can simply rest the phone and get that battery to 100%. The wireless charger provides power at 5W. If your phone supports fast wireless charging, you may want to take a look at Anker’s discounted Wireless Charging stand that can charge at up to 10W.

It’s worth noting that your $13 does not get you a wall charger. You can use the existing one from your smartphone or pick up an extra one, such as this $10 two-port model from Aukey.

What's new in January 2019 on Amazon Prime Video, Netflix and Hulu

Neil Patrick Harris is Count Olaf in Netflix’s “A Series of Unfortunate Events.”

New year, new originals for the three major streaming libraries.

Streaming video is only projected to increase by something like a jillion percent in 2019. (That’s a rough estimate.) And by all accounts Amazon Prime Video, Netflix and Hulu are coming out of the gate strong in January. Consider:

Gear up for the third season of The Grand Tour. Can’t get enough of those guys.
Netflix is back with the third — and final! — season of A Series of Unfortunate Events. Maybe they’ll finally find that damn sugar bowl.
Season 2 of Future Man finds its way to Hulu on Jan. 11. It’s never too late to go back in time to save the future of humanity.
And that’s just the tip of the iceberg, folks. There’s something for everyone in 2019. This is just the start of it.

Is Epic Games Store user data accessible by the Chinese government?

A recent rumor on social media suggested that Epic Games’ store might be unsafe for users, owing to Chinese tech giant Tencent’s involvement with Epic. Is there any reason to fear?

A thread on reddit rose to the front page recently, decrying Ubisoft for its always-online UPlay PC system, but also the new Epic Games Store.

Epic Games, known for the Unreal Engine and runaway shooter success story Fortnite, recently launched a digital store front to compete with Steam. Core gamers have been plenty sceptical since its launch, owing to continuing fragmentation of digital store fronts on PC, and Epic Games’ willingness to pay to block games from appearing on other PC platforms.

The scepticism reached fever pitch in that reddit thread with almost 30,000 upvotes, citing Epic Games’ Terms of Service, which seemed to state that any data you generate on the service can be used by Epic however they see fit. The poster extrapolated that it might include the sharing of information with Epic Games’ investors, including Tencent.