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The Pixel 4 isn’t getting the feature-rich RCS texting Google has pushed for

The new Pixel 4 phones might be loaded with the latest features and software care of Android 10, but Google is evidently still struggling in its push for Rich Communication Services (RCS) messaging. 

Neither Verizon nor T-Mobile are supporting the new messaging standard for the Pixel 4, with Sprint the only clear carrier to support it, 9to5Google reports.

SMS has been the standard for text messaging for a long time, but as far as features go, SMS is from the smartphone stone age. Chat apps like WhatsApp and iMessage have ever increasing feature sets that stack on top of the ability to send basic text messages. They include read receipts, typing indicators, and high-quality media. 

Google has pushed for RCS, looking to get carriers to use the system, as it brings many of the features of other messaging apps while still going through carriers. IT has even aimed to use its own servers for this to cut out the carrier middleman.

A game of carriers

There are a few reasons why RCS might not be here yet. For one, Google’s Pixel phones have previously not been widely available from mobile carriers in the US. Verizon had been the sole carrier partner for all Pixel phones right up to the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3a

So, it shouldn’t be a surprise that T-Mobile and Verizon aren’t supporting RCS on the Pixel 4 yet. It does make Sprint’s support for the system stand out a bit. 

Oddest of all is Verizon’s lack of support. Verizon had previously allowed for RCS messaging on Pixel 3 phones, but that didn’t come at the launch of the phone. Verizon also added support for the Samsung Galaxy S9. It’s possible support will come at a later date for Verizon, and it may for T-Mobile as well. 

AT&T’s use for RCS for the Pixel 4 could be more of a long-shot, as the carrier has its own Advanced Messaging service that offers a similar feature-set.

So, for Pixel 4 users and Android users in general looking to take advantage of RCS’s feature, it may be time to take a look at some other messaging apps.

Rugby World Cup 2019 live stream: how to watch quarter-finals free online and from anywhere

The pool stages are done at the 2019 Rugby World Cup and we now know who the last eight teams are. In fact, make that six, after New Zealand and England secured safe passage from the quarter-finals. So far the tournament has certainly lived up to the hype and you can watch all the action, no matter where you are, by following our Rugby World Cup live stream guide below.

Unsurprisingly, the majority of pundits (and bookies) still have New Zealand as favourites, with South Africa and England behind. But we’ve already witnessed more than our fair share of memorable moments. The brilliant hosts Japan shocking Ireland and Scotland, Wales overpowering Australia and that intense match up between New Zealand and South Africa being just some of the awesome highlights.

The balance of power in the rugby world has shifted towards the northern hemisphere in recent years, with Wales and England both having been in and around the world number one ranking position. Can one of them take the Web Ellis Cup in 2019 for the first time in 16 years?

If you want to know where you’ll be able to watch every single match, we’ll tell you exactly where you can catch it online with a Rugby World Cup live stream and the broadcasters that are showing it absolutely FREE. No matter where on Earth you are, we’ll make sure you know where to catch the coverage.

How to watch the 2019 Rugby World Cup from outside your country

You don’t have to miss a single minute of the 2019 Rugby World Cup – even if you’re abroad and discover that your home broadcaster’s online coverage is geo-blocked (we hate it when that happens).

If that happens to you and you’re desperate to watch your domestic coverage – whether that be in the UK or Australia (where it’s free), New Zealand or the US (where it isn’t) or anywhere else in the world – there’s still a way to get it that doesn’t involve putting your security at risk with some dodgy, illegal stream from Reddit. You can simply use a VPN to login back to your country that is broadcasting the actions, and it’s really easy to do:

2019 Rugby World Cup remaining fixtures

All times in local Japan time and BST

Sunday, October 20 – Quarter-finals

Wales vs France at Oita Stadium – 4.15pm JST, 8.15am BST

Japan vs South Africa at Tokyo Stadium – 7.45pm JST, 11.45am BST

Saturday, October 26 – Semi-finals

England vs New Zealand at International Stadium Yokohama – 5pm JST, 9am BST

Sunday, October 27 – Semi-finals

TBC vs TBC at International Stadium Yokohama – 6pm JST, 10am BST

Saturday, October 26 – Bronze final

TBC vs TBC at Oita Stadium – 6pm JST, 10am BST

Sunday, October 27 – FINAL

TBC vs TBC at International Stadium Yokohama – 6pm JST, 10am BST

How to stream Rugby World Cup 2019 live in the UK for FREE

Live stream the Rugby World Cup in Australia for FREE

How to watch the Rugby World Cup 2019 in New Zealand FREE

Live stream the Rugby World Cup 2019 in South Africa

How to watch the 2019 Rugby World Cup: US live stream 

  • Hulu with Live TV $40 per month – Hulu with Live TV includes CBS, Fox, NBC and ESPN.
  • FuboTV $35 for the first month – FuboTV gives you the first month at a discounted rate but after that the price increases to $45 a month. The service includes CBS, Fox, NBC and the NFL Network but does not come with ESPN.
  • DirecTV Now $50 per month – DirecTV Now includes CBS, Fox, NBC, ESPN and for $5 extra you can add the NFL Network.
  • YouTubeTV $40 per month – YouTubeTV gives you access to CBS, Fox, NBC and ESPN.


Live stream Rugby World Cup 2019 matches in Canada

What is the format of the 2019 Rugby World Cup?

The Rugby World Cup is a twenty-team tournament. Each country begins in one of four pools that each contain five teams. Each team plays one match against each of the other teams in the same pool.

The teams finishing in the top two of each pool advance to the quarter-finals from where the tournament goes into a familiar knockout format.

Who are the favourites for the Rugby World Cup?

While Ireland go into the tournament as the world’s no.1 ranked team, three-time World Cup winners New Zealand are the clear favourites with to once again lift the Webb Ellis Cup in Japan.

What team won the 2015 Rugby World Cup?

The All Blacks won their second World Cup on the spin back in 2015 in emphatic style with a 34-17 victory over Australia at Twickenham.

What teams are competing in this year’s Rugby World Cup?

Mario Ledesma’s side have a decent record to uphold, having advanced to the Rugby World Cup knockout stage four times and finished fourth in 2015. They come into the tournament however on a a losing streak of four defeats on the trot, but those did come at the hands of New Zealand, South Africa and Australia.

The second-most successful nation in World Cup history alongside South Africa. All the morale of their emphatic 47-26 win against New Zealand in Perth last month has dissipated somewhat after they were crushed 36-0 by the All Blacks in the return fixture in Auckland the following week. 

An ever-present nation at the World Cup since the inaugural tournament in 1987, they’ve only ever progressed beyond the opening round on one occasion. Currently ranked 22 in the world, the Canucks will be targeting a win as minimum against minnows Namibia in Pool B and build from there. 

While they may be one of the favourites, England coach Eddie Jones will be anxious to see his side start their campaign on the front foot and quickly eradicate the ghosts of the last World Cup which saw them make an embarrassing pool stage exit while tournament hosts. They come into this year’s World Cup on a high following a 57-15 victory over Ireland at Twickenham in the run-up, but question marks persist over the squad’s apparent lack of experience. 

Traditionally one of the more entertaining teams at the World Cup, despite their much heralded flair, the Flying Fijians have failed to make it out of the pool stage in the preceding last two tournaments. Drawn alongside Australia and Wales this time out, the odds of it being third time lucky for coach John McKee’s side this time out aren’t high.

Three-time runners-up France head to Japan ranked 8th in the world. The emergence of young stars like Antoine Dupont and Demba Bambawill will provide plenty of optimism, but Pool C is arguably the toughest group of the tournament and  Les Bleus will do well to make it through to the next phase.

Having reached the last four successive World Cups, the Lelos have steadily improved over the years and will fancy their chances of making their chances of making their way out of the pool phase for the first time. The return of all-time leading try-scorer Mamuka Gorgodze to the fold will come as a welcome boost to morale. 

The Irish started the year as strong favourites to win their first World Cup following their Grand Slam winning 2018 Six Nations campaign and an impressive win over the All Blacks. Hopes for Japan, however, have since been tempered, with their humbling against England at Twickenham last month setting alarm bells ringing. Two warm-up wins since against fancied Wales will have regalvanised Joe Schmidt’s side, and the starting line-up should be further boosted by the return from injury of Johnny Sexton.

The Azzurri are putting their faith in youth, with 23 members of their squad having never appeared before at rugby’s main event. One of the few old-head’s is skipper Sergio Parisse, who will be appearing in a record-equaling fifth World Cup.

The hosts came agonisingly close to making it past the group stage for the first time back in 2015, missing out despite winning five times. Progressing to the last-eight will be a prerequisite this time out for the team playing on home turf. 

The rank outsiders have consistently qualified for the World Cup since 1999, but have never have never won a single match once at the tournament, racking up an unwanted 0-19 win-loss record in the process. Their recent 20-0 loss to Russia indicates that getting off the mark in Japan looks unlikely.

New Zealand
Despite having lost their seemingly perpetual place as the world’s no.1 team recently (a spot they had held for a decade), New Zealand haven’t lost their standing as the most fancied team to win the 2019 World Cup. A mixed showing during the recent Rugby Championship won’t have a put off pundits from backing Steve Hansen’s men to lift the Webb Ellis Cup for the third time in a row.

While they may have made it to the Japan thanks to the disqualification of Spain and Belgium for fielding ineligible players, Russia won’t be going in to the tournament to make up the numbers. They face the hosts in the 2019 World Cup’s opening match and came close to beating Japan back in November last year.

Consistent qualifiers for the World Cup, Somoa will be looking to go beyond the quarter-finals for the first time. To pull off that feat they’ll need to improve on their recent form which has seen them lose to both the USA and Tonga during last month’s Pacific Nations Cup.

With the likes of flyhalf Finn Russell and fullback Stuart HoggIn in their roster, the Scots aren’t lacking top drawer talent. What they do a have a deficit in is consistency – as exemplified by their two contradictory performances against France last month.

South Africa
Versatility could be the key attribute for two-time champions South Africa this time out. Packed with explosive pace from the likes of Cheslin Kolbe and Makazole Mapimpi, the Springboks also have a kicking game that is the envy of most rivals. In Rassie Erasmus they also have the best named coach in the tournament. 

With a squad littered with talented players plying their trade in New Zealand, Australia, England and France, coach Toutai Kefu will be out to finally get his side into the knockout stages for the first time. Having notched up creditable eight wins in their last 21 Test matches, its a goal that looks eminently achievable.

A kind draw with winnable opening matches against Fiji and Georgia gives the South American side a fighting chance of making through to the last eight for the first time. 

Ranked 13th in the world, there were mixed fortunes for the USA in the recent Pacific Nations Cup which saw them stutter to a win against Samoa, thrash Canada, but get thumped against Japan. They’ve never won more than one game at a World Cup, but will likely rectify that during this year’s competition.

The loss to injury of Gareth Anscombe and Taulupe Faletau would be huge blow for most teams, but luckily for coach Warren Gatland, Wales has plenty of strength in depth among the ranks. More concerning will be a dip in form in the run up to Japan which has seen them lose to England and Ireland, a contrast to the 14-game winning streak Wales enjoyed at the start of the year.

New LEGO sets are designed for people who are always glued to their smartphones

One of the biggest complaints of parents is that their children are always glued to their smartphones; it’s almost as though the world now exists just as much digitally as it does physically. That hasn’t phased LEGO, though, despite being widely known as a manufacturer of toys – physical toys – and its latest kits now blur the boundaries of physical and digital play.

Those kits are LEGO Hidden Side, a series of ghost-themed sets (that, notably for LEGO, aren’t based on a pre-existing franchise)… that take on a second life when you’ve made them. This second life is on a Hidden Side smartphone app, which lets you interact with the sets using augmented reality (AR).

On the app, you have to solve puzzles by interacting with the set, by using your smartphone camera to scan the set and recognise the changes you make. Take a look at all eight Hidden Side sets on LEGO’s website.

So you may fondly remember playing with your LEGO Knights, Rock Raiders or City kits, opening up the buildings, playing with the minifigures; but your kids might remember doing the same thing while looking at their smartphones. 

That’s not a sad sign of the times though, or the indication of the death of a beloved toys manufacturer – instead, it’s just another side-effect of the digitization of our lives, and an example of a long-running brand innovating to stay with the times. 

What’s it like to play with a LEGO set on your phone?

If you’re scared of your kid spending even more time on their smartphone, never fear; you actually have to construct the set before you play with it on your phone. If you’ve got a pulse, there’s a good chance you already know the joy of constructing a LEGO set, so we’ll start where the digital experience comes in.

You have to download the LEGO Hidden Side app first; we found it didn’t work on every phone we tested it on, so it’s worth checking if your handset is compatible by checking on the App Store or Play Store ahead of time.

When playing with Hidden Side, there are two modes: Hunter and Ghost, and both bring various gameplay elements, as well as different real-world interactions.

Hunter mode is the one that incorporates AR into gameplay: you have to scan your set, then complete puzzles by manipulating it in real life. This can consist of moving minifigures to locations, or modifying parts of the set (we tested the school bus, and you had to spin elements to display different colors).

There’s a fair amount of moving about necessary for Hunter mode, and in our experience the tech works quite well. The app was quick to notice when we’d made the changes it asked, even on mid-range phones we tested it with.

Ghost mode doesn’t use the sets themselves, although it does use them as a setting, so you don’t actually need to be around them to play. It’s a third-person action mode, whereby you need to traverse a map collecting elements that you can then use to interact with the digital set in the middle.

The Ghost mode seems designed so that you can use Hidden Side to play with LEGO even when you’re not around the kit; it adds an extra layer of gameplay that doesn’t tether you to the model in the real world.

Completing challenges in either Hunter or Ghost mode earns you various collectibles, although the point of this is unclear. LEGO told us it’s planning to add more features though.

What was it like designing LEGO Hidden Side?

LEGO has dabbled with software and gaming before – there are plenty of LEGO apps, as well as Traveller’s Tales video games and LEGO Dimensions, a toys-to-life video game with physical minifigures. LEGO Hidden Side, though, is perhaps the biggest project by the company to have an even split in the physical and digital worlds.

To understand what caused LEGO to embrace this divide, we spoke to Roberto Marchesi, senior digital creative lead for LEGO Hidden Side, to better understand the project.

First, we asked about the aforementioned digital-physical divide. “Today, kids are constantly moving between the physical and digital worlds, this blurring of lines is what inspired The LEGO Group’s exploration into a ‘phygital’ play experience.

Kids are constantly moving between the physical and digital worlds

Roberto Marchesi

“New research shows that kids see no difference between the two [physical and digital creative play] and can shift effortlessly between each world. By keeping a hand in each world, children can experience multiple parallel play universes, get immersed and move fluidly and frictionless from one environment to another”

So LEGO Hidden Side was designed to mirror the new way younger generations see the world, but what about the actual tech that powers the app and gameplay? And how did that affect the design of the eight sets?

“Each new theme has a unique set of challenges, and what really stood out with LEGO Hidden Side was the need to create models that managed to balance the relationship between the physical and the digital play. Our models had to appeal as standalone sets, be built to AR tech specifications and work as gameplay enablers.

That’s a lot more than most LEGO sets, which only need to tick the first of those boxes, and it sounds like the team had to work much harder to tick the others: “A collaboration between model designers, tech programmers, and game developers was established.“

“Technology also played a role in the development of the models as it was crucial for the app to work universally on all sets from the assortment. The design process for the sets was an interactive back and forth where play experience, theme and AR all had to achieve a balance.

“Ultimately, the kids are the judges of outcome. They need to like the models, understand how to use AR, and have fun playing. It is essential that all areas be balanced and ultimately support each other.”

Lastly, we asked whether we could see Hidden Side-style tech, with its interplay between physical and digital play, to other LEGO series, but Marchesi told us “the LEGO Hidden Side models are at the centre of the AR experience,” and that’s certainly true – the characters in the sets are ghost hunters, using their smartphones to hunt ghosts (just as you do in the app). This wouldn’t exactly work in, say, a medieval-themed set – obviously they didn’t have smartphones back then!

Saying that, Marchesi left us with a hint at the future of LEGO AR sets: “AR has the potential to enrich any of our sets, both during the building process as well as role playing moments.” so potentially we’ll see this kind of interplay between physical LEGO sets, and apps in the future. 

Save 40% on Now TV’s Sky Sports pass – your next month of sport action sorted

As if the Now TV Sports pass wasn’t already tempting enough – offering you full access to all 11 Sky Sports channels without the commitment of a full Sky sub – it has now gone and slashed the price by 40% for the next month.

So that means a chock-full schedule of sporting action for the next month for the eye-catching price of only £20.

There are plenty of reasons why you’d want to take advantage of this deal. For starters you’ll be treated to some crucial Premier League matches including Man United vs Liverpool this weekend and the crunch Liverpool vs Man City game coming on November 10. 

Not to mention it’s the start of NBA season next week and Sky Sports have the exclusive coverage in the UK. Or is F1 more your scene? With the season finale around the corner, Sky Sports is the only place to watch the Mexican, USA and Brazilian Grand Prix. While Sky Sports is also showing six NFL games a week including Cincinnati Bengals vs Los Angeles Rams in London this weekend.

Plus, it’s entirely commitment free, so you could take full advantage and use the Now Sports Pass for one month and then cancel it. Plus unlike some Now TV deals this offer is available to all Now TV customers both new and existing – just as long as you don’t currently have an active Sky Sports pass.

So whether you’re looking to watch Formula 1, football, cricket, golf or something else – this is the deal could be right in your ballpark. But you’ll have to hurry, this deal is only valid until Sunday, October 27.


What other Now TV deals are there?

Now TV deals are not just great for sports fans – it has many other bundles and packages to suit everyone else too. These packages and passes include Sky Cinema, Sky Kids and Entertainment. If there isn’t an offer at the moment for you keep your eyes peeled on our Now TV passes and offers page, it’s got regular updates on offers and deals.

If you’re looking for a Sky TV deal so you can access more channels such as recording live TV, HD and 4K viewing with possibly bigger savings – you’re in luck. We’ve got a guide for you below with all these deals outlined and explained in detail.

So You’re Into Fortnite Now

While those of us who play Fortnite were riveted to last weekend’s black hole, the rest of the world watched us watching it in confusion and, in some cases, curiosity. Almost two days later, when the game finally came back online, many of my friends—and many of you, in the comments—asked if you should get into it. You…

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iPad price cut at Walmart: save $100 on the 9.7-inch Apple iPad

While we wait for the upcoming Walmart Black Friday sale, the retail giant is giving us an October preview with a price cut on the best-selling Apple iPad. Right now, you can get the 9.6-inch iPad on sale for $329. That’s a $100 discount for the 2018 tablet that packs 128GB of storage. Walmart also has the 32GB Apple iPad on sale for $249.

The Apple iPad was released in 2018 and features a 9.7-inch LED display with IPS technology. The powerful tablet packs 128GB of storage and features Apple’s A10 Fusion chip which results in ultra-fast laptop-like performance. The additional power also allows you to multitask and use the latest apps, including augmented reality experiences. The iPad includes an impressive 1.2MP front-facing camera and provides an all-day battery life of 10 hours.

This is a fantastic price for a newer model Apple iPad and a great deal to snag before Black Friday begins. We don’t know how long Walmart will have the iPad on sale, so you should take advantage today before it’s too late.

Walmart iPad sale:

Interested in other iPad models? We’ve listed even more of the cheapest iPad deals that are currently available.

Learn more about the upcoming November sale event with our guide to Black Friday 2019.