Forza Street Microsoft

One of Microsoft’s most popular video game series is the Forza cars and truck racing franchise. Now, the business is broadening the series to Android and iOS platforms. Microsoft today formally revealed Forza Street , a free-to-play racing video game that’s out now for Windows 10 users, however will broaden to Android and iOS tablets and phones later on this year.

The video game itself fixates street racing, as gamers take control of numerous automobiles, with the objective, naturally, to win occasions. Gamers can go through numerous single gamer races and chapters. After they win, they can get indicate update their existing cars and trucks with lion’s shares or to get brand-new and quicker cars.

.Editor’s Pick 15 finest racing video games for Android.Racing video games are amongst the most popular in all of mobile video gaming. It was the very first category to get rid of the absence of physical buttons on smart devices all right that it made the video games worth playing. ….

While the primary Forza Motorsport video game series for Xbox and PC platforms are for racing sim fans, it appears like Forza Street is produced casual players who desire a more game experience. Racers will need to focus their efforts on striking the gas and brake pedals and timing their increases to win races.

Unfortunately, Forza Street is strictly a single gamer experience for Windows 10, however Microsoft states they prepare to include brand-new functions to the video game in the months ahead. Ideally, we will see multiplayer contributed to the video game when it shows up for Android.

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Read more: androidauthority.com

Another racing game is official and its name is Forza Street. A product by Microsoft, this is a spinoff of the Forza Motorsport series and is free-to-play on Microsoft Store for Windows 10. According to the Xbox Blog, it should roll out to iOS and Android “this year”.

Racing games enthusiasts would recognize Miami Street in the new Forza because it is rebranded under the Forza franchise, aimed to arrive at low-end devices. Microsoft says it is designed for “racing on the go with streamlined controls that focus on timing of gas, brake, and boost”.

The gameplay is pretty…

Read more: gsmarena.com

Today’s Inside Xbox episode will feature information on Microsoft’s plans for E3 2019. You can watch it here.

An hour-long episode of Inside Xbox will take place today and promises the “latest news on E3,” Xbox FanFest and more.

Microsoft announced a date for its Xbox E3 2019 briefing today. It’s possible the Inside Xbox team will discuss what to expect at the show.

Along with E3-related information, the episode will touch upon Xbox Game Pass news and the Anniversary Update for Sea of Thieves.

You can also expect information on Gears Pro Circuit, the Warhammer: Chaosbane beta, and backward compatibility News.

Microsoft will also have an announcement regarding Xbox FanFest. Last year’s X018 took place November 10 in Mexico City.

The Coalition’s Rod Fergusson will drop by, and “several surprises” are promised during the broadcast.

You can watch it through Facebook, Mixer, Twitch, Twitter, and YouTube.

We’ll post the YouTube embed in here once its available so you can watch it with us at 2pm PDT, 5pm EDT, 10pm BST, 11pm CEST.

The post Inside Xbox episode to drop news on E3 2019, Xbox FanFest more – watch it here appeared first on VG247.

Read more: vg247.com

There’s a brand name brand-new free-to-play Forza video game readily available now for Windows 10 and coming quickly for iOS and Android phones. It’s called Forza Street, and is created as a portable variation of Microsoft’s popular racing series.

If you’re utilizing a Windows 10 gadget you can snatch it now from the Microsoft Store . Mobile variations for Apple and Android gadgets will follow later on this year.

” Forza Street was created for racing on the go with structured controls that concentrate on timing of gas, brake, and increase as the secrets to triumph,” style director Andy Beaudoin discussed, revealing the video game.

Read more

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Read more: eurogamer.net

Watch today’s Pocketnow Daily as we discuss the verification of the OnePlus 7 Pro, other versions of the Samsug Galaxy Note 10 &&more

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The post OnePlus 7 Pro is genuine, Galaxy Note 10 versions verified &&more – – Pocketnow Daily appeared initially on Pocketnow .

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Design At Scale: One Year With Figma

Design At Scale: One Year With Figma

Paul Hanaoka

2019-04-15T13:30:48+02:00
2019-04-15T14:08:46+00:00

This article will be about how large teams can benefit from using more open, collaborative tooling and how to make adoption and migration feasible and pleasant. Also, in case you didn’t guess from the title of the article just yet, a lot of it will be about Figma and how we succeeded at adopting this design tool in our team.

The intended audience is experienced designers working in larger teams with design systems, developers or product managers looking to improve the way cross-functional teams work in their organization.

I’ve been using design tools in a professional setting for over ten years and am always trying to make teams I’m serving work more efficiently and more effectively. From scripting and actions in Photoshop, to widget libraries in Axure, to Sketch plugins, and now with Figma — I’ve helped design teams stay on the cutting edge without leaving developers or product managers behind.

Logos from products like Sketch, Principle, Invision, and more loosely tied together

The State of Design Tools 2015. (Large preview)

Basic knowledge of design systems and tools will be helpful, but not necessary as I hope to share specific examples and also “high level” concepts and methods that you can adapt for your team or context.

Our Design Workflow Circa 2015

Our primary tool in 2015 was Sketch, and that’s pretty much where the commonalities stopped. We all had different methods of prototyping, exporting, and sharing designs with stakeholders (InVision, Axure, Marvel, Google Slides, and even the antiquated Adobe PDF) and developers (Avocode, Zeplin, plugins without standalone apps like Measure). On rare occasions, we could send files directly to the engineers who were lucky enough to have the rare combination of a MacBook and a Sketch license.

When InVision released the Craft plugin, we were overjoyed — being able to prototype and upload screens from Sketch into InVision, sharing components and styles in nascent libraries across files — it was the designer’s dream come true.

A variety of screens in Liferay’s 'My Projects' InVision dashboard

A peek into our InVision projects. (Large preview)

Eventually, we all converged on the InVision platform. We created and documented the processes that helped reduce much of the friction in stakeholder collaboration and developer handoff. Yet, due to the complex permissions structure, InVision remained a closed ecosystem — if you weren’t a designer, there was an approval chain that made it difficult to get an InVision account, and once you got an account, you had to be added to the right groups.

Manually managing versions and files, storing and organizing them in a shared drive, and dealing with sync conflicts were just a few of the things that caused us many headaches.

A screenshot from Figma’s 'Getting Started' video on YouTube

Getting Started in Figma. (Large preview)

Could we really have an all-in-one tool that had all the best features of Sketch and InVision, with the real-time collaboration and communication features found in Google Docs? In addition to reducing overhead from context switching, we could also potentially simplify from three tool subscriptions (for mockups, prototyping, and developer handoff), to only one.

The Process

The first designers from our team to adopt Figma started experimenting with it when the first Figma beta was released in 2016. The features were limited but covered 80% of what we needed. Sketch import was buggy, but we still found immense value in being able to collaborate in real-time and most importantly, we could do 90% of the design work for a project inside a single tool. Stakeholder feedback, revisions, and developer handoff improved exponentially.

By 2017, we had a few designers using it for most of their work, and one of the Lexicon designers (Liferay’s design system), Emiliano Cicero, was quickly becoming an evangelist — which turned out to be a key factor in convincing the rest of the team to make the switch.

When Figma 2.0 debuted in the summer of 2017 with prototyping features added and huge improvements to the developer handoff capabilities, we knew this could be a viable tool for our global team. But how do you convince 20+ designers to abandon tools and workflows they love and have used comfortably for years?

I could write a series on that subject, but I’ll summarize by saying the two biggest things were: starting small, and creating a solid infrastructure.

Starting Small

In the fall of 2017, we started our first trial of Figma with a product team distributed between the United States and Brazil. We were fortunate to have a week-long kickoff together in our Los Angeles office. Designing flows and wireframes together in Figma was so much faster and more efficient. We were able to divide up tasks and share files and components without having to worry about constantly syncing a folder or a library.

At our global gathering in January 2018, we formulated a plan to slowly adopt Figma, using this team’s experiences to help form the infrastructure we’d need for the rest of the organization so that migration would be as seamless as possible.

The biggest challenge we faced was a tight deadline — it didn’t make any sense for us to rework our review and handoff process due to the scale of the project with multiple engineering teams and product managers distributed around the world. Even though the end result would have been better, the timing wasn’t right. Another factor was Figma’s lack of a reliable offline design experience (more on that later), and for these reasons, the team decided to use Sketch and Figma for wireframes and mockups, but any prototyping or review had to be done in InVision.

 A slide with about Liferay’s Digital Asset Management structure

A DAM presentation from Design Week 2018. (Large preview)

Creating a solid Figma structure

One of the first steps was formulating rough guidelines for the project, file, and component organization. The foundation for these things was started by two junior (at the time) designers, Abel Hancock and Naoki Hisamoto, who never developed the bad layer-naming habits that seem to come from designers who cut their teeth in Photoshop. This method for organization, coupled with a year spent developing a small library of components for Liferay.com properties, was critical to setting the rest of the global team up for success.

An early organizational improvement created by one of our Liferay.com designers, inspired by Ben’s tweet, was our system of covers.

A screenshot showing Liferay’s system for organizing Figma projects

Figma project covers, by Abel Hancock. (Large preview)

We’ve made this file available if you’d like to copy it, otherwise it’s a pretty straightforward hack:

Create a single frame in the first page of your file that’s 620×320.
Add your design. If you have text, we found that the minimum size is ~24, the titles in our examples are set at 48.
Enjoy!

Note: There will always be a slight margin around your cover, but if you set the page canvas the same color as the card, it will reduce the appearance of this margin.

This helped transform our library, not just for designers, but for project and product managers and engineers who are trying to find things quickly. The search functionality was already really good, but the covers helped people narrow things down even faster, plus it allowed us to instantly communicate the status of any given file.

An animated image a Figma project before and after the cover systemSparking Joy with Figma Covers (Large preview)

Prior to using Figma, in addition to a ‘Master’ design system Sketch file, most designers had base files they had developed over time with things like wireframing elements and basic components. As we coalesced into a single pattern, we started to combine everything and refined them into a single library. Since we were doing wireframes, mockups, and prototypes in Figma, we also started to abandon flow apps like Lucidchart, instead of making our own task flow components in Figma.

Other utilities that we developed over time were redline components for making precise handoff specs, sticky notes for affinity diagrams (and just about anything), and flow nodes.

A screenshot showing Liferay’s reusabile utility components for redlining, and creating flows and affinity diagrams

Liferay Design’s redline, flow, and affinity components. (Large preview)

One of the biggest benefits of doing this in Figma, was that improvements to any of these components that any designer made could easily be pulled into the library and then pushed out to all instances. Having this in a centralized place also makes maintenance a lot easier, as anyone on the team can contribute to improvements with a relatively simple process.

A redline document is for making it easier for the developer to know the dimensions, visual specs, and other properties of a UI component or a set of components. If you’re interested in the topic, you can also check Dmitriy Fabrikant’s article about design blueprints.

Some recommendations to keep in mind when creating components:

Use of overrides and masters for powerful base components (more on that here);
Establish a consistent pattern for naming (we use the atomic model);
Document and label everything — especially layers.

With the advanced styling features released at the beginning of June 2017, the systems team finished a complete version of our Lexicon library in between our big product releases in July and the ramp-up in August. This was the final piece we needed to support the global team. Designers working in Marketing and other departments had already been using Figma for some time, but by last Fall almost all of the other product teams had finalized the move over to Figma.

As of today, most of the product designers are only using Figma, there are also a couple of designers that are working in legacy systems with lots of existing, complicated Sketch prototypes that aren’t worth importing to Figma. Another exception is a few designers that occasionally use apps like Principle or Adobe After Effects for more advanced animation that wouldn’t make sense to do in Figma. We even have a few designers exploring Framer X for even more robust prototypes, especially with work that requires leveraging any kind of data at scale. While there are some designers using multiple tools on a semi-regular basis, 80% of our product designers are using Figma for all of their design and prototyping work.

Continuous Improvements

We’re always working on ways to work more effectively, and one of the current things we’re iterating is best practices for naming pages. At first, we named pages according to the page name, but that proved problematic, plus, as we improved our libraries, the need for larger files with multiple pages was reduced.

Currently, we’re using a numbering system within files, with the top-most page being what’s delivered to the developers. The next phase we’re discussing nowadays is making the versions more meaningful with explicit labels (wireframes, mockups, breakpoints, etc.) and making better use of Figma’s built-in versioning, establishing best practices for when and how to save versions.

 Two screenshots showing different ways to name Figma pages

The evolution of page organization within a Figma file. (Large preview)

Final_Final_Last_2 — No More!

I generally hate to use the term ‘game-changer’, but when Figma released naming/annotating to the version history last March, it dramatically changed the way we organized our files. Previously, we all had different ways of saving iterations and versions.

Usually we would create new pages within a single file, sometimes with large files we would duplicate them and add a letter at the end of the filename to signal an iteration. If you were going to make drastic changes, then you might create a new file and append a version number. This was very natural, coming from the Photoshop/Sketch paradigm of managing multiple files for everything.

A screenshot showing what Figma’s version history timeline looks like

Version history timeline view (Large preview)

The ability to work, periodically pausing to name and annotate a point in time will be very familiar for anyone who has used a version control like Git before. You can even look at the whole file history, and go into past snapshots, pick one out and name and annotate it.

If you want to go back and revert to a past version, you can restore it and work on that file from that point in the history. The best part is that you didn’t lose any of the work because the version you ‘restored’ wasn’t deleting anything; it was simply copying that state and pasting it at the top.

A diagram showing how restoring past versions of a Figma file works

Git it? (Large preview)

In this illustration, the designer arrives at final 3.0 after restoring final 1.1, but the file version history is still completely visible and accessible.

In cases where you’re starting a new project, or want to make some really dramatic changes to the file, it can be necessary for you to ‘fork’ the file. Figma allows you to duplicate a file at any given point in the history, but it’s important to note that the file history will not be copied.

We’ve found that a good way to work in this versioned system is to use your file history in a similar way to how a developer uses git — think of a Figma version as a commit or pull-request, and name and annotate them as such. For more, smarter thoughts on this, I recommend Seth Robertson’s Commit Often, Perfect Later, Publish Once: Git Best Practices — this is a good general philosophy for how to work in a version-controlled ecosystem. Also, Chris Beams’s How to Write a Git Commit Message is a great guide to writing meaningful and useful notes as you work.

Some practical tips we’ve discovered:

Keep titles to 25 characters or less.
Longer titles are clipped and you have to double-click on the note in the version history to open up the ‘Edit Version Information’ modal to read it.
Keep your description to 140 characters or less.
The full description is always shown, so keeping it to the point helps keep the history readable.
Use the imperative mood for the title.
This gives the future you a clearer idea of what will happen when you click on that point in time, e.g. “changing button colors to blue” vs. “change buttons to blue.”
Use the description to explain ‘what’ and ‘why’ versus ‘how’.
Answering the ‘why’ is a critical part of any designers job, so this helps you focus on what’s important as you’re working as well as provide better information for you in the future.

Working Offline

Disclaimer: This is based on our own experience, and a lot of it is our best guess as to how it works.

As I mentioned before, offline support in Figma is tenuous. If you already have a file open before going offline, you can continue working on the file. It seems like each change you make is timestamped. In the case of someone else working on the same file while you were offline, then the latest change will be the one rendered once you do come back online.

A series of screenshots showing how offline editing works

When Cat came back online, her button position change was made, and merged with the Nerd’s color changes. (Large preview)

In this simple example, it doesn’t seem like too big of a deal — but in real life, this can get really messy, really fast. In addition to the high possibility of someone overriding your work, frames and groups could get stacked on top of one another.

Our workflow is to duplicate the page before (or after) going offline, and then do your work in that copy. That way it will be untouched when you come back online, and you can do any necessary merges manually.

“F” Is For Future

Adopting a new tool is never easy, but in the end, the benefits may far outweigh the costs.

The biggest areas of improvement our team has experienced are:

Collaboration
It’s much easier to share our work and improvements with the team and community.
Transparency
A system that is open by default is naturally more inclusive to people outside of the field of design.
Evolution
Removing the “layers” between designers and engineers, enabling us to take the next step in design maturity.
Operations
Adopting a single tool for wireframes, mockups, prototypes, and developer handoffs makes life easier for accounting, IT, and management.

Reducing the overall number of subscriptions was really helpful for our team, but as costs can vary from ‘free’ to over $500 per year this might not make sense for your specific context and needs. For a full breakdown, see Figma’s pricing page.

Grow And Get Better

Of course, no tool is perfect, and there’s always room for improvements. Some things that were missing from previous tools we used are:

No plugin ecosystem.
Sketch’s extensibility was a huge factor in making the switch from Photoshop a no-brainer. Figma does have a web API, but currently, there is no ‘write’ functionality. For now, Sketch remains the market leader with its vibrant community of extensions and plugins. (Of course, things might change in the future in case Figma opens the stage for plugin development as well.)
Importing web, or JSON data in prototypes.
It would be a lot easier for us to design with real data. Sketch recently introduced a “Data” feature in v.52, InVision’s Craft plugin is still very much the gold standard when it comes to easily addxing large amounts of different data — and for now, we’re stuck manually populating text fields.
More motion.
The Principle integration is nice (if you have Principle), but having basic animation and advanced prototyping features in Figma would be a lot better.
A smoother offline experience
As mentioned previously, as long as you have the Figma file open before going offline, you’re fine. This is probably OK for most people — but if you like to shut down your computer every night, it can be painful when you open it in the morning on a train or airplane and realize you forgot to leave Figma open.

Open-Source Design

A few months ago, the always controversial Dann Petty recently tweeted about developers having GitHub, photographers having Unsplash — but designers not having a platform for sharing things for free. Design Twitter™️ swooped in and he deleted his tweet before I could get a screengrab, but one thing I’d like to mention is that what we’re very passionate about at Liferay, is open source. To that end, we’ve created a Figma project for resources to share with the design community.

A screenshot of Liferay’s open source Figma project

Open sourced files from Liferay.Design. (Large preview)

To access any of these files, check out liferay.design/resources/figma, and stay tuned as we grow and share more!

Further Reading

Our First 6 Months With Figma,” Danny Saltaren
Waiting For A Sign To Start Building Your Design Team’s Component Library?,” William Newton
How To Streamline Your UI/UX Workflow With Figma,” Nicole Saidy
Getting Started With Teams In Figma Organization,” Thomas Lowry
5 Ways To Structure Your Workflow With Pages In Figma,” Josh Dunsterville
Best Practices: Components, Styles, And Shared Libraries,” Thomas Lowry
Figma: A Fluid And Modular Design Approach To Typography With Components,” Mirko Santangelo

Other Resources

Figma Community on Spectrum
Figma Design Handbook by David Ukauwa

Smashing Editorial
(mb, yk, il)

Read more: smashingmagazine.com

Razer ’ s Blade Pro in some way handles to fit effective video gaming elements into laptop computers that are as durable and thin as MacBook Pros, and today you can conserve huge on the 17 " design. Using the discount coupon code AFFWIN, this laptop computer can be yours for$ 1,600.

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Read more …

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Read more: kinjadeals.theinventory.com

Tiger Woods won the Masters today – about a decade since he won the last Major and when news of his infidelities came to light. I am 5 months away since D-Day. A lot of people are surprised how well I'm handling it all considering I've known my soon to be ex for 20 years of my 33 years of life (5 friends, 6 dating, 9 married). Watching Tiger Woods win a Major in golf reminded me that a lot has happened in the past 10 years and a lot will happen in the next 10.

Let's take a look back at the last 10 years in the world:

*2010 : Apple debuts iPad, Deepwater Horizon drilling platform exploded in the Gulf of Mexico spilling millions of barrels of oil

*2011 : Japan hit by 9.0 earthquake and tsunami; death of Osama bin Laden; USB 3.0 is widely available;

*2012: London hosts Olympic Games; Windows 8 is released, Nintendo launches Wii U;

*2013: Launch of Ps4 and Xbox One; Birth of a royal baby; leak of NSA docs by Edward Snowden

*2014: Brazil hosts FIFA World Cup; Google Glass is launched; first gay marriages held in Engalnd and Wales; Smartwatches are latest must-have gadget; NATO ends combat operations in Afghanistan

*2015 : Windows 10 is released; Electric car ownershp reaches 1 million worldwide; first self regulating artificial heart

*2016: Rio de Janeiro hosts Olympic Games; US Presidential Election (Trump)

*2017: Total solar eclipse in US; a new treatment for prostate cancer

*2018: Russia hosts FIFA World Cup; South Korea hosts Winter Olympics; InSight touches down on Mars

For myself, since 2009, I've gotten engaged, married, had lasik, lost 80 pounds, regained a lot of it back, lost 60, regained some of it back, became a father – now with 2 sons, bought first home (older kid's 1st home), sold first home, bought and will have sold second home (younger kid's 1st home), will have leased a new apartment before end of this year, bought a car, traded it in, bought another, traded it in and bought another (current); hired for a job, left the job, hired for another job, left another and now working at current job and have received 3 promotions; sister graduated college; road tripped from OC to Seattle and back; had a vasectomy; got a dog, gave her away; older kid started elementary school; started MBA program, had to quit it for now; now this 10th year will end in a divorce.

So fellow divorcees, hang in there. I'm hurting just like all of you. I didn't have the kids today and had to leave the house because it was open house. Had to find something to do – ended up walking around the mall on my own, bought some pants and shirts, came back after 4 hours and did the laundry. I know it is hard to be alone. It sucks – I'm not used to being by myself. Not having someone there to be physically close to (holding hands, hugging, kissing) or talking about anything and everything because I had completely trusted them. But guess what? I made it through the day. You can too. Take it hour by hour, day by day and soon enough, things will eventually happen and when you look back 10 years, no 5 years or even a year from today, you'll see how far you've gotten and how many things have transpired since then. Like Tiger Woods' career, it may take some time but WE WILL MAKE A COMEBACK

submitted by /u/EasyMode615 [link] [comments]

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When you come across a rare opportunity, you don’t just not take advantage of it.

If you see a celebrity at a bar, you be that annoying fan and ask for a picture. If there’s a parasailing deal at the beach, you take it. If a MacBook is on sale for $400 off, you snag it. 

You can do the third thing today: The newest version of the 12-inch MacBook (in rose gold with an i5 processor) is $400 off on Amazon todayAt $1,199, it’s the lowest price ever on Amazon.

SEE ALSO: Best cheap laptops: 10 options for under $500

The MacBook Pro is one of the most dependable, work-ready laptops on the market. They’re also nearly two grand. Opting for this 12-inch MacBook gets you the same i5 processor and the same 512 GB SSD for $800 less and a fraction of the weight.  Read more…

More about Apple, Laptops, Macbook, Mashable Shopping, and Shopping Amazon




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The Pixel Slate isn’t as bad as some people make it out to be.

Unpopular opinion time: Google’s Pixel Slate isn’t a bad product.

It’s expensive and has limited appeal, for sure, but as far as Chrome OS on a tablet goes, it’s the best you’re going to find if you’re willing to pay too much money for Chrome OS on a tablet. Right up front, I’m not a tablet kind of person, not at all. I don’t like Chrome on a tablet, I don’t like Android tablets, I don’t like iPads and think any piece of glass bigger than 6 or 7-inches that doesn’t have an attached keyboard best belongs in someone else’s hands.

I don’t like tablets very much, but this is the best (and most overpriced) Android tablet you can buy.

I am, however, a Chrome OS kind of person. I use a Chromebook for everything except playing my favorite PC games. I’m willing to put up with Chrome’s bugs and glitches because they are better than Apple or Microsoft’s bugs and glitches to me. And that’s the type of person it takes to think the Pixel Slate is anything but a flop.

I felt this way when I first laid hands on the thing and after a handful of minor updates, I still feel the same: it’s far better than most reviewers say it is. The two things — using Chrome every day and putting up with its wonk every day — are most certainly the reason. A reviewer who uses a MacBook or Surface every day is going to hate the thing I don’t and vice-versa. Trust me, nobody would be happy with my review of a computer that’s not Chrome-based unless they too are just done with MacOS and Windows. That’s why it’s important to read more than one or two reviews before you plunk down $1,000 for something like a Pixel Slate. Or a MacBook, for that matter.

You might be asking why in the world this has come up again? Haven’t we heard everything we ever need to hear about the Pixel Slate and it should stay out of the limelight until it dies? Because I’m not a tablet guy and because I have several really nice Chromebooks here, I would have agreed with you until just this past week when I dusted off the gigantic tablet to see how well some of the newer Android apps and games worked while using it. And that’s when I decided it was worth talking about again.

Most Android apps are bad on tablets, but games can be the exception.

Android apps on tablets mostly suck. Let’s stop beating around the bush and come to grips with that simple fact. There are a handful that take advantage of a big screen but most of them are made by Google itself and you’ll have to look long and hard to find 20 other apps worth installing on an Android tablet. You don’t have to dislike tablets to agree that a lot of … something is needing to be done if Android on a tablet is ever going to become great. One exception to this general rule, though, is the gaming front. Plenty of Android games are pretty darn great on an even bigger screen.

After doing my usual round of trying my apps on a tablet and hoping different results this time, I stumbled across Stardew Valley. I’m not a fan of pixel-art farming role-playing games (there are a lot of things I am not a fan of it seems) but Stardew Valley has its own quirky charm and it’s easy to see why it is a hit on every screen it’s available for. It’s also fantastic on the Pixel Slate.

I can have it running in its own window while having a browser open to see who in the valley wants a turnip for their birthday or what that purple-haired lady likes when she’s not working at the saloon. I can also get my messages and emails at the same time, just like I could if I were playing on my phone. Except I can actually see everything in a game that was designed for the PC and consoles that use a much bigger display than my phone.

The Pixel Slate’s big draw over another Androdi tablet or the iPad is a real desktop web browser.

One thing sets the experience apart from another Android tablet or the iPad: a real desktop-class web browser. I have all my bookmarks, all my extensions and privacy controls, can easily use my VPN if I like, and because Chrome the browser runs really well on Chrome the operating system I can have it all running at once thanks to the Pixel Slate’s overkill-level of hardware. That’s pretty spiffy and has me looking at more Android games that look and act great on a tablet.

I’ll tire of poking at an oversized — really, 12-inches is entirely too big for a tablet unless you have the forearms of Superman — piece of glass whenever I need to type or resorting to a folio keyboard that does suck to do it soon I’m sure. But I’m glad I gave it another try so I could remember that the Pixel Slate doesn’t really suck. It’s just misunderstood.

These accessories for the Pixel Slate also don’t suck and are a must-have if you’ve picked up Google’s Giant Chrome Tablet.

Draw, write, search

Pixelbook Pen

Useful for far more than just drawing or writing, press and hold the Pixelbook Pen’s button, then circle anything you see on your screen and Google Assistant will identify, define, or search for it. We wish this came with the Pixel Slate, but it’s more than worth buying yourself.

$99 at Best Buy

Functional and fitting

NIDOO Water Resistant Laptop Sleeve

While folios may be a more useful case for a laptop or tablet, I’ve always been a fan of zippered sleeves for all-encompassing protection — as well as being easier to slip out for TSA or a quick typing session at the coffee shop. This 11-inch sleeve may sound like it’s too small, but it’s actually got room to spare and comes in 4 great colors.

$14 at Amazon

Plug in everything

AUKEY Link PD USB-C Hub

The Pixel Slate can be used with a wide array of peripherals, but you’ll probably need an adapter to use them all. USB-C hubs are starting to gain wider use and better dependability, and the AUKEY Link USB-C hub can read memory cards, connect 3 USB-A accessories, top off your Pixel Slate via pass-through USB-C charging, and feed a secondary HDMI display.

$36 at Amazon

Read more: androidcentral.com