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Todays top deals include new price drops on a Ninja Foodi, second-gen AirPods Pro, and the all-new Echo Dot

2023-03-19 06:15:20

Todays top deals include new price drops on a Ninja Foodi, second-gen AirPods Pro, and the all-new Echo Dot

We've gathered up all the best deals for you to shop on Nov. 22 — here are our top picks:

Todays top deals include new price drops on a Ninja Foodi, second-gen AirPods Pro, and the all-new Echo Dot(图1)

  • BEST APPLE DEAL: Apple AirPods Pro (2nd Generation)(Opens in a new tab)$199.99 $249.99 (save $49.01)

  • BEST HOME DEAL: Ninja OL501 Foodi XL 14-in-1 Pressure Cooker (6.5-Quart)(Opens in a new tab) — $109.99 $279.99 (save $170)

  • BEST AMAZON DEVICE DEAL: Echo Dot (5th Gen) + Free Philips Hue Smart Bulb(Opens in a new tab)$24.99 $49.99 (save $40.98)

  • BEST STREAMING DEAL: Three months of HBO Max(Opens in a new tab)$1.99/month $9.99/month (save $29.97)

Black Friday week is off to quite an epic start. Retailers are fighting for your hard-earned cash — and they're doing a great job.

Walmart came in hot with its final Deals for Days event, which began yesterday evening. While some particularly good deals already sold out, there are plenty still live on the site — like $79 Beats Solo3 headphones(Opens in a new tab) and a $110 Ninja Foodi OL501(Opens in a new tab). Amazon has yet to match these major discounts, but has plenty of its own deals to shop — particularly on Amazon devices. Meanwhile, Best Buy's electronics deals are still reigning supreme with some of the best prices we've seen on MacBooks(Opens in a new tab) and Chromebooks(Opens in a new tab) this season.

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We've done the grunt work of searching for all the top deals you can shop on Nov. 22, so you can save time as well as money. From Apple and Amazon to Ninja and Samsung, here are the best deals of the day sorted into convenient categories.

Best Apple deal

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Credit: Apple
Our Pick: Apple AirPods Pro (2nd Gen) (opens in a new tab) (Opens in a new tab)
$199.99 at Best Buy (save $49.01)
(opens in a new tab) (Opens in a new tab)

Why we like it

If you already own the original AirPods Pro, the second-generation buds "are not an essential upgrade," Mashable senior editor Stan Schroeder wrote in his review. However, they're definitely great earbuds, with impressive sound quality and stellar noise cancelation. While $49 doesn't seem like a huge discount, it's the biggest price drop(Opens in a new tab) we've seen on these buds so far — they were just released in September. They're sitting at the same price at Amazon(Opens in a new tab), but if you snag them at Best Buy instead, you'll get three free months of Apple TV+, plus four free months of Apple Music and Apple News+.

More Apple deals

  • Apple AirPods (2nd Generation)(Opens in a new tab)$79 $159 (save $80)

  • Apple AirTag 4 Pack(Opens in a new tab)$79.99 $99 (save $19.01)

  • Apple Watch SE (GPS, 40mm)(Opens in a new tab)$149 $279 (save $130)

  • 2021 Apple 10.2-inch iPad (Wi-Fi, 64GB)(Opens in a new tab)$269.99 $329 (save $59.01)

  • 2022 Apple 12.9-inch iPad Pro (Wi-Fi, 128GB)(Opens in a new tab)$999 $1,099 (save $100)

  • 2020 Apple 27-inch iMac (Intel Core i5, 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD)(Opens in a new tab)$1,199.99 $1,799 (save $599.01)

  • 2021 Apple 16-inch MacBook Pro (M1 Pro chip, 16GB RAM, 512GB SSD)(Opens in a new tab)$1,999.00 $2,499 (save $500)

  • 2021 Apple 16-inch MacBook Pro (Apple M1 Pro chip, 16GB RAM, 1TB SSD)(Opens in a new tab)$2,199.00 $2,699 (save $500)

Best home deal

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Credit: Ninja
Our Pick: Ninja Foodi 14-in-1 XL (6.5-Quart) (opens in a new tab) (Opens in a new tab)
$109.99 at Walmart (save $170)
(opens in a new tab) (Opens in a new tab)

Why we like it

Just last week, the 6.5-quart OL501 Ninja Foodi dropped to an unbelievable $129.99 — that's $150 off its usual $279.99 price tag. Thanks to Walmart's epic Deals for Days event, the price on Nov. 22 is even lower at just $109.99 (for comparison purposes, Amazon(Opens in a new tab) currently has it listed at $154). That 6.5-quart Foodi is big enough to whip up two things at once with dual layers. Plus, it's brimming with cooking options, from air frying to slow cooking to yogurt making.

More home deals

Kitchen deals

  • Instant Pot Duo Plus (6-Quart)(Opens in a new tab)$79.95 $149.95 (save $70)

  • Ninja Foodi 4-in-1 2-Basket Air Fryer (8-Quart)(Opens in a new tab)$99 $199.99 (save $100.99)

  • Ninja Supra Kitchen System 72-ounce Blender and Food Processor(Opens in a new tab) — $99 $149 (save $50)

  • Chefman Barista Pro Espresso Machine(Opens in a new tab) $99 $139 (save $40)

  • Instant Vortex Plus Air Fryer Oven (6-Quart)(Opens in a new tab)$99.95 $169.99 (save $70.04)

  • Ninja OL501 Foodi XL 14-in-1 Pressure Cooker (6.5-Quart)(Opens in a new tab) — $109.99 $279.99 (save $170)

  • Nespresso Coffee and Espresso Machines(Opens in a new tab)starting at $118.30 (save up to 30%)

  • Instant Omni Air Fryer Toaster Oven Combo (19-Quart)(Opens in a new tab)$129.95 $199.99 (save $70.94)

  • Ninja OL601 Foodi XL 14-in-1 Pressure Cooker (8-Quart)(Opens in a new tab)$149.99 $32

  • Vitamix 6500 Blender(Opens in a new tab)$399 $599.99 (save $200.99)

Floor care deals

  • Hoover MAXLife PowerDrive Swivel XL Bagless Upright Vacuum(Opens in a new tab)$59 $119 (save 60)

  • Shark Navigator Lift-Away Upright Vacuum(Opens in a new tab)$98 $199 (save $101)

  • eufy Clean by Anker RoboVac G32 Pro Robot Vacuum(Opens in a new tab) $119 $299 (save $180)

  • Shark Pet Cordless Stick Vacuum(Opens in a new tab)$144 $259 (save $115)

  • iRobot Roomba 676 Robot Vacuum(Opens in a new tab)$174 $269 (save $95)

  • Shark AI VACMOP(Opens in a new tab)$188 $479.99 (save $291.99)

  • Shark EZ Robot Vacuum with Self-Empty Base(Opens in a new tab)$258 $449 (save $191)

  • iRobot Roomba i1+ (1552) Wi-Fi Connected Self-Emptying Robot Vacuum(Opens in a new tab)$288 $529.99 (save $241.99)

  • eufy RoboVac X8 Hybrid Robot Vacuum and Mop(Opens in a new tab)$319.99 $649.99 (save $330)

  • Dyson V10 Absolute Cordless Vacuum(Opens in a new tab) $399.99 $599.99 (save $200)

  • Dyson V15 Detect Vacuum(Opens in a new tab)$645.99 $749.99 (save $104)

Best Amazon device deal

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Credit: Amazon / Philips
Our Pick: Echo Dot (5th Gen) + Free Philips Hue Smart Bulb (opens in a new tab) (Opens in a new tab)
$24.99 at Amazon (save $40.98)
(opens in a new tab) (Opens in a new tab)

Why we like it

Amazon's new Echo Dot is billed as its most powerful yet, with a larger speaker that packs clearer vocals and better bass into its usual spherical form. It also features a new AZ2 Neural Edge processor, temperature sensors, and built-in eero (an Echo Dot first). Just released at the end of October, this is the first discount of this caliber we've seen. Plus, Amazon will even throw in a free Philips Hue Smart Bulb or a free six-month Amazon Music Unlimited subscription(Opens in a new tab) (a $53.94 value).

More Amazon device deals

  • Echo Show 5 (2nd Gen, 2021 release)(Opens in a new tab)$34.99 $84.99 (save $50)

  • Fire 7 Tablet(Opens in a new tab)$39.99 $59.99 (save $20)

  • Echo Show 5 Kids (2nd Gen)(Opens in a new tab)$39.99 $94.99 (save $55)

  • Echo Dot (5th Gen) with clock(Opens in a new tab)$39.99 $59.99 (save $20)

  • Echo Show 5 (2nd Gen, 2021 release) with Blink Mini(Opens in a new tab)$49.99 $119.98 (save $69.99)

  • Echo (4th Gen)(Opens in a new tab)$49.99 $99.99 (save $50)

  • Echo Show 5 (2nd Gen) Kids with Echo Glow(Opens in a new tab)$50.99 $124.98 (save $73.99)

  • Fire HD 8 Tablet(Opens in a new tab)$54.99 $99.99 (save $45)

  • Ring Video Doorbell(Opens in a new tab)$59.99 $99.99 (save $40)

  • Fire TV Cube(Opens in a new tab)$59.99 $119.99 (save $60)

  • Blink Floodlight Camera(Opens in a new tab)$64.98 $129.98 (save $65)

  • Fire HD 8 Plus Tablet (Opens in a new tab)$64.99 $119.99 (save $55)

  • Ring Video Doorbell with Echo Show 5 (2nd Gen)(Opens in a new tab)$69.99 $184.98 (save $114.99)

  • Echo Show 8 (2nd Gen, 2021 release) (Opens in a new tab)— $69.99 $129.99 (save $60)

  • Fire HD 8 Kids Tablet (Opens in a new tab)$79.99 $149.99 (save $70)

  • Fire HD 8 Kids Pro Tablet(Opens in a new tab)$79.99 $149.99 (save $70)

  • Ring Spotlight Cam Plus(Opens in a new tab)$139.99 $199.99 (save $60)

  • Echo Show 15(Opens in a new tab) — $169.99 $249.99 (save $80)

  • Amazon Fire TV 43-inch 4-Series 4K UHD Smart TV(Opens in a new tab)$229.99 $369.99 (save $140)

  • Amazon Fire TV 50-inch 4-Series 4K UHD Smart TV(Opens in a new tab)$249.99 $469.99 (save $220)

  • Amazon Fire TV 55-inch 4-Series 4K UHD Smart TV(Opens in a new tab) — $299.99 $519.99 (save $220)

Tech deals

Smart TV and home theater deals

  • TCL 2.1-ch S522W Home Theater Sound Bar(Opens in a new tab)$59 $79.99 (save $20.99)

  • Hisense 40-inch Class A4G Series LED Full HD Smart Vidaa TV(Opens in a new tab) — $99.99 $249.99 (save $150)

  • HP FHD Projector with Roku Express Streamer and 84-inch projection screen(Opens in a new tab)$137 $199 (save $62)

  • VIZIO V-Series 5.1 Home Theater Sound Bar(Opens in a new tab)$148 $199.99 (save $51.99)

  • Insignia 42-inch Class F20 Series Smart Full HD 1080p Fire TV(Opens in a new tab)$169.99 $269.99 (save $100)

  • LG 55-inch Class UP7050 Series LED 4K UHD Smart webOS TV(Opens in a new tab)$298 $398 (save $100)

  • Samsung 58-inch TU7000 4K TV(Opens in a new tab) — $377.99 $599.99 (save $222)

  • Samsung 85-inch Q60B QLED TV(Opens in a new tab)$1,597.99 $2,299.99 (save $702)

Computer, tablet, and monitor deals

  • HP 11.6-inch Chromebook (AMD A4, 4GB RAM, 32GB eMMC)(Opens in a new tab)$79 $98 (save $19)

  • Lenovo 11.6-inch Chromebook 3 (Intel Celeron N4020, 4GB RAM, 64GB eMMC)(Opens in a new tab)$79 $139 (save $60)

  • Lenovo Tab M8 (3rd Gen) 8-inch Tablet (MediaTek Helio P22T, 3GB RAM, 32GB eMCP)(Opens in a new tab)$79 $119 (save $40)

  • Lenovo 11.6-inch Flex 3 Chromebook (Mediatek MT8183, 4GB RAM, 64GB eMMC)(Opens in a new tab)$99 $179 (save $80)

  • Samsung Galaxy Tab A7 Lite 8.7-inch Tablet (WiFi, 32GB)(Opens in a new tab)$99.99 $159.99 (save $60)

  • Samsung Galaxy Tab A8 10.5-inch Tablet (WiFi, 32GB)(Opens in a new tab) — $139 $199 (save $60)

  • HP 14-inch Touch Chromebook (Intel Celeron N4120, 4GB RAM, 64GB eMMC)(Opens in a new tab)$179 $299 (save $120)

  • LG 32-inch UltraGear QHD (2560x1440)165Hz HDR 10 Monitor with FreeSync(Opens in a new tab)$200 $399 (save $199)

  • MSI GF63 Thin 11SC-693 15.6-inch Gaming Laptop (Intel Core i5, 8GB Memory, 256GB NVMe SSD)(Opens in a new tab)$499 $599 (save $100)

  • Samsung 49-Inch CHG90 144Hz Curved Gaming Monitor(Opens in a new tab)$699.99 $999.99 (save $300)

  • Microsoft Surface Pro 8 2-in-1 (Intel Evo Core i5, 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD)(Opens in a new tab)$899.99 $1,349.99 (save $450)

Headphone and speaker deals

  • Google Nest Mini (2nd Generation)(Opens in a new tab)$18 $49 (save $31)

  • JBL Flip 4 Waterproof Bluetooth Speaker(Opens in a new tab)$59 $99 (save $40)

  • Google Pixel Buds A-Series(Opens in a new tab)$64 $99 (save $35)

  • Samsung Galaxy Buds Live(Opens in a new tab) $69 $169.99 (save $100.99)

  • Beats Solo3 Wireless On-Ear Headphones(Opens in a new tab) $79 $199.95 (save $120.95)

  • Samsung Galaxy Buds2(Opens in a new tab)$89.99 $149.99 (save $60)

  • Google Pixel Buds Pro(Opens in a new tab)$149.99 $199.99 (save $50)

Streaming device and subscription deals

  • Four months of Amazon Music Unlimited(Opens in a new tab)free with select purchases at Best Buy (save $39.96)

  • Three months of Amazon Music Unlimited(Opens in a new tab)free $26.97 (save $26.97)

  • One year of Grubhub+(Opens in a new tab)free for Prime members $119.88 (save $119.88)

  • First month of Xbox Game Pass(Opens in a new tab)$1 $14.99 (save $13.99)

  • Three months of HBO Max(Opens in a new tab)$1.99/month $9.99/month (save $29.97)

  • Four months of Audible Premium Plus(Opens in a new tab)$5.95/month $14.95/month (save $36)

  • Paramount+ Essential(Opens in a new tab)free with Walmart+ membership ($12.95/month or $98/year)

  • Chromecast with Google TV (HD) Streaming Device(Opens in a new tab)$18 $29.99 (save $11.99)

  • Roku Streaming Stick 4K Streaming Device(Opens in a new tab)$24.98 $49 (save $24.02)

  • Roku Ultra LT Streaming Device 4K/HDR/Dolby Vision(Opens in a new tab)$30 $80 (save $50)

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    Vivienne Westwood addressing journalists. Credit: Matthew Chattle/Barcroft Media via Getty Images

    Westwood then launched into a version of a statement that was shared on her official Twitter page on Monday evening.

    Assange is currently in custody in the UK, fighting extradition to the U.S. after he was arrested last year and charged(Opens in a new tab) by the Department of Justice for "conspiracy to commit computer intrusion for agreeing to break a password to a classified U.S. government computer." According to court documents referred to by the DOJ, the charge relates to "Assange's alleged role in one of the largest compromises of classified information in the history of the United States." His extradition hearing began earlier this year, but has been delayed(Opens in a new tab) due to the coronavirus pandemic.

    "He has been trapped by a big net, taken out of the sun, and shoved in a cage," Westwood told reporters(Opens in a new tab). "The problem is, they want to send him to America, for a sentence of 175 years, and stick him in a concrete block.

    "This could happen to every journalist, because it is not a crime to publish the truth."

    This isn't the first time Westwood has voiced her support for Assange. As recently as February, she spoke at a rally(Opens in a new tab) in front of protesters calling a halt to his extradition.

    SEE ALSO: Best tech books of 2020 (so far)

    Wikileaks was founded by Assange in 2006. According to its website, it "specializes in the analysis and publication of large datasets of censored or otherwise restricted official materials involving war, spying and corruption."

    It has published over 10 million documents.

  • TikTok will finally pay its biggest creators directly

    TikTok will finally pay its biggest creators directly

    TikTok is finally going to start paying its most influential creators directly.


    The app announced that it has started a $200 million "Creator Fund" to support "ambitious creators who are seeking opportunities to foster a livelihood through their innovative content." In a statement released Thursday, TikTok said the fund is for U.S.-based creators only.

    TikTok has fostered the rise of major influencers like the D'Amelio sisters, members of the Hype House, and more. But until now TikTok creators had to monetize their content themselves(Opens in a new tab). Creators could only earn money off their content through partnerships with third-party brands. Whereas YouTube directly pays its creators a cut of ad revenue.

    "Through the TikTok Creator Fund, our creators will be able to realize additional earnings that help reward the care and dedication they put into creatively connecting with an audience that's inspired by their ideas," TikTok continued in their statement(Opens in a new tab). "In a relatively short time, TikTok has grown to become a source of income and opportunity for creators and their families — and we couldn't be more encouraged by their success. As our community continues to flourish, we're committed to fostering even more ways for our creators to earn livelihoods by inspiring joy and creativity."

    To apply for the fund, creators have to be 18 years old or older, meet a baseline for followers, and "consistently post original content" in line with TikTok's Community Guidelines(Opens in a new tab). Applications will open in August.

    The Creator Fund seems to address complaints about monetization from TikTok stars and is no doubt an effort to keep the video-sharing app competitive in a very crowded field.

    Related Video: Is TikTok secretly a dating app?

  • With coronavirus cases surging(Opens in a new tab) in some parts of the United States, institutions like the NBA and Disney World are trying to figure out how to reopen as safely as possible. This often means allowing a fraction of the crowds that were allowed in the Before Times to assure social distancing — which makes for surreal photos of these usually-densely populated places.


    Here are photos of iconic spots as you've likely never seen them:

    1. Disney World

    2. Grand Central Station

    Credit: John Lamparski/Getty Images

    3. Las Vegas

    Credit: Denise Truscello/WireImage

    4. Piazza Navona in Rome

    Credit: Petra Kaminsky/dpa/picture alliance via Getty Images

    5. Central Park

    Credit: Noam Galai/Getty Images

    6. NBA court in Orlando

    7. More Disney World!

    8. Tropicana Field in Florida for Toronto Blue Jays v. Tampa Bay Rays

    Credit: Douglas P. DeFelice/Getty Images

    9. Universal City Walk

    Credit: AaronP/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images

    10. Stade de France outside Paris for Paris Saint-Germain v Saint-Etienne

    Credit: FRANCK FIFE/AFP via Getty Images

  • The weirdest moments from baseballs fan-less opening weekend

    The weirdest moments from baseballs fan-less opening weekend

    These are truly strange times and, oh man, was that fact really on display during MLB's opening slate of games over the weekend.


    In what now seems like an ill-considered move — considering the Miami Marlins have had a massive coronavirus outbreak(Opens in a new tab) — Major League Baseball played a whole host of games without fans over the past few days but also without an attempt of an isolation "bubble"(Opens in a new tab) like the NBA has done.

    The resulting baseball games were a bit strange. Huge stadiums, zero fans. Swaths of empty seats. Coaches and players masked-up in the summer heat.

    It was definitely different and weird, so we collected six of the strangest baseball moments thus far.

    1. The Phanatic does its best to do the wave

    Perhaps the best mascot(Opens in a new tab) in all of sports, the Philly Phanatic did its damndest to get a wave going in a stadium sans Phillies fans. The result was funny... tinged with a bit of sadness.

    2. A pup catches a home run

    Teams have used life-sized fan cutouts to fill parts of the empty stadiums. The New York Mets even included a few dog cutouts. It was pretty funny when a home run from the opposing Atlanta Braves just happened to find a row of pups in right field.

    3. Speaking of which...

    This person's cutout apparently got decapitated by a homer. But at least they had a sense of humor about it.

    4. A courteous yelling match

    Baseball coaches often get right in the faces of umpires to argue calls. That's seriously dangerous in the COVID-19 era because the virus is often spread via droplets that fly from the mouth. So when Pittsburgh Pirates manager Derek Shelton got tossed from a game, he had to slide on a mask before yelling at the ump. It was a thoughtful argument, at least.

    5. The Phanatic does its best again

    The wave didn't go great and well, neither was the synchronized clap.

    6. And finally, the uncanny valley virtual fans

    As we wrote here at Mashable, Fox Sports experimented with video game-esque virtual fans instead of cardboard cutouts. The result was pretty creepy.

  • Journalists gobsmacked reactions during Trump interview are Twitters too

    Journalists gobsmacked reactions during Trump interview are Twitters too

    Another day, another nightmarish Donald Trump interview.


    Fresh from a chat with Fox News host Chris Wallace that didn't exactly paint him in a great light, the president decided to sit down opposite Axios journalist Jonathan Swan on Monday — and, lo and behold, things were even worse this time around.

    Not only did Trump double down on his well-wishes for accused child sex trafficker Ghislaine Maxwell, he also attempted to explain away the horrendous U.S. coronavirus death toll(Opens in a new tab) with some more charts that not even he appeared to fully understand.

    Sitting opposite him, meanwhile, was Axios journalist Jonathan Swan, whose reactions were nothing short of gobsmacked throughout the interview.

    Yep. If a picture says a thousand words, Swan's facial expressions during the interview pretty much told a full-length novel.

    SEE ALSO: The cognitive test that Trump keeps bragging about acing isn't meant to be hard

    And people were quick to pick up on it.

    Swan didn't hold back on his reactions throughout the 40-minute interview, but there were a couple of moments where his bafflement went into overdrive. The image above, for instance, is from the aforementioned coronavirus chart exchange, shortly after the president assured Swan that the U.S. was "lower than the world" before thrusting a supposedly supporting chart at him.

    "Oh, you're doing death as a proportion of cases," says Swan in that clip. "I'm talking about death as a proportion of population — that's where the U.S. is really bad. Much worse than South Korea, Germany, etc."

    "Well you can't do that," responds Trump, prompting yet another of Swan's confused expressions.

    Then, the moment became bigger than Swan's personal reactions and became Twitter's own.

    Swan, for what it's worth, is more than just a baffled face. As well as being a political reporter who's covered Trump's presidency from the start, he's also the son of physician and medical commentator Dr. Norman Swan, who's been one of Australia's go-to medical experts(Opens in a new tab) during the coronavirus pandemic.

    You can watch the full interview between Swan and Trump below.

    Genuinely scary stuff.

    Related Video: How to recognize and avoid fake news

Random articles


  • Todays top deals include more all-time low Amazon device deals, a new streaming discount, and home a

    Todays top deals include more all-time low Amazon device deals, a new streaming discount, and home and tech products

    Here are the best deals of the day for Oct. 4:


    • BEST AMAZON DEVICE DEAL: Echo Show 8 (2nd Gen) with 2-Pack GE CYNC Smart LED Color Bulb(Opens in a new tab)$63.99 $153.98 (save $83.99)

    • BEST STREAMING AND SUBSCRIPTION DEAL: Three months of BET+ via Amazon Prime Video(Opens in a new tab)$0.99/month $9.99/month (save $27)

    • BEST TECH DEAL: Samsung 34" Class Flat LED UltraWQHD Monitor(Opens in a new tab)$249 $399.99 (save $150.99)

    Brace yourself for even more Amazon device deals on Oct. 4. You would think Amazon's Prime Early Access Sale was already live with how many devices are at all-time low prices. While there's a chance these prices may drop even lower, there's also a chance they'll sell out — so, if you see something you want, grab it.

    Other deals on Oct. 4 include a new streaming service discount, robot vacuums, monitors, and more home and tech gadgets. Get your wallet ready and shop the best deals of the day below.

    Best Amazon device deal

    (Opens in a new tab)
    Credit: Amazon
    Echo Show 8 (2nd Gen) with 2-Pack GE CYNC Smart LED Color Bulb (opens in a new tab) (Opens in a new tab)
    $63.99 at Amazon (save $83.99)
    (opens in a new tab) (Opens in a new tab)

    Why we like it

    Not only is the Amazon Echo Show 8 (2nd gen)(Opens in a new tab) at its lowest price ever at just $63.99, but that low price also includes a two-pack of GE CYNC Smart LED Color Bulbs. And obviously, we all love free stuff. As far as a smart central hub for your home, the Echo Show 8 can't be beat. It's sleek, boasts an eight-inch HD touchscreen, features a super responsive auto-panning and zooming camera to keep you in focus during video chats, dual stereo speakers, and more Alexa functionality than all previous devices. As Mashable reporter SaVanna Shoemaker noted in a review, the Zoom connection can be iffy and it needs a little more work to be a good fit for the work-from-home crowd. But overall? We definitely recommend it for connecting with people both inside and outside your home.

    Best streaming deal

    (Opens in a new tab)
    Credit: BET
    Three months of BET+ (opens in a new tab) (Opens in a new tab)
    $0.99/month via Amazon Prime Video (save $27)
    (opens in a new tab) (Opens in a new tab)

    Why we like it

    If you're looking for new content to stream, snag this three-month deal on a BET+ subscription(Opens in a new tab). For less than a dollar per month, you can try out the exclusive streaming service on its own or as an add-on to Amazon Prime Video for three months, saving you $27. The streamer is home to thousands of hours of shows and movies, including exclusive BET originals, from some of the best Black creators. After your three months are up, of course, be sure to cancel if you don't want to be charged full price ($9.99/month).

    Best tech deal

    (Opens in a new tab)
    Credit: Samsung
    Samsung 34" Class Flat LED UltraWQHD Monitor (opens in a new tab) (Opens in a new tab)
    $249 at Walmart (save $150.99)
    (opens in a new tab) (Opens in a new tab)

    Why we like it

    Adding a monitor to your work or play setup can make for a much more productive and enjoyable computer experience — especially when that monitor is Samsung's 34-inch Flat LED UltraWQHD. With a screen resolution of 3440x1440 pixels and a 34-inch ultra-wide screen, you can view more content — in a more vibrant way — without scrolling or zooming. It also features a 75Hz refresh rate with 4ms response time for beginner PC gamers to enjoy stutter-free motions and more immersive gameplay.

    More Amazon device deals

    • Echo Glow(Opens in a new tab)$16.99 $29.99 (save $13)

    • Amazon Glow 19" Interactive Projector and 8" Video Calling Display(Opens in a new tab)  — $149.99 $329.98 (save $179.99)

    • Echo Dot (3rd Gen) with 2-Pack GE CYNC Smart LED Color Bulb(Opens in a new tab)$17.99 $63.98 (save $45.99)

    • Echo Show 5 (2nd Gen) with 2-Pack GE CYNC Smart LED Color Bulb(Opens in a new tab)$34.99 $108.98 (save $73.99)

    • Echo Dot (4th Gen) with 2-Pack GE CYNC Smart LED Color Bulb(Opens in a new tab)$24.99 $73.98 (save $48.99)

    • Kids Fire Tablets(Opens in a new tab)starting at $59.99 (save up to 50%)

    • Fire Tablets(Opens in a new tab)starting at $44.99 (save up to 50%)

    • Kindle E-readers(Opens in a new tab)starting at $99.99 (save up to 31%)

    • Amazon Halo Devices(Opens in a new tab)starting at $39.99 (save up to 44%)

    • Kindle Paperwhite Bundles(Opens in a new tab)starting at $117.97 (save up to 38%)

    • Echo Show 15 with Echo show 5 (2nd Gen)(Opens in a new tab)$249.99 $334.98 (save $84.99)

    • Fire TV Cube (2nd gen)(Opens in a new tab)$59.99 $119.99 (save $60)

    • Echo Devices(Opens in a new tab)starting at $14.99 (save up to 70%)

    More streaming and subscription deals

    • One year of HBO Max(Opens in a new tab)$69.99 with ads $99.99 with ads (save $30)

    • First month of Xbox Game Pass(Opens in a new tab)$1 $14.99 (save $13.99)

    • One year of Grubhub+(Opens in a new tab)free for Prime members $119.88 (save $119.88)

    • Four months of Amazon Music Unlimited(Opens in a new tab)free $8.99/month (save $36)

    • Three months of Apple TV+(Opens in a new tab)free $4.99/month (save $14.97)

    More home and tech deals

    • iRobot Roomba s9+ (9550) Robot Vacuum and Braava Jet m6 (6112) Robot Mop Bundle(Opens in a new tab)$999 $1,249 (save $250)

    • Sony A90J 55-inch Bravia XR OLED 4K Ultra HD Smart Google TV(Opens in a new tab)$1,798 $2,499.99 (save $701.99)

    • eufy RoboVac X8 Robot Vacuum(Opens in a new tab)$399.99 $499.99 (save $100)

    • Samsung 27-inch Odyssey QHD FreeSync Premium and G-Sync Compatible Gaming Monitor(Opens in a new tab)$249.99 $399.99 (save $150)

    • Igloo Automatic Portable Electric Countertop Ice Maker(Opens in a new tab)$81.99 $159.99 (save $78)

    • Insignia 26 Lb. Portable Icemaker with Auto Shut-Off (Mint)(Opens in a new tab)$94.99 $125.99 (save $31)

    • Lenovo Smart Clock Essential with Alexa(Opens in a new tab)$29.99 $69.99 (save $40)

  • Peloton releases Guide for strength training

    Peloton releases Guide for strength training

    Cycling enthusiasts and weight lifters, unite. Peloton is rolling out a new strength training product.


    Peloton Guide is a camera that plugs into TVs to monitor your strength workouts, and it comes bundled with the company's Heart Rate Band. Together, the devices will cost $495 and will launch in the U.S. and Canada in early 2022.

    SEE ALSO: The best fitness trackers for keeping up with your goals

    In terms of hardware, the camera and heart rate monitor are all you get. Peloton says(Opens in a new tab) users must buy their own equipment, weights, or accessories, while the Guide will provide "clear, expert instruction from Peloton’s world-class Instructors, engaging programming that will keep them motivated, and technology that will help them better understand and complete strength movements."

    By using the Peloton Guide camera system, users can compare their weight-lifting form to the instructor's on screen. Peloton says the Guide uses machine learning to interpret what it sees and provide encouragement and instructions.

    Peloton Guide’s Self Mode lets users choose how to view themselves — for example, in a mirror view next to the instructor. The Body Activity feature displays what muscle groups are being worked and recommends classes based on this information.

    Along with $495 for the equipment, users must also pay $12.99/month for a Peloton Guide membership. If you're already an existing Peloton member, the Guide membership may require an upgrade, but comes at no extra cost.

    While the Guide does have a camera and microphone, Peloton says members will have full control over their privacy, with physical controls to turn off the mic and cover the camera as well as the ability to put the device to sleep.

    The new product release comes as Peloton is seeing waning interest in its existing bikes and treadmills. According to CNBC(Opens in a new tab), Peloton recently enacted a hiring freeze in order to cut costs associated with "sluggish revenue and user growth."

    Explore related content:

    • These are the best online yoga platforms for practicing at home

    • The best workout equipment for building a home gym

    • The best workout apps for exercising at home

  • GoFundMe blasts Congress inaction on COVID relief by sharing stories of people in need

    GoFundMe blasts Congress inaction on COVID relief by sharing stories of people in need

    Even GoFundMe thinks that people shouldn't have to depend on GoFundMe during the pandemic.


    The crowdfunding platform has launched a new campaign to highlight the economic impact of COVID — and put a spotlight on how congressional gridlock has failed people in need.

    Every day, GoFundMe will share with its millions of followers on its social platforms the story and GoFundMe campaign of a family or individual struggling to make rent or pay the bills. It'll keep doing so until Congress passes a relief package — lawmakers have been deadlocked(Opens in a new tab) on the issue for months, and key protections like eviction moratoriums are set to run out soon.

    The campaign is an explicit message to Congress to do something, now.

    During the pandemic, GoFundMe says(Opens in a new tab) that there were so many people starting campaigns to ask friends, family, and strangers for help that the platform created a whole new category(Opens in a new tab): "Financial emergency help."

    GoFundMe has spoken out before on the precarious situations of people who turn to crowdfunding in desperation. In the realm of healthcare, GoFundMe's CEO has said(Opens in a new tab) that the number of campaigns to pay for medical bills reveal the 'gigantic gaps' in the system itself. While it's warm and fuzzy to see a community rally around a person in need in an online crowdfunding campaign, that's not the way the system should work.

    Then again, GoFundMe takes(Opens in a new tab) a 2.9% cut plus 30 cent fee for every donation. So while the CEO's words, and this recent campaign, certainly look good, let's not forget they're making money out of the crisis too.

  • How to verify your Tinder profile

    How to verify your Tinder profile

    We might not be able to help you get that coveted blue tick on Twitter, but we can get you verified on Tinder. And you'll be pleased to know, it's actually very straightforward.


    So, what exactly does it mean to be 'verified' on Tinder?

    Photo verification on the dating app is basically a security feature that allows you to self-authenticate and declare you are who you say you are. So being 'verified' helps to weed out fake profiles and catfishers so people can safely crack on with matching with someone they fancy.

    How does it work? Swipers take a series of real-time posed selfies which are then compared to existing profile photos using human-assisted AI technology.

    How do you know when someone's profile is verified? That's easy — you'll see a trusty blue tick after the name and age of the person in your feed while you're swiping.

    Now, let's get your profile verified.

    How to verify your Tinder profile

    1. Open the Tinder app and tap the profile icon.

    2. Tap the grey tick next to your name and age.

    3. Hit continue when the prompt entitled "Get verified" appears.

    Credit: screenshot: rachel thompson / tinder

    4. You'll be shown a pose and then be asked to copy that pose by taking a selfie.

    5. Next, confirm that your selfie matches the pose and click "Submit for review."

    6. Repeat those last two steps one more time.

    SEE ALSO: Should dating apps have non-monogamy filters? It's complicated.

    Now go forth and enjoy your blue tick!

    Related Video: We asked over 1,000 people about their post-COVID dating plans

  • Instagram has temporarily suspended Ye, aka Kanye West

    Instagram has temporarily suspended Ye, aka Kanye West

    Ye, the rapper formerly known as Kanye West, has been suspended from Instagram for 24 hours. Several of his posts have also reportedly been removed(Opens in a new tab).


    First reported by TMZ(Opens in a new tab), Ye's temporary suspension is apparently due to violations of Instagram's policies on bullying, harassment, and hate speech. Ye had been using his account to post(Opens in a new tab) attacks(Opens in a new tab) on his former wife Kim Kardashian, her current partner Pete Davidson, and most recently Daily Show host Trevor Noah, who weighed in on Ye's concerning behaviour during Tuesday's episode(Opens in a new tab).

    Suspended accounts are prohibited from posting, commenting, or sending direct messages on Instagram.

    SEE ALSO: Pete Davidson will blast into space for free on Jeff Bezos' rocket

    Aside from posting numerous negative comments about these people on Instagram, Ye also recently used the platform to share the music video for his single "Eazy", which included a claymation rendition of himself apparently kidnapping and decapitating a claymation caricature of Davidson. According to text message screenshots previously posted on Ye's Instagram account, Kardashian had expressed concern that his rhetoric could prompt a fan to harm Davidson(Opens in a new tab).

    "We remove content that contains credible threats(Opens in a new tab) or hate speech(Opens in a new tab), content that targets private individuals to degrade or shame them(Opens in a new tab), personal information meant to blackmail or harass someone, and repeated unwanted messages," Instagram's Community Guidelines(Opens in a new tab) read.

    Even so, the bar generally sits slightly higher when it comes to public figures. Instagram notes that it typically allows "stronger conversation" concerning celebrities "due to their profession or chosen activities." Several posts deriding Davidson remain on Ye's Instagram(Opens in a new tab), though at least one post about Noah which contained a slur has reportedly been removed.

    Mashable has reached out to Meta for comment.

  • 12 single TV characters wholl always have a place in our hearts

    12 single TV characters wholl always have a place in our hearts

    In Party for One, Mashable explores single life in 2020, from Carly Rae Jepsen’s iconic single anthems, to the beauty of alone time, and the fascinating history behind the single positivity movement.


    Sometimes being single is a journey and sometimes it's a destination. For a long time, the untold rule of storytelling was that characters find a happy ending when they all end up married. So it was with Shakespeare and so it was with Parks and Recreation, and almost everything in between.

    But in recent years, television in particular has warmed to the notion of a character who actually ends up single at series' end. They might not all stay that way forever, but there's immeasurable value in seeing lovable characters who are single at crucial junctures in life — at points that feel like endings, but might just be the beginning.

    Here are some of our favorite single TV characters. And yes, since this is about their overarching journeys and series finales — expect spoilers.

    Rebecca Bunch, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend

    Though the final moments of Crazy Ex-Girlfriend hint that Rebecca hasn't closed the book on all her exes (maybe it just looks that way because we're #TeamNathaniel), nothing could have been healthier than for this romance-obsessed character to unpack her turbulent history with men and focus inward. In the final season, she prioritized living with mental illness and creating a life free of old triggers and patterns. It's probably not the best that she hangs out with all her exes in West Covina, but it's a far cry from the law offices in New York where she started — and when she couldn't even remember the last time she was happy.

    Sansa Stark, Game of Thrones

    Via Giphy(opens in a new tab)(Opens in a new tab)

    Sansa Stark is a name now synonymous with powerful and even ruthless feminine leadership, but it wasn't always that way. We remember the innocent girl from Winterfell who dreamed of marrying a prince, and then watched in horror as the cruel world of Westeros destroyed that dream day by day. Sansa may be an iconic character, but she suffered horrific abuse that no person should experience, some of it gratuitous material added to the show.(Opens in a new tab)

    Still, Sansa emerged a wolf among kittens, her steely resolve the leadership Westeros craved when Jon Snow was still moping around telling anyone who'd listen that he didn't want the job. It would have been disrespectful to Sansa's growth and journey to happily marry her off in some disingenuous eleventh-hour coupling, and given the general irresponsibility of Thrones' final season and treatment of female characters, we're glad this ended up the way it did.

    Alexis Rose, Schitt's Creek

    Via Giphy(opens in a new tab)(Opens in a new tab)

    You may have blocked out Schitt's Creek's final season breakup because there is simply no pain in this world like seeing the characters on that show suffer, but Alexis and lovable vet Ted did not end up together. They loved each other, they wanted to be together, but the timing simply wasn't right.

    Watching Alexis and the rest of the Rose family mature is one of the foremost joys of Schitt's Creek, but that doesn't make the decision she and Ted come to any less devastating. Still, it's extremely mature, and not something she could have done a few years previously (recall that past Alexis dumped Ted and pursued empty lust for Mutt, so, yeah). We hope they'll find their way back to each other one day, or to other partners that make more sense later in life. For now, we're proud of these two for making a tough call and with Alexis for trusting her gut and her family.

    SEE ALSO: I've become a Boyfriend Girl and I don't know what to do about it

    Fleabag, Fleabag

    Via Giphy(opens in a new tab)(Opens in a new tab)

    While many of the characters on this list will probably find romantic love one day, the unnamed protagonist of Fleabag has never been one to conform. At the start of Phoebe Waller-Bridge's seminal comedy series, its antiheroine is a one-woman force of spectacular self sabotage. She's recovering from her best friend's death, a messy affair that ties back to Fleabag's own relationship with sex, and her emotions are so numb that she barely bats an eye at her longterm boyfriend's final departure.

    In Season 2, Fleabag has a better handle on sex, but the guilt about Boo stays with her. She cautiously and then fiercely falls in love, but the Priest's ultimate unavailability speaks to how Fleabag still doesn't believe she deserves happiness. She is drawn to complication, to challenges, to mess, and while her love for the Priest may pass, her demons may well linger. It's both a heartbreaking and inspiring emotional journey no matter how many times we watch it, but seeing an arc like Fleabag's on mainstream television is critical for audiences to feel seen and valid.

    Tahani and Jason, The Good Place

    Via Giphy(opens in a new tab)(Opens in a new tab)

    None of The Good Place's core characters are perfect people, and we watched for four seasons as they slowly learned what makes a good and fulfilling life — a life unlike those they led when we first met them. Eleanor and Chidi may have spent the bulk of their existence together, but they were the only ones. Couples often pair off and ride into the sunset at the end of creator Mike Schur's TV shows, but Tahani and Jason — once paired together as alleged soulmates — found fulfillment in the Good Place they built together, and the friends they made along the way.

    Abbi and Ilana, Broad City

    Via Giphy(opens in a new tab)(Opens in a new tab)

    If any show was going to embrace singledom with the energy we need in the 21st century, it was Abbi Jacobson and Ilana Glazer's Broad City. This was always a show about the beautiful friendship between its titular broads, and in the end that was the only thing we needed to see holding strong as they moved into their separate futures.

    Where other characters on this list have prioritized romantic love at different times, Abbi and Ilana always kept it secondary to great sex, smoking weed, and nonstop New York adventures shared with a lifelong bestie.

    SEE ALSO: The weirdest year of my life made me fall in love with alone time

    Joey Tribbiani, Friends

    Via Giphy(opens in a new tab)(Opens in a new tab)

    It feels both exceedingly on-brand and deeply bittersweet that the flirtiest Friend would be the only one still single at series' end. Joey is the group's de facto playboy, but his emotional arc is all about the steadiest relationships in his life: The five people he keeps close. For Joey, romantic partnership were never a source of emotional intimacy, but the platonic companions in his life were always there for him — and then some. Here's hoping Chandler and Monica kept that room over the garage ready for him.

    Tracey, Chewing Gum

    Via Giphy(opens in a new tab)(Opens in a new tab)

    Back in 2015 Michaela Coel introduced us to Tracey, a mid-twenties shop assistant from a religious upbringing who starts the show on a desperate mission to have sex for the first time.

    As you can probably guess, things don't go to plan — but over the course of two seasons navigating friendships, relationships, and the often tricky ground between the two, Tracey learns plenty about both life and herself. And she's always happy to share her amusing insights with us directly, via a quick aside to the camera.

    Thomas Barrow, Downton Abbey

    Via Giphy(opens in a new tab)(Opens in a new tab)

    Contextually, there are a number of reasons why Thomas is one of the only characters not married apropos of nothing by the end of Downton Abbey (looking at you, friends-with-benefits Carson and Hughes). For one, he's a gay man in the early 20th-century, when living a happy and open life was all but unthinkable.

    Too many queer characters in fiction end up facing tragic circumstances and not being able to live with love, but Thomas also did plenty of downright evil things in the show's early seasons. By the time things were ending, he was a changed man, and his journey was about self-love and redemption above all else.

    However, we maintain that in the movie he deserved to eat ass.

    SEE ALSO: Carly Rae Jepsen's single anthems shine among her love-heavy discography

    Rory Gilmore, Gilmore Girls

    Via Giphy(opens in a new tab)(Opens in a new tab)

    Gilmore Girls ended not once but twice with Rory in romantic limbo; first in Season 7, when she was no longer dating Logan and set off on the campaign trail with Barack Obama, and then again after the 2016 revival which saw her running into all her significant exes and also having sex with a wookie (as far as we know, this is the father of her child).

    The revival gave off strong Team Jess vibes throughout, reviving the couple's old chemistry and the fact that they're still pals all these years later, now that Jess is more mature and Rory's mom is still dating his uncle. There's a genuine affection there, the kind that makes for steadfast relationships way more than the physical attraction of their youth ever could. But Jess still doesn't feel ready or worthy of Rory, and when we left things off he had decided to keep things as they were. Once again, Rory is living the single life, and on-track to being a very cool single mom just like Lorelai. It's not a bad act to follow.

    Related Video: What to binge on the best 30-day free trials

  • Trying Dry January? What to know about apps that claim to help.

    Trying Dry January? What to know about apps that claim to help.

    On New Year’s Day, many people will kick off Dry January, when they’ll try to go a month without consuming alcohol, or at least drinking less.


    As we've done with many things this pandemic year, including talking to friends and working, many are turning to apps and online tools for help.

    Search “Dry January” in the Apple App Store, and you’ll get half a dozen apps that say they can help. Related searches for “reduce drinking” or “drink less” will bring up several more. But not every app is created equal.

    Some apps have been developed by health organizations that rely on science-backed practices. Others come from unknown developers with language or techniques that can discourage someone who is trying to change their relationship with alcohol.

    “It’s not just the fact that this app doesn’t help them stop drinking,” David Crane, a tech worker-turned behavioral science and health researcher, who has studied the efficacy of drinking reduction apps, said. “If this person thinks ‘I can’t stop drinking, this app was really great, I’m the thing that’s at fault’ — which is a false assumption — then it may take them ages before they make another attempt.”

    If you are considering doing Dry January with the help of your smartphone, there are a few things —especially in a pandemic year when depression, anxiety, and substance use is on the rise(Opens in a new tab) — you should know.

    Who Dry January is (and isn’t) for

    The first is that Dry January isn’t for everybody. Alcohol Use Disorder(Opens in a new tab) is what’s known as a “spectrum disorder,” which means it can range from mild to severe (you can learn more about that here(Opens in a new tab)). First and foremost, people with a severe alcohol use disorder should not quit alcohol without the help of a professional, because alcohol withdrawal can have serious consequences, including death.

    For the rest of the population, there are a range of uses, benefits, and even downsides of Dry January. The British organization Alcohol Change UK(Opens in a new tab), which runs a national Dry January campaign, has undertaken studies(Opens in a new tab) that show a host of health benefits — from weight loss to reduced drinking down the line — related to quitting alcohol for just 30 days. For people who may or may not fall on the alcohol use disorder spectrum, experts see it as a way to reflect and reset.

    “There are a lot of benefits from taking a break from alcohol,” Dr. George Koob, the director of the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism(Opens in a new tab), said. “If it's done wisely, it gives you a chance to evaluate your relationship with alcohol and cultivate other ways of relaxing and socializing coping.”

    SEE ALSO: Brain-juicing mocktails want to give the sober-curious a buzz. But where's the science?

    However, if sustainable behavior change is the goal, cutting something out entirely might not be the way to go for everyone.

    “These temporary programs need to be used with caution,” Nir Eyal, the author of Indistractable(Opens in a new tab) and former Stanford University lecturer in behavioral design, said. “The problem is, if it’s about abstinence, and restriction, and sacrifice — like oh it's gonna be so hard to ‘give up drinking,’ like I’m denying myself — you're gonna bounce back like a rubber band.”

    Instead, Eyal recommends a more gradual approach to behavior change. That theory is reflected in the recent trend of “Dry-ish January,” in which people pledge to reduce, not abstain.

    That brings us to the first thing to consider when looking at alcohol behavior change apps: What is your goal?

    Dry vs. Dry-ish

    People participate in Dry January for different reasons, including to lose weight or re-examine their relationship with alcohol. Some want to experiment by cutting back on alcohol rather than quitting it entirely.

    This trend, also called “Moist January” (sorry), is an area where apps have a lot of potential.

    “Without technology, previous solutions have been all or nothing,” Eyal said. “Like, I’m either out of control, or sober. And I think what app-enabled technologies now allow us to do is allow people to moderate their use in ways that weren't really possible because we didn't have that instant connection in the same way that we do now.”

    Multiple apps fall into the category of drink trackers. If you’re not drinking at all, this is a fairly useless feature. But becoming more conscious of the amount you drink is an important first step to reduction, if that is your goal. In a 2015 study(Opens in a new tab) of alcohol behavior change apps, Crane said that he and his co-researchers found that “the things that seemed to work best are things such as self monitoring, and feedback. Even just noticing or even just thinking about alcohol consuming, typically reduces the amount that you drink.”

    Apps, of course, aren’t the only way to begin tracking and moderating. Koob recommends exploring the NIAAA’s “Rethinking Drinking” portal(Opens in a new tab), which contains resources and tips for understanding your own level of alcohol use, and for cutting back. That includes strategies for tracking and goal setting, but also guides users on where to find additional support, whether from a physician or a group.

    What apps can do is automate some of the tracking process, and provide instantaneous feedback. They can help users visualize their success, like with calculations of the amount of money saved by not drinking, and calendars marked with days, weeks, or months where users stuck to their goal.

    Crane designed an app called Drink Less(Opens in a new tab) that emphasizes this strategy and other behavior change techniques (unfortunately, it’s a UK-based app and is not available in the U.S.). Eyal recently invested in a “mindful drinking” app called Cutback Coach(Opens in a new tab), in which users track their alcohol consumption by texting a bot the emoji of their drink, when they have it.

    Eyal says the app has potential because when it's easier to track drinks, it's easier to pay attention to how much you're drinking.

    And while maybe not with emoji, most other drinking reduction apps help users track their drinks. Some highly rated ones, according to app store reviews, are Drink Control(Opens in a new tab), Drinker’s Helper(Opens in a new tab), DrinkCoach+(Opens in a new tab), and Less(Opens in a new tab).

    “Backed by science”

    Experts say reviews that let you see what works for other people are one of the best ways to select a quality drinking reduction or cessation app.

    “I have to give the trite advice of ‘check the reviews,’” Eyal said. “Unfortunately we don’t have much more than that, at this point. I wish we did.”

    That’s because there is not a wide variety of apps to choose from, nor is there an independent, trusted source that rates the quality and efficacy of apps. Experts say Google and Apple need to do more to prevent people from “wasting their time and damaging their self confidence” with poorly designed apps on their platforms, Crane said.

    Prior research has shown that the scientific quality(Opens in a new tab) and effectiveness(Opens in a new tab) of these apps can vary widely.

    “There are a whole herd of studies now on the effectiveness of what you call e-interventions and and utilization of apps for alcohol reduction,” Koob said. “Most of them show some benefit in about 60 percent(Opens in a new tab) of them but, but by no means, you know, is it overwhelming at this point.”

    However, there are some things you can look for.

    SEE ALSO: So many health and wellness apps haven't done research to back up their claims

    Most important is whether the app explicitly contains references to evidence-backed behavior change methods, something that Less, Drinker’s Helper, and Alcohol Change UK’s app, Try Dry(Opens in a new tab), do in their app store and website descriptions.

    Of course, as Eyal said, “anybody can say ‘backed by science’” — the app stores don’t require proof of these claims. But Crane says that it can still be a powerful indicator.

    “There's been a ton of research on how to help people go without alcohol,” Crane said. “There's been some really, really smart people who devote careers to this, and the answers they’ve come up with can help change behavior. So the apps that look to that, that go ‘this is what the smart people say, and we’re going to interpret it for you, our job is to package it in a form that you like using’ are the ones that people should trust more.”

    While looking for keywords such as “science” or “evidence-backed” is important, you should also consider the app maker. Try Dry doesn’t have the best reviews, but it does come from the official charity that runs the Dry January health campaign in the UK. Drinker’s Helper and Less are both made by companies with extensive and informative websites. Less’s maker, Big Sky Health, has leadership with medical expertise. Drinker’s Helper says it’s “an app built by people who quit drinking to help others stop drinking alcohol or moderate their drinking.” In contrast, many of the other apps are made by individuals or app-contracting companies. As ever, consider the source.

    Other features to look for

    Once you’ve checked for evidence-based methods, and decided the app makers aren’t sketchy, selecting the right app comes down to your personal preferences and goals. The basic features most of these apps include are: positive feedback (like how much money you’ve saved), drink tracking (if you’re looking to cut down, not quit), and tracking sober days. But some apps go beyond.

    For example, Less taps its expert panel to provide articles and other content to support your goals. Drinker’s Helper has mindfulness exercises and virtual, anonymous support groups. Unfortunately, those Drinker’s Helper features only come with a premium subscription, which is another thing to look out for: What does the app cost?

    Most of these apps are free, but as with Drinker’s Helper, some have subscription tiers. The DrinkCoach+ app is free, but its unique service — which is connecting users with professional, trained alcohol reduction coaches over video chat — costs £55 per session.

    There are also apps with fewer bells and whistles. Sobriety Tracker(Opens in a new tab) counts sobriety (of any kind — the user can specify what they’re abstaining from) down to the second. It also has a community forum.

    Mostly, if you’re looking for an app to help with Dry January, Dry-ish January, or to moderate or stop drinking long term (in which case you may want to seek professional help), the process will likely be one of trial and error. Whether for weight loss reasons or to change your relationship with alcohol, you should know that the “error” part is more than OK.

    Which is why Crane’s advice boils down to “if at first you don’t succeed, try again.”

    “You've got to understand that this usually takes multiple attempts,” Crane said. “Hardly anybody gets it the first time, and there isn't really a lot of benefit to getting your first time anyway. You kind of want to go this a few times so you can learn the lessons, and then use those lessons for other health behavior changes you want to make. Use this as a springboard, take your time, and keep going.”

    If you are struggling with alcohol, you can find help by visiting the website of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration(Opens in a new tab) or by calling the National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357).

  • Spotify Pie is the latest viral website that analyzes your Spotify data

    Spotify Pie is the latest viral website that analyzes your Spotify data

    If there's one thing we know about social media users, it's that they're always down to share what music they've been listening to. But with the most viral music sharing event, Spotify Wrapped, still six months away, they've turned to a new website, "Spotify Pie."(Opens in a new tab)


    What is the Spotify Pie Chart?

    Spotify Pie analyzes your Spotify listening and organizes it into a highly sharable pie chart of all the genres you've listened to in the last month. The website doesn't just reveal your most listened to genres but also lists your top artists of the month below the colorful chart. The website was created by UCLA student Darren Huang and the clever tagline reads, "Bake your monthly genre pie."

    SEE ALSO: Look to sound quality and battery life when shopping for new headphones

    Spotify Pie takes advantage of how Spotify categorizes each song into very specific genres. My personal pie featured everything from "metropopolis" to "deep underground hip hop" to "boyband."

    So many genres! Credit: Spotify Pie
    Taste! Credit: Spotify Pie

    Twitter users have been sharing their pies like nobody's business calling out their most obscure genres and judging others' top artists.

    How to get your Spotify Pie

    To use Spotify Pie you have to allow it to access your Spotify data, so if that's not something you're comfortable with, sit this one out.

    If you're OK with sharing your data, here's how to use Spotify Pie: Head to the website(Opens in a new tab), log in to your Spotify account, and agree to share your data with the website. And voila there's your big pizza pie!

  • Scammers spoof Amazon Prime Video and trick users into paying fake fees

    Scammers spoof Amazon Prime Video and trick users into paying fake fees

    We all know those dreaded streaming app screens that pop up on our smart TVs just when we get comfortable on the couch, ready to watch that new latest release.


    Perhaps it's an activation screen for that newly downloaded streaming app. Or maybe it's that dastardly prompt that lets you know the app has internet connection issues. All of us can agree those screens are annoying. However, they're also turning out to be quite lucrative for scammers.

    SEE ALSO: Beware the QR code scams
    The Amazon TV prompt that appeared for the victim in our report. Credit: Mashable

    Mashable spoke to a victim of this scheme who was recently scammed out of $700. The individual was simply trying to get Amazon Prime Video service to load on their smart TV when they received a prompt about an "Internet Connectivity Problem."

    If you experience a message like this on your smart TV and simply restarting your modem doesn't fix the issue, Amazon's on-screen prompt recommends going to in a new tab) for additional troubleshooting tips. If the user inputs that URL directly into their web browser, they are forwarded to an official Amazon support page.

    However, not all users do that. Many people input URLs as a search query in Google, which gives scammers their opening. The only thing bad actors need to do is create a fake web page that looks convincingly like Amazon and its Prime Video service, optimize them so these fraudulent pages appear high in search engine results pages. Now they're ready to extract money from their targets.

    In this particular example, the victim who reached out to Mashable explained that they input the real Amazon URL into Google search and then clicked on a page found at "" The main website found at "" purports to be a website development service. However, that one URL found in Google search looks much different from the rest of the website. 

    The scammer's fake Prime Video activation page. Credit: Mashable Screenshot

    "Register your compatible TV or devices," reads the page. "Enter the code shown on your TV or device to register it with your Prime account."

    From here, there are two possible paths where users could be scammed.

    For the victim dealing with a separate "internet connectivity" issue, there's also a 1-888 number at the top of the page posing as an Amazon support contact. However, if you were to continue and input a code, users would be forwarded to a page reading "Congratulations! Click here to activate Prime." The page uses Amazon graphics, but if you were to look at the URL, you'd see that the user was forwarded to yet another website located at ""

    The prompt on the fake Amazon Prime Video page when inputting your code. Credit: Mashable Screenshot

    Clicking "Activate Prime forwards the user to a request to call yet another 1-888 number labeled as "Prime Support" for "account validation."

    In both scenarios, the scammers are pushing the user to call a toll-free number disguised as Amazon Prime support. Once the victim called the support number, they were told they needed to subscribe to a new plan in order to activate their Prime Video on their television. The scammer convinces the victim to subscribe to a $699 lifetime plan, a plan which Amazon itself does not offer. The victim pays the scammer via PayPal. According to the victim, the email attached to the scam is "[email protected]"

    The final request from the scammer's page: call them. Credit: Mashable Screenshot

    Once the victim sees that their payment does not fix their issue, they contacted PayPal and their credit card company, finally realizing they were scammed. The scammers even called the victim back and attempted to convince them that their service was legitimate. (Note: It is not.)

    Mashable previously covered a similar scam that was targeting YouTube users who were trying to activate their account on a smart TV. Scammers would create fake pages that spoofed the Google activation site. Many times, they would use the company's own free website creator, Google Sites, as these often rank well in Google's search engine and appear legitimate to unsuspecting victims as "Google" appears in the web address.

    An example of a page made with Google Sites being used in this scam. Credit: Mashable Screenshot

    A quick Google search using keywords similar to the customer service URL Amazon pulled up a scam website spoofing Amazon that was using a Google Sites page. This website also asks a user to input a TV activation code, however this time utilizing Google Forms to get the information. Upon submitting the TV activation code, the user is told that they are "temporarily" locked out of their account and need to call the provided toll-free number to contact Amazon.

    Scammer's are even using Google Forms to carry out their fraud. Credit: Mashable Screenshot

    If you are someone who fell for this scam and gave these scammers your TV activation code, don't worry. There's nothing they can do with that information. The part where they ask for your code is simply an effort to legitimize their website. No matter what code you give, the website is set up to tell you that there's been some sort of error and you need to call the number.

    Once you're on the phone, that's when the scammers use social engineering to trick their victims into paying them to fix or activate their account.

    Streaming service users should beware of this scam as its clear fraudsters are diversifying which platforms to bring into their scheme. Always input the company's URL directly into the web browser and be sure you are on an official website before calling a phone number that's provided. For now, this scam requires that a potential victim pick up the phone and call the scammer. By following these simple best practices, you'll basically become immune to this particular scam.

  • BeReal is testing teachers with its daily notification

    BeReal is testing teachers with its daily notification

    When the BeReal bell rings during class, what happens?


    If you swipe to the "Discover" tab of BeReal — the photo-sharing app that prompts users to share unfiltered pictures once a day — you can see strangers' public posts. Chances are, if you look, you'll find teenager after teenager at school or in class. According to the consumer data platform in a new tab), over 40% of BeReal's 12-and-up iPhone user base in the United States is between 16 and 24 years old. 

    BeReal first started getting attention on college campuses in early 2022 and has since exploded in popularity. According to in a new tab), the photo-sharing app surpassed 10 million downloads in May 2022. By the time class was back in session for the 2022-2023 school year, BeReal had solidified itself in the social media ecosystem, becoming so mainstream that Saturday Night Live did a sketch about it. 

    SEE ALSO: BeReal is what 'casual Instagram' wants to be

    But the app wasn't immediately on most high school teachers' radars. "We have teacher meetings at the beginning of the year, but they weren't like 'here's the cell phone policy, make sure you look out for BeReal because kids are going to be really distracted by this notification,'" shared 30-year-old Andrew Koons, a science teacher at a high school in Vienna, Virginia. "Most of my colleagues are older than me, and that's not something they're thinking about."

    BeReal is designed to be more authentic than traditional social media, though whether it actually is is up for debate. It sends out a push notification once a day and gives users a two-minute window to post one photo of themselves and what they're doing, using their phone's front and back cameras. While you can post after the two-minute window, you can't view other people's posts until you post, and the app advertises how late you took your BeReal.

    The pressure to post your BeReal on time poses a unique challenge to teachers whose students want to use the app as intended. Because the notification goes off at a different time every day, it's also a game of chance. Natasha Lelchuk, a 29-year-old who teaches ninth and tenth grade English in South El Monte, California, has been lucky so far. "[BeReal] hasn't been particularly disruptive. I have BeReal on my phone too, and I haven't seen the notification go off during the school day very often," Lelchuk tells Mashable. "I don't see kids constantly pulling out their phones to take a BeReal." Lelchuk's school has a no-phones-in-class policy, but it varies teacher to teacher. Lelchuk enforces a no-phone policy with her freshmen, but is more lenient with her sophomore honors English students.

    As the app has become more popular, its purpose has evolved. Now some people ignore the time constraints and post only when they're doing something cool, and then re-post their favorite BeReals on other social media platforms, like TikTok and Instagram. A culture of getting unwitting people(Opens in a new tab) to take your BeReal has also developed. Users ask strangers to take their photo without the stranger knowing that they too will be photographed. 

    SEE ALSO: BeReal promised authenticity online. That doesn't exist.

    The combination of the app's popularity among teenagers, its immediacy, and the desire to get clueless older people involved would seem to indicate that the app would be disruptive in the classroom. However, many schools haven't run into problems thanks to their strict phone policies, which include phones being kept out of sight on campus or in the classroom, or collected before each class. Mariam Omar is an on-site substitute teacher at one such high school in Los Angeles, California. "My school has a strict no-phone policy, so BeReal hasn't been an issue," Omar told Mashable.

    Even then, BeReal notifications can disrupt class. "Our school has a policy that phones are collected at the beginning of class, but students will get the notification on their Apple Watches sometimes and panic about missing it," Marina Francis, a 22-year-old high school teacher in Los Angeles, California, told Mashable. But compared with other apps that bombard users with notifications all day, BeReal isn't as distracting. And sometimes, if the notification goes off on Friday, Francis will indulge her students and let them take their BeReal during class.

    Virginia teacher Koons made the game-time decision to allow his AP Environmental Science students to take their BeReals during class. "During maybe the second week of school, the BeReal notification went off, and I decided that it's not something that I'm going to get really stressed about," Koons told Mashable. His school's policy is that phones should be out of sight unless they are being used for class. "I made an exception for BeReal, because in my mind, it's two minutes of distracted time. It's not like someone is going to take their BeReal, and then 45 minutes later, another student is going to make a big deal about BeReal again."

    BeReal hadn't been discussed in an official capacity at the schools of any of the teachers Mashable spoke to. "There has been some chatter among other teachers, but I'm the youngest teacher on campus, so I might be the only one who actually uses it," explained Francis. "Some are confused about what it is. It hasn't really been all that much of an issue on campus, though, because of the collecting phones policy." Lelchuk similarly bets that 85 percent of her colleagues don't know what BeReal is. 

    By and large, BeReal gets an A in the books of the teachers Mashable spoke to. Koons sees in-class BeReals as a way for his students to connect what they're learning in the classroom with something that's important to them: social media. "If they share a discussion or lab that we're doing in AP Environmental Science or biology, I don't necessarily see that as a bad thing," said Koons. The culture of having an outsider take your BeReal has also brought students and teachers together. Koons, Francis, and Lelchuk had all been asked by their students to be in their BeReals and obliged. "One of my students told me that she felt like she bonded with me through it because I let her take a BeReal with me," shared Lelchuk.