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Let’s take a look at the best alternative to Google Bard Ai chatbot.
Google Bard is a new generative AI bot launched by Google. Currently, Google’s Bard is available to US and UK residents only. Google has released its beta version for limited users in these two countries.
Residents of other countries will have to wait until Google rolls out the fully-developed version in the upcoming months. After its worldwide release, Google’s Bard will be accessible to every user.
But should you wait until then?
Of course not!
There are similar free and paid platforms already available on the internet. So, check the Google Bard alternatives as you wait for Bard to be officially available in your country.
Brief Overview of Google Bard
Google Bard is an AI bot developed using Large Language Model (LLM) and Language Model for Dialogue Applications (LaDM). Google unveiled this project last month and has made the beta version accessible in the United States and the United Kingdom. Residents of these countries can test this platform by applying through the waiting list.
Google’s Bard can perform various tasks such as writing content, interacting with humans, brainstorming ideas, writing codes, etc. The platform is trained using extensive resources to provide accurate responses in conversational language.
Importance of Alternatives
It is vital to have an alternative for everything, be it an app, software, or anything else. Alternatives give you options to choose from while making a decision. If you keep using one thing for every purpose, it will limit your capacity to do things. So, alternatives give you a variety of options.
If you are stuck in a situation or decision, having alternative options can solve your issues faster. Alternatives give you flexibility allowing you to adapt to different circumstances.
Top Paid Google Bard Alternatives
Though Google has not released much information about Bard, the platform is a close competitor to several apps already available. Here are a few paid alternatives to Google Bard.
Microsoft has recently added AI-functionalities to its Bing Search Engine. This enables the platform to provide Bing search results and AI-generated responses.
Like Google Bard, Microsoft’s Bing Chat can perform various tasks such as interacting with humans, writing texts or codes, etc. It is trained using extensive databases to provide human-like responses accurately.
Bing Chat is available to users worldwide, but you must join the waitlist to access it.
ChatGPT is another AI-powered chatbot released by Open AI. It is trained using GPT-3 to perform various tasks like writing content, codes, lyrics, recipes, etc. It can solve maths problems and even chat with humans.
ChatGPT is amongst the top Google Bard alternatives since it provides impressive features. The platform is available for free to all users. However, it has a paid plan, ChatGPT Plus, that gives access to GPT-4 and other features not included in the free version.
ChatSonic is an AI-powered writing tool that can be used for several writing purposes. You can use it to write blog posts, landing pages, marketing copies, etc. It can also understand voice commands and respond to them accordingly.
ChatSonic integrates with the Google Search Engine to provide updated and accurate content. You can use the platform for free upto 6250 words. Then it costs $12.70 per month.
You can access YouChat by visiting the Chat section on YouChat’s website.
Best Free Alternatives to Google Bard
In addition to the paid alternatives mentioned above, several free Google Bard alternatives are available. Here are the free alternatives to Google Bard:
OpenAI GPT-3 Playground
OpenAI GPT-3 Playground is like a demo version of ChatGPT. You can access this platform for free on your mobile device or computer. It can complete sentences or text based on the input you give to it. It can also answer questions like Google’s Bard and other AI bots.
Unlike other Google Bard alternatives mentioned in this guide, Rasa is a framework. This framework uses AI technology to respond to users. Rasa is integrated with chatbots, WhatsApp, Telegram, Facebook, etc. You can also integrate Rasa Framework into your business website.
Also Read – You can also integrate Telegram on ChatGPT or WhatsApp on ChatGPT.
Botpress is another chatbot powered by generative AI. The bot can assist in generating text and interacting with humans in a conversational language. Several businesses integrate Botpress into their business websites to improve their existing chatbots. You can use Botpress as a shopping companion, IT assistant, health bot, etc.
Chatterbot is a python library that generates automated responses to users’ input. It produces various responses using machine learning algorithms. It selects and returns the closest appropriate response matching the input whenever you enter an input.
This Bard alternative is an excellent option for using a chatbot on your computer.
Factors to Consider When Choosing an Alternative
You will find hundreds of alternatives for every application or tool. However, you cannot use all alternatives or pick a random one. You have to consider several factors while choosing an alternative. Some factors to keep in mind are:
What are your goals and needs? Understand what task you want the alternative to fulfill. This will make it easy for you to choose one alternative amongst many.
Consider the price of the alternative you want to choose. See if the alternative is less pricey or costlier than the other options. You can also compare the prices of all alternatives before settling for one.
Check if the alternative is readily available or easily accessible.
See what features each alternative offers. You can then select the one that suits your requirements the best.
Check the reviews of the alternatives you are considering. Are they better or worse compared to the current option?
Google Bard is currently available to UK and US users. If you are waiting for the platform to release in your country, you can check out the above alternatives. We have listed both free and paid alternatives. You can select the one that meets your requirements and fits your budget.
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Google Bard is now accessible worldwide from its official website. You can immediately start exploring Bard features after creating your Bard account. But do you know how to use Bard effectively?
Bard will generate an output even when you write random prompts in Bard. But if you want the best responses, use the right Bard prompts. When you give clear, concise prompts, Bard generates accurate, sensible, and relevant responses. This might sound too much initially. But worry not!
This guide shares the list of the best Google Bard prompts for everything. You can use these prompts to ask almost any question to Google. That said, let’s begin!
Google Bard Prompts for Marketing
Marketing professionals can use Google Bard to get creative ideas for marketing products or services, write ad scripts, copywriting, or create a marketing plan. Some of the best Google Bard prompts for marketing include the following:
Create a [product launch] plan for the [product] targeting [demographic audience].
Write a content marketing plan to market products in the [industry] focusing on [niche market].
Create a [social media ad] campaign for [product/ service] focussing on [target audience].
Analyze the [competitor name] market campaign and suggest improvements.
Generate a [brand] statement for [company] in the [industry name].
Develop a customer persona for [product/ service] and suggest a marketing strategy.
Plan a [SEO] plan for a [business type] in the [location].
Share inexpensive methods to promote [comapny] with or without social media.
Write a follow-up email for people who attended my webinar last week regarding [webinar topic].
Write a weekly newsletter for [product/ service name].
Suggest YouTube video ideas/ blog post ideas for my company [company name] in the [industry].
Create a Google Ads template for [product/ service] in RSA format. Use multiple headlines and descriptions for A/B testing.
Google Bard Prompts for Business
Google Bard can be an essential tool for business organizations. It can help create marketing content, organize meetings, write emails, or analyze competitors. Here is the Google Bard prompts for Business professionals and organizations.
Develop a business model for a startup in the [industry].
Develop a financial forecast for the [business name] for five years.
What are the growth opportunities for businesses in the [industry]?
Give some cost reduction strategies for [business] facing [challenges].
Analyze the competition for [industry].
Share ideas on how to merge a company in the [industry] looking to expand its presence.
Share a [change management] plan for a company undergoing [organizational change].
Analyze the [SWOT] for [company] and suggest [strategic initiatives].
Create a [corporate social strategy] for a company in the [industry].
Create an action plan to help a startup establish itself as a brand in the [industry].
Create a [content calendar] for a [business] in the [specific industry]
Google Bard Prompts for Writing
Google Bard can be a companion for all writers or bloggers. It can help write content of various types, suggest edits, or review written content. Below are some helpful Google Bard prompts for writers.
Write a blog post for [topic name] for [target audience].
Read the following blog post [blog] and list the grammatical and spelling errors.
Write a video script about [topic] that is engaging and informative, providing key insights and takeaways.
Draft 1000 Word blog post that lists the [top/most useful/best] [resources/tips/tricks] for [topic], providing valuable insights and recommendations.
Write a product review blog post for the [product link].
Write an [email newsletter] for [company] to engage [customer base].
Write a case study for [product/ service] highlighting [customer success].
Read the content of this [link]. Give me a 1000-word detailed blog post similar to the above link. Includes relevant title, subheadings, and conclusion.
Write a blog post that debates the pros and cons of [topic], including valuable insights and perspectives.
Write a motivational blog post for freshers about to begin their careers.
Write a blog post comparing different [products/services] for [the audience], providing insights and recommendations.
Write a blog post featuring success stories about [topic], inspiring and motivating [the audience].
Create an infographic about [topic] that is visually appealing and informative, providing key statistics and insights.
Create an outline for a [novel] and suggest character ideas.
Read the following chapter [text] and summarize it in 150 words.
Google Bard Prompts for Programming/ Web Development
Web developers or programmers can use Google Bard to create programs, debug codes, or explain the program in simple language. Here are sample prompts for programmers.
Write a website redesign plan for the following [website] focusing on the [audience].
Give ideas for [performance improvements] for [website] based on [page speed metrics].
Develop a [responsive design] plan for [company website] to optimize it for mobile users.
Create a website for the [industry] with the following pages:
Sponsored Guest Post opportunities!
Include the following categories:
Develop a [website maintenance] plan for an [business] in the [industry].
Provide [security measures] for a [website] dealing with [sensitive information].
Create a [website migration] plan for [business] switching to a new [platform].
Create a [search functionality] strategy for a [large e-commerce website].
Create a sitemap for an [website] in the industry.
Google Bard Prompts for SEO
SEO professionals can use Google Bard to develop client marketing strategies, audit website SEO, or do keyword research. Below is the list of Google Bard prompts for SEO professionals.
Develop an SEO plan for [business] in the industry at [location].
Research keywords for business in the [industry].
Write an SEO plan for a startup in the [industry].
Analyze the [competitor website] and find helpful keywords to boost my business in the same industry.
Analyze [website] and suggest improvements to boost the website’s ranking.
Google Bard Prompts for Resume
Google Bard is a handy tool for creating a resume. Job seekers can use it to tailor their resume, create it from scratch, modify sections, etc. You can use the following prompts to create your resume with Bard.
Write a cover letter that effectively communicates [specific skill or experience] and aligns with the requirements of a [specific job or position].
Read the following job description [description] and tailor my resume to match the requirements.
Write a resume for a [professional] with two years of experience in [industry].
Review a [ profession or field] resume and provide feedback on its strengths and weaknesses, including suggestions for improvement.
Create a visually appealing resume highlighting the most relevant information for a [profession].
Identify and include relevant accomplishments in a [specific profession or field] resume that highlight the applicant’s skills and experience.
Draft a cover letter using language that aligns with the culture and values of a [specific company or organization].
Review the following resume [resume] and include effective action words highlighting the applicant’s relevant experience and accomplishments.
Write a clear and concise career objective for a [specific profession] resume highlighting [specific skills or experience] and aligning with the requirements of potential employers.
Add a [section] to my resume. Include my work experience information listed as follows [your work experience].
Adobe InDesign is the first name that comes to mind if you are working on digital or print that involves creating publications, posters and print media. Whether you are a professional graphic designer or a production artist or if you are working on image-related projects, Adobe InDesign is the most popular desktop publishing and typesetting software. It is used to create works such as flyers, posters, brochures, magazines, newspapers, books, presentations, and the list goes on. In this article, we round up some of the best free alternative programs to Adobe InDesign that can be used to get your work done on your Windows 11/10 computer.Adobe InDesign Alternatives for Windows
Adobe Indesign comes with a broad range of stunning features that help in creating distinctive designs. However, InDesign costs you a high subscription fee, and it is going to be expensive if you are bound to a tight budget. While Adobe InDesign is the most dominant software when it comes to desktop publishing tool, users can opt for free alternatives to Adobe InDesign if they want to keep the expenses low.1] Scribus
Scribus is an open-source publication software and is the most popular among graphic designers and product artists. This software is one of the best free alternatives to Adobe InDesign which offers an easy user interface and includes all the features required by professional designers like versatile page templates, bitmap formats, spot colors, ICC color management, CMYK colors, and PDF creation. Scribus supports most kinds of files and markup languages like Latex and Lilypond. In Scribus, users can easily recover damaged design files with the help of a text editor. Additionally, it supports PDF export with the format as per industrial standards and also PDF/X-3 specification. Scribus is compatible with Windows, Linux, and MacOS.2] Vivadesigner
Vivadesigner is arguably one of the easy-to-use desktop publishing apps that allow users to create work that involves creating brochures, magazines, flyers, etc. It can be used as both in-browser apps or can be downloaded directly to your desktop. It offers a wide range of templates and design layouts for desktops and browsers. It supports a variety of image formats like EPS, BMP, TIFF, and JPEG and free access to versatile color models like RGB, HSV, and CMYK. Vivadesigner offers both the free version and the premium version. It is compatible with Windows, Linux, and macOS3] Lucidpress
Lucidpress is a web-based publishing tool that offers a wide range of features and tools to create flyers, posters, brochures, magazines, newsletters, books and presentations. It offers a simple drag-and-drop interface which is best suitable for beginners. Lucidpress includes history tracking for your designs that allows you to easily keep track of all the previous changes made to the designs. Additionally, Lucidpress provides a user-friendly platform for collaboration among graphic designers. This web-based publishing tool makes use of AES-256 encryption, and it is completely secure to create your design work. LucidPress is available in both free as well as premium versions.4] Canva
Canva is the most popular graphic design tool for beginners and non-designers. Canva provides an easy-to-use interface for its users to choose from a variety of design visuals, fonts, graphics, and document templates. The users can create an eye-catching infographic for their clients with a simple drag-and-drop user interface. Canva helps its user to create and save a web-ready version of a design product. It is a platform that offers a variety of icons and adders. The Canva graphic design tool is available to use for free to create a graphic design for your work. While most of the features and design templates are available for free, users can still purchase the premium features.5] SpringPublisher 6] Microsoft Office Publisher
Microsoft Office Publisher is a publishing tool handled by InDesign for creating presentations, flyers, brochures, posters, newsletters, calendars, business cards, magazine layouts, leaflets, and so on. It is available in bundled app version included in the higher-end editions of Microsoft Office and is available as a standalone app version as well. The tool is exclusively available in Windows and MacOS. Although it is not free as such, since most of us use Microsoft Office, I have included it in this list.
Let us know which one you prefer.
Best Free VPN for India
“Free VPNs in India come with restrictions. It’s best to invest in a paid VPN subscription, and most VPN providers offer money-back guarantees and free trials so you can test the service without risks.”1) ExpressVPN – Best Overall with Indian Server
With a presence in 94 countries, you can access a variety of virtual and physical servers to bypass restrictions and unblock streaming services. The ExpressVPN application is compatible with different operating systems. You can use it on Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, and iOS devices. There is also a server-level application to protect all your devices, but you can only use the VPN with up to five devices simultaneously.
Besides offering fast connections and unlimited bandwidth, ExpressVPN is one of the safest options. It is one of the best VPN providers that uses AES-250 encryption to protect your anonymity.
ExpressVPN also operates its encrypted DNS servers, and doesn’t save data on hard drives.Features:
24h live chat support.
Split tunneling and inverse split tunneling are supported.
System-level VPN kill switch (Network Lock).
Multiple protocols: Lightway, OpenVPN, L2Tp, and IKEv2.
Get an Indian IP address through virtual servers.Pros
Save with deals and annual plansCons
The interface can feel crowded and hard to navigate
✔️ Lightway Protocol: ExpressVPN uses a unique open-source protocol to deliver safe connections. The Lightway protocol uses a wolfSSL cryptography library to protect your online activities. It offers Fast VPN connection. In early tests, 90% of beta users said the Lightway protocol resulted in a fast connection.
✔️ No-Log Policy: ExpressVPN has a strict no-log policy, and audits have confirmed that this India VPN provider doesn’t record your data. This VPN provided is in the British Virgin Islands, a country that doesn’t belong to any intelligence-sharing programs.
✔️ Dynamic IP Address: ExpressVPN assigns dynamic IP addresses as an additional layer of security. This feature makes your activities harder to track by changing your IP address regularly.
How to Get It Free?
You can sign up for a 30-day free trial that unlocks all the ExpressVPN features and allows you to test the service. You will have to pay initially but you can claim refund anytime within the 30 day period.
30-Day Free Trial2) NordVPN – Best for Protecting Your Privacy
NordVPN is one of the best VPN India provides for users who want to protect their privacy. It’s a reliable VPN provider with a great reputation and transparent policies. You can access over 5,000 physical servers in 59 different countries, with some servers optimized for popular streaming sites for P2P.
Depending on your needs, you can use a dynamic or dedicated IP address, for instance, if you want to access IP-restricted networks. It offers an extra layer of protection by using NordVPN’s double VPN feature. This mode changes your IP address twice to make your online activities harder to track for your Internet service provider and other entities.
NordVPN uses the same AES encryption standard as most VPN providers. It’s an effective solution to protect your data and hide your activities. The client works on Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, and iOS. You can also get a router-level app or download the NordVPN app to protect your PlayStation, Xbox, Chromebook, Firestick, or Raspberry Pi, among other devices. It helps you to protect up to six devices at once.Features:
Fast connection speeds
Simple interface with quick connection options
Built-in DNS leak protection
Onion Over VPN
24/7 customer support
Split tunneling available
App-level kill switch
Protocols include IKEv2/IPSec, OpenVPN, and NordLynxPros
Most servers deliver a fast connection.Cons
Some users report issues with software updates.
✔️ Meshnet is a unique feature that most VPN providers don’t have. Instead of using a VPN server to establish a secure connection, Meshnet allows you to create a VPN tunnel between two devices. You can use this feature to share files privately or create secure LAN parties.
✔️ NordLynx: NordVPN uses the NordLynx protocol to establish fast and secure VPN connections. This protocol relies on Wireguard, a VPN protocol that uses less code compared to options like OpenVPN to optimize speed.
However, Wireguard isn’t as private as other protocols. NordVPN created the NordLynx protocol by adding a Network Address Translation system to make Wireguard safer.
How to Get It Free?
30-Day Free Trial3) AtlasVPN – Best Free VPN
AtlasVPN gives you access to a free VPN service tier. You can also opt for a paid VPN subscription to access hundreds of servers optimized for speed. It also provides servers to optimized to unblock streaming services or share files via P2P applications.Features:
Quick Connection option
750+ servers in 45 different countries
Servers optimized for speed
Split tunneling is available
Protocols: IPSec/IKEV2 and Wireguard
App-level kill switch
Works with Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, iOS, and Smart TvsPros
Advanced configuration options are interesting for experienced usersCons
Some users report technical issues.
✔️ SafeSwap is a noteworthy feature that rotates your IP address while maintaining a stable connection to a single VPN server. However, not all AtlasVPN servers work with this feature, but SafeSwap is a great way to enhance your privacy.
✔️ Multihop: AtlasVPN servers offer a multi-hop feature you can use to tunnel through multiple server locations. This practice makes your traffic harder to track. Multihop+ is a standout feature as it automatically picks the best server locations to optimize your speed.
How to Get It Free?
You can create a free AtlasVPN account and access all the features this VPN provider offers. Note that a premium account will give you access to more servers. You can use the premium service for a limited time thanks to the 30-day money-back guarantee, and you’ll also get three months for free if you purchase a three-year plan.
30-Day Free Trial4) ProtonVPN – Best for Streaming
ProtonVPN is ideal if you want a reliable VPN for unlocking more streaming libraries. It offers servers located in 60 countries and servers optimized for streaming. Depending on your needs and budget, you can choose between a free and paid tier. The free tier gives you access to a limited number of servers with average speed, while the paid plan can unlock speeds of up to 10 Gbps.
ProtonVPN protects your privacy with features like the built-in blocker, AES-256 encryption, and unique encryption keys for each session. This VPN is located in Switzerland, a country with data retention laws, but ProtonVPN Is exempt due to its small size.Features:
Over 1,400 servers are available
App compatible with all the major OS
P2P is available
Split tunneling is available
Protocols: OpenVPN, IKEV2, Wireguard, and Stealth
It offers an app-level kill switchPros
DNS leak protection featureCons
No live chat support
✔️ Tor Over VPN: As a paying ProtonVPN user, you’ll have access to Tor Over VPN. It allows you to route your traffic through a network of secure servers to make your activities harder to track.
✔️ Secure Core Architecture: Before your traffic leaves the ProtonVPN architecture, the VPN provider will route it through its private server network. It helps you to hide your original IP address. Plus, the VPN provider uses full disk encryption to make these servers safer.
✔️ VPN Accelerator: VPN protocols enhance your safety and protect your privacy, but they’re not always optimized for speed and can contain extraneous code. ProtonVPN also optimizes the source code of the VPN protocol in use and improve your speed.
How to Get It Free?
You can create an account on the ProtonVPN website and select the free tier to access this free India VPN service. If you opt for a paid membership, there is a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Lifetime Basic Free Plan5) Private Internet Access – Best for Novice Users with Indian Server
You can subscribe to access servers in 84 different countries, and some servers are as fast as 10 Gbps, which is ideal for streaming or sharing files. You connect up to 10 devices at once.
Private Internet Access won’t limit your bandwidth; you can find apps for Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, consoles, routers, and smart TVs. The built-in antivirus is a plus for staying safe online, and you can get a dedicated IP address if you need one.Features:
Won’t log any usage information
Over 10 years of experience
Standard and inverse split tunneling
Protocols: OpenVPN, IKEv2/IPSec, Wireguard
App-level kill switchPros
A comprehensive third-party audit didn’t reveal any issuesCons
Private Internet Access is a US-based VPN. It’s not as secure and private as other services.
✔️ Multihop: The multihop feature is an interesting option that allows you to route your traffic through two VPN servers. Using an additional VPN server adds an extra step that makes your online activities harder to track.
✔️ RAM-Only Servers: Private Internet Access operates thousands of RAM-only servers around the globe. Because these servers don’t record any data on their hard drives, there are no logs of your requests and activities.
How to Get It Free?
You can purchase a monthly or yearly plan and ask for a refund within 30 days.
30 days money-back guaranteeWhat Is the Data Law Regarding VPNs in India?
There have been efforts to ban VPNs in India in the past. As of 2023, the Indian government allows VPNs as long as they follow strict regulations regarding keeping data logs. India’s Computer Emergency Response Team issued new requirements for VPNs with a presence in India in September 2023:
VPN operators must collect users’ names, email addresses, and IP addresses.
They must store this information for five years, even if a user cancels their account.
VPN services have to hand this information over in cybersecurity investigations.
Using a VPN connection in India remains legal, but Indian-based VPN providers have to meet these strict regulations.
This new law compromises privacy for end users since the VPN service provider has to keep track of their identity.
ExpressVPN has responded to this new measure by shutting down its Indian servers. Users can still get an Indian IP address by using virtual servers.
Other VPN providers have left India to avoid falling under the jurisdiction of this restrictive law. There are also some efforts to challenge this controversial new law in court.Best Free VPN for India Verdict:
If you’re in the market for a free VPN provider, AtlasVPN can be a good option since this VPN provider has a free tier.
However, ExpressVPN remains a better choice. This VPN provider has a true no-log policy and no legal obligations to record any data, thanks to its location in the British Virgin Islands. ExpressVPN is one of the few VPN services with virtual servers that give you access to Indian IP addresses.
We highly recommend signing up for ExpressVPN’s free trial so you can test this service or use a free and secure VPN service for a while.
While Microsoft’s Microsoft HoloLens.Best cheap HoloLens alternatives: Solos
Release date: 2023
Price: $599Best cheap HoloLens alternatives: Merge Holo Cube
If it’s AR on a budget you’re looking for, the Holo Cube could be the way forward. No word on pricing or release date just yet, but expect the Merge Holo Cube to ship at some point in 2023.
Release date: 2023
Price: TBCBest cheap HoloLens alternatives: Lenovo Phab 2 Pro
While these aren’t augmented reality glasses, Lenovo’s Phab 2 Pro will ship with Google’s Project Tango AR sensors on-board. This means it can track objects in three-dimensional space, react to movements, recognise objects like tables, windows and walls and accurately capture the dimensions of the room for accurate tracking and a decent mobile-powered AR experience. It won’t work in Cardboard-esque mobile viewers, but you’ll be able to interact with the augmented reality world via the Phab 2 Pro.
Release date: Available now
Price: £499 from LenovoBest cheap HoloLens alternatives: Meta 2
Unlike others in this roundup, the Meta 2 isn’t powered by an Android-esque unit – instead, it plugs into your PC akin to the likes of the HTC Vive and Oculus Rift. Following numerous iterations during the prototype stage, the Meta 2 development kit boasts a 90-degree field of view with a high-resolution display, allowing for highly detailed holographic imagery. The coolest part of the Meta 2? You can interact with the holographic imagery with your hands naturally.
It’s aimed at developers looking to create AR-enabled experiences, but more tech-y consumers can also pre-order one online.
Release date: Shipping ‘soon’
Price: $949 from MetaBest cheap HoloLens alternatives: ZapBox
If Google Cardboard is a little basic for you, maybe ZapBox is more up your street. After being successfully funded on Kickstarter, ZapBox aims to be the Google Cardboard for augmented reality, offering a full AR kit for as little as $30. In a similar way to Cardboard, ZapBox utilises your smartphone’s camera, processors, display and gyroscope to provide users with mixed reality experiences.
As ZapBox uses paper sensors around the room to track the position of the camera, you’re free to walk around and inspect the virtual object in front of you without fear of loss of tracking. ZapBox ships with a number of short experiences that’ll let you play mini-golf or examine the surface of Mars from the comfort of your living room. Even if the camera loses sight of all sensors, it uses the built-in gyroscope as a backup. It’s not perfect, but it’s a great intro to augmented reality and an impressive bit of kit for only $30.
Release date: April 2023
Price: $30 from KickstarterBest cheap HoloLens alternatives: Epson Moverio BT-200
While it won’t pair with your phone, the BT-200 is controlled via a special cable-connected control box featuring a touch panel. It features Epson’s own store instead of Google Play, with around 80 apps available at the time of writing, although Android apps can be side-loaded. It’s more aimed towards enterprise rather than consumers, but the AR glasses are available for all to buy right now.
Read our Epson Moverio BT-200 review here.
Release date: Available now
Price: £519.99 from EpsonBest cheap HoloLens alternatives: Vuzix M100 Smart Glasses
Pitched as the original competitor to the failed Google Glass, the Vuzix M100 Smart Glasses are readily available to buy – although they’re still on the pricey side at £799. The smart glasses will work with a handful of side-loaded Android apps along with apps available via the Vuzix app store, and will come with a few pre-installed. Pre-installed apps include an audio recorder, camera, photo gallery and eyesight-based barcode scanner, with users interacting with the glass via voice activation or the physical keys on the side of the glasses.
In terms of tech, it features a 5Mp camera with 1080p video recording capabilities, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, 4GB storage, built-in GPS and a six-hour battery life.
Release date: Available now
Price: £799 from Vuzix
The service is available in the form of EA Access on Xbox One and Origin Access on PC, but PS4 users are out of luck. According to Sony, EA’s subscription service doesn’t offer the kind of value PlayStation fans have come to expect – especially with such a large PlayStation Now library already available to gamers on the platform.
With a large collection of free games available from EA, which should you focus on? Here’s where we list the best free games currently available on EA Access.
If you’re not an EA Access subscriber, you might be interested in our roundup of great free games or the best Xbox One games.Battlefield 1
Battlefield 1 was hugely popular when it was released at the end of 2023, providing huge-scale multiplayer FPS action and fully destructible environments. The World War 1 setting provides a unique backdrop, and the anthology-style campaign is both incredibly enjoyable and opens your eyes to the futility of war.
It’s a spectacular game with a technically impressive multiplayer – what more could you want from a free game?
Find out more in our Battlefield 1 review.Mirror’s Edge Catalyst
2023’s Mirror’s Edge Catalyst was the second in the Mirror’s Edge series, and saw the return of the free-running mechanics loved by many in the first game. You spend your time in the shoes of Faith running, leaping and (of course) fighting in the city of Glass, zipping up walls and making death-defying leaps from rooftop to rooftop to avoid enemy pursuers.
It’s an open world game too, meaning you’re free to explore the entire city at your own pace, slowly upgrading your gadgets and honing the art of free-running and martial arts.Star Wars Battlefront (and DLC)
There were complaints about the first Star Wars Battlefront game – namely the omission of a single-player campaign – but most agreed that the multiplayer looked gorgeous and provided hours of fun. Unlike the newer Battlefront with a convoluted upgrade system, the first Battlefront provides an easier online experience for casual fans.
Why? Unlike with BF2, Battlefront gamers can randomly come across Heroes during games, allowing lower-skilled players the opportunity to play as their favourite Star Wars heroes without needing a score of 8-10,000 first. Regardless of skill, it’s a visually stunning game with an active community, and you get access to all DLC for free too!Titanfall 2
Titanfall 2 aimed to take the vast feedback collected by Titanfall gamers and provide a fast-paced mech-focused first person shooter – and despite relatively low sales, we think the game delivers. While many overlooked Titanfall 2, we’re not quite sure why. The fast-paced multiplayer combat is high-risk, high-reward and the updated combat mechanics provide you with a deadlier Pilot than ever before. And who doesn’t like fighting giant robots?
If multiplayer isn’t your thing, there’s also a single-player campaign full of twists and turns.Need for Speed Rivals
If you’re in the mood for a bit of racing, Need for Speed Rivals may *ahem* be up your street. The premise of the game is simple – you drive around an open world taking part in races you come across (both single- and multiplayer) whilst avoiding your number one enemy – the police. The game includes high-intensity police chases that get progressively tougher as you go on, along with a plethora of cars and upgrades to choose from.Battlefield 4
Admittedly, Battlefield 4 is getting a little long in the tooth now, but it still holds a place in many FPS gamers hearts. It was arguably one of the greatest shooters around when it was first introduced back in 2013, and five years later, DICE still keep a small number of BF4 servers running.
While Battlefield 1 provides a great overall gaming experience, the sheer collection of artillery and weaponry available in Battlefield 4 makes it too tempting to miss for some.
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