The best Nintendo GameCube games, ranked – CNET

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The Nintendo GameCube had a handful of absolute classics.

Mario Tama, Getty Images

The Nintendo GameCube turned 20 years old this week. 

And it's a weird one. With the benefit of hindsight, it's easy to see it was an influential console that played host to some of Nintendo's best ever titles. At the time? It was often painful to be a GameCube owner, with sub-standard third-party support and painfully long waits between the release of Nintendo's always stellar first-party releases.

Still, when you look at the rear view mirror, it's plain to see the quality. There were a huge number of incredible games released on the platform. To celebrate GameCube's birthday, we decided to rank them.

Here goes...

1. Metroid Prime

Metroid Prime Samus
Nintendo

Nothing like Metroid Prime existed before and nothing like it's been created since. Metroid Prime was and is an anomaly that defies definition. A first person shooter? Sure, you shoot things in a first-person view, but Metroid Prime looked, felt and played nothing like Halo or its FPS peers back in 2002. An exploration game? Yeah, probably. But it was set in a universe as intricately designed as a Zelda dungeon writ-large. Exploration was just the beginning.

Metroid Prime's strength was its world building. Dripping with details and unique, sticky ways to explore those details, Metroid Prime is peerless in the way it allowed you to discover its intricate spaces. You could scan the environment for lore and details, you could spider-ball your way up previously inaccessible walls and ceilings. There was majesty hidden in every corner. Even today, it hasn't aged a day. Nothing else comes close. 

Metroid Prime is Metroid Prime. It has no imitators because it's inimitable. Like it was dropped down to Earth by accident from another dimension where video games are different, better. Back in 2002 Metroid Prime felt like it came from the future. Almost 19 years later, everything else is still playing catch-up. 

- Mark Serrels

2. The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker

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Nintendo

Time has been kind to Wind Waker. 

Roundly criticised pre-release for its stylised "cartoon" visuals, Wind Waker reviewed well once people eventually got their hands on it, but unlike other Zelda games like Twilight Princess (and even Ocarina of Time to an extent) Wind Waker has aged spectacularly.

The ocean provides a glorious backdrop to Link's adventures, both in terms of visuals and how it feels to explore. But it's the cast of characters that truly makes Wind Waker unforgettable. That and the music... and the dungeon design... and the cute little cartoon clouds explosions make.

Actually a lot of things make Wind Waker unforgettable. It rules.

- Mark Serrels

3. Resident Evil 4

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Capcom

I'd never played a Resident Evil game before Resident Evil 4. Never have I ever visited Racoon City. The reason? I was a huge wuss -- and still am. I scare easily and am totally bereft of courage, it's a problem.

Despite all of this adversity, I played and loved Resident Evil 4. At a time when everyone had pretty much written the GameCube off as past its prime, Resident Evil 4 launched to widespread critical acclaim in 2005. It was released just 11 days into the year, yet was named Game of the Year by many publications 11 months later. 

This proved irresistible for me, despite the deep fear I had of anything horror. I was scared and terrified throughout most of Resident Evil 4, and often wanted to quit. But the game was so good I just couldn't. I didn't want to see what was around each corner, but I had to do it anyway. 

Now that the game has been ported to almost every console known to man, it's easy to forget that it was originally GameCube-only. It was one of the system's last exclusives and also one of its best.

- Daniel Van Boom

4. Super Smash Bros. Melee

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Nintendo

Super Smash Bros. Melee was the first game many people played on the GameCube. Luigi's Mansion was the big launch title, but Super Smash Bros. Melee came just months into the GameCube's lifecycle. It did a lot for the GameCube, but did even more for the Smash Bros. franchise. It took the original's formula and sharpened it, making it deeper and more balanced. 

The original N64 title was a lot of fun, but Melee solidified it into a legitimate fighting franchise, a game still played competitively around the world today. That's a tribute to its genius. Super Smash Bros. Melee is still insanely fun to play today -- if you can find a GameCube controller.

- Daniel Van Boom

5. Animal Crossing

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Nintendo

Animal Crossing feels almost ubiquitous after the release of New Horizons in 2020, so it's easy to forget how quirky the original GameCube version felt. It just dropped players into a lazy little town filled with talking animals and said, "Do what you want." No platforming, no shooting, just some good old-fashioned small-town life. I was no stranger to hanging out in quaint virtual towns, thanks to all the hours I spent in Harvest Moon 64, but I had never played a game that was as laid-back as Animal Crossing. 

Want to go fishing? Plant fruit trees? Make a tiny garden? Turn your basement into a cement nightmare filled with the discordant music of a dozen gyroids? Sure, go for it. The closest thing Animal Crossing had to a main quest was upgrading your home and paying off your loans, but even that was optional, with no interest or due dates attached to the upgrades. It was the kind of game to make you reconsider what makes a good video game and I'm always happy for surprises like that.

- Adam Benjamin 

6. Pikmin

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Nintendo

Sometimes I think we forget how perfectly designed Pikmin was. 

The original and best, Pikmin makes the most of its delicately simple ruleset. Essentially a small-scale strategy game where you use an army of tiny "Pikmin" to lift objects and solve puzzles, Pikmin stretches its high concept to the absolute limits. It's a Nintendo game, so movements feel fun and sticky, but the meta-game is the real star. The more you play the more balanced you realise Pikmin actually is. Just a perfect, beautiful little video game.

- Mark Serrels

7. Super Mario Sunshine

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Nintendo

Maybe the most controversial major Mario release ever.

Super Mario Sunshine was derided upon release, then loved in hindsight. Recently, as part of the Mario 3D All-Stars package, it feels like the pendulum has swung once more and people are complaining about it again.

It's flawed no doubt. It never achieves the perfect simplicity of Mario 64 or the inspired kaleidoscopic madness of Super Mario Galaxy, but Super Mario Sunshine has its own delightful aesthetic.

Also, I love FLUDD, the water squirting sidekick that add jetpack style maneuvers to your regular Mario platforming. It's a wild game. Not perfect, but incredibly fun nonetheless.

- Mark Serrels

8. F-Zero GX

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Nintendo

F-Zero GX is one of the most overlooked games in the GameCube library. Wipeout dominated the futuristic racer discourse back then, but F-Zero GX was arguably a better expression of pure, sci-fi speed. 

It also looked glorious. F-Zero GX was smooth, slick and just an absolute joy to play. The single player mode was notoriously difficult, but in hindsight that was part of its cult appeal. The fact we haven't had an F-Zero game since the release of this classic is almost criminal.

- Mark Serrels

9. Metroid Prime 2: Echoes

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Nintendo

Retro Studios defied expectations with the first Metroid Prime, masterfully reinterpreting Nintendo's atmospheric side-scrolling series as a first-person adventure. Its inevitable follow-up, Metroid Prime 2: Echoes, expanded on the formula with more complex environments and even bigger bosses, resulting in another instant GameCube classic.

As with the original, the setting itself was the star attraction. In a nod to the Zelda classic, A Link to the Past, Samus traverses two mirror worlds in Metroid Prime 2: the arid Aether and its dark counterpart, a murky parallel universe created when the planet was struck by a rift-forming meteor. This gave Aether an even more ominous feel than Tallon IV -- thanks in large part to the dark world's suffocating atmosphere -- and using the power-ups you gained to navigate the expertly crafted environmental puzzles felt immensely satisfying.

Metroid Prime 2 also ramped up the difficulty, featuring some of the tensest boss encounters in the series' history. These battles were as much a test of wit as of reflex, as nearly every foe had some sort of pattern or puzzle to figure out. It may not be remembered quite as fondly as the original -- very few games are, after all --  but Metroid Prime 2 was another riveting adventure that further proved how well the Metroid series worked in first-person.

- Kevin Knezevic

10. Soulcalibur II 

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Nintendo

Soulcalibur II is one of the few GameCube games on this list that might not necessarily feel like a "GameCube" game. Sure it was multiplatform, but given the addition of Link as a playable character on the roster, Soulcalibur II always felt very Nintendo to me.

Also: It ruled. It was almost certainly the peak of the 3D fighting genre back then and it rarely got better than this. In the next generation we went back to Street Fighter IV and fighting games changed on us -- possibly for the better? But for this generation of consoles, Soulcalibur II was king.

- Mark Serrels

11. Viewtiful Joe

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Clover Games

The first game from Clover Studio, the short lived team responsible for a slew of critically acclaimed video games like Okami, Viewtiful Joe, in many, was the prototype for the Clover style. A slick, fluid 2D beat 'em up, elevated by a unique art style, Viewtiful Joe was a polished homage to video games from a bygone era.

- Mark Serrels

12. Eternal Darkness

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Nintendo

There are few games that make players frantically look around and wonder "what the hell is going on" like Eternal Darkness. At its core, the game isn't much different from Resident Evil, but the big difference were sanity effects. These little events were designed to directly mess with the player's head. From the controller being unresponsive to a screen saying your saved game was deleted, players never knew what was going to happen, which was part of the fun. 

Eternal Darkness was also heavily-inspired by H.P. Lovecraft. It required those who finished the game and received all the endings to look at the author's stories to piece together the deeper themes of the game. 

For me, Eternal Darkness presented me something fresh even though how the game actually played was par for the course.

- Oscar Gonzalez

13. Resident Evil

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Capcom

Seeing the first screenshots of the Resident Evil remake convinced me to buy a GameCube at launch. Nearly two decades later, this 2002 game still looks astoundingly good and remains utterly terrifying.

Capcom didn't settle for a mere visual upgrade; this remake added so many new mechanics, areas and puzzles that it felt like a completely different game to the 1996 original. It remains the ultimate expression of the classic Resident Evil formula and it was exclusive to Nintendo systems for years (an excellent HD remaster is available on every platform).

Just be sure to decapitate or burn the zombies, you don't want them coming back.

- Sean Keane

14. Pikmin 2

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Nintendo

I'll never forgive Pikmin 2 for abandoning the time limit that made the original Pikmin so tense and rewarding, but Pikmin 2 is still worth your time.

The multiplayer component was the real standout for me. Before online gaming was truly a thing on consoles, I spent many hours with my girlfriend, playing frantic multiplayer Pikmin matches. We got frighteningly good. Well, she got frighteningly good. I got my ass whooped. Good times.

- Mark Serrels

15. Mario Kart: Double Dash

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Nintendo

Mario Kart: Double Dash is probably the weirdest Mario Kart ever. Is that a good thing? The jury's out, particularly on the gimmick that allowed two players to ride on the same kart. 

Still, Mario Kart is Mario Kart. There hasn't been a bad one yet. Double Dash is no exception. The track design is slick, the visuals were bold and the controls were as tight as ever.

- Mark Serrels

16. Metal Gear Solid: The Twin Snakes

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Ground up remakes of classic games are normal now, but Metal Gear Solid: The Twin Snakes was unique upon its release in 2004. 

The Twin Snakes took the original Metal Gear Solid and implemented the controls and QOL upgrades from the great Metal Gear Solid 2. Incredibly it all holds together. The Twin Snakes also plays host to maybe the wildest cutscenes in any Metal Gear Solid game.

Considering how weird things get in Metal Gear Solid, that's saying something.

- Mark Serrels 

17. Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door

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Nintendo

Mario's starred in a handful of role-playing games over the years, but 2004's Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door is still arguably the best of the bunch. A sequel to Nintendo 64's Paper Mario, The Thousand-Year Door doubled down on all the aspects that made its predecessor so charming, resulting in one of the finest RPGs on the console.

Like the original, The Thousand-Year Door's most distinctive feature was its visual style. While the game world was polygonal, the characters who inhabited it were all flat, giving the game the look and feel of an interactive pop-up book. The Thousand-Year Door leaned even more heavily into this paper aesthetic than its predecessor, even incorporating it into the gameplay. Since he was paper thin, Mario could now gain the ability to slip through crevices and even fold himself up into a paper airplane and boat, adding a greater degree of exploration and environmental puzzle solving to the mix.

But what made the game so captivating was its sense of humor. The Thousand-Year Door remains one of the funniest titles Nintendo has ever released, with a sharp, self-referential script and a wonderfully quirky cast of characters. Few games are as genuinely side-splitting as The Thousand-Year Door, and there's a good reason why it remains many fans' favorite Paper Mario game, even nearly two decades after its original release.

- Kevin Knezevic

18. Rogue Squadron 2: Rogue Leader 

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One of my favorite console launch titles ever. Rogue Leader's visuals and music made it the most immersive Star Wars gaming experience I'd had at the time. I remember being blown away by the sense of scale in its recreation of Return of the Jedi's Battle of Endor, as waves of TIE fighters swarm the rebels.

It was also incredibly fun to play, opting for an arcade-style experience over a simulation one, with plenty of ships and a ton of replay value if you want to get better medals. Doing so unlocks bonus missions in which you play as Darth Vader in his awesome fancy fighter, finally letting me join Empire.

- Sean Keane

19. Tales of Symphonia

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Nintendo

Symphonia is probably the first of the Tales series to hit big outside of Japan. It's still regarded as one of the best in the series and one of the few to ever get a direct sequel (although the less said about that the better). The Tales games have always been an oasis of real time combat within a sea of turn-based JRPGs. Having direct control over your character, inputting combos in order to mix well with the rest of your party was a blast and being able to take on the enemy encounters in multiplayer was a nice addition. If battling monsters through menus wasn't your thing then these were the games to play.

Symphonia was absolutely gorgeous looking with its full anime cutscenes that were pretty unheard of back on the GameCube. The story and characters were rich and the game's length really gave you something to get invested in. It was an extremely good game that turned this RPG fan into a Tales player for years afterward.

- Sean Booker

20. Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess

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Nintendo

You probably remember Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess as a Wii title, right? It was originally announced from the GameCube, but suffered a long stretch of delays before launching alongside the Wii, a demonstration of the wild new motion controls. Here's the thing: Twilight Princess was actually better to play on GameCube, with the control pad a tighter way to dungeon crawl than the Wiimotes. Twilight Princess was meant to pass the torch from one generation to the next, but it ended up a reminder of all the great things about the GameCube.

- Daniel Van Boom

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#EmmysSoWhite trends after all major acting Emmys go to white actors – CNET

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The Crown and Ted Lasso swept the acting awards at this year's Emmys.

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Despite fielding one of the most diverse set of nominations in history, the Emmys caused controversy by giving all the acting Emmys to white performers.

Favoured nominees like the late Michael K. Williams and Billy Porter lost to The Crown actors Tobias Menzies and Josh O'Connor respectively. Kenan Thompson and Bowen Yang lost to Jason Sudeikis and Brett Goldstein from Ted Lasso.

As a result, the hashtag #EmmysSoWhite has begun trending on Twitter.

Many made the point that, despite the fact black artists made up a significant number of announcers, hosts and musical performers, none of the actors nominated won in their category.

"Black host, Black announcer hell even Black music," tweeted Emmy award-winning audio engineer Alexandria Perryman. "We doing everything but win."

Others noted that, despite making up a significant percentage of nominees, no actors of color took home a major award. Despite losing out in a number of other awards, including an acting award -- which went to Kate Winslet from Mare of Easttown -- Michaela Coel won Best Limited Series/TV Movie Writing for her work on I May Destroy You.

A similar Twitter trend #OscarsSoWhite led to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences introducing a mandatory diversity standard that future films would have to meet in order to be eligible for the Best Picture award. Coming into effect in 2024 for the 96th Academy Awards, the standards require films to achieve diversity across a number of categories including on-screen representation, creative leadership and audience development.

"We believe these inclusion standards will be a catalyst for long-lasting, essential change in our industry," said Academy President David Rubin and Academy CEO Dawn Hudson.

It remains to be seen whether this online trend could result in a similar response for future Emmy award ceremonies. The Emmys didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.

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Emmys 2021 live updates: All the winners – CNET

Best Lead Actor in a Comedy Series

It had to be Jason Sudeikis, right? AFC Richmond couldn't be more proud.

  • Anthony Anderson, Black-Ish
  • Michael Douglas, The Kominsky Method
  • William H. Macy, Shameless
  • Jason Sudeikis, Ted Lasso -- WINNER
  • Kenan Thompson, Kenan

Best Lead Actress in a Comedy Series

She's majestic, she's accomplished, she's Jean Smart. Take a bow for your fourth ever Emmy win.

  • Aidy Bryant, Shrill
  • Kaley Cuoco, The Flight Attendant
  • Allison Janney, Mom
  • Tracee Ellis Ross, Black-ish
  • Jean Smart, Hacks -- WINNER

Best Comedy Series Directing

Hacks has two!

  • James Burrows, "B Positive" (Episode: "Pilot")
  • Susanna Fogel, "The Flight Attendant" (Episode: "In Case of Emergency")
  • Lucia Aniello, "Hacks" (Episode: "There Is No Line") -- WINNER
  • James Widdoes, "Mom" (Episode: "Scooby-Doo Checks and Salisbury Steak")
  • Zach Braff, "Ted Lasso" (Episode: "Biscuits")
  • MJ Delaney, "Ted Lasso" (Episode: "The Hope that Kills You")
  • Declan Lowney, "Ted Lasso" (Episode: "Make Rebecca Great Again")

Best Comedy Series Writing

What a steal!

  • Steve Yockey, "The Flight Attendant" (Episode: "In Case of Emergency")
  • Meredith Scardino, "Girls5eva" (Episode: "Pilot")
  • Lucia Aniello, Paul W. Downs, and Jen Statsky, "Hacks" (Episode: "There Is No Line") -- WINNER
  • Maya Erskine, "PEN15" (Episode: "Play")
  • Joe Kelly, Brendan Hunt, and Jason Sudeikis, "Ted Lasso" (Episode: "Make Rebecca Great Again")
  • Jason Sudeikis, Bill Lawrence, Brendan Hunt, and Joe Kelly, "Ted Lasso" (Episode: "Pilot")

Best Variety Sketch Series

The show has been running for 46 seasons. Astounding.

Best Variety Talk Series

John Oliver again!

  • Conan (TBS)
  • The Daily Show with Trevor Noah (Comedy Central)
  • Jimmy Kimmel Live! (ABC)
  • Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (HBO) -- WINNER
  • The Late Show with Stephen Colbert (CBS)

Best Variety Series Writing

Well done to John Oliver's team!

  • "Last Week Tonight With John Oliver" -- WINNER
  • "The Late Show With Stephen Colbert"
  • "A Black Lady Sketch Show"
  • "Saturday Night Live"
  • "The Amber Ruffin Show"

Best Supporting Actor in a Drama Series

Wow, The Crown has four now!

  • Giancarlo Esposito, The Mandalorian
  • O-T Fagbenle, The Handmaid's Tale
  • John Lithgow, Perry Mason
  • Tobias Menzies, The Crown -- WINNER
  • Max Minghella, The Handmaid's Tale
  • Chris Sullivan, This is Us
  • Bradley Whitford, The Handmaid's Tale
  • Michael Kenneth Williams, Lovecraft Country

Best Supporting Actress in a Drama Series

From a sex therapist to an iron lady, Gillian Anderson can do it all. This is her second win!

  • Gillian Anderson, The Crown -- WINNER
  • Helena Bonham Carter, The Crown
  • Madeline Brewer, The Handmaid's Tale
  • Ann Dowd, The Handmaid's Tale
  • Aunjanue Ellis, Lovecraft Country
  • Emerald Fennell, The Crown
  • Yvonne Strahovski, The Handmaid's Tale
  • Samira Wiley, The Handmaid's Tale

Best Drama Series Directing

The Crown takes another one! That's two for the royals.

  • Julie Anne Robinson, "Bridgerton" (Episode: "Diamond of the First Water")
  • Benjamin Caron, "The Crown" (Episode: "Fairytale")
  • Jessica Hobbs, (The Crown (Episode: "War") -- WINNER
  • Liz Garbus, "The Handmaid's Tale" (Episode: "The Wilderness")
  • Jon Favreau, "The Mandalorian" (Episode: "Chapter 9: The Marshal")
  • Steven Canals, "Pose" (Episode: "Series Finale")

Best Drama Series Writing

And the gold statue goes to...

  • Rebecca Sonnenshine, "The Boys" (Episode: "What I Know")
  • Peter Morgan, "The Crown" (Episode: "War") -- WINNER
  • Yahlin Chang, "The Handmaid's Tale" (Episode: "Home")
  • Misha Green, "Lovecraft Country" (Episode: "Sundown")
  • Dave Filoni, "The Mandalorian" (Episode: "Chapter 13: The Jedi")
  • Jon Favreau, "The Mandalorian" (Episode: "Chapter 16: The Rescue")
  • Steven Canals, Brad Falchuk, Our Lady J, Janet Mock, and Ryan Murphy, "Pose" (Episode: "Series Finale")

Best Supporting Actor in a Limited Series or Movie

Evan Peters just won his first ever Emmy!

  • Daveed Diggs, Hamilton
  • Jonathan Groff, Hamilton
  • Anthony Ramos, Hamilton
  • Thomas Brodie-Sangster, The Queen's Gambit
  • Evan Peters, Mare of Easttown -- WINNER
  • Paapa Essiedu, I May Destroy You

Best Supporting Actress in a Limited Series or Movie

Mare of Easttown gets its first win. Represent Julianne Nicholson!

  • Jean Smart, Mare of Easttown
  • Julianne Nicholson, Mare of Easttown -- WINNER
  • Kathryn Hahn, WandaVision
  • Phillipa Soo, Hamilton
  • Renee Elise Goldsberry, Hamilton
  • Moses Ingram, The Queen's Gambit

Best Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series

Not another one -- Ted Lasso has taken its second win of the night for Brett Goldstein! Get in!

  • Carl Clemons-Hopkins, Hacks
  • Brett Goldstein, Ted Lasso -- WINNER
  • Brendan Hunt, Ted Lasso
  • Nick Mohammed, Ted Lasso
  • Paul Reiser, The Kominsky Method
  • Jeremy Swift, Ted Lasso
  • Kenan Thompson, Saturday Night Live
  • Bowen Yang, Saturday Night Live

Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series

Seth Rogen kicks off the awards with the first of the night. And best comedy supporting actress goes to... only Hannah Waddingham from Ted Lesso! Goooaaaalll!

  • Rosie Perez, The Flight Attendant
  • Hannah Einbinder, Hacks
  • Aidy Bryant, Saturday Night Live
  • Kate McKinnon, Saturday Night Live
  • Cecily Strong, Saturday Night Live
  • Juno Temple, Ted Lasso
  • Hannah Waddingham, Ted Lasso -- WINNER

The red carpet

The red carpet has just about wrapped up and the limited attendees are heading inside Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles for the start of the show. This year's host is Cedric the Entertainer. Entertain us Cedric!

And they're here. Kate Winslet. Kate Winslet and Elizabeth Olsen. They're both vying for that super competitive best actress in a limited series award. Who's your pick?

Kaley Cuoco can't be missed, lighting up the red carpet in dazzling yellow. She's nominated for best comedy actress!

She's here. Katheryn Hahn. The moment. Agatha Harkness herself. Will she win best supporting actress in a limited series for WandaVision?

O-T Fagbenle, Cecily Strong, Amber Ruffin and Ken Jeong have entered the house.

Here are some of the early arrivals, including best actor in a drama nominee Josh O'Connor, repping The Crown.

You can follow the red carpet with the Television Academy here, or stick to these highlights.

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How to watch the 2021 Emmys – CNET

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The Emmys are almost here!

Al Seib / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

The time has finally come to celebrate the best of television. The 2021 Primetime Emmys awards ceremony takes place in Los Angeles this evening. Shows such as slow-burning crime drama Mare of Easttown and electrifying statement piece I May Destroy You are all in the chase for golden statues.

The Emmys covers a ton of awards. Last weekend, the Creative Emmys saw those shows and many more pick up honors for outstanding artistic and technical achievements. At the end of June, the Daytime Emmy Awards recognized excellence in American daytime television programming.

Below, you'll find everything you need to know to tune in to the 73rd Primetime Emmy Awards, including cable-free options.

When do the Emmys start?

The 2021 Emmys take place on Sunday, Sept 19. at 5 p.m. PT (8 p.m. ET). With live events returning, you can expect "a limited audience of nominees and their guests" at the Microsoft Theater in Downtown Los Angeles, according to a press release.

How to watch the Emmys for free

Watching live for free is pretty easy to do, as long as you have an over-the-air antenna hooked up to your TV and get your local CBS station. The show will also be available to stream live and on demand on Paramount Plus.

How to watch the Emmys without cable

Cable TV cord cutters have a number of options for watching the ceremony via a live TV streaming service (with the notable exception of Sling TV), detailed below.

YouTube TV costs $65 a month and includes CBS. Plug in your ZIP code on its welcome page to see which local networks are available in your area.

FuboTV costs $65 a month for its Family plan and includes CBS. Click here to see which local channels you get.

Paramount Plus, the replacement for CBS All Access, costs $10 per month and will let you watch the ceremony being broadcast on your local CBS station, if you live in one of the 206 markets where the service offers live TV.

Hulu Plus Live TV costs $65 a month and includes CBS. Click the "View channels in your area" link on its welcome page to see which local channels are offered in your ZIP code.

AT&T TV's basic, $70-a-month Entertainment package includes CBS. You can use its channel lookup tool to see which local channels are available where you live. You can read more on AT&T's merger of its AT&T TV and TV Now services here

Are there any free trials?

All the live TV streaming services above, with the exception of AT&T TV, offer free trials, allow you to cancel anytime and require a solid internet connection. Note: AT&T TV doesn't advertise a free trial but the company says that if you cancel within 14 days you won't be charged.

For deep-dive details, here's our massive streaming services guide.

Who's hosting?

In July, it was announced that Cedric the Entertainer will be... entertaining us as this year's host.

The full list of nominations

Nominees for the Primetime Emmy awards were announced on Tuesday, July 13 at 8:30 a.m. PT (11:30 a.m. ET). See the list here. Or you can see the master list of nominations, including Creative Arts Emmys, here.


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Pokemon Go September 2021 Community Day: Oshawott, event moves and start time – CNET

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Pokemon Go's featured Pokemon for September: Oshawott

Niantic

Pokemon Go's September Community Day is here. The event takes place today, Sept. 19, and offers players the chance to catch a rare Pokemon, learn an event-exclusive move and take advantage of other special in-game bonuses, including triple catch XP and increased incense duration. Here's a roundup of everything you need to know about Pokemon Go's September 2021 Community Day event.

When is Pokemon Go's September Community Day?

Pokemon Go's September Community Day takes place on Sunday, Sept. 19, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. in your local time zone.

September featured Pokemon: Oshawott

The star of September's Community Day is Oshawott, the water-type starter from Pokemon Black/White and Pokemon Legends: Arceus. As the featured Pokemon, wild Oshawott will spawn more frequently than normal throughout the event, and you'll have a much better chance of encountering a rare Shiny Oshawott.

September Community Day move: Hydro Cannon

If you evolve Oshawott's evolved form, Dewott, into Samurott during September's Community Day, the Pokemon will know the move Hydro Cannon, a powerful water-type Charged Attack that it normally can't learn in Pokemon Go. You'll have until 7 p.m. local time, two hours after September's Community Day ends, to evolve Dewott into a Samurott that knows Hydro Cannon.

That isn't the only special move Samurott will be able to learn during the event. Starting on September's Community Day, you'll be able to teach Samurott the Charged Attack Razor Shell. Unlike Hydro Cannon, Samurott will be able to learn Razor Shell even after September's Community Day ends.

September Community Day bonuses

In addition to increased Oshawott spawns, a few other in-game bonuses will be active during September's Community Day. Any incense or lure modules you use during the event will remain active for three hours rather than their normal duration. You'll also earn three times the usual amount of XP for catching Pokemon.

September Community Day bundle and Special Research

Niantic is selling a new item bundle in Pokemon Go's in-game shop during September's Community Day. The bundle costs 1,280 PokeCoins and includes the following items:

  • 50 Ultra Balls
  • Five Lucky Eggs
  • Five Rainy Lure Modules
  • One Elite Fast TM

On top of that, Niantic is offering an event-exclusive Special Research task line called From Scalchops to Seamitars during September's Community Day. Completing the tasks will net you additional rewards, including a Rainy Lure Module and more chances to catch Oshawott. To access the Special Research, you'll need to purchase an in-game ticket from Pokemon Go's item shop for a dollar.

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iPhone 13: Every feature we didn’t get – CNET

Apple announcements September 14 2021: iPhone 13, new iPads, Apple Watch Series 7, and more

The iPhone 13 brings new features like better cameras and longer battery life, but it's still missing some useful capabilties. 

This story is part of Apple Event, our full coverage of the latest news from Apple.

Apple's iPhone 13 and 13 Pro certainly have a lot to offer over their predecessors: longer battery life, better cameras and more storage space at the base level. But there are still plenty of features we'd hoped to see on the iPhone 13 lineup that are missing from Apple's latest iteration of smartphones. Many of these capabilities are available on Android competitors, while some can even be found on other Apple products. 

The iPhone 13, which became available for preorder Friday morning, starts at $829 for the standard model without a carrier discount. The Mini begins at $729, while the iPhone 13 Pro starts at $999 and the iPhone 13 Pro Max has an entry price of $1,099.

From an in-screen fingerprint reader to a truly borderless screen, here are the features that are still missing from the iPhone 13. 

USB-C support

Wouldn't it be great if you could use the same charger for your iPhone and the other gadgets in your home? Unfortunately, Apple's latest iPhone is once again missing USB-C connectivity. As has been the case since 2012, the latest iPhones require Apple's proprietary Lightning cable for wired charging.

Not only does that mean you can't use chargers from other gadgets to power up your iPhone, but it also means chargers from other Apple mobile devices might not be compatible with your iPhone. Apple's iPad Air, iPad Pro and newly announced iPad Mini, for example, all charge via USB-C. That means even if you're an Apple loyalist, you'll need to keep track of multiple charging cables.

An in-screen fingerprint reader

Face ID works great most of the time, but it would be nice to have the option of using your fingerprint to unlock your device as well. That's especially true over the last year-and-a-half since Face ID can't accurately identify you while wearing a face mask. If you don't have an Apple Watch, you've probably been typing in your passcode much more than usual over the past year.

Many Android phones, such as those from Samsung, Motorola and OnePlus, have fingerprint readers built into their screens. A 2019 report from analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who is known for his sometimes accurate Apple predictions, said Apple would release an iPhone with Face ID and an in-display fingerprint sensor in 2021. That didn't turn out to be true, but perhaps we'll see it in the iPhone 14. 

Satellite connectivity

One of the most prominent rumors about the iPhone 13 in the weeks before its launch was that it would come with satellite connectivity for sending texts in emergency scenarios. That didn't turn out to be true, at least not yet. 

Kuo and Bloomberg both reported that the iPhone 13 would be able to use satellite connectivity in areas without cellular coverage. But Bloomberg's report provided a bit more detail, saying that this feature would primarily serve as an SOS for contacting emergency services. Messages would have a length restriction, and you might have to walk to a certain location to connect. 

However, the Bloomberg report did say that the feature could be scrapped, and it also warned that the iPhone 13 may not have the feature at launch even if it does have the hardware to support it.

Wi-Fi 6e support

Wi-Fi 6e is still new and isn't a must-have just yet. But since many people buy an iPhone with the intention of keeping it for several years, it would have been helpful to see Wi-Fi 6e support in at least the Pro and Pro Max models.

Wi-Fi 6e is a special designation for Wi-Fi 6 devices that allows them to access the new 6GHz band of spectrum. As my colleague Ry Crist puts it, think of the 6GHz band as a "shiny, new seven-lane superhighway" that's only available for supported devices. The 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands we're used to connecting on today's routers are like a "one-lane country highway" and a "three-lane interstate" respectively in comparison. 

There aren't many smartphones out there that support Wi-Fi 6e yet. But Samsung's Galaxy S21 Ultra is one of them, and we're already seeing routers from Asus and Netgear that support this Wi-Fi designation. If you're paying for the top-of-the-line iPhone, it would be useful to at least have Wi-Fi 6e connectivity as an option.

An always-on display

My Apple Watch has an always-in display, and I only wish my iPhone could, too. For years, smartphones from Samsung, OnePlus and other Android device makers have had screens that are capable of showing information on-screen even when the display is asleep. 

That might not sound like a big deal, but I've found it to be surprisingly useful. Most phones with an always-on display will show information like the time and your next calendar event when the display is turned off. 

Having this information available at a glance has made it easier to see when my next meeting is without having to actually pick up my phone, which is helpful for avoiding distractions. If you don't own a smartwatch, an always-on display makes it easier to quickly see small bits of information while maintaining some distance from your phone. 

A telephoto lens with a 10x optical zoom

The iPhone 13 lineup is getting some major improvements when it comes to camera quality. There's a new Cinematic mode on all four models that automatically switches the focus between subjects as needed, and the iPhone 13 Pro is getting the ability to take macro shots.

But the iPhone 13's telephoto camera still doesn't have as close a zoom as Samsung's Galaxy S21 Ultra. The iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max have 6x optical zoom range, while the Galaxy S21 Ultra has two telephoto lenses that support a 3x and 10x optical zoom. 

Samsung's smartphones are known for their zooming capabilities, which is why the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra was named our favorite phone for camera zoom in 2020. But we'll have to wait until we've tested the iPhone 13 Pro to see how it really stacks up against Samsung's latest flagships. 

A notch-free screen

Yes, Apple fans are probably used to the "notch" by now since it's been present on iPhones since 2017. But it's hard to overlook it when you consider the progress Android device-makers have made in this regard.

Most Android smartphones come with notch-free screens that include just a subtle hole-shaped cutout for the camera. Samsung was among the earliest to embrace this design back in 2019 with the Galaxy S10 family. But now, this design is common across the Android landscape, whether you're looking at phones from Samsung, Google, OnePlus or Motorola.

However, it's worth pointing out that part of the reason why the iPhone's notch is so large is because that's where all of its Face ID sensors are located. Apple's facial recognition system has generally been considered to be ahead of the competition, especially around the time it launched. 

The flexibility to control the screen's refresh rate 

The iPhone 13 Pro and Pro Max are the first iPhones to get Apple's ProMotion feature, which boosts the display's refresh rate to up to 120Hz for smoother scrolling and increased responsiveness. To conserve battery life, it throttles the screen to a lower refresh rate to maintain battery life.

Other phones like the Galaxy S21 and Galaxy S20 give you more control and flexibility by allowing you to choose when you want to crank the refresh rate up to 120Hz rather than having the phone decide for you. It's possible to choose between a smoother scrolling option and a battery life option in Samsung's settings menu. You'll have to be willing to sacrifice some image quality and battery life, however.

Faster wireless charging

Wireless charging has been standard on the iPhone since 2017, but we still have yet to see meaningful improvements when it comes to charging speeds. If you're not using a MagSafe wireless charger, which can deliver 15W wireless charging speeds, you'll only be able to charge your iPhone at 7.5W. 

That's a lot slower than most Android phones. Samsung's Galaxy S21, for example, supports 10W wireless charging, while the Galaxy S20 FE supports faster 15W wireless charging. The OnePlus 9 Pro, meanwhile, supports 50W wireless charging.

Now that wireless charging is a given and is no longer considered a rarity on smartphones, it would be nice to see Apple boost the iPhone's wireless charging speeds the way it has done for the Apple Watch.

Reverse wireless charging

We've all been there. Maybe you're on the bus or train, and you pull out your AirPods only to see that dreaded red light signaling that your battery is about to run out. If only you could rest your AirPods case on the back of your iPhone to give it a little power boost.

This feature, broadly known as reverse wireless charging, is available on Android phones like Samsung's Galaxy S21 line and the Google Pixel 5, but not on the iPhone 13. It essentially enables the back of your phone to act as a wireless charging pad for accessories like smartphones, wireless earbuds and even other phones.

Although this feature isn't available now, there are clues that Apple may be thinking about it. Filings with the Federal Communications Commission from October 2020 suggests Apple may have built the necessary technology into the iPhone even if it's not enabled. 

Apple Pencil support

Apple has brought Apple Pencil support to every iPad in its lineup, but there's still no compatibility with the iPhone. I could particularly see the Apple Pencil being useful on the iPhone 13 Pro Max and the iPhone 12 Pro Max, both of which have nearly tablet-size 6.7-inch screens that are ideal for sketching and note taking. Plus, adding Apple Pencil support to the super-size Pro Max phones would give Apple yet another way to differentiate it from the 6.1-inch Pro and make more use of its larger screen.

Lossless audio over Bluetooth

With chipmaker Qualcomm debuting its new proprietary audio format for delivering lossless audio over Bluetooth, it would have been nice to hear similar ambitions from Apple. 

Lossless audio uses a different compression method that preserves more detail than the process that's used to make Bluetooth audio files small enough to store on your phone. Qualcomm expects devices that support its lossless audio format should be launching in early 2022, so there's a chance we'll hear more about it around CES in January.

In the meantime, you'll have to use wired headphones or your iPhone's built-in speakers to listen to lossless music from your mobile device. 

Center Stage for video calls

The entry-level iPad and iPad Mini now have Center Stage, the feature that automatically keeps your face in frame when video chatting over FaceTime, Zoom and other apps. It works automatically and has been super-convenient now that many of us are communicating with friends, coworkers and family members over video calls. 

It would be more useful, however, if Center Stage was available across all of Apple's products, including iPhones and Macs. In fact, I do most of my video chatting on an iPhone or a Mac rather than an iPad, especially since phones are smaller and usually easier to hold at eye level in portrait orientation. 

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NFL 2021 streaming: How to watch football, RedZone this season without cable – CNET

NFL season is finally here, and we're making our way into Week 2. With the excitement of opening week now behind us, it's time to start focusing on the most important part of the 2021 NFL season: figuring out how to watch all the action.

As always, paying for cable is usually the easiest solution. But for cord-cutters who want to save some money, NFL football streaming options get a bit more complicated. Your best bet is to subscribe to a live TV streaming service, but the sheer number of channels that carry live games -- local CBS, NBC and Fox channels, as well as the national feeds of NFL Network and ESPN -- means you'll either have to get a relatively expensive service or make a compromise and probably miss some games every week. 

How to watch football on your TV
Sarah Tew/CNET

The only way to get a full football experience is to have a whole litany of channels from your TV provider. Sunday NFC games are largely on Fox, AFC games are on CBS and Sunday night football is on NBC. Monday night football is only on ESPN. Though Fox has most Thursday night games (with additional streaming on Amazon Prime Video), there are several that are available only on NFL Network. 

With all that in mind, we offer our recommendations for the best way to watch NFL without cable.

Read moreYouTube TV vs. Hulu vs. Sling TV vs. Philo vs. FuboTV vs. AT&T TV: 100 channels compared

Best for everything: YouTube TV ($65)

Youtube TV
Sarah Tew/CNET

Our pick from last year remains our go-to choice for 2021. 

At $65 per month each, FuboTV's Starter plan, Hulu Plus Live TV and YouTube TV check all the NFL boxes. Local channels CBS, NBC and Fox are included in many markets, as are ESPN and the NFL Network, so you can watch Sundays, Monday night and Thursday night.

Want to follow your fantasy team with RedZone? That's available on all three services as part of an add-on. If you're a YouTube TV subscriber, you can add the $11 per month Sports Plus add-on by clicking on your profile and going to Settings, then the Membership tab. FuboTV subscribers can go into My Profile and choose Manage Add-ons to get its $11-per-month Sports Plus with NFL RedZone offering. 

After Hulu added the NFL Network in July, Hulu users can now add RedZone for $10 per month with its Sports add-on. 

Both YouTube TV and FuboTV allow three people to watch at once (Hulu allows two live streams) and all three have apps on nearly every mobile device and major streaming platform, including Amazon Fire TV, Google TV, Roku and Apple TV. 

While all three are largely similar, we like YouTube TV for its superior DVR (unlimited storage compared with 250 hours on FuboTV and 50 hours on Hulu) and that it, unlike Fubo, includes the Turner channels. 

Both YouTube TV and FuboTV will stream Thursday Night Football games in 4K, but only Fubo includes the higher-quality broadcasts with its base package. To watch in 4K on YouTube TV you'll need to spend another $20 per month. 

Worth noting: YouTube TV and Hulu are each running promotions that drop their respective $65 monthly prices down to $55 per month for the first three months for new users. This should take you through much of the NFL regular season before the pricing jumps by $10 per month.

DirecTV Stream AT&T TV (formerly AT&T TV) offers most of the main broadcast channels, but starts at $70 per month and lacks NFL Network and RedZone. 

Sling TV's Orange and Blue plan for $50 a month gets you ESPN and the NFL Network, and, in select major markets, Fox and/or NBC, but you'll still lack CBS. You can also add RedZone for $15 per month with the Sports Extra add-on. 

The cheapest way to stream NFL RedZone

53-nfl-streaming
Sarah Tew/CNET

A frequent fan-favorite method of following all the NFL action, RedZone is a way to catch every big play around the league. The cheapest road to RedZone is to get Sling TV Blue for $35 per month and add the $11 per month Sports Extra add-on. 

This option can also be streamed on a host of devices including iOS, Android, Apple TV, Roku, Chromecast, Amazon Fire TV and web browsers. 

Sling is currently offering a discount on the first month of Sling Blue, dropping the price to $10 for the main package.  

Note: If you only subscribe to Sling's Orange package you won't be able to get RedZone in Sports Extra. Your base package needs to be either Sling Blue or its larger Sling Blue Plus Orange bundle for you to be able to get RedZone as an add-on. If you choose the latter, the Sports Extra add-on is $15 per month as you will also get additional channels like the SEC Network, ACC Network and PAC 12 Network. 

Budget alternative for NFC fans in big cities: Sling Blue ($35) or an antenna ($10 or free)

Sling Blue Orange 2020
Sarah Tew/CNET

Those looking to save some cash might want to check out Sling Blue for $35 a month. While it lacks ESPN, meaning you'll miss out on Monday Night Football, in select markets you'll be able to get Fox and NBC. The catch is that those markets are mainly in big cities, so if you live outside one of those areas, Sling Blue might not be for you. 

You can also add RedZone through the company's $11 per month Sports Extra add-on. 

Fox, of course, broadcasts most NFC and Thursday night games (with the others on NFL Network and/or Amazon Prime Video), while NBC has Sunday Night Football. CBS, which broadcasts the bulk of AFC games, isn't included on Sling at all. But an antenna can fill those local channel gaps.

Local and prime-time games will also be available to watch for free on your iOS or Android phone or tablet through the Yahoo Sports app. You cannot, however, cast this feed to your big screen. 

Budget alternatives for AFC fans: Paramount Plus (or an antenna)

045-paramount-plus-launch-3-4-2021
Sarah Tew/CNET

There are some apps that offer CBS' slate of Sunday AFC games live, including Paramount Plus' Premium tier for $10 per month. Depending on where you live, however, your local CBS station (and those NFL games) might not be available. CBS offers livestreaming services in many markets; you can check for yourself if your area has live CBS streaming here

An antenna is another option for getting CBS, as is watching on the Yahoo Sports app. And as we mentioned above, an over-the-air antenna connected to your TV provides another free option, no streaming required, as long as you have good reception.

Thursday Night Football: NFL Network, Fox, Amazon Prime 

nfl network 2021 schedule

The 2021 schedule of NFL Network games.

NFL

Thursday Night Football is probably the most complicated part of the NFL streaming schedule. Most games will be available on the NFL Network, Fox, Amazon Prime Video and Twitch.

A handful of games, however, are also being shown exclusively on the NFL Network, including the Week 5 London game between the Jets and Falcons, and the Week 15 Saturday doubleheader with matchups that are yet to be announced.

As mentioned above, if you want the NFL Network you're going to need FuboTV, Hulu Plus Live TV, Sling TV Blue or YouTube TV or use the Yahoo Sports app.

What about Sunday Ticket? 

NFL Sunday Ticket is still largely limited to DirecTV satellite subscribers, though those who live in buildings that can't add a satellite dish can get a streaming version to watch football starting at $294 for its To Go package, or $396 for a Max package that includes the RedZone channel (a student version is also available at a discount). You can check your address on the Sunday Ticket site

The problem here, however, is even if you're eligible it doesn't include your local games. You can only watch Sunday games that aren't being broadcast on CBS, Fox or NBC in your area.

For $65 a month, you'll get all the major football channels with YouTube TV. Plus, RedZone is available for an extra $11 per month. Plug in your ZIP code on YouTube TV's welcome page to see which local networks are available in your area.

Read our YouTube TV review.

Sling TV's $35-a-month Blue plan includes NBC, Fox and the NFL Network. Enter your address here to see which local channels are available where you live. 

Note: This version of Sling TV does not include ESPN. For that, you'll need to switch to the similarly priced Orange plan or go for the combined $50 per month Orange and Blue bundle. RedZone is also available for an extra $11 per month.

Read our Sling TV review.

Those looking for CBS games will be able to stream them on Paramount Plus with its $10 per month Premium tier. You can check for yourself if your area has live CBS streaming here

Most Thursday Night games, starting with Week 5 on October 7, will be available on Amazon Prime Video. For millions of Amazon Prime subscribers, the Prime Video channel is already included at no extra cost. But if you're not a subscriber, it might be worth it to shell out the $9 a month for the stand-alone TV service fee.

Read our Amazon Prime Video review.

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The Perfect Wireless Earbuds for Every Need

wireless earbuds are one of those ideas that sounded at first like a dream: Pop a tiny little headphone into each ear and listen to music or take calls untethered from everything. The first wireless buds were gigantic, died after a few hours, and had a bunch of other problems. Luckily, times have changed. There are a myriad of new models that sound fabulous and work perfectly. After testing dozens of them for the past four years, here are our favorite wireless earbuds right now, in a wide range of styles and prices.

For more top picks, our Best Wireless Headphones, Best Noise-Canceling Headphones, Best Cheap Headphones, and Best Workout Earbuds guides may help.

Updated September 2021: We’ve added the Samsung Galaxy Buds2 and Sony WF-1000XM4, and updated our list of honorable mentions.

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The Best Hiking Apps to Keep from Getting Lost

Ah, the great outdoors. The flora, the fauna, the welcome mystery of the open trail stretched before you. You’ve left it all behind, until … Wait. Where’s the map? Did you mean to turn left back at that fork? What direction is the campsite anyway? Is it starting to get dark? Don’t lose yourself out there. Download one of these trail-mapping hiking apps to make sure you can always find your way, whether you have cell service or not.

Image may contain Electronics GPS Phone Mobile Phone and Cell Phone
Photograph: AllTrails

Every outdoor explorer needs AllTrails on their phone. The app catalogs over 200,000 trails around the world—including in Antarctica. Its handy filters let you search trails by elevation, activity type, dog-friendliness, and much more. If you’re trekking beyond cell range, pony up for the pro membership ($30 for a year, or $60 for a prepaid three-year plan, iOS and Android), which lets you download maps ahead of time, track your exact location using GPS, and view map overlays of your chosen route that show everything from the weather to the air quality to light pollution levels. And if you get really lost, the app’s Lifeline feature sends a status update to your designated safety contact either with your location either with a tap, or if you’re not at your destination by a specified time. Pro memberships are also ad-free, and AllTrails donates 1 percent of the proceeds to environment-focused nonprofits.

Designed for backpackers, Gaia offers topographical and satellite maps for any kind of outdoor adventure. Whether you’re on a day hike, a mountain biking trip, a hunting excursion, or deep in the backcountry, the app is built to get you where you’re going safely and with as much information as possible. There is a free version, but for more advanced hikers it’s well worth it to get the premium membership ($40 for a year, iOS and Android), which lets you download maps for offline use. You also get NOAA weather forecasts and layers to designate private land, public land, air quality, snow, and recent wildfires. Gaia GPS supports more than 30 languages, from Hindi to Hebrew.

If you’re a long-distance hiker, Guthook Guides offers some of the extras you might be looking for. In addition to the seven different map types—several of which work offline—GPS tracking, water sources, and more, each guide provides an incredibly thorough listing of waypoints, of including images to help ensure you’re in the right spot and comments left by other Guthook users. You can update family and friends on the progress of your hike, and find detailed information on everything from trailheads to liquor stores along the way. Most appealing for thru-hikers, the guides range widely in price depending on the route; the map for California’s Lost Cost Trail will set you back five bucks, while the full Appalachian Trail guide costs $60.

The offline mapping data on Google Maps won’t work for the serious backpacker, but a cheapskate on a leisurely hike, there are worse options. Enable the topographic map layer to see more detail in the areas between landmarks, then download the map of your hiking area for offline viewing. Drop a few pins along the way and you should be able to find your way around using the offline GPS functionality. You can also share your route with others. It’s not perfect—but it’s free!

Some Extras

Hey, is that poison oak? Identify every leaf and vine along the way with Seek (free, iOS and Android), the Shazam for plants. What’s that mountain in the distance? Use PeakVisor ($5, iOS and Android) to display the name, elevation, and distance of any peak in augmented reality. How’s the weather on the trails today? Check on Weather Live (free, iOS and Android) for detailed information on temperature, precipitation, wind speed and direction, UV and visibility; it also tells you when you’ll find “golden hour” for those perfect outdoor selfies.

Navigating by the stars? Find your way with Spyglass ($6, iOS and Android), which puts measuring instruments on your smartphone’s display—including a speedometer, altimeter, inclinometer, optical rangefinder, sextant, angular calculator, and a tool to track the position of the stars, sun, and moon. 

For a little extra peace of mind, Cairn (iOS and Android) crowdsources where people have found cell coverage on the trail, so you always know how far you are from your nearest reliable signal. Lastly, accidents happen. It’s free to download, but premium features like offline maps and real-time location sharing cost $5 a month or $27 for a fully year. Download the Red Cross’s First Aid app (free, iOS and Android) for quick advice on everything from dealing with an earthquake to a broken bone.


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A Mathematician’s Guided Tour Through Higher Dimensions

Alternatively, just as we can unfold the faces of a cube into six squares, we can unfold the three-dimensional boundary of a tesseract to obtain eight cubes, as Salvador Dalí showcased in his 1954 painting Crucifixion (Corpus Hypercubus).

We can envision a cube by unfolding its faces. Likewise we can start to envision a tesseract by unfolding its boundary...

We can envision a cube by unfolding its faces. Likewise, we can start to envision a tesseract by unfolding its boundary cubes.

This all adds up to an intuitive understanding that an abstract space is n-dimensional if there are n degrees of freedom within it (as those birds had), or if it requires n coordinates to describe the location of a point. Yet, as we shall see, mathematicians discovered that dimension is more complex than these simplistic descriptions imply.

The formal study of higher dimensions emerged in the 19th century and became quite sophisticated within decades: A 1911 bibliography contained 1,832 references to the geometry of n dimensions. Perhaps as a consequence, in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the public became infatuated with the fourth dimension. In 1884, Edwin Abbott wrote the popular satirical novel Flatland, which used two-dimensional beings encountering a character from the third dimension as an analogy to help readers comprehend the fourth dimension. A 1909 Scientific American essay contest entitled “What Is the Fourth Dimension?” received 245 submissions vying for a $500 prize. And many artists, like Pablo Picasso and Marcel Duchamp, incorporated ideas of the fourth dimension into their work.

But during this time, mathematicians realized that the lack of a formal definition for dimension was actually a problem.

Georg Cantor is best known for his discovery that infinity comes in different sizes, or cardinalities. At first Cantor believed that the set of dots in a line segment, a square and a cube must have different cardinalities, just as a line of 10 dots, a 10 × 10 grid of dots and a 10 × 10 × 10 cube of dots have different numbers of dots. However, in 1877 he discovered a one-to-one correspondence between points in a line segment and points in a square (and likewise cubes of all dimensions), showing that they have the same cardinality. Intuitively, he proved that lines, squares and cubes all have the same number of infinitesimally small points, despite their different dimensions. Cantor wrote to Richard Dedekind, “I see it, but I do not believe it.”

Cantor realized this discovery threatened the intuitive idea that n-dimensional space requires n coordinates, because each point in an n-dimensional cube can be uniquely identified by one number from an interval, so that, in a sense, these high-dimensional cubes are equivalent to a one-dimensional line segment. However, as Dedekind pointed out, Cantor’s function was highly discontinuous—it essentially broke apart a line segment into infinitely many parts and reassembled them to form a cube. This is not the behavior we would want for a coordinate system; it would be too disordered to be helpful, like giving buildings in Manhattan unique addresses but assigning them at random.

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