Friday, December 9, 2016

Samsung Galaxy S8 to Potentially Feature An All-front Bezel-less Display

As the launch of Samsung’s next flagship comes nearer by the day, all kinds of rumours have started swirling as well. The latest report points towards the Samsung flagship getting an all-screen front design.

The report comes courtesy of Bloomberg, which predicts a front panel with absolutely no bezels. As a part of the scheme, the Galaxy S8 will also lose the iconic physical home button, part of the Samsung folklore for years. It will be replaced by a virtual home button placed in the lower half.
To make this possible, the phone is said to be utilizing ground-breaking organic LED technology, which will enable wraparound displays, which is important considering a potential move from Apple towards OLED panels in the future.
Also, the report mentions a possible delay in the release of the phone by a month, which can be attributed to increased testing measures deployed after the launch of the Galaxy Note 7.
The phones are said to come in the same 5.1-inch and 5.7-inch sizes of the current S7 and S7 Edge phones. They’ll be powered by both Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 835 and Samsung’s own Exynos chips.
The launch is more important than ever, following the fiasco revolving the Note 7 launch, even though Samsung likely couldn’t have changed plans so soon.
It is not a surprise at all to hear about this, given we have been hearing about the 10-anniversary version of the iPhone having an all-screen front panel, too, with a virtual home button replacing the current capacitive, physical one. It is clear if both phones manage to wield such radical redesigns with few drawbacks, a new approach in design language will be triggered.

Apple Reveals its Best Apps and Games of 2016

Apple has published yet another annual list of the best apps of 2016. The apps don’t include those which sold the best, but rather the ones which best showcase the true potential of Apple’s products.

The app judged by Apple to be the best of the year was Prisma, the photo-editing app which took the world by storm due to its powerful editing tools which transform normal photos into works of art.
The runner-up this year is MSQRD, the editing app famous for its live filters and face swaps in videos and photos.
Next is Quartz, the news app which got recognition for its use of clean design and great presentation of news.
Vogue, the app of the fashion magazine was next due to its great pictorial presentation and convenient UI.
Meditation Studio completed the top-five; the app teaches its users how to meditate in an step-by-step approach.
Detour, a touring app with audio walks, and Credit Karma, a credit-score measuring app were next, followed by Glasses by Warby Parker, which helps you conveniently choose your next pair of glasses right from your phone.
Hyper is an app catered to creating playlist of your videos, while Tinycards offers flashcards for quick learning on pretty much everything, everywhere.
Similarly, Apple also announced the best games of the year. The one which took the crown was Clash Royale, a card-based game which takes cues from Clash of Clans. Following it is Reigns, a turn-based adventure game set in medieval times, and the omnipresent Plants vs. Zombies.
The next in line is twofold inc., a puzzle game with amazing visuals, followed by the racing-game Riptide GP: Renegade.

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Netflix Users, Here is How You Can Save Movies to Your SD Card

how you can save movies from Netflix on your SD card to save your data as well as phone space.

Normally when you save a Netflix movie on, they are saved in a nondescript folder on your phone’s built-in storage. You can, however, copy it on an SD card to save phone space but you will need to copy it back into the phone’s memory to make it viewable.
The process may seem tedious but if you are in for a long flight or are going somewhere with limited connectivity, it can be a godsend.

How To Save a Netflix Movie on an SD Card

  1. Open any file manager on your phone (or download one from Google Play).
  2. Turn on the option to show hidden files and folders by going into the file manager’s settings.
  3. Go to Device Storage > Android > data > > files > Download > .of  by using the file explorer.
  4. Here you’ll see a folder named with a string of numbers. Just long-press on the folder copy/cut it.
  5. Open your SD card inside the file explorer and paste the folder over there.
  6. When you want to watch your movie or TV show again, you will have to copy the folder back to its original location in step 3.
Although a lot of people were left disappointed by the limiting collection of movies, Netflix has been gradually more shows to its lineup. Netflix has unveiled plans to double the amount of its original programming for next year, hopefully bringing more content for its users in the process.

This Awesome Interactive Online Tool Will Teach You How a DSLR Camera Works

Our mobile cameras may have gotten unbelievably good over the past few years but still, they are no match for DSLR cameras. However, those bulky professional cameras come with a steep learning curve and require some basic knowledge of how a camera works.

One fun new online tool called “Photography Mapped” will teach you the basics of DSLR photography in an interactive manner.
It comes with a simple, interactive UI and will let you quickly tweak settings like the amount of light, aperture (F/Number), shutter speed, ISO, Exposure, etc.
Just slide a bar to increase or decrease the particular settings and it will quickly show a preview of what the particular setting tweaks below. For example, you can adjust the aperture to instantly see how it affects the picture’s depth of field (the amount of area in focus).

Once you are done tweaking the settings to your liking, just click on the “Take Photo” button. It will display a result of the photo you took of the flying helicopter. There is also an “Auto” mode if you want a glimpse of what most DSLRs’ default camera settings would deliver.
Photography Mapped also provides a handy graphic about the camera’s workings, in case anyone is interested in learning.

Bluetooth 5 With 2X Speed & 4X Range Officially Announced

The long wait for Bluetooth 5 is finally over. Yesterday, the Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG) made the next generation of Bluetooth, the version 5.0, official. It clears the way for device makers to use the new technology in smart phones, wearables and even smart home equipment. You won’t be getting it right away though, it’s still going to take it 2 to 6 months before it can enter the market though.

Improvements in Bluetooth 5.0

This was originally hinted back in June. The update is supposed to increase the range by 4 times and it’s going to double the speed of wireless connections over Bluetooth’s low-energy protocol, which is commonly used to connect devices gadgets like smartwatches, bands, headphones etc. over long durations. For example, one of the biggest bottlenecks for smartwatches was their slow connection to your phone, but with Bluetooth 5, this can be taken care of quiet easily now.
Along with the boost in speed and range, the SIG claims that the Bluetooth 5 will be better at avoiding congested wireless channels, using other standards like LTE and WiFi, allowing for a clearer connection between the devices.
This update also includes an 8x boost to the spec’s “broadcast message capacity”. This could let things like wireless beacons send more relevant data directly to your phone no matter where you are.

Future Updates

The same cannot be expected for audio quality though, even though you’ll be able to use your wireless headphones from further away, we won’t be seeing improvements to audio compression, latency and power use until 2018.
SIG also plans to add mesh networking capabilities to the spec in the future update. This would allow Bluetooth devices to serve as network-boosting hubs that can spread a Bluetooth connection further, thereby aiding IoT devices.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Microsoft PowerApps Lets You Create Apps Without Coding

Samsung Galaxy S8 Will Have No Headphone Jack:

After the iPhone 7 removed its headphone jack, Samsung is following suit by doing the same thing for its upcoming flagship Galaxy S8 .

They removed the feature of removable batteries in the Galaxy S6 and now a report suggests that Samsung is going to remove the 3.5mm headphone jack from Galaxy S8 and replace it with a USB Type-C port.
This means that you won’t be able to plug your phone into a charger and use headphones at the same time unless Samsung includes 2 USB-C ports. All your old Samsung headphones are not going to work with the Galaxy S8 either.
Apple was criticized a lot by users and critics alike for removing the headphone jack from the iPhone 7. The same can be expected from Samsung fans after this decision. More worrisome for Samsung will be the fact that the Android ecosystem has a wide variety of phones that compete at the high end and people might end up switching.

Benefits of Removing the Headphone Jack

Let’s discuss why the company might be removing the headphone jack. First, it will result in a thinner device and would open up space for a bigger battery. Reports have indicated that the device being too thin was what caused the Note 7 fiasco so we aren’t entirely sold on that.
Stereo speakers might also be added to the new Galaxy S8, something which no other Samsung phone has right now. Samsung might make this possible in collaboration with Harman, a company that it is going to acquire for $8 billion.
These are all rumors at this point but Android leaks in particular have been accurate for quite a while now. The Samsung Galaxy S8 is going to be officially announced in February 2017 at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona so expect more rumors as the date draws closer.

Saturday, December 3, 2016

iOS 10.1.1 is Causing Serious Battery Problems on Some iPhones

Although software updates usually bring features to broaden the possibilities of a phone, often there are a few caveats which also make their way out. This time, it is iOS 10.1.1 which is causing serious battery life problems.

Apple launched two versions of its 10.1.1 update, one to fix Health Data while the second without any particular reason being given. Perhaps, partly because of this the users of the iPhone, particularly the 5S and 6, are reporting battery life of less than a day.
Apple’s own discussion forums and Twitter show a wide barrage of disgruntled users feeling the pain.
They also report the battery status to be not-so-accurate after the update, showing battery life of as much as 80-percent dying without usage overnight. Also, plugging in upon reboot took it directly to 30 percent, for one user, who experienced normal working for two more hours.
It doesn’t help that Apple recently launched a program to fix faulty iPhone 6S battery without extra charge, though, the real problem it seems could possibly extend to many more models, now.
Some people have been trying to ameliorate these worries for themselves. They are disabling the Raise to Wake feature, however this doesn’t seem to deliver the trick to all users.
Let’s hope that Apple fixes the issue in the next iteration of software updates. Of course, most bugs which come with software upgrades are fixed as soon as possible and let’s hope this is a software-related issue, too.

Samsung to Reveal The Cause of Note 7 Explosions By Year End

Samsung may have attempted to clear the wreckage and quietly end the story of its Note 7 debacle, but it has not released the true cause of the mayhem until now.

Now, it appears the company will be revealing the reason behind its discontinuation soon, or at least before the year ends. Samsung’s most recent investigation on the subject began on November the 11th.
“We are considering all possibilities to find out the exact cause of the accidents,” said a Samsung official who made it clear that the company intends to uncover the complete details rather than jump to conclusions. The last time it did, it had to discontinue a flagship so it must tread safely on rough water.
The company sold 4.3 million Note 7 devices in the few months following its launch in August. However, dozens of fire-related accidents, two recalls and as much as $17 billion in lost revenue, the company is left with no choice other than to look towards its next savior, the Galaxy S8.
Samsung has been under pressure from investors ever since the Note 7 incident began. Recent reports hint towards a potential splitting of the company in two and a move away from the current clan-like structure.
The move would make decisions easier to question and could increase efficiency. It also includes listing on a foreign stock exchange such as NASDAQ like so many of its Western counterparts. Whether these plans materialize remains to be seen.

Friday, December 2, 2016

This App Allows You to Use Multiple Whatsapp & Other Accounts on Android

This App Allows You to Use Multiple Whatsapp & Other Accounts on Android
parallel-spaceIf you’re one of those guys who like to keep your work and personal life separate, chances are there have been times when you have wished to access multiple accounts of WhatsApp or Facebook on your phone – just to keep everything separate and managed. Alas, however, the limitations of our phones never let us do that.

Now with Android being so flexible and open, is there anything that you can’t do with it?
Meet “Parallel Space” – an Android app that lets you run multiple accounts of the same app on your phone simultaneously. The app lets you easily manage two or more of your accounts of the same app.

Further, you can also lock the app with the security code for the sake of privacy or make your secondary accounts invisible on your device through incognito installation.
Thankfully, the app works with almost all of the messaging app including WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, Viber, Instagram and Snapchat.
In Android world, this is not the ‘first of its kind’. Few months ago, Xiaomi released its latest MIUI-8, which also comes with similar ‘Second Space’ feature – allowing users to access two accounts for multiple messaging apps. But with Xiaomi brand not being easily available, this might be the best option for you.
There are two versions of this app available – a 32bit and a 64bit one, both of which can be downloaded from the PlayStore.
There are some compatibility issue between Parallel Space and 64-bit devices that run Android 6.0 or 6.0.1, however, the company is working on it.
Make sure you choose the right version for your device.
Download Parallel Space (32-bit version) here.
Download Parallel Space (64-bit version) here.

Netflix Offline is Finally Here – Download Videos Whenever You Want

Millions of users have been asking for it for years and now they finally get it. Netflix has announced that its users will be able to view their shows offline for the first time, which is good even though details are scarce at this moment.

Not every film or TV series supports downloading, but those which do, have a download button on the details page. The feature is being targeted to users either have no internet access while travelling or find it too expensive to stream it again and again.
Many popular TV series including Netflix’s own original TV series Orange is The New Black, Stranger Things and Narcos are available for download right now. To aid users, there is a new “Available for Download” tab which conveniently places all downloadable series in one place.
While many members enjoy watching Netflix at home, we’ve often heard they also want to continue their Stranger Things binge while on airplanes and other places where Internet is expensive or limited.
Users are only required to update their mobile app to the latest version to get the downloading option. The feature is available on both iOS and Android right now.
The right to make their shows and movies available, of course, still lies with their original publishers. Disney, for instance, is backing out of it, which could also open the door for many more.
As Engadget reports, the download option is available to users on all plans, however, the content quality does suffer when offline. Toggling it to “higher” quality won’t increase it.
Netflix’s rival, Amazon, has offered the option to download videos for quite a while. On the other hand, Netflix has been quite vocally against it for a long period of time but perhaps it too has given up in front of its audience’s demands.

YouTube Gets Support for 4K Live Streaming

Remember when YouTube allowed 4K uploads? That was back in 2010. Now YouTube is bringing 4K live streaming capability to its platform.

You can live stream in both 4K and in 360 degree 4K, whatever you like. You can check out the first 4K video live stream on YouTube tomorrow at 6:30 AM for The Game Awards 2016.
This will give YouTube an edge over its competitors, Facebook and Twitter (and maybe twitch as well). Facebook live and Periscope (Twitter) allow only 720p streaming at 30 fps. YouTube will be offering 4K live streaming at upto 60 fps.

The Leap From Full HD to UHD / 4K Quality

Just thinking about it, going from HD to UHD streaming in itself is big. UHD or 4K shows an average of 8 million pixels with 4 times better definition than 1080p or Full HD video.
Watching 4K in  however is nigh impossible with the kind of internet speeds we have around here. Live streaming is even more of an impossibility if done at 4K. Unless you have a great 20 Mbps connection that is (and that too at the very least) and beefy 4k-capable hardware.

YouTube HDR

YouTube has been upgrading over time with the recent addition of 4K HDR videos. HDR videos show more details in shadowy parts of a video. High contrast lighting in videos is evened out with HDR resulting in better overall lighting/color quality in videos. Unfortunately to view anything in HDR you will need a screen or a TV capable of showing content in HDR in the first place.
The HDR-enabled TVs are rare and expensive so you will have to wait before going out to buy one.

Meizu Announces Its Latest Flagship Pro 6 Plus

This is How You Should Learn Artifical Intelligence According to Facebook Employees

For the students who are interested in Artificial Intelligence (AI), two Facebook employees have given a bit of advice. This advice comes from Yann LeCun and Joaquin Quinonero Candela who run the company’s Artificial Intelligence Lab and Applied Machine Learning group respectively.

The two of them advise students that they should take Calc I, Calc II, Calc III, Linear Algebra, Probability and Statistics as early as possible. Math, Math and more Math they say.
While addressing the college students, they said that that other than Math, Engineering, Computer Science, Economics and Neuroscience are vital subjects to the economy as well. And that there’s no bar for people coming from other fields to contribute to the development of artificial intelligence.
The two employees also said that philosophy is something that is necessary for understanding knowledge and learning. They said that students shouldn’t forget that behind all the application and building of a machine there is always a human behind it after all. Humans are going to be the one who solve modern world problems and those humans should understand how learning works before they get into manipulating data and other geeky details.
After all that being said, Yann and Joaquin finally brought up the topic of students getting themselves a job in the field of machine learning.
“Find a professor to work with, consider working with PhD students who have more time on their hands and try to secure and industry-focused internship regardless of your future aspirations to understand how AI works in the real world”
They further advised that being able to identify a professor you want to work with is much more important than program ranking. After all that being dealt with, the students should work to address a specific problem and try to release a piece of open source code.

New Google Malware Infects More Than A Million Devices

More than a million Google accounts today have been hit by a malware, said a security firm yesterday on Wednesday.


The attack campaign known as Gooligan, is infecting more and more devices with malware every day,  with 13,000 each day to be more specific.
The malware steals the infected device’s authentication tokens to breach data from Google apps such as Google Play, Gmail, Google Docs, Google Drive and other apps.
But the purpose of this malware is not to steal your personal data. It is to force users to download apps that are a part of an advertising fraud scheme that makes up to $320,000 a month, Michael Shaulov, head of the mobile security at Check Point, told Forbes.

The Malicious Apps

Gooligan works like the Trojan Horse virus.
Just like the Trojan Horse virus, the malicious software disguises itself as a legitimate Android app for phones and tablets.
Some of these malicious apps are StopWatch, Perfect Cleaner and Wi-Fi Enhancer. When you install these apps, they automatically install others apps, some of them can even steal your username and passwords to write up and post fake reviews.
The downloads and reviews from these apps feed into the hackers’ ad fraud scheme. The hackers run ads in those malicious apps, and each click on those ads means more money for them.
These apps are not found on Google Play store, where the company has more authorisation over apps, but from third party stores and websites. But some of these apps that the malicious apps forcibly download can be found on the Play store.
Google said that they have removed those apps.

The Damage Inflicted

Apparently Gooligan affects devices which run on Android 4 or 5 (Jelly bean, Kit Kat, Lollipop). 74% of total devices around the world run on this Android version. Most of them are around in Asia while only a few of them are in Europe.

Users are strongly advised to download trusted anti-virus apps to protect themselves and not download unauthorized and suspicious apps from third party stores and websites.

Amazon Web Services Announces Private Servers Starting at $5 a Month

At the AWS re:Invent conference, Amazon Web Services announced their new virtual private servers which will be available for as low as $5 a month.

The service for virtual private servers will be called Lightsail. According to AWS CEO, Andy Jassy, Lightsail was designed specifically for customers that want their own private servers without having to deal with any technical details.
You get 1 free month of usage if you choose the $5 package.

How To Set It Up

You only need to choose 3 things to start up your server through the service.
First you will be asked for what Operating System you want to use. You can choose from Ubuntu and Linux
Then you will be asked to choose from 5 different bundles each with different processing power, storage capacity, RAM etc.
Finally you just need to name your server and that’s all.

Package Details and Services

Everything is handled by the service itself. Launching the virtual machine, setting up the storage and the OS, etc.
There are 5 different packages available for you to use. The memory mentioned is the amount of RAM available. The transfer size is the amount of data you can transfer to/from the storage
  1. $5 per month, 512 MB memory, 1 core processor, 20GB SSD, 1 TB transfer
  2. $10 per month, 1 GB memory, 1 core processor, 30 GB SSD, 2 TB transfer
  3. $20 per month, 2 GB memory, 1 core processor, 40 GB SSD, 3 TB transfer
  4. $40 per month, 4 GB memory, 2 core processor, 60 GB SSD, 4 TB transfer
  5. $80 per month, 8 GB memory, 2 core processor, 80 GB SSD, 5 TB transfer
All of these packages come with:
  • Static IP Addresses
  • Intuitive management console
  • SSH terminal access
  • SSH key management
  • DNS management
  • Server monitoring
  • Access to AWS services
For more details you can visit this page.

People with a more techie background will prefer to choose each option for themselves and might ultimately want to tweak the options to fit their needs. For your average person or even a small business or startup, this could be perfect.
Click here to get started with Lightsail.

Nokia Smartphones Will be Manufactured by HMD

Like any revered gladiator which falls in the battlefield but doesn’t die in its followers’ hearts, Nokia is a story which doesn’t seem to die. Except this time, the end is not really the end as the company will live on under its new ownership.

HMD Global Oy is now finally the owner of the once-gargantuan Finnish company, as a part of the licensing agreement which lasts 10 years.
It must be noted that although the Nokia name is being used, there is little co-operation from the actual company. There is, after all, only one Nokia representative on the board, while the brand is not a backer of HMD in any sort.
And HMD itself will not even produce the phones; that will be done by FIH Mobile, a subsidiary of Chinese manufacturing behemoth, Foxconn. That work will commence once Microsoft ends its production of a few Nokia-branded phones.
The operating system used by HMD will be Android, an OS Nokia tried so hard to resist but had to accept in the final months before its demise.
The first batch of phones will be unveiled in February, 2017 at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.
HMD is headed by Florian Seiche, its President who is a former co-founder of HTC’s smartphone business, and Arto Nummela, the CEO who used to be the VP of Mobile Devices Sales who also worked for Nokia. Its Chief Product Officer is Juho Sarvikas, who was in charge of connecting Nokia’s Windows Phones with carriers.
Let’s just hope this time the fallen guardian will get the long-awaited reverence that it deserves, if not a proper farewell.

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Whatsapp Now Allows You to Watch Videos While They Download

WhatsApp, which has been adding features for quite some time, is back with another important feature. In an update to the beta version 2.16.365 of the app, WhatsApp allows you to view a video while its downloading.

Normally, the app requires you to download a video fully before you can watch it, but the latest update will likely save a bit of time and data (if you don’t consider it worthy enough), before it is fully downloaded.
The latest update shows a play button on the media content while it is still buffering. The usual download button is relegated to the bottom left. With its more than a billion users worldwide, including those who hail from developing countries, the feature will undoubtedly be a sigh of relief to a lot of users.
It is not clear when the update will get its place in the public release, but it shouldn’t take that much time now that is in beta. It is only being reported by beta testers of the app in India as of now. With its new GIF support and conversion tools, the new changes will go nicely together in WhatsApp’s future.
Only earlier this week, WhatsApp allowed the ability to add video-calling, a much-needed addition after years of demand from users. With Facebook expected to add more features from Snapchat like it did with its own app, things might be about to get even better.

Are iPhone Users Dishonest?

A research study conducted by researchers at the universities of Lincoln and Lancaster in the UK just proved the term “your phone says a lot about you” to be right.

They conducted the research on around 530 people about their phones and their feelings for it. They limited the research for the years 2015-2016.
The researchers say,
We found that the iPhone users are more likely to be female, younger, and increasingly concerned about their phone being viewed as a status symbol. Key differences in personality were also observed with iPhone users displaying lower levels of honesty and higher levels of emotions.
Now what does this conclude? That the iPhone users are more likely to be dishonest? Only have the iPhone for a status symbol? More sensitive on the emotional side? Surely a lot of you will disagree.

What It Says About Android Users

This research was presented initially at the British Psychological Society Social Psychology Section annual conference, but it was finalized and lastly published last week in the Journal Cyber psychology, Behavior and Social Networking.
According to this study, Android smartphone users have higher levels of uprightness and modesty, agreeableness and openness personality traits, but are less extroverted compared to iPhone users.
However, all this is just a generalization. A recent example being the US President-Elect Donald Trump’s staff, who are said to tweet from an iPhone, while President Trump himself prefers an Android.

Researcher David Ellis’s Observations

David and his team had certain presumptions about iPhone users. He said,
We expected that iPhone users would be younger and more extroverted. We also predicted that iPhone users would be more likely to view their phone as a status symbol.
He described that the researchers had already started to get better at predicting what phone people had once they began the study. He said that they were able to make statistical model which could predict which phone people had in their pockets 70 percent of the time. They could do this after asking people a few questions about themselves.
Ellis reflects that more would be learned if the next research study focuses on those who switch from an iPhone to an Android.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Google’s Artificial Intelligence Has Created Its Own Secret Language

Anyone who has seen the Terminator knows what a terrifying nemesis a computer can be, especially if left on its own to make decisions. Google may not be looking to transform those fears into a horrifying reality but its recent revelation has made all of just a tad bit more worried.

Researchers at Google have found that their AI system is capable of communicating in a secret language, created by the system itself. They were working on multilingual translations using neural networks but were faced with a significant challenge for scaling the system to work for all of the supported-103 languages.

To tackle this, they proposed a new architecture. They trained a multilingual system with Japanese⇄English and Korean⇄English examples and taught it to translate a text in Japanese is then translated into Korean by using this method. Then they made the system translate between Korean and Japanese without using English as an intermediary, and it worked.

Called “zero-shot translation”, this method yielded fairly reasonable translations between the two languages without ever being taught to do so. This led them to probe further in the systems workings and they concluded that the computer has managed to develop its own internal language to represent the concepts it uses to translate between languages.

There are a lot of questions that still remain unanswered about how Google’s computer was able to do this. A neural network’s inner workings are notoriously complex and even Google’s researchers aren’t quite sure how it managed this.

Search-giant Google is on the forefront of the push towards Artificial Intelligence and has made some incredibly big strides in the field of automation. We may still be far from realizing the full potential of AI, but already, it is helping us in more ways than we could have ever imagined.

Instagram Launches Live Video Streaming

Instagram, one of the most popular social media networks, is rolling out Live Video Streaming feature as part of its Instagram Stories.

Photos and videos disappear after 24 hours in Instagram stories and the live videos are similarly ephemeral as well.
When the video streaming is over, your live video will disappear from the app unlike Facebook Live where videos could be shared and saved after the stream had ended.
CEO of Instagram, Kevin Systrom said,
There’s nothing that irks me more when people call us a photo sharing app because there’s so much more going on in videos these days.

How It Works

To start your live stream, you’ll need to swipe right from your Instagram feed to open the camera, then tap “Start Live Video”.
The sharing limit is one hour.
Your friends may get a notification when you start a stream and they can tune right into the stream. While you’re live, you can pin a comment for everyone to see or turn off the comments altogether. If someone you follow starts a Live Stream, you’ll see a “Live” under their Profile Photo on your Stories Bar

Instagram Direct

In addition to Instagram Stories, Instagram Direct is getting an upgrade too. Now you can send photos and videos directly to groups and individual friends, whether if it is your own story or someone else’s.

Since launching improvements to Instagram Direct last year, the number of monthly users has reached over 300 million.

Google To Provide Real-Time Info On How Busy A Place Is

Google To Provide Real-Time Info On How Busy A Place Is
Last year, Google launched a feature called Popular Times. It was capable of showing peak-hours for a particular place, to help you decide whether to visit it or not. Now, Google has decided to provide real-time information instead.

In other words, before making plans with your friends or family, you can now easily assess how crowded a particular place is and exactly how long you will have to wait.

Updated Features

Google has also decided to add another feature which will show how long people normally spend at a place.
Moreover, Google has introduced a different look to the business information with hours for various departments and services. For example, a Shell petrol station might have a tuck-shop which operates at a different timing than the petrol station itself. These off-timings inter-department will also be handled by Popular Times.
It was reported that Google uses anonymized location data from our smartphones to estimate how many people might be there at any given time.

Change in Interface

The interface has been changed slightly to accommodate new features. Instead of the normal search, you will now be able to see the “Live” look at how busy the places are.

Future Advancements

Google have been making advancements by thriving on gathering information. The users are prompted with queries regarding a place they recently visited after the company detects it. It also asks some questions about the places you visit in order to build a profile for them.
This sort of information can prove extremely useful in sorting different people in terms of their liking, their taste and their preferences. The information can then used to suggest them the most ideal places to visit and so on.

The updates are said to be made sooner than expected, around next week, according to a source.

HTC 10 EVO is the Company’s First Flagship Waterproof Phone

HTC 10 EVO is the Company’s First Flagship Waterproof Phone
htc-10-evoWeeks after it announced the Bolt for Sprint, HTC is back with its international version called the 10 Evo. The phone comes with pretty much the same specs in and out but will support more bands than its American sibling. Its the official international version of the HTC Bolt, so to speak.

HTC 10 EVO Features

At the front is a 5.5-inch Super LCD 3 display with QHD resolution and  Corning Gorilla Glass 5 protection. The front also boasts a fingerprint scanner at the bottom of the screen. The design is water-resistant, like it was with the Bolt, and the phone is 8.1 mm thick.
Under the hood, you get the aging Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 processor, which most would admit got a less than a lukewarm reaction, with 3 GB of RAM and either 32 or 64 GB of expandable storage. The processor can more than get the job done in most cases but with this kind of price, its underwhelming to put it lightly.
The back boasts a 16 MP camera with OIS and PDAF, with an 8 MP shooter on the front. The connectivity options are well-covered with inclusions such as USB Type-C port, VoLTE, NFC, GPS, dual-band Wi-Fi and Bluetooth.

Gets Android Nougat 7.0 Out of The Box

The phone will be available in Silver, Gold and Gunmetal colors. The battery capacity is 3,200 mAh with Quick Charge 2.0 supported. The 10 Evo does come with Android 7.0 Nougat, which 6 months after its release is still a unique feature to come by.
Pricing starts at $564 (Rs. 59,000) for the 32 GB model, or $626 (Rs. 65,600) for the 64 GB model. It will go on sale by the end of this month.

HTC 10 EVO Specifications

  • Chipset: Qualcomm Snapdragon 810
  • CPU: 2.0GHz octa-core (4x ARM Cortex A-57, 4x ARM Cortex A-53)
  • GPU: Adreno 430
  • OS: Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow with HTC Sense UI
  • Supported Networks: 2G, 3G, 4G LTE; Dual-SIM
  • Display:
    • 5-inch Super LCD 3 with QHD (2560 x 144) resolution
    • Corning Gorilla Glass 5 protection
  • Memory:
    • RAM: 3 GB
    • Internal: 32/64 GB
    • Card slot: yes, by up to 2 TB
  • Camera:
    • Primary: 16 MP, LED, f/2.0, optical image stabilization, PDAF
    • Secondary: 8 MP, f/2.4
  • Connectivity: Bluetooth 4.1, GPS, NFC, USB Type-C, dual-band Wi-Fi, VoLTE
  • Battery: 3,200 mAh; Quick Charge 2.0
  • Price: $564 (32 GB), $626 (64 GB)

Watch Out iPhone Users, This 5-second Video Can Crash Your Phone

A 5-second video has been making rounds on the internet for its ability to crash almost any iPhone within a minute, thanks to a bug in iOS.

Apple’s iOS is considered one of the most stable mobile operating systems around, and also the most secure. Some clever Reddit users have, however, find a way to crash any iPhone (or almost any iOS device) by exploiting a seemingly simple bug in the phone’s system.
As you can see in the video attached below, all you have to do is open the video and let it play using iPhone’s default media player. The crash won’t happen instantly, but it will gradually slow your iPhone down. In under a minute, it will render the iPhone completely unusable.

Why does the iPhone crash?

The video file is corrupt and it tricks the iPhone into generating a loop by exploiting a loophole in iOS’ media-player. Barely 10 seconds after watching the video, the loop forces the iPhone to crash. Currently, this video appears to affect iPhones as far back as iOS 5. Do note that it only works when viewed as a link, not when sent as a media file.

How to fix your iPhone?

If you have fallen victim to this prank, don’t worry; the lock-up is not permanent. All you need to do is perform a soft reset to get your iPhone back to normal.
Just hold the sleep/wake and home buttons simultaneously for at least 10 seconds, until you see the Apple logo. Then let go of both the buttons and boot your iPhone just as you normally would.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

New tech promises five hours of smartphone battery life in five minutes

FOR our smartphone obsessed society, an unexpected dead battery can be an unbridled disaster.
For those worried about being caught unable to take that perfect Instagram photo, or getting lost without the safety of Google Maps, then fear no more.
A new technology promises to give your mobile a supercharge boost meaning you can get hours of battery life by the time it takes you to read this article.
US company Qualcomm which makes semiconductors and telecommunications equipment for smartphones debuted its new super-fast charging technology dubbed Quick Charge 4 last week.
The company makes chips and other internal hardware bits for a majority of top Android smartphones on the market including handsets for Samsung, LG and HTC.
As the name denotes, it’s the company’s fourth generation of charging technology and offers up a major advance in performance.
“We put a lot of hard work and engineering into new products, and we’re going to deliver what we hope is a much better charging experience from 2016,” Qualcomm’s senior director of product management Everett Roach said at the unveiling.
Depending on the device, the company says Quick Charge 4 will provide phones with five hours of battery life in just five minutes, or up to 50 per cent of a battery’s capacity in under 15 minutes.
The generation of Quick Charge equates to about a 20 per cent increase in efficiency from the company’s latest version, Quick Charge 3.
The new technology will appear in Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 835 chip, which is expected to launch early next year. So if you want to reap the benefits of super fast charging, you’ll need to look out for phones that use the Snapdragon 835 chip next year — something that has not yet been made public.

Quick Charge 4 gives android phones real juice, and quickly.Source:News Limited
The latest version comes at a crucial time for Qualcomm. The global recall of Samsung’s Galaxy Note 7 due to phones catching fire and reports of dodgy third-party chargers also causing phones to catch fire has seen safety become a matter of paramount importance for smartphone manufacturers.
In fact Google — who has recently entered the smartphone wars with the release of its first device — sought to address the issue by implementing new guidelines for Android manufacturers which included charging recommendations that appear to ban Qualcomm’s Quick Charge tech.
The recommendations called for all phones to be USB-PD compliant — a specification intended to make USB-charged devices safer.
Quick Charge 3 is not, however Quick Charge 4 is fully compliant with Google’s new recommendations.
“Quick Charge 4 addresses that need by providing up to 50 per cent battery charge in roughly 15 minutes or less, so you don’t have to spend all day chained to your charging cable,” Alex Katouzian, Qualcomm’s vice president of product management, said in a statement.

So for those who live in perennial fear of a depleted phone battery, you can expect Qualcomm’s charging technology to appear in Android phones in early 2017.

The best Android 7 Nougat tips and tricks: Split-screen, quick settings, Easter Egg and more

There are loads of new features in Android 7 Nougat but not all are obvious. Here we round up the best tip and tricks including hidden features and easter eggs.

Along with its new Pixel smartphones and Daydream View VR headset, Google has launched Android 7 Nougat as the latest version of its mobile operating system. There're plenty of new features a hidden things so these are the best Android 7 Nougat tips and tricks.
Whether you're already using Android 7 Nougat on a Pixel or Pixel XL, or you're simply waiting for the update for your current phone, you'll want to know about all the great new things Google has brought to the OS.

Android Nougat Faster multi-tasking

It's something we've been waiting to get in Android for ages (perhaps Google saw our requests) and now you can finally double tap the recent apps buttons (the square) to switch between your two last apps.
Android 7 Nougat split screen

Android Nougat Use split-screen mode

A number of Android phones have offered this kind of feature for a while but Google has brought it to stock Android at long last. To open the split-screen mode, long press the recent apps button (the square) when you have an app open.
Note that if the app doesn't support split-screen (like Twitter), you'll get a message telling you so. When it does work, choose the second app you want to run alongside – again, you'll get a note on each app which doesn't support it. The square changes to a different icon. If the second app you want to use isn't in your recent apps list you can tap home to go and select it.
Once in split-screen mode, use the bar in the middle to adjust the size of each app. Long press the now split-screen icon to end the mode.
Bonus tip: When using Chrome in split-screen mode, tap the menu button and choose 'Move to other window' to have two different tabs open.
Bonus tip #2: When in multi-window, you can drag and drop text and images between the two apps. Just highlight, long press and drag once it's floating.

Android Nougat New quick settings

In Nougat there's a redesigned quick settings menu. Pull down once and you'll see five or six (depending on the screen size) settings which you can tap or long press, swipe down again and you'll get the full list. If you have enough quick settings, there will be a second page to the right.

What we really like in Nougat here is that you can really easily customise the section by simply dragging and dropping. Hit the pencil icon at the top and customise away to your heart's content.
Android 7 Nougat quick settings

Android Nougat Close all recent apps

It's a little bit hidden but Google has added a 'Clear all' button to Android 7 so you don't have to swipe one app off the screen at a time. You just need to open the recent apps menu and scroll to the top before the option appears.

Android Nougat Data saver

If you're on a tight data limit on your contract or SIM deal, then the data saver will come in handy. When switched on it will only permit certain app to have unrestricted data access so you don't accidentally use up your allowance.
Find it in the Data usage section of the settings menu or there's even a quick settings option for it so you can switch it on and off, er, quickly.

Android Nougat New settings menu

In Android 7 Nougat there's been a bit of a makeover to the settings menu. Not the most glamourous part of the OS but arguably the most useful.
Open the settings menu and you'll find suggestions at the top such as adding fingerprints and switching on features like Wi-Fi Calling. You'll also get notifications style additions towards the top so you can do things quicker. For example, if you have a Wi-Fi Hotspot on a section at the top will allow you to switch it off without delving into the menu.
There's also a new handy menu if you swipe in from the left which means you can easily navigate to different sections no matter where you are in the menu. Remember to use the search function if you can't find something – it can also just be the quickest way.
On the Pixel you'll also see a new 'Support' tab where you can get help if there's something you can't figure out. You can call Google or start an online chat.
Android 7 Nougat easter egg

Android Nougat Easter Egg

With previous versions of Android there have been some cool easter eggs, including a flappy bird style game. The hidden game for Android 7 is a little different and here's how you activate and use it.
As usual go to the settings menu and scroll down to 'About phone', head in and tap 'Android version' multiple times until you get the screen with a big colourful N. Tap on the N and few times and long press it until you see a cat emoji pop up below.
Once it does, open your quick settings menu and click the pencil to edit. You'll see a new options called "???? Android Easter egg" which you can drag into your settings. Now hit the home button and open your quick settings a second time. You can tap on the 'empty plate' and choose what to put on it.

Now all you have to do is wait for a cat to appear (you'll get a notification if you're successful) and you can then save that cat and rename it. There are loads to collect.

You’ll Be Able to Run Windows 10 VR Headsets on Almost Any Modern Laptop

The race to perfecting virtual reality is in full swing right now and Microsoft is as good a contender as any other technology giant.

Microsoft recently unveiled its latest virtual reality headsets for Windows 10. A part of the company’s Windows 10 Creators Update coming next year, the headsets will cost $299 and won’t require any complicated setup (like Oculus’ Rift or HTC’s Vive). They are also considerably cheaper than the other two.
Microsoft recently started including a “Windows Holographic First Run” application that tests a machine to ensure it’s compatibility in the latest Windows 10 builds. According to that application, here are the minimum specs your PC would need to be able to run it,
  • 4GB of RAM
  • USB 3.0 port
  • A graphics card with DirectX 12 support
  • 4 CPU cores, including dual-core processors with hyperthreading
If Microsoft adheres to these specification requirements in the future too, most modern PCs available today would have no problem running Windows 10 VR.
The VR field has gotten pretty crowded in recent days. Facebook-owned Oculus and HTC’s Vive VR are fighting for VR on PC while Sony has unveiled its own PS VR device for its console. On mobile, Google has a solid control, thanks to its Cardboard experiment. They’ve now built on their initial success to introduce Daydream VR as well.

Monday, November 21, 2016

Samsung to offer digital assistant service in Galaxy S8

Samsung Electronics said Sunday it will offer an artificial intelligence assistant service in the upcoming flagship smartphone, as the South Korean firm seeks recovery from its global smartphone recalls.
The Galaxy S8 will let users order food or perform other tasks without going through a third-party application but by simply asking the phone's virtual assistant, Samsung said in a statement. The artificial intelligence service will also be made available in Samsung's other consumer electronics products, such as refrigerators.
The company declined to disclose what specific tasks the S8 phone will perform through its artificial intelligence feature.