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.

Microsoft Releases Its Most Powerful Notebook Ever, Surface Book i7

Microsoft may have announced a somewhat unexpected AiO at its big event, but it is the Surface Book i7 which might get the mainstream treatment. Not a surprise given the growth this category has achieved in the past few years.

Cupertino’s latest offering comes with twice the graphics power of its predecessor, though at the expense of an additional single fan. But don’t be fooled by that statement because the new model is a formidable machine in-and-out.
Surface Book i7 is now capable of pushing up to 1.9 teraflops of graphical performance, which is three times more than the latest 13-inch MacBook can manage. There’s also a new Core i7 processor, of course. There is improvement on the battery front, which now makes the device last up to 16 hours on a single charge.
And that’s pretty much it. The laptop retains the same athletic hinge of its lower-end model, as well as the display. The Surface Book i7 also supports the captivating new Surface Dial accessory. Of course, there’s the Surface Pen, too.
Pricing is set at a considerably steeper $2399. For the record, the starting range for the series is the $899 Surface, but its 2-in-1 design and captivating hardware will win a lot of people over. It will come with the new Windows 10 Creators Update.

Surface Book i7 Specifications:

  • Display:
    • 13.5-inch PixelSense (3,000 x 2,000) 267ppi
  • Internals:
    • Processor: 6th gen Skylake Intel Core i7
    • RAM: 8GB/16GB
    • Storage: 256GB/512GB/1TB SSD
    • GPU: Nvidia GeForce GTX 965M 2GB 2X graphical performance at 1.9 teraflops
  • Battery: 16 hours of normal usage

5 Smartphone Cameras that Guarantee DSLR Like Pictures

Smartphone cameras are the subject of debate everywhere you find smartphones. Majority of Pakistanis that own a smartphone think that the iPhone 6s has the best camera out there while some think Samsung’s Note series comes out on top.

To settle the debate, we put the bring you this detailed comparison of the best cameras on phones and their respective pros and cons.

The lineup

We selected the phones based on popular opinion and availability in Pakistan
Here’s the list of phones used in this comparison
  • Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge
  • Apple iPhone 6s plus
  • Google Nexus 6p
  • Microsoft Lumia 950XL
  • Huawei P9
Other phones such as the HTC 10 and LG G5 were not added to the list due to not being officially available in Pakistan.
For an in depth comparison, photo samples comparing the phones in the list are linked at the end of this comparison.

Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge

The S7 edge offers the best in terms of camera performance for the layman. The detail preservation of the shots taken by the S7 edge are the best in the category and is good even in low light conditions.
It offers the best autofocus compared with all the other phones in this comparison and is the fastest and the most accurate.
  • Low noise in every condition for both photos and videos
  • Detail preservation is best in class in bright conditions with good detail preservation in low light conditions for photos. Good detail preservation in videos.
  • Autofocus very fast and accurate for both photos and video with great tracking and convergence while recording a video.
  • Flash offers good color and detail preservation and works really well without additional light source.
  • Exposure and color rendering is good but not the best
  • A warm/yellowish cast visible in tungsten light sources (older tungsten filament bulbs)
  • In very high dynamic range photos the brightest parts lose details.
  • Loss of detail is viewable in low light video captures.
  • Jitter artifacts in low light conditions while recording videos.

Apple iPhone 6S Plus

One of the best on the list, the iphones have been paraded for having the best cameras compared to other smartphones. This comparison aims to verify the opinion about whether its actually the best or not.
  • Good Exposure overall with good white balance in photos and videos both
  • Fast and accurate autofocus which also happens to be really smooth
  • Detail and preservation is good in bright conditions while the white balance is good in almost all conditions
  • Good stabilization while recording video in every condition
  • Rare artifacts like the blue sky saturation and others
  • Luminance noise is visible especially in low light conditions. Noise in general also visible in the corners while recording a video
  • Color inaccuracies in indoor conditions

Google Nexus 6P

Huawei really outdid themselves when they revealed the new Nexus 6P last year. The camera was the same as in the Nexus 5X but it offered more in terms of performance and experience compared with its less expensive sibling. That doesn’t mean that its bad in any way, far from it. It was one of the best cameras on a phone in 2015.
  • The best detail preservation in low light conditions, among all the phones tested in photos
  • White balance and color rendering are good in video and still shots
  • Autofocus is accurate and fast
  • With flash the color rendering and white balance are good with good detail preservation
  • Low noise in videos in all conditions
  • HDR+ mode activation causes irregularities in low light conditions with noise, exposure, color and texture
  • Strong jello effect (causes everything to appear to move in jelly like waves) due to electronic image stabilisation during motion in videos
  • The finer details are absent while recording videos in low light conditions
  • Some shots are taken before the autofoucs has converged completely
  • Refocusing is visible in changing light conditions and loses focus while tracking a moving object

Microsoft Lumia 950XL

Although Windows phones are generally presumed dead in the market, Microsoft is still trying to offer better phones with a more refined OS which still lacks some must have features. The cameras were the one thing that the company boasted about in its latest offerings, the Lumia 950 and Lumia 950XL both of which offer the same camera with all the bells and whistles such as Optical Image stabilisation and triple LED RGB flash.
  • Good detail levels across different light conditions with low noise level in stills
  • Good sharpness overall
  • Allows shooting in DNG Raw format to allow for better control over image processing
  • Efficient image stabilisation
  • Triple LED flash allows for low ISOs while using flash in photography
  • Oversaturation in some scenes while taking pictures with too high contrast
  • Messes up skin tones while using flash for pictures
  • Rich Capture HDR doesnt trigger often and cannot be manually turned on
  • Softer details and slower autofocus in low lighting conditions with occassional jittering

Huawei P9

With its success with the Nexus 6P Huawei sought to add more accolades for itself in the camera department with the Huawei P9.
It features custom made dual 12 MP Leica lenses. One of the lenses is an ordinary 12MP lens while the other captures in just black and white. This is to capture upto 3 times more light for better low light photography and video recording.
You can also capture in just black and white, which results in true monochrome pictures unlike other smartphones which just remove the colors and with it the detail from the images.
  • Images have a good amount of exposure
  • Flash exposure is also good with low noise particularly in the center of the images
  • Autofocus is good in bright lighting conditions
  • White balance is good as well in outdoor lighting conditions
  • Low noise in low light conditions while recording videos
  • Detail preservation is also good in videos in outdoor conditions
  • Luminance noise in low light conditions
  • Autofocus failure when in trigger mode in all lighting conditions
  • A slight halo is visible in HDR pictures
  • Slight pink tint in videos while recording outdoors
  • Autofocus does not repeat in low light conditions in videos
  • Color shading in all conditions in videos

Honorable Mentions

HTC 10 and the LG G5 were omitted from this list, but that does not mean they are behind any of these phones in terms of image and video recording capabilities. HTC 10 even tops the list in the famous dxomark camera benchmarking website which ranks smartphones according to their cameras.
The LG G5 is also the best among these phones in capturing better detail in HDR images and is close to the sharpness and the level of detail offered by the Nexus 6P in terms of low light conditions.

The Verdict

For our final verdict, the Galaxy S7 edge wins in comparison with the smartphones in the list. This is because the level of detail it captures is unrivaled in most lighting conditions. The autofocus speed and the focus tracking is also the best in the category.
The other phones on the list are no losers and offer a level of quality and speed close to the Galaxy S7 edge.
For a more detailed comparison with photo samples from all the phones in the list, you can head to thiswebsite for a gallery of photos in different scenes and lighting conditions which put the cameras through every possible lighting/scene possible.
The images in the above mentioned website should be enough to prove which smartphone is the best.
Do you agree with the results? Are their other phones which deserved a mention? Share in the comments

Android Powered Nokia Smartphones Are Coming in 2017

With Microsoft’s Nokia experiment crashing and burning in flames quite spectacularly, it is time for the latest venture to rise from the Finnish giant’s ashes.

The launch will be backed by HMD Global, which holds the right to license Nokia’s name in smartphones starting from next year. The news was first confirmed from a slide shared by Nokia’s Capital Markets Day 2016, which states “Nokia brand’s return to smartphones” under its timeline for 2017.
Further, HMD Global has also confirmed its presence at one of the biggest smartphone events of the year at MWC 2017, which kicks off in a few months’ time on the 27th of February 2017. It is highly unlikely that the company will unveil anything other than a phone on what is the biggest smartphone event of the year.
The phone which will likely make an appearance is the long rumored Nokia D1C, an upper mid-range phone with 1.4 GHz Snapdragon 430, 5.5-inch 1080p display, 3 GB worth RAM and 16-megapixel camera. It is likely said to ship with Android 7.0 Nougat running onboard with either 16 or 32 GB of memory.
Microsoft’s rights to Nokia’s name and its subsidiaries have already concluded, after it sold the rights to the name to Foxconn and HMD Global for $350 million. Whatever high ambitions the American company had to restore the former mobile phone gargantuan never really materialized, meaning the $7.2 billion deal turned into one of the least successful in recent memory.
Hopefully, this recent venture will be more successful than the original Nokia’s own X-branded phones.

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Tiny Device (TrackR Bravo) Allows You To Track Your Car Or Everything Using Your Smartphone

Have you ever lost your car on a parking lot? It happens. You park and go shopping. When you get back, you don't have a clue where your car is. Then you start roaming around clicking on the panic button on your car keys so the alarm goes off. It can be frustrating, especially on a hot, sunny day.
No, you don't need to install an expensive GPS system to keep track of your car. That's way too expensive. You would need to pay a monthly subscription fee just to use it. Don't we have enough bills to pay already?

But is there a way to track your vehicle without spending a fortune? Yes, now there is!
A California-based startup company was able to make this a reality. They created a tiny device that works with your smartphone, and it could be exactly what you're looking for!

What is it?

It's called TrackR. It is a state-of-the-art tracking device the size of a quarter. It's changing the way we keep track of the important things in our lives.

How Does it Work?

It's easy! Install the free TrackR app on your smartphone, connect the app to your device and you're ready to go! Simply attach TrackR to whatever you want to keep tabs on. The entire process of setting it up only takes 5 minutes or less.
You can attach it to your keys, briefcase, wallet, your latest tech gadgets and anything else you don't want to lose. Then use the TrackR app to locate your missing item in seconds.
Forget expensive GPS systems or tracking services. Nobody wants to pay expensive monthly subscription fees. We understand how stressful these things can be, and this is the reason why TrackR was created. This device is your VIP when you need to take care of more important things in life.
Remember the car scenario above? If you have the TrackR, you can just hide it under your car's floor mat, in the trunk or in the glove compartment. Somewhere it won't be found if your car gets stolen.
If you forget where you parked your car, whip out your smartphone and open the TrackR app. Tap on the "lost item" icon on the screen and the app will tell you the exact coordinates of the last known location of the TrackR.

How Much is it Going To Cost Me?

You're probably thinking that this device is very expensive... False! TrackR only costs $29! That's a small price to pay for peace of mind, isn't it?

Where can I buy TrackR?

You can buy it directly from the company's website. They ship worldwide and you'll receive your TrackR within a ~week.
Watch The Video Below To See How TrackR Works:

What else can I do with TrackR?

As we said before, TrackR has unlimited possibilities. The device is small and unobtrusive enough that you can attach it to your pet. Put it on their collar, and the issue of searching for them as they scamper off to nearby places will be over! Attach it to your keys and wallet, and never waste a minute rummaging the whole house for it.
TrackR even comes with a double-sided adhesive so you can stick it to your laptop or under your bike seat. Track down and punish the thieves who steal your expensive things!
Attach it to everything that's important to you!

Step by step instructions on how to use Trackr

Now that you are aware of the potential of this curious device, all you need to do is to follow these 3 steps:
1. Get Trackr from the manufacturer website. You’ll get it delivered to your home in about 1 week.
2. Link Trackr with your Smartphone (iPhone or Android) and place it next to the object you don’t want to lose.
3. Download the free app and always have in hand the location of your belongings. As Simple As That!

Google PhotoScan app Old Print Photos convert into High Quality Digital Files

googlephotoscanofficial1There are few things more painful than losing one’s childhood printed photos but Google has come up with just the right solution using its AI technology.

Its latest creation is called PhotoScan, and uses your phone’s camera to scan old photos and save them on your phone or cloud forever.
Once you’ve opened the app and hovered the phone over the photo, four dots appear on the photo moving the phone over which allows you to scan them and apply autocorrect. Focus on the word “auto correct” as there are plenty of scanning apps out there but none specifically meant to liven and digitize your old photos.
The app works differently than just regular photos in that it removes glare by taking several photos and merging them into one. The app also revels in its simplicity. Not even requiring a login to begin, the app automatically applies filters, and crops and rotates the photos.
If you don’t like autocorrect, you can edit the photo yourself and adjust the brightness, warmth or saturation level. Using 12 new looks (a not-so-fancy name for filters) give it a vintage look.
Saved photos can then be categorized according to the faces and places included. You can search under “scans” in Google Photos and you’ll see them.
Of course, the result won’t yield as high a quality as a traditional scanner but for its ease of use and colour correction, the app is unmatched. Take a look at the video below to get an idea of what the app has to offer:
Google PhotoScan is available for iOS, Android and the web starting today, just in time for the holiday season. Download on Google Play Store here or Apple App Store here.

Fake Whatsapp Video Calling Messages Could Expose Your Personal Info: MoIT

Ministry of Information Technology Issues Web user Advisory for Whatsapp Video calling Invite Scam

Taking note of the malicious messages relating to invitations for activating Video calling feature on the popular messaging app, Ministry of Information technology and Telecommunications today issued a Web user advisory to inform the general public about the scam which could mean exposure of personal and call data of the users to malicious elements.
The method devised by scammers to invite the Whatsapp users for activating the feature through a spoofed website has been a topic of local and international media over the past few days.
By clicking the web link received through such invite the user is led to a legitimate looking process actually carried through a spoofed website carrying malicious code.
The process at the end asks the users to invite more friends which inevitably leads to further spread of the hack.
It is pertinent to mention that Whatsapp launched the Video calling feature recently and the feature can simply be activated by upgrading the App to its latest version and is in no way based on invites or referrals.
Once activated through the spoofed invite link only way to remove the vulnerability is to reset the application through settings or to install the application again after a complete uninstall process.
Screengrab of Fake Whatsapp Video Calling Messages
“Keeping in mind the popularity of Whatsapp with the messaging users, it is important that the Pakistani users are aware of this scam so that they can take immediate measures to limit exposure to its data protection consequences” said the Ministry of IT&T spokesman.
The said scam has also been widely reported by the global hacking forums. Although the gravity of this malicious activity and its exact consequences are yet to be fully known, web and data security experts advise the users strongly against falling prey to the invite and thereby unintentionally spreading it further.