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.