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  1. Forbes conducted an experiment where the author 3D printed his own head to test out the face-recognition technology on smartphones. The model was accurate to the minutest of details and had almost every detail captured on the model. The model was printed at Backface in Birmingham, U.K., where the author was put in dome-like studio contenting 50 cameras. The 50 cameras would then take a single shot and combine all images to make a full 3D image. © Forbes The 3D printed head was not a cheap affair as it cost £300 to make and was used to test four flagship Android smartphones and the smartphone that introduced facial recognition — the iPhone X. According to the experiment, all Android phones were unlocked using the 3D printed head. “If you're an Android customer, though, look away from your screen now. We tested four of the hottest handsets running Google's operating systems and Apple's iPhone to see how easy it'd be to break into them. We did it with a 3D-printed head. All of the Androids opened with the fake. Apple's phone, however, was impenetrable.” Forbes said. © MensXP The Android smartphones in question were the Samsung Galaxy S9, Samsung Galaxy Note 9, OnePlus 6 and LG G7 ThinQ. Forbes wanted to put facial recognition on smartphones to test to see which device was the most secure. It was found that Android phones have been less secure than Apple's Face ID in the past and this test proves the notion. In the past, some of these facial recognition systems have been fooled with a picture however Apple's Face ID uses IR depth mapping to root out this problem. © Apple Apple's Face ID even requires the user to pay attention to the screen in order to unlock the smartphone. The attention awareness technology alone may have been enough for the iPhone X to remain unlocked then the 3D printed head was put in front of it. Having said that, Apple's Face ID has been fooled in the past using a 3D printed mask that were more sophisticated than Forbes' head. Source: Forbes
  2. Which instant messaging app or service do you actively use? Your answer will definitely include WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, Hike, or Skype. Now, can you send a message from WhatsApp to a contact on Hike? No, you can't. These apps have their own protocols for data transfer and services work inside their own bubble only. RCS (Rich Communications Services) is a new protocol that is meant to replace SMS (Short Message Service). With SMS, you can send a text or compressed image to anyone via a mobile number. SMS is a standard protocol and hence supported by every other phone or OS. You can send SMS from an iPhone to an Android phone. Unlike third-party apps, these protocols are universal and hence easily usable. © Google SMS is an age-old standard and supports just 160 characters in each transfer. While everyone has shifted to third-party IMs, SMS is still very important because of its reliability. It doesn't require a separate internet connection and is dependent completely on the carrier or telecom operator. This reliability gives a very crucial edge to SMS. Now, RCS will soon be the de facto protocol for messages. Google is a primary backer of RCS and major telecom operators around the world are working on supporting it. Google is rolling out the new features afforded by RCS as "chat" and it's part of the existing Android Messages app - alongside SMS and MMS. © Google RCS is very similar to Apple's iMessage service. It's a more interactive protocol that allows you to start group chats, send video and audio messages, and send high-resolution images. You'll also be able to receive read receipts and even see when someone is replying to your message in real time. If a user on the other end does not support RCS, text messages are sent in as SMS. The same practice is also seen on iMessage, if the two users have an Apple device, the chat happens over iMessage, else via SMS. Instead of using a cellular connection, Chat will rely on your data connection. © GSMA Though, RCS service doesn't support end-to-end encryption, meaning messages exchanged through this new protocol are less secure than those sent and received via competitors like iMessage and Signal.
  3. In India, iPhones are a status symbol for the uber rich. While a majority of smartphone sales in the country consist of the budget and midrange segment, Apple has been extremely successful in creating a wide brand recognition among buyers. No other brand has been this good at convincing people what's best for them. This point is not just valid in India though, Apple is globally known as a premium phone maker. Now that mobile phones are easily available and aren't a privilege anymore, younger kids have easier access to them. And, according to this survey, from 8,500 respondents, 82 per cent said they own an iPhone. © Reuters In its biannual "Taking Stock with Teens" survey, the investment bank notes 86 per cent of teens surveyed said their next phone would be an iPhone. That's also the highest percentage recorded by the survey, up from 84 per cent in the spring of this year. On the other end, a meagre 10 per cent said they intend to buy an Android device. "Overall, we view the survey data as a sign that Apple's place as the dominant device brand among teens remains intact," Michael Olson and Yung Kim, the Piper Jaffray analysts, wrote. © Pexels Apple has been dominating this age group for five years now, and it's not just about the iPhones. The second most preferred brand is watchmaker Rolex followed by the Apple Watch. Previous surveys found 12 per cent of young Americans owned an Apple Watch, while 17 per cent planned to buy the device. The survey results were drawn from responses from teens across 48 states with an average age of 16. Respondents consisted of 56 per cent male and 44 per cent being female teens. The average household income of the respondents was slightly more than US$ 68,000. © BCCL The recently launched iPhone XR is actually built for this target audience. It is significantly cheaper than the iPhone X's US$ 999 price tag and boasts of all the major features like Face ID, larger display, A12 Bionic processor, and new design. According to reputed analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, the new iPhone XS and XS Max both exceeded Apple's expectations, and the iPhone XR will continue the streak. Source: Business Insider
  4. Its been a couple of months since Google officially released the Android Pie update, and we are finally seeing new phones launch with the latest OS out of the box. Many phone makers have also started rolling out the new update over the air, and even more devices are expected to get it in the coming weeks. While the Pixel phones are among the first to receive the OS update, many makers who've tied up with Google's Android One initiative have started rolling out the update for their devices. Android One has been popular for two reasons, firstly the stock Android experience and secondly quick update release. Here's a list of devices that are available for purchase in India right now and run the Android Pie update out of the box or via an OTA release. 1. The Pixel Family: © MensXP The Pixel lineup is obvious to get the Android Pie update first, the direct software release from Google is one of the prime fortes for the phones. Android Pie is extremely refined and smooth on the all the Pixel phones, and the Pixel 3 takes it to another level with its added chest of features. The Pixel 3 has a 5.5-inch panel while the Pixel 3 XL has a 6.2-inch display, both are AMOLED. The duo is powered by a Snapdragon 845 SoC along with 4GB RAM. While the camera hasn't been bumped in terms of hardware, Google has massively improved the software processing onboard, churning out the best in class pictures. 2. OnePlus 6: © MensXP OnePlus has been exceptionally fast in releasing the Android Pie update, it's even faster than a majority of Android One devices out there. Even though the phone runs on a customised OxygenOS skin, the company has managed to create a record for itself. It sports a 6.28-inch AMOLED display delivering punchy colours and on point viewing angles. It is powered by a Snapdragon 845 SoC and is the perfect all-rounder one can buy. The dual camera setup on the rear is decent, the design is premium and the software experience is top-notch. For the price, you definitely don't need to look anywhere else. Buy from Amazon 3. Nokia 7 Plus: © MensXP This phone is undoubtedly one of the best midrange phones to release this year. Carrying on the legacy of Nokia, the design is extremely solid and the phone works like a charm. It is a part of Google's Android One initiative and sure to release updates very quickly in the future as well. Boasting a 6-inch display, it is powered by a Snapdragon 660 SoC along with 4GB RAM. The rear has a 12+13-megapixel dual camera setup while the front has a 16-megapixel selfie shooter. Backing these internals is a 3800mAh battery that charges via USB-C. Buy from Flipkart 4. Xiaomi Mi A2: © Instagram Xiaomi has started rolling out the update via a beta channel and is expected to roll out the update in the coming weeks. The phone is a part of the Android One program and the company is working hard to bring the new OS as soon as possible. The phone has been trending since launch, thanks to its aggressive pricing. It sports a 6-inch display and is powered by a Snapdragon 660 SoC along with 4GB RAM in the base variant. The back has a 12+20-megapixel dual camera setup while the front has a 20-megapixel selfie snapper. Running the phone is a 3000mAh battery that charges via USB-C. Buy from Amazon 5. Nokia 6.1 Plus: © MensXP After pushing out the update on the 7 Plus, this device is next on the list in terms of priority. Even the Nokia 5.1 Plus is expected to get the update by the end of this year. The phone has a 5.8-inch display and is backed by a Snapdragon 636 SoC along with 4GB RAM in the base variant. It has a 16+5-megapixel camera on the back while the front has a 16-megapixel selfie snapper. Powering these internals is a 3000mAh battery that charges via USB-C. Buy from Flipkart 6. ASUS ZenFone Max Pro: © MensXP This is the first ASUS phone to ditch ZenUI in favour of a new stock Android experience. It isn't a part of the Android One program, but ASUS has ensured that the UI is minimally tweaked to ensure quick update delivery. At launch, ASUS also promised software support till Android Q. The phone has a 6-inch display and is powered by a Snapdragon 636 SoC along with 3GB RAM in the base variant. The back has a 13+5-megapixel dual camera setup while the front has an 8-megapixel selfie shooter. The phone is backed by a massive 5000mAh battery. Buy from Flipkart 7. Moto G6 series: © BCCL The complete Moto G6 series, including the Play and Plus, is scheduled to get the update soon in the coming months. Moto brand was among the first to bring a stock Android experience to the country, even before Pixel existed. Unfortunately, the series isn't a part of the Android One program, but Moto has assured a timely update delivery. The G6 has a 5.7-inch display and is powered by a Snapdragon 450 SoC along with 3GB RAM in the base variant. The rear has a 12+5-megapixel camera set up while the front has an 8-megapixel selfie shooter. Backing these internals is a 3000mAh battery that charges via USB-C. Buy from Flipkart
  5. At the launch of the iPhone XS Max and XS, Apple claimed that the new smartphones can last up to 1.5 hours longer than it's predecessor. A recent test carried out by a YouTuber revealed that the iPhone XS Max can outlast most rival flagship phones when it comes to battery life. © MensXP/Akshay Bhalla The test was conducted by YouTuber MrWhoseTheBoss, where four phones were tested for battery life. The test included Apple's iPhone XS Max, Samsung's Galaxy Note 9, Google Pixel 3 XL and the Sony Xperia XZ3. To put things into perspective, the iPhone XS Max has a 3,174 mAh battery which was revealed from a regulatory filing. It is smaller than the smartphones it was put against, as the Galaxy Note 9 has a 4,000 mAh battery, the Pixel 3 XL has a 3,430 mAh battery and the Xperia XZ3 has a 3,300 mAh battery. © YouTube Even though the iPhone XS Max has a smaller battery life, it still managed to last longer than all of the other smartphones in question. In the test, all four phones ran a series of applications and games that would simulate everyday use on the smartphones. It was revealed that the Sony XZ3 was the first to die in a matter of three hours. Google Pixel 3 XL managed to survive for five hours and 20 minutes at which point the iPhone XS Max still had 11 per cent left. The Note 9 managed to last the longest at six hours and three minutes while the iPhone XS Max managed to last a few minutes longer. © YouTube It is worthy to point out that the Note 9 is capable of lasting longer than the iPhone XS Max only when the resolution is kept at default settings. The iPhone XS Max runs at a resolution of 2688×1242 which is higher than the Galaxy Note 9 (1080p). In order to run a fair test, the YouTuber cranked up the Galaxy Note 9's resolution to the maximum i.e. 2960×1440 to replicate similar testing conditions. If you're interested to watch the test for yourself, you can always check out the video by MrWhoseTheBoss below:
  6. This week, Android is celebrating ten years and the Operating System has come a long way since its launch. Android Inc. started out as a company that would provide advanced operating systems for digital cameras, and it was eventually acquired by Google in 2015 for just US$ 50 million. The fledgling startup's product is now powering a majority of the 'smartphones' out there and has managed to literally kill Windows Phone and BlackBerry OS. Apple's iOS is the only significant mobile OS in competition, and if we go by the number of devices running it, Android is the ultimate king. Google has always kept Android at the forefront, apps and services are built to complement it. The OS is also open-source, meaning anyone can fork the code to create a new system. This very open nature of the OS has encouraged OEM's to use it at a huge scale, every device, whether a budget phone with 1GB RAM or a top-tier flagship with 8GB RAM, can run it. While Android has been receiving updates consistently, OEM's too have pushed the limit of innovation with their hardware. Today, we've listed the most unique and innovative smartphones ever built that redefined the capabilities of Android: 1. HTC Dream: © WikiMedia Released in 2008, this was the world's first phone to run on Android. It featured a slide-out keyboard with physical buttons, a 3.17-inch (320 x 480) display, and a tracking ball. Within the first six months of its launch, more than a million units were sold. It ran on Android 1.6 Donut out of the box, featured 192MB of RAM, and 256MB ROM. Powering it was a 528 MHz Qualcomm MSM7201A processor and the phone also had a 3.15-megapixel camera. Even back in those days the phone shipped with apps like Gmail, Maps, and YouTube. 2. Motorola Cliq: © Motorola This was the first Android phone built by Motorola and was launched in October 2009. It had a great design that consisted of a spacious keyboard and a tall 4.49-inch display. Keep in mind, that display size was unusually large back in those days when the iPhone was shipping with a 3.5-inch display. The phone ran on Android 1.5 Cupcake, had the same processor as the HTC Moment, and came with 256MB RAM. It had a 5-megapixel camera with autofocus and came with Motorola's Motoblur app that merged your phone contacts with your friends and colleagues from e-mail accounts and supported social-media networks. 3. HTC Nexus One: © HTC This was the first phone under Google's Nexus phone lineup. It was launched in 2010 and marked the beginning of the massively successful Nexus series, an early successor of the Pixel. Back then, Android was heavily customised by OEM's and companies like Samsung just couldn't keep the software stable. Remember the days when TouchWiz was known for lagging? The Nexus One intended to provide users with a pure Android experience, straight from Google. The hardware was built by Google's licensed OEM's, and Google managed the software. It sported a 1GHz Qualcomm Scorpion processor along with 512MB RAM and shipped with Android 2.1 Eclair. 4. Samsung Galaxy Note: © Samsung After a raging success with the Galaxy S, Samsung ventured on to make a larger phone that also incorporated a stylus. The product was a huge hit, and this was the starting point for the infamous Note series. It was launched in October 2011 and featured a 5.3-inch display along with the S-Pen. The phone shipped with Android 2.3 Gingerbread and came with cool features like Quick Notes and S Memo. The phone proved that spreadsheets and text documents could be managed on the go and that mobile phones truly had the capability to replace bulky laptops. While many compared it to age-old PDAs, future iterations of the original Note consistently improved on the design. 5. CAT S60: © Caterpillar The phone is built by Caterpillar Inc- a company known for its heavy machinery and industrial tools. Released in 2016, it is the first smartphone to include an integrated thermal imaging camera and presently the world's most waterproof smartphone. It has a drop-to-concrete resistance up to 1.8 meters along with -810G certified waterproofing up to 5m for 60 mins. The phone is built to be used in a rugged environment. It's powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 617 processor along with 3GB RAM and a 4.7-inch display. 6. LG G Flex: © LG The LG G Flex was released in 2013 and is the first phone to incorporate a flexible display, along with a "self-healing" rear cover. The phone was pretty much a proof of concept and wasn't targeted towards the wider audience. Samsung and LG have been involved in a cut-throat race to push out the world's first bendable phone, and this can be considered an early prototype. It sported a 6-inch OLED display, a Snapdragon 800 processor, and 2GB RAM. The phone shipped with Android 4.4 KitKat out of the box. 7. BlackBerry Priv: © YouTube BlackBerry was once a giant in the mobile market, but with the introduction of the iPhone and increasing popularity of Android, the company lost the game in the longer run. It had a brief stint with BlackBerry 10 OS that was supposed to take on Android, but after a lukewarm response, the company ditched it and released its first Android phone, the Priv. The Priv had a sliding keyboard mechanism that appealed to the CrackBerry's, people who wanted the openness of Android and productivity of a BlackBerry. Though the phone got a mixed response from critics, it served as a stepping stone for the company's changing vision. 8. Yotaphone: © Yota Yota is a Russian company that announced the Yotaphone at the end of 2012, it sported a unique double-display, meaning a display on the front as well as the back. A 4.3-inch LCD display was located on the front while an e-ink display was situated on the back. The primary objective of having two displays was easier visibility of notifications from the back. The company also announced a successor, the Yotaphone 2, but sales never picked up and the company was lost in a sea of OEM's. 9. Xiaomi Mi MIX: © Xiaomi This MIX series is very popular right now and the original phone was among the first in the world to sport an almost display. The design was and is still considered to be revolutionary. The frame is built of ceramic and the phone had an innovative earpiece speaker made of a cantilever piezoelectric ceramic. The phone was launched in 2016 and housed a Snapdragon 821 processor along with 4 or 6GB of RAM. The 6.4-inch display had an industry-leading screen-to-body ratio of 83.6 percent back then. 10. ASUS ZenFone AR: © EOTO Tech Lastly, we have an Augmented Reality focused phone that was never intended to be sold to the masses. The device was a part of Google's Project Tango that aimed to give the developer's a medium to create and test various applications for Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality. However, this did not last very long, and from March of 2018, they discontinued support for Tango. The phone had a 23-megapixel primary camera along with a stunning 5.7-inch AMOLED display and a Snapdragon 821 processor.
  7. After taking the television market by storm, Xiaomi is back with three new LED TVs in India that redefines the smart TV segment in India. The three TVs work on Android TV and come along with the company's proprietary PatchWall software, that brings in a seamless viewing experience for set-top box enabled connections. Android TV is commonly found in portable set-top boxes, but it can also be embedded into smart TVs as well. Up until now, Sony was a huge proponent of Android TV and commanded unmatched dominance in the market. Now, with the entry of Xiaomi, the segment has become extremely challenging thanks to aggressive pricing. © Xiaomi Mi TV 4 Pro has a 55-inch 4K panel, the Mi TV 4A Pro has a 49-inch Full HD panel that also supports HDR and lastly, the Mi TV 4C has a 32-inch panel. Xiaomi says, the panels are ultra bright and combined along with cinematic audio, the experience is one of its kind. Android TV runs on an Amlogic 64-bit quad core processor along with a Mali GPU. The 4 Pro and 4A Pro have 2GB RAM along with internal storage for apps and local content, while the 4C has 1GB RAM. Android TV certified televisions have access to Android TV-optimized apps from the Google Play Store and also support Google Cast as well as Google Assistant. © Xiaomi The TVs have powerful stereo speakers and come with a Mi Remote that enables voice search and can also control other connected Mi Home devices like the Air Purifier 2S. While competitors are offering basic TVs in this price segment, Xiaomi intends to disrupt the dynamics with this smart offering. On the hardware end, it also has 2 HDMI ports, 2 USB ports, and an S/PDIF port. Xioami has repeatedly stressed on its PatchWall software that incorporates third-party apps like YouTube as well as your DTH set-top box. The company claims the platform offers more than 7,00,000 hours of endless entertainment via its 15+ partners and supports 3,600+ apps and games from the Play Store. PatchWall also has an AI-powered system that classifies content and makes personalized recommendations based on user preferences. The Mi TV 4A Pro 49-inch is priced at Rs 29,999 for one month as an introductory offer, while the Mi TV 4 Pro is priced at Rs 49,999 and the Mi TV 4C costs Rs 14,999. They will be exclusively available via Mi.com. The company has also stressed that they are constantly working on improving the availability of enough stocks.
  8. Google's Android Pie update has brought in a number of new features, but one of our favourites has to be the new way to manage notifications. You now have the option to control notifications from each and every app and with added smartness, they'll never bug you when you're busy. Not only has Google changed the functionality, but also tweaked the UI. With Android 9.0 Pie, the notifications shade has been tweaked to look a little more like a card, featuring rounded corners and a new section for each notification. You'll also see a new "manage notifications" button under the shade, that's where all the magic starts. © Google Not only can you tweak which apps send you notifications, but you can also get a whole lot more granular and tweak specific types of notifications from those apps. A new concept called "categories" has been introduced, think of it as a set of notifications that are sent by apps. For example, notifications about getting a new follower on Instagram is one category and getting likes on your pictures is another category. Now that notifications of a particular app are broke down into various categories, you can manage what's important for you. Annoyed with the hundreds of likes on Twitter and care about new followers only? Well, you can now select which "category" you want to be notified about. © Google How do you set customise these categories? Open the Settings app, scroll to "Apps and Notifications", and select "See all of your apps". Now select the app you'd like to customize and you'll be shown a list of categories being supported. After filtering your categories, you can further choose the "behaviour" of the notifications. This essentially lets you choose between a sound or peaking. Still, want more? Tap on Advanced and now you can select the tune, vibration pattern, and even LED colour (if supported by phone). © Tom's Guide The notifications also bring in Smart Replies now. These are essentially automatically generated responses you can send to messages you get. Playing PUBG and want to reply back a generic response for the time being? Smart Replies come to your rescue! The functionality is limited to a few apps right now, but we expect all major apps to follow soon.
  9. 12 Years ago, Google bought a little known operating system still in development by Android Inc which was later transformed into the leading OS in the world. Android was first unveiled in 2007 and launched officially in partnership with HTC on 23rd September 2008. Since 2011, Android has been the best-selling OS in the world and has over two billion active users today. It has the largest installed base of any operating system and today the Google Play store features over 3 million applications. The first smartphone that was available over the counter featuring Android was the HTC Dream, also known as the T-Mobile G1. In celebration of Android's 10th anniversary, here are 5 ways it changed our lives. Android Made Smartphones Affordable © MensXP Android as a platform is now offered by almost every technology company on the planet. Android launched as an alternative to Apple's iPhone which was priced exorbitantly even a decade ago. Android enabled companies like Xiaomi, Oppo, OnePlus, Samsung and many others to develop smartphones that could be sold at a much cheaper price. Being an open-source operating system, it let companies take advantage of Google's offering and deliver products that are now loved by consumers all over the world. Android Re-defined Customisation © Wikipedia Commons When Android first launched, it let users customise their home screen on the HTC Dream, a feature that was absent on the newly launched iPhone. It was a way for users to customise their home screen to their own liking, which was not a feature that Apple offered on the first iPhone. Apple later caught up with Android and today lets their users change the home and lock screen wallpaper. Android was also the first operating system to allow users to manage apps into folders which was later introduced by Apple to iOS. The open-source nature of the platform, also let developers and smartphone makers customise launchers, themes and tweak certain features that we still cannot do on iOS today. We Got Bigger Screens © BCCL Android-based devices started the trend of offering big screens even before it became the norm today. Android made it easier for smartphone makers to introduce larger screens at an early stage and today we cannot imagine smartphones having a 3-inch display. Larger screens meant a better internet browsing experience, better video content consumption and more real estate for managing apps and functions. Thanks to Android smartphones, Apple was forced to rethink their design ethos and started offering large-screen smartphones. Android Made Navigation Easy © Pexels Android introduced a dedicated Google Maps application to all devices which changed the way we navigate today. Google Maps on Android made it convenient and accessible to every user regardless of what device they were using. You no longer needed a fancy device for your car in order to use GPS to get around. Google Maps today can also be used to estimate your travel time enabling users to plan their journeys well in advance. It paved the way for companies like Uber and Ola and today we can't imagine travelling on the road or the streets without Google Maps if we don't know where we are. The App Factor © Reuters Even though Apple announced plans of launching the iTunes App Store for the iPhone, the HTC Dream already had a marketplace installed in the smartphone out of the box. It paved the way for the Android Market which was later renamed to Google Play. The rudimentary app store on the HTC Dream already let users download some games and applications. Today, the Play Store features over 3 millions applications that serve a variety of purposes. It may not be as good as Apple's App Store, however, it has come a long way ever since it was first introduced.
  10. Even though Android has more than 75 per cent market share followed by iOS, a majority of these phones do not come with original, or as Google likes to call it, stock Android. The operating system is open source, meaning any OEM can simply take it, and change it to suit their needs. Majority of the phones shipping today run on a custom skin / UI that is developed by the manufacturer. Xiaomu has MIUI, Vivo has FunTouch UI, OPPO has Color OS, OnePlus has OxygenOS and so forth. These skins definitely have their own ups, like more features that aren't natively supported in Android, cosmetic changes, and more. But at the same time, these skins often tend to slow down the phone thanks to poor optimisation. Companies also find it difficult to push regular Android software updates because the skin needs changes and proper augmentation as well. Stock Android UI makes sure that everything performs the way Google intends it to, software updates roll out faster, and many prefer the clean UI it offers. Today, there are many phones available in India that run stock Android, and may also be a part of the Android One program. Here's our list of the top picks! 1. Google Pixel 2 / 2XL: © MensXP This phone is made by Google and is supposed to be a benchmark of how good the Android experience should be. The design is sleek, built with a combination of glass and metal. The Pixel 2 has a 5-inch screen while the Pixel 2XL has a 6-inch panel. The two run on Qualcomm's Snapdragon 835 processor, coupled with 4GB RAM. The camera is a highlight of the duo here. It is among the best we've seen till date, and only the Huawei P20 Pro comes close to this. Google has ensured that your Android experience is top-class and there are hardly any corners cut. Buy now 2. Xiaomi Mi A2: © MensXP This phone continues the Android One legacy of the Mi A1 and is among the most sought phones in the market. It is a perfect phone for the price, the cameras are surprisingly good, the design is neat, and the performance is smooth. Xiaomi has been very confident about its camera and even compared its image output with that of flagships like the OnePlus 6 and the Pixel 2. It has a Qualcomm Snapdragon 660 SoC along with 4/6GB RAM and also supports fast charging via a USB-C port. It has a 12 + 20-megapixel dual-camera setup on the rear while the front has a 20-megapixel snapper. The 3000mAh battery is more than sufficient to get you through one full day of usage. Buy now 3. Nokia 6.1 Plus: © MensXP The recently launched Nokia 6.1 Plus is another great contender in the midrange that continues the legacy of Nokia. It has a solid, premium design that makes you wonder how the company has managed to keep the price this low. It has a 5.8-inch display and a notch, that houses the 16-megapixel selfie camera. It is powered by a Snapdragon 636 SoC along with 4GB RAM and 64GB internal storage. The phone comes with a USB-C port that charges a 3060mAh battery. Overall, this is another great Android One phone from HMD Global. Buy now 4. Infinix Note 5: © BCCL This is the cheapest Android One smartphone available in India, but that doesn't mean it's low on features. It is powered by an Helio P23 processor and comes with 3/4GB of RAM and 32/64GB internal storage. It sports a 6-inch display along with a 2.5D curved glass. The phone has a 12-megapixel rear camera with AI scene detection and Google Lens integration. The biggest USP here is its huge 4500mAh battery that also supports fast charging. Buy now 5. Nokia 7 Plus: © MensXP The Nokia 7 Plus bears a 6-inch full-HD+ (1080×2160 pixels) IPS display with an 18:9 aspect ratio, 500-nits peak brightness rating, and Corning Gorilla Glass. It is powered by an octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 660 SoC and 4GB RAM. The smartphone's dual rear camera comprises a 12-megapixel wide-angle primary camera with a f/1.75 aperture, and 1.4-micron pixels, as well as a 13-megapixel camera with a f/2.6 aperture, 1-micron pixels, and 2x optical zoom. The duo is coupled with a dual-tone LED flash and Zeiss optics. Buy now
  11. Your Android device is collecting 10x more data than Apple's iOS, according to a study by Vanderbilt University professor Douglas C. Schmidt. While data collection, or more precisely collection of performance logs, is a standard practice and does not include any of your private data, the report states that a major part of Google's data collection occurs while a user is not directly engaged with any of its products. The 55-page study says an idle smartphone running Google's Android operating system with its Chrome browser open sends data communications to Google's servers as often as 14 times an hour. © MensXP An equivalent experiment found that on an iOS device with Safari open but not Chrome, Google could not collect any appreciable data unless a user was interacting with the device. Overall, an idle Android device is found to communicate with Google nearly 10 times more often than an Apple device communicates with Apple servers. The study was paid for by Digital Content Next, a lobbying group that represents the digital publishing industry and has been a long time critic of Google. Previously, they have criticised Google for its unfair dominance in the online advertising industry. © Reuters Google has countered the report's credibility and issued a statement saying, "This report is commissioned by a professional DC lobbyist group, and written by a witness for Oracle in their ongoing copyright litigation with Google. So, it's no surprise that it contains wildly misleading information." The data collected here also includes Google's Advertisement division called DoubleClick. To push more relevant ads to the end user, Google often collects metadata that is related with an anonymous DoubleClick ID, this ID also helps in identifying the user on third-party platforms. © MensXP According to the study, the anonymous DoubleClick ID can be associated with the user directly when the user signs into the Google using the same browser. While Google may claim that a lot of this information is anonymous, Schmidt said that “Google distinctively possesses the ability to utilize data collected from other sources to de-anonymize such a collection.” Recently Google has also come under immense scrutiny when it was discovered that the user's location information was stored in the "My Activity" section even when "Location History" setting is turned off. Apple says that the data it collects from the iPhone is used for improving its own services like Siri, and is not used to deliver ads natively on the platform. When users set up their device, Apple explicitly asks users if they wish to provide usage information on an opt-in basis. Source: Digital Content Next
  12. Many phones from major companies like ASUS, Essential, LG and ZTE are shipping with severe vulnerabilities out of the box, according to a report by cyber-security firm Kryptowire. Android is the most targeted mobile OS, firstly because of its huge user base, and secondly, because OEMs usually install their own skins on top, without keeping security in mind. Apps are usually the easiest way to gain access to your phone, a link you may have clicked, or a .apk file you may have installed could be syphoning your data in the background. This has been the core reason why Google has always recommended its users to install apps from trusted sources or the Play Store. © Pexels Kryptowire has recognised 38 different vulnerabilities that can allow spying and factory reset to be loaded onto 25 Android phones. There are at least 10 devices sold across the major US carriers that come pre-loaded with bugs that are a security threat. The list of Android vendors affected includes Asus, Essential, LG, Nokia, Sony, and ZTE. Angelos Stavrou, Kryptowire's CEO, and Ryan Johnson, the firm's director of research, disclosed their findings at the DEFCON hacker conference on Friday. © MensXP "All of these are vulnerabilities that are prepositioned. They come as you get the phone out the box," Stavrou said. "That's important because consumers think they're only exposed if they download something that's bad." Essential has confirmed that they have fixed the vulnerability after Kryptowire shared their findings, while LG has said it's working on fixing these loop-holes. Even ASUS has confirmed that they are working on patching the security concerns raised and will be pushing out OTA updates soon. © YouTube Kryptowire says the issues are at the firmware level, as malicious apps from the Google Play store too can cause a lot of damage. The ASUS ZenFone Live is said to be the most affected one, as it exposes the user's entire data and a complete system takeover is possible including taking screenshots and video recordings of a user's screen and making phone calls. If you own any of these phones, you should install OTA updates as soon as possible in the coming few weeks. Running an anti-malware app won't be of any help here, as the loop-holes are at the firmware level. Source: CNET
  13. Fortnite is a massively famous online multiplayer game that is finally making its way to Android devices. It is free to play and has attracted millions of players thanks to its competitive Battle Royale mode. Fortnite first came to iOS in April after its initial release on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC, and Mac in the summer of 2017. Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney took over the stage at the launch of Samsung's latest flagship smartphone, the Samsung Galaxy Note9 to confirm the launch of Fortnite for Android. © BCCL It was earlier rumoured that the game will launch as a Note9 exclusive in the beginning, but in fact the game has been launched for previous flagships as well, including the Galaxy S9 and S9+, the Galaxy Note 8, Galaxy S8 and S8+, Galaxy S7 and the S7 Edge and even last year's Tab S3. Using any of these devices, you can download the game via Samsung's Game Launcher app or head over to Epic Games' Fortnite installer. Interested owners of these smartphones can start playing the Beta version of the game starting today. © Epic Games All these Samsung users also get an exclusive Fortnite Galaxy skin to help them stand apart in the game. Don't Have Any Of These Samsung Flagships? There's nothing to worry about. The Beta has only come 'first' to Samsung devices, Epic Games' has confirmed that the Beta will be made available to other devices in the coming days. Unlike other Android games, Fortnite will not be available on the Google Play Store and users will have to go to the official website of Epic Games' Fortnite to download the installer. The developer has already announced the next batch of devices that will support the Beta variant, you can head over to the FAQ page to know more. © Epic Games The mobile version of the game comes with a host of advanced features like voice chat, battery saver mode, customizable HUD, and the same Fortnite experience. The game enterprise has been massively successful thanks to the free to play model. Because of Fortnite's success, SuperData estimates that games featuring a battle royale mode will earn 12% of all gaming revenue in 2018. Read Also: Top 5 Tips and Tricks to master Fortnite
  14. Every year all of us wait patiently to see what's new in Android's latest update. The cycle is pretty clear by now, Google shows off upcoming features at I/O in June, Android Beta starts rolling out for those who just can't wait and the package is released OTA to supported devices in August. To start off, Android P has been named Pie and it's officially called Android 9.0 Pie. Since its inception, Google has named Android's updates after appetizing treats like Oreo, Marshmallow, Lollipop and more. With Android Pie, the focus has been on artificial intelligence, which will power the user experience on the OS. The update is approximately 1.2GB in size and already available for download on the Pixel, Pixel XL, Pixel 2, and Pixel 2 XL. Now, here's why Android Pie is so exciting: 1. New Gesture-Based Navigation With this update, you now have the option to ditch Android's traditional three-button navigation and go with gestures instead. A pill can be your only home button, tap it to go home, swipe right on it to go back and swipe left to see recent apps. This is pretty similar to what we've seen on the iPhone X and many other Android devices have been shipping with this feature as well. Yes, you obviously also have the option to retain the older navigation buttons, but a choice is always appreciated. 2. Notch Support © MensXP While the addition of a notch will forever be a controversial debate, Google has embraced the notch and understood that it's better to natively support it and improve the user experience than letting OEMs dig through the UI and add the functionality in their skin. This way, apps are also built keeping in mind the proper scaling norms and notifications can be more easily incorporated throughout the UI. Even the Pixel 3 is rumoured to sport a notch. On the other hand, Google doesn't want OEMs to go overboard with the notch and is limiting it to only 3 per display. You can also simulate a notch by enabling the option in Developer Mode. 3. Wellbeing Program © Google It is a universal fact that every one of us is almost or even actually addicted to our phone, and Google doesn't want it to be that way. The program isn't actually ready yet but Pixel users can sign up in Beta. Android Pie brings in a Dashboard that lets you set time limits on apps and grays out the icon on your home screen when you have exhausted the minutes. You can also keep a track of how much you've used the phone throughout the day along with separate counters of every app. This way, you know which apps are taking up most of your time. The onboard AI will also suggest you a few steps to curb usage. 4. Artifical Intelligence Everywhere © Google AI is at the heart of Android Pie and is active in almost every process of the phone. Starting with Adaptive Battery, which tracks your most frequently used apps and saves battery for them to Adaptive Brightness that learns how you like the display colours and brightness and automatically shifts the output accordingly over time. Google is also working on a program called Slices that show you relevant information from your top apps. This way, apps like Google Maps will automatically learn your movements and suggest traffic alerts and faster routes. 5. New Screenshot Tool © Android Police Taking a screenshot has always been pretty straightforward, but the functionality was never actually natively supported by Android and every OEM had a different way of dealing with it. With Android Pie, Google is making this uniform across all devices. Obviously, the old method of taking one still works. Android Pie also brings in a new edit feature that lets you draw, crop, or highlight the screenshot before sharing it. This has been standard in the iPhone since iOS 11, and we're glad it's finally coming to Android.
  15. The Pixel 2 launched last year and it was probably the most talked about Android flagship device then. We've been using the phone for almost a year and the smartphone hasn't let us down in any category so far. Google released Android Pie for the device today and our experience has been enhanced even more since the update. Since its release, many notable devices like the OnePlus 6 and the Galaxy S9 have been launched, that can give the Pixel 2 some tight competition. Having said that, the Pixel 2 has a few advantages over its counterparts that make it a flagship worth owning. This is not a knock on the OnePlus 6, as we already know it outperforms the Pixel 2 by a great margin. But not everything is about performance. Here's why we feel the Pixel 2 is still a great smartphone you can invest in today: 1. It Still Has The Best Camera © BCCL The Pixel 2, in our opinion, takes some of the most incredible shots with its single camera sensor. It still takes pictures today that can outmatch almost every smartphone available today. The Huawei P20 Pro comes close, but it still doesn't deliver what the Pixel 2 can do. Pixel 2 also has the gyro-based EIS with the OIS that makes video footage look smoother and stable. The sharpness of pictures from the Pixel 2 is still king and we feel that it can only beaten by the Pixel 3 later this year. Low-Light imagery on the Pixel 2 is out of this world and is capable of capturing the minutest of details that most phones cannot. Here are a few sample images below for your reference: These pictures were taken on the #Pixel2, not a DSLR. A post shared by Akshay Bhalla / Høax (@editorinchief) on Aug 7, 2018 at 1:43am PDT 2. Android's Best Experience Is On The Pixel The OnePlus 6 delivers a near perfect experience of stock Android, however, the Pixel smartphones always get updates before everyone else. On top of that, the Pixel also gets some exclusive features that are not available on other Android phones (for example Google's algorithm for Bokeh pictures). Services like Google Maps, Gmail, Docs, Keep are fine-tuned and deeply integrated with Pixel's OS. If you like and have already invested in Google's ecosystem, then services like Google Home, Chromecast and Google Wi-Fi should work without any hiccups. 3. It's A Steal Right Now © YouTube At the time of this story, the Pixel 2 retails for Rs 53,899 on Flipkart. If you've always been wanting a smartphone that can take amazing pictures and also performs like a beast, this is probably a steal for you right now. Sure, it's a little bit more expensive than the OnePlus 6, but you do get a superior camera in return. 4. It Has Unlimited Photo Storage © Google The Pixel 2 may not have expandable storage, however, it does support unlimited picture storage via the Google Photos app. On every smartphone, the maximum number of storage is utilised by all the pictures you take, which often makes you want to delete memories or take a backup. Google Photos on the Pixel smartphones automatically backs up your gallery without you ever having to deal with manual labour. This in turn also leaves you extra room for storing music, comic books, games and other apps. Not All Is Rosy Though Even though we've stated some great things about the Pixel 2 above, every smartphone comes with caveats. First of all, the Pixel 2 does not have an imaginative design like other flagship devices. It has noticeable bezels and a bulky design when compared to the Galaxy S9 or the OnePlus 6. © Google The other annoying missing feature is the lack of a headphone jack. Google opted to provide water resistance and removed the headphone jack in the process. The company replaced it with stereo speakers which are a plus point if you like to watch videos with the loudspeaker on. Having said that, if you are an audiophile, you will not enjoy the sound quality over Bluetooth which can be a major drawback. If you want to use your wired headphones, you will need to carry the supplied dongle with you everywhere and guard it with your life. If you want to know more about why Bluetooth headphones are inferior to wired earphones/headphones, you can read our explanation here
  16. Every year all of us wait patiently to see what's new in Android's latest update. The cycle is pretty clear by now; Google shows off upcoming features at I/O in June, Android Beta starts rolling out for those who just can't wait and the package is released OTA to supported devices in August. To start off, Android P has been named Pie and it's officially called Android 9.0 Pie. Since its inception, Google has named Android's updates after appetizing treats like Oreo, Marshmallow, Lollipop and more. With Android Pie, the focus has been on artificial intelligence, which will power the user experience on the OS. © BCCL The update is approximately 1.2GB in size and already available for download on the Pixel, Pixel XL, Pixel 2, and Pixel 2 XL. Earlier, only Google's Pixel and Nexus devices received the update immediately after release. This time, things have changed thanks to Project Treble. In partnership with OEMs like Sony, Xiaomi, HMD Global, OPPO, Vivo, OnePlus, and Essential, the Android P Beta was available to a range of many more devices. While the final update is already available for download to Pixel devices, these other phones too will be among the first to get it. © DigitallyBones / Twitter The other supported phones are: 1. Essential Phone 2. Nokia 7 Plus 3. OnePlus 6 4. Oppo R15 Pro 5. Sony Xperia XZ2 6. Vivo X21 7. Vivo X21UD 8. Xiaomi Mi Mix 2S The manufacturers shall take some a little time to further polish the OS, and release it soon. In fact, Essential has already pushed out the update OTA to the PH-1. And if you too are very excited and can't wait, you can download the appropriate beta system images onto your PC and manually flash Android P onto your phone. Even a few qualifying Android One devices shall directly receive the update, this includes all Nokia branded Android One phones as well as the Xiaomi Mi A2. © MensXP If you are already running the Android P Beta, you don't need to do anything right now. You just need to download the new version that will soon be available and install it. You'll continue to be on the Beta channel. The Android Pie update brings a host of new features like adaptive brightness, gestures, Digital Wellbeing, as well as new security features. Read Also: Top 5 New Features in Android P Update
  17. Planning to go on a much-needed vacation? Or a solo trip and explore the world? Either way, there are a few things you might want to make sure are on your phone. Here is a list of a few apps we'd advise you to download on your phone for all your travel needs. And don't worry, we've made sure that these are available for both, Apple and Android fanboys. These set of apps are super useful for international as well as domestic travelling and range from trip organizers to bookings: 1. Google Trips: © Google This app is basically a compiler that scans through your trip-related info with the assistance of Google services. Just like your flight and hotel bookings often show up on Google Now, Google trips extracts that information from Gmail. Apart from that, it uses Google's already robust Maps to show you nearby attractions and restaurants. It has a feature that gives you an itinerary for the day if you wish to. It's a neat little app to help keep travel info together. The information is as reliable as the one on Google maps. Users have reported poor to no information of small cities and towns, although larger cities have a well-curated list of things to do and places to visit. Thanks to Google's Local Guide program, the details are even more accurate. Download for Android 2. Easy Currency Converter: © Google Play Store Straightforward name of an app which gets the job done and you can rely on for currency conversions. It updates whenever you are connected and allows you to save numerous currencies offline. All you need to do is select currencies, start your favourites and save for offline. The only drawback seems to be the UI which is by and large primitive. But that's only on Android. Functionality comes over aesthetics here. And don't worry, it has added Bitcoin as well! Download for Android 3. Skyscanner: © Skyscanner This should be your go-to app for affordable flights, car rentals, and hotels. It is an all-in-one for your transport and accommodation needs. It has the most affordable time and flights listed in neat lists. For the adventurer in you, the app can surprise you whenever you type “Everywhere" in the search. It comes up with the cheapest travels to destinations around the world. Added benefits: it has it's own frequent flyer miles program and has no additional fees. It is also smart enough to show you cheaper routes to cities which have multiple airports. For last minute trips, this app should be your first stop. Download for Android 4. Duolingo: © Duolingo One of the best things to bring back from any trip you take to a foreign land is the culture and language of the place. Duolingo allows you to learn new languages on the go for free. This app has been a trusted one for many users to learn the basics of any, among a host of popular languages. It is fun, has a net UI, uses visual, audio and textual aid to help you get a good grip on the language. What's more, you can practice what you learn while travelling, and impress the locals with your knowledge of the same. Download for Android 5. Google Translate: © Google Learning a new language is not easy and while you may know the basics, it is still a foreign language to you. Finding yourself in a new land with little connection may be your idea of a perfect holiday, but sometimes you need to navigate through signs and text which you don't understand to reach a destination or even interact with locals. Google Translate, a long and withstanding service from Google, will come to your rescue. The most exhaustive resource of a number of languages which can help translate images containing text by just pointing your camera at it. You can translate and make the local you're speaking to, listen to the audio. No need to fret about the accent and the pronunciation. Download for Android
  18. If you have already been testing the Android P Beta or are waiting for the new Operating System; you may be interested to know that Google could be less than three weeks away from releasing Android P officially. Evan Blass, the ever-so-reliable leaker said that Android P is coming to a smartphone store near you on August 20. He basically tweeted a picture of the August calendar with a green 'P' slapped on August 20th. pic.twitter.com/ovby4pC3ph — Evan Blass (@evleaks) August 2, 2018 The timing is in-line with Google's previous releases as the company typically launches the new major update before summer ends. Android Oreo was launched on August 21 last year and it seems like Blass' prediction looks accurate. © YouTube Android P was officially shown off by Google at the annual IO developer conference in May. The new update has some key highlights i.e. smarter battery use, navigational gestures and App actions that add task shortcuts based on usage patterns. Google will also be adding other features that focus on a user's well being. The new update will tell users about their usage patterns and help in spending less time on their smartphone. Apple has also added a similar feature called “Screen Time” which essentially does the same job. © Google When the new update officially rolls, you can expect Google to bring the update to its Pixel smartphones first. Other Android devices should get the Android P update shortly after. Google will launch the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL with the new Operating System out of the box. The only thing remaining is the official name of the update. Rumours suggest that the next update will be called Pistachio Ice Cream or just Pistachio. Whatever the name will be, we will soon know what it will be called and find out more details about its availability.
  19. There was a time when Android games were far behind iOS--the graphics were subpar, details or capabilities were lower and the experience just wasn't exciting. Those days are long gone now, Android has come a long way and thanks to the lowering gap between software and hardware, Android now gets some of the best games in town. In fact, the trend has picked up so much, smartphone makers have now started designing special "Gaming Phones" that incorporate better cooling mechanisms, over-clocked CPUs and high screen refresh rate. There are a whole ton of free games on the Play Store waiting for your attention, and it can be hard to pick out the best ones at a glance. Here's a list of the most popular games on Android that everyone is playing right now! 1. PUBG © PUBG It's no surprise that this game made it to the list. This game has been massively trending in India and is extremely addictive. For those who aren't aware, this is an open world game wherein you fight other players in real-time to survive. Considering the fact that it's a mobile game, the open world map is extremely rare and detailed. The developers have made it easier for mobile players to pick up and manage items, and have also added bots in the lowest ranks to help ease players into the game experience. The game is well optimized and can scale down graphics depending on the hardware; hence, almost every device out there can run this game. The best part is, you can team up with your mates and create your own ultimate squad for survival. Read Also: Tips and Tricks to survive in PUBG Download from Play Store 2. Infinity OPS © YouTube This is a multiplayer first-person shooter that has a sci-fi background to it. The event of the game takes place in the distant future when humanity has surpassed the limits of technological development and the world has descended into the chaos of interplanetary warfare. It has a wide range of armaments like plasma rifles and gadgets like jetpacks. You can also create your own clan (squad) and play multiples modes like Deathmatch and Hardcore. Even if you have a phone with low specs, the game has settings to scale down graphics. The range and depth of the gameplay is impressive for a mobile shooter and is the closest thing to Desinty or Halo on your smartphone. Download from Play Store 3. Shadowgun Legends © Madfinger Games There are many out there who do not prefer the Battle Royale format, for them Madfinger Games has Shadowgun Legends. The player is an intergalactic mercenary or 'Shadowgun' who fights alien forces and mercenaries for money and loot. The game has a huge selection of weapons, armour, and skins for your Shadowgun. The story campaign is thrilling and the game also supports co-op missions wherein up to three of your friends can make a squad. There is also a real-time team vs team battle. Although in-app purchases exist, they are mainly for cosmetic additions to the Shadowgun that don't give players a competitive advantage. Download from Play Store 4. Clash Royale © Splinter Cell Clash Royale is a spin-off of Clash of Clans and is the most popular “freemium” mobile game in the world right now. In Clash Royale, you take part in one-on-one battles with other players from around the world. The majority of Clash Royale's gameplay revolves around trying to use resources effectively. It combines the best elements of the Tower Defense and Action Real Time Strategy genres to create an addictive and competitive experience. The game is a couple of years old but has seen massive user retention. In fact, it made more than US$ 1 billion in revenue during its first year alone. Download from Play Store 5. HQ Trivia © HQ Trivia HQ Trivia is a live trivia app that you play for real money. The game consists of 12 multiple choice trivia questions, ranging from easy to devastatingly hard. The daily weekday cash pot has risen to US$ 5,000 with a Sunday evening game that is usually around US$ 25,000. Earlier the app was available only on iOS but an Android version was launched early this year. You can cash out with a PayPal account whenever you want to. There is no minimum threshold. Download from Play Store
  20. Google has made it quite clear about the existence of its experimental 'Fuchsia' operating system. A very early build of the operating system is already available for mobile phones and even PCs. However, currently, it's only in experimentation mode and may not see the day of light anytime soon. © BCCL Having said that, a recent report by Bloomberg says that Google may replace the Android and Chrome OS platform with Fuchsia sometime soon. Google has not formally committed to a concrete date, however, engineers at the search giant are looking to include the new operating system on connected devices like Google Home and laptops. Google has made it clear that the company is unsure about its plans and have not even committed to making this a reality. © Youtube It is safe to assume the Android platform may get outdated in the near future and this would be an opportunity for Google to start fresh. Android is based on Linux and as technology advances, Android will not be able to cope up. The new operating system would also let Google integrate services like voice commands and security patches better. Google has already been experimenting with making their own processor for smartphones and laptops. The search engine giant recently acquired talent from Apple that is currently developing a chipset for future Google devices. It is quite possible that the new operating system might just be getting developed to be in tune with the new processors. © MensXP The major roadblock Google will face, is to convince brands like Samsung, Xiaomi, and other major players to switch to the new operating system. Google will also have the daunting task to make enough Fuchsia-native apps available to attract a mass audience and convince manufacturers. There's a high chance that Google may take longer to implement the new operating system due to the above-mentioned roadblocks. Googled said in a statement to CNET, that currently, the company does not have a five-year plan for Fuchsia. The company described the OS as "one of the many experimental open-source projects" happening at Google. It would be interesting to see if the new operating system may see the day of light or not. Source: Bloomberg
  21. Google faced a record EU anti-trust fine of 4.3 billion euros on Wednesday over its Android smartphone system, in a ruling that risks a fresh clash between Brussels and Washington. Photo: BloombergBRUSSELS: Google faced a record EU anti-trust fine...
  22. Samsung currently is the world's largest manufacturer of mobile phones and has shipped more than 78 million phones in Q1 of 2018. This is followed by Apple, who shipped more than 52 millions units. While Samsung has managed to maintain its supremacy, a new report by Blancco states that Samsung is at the top of the list of failures among Android makers, with the failure rate of a whopping 27.4 percent. The report mainly focusses on the failure rates of mobiles from Samsung devices and iPhones. While iPhones are found to be prone to failure at some extent, Samsung handsets have been found much more unreliable, when it comes to failure rate. © BCCL According to a report titled 'The State of Mobile Device Repair', Android phones have nearly 60 percent of the market but are more likely to fail than their iOS counterparts. Samsung devices are most often submitted for repairs and have a failure rate of 27.4 percent, followed by Xiaomi with 14.2 percent. The iPhone 6 and iPhone 6S are the worst performing iOS devices and they have experienced a failure rate of 22 percent and 16 percent respectively. The iPhone X has a failure rate of just 3 percent though. Even though the failure rate of the iPhone 6 is quite high, it is still considerably lower than the highest failure rate of Samsung devices. © Blancco Blancco also notes that recent software updates have also adversely affected the battery lifespan of both the iPhone 6 and 6S. Huawei is the world's thirst largest manufacturer and has managed to keep its failure rate at 8 percent. The Samsung Galaxy S7 has been ranked the worst performing Android device followed by the S7 Edge. © BCCL About 34 percent of these issues are related to performance in Android phones followed by the camera at 14 percent. On the other hand, Bluetooth issues are at 9 percent in iOS followed by WiFi at 8 percent. The data also reveals that 74 percent of iPhones and iPads are running Apple's latest iOS 11 software, while 52 percent of Android phones are running Google's Nougat OS. © iFixit The data and accumulated result from Blancco is based on the “data collected from iOS and Android devices brought into wireless carriers and device manufacturers for Blancco testing and erasure”. Source: Blancco
  23. Android phones often start off running smoothly and responding instantly to every tap, but over time, even the fastest phone will start to show its age. As time goes by, particularly if you upgrade the operating system or add a lot of apps, a lot of cached data, as well as garbage data, is collected that clogs up the performance of your phone. We've listed down a few ways to easily speed up your Android phone! 1. Tidy Up Your Storage: © Google There are a lot of apps out there for clearing up your storage in a systematic manner, Google's Files Go is the one we recommend. It is the company's storage management and offline file transfer service, and it leverages Google's machine learning smarts to declutter your phone. It is designed to get rid of files that are taking up too much space on your phone and even provides recommendations for the course of action after scanning your phone. In fact, the app is specially made for India under Google's "Next Billion" initiative. Have a lot of good morning images? This app can even detect them and delete them in a single tap. Download Files Go 2. Keep A Simple Home Screen Or Try Another Launcher: © AnandTech The home screen takes up a lot of precious RAM when multiple widgets are used, even live wallpapers are very resource hungry. If you notice the home screen is getting laggy or taking a lot of time to load when you quit apps, it means the device isn't actually able to manage the number of resources the process is requesting for. Secondly, try installing another launcher. A vast majority of the phones out there come with an OEM install skin that is not always well optimised. If you notice Samsung's TouchWiz is slowing down your phone, install a lighter launcher. We highly recommend Nova Launcher, it is basic yet has all the advanced customisation one would require and is known to be extremely stable. Download Nova Launcher 3. Force GPU Rendering: © Google A lot of 2D elements in the phone's UI are software rendered, if even normal tasks like opening an app or the app drawer aren't smooth, switch to GPU Rendering. On enabling the option, these tasks will be handled by the device GPU which is a lot more capable. Keep in mind, GPUs are known to consume more power than CPUs hence you might notice slightly higher battery consumption. To switch on GPU Rendering, go to Settings and then tap on Developer Options. Toggle the "Force GPU Rendering" option and you are good to go! 4. Remove / Disable Bloatware: © YouTube A lot of Android phones ship with a number of apps pre-installed by the OEM. There is a high possibility you may have never actually used them, if that's the case, it's always better to remove them. A lot of these installations are sealed by the OEM hence you may not be able to remove them, then disable these apps. Once you disable an app, it will no longer continue running processes in the background and is as good as an uninstalled one, all it does is consume some internal storage. To disable the app, go to settings, tap on Apps and then select the one you wish to disable. You'll see an option to uninstall/disable the app. 5. Install The Latest Software: © Essential A lot of people have a misconception that installing software updates only takes up more storage and further slows down the system. While it has been noticed that a lot of OEMs push out unpolished updates, though, at the same time, a majority chunk of these updates bring in bug fixes and system improvements. You will notice a huge difference in the user experience when a major OS update is released, everything tends to get a lot smoother and efficient. Thanks to Project Treble, it is now, even more, easier for OEMs to push out regular updates. Read Also: How to install Android P
  24. Smartphone companies have always been battling amongst each other to innovate or create a product that may sway customers towards them. Some companies rely on offering competitive prices while others try to innovate. Innovation as a word is thrown around by presenters and company representatives, however, only a few are able to achieve that. Apple innovated with the introduction of Face ID while other companies simply copied the concept. © BCCL Having said that, there's a new player in town that is making waves more than any other smartphone company in the world. It could be argued whether this company is innovative or not, however, there is one thing for certain — creative. BBK electronics, the holding company behind companies like Oppo, VIVO, and OnePlus have been selling smartphones like hot cakes in India and China. The company shipped 39 million devices in 2016 alone, and is now looking to disrupt the smartphone market with clever features and creativity. How the in-display sensor works on the #vivox21. Been playing with the phone for a week and I'm surprised to see this new technology already in mass production. The phone is the first of its kind and will be available to buy from 29th May #vivox21 #smartphones #gadgets A post shared by Akshay Bhalla / Høax (@editorinchief) on May 29, 2018 at 1:39am PDT BBK electronics has managed to launch an under the display fingerprint sensor on its VIVO branded smartphones while being creative to solve common smartphone problems. In the age of full view displays, smartphones companies have found it very difficult to launch a product that is truly bezel-less. Apple launched the iPhone X with a notch while others simply copied the concept. © BCCL Oppo and Vivo managed to creatively tackle this issue with a creative idea. Smartphones were unable to achieve a truly bezel-less display, simply because companies could not figure out where to stick the selfie camera. Some tried to place it at the bottom while others just adopted the notch. Both Oppo and Vivo managed to hide the selfie camera in a very creative manner. The concept isn't new, but BBK electronics managed to hide the selfie camera by using mechanical moving parts. © YouTube Both companies i.e. VIVO and OPPO have showcased the 'NEX' and 'Find X' where both smartphones were able to achieve a full view display without any bezels. This was possible because of the selfie camera that would pop-out whenever needed. The Vivo NEX and Oppo 'Find X' both have Full View displays, no visible selfie camera, no notch and a near-non-existent top bezel. That's more than what Samsung and Apple can say about their products. What's impressive is that BBK electronics has managed to mass produce these concepts in no time and is already making its way to the Indian smartphone market. Sure it can be argued that Apple's Face ID is nearly perfect and doesn't require a feature like this on iPhones, however, we can confidently say that the competition is being damn creative.