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ZODIAC

Found 36 results

  1. Apple's AirPods have become a cultural phenomenon and has become an icon when it comes to audio gear. It may not be the best earphones on the planet but it's surely the most convenient. AirPods 2, with a wireless charging case, is set to launch in India soon and many of you would want to use them with your Android smartphone. In fact, there is a way to use some of the AirPods features that are available natively if you use the earbuds with an Apple device. AirPods 2 offers some new features and familiar tech which has not been easy to replicate. You can read our full review here if you want to know more. How To Pair AirPods With An Android Phone © MensXP Pairing AirPods with an Android smartphone is fairly simple as it works similar to other Bluetooth earphones. At the back of the case of the AirPods, you need to long press the small button to make it discoverable. Once you can see the AirPods in your phone's Bluetooth settings, select and pair with the AirPods. It's easy and does not have any issues while connecting. How Can I Use Airpods 2 Features © Akshay Bhalla_MensXP The AirPods have neat features such as double tapping the earbud to skip songs and play/pause music with a single tap. You will be happy to know that this feature works with Android smartphones as well and works just like it does on the iPhone. Check Battery Life & Setup Google Assistant The AirPods 2 natively gives you battery levels when connected with the iPhone when you start using them or via the batteries widget. You can even use Siri without any additional setup on the iPhone. Having said that, making these features work on an Android smartphone is a bit more complicated. You will need to download third-party apps to take advantage of these features on an Android smartphone. © Google Play You can download AirBattery via the Google Play Store as it lets you interact with AirPods and see battery levels of each earbud and the charging case. You can alternatively use AssistantTrigger which essentially lets you do the same thing but also lets you set up Google Assistant functionality. You can fire up Google Assistant by double tapping on the earbud thanks to AssistantTrigger.
  2. 'Call of Duty' publisher Activision is teaming up with Tencent Timi Studio to bring its massively popular first-person shooter franchise 'Call of Duty' to Android and iOS. The game will simply be called 'Call of Duty: Mobile'. 'Call of Duty: Mobile' is a free-to-play multiplayer title which draws inspiration from some of the popular 'Call of Duty' titles like Modern Warfare and Black Ops. Here, watch the trailer - Activision has also promised that the game will have competitive multiplayer modes from the original franchise including Search and Destroy and Free-For-All. Additionally, the game will also have series staple maps like Nuketown, Crash, and Hijacked. Also, much like the other 'Call of Duty' games, the 'Call of Duty: Mobile' players will also earn and unlock classic 'Call of Duty' characters, weapons, scorestreaks, and more. The trailer also teases some other multiplayer modes, maps, and character customization, so be sure to check it out. Commenting on the release, Activision VP of mobile Chris Plummer said, “Together with the amazing team at Tencent, we're bringing together a collection of the most beloved maps, competitive modes, familiar characters, and signature weapons from across this storied franchise into one epic experience for the first time on mobile.” © Call of Duty In case you're just as excited as we are about this game, you can head over to the game's official website and sign up to be the first one to get notified about its launch. We still don't have an official release date yet, but a public beta is coming this summer, so stay tuned for more info.
  3. Microsoft showed off its Project xCloud and gave a first look of the service working in action. The company has been developing a cloud-based game streaming platform for a while, which is expected to be the future of gaming. Microsoft is already planning to stream games that are made for the Xbox One and is also planning to launch a disc-less console soon. © YouTube As part of the demo, we can clearly see Forza Horizon 4 running in a data centre and being streamed to an Android smartphone. The game is being controlled by an Xbox One controller via Bluetooth. “Anywhere we have a good network connection, we'll be able to participate in Project xCloud,” Microsoft head of gaming cloud Kareem Choudhry said in the video Choudary also went on to explain that Project xCloud will work similar to music or video streaming services i.e you can log in from any device i.e. a phone or even a laptop and find the library similar to music libraries. Basically, this service will work on any device that has a screen and play demanding games on the fly. © Microsoft The service will also give you access to your cloud saves, friend lists and everything that users are already familiar with on the Xbox One. However, Choudry went on to say that “It's not a replacement for consoles, we're not getting out of the console business,” © Microsoft Game streaming services are being touted as the future of gaming thanks to new technologies like 5G and cloud computing. Google is also launching its own game streaming service next week at GDC 2019. Microsoft already offers a subscription service in the form of Xbox Game Pass where users can play Xbox One and Xbox 360 games for Rs 699 per month.
  4. You can finally play your PlayStation 4 (PS4) games on your iPad or your iPhone via Sony's Remote Play App. The application was already available on Android, considering it was first launched on the Xperia Z3 way back in October 2013. It has taken Sony 4.5 years to get the same feature for iOS devices. © SONY In order to use this feature, you will need to update your PS4, download the RemotePlay app on your iOS device and pair the two. The controller layout is overlaid on the screen and if you want to play on your iOS device, it will work best when paired with a third party controller. You cannot pair the PS4 controller with an iPhone or an iPad unless your device is jailbroken. iOS is a huge platform and bringing the functionally will be a massive expansion for streaming games. There are plenty of MFi gamepads you can use in order to play PlayStation games on your iPad. You can use the SteelSeries Nimbus as a gamepad and map the controls exactly like on the PlayStation 4 controller. © Sony Having said that, you will not be able to play PS4 games remotely such as via a mobile network. You will need to be connected to the same Wi-Fi in order for the function to work. You will also need an iPhone 7 or sixth-generation iPad or later to make the application work with your PS4. The new update has been rolled out for the PS4 and in the 6.5 version of the update, users can also remap the 'X' and 'O' buttons on the controller. Japanese consoles have to use the 'O' button for the “Enter” command, however, you can now remap it to 'X' or the other way around.
  5. Every year, Samsung starts off the year with a bang when it comes to flagship Android smartphones and the Galaxy S10 Plus is no exception. It's the ambitious attempt by Samsung to sway customers towards their products and the Galaxy S10 Plus is one of those devices. Last year, Samsung brought incremental upgrades to the Galaxy S9/S9 Plus from its predecessor which left many of their fans unimpressed. However, the Galaxy S10 Plus is a whole different story as it boasts quite a few upgrades in almost category. The Galaxy S10 Plus has a new 6.-4inch type of screen called the 'Infinity-O display', has a total of five cameras and the world's first ultrasonic fingerprint sensor. Unlike the U.S./Chinese version, the Indian unit is powered by Samsung's own Exynos 9820 chipset and is coupled with various RAM configurations. It comes in three stunning “prism” colours and starts from Rs 73,900 for the 8GB RAM/128GB internal storage variant. We've been using this variant for a few weeks and here's our review to determine whether it's worth the price tag: Design & Display Android smartphones are known to be bold and adventurous when it comes to experimentation and the end result is almost always awesome. Android smartphone companies are trying to experiment with displays to deliver an all-screen phone with various design innovations. Samsung chose to implement its 'Infinity-O' display that offers almost an edge-to-edge screen experience. The S10 Plus almost has zero bezels with the exception of a narrow chin. The dual-selfie camera hole on the display has been carved out using lasers giving it a flush look and achieving a near edge-to-edge display experience at the same time. Having said that, when you first use the Galaxy S10 Plus for watching video content, the holes are a bit distracting until you get used to it. This was true when we reviewed the Honor View 20 and it remains the same as Samsung's offering. However, if you want to hide the holes, you can always implement clever wallpapers like the ones we've mentioned here. The Galaxy S10 Plus is also not a small smartphone that can be used by one hand. It measures 6.2 x 2.91 x 0.3 and needs to be operated with two hands unless you have long fingers. The Galaxy S10 Plus also has a slight curve in the design which can result in accidental touches. © MensXP/Akshay Bhalla We've been using the Prism White variant of the Galaxy S10 Plus and it is one of the most beautiful colours we've seen on a smartphone. It changes colour whenever the smartphone catches the light and gives off a very regal vibe when viewed from afar. The Galaxy S10 Plus also comes in a ceramic finish (it's more expensive) which feels more durable than the all-glass design. © MensXP/Akshay Bhalla In terms of display quality, the Galaxy S10 Plus has a quad HD+ Dynamic AMOLED display which has been termed as the best display on a smartphone yet. It has a wider colour gamut and dynamic tone mapping that enhances colours and brightness. The Galaxy S10 Plus also has a brightness level of 624 nits, highest on any smartphone yet. For reference, the iPhone XS Max has a brightness level of 603 nits. The display itself is one of the best you can find on a smartphone to watch video content on Netflix or Amazon Prime. It supports HDR10+ playback which is probably the highest quality you can get in videos when it comes to dynamic range. The Galaxy S10 Plus also has stereo speakers which are powerful enough to accentuate the experience further as it is powerful, clear and loud. The speakers have rich audio and a robust sound overall. Performance Our Galaxy S10 Plus unit is powered by Samsung's Exynos 9820 chipset and is coupled with 6GB of RAM. Having said that, the Exynos 9820 chipset is not as fast as Qualcomm's Snapdragon 855 chipset which you can find on a U.S. version of the smartphone. The Snapdragon 855 chipset is based on TSMC's 7nm process, whereas the Exynos 9820 is based on an 8nm LPP FinFET process. Regardless, the Exynos 9820 processor works like a beast and showed some impressive results in benchmark scores. © MensXP/Akshay Bhalla We also played games like Asphalt 9 and PUBG Mobile to check it's overall gaming performance. The Galaxy S10 Plus was able to run both games in the highest settings without any drops in FPS. Having said that, we did see the Galaxy S10 Plus overheat a bit right under the camera module at the back. On Geekbench 4, which measures overall performance, the S10 Plus turned in a multi-core score of 10,146, which beats the OnePlus 6T (8,972) and Pixel 3 (7,316). © MensXP/Akshay Bhalla Even though the graphics are at par with other Android flagship devices, the Exynos version of the Galaxy S10 Plus underperformed when it comes to GPU benchmark scores. It managed to score 4265 on 3DMark Sling Shot Extreme score (OpenGL ES 3.1 test). In fact, the iPhone XS, Pixel 3 and the OnePlus 6T pulled ahead in this department. Battery Life When it comes to battery life of the Galaxy S10 Plus, the performance was slightly above average as it could not last longer than a full day of charge. Sometimes, the Galaxy S10 Plus would not even survive the full day depending on our usage. Keep in mind, we were testing an Exynos version and the battery life performance may differ for a Qualcomm version. We used the Galaxy S10 Plus for navigation, mild gaming, 4G LTE web browsing, music/video streaming and reading comic books. We had almost 4 hours 30 minutes of screen on time and the smartphone could last only a day and then some. This is with light usage which was not impressive considering the Galaxy S10 Plus has a 4,100 mAh battery. You can always switch the display to Full HD+ in order to conserve more battery life however QHD+ is so much better for watching videos which obviously sacrificed battery life. © MensXP/Akshay Bhalla The Galaxy S10 Plus also has reverse charging if you want to charge any of your accessories or even second wireless charging supported smartphone. It's called 'PowerShare' and it turns the back of the S10 Plus into a charging mat. The PowerShare feature works great to charge accessories like a smartwatch and the great part is that the smartphone automatically disables the feature once your battery level falls to 30 per cent. Biometrics © MensXP/Akshay Bhalla This is the first time Samsung has included an in-display fingerprint sensor on a smartphone and it works a little different from what you may have seen before. It is embedded right into the screen and is fast to set up. You simply have to hold your finger in the specific area of the screen and it unlocks quite fast. Sure, it isn't as fast as a traditional fingering sensor, however, it does work when we need it to. It comes in handy in dark environments as the facial recognition on the Galaxy S10 Plus isn't as accurate. Having said that, during the day when facial recognition works, it is quite fast and you won't end up using the fingerprint scanner anyway. In terms of accuracy, there were a few instances when fingerprints weren't being read however overall the ultra-sonic sensor was consistent and accurate when scanning thumbs. Camera © MensXP/Akshay Bhalla The Galaxy S10 Plus has a triple-camera setup at the back and dual selfie camera at the front. The rear setup has an optically stabilised 12-megapixel main sensor with a dual aperture that can switch between f/1.5 for night shots and f/2.4 for the day. The second sensor is an ultra-wide 16-megapixel f/2.2 sensor that lets you capture more field of view and lastly a stabilised 12-megapixel telephoto sensor. The wide-angle camera lens works similar to what we have seen on the Huawei Mate 20 Pro and other Samsung phones. You can zoom out and capture a wider field of view and somewhat get a fish-eye effect. It's a great lens to use, especially if you like to capture a lot of landscapes and environments. Having said that, the ultra-wide lens did give off some grain in low-light which is manageable by editing the images in third-party software. The portrait mode is known as “Live Focus” is also a dream to work with as it accurately blurs the background on objects and even pets. In fact, our favourite lighting option in 'Live Focus' mode is the “Colour Point” mode which basically turns the background into monochrome. The triple camera also does a great job of utilising HDR which you can see in one of our samples below. It was able to capture the blue sky and the definition of the clouds accurately. Having said that, we would have loved to see a dedicated night mode similar to what we see on the Pixel 3 and even budget Android phones like the Redmi Note 7 Pro. © MensXP/Akshay Bhalla The front cameras also feature dual-lens setup which basically lets you take normal or wide-angle selfies. You can even use the same portrait mode effect like “Colour Point” while using the selfie camera. It does a great job at blurring the background and is at par with other flagship smartphones. Here are a few camera samples that you can review below: View this post on Instagram Pictures shot using the #GalaxyS10Plus. I was quite satisfied with the picture quality, especially the "Colour Point" feature in the portrait mode. Wide-angle also does a decent job. #Technology #GalaxyS10 #tech #Gadgets #Smartphones #techie #samsung A post shared by Akshay Bhalla (@editorinchief) on Mar 4, 2019 at 8:45am PST The Final Say If you are looking for a powerful Android smartphone that can tick almost every box, the Galaxy S10 Plus is a great purchase you can consider. It has one of the best screens on a smartphone and takes some awesome pictures. It even supports HDR10+ content which is a plus if you like to watch movies on-the-go. Having said that, we did find the Galaxy S10 Plus lacking in the battery life department which we are sure can be fixed in a future OTA update. Overall, the Galaxy S10 Plus is very familiar to what we've seen before but at the same time makes huge leaps with various new features.
  6. With the iPhone X, Apple completely ditched the home button in favour of gestures. The gesture navigation system was soon rolled out by multiple Android OEMs, even though Android doesn't natively support it. Currently, Android OS relies on three core navigation buttons: back button, home button and a recents tab. Google combined the home and recents buttons in Android 9 but kept the back button untouched. Though, this could change in the upcoming Android Q update. © YouTube According to a report by XDA Developers, Google is now planning to completely ditch the conventional Back button to opt for a gesture-based navigation system. And this is a good thing for all of us. Gestures are for sure the future of smartphone navigation, and with core support, the user experience will be drastically better. Google last year launched Android Pie with a new one-touch button and lots of gesture features. Though, the update let users switch back to the older method of navigation. © YouTube Even though a lot of Android phones have gesture navigation available as an option, it works due to the external skin or UI that the OEM has made. This isn't always as smooth and intuitive as native support. In comparison, Apple's navigation is extremely fluid due to deeper software integration. Swiping left on the screen will enable users to go back and swiping right will take users from their current app to the previous app in a card-like transition. Swifter animations are another major revamp that Google could bring with the update. © Google Google shall be announcing the next major update to Android at Google I/O developer conference, that is scheduled for 7 May. Google is also expected to launch a redesigned app info screen with “Material Theme”. There are also rumours that Google could finally bring a system-wide dark mode and even more detailed privacy controls. Google intends to make it easier for users to understand and determine the permissions they are giving to an app. Please keep in mind, these reports are based on early builds of Android Q, an official feature announcements is pending.
  7. Whether one has played on the Nintendo Switch, PC or Xbox; there's always been a desire to play those games with one's friends on different platforms. This is now set to become a reality for gamers as Microsoft will be adding Xbox Live cross-platform support for Android, iOS and Switch games. © YouTube The news comes from a Microsoft session at the upcoming Game Developers Conference, as it was noticed by Avers that Xbox Live will now be expanding its services to as many as 2 billion devices. Xbox Live on different platforms will have achievements, clubs, friends lists and “more” If this isn't some form of typo this is HUGE NEWS and will change the industry going forward. Xbox Live coming to 2 billion (BILLION) devices with new cross-platform XDK/SDK. #XboxLive #GamePass #Xcloud pic.twitter.com/mjza0JKZRc — Avers (@Avers_G4GMedia) February 2, 2019 Microsoft scheduled a session that will detail plans for the upcoming SDK or “XDK”. Currently, Xbox Live is already available on these platforms, however, the functionality is quite limited. You can use the app to chat with Xbox Live friends or keep tabs on what games they are playing. In games like Minecraft (Microsoft Owned), the app lets you sync your achievements as well. Microsoft has reserved cross-platform support for its own games, however, it looks like the new feature will be expanded to third-party titles. © Microsoft Microsoft is now looking to shift to a strategy of games as a service, which is also in line with a next-generation Xbox, that will exclusively stream games. Other initiatives such as the Xbox Game Pass subscription service may also be available to play on these different devices. It may not matter in the future whether you are playing on a PC, smartphone or the Nintendo Switch. The cross-platform support may be possible thanks to Microsoft's Project xCloud that will let users stream games on any device if this Xbox Live SDK comes into fruition. Microsoft does not plan for cross-platform support on the PlayStation 4 due to Sony's bullish attitude towards cross-play.
  8. Hi guys ! We have created a Android Application for our users. Now you can easily install and open fundayforum without opening browser or searching on web fundayforum. Just install it and with one click you can use Fundayforum Board. Apk File link is below Click at download Button for application and Please before install Go to your android mobile settings > Security > and check mark at UNKNOWN DEVICE . Run the application for installation. Thats it. If you got any errors or any suggestion please pass your comments. Thanks
  9. There was a time when games would first come to iOS, followed by Android. This is now rapidly changing and developers are often prioritizing the open source platform, thanks to the larger available user base. While 2018 has been all about battle royale games like PUBG and Fortnite, there are thousands of simulation and arcade games that are equally fun to play and less time intensive. With the new year already here, now's a good time to reboot the available games on your phone and try something different. We've compiled a list of trending games for Android that are fun to play and are challenging as well! 1. Command and Conquer: Rivals © Android Central Command & Conquer: Rivals is a real-time player versus player (PvP) game, where gamers lead their faction to victory in the war for Tiberium, a key resource. EA's new Command & Conquer: Rivals was designed with mobile platforms like Android in mind. The game offers players two factions: The Global Defense Initiative and Brotherhood of Nod. Each faction has different commanders with different abilities. In the new mode, EA said players go on a run of battles, competing with others in a unique matchmaking pool. Competition is segmented by rank. The better people perform, the more rewards they receive. While the game works fine on mobile, it is even more convenient and fun to play on a tablet. Download from Google Play Store 2. Assassin's Creed Rebellion © EA You can grab Assassin's Creed Rebellion off the Play Store for free, though advertisements are included along with in-game purchases. According to the listing, you'll find access to over 40 characters, some old and some new, building a group of assassin to take on the Templars and oppression taking place in Spain. You'll be able to manage your own base of assassins, build new rooms, craft new equipment, gather resources and create new medicine. You'll be building up your assassin army and expanding your domain, all the while pulling off missions, similar to Fallout Shelter. Download from Google Play Store 3. F1 Mobile Racing © YouTube You can develop and customise your own F1 car from the ground up, or race for one of the 10 official F1 teams. In the multi-player mode, you can challenge opponents from around the world, or add up your friends to race. It also features official circuits, including Hockenheim in Germany. It doesn't end here, you can also assume the role of legends like Lewis Hamilton, Sebastian Vettel, Max Verstappen and Fernando Alonso. The graphics are stunning and the gameplay is top-notch. In fact, we can confidently say this is one of the best simulation/racing game for Android. Download form Google Play Store 4. Asphalt 9: Legends © Gameloft Gameloft has retained the frenetic, cinematic action that made the earlier games so popular and taken things up another notch. The game is free to download but features ads and in-app purchases. This game features a top roster of real hypercars from manufacturers like Ferrari, Porsche, Lamborghini and W Motors. Gamers can start their street journey in Career mode by completing over 60 seasons and 800 events. Gamers can race against up to 7 rival plays from all over the world in the online multiplayer mode. Other features include a new Club mode where you and your friends can work towards achieving more challenging rewards, as well as 8-player local multiplayer. Download from Google Play Store 5. Skiddy Car © YouTube Compared to other simulation games, the controls on this one are fairly simple. Just tap to turn right, release to turn left and drift your way to the finish line. Sounds easy? The actual experience is extremely challenging and requires focus. If you want a game that gets you hooked and constantly tests you, this one is definitely built keeping you in mind. It has a wide collection of vehicles to choose from, the graphics are colourful, and the tracks have different designs as well. Overall, it's a light game to pass time quickly. Download from Google Play Store 6. Rise Up © YouTube The goal of the game is simple, you are tasked with protecting a balloon as it rises through various obstacles, and it shouldn't hit anything. With a single finger, you have to drag a circle around it to deflect the objects and obstacles that appear. All you need to do is move your shield with one finger to protect your balloon. Clear your way as you reach higher and higher, but reaching the top score is extremely difficult. This is another game that is exceedingly light and best for short duration fun. Download from Google Play Store 7. HeliHopper © Oddrok HeliHopper is a fun helicopter game where you hop from a helipad to another. It has missions, endless mode, tons of unlockables and a simple UI. The game is controlled by a simple slingshot mechanism and you can perform side-hops in the air by swiping the screen during the flight. Wind and various landing pads make things even more tricky. In total, it has 65 missions and 9 endless levels to choose from, along with 10 different helicopters. Download from Google Play Store
  10. iMessage is Apple's proprietary instant messaging service that comes embedded in the "Messages" app. If you are sending an SMS to someone, and the recipient has an iPhone, you can send the same message over Apple's iMessage service instead of carrier-based SMS. This way, you do not incur carrier charges and the overall capabilities increase widely. To use iMessage, you need to have the recipients Apple ID -- it can be your mobile number or email. iMessage is for Apple devices only and a core part of the ecosystem. While the service isn't widely used in countries like India, it has been a massive success in the U.S.A because of the high availability of iPhone users. © Mashable On the other hand, Google is also working on a similar solution called Rich Communication Services, or RCS. It is a new protocol that lets you send a lot more than just 160 characters of text. We've already explained the new protocol in depth here. Basically, RCS is capable of being a full-fledged WhatsApp like IM, that can universally send across messages to other phones and app clients. In other words, if you have an RCS supported handset, you can get WhatsApp and iMessage-like features without having to install any app or going through any sort of setup. The new protocol is being backed by a number of carriers globally, Microsoft, and Google. © Skype This protocol is being governed by GSMA, an industry trade association that represents mobile-network operators around the world. It's also the body that would help to get RCS off the ground and make the new standard a more powerful force in messaging. According to a new leaked slide on Reddit, Apple has shown interest in RCS. The slide alleges the company wants to improve the experience of sending text messages to non-Apple devices. It also wants to stay updated to meet network operator requirements in countries like U.S.A and Canada. © Reddit / Flicter22 Again, it's unclear whether or not Apple's discussions with the GSMA have led to anything of magnitude. While the event took place on October 24th, the contents of the slide haven't been widely reported on thus far. Honestly, I'd love to see iMessage support RCS. We have a number of universally adopted protocols for day-to-day usage on the internet, a similar set of process for instant messaging is a need of the hour. Especially when even giants like Google are so confused about their chat apps. Source: Reddit
  11. We barely need to delete images for making space on our phones any more, thanks to more than sufficient internal storage. 64GB of internal storage has pretty much become a standard feature now, and expandable storage via a microSD card pushes the limit further. But, this also means we no longer have the habit of taking backups. Earlier when storage was a privilege, we would periodically take a backup of all our photos, clear the device, and use it again. This way, even if you lost your phone or device, a backup copy of the data is still available with you. Offline backup is age-old, but the concept remains the same. Offline: © Adafruit Industries You transfer your pictures from the phone to another flash drive like a spare microSD card, SSD hard drive, or even your computer. Plug-in the cable, select "View Files" and copy paste all the content. But, this process too is primitive and lacks advanced functionality. On Android, apps are specially built that aim to make taking backups even simpler and hassle-free. And, these apps don't just cover your pictures, but also contacts, calendar, SMS, and in some cases even app data. A few of these apps are CM Backup, Super Backup, Easier Backup, and many more. © MensXP You can also completely eliminate the use of a computer by using internal storage only for regular use. Then, insert a microSD card to take backups and transfer all the internal data to the external card. Once done, eject the card and keep it safe. This way, you can quickly take backups on the go, and won't confuse yourself with all the data that's combined in both the storages. For iOS users, the offline process is slightly tricky. You can't just connect your iPhone to the PC and copy-paste files. Firstly, you'll have to install iTunes on your Windows PC, login with the same Apple ID that's loaded on your phone, and then establish a connection. Once connected, the software suite will offer a lot more than just backups. © Digital Trends You have the option of importing photos or even taking complete iPhone backups. The complete backup will include everything, right from apps to system settings. Lastly, the same software can be used to load music or soundtracks from your PC to iPhone and even manage Apple Music library. If you're taking backups on a computer, we recommend using the T5 SSD Hard Drive. And if you're using a microSD, the SanDisk Class 10 128GB card is highly recommended. Online: © Pexels This is a much simpler and worry-free process since you don't have to perform any task after the initial setup. While Android and iOS have different offline backup methods, the online procedure remains common, thanks to an open app ecosystem. You can use a variety of services from Google, Microsoft and Apple to store data in the cloud. We'll start with Google's services -- Drive and Photos. Essentially, they are two different apps that pretty much do the same thing. The Drive app lets you manage everything, starting from pictures to zip files. On the other hand, the Photos app is built for pictures only and comes with AI-powered recognition that auto-creates albums, recognises pictures, and makes going through your gallery a lot simpler. © Google Ultimately, both the apps are interconnected with the rest your Google utilities like Gmail. You'll get 15GB storage free for lifetime, and you can choose to purchase additional storage later depending on requirement. Both, the Drive and Photos app, are capable of uploading your camera roll in the background when connected to a WiFi connection and charge simultaneously. Microsoft has its OneDrive service that is similar to Google's offerings. It has its own ecosystem for email, documents, and storage. It has one app that does everything, the OneDrive app. You can manage your files, it's connected to Office apps, and pictures get auto-compiled into albums thanks to AI recognition. Though, you get just 5GB free in the base tier. The OneDrive app is compatible with Android as well as iOS. © Microsoft Lastly, you can use iCloud, though this one is restricted to Apple users. The service is deeply integrated into all Apple products and is capable of storing even app data. You get 5GB in the free tier, and complete device backups are possible. Though, sharing outside of the ecosystem can often be tricky.
  12. Google's next operating system Fuchsia OS is expected to hit devices in the next few years and apparently, it will be able to run Android apps as well. This will make it easier for Android's existing user base to switch to the new platform when it is available on the next generation of smartphones. © Twitter 9to5Google spotted a new file on Android's open source project website that said: "These targets are used to build ART for Fuchsia.” This means that Google is making a special version of Android Runtime or ART which will be able to run Android apps. "They differ from usual Android devices as they do not target specific hardware. They will produce a fuchsia package (.far file)," the memo reads. © 9t05Google This basically means that users will be able to bring over all their purchases from the Google Play Store to the new operating system without any problems. Based on previous leaks and reports, Fuchsia will be able to run on a range of devices such as phones, tablets and even PCS. This will basically bridge the gap between Android and Chrome OS and work similar to Apple's ecosystem. Having said that, offering backward compatibility for Android apps on the new operating system may make it encouraging for users to upgrade to new devices. Whenever the time comes, the conversion rate can be expected to be fast, as people would be comfortable to try out the new operating system without losing any of their data and purchases. Source: 9to5Google
  13. 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
  14. 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.
  15. 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
  16. 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
  17. 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:
  18. 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.
  19. 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.
  20. 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.
  21. 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.
  22. 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
  23. 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
  24. 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
  25. 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
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