[Download] LG G6 Stock Wallpapers

LG announced the LG G6 earlier at the MWC event in Barcelona. The device features a metal and glass design bringing back the old LG Optimus G days, and an unusual 18:9 aspect ratio. But there is one thing that shall always remain usual for Android devices and that is customization. We love to customize, even if it is just changing wallpapers and Android lets us. Continue reading “[Download] LG G6 Stock Wallpapers”

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Whatsapp status : Why people are not liking it and some tips

Whatsapp needs no introduction, it’s almost as popular as Facebook itself. The messaging app bought by Facebook rolled out a new update a few days ago that included a new “WhatsApp Status” feature. It is safe to say now Facebook is kind of obsessed with Snapchat. One by one, feature by feature, the devs at Facebook, and Facebook owned services are copying Snapchat. Only this time, users don’t seem to like it.  Continue reading “Whatsapp status : Why people are not liking it and some tips”

Allo the web app, coming soon (or not so soon) to your nearest desktops

When Google announced Allo at Google I/O last year, probably they never thought of creating an iMessage for Android. If that’s true, I don’t know what they were thinking launching another messaging app. Regardless, with how the hype built around Allo, with fans and critics expecting Google to get it right this time around, there were high expectations. What we got however were not fully developed apps but ideas.  Idea version 1.0 which the company promised will develop into mature communication apps.  Continue reading “Allo the web app, coming soon (or not so soon) to your nearest desktops”

Google is asking for your suggestions to fix Allo

You probably still remember Allo right? That new smart messaging app from Google? Yes, it was supposed to supersede Hangouts and become Android’s answer to iMessage. Such hopes. Turned out, it couldn’t even compete with lesser known apps like Viber or WeChat let alone Whatsapp. Allo was as simple a messenger as it could have been, and not in a good Whatsapp like way. It was bare bones except for the integrated Google Assistant which was fun, initially. Continue reading “Google is asking for your suggestions to fix Allo”

Google may enable Google Assistant on non Pixel devices

The Google Assistant arrived last year with the first Google branded smartphones as an exclusive feature, however, it didn’t remain so, at least officially. In fact, developers managed to find a way to enable the Assistant on the Nexus 6P even before the first Pixel was shipped. Seeing how easy it was to just enable the Google Assistant on any other smartphone it was speculated that its official exclusivity to Pixel was only for a while. That speculation could turn out to be true sooner than expected. The LG G6 is said to be arriving with the Google Assistant and now an update to the Google App suggests that the AI powered assistant could make its way onto even more devices. Continue reading “Google may enable Google Assistant on non Pixel devices”

Netflix, Amazon Prime Video or Hotstar – Which is better?

India is the second largest and the fastest growing smartphone market in the world. Only a third of the huge 1.3 billion population currently owns smartphones and is connected online, in some form. No wonder every tech company sees a huge potential market and that includes video streaming services. These aren’t as mainstream in the country as in other parts of the world, yet, but competition for the top spot has already begun. Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, and Hotstar are the top names but which one should you really put your money in?

Well, that depends, but if you know who you are the choice is pretty clear. Netflix is obviously the biggest name on a global platform among the three. Amazon Prime Video is a new entrant but is quickly gaining ground. Hotstar has been around before any of the others, although the premium membership program is fairly recent. Between the three, an Indian consumer probably has more choice of content than anywhere else in the world. The Indian video streaming market is valued at $280 million, with over 100 million subscribers already active on multiple platforms. So let’s take a brief look at the three big video streaming services in India.

1. Hotstar

Netflix, Amazon Prime Video or Hotstar - Which is better?

As I said, it was the first so it makes sense to start with it. Hotstar is a video streaming service provided by Star India. It arrived with a different revenue model than Amazon Prime Video or Netflix. Whereas the other two are subscription-based services, Hotstar was a free advertisement based revenue model. The service was quick to include a subscription model as well as the number of users grew. Current estimates suggest it has about 75 million monthly active users, which is far more than any other such service can claim.

Much of that may be due to the live streaming of Cricket matches. The service was also quick to buy streaming rights for globally acclaimed TV series ‘Game Of Thrones’ when it became apparent that it had a huge following in India. Hotstar has the largest library of regional and local content among the three. It is also adding international content at quite a rapid pace and Star India isn’t holding anything back as far as the cash flow goes. This shows because most of the popular English TV shows such as How I Met Your Mother, Grey’s Anatomy, Modern Family, etc. are available here.

While you do need to pay for streaming premium content like Game of Thrones and most of the movies, a lot is also free on Hotstar, with ads of course. Only about 3 to 5 percent of its monthly active users have a paid subscription, in fact. Hotstar provides perhaps the biggest selection of content, and it is all available for ₹199 per month. It’s actually pretty cheap compared to what the rest of the world pays for similar services. Although, Amazon Prime Video is a lot cheaper.

2. Amazon Prime Video

Netflix, Amazon Prime Video or Hotstar - Which is better?

Amazon’s Prime Video arrived in India only by the end of 2016 in December. It’s the new kid in town, relatively speaking. That does not seem to hold it back though and Amazon is standing tall behind its video streaming platform. You get Prime Video for free, in a way, considering that you only pay for being an Amazon Prime member, and automatically get a Prime Video subscription for no extra costs.

The company throws around a free subscription to its Prime services any chance it gets to sell you on a product. Sometimes with a new smartphone, often with its own Echo devices or Fire TV stick. The subscription costs used to be ₹500 per year but if you want a subscription now, you’ll have to shell out ₹1000 per year. Even with the increased prices, it’s still the cheapest of the three services. Not to mention you also get to enjoy free deliveries and other benefits of being an Amazon Prime member.

So it is the cheapest, but it also has the least impressive content. Popular shows like Young Sheldon, The Mentalist, Supernatural, Grey’s Anatomy are here. But that’s about as popular it gets. Although where it shines most is in the selection of movies, especially Indian movies. Amazon is investing heavily in acquiring rights for new Indian movies and is also pumping in a lot of money behind Amazon Originals specifically made for Indian audiences. The service currently has 11 million subscribers and all of these are paid, meaning all those who enrolled in the free-trial have extended their subscriptions.

3. Netflix

Netflix, Amazon Prime Video or Hotstar - Which is better?

The biggest name comes with the biggest price. Netflix is the only service among these three with a three-layered subscription. The basic, costing about ₹500 a month, only allows you to stream content in 480p. It also limits the number of screens you can stream on simultaneously to 1. A standard subscription will let you stream HD content on two screens simultaneously and it will cost you ₹650 a month. The premium plan lets you stream in 4K while increasing the number of screens you can simultaneously stream on to 4. It will cost you ₹800 a month.

The costs are probably why it has the least number of users in the country. The global streaming phenomenon actually has fewer users in India than some of the less popular services such as Sony LIV which isn’t that big on content.

For some reason, Netflix does not offer the popular TV shows and movies that it does in the west, which made it the name it is. Shows like FriendsThe West WingThe X-FilesLostTwin Peaks, etc. are nowhere to be found. In India, the best that Netflix offers are its own originals such as House of Cards, Daredevil, Stranger Things, Orange is the New Black, The Crown, Luke Cage, and Narcos. If English shows are what you’re after though Netflix has the largest collection.

Netflix’s selection of Indian content is next to abysmal. Netflix Originals alone cannot justify the costs at all. This is why of the 5 million monthly active users, only 5 to 6 percent are actually paying for it. That is to say, hardly anyone is extending their subscription beyond the 30-day trial.

Google to discontinue Google Now Launcher soon

Some time ago Google, the company behind Android, introduced its very own app launcher among the many others already present with the name Google Now launcher. The launcher had no fancy features, just a basic app launcher with a Google Now pane integrated into it, hence the name Google Now launcher. But with the Google Pixel, and its own dedicated Pixel Launcher, Google currently has two launchers on the Playstore.

But if an email obtained by Android Police is to be believed, Google is planning on discontinuing the Google Now Launcher by the end of Q1 2017. Apart from the different ways to access the app drawer, both the Google Now launcher and the Pixel launcher are almost exactly same. The only difference being that the Pixel launcher is not compatible (officially) with anything that’s not a Google Pixel.
Continue reading “Google to discontinue Google Now Launcher soon”

Google is pushing out a new ‘Instant Tethering’ feature via Google Play Services

Google Play Services is currently rolling out a new feature that was never spoken of before unlike most features that we hear rumours of way before they actually come out. The mobile hotspot on your phone can be very useful, in some cases a life saver when you really need it but it can be a bit tedious to set it up. Some Android users have gotten a new feature called Instant Tethering with Google Play Services 10.2. Continue reading “Google is pushing out a new ‘Instant Tethering’ feature via Google Play Services”

Beware the popular photo app Meitu – it will steal your data

Often, an app or game finds its way onto almost everybody’s phone. Sometimes you’d get it too just to see what all the fuzz is about. Like  Pokemon Go or Prisma. Meitu is a similar viral sensation thanks to the massive coverage it has received online and because who wouldn’t want to instantly give themselves or their favourite politicians and celebs a Japanese-anime inspired makeover, and share the hilarious results with the world?

But if you are one of those, it’s time to uninstall Meitu.  Continue reading “Beware the popular photo app Meitu – it will steal your data”

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