[Poll] The best Nexus that ever was and will be

 It’s 2010: Steve Jobs unveils the first iPad to a wary crowd; Samsung announces the first entry in the Galaxy S series of smartphones; Angry Birds is a worldwide phenomenon; Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg is incarnated by Jesse Eisenberg in The Social Network; LeBron James decides to take his talents to South Beach.

And Google, amid much hype and hope, joins the smartphone revolution by coming out with the Nexus One for under $530 off contract. It’s the first Google phone, and while not as successful as later iterations, it will be seen by many as an integral part of Android’s trajectory.

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How to disable system apps without root on android

Android OEMs and if you’re in the US or a similar place, the network carriers, love putting their apps and services (you know, free hardware, free games, free cloud storage, etc.) that only annoy you each time you see them and know they can’t be removed. Maybe they think their devices are a little too perfect and they include the bloatware on devices so that you have something to complain about. After all, pre-installed bloatware is almost always completely useless, making strange assumptions about the user’s intentions and slowing performance.

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PS4 Pro vs PS4 Slim vs PS4: What’s the difference?

For video games and the people who love to play them, 2016′s holiday season is the first since 2013 in which brand new video game consoles are being sold. Granted, these aren’t brand new in the same way the PS4 and Xbox One were brand new three years ago, but they do represent significant refreshes to both Sony and Microsoft’s gaming systems.

After a long wait, we finally have an official announcement from Sony that the new PS4 Pro – what the company originally codenamed PS4 Neo – exists, and is coming soon. So, how does the new console compare to the existing PS4 we all know and love? That’s what we’re about to find out.

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Windows 10 uses your bandwidth to update other PCs on or off your Network. Here’s how to stop it.

One of Windows 10’s new features is its optimized update delivery system. If Microsoft’s servers are busy, Windows 10 can grab updates for the operating system and for Windows Store apps from other computers — either on your local network or over the Internet. The new peer-to-peer (P2P) delivery update mechanism holds the potential to save you a ton of wasted download bandwidth. Using the P2P option, you could download a Windows update once, then use that machine to spread the update to all the PCs on your local network. Yay efficiency!

Continue reading “Windows 10 uses your bandwidth to update other PCs on or off your Network. Here’s how to stop it.”

Download : Xperia XZ and X Compact stock wallpapers

Sony announced the Xperia XZ, which is being called the true flagship of its new X series of smartphones. The company also announced a new smaller handset, the Xperia X compact. Combining preferred aspects of both the X and the Z smartphone lines, the XZ flagship banks on power and an advanced camera to woo customers. Also just as with every flagship launch, the Xperia XZ and X Compact bring new wallpapers. The new Xperia flagships bring with them about 8 new HD wallpapers of 2160×1920 resolution.

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Get Windows 10 in touch with your Android phone

Q. Now that I’ve installed the “Anniversary Update” to Windows 10, how do I get my Android notifications to show up on my PC as promised?

A. The free upgrade to Microsoft’s operating system that shipped last week includes some nifty features, but the most surprising one benefits mobile devices running another company’s operating system.

(Consider this yet another sign of how little the Microsoft of 2016 has in common with the Microsoft of 1996.)

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How to take better photos with your Android phone

Many Android phones come with a high-quality camera designed to capture your subject’s tiniest details and features, and while they’re not technically on the same level as a DSLR camera, you can still take the perfect picture with just your phone if you know how to use it. Even if you’re a beginner, you can quickly learn how to capture amazing photos with your Android phone (be sure to check out the new photo editing app called Prisma.)

Here are some helpful tricks to help you take better photos with your Android device.

Explore your camera settings

Get acquainted with your phone and all the camera settings before you start shooting, and you’ll feel a lot more comfortable capturing your shots!

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While shooting from your phone’s stock camera is great for 99.9% of pictures — especially if you’ve got a recent Samsung, LG or HTC phone — playing around with the various modes and settings can really allow you to experiment and get creative.

Make sure your lens is clean

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While this may seem like an obvious one, cleaning your phone lens can be a lot harder to remember than cleaning your DSLR lens. After all, there’s no lens cap protecting your Android phone’s camera from dirt and scratches like professional cameras have.

Carrying around a small lens cleaning cloth, or even having small micro fiber lens cleaning patches stitched to the inside of your purse or your jacket are simple ways to remind you to clean your phone lens and screen, so you’re always ready to take the clearest shots with your phone.

Or just use your shirt.

Forget the flash: use external lighting

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When it’s dark outside, it’s a knee-jerk reaction to turn on the flash to light up your photos, but it’s not always the best for picture quality. In fact, we’ll go one further: Don’t bother using your flash. Nearly ever.

Always try to find a natural light source when you’re shooting your photos. If you’re at a restaurant and want to snap a picture of your meal, try to get a seat by a window, so you can capture all the meal’s details with the perfect lighting. If you’re looking to take a selfie, try posing in front of a big window. This won’t only make your face and features light up – even on a cloudy day – but it will darken the background and make you the center of attention.

If it’s absolutely impossible to capture your picture without natural lighting (and sometimes that’s the case), try your best to find another external light source, like a lamp or even a candle. While it may seem silly, almost any other lighting will look better than the flash, especially since you then have more control of what you choose to light and highlight in your photographs.

Crop, don’t zoom

Just like your Android phone’s flash, zoom is another readily available option for phoneographers that should be avoided like the photographic plague.

Zoom can lower the quality of your pictures, and you might actually be cutting out something you didn’t notice in the photo that you may find amazing when you glance at the picture during editing.

It’s hard to remember when you’re shooting, but your Android device is not the same as a DSLR camera: you can’t just zoom in on something and have the quality stay virtually the same. A lot of professional photographers avoid the zoom altogether and prefer to crop strategically in the editing process afterwards, so they don’t miss out on anything they captured in the picture.

If you really need to get in close with your subject, pick yourself up and physically move closer to it rather than using your zoom. This is the best way to get creative control over your photo subject without using zoom to mess up the picture’s overall quality.

Burst first, ask questions later

Bursting may seem like a lazy way to take pictures, but it’s probably the most efficient way to capture your perfect shot!

Whether it be selfies, landscapes, or a masterpiece of a meal, using burst is a great way to take a bunch of photos without stress: just hold down the shutter button and your phone will take rapid-fire shots that you can browse through later to find the perfect one.

While a bunch of the pictures you take with burst will be terrible and totally unusable, there are bound to be a few gems hiding in there. Take the time to go through your burst shots and pick out the best ones, and always remember to delete the bad burst photos so they don’t take up space on your phone.

Find a favorite photography editing app

After you’re done shooting, you’re going to want to up your photo game by editing your pictures with your favorite editing app.maxresdefault (1).jpg

There are plenty of photo editing apps to choose from out there, and all of them do their own unique things like overlay certain filters, allow you to edit brightness and contrast, and even add text or stickers to your photos.

Photo editing apps are also a great tool to have if you’re not confident with the photos you’ve taken. You can even salvage some photographs through a little bit of editing and tweaking if you’re worried about quality.

Follow your favorite photographers on social media

Sometimes taking the best pictures with your Android phone doesn’t start with your camera app; it starts with a quick visit to social media to get motivated from Android phone photographers who are already taking beautiful pictures!

Following some of your favorite photographers on social media is an amazing way to get ideas, see what kind of art other people are creating, and get motivated to go out and start shooting. Some may even respond in the comments if you ask them how they shot a certain subject in a certain style or how they managed to edit a specific photograph to look a certain way.

Creep around the discover page on Instagram and see what other Android phone photographers have shot. Start by mimicking a style you’re fond of, and it will eventually evolve into your own.

Some photographers on social media even share their own tips and tricks for shooting, so be sure to check out a bunch of different profiles for inspiration.

Your turn

Are there any tips and tricks for shooting amazing photos with your Android phone that we may have missed? Let us know in the comments below.

10 Urban Tech Myths you might be believing in

All urban myths — all absolutely, positively false.

Many tech myths, however, are not so easily disproven since many have perfectly valid facts at their center or seem more reasonable than their urban cousins. Many pervasive tech myths are perpetuated by misinterpreted or poorly conducted scientific studies or beliefs that were true once upon a time for older technologies. And some myths are simply the product of fevered imaginations and spread like a game of telephone but over a more modern conveyance — the Internet, which, contrary to one such myth, Al Gore did not invent. (Short answer: It was DARPA.)

Here, we present some of the most pervasive and often pernicious of today’s modern tech myths, the actual facts and how true — or not — these myths actually are.

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1. Fully Draining the Battery on Your Smartphone or Laptop Helps Condition It

The Belief: Rechargeable batteries have “memories” — they only recharge up to the level of a previous state. If recharged before fully discharged, they won’t recharge to 100 percent. Over time, a rechargeable battery will lose potency if not “conditioned” — totally discharged then totally recharged.

The Facts: All of this used to be true for older nickel- cadmium and nickel-metal hydride rechargeable cells. However, this is not true for lithium-ion or lithium-ion polymer cells. Apple notes that “you can recharge a lithium-ion polymer battery whenever convenient, without requiring a full charge or discharge cycle.” Walker Ford, senior electrical engineer for Goal Zero, which makes solar power gear, says “the best thing you can do for the batteries in your laptop or smartphone is to use them for their purpose, powering via battery, rather than AC.” Ford notes that constant “deep cycles” — a complete drain of your battery — “is rough on any battery and can decrease performance over time. Using the battery is the best thing for it.” Regardless of how you use it, your laptop or smartphone battery should retain near full potency for around 2 to 3 years.

The Rating: False.

SEE : Battery myths debunked

2. Magnets Erase Data

The Belief: Place a magnet near a computer and you can erase its data.

The Facts: Solid state drives (SSD) and other forms of flash memory, found in laptops, smartphones and USB thumb drives, use a stored charge in a cell to record bits in a binary code. Data stored on hard disk drives (HDD), however, is stored by changing the polarity of the magnetic bits, creating a binary code. According to Mark Re, senior vice president at drive-maker Seagate, since no magnetic field is necessary to record or store data on an SSD, a magnet would have as much effect on it as a pastrami sandwich. But a strong magnetic force could flip the polarity of the bits on an HDD and disrupt the code. How strong of a magnet? “Greater than 1.1 Tesla,” said Re, “equal to an MRI magnet used for medical imaging. The type of field strength needed to create this type of failure mode requires special equipment.” In other words, a super magnet — even stronger than the juiced-up junkyard car electromagnet used to erase incriminating evidence stored on a police laptop in last year’s “Breaking Bad” season opener. A sledgehammer is more readily available.

The Rating: Mostly false.

3. Posting a Disclaimer on Facebook Protects Your Copyright

The Belief: If you post a claim ownership of material you post on Facebook, you maintain exclusive rights to that material. The issue arose when a revolt erupted over Facebook-owned Instagram’s terms of service, which ostensibly allows the company to sell posted photos to advertisers.

The Facts: To use Facebook, you had to agree to its Terms of Service, which states that “you own all of the content and information you post on Facebook, and you can control how it is shared.” But this grant is followed by Facebook’s retention of “a non-exclusive, transferable, sub-licensable, royalty-free, worldwide license to use any IP content that you post.” Jeff Travis, an intellectual property lawyer and partner at the Bakersfield, Calif., firm Borton Petrini, summarizes your Facebook rights as “you own it, they have a license to use it.” Travis notes that a contract you’ve essentially signed can’t be abrogated just by posting a counterclaim. Gabriel Ulloa, interactive media coordinator and social media expert at managed service provider Chartec, notes, “As long as your profile is public, anyone and everyone has the right to use whatever they want.” Here’s some humour for you.

The Rating: False.

4. Password-Protected Wi-Fi is Safe

The Belief: As long as you have to enter a password to access Wi-Fi, that Wi-Fi connection is secure and safe from prying eyes.

The Facts: There are two types of password-protected Wi-Fi environments — your home network and a network you sign into to connect to the Internet when you’re not at home. Using a password at home to log into your own Wi-Fi network — as long as your network employs WPA or WPA/2 encryption (older WEP encryption can be easily cracked) — is plenty of protection.

On the road, however, a password merely enables your entry into the hotspot and offers no invulnerability against eavesdropping. “Wi-Fi signals are just radio waves,” explained Kent Lawson, president and CEO of Private WiFi, a VPN (virtual private network) provider. Any Mac or PC, said Lawson, can be turned into just such a receiver with software readily downloaded from the Web. “Hackers can launch ‘evil twin’ networks that look like the real thing, grab your password and go to town compromising your security,” warned Rich Sootkoos, Boingo’s vice president. If you’re on the road, don’t rely on a mere password as protection. Safeguard your cyberconversations via a VPN from companies such as Private WiFi and Boingo.

It’s also worth noting that a password at home is likely enough of a safeguard, but that’s assuming you don’t live in a high target area for hackers. Packet sniffing, for the highly trained, is just as easy when you’re at home as when you’re traveling. Should you use a VPN for truly secure communications? Yes.

The Rating: False.

5. Cellphones Cause Cancer

The Belief: Cellphones emit radio frequency energy; how much is indicated by the specific absorption rate (SAR) listed in a phone’s specs. Over an extended period of time and prolonged exposure this energy, or radiation, can cause certain types of cancer.

The Facts: While many scientific papers have intimated a scary link between cellphone radiation and cancer, not a single one has proved any actual cause-and-effect correlation. But where there’s smoke, there’s fire, right? Actually, there’s not even smoke. According to the 2008-2009 Annual Report of the President’s Cancer Panel, “Reducing Environmental Cancer Risk,” “at this time, there is no evidence to support a link between cellphone use and cancer.” More comforting is this unassailable statistical analysis: Since 1991, the number of minutes spent talking on a cellphone has risen sixfold, but the number of brain cancer cases has dropped by nearly half. In fact, the most recent report from the National Cancer Institute at the National Institutes of Health, which admittedly covers only 1975 to 2007 — before the current smartphone revolution — reports “incidence rates have declined for cancers of the lung, colon and rectum, oral cavity and pharynx, stomach and brain” by approximately 1 percent per year. Science and statistics simply do not back up the cell cancer scare, or our next related myth.

The Rating: False.

6. Laptops on Your Lap Can Make You Sterile

The Belief: In late 2011, the conclusions of a study by Argentinian researchers — “that keeping a laptop connected wirelessly to the Internet on the lap near the testes may result in decreased male fertility” — were widely reported in the mainstream media.

The Facts: The researchers freely admit in their study’s conclusion that their results were “speculation” and that “further in vitro and in vivo studies are needed to prove this contention.” One reason this study proves nothing is because no male lays a laptop near his testes — it would be impossible to type with the laptop that close to his waist unless he had stunted, T-Rex-like arms, and especially not for the four hours a day the researchers used as a test condition. Most laptop users find a tabletop of some sort or an airline seat tray. Not only was the researchers’ methodology questioned by other scientists, but their results were deemed impossible. In their rebuke, a pair of French cancer researchers sternly noted “genotoxicity of radio frequencies is not a matter of opinion: Radio frequency energy absorption cannot break DNA molecules.”

The Rating: False.

7. Apple Macs are Immune from Viruses

The Belief: Because Mac operating systems are built on a secure Unix foundation, and because Macs comprise such a relatively small percentage of PCs, they are not only immune to viruses, but hackers won’t even bother.

The Facts: Apple used to believe this as well. Up until last spring, Apple’s website declared Macs weren’t “susceptible to the thousands of viruses plaguing Windows-based computers. That’s thanks to built-in defenses in Mac OS X that keep you safe, without any work on your part.” But last spring, Apple changed this wording to “OS X is designed with powerful, advanced technologies that work hard to keep your Mac safe.” According to anti-virus software-maker Sophos, based on a study of 100,000 of its users, one in every five Macs carry some sort of malware — these Macs aren’t infected, but they carry malware in much of the same way humans carry dormant viruses such as chicken pox. Apple also has had continuing problems dealing with a security hole in Mac OS X opened by Java, exposed by last year’s attack by the Flashback Trojan infestation. Cupertino went so far as to disable Javascript in Safari to avoid this problem.

The Rating: False.

Myth : iPhones are simpler to use than Android phones

8. A Camera With More Megapixels is Better

The Belief: Perhaps no tech myth is as gleefully perpetuated — or at least intimated — by digital camera-makers that somehow more megapixels equal a better digital photo. (more people are becoming aware of the reality these days fortunately)

The Facts: Megapixels have absolutely nothing do with digital photo quality, only digital photo size. The quality of a digital camera photo is determined by a camera’s sensor type and size, its processor and its optics. The only impact the number of megapixels makes is in the quality of a zoomed-in image snapped by a smartphone. Zooming on a smartphone camera is done digitally — the phone simply crops the full resolution image, resulting in a grainy photo. The higher the smartphone’s camera resolution you start with, the less grainy photo you’ll get if you zoom in. For instance, the Nokia Pureview 808 Symbian smartphone snaps stills at a whopping 41-MP, but you can zoom in on a photo up to four times without any loss of picture quality. Other than this narrow exception, feel confident choosing a 16-MP digital camera with a larger image sensor over a 20-MP model with a smaller sensor.

The Rating: False.

9. Closing Smartphone Apps Saves You Power

The Belief: All smartphones can multitask, but multiple apps operating in the background drain your smartphone’s battery.

The Facts: All smartphone operating systems aren’t created equal, making this myth tough to break down. According to iOS developer Fraser Speirs, for instance, when you hit an iPhone’s Home button, an app moves from active to background to suspended in a matter of seconds. Suspended, an app draws neither processing nor battery power. According to Steven Troughton-Smith, CEO/founder of app developer High Caffeine Content, Windows Phone 8 background apps operate in much the same frozen fashion as iOS — but there are exceptions. “For instance, a GPS navigation app that needs to run in the background, or something like a VoIP app that needs to sit and wait for calls,” Troughton-Smith cited. “What both Apple and Microsoft do [is] … implement these background modes, which is easier on performance and power.” Android, however, Smith noted, “lets apps run when they’re not on screen, and do whatever they want.” Background apps on the new BlackBerry 10 can also sap processor and battery resources.

The Rating: Mostly false (iOS, Windows Phone 8), true (Android, BlackBerry 10).

10. The Government Can Track Your Cellphone Even When It’s Off

The Belief: A cellphone or smartphone continues to transmit or receive GPS signals that can be tracked by the government even when powered down. In its “Defend Yourself Against Cellphone Tracking” advice, the Electronic Freedom Foundation stated “the government can even track some cellphones when they are powered down.”

The Facts: Unfortunately, none of the websites repeating this paranoid belief cite a single concrete, documented case of phone-off tracking for one good reason: It’s impossible. “Any signal requires power to transmit,” said Jeffrey Jurist, president of Spy Associates, which makes and sells GPS tracking and other spy gadgets. “There is a product to track phones … BUT [this is] only possible if [the] phone is powered.” The one exception is if you’ve unintentionally installed a piece of malware — a Trojan horse used to control and/or monitor the device — that Vitaly Kamluk, chief malware expert at Kaspersky Labs, said “makes the user think the phone is ‘off’ but it’s not really turned off.” A temporary solution is to remove the battery; a more permanent solution is installing an anti-virus app on your phone. But the bottom line, said Jurist, is “no power equals no electronics can work.”

The Rating: False.

 

Have you been believing any one of those till now? Have you heard of any more such myths? Let us know!

Battery Myths Debunked

Is it a bad idea to leave your smartphone plugged in overnight? Should I drain my battery completely before charging it again? Is it bad to plug it into a charger every now and then? is it bad if I plug and play?

At a time when the smartphone is basically an extension of self, these are surely one of the most relevant questions we could ask. We’ve all done it: Just before bed, you plug your smartphone into its charger so that it can get a full charge while you sleep through the night. The idea is to wake for the day with 100 percent charge on your smartphone’s battery. But then you heard that charging your phone overnight damages the battery and eats away at its capacity over time, so you turn to Google for answers.

So before we get into the nitty gritty details of this overnight charging myth, we’ll give you the short answer first. No, you shouldn’t drain your battery completely if you can avoid it, and yes, you can leave your phone plugged in overnight. This wasn’t always the case, though, so be sure to read on to find out the truth behind this old advice. We’ve also attached some charging do’s and don’ts at the end to help you make your smartphone battery last longer.

Continue reading “Battery Myths Debunked”

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