Unlocked Moto G4 Plus starts getting Nougat in the US


We have some great news for those of you who use the unlocked version of the Moto G4 Plus and live in the US. The Android 7.0 Nougat update is finally rolling out to the devices (XT1644) in the country.

This is a big update, as it weighs in at 741 MB. It brings a bunch of new and great features to the Moto G4 Plus including multi-window mode, improvements to Doze, and inline notification replies, among others. These should make the devices a lot better to use and will surely keep you entertained for quite some time as soon as you get the update.

The update is already being rolled out, but might not be available to all users just yet. It could take a couple of days before Nougat hits all the unlocked Moto G4 Plus smartphones in the country. To check if you have already received it, open the device’s Settings, choose About phone, and then tap on System update.

If the update is already available, make sure you’re connected to a Wi-Fi network before downloading it in order to avoid any potential charges from your carrier and check if the battery is sufficiently charged. Around 50 percent should be enough in this case.



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Report: Galaxy S8s use either a Sony IMX 333 or a ISOCELL S5K2L2 camera sensor


Just as with the previous two Galaxy S generations, Samsung is sourcing the camera modules for the recently announced Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus from two manufacturers. Some of the company’s flagship devices come equipped with the S5K2L2 ISOCELL sensors, which are produced by Samsung’s System LSI division, while others use the new IMX333 camera sensors from Sony.

The sensors are identical in terms of features, as they both offer a 12.2 MP resolution, 4K video recording, Dual Pixel phase-detection autofocus, optical image stabilization (OIS), and f/1.7 aperture. The images and videos they produce should, therefore, be close to identical.

The story is the same when it comes to the front-facing camera. The Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus use two different sensors, one from System LSI (S5K3H1) and the other made by Sony (IMX320). Both of them have an 8 MP resolution, sport an autofocus mechanism, and can record in QHD. Again, although the sensors are made by two different companies, the image and video quality should be the same no matter which one is used.

It does make sense that Samsung uses two different suppliers for the camera sensors. By doing so, it can minimize the risk of experiencing production delays, which could have a negative impact on the company’s sales numbers.



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Xiaomi CEO: We’re back to healthy growth, betting big on India


The rapid growth Xiaomi once experienced has slowed down in the recent years, which is something the company plans on changing soon. The Chinese manufacturer wants to get back on track by increasing its presence in India, where it is already quite successful.

It started doing business in the country about two years ago and has invested around $500 million since then. In a recent interview with Bloombergthe company’s co-founder, Lei Jun, said that Xiaomi will invest another $500 million to expand its business in India over the next three to five years.

“We faced many challenges. Many negative reports about us. But it was never as bad as it was made out to be. We have gone back to healthy growth. We will resume rapid growth in the next two years,” Jun said.

So far, business has been good for Xiaomi in India. It is the second biggest smartphone manufacturer in terms of sales in the country and generated over $1 billion in revenue last year. It has bold plans for 2017, as the company wants to double its revenue to $2 billion.

Without raising prices, which is something we hope Xiaomi doesn’t plan on doing, the only way to achieve this goal is to increase sales. Lei Jun said that the company will take more “controlled risks” in India including increasing production closer to projected demand and moving away from its reliance on flash sales. It also plans on doubling its offline retail presence, so that it can get its devices in front of more consumers.

Xiaomi really believes that its efforts in India will pay off. The company is already spending a lot of money in this large market, as it has recently opened a second factory in the country to keep up with the increasing demand. With the new production capacity, Xiaomi is able to make one smartphone every second during operational hours.

The Chinese manufacturer has been doing well in India, but so has the competition. Oppo and Vivo, for example, are also experiencing growth and aren’t that much behind Xiaomi in terms of sales. It will be interesting to see if Xiaomi will be able to stay ahead of them and achieve its goal of significantly increasing sales in a short period of time.



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Alternative app store Uptodown launches its Android client


Update, March 31: Uptodown co-founder Luis Hernández Garrido has reached out following this article’s publication to clarify its store numbers. According to Garrido, Uptodown features “150,000 apps, plus 200,000 previous versions available to download and 4M APKs stored on [its] system.” The original Uptodown blog post on the matter has also been updated to reflect this.

Original story: Uptodown says it is the most visited Spanish website in the world. Uptodown also says it is the 180th most visited website globally. Comparable to the likes of APKPure or APKMirrorUptodown is a download portal for Android apps — and now, it’s also a fully-fledged alternative to Google Play.

Uptodown has been distributing software since 2002 and began focusing on Android in 2013. Yesterday, it opened a Google-independent app store, which it says launched with its entire catalog of 4 million non-region restricted apps. The new store rolls out with a “complete app management and install tool” to help keep apps up to date and provide users with “tailored downloads according to their device requirements,” while also “remaining fully compatible but independent from Google Play services.”

Despite housing apps that don’t meet Google’s strict Play Store policies — 9 out of 20 of its top downloaded apps aren’t available in Google Play, apparently — Uptodown said in an email we received that it is nonetheless a “more flexible and secure alternative to Google Play.”

There’s no doubting the website’s popularity: SimilarWeb and Alexa both suggest it’s receiving hundreds of millions of monthly page views, and its global Alexa rank is currently at 117. However, there are a few questionable details here.

Firstly, its 4 million-strong app catalog is 1.2 million more than the estimated 2.8 million of the Google Play Store. That’s everything that Android’s maker has amassed since the inception of its platform’s dedicated app store. Of course, there are apps out there that Google hasn’t verified and approved for Google Play, but is that to the tune of 1.2 million?

Then there’s the suggestion that the store is more secure than Google Play. Now, Google Play’s algorithms have a lot of policing to do, unquestionably, but is Uptodown’s methodology more effective, even with the ~43% more apps its store supposedly has? Given that Google is required to deliver safe apps from its store, and Uptodown’s USP is that it can offer apps that Google doesn’t, I’d guess not (though I should point out that not all of the apps Google doesn’t approve are harmful, some are just conflicts of interest, like Amazon’s app store).

It’s also not exactly clear through what means Uptodown is able to usurp geolocation restrictions.

If you want to download the Uptodown App Store app for yourself, you can pick it up at the link. Note that you’ll have to allow installs from “Unknown Sources” in your Android security settings — you won’t find it in Google Play.

Have you used Uptodown before? What are your thoughts on the platform? Let us know in the comments.



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What to do if your Apple ID is locked or disabled


If someone tries to hack into your Apple account, entering your password incorrectly too many times, or giving the wrong answers to your security questions, Apple will recognise the attack and will lock your Apple ID.

This is good because it means an attacker can’t gain access to your Apple ID – which would let them get into your iCloud email, iMessages and FaceTime, as well as allow them spend your money on the App Store or in iTunes.

However, sometimes its not an attacker trying to hack your account, sometimes it’s you getting yourself locked out of your account because you forget your password (if that happens here’s how to fix it by changing your Apple password).

How to find out if your Apple ID has been hacked

If you are locked out of your Apple ID, and it wasn’t because you got your password wrong, the first you will hear of it may be when you receive an alert from Apple saying one of the following: ‘This Apple ID has been disabled for security reasons’, ‘You can’t sign in because your account was disabled for security reasons’, or ‘This Apple ID has been locked for security reasons’.

You may also receive an email from Apple detailing how to reset your Apple ID password, this might be sent if the hacker tries to change your password.

Alternatively, if you have set up two-factor authentication, you may see an alert on a trusted device saying that someone has logged into your account, giving a rough idea of the location where the login took place. Note, that sometimes the locations that come up don’t appear to be anywhere near the place where you logged on, so don’t automatically panic if you get an alert saying someone logged in to your Apple ID in Peterborough if you just logged in Suffolk. However, if you haven’t just logged on and you see an alert like this there may be reason to be concerned.

How to unlock your Apple ID

Whatever the reason for Apple disabling your account, it is possible to get back in again, you just need to follow these steps to recover your account and create a new password.

  1. Go to iforgot.apple.com
  2. Enter your Apple ID – usually the email address associated with your Apple account.
  3. Enter the Code to prove you aren’t a robot.
  4. Click Continue

The next page will differ depending on the form of security you have set up for your Apple account.

If you have set up two-factor authentication you will receive a code on a trusted device or in a text message on your phone. You will need to enter this verification code before you can unlock your account and change your password.

If you use the older two-step verification you will need your recovery key that was sent to you when you set up two-step verification in addition to a code sent to a trusted device. If you don’t have the recovery key (which was a 14-digit code Apple would have sent you when you set it up) you might be a little stuck.

If you haven’t set up either of these methods of security then you will either have to unlock your account using your password, or you will have to answer some security questions you will have told Apple the answers to at some point.

If you have forgotten your password (or if you are now feeling a bit cautious about whether your password is strong enough) you can change your password here.  We talk in more detail about how to change your Apple password in this article.

If you don’t manage to unlock your account after a few attempts it will remain locked, but you will be able to try again the next day.

How to protect your Apple ID from hackers

To avoid being a target for people who try and hack into your Apple ID make sure that you don’t respond to phishing emails. These are fraudulent emails disguised as emails from Apple that tell you to log on to your Apple ID. You can generally spot a phishing email because of bad grammar and poor spelling. You should also check the address that the email is sent from (not just what the address appears to be, but by clicking on the arrow beside the address in Mail you can see if the real address is something completely different). To avoid any chance of being caught in a trap like this never log on to your Apple account from an email. Always go to iCloud.com.

The other way to avoid being hacked is to make sure you have a really strong password. We have an article on choosing a strong password here.

And, finally, if you haven’t already, set up two-factor verification. We explain how to set up two-factor verification on your Apple account here.



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An introduction to Python on Android


There are many reasons that you might want to start Android development. Building an app that will make you rich and change the world is only one motivation; others include learning to code, building tools that you can use yourself or even just having fun and impressing others. Programming is a fantastic skill to learn and with Android being so open and accessible, it’s a great place to start.

Python is a particularly simple and elegant coding language that is designed with the beginner in mind.

The problem is that learning to code with Android isn’t quite pick-up-and-play. Before you can even run a simple ‘Hello World’ program, you need to download Android Studio, the Android SDK and the Java JDK. You need to set paths, figure out how to create APKs and add certain permissions on your phone. Even once all that is ready, you need to get to grips with things like views before you can actually show anything on the screen.

That’s why learning to code with Python might offer an appealing alternative for some. Python is a particularly simple and elegant coding language that is designed with the beginner in mind. What’s more, is that you can start building scripts and testing them on your Android device almost immediately!

 

In short, this is one of the fastest ways to get up and running with some basic coding on Android. What’s more, is that once you start playing around with some of the more advanced features, you can use it to pull off some awesome tricks for automating your phone and more. And yes, with a little playing around you can even build full APKs.

Python is a relatively new programming language that was created by Guido van Rossum and released in 1991. Its ruling design philosophy is ‘readability’: in other words, code should be easy to follow even for a non-coder. It utilizes a lot of white space and makes efficient use of commands – meaning it’s possible to get more done with fewer lines of code.

Python is also the main programming language used with the Raspberry Pi, meaning that you can make a wide range of exciting gadgets with it.

This simplicity and elegance makes Python a great choice for new programmers but it also has a lot else going for it. For starters, there are interpreters available on multiple operating systems, meaning that you can run scripts on Windows, Mac, Linux and Android. Python is also one of the main programming language used with the Raspberry Pi, meaning that you can make a wide range of exciting gadgets with it and making it an ideal language to teach kids. It’s also great for web development via the Django Project. Pinterest was written using Django!

So, with that said, how do we go about getting started with Python? If you were learning Python for PC development, then you would begin by downloading the latest version of either Python 2 or Python 3 and then an IDE (integrated development environment) such as PyCharm. You can get Python for Windows here.

But PC development is not what we’re interested in here. To get started with Python on an Android device, you’ll want to use QPython for now, or QPython3. QPython is really a script engine for Python 2, while QPython3 runs Python 3.

Python is an ongoing project that is constantly undergoing improvements. In order to ensure your code runs as smoothly as possible, you need to get the latest version of Python. At the time of writing, that is Python 3.6.1.

The slight complication is that the jump from Python version 2 to Python version 3 was so significant, that it broke backwards compatibility. That meant that code written in Python 2 would not work for Python 3 without some tweaks. That’s not so much of an issue, but what is a little irksome is that some popular libraries were also broken in the upgrade. A library as you may know is a collection of code that other developers can use in their own programs and that therefore shortens development time and enables additional functionality.

If you’re learning Python for the first time then, it makes sense to start with Python 3 and therefore to have the most up-to-date knowledge. In future though, just know that you may need to revert to Python 2 so that you can support certain libraries.

The main library we’ll be using later on is ‘Kivy’ and fortunately, this supports Python 3.

Once you’ve downloaded and installed QPython3 (which is free), you’ll have your own little development environment on which to start programming. You’ll be able to load scripts from here and that will be nearly as useful as creating your own native apps. That is to say that if you want to create a basic tool to perform some maths, to test you on a subject, or to store and retrieve data… well then you can do!

And we’re going to learn how to do that sort of stuff right here. First things first, let’s build our ‘hello world’ app.

To do this, open up QPython3 and then choose ‘Editor’. As you might guess, this is the editor where you can type out your code or edit other scripts. Personally, I can’t be dealing with this kind of development unless I have a bluetooth keyboard and mouse to work with but that is optional!

Now just type:

print(“Hello World”) 

Then save the script, remembering to add the extension ‘.py’. Save by clicking the floppy disk icon at the bottom. Note that the word ‘print’ must be lower case.

Click ‘Play’ (the arrow icon) and you should see the words ‘Hello World’ appear on the screen along with a whole lot of other jargon. This is the ‘console’ and it’s where your scripts will run until we start adding graphical features.

 

Let’s move on to variables. Variables are words that represent other data – that act like ‘containers’. So, the letter ‘x’ could represent a number like 2 or 3, or the word ‘name’ could represent a name like ‘Adam’. Variables that represent whole numbers are called integers, while variables that represent names are called ‘strings’.

The good news is that you don’t need to ‘define’ variables in Python. That is to say that you can simply say that one word is equal to another word, or that it is equal to a letter. For example, if we use the following code:

Name = “Adam”
print(“Hello ” + Name)

We now have a code that creates a variable called name and sets it as ‘Adam’, before welcoming the user by their name. We could just have easily have said:

Number=7
print(“The number is “ + Number)

The real point of variables is that it allows us to dynamically change elements of our code. So, we can now write Number = Number + 1 to increase its value. Likewise, we can create a little app that responds to the user like so:

Name = input(“What is your name please?”)
print(“Why hello “ + Name)

As you can see, the command input allows us to get data from the user and in this case, we’re using their input to define our Name variable. Remember: variables are case sensitive! It makes sense to use capitals for variables in Python, seeing as the commands are always written in lower case. It helps them to stand out!

Using just these few bits of code, we can already do some fun things. Here’s a little script that will tell you how old you are in stark detail…

Age = int(input(“How old are you?”))
print(“In “, 100 – Age, “ years, you will be 100! That’s around “, (100 -Age) * 365, “ days!”)

This will tell you how many days until you are 100 and to do that, we’ve just used a little maths (‘operators’). In computer code an ‘*’ symbol represents multiplication and  ‘/’ is division. The only other new thing here is the word int which tells Python that we’re accepting inputs as integers. I’m also using commas now to append my strings instead of ‘+’ because we’re working with integers.

A loop does exactly what it sounds like it should: it loops around and around until a certain set of conditions are satisfied. Add the following lines to the last script we wrote:

Count = 0
print(“Let’s count your remaining years…”)

while Count < Age:
 Count = Count + 1
 print(“That’s “, Count, “ years, “, Age – Count, “ to go!”)

print(“And we’re done!)

Remember how we said that Python was ‘readable’? This is readily on show in this example: the command while literally means that the code that follows will run while the following statement is true. Of course it is also up to us to maintain this readability by using only logical names for our variables that will make sense when read.

In this case, that statement is that Count < Age: Count is equal to less than Age. Notice how the next two lines are indented, which means that they are part of the loop. In Java, we would show this as curly brackets. Formatting becomes very important in Python then – if you hit tab and the wrong part of your code gets indented, then it won’t run!

Along with loops, ‘if statements’ are also a very important part of programming in Python. Again, these do what they sound like they should do: they ask if a certain set of conditions are true and then run a segment of code if they are.

For example, we can say:

if Age > 50:
 print(“You’re over half way!”)

Alternatively, you can use the command else which executes when the statement is not true. For example:

if Age > 50:
 print(“You’re over half way!”)
 else:
 print(“Ah, still young!”)

Then you have elif, which is a portmanteau of ‘else if’ and which presents an alternative set of conditions to be met:

if Age > 50:
 print(“You’re over half way!”)
 elif Age < 50:
 print(“Ah, still young!”)
 else:
 print(“You’re exactly halfway!”)

Here, Python will say ‘you’re exactly halfway’ only if the user is not over 50 or under 50 – i.e. they are 50!

Using the code we’ve learned here, we’re almost ready to make a simple little game. Before we can do that though, we’re going to first need to learn one more crucial thing: how to use external libraries.

The game I want to show you is a number guessing game like ‘higher or lower’. To do this though, we need to generate a random number and there is no command in Python that can do that! Fortunately though, Python comes with a bunch of libraries in a bundle called the ‘Python Standard Library’. That means we don’t need to install anything extra and can simply write the line:

from random import randint

From there, we can then use the function randint which is followed by parentheses and two numbers: the lowest and highest range.

Now we can use the following code to make our simple game. Note that != means ‘does not equal’.

from random import randint
RandomNumber = randint(0, 10)
print(“I’m thinking of a number between 1 and 10, can you guess what it is?”)

Guess = 11

while Guess != RandomNumber:
 Guess = int(input(“Have a guess…”))
 if Guess > RandomNumber:
  print(“Too high!”)
 if Guess < RandomNumber:
  print(“Too low!”)

print(“Got it!”)

While these aren’t Android apps, there’s nothing to stop you from creating little scripts like this and sharing them with friends or co-workers. As long as they have QPython3 installed, they’ll be able to try them out and use them. And by using the Python Standard Library and a few others, you’ll be able to write files on your device, download things from the web and more.

Of course there are plenty more things left to learn for those that want to take their education further. Classes are created very simply for example like so:

def counter(Name):
 length = len(Name)
 return length;

NamePlease = input("Name length counter! Enter your name ")
print(counter(NamePlease))

(Check out my recent post on object oriented programming if you’re not sure what a class is.)

While lists are written as such:

List = [“Apples”, “Oranges”, “Pears”]

There are plenty of resources where you can learn more, but my advice is to pick up new skills and commands only as you need them. Start here!

But what if you want to create a real Android app in Python? Well, in that case you have a few options – depending on what your idea of ‘real’ is.

If you’re just looking to access some native features of your phone, then you can do this with a library called sl4a – or Python Android Scripting Layer. This will let us do things like showing dialogs, reading sensors and even accessing the camera.

The following line will open up your camera and save a photo:

import sl4a

droid = sl4a.Android()
droid.cameraInteractiveCapturePicture(“/sdcard/qpython.jpg”)

Or how about opening up a web page? We can do this simply by saying:

from android import Android

droid = Android()
droid.webViewShow(“http://www.androidauthority.com”)

We can even use to launch web views containing HTML files stored on the device, making it a great way to show GUI elements:

droid.webViewShow('file:///sdcard/ index.html')

Or what about creating a file based on information gathered from your script in order to show dynamic HTML? There are countless options here and when you combine this functionality with Tasker (an automation tool for Android devices) then you open up a whole world of possibilities.

If you want to go further then you’ll need to use Kivy. Kivy basically blows the doors wide open by letting us create fully functional Android apps with multi-touch, graphics and more. And this is also how you can turn your Python scripts into APKs that you can install directly on your Android device or even distribute via the Play Store. The best bit is that Kivy is also cross platform, so you can make apps for a variety of platforms this way.

Now we can show UI elements like buttons and canvases with graphics. As a taster, here is what a bit of code to show a button might look like:

from kivy.app import App
from kivy.uix.button import Button

class HelloWorld(App):
 def build(self):
  btn = Button(text='Hello World')
 return btn

HelloWorld().run()

To do this though, we need to run Kivy on a PC. You can develop through Kivy on Windows but if you want to create APKs then I recommend using Linux instead. The problem is that creating APKs from Python scripts is still a long-winded and complex process on Windows and involves installing multiple libraries, the Android NDK, setting paths etc. It is complicated to the point of being nigh impossible.

Fortunately, a tool exists that can handle all of the heavy lifting for you which is called ‘Buildozer’. This doesn’t run on Windows, but fortunately it is easy enough to get Linux up and running on a virtual machine through VirtualBox and to then download a disc image from Kivvy that comes with everything you need to build your apps. Read the README.txt file that comes with your VM and it will talk you through everything you need to know. Once you’ve typed the commands instructed into the terminal, all that is left to do is to edit the ‘buildozer.spec’ file. This is where you will enter things such as your app’s name, package name and any other files that need to be included.

You can find the full details and everything you need to download here. This is also a great opportunity to play around with Linux, try downloading some additional software etc. If you like Ubuntu then stay tuned – I’ll be showing you how to run it on your Android device in a future post!

You will likely need to update a few things and install an IDE (such as Ninja IDE) and change various settings. Suffice to say that this still isn’t quite ‘plug and play’ and really, at this point you would be better off sticking with Android Studio and Java. I really just included this section to demonstrate that it is possible to create apps in Python if you so wish. For the most part, I recommend sticking with QPython and using it as a place to try out code and maybe make yourself some handy tools.

Conclusion

So, Python isn’t ideal for developing professional apps but it’s a great way to create scripts and tools for your own use; whether that means building a tool to help you do some calculations or manage some data, or using Tasker to automate functions of your phone.

Moreover, Python is an excellent introduction to programming made all the easier thanks to QPython3. This is one of the easiest ways to start playing around with code on your mobile device and even in this short tutorial, we’ve seen how that can lead to all sorts of fascinating possibilities. That’s why I love programming and that’s why I love Android!



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April Fools’ 2017 tech pranks: T-Mobile Onesie and OnePlus Dash energy drink


Not in the mood for April Fools’ pranks? Too bad, because you’re getting them anyway. And because April 1 falls on a Saturday this year, you’re getting them a day early.

April Fools’ publicity stunts pranks from tech companies are already making the rounds, and to save you time – and the stress of having to sift through them to read the real news – we’re rounding them up here.

Pac-Man invades Google Maps (again)

Wait, is it 2015 again? Looks like Google’s mapping software is prone to invasion by legendary 80’s game franchises. This time around it’s Ms Pac-Man. Just push the pink button in the updated app to start playing in a random location from around the world.

iFixit: What is this, a toolkit for ants?

“Why go big, when you can go really small?” asked the handy folks at iFixit. Indeed, why? Meet the new Micro Tech Toolkit, a thoroughly tested set of micro tools for your micro gadgets.

T-Mobile ONEsie

Meet the T-Mobile ONEsie, the world’s first full-body wearable, the brainchild of self-dubbed “genius visionary” John Legere. It gives you “unlimited coverage” (get it?) and more stats and data that you could ever hope to comprehend, unlike all other wearables out there, which are “complete and utter crap.” It’s comfortable too. Read the press release.

OnePlus Dash Charge energy drink

Dash Charge quick charging is one of the key selling points of the OnePlus 3T. Now OnePlus wants to banish sleep with Dash Charge energy drink. Get a full day’s worth of energy in just half an hour and end the tyranny of sleep. Because sleep is just a big lie designed to sell mattresses. Learn more here.


More coming soon! Let us know what’s your favorite so far.



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EFF calls Verizon’s AppFlash search app “spyware,” but should you be worried?


Update: After contacting Verizon earlier today regarding the matter, a spokesperson for the company sent us the following:

“As we said earlier this week, we are testing AppFlash to make app discovery better for consumers. The test is on a single phone – LG K20 V – and you have to opt-in to use the app. Or, you can easily disable the app. Nobody is required to use it. Verizon is committed to your privacy. Visit www.verizon.com/about/privacy to view our Privacy Policy.”

While I don’t think “nobody is required to use it” is a very good excuse, generally, for products that collect sensitive user data, the small scale and ability to disable the feature may be enough to keep concern at bay for the time being. We’ll keep you informed if the situation changes in future.

Original story: We’re all spying on each other these days, aren’t we? I’m spying on someone right now: a woman checking over her balcony plants that are wearing little tin foil hats. As if they, themselves, are trying to stop aliens infiltrating their thoughts.

They, themselves, don’t want to be spied on.

Which is why the accusations that Verizon intends to install spyware on its customer0’s devices is troubling. According to the Electronic Frontier Foundation —a nonprofit organization concerned with user privacy — the “AppFlash” app launcher and web search utility that Verizon will soon roll out to subscribers is a security and privacy concern.

AppFlash is a product from developer Evie akin Google’s Search bar; it can be used to search the web and across installed apps too. However, according to the Verizon’s privacy policyit can also collect information including: “Your mobile number, device identifiers, device type and operating system, and information about the AppFlash features and services you use and your interactions with them,” as well as access information about the list of apps you have on your device.

“With your permission, AppFlash also collects information about your device’s precise location from your device operating system as well as contact information you store on your device,” the policy states.

Also somewhat worrisome is that the information AppFlash acquires “May be shared within the Verizon family of companies, including companies like AOL who may use it to help provide more relevant advertising within the AppFlash experiences and in other places, including non-Verizon sites, services and devices.”

However, at the end of the policy, Verizon does note: “You can control whether AppFlash collects location and contact information about your device using settings available on your device,” and that you can opt-out of targetted advertizing.

Basically, Verizon may have a greater opportunity to collect and sell sensitive user information, though you’ll have some control over what this contains (I’ve reached out to Verizon regarding this and will update this article should I get a response).

Meanwhile, Evie Labs Co-founder and CEO David Zhao told Tech Crunch that the company doesn’t have a contractual requirement to Verizon, but says that it wants to make this work with Verizon first “before other carrier/OEM partners.” In other words, AppFlash could roll out with more services in the future.

Realistically, Google collects much of this data anyway, and you’re not going to be forced to use the app (probably). I’m not saying this isn’t serious, but look, once this bill gets passed into law then AppFlash is going to be the least of your problems — every internet service provider in the US will have the right to collect and sell your data. Verizon just seems to be setting up shop early.



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How to download YouTube videos to iPad & iPhone


If you have access to a Mac or Windows PC, you’ll be able to download a YouTube video straight to your iOS device with much greater ease.

In order to do this, head over to Softorino – a free, easy-to-use tool which enables you to simply copy and paste a YouTube URL. 

To use the program you’ll need to download it, install it and then register it through a valid email address. The process is very quick and you’ll be soon able to use the software.

The Softorino YouTube Converter is very simple to use, simply copy a YouTube URL and the program will automatically detect it. If it doesn’t, then past the URL into the app, choose your video quality or even select ‘Audio only’. Then select the iPhone logo and connect your device to your Mac or PC.

Once connected, you’ll need to ‘Trust’ the program and your computer. If the program doesn’t pick up your iOS device, unplug and reconnect it.

Once you see your iOS device, hit the ‘Convert & Transfer’ button and the video will start downloading and then automatically transferring to your device. Once it’s complete you’ll find the YouTube video in your ‘Videos’ app on your device. As it downloads a native file, you can also resume your video at the place you left off, even if you close the video!



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Nokia 3 passes Bluetooth, Nokia 3 & 5 pass Wi-Fi certifications. Getting closer


HMD is planning for a big-bang launch of its Android smartphones Nokia 3, 5 & 6 in 120 markets simultaneously, the company told us in an official statement.  Now, while release dates are still hazy, we can expect it to start happening sometime in May. We earlier shared what we gathered from our sources and retailers, about release dates in various markets in our article.

Now, while Nokia 6 had been already spotted passing through various certifications, all Nokia 3 variants (LATAM, APAC and ROW) were recently seen at FCC. Nokia 5 which has been absent from certifications till now has been now finally seen passing WiFi certification along with Nokia 3.

Only one Nokia 5 variant TA-1044 has been seen in WiFi certification though and as you can see, it is the LATAM or Latin America variant. We earlier reported about sightings of other Nokia 5 variant TA-1053 in benchmarks. As in the case of Nokia 3, we can expect to see APAC and ROW variants for Nokia 5 too getting certified soon.

All four variants of Nokia 3; TA-1020, TA-1028, TA-1032 and TA-1038 have passed Bluetooth certifications. But only three variants TA-1028, TA-1020 and TA-1038 were caught at WiFi certification authority. You can read all about Nokia 3 variants and their regional affiliations by clicking here.

Though May still seems far away, it is certainly getting closer to the ultimate release date and we will keep you updated.

Read Nokia 5 Full specs, features, price here

Read Nokia 6 Full specs, features, price here

Read Nokia 3 Full specs, features, price here

Read Nokia 3310 2017 Full specs, features, price here

Read comparison between Nokia 3, Nokia 5, Nokia 6 here



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