Samsung announced it’s next flagship phone, the Samsung Galaxy S5 at the Mobile World Congress 2014, held at Barcelona. This smartphone comes similar to it’s predecessor, except that it is packed with a better camera, bigger size, fingerprint sensor and a heart rate monitor. And, the device is waterproof!
The 5.1 inch Samsung Galaxy S5 comes with a new back look that offers a better grip. If you are familiar with the original Nexus 7 launched in 2012, the Samsung Galaxy S5 looks more like the original Nexus 7. Talking about the hardware features, it comes with a 2.5 Ghz quad core Snapdragon 800 processor, 2 GB RAM and offers 16 GB or 32 GB internal memory. You can also expand the memory up to 128 GB.
Regarding software, it comes with a toned down version of TouchWiz UI on the top of Android 4.4 KitKat.
16 MP rear camera with which you get UHD recording capability and real-time HDR.
Fingerprint sensor along with the home button. Samsung has also announced partnership with PayPal to offer fingerprint security options to make payments. iPhone 5S was the first device to come with fignerprint sensor.
Heart rate monitor. Hold your finger on the sensor and the device will start recording your heart rate, thanks to S Health 3.0. Over time, the device will also start making graphs based on your heart rate results.
It is water and dust proof.
This device will be available from April 11, 2014.
If you are hunting for a price tag, we do not have updates on that yet. Based on guesses, the device should be available at $650.
A new APK file is now available on the WhatsApp website that lets you hide your Last seen timestamp, status and profile photo. This new feature is not available officially on the Google Play store yet.
You can either hide these details from everyone, including your contacts and strangers, or choose to let it be visible for everyone. You cannot hide the details from particular contacts.
Note : On hiding your Last Seen status, you won’t be able to see your contacts’ Last Seen status.
If you didn’t know, the iOS version of WhatsApp already has this feature and allows the users to hide the Last Seen tag. But, it comes with a limitation. You cannot change the setting every now and then. You will have to wait for one day to toggle the setting again.
Also, the iOS feature doesn’t let you hide your status and profile photo.
Talking about this feature for WhatsApp for other platforms, there are no reports yet. But, if the users find this feature useful, WhatsApp will be bringing this feature to the other devices soon.
Facebook has been rumoured in the past to buy the popular phone messaging app Whatsapp but nothing materialized. Today Facebook announced that it would be acquiring Whatsapp for $16 billion. Let that number sink in a bit. Facebook bought Instagram for a billion dollars and that was considered overpriced. Whatsapp is possibly worth 16 Instagrams!
Facebook is buying the competition out!
Facebook today is a internet giant but its growth happened on the PC screen. Their ads are far more effective on larger screen and not so much on mobile phones. This is why it bought Instagram whose growth was mobile only. Whatsapp is similar but only a bigger threat to Facebook.
There is a rising trend of younger people preferring WhatsApp and not on Facebook. They are creating group conversations and sharing photos on WhatsApp not Facebook.
Facebook is now shelling out huge amounts not just so they have a great product but also to buy out the competition. It could also be to avoid Google or Apple getting in and buying these products.
In 2009 Facebook turned down Brian Acton for a job. He lamented on Twitter that it would have been a great opportunity to work with great people but he was looking for life’s next adventure. He was also rejected by Twitter for a job according to this tweet.
He went on to create Whatsapp and is now selling it for $16 billion to the same companies that did not give him a job.
TimePIN is nifty Android app that adds better security measures to your phone. It is different from the other lockscreen apps for Android because it changes the password every minute, based on the device time.
Advantages of using TimePIN
Here are few reasons why you should use TimePIN.
A safe, complicated password is generated every minute and you’re the only person who knows that password.
Forget worrying about password stealing eyes that are lurking near you.
Easy and immediate access to device without remembering complicated passwords.
If the time is 09:54, your pin would be 0954. And, when the time is 00:00, your pin is 0000.
You may now wonder that when an attacker gets his hands on your device, he may easily unlock the device with the time being shown on the device. But, that’s not the case.
The app comes with modifiers. Modifiers are a set of rules upon which the pins are generated. There are four modifiers. They are :
Reverse : This modifier reverses your pin. If the time is 12:34, the pin is 4321.
Double : It doubles your pin. If the time is 12:34, the pin is 12341234.
Mirror : It mirrors your pin. If the time is 12:34, the pin is 12344321. If the time is 8:32, the pin is 08322380.
Offset : This modifier generates the pin based on the time and then subtracts that with the offset value set by you. If the time is 12:34 and the offset value is 121, the final pin is 1113 (1234 – 121)
At any time, if multiple pins are enabled, they will be applied based on the order shown in the TimePIN app.
TimePIN is a free app. Only the Reverse modifier is available for free in the app. Other modifiers can be purchased with an in-app purchase priced at $1.99.
A default pin can be set in the app during the first launch of the app. If you ever get locked out of your device, simply reboot the device, and once it restarts, enter the default pin to access your device again.
You can change the default pin anytime you want. Also, this default pin is required to access the app every time.
The developer has mentioned that he has some interesting features coming soon. They include support for encrypted devices, support for pattern passwords, alphanumeric passwords and more modifiers.
The app doesn’t need root access. But upcoming features like support for encrypted devices and pattern passwords may need root access.
Flappy Bird is an insanely addictive game that’s been spreading words everywhere since a month. The game objective is simple : keep the tiny bird flying to the unreachable checkpoint, without crashing into the pipes, to collect medals.
The game is available for Android and iOS devices. It has over 50 million users just on Android.
Getting on to the topic, it’s easy to set your own high score on your Android device. But, there are two things necessary : your Android device should have root access (that is, you should have rooted your Android device) and ES File Explorer. If you already have the two, you’re good to go. Else, root your device and download ES File Explorer.
Before you begin with this hack, make sure to play the game once and set a minimum of 1 as your high score.
Open ES File Explorer and enable Root Explorer from the options available in the left side panel.
Once done, go to your Local panel and go to Data > Data. There, find com.dotgears.flappybird. Enter this folder.
Inside, go to shared_prefs. Open the FlappyBird.xml file with ES Note Editor.
Click the Three Dots at the top right of the file manage and choose the Edit mode. You can now change the value of your high score.
This was my high score before changing.
This is my high score after changing.
Things to to note
If the high score set by you doesn’t show up during the game play, close the app manually and then restart the game.
Also, this high score is set only locally. This high score will not be reflected in your social gaming section like Google Play Games or that of iOS.
If you loved this trick, share this post with your friends too. They would also love to set their own high scores, right?
Last month on 24th January, along with some friends I attended WordCamp Baroda 2014. This was the second time I was attending a WordCamp in Baroda and overall I have now attended four WordCamps. Will be attending a fifth one but more on that later.
The WordCamp in Baroda, itself was a good one. The venue was at the outskirts of Baroda city. It might have been difficult for some attendees but there were bus pickups arranged from two different points in the city. It meant a big benefit which was, that most attendees came to the venue and left the venue at the same time.
The speaker sessions were interesting and a lot of impromptu discussions were held too. These unstructured discussions are one major reason I actually like visiting WordCamps. One such impromptu discussions was actually a self-appraisal of speaker sessions themselves by Saurabh Shukla. The simple question was to ask if some sessions were adding any value to the attendees. This stirred some passions but in the end the tone of the WordCamp Baroda turned from officious to camp like.
The formalities were dropped and the informal discussions ended up being a blessing for healthy debates and a lot more audience participation took place over the two-day event.
As an organizer Rahul Banker did an exemplary job planning and executing WordCamp Baroda. I also must add the team of volunteers who worked tirelessly and diligently behind the scenes were true champions. Any amount of praise to the volunteers is not enough.
I have a lot of respect for WordCamp organizers and volunteers today than I ever did before. That is because I have ended up in the organizing team of WordCamp Mumbai 2014, which takes place on March 15th-16th. In this post more than reviewing WordCamp Baroda, I am taking stock of the WordCamp and by extension the WordPress culture in India.
Some delusions about meetups in India
There were some arguments made about how tech related meetups do not work in India. I do not mean tech related events but meetups organized by like minded people where entry is free and control over what is discussed is minimal to none. The constant argument made against organizing such meetups are “Meetups do not work in India as India is different from other countries”.
In my personal experience is absolutely untrue. I am part of WordPress meetups in Mumbai for over a year and we might not boast of a large community but all the organizers of WordCamp Mumbai 2014 met each other at meetups and did not know about each others existence before these meetups began.
This clearly shows that India is not any different and meetups can and do work in India. It just requires people to keep having meetups regularly. I have attended meetups with only four people (me included). I have a simple rule to decide if a meetup is successful or not. If I meet someone new, the meetup is successful. In Mumbai we organize meetups over coffee or even dosas which always get decent number of people attending.
Too many celebrities at WordCamps
I found a disturbing trend at all WordCamps I have attended till now. There is a bit of a celebrity culture around some people. These celebrities are usually popular bloggers. Too many people mob and excessively praise popular bloggers. I won’t blame the bloggers themselves and I think most are a bit embarrassed by the attention.
I think this can be toned down a bit in the future – again back to the importance of meetups – if these bloggers were accessible with local meetups, I do not think there would be too much fawning over individuals.
Organizers need to contribute their experiences
I think people who have organized WordCamps in India, have missed a trick by not writing down detailed posts on what went behind organizing such an event. Explaining how they approached WordCamp Central and what should other budding organizers do would be a lot more helpful.
Hopefully after WordCamp Mumbai 2014 is over, I will write a series of long posts on what exactly happens behind the scenes while organizing the event.
Over to Mumbai!
As I wrote earlier, I am part of the organizing team for WordCamp Mumbai 2014. There are some very good speakers lined up and one of them is our very own Rahul Bansal.
The big challenge was to make this WordCamp in Mumbai accessible to everyone. We have started that by keeping the ticket prices to a minimum of Rs. 300/-.
Here are some of the useful links for WordCamp Mumbai 2014 (March 15-16)
The WordCamp culture in India is still nascent but I can see it has moved forward since I wrote about my experiences at WordCamps a year ago. It is definitely becoming more informal and approachable. Hopefully it continues down this path. There are several thousand WordPress experts in India and hopefully they do not remain just a talent pool for companies but also end up becoming a thriving community.
Update: Rahul Banker brought to my notice that he had chronicled his experience as a organizer in a post last year.
As reported earlier, Flipkart is the official launch partner of the Moto G. The device will be launched tomorrow on Flipkart.
This is the dual sim version of Moto G.
In addition to Flipkart, Snapdeal will also be selling the device. The company has already begun the process of pre-ordering the device. As per the reports, more than 1000 pre-orders were placed within 2 hours on Snapdeal.
You can still pre-order Moto G on Snapdeal at 0 INR.
Snapdeal will be shipping the device by the third week of this month, while Flipkart will be shipping the device on the same day, February 6.
Snapdeal is offering 1 GB Airtel 3G data, back panel for Moto G, free 1 year accidental warranty and free 1 year support warranty.
Offer 1 : It is offering 500 INR offer on purchases of eBooks of 501 INR and above.
Offer 2 : It is offering 1000 INR offer on purchases of apparel of 1001 INR or above.
Offer 3 : It is offering 70% offer on colorful Moto G shells. The Moto G shells add beauty to your Moto G.
Offer 4 : It is giving 100% cash back offer in the form of Flipkart credits. 100 random winners will be chosen and given the cash back.
Other online retailers are expected to start selling the Moto G soon.
Facebook rolled out Facebook Paper for the iOS devices yesterday, as announced. Facebook Paper is an app that beautifully shows your News Feed stories and other themed stories.
Facebook Paper is available for iOS devices only in the US for now. If you are in hurry to install Facebook Paper before an international rollout is launched, here is a trick that will help you.
Open App Store on your iPhone or iPad. Tap the Featured section in the bottom left of the app. Scroll to the bottom and you’ll see your Apple ID there. Tap it.
Then, in the pop-up menu that appears, click View Apple ID and then you’ll be asked to enter your Apple ID password. Once entered, you’ll find an option there to change the country. Set the country to US.
You’ll be asked to accept the new Terms and Conditions. Once done, choose None while Apple asks for a valid payment option.
Note : If you have pending non-US Apple credits or iTunes Match subscription, or iTunes Pass, you’ll be in trouble. You’ll have to either to finish your credits and then change your country to US. Or, you can login from iTunes desktop app and sign up for a new US account. Note that you’ll need a US address and credit card.
Also, your existing credit card details will be lost when change countries. You can now download and install the Facebook Paper app on your iPhone or iPad.
Telegram messenger is a new instant messaging app. It is a secure, fast and reliable means for instant messaging and is available for Android and iOS devices for now.
Telegram messenger has been designed to look a lot like WhatsApp, but the former has a couple of brilliant features that are limited in latter.
To begin with, this service claims to be faster than any other instant messaging service. It is fast in delivering the messages and offers read reports with check marks, just like WhatsApp. The app claims to run perfect even with the weakest mobile signals.
Similar to WhatsApp, your Telegram messenger account is linked to your mobile number, but there is an option to log out of your account when needed. It is free, without ads, and the developers claim that it will remain free forever.
It even has WhatsApp emoticons!
Interesting Telegram features
Privacy -You can create Secret Chats with your friends. If you start a Secret Chat with your friend, your friend will have to accept that invitation.
Once done, your messages won’t be recorded by the Telegram messenger servers. Also, you have an option to make the messages self-destruct in few seconds to minutes. This is a quality privacy feature that many would love to have.
Click the photo of your friend at the top right in the Secret Chat and you can set the the self-destruct message timing in an option available there.
100 members in a group chat – With Telegram messenger, you can make group chats with as much as 100 friends.
WhatsApp offers 50 members in a group limit.
Unlimited storage - You can send media upto 1 GB in-a-go over Telegram messenger. It is said that the app offers unlimited media storage in a cloud storage. This way, you can access your messages and media from several devices!
You can also send files of any format! This way, you can send MP3, PDF and other files that can’t be send on WhatsApp.
Based on the first impressions, the app looked brilliant to me. It’s WhatsApp with better security features.
It’s official finally. Moto G is here. It is scheduled to be available from February 5, 2014, report various blogs. It is said that Motorola won’t be selling Moto G in brick-and-mortar shops. It would be selling the Moto G only online and Flipkart looks like the official launch partner for the device.
The Moto G page on Flipkart does not mention the launch date or the price tag. But it says, ‘Buy a Moto G on the day of launch and avail incredible offers‘ For a country like India, it should be that Flipkart is bringing in some quality EMI payment options as it is the norm here.
Talking about purchase and services, it looks like Motorola will be handling those as it is just a few days since Lenovo bought Motorola. There are no official updates on this though.
The Moto G comes with a 4.5 inch 720p display and has 1.2 GHz quad core Snapdragon 400 processor. It has 1 GB RAM and is available in two variants : 8 GB, 16 GB. It will be available with Android 4.3, Jelly Bean, straight out of the box. But a 4.4 KitKat update is promised.
Being a mid range device, the device is supposed to be priced at 15,000 INR. It is available in the United States at $179 for the 8 GB variant and $199 for the 16 GB variant.
Are you buying one? Do let us know in the comments!