Apple iPhone 5se, iPad Air 3 to launch on next month

Apple has yet to push out official invites for its much-awaited March event for the launch of the 4-inch iPhone 5se and iPad Air 3, there is plenty of news which claims that the company is preparing for the launch on 15 March. Additionally, we now know that Apple’s shiny new products will be available in stores and online by 18 March, which is just 3 days after launch.

According to 9to5mac, Apple seems to be in a hurry to push out its new products and the same source also points out that the company will not offer pre-orders for the same products as they will go on sale in just 3 days from launch.

This is indeed a new strategy for Apple. The company usually pushes out its just announced products a couple of weeks after launch, by first placing them on pre-order. This indeed could be a new strategy or just to get the company’s new products out before its competitors do.

Strategy or not, the company’s upcoming iPhone 5se may indeed turn out to be a winner with some specs that may make iPhone 6 owners unhappy. Still then, with the fingerprint reader out of the picture on the iPhone 5se, owners will still have to look up to the iPhone 6. More so, it will be the pricing that will be the deciding factor for the success of the iPhone 5se.

The Apple iPhone 5se is expected to pack in plenty of recently announced features, all except for a fingerprint reader and 3D Touch. What you can expect to get on this smaller iPhone 5s successor is a design similar to the iPhone 6 models, an 8MP camera on the back and 1.2MP front-facing camera.

About the camera, the sensors and the hardware will be able to deliver larger panoramas and autofocus for video recording as well. Also included in the iPhone 5se will be a barometer that will help the Health app check for changes in elevation. Other upgrades also include an NFC chip for Apple Pay and other communication options that would include Bluetooth 4.2, VoLTE, and 802.11ac Wi-Fi. Powering it all will be an Apple A8 chipset with the M8 co-processor that will also come from the currently available iPhone 6 models.

About iPad Air 3, previous rumours have stated that Apple is in fact testing a version of the iPad Air 3 with a 9.7-inch panel which supports the Apple Pencil. This is new, since the iPad Pro is the only tablet in Apple’s line up to support the new Apple Pencil. Other features coming from the iPad Pro also includes, a revamped speaker set up with additional speaker grills. These should not better than those on the currently available iPad Pro, but clearly a better setup than the ones on the current Air models.

Google’s new Street View app – upload your own 360-images

Google’s mobile Street View app is getting a big update on iOS and Android today: you can now contribute your own 360-degree photos to Google Maps.

Screen-Shot-2015-09-03-at-11.31.33-AM-1200x1048It works with any cellphone using Google’s photo sphere stitching technology, but the app also now supports dedicated 360-degree cameras, like Ricoh’s Theta S camera, announced earlier today.

Meanwhile, a new ‘Explore’ section lets you see explore both official content from Google, as well as images contributed by the public.

The new functionality helps Google flesh out its Street View content without sending out more 360-degree camera rigs, it could be especially useful for mapping the interiors of businesses and restaurants. That said, there’s no word on how the images are being curated, but we imagine Google will want to prevent poor quality or inappropriate images from staying on Maps.

The new app is rolling out to the iOS App Store and Google Play today.

Introducing the new Street View app from Google Maps [Google Maps Blog]

Reliance Jio Infocomm Launches Chat App for Android and iOS

Reliance Jio Infocomm, the telecom firm of the Mukesh Ambani-led group, has launched an instant messaging application for Android and iOS platforms. Called Jio Chat, the app is already available on Google Play and the App Store.

Jio Chat is built on the similar lines of popular instant messaging apps such as WhatsApp, BBM, Line, WeChat, and Hike.

The app supports video chat, voice calling, messaging, conferencing, audio notes, instant video, doodles, stickers, and emoticons. It also has location sharing and status sharing features.

The mobile app also has chat channels to allow users to stay updated about their favorite celebrities, brands, news etc.

The app also comes with an offline chat option, which can be used to store typed messages after which they can be sent once the recipient or user comes online.

How to Remotely Control Your Computer From a Phone or Tablet

Your dad is having an issue with the computer at home but in spite of giving him instructions for an hour, he can’t seem to fix the issue. One way to make sure he’s actually following the steps you’re dictating over the phone would be to use his phone as a webcam to quickly look at the screen, but an even better option would be to just take over his computer from your phone or tablet, and resolve things yourself over the Internet. How do you do that? That’s where we step in. Read on:

The first thing that’s needed is a little foresight. Download and install TeamViewer on your parents’ computer now, and on your smartphone or tablet too. TeamViewer is free for personal use on Windows, Mac, Linux, iOS, Android, Windows Phone and BlackBerry, and you can find the download links for all these platforms on the TeamViewer page.

Make sure both the computer and the phone are connected to the Internet.

Open TeamViewer on the computer.

Note down the ID and password that’s displayed in TeamViewer – or have someone tell it to you on phone.

Fire up TeamViewer on the smartphone or tablet.

Enter the ID and password you noted down earlier in the smartphone/ tablet TeamViewer app.

Tap Remote Control.

Now you’ll see the computer’s screen on your phone or tablet. You can control it easily now.

TeamViewer works across the Internet, and not just when the two machines are connected to the same network, so you can now troubleshoot problems on your parents’ computer right from office, or if you’ve installed the program on your home desktop, you can access your files and send those emails you were supposed to have saved to your laptop. You can tap on the screen to simulate a mouse-click, and if you tap on a text entry field, a virtual keyboard pops up so you can type.

There can be a little delay in what you’re doing on the mobile and what’s happening on the computer, depending partly on the speed of both Internet connections, so it’s not the same as being there, but if you just want to troubleshoot something urgently, or if you need to get some important work finished, TeamViewer can be a lifesaver.

There are many more remote connection apps that let you control your computer via your phone or tablet, but we picked TeamViewer because it is extremely easy to use, as you can see from the steps above. TeamViewer is also free for personal use, so that’s an added advantage.

Facebook launches ‘Stickered for Messenger’ app, allows users to add stickers on friends’ faces

Facebook has launched a new app that lets users put huge emoticons and cute cartoons over your friends’ faces with ease. The app called ‘Stickered for Messenger’ was launched in the Google Play store on Saturday, and is coming soon to the iOS App Store.

The app centres around how users can add charming and cute emoticons to their photos and send them to their friends on Facebook. Stickered for Messenger app includes 52 categories of emoticons and does not require a Facebook login.

“Stickers and photos are two of the most popular ways that people express themselves on Messenger. This is a fun experiment to see how people combine the two,” the company said. The new app is developed by Facebook’s Creative Labs mobile design studio and it is the first companion app for Messenger.

The app will allow you you to put as many stickers as you like. You can stick them on before or after you snap a photo. It even allows you to add captions to an image. You can add these stickers to the images saved in your gallery too.

Recent reports suggest that Facebook has started rolling out an update which will automatically enhance the photos you upload from your mobile device. The Facebook app for mobile previously gave users the option to add filters and select the auto-enhance button when uploading pictures from their smartphones. The update has already started rolling out for iOS and Android devices are expected to get the update soon.

Facebook now automatically enhances your photos in latest iOS app updates, Android to follow soon

Facebook has started rolling out an update, which will automatically enhance the photos you upload from your mobile device.

As reported by TechCrunch, the upcoming update to the Facebook app will have a slider to enhance the light, shadow, and clarity, or revert back to your original shot. It will also auto-enhance photos – a feature that was optional in the previous version of the Facebook app.

The Facebook app for mobile previously gave users the option to add filters and select the auto-enhance button when uploading pictures from their smartphones. The new update will automatically do the work for you, though you get the option to tone down the enhancement or revert to the original image.

The update has already started rolling out for iOS and Android devices are expected to get the update soon.

With the growing popularity of photo-sharing apps such as Snapchat, Instagram and Pinterest, older social networking sites seem to be catching up with the trend. Facebook-owned Instagram recently beat Twitter to reach the 300 million milestone in terms of its registered users, even though the latter has been around in the social media space for a longer time.

While Twitter may dismiss Instagram’s popularity in public, it loosened it stand to include photo-filters in a recent app update.

Ex-Google employees launch ‘Hi.Q’ app for iOS to boost knowledge about health, fitness

A group of former Google employees are betting they can boost the world’s medical knowledge with a mobile IQ test.

Hi.Q, a free app for the Apple iPhone and iPad launching on Monday, includes 10,000 questions across 300 topics, such as food allergies, childhood health, and portion control. After taking the test, users are given a breakdown of their expertise across certain health areas.

Founder and Chief Executive Officer Munjal Shah, who sold his prior company Like.com to Google in 2010, said early data show a strong correlation between health literacy and obesity. Shah’s team is also tracking whether a person’s health knowledge correlates with the rate of hospitalizations.

The Hi.Q team believes that Silicon Valley jumped too quickly into developing wearable devices to track fitness and wellbeing. A recent study from research firm Endeavour Partners found that one-third of people who owned a wearable stopped using it after six months.

Shah believes the first step to get more people engaged in their health on a daily basis should be “quantified knowledge.”

“Wearables are ending up in a drawer, [and] I believe that’s because most people fundamentally lack the practical knowledge to stay healthy in the modern world,” he added.

The company said 250,000 people have already used the app in its trial phase. According to Shah, 84 percent of those who opted to take the test were female. The most engaged users are mothers between the ages of 30 and 60.

Shah told Reuters he started kicking around ideas for a health startup after some first-hand experience with the current U.S. health system. After settling on health literacy, he recruited some fellow Google employees to join the team.

The app’s founders are primarily drawn from the tech sector, rather than the medical field. To ensure accuracy, Shah said the questions have been carefully vetted by subject matter experts, such as a former orthopedic surgeon for the U.S. Olympic team.

The team is more focused on building the product rather than making money in the coming months, said Shah. He stressed that the company would not sell data on people’s health knowledge to medical insurance providers.

The Mountain View, California based company has previously raised a small and undisclosed seed round of funding from Silicon Valley venture firms, including Greylock Partners, Menlo Ventures and Rock Health.

Google integrates Nest Learning Thermostat with iOS, Android

Almost a year ago, Google had acquired Nest Labs, the makers of the Nest Learning Thermostat and the Protect smoke detector for a whooping $3.2 billion. Seems like it has finally put this asset to use. The company has listed the product, Nest Learning Thermostat on the Google Play Store, which is now available for purchase.

According to a report on Venture Beat, Nest thermostat owners can use Google’s self-titled iOS or Android apps to control their home’s temperature, much like they do with Nest’s own app. They can also use voice commands to ask Google to change or set their temperature.

The ability to use Nest with your smartphone makes things a lot easier. The device is compatible with Google Now and voice commands can control the temperature and perform other functionalities too. Google Now also brings up ‘Now Cards’ so users can adjust the temperature before they enter home.

Nest Labs was one of Google’s biggest acquisition this year. It was founded by Tony Fadell, a former Apple employee who is popularly known as the “Father of the iPod”. The company said that nearly 5000 developers had shown interest in creating apps for Google.

How To Share Files From Android to iOS and Back with Zapya

A couple of days ago, we were faced with a problem that looked extremely simple. A large presentation (300MB) had been created on an iPad, and we needed to access it on an Android phone for sharing. In the old days, when everyone worked on a laptop or a desktop computer, there were far too many ways to share files – you could have transferred them over shared folders on your local network, put the files on to a USB pen drive, or made an ad-hoc wireless network to transfer your files. But iOS in particular doesn’t make this process too simple, and while some Android devices do support USB On-The-Go (OTG) with which you can connect a pen drive directly to your phone, not all devices have this feature.

You can use AirDrop to share files between iOS devices, and Android users have Android Beam, but what do you do when you’re trying to manage an iPad and an Android phone? In case you’re stuck trying to move files between an iOS device and a Windows Phone device, we’ve already got you covered with a guide. Read on to know more about sharing files between iOS and Android.

We were considering ways to email the file or uploading the file to Dropbox so that it could be downloaded again on the phone, we luckily learned that there are a lot of apps that are designed to solve exactly the problem that we are facing. While there are a lot of different options out there, our favourite one is to use an app called Zapya, which is free on both iTunes and Google Play.

This is how it works:

First, install the app on both devices, following the links given above.

Ensure that both devices are connected to the same Wi-Fi network.

Once the app has installed, launch it on both devices. On the Android device, tap Create Group.

Now, tap the menu (three horizontal lines) button in the top right, and tap on Connect to iOS Device. You’ll see the name of the network and the host device there.

On the iOS device, you will first connect to the Wi-Fi network listed in Step 3, and then launch the Zapya app. Choose Search and join in the pop-up menu, and tap on the device name listed on the Android app.

zapya_connecting

 

The two devices are now connected and you can share files. You can share installed games and even other apps directly to other Android users, and you can share your media and other files equally easily across platforms.

  1. Swipe the main screen to the left or right to switch between categories. To search for a file, swipe right to get to the first screen – other free apps didn’t include a search function, only browsing for files, which is why we’re recommending Zapya. Swipe right to browse through categories, and all the way to the right to browse through the file system.
  2. To share a file, tap on it, and then tap Send in the pop-up menu. If you want to send more than one file, tap Multi, then tap all the files you want to share, and tap send.
  3. On the other devices, a pop-up menu will inform you that files are being transferred and will show you the progress. To stop the download at any point, you can tap on Cancel on either device.

zapya_sharing

 

This method allows you to easily share files using just Wi-Fi, which means that it is faster than using cloud services – also, since you are not uploading or downloading anything, this doesn’t cost you anything or use up your data limits. It is of course slower than using a USB based transfer method, but particularly for getting files out of an iOS device, that can be cumbersome or even impossible in some cases.

There are some limitations – from the iOS device, you’re restricted in terms of the content you can send. You can send photos and videos from iOS devices – to share other files, open them using the corresponding apps, then tap the share icon and share the file to Zapya first – this usually works, but causes the app to crash fairly often too. Since Android has an open filesystem, it’s much easier to send files from Android to iOS – just browse or search for the file you want and tap send, and it ends up in the Inbox tab in Zapya on your iOS device. You can then just tap the file and choose Open in, to open it in the correct app.

We tried several other apps, but the ones we liked the most were Feem WiFi, which is also available on iTunes and Google Play, and also Xender, which also has iTunes andGoogle Play apps.

Feem is easy to use, but it is ad supported and these take up a fair bit of the screen. We accidentally clicked the ads for some apps and also for the paid version of Feem and this takes you out of the app and directs you to either the App Store or Safari. Xender is very similar to Zapya, and has a Phone Replicate feature that lets you copy all the stored data on a phone with just one touch, but we couldn’t find a way to search for specific files in the app. If you don’t have too much local content, that’s not an issue, but we prefer having the option to search.

Apple iOS Masque flaw dangers: Legitimate app infiltration discovered

The Masque security bug may pave the way for data to be stolen from legitimate app sources on iOS devices, according to Trend Micro researchers.

The Masque security flaw, which affects apps running on iOS 7.1.1 and later — including the latest iOS 8 — is based on a lack of enforced matching security certificates for apps with the same bundle identifier. In short, malicious apps can replace legitimate downloads by using the same bundle ID, and “intercept” user activity as a result.

Email or text-based phishing attacks are used to trick users into downloading legitimate-looking but malicious applications. While Apple is unaware of any reported incidents of the bug, researchers say the flaw could theoretically install malware or steal user data from iPads or iPhones.

However, most users need not worry as malicious apps are barred from the relative safety of Apple’s App Store — so if you keep downloads within this sphere, the chance of your device being hijacked is minimal.

Apple downplayed concerns last week, saying that OS X and iOS have been designed with built-in security safeguards to help protect customers.

However, an additional facet of the Masque bug has been discovered. Trend Micro researchers have found a new way for malicious apps installed through a Masque attack to hurt a user: by accessing unencrypted data used by legitimate apps.

According to the security team, when Masque has found its way onto a device through enterprise provisioning — which allows companies to install homegrown apps on iOS devices without the need to be reviewed by Apple — data can be stolen from legitimate apps that lack encryption.

Trend Micro tested several apps and found that some popular iOS apps do not employ data encryption for their databases. The apps tested are message and communication systems, which means they store sensitive information including names and contact details.