Super Mario Run Won’t Work Without Internet

While everyone seems to be excited to control the hopping plumber on their phones, there is one weird requirement to play the game: You will need to be online.

Super Mario Run is going to be launched on December 15. And while everyone seems to be excited to control the hopping plumber on their phones, there is one weird requirement to play the game: You will need to be online.

Considering the game will keep the necessary data on local storage, being should not be a requirement for anyone. Games such as Temple Run have been running offline for years -yes, some functionality such the market place is unavailable, but you can still play the game.

Well, that won’t be the case with Super Mario Run. As Nintendo’s icon Shigeru Miyamoto told Mashable:

“[O]ur software [is] very important asset for us,” said Miyamoto. “We wanted to be able to leverage that network connection [to offer] the game in a way that keeps the software secure.”

So ultimately this step by Nintendo is to fight with piracy. It can’t be said if Nintendo will win for sure, but paying users are losing in some ways.

Nintendo first announced the game at Apple’s special event on September where the company revealed that gaming’s biggest icon is making its debut on smaller screen with an iOS game, later, the Japanese company also received that the games won’t be platform exclusive as it will launch on Android too.

If you are curious about how the game works and you want to take a sneak peak, you can go to an Apple Store nearby. And if you are too lazy to do that, here is a video of Miyamoto playing Super Mario Run while doing bicep curls.

How do you feel about Nintendo’s decision of requiring an internet connection to play the game? Share with others in the comments below.

READ NEXT: Here is the history of Mario in one simple infographic.

Facebook Added HD Video Uploads For Android, Floating Windows Are Being Tested Too

Uploading High Definition videos on Facebook is nothing new, the web version and the iOS app has been supporting it for nearly two years, However, even though Android Phones have been supporting HD and 4K video captures for a long time, users were not able to upload them using the app.

Facebook adds support for HD Video Upload in Android

Better late then never, Android Police reported that Facebook has finally added support for uploading high defination videos today.

You can find it under app’s settings menu, where you can see a toggle to enable or disable HD Video upload. Also, you can see from the screen that the app also has added support for adding High Definition photos as well.

If you are not that much into uploading Videos on Facebook, there is one under testing feature that you may like. Facebook is testing Floating Windows for Video Playback (A bit like FloatingTube that is for Chrome’s desktop versions). Also, the company is testing support for offline video download and letting users select specific video quality.

You will be able to select video resolution for in-app playback
You will be able to select video resolution for in-app playback

Have anything to add to the story? Share with us in the comments below.

Read Next: What are Facebook instant articles and why should you care?

Google Has An App To Let You Share Your Location With Your Loved Ones

Safety of children and other family members is an increasing concern for many modern families. Google is trying to help you with it by helping you in tracking their location with they are out of the house.

Google just released a new location-sharing app called Trusted Contacts. The idea behind the app is to make sure that your loved ones are always able to know where you are and whether you are safe.

The app is fairly straightforward, simply install the app and then you can choose your trusted contacts. Once you have marked a contact as trusted, he/she will be able to see your location on the app.

2016-12-06_11h32_03

If your family members need to know your location, they can ask you with a tap on a button. You can accept the request to share your location or reject it if you wish, but if you do not reply within 5 minutes, the app will automatically send your location to your family members.

2016-12-06_11h31_49

While it can be a great tool to make sure that your family members are safe, I can see some family using the app for some other situations as well. It is worth knowing that this idea is not completely one, some other apps (Life360’s Family Locator comes to mind) offer very similar feature set. However, Google’s App is completely free to use and it has tighter integration with Google’s other services such as Maps.

You can install the app from Google Play Store, There is no word about any iOS version yet.

Read Next: 5 Coolest Launchers for Android Phones

 

Google’s Android is Installed On 9 Out of 10 Mobile Devices

In last quaeter of the year, Google has shipped almost 326 million Android Devices, which is an impressive 10.3 percent increase over 2015.

Google Android has set a new record in terms of Mobile OS market share. In the third quarter of 2016, Android holds 87.5% of smartphone OS market share. For those who are bad at math, these numbers mean that if you pick 10 random smartphones in the market, 9 of them will be running on Google Android.

In the last quarter of the year, Google has shipped almost 326 million Android Devices, which is an impressive 10.3 percent increase over 2015. Last year, Android’s market share was 84.1 % which has increased more than 3% within a year.

Apple should start to worry about iOS

Now that Google has captured more than 87% of the market, Apple should start to worry. Even though iPhone 6S and 6S Plus broke sales records last year and iPhone 7 is selling well, iOS’ market share has shrunk to a mere 12.1 percent, which is 5.2 percent lower than last year’s market analysis.

With that said, other operating system’s such as Microsoft’s Windows Phone and Blackberry’s BB10‘s  have started to disappear completely with just 0.3% of market share (this includes all other mobile operating systems on the market).

When Apple removing the headphone jack from iPhone has annoyed users, Google is not missing any chance to win people who are abandoning iOS. The search giant recently launched Pixel phone’s  to compete in flagship market, apart from Pixel, India and China’s growing demand for low-cost smartphone is also a major reason of Google climbing on top of the OS market share graphs.

Source: Strategy Analytics

5 Tips To Make WhatsApp More Private and Secure

You might want to know about how you can make sure that your conversations are safe. Here are 6 WhatsApp privacy tips to make texting more secure.

While SMS was once the most used way to send text messages, it won’t be wrong to say that WhatsApp has taken that crown now. The App easy enough that your grandmother can use it and the price tag of $0 makes it much more appealing that sending SMSes. If you use the  messaging app, you might want to know about how you can make sure that your conversations are safe. Here are 5 WhatsApp privacy tips to make texting more secure.

Lock WhatsApp using a Pattern or Password

Probably the best way of stopping someone from opening WhatsApp is to lock it with a PIN, Password or Pattern lock. WhatsApp does not have any built-in app locking available, but getting it on Android is quite easy.

Some Android Phones have built in option to lock apps in App Drawer (the ill-fated Galaxy Note 7 is a good example) However, if your phone does not have one, you can use AppLock to protect your WhatsApp chats.

Hide WhatsApp from App Drawer

If you don’t want anyone to know that you WhatsApp, a good way to do it is by hiding the icon completely from the App drawer of your Android Phone.

Again, some phones have built in options to hide apps from App Drawers, if your phone does not have one, you can install a custom launcher from Google Play Store. Apex Launcher, Evie Launcher, Smart Launcher 3 and ASAP Launcher are some of the best custom launchers that come with App hiding features.

Hide Last Seen Timestamp from others

By default, other contacts on WhatsApp can see the last time you were online in the app. If you don’t want anyone to know, you can turn off the Last seen timestamp.

Keep in mind that if you disable your Last seen status on WhatsApp, you will not be able to anyone’s Last seen too.

To Hide your Last Seen on WhatsApp on Android or iOS do the following:

  • Open WhatsApp and click on the three dots on the top right corner to open the menu.
  • Tap on Settings > Account and then select Privacy.
  • Under Last seen choose Nobody.
hide last seen on whatsapp
Hiding Last seen on Whatsapp

Stop sending read receipts

With some recent updates, you can now see a double blue check mark in  WhatsApp texts and Images, these indicate that your contact has seen the sent message. As convenient it may be for some people, if you don’t what others to know that you have read their message and you have still not replied, you can turn off these Read receipts too.

The catch? similarly to Last seen, you won’t be able to see others read receipts too.

To turn off read receipts in WhatsApp go to Settings > Account > Privacy and check off the Read Receipts under Messaging section.

Stop Read receipts on WhatsApp
Stop Read receipts on WhatsApp

Keep in mind that you can’t turn off Read receipts for Group Chats

Stop WhatsApp photos from appearing in Gallery

Now that you have protected WhatsApp with a password or pattern,  you will also like to stop anyone from seeing  your WhatsApp images in Gallery. If you are on iOS, you can do it with just a few taps. However, if you are on Android, it is a bit complicated than iOS
On iOS, Go to phone’s Settings > Privacy > Photos and then deselect WhatsApp from the list of apps whose images are saved into the Gallery.
On your Android phone,  You will need a file manager, if you don’t have one on your phone, ES File Manager is good enough and it is free.
Open the file manager and then navigate to Internal storage. Now go to WhatsApp > Media> WhatsApp Images and WhatsApp Videos folder. Then create a file within each folder called ‘.nomedia’. This will stop Android’s Gallery from scanning these folders.

Lost your Phone? Deactivate WhatsApp

At one time, WhatsApp can only use one mobile number. You can use it to stop anyone from accessing your WhatsApp if you have lost your phone.If you have lost your phone, you can

Just get a duplicate SIM with the same number ( in India, you may need to submit a copy of FIR to your mobile career to get a replacement SIM)  and activate WhatsApp from the new SIM card. WhatsApp on your lost phone will stop working immediately.

Do you have any other WhatsApp privacy tips ?

Apart from the above, do you have any other WhatsApp privacy tips that other readers should know about? Share with us in the comments below.

How To Run Android Games on Windows Using Nox App Player

Nox App Player is a great way to run android games on Windows PCs. Let’s take a look at how you can install and use it on your computer.

With the ever increasing popularity of Android, developers have started making great apps and games for the platform. If you are a gamer (or even a casual user), there are many ways to run Android Apps on Windows PCs. In this post, we will discuss one of the fastest and simplest ways to run Android games on Windows.

Nox App Player

I found the emulator a couple of months ago and after using it for the same time, I have found it to be one of the best ways to run Android apps and games on a Windows based PC.

Nox App Player is free and it has a surprisingly small footprint compared to other Android emulators. The software emulates Android 4.4 on your Windows PC and once you have installed it, getting Android games running on your computer is quite simple.

Installing and setting up the software

Installation is pretty straight forward. Just grab the installer from the official site and then follow on-screen instructions.

After you have installed it, setting up the emulator is also easy. Just go to Start> Nox and you will see a welcome screen. Soon you can find yourself on a very standard looking Android home screen.

 

The Home Screen of Nox App Player
The Home Screen of Nox App Player

From this screen, you can use the App Player just as you would use any normal Android phone or Tablet.

The number of Preinstalled apps is lower than a  real Android Device, but it covers basic apps including a Web Browser, Gallery, a file manager, and Facebook Lite. Although, if you want to install any other app, you can get it from Google Play Store in just a few minutes.

Installing Apps and Games

There are two ways you can install games on the emulator. The first one is using the official Google Play Store and the second way to do this is by downloading the APK file of the  game from internet and then installing in on the Nox App Player.

Installing apps from Google Play Store is straight-forward. Click on Play Store icon on the home screen and when asked, enter your Google Account Credentials.

After you are done, you can install any game from Google Play Store.

Installing games from Google Play Store
Installing games from Google Play Store

To install games from APK file, Click on Add APK File button on the toolbar and then select the APK file.

Installing games from APK Files
Installing games from APK Files

An easier way of Installing apps from APK is to drag the file directly to Nox App Player’s window.

Keep in mind that before installing any app from outside of Google Play Store, you should make sure that the files are not infected by any malware.

Some Important Features That You Should Know About

Simulating Touch

You can simulate touch in the app to benefit from your Keyboard. To activate this, Press CTRL+1 on your keyboard. Then click where you want to assign the touch input and then press any keyboard key on your keyboard, From next time, when you press the key, Nox App Player will register it as a touch input on the pre-specified point of the screen.

Simulating Touch On Nox App Player

Recording Macros

To automate repetitive tasks, you can create Macros by Pressing CTRL+ 9 or by clicking on the script record button from the toolbar.

Macros are great to automate repeated inputs on Strategy games.

Changing the resolution of Emulated Screen

By default, Nox App Player is set for 720p (HD) Screen resolution. If you have a monitor with a higher resolution, you can increase it up to 1080p (Full HD). Higher resolution can slow down the performance, though. Alternatively, if you are having performance problems, switching to a lower resolution may help.

Changing the resolution on Nox App Player
Changing the resolution on Nox App Player

To change the resolution of Nox App Player, Click on The Settings button on the title bar and then Select Advanced tab in the dialog box. Then select your desired resolution and hit Restart and Save.

Conclusion

It is worth noting that Nox App Player can also be used to run other apps. While there are some other emulators available (BlueStacks and Andy to name a few) Nox App Player is tough to beat in simplicity and features.

What Android games do you enjoy playing on PC? Share with us in the comments below.

How Long Does it Take to Make an App?

Planning to build an app? Let’s talk about how much will it cost and how long will it take to build a mobile app.

Planning to build an app?

Let me guess the two burning questions you have – how much will it cost and how long will it take to build it?

I wish I could look at your product description and immediately state the app development timeline, accurate up to one day. But that’s not how things work.

Yet, having worked in a mobile app development company for nearly a decade, I can tell you in details what goes into determining the project scope and the respective time required to build a certain product.

How Long Does It Take To Make An App: 3 Key Determinants

Time is often the most critical factor for startups. And your first question should be – do I want to build a full-feature product or an MVP to present the concept to potential investors and validate the business concept with the actual users?

Obviously, the time to make an app will vary accordingly. MVPs take on average 2 to 4 months to develop. Full feature products may take between 4 and 18 months, again, the exact number largely depends on the requested features, technology, and some other product specs.

So let’s start with the basics for determining the app development timeline:

Industry Scope

Before hiring the developers to build your custom app, you’ll need to do some homework too aka scrutinize your target audience.

Why does it matter so much?

For starters, it will help you refine your app concept and answer the next key questions required to determine the exact project timeline:

  • Which platform and device range will I target? Do you want to build an iPhone app only, or launch an Android version as well? What kinds of devices are more popular within my target market?
  • Who’s my competition? What kind of features does their product offer? Do I plan to build the same ones or offer additional perks?
  • What features does my target audience need in the first place? If you are aiming at an MVP, you should cut down the list to the key top-5s.

Now, how does that correlate with the time and costs?

According to the Next Web, building a Pinterest-like MVP will cost you around $120, 000 and will take 6+ months.

Building a simpler version, for instance, the one that allows curated link submissions sans images and without an external “Pin it” add-on, will cost you half the price and take between 3-4 months.

Bottom line: Don’t let the scope creep roll in. If you need to build an app fast, refine your features list to the bare minimum; validate your assumptions with the target audience and hire a proficient team in your domain (aka people who have already developed similar products and know exactly what they are doing).

Platform and Device Range

Deciding whether you should build an iOS or Android app first can be crippling, especially if your target audience uses both kinds of devices.

Here are some tips to help you make the right decision:

The mobile app development timeline for Android apps is 10-20% longer compare to iOS. The reasons are quite simple:

  • Due to Android’s open-source nature, apps require more testing prior to releasing.
  • Currently, there are over 12,000 types of Android devices out there, meaning you have to either design for a large number of screens or settle for supporting only a certain range of devices.
  • Android users, unlike iOS, don’t upgrade regularly to the latest OS, meaning additional complexity blends in to support older OS.

Probably, that’s the answer why 30% of the 50 top paid and 50 top free iPad apps are not available for Android as well.

how-long-does-it-take-to-create-mobile-app

Yet, building an Android app certainly makes sense if you plan to tap into a larger international market. After all, there are three Android users in the world for each iOS user. If you wish to scrap large demographics with a free/freemium product, building an Android app first certainly makes more sense.

The Most Time-Consuming App Development Elements

Clutch has made a rather accurate timeline breakdown of various app features, which you can use as a cheat-sheet for your project:

 timeline breakdown of various app features,

Additionally, I’d like to comment on widest variables in terms of price.

App Design

The prettier you want your app to be – the longer this stage will take. Graphical apps with custom animations and transitions can take well beyond 14 hours to draft. If we are talking about games, the number can go up to 30-40 hours.

Hence, opting for a sleek minimalistic look and asking the design team to user existing design patterns versus creating custom ones can be your best bet.

App Scalability and Backend

If we are talking about a social networking app, for instance, scalability is essential. Facebook uses well-supported MySQL and PostgresQL databases for structured data and those may take longer to develop.

As a powerful alternative, though, you can opt for a noSQL database like MongoDB, which is equally robust but takes less time to integrate.

Admin Portal and/or CMS To Manage The App

Again, depending on the type of the product you may need a simpler or more complex admin panel to overview the relationships and processes within your app. Do inquire about the best tools and tech stack to use for your product in advance.

Final Words

So how long does it take to build a mobile app? The short answer is – 2 to 4 weeks for simple projects and at least 6 months for more complicated products.

Yet you should always remember that you can only pick the two elements from this triangle:

how-long-does-it-take-to-create-mobile-app-3

You can build a great app fast, but it will likely cost you a lot.

Or you can get a cheap and well-made one, but it will take much longer.

And there are always chances that a cheap app built at supersonic speed may end up being quite a mess.

Hence, set your priorities accordingly and seek for faster development options through refining your project scope, rather than reducing the research or testing timeline.


About the author

Slava Bushtruk is CEO+Founder of Alty, Inc. He’s been in software and app development for nearly a decade with over 75 successful projects under his belt, ranging from startups to enterprise clients. You can connect with him on LinkedIn or shoot a quick hi at[email protected].  Tech Blog and Website

For Better or Worse, Google Just Killed Project Ara

Looks like Google has pulled the plug from Project Ara -an ambitious project about different companies making modular smartphones. A report has said that the project has been suspended by the search giant and it is being done for Streamlining company’s hardware efforts.

Project Ara was never like Google Nexus devices. With Ara, Google was aiming at standardizing different modular parts of mobile phones. The customer could replace parts of his phone instead of buying a new one after every two year.

This lego brick style model was generated back in 2013 when Google acquired Motorial Mobility. A company which since has been sold to Lenovo. With a vision of free and open hardware platform, Google even made a bunch of prototypes and started testing it in last year.

Instead of working in producing Ara device, Google will be making improved flagship Pixel Smartphones which will ultimately replace the Nexus program.

If you were a fan of Ara and you were looking for having a modular smartphone as your daily driver, you can go and buy some LG phones or buy Moto Z which supports (kind of modular) snap-on.

What did you think about the death of Google’s ambitious project? Share with us in the comments below.

Virtual Tour Around The Globe: 5 Best Free VPNs to Unblock Websites on Android

The world is advancing at a greater pace and it is taking our lives to another height of comfort level with each passing day. Now, we are almost dependent on the technology and the machines which have made us work from our home also. With the internet creating and making a new dimension for each netizen, we are also made insecure sometimes with the insecurity level that we have to face often.

The censorship has become a great deal nowadays and it is often creating some problems among the users but where there is a problem, there must be a solution also. It is pretty normal for the government officials to put a check or block different sites which contain adult material or piracy. Governments in Pakistan, China, Iran and several other countries often impose bans even on harmless websites like YouTube, etc. The blocking of different sites will make you feel the heat and it becomes very difficult often when we can’t access to the things we prefer.

But, given the circumstances, there are many options to unblock YouTube and other websites. There is no stopping you! Using the proxies and the VPNs are the most effective ways to handle this problem. Nowadays there are a huge number of proxies which are saving us from the crunch time. There are some free ones as well paid versions which offer some additional features. Complete privacy and anonymity are the few key features for these proxies.

The number of gadgets and internet service is increasing at a geometric progression. With a huge number of android users nowadays, the number of proxies has also increased. And it is very common to unlock the websites with these VPNs and proxies. If you are an android user, then it must be a bit easy for you. A special thanks to the numerous applications which have it possible for the users. Now, with the help of these apps you can easily unblock the sites and enjoy your favourite content. If you are looking forward to visiting a website with textual content using a proxy is recommended whereas if you want to unblock access to YouTube, Netflix or download torrents, using a VPN is recommended.

Here is a list of applications which will make your tasks easier.

HOT SPOT SHIELD

hot spot shield vpn

Well, this software will protect you in the hot spot zones of Wi-Fi. The traffic is encrypted by the VPN. This will also mask your identity as well as your IP address. All these will help you to make you untraceable. Now once you are ready, you can access the sites you want. Any restricted content or site can be unblocked. Hot Spot Shield works with the other apps such as  Facebook, Skype, WhatsApp, YouTube and so on. You can download it from here.

HIDEMAN VPN

hide man vpn

This is one of the best apps to unblock sites and will serve your purpose to the fullest. This app will help you to make a connection to the server of the VPN which is present in 16 countries in and around the globe. Well, to broaden the smile among the netizens they are trying to add a number of servers at the earliest. The connection made by the VPN will maintain your privacy and also enhance the security level. You can also enjoy some additional features and exclusive stuff when you use this app. You can download it from here.

VPN ONE CLICK

vpn one click

This is perhaps the best VPN software to use on android as it not only will get you access to all the blocked sites but also will give you more privacy. Your online privacy will be protected and you may not take the stress of worrying of whichever site you may enter even if it is blocked in your country. You can easily unblock the precious and most sought after sites like the Netflix, You Tube, You Tube music and much more. So, you can ultimately live happily with all these easily available at your fingertips. The address of your IP changes automatically and now you switch to different countries virtually. The internet connection that you would be using will be fully encrypted and as the result, it becomes quite hard to trace you. You can download it from the Play Store.

TUNNEL BEAR VPN

tunnel bear vpn

Tunnel Bear VPN is one of the easiest and simplest apps among VPNs and it makes it easy to tunnel to different countries and still remain unnoticed. The safe passage will not be a concern for your privacy as it will mask your identity. You will get free access to the sites for each month. If you want some extra additional and cool features, then you must upgrade to the latest version to enjoy the features. Unlimited tunnelling will make your days turn into a golden one. The internet is nowadays putting a check on site or the other so it is best to use this and enjoy the cool stuff out in the digital world.

TIGERVPNS VPN

tigervpns vpn

Tigervpns will help you to break into the firewall easily and enter any website anonymously. This makes it the special app among the users. You can also block the ISP regulations which make it even more fantastic. You can place yourself in the land of the rising sun or in the States or the UK and enjoy the websites which are normally not available in most countries. The most important thing is that you need not do the configuring as it will be done automatically. The app handles all the settings and you just need to sit back and enjoy the stuff.

So, life has been pretty fun and easier with these VPN’s available. With each passing day, new innovations and modifications are being brought up to deal with these perfectly which help you to regain access to websites that are been blocked by your ISP or government. Do try out these apps and let us know if they worked for you or not. Also, if you have any other recommendations to make, kindly comment and let us know.

What is the Difference between Galaxy S7 and S7 Active?

If you are looking for the beauty, Galaxy S7 is the one you need and if you are a rough user, Galaxy S7 active should be the way to go.

The South Korean handset maker, Samsung Mobile launched its newest flagship device, Galaxy S7 across and and it has been received well by Android lovers around the world. Samsung is known to launch an Active variant of its flagship device every year, which goes on sale in American market. This year is also no exception as the Active variant of phone is already launched. While users are upgrading from older devices, they are faced with the dilemma of which one to pick up? If you are looking for the beauty, Galaxy S7 is the one you need and if you are a rough user, Galaxy S7 active should be the way to go. Apart from this, there are some additional differences in both handsets, about which we will discuss in this post.

Samsung Galaxy S7 Active is the uglier and beefier

Starting from Samsung Galaxy S6, everyone admired the turnabout that Samsung did with its design. It metamorphosed from plastic build to stunning metal and glass design, which the world could not get enough of. Samsung Galaxy S7 continues the same handset design and is a thing beauty.

S7 Active on the other hand has been designed to withstand the wear and tear. Therefore, while Galaxy S7 looks mesmerizing in its svelte form factor, Galaxy S7 Active less so owing to its bulky rubberized design. The handset is also wider and taller then Galaxy S7 with physical buttons up front instead of capacitive.  Samsung is claiming that the S7 Active is MIL STD-810G rated, which means it is protected against high pressures, temperatures,shock, fungus and radiation.

 

Samsung Galaxy S7 Active has an additional protective layer on top of the display

Samsung has made sure that the display of Active is well protected against accidental drops and scratches. The device comes with a display that has been protected with Corning Gorilla Glass 4 layer, which is known to be one of the most durable display.

While Galaxy S7 and S7 Active have the Gorilla Glass layer, Galaxy S7 Active has an additional layer of polycarbonate atop Gorilla Glass, which can protect the display against drops.

Samsung Galaxy S7 Active has Better battery

Galaxy S7 comes with a 3500 mAh battery which should be fairly enough to last one complete day with moderate usage.

S7 Active has even bigger 4000 mAh battery. Samsung claims that the device can last all day on a single charge even when the handset is being used extensively. Also, the handset also supports wireless and quick charging despite its rugged exterior.

Price

The main difference between these two devices have to be in the price tag. While Galaxy S7 costs around INR 59,000 in Indian market. Galaxy S7 Active is costs more because of its stronger body and bigger battery.

Which one should you pick?

Currently, Galaxy S7 Active is not available in India and in USA the phone is  AT&T exclusive , it is expected that the phone will make its debut in India soon.

S7 is available on online stores and if you don’t need extra battery or ruggedness, the standard S7 should be your choice. If you need a strong phone but you don’t want to compromise on performance, S7 Active is a decent choice.