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 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

Everything You Can Expect from Apple’s September 7 Event

It looks like Apple is ready to launch the new version of iPhone (and some other hardware) in its event which will be held on 7th September.

It has been almost a year since iPhone 6s was released, and it looks like Apple is ready to launch the new version of iPhone (and some other hardware) in its event which will be held on 7th September.

Let’s discuss about all things that Apple may launch on its event.

New and Powerful iPhone

2016-08-15_09h48_43
A leaked picture of upcoming iPhone 7 | source: Letemsvetemapplem

Probably the most notable among all upcoming launches, Apple will launch the newer, more powerful iPhone 7 in the event. Now that release date is near, everyone is making final predictions about new features on Apple’s money printing machine.

You can expect the new iPhone to be a little slimmer and comfortable to hold. The phone will have smaller bezels and almost un-noticeable camera bump on the back. Apple’s new mobile chip A10 will be providing the iPhone a bit better performance than older versions. Among the others, the biggest changes could be removal of 3.5 MM audio Jack, which may be replaced by a second speaker. If the 3.5 MM port is removed, you will have to buy adaptors to use your old headphones on iPhone 7.

Apart from that, iPhone may will have a dual camera system, which should result in better zooming and clearer photos. iPhone 7 may also have Optical Image Stabilization, a feature that was only available for the Plus version of its predecessor. Also, there is a good chance that Apple will kill off the 16 GB version of iPhone (should have done that earlier…) making 32 GB GB the base variant of phone.

Will Apple launch a Plus version of Phone?

Sure, there is not clear reason for Apple to kill off the Phablet size version of its Smartphone. The strategy of making iPhone’s available in two different sizes has worked well in recent years and the many users like the bigger versions more because of its better battery life and spacious screen.

Last year’s iPhone 6s Plus had better camera and more storage that the smaller 6s, there is a good chance that this year, specs of both variants will be same, except for battery life.

Possibly new iPads

Although, there are next to none rumors about new iPads, it is possible that Apple may release new iPads on the same event. Last year, the company did some with the predecessor, when it announced new iPads with iPhone 6s.

New iPads may replace Apple’s A9X processors with something recent and faster. It will be interesting to see it new iPads are called “Pro” or not considering it has been quite some time since 12″ iPad Pro was released.

iOS 10

Even if you are not planning to upgrade to new iPhone 7, Apple might be releasing something that is important for you: an improved OS for your old iPhone.

iOS 10 will finally let you remove pre-installed apps that you don’t care for. Also, new OS will ship with overhauled versions of Home, Music, News and Messages Apps. Apple is adding new features on the lock screen which will make it functionally more like a secondary Home screen.

The iOS 10 is currently in beta, meaning you can install it on your iPhone or iPad, but it may have some bugs and performance issues. It is likely that Apple will make the iOS 10 available for general users on the event.

Although it is not yet confirmed, watchOS 3, tvOS 10 and macOS Sierra may also be discussed on the event. These OSes were announced in WWDC and these are currently not available for general public.

What do you think about the upcoming iPhone 7 and iOS? Will you be upgrading or will you stick with your older phone? share with others in the comments below.

Apple is wrong with word ‘Pro’ in its iPad

iPad Pro is a fascinating tablet, yet, Apple targets it to professional users which is kind of dumb because it lacks some essential features.

Apple’s iPad Pro is a fascinating tablet. Maybe the best device for mobile entertainment.

It feels lite and powerful enough to keep you entertained for hours. The display is one of the best in both variants (12″ and 9.7″) and it sounds far better than any iPad had ever done.
Despite it being a great entertainment machine, Apple markets it as a PC replacement and it is the point where Apple gets it wrong.
Apple iPad Pro is not Pro Enough.
When Apple launched the gigantic 12″ iPad Pro, the company said it was made to replace a PC. With the launch of 9″ model Apple repeated the same thing again.
Sure, it has better specs than other iPads and it is significantly faster, but it can’t really replace a Laptop for a professional user.

What does Pro means for Apple ?

If Pro is for writers and bloggers – it sure can replace their laptops. But sad for apple, all professional users are not making their living by writing. Most professionals design, manage, code or create. And By designing I am not just talking about using a stylus, I am also talking about Adobe Photoshop, CorelDRAW and Illustrator apps.

Example of a Professional setup ipad pro
Example of a Professional setup

iPad pro has no goddamn way to connect to my USB port directly. Than means a “Pro” can’t connect his printer or SSD or external monitor or whatever easily. Apple’s MacBook has a USB-C Port, which Apple does not sell as a pro device. But iPad Pro -A device that Apple targets to Professional users – does not have one, even though iPad Pro was released after the new MacBook. USB 3.0 sure will be to large for a tablet as thin as iPad but a USB-C port is completely practical. Apple has programmers capable to add support for it. The Smart Cover is a almost good as a regular keyboard, surprisingly enough there is not function or shortcut key row. I cant think of a real Professional who does not use keyboard shortcuts.

And Let’s look at the ‘Pro’ OS

After the hardware limitations, Apple has another serious problem, and it is with it’s iOS. Rather than giving flexibility, iOS is an Operating System designed with simplicity in mind.
While I like this idea for my Phone or a tablet. I cant think why a Professional user will trade-off customizability and power of its software with its simplicity.
Sure, it runs Microsoft Office, but the Office on iPad Pro does not has support for Macros and Visual Basic for Office. Similar to this, running desktop class Adobe Photoshop or Premier Pro (Both are ‘Pro’ applications by-the-way) is just a dream on iPad.
If you are a data base administrator, web programmer or a video editor or anyone who does anything other than writing or drawing, iPad Pro is not Pro enough for you.
Want one more example? I can write Apps for Windows 10 on my Windows 10 PC, I can write apps for Mac OS X on my Mac but to create an App for iPad, I will have to buy a Mac.

It is a great tablet, but it ain’t for serious work, and Apple should accept it.

Both iPad Pros are fast and have a really good display, but they can really replace a Laptop for a Professional – not unless there is a much powerful OS for them. And it would have been better if Apple sold them without shouting that they can replace a Real computer.
iPad will only be capable of replacing my Dell Laptop, once it can connect to my Portable SSD, run Visual Studio (or similar software) and show my social media feeds on an external monitor at the same time. And there are users who need to do much more from their computers than me.
iPad Pro might work for my Dad who is a teacher and only needs to check Mail and social media on internet. But, if you are a person making your living from computers iPad is far, far from replacing your Laptop.


Image Credit: Kaleb Fulgham on Flickr

Microsoft Made An App Just to Take Selfies (Seriously)

Microsoft Selfie is the new recently released app for iOS. The app uses machine learning to improve and edit selfies.

We have talked about Microsoft apps made for productively in past, we have talked about a Microsoft made an android launcher in past, but who could have thought that one day we will get to see an App by Microsoft just to take selfies.

Microsoft Selfie is the new recently released app for iOS. The app uses machine learning to improve and edit selfies.

After you have clicked a photo using the app, Microsoft Selfie analysis the photo and provides the best editing options. It takes gender, skin tone, lighting, age and other things into account before providing any edits. And shows you a preview of the resultant photo, if you wish, you can make other changes on the selfie using the built-in tools in the app.

The app is currently available in English and simplified Chinese language and it has good reviews so far.

Microsoft selfies

Though it is interesting, it is not the first time that Microsoft is doing something related to selfies, back in last year, the software giant created a website how-old.net that predicted the age of a person in a photo.

What do you think about Microsoft Selfie? share with others in the comments below.

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