Monday, 31 October 2016

BankOne now issues freedom cards

IN a bid to improve electronic payments and provide all available services to microfinance banks, MFB customers, BankOne now has the option of issuing Freedom cards. Freedom card is owned by 3line, a company passionate about reaching the underbanked and un-served communities in Nigeria through its card schemes.


bankone

Freedom card is a local brand of card scheme that operates using DDA (Dynamic Data Authentication) which is said to be best in terms of card security and also complies with the industry standard all over the world.

BankOne customers using Freedom cards also get the advantage of linking two bank accounts to function on one card. Bankone also supports the issuance of verve and MasterCard.

BankOne provides its financial institution customers with a core banking solution and an electronic financial transaction platform in partnership with electronic payment providers.
It also provides financial institutions with complete and tailor-made automation of operations at an affordable rate, and minimal requirement for IT infrastructure and expertise.

With over 250 MFBs on its platform, BankOne continues to achieve its vision of enabling the entire Microfinance industry segment remain competitive, achieve rapid growth, operate profitably, and make a significant economic impact.

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Sunday, 30 October 2016

Facebook says Nigerians can upload 1999 Constitution on its platform

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Ebele Okobi, the Public Policy Director, Facebook, Africa, says Nigerians are free to upload the country’s 1999 Constitution on its platform.

Okobi said this on the sideline of the second “Media, Citizens and Good Governance Conference” in Abuja.

She said: “Facebook doesn’t create content; we create a platform and then people get content.

“If Nigerians are passionate about the constitution, they can put it on Facebook; it’s free.
“We have created a platform that makes distribution of content easy.

“However, Facebook is not a place where everything goes; we do have rules because we want to create a community that maximises people feeling safe online.”

On alleged misuse of Facebook, Okobi defended users by saying the fact that people express themselves freely on the platform does not amount to abuse.

She said that the organisation had content policy, adding that there were some specific things that it would not allow on its platform.

She said: “We don’t allow hate speech, certain type of nudity and violence; we have a community standard.”
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How to Keep a Smartphone From Being Hacked

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Even if you keep your smartphone safe in your pocket or purse, it's still at risk for picking up a virus or leaking data to thieves. Hackers don't need physical access to your phone to steal your personal information or infect the device with malware. They infiltrate your phone with innocent-looking apps or link to it via unsecured Wi-Fi® networks. You can keep hackers from getting the upper hand by taking steps to secure your smartphone.


Step 1
Lock your phone when you're not using it. Set a password and change it regularly to prevent others from guessing it. Lock patterns are an alternative if you have trouble remembering your password. Your phone may also have a facial-recognition lock feature. If this is on, the device unlocks only when the camera detects your face. Voice recognition is another option; with this turned on, your phone needs to hear your voice say a specific word or phrase to unlock.

Step 2
Activate your phone's tracker capability, if it has one. If your phone supports this feature, you can see its location on a map and track the device when it moves. If your phone is stolen or lost, use the tracker app to lock it remotely. This makes it harder for hackers to access your data.

Step 3
Update your phone's firmware to the most current version. Many phones do this for you automatically, but if you've turned this option off, you'll need to download the update manually. You can download the latest update directly from your phone. Alternatively, connect your phone to the computer and launch the software that came with the device. The application will connect to the download Web page and install the firmware on your phone.

Step 4
Install apps on your phone only if they come from a trusted source, such as the manufacturer's app store. Most official app stores verify the authenticity of their products, so they're much safer. Before downloading any app, read the description and reviews so you understand what you're getting.

Step 5
Check an app's permissions before installing it. If an app requests access to your personal information, don't install it or deny the request.

Step 6
Avoid leaving your phone alone in a public place, such as on a restaurant table or on your office desk. If you must leave the phone, keep it locked and hide it somewhere, such as in a drawer, to prevent theft.

Step 7
Delete text messages from unknown senders that ask for your information, and avoid clicking links in messages. Some hackers send messages that appear to be from your bank or another trusted source. If you click the link in the message, the hacker can steal your information or install malware on the phone. Don't download apps via text message; this is a common way for hackers to infect your device.

Step 8
Access the Internet on your phone only from a secure Wi-Fi network. Wi-Fi networks that aren't secure allow nearby hackers to intercept your data when you get online. Don't do any shopping or banking on a public Wi-Fi network; hackers can swipe your bank account number or other financial information. Instant-messaging and other communications apps may contain security holes that allow hackers to snatch your personal data. If you have access to a cellular network, use it instead of public Wi-Fi.

Step 9
Protect your phone with an anti-virus app. Check your phone's app store to see what's available for your device.

Tip
Your smartphone may have been hacked if you notice apps opening by themselves or if the battery drains much faster than normal. Unusual charges on your wireless bill also indicate a problem
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Saturday, 29 October 2016

How to connect a laptop to TV

connect your laptop to HD Television

Connecting your laptop to your TV is actually very easy: all you need is the right cable, lead or streaming hardware and you'll be watching content from your laptop on your television in no time. We'll take you through how to connect your laptop to a TV in this step-by-step guide which includes wireless, HDMI, VGA and other methods.

You don't have to spend a small fortune to get all the features of the latest smart TVs. One cheap and easy way to get the internet on your TV is to connect it to your laptop. Doing this lets you stream catch-up TV from services such as BBC iPlayer, Sky Go and Netflix through your laptop onto your big TV screen, or even projector.
• Connect a laptop to TV by plugging an HDMI cable from the back of the TV to the output on your laptop
• You can alternatively use a VGA cable if your laptop or TV is too old to have an HDMI connection
• Wireless solutions for connecting a laptop to TV include Chromecast, Roku and Apple TV

What cables do I need to connect my laptop to a TV?


In order to connect your laptop to your TV you are going to need to take a look at what ports are available on both your laptop and TV. This easiest way to connect the two is with an HDMI cable. Unless your laptop is really old, or was a super-budget model, it should have an HDMI output. Virtually all TVs made in the last six years or so also have HDMI ports. (The HDMI port is highlighted in red below.)
Another popular way to connect a laptop to a TV is via a VGA cable and a 3.5mm audio lead (which connects to your laptop's headphone port) - one cable each for video and sound. Only use this method if one or both of your devices doesn't have an HDMI port. The VGA port is labeled as PC IN on the image below.

connect PC to tv


If your laptop has no video output, you can connect your laptop to your TV via an adapter which plugs into your laptop's USB port and provides a VGA output. These cost from around £20.


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Google adds Stranger Things stickers to Allo


You know what people like? Stickers, both real and virtual. Also, the Netflix series Stranger Things. Now you can like them simultaneously if you use Allo. Google has announced a new sticker pack, which is not something Google usually does, but apparently the Stranger Things tie-in was important enough to warrant a blog post.

To download the new pack, open your list of stickers and tap the "add stickers" button. At the bottom of the list is the new Stranger Things pack. It's got a couple dozen chat-oriented stickers based on the show including not one, not two, but three Barb stickers. There's also the monster in full face-flower mode and some impressive 80s hair.


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So, that's a thing now. Maybe it'll help you get by until the second season comes out.


source
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Wednesday, 26 October 2016

Xiaomi makes the Mi Note 2 and Mi VR headset

Xiaomi


You probably heard all the buzz earlier around that new Xiaomi phone with
basically no bezels. That device rather overshadowed the slightly more conventional (and probably more usable) Mi Note 2. This device has high-end specs, a curved display, and support for global LTE.

You want specs? Xiaomi was kind enough to provide them.

SPECS


SoC Snapdragon 821

RAM 4GB, 6GB

Storage. 64GB,. 128GB

Display. 5.7-inch curved OLED 1080p

Battery 4070mAh, quick charge 3.0

Camera 22.5MP f/2.0 and EIS, 8MP front

Software. Android 6.0

Measurements 156.2 x 77.3 x 7.6 mm, 166g


The Mi Note 2 bears a striking resemblance to the now-discontinued Galaxy Note7. The specs are even better than that phone in most places. One notable exception being the display, which is only 1080p. It is curved, though. It even has a fingerprint scanner in the home button just like Samsung's phones.

The Mi Note 2 runs Android 6.0 Marshmallow, but as a Chinese phone it will not have Google services built-in. There's no international release planned at this time, but I'm sure it'll show up for sale from third-party importers. The pricing is a little higher than most of Xiaomi's devices due to the complex manufacturing process. It starts at 2,799 yuan or about $413. The version with 128GB of storage and 6GB of RAM is 3,499 yuan ($515).

xiaomi

Xiaomi also announced a VR headset that goes with the Mi Note 2 ( not its first, though). Like Gear VR and Daydream, it uses your phone as the display and processing hardware, but it has its own controller.

The Mi VR headset is compatible with the Mi Note 2, Mi 5s, Mi 5s Plus, and Mi 5. It will retail for 199 yuan or $29.
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Tuesday, 25 October 2016

Skype announces improvements to calls and voicemail

Skype

Skype is one of the most common ways to make video and VoIP calls, but there are a number of annoyances that seem to be carried over from traditional phone calls. It doesn't need to be this way, though, so Microsoft announced a few months ago that it planned to modernize Skype. Now, the first wave of changes are set to roll out, and they'll be coming to the Android app in the next few weeks.

For starters, phone will no longer be tied to the person who starts them. So, if you start a call and two people join it, you can leave and the other two can keep on chatting. Making calls will be easier as well. The "Call phones" tab in the app will just become "Calls" and provide access to all Skype's various call options (VoIP, video, and landline). This page will also make it easier to buy Skype credit, apparently.

Voicemail is also getting a makeover, which is long overdue. You can still leave a regular voicemail message, but video messages will be an option too. The option to simply send a chat message from the voicemail screen will also be available. It's not all good news, though. Skype is ending support for custom voicemail greetings and SMS transcriptions.


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WhatsApp can now make video calls on Android

whatsapp video call

WhatsApp is one of the most popular messaging apps on the planet, so even small changes warrant some attention. This isn't a small change, though. This is a big one. WhatsApp is rolling out support for video calls in the Android app, but not everyone has the feature yet.
Video calls are becoming available seemingly at random. You won't need an app update as long as you're on one of the
recent beta versions (people are reporting success on a few builds). If the person on the other end doesn't have video calling enabled yet they'll just get a voice call. You'll still be able to see the video calling UI, though. The call log shows that as a video call, but tapping the video button just pulls up an error message (below).


whatsapp roll out whatsapp beta

whatsapp video call


When you have video calling, tapping the call button or contact card brings up a dialog with both voice and video as options. There may be a version of the app later that flips the switch on video calls automatically, but for now you're at the mercy of the WhatsApp gods.
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Monday, 24 October 2016

Facebook Messenger now supports PayPal transactions

 Facebook Messenger now supports PayPal transactions

Starting today, users will be able to select PayPal for transactions on Messenger.

Previously, Messenger only supported payments via debit card. Ironically, Messenger is adding support for PayPal before popular transaction app Venmo which is owned by PayPal.

Messenger is also adding a feature that will let you receive notifications about recent PayPal transactions.


 Facebook Messenger now supports PayPal transactions


Facebook has slowly but surely been turning Messenger into a full-fledged business of its own, and the ability to send and receive transactions was just one small part of that process. PayPal is just another option on the table.

PayPal transactions are beginning to roll out in the US others today; no word on when it’s arriving in other countries.
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Another Samsung device caught fire and it’s not the Note 7 this time

Samsung


When it rains, it pours. Against the backdrop of the recent exploding Note 7 debacle, another Samsung device has caught on fire – but this time it’s the Galaxy S7 Edge.

An anonymous source working for “one of the big” US wireless carriers claims a customer brought in a fatally damaged S7 Edge, insisting the phone blew up while charging, Phone Arena
reports.

The incident occurred last week after the S7 owner left the phone to power up overnight, using the original charger provided by Samsung. According to the source, the customer in question received the handset two weeks ago as a replacement to his new Note 7.

Worryingly, this isn’t the first explosion involving a faulty Galaxy S7.

Last month, a construction worker from Ohio sued Samsung after his S7 device blew up in his pants, causing severe burns to his leg. Prior to that, another S7 owner claimed his phone burst into flames as it was charging overnight.

Despite facing a lot of heat for its recent fire-catching Note 7 misadventures, Samsung still managed to stay afloat in its last quarter. However, another pine of exploding Samsung devices could be a blow the South Korean giant cannot recover from.


source: Thenextweb
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Sunday, 23 October 2016

6 reasons to be hyped for the Nintendo Switch

nintendo switch

Yesterday saw the introduction — after many leaks and rumors — of the Nintendo Switch , the company’s next game console. It isn’t due to arrive until March of next year, which is infinitely frustrating because it looks amazing for several reasons, not all of them obvious. Here’s why I’m more excited about the Switch than for any Nintendo product in a long time.

It’s totally different from the Wii and Wii U


nintendo switch

The Wii was a blast, and sold like hotcakes. But the Wii U was a strange and some would say lazy upgrade that attempted to squeeze more money out of the same ideas. In the end, their entire strategy was compromised and they lost both players and games. The Switch jettisons all that baggage, cutting things off clean except for useful accessories (more to come) like the Pro Controller.

This fresh start means Nintendo can start a completely new dialog with gamers, developers and consumers, all of whom have been somewhat abandoned over the last few years.

It’s also totally different from the PS4 and Xbox One
While Nintendo distanced itself from… well, itself, it also managed to keep separate from the competition. It does things neither the PS4 nor Xbox One does, while those two systems are, in many ways, almost identical.

What that means is that, while very few people are going to buy both Microsoft and Sony’s consoles, it’s totally possible people will want a Switch in addition to the “traditional” console of their choice.

Perhaps the failure to launch in time for the holidays was a strategic move: steer clear of the marketing push by the 900-pound gorillas and strike later, when people are looking for something new (and have recouped their holiday expenses with a few paychecks).

Its gimmick is easy for anyone to understand


Nintendo Switch

With the Wii, people “got” it when they put their hands on it. “Oh, you actually move around!”
With the Wii U, people… didn’t get it. I still don’t get it, and I have one! “It’s a second screen? But also the main screen, sometimes? But you have to be in Wi-Fi range, because it’s not the actual console? And sometimes you have to look at both screens?!”
With the Switch, people will get it as soon as they see it. “Oh, you can use it anywhere, and the controllers come off!” If people can imagine a way to use it, Nintendo probably already thought of it and put it in the reveal commercial. There are a few questions remaining, of course, but the basic idea explains itself. That’s a big plus.

It keeps multiplayer on the couch
Here’s a picture of my coffee table.


Nintendo switch


Hmm, there’s… actually a lot going on there, but mainly I wanted to show that I love playing awesome Nintendo games on my couch so much that I’ve literally never put away the SNES I got as a kid.

Couch co-op (or competition) is in Nintendo’s DNA, more so than perhaps any company in the world. It’s something Nintendo cares about deeply, and has always made a priority. The Wii and Wii U emphasized couch multiplayer, and the Switch does too, but so fundamentally that it’s literally built into the console itself, off the shelf. That’s a great sign.

It’s gaming that’s mobile, but not mobile gaming
Nintendo may finally, finally be embracing mobile as a platform , but that raises the question of whether something like the 3DS is even necessary. The Switch is the answer to that question.

You don’t use the Switch in the same places you use your phone. It’s not for wasting time while you wait for your sandwich to come up, it’s for when you might otherwise pull out a book, watch a show or listen to a podcast. It’s just as powerful as your home console, because it is your home console. And that also means that, unlike the Vita or even 3DS, you’re not getting ports or handheld-first games — yet games that are better on handheld will be just as much at home.

It isn’t aimed at kids, but it will be great for kids
Count the number of kids shown in the reveal video. Go ahead, I’ll wait. Did you get zero? Good, that’s what I got.

Nintendo knows that its real user base is an aging cohort of gamers attached to the franchises it holds. They don’t need to show a thing like with the Wii U, where Junior can play Mario while Dad watches the game. More likely is a situation where Dad’s playing Mario while Junior is playing Gears of War.

Yet the simplicity and flexibility of the setup (and ease of replacing individual pieces, it bears mentioning) means they definitely were keeping kids, especially smaller ones, in mind when designing it. Bring it in the car so the kids can play Smash on a road trip. Easy cleanup, no cords, no wrist straps or arguing over who gets the Wiimote Plus.

On the other hand…
Now, I said I was hyped, but I didn’t say I don’t have any reservations. The announcement was a little short on details, in that special Nintendo way, which leaves me wondering…
What about a touchscreen?


Nintendo switch


No one touches the screen in the reveal video, and Nintendo has refused to comment. No touchscreen would be a big change for them, since the Switch is meant to encompass both home and handheld gaming, and the last million or so DS iterations had touchscreens. People expect screens they handle to be touchable, and Nintendo wants the device to be easy to relate to.

My guess? It has a touchscreen but they’re not sure whether it’s going to be resistive or capacitive, and the stylus situation is similarly unanswered. Let’s hope, anyway. How else will we get Mario Maker Switch?

What about the specs?

This comes up pretty much any time Nintendo releases anything — and with good reason. Are we going to get 60 frames per second? What resolutions will it drive? What are the modern conveniences developers will appreciate, or the bottlenecks they will curse?

We’ll know more later — my feeling is they are hammering out the nitty-gritty details and seeing what they can get to fit under a $300 price point (the logical price) by March or whenever they ship.

What about the back catalog?
Nintendo knows one of its strengths is its huge collection of games stretching back three decades. They’re not going to abandon that — but they might have to abandon the last five years or so. The Switch is just too different from the Wii or Wii U to port over games, meaning great games from those consoles will stay there. Can we expect Switch-specific remakes of Super Mario 3D World, Pikmin 3, and others?

The Switch will also be an amazing platform for playing your old NES and SNES games — expect the interface from the NES Classic Mini to appear here — but will we have to re-buy everything? Is it going to be a fuss? How much from our old accounts and Nintendo consoles will carry over?

What about the 3DS?

The Switch is a handheld, but will it be Nintendo’s only handheld? In some ways, it makes sense: unify everyone under the same strong brand, hardware and message. In other ways, it’s completely insane: Nintendo’s handhelds are among the best-selling systems of all time and they, too, are part of the company’s DNA.

Does the Switch signal a change to the home/handheld divide that Nintendo has held for so long? Will its smartphone division pick up the pieces? What will mega-franchises like Pokémon and Monster Hunter do? I can’t imagine Nintendo leaving the dedicated handheld market behind, but I also don’t know what they can do to keep it fresh and distinct from the Switch.

A winner is us

Nintendo switch

Even with the uncertainty around some features and the future of the space Nintendo is defining, I think the Switch is a hugely positive move for the company. It focuses on fun and sharing that fun with friends, while avoiding questionable gimmicks like 3D and whatever you’d call the Wii U. Instead, it makes an advance others have yet to try, as did the original Wii and DS, both of which added something unique and intuitive to a games market that needed it.

I can’t wait for it, and not just because of the new Zelda. And the new Mario. And the newish Splatoon. And, God willing, a new Metroid. But because I want to see Nintendo a household name again, and I think the Switch may just be the platform that makes that happen.
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Facebook has a new trick to speed up the News Feed

 Facebook has a new trick to speed up the News Feed

The News Feed comprises the bulk of what you do on Facebook, the company is always looking for ways to make it more relevant to you. The latest tweak tries to make sure you have a proper amount of content even if your connection is really, really slow.

Basically Facebook will now prioritize fully cached stories into your NewsFeed, even if they’re a bit older. It’s putting posts that have all media content- images, video, link previews – already downloaded at the top, while those missing associated media, even if newer, will be ranked lower.

The idea is that associated media can sometimes be the core of a story, or at least change your perceptoin of it. As such, Facebook says that now every time you scroll past a single story Facebook recalculates your News Feed to know to load the most relevant story from both new stories on the server end and unseen ones from your cache.
This vetting process is happening client side (in other words, right on your device) so as to minimize the data you need to send to servers. It also in effect means that your mobile and desktop News Feeds could look quite different.

The change is a followup on an update last year that added limited offline functionality by allowing users to comment on posts even if they had no data connection (the posts would go live once they regained a strong enough signal). However, that move did not assure that people were seeing the most relevant content.

Facebook says its goal was to clean up the experience in emerging markets, but also says the change will benefit anyone who occasionally goes through less than ideal internet speeds.
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Friday, 21 October 2016

Etisalat’s new 4G to drive innovation

Etisalat 4GLET

Technology drives today’s processes and innovation. However, the kind of technology that will drive future development has to go beyond being a life tool to becoming a life enabler. This is what Etisalat promises to do with the launch of its 4G Long Term Evolution (4G LTE).

The Vice President, Marketing, Etisalat Nigeria, Adebisi Idowu, who made the disclosure at the demo of the 4G LTE service in Lagos recently, said the Etisalat 4G LTE service is being made available strategically to customers in the Lagos Mainland areas of Yaba, Surulere and Ikeja as they represent the hub and future of technology and economic development for Nigeria. He said the service will be rolled out in more cities across Nigeria soon.
Speaking at the event, Idowu, said, “We are positioning our 4G LTE service as a lifestyle enabler. That is why Etisalat is the only network that does not require a SIM swap before a customer can enjoy 4G connectivity. We want to see and encourage use of our 4G technology to enable our subscribers be all that they can be. Our subscribers are able to do more with this new level of technology. We will not impose features of 4G on our consumers; we want you to tell us what 4G is doing for you.

For us, the consumer is the innovator. There is an increasing number of people trying to get online, get their work done and impact lives and our goal is to enable such people exploit their potential. Etisalat’s strategy is to enable our subscribers compete globally, so we abide by best practices and bring nothing short of international quality service to our customers across Nigeria.”

A cross section of the customers who had firsthand experience of the new 4G LTE service commended Etisalat for its commitment to innovation, quality service and positive customer experience. They included TV personalities – Zainab Balogun, Gideon Okeke and Ill Rhymz as well as James Ademuyiwa, a social media influencer.
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Spectranet, Netflix partner to power internet TV in Lagos

Global leader in internet television, Netflix has partnered with Nigeria’s broadband service provider, Netflix to deploy one of the first dedicated Netflix servers in Africa.

 Spectranet, Netflix partner to power internet TV in Lagos


L-R: Account Director, Lowe Lintas, Hycent Nwabuisi; Chief Executive Officer Spectranet 4G LTE, David Venn; Head of Marketing, Spectranet 4G LTE, Mike Ogor; at the Launch of Netflix Server in West Africa
Both companies agree that this high capacity server will hold the entire Netflix content library, in Lagos, providing Spectranet’s customers with the best possible video streaming performance hence offering faster delivery in a cost effective way.

MD of Spectranet, Mr David Venn said that “because we focus on providing families with an excellent and affordable broadband service, this partnership with Netflix means that our customers will be able to enjoy the very best TV experience available in Nigeria. We are honoured that Netflix has selected Spectranet for one of its first deployments in Africa and the only one in West Africa.”

Netflix offers a new way of watching TV, giving its members the ability to enjoy TV series and films when, how and where they want with seamless, instant access across TVs, tablets, smartphones, game consoles and computers. Netflix offers a great entertainment experience with many titles available in high-definition with Dolby Digital Plus 5.1 surround sound and some in Ultra HD 4K and HDR.
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Wednesday, 19 October 2016

5 ways to help Nigerian parents utilize modern technology

Jumia Travel recommends 5 ways young Nigerians can help their parents build a bridge between modern technology and their personal interests by showing them how to use these tools to improve their lives. Help Them Enroll in computer schools You are never too old to go to school. Enroll your parents in a computer school or just adult schools that offer classes for computer literacy and information technology. There are a number of these schools in many cities within Nigeria, especially Lagos and Abuja that offer free or low-cost computer classes for older people. Enrolling them in these classes allows them learn with their peers, making it all less awkward and difficult for them as it removes the stress that they may feel when a younger family member attempts to teach them. Again, the added level of socialization is good for them as it also motivates them to learn the new information quickly enough to keep up with their peers. Show Them the Human Elements A majority of Nigerian parents find it hard to adopt or relate with modern technology as they tend to view advancements such as texting or e-mailing as impersonal. This misconception makes them reticent to maximize the modern technology available to them. In order to help them get past this misconception, it is important you draw their attention and make them aware of the human elements of modern technology; that way, they feel a sort of connection and start using modern technology. A great way to get them in touch with the human element is by teaching them about online video chatting, enabling them to see the person they are speaking to. This will boost the positive mental health benefits of socialization, and also help them become more interested in using this type of technology. Go for their area of Interest A good way to get Nigerian parents hooked to modern technology is by engaging their personal interests. Show them how modern technology ties into their favorite activities For instance, if they love to play scrabble or any outdoor games, you can introduce them to the online version, making them understand they can play the game and even interact with other players online from the comfort of their home. Make it all simple Using computers and the internet without much technological exposure can be very tasking and overwhelming, and as such, Nigerian parents will definitely find it very difficult and discouraging operating several modern technology gadgets. A good way to keep them interested is by providing them with tech gadgets that are simple and easy to use. For instance, touchscreen tablets are a great option compared to keypad phones as they are larger and do not require as much navigational know-how. Giving them tech gadgets that are easy to use will help them get used to everything without getting frustrated and overwhelmed, eventually making them more comfortable about exploring modern technology. Educate them on the dangers of Online Scams While teaching them the good aspects of modern technology, enlighten them also on the risks and dangers that may be encountered as well. It is no secret that older adults like our Nigerian parents are much more naïve and as such are more susceptible to become victims of identity theft or an online scam. Giving them tips that can help protect them as they get used to modern technology ensure they do not fall into any trap that will completely dissuade them from ever using modern technology again.

Read more at: http://www.vanguardngr.com/2016/10/5-ways-help-nigerian-parents-utilize-modern-technology/
Technology evolves every day, thus it is important to stay updated. While young Nigerians who were born during the outbreak of modern technology have no problems keeping abreast and coping with the complexities and intricacies of modern technology as well as the internet, their parents, on the other hand, who grew up pre-technology era seem to find it all confusing and intimidating. Basically, internet in the modern age has been considered by both tech giants, who have little to gain from engaging with the ‘grey’ market, as well as by many older people themselves the preserve of the younger generations. With this approach, it is no wonder many people over a certain age group feel reluctant to learn – whether that’s because of apathy or because of fear – and as such, do not maximize modern technology which could actually have a big impact on their level of socialization, knowledge, and even their physical and mental health, making their lives much easier.

Read more at: http://www.vanguardngr.com/2016/10/5-ways-help-nigerian-parents-utilize-modern-technology/
Jumia Travel recommends 5 ways young Nigerians can help their parents build a bridge between modern technology and their personal interests by showing them how to use these tools to improve their lives. Help Them Enroll in computer schools You are never too old to go to school. Enroll your parents in a computer school or just adult schools that offer classes for computer literacy and information technology. There are a number of these schools in many cities within Nigeria, especially Lagos and Abuja that offer free or low-cost computer classes for older people. Enrolling them in these classes allows them learn with their peers, making it all less awkward and difficult for them as it removes the stress that they may feel when a younger family member attempts to teach them. Again, the added level of socialization is good for them as it also motivates them to learn the new information quickly enough to keep up with their peers. Show Them the Human Elements A majority of Nigerian parents find it hard to adopt or relate with modern technology as they tend to view advancements such as texting or e-mailing as impersonal. This misconception makes them reticent to maximize the modern technology available to them. In order to help them get past this misconception, it is important you draw their attention and make them aware of the human elements of modern technology; that way, they feel a sort of connection and start using modern technology. A great way to get them in touch with the human element is by teaching them about online video chatting, enabling them to see the person they are speaking to. This will boost the positive mental health benefits of socialization, and also help them become more interested in using this type of technology. Go for their area of Interest A good way to get Nigerian parents hooked to modern technology is by engaging their personal interests. Show them how modern technology ties into their favorite activities For instance, if they love to play scrabble or any outdoor games, you can introduce them to the online version, making them understand they can play the game and even interact with other players online from the comfort of their home. Make it all simple Using computers and the internet without much technological exposure can be very tasking and overwhelming, and as such, Nigerian parents will definitely find it very difficult and discouraging operating several modern technology gadgets. A good way to keep them interested is by providing them with tech gadgets that are simple and easy to use. For instance, touchscreen tablets are a great option compared to keypad phones as they are larger and do not require as much navigational know-how. Giving them tech gadgets that are easy to use will help them get used to everything without getting frustrated and overwhelmed, eventually making them more comfortable about exploring modern technology. Educate them on the dangers of Online Scams While teaching them the good aspects of modern technology, enlighten them also on the risks and dangers that may be encountered as well. It is no secret that older adults like our Nigerian parents are much more naïve and as such are more susceptible to become victims of identity theft or an online scam. Giving them tips that can help protect them as they get used to modern technology ensure they do not fall into any trap that will completely dissuade them from ever using modern technology again.

Read more at: http://www.vanguardngr.com/2016/10/5-ways-help-nigerian-parents-utilize-modern-technology/
Technology evolves every day, thus it is important to stay updated. While young Nigerians who were born during the outbreak of modern technology have no problems keeping abreast and coping with the complexities and intricacies of modern technology as well as the internet, their parents, on the other hand, who grew up pre-technology era seem to find it all confusing and intimidating. Basically, internet in the modern age has been considered by both tech giants, who have little to gain from engaging with the ‘grey’ market, as well as by many older people themselves the preserve of the younger generations. With this approach, it is no wonder many people over a certain age group feel reluctant to learn – whether that’s because of apathy or because of fear – and as such, do not maximize modern technology which could actually have a big impact on their level of socialization, knowledge, and even their physical and mental health, making their lives much easier.

Read more at: http://www.vanguardngr.com/2016/10/5-ways-help-nigerian-parents-utilize-modern-technology/
Read More »

New MacBooks may finally be inbound, with faster GPUs, USB-C, and Thunderbolt 3


Apple has taken some heat over the last few months for the relative age of some of its hardware, and the company may finally be preparing to respond. The new machines reportedly feature some significant new technologies, but at least one product — the 11-inch MacBook Air — is reportedly going away, its niche filled by the 12-inch, single-port MacBook.
The rumors from Japanese site Mac Otakara suggest a pair of new MacBook Pros at 13-inch and 15-inch, and a new, 13-inch MacBook Air. All of these machines will reportedly be based on USB-C and offer Thunderbolt 3 connectivity — if the rumors are accurate, Apple may be dumping conventional USB altogether, in favor of USB-C for everything. Apple has always had a reputation for getting rid of ports more quickly than other companies, but if the company is ditching standard USB ports across all of its products, it’s going to be extremely annoying for Mac users stuck shuffling dongles (and never mind the fact that if the USB-C ports aren’t themselves spaced properly, some dongles and converters may not fit next to each other). Hanging one dongle off the MacBook Air is annoying; the idea of shuffling multiple dongles on both sides of a laptop sounds even worse.

A cynical person might wonder if Apple has made some of these changes purely to boost the revenue it earns off selling accessories. Apple’s various plugs, dongles, and converters have a reputation for being well-made, but the company still makes a killing on the peripherals it sells. Shipping a few thousand more dongles and components isn’t going to make up for falling iPhone sales in and of itself, no, but it’s not a bad side business.
Other speculation about this new hardware includes a likely CPU generation bump to Skylake (Kaby Lake is possible, but Apple would be fairly early to that market), OLED screens for the function keys and the ability for applications to map new functions to the key row, and a rumored upgrade to Polaris for at least one of the models. Apple doesn’t historically make much effort to push discrete GPUs into its hardware, but a Polaris-based GPU would be a substantial upgrade for the high-end MacBook Pro. Currently, the MBP is using a GPU based on AMD’s GCN 1.0, and while that solution was reasonably powerful when it debuted it’s gotten awfully long in the tooth (not to mention the power consumption department).
If Apple does intend to launch in October, it doesn’t have much time left to do it — and there’s still no word of a Mac Pro refresh, though I’ve argued before that this is scarcely needed, given the relative lack of advancement in Intel processors. That’s not to say there’d be no benefit from newer Macs, but most of the improvement would come from faster GPUs, larger storage pools, or better overall pricing — not raw horsepower. We don’t know yet if Apple is ditching the earplug jack on its upcoming hardware or not — presumably not, since this hasn’t been mentioned. But it wouldn’t surprise us if the company opened up a full court press on removing that particular component. After all, now it has a pair of $160 wireless earrings to sell you


Read More »

Saturday, 8 October 2016

Introducing the Events from Facebook App

Every day, more than 100 million people use Facebook events to discover things they can do with their friends — from festivals and 5Ks to neighborhood fairs and nightlife. With hundreds of millions of events shared on Facebook every year, the fear of missing out is becoming a thing of the past.

Today we’re announcing Events from Facebook , a new app we designed for event seekers who are passionate about keeping up with nearby events and finding things to do with their friends. Whether you’re looking for something to attend this weekend or just wondering what’s happening in your area, Events will help get you there.

Here’s how it works:

When you open Events, you can quickly catch up on new events your friends are interested in, recently-announced events by the Pages you like, and updates from events you’re already connected to.

Facebook Event

If you’re looking for something to do this weekend or even right now, you can easily browse event recommendations based on time, location and your interests. Explore events happening where you are or in places you like to go using the interactive map. You can also search for events in any city if you’re planning ahead for a trip.

introduction facebook event

Finally, you can keep track of all of your upcoming events in the calendar, which lets you see which days you’re already attending an event and when you’re free. You can even choose calendars you want to add from your phone and view them alongside your Facebook events, so it’s easier to make plans.

facebook

The actions you take on events in the app will also be visible and available on Facebook. This way, your friends can see what you’re interested in and what events you’ve shared with them, even if they don’t have the app.

Events is available in the App Store for iPhone users in the US today, and is coming soon to Android.

Read More »

Friday, 7 October 2016

Glo rolls out first nationwide 4G LTE network in Nigeria

Nigeria’s telecommunication giant, Globacom has instituted the country’s first world-class nationwide mobile 4G Long Term Evolution (LTE) network. The development is consequent upon its successful multi-dimensional test-run of the advanced network.


Glo 4G LTE


Telecom subscribers in key cities in Lagos, Port Harcourt in Rivers State, Abuja in the Federal Capital City, Jos in Plateau State, Warri in Delta State, Eket in Akwa Ibom State, Benin City in Edo State, Yola in Adamawa State and Zaria in Kaduna State are privileged to enjoy instant connection to Glo 4G LTE network, while roll-out to other major cities of the country will be effected in quick succession in the coming days.

Globacom said its 4G LTE is the country’s first nationwide network implementation, and offers instant efficient broadband internet to millions of Nigerians at speeds multiple times faster than the 3G network, thereby enabling customers to download ultra high definition videos within seconds.

This is a major milestone which will enable the data grandmasters, Globacom, to give its subscribers data intensive applications. The development, said industry watchers, is great news to individuals who consume huge volumes of data, as well as government and corporate organisations like banks, oil and gas companies, academic institutions and health institutions, which depend extensively on seamless data transfer for their operations.
Head, Corporate Sales, Globacom, Kamaldeen Shonibare said at the launch in Lagos that “We are pleased to once again play a leading role in empowering Nigerians with world class data services, which will help to close the digital divide. In the last one and a half years, the people of this great country have spoken repeatedly by making Globacom the largest data network in new subscriptions. The best we can do for our people who believe in us and made us their number one data network is to give them the best technology. What we are offering is the new speed of life”

Glo 4G LTE

Globacom’s senior officials, Fred Edevbiri of the Legal Department, Ayo-Fasan Temitope, Brand Specialist, Kamaldeen Shonibare, Head, Corporate Sales, and Sanjib Roy, Regional Director, Technical, at the launch of Glo 4G LTE nationwide network in Lagos on Tuesday, October 4, 2016.

The launch of 4G/LTE services by Globacom promises a basket of hard-to-beat 4G data bundle offers to all categories of subscribers for access to the revolutionary products and services. Benefits accruing to subscribers on the strength of the innovation include free access to thousands of music, videos and movies on demand. For instance, for only N500, subscribers will get a whopping 1.6GB of data, while N1000 will give them 3.2GB data. Other exciting offers include 7.5GB for N2000, 10GB for N2,500, 18GB for N4000 and 24GB for N5000. The very cost effective data plans range from N50 to N18,000.

Globacom also disclosed that it was offering a brand new 4G LTE router which provides access to Ultra High Speed Internet and landline, with free SIM, 60Gb of shareable data valid for a month. It will also give access to free world-class contents for a set up cost of N31,000. Subscribers who prefer MiFi, can enjoy the brand’s bundling of its 4G MiFi with free SIM, 60Gb of shareable data valid for one month and free world-class content at a set up fee of N25,000.

Shonibare disclosed further that the Glo 4G LTE services would make life more exciting, comfortable and enjoyable for Nigerians as the advanced technology would touch all aspects of life from education to agriculture and medical care.
“Our subscribers today already enjoy downloading music, video and movie contents while also streaming contents on their phones and other devices. But the new Glo 4G LTE network offers subscribers a significantly improved experience. The video and voice quality in video calls on different applications like Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, Viber etc is a lot clearer while the picture quality is crisper, and the transmission is faster,”
he declared.

According to him, the technology will give most of the over 150 million telecom subscribers in Nigeria access to the internet at a much faster speed, while they can also enjoy ultra high definition video without buffering as they utilise other high intensive data applications seamlessly.

Shonibare added that Globacom was the digital network for both the present and future generations. “We’re the next generation network, the grandmasters of data. That is why we have taken the lead in providing 4G LTE nationwide with mobility for Nigerians. We want them to experience the power of real time mobile broadband technology at the most affordable rates,” he enthused.

Subscribers who wish to join the most advanced network are encouraged to buy and register a 4G LTE Subscriber Identity Module (SIM) or swap his or her existing SIM for a 4G SIM, get a 4G phone and dial *777# to buy a data plan. He urged subscribers to visit the nearest Gloworld shop to connect to the Glo 4G LTE and enjoy the boundless opportunities offered by the advanced and superior technology.
Read More »

MTN Launches 4G LTE Services for Faster & High Speed Browsing Experience

MTN 4G LTE


Nigeria’s quest to achieve the 30 percent national Broadband penetration by 2018 has received a major boost with the launch of
MTN’s 4G LTE service.

With the launch of the service, MTN’s subscribers can now enjoy optimized wireless 4G broadband and high-speed browsing experience which is the fastest and most futuristic mobile internet access available in Nigeria today. According to MTN’s Chief Marketing Officer, Rahul De, the deployment of 4G LTE will not only enhance MTN subscribers’ browsing experience but would also key-in to the national objective of attaining 30 percent Broadband penetration by 2018.

“We are excited to officially announce the roll-out of MTN 4G LTE services to our esteemed subscribers. The service supports most LTE devices, and leveraging on our network promises to be the widest LTE coverage in Nigeria. With the acquisition of the 2.6GHZ spectrum earlier this year, our objective was clear: to build capacity to accommodate 4G LTE into our services because it is the fastest wireless internet connection available today. In fulfilling that objective, we have embarked on aggressive optimization of our sites to beef up our capacity to take on the 4G LTE challenge. Presently, the service is available in Abuja, Lagos and Port Harcourt, with plans to roll-out to other parts of the country very soon,” he said.

Speaking further, Rahul called on subscribers to visit the nearest MTN customer centre in the three cities to upgrade their SIM cards to U-SIMs to enable them enjoy the 4G service. He also added that switching to MTN 4G LTE will not attract additional tariffs for subscribers.

MTN’s 4G LTE Broadband service also comes with MI-FI device that can be purchased at the nearest MTN friendship centre and allows for multiple users either at home or office.
Read More »

Thursday, 6 October 2016

Google Assistant isn’t coming to Android 7.1 – unless you own a Pixel

Google update

If Google’s recent hardware launch event got you excited about its new Assistant that it showed off on Assistant , we have some bad news: It’ll be a while before you can try it – unless you buy a Pixel.

A changelog for Android 7.1 Nougat
obtained by Android Police detailed new features coming to the OS, along with a bunch that will only be available on the Pixel. It turns out that Assistant will be exclusive to the phone for the time being; Google has confirmed that to TechCrunch.

Google Assistant

The AI-powered helper, which builds on Google Now’s search and contextual information surfacing capabilities, can carry on conversations with you to do things like control your Google Cast-enabled gadgets and IoT devices. It will soon also carry out complex tasks through two-way conversations, like hailing you an Uber to travel to a specific destination.

You also won’t get 24/7 tech support over phone and chat, unlimited original quality cloud storage for your photos and videos or the new Pixel Camera and Launcher apps. While those exclusives certainly make a strong case for the Pixel phone, it’s a bummer that even the few handsets that will be upgraded to the latest version of Android won’t see these features for a good while.

It’s worth noting, though, that Google does have plans to make Assistant more widely available eventually. It told TechCrunch , “Our goal is to make the Google Assistant widely available to users, and we’ll continue to launch new surfaces over the course of the next year.”
That being said, Android 7.1 will bring a bunch of useful additions to other handsets, such as the Night Light blue light filter, Daydream VR mode and support for opening the notification bar by swiping on the fingerprint sensor.

Google will release the developer preview of Android 7.1 later this month; it hasn’t yet said when it will become available to phones other than the Pixel.
Read More »

Google Assistant is getting smart as hell

Google assistant

At its #madebygoogle event today, the company’s engineering lead for Google Assistant, Scott Huffman, explained how the AI-powered system would get several new features and capabilities in the days to come – and it all sounds pretty exciting.

For starters, Huffman noted that, beyond featuring in Allo and Home , Assistant will be an open platform that developers can build functionality for, and also integrate the service into their own products. It’ll allow people to do things like find information about local businesses, search YouTube for videos and surface content through deep links into installed apps.

Google Assistant


To that end, Assistant will support two kinds of actions: Direct actions, which allow it to accommodate simple requests like ‘turn off the lights’, and Conversation actions, which require a bit of back-and-forth between the user and the system (such as booking an Uber to go to a specific destination).

The possibilities for developers to build actions for their own services into Assistant are seemingly endless: Huffman said that the platform will allow for complex activities like ordering groceries and playing games through text, voice and hybrid interactions.

In addition, natural language interactions built by developers using api.ai (which Google acquired last month) can be converted into actions for Assistant. The goal is to have these working everywhere you find a device running Google services, and to reduce the need to have specific apps installed to make those actions happen.
The company will release more information about Assistant for developers in December, and it will also unveil an Embedded Assistant SDK next year to make it easy for hardware makers to integrate the service into their products.

With that, Google is set to dominate the home assistant space. Amazon will certainly offer strong competition in the form of its Alexa assistant and allied products like Echo , but the search giant clearly has an advantage over the ecommerce firm as it has a wider range of gadgets and services that can work with Assistant.
Read More »

Wednesday, 5 October 2016

FACEBOOK INTRODUCES MARKET PLACE FOR BUYING AND SELLING

Fb market


Facebook is where people connect, and in recent years more people have been using Facebook to connect in another way: buying and selling with each other. This activity started in Facebook Groups and has grown substantially. More than 450 million people visit buy and sell groups each month — from families in a local neighborhood to collectors around the world.

To help people make more of these connections, today we’re introducing Marketplace, a convenient destination to discover, buy and sell items with people in your community. Marketplace makes it easy to find new things you’ll love, and find a new home for the things you’re ready to part with. We’ll continue to build new options and features to make this the best experience for people.
To visit Marketplace, just tap on the shop icon at the bottom of the Facebook app and start exploring.

Facebook

Discover Items for Sale Near You


Marketplace opens with photos of items that people near you have listed for sale. To find something specific, search at the top and filter your results by location, category or price. You can also browse what’s available in a variety of categories such as Household, Electronics and Apparel. Use the built-in location tool to adjust the region you’re looking in, or switch to a different city altogether.

When you find something interesting, tap on the image to see more details from the seller, including a product description, the name and profile photo of the seller, and their general location. You can also save the item to find it later.


market


Decided that you want it? Send the seller a direct message from Marketplace to tell them you’re interested and make an offer. From that point on, you and the seller can work out the details in any way you choose. Facebook does not facilitate the payment or delivery of items in Marketplace.

Fb market


Post Items for Sale in Just a Few Steps


Selling an item in Marketplace is just as easy as browsing for one. Simply:

1. Take a photo of your item, or add it from your camera roll
2. Enter a product name, description and price
3. Confirm your location and select a category
4. Post



Fb market

Now anyone looking in your area can find your item and message you if they want to buy it. You can also choose to post to Marketplace and a specific buy and sell group at the same time.
To keep track of all of your current and past transactions in Marketplace, visit the Your Items section. There, you can view your saved items, products you’ve posted for sale, and all your messages with people.

Now in Four Countries, With More to Come

Over the next few days, Marketplace will be rolling out to everyone over 18 years old in the US, UK, Australia, and New Zealand on the Facebook app for iPhone and Android. We will continue expanding to additional countries and make Marketplace available on the desktop version of Facebook in the coming months.
Read More »

Everything Google announced at today’s Pixel hardware event

Everything Google announced at today’s Pixel hardware event

Kicking off the show at its hardware launch, Google CEO Sundar Pichai touted the shift from mobile to artificial intelligence that allowed for two-way conversation and natural dialogue. He described Google’s desire to build an ‘individual Google’ for each user before detailing some interesting AI and machine learning projects, including image recognition, language translation, and text-to-speech.

Each of these improves Google’s already impressive Assistant and furthers the goal to create individualized search experiences for each user.

Pixel and Pixel XL



Google pixel and pixel XL

Senior Vice President Rick Osterloh took to the stage following Pichai to announce to new mobile devices carrying the Pixel name. He touted the sleek design and powerful functionality before throwing a not-so-subtle jab at Apple when declaring ‘there’s no unsightly camera bump.’

The successors to Google’s Nexus 5X and 6P are both getting rebranded with a new moniker: Pixel. Both phones closely follow rumors ahead of the event touting a Snapdragon 821 quad-core 2.15GHz processor, 4GB of RAM and storage options starting at 32GB or 128GB.

The 5-inch Pixel is powered by a 2,770mAh battery, while the larger 5.5-inch XL model features a 3,450mAh battery.
VP of Product Brian Rakowski detailed some of the new features baked into Google Assistant, all of which we’ve seen before. Finding photos from a specific month, detailing events at a local venue and then texting a friend to make plans. He then made a reservation for dinner with Open Table. It worked well, but it’s nothing we haven’t seen before.

Rakowski then turned his attention to the camera on the pixel devices. According to DxOMark it’s the best camera ever made, with an 89 rating — superior even to Apple’s highly touted iPhone 7 Plus. Both Pixel devices feature a 12-megapixel shooter in the rear and with an f/2.0 aperture and a large 1.55 micron pixel sensor.

To entice you to shoot more, Google is offering free unlimited storage on Google Photos, in original quality. The front-facing shooter gets an upgrade as well, with an 8-megapixel camera.

Both come out of the box with Android Nougat 7.1 and are available in ‘quite’ black, ‘really’ blue, or ‘very’ silver.
The smaller Pixel starts at $649 or $27 a month and pre-orders start today in the US, or October 13 in India.





Daydream ‘View’


Daydream view

We got our first glimpse of Daydream at Google’s developer conference I/O, back in May, although the headset wasn’t really available. Today, we got our first glimpse of the Daydream ‘View,’ Google’s ‘soft and cozy’ fabric-lined VR viewer that’s ’30 percent lighter’ than typical headsets and available in three colors: snow, slate, and crimson.

Also nice: It fits over eyeglasses.

Unlike Cardboard, the new headset comes paired with a handheld controller that should alleviate the problem of attempting to navigate the VR world through the use of wonky smartphone or head tracking controls. The simplistic remote has full-on motion tracking that’s precise enough for handwriting, and features a two-button control system. It also slides neatly into the headset when you’re done.

Pixel is the first Daydream-ready phone, but it won’t be the only one. Google is partnering with the likes of Samsung, HTC, ZTE, Huawei, Xiaomi, Alcatel, Asus and LG to provide a stellar mobile VR experience no matter which device you choose.

Aside from some amazing games, over 50 experiential partners are coming on board. Google will have its own products — Photos, Play Movies, YouTube, and Street View — as well as content from partners like Netflix, HBO, The New York Times and Hulu.
Daydream view and the controller are coming in November for just $79.





Chromecast Ultra

Chromecast Ultra

Google’s new Chromecast Ultra is 4K-capable, and delivers high dynamic range (HDR) and Dolby Vision output.

The hockey-puck-shaped device does away with the Chrome branding and adds an ethernet port integrated into the adapter for additional connectivity options. Google says it’s 1.8x faster than previous versions as well as offering improved WiFi performance.

The 4K-capable Chromecast Ultra doubles the price of the existing Chromecast 2, at $79. You can get yours in November.






Google Home


Google home


Back in May, Google gave us our first look of its Amazon Echo-like smart hub ‘Home.’ Like the Echo, Home is essentially a small speaker that that’s activated with a simple command.
It’s powered by Google’s much improved Assistant that can handle all the basics like answering simple queries, controlling music or adjusting connected devices. Aside from that, it supports a plethora of Google-specific options, such as Cast for video viewing, Chromecast Audio, and any other cast-enabled device in your home.

Google Home is also contextually-aware. Rather than telling the device you want listen to music on Spotify, if it’s your most-chosen streaming service, Google Home learns where you typically listen.

The hub allows for connection across a variety of connected devices from Nest, Samsung Smart Things, Phillips and IFTTT. More device partnerships are planned.
Voice control is a central idea of Google Home, but you can also operate the device with a smartphone or tablet. Netflix is on board to support ‘voice casting’ and will soon allow you to completely control playback with nothing more than your voice.

Adding multiple Google Home devices in the house allows for whole-house audio, or the ability to pick and choose certain rooms. With a $35 Chromecast, you’ll also be able to extend the voice control to higher end speakers and home entertainment systems.

Google Home comes in several colors: mango marine, violet, carbon, snow, and copper.

You can get yours for $129 and it’s available for pre-order today. It’ll ship November 4.





Google Wifi

Google wifi

The successor to yet another Google hardware product (OnHub), ‘Wifi’ is about the size of an Amazon Echo Dot, and packed with smart functionality that allows users to extend its range over an entire house.

As the first Google router to make use of mesh networking, Wifi allows users to connect multiple access points as a single, large network. For the user, this means an end to Wi-Fi dead zones throughout the house as well as a strong and consistent signal anywhere with in it.

You can snag a single access point at $129, or a three pack for $299. They’ll be available in November.
Read More »

Google’s First Real Threat to Apple’s iPhone

Google is embarking on a wholesale revamp of its mobile phone strategy, debuting a pair of slick and powerful handsets that for the first time will go head-to-head with Apple Inc.’s iconic iPhone.

Alphabet Inc.’s Google on Tuesday unveiled the Pixel and larger Pixel XL, the first phones that were conceptualized, designed, engineered and tested in-house. The Pixel handsets feature a Siri-like virtual assistant, flashy camera features and are the first to boast Android’s new Nougat 7.1 operating system. Their debut signals Google’s push into the $400 billion smartphone hardware business and shows that the company is willing to risk alienating partners like Samsung Electronics Co. and LG Electronics Inc. that sell Android-based phones.


Google pixel

“Google is now the seller of record of this phone,” said Rick Osterloh, chief of the company’s new hardware division. He notes that the company is now managing inventory, building relationships with carriers, sourcing components, making supply chain deals and managing distribution. Google is even making accessories, including cases and cables.

Until now, Google had satisfied itself with dipping a toe into the smartphone hardware business with the six-year-old Nexus program, a co-branding effort that outsourced the vast majority of development to other smartphone makers. While well regarded, Nexus handsets were mostly a way for Google to experiment. But along the way, executives began to see the benefit of the Apple approach: a unified portfolio of consumer electronics products that show off its services better than partners can. A Home speaker device, a
virtual reality headset, a Wi-Fi router system and an updated video streaming stick were also unveiled on Tuesday at an event in San Francisco.

Getting into the hardware business is a big, risky financial and operational commitment. But Google needed its own handset to ensure distribution for its web services, and more complex offerings like virtual and augmented reality. So in the summer of 2015, Chief Executive Officer Sundar Pichai approved the Pixel project; development began last fall. “The difference with this device is that we started from the beginning,” says Dave Burke, who runs Android engineering. By contrast, Google’s contributions to Nexus phones typically didn’t happen until they were 90 percent done.

Custom Silicon

When Osterloh, 44, came on board in mid-April, he brought Google’s hardware groups into one division, shuttering projects he didn’t see contributing to Google’s future. Now the engineers and designers from Google Glass, Chromecast and Pixel all work together. Keeping them separate, he says, made it “hard to drive toward the goal of portfolio strategy and focus.” Reflecting long-held ambitions to build an Apple-style supply chain, the hardware division now has a supply-management team, drawing on the expertise of the Nest smart-home unit acquired by Google nearly three years ago.

Google declined to say how much it’s spending on the effort. However, Jason Bremner, a former Qualcomm Inc. executive who works on Google’s hardware products, put it in context. "Part of being the seller of record means that inventory, that supply chain risk -- you know, hundreds of millions of dollars on the line on any given day -- that’s on Google now," he said.

Google pixel

Now that Google is designing phones itself, the company can at long last put together a product roadmap going out several years. For example, last month Burke was able to see a photo taken by a Google handset that won’t debut until next fall. That “would have never happened with Nexus,” he says. Going forward, more and more of the phones’ guts will be developed in-house. Burke says the company will eventually be able to ship its own custom “silicon,” a buzzword for customized processors that make devices work better.

It’s a very different setup from Osterloh’s previous Google gig, when he ran the Motorola division. “While we were part of Google, we were very arm’s-length,” he says. Now his team gets early access to the company’s advances in machine learning and innovations from the Assistant group. The Pixel phones will also be the first to run the next version of Android, Nougat 7.1, complete with Google tie-ins like pro camera effects, instant chat support, and a service that automatically frees up phone storage via the cloud.
Still, Google has deliberately built a firewall between the hardware and Android divisions so other phone makers’ proprietary technology doesn’t leak. Hiroshi Lockheimer, who runs the Android unit and is a longtime Osterloh pal, says his group will treat the hardware team like any customer. “Samsung is a very important partner, as is LG, Huawei and so on,” he says. “Rick is an important partner. Samsung tells us confidential information about their product line, their plans. We won’t tell LG that, and vice versa. That continues. Everyone is treated the same, including Rick’s team.”

Osterloh Show

When Osterloh demonstrated the Pixel phones at Google’s Mountain View, California, headquarters recently, it was immediately clear the craftsmanship is light years ahead of the flimsy $1,500 Google Glass headsets and plastic Chromecast media players of yore. With their metal frames and precisely honed bezels and edges, the Pixels (which come in silver, black and limited-edition blue) have more in common with the elegant gear from Nest.

Google pixel

The phones feature cameras that can snap photos quicker than the blink of an eye, app speeds once reserved for laptops and battery life that bests last year’s non-Google made Nexus phones. Osterloh proudly showed how one can twist the phone mid-air to activate the selfie-camera. “That’s pretty cool,” he says. Also notable is a fingerprint scanner that doubles as a trackpad (other Android phone makers will get to enable this, too) and software-enhanced gyroscopes that reduce shakiness in recorded video, stabilization that Osterloh calls “out of this world good.”
The new phones are made up of off-the-shelf components from several suppliers, including a Snapdragon processor, and are assembled in Taiwan by HTC. But there is still custom work inside this first version, including wireless modem technology that has evolved from earlier experiments with Nexus. The Pixel also has chipsets optimized by Google that makes photo-taking and touchscreen response times much faster than any Android device yet built, Burke says. The Google Assistant was developed separately from Android and offers suggestions based on previous queries. For example, it can list San Francisco landmarks after being asked earlier about the local weather.
While Google has contracted HTC to assemble the Pixel phones, Osterloh says the approach is no different than Apple’s partnership with iPhone builder Foxconn. Flip the Pixel over and you’ll see “Made by Google,” another tip of the hat to Apple, which has long made much of the fact that its phones are “Designed by Apple in California.” Osterloh says Google will never say the Pixel is co-engineered with anyone else. He proudly proclaims, “It’s ours.”
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Monday, 3 October 2016

Android 7.1 Launcher Features On Any Android Phone

android 7.1 version.

Android 7.1 is expected to come with some new features on the launcher , including Launcher Shortcuts and a sliding All Apps drawer as soon as next week. If you don’t want to wait until then, or you don’t have a device that will get a quick update to the latest version of Android, you can check them out now through a third-party app called Action Launcher . Chris Lacy, the developer of Action Launcher, was inspired by Android Police’s breakdown of the Launcher update and decided to integrate the features the website previewed into his own app.

In addition to a new Google search and date widget, Action Launcher 3 has "Launcher Shortcuts", which function similarly to the 3D touch shortcuts in iOS. It also has the circular icon design Google is rumored to introduce with it's new Pixel phones.

android 4.1 version

You’ll definitely be learning more about the update, as well as the rumored Pixel phones
next week at Google’s event. Exciting! Action Launcher's free in the Play Store and all its features can be unlocked for $4.99 in-app purchase or cracked with Lucky Patcher.

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