Mobile Tech

Android Security Vulnerabilities and Exploits

One of the most exciting things to happen to a new Android device is to see it get rooted, liberated from manufacturer meddling, and...

Connecting Android Apps to REST Interfaces

The most interesting apps provide access to online services with a beautiful native user interface. But creating an Android app to access your API...

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Conference Presentations

4K Displays: Do You Need One on Your Next Smartphone?

4K aka Ultra High Definition is the new buzzword now, just like Full High Definition was at one time - and for good reason....

4 Fun Things to Do in Your Spare Time with an Arduino Starter Kit

In case you’re unaware, the Arduino is a microcontroller similar to the Raspberry Pi, which makes it easy for anyone to create custom technological...
nexus-6

Only the Best User Experience: Tips on Designing Your Mobile App

Thousands of apps are added to the app stores every week. The market is only getting more competitive because developers from all around the...

Tech News

4 Fun Things to Do in Your Spare Time with an Arduino Starter Kit

In case you’re unaware, the Arduino is a microcontroller similar to the Raspberry Pi, which makes it easy for anyone to create custom technological...
nexus-6

Only the Best User Experience: Tips on Designing Your Mobile App

Thousands of apps are added to the app stores every week. The market is only getting more competitive because developers from all around the...

Are New Developers Starting to Sour on Android?

XDA developers’ conferences have changed quite a lot over the last few years. There are a number of reasons for this, not least of...
nexus-6

Top 5 Best Tweaks You Do Without Rooting Your Android Device

Mobile phones have to be exploited to the maximum possible so that you can make the best use of it. That the reason why...

MOst popular

4K Displays: Do You Need One on Your Next Smartphone?

4K aka Ultra High Definition is the new buzzword now, just like Full High Definition was at one time - and for good reason. By packing in four times as many pixels as an FHD display, 4K displays provide an unprecedented amount of details,...

4 Fun Things to Do in Your Spare Time with an Arduino Starter Kit

In case you’re unaware, the Arduino is a microcontroller similar to the Raspberry Pi, which makes it easy for anyone to create custom technological devices that can automate just about anything. An Arduino starter kit contains all the components you need to build basic...

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4K Displays: Do You Need One on Your Next Smartphone?

4K aka Ultra High Definition is the new buzzword now, just like Full High Definition was at one time – and for good reason. By packing in four times as many pixels as an FHD display, 4K displays provide an unprecedented amount of details, as long as the content is also true 4K, of course. UHD panels have almost become a norm for TV sets these days, although true 4K content isn’t yet that widely available, even in the US. Now, the question is, does it make sense for manufacturers to opt for 4K displays for upcoming flagship smartphones like Sony did? Let’s find out.

Smartphones are Too Small to See UHD Details

Once a smartphone reaches the 500 ppi mark, a huge majority of the population cannot see the difference after that, so the 807 ppi sported by the Sony Xperia XZ Premium’s UHD HDR display is definitely in the realm of overkill. The 4K resolution will make more sense in the tablet segment, but as far as smartphones are concerned, it is probably going to be very hard, if not impossible for people to distinguish between QHD and UHD on a smartphone screen, even if the content playing on both displays is 4K.

It Strains the Battery

Most flagship smartphones have bad to decent battery life, and that’s with 1080p and 1440p displays. If those same phones were to sport 4K panels, one can only imagine what it would do to the overall screen-time of the smartphones! The Xperia XZ Premium had to be engineered in a way that the smartphone only displayed 4K when there was appropriate content, but otherwise functioned as a 1080p screen, which feels like a half measure at best; it still has a below average battery life.

4K Smartphone Displays are Awesome for VR

The only place where 4K is a better choice when it comes to smartphones is when they are being used to play VR content. QHD is decent, but not enough for VR, and 1080p just looks pixelated up close in a VR environment. However, it should be kept in mind that using a VR headset with a smartphone that has a 4K display will drain your phone’s battery even faster.

Prices are Too High

While the price of 4K television sets has come down quite a bit, the price of smartphones sporting 4K displays has definitely not. Aside from the bragging rights, the likes of the Xperia XZ Premium are not the most intelligent buy at the moment, so it would be advisable to hold off on buying that 4K smartphone until things get a bit more standardized and affordable. As you can see, 4K displays are more suited for large screen TV sets than tiny smartphone screens for the reasons we just discussed (excepting VR, of course). So, if you want to enjoy true 4K, we suggest that you download 4K videos for that giant screen TV that you have sitting in the drawing room. Just in case you don’t have a 4K TV yet, you should definitely get one because that’s where the scenario changes. You get to actually see all those extra details as you stare at that Ultra HD aquarium screensaver on your 65-inch UHD TV, which you just would not be able to on a small smartphone screen, irrespective of its resolution.

4 Fun Things to Do in Your Spare Time with an Arduino Starter Kit

In case you’re unaware, the Arduino is a microcontroller similar to the Raspberry Pi, which makes it easy for anyone to create custom technological devices that can automate just about anything. An Arduino starter kit contains all the components you need to build basic creations, along with instructional information to help you get started. If you recently picked up one of these kits or you’re thinking about doing so, check out the following 4 things you can do with your starter kit on day one.

1.      Complete an Arduino Workshop and/or Read the Included Kit Manual

First, most of the best Arduino starter kits will include a manual that contains everything you’ll need to know going forward. For example, the official Arduino starter kit comes with a 170-page booklet that provides 15 beginner-friendly projects you can use to learn the ropes before moving on to more complicated inventions. Regardless of which kit you wind up choosing, it would be wise to read the included documentation first in order to become acquainted with how everything works before you start building your first device. You may also want to check out the workshops from John Boxall to continue your education.

2.      Build a GPS Receiver

Did you know you can use the Arduino to build a handy little GPS receiver that will display the latitude and longitude coordinates of the device’s location? This is one of the easiest yet most useful projects you can start with, but keep in mind you’ll need a GPS shield kit and a 9-volt battery to get the job done. Your starter kit should come with one or more LCD displays that you can attach in order to view the coordinates.

3.      Build a Text or Twitter-Integrated Arduino App

Project #61 in John Boxall’s Arduino Workshop guide shows you how to build a basic tweeter with an Arduino starter kit. This simple and straightforward app will post a defined message to your Twitter account. Project #64 shows you how to create a texting application that does the same thing except instead of tweeting it sends the message via text to a specified phone number. On the surface these don’t seem to be highly interesting projects, but when you consider you can use sensors to automate informational texts or tweets remotely, things get a little more interesting. For example, you could use your starter kit’s temperature sensor to instruct the app to Tweet your home temperature at set time intervals or when the temperature goes above or below a specified range.

4.      Create a Custom Miniature Robot

Now that you’ve created devices that can capture and transmit data within your GPS receiver and text/Twitter-integrated app, it’s time to graduate to the next level with a fully functioning miniature robot. Check out this neat guide from Popular Mechanics to learn how to build a small tank robot with your Arduino starter kit and some cheap hardware.

Making Easy Entry into the World of Programming and Robotics

Before the recent advent of simplified microcontrollers like the Arduino and Raspberry Pi, building your own device of this nature would be unreasonably challenging for someone with no experience in programming and robotics. However, with the starter kits available today, any reasonably intelligent individual can venture into coding and electronic automation on a hobbyist level without any lengthy education or training required.

Only the Best User Experience: Tips on Designing Your Mobile App

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Thousands of apps are added to the app stores every week. The market is only getting more competitive because developers from all around the world are also working on their own solutions to deliver. Google’s own Play Store now has more than 3.5 million apps. A mediocre app isn’t going survive such a competitive market. Aside from good marketing and customer support, the success of your next mobile app relies on the user experience you deliver. Users are also more sensitive to UX disruptions and changes to app flow. To avoid scaring your users away with bad UX, here are the top mobile app design tips and tricks to keep in mind.

Limit Your Features

It is too easy to start with a simple idea for an app and end up with an app that does everything. As you work on the app, new ideas pop up and the tendency is to add those new ideas to the app immediately. Unfortunately, this is the worst approach to take when developing an app, especially if you want to deliver good UX. There are two major issues that you will come across with this approach. First, your development time will be much longer than expected. Adding more features also add clutter to the user interface (UI), which further decreases the level of user experience you can deliver. Stick to features that users will find extremely useful and don’t hesitate to cut those that don’t really add value to the app. If you are developing an app for better personal finance management, for instance, adding support for OCR receipt scanning is a big plus, whereas including a way to generate 20 different reports isn’t.

Consider the Emotional Side

The most engaged users are those who are happy with the thing they’re interacting with. “Happy” is the keyword here. To deliver a stunning user experience, you have to consider the emotion of your users from the start. You want the app to make them happy whenever they use it. This means paying attention to elements like colors and graphics to create that sense of happiness. It also means giving emphasis to touchpoints where users feel the happiest and giving those touchpoints special treatment in terms of UX. Playing to the users’ emotions also involves rewards. You can identify milestones that users will achieve along the way and decide how to best reward them for their achievements.

Rely on Data

Designing an app for a user group always begins with taking the time and the necessary steps to understand that group. If you happen to be a member of the target user, then you have a lot of insights, to begin with. If you are not the target user, you need to put more effort into doing research. In both circumstances, data and a good understanding of the user are critically important. Guesswork has no place in UX design and mobile app development. To deliver good user experience and develop a successful app, you have to be willing to go the extra mile and understand your target users as best as you can.

Are New Developers Starting to Sour on Android?

XDA developers’ conferences have changed quite a lot over the last few years. There are a number of reasons for this, not least of all that the tech field in general is so fast moving that few events stay the same for very long. While some kind of change is always expected, few people could have predicted that so many developers would start focusing on non-android related development.

Meet Sarah

Sarah has been writing software for a decade now, something made all the more impressive given that she just turned 22. Sarah was 9 when Steve Jobs unveiled the first iPhone in 2007, an occasion which famously caused a near meltdown for rival Google with their own new OS. “As a kid, iPhone was great!” Sarah explains. “And knowing, or at least thinking that most of the apps on the store had been made by other people, like not corporations, but people…that was really special.” Sarah’s words echo many of the other XDA developers we spoke to who were the same age as Sarah. Speak to developers who are just a few years older though, and they will be able to remember a time when technology was often impenetrable, the idea that you might need a user manual to use a device seems very outdated now.

Closed Garden

“Modern design is all about intuition. We’re used to it. We’ve started to see a convergence of ideas in design. This convergence is almost like a language, it means that when we pick up a new device, we understand a lot of its functions and features intuitively.” The iPhone, regardless of whether you like it or not, is unarguably the easiest mobile OS to get to grips with. It is designed with simplicity and elegance in mind. But that comes at a cost. Apple’s operating system is very much a closed garden. Only apps approved by Apple can be released through it’s app store. Officially, there is no way to install apps other than through the app store, effectively giving Apple total control. This is great if you aren’t overly familiar with technology yourself. After all, you can’t download a malicious app if malicious apps are prevented from ever entering the App store. If you are a developer, however, this places limits on what you can do.

Android Alternatives

But now developers are increasingly turning away from Android, Despite the open nature of Google’s operating system, many young software developers are looking at opportunities beyond the obvious. “Automation is the big up and coming technology”, explains Jason, a software engineer from Florida. “It used to be that programming for appliances was a straightforward and boring job. But now that those devices are getting smarter, the work is becoming more varied.” Driverless cars are currently one of the most prominent symbols of this shift. XDA developers’ conferences used to feature Android prominently, if they weren’t centered around it. But now it’s just as likely that you’ll find people working on the kind of technology needed to make a self-propelling lawnmower – like these https://verellenhc.com/outdoors/lawn-mower/best-self-propelled – into fully autonomous ones. While this might sound like bad news for Android, it is an encouraging sign of our collective future. We all benefit from innovations in the tech field, whatever platform they come from.

Top 5 Best Tweaks You Do Without Rooting Your Android Device

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Mobile phones have to be exploited to the maximum possible so that you can make the best use of it. That the reason why the concept of rooting came into the picture. There is something called the concept of rooting your device. In this process, you can cross the limitations of owning a device, get to its root and customise it as per your wishes. Even today some of the apps that are available on the play store are designed only for rooted devices. However, that is a bigger risk that you are taking and it is better that you do not do it, and that is what we would recommend as well. But do not lose hope. Here are the top 5 tweaks that you can do to your Android device without actually rooting it.

Save your battery better than before:

This is one of the most wanted applications. It is an application that can save the battery and extend the life of the mobile for longer hours. Most of the battery saver applications are designed for rooted devices, and that is the reason why we are giving you this. This app is called Pixoff – Battery Saver AMOLED. This can largely save your battery life and can do many other incredible things. You must definitely give it a try.

save your battery

A brand new launcher:

If there is one thing in the whole device that we want to look at its best, then it has to be the home screen. You do not want your screen to look the usual way, or you want your apps to carry a theme? There is something called a launcher in the play store. You can always download that app and make your screen look the way you want it to be. As an addition to it, you can also install icon packs and themed wallpapers that make your gadget look better.

Look your device the better way:

The next thing that you probably love to customise is the way you lock your device. There are a lot of lock screen widgets that can help you customise your mobile the way you want it to be. These lock screen widgets can also give you access to a lot of other application and lock options that you do not have on your device. You are trying it already, right?

The look of your status bar:

Every time you look at your status bar, it is important that is looks better than before. At the same time, it also shouldn’t destroy the prevailing look of the mobile. That is why we have rightly found a device that fits all these things. There is a tool called Status in the play store, and it can be used to modify the look of your status bar. It is definitely worth a try.

Create a Parallel Universe for Your Social life:

How nice would it be if you can have two Whatsapp accounts on one mobile or at least two facebook logins? Will that not be great? That is why you need this app called Parallel Space, and you are simply going to love what it does. You can have multiple accounts, and still, the android is going to let you do that. Try it out.

What Is Rooting Your Android Phone? Is Rooting Safe To Do?

rooting

All of us love our mobile phones. We always look forward to increasing its power, and we can never have enough of it. That is one of the major reasons why a lot of people break the system to find out the maximum they can go in to make it a better and an indomitable gadget to use. This is where the concept of rooting comes in. Now all can get into rooting, and that might not be safe all the time. So here are some of the things that you have to know about rooting.

The concept of rooting:

The first thing that you have to understand here is the concept of rooting. In simple terms, it is the process of getting to the root of your mobile’s hardware and software and getting that customise. No matter how much you get into the specifications of the mobile before you buy it, there are always certain disadvantages, and you cannot do anything and everything that you want with your mobile. To prevent you mobile from external hack and also to retain the originality of the software the mobile companies and OS designers always let out products with certain default limitations and that is the reason why we cannot go beyond an extent in customising the mobiles as we want them to be.

But is that possible?

root-android-phones-got-root

Rules and restrictions only to be broken and android and other operating systems are not an exception to it. There are always ways to break this safety wall and by-pass the rules. This can let your mobile into a whole new world of benefits and opportunities. Once you can get to the root of the android, you can turn it the way you want it. This is possible, and the process is called ‘Rooting the Android Device’, only to make it a device that helps you to explore better.

Is all good with rooting?

Rooting can help you to explore with your mobile a whole new world. However, that always comes at the cost of the safety of the device. It is not advisable to root your android as that can leak your data and keep the data system open to a lot of external hacking servers. Apart from that, it can easily let affected data get into your mobile in case if you do not have proper malware installed.

Point to conclude on rooting:

On the whole, rooting can sound amazing, but it is definitely not a safe thing to do. In case if you are tech-savvy and you believe that you can save your gadget, then you can always try it out. A lot of people out there are doing it and are still playing it safe. But you shall do it at your own risk. Also, rooting is exploring your mobile on a different level. There are still a lot of simple things that you haven’t tried out on your mobile. Check that out and then maybe you can try your luck with rooting.

7 Technology Trends That Will Dominate 2018

We have entered the eighteenth year of the 3rd millennium in 2018, and while flying cars and teleportation is still not a thing like a lot of science-fiction authors hoped it would be by now, there is no denying that we have made tremendous progress in terms of technology. Of course, things are only going to get better in the future, but for this year, here are the top seven tech trends that are expected to dominate the market.

Perfection in Translation Technology

Microsoft’s speech recognition technology has achieved an astounding 5.1% error rate, which is better than the error rate of actual human transcribers. What this means is that conversation across different languages will become more seamless than ever before and speech to text will actually be usable for a change. While Microsoft is leading this area, other big players in the game such as Google and IBM are not that far behind either, signaling that 2018 will be the year of seamless translation and dictation.

The rise of the “Notch”

The iPhone X received much criticism for sporting the infamous “notch,” but within a year, the notch has become a trend for plenty of Android smartphones, including the recently launched OnePlus 6. A lot of people are still not okay with the design choice, but it is a trend that we will see much more of in 2018 and 2019.

Smart Speakers are In

Everybody wants or has an AI-powered smart speaker these days, with the only confusion among future customers being which one to buy. The WiredShopper can actually help you out with that choice if this applies to you as well, but the point is that smart speakers have become a popular trend in 2018 and it’s one that’s not going to go away anytime soon, thanks to rapid, ongoing improvements in machine learning technology.

5G

Do keep in mind that it will likely take the whole of next year before 5G can be considered a viable option really, but that doesn’t mean it won’t trend in 2018. While we won’t see actual 5G networks this year, the work and investments necessary to create the infrastructure will gain full flow this year.

Blockchain Technology

Due to the meteoric rise of Bitcoin, everyone knows that cryptocurrencies are the next big thing in technology that can potentially revolutionize the very concept of currency. While that revolution will have to wait for now, there is no doubt that the usage and acceptance of Blockchain technology, in general, will continue to grow in 2018.

AR and VR

Both augmented reality and virtual reality has been around for some time now (especially VR), however, the later months of 2018 are when the two technologies are expected to come to full fruition. It’s time for the likes of HTC Vive Pro, LooxidVR and the Teslasuit to make a serious impact.

Subscription Software

Those times when we used to pay once for software are fast going away and subscription-based software services are becoming the future. Microsoft Office, Adobe Photoshop, and many other major software providers have shifted to the subscription-only model and more companies will take the same route in 2018. You will probably not be fond of every tech trend that we just discussed, but take solace in the fact that there’s always a chance it will change in the future, as trends so often do.

Connecting Android Apps to REST Interfaces

The most interesting apps provide access to online services with a beautiful native user interface. But creating an Android app to access your API is not trivial. The key is creating a seamless experience that hides the complexities of connecting over inconsistent mobile data connections. This presentation will demonstrate Android best practices for connecting to REST APIs while creating a great user experience. Topics covered include keeping your UI snappy, using a database for offline support, optimizing battery life by running only on Wifi, and keeping content fresh using SyncAdapters.

Android Security Vulnerabilities and Exploits

One of the most exciting things to happen to a new Android device is to see it get rooted, liberated from manufacturer meddling, and to see the ROM devs go wild with it. Without root, we have no recovery, no ROMs, and very limited development. On the flip side of this, the very exploits we often use to root our phones expose us and others to malicious activities such as spyware, bots, keyloggers and other forms of malware. JCase will discuss past vulnerabilities in applications and firmware, and how they are mitigated today. He will teach the audience about some of the tools and methods used in identifying vulnerabilities. After we have a nice understanding of the process, he will walk the audience through finding a vulnerability and exploiting it. To end the presentation, we will publish and discuss a brand new root exploit for the LG Optimus series of phones.

Featured

4K Displays: Do You Need One on Your Next Smartphone?

4K aka Ultra High Definition is the new buzzword now, just like Full High Definition...

4 Fun Things to Do in Your Spare Time with an Arduino Starter Kit

In case you’re unaware, the Arduino is a microcontroller similar to the Raspberry Pi, which...
nexus-6

Only the Best User Experience: Tips on Designing Your Mobile App

Thousands of apps are added to the app stores every week. The market is only...

Are New Developers Starting to Sour on Android?

XDA developers’ conferences have changed quite a lot over the last few years. There are...
nexus-6

Top 5 Best Tweaks You Do Without Rooting Your Android Device

Mobile phones have to be exploited to the maximum possible so that you can make...
rooting

What Is Rooting Your Android Phone? Is Rooting Safe To Do?

All of us love our mobile phones. We always look forward to increasing its power,...

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