Home InternetInternet News Ketan Pratap, 07 February 2017 Highlights Google to show original AMP source with new change
Google will also allow users to access, copy and share original URLs
New changes should reflect on Android in the coming weeks Google's Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) project is now over a year old and has been taking on the likes of Facebook's Instant Articles and the Apple News app. Google's AMP is aimed at providing compatible content faster to users of its Search product on mobile. The company on Monday made few minor changes to its AMP results page that is focused on providing additional functionalities to users to view, copy, and share the original URL instead of Google's own AMP URL while also providing true origin of the content appearing on the AMP results.
The new changes will start showing up on the Android Google app in the coming weeks. On Android, Google app will share the original URL of a document when users tap on the app's share button. Notably, this functionality is already available on the iOS Google app.
The move to show publisher's own link is said to be due to backlash from publishers that alleged Google stole mobile traffic, as pointed by TechCrunch. Google explains why AMP documents used to show three different kinds of URLs, which actually made it worse for publishers. The original URL was the publisher's document written in the AMP format; AMP Cache URL was the document served through an AMP Cache though most users never saw this URL, and lastly, Google AMP viewer URL, which displayed in an AMP viewer or on the search result page. Google however defended its decision to stick with three URL formats. It said that the different URLs existed for caching and pre-rendering.
To provide appropriate attribution of content, Google will add a header bar that displays the “true” origin of a page. “On the web, a lot – URLs and origins represent, to some extent, trust and ownership of content. When you're reading a New York Times article, a quick glimpse at the URL gives you a level of trust that what you're reading represents the voice of the New York Times. Attribution, brand, and ownership are clear,” said Alex Fischer, Software Engineer, Google Search in a new blog post.
Google will be also adding support for access, copy, and share the canonical URL of a document which the company says was requested by publishers. The new feature will allow users to use their browser's native share functionality by long-tapping on the link that is displayed. “Today [Monday], we're adding a feature to the AMP integration in Google Search that allows users to access, copy, and share the canonical URL of an AMP document,” further said Fischer.
Google started India rollout of Accelerated Mobile Pages for mobile search results last year.
Ketan Pratap Email Ketan Ketan Pratap covers daily news and rumours at Gadgets 360. He attended IIMC (Indian Institute of Mass Communication), majoring in English Journalism. Ketan is a … More
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Home MobilesMobiles Features Rohan Naravane, 07 February 2017 Highlights Android and iOS are becoming more alike since the past few years
You still can’t look up an unknown incoming call on an iPhone
You also still cannot record phone calls using an iPhone For many years, there have been several debates about which smartphone OS is better — Android, or iOS. Even among the writers of Gadgets 360, there are strong opinions about why some choose one over the other. But, fact of the matter is that the two have been closing the gaps in the past few years, with Android becoming more fluid and beautiful, and iOS becoming more flexible and customisable.
But there are still things that you can do on Android phone today, that you just can’t on an iPhone. And we’re not referring to things like swapping default Android with custom ROMs. We’re pointing out some of the things that average, non-techie users do on their smartphones. So here it goes:
1) Smarter calling, and messaging
Truecaller, a really popular crowdsourced phone directory service, is available on both Android and iOS. But the most useful thing about the app – where you get to see names of identified unknown callers when a call comes in, is available only on Android. In iOS 10, a new API lets Truecaller show an incoming spam call, but it won’t show names of every caller – you have to manually check those. It only shows live caller ID if the person calling you also has Truecaller installed, but during the initial rollout this feature didn't work reliably. The Android app also syncs the call logs so you can even see names of unknown numbers listed in a chronological fashion – you can even use it as a replacement for your default dialer. Whereas in iOS, the app only shows a log of people whom you’ve called using the app, not all calls.
Next, there are many interesting third party SMS apps that have added functionality. For example, TrueMessenger replaces unknown numbers in SMS conversations with names from the Truecaller database, and even segregates spam SMSs from legitimate ones. Then there’s Textra and other cool apps, that are more functional than the default SMS app that your Android phone typically comes with.
2) Backup to Google Photos in the background
Google Photos is an incredible service that offers unlimited backups of photos and videos captured on your phone, for free. And although there’s some compression, the quality will be fairly acceptable for most of us. Now, although there is an iOS app for this service, it doesn’t reliably backup photos when the phone’s on standby – that’s because Apple doesn’t have APIs for apps to perform tasks like uploading content in the background. On Android though, not only will photos sync when your phone is asleep, you can even set a rule so that they start uploading only when the phone’s on charge.
The only way to seamlessly backup photos on an iPhone today is by using iCloud, which has a monthly subscription fee beyond the first 5GB – though it does not compress your images.
3) Run two apps at once
Although you can run two apps side-by-side on an iPad, the same isn’t available on an iPhone, yet. On Android, multi-window has been available on a number of different phones for years, and now it is officially baked into Android 7.0 Nougat. This can be useful when you’re juggling between two apps constantly – like for example talking to someone on a messenger app while checking your Twitter feed at the same time. Oh, and a neat little bonus, on Android Nougat you can ‘Alt-tab’ between two apps by consecutively tapping the multitasking button.
4) Record phone calls
This is yet another thing that you can’t do on an iPhone – record phone calls. Sure, there are some hacky ways around doing this or by using third party subscription services on iOS, but it isn’t as easy as installing an app on an Android phone. Apps like Automatic Call Recorder can record every call by default and you can also share the AMR file over email or cloud storage.
5) Share your device with others
Multi-user mode has been around on Android since version 5.0 Lollipop. With it, you can hand over your phone over to another person with ease of mind, by simply logging into the guest account, or by creating a separate user account, which does not have access to your private data – much like we do on computers. While this is how it works on stock Android that runs on phones like the Google Pixel, different manufacturers have their own implementations. Samsung, for instance, has a 'private mode' while Xiaomi has something called 'Second Space'. Xiaomi and other manufacturers have also created dedicated Child Modes, which allow you to lock down access to apps, and block functions such as SMS access.
6) Manage files better for easier attachments
Android’s way of handling files is similar to that of a computer – there’s a root folder (like the C Drive on a Windows machine) and files sorted within a folder structure. Every app has access to this centralised storage, making it possible to say, attach a PDF file from within an email app on Android. The same thing isn’t possible on iOS, because by design, files are encapsulated within the apps themselves. On iOS, if you go to the Mail app and want to attach any file other than photos, then you have to open the app that contains the PDF file, hit the ‘share’ button, and choose an email client, which then creates a new email.
Apart from these, there are some other features that receive a bonus mention – things like the ability to download torrents, which is near impossible to do on an iPhone. Not to mention launchers, that can radically transform the way your home screens appear.
Lastly, and this is just a pet peeve, for clearing notifications on an iPhone, it’s a two-step action – a swipe and tap on the ‘clear’ button. Just imagine the number of times you have to do this daily. Whereas on Android, clearing notifications is easier, with a simple swiping gesture.
These are the highlights of things that Android has that still set it apart from iOS. The article is not intended to put iOS that powers the iPhone in bad light, as there are many things that it does better than Android, which we’ll be covering very soon. But for people looking at differences between the two most popular mobile operating systems, this could be illuminating.
Which other Android-exclusive feature will you miss if you were to move to an iPhone? Let us know via the comments below.
Rohan Naravane Email Rohan Rohan Naravane is often torn between what Apple and Google has to offer. His life revolves around gadgets, television, and conversations over coffee or drinks, mostly … More
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Home LaptopsLaptops News Tasneem Akolawala, 07 February 2017 Highlights The Lenovo ThinkPad P71 is the most premium of the lot
The ThinkPad P51s is the cheapest of the three
The ThinkPad P71 and P51 will be available in April Chinese consumer electronics giant Lenovo has just refreshed its ThinkPad workstation lineup to introduce the latest Intel processors and Nvidia Quadro professional graphics. The laptops are VR-ready, especially the most premium device of the lot – the ThinkPad P71. The other two laptops launched are the ThinkPad P51s, and ThinkPad P51; all of them will start shipping sometime in March or April.
These machines are meant essentially for those who are intense users like 3D animators, architects, and the likes, as the refreshed versions come with the latest Intel Kaby Lake processors and the high-performance Nvidia Quadro graphics. As mentioned, the Lenovo ThinkPad P71 is the premium of the lot with a 17-inch 4K display, with support for up to Xeon E3-v6 processor and Nvidia Quadro P5000 graphics. It offers up to 64GB of RAM, and support for four storage units (both conventional and SSDs). It comes with Thunderbolt 3 port support for plugging in larger displays as well. It's been certified VR-ready by HTC, Nvidia, and Oculus. The laptop has a minimum weight of 3.44kg and a 1.2-inch thick chassis. It will launch in April, and will be priced at $1,799 (roughly Rs. 1,21,200).
The ThinkPad P51s and ThinkPad P50 focus on portability over power. The Lenovo ThinkPad P51s has a 15-inch display and is the lightest, thinnest and the cheapest of the lot. It weighs 1.95kg and is 0.79-inches thick only. It can house up to seventh-generation Intel Core i7 CPUs, Nvidia Quadro M520M graphics, 32GB of RAM, and gives choices of 1080p, 1080p touch, and 4K displays. The ThinkPad P51s will be made available in March, and is priced at $1,049 (roughly Rs. 70,700).
The ThinkPad P51 on the other hand is a bit bulkier than the P51s, but can house faster processor and graphics. It weighs 2.54kg and is 1.02-inches thick. The laptop has a 15-inch display, and can house up to Intel Xeon E3 processor, Nvidia Quadro M2200M graphics, and 64GB of RAM. It also offers three storage devices support in RAID 0 or RAID 1. The Lenovo ThinkPad P51 will be available in April, and is priced at $1,399 (roughly Rs. 94,300).
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Samsung Galaxy S8 Leaked Case Hints at Design Overhaul, Dual Cameras MESSAGE Tasneem Akolawala Fields marked with * are mandatory From: * Email: Message: * 2000
Home MobilesMobiles News Ketan Pratap, 07 February 2017 Photo Credit: Samsung HDblog
Highlights New case leaks tip design of the unannounced Galaxy S8
Fingerprint scanner claimed to be present at the back
Samsung Galaxy S8 expected to go on sale from April 21 Samsung Galaxy S8 has been rumoured to come with design overhaul apart from other major features. A flurry of leaks have offered good amount of details regarding the upcoming Samsung flagship smartphone, and a new case leak has surfaced on the Internet offering a slightly better look at the possible design of the handset.
Samsung Galaxy S8 Release Date, Specifications, Price, and More: What the Rumours Say
Samsung Galaxy S8 designThe new case leak also shows that Samsung Galaxy S8 will indeed feature the fingerprint scanner at the back corroborating to earlier leaks. There have been leaks pointing that Samsung may finally ditch its physical home button at the front. The new case leaks were obtained by an Italian publication HD Blog and are claimed to be official accessory from Samsung for the upcoming Galaxy S8. While the larger variant was expected to be the only one with a dual camera setup, the latest case leak tips both the smartphone variants will sport dual rear cameras.
Samsung Galaxy S8 screen sizesBased on preliminary leaks, the Samsung Galaxy S8 is expected to come in two sizes – 5.8- and 6.2-inch. The new Samsung Galaxy S8 leaked case also tips at two screen sizes for the smartphone. The company is also said to be adding a dedicated button for Bixby – Samsung's new AI assistant which will work with native apps as well. Older leaks tip screen sizes of 5 inches and 6 inches.
Samsung Galaxy S8 key specificationsFor specifications, the Galaxy S8 is expected to be powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 SoC with 4GB or 6GB of RAM. The handset will pack 64GB inbuilt storage while will support expandable storage via microSD card (up to 128GB). The Samsung Galaxy S8 and the Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus are said to sport 3250mAh battery and 3750mAh battery respectively. The smartphones are largely expected to go on sale by April 21.
Samsung Galaxy S8 priceA recent report claimed China prices for the Galaxy S8 – 6GB of RAM with 64GB storage variant is said to be priced at CNY 6,088 (roughly Rs. 59,000) while the 128GB storage variant is said to be available at CNY 6,488 (roughly Rs. 63,000). Evan Blass had previously claimed that Samsung Galaxy S8 will go on sale from April 21 and will cost EUR 100 (roughly Rs. 7,300) more than its predecessor.
Ketan Pratap Email Ketan Ketan Pratap covers daily news and rumours at Gadgets 360. He attended IIMC (Indian Institute of Mass Communication), majoring in English Journalism. Ketan is a … More
AR? VR? Chatbots? What the Future of Google Search Could Look Like Lenovo Refreshes ThinkPad Laptops With Intel Kaby Lake Processors and More MESSAGE Ketan Pratap Fields marked with * are mandatory From: * Email: Message: * 2000
Home InternetInternet Features Gopal Sathe, 07 February 2017 Highlights Smartphones changed the way Google thinks about search
Difficulty in entering queries accelerated voice, and search feeds
The next big thing in search could be chat, or it could be device based With mobile phones becoming the primary source of Internet access for most of us (and for many, the only source), it's no surprise that Google's focus when it comes to Search has also come to rest on our small pocket computers. Shashidhar Thakur, Vice President Search, at Google, was visiting India recently and caught up with Gadgets 360 to talk about some of the things that Google is thinking about, when it comes to search.
What is the future of search going to look like in the time of augmented reality, and will chatbots replace search queries? Thakur says that it's too early to say what's going to happen in these cases, though he adds that big changes are coming, likening it to what happened with mobile phones in the last ten years.
“When the switch to mobile happened,” Thakur explains, “it brought about some changes. For example, data becomes more expensive, and slower, so you have to focus more on things like answers, quicker results right away. Also, typing becomes harder, and so voice was necessary. The switch to mobile also showed the importance of the search feed, that tries to understand what you would be looking for, and show you that before you have to even enter a query.”
This has, he explains, been particularly relevant in India, where entering queries for searches in local languages can be a barrier. “Keyboards are really designed for the Roman alphabet, so we've worked on improving keyboards, but voice makes a big difference,” says Thakur. Another feature he's particularly proud of is Tabbed Search, which presents bilingual search results, so you can raise a query in English, and still get answers in your own language if you prefer.
Apart from languages, he also highlights the work Google has been doing to improve usability across all kinds of network conditions, another feature that was developed with India in mind.
“We can deliver highly compressed results, Search Lite loads faster, and consumes less data,” says Thakur. “Offline search lets you raise a query, and gets you the answers once you're connected. These are all things we learn and build for India, but the learnings are also transferrable, and they've been great additions around the world.”
A search feed
One of these things is the search feed Thakur talks about. The idea behind it, as he explained, was to engage the user even when they don't know they need to look for something, to simplify usage on mobiles. That sounds a lot like Google Now, Thakur's previous team, and it's something that he says remains important even today, despite there now being a number of convenient ways to enter a query.
“Content should be pushed to you,” he says, “because you may not be actively looking for something, but there is going to be information that you wanted. For example, we're in India, the Union Budget was just announced. It's something people in the region would be interested in, but you're doing something else. And what we can do is surface interesting results and send them to you with a notification, that is quite useful.”
“Of course, on a PC, you're already 'on', it's not that hard for you to look at something if you want,” he adds. “But your phone is with your 24*7, you're not on the phone all the time. That's why the feed becomes even more important there.”
Of course, to make the feed more relevant, you need to give Google access to your data. But Thakur points out, the data collection is very transparent, and easy to opt out from. “Even if you opt out of everything, we can still offer you some coarse grained information like the budget, of course,” he says.
But with access to more data, Google can pull together something like your airplane tickets, a good GPS signal can tell it where you are, navigation data can tell it how you would get to the airport, and live traffic data can tell you how much time it would actually take – so Google can put all of this together to send a notification saying, “Leave now, if you want to catch your flight!”
“It's a complicated system with a lot of different data that has to come together, and depending on the availability of the data there can be some challenges, but we get a lot of positive feedback from the users,” says Thakur.
Of course, as he points out, there's a lot of different types of data being considered, and some of it, such as the GPS, is linked to your phone's hardware. Does that mean that there's a difference in the kind of Search experience someone with an entry-level phone would have, versus someone who is carrying a high-end flagship?
“It does make a difference, as various things can deteriorate,” says Thakur. “The phone might not have enough processing power, it could go into low power mode, the location data might not be very accurate, and the phone might not handle app swapping so well.”
Because of this, people who use entry-level phones – the bulk of the population, as the price of a smartphone in India averages $100 (approximately Rs. 6,700) – are likely not getting as good an experience as people who have high-end phones, though as Thakur points out, the baseline has been improving steadily, and even low-end phones are getting more and more capable.
“At the same time, we're also trying to offer what we call graceful degradation,” he adds. “So for example, the Search Lite experience might not be as rich as the full Search experience, but it still gives people the information and answers they are looking for.”
As Thakur explains it, text and voice search are simply different entry points to Search, but not fundamentally different. On the other hand, the switch to mobile mattered a lot more because it changed the context in which we were engaging with search. Today, he sees this playing out in two ways – virtual and physical. By virtual, we're referring to Chatbots, which he says could well become the norm for Search.
“The Google Assistant isn't just an entry point, but also changes the output too, as it often shows just a single result,” he says. “It also brings other things, it tells you jokes, and more, it brings a personality. As a result, you also engage more with search, and there's a context to it, a history, so it's going to be very interesting to see how it plays out over time.”
Thakur doesn't believe that Search will become only chatbots – “there will be times when you want an answer, times when you want to interact with an agent in a more personable way, and times when you need to do deep research,” he says – but he's of the opinion that it could grow to become very important.
But there's also the question of hardware. Google Home, along with other devices such as the Amazon Echo are part of a burgeoning new category of products that are “speakers with intelligence”. And these could well change the face of search as well, in much the same way mobiles did, says Thakur.
“Just in the way it's located, these devices change the context of search, how you're engaging with search,” says Thakur. “So for example, if it's kept in your kitchen, you might use Google Home to look for lots of recipes, in your living room you might be thinking more about music. If there's one of these in your car, the context changes again, and you're now much more likely to search for directions, and local needs, like coffee shops nearby. So the form factor defines the interaction.”
That said, much like with Chatbots, Thakur says only time will tell how these are going to change search. On the other hand, the one thing that he has a fairly definite answer is augmented reality and virtual reality. “These are going to be real game-changers, and they're going to be future platforms, but they're not here yet,” he says. “Right now the focus is going to be on getting the graphics right, getting the hardware optimised, and the early adopter distribution. So all of that is going to be sorted out first. Then you'll have services like games, videos and so on, and it's only at that point that search enters the picture. It's going to be big, but it's not the next thing, it's still in development.”
Gopal Sathe Email Gopal Gopal Sathe loves comic books, video games, and baking desserts. So far, he’s writing about two of the three, but Gadgets 360 could one day feature cupcakes that … More
Zen Cinemax 4G with VoLTE Support, 5.5-inch Display Launched at Rs. 6,390 Samsung Galaxy S8 Leaked Case Hints at Design Overhaul, Dual Cameras MESSAGE Gopal Sathe Fields marked with * are mandatory From: * Email: Message: * 2000
Home MobilesMobiles News Shekhar Thakran, 07 February 2017 Highlights The Zen Cinemax 4G runs Android 6.0 Marshmallow
The smartphone sports a 5.5-inch FWVGA display
Zen Cinemax 4G will be made available in Gold and Champagne colours Zen Mobile on Tuesday launched a new smartphone in its Zeneration 4G portfolio in India – the Cinemax 4G priced at Rs. 6,190. The smartphone comes bundled with a Reliance Jio SIM with access to the Jio Happy New Year Offer. Just like with its Zen Cinemax Click smartphone, the company is also bundling a protection kit and one-time screen replacement within the first six months. The smartphone will be made available from Thursday in Champaign and Rose Gold colours through both online and offline channels.
The dual-SIM Zen Cinemax 4G runs Android 6.0 Marshmallow and sports a 5.5-inch FWVGA display. It is powered by a quad-core processor (unspecified) coupled with 2GB of RAM. In terms of optics, the smartphone comes with a 5-megapixel rear autofocus camera with flash and a 5-megapixel camera at the front for taking selfies.
The Cinemax 4G comes with 16GB of built-in storage, which is expandable via microSD card (up to 32GB). In terms of connectivity, the Cinemax 4G offers options like Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, apart from 4G VoLTE support. The smartphone houses a 2900mAh battery that offers up to 30 hours of standby time.
Just like Cinemax Click, Cinemax 4G also comes with the Swalekh multi-lingual keyboard with support for 22 regional languages, including Hindi, Punjabi, Urdu, Gujrati, Tamil, Telugu, and Marathi. “It has Language lock feature – which allows the user to choose the language right from the main screen,” the company said in its release.
Commenting on the launch, Sanjay Kalirona, CEO at Zen Mobile, said, “India is becoming a digital economy, and embracing 4G technology at a fast pace. With the launch of Cinemax 4G, we aim to offer a perfect combination of high end features and a fast 4G experience at a great value to consumers across Tier II and Tier III markets”.
“We at Zen mobile believe that our Zeneration 4G series will play a role in helping the country realize its digital agenda as we are offering it at an affordable price to encourage mass adoption, especially in Tier I and II towns. We will continue to strengthen our 4G portfolio in 2017 and focus on launching exciting new devices at the most competitive price points,” he added.
Zen Cinemax 4GKEY SPECSNEWSDisplay5.50-inchProcessorquad-coreFront Camera5-megapixelRAM2GBOSAndroid 6.0Storage16GBRear Camera5-megapixelBattery Capacity2900mAhZen Cinemax 4G with VoLTE Support, 5.5-inch Display Launched at Rs. 6,390
More Zen mobilesZen mobiles price in India Intex Aqua 4.0, Aqua Crystal, Aqua Supreme+ 4G VoLTE Smartphones Launched in India AR? VR? Chatbots? What the Future of Google Search Could Look Like
Home AppsApps Reviews Pranay Parab , 07 February 2017 Highlights Fire Emblem Heroes needs Internet to play
It's a turn-based strategy game for Android, iOS
The game is free to download on both platforms Fire Emblem Heroes is Nintendo's second game for smartphones and the first one to be released in 2017. It's first attempt at making mobile games, Super Mario Run, was quite successful even though it cost $10 (Rs. 800) to play all levels.
Fire Emblem Heroes takes the conventional route for mobile games – it's free to play with in-app purchases that let you speed up your progress. Fire Emblem Heroes isn't officially available in India but it is possible to download it if you're an Android user. As we've already mentioned, the game requires an always-on Internet connection and that means it's not suitable for playing on the go in most places in India, as loading times stretch out and take the fun out of the game.
Fire Emblem Heroes is a turn-based strategy game with character levelling from role-playing games. The game is essentially a series of battles, interspersed with story scenes. You control up to four heroes, and on each turn, you make carry out one action per hero – moving, attacking, or healing friendly characters, all count as one turn. Once you've made all four moves, your turn ends, and the enemies take their turn. As you keep battling, your characters gain experience and start levelling up to become stronger warriors.
In Fire Emblem Heroes, you are known as a master tactician, and you've been summoned by the heroes of the world of Askr in desperation. The evil Emblian empire has conquered a bunch of worlds already, and many of the universe's best heroes are under its command. You need to defend Askr and head out to various worlds to free its heroes from the clutches of the Emblians.
Fire Emblem Heroes for iOS and Android: Everything You Need to Know
At first we were quite intrigued by the game's lore and wanted to spend all our time in story mode. However that changed as we spent more time playing Fire Emblem Heroes. The story started feeling repetitive, and by the time we reached the fifth world we found ourselves skipping all the dialogues and just heading to the combat part.
Your goal is to command heroes in battle and to ensure that you're exploiting your enemy's weaknesses. The combat itself takes place on a top down grid, where you can see your four heroes, and the enemy army. There are three basic types of units (red, blue, and green). Red is strong against green, which gets an attack bonus against blue, and blue gets an attack bonus against red, so battles are a bit like a game of rock, paper, and scissors. You try and get the upper hand through matching your units with enemies they have an advantage over.
Before each battle you can check the types of enemies lying in wait and choose a suitably matched team of heroes. The AI is quite strong even on the lowest difficulty setting, and just a couple of wrong moves can pretty much result in defeat. Terrain plays a big role in how battles progress. Often you start in a weak spot and you'll have to move your heroes to safer locations to avoid a rout. Many times the only way to attack enemies will be through a narrow bridge so you can only move one hero at a time and that means you'll have to send in your tank (most powerful hero in physical combat) up ahead and use a ranged unit for support. The map does end up defining how battles progress.
Even if you're good at strategy and manage to clear the levels on the first try, you'll eventually find that enemies are too strong and your heroes can barely keep up. That brings us to in-game currencies. The basic currency is orbs and these are used to buy stamina and other items, and to summon heroes. These orbs are pretty hard to earn in-game – you only get one the first time you clear a map in the story, and you can also get them as a login bonus, or on completing certain milestones. By the time we reached world 7, we started to have trouble clearing levels. Fire Emblem Heroes has two other currencies – stamina points and duelling swords. These are both timers that slowly replenish.
You can have up to 50 stamina points in all, and you get one every five minutes. You spend these to attempt levels – story mode battles start off costing one or two stamina points, but that increases to seven or eight per stage as you progress. This means that you'll be out of stamina after just five or six battles, and you either wait for it to slowly replenish, or pay real money for additional stamina. Similarly, you get three duelling swords every 24-hours and you need these to battle other players for in-game rewards such as hero feathers, stamina potions, or shards. In these fights, you take on a team of heroes put together by another player like yourself and they are AI controlled.
These currencies are how Fire Emblem Heroes makes money. You can buy orbs and use them in a number of ways, including getting rid of wait times. Three orbs cost Rs. 160, and you'll have to shell out Rs. 500 for 10 of these. Replenishing your stamina costs stamina potions, which can be earned by completing in-game tasks, and summoning new heroes is one way in which you're going to need to spend a lot of orbs.
Once your initial batch of heroes hits a wall – and they will – you'll have to head to the Summon section and use five orbs to summon a hero. There are three levels of heroes – bronze, silver, and gold. The heroes are granted randomly, but we got one five-star gold hero once every two or three summoning sessions, and these heroes are well worth the orbs you spend.
Fire Emblem Heroes became a lot more fun to play once we found one five-star gold hero (Roy). At Level 5, Roy was already as strong as our Level 10 Alfonse, Sharena, and Anna. Roy also levelled up incredibly fast and eventually we reached a stage where the AI would easily destroy three of our heroes and Roy would defeat four or even five enemies single-handedly. Ideally want a five-star gold hero of every type – red, green, and blue, and a range unit such as an archer or a mage.
Summoning these heroes means you'll run out of orbs soon and thus begins the grind. You do things like log in on weekends and complete daily challenges to gain orbs, and just wait until you have enough to get what you need, or you can pay. Fire Emblem Heroes shows that Nintendo can definitely make a great game that's also optimised for monetisation.
We can't fault Nintendo for trying to monetise the game, but right now the timers are quite annoying. On the plus side, the game is completely ad-free.
As a turn-based strategy game that focuses on tactics, Fire Emblem Heroes has everything one could ask for. It's let down by a bland and repetitive story, and the need for an always-on Internet connection.
If you were expecting a premium game where you pay once and play, you're better off looking elsewhere. If you've never played any Fire Emblem game, Fire Emblem Heroes is a pretty good place to start. Its controls are well-designed for smartphones and the art is quite good too. The Fire Emblem games on Nintendo consoles are a lot better overall and you'd eventually want to move on to those.
That pretty much sums up what Nintendo's doing with its smartphone games. Super Mario Run, Fire Emblem Heroes, and to some extent even Pokemon Go are all solid smartphone games, but far better games with the same IP are available on Nintendo consoles. These mobile games are definitely going to drive some users towards purchasing Nintendo hardware, and that can only be a good thing for the company.
Fire Emblem Heroes is available as a free download on iOS and Android
Battles Difficulty level ArtCons
Requires Internet to play Long loading times Weak storylineOverall rating (out of 10): 7
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Apple Sees Decline in China Smartphone Shipments, Oppo Leads: IDC Intex Aqua 4.0, Aqua Crystal, Aqua Supreme+ 4G VoLTE Smartphones Launched in India MESSAGE Pranay Parab Fields marked with * are mandatory From: * Email: Message: * 2000
Home TelecomTelecom News Press Trust of India, 07 February 2017 Highlights TDSAT has asked TRAI if RJio told about its Happy New Year offer already
Telecom Tribunal gave TRAI time till February 15 to submit clarifications
TDSAT has fixed February 20 as the next date of hearing Amid fresh appeals filed by Airtel and Idea Cellular against TRAI's clean chit to Reliance Jio tariffs, TDSAT on Monday asked the regulator to clarify whether Reliance Jio had informed it and its subscribers of the two free offers – Jio Welcome Offer and Happy New Offer – being “distinct”.
In its latest appeal, Bharti Airtel termed TRAI's January 31, 2017 order as “wholly illegal” and “palpably wrong”. The Sunil Mittal led firm accused the regulator of “wrongly” holding Reliance Jio's promotional offer as compliant with the regulatory guidelines, distinct and hence not an extension of the previous offer.
“The present appeal is filed against the impugned order which suffers from the same vice of arbitrariness, non transparency and failure to comply with the statutory mandate…While in effect and substance the same promotional offer has been continued by Reliance Jio, the respondent by the impugned order has once again held that the allegedly new promotional offer is compliant, without providing any reason or rationale…,” Idea Cellular has said in its latest appeal.
Telecom Commission Seeks Clarification on Rs. 3,050-Crore PoI Penalty
Meanwhile, during the hearing on the Reliance Jio matter on Monday, the Telecom Disputes Settlement & Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT) asked the sector regulator to submit by February 15, clarification on “whether the service provider had informed TRAI that the offer B (Happy New Year offer) is distinct from offer A (Welcome Offer)…and filed with TRAI as per provisions”.
Other issues for clarification include whether the provision of the two Reliance Jio offers as well as their implementation were in accordance with Telecom Tariff Order and Telecom Consumers Protection Regulation.
TRAI has also been asked to clarify whether Reliance Jio informed its subscribers that the two offers were different and whether they took the “subscriber's consent”.
The hearing has now been scheduled for February 20. Last week, TRAI gave a clean chit to Reliance Jio's free voice calling and data plan on its mobile services on the ground that the scheme is not a violation of the regulatory guidelines on promotional offers.
TRAI had said that its examination had revealed that Happy New Year Offer launched by Reliance Jio on December 4, 2016 is distinct from its earlier Reliance Jio Welcome Offer and could not be treated as an extension of earlier promotional offer as the benefits under both sets of promotional offers differ.
TRAI's opinion came after TDSAT asked it to take a decision “within reasonable time” on Reliance Jio's tariffs in the wake of petitions filed by Bharti Airtel and Idea Cellular. The operators had approached the telecom dispute tribunal against the regulator for allowing Reliance Jio to continue free promotional offer beyond the stipulated 90 days.
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Home MobilesMobiles News Gadgets 360 Staff, 07 February 2017 Highlights The smartphones are priced starting at Rs. 4,199
While all bear 4G VoLTE support, some support different bands
The smartphones will be available from retail stores, Intex says Intex on Tuesday launched three new smartphones in India – the Aqua 4.0, Aqua Crystal, and Aqua Supreme+. The smartphones have been priced at Rs. 4,199, Rs. 6,990, and Rs. 9,490 respectively, and will be available from retail stores. All three Intex smartphones are 4G VoLTE-enabled.
The dual-SIM (Micro + Micro) Intex Aqua 4.0 smartphone (seen above), the cheapest of the lot, runs on Android 6.0 Marshmallow. It sports a 4-inch OLED display with a resolution of 360×640 pixels and Asahi Glass protection. It's powered by a quad-core Spreadtrum SC9832A SoC coupled with 512MB of RAM. Optics include a 2-megapixel rear camera with flash, and a VGA (0.3-megapixel) front camera.
The Intex Aqua 4.0 comes with 4GB of inbuilt storage that's expandable via microSD card (up to 32GB). Connectivity options include 4G VoLTE (with support for FDD-LTE Band 3 and Band 5) apart from Bluetooth v4.1, Wi-Fi, FM radio, GPS/ A-GPS, and Micro-USB. It's powered by a 1500mAh battery that's rated to deliver up to 6 hours of talk time and 150 hours of standby time. It measures 124.7×61.6×10.4mm and weighs 122 grams. It will be available in Black, Blue, and Champagne colour variants.
Coming to the Intex Aqua Crystal (seen below), the dual-SIM (Micro + Nano) smartphone runs Android 6.0 Marshmallow and sports a 5-inch HD (720×1280 pixels) IPS display. It's powered by a 1.25GHz quad-core MediaTek MT6737 SoC coupled with 1GB of RAM. Optics include an 8-megapixel rear camera with flash, and a 5-megapixel front camera.
The Intex Aqua Crystal bears 8GB of inbuilt storage that's expandable via microSD card (up to 32GB). Connectivity options include 4G VoLTE (with support for FDD-LTE Band 3, Band 5, and TDD-LTE Band 40), Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, GPS/ A-GPS, FM radio, and Micro-USB. It's powered by a 2000mAh battery that's rated to deliver up to 6 hours of talk time and 200 hours of standby time. It measures 140×71.2×8.3mm and weighs 139.4 grams. It will be available in Black and White colour variants. The Aqua Crystal smartphone comes preloaded with LFTY, Tap & Buy, MiFon Security, and Vistoso apps.
Finally, coming to the last smartphone in the lineup launched on Tuesday – the Intex Aqua Supreme+ (seen below). The dual-SIM (Micro + Micro) smartphone runs Indus OS based on Android 6.0 Marshmallow and sports a 5-inch HD (720×1280 pixels) IPS display with Sodalime Glass protection. It's powered by a 1.3GHz quad-core MediaTek MT6737 SoC coupled with 2GB of RAM. Optics include a 13-megapixel camera with flash, apart from a 5-megapixel front camera.
The Intex Aqua Supreme+ bears 16GB of inbuilt storage that's expandable via microSD card (up to 128GB). Connectivity options include 4G VoLTE (with support for FDD-LTE Band 3, Band 5, and TDD-LTE Band 40), Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, GPS/ A-GPS, FM radio, and Micro-USB. It's powered by a 3000mAh battery that's rated to deliver up to 6 hours of talk time and up to 300 hours of standby time. It measures 143×72.3×7.95mm and weighs 133 grams. It will be available in Black and Champagne colour variants. The Indus OS implementation offers support for 9 regional languages as well as the new Recharge 2.0 feature on the Indus Dialler. The smartphone comes preloaded with Tap & Buy, MiFon Security, and Vistoso apps.
Intex Aqua 4.0KEY SPECSNEWSDisplay4.00-inchProcessorquad-coreFront Camera0.3-megapixelResolution360x640 pixelsRAM512MBOSAndroid 6.0Storage4GBRear Camera2-megapixelBattery Capacity1500mAhIntex Aqua 4.0, Aqua Crystal, Aqua Supreme+ 4G VoLTE Smartphones Launched in India
More Intex mobilesIntex mobiles price in India Intex Aqua Supreme+KEY SPECSNEWSDisplay5.00-inchProcessor1.3GHz quad-coreFront Camera5-megapixelResolution720x1280 pixelsRAM2GBOSAndroid 6.0Storage16GBRear Camera13-megapixelBattery Capacity3000mAhIntex Aqua 4.0, Aqua Crystal, Aqua Supreme+ 4G VoLTE Smartphones Launched in India
More Intex mobilesIntex mobiles price in India Intex Aqua CrystalKEY SPECSNEWSDisplay5.00-inchProcessor1.25GHz quad-coreFront Camera5-megapixelResolution720x1280 pixelsRAM1GBOSAndroid 6.0Storage8GBRear Camera8-megapixelBattery Capacity2100mAhIntex Aqua 4.0, Aqua Crystal, Aqua Supreme+ 4G VoLTE Smartphones Launched in India
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Home MobilesMobiles News Ketan Pratap, 07 February 2017 Highlights Google releases February security update fixing eight critical issues
Security update now available for supported devices
Sony released update for its Xperia devices last week Google has released its monthly Android security update for the month of February for its Pixel and Nexus devices. The company however was second to rollout the security update as Sony released the update to its Xperia devices last week. Similar to previous releases, Google's February Android security update focuses on fixing security issues in the operating system.
The February security update includes two patch levels, as per Google, the first was released on February 1 and it fixes critical security vulnerability that could enable remote code execution on an affected device through media files. The second patch level string was released on February 5 which fixes the rest of issues. Google adds that supported devices will receive a single OTA (over-the-air) update with the February 5 2017 security patch level.
The latest security bulletin for February fixes eight critical issues while 18 issues are rated as high severity, and nine issues are rated as moderate. Some of the critical security vulnerabilities fixed in the update by Google include remote code execution vulnerability in Surfaceflinger, remote code execution vulnerability in Mediaserver, remote code execution vulnerability in Qualcomm crypto driver, elevation of privilege vulnerability in kernel file system, elevation of privilege vulnerability in Nvidia GPU driver, elevation of privilege vulnerability in kernel networking subsystem, elevation of privilege vulnerability in Broadcom Wi-Fi driver, and vulnerabilities in Qualcomm components among others.
The February Android security update changes build numbers of the devices including the Pixel and Pixel XL which will receive update with NOF26V build. The Nexus 6P and Nexus 5X will receive an update with build number N4F26O while Nexus 6 will receive update with NBD91Y. The Nexus 9 and Nexus Player will receive update with build N4F26Q and NMF26X respectively.
Google says that OEMs were notified of the issues in the latest bulletin last month and source code patches for these issues have been released to the Android Open Source Project (AOSP) repository.
Ketan Pratap Email Ketan Ketan Pratap covers daily news and rumours at Gadgets 360. He attended IIMC (Indian Institute of Mass Communication), majoring in English Journalism. Ketan is a … More
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