Month: November 2015

Android Studio 2.0 Is Here With Improved Android Emulator And Instant Run Feature.

 

Android Studio 2.0Yesterday, Google released version 2.0 of its Android Studio integrated development environment (IDE) for writing apps for its mobile operating system. One of the most requested features incorporated in this release is to make app builds and deployment faster in Android Studio.

 

Android Studio is essentially based on IntelliJ, launched back in 2013 and came out of beta a year ago. It includes everything a developer needs to build an app, including a code editor, code analysis tools, emulators for all of Google’s Android platforms, and more.The new version is available as a preview in the canary release channel, so google can get your feedback on usage and crash reports, of course.

New Features in Android Studio 2.0

As stated earlier, majority of features in this release are around performance to improve your development cycle and reduce development time.

Instant Run: Faster Build & Deploy

Ask any developer, what is the most time consuming and high memory task in her app development life cycle is and she replies back with “running the emulator”.  Android Studio 2.0 has instant run feature that allows you to to quickly see your changes running on your device or emulator.

If you create a new project with Android Studio 2.0 then your projects are already setup. If you have a pre-existing app open Settings/Preferences, the go to Build, Execution, Deployment → Instant Run. Click on Enable Instant Run. This will ensure you have the correct gradle plugin for your project to work with Instant Run.

android studio preference

GPU Profiler

You can now Profile your OpenGL ES Android code with the GPU Profiler in Android Studio 2.0. The tool is in early preview, but is very powerful and not only shows details about the GL State and Commands, you can also record entire sessions and walk through the GL Framebuffer and Textures as your app is running OpenGL ES Code.

Android Studio OpenGL

To get started, first download the GPU Debugging Tools package from the Android Studio SDK Manager.

Google demonstrated the complete features of Android Studio 2.o at the Android Developer Summit. If you missed out the Google summit you can check the recording here.

Download Android Studio 2.0

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Elephone P6000 Pro Review: A Budget Smartphone With High-End Specifications.

elephone-p6000-pr-review-specs-pictures-4Budget smartphones are a very interesting smartphone segment where a customer looks for tons of features for a not-so-high price. As the competition in this segment is increasing, thanks to newer markets, we are witnessing a flood of such devices from different smartphone makers. Honk Kong-based Elephone has a strong lineup of budget smartphones and here I’m reviewing the Elephone P6000 Pro 3GB model. 

 

Chinese OEMs have taken the smartphone market with a storm. When they started flooding the world markets few years ago, the low-end tag was always associated with them. This was so because of their low-key specifications like weak CPU, low RAM, copied design, and other factors. Slowly and gradually, they have managed to break the stereotypes and deliver promising devices with loads of features at affordable prices.Today, I’m going to review one such budget smartphone that comes loaded with tons of features: Elephone P6000 Pro.

Elephone is a Hong Kong-based fast-growing company and P6000 Pro is one of the first smartphones from this OEM, featuring an Octa-core 64-bit Cortex-A53 based processor. With each passing day, the 64-bit processors are becoming a more mainstream phenomenon and Elephone P6000 Pro is a good example.

elephone-p6000-pr-review-specs-pictures-1

First impression, design, and display:

My review unit came in a neat white package, opening which I was greeted with a black-colored Elephone P6000 Pro, measuring 71.6mm x 144.5mm x 8.9mm. The phone weighs heavy that feels good and solid to hands. Unlike other China-based OEMs, Elephone has managed to impart a unique design in P6000 Pro.

The back cover and battery are removable, which is a thumbs up. The phone is 8.9mm thick, which isn’t ultra-thin but it isn’t much thick either. The backside of the device has been made more attractive by making the back-edges curved. Phone’s backside features the camera at the top, the Transformer-reminiscent Elephone logo in the middle, and speakers at the bottom.

Looking at the front, on the bottom, you’ll see three capacitive buttons. The center button features a round blue-colored backlight that also acts a notification light. The right of the phone features the sound and power button. The headphone jack is located at the top, whereas the micro-USB port is at the bottom and aligned to the left.

elephone-p6000-pr-review-specs-pictures-3

As I mentioned earlier, phone’s weight feels good to hands. Even though the build is plastic, it does give a little premium feel.

The handset sports a 5-inch 1280×720 pixels IPS capacitive screen. This LG HD display looks good to eyes and delivers a crisp performance from all viewing angles. The phone comes with MiraVision technology for display picture quality optimization.

However, phone struggles a little in direct sunlight but overall delivers a great performance. Another thing that I’d like to mention – the handset comes with two screen protectors and one is already installed.

elephone-p6000-pr-review-specs-pictures-2

Specifications and performance:

Brand / Model Elephone P6000 PRO
OS Android 5.1
CPU MT6753 64bit Octa-core 1.5GHz
GPU ARM MALI T720
RAM 3 GB
ROM 16 GB
Extend card Support micro SD (T-Flash) 128GB
Display Size 5 inch HD
Screen Resolution 1280*720 Pixels
Screen Type IPS-LCD, Multi-Touch Capcitive Screen with LG Screen
Color Black / White
Dimensions 144.5*71.6*8.9mm
Net Weight 165g (with battery)
Front Camera 2.0 mega pixel
Rear Camera 13.0 SAMSUNG mega pixel / Auto Focus / Flash Light
2G GSM: Band 2/3/5/8 (850/900/1800/1900)
3G WCDMA: Band 1/8 (900/2100)
4G LTE LTE-FDD: Band 1/3/7/20 (800/1800/2100/2600)
SIM Card Slot Dual micro SIM card, dual standby
Data transfer Bluetooth 4.0, USB 2.0
WIFI Wifi frequency: 802.11b/g/n wireless
GPS A-GPS Support, Built-in GPS
Battery Li-ion Battery 2700mAh

Elephone P6000 Pro features the MTK6753 1.5GHz quad-core 64-bit Cortex-A53 based processor. It owns 3GB RAM and 16GB inbuilt storage with expandable storage. Out of the total 16GB internal storage, about 13GB is available for use. As advertised by the OEM, MT6753 is faster than its predecessor. The phone runs on Android 5.1 Lollipop out of the box and besides a couple of Elephone apps, there is no bloatware.

However, as a strange issue, I noticed some random app downloads being suggested automatically by the phone. Does that mean it comes with pre-installed adware? I’m a little bit skeptical about it.

Talking about the camera, the phone captures good pictures in light but struggles badly in the dark. Sometimes pictures glow more and pictures don’t feel like from a 13MP.

As I mentioned above, the display of the phone has an appreciable screen and responds well to touch. Testing phone’s processor, I played intensive 3D games like Riptide GP and it delivered a satisfactory performance. However, at the highest setting, Asphalt 8 showed some drop in frame rates.

Our opinion:

The build quality of the device is pretty good and it delivers a pretty decent battery life. All the Google services and Play Store work fine, and I’m not facing any performance glitches (thanks to its 3GB RAM) while using it as my primary phone from last one week. With minor flaws in camera, this dual-SIM 4G phone is a great steal for $140. Its improved processor and RAM make it more capable than what I expected and a tempting budget smartphone.

For more information, you can check out Elephone’s website.

How to Play PS4 Games on Your PC With Remote Play PC App.

sony-ps4

Twisted, an independent app developer, recently announced plans to release his desktop software on Wednesday, which is essentially a port of his previously-released Android app that mimics the PlayStation Vita’s ability to stream games from your PS4.

 

 

Ever thought of playing PS4 games on your PC? Well, now you can. A developer (goes by the name Twisted) who previously made an Android app to play PS-Vita games on PC, is releasing Remote Play PC app which will let you stream PS4 games directly on your PC.In addition to running PS4 titles, Remote Play PC also includes a control panel that maps your mouse and keyboard controls and lets you save them as profiles for different kinds of games.

The only pain point here is that the app is not free and it will cost you somewhere around £6.50/$10 as mentioned in his official blog post.

On pricing part Twisted added –

I’ve been working on this project mostly part time for over a year when the Android version was first released in October 2014. I’ve lost count the amount of hours I’ve put in over this time but I’ve enjoyed every moment working on this project which leads me onto my main point. I’d like to work on this project full time, adding features, getting it stable and porting it to other platforms which I know a lot of you want! The only way to support this is to charge for the app, all my previous projects have been free and I don’t want to have to but sadly its the only way to support my living costs. On the plus side this means I have more time to work on the project and provide support to its users, something which I’ve been limited on in the past.

 

It might happen that Sony will come after Twisted to shut down his unauthorized app. If that happens, you’ll probably have to write off the money you spent on it as it won’t be easy for a lone developer to battle a massive corporation.

Add your views in the comments below.

Via: Kotaku

Li-Fi Tested For 1st Time In Real World And It’s 100 Times Faster Than Wi-Fi.

wi-fi-li-fi

Crossing the boundaries of research compounds, Li-Fi, the super-fast Wi-Fi alternative, has just been tested in real life. The tests have produced impressive results with 100 times more speeds than the current average Wi-Fi speeds.

 

 

Li-Fi is finally moving out of the research labs to the real world environments. This super-fast alternative to Wi-Fi has been tested in a commercial context by Velmenni, an Estonian startup.This technology uses visible light to transmit high-speed data. Earlier this year, Li-Fi was tested in the labs and it achieved speeds of 224 gigabits per second. Now, in Estonia, in the first time field testing, it has been reported that Li-Fi achieved a data transmission rate of 1GB per second i.e., 100 times the current average Wi-Fi speeds.

Li-Fi dates back to 2011, when it was invented by Harald Haas of the University of Edinburg. Using a single LED, he demonstrated that it could transmit more data than a cellular tower. Now, testing it in the real-life scenarios, Velmenni has designed a smart lighting solution for an industrial environment.

Deepak Solanki, CEO of Velmenni told IBTimes UK: “We are doing a few pilot projects within different industries where we can utilise the VLC (visible light communication) technology.”

Li-Fi allows greater security to the data on local networks as light can not pass through walls and ensures lesser interference due to other devices. Professor Haas, the Li-Fi inventor, has said in the past, that every future LED bulb could be used to beam ultra-fast internet via Li-Fi.

It should be noted that Li-Fi might not completely replace the existing Wi-Fi technology as ripping off all the existing Wi-Fi infrastructure doesn’t seem very economical. However, it can be used to complement Wi-Fi as a parallel network.

Watch the TED talk video of professor Haas, where he explains Li-Fi:

Add your views in the comments below.

Apple Is Taking 94% Profits Of The Entire Smartphone Industry.

stev-jobs-iphone-profit

It is estimated that Apple has bagged 94% of the total profits in the Q3 2015, with only 13.4 % share of the total smartphones shipped all around the world. However, brands like Xiaomi, Huawei, who have flooded the market with their low-cost devices haven’t been taken into consideration, as they’ve low-profit percentage on their devices.

 

Apple has been there in the smartphone market since 2007 and they’ve very easily managed to sell those highly overpriced iPhones to their “brand centric”, or I should say loyal customers, who have the courage and enthusiasm to stand in the line for almost 24 hours, just to buy the very first iPhone unit.The Cupertino company’s market share accounted only 13.5% of the world’s total in the Q3 3015, yet they managed to bag 94% of the total profits in Q3 2015.

These figures have been provided by Canaccord Genuity, a Vancouver-based financial research company. But they do believe that their figures might not be accurate, the tsunami of low-cost smartphones taken into consideration. And Samsung has not been able to compete with apple and keep up with its legacy, with only 11% of the total profits for the Q3.

Canaccord Genuity did acknowledge the fact that their survey results might not be accurate:

Given the ramp of Chinese OEM smartphone volumes and particularly strong Q2/2015 smartphone market share gains for Huawei, we note our industry profit analysis excludes a large portion of this group of OEMs gaining an increasing share of the smartphone and handset market profits due to the lack of available and comparable profit metrics.

At this point of time, the war is between Apple’s iPhone and Google’s Android army.

“There is that danger that you get trapped in the middle”, said Neil Mawston, executive director at Strategy Analytics. And brands like Microsoft and Xioami do rely on post-purchase revenues, generated through app purchases, providing services and accessories.

How Roboroach Allows You To Control Living Cockroaches With Your Smartphone.

https://i2.wp.com/d2brer6wwumtdu.cloudfront.net/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/roboroach-boihack-720x340.jpg

Enough about hacking phones and computers – let’s tell you something about the basics of biohacking. A latest Kickstarter project Roboroach allows you to “hack” a roach and control it with your smartphones. Read more to know everything and how it works.

 

 

To teach you the basics of biohacking, a Kickstarter-funded biohacking experiment, known as Roboroach, has introduced a learner kit. This kit allows anyone to perform a surgery on a live insect like a cockroach to turn it into a cyborg pet.While biohacking is still a very new field of science, Roboroach wants to provide some hands-on experience. This $99-kit comes with a Bluetooth-powered chip, along with a kit to perform surgery on a living roach.

As its Kickstarter page describes, the Roboroach is world’s first commercially available cyborg. This experiment involves an amalgamation of behavioral neuroscience and neural engineering.

To make contact with the roaches, via a surgical procedure, a Bluetooth-powered three-lead system is mounted on its back.roboroach-boihack-As expected, Roboroach has attracted some controversies and raised ethical concerns. Addressing them, Roboroach manufacturer Backyard Brains says:

We make sure to anesthetize all our animals when we do experiments, and we explain this to students. We actually don’t know if insects feel pain, but we do make the assumption that they do, which is why we anesthetize them in the first place.

After performing the surgery, you can control the movement of the roach using your smartphone. The chip helps you to create a pseudo-stimuli that decides the direction of your cyborg bug.

This effect works only for a small period of time before the neuroplasticity of roach’s brain starts showing its effect. After the experiment is over, you can remove the Bluetooth chip and leave the roach in the wild without any harm.

Watch the video below to see how Roboroach works:

Add your views in the comments below.

Japan’s Maglev Train Blasts Past Speed Record

 

Imagine commuting at a speed of, well, faster than a speeding bullet. You’d feel like Superman right? The concept isn’t that far-fetched.

During a test run this week, Japan’s state-of-the-art maglev train hit a top speed of 603 kilometers per hour (374.69 mph), marking a new world record. Maglev, or magnetic levitation, trains “float” over guiding tracks utilizing magnetic technology to replace steel wheels and tracks.

The test run was one in a series of milestones as Central Japan Railway moves toward its goal of cutting the current travel time between Tokyo and Nagoya (about 177 miles) to 40 minutes by 2027. Current travel time via an existing bullet train servicing the route is about an hour and a half.

The new world record will likely come into play during an upcoming U.S. visit by Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who has expressed interest in perfecting and distributing the technology internationally.

Windows Phone is the most secure mobile OS says white hat hacker.

Windows Phone Is the Most Secure Mobile Platform-Tech News Nation

Privacy these days is the biggest concern for mobile owners and handset makers after Edward Snowden revealed how UK intelligence agency GCHQ (Government Communications Headquarters) without the knowledge of the owners uses special software to access phones.

Android is the most insecure mobile platform available on the market, as every month new susceptibilities are discovered by Google. Although these problems are notified to the Android OEMs by the company, only few of them are willing to patch them up and push security updates to phones that are affected.

So, which is the current mobile operating system that is secure?

According to white hat hacker and penetration tester Steve Lord, who runs Mandalorian Security Services Ltd, and has more than 15 years experience in the field thinks that Windows Phone is the most secure mobile platform and the hardest to crack.

“All have benefits and drawbacks. Currently Windows Phone seems to be the hardest nut to crack. Blackberry has a long history of being very security-focused. If I have physical access to the device, I find Android’s usually the easiest target. Then comes iPhone, then older versions of BlackBerry. If it’s over a network or I have to attack via email or message, Android’s usually the softest target.

He recommends users to try and use an old Blackberry 10 smartphone or a feature phone to the ones who cannot afford newer smartphones. A smartphone running Windows Phone 8 or newer, too would be a good choice.

While Steve says that Cyanogen OS is more secure on Android smartphones, he also suggests that one should opt for the Nexus-branded devices if you want to use an Android device, as Nexus devices usually receive security updates very often.

Beware: Cheap USB Type-C Cables May Harm Your Devices.

cheap USB-Type-C cables

Thinking of buying a cheap USB Type-C cable from Amazon? Well, think again. Google engineer has blasted the substandard Type-C cables on the product reviews citing them for failing the mentioned specs. Some of those could even damage your device.

Type C cables are in town and are slowly making way into people’s electronics must-have list. USB Type-C cables came into picture as the universal connector platform, but the cheap ones might be doing more damage to your devices than charging it.As revealed by Benson Leung, engineer at Google, cheap Type-C cables and adaptors sold at Amazon do not fulfill the provided standard specs. Benson tested 10 USB Type-C connectors from Amazon and found only three of them: Belkin, iOrange-E and Frieq ($20) to be capable of charging his Chromebook while seven others that were with $10 tags could not.

The cables might be optimal for smartphones, but using the cheap ones for high-powered devices might do some damage. The problem is that the Type-C 1.1 specs clearly allow a power delivery of 3A which is used by the laptops. However, few adaptors are marked with USB to Type-C specifications but do not have an adequate hardware for that purpose.

In other investigation, Leung found that another adaptor manufacturer used easy methods to draw 3A current by using a 10 kΩ resistor rather than the standard 56kΩ. The adaptor would no doubt, Leung says, charge your phones, laptops or notebooks but will cause damage to the cable or the device itself.

Leung has been severe while giving reviews to the products that failed the standard specs.

So, simply said, you can use the cheap Type-C connectors and USB to Type-C adaptors for your smartphones but do not risk your laptop computer with these, instead stick to the official products or rather, the expensive ones.

via: arstechnica

Why Is Mars Dead? NASA Gives The Explanation.

Is-Mars-Dead? Curse Solar Storms

While the search for life on Mars has gone full throttle, NASA explains what had actually happened on the red planet. How come our once lively neighbour turned into an arid, cold and dead planet! Read to know more.

Life on Mars or rather lifelessness on Mars has been a topic of contention among scientists since decades now. Mars was once a lush green planet with big oceans and rivers just like our Earth, but due to certain reasons it changed into what we see now as the dry, cold and lifeless planet (although, we saw some kind of water trickles on the Red planet just a few weeks back).But, NASA it seems, has finally figured out the reason as to why Mars has been dead for so long. In its press conference, NASA revealed that our Sun (yes, our life-giving star) is the reason that today, there is no atmosphere on Mars. The strong solar winds has been stripping Mars of its atmosphere at the rate of 1/4 pound of gas every second.

How Will Blasting Mars With Nuclear Weapons Make It Habitable?

With the help of MAVEN (Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution), Bruce Jakosky, MAVEN’s researcher at University of Colorado found that when the Sun was young it bore super strong solar storms and the charged particles in those solar storms would come gusting at Mars with speed of over one million miles per hour. The high-speed moving charge particles created a strong magnetic field which withered away the atmosphere  (starting from the ionosphere) of the planet bit by bit.

As we know, a thick atmosphere provides a solid base and cover to the planet from the outside threats (meteors and solar storms) thus, sustaining the life within. Similar was the condition of Mars before the erosion started and this gives a clue of the dynamics and evolution of the planetary atmosphere.

While we are still searching for life on Mars and other planets, the question we need to ask to ourselves is that has the time come for the humans to become a multiplanetary species, or are we waiting too long?

Watch the video by NASA to understand how the withering of atmosphere took place from the plumes and tail of the once flourishing Red Planet.

Will our Earth face a similar fate?? Tell us in comments below.

source: NASA