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28
Jan

Bandai Namco releases Digimon Heroes


digimon_heroes_app_icon

New game alert. Bandai Namco Entertainment America Inc. on Monday released a new mobile game — Digimon Heroes.

From the Digimon Heroes download page in the Google Play Store:

“Digimon Heroes is an exciting and free-to-play Card Battle Adventure featuring an all-star cast of more than 1,000 of your favorite DIGIMON characters! Collect your Digimon, build your teams and conquer your enemies all over the Digital World of File Island.”

The game’s description also says users can choose from over 1,000 Digimon and “digivolve” them together into stronger forms. While the game is free, there are in-app purchases available.

Play Store Download Link

 

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28
Jan

HTC One M10 will reportedly pull all stops, with a QHD display and 12 UltraPixel camera


The soon to come HTC One M10 is shaping up to be quite the beast. I, for one, hope this is the flagship that us HTC fans have been waiting for.

As the launch approaches, we’ve been getting little tidbits of information. But the M10’s specs have been kept quiet. Until now, that is. Courtesy of Evan Blass (via VentureBeat), we’ve gotten our first peak into the what the M10 (codenamed “Perfume”) will deliver, and it’s sounding really good.

Firstly, HTC will finally join the rest of the flagship crowd with a QHD (2560×1440 pixel) display. It is said to continue the AMOLED panel trend revitalized with the One A9. And the screen size will be slightly bumped to 5.1″ (from 5″ on the One M9). No word if there will be a larger variant (I sure hope so).

I know a lot of us are wondering what the M10 will look like. There was no word in this report about the appearance, but it’s safe to assume that it will look a lot like the A9. Evan Blass previously said in a tweet, “If you like the A9, you’ll love the M10.”

HTC One A9

HTC One A9

The chipset was reported as the Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 (Adreno 530 graphics) and 4GB of RAM. This is pretty much expected, but what wasn’t is the return of the UltraPixel camera. Yes, it is said to make a full force comeback, tripling the capture resolution of the original to 12 UltraPixels.

The advantage of UltraPixels is larger sized pixels, to capture way more light than the traditional megapixel. It helps tremendously with those tricky low-light situations. It’s low-light performance was proven on the One M7 and M8, but the original’s low 4 UltraPixel resolution didn’t jive with many folks. Things should get interesting now that we’ll have a more competitive 12 UltraPixel sensor.

Additionally, the camera’s focusing will be assisted by a laser auto-focus. Both the front and rear cameras will generously pack optical image stabilization (OIS).

The One A9 got rid of HTC’s signature BoomSound speakers (dual front-facing stereo speakers, used in HTC flagships since the One M7). Unfortunately, this report says that HTC is dropping it from the M10 as well. We can speculate that the speakers added too much bezel; it’s a common complaint that HTC phones are tall for their display size.

As far as timing, the M10 is said to miss a Mobile World Congress unveiling. That’s all we know. No pricing or estimated launch date. Does the One M10 so far sound like a winner to you? All we know is that the company really could use a big hitter right now.

Source: VentureBeat

The post HTC One M10 will reportedly pull all stops, with a QHD display and 12 UltraPixel camera appeared first on AndroidGuys.

28
Jan

Google’s VirusTotal can tell if your firmware is infected


BIOS firmware is the root of your electronic devices, dictating communication between a computer’s hardware and operating system from the boot-up process. It’s an insulated layer in most devices, and organizations including the National Security Agency have focused on infecting firmware because it’s not covered in standard virus-detection scans. Google’s latest VirusTotal tool changes that — in a blog post, VirusTotal security engineer Francisco Santos outlines the dangers of firmware malware and how the company can now pinpoint that bad code.

“Since the BIOS boots a computer and helps load the operating system, by infecting it attackers can deploy malware that survives reboots, system wiping and reinstallations, and since antiviruses are not scanning this layer, the compromise can fly under the radar,” Santos writes. “As of today VirusTotal is characterizing in detail firmware images, legit or malicious.”

Researchers can upload malware to VirusTotal to see which antivirus products detect malicious code. On top of labeling firmware images, the new tool can extract certificates from the firmware and its executable files, and it can extract portable executables inside the image. PEs are a high-profile source of malicious software, Santos says.

“What’s probably most interesting is the extraction of the UEFI Portable Executables that make up the image, since it is precisely executable code that could potentially be a source of badness,” Santos writes. “These executables are extracted and submitted individually to VirusTotal, such that the user can eventually see a report for each one of them and perhaps get a notion of whether there is something fishy in their BIOS image.”

The “next interesting step” for VirusTotal’s firmware tool is the ability to dump your own BIOS firmware into its scanning service, Santos says.

Via: PC World

Source: VirusTotal

28
Jan

‘Song of the Deep’ is GameStop’s first published game


GameStop is making its debut as a gaming publisher with Song of the Deep. Created alongside none other than Insomniac Games, the studio behind acclaimed titles such as Ratchet & Clank, this 2D platformer promises an action-packed journey — and there are stunning visuals to boot. Song of the Deep’s story wraps around a girl’s search for her missing father, through an underwater adventure that will require you to explore and use discovery skills to accomplish your goal.

It’s not clear whether GameStop gave any creative input to the project , but we can’t imagine it was much, if any. The company’s CEO, Paul Raines, said couple of years ago that it wouldn’t interfere with game development. “We love to play games, and unlike our competitors all we do is gaming,” he told TIME in an interview about GameStop’s venture into publishing. “But we will not be involved in the artistic or creative process. That’s not really our domain.”

Song of the Deep will hit PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC later this summer for $15. Until then, enjoy the trailer released today.

Via: The Verge

Source: Insomniac Games

28
Jan

National Science Foundation funding rules target harassment


Sexual harassment has been an endemic problem within the scientific community for years. Well, the National Science Foundation is mad as hell and it’s not gonna take it anymore. The NSF announced on Monday “its strong commitment to preventing harassment and to eradicate gender-based discrimination in science” and promised to cut funding to institutions that tolerate or enable such behavior.

“NSF does not tolerate sexual harassment and encourages members of the scientific community who experience such harassment to report such behavior immediately,” the organization stated in a press release. “As the primary funder of fundamental science and engineering research in the U.S., NSF supports researchers and students at the forefront of their fields—each of whom deserves to be treated fairly, with dignity and respect.”

To that end, the NSF announced that it will work with the Departments of Justice and Education to ensure Title IX compliance. Should any of the 2,000 universities and research institutes that the NSF funds fail to meet the Title IX standards and refuse to voluntarily come into compliance, the NSF vowed to cut their funding.

Via: Jezebel

Source: National Science Foundation

28
Jan

Yahoo unifies its homepage and news app with more content


Yahoo’s bringing a major overhaul to its homepage and apps for iOS and Android. Today, the internet giant announced it’s making notable content and design changes to these platforms, in an effort to make the experience consistent across the board. One of the main tweaks is how it delivers articles to users: If you have an account, the news feed will now tailor itself for you, with topics you’re interested in. So the more time you spend on the homepage or app, the more they learn about your preferences.

Additionally, Yahoo is also making it easier to keep up with developing stories. You can get real-time updates as a story is developing and, should your heart desire, notifications when new information has been added to the article. It’s definitely an improved way to consume media — that’s particularly beneficial for those of you who are Yahoo power users.

Source: Yahoo

28
Jan

Global smartphone sales hit a record high in 2015, but growth is slowing


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We know, it’s that time of year: fourth quarter earnings are coming in, annual reports are being released and various research companies are crunching the numbers and telling us what it all means. But before you fall into a spreadsheet-induced coma, remember that the trends these reports reveal mean very big things for the mobile telecommunications market, both in terms of who’s coming up, who’s on the way out and even how much we’ll likely be paying for phones in the coming years.

So it is with the two annual smartphone industry reports released in the last couple of days by Strategy Analytics and IDC. According to both companies, 2015 witnessed the largest-ever shipments of smartphones globally: 1.4 billion units to be precise. That’s a solid 10% increase over 2014’s figures and the most number of phones sold in the market’s history.

2015 global sales IDC

But what about all these stories saying that the smartphone market is weakening and everyone is at risk of going under? Well, both LG and Samsung posted dismal fourth quarter reports in the last week and even Apple has predicted its first sales decline in over a decade. But if smartphone sales are increasing, what’s the problem?

The problem is that while smartphone sales are still strong, smartphone growth is diminishing at the same time as increased competition is threatening the status quo. We’ve seen the symptoms of this situation just this week as many of the traditional big players lose ground to strong Chinese competition from the likes of Xiaomi, Lenovo and Huawei. But even for the successful Chinese vendors the market’s future isn’t looking great.

strategy-analytics-2015 Strategy Analytics

According to Strategy Analytics, the fourth quarter of 2015 saw the weakest growth rate the smartphone market has ever seen. While it must be pointed out that 6% growth isn’t exactly terrible – a profit is still a profit when the entire industry is trending downwards, it’s only a matter of time until growth becomes decline. 2016 may not be the year that smartphone sales plateau, but that turning point isn’t far away.

Expansion into emerging markets will slow the outgoing tide, perhaps for a number of years, but once everyone without a phone in those new markets gets a phone, market growth will plummet. There simply won’t be anywhere new to sustain such rapid growth. This is why new markets are so enticing: when a new market opens up the entire population is a potential customer. The trouble starts once all those potential customers have what you’re selling.

2015 global vendor list IDC

So just as we’re seeing Samsung losing ground and Apple supposedly hitting its own sales ceiling, other big names like Sony and HTC are already on the way out. Apple and Samsung will be able to stick it out through their sheer size alone, but there’s only so long Chinese vendors can grow when the market itself begins shrinking, even if they do continue to nibble at the bigger players.

2015 FLAGSHIP REVIEWS:

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Of course, the numbers don’t agree entirely either, as you can see if you look at QoQ and YoY fluctuations in market share according to the two research firms data, but the wider trend is clear: smartphone penetration globally is slowly reaching saturation point. The good side of all this is that as competition increases and the market weakens, lower prices will become the next competitive advantage.

When do you think smartphones sales will begin to decline? What do you see happening to the market in the years to come?

Don’t miss: Flashbacks and Forecasts: Samsung in 2016

Don’t miss: Flashbacks and Forecasts: LG in 2016

28
Jan

Why I switched to the iPhone…. (and back again)


As some of you may know, I took the month of December off, before jumping back into the fray at CES 2016. During my time off, while deciding which device to use as my daily driver, I thought about giving a phone that I haven’t used for a prolonged period a chance.

why i switched to iphone aa (9 of 12)

Granted, we have used the latest iPhones in a series of in-depth comparisons against its Android competition, but never as my only daily driver, and so I now had the opportunity to see what the craze as such was all about by using this smartphone on the daily. Of course, this did this take a lot of my friends by surprise, as seen in the image above, but here’s why I switched to the iPhone 6S….and switched right back again.

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At the start, it has to be admitted that the iPhone is a very well-designed phone, and that is driven home by the fact that quite a few Android OEMs design smartphones that are inspired by it, with some more obvious than others. Here, I had my hands on the new rose gold edition of the device however, and lets just say that this color iteration will likely not be universally popular, and really boils down to individual preferences, which holds true even when it comes to some Android devices out there.

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In looking to protect the device, and in part hide the fact that I was using an iPhone, I decided to pick up a case, and found one from a rather surprising source, OnePlus. It really goes to show how robust Apple’s third-party accessory ecosystem is, considering that OnePlus, an Android device manufacturer, also has available a protective case for the iPhone, even if OnePlus did seem to be taking a shot at the device with the tag “Get a grip” on the inside of the case.

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As far as the different features go, I did initially under-rate the silence toggle found on the left side of the phone, since I keep my phones on silent the majority of the time because of using a smartwatch. The silence toggle does prove to be useful however, given that it muted pretty much everything on the phone, and is far more simple to use compared to the somewhat confusing software implementation seen with most Android devices, that can take some getting used to.

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3D Touch is of course, the big new feature that was introduced with the latest iPhone, and while this feature does have potential, and is a quick and easy way to get to shortcuts of different applications, it’s not something that I ended up using all that often. Ultimately, if it wasn’t a feature available with the phone, it’s not something that I would have noticed.

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The biggest issue I had by far with the iPhone 6S was battery life, resulting in my becoming “that guy”, you know, the one that is frantically searching and asking around for an iPhone charger. More commonly, I became the person with the phone that was almost dead at the end of the day. That said, the standby time of the device is actually pretty impressive, and if there was enough of a charge, I could leave the phone just sitting there, and not have much of a problem when I came back to it.

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For the longest time, the iPhone camera was touted as the best in the business, but with Android doing a great job in this regard in 2015, this time around, I found the camera of the iPhone 6S to offer a mostly standard experience. I actually didn’t find too much that was a whole lot better or worse when compared to plenty of other good Android cameras out there. When the iPhone 6S camera is doing well, it really does do a wonderful job, with pictures offering a lot of detail, and with the right depth of color to them.

However, the camera does suffer in lower light conditions, as expected, and as such, you won’t find the iPhone camera to be particularly superior to any good Android cameras. The Auto mode of the iPhone does work well, but a manual mode would certainly have been appreciated, to have more control to cater the shot to exactly how I wanted it.

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Moving on to the fingerprint scanner, it has to be admitted that the fingerprint readers found on the iPhone 6S and 6S Plus happen to be some of the best that are out there. They rival that of the Nexus 6P, and I would put both fingerprint reader implementations at par. No matter how quickly you remove your finger from the home button, it’s always going to jump right into the interface, and is something that proves to be extremely reliable.

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You might not be surprised to know that I didn’t have that many problems using the iPhone as my daily driver, but the main reason for that is the fact that I actually enjoy cross-platforming. I make sure that a lot of the applications that I use can be used on both Android and iOS, such as Cloud Magic. It has to mentioned here that Google Maps is vastly better than Apple Maps though, with the former being a lot more accurate, and is also easier to use for navigation, even if that may be because I’m already so used to it.

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After the one month trial, I arrived at a big realization when getting the Nexus 6P back in my hands, and that is the fact that customization takes on two different premises as far as these two competing ecosystems are concerned. On one hand is the iPhone, with its user interface the unchanged sea of icons across multiple homescreens, and while ease of use is undeniably a big plus here, it did feel like a somewhat sterile experience.

Meanwhile on Android, you can cater exactly where you want the apps to be or rely on the app drawer, so there is always something extra that you will be doing to make the experience more personal. That customization extends to everything from the wallpapers, lockscreen, and even what launcher is being used, and the ability to make it your own is what makes Android stand out.

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Basically, with Android, customization comes from within, but in the case of the iPhone, it is seen only externally. With a variety of cases, covers, and third-party accessories available for the iPhone, the personalization comes from you would like your device to look from the outside, while the inside remains a kind of ubiquitous experience. Of course, that was what iOS was intended to do, and Apple certainly did achieve that.

All said and done, having the actual customization, and having my phone be literally mine from the inside and out is what makes me gravitate to Android. Of course, that is a position that a lot of people have taken, but that is something I started to appreciate even more, while using the iPhone 6S during the month of December as my daily driver. Ultimately, once I made my return to Android after a month break, I haven’t looked back.

iPhone 6S/6S Plus Videos

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28
Jan

HTC One M10 reportedly launching with a QHD AMOLED display, fingerprint sensor and Snapdragon 820


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Now that it’s officially rumor season, we’ve been hearing an increasing amount of leaked specs and features that might be present on the upcoming Samsung Galaxy S7, S7 Edge and LG G5. One major manufacturer we haven’t really heard much about as of late is HTC, specifically regarding the upcoming One M10 flagship. As the successor to last year’s One M9, HTC’s next flagship needs to be innovative, unique and appealing to customers, as it’s no secret that the company has been experiencing some financial woes as of late. It turns out the device might just be what consumers have been asking for, at least if this new leak turns out to be true.

This rumor comes to us from prominent tech leaker @evleaks, writing for VentureBeat. Mr. Blass supposedly talked to a source that had hands-on time with a One M10 prototype. Referred to internally as the ‘Perfume’, the One M10 will reportedly feature a 5.1-inch Quad HD (1440 x 2560) display, which looked to be of the AMOLED variety. It’ll also come with HTC’s Sense 8.0 user interface atop Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow. A fingerprint sensor will also be present below the display, similar to the scanners present on the One A9 or the Galaxy S6.


Best Android smartphones flagships 1Related: 6 phones we look forward to in 201646

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Under the hood, the device will likely feature a Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 with Adreno 530 GPU, which shouldn’t really come as a surprise. HTC has been pretty adamant about including the latest top-of-the-line processors in its handsets, and Qualcomm’s 820 chipset is one of the best currently available. It will also supposedly feature 4GB of RAM, as well as 32GB of on-board storage and microSD expansion. VentureBeat says the prototype device had 23GB of internal storage available to the user upon boot. The tipster said the device’s external appearance may still be subject to change, so they were unwilling to comment on the aesthetics. The leaker did mention, however, that there will be no Boomsound speakers present on the M10.

It’s no secret that HTC has struggled with imaging over the years. The One M8 toted the company’s in-house built UltraPixel sensor on the back, which ended up disappointing many users in the end. Then the company switched to a more traditional 20MP sensor for the One M9, which turned out to be yet another disappointment. Surprisingly, HTC might be changing its ways yet again, as the M10 will supposedly launch with a 12 UltraPixel rear-facing camera. While the front-facing sensor’s resolution wasn’t specified, both the rear and front cameras will offer optical image stabilization (OIS).

We’re still not entirely sure about pricing or availability details, though previous rumors suggest the device could launch at a standalone event in March. What are your thoughts on the rumors so far? If this leak proves true, do you think HTC has a shot at winning back consumers? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.

Next: HTC One M10 rumor roundup

28
Jan

T-Mobile reports that Binge On users stream twice as much video, adds Amazon Video


best mobile carriers

Although T-Mobile has been causing a number of kerfuffles with their controversial Binge On program, the numbers they’re reporting seem to indicate that users really get a kick out of it. In a press releases today, the “Un-carrier” announced that Binge On customers spend twice as many hours per day streaming video than they did prior to the service being rolled out.

Apparently, this increase in streaming isn’t limited to services included in the Binge On program. Although partners in the service have seen a marked increase in viewership, some receiving as much as a 79% jump in daily users, even non-partnered streaming services are getting up to a third as much attention from Binge On users.


John Legere T-MobileSee also: John Legere apologizes to EFF but continues to defend Binge On8

T-Mobile reports that over 34 petabytes of free video content has been streamed through Binge On since it’s start last year. They attempt to make this figure more comprehensible by comparing it to 109 million episodes of Game of Thrones.

In addition to announcing these numbers, T-Mobile also revealed that they have partnered with Amazon Video and three other major streaming services: Fox News, Univision Now, and the WWE Network. Although the three smaller services are nice, the big deal here is Amazon Video, a large streaming service that’s still going through growing pains but which hopes to someday rival Netflix and HBO.

John Legere T-Mobile

CEO John Legere boasted that Binge On is T-Mobile’s “most disruptive Un-carrier move yet.” He went on saying, “It has literally changed the way millions of people are watching video – they’re watching more, more than twice as much as before, and most importantly, they’re watching without worrying about bigger bills or surprise overages! Binge On is the Un-carrier solution to satisfy Americans’ growing appetite for mobile video – and the facts are telling us that customers love it!”

If these figures are accurate, then it does seem like Binge On users are enjoying their service in spite of the cut in video quality that comes with the territory. The controversial program has drawn fire from YouTube, Google, and even the EFF, with concerns as large as “net neutrality” getting thrown around. John Legere has repeatedly defended Binge On, comparing it to an economy setting on an automobile. The “optimized” video consumes less mobile data for streaming services across the board but still delivers image quality that Legere claims is on-par with DVDs.

Next: Best T-Mobile Android phones (January 2016)

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