Author Archives: Prasad
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Google Play Store 4.4 to bring new navigation UI design

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Google is prepping some new changes for the upcoming version 4.4 of the Google Play Store app that will bring it in line with other Google apps on your Android device.

You may have noticed that some of the Google apps, such as Play Books, Play Movies, Play Music, Play Games, Maps, Gmail and YouTube, have a slide out drawer on the side that have tabs for navigation. It’s only natural then that the Play Store app also gets the same treatment. Read more »

Facebook releases official app for Windows 8.1

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Although Windows 8 has always had Facebook integrated in the OS Facebook has now released a proper app for those who are into that sort of thing. The app is being released on the same day as Windows 8.1 and is only compatible with the new version of Microsoft’s desktop operating system.

As you can see from the screenshot, the app looks similar to the web version of Facebook, but has a flat look to blend with the general UI design of Windows 8.1. It also supports Snap View so you can run it alongside other apps and with Windows 8.1 now improving the Snap View functionality by letting you adjust the size the apps take and having up to four apps on the screen simultaneously, this is going to come in handy. Read more »

Nikon announces D5300, company’s first DSLR with built-in Wi-Fi

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Nikon has announced the D5300, a new mid-range model in the company’s DSLR range. It has a 24.2 megapixel CMOS sensor that covers an ISO range of 100-12800 (expandable up to 25600) and is powered by the new EXPEED 4 image processor. The D5300 doesn’t have an optical low pass filter, which improves image sharpness and detail at the expense of anti-aliasing.

Other features include a 39-point auto-focus system, Scene Recognition System, 1080p60 video recording, 5 fps burst mode and a 3.2-inch articulating LCD. Read more »

Sony announces new A7, A7R and RX10 cameras

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Sony has announced three new cameras, two of which are particularly exciting. Those are the A7 and A7R that have been doing the rounds of the internet the past few days in the form of leaked images. The third is the RX10, which is essentially the RX100 II with high-zoom lens.

The A7 and A7R are the world’s first compact full frame mirrorless interchangeable lens cameras. The only difference between the two is in the sensor used. Read more »

Square Cash lets you send cash through email

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You may have heard of the mobile payment company Square. Co-founded by the co-founder of Twitter – Jack Dorsey – the company came up with the revolutionary Square Reader for the iPhone for swiping credit cards directly on your phone.

Their newest venture, called Square Cash, lets you send money to anyone for free using just an email without any signup or registration. Read more »

Android 4.4 KitKat to bring ability to set your default SMS app

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Android has always allowed the ability to replace any of the built-in apps with something else. But while it is possible to do this for certain functions using public APIs, for others, developers have to rely on private APIs, a practice Google condemns.

This is true for all the SMS applications currently on the store. But that is about to change with Android 4.4 KitKat. Google has announced that they will be making the APIs required for this public. Moreover, they are also introducing the concept of setting your default SMS app. Read more »

‘Headless’ for iOS and Android game review

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One of the most fun category of games on the mobile platform is endless runners. While these may be deemed too simple on consoles or on the PC, their minimal control system makes them ideal for the touchscreen-based devices, not to mention they have proven to be enormously addictive and great for quick playthroughs when you have some time to spare.

Some great examples would be the many variations of Temple Run, Canabalt, Jetpack Joyride and several other games inspired from these. Today we will be looking at one called Headless that literally takes the saying ‘running around like a headless chicken’ and makes an endless running game out of it. Let’s see if it’s more than just a clever concept. Read more »

‘The Cave’ for iOS game review

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The Cave is a new puzzle game by the creator of the critically acclaimed Maniac Mansion and Monkey Island games. The game was first released on consoles and PC and was later ported over to iOS with optimizations for the touchscreen.

The Cave features seven different characters, each with a unique ability and you play with three at any time and solve puzzles using their individual skills, often used simultaneously. The premise is fun and the game is great on the console/PC. Let’s see how well that has translated over to the mobile platform. Read more »

Nikon announces D610 full-frame DSLR

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Last year Nikon launched the D600, a full-frame DSLR with a pricetag that didn’t require you to sell your kids to be able to afford it. Now, they have launched the new D610, that features some minor improvements over its predecessor.

One of the new features is a quiet, continuous shutter mode, that allows photographers to shoot discreetly at 3fps in burst mode. Nikon has also improved the white balance on the D610 over its predecessor and it now captures more natural colors than before. Lastly, the speed and performance has also been improved and the D610 is now faster, allowing it to capture at around 6fps in burst mode. Read more »

Hangouts rumored to integrate SMS and MMS in future

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One of the major complaints with the Hangouts app on Android is that it doesn’t integrate with the other built-in messaging apps on Android. This leaves you with not one but three messaging apps when you first start the device, Hangouts, Google+ Messenger and the standard Messages app for SMS and MMS.

While the jury is still out on why Google needs both Hangouts and Google+ Messenger app since they both essentially do the same, a lot of people have suggested Google integrate Messages with Hangouts (the way SMS, MMS and iMessages are integrated in a single app on iOS or Facebook chat and SMS are integrated on Windows Phone). Read more »

Latest updated to Chrome developer version turns it into Chrome OS under Windows 8

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The current stable version of Google Chrome has two modes under Windows 8. On the desktop mode, it runs the same way it does on Windows 8. In the new Modern UI, it is again basically the same app, but running in a permanent fullscreen mode instead.

Google has been playing around a bit with the browser and how it works under this mode in Windows 8 and you can see that in the latest developer build. The latest update essentially turns Chrome into Chrome OS that runs within Windows 8, complete with a new UI and its own app drawer. Read more »

‘Cat on a Diet’ for iOS game review

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We all like to see console-quality games on the mobile platform. But while these games look great in demos, they often don’t play very well on a touchscreen due to the lack of physical controls. I have personally been more fond of simple, casual games on mobile that manage to be fun without being too heavy on graphics and employ a simple control scheme that takes advantage of a touchscreen rather than be crippled by it.

Cat on a Diet on a diet is a new casual title from Chillingo, the people who brought us games like Cut the Rope in the past. This one is along similar lines, but features a new character and gameplay elements that are different enough to warrant a new game. Let’s take a closer look and see how this one fares. Read more »

Chrome for Android beta brings homescreen bookmarks and new tab page

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Google has updated the beta version of the Chrome for Android browser and added two new features to the mix. The first one is the ability to save any web page as a shortcut on the homescreen.

What this feature does is lets you have a shortcut to any webpage on your homescreen so you can quickly launch it in Chrome without having to open the browser first. This feature has been available on the stock Android browser but is now available to those devices that don’t have the stock Android browser, such as the Nexus and Google Play edition devices. Read more »

LTE Nexus 7 receives Android 4.3.1 update

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Google has started seeding a new update for Nexus devices, which updates the version number to 4.3.1. The first device to receive this update is the LTE version of the new Nexus 7.

It’s unclear what’s new in the update but considering the size and the point point version number it will likely be minor bug fixes. Read more »

Instagram to start featuring photo and video ads

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The Instagram service has been free of cost to users ever since it launched three years ago on the iPhone. After it became immensely popular, the service was acquired by Facebook for a billion dollars last year, which signalled that there might be a change in the way the company made money. In this case, by starting to make money.

So Instagram has now announced how they will be making money. In the next couple of months, Instagram users in the US will start seeing promoted photos and videos from top brands on their timeline. These photos will appear on your timeline as if you were following that account. If you don’t like a particular photo or video, you can choose to hide it and report it. Read more »