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How to Hack Android Games [Tutorial]

Alright, we know this is lame. Cheating on Android games is not exactly an astute thing to do. Why cheat in a sport which is meant to be fun, right? And, besides, you’re competing with your friends, not fiends.

Frankly speaking, yes, we do acknowledge that fact, and thereby, we think it’s important to clear the perspective from which this tutorial has been written.Per se, we’re trying to help people- who are stuck at an exacting level, or who want to transfer their saved games to new device, or who want to develop games that cannot be forged using cheats.

Concisely speaking, this is an educational guide that, although, teaches you how to cheat Android games, but strongly discourages you from using these cheats in phony ways. Alternatively, you can use these tricks to emancipate yourself from the misery of being stuck at an imperious level- struggling to find a way out. Besides, understanding how these cheats work could help you in developing top-notch games that cannot be shammed. Remember, if you want to be bad, be bad for a reason. So, before attempting these tricks, make sure you have a good enough reason to support your choice.

Anyway, let’s put our utopia aside for a while, and get started with apps/tricks that allow you to cheat/hack Android games.

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All the tricks mentioned below require a rooted Android device. In case you don’t know what rooting is and how it’s done, read our in-depth guide on the Android rooting process.

What these cheats can’t do?

Before we discuss what the cheat does, and how it works, we would like to clear some air on what these cheats don’t do- or rather- mention the games on which these cheats won’t work.

The cheats won’t work if-

  • The game stores the in-game variables (ammo, health, wealth) on the server side.
  • The game requires a continuous network connection.

In short, these cheats cannot manipulate the data on the server side. It can only tamper the offline data stored by the game.

How to Hack Android Games?

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GameCIH2- The Ultimate Cheat Engine

We kick-off with the numero uno cheat engine for Android- GameCIH2. It’s an app for rooted devices that runs in background and allows you to edit the in-game variables that reside in the temporary memory. In other words, the app allows you to edit the values of in-game attributes like wealth, ammo, health, etc.  The app searches various memory locations for variables like ‘money’ through a trial-and-error method.  GameCIH2 works for almost any game on the Android marketplace, and is one of the easiest ways to run low-level edits on game data.

Games that can be hacked using GameCIH2: Drag Racing, Temple Run, Racing Moto, Lane Splitter, Defender II, Assaulter, Myth Defense, Castle of Shadows, Toy Village, Can Knockdown, Subway Surfers, Fruit Ninja, Dream Heights, and many more.

GameCIH2 is activated by a hotkey that needs to be pressed while playing the game. Pressing the hotkey while playing the game would open GameCIH2. Input the number of coins, money, health or ammo you wish to gain. Minimize GameCIH2, and continue with the game. The cheat should work, and you would gain the requested coins, ammo or health level. To know more about the cheat engine, follow this thread on xda Developers. The app is fairly easy to use, and as it works with most Android games, it’s, undoubtedly, the ultimate cheat engine for Android.

Download GameCIH2

Game Guardian

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There’s another app that you can try, in case the game you were unable to breakthrough using GameCIH2. The app isn’t as good as GameCIH2, as it doesn’t allow you to search for variables manually. So, in case the game has some weird name for coins, you cannot use Game Guardian. However, you can search for custom labels in various memory locations, and edit their values. The app also allows you to lock-in multiple addresses at one time, which, apparently, means you can apply multiple cheats at once. The steps for applying a cheat while playing a game are similar to GameCIH2.

Try this if GameCIH2 didn’t work for you. The following thread should answer all the questions you might have while using Game Guardian.

Download Game Guardian

If both the aforementioned methods don’t work, look for saved games

In case, you’re not able to cheat the game using GameCIH2 or Game Guardian, the best way out is to look for saved games. There are lots of websites on the internet that host saved/completed games.  There are also patches that you can apply in order to gain unlimited ammo, power or health.

Just type the following string in Google: <”Game Name”> + <saved games>. Once you’ve downloaded the saved game, you just need to copy the content to /data/app (in case you haven’t moved the app to SD card).  In case you find it tough to find saved games, check out the last section of this article.

How these cheats work?

In case you’re interested how these cheats work, here’s the dig. The cheat engine tries to access the memory location held by the game that stores the important variables. Once the cheat engine finds the memory address, it locks that particular memory location, and prevents the game from altering the value of the label. The tricky part of the cheat is to pinpoint the memory location that corresponds to the looked up attribute. Once the memory location is found, the cheat engine just has to edit the values, and lock the location for rewrite. The only way to prevent cheat engines from editing your in-app variables is to store the data on the server side.

How to transfer games across devices?

Sometimes, you’re not looking for any serious hacks/cheats, but merely want to transfer your saved game data from one device to another. Won’t it be amazing if you could play a game on your smartphone, and continue the game on your tablet from the very point you left it? Well, you can do that with manifold tools available mentioned below:

Data Sync: The most convenient app for backing up game data, and transferring them to other devices. Data Sync allows you to share app data between Android devices. Data Sync works over a Wi-Fi network, but it can be integrated with cloud services like Dropbox and Box as well. It also supports syncing data across devices through Bluetooth and NFC. This is an amazing app in case you want to sync the game data between various devices, and start the game on your tablet, right from where you left off on your smartphone. (10/10)

GameOn: Game On is a network of players across the world that upload the saved files, which in turn can be used by other players to progress through levels, and gain XP. The Game On network currently hosts 60 games. Looking up for a saved progress and installing it on your smartphone is easy. It’s an awesome way to get back into track, in case you have lost all your game progress due to data wipe. (8/10)

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Save Share: The SaveShare application for Android works just like Data Sync app. In case the Data Sync app doesn’t work on your smartphone or you find it incompetent, you can give this one a try! (9/10)

If you have any more hacking/cheating tips for Android games, do share them with us.

[Tip-Off: While using the games, avoid setting ostentatious high-scores on the game leader-board, as most people would take the hint that you have cheated to get the score. The secret of success, undeniably, lies in hiding your sources. So, make sure you cover your tracks and do not aim for a pompous score. Also, please note that some cheats are irreversible. For example, if you try any of the cheats to get a high-score in game in order to be on the top of the Leader-board, please remember that there’s no way to revert it. Games like Subway Surfers tie the user’s statistics with their Facebook account. So, you won’t be able to undo the damage in case something goes wrong. ]

A Complete Beginner’s Guide to Developing Apps (iPhone, Android, and Windows)

 

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Mobile app development is the new buzz word in the arena of technology. Considering the fact that there are over 700,000 apps on Play Store as well as App store, that doesn’t come much as a surprise. With estimations suggesting that the mobile app industry would become a $35 billion industry by 2015, there’s surely no one belittling this new playground.

For some, it’s a shortcut to fame, money, and respect. While for some, it’s a means to reach millions of users worldwide. For successful app developers, it’s both.

So, if you always had an idea that you wished could be transformed into something real, something interactive, something useful, here’s your chance to develop an app. Just how every contrivance ascends from an ingenious idea; apps, too, need to be created first in your head, and then on your computer.

However, finger-flicking-good apps can’t be developed just by downloading run-of-the-mill training videos, and learning some atypical languages. Developing awesome apps goes way beyond watching tutorials and learning languages. It requires creativity, design, awareness of the market trends and most importantly- an idea.

 

Kicking-off with an awesome idea

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To develop an app, you need to have an idea that would click among the masses. There’s no point developing mediocre apps; the app stores are already stuffed with thousands of those.

Many novices spend hours learning technicalities of different languages, only to end up developing apps which are not revered by the masses. They fail not because they are poorly designed, but because there are better alternates. For instance, there’s no point developing an online chat messenger like WhatsApp, or developing alternate mobile browsers, unless of course you are confident of outdoing the competition.

But… how exactly do you kick-off with an awesome idea?

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  • Think of something innovative that is already on the web and can be ported to mobile. Though web and apps are two different sides of the coin, it won’t be untrue to conclude that everything that works on web, works on apps too. For instance, to simplify the news-reading experience of people, you can aggregate the popular news-sources from the web and, sort them according to keywords and develop an app that listens to their RSS feeds.
  • Think of an app that you always wished you could have. As they say, charity begins at home. Get your nimble neurons to work and spin up an idea that could allow you the luxury of being just a tad lazier.
  • Think of an app which could make complex things simpler. For instance, you need to enter your credit card number and other details every time you pay the bills. Think of an app that can securely store those details by encrypting it with a user-defined PIN.
  • If you’re thinking of developing a game, make sure you hire the best graphic designing talents, and provide an engaging game-play. Though we said that your ideas need to be original, you can always augment an already existing idea. For instance, though Subway Surfers has a game play congruous to Temple Run, it’s more magnetic than its counterpart. The key thing is either to be better than the best, or to be different than the rest.

Choosing the right platform

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Assuming that you have finally figured out an out-of-the-box idea for your app, here’s another critical choice you would have to make. Which platform are you going to opt for you app- Android, iOS, or Windows? While the choice of platform is completely solitary, here are some tips to keep in mind if you’re still unsure on which way to go.

  • If you’re looking to develop an app that could yield more profits, go for iOS. Though Google has more apps on Play Store than App Store, apps on App Store grapple far more profits than Android apps. That’s due to high amount of piracy on Android platform and also due to the deep-rooted problem of fragmentation. However, on the down side, make sure you have a Mac, and are also willing to pay the mandatory $99/ year to Apple for your intrepid endeavor.

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  • If you want to make your app more popular by offering it for FREE, and intend to earn from ads, go for Android. This is perhaps the best strategy for beginners, as paid apps have remarkably lesser downloads than free apps. Perhaps, when the app gains enough popularity, you can switch the gears.

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  • If you wish to try something new, and have an idea which has already been adapted by hundreds of apps on the Google and Apple platform, go for Windows 8. Granted that Windows 8 is a less-explored territory, but you could reach a larger audience in a quick-time with Metro-styled apps as the discoverability of your app on Windows Marketplace would be much better than App Store or Play Store.

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Design

“Design is everything”- Steve Jobs

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That sums it all up. The first phase might seem frivolous to beginners, but the unspoken truth is that it’s one of the most important phases in mobile app development. It’s the phase where the bricks are laid out. The prominent reason why most apps fail to gain huge popularity in the app market is poor design. Hence, no matter which platform you’re working on, never overlook the design aspect.

Here are some tips that would help you make better and consistent looking apps.

iOS app design:

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If you’re designing an app (not a game) for iPhone/ iPad, you can design your app from the readily available custom templates. These templates would help you move quickly from your prototype model to your actual app. Moreover, it would also give your app a more consistent look-and-feel. Though most developers would advise you to stick to readily available templates or Interface builder (a tool provided by Apple that allows you to build visual interfaces and comes bundled up with iOS developer program), it’s always a good practice to write codes from scratch, which can be done using the UIkit code.

Android app design:

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If you’re designing an app for Android, we suggest browsing through this amazing page developed by android developer community. The page explains how an app should be designed and elements it should integrate.

Also, there’s no point reinventing the wheel again and again. Hence, Google put everything required for developing an app (stencils, sources, color swatches, and icon packs) in public domain. There’s no restriction in using the controls, features and packs. These readily available packs offered under Android developer program not only save time and effort, but also provide a consistent interface across apps.

Download Design Pack

 

Windows app design:

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The most beautiful looking apps can be created on the Windows 8 platform. As Windows is a less-explored territory when it comes to apps, we are unsure whether you would find a readily available template for your app. However, here are some well laid-out rules for developing wonderful apps. If you wish to make apps from scratch, you would need to code the design using HTML5/ CSS3. Using HTML5/ CSS3 would be easier if you have some experience with scripting languages in the past. Here are some tutorial videos that would help you brush up your knowledge on using HTML5/ CSS3.

 

Registering and Downloading the required tools and SDKs

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Considering that you have already chosen the platform, here’s what all you would need to start your journey.  You would need to register as a developer for the platform you chose, and would have to download the corresponding SDKs. Software Developer Kits (SDKs) is a software-kit that allows developers to create apps that would run on the intended platform. Different SDKs support different devices. Hence, you would have to choose a SDK that resonates with the platform and the type of device you are targeting.

iOS:

imagsdesTo develop an app for iOS platform, you would need to become an official Apple developer and accept the terms and conditions. The registration is free. Once you register, you can use the same username and password for accessing you iTunes account. You would have to pay the mentioned 99$, only when you intend to publish your app.

To start developing apps for iPhone/iPad, you would need to download the relevant SDKs and tools that can be downloaded from here. You would need iOS x.0 SDK (where x represents the iOS version for the app), and XCode, which is an IDE tool for developing iOS apps. XCode can be downloaded from here.

The language that would be used for coding the apps is Objective C. Once your enroll for the iOS app development program, lots of tutorial videos, coding examples and developer libraries would be made available to you. Along with XCode, other tools like iOS Simulator that allows you to run and test your app and Interface Builder are also available.

Android:

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To create an app for Android platform, you would need to register as an official Google developer and accept the terms and conditions. You would need to pay 25$/ year to be able to publish apps on Play Store.

To start developing apps for Android, you would need to register under Android developer program, and then download Eclipse with the required Android SDK. We suggest choosing a lower versioned SDK (Android v3.0) as it would be compatible with most Android devices. However, if you wish to use the advanced API features, you may also choose the latest SDK version (Android 4.0). Apart from the SDK, you would also be able to integrate existing Google services in your app. To learn more about developing perfect Android apps, visit the official Android developer development page.

The coding would be done using JAVA code with the design interface being XML. The IDE would offer all the required tools (Interface Designer, Code Editor, Debugger, and Emulator) for complete development of apps.

Windows:

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To be able to publish apps on the Windows 8 platform, you would first need to register yourself as a Windows developer. There’s no registration fee, and the SDKs and tools are available on the Windows Phone official site. There’s a publishing fee of 49$/ year to host apps on Windows Market Place. For more info on how to make apps with Windows and to understand all the nitty-gritties, click here. To develop Windows 8 apps, you would need Microsoft Visual Studio 2012 integrated with the required SDK. The back-end coding would be done in C#, while the front-end design can be achieved using HTML5/CSS3 or XAML scripting.

Download SDK | Download Microsoft Visual Studio 2012

 

Learning Languages

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So, we have finally figured out ‘what’ we need to develop an app. Let’s now shift our focus on how to develop an app.

If you have some experience with object-oriented languages like Java, C++, etc., and script languages like HTML, CSS, etc., programming an app should not be a tough nut to crack. Here are the languages you would need to learn for developing apps on different platforms.

iOS: Objective C

Android: Java, XML

Windows: HTML5, CSS3, C#

If you have little experience with programming languages, we suggest getting brushed up with the OOPS concepts, before plunging into learning languages. Below are links of some sites and e-books that would help you in understanding the mentioned languages.

Objective C: Cocoadevcentral

Java: Introduction to Java Programming, Java: The complete reference

XML: W3Schools

HTML: HTML 5: up and running

CSS3: CSS3 for web designers

C#: C#- A beginner’s guide, C# Station

I have been learning from these online sources and find them awesome. If you’ve any more learning sources, do share it with us below in the comment section.

[Tip-off: If programming is not your strongest point, you can also create apps WITHOUT learning any programming languages. Lots of web interfaces like ibuildapp, Appyet, AppMakr,AppsGesyer and others are available that can help you create an app in just minutes, and that too, without learning any programming languages. No kidding.]

 

Testing your app

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After you have developed your app, you would need to test the app on actual devices. Though you can always test the app in the IDE simulator, you need a reality-check when you are planning to publish your app on the app stores. Besides, considering the fact that Android devices run differing flavors of Android, differ in screen sizes, and internal hardware, there’s a definite need to test your app before you publish it. The same goes with Apple devices that come in different sizes and versions. Windows phones also come in different screen sizes and hardware. There are lots of testing services like Testflight, Mobile App Testing, uTest, etc. that can help you test your app on real-life devices. These services test the integrity of your app on numerous devices, and can help you overcome any anomalies.

 

Submitting and Publishing your app

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Now that you have tested your app on devices, you are confident that your app would run on user devices. After testing the app, you can submit the app for approval. It may take a while to get the approval as the app markets scan your app for any malicious code, and also measure the utility of the app. However, if your idea is unique and the code is immaculate, you would receive an approval from the community, and your app would be published on the App Store/ Play Store/ Market Place. To publish your app, navigate to your developer account and click on “Submit” app.

 

Distribution

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After testing the app, you can submit your app for approval. It may take a while to get the approval as the app markets scan your app for any malicious code, and also measure the utility of the app. However, if your idea is unique and the code is immaculate, you would receive an approval from the community, and your app would be published on the App Store/ Play Store/ Market Place.

However, the journey does not end here. Once you’ve published your app, you would need to make it discoverable. This is undoubtedly one of the most challenging tasks in mobile app development program. However, here are some tips to increase the visibility of you app:

  • Optimize your app for keywords. If you have developed an app that lets user make money, make sure you include it in the description and title (if possible).
  • While taking-off, sell your app for FREE, no matter how good it is. If you wish to stick to the paid version, make a trial version of your app and market it for free.
  • Advertise with as many ad networks as possible. There are lot of advertising platforms that could help you fetch thousands of downloads within days.
  • Pay attention to the rating of your app. If people are complaining about glitches in your app, fix them with an update as soon as possible. If your app maintains a good-rating, it would surely encourage more users to try the app.
  • Make sure you target the right users when you publish your app. For instance, you might have designed an app for a particular screen size. So, make sure you exclude the users with larger screen sizes.
  • Localize the description and the content of your app to reach more users.

Monetizing from your app

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Now that the app has been successfully published, you would need to start thinking on which strategy to apply (Paid, Free or Freemium?) for monetizing from your app. Though the paid-option is lucrative, it would surely find lesser potential buyers. If you sell it for free, you would lose out your profits. Hence, you would need to reassess the genre of your app, and cite the competition in the market before deciding an optimum monetization strategy.

However, a simpler monetizing strategy can be explained as follows:

  1. If you’re creating a one-time play app for iOS/ Android/Windows, make it premium; if you’re developing a slowly progressive game, market it as FREE on the app stores; if you’re developing an app that can entice the users to unlock items, go for the Freemium model.
  2. If you’re developing an app for iOS/Android, and if you think it’s productive enough, go for the paid approach.
  3. If you’re making an app/game for iPad/Microsoft Surface, never ever think of deploying an ad-monetization model.
  4. DO not annoy users with unrelated, buggy ads.
  5. Grow your users through aggressive social marketing and by providing a handy feature.

The key to app monetization is realizing that people won’t mind downloading your app if they actually need it, and won’t mind paying a few bucks, if they know it’s worth it.

That being said, there’s no optimum strategy for monetizing from apps. If you’re wary of the available choices, you can adapt all the three models, and adapt the one that works the best for you. Read more about optimum app monetization on this articulated piece on Free v/s Paid approach for apps.

That’s it. Hope our tutorial helps you in creating awesome apps. 😆

Have something to say? Shoot your questions in the comments section below.

SGN’s MasterKey is the Key to Developing Cross-Platform Apps

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The irony with humans as well as smartphones is that rather than following one universal language, people have adapted themselves to hundreds of different languages. It’s difficult for a Korean guy to understand what the American is saying, and it’s difficult for the American to interpret what the Korean is saying (Unless, of course, it’s ‘Gangnam style’).

The same issue occurs with smartphones. Apple’s devices won’t understand the packaged APK files and Android devices won’t interpret the native Objective C coded apps. Hence, you need different codes for different platforms. However, that’s not what makes developing cross-platform apps challenging. Developers not only need to develop codes which would work on their respective platforms, but also need a channel through which they can communicate, despite being on two different platforms.

To untie this Gordian knot, SGN has launched MasterKey- a proprietary technology that speeds up the development of cross-platform apps. SGN, who is a leader in development of cross platform apps, has released the development platform in an effort to reduce the time, effort and the cost of developing cross-platform apps. Using SGN’s MasterKey tool, it would be easier for developers to publish their tools across multiple platforms like- Facebook, iOS, and Android.

“Consumers want to be able to play our games on every device and platform, so it’s a top priority for SGN to execute a cross-platform strategy effectively,” said Chris DeWolfe, CEO and co-founder of SGN.  “MasterKey enables us to do so efficiently while creating multiple revenue streams for each game we develop.” Chris DeWolfe told the media that it took them more than 18 months to create such an amazing cross-development platform.

SGN has already been using this technology internally to develop some of its immensely popular games like Fluff Friends RescueJewels of the AmazonBingo BlingoSkies of GloryMindJoltand Panda Jam. SGN games have been downloaded more than 200 million times on leading mobile and social media platforms, making it one of the largest cross-platform gaming companies in the world. The success of these apps and the constant need for an effective cross-platform technology has pressed SGN to launch MasterKey. Currently used only for internal developments, SGN is expected to make this tool available to third party developed apps published through its network.

With MasterKey, developers would now be able to develop games using industry level standards, and deploy them on multiple platforms. Unlike the traditional approach which required complete re-coding of apps, the avant-garde platform is expected to reduce the conversion time of apps by up to 80 %. Hence, in only 20% effort, you can develop an app which works on iOS, Android, and Facebook as well. The tool also offers numerous distribution platforms to market your apps. Hence, you can develop, re-code, optimize, and market your apps at the same place. No wonder why they call it- ‘Master Key’.

DeWolfe said that they had considered using HTML5 for developing cross-platform apps, but concluded that it wasn’t ready for games yet. (Facebook also shunned down HTML 5 and re-coded the Android app in native language to provide better performance) Instead, MasterKey uses a technology which allows developers to create games that run as if they have been developed using the platform’s native code.

The main advantage of playing cross-platform games is that you can start off on any device, at the same point you left on the other device. For instance, you can play the game on PC, turn it off, and continue playing the game from the same place by switching to your iOS device. It’s pragmatic for the developers, too, as cross-platform apps make 70 percent more money than non –cross-platform apps.

“The benefit is you can make money in four places instead of one or two,” Chris DeWolfe said. “If you draw a parallel to movies, you take it for granted that you don’t have to make a different movie for theatrical release, DVD, or Netflix.

We think this is an amazing development in the cross-platform development frontier. Developers would now be able to develop top-notch apps with lesser efforts and at the same time, would be able to reach wider platforms.

Source: Official SGN Blog

How Apps are Evolving: A Look at the Recent Design Trends in Mobile Apps

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Design is everything. Great ideas turn into great designs and great designs help in building great apps. Earlier, people worried more about the functionality of the app and cared less about its interface. But times have changed. People now have a zero-tolerance policy for antiquated apps.

App Developers not only need to create aesthetically pleasing interfaces, they also need to keep up to the perpetually altering design trends.

And let’s not overrule the catastrophic outbreak of apps on the three major mobile platforms- Windows, Apple and Android. For your app to stand-out, it needs to have a kickass interface blended with an amazing idea. Might sound exaggerating, but the time of mediocrity is out. Boring, humdrum, run-of-the-mill doesn’t work anymore.

The obvious question swirling in your mind right now would be- then what would? Well, to answer that, we had to take our crystal ball out, and foresee the times ahead. Here’s what we think would be the app design trends that would click with the audience.

1.       Minimalistic Design: Less is More

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The mantra- ‘more is less’ has taken a setback. People no longer have an affinity for a cluttered up interface. They want apps that are simple, beautiful and intuitive. The combination of these words aptly defines minimalism- the lesser, the better.

Too many controls make your app look like an aeroplane cockpit– powerful yet confusing. The key to minimalistic design is to use as beautiful and as few controls on the screen as possible. User interactions can be done using hand gestures, instead of individual controls. When you have lesser controls and more gestures on screen, your app looks easier to understand and pleasant to use. Here’s a good place to understand minimalism and get a bird-eye view on how top-notch apps are inhibiting it.

Concisely speaking, Minimalistic approach is all about getting more out of less. It’s more of an art and less of a science. And like every art, the more you explore, the better you get.

 

 2.       Flat Design: Keeping it simple

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Skeuomorphism is now old-fashioned. Flat is in. Gone are the days of realistic three-dimensional graphics that steal away the simplicity of the app. People now want to see only those things that matter.

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Flat design is about designing interfaces in two-dimensions and about showing interactions that really matter. Simpler the better seems to be the motto.

Flat design started trending after Microsoft unveiled its Metro-styled Windows 8 UI. The tiled interface besides being simple was amazingly intuitive and beautiful.

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With Windows 8 on the rise and skeuomorphism going out-of-fashion, flat is the way to go in future. iOS apps like Rise have already adapted to the flat design trend and created some mesmerizing interfaces. The prime advantage of flat design over skeumorphism is that it doesn’t need to be scaled up to suit every screen size. Flat design looks great on all devices and on all screen sizes.

Still not convinced Flat’s the way to go? Here’s an insightful piece on Flat design that would help you catch up on the trend and re-energize you to go the simpler way.

3.       Say Goodbye to Skeuomorphism

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Skeuomorphism designs are out. When Apple introduced it a few years back, people were a huge fan of it. But, not anymore. Developers are slowly realizing that decorating an UI and giving it a realistic touch doesn’t improve the interactivity or utility of the app.

Looks do matter. But if looks create a bottle-neck on the overall performance of an app, it’s better to settle for something more subtle. That’s exactly where flat inutitive design kicks in. Flat designs are much simpler and better than skeuomorphism.

In case you’re wondering what skeuomorphism is, here’s a little brush up. Skeuomorphism refers to a design approach in which design cues are taken from the reality. Like, turning a page of an e-book should preview the rollover effect. Skeuomorphism has been criticized since long for underutilizing the capabilites of smartphone devices by forcing them to imitate the behavior of a physical object.

4.       Bigger Controls

Bigger is better. Smaller controls no longer grab eyeballs or fingers. When you use bigger controls, you not only adapt a minimalistic design, you also make interaction simpler. That’s the reason why an increasing number of app developers are using larger controls for interaction. They simplify the interface and put the user in control.

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 5.       Beautiful Typography

Bigger, better fonts are fast replacing the monotonous, system-default typefaces. Beautiful typography forms an important aspect of app design, as choosing a state-of-the-art font family like Helvetica, Baskerville, or a custom designed font can really entice users to explore the app.

Previously, the font-size was 10-12px, but now apps are using fonts with 16-18px.  Quite apparently, developers want users to notice what’s being offered by the app. And an easier way to catch their eye is to use larger, catchier fonts.

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Clear lettering is important, especially when you’re developing a professional app. A heavier typeface would make your app look little different than your counterpart, give it a mere professional touch; a lighter typeface, on the other hand, would make the app look simple yet beautiful. Here’s a good place to learn how you can use work with typefaces to create beautiful looking fonts.

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Earlier, it was difficult to integrate different font styles in an app, but the recent SDK improvements on almost all platforms (Windows, iOS, Android) alleviate a designer’s misery. It’s extremely simple to customize an app’s font style now. Case in point, apps like Instapaper, Pocket, Flipboard have already made the most out of beautiful typography.

6.       Touch, Tap, Swipe, Tilt, Wave, Speak

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As we foresee a trend towards minimalism in future, we expect apps to have fewer controls and more interactions. Till now, it was just about touches and taps. But, the trend is soon going to change. For browsing pages, you would soon be tilting your phone to the right instead of swiping your finger to the right; you would be swiping across menus for alternate actions; tapping and holding the screen to refresh the feed; pinching the screen to zoom over and zoom out; waving in front of your phone to wake it up.

That’s how the trend is going to be in future- more interactions in action.
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 7.       Animation as Signboards

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Great animations make great apps.

Animations are going to form an important aspect of app design, but in a much different way. Until now, animations were used as little treats of delight, merely to woo the end-user and to give apps a very snappy look-and-feel.

Well, scratch that. App developers are now putting animations to good use and using them as signboards, instead. The “Slide to unlock” animation on the iOS lock screen gives an end-user a very clear visual representation of the action to be performed. More examples of apps that unleash the power of animation to create intuitive apps can be found here.

Designers are now using animations to get users well-acquainted with the functionalities of the app. Animations like change in appearance of buttons when clicked (change in colour), the swift movement of images in foreground when compared to background, the stretching of images when we move from one page to another (Flipboard style), jittering of a control when long pressed- all these animations give your app a very lively feel. It’s almost as if through animations your app can interpret user’s actions and react towards it. In other words, it personifies the overall look-and-feel of the app. And considering the impending inclination of designers towards amiability, we believe Animations are there to stay, for good.

8.       Native v/s HTML5

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The biggest mistake we made with Facebook for Android was that we over relied on HTML5”- Mark Zuckerberg

Facebook went native with Android a few months back, after getting disappointing results with HTML5.  And, boy! It worked. They were able to pump up the performance of the app and achieve space as well as time efficiency.

Beyond doubt, HTML5 is new, powerful, and time-saving. HTML 5 boasts amazingly powerful media handling controls and scripting using the newer version of HTML is much simpler. But, when it comes to performance, nothing beats native. The only advantage HTML 5 has over native is that it can be ported to any platform.

With users getting more conscious about the performance of apps, if your app runs just a tad slower than contemporary apps, your app might end up in a dead man’s coffin.

That’s the reason why you should take the shift towards native, even if it seems inconvenient at the first glance. We foresee a lot of apps being translated into native language in future, as it improves performance and simplifies the design. Here are some more insights on the HTML5 v/s Native concept.

9.       Vector Graphics

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The biggest challenge a designer faces is scaling up the graphics to suit different screen sizes. It’s easy to design graphics for an app, but holding them up on different devices with different screen sizes and varied screen resolutions- not an easy job.

To make the task of a designer simpler, there’s a tool called Sketch that has been released over the Internet. Sketch helps in developing graphics for a particular screen size and then allows you to scale them up to suit different screen sizes.

Sketch helps in streamlining the whole processing of graphics designing and helps developers in creating resolution-specific designs. Never before has been designing made so simple and convenient. Expect more users to jump on to the vector ship in future, as there’s little reason not to.

10.   Context Sensitive apps: Apps that learn

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Another design trend that we’re going to foresee is the development of context-sensitive apps. These apps change their content depending on where you’re and what you’re doing.  Let’s not forget that apps are being developed for humans. And, hence, they should be able to recognize the behaviour patterns of users and adapt accordingly.

Apps can be developed that automatically go in background when a user stops looking at the phone and revives to life when he stares at it. News apps can be developed that only show the headlines while a user is walking, but when he stops, it shows him the whole cover story.  Weather apps can be developed that show the weather based on a user’s current location.

Designing context-sensitive apps is all about understanding the user patterns and creating an interface that’s personalized for the end-user. At the end of the day, humans crave for objects- be it physical or virtual- that they can connect with. And context sensitive apps provide just that.

Ubuntu Edge Perk Drops from 830$ to 675$: Is it still worth it?

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Ubuntu Edge campaign is on a roll ever since it was announced a few days back.

Initially, the perks for availing the Ubuntu Edge smartphone were set at a minimum $600, but that filled up rapidly. Those who missed out on the introductory price had to cough up an additional $230 to get the smartphone as the stakes were reset to $830.

The $830 mark was ostentatious by all means. Matter-of-factly, after setting an Indiegogo record of raising $2 million in about 8 hours, the campaign inevitably slowed down. Perhaps, that’s the reason why the stakes were cut to the initial level as crowdfunding campaigns have more virality in the initial phase and it declines rapidly over time .Maybe Canonical realizes this, and so it has rightly decided to go back to the $675 level.

Canonical has said that “it would refund the difference at the end of the campaign”, adding that it would contact each buyer with more information.

The Reality

Ubuntu Edge has bagged in mixed reviews from the tech world, despite being a revolutionary concept. Some people believe that despite its innovative concept, the device is vastly over-priced and that they should not be paying $600 or more for a phone that would be delivered to them next year, possibly in April or May.

Some wonder why a big company like Canonical doesn’t have enough assets to fund the entire project and sell the end-device. Why does it need venture capital, at all?  Why can’t the company take the risk of funding the entire project, if they are confident that it would be a huge success?

The ground reality, however, as pointed out by David Jordan in his provocative piece, is that Canonical is not having any second thoughts about the sanity of the project, nor is it trying to gain any undue capital by promising an utopian design. The point it wants to make is merely that despite the overhauling dominance of Android and iOS, there’s still real demand for Ubuntu. It’s about proving that Ubuntu is more than an open-source OS. That it has legs and if needed, it can make its own hardware. It’s about proving that there are a lot of people in the world that trust Canonical’s potential on creating a revolutionary smartphone.

Just to refresh your memory, Ubuntu Edge is an amazing smartphone concept that perfectly combines your smartphone needs and PC access.  It can be a smartphone as well as the brain of your computer. It would essentially run an Ubuntu mobile OS and Android in dual-boot mode, and when connected to PC, it would become a fully integrated desktop PC.

The hardware specifications of Ubuntu Edge are also pretty fascinating. It comes with fastest multi-core CPU, 4GB RAM, and 128GB storage. Mouth-watering, isn’t it?

Is it worth it?

So, if you’re wondering if you should you be buying an unsubsidized smartphone that’s going to be delivered to you in 2014, and if you should put your trust on a company that has nearly no real experience in manufacturing smartphones, then the answer is an anonymous YES.

Canonical appears to have raised over $3.5 million in just 40 hours of the campaign. The campaign has already broken all crowdfunding records and estimates suggest that Canonical has already raised around 25% of the capital that it needs to start production. The target, however, is a mammoth $32 million. The company still has some catching up to do before the campaign can be declared a huge success, but it still proves the point.

Canonical’s keen eye for detail and concern for usability would ensure that the design is user-friendly. Also, it would be co-operating with hardware partners that would know how to engineer the hardware that is tailor-made for its OS and would know how to manufacture them in big volumes. Considering the capital they need, it’s pretty apparent that they have it all figured out.

So, the question is not whether Canonical would be able to make a state-of-the-art smartphone. The question, eminently, is whether you and I would help them make that. Would we?

Samsung passes Apple to Become the Most Profitable Smartphone Manufacturer

Apple revealed its third-quarter profits today. The Cupertino giant reportedly made $6.9 billion in profits, which makes it number two, and puts it behind Samsung’s estimated $8.3 billion in profits in the same quarter. The interesting aspect, however, is that last year, Apple made $8.8 billion in the same quarter.

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This is for the first time that Samsung has surpassed Apple to become the most profitable smartphone manufacturer in the world. Though the statistics reflect only the last quarter, they still hint at Samsung’s increasing dominance in the smartphone segment.

The strange fact is that, despite the low profits, Apple sold more smartphones (31.2 million) in the current quarter than it did in the same quarter the previous year (26 million). Though Apple didn’t make the numbers official, it’s possible that older versions of iPhones could have sold more than Apple’s iPhone 5. Perhaps, that explains the decline in profits and increase in sales of smartphones.

Samsung, on the other hand, sold a record 71 million handsets in the current quarter. The boost in sales is expectedly due to Galaxy S4’s increasing demands and Samsung’s strong, varied lineup of ‘Galaxy’ devices.

Apple, on the contrary, has not launched any new device in the last quarter. Apple’s business model is quite different from Samsung. Apple relies heavily on its flagship device every year, and the previous generation smartphones to do the business. Samsung, on the other hand, caters to a very large audience by developing smartphones with different forms and features.

Apple would probably be launching the ‘iPhone 5S’ in September, which should give a massive boost in sales and hopefully, revive the ‘below-par’ profit margins for the next quarter. There are also talks that Apple would be launching an ‘iPhone lite’, a mini, economic version of iPhone, that would help it capture smaller markets, where Samsung seems to have a strong foothold.

Though Samsung’s profit numbers are yet to be audited, it’s very unlikely that they would drop below Apple’s $6.8 billion margin, as 20-25% decline in the projected profit margins is preposterous. We would have to wait for the numbers to finally show up, but it’s well-assured that Samsung would be leading the race.

Soon, Your Smartphone Might Not Need a Cellular Network, At All

Soon, you won’t need to pay any monthly phone bills as a major crowdfunding campaign is all geared up to free your smartphones from those ‘tiny little bars’ that take up the top-right of your screen. If the project is a success, we might not need any carriers to make/receive calls, at all.

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The Serval Project, whose free software allows smartphones to make and receive calls without any cellular network, is now aiming for a viable approach by developing a router-like-device that could offer cellular-network-like-connectivity to a limited area.

The Serval project, which is a crowdfunded project, aims to raise $300,000 for developing a Mesh Extender that would help the ad-hoc, localized networks to span over larger distances. Apparently, the device would allow smartphones to switch between ad-hoc Wi-Fi networks just as easily as we switch cellular towers. The device has been designed in such a manner that it would allow smartphones to bypass any Wi-Fi restrictions and connect synchronously over a wide-area network.

The idea is to create a mesh network, wherein phones can link up with one another through Wi-Fi, which means that every phone acts as a medium for data transfer. Even if the project does not get a long shot, the idea could be perfect for places where there’s poor infrastructure, or during natural disasters and emergencies.

The bottleneck, however, is that smartphones are not capable of initiating Wi-Fi connections beyond the limit of 100 meters. Hence, for the idea to become tangible, it would require a lot of smartphones with Wi-Fi connections that are placed no farther than 100 meters to setup a network that could span a large distance. That, again, is preposterous and practically impossible.

The Mesh Extender, however, removes this limitation by boosting the limit of both the local Wi-Fi links and links to other Mesh networks by a few kilometers. To achieve that boost up, the Mesh Extender uses a frequency more commonly used by cordless phones and garage door openers. Once the Mesh Extender is turned on, numerous devices can connect to it in a mesh, and these devices can further connect to other meshes through the Mesh Extender.

These devices have been tested in countries like U.S., Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. Early prototypes of this model have also been tested in confined environments like Australian outback and the National Mall in Washington, D.C.

Sources say that once the device is built up, it would be sold online and would be available for testing in various other environments.

The good thing about the whole concept is that users would be able to join these mesh networks without making any hardware modifications to their smartphones. As a matter of fact, you don’t even need to root your phone to install the free app from Serval Project. All you need to buy is a Mesh Extender to create a Wi-Fi network that could allow your organization to experiment with the new setup.

In recent times, almost every smartphone supports Wi-Fi connectivity. People stick to cellular networks just because they want to make and receive calls. Rest of the time, they’re just using their Wi-Fi/ Mobile Internet connection. If we can create numerous Wi-Fi spots that offer seamless network connectivity, we foresee a time when the cellular network would become frivolous. If we can make/receive calls, check our mail and send messages through Wi-Fi, what would be the point of having cellular networks, at all?

However, whether this idea could be adapted on a larger scale still remains a question. A lot of factors, including cost, maintenance, security, privacy and integrity would come into picture. Nevertheless, it’s a start of a mobile revolution.

What do you think about the idea? Can it go BIG? Would you want your school, club or organization to have such a device so that you can make as well as receive calls for FREE?

Samsung Galaxy S3 and Galaxy Note 2 might get Android 4.3 instead of Android 4.2.2

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Samsung Galaxy S3 and Galaxy Note 2 users ‘might’ have to wait a little longer for upgrading their phone’s Android version. Previously, speculations hinted that Android 4.2.2 update will be pushed next week by Samsung, but sources now say that the launch could be delayed by November.

However, with Android 4.3 update round the corner, Samsung might skip pushing the interim update, and would go for the long shot instead- Android 4.3. It would not only give Samsung enough time to test the new Android version on their flagship devices, but would also reduce their efforts in optimizing the Android 4.2.2 update. After all, it makes much more sense to have a stable version of OS than to have it patched afterwards. Besides, it makes much more sense to invest in Android 4.3 (yet to be released) than Android 4.2.2.

However, take this with a grain of salt, as Samsung has not yet confirmed that Android 4.3 would replace the immediate version of Android 4.2. Temefy said that it has sources close to Samsung India that have revealed that they are working on Android 4.3 as well as Android 4.2.2. However, the site cannot be considered a reliable source and that’s why we would like to warn you that this might just be a rumor.

The Android 4.2.2 brings a lot of exciting features.

  • Galaxy S4 lock screen with multiple widget support
  • Smart Stay
  • Smart Rotation
  • Adapt Display screen mode
  • Daydream lock screen
  • Driving mode
  • “Light” unlock effect
  • Improved unlock ripple effect
  • Widget size adjustments
  • Actionable notifications
  • S-Voice updated
  • More voice commands added
  • Full-screen Samsung Apps
  • Smart widget
  • New notification tray with more toggles
  • Tabbed interface for phone settings
  • White background in 3D mode for gallery

The Android 4.3 update would include the above features along with some major and minor improvements mentioned below:

  • Camera featuring a 360 degree panoramic view.
  • Better video conferencing capabilities.
  • Bluetooth Smart support.

Samsung Galaxy S4’s whooping demand has forced Samsung to pull up its socks and the production is at an all-time high. Moreover, the Korean giant keeps releasing new smartphones almost every two-three months. That means it’s always busy in finding new markets that it has less time to serve the existing ones. Also, Android fragmentation and a wide array of devices with different architecture make the task of developing updates even more challenging.  That’s what possibly delaying the updates.

The report also says that the next major Android update- Android 5.0 Key Lime Pie would be available on Galaxy S4, Galaxy S3, Galaxy Note 3 and Galaxy Note 2. So, if you’re a Galaxy S3 user or Galaxy Note 2 user, you don’t have a reason to worry. You would assuredly get the latest Android updates as and when Samsung releases them.

Windows like Multi-window Navigation Could Soon Become an Android Reality

One thing we miss on our smartphones, in spite of so much software advancement, is the multi-window navigation system, like it’s on our desktops. The best we can do right now is use one app at a time, while others remain hidden in background. We have to switch back and forth to use multiple apps. The bottleneck with Android multi-tasking is that you can run tens of apps in background (like your music player), but run merely one app in the foreground.

Not a suave way of multi-tasking.

Though Samsung tried to augment the concept by allowing its users to run two apps simultaneously in split-screen, the multi-window feature still wasn’t that helpful as it was confined to a limited number of apps and the model was less flexible.

The ideal prototype for multi-window navigation, nonetheless, is the navigation system on popular desktop OS like Windows, Mac and Ubuntu, where you can resize the window size and open as many windows as you want, simultaneously.

A Chinese tablet maker, Chuwi, plans on bringing multi-window navigation feature in its tablets, with the help of chip-maker Rockchip.

Rockchip showed the early prototype of this technology at CES in January, where they showed how their tablet’s OS allowed users to shrink the video window size and move it anywhere while using any other app.

That however was just a start. According to Liliputing, a series of new screenshots show various apps like Android calendar, web browser, calculator, media player and clock running in movable and resizable windows. The navigation system mimics the window navigation system in desktop operating systems like Windows, Mac and others. However, nothing, yet, is known regarding the stability of the interface and whether it would work synchronously with Google’s Android architecture. So far, only native apps have been tested, but whether this architecture would support third-party apps or not remains to be seen.

The multi-window feature is believed to run only on Rockchip processors. Sources say that the new feature would be available on devices running the RK3188 ARM Cortex-A9 quad-core processor and RK3168 ARM Cortex-A9 dual-core CPU.

The distinguishing feature would hopefully draw some attention from buyers. That being said, if Chuwi improvises on the idea, they have a game-changer on their hands. The multi-window feature would be awesome for Android tablets as well as Android TV boxes. I, personally, feel that this feature won’t be that exciting on smartphones as the text, graphics and feel would get too cribbed up, but it would be amazing on devices that are 7 inches or more.

What remains to be seen is how Google and app developers take this initiative up and whether they would tweak their code, if needed, to bring the UI to Android. Regardless of what happens, this is a start of something that we are very likely going to see in the next generation of Android tablets.

Here’s a video showing the running apps in action.

Phil Schiller mocks Android Security with his ‘Be safe out there’ Tweet

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‘Be safe out there’- an innocuous, tenderhearted tweet from Apple’s Phil Schiller to Android users, has become the new talking point in the tech-world.

Apple’s senior vice president of worldwide marketing is well-known for mocking its competition through digital media. Previously, he had tweeted how Instagram had jumped to shark by integrating with Android. Now, he’s again pointing at a raging issue for Android- the number of malicious apps.

The tweet is linked with a report from F-Secure that exposes the weak resilience of Android on the security frontier. The document has already been viewed thousands of times, and if you want to have a look at it, it’s attached at the bottom of the article.

Just to give you a quick update on what the report is all about- Well, the report mentions the growth of Android malware in recent times. According to the report, Android malware grew by more than 79 percent last year. In the last quarter of 2012 alone, 96 new families of malware and its other variants were discovered. The report also mentions that only 0.7% of the total discovered malware threats are linked to Apple’s iOS.

The report concludes that iOS is the world’s most secure operating system, along with BlackBerry, and Android comes nowhere near the top spot.

At a time when Google’s Android is gaining more impetus in the market than Apple’s iOS, Apple execs are showing people the alternate reality.

However, if you leave the number’s game aside, and think logically, this numbers make little sense. Studies have shown that if an average Android user exhibits a little common sense, he can immune himself from malicious threats. Most of these threats are injected into apps that are hosted on third-party app stores or websites. Unless you’re downloading cracked games, you’re safe from such threats. The amount of harmful threats on Google’s Play Store and Amazon store is scarce. Google has already taken appropriate measures to mitigate harmful content on its Play Store and is accusing anti-virus companies of hyping the actual situation for monetary gains.

And most importantly, an average user does not go beyond popular apps like Facebook, Twitter, Angry Birds, and YouTube. The needs of an average user are minimal, and hence, we do not think that the growth of malicious apps on Android affects an average Android user. That’s the reason we believe that the sardonic ‘mocking’ from Apple’s top exec is impalpable.

What do you think about the tweet?

F-Secure Mobile Report

iOS Apps Collect More Personal Information than Android apps, says Study

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A new study by Appthority reveals something totally catawampus, something that would definitely raise more eyebrows. We all know how malicious apps on Android are a constant threat to user’s privacy and how malicious content is on the rise on Google’s mobile platform. But, what we do not know is that iOS apps also collect a lot of supplementary user information (?); in fact, they even out do Android apps in this department.

Wondering where did that come from?

The study was conducted on 100 free apps- 50 Android apps and 50 iOS apps, spread across five different categories. The study found out that all iOS apps used unencrypted connection for sending/receiving data, while only 8% Android apps used encrypted information.

The report further explains how iOS apps collect more information when compared to Android apps. For instance, 60% of iOS apps collect location data, while that number for Android is 42%. 54% iOS apps collect email information, while only 20% Android apps do that. The study also reveals that iOS apps shared more data with ad networks when compared to Android apps.

You can dig up more details on the study by clicking on the source link attached below.

Our Take:

Though the study portrays a rugged, presumable picture, we feel that the number of apps studied is a little less for drawing concrete conclusions. Fifty apps are far too less for any sort of generalization. Besides, the study does not consider various genuine aspects. Like- do these apps force a user to grant permission, or they secretly do it? Is a user notified of the actions?  And we doubt if the study considered picking up random apps from categories. If the apps were hand-picked, that narrows down the analysis even further.

The study, however, proves the subtle point that when it comes to Top grossing apps,  iOS apps might have a slightly greater tendency to muster more data than its counterpart. That being said, the inference cannot be applied to each and every top grossing app.

Apps on App Store as well as Play Store, generally take up more permissions from user than required.  For instance- Why does a shooting game need permission to read SMS/ make calls? Why does a newsreader app require permission to capture photos? If Apple and Google could filter the permission owned by each and every app and make sure they only do what they intend to do, maybe we would have less privacy concerns. Also, while downloading/installing, apps should clearly mention what permissions they need and why they need it. Everything should be mentioned in plain, easy-to-understand language. Most people don’t understand complex tech jargons. And, Apple as well as Google should devise mechanisms that prevents apps from identifying user preferences and collecting personal data.

Source

Cut the Rope:Experiments Update brings 25 Exciting New levels

The awesome physics game- Cut the Rope: Experiments has just been updated by ZeptoLabs. The game that has 175 fun and exciting levels is now updated to include 25 more levels. The new levels are available to users who have already downloaded the game- Cut of Rope: Experiments.

The update comes as a blessing for those who have been patiently waiting for this update.

The little character, Om Nom, is back with an exciting level that has some interesting gameplay. The new levels are framed in a brand new map, called Ant Hill. This time you’ll have to take care of the scurrying ants, which will be carrying the candy to their ant-hills. You just have to drop the candy at the right places, so that ants can carry them to Om.

But, wait, there’s a twist. Why would ants carry the candies to Om? The ants, apparently, would be carrying the candy you drop to their anthills, but you have to use your smartness and skills to pave a way out, so that candy ultimately ends up in Om’s mouth and not in the anthill. That’s what the game is all about.

Besides 25 new levels, the new update also adds some challenging elements in the gameplay, for those who are too bored with the game.

The update is free for those who have already bought the game; for those, who haven’t tried this game out, we suggest you to downloading this amazingly fun game from the Play Store. It’s for $0.99 but believe me, you won’t regret buying this game. You can also try out the Free version that’s available on the Play Store, if you wish to get the feel of the game before buying it.

Download Cut the Rope: Experiments

Apple Devices Rule the Skies, literally

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Apple devices rule the skies, according to Gogo Inflight, the largest U.S. provider of in-air online connectivity that provides its services to leading U.S airlines like Delta, United, Virgin America, American, US Airways, Alaska and Frontier.

The published report indicates that iPads are the most popular aircraft devices, followed by laptops, and then iPhones. iPhone beats the pants out of Android here, with stats revealing that the Android: iPhone ratio on aircraft is a demeaning 1:5.

The infographic shown below throws more light on the user distribution.

The tablets and smartphones is the largest user-base, with over 67% of users using a mobile device. Tablets (35%), on the other hand, are the most preferred gadget when people fly, followed by Laptops (33%) and smartphones (32%).

The interesting statistic however is this: Out of total devices that were connected, only 16% of those devices were running Google’s Android. Majority of tablets and smartphones, around 84%, were running Apple’s iOS.

If you look at the smartphone category, Apple’s iPhone quite clearly dominates its rivals. The study reveals that 73% people used iPhones, 26% people used Android phones, and BlackBerry and Windows struggled with less than 1% user base.

However, number of Android users has quadrupled in the last two years. In 2011, 96.8% people used Apple’s devices. In 2013, that has slipped down to 84%, following the growth of Android.

Not being judgmental, but the stats clearly outline the fact that people at higher posts prefer iPhones over Android smartphones. Android has been snubbed for its weaker security model and there are also concerns over Google’s app policy. There are recurring incidences about malicious apps found on Google’s Play Store. Until Google fine tunes its app submission system and develops a tighter security model, which is reliable and robust, we do not see Android being adopted by the privacy-concerned audience.

Which device do you use when you fly?

Source

Image Credits: Gogo inflight

Facebook’s Awesome New ‘Newspaper’ styled News Feed Revealed

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Facebook has finally redesigned its News Feed. The new News Feed has been given a retro, contemporary, ‘Newspaper’ styled web look, which looks awesome at first sight. Facebook announced the new look just a few hours back, and here’s what all you need to know about the new News Feed.

Inspiration for the design

The inspiration for Facebook’s new News Feed is the print media- News Papers and Magazines. Facebook has tried to mimic how images, texts, and stories appear on the print media and has ported a similar looking interface into their awesome new News Feed.

Besides, Facebook’s new look is also inspired from its mobile and tablet interface. For instance, just like mobile apps, the menu on the left hand side is accessible from anywhere, no matter how much you scroll down. Just like the app, users can also jump right to the top of their News Feed, whenever some new stories pop in.

How it looks like?

As the tagline states, the newer version of News Feed focuses on reducing clutter and focuses on sharing stories in more beautiful ways. The newly designed News Feed is much more vibrant, colorful, and convenient for viewing and sharing stories.

Facebook’s new design brings life to everything that’s being shared by your loved ones. It’s not just the interface that’s been redesigned; the whole experience of Facebooking has been beautified. Here are some snapshots of the new News Feed:

Everything from images, news articles, videos to events has been beautified.

Stories are meticulously designed and give you a very clear insight on the happenings.

As you can see, the profile pictures are now docked to the left hand side, and the images shared are now bigger and better. It’s almost like you’re reading a newspaper.

The profile name appears on the photo and as you can see, it just looks beautiful.

No more boring events on the top-right corner of your screen, which hardly catch your attention. Facebook has redesigned the look of the events. They are now less articulated, more descriptive, and amazingly eye-catching.

The news articles that are being shared have also been given a refreshingly new look.

It is just beautification, or has Facebook provided more control to an average user?

Users also complained that they were not able to view the feeds of the people whom they have subscribed to on their news feed. Even if the subscriptions are left aside, due to Facebook’s new algorithm, which prioritized the virality of sponsored posts over normal posts, many people were unable to get the feeds of their loved ones.

Facebook, of course, cannot snub its monetary model, but it has done something with the new News Feed that can be helpful to people who do not receive the right kind of posts on their News Feed. Apart from the News Feed, Facebook has added many more feeds like “All Friends”, “Music”, “Photos”, “Following”, etc. on the left hand side of the new Facebook page. Hence, it’s not just beautification. Facebook has also provided more stringent control to users on what and how they would like to see their News Feed.

Awesome. How can I get it?

Facebook has announced that it would be slowly rolling out the new design and it would be accessible through web and mobile to every Facebook user in the coming weeks.

However, if you’re as impatient as me, you can join the waiting list. Add yourself to the waiting list by clicking here.

Tell us what you think about the new News Feed. Do you think Facebook’s new look is enticing?