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Use This Easy Trick to Instantly Free Up Space on Your iPhone




Running low on space on your iPhone? Just rent a movie on iTunes and get a few gigabytes of space on the iPhone.


People who are using Apple's 16GB iPhone variants tend to run out of storage. On this device, a user gets approximately 11GB of user accessible storage as the rest of it is used by Apple's iOS operating system.

After installing a few apps and storing photos, music and videos, a user normally runs out of storage.
According to a thread on Reddit, there is one crazy trick you can try to reclaim some of the used-up space.

The trick involves renting a movie from iTunes. To see how the trick works, go to Settings > General > About and scroll down to Available.

Check how much storage is left and then head to the iTunes Store.

Search for a film which is bigger than the space left on your phone. For example if the available space is 4GB, choose a movie whose file size is greater than 4GB.

Then click Rent at the top of the page. The user will not be charged as the phone does not have enough space to download it and a message will appear saying You don't have enough available storage.

After clicking OK, head back to settings and check your available storage again. A significant increase in the available storage space should be visible.

You can repeat the entire process a few times.

"As of now, it's unclear on how the trick works, but it probably has got to do with some cache and other storage from apps getting cleaned up," the report said.


Google's Modular Project Ara phone to launch in 2017





It lives! Even as the world was forgetting about Google's Project Ara, which is an attempt to create a modular phone, the company has an update. A major update actually. It says that its Project Ara phone is almost ready and would be reaching the markets in 2017. On Friday the company also announced that the phone would reach developers around October.

After working on the project for almost about two years, Google has decided to make a few changes to the original idea of Project Ara. Now, the phones will not be as modular as they were first touted to be.

In the updated Project Ara phone, parts like display, processor, RAM, and storage will be fixed in the frame. According to the first concept and prototype of the phone, the whole device was going to be modular. Which means you could select almost all the components separately and build yourself a unique phone.

In August last year, the company had pushed back the launch of Project Ara phones because "current prototype phones are brittle and fall apart when they take a tumble". It had also said at that time that the company was working on a new and better solution.

The new modular smartphone will have six swappable parts according to the project website. A video posted by Project Ara shows swappable modules like e-ink display for notifications, camera module, speaker and microphone module, kickstand, GPS module, fingerprint scanner module.

However, more can be expected from the company by the time it reaches consumer markets next year.

Unlike earlier, the modules now don't need to be removed mechanically. Now to remove and swap a module, the user can press a button on the side of the phone and select from the settings menu which component needs to be ejected.

The updated prototype will also let a user swap a module by saying "Ok Google, eject the kickstand" to, well, "eject the kickstand".


Nokia Mobile Company to Return his Mobile Phones in Market




Highlights

  • Nokia signed 10-year deal with HMD Global to make Nokia-branded phones.
  • Nokia will receive royalty payments from HMD for sales of smartphones.
  • Nokia held on to its phone patents and has started to prepare a comeback.

Finnish telecom equipment maker Nokia said Wednesday it plans a global comeback into its former goldmine of handsets and tablets, by licensing its brand to a newly-created Finnish company.

Nokia "will grant HMD Global Ltd. the exclusive global licence to create Nokia-branded mobile phones and tablets for the next 10 years," the world's former number one handsets company said in a statement.

As part of the process, HMD Global and its Taiwanese partner, FIH Mobile of FoxConn Technology Group, will take over Microsoft's feature phone business for $350 million, which it had bought from Nokia in 2014, the US company said in a separate statement.

Nokia was the world's top mobile phone maker between 1998 and 2011 but was overtaken by South Korean rival Samsung after failing to respond to the rapid rise of smartphones.

In 2011, it chose to bet on the Windows mobile platform, which proved to be a failure. The new product portfolio will be based on Android.

The Finnish company sold its handset unit to Microsoft in 2014 for some $7.2 billion which dropped using the Nokia name on its Lumia smartphones.

The conditional deal between Microsoft and Nokia's new brandlicensing partners is expected to close in the second half of 2016.

Nokia said the new Finnish company, HMD Global, is a private venture in which Nokia will not hold equity.

How to Protect Your Smartphone's Data, and Avoid Being Hacked





The government hack of an iPhone used by a San Bernardino killer serves as a reminder that phones and other electronic devices aren't impenetrable vaults.

While most people aren't targets of the NSA, FBI or a foreign government, hackers are looking to steal the financial and personal information of ordinary people. Your phone stores more than just selfies. Your email account on the phone, for instance, is a gateway to resetting banking and other sensitive passwords.

Like washing your hands and brushing your teeth, a little "cyber hygiene" can go a long way toward preventing disaster.

Lock your phone with a passcode
 
Failing to do so is like leaving your front door unlocked.

A four-digit passcode - and an accompanying self-destruct feature that might wipe a phone's data after too many wrong guesses - stumped the FBI for weeks and forced them to bring in outside help. Using six digits makes a passcode 100 times harder to guess. And if you want to make it even harder, you can add letters and other characters to further increase the number of possible combinations. These are options on both iPhones and Android.

The iPhone's self-destruct feature is something you must turn on in the settings, under Touch ID & Passcode. Do so, and the phone wipes itself clean after 10 failed attempts. But the 10 attempts apply to your guesses, too, if you forget your passcode, or if your kids start randomly punching in numbers. Android has a similar feature.

Both systems will also introduce waiting periods after several wrong guesses to make it tough to try all combos.

Biometrics, such as fingerprint scanners, can act as a shortcut and make complex passcodes less of a pain.

Use encryption
 
Much to the FBI's displeasure, iPhones running at least iOS 8 offer full-disk encryption by default. That means that the information stored on the phone can't be extracted - by authorities or by hackers - and read on another computer. If the phone isn't unlocked first, any information obtained would be scrambled and unreadable.

With Android, however, you typically have to turn that on in the settings. Google's policy requires many phones with the latest version of Android, including its own Nexus phones, to offer encryption by default. But, according to Google, only 2.3 percent of active Android devices currently are running that version.

Set up device finders
 
Find My iPhone isn't just for finding your phone in the couch cushions.

If your device disappears, you can put it in Lost Mode. That locks your screen with a passcode, if it isn't already, and lets you display a custom message with a phone number to help you get it back.

The app comes with iPhones, but you need to set it up before you lose your phone. Look for the Find iPhone app in the Extras folder.

Meanwhile, Activation Lock makes it harder for thieves to sell your device. The phone becomes unusable - it can't be reactivated - without knowing its Apple ID. The feature kicks in automatically on phones running at least iOS 7.

If all else fails, you can remotely wipe the phone's data. While your information will be lost, at least it won't end up in the hands of a nefarious person.

There isn't anything comparable built into Android phones, but Google's Android Device Manager app, along with a handful of others made by third parties, can be downloaded for free from the Google Play app store.

Back up your phone
 
If you do have to remotely wipe the phone's data, it's comforting to know that you won't lose all your photos and other important data. It's helpful, too, if your toddler dunks your phone in a glass of water.

As mentioned before, apps such as Find My iPhone and Android Device Manager will allow you to do this, provided you set them up ahead of time.

Keep your software up to date
 
Software updates often contain fixes to known flaws that might give hackers a way into your device.
 
On iPhones, Apple prompts you to get the update.

It's more complicated with Android because updates need to go through various phone manufacturers and wireless carriers first. But do install updates when asked.



WhatsApp, FB Messenger, Hangouts, Slack, and More in One Chat App


WhatsApp, FB Messenger, Hangouts, Slack, and More in One Chat App


There was a time when people's friend list was split across Yahoo!, Google Talk, AIM and any of the other dozen services. Software such as Pidgin and Adium helped them bring all the services into one platform and maintain their sanity. The rise of smartphones meant new services took over and everything was fragmented again. Now, if you're sitting in front of a desktop, you may end up juggling more than one device to be on top of all the messaging notifications.

This is the environment Franz came into on March 1, by way of an OS X app launched on Product Hunt. With 35,000 active users on its back, the two co-founders decided to branch out and brought their creation to Windows and Linux this month. What does it do, you ask? The desktop-only app wants to serve as an aggregator for your instant messaging (IM) needs, and currently supports 14 services including WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, Hangouts, Telegram, Skype, and Slack.

It's got a really clean, minimal UI, and has a small memory footprint. And unlike some other services in the past (we are looking at you, Trillian), it doesn't come with its own account aka a Franz ID. The app's opening screen takes you directly to the important bit: choosing from a list of providers.

And as you choose from the options in front of you, you realise the obvious. Franz isn't accessing any of the messaging platforms through an API, which is beneficial in two ways: a) it never breaks support if companies change their mind and b) you instantly get access to new features, such as the new sticker pack that all your friends are raving about. Instead, Franz is like having another browser - based on Node-Webkit - but one that's dedicated only to instant messaging.

franz_app_official_02.jpg
What sets it apart though is the icon in the notification area of the taskbar which alerts you with new pending messages. Notifications appear by way of a red bubble with a number inside, but the numbers don't work in the traditional fashion. Instead of reflecting how many messages you have, it corresponds to the number of platforms you have a notification on. So even if someone sends you 5 messages via WhatsApp, Franz's icon in the right corner of your screen will only say "1". This could be a nice touch for some, as knowing the avenues you're needed on is sometimes much more important than knowing the number of messages you have been bombarded with.
 
But apart from that, the app doesn't do anything that you couldn't achieve on your own. Since Franz uses the Web version for the offered messaging platforms, you could essentially open a new browser window of your choice and add a new tab for each services you use. Most Web browsers already offer notifications for incoming alerts, so you're covered on that front. And the ones who know their extensions - and use Chrome or Firefox - can easily find add-ons that will even help you add the coveted red bubble for a visual reminder. But that still won't beat Franz in the amount of memory consumed, which may or may not be a sticking point depending on your system configuration.

There are a couple of issues with Franz though, albeit minor in most eyes. Franz's action buttons: minimise, maximise, and close work like they would with a web browser and not like in an IM application. That means there's also no way to minimise the application to the notification area. You can either minimise its window or close the application entirely. Although this might seem completely natural to some users, power messaging app users will know the benefit of the minimise-to-notification-area function; it still keeps the software running but gets rid of it from your switch window (think "Alt + Tab") cycle and declutters your taskbar.

In addition to that, Slack users will find the lack of a blue dot - that shows up when you have indirect messages in a channel - unsatisfactory. More so especially if you're used to working with it day to day.

franz_macbook_01.jpg Another problem could be that Franz isn't open source or in the public repo. While it doesn't handle any of your data and all communication is directly done with the website in question, privacy concerns are bound to originate for some. For what it's worth, product designer Stefan Malzner addressed that question when someone asked it over on Product Hunt, and said: "Franz does not work with the services APIs, instead you are using the direct web interface of a service like web.whatsapp.com or web.skype.com. Franz does not store anything besides the typical browser cache like Chrome or Safari is doing it."

But Franz's biggest drawback would be for its Skype/ Hangout users, or for that matter, anyone looking to use Franz for video or audio calls. Since Franz doesn't support external extensions - Malzner said they are looking into it - you can't make any type of calls right now. While the buttons appear greyed out in Skype, choosing the video call option with Hangouts results in opening a new tab in your default browser, putting an end to the unifying experience Franz was supposed to bring. This wouldn't happen if you choose to go with the aforementioned DIY-browser method.

Franz then, is a neatly designed app that will never bog down your system and provides access to a wealth of services. It plans to offer more going forward, and the functionality at its core can only expand going forward. In its current state though, it's hard to recommend it as a panacea to all your messaging worries but it sure might be worth coming back to sometime later.

How to Transfer Music from Laptop to an IPhone




There're many advantages to Apple's ecosystem. The synergy between the devices is unprecedented. Apple has "simplified" things so much that its products are considered to be easier to use. The products also come with a great ecosystem of accessories which makes owning them a fuss-free experience for most of the people.

However, Apple's approach also adds some complexities. For example, one big problem for the iPhone users is management of their music collection. On the iPhone or iPad you can't "cut, copy and  paste" files. Also, Apple owns the iTunes store and in order to avoid piracy it limits the user of an iPhone or iPad to a host PC or a Mac. So how does one transfer music from a laptop to an iPhone? For example you have 10 songs on your computer. You want them into your iPhone. It is an amazingly simple question, but the answer to it is a little complex.

The iTunes method

The iTunes method is what one must use to transfer music from a laptop, external hard-drive or pen drive to the iPhone. To do this, you need to follow these steps:

1- Download and install iTunes on your Windows PC. On a Mac, it will be pre-loaded. When you will open iTunes for the first time, it will scan your computer for all the music and media and add it to the iTunes library. If you have the music stored on an external drive, make sure that's also connected to the computer. It will also download all the music you've bought from Apple once you log-in to your iTunes account if you have used it before to purchase music.

2- Connect your iPhone to the computer using the USB cable.

3- Open iTunes.

4- Locate and click on your device on the left side bar.

5- Click on the 'Summary' tab and scroll down to the Options section.

6- Click the box next to "Manually manage music and videos."

7- Go to the 'Music' tab, check box next to sync music

8- Then click on either 'entire library' or 'selected playlists, artists and genre' which basically allows for manually selecting the songs that you want in the iPhone.

9- Click apply.

Using iTunes, you can also transfer music wirelessly to the iPhone. The process is quite straight forward and you have to follow the following steps.

1- Connect the iPhone to iTunes using USB cable so that the sharing is enabled between the two devices.

2- Ensure iPhone and your laptop which is running iTunes is on the same Wi-Fi network.

3- Open iTunes

4- Once iPhone is connected iTunes, in the summary tab check on the ''Sync with this iPhone over Wi-Fi' tab.

5- Press "Apply"

6- The next time you open iTunes, you will be able to sync music wirelessly --- no USB cable required -- as long as both the laptop and iPhone are on the same Wi-Fi network.

In case you store music in a pen drive or an external hard disk, here is what you will need to do:  
1- Select the "iTunes preferences" menu. On Windows you have to go to the tiny button on the top right corner. On OS X, you have to go to the iTunes icon on the top right.

2- Inside preferences you have to jump straight to the last tab (8th) called "Advanced".

3- In the advanced tab, the first thing you will see 'iTunes media folder location'. By default, its path will read something like 'C:\\Users\Sahil\Music\iTunes\iTunes Media'. This is the folder you need to copy if you're backing up your music.

4- In the case you're trying to add music from an external drive you have to change the path. So if you're music is on 'D' drive inside a folder called music all you need to is change the path to D:\\Music and you're good to go.

Instagram Is Adding Video Channels to Its 'Explore' Section




Facebook's picture sharing app Instagram is updating its "Explore" section to add video channels that will appear in a feed according to users' preferences.
The feature will have a personalised channel called "videos you might like" that will collect videos from across Instagram's global community and also will include a "Featured" column highlighting videos on specific topics, Instagram said.
For now, the upgrade will only be available in the United States, Instagram said on Thursday.
Instagram v7.20 is available on Apple's App Store and Google Play.
On the company's blog post, the team said:
"As people share more videos than ever before, we're making it easier to discover the ones you'll love. To begin, you'll find a personalised channel called "Videos You Might Like" that collects videos from across Instagram's global community into a seamless viewing experience. And as you scroll through the Explore grid, you may also see "Featured" channels filled with videos on specific topics."
"Even with these changes, Explore still works the same way: It connects you to posts about your interests from people you don't yet follow. The more you like, the better Explore gets, adjusting to your preferences and showing you more of the stuff you enjoy. And if you see something you don't like, tap "See Fewer Posts Like This" in the '...' menu to make your Explore experience even better."
Written with inputs from Reuters

WhatsApp Messanger is More Private Now




WhatsApp last night turned on the encryption within the app. That has created a lot of buzz. But why and how exactly it affects WhatsApp users? Well, sit tight and let us explain it all to you in 10 quick points:

1- Starting Tuesday night, all WhatsApp communication is encrypted. This means, now when you chat with your friends, cyber criminals or even government sleuths will not be able to capture the data and read your chats, even if they are stealing all your Wi-Fi traffic. Although, they can still steal, confiscate or snatch your phone and read all your chats.

2- The WhatsApp encryption is end-to-end. This means the keys to encrypt the chats will be stored only with users. Even WhatsApp won't have any key, so the government can't demand such keys from the company that runs the chat app.

Here is how WhatsApp co-founders explained it: "The idea is simple: when you send a message, the only person who can read it is the person or group chat that you send that message to. No one can see inside that message. Not cybercriminals. Not hackers. Not oppressive regimes. Not even us. End-to-end encryption helps make communication via WhatsApp private - sort of like a face-to-face conversation."

3- For added security, you can even authenticate chats on WhatsApp. This, according to WhatsApp, will be done between users through a QR Code or a 60-digit number.

4- The WhatsApp encryption is 256-bit strong. Theoretically, it is impossible to crack it by brute force method. Although, there could be implementation loopholes that government agencies like the NSA in the US can exploit.

5- If you want to use WhatsApp encryption, all you need to do is download the latest version of the app. It is enabled by default.

6- Now everything is encrypted on WhatsApp. Text, your selfies, the funny videos, even the PJs in school group are encrypted. Isn't it wonderful? Cyber criminals won't even be able to sniff out all the "photoshopped" forwards that you receive in your WhatsApp group.

7- The encryption is not expected to have any significant effect on the user experience. The service will, possibly, continue to be fast and free.

8- The big deal about the WhatsApp encryption is that suddenly over a billion people on earth have access to incredibly secure and private communication. This is unprecedented and makes WhatsApp move wonderful and scary at the same time.

9- According to WhatsApp, its latest feature is built using "the Signal Protocol, designed by Open Whisper Systems." The company says that this protocol is specifically developed to keep third-parties like cyber criminals and government officials away from private communications.

10- At a time when the concept of privacy is almost gone, WhatsApp encryption changes the rule of the game. It will probably force other technology companies to offer encryption by default. As WhatsApp co-founders said, "we expect that (WhatsApp-like encryption) will ultimately represent the future of personal communication".

Flipkart Buys Mobile Payments Company PhonePe For an Undisclosed Sum




Flipkart on Friday said it had bought PhonePe, a mobile payments company founded by its former employees for an undisclosed sum.

Co-founded by ex-Flipkart employees Sameer Nigam and Rahul Chari, PhonePe is building India’s first unified payments interface (UPI)-based product, Flipkart said. PhonePe will function as an independent business unit of Flipkart.

UPI, planned to go live in April, will allow users to transact using unique identification and mobile phone numbers or virtual payments address without sharing any other bank details.

Anyone with a bank account can perform instant transactions by using mobile phone. This is in contrast to the present payments process, which involves entering numerous account/card details and multi-level interventions.

“Payments has been one of the biggest hurdles for mass adoption of online shopping in India. UPI has the potential of transforming the entire payments ecosystem in the country. The acquisition of PhonePe is in-line with Flipkart’s focus on driving innovation on the payments front," Binny Bansal, CEO, Flipkart said.

In September 2015, Flipkart acquired payment services firm FX Mart for Rs 45.4 crore. FX Mart has a prepaid wallet license that would allow its customers to use the money stored in the wallet to buy goods on Flipkart platforms and other associated partners.

“PhonePe’s mission is to significantly improve the online and offline digital payments experience for millions of Indian customers. We are really excited to merge with Flipkart and get access to one of the largest consumer bases in the country, which will allow us to realize our vision at a much larger scale,” Sameer Nigam, Co-founder, PhonePe said in the state.


Use These 7 Easy Tricks to Get Better Battery Life in Phone


 

A little more -- this is one thing we all ask for from our phone's battery. Whether you've got an HTC or Samsung or any other Android phone, the issue with battery dying fast is as common as finding WhatsApp on phones these days.

There are a number of reasons why the battery in your phone isn't lasting as long as you want. Some of these can be fixed, and some can't. But irrespective of what you can fix and what you can't, there are a few easy hacks that will definitely improve the battery life of your smartphone. We tell you about 7 such hacks.

1.     Good night to you and your mobile data: Most of us don't need a data connection in the phone when we are sleeping. You can check all those late night emails in morning. Or see what your Facebook friends are up to when you have your breakfast. Switching off data connection would save a lot of the battery life in the phone.

2.     Say no to live wallpapers: Live wallpapers are fun and look interactive. However, they drain battery significantly. Stick to normal, regular wallpapers. In fact, if you have a phone with AMOLED display, go with a wallpaper that has darker colours. That will save even more battery. On other phones use a wallpaper, which has brighter colours because that will allow you to keep the brightness low, saving even more battery.

3.     Switch off your location or GPS: Turn off your phone's GPS and location whenever you can to save your battery consumption. Also make sure your Bluetooth is switched off when not in use. These services are big battery eaters in your smartphone.

4.     Avoid using third party home launchers: You may have noticed that after a prolonged use of third-party launchers, your phone starts to show lags and often hangs. These launchers not only eat battery but also makes phones sluggish. If possible, stick to the launcher that came bundled with the phone. If you are not happy with it, use Google's launcher.

5.     Dim the display: It is no secret that bright display consumes a large amount of battery. So try keeping your screen dim to minimise power consumption. You can also go for auto-brightness mode in your phone that adjusts the brightness to an optimal level keeping the battery consumption in view.

6.     Battery saver mode to the rescue: Go to settings> Battery> Enable the power-saving mode. This changes few settings on your phone to conserve battery and automatically deactivates when you charge your phone.

7.     Keep it cool: You remember your school's computer lab had air conditioners. No it wasn't to soothe you from the ruffles of playground, it was for the computers in the lab. Well, machines work better in cool temperature. Your battery is no different from it. Don't leave your phones under direct sunlight or any other place that is hot.