Wednesday, December 13, 2017

10 Best Weather Apps for Android

The weather is one of those things everyone needs to know, or at least pay attention to. We check it before getting ready for the day, or while planning a big holiday vacation. With that in mind, here are a handful of the best weather apps and widgets for Android. Giving you a personal weatherman with up to the hour, or minute information and weather alerts.

And while the factory installed weather apps on most smartphones are decent, they’re also usually lacking in features, accuracy, or widgets. Luckily there are plenty of developers that have beautiful apps with additional features, customization, and lots of options.

Read: 10 Best Photo Gallery Apps for Android

So, if you want to know when it is going to rain or snow, check the 7-day forecast, add a live weather widget to your screen, or check the air quality, we have you covered. Out of all of your options, these are the best weather apps for Android.


One of the most popular and highest rated weather apps ever is 1Weather. It’s also been around for a long time, and millions of people trust it every single day. This app delivers a clean and easy to use interface, and all those hourly, daily, or weekly forecasts you probably rely on. And that’s not all either.

1Weather lets you track up to 12 different cities or locations at a time, has support for over 25 languages, and works with Android Wear smartwatches too. So you can check for incoming rain without getting your phone out. And finally, they have a few widgets worth trying. That way you can see information 24/7 right on your screen without ever opening an app or refreshing your weather app. They even have radar and real-time severe weather alerts. We can recommend this app without hesitation.

Download – 1Weather 


Another old-timer that you’ve probably used before is WeatherBug. This is one of the first weather apps that delivered multiple options and features for Android users, so it’s still very popular today. People use what they know. That said, it does offer things like weather forecasts, severe alerts, widgets, and even live weather cams. Yes, you can check live camera streams on a map of popular locations.

WeatherBug has 18 different maps, live traffic conditions because of the weather, lightning alerts, and map radar systems available. They do offer widgets, but in a standalone app, but they aren’t the best. This app is completely free, but you can spend $10 for the pro version if you feel it’s necessary.

Download – WeatherBug

Dark Sky

Next up is a completely different type of weather app, one that delivers scary accurate hyper-local weather alerts down to the minute. Instead of giving you a whole set of information and forecasts, this app will tell you when it’s going to start raining or snowing outside, AND when it will stop. The best part, it’s crazy accurate right down to your exact location.

We know a lot of people don’t trust the weatherman, but Dark Sky will prove you wrong. In fact, it’s one of the only Android apps my dad has ever paid for. It’s that good. You’ll find a few widgets too, if you want them, and you can pay $2.99 a year for additional features.

So while this won’t do everything that 1Weather does, it will let you know when it’s going to rain. Which is pretty important, if I don’t say so myself.

Download – Dark Sky

Yahoo! Weather

Stay with us here. The official Yahoo! Weather app is actually pretty impressive. It’s by far the best Yahoo! app available in the Google Play Store. When you download Yahoo! Weather the first thing you’ll notice is the beautiful user interface. It’s simple, clean, and sources real images from Flikr for the location you’re looking up. You can track up to 20 cities, and get all the usual weather information you need.

Yahoo! offers customizable weather feeds and alerts, and you can even send in your own photos of the conditions. Like the others, they have radar, maps, forecasts and even a few widgets. Although the widgets aren’t the best. You’ll likely just enjoy the clean interface. If you haven’t tried it in a few years, we recommend giving it another shot.

Download – Yahoo! Weather

Weather Underground

When it comes to knowing anything and everything about the weather, or outdoor conditions, Weather Underground is a great place to start. This is one of the most feature-complete options available. They have everything the others do, and then some. More importantly, it uses crowd-sourced data for extremely accurate information on everything you’re interested in.

Weather Underground gives you all the usual stuff, UV index ratings, pollen info, smart alerts, local flu outbreaks, and hyper-local weather alerts similar to Dark Sky. It’s basically all of the above when you think of weather.

We really like the fact that it gathers information from a community of people for real and accurate reporting. More importantly, Underground monitors and reports on air quality too. Perfect for those in California dealing with wildfires, or anywhere else that air quality is a concern. They do have ads, but you can get rid of them for $1.99 per year.

Download – Weather Underground


Another all-around solid choice is AccuWeather. They’ve been around for a while, but the newly updated app is pretty great. Then, they introduced minute-cast, which as you’d expect, gives you the forecast down to the minute. See a trend here? Everyone is trying to share extremely accurate information down to the minute.

AccuWeather is pretty feature-complete too. They have a little of everything, almost too much in fact. It’s so data-heavy that some users might just add the AccuWeather widget and call it a day. And that’s fine because they have a pretty decent selection of widgets that look and work great.

If you want precise location-based information, we still recommend Dark Sky over this. That said, this offers a lot more than Dark Sky, too. It’s one of the most complete weather apps out there.

Download – AccuWeather

MyRadar Weather

If you’re a weather-geek or live in a Hurricane zone, you’ll want to consider MyRadar. They pull precise information and raw radar data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) servers. This means you know you’re getting pretty accurate information.

Along with a full range of features, MyRadar focuses mainly on Radar. You can play radar animations to see if rain is coming, track hurricanes, and get even more radar features with in-app purchases. The maps are detailed and easy to read, but it’s not a “weather app” in the sense that some of the others are. Still, it’s lots of fun, and they have a paid version for $2.99 that’s full of features if you want to become a weather pro.

Download – MyRadar Weather

The Weather Channel

Perhaps the most recognizable app is The Weather Channel. You’ll get a little of everything from this app, along with a few extras like UV index and air quality conditions. A lot of apps just say if it’s rainy or sunny, but if you’re curious about air quality, try this app.

The Weather Channel gives you current temps, future forecasts, radar options, severe alerts, pollen stats, and even detailed wind information. They have a pretty beautiful app, beautiful background images, and neat simple widgets if you want one of those.

It’s not very customizable and has a high subscription fee if you want more than it offers, but the social reporting should give you all the weather information you need.

Download – The Weather Channel App

GO Weather, Forecast & Widgets

We’re also pretty big fans of Go Weather. They have accurate forecasts, real-time weather reports, dynamic backgrounds, and a lot of really nice widget options. If you’re looking for a new weather widget, start here.

They bundle a gorgeous design with extremely accurate information, and lots of it, which makes it a winning weather app. Along with the usuals, you’ll also enjoy 10-day weather forecast, severe weather alert, precipitation, lifestyle forecasts, radar & satellite image and beautiful weather widgets. Give it a try today.

Download – GO Weather

Weather 14 Days

Last but not least, we have a pretty typical weather app that’s all about giving you information for the next two weeks. Basically, you’ll get 14-day forecasts, maps, satellites, and radar details. We like the clean design of the app and the fact that it covers the entire world, and highlights popular destinations.

You’ll love the easy-to-use interface, smart alerts right in your notification bar, and all the widgets. In fact, they offer some of the most customizable weather widgets around. Except for maybe HD Widgets. It’s available in over 50 countries with support for 20 languages. Give it a try today.

Download – Weather 14 Days

Now that you have a list of the best weather apps for Android choose what works for you. Find quick easy to read information, get tons of details, check the air quality, or stay inside because it’s going to rain in 12 minutes. While you’re here, take a look at these 8 best touchscreen gloves for winter.

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

OnePlus is giving away 10,000 tickets to see Star Wars: The Last Jedi in India

OnePlus has now been in India for three years. It started selling the OnePlus One in December of 2014 and has had success in the country ever since. To celebrate its anniversary, the company is giving away 10,000 tickets to see Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi.

The promotion is open to anyone who has purchased a OnePlus device in the last three years. All you have to do is head over to its website, enter your IMEI number, and pick a city and a time you want to see the movie. It will then supply you with a code that you can redeem on Paytm for the movie ticket. The tickets will be given away on December 13 and December 15 at 10:00 AM, and you’ll have until 11:59 PM on the day you get your ticket to redeem it on Paytm.

The showings will take place on December 16 and 17 at the following Cinemax and PCR theaters:

  • Mumbai: PVR Phoenix Mills-Lower Parel

  • Pune: PVR Pune- Market City

  • Hyderabad: PVR Kukatpally Forum Sujana Mall

  • Chandigarh: PVR Elante Mall

  • Chennai: PVR Ampa Sky Walk Mall

  • Kolkata: Cinemax Mani Square Mall

  • Delhi: PVR, DLF Mall of India

  • Bangalore: PVR Forum Mall – Kormangala

  • Kochi: PVR Lulu International Shopping Mall

Editor’s Pick

In addition to the movie tickets, OnePlus is setting up several pop-up stores. These locations will be at the same place as the movie screening in Mumbai, Hyderabad, Chandigarh, Chennai, Kolkata, and Kochi. If you want to get your hands on a device in Pune, you’ll need to head to Seasons Mall. In Bangalore, the pop-up store is located at the OnePlus Experience Store – Brigade Road, and in Delhi at Comic Con – NSIC Exhibition Ground.

OnePlus is also selling the OnePlus 5T Star Wars Edition in conjunction with The Last Jedi’s release. It comes with a special white backing, a red volume slider, and Star Wars software theme. It goes on sale in India on December 14, one day before the release of Star Wars: The Last Jedi.

Saturday, December 9, 2017

Microsoft Edge has been downloaded over one million times on Android

Microsoft surprised folks back in October when the company released its Edge browser for Android. We say “released,” but the app was in preview up until almost two weeks ago. Even so, Microsoft hit an important milestone as Edge officially surpassed one million downloads on Android.

We realize how minuscule that number can be when compared to Microsoft’s other offerings on the platform. For example, Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneDrive have all surpassed the 100-million-download threshold. Even Microsoft’s Authenticator app, which provides a two-step authentication process for Microsoft products and services, as well as multi-factor authentication for other services, already passed the one-million-download threshold.

Even so, Edge’s one million downloads is an impressive feat. For one, it was available in preview form for almost two months before shedding its beta tag not too long ago. Also, thanks to the number of downloads, Edge is the third most-popular free communication app on the Play Store, with Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp the only apps in front.

Editor’s Pick

Personally, I’ve grown to like Edge on Android, thanks to its use of Chrome’s Blink engine. This gives Edge the same feel as Chrome on Android has, which lends to its snappy nature.

Edge also includes a solid number of features, such as Favorites, Reading List, New Tab Page, and Reading View. There is also a dark mode, in case you don’t want your retinas to burn in low-light scenarios, and “Continue on PC,” which lets you pick up where you left off on your Windows 10 version of Edge.

That’s where Edge really becomes useful, though it stands just fine on its own as a solid Android browser alternative to Chrome. It might not feature extension support, something I really miss when navigating through ad-heavy webpages, but Edge is a solid alternative to the likes of Firefox and Opera.

You can give Edge a download at the link below, if you want to give it a spin, and let us know in the comments if you’ve given Edge a shot.

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Google to make gaming more diverse via its Change the Game initiative

There’s a problem in the mobile gaming industry that not a lot of people like to talk about. Women are vastly under-represented in games despite making up about half of gamers. Google is on a mission to change this and has rolled out a new initiative to make gaming more inclusive. The initiative is called “Change the Game,” and through it, Google is planning diversity programs, new partnerships, and research through 2018.

According to a study commissioned by Google, 49% of gamers in the United States are women. That includes 65% of women aged 10 – 65. Women are also more likely to prefer mobile games over other platforms like PC or consoles (64% to 38%). The study also discovered that 43% of women play mobile games five times per week or more; only 38% of men do the same. The top reasons women gave for playing mobile games include entertainment, stress relief, and restful moments.

Editor’s Pick

Despite all of these facts showing how engaged women are, games tend to court more male players. For instance, there are more male characters featured in game icons in the Play Store. In fact, of the top 100 grossing games on Google Play, 44% more of the apps feature male characters over female characters. Women think that 30% or fewer of all mobile games are made for them due to this prominent featuring of male characters.

And this is just the issue with female representation within games. It gets even worse when you look at female representation among those who make games. Just 27.8% of those in the gaming industry identify as a female, transgender, or another gender identity. Google argues, “the industry’s lack of diversity limits its ability to build games that resonate with a wide and diverse audience.”

So, those are the problems, but what is Google planning to do about it? First, it’s promoting diversity in and of games. Google is highlighting games with strong female characters in the Google Play Store’s Indie Corner. It also created Infinity Deviation: Games to help more people get in on the processing of making games.

Google is also shining a light on female players. When you’re as big and powerful as Google, people pay attention when you talk. Google will use this influence to spread the word that not all players are men. If more people know that women game and more women feel comfortable talking about their games, attitudes can start to change.

Google’s final goal is to get more girls coding. It’s teaming up with Girls Make Games to create opportunities for girls to “envision, design, and develop mobile games.” Through Google’s Made with Code, its introducing teen girls to computer science and teaming them to develop games, make music, create entertainment, and fashion through coding. Google says going forward, it will continue to build and scale programs for skill development, career opportunities, and mentorships.

You can find out more at Google’s Change the Game website.

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

These gifts look like something out of Star Trek

This holiday season there are plenty of great phones, tablets, and other gizmos worthy of your spending dollar. But many of these products seem a bit too familiar. It’s 2017 and the future is here! Tech from settings like Star Trek are quickly becoming reality. So why be content with the same old boring toys? 

If you’re looking for something that truly looks like it belongs in the future, we’ve gathered up a list of gifts that stand out in a sea of sameness, offering a glimpse of a future that once seemed like something relegated to the realm of Sci-Fi. 

ZTE Axon M: A phone that’s more than just a phone

For years we’ve heard about how the future of smartphones and tablets will include ones with flexible or foldable displays. It’s 2017 and finally someone decided to move past concepts and actually deliver. That someone is ZTE.

The ZTE Axon M might not have a truly foldable display, but it’s a real-world solution that gives us a taste of this promised future. 

The ZTE Axon M uses two 5.2-inch IPS Full HD panels that are connected to a hinge that, when it is folded out, turns the device into one that can be used as a single, 6.75-inch tablet-like device.

Editor’s Pick

As you can imagine, this phone stands out in a crowd. One moment you have an ordinary device, but with the flip of a hinge you get a product that brings mult-tasking to a new level. With the Axon M you can not only extend your apps onto both displays, but you can run two different apps at the same time. You can even fold it in a tent-like mode and watch a movie while a friend can see what you are seeing on the second screen.

Without a doubt, this is one of the most unique phones you can buy right now. You can get it via AT&T for $724.99 without a contract, or for $24.17 a month for 24 months. 

learn more at ZTE

Asus ZenFone AR: Blend reality with the virtual world

Virtual reality and augmented reality are two technology trends that are slowly but surely gaining traction. The recently released ASUS ZenFone AR is well equipped to handle both. It is the first, and will likely be the last, smartphone that incorporates support for both Google’s Daydream View VR headset and the company’s Tango AR platform.

Editor’s Pick

The VR part of the phone is pretty straightforward. Owners can buy one of Google’s Daydream View headsets, connect it to the phone, and run any Daydream VR game and app. The Tango features are more complicated. The ZenFone AR has special sensors and cameras that are designed to map out the space beyond the phone and use it for AR apps made especially for Tango. You can, for example, map out your living room and then use a Tango app to place items in the space that you mapped, so you can see how they would look if you added them in real life. You can imagine this as a primitive form of Star Trek’s tricorder.

The bad news is that Google decided to retire the Tango platform just a few weeks after the ASUS ZenFone AR launched, in favor or ARCore, which lets developers add AR features in Android apps without the need for special hardware and sensors in phones. The ZenFone AR is still a pretty powerful phone on its own, however, so you can still use it as a regular handset, while also checking out its more futuristic features. You can get it unlocked for the starting price of $599.99.

Nintendo Switch: It’s a console, no it’s a portable. No, it’s both. 

Nintendo tries to do new and different things with its home consoles, and its most recent release, the Nintendo Switch is no exception. It’s been designed so that it can turn quickly from a high-end game console that you hook up to your TV over to a portable handheld console.

When on the go you can play for up to six hours thanks to a built in battery. You can also play it with two of the console’s Joy-Con controllers, one on each side, or you and a friend can play games on the portable screen, each with a Joy-Con in their hand. You can even put a pair of these new controllers in a Joy-Con grip accessory, if you want a more old fashioned console experience.

One day we will all play games like this, switching from a mobile device over to the big TV screen. The Nintendo Switch offers a chance to get in on the ground floor on what we think will be the future of video games. You can get the Nintendo Switch right now for $299.

Lenovo Yoga Book: Part tablet, part laptop, all future

While tablets are great for watching movies and otherwise checking out media content, they are not so useful for work. Lenovo wanted to bridge the gap between tablets and regular laptops with the innovative Yoga Book. Available in versions running on either Android or Windows 10, the Yoga Book’s biggest feature is its Halo keyboard. It can project a virtual full-sized laptop keyboard for work, but that keyboard can also completely disappear. Owners can then use the included stylus on the secondary screen’s Create Mod, for writing notes or for  drawing artwork that can be saved on Lenovo’s own note app.

Come to think of it, this is a bit like the PADD devices you might have seen on Star Trek: The Next Generation.

While reviews have claimed that the keyboard takes some getting used to, this kind of functionality will likely become more commonplace for smaller tablets and/or notebooks. The ability to write and draw without the need to access the main display could be seen in future products. At the moment, the Android versions of the Yoga Book is available for $313 at Amazon, while the Windows 10 version is priced at $393.

Sense with Voice Sleep System

Everyone is looking for new and better ways to sleep better at night. A recently launched product called Sense is designed to not only help you sleep better, but it can even monitor your activities while you are sleeping. The Sense device itself, which looks a bit like the inside of a golf ball, is placed on your bed table or nightstand, while a Sense clip is fastened to one of your pillows. The Sense device can generate ambient sounds and white noise designed to make you fall asleep faster and more soundly, and its alarm can wake you up in the morning when you are sleeping the lightest.

The clip sensor collects data based on your movement at night, and with the included smartphone app, can give you the numbers on your specific sleep cycles so you can know what steps to take to optimize your bedtime experience. You can get the Sense device right now at Amazon for $55.

Amazon Echo: control your digital life with nothing more than your voice

Perhaps more than any other product, the Echo connected speakers from Amazon can make you feel like you are in a Star Trek episode. With the speaker’s use of Amazon’s Alexa digital assistant, you can simply ask it for information, or to play music, or to watch a movie in natural language. You and members of your family can also connect Echo speakers to smart home products like light bulbs, locks, cameras and more and command them with your voice.

The standard Amazon Echo is now in a second generation version, and the smaller and cheaper Echo Dot provides much of the same features. The recently launched Echo Plus combines a smart speaker with a smart hub for more direct control of connected devices in the home. The Echo Show adds a 7-inch display for watching videos and even making video calls. Finally, the upcoming Echo Spot (which starts shipping in mid-December) is a smaller puck-shaped version of the Show with its own display.

If you don’t have a lot to spend on gifts, the $50 Amazon Echo Dot is a really great starting point. 

Samsung CHG90 Series Curved 49-Inch Gaming Monitor: this beautiful curvy beast is straight out of Sci-Fi film

We don’t have Star Trek’s holodeck yet, but PC gamers who want to truly get an immersive experience without having to put on VR glasses should check out Samsung’s huge 49-inch curved gaming monitor. In very basic terms, you are getting the equivalent of two 24-inch curved screens merged into one, with a resolution of 3,840 X 1,080 and an 32:9 aspect ratio. The massive screen, combined with its curved design, means that if you are playing the latest Call of Duty game, you will be literally surrounded by the the battlefield, directly in your eye and in your peripheral vision as well.

In addition to its sheer size, this monitor from Samsung includes support for HDR10 and its own QLED Quantum Dot technology to make sure that the image is the best it can be. If you own an AMD Radeon graphics chip, the monitor also supports its FreeSync 2 tech that helps to sync up the display refresh rate with little to no image tearing in games. As you might expect, this kind of tech doesn’t come cheap; you can buy the monitor at Amazon for $1,430, but it may be worth it if you really want to feel inside the game.

You don’t have to settle for boring tech. As the above gifts show, there are plenty of great looking tech items out there that truly look like they are from a Sci-Fi movie set. Even better, they open up new possibilities that just weren’t possible even a few years ago. 

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Monday, December 4, 2017

iOS 11.2 Problems: 5 Things You Need to Know

Apple’s iOS 11.2 update delivers fixes for lingering issues, but it’s also brought some frustrating problems to iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch users.

The new version of iOS 11 brings a long list of changes including key bug fixes and enhancements, but some users are reporting installation problems, abnormal battery drain, Wi-Fi problems, lag, and issues with Bluetooth.

In this guide we’re taking a look at the iOS 11.2 problems plaguing Apple’s devices. We also want to help those of you running into bugs and performance issues.

This walkthrough will show you where to find potential fixes for the most common iOS 11 issues and provides some resources that could come in handy if your version of iOS 11 starts acting up.

Our walkthrough also takes you through how to downgrade from iOS 11.2 and a few things we expect from Apple and is iOS updates going forward.

iOS 11.2 Problems

It’s early, but we’re already seeing and hearing complaints about iOS 11.2. Some of these problems are brand new, others have carried over from the previous versions of iOS 11.

iOS users have run into various iOS 11.2 installation problems including errors in iTunes and stuck downloads. If your iOS 11.2 download gets stuck, hard reset your phone or tablet.

iOS 11.2 users are also reporting heavy battery drain, lag, AirPlay issues, random reboots, Touch ID problems, touchscreen issues, problems with sound, issues with Siri, problems with first and third-party apps, and issue with Face ID. If Face ID isn’t working on your iPhoneX, a simple reboot should alleviate the problem.

Apple’s official discussion forums, Reddit, and social media sites like Twitter are starting to fill up with complaints about iOS 11.2 and we expect to see new problems emerge in the weeks ahead.

You can’t predict what kind of performance you’ll see on your phone or tablet and that’s why we recommend doing some prep work before you install iOS 11.2 on your iPhone, iPad or iPod touch.

We’ve put together a step-by-step process and our checklist will take you through everything you should do before jumping to iOS 11.2. A little prep work can go a long way toward preventing issues.

Where to Find Feedback About iOS 11.2

As we push away from the iOS 11.2 release date it’s important to keep your eyes on feedback coming from your fellow iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch owners.

Digging into ongoing iOS 11 feedback will alert you to potential benefits and potential problems. The problems discovered today are just the tip of the iceberg.

We’ve put together some reasons to and not to install the iOS 11.2 update to help get you started. If you’re on the fence about making the move to iOS 11.2, start there.

We also recommend keeping an eye on YouTube, Apple’s discussion forums, social media sites like Twitter/Facebook, and the MacRumors forums for additional feedback about the current version of iOS 11.

We’ve also put together some first impressions of iOS 11.2 on the iPhone and we’re in the process of publishing mini iOS 11.2 reviews for the iPhone X, iPhone 7, iPhone 6siPhone 6, iPhone 5siPhone SE, and the iPad.

How to Fix iOS 11.2 Problems

If you start running into trouble on iOS 11.0, iOS 11.0.1, iOS 11.0.2, iOS 11.0.3, iOS 11.1, iOS 11.1.1, iOS 11.1.2, or iOS 11.2 there’s no need to panic. You can manually fix most issues from the comfort of a computer chair or couch.

Before you take your phone or tablet down to an Apple Genius you should try fixing the problem on your own.

We’ve put together a list of fixes for the most common iOS 11 problems. The list is a great starting point for those of you dealing with iOS 11 issues.

We’ve also released a list of tips that could help you improve your device’s performance and some ways to fix iOS 11 battery life problems.

If you’re unable to find a fix for your issue in those guides, you should go to Apple’s discussion forums for help. If Apple’s forums aren’t helpful, you can get in contact with Apple Support via Twitter or via the company’s website.

If Apple’s online support can’t help, you should schedule an appointment to see a Genius at your local Apple Store. They should be able to diagnose your issue and provide you with a fix or a replacement depending on your warranty.

You Can Downgrade from iOS 11.2

You can also try downgrading back to a previous version of iOS 11 if you think that might help.

Apple is still signing off on iOS 11.0.1, iOS 11.0.2, iOS 11.0.3, iOS 11.1, iOS 11.1.1, and iOS 11.1.2 which means you can drop back down to an older version of iOS 11 in an effort to improve your device’s performance.

Apple will only sign off on these updates for a short time which means you’ll need to move quickly. It won’t announce anything ahead of time.

The company is no longer signing on iOS 11.0 or iOS 10.3.3 which mean there’s no going back to iOS 10. Once you move to iOS 11, you’re stuck.

If you’re curious about the downgrade process and how it works, take a look at our detailed walkthrough.

What’s Next

Apple hasn’t confirmed an iOS 11.2.1 update so it could be a few days before we see the next bug fix update.

If Apple follows the pattern it used with iOS 10, we might have to wait until next year for the next bug fix update. Apple released iOS 10.2.1 in late January. The company also released the first iOS 10.3 beta in early 2017.

For now, those of you struggling with iOS 11 problems are you’re on your own.

4 Reasons Not to Install iOS 11.2 & 8 Reasons You Should

Install iOS 11.2 for Better Security

Install iOS 11.2 for Better Security

Apple hasn’t outlined the security patches on board the iOS 11.2 update, but we expect those details to emerge soon. We expect it to have new patches for potential exploits. 

If you skipped iOS 11.1.2, iOS 11.1.1 and iOS 11.1, you’ll probably want to download the iOS 11.2 update today or sometime in the near future.

The iOS 11.1 update delivered eight security patches including a fix for a serious Wi-Fi vulnerability called KRACK or Key Reinstallation Attack. KRACK is an exploit that targets the common WPA2 encryption protocol.

If you’re just now making to move from iOS 10 (or whatever you’re on) to iOS 11, your iOS 11.2 update will come with additional security features.

Apple’s first iOS 11 update delivered several patches for potential exploits. iOS 11 also comes with new security features aimed at keeping your data safe. Elcomsoft recently discovered a change to the way iOS deals with trusted devices.

In iOS 11 you can’t establish trust with a PC using fingerprints alone. You’ll also need to put in a full passcode in order to gain that trust.

If you skipped older versions of iOS, your iOS 11.2 update will come with an even longer list of security patches.

Apple’s iOS 10.3.3 update delivered 24 security patches addressing potential issues with Contacts, Messages, Notifications, and Safari. It also included a patch for a potentially dangerous Wi-Fi exploit called “Broadpwn.”

If you skipped iOS 10.3.2 you’ll get 23 additional patches in iOS 11.2. And if for some reason you missed iOS 10.3, you’ll get 60 security patches with your version of iOS 11.2.

If you want to protect the data you store on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch, you should make your move to iOS 11.2 soon.

This is particularly important for those of you running older versions of iOS.

Saturday, December 2, 2017

Google is cracking down on apps collecting info they don’t need

Google is rolling out a number of changes designed to protect users on Android. Earlier this week, we reported on new rules that banned apps from displaying ads on your lock screen. These could potentially trick users into downloading unwanted software or sharing data that they don’t want to. Now, Google is cracking down on apps that share information it shouldn’t.

The Safe Browsing team is laying out new restrictions on how apps collect a user’s data. Under the new policy, apps must provide their privacy policy and prompt users to share their data. This applies to everything from a user’s phone number to the list of apps installed on the phone.

Applications which collect and transmit personal data not required for the app to function must tell users how the data will be used.

If an app collects and transmits personal data unrelated to the functionality of the app then, prior to collection and transmission, the app must prominently highlight how the user data will be used and have the user provide affirmative consent for such use.

The new requirements will apply to all functions of an app. For example, if an application wants to send analytics or crash reports, it cannot transmit the list of installed packages unrelated to the app unless it discloses that and gets permission from the user.

Editor’s Pick

Interestingly enough, apps downloaded outside of the Play Store are subject to this policy too. No matter where it comes from, the app must follow the policy or Google Play Protect will show a warning whenever it tries to collect your data without telling you. Google will also show the familiar red warning boxes when you try to visit a website that distributes an offending app.

Developers and webmasters have 60 days to implement changes before Google will step in and warn users.

What do you think about these changes? Will they cut down on the number of apps that take your information without telling you? Let us know down in the comments.

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Galaxy S8 Notification Bar Icons Explained

In this guide we’ll help you understand what all the notification bar icons mean on the Galaxy S8. The little icons at the top of the screen near the time and battery indicator. Whether you see a weird circle with a plus sign on it, a lightning bolt, a bullseye or even a stop symbol. Here’s what you need to know about your phone.

Don’t spend your evening reading the manual or calling customer service for help. Not only will we tell you what some of the most common notification bar icons are, we’ll help you get rid of them too.

Read: 23 Galaxy S8 Tips & Tricks

Most of the icons at the top of your screen are important. These let you know what settings or features you have turned on or off. They also display your 4G LTE data connection, 2G, 3G, WiFi connections, battery levels, and upcoming alarms, to name a few. If you’re seeing an icon you don’t recognize, or don’t know how it got there, we’re here to help.

What are these weird icons?

Galaxy S8 Notification Bar Icons Explained

Even if you do read the Galaxy S8 user manual, Samsung only explains what a few of the icons are or mean. A lot of the most common icons that users have questions about are missing completely. Here are two images provided by Samsung detailing a few of these icons. If you have questions about something else, like a circle with a plus in it, keep reading for more details.

Some of the Galaxy S8 notification bar icons above are what you likely see the most. These display when you have a missed call, new emails, messages, downloads, GPS, or app updates. These are all pretty common, and mostly self-explanatory.

Next, here are a few other fairly common notification bar icons you’ll see on your phone. Each carrier has a different logo for 2G, 3G, 4G, H, H+, and 4G LTE. These notify you that you have an active connection with your carrier, like Verizon or AT&T.

If you didn’t find what you’re looking for above, here are a few other notification bar icons that users see often and don’t understand.

What Do These Other Weird Icons Mean?

The most common question we see about the Galaxy S8 notification bar icons is an odd half-circle with a plus sign in the middle. You can see it in our photo below. This doesn’t go away, even if you reboot the phone.

If you see a circle icon with a + sign, it means at some point you turned on a feature known as Data Saver. This cuts down on data usage by preventing some apps from sending and receiving data in the background. If photos aren’t loading right in some apps (like Facebook) it’s because of Data Saver.

Pull down the notification bar and tap the gear-shaped settings button. Go to Settings > Connections > Data usage > Data Saver > and turn it off. Now that little icon will finally disappear. However, your phone will use more data than it did before, and you might go over your monthly data plan. Next, the odd B icon stands for Bluetooth, as I constantly connect my phone to my car stereo and headphones, so it’s always on.

The weird N-shaped icon stands for NFC, or Near Field Communications. Some apps use NFC to quickly pair Bluetooth accessories like a speaker, by tapping your phone to the speaker. They talk to each other using NFC and pair together automatically. You also use NFC when you make mobile payments with Samsung Pay or Android Pay.

You might also notice a bullseye, which is GPS on certain models of the Galaxy S8. If you’re using Google Maps, you’ll see it. Another one is a circle with a line through it, like a no smoking sign. This means you have no mobile connection or you took your SIM card out of the phone. If you see an “R” by your signal bars, it means you’re roaming. Roaming is when you’re an AT&T customer but there’s no AT&T service around, but your phone still works because it found service from T-Mobile, or someone else.

Other Common Icons

Another question we see often is regarding the airplane icon on the Galaxy S8. This is airplane mode, which you probably accidentally turned on by hitting the icon when you pull down the notification bar.

Airplane mode turns off all the wireless signals inside your phone. Like WiFi, Bluetooth, 4G LTE, internet, etc. Some airports believe these signals can interfere with an aircraft, so they make you turn everything off while you fly. Hence the name, airplane mode.

If you see a circle with a line in the middle, this stands for Do-Not-Disturb mode. Again, you probably accidentally turned this on by hitting the DnD mode when the notification bar was open. This prevents any and all notifications from coming through and is a feature millions of people love.

To turn these off and get rid of the icons, pull down the notification bar and look for the symbol. Find it, and tap once to turn it off.

Last but not least, is the weird lightning bolt on your Galaxy S8 notification bar. This is a feature known as download booster. It’s an awesome feature that carriers in the United States disable on most Galaxy S8, S8+, and Note 8 devices. Download booster lets the phone combine both 4G LTE and WiFi for the fastest possible speeds while downloading a file. It’s nothing to worry about, but you can turn it off if needed.

Go to Settings > Connections > More Connection Settings > and uncheck download booster.

How to Cut Down Your Notification Bar Icons

If you hate having a ton of notification icons at the top of your phone in the morning, there’s a way to cut down on how many get displayed. Head to Settings > Display > Status Bar > and select to “show recent notifications only” from the list of options. Now, you’ll only see three icons at a time, at least on the left side of the screen.

We’ve now explained some of the most common Galaxy S8 notification bar icons, what they do, and how to get rid of them if you’d like. While you’re here, take a look at these 25 best Galaxy S8 cases, or learn how to disable notification icon badges on your phone. If you have a question about any other icons, drop us a line in the comment section below.


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