Samsung Max App With Data Saving and Privacy Protection Features Released

Samsung Max App With Data Saving and Privacy Protection Features Released

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Samsung Max app has been released
  • The app is available for select Galaxy devices
  • Replaces the Opera Max app on Galaxy A and Galaxy J handsets

Samsung on Friday released an Android app that is designed to offer mobile data savings and privacy management. Called Samsung Max, the new app is designed by Samsung R&D Institute India and is available for free download on Google Play and Galaxy App store for select Galaxy devices. The proprietary app will also come preloaded on all Galaxy A and Galaxy J series handsets in a few emerging markets, including India, Argentina, Brazil, Indonesia, Mexico, Nigeria, South Africa, Thailand, and Vietnam – replacing the recently discontinued Opera Max app.

Similar to Google’s Datally that was launched in last November, the Samsung Max offers foreground data compression service that allows you to reduce data consumption from your installed apps. The app also has the functionality to block background data and data access for any app. It compresses webpages, photos, videos, and media within apps and browser to drop data consumption. Similarly, it lets you manage data permissions for specific apps and customise data consumption for existing apps to save your data for other useful tasks.

Alongside offering data savings and data compression features, Samsung Max provides regular reports to let you see which of your favourite apps are consuming the most of your data limit. The app also has a boost Wi-Fi feature that is touted to uplift connectivity even in a crowded Wi-Fi hotspot or at a weak signal area.

Samsung has provided a bunch of features that are specific to security as well. Primarily, the Samsung Max app not just compress but also encrypt all the network traffic that flows from your apps using Samsung’s in-house servers. The South Korean company also claims that has been using a “bank-grade”, secure network experience. In the same vein, there is Samsung Max’ data-savings cloud access make data usage efficient and secure from third-party services.

The Samsung Max app encrypts data when it is sent through a public Wi-Fi network. Likewise, there are features such as tracker blocking and DNS masking to offer a secured Web browsing experience. You can view privacy reports to see how the app adds security to other apps and network connections.

While the Samsung Max by default serves ads, you can choose whether to view ads inside the app or on the lock screen only while your device is plugged in and charging. The latter can be enabled by switching to the premium mode.

“At Samsung, we’ve been committed to creating inclusive data saving and privacy protection services for all our devices. Because of this, we are now introducing Samsung Max to our mid-range devices as an exclusive and unique service that sets Samsung devices apart from the rest of the smartphone market,” said Seounghoon Oh, Vice President Samsung R&D Institute India.

It is worth noting here that the Samsung Max app is presently incompatible with devices other than the eligible Samsung devices. You can check whether it is compatible with your Galaxy handset by visiting Google Play or Galaxy App store.

[“Source-gadgets.ndtv”]

Apple Now Allows Developers to Add Up to 10 Screenshots on App Store

Apple Now Allows Developers to Add Up to 10 Screenshots on App Store

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Developers on the App Store can now add up to 10 screenshots
  • Previously, up to five screenshots per device form factor were allowed
  • The new change doesn’t affect apps listed in the Mac App Store

Apple has now allowed app developers to add as many as up to 10 screenshots per device form factor for their apps listings on the App Store. The new change has increased the maximum number of screenshots that can be added to app listings on the App Store from the previous limit of five screenshots per device. The change is applicable to the App Store for iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, and Apple TV, and it doesn’t affect the number of screenshots displayed in search results. This means search results will still include three portrait screenshots or one horizontal screenshot.

“You can now display up to 10 screenshots on your product page on the App Store for iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, and Apple TV, to show customers more of your app’s experience,” reads the announcement on the Apple Developer site. The latest development is mainly aimed at helping developers attract new users by showing different features of their apps.

As reported by 9to5Mac, developers can submit up to 10 screenshots for each device form factor their apps support, across all iOS devices as well as 1080p and 4K Apple TV resolutions and Apple Watch form factors. To give more visual cues about their apps in addition to static screenshots, developers have also been provided with the ability to add three video previews.

Notably, Apple hasn’t yet applied the new changes for apps available on the Mac App Store. This means that the apps listed on the Mac App Store will continue to come with up to five screenshots.

[“Source-gadgets.ndtv”]

Wire App Offers a Clutter-Free Chat Experience

Wire App Offers a Clutter-Free Chat Experience

 

Even though most people use WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger for chatting, there is no dearth of alternatives available. There are privacy-focused options such as Telegram, and sticker-filled apps such as WeChat, so there is a messaging app for every purpose. One such app, Wire, takes a slightly different approach.

Wire’s appeal lies in its simple, clutter-free design that is suitable for both professional and personal use. The app, which is backed by Skype co-founder Janis Friis, let’s you chat, share images, and make voice calls to other Wire users. Like WhatsApp, and some other apps, Wires uses your phone’s contact list to quickly connect you to other users you know. It has recently launched a Windows app to complement its iOS, Android, OS X, and Web apps. Wire’s group calling feature and clean interface made us wonder if it could find a niche that swears by the app. We used the app on various platforms to find out.

True to its claim, Wire does have a neat interface. With a white background, a large and clean font, and a relatively minimalist interface, it looks good and is easy to use. You can sign up with your phone number or email address. This reviewer couldn’t sign up via SMS because he received the verification message around two hours too late, but two colleagues didn’t face this issue, and were able to sign up and verify their numbers without any issues. If you do face this problem, you can always go to Wire’s website and sign up using an email address, which is also hassle free.

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Wire was snappier than WhatsApp, Messenger, or Slack (which we use for office-wide chat) and it helped that the app looks really nice too. The Web interface had all the same features and worked without any problems – we had to create a password using our phone, and after that, we could log into Wire through the browser. The new Windows app works just like the Web interface, and looks the same too.

The biggest annoyance we had with Wire was its insistence on making you upload a profile picture. One of our colleagues didn’t do this on the Mac app and he was greeted with a large pop-up asking him to upload a picture. This pop-up couldn’t be closed without uploading a picture and the colleague was locked out of the app until he did. The only way for him to chat with us was to click on Wire’s chat notifications. But if no one messaged him, he couldn’t use the app without a picture.

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Wire lets you upload pictures, add gifs as you type (with Giphy integration), and ping your contacts in case you want to ensure that they haven’t missed your message. The calling feature also worked as expected. Wire worked surprisingly well on a 2G connection, even for calls, but when a colleague sent us a gif, the app just stopped working. It couldn’t load the gif on the slow 2G connection and it wouldn’t let us send or receive messages until the gif could be loaded. We were left wishing for a setting to disable pre-loading of pictures or gifs on cellular connections.

When the Internet connection was fast, Wire worked very well for us. Messages were sent and received instantly and we found ourselves happy with the app overall. It pre-loads URLs from SoundCloud, Spotify (not available in India though), YouTube, and Vimeo, which is a nice touch. We wish it would pre-load URLs from all websites – to reveal the title and summary of articles, for example, similar to what Slack does – but that isn’t a big miss considering that it’s not really an enterprise-focused app. All of Wire’s apps are pretty good overall, when you get past annoyances such as uploading a profile picture.

But we wish that some of the polish seen in Wire’s design was also seen in the UX. For example, if you read a chat on Wire’s Web view, you’d still get a notification on your smartphone. This smartphone notification doesn’t go away if you read the chat on any other platform, unlike what we’ve seen with other modern apps.

wire_vimeo_integration.jpg

Wire is a nice messaging app overall that could use a little bit of polish to get rid of annoyances. We’d recommend it for semi-professional groups who need a chat app that doesn’t have a million friends and family members bothering you every minute. For this to be effective, make sure that you don’t give the app access to your contacts while signing up, and manually add people you know to your groups. The app is light, loads quickly, and looks great. The downside is that all the people you know are already using WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger.

On the other hand, WhatsApp looks clunky in comparison and lacks the kind of integrations Wire gives you, and the WhatsApp Web interface feels like a hack, though it works just fine. But it’s still the platform where everyone including your forgotten relatives can reach you. Facebook Messenger has many of the same advantages, and is equally usable on a PC or a smartphone.

This network effect that the existing apps enjoy is going to be difficult for Wire and other newcomers to overcome, without some unique offering to really make them stand out.

 

[“Source-gadgets.ndtv”]

Trips App by Lonely Planet: Where Instagram Meets Google Photos

Trips App by Lonely Planet: Where Instagram Meets Google Photos

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Trips by Lonely Planet is available on iOS
  • It lets you create a curated version of your holiday
  • You can follow other people for travel ideas

Lonely Planet – well-known for its travel guidebooks – is stepping out into the social realm. Its new app, Trips, wants to help you share your travel experiences with fellow travellers, while being inspired by trips other people take. Essentially, it wants users to create their own guides for each other, and help foster a community in the process.

It’s not so much a social network in the traditional sense, but rather a curated way to present your travels. Sure, you could create a Facebook album for all to see, but it’d be buried amongst thousands of other pieces of content. Or like millions of others, you could put your vacation photos up on Instagram, and make use of its album feature for a slightly-more curated feel. The lack of easy navigation still persists with Instagram though, undercutting the experience.

Neither will give you what Trips attempts to offer. The Lonely Planet app creates a chronological feed out of your vacation pictures and videos, replete with headers, captions, text, location tags, and maps. Think of it as Instagram meets Google Photos albums, albeit minus the former’s size, and the latter’s AI-smarts.

At first start, Trips will recommend you to follow a bunch of fellow travellers, curated by Lonely Planet itself. Later, you can add your friends, or select from other strangers whose holidays appeal to your liking. Your home page will then be populated by trip cards, all of which are a virtual scrapbook in themselves.

lonely planet trips home discover Lonely Planet Trips

The home page and Discover tab of Lonely Planet’s Trips

Then there’s the Discover tab, which lets you pick from a variety of holiday types to browse through. There’s Adventure, Wildlife and Nature, Cities, Ruins, Road Trips, Festivals and Events, Art and Culture, and so forth. Each of these contain trips shared by the community or the Lonely Planet team, such as “The Wilds of Namibia”, “Crossing the Romanian Mountains”, or “A Week Around Iceland”.

To create your own trips, you select the blue-coloured plus symbol button in the middle, which takes you to your photo library. If you only use your iPhone to take pictures, this will suit you fine. But if you carry a professional camera with you, and those pictures are on Google Photos, Dropbox, or some other cloud service, you’ll need to import them yourself first. It’s a restriction baked in by Apple, one that will hopefully be lifted with the introduction of Files in iOS 11.

Once your pictures are in the app, Trips will attempt to sort them on its own, and use embedded geotags to create a map and name. It creates new sections whenever you change location, and then hands it off to you to make further additions, such as changing the title, adding an intro, and putting captions or tips in between your pictures.

lonely planet trips view Lonely Planet Trips

The opening page and inside look at a trip in Lonely Planet’s Trips

The option to collect your pictures in one place is what separates Trips from Instagram, while the ability to add captions is how it adds onto the Google Photos album experience. After you’ve finalised the look of your curated trip, you can choose it post it publicly, or share it privately with people you know.

This brings us to one shortcoming of Trips that people may not like. Although Trips allows you to view your well, trips, on a desktop, you can’t make any changes or create new ones from the browser. In fact, you can’t even view someone’s profile on a computer. By contrast, Google Photos is a full-fledged experience on both desktop and mobile. Plus, Photos’ map widget (below) – which creates two points and a dotted line to signify travel – is a lovely touch that helps visualise your journey.

In itself, Trips is a pretty way to browse through vacation ideas, glean some tips, and offer your own experiences. It’s a digital magazine that’s continuously updated, but it doesn’t do anything more that. You can’t edit your images inside the app, and you can’t leave comments on trips created by people you know.

lonely planet trips edit google photos Lonely Planet Trips

Map widget in Lonely Planet’s Trips, and Google Photos respectively

There’s some work to be done here, and it’s definitely worth the effort, considering the size of the travel market. Studies have shown that millennials are more interested in saving up for travel than in buying a house. At the same time, people spend 85 percent of their time with just five of the apps on their phones, so it’s going to take some convincing to make people choose Trips over Instagram.

The latter doesn’t offer the former’s level of curation, but it’s where all your friends and family are. And that counts for a lot.

Trips by Lonely Planet is now available on iOS.

[“Source-gadgets.ndtv”]