Author Archives: Pratik Patole

About Pratik Patole

A foodie at heart and a biker by passion, Pratik loves to play with all gadgets around. He lives on the latest technology and going on long distance rides gets the mojo running. This proud journalist wants to take his bike along with his phone and explore the world with his love.

Windows 10 Tech Preview

windows 10 logo

There was a recent joke on the internet about Bill Gates teaching us to count to 10. It went on like 1, 2, 3, 95, 98, 2000, NT, ME, XP, Vista, 7, 8, 10. Anyone with some basic knowledge about Windows and Microsoft would understand it pretty well that all these are versions for Windows over the years since its inception. Now the reason I mentioned it here is because Windows had finally come back to the usual naming conventions for 7, 8, etc. and with Microsoft working on the newer version of the Windows knows as Threshold internally, should have had been named Windows 9, but no. Microsoft has gone ahead and named it Windows 10; why? That is something only for them to know apparently.

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Now it is not just the new name, Microsoft has actually been working hard to make the new Windows an amalgamation of Windows 7 and Windows 8 to bring out something better that can work for the entire Internet of things as Microsoft likes to call it. This means, Windows 10 will not only be for the touch, but also will be suitable for the usual mouse and keyboard users as well. Now with the Technical Preview released by Microsoft a couple of weeks ago, here are some great new features that Microsoft has brought us.

  1. There are two versions of Windows, the usual single user one, and the enterprise version. Microsoft is testing the enterprise version much more extensively with tie ups with companies to test out its performance and suitability to create a better environment. As for the single users, the tech preview is the one. Do not that the tech preview for both user and enterprise are different.
  1. New Start Screen: Unlike Windows 8’s live tiles in start screen, Microsoft has changed the layout now with a combination of flow menu of the most used apps like Windows 7 on the left and the most used live tiles like Windows 8 on the right. This brings the best of both worlds for the user, especially with a mouse and keyboard.
  1. Windows Store Apps: Windows had an RT version which only had the store to get apps and it could not download and use other Win32 apps from the internet. But now Microsoft is looking to make a unified app store for all the RT apps, Win32 apps as well as the Windows Phone apps under the universal apps section, so that should be great.
  1. Snap on App Window: This is one feature which will be of great help for simple multitasking users. The issue with current windows version is that the app windows don’t quite align properly when you want two or more at the same time. Hence with this feature, when you drag a window towards one end of the screen, it automatically adjusts and takes us one half of the screen while you can go ahead and attach multiple windows this way and they properly align in the screen allowed, symmetrically.
  1. Multiple Workstations: For the heavy multitaskers, this new function will come really handy. Just like on Linux, one can create multiple sessions of windows with separate workstations. This way you can divide your personal stuff with work and keep them both in separate sessions so that it does not gets mixed. This can also help divide your session from other members if you happen to be sharing your system.
  1. Command Prompt Improvements: This is actually a very minor yet important update to the command prompt as unlike earlier, now all the keyboard shortcuts that are available for the full windows, work for the command prompt as well making life a lot easier for the command prompt users.
  1. Keyboard Detection: This is a feature that Microsoft is planning to bring up in the final build of Windows and is not quite available in the tech preview but has been announced. This is mainly for all the tablet PCs which have detachable keyboards. So when Windows detects a keyboard attached, it boots up to the desktop mode and when there is no keyboard detected, Windows boots up to the tablet start screen by default to work on touch. Also when a keyboard is attached or detached, Windows gives a pop up to change the mode of the Windows to suit the input type.

So this is what the tech preview has in store for us. There is the enterprise feature as well, which Microsoft is working on, and the security and licensing should be similar to the current Windows 8.1 model, but it will bring many interesting features to the OS. Anyone interested in getting the Tech Preview to try out and know how it works as of yet, you can get it on the official Microsoft site.

Best Free Android Apps to Backup Your Phone

Best Free Android Apps to Backup Your Phone

Ask any phone user out there today as to what is their biggest fear about their phone, you will find a unanimous answer from most of them; losing their data and contacts. Now for that, cloud storage and backups have reduced these issues to a greater extent, but it is still far from done. There is still dependability on third party backup apps to store our data safely so that in any untoward event, the data can be easily recovered. For that purpose, we here are bringing you the best free Android Apps which you can use to back up your phone data.

  1. Helium – App Sync and Backup:

This was one of the first apps to come with a plethora of backup features and hit the sweet spot with the users instantaneously. It finally gave users the freedom and ability to store the non-protected apps directly to your internal storage or SD card. But leaving that aspect out, the app still backs up all the app data so that even if you have to download the app again, this will make sure your progress or else the data is safe. Also this reduces the size of the backup as well. Apart from this, the usual SMS, Wi-Fi information, etc. can also be backed up using this app.

Download Helium – App Sync and Backup from here

Helium Screenshot

  1. Ultimate Backup:

As the name suggests, this is an all it can do app, but only for its Pro version which costs greens. As for the free version, it has all the great features like App Data backup, SMS, contacts, etc. the best use of this app for the rooted device users as they can even get the Nandroid backup for their device just in case, so it is really helpful there. Also it is pretty aesthetically pleasing too. The UI is tweakable, fresh and something you will enjoy playing around with.

Download Ultimate Backup from here

Ultimate Backup lite Screenshot

  1. Titanium Backup * Root:

This app has been around since quite some time now, but it is definitely not the one who is just looking to fool around with their devices. This app is for the seasoned android users who root their devices and modify them to their liking. So all the unrooted devices out there, this app is absolutely not for you. Plus this is possibly one of the ugliest looking apps out there though more than functional guess that is why it is, to ward of unwanted public.

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Download Titanium Backup from here

Titanium Backup Screenshot

  1. Super Backup:

Super backup is actually a great free app. It allows for backing up of data directly on the cloud or to your SD card. The only downside if this app is that it does not have support for other cloud storage options other than Gmail that is a bummer. So importing of the backup will have to done using a PC companion. The best feature that makes this app stand out is the automatic backup and backup scheduling feature.

Download Super Backup from here

Super Backup Screenshot

  1. Avast Mobile Backup and Restore:

Avast has a lot of security apps in store for us, and they have also brought out a backup app now. This is a great app as it allows us to back up all that we want from apps, app data, sms, call logs, etc. the app data though is only for the premium users running root devices, not otherwise.

Download Avast Mobile Backup and Restore from here

Avast Mobile Backup and Restore Screenshot

So this is our list of the best free backup apps available as of yet from the thousands more out there. Let us know if you are using some other backup app and your experiences by commenting down below and stay tuned to devilshouts for more in the field in technology.

Which Android is Better, Rooted Or Non-Rooted?

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This is a question many of you will be having in your minds when you came across the concept of rooting your android devices. But then the next thought that must have had struck you is, which is better, the stock, non-rooted device or the rooted one? We hope you have not lost any of your sleep due to this issue, so make matters simple, we have brought to you a simple explanation of what rooting is and what is the difference in the rooted and non-rooted devices. Also some pros and cons are also provided for you to make life a bit simple for you while deciding.

What is Rooting?

Your Android devices come from an OEM or a service provider with certain features packed in it. But under the lieu of certain features and security, many functions are kept locked and hence customization options are pretty limited to only the UI and not the entire minute details of the phone. So when you root the device, you get the complete control of the device in your hand and hence you can then customize each and everything; from the phones’ start screen to the launcher, etc.

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Why Root Devices?

Rooting the devices does not cause the phone to react differently. It still functions the exact same way a phone has to react. But the difference being, the customizations. For a basic user who uses the phone for his communication purposes, the phone either rooted or not makes absolutely no difference. But for a proper geek who loves playing with technology, they can gain root access to the phone and do whatever they want. Want rooting provides the most basic and pure Android experience without any additional overlays which means you also get the latest android updates before all others when you have a rooted phone. (You do have to acquire the ROM and install it manually, there is no OTA updates for rooted devices).

Rooted or Non Rooted

The difference in the rooted and non-rooted device is only so much, that the developer and customization options on offer on a rooted device are just overwhelming. So much so that for example, if you take a Moto G, it has the Moto theme and the Moto Animation during start up. With root access you can make that go away, change the entire theme of the phone from the basic core and also you can even put a video/animation of you playing with a dog at startup. But that takes loads of patience to learn and do it without actually screwing up. Secondly, when you buy the phone from any seller, the manufacturing company is responsible for any malfunctioning on the phone as they vouch for it and its content. But rooting the phone means bidding adieu to your warranties and schemes for that matter. (Though you can always restore the backup if you have taken one before rooting and get your phone repaired under warranty; fail-safe alert!)

Pros of Rooted:

  1. Huge amount of customization.
  2. Loads of apps availability from third party app stores.
  3. Custom ROMs.
  4. Latest Android updates.
  5. Satisfaction of the Geeky mind.

Cons of Rooted:

  1. Loss of warranty.
  2. High chances of bricking your phone.
  3. Takes loads of time to learn to root and play with it.
  4. Security risk.
  5. Time consuming process.

Conclusion:

So unless you are a serious geek who knows how to root the phone properly, only then go for it and try not to brick it. For all others, your phone is better non-rooted as it generally makes no big difference and your WhatsApp and candy crush works just as well on any of the phones.

Capturing Screenshots on your Phone

You know that they say, screenshots are the new evidences of today. If you can’t show it, then it didn’t happen. So what can do you to prove that it did happen? Simple, take a screenshot and share it around. Today we see many people taking screenshots and sharing them on various social networks and also on messenger apps. It has developed into a new faster way of communication. People these days can directly share any data via screenshots and something that cannot be sent or is protected from downloading can be clicked and then sent using the screenshot feature.

Now many people have different kind of phones and models using various designs, OS, functions, etc. and so it happens that the method to capture screenshots vary. So for that purpose, we have brought to you a compilation of the methods to click screenshots on various devices.

Screen Capture on iPhone:

Apple’s iPhone is the only device out there using iOS, Apple’s own operating system and hence all the phone being the same, it has a constant method to take screenshots across their entire range of products out there. The method of that is as follows:

 

Taking-a-screenshot-on-the-iPhone

Come on the screen of which you want to capture the screenshot. This step is constant across all devices and OS’s. After that hold the home and the sleep buttons of the device and press them both together. You should technically hear a camera sound and a flash on your device’s screen and the image will be saved in your image gallery.

Screen Capture on Windows Phone:

Microsoft’s windows phone OS though available on various devices across some number of OEMs, their method to capture a screenshot is constant for a reason that Microsoft does not allow any amount of customization on their devices.

WP8-Screenshot

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To capture a screenshot on devices running Windows Phone 8 upto GDR3 Lumia Black, you need to hold the sleep/power button and the home/start button together at the same time and the screenshot will be captured and stored in the separate album labelled “screenshots”. For other devices running the latest Windows Phone 8.1 with Lumia Cyan update and ahead, the method needs to press the power/sleep button with the volume down button for capturing a screenshot.

Screen Capture on Android:

Android devices are available on well, almost across all OEM units and they also allow for various customizations in their OS according to the OEM. For this reason, the method of capturing screenshots across android devices varies. Visit our forum to see how screenshots are clicked on various brand of handsets.

Devices running on Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich and further, the screenshot can be captured very easily by simple pressing the power/sleep and the volume down button together. This generally works on across all the new devices including Samsung, Sony, Nexus, Micromax, etc

.Screenshot_Android_4

Devices running Android Honeycomb and above need to be used the home button as well in combination with the other two, so that is just one difference. This is applicable for certain budget and older android devices from Sony, Samsung, HTC, etc. For rest of the other devices, there is either no option to capture screenshots, or else need a specific app to facilitate the function.

Also See: 6 Apps to take Screenshots on Android

So by this way you can capture screenshots on your devices and share it with friends all over the various methods, because if there isn’t no proof, it did not happen.

Top 10 Android Tips and Tricks

Android is undefeated when it comes to the number of smartphones running its various iterations out there. Android devices have the highest amount of apps available for it and also always get the first preference when any new apps are to be launched. Now Android does have lots of functionalities in itself even without the apps and hence it is better to follow and abide by certain tricks and tips to go about and have the best android experience.

tips and tricks 1

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Lets have a look at Top 10 Android Tips and Tricks:

  1. Use Shortcuts and Widgets:

    Android gives you the liberty to use upto 5 home screens where you can arrange all your icons, apps, shortcuts, widgets, etc. So it is always better to get your app shortcuts on the Homescreen which you use the most so that you do not have to go into the app drawer all the time. The same applies to most contacted people. Plus you can use widgets of apps like Facebook, News, Weather, etc. so that you can get all the latest updates on your Homescreen itself and you do not have to go into individual apps all the time to check it.

  2. Store Data on external storage:

    Almost all Android devices some fitted with MicroSD card expansion slots. Not all devices come loaded with GB’s of storage options available and hence it is always better to store all your data like music, images, etc. on the SD card. This not only frees up more phone storage for your apps, but also makes sure that in case your phone goes bad; your data is still safe.

  3. Set Mobile Data limit warning:

    Android devices without internet connection are useless, so mobile data on the move is more of a necessity than an added feature. Plus with the 3G and 4G networks and fast connections, the data just gets used up too quickly such that it generally takes almost no time to cross your operator specified data limit. So you can now set your own limits on your device and put up a reminder to let you know when you near your limit.

  4. Turn off Vibrator when phone is in General:

    Your phone uses more battery in vibration mode than when ringing. So it is better to keep the phone ringing than vibrating most of the times. And also if you have the phone ringing, then better to keep vibration off and not on together so that you can save tons of battery in case you are the one whose phone keeps buzzing practically all the time.

  5. Use Google Now instead of Google:

    We all know how many times we Google stuff on our phone. But now instead of typing or manually going into Google to search, you can simply activate the voice commands and use Google Now to Google whatever you want. This is not only a fun way, but a quicker one too.

  6. Add words to phone dictionary:

    The words which are unique are always the most tricky to type when typing in full flow. For this reason, when you type the word once, just select it and add it to the phone dictionary. What this will do is that next time you type the same word, the phone will suggest it to you so that you don’t have to type it completely again and again. This not only saves effort and time but also auto-correct always helps here in case you happen to misspell it.

  7. Close all the background apps using App killer:

    Whenever you exit any app, it does not mean the app has been closed. The app is always still running in the background sucking up all the phone’s resources and draining the battery in the process. So what you can do is to go to the background apps checker and manually kill all the apps so that not only they stop hogging the resources, but also free up the RAM for other programs to use and run smoothly along with saving precious battery time.

  8. Set a password:

    One of the perils of owning a smartphone is people snooping into it “checking out” your phone. For that reason to avoid others access to your sensitive information and also your personal files and messages, etc. it is advisable to put up on a password for either the phone as a total or else for individual apps or both.

  9. Uninstall unused apps:

    Android does have the habit of slowing down as the amount of data builds up in the device; something which we think it has picked up from Windows for desktop. So as you keep downloading the apps, the app data plus supporting extra files pile up the memory slowing down your phone overall. So it is always better to uninstall the apps that you do not require or the ones which you have not used for over 3 weeks. This will not only make your phone run smoother, but also save precious battery life.

  10. Use battery saver:

    How much ever technology progresses, one thing will remain an issue all the time and that is the battery life of any phone. Now we can either keep power banks with us, or else use swappable extra batteries, but the best suggestion is to use a battery saver. This saves a ton of battery power by killing all the background apps and also stopping some functions of the phone which you don’t generally need. Plus if you are ever stranded at a place where you won’t be having much access to power, then this seems to be a much clever option.

So here we have the best compilation of tricks and tips of getting the best out of Android devices. We have covered only the most important 10, but there are many and we are sure even you have many with you. So do share them with us by commenting down below and also do share this with your friends so that they all can benefit from these tips. For the entire latest scoop on technology, do stay tuned to www.devilshouts.com.

Facebook Changes User Privacy Settings Yet Again, Or Have They?

Facebook is back to its own again changing more privacy policies and features for their users. So if you happened to log in to Facebook from your desktop or laptop today, then you must have encountered a small blue Dino on the top right corner pop-up on your news feed giving you an update about some changes Facebook made to its privacy options to give users more control over their updates as to who gets to see what and who has to be banned. Facebook Changes User Privacy Settings, so lets see what changes did they make? Well, it is nothing major, just some miner tinkering here and there. But hey! It all counts right?

  1. Privacy update for posting new Status:

When you post any new status, you get a privacy option at the bottom of the textbox to set with whom you want to share the post. We already had that since the past 3 years now already and we really have no idea what “change” has Facebook done to it, but some tinkering did show that now you can post status and make that status either Public or only for Friends. The option of Friends of friends has vanished. You can also ban selective people from seeing your posts; a good option for kids to keep things from their parents we say. Also Facebook remembers your previous option and keeps it as default until you change it again.

Also See: Social Media Networking and youngsters

Facebook Privacy Checkup for posts

  1. Privacy update for Apps Data:

Facebook keeps the data for the all the apps we use on Facebook in their Apps Center section in settings. From there you could access all the apps and also remove them if you do not use it anymore. But now Facebook has given an added functionality that the apps’ privacy setting can also be individually changed as to which people can have access to it. This is a good update we say because it so happens, many of our friends play games and so our entire news feed gets filled with game requests and updates. So now you can simply ask you friend to put you in the rejection list and the job is done. Guess those harsh status over candy crush did not go to unheard after all.

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facebook privacy checkup apps

  1. Personal Information protector:

It is really not that, but I like to call it that way. Facebook keeps a record of all our email ids, cell numbers when we access Facebook through phone, etc. All this information is accessible to users. Earlier there was an option to hide those details but that would hide just everything making your account seem blank and hence making you harder to find. But now with this option you can select privacy option for every entity individually which means you can make sure your DOB and email ID is visible at the bare minimum for example. Also you can make sure stalkers and creeps do not end up with your cell number under any circumstance. This I like.

Also See: Self-Destructing Posts From Facebook

facebook privacy checkup for profile

So here are the 3 changes Facebook made to the privacy settings. It is not huge, but it is something and though a bit tedious, but will make sure our online life is much safer now.

Self-Destructing Posts From Facebook

selfdestruct-emailAll the youngsters out there surely know something called Snapchat. It is a great app that allows you to send self-destructing messages to your friends and other contacts using the same app. This app is very widely used even today but has its own share of hassles. For example, you can only send images on it. The images can only be clicked on the spot and previous messages in the phone storage cannot be sent. And add to that, the accessibility issue was always there as the people whom you wish to Snapchat with are also needed to use the very same or similar supporting app. But now, as usual which is the case most times, our very own Facebook has come up with a new concept of self-destructing posts.

“We’re running a small pilot of a feature on Facebook for iOS that lets people schedule deletion of their posts in advance,” said a company representative in an email to PCMag.com.

What can it do?

Now what we usually do is that we can make some posts and that is available for everyone who is our friend to see. But sometimes there are some sensitive posts which you make which can bring you quite some amount of heat from various ends and so the solution for this was to actually go and delete the post manually. But then sometimes it so happens that you unable to reach in time to delete the post and so you end up in trouble after all. But with this feature, Facebook is bringing a solution to it where you can actually post something and give it a timer for expiration ranging from an hour to upto 7 days. After that the post ceases to exist without any trace, though we do thing the posts might still remain on Facebook’s servers, typical of them.

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facebook post expiration

How is it better?

For starters, even if you have to use it on your phone, the receiver will be able to access the content on their desktop as well, so the device is not an issue. Secondly, you do not have to compel the other person to get the same app (as in the case with Snapchat) as everyone today is on Facebook; it is kind of a norm these days. So you can connect to your family or friends by sending such self-destructing posts. And if you are worried about it being public, do not break a sweat, posts can be sent with changed privacy settings as well.

Now you can absolutely go ahead and share all your personal stuff with your friends and have a blast. We have no comments on what or how.

Nokia Lumia 730: A Selfie Phone You Won’t Want To Miss

Nokia brought us the Lumia 710 back in the day when they first introduced us to the new Windows Phones after they decided the scrap out their in-house Symbian OS for the Microsoft one. That iteration was running on Windows Phone 7 which later was updated to Windows Phone 7.5 Mango and now those 1st generation devices are running Windows Phone 7.8 as the lifecycle for the OS has ended. After the Lumia 710, Nokia introduced the next generation 7xx series of phones the Lumia 720. This phone was an outright success being the most sold Windows phone after the Lumia 520. It was the best looking and the slimmest Windows Phone yet.

Lumia-730-Dual-SIM-hero2

Now taking the 7xx series ahead, Microsoft (Nokia has been taken over my Microsoft) have unveiled the newest Lumia 730 keeping the 7xx series’ identity intact and giving it some new goodies as well. So what does the phone pack in it? Let’s check it out.

What is New?

The Nokia Lumia 730 is the successor to the Lumia 720 which is already out there today. Coming to the point as to what is new in this phone, this is just to sum it up, all the stuff in detail will be covered in this article ahead. For starters and the biggest attraction of the phone is the 5MP front camera for selfies to cater to the selfie crazy crowd out there. Also the phone gets newer and better hardware, a bigger display, and a bigger battery as well which is a big welcome move, though the Lumia 720 had the best battery in the segment.

Hardware:

The Nokia Lumia 730 now comes with a faster 1.2GHz Quad Core Snapdragon 400 processor providing that much needed power boost from the old 1GHz Dual Core Snapdragon S4. It also gets 1 GB of RAM and 8 GB of onboard storage with ability to expand the storage upto 128GB using a MicroSD card slot.

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Display:

The device gets a 4.7” HD IPS LCD display with amazing viewing angles and also a 1280×720 pixels resolution at 312 ppi. It gets the Nokia’s ClearBlack display technology which makes the colour reproduction really awesome gives some really rick blacks.

Battery:

The phone gets a bigger 2220 mAh battery, so the battery time should be expected to be around the same time as the previous Lumia 720 as the big battery has to cater to the bigger processor and a larger display. So expect something near 10 hours of usage on a full charge.

Camera:

The camera is the biggest attraction on the device with the front facing camera being a 5MP one for the entire selfie crazy crowd out there. No wonder the phone as the chances of becoming a huge hit in the mid-level sector. The rear camera though stays the same popular 6.7MP camera with f1.9 aperture for some amazing low-light imaging. It now gets Full HD 1080p video recording, thanks to the new processor.

Operating System:

The Lumia 730 is one of the newly announced devices to ship with Windows 8.1.1 Lumia Denim version out of the box. The new firmware and version gets loads of new additional features like a new camera interface, Cortana support for myriad other versions and the works.

Availability:

The phone has been announced on the recently concluded Microsoft event of 2014 in Berlin and though it will be launched in the US soon, the device is expected to come down to Indian shores only in November. The price of the phone is expected to be close to 15000-16000 INR and for that price point; the phone seems to be a very good option considering the additional Microsoft goodies that the phone will have.