Apple Seeds Sixth Beta of New watchOS 4 Operating System to Developers

Image result for Apple Seeds Sixth Beta of New watchOS 4 Operating System to Developers

Apple today seeded the sixth beta of an upcoming watchOS 4 update to developers, one week after seeding the fifth beta and more than two months after introducing the watchOS 4 update at its 2017 Worldwide Developers Conference.

Once the proper configuration profile has been installed from the Apple Developer Center, the new watchOS 4 beta can be downloaded through the dedicated Apple Watch app on the iPhone by going to General –> Software update.
To install the update, the Apple Watch needs to have at least 50 percent battery, it must be placed on the charger, and it has to be in range of the iPhone.

watchOS 4 features three new watch faces, including a dedicated Siri watch face that displays dynamic information unique to each individual and is perhaps the most significant new feature in the update. There are also new complications for Now Playing and Apple News, and an enhanced Workout app that supports High Intensity Interval Training and new swimming options.

GymKit, a new technology platform, will let the Apple Watch interface with gym equipment for workout data sharing purposes, and the Activity app will offer up intelligent coaching and tailored workout encouragement along with new monthly activity challenges.

Many other small tweaks and changes have been introduced, all of which are outlined in our dedicated watchOS 4 roundup.

watchOS 4 is only available to developers and will not be provided to public beta testers, so non-developers need to wait until the software sees an official release in the fall to try it out.


Web Design: Native, Hybrid or Responsive, What Format Is Made For Your Mobile Application

Native, hybrid or responsive: what format to choose to make your mobile users live a successful experience. We take stock!

At some point, when designing your mobile application, you will have to decide on how you will develop the application. Your choices include native applications, hybrid applications and responsive websites and the decision you make will affect the end product. Learning to make the right decision requires understanding how each type of development works and how it affects the end product.

There are three main options for creating a mobile app. You can create a native application, a hybrid application, or create a responsive mobile website that offers similar functionality to an application. Each option has its advantages and disadvantages, and it is important to understand them in detail before embarking on a particular development path.

What is a Native App?

A native application is designed to run on a particular mobile operating system. It will not work on other mobile operating systems. So, for example, if you were developing a native application for iOS, you would do it on Swift.

The biggest benefits for native applications are that they can typically easily access all the features of the selected device and are more likely, if properly developed, to run without error on the device.

However, this involves a compromise. A native application cannot be run on a device that does not use the same operating system. This means that if you want your application to run on Windows, iOS 7 and Android, you will need to develop the application three times, once for each operating system. This can make the development process slower and more costly.

Many companies will develop their application for a single operating system when choosing the native route. If the application succeeds in this environment, it will go back and recreate it for other operating systems. It should be noted that at present, iOS 7 applications are more cost effective than applications running in other environments.

What is a Hybrid App?

A hybrid application is designed to work on multiple platforms. It is written using only one standard code language (such as C # or a combination of HTML5 and Javascript) and compiled to run on each platform. Device-specific interactions will usually be handled through the use of plugins for that operating system.

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The biggest advantage of hybrid applications is that they allow the support of several operating systems at a more economical price than the development of several native applications. Users, as long as the development runs smoothly, will not normally be able to distinguish whether an application is native or hybrid. In fact, users, in general, do not care about how your application is developed, they just care about whether it works on their device and does what they expect to do.

There are disadvantages for the development of hybrid applications. It can present serious challenges if the application requires a complex interaction of the device. Effectively, there is a limit to what plugins can achieve on this aspect. The support costs of a hybrid application may be higher than the support costs of a native application.

What is a Responsive Website?

A responsive web site can provide functionality similar to an application. In fact, with a little creativity, you can minimize the differences and make sure that the home page is displayed directly in full-screen mode.
Responsive websites will be developed using HTML 5 and Javascript. As a general rule, developers will adopt a “mobile first” approach to developing the mobile version offering a simpler and less expensive experience compared to the desktop version of the same site.

The main disadvantages of using responsive websites are that the application cannot be distributed via an application store; this can be bad for your business if you are looking to monetize your app downloads. Second, there is the problem that the user will need constant connectivity to use the site. This may not be a problem in highly developed markets where mobile broadband is roughly ubiquitous, but this can be problematic in developing markets.

It is interesting to note that, at the moment, applications seem to be the driving force behind the mobile site. The average user already uses up to 30 applications per month, and more than 250,000 applications are broadcast per year … There may be an overload point from the user’s point of view. At this point, it is possible to imagine that if there are well-designed mobile websites, users will move away from apps and return to browsing and individual sites to experience their online experience. Subsequently, applications could become “launchers” of mobile websites.

In Conclusion

The mobile site offers an important opportunity for entrepreneurs. Mobile applications are relatively inexpensive and easy to produce. Choosing the right approach to development is essential to the good experience. By understanding the differences between hybrid, native and responsive, you can make the right decision for your mobile marketing project.



SAN Francisco Superior Court Judge Sharon Reardon considered whether to hold Lamonte Mims, a 19-year-old accused of violating his parole, in jail. One piece of evidence before her: the output of algorithms known as PSA that calculated the risk that Mims, who had previously been convicted of burglary, would commit a violent crime or skip court. Based on that result, another algorithm recommended that Mims could safely be released, and Reardon let him go. Five days later, police say, he robbed and murdered a 71-year old man.

On Monday, the San Francisco District Attorney’s Office said staffers using the tool had erroneously failed to enter Mims’ prior jail term. Had they done so, PSA would have recommended he be held, not released.

Mims’ case highlights how governments increasingly rely on mathematical formulas to inform decisions about criminal justice, child welfare, education and other arenas. Yet it’s often hard or impossible for citizens to see how these algorithms work and are being used.

San Francisco Superior Court began using PSA in 2016, after getting the tool for free from the John and Laura Arnold Foundation, a Texas nonprofit that works on criminal-justice reform. The initiative was intended to prevent poor people unable to afford bail from needlessly lingering in jail. But a memorandum of understanding with the foundation bars the court from disclosing “any information about the Tool, including any information about the development, operation and presentation of the Tool.”

The agreement was unearthed in December by two law professors, who in a paper released this month document a widespread transparency problem with state and municipal use of predictive algorithms. Robert Brauneis, of George Washington University, and Ellen Goodman, of Rutgers University, filed 42 open-records requests in 23 states seeking information about PSA and five other tools used by governments. They didn’t get much of what they asked for.

Many governments said they had no relevant records about the programs. Taken at face value, that would mean those agencies did not document how they chose, or how they use, the tools. Others said contracts prevented them from releasing some or all information. Goodman says this shows governments are neglecting to stand up for their own, and citizens’, interests. “You can really see who held the pen in the contracting process,” she says.

The Arnold Foundation says it no longer requires confidentiality from municipal officials, and is happy to amend existing agreements, to allow officials to disclose information about PSA and how they use it. But a representative of San Francisco Superior Court said its contract with the foundation has not been updated to remove the gag clause.

Goodman and Brauneis ran their records-request marathon to add empirical fuel to a debate about widening use of predictive algorithms in government decision-making. In 2016, an investigation by ProPublica found that a system used in sentencing and bail decisions was biased against black people. Scholars have warned for years public policy could become hidden under the shroud of trade secrets, or technical processes divorced from the usual policy-making process.

The scant results from nearly a year of filing and following up on requests suggests those fears are well-grounded. But Goodman says the study has also helped convince her that governments could be more open about their use of algorithms, which she says have clear potential to make government more efficient and equitable.

Some scholars and activists want governments to reveal the code behind their algorithms, a tough ask because they are often commercial products. Goodman thinks it’s more urgent that the public knows how an algorithm was chosen, developed, and tested—for example how sensitive it is to false positives and negatives. That’s no break from the past, she argues, because citizens have always been able to ask for information about how new policy was devised and implemented. “Governments have not made the shift to understanding this is policy making,” she says. “The concern is that public policy is being pushed into a realm where it’s not accessible.”

For Goodman’s hopes to be met, governments will have to stand up to the developers of predictive algorithms and software. Goodman and Brauneis sought information from 16 local courts that use PSA. They received at least some documents from five; four of those, including San Francisco, said their agreement with the Arnold Foundation prevented them from discussing the tool and its use.

Some things are known about PSA. The Arnold Foundation has made public the formulas at the heart of its tool, and the factors it considers, including a person’s age, criminal history and whether they have failed to appear for prior court hearings. It says researchers used data from nearly 750,000 cases to design the tool. After PSA was adopted in Lucas County, Ohio, the Arnold Foundation says, crimes committed by people awaiting trial fell, even as more defendants were released without having to post bail.

Goodman argues the foundation should disclose more information about its dataset and how it was analyzed to design PSA, as well as the results of any validation tests performed to tune the risk scores it assigns people. That information would help governments and citizens understand PSA’s strengths and weaknesses, and compare it with competing pretrial risk-assessment software. The foundation didn’t answer a direct request for that information from the researchers this March. Moreover, some governments now using PSA have agreed not to disclose details about how they use it.

An Arnold Foundation spokeswoman says it is assembling a dataset for release that will allow outside researchers to evaluate its tool. She says the foundation initially required confidentiality from jurisdictions to inhibit governments or rivals from using or copying the tool without permission.

Goodman and Brauneis also queried 11 police departments that use PredPol, commercial software that predicts where crime is likely to occur and can be used to plan patrols. Only three responded. None revealed the algorithm PredPol uses to make predictions, or anything about the process used to create and validate it. PredPol is marketed by a company of the same name, and originated in a collaboration between Los Angeles Police Department and University of California Los Angeles. It did not respond to a request for comment.

Some municipalities were more forthcoming. Allegheny County in Pennsylvania produced a report describing the development and testing of an algorithm that helps child-welfare workers decide whether to formally investigate new reports of child maltreatment, for example. The county’s Department of Human Services had commissioned the tool from Auckland University of Technology, in New Zealand. Illinois specifies that information about its contracts for a tool that tries to predict when children may be injured or killed will be public unless prohibited by law.

Most governments the professors queried didn’t appear to have the expertise to properly consider or answer questions about the predictive algorithms they use. “I was left feeling quite sympathetic to municipalities,” Goodman says. “We’re expecting them to do a whole lot they don’t have the wherewithal to do.”

Danielle Citron, a law professor at the University of Maryland, says that pressure from state attorneys general, court cases, and even legislation will be necessary to change how local governments think about, and use, such algorithms. “Part of it has to come from law,” she says. “Ethics and best practices never gets us over the line because the incentives just aren’t there.”

Researchers believe predictive algorithms are growing more prevalent – and more complex. “I think that probably makes things harder,” says Goodman.

UPDATE 07:34 am ET 08/17/17: An earlier version of this story incorrectly described the Arnold Foundation’s PSA tool.


Facebook News Feed Gets a Major Redesign, Camera Gets New Features

Facebook News Feed Gets a Major Redesign, Camera Gets New Features


  • Update to make News Feed more conversational, easier to read and navigate
  • Facebook improved the navigation to create a more consistent experience
  • Facebook also announced it was rolling out new Facebook Camera features

To make News Feed more conversational and easier to read and navigate, Facebook has made a few updates to its design, including the comment style and readability, the company said on Wednesday.

“We are always working to help people have more lively and expressive conversations on Facebook. Comments have become the way to have conversations about a post with other people,” Shali Nguyen, Product Design Manager, and Ryan Freitas, Design Director, wrote in a blog post.

“We have updated our comment style and made it easier to see which comments are direct replies to another person,” they added.

The company also updated the look and feel of News Feed, including increased colour contrast to make typography more legible, larger link previews for easy reading, updated icons and Like, Comment and Share buttons and circular profile pictures to show who is posting or commenting.

facebook news feed pr nav blog fb

Facebook improved the navigation to create a more consistent experience by making it easier to see where a link will take you before clicking on it and whose post a user is commenting on, reacting to or reading while he /she is in the post. The company said these design updates would not affect Pages’ reach or referral traffic. The Trending News section is now widely available on mobile for Android and iPhone users in the US, reports The Verge.

Facebook separately announced it was rolling out new Facebook Camera features it had unveiled back in March, including the ability to go Live using the Facebook Camera – complete with creative effects. Other new features include the ability to great 2-second looping video GIFs, and the ability to create full-screen text posts.

Finally, the Messenger app’s intelligent assistant M can provide Spotify suggestions, specifically when the conversation revolves around music with phrases like “play some music” and like “listen to music”.

Written with inputs from IANS


Lenovo K8 Note India Launch Set for Today: Where to Watch Live Stream

Lenovo K8 Note India Launch Set for Today: Where to Watch Live Stream


  • Lenovo K8 Note is set to launch at 12pm IST
  • The company is holding the launch event in New Delhi
  • The smartphone will be an Amazon exclusive

The Lenovo K8 Note India launch is scheduled for 12pm IST on Wednesday in New Delhi, leaving just a few minutes before the device goes official. K8 Note is the follow-up to last year’s K6 Note, and Lenovo has been boasting of its performance and photography capabilities over the past few weeks. We also know that the Lenovo K8 Note will run Android 7.1.1 Nougat out-of-the-box at launch, and that it will be using a stock Android build. Lenovo revealed this information to Gadgets 360 alongside its announcement that going forward it will abandon its Vibe Pure UI in favour of stock Android, a decision it came upon after listening to customer feedback.

Lenovo K8 Note launch live stream

The launch of Lenovo K8 Note will be live streamed on YouTube, and you can catch it right here. The launch is slated to start at 12pm, but as with any tech launch nowadays, expect a delay of a few minutes. For those unaware, the Lenovo K8 Note will be an Amazon exclusive at launch.

Just why Lenovo skipped the K7 Note moniker is not known, but the ‘8’ symbol may suggest the use of a dual camera setup. To recall, the Lenovo K6 Note only featured a single rear camera, which makes it even more likely for the next iteration to get a dual camera module.

Lenovo K8 Note specifications

While the official information surrounding the Lenovo K8 Note is scarce, a recent GeekBench listing revealed some key specifications of the upcoming ‘Killer Note’ model. As per the listing, the smartphone will run on Android 7.1.1 Nougat, and will be powered by a 1.4GHz MediaTek Helio X20 SoC, backed by 4GB of RAM. Both the processor and RAM are improvements over the K6 Note’s Snapdragon 430 SoC and 3GB of RAM.


iPhone 8 Launch in September, But Availability Will Be Limited: KGI Securities

iPhone 8 Launch in September, But Availability Will Be Limited: KGI Securities


  • KGI claims iPhone 8 to come in three colours only
  • The smartphone will go into mass production in mid-September
  • The iPhone 8 photos suggest no Touch ID integration

iPhone 8, the tenth anniversary Apple smartphone, has been in the news for nearly a year, and it seems the time is finally coming for the handset to become a reality. The production issues the smartphone faced have been reported several times now, but a fresh report from one of the most reliable sources of Apple leaks claims that the iPhone 8 will launch in September, but availability will be limited at first. Furthermore, iPhone 8 live photos have appeared online, along with the casing giving us more testimony to its design.

iPhone 8 launch in September

KGI Securities’ Ming-Chi Kuo is back with his sporadic predictions on Apple’s plans this fall, and he claims that the iPhone 8 has managed to emerge through tribulations, and will be unveiled on time in September. The smartphone will go appear for a product verification test in August and into mass production in mid-September, but will be available in limited quantities at first. In fact, the report states that the supply chain will produce between 2 million to 4 million units only this quarter. KGI’s predictions were obtained by Apple Insider.

However, the production is expected to ramp up quickly to 45 million and 50 million this year. Apple will produce 35 million to 38 million iPhone 7s units, and 18 million to 20 million iPhone 7s Plus handsets this year, according to Kuo.

The report also claims that all iPhone variants will support fast charging through a separately sold accessory – a Lightning-to-USB-C cable and wall adapter. It will also be made available in three colour variants – Black, Silver, and Gold.

iPhone 8 leaked images

Separately, the iPhone 8 was leaked in photos as well on The black colour variant was shown from the front and back, and it sports a vertical dual camera setup, a bezel-less display, and no fingerprint scanner at the front or back. While there is no image showing off the sides, it seems like Apple may have foregone Touch ID altogether, to give Face ID prominence. The casing of the iPhone 7s, iPhone 7s Plus, and iPhone 8 have also been leaked alongside, and it shows a cut out at the back of the iPhone 8. Even though the cut out indicates that the fingerprint scanner will be embedded there, but it could also just be for the Apple logo, and nothing else.

iphone8 main techtastic iPhone 8

Photo Credit: TechTastic

Expect more clarity on the fate of Touch ID as we near launch, and more detailed leaks emerge. For now, the iPhone 8 is expected to sport an almost bezel-less OLED screen, wireless charging, no home button, no 3.5mm audio jack, an Apple A11 chip, and AR features.


Amazon Refunding Customers Who Bought Unverified Solar Eclipse Glasses

Amazon Refunding Customers Who Bought Unverified Solar Eclipse Glasses


  • Amazon is offering refunds to customers who purchased eclipse glasses
  • It is issuing the recall over concerns with the quality of the glasses
  • The total solar eclipse that will occur on August 21

E-commerce giant Amazon is offering refunds to customers who purchased eclipse glasses from the platform and warned them not to use the spectacles to view the total solar eclipse that will occur on August 21.

The company began notifying the buyers about the “unverified” glasses on Saturday. Those who did not receive a recall email are safe to use the ones they purchased, CNET reported on Sunday.

“We recommend that you do not use this product to view the sun or the eclipse,” the email issuing the warning read.

Amazon said it issued the recall over concerns with the quality of the glasses.

“Safety is among our highest priorities. Out of an abundance of caution, we have proactively reached out to customers and provided refunds for eclipse glasses that may not comply with industry standards.

“We want customers to buy with confidence anytime they make a purchase on and eclipse glasses sold on are required to comply with the relevant ISO standard,” the company added.

The solar eclipse will cross the US from Oregon to South Carolina over the course of an hour-and-a-half and 14 US states will experience night-like darkness for approximately two minutes in the middle of the day.

In India, the Delhi-based Science Popularisation Association of Communicators and Educators will live-stream the upcoming celestial event from the US.

The live streaming will be done from Idaho using a 50 mm f/5 finderscope, a small auxiliary telescope mounted on an Astrotrac tracker – the main astronomical telescope – to follow the Sun.

The device will have a webcam and a solar filter fitted to it, which will enable streaming directly on the official YouTube channel of Space India and will also be available on the organisation’s website.


Samsung Galaxy On Max Review

Image result for Samsung Galaxy On Max Review


  • The Samsung Galaxy On Max is priced at Rs. 16,900
  • Performance of both rear and front cameras stands out in this price band
  • Overall, Gadgets 360 rates the phone 8 out of 10

A good camera is a prerequisite for anyone buying a smartphone today. We keep getting asked by our readers to recommend smartphones at every price point that can take great photos. Phones priced well under Rs. 20,000 such as the Moto G5 Plus (Review), Xiaomi Mi Max 2(Review), and Oppo F3 (Review) can take good photos in daylight but usually can’t match the same level of quality in low light. Samsung claims that the Galaxy On Max is the answer to this common problem.

The smartphone was unveiled in India last month and supports Samsung Pay Mini, the company’s own mobile payments service. A few of its other highlights are the front flash, f/1.7 aperture, and Android Nougat. The Samsung Galaxy On Max has been priced aggressively to take on heavyweights in the sub-Rs. 20,000 price segment. Can Samsung pull off this impressive feat? We find out.

Samsung Galaxy On Max design

Samsung phones have been criticised over the years for sticking to the same design across different price segments. The company has made some conscious changes to the design of its premium models starting with the Samsung Galaxy S6 (Review), through the Samsung Galaxy S7 (Review), and now the dramatically different Samsung Galaxy S8 (Review). Thankfully, the company hasn’t entirely forgotten its mid-range offerings which have also received some minor changes.

The Galaxy On Max looks premium for its price, and will definitely leave a positive first impression. It features a 5.7-inch display but it feels roughly the same size as a 5.5-inch device and much smaller than the 5.5-inch iPhone 7 Plus. The slim borders on the sides of the display make the screen stand out, and the finish feels solid. There’s the signature oval Samsung home button at the front which has a silver lining and an integrated fingerprint scanner, and there are capacitive Back and Overview buttons on either side.

Unfortunately, the capacitive keys are not backlit which means you might have difficulty using them in the dark. The power and volume buttons are positioned well and are easy to use. You get dedicated SIM and microSD card slots, which we appreciate. The rear camera is enclosed in a squarish bump which is now a common design touch across many Samsung phones. The 3.5mm audio jack and Micro-USB port are on the bottom.

The On Max is 8.1mm thick, but feels slim for a phone of this size. It also weighs slightly more than most 5.5-inch phones, at 179g, which becomes evident after long phone calls. You also won’t want to use this device one-handed for very long. The rounded corners make it comfortable, but the metal is quite slippery. During our review period, we nearly dropped the Galaxy On Max while attempting to take photos with it because of the smooth metallic back. Our suggestion would be to use a cover for protection.

samsung galaxy on max sim gadgets360 samsung

We really like Samsung’s attention to detail with the Galaxy On Max. It might feel a bit too big for some people, and the metal unibody is quite slippery. We would have liked to have a notification LED, but this is missing. Also, we found that the display is a fingerprint magnet and we had to wipe it from time-to-time. Overall, the Samsung Galaxy On Max might not have a dramatic new design, but it does feel premium for its price. It has been launched in gold and black colours – we got the latter for our review.

Inside the retail box of the Samsung Galaxy On Max you get a charger, earphones, Micro-USB cable, SIM ejector tool, and standard documentation, apart from the phone itself.

Samsung Galaxy On Max specifications and software

The Samsung Galaxy On Max features a 5.7-inch full-HD (1080×1920 pixels) screen. It is powered by an octa-core MediaTek Helio P25 (MT6757V) processor with four cores clocked at 2.39GHz and four cores clocked at 1.69GHz, coupled with 4GB of RAM. There’s 32GB of storage on the device, and it supports expansion using a microSD card of up to 256GB.

The most marketed feature of the Galaxy On Max is its camera performance. The phone ships with 13-megapixel sensors and LED flashes on the back as well as the front. The rear camera has an f/1.7 aperture which the company says improves low-light shots, while the one in front gets an f/1.9 aperture. For connectivity, the Galaxy On Max has 4G with VoLTE (Voice over LTE), Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, a 3.5mm audio jack, and a Micro-USB port. It packs a 3300mAh non-removable battery.

You get Android 7.0 with Samsung’s own custom UX which has gradually improved over the last few years. Samsung phones have seen tremendous reductions in bloatware, which feels good. Interestingly, the Samsung Galaxy A7 (2017) and Galaxy A5 (2017) (Review) – both of which cost more than the Galaxy On Max – are still running Android Marshmallow.

samsung galaxy on max charging gadgets360 samsung

One of the biggest software-related features of this phone is Samsung Pay mini, which launched in India in June with the Samsung Galaxy J7 Pro and Galaxy J7 Max. The Samsung Pay mini app is preloaded on the device. It allows you to make UPI payments and integrates mobile wallets. Unfortunately, the mini version of Samsung Pay excludes NFC and MST tap-to-pay features which require additional hardware. We used Samsung Pay mini with Paytm and Mobikwik wallets and found it functional though we missed the card payments feature which would’ve allowed us to leave our debit and credit cards at home.

As expected, the Galaxy On Max supports all Nougat-specific features such as split-screen multitasking, quick toggles, a new Settings app, and bundled notifications, to name a few. We liked the 3D Touch-like feature which shows contextual options on long-pressing a supported app’s icon.

Those who feel that the 5.7-inch screen is too big can use the One-handed mode that shrinks the display area. You will need to enable the mode from the Settings app, after which a swipe up diagonally from either lower corner of the screen or a triple-click of the Home button will toggle it. There’s also a Dual Messenger feature which automatically shows up for supported apps like WhatsApp, Facebook, Telegram, Instagram, and Gmail among others. It lets users set up two accounts simultaneously on the same device. Other features like Secure Folder have also made it to the Galaxy On Max. The Secure Folder basically blocks unauthorised access to photos, notes, and even apps on the phone.

There are also some neat shortcuts like the ability to double-tap the home button to launch the camera anytime, which came in handy for quick shots. The Ultra Data Saving mode prevents apps from using data in the background unless whitelisted by the user. Samsung has also included face recognition which makes it the only device in its segment to sport such a feature. Our review unit did not support Google Assistant at first, but it was enabled by a software update that we received during the review period.

samsung galaxy on max screenshot gadgets360 samsung

Other Samsung-specific apps like S Secure, Samsung Health, Galaxy Apps, Samsung Themes, and Samsung Notes are also present. Our unit also shipped with Opera Max, Google Play Music, Google Home, and a suite of Microsoft apps preinstalled. Overall, we felt that Samsung’s new interface is much more polished than previous iterations. The software enhancements on the Galaxy On Max really add a lot to the user experience.

Samsung Galaxy On Max performance and camera

In day-to-day use, the Galaxy On Max fares well and handles multitasking with ease. Switching from one app to the other works smoothly and there’s around 1.8GB of RAM free out of the 4GB at any given time. We used the Galaxy On Max extensively for GPS navigation, photography and gaming, with 4G data active throughout, but didn’t have much trouble with the phone overheating, which is good.

The only thing that the phone slightly struggled with was playing graphics-heavy games such as Asphalt 8 and Marvel: Contest of Champions. We noticed that the phone would seem to freeze momentarily, but it did recover. The Galaxy On Max scored 61,644 in AnTuTu, 23fps in GFXBench, and 8,220 in 3DMark Ice Storm Extreme. Overall, these are pretty decent benchmark scores for this price segment, but not the best.

The full-HD screen on the Galaxy On Max was a pleasure to use in different conditions. It has good brightness and colours are punchy. The best thing about the display is that it can get really bright and really dim which is great for use at night. We loved watching videos on the Galaxy On Max thanks to the 5.7-inch screen and slim borders. Our sample videos ran smoothly without any problems, and the speaker placed on the right is good enough if you aren’t in a group. There was a lot of distortion at the maximum volume level. We liked the placement of the speaker but we would have liked stereo speakers on this phone. The bundled earphones were good enough in terms of quality but kept falling out of our ears, though your mileage may vary.

The face recognition feature worked great during our review period. We were able to unlock the device in the daytime with no trouble, but performance was much less consistent in dim light. We have to commend Samsung for adding this feature, which should up the ante for other manufacturers. The fingerprint scanner is a good fallback in low-light conditions.

The phone supports VoLTE which means you can make calls using the Jio network. We noticed that the phone easily latched onto 4G networks wherever available. The same goes for Wi-Fi connectivity which worked smoothly even in zones with patchy coverage. Call quality on the handset was good enough.

The 13-megapixel rear camera does a good job in various situations. In broad daylight, the samples showed rich textures with good amounts of detail. Focusing was really quick and worked flawlessly. Colours were vibrant and exposure levels were spot on. Macro and landscape shots captured in daylight also showed good amounts of detail.

Tap to see full-sized Samsung Galaxy On Max camera samples

The rear camera has an f/1.7 aperture lens like the Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S8, and the company says this should drastically improve low-light results. In real world usage, it didn’t disappoint us. The camera was able to take some decent night shots with good details and controlled noise at the corners. The results were impressive unless the subject was completely in shadow. However, we felt that focusing was somewhat less accurate in low light. Shots had some amount of noise but performance was still better than what other phones at this price level can manage.

The 13-megapixel front camera does a good job of capturing selfies in different situations. The camera app provides options to change skin tone, make faces slimmer, and enlarge eyes – features that some people might find useful. We also found the front flash to be functional in illuminating faces when taking selfies in the dark. The phone supports up to 1080p video recording which works well, and won’t let you down. We would have liked 4K video recording but that seems to be reserved as a flagship feature. Overall, we found that both cameras are great in terms of colour reproduction and performance in low light.

The camera app on the Samsung Galaxy On Max is easy to use, and all options are just a tap away. You can swipe right to show a wide array of options. The Pro mode lets you manually change shutter speed, ISO, exposure compensation, focus, and white balance. There are also Panorama, Continuous Shot Anti Fog, Night, and HDR modes. The smartphone offers real-time camera filters that can be accessed with a swipe to the left. The Social Camera mode offers instant sharing to popular social media platforms including Facebook, WhatsApp, Messenger, and Twitter. It also gives you real-time stickers to use while taking photos, as well as tools to edit shots after you take them.

Samsung Galaxy On Max battery life
The 3300mAh battery on the Samsung Galaxy On Max managed to last for roughly 16 hours of heavy usage and much more with medium to light use. Apps like WhatsApp, the default email app, Facebook, Twitter, Telegram, Slack, and Instagram were running in the background during the entire review period. The Galaxy On Max has multiple power-saving features such as Reserve Battery For Calls which makes sure there’s enough juice left to make a few calls. With these options enabled we were able to use the handset for over a day but with limited app usage.

In our standard HD video loop test, the Galaxy On Max lasted for 10 hours and 7 minutes before the battery died on us, which isn’t impressive considering the size of this battery. Phones with similar battery sizes have done better than the Galaxy On Max. Samsung is not promoting any fast charging tech for the Galaxy On Max but we found that it can charge fully in almost 90 minutes which isn’t bad.

Samsung Galaxy On Max in pictures

The Samsung Galaxy On Max is now available to buy on Flipkart for Rs. 16,900. Its performance is good enough and you won’t find it underpowered. It has a large display which is great for entertainment. In our opinion, the Galaxy On Max packs the best camera at this price level. If you want a smartphone that offers a decent set of cameras, then the Galaxy On Max should be high on your list of choices. Samsung has also delivered the Android Nougat experience, and the interface is more polished than ever before. The Galaxy On Max also checks all the boxes when you consider battery performance and design. Apart from gaming performance, you should be satisfied with what you get.

However, the company’s very own Samsung Galaxy J7 Max packs slightly better specs and is only a little more expensive. If you don’t want to spend more, you could also go with the Moto G5 Plus (Review), Xiaomi Mi Max 2 (Review), or Oppo F3 (Review) as alternatives.

For the latest tech news and reviews, follow Gadgets 360 on Twitter, Facebook, and subscribe to our YouTube channel.

Samsung Galaxy On Max

Samsung Galaxy On Max

  • NEWS
  • Design
  • Display
  • Software
  • Performance
  • Battery life
  • Camera
  • Value for money
  • Good
  • Face recognition
  • Decent cameras
  • Dedicated SIM and microSD slots
  • Neat software enhancements
  • Bad
  • Slippery rear panel
  • No notification LED
  • Average battery life

Gionee A1 Plus Review

Gionee A1 Plus Review


  • The Gionee A1 Plus is powered by a MediaTek Helio P25 processor
  • It has a 20-megapixel selfie camera with a diffused selfie flash
  • The phone is bulky and tips the scale at 226 grams

Gionee launched its A series in India earlier this year, and the Gionee A1 (Review) was aimed at the youth of the nation. At launch, Gionee stated that devices in this series will focus on better selfies and good battery life. We now see a new model called Gionee A1 Plus. Gionee had announced both the A1 and the A1 Plus at MWC in Marchearlier this year. While the A1 was quick to launch in India, the A1 Plus arrived only last month.

As its name suggests, the A1 Plus is bigger than the A1. It packs in a bigger battery and sports dual cameras on the back. The internals seem to have gotten a bump as well, but does that make it a winner in its price bracket? Keep reading to find out.

Gionee A1 Plus design

The first thing that struck us about the Gionee A1 Plus was its sheer size. This is a big phone and it feels bulky as well. The 6-inch display means that the A1 Plus is tough to hold in one hand at times. The fingerprint sensor is positioned on the front and is flanked by capacitive touch buttons. You can swap what the capacitive buttons do but they aren’t backlit which make them hard to find in the dark.

This phone tips the scale at 226 grams and is heavier than the much bigger Xiaomi Mi Max 2 (Review). Its weight makes it unsuitable for long calls unless you keep alternating hands. One of the reasons behind the weight is that Gionee has gone with a 4550mAh battery. The back panel is made of metal but the end caps feel plasticky. The rear is a little slippery as well, and given the bulk of this phone, you will need to be a little careful when handling it.

Gionee A1 Plus Side NDTV Gionee A1 Plus Review

Gionee has got the power button placement spot on but the volume buttons need you to stretch your fingers a little. The dual cameras are in the centre at the back, and there’s a diffused LED flash for the front camera too. At the bottom, the Gionee A1 Plus has two grilles out of which only the right one houses a speaker. However, you still get stereo output as Gionee uses the phone’s earpiece as a second speaker. There is a Micro-USB port for charging and data, which is a little surprising considering that most devices in this price range now have Type-C ports.

In the box, Gionee ships a plastic screen protector and a clear case for the phone which will save you some time in looking for accessories. You also get in-ear headphones and an 18W charger in the box, along with the SIM ejector tool.

Gionee A1 Plus specifications

The most striking thing about the Gionee A1 Plus is its 6-inch display, which has a full-HD resolution (1080×1920 pixels). It produces vivid output which you can tweak a little to suit your preferences. While viewing angles are the good, sunlight legibility isn’t all that great. Even with the brightness cranked all the way up, the screen was reflective. The glass does pick up a few smudges here and there but isn’t a fingerprint magnet.

Gionee A1 Plus inhand NDTV Gionee A1 Plus Review

To drive the A1 Plus, Gionee has opted for a MediaTek Helio P25 SoC which is an octa-core processor with four cores clocked at 1.6GHz and the other four at 2.6GHz. There is 4GB of RAM and 64GB of internal storage which is expandable to 256GB. However, extra storage comes at the cost of a second SIM as the A1 Plus has a hybrid dual-SIM tray. The first slot can hold a Micro-SIM while the second one requires a Nano-SIM. There is support for 4G and VoLTE.

Gionee A1 Plus software and performance

In terms of software, the Gionee A1 Plus runs Android 7.0 Nougat with the custom Amigo UI on top. This UI ditches the app drawer, and all icons are placed on the homescreens. While notifications are available by swiping down from the top of the screen, quick toggles are moved to an iOS-like panel for which you have to swipe up from the bottom. We found that the Settings app was reorganised, so you might need to search a little for the setting you are looking for. Weirdly it also has a tab called Feature which is a guide of sorts to features on the phone. You will also find controls for various gestures that you can enable or disable if you like.

The phone also come with a couple of preinstalled apps including Facebook, Instagram, Messenger, Amazon, Saavn, Xender, Truecaller and the Touchpal Keyboard. We found Touchpal Keyboard to be spammy as it would load Web-based games on the phone and then have a floating widget on screen. Peel Remote, a remote app, is a surprising addition as this phone does not have an infrared emitter. Apart from the Google Play Store, Gionee has its own store called G store.which recommends apps to download. Overall, the UI is different and might take some time getting accustomed to.

Gionee A1 Plus Software NDTV Gionee A1 Plus Review

We ran our usual benchmarks on the A1 Plus. It returned 65,452 in AnTuTu, plus 799 and 3737 in the single- and multi-core tests respectively in Geekbench. Performance is adequate for day-to-day usage and the 4GB of RAM helps when switching between apps. With our usage, we found that we had about 2GB of RAM free on average after a day’s worth of use.

The massive 4550mAh battery powers the phone through more than a day with medium use. We found that the battery did drain a little more rapidly than we expected when gaming. In our HD video loop test the phone lasted for 14 hours and 43 minutes. Charging with the supplied 18W charger takes a little over two hours, and the phone does get hot in the process.

Gionee A1 Plus camera

Following the trend of dual rear cameras, the Gionee A1 Plus gets a 13-megapixel and a 5-megapixel camera on the rear. The app has different modes to choose from including a professional mode that gives you some control over camera settings. There are multiple filters to choose from as well.

Photos from the Gionee A1 are strictly average. Colour reproduction isn’t very accurate and the phone occasionally gets metering wrong. We also found purple fringing in few photos. Objects at a distance lose quite a lot of detail as well. Photos taken in low light were dark and lacked detail. Switching the camera to night mode helps but at the cost of added noise in the output.

The secondary camera kicks in only in portrait mode where it is used to calculate depth, after which the blur effect is added artificially. Video recording is restricted to 1080p, whereas the similarly priced Moto Z2 Play (Review) is capable of recording in 4K at 30fps.

The front camera has a 20-megapixel sensor and a diffused selfie flash. It takes good photos but they do appear flat. Surprisingly, the app does not have beautification mode, so if you were looking for it, you might be disappointed. On the other hand, you get a few filters that can be applied before taking a selfie.

Tap to see full-sized Gionee A1 Plus camera samples

Gionee A1 Plus in pictures


The Gionee A1 Plus might not be on everyone’s shopping lists because of its size. Holding it isn’t very easy and you’ll need big pockets to store it. However, it offers a big battery and decent performance for its asking price. While the UI is usable. it is quite different from the stock Android experience, so purists might not like it. Camera performance is strictly average and the secondary camera is only effective in portrait mode.

If you are specifically looking for a big-screen phone with a big battery, then the A1 Plus makes sense. However, the Xiaomi Mi Max 2 does look like a good alternative because of its significantly lower price. If more moderately sized phones will do, you could choose the Samsung Galaxy C7 Pro (Review) or the Moto Z2 Play which are priced a bit lower, or get the OnePlus 3T (Review) by spending a little more.

For the latest tech news and reviews, follow Gadgets 360 on Twitter, Facebook, and subscribe to our YouTube channel.

Gionee A1 Plus

Gionee A1 Plus

  • NEWS
  • Design
  • Display
  • Software
  • Performance
  • Battery life
  • Camera
  • Value for money
  • Good
  • Decent battery life
  • Fast charging
  • Bad
  • Bulky and tough to handle
  • Average camera performance
  • Confusing custom UI


Smart social media marketing drives millennial businesses

Image result for Smart social media marketing drives millennial businesses

NakhreWaali is one of the numerous budding online businesses running largely on the foundation of social media marketing in the country.

When Pratiksha Tewari, a young child psychologist in Delhi, wanted to wear something different for her friend’s wedding, she checked out Instagram and settled on a beaded necklace embellished with silver bells of NakhreWaali, an online designer jewellery store.

“It worked for me because of the novelty pitch,” said Tewari, adding that she cannot find such things at regular online portals. “A lot of this stuff is sold on Instagram and small sellers often make customised stuff, which is good for people who like personalised things,” she said.

NakhreWaali is one of the numerous budding online businesses running largely on the foundation of social media marketing in the country.

Startups such as NakhreWaali, and Prerto bet on unique, handcrafted fashion products that they showcase on social media platforms like Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest, creating a niche market away from big ecommerce marketplaces.

“Fashion consumers in India want pieces that are unique, with a story,” said Antalya Varma, fashion analyst from The Institute of Apparel Management (IAM), Gurgaon.

She expects such niche brands to steadily create a market for themselves, riding on the exclusivity factor. “These brands provide a healthy balance in the market for fashion enthusiasts and consumers,” Varma said. Most these startups were founded on shoestring budgets and are run without external funding.

NakhreWaali, for example, was started on a budget of just Rs 1.5 lakh. “We started off with our own funds,” said Gursakhi Lugani, its 24-year-old founder. “Whatever savings I had from my corporate job and some that I had earned from my work as a creative head for an online fashion magazine was put into this business,” she said.

Lugani never had any formal education in fashion. “A friend of mine and I happened to attend fashion week, and we decided to customise our earrings for the event. The compliments we received made me think about turning this into a business. We took the plunge and NakhreWaali happened,” she said.

Founded early last year, NakhreWaali is already one of the most popular shops of its kind, having earned Rs 25 lakh in the last six months. Bollywood actors Parineeti Chopra and Swetha Tripathi, comedian Mallika Dua, and TV personality Miss Malini are among its clientele.

Lugani attributes her success to social media. “We’ve never sold anywhere except online,” she said. “No one would know NakhreWaali if it wasn’t for Facebook, Instagram and the likes we receive.” These businesses have flourished greatly on the back of smart, eye-popping marketing on social media where people across the world have access to collections, styles, colours, and prices of their products. Sure enough, many brands are now popular in markets outside India too.

“A large majority of our customers are from India, the UK, US, and UAE,” said Prerna Agarwal, founder of Mumbai-based handcrafted jewellery brand Prerto. “We also have stockist in New Zealand, Africa, Canada, Singapore and several other countries across the globe.”

Agarwal, who has selectively opened the brand to a few fashion shows and exclusive multi-designer stores, said she has now managed to start another online business two months ago with her earnings from Prerto.

Apurva Lama, director of apparel brand Appycat Street, said she owed her business to social media marketing. “Instagram alone drives half of our traffic,” she said. “We’ve had sales from Kashmir to Kanyakumari. We’ve reached corners of India that we hadn’t heard of and have built a steady international customer base with a number of sales in the US, UK, Dubai and Australia,” she said.

NakhreWaali has built partnerships with entities in Dubai and Milan to enhance sales in those cities and plan to add more to the list very soon. Consumer connect is a common thread binding these brands.

Brands like Appycat Street and online designer apparel and jewellery store have collaborated with social media influencers like fashion bloggers and models who widen the market further for them. Natasha AR Kumar, founder of Vajor, said the brand placed high value in content development and has worked with lifestyle and fashion bloggers as well as people from different walks of life.

“We have a section on our blog called Vajor Muse where we feature intriguing and inspiring women who are travellers, writers, environmentalists, artists who are doing all of this aside from their day to day jobs,” she said. Started in 2014 without any external funding, Vajor has been growing at an annual rate of 200%, Kumar said.

Appycat Street have had Instagram stars and lifestyle and fashion bloggers Komal Pandey (College Couture), Nilu Yuleena Thapa (Big Hair Loud Mouth), and Dolly Singh (Spill that Sass) help them reach a wider audience. However, despite their success and popularity, many of these startups are facing some difficulty due to lack of funds.

Himani Singh, founder of online beauty store Ayca, said that being self-funded has made it sacrifice on things like customised packaging, which required huge volumes and cash flow. Singh and her business partner Mallyeka Watsa started Ayca by investing Rs 5 lakh from their savings. The brand’s turnover in the past six months has been around Rs 20 lakh and it has Bollywood actor Harshvardhan Kapoor among its clients. According to Varma of IAM, these brands understand their customers inside out and provide them with exactly what they require. “India is an aggressive market, and with time competition is only going to increase,” she said. “These brands need to focus on what they bring on additionally to the table other than their basic products, through their brand image, sales and service.”

Surbhi Gupta, an MBA student from Pune, said she was an avid online shopper and she had started purchasing products exclusively from smaller, customised websites rather than the big guns like Myntra, Jabong and Koovs. “The big websites offer mainstream stuff to their customers — things can be found in any mall,” she said. “There are so many smaller websites to choose from here, and the stuff they sell is pretty affordable since we know where and how most of them are being made.”