Monthly Archive: March 2016

Facebook Lite Passes 100 Million Users

Facebook Lite

Facebook Lite

Facebook Lite, which was released mid 2015 for android users in markets identified as emerging, has now surpassed 100 million active users monthly. It is most popular in India, Mexico, Brazil, the Philippines and Indonesia.

Facebook has stated that this app, with the Android application package being under 1MB in size, is the fastest growing Facebook version to surpass this many users. It also is supported in over 56 different languages and that is a big part of its success.

The goal for Facebook is to offer an experience that is positive to all users, irrespective of the device they are using to access it says Facebook software engineer Gautam Roy. He further lamented on various details on how this app was designed with the hope that is will further encourage others to design applications to suit the future billion users expected to come online as new markets become available.

Roy added that the Android application package does not include usual resources used in android apps. It means that the Lite Architecture design see the server doing the majority of the work and that in itself permits the app to be well designed for less powerful devices such as the LG Optimus ME.

In addition, the design team behind FB Lite designed it to control image sizes and the volume of date it used. It is designed to work well with low powered mobile devices that often are common in developing markets, including that of the Samsung Galaxy Y which has specs that are restrictive but work well with Android Gingerbread and other smartphones that are older.

It is those choices in design features that has helped Facebook Lite to be one of the best in its class for performance metrics. This is especially true for image loading and start up on bandwidth restricted internet networks.

Weekly New App Launches


This past week the Android N developer preview has gone live, with one of its more provoking features being the newfound dual window support for native apps. Furthermore, the preview displayed an extremely useful feature that allows users to drag and drop text between two windows, delivering a vastly improved method to copy and paste. As with any pre-release preview it is still a little buggy at the moment, but offered a number of new user focused options, promising to improve the Android experience greatly. An additional app-related feature newly included on Android N gives the new OS version the capacity to optimise apps at a far quicker rate. Google currently plans on the removal of the unnecessarily distracting app optimisation box after the next system update, to instead include it as part of the background processes as the phone boots, initially causing the apps to open a tad slower, with it eventually settling down to perform at a fully optimised rate.


Timenauts presents android users with a new preemium application, wherein the game requires players to collect a number of the good guys known as Timenauts and then afterward engage in battle against a variety of evildoers. The app features a number of settings that includes the thrilling possibility of spanning time, while including a number of funny and unique game characters such as Gabriel Iglesias. Yes, you guessed it correctly, it is the side-splitting comedian, who forms part of the goofy but well playing game that remains fun despite the damnable in app purchases, a classical freemium issue.

Legacy Quest delivers another top-grade free game featuring the retro Voxel graphics used to animate its fairly typical, but still fun to play, hack and slash mechanics. Despite the cartoonish illustrative art work the game delivers a rather dark storyline. This game appeals to players that that will enjoy grafting their family legacy from the souls of the characters they murder, destroy, kill as they travel throughout 70 dungeons, spread across six regions and split into seven difficulty levels. The game offers excellent play that includes numerous boss fights and a great deal more action, which currently suffers from the expected release day bugginess.

SamSung Releases micro:bit app


Samsung has recently announced its release of a Android app that will support BBC’s micro:bit. This is a computer that is codable for children and fits easily into thier pockets. It is designed to help children fat no charge within the United Kingdom with technology.

samsung microbit

The app was developed under the Research and development team at Samsung as part of their volunteer program. The app has been designed to help children understand how to code mobile devices and introduce them to “connect technology” as well as the internet. As a company, Samsung employees donate their time to develop resources that are free to students as well as educators and parents that can be used with children. It is the hope that the micro:bit app will assist in transforming the younger generation into innovators and creators of tomorrow’s technology. The app includes a compass, motion detectors as well as Bluetooth technology.

The head of Samsung Electronics United Kingdom & Ireland, Aleyne Johnson, stated that “The combination of the micro:bit with the app will be a powerful learning tool for young people, inspiring them not only to use technology but to develop fun apps for themselves and their friends. We hope that the micro:bit will give them a head start by putting them in the driving seat as developers.”

The app can be connected to tablets and smartphones to allow those of this generation to use their mini computer for coding while on the go.It is part of the digital initiative offered by the BBC to help improve digital literacy within the United Kingdom.

New Android Apps for the Week


Google is currently touring with the concept of introducing in app purchases to Google’s cardboard content; this decision arrived despite people having expressed their hatred of in app purchases. A difficult decision, since in app purchases currently account for in excess of 90% of the Play Store’s revenue and Google intends to attract more developers to start paying their attention to Cardboard. Google is currently holding off with this latest concept since they need it to be highly intuitive, as this would be less likely to raise people’s ire.


The above opportunities and potential disasters make Google doubly sensitive since research data made public in the latter part of last week revealed that 77% of users would never again use an app 72 hours after its initial installation. Furthermore the study discovered that the most popular and successful applications with those that required users to re-engage on a regular basis in contrast to the apps that had clearly defined functions. Naturally, Google apps remain excluded from the study since they cannot be uninstalled.

Pander is a free app that is currently an up and coming local delivery service that offers the delivery of food directly to the user’s door. The app starts with the placing of orders by requiring users to complete questions regarding the types of food they prefer, where after it poses recommendations extrapolated from the data users fed it earlier. Pander will over time further refine and improve its personalised food suggestions as users continue placing their orders over a period of time. The app presents users with a quite striking card-based interface design that features an efficient yet colourful artwork. The app makes the ordering of foodstuffs and their checking out fairly straightforward, with the app providing users with information details whether the service is available in their area or not.

VHS Camcorder is available for $2.99, which will by the user an extremely fun to use little app to record videos whose results will transport them back to the early 1990s. It accomplishes this with the addition of filters and scratches to the video feed making the screened version appear to be recorded via an old school type VHS camcorder.

LastPass Two-Factor Authentication App & PlayStation Streams Video


LastPass, one of the most popular password management services just announced that the company had released its very own two-factor authentication app into Google’s play store. Currently available in both Android and iOS applications, this extremely gifted authenticator service now delivers a two factor or 2FA authentication service directly to your mobile LastPass account and other related applications.

In order to complete the setup of the 2FA within LastPass authenticator users simply need to connect the authenticator app to any other supported services that you require, the web-based service then returns a one-time six digit code over the air to authorise your gaining access to your personal user account. Naturally, the unique one-time code could only be sent to a singular user to grant only that user access to the early part of their sign-in procedure. The app integrates perfectly to work with any app or service that also supports Google authenticator and a number of other TOTP-based 2FA methods, which provides protection that reaches immeasurably past the simple act of protecting your personal LastPass Vault.


PlayStation’s new Video streaming app launches on Android despite the current multitude of streaming app options that have flooded Google’s Play Store; however, this time round Sony is placing its full weight behind backing its own app with the newly launched PlayStation Video streaming app aimed at the Android market. The new app grants access to the complete range of movies and TV shows available via the electronic giant’s broadcasting service, the content of which have been made available for rental as well as online purchases with no need for a signup subscription.

One of the major selling points is possibly that these services are tied to the exact same PlayStation online store as the one found on the PlayStation 4, or the PS3, as well as all Vita consoles, and even that of the company’s official webstore. This basically means that anyone renting or purchasing a movie on one device allows you full access from the user’s android tablet or android phone. This phenomenon isn’t totally unique since streaming services offer relatively universal products, which provides added appeal to players in the video gaming market.

Best iOS Only Apps

Adobe Photoshop Sketch

While Android OS has a well-established reputation for its capacity to offer unbelievable technical flexibility and customisation; in contrast, Apple’s iOS earned itself a well-deserved reputation for its aesthetics and the design of its user interface. iOS developers enjoy the benefit of a far easier environment to create stable software for, which usually leads to numerous apps that make their debut on Apple’s mobile platform before being translated to other OSs. Below are the best of the iOS only versions, and worth the money and storage space on any phone.

Adobe Photoshop Sketch 1

Adobe Photoshop Sketch is free to use on Apple devices, since the two companies always maintained, not considering Flash, a close and friendly relationship, which now continues in most of Adobe’s companion applications to the company’s desktop programs, to the point where a number of them only ever became available on iOS. Photoshop Sketch is one of the most expressive art styling apps geared for full featured operations on mobile devices. It arrives with a full featured options list to provide for sketching and drawing tools, and works near flawlessly with numerous peripherals, including Bluetooth styluses like Adobe Ink, and Pencil. The Sketch App attempts to simulate an analogue drawing tool, bolstered with a number of digital options like its colour picker as well as history undo.

Day One is available from the Apple Store at $4.99 and delivers a fiddle free, clean menu and interface design similar to what the iOS itself is famous for. Since its launch, Day One quickly established itself as a firm favourite amongst lifestyle apps, featuring a seamlessly integrated digital journal aimed at satisfying mobile users. It allows users to intuitively create numerous journal entries that vary from the simplistic to the impossibly complex as per your choice. Users may prefer to stick with a clean minimalist editing made, or can download and plug in a multitude of locations, weather data, and images, or songs and song lists. This allows its users to filter their digital entries in chronological order, or alternatively search via the map data, keywords, or tags, while smoothly sharing their personal creations with family and friends.

Best Weather Apps for iOS

Yahoo Weather

The App Store contains literally hundreds of weather predictive apps, always remaining one of the more popular categories amongst iOS owners. It is undeniable that the standard built-in weather app from Apple always sets an excellent standard to start from, delivering good graphics and useful animations together with well timed hourly forecast updates. However, each iOS user has their personal preferences and requirements that determine what makes up a good weather app. Some would prefer loads of data, while others wish for a simple straightforward minimalist approach, and even more would desire a product somewhere in between. The app review summaries below represent the best of their kind.

Yahoo Weather1

Yahoo Weather remains one of the classiest app designs in the business; the app provides its users with an accurate assessment and prediction of weather conditions including hourly forecasts. It delivers data on factors such as wind pressure, precipitation via clean lined illustrations and user-friendly animations. Its interactive map provides selectable overlays for rain and snow, after first experiencing this app the lasting impression that stands out is its visually striking interface that simply looks fantastic. In each city the app draws upon a library of local background images sourced from Flickr. The background receives a nice blur whenever users scroll up to view the latest weather details, it’ll satisfy the tastes of those users that does not require loads of detailed data that still enjoy a truly awesome design.

WeatherBug will receive the most appreciation from people suffering of allergies, with this app proving an excellent source of news reports on one of the most common afflictions. Over and above its ability to provide 10-day, daily, and hourly forecasts, the app provides a detailed pollen index for each day, which includes the allergy triggers most prevalent for that specific day. WeatherBug also features a brilliant connected-I am option that allows its users to connect to their Honeywell, SmartThings, and Nest to provide a detailed report of your home’s energy consumption. It will even figure out daily heating and cooling costs purely based on local weather conditions, even if it has no access to a connected thermostat.

WIRE – the Encrypted Video Call & IM App Backed By Skype Co-Founder


By its very nature, digital data remains one of the most difficult to keep secure and once someone has been granted (legally or illegally) access to a file at the very simple matter to delete, move, or copy its contents. This means a single security breach delivers the frightening opportunity to spread the sensitive contents of files to millions of unwanted destinations in milliseconds, an event that is simply impossible with any physical documents.

Unfortunately, this possibility is unlikely to change in the foreseeable future since ease of access and the manipulation of data within files is one of the key traits to the usability of all things digital. Security experts all remain in agreement that security for digital data should instead focus on the creation of impenetrable barriers to protect all sensitive data and those types seeking unwelcome and unauthorised access to prevent the unwanted event where a file leaves the control of its owner without their permission.
Most modern day data security comprises of barriers created by encryption levels, immaterial of whether the data would be stored on cloud, smartphones, or PCs at some stage you will depend on the protection afforded by data encryption despite the fact that you might be unaware of such measures.


As of late private encryption, levels have become a massive point of discussion in the media and a bone of contention between private citizens and the state. This, in turn, provides developers with the opportunity to create messaging apps offering genuine privacy that will, due to the media hype, quickly see their product noticed by all parties as setting themselves aside from the pack.

Wire is just such an instant messaging app that now enjoys the backing of Skype co-founder, Janus Friis. It is also the latest high-level encryption instant-messaging app offering true privacy to enter the media fray covering the state versus private citizen issue. With its headquarters based in Switzerland, Wire first launched during December 2014, has since its earliest beginnings offered fully encrypted voice calls.

This past Thursday the company announced its rollout of an end-to-end encryption capacity to cover all conversational content, including text messages, photos, sketches, and video calls. The company announced that Wire software will no longer contain any backdoors and holds no decryption keys, to effectively keep your data your own.

Upcoming New Mobile Game Launches to Look Forward To

Butterscotch Shenanigans’ Coster brothers

Butterscotch Shenanigans’ Coster brothers will soon launch a new mobile game called Crashlands that all mobile video gamers are sure to enjoy. The two brothers retain all of their passion for creating quality games that their fans enjoy so immensely. The sad news that Sam Coster is battling an incredibly aggressive strain of cancer became public, at the time diagnosed at its fourth and highest stage. However; Crashlands is a huge, ambitious project that is every possible manner the total opposite of their Butterscotch Minis that become so well-known for after having cranked these games out on a weekly basis for the past month or more. It is easiest to describe Crashlands as Towelfight 2 after adding a massive amount of gaming content, combined with the gameplay and polished mechanics of their Quadropus Rampage and then inflating it to unbelievable proportions. Both the aforementioned games needed approximately 10 weeks to create and the brothers are now in their 20th week on Crashlands.


Scott Games is as at current working on an updated and possibly brand-new mobile game called The Clues Are Coming. Just as their fans started to believe that Five Nights at Freddy’s thrill was experiencing still waters, new leads from Scott Cawthon started reappearing. The first clue to take note of is its update for the FNAF world, which after a less than enthusiastic reception on the Steam network, Scott made the decision to remove the game and release it as a free download via GameJolt. The developer hinted at a possible update that seemingly has been confirmed with its latest image displayed on the official pages of website. It is unclear at this stage whether the update would add additional characters or just a totally new element to its gameplay. In addition, Scott revealed that another Five Nights at Freddy’s will soon appear on the horizon, with a teaser image containing subtle clues posted on his official website. However, Scott confirmed there will be no new fifth instalment for his FNAF, knowing him though but might even be an entirely new project.

Plants Vs Zombies Heroes Announced on Mobile


EA Games and PopCap recently made an announcement to notify the mobile world the two companies would soon launch a brand-new instalment of its prized gaming franchise, Plants vs Zombies, onto mobile devices. The upcoming game would add an entirely new element to its prior mobile defence game allowing players to compete in PvP mode by unleashing heroic attack and defence strategies. Anyone familiar with Clash Royale may even find a number of similarities, such as its collectible card feature as well as PvP style gameplay. However, the gaming action self will be more focused on a lane-based style of play. Players and hangers on will be happy to hear that the action will include characters from across the complete Plants Vs Zombies game universe.

Plants Vs Zombies mobile

Based on pre-release video clip teasers, gameplay structure apparently promises to be quick, online, and just as competitive, which follows its current well-established recipe to create a successful game. If PopCap and EA manage to mix up the action a little it will certainly prove to be a strong contender against current favourites Clash Royale additionally Rayark made a recent announcement of a similarly fashioned new game which in the near future would provide the PvP gamers with plentiful options. EA confirmed their new PvZ game will experience its debut later in the year, and already released numerous videos of the gaming action that illustrate a number of key heroes players can unlock and take control of.

Early next week both iOS and Android gamers will be able to download the new Rope Racers that will allow them to run, swing, and race matched up against other gamers across this high-speed fun world. Here players can win high-speed race matches to collect their rewards, furthermore, the game will require them to collect all of the characters while racing in incredible locations and just generally become the ultimate Rope Racer of all time.

Able Black is a new game to iOS players that allows them to live a story experience communicated via images, text, and sounds to guide them through a series of complicated puzzles. It will soon be available to iPad and iPhone users.