iOS 11 Limits Older Devices iPhone 5s & Beyond Safe, Launch Date Could Be Announced Q2 2017

The iOS 11 update may be one that is still quite a long shot to achieve for most Apple patrons, especially with the recent disclosure that came from the company. Moreover, there may be some anomalies among certain applications, if not all that are to come soon.


Known as one of the most popular and efficient mobile operating systems to date, Apple continues to update their versions on a steady basis, showing a growing set of improvements along the way. With the existing version 10.2.1 already in the market, patrons of the successors have been rendered curious on what changes can be expected-whether for better or worse.

As reported by 9 to 5 Mac, the iOS 10.3 update is now on public beta, which as of the moment alerts iOS users with apps that run on 32-bit mode respectively to update them. If the user does not choose to, the apps will not continue to operate further on the future versions, which in this case could be the iOS 11. Other users who use their iPad will be given system alerts that their older apps can affect the speed of the device.

Model-wise, the iPhone 5C is the last 32-bit iPhone that Apple released, implying that models below it will no longer be supported by the iOS 11; thus resulting in only being able to get the iOS 10.3. The iPhone 5s and beyond will be able to bask in the benefits of the future update, unfortunately for those carrying the aforementioned final 32-bit model.

No release date has been announced for the iOS 11 update just yet, but speculations arise that Apple will present the update on a big event this year, presumably by mid-June. A longer process is also expected to take place after the announcement, placing the launch sometime between September and October at the closest.

No other confirmed details have been released for the iOS 11 update thus far, as per Mac World. There were also talks of requested features, but so far, none of which were officially disseminated.

Viber offers free calls from the U.S. to the 7 countries affected by Trump travel ban

Mobile calling app Viber is the latest tech company to offer help to those affected by President Trump’s immigration and travel ban. This morning, the company announced it would indefinitely waive the fees for calls to landlines or mobile numbers between the U.S. and the seven countries impacted by the travel ban, including Syria, Iraq, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen.

Viber-offers-free-calls-from-the-U.S. -7-countries-affected-by-Trump-ban

Similar to other calling apps, direct calls between Viber users are always free, but dialing out to a landline or a mobile phone via the “Viber Out” service would cost money. Viber typically charges a per-minute fee, which could be paid for via a calling plan or by purchasing credit to pay as you go. These rates would vary by the call’s destination.

Viber has fairly quickly rolled out support for free calling in the affected regions, and announced the move via Twitter and a simple informational website.

On the site, the company offers a brief statement on the matter, which doesn’t go so far as to condemn the travel ban directly, but instead offers support to those affected. Under the heading, “We connect people. No matter who they are or where they’re from,” a statement reads:

In light of recent events in the United States, we are now offering free calls to any landline or mobile number between the United States and Syria, Iraq, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen so that those affected will now have one less barrier to cross when trying to reach their loved ones.

Hiroshi Mikitani, the CEO of Rakuten, which acquired Viber several years ago, feels very strongly about Trump’s executive order.

Over a series of tweets on Twitter, he came out against the ban, saying how wrong it is to discriminate based on religion and nationality.

“I am very sad to see what is happening now in the U.S. I came to U.S. when I was seven and I really respect big American big heart,” Mikitani tweeted. “But it is wrong as a human being to uniformly discriminate based on religion and nationality. We will make sure we will support our Muslim staff members as a company and personally as well. Rakuten Group Viber will announce tomorrow free international calls from the U.S. to all countries banned.”

“My dad is crying in the heaven. He went to Harvard, Stanford and Yale. He was so proud and I am too. Now I am really crying,” he added.

The ban has already prompted action from a number of tech companies, who are fighting back politically, as well as making efforts to help those affected, both internally within their organizations, and externally. Uber, for example, established a $3 million defense fund to help cover legal, immigration and translation costs for drivers affected by Trump’s ban, while Airbnb offered free housing for refugees and others affected by the Trump administration’s executive order, and not allowed in the U.S.

Other tech companies leaders have joined protests, donated the ACLU, and are offering legal assistance to employees. Google created a $2 million crisis fund and Lyft is donating $1 million to the ACLU over 4 years, after coming out against the executive order.

Viber’s offer is one of many demonstrations of support that directly impacts the immigrants and refugees, but it would not be surprising if others in the industry soon followed.

Squad Wars: Death Division is the latest attempt to make multiplayer shooters work on mobile – Technology Use

In Asia, first-person shooter games are very different from the West, where Call of Duty and Battlefield rule. In China, Crossfire is the big shooter game, and Asian game maker Cmune hopes to shake the market up with the introduction of Squad Wars: Death Division.

Beijing-based Cmune is launching the free-to-play Squad Wars globally today — everywhere except the Chinese market. To date, Cmune’s FPS games have generated more than 26 million downloads. That’s a pretty good number, considering how hard it can be to control a shooter on a touchscreen.

But it’s not yet proof of a lasting franchise. Squad Wars is the sequel to Bullet Rush, a shooter on iOS. That game has been “sunset,” or designated for eventual shutdown. Cmune also had a very successful game in Uberstrike, a free-to-play shooter on the PC. But that game is also in sunset mode.

This is not to suggest that those games were failures. Rather, they had a life cycle, and they’re coming to the end. Cmune is always refreshing its games. It has a new iOS and Android shooter, Deadheads, in beta testing. And it hopes both Deadheads and Squad Wars, as well as the upcoming Payday: Crime War, being built for Starbreeze, will provide plenty of spiritual successors to its earlier games.

The latest game, Squad Wars, is a first-person shooter multiplayer game where you play as a mercenary in a modern combat setting. The title is available on iOS and Android, and it is one of three games the company is launching this year, according to Ludovic Bodin, CEO of Cmune.

In Squad Wars, players fight in a tournament hosted by a mysterious billionaire. Elite mercenaries from around the world want to claim the top prize and the riches that come with it. You control movement by using your fingers on the touchscreen, and you can set the gun to autopilot. That means it will shoot once you move the targeting reticle over an enemy.

The auto-shoot mode allows a player to focus on moving and aiming, which you can handle with two fingers. The weapon only fires when the cross-hair is fixed on an enemy. If you want to switch to manual shooting, you can do that by tapping a button on the top of the screen. You can also use an external accessory game controller.

In addition to multiplayer, the game has a single-player campaign with 44 levels. You can use it to get familiar with the controls.

You can also customize the loadout for your own preferences. And you can play different characters, from Sergeant Max to “sexy Nari.” The game has more than 250 weapons, and the company will add more over time.

Weapons fall into all imaginable classes including combat knives, shotguns, machine guns, rifles, sniper rifles, and pistols. You can choose from thousands of possible loadouts, with new weapons regularly being added.

Squad Wars also makes it easy to add friends at the tap of a button. You can play in private matches, and the squad system allows you to invite friends or chat with others. The game has both private and public chat spaces. You can play in private matches.

Modes include Deathmatch and Elimination and can be played as Team, 1v1, or Free for All. You can also play in a squad, teaming up with friends in public ranked matches. The game has deep Facebook integration.

The game allows players to log in using their Facebook account to save game progress, update their in-game profile picture with their Facebook display picture, directly invite their closest friends to join Squad Wars and compete against each other in a special “friends only” ranked leaderboard.

Squad Wars also has medal system thank shows a player’s level of experience. And it has a league system, where players are assigned to a league based on their medals rating. Squad Wars will have weekly tournaments and rewards for those who play well.

Later on, Cmune Cmune will offer constant updates with new maps, weapons, characters, and tournaments. The company has 15 employees and it has raised $5 million to date. Youtube Video

Source: Squad Wars: Death Division is the latest attempt to make multiplayer shooters work on mobile – Technology Use

Wi-Fi Assist is actually using too much iPhone data + More iOS 10 Fetaure Video

There’s a feature on iPhones called Wi-Fi Assist that is a common source of confusion for a lot of users. Wi-Fi Assist helps your iPhone switch to cellular data with your carrier when your local Wi-Fi is too weak to offer fast enough loading speeds.


That sounds risky especially if you have a limited monthly data cap, but most people shouldn’t have to worry about turning Wi-Fi Assist off. Here’s how to check and understand how much data Wi-Fi Assist is actually using.

There are plenty of stories on the Internet about how Wi-Fi Assist could cause your phone bill to rack up overage charges including local media reports and a viral LinkedIn article that a family member recently sent me.

These stories typically make Wi-Fi Assist sound scary and encourage you to disable the feature. In most cases, however, you can leave Wi-Fi Assist on and benefit from it when needed.

How to check how much data Wi-Fi Assist has used

This capability was missing when Wi-Fi Assist was first introduced, but Apple quickly implemented it in a later software update. Simply go to Settings → Cellular → swipe all the way down → and look for Wi-Fi Assist.

Under Wi-Fi Assist, you’ll see something like ‘55.1 MB’ depending on how much cellular data Wi-Fi Assist has used.

Below that, you’ll see a Reset Statistics button above the date of the last reset. In my example, I see ‘Aug 29, 2016 1:16 PM’ so Wi-Fi Assist has used 55.1 MB over a five month period.

In context, I have a 15 GB monthly data plan (or you could say 15,000 MB monthly data plan) so 55.1 MB over several months is a drop in the bucket. A lot of people have 2 GB data plans (or 2000 MB data plans) so using 10 MB on Wi-Fi Assist over one month probably isn’t a risk.

Check with your carrier to determine your monthly data plan (in some cases you may be able to raise your data at a better rate) and put your own Wi-Fi Assist usage stats in context.

Wi-Fi Assist is on by default, but you can find the toggle to disable Wi-Fi Assist in the same section as the usage stats if you decide the feature is still too risky.

Apple notes that you’ll always see the Wi-Fi symbol disappear from the status bar when Wi-Fi Assist kicks in, and the feature does not work when roaming charges could be applied. Wi-Fi Assist also won’t kick in when using apps that download large amounts of data or apps acting in the background.

These steps help keep Wi-Fi Assist useful without making it a problem feature that everyone should disable by default.

Apple iPhone 8 – 75 new iOS 10 features / changes! Youtube Video here

Register to Download Super Mario Run for Android

Super Mario Run is on the decline over on iOS, so Nintendo is probably feeling like it’s time to get it going on Android. They’re preparing themselves to do so with this latest move.


You can now pre-register to download Super Mario Run for Android. By doing so, you’ll get a notification on any of your Android devices you’re signed into when the game becomes available to download.

In case you haven’t heard, Super Mario Run is an endless runner by Nintendo, and it’s their first proper game after launching a chat app called Miitomo and having a limited role in launching Pokemon GO. It was first available on iOS, but likely delayed for Android due to some sort of exclusivity deal.

Super Mario Run features super simple gameplay. Mario runs on his own, and you tap the screen with a single finger to help him jump over, under, through, and on top of obstacles. You collect coins just like you would in any Mario game, too. Youtube Video

The game will be free to try for 3 levels, after which Nintendo is expected to ask for $10 for the entire ordeal as that’s the asking price over on iOS. Head to Google Play to pre-register if you want to know the moment this thing goes live. Unlock to LIKE and Get Register Link to Download

 REGISTER AT GOOGLE PLAY  Source: Free Net Download

Register now to get notified when Mega Man Mobile is available on the Play Store

Earlier this month, Capcom announced it would be porting the original MegaMan games for the NES onto both iOS and Android. However, the company didn’t share any information regarding a time frame other than “sometime in 2017”. Now, Capcom has opened up registration for the games on its own website.


Capcom is planning to bring Mega Man 1-6 to our mobile devices, and they will be released sometime in January 2017. Those in Japan already know that the games will arrive on January 6th, so we can only conclude that those of us on this side of the world will get the games soon after that.

Here are some quick summaries of what’s each episode of Mega Man will be bringing:
Mega Man Mobile – The evil Dr. Wily must be stopped in this classic action platformer, the original Mega Man
Mega Man 2 Mobile– Dr. Wily resurfaces to threaten the world again! Only Mega Man can stand in his way.
Mega Man 3 Mobile – Fight berserk robots on uncharted planets. Mega Man must set a course for space to resolve this mysterious crisis.
Mega Man 4 Mobile – A year has passed since Mega Man’s battle in space. A new enemy appears – Dr. Cossack.
Mega Man 5 Mobile – Manic robots cause chaos in the city. How is Proto Man involved? Only Mega Man can find out!
Mega Man 6 Mobile – The Global Robot Alliance is formed, but this newfound peace is threatened by a new foe – the enigmatic Mr. X!

I don’t know about you, but between Super Mario Run ( download) and this new Mega Man mobile series, there were be much time wasted starting in January. Let us know if you’ve pre-registered for the games and what other games you’ll like to see ported to Android. Unlock to LIKE and Get Register Link


Best Cars with Android Auto Smartphone Integration for Wise Shoppers

2017 Audi A4. As a member of the Volkswagen Group, Audi is likewise looking to offer more cars with Android Auto, and the all-new 2017 Audi A4 is leading the way. In fact, it takes a leading-edge approach to technology in a lot of different areas. Audi smartphone integration, also supporting Apple CarPlay, is standard with the car’s new infotainment system, and that setup serves up 4G LTE connectivity, too, along with 7- and 8.3-inch MMI screens and an optional “all-in-touch” haptic control interface. There’s also more audio bang for your buck, courtesy of a Bang & Olufsen sound system with 19 speakers, 755 watts of power and a 16-channel Class D amp. But the coolest tech cues are available with the Audi “virtual cockpit” instrument display, complete with a 12.3-inch screen that’s powered by NVIDIA quad-core processing and provides both Google Map data and typical vehicle-system info.


2016 Chevrolet Malibu. The Bowtie brand continues to bring new technologies to the mainstream with the 2016 Chevrolet Malibu, which is just one of the current Chevy cars with Android Auto among its multimedia resources. And though it’s not standard on the entry model, it is part of the package with the Malibu LS that starts at a mere $23,120. At that price point, the car’s MyLink infotainment system features not just the Android tech, but also Apple CarPlay, a 7-inch capacitive touchscreen, a rearview camera, and Bluetooth for both hands-free calling and audio streaming; OnStar’s mobile Wi-Fi hotspot and 4G LTE connectivity is standard on all Malibus, while the more premium editions offer an 8-inch touchscreen, navigation, wireless phone chargers and rear-seat USB ports. Customers also should remember that the 2016 Malibu represents an all-new generation for the popular midsize sedan, showcasing larger dimensions, lower curb weights and a standard turbocharged engine.


2017 Mercedes-Benz E-Class. Because the technology is still relatively new—and because some brands don’t want third parties to access their data—there are surprisingly few luxury cars with Android Auto. However, that is beginning to change, thanks to premium sedans like the 2017 Mercedes-Benz E-Class. Touting top technologies across the board, the new E-Class is especially impressive in the cabin, where an available dual-screen display, comprising two adjacent 12.3-inch screens that share the same glass cover, delivers virtual instrumentation and infotainment resources while also serving as a decidedly futuristic design element—which can be further fine-tuned with three driver-selectable themes. Naturally, those just-mentioned infotainment features include smartphone integration and Mercedes’ COMAND Online services, as well as some serious sound technologies: The “Frontbass” system uses spaces in the body structure of the car to act as resonance chambers, boosting the bass considerably, and the optional Burmeister setup brings 3D surround sound backed by four roof speakers.


2017 Mitsubishi Mirage
. Pricing has yet to be set for the 2017 Mitsubishi Mirage, but it will certainly be among the least expensive cars with Android Auto when it goes on sale this spring. After all, the current Mirage opens at just $12,995, although that is for the 2015 model—Mitsubishi skipped the 2016 model year for the car, perhaps spending the time in developing the many upgrades offered for the 2017 version. But drivers will reap the rewards whatever the reason, since the Mirage not only supplies smartphone integration, but also an available Rockford-Fosgate audio system with EcoPunch technology for high-efficiency hi-fi sound. Mitsubishi designers also freshened the car’s appearance, restyling the hood, grille, bumpers, wheels, lights and more, with engineers pitching in with suspension and braking tuneups for a more refined driving experience. There’s even a small uptick in output, to 78 horsepower (with an unchanged 74 lb.-ft. of torque).


2016 Volkswagen Beetle. VW is another brand that’s going all-in with smartphone integration, betting on its popularity by supplying it throughout the lineup, even on the 2016 Volkswagen Beetle. But be aware that VW entries like the Bug go beyond most cars with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay to also deliver MirrorLink compatibility, from a leading third-party connectivity company that’s particularly prominent on the global scene. The Beetle additionally boasts a relatively affordable MSRP: In its 1.8T SE trim, the Beetle bundles smartphone integration, a 6.33-inch touchscreen, a rear-vision camera, and VW’s Car-Net App-Connect service for $21,350. A final Bug bonus is found in the convertible models, as those cars combine the same technologies with the inimitable excitement of an open-air driving experience—and an available sound system that bolsters 400 watts of power with all of the audio expertise you’d expect from the great ears behind Fender guitars.


Cars with Android Auto may not get the same kind of buzz as those with Apple CarPlay, yet they both provide much the same sort of advanced smartphone integration that, essentially, puts owners’ homescreens front and center on the vehicles’ infotainment displays. It’s a simple, affordable way to go online while on the road, allowing owners to access the wide range of apps and service they’re used to using in their daily lives. The range of vehicles offering the service is narrower, however, although the pioneers presented here will no doubt be joined by more entries as time goes on.

Original Samsung Galaxy A5 is getting Android 7.0 Nougat update in January

Samsung is obviously working on getting final, stable Android 7.0 Nougat updates for its flagship devices out as soon as possible – in fact there have already been several beta releases for the Galaxy S7. But what about the mid-rangers? At the beginning of the month we heard that the entire Galaxy A (2016) line would in fact be graced with the ability to taste the sweet treat, even if a timeline for the rollout wasn’t shared.


That’s perhaps to be expected, but what about a member of the original A series? Namely, the Galaxy A5 from 2014. You probably wouldn’t hold your breath expecting this model to receive a Nougat update, would you?

Well, too bad, because that’s exactly what’s going to happen. Optus, an Australian carrier, has confirmed that the update to Nougat for the A5 units it’s sold is currently in testing, and if everything goes well it’s expected to roll out in late January.

The Galaxy A5 launched running Android 4.4 KitKat, and it’s already been bumped up to Lollipop and then Marshmallow. So if this actually happens, the original A5 will be one of the longest-supported Samsung smartphones ever. Hopefully the Nougat update won’t be limited to Australia and will make its way across the globe, if not in January, then in February and the months coming after that.

Owners of the Samsung Galaxy A5 are going to start the new year off right with Optus advising in their software update blog that they’re testing Nougat for the handset.

There’s bare bones information about the update, which will take the phone from Android 6.0.1 to Android 7.0, but Optus apparently expects to start rolling the update out at the end of January next year. That’s providing that all goes according to plan.

There’s no information on a Nougat update for other A-series handsets in the Optus range such as the Galaxy A3, but there should be something there further down the track.

It’s not there yet, but we’ll be keeping an eye on progress throughout January.

Apple iOS 10.2 Has Three Nasty Surprises

iOS 10 is only three months old but with iOS 10.2 Apple AAPL +0.53% is already onto its fifth update (sixth if you include iOS 10.0.1 which Apple quickly bolted into the original release) and iOS 10.2.1 is already in testing. Why? Because ladies and gents, while iOS 10.2 does contain a fun surprise, it doesn’t bring the crucial fixes many users crave and instead carries something else you might not have been expecting…

‘Great Features’ and ‘Nasty Surprises’ are my regular columns investigating operating system updates for the best features / biggest problems hidden behind the headlines.


Nasty Surprise #1: ‘30% Bug’ Made Even Worse

Remember the ‘30% Bug’ I brought attention to in November? It is a problem which causes many models of iPhone to die when their battery reaches about 30% of charge remaining. The problem was subsequently referenced by the Chinese Government’s watchdog the China Consumers’ Association in a warning to Apple as it was failing to “meet basic consumer needs for normal wireless communication.”

Well iOS 10.2 brings no fixes for this issue. Given Apple continues to deny any model other than the iPhone 6S is affected (though it has widened the range of affected 6S model numbers entitled to free battery replacements), this is probably no surprise.

That said this also won’t do much to pacify affected users, notably on Apple’s official Support Communities forum where the 11 page thread I previously reported on has now ballooned to 50 pages. Moreover some users are reporting iOS 10.2 makes the problem even worse on their devices.

“Same here, iOS 10.2 actually made the problem worse,” says Apple Support Communities poster ricardo jb in response this growing theme on thread. “The battery percentage seems to get stuck at some level for a while, even with battery draining apps such as pokemon go running, then it drops different percentages at different moments, it’s really random.”

Many users claim the issue began with iOS 10.1.1 and it can affect all iOS 10 compatible iPhones (the iPhone 5 and above). So perhaps a fix can indeed be made in software without the need for a battery replacement, but if so then iOS 10.2 isn’t it.

Nasty Surprise #2: New Tracking Telemetry Is On Your Device

The plus side to the 30% Bug is Apple has promised to look into it and said it would release a software update this week which would track the battery consumption on iPhones to help the company get to the bottom of the problem.

That’s all well and good but – surprise – it turns out the tracking software is baked into iOS 10.2 and no mention of this was made in the release notes. Apple exclusively confirmed the integration of the telemetry tool with iOS 10.2 to me today and that it is installed on every compatible device, regardless of whether they are affected by the bug.

Needless to say that’s good news for some, but there’s no transparency here. Many would have expected the tool to be its own separate update and some users do not want new forms of tracking software on their phone – whether through personal preference or professional need. Especially when no specifics have been officially disclosed as to how it works, exactly how it tracks, where the information it gathers is sent, if it is anonymised or how long the data will be kept.

There’s no reason to believe Apple is doing something deliberately nefarious here, I suspect the intentions are well meant – it’s just good manners to ask first.

And, at the very least, to put the inclusion of the tracker on the release notes. After all if “Fixes an issue where VoiceOver users could not re-order items in lists” was deemed important enough to make it then so should “[Temporary anonymised] battery tracking telemetry to investigate battery problems as reported by users/Forbes/the Chinese government’s consumer watchdog”.

Update: Apple has contacted me to say the battery data reporting software is a diagnostic tool not a tracker and is for users who have opted into diagnostic tools. If it provides further information on how the software works or why it was left out of the release notes I will update again.

Nasty Surprise #3: Broken EarPods Stay Broken

Another Apple Support Communities hot topic, this 11 page thread has grown to 24 pages since I reported on it two weeks ago and affected users have been complaining about it since September. In short: the microphone from Apple Earpods is malfunctioning during calls due to a software glitch.

Ending and restarting calls can temporarily rectify the problem but not for long and even a full Factory Reset has not solved the issue for affected users. Posters say Apple Support has only suggested they keep restarting their devices for now, so there were high hopes iOS 10.2 would provide a better solution – but the response is pretty uniform.

As such, while iOS 10.2 brings niceties like ‘TV’ (which replaces the ‘Videos’ app) and 100s of new emoji, it seems a smaller number of more pressing issues will have to wait for the arrival of the iOS 10.2.1 – at the earliest…

Fllike wants to be the Yelp of airlines

Flying used to be a glamorous endeavor. In the 1970’s, even those flying coach could enjoy legroom and a half-decent meal. But then airlines started cutting back. As fuel prices rose, amenities began to vanish. Now, flying sucks. Not even a free prostate exam (thanks TSA!) makes up for flying Spirit.


One person who knows this especially well (flying, not complimentary TSA prostate exams) is Chris Holmes, founder and CEO of Fllike. This iPhone app lets you review your flight from your iPhone in just a matter of seconds, sharing it with other users of the app.

Holmes believes that as more people use it, it’ll build a picture of quality across the airlines, allowing consumers to make more informed decisions about who they fly with. Holmes believes that “eventually Fllike will offer a great picture of airline performance regardless of price.”

The app lets you give each element of your flight a score ranging from one to ten. Once you’ve keyed in your flight number or scanned your boarding pass, you can rate the seats, the crew, the timeliness, the food, and even the quality of the aircraft by swiping on a slider.

This desire to make the flying experience more bearable comes from a personal place. “I work for a soap company. My role is in business development. This means that I take around 50 flights every year,” he explained.

“This is all about customer experience, and providing a platform for people to share that in a simple and beautifully designed way.”

Fllike lands at a time when the fight rating market is heating up. There are incumbents like Skytrax, of course, who are the industry leaders. And two weeks ago, one of the most popular travel apps, Tripit, introduced a feature that lets passengers review the flights they take.

But there are some key differences.

Fllike is a damn sight better looking than Tripit. And in the coming months, it will allow users to book flights straight from the app.

“You’ll be able to see each airline’s score before you book. What better than flying an airline your trusted friends have already rated?”

You can download from Fllike from the iOS App Store. An Android version is expected to land early next year.