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  • WhatsApp vs Facebook Messenger – Which App You Prefer?

    WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger mobile compete for the same target audience and while there are some differences between them their general usage refers to the same thing.

    Needless to say, Facebook owns both applications and despite their claims that WhatsApp will not compete with Facebook Messenger we already see this happening.

    Some users prefer only one of them while others use them both but which ones is better? Which one do you prefer?

    WhatsApp – Keeping It Simple

    WhatsApp offers some basic functionality with minimal customization settings. Here are its main features:

    1. Supports one-on-one text messaging
    2. Does not have a complicated signup process
    3. Supports group chat with up to 100 people in the same group
    4. Offers file transfer functionality which includes almost any type of file
    5. Allows users to hide their online presence or block contacts
    6. Supports voice messaging by recording an audio segment directly within the app.

    Facebook Messenger – The Bigger Brother

    The mobile messaging app offered by Facebook seems a bit more polished on the outside. Here is what to expect from it:

    1. Supports one-on-one text messaging
    2. Requires its users to have a Facebook account
    3. Supports group chat with multiple people and all of them need to be present as friends of the person who needs to invite them to the group
    4. Supports only photo sharing
    5. Allows users to send video and audio messages with the aid of the phone’s camera and mic
    6. Allows voice calls

    Which One Is Better?

    It is a bit debatable in terms of which one is better. The apps do the same thing for most part but essentially they are different. While most people have both of them and use them the same activity there are clear reasons on why to choose one over the other.

    Facebook has a few limitations when compared with WhatsApp. It does not support file sharing and requires its users to have an account in order to use the mobile messaging app. On the other hand Facebook Messenger allows its users to place voice calls. The only problem is the audio quality which is mediocre at best.

    WhatsApp on the other side does not support voice calls. The call button within the app is just a shortcut to the dialer. However free voice calls over the internet will be made available some time in 2015 as the developers are still working on it. Also WhatsApp supports file sharing which can be a plus.

    A more negative aspect of both apps is their feature to show the sender when the message was read. This is a bit invasive and caused some concerns regarding privacy. WhatsApp uses the blue tick feature to mark a read message while Facebook just marks it as “seen”.

    If we were to separate the two apps and decide which apps works for who then Facebook Messenger is definitely recommended to the ones that want to place some voice calls while WhatsApp works better for people that need a simple app and not mind not having a call feature. Both apps can work great and in the end it is just a matter of personal preference.

  • WhatsApp vs. Google Hangouts – Comparison of Their Features and Growing Presence

    There are plenty of messaging applications available for mobile devices, such as Google Hangouts, WhatsApp, WeChat, Viber, Line and many others.

    Here, we make a comparison of the features of Google Hangouts and WhatsApp, two of the most popular apps for connecting with contacts and friends.

    Both the applications are free and are very simple to use, so long as both the parties have the application on their phones and have a good Wi Fi connection.

    WhatsApp – Free Messaging, Sending Photos and Videos

    It is a very popular messaging application and was recently purchased by Facebook. Very soon, it will also feature voice-calling features, which will be free of cost. It is one of the message apps with the maximum number of downloads all over the world. Users have to register themselves in the app by using their mobile phone number. The application automatically synchronizes with contact list of the user and also shows the user the contacts who are also using the application. Users can send messages and also send photos and videos to these contacts for free. Though you can download the application for free and use it for a year without making any payment, you will have to make a subscription of 0.99 dollars after the first year.

    Google Hangouts – Features

    Google Hangouts was previously known as Google Talk and is present within the Gmail App itself. Google Hangouts was launched with many additional features that were not present in the Talk version. It is a free application and is very simple to use. The design is simple and navigation is easy. Google Hangouts is slightly different from WhatsApp, as it also has a video-calling feature that is presently not there in WhatsApp. It also offers features of messaging and sending photos and videos. There is also a notification feature that can be switched off or set to snooze. The feature is useful for those who do not want to be disturbed at times. However, users will need to have a Google account to use Hangouts. The contact list is also not updated automatically, as it is done in WhatsApp and you need to invite a contact for a hangout or a chat.

    However, one advantage of Google Hangouts over WhatsApp is that it is not connected to the person’s mobile phone number, so it is also possible to use the app on tablets, as there is no need for a SIM card. You cannot use WhatsApp on your tablet. Another advantage of Hangouts is that users have to accept contacts or add them to receive messages from them. This will prevent a stranger from sending you a message, unlike WhatsApp. However, you can always block a person on WhatsApp. Hangouts also comes with a version that has been optimized for the tablet, so it offers a great user experience. You can use Hangouts on the desktop as well as mobile devices, whereas WhatsApp is used only in mobile phones.

    Where WhatsApp Scores

    WhatsApp has more than 200 million users and is available for all the major platforms and operating systems. It comes with great features for group chatting, location sharing and sharing of files and so on. It is very easy to use and the best option if you have all your friends using the app as well.

    Verdict

    If you already have a Google account, it is easy for you to use Google Hangouts. It has the added advantage of offering voice calling features and group calling features. However, WhatsApp is an amazing app and is very popular, so it is most likely that most of your contacts already have the application on their devices. This makes it easy for you to contact them. It is also predicted that WhatsApp will very soon have a calling feature in it as well. At present though, it does not have a desktop application and an option for making voice or video calls, all of which are present in Google Hangouts.

  • Viber vs. WeChat vs. Skype – Changing the Way you Connect

    If you have an Android or an iOS device and want to use a VoIP for making free calls and sending free messages, there are many VoIP apps available for installation.

    Skype is a very popular app and so are Viber and WeChat. Some users prefer to install two of these apps or even all three of them, as they work in different ways and serve different purposes. However, if you want to select any one of them, it is a matter of personal preference and requirements.

    Ease of Use

    All the three apps are very user friendly and rather simple to install. In case of Skype you will need a username along with a password, as this will be your identification for the network. In case of Viber or WeChat, your mobile phone number will be used as the identifier, as these two apps were first created for the mobile platform. This is a very handy feature to use on the mobile phone. Skype was first launched for the PC and has only recently launched its mobile application. If you are more of a mobile user, it would make sense to install WeChat or Viber, whereas it would be more sensible to use Skype for your desktop messaging and voice or video calling purposes.

    Skype for Desktops

    WeChat, Viber and Skype all are supported by various platforms and operating systems, such as the iOS, Windows Phone, Android devices, BlackBerry and so on. They also have all the regular features of chatting and instant messaging. All these apps allow sending of texts, images, videos and data related to location to contacts. Skype offers excellent call quality, compared to WeChat and Viber. This is on account of HD voice used in the application. With Viber and WeChat, users can only make calls to other users who also have the application, whereas you can make calls to any landline or any mobile device using Skype, at a reasonable rate for the call. The rates for Skype are very cheap compared to traditional mobile rates or landline rates, so that makes it very useful for international calls. It is perfectly suitable as a desktop app.

    Viber Features

    Viber makes use of either Wi Fi or 3G for making video and audio calls to contacts who also have the app downloaded on their device. In addition, Viber offers customized emoticons along with stickers. Users can access the group chatting features where they can chat with groups of maximum 39 members at the same time. Viber is a free app and is more mobile when compared to Skype. Skype has not been able to drag itself very well to the mobile platform. Skype also takes up more KBs compared to Viber and WeChat, so when data consumption is considered, both Viber and WeChat are better options for mobile devices.

    WeChat Features

    WeChat offers support for making video calls and for live chatting. It also has some social features and is very popular among the young generation. Group messaging is possible up to a maximum of 40 members. The video calling function is supported through 3G and Wi Fi. It also comes with a Hold to Talk option, for recording your message and then sending it. It also comes with lovable emoticons for expressing your mood. One of the best aspects of WeChat is the social network-integrating feature. You can link your WeChat profile to your Facebook profile. It is also very easy to share files or images through WeChat. A feature called Moments is used for sharing images with contacts and also with the rest of the world. Another interesting and fun feature is the Look Around that helps users connect with people in a specific area.

  • Skype vs. Viber Messengers – Should You Use Wi-Fi or Mobile Data Packs for Better Quality Calls?

    Ever since Viber was launched back in 2010, the race to the top as the best voice calling app between Skype and Viber has never stopped.

    Before Viber came into the market, Skype was a monopoly in the industry and it had no competition.

    The arrival of Viber must be a fly in the ointment for Skype. Furthermore, the pace at which Viber is taking over the industry is alarming. Something should be causing a lot of panic in Microsoft labs, having acquired Skype in a mega deal back in 2011.

    However, this is such good news to users as they’ll have the chance to get the best of these apps from their developers as they try to work their way towards outshining each other. Among the few things that already came into action are the costs of calling using SkypeOut that was lowered by Skype in addition to making group video calls a free feature. This was good news for Skype users.

    Skype Still the Dominant Force

    Despite Viber’s recent rise in popularity, Skype is still the real deal when it comes to voice and video calling; with the latter being the most established area of the two. Viber has found a way into this market and it is making an impression in this fortress that Skype rules. What keeps these two apps apart is the quality of services they offer. Both of them offer free voice and video calls, however, the quality in each application’s voice and video calls are very different.

    Better Quality of Calls

    Sometimes people argue about what really affects the quality of calls. One aspect that must be acknowledged as a determining factor of call quality is strength of bandwidth. However, another question that arises is whether using Wi-Fi connection or mobile data pack makes all the difference. But what really affects the quality of calls?

    1. The amount of data your device consumes during calls – this is a very minor, yet very essential detail that users must note. Whether you are browsing at a Wi-Fi connection speed of 10MBPS or your device is downloading other files, making a voice or video call might be too much for this connection since the bandwidth is also occupied by other downloads.

     

    1. Another determining factor is the strength of the signal. Whether you are using data packs or Wi-Fi, the signal strength is very important in determining the quality of calls. In most cases, making quality and reliable voice calls over the internet requires a 3G or 4G data connection. This will offer you better service as opposed to making a call on 10mbps Wi-Fi connection even if the distance you are calling is great.

    One thing you should note with making voice and video calls on both Viber and Skype is that the signal strength of your mobile carrier will have some effect in the clarity of calls. In cases of weak signals, quality of calls will also be poor.

    In essence, these two are the only factors that affect the quality of calls on both Viber and Skype. In order to enjoy seamless calls even from far distances while using Wi-Fi connections, it is recommended that users terminate all other downloads as well as any other applications that might be occupying up data usage and instead direct all efforts towards making the desired voice or video call.

    On the other hand, making uninterrupted calls using data packs requires users to ensure that the signal strength of their cellular operators remains at its best during these calls.

  • Adobe Flash Player 15 Latest Version Addresses Seven Bug Fixes

    Adobe Flash Player has released a brand new version 15.0.0.152 for both Mac and Windows with a firm fix on a string of seven vulnerabilities.

    The new security fixes mean that the Flash Player will now be safer to operate and it will minimize hitches that could have otherwise resulted in errors in code execution commands.

    Special Security Bulletin

    Users of earlier versions will have to update their systems because the game is just warming up for a better user experience. Those on the target list include users of Adobe Flash Player versions 13 and Adobe Flash Player version 14 as well as Adobe Flash Player 11. Others that need change are earlier releases tailored for Linux OS, Adobe AIR runtime 14 and below, Adobe AIR SDK and Compiler 14 and earlier versions and Adobe AIR 14 and all its attendant earlier versions.

    In a special bulletin authored by Adobe’s security team titled APSB-14-21 there is a detailed description of all the security solutions that version 15 comes with.

    Memory Leakage

    Firstly, the updates sort out memory leakages that could be used to bypass memory address randomization.  A further update seals the possibility of bypassing leakages occasioned by security breach exposures that happen when the application crashes.

    The update targets errors in code execution. Users of earlier versions decried the sudden execution errors that came with the versions they were using. Developers heard them and embarked on a mission to enable users encounter less code errors and frustrations. This will boost efficiency of the Adobe Flash Player 15 and put it on the radar of reliable applications that run smoothly due to proper maintenance.

    Another vulnerability that has been addressed is the one that requires users to opt out of similar origin policies which are potential security threats.

    Updates Needed

    Macintosh users of Adobe Flash Player 14 and other earlier versions should update their systems to Adobe Flash Player 15. The earlier they do, the better it is because the latest version guarantees awesome user experience that they are missing out sticking to older versions.

    Users of Adobe Flash Player 11 and other older versions for Linux operating system should also update their Adobe to version 11 or later. There is special treatment for Google users who use its flagship search tool Chrome as they will automatically be updated to put them on par with the most current Adobe Flash Player version there is.

    Other users who cannot afford to play catch up are Android device users of Adobe AIR 14 and other earlier releases. They need to update their smartphones to at least version 15 of Adobe AIR 15.

    There are amazing beta downloads available from Adobe Systems website for free. Visit it and download.

    Reputation

    Over a period of time, Adobe Flash Player has produced cutting edge multimedia versions that cater to different user needs such as data and media services. Adobe Flash Player is a trusted market leader in this field. It has received positive reviews owing to its innovativeness and an ear for customer needs.

  • Does Skype Have the Best Video Quality Among Other Chat Services?

    When it comes to video calling, there are no other video calling services that you can rely on, besides Skype.

    Many people use this chat service for the same reason – for video chat purposes and an app that’s convenient and easy to use. Skype offers these and more – in fact, it is the most used video chat service to date. While more mobile chat apps are trying to follow the footsteps of Skype, it will take more time before you can prefer other apps over Skype.

    Skype is Older and Better

    Some people won’t agree that when something is older, it means it is better. While this statement is not applicable in some circumstances, in chat services like Skype, this is true. Because Skype is older than other mobile chat services, it has also been updated more times than the others, making it more reliable than them. Since Skype has been around much longer, it has already been tested by many users and all its flaws in the past had already been corrected, whereas newer apps are still testing out their features and it would take them more time to fix their flaws.

    Making Video Calls

    Skype is able to perform well on video calls. Whether you’re using Skype to call someone using the desktop version or when you’re video chatting using a smartphone or a tablet, Skype’s video calling performance is excellent. There is little to no lag in the video and if it does start to lag, it doesn’t affect the whole quality negatively. There may also be a little bit of audio lag and might not sync with the video at some point during the call, however, this problem does not happen often.

    Video Calls Using Cellular Data

    If you’re using cellular data to make voice or video calls, you’ll be glad to know that Skype also performs quite well on it. Of course, Wi-Fi is still the better choice for the quality to be at its best but if you’re out, using Skype to video chat is also a great option. Although the performance on Wi-Fi areas is better than cellular data, Skype will still let you experience a seamless video chat.

    Comparing to Newer Video Calling Apps

    Viber is another mobile chat service and it has recently introduced its free video calling feature to its users. Is it good that you would want to switch from Skype to Viber when it comes to video chatting with your friends? The honest answer is no. Viber’s video quality is quite poor and nothing compared to Skype’s overall quality. The video tends to lag as well so if you’re thinking about calling someone via video, you will enjoy a better experience if you use Skype.

    Availability

    One of Skype’s many advantages over other apps, aside from a better video quality, is that it is available on almost all platforms. You may install Skype on your desktop or download its mobile app versions. You may also start video chatting with your friends who are also using Skype on different devices.

  • The Sims 4 New Expansion Pack is under Development, Maxis is Hiring

    While the advertisement claims that Maxis is looking for a creative and enthusiastic designer to work on a brand new Sims title, it is a given that the new creation will most probably be an expansion pack for The Sims 4.

    The job opening has been posted on leading job portals which requires a designer to work in their Redwood office in California.

    The location is where the Sims studio is located and they have also confirmed in their brief job description that they will be assigned to work on a brand new Sims title. Further details on the exact content are not revealed, but the job role confirms that this could be an unannounced expansion pack that players can look forward to.

    Job Description

    The job description goes on to say that the designer for The Sims 4 will play the role of a technical designer who will be working with a really close-knit team. Even though, the team is quite huge, the description confirms that they operate like a small team where everyone will have knowledge on the development phase and will be working with professionals who hail from different backgrounds. The job of the designer will be to create and design user interface content for an all the new Sims title.

    The design has to be made using the internal tools so that it syncs with the game. While some claim that this could be an entirely new game, chances are really less for the company to focus on such a development at this point. They still have one more update to roll out in the month of December and a lot of promised expansion packs for the next year or so. A new expansion pack is probably the closest choice.

    Future Updates

    The Sims 4 is getting a new update next month in December when players will have two new careers to explore. The swimming pools are already out and we expect more interesting expansion packs to roll out. Before the game got officially launched, Electronic Arts sent out a survey asking players the type of updates and expansion packs they would like to see in the game.

    It looks like we might see more of it in 2015, when the job roles are fulfilled and Maxis is all set to show them off to the general gaming community. Meanwhile, you can also keep checking for great deals on the game this holiday season.

  • Minecraft Xbox One Will Get Donkeys with Title Update 18

    The title update 18 for next gen consoles is just around the corner and 4J Studios has been teasing the release for quite a while now.

    They have done their best to release the game on Xbox One and Playstation 4 consoles. Now, a bigger challenge lies ahead of them. The developers have to make sure the consoles receive all the updates that are already available on the PC platform.

    The upcoming title update promises to finally bridge the gap between the two and make sure that everything else that gets released in the future is out without any delay. It is a huge update, which is why they confirmed that Minecraft Xbox One gamers have to wait before they could finalize a release date. The most popular features to be added to the edition, includes horses, fireworks, witches, bats, redstone, among many others. Each one of them is important and will add lots of game play value to the title.

    Donkeys Confirmed

    In a newly released teaser image, the people at 4J studios confirmed that Minecraft Xbox One and Playstation 4 editions are going to receive donkeys in addition to the already confirmed horses. Both of them are domestic creatures which players can tame, breed and keep them under their control. They are extremely useful, especially when it comes to travelling through huge maps.

    Apart from this, the teaser image also confirmed the existence of ropes and hay bales which are mandatory to ensure the well-being of your donkeys. Until the player manages to tame them, ropes are really important which is used as a leash to keep the creature under control. It sounds exciting and the screenshot also reveals donkey shown in the user inventory column. While we don’t have a date yet, one just can’t stop themselves from being extremely excited about this release.

    Topping Charts

    The Minecraft Xbox One and the Playstation 4 edition have been selling really well ever since their release. It is surprising to see them selling on par with one of the biggest EA franchises, the FIFA 15 soccer game in multiple regions. The sales have already made people at 4J Studios happy. They have also won two different TIGA awards for the game for all console editions. In future, we can expect them to bring out all the content and new features, besides texture packs to the next gen consoles quickly.

  • Installing Viber for PC and Mac – Get Viber Free Download Now

    Viber has revolutionized phone and text messaging with its free application for Androids and iPhones. To enhance connectivity, developer Viber Media is now reaching out to users with free PC and Mac downloads. 

    If you have not downloaded or installed it yet, you will want to understand its benefits before you do. A few pointers on downloading, installing and using it will help as well.

    A. Benefits of Viber

    Before discussing how to download Viber, here is a look at its benefits.

    1. For a start, Viber is a cross-platform, fully compatible application. You can install it on any smartphone that uses an Android or iOS operating system. You can connect with anyone who has installed it on their phones. Now, reach out to those who have it on their desktops as well.
    2. To make it even more compatible, it connects users world-wide. You can send messages to your friends anywhere.
    3. This nifty application allows you to send photos and add text to them as well. It is definitely user-friendly.
    4. Viber helps you trace the locations of your friends via GPS (Global Positioning System). This is useful if you intend to meet them at unfamiliar places.
    5. The best benefit of Viber is that it is free. There is no more worry about costly text messaging.

    B. How to download and install Viber

    These benefits should convince you to download Viber if you have not done so yet. Note that you must have installed it on your mobile phone before you can download it on your MAC or PC.

    1. Downloading Viber on your iPhone or Android

    Scroll through the Google Play store on your Android or the iTunes store on your iPhone to find the application. Open it and select continue.

    This should take you to the application’s welcome screen. Viber will ask for access to your address book. Click “allow”.

    After selecting your country from the drop down menu, enter your mobile phone number. You will then receive a message with a Viber access code. Enter it on the set up screen.

    Lastly, enter your information or log in with Facebook.

    1. Downloading and Installing Viber for Windows PC

    If you are a Windows user, make sure that your system is compatible with Viber. It is available for Windows Vista, Windows 7 and Windows 8 systems.

    You can begin downloading Viber by following this link.

    http://download.viber.com/desktop/windows/ViberSetup.exe

    After downloading the file, click “accept and install.” Installation will take a few minutes.

    Viber will then ask if you have a working version of it on your mobile phone. Make sure that you do, and click yes.

    Then, enter your mobile phone number. Do not forget to include your country code. This will allow you to connect with your friends globally.

    Viber will then send you an activation code via email. Enter it and accept the user license agreement.

    1. Downloading and Installing Viber for Mac OSX

    If you are a MAC user, make sure that your computer uses a 10.7 or later version of OSX before downloading Viber.

    Then, follow this link to download the application.

    http://viber.com/products/mac/

    Your computer will start downloading the Viber.dmg file. After completing the download, you should see instructions to drag the application into the applications folder. Drag it into the folder and double-click on the application to run it.

    Viber will then send a prompt asking if you have it installed on your mobile phone. Again, make sure that you do, and click yes.

    Enter your mobile phone number and country code, then select continue. You should receive an activation code in the mail. Enter it, then start using the application freely.

    C. Ways to use Viber

    Using Viber for your desktop devices is as simple as using it on your smartphone. You can use it to send text messages, emoticons and stickers to your friends.

    Call them using your mobile phone, PC or MAC. You can transfer calls between your mobile phone and desktop device, as they are fully synchronized.

    A bonus of using Viber on your desktop is that it allows you to make video calls to anyone, anywhere in the world. With your Viber desktop download, you can connect with friends in more ways than you did before. 

  • In the Spotlight: The Samsung Galaxy F or Samsung Galaxy SS Prime

    Samsung is a leading phone company that constantly releases new versions.

    Some of them are new designs and models, while others are basically upgrades of a certain model or series. Among the common selections of Samsung are the Galaxy series.

    The most recent was the Samsung Galaxy 5, but an upgrade is on the way, which is the Samsung Galaxy F, or basically the Samsung Galaxy s5 prime.

    Specifications

    The new Samsung upgrade is expected to be more advanced in terms of specs, and here are some of them;

    The Operating System and Processor

    The new Samsung runs on Android KitKat, v4.4.4. It has a Qualcomm Snapdragon 805 Chipset, with a CPU of 2.5GHz quad-core. That implies that the phone is super fast, and there could be a possibility of the OS being upgraded to the expected Android 6 release.

    Display

    The phone comes with a 5.2 inch screen display, which has a pixel resolution of 1440 x 2460. It has a metallic body, which varies from the Galaxy 5 plastic body. It is also expected to be much lighter, due to the slimmer breadth that it will have. The screen is a super AMOLED touch that has 16 million colors, and it will also be a multi touch. It has a special Corning Gorilla Glass 3 that makes it endure more when dropped down.

    Camera

    It will have a more enhanced 16MP camera, which will have an optical image stabilization that lets you capture all the precious events. The primary camera also has an autofocus, with an LED flash. It also has a secondary camera of 2MP, which has a 1080p and work at 30fps. The front camera lets you enjoy a dual video call as well. You can also record high quality videos in HDR, and you will also enjoy the dual video recording.

    Memory

    It will have an internal memory of 16 and 32GB, while it will be running on a RAM of 3GB. Other than that, you can enjoy an expandable memory of up to 128GB.

    Connectivity

    It will support both GPRS, EDGE and WLAN connection. It will have a dual band Wi-Fi Direct, and you will enjoy a browsing speed of 5.76MB per Second on 3G, and up to 50MB per Second on 4G. The Bluetooth version is also upgraded, a v4.0 connection.

    Executive Features

    Here are some of the special features expected to be on the Samsung Galaxy F;

    • Fingerprint Sensor.
    • Water Resistant, but with limited ability.
    • TV-out, which will be through the MHL 3 A/V link.
    • Air Gestures.
    • Active noise cancellation with a built-in microphone.
    • Smart Pause, where you will be able to pause your applications and videos, and resume later without any interruptions.
    • S-Voice innate language dictation and command.

    Price

    The phone will be an upgrade of the previous version, which might cost between $780 and $820. However, it is understood that the Galaxy S4 and S5 can be upgraded to the Galaxy F at about $227 and $350 respectively.

    Verdict

    The phone might not be officially out, but it is expected to be very classy at delivering top functionalities. The price might be on the high, but with the excellent specs and features, the phone is worth the bargain.