Amidst the biggest mess that the company has ever had to clean up by recalling the 2.5 million Galaxy Note 7 devices shipped all over the world, Samsung is already devising a strategy to let its customers know that their new upcoming batch of Note 7 smartphones will have a safe battery. Samsung will soon start selling the Note 7 once again, as soon as replacements for the potentially dangerous devices are ready of course. The safe new smartphones will sport a green colored battery icon in the UI, while the older phones will continue to sport the white battery icon that has been the norm for Samsung until this incident.
This news report by Cho Mu-Hyun from ZDNet has created a bit of confusion as well because many users who have already replaced their Note 7 with a new one are still seeing the old white battery icon. Therefore it is not quite clear at the moment whether the green icon will only be implemented in Korea or if it will be an international icon of safety. We will know more soon as Samsung makes an official statement.
Saikat Kar (tech-enthusiast)
If you have not heard already, a new age or epoch has begun, named as Anthropocene or the "Age of Humans." In this age, technology has reached heights considered impossible just a few years earlier and for those of us who love online gaming, there was never a better time than this. To be able to play casino games online and win real money on secure online casinos like M88 Asia is actually possible today, thanks to technology. We will now take a look at the most impactful tech trends that have changed and will continue to change online gaming for the better.
The Most Important Aspect: Security
What had kept a lot of online gamblers away from the e-casinos earlier was the insecurity of online transactions. However, the online transactions have now become way safer due to the combined efforts of the multi-billion-dollar gaming industry, banks and other financial operators worldwide.
The next step towards an even better form of security while gaming online is the use of tokens or "tokenization" which will leave zero vulnerability in the process of a financial transaction on the internet for a hacker to exploit. In other words, you won't need to enter the details of your credit or debit card to play online casino games very soon, but just a unique one-time PIN number.
It is no longer necessary to sit in front of a desktop while playing online games, because technology has now made them accessible from laptops, tablets and even right from your smartphones. You can just lie on your bed or relax on your sofa while winning real money from the app you just installed on your phone or tablet. They are available across multiple platforms like the iOS, Android and of course, Windows. Things will become even more convenient as HTML5 becomes publicly accessible and more utilized in the near future.
The Jackpot or the Winnings
There would be little incentive to play online gambling games if the prizes were not big enough. As it turns out, the jackpots are getting bigger every day as more and more people begin to join in. The potential amount that the player can win will only increase with time.
It's been a little over a month since Apple's new iOS 9 was rolled out. Just a few days later, Apple announced that its new operating system had been installed on more than 50% of active iPhones and iPads, which made it the fastest adoption rate in the company's successful history.
It's undoubtedly an exciting time, not only for Apple fans but gamers at large. Why? iOS 9 introduces a series of game-changing (pardon the pun) features and engines which, if proven as successful as tech experts predict, will have an industry-wide impact. After all, mobile gaming is a $25 billion per year industry on both iOS and Android. It's actually expected to surpass console games in terms of revenue by the end of the 2015.
Let's take a detailed look at the iOS 9 features which will make a difference in the way we play on smartphones, and explore what each one means for end users.
3D Touch: Being Under Pressure is Great
(Image Source: gamezebo.com)
3D Touch is the innovation cornerstone of Apple's iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus, as it brings brand new ways to interact with the screen. Since their popularization in the late 2000s and up to now, touchscreens have been registering a set series of gestures: tapping, swiping or pinching. 3D Touch brings new gestures into play, which Apple has named "peek" and "pop." iPhone screens now respond to actual levels of pressure instead of mere touch or finger movement. As demonstrated in the Special Event Apple this September, this technology - dubbed "the next generation of multi-touch enables you to preview an email, by pressing lightly, or make it pop up by pressing harder. Similarly, users can access different interface features and shortcuts by applying different levels of pressure.
There are, of course, many more applications to this haptic technology and gaming is perhaps the most interesting area at least according to Wired magazine, which has welcomed it as "Apple's biggest gaming innovation." These new gesture options will effectively enable game developers to make complex games more intuitive and improve on the shortcomings of mobile gaming controls in comparison to other platforms.
Among the first games to take advantage of 3D Touch was an App Store Editor's Pick, futuristic racing simulator AG Drive. While accelerating and breaking your vehicle used to require tapping and holding different points on the screen, developer company ZORG has now mapped acceleration to 3D Touch, adding new depth to the already acclaimed game.
(Image Source: badlandgame.com)
Another interesting case is multi-award winning platform puzzle BADLAND. Frogmind games recently updated the addictive side-scroller with 3D Touch-based controls which help players navigate stages, as well as new optional "force objects" available in the level editor. Warhammer 40,000: Freeblade, is the first game developed specifically for the iPhone 6s. It is based on the popular tabletop strategy game franchise of the same name. In Warhammer, pressure is mapped to zoom controls to allow players to zoom in on the action.
According to the Entertainment Software Association's annual report, casual, puzzle and card games are the most frequently played genres, reaching an impressive 77% of all games played on mobile devices. After the introduction of 3D Touch, developers within these genres have been implementing the technology in the most creative of ways to make their app stand out. While games like Zombie Tsunami have opted to feature 3D Touch merely in mini-games and menus, the potential is great - and smart, innovative use will prove catalytic in making a game more popular.
ReplayKit: Play it again, Sam.
(Image Source: youtube.com)
Although iOS 9's new ReplayKit is a tool for developers, its implementation has certainly been swift and clear to gamers. ReplayKit easily enables videogame creators to implement game recording and sharing features, so that you can share your accomplishments with friends and social networks.
It seems that Apple has wisely picked up on the latest trends in eSports and the growing popularity of game streaming services, such as Twitch.tv. More people than ever -71 million in 2014, as reported by SuperData Research - watch competitive gaming events while e-gaming revenue predicted to hit $465 million in 2017 according to research firm NewZoo. Replaying your own games and watching others' sessions for enjoyment as well as tips and tricks seems to be all the rage right now, and iOS 9 brings that functionality right to your fingertips.
Many iOS games were already touching upon this trend by providing gamers with detailed history and stats on their previous games, such as PokerStars Mobile. The popular poker app, which recently added a range of games for the casino market, dedicates a whole section of their app to a history feature, giving gamers the chance to follow their progress closely. However, the introduction of ReplayKit technology makes this process more visually appealing, by introducing video and also adds the capacity to conveniently edit and add voice-over commentary.
This feature was welcomed by gaming companies and implemented almost overnight, as a number of games have already been updated to include it. One of the first was Gang Nations, the popular combat strategy game for iPhone and Android. It now enables players to record their battles with rival gangs and share them on social networks. Many more games, such as Breakneck and Playdemic's Sims-like hit Village Life followed suit and more are still to come.
GameplayKit and Model I/O: Under the Hood
One of the three game developer-exclusive kits Apple introduced in iOS 9 is the aptly named GameplayKit. It encompasses a series of tools that handle gameplay logic - randomness, simulation, pathfinding... Similarly, Model I/O is designed to light 3D models in both game and app design. Finally, the pre-existing game-specific SpriteKit, SceneKit and Metal have been updated to developers' delight, allowing for better use of the iPhone's central and graphics processors.
(Image Source: iphonefaq .org)
If all this sounds a bit too technical, but don't worry. All you need to know is that in effect, these tools will help developers create more immersive games with more complex rules and ultimately, better gameplay and more realistic graphics than ever. Apple promises that it will bring "console-grade" games to its devices.
For a taste of Apple's SceneKit, used for powering 3D games, you can check out the free fast-paced game Marballistic, where you control a marble ball frantically jumping from platform to platform.
Game Center: Let your Friends Play
Game Center, Apple's social gaming network, has also received a handy add-on. With the advent of iOS 9, Game Center supports guest players. Device owners no longer have to worry about friends borrowing their phone to try out games and messing up their stats, high-scores and achievements. Said friends can now play as guest players - in fact, up to three players can play real-time games and up to a massive fifteen players can play turn-based games on iOS 9.
Battery life and App Thinning: Every Little Bit Helps
iOS 9 promises to deliver up to 4 hours longer battery life than before thanks to under-the-hood performance tweaks and a new feature called Low Power Mode. By automatically disabling unneeded services, Low Power Mode enables you to conserve juice so there's more there when you feel like gaming. This feature seems similar to Sony's Battery STAMINA mode and brings a much needed update to iPhone's battery life, which is promised to also last longer because of hardware optimization.
On top of that, Apple introduced a new technology named App Thinning. It allows for apps to be optimized for specific devices, so that downloaded packages don't include irrelevant files and are, as a result, less chunky. This way, devices are left with more available space, while games are faster to install and launch.
iOS 9's reviews have been stellar, especially in terms of gaming capabilities. Now it's up to the developers to utilize all that it has to offer. As gamers, all we have to do is explore their efforts and decide for ourselves.
Editor: Mo Cheng
The iPhone 8 is already one of the most anticipated phones of the year and given how much revolutionary the smartphone has been made out to be by fan made concepts, leaks and rumors, it would be safe to say that Apple's future flagship device has even surpassed the upcoming Galaxy Note 8 in terms of hype. People have a pretty good idea about the Note 8 because they have already seen the Galaxy S8+, but no one has ever seen anything like the iPhone OLED from Apple, given that the rumors are even remotely on track of course. To add to those series of rumors, we have another one for you today and it's a very interesting one to say the least.
The borderless OLED display which will presumably make its debut on an iPhone for the first time ever, poses one great problem which had earlier plagued (and still continues to plague) the S8 and S8+; there is no place left on the front to incorporate the fingerprint scanner. As the necessary technology for in-screen fingerprint scanners are not ready for mass production yet, Samsung has reportedly decided to go with an old-fashioned fingerprint scanner right at the centre of the Note 8's back. Apple on the other hand, has allegedly, shifted the fingerprint scanner to the iPhone 8's Power button! While Sony had placed the FP scanner at the side of its smartphones before, Power button integration for the security measure would indeed be a first.
Saikat Kar (tech-enthusiast)
Streaming itself is often described as the future of content, and, with the concurrent rise in virtual gaming and real-life sports, the two were inevitably going to combine at some point.
Whilst the link between real-life sport and technology is becoming ever-increasingly intertwined, so is the link between technology and gaming. The technological world is expanding at a phenomenal rate and new concepts like online casino live streaming continue being developed that take the technology of gaming we know to a different level. The Xbox Console Streaming is one such concept.
Launched at the end of 2019 by Microsoft, the Xbox Console Streaming feature is now much more widely available. It's often been likened to a cloud gaming platform but with an Xbox One as the host. Effectively, games can be streamed to a mobile device and played in another room or even on the go.
43 countries now offer the streaming feature, though you do need to be part of the Xbox Insider club to be able to launch the stream. Microsoft is, naturally, hoping that it can be available to all Xbox-supporting nations in the near future.
Gaming on the go
Whilst there are a number of mobile apps and gaming platforms like www.johnnykash.com that Android users can play, they do not exactly compare to the impressive array of games that an Xbox user has access to. With the help of Console Streaming service, gaming can be done wherever a user wants it to be done, whether in or outside the house.
Gamers not only want brilliant gameplay and machinery, they also want convenience. Well, the Xbox Console Streaming shows just how easy games can be played once the Project xCloud - Microsoft's preview of cloud-based game stream - is available.
Effectively, you won't even need an Xbox to play any of its games in the future, so that bulky piece of machinery that takes up room will no longer be an issue.
Of course, with any new technological development there are issues. First and foremost, bandwidth must be taken into consideration. The incredible draining of data makes the streaming service almost limited to WiFi. A 5GHz, almost-perfect internet connection is needed in order to just play the game without any latency, which could hinder its suitability for the ordinary household.
It is also not open to iOS just yet and there are a lot of steps required to go through before you even think about starting a game.
Despite teething problems, the Xbox Console Streaming will change gaming as the world knows it. A faster, handheld Xbox at the touch of a fingertip where convenience is a guarantee can only be taken one way. And, with a superb Android mobile in tow, no longer will Xbox gamers be confined to the restraint of just a console.
As we dive headlong into the 2020s, it's a mobile world we are living in. Our smartphones have become the go-to device for all our online activities. As far as ordering a pizza, chatting on social media or even doing our banking is concerned, that's no news to anyone. The aspect that raises an eyebrow, however, is that gaming has caught the mobile bug just as much as everything else.
As recently as a year or two ago, mobile games were seen as "gaming lite." Sure, there was a good choice of games available, many of which were free to play. But the very phrase "mobile version" brought connotations of a poor relation to the gaming experience delivered by PC or console.
With the latest generation of smartphones, however, all that has changed. Mobile is now the platform of choice for gaming, just like it is for everything else. In fact, the mobile gaming market is roughly the size of the PC and console markets put together. That growth will only accelerate as the following new technologies take full effect over the coming months.
5G eliminating latency
The clue to the major advantage of a mobile platform is in the name. It's all about the flexibility to do what you want when and where you want without being tied to a desk or even needing to be within range of a WiFi connection. Yet right now, a patchy signal can be an issue for gamers. If you're playing a mobile eSport game, the last thing you want is to suddenly disconnect. Even worse, imagine playing a real money mobile slot game and losing your data connection at a critical moment.
5G will improve bandwidth, but also reduce latency. That means any time lag between you and other players will be negligible. So if you are playing a sports game with a friend thousands of miles away, it will be as if you are sitting in the same room using controllers on a console.
Virtual reality - for real
The VR age has experienced more than a few false dawns, but 5G will also be instrumental in making VR gaming a practical reality. It seems increasingly likely that standalone VR headsets like the Oculus Rift are a red herring and the future of VR is, like everything else, entwined with our mobile handsets.
In an interview with Metro last year, VR guru Sol Rogers predicted that by 2039, use of VR will be as commonplace as use of mobile is today. If you look at the rate of progress over the past 20 years, the only question raised is whether that timeline might be a good deal shorter.
Our heads in the Cloud
Cloud-based tech has revolutionized the way we watch movies via platforms like Netflix and Amazon Prime. It doesn't take a major leap of the imagination to see that gaming is almost certain to follow a similar path - especially as we enter the 5G age.
Google Stadia might have had some teething problems, but you can say that about any emerging technology. It and Microsoft xCloud will keep each other honest, and Apple Arcade is providing similar gaming opportunities for iPhone users.
For the last week or so, Samsung has been rolling out a brand new update with the April security patch, and unknown to many, it also contains a much needed camera update.
Once you have installed the update via OTA or manually, the default front camera FOV (Fielf-of-View) changes to 68-degrees, but can easily be changed to the 80-degree wide-angle view if you want, which was the only option for the selfie-cam prior to the update. While the wide-angle lens is always going to be more useful for group selfies, the narrower angle is more suited for taking actual selfies with you as the main subject.
The update was first released in Germany, but it has now made its way into other parts of Europe such as Austria, Italy, Spain, France, Netherlands and UK. Thailand and Cambodia are also getting the same update in Asia.
In addition to the security patches of April from Google and Samsung, this package also enables users to set a timer for the night-mode to come on automatically on the Note 9. All of these were already present on the Galaxy S10, but now the Note 9 and the S9-series has them too.