Vodafone to offer free Twitter access for 90 days

Vodafone users can now enjoy unlimited Twitter access for a period of 90 days.

Vodafone to offer free Twitter access for 90 days

Vodafone to offer free Twitter access for 90 days

Vodafone has introduced a new offer under which it is offering freeTwitter access to its prepaid and postpaid users in the country. Available from July 29 to November 1, users get free access to official Twitter app for Android platform as well as Twitter’s mobile site (m.twitter.com).

It’s notable standard charges will be applicable on accessing third-party apps, content or links.

Speaking on this latest initiative to provide differentiated experience to its customers, Vivek Mathur, Chief Commercial Officer, Vodafone India said, “Vodafone India has always been at the forefront of providing innovative and user friendly mobile internet experience for its customers in India. Our partnership with Twitter and this offering is yet another step in our ongoing endeavour to make mobile internet more fun, smart, engaging and easy.”

Elaborating further on the partnership, Rishi Jaitly, the Market Director for Twitter India, said, “As a real time information network full of links, media, and content, our platform offers the mobile ecosystem novel ways to introduce their subscribers to all the Internet has to offer. We are pleased to partner with Vodafone India to offer its subscribers a unique opportunity to use Twitter to follow the people and organizations they care about. Whether it’s hearing the latest news, connecting with cricket stars in real time, or laughing at the day’s best jokes, Twitter brings Indians together and closer to our interests.”

As part of its strategy to democratize data, Vodafone has been working to educate current and potential users about how internet can add significant value to them. The company recently launched a ‘Be Smart‘ initiative to boost adoption of the 3G network in the country, and also launched discounted 3G plans.

It’s not the first time Twitter has tied up with an Indian telecom operator. The micro-blogging site recentlypartnered with Reliance Communications (RCom) for similar free access. Launched in April this year, the service was available for Reliance GSM users in the country for a period 90 days. Subscribers may connect to “Twitter Access” by visiting twitter.com or mobile.twitter.com on their Reliance GSM prepaid device.

Vivek Mathur, Chief Commercial Officer, Vodafone India along with Rishi Jaitly, India Market Director, Twitter at the press meet

The Science Behind How We Learn New Skills

Learning new skills is one of the best ways to make yourself both marketable and happy, but actually doing so isn’t as easy as it sounds. The science behind how we learn is the foundation for teaching yourself new skills. Here’s what we know about learning a new skill.

Our brains are still a bit of a mystery. We’ll likely be learning about how our brain works for years to come, but we are starting to get a better idea of how we learn new things. To that end, let’s start by talking about what happens in your brain as you take on a new skillset before moving onto some of the scientifically effective ways to learn.

How Your Brain Changes As You Learn a New Skill

The Science Behind How We Learn New Skills

Every time you learn something new, your brain changes in a pretty substantial way. In turn, this makes other parts of your life easier because the benefits of learning stretch further than just being good at something. As The New Yorker points out, learning a new skill has all kinds of unexpected benefits, including improving working memory, better verbal intelligence, and increased language skills.

Likewise, as you learn a new skill, the skill actually gets easier to do. Cornell University explains what’s going on:

Specifically, training resulted in decreased activity in brain regions involved in effortful control and attention that closely overlap with the frontoparietal control and dorsal attention networks. Increased activity was found after training, however, in the default network that is involved in self-reflective activities, including future planning or even day dreaming. Thus, skill mastery is associated with increased activity in areas not engaged in skill performance, and this shift can be detected in the large-scale networks of the brain.

Essentially, the more adept you become at a skill, the less work your brain has to do. Over time, a skill becomes automatic and you don’t need to think about what you’re doing. This is because your brain is actually strengthening itself over time as you learn that skill. Scientific American breaks it all down like so:

Many different events can increase a synapse’s strength when we learn new skills. The process that we understand best is called long-term potentiation, in which repeatedly stimulating two neurons at the same time fortifies the link between them. After a strong connection is established between these neurons, stimulating the first neuron will more likely excite the second.

In addition to making existing synapses more robust, learning causes the brain to grow larger. Optical imaging allows researchers to visualize this growth in animals. For instance, when a rat learns a difficult skill, such as reaching through a hole for a pellet of food, within minutes new protrusions, called dendritic spines, grow on the synapses in its motor cortex, the region that allows animals to plan and execute movements.

The more connections between neurons are formed, the more we learn, and the more information we retain. As those connection get stronger, the less we have to think about what we’re doing, which means we can get better at other facets of a set of skills.

We’re still learning about learning. So, while we can see how learning skills affects the brain, we’re still digging into exactly why it happens and all the benefits of doing so. As the old saying goes, practice makes perfect, but how we practice is just as important as if we’re practicing.

How You Can Use This Science to Learn Faster

Knowing how your brain adapts to new skills is just part of the process. That knowledge is worthless if you don’t know how to apply it. With that in mind, let’s dig into some of the tried and true methods of learning new skills as quickly as possible. It’s all about boosting your brainpower in one way or another. Thankfully, it’s surprisingly easy.

Force Yourself to Learn Without Guides or Help

The Science Behind How We Learn New Skills

When we’re learning a new skill it’s easy to rely on YouTube, tutorials, walkthroughs, and guides to help get the process started. That’s great for those beginning days, but if we keep doing that we won’t ever actually learn because we’re not solving problems on our own.

In order to learn, we need to failScience writer Annie Murphy Paul calls this productive failure:

We’ve heard a lot lately about the benefits of experiencing and overcoming failure. One way to get these benefits is to set things up so that you’re sure to fail-by tackling a difficult problem without any instruction or assistance. Manu Kapur, a researcher at the Learning Sciences Lab at the National Institute of Education of Singapore, has reported (in the Journal of the Learning Sciences) that people who try solving math problems in this way don’t come up with the right answer-but they do generate a lot of ideas about the nature of the problems and about what potential solutions would look like, leading them to perform better on such problems in the future. Kapur calls this “productive failure,” and you can implement it in your own learning by allowing yourself to struggle with a problem for a while before seeking help or information.

Take the example of learning the guitar. You can easily hunt down the tablature for “Paint it Black” online, but that’s not going to help you learn the actual sound of each chord you’re playing. Instead, try to figure it out on your own instead of seeking out the answer. This is essentially learning by trial-and-error, which is frustrating, but works really well. The same goes any number of other skills. Sure, sometimes you need to break down and search for a solution, but you’re going to be better off if you don’t.

Spread Out Learning Over Time

The Science Behind How We Learn New Skills

When we’re picking up a new skill or learning something entirely new, it’s easy to binge-learn and obsessively work on it over time. However, that’s not always the best idea. In fact, spreading out learning, also known as distributed practice, is thought to be a better way to learn. A review of studies in Psychological Science in the Public Interest found that spreading out learning is far more effective than cramming:

Dunlosky and colleagues report that spreading out your studying over time and quizzing yourself on material before the big test are highly effective learning strategies. Both techniques have been shown to boost students’ performance across many different kinds of tests, and their effectiveness has been repeatedly demonstrated for students of all ages.

“”I was shocked that some strategies that students use a lot – such as rereading and highlighting – seem to provide minimal benefits to their learning and performance. By just replacing rereading with delayed retrieval practice, students would benefit,”” says Dunlosky.

Distributed practice is an old technique, but it actually works really well for the busy lives most of us lead. Instead of sitting down for hours on end to learn a skill, distributed practice is all about shorter, smaller sessions where you’re stimulating the link between the neurons more often throughout time. So, instead of trying to learn a skill by taking an hour long class every night, give yourself a lot of time overall, and small chunks throughout the day. Heck, even 15 minutes a day to spend on projects is enough for many of us.

Choose Your Study Time Wisely

The Science Behind How We Learn New Skills

You wouldn’t think it, but when you study or practice is just as important as how. As we’ve seen before, the body’s internal clock is tuned to work better during certain points in the day, and that goes for learning as well. According to one study published in the journal PLOS One, we learn best when we do so before sleep.

The study found that subjects who went to sleep right after learning something did significantly better in a series of memory tests. We’ve seen this before with naps, and know that sleep has a big impact on memory retention in general. Basically, when you learn a new skill before bed, you’re helping fortify the link between the neurons in your brain. This means you retain information better.

Apply Your Skills Every Day

The Science Behind How We Learn New Skills

We’re big proponents of experiential learning here at Lifehacker, and that’s because it’s often the best way to learn the types of skills we talk about here. The more you can apply what you’re learning to your every day, the more it’ll stick in your head.

The reason is simple. When you’re learning by doing, you’re implementing everything that makes our memory work. When you’re able to connect what you’re learning with a real world task, that forms the bonds in your brain, and subsequently the skills you’re learning will stick around. This is especially true with learning a foreign language, where application is the key to learning quickly.

You can do this in a number of ways. For some skills, like music, deliberate practice is a way to be more mindful of what you’re doing so you can actually improve. Deliberate practice is all about tracking what you’re learning, focusing on short learning sessions, and practicing as smart, not hard.

Just like memory, we learn best when we have context, and that applies to new skills as much as it does random facts in school. That’s why something like the transfer of learning is helpful when your learning a new skill. This means you’re applying your new skills in your day to day life in a context that matters. For example, if you’re learning about mathematics, make sure you find a way to work that into your daily life, even if it’s as simple as figuring out your gas mileage every day. It’s simple, but it’s about forming connections in your brain that actually matter to you.


Everyone prefers to learn a little differently, so unfortunately you might need to experiment with different methods as you’re taking on a new skill. The above list certainly doesn’t inlucde everything, but it’s a starting point to learning more effectively. You’re bound to hit plenty of barriers along the way, and sticking with it isn’t always easy, but the benefits are worth it: a bigger, smarter brain that can process things easily.

2015 World Cup: India and Pakistan in the same pool

MS DHONI & YUVRAJ SINGH CELEBRATING WORLD CUP WIN

MS DHONI & YUVRAJ SINGH CELEBRATING WORLD CUP WIN

Co-hosts of the 2015 Cricket World CupAustralia and New Zealand, have been drawn in the same group for the tournament, while title-holders India will face off against long-time rival Pakistan, officials said Tuesday.

The first match of the prestigious one-day tournament will be held in Christchurch, the New Zealandcity devastated by an earthquake in 2011, when the locals take on Sri Lanka on February 14.

The day-night final match will be at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on March 29.

Australia and New Zealand are grouped with England, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and two qualifiers.

Title-holders India are pooled with Pakistan, South AfricaWest IndiesZimbabwe, Ireland and one other qualifying team.

The top four sides from each pool will go through to the knockout stage.

Forty-nine matches will be played in 14 venues across the two host nations, with Australia staging 26 games at grounds in Adelaide, Brisbane, Canberra, Hobart, Melbourne, Perth and Sydney.

New Zealand will host 23 games in seven cities, including Christchurch where international cricket is set to return for the first time since the 6.3-magnitude quake which killed 185 people in 2011.

Other New Zealand cities to host games are Auckland, Dunedin, Hamilton, Napier, Nelson and Wellington.

New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum said he was encouraged by the draw.

“We’ve had recent success over both Sri Lanka and England in one-dayers, so to face them and a qualifying team in the first three matches is certainly an encouraging draw for us,” he said.

Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, who launched the tournament in Melbourne, said the contest would likely be watched by a global television audience of one billion.

“When it comes to 2015, I don’t think you’re going to be able to keep anyone away,” Rudd said.

“This is going to be a great, great world series.”

Pool A

England, Australia (co-host), Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, New Zealand (co-host), Qualifier 2 (TBD), Qualifier 3 (TBD)

Pool B

South AfricaIndiaPakistanWest IndiesZimbabwe, Qualifier 1 (Ireland), Qualifier 4 (TBD)

Matches scheduled for February and March 2015

Champions League T20 2013 – Schedule

Champions-League
Karbonn Champions League T20 2013 to be host by India and starts from september  7th 2013. The Champions League T20 schedule is prepared following the success of the IPL which allowed other teams from different similar tournaments like that of IPL to take part in this contest. Here the groups and Schedule for Karbonn Champions League 2013:
Group A: Mumbai Indians (India), Highveld Lions (South Africa), Perth Scorchers (Australia), Rajasthan Royals (India), Q1 (Qualifier)Group B: Chennai Super Kings (India), Titans (South Africa), Brisbane Heat (Australia), Trinidad & Tobago (West Indies), Q2 (Qualifier)

Qualifier: Sunrisers Hyderabad (India), Otago Volts (New Zealand), SL Domestic League Winner (Sri Lanka), Faisalabad Wolves (Pakistan)

Karbonn Champions League T20 2013 Schedule
Date
Time
Match
Details
Venue
21-Sep
20:00
1st T20
Group A : Rajasthan Royals vs Mumbai Indians
Jaipur
22-Sep
16:00
2nd T20
Group B : Brisbane Heat vs Trinidad Tobago
Ranchi
22-Sep
20:00
3rd T20
Group B : Chennai Super Kings vs Titans
Ranchi
23-Sep
16:00
4th T20
Group A : Highveld Lions vs Perth Scorchers
Ahmedabad
23-Sep
20:00
5th T20
Group A : Mumbai Indians vs TBC
Ahmedabad
24-Sep
16:00
6th T20
Group B : Titans vs Brisbane Heat
Hyderabad
24-Sep
20:00
7th T20
Group B : Trinidad and Tobago vs TBC
Hyderabad
25-Sep
16:00
8th T20
Group A : Perth Scorchers vs TBC
Jaipur
25-Sep
20:00
9th T20
Group A : Rajasthan Royals vs Highveld Lions
Jaipur
26-Sep
20:00
10th T20
Group B : Chennai Super Kings vs TBC
Ranchi
27-Sep
20:00
11th T20
Group A : Mumbai Indians vs Highveld Lions
Ahmedabad
28-Sep
16:00
12th T20
Group B : Titans vs TBC
Hyderabad
28-Sep
20:00
13th T20
Group B : Chennai Super Kings vs Brisbane Heat
Hyderabad
29-Sep
16:00
14th T20
Group A : Highveld Lions vs TBC
Jaipur
29-Sep
20:00
15th T20
Group A : Rajasthan Royals vs Perth Scorchers
Jaipur
30-Sep
16:00
16th T20
Group B : Titans vs Trinidad and Tobago
Hyderabad
30-Sep
20:00
17th T20
Group B : Brisbane Heat vs TBC
Hyderabad
1-Oct
20:00
18th T20
Group A : Rajasthan Royals vs TBC
Jaipur
2-Oct
16:00
19th T20
Group A : Perth Scorchers vs Mumbai Indians
Delhi
2-Oct
20:00
20th T20
Group B : Chennai Super Kings vs Trinidad and Tobago
Delhi
4-Oct
20:00
1st Semi Final
TBC vs TBC
Jaipur
5-Oct
20:00
2nd Semi Final
TBC vs TBC
Delhi
6-Oct
20:00
Final T20
TBC vs TBC

Foursquare launches app for Nokia Asha 501, doesn’t require GPS

Now get access to Foursquare on the Nokia Asha 501 smartphone.

Foursquare launches app for Nokia Asha 501, doesn't require GPS

Foursquare launches app for Nokia Asha 501, doesn’t require GPS

Foursquare has released a new app for the Asha OS platform that will for now, be available only on the Nokia Asha 501. The app will give the users access to all the main features of Foursquare, like the ability to check in and manage their profiles.

The new Foursquare app has been specially designed for low-end devices that do not have GPS support and can work on an internet connection. Users will be able to add friends, check out notifications, and search locations all via their data connection.

Nokia Lumia 510 users will be able to view photos from locations, check-in and keep track of your own profile. The Foursquare app will offer simple graphics that users will be able to view on the Lumia 510. You will be able to search for nearby places of interest as well as check information about the locations for e.g. if they offer free Wi-Fi.

It has a main ‘All activity’ page that highlights where you’ve checked in, and shows what your friends are up to. It will show any photographs that the users have shared using Foursquare or any recent tips that you’ve added. On the bottom bar of Foursquare users will get more options for adding friends, view Notifications and Settings. Users can simply scroll down and tap ‘add friends’ and once added can check-ins on the All activity page.

The Foursquare app for Nokia 510 will make it easier for users to stay in touch with friends. The application is expected to arrive soon on other Asha devices.

Source: Nokia

Chennai Express: Escape from Rameshwaram game launched for Android and Java

Disney UTV‘s digital arm has launched a new game called Chennai Express: Escape from Rameshwaram for Android and Java devices.

Chennai Express: Escape from Rameshwaram game launched for Android and Java

Chennai Express: Escape from Rameshwaram game launched for Android and Java

‘Chennai Express’ Shahrukh Khan’s forthcoming movie has come to your mobile phones in the form of a game. The game has been launched for Android and Java users for now and an iOS version is also expected soon.

‘Chennai Express: Escape from Rameshwaram’ game belongs to the running genre and looks similar to games like Temple Run andSubway Surfers among others. Users will be able to take control of Rahul (SRK in Chennai Express) while he runs and tries to escape Rameshwaram.

On the way you will have to fight goons and run past a variety of obstacles ranging from trucks, buses, autos, coconut carts, man-holes and much more. Users can also unlock a special lungi-clad Tamilian game avatar of Deepika Padukone avatar by collecting more than 10,000 coins in one game session. You will also get special power ups and upgrades in future updates of the game.

Sameer Ganapathy, COO – Digital, Disney UTV, said, ‘Gaming is amongst the highest consumed forms of entertainment on mobile phones today. What better way to reach out to the ever growing mobile phone audience than to give them the opportunity to play as Shah Rukh Khan themselves!’

Shahrukh Khan said in a statement, ‘The Chennai Express game captures the theme, the graphics and the mood of the movie brilliantly.’

Users can download the Chennai Express: Escape from Rameswaram game for Android and Java. A new version of the game for iOS is also expected at the time of movie release. Chennai Express will be released in theaters on August 9th, 2013.

Source: TOI

1080p HD quad-core Android smartphones under Rs. 20,000 in India (July 2013)

1080p HD quad-core Android smartphones under Rs. 20,000 in India (July 2013)

1080p HD quad-core Android smartphones under Rs. 20,000 in India (July 2013)

When the Micromax A116 Canvas HD was launched it was the dawn of the era where smartphones under Rs. 15,999 were given the ability to house a 720p display and showcase a quad-core processor.

We have seen a plethora of homogenous quad-core smartphoneshit stores in this realm in the past year and they have all tried to distinguish themselves on grounds of features since the hardware was nearly identical.

Now, we have started receiving information that budget smartphones are going to launch that boast of a quad-core processor and a full HD display.

This does sound like a dream come true and some of the devices on the horizon are listed in the table below.

From the table below it is clear that all these smartphones will be priced above the Rs. 15,000 price point making them a bit expensive for those on a budget. The only device whose specifications haven’t been officially revealed is the Karbonn Titanium S6. Apart from the S6, all the other smartphones will run on the MediaTek MT6589T chipset. The iberry Auxus Nuclea N1 and the Lemon A4 offer users a whopping 16GB built-in storage straight out of the box where as the Spice Mi-525 Pinnacle FHD offers 8GB and the WickedLeak Wammy Passion Z+ a mere 4GB.

Models
iberry Auxus Nuclea N1
WickedLeak Wammy Passion Z+
Karbonn Titanium S6
Spice Mi-525 Pinnacle FHD
Lemon A4
OS
Android 4.2
Android 4.2
Android 4.2
Android 4.2
Android 4.2
5-inch
5-inch
5-inch
5-inch
Display Type
IPS LCD
IPS LCD
NA
IPS LCD
IPS LCD
Display Resolution
1920×1080
1920×1080
1920×1080
1920×1080
1920×1080
Built-in storage
16 4GB
4GB
NA
8GB
16GB
Expandable storage
up to 32 64GB via a microSD card
up to 64GB via a microSD card
NA
up to 32GB via a microSD card
up to 64GB via a microSD card
Processor
1.5GHz quad-core
1.5GHz quad-core
Quad-core (Qualcomm chipset)
1.5GHz quad-core
1.2GHz quad-core
RAM
1GB
1GB
NA
1GB
1GB
Rear Camera
13MP
13MP
NA
8MP
13.1MP
Front Camera
8MP
2MP
NA
2MP
5MP
Dual-SIM
Yes
Yes
NA
Yes
Yes
Battery
2800mAh
2500mAh
NA
2100mAh
1850mAh
Price
Rs. 18,000
Rs. 15,990
Rs. 19,000 approx
Rs. 16,990
Rs. 17,999

Now, there are a few concerns that we have with these 1080p budget smartphones. To start with, the RAM on these devices is just 1GB. This seemed to get the job done on the 720p display smartphones but rendering nearly twice the number of pixels on a 5-inch display will require more memory. Hence we feel that 2GB of RAM would have been ideal to have a seamless experience on these smartphones. When you will run apps, especially games, on the smartphones, the rendering will require quite a bit of memory. We would like to test some of these smartphones to put our claim to the test.

Put it another way, a quad-core processor, 1GB of RAM and a 1080p display, all require quite a bit of juice. Here we think that the smartphones should have a minimum of 2500mAh battery to sustain a respectable amount of battery life. From the table above, only the iberry Auxus Nuclea N1 and the WickedLeak Wammy Passion Z+ fulfill this requirement. The Spice Mi-525 Pinnacle FHD and the Lemon A4 may not have the juice required to run through a day of average use. Battery life is a persisting problem in smartphones today and it will continue, but we hope these devices have the ability to run through one day of average use at least.

Top 10 New Free Android Games

We dug deep in the Google Play Store to bring you new action, arcade, and strategy games for Android. Hope you discover some cool new free games!

1.Eden to Green

top new android games eden to green

Eden to Green is a casual-strategy game developed by Zynga. Aliens have come and destroyed all of the natural resources of Eden, and there are only small plants and trees left. Eden can only survive if it has Europhia, the natural energy. Players will need to create an army of plants and fight against the alien machines to restore Eden. Choose between Expansion, Offensive, and Defensive plants to execute your counter-attack against the machines in over 70 different maps. Eden to Green is an addictive and fast-paced filled with over 40 plants and trees. You can download Eden to Garden from the Google Play Store here.

2. Pocket League Story 2

top new android games pocket league story 2

Pocket League Story 2 is the sequel to Pocket League Story by Kairosoft Co, Ltd, the developers of the ever popular Game Dev Story.In this game, players will scout out promising coaches and players, and will build the perfect dream team, to lead to international soccer stardom. A multiplayer mode in beta testing allows users to go head-to-head with players from around the world. Challenge friends and try to earn some extra bonus points. Build a fan base, and connect with corporate sponsors. Take on some of the best teams in the world and play in rain, snow, and more. You can download Pocket League Story 2 from the Google Play Store here.

3. Fishing Game

top new android games fishing games

Fishing Game is a sports game developed by Super Entertaining. Play as a small fish alone in the ocean, and help him survive through the dangerous waters. Be sure to avoid enemies, otherwise you will get eaten! Simply tap the screen and move your fingers around and eat as much small fish as you can to grow. You can download Fishing Game from the Google Play Store here.

4. Retroid

top new android games retroid

Retroid is a new arkanoid arcade game by Tauriss. Players will need to test their skills to see if they can break all the bricks in over 15 levels per episode. The gameplay is retro style, the graphics are fun, and the music so groovy! Retroid is by far one of the best brick breaker games for Android. You can download Retroid from the Google Play Store here.

5. Rivals at War: 2084

top new android games rivals at war: 2084

Rivals at War: 2084 is an action game developed by HotHead Games. Humanity discovered alien technology, and now the universe is opening up, giving more space between the planets. Forces around the solar system now need to battle for supremacy. Players must rise and become a leader to fight against invaders. Recruit commanders and soldiers and plot conquest of the galaxy across 75 different planets. Each planet offers a different mission and reward. Complete a mission, and you will unlock the next. Challenge your Facebook friends and go to war. You can download Rivals at War: 2084 from the Google Play Store here.

6. Empire Four Kingdoms

top new android games empire four kingdoms

Empire: Four Kingdoms is a new strategy game developed by Goodgame Studios.
Players will construct fortresses, fight enemies, and establish a flourishing economy. Equip troops with numerous weapons, upgrade your castle and make it invincible, and gather resources and boost your economy. Go on exciting adventures and increase your wealth and fame. Explore four different kingdoms and compete with thousands of other players. You can download Empire: Four Kingdoms from the Google Play Store here.

7. Busy Beaver

top new android games busy beaver

Busy Beaver is a tetris-style arcade game developed by Pawel Aleksander Fedorynski. Players will need to collect as many pieces as they can to earn points. Gain superpowers by collecting flour identical pieces in a row. The game play is fast-paced, so try not to let blocks fall on your head! Have fun competing with your friends and make your way to the top of the leaderboards. You can download Busy Beaver from the Google Play Store here.

8. Kavinksy

top new android games kavinsky

Kavinsky, album producer of ‘Outrun,’ has released the first video game ever based on a music record. Defeat villains and shady night creatures as you wander down the main streets of Downtown L.A. Use your best martial arts movies, and deadly weapons, all while listening to the soundtrack. Players also get to drive Kavinsky’s car and speed to outrun opponents. Bonus levels can be played with the camera on your device and augmented reality technology. The gameplay is engaging, and the artwork is incredible. You can download Kavinsky from the Google Play Store here.

9. Skater California

top new android games skater california

Skater California is a new skating game from Skater Skate. Players can choose from 6 different characters, and skate their way through 100 challenging levels. Test your skills and have fun riding hills, railings, ramps, and jumps, while listening to hip-hop music. Collect trophies and coins to unlock new levels. Bonuses include new decks, trucks, and wheels. You can download Skater California from the Google Play Store here.

10. Space Hero

top new android games space hero

Space Hero is the latest game from FT Games. Jump from planet to planet, and defeat evil monsters along the way. Use power-ups to take your score into the next dimension. Kill as many evil monsters as you can, and make your way to the leaderboards. If you run out of energy, the game will be over, so move fast! Space Hero is fun and extremely addicting. You can download Space Hero from the Google Play Store here.

Hands On With Google Chromecast

Google announced Google Chromecast on Wednesday, a new pint-sized $35 device streams content to your television from your computer, Android and even iOS device.

Google  Chromecast

Google Chromecast

The box dubs it “the easiest way to watch online video on your TV.” During its press conference, Google demonstrated a wireless device that not only connects to your television while hiding behind it, but also is exceptionally easy to operate.

After Wednesday’s event, I tried out Chromecast and found that it’s just as easy to use as it appears.

Cast Away

Much like Airplay on Apple devices, sending content to your television is as simple as tapping the Cast button on the screen. That sends content from the app to your television, where it begins playing.

I fired up Netflix on a Nexus 7 and began an episode of House of Cards on a nearby TV without direction from the Google’s friendly demo staff. Once the episode started, I was able to stop it using another device — a Nexus 4 smartphone — and then start it again on my tablet without unlocking the now dormant screen. Pretty slick.

Google is currently working on adding support for streaming from the Chrome browser as well.

Google is currently working on adding support for streaming from the Chrome browser as well. I tried out the feature, which is currently in beta; it doesn’t work nearly as well as the Netflix and YouTube integrations. The feature uses WebRTC, a new standard for browser-to-browser communication, and essentially engages your TV in a video chat with your Chrome browser.

In its current form, scrolling lags a bit and video is choppy — both issues you might face when video chatting with friends. The issues were likely intensified by the poor data connection at the demo event space.

After casting content, it streams to the Chromecast dongle from the cloud, not your device. So you can use your tablet freely while a movie plays without fear of stopping the movie.

Queue It Up

If you’re settling in for a movie night, Chromecast supports a video queue to line up a playlist for the evening. Similar to Google’s ill-fated media streamer Nexus Q for music, the device allows your friends and family to add their own contributions to the queue, creating the ultimate playlist.

Once a video is playing onscreen, you can add to the queue by tapping the Cast button and select “add to TV queue” — again, an exceptionally simple process. Once one video in the queue is completed, the next one automatically begins.

The steps were so simple that I’d be confident leaving it to a child or elderly grandparent (without fear of receiving the familiar “the TV isn’t working!” call). It only takes the press of a button.

Limited Selection

For now, Chromecast’s biggest downfall is the amount of content. The options you can stream to your TV with Chromecast are fairly limited. For an app to work with Chromecast, developers must first build in the functionality; since the device was just released this morning, many of your favorite apps aren’t there yet.

For now, streaming is restricted to Netflix, YouTube, Google Play and Chrome (in beta). Those services certainly provide a decent selection of content — during its press conference,

Google mentioned that almost 50% of content streamed from the web comes from YouTube or Netflix

Google mentioned that almost 50% of content streamed from the web comes from YouTube or Netflix — but it’s still not everything. I also suspect we’re not going to see support for iPhoto or movies from your iPhone anytime soon.

Google sent us home with a review unit of the Chromecast, so we’ll have a more in-depth look at the device, including setup, in the coming days.

What do you think of Google’s Chromecast? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.

How to Jailbreak, Root your smartphone

Always wanted to jailbreak/root your iPhone or your Android, Windows Phone handsets? We show you the safest ways to do that.

How to Jailbreak, Root your smartphone

How to Jailbreak, Root your smartphone

There is no denying the fact that we’re seeing explosive growth in smartphones both in terms of features and specifications. As clichéd as it may sound, it’s the absolute truth. Hell, we even have a satellite powered by an Android smartphone (Google Nexus One) orbiting around the earth which, in fact, was launched by our very own ISRO. The crux of the matter is that we have a lot of computing power in our palms but it goes largely untapped due to the restrictions placed by the device manufacturers, carriers and the stock versions of the operating systems.

The methods discussed in the following pages will not only help you extract the maximum performance and unlock advance features on your latest smartphone but also provide a fresh breath of air to older devices making them more usable. In this story, we’ll cover all the dominant mobile platforms in the market, detailing how to jailbreak/root the devices. The hacks mentioned here will allow you to sideload, i.e. install third-party apps on your device, install a custom/modified ROM on the device and give you a super-user access to the system which will enable you to tweak the innards of the device.

With great power, comes great responsibility

[DISCLAIMER]
The tools and techniques discussed here provide you with high privileges which allows you to alter low level settings and data on a device. If not handled properly such changes may result in unexpected and undesired behaviour which in turn may lead to damaging your device. 9dot9 Media Limited, Digit and Think Digit are not responsible for any damage to your phone resulting from your actions based on this guide.

This article is accompanied with the customary disclaimer. What we’ll do here is risky and if not done carefully then there are chances that you’ll brick your phone. Jailbreaking/rooting your phone is not illegal as long as it is limited to non-copyright infringement purposes, but jail-breaking/rooting your phone willvoid your device’s manufacturer warranty so proceed with extreme caution.

Before trying out any method mentioned in this pages make sure that you create a full backup of your phone backup using the method(s) mentioned for each OS. Please make sure is that you follow all the instructions provided here or the guides to which links are provided for a particular model or device to the tee. Not doing so can lead to extremely dire consequences.

ANDROID

Android is much more relaxed as compared to other platforms when it comes to allowing the user to install third-party apps which is perhaps the main reason for rooting/jailbreaking other mobile platforms. Rooting is the first step in extending the functionality that your phone has to offer – wireless tethering for older phones, custom ROMs, CPU overclocking and so on. Rooting in Android is very much akin to running a program as an administrator in Windows or running a program with the sudo command in *nix systems.

Backup

All your contacts, mail, calendar and other Google account specific data will be already in sync with Google’s servers, so you need not worry about that. As far as the system data, apps and app data is concerned there are two ways to go about taking a backup – one of them is using Titanium Backup and the other is using ADB (Android Debug Bridge). The problem with the first method is that, you need your phone to be rooted to use Titanium Backup as it requires root permissions, and brings into existence the classic chicken and egg problem. Titanium Backup is useful once you’ve rooted your phone and you plan on installing a custom ROM. You’d want to make sure that all your installed applications, settings and the original firmware are available to you in case you run into any problems. Another advise here is to go for a Nandroid backup provided by the Clockwork Recovery Mod or your own custom ROM which saves an entire image of the device to the disk for future use.

For Android 4.0 and upwards you can use the ADB backup. Just download HoloBackup, a GUI wrapper for conducting the backup, from its homepage. Once you get the app running , hit “Backup all without system apps” and you’re set. One problem here is that this functionality doesn’t exist for Android 2.3 or lower, your best bet would be use an application like MyBackup Pro to backup your other data and use Astro file manager to copy your application APKs to a safe location.

Rooting

The complication for Android is that there are a large variety of phones available in the market today. Now, while some methods do work for a very large cross section of handsets, there is no universal one-size-fits-all rooting solution for every phone out there. We’ll start with the one tool that is able to root a lot of models, especially the older ones – SuperOneClick. The catch is that it may or may not work for your phone, so you’ll have to dig in a bit deeper especially for older phones as they have their own little quirks.

Download SuperOneClick from its download site and extract the downloaded zip file. On your phone make sure that USB Debugging is enabled under the settings and then connect the phone to your PC. The next step is very important, make sure your SD card is not mounted before proceeding. Once your phone is detected by SuperOneClick click on “Root” to begin the rooting process and wait for it to complete. That’s it! once the process completes your phone will be rooted and then you can proceed to the post-rooting section of the guide. In case you face any problem, search the SuperOneClick support thread on XDA Developers for people having same problems as you.

This app is known not to work with the following phone. You can use unrevoked.com instead to circumvent the NAND lock used by these phone.

Sprint EVO 4G (HTC Supersonic)
Droid Incredible (HTC Incredible)
HTC Desire GSM
HTC Desire CDMA (HTC BravoC)
HTC Aria
Droid Eris (HTC DesireC)
HTC Wildfire (HTC Buzz)


SuperOneClick in action

One thing to take note of here is that this may not be the only method which roots your phone there may be multiple methods out there to root your phone. You’ll have to find the one that suits you the best. For example, all phones from HTC released in and after 2011 are allowed to unlock their bootloader by HTC itself, the only step you need to perform after this is to flash a custom ROM to your device to get the root access. Now other methods may exist which may do this for your phone in one click, it’s entirely up to your discretion to select the method that you’re comfortable with.

Some of the latest phones have different exploits and one-click root tools specifically made for them. We’ve listed the phone along with the link to the guide in the table below.

Phone
Link
Samsung Galaxy Note
HTC One S
HTC One X
Sony Xperia S
LG Optimus 4X HD
Samsung Galaxy Note 2
Google/LG Nexus 4
Samsung Galaxy SIII
Samsung Galaxy SII
HTC Desire

You’ll find that nearly all links point to XDA Forums. It is infact the Mecca of smartphone hacking, rooting and development. Nearly all the developers congregate and collaborate, thus making this rooting toolkits and apps possible. Whenever in doubt just head over to XDA Developers forums, you’ll find that someone usually has had the exactly the same problem as you, as in all probabilities you’ll find an excellent solution there.

Post Rooting

Once you’ve rooted your phone, it’ll open up a host of hidden features on your phone. For starters, you’ll be able to flash custom ROMs on your phone like ParanoidAndroid, LiquidSmooth, Android Open Kang Project, Cyanogenmod 10, Xylon to name a few. You’ll find a host of threads online which deal with installing/flashing these ROMs on your phone after rooting. You’ll also be able to install applications  which need root access like Titanium Explorer, ES File Explorer, ROM Manager, CPU Master for overclocking and so on. There is this excellent thread at StackExchange which details what are the possibilities after rooting your phone.


Paranoid Android running on the Nexus 4.


CyanogenMod 10.1 which provides a customized Jelly Bean experience.

iOS

Hacking your iOS device on the other hand, is called, jailbreaking. In an ecosystem which is under tight control by the iron-fists of the Cupertino-based giant, jailbreaking allows the user to install a modified operating system by unlocking the bootloader, sideloading third party apps apart from the app store and provide root permissions to the user.

Backup

Backing up your iPhone is quite straightforward. You could either have your phone synced with iCloud or just manually create a backup from iTunes by right-click on your phone icon and clicking on backup, an advantage of doing it this way is that you can restore it much faster. If you’re upgrading from a jailbroken phone, make sure that you backup your Cydia apps separately so they can be easily restored after you’ve upgraded+jailbroken your phone.

You can backup your Cydia apps by downloading OpenBackup from Cydia’s official repositories. The app is quite easy to operate, just open the app and hit the Backup button, this backs up your Cydia data to either iCloud or iTunes. You also get a local copy if you want to manually save the backup file to your computer hard drive. You’ll find the backup file at private/var/mobile/Library/Preferences/OpenBackupFiles, you can use iFunBox to copy the files to your hardrive.


OpenBackup to back up your Cydia apps

Rooting

As opposed to Android there are not a lot of methods available for cracking your iPhone (in fact this works for any iDevice, but we’ll be limiting our discussion to the iPhones here), in fact there are a very limited set of methods available for you to jailbreak your iPhone. The table below details the various methods available for the different versions of the phone at different operating system versions.

Firmware Version
iPhone 5
iPhone 4
iPhone 4S
iPhone 3GS

6.0 – 6.1.2 **

evasi0n
evasi0n
evasi0n
evasi0n
5.1.1
absinth v2
absinth v2
absinth v2
5.1
Redsnow
Redsnow
5.0.1
Greenpois0n
Redsnow
Redsnow
4.3.4/5.0
Redsnow
Redsnow
4.3.3
Redsnow
Redsnow
4.3.2
Redsnow
Redsnow
4.3.1
Redsnow
Redsnow
4.3
4.2.7
4.2.1 – 4.2.6
Greenpois0n
Greenpois0n
4.0.1 – 4.1
Greenpois0n
Greenpois0n
4.0 – 4.0.1

* You just need to point Safari to this URL for this jailbreak to work
** This jailbreak wont work for users who’ve updated their phones to 6.1.3 which was released on 19th March

The highlighted jailbreaks are tethered jailbreaks, i.e. you need to plug in the phone at every restart so that the jailbreak can be loaded which patches the kernel in real time. This might sound quite cumbersome but it’s the only way to go about doing it for the older versions of the operating systems. If you update your phone now, you will be updated to iOS 6.1.3 and you won’t be able to downgrade to 6.1.2 or lower so if you’ve not updated your phone you’re still in luck, as you’ll still be able to use evasi0n or the respective jailbreaking tool for your version of operating system. The evad3rs team is hard at work for getting out a jailbreak for iOS 6.1.3, you can follow them on Twitter for latest updates.

Tool
Link
evasi0n
Greenpois0n/absinth
Redsnow


evasi0n in action

These jailbreak tools are incredibly easy to operate. For e.g. consider, evasi0n, just grab the latest zip file from the tool’s download page and extract the file. Make sure that you remove the lock screen password before proceeding and avoid all iTunes related tasks when evasi0n is running. In case the process freezes at any time it is safe to restart the program and reboot the device to try the process again. To jailbreak your device just run evasi0n and click on the jailbreak button and the process will begin. Your phone will restart a couple of times during the process, be patient. Eventually, the process will run it’s course and you’ll be able to tap on the exit button. The phone will restart and Voila! you’ve just jailbroken your iPhone.

Both the other apps function in a similar way, whenever in doubt visit the forums on the respective app’s pages you’re bound to get help there. Make sure that you find the exact version of your firmware and use the recommended jailbreaking tool from the table above.

Post Jailbreaking

You’ll now have an access to an amazing set of features which will let you modify the phone in some very interesting ways, the first of which being Cydia. This amazing little app will allow you download a host of 3rd party apps hosted on both Cydia’s own and other repositories. You’ll be able to personalize the menu and it’s appearance along with the background and lock screen images. Advance task switcher, mods which let you run tasks in background, folder enhancer, ssh and gcc are just some of the apps which form the tip of the iceberg. You can get quite an interesting list compiled by The Big Boss, it lists some of the apps mentioned here and many more interesting ones which can be installed once you’ve jailbroken your phone.


(left) UI overhaul using WinterBoard (right) GCC on the iPhone

WINDOWS PHONE

Rooting a Windows phone is more tricky compared to it’s cousins. Root/unlock in Windows phone comes in three flavours:

Developer Unlock

This allows you to sideload third-party apps in your phone. The number is restricted to 10 and you need to register yourself at AppHub @ $99/year to unlock your phone. There is also a student account which allows you to side load up to three apps.

Interop Unlock

A new lock was introduced with the earlier builds of WP7 Mango which required apps to have this lock for accessing device drivers and other restricted areas like the registry, root access, the file system and so on. Called the interop unlock by it’s finder Heathcliff from the XDA Developer forums, this unlock used exploits to target the vulnerabilities in some of the manufacturer specific software to unlock the phone.

Full Unlock

As of now this is only possible for first generation HTC and Samsung phones. After unlocking the bootloaders and installing custom ROMs, you need to install Full Unlock packages which patches to remove the policy checks and gives you the full access to the system. The problem here is that all apps then have the full access to your system even the bad ones.

Backup

There are two ways you can go about backing up stuff on your Windows Phone. You can either use the WP7 Easy Backup Tool or the WP7 Backup App. You can grab WP7 Easy Backup Tool from it’s download page. The process is quite straightforward and the app is laid out like a wizard to guide you through the backup process.


Use WP7 Easy Backup to save all your files on your PC hard-drive

The app is a very clever piece of software, it uses the Zune updater tool to backup your phone. This backup can be used by Zune to restore the device when you use the “Update” option under settings. This will save everything right from the application settings to your texts inside the update. One downside is that any file changes, updates or other user specific data will not persist if it was not present at the time of the backup. Checkout the apps XDA Developers thread for the download and exact deployment instructions.

Unlocking/Rooting

Different brands, different OEMs and different versions will have their own unlocking method(s). We’ve compiled a list of brands and devices which can be unlocked in the table below. One important thing to note here is that Windows Phone 8 users will not be able to unlock their phones as there are no unlocks available which allow you to root your phone.

Phone
Link
Samsung 1st Generation Phones

Samsung 2nd Generation Phones (OS Version 7740 and below)

LG
HTC 1st Generation
HTC 2nd Generation
Nokia 710 and 800

Another method possible is what is called policy unlock, once you manage to get an interop-unlock activated on your phone you can sideload WP7 Root Tools into your phone and then use the bundled exploits to attempt a full unlock of the phone. You can grab the latest copy of the WP7 Root Tools from its download page. You’ll also need the Windows Phone SDK to deploy the app file (.xap) to the phone. You’ll find the deployment program at the location C:Program Files (x86)Microsoft SDKsWindows Phonev8.0ToolsXAP Deployment. You can either use this or XAPDeployX which can be downloaded from its XDA Developers thread. Mindwell this will only work once you’ve interop-unlocked the phone or on the 1st generation Windows phones with developer unlock.

Post Unlock/Rooting

A host of brilliant applications are made available once you’ve unlocked your phone. Starting with jaxbot’s WPH Tweaks, which enables you to make a lot of much needed tweaks to the OS. Other applications include new themes, dynamic backgrounds, lock screen widgets, orientation lock, file explorer, screen capture, certificate installer and so on.


WP7 Root Tools to tweak WP performance.