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WhatsApp launches disappearing messages

Telegram and Signal were offering the disappearing messages for a long time. Facebook’s Messenger app also allows you to set delete timers on the messages in the secret chats. Now WhatsApp has also announced that it is coming into the arena. The disappearing messages are rolling out to stable version of WhatsApp from today.

Unlike Telegram and Messenger you won’t need to start a secret chat for activating disappearing messages. Once the feature is in your hand then both the parties will be able to activate it for one-to-one chats while the admins can tweak it in the groups. There is only one option to make the messages disappear after seven days, a timeframe you can not tweak.

WhatsApp is coming up with the disappearing messages as a way that the chats looks more like real-world interactions no as a Snapchat clone. The main objective is to make the conversations on WhatsApp feel as close to in-person as possible. When the disappearing messages is turned on then the new messages sent to a chat will disappear after a week which will feel your conversation lighter and more private. The recipients can take the screenshots or save the messages elsewhere.

Disappearing messages were in testing for about a year and back then the experiment was started with the options to make the messages disappear within five seconds or an hour after reading but later WhatsApp decided that a week is the most desired spot for most of the people.

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Incorrect OnePlus 8/8 Pro beta update wipes some phones by accident, but there’s a solution

OnePlus just recently released the 3rd open Beta for the 8 and 8 Pro which has brought various bug fixes for the Zen Mode and Ambient Display and also making the Canvas compatible with the newly added always-on Ambient Display. Now a new big has surfaced that selected the data of user from some people who have joined the beta program. Some of the 8 and 8 Pro owners have got the stable build of Oxygen OS instead of the Open Beta 3 which has led to loss of data.

If you see Oxygen OS 11.0.1.1 update pending in place of Open Beta but have not restarted your phone yet to install there is a workaround. You can get KeepData app that prevents you from losing your files which are available on OnePLus Forum. You need to install it, run the application and hit “KEEP DATA” button. After going through this process OnePlus still recommends you to back up the important data on another device or in the cloud before restarting to the update. It is also highly recommended to have a full backup via OnePlus Switch. If you are running the beta buildyou need to double check that it is the Open Beta which you are receiving via OTA and not stable Oxygen OS 11.0.1.1 build.

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Many Samsung Galaxy Z Fold2 features are rolling out to the original Fold in the US

Samsung released Galaxy Z Fold 2 a little while ago that has been packed with few features that make it better than the first attempt at the foldable phone. But Samsung has not forgotten about the first generation Fold just yet. It has got various Z Fold2 capabilities through a firmware update that is now starting to roll out in the US.

The Galaxy Fold will get the Z Fold’s app pair feature which lets you save different window layouts to the Edge Panel letting you restore often used combinations of apps. The update has also introduced the option to split the screen vertically providing you more layout options. Samsung DeX now allows you to connect the Fold to a Samsung TV wirelessly.

The Fold has also got some of the camera smarts from its successor. Auto framing provides you the automatic zoom on the group pictures as well as optical Capture View shows you the five most recent images that you have taken right next to your viewfinder. Dual Preview and the Rear Cam Selfie mode both utilize small outer screen for the photography. The former allows the subjects see how the photographer are framing them and the latter lets you use superior rear cameras for selfies by showing you the viewfinder on the outer screen next to camera when your phone is opened.

The Pro Video mode supports the shooting in 24fps and 21:9 aspect ratio. It has also got additional assistant functions like histogram as well as focus peaking. There is a new Single Take feature that lets you capture up to 15 seconds of the content and automatically saves best moments as the photos as well as videos.

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WhatsApp makes deleting tired memes, large files simpler with new filters

WhatsApp has provided the first fresh paintjob to its storage management interface in 3 years. With the new look there are some new filters as well as some ease of use enhancements. Users who have got the new design will now be able to go to the settings and then select the Storage and data and after that Manage storage. WhatsApp will also pop a warning card which is tappable in the Chats tab if the disk is getting full.

At the top of the screen you will get a storage meter which is followed by two new media filter bubbles which are items forwarded many times – go to meme responses begone! – and the ones larger than 5MB. Users are also allowed to preview specific pieces of the media as they can browse and order the files by size. You can then select as well as delete them in bulk. Plus as earlier you can scroll down to check on the individual chat threads as well. This new look will be available for all the users in this week.

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Google plans Apple-like crackdown for in-app purchases

Google is planning for a possible crackdown on in-app purchases for the apps distributed via the Play Store. Google is asking the developers to give the company a cut of in-app purchases but it has not enforced that rules for the big names like Netflix, Amazon and Spotify who allow for the billing and purchases in their apps separately from the required system of Google. Now according to Bloomberg the day of reckoning is very near and Google is going to update the guidelines probably next week for further clarifying the billing needs ahead of the enforcement.

Google has a very strong double standard when it comes to the developer support by giving the big names an easy time as well as a wide berth while it enforces the rules in smaller and independent developers more aggressively. Developers who are not in compliance will be given a time before the new rules are enforced strictly.

Apple has the similar rules for its App Store and it is much more aggressive about the enforcement right from the start. That is why apps like Kindle on the App Store can not allow you to purchase the books from app itself and Netflix and Spotify will not allow you to sign up directly from their iPhone apps.

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Google Keep has got a new icon

Google has recently come up with new icons for its apps which includes Gmail, Drive, Calendar, Docs and Meet. Now they have also changed Keep’s icon. This impressive notes service from Google has just picked up the new icon at the desktop site and the app will soon get the new one. That is what we are assuming.

The new icon for Google Keep has got the same color but the old outlined lightbulb has been replaced with a stylized, filled in version. The dog-eared corner has now been moved from bottom right to top right. It’s appearance may change a little bit in different locations and the site’s favicon loses the dog ear. This change is now live on the desktop version of Google Keep. The change in logo as well as the favicon is evident. They are both of different shapes both both of them has got the same color as well as the lightbulb icon. The icon is live yet in the sidebar of Gmail and has not spread the mobile app yet. But it can be assumed that it will come in the near future.

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Tor Browser for Android is now based on updated Firefox app

Tor Browser is an impressive browser that routes all the requests from your network through the encrypted Tor network that is intended to provide complete anonymity. Browsing the web with Tor used to require Orbot and Orfox apps till they were combined into the single Tor Browser last year. This browser has received significant update and switching to the codebase used by the new Firefox for Android.

Mozilla has come up with new Firefox app for Android to everyone earlier this year and the Tor Project has been working since April to switch its Android browser to the new codebase. The app is now based on Firefox 82.1.1 and uses the Tor version 0.4.4.5 to connect to the Internet. It has got various privacy extensions built-in like with the desktop browser. The stakeholders at Tor Project has said that we will continue working on closing the gap with the Tor browser for desktop. It also include implementation of the Circuit Display and New Identity features plus it also supports the Onion Location header and the short “.tor.onion” URLs among various others.

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The best cheap Chromebooks that you can buy right now

Chromebooks are coming in and out of the stock due to the spike in COVID-19 and working from home and after that due to starting of the remote schooling. If you are looking for a Chrome OS laptop you can still find some solid ones in $200-300 price range. All the models that are mentioned here are fast enough to handle few Chrome tabs as well as applications running at once.

Samsung Chromebook 4+ ($299)
The Samsung Chromebook 4+ is the most suitable deal the the Chromebook market. The laptop does not have a touch screen or 2-in-1 design but it has been equipped with an Intel Celeron N4000 processor and 4GB RAM. It has also been equipped with 15.6inch 1080p screen which is the main selling point. Samsung Chromebook 4+ will receive Chrome OS updates until June 2026.

Lenovo Chromebook Duet ($249)
If you are looking for something compact as well as portable then you need to go to Lenovo Chromebook Duet. It is a Chrome OS tablet with a detachable keyboard. When you have completed with your work you can simply take off the keyboard for easier touchscreen use. It has been equipped with MediaTek Helio P60T processor, 64GB internal storage and 4GB RAM. It is only one of the few 10-inch Chromebooks that has got full HD display. It also supports the stylus input.

HP Chromebook 14a ($220)
This laptop is pretty much similar to Samsung Chromebook 4. It has been equipped with same RAM, display, resolution, processor and storage. However it has got improved speakers compared to Samsung Chromebook. This laptop will receive Chrome OS updates till June 2026.

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Endomondo is shutting down at the end of the year

There are many apps available when it comes to tracking your fitness. Many of the apps have started to disappear or have been merged into many fitness wear companies. One of these apps is Endomondo which was once one of the leaders in the market and has been around for quite some time now. Under Armour has decided that it did not require to keep it alongside its other apps and now it is going to shutdown.

Endomondo will be shut down on 31st December, 2020 and will be removed from all the stores. The company has also said that ot will be rendered inoperative but we are still unsure whether it will stop syncing or will completely refuse to track your workouts. All the Premium memberships will also be canceled at the end of this month but the benefits will continue to apply till the end of 2020.

Under Armour are now encouraging it’s users to shift to another app MapMyRun and allowing the users to transfer their data till 31st March, 2021. You need to transfer the data manually.

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Android 11 has arrived on the Raspberry Pi

OmniROM was a very famous custom ROM in the past and it may surprise you to know that it is still under development. This project is once again in the headlines for a new port by Max Weninger which brings the software to Raspberry Pi 4.

Though Raspberry Pi uses the same ARM architecture as most Android devices, porting of Android to Pi has always been a very tricky thing to do. This is mainly due to the missing drivers. Various attempts have been made to bring Android to different Pi models over the years but the new OmniROM port appears to be one of the most impressive builds yet. It has been based on Android 11 and has been designed for Raspberry Pi 4. if you are using older models you will have to stick with other operating systems.

The ROM runs Android in the tablet mode not like an Android TV device. That is a better fit for Pi which is used as productivity and learning PC. Weninger noted a forum reply which says, I really don’t think a raspi is a well equipped device to be used for ATV when you [can get an] ATV USB stick from e.g. Xiaomi for about 40E that simply works without issues and has official Google support.”

the forum thread says that hardware-accelerated video playback is not present and Mesa support for 3D graphics is a work in progress. Android typically does not work well when the booting from slow storage like SD cards but the ROM supports running from either USB or SD.