Author: Anthony M. Smith

Smartphone gaming sometimes feels like a relentless rush forward. There are new apps being created every day, and while the odds are low for any one in particular to succeed, the good ones rise to the top pretty naturally. That means there’s always a new, exciting game to try out, or even a whole new genre starting to emerge.

In the past year or so though, we’ve started to see some bigger changes in how Android users are able to approach gaming. They’re not all changes that you’d necessarily notice when you open up the Google Play store, but they’ve all had significant impacts on the market as a whole.

The most subtle change was probably Google’s decision to change how permissions were handled for games, so as to make it easier for players to sign up for in-game transactions. The move was made as a means of catching up to Apple, which has always had more of a built-in method for gamers to pay for material within games. The Android operating system had to be altered to make it happen, but it’s now easier for users downloading mobile games from the Google Play store to enjoy all aspects of those games seamlessly.

A bigger shift in Android gaming came when Google released its Pixel smartphone last year, and the Daydream VR headset along with it. The announcement came out of nowhere, but it situated Google as the chief competitor to Samsung in the mobile-based VR business. We’ve seen Android programs working with VR headsets before through those same Samsung phones, but this maneuver by Google represented another step forward and a significant shift in gaming. VR isn’t poised to replace typical mobile gaming, but it’s going to represent a major new branch of the mobile entertainment industry.

There have also been some more game-centric shifts in Android gaming in the last year. One that stands out is the continued growth of the casino market through mobile phones. There is now a large collection of gaming apps that fall under this umbrella, where not so long ago most legitimate digital casinos existed online in browsers and on desktops. Software has been tweaked in a way that allows established casino developers to put out games specifically built for mobile phones, and Android stores are now packed with legitimate, impressive options. It’s not a genre for everybody, but it is extremely popular, so this represents a pretty big development in Android gaming.

And then there was the migration of Nintendo content to the Google Play store, after it had started exclusively with Apple. This is the most recent development, given that Super Mario Run was just made available for Android devices in March, but it’s a change that has major implications. Nintendo is one of the most popular names in gaming, and if more mobile games are to come from them it will be reassuring for countless users to know that Android can get in on the action.

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Indian films have been banned in cinemas across Pakistan as tension between the South Asian neighbors spills over into the arts.
The retaliation comes after a ban was placed by the Indian Motion Pictures Producers Association (IMPPA) on Pakistani actors and technicians from working in the Hindi-film industry, popularly known as Bollywood.
Cinema employees in Karachi were seen removing giant posters advertising Indian films over the weekend and replacing them with banners for Pakistani and Hollywood films.
“It is deeply regrettable that a film trade body, the IMPPA, has passed a resolution to ban Pakistani stars and technicians from working in India,” a statement from Pakistan’s Film Exhibitors and Distributors group said late on Friday.
FLASHBACK: After 43 years, Pakistan rethinks ban on Bollywood films
“[Following] the IMPPA decision … the majority stake holders of the [Pakistani] film industry have decided to suspend the screening of all Indian films until normalcy returns.”
Al Jazeera’s Kamal Hyder, reporting from Rawalpindi, said cinemas have already stopped showing Indian films.
“Most people here are saying, that if this is going to be a serious affair, it should not be forgotten that Pakistani television is also showing Indian movies and Indian dramas,” he said.
“There are thousands and thousands of CD shops across Pakistan, which sells Indian movies. So what they are saying is, if the government is indeed serious, then there should be more curbs on those as well.”
Simmering tension
Tension has been simmering for months between India and Pakistan but rose sharply on Thursday when India claimed it had carried out “surgical strikes” across the Line of Control, the de facto border in the divided Himalayan region of Kashmir.
The public admission of such an action against alleged “terrorist units” prompted anger in Pakistan, with both sides reporting fresh cross-border shootings but no casualties early on Saturday morning.
Celebrities on both sides of the border have now jumped into the debate.
Many Pakistani singers and film actors have been given permits to work in India’s entertainment industry in recent years in an attempt to improve contacts.
Salman Khan, the popular Indian film star, has faced criticism by Indians on social media for saying that Pakistani actors should not be equated with terrorists.
“These are artists, these are two different subjects. They’re terrorists, these are artists. What do you think? Is an artist a terrorist?”
Pakistan producers urge Bollywood ban to save the local film industry
By the same token, Adnan Sami, a British-born singer of Pakistani origin who received Indian citizenship last year, has been criticized on Twitter by Pakistanis for praising Indian forces.
Mahesh Bhatt, an Indian filmmaker, received similar treatment when he posted an image of himself calling for peace.
“Sadly, there isn’t much difference in the level of sanity on both sides,” observed Mango Baaz, a Pakistani media website, in a story comparing the online reactions across the border.
Indian films are screened in a majority of cinemas in Pakistan where filmmakers are trying revive its struggling motion picture industry.
India and Pakistan have fought three wars since they gained independence from Britain seven decades ago, two of them over Kashmir.
Following the 1965 war, Indian films were banned in Pakistan for 43 years until the ban was lifted in 2008.

 

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2016 was a promising year for Bollywood as it saw some of the biggest releases. Movies like Pink, MS Dhoni: The Untold Story walked their way to the bank. However, not all lived up to the expectations they set. Some movies were lame, some left us heartbroken, and some movies made us want to run out of the theater, like in ten minutes. Here are the films that we had solid expectations from, but they failed to make it to our “Best 2016 Bollywood Movies” list!
FitoorFitoor

When we saw the gorgeous Katrina Kaif being paired with his hotness, Aditya Roy Kapoor, in a musical love story, we couldn’t wait to see the film. But regret stood to wait for us in the aisles. The slow-pace of the story and the mediocre acting by the lead pair made us walk out of the theater with disappointment.
WazirWazir
The trailer of the film left us spellbound. Amitabh Bachchan looking intense in a wheelchair, Farhan Akhtar playing the perfect cop: the film released with a lot of promise. Though it started well initially, but soon the story totally fell apart. Disappointment!
Tere Bin Laden: Dead or AliveTere bin Laden: Dead or Alive
The first installment of this movie series, Tere Bin Laden, was a hilarious ride. We expected the same from the second. But, the not so funny one-liners made it difficult to sit through the film.
FanFan
The trailer of Fan build up a lot of expectations in the audience, but the movie turned out to be a damp squib. Although Shah Rukh Khan did a fabulous job, as the superstar and the fan, the story couldn’t match up to our expectations.
Baar Baar DekhoBaar Baar Dekkho
Everyone was excited about Baar Baar Dekho. The trailer left us spellbound as the movie revolved around time travel. We wanted to know what happens further. From Katrina Kaif’s flat stomach to Sidharth’s good looks, everything was perfect in the film except one important thing- THE PLOT. Not only did the movie leave us dissatisfied, Katrina and Sidharth’s acting was not convincing either.

 

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Google Maps for iOS is reportedly receiving an update. The 4.23.0 version for iOs 10 will now bring redesigned widgets for Nearby Transit and Travel Times. The update also comes with bug fixes and iOS 10 optimizations. It is now available on the App Store.
The Nearby Transit widget will provide information about nearby public transport while the Travel Times widget will offer users information of their estimated travel time to reach their destination. This widget will also take into consideration real-time traffic and possible obstructions along the way.
In addition, the new update also comes with a new feature that will enable users to check out descriptions of certain places. For example, if it’s a hotel, the app will provide descriptions of amenities and features of the structure. Additionally, users will be able to upload photos while they are reviewing places as well.

 

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The-iPhone-Has-a-Hidden-One-Handed-KeyboardHere’s a pretty cool story. Developer Steve Troughton-Smith recently found a hidden code for a one-handed keyboard in iOS by hacking an iOS Simulator. Troughton-Smith says the keyboard has “been there since at least iOS 8.”
You’ve probably seen a keyboard like this before. It’s designed to make typing easier for people who have small hands and own big phones. It essentially pushes the entire QWERTY keyboard over to one side of the phone, so you can reach the far buttons with your thumb.
But there’s a huge downside: You’ll never be able to use it (at least, officially). Apple has not explained why the feature has remained hidden in the iOS code, and it also has not commented on whether the keyboard will ever be made available to users. We’ve reached out to Apple and will update this post if and when we hear back.
If Stroughton-Smith is right, and the code has actually been hidden in the operating system since iOS 8, it would make a lot of sense. The release of iOS 8 was billed as the “biggest change to iOS since the introduction of the App Store” and coincided with the launch of Apple’s biggest phone ever, the iPhone 6 Plus.
Although the keyboard can’t be used on official iOS software releases, there is a workaround. Anyone that has jailbroken their iPhone cause use this tutorial from Strought-Smith to activate it.

 

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Google on Monday pushed out an update to Maps for iOS that allows you to order food, add photos, and find plus codes with just a few taps.

Simply search for a restaurant that works with area delivery services, swipe up from the bottom, and look for the “Place an order” option. A pop-up with then asks you which service you’d like to use to place an order (DoorDash, Delivery.com, Seamless, or GrubHub, for example). Availability varies by country, though 9to5Mac says the option is open in most major cities.Order food in Google Maps for iOS
Order food in Google Maps for iOSWhile this could come in handy for folks exploring new areas (who don’t want to the human interaction required when eating out), most food delivery companies already provide a similar map feature on their website or app.
Folks can also now find plus codes just by dropping a pin. Last year, Google released the Open Location Code (OLC) system, also known as plus codes—a way of representing locations that don’t have a specific street address. The same function reached Android users earlier this year.
In March, the Web giant added a ride services tab to Maps, offering Uber fare estimates and pickup times. Last month, it added to more options for folks in the US: Lyft and Gett.
Google Maps for Android, meanwhile, recently replaced its traditional direction arrow with a shining blue beam—”a flashlight guiding your travels,” product manager Raja Ayyagari said at the time.

 

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Pokemon Go Do Some Work gamers attempting to “Catch ’em all” now have lots to cheer about as a new version of Pokemon Go++ is now live and this lets gamers play Pokemon Go at the comfort of their homes without physically walking miles together. USP of Pokemon Go++, version 1.11.2 for Android and 0.41.2 for iOS, is that your Android/iPhones will have to be neither rooted nor jailbroken.
The newest version of Pokemon Go++ is available for download from, here. This exploit has been found to be working and is also found to be relatively easy to install. Check out the steps below, with respect to installing Pokemon Go++ version 0.41.2 for Apple devices running iOS 9 or above:

Norwegian PM Erna Solberg plays Pokémon Go in parliament
How to install Pokemon Go++ within iOS without jailbreaking?
Before proceeding with the actual download, IBTimes India reminds you that it will not be held responsible for any damage to the device during/after installation and if any functionality fails to perform to the expected levels. This installation process also requires sound technical knowledge, users are advised to proceed at their own risk:
Pre-requisites
PC with Microsoft Windows or Mac OS X installed
Apple iPhone/iPad running Ios 9 or above versions
Apple iTunes pre-installed
Step 1: Remove Pokemon Go from your iOS devices if you have already installed the game. Turn off location services within the device.
Step 2: Obtain Cydia Impactor to side-load IPA files onto your device. Click here to get Cydia Impactor.
Step 3: Obtain the IPA file for Pokemon Go++, by clicking here.
Step 4: Physically interface your Mac/Windows PC to the device running newer Apple iOS version.
Step 5: After Step 4, launch Cydia Impactor and place the Pokemon Go++ IPA file (downloaded in Step 3) on the Cydia Impactor screen.
Step 6: Enter your Apple ID credentials, when prompted to. After this, you will be presented with a new window with the title Apple Developer Warning Choose OK from this window.
Step 7: Launch Settings, then navigate to Settings > General > Profiles and Device Management. Then select Trust [“Your Apple ID”] choice; then tap when the popup menu appears.
Step 8: Step 7 should lead to the verification of the Pokemon Go++ within your iOS device. You should now be able to check out the AR-based game.

 

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Tim CookApple is still awaiting its breakout moment in India, and much of its potential success hinges on the country’s middle class.
“The truth is, there’s going to be a lot of people in the middle class that will really want a smartphone, and I think we can compete well for some percentage of those,” Apple CEO Tim Cook said during an earnings call on Tuesday (Oct. 25).
For now, Apple devices are still out of reach for a large chunk of India’s population. Even though the country is the world’s second-largest smartphone market—and the iPhone is extremely desirable there—its pricing remains a major deterrent. Nearly 70% of smartphone sales in India are in the under-$150 categories. Even the iPhone’s cheapest iteration—the Rs 39,000 ($493) iPhone SE— retails $158 above the average smartphone price in India. Apple also prices iPhones among the highest in India compared with other countries.

To make matters worse for Cook, cheaper Android devices are capturing the majority of the Indian market, and Apple is losing its already-loose grip. The iOS market share almost halved in the second quarter of 2016, compared to the same period a year earlier.

Even in China, which has long been a roaring success for Apple, revenues have been on a downslide this year. Beijing shuttered the company’s iBooks and iTunes movie stores and a local court ordered Apple to stop selling the iPhone 6 and 6-Plus because its design looked similar to a local phone. That pushback could be another reason Apple is looking at India as its next possible growth engine.
But unlike China’s booming middle class, the percentage of people earning between $10-$20 a day in India has increased by only 2 percentage points between 2001 and 2011, to 3%. Companies in the region don’t offer monthly mobile plans or other phone subsidies, making it difficult for Apple to penetrate the market.

A partnership announced on the earnings call could help with that. Reliance Jio, an LTE mobile network operator in India, is rolling out a “first of its kind all-IP network…with 4G coverage in 18,000 cities and 200,000 villages across the country,” Apple chief financial officer Luca Maestri said during the call. They’re also offering a free year of service to purchasers of new iPhones.
Apple has made other efforts, too. In a country where a third of all smartphone purchases are made on the internet, the company teamed up with Flipkart in September to sell its products online. And in May, Cook visited temples, met the bigwigs of Bollywood, and even watched a cricket match in an effort to curry favor. Two months later, Apple finally got permission to open its own retail locations in India in June—a request that had been turned down at least once before.
“A lot of factors are moving in the right direction,” Cook said on the call today. “There is a lot of headroom there in our mind, and so we are working very hard to realize that opportunity.”

 

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tim-cook-iphoneApple’s iPhone sales continue to decline for the third quarter in a row, and the company’s annual revenue has also fallen for the time in 15 years since 2001. Amidst the gloom, there is some positive news to share, at least where India is concerned. During the earnings call, CEO Tim Cook mentioned that iPhone sales in India went up by more than 50 percent in fiscal year ending September 2016, compared to the same period last year. “We believe we’re just beginning to scratch the surface of this large and growing market opportunity,” Cook said.
Apple sold 45.5 million iPhone units, generating revenue of $46.9 billion in the quarter. iPhone sales were up year-over-year in 33 of top 40 markets. “We’re thrilled with the customer response to iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus and Apple Watch Series 2, as well as the incredible momentum of our services business, where revenue grew 24 percent to set another all-time record,” Cook said.
“Looking ahead, we’re seeing some very exciting developments in India. Reliance Jio is rolling out a first of its kind all-IP network in India with 4G coverage in 18,000 cities and 200,000 villages across the country,” Cook added. With the launch of Apple’s new iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus in India, Reliance Jio is also offering buyers with benefits worth Rs 18,000. Buyers get one year of free service, which includes unlimited local and national outgoing calls, unlimited SMS, 20GB 4G data per month along with 40GB of Wi-Fi data on JioNet Wi-Fi data. The offer is also applicable on iPhone SE, iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus. ALSO READ: Reliance Jio offers free annual plan worth Rs 18,000 to iPhone buyers in India

Apple has also taken enterprise market initiatives where it partnered Deloitte last month. With its efforts, Apple aims to transform the way Deloitte employees work by maximizing the ease of use, security, and power of iOS platform. There are more than 5,000 strategic advisors at Deloitte focusing on transforming business functions across the enterprise. Apple is also collaborating with Deloitte’s new consulting service, Enterprise Next to help its clients across more than 20 industries to take full advantage of iOS ecosystem. ALSO READ: Apple shares fall nearly 3 percent after dipping in quarterly sales

Apple iPhones may have not done well in India and one key reason is believed to be the lack of required infrastructure. The Indian government, with its Digital India initiative, is focused on creating the infrastructure to connect billions of unconnected to the internet. And while Apple is facing the slowdown in developed markets such as China, it would be relying on India’s teeming young population. Tim Cook mentioned that it instead of looking at the per capita income in India, it is important to look at the number of people that will move into the middle class over the next decade. If we look at India’s population, more than 50 percent is under 25 – very young population. ALSO READ: Couldn’t be more excited about investments in 4G in India: Tim Cook

Cook also mentioned that the population of India is expected to exceed to that of China, sometime in the next decade. While it may take a little longer for India’s GDP to rival China’s, it is not important for Apple to succeed here. There will be a lot of people in the middle-class category looking for a good smartphone, and some percent of it will be the exact target of Apple. Apple has realized the opportunity in India and that there’s a lot of headroom to succeed. It is working very hard to seize the opportunity.

 

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It’s time to bring out the war paint for facing the festive onslaught ahead.
Start the skincare
Begin with some TLC towards your skin to prep it for the cold months ahead. Rethink your skincare as the weather is changing. Switch to oil-based scrubs, bring in the lip balm and start using a water-based moisturizer at night. Don’t give up on the sun blocks, but add a heavy face cream to your arsenal. Looking for some extra glow? Then sign up for treatments like microdermabrasion and chemical peeling, only after consulting your skin specialist, though.
Get the look
The look is classic and traditional with a bit of (toned-down) Goth thrown in. Dark lips and nails are the accents to watch out for. Stick to colours like deep maroon, brown, burgundy and black. Makeup must-haves: black felt tip liner, highlighter and under eye brightener.

In makeup, copper is the colour of the season. A nice thin and extended black or dark brown liner to enhance the eye is recommended. Red is hot for the mouth. For hair, go for put-up styles and tied hair. Hair accessories are big – use one small but eye-catching accessory.
Men point
Men too can check in for some beauty treatments before the season starts. The hair style for the season is neat, combed and wet look styles. Messy is out. Tame or trim the beards.
(With inputs from Yatan Ahluwalia, stylist; Jojo, makeup expert, hair stylist and beauty consultant; Dr. Sapna V Roshni, cosmetic surgeon, and skin specialist; Vidya Tikari, makeup expert)

 

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