Plex App for Android Will Now Let You Play Files Stored on Your Phone

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Latest Plex update will play mostly any video file on Android
  • You won’t need a third party app to play videos
  • App will fetch metadata for your media file

Popular media server Plex has just brought a major update to its app for Android. You can now open and play pretty much any video file stored on your Android device or SD card, and you no longer have to play it through a third-party player. The company says that with this update, you will no longer face the problem of opening video files stored locally.

Plex App for Android Will Now Let You Play Files Stored on Your Phone

The latest update for Android will now let you play local video files including .MP4s, .MKVs, .AVIs, .WMVs, and .WMDs, among other formats, within the app. The Plex app for Android already lets you scheduled live TV recordings, offering a DVR-like function, and with this new update, the app has a stronger case to take on apps like VLC.

The ability to open practically any video format will come in handy as users may sometimes find themselves downloading files from torrent sites that can be difficult to play on mobile. In addition to locally stored files, the latest update also lets you open files stored in third-party apps like Dropbox. You can also open video files from the Web browser, Downloads app, or a file explorer app.plex android update playback plex

Notably, the Plex app will also automatically fetch metadata for your media file. If the file is recognised, the title, artwork will show. It is able to do this by matching the videos based on the filename and other details. But sometimes there could be an error in getting the right details for the video. In that case, you can tap on the three dot icon below the video and select the ‘Unmatch’ option to hide the metadata.

Most of the playback controls will be available when playing a local file, like pausing, skipping or stopping the tracks. The update (v6.0) is rolling out to Android phones and tablets and can be downloaded via Google Play, and will come soon to the Amazon App Store.

Can Windows 10 mobile-powered Samsung S8 save the Windows phone?

Photos showing a Galaxy S8 model allegedly running Windows 10 Mobile surfaced earlier today. While everyone knew that was a fake, hardcore Windows phone enthusiasts couldn’t help but imagine how their favourite mobile platform would be if ever Samsung decided to launch their dream project.

If truth be told, a Windows version of a Samsung Galaxy S8 isn’t so far off, mostly because Microsoft is itself is selling the phone in its own stores and Samsung agreed to pre-install a series of apps like Skype, Office, and OneDrive.

 The lack of devices was not the biggest problem of Windows Phone of the ecosystem, although it surely was one major drawback.

But as far as the fate of Windows 10 Mobile is concerned, it doesn’t even matter if Samsung launches such a device or not because of a very simple reason: the lack of devices wasn’t the only problem of Microsoft’s mobile ecosystem failed and now a single device can barely make a difference.

The Samsung Galaxy S8 is by all means a masterpiece so having it running Windows 10 Mobile would clearly be an important win for Microsoft. But the win will not be a game-changing one. Even if tomorrow Microsoft launches the Galaxy S8, the sales will not be enough to save the platform.

The lack of devices was not the biggest problem of Windows Phone of the ecosystem, although it surely was one major drawback. The lack of developer support, which in turn led to the lack of apps, and also the slow pace at which Microsoft delivered updates had a big impact on Windows phones, with reduced interest from OEMs only the tip of the iceberg which was Microsoft’s problems with its mobile ecosystem.

Another important point to make here is that it is not known if the Galaxy S8 will be able to support the Windows 10 mobile platform or not. The reason being the Snapdragon 835/Exynos 8895 processor that powers it is not supported by Microsoft’s operating system.

Microsoft does support this chip but only for Windows 10 on ARM, a new emulation system that brings the full version of the operating system on ARM processors. With this project, Microsoft wants to bring new devices to the market, though there’s still no evidence that phones are also included in this plan.

In the meantime, there’s a good chance that neither Microsoft nor Samsung see a Galaxy S8 running Windows 10 Mobile as a good idea, especially with Redmond’s increased focus on Android and iOS lately.

Vine Users' Phone Numbers, Email Addresses Were Briefly Exposed, Twitter Reveals

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Twitter made its Vine Archive live earlier this year
  • Twitter turned Vine into a pared-down camera app earlier this year
  • Twitter has already informed affected users about the bug

If you might remember, Twitter converted Vine into a dedicated camera app earlier this year. Shortly after, the company made Vine Archive live to help users see all Vines available on the site since 2013. While this was a noble idea in theory, it turns out that a bug that affected the Vine Archive potentially exposed the phone numbers and email addresses associated with Vine accounts to third-parties in certain conditions.

Vine Users' Phone Numbers, Email Addresses Were Briefly Exposed, Twitter Reveals

Twitter has clarified that the bug in question affected the Vine Archive for less than 24 hours and has since been fixed. The social media company says that it has already notified all affected account holders for whom it had a verified email address on file, so if you weren’t notified, you most likely weren’t affected.

“While we have no information indicating that any user information impacted by this incident has been misused, it’s always a good idea to be cautious of emails or text messages received from unknown senders,” the company said.

 

To recall, Twitter announced in October last year that it would be discontinuing it video-sharing mobile app Vine as a cost-cutting measure. There were reports that the company was considering a sale of the service instead of discontinuation but Twitter went ahead to convert the app into Vine Camera on January 17.

In the Vine Archive, users can search for the Vines either by the year that they were uploaded or by their category. The categories mentioned on the site include Animals, Art, Comedy, Edits, Music & Dance, Sports, and Weird. Users can also choose to browse the Vines through categories Editor’s Picks, and Playlists such as “Do It For The Vine”, “Bruh”, and others. Users can also search for their favourite Vines by searching the name of their creator’s user name in the community section.

 

New 'Miracle Material' Could Make Cracked Phone Displays a Thing of the Past

We all wish our smartphone displays never crack. The wish seems to come true as a team of scientists has found a new material that is cheap, durable and can be used in several devices in future.

According to the paper published in the journal ACS Nano, manufacturers are hunting for material that can be used in place of less durable and expensive silicon compounds used in devices.

Elton Santos from Queen’s University in Ireland and his team have created new dynamic hybrid devices that are able to conduct electricity at unprecedented speeds and are light, and are durable and easy to manufacture in large-scale semiconductor plants.

The team found that by combining semiconducting molecules C60 with layered materials, such as graphene and hBN, they could produce a unique material technology, which could revolutionise the concept of smart devices.

New 'Miracle Material' Could Make Cracked Phone Displays a Thing of the Past

“Our findings show that this new ‘miracle material’ has similar physical properties to Silicon but it has improved chemical stability, lightness and flexibility, which could potentially be used in smart devices and would be much less likely to break,” Santos explained.

“The material also could mean that devices use less energy than before because of the device architecture so could have improved battery life and less electric shocks,” Santos added.

Santos’ team is now working on transition metal dichalcogenides (TMDs) that are chemically stable, have large sources for production and band gaps that rival Silicon.

E3 2017: Sony's PlayLink for PS4 Will Let You Play Games Using Your Phone

HIGHLIGHTS

  • PlayLink lets you play games on your PS4 via a smartphone
  • Titles vary from crime thrillers to quick-fire quizzes
  • PlayLink titles include That’s You!, Hidden Agenda

At the ongoing E3 2017 in Los Angeles, California, Sony announced some of its most anticipated games for PlayStation for the year including God of War, Spider-Man and Uncharted: The Lost Legacy, to name a few. Console titles aside, the company also introduced PlayLink, which allows users to play games with family and friends using their smartphones and tablets.

PlayLink is aimed at creating a fun, interactive way to play games in a social setting. Based on a video Sony released showcasing the feature, PlayLink requires a smartphone or tablet, a TV, and a PlayStation 4 console, which, when set up, lets you and your group of family or friends play interactive PlayLink titles.

E3 2017: Sony's PlayLink for PS4 Will Let You Play Games Using Your Phone

“PlayLink games turn your smartphone or tablet into a versatile controller – you can swipe, pinch, drag, tilt, rotate or even snap selfies and draw crafty doodles, depending on the game. No matter which title you choose from our PlayLink collection, it’s guaranteed to be a slick pick-up-and-play experience,” Sony said in a blog post.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cadj8hWApE8?ecver=2]

PlayLink titles range from crime thrillers to quick-fire quizzes. In one of the videos, for example, you see a group of people playing That’s You! – a quiz-based app that “challenges you and up to five friends to get personal and find out what you really think about each other.” This will be one of the first titles for PlayLink and will be available for PlayStation Plus members for free starting July 4.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rDAxfMpriAU?ecver=2]

Another video shows a crime and narrative-based game called Hidden Agenda that allows up to six people to join in. The game requires the players to make tough, quick decisions as the story progresses, which will also influence the way the game moves forward.

Sony sees PlayLink as something that can come in handy during social gatherings as well as rope in new players to video games. It also reminds one of Jackbox Games’ Party Pack multi-platform social games. Some other PlayLink titles that can be expected soon include Knowledge is Power, Frantic, and SingStar Celebration.

Wal-Mart Now Lets You Pay With Phone at All 4,600 US Stores

Wal-Mart Now Lets You Pay With Phone at All 4,600 US Stores

Wal-Mart will now let you pay with its phone app at all 4,600 stores nationwide.

The effort is part of Wal-Mart’s strategy to make shopping easier and faster, while learning more about consumer behavior.

With Wal-Mart Pay, the cashier scans a QR code on the phone screen to charge a credit, debit or Wal-Mart gift card linked with the account. It differs from Apple, Samsung and Android Pay, which involves tapping your phone next to a payment machine with a wireless technology called NFC.

In December, Wal-Mart said it would develop its own digital wallet rather than honor existing systems from Apple and others, though Wal-Mart said it isn’t ruling out third-party wallets in the future.

Retailers have been pushing their own systems in part because they retain control. Daniel Eckert, senior vice president of services at Wal-Mart US, says data from the app will be used to improve the shopping experience. One way, he said, would be to use past shopping behavior to build a personalized shopping list. The customer could then delete or add items. He said such features would be done only with a customer’s permission.

Wal-Mart joined other retailers in backing CurrentC, a system that was also based on scanning codes rather than NFC. But the beta test of the system faltered as Apple Pay became more popular. The consortium last week suspended its launch indefinitely, saying it plans to focus on other aspects of its business.

Apple Pay, in particular, has been credited with boosting interest in mobile payments, though many consumers still use traditional plastic cards because it’s not difficult to pull one out. Although the number of stores accepting NFC payments has grown, it’s still relatively low, and the stores with the right equipment still need cashiers familiar with it.

Wal-Mart says no payment information is stored on users’ phones or at registers. Rather, card information is stored on Wal-Mart servers. By contrast, Apple, Samsung and Android Pay use alternative card numbers for added security, so if hackers break into a merchant’s system, they wouldn’t be able to go on a buying spree. Wal-Mart uses regular card numbers, but it insists it keeps the information secure.

Wal-Mart Pay is built into Wal-Mart’s app, which has 20 million active users. The Bentonville, Arkansas, company finished upgrading stores in 25 states last week to complete the national rollout. Eckert said 88 percent of Walmart Pay transactions are from repeat users.