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Tuesday, 30 June 2015

What if the iPhone 7 ran Android?

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Remember last year when Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak suggested thatApple could make an Android device? Well, we've just got our first look at how that device might look. As unlikely as it is to happen, the thought is an intriguing one. So, what would it look like if the iPhone 7 ran Android?

I'm usually very skeptical of concept designs for an unreleased phone. To my thinking, anyone can slap a bezel-less design on a rectangular slab in a 3D program and call themselves a visionary. But sometimes a design comes along that really gets your gray matter churning. Such is the case with these crazy iPhone 7 concept videos from SCAVidsHD.
The crazy part is not so much the look of the iPhone 7 itself, because, hey, whatever, one concept design is as good as the next. No, the truly interesting part of this design is that the iPhone 7 is running Android. While this would never happen in real life, even with The Woz's blessing, it's an interesting thought experiment.
Just imagine for a moment what an Apple-built Android device would be. Would Apple fork Android? Would would be the fate of customization? Could Apple turn Android into another walled garden? How much freedom would the user have? Would Apple's version of Android suddenly become more stable and secure? It's fascinating to think through the possibilities, even if they are unlikely.

Springtomize 3 For iOS 8.4 Released

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The popular jailbreak tweak Springtomize 3 has just been updated with full support for iOS 8.4, and it is immediately available to download right now from the Cydia store.
Ask any seasoned jailbreaker about their list of favorite tweaks and apps from Cydia, Springtomize will more often than not make it into the list. The reason for it is simple – the amount of customization, freedom and power Springtomize 3 offers is second to none.
Springtomize 3 main
For those who still don’t know what Springtomize is all about: Springtomize jailbreak tweak allows users to alter and customize just about any part of iOS, From the Home Screen, Lock Screen, dock to Control Center, folders, status bar and much more, there’s very little that Springtomize can’t do. There are a bunch of options to choose from. In short: Springtomize 3 is the one tweak to rule them all in the customization department.
Where users previously had to download a number of tweaks to get the setup they wanted, Springtomize is now that one solution they need to tweak iOS any which way they like.
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The package has now been updated on Cydia to fully support the recently released TaiG iOS 8.4 jailbreak, ensuring that users get the latest and greatest customization options out there in the jailbreak world, regardless of the version of iOS they may be running.
If you already own Springtomize 3, you will get the update for iOS 8.4 for free. If you’re a first-time buyer, then you will have to stump out $2.99 to get the ball rolling, and trust us, you won’t regret this buy one bit.
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The tweak is available to download directly from the BigBoss repo in Cydia and currently supports all iPhones, iPads and iPod touches running iOS 8.4.

First High-Quality iPhone 6s Photos Leaked Online

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It’s hardly a secret that we are expecting Apple to announce a new iPhone for launch later this year. The new Apple smartphone, which is pretty much nailed on to be given the 6s/6s Plus naming convention, is unlikely to differ a great deal from the external aesthetics that we already have with the current-generation iPhone 6. However, if a number of high-quality leaked photos are to be believed, then it looks like Apple has made significant changes to the internal structure of the upcoming iPhone model.
A number of differing sources and industry analysts have already all but confirmed that the next-generation iPhone will ship with Force Touch tech. The Apple Watch and the latest range of MacBooks already contain this technology, so it makes perfect sense for Apple to port it to the iPhone as well. In addition to this information, 9To5Mac is reporting that a “proven source”has provided a fairly decent in-depth look at what is purported to be the internal layout of the iPhone 6s.
iPhone-6s-main.jpg
The first notable thing about the photos is that the iPhone 6s will ship with a near identical rear design akin to the current iPhone 6 model. This isn’t a surprise considering the same aesthetic transition was in place when Apple made the move from the iPhone 5 to the 5s.
In addition to showing the similarities externally, the photos also show a number of small changes internally relating to how the device’s logic board will actually be mounted. What’s also interesting about the external photos is that the plastic antenna lines are still prominent and form part of the design. We recently discussed a patent filing by Apple for a new metal alloy that would allow radio signals to be transmitted, but it seems that this process won’t be complete in time for this particular product launch.
The design at the bottom of the new iPhone appears to be exactly the same as the current-generation iPhone 6 as well. We see the same number of speaker holes on the right hand side as well as the same intricate positioning of the Lighting connector aperture and the 3.5mm headphone jack that sites to the left of the sync cable opening.
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Image credit: 9to5Mac
Aside from the integration of Force Touch and a new, more powerful processor, it remains to be seen what Apple will actually unveil on the hardware side for the next iPhone. Thankfully, we’re now well and truly in that run up where leaks start to come thick and fast. Stay tuned.

Apple Music vs Google Play Music vs Spotify UPDATE: Apple Music goes live today

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When Apple bought Beats Audio, the headphones weren’t the main event: Apple wanted Beats Music, the streaming music service. Beats is now the heart of Apple Music, Apple’s rival to Spotify and Google Play Music. How does it compare? Let’s find out in our Apple Music vs Google Music vs Spotify comparison and see if Google's curve ball of a free ad-supported streaming radio service mixes things up.

Apple Music goes live

Apple Music goes live on June 30 at 11 AM ET, alongside iOS 8.4. The first radio broadcast on Beats 1 will air an hour later at 12 PM ET. Beats 1 will be hosted by ex-BBC Radio 1 host Zane Lowe, who will kick things off in style with an interview with Eminem. Other first week interviews include Elton John and Pharrell Williams. Will you be tuned in?

Google Play Music free streaming radio goes live

Google announced its free, ad-supported streaming radio service as part of Google Play Music on June 23, one week ahead of the Apple Music launch. The service is now available in the US (on the web first and on iOS and Android by the end of June) and provides a bunch of curated radio stations.
The service makes use of the same content found in Google Play Music's paid subscription, but with the occasional ad, just like Spotify free. The only difference is you can't choose your music, you simply choose the station, just like you would on the radio. 
If Apple music decides to offer a free streaming radio service we'll be sure to update this article to compare free versions of these services.
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Hell froze over. Apple's bringing an app to Android. / © Apple
In the main part of this comparison we’re going to look at the paid-for versions of the services - mostly because we don't have three free versions yet. Spotify has a free tier that omits some key features and intersperses ads, while the free version of Google Play Music gives you access to streaming radio channels and your own uploads and purchases. Currently Apple Music only offers a paid service. Here we’re comparing the paid-for, unlimited streaming services of each company.

Apple Music vs Google Music vs Spotify: price

Three nines appear to be the magic number for streaming music: Spotify Premium is $9.99 per month, and Google Play Music All Access is also $9.99 per month. Spotify currently offers a 60-day free trial and Google currently offers 30 days. Apple Music is also $9.99, with the first three months free. 
In an interesting move, Apple has made it possible for one account subscription to cover an entire family. $14.99 covers up to six people.
applemusicforyou
Apple promises its recommendations will be better than rivals' algorithm-based recommendations. / © Apple

Apple Music vs Google Music vs Spotify: availability

Both Google Play Music and Spotify are available worldwide, and you can get them on Android, iOS, on Macs and PCs and via a web-based interface too. Both services also have offline modes so you can download tracks for listening when you're in a no-internet zone.
We heard rumors that Apple would bring Apple Music to Android, and they turned out to be true - but not just yet: so far Apple Music is for Macs, iOS devices and PCs. It's going to be available in 100 countries from July. An Android version is coming in the Fall. 
applemusicbeats1
Beats 1 is a 24/7, global, live radio station for Apple Music users. / © Apple

Apple Music vs Google Music vs Spotify: catalog and quality

Both Spotify and Google boast catalogs with more than 30 million songs, streaming at a top-quality 320Kbps. Apple's iTunes reportedly holds 30 million songs streaming at 256kbps AAC, but through the Connect part of Apple Music you'll also be able to access content that isn't in iTunes yet.
Imagine an app that combines what you can buy in the shops with the works-in-progress that artists post to SoundCloud (and to Instagram, and to Facebook, and to...) and you'll get an idea of what the Connect part of iTunes is designed to do. 
applemusichero
If it's in iTunes, or if it's headed there, you should be able to stream it. / © Apple

Apple Music vs Google Play vs Spotify: what's so special about it?

The sales pitch for Apple Music is that it's all about the people helping pick music you might like. As music business legend Jimmy Iovine yelled on stage at the Apple Music launch, "ALGORITHMS ALONE CAN'T DO THAT EMOTIONAL TASK", and in a video Trent Reznor laid out the pitch to artists: it's about a "sense of respect" for music as an art form, not just a bunch of bits being chucked down an internet tube. 
We've been here before, of course, because that's what Beats Music was all about. But Beats didn't have Apple's massive competitive advantage, which is that its app will be on millions of iPhones, iPads, Macs and PCs.
On phones, the exceptionally fast rate of new OS adoption means that most Apple customers will have access to Apple Music as soon as the iOS update appears in July. That sheer market clout could attract musicians in a way previous Apple efforts, such as its ill-fated social network for Music, Ping, didn't.

Apple Music vs Google Play vs Spotify: which one's best?

That depends on what you've got. Until the Fall, Apple music isn't relevant to Android users - but when that app drops, things are going to get interesting. Apple will have had several months to iron out any wrinkles, and it'll be clear by then whether Apple Music's Connect is something artists actually use or if it's destined for the same fate as Ping.
Right now we'd recommend Google for ease of use and Spotify for its pretty good playlists (and included ''curated'' radio stations), but come the Fall we could be singing a very different song. 
 APPLE MUSICGOOGLE PLAY AASPOTIFY PREMIUM
Price
$9.99 per month
$14.99 for up to 6 people
3 months free
$9.99 per month
1 month free
$9.99 per month
2 months free
PlatformiOS, Mac, PC
Android in Fall 2015
Android, iOS, Mac/PC, WebAndroid, iOS, Mac/PC, Web
Catalog30 million30 million30 million
Bitrate256 Kbps (AAC)320 Kbps320 Kbps
Offline accesstbcYesYes
Which paid service do you think is best? Do you think Apple with offer a free streaming service?

Amazon Takes Prime Now Outside U.S., Opens One-Hour Delivery In London

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Amazon has expanded its one-hour delivery service for Prime members to parts of central London. An update to the Prime Now app notes the services is now “available in selected London postcodes”. This is the first foray for Prime Now outside the U.S., some six months after the service first launched — which is a rather more speedy international expansion schedule than Amazon’s usual playbook.
Prime Now’s London coverage area appears to be limited to zone 1 — or parts of zone 1 — at this stage. Postcodes I tried from further afield (zone 2 and zone 3) were not yet supported; but a postcode in London’s Southwark (zone 1) returned an affirmative that Amazon can ship a selection of products there in an hour. An in-app note on coverage adds: “We’re branching out as fast as we can”. Londoners can check amazon.co.uk/primenow to see if it delivers to their postcode yet.
Amazon launched the one-hour delivery offering in Manhattan last December. It’s since expanded to cover Dallas, Baltimore and Miami. Prime Now remains limited to Prime members, as another incentive to drive sign up of Amazon’s annual membership offering, and a way for the ecommerce giant to compete with local delivery startups which are also aggressively targeting urban centers like London. Amazon is also playing in the takeaway food delivery space — so building out a one-hour delivery infrastructure paves the way for further expansion there.
Amazon says Prime Now delivery is available on “thousands” of products in London. Deliveries must have a minimum total of £20 per order, so it’s certainly not a cheap way to replenish your kitchen roll at speed. It also costs £6.99 per order for delivery in a one-hour window. Delivery within two-hours is at no additional cost between 8am and midnight. (One of the primary perks of Prime membership is of course free same-day or one-day shipping on products sold by Amazon.)
While Prime Now was billed as a speedy delivery service for “essentials” when it first launched, the categories of products that users can have couriered to them within 60 minutes is rather more expansive than a list of basic toiletries; the London Prime Now app offers 27 department categories of products to choose from — and even includes gizmos such as the Apple TV, Raspberry Pi Model B microprocessor, an HP Deskjet printer and a Daewoo microwave oven.
The majority of the product categories appear geared towards more last minute needs — such as pre-holiday and travel-related purchases, supplies needed for a party or event, or last-minute gifts for people who forgot to remember someone’s birthday.
Interestingly the service allows users to tip their delivery courier. There’s a default tip level set which users can increase or decrease. Amazon notes its U.K. business will collect the tip but says “the entire tip will go to the delivery person”. Amazon notes it has “dedicated teams of people” working out of a fulfilment center in London to deliver orders.

Amazon Takes Prime Now Outside U.S., Opens One-Hour Delivery In London

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Amazon has expanded its one-hour delivery service for Prime members to parts of central London. An update to the Prime Now app notes the services is now “available in selected London postcodes”. This is the first foray for Prime Now outside the U.S., some six months after the service first launched — which is a rather more speedy international expansion schedule than Amazon’s usual playbook.
Prime Now’s London coverage area appears to be limited to zone 1 — or parts of zone 1 — at this stage. Postcodes I tried from further afield (zone 2 and zone 3) were not yet supported; but a postcode in London’s Southwark (zone 1) returned an affirmative that Amazon can ship a selection of products there in an hour. An in-app note on coverage adds: “We’re branching out as fast as we can”. Londoners can check amazon.co.uk/primenow to see if it delivers to their postcode yet.
Amazon launched the one-hour delivery offering in Manhattan last December. It’s since expanded to cover Dallas, Baltimore and Miami. Prime Now remains limited to Prime members, as another incentive to drive sign up of Amazon’s annual membership offering, and a way for the ecommerce giant to compete with local delivery startups which are also aggressively targeting urban centers like London. Amazon is also playing in the takeaway food delivery space — so building out a one-hour delivery infrastructure paves the way for further expansion there.
Amazon says Prime Now delivery is available on “thousands” of products in London. Deliveries must have a minimum total of £20 per order, so it’s certainly not a cheap way to replenish your kitchen roll at speed. It also costs £6.99 per order for delivery in a one-hour window. Delivery within two-hours is at no additional cost between 8am and midnight. (One of the primary perks of Prime membership is of course free same-day or one-day shipping on products sold by Amazon.)
While Prime Now was billed as a speedy delivery service for “essentials” when it first launched, the categories of products that users can have couriered to them within 60 minutes is rather more expansive than a list of basic toiletries; the London Prime Now app offers 27 department categories of products to choose from — and even includes gizmos such as the Apple TV, Raspberry Pi Model B microprocessor, an HP Deskjet printer and a Daewoo microwave oven.
The majority of the product categories appear geared towards more last minute needs — such as pre-holiday and travel-related purchases, supplies needed for a party or event, or last-minute gifts for people who forgot to remember someone’s birthday.
Interestingly the service allows users to tip their delivery courier. There’s a default tip level set which users can increase or decrease. Amazon notes its U.K. business will collect the tip but says “the entire tip will go to the delivery person”. Amazon notes it has “dedicated teams of people” working out of a fulfilment center in London to deliver orders.

Moto X (2014) Android 5.1 Lollipop update news

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The Moto X (2014) Android 5.1 update is now in full swing. After unlocked international versions of the Moto X (2nd generation) got the Android 5.1 update weeks ago, Moto X (2014) Pure Edition owners in the US are now enjoying the update and so are those on Verizon. Find out all of the latest Moto X (2nd gen) update news below. 
moto x front homescreen

Moto X (2014) Android Lollipop update in the US

Verizon Moto X (2014) update 
The Moto X update started to arrive to unlocked devices (as well as with Rogers) in the U.S., Canada and Brazil only recently, but now Verizon has begun its rollout too. 
The update brings Moto X (2nd gen) owners up to software version 23.16.3 and introduces new interruption controls, a means of altering the notification volume while media is playing, and factory reset protection. To read more about the Android 5.1 features, head over to our dedicated article. 
Verizon updates typically arrive to devices in stages, so it may take a few days to arrive to your handset. Make sure that you charge your device to at least 75 percent before starting the update, and for a full rundown of the Verizon improvements introduced, check out the Verizon Wireless changelog.
US Cellular Moto X (2014) update 
US Cellular has also announced the OTA Android 5.1 Lollipop update for the Moto X 2nd generation. The OTA brings the Moto X (2014) update to build number LPE23.32-21. 
The full changelog has also been posted on its customer support site, including a new ''chop chop'' gesture for launching the flashlight, priority interruptions, heads-up notifications, additional Quick Settings, Device Protection and improvements to the camera.
To see if you have the update waiting for you, head to Settings > About Phone > System Update.
AT&T Moto X (2014) update 
The AT&T Moto X (2014) Android 5.0.2 update rolled out in late February and the Android 5.1 update appeared in early May. The changelog for the AT&T Moto X 2nd gen. Android 5.1 Lollipop update include the same ''chop'' gesture.
Moto X (2014) Pure Edition update
As mentioned above, the Moto X (2nd generation) Pure Edition began receiving the Android 5.1 update on June 26.
moto x camera

Moto X (2014) Android M update 

The Moto X 2014 Android M update is not yet available. Android M is expected to launch globally in Q3, 2015. We will let you know when we learn more.
Do you think that Android 5.1 is taking to long to arrive to the Moto X (2nd gen)? Let us know in the comments below. 

Fix iMessage Activation Issue On iOS 8.3 After TaiG Jailbreak

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The world of iMessage can be a murky one when trying to get it to work with whichever phone number you have. Changing SIM cards, iPhones or especially actual phone numbers can cause all kinds of misery as far as iMessage and its activation is concerned. Specifically, it just refuses to work and iMessage ends up not knowing what your phone number is or worse, thinks it does and iMessages just disappear into the ether.
Quite a number of people with jailbroken devices are facing such a problem at the moment on iOS 8.3 after jailbreaking with the newly released TaiG tool. The issue is not necessarily TaiG’s but rather iMessage’s, because we have seen such problems on non-jailbroken iPhones over the years as well. Apple just seems to struggle with the whole idea of iMessage phone number activation for whatever reason. Luckily though, getting the whole shebang to work again may be just a few steps away, thanks to a solution provided by Reddit user iPodZombie. You’ll need to be jailbroken though, so this is probably only useful to you if a recent TaiG update has gone awry.
Messages.png
Here are the steps you are going to want to follow:
Step 1: Enter Safe Mode. This can be done in a variety of ways. You can set an Activator action to do this, or simply use tweak like MultiBoot or Power Tap to enter Safe Mode.
ALSO READ:

More than 26 million Facebook users change profile pics rainbow to support gay marriage

Step 2: Once in Safe Mode, head into the Settings -> Messages and toggle iMessage off and then back on. You will notice the device authenticate and activate. You’re nearly done.
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Step 3: Now, scroll down to the Send & Receive area and you should see your phone number selected. Add any email addresses you want to use with iMessage here.
Step 4: Exit Safe Mode.
Step 5: Test iMessage. It should now work just fine, including with your iPhone’s phone number.
And that’s it, you’re all done. It may not help if you are suffering from iMessage activation issues on a non-jailbroken device, but if iOS 8.3 is causing problems after using TaiG’s jailbreak then this little guide may just be what you need to get messaging again.

More than 26 million Facebook users change profile pics rainbow to support gay marriage

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Turning on the computer be like ...
IF YOU logged into Facebook at the weekend, chances are you were met with an array of rainbow colours radiating from your friends’ profile pictures.
The rainbow-filtered pictures were created for users to show support gay rights after it was announced the US Supreme Court had legalised same-sex marriage nationwide.
According to the social media website, more than 26 million users changed their profile pics to support the movement.
While it tracked the number of users applying the filter, Facebook insists it will not use the data for marketing purposes.
“This was not an experiment or test, but rather something that enables people to show their support of the LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer) community on Facebook,” a company spokesman told Mashable.
“We aren’t going to use this as a way to target ads and the point of this tool is not to get information about people.”
Arnold Schwarzenegger was one of the 26 million users to apply the filter.
Arnold Schwarzenegger was one of the 26 million users to apply the filter. Source: Supplied
Facebook decided it would implement the filter after two interns showcased the tool at an internal hackathon.
While the company insists the tool was nothing more than a celebration of equality, some marketing professionals think the data could be very useful.
The chief marketing officer of global mobile company Glipsia, Nicole DeMeo, said the rainbow-filtered profile pictures could help the spread of information within the LGBTQ community and its supporters.
“If a person uses the rainbow filter, we can assume that they’re in support of LGBT rights; in theory, a network could then send offers such as LGBT related events, content and media to that user,” she said.
“For someone in support of pride and the landmark Supreme Court decision, this is another data point or gateway to help serve more targeted offers.
“This both serves the network well and it serves the user, so that brands and organisations can find their audiences and it’s better for the user by cutting out the clutter of intrusive, irrelevant ads.”

iOS 8.4 Jailbreak Status Update

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When the TaiG team released jailbreak for iOS 8.3 last week, many, wondered what the wisdom was in releasing a jailbreak so close to a major new release of iOS being made available.
With iOS 8.4 and Apple Music release just around the corner, has TaiG shown its hand too early by releasing a version of a jailbreak that could be rendered obsolete when the latest version of iOS becomes available in a matter of hours from now?
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While there’s no 100% authentic confirmation yet of TaiG 2.x jailbreak working on iOS 8.4, there are some mixed reports doing the rounds.
The first guy to report about TaiG working on iOS 8.4 beta 4 was @iOShXr on Twitter. He claimsthat current TaiG tool works just fine on the latest beta of 8.4 as long as you make the complex hex edits required for it to work. Someone has went as far as detailing the wholeprocedure on how you can make TaiG work on iOS 8.4 beta 4 and even iOS 9 beta, although those who tried the procedure didn’t find any success with it. And even if it works for real, there’s no way to know whether it will continue to work on the final version of iOS 8.4.
There are also some who claim that at least one of the iOS 8.3 jailbreak exploits, which depends on a race condition in TaiG, has been patched in iOS 8.4 beta 4. If that’s the case, then TaiG was definitely right in getting the jailbreak out before Apple released the final version of iOS 8.4.
TaiG team is staying mum on the issue. They will probably confirm only after inspecting the final release of iOS 8.4.
Back in April, i0n1c was the first to jailbreak iOS 8.4. He demonstrated his jailbreak, likely using different exploits than the ones used in TaiG for iOS 8.3, on an iPhone 6 running iOS 8.4 beta 1. But will he release his jailbreak in case TaiG’s ones are really patched in 8.4? Probably not.
It is of course true that Apple will be monitoring its big beta releases of iOS, and when everything goes live, there is every possibility that Apple will have filled whichever security hole the current public jailbreak tool TaiG 2.x is using.
Apple’s chances of getting a jailbreak patch into iOS 8.4 final release in a matter of days from TaiG’s release last week are still slim however, though it’s a fairly safe bet that it will do just that in a future release of the software. Once a jailbreak is out in the wild, it is effectively burned, with Apple able to reverse engineer it and effectively block whatever security breach made the jailbreak possible in the first place.
If there is one thing Apple likes to do, it’s stop jailbreak tools from working. It may be in the name of security, but that doesn’t stop it from being irritating to those who like to jailbreak their iPhones and iPads.
Cydia 8.3
We recommend you to update to iOS 8.3 if you haven’t already even if you don’t plan to jailbreak yet. If you care about jailbreaking, follow our guide here to know everything about iOS 8.3 jailbreak and the upcoming iOS 8.4 update and how it might affect jailbreakers.

MyWi 8 For iOS 8.3 Released

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Well known jailbreak tweak MyWi 8 has just been updated to support the newly jailbreakable firmware iOS 8.3 on all iPhones and cellular iPads. Now up to version 8.03.02, it is still one of the most popular Cydia packages around.
While iOS now supports tethering of data connections with its ‘Personal Hotspot’ feature, what sets MyWi apart from the native offering in iOS is its ability to enable WiFi-to-WiFi tethering. This is called WiFi Sharing and it allows you to rebroadcast the WiFi signal to which your iOS device is connected to. This is super useful to use in hotels or places where you can pay once for WiFi and rebroadcast the same signal using WiFi Sharing feature to your friends and family. MyWi also gives you ability to create 5GHz hotspots, something that Apple’s native offering doesn’t.
MyWi-8-main
The good news here is that if you have already paid for MyWi 6, 7 or earlier versions of MyWi 8, the upgrade to the latest version for iOS 8.3 is totally free, though if you’re looking to start fresh, it will set you back a good $19.99. Pricey I know but if features like WiFi Sharing is important to you, then it’s probably worth getting. Intelliborn, the developers behind MyWi, are also offering a free three-day trial to all users so that they can experience the tweak first-hand before making the decision to purchase it.
MyWi 8 can be downloaded from the ModMyi repository in Cydia.
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Mlais M7 review: affordable, but with a catch

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The Mlais M7 is an interesting package: a nice looking phone complete with a finger scanner and running Android Lollipop that you've probably never heard of. In our Mlais M7 review we'll take a look at the features of the phone along with its hardware, software and performance to see if it delivers.

Rating

Good
  • Great price
  • Android Lollipop
  • Fingerprint scanner
  • Removable battery and microSD card expansion
 
Bad
  • Very unreliable performance
  • System freezes regularly
  • Weak speakers and battery
  • Touch screen issues

release date and price

The Mlais M7 release date was May 7, 2015 and at launch, the Mlais M7 price was officially 199 USD. The price frequently drops to just 149 USD though, either through promotions on the Mlais Facebook page or through online retailers.
AndroidPIT Mlais M7 back
The Mlais M7 is a well put together phone. / © ANDROIDPIT

design and build quality

The first thing you notice when you unbox the Mlais 7 is just how good it looks. For an ''unheard-of'' Chinese brand the phone itself looks very nice indeed. While some Mlais devices have been rather blatant rip-offs of existing phones, the M7 takes a few design cues from other manufacturers but is truly its own device.
The Mlais M7 features a metal frame with beveled edges that kind of look like a mix between the Galaxy Note 4 and the HTC One E8. A slightly raised polycarbonate trim surrounds the display which is covered by Gorilla Glass 3. Buttons are on the left and the headphone jack and microUSB charging port are all up top.
AndroidPIT Mlais M7 top edge
The Mlais M7 has a nice beveled metal edge with removable back. / © ANDROIDPIT
The back panel is made of flexible plastic and is removable, revealing a replaceable battery and access to a microSD and dual SIM card slots (SIM and micro-SIM). Multiple SIMs can be managed from within the software.
The back panel isn't textured but it has a nice soft feel to it. Up the top is a square camera lens which protrudes slightly from the surface with an LED flash and a circular, recessed finger scanner. Down the bottom is a single speaker grill.
AndroidPIT Mlais M7 side buttons
The detailing on the Mlais M7 is reminiscent of the Galaxy Note 4. / © ANDROIDPIT
The front of the Mlais M7 features capacitive (as opposed to on-screen) buttons in the old Samsung-orientation of menu, home and back. I'm personally not a fan of capacitive buttons but they're easy enough to get used to. A few sensors and the earpiece speaker complete the visible features of the M7 on the front.
For a phone that costs just 199 USD RRP and as low as 149 USD in the various sales and offers Mlais likes to throw out on a regularly basis, this phone definitely has the right price and looks in spades. But how does it perform?  
AndroidPIT Mlais M7 display
The Mlais M7 has a 5.5-inch HD IPS LCD display. / © ANDROIDPIT

display

The Mlais M7 display comes with a 5.5-inch, HD IPS LCD. The lack of Full HD is noticeable, but for many people, HD is perfectly sufficient resolution for a smartphone screen. Still, there were some problems with our particular review unit that must be mentioned.
The touch screen response is pretty patchy, ranging from acceptable to downright unusable. I repeatedly found myself stuck in an app because the touch screen would not register anything.
Occasionally this happened at the same time as a lack of response in the capacitive buttons as well, so the only solution was to turn the screen off and on again or to reboot the phone. Even following a factory reset the problem persisted.
AndroidPIT Mlais M7 display issue
You can see the weird aberrations on the display to the right of the screen. / © ANDROIDPIT
The display also had some rather troubling inconsistencies which you can see in the image below. While this could just be a particular flaw of our review unit, it's a very noticeable issue and immediately detracts from the positive first impressions the phone provides.
Although not a deal breaker, I would advise you to familiarize yourself with your retailer's returns policy in case you encounter something similar. Despite these issues, the brightness is OK and so are the viewing angles. Colors are nice and bright and true to life.
AndroidPIT Mlais M7 dual sim microsd slots
The Mlais M7 has dual-SIM card slots and microSD expansion. / © ANDROIDPIT

special features

One surprise feature found on the Mlais M7 is granular app permissions. A much-heralded feature of the upcoming Android M release, some Chinese manufacturers like Mlais and Huawei have been including individual app permission controls for a while now.
The feature works great and provides total control over which permissions apps have access to. You can manage permissions individually by app or by permission type. In the two weeks I've been using the Mlais M7 I haven't encountered any issues with apps I have modified the permissions for.
AndroidPIT Mlais M7 app permissions finger scanner
Granular app permissions (left) and the confusing fingerprint scanner registration screen. / © ANDROIDPIT
Another nice feature found on the Mlais M7 is the touch-based fingerprint scanner. The registration process is very simple (although for some odd reason there is a swipe animation on-screen as if the scanner was in the physical home button location on the Galaxy S6).
At first I had perfect readings from the fingerprint scanner every time. After a little while though the readings started to be hit and miss and then it seemed as though the scanner would never recognize my fingerprint correctly.
Even re-registering fingerprints didn't entirely fix the issue and I just started using the PIN code backup instead of even trying the fingerprint reader. The reader itself seemed to be problematic too, as after a while it didn't even recognize I had placed my finger on the sensor, let alone read it correctly.
AndroidPIT Mlais M7 finger scanner
The fingerprint scanner is a gamble: sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. / © ANDROIDPIT

software

The Mlais M7 runs Android 5.0 Lollipop and it's of the stock+ variety. By stock+ I mean it is basically stock Android with a few additions on top. With any luck this means Android updates will come to this phone faster than other devices with heavier manufacturer skins.
For example, in the settings, there's a fingerprint scanner section, off-screen gestures like we know from the OnePlus One and a ''scheduled power on and off'' option. Likewise, in the Quick Settings you'll find an audio profile button which pops up a little sound profile widget.
AndroidPIT Mlais M7 home screen notifications
The Mlais M7 pretty much runs stock Android Lollipop with a few nice additions. / © ANDROIDPIT
The off-screen gestures include things like Knock On (double tap to wake), drawing letters to launch apps like the camera and so on and they all work fine. Scheduled power on and off is just that: you can set a time for your phone to automatically turn itself on in the morning and off again at the end of the day.
I can't say I used this feature but I guess it makes sense for some people that don't like to be bother during the night. Of course, Android Lollipop's Priority Interruptions function is perfectly capable of handling that for you too, without turning your phone off.
These additions are generally nice and useful and provide a nice twist on stock Android, much like we've seen with Motorola and OnePlus recently. It's also a very nice surprise to see Lollipop running on such a low cost device. 
AndroidPIT Mlais M7 off screen gestures
The Mlais M7 also throws in some nice features we see in custom ROMs and alternate launchers. / © ANDROIDPIT

performance

In benchmarks the Mlais M7 performs admirably, clocking scores in AnTuTu of around the 48,000 point mark. In practice the M7 runs nicely, but it seems to be plagued by issues that I can't clear up, either through factory resets or by wiping the cache.
Occasionally the whole device will freeze up and I can't put it down to whether it's a system bug, touch screen issue or something else. Whatever it is, it makes it hard to recommend the M7 as a stable and reliable device.
AndroidPIT Mlais M7 AnTuTu benchmark
Despite good benchmark scores, the Mlais M7 is sketchy in general usage. / © ANDROIDPIT
The Mlais M7 price is right, it's well put together and some users might be perfectly happy to accept a few issues in order to have a good looking phone running a recent version of Android. I'm not one of those people though.
For me, I just can't get past these stumbling block and find that freezes, non-responsiveness and general unreliability tend to tarnish a device that otherwise shows so much promise. I really want to like the Mlais M7 but I just can't get there.
AndroidPIT Mlais M7 side2
All the specs are there, but something somewhere is amiss. / © ANDROIDPIT
There's lots of potential for the Mlais M7 specs to shine, but something just isn't quite right. The 64-bit octa-core MediaTek chip clocked at 1.7 GHz has more than enough power, backed up by the Mali-T760 GPU. So why do I get screen freezes all the time?
AndroidPIT Mlais M7 front sensor detail
I frequently had issues with a frozen, non-responsive touch screen. / © ANDROIDPIT
The 3 GB of RAM and near-stock Lollipop should make multi-tasking a breeze, so why does it take so long to bring up the Recent Apps list? As I said at the start of this review, the Mlais M7 looks good on paper, but the real world experience just doesn't stack up.
If you can handle some inconsistency and unreliability, the Mlais M7 is worth a look, but for a similar price it is possible to find other devices – like the Moto G (2015) – that provide much more reliable performance.
AndroidPIT Mlais M7 speaker
The Mlais M7 speaker is OK, but nowhere near loud enough. / © ANDROIDPIT

audio

The in-call sound quality of the Mlais M7 is perfectly fine, although the volume tends to be a little on the low side. Clarity is perfectly good though. The speakers are another issue altogether.
The speakers are weak, simple as that. The volume is terrible, needing to be well above half to even be audible. There's not much in the way of bass here either, but the higher tones are decent enough.
For a phone in this price range the speaker is ok, but the volume is a real problem, being so quiet it almost defeats the purpose of having an external speaker at all.
AndroidPIT Mlais M7 camera
The Mlais M7 camera is a 13 MP Sony sensor. / © ANDROIDPIT

camera

The Mlais M7 camera is a 13 MP Sony IMX315 shooter with true flash LED. The front-facing camera is a 5MP job capable of shooting 1080p video.
On paper this sounds great, but yet again, the camera is another story in real life. At night it's almost impossible to get a decent photo and there's a strange red patch in the center of light-colored shots.
In daylight conditions the Mlais M7 camera is capable of capturing good photographs. But if you're heading out to a gig you're better off leaving the M7 in your pocket.
Video calling through the front-facing camera is decent, as are selfies (in good conditions). Again, the M7 will get you by in certain situations but it's not a camera phone you'd want to rely on.
AndroidPIT Mlais M7 battery
The Mlais M7's 2,600 mAh battery is removable, but not big enough. / © ANDROIDPIT

battery

The Mlais M7 specs include a removable 2,600 mAh battery that will sort of get you through the day, depending on your style of usage. I'm a pretty heavy user but I also tend to top the battery up regularly through the day.
On days where I forgot to top things up there was no way I was making it through a full day and evening, even with my display brightness set very low.
The M7 battery does supports fast charging though, which is nice because you're likely to need it during the day to make it through till bed time. There's a ''standby intelligent power saving mode'' in the battery settings, alongside Lollipop's Battery Saver, but I found that every time I got my ''15 percent battery remaining'' warning the phone shut down within a minute.  
AndroidPIT Mlais M7 display
The Mlais M7 has a very nice specs sheet at an incredibly low price. / © ANDROIDPIT

Final verdict

I'm in two minds about the Mlais M7. In terms of specs it has everything it needs to be a dynamo. The price is right, it looks great and is well put together. But in practice things start falling apart. Performance is an unreliable nightmare. When it works it works great, but it simply isn't reliable.
The camera is capable of some excellent shots but not under all conditions (admittedly, like all smartphone cameras). The speakers are barely passable. The battery life is so-so, the screen has some major issues and the general stability of the system was repeatedly called into question.
Despite all this, there is a lot to like about this phone and, as I mentioned earlier, there's lots of potential if things get ironed out. But as it stands there are just too many problems that make it impossible to rate this device any higher.
If a software update comes along that fixes these issues, we'll be sure to revisit this review. But as it stands right now we just can't recommend the Mlais M7 as a wise choice due to its unreliability. Even at such a low price, a phone you can't rely on misses the most essential thing. There are other phones out there in a similar price bracket that offer much more reliable performance and stability.