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How Do I Know if a Play Store App is Fake?

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A phone is no longer just for calling and texting, and most of us have at least a few apps downloaded. Whether you enjoy gaming, are looking for better productivity, or you just want a simple weather forecast, a smart phone needs those all important apps. But not all apps are what they appear to be. Fake ones do exist. So how do you know that what you’re downloading is legit?

Wait, Are We Over-Reacting?

Sadly, we’re not over-reacting here. There have been some pretty well publicised app scams out there, as well as some that didn’t quite hit the headlines. Just last year over a million people downloaded a fake version of WhatsApp, for example. Scammers can, and do, launch fake apps on the Play Store for a variety of reasons.

Why do they do this? Sometimes it’s to make money, either by you paying for the app or from advertising. Sometimes it’s to access your personal data. And sometimes it’s to maliciously infect your phone with malware. Whatever the reason, there are certainly fake apps available at the Play Store, though Google do their best to get them removed ASAP.

The Two Main Offenders

There are really two kinds of apps that regularly get faked. The first is a direct copy of the original. This is what happened in the case of WhatsApp. The scammers copied the original app, cleverly changed the “developer name” (leaving a blank space at the end so that Google didn’t sense it was copied), and launched the app. It gets downloaded, and then data gets stolen and phones get viruses.

The second kind is maybe less of a fake, but just as irritating. A scammer takes and open source app (something like VLC, a video player that allows anyone to look at how it’s made in order to help improve it), and then launches it as an app filled with ads. This lets the scammer make ad revenue.

The largest case seen this year of this was uncovered by the mobile phone comparison site Tiger Mobiles who published information that the app 321 Media Player had received over 5 million download yet was a direct copy of the VLC Media Player app only with ads injected. They have since taken the post down after the app was successfully removed from the Play Store but the post has been republished elsewhere.

Avoiding the Download

There are a few ways that you can identify these fakes apps, but you’re going to need to be careful and observant.

Firstly, know what you want to download. Go online and search for the app, find out what it looks like and the developer name. If you just want something generic, like a weather app, then do your research online first and find one that you’re interested in. Then go to the Play Store and search by the exact name of the app.

A list of results will pop up. Do any of the apps have the same icons? This is your first step. If there’s two or more apps with exactly the same icon, then chances are that one of them is a scam. If this is the case, you’re going to need to look more closely.

Double check the app name and the developer name. Quite often a fake app will have a small change in one of these that most people don’t notice (maybe a reversal of letters or additional or missing punctuation). This is why you did your research first!

Take a look at the number of downloads an app has. The more downloads there are, the greater the chance that it’s real. For example, a Twitter app that has only a thousand downloads doesn’t look very convincing when you remember just how many Twitter users there are, does it?

Then check out the app description and the screenshots. Do they look real? This is a subjective question, but if screenshots look blurry, or if the app description is riddled with spelling errors or is just a quick line then you could be looking at a fake.

Finally, check out the apps reviews in the Play Store. Does it have some? Are they good? Or bad? Don’t fall into the trap of thinking an app with only five star reviews is real though, since scammers can easily pay people to review the app well. But reading through a few reviews should give you a sense of not only how good the app is, but also whether the reviews are real and the app itself is real.

Do all of these things (which, despite the length of the explanation really only takes a couple of minutes) and you should be able to avoid fake apps.

What Do I Do if I Spot a Fake?

Rather obviously if you spot a fake there’s one thing that you DON’T do and that’s download it. But you do want to warn other people. Google make this pretty easy.

If there’s an app that you think isn’t on the up and up, go to that app’s page on the Play Store, scroll all the way down to the section titled “Additional Information” and under the heading “Report” you’ll see a link that says “Flag as Inappropriate.”Click on this link. If you’re on your computer you’ll be redirected to the Google Help page, so scroll down to “report inappropriate developer reply” click that link and fill out the form that pops up. On mobile things are easier, you’ll get a pop up menu so choose the option that says “Copycat or impersonation” then hit “Submit” and you’re done.

Make a report and Google will review the app and act accordingly, either allowing the app to remain in the Play Store or deleting it. Easy.

Fake apps are a real threat, and they pop up every so often. Fortunately, most get caught pretty quickly by Google, but not all of them do, as was the case with the fake WhatsApp version. If you know what you’re looking for then you should be pretty safe. Yes, it might take a little more time to do your research before downloading something from the Play Store. But if you think about the amount of personal information you keep on your phone it’s probably worth an extra few minutes just to make sure your data stays safe.

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OnePlus Announces Partnership With Epic Games To Provide The First-Ever 90FPS Fortnite Smartphone Experience

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Photo: OnePlus

OnePlus, a global mobile technology company, today announces a partnership with Epic Games, designed to create an unprecedented Fortnite mobile user experience for its device owners. With the rollout currently underway, the OnePlus 8 Series is now the first line of smartphones able to run Fortnite on the Unreal Engine at 90FPS, which is the fastest frame rate ever available for Fortnite on a smartphone.

“OnePlus and Epic Games have created one of the best Fortnite experiences ever on a smartphone. The OnePlus 8 Series delivers a smooth, high framerate Fortnite gameplay experience – that even current generation console game systems can’t match,” said Pete Lau, Founder & CEO, OnePlus. “OnePlus creates the best devices for mobile gaming through our industry leading display, speedy performance, and overall user experience designed with power-users in mind.”

The partnership, rooted in technological innovation, was driven by both Epic Games and OnePlus’ desire to take Fortnite to a higher level on Android. The entire endeavor to bring 90FPS to Fortnite on the OnePlus 8 took months of development. To kick off the launch in India, OnePlus users (OnePlus 6 and newer) are now able to download Fortnite via “One-touch” easy installation of the Epic Games App exclusively through the “Game Space” application. As the leading premium smartphone company in India, OnePlus is bringing Fortnite to its fervent fanbase for easy gameplay across the board.

“Easy installation with ‘One Touch’ really simplifies the process of installing software, and removes friction usually found on other Android devices,” said Tim Sweeney, founder and CEO of Epic Games. “This is a big step forward, and alongside the performance improvements the teams have made regarding FPS, Fortnite on a OnePlus device is going to be an awesome experience.”

OnePlus users with the OnePlus 7, OnePlus 7 Pro, OnePlus 7T and OnePlus 7T Pro can play Fortnite at a maximum of 60 FPS, the previous highest performance for the mobile game. OnePlus is committed to bringing the best mobile gaming experiences to its users and is continuously taking steps to bring major firsts to the category.

Source: OnePlus

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REDMI 10X SERIES DEBUTS IN MAINLAND CHINA

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Photo: Xiaomi

Today, global technology leader Xiaomi officially announced the Redmi 10X for Mainland China – the first phone in the new Redmi X series. Standing at the forefront of the industry, Redmi 10X is the first smartphone to ship with the MediaTek Dimensity 820 SoC while also supporting dual 5G standby, achieving top-of-the-line performance with an AnTuTu score of over 410,000. The series also offers a Samsung AMOLED display and 30x digital zoom camera.

Leading performance with MediaTek Dimensity 820

Powered by a MediaTek Dimensity 820 processor, Redmi 10X series is currently the highest performing mid-to-high-end smartphone on the market. Thanks to its flagship-level four-core architecture (4X ARM Cortex-A76 cores and 4X ARM Cortex A55 cores), MediaTek 820 provides a blazing clock speed of up to 2.6Hz, enabling Redmi 10X to achieve an AnTuTu score of over 410,000, ranking first in its price range.

To ensure stable and uninterrupted performance during prolonged gaming sessions, Redmi 10X series is kept cool with a liquid cooling system that surrounds a suspended heat pipe, and multi-layered graphite to disperse the heat.

Photo: Xiaomi

Non-stop connectivity with world’s first dual 5G standby

Redmi 10X series adopts an integrated 5G solution which supports dual-mode SA+NSA to cover mainstream Mainland China 5G frequency bands. When connected to two 5G networks simultaneously, the device can intelligently switch between the two networks to ensure optimal 5G connectivity at all times.

To continually provide peak performance with the best power consumption rate, Redmi 10X also leverages the MediaTek 5G UltraSave energy management function and smart switching technology to intelligently select optimal and sustained signal quality at lowest power.

Redmi 10X series also has targeted optimization capabilities for different usage scenarios such as elevators, basements, and high-speed transport. It is able to monitor network signals throughout popular transit routes to constantly optimize network parameters and pathways, greatly reducing the rate at which calls drop or data connectivity is lost, ensuring a stable and fast 5G connection across all locations.

Celebrate creativity with unparalleled camera capability

Users can get creative with light photography thanks to Redmi 10X series’ outstanding camera capabilities that can capture intricate and experimental scenarios such as crowds, night scenery, running water, light painting, and starry skies. With this dynamic camera, users don’t need to fiddle with complex parameter setups in order to take playful images of light.

Redmi 10X series also boasts the industry’s first handheld low-light timelapse camera. Thanks to the low-light registration algorithm, interest point screening and 10ms nightscape alignment, users can take stunning night time photos and videos without the need of a tripod, providing a much simpler way of upgrading photography skills and video quality.

Redmi 10X series is fitted with a 48MP ultra-high resolution main camera. Redmi 10X Pro sports a 30x digital zoom with optical image stabilization (OIS), which significantly increases the stability while taking pictures.

Photo: Xiaomi

Flagship-level features that revamps your mobile experience

Redmi 10X series sports a 6.57’’ Samsung AMOLED display that boasts 2400×1080 resolution for bright and clear image. The display supports HDR10+ and adjusts brightness and contrast in real time based on the content being played, ensuring optimal image details. With DC dimming, it minimizes stroboscopic effects in low lighting and ensures a comfortable viewing experience in the dark.

Redmi 10X series features an in-screen fingerprint sensor and customizable Always-on Display. The new Dark Mode 2.0 allows non-compatible third party apps to obtain dark mode coverage in all scenarios which ensures comfortable viewing at night, and saves 50% more power compared to LCD Dark Mode.

Redmi 10X series puts an end to the hassle of daily charging. Equipped with a 4,520mAh (typ) large capacity battery, it offers the hardware required for long lasting battery life. Redmi 10X Pro also supports 33W PD fast charge to quickly regain a sufficiently charged battery level.

Designed with a full 3D curved screen glass body, Redmi 10X series comes in four colors: Twilight Purple, Deep Ocean Blue, Starlight White, Lunar Gold. The Lunar Gold variant adopts the AG craft commonly seen in flagship phones, which is designed with a matte finish that exudes quality and is resistant to finger smudges. Both sides of the device are built with the highly durable Corning® Gorilla® Glass 5, giving it smash and drop-proof qualities. Redmi 10X series sports IP53-level for dust and splash protection, offering resistance to light rain and other unexpected mishaps of daily life.

Other notable features include: Xiaomi’s latest MIUI 12 software1,multifunctional NFC for swift payments and door access, linear motor for haptic feedback, 1217 ultra-linear speaker for loud playback, IR blaster for quick remote control, and an in-screen fingerprint sensor for quick unlock experience – a powerful configuration rarely seen in other products in a similar price range.

Redmi 10X series comes in two editions, Redmi 10X and Redmi 10X Pro. The core hardware configuration of the two devices maintains a high degree of quality and consistency.

Redmi 10X comes in four variants: 6+64GB, 6+128GB, 8+128GB, and 8+256GB, priced at RMB 1,599, RMB 1,799, RMB 2,099, and RMB 2,399 respectively.

Redmi 10X Pro comes in two variations: 8+128GB and 8+256G, priced at RMB 2,299 and RMB 2,599 respectively. The two devices are currently available for purchase through all official Xiaomi channels.

Xiaomi also revealed the Redmi 10X 4G edition. Sporting a MediaTek Helio G85 processor, Redmi 10X 4G has a 6.53’’ full screen display with a tiny in-display camera and a 48MP rear quad camera, a large 5,020mAh (typ) battery and an ultra-large 128GB storage capacity. It comes in three colors: Skyline Blue, Forest Green and Frost White. Priced at RMB 999 for 4+128GB, it is currently available for purchase through all official Xiaomi Mainland China sales channels.

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HONOR Launches HONOR X10, the First 5G Smartphone in its X-series

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Photo: Honor

HONOR announced the new HONOR X10, the first 5G smartphone in the X-series for the Chinese mainland market. The HONOR X10 features the 5G 7nm Kirin 820 SoC that supports nine 5G frequency brands, and a triple camera setup that is equipped with a RYYB sensor. The smartphone has a 92% screen-to-body ratio and will come with a 90Hz refresh rate display and a 180Hz touch sampling rate for a superior viewing experience. Packed full of HONOR’s newest technology, the HONOR X10 is well-positioned for the 5G era and promises to deliver next-generation performance in gaming and photography for its users. At the launch event, George Zhao, President of HONOR also announced that the total global shipment of the HONOR X-Series had exceeded 80 million units and received countless accolades.

Available online and from major HONOR retailers from 26 May in mainland China, the HONOR X10 will be available in Sapphire Blue, Midnight Black, Titanium Silver and Fiery Orange. Prices start at RMB1899 for the 6GB + 64GB version, RMB2199 for the 6GB + 128GB version and RMB2399 for the 8GB + 128GB version.

All-round upgrade: Enhanced 5G experience with the 5G 7nm Kirin 820 chipset

As the first 5G smartphone in the X-series, the HONOR X10 has set a high bar for a flagship 5G experience. Its 5G 7nm Kirin 820 chipset can support both non-standalone and standalone modes and support nine 5G frequency bands that will provide an extensive range of coverage, allowing the HONOR X10 to enjoy more stable and reliable 5G connectivity. Equipped with a smart antenna, the HONOR X10 is able to receive send and receive signals effectively even when the user moves between areas of differing 5G coverage.

Prior to the launch of the HONOR X10, HONOR also announced the opening of the HONOR 5G Laboratory. According to a representative of the HONOR 5G Laboratory, the company invested over RMB300 million into research and development of the HONOR X10, spent over 500,000 man-hours testing the smartphone’s 5G capabilities and made 250,000 test calls on the smartphone. To mark the 60th anniversary of the historic ascent of Mount Everest, HONOR collaborated with the Chinese National Mountaineering Team to make the HONOR X10 the designated smartphone for the team. On 11 May, the national mountaineers scaled Mount Everest with the HONOR X10 and tested its 5G capabilities at more than 6500 meters above sea level. The result was astounding: the HONOR X10 recorded a maximum download speed of 1617Mbps, proving that it is a high-performing smartphone even in harsh environments.

Designed for gaming enthusiasts: 90Hz refresh rate display

The 5G 7nm Kirin 820 chipset, a successor to the Kirin 810 chipset, features an innovative octa-core design with one high-performance A76 big core, three balanced A76 middle cores, and four energy-efficient A55 small cores. With this configuration, the chipset can operate up to a speed of 2.36GHz. Built on the Huawei’s Da Vinci NPU architecture, the 5G 7nm Kirin 820 chipset achieves superior performance and ultra-low power consumption, allowing it to perform 5G and AI tasks seamlessly and effectively.

In order to improve the gaming performance of the HONOR X10, the hardware of the smartphone underwent several optimizations. Firstly, the GPU of the HONOR X10 is a Mali-G57 with six cores and has a Smart Cache feature that implements flexible switching of bandwidth resources to reduce power consumption. In addition, compared with the last generation, the HONOR X10 has an additional six antennas. Finally, the HONOR X10 features the Kirin Gaming+ 2.0 with brand new AI frequency modulation scheduling technology that achieves a sweet balance between gaming performance and power consumption. It is also equipped with the latest GPU-Turbo to provide more high-performance support for most popular games.

The HONOR X10’s 90Hz refresh rate for its display is a win for gamers looking to experience buttery-smooth gameplay. Compared to most smartphone displays that have a 60Hz refresh rate, the HONOR X10 will feature noticeably smoother scrolling and users will experience lesser eye fatigue. Furthermore, the HONOR X10 boasts a 180Hz touch sampling rate, significantly reducing touch lag and speeds up the overall experience. Finally, the HONOR X10 is equipped with a 4,300mAh battery that supports 10V 2.25A fast charge, allowing all-day uninterrupted usage.

RYYB sensor enables superior night photography on the HONOR X10

The HONOR X10 features a 40MP triple camera setup and an industry-leading image sensor that is equipped with an exclusive RYYB filter that increases the light intake by up to 40%. With the enhancement of light sensitivity brought by RYYB, the HONOR X10 is able to support an impressive ISO of up to 153,600. The 5G 7nm Kirin 820 chipset has ISP 5.0 that supports BM3D for professional-level noise reduction while the improved AIS Super Night mode will enable the HONOR X10 to synthesize multi-frame images and support exposure up to 30 seconds. Together, these upgrades will allow the HONOR X10 to capture ultra-clear night shots with heightened brightness and better color preservation even in dimly lit environments.

The HONOR X10 camera also allows users to capture crisp pictures even when there is fast movement. Through a series of optimization processes and AI, the HONOR X10 is able to synthesize different layers to form a perfect picture. The HONOR X10 also supports 4K Ultra-HD video shooting capabilities. In terms of its front-facing camera, the HONOR X10 has a 16MP Selfie camera. Working together with enhanced AI capabilities, selfies will not look over-processed and are more natural.

Immersive audio and visual experience

The HONOR X10 has a screen resolution of 2400 x 1800 and a screen-to-body ratio of 92%, providing users with an unobstructed viewing experience. The TÜV Rheinland-Certified blue light filter in the HONOR X10 effectively reduces the harmful blue light emitted by the screen, minimizing eye fatigue for smartphone users. The custom-built components and HONOR’s self-developed algorithm optimize the screen’s visibility under bright sunlight, presenting every detail with optimal clarity and sharpness.

In the audio department, the HONOR X10 is equipped with an HONOR-developed amplifier that enhances the audio quality. Coupled with the Virtual 9.1 Surround Sound feature, users can indulge in an immersive audio experience that mirrors a cinema environment.

The ever-changing hues on the glassback of the HONOR X10 are due to its 21-layer glass technology. To appeal to the global youth, the HONOR X10 comes in Sapphire Blue, Midnight Black, Titanium Silver and Fiery Orange.

Magic UI 3.1 brings technology and aesthetic enhancements to HONOR X10

The HONOR X10 will be pre-installed with the Android-based Magic UI 3.1 that delivers an aesthetically arresting UX design coupled with improvements in software. With this latest upgrade, users can expect a slew of user-friendly smart features such as seamless cross-device connection, multi-screen collaboration and smart travel. Users can also enjoy next-level upgrades in smart office, photography, performance and security.

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