The Kojima Game That Made You Play In The Sun

Hideo Kojima is famous for being the driving force behind stuff like Metal Gear and Snatcher. But today, we’re going to talk about another of his games: Boktai, a quirky little Game Boy Advance title that asked the player to go outside and get some sun.

While that sounds…odd, it was for a very good reason: not only was Boktai the story of a vampire hunter who was more powerful during the daylight hours, but to ensure that these powers were properly timed, the game’s cartridge included a daylight sensor at the top.

The sensor is that little round thing, which would be able to detech sunlight since the GBA’s design meant the end of the cartridge was always protruding | Image: National Museum Of Play

When you first fire up the game, you get this helpful message:

You were then asked to input the time and your timezone, and Boktai would adjust to your location and match the daylight in the game accordingly (so if it was midday outside it’d be midday in the game).

“I wanted to create a game that involved sunlight, and with the Game Boy Advance you can carry it outside, and there are no other games that involve sunlight” Kojima, who designed the game, told IGN in an old TGS interview. “And I love the theme of Dracula and vampires, I’ve always wanted to come up with a game that players can fight vampires. It was a lot of different ideas that came together, and I thought, why don’t I create a game that involves fighting vampires with sunlight?”

Having come up with a game design idea, Kojima then had to find some hardware that could get the job done. “But I didn’t know if it was technically possible, and I didn’t know how much it would be if I could do this because it might be too expensive with the GBA ROM and having a specialized cartridge”, he explains of the solar sensor’s creation. “There’s a division within Konami that makes specialized toys that have odor sensors and humidity sensors, and they’re pretty cheap. And when I was creating Metal Gear Solid 2, I asked them if it was possible to come up with a solar sensor. And when I knew that it was possible, that’s when I said, ‘We’re going to do this.’”

Which sounds like a completely unique and fascinating way to design a video game, and it was! But the game’s quirks overestimated players’ willingness to tailor their playtime to the need to go outside and underestimated a fundamental hardware flaw: Boktai asked you to be outdoors, but the Game Boy Advance’s screen (the improved SP was available by now, but loads of people still had the older system) made playing outside a massive pain in the ass eyes.

When you did play outside, you could store sunlight in batteries, which would allow you to play for a certain amount of time in the dark. When they ran out, many situations could still be overcome by collecting in-game resources. Oh, and players soon found that you could sometimes get enough sunlight by sitting next to a window or on a porch if you had the right conditions.

But while you could postpone the fact, you couldn’t escape it: eventually you had to play this game outside, especially since it was a requirement for overcoming Boktai’s boss battles. And for many players this was just too much of a hassle.

Boktai reviewed fairly well, and while its annoyances have become more famous than the game itself, it did well enough that a sequel was released in 2004. The sequel made some changes to the basic formula—swapping out a gun for melee weapons—but not to the core one, as it still included a daylight sensor and still made you go outside at certain points. Kojima, who designed the first game, was not involved in Boktai 2’s development.

Boktai 2 didn’t do nearly as well in the West, and so when a third game was made in 2005 (again featuring a sunlight sensor in the cartridge, and again sans Kojima), it was released only in Japan.

When the craze surrounding Pokemon Go last year was at its peak, I sometimes thought of Boktai and how in 2003 its need for outdoors play was received by many as something between a joke and a chore. And sure, the main reasons for Pokemon Go’s success weren’t just its “go outside”design, but its GPS tracking and the fact it was based on a series that millions of people grew up with, and not a weird little video game made by Konami. But still…it’s worth wondering what could have become of Boktai if Kojima had come up with the idea now instead of 15 years ago…

 

 

 

 

Google Play Music’s New Feature for Samsung Galaxy S8 Isn’t That Exclusive

For Samsung Galaxy S8 users, Google Play Music is the default music player and streaming service. Now, Galaxy S8 users are receiving a brand new feature dubbed New Release Radio, which is a personalised radio station with new music releases and updates on a daily basis.

The latest New Release Radio feature has steadily been popping up on Galaxy S8 devices with “Samsung Exclusive” tagline. The pop-up describes the new feature, “Listen to brand new music, personalised to your tastes and listening history – with new recommendations every day.” The feature was first spotted by a Reddit user, and was reported by Sammobile.

Google Play Music's New Feature for Samsung Galaxy S8 Isn't That Exclusive

Engadget, however, points out that the feature may not be limited to Samsung Galaxy S8 users as some users have been able to add the “New Release Radio” station to their libraries. Some Reddit users also claim that they were able to add the new feature to their libraries while using Google Play Music Web interface as well as on non-Samsung devices. Unfortunately, there’s no word whether the feature will be kept as an exclusive for Samsung Galaxy S8 (and Galaxy S8+) devices or to be made available to all users in the long run.

We can expect an update on the status of availability of the “New Release Radio” station for non-Samsung devices.

Samsung and Google jointly announced their new partnership back in April, and it gave some benefits to Samsung users. They were allowed to upload 100,000 of their own songs to Google Play Music for free, which is almost double the limit for owners of non-Samsung devices.

 

Nubia M2 Play With Android 7.0 Nougat, Fingerprint Scanner Launched

ZTE has added another variant to its Nubia M2 smartphone lineup. The Nubia M2 Play has been launched in China and as of now the smartphone’s pricing and availability information has not been revealed. Specifications wise, the smartphone is a watered down version of the Nubia M2, but is a little better endowed than the Nubia M2 Lite smartphone.

The Nubia M2 Play looks similar to the Nubia M2 Lite with a metal body, curved glass, and a single camera setup at the back. There’s a Home Button in the front with the fingerprint scanner placed underneath. The Nubia M2, on the other hand, has a dual camera setup at the back.

Nubia M2 Play With Android 7.0 Nougat, Fingerprint Scanner Launched

As for specifications, the Nubia M2 Play runs on Android 7.0 Nougat with nubiaUI 5.0 skin on top. The smartphone sports a 5.5-inch HD (720×1280 pixels) LCD display with 274ppi pixel density. It is powered by a octa-core (4×1.4GHz and 4×1.1GHz) Snapdragon 435 SoC paired with a 3GB RAM and Adreno 505 GPU. To compare, the Nubia M2 Lite is powered by the Helio P10 chipset with 3GB RAM and 4GB RAM variants. The smartphone offers 32GB of internal storage with the option to expand further via a microSD card slot (up to 128GB).

As for optics, the Nubia M2 Play sports a 13-megapixel main Sony CMOS sensor at the back with f/2.2 aperture and hybrid autofocus. It sports a 5-megapixel 84-degree wide-angle front camera with f/2.4 aperture for more composition in selfies. The smartphone packs a 3000mAh non-removable battery, and connectivity options include 4G VoLTE, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n/ac, GPS, and Glonass.

 

Moto Z2 Play Review

Motorola unveiled its approach to modularity with the Z series of smartphones last year. The Moto Z (Review) ticked all the boxes for a flagship device, while the Moto Z Play (Review) was much more affordable. Along with these phones, Motorola launched a series of Moto Mods that helped enhance their potential. Other smartphone makers, most notably LG, have abandoned the modular approach, but Motorola has so far stuck to its promise of supporting Moto Mods for three years. Now, with the Moto Z2 Play, it looks like buyers have new option to choose from.

The Moto Z2 Play is the successor to the Moto Z Play, which earned a good name for itself by being affordable and versatile. The new model has an updated SoC but has to make do with a smaller battery. Can the Z2 Play continue the legacy of the phone it is replacing? Let’s find out.

Moto Z2 Play Review

Moto Z2 Play design
While the Moto Z was praised for its sleek body, the Moto Z Play was more bulky. Thankfully, the Moto Z2 Play is thinner, at just 5.99mm. Moto’s choice of metal for the back instead of glass makes it look quite premium. To ensure support for last year’s Mods, Moto has retained the 16-pin connector at the back. These pins are made with 23-karat gold to prevent corrosion and are scratch-resistant to some extent. The height, width and overall shape of the phone remain unchanged so that existing Mods fit.

The Moto Z2 Play is available in two colour options, Lunar Grey and Fine Gold. The Grey variant has a black front and looks stealthy, while the Gold version has a flashy white front. Motorola has used a unique antenna design that runs around the back of the phone. This looks good and really stood out on our gold review unit. Unfortunately, the camera bump sticks out like a sore thumb. It adds adds roughly 2 mm to the thickness of the phone. The bump contains the camera itself, dual-tone flash, and laser autofocus emitter. A metal ring keeps the camera lens safe from scratches.

With the height and width of this phone unchanged, Moto has stuck with a 5.5-inch Super Amoled display. Below it is the fingerprint sensor and a microphone used primarily for calls. The front camera is positioned on the top along with proximity, ambient light sensor, a recessed earpiece and a dual-tone front facing flash. The frame of the Moto Z2 Play is metal and so are the power and volume buttons. These buttons are small in size and are positioned a little higher than we would have liked, forcing us to stretch our thumbs. Thankfully, the power button has a ribbed pattern to distinguish it from the volume buttons.

At the top is the SIM tray along with a second microphone, while the USB Type-C port and 3.5mm audio socket are the bottom. The Moto Z2 Play also has a third microphone at the back towards the bottom. There’s no speaker grille, but the earpiece doubles up as a loudspeaker. In the box, you will get a 15W Turbo charger, a set of in-ear headphones, and a SIM ejector tool which is a little slimmer than usual.

Moto Mods
Motorola seems to be committed to its promise of a three-year minimum life cycle for its Moto Mods. The upside is that the new Moto Z2 Play is compatible with all Moto Mods launched to date. There are also a few new ones now. The JBL Soundboost mod launched last year has gotten an update in the form of the JBL Soundboost 2, which is thicker and 20g heavier. The new Turbo Power pack is a 3450mAh battery mod and is capable of turbo-charging the Z2 Play. The Turbo Power Mod can also be charged quickly using the Turbo charger supplied with the phone. Finally, you can also choose from new Style Shells, some of which now have wireless charging receivers in them. With a new shell attached to the Moto Z2 Play, you can just drop it onto a Qi or PMA pad to charge it.

Moto Z2 Play specifications and software
Moto managed to strike a great balance between hardware and software with the Moto Z Play, which resulted in phenomenal battery life. With the Z2 Play, Moto has chosen the Snapdragon 626 SoC which is an updated version of the Snapdragon 625 in last year’s model. This processor is clocked at 2.2GHz. The phone also gets 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage which can be increased by using a microSD card of up to 2TB. Internationally, there is a 3GB RAM/ 32GB storage model as well, but Lenovo has chosen not to launch that in India. The Moto Z2 Play is a dual-SIM smartphone with support for 4G and VoLTE. There is Bluetooth 4.2 along with dual band WiFi and NFC.

The 5.5-inch Super AMOLED display on the Moto Z2 Play sports a full-HD resolution. You have the option to set the display to Standard or Vivid output modes depending on your preference. We found that the output in Standard mode was a little too dull for our liking, but Vivid mode was too aggressive. Sadly, there is no way to tweak the output manually and find a happy medium, and you’ll have to select the preset you can live with. There is also a night mode which can be configured to activate based on sunrise and sunset, or to kick in at a specific time. We found the night mode to be helpful when using the phone at night. There is no option to set the intensity, though.

Like other recent Motorola phones, the Z2 Play ships with near-stock Android and the Pixel launcher. Purists will love the experience as the only thing visible customisation on the phone is Moto Actions. This is what Moto calls its gesture control feature. The Z series finally now gets the same fingerprint gestures that Moto launched with the Moto G5 (Review) and Moto G5 Plus (Review). With these enabled, the three-button Android navigation bar at the bottom of the screen disappears, freeing some screen real estate. You then need to swipe left on the fingerprint scanner to go back, and swipe right to bring up the app switcher. One tap on the fingerprint scanner will take you to the homescreen, and you can also lock the phone by long-tapping on the fingerprint scanner till you feel a short vibration. Holding it down even longer is the standard shortcut for Google Assistant. While it does sounds complicated, it took us less than half an hour to get used to this navigation scheme.

Moto Z2 Play performance
Stock Android and the Snapdragon 626 SoC give the Moto Z2 Play a boost in terms of performance. We had no trouble while browsing through the UI and multitasking. Out of the 4GB RAM, we found around 2.3GB free on a fresh boot, and roughly 1.5GB available at most times. The phone would also preserve apps in memory instead of quitting them to save RAM. This helps multi tasking immensely, as you don’t have to wait for an app to load again.

We played games like Clash Royale and Asphalt 8. In the past we have found that running Clash Royale for a log time heats phones up, but the Moto Z2 Play ran relatively cool. The battery still drained rather quickly while playing. Similarly, Asphalt 8 ran smoothly even after we pushed the graphics setting all the way up.

The Moto Z2 Play returned a score of 69,520 in Antutu, which is a bit higher than the what the Samsung Galaxy C7 Pro (Review), its closest competitor, managed. In our HD video loop test, the Moto Z2 Play managed to run for 14h hours and 1 minute which is good, but is also three hours less than the Moto Z Play. Charging the phone does not take long with the bundled 15W charger, but we also found the phone getting warm while charging.

Moto Z2 Play camera performance
The Moto Z2 Play sports a 12-megapixel rear camera with dual-pixel autofocus, phase detection autofocus, laser autofocus and a dual-tone LED flash. The camera also boasts of an f/1.7 aperture which in theory should help it take good photos in low light. You can use a double-twist gesture to launch the camera app, which is pretty simple and easy to use. The advantage of multiple focusing methods is evident. We could quickly take shots of moving objects, but there were times when we had to tap multiple times to manually get the camera to focus where we wanted.

The output from the camera is good, but photos taken outdoors tend to be overexposed. The AMOLED display, when set to Vivid, makes photos look more vibrant than they actually are. HDR mode is useful and you have the option to set it to auto. We noticed slight ghosting in a few photos caused by our hands shaking.

The Moto Z2 Play has an auto night mode which is triggered in low light. We were expecting great shots, but this wasn’t the case all the time. The camera software would usually bump the ISO up in order to maintain a low shutter speed, which reduced blur but at the expense of a lot of noise in photos. Some of our sample shots came out brilliantly, but the app’s behaviour wasn’t very consistent. Thankfully you can take complete control over the camera’s parameters using the Professional mode. For video recording you can choose between full-HD at 30fps or 60fps, and 4K at 30fps.

At the front, the Z2 Play sports a 5-megapixel selfie camera along with a dual-tone LED flash. The flash is quite helpful when taking selfies in low light. There is a beautification mode which can be used to improve skin tones. It’s relatively subtle, not over the top like we’ve seen with some phones. The front camera also supports HDR which is a good touch. Photos taken with the front camera are quite good and can be shared without edits.

Verdict
With the Moto Z2 Play, Motorola is still on the path it started last year. The new model is slimmer, but at the cost of battery capacity. Dropping the battery size for aesthetics might not have been the best idea because Motorola has weakened one of the Z Play’s best attributes. You can of course spend some money and snap on one of the Moto Mods to increase the battery capacity (and thickness/ weight). The updated Snapdragon 626 SoC and 4GB of RAM keep games running smoothly and make multitasking easy.

If you want a sleek modular smartphone running stock Android then the Moto Z2 Play is pretty much your only option. You also have to factor in the cost of the Mods, as opposed to standalone accessories. However, if you aren’t interested in the Moto Mods, Samsung offers the Galaxy C7 Pro (Review) for a little less, or you can spend a little extra and get the OnePlus 3T (Review).

 

Minecraft Nintendo Switch Cross-Platform Play Uses Xbox Live Sign In; Could Explain No PS4 Support

According to Mojang CEO Jonas Martensson, to use Minecraft for cross-platform play Xbox Live is required even on the Nintendo Switch. In an interview with Pressfire.no translated on popular gaming forum NeoGAF, he stated that Nintendo has agreed to this and have been “pretty pragmatic and understanding.”

“We’re tying everything together with Xbox Live. So you log in with Xbox Live…,” he trailed off, further being pressed by the website if this would include the Nintendo Switch to which he said:

“Yes. That’s pretty unique as well! But everyone that’s in on this, all the platform holders, have been pretty pragmatic and understanding of that what we’re trying to do is create a good experience for the players. We needed a good system to connect everyone, and Xbox Live is a good system.”

Minecraft Nintendo Switch Cross-Platform Play Uses Xbox Live Sign In; Could Explain No PS4 Support

Later in the interview he goes on to say that Nintendo has been “very open when it comes to working together” and the process of incorporating Minecraft cross-platform play on the Nintendo Switch has been “very smooth.”

Over the week, Sony has been on the receiving end of criticism for not supporting Minecraft’s cross-platform play functionality. This would have ensured all consoles, mobile devices, VR, and PC can all play together online. If this does require an Xbox Live account to sign in, it would add to Microsoft’s tally of daily active users, essentially driving its business forward.

Understandably, Sony wouldn’t be interested in exposing its consumers to Microsoft’s ecosystem, which could explain Sony’s Jim Ryan using a rather flawed defence that essentially harks back to Nintendo’s overprotectiveness in the 1980s and 1990s. Martensson stops short of saying this when asked, rather replying with the more diplomatically acceptable “you’d have to ask them [Sony].”

This isn’t the first time Sony has been unwilling to bring cross-platform play to the PS4 with football meets cars multiplayer title Rocket League not getting the nod for Xbox One versus PS4 play.

“We’ve been doing that with PS3 and PC, PS4 and PC most recently with Street Fighter 5 and Rocket League and other games. That’s nothing new for us, in terms of working with developers and publishers to allow cross-platform play between PC and PS4,” said Sony Worldwide Studios’ Shuhei Yoshida to Eurogamer at the time.

“Because PC is an open platform it’s much more straightforward,” Yoshida continued. “Connecting two different closed networks is much more complicated so we have to work with developers and publishers to understand what it is they are trying to accomplish… We also have to look at the technical aspect – and the technical aspect could be the easiest. We also have to look at policy issues and business issues as well.”

Eventually Rocket League was made playable for PS4 players to play with those on the PC and not against Xbox One owners. It will be interesting to see if Microsoft is open to a similar arrangement for Minecraft.

 

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

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.

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.

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

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.

 

Moto Z2 Play Now Available via Flipkart and Offline Retail at Rs. 27,999

Lenovo launched the Moto Z2 Play in India last week, and the device is now available for purchase via Flipkart and via offline stores. The big highlight of the Moto Z2 Play is its Moto Mods support, and the smartphone is priced at Rs. 27,999.

On the first day of Moto Z2 Play sale, Flipkart has listed “no-cost EMI” options and a 5 percent instant discount for all Axis Bank Buzz credit card holders. Customers can also avail an extra Rs. 2,000 discount on exchange and up to 55 percent off on select Mods purchase. If you purchase the Moto Z2 Play along with the Hasselblad True Zoom Camera and the JBL SoundBoost speaker Mods, you can get up to 57 percent discount on the Mods, and buy it all at a price of Rs. 45,997.

Moto Z2 Play Now Available via Flipkart and Offline Retail at Rs. 27,999

Flipkart is also offering a buyback guarantee offer for Rs. 599, where the user will get a guaranteed Rs. 11,000 on exchange of Moto Z2 Play on Flipkart within six to eight months from purchase. For exchange between nine to 12 months from purchase, the exchange value will go down to Rs. 8,500. Additionally, Lenovo has also announced a 100GB additional Reliance Jio 4G data offer for Jio users.

Moto Z2 Play specifications
Moto Z2 Play runs on Android 7.1.1 Nougat and has a 5.5-inch full-HD (1080×1920 pixels) Super AMOLED display with Corning Gorilla Glass 3 protection and a pixel density of 401ppi. The smartphone is powered by a 2.2GHz Snapdragon 626 octa-core processor paired with 4GB RAM.

The Moto Z2 Play sports a 12-megapixel rear camera with a 1.4-micron pixel sensor, an aperture of f/1.7, a colour correlated temperature (CCT) dual-LED flash, as well as laser and dual autofocus lens (laser autofocus with expanded range up to 5 metres and 3 million dual autofocus pixels), At the front, there is a 5-megapixel selfie camera with an f/2.2 aperture, wide-angle lens, and a dual-LED CCT flash.

The 64GB of inbuilt storage on board the Moto Z2 Play can be expanded via microSD card (up to 2TB) – the smartphone has a dedicated microSD card slot, separate from the SIM slots. The smartphone packs a 3000mAh battery, a major downgrade from 3510mAh battery seen on the predecessor Moto Z Play, but Lenovo claims the new, more efficient chipset will compensate for the loss. The TurboPower charger bundled with the Moto Z2 Play provides 50 percent charge in just 30 minutes, and the battery is rated to deliver up to 30 hours of mixed usage.

Moto Z2 Play connectivity options include 4G VoLTE, Wi-Fi 802.11 a/g/b/n (2.4GHz and 5GHz), Bluetooth 4.2, USB Type-C (3.1), a 3.5mm headphone jack, NFC, FM radio, and GPS/ A-GPS. Sensors on board include accelerometer, ambient light sensor, gyroscope, magnetometer, and proximity sensor. The Moto Z2 Play weighs 145 grams, and measures 156.2×76.2×5.99mm.

 

AIIMS result 2017: Jaipur topper wants to watch Manchester United play at Old Trafford

 

Two students from Rajasthan’s capital Jaipur have found places in the top 100 in the All India Institute of Medical Sciences’ (AIIMS) MBBS entrance examination, result of which was announced on Thursday.

Ajit Singh Pawar, the city topper who secured an all India rank of 82, said he might want to try something else after completing his bachelor’s degree in medicine.

An avid football fan and supporter of football club Manchester United, Pawar said that he might like to appear for the civil services examination or may even pursue something totally different.

AIIMS result 2017

The son of a government doctor studied at BVB Vidya Ashram and was coached for the AIIMS entrance test by Kota’s Allen Career Institute. He added he wishes to travel to England someday and watch Manchester United play at Old Trafford, their home ground.

It’s unlikely that Pawar will get a seat in AIIMS New Delhi as it has only 36 seats in the general category, but he is hopeful of admission to one of the top colleges through the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET), the results of which have not been declared yet.

Isha Setia, the second topper from Jaipur, secured an all India rank 92. (Prabhakar Sharma/HT photo)

Isha Setia, the second topper from Jaipur, secured an all India rank 92. The Delhi Public School girl said she was in a dilemma two years ago over whether to choose science or study humanities.

“I wanted to be a novelist but I also liked science. I thought that if I left science I wouldn’t be ever able to become a doctor. On the other hand, I could become a novelist even after becoming a doctor,” Setia, a lover of Dan Brown and Jeffrey Archer’s books, said.

Her parents told her that her abilities and potential for hard work would be put to much better use in medicine, she added.

“One should not let others decide for you. Realise your capabilities on your own and decide for yourself,” she advised other students hoping to become a doctor.

Divyansh Soni from Jaipur, who secured the all India rank 17 in the OBC category, is likely to get a seat at the prestigious AIIMS New Delhi.

Nishita Purohit from Gujarat’s Surat emerged as the topper.

Over 4900 candidates qualified in the examination and are eligible for counselling sessions.

 

Moto Z2 Play and Moto C Plus in India, Google Drive Backups, Xiaomi Reward Mi, and More: Your 360 Daily

Moto Z2 Play and Moto C Plus in India, Google Drive Backups, Xiaomi Reward Mi, and More: Your 360 Daily

The Moto Z2 Play is now available in India via online retailer Flipkart and offline stores. The smartphone was launched in India last week. Lenovo, which is the company that owns the Moto brand, has been hyping the smartphone’s support for Moto Mods accessories.

The Moto Z2 Play touts these accessories as a key feature of the smartphone. Mods such as the Hasselblad True Zoom, which is a camera mod, boost the smartphone’s picture-taking ability, while the JBL Soundboost mod adds a much better speaker to the smartphone. None of these Moto Mods are cheap, but you do get a discount if you order the Moto Z2 Play with one or two of these accessories. Check out details about the Moto Z2 Play price in India and its specifications.

If the Moto Z2 Play is too expensive for you, perhaps Lenovo’s Moto C Plus might interest you. It’s a budget smartphone that is set to be launched in India on Monday. The Moto C Plus packs a big 4000mAh battery, which is important for anyone who uses a smartphone. Its pricing puts it within the reach of most smartphone buyers, which makes the Moto C Plus a very interesting smartphone for India.

In related news, the Moto G5 Plus is now available via Amazon India as well. The Moto G5 Plus is one of the better mid-range Android phones available in India and until now it was a Flipkart exclusive. In case you’re looking for a smartphone, you should read our Moto G5 Plus review to see if it’s what you need. Speaking of mid-range Android phones, we discussed the impact of Nokia 3, Nokia 5, and Nokia 6 on the Indian smartphone market on our weekly technology podcast – Orbital – and you should definitely listen to it for some potentially valuable insights.

You can now back up your PC to Google Drive
Google Drive now lets you backup your entire computer to the cloud storage service. A version of Google Drive called Backup and Sync will be released for Windows and Mac. This is a significant development because so far these cloud storage services have only focused on helping you store your photos and other files. Services such as BackBlaze and CrashPlan focus on computer backups, and Google Drive will be competing with those now.

Xiaomi announces ‘Reward Mi’ program
Xiaomi has announced a program called ‘Reward Mi’ for its customers. This will allow people who have an account on Mi.com (Xiaomi’s online store) to claim benefits such as early access to products and discounts. If you join the program now, you get 50 Mi Tokens, which can be redeemed against purchases online. This is similar to loyalty programs at pretty much every big brand offline retail store or reward points offered by credit card companies. If you buy a lot of Xiaomi products, this programme might appeal to you.

iPhone 8 may feature waterproofing and wireless charging
If wireless charging is an essential feature for you, then this latest iPhone 8 rumour will please you. It claims that the iPhone 8 will feature wireless charging. The rumour comes via Wistron, which is one of the manufacturers of iPhones. A new report quotes the CEO of Wistron as claiming that the upcoming iPhone will feature wireless charging. It also claims that he made a mention of support for waterproof wireless charging as well.

You can finally leave GIF comments on Facebook
GIFs are now 30 years old, can you believe it? After being on the Internet for so long, and seeing a resurgence thanks to Internet memes, the image format is finally supported in Facebook comments. In case you think words aren’t enough to react to something on Facebook, you might want to share a GIF instead. GIFs were already supported on other Facebook apps such as WhatsApp and Messenger and it’s about time Facebook comments joined the party.

Is Firefox the most efficient Web browser?
Mozilla Firefox now claims to be the most efficient Web browser across platforms. Firefox 54, the company claims, is faster and uses less RAM than its competitors. Firefox claims that in its tests, the browser was very RAM efficient on Windows, macOS, and Linux. It’s probably only a matter of time before other browsers improve their efficiency but it’s good to see Firefox focusing on improving something it’s been criticised for.

Samsung Galaxy S8+ beats iPhone 7 Plus in Consumer Reports ratings
According to Consumer Reports, a publication that rates various consumer products, the Samsung Galaxy S8+ is ranked higher than iPhone 7 Plus. The publication praises the Samsung smartphone for its design and battery life. The bezel-less display on the S8+ may have been one of the factors behind its top rating. The smartphone is now receiving a firmware update that adds Android’s June security patch.

Apple wants to make iPhone a ‘one-stop-shop’ for medical records
A new report claims that Apple is working on making the iPhone a ‘one-stop-shop’ for all your medical records. The report claims that Apple is already in talks with hospitals, developers, and other industry experts for this. According to the report, the iPhone will soon be able to store clinical records such as your lab results and allergy lists.

Sennheiser Momentum in-ear wireless headphones launched in India
Sennheiser is an audio brand with a presence in retail stores across India. It has now launched the Sennheiser Momentum in-ear wireless headphones in India. These headphones feature NFC support and Sennheiser claims that these have a 10-hour battery life. The Momentum series of headphones is known for its premium build quality and this pair will appeal to those who want high-quality wireless in-ear headphones.

Microsoft’s AI notches a perfect score in Ms. Pac-Man
With time and development, all forms of AI will be smarter than humans. We’ve already seen Google’s AlphaGo beat humans at Go, a game that requires a lot of intuition. Now Microsoft’s AI has managed to land a perfect score in cult classic game Ms. Pac-Man. The game has been around for 35 years and humans have never managed to land the perfect score – one million points.

 

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

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.

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.

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

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.

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.