Microsoft Solitaire Collection Now Available for Android and iOS

Microsoft Solitaire Collection Now Available for Android and iOS
HIGHLIGHTS
The mobile game comes with Xbox Live integration
Comes with FreeCell, Spider, Klondike, Tripeaks and Pyramid game modes
Complete daily challenges to earn badges and rewards
It is hard to argue the fact that classic games hold a special place in the hearts of millions of gamers around the world. When it comes to a game like Microsoft’s Solitaire, which has been shipped with almost every version of Windows since the 1990s, the bond becomes even more special. This is why Microsoft has given a reason to rejoice to gamers around the world as the company has finally brought its Solitaire game to both Android and iOS mobile platforms. Of course, the single-player card game was already available on both stores from different developers.

Microsoft Solitaire Collection is now available for free and can be downloaded from Google Play and the App Store. The mobile version of the app comes with five different game modes including FreeCell, Spider, Klondike, Tripeaks, and Pyramid.

Further, the game comes with Xbox Live integration that allows your progress to be saved in the cloud. This means that you can continue playing on another device with either Windows 10 or Android/iOS and even share your Xbox Live achievements with your friends and family. The completion of daily challenges within the game will help players earn badges and rewards.

The Redmond-based company has made the premium version of the app, which comes without any ads, game boosts, and double coins for daily challenges, free for a month on Android in order to celebrate the worldwide release of its mobile game. This special offer ends December 31.

Although there have been several solitaire games on mobile platforms for many years now, the loyal players to the original Microsoft game have finally got the mobile game for which they have awaited for years.

Tags: Microsoft Solitaire Collection, Gaming, Apps, Microsoft, Apple, Android

[“source-ndtv”]

MacBook Pro 2016 Without Touch Bar Now Available in India

MacBook Pro 2016 Without Touch Bar Now Available in India

MacBook Pro 2016 Without Touch Bar Now Available in India
HIGHLIGHTS
The non-Touch Bar MacBook Pro is now in stock
Select stores have received their units, while others are still waiting
The MacBook Pro 2016 price in India starts at Rs. 1,29,900
The new and improved MacBook Pro was launched with much fanfare last month; however no availability details for the Indian market were revealed then. Even now, the models are listed as ‘coming soon’ on the Apple website, but Gadgets 360 has learnt that Apple resellers across the country are now receiving stock of the 13-inch MacBook Pro.

We checked with a couple of Apple resellers who confirmed they have received stock, while another Mumbai-based retailer said they have not received any units. The 2016 MacBook Pro is not listed on any of the e-commerce websites either, so it’s likely that the stock has only just started trickling in. Just to recap, the 13-inch MacBook Pro without the Touch Bar is priced at Rs. 1,29,900.

(Also see:MacBook Pro 2016 Price, Specifications, Features, and Everything That’s New)

The new MacBook Pro is lighter and thinner than its predecessor, and comes integrated with faster Intel Skylake CPUs. The Touch Bar variant has an OLED panel instead of the function keys, and it shows relevant options based on the current application and context. The Touch Bar variant also has an integrated Touch ID sensor for unlocking the laptop and making payments via Apple Pay.

The 13-inch MacBook Pro with Function Keys has no OLED panel or Touch ID sensor. The base model is powered by a 2.0GHz Intel 6th generation ‘Skylake’ Core i5 dual-core processor with 8GB of LPDDR3 RAM and 256GB of storage. The 13-inch model comes with integrated Intel Iris Graphics 540. There’s Wi-Fi 802.11ac and Bluetooth 4.2 support. It has a 13.3-inch Retina (2560×1600 pixels) LED-backlit display with IPS technology and 227ppi pixel density. For connectivity, there is a 3.5mm audio jack and two Thunderbolt 3 (USB Type-C) ports.

It’s important to reiterate that only the non-Touch Bar variant is being sold in India, and the Touch Bar variants are yet to make an appearance in the Indian market. Whenever they arrive, the 13-inch variant will be priced starting at Rs. 1,55,900, and the 15-inch variant will be priced starting at Rs. 2,05,900.

Tags: MacBook Pro, MacBook Pro 2016, MacBook Pro India Launch, PCs, Laptops, MacBook Pro Price India, Apple

[“Source-Gadgets”]

60 Percent of Online Traffic Now Comes From Mobile

using smartphone

If your business depends upon online traffic, you should know. More than half of digital traffic online now comes from mobile devices and through mobile apps.

A comScore report says smartphones and tablets combined now account for 6o percent of all online traffic up from 50 percent a year ago. And 51 percent of that traffic is driven by mobile apps (like those for digital radio such as Pandora or Spotify, digital messaging like WhatsApp or Viber and social apps like Facebook and Twitter.)

Significantly, this is a very different measure than the amount of organic traffic driven by mobile, as cited in another recent report from SEO platform BrightEdge.

That study suggested that about 23 percent of organic traffic to websites now originates from Android or iPhone devices while 12 percent comes from tablets. But this report looked only at traffic originating from mobile search, in other words, someone looking for something using a search engine like Google or Bing via their phone or tablet.

The comScore report examines a much broader cross section of online traffic. It could just as easily be looking at visitors delivered to your website via a link on a Facebook app as from a mobile search for your business on a search engine.

online traffic report

One conclusion is that, while categories like digital radio and photo sites like Instagram and Flickr may draw more activity, for marketers (and small businesses) social media is most important.

In it’s official report, comScore explains:

“While social networking does not rank at the very top of this list among the most mobile-skewing content categories, it is arguably the most important. The #1 category in terms of overall digital engagement accounting for 20% of total digital time spent, social networking now generates more than 70% of its activity on mobile. When considering the category’s contribution to total digital ad spending, its rapid shift to mobile marks an important sign of the times for the Internet economy.”

The report adds that:

  • Mobile activity on social media has grown by 55 percent over the past year.
  • It has also accounted for 31 percent of all growth in Internet activity over the same period.
  • Facebook alone accounts for 24 percent of all mobile activity online and its primary app is responsible for 18 percent.

The report should give you a whole new perspective on the importance of social media marketing for your business, especially on sites like Facebook.

Mobile Photo via Shutterstock, comScore

[“source-ndtv”]

60 Percent of Online Traffic Now Comes From Mobile

using smartphone

If your business depends upon online traffic, you should know. More than half of digital traffic online now comes from mobile devices and through mobile apps.

A comScore report says smartphones and tablets combined now account for 6o percent of all online traffic up from 50 percent a year ago. And 51 percent of that traffic is driven by mobile apps (like those for digital radio such as Pandora or Spotify, digital messaging like WhatsApp or Viber and social apps like Facebook and Twitter.)

Significantly, this is a very different measure than the amount of organic traffic driven by mobile, as cited in another recent report from SEO platform BrightEdge.

That study suggested that about 23 percent of organic traffic to websites now originates from Android or iPhone devices while 12 percent comes from tablets. But this report looked only at traffic originating from mobile search, in other words, someone looking for something using a search engine like Google or Bing via their phone or tablet.

The comScore report examines a much broader cross section of online traffic. It could just as easily be looking at visitors delivered to your website via a link on a Facebook app as from a mobile search for your business on a search engine.

online traffic report

One conclusion is that, while categories like digital radio and photo sites like Instagram and Flickr may draw more activity, for marketers (and small businesses) social media is most important.

In it’s official report, comScore explains:

“While social networking does not rank at the very top of this list among the most mobile-skewing content categories, it is arguably the most important. The #1 category in terms of overall digital engagement accounting for 20% of total digital time spent, social networking now generates more than 70% of its activity on mobile. When considering the category’s contribution to total digital ad spending, its rapid shift to mobile marks an important sign of the times for the Internet economy.”

The report adds that:

  • Mobile activity on social media has grown by 55 percent over the past year.
  • It has also accounted for 31 percent of all growth in Internet activity over the same period.
  • Facebook alone accounts for 24 percent of all mobile activity online and its primary app is responsible for 18 percent.

The report should give you a whole new perspective on the importance of social media marketing for your business, especially on sites like Facebook.

Mobile Photo via Shutterstock, comScore

[“source-smallbiztrends”]

Forza Horizon 3 Demo Now Available on Windows 10; HDR Support for Xbox One Demo Added

Forza Horizon 3 Demo Now Available on Windows 10; HDR Support for Xbox One Demo Added

Forza Horizon 3 Demo Now Available on Windows 10; HDR Support for Xbox One Demo Added
HIGHLIGHTS
Demo requires 21GB of disk space to install
HDR support for demo on Xbox One S added
Game can be downloaded from Windows Store
Beta and demo versions of most games are released well ahead of their full release in order to build the hype around the launch of the game and let the players test their machines with the game’s requirements. The latter reason has become increasingly important as the games have become more demanding than ever. Disregarding the usual trend, Microsoft has now released a demo version of its racing game Forza Horizon 3 on Windows, more than a month after its official release.
Forza Horizon 3 has been received extremely well by the critics since its release and in our review of the game, we specifically pointed out the brilliant visuals and the wide range of the car roster available in the game. The demo version of the game on Xbox One was made available ahead of its official release but for some reason, Microsoft decided to hold back the PC version up until now.

(Also Read: Forza Horizon 3 Review)
The demo for the off-road racing game by Microsoft Studios can be downloaded from Windows Store here. The demo version of the game requires disk space of around 21GB.
It should be noted that even the minimum requirements necessary to play the game are demanding than some of the other titles on PC. As per the game’s listing, your setup requires at least 8GB of RAM and an equally or more capable processor than 3.4GHz i5 3570. In terms of graphic cards, your setup should have a graphic card equally or more capable than NVIDIA GTX 750 Ti or AMD R7 250X.

Apart from releasing the demo version of the Forza Horizon 3 for PC, the company has also introduced HDR support – which has been present on the full game from day one – to the Xbox One demo version of the game, meant for players on the Xbox One S and those using an HDR display.

Forza Horizon 3 received 9 out of a possible 10 rating in our review and we termed it as “vastly improved and polished instalment in the Forza Horizon series.” Given that the PC version also supports resolutions up to 4K, it might be the best time to check if your system is ready for this monster of a game before spending your hard earned money on it.

Tags: Forza Horizon 3, Gaming, Forza Horizon 3 PC Demo, Forza, Windows Store, Microsoft

[“source-ndtv”]

Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare Now Available Worldwide for Windows, PS4, and Xbox One

Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare Now Available Worldwide for Windows, PS4, and Xbox OneCall of Duty: Infinite Warfare Now Available Worldwide for Windows, PS4, and Xbox One
HIGHLIGHTS
Game available in retail stores as well as for digital download
Available on PC, PS4, and Xbox One
Gameplay trailer received flak on YouTube
Call of Duty is one of those game franchises that churns out annual editions of its game but still captivates the interest of video-game enthusiasts around the world with its releases. Now, the series has come up with its latest entry – Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare, which is now available for retail worldwide in stores as well as digitally.

(Also See: Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare Review)

The game has been released on Windows PC, PS4, and Xbox One. In terms of storage size, users will need between 44.6GB to 53.6GB of free on the PS4 to install the game while on the Xbox One, they’ll need 52.1GB of free space to install Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare. A day one patch to fix stability issues is out as well, weighing in at roughly 6GB. Though there were no perceptible changes on the PS4 version we played.
In our review of the game, we found the single-player campaign to be “entertaining enough to keep well worn gameplay mechanics from getting stale,” while we found that the multiplayer component of the game and its monetisation model to be glaring points of concern.

If you purchase the Legacy, Legacy Pro or Digital Deluxe Edition you will also receive a copy of remastered version of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare.
“We began three years ago with the goal to push ourselves in an all-new direction and take players to places they’ve never been before. In Infinite Warfare, we’re telling a classic war story of good vs. evil, and adding an epic backdrop that lets us introduce a ton of innovative gameplay,” Studio Head of game’s developer Infinity Ward Dave Stohl was quoted as saying in company’s release.
Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare might prove to be one of the most crucial entries for the game series in recent times, as the Activision franchise has been facing serious competition from Battlefield One, the latest instalment of the rival game franchise from EA. The war, in figurative terms, between the latest entries from both franchises started right from the time when gameplay trailers for both games came out. The Infinite Warfare trailer received highly negative feedback from fans as it was downvoted in huge numbers on YouTube.

Contrastingly, Battlefield One created a positive buzz for its gameplay and was upvoted in large numbers. As the two franchises have been facing-off against each other for a long time, comparisons were drawn almost immediately. However, the game should not be discarded as we have earlier pointed out that single-player campaign shows promise with space combat, elements of exploration, and some interesting set-pieces.

“Infinite Warfare is hands-down the best story campaign we’ve had in years and is a leap forward in the fluid, fast-paced action that Call of Duty fans know and love,” CEO of Activision Eric Hirshberg was quoted as saying in company’s release.

Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare game has been available for pre-order in India since September and can be bought from websites like Amazon and Flipkart as well.

You can check out the PC system requirements for Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare over here.

Tags: Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare, Call of Duty, Gaming, Microsoft, Sony, Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare Release, Xbox One, PS4, PC

[“source-ndtv”]

It’s Time to Invest In Tech for Your Small Business – Now What?

Are you a fledgling entrepreneur? To help get your dream up-and-running, here's a list of the must-have technology for your new small business.

Entrepreneurs have enough on their plate without worrying about the technological needs of their new business. Between complicated and highly technical infrastructure, advanced operating systems and constantly evolving technologies, it can be difficult for the most steadfast of IT pros to keep up.

The majority of today’s enterprises share many of the same IT needs, so there are some generic steps you can follow to ensure your company’s capacity for doing business in the 21st century.

Must-Have Technology for Your New Small Business

Computer Hardware

Think of your computer hardware as the basic infrastructure of your entire IT operation. Personal and laptop computers, user workstations, mainframe systems, dedicated servers and even the wires, hubs and routers that connect them are all a part of your company’s most rudimentary of technological needs.

Modern computers are powerful enough today that nearly any store-bought model could run a business, but the majority of consumer-oriented PCs are geared toward gaming, multimedia or online streaming. As you can probably tell, none of these applications are useful when maintaining an enterprise.

Servers provide you with massive amounts of storage that are accessible by any devices within your business network. They are incredibly helpful when launching a new business because many servers are scaleable, meaning they can be upgraded and expanded, as your IT requirements grow.

The hardware needed to run a successful enterprise ultimately depends on your area of business. For many, a system with a speedy processor and a relatively low amount of RAM will suffice. If you have a server, you can also afford to skimp on the storage capacity of your individual workstations and devices.

Computer Software

Once you decide on the exact type of hardware you’ll run, it’s time to choose your software. There are a plethora of options available, but companies tend to use Windows or Linux. In fact, Microsoft currently accounts for roughly 75 percent of all enterprise systems today.

In contrast, Linux is currently used on 99 percent of supercomputers across the world. There are a number of different Linux distributions available, including Red Hat, Ubuntu, SUSE and more. Some of these platforms are compatible with Microsoft Windows, which bolsters the usefulness and versatility of all systems involved, but most businesses don’t require a Linux-powered supercomputer.

People who value security may want to consider Apple computers. Mac OS X is generally more secure than both Windows and Linux, so enterprises dealing with confidential or highly sensitive materials might require the additional protection.

Industrial Computers

Some businesses might require an industrial computer. They were once reserved for the largest of corporations and academic institutions, but they’re now used by companies of all sizes. Built specifically with durability, reliability and efficiency in mind, today’s industrial computers maintain their performance in the toughest of environments. Common applications include manufacturing, mining, commercial transportation, national defense, aerospace and more.

Industrial computers are slightly more advanced than their consumer-level counterparts, but many of the same tips apply when choosing an industrial system for your business. The speed and reliability of the computer’s processor should be the topmost priority, with system RAM and storage capacity of lesser importance.

Intel has made it easy to gauge the general performance of its processors simply by looking at its name. By assigning specific codenames to each new generation of processor, they’ve made it easy to tell the new from the old. The first generation of Intel processors, for example, received the nickname of Avondale. The fourth and most recent generation carries the moniker of Haswell.

Mobile Connectivity

With so many consumers now using mobile technology on a daily basis, including smartphones, laptops and a myriad of other devices, it only makes sense for business to try and accommodate business on the go. It isn’t a viable option in some cases, but businesses that utilize a mobile workforce typically see reduced absenteeism, improved employee morale and even greater productivity.

Apart from benefiting your new company, the integration of mobile technology with your new business can have other effects, too. Your company will produce a smaller carbon footprint, experience lower overhead costs and stay on top of the latest advancements in IT.

Supporting Startup Success Through Technology

There’s an undeniable mainstream reliance on modern computing, so entrepreneurs should take every step possible when building their enterprise IT systems. Given the highly technical and advanced nature of the job at hand, you might want to recruit the help of an IT professional to judge IT needs, install infrastructure and commission software.

Technology Photo via Shutterstock

[“source-smallbiztrends”]

Top 13 U.S. Microlenders for Small Businesses Right Now

13 Top Small Business Microlenders for Small Businesses in the U.S. Right Now

What is a microloan, and is one right for your small business?

If you’re a small-business owner on a quest for capital, there are several smart reasons to turn to nonprofit microlenders. These lenders go beyond making small loans to entrepreneurs and provide some benefits that traditional lenders don’t:

  • Profit is not their objective. Many microlenders are called mission-focused or mission-based lenders. They offer loans from government or nonprofit programs geared to helping disadvantaged communities, including areas that are struggling economically. Some microlenders also operate internationally, helping entrepreneurs in developing nations.
  • Microlenders typically offer loans of $50,000 or less to startups and other small-scale operations. Some make bigger loans to more established businesses.
  • Many microlenders and nonprofits provide pro bono consulting and training, including helping small businesses build credit.

Good Options for Nonprofit Financing

Top U.S. microlenders by loan volume

SBA Microloan Program lenders

Other notable nonprofit microlenders

Below, we list 13 sources for nonprofit financing. They include the top lenders based on information from two major small-business institutions, the U.S. Small Business Administration and the Aspen Institute, a Washington, D.C.-based policy and educational research nonprofit.

When considering these lenders, keep in mind that microloans have limitations. Because many nonprofits rely on grants, donations or government guarantees or allocations, the number of loans they offer and the amount you can borrow are limited. Funding constraints can also mean strict borrower requirements. And many nonprofits operate only in specific states or regions.

Nonprofit microlenders are also grappling with a major trend in small-business financing: the rapid rise of online lending. It offers quicker but usually more expensive access to cash, says Steven Cohen, president of Excelsior Growth Fund, a New York-based community development lender.

“You see a lot of businesses trading off speed and efficiency for cost,” he says. “But you also see an incredibly crowded marketplace where there isn’t a whole lot of transparency. Nonprofits have the challenge of getting the word out there that, ‘We’re here. … We’re more affordable.’ ”

Top Small Business Microlenders in the U.S.

The Aspen Institute’s FIELD program runs the U.S. Microenterprise Census, which collects data from microlenders across the country. Here are the top five microlenders by total loan amount disbursed, according to the program’s 2014 survey, the most recent data available.

Grameen America

Grameen America is affiliated with the Grameen Foundation, an international organization known for programs that help poor communities address their own needs. Grameen America has disbursed more than $490 million in loans to tens of thousands of women in the U.S. The organization has a nontraditional lending system: Borrowers must form a group with four other women they trust. That group then participates in a week of financial training, at the end of which each member opens a savings account and receives a $1,500 microloan to build a small business.

Microloans disbursed in 2014: $100.7 million

LiftFund

San Antonio-based LiftFund offers microloans in the southern U.S., including Texas, Georgia and Florida. Borrowers typically use the financing to buy equipment and supplies. The microloans are also meant to help small-business owners improve their credit and more likely to qualify for a bank loan in the future, the lender says on its website. LiftFund got a boost in October 2016 when JPMorgan Chase & Co. announced almost $5 million in funding for its new small-business loan program in New Orleans, Atlanta, Dallas, Houston, San Antonio and Austin, Texas.

Microloans disbursed in 2014: $18.7 million

Opportunity Fund

California-based Opportunity Fund has been serving residents of the state since 1994, with more than $160 million in microloans. Its borrowers have a median household income of $31,000 per year. Around 90% are minority-owned businesses, and about 30% are women-owned businesses. Opportunity Fund also provides financial literacy education to business owners.

Microloans disbursed in 2014: $17.7 million

Accion New Mexico

Accion New Mexico offers small-business loans from $1,000 to $1 million in New Mexico, Arizona, Colorado, Nevada and Texas. The nonprofit also provides business counseling and marketing support and sponsors educational events. It’s part of the Accion U.S. Network, which also has major chapters in New York, Chicago and San Diego. The international Accion nonprofit offers financing services and assistance, including microloans, in 32 countries.

Microloans disbursed in 2014: $8.9 million

Justine Petersen

Justine Petersen, which is based in St. Louis, offers small-business loans, typically of less than $10,000. The nonprofit also finances businesses in rural areas through the U.S. Department of Agriculture Intermediary Relending Program and originates loans of up to $150,000 as part of the SBA’s Community Advantage Program.

Microloans disbursed in 2014: $8.4 million

Top SBA Nonprofit Lenders

Aside from its signature 7(a) term loans, the SBA issues low-cost small-business financing through a network of nonprofits.

The SBA Microloan Program offers loans of up to $50,000 administered through community-based nonprofit groups. The SBA Community Advantage Program offers loans of up to $250,000 in communities that historically have had limited access to capital. The federal agency guarantees up to 85% of Community Advantage financing.

Here are the top five nonprofits in the SBA programs based on total loan amount disbursed to small businesses in 2015, the most recent data available:

CDC Small Business Finance Corp.

CDC Small Business Finance Corp. offers different types of financing for new and expanding businesses in California, Arizona and Nevada, including SBA Community Advantage loans of between $20,000 and $250,000. It also issues SBA commercial real estate loans, known as the SBA 504 loans, for clients planning to buy an existing building or build a new facility.

SBA Community Advantage and microloans disbursed in 2015: $11.7 million

Valley Economic Development Corp.

Valley Economic Development Corp. specializes in small-business loans and microfinancing for entrepreneurs who don’t qualify for loans from traditional banks. It’s based in Los Angeles but also operates in other states, including Nevada, Illinois and New York. Aside from the SBA Community Advantage program, it participates in other small-business financing programs, including the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses, the National African-American Small-Business Loan Fund and the National Microfinance Network.

SBA Community Advantage and microloans disbursed in 2015: $9.7 million

Empire State Certified Development Corp.

Empire State Certified Development Corp. is part of the New York Business Development Corp., a major SBA lender. It was the top SBA Community Advantage lender in 2014. Empire State CDC also participates in the SBA commercial loan program.

SBA Community Advantage and microloans disbursed in 2015: $7.6 million

Main Street Launch

Main Street Launch, previously known as OBDC Small Business Finance, serves clients in the San Francisco Bay Area. It provides small-business loans of $10,000 to $250,000 that can be used for such expenses as equipment purchase, inventory or working capital.

SBA Community Advantage and microloans disbursed in 2015: $7.4 million

LiftFund

LiftFund, listed above among top U.S. microlenders, also offers SBA Community Advantage loans of $50,000 to $250,000 to businesses in low- to moderate-income communities in 13 states. Business owners can also qualify if more than 50% of their full-time workforce is low-income or if their employees live in areas designated as low- to moderate-income communities.

SBA Community Advantage and microloans disbursed in 2015: $6.6 million

Other Notable Nonprofits

Kiva U.S.

Kiva U.S. is a part of Kiva, a nonprofit working in more than 80 countries. To receive an interest-free microloan through Kiva U.S., borrowers first must have friends and family members lend to the venture. This helps establish the borrower’s creditworthiness. Once that happens, Kiva opens the loan to its lenders for funding.

Pacific Community Ventures

Pacific Community Ventures is a San Francisco-based community development lender that offers loans of between $10,000 and $200,000 to small businesses in California. You need to have been in business at least a year and have at least two employees. However, if you have a solid business record and a firm grasp of your business finances, PCV may offer you a loan even if you fall short on some requirements.

Excelsior Growth Fund

Excelsior Growth Fund offers online loans of up to $100,000 for approved borrowers in less than five days and funding of up to $500,000 through its ImpactLoan program. The lender deals with borrowers who typically wouldn’t qualify for traditional financing because their company is a startup or has poor credit. Through affiliates, it also provides SBA 7(a) and Community Advantage loans.

Business Center for New Americans

Business Center for New Americans provides financing of between $500 and $50,000 to small businesses in New York City. Borrowers must be in the retail, light manufacturing, restaurant or service industry, and existing businesses must have at least three to six months of “verifiable revenue,” according to the organization. Brand-new companies must present a startup budget.

For other small-business financing, compare options on NerdWallet’s small-business loans tool page.

Compare business loans

Microlending Photo via Shutterstock

More in: Publisher Channel Content

[“source-smallbiztrends”]

How to Get Google Play and Android Apps on Your Chromebook Right Now

How to Get Google Play and Android Apps on Your Chromebook Right Now

HIGHLIGHTS

  • This method requires users to switch to the Canary canal
  • Toshiba Chromebook 2015 can find it in the developer channel as well
  • This method is very unstable

Google announced the arrival of Android apps on Chromebooks at I/O this year. However months later, only a handful of Chromebooks have received Google Play support, and Google is taking rather slow steps to make it available to all the compatible Chromebooks. Luckily, there is another cheat way to get Play Store to work on Chromebooks, and start using Android apps immediately.

Of course, before we begin to tell you the way, it is important to warn you that the method is unsafe. It requires you to use the Canary canal, which is extremely unstable. If the method backfires, it could cause some damage to your machine, and we recommend you to move forward at your own risk.

This method won’t work on all models, but should at least work on the 50 models that Google listed earlier in the year. If you have one of these laptops, and want Google Play installed immediately, enable developer mode on your Chromebook by pressing Esc+F5+Power. Then Press Ctrl+D and follow the instructions.

After the Chromebook boots, press Ctrl+D again to jump verification. Switch to Canary Canal by pressing Ctrl+Alt+T, and type Shell in the command prompt. Then type ‘sudo su’ and then enter ‘update_engine_client -channel=canary-channel -update’ to switch to canary channel.

Again press Ctrl+Alt+T > Type Shell > Type sudo su > then ‘echo ‘-enable-arc’ > /usr/local/chrome_dev.conf > mount -o bind /usr/local/chrome_dev.conf /etc/chrome_dev.conf’. Now press Ctrl + Shift + Q two times to log out. After signing out, sign back in and restart your machine. After the reboot, the Chromebook should have the Google Play Store installed.

If you do not see it immediately, browse through the Settings menu to see if there is an option to enable Google Play. This process was posted by Google Plus users, and was first spotted by Chrome Story.

Justin Slatten on Google Plus also notes that Toshiba Chromebook 2015 users need not switch to the Canary canal, and can find Google Play on the developer channel as well. 9to5Google has done a full video with step by step instructions as well.

User can switch back to the stable Chrome OS channel anytime, by hitting Ctrl+Alt+T > Type Shell > Type sudo su > Enter following command: update_engine_client -channel=stable-channel -update > and then press space bar at boot.

Tags: Google, Chromebooks, PCs, Laptops, Google Play, Android Apps

[“Source-Gadgets”]

Google Project Fi’s Wi-Fi Assistant Feature Now Available to Nexus Users

Google Project Fi's Wi-Fi Assistant Feature Now Available to Nexus Users

HIGHLIGHTS

  • The Wi-Fi Assistant feature was first exclusive to Project Fi users
  • The feature can now be used on all Nexus smartphones
  • Project Fi is active only on Nexus 6P, Nexus 6 and Nexus 5X smartphones

Google is introducing a nifty feature for all Nexus users to help them save precious data. The company is releasing a feature called Wi-Fi Assistant that will enable users to connect to open and free Wi-Fi networks in their area automatically.The Wi-Fi Assistant feature will be made available to Nexus users in United States, Canada, Mexico, UK, and Nordic countries only. Also, only those Nexus smartphones that are running on Android 5.1 Lollipop will see this feature.

In order to enable Wi-Fi Assistant, head to Settings > Google > Networking > Wi-Fi Assistant. Switch the toggle on and off to set your preferred settings. Once Wi-Fi Assistant is enabled, a small key will show up in the top corner. This feature will let your smartphone automatically connect to open and free Wi-Fi networks in the vicinity, thereby saving your data whenever it can. It will automatically adjust to optimal connections and switch from one network to another without interrupting service. If you wish to opt out of a specific open Wi-Fi network, then just select ‘forget this network’ against the particular network in the Wi-Fi settings panel.

The Wi-Fi Assistant feature was earlier exclusive to Project Fi-enabled devices earlier, but Google has now made it available to all Nexus users. Google unveiled Project Fi mobile telephone network in April last year in a bid to curb use of expensive roaming data and keep phone bills low. After ten months of testing, it opened the service up for all users in March this year, and launched in partnerships with Sprint and T-Mobile. Just last month, it also announced a partnership with telecom giant Three. Project Fi is active only on Nexus 6P, Nexus 6 and Nexus 5X smartphones.

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Share a screenshot and win Samsung smartphones worth Rs. 90,000 by participating in the #BrowseFaster contest.

Tags: Google, Project Fi, Nexus 6P, Nexus 6, Nexus 5X, Mobiles, Android, Wi-Fi Assistant

 

[“Source-Gadgets”]