How to Hide Calls and Texts from Specific Contacts on Android

Do you have specific Android phone contacts whose incoming alerts you’d like to keep private? Sometimes unwanted texts and calls show up and you’d rather screen such calls and keep the user conversations a secret. The following apps will successfully hide your calls and SMS logs on Android from specific contacts. Similarly, we cover how to block the text from chosen contacts on WhatsApp.

Hide Calls and SMS on Android from Specific Contacts

There are plenty of Android apps that hide your calls and SMS history. But if you want this feature for just a few specific contacts, we recommend Calculator Pro+, which helps save SMS/MMS/call logs behind a typical calculator screen. Download the app from Play Store to proceed.

Hide Texts Calls Calculator Pro

To hide the calls and SMS, you need to enable the app’s access to phone contacts and storage. Click “Got it” to proceed. You have to give your acceptance to a privacy policy and install a related app called “AdvanceSMS” to monitor your SMS messages. You will be quickly guided through each step.

Hide Texts Calls Calculator Permissions

A four-digit pin will hide the contacts’ calls and SMS logs behind the calculator screen. Make sure to write down the PIN number. In case you forget the PIN, you will have to uninstall the app and start all over again.

Hide Texts Calls Calculator Pin

Once the Message box screen shows, you can see an option to add contacts which will take you to your list of contacts. From there, you can choose the contacts you want to screen beforehand.

Hide Texts Calls Calculator Add Contacts

After you add a contact to the private database, you will receive an alert that all SMS belonging to the contact has been moved. This includes all the past SMS messages and call logs related to the contact. You can have a customized notification enabled for each contact so that you know it’s from them.

Hide Texts Calls Calculator Contact Added

Calculator Pro+ has some advanced features, such as a virtual phone number purchase (in the Pro version), dark themes and an advanced setting where you can hide the app itself from your phone’s app menu. Once you’ve hidden the app, you can access it from the link given on the screen on any mobile browser.

Hide Texts Calls Calculator App Hidden

Apart from Calculator Pro+, you can use another related app, TextU, which screens calls and SMS text for specific Android phone contacts.

Hiding WhatsApp Texts on Android from Specific Contacts

Many people use WhatsApp as an alternative to SMS messaging. To block the texts and calls on WhatsApp for specific contacts, you need to download an app called Chat Locker for WhatsApp. Once done, you will have to set up a passcode. You can also use a fingerprint locker from the app’s Settings.

Hide Texts Calls Whatsapp Chat Locker Passcode

To use this app in conjunction with WhatsApp, you need to give it permissions. On most Android phones, you can go to an “Accessibility” option in the phone’s Settings and turn the app on for accessing WhatsApp chat/group.

Hide Texts Calls Whatsapp Accessibility Permissions

Now go to the WhatsApp Chat Locker homescreen and click the “+” sign to add WhatsApp contacts.

Hide Texts Calls Whatsapp Add Contact

Select the WhatsApp contact or group you want to screen from snooping eyes.

Hide Texts Calls Whatsapp Added Contact

After adding, you can see the contact in the chat locker app homescreen.

Hide Texts Calls Whatsapp Contact Lockerjpg

Once done, any WhatsApp texts and calls from this contact are no longer visible without reentering the passcode.

Hide Texts Calls Whatsapp Passcode Reentered

What Is 6G and How Does It Work?

Although it hasn’t been long after the emergence of 5G, technology companies are already preemptively preparing themselves for the following generation of wireless technology, namely 6G. What exactly does this entail? How will it work?

A Clarification

Before we get to the juicy bit, we have to clarify something: at the time of writing, 6G is nowhere close to being properly tested or implemented. Reports that China launched the “first 6G satellite” in November 2020 are not false but have a tendency to sensationalize the whole ordeal slightly.

Yes, China launched a terahertz-capable testbed satellite into space, but this was only testing a part of 6G technology.

What Is 6G?

If it isn’t already obvious, 6G is the sixth generation of wireless communication technology. It’s not set in stone yet, but the standard promises to establish a more ubiquitous and reliable Internet presence across all cellular networks. To get more into the nitty gritty, we’ll have to explain what makes this standard different from its more well-known predecessors.

6g Antennatower

We call this new standard “6G” and not “faster 5G” or “enhanced 5G” because there’s a difference in how each standard is applied by hardware manufacturers. A 6G transceiver box that’s providing communications services to another device won’t have enough similarities in its internals to participate in the same generation as its predecessor.

Put simply, the requirements that 6G is supposed to meet will need manufacturers to completely redesign their products’ communications suites to work with those parameters. This was the same reason 5G became something “different” rather than just being considered an enhanced version of 4G LTE.

What 6G Promises

At this point, no standard has fully been established, but telecom companies around the world are already speculating at what 6G could deliver. At the moment, it looks like this technology could deliver bandwidth of around 95 Gbits/second, providing a powerful platform for a multitude of devices to transmit and receive data with low latency and high reliability.

In essence, 6G looks to build on top of the powerful capabilities that 5G already delivers for the “Internet of things” ecosystem. People casually watching YouTube while taking a stroll on the sidewalk won’t notice much of a difference since older generations of communications tech already covers the bandwidth necessary for this.

The real difference will come when there’s enormous potential for network congestion in an area. Bigger pipes make large volumes of water flow more smoothly!

In short, since 5G (and to a major extent, even 4G LTE) covers the vast majority of mobile needs in our current society, 6G is just telecom operators anticipating new developments in consumer and business technology that will require even more room to breathe.

It’s Not Just the Hardware!

Besides changing the way transceiver boxes are manufactured, 6G will also change the entire infrastructure of a local cellular network. As a rule, an increase in transmission rate requires a tighter distribution of cells.

In the end, all of this fancy talk about new standards boils down to different ways of using the radio spectrum to transform waves into data and vice versa. Each new generation uses a higher frequency of the spectrum while sacrificing wavelength. Having to make this sacrifice means that the cellular carrier will have to deal with range issues.

Each generation of cellular technology using shorter-wavelength signals forces both manufacturers and network providers to have to deal with new infrastructure challenges. 6G is no different.

It’s not just the devices that will have to change – it’s everything. And we’re not even done yet with 5G.

Trouble in Paradise

To truly understand the scale of what strains our cellular networks are being put under, we’ll have to walk back one step and compare 5G to 4G.

A typical 4G LTE network transceiver can serve its local cell up to about 10 miles. This means that if you’re setting up a network with the intention of keeping your customers under a seamless 4G “bubble,” you would have to make sure that you set it up in such a way that no one is more than 10 miles from one of your powerful antennas.

If you want to scale up your network to 5G, you would have to shrink those 10 miles to 1,000 feet with the same amount of power. It’s not impossible, but the proposition becomes more expensive and invasive on existing city infrastructure.

6G will have a lot of trouble getting out of the drawing board and into practical application if it’s going to be blanketing entire areas of a city with transceivers.

The Road Ahead

While it’s clear that there are several challenges for 6G technology to overcome, not the least of which is the cumbersome infrastructure needed to get it up and running, it’s not too far-fetched to believe that telecom providers will gear up to compete for being the first to implement it in many communities.

6g Iotcell

All signs point to 6G becoming a reality in 2030, but speculation can only take us as far as our imagination can. The reality is that it will be quite a while before the technology is truly tested and implemented at an appropriate scale for consumption. In the meantime, 5G still has a long way to go before it becomes as ubiquitous as its predecessor.


Audio Hackers Create an “Infinite Bass Solo” Live Stream Using AI

In my short span of writing about artificial intelligence (AI), I have seen its use in various industries and sectors. However, an AI live streaming bass solo till the end of time? Well, that is a first for me.

The audio-hacking duo, CJ Carr and Zack Zukowski, started using AI to create never-ending music streams on YouTube. The hackers launched this as a project named “Dadabots” and use a recurrent neural network (RNN) to create live streams on never-ending music.

So, Dadabots’ recent live stream is an “infinite bass solo” which they created using two hours of bass improvisations by popular YouTuber and bassist, Adam Neely. You can check out the live stream right below.

How Does it Work?

Now, for the unaware, a recurrent neural network is a kind of a machine learning model that identifies music patterns, predicts the most common elements, and then reproduces them in its own way. So, Carr and Zukowski trained this model on bass materials by Neely to start a never-ending live stream of unlimited bass solos.

The duo, following a few initial trials, limited the training dataset to fast-paced bass playing. This is because the RNN is more efficient in identifying faster tempos. As a result, the quality of the live stream improved by many folds and, according to the Dadabots team, this helped the AI to generate more exciting bass playing.

Carr and Zukowski also note that sometimes, in the live stream, it may seem that the AI is playing two bass guitars simultaneously. This happens because of the high-temperature values of the bass notes.

However, despite its imperfections, the AI does a pretty good job in reproducing the bass licks. So, if you are into fast-paced bass playing and want to use it in your projects, you can sample the audio from the live stream under a CC-BY license.


How to Uninstall a Program using CMD in Windows 10

If you are using Windows 10 and looking for ways to free up some disk space, you can uninstall apps that you no longer use. There are multiple ways to uninstall a program on Windows 10. For instance, you can easily uninstall an app from the Control Panel, from the Start menu, from Command Prompt, etc.

Step 1. First of all, click on the Windows search and search for CMD. Right-click on the CMD and select ‘Run as administrator’

select 'Run as administrator'

Step 2. Now you will see a full-fledged Command Prompt Window. Here you need to type in ‘Windows Management Instrumentation Command-line utility. Just type in 'wmic' on the Command prompt and hit the Enter button.

type in 'wmic' on the Command prompt

Step 3. Now type in the command 'product get name'

type in the command 'product get name'

Step 4. The above command will list the programs installed on your system.

List of installed programs

Step 5. Now you need to find the program name that you want to uninstall. Once done, execute the command given below.

product where name="program name" call uninstall

Execute the command

Note: Make sure to replace the ‘Program Name’ with the program’s name that you want to uninstall.

Step 6. Now on the confirmation window, type in the command ‘Y’ and hit the Enter button.

type in the command 'Y'

Step 7. Once done, wait until the process completes. Once completed, you will see the success message.

Success message

That’s it! You are done. This is how you can uninstall a program using Command Prompt in Windows 10.


What Is 5G Network and How Will It Benefit You?

If you have been following tech news lately, there is a good chance you have heard something about 5G. This next generation of wireless technology is all the buzz these days. The thing is, as many companies tout the benefits of 5G, consumers still don’t know much about what 5G really means. Sure, companies say it’s faster and better technology, but what does that mean for you? 

What Is 5G? 

The easy answer is that it is the next generation of wireless network technology. Currently, most of our smartphones and tablets work with 4G (or 4G LTE), which is fourth-generation technology. 5G is simply the next step and is far more evolutionary, rather than revolutionary. As part of a text definition, 5G, by design, should be able to handle more connected devices than today’s 4G networks. The hope is that it will allow new technologies that were unable to find success with 4G technologies to become mainstream.

2020 Tech Predictions 5g

On a technical note, 5G adds three different aspects that make it a bigger deal than 4G: It allows for significantly faster speeds, lower latency (faster response) and simultaneously connecting more devices. On the subject of connecting more devices at once, think about smart devices in your home, office and eventually in your cars. For now, 5G networks are still very much in their infancy. It’s going to take a few years before we see the coverage rival that of today’s widespread 4G networks. 

How 5G Works

High-Band 5G

Depending on your location, there are three basic variations of 5G coverage: low-, mid- and high-band coverage. High-band is a short range 5G network that likely only covers a few blocks from any one tower. This millimeter wave coverage (or mmWave for short) has a limited range requiring denser coverage (think more towers) in a geographic area.

One way high-band 5G carriers are solving this is the use of 5G small cells. Femocells, picocells and microcells can reach anywhere between 10 meters and two kilometers and can dramatically improve 5G coverage in buildings. Because it is a higher band, it also has a more difficult time passing through walls and windows, hence the use of small cells indoors. The good news is that high-band speeds can be super fast. Under ideal conditions, users can hope for speeds between 1Gbps and 3Gbps or higher, which makes it at least 30 times faster than today’s 4G networks.  

News 5g Uk Tower

Mid-Band 5G 

A more ideal spectrum for 5G, mid-band is able to carry a lot of data with the signal covering more distance from a tower. This is one of the most deployed 5G types around the world right now and will likely be what is found in more urban/metro areas. Also known as Sub-6GHz (less than 6 gigahertz), coverage can carry for at least several miles and does a better job of penetrating walls and buildings than high-band 5G.

Under ideal circumstances, mid-band speeds can be anywhere between 100 MB and 900 MB but as high as 2Gbps. Mid-band generally exists in the 2GHz to 6GHz frequency range, hence it’s Sub-6GHz name. As this is a common frequency around the world, many 5G-ready devices will arrive already supporting this technology. 

Low-Band 5G

Transmitting at between 600MHz and 850Mhz, low-band 5G will travel the most distance out of any of the three 5G frequencies. That is especially good news for rural areas where towers may require more distance between them. The flip side to that is this frequency range acts as more of a baseline for putting down blanket coverage than it does real 5G performance.

In this frequency range, customers can expect speeds that are only incrementally better than 4G (30 to 250Mbps) but not much more. The use of low-band 5G is more about providing a wide swath of coverage and speed and will be determined by proximity to the nearest tower. One definite positive note for the lower band is that it is among the best at penetrating walls and windows for indoor coverage.

Benefits of 5G

In a world obsessed with faster downloads and instant gratification, speed matters. This is very much a selling point of 5G. In addition, 5G can handle more connected devices at once than 4G on a single tower, leading to less spotty or slowed service in a crowded area.

When it comes to speed, depending on the type of 5G you are connecting to, the speed can be as much as 10 times faster than 4G. There are some experts who say those speeds can actually reach up to 100 times faster than 4G. In an ideal scenario, you could download a movie in less than 15 seconds whereas it could take as much as 10 minutes with 4G.

What Is 5g Networks 5g Devices

The Internet of things will benefit tremendously from 5G. Connecting devices to other devices and allowing them to communicate will offer vast improvements in our daily lives. This technology will likely enable autonomous cars to talk to each other while eliminating potential road dangers.

Cons of 5G

Don’t let online conspiracy theorists fool you. There is no massive 5G threat to taking over your minds, nor is it responsible for the coronavirus. Low-band and mid-band 5G are using the same radio frequencies that have been used for dozens of years, especially in the United States. Instead, the biggest con of 5G right now is likely the time it’s going to take to complete a rollout. Broad networks are expected to be in a good place in 2025 with around 50 percent of all mobile connections being 5G, according to GSMA

Top 5g Smartphones Galaxy S10 5g

One additional concern about 5G is the security and safety of the networks being built around it. As 5G is likely to power new technology like self-driving cars and healthcare systems, the networks need to be secure against hacking and/or hijacking attempts. 

Another con for 5G is that almost everyone will need new devices and technology to take advantage of its improvements. That means new manufacturing equipment for businesses, new smartphones and tablets with 5G modems, etc. Farms will need new 5G-enabled equipment to run a fully-integrated autonomous system for watering and irrigation. The good news is that there is already a good selection of smartphones that incorporate 5G modems from brands like Samsung and Apple. 


How to Unlock “Back Tap” Actions on Your iPhone

In many ways, iOS 14 has changed the way we interact with our iPhones. However, behind that new and modern interface powered by widgets, there are some fascinating “hidden” features as well. Speaking of those, Apple has introduced something called “Back Tap” – transforming the back side of your iPhone into an additional button. Let’s take a look at how to unlock “Back Tap” actions on your iPhone. 

What Is Back Tap?

This new iOS feature is part of a new set of accessibility features introduced in iOS 14. It’s designed to register double or triple taps on the back side of your iPhone. That input is then transformed into action, which you can set and customize to your liking. For example, you can double-tap on the back side of your iPhone to take a photo.

How to Enable “Back Tap” Actions on an iPhone

As you can imagine, your iPhone needs to run iOS 14 for this feature to work. Once you’ve made sure your smartphone is up to date, go through the following steps to activate “Back Tap” actions on your iPhone. 

1. From your phone’s home screen, navigate to and open the Settings app.

2. S scroll down a bit in the Settings app. Locate and tap on “Accessibility.” 

Back Tap Iphone Home Screen Settings App

3. Scroll down again until you see a group of features called “Physical and Motor.” Tap on “Touch.”

Back Tap Iphone Accessibility Options

4. Scroll to the bottom of the screen and choose “Back Tap.”

5. This is where you’ll see two options: “Double Tap” and “Triple Tap.” Click on any of those and go through a list of possible actions. Once you select the desired action, return to the previous screen to set up another “Back Tap” action or close the Settings app. 

Back Tap Iphone Available Actions

That’s it! You’re now free to try the new functionality of your iPhone. Remember to tap firmly on the back side of your iPhone for those taps to be registered properly. 

If you decide to disable this option, repeat the steps above. However, during the final step (while choosing a “Back Tap” action), select “None,” which will deactivate the “Back Tap” functionality. It’s as easy as that!

Which iPhones Support “Back Tap” Actions? 

Unfortunately, “Back Tap” actions aren’t available on all iPhone models. More precisely, iPhones need to be running iOS 14 and be one of the models shown on the following list:

  • iPhone 8 / 8 Plus
  • iPhone X / XS / XS Max / XR
  • iPhone 11 / 11 Pro / 11 Pro Max
  • iPhone 12 / 12 Mini / 12 Pro / 12 Pro Max

Expand “Back Tap” Actions Using the Shortcuts App

Once you get to the list of available “Back Tap” actions on your iPhone, you’ll see your shortcuts at the very bottom of that list. These actions come from the Shortcuts app on your phone, which significantly expands the functionality of “Back Tap” actions. 

Back Tap Iphone Shorcuts App Integration

In other words, feel free to explore the Shortcuts app. There are many great shortcuts already supplied by Apple in the Gallery tab of this app. Once you add any shortcut to Shortcuts, these will automatically appear in the list of possible “Back Tap” actions. That way, you can become a truly advanced iPhone user. 


4 Ways to Stop Windows 10 Forced Updates

Windows 10 is a great operating system, and Microsoft keeps on making it better by installing cumulative updates. Updates are an important part of your system, for security and stability reasons. However, the Windows 10 policy of forced updates has become a subject of controversy and one of its least-liked features.

While Microsoft aims to make Windows 10 more efficient by pushing updates, the idea of forced updates may have caused problems for users. Luckily, you can stop Windows 10 forced updates for a good amount of time. Here we show you how.

1. Pause and Delay Windows 10 Updates

If you don’t want to receive Windows 10 updates for a set amount of time, there are now a couple of ways to do it. 

Go to “Settings -> Update & Security -> Windows Update,” then click “Pause updates for 7 days.”

How To Stop Disable Windows 10 Updates Pause

This will stop Windows 10 from updating for seven days. If you like, you can click it again to “Pause updates for 7 more days.”

You can increase the default seven-day delay to Windows updates, too. In the Windows Update window, click “Advanced options,” then under “Pause updates,” click the drop-down and select the ending date for your Windows 10 updates block.

Stop Disable Windows 10 Updates Select Date

2. Mark Your Wi-Fi Connection as Metered

If you want to stop Windows 10 updates indefinitely, you can set your connection to a metered connection. As long as the metered connection button is set to “ON,” Windows 10 will never download any update without your permission.

To set your connection as metered, follow the steps below.

1. Press Win + I to launch the Settings app.

2. Click the “Network & Internet” option.


3. Under Wireless Network Connection, scroll down and click on the “Advanced Options” link.


4. A page will open with more options to configure your wireless networks. Look for the “Metered Connection” option. By default, this option is set to Off. Click and toggle it to On.


That’s it. Now Windows will not download anything in the background.

Note: setting your connection as metered will affect Bluetooth connectivity. 

3. Disable the Windows Update Service

The Windows Update Service can detect, download, and install Windows updates and applications. Once disabled, it stops the Windows automatic update feature. Since the Windows Update service is another Windows process, you can stop it by following these simple steps.

1. Press the Win + R keys to open the run command.  Type in services.msc and click OK.


2. From the Services list that appears, locate and click the “Windows Update” option to open it.


3. A Windows Update Properties box will open. In the Startup type (under the “General” tab), you’ll find the option to configure how you’d want the updates delivered. By default, this option is set to Automatic. You can disable it or change it to manual.


4. Lastly, head to the “Recovery” tab and click on it. In the “First failure section,” select “Take no action.” This will help prevent the Update Service from restarting and potentially resetting itself to automatic (default) after it fails to push updates.


5. Click “Apply,” then restart your PC.

Note: if you disable the Windows Update Service, your computer will not be able to download any updates. This will stop all future updates, and the programs will not be able to use the Windows Update Agent (WUA) API.

To re-enable the Windows Update service, repeat the above process but change the startup type to “Automatic.”

4. Stop Automatic Updates by Making Changes in the Group Policy Editor

The Windows 10 Group Policy also has a hidden feature that you can use to disable automatic updates. By tweaking some settings in the Group Policy Editor, you’ll be able to choose how you want the updates delivered. Here’s how to do it:

1. Press the Win + R keys to open the Run command. Type in gpedit.mscand press “OK” to launch the Local Group Policy Editor.

2. Find the Computer configuration option and click on it, then navigate to the Administrative Templates folder and click to expand it.


3. Under Administrative Templates, select the “Windows Components” folder and click on it.


The system will open a very long list of the Windows components. At the bottom of the list, you’ll find the Windows Update folder. Double-click on the folder to expand it.


4. Look for the “Configure Automatic Updates” option in the services list that will open. Double-click on it to open more Windows Update configuration settings.


5. A new window will open with more options to configure the Windows updates. Select “Enabled,” then scroll down to the available options and select the “Notify for downloads and notify for install” option from the drop-down list.


6. Click the “Apply” button and exit.

This way, whenever updates are available for your computer, Windows will be notifying you that updates are available for downloads rather than downloading and updating automatically. You can head to “Settings -> Windows Update” and choose to download and install the updates at your most convenient time. Windows will not be able to download or install updates without your permission.

To confirm whether the changes have been effected, launch the Settings app and head to “Updates & Security -> Windows Update -> Advanced Options.” You should see a “Notify to download” button that has been grayed out.


If you don’t see a grayed out “Notify to download” button, you may have missed a step or used the wrong settings.

The Windows 10 updates are a good thing, as they can help to boost system efficiency and security. But at times, stopping the updates can come in handy, especially when you want to stop a troublesome update from automatically reinstalling.


How to Capture Screenshots On Android using Google Assistant

If you have been using Android for a while, you might know that the operating system has a screenshot utility that triggers while holding the volume up + Home button. In some phones, it works by holding both the Volume Up + Volume Down buttons.

The stock screenshot utility of Android smartphones works well. You need to open the page where you want to take the screenshot and press the physical buttons. However, what if the Volume or Home button of your phone is broken or not working?

Note: If you are using the Google Assistant standalone app, then head to the Google Play Store and update the app.

Step 1. First of all, launch Google Assistant on your Android device.

Step 2. Now tap on the three horizontal lines as shown below.

tap on the three horizontal lines

Step 3. Tap on the profile picture and select ‘Settings.’

select 'Settings'

Step 4. Now scroll down and select ‘General’

select 'General'

Step 5. Under the General section, enable the option ‘Use Screen Content’ and ‘Donate Screen Captures.’

enable the option 'Use Screen Content' and 'Donate Screen Captures'

Step 6. Now open the app or webpage where you want to capture a screenshot. Launch the Google Assistant and tap on the ‘Share Screenshot’. If the Share screenshot option is not available, type ‘Screenshot’ or speak ‘Capture Screenshot.’

type 'Screenshot' or speak 'Capture Screenshot'

Step 7. Google Assistant will automatically capture the screenshot. You can save it on your Android or share it with your friends directly from the share menu.

Save or Share the screenshot

That’s it! You are done. This is how you can take screenshots using Google Assistant on Android.


UBports Announces Ubuntu Touch OTA-15 With F(x)tec Phone Support

After Ubuntu Touch OTA-12, OTA-13, and OTA-14 this year, the UBports team has now announced the release of its fifteenth stable Over-The-Air (OTA) update called Ubuntu Touch OTA-15.

As usual, the new OTA means Ubuntu Touch OS will support for more new mobile devices and brings number of improvements. Let’s see what it has to offer:

Ubuntu Touch OTA-15: What’s New?

Starting with new device support, it includes Google Pixel 3a, OnePlus Two, F(x)tec Pro1/Pro1-X, Xiaomi Redmi Note 7, and Samsung Galaxy Note 4.

Subsequently, you can now install Ubuntu Touch on these devices using the UBports Installer and have a “Stable” update channel as well for OTA software update.

Furthermore, the Morph web browser has received refinements to its user interface with a shiny new icon. With a redesigned tab switching interface, you can now swipe up from the bottom of the screen to switch tabs.

Continuing to improve support for Android 9 devices, OTA-15 has also fixed important bugs for problems such as popping sounds or dropping of audio frequently, Volla Phone‘s front camera picture rotation, and sending USSD codes.

Among other fixes, Ubuntu Touch OTA-15 includes Nuntium MMS error reporting, and support for dialling calls from Bluetooth devices.

With OTA-15, the UBports team has also again declared that the next OTA-16 might upgrade Qt toolkit from the current version 5.9 to a new 5.12 in order to improve app startup time and memory use.

Not just Qt toolkit, but the team has also decided to migrate from Ubuntu 16.04 LTS base to the latest Ubuntu 20.04 LTS. However, it’s not exactly clear about the transition of Ubuntu Touch base system.

How To Upgrade To OTA-15?

The OTA-15 update will be available next week for supported Ubuntu Touch devices such as Volla Phone, F(x)tec Pro1/Pro1 X, LG Nexus 4 and 5, OnePlus One, FairPhone 2, Xiaomi Redmi 4X, OnePlus 3, and 3T.

If you already have Ubuntu Touch on your mobile system, you can easily receive the OTA-15 upgrade from “Stable Channel” available in System Settings -> Updates -> Update Settings -> Channels.

However, if you want to update your OS immediately, you can turn on ADB access and issue the following command over adb shell:

sudo system-image-cli -v -p 0 --progress dots

Linux Mint 20.1 Beta Released With New IPTV App And WebApp Manager

After six months of development, Linux Mint founder Clem Lefebvre has officially announced a beta version of the new and upcoming Linux Mint 20.1 “Ulyssa.”

As you know, Linux Mint 20.1 is a long term support (LTS) version, which will receive security updates until 2025. The beta release comes with updated software, new features and available in CinnamonXfce, and MATE editions.

What’s New In Linux Mint 20.1 Beta?

Starting with new additions, Mint 20.1 Beta includes two brand new home-baked applications: Hypnotix and Web App Manager.

Hypnotix is an IPTV player for M3U playlists that comes with a free IPTV provider called Free-IPTV by default. It also supports live TV and provides freely and publicly available live TV channels.

Hypnotix — the new IPTV player
Hypnotix — the new IPTV player

Along with live TV, if your playlist or IPTV provider has a VOD (Video On Demand) section, you can even watch movies or TV series on Hypnotix.

Play movies
Play movies

Coming to web app manager, this application lets you create Web Apps by turning any website into a standalone desktop application.

Create Web Apps
Create Web Apps

These web apps act just like any other desktop app with their own window and icon. You can also launch it from the application menu (Web category) and pin it to your panel if you want to be able to access it quickly.

Web category in the application menu for Web Apps
Web category in the application menu for Web Apps

Furthermore, the new version 4.8 of the Cinnamon desktop brings better performance, including a 5% rendering improvement at 4K and lower use in its window management.

Additionally, Cinnamon 4.8 has brought support for Systemd’s “suspend-then-hibernate” mechanism, better Flatpak, Zstd in nemo-fileroller, and Thumbnails for files up to 64GB in Nemo file manager.

Here’s a brief summary of other changes that Linux Mint 20.1 Beta includes:

  • Linux Kernel 5.4
  • Based on Ubuntu 20.04 package base
  • Cinnamon 4.8, MATE 1.24, and Xfce 4.14 desktop
  • Added official Chromium package to Linux Mint repositories
  • Support for Favorites and a section for it in the file manager
  • Printing and Scanning improvements by removing ippusbxd driver
  • Upgraded HP Linux Imaging and Printing (HPLIP) driver to version 3.20.11
  • Filter by rating ability in Pix, an image viewer and browser
  • Enabled hardware video acceleration by default in Celluloid
  • Unified filesystem layout

How To Get Linux Mint 20.1 Beta?

You can grab the ISO images of Mint 20.1 Beta directly from available mirrors close to your location or using torrents and install it. Once the stable version arrives, you’ll also be able to upgrade it to the stable release.

At last, I would also like to mention that it’s a beta release that might contain critical bugs. Hence, you should only use it for testing purposes, not for a production run.