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 PhoneThe 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.

OnePlus 5 Price in India, Specifications, Release Date, and More: What the Rumour Mill Says

The OnePlus 5 launch is little over a week away, so the company is trying to keep the hype going for the smartphone with teasers on social media. But thanks to a flurry of leaks, we already know what to expect from the next OnePlus flagship. The global unveiling of the smartphone is scheduled for June 20, while a separate OnePlus 5 India launch will happen on June 22. The upcoming OnePlus 5 is widely expected to sport dual cameras at the back, and come with iPhone 7 Plus-like setup which is likely to be the biggest highlight. Some of the other notable features rumoured include Snapdragon 835 processor, and 8GB of RAM. Let’s look at what we know so far.

OnePlus 5 price in India

The OnePlus 5 price in India for the 6GB RAM and 64GB storage model is said to be Rs. 32,999, while the 8GB of RAM and 128GB storage model is said to cost Rs. 37,999. If these turn out to be the actual prices, the next flagship will be the most expensive OnePlus smartphone yet. Corroborating the higher price tag, a previous leak also suggested European pricing for the OnePlus 5 which is likely to be EUR 550 (roughly Rs. 39,990). To refresh, the OnePlus 3T was launched last year in India at Rs. 29,999 for the 64GB variant, and Rs. 34,999 for the 128GB variant. For availability, Amazon India source code has already revealed that the OnePlus 5 will be exclusive to the e-commerce website, and will go on sale the same day as India launch.

OnePlus 5 Price in India, Specifications, Release Date, and More: What the Rumour Mill SaysOnePlus 5 RAM and other specs

Coming to OnePlus 5 specifications, the smartphone is confirmed to feature the octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor, with clock speed of 2.35GHz. While both OnePlus and Qualcomm had earlier said it will be the first smartphone in India with Snapdragon 835, Sony has already beaten the Chinese brand to the punch with the India launch of its Xperia XZ Premium.

As mentioned earlier, OnePlus 5 is rumoured to be available in two variants: 6GB RAM + 64GB storage, and 8GB RAM + 128GB storage. It is said to run on Android 7.1 Nougat out-of-the-box. The smartphone is said to sport a 23-megapixel rear camera and a 16-megapixel camera at the front for selfies. As the device sports a dual camera setup at the back, how does 23-megapixel sensor fits in the scheme of things is currently unclear.

Other rumoured OnePlus 5 specifications include a front-facing fingerprint sensor, and a camera developed in partnership with DxO. The company also teased a camera sample showing excellent lowlight performance.

OnePlus 5 design

There has been a lot of talk around the design of the new OnePlus 5 but most turned out to be false after the company gave everyone a glimpse of the phone in an official teaser recently. From the back, the smartphone looks like iPhone 7 Plus, with the dual rear camera setup to boot. Unlike rumours that claimed vertical dual-rear camera setup, the OnePlus 5 is confirmed to sport horizontally placed sensors at the back. The phone is also likely to sport a slim profile, and is said to be “slimmest flagship smartphone” from the company. OnePlus CEO Pete Lau on Weibo had teased that the OnePlus 5 will be the slimmest flagship smartphone yet though it wasn’t clear whether he meant the slimmest among all the flagship smartphones out there or the slimmest among the OnePlus flagships.

How to recover deleted files for free

Accidentally deleting files is easy to do. It’s a sickening feeling when you realise what you’ve done. Fortunately, you might be able to get them back without spending any money.

Even though Windows may not be able to see a file you accidentally deleted – or perhaps became the victim to a disk failure – it’s usually possible that the data could still be there and able to be retrieved.

Many free programs attempt to recover deleted files, but you need to be careful before installing and using them (we’ll explain why below). Here we’re using Disk Digger, but most file recovery utilities work the same way, and we’ll recommend some alternatives if this doesn’t work for you.

• Download Disk Digger, extract the contents of the Zip folder and run the .exe file

• Select the disk containing your deleted files and click Next. Allow the tool to scan for missing files

• Check the list and preview images of returned files for your deleted document or media

• Select your file and click Recover selected files

• Choose a save location, which must be different to the original location

Look in the Recycle Bin for deleted files

The first thing you should do is check the Windows’ Recycle Bin if you’ve just deleted something you didn’t mean to. When you select a file and press the Delete key (or right-click and choose the Delete option from the menu), Windows makes no attempt to delete it at all.

Instead, it moves it to a special folder called the Recycle Bin, which has its own icon on the desktop. Restoring a file from the Recycle Bin is a simple matter of double-clicking on the desktop icon to display the contents and then right-clicking on the file and selecting Restore from the menu.

If the Recycle bin icon is not there, search in the Start menu for ‘Show or Hide’ and you should see a shortcut to the settings where you can tick the box next to the Recycle Bin and make it appear.

Don’t rely on the Recycle Bin as a safety net, though: it has a size limit and once you exceed that, older files will be deleted permanently and automatically. The default size is more than adequate for most people so there’s a very good chance that any files you want to restore will still be present in the Recycle Bin.  To check the capacity or alter it, right click on the Recycle Bin and choose Properties.

There are occasions when you’ve emptied the Recycle Bin too hastily, or perhaps you’re overly fond of the Shift-Delete shortcut which bypasses the Recycle Bin and actually deletes the data. (We’re still tying to wean ourselves off this unhelpful habit.)

if your files were on an SD card or USB flash drive there is no Recycle Bin function, so delete really is delete in this case.

How to run Android apps in Windows

Although smartphones are available with Windows, as the most popular operating system for handheld devices most of us are using Android while we’re on the move.

This means that we have to juggle two operating systems – Windows on our desktop or laptop, something quite different on our phone or tablet.

Many of us are used to sharing data between these devices – either by synchronising in the cloud or transferring documents locally via Bluetooth or USB.

But what about sharing software? If you have apps you like on your phone, why can’t you use them on your PC? Conversely, if you have a package that’s useful on your PC, why shouldn’t you be able to use it on your Android tablet? The good news is that you can.

Running Android apps and games on Windows

You can run Android apps on a Windows PC or laptop using an Android emulator app. BlueStacks is one solution, but it’s not entirely intuitive in use. YouWave and KoPlayer are alternatives for emulating Android in Windows.

The BlueStacks App Player is free to use. The program will allow you to run Android apps on your Windows machine, but as it’s not a full Android emulator you won’t get the full Android experience.

In order to use BlueStacks you’ll have to sign-in with a Google account; if you don’t have already have one you’ll need to sign up for one as you would on any Android device.

A key emphasis of BlueStacks is on playing Android games under Windows, so when you run BlueStacks most of the screen will be taken up with game suggestions.

However, unlike some similar packages, BlueStacks includes Google Play, so you can search for and install apps in just the same way as with a true Android phone or tablet.

We did experience a few problems, though, such as when we ran the Wind-Up Knight there were texture problems meaning we couldn’t properly see our game.

Secondly, with some apps, the screen looked very pixelated although this is probably inevitable on a large PC screen when you’re using an app that had been written for a small low-resolution screen.

Windows 10 Home vs Windows 10 Pro vs Windows 10 S

You want a new PC and by now you’ve probably made up your mind as to whether it should be a Windows, Mac or Linux device, but your choice is about to get more confused: should your new Windows laptop run Windows 10 S, Windows 10 Home or Windows 10 Pro?

Let’s narrow things down a bit and remove Windows 10 S from the equation. Windows 10 S is a new version of the OS that is aimed at students and teachers, though regular consumers may find it in their hands through purchasing a laptop preinstalled with the OS, such as the new Surface Laptop.

The OS itself has only just been announced, and we expect to get our first proper look at it in mid-June when the Surface Laptop goes on sale. With respect to other devices Microsoft has said only that Windows 10 S will be available this summer and in time for the next school year.

The key difference between 10 S and regular Windows is that you are not able to install apps from outside the Windows Store. If you need to install third-party apps on your laptop you will have to upgrade to Windows 10 Pro, which is offered as a free upgrade until 31 December 2017.

At least in this respect, choosing between Windows 10 S and Pro shouldn’t be too difficult – if you need anything you’re missing you can simply upgrade. But an advantage of sticking to 10 S will be its improved security – since apps are only downloaded from the Windows Store, and then run in a safe container on the laptop, malware shouldn’t be as much of an issue as it is with other versions of the OS.

What are the main differences between Windows 10 Home and Pro?

There are many things both Windows 10 and Windows 10 Pro can do, but just a few features that are supported only by Pro. To simplify things we’ve listed only the Windows 10 Pro features that aren’t also in Windows 10 Home in the table below.
Price

Price is one of the other main differentiators, although you can now buy both versions cheaper than the official Microsoft prices. Just watch out for very cheap offers as you may be emailed merely an activation key which may or may not work. It’s best to stick to the official retail versions – there are no upgrade versions as with previous versions of Windows.

You can buy Windows 10 Home from Amazon for £75.

Windows 10 Pro isn’t much more expensive: it costs £100 from Amazon.

The best backup software in 2017

We all know that we should backup our files. It’s all too easy to put off securing precious digital files and data, only to repent at leisure after a PC has crashed or a hard drive failed. The good news is that you’re in the right place.

Install one of these backup utilities and save copies of important photos and music files either to a separate hard drive or to the cloud. You will never regret the outlay: it’s a small price to pay for peace of mind.

If you’re unsure what backing up your hard drive entails, read our tutorials on how to back-up files with SyncBack Free and how to back up your digital photos online for free. But rest assured that any of the products we review here will do the job for you, and most will explain how.

Acronis True Image

Acronis True Image

  • RRP: From £29.99, From US$39.99

Powerful, feature-rich and easy to use, Acronis True Image drive partitioning and backup software for Windows is a solid option.

You can pick and choose the files and folders you want to backup if you don’t need to back up the whole computer, and recovery options let you hand pick files if you don’t need to recover everything too.

Customisable backup plans let you choose how often you want to back up fully, and let you backup the most important files more regularly.

Plus, the backup will run in the background to make sure that you’re not disturbed while you’re working.

The backup features end-to-end encryption to keep it safe and secure, and you can search for backed up files both on your machine and in the cloud to recover them at any time and any place.

For 50GB of cloud storage, you’re looking at £29.99 per year, but if you have some extra cash to spare we’d recommend the 1TB option with free upgrades to new versions, premium support, local and cloud storage options and the additional bonus of Active Protection, Notary and ASign tools from Acronis for £69.99 per year.

Additional storage and additional computers are available to add to your package at an extra cost too.

The best free antivirus software for 2017

Your buying guide for antivirus software

There is no excuse for not having antivirus software on your PC because there are lots of free packages. And the good thing about having a free product from one of the leading companies is that they use the same ‘engine’ as their paid-for products.

You do get more if you buy an internet security suite, but what you get in the free version is stripped down package with a smaller feature set. Don’t expect to get extras such as spam filtering, improved firewalls, parental controls, password managers and support for mobile devices, although some of this can be had for free.

The free offerings from Avast, AVG, Avira, Bitdefender and Panda all offer basic antivirus and anti-malware protection, giving you a good chance to keep your PC free of threats which could lose you data and take a lot of time to put right.

Since testing antivirus software with real malware requires a lot of time and effort, not to mention extremely specialist knowledge, we don’t do this ourselves. Instead, we use the latest results from several well-respected independent test houses, including SE Labs, AV-test.organd AV Comparatives.

Is free antivirus really free?

Yes it is. But you may trade off some privacy. For example, AVG’s privacy policy, showing what rights it takes over your personal and non-personal information when you download and use its free product, caused quite a furore when it was published. You grant it the right to share some of your (non-personal) information to third parties, which may include advertisers.

Some have said ‘Well, this is just AVG being more upfront about its policy; they all do it’, so we checked at what each company says in its privacy policy. They’re not all the same: some require you to opt out to prevent sharing and some ask you to opt in, but will respect your decision if you don’t, and some don’t share your information at all with third parties.

Best free antivirusBest is Bitdefender, which claims not to share information with anybody outside its own company or subsidiaries. We think this is as it should be with a security product, but second-best is the assumption not to share, with an opt-in, should you want to receive ‘relevant’ offers. This is what Avast and Avira do. Panda does the same as AVG, requiring you to specifically unsubscribe to avoid security-related emails.

Does free antivirus software work?

Antivirus software is designed to prevent damaging programs from infecting your PC and laptop. All the free products here do that, but not all are as effective as others. As a secondary task, though, the full paid-for products should reduce the amount of unwanted advertising and offers that get through to you, and they usually offer quite a few other features as we mentioned above.

Is G2A safe? | How does G2A work?

If you saw a website offering heavily discounted activation keys for software, you’d be right to be suspicious. In this day and age it’s tricky to tell scams from legit businesses, and many people ask us whether it’s safe to buy games from G2A.com. So is G2A safe? Here’s what we know.

If you’re looking for other places to pick up PC games, you might also want to take a look at our round up of the best Steam alternatives out there.

Update 12 July 2016: G2A has just announced that it has added extra steps to prevent fraud. Sellers will now have to verify their social media details and phone numbers, and be limited to 10 transactions before having to provide extra verification. Its aim is to prevent dodgy sellers from scamming buyers with non-working game codes. G2A has been the subject of plenty of controversy – just check out the comments below this article – and seems to be working towards providing a better service for buyers.

How does G2A work?

G2A.com is a website that – like Gumtree or ebay – brings together buyers and sellers of grey-market game keys for PC games and activation codes for PSN and Xbox Live credit, as well as codes for other software.

To be clear, G2A itself does not sell these codes. It is purely a marketplace where people can sell game codes. What you do is buy your key, wait for it to be emailed to you, then head to the relevant platform: Ubisoft Uplay, Steam etc, log in and select the option to activate a game. You paste in your key and then download the game files from the platform’s servers: not G2A.

How, then, can the codes be so cheap, you ask. The answer lies in the fact that game prices vary from country to country, according to the average salaries. Sellers purchase activation codes in the cheapest regions with the aim of selling them to buyers in the most expensive. This makes them a profit, while gamers get to make a saving on the usual street price.

Is G2A safe or a scam?Who runs G2A?

G2A.co is the company’s corporate site which explains the business model in more detail. It was set up by a group of enthusiastic gamers in Hong Kong with the aim of “providing the best digital game licences and retail service to all our partners and customers”. Unlike some companies which hide their contact details, G2A is happy to publish phone numbers and addresses: they have their headquarters in Hong Kong and a support office in Poland.

The game keys are offered by ‘marketplace sellers’, i.e. third parties who have keys to sell. These could be private individuals who have bought a game, but decided not to activate their key, or businesses who have bought keys in bulk in regions where they’re cheaper.

G2A automatically adds ‘G2A Shield’ to your shopping cart when you being the purchase process. This is essentially insurance against a non-working key. It costs around 70p, so while some may object to paying it on the grounds that all keys should be legitimate, it means you are guaranteed a valid replacement key or a complete refund. That’s the theory, anyway. We’ve heard from plenty of irate buyers who have been refused a refund, despite paying for G2A Shield.

Do Macs get viruses?

The question of whether Macs need antivirus is not a new one, but the answer is changing. While Macs are generally more secure than Windows PCs, they are far from immune.

Head over to the forums on the Apple’s website and you’ll find the same answer time and again – ‘you don’t need security software because I haven’t got security software and it’s never been a problem’.

The scientists among you will recognise this as a confusion of cause and effect. It’s also a simplification of a complex issue.

2017 has already seen multiple reports that suggest Macs are less secure than they once were. Business Insider claims that Macs are now more vulnerable to viruses and attack than even Windows PCs. And Fortune has warned of Mac malware that can freeze Apple computers.

Here then, are reasons for and against the suggestion that Macs don’t require antivirus.

Why Macs need antivirus

There are no technical reasons why the Mac OS cannot be targeted by cybercriminals. Indeed, there are exploits in the wild: albeit they are principally Trojans, and require a user to erroneously install them.

Yes, criminals target the lowest hanging fruit, it is harder to target Macs, and the numbers of Mac users are relatively small, but that situation could change.

Windows is becoming more secure – Windows 8 and Windows 10 are the most secure Windows ever – and the Mac market share in wealthy western countries is around 20-30 percent.

When you consider that Macs are expensive, and so their owners tend to be wealthier than the average PC users, they start to look like an attractive target.

I’m not scare-mongering – the threat is not there in any significant scale. But someday it could be, and that may make AV a worthwile investment.

It’s also worth remembering that the end user is always the weakest link. In many ways security software exists to save you from bad decisions – installing apps that appear to offer something for nothing, but turn out to be spyware or viruses.

Even Mac users can fall victim in this way. So for the price of a cup of coffee each week, it makes sense to install security software and then forget all about it.

Our colleagues over at Macworld UK have the definitive guide to the best antivirus for Mac. It is regularly updated, and is worth checking out as some of the best Mac antivirus products are free. Right now the number one recommended product is BitDefender Antivirus and the number two is Norton Antivirus.

Should I upgrade to Windows 10?

The free upgrade to Windows 10 ended on 29 July 2016. You can still upgrade, of course, but should you? With scare stories of ransomware encrypting files on unsupported versions of Windows, there are certainly reasons to consider it.

Here’s what you need to know about the pros and cons of upgrading to Windows 10.

Which versions of Windows are still supported?

Microsoft is pulled the plug on Windows Vista support on April 11 2017, and Windows XP hasn’t received security patches for a while now. In the wake of multiple ransomware attacks, Microsoft has taken the unusual step of issuing a patch for both operating systems because of the high risk and fact that millions of people are still using these versions of Windows.

However, this has come after computers have been infected, which is why it’s best to use a version of Windows that receives automatic updates that help to protect you (and your files) from disaster.

Windows 8 isn’t supported either, but most machines with Windows 8 should have been updated to Windows 8.1, which is still supported. Windows 7 also receives updates and will until 14 January 2020.

On ending support for Vista, Microsoft said, “the time has come for us, along with our hardware and software partners, to invest our resources towards more recent technologies“, meaning that it will no longer receive Windows security updates, nor will developers offer support for the dated operating system. We advise upgrading to Windows 10 if possible after this date, as you’ll have limited access to new software and may be vulnerable in terms of online security.

How much does it cost to upgrade to Windows 10?

Currently, Windows 10 Home costs £119.99 and the Pro version will set you back £219.99.

As you’ll see in our Home vs Pro comparison, few home users will need the extra features in Pro.

It’s a clear message from Microsoft (and we happen to agree) that it’s not the best plan to stick with XP or Vista. And if your computer is running Vista or XP then the chances are it’s quite old, and likely to have parts wearing out.

Instead of splashing out £119.99, you could put that amount towards the cost of a new machine. Check our reviews of the best PCs and bestcheap laptops available to ensure you get the best possible value.

Virtually all software for Windows XP and Vista work in Windows 10, and remember that some software is already obselete for older operating systems such as XP and Vista – the Google Chrome browser is the latest to join the list. While you could switch to another browser (read our advice on the best browsers for Windows), how many times will you switch your software before you upgrade your PC?

Microsoft has kept the upgrade deal open for users of assistive technologies. This isn’t meant as a way of upgrading to Windows 10 if you didn’t upgrade by the deadline back in 2016, though. Plus, you can’t directly upgrade from XP or Vista in any case.

Those who choose to upgrade to Windows 10 will also benefit from the Creators Update, which came out in April 2017 and the Fall Creators Update which is set to come out towards the end of the year.