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How you lock your smartphone can reveal your age: UBC study

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Older smartphone users tend to rely more on their phones’ auto lock feature compared to younger users, a new UBC study has found. They also prefer using PINs over fingerprints to unlock their phones.

Researchers also found that older users are more likely to unlock their phones when they’re stationary, such as when working at a desk or sitting at home.

The study is the first to explore the link between age and smartphone use, says Konstantin Beznosov, an electrical and computer engineering professor at UBC who supervised the research.

“As researchers working to protect smartphones from unauthorized access, we need to first understand how users use their devices,” said Beznosov. “By tracking actual users during their daily interactions with their device, we now have real-world insights that can be used to inform future smartphone designs.”

Analysis also showed that older users used their phone less frequently than younger users. For every 10-year interval in age, there was a corresponding 25 per cent decrease in the number of user sessions. In other words, a 25-year-old might use their phone 20 times a day, but a 35-year-old might use it only 15 times.

The study tracked 134 volunteers, ranging from 19 to 63 years of age, through a custom app installed on their Android phones. For two consecutive months, the app collected data on lock and unlock events, choice of auto or manual lock and whether the phone was locked or unlocked while in motion. The app also recorded the duration of user sessions.

The study also found gender differences in authentication choices. As they age, men are much more likely to rely on auto locks, as opposed to manually locking their devices, compared to women.

In terms of overall use, women on average use their phone longer than men, with women in their 20s using their smartphones significantly longer than their male peers. However, the balance shifts with age, with men in their 50s logging longer usage sessions than women of the same age.

While the study didn’t look at the reasons for these behaviours, Beznosov says the findings can help smartphone companies design better products.

“Factors such as age should be considered when designing new smartphone authentication systems, and devices should allow users to pick the locking method that suits their needs and usage patterns,” he said, adding that future research should look into other demographic factors and groups of participants, and explore the factors involved in authentication decisions.

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The study was presented at last month’s CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems in Glasgow, Scotland.

Source: https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2019-06/uobc-hyl061919.php

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The Motivator

Truecaller reaches 500m downloads, 150m daily active users

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Truecaller has disclosed that the company has crossed 500 million downloads and surpassed 150 million daily active users (DAUs) globally.
This comes close on the heels of the company recently sharing the news of attaining over one million paying subscribers on their Premium services.
This is a significant achievement for Truecaller, which is emerging as a one-stop communication platform with a wide array of services, such as: Instant Messaging, VoIP, and Payments. The 150 million DAU’s achievement makes Truecaller the most used communication app in India, after apps like WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger.
The key factors that have led to this rapid growth are Truecaller’s many communication features, like their smart dialer, VoIP capability, Instant Messaging, and their spam-free SMS inbox.
Speaking on this unique achievement, Alan Mamedi, CEO & Co-founder, Truecaller, said: “By differentiating ourselves from the standard stock dialer and solving some fundamental communication problems for our users, we have been able to capitalize and excel the competition. This is a very significant achievement. 150 million daily active users and 500 million downloads is extraordinary. These milestones underline the faith and trust our users have in our brand.”
Truecaller will soon be rolling out two important features that will revolutionize the standard dialer experience offered by smartphone manufacturers today.
•Call Alerts: To help users depend less on low-speed and faulty networks, which are prevalent in emerging markets, Truecaller sends a Call Alert to users about who’s calling before the phone rings. This is a big upgrade for millions of Android users.

Source: https://www.sunnewsonline.com/truecaller-reaches-500m-downloads-150m-daily-active-users/

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The Motivator

Google Docs now displays the word count as you type

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One of the most frustrating things about Google Docs is having to manually access the menu every time you need to check if you’ve finally hit that essay’s elusive word count. The tech giant is finally fixing that by giving you the ability to display a document’s word count in its lower left corner. Similar to Microsoft Word’s version, it updates the numbers in real time, so you can feel sweet, instant relief the moment you conquer your task. Further, you can see how long specific sections are by highlighting them.

To activate the feature, simply check “Display word count while typing” under Tools. When you click on the lower left corner where the numbers are, you can also view a panel with more information. It includes the document’s character count (both with and without spaces), as well as the page count if you need to know if you have enough paper to print it out. Google says the feature is rolling out to all Google users and can be disabled in case you want to write without having to worry about how long the piece is getting.

Google

Source: https://www.engadget.com/2019/09/10/google-docs-word-count/

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Sony says you’re wrong about the DualShock X button

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Those who have been playing PlayStation for years are familiar with the face buttons on the DualShock controller. There’s square, circle, triangle, and then what? Is it “cross” or is it “X?” We’re guessing that both camps have their share of adherents, but now Sony has finally put an end to the debate.

In response to someone claiming that the button is called “X” and those who call it “cross” are wrong, the PlayStation UK Twitter account set the record straight, saying that the button is indeed officially called “cross.”

PlayStation UK@PlayStationUK

🤔

Triangle
Circle
Cross
Square

If Cross is called X (it’s not), then what are you calling Circle? https://twitter.com/Arbiterwarpig/status/1169019967372713986 …Arby @ArbiterwarpigAnyone who says cross is a cop. https://twitter.com/drip133/status/1166590847460282368 …3,3645:40 PM – Sep 5, 2019Twitter Ads info and privacy2,475 people are talking about this

Sony’s reasoning makes sense, as all of the other button names are shapes, not letters. “If Cross is called X (it’s not), then what are you calling Circle?” Sony asks. It’s a good point, because if that button actually is the “X” button, then wouldn’t that mean circle is, in reality, the “O” button?

In the end, this isn’t some massive revelation that will shake the gaming world, but the official name of that button is a debate that’s been going since the early days of the PlayStation brand. We’re sure Sony has officially named that button at many points in the past, but now that it’s there for all of Twitter – and, by extension, the world – to see, perhaps the debate will be settled once and for all.

Unsurprisingly, that doesn’t seem to be the case. The replies to that tweet are pretty evenly split between people who have been calling it “cross” the entire time and those who still insist that they’ll call it “X,” despite what Sony says. For now, at least, the debate rages on.

Source: https://www.slashgear.com/sony-says-youre-wrong-about-the-dualshock-x-button-09590511/

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