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7 Best Android Video Downloaders | Download From Youtube And Other Popular Websites

Although Youtube allows some of its videos to be saved offline, using any third-party services to download YouTube videos is against their terms. Youtube Terms Of Service explicitly mentions that you should not download any content unless a download button or link is shown by YouTube on the Service for that content.

So, if you desire to download a video that you uploaded, or if you don’t find the Youtube official app convenient, there isn’t any official YouTube downloader in the Play Store. However, there are numerous third-party offline and online downloaders that aid in capturing video stream from YouTube. Here, we have compiled a list of 7 Android video downloaders that will help you to download videos from Youtube and numerous other video sharing websites, free of cost.

By default, Android blocks installation of apps that are not from Google Play Store. So before you proceed any further, you need to enable app installation from other sources. To allow it, go to Settings Security. Tap on “Unknown sources.” A warning will pop-up. Press OK.6e27b_Screenshot_20170921-140839-min-576x1024-min-576x1024 7 Best Android Video Downloaders | Download From Youtube And Other Popular WebsitesNote: The apps that we have compiled in this list are not from Play Store. Do not be misled by ads and pop-ups on the download websites that may harm your device. It is advised to download the apps from their respective official sites or trusted third-party app stores. Make sure you comply with Youtube’s Terms of Service before downloading content from Youtube.

7 Best Android Video Downloaders For Youtube And Other Websites.

1. Videoder

Videoder is a powerful YouTube video downloader for Android. You can choose from various sites to download the videos, such as YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, etc. It allows streaming and downloading of videos in all formats available. You can easily choose from any quality you prefer, and can also share the video from within the app. The app is customizable and comes with an impressive UI. It helps you with a faster downloading speed and also packs different themes, night mode, built-in video player, etc.

6e27b_Screenshot_20170921-140839-min-576x1024-min-576x1024 7 Best Android Video Downloaders | Download From Youtube And Other Popular Websites

Videoder is not available in the Play Store, but you can download the app for free from its official site and install it on your phone. It has no in-app purchases but contains ads. However, you can remove the ads if you buy the Videoder Premium plugin from Play Store.

How to download YouTube videos on Android using Videoder

  • Open YouTube in the app.
  • Search for the video.
  • Tap on the download button and select the download link that pops up. You can choose the video format you want and also download the video in MP3 format.
  • Alternatively, you can share a video on Youtube app to Videoder and the download link will pop-up.

Download Videoder 

2. TubeMate

TubeMate is an excellent third-party Android video downloader app. It has an elegant interface which is easy to use, and you can download videos from multiple video sharing sites. It comes with a built-in browser where you can access the sites you want. You can download the video from the preferred site.

6e27b_Screenshot_20170921-140839-min-576x1024-min-576x1024 7 Best Android Video Downloaders | Download From Youtube And Other Popular Websites

TubeMate also offers you the option to choose the quality and file format of the video before downloading it. The downloaded videos are stored in your phone memory automatically. You can opt to download Youtube videos in MP3 format too, but it requires an additional video to MP3 converter app. Overall, TubeMate is an excellent video downloader for Android, but you have to deal with a lot of advertisements which keeps popping up now and then.

How to download videos using TubeMate

  • Open the app and visit the video-sharing site.
  • Pick your desired video from the search results. TubeMate will prompt you for the quality of the video you want.
  • After selecting the quality and resolution of the video, you can tap the download button.
  • You can also share videos to Tubemate from the Youtube app to view a download link.

Download TubeMate

Also read: 6 Best Android Video Player Apps

3. KeepVid

KeepVid is one of the best Android video downloaders. This video downloader can download YouTube videos with faster speed compared to other video downloaders and also enables users to download videos from 27 other video sharing sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, etc.

6e27b_Screenshot_20170921-140839-min-576x1024-min-576x1024 7 Best Android Video Downloaders | Download From Youtube And Other Popular Websites

KeepVid has a very easy-to-use interface. It allows users to download HD videos up to 4K resolution and also has a built-in video and audio player. You can even download Youtube videos as MP3 without any external plug-in.

How to download YouTube videos on Android using KeepVid

  • Open YouTube in the app and search for the video.
  • Select the video and tap on the blue download button beneath the video player
  • Select the quality of the file, and your video will be saved automatically.

The app is entirely free and does not contain in-app purchases or malware. However, it displays ads and to remove it you can buy the premium version.

Download KeepVid from its official site.

4. Snaptube

Snaptube is one of the trustworthy video downloaders for Android. It has a user-friendly interface which is organized by popular sites, popular videos and categories. You can also perform a Youtube search directly from its search bar.

6e27b_Screenshot_20170921-140839-min-576x1024-min-576x1024 7 Best Android Video Downloaders | Download From Youtube And Other Popular Websites

Snaptube also acts as a fast Android YouTube downloader, and you can choose the quality of the video before downloading it. You can also share the downloaded videos on Facebook, Twitter, etc. from within the app. The downloaded videos are saved automatically in your device storage, and you can also view the downloaded files organized into music and video categories.

How to download YouTube videos using Snaptube

  • Open the app and select the YouTube mobile site from its Homepage.
  • Search for the video in the YouTube search bar.
  • Select the video and tap on the red download button displayed on the right side of the video.
  • Choose the quality of the video, and your video will start downloading.

You can download the Snaptube application from its official site. It is available for free with no in-app purchases but contains ads.

Download Snaptube

5. InsTube

InsTube is a superb YouTube Downloader for Android. It can also download videos from other popular sites like Instagram, Twitter, Vimeo, etc. The app is a reliable one and delivers fast downloading speed.

6e27b_Screenshot_20170921-140839-min-576x1024-min-576x1024 7 Best Android Video Downloaders | Download From Youtube And Other Popular Websites

You can choose the quality of Youtube videos before downloading it. You can even share the YouTube videos from within the Youtube app to InsTube. Moreover, InsTube is highly-customizable, you can add bookmarks and also create private space to hide any video if you desire.

How to download videos on Android using InsTube

  • Launch the app and visit your desired website.
  • Search for the video you wish to download and tap on the desired video.
  • Tap on the red download button and choose the quality of the video.
  • Tap on “fast download” and your video will start downloading.

The only drawback of the app is that you have to deal with ads that keep popping up, and there is no way to remove the ads.

Download Instube from its official site.

Also read: 10 Best Android Video Chat Apps For 2018 | Free Video Calling Apps

6. VidMate

VidMate is a remarkable Android video downloader app. The app is very reliable to download YouTube videos. You can look for files based on different categories such as movie, music, tv show, or directly search for any files from its Search-Bar.

6e27b_Screenshot_20170921-140839-min-576x1024-min-576x1024 7 Best Android Video Downloaders | Download From Youtube And Other Popular Websites

VidMate provides you with a fast video downloading speed, but you can also customize the rate and select the preferred download location within its download settings. Additionally, the app includes a built-in video player, music player, and you can also create an encrypted space within the app to hide videos.

How to download YouTube videos on Android using VidMate

  • Launch the app and tap on the YouTube mobile site in the app.
  • Search for the video you want to download and tap on the red download button on the content.
  • Select the quality of your video and tap the “Download” option. Your video will start downloading.

Download VidMate

7. YT3 Youtube Downloader

It is a very simple Android YouTube video downloader where you can download YouTube videos in MP3 and MP4 formats. It has a user-friendly interface which is quite easy to operate. A preview button lets you have a peek at a song before you download it.

6e27b_Screenshot_20170921-140839-min-576x1024-min-576x1024 7 Best Android Video Downloaders | Download From Youtube And Other Popular Websites

It allows faster downloading speed and everything that you download will get saved in the Download folder. Moreover, it shows lyrics as you listen to music. Also, you can download either low or high-quality video. This app downloads music and videos only from Youtube.

How to download YouTube videos using YT3 Downloader

  • Open the app and search for the video you want to download.
  • Select the MP3 or MP4 download file option which is shown on the right side of the video. You can also have an audio preview before you download it.
  • You can also share a video from Youtube app to YT3 downloader to download it.

Download  YT3 downloader for Android.

Did you find this list of best Android video downloaders to be helpful? Share your views in the comments.

Also read: 8 Best Android Cleaner Apps : Boost performance, Clean Junk Files And Improve Battery Life

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VIDEO: California family’s ‘Winter Pun-derland’ lights up Internet

COSTA MESA, CA (WCMH) — It’s the most pun-derful time of the year for one California family, whose holiday display is delighting neighbors and Internet strangers alike.

Kyle and Cori Gunderson decorated the front of their home for Christmas this year and decided to include some truly impressive puns as decor. The front of their garage is adorned with the words “Winter Punderland,” and the letters of the alphabet are hung with care above the garage door. There is one letter missing, though– the “L.”

No-el, get it?

In a Facebook video, Cori leads viewers through the punderland experience.

7a093_seasons-greetings-2 VIDEO: California family's 'Winter Pun-derland' lights up Internet
“Seasons Greetings” CREDIT: Kyle Gunderson/Facebook

Highlights include actor The Rock poking out from behind a tree (“Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree”), and a row of candy with actor Michael Caine’s face attached to the front as “Candy Caines.”

Kyle says there are 10 puns, and Cori helped him “weed out” some others, including the idea to decorate with a goat on a mountain whose tail was on fire (Goat tail lit on the mountain = “Go Tell It On The Mountain”) and photos of actor Chris Pine on some cones for “Pine cones.”

“Friends and family have gotten a kick out of the responses we have received from the video,” Kyle told NBC4. “It was so much fun while decorating and having the neighbors watch and guess as new puns went up. One of my favorite comments was hearing a neighbor tell another neighbor while I was decorating, ‘Hmmm… must be a Millennial thing.’”

Kyle said his father and grandfather are big fans of a good pun. Kyle works in real estate marketing, and said he often finds a way to incorporate puns into his work.

Watch the Gundersons’ video below, or click here to view it on Facebook.

Video: iPhone X vs Note 8 – Real World Comparison after 1 month

I started out my smartphone experience right at the launch of the very first Android phone, HTC’s G1 and stuck to that OS until the last couple years. We’ve been comparing the Samsung Galaxy Note 8 against the iPhone 8 and iPhone X for over a month now and I think it’s time to talk about the real world differences between these two flagship devices.

b9206_24065-31110-1-l Video: iPhone X vs Note 8 - Real World Comparison after 1 month

Both phones have a really premium feel due to the all metal and glass construction but I do prefer the build of the iPhone X. The screen is really nice on the Note 8, with a higher resolution that provides a sharper image and less color shift when viewing at off angles. I also prefer the larger size of the display for multimedia, but the phone is uncomfortable in your hand. The iPhone 8 Plus is similar in the hand but the iPhone X smaller size is perfect for most people.

I was disappointed with the iPhone X’s display size at first, since the surface size is actually smaller than the iPhone 8 plus’s even though its rated at a larger 5.8 inches. Now that I’m used to the size the Note 8 feels huge in the hand but If you watch a lot of video its larger display provides for a great viewing experience.

Unfortunately, the speakers on the Note 8 are quite poor. Not only are the iPhone’s speakers much louder, but they are of higher quality with more punch on the low end, clearer mids, and crisp highs.

The other big difference is the stereo sound. Apple started using the earpiece speaker along with the bottom loudspeaker in the iPhone 7, and they’ve perfected and balanced the sound on the iPhone X which provides a massively better audio experience than the note.

b9206_24065-31110-1-l Video: iPhone X vs Note 8 - Real World Comparison after 1 month

Because of this, even though i prefer the much larger screen, without the annoying notch in my videos, i’d choose the iPhone X any day if using the built in speakers. Other than when watching videos, the notch is fine.

We compared speaker quality in a recent video, and you can hear the difference for yourself by clicking the card above.

iPhones have been known for taking the best photos, but in the past couple of years, android phones have really caught up.

b9206_24065-31110-1-l Video: iPhone X vs Note 8 - Real World Comparison after 1 month

We tested both cameras for photo quality, and the Note 8 was just slightly ahead. It seemed to be a bit sharper, the noise reduction was better, and blur effect photos turned out nicer as well.

The iPhone X did a better job with color accuracy and dynamic range, but it wasn’t enough.

However, the iPhone X definitely takes the cake on the video side, being able to shoot high resolution video at higher frame rates, with better video quality, especially shooting slow motion video.

b9206_24065-31110-1-l Video: iPhone X vs Note 8 - Real World Comparison after 1 month

I was basically forced to switch over to bluetooth headsets on the iphone and thus don’t really have a need for the Note 8’s headphone jack its still there because Samsung loves to give you options. When they add a new feature, they rarely take an old one away. Because of that, we have face unlock, iris scanning, and fingerprint scanning.

In the real world, Face ID beats them all since it’s really fast, secure, and convenient. Most of the time I don’t even notice it’s there, almost like going back to the days when no one had passcodes on their phones.

b9206_24065-31110-1-l Video: iPhone X vs Note 8 - Real World Comparison after 1 month

I do like having the fingerprint scanner, but its location on the Note 8 is ridiculous. Even with large hands, its inconvenient to have to reach up, right next to the camera lenses to unlock. Plus, if it’s laying flat on a table, you have to pick it up first to use it. It would have been much better to have it where the Samsung logo is.

The iPhone X performs much better in benchmarks, but we won’t get too far into that since in real world use there’s not much of a difference other than some UI lag every once in awhile on the Note 8. The iPhone X’s extra performance will come in handy if you’re a person who keeps their phones for a few years.

b9206_24065-31110-1-l Video: iPhone X vs Note 8 - Real World Comparison after 1 month

Battery life is close, with the Note 8 coming out on top by a slim margin. But we definitely noticed that the note 8’s battery drains much faster in standby.

The Galaxy Note 8 does have more RAM. In specific tests when you’re opening a bunch of apps, it’ll keep apps open longer, but for most of us, there’s really no difference.

One of my big complaints with the iPhone X was the control center being at the top. With the Note 8 we have the same scenario, just a larger screen to reach across to access it.

b9206_24065-31110-1-l Video: iPhone X vs Note 8 - Real World Comparison after 1 month

One aspect I really love about the Note 8, and android in general, is the notification bar at the top. I used to miss a lot of notifications when I switched to an iPhone since it’s easy for me to pass over the smart icons. If you don’t clear up all your texts and emails, one number higher won’t really mean anything.

Thankfully with iOS 11 I can now pull down notifications, but I still prefer the notification bar since I can see that I’ve gotten a new email or text since the last time I checked the app.

The last software feature where I think the note excels in up on top is multi-tasking. The ability to have multiple apps open at once is a phenomenal. The iPhone X’s quick app switches is nice, but nothing like watching a video while getting through emails at the same time.

Now onto the S Pen. I’ve owned almost every single note phone, except the note 7, which I avoided for the obvious reasons, and with each one of those phones I used the S Pen for a few days, and then never use it again until I bought a newer Note Phone. The stylus really isn’t much for use for me so I can’t count it against the iPhone for not including one.

Both of these phones are the best from each company, and you really can’t go wrong with either one. If you’re a Mac user you’ll likely choose the iPhone X. While the Apple ecosystem does make it tougher to use an Android phone, My personal choice is still the iPhone X even if I didn’t use other Apple devices.

The mix of great performance, nice display, convenient Face ID, surprisingly good speakers, and software that may limit options but lets me do what I need as simply as possible seals the deal.

Teen’s Dramatic Video, Revealing His Acceptance By Harvard …

d445c_gettyimages-94953697-444e840f64f6232bd1fc0ab22d94ac454dc140bc-s1100-c15 Teen's Dramatic Video, Revealing His Acceptance By Harvard ...

A 16-year-old in Louisiana shared his joy over learning he was accepted to Harvard in a viral video, viewed more than 6 million times.

Bloomberg via Getty Images


hide caption

toggle caption

Bloomberg via Getty Images

A 16-year-old in Louisiana shared his joy over learning he was accepted to Harvard in a viral video, viewed more than 6 million times.

Bloomberg via Getty Images

In the video posted to Twitter, Ayrton Little dons Harvard red, the viewer watching him as he peers at his own screen, waiting to see whether he got into his dream school. Everyone seems to sweat. Little’s schoolmates crowd around him in anticipation. A big moment to be sure, especially for a 16-year-old. Then a gasp and the room erupts in cheers, screams and embraces.

He did it.

“All the hard work was worth it,” Little tweeted alongside the video, which as of Thursday had been viewed more than 6 million times.

Chants of “three-peat” ring out after Little learns the news. It is the third year in a row that a student from TM Landry College Preparatory in Breaux Bridge, La., is going to Harvard.

TM Landry has a tradition of filming students as they learn whether they got into college, and posting the (happy) results. Check out a series of reactions on the school’s Facebook page.

The same day Little heard he got into Harvard, he posted a video of his older brother, Alex, learning he got into Stanford University.

Ayrton Little joined his brother’s graduating class after skipping a grade. He turns 17 in February, reports member station WBUR.

“Is this really happening?” their mother, Maureen Little, kept saying about her sons getting into two of the country’s most competitive universities. She said that while as a single mom it was challenging at times to raise her sons, she never had to worry about how they were doing in school.

“I think because you saw what I was going through, y’all didn’t want to disappoint me, maybe. So you just did well,” she said, according to WBUR.

The brothers said another member of the family has also been a driving force behind their success: Their youngest brother, who would have been 13 this month, died five years ago following an asthma attack.

Little told told The Huffington Post that he now feels as if his life has been forever changed. “My brother and I realized that we have done the impossible,” he said. He plans to study math and computer science at his “dream school” and later hopes to build a nonprofit to help other kids in his community “get to the position that I’m currently in.”

Among the slew of well-wishers from across the Twittersphere was Harvard alumnus and Brooklyn Nets basketball player Jeremy Lin. “Congrats Ayrton…awesome story of someone chasing their dreams, pursuing education and turning a blindeye to the haters!” Lin tweeted.

Teen’s Dramatic Video, Revealing His Acceptance By Harvard, Charms Internet

d2da1_gettyimages-94953697-444e840f64f6232bd1fc0ab22d94ac454dc140bc-s1100-c15 Teen's Dramatic Video, Revealing His Acceptance By Harvard, Charms Internet

A 16-year-old in Louisiana shared his joy over learning he was accepted to Harvard in a viral video, viewed more than 6 million times.

Bloomberg via Getty Images


hide caption

toggle caption

Bloomberg via Getty Images

A 16-year-old in Louisiana shared his joy over learning he was accepted to Harvard in a viral video, viewed more than 6 million times.

Bloomberg via Getty Images

In the video posted to Twitter, Ayrton Little dons Harvard red, the viewer watching him as he peers at his own screen, waiting to see whether he got into his dream school. Everyone seems to sweat. Little’s schoolmates crowd around him in anticipation. A big moment to be sure, especially for a 16-year-old. Then a gasp and the room erupts in cheers, screams and embraces.

He did it.

“All the hard work was worth it,” Little tweeted alongside the video, which as of Thursday had been viewed more than 6 million times.

Chants of “three-peat” ring out after Little learns the news. It is the third year in a row that a student from TM Landry College Preparatory in Breaux Bridge, La., is going to Harvard.

TM Landry has a tradition of filming students as they learn whether they got into college, and posting the (happy) results. Check out a series of reactions on the school’s Facebook page.

The same day Little heard he got into Harvard, he posted a video of his older brother, Alex, learning he got into Stanford University.

Ayrton Little joined his brother’s graduating class after skipping a grade. He turns 17 in February, reports member station WBUR.

“Is this really happening?” their mother, Maureen Little, kept saying about her sons getting into two of the country’s most competitive universities. She said that while as a single mom it was challenging at times to raise her sons, she never had to worry about how they were doing in school.

“I think because you saw what I was going through, y’all didn’t want to disappoint me, maybe. So you just did well,” she said, according to WBUR.

The brothers said another member of the family has also been a driving force behind their success: Their youngest brother, who would have been 13 this month, died five years ago following an asthma attack.

Little told told The Huffington Post that he now feels as if his life has been forever changed. “My brother and I realized that we have done the impossible,” he said. He plans to study math and computer science at his “dream school” and later hopes to build a nonprofit to help other kids in his community “get to the position that I’m currently in.”

Among the slew of well-wishers from across the Twittersphere was Harvard alumnus and Brooklyn Nets basketball player Jeremy Lin. “Congrats Ayrton…awesome story of someone chasing their dreams, pursuing education and turning a blindeye to the haters!” Lin tweeted.

RI initiative exposes more students to computer science, but it’s got a long way to go | video

SOUTH KINGSTOWN, R.I. — Since Gov. Gina Raimondo announced her Computer Science for Rhode Island initiative in March 2016, she has frequently touted her goal that every public school student in Rhode Island will be taught computer science.

She set a deadline for the CS4RI initiative: December 2017.

While her deputy chief of staff Kevin Gallagher told The Providence Journal last week 100 percent of schools are participating, not every school offers computer-science classes, according to data provided by the state Department of Education.

Of 61 high schools, 45 offer yearlong or semester-long, standalone computer-science classes. Five of 55 middle schools do. None of the 179 elementary schools offer such classes.

On Wednesday, Raimondo addressed about 2,000 students, teachers and business leaders at her second Computer Science for R.I. Summit, at the University of Rhode Island’s Ryan Center.

Raimondo didn’t talk about 100-percent participation. She urged students to encourage friends to get involved in their schools’ computer-science efforts. She said 1,300 jobs are available in Rhode Island for people with computer skills. She said it’s imperative they learn the skills for today’s jobs.

Then she issued a new challenge: Double the number who graduate from Rhode Island colleges and universities with a computer science bachelor’s degree, from 800 last year to 1,600 by 2025. In 2015, she said 350 students had done so.

“We just want to make sure you guys have a chance to have a good future in our state,” Raimondo said. “It means that people of every zip code and race and gender, and wherever you started out in life — we want to make sure you have a ticket to a good job.”

After her public remarks, Raimondo said in an interview that participation “has exceeded her expectations” and she feels “great about our progress,” which she said she believes includes some computer science in nearly every school. But she said there’s work to do.

She spoke in more general terms about CS4RI goals than in the past.

“The goal is to make sure that every student has access to computer training and digital skills,” Raimondo said, although perhaps in math and business classes. “It’s just making sure that having that comfort level with digital skills and computer skills is in every grade and every school, which may not be computer science.”

State Education Commissioner Ken Wagner said best practice in elementary schools is to incorporate applied logic — the essence of computer science — into other subjects. 

In October 2016, Raimondo met with about a dozen new GE Digital employees, whose company has opened a technology center here. She told them how important it is to prepare students to become “highly talented, highly skilled” software designers and employees who work on analytics and back-end data systems.

She asked how they’d draw more women into the field and urged them to volunteer to teach computer science in the public schools.

As Raimondo told them about her CS4RI goals, she repeated what she has often said over the past 18 months: “I’ve just started an initiative where we’re going to be teaching computer science in every public school, starting in kindergarten, K-12. … If you’re in the classroom and in a public school, you’re going to have to take it — boys, girls, poor, rich, black, white — you’re going to have to take it, starting in kindergarten.”

For a student such as Scituate High School senior Miranda Paulhus, who attended Wednesday’s summit, her computer science class taught by Nicholas Bousquet has offered a new perspective on how to reach special-education students she hopes to teach. Bousquet said she’s one of the stars of the computer science classes he teaches to about 80 of the school’s 430 students.

Working with what’s known as block-based coding, a very visual method, Paulhus has created a mobile-phone application to help people who are deaf or have trouble communicating verbally. They choose from a menu of words and phrases and the phone speaks what’s on their mind.

Bousquet said CS4RI has helped him network with other teachers, and he said professional development has helped others bring computer science into their schools.

Although CS4RI offers classes for teachers, it also relies on technology-company employees to volunteer teach in the schools.

Company partners attended the summit, including Citizens Bank, one of the event’s lead sponsors. When she took office, Raimondo appointed Barbara Cottam, an executive vice president at Citizens, as chairwoman of the state Board of Education.

The bank contributed $60,000 to assist with the summit — because, Executive Vice President for Technology Services Brian O’Connell said, Citizens strongly supports CS4RI. He said in today’s world, which is “digital everything,” all employees need the skills the initiative encourages.

CS4RI is not mandated by the state Department of Education — nor should it be, Wagner said, since the one-size-fits-all approach of education over the past 100 years doesn’t work.

He’s cognizant that not all schools offer as much as Scituate. Asked how his department intends to get more computer science into some schools, including in Providence, Wagner said he focuses on demand, not supply.

“So when families demand it, when kids demand it, and even when teachers demand it for the sake of opportunities for their kids, then the supply will happen,” Wagner said. “Yes, we’re going to continue to push the Providence School Department to offer more courses, to increase supply, but we also need to push the Providence community — families, community, students, employers — to demand it. Demand it through the Chamber of Commerce. Demand it through the School Department. Demand it through the mayor, and when that demand happens, don’t worry. We’ll figure out how to make the supply happen.”

— kbramson@providencejournal.com

(401) 277-7470

On Twitter @JournalKate

LISTEN: Audio reports and interviews from the Providence Journal Newsroom

Redbox returns to internet video with On Demand service – Engadget

Rentals start at $4 for a 48-hour period, while you’re looking at spending $10 or more for a purchase.

Redbox is wagering that this model plays into its existing strengths. If you’re already used to renting movies from its kiosks, it’s not a big stretch to rent online when you’d rather stay home. And since it already has deals to get new releases, it’s guaranteed to have titles that may take months to arrive on services like Amazon Prime Video and Netflix, if they ever do.

It’s not going to be a cakewalk, mind you. There’s still plenty of competition in this space, such as Apple’s iTunes, Google Play Movies and Walmart’s Vudu. And unlike Redbox’s kiosks, there aren’t really price advantages. Redbox is mainly banking on its name and physical presence to earn your business. Not that it necessarily need a runaway hit, mind you. On Demand can serve as more of a complement to Redbox’s discs, and could help it transition to digital if its kiosks become untenable.

Redbox returns to internet video with On Demand service

Rentals start at $4 for a 48-hour period, while you’re looking at spending $10 or more for a purchase.

Redbox is wagering that this model plays into its existing strengths. If you’re already used to renting movies from its kiosks, it’s not a big stretch to rent online when you’d rather stay home. And since it already has deals to get new releases, it’s guaranteed to have titles that may take months to arrive on services like Amazon Prime Video and Netflix, if they ever do.

It’s not going to be a cakewalk, mind you. There’s still plenty of competition in this space, such as Apple’s iTunes, Google Play Movies and Walmart’s Vudu. And unlike Redbox’s kiosks, there aren’t really price advantages. Redbox is mainly banking on its name and physical presence to earn your business. Not that it necessarily need a runaway hit, mind you. On Demand can serve as more of a complement to Redbox’s discs, and could help it transition to digital if its kiosks become untenable.

Google finally enables button to instantly start Duo video calls from ongoing phone calls

During Google’s reveal of the Pixel 2 on October 4th, we spotted a new video call button appearing on the Phone’s in-call screen. Tapping on it was meant to switch both members to a video call using Google Duo. Google later added details to support articles that implied this functionality was already live, but the button remained hidden through a few updates to Duo and a couple to the Phone app. That changes today as the video call button is now going live in Google’s Phone app when you’re calling a number registered with Duo.

1e2b5_nexus2cee_Screenshot_20171211-145724-217x434 Google finally enables button to instantly start Duo video calls from ongoing phone calls 1e2b5_nexus2cee_Screenshot_20171211-145724-217x434 Google finally enables button to instantly start Duo video calls from ongoing phone calls 1e2b5_nexus2cee_Screenshot_20171211-145724-217x434 Google finally enables button to instantly start Duo video calls from ongoing phone calls

Left: in-call screen. Center: starting video call. Right: recipient switched to Duo.

The switch to a Duo call is mostly seamless. After hitting the button, both ends of the call will launch the Duo app with the caller’s video camera being automatically active with the Knock-Knock feature. There aren’t any audio tones or clues that this is happening, so it’s easy for the recipient to miss if they’re not watching the screen. Just remember to say something if you’re going to use this.

Once the video call is connected, it will automatically hang up the original phone call and continue on with Duo. In my quick tests, I didn’t even notice any gap in the audio since the video call takes over instantly.

If the attempt to start a video call goes on for too long without a response from the recipient, it will timeout and return to the in-call screen. Also, Duo requires that the phone be unlocked before it can switch to a video call. That means that a recipient may have to actually leave the in-call screen to reach the lockscreen and enter a PIN, pattern, or even just swipe to bypass it. Until that’s done, the recipient only gets a subtle toast message that video calls can’t start while the phone is locked, and the caller gets an unhelpful message that the other person is ‘unavailable.’ This should be fixed.

1e2b5_nexus2cee_Screenshot_20171211-145724-217x434 Google finally enables button to instantly start Duo video calls from ongoing phone calls

Switching to a video call in this way will leave two entries in your call log, one from the phone call and the other is from Duo.

The video call button doesn’t appear to be tied to any specific versions of either Phone or Duo, so it was probably activated remotely and may not be available to all users yet. It worked for me when I called from my Pixel 2 with v14 of the Google Phone app and v24 of Duo. Naturally, the video call button isn’t available to anybody that doesn’t use Google’s Phone app.

Apple’s iPhone X finally gets support from major video app VLC

VLC for iOS has been treated to a much-requested update on the App Store, bundling compatibility for the iPhone X’s ultra-tall screen, as well as support for High-Efficiency Video Coding (HEVC) 4K videos.

The upgrade also transports a number of miscellaneous bug fixes and stability improvements, including a patch for a nasty glitch that caused VLC to spontaneously crash while playing content on units running either iOS 7 or iOS 8.

VLC, for those unaware, is a fully-fledged media suite, which can be used to download – or stream – content from a host of semi-local platforms, including Dropbox, Google Drive, iCloud Drive, iTunes and OneDrive.

Related: VLC is now available for Apple TV

The main reason people opt for VLC is simple: it supports a wide range of file formats, ranging from MP4 to TrueMotion VP5 – and everything in between, complete with a flurry of advanced subtitling options.

To install the upgrade on your iPhone (X), open up the App Store, navigate into the dedicated Updates selection, locate and select VLC for Mobile, tap the Update button, then wait a few seconds for your handset to work its magic.

Are you pleased with VLC’s decision to implement support for the recently-released iPhone X? Will you be taking advantage of the HEVC 4K functionality? Let us know over on Facebook or Twitter @TrustedReviews.

Campaigners call for video game laws fit for the internet age

When The Telegraph signed up to the website Steam, which has millions of visitors downloading games each day, it found a page featuring a video posted of a male showing off his “skills” with a butterfly knife. The knife was made after fans of Counter-Strike: Global Offensive asked an American company to manufacture one similar to that used by the game’s character who goes on a “killing spree”.

Earlier this year, Acting Chief Inspector Stuart Weaver from Suffolk Police warned that teenagers were more prone to violence as if “living in a Playstation world”.

In 2013, a gang of knife-wielding teenagers stabbed a schoolboy to death in a Tube station, something police blamed on a “blurring between the real world and the computer world”.

An NSPCC spokesperson said: “We have long called for sites, apps and games to better protect all children using their platforms. They need legally enforceable universal safety standards that are built in from the start. And websites who fail to meet these standards should be sanctioned and fined by an independent regulator.”

A spokeswoman for the Internet Watch Foundation, which works to remove online child sex abuse images, warned that the “internet moves at a fast and ever-changing pace”.

“We know that it is an absolute necessity that regulators move with the times in order to make the internet safer and that there is something in place to protect children at all levels on the internet.”

A VSC spokesman said the reasons downloadable games are not subject to legal controls was because it is “extremely difficult” to enforce legislation on foreign websites. Instead sites rely on the use of credit cards or PayPal accounts as proof of age.

A Department for Culture Media and Sport spokesman said: “As part of our Internet Safety Strategy, the Government is working with industry and the VSC to improve online safety in games, which includes online purchases of age-restricted video games by children.”

Last year, the VSC categorised 146 out of 498 video games as for over 18s only.

Why streaming video will drive the next internet revolution

Jason Friedlander

In a few decades, it’s had a profound impact on everything from the way we communicate to the way we catch up on the latest TV show. Today, we’re at the forefront of another internet revolution with the potential to be just as monumental. And this revolution will be centered around one thing: streaming video.

For the average internet user in a first world country, faster internet and streaming video may not seem all that monumental. We’ve enjoyed the benefits of high-quality streaming video for a few years now.

Perhaps we’ve played with a friend’s virtual reality gaming setup, or noticed that our favorite media sources are producing videos instead of articles. But streaming video’s greatest impact will be on developing countries, where faster, mobile video has the ability to create effective, long-term change.

A virtual healthcare revolution

One of the most exciting capabilities streaming video has is the potential to improve healthcare outcomes in low-income or developing countries. Several studies have shown how virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) setups can help patients suffering from a huge range of conditions.

Canadian researchers outfitted participants experiencing chronic pain with VR headsets that took them on a “Virtual Meditative Walk,” which successfully helped reduce their pain. (A similar American study demonstrated that VR has the potential to replace dangerously addictive opioids as a chronic pain treatment.) Patients with hard-to-treat phantom limb disorder found relief from a course of VR and AR-based treatment.

There are add-ons to VR and AR headsets that help people with visual impairments by magnifying text, while others help those who are hard of hearing by providing subtitles or quiet, in-ear audio for a movie.

Virtual reality could also transform mental health treatment for issues like PTSD and phobias, experts say. And all of these treatments can especially help sufferers in regions lacking doctors or specialists.

That’s the problem that nonprofit HelpMeSee wants to solve. The project aims to train 30,000 people to perform surgery for cataracts — the leading cause of blindness across the world — through VR training.

AR and VR could also improve people’s health in a subtler way — by helping them avoid workplace-related injuries and deaths. Such injuries account for around two million deaths annually and have a huge impact on a country’s economy.

A 2014 study found that costs relating to work injuries compose an average of 4% of a country’s GDP worldwide. According to the World Economic Forum, AR and VR could help with workplace safety by familiarising workers with any hazards before they start working.

A charitable transformation

These technologies also have the capability to shift how developing countries receive aid.

Research has shown that people donate more money when their emotions are appealed to, instead of when they’re approached with a dry list of statistics. Virtual reality, which provides an exhilarating, immersive environment, is a natural fit for aid organisations looking to trigger donors’ emotions.

The UN is already using the technology to this end, producing a handful of VR films so people can actually experience the struggles of a 12-year-old Syrian refugee, or the devastation of Ebola as told by a survivor in Liberia.

The result? At the event where these films were screened, the UN’s donations skyrocketed. And they’re not the only ones experimenting with the technology.

The International Rescue Committee also produced a VR movie documenting the Syrian refugee crisis, while the Clinton Foundation’s eight-minute film took viewers into their work in East Africa.

A push for better connectivity

But before developing countries can start taking full advantage of these technologies, there’s one thing still missing: high-speed internet.

Many of the countries receiving aid from those kinds of organisations already have access to the internet — but it’s not fast enough to offer the life-changing benefits that truly speedy internet can offer.

In 2009, the UN found that people in developed countries are, on average, 200 times more likely than someone in a less developed country to have access to high speed internet.

It’s a gap that hinders communication, education and economic growth. The World Bank found that every 10 percent increase in high-speed internet connections produces a 1.3 percent increase in economic growth. And according to one of their economists, increasing access to high speed mobile internet is the “single most powerful way” countries can increase access to vital services and financial opportunities. That’s why the World Bank is financing a $1.5 billion push for 84 internet connectivity projects in 32 low-income countries to extend their mobile and data networks.

Projects like the World Bank’s are vital to ushering in the next internet revolution, one that’s not simply centered around the adoption of a new technology, but one that focuses on how said technology can help the most people.

The increasing availability of high-speed internet, coupled with the release of cheaper and more accessible VR and AR headsets will have near limitless potential to provide not just entertainment for the world’s richest residents, but life-saving aid to the people who need it most.

Jason Friedlander, Director Product Marketing, Verizon Digital Media Services

Raspberry Pi clone Libre Renegade: $35 gets you Android, USB 3.0 and 4K video

84bdb_librerenegade Raspberry Pi clone Libre Renegade: $35 gets you Android, USB 3.0 and 4K video

The Renegade developer board takes on Raspberry Pi.


Libre Computer

Libre Computer, a Shenzhen-based firm, is touting a new Raspberry Pi Model B clone that also costs $35 but offers some better specs than the more famous developer board.

For now, the board dubbed Renegade is only available to back on Indiegogo and follows Libre Computer’s earlier Kickstarter-promoted Raspberry Pi 3 clone, Tritium.

The Renegade, spotted by CNX-Software, features up to 4GB DDR4 RAM, USB 3.0, Gigabit Ethernet, a Rockchip RK3328 quad-core Cortex A53 processor and an ARM Mali-450MP2 GPU, two USB 2.0 Type A ports, and one USB 3.0 type A port. That’s one fewer USB port than the Raspberry Pi.

As TechRepublic notes, the Renegade DDR4 memory should be faster than the Pi 3’s DDR2, and the Gigabit Ethernet should also offer faster data transfers than the Pi. The same goes for USB 3.0.

The little computer is said to support Ubuntu 16.04 with Rockchip’s Linux 4.4 Kernel and Mainline Linux 4.14 LTS Kernel. It can also run Android 7.1 Nougat.

Renegade’s maker says it has completed product design, initial software support and testing. Delivery to backers begins in January 2018. It also says it’s sorted out software support for media center, gaming and desktop computing.

The 1GB model is available to backers for $35 but if this product goes to retail it will cost $45. It’s also available in 2GB 4GB options. The 4GB model costs $70 during the campaign but is planned for retail at $80. There’s also a $100 option that includes a heatsink, active cooling case 5 volt, 2.5 amp power supply and 32GV MicroSD card.

So far the Renegade campaign has only raised $625 of the $10,000 goal, however the Tritium campaign that began in November has so far raised over $37,000 from over 600 backers.

Previous and related coverage

Raspberry Pi, Linux on ARM users: Now you get a new browser option with Vivaldi

Vivaldi has unveiled a browser for Raspberry Pi and may soon have a build for smartphones, too.

Google offers Raspberry Pi owners this new AI vision kit to spot cats, people, emotions

Google’s Vision Kit lets you build your own computer-vision system for $45, but you’ll need your own Raspberry Pi.

Raspberry Pi supercomputer: Los Alamos to use 10,000 tiny boards to test software

Los Alamos National Lab finds its answer to ‘exascale’ software development in the tiny Raspberry Pi.

Next year’s Android phones will be able to capture 4K HDR video

Qualcomm has just revealed the details of its new Snapdragon 845 mobile processor, which will show up in smartphones and laptops starting early next year. The Snapdragon 845 is the direct successor to 2017’s 835, which proved to be wildly popular for flagship Android smartphones. Like its predecessors, the 845 is not just a processor, but an alphabet soup of processors and systems, such as a CPU, GPU, ISP, and DSP, all contained on a single unit. In addition, the platform utilizes Qualcomm’s latest gigabit LTE and Wi-Fi modems for connectivity.

The big new feature for this year is the ability to capture 4K video in HDR at up to 60 frames per second. The 845 can also shoot slo-mo 720p video at 480 frames per second and about 120 frames per second 1080p video. For still photography, the 845’s Spectra 280 ISP can perform multiframe noise reduction on 16-megapixel images at 60 frames per second. It also supports supports a wider color gamut and 10 bit color depth for 64 times as many color shades as before.


1938b_DSCF5171 Next year's Android phones will be able to capture 4K HDR video

Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 platform
Photo by Dan Seifert / The Verge

There are a lot of other improvements with the 845, including better performance, better connectivity, and more efficient power usage. Qualcomm says its new Adreno 630 GPU provides 30 percent better graphics, 30 percent better power efficiency, and 2.5x faster display throughput. It also supports room scale 6DOF and can map rooms in real time for VR and AR applications.

The TrueWireless Bluetooth 5 system will let a single device broadcast audio to multiple speakers or headphones simultaneously. The company also says this system can provide a 50% improvement in power consumption for truly wireless headphones.

The X20 gigabit LTE modem supports 20 percent faster peak and real-world speeds over the X16 from last year. Qualcomm says the new chip’s combination of licensed and unlicensed spectrum enables 90 percent of carriers to deploy gigabit services.

The Snapdragon 845 is expected to be available in smartphones as early as spring 2019, and will likely appear on devices from Samsung, HTC, LG, Google, and others. It will also make its way to Windows 10 PCs by the end of the year.

Amazon Prime Video arrives on Apple TV, updated for iPhone X


 

An Amazon Prime Video app that provides full iPhone X support also brings along a tvOS version to finally provide Apple TV owners video playback from the service without relying on AirPlay.

eb536_23915-30767-D53AUEGi-1-l Amazon Prime Video arrives on Apple TV, updated for iPhone X

The release of the iOS update for iPhone X compatibility comes at the same time as a native tvOS version. Amazon notes that the tvOS app requires the “Apple TV 3rd generation or later” —but installation may necessitate a reboot of the device, or a reboot followed by a user signing out of iTunes, then back in.

A snippet of text in a misfired app description update on Tuesday night heralded the update.

Version 5.0 of the Amazon Prime Video app requires iOS 9 or tvOS 11.2. It is a 76.6MB download.

Word of Amazon Prime Video coming to Apple TV first leaked in early May with a report that claimed that Amazon and Apple were close to finalizing a deal. Until Wednesday’s release, Apple users wanting to watch Amazon Prime Video and other streaming content needed to rely on Amazon’s iOS app, which includes AirPlay support.

Amazon ceased Apple TV sales in October 2015, citing potential customer confusion over which streaming devices support Amazon Prime Video. As a result of Amazon Prime Video becoming available, the Apple TV is expected to the marketplace.

Google Chrome for Android to Soon Get HDR Video Playback Support

Google Chrome for Android looks set to joining the ranks of mobile apps that offer HDR video playback support, such as YouTube and Netflix among others. HDR or High Dynamic Range helps enhance colour and contrast and gives a more realistic feel compared to the usual standard dynamic range present. The feature was spotted in the Chromium Gerrit, and can be expected to arrive in a future update to the mobile browser.

An HDR-capable smartphone is required to access the new feature, a lot of devices are now available in the market including the flagship phones from Sony (Xperia XZ Premium, Xperia XZ1), the LG G6 and Samsung Galaxy S8 as well as Galaxy Note 8. Two updates to the Chromium Gerrit were spotted by XDA Developers, pointing to the upcoming addition of HDR video playback support for Google Chrome on Android.

Not a lot of content with HDR video capabilities is available but expect a lot of it to roll out now that the update is official on Google Chrome for Android. Earlier, apps like YouTube and Netflix have already added support for HDR, giving select videos superior colour quality – of course, for the two apps, video viewing is their primary task.

With support expanding to a popular mobile Web browser like Google Chrome, you will now be able to scout the entire web for HDR content and view it with the browser’s inbuilt video player on Android.

Google Chrome for Android may soon support HDR video playback

Google may soon be introducing High Dynamic range (HDR) videos for its Chrome browser on Android. The official HDR playback feature on Android devices dates back to Android 7.0 Nougat and it worked only with devices whose display could playback HDR content.

2c42e_google-chrome-1326908_960_720-3801 Google Chrome for Android may soon support HDR video playback

Google Chrome

Even though YouTube, Google Play Movies, and Netflix support HDR content, their libraries are quite limited and playback is supported on only a few devices as well. However, according to “two recent commits” on Chromium gerrit, first spotted by XDA-developers, we may soon see a higher quality video experience in Chrome for Android as well.

Chrome will soon be able to extract HDR metadata from the video container in which the HDR video, encoded in “VP9 Profile 2 (10 bit) video codec”, will be able to play on supported devices, according to XDA-developers.

However, there still remains the problem of the limited amount of HDR content available on the internet. Also, it is a fact that HDR videos use a lot more bandwidth than non-HDR. In a country like India, where Google just launched YouTube Go to cut down on data consumption while viewing videos, it remains to be seen how this will pick up in India. Sure there are attractive data plans being advertised by telcos in India, but data speeds will also be a big factor in streaming content.

Nonetheless, it is good to see that viewing of HDR content is becoming more accessible.

Chrome for Android will soon get HDR video support

Of course, you’ll require a HDR-capable smartphone to try it out (see LG and Samsung’s flagships, Sony Xperia XZ1, and Sony Xperia XZ Premium). Oh, and you’ll also need to be on the lookout for video carrying the HDR tag, which is sorely lacking at present. At least with the future Chrome update, you’ll be able to scour the entirety of the web for content.

Chrome for Android will soon get HDR video support

Of course, you’ll require a HDR-capable smartphone to try it out (see LG and Samsung’s flagships, Sony Xperia XZ1, and Sony Xperia XZ Premium). Oh, and you’ll also need to be on the lookout for video carrying the HDR tag, which is sorely lacking at present. At least with the future Chrome update, you’ll be able to scour the entirety of the web for content.




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