You can play the beta of Harry Potter: Wizards Unite outside of New Zealand

Niantic has announced a beta version of their latest real-world game, Harry Potter: Wizards Unite! It’s currently only available in New Zealand, but where there’s a will, there’s a way. We live in a world of magic after all. It is possible for you to sideload the Unite app — sideloading is installing an app that’s not on the Play Store — from outside New Zealand so you too can be a part of the Wizarding World!

How to sideload the app

The exact steps may be different on your particular phone. I have the Pixel 2 XL with Android 9 so mine may look a little different to yours.

  1. Visit APKMirror to find the downloadable APK
  2. Scroll down to the Download APK button. Be careful. Some of the ads have a download button and may trick you.

  3. When the file has downloaded, tap the notification in the notification tray to start the installation.
  4. You may have to allow unknown sources. Tap the settings option to go into the Android settings.
  5. Toggle the allow sources options
  6. Press the back key to return to the installation
  7. Once the installation says complete, tap open to open Wizards Unite!

  8. After the splascreen enter your date of birth, or any date of birth into the boxes.
  9. Next you need to create an account. Avoid using the email address and username you want to use for the full version of the game, Niantic may not like us sideloading.

  10. You will get a pop up for you to allow the app access to your GPS. Just click allow to move on.
  11. Next, accept the Terms of Service.
  12. Then, accept the Privacy Policy.
  13. The game will ask you if you want to accept any Email information. I would stay clear of this for now. Don’t check the boxes. Just tap accept.
  14. Input any name you want into the insert name screen. Again, you may not want to use your real name right now. You can hit the randomize button to make up a name.
  15. Lastly, choose a fun code name for the game to recognize you and you are done!

From here the game begins and you can get into the tutorial!

A few words of warning

While this guide will allow you to install the game onto your Android device, it doesn’t let you play very much of the game. So far, anyone outside of New Zealand can only play the tutorial. After that, you can move around the map and the user interface but none of the in-game content actually works.

There are no foundables to find, no traces in the air, no confoundables to fight (I am loving the names in this game BTW) honestly, no magic at all. Just the one brief moment of happiness with Hagrid. After that, the game asks you to find more foundables, and unfortunately for anybody outside New Zealand there just aren’t any more to find.

So what can you do?

Not much really, though there are some fun little things. Firstly, you get to pick your house. I wish there was a Sorting Hat vibe to this, but the game lets you choose whichever house you want. I chose Hufflepuff of course — it’s where are the really cool kids go — but you can choose any of the four houses from Hogwarts.

The most exciting part is making your own wand. There are only four sections to the wand: wood type, core type, flexibility, and length. It took me a good 15 minutes to make the decisions. Once you have chosen your want, you get a brief 3D version and a picture of your wand on your Ministry of Magic ID card.

When the game finally gets going around the world, I can imagine people will be making their wands for cosplay, and I am here for it.

Most of this stuff can be found in your Ministry ID. Along with your profile picture that isn’t changeable yet, you can choose your title or titles. You can choose up to three and they might be unlockable titles you earn through the game — almost like medals or trophies. This just gives you a chance to further differentiate yourself from other players in the game world.

What did he say, dear? Diagonally…

It looks like the game store is going to be modeled after the Harry Potter world shopping area, Diagon Alley. This is, of course, an excellent idea and makes me want to buy loads of stuff I don’t need.

Unless you live in New Zealand I wouldn’t spend any money in the store though, We have no idea whether the items you buy will be honored in the final and official game. It could be a waste of your money.

So how does this make you feel?

So now you have had your teeny tiny taste of the wizarding world how do you feel? Excited? Upset that you only get such a small attempt at playing? Let us know in the comments.

You can play YouTube Music without ads on Google Home speakers

Photograph of Google Home Hub, Home Mini, and Home side by side

Google announced today on the YouTube blog that anyone with a Google Home or Google Assistant-powered speaker can now listen to ad-free music from YouTube Music.

Google notes that you can’t pick and choose which songs or albums you want to listen to — you can only listen to pre-populated playlists. That said, you still have the option to upgrade to YouTube Music Premium for $9.99 each month and get the benefits that come with a subscription. Those benefits include listening to music on-demand, offline listening, and more.

See also: Is YouTube Music worth the switch?

If you already own a Google Home device, open the Google Home app and select Account Settings. From there, tap Music and select YouTube Music as the default music service. If you just got a Google Home speaker, you can choose YouTube Music as the default music service during setup.

You can try out ad-free YouTube Music listening on your Google Home or Google Assistant speaker if you live in the U.S., Canada, Mexico, Australia, the U.K., Ireland, Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Japan, the Netherlands, and Austria. The feature will be available in other countries “soon.”

Whether you want YouTube Music as your default music service is another question, however. Even though Google will eventually merge YouTube Music and Google Play Music, the latter’s locker service is still notably absent from the former. Also absent are gapless playback, proper library management, and more.

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48 hours with the Galaxy Fold: Incredible potential amidst a potential mess

I was playing Settlers of Catan when everything went to hell. It was late morning on Sunday, October 9, 2016 and I was at a rented cottage with my wife and some friends, drinking some coffee. It was Canadian Thanksgiving, so I had no plans to work that day.

Suddenly, two days shy of a month after the first recall, Galaxy Note 7 batteries started exploding again. I’d already had my unit replaced with one that was deemed safe, and for a couple of weeks things had been relatively quiet. It appeared that Samsung had quickly identified the problem with its latest smartphone — batteries produced for the phone by Samsung SDI had a design flaw that warped some of the electrodes near the top right of the cell, causing potential thermal runaway and short circuiting. Causing potential fires.

Except the fires weren’t just potential; they were very real. The following day, October 10, Samsung recalled the Note 7 for a second time, canceling it outright a few days later. The company reportedly wrote down $17 billion in inventory, and took a $4 billion profit hit. It also delayed the phone’s follow-up, the Galaxy S8, and put new battery-testing procedures in place to ensure that such a fiasco wouldn’t happen again.

And I never did finish that game of Catan.

That incident was in my mind today as I began formulating this diary entry, figuring out what I wanted to say about this fascinating new device that introduces a host of functional (and fun!) possibilities to the quickly-maturing smartphone space. At once phone and tablet, the Galaxy Fold is a remarkable and tenacious piece of engineering, one of two devices (the other being Huawei’s Mate X) launching in the coming months promising to overhaul the way we use our phones.

And overhaul my workflow it has. As other reviewers have been dealing with screen failures — some self-induced, some not — I’ve been using the Fold as I would any other phone in my pocket. It has my main SIM card in it, along with my typical loadout of apps, and I’ve been conducting business — and procrastinating from said business — for the past two days. In that time, I’ve figured out that this isn’t just a phone/tablet hybrid, or a tablet with some phone features, or any combination of the two. For better or worse, it’s something completely new.

And, for the most part, I love it.

It’s actually a good one-handed phone

For starters, most early reviews have largely dismissed the cover display as some kind of low-use gimmick, preferring to use the main tablet display for as much functionality as possible. In normal use, though, I’ve found that to be wrong: despite being very small — the claimed 4.6-inch size is misleading, since the screen is measured diagonally, and at a hilarious 21:9 aspect ratio there’s very little horizontal real estate to work with — I use the front display a lot, from checking email to scrolling through Instagram or quickly setting up a podcast to listen to before a walk.

I’m using the Fold folded, in one hand, way more than I thought I would.

A closed Fold is an old-school candybar — think the LG Chocolate, just much taller — that’s easy to grip. It’s like yielding a weapon that you can also use to make phone calls. While I don’t recommend doing a lot of typing on the cover display — both Samsung’s own keyboard and Gboard are just plain frustrating, even for swipe-typing — it’s so comfortable to grip in one hand that some activities feel completely native on this screen.

Some people have argued that the front display should have been bigger, but Samsung was limited horizontally — a “bigger” display would have just been taller, making Android untenable to use. And trust me: once you use the cover display for a couple of days, the large bezels above and below just fade away.

The button placements are trolling me

I’m less enamored of the button placements, on the right side of the Fold. Samsung insisted on including a Bixby button, so it combined it with a capacitive fingerprint sensor and shoved it below the actual power button.

First, that’s confusing enough. Second, the fingerprint sensor is exactly at the base of my forefinger, buttressed against my palm, whenever I’m holding the Fold in tablet mode, undermining the otherwise-useful swipe gesture that I use to open the notification shade. I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve accidentally pulled down the notification shade over the past two days by merely shifting my hand while reading an article or playing a game.

Of course, I can turn that gesture off (and have), but then I lose the functionality when I actually want it. The fingerprint sensor should have been combined with the power button, which is slightly higher up on the phone, avoiding this annoyance entirely. (That Samsung insisted on including a Bixby button on this hardware at all is arrogant, but that’s a refrain I’ve been making since the Galaxy S8.)

The tablet mode is delightfully hit or miss

So the main event is obviously the Fold unfolded, teased open by disengaging the impressively sturdy magnets and using the 7.3-inch display like a tablet. Most apps that I use on a regular basis work well, albeit with a few quirks. Twitter merely looks bad, while Instagram actually cuts off content from Stories. The NBA App, which I use regularly this time of year, is straight-up broken, while others, like WhatsApp, Slack, and Pocket Casts, are just blown up versions of their phone counterparts.

Some apps, like Kindle or Google Play Books, don’t think the Fold is a tablet and miss out on providing a denser, more enjoyable reading experience on the larger screen. The only apps I’ve found to even remotely respect the Fold’s uniqueness are made by Google — YouTube, Gmail, Maps, Keep Notes, etc. — and even those aren’t trying very hard.

This problem is mostly OK — unlike Android tablets, foldable phones will penetrate the market in real ways, and Google has already set about to help developers optimize their apps for the burgeoning form factor. Plus this phone isn’t even officially available yet, and I’m using pre-production software. So I’m not that worried that the “tablet” experience doesn’t feel quite right at the moment. For the most part, blown-up Android apps at a minimum are fun to use on the bigger screen, and that’s not even acknowledging the best part of the Fold: content consumption.

I love watching Netflix or YouTube on this thing — yes, the 4:3 aspect ratio includes some gnarly black bars above and below, that the picture itself is still massive and Samsung-vivld —and that I merely have to unfurl my phone’s flexible screen to do makes it even better.

Similarly, the limited amount of gaming I’ve done on the Fold has been a pleasure. This is among the most powerful phones on the market today, and playing a couple levels of Oddmar, or plinko‘ing my way through a few rounds of Holedown was enormously gratifying.

Multitasking may be more than a gimmick

I’ve yet to really take advantage of the Fold’s multi-app capabilities, but the few combinations I’ve tried have worked well.

For instance, tonight I made dinner with a recipe on Google Chrome on the primary left column, a YouTube video playing in the top right, and a basket game refreshing in theScore on the bottom right. That the phone can bend to turn itself into a makeshift stand is even better, and a feature that, while probably not something Samsung wants to advertise, I’ll be taking advantage of on a regular basis.

Getting actual work done on here is no joke. Now all it needs is an S Pen.

Still, the App Continuity feature is not where it needs to be, especially as a “feature” the company is marketing. It relies on apps saving their states between the two orientations, resuming where you left off on the tablet display after opening the phone. It’s a neat trick, but it doesn’t work in many apps right now, and aside from saving me a few seconds returning to a spot in an article or waiting for an app to reload, it’s fairly unremarkable.

Typing is both frustrating and fun

When I’m in a typing groove on the Galaxy Fold — you know what that’s like, when you just can’t make a mistake — Samsung’s keyboard works brilliantly. The company has developed a version of its Android keyboard that adapts to the two different screen sizes, with a typical layout on the cover and a tablet-optimized thumb keyboard on the larger screen.

But Samsung’s autocorrect feature is infuriatingly bad sometimes, suggesting words that are not even remotely close to what I was aiming for. Switching to Gboard or SwiftKey is a possibility, too, but neither option supports separate layouts nor are they optimized for the Fold’s aspect ratio.

On the other hand, I’ve managed to improve my speed and accuracy with the Samsung keyboard over the past two days, and I’m guessing that in a week or so, I won’t even think twice about it. Until, that is, I try to type ‘apple’, as I did today, and it suggests ‘Argentina’.

Battery life is a drag

Whereas the Galaxy S10+ brought Samsung into the elite group of phones with ultra-long uptime, the Fold, despite having a larger capacity, has battery life that few would envy.

I’ve had to charge the Galaxy Fold mid-afternoon both days I’ve had it, and on neither day I worked the phone harder than I would a typical handset. Yes, the caveat from above still applies — it’s running pre-production software — but I also think that powering two displays, plus a host of other multitasking shenanigans happening behind the scenes, is chewing through those sweet milliamps like yeast on sugar.

While I’m relieved that the Fold charges wirelessly, that it doesn’t support Samsung’s 25W wired charging standard — the one that will be available on the Galaxy S10 5G later this summer — baffles me completely.

The cameras are exactly as good as you’d expect

There’s a reason none of the early hands-on reports focused on the Fold’s cameras, despite there being six of them: they’re exactly the same as the ones found on the Galaxy S10+. Being a known quantity doesn’t discount the fact that these are fantastically capable cameras, and ones that I’ve already used to capture some excellent photos, but there are a few things to keep in mind.

For starters, neither the cover display nor the tablet display are ideal viewfinders. The former is too small to see anything in detail, and the larger requires holding the phone with two hands to get a steady shot. Plus, you’ll look super dorky taking images unfurled, so prepare for “I’m judging your iPad photography” stares should you choose to do so. Especially around tourist attractions.

The stereo audio is good, but easily muffled

Samsung thoughtfully included two speakers in a stereo pair with the Fold, optimized for Dolby Atmos (whatever that means in relation to a smartphone), but both speakers are on either end of the left housing, making it easy to muffle while holding the phone in landscape.

You can always shift the phone around to the other side, but then you risk accidentally triggering the volume rocker (as I often did). Either way, the setup is a bit clunky, though the sound is outstanding.

Learn to love the crease

The inside display of the Galaxy Fold is actually superb, even relative to Samsung’s other Dynamic OLED displays in the Galaxy S10 series. Same great colors, same awesome viewing angles. It’s not as high-resolution as those, of course, and the plastic film covering it is very reflective and shows fingerprints far too easily, but once you stare at the phone for a few minutes it’s all just content.

The crease is definitely real and it’s not getting any less noticeable, so you’re going to have to learn to live with it.

The thing is — the crease is definitely there. In the right light, or with the right piece of content, it does disappear, but it’s always looming, ready to reemerge any at time. So my take on it is that you just need to embrace it, kind of like the notch. It’s part of the decor, a necessary flaw that enables all the cool things this phone can do.

And if you want this phone, you’re going to need to get used to the crease, because in the two days I’ve used the Fold, it’s become ever more pronounced. So like a book with its spine, or a laptop with its hinge, you’re either going to learn to live with it, or find something else that won’t bend.

My phone is not broken

I’m not really sure how else to say this, but my Galaxy Fold still works. Perfectly. There isn’t a scratch or ding or indent anywhere on the damn thing, and it’s not like I’m treating the phone gingerly. I still think Samsung was right to place the main tablet display on the inside (an “innie“) compared to Huawei’s Mate X, which I imagine will be even more susceptible to damage over the long term.

Still, it’s concerning to see how many Folds have been rendered broken or unusable so soon after review seeding; this doesn’t bode well for scaling the new technology without inviting a host of regular consumer problems. Yes, a couple of the broken Fold units got that way because curiosity peeled off the definitely-not-a-screen-protector, but just as many appear to be spontaneous failures, likely caused by debris getting caught underneath the display housing.

That Samsung didn’t see this coming — it’s been testing the screen technology for nearly a decade, and likely had prototypes of the Fold itself for at least a couple of years — is what concerns me most. Is this an instance where, as with the Note 7, they believed the tolerances were higher than they actually are? Or is it a case of hubris, pushing out a product it knew could be easily damaged? Either way, the company has once again entered full-on damage control, and it’s already overshadowing what would have otherwise been one of the most exciting product releases in recent memory.

Conversely, right now we’re talking about a half dozen phones. A sample that small wouldn’t even be eligible for a survey. Samsung’s provided a statement saying that “[they] have received a few reports regarding the main display on the samples provided [and] will thoroughly inspect these units in person to determine the cause of the matter.”

Samsung isn’t acknowledging a problem, perhaps because it’s too early to do so, or perhaps because there’s no problem to acknowledge. Either way, there’s a risk of the launch, which the company doesn’t plan to delay, having the specter of scandal.

At least retail units will have a warning not to pull the protective layer off the plastic display, because imagine ruining your $2000 phone by doing something as innocuous as thinking you’re removing a temporary screen protector. Oof.

There’s a lot to love about this thing

I’ve seen more than a few dismissals of both the Galaxy Fold itself and the burgeoning category it introduces. I’ve also seen its close-to-$2000 price scoffed at by people who don’t understand where it sits in the market. This is Samsung’s true flagship, its aspirational glimpse into a future that could, like the Galaxy Note before it, change the mobile landscape immutably.

While there are more than a few bugs to work out, and a few design flaws to solve for version two, I still feel a rush every time I use this thing, especially when I discover that everything I’ve been doing on my phone for years works great on the Fold, and so many things I couldn’t do are now possible.

The flagship

Samsung Galaxy Fold

$1,980 at Samsung

Two screens to love

Samsung’s foldable Galaxy Fold is a remarkable piece of engineering, and even though the software is going through some growing pains, it’s still a fantastic experience. But does it justify its $1,980 price? Time will tell.

The stuff you need to fold it all together

Stay fit

Samsung Galaxy Watch Active

$200 at Samsung

The Galaxy Watch Active is a perfect companion for the Galaxy Fold. It’s waterproof, has built-in GPS, syncs notifications from your phone, and even supports Samsung Pay. For the price, it’s a crazy good deal.

No wires

Samsung Fast Wireless Charger

From $38 at Amazon

Believe it or not, Samsung still managed to cram in wireless charging on the Galaxy Fold. One of the best wireless chargers you can get for it is made by — you guessed it — Samsung.

Get back to 100

Anker PowerCore Speed 20000 PD battery

$100 at Amazon

The Galaxy Fold has a huge 4380mAh battery, but thanks to two screens and a power-hungry 12GB of RAM, it churns through battery fast. So charge it even faster with this 20000mAh battery pack from Anker!

The Samsung Galaxy A40s and A60 have monster batteries

Press renders of the Samsung Galaxy A40s and A60.

Left to right: Samsung Galaxy A60, Samsung Galaxy A40s

If you thought Samsung’s Galaxy A line wasn’t large enough, today’s your lucky day — Samsung announced the Galaxy A40s and A60 during an event in China today, reported NDTV.

Starting with the Galaxy A40s, the phone features a 6.4-inch AMOLED Infinity-U display with Full HD+ resolution and a waterdrop-style notch. There’s also a 16-megapixel selfie sensor. Around back are the fingerprint sensor and triple-camera system featuring a 13MP primary sensor, 5MP depth sensor, and 5MP wide-angle lens.

Under the hood is Samsung’s in-house Exynos 7904 processor, 6GB of RAM, 64GB of storage, and a massive 5,000mAh battery. The phone supports 15W fast charging, so you won’t have to sit around too long to juice up the large power pack.

Editor’s Pick

Moving to the Galaxy A60, the phone sports a 6.3-inch LCD Infinity-O display with Full HD+ resolution and a cutout for the 32MP selfie camera. As with the Galaxy A40s, the Galaxy A60 also sports a fingerprint sensor and triple camera system around back. With the Galaxy A60, you get a 32MP primary sensor, 8MP ultra-wide sensor, and 5MP depth sensor.

Powering the Galaxy A60 are the Qualcomm Snapdragon 675 processor that’s also found in the Galaxy A70, 6GB of RAM, 128GB of storage, and a 4,500mAh battery. Even with a large battery, there’s support for 25W fast charging.

Lastly, the Galaxy A40s and A60 run Android 9 Pie out of the box.

Samsung didn’t say when the Galaxy A40s and A60 will be available in China. However, the company did say that the Galaxy A40s and A60 cost 1,499 (~$223) and 1,999 ($298), respectively.

BlackBerry Messenger says goodbye to the world May 31, will live on in our memories

Render of the BBM logo.

It’s a sad day for BlackBerry enthusiasts, as Emtek Group announced today that the consumer version of BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) has an expiration date — May 31.

For years, BBM’s success coincided with BlackBerry’s as the former gained mainstream appeal and became one of the most popular messaging services in the world. However, BlackBerry’s fall from grace eventually led to BBM also becoming less popular.

Compounding matters are messaging services like WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, iMessage, Telegram, and many others that eventually eclipsed BBM in popularity. In 2016, Emtek acquired the licensing rights to BBM in the hopes of turning the service around. However, the addition of channels, games, and ads arguably worsened the BBM experience.

In today’s announcement, Emtek talks about the difficulties of competing with the aforementioned platforms while also failing to bring on new BBM users. Emtek didn’t provide statistics on the number of current BBM users, though the service had 63 million monthly users in Indonesia as of January 2018.

Editor’s Pick

According to BBM’s updated FAQ page, users won’t be able to use BBMoji after May 31 and existing rewards after May 20. The page also notes that Emtek will delete data like channels and feeds within seven days of the service shutting down and data from its cloud infrastructure within 180 days.

That said, messages and files like photos, documents, and videos are stored on BBM servers until you download them. These files are destroyed after seven days, so they’ll disappear whether or not you download them.

Also keep in mind that only the consumer version of BBM is going away May 31. Starting today, BBM Enterprise will be available on the Google Play Store. BBM Enterprise is free for the first year and costs $2.49 for six months of service.

Facebook’s security blunder was worse than we thought

The Instagram app on Pixel 2.

Remember when Facebook announced its password snafu back in March? It turns out that the security blunder was much more significant that initially announced, since the issue also encompassed millions of Instagram passwords.

According to an updated security blog post originally published March 21, Facebook discovered additional logs of Instagram passwords stored in readable text. Facebook said the issue affected “millions” of Instagram users.

The good news is that Facebook’s investigation found no abuse or improper access of the affected Instagram passwords. The investigation also found that the passwords were not accessible outside of Facebook and Instagram employees. That said, Instagram will reach out to affected users and instruct them on how to change their passwords.

This is Facebook’s second password issue in less than a month. On March 21, a “routine security review” found that internal Facebook servers were storing millions of plain-text, unencrypted user passwords.

Editor’s Pick

As with today’s announcement, no one outside of Facebook employees supposedly saw the passwords. Facebook estimated that it would notify hundreds of millions of Facebook Lite users and tens of millions of other Facebook users and encourage them to change their passwords.

At the time, Facebook said it would look at different ways to store information related to its users, including things like access tokens. We don’t know if Facebook is still looking for different ways to store user information or whether it already found a different way.

This is a good time to remind folks to use password managers. And if you’ve had enough of Facebook’s shenanigans, we also have instructions on how to delete your Instagram and Facebook accounts.

NEXT: How to delete your Instagram account

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Learn C# for Android part 2 – Classes and loops (also: rabbits!)

Learn C# Coding

In part one of this Android tutorial series on learning C#, we looked at the absolute basics of C# programming. We covered methods (groups of code that perform specific tasks), some basic syntax (such as the need for semi colons), variables (containers that store data), and “if statements” for flow control (branching code that’s dependent on the values of variables). We also saw how to pass variables like strings as arguments between methods.

You should go back and take a look at that if you haven’t read it already.

At this point, you should be able to make some basic console apps, like quizzes, apps that store data, or calculators.

Learn C# for Android

In part two, we’re going to get a little more ambitious, covering some more basics — like loops — and exploring how to create and interact with classes. That means we’ll be able to start taking a stab at Android development and see how to bridge that gap. Continue reading if you want to truly learn C#!

Understanding classes and object oriented programming

Briefly in part one, we explained the basics of Object Oriented Programming, which revolves around languages using “classes” to describe “objects.” An object is a piece of data, which can represent many things. It could be a literal object in a game world like a spring, or it could be something more abstract, like a manager that handles the player’s score.

A single class can create multiple objects. So you might write one “enemy” class, but be able to generate an entire level full of bad guys. This is one of the big benefits of using object oriented programming. Otherwise, the only way to handle the behavior of a multitude of enemies would be to use lots of individual methods, each one containing instructions for how the bad guy should behave in different circumstances.

C# coding programming

If this is still a bit tricky to get your head around, all you really need to know is that objects have properties and behaviors. This is just like real objects. For instance, a rabbit has properties like size, color, and name; and it has behaviors, like jumping, sitting, and eating. Essentially, properties are variables and behaviors are methods.

The program we built in the last lesson is an example of a class too. The “object” we’re describing here is some kind of password control system. The property it has is the string UserName, and the behavior it has is NewMethod (checking the name of the user and greeting them).

Programming Learn C#

If that’s still a bit confusing, the only way to get our heads around is create a new class or two ourselves!

Creating a new class

If you’re going to learn C#, you need to know how to make new classes. Fortunately, this is very easy. Just click the Project menu item and then select “+Add Class.”

C# add class

Choose “C#” and call it “Rabbit.” We’re going to use this class to create conceptual rabbits. You’ll see what I mean in a moment.

If you check in your Solution Explorer on the right, you’ll see that a new file called Rabbit.cs has been created right beneath Program.cs. Well done — that’s one of the most crucial things to know if you want to learn C# for Android!

The new Rabbit.cs file has some of that same “boilerplate” code as before. It still belongs to the same namespace, and it has a class with the same name as the file.

namespace ConsoleApp2 {     class Rabbit     {     } }

Now we’re going to give our rabbit some properties with what we call a “constructor.”

Rabbit class C#

A constructor is a method in a class that initializes the object, allowing us to define its properties when we first create it. In this case, here’s what we’re going to say:

namespace ConsoleApp2 {     class Rabbit     {         public string RabbitName;         public string RabbitColor;         public int RabbitAge;         public int RabbitWeight;         public Rabbit(String name, String color, int age, int weight)         {             RabbitName = name;             RabbitColor = color;             RabbitAge = age;             RabbitWeight = weight;         }     } }

This allows us to create a new rabbit from a different class, and define its properties as we do:

Rabbit Rabbit1 = new Rabbit(“Jeff”, “brown”, 1, 1);

Now I realize in retrospect weight should probably have been a float or a double to allow for decimals, but you get the idea. We’re going to round our rabbit to the nearest whole number.

You’ll see as you write your rabbit out, you’ll be prompted to pass the correct arguments. In this way, your class has become a part of the code almost.

Believe it or not, this code has created a rabbit! You can’t see your rabbit because we don’t have any graphics, but it is there.

And to prove it, you can now use this line:

Console.WriteLine(Rabbit1.RabbitName);

This will then tell you the name of the rabbit you just created!

Learn C# Rabbit Weight

We can likewise increase the weight of our Rabbit, like so:

Rabbit1.RabbitWeight++; Console.WriteLine(Rabbit1.RabbitName + " weighs " + Rabbit1.RabbitWeight + "kg");

Note here that adding “++” on the end of something will incrementally increase its value by one (You could also write “RabbitWeight = RabbitWeight + 1”).

Because our class can make as many rabbits as we like, we can create lots of different rabbits, each with their own properties.

Adding behaviors

We might then also choose to give our rabbit some kind of behavior. In this case, let’s let them eat.

C# objects classes learn

To do this, we would create a public method called “Eat,” and this would make an eating sound, while also incrementally increasing the weight of the rabbit:

public void Eat()         {             Console.WriteLine(RabbitName + ": Nibble nibble!");             RabbitWeight++;         }

Remember,”public” means accessible from outside the class, and “void” means the method doesn’t return any data.

Then, from inside Program.cs, we will be able to call this method and this will make the rabbit of our choice eat and get bigger:

Console.WriteLine(Rabbit1.RabbitName + " weighs " + Rabbit1.RabbitWeight + "kg"); Rabbit1.Eat(); Rabbit1.Eat(); Rabbit1.Eat(); Console.WriteLine(Rabbit1.RabbitName + " weighs " + Rabbit1.RabbitWeight + "kg");

That will cause Jeff to eat three times, then we’ll hear it and be able to see he has gotten bigger! If we had another rabbit on the scene, they could eat as well!

Console.WriteLine(Rabbit1.RabbitName + " weighs " + Rabbit1.RabbitWeight + "kg"); Console.WriteLine(Rabbit2.RabbitName + " weighs " + Rabbit2.RabbitWeight + "kg"); Rabbit1.Eat(); Rabbit1.Eat(); Rabbit2.Eat(); Rabbit2.Eat(); Rabbit1.Eat(); Console.WriteLine(Rabbit1.RabbitName + " weighs " + Rabbit1.RabbitWeight + "kg"); Console.WriteLine(Rabbit2.RabbitName + " weighs " + Rabbit2.RabbitWeight + "kg");

At it like rabbits

This isn’t a particularly elegant way to handle lots of objects, as we need to write out the commands for each rabbit manually and can’t dynamically increase the number of rabbits as far as we want. We don’t just want to learn C# — we want to learn how to write clean C# code!

Objects collections learn C#

This is why we might use a list. A list is a collection; variable itself that basically contains references to other variables. In this case, we might make a list of Rabbits, and the good news is that this is very easy to understand:

List<Rabbit> RabbitList = new List<Rabbit>(); RabbitList.Add(new Rabbit("Jeff", "brown", 1, 1)); RabbitList.Add(new Rabbit("Sam", "white", 1, 2));

This creates the new rabbit as before, but simultaneously adds the rabbit to the list. Equally, we could say this:

Rabbit Rabbit3 = new Rabbit("Jonny", "orange", 1, 1); RabbitList.Add(Rabbit3);

Either way, an object has been created and added to the list.

We can also conveniently and elegantly return information from our rabbits list this way:

foreach (var Rabbit in RabbitList)             {                 Console.WriteLine(Rabbit.RabbitName + " weighs " + Rabbit.RabbitWeight + "kg");             }

As you might be able to figure out, “foreach” means you repeat a step once for every item in the list. You can also retrieve information from your list like this:

RabbitList[1].Eat();

Here “1” is the index, meaning you are referring to the information stored at position one. As it happens, that’s actually the second rabbit you added though: because lists in programming always start at 0.

Fibonacci

In case you hadn’t yet guessed, we’re now going to use all this information to create a Fibonacci sequence. After all, If you’re learning C# for Android, you should to be able to actually do something interesting with all that theory!

learn C# development

In the Fibonacci sequence, rabbits are shut in a room and left to breed. They can reproduce after one month, at which point they are sexually mature (I cannot confirm if this is correct Rabbit biology). If each rabbit couple can produce once per month from then on, producing two offspring, here’s what the sequence looks like:

1,1,2,3,5,8,13,21,34

Magically, each number in the sequence is the value of the previous two numbers added together. According to science, this is kind of a big deal.

The cool thing is, we can replicate that.

First, we need to introduce a new concept: the loop. This simply repeats the same code over and over again until a condition is met. The “for” loop lets us do this by creating a variable, setting the conditions we want to meet, and then operating on it — all defined inside brackets:

for (int months = 0; months < 100; months++)             { //Do something             }

So we are creating an integer called months, and looping until it’s equal to 100. Then we increase the number of months by one.

Want to see how this can become a Fibonacci sequence? Behold:

namespace ConsoleApp2 {     class Program     {            static void Main(string[] args)         {             List<Rabbit> RabbitList = new List<Rabbit>();             RabbitList.Add(new Rabbit("Jeff", "brown", 0, 1));             RabbitList.Add(new Rabbit("Sam", "white", 0, 1));                        for (int months = 0; months < 10; months++)             {                 int firstRabbit = 0;                 int timesToReproduce = 0;                 foreach (var Rabbit in RabbitList)                 {                     Console.Write("R");                     if (Rabbit.RabbitAge > 0)                     {                         if (firstRabbit == 0)                         {                             firstRabbit = 1;                         } else                         {                             firstRabbit = 0;                             timesToReproduce++;                         }                     }                     Rabbit.RabbitAge++;                 }                 for (int i = 0; i < timesToReproduce; i++)                 {                     RabbitList.Add(new Rabbit("NewBabyRabbit", "brown", 0, 1));                     RabbitList.Add(new Rabbit("NewBabyRabbit", "brown", 0, 1));                     Console.Write("r");                     Console.Write("r");                 }                   Console.WriteLine("  --- There are " + RabbitList.Count / 2 + " pairs of rabbits!");                   Console.WriteLine("");             }             Console.WriteLine("All done!");             Console.ReadKey();         }     } } 

Okay, that was harder than I thought!

I’m not going to go through all of this, but using what you’ve already learned, you should be able to reverse engineer it.

There are definitely more elegant ways of doing this — I’m no mathematician. However, I think it’s a fairly fun exercise, and once you can do it, you’re ready for the big time.

I’d love to see any other approaches, by the way!

Where do we go from here? How to learn C# for Android

With all that knowledge under your belt, you’re ready to start on bigger things. In particular, you’re ready to take a stab at Android programming with C# in Xamarin or Unity.

Learn C# for Android

This is different because you’ll be using classes provided by Google, Microsoft, and Unity. When you write something like “RigidBody2D.velocity” what you’re doing is accessing a property from a class called RigidBody2D. This works just the same, the only difference is you can’t see RigidBody2D because you didn’t build it yourself.

With this C# under your belt, you should be ready to jump into either of these options and have a big head start when it comes to understanding what’s going on:

In an upcoming lesson, we’ll also look at how you can take a U-turn and use this to build Windows apps instead!

Samsung Galaxy Fold hands-on: Amazing, and equally concerning

Update, April 17, 2019 (8:35PM PST): We’ve updated our article to include Samsung’s response.

Original article, April 17, 2019 (3:35PM PST):After what seems like years of foldable prototypes at tradeshows like CES and MWC, we finally have the first widely available foldable device from a top-five smartphone company: the Samsung Galaxy Fold. The Galaxy Fold is Samsung’s first venture into the form-factor that may shape the industry for the next decade, but it’s still unclear how consumers will receive a first-generation product of this nature. Walking away from our briefing with the device, one thing is for certain: folding phones are really, really cool.

Samsung Galaxy Fold open back on table

First and foremost, let’s get the specs out of the way. The Samsung Galaxy Fold is packing Qualcomm’s latest Snapdragon 855 mobile processor, 12GB of RAM, and 512GB of storage. That’s quite an insane list of specs, but if you’re going to drop nearly two thousand dollars on a smartphone, you’d probably hope it was worth its weight. This specs list makes the device nearly equivalent to a full-fledged laptop. With the 7.3-inch display you’ll get from this phone unfolded, it could easily be used to replace something like an iPad Mini.

Don’t miss:

Other specs include a 4,380mAh battery (or rather two smaller batteries) to power the internal tablet-style display as well as the much smaller 4.6-inch screen on the front of the device. Speaking of the smaller display, it’s kind of… weird. The usable screen-to-body ratio is so small that the screen feels almost encased inside a set of large bezels. During my time with the device, it left me wanting to use the phone unfolded. While this style of use is fine for things like making phone calls, it’s not so great for content consumption.

Samsung Galaxy Fold tablet mode cameras

Samsung has also put a whopping six cameras inside the Galaxy Fold. There is a 10MP standard camera on the front of the device in folded mode, a 16MP ultra-wide sensor, 12MP main and 12MP telephoto lens on the back of the device, and a 10MP lens accompanied by an 8MP depth sensor camera housed inside a rather unruly notch on the inside. Samsung wants users to be able to snap photos in whichever orientation they use the device — with six cameras you’ve got quite a bit of flexibility.

With six cameras, you’ve got quite a bit of flexibility

In order to actually fold back and forth, the Galaxy Fold uses a specialized locking hinge mechanism. Samsung says it went through hundreds of iterations of this mechanism before getting it just right, and there is an audible snap both when you unfold the device and when you fold it closed again. It’s the type of thing that I would probably fidget with for hours on end if I owned one, so it’s probably good that Samsung says it’s rated the mechanism for hundreds of thousands of folds.

Samsung Galaxy Fold gold hinge centered
Samsung Galaxy Fold vs Samsung Galaxy S10 thickness 2

Because of the two-piece design, the closed Galaxy Fold is roughly twice the thickness of a traditional smartphone, and quite a bit taller. If you have standard pockets in your jeans this shouldn’t be an issue, but there are definitely pants out there that you won’t be able to fit this device in. The phone even stuck out a bit from my pair of standard Uniqlo jeans, but it wasn’t enough that I found it to be a problem.

In folded mode, the Galaxy Fold is a bit cumbersome to use because of the small screen, but I actually thoroughly enjoyed holding it in my hand due to it’s more narrow design. That being said, the device almost screams to be used in tablet mode, because that’s where the magic really happens with this phone.

Samsung Galaxy Fold using small screen 1
Samsung Galaxy Fold tablet mode reading AA

In tablet mode, the Fold is nothing short of a joy to use. It’s really nice to view YouTube videos in such a large format, even if there are relatively big black bars on the top and bottom of the display while watching standard 16:9 content. When gaming, this device becomes even more amazing. We played Asphalt 8 on the Galaxy Fold during our hands-on time with it, and it was one of the best racing experiences I’ve had on a mobile device. The large camera notch didn’t feel particularly intrusive in either of these experiences, and you can expect it to mostly melt away during content consumption.

The big, tablet-like display is fantastic for gaming.

The Samsung Galaxy Fold uses something called Screen Continuity. This means that content you’re interacting with on the primary display will also appear on the bigger display once you unfold the device, and on the Galaxy Fold, it works really, really well. If you have an app like Google Maps or YouTube open on the smaller front display, unfolding the device will make the same app appear on the larger display as well. The transition between displays was nearly instantaneous during our briefing, and it helps make the experience as seamless as possible for consumers.

Samsung Galaxy Fold watching YouTube 2

Unfolded, there is a visible crease in the display, but it didn’t feel like as big of an issue as you might think. When you’re looking at the display head on you can’t really see it, and it’s only when viewing from an angle that the crease materializes. It’s also something you can feel slightly when operating the display, but again, I didn’t feel it was a major problem during my time with the device. While the visible crease clearly marks that this is a first-generation product, I really wouldn’t mind it during everyday use.

Samsung Galaxy Fold front small display on tabl;e

Overall, I left my briefing today feeling mostly positive about the future of foldable devices. While plastic screens clearly aren’t ideal and the small front display isn’t great to use, the magic of unfolding a narrow device to reveal an enormous tablet left me with a huge grin on my face. Unfortunately, once I left my briefing and jumped back on social media I was struck with a flood of Tweets and articles that made me question the integrity of a device I’d just been using for the last two hours.

Don’t miss: Samsung Galaxy Fold display already breaking for reviewers

As of the time of publishing, at least four units of the Samsung Galaxy Fold distributed to reviewers just two days ago have encountered major display issues. There are two separate reasons for these display problems, but both of them should cause a bit of concern for prospective customers.

Samsung Galaxy Fold upper half tablet mode on table

The first problem could technically be described as user error, but it is clearly an error nonetheless. On the inner display of the Galaxy Fold, there is a plastic adhesive that allows the screen to actually bend. Almost every smartphone shipped nowadays has a screen protector or at least a protective adhesive film that is meant to be removed once the customer receives the device, so it’s only natural that people would try and peel this adhesive off after taking their Galaxy Fold out of the box. Unfortunately, this film is necessary for the Samsung Galaxy Fold to maintain the structural integrity of its display, and removing it will cause the device to stop functioning properly.

Samsung has a problem on its hands.

Apparently, the retail model of the Galaxy Fold has a layer of film in the packaging that explicitly states to not remove the film from the device, but review units sent out to journalists did not include this warning. Still, something so easily removed should probably not affect the structural integrity of the device. The fact that it does makes us weary.

Samsung Galaxy Fold lower half tablet mode on table

The second problem is something that could not be described as user error. At the time of publishing, at least two review units have had their displays flat out stop working. Over at The Verge, Dieter Bohn had his screen bulge before becoming completely unusable, while CNBC’s Steve Kovach saw his display develop a black line down the center while half of it flashed white. Considering there were only a handful of Galaxy Folds made available to reviewers over the last two days, this isn’t a great look for Samsung.

If you want to read more about the issues that have arisen thus far we have a dedicated article tracking them.

A Samsung spokesperson has responded to the issues with an initial message, as follows:

A limited number of early Galaxy Fold samples were provided to media for review. We have received a few reports regarding the main display on the samples provided. We will thoroughly inspect these units in person to determine the cause of the matter.

Separately, a few reviewers reported having removed the top layer of the display causing damage to the screen. The main display on the Galaxy Fold features a top protective layer, which is part of the display structure designed to protect the screen from unintended scratches. Removing the protective layer or adding adhesives to the main display may cause damage. We will ensure this information is clearly delivered to our customers.

Samsung Galaxy Fold tablet mode on chair

While I quite enjoyed my time with the Galaxy Fold and it did indeed feel like the future of mobile devices. However, it would be an understatement to say these issues are a bit concerning. Swarms of people have already pre-ordered the device set to launch on April 26, and we’re eager to hear if these issues are widespread before we can recommend the device.

We’ll be sure to keep you up to date with all the news surrounding the Galaxy Fold and stay tuned for our review in the near future.

What do you think about the device? Is Samsung pioneering the future of smartphones? Was it too early to market?

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