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Nintendo open to dropping consoles if market demands it

Nintendo has been making gaming machines for more than 30 years at this point, and through all of the ups and downs, it’s kept on making home consoles. Though the company has no plans to stop producing home consoles, Nintendo’s new president has suggested that he’s open to the idea if that’s what it’ll take to adapt to the ever-changing gaming industry. Perhaps there’s a future where Nintendo only makes software for other platforms?

It seems crazy to consider the idea when the Switch is experiencing a ridiculous level of success, but plenty of other companies have shown us that all it takes is one or two fumbled console launches – or worse, a gaming crash – to bring the titans of the industry tumbling down. If Nintendo ever finds itself in that position, company president Shuntaro Furukawa has indicated that he’s okay with moving away from consoles in an effort to rethink its business strategy.

Furukawa spoke of the need for Nintendo to be flexible in a new interview with Nikkei, which was translated by Nintendo Everything. “We aren’t really fixated on our consoles,” Furukawa said. “At the moment we’re offering the uniquely developed Nintendo Switch and its software – and that’s what we’re basing how we deliver the “Nintendo experience” on. That being said, technology changes. We’ll continue to think flexibly about how to deliver that experience as time goes on.”

“It has been over 30 years since we started developing consoles,” he continued. “Nintendo’s history goes back even farther than that, and through all the struggles that they faced the only thing that they thought about was what to make next. In the long-term, perhaps our focus as a business could shift away from home consoles – flexibility is just as important as ingenuity.”

Obviously, this isn’t an indication that Nintendo is leaving the console business anytime soon. The Switch had a successful launch in 2023, and that’s been followed by strong sales. Nintendo won’t be quick to abandon that success, and the disappointment that was the Wii U showed us that Nintendo has enough money in its war chest to survive a flubbed console launch.

It sounds like Nintendo will continue making consoles as long as the demand is there, but if the market ever shifts away from consoles, it won’t try to cling to the past. Indeed, though Microsoft and Sony show no signs of ditching consoles either, they are both developing game streaming platforms such as PlayStation Now and Project xCloud.

If there’s ever a future where device-agnostic game streaming takes over, we could very well see Nintendo choose to exit the console business and create games for these streaming platforms. Perhaps it’ll even look into creating a game streaming platform of its own? This is all just speculation, but it’s nice to hear that Nintendo is willing to do what it takes to stay relevant if the market ever shifts away from its core business.

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Everything You Need To Know About Nintendo And Its Consoles

Nintendo at a glance

Nintendo isn’t the only console manufacturer on the market, but it’s definitely been around the longest. First formed in 1889, the company created its first games in the 1970s before launching its first dedicated home console in 1983. Fast-forward to 2023 and the Nintendo Switch is a major sales sensation, reinforcing the company’s position in the market.

Unlike Sony and Microsoft though, Nintendo’s gaming business is its only real business, to begin with. So it doesn’t have the ability to fall back on businesses like TVs, computing, movies, and music when the going gets tough.

Nintendo consoles

Hadlee Simons / Android Authority

NES

The Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) was the company’s first proper home console, having previously launched arcade machines and the Game & Watch handheld. 1983’s NES delivered 2D visuals and support for up to 512 colors, with games coming on a cartridge.

Nintendo’s machine revived a console space that had been decimated by the videogame crash of 1983, owing to a relatively competitive price as well as quality games like Super Mario Bros, The Legend of Zelda, and Metroid.

SNES Nintendo 64

GameCube

Nintendo’s successor to the N64 was the GameCube, coming in late 2001. And its design made for a breath of fresh air compared to the serious black boxes touted by Sony and Microsoft. The GameCube instead was a purple cube, featuring powerful hardware that was easy to work with, a carry handle on its back, and a disc-based format (albeit holding 1.4GB of data) for the first time in Nintendo’s home consoles.

The GameCube saw Nintendo slide further down the rankings, as the PS2 and even the original Xbox beat it at the sales tills. In any event, people who bought the Cube were treated to top-notch wares like Metroid Prime, The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker, Mario Kart: Double Dash, Animal Crossing, and Super Smash Bros Melee.

Wii

Nintendo’s fortunes were revitalized in late 2006 when the company launched the Wii as a follow-up to the GameCube. The new console had a modest power boost over its predecessor, but the real game-changer was the TV remote-style controller that offered motion gestures.

This simple input method meant you could swing the controller to swing a baseball bat, point the controller at a specific area on the screen to aim an in-game weapon, or conduct a bowling motion to get a strike in ten-pin bowling.

This premise meant that the Wii was the most popular console of its generation, out-selling the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. The Wii’s initial performance was no doubt helped by the inclusion of Wii Sports as a pack-in title, and this combo even gained popularity in some old-age homes. We also got gems like the Super Mario Galaxy games, Xenoblade Chronicles, Metroid Prime 3, and Kirby’s Epic Yarn.

Wii U

Odd name aside, 2012’s Wii U delivered an interesting concept, featuring a gamepad with a tablet-sized screen as well as supporting Wii remotes. This allowed for asynchronous gameplay, such as the remote-toting players using the TV to search for the gamepad-toting user (who was using the controller’s built-in screen). You could also use the gamepad’s small screen to play full-fledged games in case the TV was being used.

Unfortunately for Nintendo, the combo of a weird, unpolished controller (it had poor battery life and a resistive touchscreen) and underpowered internals resulted in the Wii U being the firm’s least successful home console since the Virtual Boy. It nevertheless hosted some quality games and arguably remains the best place to legally play retro games owing to backward compatibility with Wii games and the expansive Virtual Console digital service.

Switch Game Boy Advance

How do you top the Game Boy and Game Boy Color? Nintendo’s thinking was to essentially make a handheld that was more than a match for the SNES. That meant a 32-bit CPU, support for 32,768 colors, and the addition of L and R shoulder buttons. In fact, the GBA was powerful enough to run a variety of SNES ports and even a host of 3D games like Duke Nukem 3D, Doom, and more.

One particularly smart feature was backward compatibility with Game Boy and Game Boy Color games, so consumers could still play their old library of titles after upgrading to the new machine. Toss in roughly 15 hours of juice via two AA batteries and you had a really solid machine that destroyed all comers at the time.

Nintendo DS

The follow-up to the GBA saw Nintendo rip up conventions and decide that two screens were better than one. That was the premise of 2004’s Nintendo DS, featuring a clamshell design with a traditional display up top and a resistive touch-screen at the bottom. Nintendo also added extras like a stylus (complete with stylus slot), a microphone, and a second cartridge slot for backwards compatible GBA games.

This all made for a very quirky design, and the console wasn’t a runaway hit at first. But games like Brain Training, Nintendogs, Animal Crossing: Wild World, and more resulted in the console capturing a vast casual gamer market and becoming a massive sales success. Nintendo would go on to offer a variety of variants, such as the DS Lite and DSi range.

Nintendo 3DS

2011’s 3DS saw the company pick up where the DS left off, with the new console having a similar clamshell design featuring one screen up top and a touchscreen below. This also enabled backwards compatibility with legacy DS games.

But the big trick with this new handheld was glasses-free 3D visuals, giving you a cool sense of immersion and offering a slider switch so you could adjust the strength of the effect. The handheld had a respectable level of power too, even seeing ports like Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater, The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina Of Time 3D, and Luigi’s Mansion.

Nintendo later offered variants like the New Nintendo 3DS range (featuring more power and an integrated right control pad), as well as the 2DS. The latter device dropped the 3D functionality and abandoned the clamshell form factor, but offered a significantly cheaper price tag.

Nintendo controllers

Unlike Sony and its PlayStations, Nintendo has generally steered clear of using the same basic controller design for most of its consoles. Instead, with a few exceptions, we’ve seen new gamepad designs for each generation.

The NES controller back in the 1980s introduced the D-pad for the first time, while also featuring Start and Select buttons and two face buttons. Nintendo would build on this with the SNES controller, bringing four face buttons in total as well as a pair of shoulder buttons. This gamepad also delivered a more rounded design as opposed to the NES controller’s sharp corners.

Nintendo hasn’t been shy about coming up with some crazy controller designs.

What would the controller for the Wii’s successor look like? Well, the Wii U would bring a huge controller that had a tablet-sized touchscreen on it (seen above). This allowed users to either get a different perspective in games or play titles on the smaller screen entirely if the TV was in use. The rest of the Wii U controller was pretty traditional, featuring two analog sticks, four shoulder triggers, four face buttons. The gamepad did however feature a selfie camera.

Nintendo’s Switch also has some radically different controller designs, as it offers two so-called Joycon controllers. These controllers enable handheld gaming when they are attached to the Switch. But slide them off and they can be used separately, such as for local multiplayer. Each controller has two shoulder triggers, an analog stick, and two more hidden shoulder buttons that are only visible when the controllers are detached from the Switch itself. These controllers still maintain motion functionality and also offer so-called HD Rumble for better vibration.

What about Nintendo accessories?

The house of Mario has sold numerous accessories for its consoles over the years. The NES got a lightgun, Robotic Operating Buddy toy, a modem, and multi-tap. But perhaps the most notable add-on was the Famicom Disk System for Japan, which was an add-on that offered disk-based games. These disks were rewritable and consumers could buy games via vending machines with their old disks.

SNES owners had quite a few accessories too, depending on their region. This included a mouse, light gun, and the Satellaview satellite modem for downloading new games and content. One noteworthy accessory was the Super Game Boy, which allowed users to play their Game Boy games via the home console.

The Nintendo 64 also had its share of accessories released throughout its lifespan, including quite a few being quirky and/or technologically interesting. Prominent accessories in this regard include the Expansion Pak (giving 4MB of extra RAM for sharper visuals or better performance), the Rumble Pak to enable controller vibration, and a microphone for voice commands in Hey You Pikachu. This console also received a Japan-only add-on dubbed the Nintendo 64DD, using proprietary rewritable disks and offering online functionality.

1-Up Studio (Mother 3, Sword of Mana)

Entertainment Planning and Development (The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Animal Crossing: New Horizons, Splatoon 2)

Nintendo Software Technology (Mario vs Donkey Kong, Wave Race: Blue Storm)

Monolith Soft (Xenoblade Chronicles series, Project X Zone)

NDCube (Clubhouse Games, Super Mario Party)

Next Level Games (Luigi’s Mansion 3, Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon, Super Mario Strikers)

Retro Studios (Metroid Prime series, Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze)

Notable competitors

The Kyoto company has had several major rivals over the years,  spanning both home and handheld console arenas. Some of these rivals are no longer in business, but there are still a couple of active contenders worth knowing.

Sony

Oliver Cragg / Android Authority

You could definitely argue that Sony is Nintendo’s arch-rival in the last three decades. The rivalry was actually born out of a scuppered partnership between the two in the early 1990s. Nintendo and Sony were working on a CD-based add-on for the SNES, but contractual disputes between the two companies meant that Nintendo halted the tie-up at the last minute.

Rather than let all its development work go to waste, Sony kept working on a CD-based console. This became the PlayStation, launching in 1994 in Japan and 1995 in the US. The original console would beat the Nintendo 64 in terms of global sales, while 2000’s PlayStation 2 would absolutely obliterate the competition (Nintendo’s GameCube included).

Microsoft

Oliver Cragg / Android Authority

The house of Windows was a late entrant to the console wars, joining with the original Xbox back in 2001. The company’s first effort pioneered several features that are now commonplace in the console gaming space, such as an integrated broadband adapter and hard drive.

Unbelievably, Microsoft’s first home console actually out-sold the GameCube, although it was a distant second to the all-conquering PlayStation 2. Nevertheless, this showed that the Xbox name was here to stay and that Nintendo couldn’t rest on its laurels.

Other rivals over the years

Best moments in Nintendo history

Oliver Cragg / Android Authority

The NES revives the industry

How many companies can say they’re responsible for revitalizing an entire industry? Nintendo is one of them, as the NES was launched just after the great video game crash of 1983. The crash was caused by a flood of low-quality games and a ton of consoles, resulting in the industry almost destroying itself.

But the release of the NES in the early to mid-1980s rejuvenated the industry in a massive way, owing to competitive pricing and a slew of high-quality games. It’s tough to argue that the years that followed would be as fruitful for the industry if the NES weren’t released.

Pokemon runs rampant Nintendo DS beats Sony PSP

Nintendo’s home console business was a disappointment in the early 2000s due to the flagging performance of the GameCube relative to the PS2. But one bright spot was its long-running handheld division, with the Game Boy Advance line proving to be extremely popular.

Then Sony announced and launched its first handheld, the PlayStation Portable, in 2004. It’s easy to forget right now, but there was a real feeling from many observers that Sony would beat Nintendo if it ever got into the handheld space.

The PSP indeed sold very well, but there’s no denying that the DS was more popular. According to VGChartz, the DS sold over 150 million units compared to the PSP’s 81 million. Nintendo would maintain this momentum with the 3DS, which absolutely obliterated the Vita and resulted in Sony leaving the handheld business.

Nintendo Wii destroys everything

It’s not exactly one moment, but the Wii’s massive success was a huge story from 2007 onwards. The console was hard to get at its November 2006 launch and this continued to be the case for months down the line. In fact, the machine wound up selling just over 100 million units, ahead of the PS3 and Xbox 360.

The Wii’s success was all the more satisfying due to the fact that the previous console (GameCube) had sold so poorly while the N64 also played second-fiddle to the PS1. So it represented Nintendo returning to the top of the industry.

Nintendo’s Switch is a sales sensation

It’s not necessarily one moment, but Nintendo obliterating all comers with the Switch certainly has to be up there. The company’s previous console, the Wii U, had been a disastrous commercial failure, so the pressure was on for the company to deliver on the Switch.

That’s indeed exactly what happened from 2023 onwards, as the new hybrid console quickly flew off the shelves and became tough to get. It was a very welcome change from the Wii U era, showing that Nintendo still had what it took to blow the industry away.

Worst moments in Nintendo history

Oliver Cragg / Android Authority

The Virtual Boy is a horrible failure

Nintendo would probably like to forget that the Virtual Boy ever happened. The 1995 console offered stereoscopic 3D visuals years before the 3DS would do the same. But the console proved to be a massive failure and was discontinued after less than a year.

A big part of its failure was the limited color palette, only displaying red and black colors that resulted in headaches being reported by consumers and reviewers. Then there was the weird head-mounted display, which was mounted on a stand and required you to put it on a table. No wonder it failed.

The Wii U stumbles and falls (hard)

Nintendo was fresh off the massive success of the Wii when it opted to release the radical Wii U console. Featuring a decent graphical bump over the Wii and a controller with an integrated screen, it felt like Nintendo was onto something really cool at first. And quite a few studios hopped aboard to support the machine.

But the Wii U stumbled out of the gate, and third-party developers gradually dialed back support for the console as a result. Toss in the Xbox One and PS4 out-shining Nintendo’s console, and it was a repeat of the GameCube all over again. Except the Wii U somehow sold fewer units than the purple cube.

JoyCon drift

When the Nintendo Switch was launched in March 2023, some owners quickly discovered an issue that became known as JoyCon Drift. To put it simply, the JoyCon analog stick would drift uncontrollably, meaning that an in-game character would move without you wanting to do so.

It was a disappointing flaw but what made it much worse was the fact that Nintendo didn’t make any real attempt to address the issue for a long time. It’s since revised the design of the Switch OLED variant’s JoyCon to combat this issue, but says the issue won’t ever go away as it’s related to wear-and-tear.

Daily Authority: 🛠️ Apple Caves To Repair Demands

Apple announced it would start a new program called Self Service Repair, which will allow customers to buy parts from Apple for their products and perform repairs at home. 

Apple said it will also publish repair manuals online and offer tools to buy at the same prices authorized repair technicians pay.

“Creating greater access to Apple genuine parts gives our customers even more choice if a repair is needed,” Jeff Williams, Apple’s chief operating officer, said in a statement. 

Haha:

What Jeff Williams says is exactly what Apple didn’t want.

In May, the Federal Trade Commission specifically called out Apple for ”anti-competitive repair restrictions.”

The company has done everything from using unusual screws (starting all the way back in 1984) to withholding tools to paying for lobbying to hobbling/bricking devices, including the iPhone 13 this very month, that aren’t repaired at Apple’s ridiculously overpriced repair shops.

Apple also implied it’d be variously dangerous and unsafe for non-trained people to tinker.

Apple’s move here is only because of a key shareholder fight that was set to go to the SEC tomorrow(The Verge).

It’s also only in the US, for now.

9to5Mac has a great piece explaining Apple’s PR fail that it’s trying to spin as a win, making Apple the bad guy when it really could’ve had a win. 

That said:

Despite the various caveats, this is good news. A lot of people really do have the technical know-how to fix stuff, and this should see a longer lifetime and more re-use of tech.

And now Apple is moving away from being so unfriendly to repairs, it may force Android manufacturers to play ball too, as well as laptop makers.

I wrote something in 2023 about the state of fixing things yourself, and how bad it was getting.

iFixit is doing a lap of honor for its role in beating Big Tech and letting us simply fix our stuff.

Roundup

😶 Motorola Moto G Power (2024) announced: Still no NFC, same battery as 2023 (Android Authority).

📱 Also: The Moto Snapdragon 888 Plus phone, the Moto G200, is now official, though only in Europe, and Latin America soon, with no sign of the US/India yet (Android Authority).

👉 “The problem with Motorola phones”: The smartphone maker ranks third in the US, but its software update strategy is one of the worst in the industry, plus no NFC, and a flood of confusing, competing devices (Wired).

🔋 Google confirms our findings: Pixel 6 Pro charging capped at 23W (Android Authority).

🤔 OnePlus 10 Pro could launch in China months before it launches globally (Android Authority).

🔊 TIDAL has given up and has added ad-supported free tier to its music streaming service to better compete with Spotify (CNET).

🏭 Bill Gates’ nuclear power company, TerraPower, selects a site for its first sodium-cooled reactor: 345 MW in Wyoming (Ars Technica).

🚒 New firefighting tool delivers water directly to blazing EV batteries (Ars Technica).

🔫 “Halo: Infinite’s multiplayer needs an over 35s mode because I’m old and I suck,” and if it’s the case for other sports, why not esports? (CNET). 

🤔 “All the countries of the world are at a party. What is your country doing?” (r/askreddit)

Throwback Thursday

Joe Hindy / Android Authority

The 200 worst passwords of 2023 are here! And once again, 123456 wins. But also! Passwords like “baseball” and “dragon” and “qwerty”… (Gizmodo).

Look, it’s a throwback because you’d think, by now, for the love of God, people would have a decent password. A password manager, something, anything.

That said… I know plenty of people who put in extremely basic passwords for services that don’t matter. 

All I’m saying is, “iloveyou” is cute but as the 22nd most popular password, it could be a little more complicated.

And “jordan23,” which ranks 179th, might seem cool and all, but it can be cracked in a second or less. So, yeah, Michael Jordan and Jumpman your life, not your passwords.

Cheers,

Tristan Rayner, Senior Editor.

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The Lamborghini Urus Demands Your Respect

The Lamborghini Urus demands your respect

Purity is a concept the Lamborghini Urus has little time for, and rightly so. On paper, SUV body aside, it checks off all the boxes fans of the automaker have come to expect: ridiculous power, fiendishly clever engineering, and performance as high as its price tag. If you’re getting hung up on the four doors and seating for up to five, you’re missing the point.

It’s fair to say that there’s some snobbery about the Urus. “It’s not a real Lamborghini” is the most common complaint, often followed by the more specific “Lamborghini shouldn’t make SUVs.” Running through it all is the idea that, by making a four-door utility vehicle, the Italians have “sold out” and prioritized profits over heritage.

Clearly, there’s an excellent business model for expanding into SUVs. Lamborghini can’t have missed just how well models like the Cayenne and Macan did for VW Group stablemate Porsche: they, too, were roundly criticized by purists upon their respective launches. They’ve also gone on to become Porsche’s best-selling vehicles, underwriting production of smaller volume models like the 911, and if the brand zealots haven’t quite been convinced then their complaints are at the very least drowned out by the sound of the cash registers ringing.

What Lamborghini could have done, frankly, would be to take something like the Audi Q7 or the Porsche Cayenne, drop some angular bodywork on top, slap on some raging bull logos, and call it a day. That it didn’t – that the Urus really does feel like a Lamborghini from behind the wheel – is a testament to just how good it is.

Styling is objective. Personally, I like the pumped-up-Aventador look, though I think it’s success is very color dependent. Lighter colors, like white and yellow, can leave it looking fussy and over-detailed; the weird bobble-ended whiskers in the lower fascia are a good example of that. Darker hues are more flattering.

Inside, meanwhile, it’s a mixture of classic Lamborghini, some bizarre detailing, and, yes, some parts-bin sharing with Audi. The center console is a reminder that Lamborghini has never met a surface it doesn’t deem worthy of extra creasing. The vents and switchgear are sculpted and embellished. Audi donates its twin-touchscreen infotainment system, tweaked a little up top with some custom graphics; yes, the critics may scoff, but if you’ve going to borrow software then this is at least a decent system to crib from.

That goes for the virtual cockpit-esque digital instrumentation, and the steering wheel buttons which are what you could expect to find in an Audi A4. Clearly Lamborghini spent more time on the paddle shifters, which are oversized slices of machined metal that could each double as a Batarang. Weirdest flourish of all is the cluster of transmission and drive mode controls, as though the levers from some luxury yacht have been repurposed as a robot’s codpiece.

It’s outlandish and in places over-embellished, sure, but there’s also room for a family and their luggage (though not, it’s reasonable to point out, a vast amount of that room). “Practical” and “Lamborghini” has typically meant a vehicle that elects not to strand you at the side of the road. Since being welcomed into the warm, teutonic embrace of VW Group, reliability is up, but don’t confuse that with a sacrifice of performance.

Yes, dig deep under the Urus and you’ll find a platform shared with the Audi Q7, Porsche Cayenne, and Bentley Bentayga. No, it doesn’t feel like any of them from behind the wheel.

There’s 4.0-liters of twin-turbocharged V8 to play with, good for 641 horsepower and 627 lb-ft of torque. No manual, just an excellent eight-speed automatic. All the better for the quoted 0-62 mph time of 3.6 seconds, and on to a top speed of 190 mph. All that, may I remind you, from an SUV.

In the default Strada mode, the Urus is tamed just enough for the street. Tug the lever and you notch through Sport and then Corsa modes, each ramping up the power, sharpening the handling and the suspension, and generally leaving the Urus more aggressive. Unlike in a Huracan, though, there are also Terra and Neve modes for off-road and snow, respectively. Not something I needed in San Francisco, true, but a reminder that – like its 7,000 pound towing rating – there’s more to this Lamborghini than most.

The soundtrack is, you’ll be reassured to hear, present and entirely correct. Growling and barking and crackling, building to a throbbing howl as you rocket toward the near-7k redline. Then there’s the grip (prodigious) and the ride (unflappably level), again belying the fact that this is not only an SUV, but one which tips the scales at 4,800 pounds.

The standard air suspension helps there, as does the huge Pirelli P-Zero rubber. Lamborghini throws in rear-wheel steering as well, counter-turning at lower speeds for a tighter radius and mimicking the front at higher speeds for more stable maneuvers. Combined with torque vectoring, the Urus pivots its meaty rump in ways no other truck can. In turn, it encourages you to push harder, to play more.

The flip side to that is a braking system fit for, well, a Lamborghini sports car. If you can put the $204k starting price out of your mind for long enough to leave slowing until the very last moment, the Urus rewards that pluck with the sort of shedding of pace that normally comes with parachutes flying out the back.

I’d be lying if I said that the Urus’ reception was universally positive. If there is A Certain Type of person who drives a Lamborghini, and Another Certain Type who drives a big, luxury SUV, then occupying the center of that exclusive Venn diagram doesn’t always win you approval. Perhaps the Italians need to borrow the Bentayga’s plug-in hybrid tech, just to be entirely sure of prompting Tesla drivers’ fury when they see you pulling into an EV-only space.

At least, though, that vitriol is somewhat deserved. The Urus is profligate, and unapologetic, and brash, just like a Lamborghini should be. You buy into that when you take the keys. What it’s not is anything less than a true Lamborghini. Silhouette be damned; there’s only one badge this SUV could wear.

8 Ways To Check If Your Phone Is Being Tapped, How To Stop It

Tapping Android phones is much easier than iPhones. In the case of iPhones, the other party will likely have to jailbreak the device before installing any backdoor or spyware. Anyways, whatever device you have, below are some pointers to help you check if your phone is being tapped or monitored.

1. Increased Data Usage & Phone Bills

Most malicious apps use the internet to upload your data. So, check your data usage to see if any unknown app or software is suspiciously consuming data in the background.

Open Settings on your Android phone.

Select Wifi and Network.

Open Settings on your iPhone.

Here, scroll down to Current Period.

You can now see the apps and data used by them on your iPhone.

2. Higher Battery Drain & Overheating

Using the phone in a hot environment, keeping the brightness at maximum, or playing heavy games or applications can cause overheating and battery drain problems. However, if the phone is getting warm or losing battery too quickly even when idle, it could be a malicious app spying in the background.

So, check your battery usage to see whether it’s due to common reasons like a buggy app update or apps running in the background, or there’s something fishy on the device.

Open Settings on your Android phone.

Tap View Detailed Usage to check what apps are draining the battery.

Open Settings on your iPhone.

Here, select Battery.

Scroll down and check the battery usage by app and activity.

Spyware tools usually eat a lot of resources in the background. A tapped phone could be recording all conversations even when the phone appears to be idle, causing the phone to feel sluggish and discharge quickly.

Usually, these apps are disguised to look like system apps and may contain names like security, malware, messenger, scanner, etc. You must also be aware of popular spying apps in the market like mSpy, FlexiSpy, XNspy, and more. These apps can snoop into your calls, messages, location, and even capture your screen.

However, if your phone has an app like FamiSafe, Norton Family Premier, etc., it could likely be your parents limiting your phone.

Tip: If no other app is installed on your phone, yet the other party knows your location at a given moment, check Google Maps. Someone might have turned on location sharing on your phone. Thankfully, Google sends periodic notifications about it.

Another sign of spyware on Android or iPhone is random suspicious text messages. If you have started receiving weird texts with random letters, symbols, or numbers from unknown senders, then you need to be extra careful.

These messages could be the other party trying to communicate with the spyware on your phone. Similarly, if your contacts report having received weird text messages from you, then the app is likely trying to install malware on their devices.

There are several third-party apps that let you scan for spyware on your phone. In general, any reliable anti-malware app would detect unwanted apps on your phone. That said, you can also try apps like Certo Anti Spyware to check for tapping tools on Android.

iPhone users shall check if their device is jailbroken. To do so, see if there’s an app called “Cydia” installed on the device. You can also use desktop tools like 3UTools or look for other jailbreak signs like extra customization options, apps not from App Store, etc.

If you find that the iPhone is jailbroken but do not remember trying anything such, it probably has been jailbroken to install spyware by some third party to tap the device.

The first step would be to turn on airplane mode. Doing so would block all the connectivity features and cut off connection for the app or tool trying to spy on you. Once done, you can proceed with the other methods below.

Now, check the list of installed apps carefully and remove any app you don’t remember installing. Even if you have the slightest suspicion, delete the app.

If a malicious app prevents you from disabling it, reboot your phone in safe mode. Doing so will disable all third-party apps on the phone. You can then uninstall the app without any hassles.

Restarting in safe mode varies by phone. Generally, you would get the Safe Mode prompt by pressing and holding the Power toggle in the power menu.

If the spyware is still present on the phone, proceed with a complete factory data reset but make sure to back up any important data.

Open Settings on your Android phone.

Confirm to proceed.

Open Settings on your iPhone.

Then, select Transfer or Reset iPhone.

Tap Erase All Content and Settings and proceed.

Lastly, check and update your phone to the latest available software. Doing so will patch any security vulnerabilities and make sure the same cannot be exploited again to infect your phone.

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Can’t Open Jpg Or Png File On Windows? Here’s How To Fix It

Whether it’s a JPG or PNG image file, Windows’ default image opener app, Microsoft Photos, supports both of them. However, there are times when you can neither preview nor open the image.

Sometimes it’s the app causing the issue, while other times problem lies in the image. To resolve the issue, you can either try to repair the Photos app or fix issues with the image. Nonetheless, we have compiled a list of applicable solutions that can fix both issues.

Before you move on to the fixes below, make sure the image you received or downloaded isn’t corrupted. A telltale sign is you cannot see the preview of the image. 

Nonetheless, you can find various sites and programs freely available online that can help restore information from the corrupt JPG/PNG file. Alternatively, you can ask the sender to re-send the images.

If you are sure that the image isn’t corrupted or damaged, consider applying the fixes below.

Usually, when an app is outdated, it contains several bugs/issues and becomes incompatible with the system (Windows, in this case). The same is true for the Photos app. Nevertheless, you can easily fix those issues by downloading the latest updates from the Microsoft Store.

Press Windows + R to open the Run command.

By default, Windows provides a repair/reset option for its built-in apps, including the Microsoft Photos app. First, consider repairing the app, and if it doesn’t work, you can reset the app to delete the app’s previous data and restore it to the initial configuration.

Press Windows + X and choose the Apps & Features option.

While it’s pretty unlikely, sometimes a corrupt system file might affect the Photos app and prevent it from opening the image files. To fix it, you can run an SFC scan which automatically detects corrupt system files and repair them. Additionally, run the DISM command to repair the Windows local image in case the SFC scan fails.

Press Windows + X and select Windows PowerShell (Admin). On Windows 11, select the Windows Terminal (Admin) option.

Wait for the scan and repair process to finish.

Once completed, see if your JPG/PNG file opens.

In case the JPG/PNG files don’t open, you can try renaming them. However, only changing the name won’t do any good, and you have to change their extension too. For instance, try changing .jpg/.png to a different image format, such as .jpeg.

Before you rename the file to a different file type, make sure the File Name extensions checkbox is enabled in the top View menu. Otherwise, you won’t actually change the file type but only append the file type to the name. For example, your JPG file will still be Image.JPEG.JPG.

Here’s how to change the file type in Windows.

Browse to the file location of the JPG/PNG you want to open.

Open the file and see if you can view the image.

If you can’t open your JPG/PNG file with the default Photos app, you can try other similar applications, such as Paint. Or you can also use several other third-party image viewer applications. Some of them are even freely available for download on the web. 

To open the image file with the third-party app, 

Additionally, set the app as the default program to open your jpg/png images in the future. You can do so as follows.

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