As if we need further proof that smartphones are basically tiny PCs that fit our hands nicely, you can now play Counter-Strike on just about any Android phone. To be clear, we’re not talking about a cash-grabbing gimmick in the guise of a mobile game, or a clone of arguably the most-loved first-person shooter of all time; this is the real deal, with AI opponents (a.k.a. bots) thrown in for good measure.
Alibek Omarov is the developer responsible for the port, and according to him, his work has a compatibility rating of “95 to 100 percent” with the PC release. More impressively, the game will work even without root access, and installation is easy and requires very little technical knowledge.
Now, before you read the instructions on how to get Counter-Strike on your Android device, it should be noted that you’ll need a Steam account, plus a copy of the game from Steam to make the port work. Also: Touch input, especially on a small screen, isn’t the ideal way you’d want to play a skill-based game like Counter-Strike.
Another caveat is that there’s currently no way to play against or with other humans, so you’re limited to playing against bots for the meantime. But as anyone who’s played against AI opponents will tell you, they can be a lot of fun.
With those out of the way, here’s how to (unofficially) install and run Counter-Strike on Android:
- Download and install Omarov’s CS16Client app here. Do note that there are separate apps for single-core and multicore devices.
- Get the latest Xash3D app here and install it.
- Create a folder named “xash” in your device’s SD card directory.
- Copy the “cstrike” and “valve” folders from your Steam installation on your PC (usually under C:\Steam\steamapps\common\Half-Life), then transfer them to the “xash” folder.
- Run the CS16Client app to launch the game.
We’ve wasted hours playing Counter-Strike on multiple Android phones, which isn’t to say that we’ve gotten the hang of it. And while we’d certainly rather play it on a desktop with a mouse and a keyboard, running the game in a touchscreen environment still feels fun and hugely rewarding.
[irp posts=”2068" name=”Step-by-step guide: How to install Counter-Strike on your Android device”]
Even Microsoft listens to your Skype and Cortana recordings
Absolute privacy is a myth
A couple of weeks back Apple admitted it listens to accidental triggers of Siri to analyze and improve user experience. They also added that none of the recordings are associated with the user’s identity. However, contractors tasked to listen to these recordings admit coming across clips that revealed personal data.
Now, even Microsoft admits it uses human contractors to review its users’ audio. The list of “listening” companies also includes Amazon, Facebook, and Google. If you want absolute privacy, going off-the-grid may be your only option.
Microsoft uses third-party contractors to listen to your voice conversations on Skype and virtual assistant Cortana. The updated privacy statement says a human review is used to help build, train and improve the accuracy of its artificial intelligence systems.
While other companies like Facebook, Google, and Apple have suspended these collections, Microsoft says it will “continue to examine further steps we might be able to take.” In simpler terms, “Screw you, we’ll continue doing it.”
The company also says the recordings may actually be subject to “transcription of audio recordings by Microsoft employees and vendors.”
Users are increasingly worried about online privacy since the Cambridge Analytica scandal was revealed. Technology companies have a huge chunk of our daily lives and many aren’t comfortable with it. Especially when privacy policies are complex and security loopholes are widely abused.
Facebook will have dark mode for mobile
Things are looking bright for our eyes
Facebook is working on Dark Mode for mobile
I wrote a blog about this: https://t.co/X5tAZuIlPz
— Jane Manchun Wong (@wongmjane) August 12, 2019
Wong came across the unreleased dark mode for Android by looking in the code underneath, indicating that the tech giant has recently started implementing the feature. However, it seems that Facebook’s dark mode is still in its early stage of development.
By “early stage of development”, this is what I mean
Only the Groups tab is looking good for the demo at the moment 😅 pic.twitter.com/L1SHaWlSk1
— Jane Manchun Wong (@wongmjane) August 13, 2019
While some users declared having it already on Facebook Watch, Wong emphasized that the dark mode is underway across the whole Facebook app.
There are no words yet from Facebook regarding dark mode nor its timeline for implementation. However, things are looking bright for our eyes that are hurt by bright lights should the tech giant implements the much-awaited feature. It’s only a matter of time before we embrace the dark.
Creative hacks to improve your Instagram Stories
Using only Instagram and native phone apps
Instagram has become an outlet for a lot of creatives over the years. It’s evolved from a platform where we share mundane photos of food and moods to hyper-curated grids — until Instagram Stories was introduced, that is. If you’re one of those people who barely post anything other than stories, here are some easy and not-so-simple ways on how they can look better so you can tell your stories better:
Use the native camera app
Most phones released in 2019 now have at least two different cameras — a combination of wide angle and telephoto, or wide angle and ultra-wide angle. Some even have up to three or four in total. Take advantage of these lenses by taking your photos on the native camera app instead of going straight to Instagram. By using an ultra-wide angle lens you can fit more in your shot without walking several steps backwards. If your phone has a built-in night mode, your low light shots will also turn out much better when you take them using the camera app instead of Instagram’s camera.
“Wrap” your caption around shapes
If your caption is a bit long, get creative by wrapping them around your subject’s shape. If you have a photo of food or coffee for example, you can type the letters one by one around the plate or cup.
Apply your video camera’s built-in filters
Smartphone cameras are getting more and more features each year. On the Samsung Galaxy Note 10 for example, there’s a feature called Live Focus Video where you get a TV glitch filter. This adds a retro, vaporwave aesthetic to your videos without having to install a third party app.
Make your subject pop by doodling around it. You can add dots, lines, hearts, stars, or broken lines around it — whatever you can think of! Doodles can also add a better narrative to your story than captions when Spider-Man appears out of nowhere for instance.
Animate your captions
By simply adding small GIFs like stars around your caption, or integrating word GIFs into your caption can make it look like it’s animated. If you have a Samsung Galaxy Note 10, you can also get animated handwriting with the S Pen using the phone’s native editor whether that’s on a photo or a video.
“Mask” your subject
Another way to make your subject stand out is by “masking” lines or handwriting behind it. Simply write over your subject using any of the pen shapes, then erase parts of the lines or handwriting to make it seem like it appears over and under the subject.
Mix fonts with your handwriting
Instagram’s font selection may be limited but doesn’t mean your imagination should be. Pick any font to write your caption with — ideally anything but Neon — then pick one word to replace with your handwriting. You can also play around with tracking by simply adding spaces in between letters.
The trick in making your Instagram Stories look better is to not overshare and not overdo any of the effects. Just because you can add GIFs doesn’t mean you should plaster the entire screen with them. While it should feel more raw than your posts, be more purposeful in what you share — always try tell a story whether you’re sharing a photo or a video. It’s called Instagram Stories for a reason.
How do you make your Stories different? Share your tips with us in the comments section below.
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