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Finally, someone made Counter-Strike’s PC version run on Android

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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:

  1. Download and install Omarov’s CS16Client app here. Do note that there are separate apps for single-core and multicore devices.
  2. Get the latest Xash3D app here and install it.
  3. Create a folder named “xash” in your device’s SD card directory.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.

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Apps

WhatsApp delays roll-out of new privacy policy until May

Signal and Telegram are trending instead

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Photo by Dimitri Karastelev on Unsplash

WhatsApp rolled out a new privacy policy that clearly specifies how the instant messaging app will leverage your data for monetization. But the new privacy policy is on hold.

WhatsApp, owned by Facebook, has announced that it will delay enforcing its new privacy terms from February 8 to May 15. In the blog post, the company says that none of its privacy-focused features are changing.

“We’re also going to do a lot more to clear up the misinformation around how privacy and security works on WhatsApp. We’ll then go to people gradually to review the policy at their own pace before new business options are available on May 15,” the statement said.

It faced massive backlash as users are worried about their personal data. When the privacy policy changes went public last week, the response from the public was downright brutal. Alternative apps like Telegram and Signal started trending worldwide as users started joining it in hopes of ditching WhatsApp.

Even though WhatsApp is end-to-end encrypted, Facebook will still fetch some crucial information like your transactions, location, and other behavioral data from linked Instagram profile. And, we all know Facebook has a nasty reputation as far as personal data management is concerned. What makes it even more outrageous is that the policy is leave or take, and there’s no third option.

In the wording used, WhatsApp says the new privacy policy will change how it partners with Facebook to “offer integrations” and that businesses can use Facebook services to manage WhatsApp chats. It said that hat all private messages between friends and family members will remain end-to-end encrypted.

According to a CNBC report, India’s technology ministry also asked WhatsApp to withdraw planned changes to its privacy policy that has drawn widespread backlash.

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Ultrahuman is an all-in-one fitness app

Workout, meditate and sleep soundly

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Staying physically and mentally fit is extra challenging during a pandemic, but it’s become essential now more than ever. Ultrahuman is a fitness app launched that offers a very convenient platform that targets the three main health points: physical exercise, meditation and sleep. It helps you stay fit from the moment you wake up until you go to bed!

This newest app, which debuted on CES 2021, features different content per category. It includes home workouts and yoga programs from world-class athletes and professional trainers to focus on your physical strength. You can choose from various workouts — from running and yoga to weightlifting and HIIT. The app is designed for all fitness levels.

With the app’s biofeedback technology, you can also track your heart rate and calories burned in real-time.

There’s also content focusing on mindfulness, including guided meditations, bedtime stories, calming meditation music, nature and sleep sounds, breathing exercises, among others. Manage stress and anxiety better by improving your mental health and sleeping patterns with the help of this series.

You can also listen to “brain music”, a section where you can find songs curated by “neuro-musicians” that aids focus, sleep and productivity.

Ultrahuman also partnered with UCLA, Mindsize, and Unified Mindfulness to bring the best of mind science and technology together.

The app is available on iOS and Android, and is already rolled out across 50+ countries globally. It’s been recognized by Apple as one of the top apps they love. Apple Watch users can also integrate their app to track their health progress real-time.

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Prepare your meals through your phone, fridge using Samsung SmartThings

The kitchen, simplified

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With everything going on in the world, it’s no surprise that people are spending more time in the kitchen and looking out for new recipes.

The good news? Samsung has just the thing to get it sorted quickly and easily. They’re bringing in Family Hub features into mobile users through the SmartThings app.

Samsung’s SmartThings Cooking service helps bring all of your Samsung kitchen appliances together. How? It lets you search, plan, purchase, and meal prep seamlessly through your phone or fridge through the SmartThings app.

On top of that, it recommends customized recipes based on your taste and preferences while considering ingredients available to you. You can scroll through recipe collections when you’re undecided or quickly zero-in on meals that suit your cravings.

SmartThings Cooking, powered by Whisk, is accessible through Samsung’s SmartThings. If you’ve got the Family Hub in your smart kitchen arsenal, there’s no need to fret.

The fridge keeps tabs of what you have and don’t, adding missing ingredients directly to your online grocery cart for at-home deliveries. Not to mention, you can shop through Walmart, Kroger, Instacart, and Amazon Fresh, using the Whisk network.

With SmartThings added to the Family Hub smart fridge, you get to enjoy all the cool features and more! You get to access your other smart kitchen gadgets through widgets on the screen, prioritize most used apps, and feature family photos, notes, and recipes.

And, if cooking is what you’re worried about, Samsung has you covered for even that. SmartThings guides you through easy cooking steps and lets you control cooking modes, temperatures, and time settings with one touch. Leaving you with little room for error.

So, with all that in mind, was it really a surprise to see Samsung’s Family Hub win its sixth consecutive CES Innovation Award this year? For us, not quite.

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