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‘Sinhala for iOS’ is a keyboard extension for iOS that brings Sinhala language input to Apple iPhone and iPad devices.

Apple announced the ability to develop custom keyboards for its mobile devices in 2014. This made it possible to bring Sinhala language text input to all Apple devices running the latest version of their operating system.

Sinhala for iOS brings the best in class Sinhala language input with a design supporting standard Wijesekera layout and SLSI 1134 standard character input. It’s also powered by a smart algorithm that makes it easier to type Sinhala characters by identifying natural typing styles.

ipad-screenshots.002ipad-screenshots.004iphone-screenshots.005

Sinhala for iOS is now available for $12.99 in the United States and is priced accordingly in other regions. The app is available for download on http://appstore.com/sinhalaforios.

Sinhala for iOS is developed by xinterium and Bhagya Silva

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Android holds more than three times the market share of iOS when it comes to smartphones. Well, Android has been leading the race for some time now. Availability and affordability have played a huge part in this development. But market share is not everything. Take ‘mobile Ad traffic’ – Apple’s iOS has been generating much more Ad traffic than Android for a long time. And thus more and more advertisers preferred iOS over Android, to market their products and services, which ensured that Apple earned more advertising revenue from iOS than Google from Android. But times appear to have changed in favor of Android lately.

Smart-device Ad Traffic - Q1 2014 (Source: Opera Mediaworks)

Smart-device Ad Traffic – Q1 2014 (Source: Opera Mediaworks)

According to the latest quarterly report from the leading Ad network, Opera Mediaworks, Android has finally become the top smart-device platform with highest share of mobile Ad traffic. Android smartphones and tablets have managed to capture 42.83% of total smart-device mobile Ad traffic in Q1 of 2014, up from 37.71% during Q4 of 2013. Android was leading the ‘mobile phone’ Ad traffic volume during the 4th quarter of last year, but Apple’s tablet traffic made sure Android didn’t reach the top in overall volume. This is the first time Android has grabbed the top slot for ‘smart-device’ (phones+tablets) Ad traffic volume. Apple managed to capture 38.17% of the mobile Ad traffic, down from 43.39% in Q4 of 2013.

Traffic Share vs Revenue Share - Q1 2014 (Source: Opera Mediaworks)

Traffic Share vs Revenue Share – Q1 2014 (Source: Opera Mediaworks)

Apple may not be worrying much with these numbers, though, since they are still leading the race when it comes to the total revenue earned from the Ad traffic. Apple is continuing to get more than 50% of the total revenue (through iPhones and iPads), despite drop in traffic. iPads make around 10.6% of the revenue while Android tablets make only around 1.64%.  Overall Android made around  33.46% of the Ad revenue. It is also notable that Android has seen some steady growth during the last few quarters. It is expected that this change will attract more advertisers and developers towards Android OS.

Samsung, unsurprisingly, remains the leading device maker with more than 60% of the Android Ad traffic coming from their devices. The report also notes that Social networking services attract more ‘Ad traffic volume’, than any other app categories. But most of the ‘Ad revenue’ comes from the Arts and Entertainment category. When comparing traffic from different geographical areas, Asia Pacific region continues to hold a steady second place behind US market. For those who are interested in learning more on the ‘Mobile Advertising Traffic’, you can check the quarterly reports at the source here.

 

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With more than one-third of the world’s population living in areas at risk for infection, dengue virus is a leading cause of illness and death in the tropics and subtropics. As many as 400 million people are infected yearly. Dengue is caused by any one of four related viruses transmitted by mosquitoes. Dengue has emerged as a worldwide problem only since the 1950s. Although dengue rarely occurs in the continental United States, it is endemic in Puerto Rico and in many popular tourist destinations in Latin America, Southeast Asia and the Pacific islands.

There are not yet any vaccines to prevent infection with dengue virus and the most effective protective measures are those that avoid mosquito bites. When infected, early recognition and prompt supportive treatment can substantially lower the risk of medical complications and death.

We are living in a tech enabled world and yet to use technology to prevent and cure Dengue. #StopDengue cause talks about, using could and mobile technologies in Dengue prevention and cure in a community driven architecture. Using #StopDengue service, anyone in the world can report about a Dengue incident and that will be accepted and confirmed by Medical authorities near the reporter and then those alerts will be pushed to those who are near the danger area, thus they can take necessary measures to prevent Dengue.

Architecture

#StopDengue cloud is a platform that collect every aspects of Dengue from the community. They can report about dengue incidents, deaths, cured patient details and more. The platform save all data collected from the community ordinary people with the location details. It process the information and give alerts to other people, doctors and medical officers in the specific location. With those alerts they can prevent themselves from dengue and make proper countermeasures for the risk. People can even report about environmental pollution that boost dengue spreading through the system, so we can take legal action for the polluters.

dengue_alert

Microsoft technologies are being used in this platform, such as ASP, Windows, Windows Phone, Azure, Bing Maps and Office 365. Using Windows 8 and Windows Phone push notifications and Scheduled reminders, people will get the localized and generalized alerts on time. Those alerts contains, near by dengue risks, weather alerts, necessary helps such as blood, money and medical facilities for needy people. With Tile updates the apps will give brief and general methodologies to prevent Dengue.  Azure is the back end of the system, this system store all the data of the platform in Azure cloud database. Using Azure Mobile services the system provide Push notifications to the people including Doctors and Medical Officers.  Using Office 365, #StopDengue platform create documents and generate reports and  give questionnaires and other forms through this service.

winapp

This Sri Lankan native startup has been selected as one of the finalist project in Microsoft Youthspark Challenge for Change program of 2014. This startup has taken a place with in first 20 places where there were 800+ participants all around the world.

This project needs votes and supports to make it a reality. If this project gets more votes and secure a place with in first five out of twenty, Microsoft will directly fund this project. You can give your support by visiting https://youthsparkchallenge.com/voteentry.cfm?id=76, cast your vote share http://tiny.cc/stopdengue URL in your Facebook, Twitter and Blogs.

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Imagine Cup is the world’s largest and most famous software development competition for Computer Sciences & Engineering, Information Technology and Information Systems undergraduates. Imagine Cup competition is called the Oscars or the Olympics of software development competitions for the IT undergraduates around the world.  For every IT undergraduate, wining Imagine Cup is their biggest dream in their life.

Imagine Cup was an idea of Microsoft former CEO Bill Gates, who strongly believes that young and fresh talent can create innovations and change the world taking it into another dimension. Based on his idea, the world’s biggest software development company Microsoft launched this competition for the first time in 2004. Since then millions of students around the world compete each other with impressive innovative ideas and projects not only to win this competition, but also do some change in the world.

Over the years, many mind-blowing innovations, charity projects, fancy games were build by the most talented IT Undergraduates creating great impact to areas like mechatronics, healthcare, Smart Phone apps and many more. Thousands of new startups started because of these projects and  now they earn millions and millions of money out of them. Some projects are running as a charity and serve the millions of people around the world to uplift their life standards.

Since 2004, Imagine Cup has happened nine times up to now, so in year 2014 Imagine Cup is going to be the 10th Imagine Cup and its a cause for cleebrations. Microsoft Sri Lanka also conduct this competition over the years and this year it will happen on 25th of April at Peradeniya University. There are 14 teams in three different categories which compete with each other to win the competition in each category. For each category, there will be only one winner, but other teams can also consider themselves as winners too for coming thus far.

I told many stories about Imagine Cup in this article, but why? Because I’m also a competitor of Imagine Cup Sri Lankan finals in 2012 and also 1st runner up in innovation category in 2013 and finalist of this year Imagine Cup finals too. Since I was a finalist in 2012 to now, I have lots of stories to share with you. But apart from them I’ll tell you some important things that you may need to know about it. Because it may help you, may be your friend, even your institute to win this competition and do some good thing to the world.

  • Find a great business idea which can  be executed well in the challenging world.
  • Find ways to build that business idea into a real world solution.
  • Don’t worry about the technology, it will come to you when you try to find it.
  • Be smart to find the necessary skills and resources for your project.
  • Assign the tasks according to the skills of the team member.
  • Sacrifice little bit of your life for your project, which will earn not only money but also the recognition.
  • Think, Think and Think. Finally brainstorming with your team.
  • Never give up when you face failure, keep concentrating and try it in another way.
  • Don’t go behind success, then it will not come to you. But go behind the goals that you need to go. Then success will come behind you.
  • Learn everything in your project 100% and share among your team.
  • Never underestimate your competitors and prepare everything for the project.
  • Teat your team members equally and work with them in a friendly manner. Stress may create conflicts between team members.

These things helped me a lot to achieve many milestones in this Imagine Cup. Not only Imagine Cup, but also any project in your life can be successful if you follow above mentioned things.

Don’t worry about it if  you are not selected for any competition like Imagine Cup. Keep trying to find the mistakes that you had done and try to mitigate them. Imagine Cup is kind of an exam which test your technological skills, business skills, management skills and confidence to achieve your goal.

Let’s make this world a better place through sustainable technological revolution. Wishes to all competing in Imagine Cup 2014, let’s bring glory to Sri Lanka!

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Nokia, prominent for its Windows phone series today unveiled its first Android phone, Nokia X. This was unveiled in the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona and is said to be the first of several Android products from Nokia. Nokia X will cost around $12o and will be mainly targeting the emerging markets.

Nokia Android phones will not run the typical Android that needs Google’s services as an integral part. They are running an open source version of Android which is said have zero ‘Googleness’, and which allows integration of Microsoft services.

Nokia-X-Dual-SIM-front

Mashable quotes:

“Nokia X is a new affordable smartphone family from Nokia,” explains Jussi Nevanlinna, vice president of marketing for Nokia’s phones. “X stands for ‘crossover’ between Microsoft cloud, Android apps and Nokia. When we say family, we really mean it. During 2014 you’ll see a number of products arriving in this family.”

Nokia-X-Dual-SIM-Fastlane

Everything looks exciting and planned from Nokia’s end. We will publish a full review of Nokia X in the near future.

Source: Mashable | Images: Nokia

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An App that almost all with a smart phone can’t live without has had great news yesterday (19th Feb) as Facebook plans to acquire WhatsApp for a deal worth $19 Billion. Yes, you read it right, $19 Billion! With an unprecedented 400 Million active users, it is a strategic acquisition by Facebook to further enhance its reach towards the teen and smartphone users.

WhatsApp growth (image cortesy theverge.com)

WhatsApp growth (image cortesy theverge.com)

The co-founders and story of never giving up

Jan Koum and Brian Acton co founded WhatsApp in 2009. Brian Acton was actually turned down by Facebook in August 2009 as visible from his tweet back then.

Facebook turns down Brian Acton in 2009

Facebook turns down Brian Acton in 2009

https://twitter.com/brianacton/status/3109544383

Few months earlier to this, he was also turned down by Twitter.

Twitter turns down Brian Acton in 2009

Twitter turns down Brian Acton in 2009

https://twitter.com/brianacton/status/1895942068

Mark Zuckerberg comments on the acquisition

“I’ve known Jan for a long time and I’m excited to partner with him and his team to make the world more open and connected. The growth rate they have today and the monetization that’s early but promising and in place, we see a clear trajectory ahead and are excited to work together on this.” – Zuckerberg

What to expect for the WhatsApp users in near future?

Well, Facebook isn’t just giving money away and will ensure that it earns back the money spent, so expect to see Facebook Ads appearing on an updated App version of WhatsApp. This sure is a blow to Google who has been dominating the ads sphere online. Koum though believes that the acquisition won’t change much in terms of Ads

“We think that for our product, advertising is not necessarily the right way to go. We think we have a very solid monetization system in place.” – Jan Koum

The development for such Apps is encouraging for all entrepreneurs and we should see more such big swallowing in the near future by the Big 4 (Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Yahoo).

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Tracking is big business, and with the availability of GPS technologies, there are literally thousands of suppliers and applications around the world that enable individuals or companies to track everything from cars to pets to people and watch where they move on a map.

But until recently, there’s been a gap in the market.

Not everyone has a GPS enabled phone. In Sri Lanka, smartphone penetration is estimated to be around 15%. So, what about the rest of the population who are still more than happy to use their feature phones – low cost phones for example, that enable them to make calls and send and receive SMSs?

Track-Them-All or TTA is a tool that can track the location of any mobile phone as long as it is turned on.  Here’s how it works.

If you want your location to be shared with others, you send a SMS to a short code and join the system. Once you have registered your mobile number with the TTA platform, you can join existing groups, or visit the platform via any web browser (from any device) and create your own group, and add the registered mobile number to the group. After that you can see the locations of mobiles that are part of the group on a map.

TTA2

TTA is perfect for tracking your friends, or finding the location of your preferred group of trishaw drivers or taxis.  If they are near your location, you can send them an SMS through the platform and organize a meetup, or have them come pick you up. The platform can also be used companies that want to track where their staff is. For example, a sales force might be travelling across the island conducting promotions and the platform can give a birds eye view as to where everyone is at any given time.

The platform is not as accurate as GPS tracking systems, because it relies on the mobile tower data to identify the location of the phones. However, for hundreds of cases, knowing the approximate location is more than enough. GPS can be accurate to a few meters, and our research suggests that TTA gives an accuracy of approximately 200 meters. While you may not be able to tell if someone is at your door step, you’ll be able to know if they are in close vicinity.

Right now, TTA is in beta and we would love to see you give it a try. It is operational and the tracking and mapping features fully work. The platform is compatible with any dialog mobile number, and in the near future, we will be forming relationships with the other telecommunication operators in Sri Lanka.

Go to www.track-them-all.com for more information. We would love your  feedback.

- by Sam Silva

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In my previous article, I mentioned how Nokia is working hard to add more quality to the Windows Phone OS with their Lumia Devices and by getting more developers to create apps for the platform, through their “Nokia Developer” program. The recently concluded “Nokia Create” global contest was one such initiative that saw tremendous response from developers from more than 76 countries around the world.

The most exciting part of the contest was that 2 of the 8 “Master Missions” corresponding to the 8 main categories, were won by Sri Lankan developers. And today we will be featuring “Extreme Music” which won the “Music Master Mission”. We had a chat with the talented developer of the app, Heshan Pathirana. Heshan completed his Software Engineering Degree at APIIT recently and has started working at a private firm. Heshan is a person who loves coding. He spends most of his time coding, trying to recreate the apps he comes across, so he can understand how they work. “I developed a Windows Phone app for my final year project at APIIT. I believe that practice helped me a lot to achieve this goal” says Heshan. I can’t agree more with him.

Heshan Pathirana

Heshan Pathirana

Extreme Music: What Makes it special?

Extreme Music is the best and the most advanced music application available on the Windows Phone Apps+Games Store. The app has some of the most advanced features like Voice Control. One can control the app without even looking at the screen. “With a special screen called “Blind Aid”, even visually impaired users can control the app using the voice command feature” says Heshan enthusiastically. The speciality of the app is that it offers all these advanced features through a simplified User Interface, giving a pleasing experience to the user. According to Nokia Developer Blog, it’s this simplified user experience that led them to choose the app as a winner in this category.

Extreme Music is deeply integrated with Nokia Mix Radio online streaming service API. If you use a Nokia Windows Phone device, then you can also purchase songs through Nokia Music, using this app and get most out of related services. The app is available for free download and a number of advanced features can be enabled through a purchase. While writing this, I was going through some of the user comments for the app and some say this app is “far better than the default music app” and “this should be made a default app”. Those comments speak for the app. According to Heshan, the app currently has more than 17000 downloads. “Initially the app was created to overcome certain Windows Phone limitations like custom playlists and favorites. Then I  improved the features to suite Nokia Create Contest” he says.

Extreme Music

How did Heshan end up developing mobile apps?

Heshan started developing when he was in Grade 11 at school. He wrote his first program using VB 6.0. He has not stopped since then. Speaking about his motivation, he says “For a developer, sky’s the limit. I think this freedom motivates me all the time.” It was when he was working on his final year project that Heshan decided to venture into developing “Mobile Apps”. “I also decided on Windows Phone OS because I thought it’s better to master a new platform rather than mastering already established ones” he continues.

I had mentioned in my previous article about the prizes offered to the winners of the Nokia Create Contest. In case you missed, the winner gets a Nokia Lumia device of his choice along with a Nokia Gear. Winner also gets 5000 Experience Points from Nokia DVLUP reward program. Their app is promoted app on Windows Phone Store and AppSocial for one week and they also get PubCenter credits to run a campaign, to promote their app. Above all, the winners are offered an all expenses paid trip to Mobile World Congress 2014, where the winning apps will showcased! Speaking about these exciting prizes, Heshan says “I feel extremely proud and happy. Trip to Mobile World Congress in Barcelona is the most exciting prize for sure”. He is not mistaken there. He is getting an opportunity to showcase his app at a global event of this nature attended by some of the brightest minds of the tech world.

The Nokia Create contest was based on 8 Categories and had 15 “Missions” – that included 6 Mini missions, 8 Master missions and a DoGood mission. Each mission had a specific focus. Mini Missions required developers to add Nokia’s APIs and new features to their existing Windows Phone apps. To enter one of the 8 Master missions, participants had to develop a brand new app or game, or port one from another platform to Windows Phone 8. The Do Good Mission was quite different. According to Nokia, the aim of the DoGood mission was to “help enhance the lives and mobile experiences of visually impaired people.” The competition also had one Grand Prize.

Heshan is an enthusiastic youngster who is passionate about what he does. He also feels grateful for Nokia and Microsoft for the opportunity. He says he is “hoping to see some groundbreaking inventions and technologies from top notch companies in the world” at the MWC happening next month. We at Digit, are extremely proud of this high achiever and wish him good luck!

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Cover Cam

Windows Phone is slowly but steadily becoming popular around the world, according to reports. Most part of this success can be attributed to Nokia devices. Nokia’s Lumia series has become the backbone of Windows Phone OS. And Nokia does not stop there. It is also working hard to bring in more apps to the WP world, by luring more developers. Founded in 2012, “Nokia Developer” is one such program that “aims to help mobile app developers create apps and publish them to connect with people around the world.”

As part of this program Nokia held the “Nokia Create” contest which is a global competition for developers to develop apps for Nokia Lumia and Windows Phone 8. Developers from 76 countries around the world took part in the contest and Nokia announced the winners last week. It was a delight for us to hear that 2 Sri Lankans emerged as winners in two categories. “Cover Cam” app developed by Tharaka Wijebandara from Sri Lanka, won the “Master Mission” in Image and Photo category. Tharaka is a final year undergraduate, studying Information Technology at University of Moratuwa. He is also a Microsoft Student Partner and an active developer in the local scene. Heshan Pathirana a student of APIIT won the “Music Master Mission”for his app Extreme Music.

Cover Cam: The app

Cover Cam

Cover cam lets you set your Facebook profile picture and cover image with one click.

Cover Cam is an app that allows you to create your Facebook cover picture along with the matching profile picture with a single click. The idea is simple. But if you had tried for yourself, such an option is practically hard to execute from a single picture. But you should feel lucky if you’re a Windows Phone user. Tharaka’s app does that complex work for your, effortlessly. According to Tharaka, the app “makes your Facebook timeline header more beautiful, meaningful, and attractive or something totally crazy.” The app crops your profile picture and cover image from the original image and uploads it to your facebook account. While allowing you to take creative cover images, the app also allows you to choose existing photos from your gallery and turn it into creative Facebook timeline headers. According to Tharaka, his app is available as a trial version and a paid version. So far, it has been downloaded more than 80,000 times. It is also one of the top paid photo apps in many countries. As part of winning the competition, Nokia has also featured the app in many leading WP markets around the world.

So what inspired Tharaka to come up with such a cool idea for an app?

It was his friends. Few of them had manually uploaded their facebook profile picture and cover image in a way that made it look like a single image. Tharaka says that he immediately tried to create his own, with the help of Photoshop, but soon realized that not every image will fit into the idea. “Suddenly I got an idea. What if we can see the world through Facebook timeline header when we capture a photo? Then it will be easy to capture something beautiful for both profile picture and cover photo while they look as one image in the Facebook timeline header. So I decided to develop a Windows Phone app with this idea.” says Tharaka. And the uniqueness of the app is what made it a winner at the Nokia Create contest.

Tharaka Wijebandara, student of FIT, UoM

Tharaka Wijebandara, student of FIT, UoM

Tharaka’s developer career started when he was at school. He started to develop simple programs using VB 6, and they eventually became a hit among his friends, who encouraged him a lot. And thus, he ended up choosing Information Technology for his higher studies too. Tharaka enjoys developing mobile apps. “Mobile apps have very large audience compared to other software products“ says Tharaka; “We can have continuous feedback and keep on improving the apps”.

Winning a global competition brings more recognition for the developer. Our local talent gets noticed globally. And there’s a lot more. The winner gets a Nokia Lumia device of his choice along with a Nokia Gear. Winner also gets 5000 Experience Points from Nokia DVLUP reward program. Their app is promoted app on Windows Phone Store and AppSocial for one week and they also get PubCenter credits to run a campaign, to promote their app.

Nokia Create

Above all of these, *wait for it* the winners are offered an all expenses paid trip to Mobile World Congress 2014, where the winning apps will be showcased. Yes, you heard it right. Tharaka has won a trip to attend the MWC, which is happening in Barcelona in February. Mark Zuckerberg will be delivering the keynote speech this year. According to Tharaka, attending the MWC is the most exciting part of winning this contest. “It’s a great opportunity to learn new technologies, know about latest trends, make new friends and share experience with Windows Developers from around the world”, he says.

The Nokia Create contest was based on 8 Categories and had 15 “Missions” – that included 6 Mini missions, 8 Master missions and a Do Good mission. Each mission had a specific focus. Mini Missions required developers to add Nokia’s APIs and new features to their existing Windows Phone apps. To enter one of the 8 Master missions, participants had to develop a brand new app or game, or port one from another platform to Windows Phone 8. The Do Good Mission was quite different. According to Nokia, the aim of the Do Good mission was to “help enhance the lives and mobile experiences of visually impaired people.” The competition also had one Grand Prize.

Tharaka has huge hopes on Windows Phone OS. “Microsoft and Nokia  are very supportive and always encourage the developers” – Tharaka says enthusiastically. The Digit team feels proud for what Tharaka has achieved and wish him the best with his future endeavours!

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Ingress is a real life location based augmented reality game, developed by NianticLabs@Google.

Recently the Ingress activity has seen some momentum in Sri Lanka, specially in Colombo suburbs and in Kandy. There are many activities detected all over the country.

The gameplay consists of establishing “portals” at places of public art, landmarks, cenotaphs, etc., and linking them to create virtual triangular fields over geographic areas. Progress in the game is measured by the number of Mind Units, i.e. people, nominally controlled by each faction (as illustrated on the Intel Map). The necessary links between portals may range from meters to kilometers, or to hundreds of kilometers in operations of considerable logistical complexity. International links and fields are not uncommon, as Ingress has attracted an enthusiastic following in cities worldwide amongst both young and old, to the extent that the gameplay is itself a lifestyle for some, including tattoos.

Ingress in Sri Lanka

Ingress in Sri Lanka

A possible portal looks like this:

Portal

So there are two teams known as Resistance(Blue) and Enlightened(Green). And they fight over capturing and establishing their strong hold around the cities.

Players actually need to go to the real location marked on the map to interact with a portal. So it really is a time consuming and tiresome game, but a good game if you are traveling in vehicle and you often get caught in traffic.

So each player has a user level, which increases with the activities you do in Ingress. So people destroy portals and capture an enemy portal and do all those other stuff to gain point and to level up. The higher level player gets the liberty of using more powerful weapons and items.

Also there is a real time COMM chat system, helping each faction to communicate with each others and to get real time update on what is happening around them in Ingress.

Resistance Meetup near Word Trade Centre. Photo credit - Thilanka Niroshana

Resistance Meetup near Word Trade Centre. Photo credit – Thilanka Niroshana

Also people become friends with same faction and they do get together often not only to meet but also to engage  in larger missions and fun stuffs. Going on trips to unveil hidden and unknown portals and create control fields to show their power are really fun.

Here is some of major Ingress operations that went over the country to capture large area of land by both factions.

Operation – From North with Love
Faction – Resistance
Reference - https://plus.google.com/+GaveenPrabhasara/posts/9LE8KwPHaNh
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Operation – Coast2Coast
Faction – Enlightened
Reference – https://plus.google.com/118118346515377811509/posts/PCEbg4EKqF1

map-final

✮ Top Game of 2013 at Google Play Player’s Choice Awards.
✮ Best Android Strategy Game Runner-up at Android Central Best of 2013 Awards
✮ One of the Best Android Apps of 2013 – Gizmag

Resource : Ingress Sri Lanka G+ Community , Ingress Official Site

Google Play Store : Download the Game Here