Archive for December, 2017



WhatsApp mistakenly rolled out the ‘Reply Privately’ feature in a beta update for Windows Phone that will allow users to privately send a message to a participant in a group without anyone else knowing about it. The hotly-anticipated WhatsApp feature is under development and could be rolled out with other features as well. The Private Reply feature appeared and was subsequently dropped from the beta version of WhatsApp, watcher of the popular chat app @WABetaInfo said, confirming that the developers wrongly enabled the feature.

“In the new WhatsApp beta for Windows Phone 2.17.344 the private reply feature is disabled. Probably WhatsApp has wrongly enabled it in 2.17.342,” WABetaInfo tweeted. The feature was again implemented in the v2.17.348 beta update.

WABetaInfo said that the Private Reply option will only be available in group chats and will be included in the small menu that pops-up when users press and hold on a message. They can then quote the message in a Private Reply to users, sent as a personal chat. In the early form it was spotted, there were still several bugs, WABetaInfo noted, such as being visible in personal chats rather than just group chats.

Other new features that arrived with the v2.17.336 and v2.17.342 betas for Windows Phone include a new UI design for calls, similar to the Android interface, one that’s disabled by default. Also new is the Quick Switch to video call, enabling users to switch from a voice call to a video call without interrupting the conversation. Advanced group settings were also seen.

Earlier this month, WABetaInfo leaked the details of the features that WhatsApp was developing for Web and desktop, including tap to unblock and a picture-in-picture (PIP) mode.

Source: (gadgets.ndtv.com)

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Google has quietly stopped selling its popular Pixel C tablet through its online store in favour of the new $1,000 (roughly Rs. 64,000) Pixelbook hybrid laptop it released earlier this year.

“As is common when a device has been out for a few years, we’re now retiring Pixel C and it is no longer available for sale. We are committed to updating and supporting it, including the recent update to Android 8.0, so customers can continue to get the best out of their device,” Google was quoted as saying by CNET late Thursday.

“Our newly-launched Google Pixelbook combines the best parts of a laptop and a tablet for those looking for a versatile device,” the tech giant added.

Launched in 2015, the Pixel C tablet was a well-received device that comes from an earlier age of Google hardware, when the company took a more experimental approach.

The shift from the Pixel C to Pixelbook does represent something of a larger trend for the industry in recent years, as many have moved from slates to convertibles, according to Tech Crunch.

The Pixelbook is not as slim as a stand-alone tablet but it is a pretty solid tablet replacement as well as a well-rounded computing device.

Source: (gadgets.ndtv.com)


HMD Global looks set to expand the Nokia 3310 family by adding a 4G member. While the official details are yet to be announced, the Nokia 3310 4G variant has reportedly surfaced on China’s telecommunications certification authority TENAA’s site with the model number TA-1077. The Finnish company launched the original Nokia 3310 feature phone with 2G connectivity at Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2017 back in February and brought its 3G variant in September. The handset was originally debuted with a price tag of Rs. 3,310.

As per the TENAA listing, the Nokia 3310 4G variant will support TD-LTE, TD-SCDMA, and GSM networks. It is spotted with Alibaba’s YunOS operating system, which is a custom version of Android. Historically, HMD brought the Nokia 3310 2G with Nokia Series 30+ OS, while its 3G version was debuted with Java-based Feature OS. It is unclear whether the new platform will be a part of the global Nokia 3310 4G variant. The TENAA listing was first spotted by NokiaPowerUser, and no further specifications were listed.

Similar to the original version, the Nokia 3310 4G is expected to sport a 2.4-inch QVGA (240×320 pixels) colour display on TENAA, alongside a 2-megapixel rear camera sensor with an LED flash, 64GB onboard storage, and a removable 1200mAh battery. The phone would have dual-SIM support to let users two networks. Further, it is likely to have Bluetooth v2.1 and Micro-USB – just like the 2G and 3G Nokia 3310 models.

HMD Global is rumoured to host an event in China on January 19 to unveil the Nokia 9 as its new flagship – alongside the Nokia 6 (2018) and Nokia 8 (2018). This is likely to be the same place where Finland’s company would launch the Nokia 3310 4G variant officially. Further, if not at the January event, the new Nokia phone could debut at MWC 2018.

Source: (gadgets.ndtv.com)


Days after spotting a new version of its Android counterpart, Reliance Jio on Friday released a new MyJio app version for iOS devices. The new update includes an ability to let you make payments right from their JioMoney or Paytm wallet accounts. There is also a list of performance improvements and bug fixes.

The updated MyJio app (version 4.0.04) allows Reliance Jio subscribers to avail Jio Dhan Dhana Dhan offer at Rs. 399. The promotional offer gives 70GB of data alongside unlimited voice calls for 70 days. Also, the new MyJio app has wallet linking support for JioMoney and Paytm to let you pay for your postpaid bills or recharge your prepaid accounts right using your existing wallet accounts. You can additionally set up JioAutoPay to establish auto payments for their prepaid and postpaid accounts.

Reliance Jio has also added the option to provide easy management of JioFi and JioFiber devices. You just need to connect your iOS device to your JioFi or JioFiber network to manage the devices right from the updated MyJio app.

The updated MyJio app is 64.5MB in size and is compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch running on at least iOS 9. The app is available for download from the App Store.

Earlier this month, Reliance Jio reportedly released an update for its MyJio app for Android with HelloJio voice assistant integration. The proprietary voice assistant is said to perform tasks such as mobile recharges, bill payments, music playback and movies, and launching Jio apps among others. Further, users are also reported to get an option to ask questions like “What is Dhan Dhana Dhan offer” to get answers related to Jio’s existing and new tariffs. It is worth noting that the HelloJio feature has so far been spotted on the Android version of the MyJio app and is not a part of its latest iOS version.

Source: (gadgets.ndtv.com)


Scientists have developed a smartphone app that can be used in emergency situations arising due to earthquakes, floods or forest fires, where mobile phone infrastructure is often rendered useless.

The system created by researchers at the Universidad de Alicante (UA) in Spain makes it possible to locate people who have suffered an accident in remote locations without a phone signal and where a speedy rescue is essential to save lives.

“We have designed an application (app) that can be incorporated to any smartphone and that, without a signal, emits a Wifi signal which in turn acts as a distress beacon over a distance of several kilometres,” said Jose Angel Berna, creator of the technology and professor at UA.

This signal contains the location (coordinates) of the person who has suffered the accident or disappeared and is using the smartphone emitter, along with a short message that can be altered depending on the situation, with examples such as “I am injured,” “I am disorientated,” or “I need help,” said Berna.

In order to detect the distress signal, the researchers have also created a light, portable receptor device that rescue teams or mountain shelters could use.

This device has a small antenna and connects to the smartphone of the search party. When an accident occurs, the victim only has to activate the mobile phone app, which will, in turn, emit the distress signal periodically – for hours or even days, even if they are unconscious – indicating the coordinates of its location.

During the tests performed on ground and sea it was confirmed that the device can pick up the distress signal of the emitting smartphone up to a distance of two or three kilometres, respectively, although it may be possible to increase its reach, researchers said.

“At present, there is no system in the world that uses Wi-fi signals to geo-locate a smartphone. There are devices that allow you to detect mobile phone signals from a smartphone and pinpoint its location through triangulation, but it costs around EUR 80,000 (roughly Rs. 61 lakhs) and requires the use of a helicopter,” said Berna.

However, the new system is more economical, “as its receptor has a cost that would allow its commercialisation for approximately EUR 600 (roughly Rs. ) if used by a large number of rescue teams,” he added.

Source: (gadgets.ndtv.com)


Facing lawsuits and consumer outrage after it said it slowed older iPhones with flagging batteries, Apple is slashing prices for battery replacements and will change its software to show users whether their phone battery is good.

In a posting on its website Thursday, Apple apologised over its handling of the battery issue and said it would make a number of changes for customers “to recognise their loyalty and to regain the trust of anyone who may have doubted Apple’s intentions.”

Apple made the move to address concerns about the quality and durability of its products at a time when it is charging $999 (roughly Rs. 64,000) for its newest flagship model, the iPhone X.

The company said it would cut the price of an out-of-warranty battery replacement from $79 (roughly Rs. 5,000) to $29 (roughly Rs. 1,850) for an iPhone 6 or later, starting next month. The company also will update its iOS operating system to let users see whether their battery is in poor health and is affecting the phone’s performance.

“We know that some of you feel Apple has let you down,” Apple said in its posting. “We apologise.”

On December 20, Apple acknowledged that iPhone software has the effect of slowing down some phones with battery problems. Apple said the problem was that aging lithium batteries delivered power unevenly, which could cause iPhones to shutdown unexpectedly to protect the delicate circuits inside.

That disclosure played on a common belief among consumers that Apple purposely slows down older phones to encourage customers to buy newer iPhone models. While no credible evidence has ever emerged that Apple engaged in such conduct, the battery disclosure struck a nerve on social media and elsewhere.

Apple on Thursday denied that it has ever done anything to intentionally shorten the life of a product.

At least eight lawsuits have been filed in California, New York, and Illinois alleging that the company defrauded users by slowing devices down without warning them. The company also faces a legal complaint in France, where so-called “planned obsolesce” is against the law.

Source: (gadgets.ndtv.com)


A group led by Japanese technology conglomerate Softbank has acquired a major stake in Uber, potentially tamping down internal warfare at the troubled ride-hailing company and strengthening the hand of CEO Dara Khosrowshahi as he seeks to move it past the firestorm that has consumed it for the past year.

In a tender offer that expired Thursday afternoon, SoftBank acquired a 15 percent stake in Uber while the remaining members got about 3 percent, according to a person familiar with the situation who was not authorized to publicly discuss details. Under the deal, the SoftBank group will also buy about $1 billion (Rs. 6,400 crores) worth of new Uber stock. SoftBank said it expects to close the overall investment in January.

Uber has been plagued by a growing string of scandals over the past year, including allegations of sexual misconduct and charges that it deployed an espionage team to plunder trade secrets from its rivals. It’s also facing off with regulators in London over its right to operate there, dealing with the fallout from a major hack of driver and passenger information that it paid a hefty ransom to conceal, and is battling Google spinoff Waymo in a lawsuit accusing it of trade-secret theft. Uber denies engaging in trade-secret theft.

The SoftBank deal clears the way for Uber, among the most valuable tech firms in the world, to sell stock to the public. Under the deal, a possible initial public offering could take place before the end of 2019. Last month, Benchmark Capital, Menlo Ventures and other early Uber investors had confirmed their intent to sell shares in the company.

It also curtails the influence of former CEO Travis Kalanick, an Uber co-founder, who was pushed out in June but retained control of 3 of Uber’s 11 board seats. Benchmark, in fact, sued the former CEO in August, accusing him of trying to pack the board with his allies and plotting to return as CEO.

As part of the SoftBank deal, Kalanick agreed to allow a majority of board members to vote on any future appointments he makes. Benchmark agreed to suspend its lawsuit against Kalanick and to drop it after the end of the tender offer period.

“We have tremendous confidence in Uber’s leadership and employees and are excited to support Uber as it continues to reinvent how people and goods are transported around the world,” SoftBank CEO Rajeev Misra said in a statement.

Uber said in a statement that the overall transaction would “support our technology investments, fuel our growth, and strengthen our corporate governance.”

Uber had been valued at $68.5 billion (roughly Rs. 4,38,000 crores) in a previous stock sale. The Wall Street Journal said the tender offer valued Uber at $48 billion (roughly Rs. 3,07,000 crores), a 30 percent discount.

Source: (gadgets.ndtv.com)


Vivo V7 has a received a price cut of Rs. 2,000 in India and is now available for a new price tag of Rs. 16,990. This price cut comes more than a month after the smartphone was launched in India at a price of Rs. 18,990.

The selfie smartphone from Vivo in India is now available at Rs. 16,990 via both offline and online retailers, Gadgets 360 has learnt. The Vivo V7 (Review) is available in Champagne Gold, Matte Black, and the recently launched Energetic Blue colour variants. The phone has been available through offline and online platforms since November. Earlier, the smartphone was online-exclusive to Flipkart, but is now available on other portals such as Amazon and Paytm Mall. It features the new price on all three e-commerce portals.

Vivo V7 specifications
The Vivo V7 is a dual-SIM (Nano+Nano) smartphone that runs FunTouch OS 3.2 based on Android 7.1 Nougat OS. The smartphone sports a 5.7-inch HD + (720×1440 pixels) FullView IPS display with an aspect ratio of 18:9. The Vivo V7 is powered by a 1.8GHz octa-core Snapdragon 450 processor, coupled with 4GB of RAM.

In terms of optics, the Vivo V7 bears a 16-megapixel rear sensor with LED flash and an aperture of f/2.0. One of the biggest features of the phone is its 24-megapixel front camera sensor with a soft ‘Moonlight Glow’ selfie light, alongside an aperture of f/2.0. The smartphone has 32GB of inbuilt storage expandable via microSD card (up to 256GB). It also sports a 3000mAh battery under the hood.

The Vivo V7 has dimensions of 149.3×72.8×7.9mm and weighs 139 grams. It faces competition from other phones like Honor 7X and Motorola G5s Plus. However, the Vivo V7 is the only smartphone in this price range to offer a 24-megapixel selfie camera.

Earlier this month, the Vivo V5s received a permanent price cut and is now available in India for a new price tag of Rs. 15,990. It was initially launched at a price of Rs. 18,990.

Source: (gadgets.ndtv.com)


Smartphone maker Apple and Japanese printer company Epson are facing legal complaints in France over allegedly speeding up the ageing process of their products to stimulate demand.

A French consumer association called “HOP” – standing for “Stop Planned Obsolescence” – filed preliminary, legal complaints in court against the two groups over the charges.

HOP said it filed its complaint against Apple in Paris on Wednesday. A prosecutor opened an investigation into Epson last month, a judicial source said on Thursday, following a complaint filed in September by HOP in a court in the Paris suburb of Nanterre.

Laetitia Vasseur, co-founder of HOP, told Reuters the aim of both complaints was to apply the French consumer law, which was modified in 2015 to include the notion of planned obsolescence.

Apple is already facing lawsuits in the United States over accusations of having defrauded iPhone users by slowing down devices without warning to compensate for poor battery performance.

These lawsuits came after Apple said last week that operating system updates released since “last year” for the iPhone 6, iPhone 6s, iPhone SE and iPhone 7 included a feature “to smooth out” power supply from batteries that are cold, old or low on charge.

Phones without the adjustment would shut down abruptly because of a precaution designed to prevent components from getting fried, Apple said.

Under French law, companies risk fines of up to 5 percent of their annual sales for deliberately shortening the life of their products to spur demand to replace them.

A spokeswoman for Epson France said Epson denied the charges made against it by the HOP association. She added that Epson was working with authorities on the matter and that the quality of its products was of the utmost importance for the company.

Source: (gadgets.ndtv.com)


Oppo F3 price in India has been slashed. The smartphone, which was launched at Rs. 19,990, is now available in the country with a price tag of Rs. 16,990. Gadgets 360 has learnt that the new price is applicable starting Friday, and offline retailers have already provided with the update. However, listings on Amazon and Flipkart were not reflecting the price cut at the time of filing this story.

Oppo launched the Oppo F3 back in May with an original price of Rs. 19,990. But earlier this year, the Chinese company dropped its price to Rs. 18,990 silently alongside launching a Diwali Limited Edition variant. The smartphone is a cheaper variant of the Oppo F3 Plus that was debuted in March.

The Android 6.0 Marshmallow-based Oppo F3 (Review) runs ColorOS 3.0 and features a 5.5-inch full-HD (1080×1920 pixels) In-Cell 2.5D curved display with Corning Gorilla Glass 5 protection. The smartphone is powered by a 1.5GHz MediaTek MT6750T6 octa-core processor, coupled with Mali-T860 GPU and 4GB of RAM. It sports 64GB of onboard storage that is expandable via a dedicated microSD card (up to 128GB) slot. There is a triple-slot tray that accepts two SIM cards and one microSD card. Further, the handset has a 13-megapixel camera sensor and LED flash and a dual-camera setup with one 16-megapixel 1.3-inch sensor with f/2.0 aperture lens and an 8-megapixel secondary sensor with 120-degree wide-angle lens.

Oppo has provided its proprietary Smart Facial Recognition feature on the Oppo F3 that automatically suggests which lens is ideal for taking self-portrait shots. Also, the smartphone has features such as the Beautify 4.0, Selfie Panorama, Screen Flash,and Palm Shutter.

The Oppo F3 packs a 3200mAh non-removable battery. In terms of connectivity, the smartphone has 4G VoLTE, Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, Bluetooth v4.0, GPS/ A-GPS, 3.5mm audio jack, and Micro-USB. It measures at 153.3×75.3×7.3mm and weighs 153 grams.

Importantly, the latest price cut makes the Oppo F3 a strong contender against the Honor 7X and Moto G5S Plus that both are among the top-selling smartphones under Rs. 20,000 price bracket. The smartphone also gives a tough competition to the Asus ZenFone 4 Selfie Pro that was debuted at Rs. 23,999 in India to deliver an enhanced selfie-taking experience.

Source: (gadgets.ndtv.com)