Tag Archive: India



Samsung said on Tuesday it will be bringing Bixby, its virtual assistant, to India later this month, as the company announced the availability of the Galaxy Note 8 smartphone. The arrival of Bixby in India further intensifies the battle for AI-powered digital assistants Google’s Assistant, Apple’s Siri, Microsoft’s Cortana, and Amazon’s Alexa, which is also set to be launched in the country later this year.

The South Korean electronics company, which assumes the tentpole position among smartphone makers by both volume and brand value, said it had put months of rigorous efforts at its Research and Development centres in Bengaluru to understand and adapt to Indian dialects and contexts. Samsung says it has thoroughly baked in support for various Indian accents, letting even those customers who have opted for English (US) language, make use of Bixby.

Bixby, which was launched across several US and European markets earlier this year, offers four essential features to customers – the ability to talk to Bixby, take pictures and let it make sense of it, use it to set reminders, and receive recommendations for products, foods, and things to read.

Samsung said Bixby will be available to customers in India from September 30. Bixby, unlike Siri and Google’s Assistant, doesn’t work with a wide-range of smartphones. At present, only the Galaxy S8, Galaxy S8+, and the Galaxy Note 8 offer this functionality. Samsung-made Android smartphones, however, also support Google Assistant, Microsoft Cortana, and Amazon Alexa, should users desire to utilise them.

The limited target audience for Bixby might emerge as a roadblock in its growth. Apple has shown some commitment to improve Siri’s reachability in India, adding diction support for a handful of local languages including Hindi. iOS 11, the latest mobile operating system from Apple that is expected to roll out later this month, will introduce that support.

In the meantime, Amazon is planning to bring Alexa with the Echo Dot smart-speaker in India later this year, people familiar with the matter said.

 

 

Source : (gadgets.ndtv.com)

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Ride-sharing company Uber on Friday announced the launch of its “biggest” ‘Greenlight Center’ in India in Bengaluru, aimed to serve as a one-stop solution for driver-partners’ needs.

The 15,000-square feet facility is dedicated to driver-partners in Bengaluru for best-in-class customer service and support, the company said in a release.

It said from new driver sign ups to offering subsidised services for existing driver partners, the centre acts as a one-stop solution for all their needs. The centre was launched in the presence of Dr. B Basavaraju, Karnataka Principal Secretary of Transport.

“Through the Greenlight Centre, we are offering in-person assistance to more than 4,000 driver-partners a week,” Uber South India General Manager Christian Freese said.

“We’re continuing to invest in our in-person locations and have launched three other facilities at the Devanahalli, Yeshwantpur, and HBR,” he said.

The new facility is specially designed to meet the needs of drivers, with features like: space for a team of Uber Experts, who will help new drivers get signed up and address any questions current partners have along the way.

Also, UberBazaar offers driver partners several benefits on new vehicles, vehicle maintenance, health benefits, financial planning, and many more services and dedicated training area for driver partners to learn about the app, among others, the release said.

 

Source : (gadgets.ndtv.com)


Facebook is gearing up to make money from WhatsApp, the messaging service used by more than a billion people every day

WhatsApp will be testing new features to make it easier for people to communicate with businesses they want to reach on WhatsApp, the messaging service said in a blog post.

“We’re building and testing new tools via a free WhatsApp Business app for small companies and an enterprise solution for bigger companies operating at a large scale with a global base of customers, like airlines, e-commerce sites, and banks,” according to the blog post.

WhatsApp has already started a pilot program that would feature a green badge next to a business contact, indicating that the business was verified by the messaging service.

“We do intend on charging businesses in the future,” Chief Operating Officer Matt Idema told the Wall Street Journal in an interview.

Reuters had reported in March that a potential revenue source for WhatsApp was to charge businesses that want to contact customers, citing company documents.

Started in 2009, WhatsApp was acquired by Facebook for an eye-popping $22 billion in 2014. While WhatsApp had little revenue at the time of the deal, the purchase price was slightly more than the market value of Sony Corp.

Facebook has not focused on WhatsApp so far. The social network had started showing ads inside its Messenger app in July to further monetise the chat service.

Idema declined to describe the paid features or say when they would make their debut, according to the WSJ report. “We don’t have the details of monetisation figured out,” he told the Journal.

” We’ll be listening carefully to feedback during our test phase and keeping people informed as we make these tools more widely available,” WhatsApp said in the blog post.

 

 

Source : (gadgets.ndtv.com)


HP on Tuesday launched a ‘Made for India’ Pro 8 tablet series that would monitor subsidy distribution through Aadhaar authentication and deliver other benefits related to government schemes. The HP Pro 8 price in India starts at Rs. 19,374, and the company is also touting support for regional languages, apart from voice calling support.

“These devices are exclusively made for India. Fit for outdoor conditions, the devices have 15 hours of battery life for field workers and are dust and water resistant. The 4G-enabled devices with strong battery ensure connectivity even in remote areas,” Sumeer Chandra, Managing Director, HP Inc India, told IANS.

The HP Pro 8 tablet range comes with customisable features that will allow the delivery of services, including financial inclusion and benefit schemes, HP said. The company added that the HP Pro 8 tablet is aimed at ensuring efficient delivery of subsidised food products under the Public Distribution System (PDS), comprehensive monitoring of various healthcare initiatives and several other flagship programmes run by the central and state governments.

“We have won a few big deals from state governments for delivering tens of thousands of such devices. These tablets are not just being sold purely as devices but as end-to end solutions. We will provide the devices and get partners bring their software and solutions into it,” Chandra told IANS.

The HP Pro 8 can house preloaded apps to support various functionalities. It was designed by HP’s Digital India Unit with specific inputs from public and private sector customers. The features include sunlight readable screen for outdoor usage, iris and fingerprint scanner for Aadhaar-based authentication, thermal printer and magnetic-strip reader for financial transactions and bar code scanner for inventory management.

The base model of the HP Pro 8 tablet features an 8-inch HD (1280×800 pixels) IPS display, and is powered by 64-bit quad-core MediaTek MT8735 SoC coupled with 2GB of RAM. It bears 16GB of inbuilt storage that is expandable via microSD card (up to 64GB). It sports a 6000mAh battery. It bears a Micro-SIM slot apart from a Micro-USB slot and 3.5mm headphone jack. Sensors on board include accelerometer, ambient light sensor, gyroscope, and proximity sensor. As we mentioned, it also supports voice calling.

“As a long-standing partner in India’s digital journey, we take this opportunity to provide solutions that can solve real life problems,” Chandra added.

 

 

Source : (gadgets.ndtv.com)

 

 


With the Lenovo K8 Note launch just around the corner, reports of a smartphone called the Lenovo K8 Plus have started to pour in. To recall, the Lenovo K8 Note is due to launch in India on Wednesday, August 8, and it will be an Amazon exclusive. The Lenovo K8 Plus, on the other hand, is a new entry into the rumour-sphere, and has been spotted in a Geekbench listing online.

The listing on the Geekbench benchmark site, purported to be of the Lenovo K8 Plus, doesn’t reveal too much information about the smartphone, but a few details do come through. It runs Android 7.1.1 Nougat, for one, and is powered by an octa-core MediaTek Helio P25 (MT6757CD) SoC clocked up to 1.7GHz, for the other. The last little nugget of information that can be gleaned from the benchmark listing of the Lenovo K8 Plus is the fact that it is configured with what appears to be 3GB of RAM. The listing was spotted by Techook.

The Lenovo K8 Plus can also be assumed to run stock Android. The Chinese company recently revealed to Gadgets 360 that it had listened to customer feedback, and decided to abandon its Vibe Pure UI for stock Android instead. The K8 Note will kick off this trend, and run Android 7.1.1 Nougat out of the box. The company would still have minor customisations to offer on top of the Android build, but the decision would help roll out quicker software updates while also improving performance with less bloatware.

That’s all we know about the Lenovo K8 Plus thus far, but with its first appearance, it’s safe to presume we will hear more about the smartphone in the future.

 

 

Source : (gadgets.ndtv.com)


The new telecom policy in the works should ensure equal policies for competing technologies, an advance yearly road map for spectrum allocation, and cut levies for operators, industry body COAI has said.

The policy should have some “permanent fixes” for the failing financial health of the sector and the industry cannot be treated “as a place to go for revenue”, COAI Director General Rajan Mathews told PTI.

The policy – the work on which has already started at the telecom department – should ensure level-playing-field between mobile operators and over-the-top players (Internet-based calling and messaging providers like WhatsApp).

Having equal policies for competing technologies would protect investments made by licensed mobile operators by ensuring regulatory predictability and consistency, according to COAI, whose members include operators Airtel, Vodafone, Idea as also newcomer Reliance Jio.

Propagating the “same service same rules” principle, Mathews said the new policy should bring OTT communication services under the licensing ambit just as mobile operators or else “deregulate” everyone.

“There should be same-service-same-rules principle. If such players are deregulated, then deregulate us as well. If they are offering voice too, why is it that only mobile operators are paying levies like licence fee and spectrum charge?” Mathews wondered.

He said COAI has placed its submissions on the new policy before the Department of Telecom.

Terming a robust policy on spectrum as “necessity” in ensuring its efficient management and allocation, the association has sought a long-term and clear road map for releasing radio waves for cellular technologies.

The same should be reviewed every five years or earlier, the industry body added.

COAI has also asked the government to ensure there is no delicensing or free allocation of spectrum, particularly below 1GHz bands, which are critical and more valuable.

Mathews felt that the new policy should be a vehicle for returning industry to financial health.

Accordingly, COAI has renewed some of its past demands like reduction of spectrum usage charge to uniform 1 percent and lowering of Universal Service Obligation (used for rural rollout) contribution to 3 per cent before the phasing out of the levy in 2-3 years.

Alternatively, COAI has said the USO Fund levy can be rationalised as per rural rollout done by an operator, or USO contribution can be kept in abeyance till the entire amount of available corpus gets fully disbursed.

The comments come at a time when mobile operators – large and small – are reeling under a massive Rs. 4.6 lakh crores debt burden and the industry’s revenue, profitability and key operational metrics are under pressure hurt by competition and freebies from newcomer Jio.

An inter-ministerial group, which has been constituted to look into the financial issues of the telecom sector and suggest remedial measures, is expected to submit its report later this month.

DoT has, meanwhile, also started consultations with the industry and academia on the new telecom policy and hopes to finalise it by March 2018.

 

 

Source : (gadgets.ndtv.com)


Kult, a domestic mobile brand that debuted in the smartphone industry with Kult 10 back on 2015, on Friday launched its new smartphone, Kult Beyond. The smartphone will exclusively be sold on Amazon India from August 18 at a price of Rs. 6,999, with registrations for the sale now open.

The Kult Beyond is a dual SIM (Micro+Micro) smartphone that runs Android 7.0 Nougat. It is powered by 1.25GHz quad-core (chip maker unspecified) coupled with 3GB of RAM. For graphics, it has 650Hz Mali T720 MP1 GPU. The smartphone sports a 5.2-inch HD (720×1280) IPS on-cell display.

As for photography, the Kult Beyond houses 13-megapixel cameras on both rear and front sides accompanied by a dual-tone LED flashes. The camera app comes equipped with features such as beauty mode and ‘Vistoso’ that allows users to print their favourite images on T-shirts and mugs. Storage-wise, the smartphone comes with 32GB of inbuilt storage that can be further expanded via its separate microSD card (up to 32GB) slot.

The Kult Beyond gets its daily juice from a 3000mAh battery that is rated to offer up to 25 hours of talk time. There is a fingerprint scanner at the back side of the smartphone, sitting just below the camera module. Apart from unlocking the device, the fingerprint scanner can open select applications, answer calls, play and pause music/ movies, turn off the alarm and scroll homepage. The connectivity options in the smartphone include Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, GPS, FM radio, 4G VoLTE support, and MicroUSB among others.

Commenting on the launch of Kult Beyond, Hardip Singh, Executive Director, Optiemus Infracom said, “Today’s hyper-connected millennial demands high performance smartphone with great camera quality. We kept that in mind while building Kult Beyond. This beautifully designed smartphone comes loaded with class-leading features and functionalities at a very attractive price, which is an added advantage.” He further added, “At Kult, our endeavor is to offer made-in-India and best in class smartphones at very compelling price points. We are confident that Kult Brand will connect with today’s youth and meet their demands and requirements at large. We expect to see huge demand for Kult Beyond and are bullish on its success.”

 

Source : (gadgets.ndtv.com)


iPhone SE is one of the most affordable Apple smartphones that can be purchased in India right now, and the 32GB model can now be purchased for Rs. 22,990 from Paytm’s online retail store. Additionally, Paytm is also offering a Rs. 3,000 cashback on the purchase that would effectively bring down the price of the iPhone SE to Rs. 19,990.

While the iPhone SE is usually priced on the Paytm Mall at Rs. 27,200, the company is offering a flat 15 percent discount and offering a Rs. 3,000 cashback, which can be availed by using promo code ‘PhoneSE’ after adding the product to the cart. Notably, Cash on Delivery option will not be available for those users who will be using this promo code and availing the cashback offer.

To recall, iPhone SE comes with a 4-inch Retina display (640×1136 pixels) and packs Apple’s A9 SoC. It comes with a 12-megapixel rear camera and a fingerprint sensor embedded in the home button as well. Interestingly, Paytm Mall is also offering Buyback Guarantee of Rs. 9,000 on the handset.

Apart from iPhone SE, Paytm Mall is also offering cashback and flash offers on various other iPhone models ranging from iPhone 5s to iPhone 7 Plus.

Let us know in the comments down below if you will consider switching to an iPhone at this price or would prefer for the price to come down further before you make a switch. Those users who prefer Android can also share their views in the comments down below.

 

Source : (gadgets.ndtv.com)


BSNL, which has maintained an aggressive stance to retain market share since Reliance Jio started operations, has launched a new ‘Rakhi pe Saugaat’ plan for prepaid users. The state-owned telecom operator is offering with this plan unlimited on-net calls, and bundled talk value and talk time at Rs. 74. As this BSNL plan has been launched to celebrate the festival of Rakhi, it comes with short-term validity of five days. This offer can be availed starting August 3, and will go on for 12 days.

With the new recharge pack, BSNL users can make unlimited on-net voice calls for the five-day period. Furthermore, they will also get 1GB of data benefits for those five days, with a talk value of Rs. 74 as well.

“Maintaining its tradition BSNL is offering such cheapest tariffs on festivities,” R.K.Mittal, Director (CM) BSNL Board said in a statement. Additionally, few combo offers worth Rs. 189, Rs. 289, and Rs. 389 have also been launched, and it offers 18 percent extra talk value and 1GB of free data.

BSNL recently also launched the ‘Sixer 666’ pack for prepaid subscribers with 120GB data. Under the plan, BSNL prepaid users got data in allowances of 2GB per day and the plan had a validity of 60 days.

Also, BSNL recently announced a data-focused plan for its postpaid subscribers as well, in an attempt to counter Reliance Jio. Under the new offer, BSNL postpaid customers get additional data benefits on their existing plans. BSNL customers who were enrolled under Plan 99 will now get 250MB of data compared to zero data benefit previously. Similarly, those with Plan 225 now get 1GB data compared to 200MB, and Plan 325 will offer 2GB of data compared to just 250MB data. Users enrolled under Plan 525 and 725 will now get 3GB (earlier 500MB) and 5GB data (earlier 1GB).

 

Source : (gadgets.ndtv.com)


Ahead of Raksha Bandhan, state-owned telecom operator Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) has launched a new ‘Rakhi pe Saugaat’ recharge plan for its prepaid customers. The recharge plan, priced at a Rs. 74, offers unlimited on-net calls, talk value, and data benefits to its prepaid customers looking for short-term validity.

The new recharge plan launched by BSNL is worth only Rs. 74, and only prepaid users of the carrier can take advantage of it. The validity of this plan is for five days only, but it offers unlimited voice calls on-net to its customers. Furthermore, users also get 1GB of data benefits for those five days, with a talk value of Rs. 74 as well. This offer can be availed starting August 3, and will go on for 12 days.

“Maintaining its tradition BSNL is offering such cheapest tariffs on festivities,” R.K.Mittal, Director (CM) BSNL Board said in a statement. Additionally, few combo offers worth Rs. 189, Rs. 289, and Rs. 389 have also been launched, and it offers 18 percent extra talk value and 1GB of free data.

BSNL recently also launched the ‘Sixer 666’ pack for prepaid subscribers with 120GB data. Under the plan, BSNL prepaid users got data in allowances of 2GB per day and the plan had a validity of 60 days.

Also, BSNL recently announced a data-focused plan for its postpaid subscribers as well, in an attempt to counter Reliance Jio. Under the new offer, BSNL postpaid customers get additional data benefits on their existing plans. BSNL customers who were enrolled under Plan 99 will now get 250MB of data compared to zero data benefit previously. Similarly, those with Plan 225 now get 1GB data compared to 200MB, and Plan 325 will offer 2GB of data compared to just 250MB data. Users enrolled under Plan 525 and 725 will now get 3GB (earlier 500MB) and 5GB data (earlier 1GB).

 

 

Source : (gadgets.ndtv.com)