Tag Archive: Wearables

Hours ahead of Apple’s major iPhone event, in which the company is widely expected to launch the iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, and the iPhone X, its partner Qualcomm has stirred controversy by saying that Android smartphone makers are always first to bring new cutting technology feature to their products.

Qualcomm has shared more than 20 examples to make the case for how Android smartphone makers have been the first ones to introduce new features. Some of those examples include – fingerprint under display (Qualcomm Reference Design Handset), bezel-less design (first introduced in Xiaomi Mi Mix from last year), OLED Display (LG Flex 2) and Facial Recognition (Samsung Galaxy S8). Interestingly these all features are expected to be selling points of Apple’s supposedly upcoming iPhone models that the company would unveil later today. Other notable mentions are Gigabit LTE (Samsung Galaxy S8) and Bluetooth v5.0 (everything running the Snapdragon 835 SoC).

The telecom giant’s brutal blog post comes months after both of them have sued each other in global patent licensing dispute. Earlier this year, Apple sued the chipmaker for roughly $1 billion claiming that Qualcomm has been “charging royalties for technologies they have nothing to do with.” At the time, Qualcomm dismissed Apple’s accusation. But months later, it filed a lawsuit against Apple, asking the US trade regulators to ban iPhone imports, as they allegedly infringe on six patents. The patents, owned by Qualcomm, provide technology to improve battery life, Qualcomm said.

Meanwhile, on the blog post published on Monday, Francisco Cheng, director of technical marketing said it has “enabled some notable world firsts on Android, and some remain Android exclusives to this day. […] Inventions from Qualcomm lay the foundation for so many technologies and experiences we value in our smartphones today — on Android and other platforms.”

Apple would certainly not appreciate Qualcomm’s constant commentary on how rival products are better, especially on the day when it plans to launch its own flagship iPhone models.



Source : (gadgets.ndtv.com)


Amazon India is holding International Deals Day on Wednesday where consumers can get discounts across various electronic products. Some of international brands available under Amazon’s International Deals Day include Fitbit, Jawbone, Pebble, ION Audio, SilverStone, Kong, Aeropostale, and GoPro.



Interested buyers can get one of the greatest deals on the Bose SoundTrue Around-Ear headphone which is available at Rs. 7,980, originally priced at Rs. 14,500. Several Pebble smartwatches are available at 30 percent discount, including the Pebble Classic 301BL available at 4,199, down from earlier price of Rs. 5,999; Pebble Time available at Rs. 6,999, down from earlier price of Rs. 9,999; Pebble Time Round available at Rs. 9,449, down from earlier price of Rs. 13,599; Pebble Time Steel available at Rs. 11,339, down from earlier price of Rs. 15,999.

Fitbit wearables available under International Deals Day include Fitbit Charge with Heart Rate available at Rs. 11,999, down from earlier price of Rs. 14,999; Fitbit Blaze available at Rs. 15,999, down from earlier price of Rs. 19,999; Fitbit Alta Fitness Tracker available at Rs. 11,699, down from earlier price of Rs. 12,999; Fitbit Charge Wristband available at Rs. 9,199, down from earlier price of Rs. 11,499; Fitbit Flex Activity Tracker available at Rs. 6,799, down from earlier price of Rs. 8,499; Fitbit Surge available at Rs. 19,999, down from earlier price of Rs. 24,999.

Jawbone UP3 Activity Tracker (Silver Cross) available at Rs. 8,999, down from earlier price of Rs. 11,999, and the Jawbone UP3 (Black Twist) available at Rs. 11,999, down from earlier price of Rs. 14,999. Under Amazon’s International Deals Day, Lenovo Yoga 500 notebook is available at Rs. 29,990, down from earlier price of Rs. 34,990.

You can check out the full list of products discounted as part of Amazon India’s International Deals Day.


Source : (gadgets.ndtv.com)

Government on Monday relaxed Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) norms in a host of sectors including civil aviation, single-brand retail, defence, e-commerce, and pharma by permitting more investments under automatic route.



Other sectors in which FDI norms have been relaxed include e-commerce in food products, broadcasting carriage services, private security agencies and animal husbandry.

“Now most of the sectors would be under automatic approval route, except a small negative list. With these changes, India is now the most open economy in the world for FDI,” said an official statement.

The decision to further liberalise FDI regime with the objective of “providing major impetus to employment and job creation in India” was taken at a meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday.

This is the second major reform in the FDI space. The Centre in last November had significantly relaxed the foreign investment regime.

In the tech sector, perhaps the most important announcement was relaxation of the FDI norms for single brand retail, in context of the planned entry into the India’s retail space by Apple, LeEco, and Xiaomi.

In its statement, the government said, “It has now been decided to relax local sourcing norms up to three years and a relaxed sourcing regime for another five years for entities undertaking Single Brand Retail Trading of products having ‘state-of-art’ and ‘cutting edge’ technology. ”

As for e-commerce in food products, the government’s statement said, “It has now been decided to permit 100% FDI under government approval route for trading, including through e-commerce, in respect of food products manufactured or produced in India.”


Source : (gadgets.ndtv.com)

Microsoft India on Wednesday sent out media invites for an event it is holding in New Delhi on Monday. The event, titled ‘Tech for Good, Ideas for India’, is said to be “a conversation with young achievers, students, developers, and entrepreneurs.”



The event’s keynote address will be delivered by Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, while Jayant Sinha, the Minister of State for Finance, will also be in attendance.

The Microsoft CEO’s visit follows a whirlwind tour of India by Apple CEO Tim Cook, who visited a temple, dined with Bollywood celebrities, and saw an IPL match apart from inaugurating the company’s Maps development centre in Hyderabad, announcing a development accelerator in Bengaluru, meeting app developers, and the discussing Apple’s plans with the Indian Prime Minister.

Microsoft was in the news on Wednesday for its decision to further streamline its smartphone business. In a press statement, the company confirmed it would be cutting 1,850 jobs, most of them in Finland, and write down $950 million (roughly Rs. 6,403 crores) from the operation.

The Redmond giant also said it would close down its research and development site in Tampere, Finland, but continue to develop Windows 10 Mobile platform and support its Lumia smartphones. The company declined to say whether it would develop new phones.

“We are focusing our phone efforts where we have differentiation,” said chief executive Satya Nadella in a statement, “We will continue to innovate across devices and on our cloud services across all mobile platforms.”

Earlier this month, Microsoft divested its entry-level feature phones business for $350 million (roughly Rs. 2,359 crores).


Source : (gadgets.ndtv.com)

Oracle Corp filed a multibillion-dollar copyright lawsuit against Google because Oracle failed in its own attempts to enter the smartphone market, a Google attorney said in closing arguments on Monday.

The Oracle logo is seen on its campus in Redwood City, California June 15, 2015. REUTERS/Robert Galbraith

The Oracle logo is seen on its campus in Redwood City, California June 15, 2015. REUTERS/Robert Galbraith

However, an Oracle attorney accused Google of taking its intellectual property without permission and reaping huge profits as a result.

In a retrial at US District Court in San Francisco, Oracle Corp has claimed Google’s Android smartphone operating system violated its copyright on parts of Java, a development platform. Alphabet Inc’s Google unit said it should be able to use Java without paying a fee under the fair-use provision of copyright law.

A trial in 2012 ended in a deadlocked jury, and if the current jury rules against Google on fair use, then it would consider Oracle’s request for about $9 billion in damages.

The case has been closely watched by software developers, who fear an Oracle victory could spur more software copyright lawsuits.

However, investors see little risk for Google because the company could afford to pay a onetime fine, and the possibility of an injunction that would force Google to pay ongoing royalties to Oracle appears remote.

In court on Monday, Google attorney Robert Van Nest played a video of a speech by Oracle Chairman Larry Ellison praising “our friends at Google” for building devices that use Java. Ellison then suggested Oracle should also build similar hardware.

But Oracle was never able to build a smartphone of its own, Van Nest said, so it decided to accuse Google of unfair copying instead.

“They now want all the credit and a whole lot of money,” Van Nest said. “That’s not fair.”

But Oracle attorney Peter Bicks said it was Google that needed a quick way to build a viable smartphone, and purposefully decided to use Java without a license.

Bicks presented internal Google documents, in which company executives contemplated being “out of business in 10 years” if they did not quickly enter the mobile market.

“They knew they were breaking the rules, they knew they were taking short cuts, and they knew it was wrong,” Bicks said.


Source : (gadgets.ndtv.com)

“I am looking at India holistically and we are here for the next thousand years,” Apple CEO Tim Cook said on Friday, adding that he instantly feels like he belongs here in India.



In an interview given to the news channel NDTV, Cook said: “India is much more strategic. We are thinking about a really long innings in the country. We are here for next thousand years. We are not making the most but the best. We will never make a product that we are not proud of.”

“Apple has a bright future for retail in India. We will sell pre-owned phones with new warranty,” he added.

When asked about China, Cook said: “India is different than China,” adding that the announcement about Apps development facility in Bengaluru and Maps Development Centre in Hyderabad were just the beginning.

Speaking on the importance of 4G, he said that “you will see a reliable signal quality after 4G which is critical for India’s progress”.

“We are planning to bring Apple Pay to India,” he added. Apple Pay is a mobile payment and digital wallet service that lets users make payments through Apple devices.

“There is nothing like having customers telling neighbours you should buy Apple products. Word of mouth is the best marketing,” Cook observed.

Earlier, Cook who arrived in New Delhi after watching an Indian Premier League (IPL) match in Kanpur on Thursday, began the Delhi leg of his four-day India visit with a call at his corporate office where he was greeted by Apple India employees.

Defying the scorching heat, Cook later on Friday afternoon visited an Apple store situated at DLF Galleria, Gurgaon.

“I went to one store in the morning and I was very happy what I had seen there,” he told NDTV.

Cook watched the IPL match between Gujarat Lions and Kolkata Knight Riders at Kanpur on Thursday. He arrived at the Green Park stadium on the invitation of IPL chairman and Congress leader Rajeev Shukla.

The atmosphere at the IPL match, Cook said, was “exciting”.

“It’s tough to watch in this heat. But it’s exciting to watch cricket,” he told IPL’s official broadcaster Sony Six channel during an interview at the ground.

Talking about his overall experience being in India, Cook said: “It’s hugely important and the talent here is incredible. It’s unbelievable being here.”

Cook is slated to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi this weekend.


Source : (gadgets.ndtv.com)

Virtual reality specialist Oculus is trying to dazzle consumers by adding more entertainment and educational options to the Samsung Gear headset in hopes of transforming the technological curiosity into a cultural phenomenon.



The new selections announced Wednesday include “Nomads,” a three-dimensional video series from Felix & Paul Studios that examines wayfaring lifestyles in remote parts of the world. There’s also an upcoming video game called “Tactera” that requires players to plot a battlefield strategy on a holographic tabletop, and another 360-degree video called “6X9” providing a grim look of what it’s like to be stuck in a prison’s solitary confinement cell.
They join a menu of more than 250 apps designed for the Gear VR since its consumer model was released nearly six months ago. That’s a meager amount compared to the millions of apps available for the iPhone and devices running on the Android operating system.

Devices that build an arsenal of compelling apps usually are easier to sell to consumers. Programmers, though, put a lower priority on designing apps for devices until they have amassed a large audience.

(Also see: VR is Confusing, Isolating, and Incredibly Fun)

That hasn’t happened yet with the Gear, though Oculus says it is winning over fans faster than it anticipated when the headset hit the market just before last year’s holiday shopping season. About 1 million people used the Gear VR last month for an average of 25 minutes per day, according to Oculus. About 80 percent of that time was spent watching video.

Samsung designed the Gear for its most recent smartphones with the help of Oculus, a little-known startup until online social networking leader Facebook bought it for $2 billion two years ago to help introduce virtual reality to the masses.

“Oculus can help people experience anything, anywhere,” boasted Max Cohen, the company’s head of mobile. “We think this (technology) can actually change people’s lives.”

The concept of virtual reality, a technology that immerses people in an artificial world, has been around for years, but has never taken off.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is convinced it is destined to become technology’s next big breakthrough, and other influential trendsetters Google and Apple are now scrambling to catch up in the still-nascent field. Google is widely expected to unveil a virtual-reality device next week at its annual developers conference in the next step beyond its rudimentary product called “Cardboard” that works with smartphones.

The Gear was a forerunner to a more advanced virtual-reality headset called the Rift that costs $600 and requires a connection to a high-powered computer. The Rift began shipping nearly two months ago, although many buyers still haven’t received the headset yet because of delays that Oculus has blamed on parts shortages.

In contrast, users of the Gear only need a set of headphones and one of these Samsung phones: the Galaxy S6, S6 Edge, S6 Edge Plus or Note 5. As part of its attempt to make it easier to find stuff to watch and play on the Gear, Oculus plans to release a new version of its app for the device next month.

The Gear VR is turning into an assembly line of apps for the Rift. More than 20 of the games originally designed for the Gear are also compatible with the Rift.

Download the Gadgets 360 app for Android and iOS to stay up to date with the latest tech news, product reviews, and exclusive deals on the popular mobiles.


Source : (gadgets.ndtv.com)

Apple on Friday made an announcement to developers where it demanded all new watchOS apps submitted to the App Store from June 1 will have to be native apps.



The Cupertino-based giant on its developer site said, “Starting June 1, 2016, all new watchOS apps submitted to the App Store must be native apps built with the watchOS 2 SDK (software development kit) or later.”

Notably, one of the biggest reasons to shift to native apps built with Apple’s watchOS 2 SDK is to eliminate performance problems such as lag. Most third-party apps on Apple Watch rely on the companion app on the iPhone to do all processing and then show the results on the wearable app. This meant several third-party apps worked rather slowly.

To recall, watchOS 2 was announced in June last year and was available to users in September. watchOS 2 was touted to make “apps faster and more fluid” by running natively on the Apple Watch. The company had revealed new watch faces alongside announcing ability for third-party apps to display information on the watch face as complications.

The watchOS 2 was claimed by Apple to be the “first major software update for Apple Watch,” and brought ways to customise new watch faces including Photo, Photo Album, and Time-Lapse.

Some of the other features that watchOS 2 introduced include new communication features such as the ability to respond via Mail with dictation, smart replies or emoji, and Digital Touch which offered more creativity with multiple sketch colours.

Apple had back in March released watchOS 2.2, which alongside iOS 9.3 brought support for pairing multiple Apple Watches with a single iPhone. The update also brought the Nearby feature in the Maps section, allowing users to locate points of interest. watchOS 2.2 also brought an enhanced glance feature.

The native app announcement to developers is interesting considering that Apple will hold its annual worldwide developers conference (popularly called WWDC) in San Francisco starting June 13. We can expect the company to make some major announcement regarding the watchOS of the Apple Watch alongside other announcements on software platforms for iPhones, Macintosh, and Internet-enabled televisions.

An analyst recently claimed that Apple may refresh the Apple Watch in June at its annual developer conference – WWDC.

Source : (gadgets.ndtv.com)

iPhone and iPad maker Apple has given a presentation to the DIPP Secretary-headed panel on why its products should be considered ‘state-of-the-art’, ‘cutting edge’ and thus exempted from mandatory local sourcing norms.



The US-based company has sought nod from the government on setting up single-brand retail stores in the country.

As per the foreign direct investment (FDI) norms, the government may relax the mandatory local sourcing norms for entities undertaking single-brand retailing of products having state-of-the-art and cutting edge technology and where local sourcing is not possible.

“The DIPP would soon take a call on the company’s application,” sources said.

The government had set up a committee to decide whether a product is state-of-the-art and can be eligible for exemption from the mandatory local sourcing applicable for FDI single brand retail trading.

The committee is headed by Secretary in the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) Ramesh Abhishek.

At present, 100 percent FDI is permitted in single brand retail sector but the companies are required to take FIPB permission if the limit exceeds 49 percent.

The company sells its products through Apple-owned retail stores in countries including China, Germany, the US, the UK and France.

Apple has no wholly-owned store in India and sells products through distributors such as Redington and Ingram Micro.

Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi too has submitted an application to open stores in the country.

Source : (gadgets.ndtv.com)

Alexa, Amazon’s answer to Apple’s Siri, Microsoft’s Cortana, and Google’s Now, will now power voice commands on a smartwatch.



Chinese company iMCO has introduced the CoWatch smartwatch on crowdfunding platform Indiegogo to raise $80,000 (roughly Rs. 5,300,000) funds to make the device. With about a month left to go, iMCO has been backed by 160 backers to raise a sum of $28,248 (roughly Rs. 18,800,00). Early backers were able to get the CoWatch for a sum of just $159 (roughly Rs. 10,500) plus shipping chargers.

At the time of writing, the CoWatch was available to pre-order for backers at $179 (roughly Rs. 12,000) for early riser, $310 (roughly Rs. 20,500) for super early riser bundle, and $350 (roughly Rs. 23,500) for early riser bundle. The company says that production of the CoWatch is already underway and it aims that first 800 watches will be shipped to early supporters within 3 weeks of the end of the campaign.

“Speak, and CoWatch will listen,” notes Indiegogo page for the CoWatch. The company adds that as the first smartwatch to integrate the voice-capabilities of Amazon’s cloud-based voice assistant, Alexa. Using Alexa, the CoWatch will provide traffic reports, will help control connected devices, enables making a phone call to contacts, order taxi, and more. Amazon made the Alexa Voice Service available to third-party manufacturers by opening out Alexa’s APIs in August last year. Alongside, the company had released the Alexa Skill Set, a set of features that lets developers add additional voice commands and support to the service.

To recall, Amazon’s Alexa voice assistant recently was integrated to give Fitbit progress updates to users. Launched in late 2014, Alexa powered Amazon’s cylinder-shaped speakers Echo and Fire TV devices.

The CoWatch has been built by both iMCO and Cronologics teams, and it doesn’t run Android Wear. Instead, the CoWatch runs Cronologics, which is a software platform including a host of apps from different categories such as messaging, fitness, and more. The company adds that third-party app developers will also soon have an opportunity to get involved to build more apps for the CoWatch. It is compatible with both iOS (iOS 9.0 and above) and Android (Android 5.0 Lollipop and above) devices.

CoWatch can track calories, count steps, and monitor heart rate through use of a nine-axis accelerometer, digital compass and gyroscope. It also packs heart rate sensor and vibro motor. Users can pick the CoWatch which will be available with a choice between Carbon Black and Mineral Silver stainless steel that iMCO touts is a “fracture-resistant zirconia composite ceramic body.” It is claimed to offer up to 32 hours of battery life in an always-on mode.

For specifications, the CoWatch is powered by a dual-core processor clocked at 1.2GHz and comes with 1GB of RAM and 8GB of storage. It features a 1.39-inch Super Amoled display offering a screen resolution of 400×400 pixels. It offers a pixel density of 286ppi. The device is also water resistant and is IP67 certified. It is backed by a 300mAh battery.

Source : (gadgets.ndtv.com)