Saturday, 16 December 2017

OxygenOS Open Beta 2 (Oreo) rolling out for OnePlus 5

OnePlus released the first Android Oreo based OxygenOS Open Beta 1 at the end of last month. And now it has released the second beta update for the device that has fixes for Launcher issues (widget and shortcuts), parallel app bugs and reboot issues when using Picture in Picture mode.

It also brings improvement to Camera UI, Reading Mode, vibration and Bluetooth audio. Also along with general bug fixes and stability improvements, the beta update bumps the Android security patch level to November 2017.

Check out the complete changelog of Android Oreo based OxygenOS Open Beta for OnePlus 5 below:

  • Fixed widget issues
  • Fixed shortcut issues
  • UI Improvements
Files Manager
  • Added f4v format in video category
  • Speed improvements while deleting massive files.
  • Improvements to Reading Mode
  • Improvements in vibration
  • Improvements in Bluetooth audio
  • Fixed Parallel apps bugs
  • Fixed reboot issue when using Picture in Picture
  • Updated Android security patch to November
  • General bug fixes and stability improvements.
The Android Oreo based second beta update for OnePlus 5 weighs at 124MB in size, and is rolling out over-the-air for users who have already flashed the previous beta build. Otherwise you will have to manually flash this update manually, by downloading it from Once done you will start receiving the future beta updates via OTA. As for the official Android OTA, OnePlus is aiming for a early 2018 release. 


Idea launches Nirvana plans for postpaid users; introduce data rollover

After Airtel and Vodafone India, Idea Cellular has modified its previous postpaid tariff plan, and named them as Nirvana postpaid plans. Idea's new Nirvana plans are quite similar to Aitrel's myPlan Infinity postpaid and Vodafone's RED plans, and introduces data roll over scheme.

Under the new Nirvana plans Idea is offering eight postpaid plans that start at Rs. 389 and goes up to Rs. 2,999. All of them offer unlimited voice calls and unlimited local and STD calls with free roaming to all networks, and 100 national SMSes per day for the entire billing period. However, the data benefit differs with each plan. Some other benefits are bundled as well.

The Rs. 389 plan gives you 10GB of data, the Rs. 499 pack offers 20GB of data, the Rs. 649 pack 35GB of data, the Rs. 999 pack 60GB of data, and the Rs. 1,299 pack 85GB of data. The higher-value Rs. 1,699 plan gives you 110GB of data, the Rs. 1,999 pack 135GB of data, while the Rs. 2,999 pack gives you 220GB of data per billing cycle.

Idea is also offering free International roaming minute with some Nirvana postpaid plans. The Rs. 1,299 and Rs. 1,699 plan offer 100 ISD minutes, while the Rs. 1,999 and Rs. 2,999 will give 200 ISD minutes per billing cycle. And customers can make free international voice calls to USA, Canada, China, Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand.

Taking a page from Airtel and Vodafone, Idea has introduced data rollover scheme, where users can carry unused data of this month to next month. The Rs. 389, Rs. 499, Rs. 649, Rs. 999 and Rs. 1,299 plans let you carry forward up to 200GB of data. The Rs. 1,699, Rs. 1,999 and Rs. 2,999 plans have a data rollover limit of up to 500GB.   

Other benefits of these plan are listed below:
  • All tariff plan from Rs. 389 to Rs. 2,999 comes bundled with a free subscription to Idea Movies & TV, Idea Music and Idea Games App for 12 months. Customers can also enjoy five free premium magazines from Magzter on My Idea application.
  • Rs. 499 and above Nirvana plans offer access to Idea Select Membership, under which, customers will get priority access at Idea Stores and Call Center, exclusive deals and promotions available on My Idea application.
  • Customers opting for Rs. 499 and above plan will be offered Phone Secure feature, under which customers will get anti-theft, antivirus, and damage protection services for free.

Facebook's new Snooze button can mute posts from friends, pages for 30 days

Social network giant Facebook has introduced a new 'Snooze' button for its platform. This will give users the option to temporarily unfollow a person, Page or group for 30 days.

The Snooze button is present in the top-right drop-down menu of a post whether it is from a friend, group or page. By selecting Snooze, you won't see any content from that person, page or group on your News Feed for 30 days. You can reverse snooze at any time.

With Snooze, you don’t have to unfollow or unfriend permanently, rather just stop seeing someone’s posts for a short period of time. The people, Pages, and groups you snooze will not be notified. However, Facebook will notify you when the Snooze period is about to end.

Facebook already lets you control your news feed with features like Unfollow, Hide, Report and See First. With the addition of new Snooze button you get more control, especially at times when you find a friends, pages or groups post to be inappropriate and annoying. 


Jivi Mobiles launches Revolution TnT3 touch and type Android 4G smartphone

Jivi Mobiles has launched an interesting budget Android powered smartphone in India that features a touch screen display and physical keypad below the screen. Dubbed Jivi Revolution TnT3, the phone has taken some inspiration from BlackBerry Keyone in terms of design and can be operated both from the screen as well as from the physical keyboard. 

According to Jivi Mobiles, the Revolution TnT3 is designed for users who are upgrading from a feature phone to a smartphone, so they can have the best functions of both worlds. It runs Android Nougat and comes with all the Google services preinstalled including Play Store, so you can download and run your favorite apps. However, the specs are mediocre, and are one you find on entry level devices.

The Jivi Revolution TnT3 features 4-inch WVGA display and below the screen there's a T9 keypad, which includes navigation tackpad along with call receive and reject button.

It is equipped with 1.3GHz quad-core processor, 1GB RAM, 8GB internal storage, 2300mAh battery, 5MP rear camera and 2MP front facing camera. Both front and rear camera units have dedicated LED flash.

The phone has separate slots for dual-SIMs and microSD card, and a fingerprint scanner is also part of the package. It supports 4G VoLTE, WiFi and Bluetooth. There's also support for 33 Indian languages.

Coming to the pricing, the Jivi Revolution TnT3 has been priced affordably at Rs. 3,999 and will be available in Gold/Black, Red/Black and Silver/Black. The phone will hit the market in the first quarter of 2018. 


Google Maps will now alert you when to get off the bus or train

Google Map has finally got a new transit feature that will notify you when to get off the bus. The feature was being tested few days ago, and is now live.

A notification will pop up on your lock screen reminding you to get off your bus or train as you get close to the destination. There's also a progress bar for bus/train that moves in real time for live updates. The feature will come in handy in case you fall asleep while traveling .

In addition, Maps will also offer step-by-step navigation, departure time, and ETA times for your next bus or train ride as well.  To use the new feature, open Google Maps, type your destination, select transit direction, and choose from your preferred route. Tap the “Start” button to get on your way.

The step-by-step directions in transit navigation come few days after Google added two-wheeler directions in the Maps for bikers. 

Source | Via

Google ends support for Tango to focus on ARCore

Google's Project Tango is an AR platform build specifically for smartphones. And now with the company's latest augmented reality platform ARCore is out and functional, Google has decided to shut down Tango on March 1, 2018.

Project Tango was first introduced in 2014 and was Google's first ever attempt on augmented reality. The technology enabled the smartphone to provide augmented reality experiences by understanding the world around it through 3D mapping.

However Tango enabled phones required extra expensive hardware like depth sensing camera, motion tracking camera and more to support the technology. The first Tango based device was the Lenovo Phab 2 Pro. One more device was released from Asus called ZenFone AR that utilized the technology and it was the last. Both were expensive and hardly picked up from the shelf. So the termination of the technology does not come as a surprise.

On the other hand Google will now focus on the new ARCore platform that brings AR experiences closer to Android users. It is a new developer toolkit, designed for building augmented reality apps for a broad range of devices, but does not require any specialized hardware. ARCore powers the recently released AR Sticker on the Pixel camera.

Meanwhile Google has released ARCore Developer Preview 2 with several technical improvements that are listed below.
  • A new C API for use with the Android NDK that complements our existing Java, Unity, and Unreal SDKs;
  • Functionality that lets AR apps pause and resume AR sessions, for example to let a user return to an AR app after taking a phone call;
  • Improved accuracy and runtime efficiency across our anchor, plane finding, and point cloud APIs.
Google also said that it will soon launch ARCore v1.0, with support for over 100 million devices. Also many augmented reality experiences will be available in the Play Store soon.


Friday, 15 December 2017

Xiaomi gives the Mi A1 a Red paint job

Xiaomi has launched a new  Red color version of its Mi A1 Android One device. In recent times Samsung, Oppo and OnePlus have launched red color version of their popular device (Galaxy S8, Oppo F5 & OnePlus 5T respectively).

The Red Mi A1 has been released in Indonesia, which was the second market after India to get the Android One based device. It carries a price tag of Rp 3099000 ($228 | Rs. 14,500) and is available via Lazada.

There is no word on whether the Red variant will make it outside Indonesia. In India, the Mi A1 is offered in Gold, Rose Gold and Black color, and is priced Rs. 13,999.

Apart from the new paint job, the core specs of the Red Mi A1 is same as the regular variant.

To recollect, the Mi A1 features 5.5-inch Full HD 2.5D curved glass display with Gorilla Glass protection and comes with octa-core Snapdragon 625 processor, 4GB RAM, 64GB of expandable storage, 12MP dual-camera, 5MP selfie camera, fingerprint scanner and 3080mAh battery. 

It supports 4G VoLTE, dual-SIM slots, USB Type-C and runs stock Android Nougat of the box, and is upgradable to Android Oreo (currently in beta).

Motorola launches Moto TurboPower Pack, JBL SoundBoost 2 and GamePad Mods in India

Motorola today launched three Moto Mods in India – the JBL SoundBoost 2, TurboPower Pack and GamePad, which are compatible with the entire Moto Z line up. For those unaware, Moto Mods are optional add on accessories for Moto Z series, that can be snapped to the rear of the device via magnetic pins to offer special functions.

The JBL SoundBoost 2  features three watt speakers and and 1000mAh battery, that is rated to deliver an additional 10 hours of battery life. There's also a built-in kickstand as well. It comes in Blue, Red and Black color, and has water-repellent coating and has fabric body with a premium design.

The new MotoTurboPower Pack has a built-in 15W fasst charging, and can charge the phone up to 50 percent in just 20 minutes. It also packs an additional 3490mAh battery to provide the Moto Z line extra juice for almost a day if the battery runs out. The Mod includes USB Type-C port and supports 30W TurboPower charger.

The Moto GamePad Mod attaches to the rear of the phone, and turns it into a handheld gaming console. It has physical button on the left and right side including dual control sticks, D-Pad and four action buttons for a true gaming experience. It packs a 1035mAh battery, to give the phone up to eight hours of additional battery life during gaming sessions.The Mod also includes USB Type-C port for charging and a 3.5mm headphone jack as well.

Coming to the pricing, the Moto JBL SoundBoost 2 and Moto Game Mod has been priced at Rs. 6,999 each, and the Moto TurboPower Pack Mod at Rs. 5,999. All three will be available from Flipkart as well as on offline Moto Hub stores starting December 13.The brand has also announced a partnership with RentoMojo, the lets you rent the new Moto Mod for a week at a price of Rs. 399 starting December 22.

Apple iMac Pro coming soon to India for Rs. 4,15,000

Apple recently opened pre-order of the its most power and expensive iMac to date, iMac Pro at $4999. Now the company has announced India pricing as well.

The iMac Pro will be available in the country soon starting at Rs. 4,15,000. As of now, it looks like only the base model of the iMac Pro will be sold in India featuring 8-core Intel Xeon processor, 32GB DDR4 EEC RAM, Radeon Pro Vega 56 graphics card and 1TB SSD. The  availability details is yet to be revealed.

The iMac Pro feature 27-inch 5K Retina display with support for one billion color. Other features are listed below:
  • FaceTime HD camera
  • 10GB Ethernet for up to 10-times faster networking
  • 4 x USB Type-A (v3.0 ports)
  • 4 x Thunderbolt 3 USB-C ports
  • SDXC card slot
  • 4 x microphones
  • 3.5mm headphone jack
  • WiFi 802.11ac
  • Bluetooth 4.2
These specs are of the India iMac Pro model. However, Apple is offering more powerful variants in the U.S that come with 10-core, 14-core or 18-core Intel Xeon chip, and can deliver up to 22 Teraflops of graphics performance with 128GB Vega 64 graphics. They can also be configured with additional 64GB/128GB RAM and 2TB/4TB SSD storage. The 18-core version with top-end configuration costs $13,199 (Rs. 8,46,910).


Samsung's Bixby speaker will reportedly arrive in 2018

Samsung is all set to foray into the smart speaker market to take on Apple, Google and Amazon. The South Korean tech giant chief DJ Koh has already confirmed this, but now some new details has surfaced.

According to a report from Bloomberg Samsung is planning to introduce its first smart speaker in the first half of 2018. While Amazon and Google are working on adding new functionalities to their smart speaker, Samsung's main focus is on the audio quality and management of connected home appliances such as lights and locks.

Samsung's smart speaker will be powered by Bixby digital assistant, and will be able to sync with Samsung devices such as TVs, smartphones and more, as well as act as an hub for SmartThings ecosystem.

The report also mentions that the prototype of the Samsung smart speaker is currently in tests, and is in size between Amazon's new Echo Speaker and Apple's HomePod.  Currently Samsung is working on improving the voice based web searched.

It is expected to come in multiple colors, but the unit that is brings tested is in Matte Black color. It will also of lights on top for visual feedback.

Interestingly the smart speaker is said to be priced at a competitive price of $200 (Rs. 13,000) in the U.S and is also expected to release in other markets as well.

Acer Predator 21 X curved screen gaming laptop lands in India for Rs. 6,99,999

Acer has launched the company's gaming beast, the Predator 21 X notebook in India sporting a curved screen. It has been priced at whooping Rs. 699,999 and is now available for pre-order via Flipkart. Acer will only make 500 units available, and shipping will start December 18. It also comes bundled with a custom hard-shell carrying trolley case.

The Acer Predator 21 X sports a 21-inch curved IPS display with a resolution of 2560 x 1080 pixels. It also has Tobi infrared eye-tracking sensors in the display, which lets you control compatible games without using a controller.

The processing power is handled by 7th-gen Intel's Kaby Lake processor and has two 16GB NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 graphics card with SLI, which makes it VR-ready. It can be configured with up to 64GB DDR4 RAM and comes with up to four 512GB SSD,and has room for another 1TB HDD. To keep the machine cool during long gaming sessions, it has five fans with several heat pipes.

It includes 2T2R 802.11ac + Bluetooth WiFi module, 2 x USB 2.0 ports, 2 x USB 3.0 portsa USB Type-C port with Thunderbolt 3 support, HDMI, microSD card reader and 2 x DisplayPort for connectivity. There's an IR camera as well for Windows Hello secure login.

It has  full-sized mechanical keyboard with Cherry MX Brown switches, with programmable backlit keys, allowing you to customize the LEDs in 16.7 million color options. To offer enhanced sound experience, the laptop features  3-way (tweeter, midrange, woofer) audio design for Hi-Fi quality sound and is powered by 4 speakers (2 tweeters, 2 midrange) and 2 subwoofers to produce a full spectrum of sound.

The laptop comes pre-loaded with PredatorSense software,  that allows users to control and customize central interface, overclocking, lighting and fan control.

Instagram gets new superzoom effects, holidays-inspired face filters and stickers

Just in time for the holidays, Instagram has rolled out new superzoom effects, face filters and stickers to its platform. The new update arrives just days after the follow hashtags function.

The Superzoom feature was added to Instagram's camera during Halloween update, and allowed you to record short videos with dramatic zooming and sound effects. The updated app gets new zoom and sound effects like Bounce, Beats, and TV show. You can apply any of these effects by tapping the music icon in the Superzoom camera mode.

The update also adds three new filters to get into the festive spirit such as balloons bursting with confetti, holiday makeup and snow-frosted glass. To use these face filters, open the Instagram camera and tap the face icon in the bottom right corner.

Lastly, Instagram gets new holiday themed stickers for Christmas, Hanukkah and Kwanza, as well as seasonal stickers. In addition users can find their favorite stickers and emojis by searching them using keywords in English.

These updates are part of Instagram of version number 26 and will roll out in the coming days for Android and iOS. 


BlackBerry Priv support has ended

The Priv was BlackBerry's first Android smartphone and it sported a bold design featuring a slideout keyboard. It debut in November 2015, and now two years later the Canadian company has announced that it is ending software support for Priv. 

This means it will not get future monthly security updates from BlackBerry. However, in case of a critical security vulnerability gets exposed, BlackBerry will deliver the necessary patches for the fix. It's worth mentioning that during the support period BlackBerry used to push the security update to the Priv monthly without fail.

Having said that, BlackBerry will continue to fulfill all warranty obligations for the Priv. 

The company also revealed that it will soon introduce a trade-up program for current Priv users, as well as for users with BB10 and BBOS device. Under the program, BlackBerry will offer discounts and incentives to Priv users to upgrade their device to a new Keyone or Motion.

Lastly, the company also confirmed that it will continue to support devices running BB10 and BBOS for atleast two more year. Unfortunately, some ancillary service will be discontinued such as the BlackBerry World app store (12/31/2019), the BlackBerry Travel site (February 2018), and the Playbook video calling service (March 2018).