Huawei Commits to 24 Months of Security, Software Updates for Its Devices

Huawei Commits to 24 Months of Security, Software Updates for Its Devices

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Updates to arrive in every 3 months for first year of device purchase
  • After 24 months, only security updates will be rolled out
  • Huawei recently launched the G9 Plus in China

In order to strengthen its customer service, Huawei has announced that it will roll out regular and timely software updates to all Huawei devices for 24 months – this includes its Honor brand.

After the device purchase, Huawei Device USA’s e-commerce customer acquisition manager Taylor Wimberly said that the updates would come in frequently for the first year, at least once every three months. The updates will then come with longer gaps in the second year, after which Huawei will stop supporting the device. He particularly said that all the security bugs and fixes rolled out by Google will be sent in a timely manner, in order to not compromise on security.

“From this year we are making a commitment to provide customers with access to new features (at least once every three months during the first 12 months) for up to 24 months following each product launch. We will keep providing access to security and software updates to fix bugs and enhance user experience in a timely manner. Beyond this period we will continue to provide updates in response to any threats to user safety and security. Our goal is to ensure customers have the best and safest possible experience on their Honor device,” Wimberly explained.

After the 24 months are over, Huawei will not give those devices access to any new features added to the Emotion UI, but will continue to send ‘updates in response to any threats to user safety and security’.

Huawei recently announced the G9 Plus in China for CNY 2,399 (roughly Rs. 24,200) for the 3GB RAM/ 32GB storage variant. The dual-SIM Huawei G9 Plus runs Android 6.0 Marshmallow, sports a 5.5-inch full-HD (1080×1920 pixels) IPS LCD display, is powered by a 2GHz octa-core Snapdragon 625 SoC coupled with 3GB of RAM. It sports a 16-megapixel rear camera, an 8-megapixel front facing camera, and a 3340mAh battery.

 

 

[Source  NDTV]

Samsung Said to Be Planning Refurbished Smartphone Programme

Samsung Said to Be Planning Refurbished Smartphone Programme

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Samsung will refurbish high-end phones returned to the company by users who signed up for one-year upgrade programmes
  • Selling used phones could help Samsung fend off lower-cost Chinese rivals
  • The programme could help Samsung defend market share in emerging countries by bolstering mid-tier sales

Samsung Electronics plans to launch a programme to sell refurbished used versions of its premium smartphones as early as next year, a person with direct knowledge of the matter told Reuters.

The South Korean technology firm is looking for ways to sustain earnings momentum after reviving its mobile profits by restructuring its product line-up. As growth in the global smartphone market hits a plateau, Samsung wants to maximise its cost efficiency and keep operating margins above 10 percent.

The world’s top smartphone maker will refurbish high-end phones returned to the company by users who signed up for one-year upgrade programmes in markets such as South Korea and the United States.

Samsung would then re-sell these phones at a lower price, the person said, declining to be identified as the plan was not yet public.

The person declined to say how big a discount the refurbished phones would be sold at, which markets the phones would be sold in or how many refurbished devices Samsung could sell.

A Samsung spokeswoman said the company does not comment on speculation.

It was not clear to what extent the phones would be altered, but refurbished phones typically are fitted with parts such as a new casing or battery.

Rival Apple’s iPhone has a re-sale value of around 69 percent of its original price after about one year from launch, while Samsung’s flagship Galaxy sells for 51 percent of the original price in the U.S. market, according to BNP Paribas.

Refurbished phones could help vendors such as Samsung boost their presence in emerging markets such as India, where high-end devices costing $800 (roughly Rs. 53,000) or so are beyond most buyers.

Apple sells refurbished iPhones in a number of markets including the United States, but does not disclose sales figures. It is trying to sell such iPhones in India, where the average smartphone sells for less than $90.

Selling used phones could help Samsung fend off lower-cost Chinese rivals that have been eating into its market share, and free up some capital to invest elsewhere or boost marketing expenditure.

Deloitte says the used smartphone market will be worth more than $17 billion (roughly Rs. 114,000 crores) this year, with 120 million devices sold or traded in to manufacturers or carriers – around 8 percent of total smartphone sales. Some market experts expect the used market to grow fast as there are fewer technology breakthroughs.

“Some consumers may prefer to buy refurbished, used premium models in lieu of new budget brands, possibly cannibalizing sales of new devices from those budget manufacturers,” Deloitte said in a report.

Cannibalisation risk
Samsung’s refurbishment programme, details of which the person said could be finalised as early as 2017, could help the firm generate revenue from dated high-end smartphones returned by users upgrading to newer versions.

The company’s latest premium phones, the Galaxy S7 and Galaxy Note 7, have received favourable reviews, suggesting cheaper, refurbished versions could be popular. At U.S. carrier Verizon Communications, the Galaxy S7 Edge with 32-gigabyte storage retails for $792 (roughly Rs. 53,000) without subsidies, while the Note 7 costs $864 (roughly Rs 58,000).

The programme could help Samsung defend market share in emerging countries by bolstering mid-tier sales. Refurbished phones could also appeal to enterprise clients who want certain security or software products pre-installed on phones to give to their employees, the source said.

The risk of offering refurbished devices is that they could potentially cannibalise sales of Samsung’s other mid-tier devices.

Expectations for solid smartphone sales helped Samsung shares to a record 1.675 million won (roughly Rs. 1 lakh) each on Friday, taking two-day gains to 7 percent and adding $15 billion in market value. The shares traded down 0.36 percent in Seoul on Monday.

 

 

[Source  NDTV]

Gionee S6s Selfie-Focused Smartphone Launched in India: Price, Specifications, and More

Gionee S6s Selfie-Focused Smartphone Launched in India: Price, Specifications, and More

HIGHLIGHTS

  • The smartphone bears an 8-megapixel front camera
  • It also comes with a front-facing flash module
  • Gionee says the screen flash feature can be used alongside

Gionee on Monday launched its latest selfie-focused smartphone in India, the S6s. Priced at Rs. 17,999, the smartphone comes with selfie features such as a front-facing flash, and will be available online exclusively via Amazon from 2pm IST on Monday itself. The smartphone will in the coming weeks make its way to physical retail stores and other online retail partners.

Besides the higher resolution front-facing camera sensor and front-facing flash, the smartphone appears to be identical to the Gionee S6, which was first launched in November last year before making its way to India in February.

The dual-SIM (Micro+Nano) Gionee S6s runs the company’s Amigo 3.2 based on Android 6.0 Marshmallow, and sports a 5.5-inch full-HD (1080×1920 pixels) IPS display with 2.5D Curved Edge Glass.

The Gionee S6s is powered by a 1.3GHz octa-core MediaTek MT6753 SoC, coupled with 3GB of RAM. The smartphone comes with a 13-megapixel autofocus rear camera with Sony IMX258 sensor, an f/2.0 aperture, and an LED flash, apart from an 8-megapixel fixed-focus front-facing camera with its own flash module, an f/2.2 aperture, and a 5P lens. The front camera also features screen flash support.

The S6s comes with 32GB of inbuilt storage and features a hybrid dual-SIM card slot that supports storage expandability via microSD card (up to 128GB). As for connectivity options, the Gionee S6s offers 4G (with VoLTE), Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.0, 3.5mm headphone jack, and Micro-USB.

gionee_s6s_gold_back_gadgets360.jpgThe new Gionee smartphone is powered by a 3150mAh battery, and features a fingerprint sensor on the rear panel. The Gionee S6s comes bundled with a display protector film and a transparent case. To recall, the smartphone’s predecessor – the Gionee S6 – was launched in India at Rs. 19,999, and Gionee seems to have offset the cost of the upgrade in front camera hardware with the reduced costs of ageing components. The original bore a 5-megapixel front-facing camera.

 

 

[Source  NDTV]

Indian Railways Said to Partner With Google to Showcase Its Heritage

Indian Railways Said to Partner With Google to Showcase Its Heritage

Indian Railways will collaborate with Google for digitising and showcasing its heritage on digital platforms.

Google has agreed to partner with the Indian Railways to digitise its heritage assets and help create a digital repository for universal online access free of cost, said a senior Railway Ministry official.

Indian Railway has a huge list of heritage assets including bridges, steam locos, buildings, artefacts, and museums which can be showcased for global audience.

An agreement in this regard will be signed soon between National Rail Museum and Google Cultural Institute (GCI). GCI is a non-profit organisation that partners with cultural organisations to bring world’s cultural heritage online. GCI builds online tools and offers them to institutions for showcasing and sharing cultural assets.

The official said collaboration will not only make NRM accessible online and offer virtual tours but also help digitise the national transporter’s entire heritage inventory which includes more than 20 museums, hundreds of steam locos, coaches, station buildings, bridges among others.

“Once these are placed online, it will act as a great tourist attraction,” he said.

GCI generally works with government organisations and not for profit groups to provide digital collection management systems and storeytelling tools free of cost.

Various ministries and institutes of the government have already collaborated with GCI for displaying and preserving India’s cultural heritage digitally.

Currently Google is working with the railways in providing free Wi-Fi service at 100 stations. Indian Railway is preparing a comprehensive conservation management plan to preserve and promote its heritage assets.

Besides, a dedicated rail heritage website under Railway Board’s website is operational for dissemination of information.

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[Source  NDTV]

Xiaomi Redmi 4 Retail Box Leaks, Tips Specification Details

Xiaomi Redmi 4 Retail Box Leaks, Tips Specification Details

HIGHLIGHTS

  • The smartphone is pegged to be priced at roughly Rs. 7,000
  • The Redmi 4 is expected to pack a 4100mAh battery
  • It may sport a 13-megapixel rear camera

After a tell-all listing on a Chinese Certification site, a new image leak of the Redmi 4 retail box does further damage and reveals more details about the upcoming smartphone. In addition to the retail box, a teaser has also surfaced online reiterating that the Redmi 4 will be unveiled on Thursday, and will sport a full-metal clad body.

The teaser reveals the previously announced August 25 launch date, and also reads ‘National full metal age (translated)’ hinting that the Redmi 4 will be metal clad. In the meanwhile, the leaked retail box imagereveals specification details, and hints that the Redmi 4 will feature a 5.5-inch display, a 2GHz MediaTek Helio X20 deca-core processor, 3GB RAM, a 13-megapixel camera, a 5-megapixel front camera, 64GB of inbuilt storage, and a 4100mAh battery.

xiaomi_redmi_4_times.jpgThe previous Tenaa listing suggested that a 2GB RAM and 16GB storage variant will also be launched alongside. Other specifications from the certification site included Android 6.0 Marshmallow-based MIUI 8. The dimensions of 141.3×69.6×8.9mm, a 160-gram weight, and Gold and Silver colour variants. Connectivity options tipped include 4G VoLTE, WiFi 802.11ac (2.4 and 5GHz), Bluetooth 4.2, and GPS.

This latest leak also refutes previous rumours of a 2GHz Snapdragon 625 octa-core processor, and instead claims that the Redmi 4 will be powered by the 2GHz MediaTek Helio X20 deca-core chipset. It’s possible both variants are launched however. The rumoured price of the Redmi 4 is at CNY 699 (roughly Rs. 7,000).

There is also an Mi Note 2 expected to be unveiled on September 2. It is expected to be priced at CNY 2,499 (approximately Rs. 25,000) and CNY 2,799 (approximately Rs. 28,000) respectively. The speculated features include a dual camera setup, dual-edge display, and 64GB and 128GB storage offerings.

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[Source  NDTV]

Samsung Level Active In-Ear Headphones Launched for ‘People on the Move’

Samsung Level Active In-Ear Headphones Launched for 'People on the Move'

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Samsung’s Level Active are priced at $99.99
  • Level Active are splash resistant and don’t get damaged by sweat
  • Customisability options available through Samsung Level app

Samsung on Monday announced its in-ear headphones Level Active for $99.99 (roughly Rs. 6,700), aimed at people who are into sports, exercise, and other outdoor activities, or as Samsung puts it ‘people on the move’. The in-ear headphones can be connected to your smartphone via Bluetooth and be used while exercising, running etc.

In terms of comfort, the headphones come with soft silicon earhooks that wrap over the entire ear to ensure that the headphones stay in place, while its wingtips come in two sizes to fit according to the user’s ear. “Additionally, the in-ear eartips also come in three different sizes, not only providing a comfortable fit but also preventing distractions from outside noise,” Samsung saidin a statement.

Level Active earphones come with an ultra-thin P2i nano-coating, which covers the inside of headset and protects it. The company claims that the earphones are “splash resistant” and will not get damaged by sweat when users are engaged in physically strenuous activities.

The Samsung Level Active in-ear headphones can be connected to your smartphone by long-pressing the Bluetooth icon on the controller you can also play/pause, change tracks as well as volume with the help poof the controller after the initial connection has been established.

In order to gain more functionality and customisability out of the earphones, you can download latest version of Samsung Level app. You can choose the notifications that you receive when your smartphone is connected to your headphones during the workout, or even connect clock, timer or S Health app to Level Active using this app.

Samsung’s Level Active earphones will be available since Friday in the US and will be making their way to Europe, China, Russia, Turkey, South Korea, and other countries very soon, as per company’s website.

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[Source  NDTV]

Facebook Live Gets Touted 2-Person Broadcasting Feature

Facebook Live Gets Touted 2-Person Broadcasting Feature

HIGHLIGHTS

  • It is only available to US users for now
  • Only verified pages will be able to use this feature
  • Users must have an iOS device for this feature to work

At the annual VidCon conference in June, the social giant had announced that it will roll out a bunch of new capabilities to Facebook Live. This included scheduling, two-person broadcasting, and MSQRD integration. Now, Facebook is ready with one of these features and is set to roll it out commercially.

The two-person broadcast feature will go live first for all users (and brands) with a verified page, and have the Facebook Mentions iOS app. It is essential to have a verified account, be in the US, and the Facebook Mentions app on an iOS device to use the new two-person broadcast feature on Facebook Live currently.

“In June, we announced that we would soon enable people using Facebook Live to invite another person on Facebook to join their live video, broadcasting together and sharing the screen. We are now starting to roll out this new capability, starting with a small number of public figures and Pages. In the coming months, we will continue to make this more broadly available to people, public figures, and Pages using Facebook Live. We believe this will make broadcasts more fun and interactive and open up new possibilities for Live,” a spokesperson told The Next Web.

All other non-verified pages in the US will get the feature in September, and the worldwide rollout (including personal profiles) will be able to use the feature by October or November this year.

This new feature brings the ability to broadcast a video live with another user participating from a different location simultaneously. The broadcaster can invite multiple friends to join in on the live video conversation as well.

(Also see: Mark Zuckerberg Reveals Upcoming Features in First Facebook Live Q&A)

As mentioned, the social giant is also testing a new scheduling feature and MSQRD integration on Facebook Live. The Scheduling feature will allow broadcasters to send notifications to users that a Live video is about to begin. These pre-schedule notifications will lead users to a page, where the live stream will eventually play. If they end up there early, Facebook will let them sit in a virtual lobby-like room waiting for the Live video to start. It is also testing to bring the ability to go live directly on Facebook from its recently acquired MSQRD app. The video filter app brings many Snapchat-like masks for users, and this integration will essentially allow users to mask themselves with these funny filters before they go live on Facebook.

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[Source  NDTV]

Hugo Award 2016 Winners Feature The Sandman: Overture and The Fifth Season

Hugo Award 2016 Winners Feature The Sandman: Overture and The Fifth Season

HIGHLIGHTS

  • It rewards best works in science fiction, fantasy
  • The Fifth Season was adjudged the best novel
  • Folding Beijing is among the winners too

The 2016 Hugo Awards have been announced and as usual the list of winners (and nominees) features a whole bunch of books you definitely should read. For those unfamiliar with Hugo Awards, these are awarded to exemplary works in science fiction, fantasy, and speculative fiction. These are chosen by fans of these genres, and to vote all you need is a Worldcon membership that costs $40 (roughly Rs. 2,700).

The best novel award went to N. K. Jemisin’s The Fifth Season. The novel is definitely worth checking out if you like fantasy. It’s set in a world called Stillness, that has one sole continent. Humanity is under constant threat of extinction – an event referred to as the fifth season. The tale is a battle for survival and Jemisin has been praised for the lore and the way characters interact with each other.

Another one of the winners that caught the eye was Folding Beijing by Chinese author Hao Jingfang and translated to English by Ken Liu. Folding Beijing was adjudged the Best Novelette (between 7,500 and 17,500 words) and is the tale of an odd world divided into three “Spaces”. The richest people live in the First Space, and the poor – 30 million of them – live in the Third Space. One man undertakes the risky task of travelling between spaces to escape poverty. The tale is a lot more complex than that, not least because Spaces keep folding into themselves and residents go into an induced sleep during these transition periods. You can read the full story here.

Finally, Neil Gaiman’s The Sandman: Overture won the Hugo for Best Graphic Story. If you love Gaiman’s epic The Sandman graphic novels, this is a must-read. If you haven’t heard of it, then you are missing out on possibly the best graphic novel series ever written. This book is a return to the Sandman story and you should definitely check it out.

You can check out the list of all winners on the Hugo Awards website. This year five categories received no award, which is good news because it thwarts a group of people known as Sad Puppies (and their crazier cousins – Rabid Puppies) who’ve sworn to derail the Hugo Awards. These groups have been trying to game the voting system to make certain books win and it looks like this year their attempts have failed. The future of Hugo Awards could be dark, but this year some of the picks have definitely piqued our interest. Which books do you plan to read? Let us know via the comments.

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[Source  NDTV]

Microsoft Will Pay You to Use Its Edge Browser

Microsoft Will Pay You to Use Its Edge Browser

In an effort to make people switch to Microsoft Edge, the company will now pay you to use the browser, which the company claims can last longer than its Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox and Operacounterparts.

Edge can according to Microsoft deliver 36-53 percent more battery life while doing daily tasks, including watching videos on YouTube, browsing the Internet, or checking in with friends on social networks.

Microsoft Rewards, announced earlier this week, is a rebranding of Bing Rewards and so far only available in the US, offers points for using Edge and Bing, as well as shopping at the Microsoft store, CNET reported on Friday.

You have to make Bing, a web search engine owned and operated by Microsoft, as your default search engine to earn points in its revamped rewards programme.

Points can be traded in for vouchers or credits to places like Amazon, Starbucks, Skype and the ad-free version of Outlook.com.

“Almost three-quarters of Windows 10 users are not using the Edge browser,” the report noted.

Microsoft once dominated the browser game with Internet Explorer, a predecessor to Edge.

Over the last decade, however, Edge has seen a significant decline in usage as alternatives such as Google’s Chrome and Mozilla’s Firefox have gained popularity and Internet Explorer failed to keep up.

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[Source  NDTV]

MIUI 8 Global Stable ROM to Start Rolling Out to Eligible Devices From Tuesday

MIUI 8 Global Stable ROM to Start Rolling Out to Eligible Devices From Tuesday

HIGHLIGHTS

  • MIUI 8 Global Stable ROM to be available as an OTA update
  • Users are recommended to back up their data before the update
  • Only select eligible devices will get the update on Tuesday

Xiaomi has announced that the latest version of its operating system, MIUI 8, will be rolling out as a Global Stable ROM update to eligible devices starting Tuesday.

Making the announcement on the MIUI forum last week,Xiaomi also listed the eligible devices – Redmi 1S, Redmi 2,Redmi 2 Prime, Redmi Note 3 (Qualcomm), Redmi Note 3 (Special Edition), Redmi Note 2, Redmi Note 3G, Redmi Note 4G, Redmi Note Prime, Redmi 3, Redmi 3S, Redmi 3S Prime, Mi 2, Mi 2S, Mi 3, Mi 4, Mi 4i, Mi 5, Mi Note, and Mi Max (32GB variant).

The company also noted that only a select few devices will get the MIUI 8 Global Stable ROM as an OTA update on Tuesday. These are the Redmi 1S, Mi 2, Mi 2S, Mi 4i, Redmi Note 3G, and Redmi Note 4G. The rest of the eligible devices will get their updates in the “near future”. Xiaomi also announced that MIUI 8 China Stable ROM will start rolling out from Wednesday as well.

Xiaomi had originally scheduled August 16 as the release date for the MIUI 8 Global Stable ROM, but evidently the company has faced some delays with the final stable build.

As for how to upgrade, Xiaomi says users of the regular MIUI Global Stable ROM will receive an MIUI 8 update notification on their phone when the OTA update is ready for their device. Users can also refer to the Updater app to check for updates. Xiaomi warns that users should back up their data before making the upgrade. As for users running a different ROM than the MIUI Global Stable ROM, Xiaomi has posted a detailed guide on how to flash the latest stable MIUI 8 ROM.

To recall, MIUI 8 includes new features such as Mi Cloud Photo Sync; new video editing options for trimming, effects; scrolling screenshots; Quick ball button with shortcuts; Dual apps; new templates for Notes; a redesigned Gallery app; a Smart menu for editing text, and the new App lock. Users in India will also get free ringtones from Hungama. Hindi T9 prediction will be available, as well as T9 business search. Smart Caller ID features in both the dialler and messaging app will be available in India.

 

 

[Source  NDTV]