Last week WhatsApp launched the live-location tracking feature and now the company is launching group video calls for its users. The application is already the most popular title on both iOS and Android but it's planning to become the go-to app when it comes to communication. The group calling feature hasn't made it to the final built yet but is expected to do so in a few months' time. According to WaBetaInfo, a website that tests all new WhatsApp features claimed that the application will be launching a group video and voice call feature. This new update might feature in WhatsApp's next update for beta users. The site claims that the 2.17.70 beta version will come with this new feature. Along with this feature, the update will also carry a new update that will help with an easy transition between phone numbers. If a user changes their number, WhatsApp will notify all contacts on their list about the change. WhatsApp has been aggressively introducing new features within their application and is also stepping in the social media realm by introducing features like stories. The consistent rise in a smartphone's computational power is enabling applications like WhatsApp to delve into other genres of communication. Though many popular applications offer services like conference video and voice calls much before WhatsApp, the sheer size of the user-base makes the feature an instant hit. The application has 1 billion daily active users and around 1.3 billion monthly active users. The Live Location feature was also offered by various applications like Messenger, Google Maps, Telegram etc. but with WhatsApp adopting it, the feature might finally get a broader audience. To use the Live Location feature one will have to tap on the paperclip icon next to the chat box. The location can be shared in the form of chat. It can be sent to WhatsApp groups as well as individual chats. To keep a track of how many people or groups are getting the live location updates, one can check in the Account Privacy settings. In terms of WhatsApp groups, if various participants have shared their live location, all locations will be visible on a single map.
A note written by Albert Einstein describing his theory on happy living has surfaced after 95 years and is up for auction in Jerusalem.
The note, given to a courier in Tokyo in 1922 during a lecture tour of Japan, was written shortly after the German-born physicist learned that he was to receive a Nobel Prize for his theory of relativity. The story goes that a Japanese courier delivered Einstein a message at the Imperial Hotel in Tokyo. The courier then either refused to accept a tip, in line with local practice, or Einstein had no small change to hand, so offered him two handwritten notes. Now a descendant of the messenger is selling the notes at auction to the highest bidder. "Maybe if you're lucky those notes will become much more valuable than just a regular tip," said Einstein to the messenger, according to the anonymous seller. One of the notes, on a piece of Imperial Hotel Tokyo stationery, says: “A quiet and modest life brings more joy than a pursuit of success bound with constant unrest." The other, on a blank piece of paper, reads simply: "Where there's a will, there's a way." The notes hold no scientific value, however they could reflect a relatively unknown aspect of Einstein's psyche, his emotional thinking. "What we're doing here is painting the portrait of Einstein - the man, the scientist, his effect on the world - through his writings," said Roni Grosz, the archivist in charge of the world's largest Einstein collection, at Jerusalem's Hebrew University.
Samsung may soon not be the only supplier of OLED displays for Apple as the Cupertino-based tech company has reportedly invested $2.70 billion in LG for the production of OLED panels for its iPhones.
According to a report in The Investor on Sunday, Apple will reportedly make the investment as advance payment for the planned panel supplies from the Korean display maker. "With the latest funding, LG Display's OLED production will reach 45,000 units of the sixth-generation OLED panel monthly. Of the total, Apple orders are likely to make up at least 30,000 units," the report quoted unnamed sources as saying.
There is no official word about the deal yet from either Apple or LG. The iPhone maker still relies on Samsung for the OLED panels for the upcoming iPhone 8. According to the report, LG would supply 45,000 OLED panels per month to Apple for iPhones in 2019.
It was presumed that Samsung would be an exclusive supplier of OLED displays for Apple's iPhones but this deal has served as a blow to the Galaxy S8 maker. "With the renewed partnership with LG, its long-time LCD partner, Apple has secured a secondary supplier for the crucial OLED panel, while the Korean partner can reduce risks from the huge initial spending on beefing up its OLED production," the report said.
It is believed that Apple will switch to OLED displays for all of its iPhone releases in 2019. This is the reason Apple roped in LG to be its OLED display supplier when it already had Samsung -- that owns 95 per cent market share of mobile OLED panels -- in its league.
It is not just Apple that is investing in LG OLED display but Google has also realised LG's potential and invested.
Latest launches and upcoming smartphones by Motorola have drawn eyeballs for offering a vast line-up across price ranges and much-desired features. One such smartphone, Moto X4 is making headlines after its price was leaked ahead of the official launch. The fourth generation offering under Motorola's X-series of smartphones, Moto X4 was expected to be unveiled for the world alongside company's flagship device Moto Z2 Force earlier this week, but it wasn't. Now before the launch date for the handset could be confirmed, the price for the European markets has been tipped. This price is closer to that of the previous generation phone from Moto X-series which was launched with a price tag of $399 (around EUR 340 or Rs 27,000) when it was launched in 2015. Quandt also says in his tweets that the price is for a 32GB variant of the phone, which might mean that Motorola is planning to launch other variants of Moto X4, presumably with higher internal storage. Expected features Once the flagship line-up of Motorola, the X-series is now placed between the new high-end Z-series of the company and its popular mid-end G-series. The new Moto X4 is expected to come with premium metallic build and a dual camera set-up. One of the camera modules is expected to feature a 12-megapixel unit and another 8-megapixel set up. According to earlier reports, the device is expected to feature Qualcomm's Snapdragon 630 chipset with 32GB or 64GB internal storage and 4GB RAM. Similar to the Moto G5 Plus, the device is expected to feature a 3000mAH battery. In terms of software, it's almost certain that the device will come with Android Nougat with no modification or minimal changes in the stock Android.
Reliance Jio Infocomm unveiled its much-anticipated 4G-enabled feature phone, Jio Phone. To be virtually be free for users, the handset will be open to pre-registrations from August 24, and the device will go on sale in September, initially to those who pre-registered. The official Jio portal has put up a 'Keep me posted' banner where you can submit your details to stay updated on the progress around JioPhone.
Even as the phone is effectively free, you have to pay a one-time security deposit of Rs 1,500, which will be refunded after 36-months.
The JioPhone comes with tweaked tariff plans to suit the needs of feature phone users. The company has priced the packs at Rs 153 a month, Rs 54 a week, and Rs 24 for two days. All the plans offer unlimited 4G data combined with free access to Jio apps, unlimited free calling.
Here are the key features of the Jio Phone
The device is the first long-term evolution (LTE) ready feature phone that can also play videos using Reliance Jio apps. The phone comes pre-loaded with 22 of India's regional languages and can be operated using voice commands.
The JioPhone comes with a distress call feature that gets activated by long-pressing numeric key 5. The long-press activates the distress message and send it to selected contacts.
For customers who seek to mirror their phone screen on a television, Reliance launched a "TV-cable" that allows users to mirror their phone screen on CRT and LCD TVs. The TV cable can be used with Rs 309 Dhan Dhana Dhan.
Reliance Jio has also promised to bring near field communication (NFC) ready phone later this year that will allow users to make digital transaction on a single tap from their linked Jan Dhan account, bank account and Jio Money.
Online ecommerce giant Amazon has made a late bid for FreeCharge, the digital payments platform owned by troubled ecommerce marketplace Snapdeal, a development that comes at a time when the Gurgaon-based company is also in discussions to sell its payments unit to Axis Bank and telecom operator Bharti Airtel's mobile wallet Airtel Money. According to two sources aware of the development, Amazon's bid is in the range of $70-$80 million (Rs 466 crore- Rs 532 crore), with a term sheet signed by the Seattle-headquartered ecommerce behemoth and Jasper Infotech, which owns and operates both Snapdeal and Free-Charge, last week. The latest set of developments comes a little over two weeks after Axis Bank, the country's third-largest private sector lender, emerged as one of the frontrunners to acquire FreeCharge for about $60-$65 million. Rival Paytm has also held talks to acquire Free-Charge, and has made a bid of $10 million. However, the sources cited above also said that not-withstanding Amazon's late, but higher bid for FreeCharge, Axis Bank remained the favourite to acquire the digital payments platform that also competes with the likes of MobiKwik. An Amazon spokesperson said: "We don't comment on rumours and speculations". A successful sale of FreeCharge will provide much-needed cash to the Snapdeal coffers, giving it critical runway of a few more months and allowing it to survive as a potentially standalone business. According to the sources, if successful in its endeavour to acquire FreeCharge, Amazon will most likely roll FreeCharge into its existing payments entity, Amazon Pay. The online retail giant, which has committed to invest $5 billion in its local operations, recently pumped Rs 130 crore more into Amazon Pay India, as reported by Times of India earlier this month, citing regulatory filings submitted to the Registrar of Companies.
Amazon India had been granted license by the Reserve Bank of India to operate a pre-paid payment instrument or wallet. The central bank issued the wallet licence in the name of Amazon Online Distribution Services, which also operates Amazon Pay that allows users to transact with offline partners of Amazon and online for Amazon's marketplace services on Amazon.in and Amazon Now.
FreeCharge was acquired by Jasper in 2015 in a cash-and-stock deal estimated at $400-450 million, in what was then the largest acquisition in the Indian startup space. However, the payments unit has been seeking a buyer for several months now, even as its parent negotiates the terms for its own sale. At one point, Jasper was eyeing a valuation of close to $1 billion for FreeCharge, as it tried to raise cash for unit, a process that began in late 2015. However, the reversal in the fortunes of Snapdeal had a drastic effect on FreeCharge, which saw the volume and value of transactions fall sharply. The company is estimated to have recorded Rs 300 crore in transaction revenue on about 12 million transactions in April. In its heyday, the payments company had forecast 7 million daily transactions and gross merchandise transactions of Rs 20,000 crore by the end of fiscal 2017.
India's top telecom operators are likely to seek clarification from the finance ministry on whether bundled 4G handsets offered effectively for free would attract the 12% goods and services tax applicable on mobile phones. "Ideally, the government must determine the GST implications of selling a handset at zero price and provide guidance to telcos about the pros and cons of structuring similar handset bundling deals," Rajan Mathews, director general of the Cellular Operators' Association of India. Reliance Industries unveiled a 4G feature phone last week that may further disrupt an already stressed telecom market. The Jio Phone comes with free voice service for life and can be obtained for Rs 1,500, which is refundable after three years if the handset is returned. Apart from the tax treatment, telcos may seek clarity on whether such financing schemes will enable operators to skip payment of licence fees and spectrum usage charges. Although telcos Bharti Airtel, Vodafone India and Idea Cellular have not subsidised handsets so far, they could offer 'a scheme similar to what is being offered by JIo,' HSBC Global Research said in a note to clients. These telcos would have, at best, 4-5 months to come up with matching bundling offers. Mobile operators, Mathews said, would definitely "look for clarity" from the finance ministry as any "potential imposition of GST on a technically free phone would increase the cost of similarly structured handset bundling offers in future." The COAI represents the country's biggest phone companies, including Bharti Airtel, Vodafone India, Idea Cellular and Reliance Jio Infocomm. "Someone can choose to offer anything for free, be it a handset or even a plot of land. But that doesn't mean the asset being offered is devoid of an imputed value, in that, the government can always go back to the company, determine a fair value of the asset and levy a tax," said a top mobile industry executive.
MiG corporation chief : India showed interest in the most advanced 4++ generation MiG-35 fighter jet
Russia is keen on selling its new fighter jet MiG-35 to India with the MiG corporation’s chief saying the country has evinced interest in the aircraft and talks were on to understand its requirements. Chief Executive Officer of the MiG Aircraft Corporation Ilya Tarasenko said that after having presented MiG-35 in January, the MiG corporation began to actively promote the aircraft in India and in other parts of the world. “We are proposing supply of the aircraft for tenders in India and we actively work with its Air Force in order to win the tender,” he said while talking to reporters on the sidelines of the MAKS 2017 air show here. The MiG-35 is Russia’s most advanced 4++ generation multipurpose fighter jet developed on the basis of the serial-produced MiG-29K/KUB and MiG-29M/M2 combat aircraft. Asked if India has expressed any interest in the MiG-35, Tarasenko said, “Of course they have.” MiG aircraft have been used by India for almost 50 years and MiG corporation proposes its new products to India among the first countries and intends to continue supplying India with its most modern aircraft, the MiG chief said. Asked about the current status of the proposal of the aircraft to India, he said, “We are in the negotiation stage where talks on technical and technological specifications that MiG can present to India and the requirements that India has for this aircraft were taking place.” “Since this is a very new plane, it will still take some time to negotiate on exactly what India needs and adjust the product to it,” he added. Talking about the cost of the plane, Tarasenko said it was economical due to the after-sales services being offered along with the aircraft. “We propose not just the aircraft, but also training for its use, as well as after-sales servicing where we take upon the responsibility to service it for 40 years,” he added. He stressed that in comparison to its competitors, the prices offered by MiG were 20-25 per cent cheaper, making it an attractive option for those who wish to purchase this aircraft. Highlighting the main features of the MiG-35, Tarasenko said its technical specifications were close to a fifth generation aircraft, namely its flight capabilities, its new weapon range and defence systems, including stealth. “I would like to note the demand for this aircraft for our own air force, as well as our foreign partners. The plane is light, multi-functional and has high manoeuvrability,” Tarasenko said, adding that the MiG was also offering special commercial terms to its partners. He also stressed that the plane was fully Russian-made with Rostec companies like United Engine Corporation (UEC), KRET and Technodinamika participating in the project. At MAKS 2017, the MiG-35 grabbed all the limelight as it took to the skies and enthralled the audience with breathtaking manoeuvres like the tail slide, barrel roll and the nesterov loop. Belyaev Mikhail, the Lead Test Pilot of MiG-35, told reporters that the main feature of this aircraft was the new on board equipment and the new quality of weapons — air-to- air, air-to-ground and air-to-sea. “Compared with the basic version of the MiG-29, it is a new aircraft, new airframe, fly-by-wire, glass cockpit, adapted for night vision goggles…new engines, more power, more fuel, new on board equipment and new weapons,” said Mikhail, who was earlier this year presented the star of the ‘Hero of Russia’ by President Vladimir Putin for bravery in piloting and testing of aviation equipment. Asked if it was easier to fly MiG-35, Mikhail said new tasks were required for such an aircraft so one needs to learn these. “On the basic level it is not that difficult to switch from MIG 29 to 35 as the plane remains the same. It is still a light simple plane. The combat tasks that can be achieved from this plane are much more serious and much more complex,” he said. “More combat tasks can be achieved from this plane than with the MiG-29. So it will take time to learn new tasks and to adapt,” he added. An overhauled MiG-35 multi-role fighter completed a successful demonstration flight at the MAKS 2017 air show, with Russian officials saying the first combat-ready plane will be delivered to the Air Force next year. Tarasenko also noted that around 30 countries are using various modifications of MiG-35’s predecessor, the MiG-29, and that “talks are already ongoing with potential buyers.” The fighter jet features improved flight and technical characteristics, the most advanced on board radio-electronic equipment and a wide arsenal of air-to-air and air-to-surface missiles. The flight tests of MiG-35 fighter aircraft began on January 26 and the plane’s international presentation was held in the Moscow Region on the following day.
German luxury carmaker Mercedes-Benz launched AMG GLC 43 Coupe in India priced at Rs 74.8 lakh (ex-showroom Delhi). "This new SUV Coupe is going to be a key addition to our 43 AMG line and will be instrumental in further popularising the 43 AMG range to a new customer base," Mercedes-Benz India Managing Director and CEO Roland Folger said. The model combines elegance of a coupe with dynamics of a sports car and versatility of the Mercedes-Benz GLC, he added. "We are confident that this brand will be well received by our elite Indian customers," Folger said. The petrol-powered vehicle produces 367 HP and can sprint from 0-100 km/h in mere 4.9 seconds. The new model is the 8th product launch by the company in India during the year. The vehicle comes with various features including all wheel drive, electric sunroof and LED light system. Commenting on the sales performance during the current year, Folger said: "It has turned out to be a golden year for us". In the first half of the year, the automaker has sold 7,171 units in India, its best performance till date. "We are confident that we will lead the luxury car segment this year as well," Folger said. In order to further push AMG brand in India, the company plans to add two new AMG performance centres at Chennai and Kochi, he added. The company currently has AMG performance centres at Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Pune and Hyderabad.
Apple will help take Indian railways to the next level. Trains speed to be increased to 600 km per hour
Eyeing trains speeds of 600 km per hour, the government is working with global technology firms like Apple to help take Indian railways to the next level, Union minister Suresh Prabhu said on Friday. The railway minister also said the government's premier think tank NITI Aayog had approved the ministry's Rs18,000 crore proposal to increase speeds of the Gatiman Express on the two busiest corridors, Delhi-Mumbai and Delhi-Kolkata. With this approval, the speed of the Gatiman Express would increase to 200 km per hour, the minister said at an event organised by industry chamber ASSOCHAM. "You can yourself imagine how much travelling time this will save." Sharing plans for the future, Prabhu said the government had six-eight months ago called major technology developers working on increasing train speeds to more than 600 km per hour. "We are already working with companies like Apple... technology will not only be imported in India but will be co- developed in India," Prabhu said. Safety was also an important concern and Indian railways was planning to use self-propelled coaches that can detect rail fractures through ultrasonic technology, the minister added.