Gadgets Weekly: Redmi K20, Oppo Reno, ZenBook and more

Several tech majors such as Amazon, Apple, Xiaomi, and Oppo, among others unveiled a new line of phones, laptops, music players and accessories in India, as well as global markets.

DH lists a prominent product that made their debut this week (May 26-June 1):

Black Shark 2 
Xiaomi-backed Black Shark made their debut in India with the launch of flagship gaming phone Black Shark 2.
It sports a 6.39-inch full HD+ display with 19.5:9 aspect ratio and in-display fingerprint sensor.

On the back, it flaunts eye-catching chiselled textured shell case, resembling an armoured tanker and most importantly offers good grip for hands to hold on to the phone while playing a game.

Inside, Black Shark 2 is powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 octa-core backed by Andreno 640 graphics engine and to control the overheating, the company has incorporated Liquid Cooling 3.0 technology. It is based on Tower-wide global liquid cooling system that utilises liquid-cooled plate and liquid-cooled tube, which will be covered on all components that are susceptible to overheating under heavy processing particularly while playing graphics-rich games. It is capable of reducing the CPU’s core temperature by up to 14° C, the company claims.

It also boasts a feature-rich 48MP+12MP (with Samsung sensors) dual-camera on the back and a 20MP selfie snapper on the front.
Other stipulated features include Android Pie OS, 6GB RAM/12GB RAM, 128GB/256GB (UFS 2.1) storage and comes with 4,000mAh battery, which is more than enough to keep the phone running for a full day under mixed usage. It also supports 27W fast charging Type C port.
The new Black Shark 2 come in two options– 6GB RAM + 128GB storage and 12GB RAM + 256GB storage–for Rs 39,999 and Rs 49,999, respectively. It will available for purchase from June 4 onwards exclusively on Flipkart.

Oppo Reno series 
After Realme, Oppo introduced a new sub-brand Reno in India by unveiling two phones- Reno and Reno 10X Zoom.
Oppo Reno 10X Zoom sports 6.55-inch full-view AMOLED display with 93.1-per cent screen-to-body ratio, Corning Gorilla Glass 6 shield

It boasts unique shark-fin inspired rising front camera with 16MP sensor to capture selfies. On the back, it comes with a triple camera module with a 48MP primary sensor, 13MP telephoto lens, and an 8MP ultra-wide angle sensor.

New Reno 10X Zoom and Reno; picture credit: Oppo India

under-the-hood, it comes with 4,0065mAh battery with VOOC 3.0 fast charging, Dolby Atmos, Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 octa-core processor with tri-cooling control to dissipate overheating, Android Pie-based ColorOS 6 (with Hyper Boost 2.0-Frame Boost and Touch Boost for gaming).

Whereas the generic model Reno features same design language as the 10 X Zoom including the shark fin rising pop-up selfie camera, but differ in terms of internal hardware.
It comes with Android Pie-based ColorOS 6, a 3,765 battery with VOOC charging, 48MP+5MP dual camera on the back, 16MP front camera, and a Qualcomm Snapdragon 710 processor.

As far as the pricing is concerned, Oppo Reno 10X Zoom comes in two  configurations–6GB RAM + 128GB storage and 8GB RAM + 256GB storage–for Rs 39,990 and Rs 49,990, respectively.

On the other hand, the Oppo Reno (8GB RAM + 128GB storage) costs Rs 32,990. All the new phones will be available exclusively on Flipkart from June 7 onwards.

Xiaomi Redmi K20
After weeks of speculations, Xiaomi finally pulled the wraps off the Redmi K20 and the K20 Pro.

Redmi K20 Pro sports a 6.39-inch full HD+ AMOLED HDR display with an in-screen fingerprint sensor. It also comes with Gorilla Glass 5 shield and 3D glass cover. On the back, it boasts a glossy premium shell with gradient finish.

Inside, it comes with a powerful 7nm-class Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 processor, 6GB/8GB LPDDRX4 RAM, 64GB/128GB/256GB storage (UFS 2.1) and a 4,000mAh battery with 27W fast charging support.

Redmi K20 Pro series; picture credit: Redmi India/Twitter

As far as the photography hardware is concerned, it boasts feature-rich triple camera, 48MP (with Sony IMx586 sensor, F1.85 aperture), 13MP ultra wide angle lens and 8MP telephoto lens on the back. And, a 20MP pop-up selfie camera.

On the other hand, the generic Redmi K20 comes with pretty much same design language including internal hardware as the top-end model but differs in a couple of aspects. It houses

Qualcomm Snapdragon 730 octa-core and supports 18W fast charging.

Rest including the display, battery capacity, and the camera remains the same as the Redmi K20 Pro.

In India, the Redmi K20 and the K20 Pro are expected to come with Poco F2 and F2 Pro branding.

Apple iPod Touch (7th gen)
After four years, Apple finally refreshed its iPod Touch line with upgraded hardware. The new iPod Touch (7th gen) sports a slim body form with the premium metallic shell on the back and a 4.0-inch display with bezels, home button, and camera at the top centre in the front side.

Inside, it houses an Apple A10 Fusion chipset,  which makes the device support Augmented Reality (AR) games offering an immersive experience, which the previous iteration lacked.

With this, the iPod Touch now users can be able to subscribe to Apple Arcade and enjoy exclusive gaming titles like the top-end iPhone and iPad users.

Apple iPod Touch (7th gen); picture credit: Apple

The iPod Touch (7th gen) comes in three storage variants-32GB,128GB and 256GB– for Rs 18,900, Rs 28,900 and Rs 38,900 in India. It will be available in six colour options–space grey, white, gold, blue, pink and (PRODUCT)RED.

Amazon Echo Show 5
The new Amazon Echo Show 5 flaunts a 5.5-inch display, which compact and yet big enough for a perfect kitchen TV or in a living room or children room.

Users can simply wake the device with ‘Hey Alexa’ and start asking to play movie trailers,  news snippets from popular channels, the sports update such as Champions league goal score or of a cricket match in the ongoing World Cup.

He/she can also look for recipes and the Echo Show 5 will start a step-by-step guide to on how to make traditional or an exotic dishes.
Also, consumers can listen to the latest songs on Amazon Prime Music and watch the latest TV shows on Amazon Prime Video. People can also play music from Hungama Music, Saavn, Gaana, and TuneIn – without additional cost.

Echo Show 5; picture credit: Amazon India

And, children can enjoy fun skills like Chu Chu TV, Chhota Bheem, and more.

With a 1MP camera, user can video chat with the spouse or parents or children at home at any time. The Echo Show 5 is now available on Amazon for Rs 8,999.

Syska Beat Pro
Emerging consumer electronics major Syska launched a new line of earphone HE1100 Beat Pro series. It comes with a built-in microphone, multi-function button which can be used to play, pause, control volume, track speed and answer calls.

Syska Beat Pro; picture credit: Syska

The Syska Beat Pro earphones also come with a 1.2 metre anti-winding TPE (Thermoplastic elastomers) round cable which provides a tangle-free experience. These earphones are compatible with all devices that include mobiles, laptops, gaming & music devices. It costs Rs 899 and will be available in two colours– black and white.

Motorola Moto Z4
Motorola unveiled the new Moto Z4 in the US. It sports 6.4-inch OLED full HD+ display with dot-notch design. Like the current crop of flagship phones, it boasts an in-screen finger sensor in addition to the face unlock capability. On the back, it flaunts a sturdy shell with a metallic frame.

Under-the-hood, the Moto Z4 houses a Qualcomm Snapdragon 675 octa-core chipset backed by Android Pie OS, 4GB RAM, 128GB storage and a 3,600mAh battery, which is more than enough to run the phone for a whole day easily under mixed usage. It also supports TurboPower charging, which enables the device to quickly charge within minutes and offer several hours of talk time.

Moto Z4; picture credit; Motorola

It boasts a 48MP sensor with F1.7 aperture, meaning the camera will be able to absorb more light and capture stunning images at any type of environments. On the front too, Moto Z4 comes with an impressive 25MP selfie snapper. It will be released first in the US on June 6 for $499.99

Asus ZenBook series
Taiwan-based technology major Asus unveiled a new line of ZenBook, Duo and also anniversary special ZenBook Edition 30.

The ZenBook Edition 30 flaunts luxurious Pearl White genuine Italian leather — hand-crafted and hand-stitched. It sports a 13.3-inch full HD NanoEdge display and comes with Intel Core i7-8565U/Core i5-8265U processor,  Windows 10/ 10 Pro OS, 3D IR HD camera, ScreenPad (5.45-inch FHD+), 8GB/16GB RAM, NVIDIA GeForce® MX150, 2GB GDDR5 VRAM/Integrated Intel® UHD Graphics 620 and a 50Wh 3-cell lithium-polymer battery with up to 14 hours of power backup.

On the other hand, the ZenBook Duo series comes with a secondary display dubbed as ScreenPad Plus, a  14-inch full-width secondary touchscreen that expands and enhances the interactive capabilities. They come with 9th generation Intel Core processors, combined with up to 32GB RAM and an NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 GPU, with ultrafast storage provided by up to a 1TB PCIe 3.0 x4 SSD.


Weekly Tech Recap: New Apple Services, Mission Shakti, PUBG Mobile Beta Update 0.12.0 and More

Image result for Weekly Tech Recap: New Apple Services, Mission Shakti, PUBG Mobile Beta Update 0.12.0 and MoreApple Announces TV+, Arcade Game Streaming, New News+ app And Updates to Apple Pay With Apple Card

The much-awaited Apple TV app update is finally here. The first addition is Apple TV Channels, which adds HBO, Showtime, Epic, Starz and more services, which can be subscribed and accessed from within the TV app. Apple will continue to curate content for individual preferences, with advanced machine learning

Huawei P30 Pro Goes Official With Quad-Cameras, 5x Optical Zoom, 4,200mAh Battery And More

The new P30 Pro was announced yesterday which offers a unique quad camera setup with the company’s SuperSpectrum 40-megapixel sensor, an optical zoom lens offering 5x zoom, and a time-of-flight (ToF) camera to capture depth.

Mission Shakti: What Exactly is an A-SAT Weapon Deployed to Defend Space Frontiers

The ‘Mission Shakti’ operation by the Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO) and the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO), the PM said, involved the A-SAT destroying the live satellite, all in three minutes.

Exclusive: Meet The Aspiring Doctor Who’s Also a Pro PUBG Mobile Gamer

One of the qualifying pro-PUBG Mobile players in the tournament was Angad Singh Chahal, AKA TheExper1ment. Angad is a part of team ‘The Dreamers’ which managed to reach the top 20 finalists during the India Series 2019.

BJP Supporters Dominate Ads on Facebook, And we Know Because of The Transparent Political Ads Policy

An advertiser with the name Bharat Ke Mann Ki Baat spent Rs 11,562,550 on putting out 2,498 adverts on Facebook during the month. The same advertiser also spent Rs 10,831,546 on 1,227 adverts, which ran without a disclaimer.

Apple Pushed Another Critical Service With News+, Apple Card, TV+ and Arcade, And it is Called Privacy

It has been brewing for a while. The entire privacy debate has been raging on ever since the explosive Cambridge Analytica data scandal that damaged Facebook’s credibility. Apple has often positioned itself above the rest of the tech companies, when it comes to user data privacy. Just this month, Apple pushed out a series of iPhone advertisements with the “privacy matters” pitch.

Mumbai Youth Bags Rs 1.2 Crore Package at Google’s London Office. And No, He’s Not from IIT

The coding enthusiast is currently a student of Shree LR Tiwari Engineering College, Mira Road, Maharashtra. He was called for an interview by Google after the company saw his profile on a programming website that hosts various competitive programming challenges, as per a report.

Dhanbad Scores 95.3 Percent 4G Availability, Highest Among 50 Indian Cities

According to OpenSignal’s measurements for 4G availability, Dhanbad scored 95.3 percent, becoming one of only two cities among India’s 50 cities to pass the 95 percent mark. The other city was Ranchi which scored 95 percent in 4G availability.

Sony WI-C600N Wireless Earphones Review: Impeccable Quality And Noise Cancellation, But Pricey

The company recently launched the WI-C600N wireless earphones that come with noise cancellation and support for Google Assistant. The Sony WI-C600N wireless earphones are priced at Rs 10,990. Now while I was a little sceptical about how efficient these earphones would be at blocking noise, boy was I in for a surprise.

PUBG Mobile 0.12.0 Update Beta: New Weapons, Updated Zombie Mode, Friendly Spectate And More

The new beta update for PUBG Mobile is out. We recently spotted version 0.12.0 that is rolling out globally and brings some new features, which could eventually be added to the commercial version of the game. Expect two new weapons, a new Zombie mode, friendly spectate, crosshair colour options, quick chat updates, companion eagle and more.


OnePlus 5, OnePlus 5T gets OxygenOS 9.0.4 update; brings Google duo integration, Android security patch & more

OnePlus has started rolling out a new software update (OxygenOS 9.0.4) for OnePlus 5 and 5T users. The latest update for OnePlus 5 and OnePlus 5T brings network stability, Google Duo deep integration and more.

Oneplus 5, OnePlus 5T gets OxygenOS 9.0.4 update

Oneplus 5, OnePlus 5T gets OxygenOS 9.0.4 update

OnePlus has started rolling out a new software update for OnePlus 5 and OnePlus 5T users and the new OxygenOS 9.0.4 update brings in some major improvements, bug fixes and January Android Security Patch. OnePlus in a blog post announced on Saturday that the OxygenOS 9.0.4 update has been released for a limited number of users as of now and the broader rollout will reach to all users in the coming days which means if you haven’t received the update notification yet, then you may receive it in the next couple of days.

The biggest highlight of the latest update is the deep integration of Google Duo and network stability. The integration of Google Duo video calling feature has been made across call logs, contacts, dialling pad and messages. The update will make Duo the primary video calling app on the device and the best part is, if users wish to disable it, they may do so by heading to the settings option.

In addition to this, the update brings in network stability, improved stability for OTA upgrades, bug fixes, system improvements and Android Security Patch.

The changelog of OnePlus 5 and OnePlus 5T OxygenOS 9.0.4 update includes-

  1. Updated Android security patch to 2019.1
  2. Improved stability for OTA upgrade
  3. General bug fixes and system improvements
  4. Deep integration with Google Duo
  5. Improved network stability

OnePlus 5 and 5T users will directly get a notification once the OxygenOS 9.0.4 update is ready for their devices. If you haven’t received the notification then you may head to settings, then tap on System and click on Software updates. Separately, the company recently also revealed that both the devices will also get Android 9 Pie update really soon.


Week In Tech: Google I/O 2019, Amazon Scout, Google Maps Car Accidents Update And More

This week in Tech witnessed quite a few important updates. Google’s  I/O developer conference is going to be held between May 7-9. What’s more, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg may be planning to merge WhatsApp, Instagram and Facebook Messenger. So here’s a quick roundup of all the important stories we covered between January 21-27, 2019.

Google I/O 2019 developer conference scheduled for May 7-9

Google I/O 2019 developer conference is scheduled for May 7-9. Google is expected to make some key announcements around Android, Google Assistant, Search and Maps, in addition to engaging with developers from around the world to discuss the future of AI, machine learning and more. Folks over at Google are likely to introduce Android Q.

Zuckerberg reportedly plans to merge WhatsApp, Instagram and Facebook Messenger

According to the New York Times, Facebook chief Mark Zuckerberg is planning to merge WhatsApp, Instagram and Facebook Messenger. Given that WhatsApp supports end-to-end encryption, Facebook will have to integrate make Instagram Direct and Messenger services compatible with end-to-end encryption protocol.

Amazon Scout, a new fully-electric autonomous delivery system

E-commerce giant Amazon has started testing a new, fully-electric autonomous delivery system called Amazon Scout. Initially, will deliver packages to customers in a neighbourhood in Snohomish County, Washington. However, these vehicles will initially be accompanied by Amazon employees.

Samsung unveils world’s first 4K OLED display for laptops

We all know that Samsung supplies their OLED display panels to Apple. Now, Samsung is building the world’s first 4K OLED display for laptops. We are expecting brands such as Dell and Lenovo to opt for these 4K OLED panels for laptops for their XPS and Yoga series respectively. Samsung’s first UHD OLED laptop display panel will enter mass-production next month.

Facebook Moments to shut down next month

Facebook has decided to put an end to their “Moments” app from February 25 citing lack of users as the reason. Facebook Moments is a standalone app designed to let users privately share photos and videos. Facebook hasn’t shared the exact number of users using the app. But Facebook is shutting it down because not a lot of people are using it.

Google Maps can now show car accidents too

Google Maps is testing a new feature that shows users if there’s been an accident on the way to their destination. We were able to spot this feature in Google Maps for Android beta version 10.7.2. So Google would soon expand its reach to more users, presumably on both Android and iOS.


ZTE violates probation, court-appointed monitor to stay for two more years

ZTE troubles aren’t over. When the ban on buying US-made tech was lifted, ZTE agreed to take in a court-appointed monitor, who will keep an eye for future violations. The monitor was initially to stay until the end of 2020, but a US court just tacked on 2 more years.

The reason is that ZTE violated its probation, specifically it didn’t dismiss the employees that were involved in the illegal shipping of US tech to Iran.

There are actually two monitors at ZTE – the court-appointed one and one from the Commerce Department. The latter will be on duty for 10 years and has deeper access into ZTE’s operations. As part of the new ruling, the court-appointed monitor will get the same level of access.

ZTE violates probation, court-appointed monitor to stay for two more years

As a recap, things looked grim for ZTE earlier this year – it paid massive fines and even ceased operation altogether. As part of the settlement ZTE agreed to split its business (phones and networking equipment) and to sell its handsets under a different name in the US. More recently, the company unveiled the Axon 9 at IFA.


Samsung Galaxy On Nxt, Galaxy On Max, and More on Discount During Flipkart Samsung Carnival

Samsung Galaxy On Nxt, Galaxy On Max, and More on Discount During Flipkart Samsung Carnival


  • Flipkart has hosted Samsung Carnival in India
  • The sale will last until April 12
  • It brings discounts, exchange offers, and no-cost EMI options

After being hosted on Amazon India since last year, the Samsung Carnival has now been brought to Flipkart. It features offers and discounts on various Samsung Galaxy series smartphones and other devices. The new Flipkart sale, which started on Tuesday, April 10, and will last until Thursday, April 12, also includes exchange benefits and no-cost EMI schemes. Additionally, there is up to 10 percent of instant discount on purchases through ICICI Bank credit and debit cards. The major Galaxy handsets that are available with discounts during the latest sale include the Galaxy On Nxt, Galaxy On Max, Galaxy On5, and Galaxy J3 Pro. Also, there are some Smart TV models and refrigerator.

Under the Samsung Carnival sale, the Galaxy On Max 4GB RAM/ 32GB storage variant is available at Rs. 12,900, down from the launch price of Rs. 16,900 and the Galaxy On5 is available at Rs. 5,990, down from Rs. 8,990. The Galaxy On Nxt 3GB RAM/ 64GB storage comes as the most affordable 64GB Samsung phone with a discount of Rs. 6,000. The smartphone is available at Rs. 11,900, down from the launch price of Rs. 17,900.

Customers looking for an affordable Galaxy model can pick the Galaxy J3 Pro 2GB RAM/ 16GB storageat Rs. 6,990, down from the launch price of Rs. 8,490. Flipkart has also listed the Galaxy S7 Edge 32GB variant at Rs. 34,900. The smartphone received an official price cut in February and is formally available with a starting price of Rs. 35,900.

Apart from the attractive discounts on phones, the Samsung Carnival sale on Flipkart features up to 30 percent discount on Samsung headphones and speakers, up to 80 percent discount on Samsung mobile accessories, cases, and chargers, and up to 40 percent discount on select Samsung monitors. Customers who are exploring the market for LED TVs can opt for Samsung’s 49-inch M6300 full-HD Curved Smart TV at a price of Rs. 66,900. There is also a 32-inch HD Ready LED TV 32J4003 at Rs. 17,499. Samsung’s 253L 2 Star frost-free refrigerator is available at a special price of Rs. 23,790, while the convertible 5-in-1 twin cooling refrigerator is starting at Rs. 33,990. Besides, the Flipkart sale includes a 6.5 kilogram full-automatic Samsung washing machine at Rs. 15,999.

“We are happy to announce Samsung Carnival on Flipkart with attractive offers. During the Carnival, we will have instant discount, exciting exchange offers and attractive no cost EMI on select products that will allow consumers to purchase and enjoy their favourite Samsung products,” said Sandeep Singh Arora, Vice President, Online Business, Samsung India, in a statement while announcing the Samsung Carnival sale on Flipkart.


Huawei P20, P20 Pro Set to Launch Today: Live Stream, Price, Specifications, and More

Huawei P20, P20 Pro Set to Launch Today: Live Stream, Price, Specifications, and More

The Huawei P20 and P20 Pro will be launched today at an event in Paris. The Huawei P20 Pro is widely expected to be the world’s first smartphone with triple camera setup on the back, while the P20 will have to contend with dual rear cameras. Huawei has been heavily promoting the launch event with the hashtag #SeeMooore, where the three ‘O’s represent the triple camera setup on the back. Both smartphones will also sport the iPhone X-like notch on top. Of course, as is the case with any launch these days, the Huawei P20 and P20 Pro prices and specifications have been leaked online, giving us a pretty clear picture about what we can expect from the smartphones.

Huawei P20 , Pro 20 Pro launch live stream

Huawei P20 and P20 Pro launch will be live streamed by the company on YouTube. The event is scheduled to start at 3pm CEST (6:30pm IST), and will allow fans to catch all the action from the event in real-time.

Huawei P20, P20 Pro prices

According to recent leaks, the Huawei P20 price will be EUR 649 (roughly Rs. 52,000), and the model will come with 4GB RAM and 128GB internal storage. Similarly, the Huawei P20 Pro price is said to be EUR 899 (about Rs. 72,000), and it will reportedly have 6GB RAM and 128GB built-in storage.

Huawei P20, P20 Pro specifications, features
Several reports over the past few weeks have leaked specifications of the two upcoming smartphones. It reiterated previous leaks claiming the Huawei P20 Pro will have a triple camera setup — a 40-megapixel primary sensor, a 20-megapixel monochrome sensor, and a 8-megapixel telephoto sensor. Additionally, the camera is said to be Leica branded and feature 5x hybrid zoom, which means that it combines optical and hybrid zoom to get to that level. Also present is a laser autofocus and lenses that have apertures ranging from f/1.6 to f/2.4.

Other leaked features of the P20 Pro include a 6.1-inch display with full-HD+ (1080×2240 pixel) resolution, 1.84GHz octa-core Kirin 970 processor, Android 8.1 Oreo-based EMUI 8.1, and a 4000mAh battery.

Coming to the P20, the rumour mill says the smartphone will only have a dual camera setup with 20-megapixel and 12-megapixel sensors. However, it will be able to deliver 2x zoom, and retain slow-mo video recording (960fps at 720p) that was originally rumoured on the flagship model. Its front camera system is also claimed to utilise Kirin 970’s NPU to enable ‘Light Fusion’, a feature to enhance selfies.

As for the Huawei P20 specifications, it is said the smartphone will sport a 5.8-inch (1080×2240 pixels) display with an odd 18.7:9 aspect ratio. It will be powered by the same Kirin 970 processor as the top model, and run on a 3400mAh battery that support SuperCharge fast-charging technology. It will measure 7.65mm of thickness and weight 165 grams, will use the USB Type-C. However, report say it will not have a 3.5mm headphone jack, and will not have an IP67-certified build.

Notably, the Huawei P20 Lite has already been launched by the company, but it may make an appearance at the event too. Apart from that, the Porsche Design Huawei Mate RS edition handset may also be announced at the event. The company had indeed teased on Twitter last week a Porsche Design model at today’s launch event.


iOS 12 Update Said to Bring Animoji on FaceTime, Revamped Do Not Disturb, and More

iOS 12 Update Said to Bring Animoji on FaceTime, Revamped Do Not Disturb, and More

Apple’s annual software upgrade this fall will offer users plenty of new features: enabling a single set of apps to work across iPhones, iPads and Macs, a Digital Health tool to show parents how much time their children have been staring at their screen and improvements to Animojis, those cartoon characters controlled by the iPhone X’s facial recognition sensor.

But just as important this year will be what Apple doesn’t introduce: redesigned home screens for the iPhone, iPad and CarPlay, and a revamped Photos app that can suggest which images to view.

These features were delayed after Apple concluded it needed its own major upgrade in the way the company develops and introduces new products. Instead of keeping engineers on a relentless annual schedule and cramming features into a single update, Apple will start focusing on the next two years of updates for its iPhone and iPad operating system, according to people familiar with the change. The company will continue to update its software annually, but internally engineers will have more discretion to push back features that aren’t as polished to the following year.

Software chief Craig Federighi laid out the new strategy to his army of engineers last month, according to a person familiar with the discussion. His team will have more time to work on new features and focus on under-the-hood refinements without being tied to a list of new features annually simply so the company can tout a massive year-over-year leap, people familiar with the situation say. The renewed focus on quality is designed to make sure the company can fulfil promises made each summer at the annual developers conference and that new features work reliably and as advertised.

“This change is Apple beginning to realize that schedules are not being hit, stuff is being released with bugs – which previously would not have happened,” when Apple was a smaller company with fewer engineers, customers and devices to manage, says one person familiar with the company. Apple declined to comment.

The shift is an admission of what many customers have already come to notice: Some Apple software has become prone to bugs and underdeveloped features. In recent months, users have complained about text messages appearing out of order, the iPhone X registering incoming phone calls late and frequent app crashes.

Apple has also recently released features later than it expected, as the rush to meet the annual deadline overtaxed engineers and created last-minute delays. For example, last year’s iOS release didn’t initially include previously touted features that would let consumers send money via iMessage or synchronise full text message histories among Apple devices.

The decision to formalize the process and give engineers more time to perfect software is a major cultural shift. For years, the company hasfunnelledd its energies into quick-turnaround, splashy upgrades that are designed to wow the faithful and make rivals seem slow-footed.

The strategy has paid off handsomely because the feature-packed upgrades keep customers tied to Apple’s ecosystem and prompt them to use more of the company’s lucrative services. More than 90 percent of Apple customers use either of the last two major iOS updates, compared with 30 percent of Android users who have downloaded the two latest versions of Google’s mobile OS, according to data from both companies.

But the feature-packed upgrades place huge demands on Apple’s beleaguered engineers. At Google, teams update apps on their own schedule and aren’t tied to the annual Android release. At Apple, all new features are tied to a big release in the fall, when Apple rolls out its splashiest new software, and a more modest update in the spring. Individual apps aren’t updated on their own, and everything is driven by the release schedule.

Under the previous system, a person familiar with Apple says, “inevitably, some things will be late because you underestimated how long it would take. Some things have to be cut, some things have to be rushed. It’s the result of having thousands of people working on the same schedule.”

The first test of the new development strategy will come in the fall, when Apple debuts the next iPhone and iPad software upgrade. Internally code-named “Peace,” it will likely be called iOS 12.

The change that will cause the biggest stir: making it possible for a single third-party app to work on iPhones, iPads and Mac computers. The upgrade will be folded into the upcoming macOS 10.14 (known internally as “Liberty”) and could involve bringing to the Mac some of Apple’s own iPhone apps, including Home, which controls smart appliances.

Apple’s popular Animojis will get new characters and a more easily navigated menu. The animated emojis will also come to the iPad; the company is working on a new model that will have the required Face ID camera. Apple plans to integrate Animojis into FaceTime, letting people put virtual faces over themselves in video calls. (Technology to bring multi-person conferencing to FaceTime video calls is being explored but might not be ready for this year.)

Also in the works for this year: a redesigned version of Apple’s stock-tracking app and updated version of Do Not Disturb that will give users more options to automatically reject phone calls or silence notifications. Apple is also working to more deeply integrate Siri into the iPhone’s search view, redesign the interface used to import photos into an iPad on the go and make it possible for several people at once to play augmented reality games.

Consumers will have to wait until 2019 for significant iPad-focused software upgrades. Among them: A feature that will make it possible to run several windows in one app and click between them just like tabs in a web browser (the Mac got this feature a couple of years ago) and a related enhancement that lets two screens from the same app run side-by-side. Other updates that have been pushed back include new features for the Apple Pencil stylus and a toggle in the email app that will mute notifications from specific threads.

In the past, “Apple’s smaller scale helped it build better-quality software than the rest of the market,” says Steven Troughton-Smith, a veteran app developer. “But with its newfound size it has seemingly been unable to find the right balance.”

Finding a new balance between speed and quality will be tricky. On the one hand, spreading feature updates over a longer period could hurt Apple’s competitiveness in the fiercely contested smartphone market. On the other hand, sticking to what Troughton-Smith calls a “ruthlessly ambitious” upgrade cycle risks rushing out features before they’re ready and undermining Apple’s vaunted reputation for quality.




Honor 9 Lite India Launch Set for Today: Live Stream, Expected Price, Specifications, and More

Honor 9 Lite India Launch Set for Today: Live Stream, Expected Price, Specifications, and More

Honor 9 Lite India launch is set for Wednesday, and will be unveiled at an event in New Delhi. The affordable quad-camera smartphone has been teased for launch in the country since earlier this month, and will be a Flipkart-exclusive. The Honor 9 Lite was first launched in China in late December, and is in fact the second major launch by the Huawei brand in the country this year, following the launch of the Honor View 10 earlier this month. To recall, the View 10 was exclusive to Amazon India. The Honor 9 Lite India launch will be live streamed, and you can check it out below. The launch begins at 12:30pm IST.

Honor 9 Lite expected price in India

Honor 9 Lite price in India can be expected to be roughly around the same as the smartphone’s China price. To recall, in China, the Honor 9 Lite price began at CNY 1,199 (roughly Rs. 11,700) for the 3GB RAM/ 32GB storage variant. Next up, the 4GB RAM/ 32GB storage variant was priced at CNY 1,499 (roughly Rs. 15,600), while the 4GB RAM/ 64GB storage variant ws priced at CNY 1,799 (roughly Rs. 17,500).

Notably however, the Flipkart listing indicates that the Honor 9 Lite’s 4GB RAM/ 32GB storage variant will be not be launched in India. Thus, only the 3GB RAM/ 32GB storage variant and 4GB RAM/ 64GB storage variants are expected to be made available in the country. For now, Flipkart has not teased any launch offers.

Honor 9 Lite specifications
The dual-SIM (Nano) Honor 9 Lite runs EMUI 8.0, based on Android 8.0 Oreo, out of the box. It bears a 5.65-inch full-HD+ (1080×2160 pixels) IPS display with an 18:9 aspect ratio and pixel density of 428ppi. It is powered by a Huawei HiSilicon Kirin 659 SoC (four cores clocked at 2.36GHz, and four cores clocked at 1.7GHz) coupled with either 3GB or 4GB of RAM.

The Honor 9 Lite bears dual camera setups on both the front and back, as we mentioned. In both the front and back, the smartphone sports a 13-megapixel primary camera with a 2-megapixel secondary camera. The rear camera offers PDAF autofocus, apart from LED flash, in addition. The Honor 9 Lite offers with either 32GB or 64GB of inbuilt storage depending on the variant, both of which are expandable via microSD card (up to 256GB) in a hybrid dual-SIM configuration.

Connectivity options on the Honor 9 Lite include 4G VoLTE, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth, GPS/ A-GPS, 3.5mm audio jack, and Micro-USB with OTG support. Sensors on board include accelerometer, ambient light sensor, magnetometer (digital compass), and proximity sensor. It is powered by a 3000mAh battery that’s rated to deliver a talk time of up to 20 hours on 3G, and a standby time of up to 24 days – it charges fully in about 2 hours 20 minutes, the company said. It measures 151×71.9×7.6mm, and weighs 149 grams.


Xiaomi Redmi 5A in India, Vodafone Micromax Cashback, Bharat 5 Launch Date, and More: Your 360 Daily

Xiaomi Redmi 5A in India, Vodafone Micromax Cashback, Bharat 5 Launch Date, and More: Your 360 Daily


  • Xiaomi Redmi 5A price in India starts at Rs. 4,999 (inaugural offer)
  • Micromax Bharat 5 to launch in India on Friday
  • Google’s Datally app available to download on Android

Xiaomi Redmi 5A was launched in India on Thursday, with a nice introductory pricing offer for the first five million units sold in the country. The smartphone was launched at a price of Rs. 5,999 for the 2GB RAM/ 16GB storage variant, but at launch the price will be Rs. 4,999 for the first five million buyers. The Redmi 5A will go on sale on Flipkart,, and Mi Home offline stores in India on December 7 at 12 pm. There’s another variant of the smartphone, with 3GB RAM and 32GB storage, which is priced at Rs. 5,999.

The price of the more expensive variant of the Xiaomi Redmi 5A will remain the same for the foreseeable future as the company has not announced any discounts. While this discount offer is quite straightforward, there’s also a convoluted mess of an offer around if you want one. In this case, it’s Reliance Jio’s “additional Rs. 1,000 cashback” offer for the Xiaomi Redmi 5A. Think we’re being harsh? Just wait until you try to decipher the fine print involved in this latest “effective price” gimmick.

To avail this additional cashback, Redmi 5A users will have to recharge their accounts with the Rs. 199 Jio pack for 12 months. After this, they’ll get 10 vouchers of Rs. 100 each and these can only be redeemed one at a time on a recharge of Rs. 309 or above. See our point now? Sure, there’s some kind of a discount involved here, but it arrives quite late and requires you to use 10 discount vouchers over 10 months, by which point you probably would’ve moved to a different smartphone and probably a different carrier too.

Here’s everything else that made news in the world of technology today.

Vodafone announces ‘Rs. 2,200 cashback’ on some Micromax phones
Vodafone India has announced a tie-up with Micromax to offer cashbacks on some budget Micromax 4G smartphones. This offer is valid on the Micromax Bharat 2 Plus, Micromax Bharat 3, Micromax Bharat 4, and Micromax Canvas 1. If you thought the Jio Redmi 5A offer was complicated, prepare to be amazed as Vodafone’s Micromax offer is just as convoluted. To avail this cashback, you will have to make recharges worth Rs. 150 per month for three years. After the first 18 months, you’ll get a cashback of Rs. 900, and after three years, you’ll get a cashback of Rs. 1,300. Both these cashback offers will be credited to your Vodafone M-Pesa wallet. Yes, we weren’t kidding about the complexity of these offers.

Micromax to launch Bharat 5 in India
Micromax doesn’t want to be left behind while Xiaomi launches one budget phone after another. The Indian smartphone maker is going to launch Bharat 5 in the country just a day after the launch of the Xiaomi Redmi 5A. If you go by the invite that the company has sent, you’d suspect that the smartphone has a huge battery, perhaps even 5000mAh and could feature fast charging. Micromax brought its Bharat range of smartphones to counter the surge of other affordable phones in the market, and it appears that Bharat 5 will be the latest effort in that direction.

This new Google app lets you keep data usage in check
Google has launched an app called Datally to help Android users keep an eye on mobile data usage. The app lets you track the data consumed by individual apps and lets you shut down data access for individual apps. It also gives you information on nearby public Wi-Fi networks, with some comments on the quality of these networks. Datally is clearly targeted at developing nations where data limits are small and people’s ability to buy packs with lots of data is limited. Until very recently, this would’ve been very useful in India, but with the arrival of Reliance Jio and the subsequent competition in the Indian telecom market, large data caps have become quite common in the country. That makes Datally less useful, but it’s still a good tool to have, one that makes us wonder why these features aren’t built in on an OS level.

Panasonic Eluga C with ‘bezel-less’ display launched
Large displays with limited bezels have become the smartphone trend of 2017 and now even Panasonic has joined the party. The Panasonic Eluga C features a bezel-less display and a dual camera setup. The phone has been launched in Taiwan at a price of TWD 6,000, which is equivalent to Rs. 12,900. The Panasonic Eluga C features a 5.5-inch display that has ultra-thin bezels and comes with an HD (720×1280 pixels) resolution. The smartphone is powered by an octa-core MediaTek MT6750T SoC clocked at 1.5GHz, coupled with 4GB of RAM. Panasonic has provided 13-megapixel + 5-megapixel camera sensors at the back of the Eluga C and an 8-megapixel camera on the front.

Windows 10 now has 600 million active devices
Windows 10 is now running on 600 million active devices, according to Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, who made the announcement at Microsoft’s annual shareholders meeting, according to a report from GeekWire. The number includes the following devices: desktops, tablets, Xbox One consoles, HoloLens headsets, and Surface Hub devices, apart from Windows 10 Mobile smartphones. Microsoft has admitted that it won’t be able to reach its goal of 1 billion active Windows 10 devices within three years of the operating system’s 2015 launch.

Samsung is the world’s largest smartphone brand: Gartner
Market research firm Gartner has claimed that Samsung took the top spot in smartphone sales globallyin the third quarter of 2017. The company claimed that Samsung has a 22.3 percent market share in the smartphone market across the world, with Apple being a distant second at 11.9 percent and Huawei, with 9.5 percent, being in third place. Gartner added that global smartphone sales stand at 383 million units in the third quarter of 2017. It attributed Samsung’s return to the top to Galaxy S8, Galaxy S8+, and Galaxy Note 8 sales.

Apple fixes embarrassing macOS security flaw
Apple has fixed a critical bug in macOS High Sierra, one that could give hackers total control of vulnerable machines. The company has announced that it will review its software development process  to ensure that this kind of a bug doesn’t get shipped to people who use its products. Apple also apologised to all Mac users for this embarrassing bug, which just needed potential hackers to have physical access to vulnerable computer and let them have complete control over the computer without entering a password.

Snapchat unveils redesigned app
Snapchat has revamped its app to focus more on personal content than posts from publishers. The app now separates your feed into separate streams for publishers and your friends. Snapchat relies on algorithms to curate your feed based on your interests. The company has claimed that this change will also help publishers make more money on the platform, which has 178 million daily active users.

Android co-founder takes leave of absence from his new startup
Andy Rubin, a former Google executive who’s best known as the co-founder of Android, has taken a leave of absence from his smartphone startup Essential, according to a statement from the startup. Online news outlet The Information had earlier reported that Rubin left Google in 2014 after an internal inquiry found that he’d entered into a relationship with a subordinate. After this report was published, Rubin went on a leave of absence from Essential, but the startup refused to reveal the length of his absence. Essential said Rubin asked for leave to deal with personal matters.