LG G6 Revealed in All Its Glory by Qualcomm Ahead of MWC 2017 Launch

LG G6, the new flagship smartphone from LG, is due to be launched in a few minutes from now at MWC 2017 in Barcelona. But there has been no dearth in excitement around the handset as prolific tipster Evan Blass revealed the LG G6 in all its glory in a leaked image showing the handset a day before the launch. Qualcomm didn’t want to be left out it seems, and has managed to leak the LG G6 in all its glory in a now deleted tweet.

LG G6 Revealed in All Its Glory by Qualcomm Ahead of MWC 2017 Launch

The Qualcomm tweet showed the LG G6 in images. Unlike Blass, Qualcomm tweeted out four images of the G6 showing the handset from all angles. The tweet read, “The LG G6 is a movie screen in the palm of your hands, thanks to Dolby Vision and Snapdragon. Coming Soon.” The tweet also included ‘Blog Link’ confirming that the company inadvertently spilled the beans ahead of any official announcement. The images shared by Qualcomm are in line with what we have been reporting for weeks now.

 

As for the LG G6 specifications, we know it will feature a 5.7-inch QHD (1440×2880 pixels) display with an aspect ratio of 18:9 and pixel density of 564ppi. The smartphone is widely rumoured to sport a Snapdragon 821 SoC. LG G6 camera will be a dual rear camera setup featuring 13-megapixel sensors, the company confirmed, with a 125-degree wide-angle view. The LG G6 battery rated to have a capacity larger than 3200mAh. LG G6 is widely rumoured to come in White, Black, and Platinum colour options. The big highlight is rumoured Google Assistant integration, making it the only the smartphone to come with it, apart from the Google Pixel devices launched last year.

LG MWC 2017 event is scheduled to begin at 12pm CET (4:30pm IST) on Sunday, and users worldwide will be able to watch the event live.

LG’s event will be live streamed on its YouTube channel. If you’re watching the stream, we recommend you to be in a strong Wi-Fi connection for seamless broadcast. Gadgets 360 will also be on ground zero covering the event as it happens

Huawei P10 Images Leak Ahead of MWC 2017 Launch, Tipping Features and Design

Huawei P10, P10 Plus are set to be launched by Huawei at MWC 2017 in Barcelona, on Sunday, at an event that starts at 2pm CET (6:30pm IST). A number of leaks have given us an idea of what the Huawei P10 and its sibling, the Huawei P10 Plus, will look like along with their specifications. And now, Huawei P10 has been leaked in massive press images that tell us colour assortment along with last-minute features the device is said to pack-in.

Huawei P10 Images Leak Ahead of MWC 2017 Launch, Tipping Features and Design

The Huawei P10 will feature a fingerprint scanner on the Home button, as leaked earlier in an image render shared by tipster Evan Blass. Now, new leaked images have been spotted by GSMArena on Finnish site Suomi. The images show the device will have a 3.5mm audio jack at the bottom, unlike what other major manufacturers are deciding to forgo these days. Apart from these, the Huawei P10 will have USB Type-C port next to the audio jack. Contrary to what earlier reports said, the fresh press images suggest that the Huawei P10 is tipped to have a 5.1-inch full-HD display with 2.5D contoured edge around. The rear side of the device is said to have a ‘chamfer finish’ and obviously a dual camera setup, manufactured by Leica as the former Huawei P9.

Talking about the colours, the leaked images reveal that Huawei P10 will come in two unreported colours – Greenery and Dazzling Blue – in addition to Mystic Silver, Rose Gold, Graphite Black, and Dazzling Gold, which are already known from the previous leaks. Additionally, it is also reported that Huawei may also launch a new smartwatch called Huawei Watch 2.

Moving to the specifications leaked so far, the Huawei P10 and P10 Plus are likely to sport a Kirin 960 processor, and are expected to come in 32GB, 64GB, and 128GB storage variants. The handsets are said to sport a Leica-designed dual 12-megapixel rear camera setup while an 8-megapixel front camera will be present at the front. The Huawei P10 and P10 Plus are said to come with 3100mAh battery and run the Android Nougat-based EMUI 5.1, which is also said to arrive with the new smartphones.

Twitter Tests Removal of Usernames From Tweet Replies

Twitter Tests Removal of Usernames From Tweet Replies

  • A tweet sent as a reply can make use of this new feature
  • Twitter is currently testing the feature with limited users
  • Twitter recently excluded media & other attachments from character limit

Twitter is on a spree with attempts to make its users happier, allowing them to say more within the constraint of just 140 characters. A month ago, the social media giant has relaxed its 140 character limit to include media items and external website links, polls etc. by not counting them against the 140-character limit. At the time, it also removed usernames from being counted within the character limit. Now, the company is going a step further, and has begun testing the removal of usernames from replies, cleaning them up even more.

First spotted by TechCrunch, Twitter has confirmed it is testing the removal of usernames from a reply. It’s limited to a few Twitter for iOS users, but the company added it will roll out the feature to all users at some point, without clarifying when – it points to a Twitter Help page with more information.

With the new method, if a user wants to mention numerous usernames, they can freely do so without stressing on the character limit or seeing a bunch of @usernames even in a group conversation thread, avoiding the notorious ‘Twitter Canoe’ issueAs we mentioned, Twitter is trying this feature in a very limited manner and on a limited number of just mobile devices. This isn’t yet available on web apps, website, and Tweetdeck. Notably, this feature is only meant for the tweets sent as replies to someone, and not fresh tweets mentioning a user. As we mentioned, Twitter is actually removing the entire ‘@username’ part from the tweet, not just just omitting them from the character limit. This could make some users feel awkward if they are in a constant and long-run practice of mentioning users with their usernames.

The ’empty’ boxes will start appearing with a snippet just above your tweet reply that says ‘In reply to XYZ user and others’ (if any). Some users might get confused if this is a fresh tweet or a reply that they’re making within a tweet. The ‘others’ part in the snippet will open a list of users who you’re replying, and you can edit the users you are mentioning.

Twitter is making some dire efforts to revive its position as social media platform, where it’s cliffhanging to see a possible acquisition or a divestiture. Recently, Disney, Salesforce, and Google were reported to have backed out from the race to bid for Twitter.

Android Pay Partners Visa and Mastercard for Faster Checkout

Android Pay Partners Visa and Mastercard for Faster Checkout

  • Integration will show in Android Pay app from early 2017
  • Users will be able to pay using just their fingerprint
  • Will enable faster checkouts for Android Pay users

In a bid to expand its reach, Android Pay has partnered with Visa and Mastercard to allow the easier payment option at “hundreds of thousands of new sites” where Visa Checkout or Masterpass are accepted. However, users will have to wait till early 2017 for the integration to show up inside the Android Pay app, Google said in a blog post.

This effectively means that Android Pay users will be able to perform easier and faster checkouts by just authenticating their fingerprint, and no additional details, wherever Visa Checkout or Masterpass are accepted. “No longer will users have to remember multiple usernames and passwords in order to checkout, saving them time and hassle,” the search giant said in its post.

In addition to Android Pay users, this integration will also ease up the transaction process for retailers and merchants by reducing the time taken for each transaction significantly.

“Android Pay’s open platform also makes the payment integration easy for merchants and developers. Merchants who have enabled Visa Checkout or Masterpass on their sites will instantly benefit from these enhanced payment experiences as the buttons will update automatically. And just as apps such as Fancy and Luxe have seen with Android Pay, these merchants can look forward to faster checkout times, fewer abandoned carts, higher conversions and increased sales,” Google said.

Facebook Messenger Adds PayPal as a Payment Option

The payment options on one of the world’s most used instant messaging apps, Facebook Messenger, has now widened. While previously Facebook Messenger only supported payments for products and services via debit card transactions, the messaging service has now added as a payment partner – starting with a small number of users in the US. Users will be able to pay through their PayPal account via a chatbot after they link their PayPal account on Facebook or Messenger.

The payment feature has started to roll out for users to pay for Messenger transactions using theirPayPal wallets, starting with the US. “To continue ushering in this new commerce paradigm, today we are announcing an extension of our relationship with Facebook and Messenger, to help make mobile commerce smarter, simpler and more secure for consumers as well as merchants.” said Bill Ready, EVP, Chief Operating Officer, PayPal in a

PayPal notifies users on Messenger itself whenever a transaction takes place via the Messenger app. The notifications will also include the receipts and other payment details. Facebook last December partnered with PayPal’s subsidiary Braintree and Uber to allow users to hail rides using its messaging app and pay directly via Messenger.

PayPal has already tied up with multiple payment services like Visa, MasterCard, Telcel and Claro, Vodafone and Alibaba. This is also not the first time PayPal has partnered with a messaging service – BlackBerry Messenger got the service across platforms last year (http://gadgets.ndtv.com/apps/news/bbm-app-update-for-android-ios-bb10-brings-paypal-integration-and-more-748838). Facebook’s Messenger app will pave more ways for other merchants to exploit its payments. Facebook created chatbots, and now the Messenger app now boasts of more than 30,000 chatbots. The social media giant says that it’s also working with Stripe, Visa, MasterCard, and American Express among others to enable users to pay on the app.

Galaxy Note 7 Pre-Order Customers Finally Hear From Samsung; Offered Galaxy S7 Phones and Freebies

Galaxy Note 7 Pre-Order Customers Finally Hear From Samsung; Offered Galaxy S7 Phones and Freebies

  • The device that had been set to go on sale in India in early September
  • Samsung is offering Galaxy S7 or Galaxy S7 Edge in lieu of Galaxy Note 7
  • Samsung discontinued the Galaxy Note 7 on Tuesday

Samsung on Friday offered alternative phones to its India customers who had pre-ordered its flagship Galaxy Note 7 devices, in a bid to appease loyal clients in one of its largest smartphone markets.

The world’s largest phone maker has been hit by an avalanche of negative publicity, after being forced to recallmillions of the fire-prone Galaxy Note 7 devices and later scrap the high-end phone altogether.

(Also see: Samsung Galaxy Note 7 Recall: The Name That Wasn’t Meant to Be)

India is one of the world’s largest and fastest growing smartphone markets and a critical one for Samsung as it is the No. 1 player in the nation with a roughly 25 percent market share.

The device that had been set to go on sale in India in early September ended up not getting to any Indian customers after it failed to resolve overheating problems which caused some of the phones to ignite.

The company initially apologised to customers for the delay in the Galaxy Note 7, and in a release late on Friday it said for those who had pre-booked devices, in lieu of the Galaxy Note 7 it would offer customers either its Galaxy S7, or Galaxy S7 Edge devices.

 

It also offered affected clients a free set of its virtual reality headsets, a free pair of wireless headphones, a voucher worth about $50, along with a free one-time screen replacement in case of any damage to the new smartphone within a year.

In a separate statement Samsung also questioned analyst estimates on the extent of the impact on revenue in India from the Galaxy Note 7 debacle.

“We can confirm that contrary to these reports, we are headed for record sales of mobile phones this year,” the company said in the statement.

Earlier on Friday, Samsung said however that it expected to take a hit to its operating profit of about $3 billion over the next two quarters due to the discontinuation of the Galaxy Note 7.

 

 

© Thomson Reuters 2016

Samsung Galaxy Note7

Samsung Galaxy Note7

Display

5.70-inch

Processor

1.6GHz

Front Camera

5-megapixel

Resolution

1440×2560 pixels

RAM

4GB

OS

Android 6.0.1

Storage

64GB

Rear Camera

12-megapixel

Battery capacity

3500mAh

 

Google Maps for iOS Update Brings Redesigned Widgets and Photo Reviews

Google Maps for iOS Update Brings Redesigned Widgets and Photo ReviewsGoogle Maps for iOS recently introduced many tweaks in design, including the new ‘Area of Interest’ feature, and the ability to add multiple destinations. Now, an update brings in new features like redesigned widgets for ‘Nearby Transit’ and ‘Travel Times’. There’s also the introduction of descriptions; which gives users’ information about the place, including the atmosphere and amenities. The update also brings the ability to upload photos while reviewing places.

Google Maps v4.23.0 for iOS brings the ability to upload photos while reviewing places in Maps. This helps in additional visual reference for travellers while analysing their travel route. With this update, the Nearby Transit and Travel Times widgets have also been redesigned. For those unaware, the Nearby Transit widget shows the nearby public transport, while the Travel Times widget shows the amount of time that will be taken to go from one location to the other. This time estimation takes into account real-time traffic as well.

Users of Google Maps for iOS can now even add a detailed description of various places. Google looks to expand the information archive, and it now supports info like the atmosphere in a particular place, and the amenities available there as well. Lastly, the update also brings some iOS 10 optimisations.
The update is being rolled out over-the-air, and if you haven’t received it yet, try looking for it manually in the App Store. The update is 67.7MB in size. As mentioned, the last update brought along the ability to add multiple destinations while travelling. Users can now add pit-stops mid-route, and maps will divide it as point A, B and so on. This feature is useful when you have to manoeuvre around areas making multiple stops. After feeding in pit stops, Google Maps will route a way to all the destinations in your desired order, and begin navigation.

Sony to Return Image Sensors to Full Capacity on Smartphone Pickup

Sony to Return Image Sensors to Full Capacity on Smartphone PickupSony Corp’s image sensor production will return to full capacity in the October-March half-year due to a pickup in smartphone demand, having spent part of the past year running just under full strength, the head of its chip-making subsidiary said.

“The business environment for our customers is improving,” President Yasuhiro Ueda of Sony Semiconductor Manufacturing Corp said at a news conference on Friday, at Sony’s sensor factory in the Kumamoto region of southern Japan.

Sony commands about 40 percent of the market for complementary metal-oxide semiconductor (CMOS) image sensors, a type of chip that converts light into electronic signals.

The sensors were central to Sony’s recovery from years of losses stemming mainly from price competition in consumer electronics. A slowdown in the global smartphone market prompted Sony to cut sensor production in the October-March half of the last business year, but demand has since picked up.

Ueda said combined monthly production would rise in the second half of this business year from 70,000 wafers at present to 73,000 wafers – full capacity at Sony’s five image sensor plants. The figure excludes outsourced production.

He said brisk demand for Sony’s sensors also reflects the firm’s effort to diversify its client base, noting clients had recently experienced some ups and downs.
Sony’s clients include Apple and Samsung.

Samsung’s first-half mobile profit rose nearly 50 percent on strong sales of its Galaxy S7 phones, but its momentum has stalled due to the recall of its follow-up Galaxy Note 7. Apple meanwhile booked its first-ever iPhone quarterly sales declines, but subsequently enjoyed a stronger-than-expected launch of its iPhone 7.

“Our client portfolio is getting less reliant on specific customers, as we are adding Chinese smartphone makers that are recently thriving,” Ueda said.

He also said sensor shipments from the Kumamoto factory, which was damaged by a series of earthquakes earlier this year, have recovered to pre-disaster levels.

Spectrum Auction 2016: Day 4 Sees Bids Total Rs. 63,000 Crores

Spectrum Auction 2016: Day 4 Sees Bids Total Rs. 63,000 CroresSpectrum auction has received bids worth Rs. 63,000 crores so far on the fourth day on Wednesday for around 40 percent of mobile frequencies put up for sale but telecom operators continued to ignore highly priced 4G radiowaves in 700MHz and 900MHz bands.

“Bids worth about Rs. 63,000 crores have been received till the end of 19th round for 950MHz spectrum out of total 2354.55MHz put for auction,” an official source told PTI.

Seven telecom companies – Bharti Airtel, Vodafone, Idea Cellular, Reliance Jio, Aircel, Reliance Communications and Tata Teleservices – are in the fray for acquiring 3G and 4G spectrum, crucial for maintaining competitive edge in the market and offering next generation services in the world’s second-largest telecom market.

The bidding activity is taking place only in few circles. The much-hyped spectrum auction crawled on the third day yesterday and received total commitments of Rs. 60,969 crores for about 38 percent of total spectrum put for auction.
Sources said there is no demand yet for frequencies in 700MHz and 900MHz bands while bidding interest continues to be largely around 1800MHz and 2300MHz that can be used by operators to provide 4G services.

The debt ridden telecom industry has been cautious in this auction and filling its coffer with low priced spectrum that will help them in improving mobile service quality.

As per rating agency ICRA, the consolidated debt level of the industry stood at around Rs. 3,80,000 crores in December 2015 against Rs. 2,90,000 crores in March 2014.
Industry has shown interest in 1800MHz (2G/4G) band, 2100MHz (3G/4G) band, 2500MHz (4G) band, 2300MHz (4G) and 800MHz (2G/4G).

As much as 2,354.55MHz of frequencies valued at Rs. 5.63 lakh crores at base price have been put up for auction across seven bands.

The Finance Ministry in the Budget pegged the revenue target at Rs. 98,995 crores from the telecom space. This included Rs. 64,000 crores from the auction.

The premium 700MHz band alone has the potential to fetch bids worth over Rs. 4 lakh crores if the entire spectrum in this band is sold at the base price. However, at a reserve or base price of Rs. 11,485 crores per MHz, it is considered to be priced very expensive in spite of its inherent advantages in terms of propagation ability and potential savings.

The government has fixed a pan-India reserve price of Rs. 2,873 crores perMHz for spectrum in 1800MHz band; Rs. 3,341 crores for 900MHz; Rs. 5,819 crores for 800MHz; Rs. 3,746 crores for 2100MHz; Rs. 11,485 crores for 700MHz and Rs. 817 crores each for 2300MHz and 2500MHz bands.

The higher the frequency, the lower is its pricing as coverage and efficiency tapers with increase in spectrum band value.

Actions on Google Allows Third-Party Developers to Integrate With Assistant

Actions on Google Allows Third-Party Developers to Integrate With AssistantThe Pixel smartphones may have been the most anticipated products from Google during its Made by Google event on Tuesday, but the event saw more than that. Among the many products unveiled at the event, Google also expanded its ecosystem by introducing Google Assistant and Actions on Google.

Assistant is for Google what Siri is for Apple, Cortana is to Microsoft, and Alexa is to Amazon. Each is limited to the respective companies own devices. Google Now on the other hand remains the voice-based virtual assistant for Android devices. The voice-based virtual assistant introduced during the event was subtly part of all of Google’s other products, including the Pixel smartphones.

 
Google on Tuesday also announced that its Assistant will be opened to third-party developers, much like Amazon’s Alexa Skills Kit platform. The company calls this Actions on Google. The programme will open Assistant’s SDK to allow developers to build the Google Assistant into a range of devices starting December.

One of Assistant’s main attractions is that users can speak to it in a conversational style and the virtual assistant will have no problem understanding. Conversations are actions that third-party developers will be able to create using API.AI, apart from straightforward requests that have been termed Direct Actions.

 

Google already has a bunch of partners covering news, video and music and is inviting more developers on board. Interested developers will be able to integrate their software and hardware into Google Assistant by signing up for the service and updates through Google.