Amazon Alexa Voice Assistant Now Available on iPhone

 

Amazon’s Alexa voice assistant is now available on the iPhone. As you may have guessed, it’s not going to replace Siri anytime soon. This is because Alexa is baked into the Amazon app and there’s no way to map it to the Home Button on your iPhone.

This feature is currently only available for Amazon users in the US, although those in other regions can access it by changing country to US in the app. You can do this by – Settings > Country & Language > Country > United States. This may not be a big deal for those who live outside the US, but it could mean a lot to people in the US who use other devices connected to Alexa.Amazon Alexa Voice Assistant Now Available on iPhone

To access Alexa, you have to hit the microphone icon on the top-right in the Amazon iOS app. Once you do that you can use Alexa just as you would on an Amazon Echo. It’s fully functional inside the Amazon app and you can ask Alexa to order products, use it to run your smart home, or even ask random general knowledge questions.
This underscores Amazon’s big push for Alexa, which was one of the highlights of CES 2017. The virtual assistant is now integrated in quite a few gadgets such as TVs and smartphones. Even though it can’t replace Siri on the iPhone, this does offer diehard Alexa fans a chance to use it on one more platform.

The Amazon Echo isn’t available in several regions including India, so this allows people a chance to try Alexa and see what the hype is all about. We used Alexa for the first time thanks to this update and were quite impressed with its ability to understand our questions. If you’ve never tried Alexa, you can go ahead and find out how good or bad it is.

 

Samsung Galaxy On Max With 4GB RAM, Front Flash Launched in India: Price, Specifications

 

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Samsung Galaxy On Max price in India is Rs. 16,900
  • Smartphone currently listed as ‘coming soon’
  • It supports Samsung Pay Mini

Samsung on Friday launched a new Flipkart exclusive smartphone, the Galaxy On Max. The smartphone’s highlights are the presence of 4GB RAM, a 5.7-inch full-HD display, front flash, large aperture cameras, and support for Samsung Pay Mini, all of which are standout features for a Samsung smartphone at its price. As we mentioned, the Samsung Galaxy On Max will be available via Flipkart, and will go on sale from 11:59pm on Monday, July 10. Notably, the smartphone is almost identical to the recently launched Samsung Galaxy J7 Max, which was made available via offline retail stores and the Samsung India site with a price of Rs. 17,900.

Commenting on the launch, Sandeep Singh Arora, Vice President, Online Business, Samsung India, said, “Today consumers use their smartphones to capture memories. Galaxy On Max is the perfect device for this, enabling users to click brilliant photographs under all light conditions. It also offers the option of sharing pictures on-the-go with a single click. Galaxy On Max will redefine the way people click and share pictures.”Samsung Galaxy On Max With 4GB RAM, Front Flash Launched in India: Price, Specifications

Samsung Galaxy On Max price in India

The Samsung Galaxy On Max price in India is Rs. 16,900, while the smartphone will be available in Black and Gold colour variants in the country. Launch offer includes a Rs. 2,000 discount for buyers using Standard Chartered credit and debit cards. At its price, the smartphone compares with the Oppo F3, Moto G5 Plus, Oppo F1s, Honor 8, Honor 8 Lite, and even the Samsung Galaxy J7 Prime. The primary difference between the Samsung Galaxy J7 Max and the Samsung Galaxy On Max is in the processor. The former bears a MediaTek Helio P20 SoC, while the latter bears a MediaTek Helio P25 Lite SoC.

Samsung Galaxy On Max specifications

The dual-SIM Samsung Galaxy On Max runs Android 7.0 Nougat, and sports a 5.7-inch full-HD (1080×1920 pixels) display. The smartphone is powered by an octa-core MediaTek MTK P25 SoC (with four cores clocked at 2.39GHz and four cores clocked at 1.69GHz) coupled with 4GB of RAM.

samsung galaxy on max side samsung

Coming to the cameras on the Samsung Galaxy On – the smartphone bears 13-megapixel sensors and LED flash modules both on the front and back. The front sensor is coupled with a f/1.9 aperture lens, while the rear sensor is coupled with a f/1.7 aperture lens, which the company claims provide great low-light performance.

The smartphone bears 32GB of inbuilt storage that’s expandable via microSD card (up to 256GB). For connectivity options, the smartphone offers 4G VoLTE, alongside Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, a 3.5mm audio jack, and a Micro-USB port. It weighs 178 grams and measures 156.6×78.7×8.1mm. It is powered by a 3300mAh battery.

Samsung Galaxy On Max features

The Samsung Galaxy On Max sports a fingerprint sensor on the home button. It also supports Samsung Pay Mini, which was launched in India last month alongside the Samsung Galaxy J7 Pro and Galaxy J7 Max. It supports UPI-based payments and integrates a mobile wallet, but forgoes the NFC and MST-powered offline tap-to-pay features that essentially replace debit and credit cards.

Samsung is also touting the Social Camera Mode on the Samsung Galaxy On Max – the feature is supposed to provide instant sharing options to users, letting them pin their favourite social media contacts for quick sharing. The company says the Social Camera Mode also lets users utilise live stickers.

Samsung Galaxy On Max

Samsung Galaxy On Max

Rs. 16,900
Buy
  • KEY SPECS
  • NEWS

Display

5.70-inch

Processor

1.69GHz octa-core

Front Camera

13-megapixel

Resolution

1080×1920 pixels

RAM

4GB

OS

Android 7.0

Storage

32GB

Rear Camera

13-megapixel

Battery Capacity

3300mAh

BUY AT
  • Samsung Galaxy On Max (Gold, 32GB, 4GB RAM)
    Rs. 16,900
  • Samsung Galaxy On Max (Black, 32GB, 4GB RAM)
    Rs. 16,900

 

Samsung Z4 Tizen 3.0-Powered Smartphone With 4.5-Inch Display Launched, Coming First to India

Samsung on Friday launched its newest Tizen-powered smartphone – the Samsung Z4 – and it runs on Tizen 3.0 OS. The smartphone will be launched in select markets across the world, starting with India in May. The Samsung Z4 will be made available in Black, Gold, and Silver colour variants depending on the market. For now, the company has not detailed the Samsung Z4 price or its exact launch date.

The most interesting aspect about the new phone from Samsung is its camera department. The Samsung Z4 comes with a 5-megapixel rear camera with dual-LED flash support and at front it features a 5-megapixel sensor with f/2.2 aperture and LED flash support. The company claims that both front and rear cameras on Samsung Z4 are “optimised for social media” and offer features focused on convenience and creativity. The rear flash module also appears to be shaped similar to the Smart Glow notification system unveiled with the Samsung Galaxy J2 (2016).Samsung Z4 Tizen 3.0-Powered Smartphone With 4.5-Inch Display Launched, Coming First to India

The Samsung Z4 will be made available in both single and dual-SIM variants depending on the market. It sports a 4.5-inch WVGA (480×800 pixels) display with 2.5D curved glass on top, which the company says is a first for its Z-Series Tizen smartphones. It is powered by a 1.5GHz quad-core processor coupled with 1GB of RAM.
While Samsung is yet to detail the inbuilt storage offered by the device, the connectivity options offered by Samsung Z4 include 4G VoLTE, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.0, USB 2.0, GPS, and Glonass. The smartphone houses a 2050mAh battery. The Samsung Z4 measures 132.9×69.2×10.3mm and weighs 143 grams.

“We’re dedicated to providing our customers with devices that offer smarter mobile interactions,” DJ Koh, president of mobile communications business at Samsung Electronics, was quoted as saying in the company’s release. “The Samsung Z4 brings a simplified mobile experience to first time smartphone users and represents our ongoing commitment to expanding the Tizen ecosystem,” Koh said.

As the name indicates, the Samsung Z4 is the fourth smartphone in Samsung Z series. However, it cannot be called the successor the Samsung Z3. The South Korean giant has muddled the naming scheme, at least in terms of chronology. The first Samsung Tizen smartphone to have been unveiled was the Samsung Z, however, that never hit markets. Next, was the Samsung Z1, which was launched in January 2015. Next, strangely enough, was the Samsung Z3, unveiled in October 2015. Finally, we got the Samsung Z2, which was unveiled in August 2016.

 

LG G6+ With 128GB Storage, LG G6 32GB Launched

 

HIGHLIGHTS

  • LG has launched LG G6+ with 128GB inbuilt storage
  • Other model is LG G6 32GB with same specifications as LG G6
  • There is no official information on their availability

Facing stiff competition from its rivals, LG on Monday added two new variants of its flagship smartphone – LG G6 – to its line-up to lure more customers. One bears 128GB inbuilt storage and will be known as LG G6+, while the other has 32GB inbuilt, which the company has named LG G6 32GB. The latter is already listed on LG UK website, while the LG G6+ has been announced in Korea, but its availability is awaited until further announcement from the company. Separately, the LG G6 smartphone will receive new features and other improvements with next software update, which will be ‘coming soon’.

The primary difference between the standard LG G6 (64GB) and its new variants is in storage capacity- while the new LG G6 32GB, as the name suggests, has 32GB built-in storage, the new LG G6+ packs 128GB. Some reports also saw the LG G6+ packs 6GB of RAM, but there’s no confirmation from the company yet. Notably, LG previously chose to launch three different versions of G6 in different markets, some with wireless charging support and others without. However, the LG G6+ with 128GB storage comes with all of those features into a single package.

In addition to 128GB inbuilt storage, LG G6+ will come packed with wireless charging support as well as high-fidelity quad-DAC feature in all markets. On the other hand, the LG G6 32GB comes with just half the inbuilt storage with no further specification enhancements.LG G6+ With 128GB Storage, LG G6 32GB Launched

While the specifications are nearly the same, there are new colours that have been introduced with these models. The LG G6 32GB will get non-optical Terra Gold, non-optical Marine Blue, and an already available Mystic White model, while the LG G6+ will be available in Optical Astro Black, Optical Marine Blue, and Optical Terra Gold. In fact, the 64GB LG G6 is also getting two new optical colours, Optical Marine Blue and Optical Terra Gold.

The South Korean company is releasing new features for its flagship via a software update. The new features include Face Print, Low Power Consumption, and Covered Lens warning, which will be rolled out to the existing LG G6 units via software update. The All-Ways Aware hub uses Google’s Contextual Hub Runtime Environment (CHRE) to sense and collect data at all times from both sensors and wireless connections, the company claims, to improve the user experience with third-party applications.

Without giving away details regarding the release of the LG G6 software update as well as LG G6+, the company in a statement said, “the exact dates of availability of the software update and the LG G6+ will be announced locally in each market.”

LG G6 Leak Reveals White, Black, and Platinum Colour Options Ahead of MWC 2017

With just a couple of days to go for MWC 2017, one can expect the leaks to pour in from all sides. LG’s flagship G6 is among the most anticipated devices to be unveiled on Sunday and some final set of leaked details can be expected before the official announcement. The most recent one comes from none other than prolific tipster Evan Blass (aka @evleaks), who tweeted the LG G6 in its variety of colour options. LG’s MWC event is scheduled to begin at 12pm CET (4:30pm IST) on Sunday.

LG G6 Leak Reveals White, Black, and Platinum Colour Options Ahead of MWC 2017

Blass’ tweet reveals that the upcoming LG G6 smartphone will be available in Mystic White, Astro Black, and Ice Platinum colours. From all the leaks so far, there is little left to the imagination as far as the design of the G6 is concerned. We know that LG is going for a near bezel-less design with slim bezels on the top, bottom and the sides.

On Wednesday, Blass shared a press render of the LG G6, which pretty much confirmed all the past leaks. The minimal front of the G6 sees no sign of the Home Button, while the back features a dual camera setup with a fingerprint scanner just below. The back also seems to sport a glossy finish and rumours of a iPhone 7-like Jet Black colour for the G6 might just be the Astro Black.

The Mystic White colour option will likely have a glossy finish as well. Meanwhile, the Ice Platinum variant looks to have a smooth metallic finish and will likely be the only metallic variant for the LG G6. Earlier this week, LG showed off its flagship to select users for first impressions ahead of the official unveil, with many praising the device’s design, aesthetics, and FullVision display.

A separate leak also teased the new camera UI for the LG G6 with a square capture mode as one of its major highlights. The feature reduces the viewfinder to a square, allowing the bottom half of the screen to act as a preview for the images that you take. This means you won’t have to leave the camera app every time you want to see the images that you’ve captured. The feature looks to make good use of the flagship’s 18:9 display.

The LG G6 has been teased by the company to sport a FullVision display with a new UX 6.0, Quad DAC support, dust and water resistance, and a dual camera setup with two 13-megapixel sensors, a battery larger than 3200mAh, among others. The LG G6 is is set to launch on February 26 at MWC in Barcelona.

IoT’s payoff is in the big picture, and Nokia knows it

Large IoT systems usually have more than one job and need to work with other systems to be effective. Simplifying all this is one of the main things enterprise IoT platforms are designed to do.20160224 stock mwc nokia booth sign

But it’s a moving target, so vendors need to keep adding new capabilities to their platforms. On Tuesday, Nokia announced updates to its Impact software platform to cover IoT applications including lighting, video analytics and parking management. There are also updates to accommodate new low-power networks.

Impact is one of several software platforms designed to make IoT into more than a bunch of disparate sensor networks or automation systems. One application, like smart street lighting, may make another one, like connected parking meters, more effective. Data is the key, and integration can make all data more valuable.

General Electric’s Predix is another take on this objective, as is PTC’s ThingWorx. One of Impact’s strengths is its device management system, based on technology Nokia already uses to manage more than 1.5 billion smartphones and other devices worldwide, said Frank Ploumen, chief technology officer of IoT platform and applications at Nokia. Those management tasks includes things like collecting diagnostic data and doing over-the-air software updates. But the Impact platform also includes security, networking and analytics.

Many carriers already use Impact for services they offer to enterprises. Nokia is now targeting other industries, including utilities, cars, health care and city infrastructure.

On Tuesday, it introduced pre-integrated applications for parking, street lighting, and automotive capabilities like predictive maintenance and geofencing.

The parking software will help cities roll out things like empty-space detection and time-sensitive variable pricing, Nokia says. The lighting component is designed to make street lights into platforms for many types of sensors and pay for it with savings from more efficient lighting. For cars, Impact can now help companies detect low batteries or speed-limit violations.

But those packages by themselves are less important than the ability to integrate them and do even more. For example, street lamps with cameras pointed at the curb can detect whether each parking space is occupied, and that’s typically cheaper and more reliable than gluing physical sensors to the pavement. The same camera can capture the movement of cars and pedestrians for a more complete picture of overall congestion.

The new video analytics features in Impact also play into this. Nokia used machine-learning algorithms developed by Bell Labs for a system that can glean the information an application needs without transmitting full-resolution video over a network or requiring humans to view it, Ploumen said.

Without even recognizing objects such as pedestrians or cars, the visual algorithms can detect movement in an area through pixel patterns. Over time, they can learn the typical patterns and detect movements that are out of the ordinary.

The algorithms can run on computing elements at the edge of the network, detect anomalies, and report on those, he said. The same technology could make connected security cameras more efficient.

Nokia is also setting up Impact to work with LoRa and NB-IoT, two network types that are emerging as ways to connect small, battery-powered devices. Both are alternatives to standard cellular, with low speeds but high efficiency and long range.

LoRa, an open-source protocol supported by the LoRa Alliance, is designed for use on unlicensed spectrum and lets enterprises set up their own networks. NB-IoT is a form of LTE that carriers are expected to use with licensed frequencies.

Some Google Pixel Phone Users Reporting Issues With LTE Connectivity

Image result for Some Google Pixel Phone Users Reporting Issues With LTE Connectivity
Several Pixel phone users reporting connectivity issue
Many affected users are on LTE band 4
Few users from other bands was also affected
After Bluetooth pairing issues, Google Pixel and Google Pixel XL phone users are now complaining of connectivity issues, particularly on the LTE band 4 frequency. Users across the world are reporting LTE signal issues on their Pixel phones.

While users on different bands are reporting issues, the most complaints are generated from LTE band 4 (FDD-LTE, 1700MHz) users. It is worth noting that users in some areas of North and South America rely solely on LTE band 4 for connectivity. Android Police also found out that T-Mobile users were not facing any such issues, indicating that the LTE band 4 issue was exclusive to specific networks.

After speaking to a representative, a user noted that Google was aware about the issue and was working on it. The rep claimed that an update was in the works, and it would solve the connectivity issue once installed.

Pixel phones came in the wrong limelight last month for having difficulty in pairing with car systems. The Bluetooth pairing was glitchy at best, and disconnected unexpectedly and repeatedly. Recently, Google was also blamed for wrongly attributing that the phones charge at 18W speed. It was found out that the base Pixel variant maxes out at 15W, forcing Google to clarify that the Pixel phones support USB-PD charging between 15-18W.

Google Pixel Phone Ads Appear on Home Page; Telstra Ships Handsets a Week Early

Google Pixel Phone Ads Appear on Home Page; Telstra Ships Handsets a Week Early

  • Telstra has begun shipping the Pixel phones in Australia
  • Users are posting photos and videos of their delivered units
  • Google is also pushing ads on its homepage pushing people to pre-order

Google unveiled the Pixel and Pixel XL smartphones at its Made by Google event and launched it first in the UK, Germany, Australia, the US, and India. In India, the pre-orders have begun on Flipkart and the devices are expected to be shipped starting October 25. In Australia, the smartphones were expected to be shipped next week, but carrier partner Telstra has already begun shipping the smartphones to pre-ordered customers. Furthermore, Google has also been aggressively pushing ads of the smartphone on its home page.

Telstra users are now posting pictures and videos of the phone confirming that they have already received their Google Pixel or Google Pixel XL smartphones. A much cited early shipping post was by Reddit user wooparse, who is now running tests on the smartphone and posting them online.

In the meanwhile, the tech giant is levering its extensively used search engine to push Pixel ads to reach more users. Many users see a pop-up when visiting the Google home page on mobile or destop asking them if they want to pre-order the Pixel phones. Clicking on ‘Yes’, redirects them Made by Google page, from where they can click the pre-order link, and then be taken to the Google Store page (or in the case of India, a list of retailers including Flipkart is shown) where the Pixel smartphones are listed.

This doesn’t happen always, and shows up only for users in the countries where the smartphones have launched. However, it is quite widespread and the advertisement shows up on mobile as well as desktop. Talking about ads, Google has also released two new video ads for its Pixel smartphones and you can watch them below.

Google has seldom ever marketed a product this much, and these efforts speak volumes of the company’s serious focus on hardware. In US, Google has partnered with Verizon exclusively. The company has claimed that all the security patches will be handled by Google directly, but the system updates will be taken care of by Verizon. However, the carrier maintains that it won’t stand in the way of system updates, and will roll it out at the same time as Google.

 

Xiaomi Mi Note 2 Teased by CEO to Come With a ‘Surprise’

Xiaomi CEO Claims Mi Note 2 Will "Have a Surprise"; Other Mi Smartphone Details Surface

  • Xiaomi CEO teased that Mi Note 2 will “have a surprise”
  • Xiaomi Mi 5c and Mi 6 also rumoured
  • Unnamed Xiaomi phone with E-ink display also leaked

Xiaomi, after unveiling the Mi 5s and Mi 5s Plus smartphones, may be gearing to launch another Mi-series smartphone, the Mi Note 2. Additionally, new details have emerged on multiple Xiaomi smartphones including the next flagship Mi 6, Mi 5c, and a mysterious new Xiaomi phone.

There have been several leaks on the Mi Note 2 smartphone already making it to the Internet in recent weeks. If Xiaomi CEO Lei Jun is to be believed, the Mi Note 2 will “have a surprise.” The news was firstreported by a Chinese publication. Some of the purported specifications tipped for the Mi Note 2 include Qualcomm Snapdragon 835; 6GB of RAM; 128GB of inbuilt storage, and a 21-megapixel dual rear camera.

In other news, Xiaomi’s alleged next flagship smartphone, the Mi 6, has been leaked in purported images claiming to show the phone ahead of any launch. The leaked images were first picked up by Priceraja and show the front as well as rear of the alleged Mi 6 smartphone. In the leaked images, the front seems to be inspired by the Mi 5 while the rear seems plain compared to the current flagship. The alleged Mi 6 was leaked in a Black colour variant. Another mysterious smartphone from Xiaomi has also hit the rumour mills and is claimed to sport an E-Ink notification display on the rear panel, which will be the highlight of the handset. Apart from the E-Ink display (via Weibo tipster KJuma), the handset is said to launch this year. Unfortunately, no other details are available on the mysterious Xiaomi phone as of now.

Xiaomi is also rumoured to be working on a new Mi 5 variant dubbed Mi 5c. According to preliminaryleaks, the alleged Mi 5c will feature a 5.5-inch display with 2.5D Corning Gorilla Glass and will be powered by an octa-core MediaTek processor. Running Android Marshmallow, the Mi 5c is said to support 4G with VoLTE while expected to be priced competitively when launched.

Of course, as with all rumours and leaks, we advise readers to take the above information about the Xiaomi smartphones with a pinch of salt, as the Chinese company has yet to make any announcement about its new smartphones and the credibility of the sources cannot be independently verified.

 

Indus OS Partners With Karbonn Mobiles

Indus OS Partners With Karbonn MobilesMulti-lingual Android-based domestic operating system brand Indus OS on Wednesday announced its partnership with Karbonn Mobiles to provide a better experience for users pan-India.

The partnership will be an add-on to the existing partnership with Micromax and two home-grown brands -Celkon and Swipe.

“Our partnership with Karbonn is a testimony that smartphone brands are recognising the need for a regional language smartphone ecosystem in India. It is a young homegrown brand, differentiated by its efforts to create a simplistic experience for the Indian users, much like us. They are a fast growing company and we are glad to partner up in the next leg of their growth phase,” said Rakesh Deshmukh, Co-Founder and CEO, Indus OS, in a statement.

“As per IAMAI, the regional language user base in India grew 47 percent and touched 127 million in June 2015. The growing consumption of regional language content on mobile phones is a clear indicator of the need for localizing the smartphone ecosystem for bridging the gaping digital divide. Recognizing the explosive growth potential of this segment, Jaina Group has been working towards dissolving language barriers, a major impediment for smartphone adoption, by introducing solutions offering uncomplicated regional language experience to the users. The partnership with Indus OS is an extension of our efforts towards this end and would play a pivotal role in simplifying the web experience for regional language speaking users further driving adoption”,” added Shashin Devsare, Executive Director, Karbonn Mobiles and Jaina Group.

The first “made in India” operating system Indus OS aims to be on one in every six smartphone devices in India by 2017.