Coolpad Set to Invest $ 300 Mn in India, Launch New Smartphone

China-based tech firm Coolpad plans to invest $ 300 million in India by 2017 towards its mobile phone business. The company is going to sell its current inventory of stocks by the first quarter of 2016 and then it will start vending its “Made in India” gadgets.

Coolpad is well aware of the price-sensitivity issue in the Indian mobile market. So it has planned to make customers happy by keeping a competitive pricing strategy. A part of the money that Coolpad is going to invest would be used to lower the cost of their smartphones. The company has set its goal of shipping 0.5 million devices each quarter. It is also planning to boost its workforce by 10 times within one year.

The company has already announced a 4G-ready Coolpad Note 3 to be available at Rs. 8999. This smartphone would come with a fingerprint sensor at the back panel to unlock the phone within 0.5 seconds. It will also be able detect dry and wet fingers. The company said that the sensor can endure 10 million presses, which roughly add up to 9 years of use.

Coolpad Note 3 has a 5.5-inch IPS 720 screen powered by 1.3 GHz octa-core MediaTek MT6753 processor and a Mali T720 GPU that runs on Android 5.1 Lollipop. The smartphone comes with 3 GB RAM and 16 GB internal storage which can be expanded upto 64 GB via microSD card.

The phone sports a 13 MP rear cameral with LED flash and an aperture of f/2.0. It also comes with a 5 MP front camera. Coolpad boasts of a huge 3000mAh battery that has been designed to reduce power consumption. As far as connectivity is concerned the phone has Bluetooth 4.0, A-GPS and Wi-Fi 802 b/g/n.

If you are looking for a Coolpad Note 3, registrations are available on Amazon India for sale beginning October 20.

 

 

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Speculations Run Amok On OnePlus Event in Bengaluru Today

OnePlus Bengaluru EventChinese start-up company OnePlus is going to host a special event in Bengaluru today where we are likely to see Pete Lau, the CEO and founder of the company. The company has sent signals that this would be a corporate announcement, which leads us to believe it could be about a diversion from the company or maybe their plans to move some manufacturing to India.

While 9to5Google reported that the company is going to announce #MakeInIndia, Android Central quoted the invite by OnePlus’ General Manager in India, Vikas Agarwal and Pete Lau that they will “reiterate the relevance of Indian market in the OnePlus growth story and announce The Next Big Step.”

On the other hand, a tweet from the company’s India Twitter handle said, ‘Time to look at things a little differently’ supported by an “X” in a photo. Should we expect a OnePlus X launching soon? Let us remind you, this one would be a cheaper smartphone. Speculations about the OnePlus X grew stronger when Pete Lau posted a message “Dissatisfied run a X,” on his officla Weibo account.

Though the company confirmed that OnePlus 2 will be the one and only flagship phone for 2015, recent leaks have suggested that there could be an OnePlus X coming soon. It would come with a 5-inch screen along with fingerprint sensor in the rear panel and powered by a Snapdragon 801 processor.

It should also to be noted that the OnePlus 2 would go on sale between 12 pm and 1 pm only on Amazon India today. So, hurry and grab the latest smartphone on the block.

 

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I recently wrote a column about the potential extinction of print newspapers and the recent news offering of Apple, Facebook and Google seems to be making my case stronger. Soon, news consumption will happen more on mobiles than any other platform and all big tech giants seem to be making the most of it.

AppleApple News is already here and the iPhone maker has tied up with major news providers across the world to provide news for smartphone users. Big media channels including Vogue, New York Times and Vanity Fair are also on the Apple News platform.

“Apple News is a brilliant way to read news. You can access news of your interest and can read it whenever you want. I like reading news on my phone in the morning time and no more subscribe to print newspapers,” says Ameesha Seth.

Google is also set to offer a new news app. It has tied with Twitter to develop an app to deliver news content. According to various reports, users will be able to load news on their phone in microseconds with the new Google app.

Facebook also wishes to find its feet in the news space. It has launched Instant Articles and promises to deliver news faster than any other digital outlet. It has also tied up with various media organizations.

With Apple, Google and Facebook already trying to make the most of digital news phenomenon, soon the news will be consumed on digital channels, as it is a faster and easier way to read news.

 “I am addicted to Flipboard. That is my go to news destination,” says Manan Sharma.

News is all about timeliness and with the expansion of digital media, it has found a new home.

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What’s Cooking With The FlipKart Nearby App?

flikpart nearby appE-commerce giant Flipkart has dabbled in the online grocery industry with the Flipkart Nearby app. To start with, the app has been launched in a few areas in Bengaluru. The app enables you to order beverages, eggs, milk and other groceries online. It also provides healthcare products.

Flipkart Nearby has some tough competition from established players in the market such as Big Basket, Grofers and Pepper Tap. Some customers are loyal to these apps. To break their loyalty, Flipkart has to offer exceptional services and products.

“Nope. It is Big Basket,” said media professional Malvika Gupta when we asked her  whether she would like to order from the Flipkart app. Talking about the logistics and product quality of Big Basket she added, “Very good actually. If we have an issue with the product they have a nice customer care service and it is immediately exchanged or returned.” (sic)

The Flipkart Nearby app will benefit because Flipkart is an established name in terms of online delivery and customer trust. However, what customers really want are good products and reliable logistics.

For now, if you are living in Koramangala, HSR Layout, BTM Layout, Ejipura, Jayanagar, JP Nagar or Bellandur areas of Bengaluru, you can start using the Flipkart Nearby app.… Read the rest

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Apple iOS 9.0.2 Resolves A Lot Of Old Issues

Apple iOS 9.0.2Apple iOS 9.0.2 has received a new update, which has been rolled out to fix bugs and resolve issues of iCloud Back Up and iMessage activation. It will also fix issues of incorrect rotation of screen while receiving messages.

We updated the iPhone 6 soon after getting the update and saw many improvements on. No one can bypass the locked screen anymore, which was a major issue for many iPhone users. The security patch in the new update has fixed safety issues so your data, contacts, photos are completely secure.

There were complaints regarding the settings menu as well. We spoke to one of the users who told us that he was unable to get into the settings of phones. “I was not able to make any changes. With the new update, the issue has been fixed and I hope it stay like this,” he says.

iCloud backup concerns have also been taken care of.  “Oh, yes what a relief. There were times when the back-up would automatically stop if I started the manual back-up. I backed up my phone immediately after getting the update,” says Sunny Aggarwal.

The iMessage activation has also been fixed. Apparently, users we spoke to did not face any problems with iMessage but from Apple’s end it has been fixed.

Meanwhile, Apple’s recently released the iPhone 6S and iPhone 6 Plus phones, which have seen a record sale. The phones will be released in India on October 16.… Read the rest

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Google Photos Update Makes Sharing Easier

Google Photos UpdateGoogle Photos has received a new update and it’s easy to get hooked to it this time. With the new update, Google has really pushed the envelope as it allows friends and family to add pictures to your albums.

This is the biggest update Google Photos has received in a long time. The new features allow you to share photos with friends and family in a jiffy. Lets take a detailed look at how one can share albums on this new platform. Once you click pictures and put them together in an album, you will be able to share it with others.

Friends and family with whom who have shared the album will have the option to follow album updates. When someone adds a picture to the album, members will receive a notification. More so, they can add pictures to the album as well. In this manner, the latest Google Photos works more like a digital photo book where you can interact with people through your photos. 

The new update also lets you label the name of the people. What I like here is that it lets you have your privacy. The labels can only be seen by the person adding the pictures.

You can now also broadcast images as Google Photos has been connected to Chromecast. All you need is a Wi-Fi network.

Google seems to be heading for a lot of new things. First the logo was changed and now this update. where you don’t need to attach and send photos anymore. One can simply share the album.

 

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Facebook Sorry After Third Outage In A Month

Facebook faced a 40-minute outage last night. This is the third outage in a month and Zuckerberg says he’s really, really sorry for this. Anyone who tried to access the site during that time got this message in return: “Sorry, something went wrong. We’re working on it and we’ll get it fixed as soon as we can.”

FacebookFacebook has more than 1 billion monthly active users and a majority of them are online at any given point in time. When the network crashed for the third time in a month, users took to Twitter to express their anguish at the outage. 

FB user Teri Gidwitz wrote, “Uh oh. Looks like a @facebook outage”.

Another user Mark Barret wrote, “I join a social media company and Facebook has an outage. Coincidence?.”

There were some people who jibed at the situation. “So excited to be a part of the Facebook outage of 2015,” tweeted Tim Joseph.

The outage happened because of a Graph API failure, a system that connects the basic Facebook infrastructure. Such regular crashes affected Facebook shares and they plunged by 4% on Monday. Apart from the effect it had on the business of the social media network, it also affected life for many users.

“I was in the middle of a business chat when it suddenly it went down. I got frantic thinking someone has hacked into my account,” says a local businessman.

“There is already a network issue in my area. Luckily yesterday I got access to the internet. I was chatting up with an old school friend after years and the site went down. I refreshed the page for several minutes but nothing happened.”

How social media outages affect our lives is a direct reflection of how dependent we are on the virtual world. For some of us services like Facebook, Twitter and WhatsApp are an integral part of life. One routinely sees people spending more time social networking than talking to their family members. Is this the kind of addiction we should be looking at?… Read the rest

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Samsung Galaxy J5 And J7: The Complete Lowdown

Budget buyers are always on the lookout for a smartphone that is high on specs but easy on the pocket. To meet these requirements of buyers, Samsung has launched two budget phones as part of its Galaxy J series in India. We take a closer look at the Samsung Galaxy J5 and Samsung Galaxy J7 and find out whether they are value for money or not.

j5First, the look

Look wise, both these are average. They come in three colors–gold, black and white. Made with anodized material and faux metallic bezels, they have a sturdy construction. Curves at the corners of these phones are passe. Instead, we would like to see Samsung evolve in terms of its sense of design. 

To test the grip of the phone, I tried to hold it in various positions. Sure, it is not slippery. In fact, both the phones are compact and work well for those who don’t like chunky phones.

Screen and size

Where the screen size of the Samsung Galaxy J5 is 5 inches, the J7 has a 5.5-inch screen. The Samsung Galaxy J5 and Galaxy J7 share a pixel resolution of 720×1280, which enhances the visual quality of these phones. However, the J5 looks sharper in terms of colors.

Performance wise, both the phones are swift. They may become sluggish later due to lack of storage capacity but the extendable memory option is always available.

Camera capabilities

We tried to see how the cameras function and this is the result. They have a 13MP rear camera and 5MP front camera, which gave some cool shots. If you are really on the look out for a fine camera phones that are easy on the pocket, then the J5 and J7 can be good considerations.

Budget friendly

Part of their budget range of phones, the Galaxy J7 costs Rs. 14,999 and Samsung J5 costs Rs. 11,999. Both of these are dual SIM phones.

 

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Small Indian Boutiques Go Online

Sheetal Batra
Image Courtesy: Sheetal Batra

Small Indian boutiques are using social media to spread their message and access newer markets. Instagram and Facebook have turned into an easy and cost effective advertising tool helping local boutiques reach their target audience. Not only does it help owners to grow their business, it also opens a whole new world of fashion for girls in the inaccessible towns of India. On the other side of the spectrum, it allows NRIs to shop for Indian clothes conveniently.

Also Read: Selfies To Replace Passwords For Online Shopping

Selfies To Replace Passwords For Online Shopping
Selfies To Replace Passwords For Online Shopping

Most of the local boutiques are run by middle-aged women who have been in this business for a long time. They say Facebook and WhatsApp have really helped their business to grow.  Many of them also feel more empowered.

“Wow. I am getting some great responses from people around the world. They love my designs and a lot of my Indian wear range has been a sell out, “ says Meera Jain, who runs an Indian attire boutique in Jaipur.

On the other hand, 30-year-old Anju Mehra who recently separated from her husband, says she has just opened a boutique to support herself. Along with her kids, she is using Facebook to send invites for a new clothing line every week. “I am happy with the initial response,” she says.

Many niche boutiques have come online, including Abiza, Olvez and Zari. Technology has given a global face to these local boutiques and their Facebook pages are a testament to the popularity of social media shopping.

Delhi-based owner Sheetal Batra is also joining the online bandwagon. She says, “I think it’s the global way to shop so it’s a great opportunity for designers to increase their client base.”

Abiza co-owner Hina Hasnain Singh says, “Social media has been our main marketing tool and clients who have shared our page or worn our outfits put pictures on Facebook. That’s how word has gone around.”

Today, it’s also easy to find happy buyers buying dresses online. One is flooded with Facebook and WhatsApp messages promoting products during Diwali season. This really enhances sales at the boutiques.

Avid online buyer Charu Takkar talks about the future of these boutiques. “Online fashion is the future. But the local boutiques have to think more on the lines of deals. They generally depend on one-on-one interaction and many of us don’t have time for it. Better marketing gimmicks will surely help,” she says.… Read the rest

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Here’s What Rural India Thinks Of Nadella’s Offer

Computers in Rural India 1When Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella met Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in USA, they discussed bringing 50,000 villages under the umbrella of technology. This is reportedly Modi government’s way to have more transparent governance.

“We will transform governance, making it more transparent, accountable, accessible and participative,” Modi told The Hindu.

He wants to turn the digital India movement into a mass movement, while ensuring that individuals’ privacy is not invaded. Our team went to some villages to understand what rural India thinks of this move. Here’s how they think technology will influence their lives:

“Our kids will have better education and will get access to the world happenings if internet comes to local schools,” said Sukram Pal of Shamli village in UP.

“I will order high quality seeds online and will grow better crops, “says one farmer.

There are some educated service class people who think that with everything going digital ,the corruption level may go down.

Here is what one responsible citizen (name not revealed on request) had to say about Modi’s digital India movement, “The babu culture in India will reduce. We no more have to give bribe to get our things done. I have recently learned how to pay income tax online and it was so easy.  With everything going digital everything will be easily accessible and even the siffarish culture and paper work will reduce.”

With public Wi-Fi hot spots planned soon across the Indian landscape, the country may soon advance in race to become a developed country. 

Meanwhile, TechThirsty continues to hail technology.

 

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