Xolo Era 1X Works With the Reliance Jio Network

After launching the Xolo Era X in February, the company has expanded its Era series and launched the successor Era 1X in India. The Xolo Era 1X is priced at Rs. 4,999 and will be exclusively available on Flipkart.

Xolo has started to take registrations for the device, and will make it available from September 15. The Xolo Era 1X comes with VoLTE support, which means it will work with the Reliance Jio network. It also packs a dual-LED front flash, a rare sight at this price.

Xolo Era 1X Works With the Reliance Jio Network, Launched at Rs. 4,999

As for the specifications, the Xolo Era 1X features a 5-inch HD (1280×720 pixels) IPS display with 16M colours, 2 point multitouch support, and 294ppi pixel density. It is powered by a 1.3GHz Spreadtrum SC9832A quad-core processor paired with 1GB of RAM. The smartphone offers 8GB of inbuilt storage that can be further expanded via microSD (up to 32GB).

Optics include an 8-megapixel rear camera with autofocus, LED flash, 5P Largan lens, and 1080p video recording. It comes with features like Live Photos, Beauty Mode, Burst Mode, Time-Lapse, and Slow-Motion. Additionally, there is a 5-megapixel selfie camera with dual-LED flash at the front. The Xolo Era 1X packs a 2500mAh battery (removable) which claims to last up to 185 hours of standby time, up to 22 hours of 2G talk time, and up to 13 hours 28 minutes of 3G talk time. It supports dual-SIM (4G + 4G, only one SIM can support 4G at one time) card slots, and runs on Android 6.0 Marshmallow out-of-the-box.

Other features of the Xolo Era 1X include Audio Note, Smart Screenshot, Smart Awake, Assistant Cast screen, LED flash for call, and flip to mute alarms and calls. Connectivity options include 4G VoLTE, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, Wi-Fi hotspot, GPS, Micro USB, 3.5mm audio jack, and Bluetooth. The dimensions measure at 145.5x72x8.6mm, and the Xolo Era 1X will be available in Black/Gunmetal and Gold/Brown colour variants.

Xiaomi Mi Air Purifier 2 With Wi-Fi Connectivity Launched at Rs. 9,999

Xiaomi on Wednesday launched its first smart home product in India – the Mi Air Purifier 2. Priced at Rs. 9,999, the Mi Air Purifier will be available from 12pm IST September 26 via Mi.com, and from 12am IST on October 2 via Flipkart. The company at the event also launched the Mi Band 2 (Review) in India, priced at Rs. 1,999.

To recall, the Mi Air Purifier 2 was launched in China back in November last year, and is smaller and more powerful than its predecessor. To give a perspective on pricing, the air purifier had been launched in China at CNY 699 (roughly Rs. 7,100).

The Xiaomi Mi Air Purifier 2 features a triple layer filter (seen below) which needs to be replaced every 6 months approximately, and the replacement has been priced at Rs. 2,499. The triple layer filter is fitted in a cylindrical shape for 360-degree filtering, and features a PET pre-filter, an EPA filter, and an activated carbon filter.

The Mi Air Purifier 2 is controlled via the Mi Home app, which is available for both Android and iOS. Apart from remote access to the Wi-Fi connected air purifier, the app lets users also share control with other users – such as family members.

The air purifier has three modes of operation – auto, night (sleep), and manual. The Mi Home app also provides real time air quality monitoring for the home, and includes statistics like humidity and temperature, apart from regulating fan speed. Users can also set timer schedules for the Mi Air Purifier 2 via the app. The app also provides reminders to change the filter.

The Mi Air Purifier 2 measures in at 520x240x240mm, and weighs 4.8kg including the filter. It has a clean air deliver rate (CADR) of 310 cubic metres an hour, and supports Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n connectivity. The company is touting the quietness of the air purifier as well, with the device producing 30dB of noise in night mode.

The company has also updated the MIUI 8 Weather app – it is currently available in beta, but will be rolling out in a few weeks to MIUI 8 users. The Weather app now includes real time air quality index (AQI) data for India.

Taiwan Asks Google to Blur Images Showing New South China Sea Facilities

Taiwan Asks Google to Blur Images Showing New South China Sea Facilities

Taiwan’s defence ministry said on Wednesday it is asking Google to blur satellite images showing what experts say appear to be new military installations on Itu Aba, Taipei’s sole holding in the disputed South China Sea.

The revelation of new military-related construction could raise tensions in the contested waterway, where China’s building of airstrips and other facilities has worried other claimants and the United States.

The images seen on Google Earth show four three-pronged structures sitting in a semi-circle just off the northwestern shoreline of Itu Aba, across from an upgraded airstrip and recently constructed port that can dock 3,000-ton frigates.

“Under the pre-condition of protecting military secrets and security, we have requested Google blur images of important military facilities,” Taiwan Defence Ministry spokesman Chen Chung-chi said on Wednesday, after local media published the images on Itu Aba.

The United States has urged against the militarisation of the South China Sea, following the rapid land reclamation by China on several disputed reefs through dredging, and building air fields and port facilities.

Taiwan’s defence ministry and coast guard, which directly oversees Itu Aba, said details about the structures are confidential and have not commented on their nature.

Google, a unit of Alphabet Inc, did not immediately respond to requests for comment on the request.

Defence experts in Taiwan said that based on the imagery of the structures and their semi-circular layout, the structures were likely related to defence and could be part of an artillery foundation.

“I think definitely it will be for military purposes, but I cannot tell if it is for defending, attacking or monitoring,” said Dustin Wang, a scholar and a former government advisor who has regularly visited Itu Aba.

Wang said given the structures’ location which faces the main seaborne traffic, they may relate to surveillance.

China, Taiwan, the Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia and Brunei claim parts or all of the South China Sea, through which trillions of dollars in trade passes.

In July, an international court ruled against China in a case brought by the Philippines that rejected China’s claim to a vast swathes of the disputed maritime area. Both China and Taiwan, which China views as a renegade province, vehemently rejected the court ruling.

Google Accelerated Mobile Pages Now Rolling Out to All Supported Search Results

Google Accelerated Mobile Pages Now Rolling Out to All Supported Search Results

Google in February introduced its Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) project to reduce load time for mobile webpages. If you’ve noticed some stories with a small ‘lightning’ symbol on it, it means those pages open within a second. Initially, the AMP initiative was limited to only ‘Top Stories’. In August, Google announced that the initiative would make its way to all of Google’s search results.

Google is now rolling out AMP optimised pages for all supported results (including non-news) to users around the world. Google AMP is designed to improve mobile user experience, reducing load times by creating stripped down versions of webpages. Doing so not only saves time and battery life but also cuts data by 10 times.

The rollout doesn’t change the search result, but only shows which sites have pages that can load ‘lightning’ fast. In a blog post by Google Inside Search, the company claims to “have over 600 million AMP documents created by sites such as eBay, Reddit, Shopify, WikiHow, and many more.”

Google has also stressed that the Search engine doesn’t rank pages based on AMP support but adds that mobile users are more likely to click on the AMP link than a non-AMP one. Google’s ranking system does prioritise small load times and page speed, however, Google VP of Engineering David Besbris explained that if there are two identical pages – one mobile friendly and the other AMP-powered – it will show the AMP one.

The announcement on Tuesday is more of a signal to Web developers to ‘AMP’ up their content so that they can hop on to the lightning fast bandwagon.

AT&T Wants to Make Every Telephone Pole an Ultra-Fast Wireless Hotspot

AT&T Wants to Make Every Telephone Pole an Ultra-Fast Wireless Hotspot

AT&T says it plans to start testing a technology next year that could ultimately blanket the country in ultra-fast wireless Internet – without the need for expensive cell towers.

The project, known as AirGig, promises speeds that are many hundreds of times faster than what consumers currently get with their mobile data connections. And it stands to be a lot cheaper to deploy, because AT&T’s new solution piggybacks on infrastructure that’s decades old: Electricity lines.

AirGig doesn’t transmit Internet signals through the power cables themselves. But by placing small, inexpensive antennas on top of utility poles, AT&T can create a string of access points. This new kind of Internet “cable” follows the path of the electricity lines as they wind their way through dense urban areas and hard-to-reach rural regions alike.

Building out Internet networks today is pricey. It often involves digging up streets to lay down cabling, or stringing the wires along utility poles. But as we’ve written before, advances in wireless technology are making it possible to do with airwaves what you could previously only accomplish with expensive fiber optic lines.

To make AirGig a reality, AT&T would still need to make deals with utility companies to let the wireless carrier install its antennas on their poles. But AT&T seems confident utilities would find the technology attractive, too. It says the AirGig antennas may make their power networks smarter, giving utility operators more information about the health of their infrastructure and alerting them to problems like downed lines or fallen trees.

YouTube Heroes Programme Rewards Users for Moderating the Site

YouTube Heroes Programme Rewards Users for Moderating the Site

YouTube, being the world’s largest video sharing platform, wants to make sure that its users receive the best possible experience. With over a billion accounts from around the world, it is quite difficult for YouTube to solely moderate its own site, which is why the company is announcing a new programme wherein the job to moderate comments and videos now fall into the hands of the viewers. The programme is called YouTube Heroes which comes alongside the recently launched Community section.

Announced on the YouTube Help channel, the Heroes program awards points to viewers based on various deeds performed. Points are awarded by adding captions and subtitles to videos, reporting negative content and responding to other users, among other things.

Collecting enough points will let you unlock different levels, with each level offering new benefits. Unlocking the starting level lets you see the Heroes dashboard where you can connect with other members in the community. The fifth level is the highest (requiring 1000+ points) where the ‘Hero’ will be able to test products before release and can apply for what YouTube calls the Heroes Summit.

YouTube has not been the best when it comes to moderation. Many a times unfavourable comments and negative contents are overseen and the company wants to make sure that doesn’t happen. Trusting users to moderate also frees up the company to work on bringing new updates, features and improvements to its site.

Anyone can apply for the YouTube Heroes programme. Especially those who enjoy the platform and genuinely want to better it. While the programme is a positive step from Google-owned YouTube’s part to moderate the site, one will have to wait and see how users respond to it. Those interested in joining the programme can do so from here.

The recently launched YouTube Community tab allows creators to share photos, text messages, GIFs, and even live videos with their subscribers.

Internet Now Has 334.6 Million Domain Name Registrations: VeriSign

Internet Now Has 334.6 Million Domain Name Registrations: VeriSign

Nearly 7.9 million domain name registrations were added to the Internet in the second quarter of 2016 globally – a growth rate of 2.4 percent over the first quarter – global domain and internet service provider VeriSign Inc. said on Wednesday.

It brings the total number of domain name registrations to approximately 334.6 million across all top-level domains (TLDs) as of June 30 this year, according to the latest Domain Name Industry Brief.

The .com and .net TLDs experienced aggregate growth in the second quarter of 2016, reaching a combined total of approximately 143.2 million domain name registrations in the domain name base. This represents a 7.3 percent increase year over year.

New .com and .net domain name registrations totalled 8.6 million during the second quarter of 2016. In the second quarter of 2015, new .com and .net domain name registrations totalled 8.7 million.

“During the second quarter of 2016, Verisign’s average daily Domain Name System (DNS) query load was approximately 130 billion queries per day across all TLDs operated by Verisign, with a peak of nearly 179 billion queries,” the company said in a statement.

Quarter over quarter, the daily average query load increased 4.9 percent and the peak decreased by 5.0 percent. Year over year, the daily average query load increased by 17.0 percent and the peak decreased by 1.5 percent.

iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus Users Complain of Lightning EarPods Issue; Apple Promises Fix

iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus Users Complain of Lightning EarPods Issue; Apple Promises Fix

After reports of a bug that causes a loss in cellular service after disabling Airplane Mode on the new iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus, some more glitches have reportedly been found on Apple’s latest offerings. This time the glitch pertains to the Lightning port, which appears to disable in-line controls on the connected headset after a period of no playback. Apple has acknowledged the issue, and says a fix will be issued via a software update.

Reported by several iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus users across the Web, the bug affects both the bundled Lightning EarPods and third-party headsets that are connected via the Lightning-to-3.5mm Headphone Jack Adapter. The issue reportedly occurs when the smartphone’s display is off for five minutes, with the headset connected but not playing back audio during that time. After this point, audio playback will work, but users cannot adjust the volume, activate Siri, or answer calls using the in-line controls on the EarPods or third-party headsets.

Furthermore, the glitch is an on and off thing in that the issue is not persistent. Those experiencing the issue can remove and plug in the affected headset again. This is an easy, temporary fix but it doesn’t solve the underlying problem, which appears to be a software issue related to Lightning port power-saving features.

Apple has acknowledged the issue and is working on a fix that should be brought to users via a software update in the near future, an Apple representative confirmed to Business Insider.

The Cupertino giant controversially dropped the 3.5mm headphone jack with the launch of the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus in September, though Apple wasn’t the first to do so – though it claims it required “courage” to make the decision. Other major brands like Lenovo quietly did away with the headphone jack a month before with some models of the Moto Z.

The decision to drop the iconic headphone jack came from Apple’s need to free up space for newer technologies and to make use of the Lightning port for higher quality audio output. The dual-camera setup, Taptic engine for the pressure sensitive button, water resistance and a 14 percent bigger battery were all made possible by the removal of the 3.5mm port, according to Apple’s own claims. Of course, teething issues like these do not help making the decision to drop the 3.5mm headphone jack acceptable to customers.

iPhone 7 Has the Best Mobile LCD Display Ever Tested, Says DisplayMate

iPhone 7 Has the Best Mobile LCD Display Ever Tested, Says DisplayMate

Screen-testing firm DisplayMate termed the display on Samsung Galaxy Note 7 as the “Best Performing Smartphone Display” that the company has ever tested. Now, the company has tested the display on iPhone 7 and claims that it is the “best performing mobile LCD display” that it has ever come across, while it also sets some overall records.

DisplayMate’s President Dr. Raymond M. Soneira said that even though in size and resolution the iPhone 7’s display is indistinguishable from the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6s, the smartphone packs a display that is ‘truly impressive’ and ‘major enhancement’ on the display from iPhone 6.

One of the main reasons for the improvement, as pointed out by DisplayMate, is the presence of two standard colour gamuts. The iPhone 7 carries a “DCI-P3 Wide Color Gamut that is generally used in 4K UHD TVs and Digital Cinema” and a “traditional smaller sRGB / Rec.709 Color Gamut,” the company said.

DisplayMate says that both colour gamuts have been implemented with absolute colour accuracy that is “Visually Indistinguishable from Perfect.” According to the company, iPhone 7’s display is rated to deliver 625 nits of brightness, but in fact only delivers 602 nits – which is still the “Highest Peak Brightness” DisplayMate has measured on any smartphone. However, the actual peak brightness is even higher, at 705 nits, when Automatic Brightness is turned on in high ambient light conditions.

As per DisplayMate, the displays on Apple’s smartphones have a record high contrast ratio for IPS LCD displays and a record low screen reflectance for smartphones.

Regarding the power efficiency of the display, Soneira said that wide colour gamut LCDs like the iPhone 7 use “specially tuned Red and Green phosphors to optimally transform the light for the chosen saturated Red and Green primaries, which improves their light and power efficiency.”

It has been rumoured that Apple’s iPhone for 2017 might be shipping with an Oled display. If this turns out to be true, iPhone 7’s display might be the last huge leap that Apple takes with LCD displays.

Moto Z to Launch in India This Festive Season, Lenovo Executive Confirms

Moto Z to Launch in India This Festive Season, Lenovo Executive Confirms

Chinese technology giant Lenovo will bring the much-awaited modular smartphone Moto Z to the Indian market this festive season.

The Moto Z, which was unveiled globally in June this year, allows users to attach a set of accessories called Moto Mods to the back of the device that adds various functionalities to the device.

“We will launch 8 new devices, of which six we have already announced, in this festive season… This includes the Moto Z,” Lenovo India Executive Director Mobile Business Group Sudhin Mathur told PTI.

While Mathur declined to comment on the timeline of availability of Moto Z in India, sources said the product could be launched in the first or second week of October.

Moto Z is currently available in markets like the US, the UK, and Latin America in three models (Moto Z Play, Moto Z, and Moto Z Force).

Lenovo, which had acquired Motorola from Google in a $2.9 billion deal in 2014, is betting on India to contribute significantly to its global growth. Last year, Lenovo’s revenues from India grew about 90 per cent while its overall revenues were up 68 percent.

According to research firm Gartner, smartphone sales are expected to slow down in 2016 globally, rising only seven percent compared to double-digit growth seen in previous years.

This is on the back of slower sales growth in mature markets like Europe and Japan. India, on the other hand, remains an opportunity and presents the highest growth potential, Gartner said.