Top news this week: Amazon's drone deliveries, Mandela passes away, KitKat 4.4.1 released and more!

Missed the hottest launches, the coolest new tech and all the controversies from this week? We have them all in one place. Here are the top stories from this week.


India's Mangalyaan enters second stage in Mars mission
India's first mission to Mars left Earth's orbit early on Sunday, clearing a critical hurdle in its journey to the red planet and overtaking the efforts in space of rival Asian giant China. The success of the spacecraft, scheduled to orbit Mars by next September, would carry India into a small club, which includes the United States, Europe and Russia.

Mangalyaan will take flight today (Image: ISRO)

Mangalyaan in second stage (Image: ISRO)


Samsung Galaxy S Duos 2 now available in India for Rs 10,999
Samsung’s new Galaxy S Duos 2 has gone up for sale on the official e-store for Rs 10,999. The new S Duos also sports a 4-inch display, but is powered by a 1.2 GHz dual-core processor. In terms of specifications, not much else has changed from its predecessor.

WhatsApp overtakes Facebook Messenger to be top mobile messaging app
Facebook tops the charts in social networking space, but when it comes to social messaging on mobiles WhatsApp walks away as the winner.  A new five-country survey by Ondevice reveals that WhatsApp is the new market leader in mobile social messaging.

FIFA releases app for Android and iOS in the run up to 2014 World Cup
A few days before the final draw for the upcoming FIFA World Cup 2014, football’s governing body has introduced the official apps for all things World Cup, with news, tables, trivia and pictures for next year's extravaganza.

For all things football

For all things football


Hit Wicket: Ashes Cricket 2013 pulled off Steam, 505 Games offers full refund
In a rare move, the Ashes Cricket 2013 game has been cancelled, after it had already been released. The buggy game, which had been available for sale on Steam, has not only been pulled off the platform, but has also been outright cancelled by publishers 505 Games.

BlackBerry Q10 price drops to Rs 38,990 for a limited period
BlackBerry has announced a limited period special offer on the Q10. Until January 26, users can buy the BlackBerry Q10 at a discounted price of Rs 38,990. BlackBerry released a statement saying the company is committed towards the Indian market "to reach out to more potential customers and QWERTY keyboard loyalists".

Android 4.4.1 KitKat update brings major camera improvements to Nexus 5
Close on the heels of reports of an update to Android KitKat, Google has started rolling out Android version 4.4.1 to Nexus 5 devices now. The update will mainly bring along some major improvements to the camera performance on the recently released Nexus 5.

World grieves Nelson Mandela's demise with a deluge of tweets
The Mahatma Gandhi of South Africa, Nelson 'Madiba' Mandela, breathed his last on December 5. Mandela, the former President of South Africa was instrumental in banishing apartheid from the country was 95. Understandably, everyone from celebrities to political bigwigs and the common man took to Twitter to express grief over Madiba’s passing.

Mandela passed away at the age of 95

Mandela passed away at the age of 95


The NSA gathers 5 billion daily cellphone records worldwide
The National Security Agency gathers nearly 5 billion records a day on the location of mobile telephones worldwide, including those of some Americans, the Washington Post reported on Wednesday, citing sources including documents obtained by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden.

Instagram sends invites for December 12 event, may unveil private messaging
nstagram seems to have new features up its sleeve. The photo-sharing service owned by Facebook has sent out invites for an event on December 12 where it just may be unveiling the new feature – or maybe even more than one.

Samsung Chromebook arrives in India for Rs 26,990
The Samsung Chromebook is priced at Rs 26,990 and will be available through select retailers like Reliance Digital and Croma, as well as on online stores. Samsung Chromebook owners can also avail of a range of exclusive broadband and cellular offers from Airtel and Tikona.

Samsung Chromebook is here

Samsung Chromebook is here


Twitter arrives for phones without Internet connection
No Internet connection on your mobile phone? No worries. You will now be able to access Twitter without a data plan. Twitter is reportedly tying up with U2opia Mobile to make this feature possible in emerging markets.

Each Moto G costs $123 to make; Google takes Nexus-like thin margin approach
When it comes to Google’s Nexus line of devices, the profit margins are razor thin to allow for the aggressive pricing. This strategy has worked very well for Google pushing Nexus devices up the aspirational queue. So it would only make sense to use the same approach for one of Motorola's phones, and that's exactly what Google has done with the Moto G.

Amazon testing 30-minute deliveries using drones, Jeff Bezos reveals
Amazon is keen on having your ordered goods delivered to you within 30 minutes. The company is now testing delivery packages using drones, CEO Jeff Bezos has announced. On the CBS television programme 60 Minutes, Bezos announced that Amazon is currently testing delivery packages with the help of drones.

Still a while away

Still a while away


Samsung strikes Rs 7,500 crore deal with Reliance Jio Infocomm for 4G LTE network
Samsung has teamed up with Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance Jio Infocomm to mark its debut in the base transceiver station (BTS) space in India. The contract is reportedly worth $1.2 billion (approximately Rs 7,500 crore) for 70,000 BTS pan India.

WhatsApp gets iOS 7 update at last
Months after major applications jumped onto the iOS 7 redesign bandwagon, WhatsApp has boarded it as well. The flatter design guide has finally been embraced by WhatsApp and the update is now available for download.

Google Play Music officially comes to Google Glass
Google has released the official version of Play Music for Google Glass. The app, with All Access integration is already available to explorers who own the wearable.

From geek to sex: The bizarre list of words Google's Android keyboard won't recognise
Google's default keyboard for Android censors perfectly normal words under the guise of blocking offensive terms. When did the likes of  geek and sex become offensive?

Codename Threshold: Microsoft to unify Windows, Windows Phone and Xbox OS
Threshold will reportedly update all three major Microsoft OS platforms (Xbox One, Windows and Windows Phone) to bring them even closer
in terms of app development, deployment and maintenance. Interestingly, Microsoft has once again looked to its creation Halo, launched back in 2001, for the codename.

2.1 million Sony PlayStation 4s sold in just over two weeks
After selling over one million PS4s within the 24 hours of launch, Sony has now revealed new sales numbers for the new generation console. The company has now sold 2.1 million PS4 consoles across the world as of December 1. The PS4 was launched in the US on November 15, which means this landmark has been reached in little over a fortnight.

The new PS4 with DTS HD Master Audio 7.1 Decoder

The new PS4 with DTS HD Master Audio 7.1 Decoder


A new breed of androids: Google’s building a robot army with Andy Rubin at the helm
The robot initiative is led by Andy Rubin, most well-known for popularising another kind of robot, the green Android. Rubin has worked with a team of scientists, engineers and designers to create a fleet of humanoids which will be deployed in various industries in the near future.

Nokia's Chennai plant could be excluded from Microsoft deal
Nokia could be forced to shut down its Chennai plant if the tax tussle with the Indian authorities is not resolved soon. Unless the Indian tax department agrees to relax Nokia's tax liability the plant could be shut. Making things worse, the impasse must end before December 12.

Don't hide, unfollow: Facebook gets inspired by rival services
Is Facebook feeling the heat from other social networks? The slew of changes, which seem more than inspired, would suggest so.

The Facebook for iPad app is coming soon

Facebook facing the heat


Indians spend 22 percent of their income to buy iPhone 5s; highest in the world
The study includes 47 countries, and prices listed are through official channels and not grey market. It includes only the 16GB base model for the iPhone 5s that is priced at Rs 53,500 in India.

With over 1 lakh tweets, Aam Aadmi Party is the Twitter winner on Delhi election day
The polling has ended in Delhi and it was THE topic of conversation amongst Indians on most social networks, especially Twitter. Throughout the day, hashtags such as #Vote4Sheila, #AAPSweepingDelhi and #NOTA dominated the trending topics throughout the day not just in Delhi, but in other parts of the country too. Going by the number of tweets for each party, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) emerged as a clear winner on the social networking front.

Bluetooth 4.1 detailed: Smarter wearables, swifter connections and faster transfers
Being a point update, this one will be incremental in nature, while removing some of the bugs that might have been found in real world usage. Bluetooth 4.1 brings more tools for developers.

Airtel to launch 4G LTE services in Bangalore in three weeks
Bharti Airtel is all set to bring 4G services to users in Bangalore this month. Airtel India tweeted, “Only for #airtel #Bangalore mobile customers, enjoy #airtel4G on #LTE enabled smartphones in 3 weeks. More details to follow soon!”

Getting primed for Super Speed connectivity

Getting primed for Super Speed connectivity


Hallelujah! The next USB plug will be reversible
It’s nearly Christmas, which means it’s the season of gifts. However, gadget geeks have had to wait quite a few years for the tech Santa to deliver one of the most prized gifts: reversible USB plugs!

Google Nexus 7 (2013) now available outside Play Store for Rs 20,999 onwards
After a launch by Google on the Play Store, Asus, the makers of the new Nexus 7, have launched the tablet in India. The base model of the new Nexus 7 (16GB, Wi-Fi only) has been priced at Rs 20,999.

Is WhatsApp making its messaging rivals irrelevant in India?
WhatsApp has slowly, yet steadily become the king of the cross-platform messaging space not just in India, but even internationally. With 300 million monthly active users (MAU) globally, WhatsApp has a good reason to gloat as well.

2 million Facebook, Google and Twitter stolen passwords discovered
A team of researchers has managed to unearth a server with more than two million login credentials of users belonging to popular services such as Facebook, Google, Twitter and Yahoo!

Reliance to shut 16 Apple iStores after failing to comply with design norms
Reliance, which has one of the most attractive iPhone offers in India, will shut 16 of its 20 exclusive iStores as they do not comply with the global store design norms specified by Apple.

Published Date: Dec 08, 2013 09:38 am | Updated Date: Dec 08, 2013 09:38 am