Anujeet MajumdarNov 24, 2013 10:00:00 IST
The past week has witnessed some big announcements in the technology world. Brand new gaming consoles, new smartphones and important updates made their presence felt. If the busy week did not let you get your daily dose of tech news, here's a quick recap of what happened in the tech space in the past week.
Xbox One and PlayStation 4 both cross the one million unit mark sold in first 24 hours
Microsoft and Sony have both had very promising beginnings for their new consoles. Both companies announced that the PlayStation 4 and the Xbox One each saw one million units being sold within the first 24 hours of launch. Oddly enough, many had expected Microsoft’s number to be much higher than Sony's given the fact that Microsoft's console was released to a much larger market than the PlayStation 4's North America-only launch. According to Microsoft's statement, though, the Xbox One has set a record for first-day Xbox sales and is sold out at most retailers.
The Xbox One and PS4 finally launched
Karbonn Titanium S7 up for pre-order for Rs 14,999
Karbonn has now entered the full HD smartphone arena by unveiling the Titanium S7 in India. It is now listed online and can be pre-ordered for Rs 14,999. The listing clearly states that the estimated release date is in the fifth week of November. The handset measures 72x143.5x9.3mm and is available only in black colour.
iFixit teardown shows Xbox One just as easy to repair as PlayStation 4
Less than a day after it hit stores, iFixit already has a teardown of the Xbox One. The website has revealed that opening the console was quite easy and required very few tools. Overall, the console seems to be extremely easy to repair, and iFixit gave it an 8 out of 10. The biggest problem in the console was the fact that one has to void their warranty if they want to get to the HDD for replacement or upgrading purposes. The HDD itself is a Samsung 2.5-inch laptop drive spinning at 5400rpm. It is possibly using a proprietary file system. iFixit praised the console for its clean and no-nonsense modular design.
India expected to be world’s largest Facebook user base by 2016
India loves social networks. If you had any doubts about that, look to eMarketer’s latest findings. The research firm says India will record the highest social networking growth in the world, with the number of new Indians logging on to Facebook, Twitter and the likes expected to increase by 37.4 percent this year. More interestingly, the report says India will have the world’s largest Facebook population by 2016.
Now in India
HTC One Max launched in India for Rs 56,490
The HTC One Max has finally arrived in India. The 16GB variant of One Max is marked at a hefty MRP of Rs 61,490, but is selling for a best buy price of Rs 56,490 as reported earlier. It offers additional 50GB free cloud storage on Google Drive. Besides, the company has also unveiled three new accessories, namely Power Flip Case, HTC Mini+ and Fetch Keychain. Priced at Rs 5,999, the Power Flip Case offers a 1,200mAh battery expansion along with protection from usual scratches and bumps.
Bethesda opens teaser website, registers Fallout 4 trademark
Bethesda seems to be working on a new Fallout title after all. There are a few hints that the company is gearing up to make an official announcement soon. The first is a new website, TheSurvivor2299.com. It features nothing more than a countdown timer which seems to be ticking down to December 11. The second major hint is a recently-discovered trademark filing for Fallout 4. The trademark has been registered by Bethesda Softworks, putting questions about its legitimacy to rest. All of the evidence points to the company making an official announcement for Fallout 4 on December 11.
Android 4.4 KitKat OTA update now available for Google Nexus 4
If you are a Nexus 4 user, here’s a piece of good news for you. Google has finally begun rolling out Android 4.4 KitKat over the air (OTA) updates for last year's flagship. The update will hit devices gradually as usual, but if you want to check it first hand, you can head over to Settings>About phone to confirm. Several users have started getting the new KRT16S build pushed on to their Nexus 4s.
Now with Android 4.4
Google hits back at Microsoft with a funny retort over Scroogled 'wearables'
Even though Microsoft is actually selling merchandise with pot-shots at Google, the latter is unperturbed. In response to the fact that Microsoft had taken its smear campaign Scroogled offline with items like tshirts, caps and hoodies, Google merely said that the competition in the wearables scene has really been “heating up”. The response is an apt and funny one, if you think of the “wearables” dig and the fact that Google is currently riding a wave of popularity with its Glass.
Microsoft to encrypt messages for Office 365 in 2014
Microsoft has become the latest company to ensure message encryption is coming to its service in the light of NSA's snooping around data. Office 365 is set to get message encryption in the first quarter of 2014 and will ensure that users will be able to automatically send encrypted emails to recipients outside of their own company. The new feature is called Office 365 Message Encryption and will ensure that not just all mails being sent but replies and forwards of original messages will automatically be encrypted.
Google Play Store now has section displaying apps 'designed for tablets'
Google has started rolling out some previously announced changes to its Play Store, in order to ensure a smooth experience for its users. The new change is aimed at tablet users. The most important change for users accessing the Google Play Store from their tablets is the ability to see a “Designed for tablets” section. Tablet users can see it as a default view, which highlights apps and games that look great on tablets. However, they can choose to switch to “see all apps or games” mode as well, if they wish to.
Telltale rumoured to be working on game based on Game of Thrones
Ever wanted to play a game based on George Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire series (or Game of Thrones for those of you who don’t like books) that was actually good? According to reports, your wishes may come true soon. Multiple unnamed sources claim that Telltale has gotten hold of the rights to work on games based on Martin’s series. Whether this will be a completely original story, based on the books, show or side stories is currently unknown. There are a number of options for storylines Telltale could choose, such as the main story itself, the Dunk and Egg stories, or even take a look the world’s history by looking at Robert Baratheon’s rebellion. What we do know is that if Telltale does make it, it’ll probably end up being great.
Google aims to get 50 million India women online with new campaign
Close on the heels of a heart-warming ad campaign for Google Search in India, involving two friends and the backdrop of the 1947 partition, the Internet giant has launched a campaign that goes beyond mere advertisements. Google India has launched a campaign called Helping Women Get Online, through which it hopes to bring 50 million women in India on the Internet.
Teardown puts production cost of Sony PlayStation 4 at $381
If you're wondering how much the PlayStation 4 cost to make, IHS has a pretty neat report that tears down a PS4 and talks about the bill of materials (BOM) cost Sony is paying per console. The total ends up at $372 with a manufacturing cost of $9, pushing it up to $381 per console. This is just $18 short of the console's actual market price. When taken into account all of the overhead Sony has to bear, such as shipment, the company ends up selling each PS4 at a loss. However, owing to such a low BOM, Sony will probably end up breaking even on the console in a much shorter time when compared to when Sony was selling the PS3.
Production costs revealed
Nokia Asha 501 gets OTA update for WhatsApp and VoIP
Popular cross-platform messaging app WhatsApp, which has over 300 million monthly active users and over 20 million users in India, is now headed to Nokia Asha 501 users. According to reports, the app can be downloaded by users for free following the over-the-air software update that is slated to roll out this week.
Intex to launch i17 octa-core smartphone in January 2014, priced around Rs 20,000
Intex last made headlines with the announcement that it was teaming up with MediaTek to bring India’s first new true octa-core smartphone. The company has now officially announced the device, which is slated to release in January 2014. The device comes with the name "i17", although the same is reportedly just a moniker and the smartphone may be released sporting another name altogether. The official company statement doesn't mention any name/codename.
Huawei's entry-level Ascend W2 smartphone could come to India soon
Chinese handset manufacturer Huawei has added to its fledgling Windows Phone smartphone line-up with the Ascend W2. The successor to the Ascend W1, this is the second smartphone from the company’s stable to run on Microsoft's platform. According to reports, it will be available in China from this month and will be rolled out in Russia and Netherlands from November, with other markets to follow soon. There's no mention of whether India will be getting this phone, but some outlets are reporting that the W2 is expected here soon.
Could be coming to India soon
Mumbai teenager commits suicide after being stalked on Facebook
Drawing attention to the perils of social networking comes a piece of news from Mumbai where a 14-year-old girl allegedly committed suicide after being harassed by a stalker on Facebook. The stalker, reportedly a minor, has since been arrested. The girl, a resident of Kandivali, a western suburb in the city, was allegedly being harassed by a friend after which she ended up taking this extreme step. The girl’s family alleges that the 16-year-old boy had posted offensive content on her Facebook account and even accosted her when she was on her way to her tuitions, according to reports.
Nokia updates Music app for Windows Phone, renames it Nokia MixRadio
Nokia has released a big update to its Music app, completely rebranding it in the process. Nokia Music is now Nokia MixRadio, and aims to bring personalised music to Lumia phones for free. According to the change-log on the Windows Phone store, Nokia MixRadio will let you listen to the music you want to hear with Play Me. As weird as the name may sound, it provides a constant stream of music created especially for the user. You can use Thumbs up or Thumbs down to tell the app what you like and dislike.
Vine now available on Windows Phone
Vine for Windows Phone 8 has finally made its long awaited debut on the platform. After a brief demonstration that excited many Windows Phone users, Twitter-owned six-second video sharing service Vine is now a part of the Windows Phone store.
Qualcomm unveils 2.5GHz Snapdragon 805 SoC with Adreno 420 GPU and 4K support
Qualcomm has announced a new generation Snapdragon 805 chipset, which improves on the already-beefy Snapdragon 800 in terms of processor and GPU. The 805 is set to have a better 2.5GHz quad-core processor and support for 4K graphics, displays and video recording support. The latter was already a USP of the Snapdragon 800. Snapdragon 805 devices will be ready for commercial release H1 of 2014 and we could see the first devices announced at CES in January or Mobile World Congress, the following month.
Qualcomm's new processors
Once-popular Winamp media player to shut down on December 20
It truly is the end of an era. After 15 years of being one of the most popular media players across the world, Winamp will be shutting shop on December 20 this year. The shutdown will affect not just the website, Winamp.com, but also the Winamp Media players and associated web services. AOL announced that the service will be shutting down this year. The service was started in 1997 by two college students Justin Frankel and Dmitry Boldyrev and found popularity as MP3 file sharing gathered speed in the early 2000s.
Instagram lands on Windows Phone minus video shooting capability
Instagram has finally made its much-awaited debut on the Windows Phone platform. However, the app has come sans video capture, a feature that had only been added to the service this year. The barebones version of the application is already available for download on Windows Phone devices.
Apple starts buyback offer for iPhone 5c and 4S, promises minimum Rs 13,000 cashback
Apple has launched a buyback offer for the latest iPhone 5c and the iPhone 4S in India. The front page of leading news daily carried a full page advertisement today, encouraging people to exchange their iPhone 4 for an iPhone 5c/4S. The company is offering minimum Rs 13,000 cashback for the iPhone 4, and one can enjoy an even greated discount if their phone is in great condition.
now with a buy back plan
Back to square one: Twitter no longer allows all followers to send you a DM
Twitter has pulled out the ability to send a Direct Message to anyone from the service. The micro-blogging website had quietly added the feature, allowing users to receive Direct Messages from any of their followers without the need for a mutual-follow, but the ability has now been taken off. It was noted that that the checkbox, which appeared in settings and asked you whether you wanted any follower to be able to send you a Direct Message, had disappeared.
Google Nexus 5 now available on India Play Store starting at Rs 28,999
At long last, the Nexus 5 has shed the coming soon tag on the Indian version of the Google Play Store and has gone on sale. The 16GB version of the smartphone is available for Rs 28,999 and the 32GB variant is on sale for Rs 32,999. The phones are available in black and white colours and Google promises to start shipping the device in one or two days. Prospective buyers looking for the device may need to wait a while, though, as the black version of the Nexus 5 sold out on the Google Play Store within a few hours.
2013 Google Nexus 7 available on India Play Store starting at Rs 20,999
Google had earlier listed the Nexus 7 (2013) on the Google Play Store with a “coming soon” tag. Excited fans can now finally buy the tablet through the online store. The 16GB model of Nexus 7 is priced at Rs 20,999 and 32GB variant for Rs 23,999. The Wi-Fi+3G version of the tablet is also available for Rs 27,999. This model is said to support LTE, but we are not sure it has the right LTE radio for India. While the 32GB model ships in one to two days, the site mentions that the 16GB Nexus 7 will start shipping only after November 26.
Cheaper than ever
Nokia shareholders approve $7.2 billion Microsoft deal
Microsoft’s earlier announcement that it would be shelling out $7.2 billion deal to buy over Nokia’s devices and services unit sent much of the tech world reeling. The Finnish company’s shareholders were expected to approve the sale, with the deal’s financial benefits thought to outweigh resistance from a minority of investors upset with the sale of a national icon. An official press release from Nokia now shows that the sale of the company’s divisions was approved at an EGM. The transaction is estimated to close in the first quarter of 2014, up until which time Nokia will assume a caretaker role.
Samsung halts Android 4.3 rollout for Galaxy S3 after users complain of bugs
Weeks after beginning the rollout of Android 4.3 for the Galaxy S3, Samsung seems to have stopped. The cause for the halt is apparently being attributed to complaints of problems like increased battery drain, the smartphone randomly freezing and Wi-Fi not working. The problems even went as far as preventing some apps from straight out working. Since the update has been pulled off of Samsung's servers as well as KIES, users won't be able to get it until the company releases a bug-fixed version of it. Those who already updated their S3s to 4.3 will have to wait till the company releases a fix for these issues.
Samsung Galaxy Gear flops; less than 50,000 units sold so far
Samsung launched the Galaxy Gear, the company's first smartwatch, amidst much fanfare in September. New reports now claim that the Galaxy Gear has turned out to be a flop of epic proportions as the company has sold less than 50,000 units so far. Samsung is reportedly moving a mere 800 to 900 units per day worldwide currently. Despite the big advertisement campaigns, looks like the device hasn’t struck a chord with the audiences.
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