Periscope integrates with GoPro to bring live streaming to action cameras

Periscope just took its first steps away from the smartphone. The Twitter-owned live-streaming app announced an integration with GoPro that will let users broadcast to their followers from an action camera for the first time. The integration, which currently works on iOS with the GoPro Hero 4 Black and Hero 4 Silver, allows Periscope to recognize a GoPro whenever one is connected to an iPhone. Once connected, the app gives users the option of broadcasting from the camera.

The integration raises interesting possibilities for surfers, skiers, snowboarders, and other athletes, as well as anyone who enjoys filming with a GoPro mounted on a drone. Indeed, the company teased some upcoming broadcasts from the X Games, which begin this week in Aspen, CO. “We’ll have a lot of other really cool content being generated by some athletes there that will really show off the integration.”

Periscope users can toggle the camera back and forth between the iPhone view and the GoPro view, while continuing to see the on-screen chat on their phones. Or, if they’d rather focus entirely on the GoPro, the app offers a new switch that “freezes” the iPhone screen so users can put it in their pocket while continuing to broadcast. The GoPro will still save any video recorded during the broadcast to the camera’s SD card.

The move comes two weeks after Periscope integrated with Twitter, livening up the timeline with real-time broadcasts. GoPro broadcasts are likely to represent a small fraction of streams to start with — for one thing, it doesn’t yet work with Android. But given the newly fresh questions about Twitter’s future this week, it hints at some intriguing new avenues for the Periscope team to explore.

Snapchat appears to be working on a brand new chat interface

Snapchat users are used to deciphering some of the most convoluted interface ideas in the App Store, but their life may get a bit easier in the future. Snapchat appears to be working on a new chat interface, which will make it look a lot more like a traditional messaging app. The new interface was uncovered by the developers behind Snapprefswhile digging through Snapchat’s public code. What they found may not be final — it may not ever even see a proper release — but it’s quite possible that they’ve spotted changes that’ll arrive to Snapchat in the near future.

The new chat interface would make it much easier to send photos or start a video chat with another person. Both of those features are currently available, but you sort of have to stumble upon them — it isn’t readily apparent how to do either. This new interface also adds a way to start voice calls and send stickers, neither of which are currently options inside the app. In this new interface, buttons to do all four of those things appear directly above the keyboard in Snapchat’s chat section.

You can argue that switching over to an interface like this removes some of the charm of Snapchat. Part of the app’s success comes from its original, if often confusing, ideas about how sending and altering photos should work. Its current video chatting interface, for example, is by design one of the most quick and casual ways to start a video chat — it’s just set up in a way that many users could easily miss it. This new interface removes those hurdles in favor of something much more familiar, almost like Facebook Messenger. If Snapchat does choose to switch over to this interface, it might mean giving up a bit of its character, but it would also mean making the app much easier to use.

Microsoft HoloLens Battery Life, Connectivity, and Other Details Revealed

Microsoft HoloLens Battery Life, Connectivity, and Other Details Revealed

Ever since the announcement of the Microsoft HoloLens, the Redmond-tech giant has not revealed much about the functionality, price, battery life and other details of the wearable device. However, over the weekend a Microsoft Technical evangelist named Bruce Harris, as a part of the presentation last week revealed some more information about the headset.

In the presentation that took place in Tel Aviv, Israel, Harris said the Microsoft HoloLens will be able to link itself with any Bluetooth and Wi-Fi enabled devices and can run any Windows 10 universal apps,reports Petri website. Linking other headsets over the Internet is also possible.

As for the battery life of the wearable device, the company evangelist added that the usage time can vary based on how it is being used. The HoloLens can run for up to 5.5 hours, but on heavy usage, the battery life drops to 2.5 hours. In addition, Microsoft will not be offering an immersive screen experience in the initial models of the Microsoft Hololens. The models will initially be limiting the field of view to 15-inch screen from about two feet away. The view is likely to get wider over time as Microsoft improves its manufacturing capabilities and costs.

Since the developers are yet to receive the Microsoft HoloLens for tests, it is safe to assume the consumer version of the headset will not be arriving anytime soon. The company last month opened a studio in New York to showcase its upcoming HoloLens headset for inserting holograms into real-world settings. It is worth mentioning that the studio is only for software developers for now ad won’t be open for general public. The Microsoft HoloLens development kit will be available in the first quarter of 2016, for $3,000 (roughly Rs. 2lakhs), said Terry Myerson, Microsoft’s Executive Vice President of the Windows and Devices Group, in October last year.

Reliance Jio, Reliance Communications Sign Spectrum Sharing Pact

Reliance Jio, Reliance Communications Sign Spectrum Sharing Pact

The communications services companies of the two Ambani brothers on Monday announced agreements for trading and sharing of scarce airwaves, or radio frequency spectrum, in the 800MHz band, covering virtually the entire country. A roaming agreement is also on cards.

The pact for trading involves a change in spectrum allotment from the Anil Ambani-led Reliance Communications to Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Jio over nine circles and that for sharing between the two companies covers 17 circles, the two entities said.

“The spectrum arrangements between Reliance Jio Infocom and Reliance Communications will result in network synergies, enhanced network capacity and will optimise spectrum utilisation and capex (capital expenditure) efficiencies,” the companies said in separate statements.

“Both operators anticipate considerable savings in operating costs and future investment in networks… Customers of RCom will benefit from access to RJIL’s world class LTE network under the reciprocal sharing and ICR agreements… The arrangements are subject to liberalisation of RCom spectrum in the 800 MHz band and obtaining requisite approvals.”

“These agreements further strengthen the comprehensive framework of business co-operation between RJIL and RCom group, following the nationwide long term IRU agreements for inter and intra city optical fibre networks, and for sharing of telecom tower infrastructure.”

As of now, Reliance Jio is only available for 1 lakh Reliance employees across India. Before this, it was only accessible in the Navi Mumbai office of Reliance, and now will over the next few months be put through a kind of beta test to see how effective the coverage is. While there is no confirmed date for the commercial launch, it is expected to take place in late March or April 2016.

Qualcomm Unveils $280 Million Joint Venture With Chinese Province

Qualcomm Unveils $280 Million Joint Venture With Chinese Province

Qualcomm Inc and the provincial government of Guizhou in southwest China unveiled on Sunday a $280 million (roughly Rs. 1,891 crores) joint venture for the design, development and sale of advanced server technology, as the US chipmaker deepens its Chinese relations.

Qualcomm officials in Beijing signed a strategic cooperation agreement with the government of Guizhou province and announced the Guizhou Huaxintong Semi-Conductor Technology Co Ltd, a joint venture with initial capital of 1.85 billion renminbi.

Qualcomm also will establish an investment company in Guizhou that will serve as a vehicle for future investments in China, the company and the provincial government said in a statement.

The joint venture, cooperation agreement and formation of an investment company are important steps for Qualcomm as it deepens its cooperation and investment in China, said Derek Aberle, president of Qualcomm Inc.

Aberle said that in addition to its capital investment, Qualcomm was licensing its server technology to the joint venture, assisting with research and development and would supply expertise to implement the project.

“This underscores our commitment as a strategic partner in China,” Aberle said in the statement.

Facebook Testing New Browser for Its App

Facebook Testing New Browser for Its App

Social networking website Facebook is testing an improved in-app browser that would allow users input their own URL should they want to check another page without leaving the Facebook app, a report claimed, citing users who were seeing the new interface on their iOS app.

Besides the aesthetic shift, a new bar on the bottom tells you how popular a post is, includes back and forward buttons, lets you bookmark pages, and has a menu button which likely includes a few more features too, The Next Web reported Sunday.

The only big feature that appears to be missing is tab support, but the new browser is quite close to approximating a full-fledged app.

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With a good enough browser, the Facebook app could essentially become a self-contained ecosystem of its own, it added.

The browser is only available to a small subset of users (iOS only), but most public test features end up receiving a wider roll-out a few months later.

Facebook last week began rolling out its Reactions feature to Japan, making it the sixth country to thus far receive the augmentation for the Facebook Like. The feature was first made available only for users in Spain and Ireland, back at launch in October. It has since been rolled out to Chile, Portugal, and the Philippines.

Although Facebook has not mentioned where it will bring the feature next, it is expected that the emoji-based Reactions will soon reach more countries as well.

The emoji-based Reactions show: “love,” “yay,” “wow,” “haha,” “sad,” and “angry,” and are similar to regular emojis used in chat.

Moto X Play Now Receiving Android 6.0 Marshmallow Update in India

Moto X Play Now Receiving Android 6.0 Marshmallow Update in India

After rolling out the Android 6.0 Marshmallow update for the Moto G (Gen 3) earlier this month, Motorola has now started seeding the Marshmallow update for the Moto X Play in India and Brazil.

The OTA update MPD24.65-18 weighs roughly 590MB and is likely to reach other Moto X Play users around the globe soon. It is worth mentioning that the Moto X Style, which launched along with theMoto X Play, started receiving the update last month. Users can manually check for update via Settings> About Phone > System Update.

For those unaware, some of the new features of the core Android 6.0 Marshmallow update include revamped app permissions; Google Now on Tap feature; new Chrome feature that will change the Web experience for Android users; new ways to handle Web links; Android Pay mobile payment system; new fingerprint APIs for developers to add into their apps, New Silent feature for sound and vibrate mode as well as a ‘Do Not Disturb’ mode to block all sounds or only alarms and notifications, and battery saver features called Doze that will make Android devices smart about managing power.

Apart from the regular Marshmallow features, Motorola will be also pushing some Moto-specific changes that users will see after updating to the new Android OS version. Some changes to Moto enhancements include removal of Moto Assist feature as part of upgrade to Android M. The company explains that the latest OS includes an option for ‘Do Not Disturb’ under the ‘Sound and notification’ settings that performs similar function what Moto Assist does.

Motorola in December also started rolling out the Android 6.0 Marshmallow update to the Moto X (Gen 2) as well.

Android 6.0 Marshmallow Now Running on 0.7 Percent Active Devices: Google

Android 6.0 Marshmallow Now Running on 0.7 Percent Active Devices: Google

Google has updated its Google Play distribution data for the seven-day period ending January 4. As Google’s Android 6.0 Marshmallow version rolls out to more devices, its adoption has gone up – slightly. According to Google’s latest Android distribution chart, the Android 6.0 Marshmallow now runs on 0.7 percent active Android devices. This is 0.2 percent increase from the December figure of 0.5 percent.

Sharing the distribution data of different versions of Android, Google reported that Android Lollipop has a total share of around 32.6 percent of active Android devices (with Android 5.0 Lollipop running on 16.9 percent of devices and Android 5.1 at 15.7 percent) that check into Google Play.

According to the latest data, Android 4.4.x KitKat version is going down steadily in charts and now powers 36.1 percent devices compared to 36.6 percent last month – a decrease of 0.5 percent.

The Android distribution data also shows that Android Jelly Bean has a combined share of 24.7 percent – falling 2.2 percent from December’s 26.9 percent. Android 4.1.x is seen on 9 percent devices (down from 10 percent), Android 4.2.x on 12.2 percent (down from 13 percent), and Android 4.3 on 3.5 percent devices (down from 3.9 percent).

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Android 4.0.x or Ice Cream Sandwich, in Google’s latest numbers, registered a share of 2.7 percent, down 0.2 percent from December. Android Gingerbread (v2.3.3-2.3.7) and Android 2.2 Froyo’s device distribution shares are 3.0 percent (down 0.4 percent) and 0.2 percent (at the same number) respectively in the latest charts. To note, the figures are gathered from devices visiting the Google Play app, which supports Android 2.2 and above.

The OpenGL version distribution across active Android devices, on the other hand, saw OpenGL 2.0 dominating at 54.3 percent (from 55 percent last month), and OpenGL version 3.0 steadily rising to 38.9 percent (38.8 percent last month).

Xiaomi Mi 5 to Pack Snapdragon 820 SoC, Launch After Spring Festival: Co-Founder

Xiaomi Mi 5 to Pack Snapdragon 820 SoC, Launch After Spring Festival: Co-Founder

Shortly after Qualcomm announced that LeTV’s Le Max Pro is the first smartphone to feature its Snapdragon 820 SoC, Xiaomi revealed that the Mi 5 flagship smartphone will pack the Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 processor as well. The company also alongside confirmed other updates about the handset’s development.

The news was confirmed by Xiaomi Co-Founder and Senior VP Liwan Jiang in a Weibo post. He also revealed that the Mi 5 has now entered mass production and the company is making sure that there are enough units available for consumers when the phone finally launches. Jiang also spilled the beans about launch of the much-anticipated Mi 5. He said that the Xiaomi Mi 5 will launch after the Spring Festival, which this year starts on February 8, and lasts 15 days.

Additionally, Xiaomi CEO Lei Jun has further fuelled the anticipation for the Mi 5 smartphone saying on Weibo, “I’ve spent some time” (Bing translation) with the Mi 5. To recall, Jun back in November hadrevealed that the Mi 5 was “worth the wait” and was “very, very good”.

Based on previous leaks, the Mi 5 features a 5.2-inch display with either full-HD or QHD resolution. The handset is said to come in two memory and storage versions – 3GB of RAM with 32GB inbuilt storage, and 4GB of RAM with 64GB storage. On the camera front, the Mi 5 is rumoured to pack a 16-megapixel rear camera and a 13-megapixel front-facing camera. It is also supposed to be backed by a 3600mAh battery with Quick Charge 3.0 tech. The handset is said to run MIUI 7 based on Android 6.0 Marshmallow. For pricing, the 32GB inbuilt storage and 3GB RAM version has been said to be priced at CNY 1,999 (roughly Rs. 20,300), the 64GB inbuilt storage, and 4GB RAM priced at CNY 2,299 (roughly Rs. 23,400).

Google Releases January Android Security Update for Nexus Devices

Google Releases January Android Security Update for Nexus Devices

Google has been keeping its promise of releasing Android security update every month. The company released security updates in November and last month, it bundled the security update with the Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow update release. Now, Google has started pushing the January Android security update for its Nexus range of devices.

In its ‘Nexus Security Bulletin’ for the month of January, Google has listed one of the most severe vulnerability that could enable remote code execution on an affected device through multiple methods such as email, web browsing, and MMS when processing media files. The company however said that it received no reports of active customer exploitation of the newly reported issues.

Some of the other critical security vulnerabilities listed by Google include elevation of privilege vulnerability in misc-sd driver, elevation of privilege vulnerability in the imagination technologies driver, elevation of privilege vulnerabilities in trustzone, and elevation of privilege vulnerability in kernel. The company also revealed that partners were notified about the issues on December 7 or earlier. Google will be releasing source code patches for the new issues to the Android Open Source Project (AOSP) repository in the next 48 hours.

Unlike the December security update, the January Android security update is purely focused on security fixes.

The factory images for Nexus range of devices are also available on Google’s Android Developers’website. Both the OTA update and factory images are for devices running Android 6.0 Marshmallow. The Nexus 5X and Nexus 6P will get the new Android security OTA update with build MMB29P. TheNexus 5 and the Nexus 9 Wi-Fi only and LTE will receive OTA updates with build MMB29S. The Nexus 7Wi-Fi only and LTE will get an update with build MMB29O. Nexus Player will start receiving OTA security updates with build MMB29T while the Nexus 6 will get MMB29S build.