LG Tone Studio, Tone Free Wireless Audio Products Unveiled Ahead of CES 2017

We are just a week away from CES 2017, which will see a host of new technological offerings from some of the biggest names in the industry. LG is one such name that announced on Wednesday two new wireless wearable audio products to be unveiled at CES 2017. The Tone Studio wearable speakers and Tone Free earphones join the list of LG’s Bluetooth headset lineup.

lg tone free earphones LG Tone FreeThe LG Tone Studio features four speakers – two full range speakers on the top and two vibrating speakers on the bottom. The Tone Studio wearable speakers combined deliver a surround sound experience when watching a movie, streaming music or playing video games. LG has designed the surround sound in collaboration with DTS. The headset features a Hi-Fi DAC (Digital to Analog Converter) to enhance sound quality by recreating audio content as accurately as possible. Additionally, the headset also comes with Dual Play functionality that lets you connect two Tone Studio wearable speakers and share sound from a movie, playlist or more.

 

The LG Tone Free earphones are LG’s first wireless earbuds that can be charged when stored inside the neckband. The neckband not only adds more battery time to the earphones on the go, but it also provides a safe place to keep the earphones when not in use. Furthermore, the Tone Free earphones also lets you answer and ignore a call hands free through voice command.

Apart from the Tone Studio speakers and Tone Free earphones, LG will also showcase the Tone Infinim and Tone Ultra headsets at CES 2017. The Tone Infinim features LG’s Metal Layer Speaker Technology for clean, crisp sounds while the Tone Ultra, in collaboration with JBL, features dual MEMS microphones for remarkable call clarity.

LG’s entire lineup of wearable audio products will be on display during CES 2017 from January 5 to 8.

Lenovo ThinkPad Laptops With Intel ‘Kaby Lake’ Processors Unveiled Ahead of CES 2017

Lenovo has updated its ThinkPad laptop portfolio and made some notable improvements on its existing laptops. The new laptops from the company include the ThinkPad X270, the 13.3-inch ThinkPad Yoga 370, four new ThinkPad T Ultrabook models, the ThinkPad L 14-inch and 15-inch laptops, and a ThinkPad 13 variant.

Lenovo ThinkPad Laptops With Intel 'Kaby Lake' Processors Unveiled Ahead of CES 2017The newly-unveiled laptops will all run Microsoft’ Signature Edition image of Windows 10 in order to save users from unwanted apps and bloatware, as pointed out in a report by Engadget. Some of the laptops have further been provided with the support for Microsoft’s Precision Touchpad and for Windows Hello.

All the new laptops from Lenovo pack seventh-generation Intel Kaby Lake processors. Further, some of the larger models, including ThinkPad T470, T470p, T570, L470, and L570, are also available with the option of faster Intel Optane 3D storage.

Among the new laptops, there is a 12-inch ThinkPad X270 with a touchscreen option, starting at $909 (roughly Rs.62,000) and will be made available next March. The ThinkPad Yoga 370 with a 13.3-inch display will start shipping in March for $1,264 (roughly Rs. 86,200) while the new ThinkPad 13 laptop has been priced by the company at $674 (roughly Rs. 45,900).

Lenovo’s ThinkPad Thunderbolt 3 Dock, priced at $280 (roughly Rs. 19,100) by the company, provides users with power, two DisplayPort connectors, HDMI, VGA, five USB 3.0 ports, gigabit Ethernet, audio, and another Thunderbolt 3 port as well.

After the unveiling of the new laptops, it will be interesting to see what the company has in store for users at its CES 2017 event early next month.

Majority Bought Smartphones Online in 2016 as 4G Adoption Rises: Deloitte

Amid the steady 4G adoption growth, 53 percent of Indians bought their smartphones online while 39 per cent of smartphone owners still preferred retail stores to buy a new device in 2016, a Deloitte survey revealed on Wednesday.

Majority Bought Smartphones Online in 2016 as 4G Adoption Rises: DeloitteAccording to the ‘Mobile Consumer Survey 2016’, 4G adoption is expected to grow strongly over the next year to become the predominant data network and about 45 percent of the respondents said that they would subscribe to 4G or LTE in the next 12 months.

“With Internet becoming cheaper and higher mobile data penetration, consumers are becoming extremely data hungry. Thus, usage of smartphone is only expected to grow from here onwards,” said Neeraj Jain, Partner, Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu India LLP, in a statement.

Communication services namely social networks and instant messaging are the two things consumers check on their smartphones first thing in the morning, the findings showed.
The findings showed that smartphone users wield their devices to check bank balances (54 percent), pay utility bills (54 percent) and services bill (53 percent) the most.
This is followed by transferring money within the country (38 percent) and abroad (31 percent).

“The most common reason given for not using phone to make a payment was fear about security, cited by 29 percent of respondents,” the survey noted.

The survey analysed the mobile usage habits of over 2,000 Indian consumers as part of a global survey of 53,000 respondents across five continents and 31 countries.

The India data comprised of representatives from eight urban cities with internet access and adults aged between 18 and 54.

MobiKwik to Soon Enable Utility Bill Payments, Receives RBI Approval

Mobile wallet firm MobiKwik on Wednesday said its users across the country will be able to pay their utility and convenience bills using the wallet as the company has received an in-principle approval from the RBI to set up a Bharat Bill Payments Operating Unit (BBPOU).

MobiKwik to Soon Enable Utility Bill Payments, Receives RBI ApprovalThe company will now be integrated in Bharat Bill Payment System (BBPS), a bill payment system by National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI), offering interoperable and accessible bill payment service to customers through a network of agents, MobiKwik said in a release.

It said BBPS is a tiered structure for operating the bill payment system in the country under a single brand, and NPCI will function as the authorized Bharat Bill Payment Central Unit (BBPCU), which will be responsible for setting business standards, rules and procedures for technical and business requirements for all the participants.

In its initial phase beginning this month, BBPS will cover repetitive payments for everyday utility services such as electricity, water, gas, telephone and Direct-to-Home (DTH), the release added.
“We are determined to serve the entire country with digital payments and enable Indians from rural or urban areas in making seamless and secure payments from their mobile phones,” MobiKwik Cofounder Bipin Preet Singh said.
Founded in 2009, MobiKwik claims to have a network of more than 250,000 direct merchants and 45 million-plus users.

Auto or Replacement: What Are Your Options?

Deciding on whether you should repair the glass in your vehicle, or to replace it entirely, depends on a variety of factors – including how extensive the damage is, and how expensive each option is, and which option you can likely afford.

One of the most important pieces of glass in your vehicle is the windshield, or windscreen – and this is important in protecting you from debris, insects, and harsh weather conditions. The windshield is important as it provides structural support to the rest of the car as well, and though it is made of a strong material, it is still vulnerable to damage.

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If your windshield is chipped or cracked (because of flying debris), this can hinder your view, and can even cause an accident. A crack in your windshield also means that there may be a leak if you’re driving and it happens to rain. If your windshield is chipped, the damage will have the appearance of a spider web, and can be caused by rocks, or hail stones. A crack, however, looks as though there is a line running through your windshield, and these, too, can damage the integrity of the glass.

Repairing your auto glass can be an option if you may be under a tight budget, for it is a cheaper option. However, merely repairing your glass may not be good enough, if the damage is too extensive.  If the crack is less than three inches long, or if the chip is roughly the size of a quarter, then your glass can be safely repaired. However, if the damage is bigger, then it is advisable to get the glass replaced.

Another thing to note is where your windshield is damaged. For example, if the corner of your windshield is damaged, this can compromise the integrity of the windshield, and is advised that you get the windshield replaced. Though the option of repairing the glass is possible, it is preferred to get your windshield replaced, and car mechanics will advise you to do the same.

Another thing to look out for is to make sure that the crack does not impede your vision. For example, if there is a chip at eye level, or if the crack disrupts your vision, it is better to get your windshield replaced, rather than repaired. Repairs are possible, but the repair can leave minor changes in the glass, which can be distracting to you while you drive. Thus, it is better to get your windshield replaced entirely, to stay on the safe side.

AUTO Glass Quote MN is one such repair service that provides a variety of services to its customers, and does so with a highly trained workforce that is well-equipped to be able to handle any situation that they may come across. The company provides auto glass replacement and repair to local companies, allowing the general public easier access to their services; the staff is highly dedicated in providing quality workmanship in an efficient manner, so that your car is returned to you in mint condition as soon as possible. What makes them a special favourite is the fact that these services are provided at market rates, making them affordable to the general customer, and guaranteeing absolute customer satisfaction.

Over 70 Percent Rural Citizens Have Adopted E-Wallets, Says IT Ministry

More than 70 percent of rural citizens have adopted the methods of e-wallets followed by Unified Payment Interface (UPI) payment option, the Electronics and IT Ministry said today.

Over 70 Percent Rural Citizens Have Adopted E-Wallets, Says IT Ministry“An overview of the current data available with the Ministry of Electronics & IT (MeitY) shows that more than 70 percent rural citizens have adopted the methods of e-wallets, 16 percent opted for Unified Payment Interface (UPI),” the ministry said in a release.

Rest of the people looked at Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD), Aadhaar Enabled Payment System (AEPS) & Cards or Point of Sale(PoS).

Similarly, more than 85 percent of the merchants have adopted the e-Wallet system and 13 percent have opted for UPI, the statement said.

“The speed and scale at which digital transformation in taking place in India is paving the way for a digitally empowered, participative and inclusive society,” MeitY Secretary Aruna Sundararajan said.

Under its Digital Payments awareness and training programme, the Ministry said that Common Service Centre (CSC) network, which provides government service in rural area, has enrolled over 25 lakh rural citizens for digital payments.

“Achieving the 25 lakh mark in such a short time is an indication of the pace at which digital adoption is gaining momentum among rural citizens,” Sundararajan said.

Over 55,000 merchants have started offering digital payment options to rural customers across various districts and blocks in India,” the statement said.

The DigiDhan Abhiyan aims to reach over 1 crore rural citizens through this massive outreach programme. The campaign aims to cover 2 lakh Common Service Centres (CSC) in rural and semi-urban areas and also reach out to 2.5 lakh Gram panchayats across the country. The centres will cover one member from each household and will cater to 40 households in a catchment area.

Facebook Now Lets You Sign Into Android Apps With Mobile Number

Facebook at its annual developer F8 conference earlier this year showcased its Account Kit authentication system. The new system was essentially a new way Facebook wanted people to log into any app instead of the traditional ways. The company has now updated its Account Kit developer tool which lets people sign in to Android apps using Facebook’s instant verification system.

Facebook Now Lets You Sign Into Android Apps With Mobile NumberFacebook’s Ethan Goldman-Kirst, Software Engineer with Identify Tools team, in a blog post explains the instant verification process, “When a person enters his/her phone number into an app using Account Kit, via Android services, we attempt a match with the verified phone number listed on the person’s Facebook profile. This is only possible if the person is logged into the Facebook app on the same device.”

Developers can now take advantage of the new instant verification by integrating the new Facebook SDK for your apps or sites using Account Kit.

Ethan further adds that if there isn’t a match, a SMS will be sent to verify and complete sign-in process. “If there is a match, we can complete the verification without sending a one-time password (OTP) via SMS, making the sign-in flow more seamless. If there isn’t a successful match, a SMS will be sent with a verification code to complete the sign-in. This feature is used only to improve the verification process in a secure way and no additional Facebook information is shared with the app.”

Facebook claims that there has been 97 percent conversation rate in the initial tests which means people entered an app through the instant verification system. The company named Familonet as its early partner which is an app that helps people stay safe by letting them share their location with friends and family in real-time. “Account Kit phone number login increased their registrations by 40 percent. Recent implementation of instant verification lifted their conversion rates by 5 percent, and this continues to rise,” adds Facebook team.

LeEco Confirms Layoffs in India and Other Regions; Talks About Revamped Strategy

LeEco on Wednesday said it has revised its business strategy for the coming year, based on the “overall volatility and uncertainty that is forecast for the global economy.” Recently, the company admitted expanding too fast too soon, and has since been scrutinising plans. This overhaul will imply several changes across the markets in which it operates, including India, where the company has confirmed layoffs are planned.

LeEco Confirms Layoffs in India and Other Regions; Talks About Revamped StrategyTo recall, LeEco entered the Indian market in January this year, and the company has enjoyed some time in the limelight since. The company entered the offline market in the country in June by bringing the Le 1s to brick-and-mortar stores, and then expanded its retail partnerships the next month.

Now, LeEco in a statement to Gadgets 360 reacting to recent reports about its planned slowdown in the country, said that it was downsizing its operations in India. This “right sizing exercise” applies to “all its offices in various geographies” the company specified, with India just one of these markets. It added that India is one of the top three markets for the company globally, but mentioned that it is also a “fledgling operation”.

The company said that the decision to downsize operations in India was not “led by performance or competence parameters but entirely guided by business imperatives.” The statement further explained the reasons behind the move, “As we transit to a more strategic phase of our operations in India, it is the appropriate time to assess and take steps to ensure the sustainability and profitability of our business.”

Speaking about the layoffs in India, LeEco said it is doing what it can to alleviate struggles of “affected employees.” It said it is “open to offering outplacement services to affected employees who specifically seek assistance”
Referring to reports that it was exiting the offline sales market it had entered under six months ago, LeEco didn’t confirm its actual exit – however, it did say it was now focused on its online channels. LeEco said that it was at its core an Internet company, and that it “intends to concentrate on and bolster its online business.” The company said its “proven O2O model” will be vital to its business in India, but how this applies to actual offline sales isn’t clear yet.

The statement also shed some light on the company’s roadmap for India, pointing specifically to improving online channels with a “more consumer-centric” LeMall marketplace. LeEco also said it has a “robust product pipeline in the offing.”

In August, LeEco set up a manufacturing unit in Greater Noida, with an initial production capacity of 60,000 smartphones a month anticipated to ramp up to 200,000 units a month by the end of the year. At the same time, it announced it had managed to sell 1 million smartphones in the country since launch.

While LeEco is silent on if there’s a rethink on its Make in India plans, the company says it “will adopt a laser-sharp focus on overall organisational efficiency, capacity-building and talent nurturing while remaining unwaveringly committed to maintaining a sustainable and profitable business model.”

Nexus 6P Users Still Reporting Battery Failure Issue Related to Android 7.0 Nougat

Early last month, some Nexus 6P users reported an issue where their devices were shutting down unexpectedly despite showing some percentage of battery left, after updating to Android 7.0 Nougat. It seems like Google has still not fixed the issue as Nexus 6P users are continuing to complain regarding the issue to the search giant through threads and complaint forums.

Nexus 6P Users Still Reporting Battery Failure Issue Related to Android 7.0 NougatThe issue on Nexus 6P smartphones has already been posted in Google’s Issue Tracker but currently holds a priority of “small” on the website. Some users have reported that their battery died out from battery levels as high as 60 percent, as pointed out in a report by AndroidPolice. Most users have reported their battery dying out between 10 and 60 percent and the issue is more prominent in regions with cold climates as per the report.

One of the biggest problems associated with the Nexus 6P battery failure issue is that several people have ended up in emergency situations where they were not able to contact their family due to the fact that their phone’s battery died unexpectedly. One user complained, “One evening I was stuck in traffic for 2 hours for a multiple vehicle crash. I had over 50 percent battery left and when I tried to call my family and let them know I’m stuck and wasn’t involved in the crash the phone died,” as pointed out by 9to5Google.

Even though some Nexus 6P users tried rolling back to earlier versions of Android, the issue was not solved. However, the battery reportedly started dying at levels lower than that in the case of Android 7.0 Nougat.

As this shutdown issue has already posed a problem for several Nexus 6P users, the search giant needs to roll out an update to fix the issue before it creates more trouble.

How GIS Is Used by Mobile Companies

There is no denying that the field of mobile technology has really taken off. Mobile companies are operating at huge profits because their products are so in demand right now. It isn’t crazy to see everyone from elementary school kids to great-grandparents using mobile devices. They are so integrated into daily life that many people spend their whole day with their mobile device literally strapped to their side.
However, despite the popularity, there is also an expectation for these companies to always be working on the next best thing. They have to step up their game constantly to keep up with demand and to stay competitive. If a company can’t compete, it will quickly lose ground to other companies that are on top of things.
One of the ways that companies are starting to branch out and improve involves geographic information system technology. GIS is technology that creates data based on location. It can be used in many ways, as noted by USC, and mobile companies are starting to experiment with how this can benefit their customers. Here are some ways they are putting GIS to use.

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Helping Businesses
One way mobile companies are really branching out is by creating new technology that is useful for various businesses. GIS allows them to create mapping programs that can be used to do things like map boundaries of a property. This is incredibly useful for companies in real estate, construction, and the government. It can also be used to look underground, which comes in handy if you are digging or laying materials underground.
Assisting Outdoor Enthusiasts
Because GIS creates maps, it is ideal for use in targeting outdoor enthusiasts who love to run, bike, hike, climb or do anything else in the wild. The outdoors can be dangerous because it is so easy to get lost. The wild is wild because it hasn’t been nicely landscaped and there aren’t manmade paths and roadways. Once you set out on a hike in uncharted territory, you have to be careful. Many paper maps won’t have the routes you need to see, so you could wander into a bad spot. GIS programs, though, are able to give you real-time data and accuracy so that you can be safer and enjoy your outdoor hobbies.
Behind the Scenes
Most mobile companies use GIS in their own operations. They help track workers, manage towers and assist with planning new construction. These uses have helped to increase efficiency, which is great for customers in the long run because it lowers prices. It also has helped to automate processes, which, again, leads to better productivity and lower prices for customers.
GIS is something that has actually been around for a while, but due to the advancements in mobile devices, it is now becoming something that can be useful to every person. Through using GIS, mobile companies are able to create better applications and programs for their devices to make them even more useful to their users. In the future, it is likely that GIS will be used in even more ways to help the continued improvement and usefulness of mobile devices.