Microsoft’s Cortana is headed to the Android lock screen

Cortana for Android and iOS is looking better than ever after a facelift in December. Now with the overhaul finished, Microsoft has another plan for the Android edition of Cortana.cortana android quick actions

MSPowerUser recently spotted the ability to add Cortana to an Android phone’s lock screen in the testing version of Cortana (beta) on Android—that’s right, there’s a beta for the beta.

cortanaandroid
Cortana for Android.

Users in the testing program are seeing a pop-up window inside the Cortana app that asks them if they want to enable Cortana on the lock screen.

Once approved, users see a Cortana icon on the lock screen and are able to swipe it to get access to Microsoft’s voice assistant without unlocking the phone. It’s not clear if Cortana replaces the Google Now microphone in the lower left corner of the lock screen or adds another icon to it.

MSPowerUser says Cortana’s lock screen setting is a complementary feature that will not turn off or try to replace your current lock screen set-up. For most users that won’t really matter, but for anyone who uses a custom lock screen app this will be an important part of the new feature.

It’s also worth noting that Cortana on the lock screen doesn’t ask for your PIN before opening up, according to MSPowerUser. That means anyone with physcial access to your device will be able to access Cortana, which could be a problem if your calendar is connected to the digital assistant.

Why this matters: Personal digital assistants work best when they’re accessible from anywhere. That’s why Microsoft put a lock screen option for Cortana in the Windows 10 Anniversary Update, and why Google Now offers voice activation from the lock screen on modern Android phones. Making Cortana on Android more functional also plays into Microsoft’s wider goal of keeping users in the company’s ecosystem even when they’re not using a Windows-powered device.

Google’s low-cost Android One program may expand to the U.S.

When Google launched its Android One program in 2014 it was designed for one main reason: to create a system of standards for phones in developing countries. Targeting emerging markets in Pakistan, India, the Philippines, Indonesia, and others, the program dictated minimum hardware standards and limited software tweaks to insure people everywhere had access to low-cost phones that still provided regular security updates and the latest Android features.google io sundar pinchai android one

Now it looks like the program is on its way to the U.S.

According to a report in The Information, Google is looking to launch its first Android One phone in the States “before the middle of the year,” and is eyeing LG as a potential manufacturer. Yesterday, VentureBeat divulged that Google would be partnering with LG on the release of its first Android Wear watch, but The Information’s report doesn’t say whether the two companies would be collaborating on the development of the Android One handset.

As Amir Efrati explains, the U.S. launch of Android One is backed by “major new promotional dollars” for phone makers that play by Google’s rules. The first handset is expected to be priced between $200 and $300, and all subsequent models will need to adhere to Google’s strict guidelines “to ensure that they’re fast and responsive—and that they stay that way over time.”

android one lava pixel v1

The Lava Pixel V1 phone is part of the Android One program.

While Google hasn’t divulged the terms of its specifications, the phones highlighted on Google’s Android One site all feature a minimum of a Cortex A7 1.3 GHz quad-core processor, 1GB of RAM, 4GB of internal storage, and a 1,700 mAh battery. It’s unclear whether the requirements of the U.S. phones would need to adhere to different standards than those made for overseas markets.

One of the biggest problems facing low-cost Android phones in the U.S. is that they are often bogged down by carrier and manufacturer bloatware, as well as a lack of timely security and OS updates. A push by Google into the U.S. with Android One would be an interesting move, especially if it’s backed by a strong advertising campaign.

With the Pixel, Google introduced a mainstream phone that enjoys timely updates. Bringing that kind of attention to budget phones in the U.S. could begin to shake up the low-end of the market. The truth is, many people don’t know that they won’t be getting the latest version of Android after they purchase their phone, so anything Google can do to stress the importance of regular updates will be an important step.

This story, “Google’s low-cost Android One program may expand to the U.S.” was originally published by Greenbot.

Buying iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus? Here Are the Discounts You Can Still Get

iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus Offers You Can Still Get on Launch Day in India
iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus go on sale at 7pm IST
iPhone 7 price starts at Rs. 60,000
iPhone 7 Plus price starts at Rs. 72,000
Want to be one of the early buyers of the new iPhone 7 or iPhone 7 Plus, but have not pre-ordered the shiny new Apple smartphones so far? Set to hit the Indian shores at 7pm today, the latest iPhones are no longer available for pre-orders on many of the big e-commerce websites. However, you are still not too late to the party: though early-bird offers – like the ones being provided by Amazon and Snapdeal – have dried up, you can still get some discounts in the form of cashbacks or exchange offers if you book the new iPhones now.

Here’s a look at the discounts you can still avail if you pre-order the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus right now:

Flipkart
Flipkart has been taking pre-orders for the device since last week. It is still offering a discount of up to Rs. 24,500 if you exchange your old smartphone. However, the cashback offer with Citibank expired Thursday on the website. That means that the exchange offer is your best bet.

Link: Flipkart

Paytm
The popular online payments platform is offering cashbacks of Rs. 5,000 on the 32GB iPhone 7, Rs. 6,000 on the 128GB iPhone 7 and 32GB iPhone 7 Plus, and Rs. 7,000 on the 256GB iPhone 7 as well as the 128GB and 256GB iPhone 7 Plus.

Link: Paytm
Tata Cliq
Tata Cliq is offering a deferred cashback of Rs. 10,000 to iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus buyers. The offer is valid till October 14 or till stocks last.

Link: Tata Cliq

 
Infibeam
If you are planning to buy iPhone 7 or iPhone 7 Plus on EMI, then you can opt for Infibeam’s no-cost EMI plan. Under this offer, provided in partnership with CashCare, no credit card is required and there is no interest levied. Moreover, you get a Rs. 500 cash-back on the first EMI.

Link: Infibeam

Snapdeal
Snapdeal offers a flat discount of Rs 10,000 to those who buy iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus using American Express cards; similarly, Axis Bank credit and debit card buyers get a 10 percent discount. The e-commerce player is also offering cashback up to Rs.16,000 if you exchange an old smartphone. Though the offers are valid for all variants, only the 256GB iPhone 7 is available for pre-bookings right now. A Snapdeal spokesperson said in a statement to Gadgets 360 that its entire stock is pre-booked and the offers will be revived on the website later on Friday.

Link: Snapdeal

To recall, this year’s iPhone models come in three storage variants – 32GB, 128GB, and 256GB. Both the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus will be available in Gold, Jet Black, Matte Black, Rose Gold, and Silver colour variants in India.

The 32GB iPhone 7 has been priced at Rs. 60,000, while the 128GB iPhone 7 has been priced at Rs. 70,000, and the 256GB iPhone 7 has been priced at Rs. 80,000. The 32GB iPhone 7 Plus has been priced at Rs. 72,000, the 128GB iPhone 7 Plus has been priced at Rs. 82,000, while the 256GB iPhone 7 Plus has been priced at Rs. 92,000.

 

Apple iPhone 7 Apple iPhone 7
Rs. 60,000
KEY SPECS
Display
4.70-inch
Processor
quad-core
Front Camera
7-megapixel
Resolution
750×1334 pixels
RAM
2GB
OS
iOS 10
Storage
32GB
Rear Camera
12-megapixel
Battery capacity
1960mAh

Intex Aqua S7 With 4G VoLTE Support, Fingerprint Sensor Launched

Intex Aqua S7 With 4G VoLTE Support, Fingerprint Sensor Launched at Rs. 9,499Intex has launched a new budget smartphone in India, the Aqua S7. Launched at an event in New Delhi on Monday, the 4G VoLTE-enabled Intex Aqua S7 has been priced at Rs. 9,499, and will come with the Reliance Jio Welcome Offer. The phone will be made available in Rose Gold, Dark Blue, and Champagne colour variants, however, exact availability was not detailed.

The dual-SIM Intex Aqua S7 runs Android 6.0 Marshmallow out of the box, and features a 5-inch HD (720×1280 pixels) display at Rs. 9,499. The smartphone is powered by a 64-bit 1.3GHz quad-core MediaTek MT6735 SoC coupled with Mali-T720 GPU and 3GB of RAM. Another highlight of the smartphone is that it sports a fingerprint sensor on the rear panel.

The smartphone sports a 13-megapixel rear camera with an LED flash module, and a 5-megapixel front camera. The Aqua S7 bears 16GB of inbuilt storage, which is expandable via microSD card. In terms of connectivity, the phone supports 4G, VoLTE, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.0, FM radio, 3.5mm audio jack, and GPS/ A-GPS as options. The smartphone houses a 3200mAh battery. The Intex Aqua S7 measures 142.5×72.5×8.7mm and weighs 150 grams.

Intex last week launched smartphones Aqua Costa and Aqua 4.5 3G smartphones. The Intex Aqua Costa was launched at priced of Rs. 5,449 while the Intex Aqua 4.5 3G was priced at Rs. 3,349. Both smartphones are expected to be made available in India soon.

Lenovo A Plus, Lenovo P2 Smartphones Launched at IFA 2016

Lenovo A Plus, Lenovo P2 Smartphones Launched at IFA 2016
Lenovo A Plus has been priced at EUR 69 (approximately Rs. 5,200)
Lenovo P2 has been priced at EUR 249 (approximately Rs. 18,500)
Both smartphones will initially be available in Europe
Apart from launching the K6, K6 Power, and K6 Note smartphones, Lenovo at IFA 2016 in Berlin also revealed the new A Plus and P2 smartphones.

The Lenovo P2 has been priced at EUR 249 (approximately Rs. 18,500) while the Lenovo A Plus will be available at EUR 69 (approximately Rs. 5,200). Both the handsets will be initially available in the European markets. The Lenovo P2 will start shipping in November while the A Plus will go on sale from this month.

For specifications, the Lenovo A Plus features a 4.5-inch FWVGA (480×854 pixels) display and is powered by a MediaTek MT6580 processor clocked at 1.3GHz. The handset comes with 1GB of RAM and packs 8GB of on-board storage which can be expanded via microSD card (up to 32GB). It sports a 5-megapixel rear camera with LED flash and also houses a 2-megapixel front camera. There is 2000mAh battery and the handset comes with dual-SIM support. Much like other A-series handsets, the biggest highlight of the Lenovo A Plus will be 4G with VoLTE support.

The Lenovo P2, on the other hand, is the successor to the battery-centric Lenovo P1 smartphone and packs a large 5100mAh battery. It also supports fast-charging. It features a 5.5-inch full-HD (1080×1920 pixels) Amoled display and is powered by a Snapdragon 625 processor coupled with 3GB of RAM. There is 32GB of storage which is further expandable via microSD card. Lenovo has announced that it will launch the 4GB of RAM with 64GB storage model of the Lenovo P2 in China.
There is a 13-megapixel rear camera with dual LED flash, Sony sensor and also packs a 5-megapixel front camera.

 

Lenovo P2 Lenovo P2
KEY SPECS
NEWS
Display
5.50-inch
Processor
octa-core
Front Camera
5-megapixel
Resolution
1080×1920 pixels
RAM
3GB
OS
Android 6.0
Storage
32GB
Rear Camera
13-megapixel
Battery capacity
5100mAh

Microsoft Says Surface Pro 3’s Battery Issue Fixed With Latest Update

Microsoft Says Surface Pro 3's Battery Issue Fixed With Latest Update

  • Microsoft starts rolling out battery fix update for Surface Pro 3
  • Microsoft says the devices were not able to gauge their battery capacity
  • The company claimed earlier this month that it was close to finding fix

Earlier this month, Microsoft claimed that the company was close to solving the battery issues some users were experiencing with the Surface Pro 3. Now, the Redmond-based company has finally rolled out an update and says that it fixes the issue battery life issue on some Surface Pro 3 models.

Microsoft has said in a note that on certain affected devices, the battery was being misreported to the operating system and device firmware and as a result, the device was not being able to charge up to its full capacity.

Comparing the issue with fuel in a car’s tank, the company said, “Think of this like a fuel gauge in a car, where the car looks to the fuel gauge to determine how much to fill the tank. In this case, if the fuel gauge isn’t working right, the car would also not be able to fill the tank-even though the tank is fine.”

The update essentially corrects the logic in the firmware component that acts as the “fuel gauge” for the Surface Pro 3 battery, so that the actual battery capacity on devices with this particular part is accurately reported, Microsoft explains in its post. The company says that post-update, the device’s battery capacity will self-correct over the next several charge and discharge cycles.

In order to get the update on Windows 10, you need to head to Settings > Update & security > Windows Update and then choose ‘Check for Updates’ option. After installing the update your Surface will boot back into Windows and then you are required to restart the device again for the battery fix to take effect, the company says.

 

Google’s close by for Android indicates Apps, websites relevant in your vicinity

Google has delivered a brand new characteristic referred to as nearby to suggests apps and websites to customers based totally on their area. those apps and services offer extra statistics about that region.

Google's Nearby for Android Shows Apps, Websites Relevant to Your Location

this selection will roll out as a part of the upcoming Google Play offerings release, and will work for Android four.4 KitKat users and above, Google stated in a weblog post. so as for this feature to work, the person can have to turn on Bluetooth and location on their cellphone. nearby will then do its component, and recommend apps and websites.

as an example, if an Android user is at Disney global, the close by feature will display the relevant app/website as a notification. If the consumer needs to download the app, or view the internet site, tapping at the notification will at once lead him to the app in Google Play, or the website on Chrome. instead, the user also can chose to simply avoid and swipe the notification away to remedy the display screen.

websites will ought to get guide for Google Beacons for his or her web sites to surface depending on the customers area – more info for site owners can be discovered at the developer weblog publish. assist for beacons got here to Chrome with version 49.

this can be a beneficial function for all folks that would love additional records approximately a place they’re journeying. users are not necessarily always knowledgeable about those apps and offerings supplied through sure groups, and close by seems to fill that gap. additionally Google Play houses thousands and thousands of apps, and this selection will assist relevant apps get observed, inadvertently assisting developers. earlier this yr, Google had finished a similar test in Chrome, in which it showed applicable web sites relying on the consumer’s location.

Oracle to Google: Pay us $9.3bn for using Java in Android

android-and-split-screen.jpg

Oracle thinks it is due $9.3bn in damages from Google, mostly from profits the search company is claimed to have made from using Java in Android.

The tech giants are scheduled to duel again in May at a federal district court in San Francisco to settle a long-running feud over whether or not Google was covered by “fair use” when it copied 37 Java application programming interfaces to build Android, now the most widely-used mobile OS in the world.

In June last year, the Supreme Court denied Google’s appealagainst an Appeals Court decision that overturned an earlier ruling that APIs aren’t covered by copyright law.

But while Oracle had previously sought damages of $1bn, a new court submission from Oracle shows the company is now seeking almost 10 times that amount.

The documents, obtained by PC World, reflect an opinion by James Malackowski, a damages expert hired by Oracle, who values the firm’s losses at $9.3bn.

The figure comprises $475m in “actual damages”, such as licensing revenues Oracle could have earned in the absence of Android, and $8.8bn in “profits apportioned to infringed Java copyrights”, which include Google’s revenues from mobile search, app sales through Google Play, and Nexus device sales.

Oracle filed its original case in 2010 when Android was not the dominant mobile platform. The new figure reflects Android’s growth in the intervening years.

The expert’s opinion factors in the proposition that Google’s alleged infringement on Java copyrights were critical to the launch of Android, and in ensuring search revenue from mobile advertising. Additionally, had Google not infringed Java copyrights, there may have been more licensing revenue from Java.

Google hit back at the huge damages estimate in a filing last week, claiming that Oracle and Malackowski improperly equated the value of the 37 APIs with the total value of Android. Google has argued Malackowski’s analysis should be inadmissible.

Google to Oracle: Your $9.3bn Android Java damages claim is mad

androidappsistock.jpg

Google has filed a rebuttal to Oracle’s claim that it’s due $9.3bn in damages for unlicensed use of Java code in Android.

Google says its own damages expert “strongly disagrees” with the financial relief Oracle has demanded, ahead of the companies’ May district court retrial over claims that 37 Java SE application protocol interfaces in Android infringed Oracle’s copyright.

Oracle has argued that the Java APIs were necessary to get app developers on board with Android early, which helped Google net billions in profits through app sales and mobile advertising.

Oracle’s damages expert estimated that Google has made $8.8bn in “profits apportioned to infringed Java copyrights” and that those profits should be recovered from Google. Together with actual damages of $475m, the expert thinks Google should pay Oracle a total of $9.3bn.

Just a few months after Apple released Swift for iOS, the language has become one of the most popular for developers.

Unsurprisingly, Google’s own damages expert thinks Oracle isn’t entitled to the enormous sum because most of Android’s code base is Google’s own.

The company points out in a filing obtained by Business Insider that the 37 Java SE APIs amount to 0.8 percent of over 15 million lines of non-infringing code in Android.

The search firm has asked the court to strike from the record portions of an assessment by Dr James R Kearl, who was appointed by the court to respond to the damages experts put forward by Oracle and Google and assess the appropriate sum for “disgorgement of profits”.

Google objected to three methods that Kearl offered to calculate the disgorgement sums and wants them struck from the record because the jury might consider them plausible.

First, Google says Kearl wrongly bought Oracle’s argument that Java allowed Google to attract developers, which then brought users and profits to Android.

Second, Google says it was wrong to assume that companies such as Facebook and Uber would have avoided developing Android apps if Google had not copied the Java APIs.

The final idea that Google wants expunged is that there would be no Android were it not for the Java APIs, an idea Kearl entertained in one “alternate reality” scenario that could give a basis for the jury to award the whole $8.8bn to Oracle.

Separate filings by Oracle suggest Google is angling to limit damages to $100m.

Oracle originally filed its claim against Google in 2010. In 2014, the US Court of Appeals overturned a 2012 district court ruling that the Java APIs were not copyrightable, but that Google may be covered by “fair use”.

The Supreme Court last year knocked back Google’s request for it to review the decision, so the matter is headed back to the district court to decide on Google’s fair use defense.

5 Android shortcuts you’ll wish you knew all along

Whether you’re just getting started with Android, or a seasoned user, these are the five shortcuts you should be using right now.

Bypass unlocking your phone (when it’s safe)

This feature in the Lock screen and Security menu will let your device know when it’s safe to stay conveniently unlocked. Once you add trusted places, devices, or voices you can skip the PIN, pattern or password every time you want to check an alert. For more info on how to set this up.

Reject calls with a text

Make your phone work like a personal secretary by letting callers know why you can’t answer, and (hopefully) avoiding follow-up calls. On most phones, this option is available in the Phone app >Settings, and labeled Call blocking, Quick responses, or something similar. You’ll see the call-reject messages that you can edit with your own writing style.

Quickly open the camera

Launching the camera at a moment’s notice means that you won’t miss great photo opportunities. How you access this camera shortcut will vary between manufacturers, but here’s a few examples of popular devices that have it enabled:

  • Nexus 5X or Nexus 6P: double-tap power button.
  • Samsung devices 2015-2016: double-tap the physical Home button.
  • LG V10: double-tap the volume down button.
  • Moto G 2015: twist your wrist with the device in hand.

Add contact widgets

Want to reach out to your favorite people with just a tap? Press and hold on your Home screen, choose Widgets, and then look for the Contacts 1×1 widget. Tapping this shortcut loads a contact’s details, letting you call, text, or email without scrolling through your address book.

Enable ‘OK, Google’ everywhere

Ask your burning questions right now by enabling “OK, Google” everywhere — meaning from any screen. To get set up, open the Google (search) app and head to Settings > Voice > “Ok Google” Detection > toggle the From any screen option on. Say the magic words three times and you’re set. As a bonus, this little exercise will let you use the trusted voice option in Smart Lock.