Flipkart Dream Phone Sale Offers: Discounts on iPhone 7, Moto Z, Google Pixel, and Other Deals

Another day, another e-commerce sale. Flipkart is hosting a three-day sale on select smartphones by Apple, Samsung, Google, and Moto. Named #OwnYourDreamPhone, the new Flipkart sale starts just a day after a similar Amazon sale ended. These consecutive sales are not only because of the hyper-competitive environment in the e-commerce industry but also because of the GST rollout. Separately, Flipkart is hosting a ‘Back to College’ laptop sale as well, with Intel-powered budget laptops available for as low as Rs. 9,999.

Flipkart Dream Phone Sale Offers: Discounts on iPhone 7, Moto Z, Google Pixel, and Other Deals

Flipkart sale offers on mobile phones
In the ongoing Flipkart sale, which ends June 24, you will get flat discounts, exchange offers, and no-cost EMI options on iPhone 5s, iPhone 6, iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus, iPhone SE, iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus, Google Pixel, Samsung Galaxy C9 Pro, and Moto Z. Smartphone prices are down by minimum Rs. 2,000, and the exchange discounts go up to Rs. 17,000.

Starting with iPhone 7, the 32GB and 128GB variants of the smartphone are available for Rs. 42,999 and Rs. 51,999, respectively. There are also discounts on the iPhone 7 Plus 32GB and 128GB model, which can now be purchased at Rs. 55,999, and Rs. Rs. 59,999, respectively. As for iPhone 5s (16GB), iPhone SE (32GB), and iPhone 6 (16GB), you can get them for Rs. 14,999, Rs. 21,999, and Rs. 22,999, respectively. The Flipkart sale page mentions a price drop for iPhone 6s 32GB also, but the listing page for the smartphone shows the price as the standard Rs. 47,999. All of the above smartphones come with exchange discount of up to Rs. 15,000, and additional 5 percent discount on Axis Bank Buzz Credit Cards.

As for Android phones, you can get the Moto Z with Style Mod at Rs. 29,999 instead of its standard price of Rs. 39,999 in the Flipkart sale. There’s exchange discount of up to Rs. 17,000, and Axis Bank Buzz Credit Card discount of 5 percent on top. Google Pixel and Samsung Galaxy C9 Pro can be purchased for Rs. 39,999 and Rs. 31,990, respectively, both with exchange discount of up to Rs. 15,000. While the 5 percent Axis Bank Buzz Credit Card discount is available for the former, it is not provided with the latter. Both smartphones come with Bajaj FinServ no-cost EMI option.

 

iPhone 8 May Have a Lot in Common With Google Glass: Report

Augmented reality is one of Apple’s big new areas of focus, which it highlighted earlier this month at its Worldwide Developers Conference. But how will Apple use AR, which involves using a screen to overlay digital objects onto the real world? A new report from UBS Securities analyst Steven Milunovich raises some interesting possibilities.

Apple has already shown at what AR can do – by demonstrating how to use an iPhone to overlay an interactive game board on a real table, for example. But Milunovich suggested 10 additional applications for Apple’s AR play, including some we’ve already seen come to life, such as games and retail. He also sees applications for job training, facial recognition, medical diagnoses and the ability to direct people to safety in case of emergency situations, similar to what Google Glass did to help firefighters find the fastest exits from a building.

iPhone 8 May Have a Lot in Common With Google Glass: Report

Apple did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the report.

Combining various applications could also be useful, Milunovich wrote. “Emergency first aid, a combination of remote healthcare and instantaneous education, could save lives. There are legal issues that would need to be overcome but seem solvable,” he said.

Further down the road, Milunovich said, there could be room for iGlass – that is, Apple’s take on a Google Glass-type headset. Could Apple succeed where Google failed? Advances in headset technology, plus some classic Apple design chops, could make the devices more appealing to the non-geek, Milunovich indicated.

The market for augmented-reality glasses is expected to grow over the next several years. International Data Corp. predicted this week that the market for AR and virtual reality will grow from 10 million headsets in 2016 to 100 million in 2021. AR will be slightly behind VR, the firm said, but analysts added that most consumers will probably get introduced to the concept through their smartphones.

The tools for augmented reality that Apple introduced earlier this month open up a range of possibilities to developers and highlight the tech giant’s interest in the area, which Apple chief executive Tim Cook once said was “a big idea like the smartphone.” Apple will need to impress with its 10th-anniversary iPhone, Milunovich said, and in a best-case scenario, a truly innovative iPhone would help the company reclaim its mantle for innovation

But it could face some fierce competition. On Tuesday morning OnePlus announced its much-hyped OnePlus 5, which sports premium power and Android simplicity at $479 (roughly Rs. 30,000). If rumors are true, that’s about half the price of what we could see from the next iPhone. It’s also far cheaper than the iPhone 7 Plus, which sports the same size 5.5.-inch screen and starts at $769 (roughly Rs. 50,000).

Playing up the AR features for the iPhone – using Apple’s innovative design techniques – could be one way to further push Apple to the front of the pack, Miunovich said. The smartphone screen could become a tool for making users more aware of the wider world rather than distracting them from it.

“[We] can picture the phone looking like a clear piece of glass when looking through the camera,” he said in the note. “Rather than staring down at a screen while we walk across the street or stand in line, we would be far more engaged with the world around us.”

 

Google Play Music’s New Feature for Samsung Galaxy S8 Isn’t That Exclusive

For Samsung Galaxy S8 users, Google Play Music is the default music player and streaming service. Now, Galaxy S8 users are receiving a brand new feature dubbed New Release Radio, which is a personalised radio station with new music releases and updates on a daily basis.

The latest New Release Radio feature has steadily been popping up on Galaxy S8 devices with “Samsung Exclusive” tagline. The pop-up describes the new feature, “Listen to brand new music, personalised to your tastes and listening history – with new recommendations every day.” The feature was first spotted by a Reddit user, and was reported by Sammobile.

Google Play Music's New Feature for Samsung Galaxy S8 Isn't That Exclusive

Engadget, however, points out that the feature may not be limited to Samsung Galaxy S8 users as some users have been able to add the “New Release Radio” station to their libraries. Some Reddit users also claim that they were able to add the new feature to their libraries while using Google Play Music Web interface as well as on non-Samsung devices. Unfortunately, there’s no word whether the feature will be kept as an exclusive for Samsung Galaxy S8 (and Galaxy S8+) devices or to be made available to all users in the long run.

We can expect an update on the status of availability of the “New Release Radio” station for non-Samsung devices.

Samsung and Google jointly announced their new partnership back in April, and it gave some benefits to Samsung users. They were allowed to upload 100,000 of their own songs to Google Play Music for free, which is almost double the limit for owners of non-Samsung devices.

 

Google for Jobs Starts Rolling Out in Search on Desktop and Mobile

Google is trying to turn its search engine into an employment engine, with a feature called Google for Jobs.

Beginning Tuesday, job hunters will be able to go to Google and see help-wanted listings that its search engine collects across the Internet. The feature is available only in English, on both desktop and mobile. The results will aim to streamline such listings by eliminating duplicate jobs posted on different sites. Google in its announcement post says “People from all walks of life, experiences and backgrounds have undergone a job hunt at some point in their lives. Whether you’re a young adult looking for your first job, a veteran hoping to leverage your leadership experience in civilian life, or a parent looking for a job with better pay to support a growing family, we hope this new experience on Google will help make the job search simpler and more effective.”

Google for Jobs Starts Rolling Out in Search on Desktop and Mobile

Google will also show employer ratings from current and former workers, as well as typical commute times to job locations. Google for Jobs will further let job seekers filter job openings based on category, date posted, and full-time or part-time employment, and other options.

This detailed jobs information is a departure from the way Google’s main search engine has traditionally shown only bare-bones links to various help-wanted sites.

Google is teaming up with a variety of help-wanted and employer-rating services, including LinkedIn, Monster, WayUp, DirectEmployers, CareerBuilder, Glassdoor, and Facebook.

First announced at Google I/O 2017 in May, the Google for Jobs feature will be initially limited to the US market. There’s no word as to when the feature will be rolled out to other markets.

By the end of May, the Google for Jobs feature had become available for limited users in the US.

Google CEO Sundar Pichai had at the I/O 2017 Keynote revealed the motivation behind the new feature – according to the company, almost half of US employers were having issues filling open positions while job seekers weren’t even aware about a job opening.

 

Google Search, Maps Updated With Focus on Arts and Culture

Google on Tuesday announced updates for its Search and Maps apps that will be aimed at enriching the cultural and art knowledge for users. As a part of the update, Google will start featuring new insights and more relevant results for the art-related search queries, powered by the Google Arts & Culture platform. In addition, the Internet giant has also added a Panoramic View feature that will let you know key insights about the artworks when you visit virtual tours of museums. The update is available to download right away for Google (Search) App and Google Maps.

The update to Google Search is a result of the collaboration of Google Arts & Culture team and Google Search engineers to ‘improve systems understanding in recognition of artworks’ for over 500 million art-related searches made. Besides, it also involves machine learning to recognise the places that you can see in person, the artists who made the artworks, the materials they used, and the art period they belong to.

Google Search, Maps Updated With Focus on Arts and Culture

If you make a search query for an artist like M.F. Hussain, Google Search will show an interactive knowledge card that will further let you to explore various options like the artist’s works. Additionally, you can also scroll further to virtually visit the museums to glance at the artist’s paintings on the wall, a few of which are also available in high resolution straight from Google Arts & Culture.

Coming to Google Maps, it will start showing virtual tours of some of the renowned museums like Dr. Bhau Daji Lad Museum in Mumbai or National Museum in New Delhi. You will be able to browse different lobbies and rooms inside the virtual tour of the museums where you can also clearly see the paintings and hangings along with proper annotations right next to them. As you click on the annotations, a new page will appear that will consist of more relevant information and high resolution images with zoom support.

Google says it has made use of visual recognition software to index the museums from all over the world along with over 15,000 works by various artists.

 

 

 

Google Daydream View VR Headset Launched in India at Rs. 6,499

Google’s Daydream View VR headset is now available in India priced at Rs. 6,499. The VR headset has been listed on Flipkart and will include the controller as well. The headset was first made available in the US, UK, Canada, Australia, and Germany back in November last year.

The headset is being offered on Flipkart with 5 percent off for Axis Bank Buzz Credit Cards and Rs. 300 cash back on payment through PhonePe. EMI options are also available and each pair of headset comes with 1 year of warranty. First 30 customers to buy Google Daydream View VR via Flipkart will also receive Google Chromecast for free, while the first 50 customers will receive a Google Play Store Credit worth Rs. 500.

Google Daydream View VR Headset Launched in India at Rs. 6,499

The Daydream View VR headset functions along the lines of Samsung’s Gear VR and you will need Daydream-supported smartphones for the headset to work. As of now, the list of phones that support Daydream is small with the likes of Google Pixel, Pixel XL, and Moto Z, to name a few and will also come to Samsung’s Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+ soon. So, for those considering to buy the headset in India may want to check they have a Daydream-ready smartphone first.

google daydream vr google

The Daydream View VR headset is made up of a lightweight fabric for a comfortable feel. The controller lets you interact with the virtual world, letting you take various actions with help of motion and gesture sensors and physical buttons. The Daydream app that houses a collection of apps and games for Daydream-ready phones. The YouTube VR app will let you watch 3D or standard 360-degree videos with the Daydream View headset. The Street View app lets you tour over 150 popular real-world places, while Play Movies offers some VR-ready movies. Third-party developers too provide Daydream-ready content via their apps.

“Daydream View promises users a mesmerising experience. Swim with a pod of dolphins, stand at the edge of a volcano and even visit Pluto with Daydream View. Users can teleport from virtually anywhere to pretty much everywhere. Our aim is to make the VR experience mobile so that customers can easily carry it anywhere with them. We at Google are also working with developers, smartphone companies, and content creators to make VR accessible to all,” said Clay Bavor, Vice President of Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality at Google.

 

Google Pixel and Pixel XL: Just 1 Million Units Sold in 8 Months?

Google’s flagship Android device has now sold over 1 million units, media reported, saying the figure was reached based on downloads of an application exclusive to the device.

While this is a milestone in the eight-month history of Pixel seen as Google’s answer to the Apple iPhone, the number is overshadowed by its competition.

In comparison, Apple sold over 70 million iPhones (which included iPhone 7) in the last quarter of 2016 while Samsung is estimated to have sold 5 million units of Galaxy S8 in the first month of its release.

Google Pixel and Pixel XL: Just 1 Million Units Sold in 8 Months?

According to Arstechnica, Google doesn’t release sales data but the installs of the device-exclusive “Pixel Launcher” app has just passed the 1 million mark. The data includes pre-installed apps on new Pixel phones and doesn’t count installs on third-party devices and so can accurately estimate the number of Pixel phones sold, the report said.

Launched last year, Pixel is the first smartphone that works as an intelligent personal assistant and knowledge navigator. The 5-inch smartphone is equipped with Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 chipset, 4GB of RAM and runs on Android Nougat 7.0 operating system. It is powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 processor, with two cores clocked at 1.6GHz, and two cores clocked at 2.15GHz, coupled with 4GB of LPDDR4 RAM. The smartphone sports 12.3-megapixel rear camera with a Sony IMX378 sensor, PDAF, a large f/2.0 aperture and 1.55-micron pixels. On the front, it sports an 8-megapixel camera with a Sony IMX179 sensor, an f/2.4 aperture and 1.4-micron pixels.

The device also has Pixel Imprint – a fingerprint scanner on the back of the smartphone for quick access to all apps, texts and e-mails.

Google Earth on Chrome Is Fast, Smooth, and Still a Lot of Fun

On Tuesday, Google Earth launched a version that works directly in the Web browser. To use it, all you have to do is open the website in Chrome, and you can start viewing the world in 3D without having to download anything, or install any application on your computer, a welcome change from the Google Earth experience before.

What’s more, the entire experience is pretty smooth and seamless (a fast Internet connection obviously helps) and there are a lot of cool things that you can do right now in the revamped Google Earth.

Google Earth on Chrome Is Fast, Smooth, and Still a Lot of Fun

Google Earth on Chrome
For one thing, you can ask questions – so for example, you could type in, “What is the capital of India,” and the Google Earth map will jump to Delhi, with knowledge cards showing on the right to tell you more. Click on the points of interest card stacked under the Delhi card, and the next thing you know, you’re reading information sourced from Wikipedia about the Red Fort, Qutub Minar, and India Gate. You can also type something like “India’s biggest city,” which brings up Mumbai. It’s a cool feature, but still a little limited, because searching for things like the “deepest point in the oceans” or the “tallest mountain in the world” does not return any results.

Still, you can jump to locations pretty quickly thanks to the search feature, and once you get there – to say, Mount Everest – you can click on the 3D button among the controls at the bottom right, to switch to a 3D view that orbits around the location on the screen.

google earth cards earth

It’s a cool feature, and you can also just hold the shift key and then drag the mouse to adjust the view, just like you would with the Google Earth app. The 3D view automatically brings in elevation data, so it works great for natural features, but otherwise, in India at least, it’s pretty limited because there’s no 3D models of buildings.

If you want to see something really cool, just change the location to something like Manhattan, and then see everything form up in 3D in front of your eyes. If you’ve used Google Earth before, you know what to expect – as you zoom in, the map slowly transforms, and rough polygons replace the neat satellite imagery, before reforming into a 3D map that you can zoom through.

The effect is kind of magical, and seeing it happen right inside the browser is very cool. You can zoom in all the way to Central Park and then rotate the view to look at all the skyscrapers, or, you could click on the little person icon, and enter Street View, switching from 3D models to actual pictures you can look around in.

Google’s Street View images aren’t here in Indian cities either, but many shops have worked with Google to create images of their interiors, and there are also some user created photospheres you can look around in that are available, which you can see through Google Earth.

Google Earth Voyage and the Dice
Another cool feature is Voyage. On the menu on the left, you’ll see an icon that looks like a ship’s steering wheel or helm – click on that and you’ll see a number of curated lists of places that Google has put together. Many of these include Street View images so you get up close with what’s being shown. There’s Museums Around the World; Wonders of the Ancient and Modern World; or Exploring the Penguin Colonies if you prefer. You’ll see the different locations, be able to look around and explore some more, while cards give you details to explain what you’re looking at.

google earth voyage earth

There’s also one other new feature – a dice in the menu, that’s the equivalent of the I’m Feeling Lucky button on the Google homepage. Click on the dice, and a random point of interest will load up, showing the knowledge card and giving you a 3D view. It’s a fun way of just exploring around the world without having a specific destination in mind.

Overall, the new features of Google Earth are fun additions, but it’s particularly great to see how quickly and smoothly everything ran while inside a browser window, without requiring to install any additional software, which really is the biggest win.

Google Maps Local Guides Program Adds New Levels, Perks, Badges and More

Keeping Google Maps updated is not an easy task and in order to ensure it has the latest data, Google has its Local Guides program in place. Now the search giant has added new levels, a revamped point system, and new badges to keep advanced level guides motivated for updating its Maps service regularly.

For those who are unaware, Local Guides is a community that provides regular updates to Google Maps. For their contributions, the members of this community are awarded with benefits like early access to new Google Maps features, exclusive contests, and events, among other things. Anybody can sign up to be a part of Local Guides and start contributing.

Google Maps Local Guides Program Adds New Levels, Perks, Badges and More

Moving on to the latest update to Local Guides, Google is now rolling out a new point system, new levels that unlock different kinds of perks, and new ways to earn points within this community. Google says that certain contributions will have more impact than others for users. For example, users will get more points if they are first to add a place to the map or leave a review.

Now, users who are part of Local Guides community will earn points for rating the places and checking the facts that have been provided by other community members. Google has now added 5 additional levels. This means that users can now reach their maximum rank at level 10. The search giant has now introduced new badges for users with 4-10 level rank to make sure their contributions are recognised within the community. The new badges will be visible right beside their profile picture, Google says.

“Just like before, Local Guides Level 2 and above can enjoy early access to new product features, and get occasional perks from Google and local perks from partners,” Google said in its blog post. Further, members with Level 4-10 can redeem a free three-month Google Play Music subscription and get 75 percent off a rental in the Google Play Movie store, as per company.

Last month, Swiggy announced its partnership with the Local Guides program to offer special perks to the community members in India.

If you are not a part of this community already, now would be a good time to share your experiences, post pictures, and rate places to get some serious benefits from Google.

 

Google Hires Apple Chip Architect Manu Gulati, Said to Work on Custom SoCs for Pixel Phones

With the introduction of the Pixel phone last year, Google made it clear to its rivals that it was bringing its focus to hardware. Popular for mastering software, the company outsourced the making of its Nexus phones to companies like HTC and LG, but all that changed with the Pixel last year. Now, Google’s latest hire indicates that the company is going all in with homegrown products. Google has reportedly hired Apple’s chip architect Manu Gulati to head its own custom chip ambitions, and has even posted several job postings that indicate Google is on a steady road to building its own custom SoC, just like Apple.

Variety reports that after working at Apple for nearly eight years developing custom chips for many of Apple’s products, Gulati has decided to make the switch to Google. He recently updated his LinkedIn profile to indicate that he now works at Google. Gulati holds 27 years of expertise in the industry, and has worked with companies like AMD and Broadcom in the past.

Google Hires Apple Chip Architect Manu Gulati, Said to Work on Custom SoCs for Pixel Phones

Apple’s custom chips give its products a competitive advantage over Android flagships that largely rely on Qualcomm to produce silicon for their devices, and are known for their industry-leading performance on most benchmarks.

Gulati’s name figures on as many as 15 chip-related patents that Apple has filed in the past – some of these patents are said to be application specific, while others are related to chip architecture. One of these is around Apple Pay and hardware-based security that protects your fingerprint on the iPhone. With his level of knowledge and skill, hiring Gulati is a big advantage for Google and a loss for Apple.

Google, like most other Android smartphone makers, relies on Qualcomm for chips for its mobile devices, and Google division Nest uses chips from Texas Instruments. But all of this could change soon, and Google could introduce a custom chip of its own.