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WhatsApp is releasing some new updates for its Android and iOS users

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Another day, another WhatsApp Update. WhatsApp has been releasing a slew of new updates for its Android and iOS users. Among a slew of features that have been released for both Android and iOS, WhatsApp is now out with another bunch of new features for its iOS app, as reported by India Today.

There’s a new Haptic Touch feature that supports the features that are introduced in iPhones via iOS 13. This feature has been spotted by WABetaInfo, a popular site that informs users about the new WhatsApp updates. This feature offers support for Haptic Touch for chat and media preview. Another feature is the low data mode which is similar to the one offered by iOS 13. The feature brings down the amount of data that’s used by the compatible apps. Once you have this feature enabled, WhatsApp will automatically stop downloading media files, videos, images, GIFs, from your network or mobile data. It’ll also stop downloading voice messages unless you’re connected to Wi-Fi.

There’s another feature, namely, contacts integration, which allows users to directly share messages, photos, or videos directly with some suggested WhatsApp contacts with the help of new iOS Share Sheet.

So, in case you’re trying to share an item with someone, your smartphone will instantly suggest your top WhatsApp contacts that you can share the files with. Other one is Chat Badge, where the app shows “999+” badge in case the number of unread messages go beyond the mentioned number.

Apart from these features for the iOS, WhatsApp recently rolled out new features in its WhatsApp Beta update for Android users. There’s a range of features that are expected to be rolled out for WhatsApp soon including dark mode, new emoji skin, self-destructing messages, wallpaper, hide muted status, splash screen, et al.

HMD Global Announces Nokia 2.3 With Helio A22 processor,6.2-inch HD display and more

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At an event in Cairo, HMD Global unveiled the latest offering in its series of Nokia 2 smartphones. The Nokia 2.3 supersedes the Nokia 2.2 that was launched earlier this year and brings about a change in the design and the camera department.

The phone features a 6.2-inch HD display which is a sizeable upgrade from its predecessor. The waterdrop notch houses a 5MP sensor for selfies and face unlock. The phone doesn’t have a fingerprint sensor so face unlock is the only kind of biometric authentication available.

The design of the phone gets an overhaul. Instead of the smooth, clean back that was found on the Nokia 2.2, the phone has a 3D nano-textured cover. The thin lines that run through the back give a better grip too. The phone will be available in three colours, namely- Cyan Green, Sand, and Charcoal.

The back of the phone houses a dual-camera setup which is twice the sensors that were present on the back of the Nokia 2.2. The primary sensor is a 13MP f/2.2 camera and it’s accompanied with a 2MP depth sensor. On the software side of things, the camera seems more exciting. It comes with a portrait mode that offers a variety of bokeh effects such as Classic, Butterfly, and Heart amongst others. It also has a feature called ‘Recommended Shot’ that sounds very similar to Google Pixel’s ‘Top Shot’. It clicks images before and after the shutter button is clicked and suggests the best one amongst them.

The Nokia 2.3 is powered by the Helio A22 processor, which was also found on its predecessor. The processor will be accompanied by 2GB of RAM and 32GB of inbuilt storage (expandable via microSD card). The Nokia 2.3, like other Nokia smartphones, is a part of the Android One program. Unfortunately, it doesn’t come with Android 10 out of the box.

The phone has a 4,000mAh battery that Nokia claims should be good for a couple of days. Disappointingly, it still has a microUSB port and doesn’t support fast charging. The phone is priced at EUR 109 (~INR 8,700) and will be available in mid-December. It is likely to make its way to the Indian market too.

It’s Complicated but Realme May Become Completely Independent From Oppo, Company Responds

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Realme does operate independently from its parent company Oppo, but the two entities do share resources at the moment but that could change soon.

Say who? Well, speaking to DigiTimes, Realme Taiwan’s Chief Commercial Officer (COO), Chung Hsiang-wei, claimed that Realme may choose to be independent of its parent company should its business scale continue to expand.

Within just a year of existence, Oppo’s subsidiary Realme has become quite a hit. The smartphone brand is currently the fastest-growing company in the world, reaching the top 10 of the most popular smartphone brands within just two years of existence.

Going forward, Realme is expected to build up its own ecosystem and production lines, says Hsiang-wei but he does state that the company may continue to share certain resources with Oppo, even after a potential split. However, the spin-off relies on Realme’s business continuing to expand. Which is what seems to be happening as it was recently ranked 7th in global shipments as well as being named the fastest-growing smartphone brand.

Chung doesn’t believe Realme and Oppo are in direct competition though, which should make the split easier. With the new Reno series, Oppo is transitioning to the premium segment while Realme’s area of focus continues to be tech-centric and fashion-centric phones.

He goes on to add that the company plans to enter the wearables market as well as to release truly-wireless earbuds (those should arrive in December). The company is also working on a couple of 5G phones, the first of which should be unveiled in a couple of weeks.

One final interesting tidbit, the CCO revealed that 60% of Oppo owners are female while Realme has 60% male users. Not like that’s an important stats for end users, but it does serve to show that Oppo and Realme do have different market possibilities, and smartphone company are trying their best to serve as many potential customers as possible.

Google’s first 5G Pixel smartphone may arrive next week, alongside two new 4G Pixel smartphones

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Google’s Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL smartphones will finally go official at the company’s “Made by Google‘ hardware event next week. However, a new report published by Nikkei Asian Review claims the company may also introduce its first 5G smartphone alongside the Pixel 4and Pixel 4 XL.

The report claims Google has started test production of the 5G Pixel smartphone and could unveil it alongside the 4G Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL models on October 15. However, the smartphone is unlikely to become available for purchase soon after its official unveiling.

Sources close to the situation have apparently told the publication that Google may decide to delay the smartphone’s launch till Spring next year. Along with the new 5G smartphone, a new budget Pixel phone is also said to be slated for launch next spring.

As noted by Nikkei Asian Review, Google will still be able to beat Apple to become the first U.S. company to release a 5G smartphone, even if it decides to delay the launch till spring next year. While the 5G smartphone is currently being test produced in China, Google is said to be planning to move all production destined for the U.S. to its facility in Vietnam, which is expected to be ready by the end of the year.

Call of Duty Mobile smashes launch record with over 100 million downloads in first week on iOS and Android

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Call of Duty Mobile has blazed through 100 million downloads on iOS and Android in the most successful launch of any mobile game ever, according to reports from Sensor Tower.

The game, developed by Timi Studio in partnership with COD heavyweight Activision, has passed the record set only last week by Mario Kart Tour to become the fastest launching mobile game ever. According to Sensor Tower’s estimates, the game has been downloaded 56.9 million times on iOS, making it the more popular platform with 55.7% of total downloads. Android accounts for the remaining 45.3 million downloads, a 44.3% share.

Even though the game is free to download on both platforms, it still managed to generate $17.7 million in revenue – 53% ($9.1 million) of which came from iOS users, the remaining 47% ($8.3 million) being Android.

Unsurprisingly, the game was most popular in the United States, which accounts for over 16% of overall downloads but over 43% of the games revenue. Other notable mentions include India with 13.7 million downloads, and Brazil with 7.1 million.

By way of comparison, Call of Duty Mobile has eclipsed popular competitors Fortnite (iOS only at launch) and PUBG, as the below table shows:

Call of Duty Mobile combines some of series’ most popular guns and maps from previous console iterations of the game, a formula that has clearly brought the title enormous success.

Call of Duty Mobile: PUBG Mobile Player Should Try It Now

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Tencent, the company that brought PlayerUnknowns Battlegrounds or PUBG to smartphones is back with yet another similar concept, but this time they’ve joined forces with ActiVision to bring one of the most iconic PC FPS titles to mobile – Call of Duty.

The battle royale formula has been a superhit and PUBG Mobile’s rise in popularity over time has only been a testament to that. Call of Duty: Mobile, therefore, tries to bring together all of the fun elements from Blackout – Call of Duty’s existing battle royale mode on PC – while staying true to the formula that made players love PUBG Mobile.

Having played the game when it did arrive as part of closed Beta and now, after its ‘official’, Call of Duty: Mobile does feel very much like PUBG, but there are number of key features that make it far more refreshing.

Better Visuals

The most obvious change across the two games are the visuals and anyone who has played PUBG Mobile to an extent that they have become used to the visuals presented in the game will be in for a surprise. It does not take a keen eye to notice that the visuals of Call of Duty: Mobile are just better that those of PUBG Mobile. The textures are crisper, there is plenty of detail in them. Even for someone who’s played the PC version, the graphics are as good as it gets when it comes to mobile FPS titles.

But what would probably be the biggest difference visually is that the game has no stutter at all and seems to have v-sync-like capabilities which stabilizes the FPS for a very consistent experience. Even a regular 60fps capable smartphone screen feels like a PC monitor with the game running on it.

More Gameplay Elements

Call of Duty: Mobile tops PUBG Mobile in this department as well and provides excellent gameplay elements which include superb controls that are not choppy and are clearly understandable. There might be a couple of features missing here and there but there are more than enough new ones to make up for them.

For one, COD: Mobile brings using directly from Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 is sliding through ropeways in Apex Legends like fashion. The game has been heavily modeled after Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 and takes after most of the elements from the battle royale mode from it.

Players can even redeploy the glider when jumping from high places and even have a hit detector that indicates if a particular shot met its target. These are some of the things that are present in Call of Duty: Mobile that are not there yet in PUBG Mobile.

As for the experience, it just felt more refreshing than anything else, with all the new elements that mesh with each other perfectly and work without a hitch.

More Modes To Try

Call of Duty: Mobile also comes with far more modes than just battle royale mode and offers a bunch if multiplayer modes where players an take on each other in classic style like the ‘Free-for-All’. We can effectively say that Battle Royale is just one of the things in Call of Duty: Mobile.

The default battle royale mode itself has more to offer than PUBG Mobile with zombies, helicopters and other movement options. For the record we have already seen these elements in the Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 game which released last year. Besides those, despite being a closed beta game, Call of Duty: Mobile offers a lot of ingame content like skins and items that were not present on PUBG Mobile during its own beta phase. though admittedly Call of Duty Mobile is building on the foundation already laid by PUBG Mobile.

WhatsApp May Roll Out ‘Disappearing Chats’ Feature: That Will Make Chats Automatically Disappear In Case They Are Eligible To Disappear

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WhatsApp keeps releasing a slew of new features and updates for Android and iOS. Some of the features that the popular instant messaging app has released in the past few months include the fingerprint unlock, dark mode, QR code, PiP Mode 2.0, voice message preview, et al. WhatsApp is now reportedly working to release yet another feature called “disappearing messages” that will make chats automatically disappear in case they are eligible to disappear.

The feature has been reported by WABetaInfo. “How is a message eligible to be ‘disappeared’? At present, when the chat is marked as ‘disappeared’ all messages will be automatically removed after a certain interval,” states WABetaInfo. You can mark your WhatsApp chat as “disappeared” by enabling the option “Disappearing messages”, in Group Info where the feature will be made available to everyone. Once you tap on the disappearing messages option, you will be offered an option to select message expiration time which can be turned on to 5 seconds or 1 hour. The option can also be turned off by selecting the “off” option.

 

Once the “disappearing messages” option has been enabled, any selected message will get automatically removed with no tracks available in the chat about the deleted messages. Keep in mind though that the feature isn’t available yet and is currently in an alpha-stage of development, meaning that WhatsApp has just started its work on it. Also, there is no ETA available surrounding when the feature will be made available for everyone. The feature will be available under the Group Info section and might be made available for private chats.

On another note, WhatsApp also announced another feature last month which allows you to hide the muted statuses. This latest feature by WhatsApp is available in the WhatsApp 2.19.260 version on Play Store. If you’re an existing beta user, you can easily download this new update and start using the feature. Moreover, the app is also ending support for a number of older operating systems, meaning that users won’t be able to create new accounts or reverify existing accounts on a number of old phones.

WhatsApp in a post on its FAQ page mentioned that users of phones running Android version 2.3.7 and older, as well as iPhones running iOS 7 and older, will no longer be supported after February 1, 2020. This update shouldn’t affect you unless you have an older iPhone or Android phone.

A tweet was posted by WABetainfo, which stated that WhatsApp will no longer support devices running on iOS8. However, users can still use WhatsApp on iOS 8 but won’t be able to verify the account if they reinstall it. The latest/updated FAQ WhatsApp also asks feature users to switch to phones that run KaiOS 2.5.1+, including the JioPhone and the JioPhone 2.

Spotify Launches Month Family Plan At Rs 179 : against the prime competition – Apple Music and Google’s new entrant YouTube Music

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Spotify’s playing catching up with the likes of Apple Music and JioSaavn in India and though it’s taken them a while the company today announced that its bringing its family sharing plan to India for INR 179 per month.

The plan will unlock premium access to the streaming service account for up to six people. All members of the family can use their individual accounts to stream music and podcasts as per their choice. The master account holder will be billed at the end of each month – quite like how Apple’s Family Sharing feature works, or even Netflix’s.

Starting a new family plan, will also grant you access to parental controls and a playlist called Family Mix based on of all the tunes your family is listening to. Interested subscribers can sign up on the Spotify Premium Family page, and the first three months can be tried for free.

While all that isn’t too difficult to get one’s head around, the one question that you’d ask yourself is how does it stack up against prime competition – Apple Music and Google’s new entrant YouTube Music.

In contrast, Apple Music offers a family plan, which is priced at INR 149 per month. Similarly, YouTube Music also offers a family plan which is priced at INR 149. This essentially makes Spotify’s new family plan the most expensive of the lot when put into perspective.

“At a time where parents are trying to reduce screen time for both themselves and their family, we’re creating more ways for families to bond over music together, while still celebrating individual tastes and giving parents more control if they want it.” said Alex Norström, Chief Premium Business Officer, Spotify.

“Spotify’s Premium Family plan has been loved across markets, and we know that our users in India wanted it when we launched in February. Family time and recreation are a core part of our culture, and we want users to discover new music and podcasts through their family, without compromising on their personal taste and app experience. We are thrilled to bring this subscription tier to the country,” said Amarjit Batra, Managing Director – India, Spotify.

YouTube TV is officially available on Fire TV devices

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Earlier this year, Google and Amazon reached an agreement to bring their streaming video apps to each other’s platforms, following years of anti-competitive, anti-consumer behavior on both of their parts. Initially, the official YouTube app launched on Fire TV devices, while Prime Video launched on Chromecast and Android TV. Today, YouTube TV has also now become available on Fire TV devices, including Fire TV-powered televisions, Amazon announced.

In a blog post, the company says the official YouTube TV app will launch on Fire TV Stick (2nd Generation), Fire TV Stick 4K, the all-new Fire TV Cube, plus Toshiba, Insignia, Element, and Westinghouse brand Fire TV Edition Smart TVs. It will also be supported on some previous generation Fire TV devices, including the Fire TV Cube (1st Gen), Fire TV (2nd Gen), Fire TV (3rd Gen — Pendant Design).

However, the app will not run on the 1st Gen Fire TV or Fire TV Stick.

YouTube TV is Google’s live TV streaming service, and a rival to Sling TV, Hulu with Live TV, PlayStation Vue, DirecTV Now (recently rebranded as AT&T TV NOW), and others. It offers over 70 channels from networks like Discovery, TNT, CNN, ESPN, FX and on-demand programming, as well as an unlimited cloud DVR. This year, it also had an exclusive range of MLB game broadcasts.

youtube tv on fire tv 2

Amazon and Google had been at war for years, making things difficult for their end users. Amazon banned Google hardware from its shopping site on a number of occasions. They also feuded in 2017 over Amazon’s implementation of a YouTube player on its Echo Show, which Google said it did without consultation. YouTube pulled Amazon’s access, then Amazon worked around the problem by sending Echo users to the YouTube homepage instead.

While the companies battled, consumers lost out. And in the case of companies like Amazon and Google, those customer bases tend to overlap. A Chromecast user will want to watch Prime Video or buy Google products from Amazon. A FireTV user wants to watch YouTube. And so on.

As a result, the more neutral platform Roku became the most popular streaming platform in the U.S.

At the time of the original agreement, Amazon and Google said that other YouTube properties would come to Fire TV in the future, including YouTube Kids. That’s now the last remaining YouTube video app missing from Fire TV, and YouTube previously launched on Amazon hardware and YouTube TV begins rolling out today.

Spotify new feature that will allow you add podcast to playlist

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Spotify this morning announced a new feature that will allow users to add their podcasts to playlists. With the addition, users can create their own custom playlists of their favorite podcasts, or even those that combine music and audio — similar to Spotify’s own newly-launched “Your Daily Drive.”

With “Your Daily Drive,” Spotify put its personalization engine to work to combine both music and news from select sources. But with the ability to now build your own podcast-filled playlists, you won’t have to rely on Spotify’s curation as much.

Instead, you can build your own podcast playlists by tapping the three-dot menu to the right of the podcast episode and then “Add to playlist.” You can either choose to add it a playlist you’ve already created, or you can build a new one from scratch. You can continue to add more content to this playlist, including music, if you prefer.

The company says this functionality is something users have regularly requested since the integration of podcasts to its streaming music service. However, it’s not necessarily the easiest way to tune into the latest episodes of your favorite programs as it involves manual curation.

Many podcasts release new episodes every week or so — and don’t want to get stuck constantly building playlists for those. Instead, the feature makes more sense for curating a set of podcasts around a theme, or preparing yourself to binge your way through a few programs on a long commute or road trip, for example.

Spotify says today there are over 3 billion user-generated music playlists on its service, so it believes that its users will embrace this new curation ability, as well.

Once a podcast playlist has been created, it can be shared with friends or the public, just like music playlists can be. This could make for an interesting marketing tool for podcasters, who could put together playlists of their best episodes or those with high-profile guest stars, for example, as a way to introduce newcomers to their shows. But it could also serve as a way for friends to recommend their favorite shows to others, by putting together a list of their all-time favorite episodes.

For those interested in tracking news and entertainment, they could build playlists of podcast episodes from different sources all focused on the same topic. For instance, a playlist offering everyone’s reviews of the new iPhone.

Over the past year or so, Spotify has heavily invested in the podcast market, including through acquisitions like Gimlet, Parcast, and Anchor — as well as in its programming, like the deal with Barack and Michelle Obama’s production company, Higher Ground, for instance, and a quickly-growing number of exclusives, windowed-exclusives, and originals. It also hired former Condé Nast president of entertainment Dawn Ostroff to lead its content efforts.

Today, Spotify says it has “hundreds of thousands” of podcasts available to stream on its platform.

The new podcast playlist-building feature is mobile-only for now. On desktop, you can only stream the playlists you made, but can’t build them yet, Spotify says.

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WhatsApp is releasing some new updates for its Android and iOS...

Another day, another WhatsApp Update. WhatsApp has been releasing a slew of new updates for its Android and iOS users. Among a slew of...