A 7-year-old girl’s letter to “the Google boss” seeking a job at the company elicited a response from CEO Sundar Pichai, who said told her to “keep working hard and follow her dreams.” In a handwritten letter, UK resident Chloe Bridgewater said she liked computers, robots and tablets, and was a good student at school. She also mentioned she wanted to work at a chocolate factory and swim at the Olympics. Google supremo Sundar Pichai in his reply to her letter said, “I think that if you keep working hard and following your dreams, you can accomplish everything that you set your mind to - from working at Google to swimming in the Olympics. I look forward to receiving your job application when you are finished with school.”
With that little nugget out of the way, here are the big tech stories of the day.
iPhone 8 Home button said to be replaced by ‘Function Area’
iPhone's Home button will make way for an all-new ‘function area’ with the launch of the iPhone 8, according to noted KGI Securities analyst Ming Chi Kuo. The function area towards the bottom of the screen will feature virtual ‘always-on’ buttons with static controls on the iPhone 8. While there is not enough clarity on the function area yet, the research note says the extra space left after the removal of the Home button will be used for system functions with dedicated buttons for each function.
Xiaomi starts rolling out MIUI 8.2 stable ROM globally
Xiaomi has begun the global release of the stable MIUI 8.2 ROM, with the OTA update hitting eligible smartphones starting today. Xiaomi Mi Max, Mi Max Prime, Mi 4i, Mi 3, Mi 4, Mi Note, Redmi 1S, Redmi Note 4G will get the update in the next couple of days. On the other hand, the MIUI 8.2 rollout for other Xiaomi smartphones will commence on February 20. The latest Xiaomi software update brings improved layout for toggles in the Notification shade, full control over automated tasks, and new system sounds and ringtones, among others.
Moto G5, Moto G5 Plus specifications and photos leaked
With the official launch said to be just a week away, specifications and photos of the Moto G5 and Moto G5 Plus smartphones have leaked online. The two budget Moto smartphones will have metal bodies and feature Lenovo branding on the side panels, leaked photos suggest; the fingerprint sensor is in front and the iconic ‘M’ logo is on the back of the smartphone. The two Android 7.0 Nougat smartphones have 5-megapixel front cameras, 2GB of RAM, and storage expansion via microSD cards up to 128GB.
The Moto G5 is rumoured to have a 5-inch full-HD screen, 32GB onboard storage, 1.4GHz Snapdragon 430 chipset, 2800mAh battery, 4G LTE support, and 13-megapixel rear camera. The Moto G5 Plus, on the other hand, is said to have a 5.2-inch full-HD panel, 64GB storage, 3000mAh battery, 12-megapixel rear camera, 2GHz octa-core Snapdragon 625 chipset, and 4G LTE support.
Asus ZenFone Go 5.0 LTE budget smartphone launched at Rs. 8,999
Asus has launched the ZenFone Go 5.0 LTE (ZB500KL), an upgrade to last year’s Asus ZenFone Go 5.0 LTE (T500), in the Indian market at Rs. 8,999. The new Asus budget smartphone has a 5-inch HD screen, 1GHz quad-core Snapdragon 410 processor, 2GB of RAM, Android 6.0 Marshmallow, 16GB built-in storage, microSD card expansion up to 64GB, 13-megapixel rear camera, 5-megapixel selfie snapper, 2600mAh battery and, as the name suggests, 4G LTE support. Asus ZenFone Go 5.0 LTE comes with free lifetime access to 5GB of Asus WebStorage and it is available via Amazon India and offline retail.
Xiaomi Mi MIX successor under development, says CEO Lei Jun
The next version of Xiaomi’s concept smartphone Mi MIX is already in the works, the Chinese company’s CEO Lei Jun has confirmed. Xiaomi is once again collaborating with French designer Philippe Stark in developing the Mi MIX successor; Stark has some ideas for the next model and the two companies now exploring ways to make the product a reality. Jun did not give any timeline for the launch of the next Mi MIX model.
Reliance Jio has 23 percent market share, says Truecaller report
Fast-growing disruptive telecom operator Reliance Jio has emerged as the second-biggest player in the industry with 23 percent market share, second only to Airtel. This comes from Truecaller's TrueInsights 2016 Special report, whose data is based on the number of Truecaller users in India, and is not representative of the overall telecom industry. Reliance Jio users make the shortest calls (median calls of less than 30 seconds), which was attributed to calls drops and Reliance Jio SIM cards being used primarily for data.
BlackBerry market share is virtually zero: Gartner
Of the 431.5 million smartphones sold in Q4 last year, only about 200,000 were BlackBerry devices running on the company’s operating system, according to market research firm Gartner. This gives it a market share of nearly zero percent, a fall that has long been in the making. Microsoft’s Windows platform for mobile devices is faring poorly as well, with its market share dropping from 1.1 percent to 0.3 percent.
Facebook takes on LinkedIn with new feature
Facebook has thrown in the gauntlet against the LinkedIn by letting businesses post jobs on the social media platform. The feature, currently available only in the US and Canada, allows companies to publish help-wanted posts on pages or by looking for a new 'Jobs' bookmark on the mobile app. The job posts will appear in users’ news feeds if businesses pay for promotions. When a user clicks on the Apply Now button on a Facebook job post, an online form with their details already filled out with relevant information from their Facebook profile.
Swipe Konnect Star with 4G VoLTE support launched at Rs. 3,799
Swipe Telecom has launched the new Konnect Star entry-level smartphone with 4G VoLTE support in India at Rs. 3,799. The Swipe Konnect Star has a 4-inch screen, 1GHz quad-core processor, 1GB of RAM, 16GB internal storage, up to 32GB microSD card support, 5-megapixel rear camera, 1.3-megapixel front camera, 1800mAh battery, and runs Android 6.0 Marshmallow.