Vodafone has launched a new plan that offers unlimited data and bundled calls at Rs. 179. The plan is only available in Bihar and Jharkhand circles, and comes with free outgoing calls while roaming within India. However, the data will be limited to 2G speeds, so no high-speed 3G or 4G access with the plan. Moreover, the ‘unlimited’ calls with the plan are limited to 250 minutes per day and 1,000 minutes per week; beyond these caps, the calls will be charged at 30 paisa per minute. Apart from this, Vodafone users are allowed to call a maximum of 300 unique numbers; if they cross this figure, the calls will then be charged at 30 paisa per minute.
Google Maps Go apps launched for Android
The Google Maps Go app has been released on the Play Store marketplace. It is optimised for smartphones with 1GB or less RAM, running on Android 4.1 and above versions. Google Maps Go offers similar features as the main Maps app, including location detection, directions, as well as traffic information for cars, public transit, and walking. It offers support for 70 countries, and is said to not take up much space on the device. Google says lightweight Go versions of Gmail and Google Assistant are on the way as well.
iOS 11.2.1, tvOS 11.2.1 now available
Apple has rolled the iOS 11.2.1 as tvOS 11.2.1 updates for eligible devices. The simultaneous release of the two updates is to bring back HomeKit sharing, which was disabled recently owing a bug. With the iOS 11.2.1 and tvOS 11.2.1 updates, Apple has fixed the vulnerabilities introduced by the bug, which could disable remote access to shared users of the Home app.
X-Men coming back home to Marvel
The Walt Disney Company will acquire the entertainment and sports divisions of 21st Century Fox in a deal valued at $52.4 billion. Apart from this, the Bob Iger-led company will also assume Fox’s debt of $13.7 billion. This buyout will see X-Men, Deadpool, Avatar, FX Networks, National Geographic, The Simpsons, and National Geographic coming to Disney, which also gains a majority stake in streaming service Hulu. Also in Disney’s fold will be Star India and, consequently, Hotstar.
OnePlus 5T Star Wars Limited Edition model launched in India
A day ahead of the release of Star Wars: The Last Jedi, the OnePlus 5T Star Wars Limited Edition smartphone has been launched in the Indian market. Priced at Rs. 38,999, it has become the most expensive OnePlus device in India yet, and comes in only one configuration (8GB RAM and 128GB storage). The Star Wars-themed cues on the new OnePlus 5T variant include a white back panel with a Star Wars logo on it, a red Alert slider, apart from a bunch of preloaded wallpapers and customisations. There’s also a bundled a rugged case with the handset modelled after Kylo Ren's helmet from the movie. It will go on sale via Amazon India and OnePlusStore.in from 12am IST on Friday, as well as from OnePlus Experience Stores in Noida and Bengaluru. In terms of hardware, the handset is identical to the standard model.
I-T department mulls taxing Bitcoin and other digital currencies
The Income Tax department is considering taxing transactions made using the yet-unregulated digital currencies such as Bitcoin. An I-T department spokesperson said it is collecting information about Bitcoin exchanges, investors, their sources of investment, and the possibility of collecting tax. This comes soon after Bitcoin went on a bull run, crossing $17,000 this week. At the moment, a single Bitcoin is valued at more than $16,700, a staggering run over its January 2017 price of roughly $1,000.
Nokia 9 may feature dual camera setup with telephoto and wide-angle lenses
The Nokia Camera app build on Nokia 5 Android Oreo beta suggests the company may use the telephoto + wide-angle lens setup on the upcoming Nokia 9 flagship. This would be a departure from the Nokia 8’s RGB + monochrome lens setup. Nokia 9 has been in the news for the past few days, and its launch is expected on January 19 in China. The Nokia Camera v8.0200.20 build shows a telephoto lens with up to 2x zoom and a wide-angle lens option, along with the option to adjust shutter speed.
Microsoft Bing, Cortana, Office 365, and Azure get new AI-based capabilities
Microsoft has added a host of new AI-based functionalities to its Bing, Cortana, Office 365 and Azure. Now, Bing will use its AI-powered Intelligent Search features to read and analyse documents online to deliver answers quicker, which will be validated using deep neural networks. Cortana will be able to sort emails and provide a summary of the most important ones across email clients. New AI-based Office 365 inclusions are Insights in Excel and Acronyms in Word. On the Windows 10 front, there’s Microsoft Whiteboard and an all-new Photos app, while Azure cloud computing service gets the Bot Service and Cognitive Services Language Understanding tools.
Sony SA-D40 and SA-D20 Bluetooth speaker systems now in India
Sony has launched the SA-D40 and SA-D20 Bluetooth speaker systems in the Indian market. The former is available at best buy price of Rs. 7,990 (MRP Rs. 8,490), while the latter costs Rs. 6,990 (MRP Rs. 6,990). The Sony SA-D40 is a 4.1 channel speaker offering 80W output, and the SA-D20 comes with a 2.1 channel speaker delivering 60W output. Both the Bluetooth speakers will be up for purchase starting December 13, and can connect with up to eight devices. Apart from Bluetooth, they have AUX and USB capabilities.