Android 4.3 Jelly Bean: Google Speeds up Nexus 4 and Nexus 7 Update in India

With the announcement of Android 4.3 Jelly Bean, Google informed that the update will hit the Nexus devices globally very soon. Now since the starting of this week, it seems LG Nexus 4 and Asus Nexus 7 devices in India have also started receiving the update.

Android 4.3 Jelly Bean: Google Speeds up Nexus 4 and Nexus 7 Update

The Android 4.3 Jelly Bean update is around 157.7MB and it will be available as an over the air (OTA) update. It is better suggested to use a WiFi network for faster downloading. GizBot finally received both the updates today and hence it cab be said that more and more users in India will be receiving the new OS in the coming days.

Talking about the awesome features that Android 4.3 Jelly Bean will bring about in the device will be better performance, multi-user support which means now there will be a restriction on profiles that allows content limitations to specific users.

In simple terms the users can now make contents private. While other features will include Bluetooth Smart, and the ability to project movies etc from the device to the big screen. The Bluetooth Smart feature allows users to connect to other Bluetooth devices such as the Heart Beat Sensor, Fuelband, and Smartwatch and share data between them.

Not only that but a new game center and a whole new suite of Android apps will be coming to the platform. Google Play Games is also added into the mix so the user can more easily beat your friends down when playing multiplayer titles. There are several more features that comes inside the package. Thus stay tuned to GizBot for more updates on Android 4.3 updates and much more. Also take a detailed look at the features of Android 4.3.


Facebook announces Embedded Posts, copies yet another Twitter feature

Facebook says it has started rolling out a much wanted feature – embedded posts. This new Facebook feature will allow users to post Facebook posts on other Web pages.

“Embedded Posts let people add public posts from Facebook to their blog or web site. When embedded, posts can include pictures, videos, hashtags and other content. People can also like and share the post directly from the embed,” Facebook software engineers Dave Capra and Ray He said in a post introducing embedded posts on Facebook.

Though not all Facebook posts are embeddable, only those posts whose privacy settings are set to public can be embedded.

Facebook announces Embedded Posts, copies yet another Twitter featureThis new Facebook Embedded Posts feature will allow users to embed Facebook posts on other Web pages.

Facebook Embedded Posts is currently limited to the content posted by a few news publishers and Facebook says broader availability is coming soon.

Embedded Posts is only the latest in the long list of Twitter features that Facebook has aped. The last major feature that Facebook copied from Twitter was the hashtag.

While Twitter users have been on their own using the # symbol as a prefix to a word or phrase to group related tweets for quite some time, Twitter began hyperlinking hashtags from July 2009 and Facebook began rolling it in June 2013.

That blue and white icon with a check mark is a much desired badge on Twitter. So what if even a fake account can flaunt one? It was only last month that Facebook announced its own blue check mark for “authentic accounts of celebrities and other high-profile people and businesses on Facebook.” Twitter’s verified account feature dates back to 2009. Though unlike Twitter, Facebook will verify authentic identities on its own and users cannot request to have a profile or Page verified.

One big difference between Facebook and Twitter was that Facebook required consent from both users for one to get updates from the other, while on Twitter an one-sided action would suffice. With the ‘Subscribe’ button, introduced in September 2011 (and renamed to ‘Follow’ in December 2012) Facebook let its users receive posts from other Facebook users, even from those they are not friends with. Quite like Twitter.

@mentions pre-dates Twitter, but its usage gained popularity with the rise of Twitter. While Twitter added support for @mentions (or @replies or tagging) in May 2008, Facebook’s integration came more than a year later in September 2009.

That’s not all. Twitter had this feature, where hovering over a username would display an information box with the users’ details (Twitter has now changed the action from rollover to click) and this, obviously, found its way into the Facebook user experience.

If you are in the mood for some micro-inspirations, here’s one. Twitter no longer asks you to tweet “What are you doing?” (it has switched to “What’s happening?” for quite some time now) and when Facebook went for a redesign in August 2008 it added prominence to its status update feature and began asking users, “What are you doing right now?”. Note the similarity?

It’s not that Twitter didn’t seek inspiration elsewhere. It did and continues to do. So does Google+. The problem with this feature aping is that the competing social networks are slowly becoming clones of one another, feature by feature. Soon there might be little to tell them apart from their brand names.

Meet Videocon A24 – The Budget Android

Videocon A24

Looks like this is the week for budget smartphone launches. Videocon is the latest to launch their entry-level Android smartphone in the sub-5k segment. With the launch of Videocon A24, the smartphone maker has intensified the entry-level smartphone war in India.

Videocon A24 is a dual-SIM device which comes with Android Jelly Bean version 4.2.2. For a device in the sub Rs 5000 segment, Videocon has definitely managed to win us over by providing the latest (Jelly Bean 4.3 is still not in vogue) OS for the entry-level phone. Although we are doubtful of the phone getting any more upgrades, getting Jelly Bean 4.2.2 out of the box compensates for it all!

On the specifications front, Videocon A24 comes with a 4-inch WVGA capacitive touch-screen. The display is basic as the phone is a budget offering. Once again, by offering a 4-inch device, Videocon has managed to provide a decent screen-size in a budget price. The display and the OS are definitely not a disappointment when it comes to Videocon A24.

Under the hood runs a 1.2 GHz dual-core processor. Another surprise as most entry-level Androids stick to single core processors. The dual-core offering is definitely the icing on the cake.

Videocon A24

However, it is not all roses and peaches. There definitely is a catch and as you might have guessed, the catch is the internal memory and RAM. Videocon A24 comes with 512 MB internal memory and 256 MB RAM. Wave goodbye to anything other than basic app downloads. The entire purpose of a dual-core processor is lost thanks to the low RAM and internal memory. The memory can be increased to an additional 32 GB but the RAM still stays the same.

The phone comes with a decent 3.2 MP rear end camera and also a front camera for video-calling. Videocon A24 comes with the usual connectivity options and 1450 mAh battery.

Talking at the launch of Videocon A24, Mr. Khalid Zamir, Head Product Planning and Development, Videocon Mobile Phones Division said, “The Videocon A24 brings in an easy to use yet efficient smartphone experience to consumers who might be looking for their first smartphone. A simple and intuitive layout engages the consumers with the device and brings to them various vistas which help them to make the most of their Android smartphone experience.”

Priced at Rs 4699, the phone is definitely a show-stealer in the sub Rs 5k segment.

Microsoft Office comes to Android, but not tablets or BlackBerry

Microsoft is bringing a pared-down version of its Office software to Android phones, but it is keeping the app off Android tablets just as it isn’t making a version for iPads.

The company made the software available Wednesday through Google’s online Play store. It requires a $100-a-year subscription to Office and won’t be sold separately.

The new offering follows the release of an iPhone version in June and brings an Office app to phones running the most widely used operating system on new smartphones.

Microsoft Office for Android requires a $100-a-year subscription to Office and won’t be sold separately.

Like the other mobile versions, the new Android software is designed for lightweight use. For example, you can use it to view and edit an attachment sent by email. But it’s not meant to create a complex spreadsheet from scratch.

Microsoft is trying to make its Office 365 subscription more compelling, without removing an advantage that tablet computers running Microsoft’s Windows system have – the ability to run popular Office programs such as Word, Excel and PowerPoint.

“The release of this app shows that we’re committed to keep providing additional value for Office 365 subscribers,” the company wrote in a blog post. “Office 365 subscribers will now be able to access, view, and edit Word, Excel and PowerPoint documents with Windows Phone, iPhone and Android phones.”

Microsoft is pushing subscriptions as a way to get customers to keep paying for a product that was historically sold in a single purchase. The company touts such benefits as the ability to run the package on multiple computers and get updates for free on a regular basis. However, a subscription can be more expensive than buying the package outright for just one or two computers.

Microsoft said it designed Office Mobile for Android phones specifically for the phone’s smaller screen, even though many people will prefer editing documents on a tablet’s larger screen. The company has a version for iPads and Android tablets, called Office Web Apps, but that runs on a Web browser and requires a constant online connection. The new Android software is an app that gets installed on the phone and can work offline.

With a subscription, customers typically get to use Office on up to 10 devices. Five of them can be Windows or Mac computers or Windows tablets. The other five can be iPhones or Android phones. Windows phones come with Office installed and do not count toward the limit.

In failing to make a version for the iPad, the top-selling tablet computer, Forrester Research analyst JP Gownder has estimated that Microsoft is potentially ceding $1.4 billion a year in revenue, based on 10 per cent of the 140 million iPad owners paying for a $100 subscription. Gownder said failure to provide it on the iPad or Android tablets gives incentives for users to explore competing offerings such as QuickOffice from Google and iWork from Apple.

Technically, iPad users can download the iPhone version, but it doesn’t take advantage of the larger screen, so images and text are fuzzy when blown up. Android tablet owners won’t be able to download it at all through the Play store.

The new software requires Android 4.0 or later – the Ice Cream Sandwich or Jelly Bean flavours of Google’s operating system. At first, it’s available only in the US, though Microsoft plans to expand to 117 markets with versions in more than 30 languages.

Microsoft did not announce any plans for BlackBerry phones.