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Uber integrates UPI for payments in India; here’s how to set it up

By Abhishek Baxi

Uber has integrated UPI (Unified Payments Interface) to accept payments from riders in India. UPI is a mobile-first payment system that facilitates transactions between any two bank accounts.

UPI was launched by National Payments Corporation of India, an umbrella organization for all retail payment systems in India. While NPCI is a private entity, it is regulated by the country’s central bank – Reserve Bank of India.

How to set up UPI as a payment method for Uber?

On the Uber app, you will now find UPI as an option when you ‘Add Payment Method’ in the ‘Payment’ section. When you proceed to add UPI as a payment method, the app would proceed to link your existing Virtual Payment Address (the UPI ID) with Uber. Uber will then charge you ₹1 to authenticate your payment address, which is reimbursed after the authentication.

You will then get an SMS or notification from your UPI app (digibank, in my case) to authenticate the payment. You will then need to fire your UPI app and confirm the payment to ‘uber@axisbank’. The merchant ID indicates that Uber’s UPI account is powered by Axis Bank. Once you confirm the payment, your Uber account reflects UPI as a payment method.

After a few months of Indian operations, Uber integrated Paytm as a payment method to avoid the two-factor authentication associated with credit/debit cards in the country and the regulatory need to direct the payments though Indian banks and the payment to be in Rupees. Paytm is the leading mobile wallet in the country. Uber also flirted with Airtel Money for a while, but that never took off.

While Paytm requires you to load the wallet with funds every now and then, and to have a minimum balance to book an Uber ride, UPI payment would need to be confirmed each time. Essentially, both modes are not frictionless and it would be up to the user to choose what he or she prefers.

…read more

Source:: android authority

    

Bixby-powered speaker may not be revealed after all — report

By Mitja Rutnik

We have heard quite a few rumors about the Bixby-powered speaker over the last month or so, which was expected to take on the Amazon Echo and Google Home, just to name a few. However, it now looks like Samsung may have had a sudden change of heart, as it might not release the device after all.

According to a report by The Investor, we won’t see a Bixby-powered speaker anytime soon because Samsung doesn’t think it’s marketable at this point (ya think?). Amazon is currently dominating the global industry with a market share of over 70 percent, followed by Google, while Samsung has only just rolled out the first version of Bixby Voice to US customers.

It would be hard for Samsung to compete with such established players so soon, especially with a device that basically offers the same features as its competitors with a vastly inferior voice assistant. Samsung apparently also doesn’t want to focus on just the South Korean market, as it is just too small and won’t bring enough money into its pocket.

Additionally, the report claims that the tech giant simply can’t afford to focus on uncertain markets because the majority of its AI specialists are currently working on developing Bixby in English and other languages.

See also:
Samsung Bixby finally gets voice support in the US, rollout begins for S8 and S8 Plus

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Samsung Bixby finally gets voice support in the US, rollout begins for S8 and S8 Plus

10 hours ago

This doesn’t mean that Samsung will never announce a Bixby-powered speaker, but just that we probably won’t see it for a while. The company will likely wait until the market grows even more and its digital assistant offers a few more features that make it stand out from the crowd. When exactly will that happen is anyone’s guess right now, and it is entirely possible that the company has decided to scrap its speaker plans altogether – we just don’t know for sure.

Samsung may take a wait-and-see attitude rather than hurriedly jumping into the uncertain market with a new device, whose functions are no different from existing devices by rivals. — Kim Jong-ki, researcher at the Korea Institute for Industrial Economics & Trade

Even though Samsung might not enter the smart speaker market, you don’t need to worry too much. There are plenty of alternatives available including the already mentioned Google Home and Amazon’s Alexa-powered speakers as well as all the Alexa-equipped third-party speakers on offer. Apple has also announced the HomePod, which is expected to go on sale in December, while Andy Rubin took the wraps off the Essential Home back in May.

…read more

Source:: android authority

    

Update: Leaked Xiaomi Mi 5X images leave little to the imagination

By Mitja Rutnik

Update: Yesterday, Xiaomi announced that it will reveal the Mi 5X smartphone on July 26. The company also released a promo image that only gave us a glimpse of the upcoming device. Today, new images of the Mi 5X have leaked online that leave little to the imagination.

They show the back as well as the front of the device, which will apparently be available in at least three color options: black, rose gold, and gold. You can check them out in the gallery below.


Original post: As expected, Xiaomi will soon reveal a new smartphone. The company has announced on the Chinese social site Weibo that it will take the wraps off the Mi 5X at a press event in China on Wednesday, July 26. The announcement post also contains a promo image that gives us a glimpse of the upcoming smartphone.

As you can see, the Xiaomi Mi 5X will feature a dual-camera setup on the back, a rear-mounted fingerprint scanner, and a metal body. It will run Android Nougat with the MIUI 9 user interface on top, which will also officially be announced on the same day. Although other specs haven’t been confirmed yet, we have heard quite a few rumors about the device so far.

See also:
Xiaomi Redmi 5 price and specs details leak: 1080p display and 16 MP camera on a budget?

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Xiaomi Redmi 5 price and specs details leak: 1080p display and 16 MP camera on a budget?

5 days ago

The Xiaomi Mi 5X will reportedly sport a 5.5-inch display with Full HD resolution. You’ll find the Snapdragon 625 chipset under the hood along with 4 GB of RAM. When it comes to colors, you’ll be able to get it in Black, Gold, and Rose Gold. As the rest of Xiaomi’s lineup, the smartphone will offer a great bang for the buck, as it is expected to retail for CNY 1,999, which is around $295. Keep in mind that these are just rumors for now, as they haven’t been confirmed by Xiaomi yet.

The upcoming Xiaomi Mi 5X probably won’t make it to Western markets, but you’ll likely still be able to order it from various Chinese retailers such as GearBest, for example. It will, however, cost you a bit more.

…read more

Source:: android authority

    

Skagen Jorn Hybrid review – do smartwatches still matter?

By Joshua Vergara

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When I was in New York City celebrating my birthday a few weeks ago, I decided to treat myself to a hybrid smartwatch that I’ve had my eye on for quite a while. I have to admit that even as I was buying it, I was a little skeptical. Why move away from a highly functional touchscreen smartwatch in favor of what’s essentially a dumb watch with a few neat tricks?

That’s exactly what we’re going to explore today.

Do smartwatches still matter? Is there room in the extremely crowded wearable market for hybrid smartwatches? I’ll try to answer that in my review of the Skagen Jorn Hybrid Smartwatch.

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June 12, 2017

The hybrid category of smartwatches isn’t anything new, but it has been making more waves as of late. While companies like Fossil and all of the properties underneath its umbrella have moved into making Android Wear versions of their existing watch lines, there has been a growing trend of analog watches that simply bring features like notifications, vibration feedback, and fitness tracking to the mix. The Skagen Jorn is one of them.

Outfitted with a slim yet sleek body, this smartwatch comes with a light leather band that gives it a nice mixture of style. It is casual enough to wear with any normal clothing, but just fancy enough to fit in with a button down or even a suit. Part of the reason for that kind of style is the fact that this hybrid smartwatch has an analog face that is simple and doesn’t overwhelm with too much information. And, of course, it is not a touchscreen.

Which leads me to my first thought about smartwatches – we went too far too fast. Remember when the LG G Watch first came out as the inaugural Android Wear watch? While the Samsung Gear Live tried to add a little bit of style to Wear 1.0, the LG G Watch was probably the best precursor to what smartwatches essentially became: yet another screen, only on one’s wrist. The result was a fully touchscreen experience that was translated from the smartphone into a wearable, and with that came all the imaginative possibilities and all of the potential pitfalls.

The fact remains that smartwatches provide yet another screen to occupy our attention. Think of what a watch was originally meant to do – tell us the time – and how little effort and time it took to do that. Over time, smartwatches got bigger, thicker, and arguably better; unfortunately, that gave people the ability to read whole messages or notifications, swiping or dialing them up little by little. That’s literally the same amount of time spent looking at the watch that you probably would have spent looking at your phone anyway.

So, the Skagen Jorn tells the time and then a few other pieces of information when pressing one of three buttons on the side. Yes, this is a bit like the Pebble that I loved and have sadly set aside, but at least these buttons are programmable for a number of different functions. The list is a bit extensive: music and volume control, camera shutter button release via Bluetooth, telling the date, showing a secondary time zone, and showing step count.

It’s when showing different bits of information that things get interesting. On the top left of the watch is an area that shows 0-100, which is the percentage of one’s daily step goals. This is also programmable in the Skagen Connected app, and when the button is pressed, both watch arms come together to 0 and move to what your actual percentage for the day is. As for the actual step counting, the Jorn is a bit too liberal with its counts but still gets the job done.

This movement of the arms is really cool and hasn’t gotten old – it’s definitely an appealing aspect of the Jorn, one that it takes an analog timepiece and makes it do more. After all, weren’t all the different spy watches that James Bond wore fancy timepieces that had hidden features? Consider the cool factor of that compared to a watch that is basically all screen and all apps. Less hidden and thus less cool, for sure.


Other functions include pointing at the different dates from 1 to 31 around the watch and then notifications. Notifications are supposed to be the crux of the smartwatch experience, but unfortunately that is where the Skagen Jorn falls short. Much like with other hybrid smartwatches, notifications are programmed in the companion app to a certain portion of the watch – in this case, it is to one of four different colors on the left side of the watch face. When the programmed notification comes in on the phone, the watch vibrates and then the two …read more

Source:: android authority

    

Adobe Photoshop Lightroom gets ‘Android native’ interface and more with latest update

By Mitja Rutnik

Adobe has updated its Photoshop Lightroom app with some minor but important changes. There aren’t any new features available, but the app now does have an Android native’ interface. It has been designed from the ground up and should be a lot easier to use.

Additionally, the update also adds support for the latest cameras and lenses found in the ACR 9.12 release and has general stability improvements on board, which should make it run smoother and faster.

See also:
Adobe Scan turns physical documents into editable PDF files

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Adobe Scan turns physical documents into editable PDF files

June 1, 2017

For those of you who don’t know, Photoshop Lightroom allows you to edit photos as well as capture them with the in-app Adobe camera. You have a bunch of tools at your disposal ranging from simple one-tap presets to more advanced adjustments and corrections. The app has quite a few other useful features including the option to revert back to the original version of an image with just one tap and copying your favorite edits across photos.

If you already have the Adobe Photoshop Lightroom app installed on your device, just update it to gain access to the new features. Otherwise, you can download it from the Play Store below.

…read more

Source:: android authority

    

Google adds emergency location feature to its Phone app 

By Mitja Rutnik

Google has updated its Phone app with a great new safety feature. When you call an emergency number like 911, a location card will now appear on your screen containing info like your current address along with a small map as well as your exact coordinates.

The new feature comes in handy when you, for example, get injured and need help, but don’t know exactly where you are. As soon as you make the call, all the essential location info will pop up, so you can tell the emergency service exactly where you are located.

That Google has now made this feature part of its dialer app is a great move, especially considering carriers have not always been great at sharing your location data with emergency services. One study revealed that only 20 percent of 911 calls in San Francisco were sharing location data with the emergency dispatcher, despite a 2001 mandate that carriers do so.

See also:
Some OnePlus 5 units reboot when dialing 911, OnePlus looking into the issue

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Some OnePlus 5 units reboot when dialing 911, OnePlus looking into the issue

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In addition to the Emergency location feature, the update also has call waiting improvements (accept second call and end ongoing call) as well as a few bug fixes on board. All the new features are already available, so you should either update the app on your device or download it from the Play Store to try them out.

Just keep in mind that Google’s Phone app is only compatible with Pixel, Nexus, Android One, and Google Play Edition devices running Android 6.0 Marshmallow and newer.

…read more

Source:: android authority

    

Snapchat Spectacles now also available on Amazon

By Mitja Rutnik

Initially, Snapchat Spectacles were only available for purchase from pop-up vending machines across the US. Then in February, the company started selling them on their own website. Those of you still thinking of buying a pair can now also get them on Amazon.

The price hasn’t changed, which means that Spectacles still retail for $129.99. There are three color options available which are Black, Coral, and Teal.

For those of you unfamiliar with Snapchat Spectacles, they are basically a pair of fashion sunglasses with a built-in camera that lets you record videos up to 30 seconds long and then share them on the social media platform.

See also:
Snapchat update brings a color changing Tint Brush, multi-Snap recording coming soon

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Snapchat update brings a color changing Tint Brush, multi-Snap recording coming soon

15 hours ago

Once the glasses are paired to your smartphone, you can start recording video by pressing the button on the top left side, above the camera. The sunglasses also have an indicator on the right side that lets people know when you are recording something. You can learn more about them by checking out our Snapchat Spectacles review.

If you’re interested in getting your hands on a pair of Snapchat Spectacles, just visit Amazon’s website via the button below.

…read more

Source:: android authority

    

Chuwi Hi-Dock: Quick impressions of a useful charging hub for your desk as well as your trips

By Abhishek Baxi

If you’re like me and have multiple smartphones or devices on you at any time, you know charging all of them at once is a pain if you have limited power outlets or adapters.

To solve this common issue, there are several charging hubs out there in the market. Chuwi, the Chinese smart devices OEM, recently launched one which is pretty good for your desk or bedside as well as to lug it around in your bag when you’re travelling.

The Chuwi Hi-Dock is a quite handy and compact charging hub that offers four USB ports that are hidden under flaps. Three of these ports output at 5V/2.4A each while one of them supports the latest Quick Charge 3.0 technology. This port, marked in orange, supports 3.6-6.5V/3A, 6.5V-9V/2A, and 9V-12V/1.5A power rates. The Hi-Dock is powered by the included power cable that you’d need to plug into a power outlet.

If you have one of the latest smartphones that support QC 3.0 standard, this hub is a good fit. Of course, Chuwi could’ve supported quick charging on all or at least two of the ports, but that would’ve bumped up the cost.

The Chuwi Hi-Dock is not just a charging hub, but also a mobile stand. The flaps that cover the USB ports also double as stands for smartphone and tablets. However, one, you’d mostly be able to support them in landscape mode else they’ll topple over. And secondly, don’t expect to fit four smartphones at one time, especially with the tangle of wires.

While Hi-Dock’s design is otherwise very smart and quite practical, the mobile stand bit is only an added convenience and should not be your primary consideration. Apart from the chic design, the build quality too is top notch.

The Chuwi Hi-Dock eliminates the need for multiple wall chargers, and is a useful and ingenious accessory that is a must have if you juggle multiple devices. At less than $25, it’s quite affordable as well.

…read more

Source:: android authority

    

Here’s how Project Treble will improve security in Android

By Kris Carlon

Good news: Android O is about to get a lot more secure thanks to Project Treble, which you may remember as the initiative that will deliver upcoming Android updates in a more timely manner. But Project Treble – which modularizes Android updates into a platform (Google) and vendor (OEM) structure – not only allows essential framework updates to be rolled out faster, it also provides the basis for a more secure Android.

See also:
Android 8.0 update: when will you get it?

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Android 8.0 update: when will you get it?

2 weeks ago

Project Treble does this by extending the principle of least privilege introduced in Android Nougat’s hardening of the media stack. In Nougat, the vulnerable media server (which lay at the heart of the Stagefright exploit) was split into multiple discrete components, so rather than an all-together media server with direct access to audio and video hardware, we instead got a dedicated audio server, camera server and so on, making the entire system less vulnerable.

In Android O, that sandboxing work continues. The Android Developer’s latest blog post details how most direct hardware access has now been removed from the audio and camera servers entirely. By moving various HALs (Hardware Abstraction Layers) from running in a shared process to running in their own sandboxed processes, Google can effectively isolate access to permissions and drivers to only that HAL that specifically needs them.

Previously, all HALs had access to all drivers and permissions because they all lived in the same process. If all of this sounds a little too much like techno babble for you, think of it in terms of Get Smart. The old system would have Maxwell Smart sharing sensitive information with Agent 99 in a room full of eavesdropping KAOS agents. The new process has the cone of silence dropped around their 1:1 conversation, limiting the interaction to a need-to-know basis. Here’s the old structure on the left and the new one on the right:

As Google notes, “De-privileging system server and the media frameworks is important because they interact directly with installed apps. Removing direct access to hardware drivers makes bugs difficult to reach and adds another layer of defense to Android’s security model.” Ultimately what all this means is that Google is making security in Android O more granular and specific, isolating the most tempting parts of the system from attackers and shoring up access to non-essential drivers and permissions.

…read more

Source:: android authority

    

Google takes on Facebook with an improved newsfeed

By Bogdan Petrovan

Google is announcing new features for Feed, the stream of articles and content that populates the space formerly known as Google Now.

Announced in December, the Feed is meant to provide a similar experience to Facebook’s – and, to a lesser to extent, Twitter’s – newsfeeds. More and more people consume all their daily news and entertainment through social apps, frequently eschewing Google’s search pages entirely. That’s a real threat to the company’s business model, and Google has long sought to offer an alternative, most (in)famously with Google Plus. The new Feed, as a core element of the Google app, is another stab at the problem.

The Feed shows a personalized selection of current news articles, videos, and snippets of info, based on your search terms and other details that Google is able to gleam from the way you use its products.

Starting today, users will be able to get improved content recommendation by following their favorite topics straight from the search results. If you’re interested in Game of Thrones, just tap the Follow button in the Search results card for the term “Game of Thrones” and your feed will start including articles and information about HBO’s hit series.

Cards for certain terms will include additional, fact-checked sources that will let users go in-depth on those topics. While the feed will lean towards fresh content, Google says it will be more than just an article aggregator. Feed will also surface content that is new to the user, even if it’s months old, in contrast with the way Facebook prioritizes the newest content.

As for the utility cards that used to make up the bulk of the Feed – known then as Google Now – they will continue to co-exist with the newsfeed, in their own separate tab. But it’s clear that Google would like people to use Assistant for things like weather, trips, and meeting reminders.

The new and improved Feed will be available from today on Android and iOS. Google didn’t say anything about a desktop variant, but that seems to be the next logical step.

Do you see yourself using Google Feed as your main newsfeed?

…read more

Source:: android authority