Flipkart : first Indian app to cross 50 million install

Flipkart recently announced that its Android app had crossed the 50 million installs landmark on the Google Play Store in the first week of February 2016. With a rating of 4.2 it is currently ahead of its competitors Snapdeal and Amazon which both have a rating of 4.1. Flipkart is now the first Indian app across all genres including- communication, social, entertainment, to cross the 50 million install benchmark.

The company launched its android app in Sep 2013 and has achieved the feat in less than 30 months.

A SimilarWeb report ranked Flipkart as India’s number one shopping app with 47% of the share of visits. The report also stated that the combined traffic share of Flipkart and Myntra stood at 63%. Amazon was in the third position with 15.86% followed by Snapdeal with 13.84%.

The Morgan Stanley report on ‘E-commerce in India for 2016’ placed Flipkart as the number one e-commerce company in India with a dominant market share of 45%. According to the report, Flipkart’s market share of 45% is equivalent to the combined market share of the next three players (Snapdeal, Amazon and Paytm).

Truecaller : Third-party apps use caller profiles for verification

Truecaller has launched a user verification SDK (Software Development Kit) for third-party apps which will allow apps to verify users based on their information with Truecaller. As of now the SDK is only on Android and is available to registered third party apps on that platform.

The company has partnered with 12 Indian apps including Quikr, Mobikwik, redBus, CarDekho, BharatMatrimony.com, ixigo, OYO Rooms, TO THE NEW Digital, FreshMenu, Terraa, Cash Care and ShopClues. TrueSDK will help users utilise their Truecaller credentials to log in to third-party apps and verify their phone numbers. TrueSDK is also free for developers to use and has no plans to charge them for the service any time soon.

The company, which generates revenue only from premium subscriptions, is also planning a lot of partnerships to increase their consumer base. Currently, Truecaller has partnerships with Airtel, Tata Docomo, Gionee, Obi, Celkon, Micromax, Microsoft, Cyanogen among others.

Samsung to start rolling out Android 6.0 Marshmallow to Galaxy devices

Samsung has announced it will bring the latest flavor of Android to its devices. The company said Android 6.0 Marshmallow update has started rolling out to Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 edge, followed by other Galaxy devices. The new update starts rolling just a week ahead of Samsung’s Unpacked event wherein it is expected to launch the new flagship devices.

So, if you are an owner of the Galaxy S6 or Galaxy S6 edge, the update should be coming to you soon. The roll out is expected for other Galaxy devices soon. There is no time frame or mention of which other models in the Galaxy series will be getting the update. For up gradable models, the company is expected to make separate announcements on details of OS updates for each market depending upon the market situation and carriers’ requirements.

Samsung says, “With the Android 6.0 Marshmallow update, Samsung provides the enhanced edge screen and new edge screen features, which are the unique user interface of the beautifully curved edge screen to the next level, making it faster and more convenient than ever.

Google’s Android 6.0 Marshmallow brings new features such as the new Google Now on Tap, a predictive assistant.

Apple iPhone 5se, iPad Air 3 to launch on next month

Apple has yet to push out official invites for its much-awaited March event for the launch of the 4-inch iPhone 5se and iPad Air 3, there is plenty of news which claims that the company is preparing for the launch on 15 March. Additionally, we now know that Apple’s shiny new products will be available in stores and online by 18 March, which is just 3 days after launch.

According to 9to5mac, Apple seems to be in a hurry to push out its new products and the same source also points out that the company will not offer pre-orders for the same products as they will go on sale in just 3 days from launch.

This is indeed a new strategy for Apple. The company usually pushes out its just announced products a couple of weeks after launch, by first placing them on pre-order. This indeed could be a new strategy or just to get the company’s new products out before its competitors do.

Strategy or not, the company’s upcoming iPhone 5se may indeed turn out to be a winner with some specs that may make iPhone 6 owners unhappy. Still then, with the fingerprint reader out of the picture on the iPhone 5se, owners will still have to look up to the iPhone 6. More so, it will be the pricing that will be the deciding factor for the success of the iPhone 5se.

The Apple iPhone 5se is expected to pack in plenty of recently announced features, all except for a fingerprint reader and 3D Touch. What you can expect to get on this smaller iPhone 5s successor is a design similar to the iPhone 6 models, an 8MP camera on the back and 1.2MP front-facing camera.

About the camera, the sensors and the hardware will be able to deliver larger panoramas and autofocus for video recording as well. Also included in the iPhone 5se will be a barometer that will help the Health app check for changes in elevation. Other upgrades also include an NFC chip for Apple Pay and other communication options that would include Bluetooth 4.2, VoLTE, and 802.11ac Wi-Fi. Powering it all will be an Apple A8 chipset with the M8 co-processor that will also come from the currently available iPhone 6 models.

About iPad Air 3, previous rumours have stated that Apple is in fact testing a version of the iPad Air 3 with a 9.7-inch panel which supports the Apple Pencil. This is new, since the iPad Pro is the only tablet in Apple’s line up to support the new Apple Pencil. Other features coming from the iPad Pro also includes, a revamped speaker set up with additional speaker grills. These should not better than those on the currently available iPad Pro, but clearly a better setup than the ones on the current Air models.

Huawei Honor Holly 2 Plus goes on sale on day after tomorrow

Huawei’s Honor Holly 2 Plus will go on sale starting February 15 at midnight via Amazon and Flipkart at a price of Rs 8,499. This smartphone is said to be designed for the Indian market and supports 2G/3G/4G LTE and CDMA as well.

In terms of specifications, the Honor Holly 2 Plus sports a 5-inch IPS LCD display with a 720 x 1280 pixel resolution. It is powered by a 1.3 GHz QuadCore processor paired with 2GB RAM. Running Android 5.1 Lollipop, the device comes equipped with a 13MP rear camera along with a 5MP front facing camera with features such as Auto Flash, Continuos Shooting, Face detection, Geo tagging, High Dynamic Range mode (HDR) and Touch to focus.

The smartphone features an inbuilt storage of 16GB which can be further expanded up to 128GB via microSD card. Connectivity features include Wi-Fi 802.11, b/g/n, Bluetooth, A-GPS and USB connectivity. A 4000 mAh battery completes the package.

Huawei sold one million smartphones in 2015 that includes 8,00,000 Honor branded phones. Globally, Huawei shipped 108 million smartphones in 2015 and became the third largest player after Apple and Samsung.

LeEco Le1s goes all silver in its 3rd flash sale via Flipkart

The LeEco Le1s will now be available in an all silver variant in its third flash sale via Flipkart on February 16. According to a company press statement, “LeEco has created three incredible records: The largest number of orders received in a single flash sale; the shortest ever time for the orders received and the highest presale registration number. LeEco’s international stature, superior technology and lower-than BOM cost pricing have contributed immensely to creating these amazing records.”

Priced at Rs 10,999, LeEco is the most recent Chinese player to have entered the Indian market, but its LeEco Le 1s boasts of excellent build quality and a fingerprint scanner. The Le 1s features a 5.5-inch Full HD (1920 x 1080 pixels) In-cell display. It is powered by a 2.2GHz, octa-core MediaTek Helio X10 (MT6795T) processor with a PowerVR G6200 GPU with 3GB of RAM.

The camera department consists of a 13MP rear camera, which is an ISOCELL sensor. It’s accompanied by a single LED flash and sports a bright, f/2.0 aperture and Phase Detection Autofocus (PDAF). On the front we have a 5MP camera for selfies. The ‘super value phone’, as LeEco refers to it, has a 3000mAh battery. According to the company, the device comes with fast charging and 5 minutes of charge time provides 3.5 hours of talk time.

Launch hidden Chess Game in Facebook Messenger App

A game of Chess is the most viable solution for the game lovers who want to exercise the most important organ in their body, the brain. Many research studies have highlighted the intellectual benefits of playing Chess.

The only prerequisite for a game to start is a special phrase to launch the chess board. By typing a quick phrase, a Facebook user can start a game with another friend through Facebook’s website or Facebook Messenger app.

Start a conversation with a friend with whom you want to play. During a conversation, type@fbchess play and a board will appear. Your friend will go first (depending on the mobile app or Facebook on Web).

Select a piece. There are some standard algebraic notation like:-

  1. Q for “Queen”
  2. B for “Bishop”
  3. R for “Rook”
  4. K for “King”
  5. N for “Knight”
  6. P for “Pawn”

Pawns could be moved by issuing the simple commands with numbers (along with the vertical axes). You are required to enter the letter and number representing the space you want to move it on the board. For instance, you need to type @fbchess Pc3 to move your pawn to that space. If more than one piece can go there, you’ll be asked which one to move.

Accidentally, if you make a wrong move, you can undo a move with @fbchess undo command or by clicking the “undo” button — but your opponent has to accept the request to undo.

If you would want to view the chess board in full size, click on the chat menu settings icon and select “See Full Conversation.” Although, Chess in Facebook messenger app is not as good as paid versions of the game, it serves the purpose well.

WhatsApp Now Supports Up to 256 Users in Group

It appears Facebook-owned WhatsApp has silently pushed a server-side update to its app on Android that increases the number of users included in a group chat. Until now, a WhatsApp group chat could include up to 100 users. However, the update now pushes the limit to 256 users. iOS users have also received an update that brings the same functionality, with version 2.12.13 of the app.

For Android, the expanded group limit is visible on v2.12.367 and above. Those Android users who do not see the update yet can download the latest version (v2.12.437) from the application from the company’s website. It is worth mentioning that the new group limit is only visible on Android and iOS for now. However, it should reach Windows Phone, BlackBerry, and other platforms soon.

It has been reported that WhatsApp could soon introduce a feature to allow its users to integrate their Facebook account with the instant messaging and voice calling app. The version 2.12.413 of WhatsApp for Android reveals company’s intention to allow users to link the messaging service with their respective Facebook account.

Gmail has over 1 billion monthly active users

Speaking on Google’s Q4 2015 earnings call, CEO Sundar Pichai announced that at the end of 2015, Gmail had over one billion monthly active users. That’s an absolutely massive number, but considering that we’re talking about the scale of Google, it’s actually the seventh product from the company to surpass that milestone.

The one billion monthly active user number is also shared by Google Search, Android, Google Maps, Chrome, YouTube and Google Play. Considering the synergies between these products it’s not too surprising that Gmail finally made its way up to the top, especially since Google announced that the user figure was over 900 million as of Google I/O 2015.

Pichai also notes that the growth in active Gmail users is fueled particularly by mobile users, though we could’ve guessed that considering the absolutely massive number of Android phones in the wild.