Category: shopping guide

Apple Starts Offering Free 1-Month Trials to Paid iCloud Storage Plans

With a view to ultimately give a push to its paid plans, Apple has now started offering free one-month iCloud storage trials. The new trials have reportedly been given to all users who have reached their 5GB limit and applies to all the existing paid iCloud plans, including 50GB, 200GB, and 2TB. The latest change comes months after the iPhone maker brought Family Sharing for users on 200GB and 2TB plans. Moreover, Apple has thrown down the gauntlet to Google Drive and Microsoft’s OneDrive as both don’t offer free trials of their paid plans.

The free trial option comes through a pop-up message to users who have already consumed the default free limit of 5GB, as spotted by AppleInsider. “You do not have enough space in iCloud to back up your iPhone. A 50GB plan gives you plenty of space to continue backing up your iPhone. Your first month is free and it’s just $0.99 each month after,” reads the message.

While the 50GB plan will be available to users after completing the first free month at $0.99 (Rs. 75 in India), users picking up the 2TB storage option will need to pay $9.99 per month – or Rs. 749 in India. It is also worth pointing out that the selected storage plan will automatically renew. This means users need to discontinue the paid storage plan from their end, otherwise, they need to pay for the additional storage that was once given for free.

You can certainly leverage the fresh development and expand your existing iCloud storage to up to 2TB without any additional charges – but only for one month. The move by Apple certainly seems geared to expand the paid user base of its iCloud storage service.

In 2016, Apple expanded its iCloud storage plan lineup by introducing the 2TB option. The company also in 2017 replaced the original 1TB storage tier with the 2TB tier and brought the Family Sharing feature for 200TB and 2TB iCloud storage subscription plans to let users share their storage with up to six family members.

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Huawei Enjoy 8e Youth With Selfie Flash, 5.45-Inch 18:9 Display Launched: Price, Specifications

Huawei Enjoy 8e Youth has been launched in China. The new smartphone comes months after Huawei widened its Enjoy 8 series with models including the Enjoy 8, Enjoy 8 Plus, and Enjoy 8e. It comes with a price tag of CNY 799 (approximately Rs. 8,500) and features three colour options – Black, Blue, and Gold. Presently, the handset is available for pre-orders via VMall, while its shipments will begin starting June 1. Details about its availability and price in India and other markets aren’t revealed.

Huawei Enjoy 8e Youth features

The Huawei Enjoy 8e Youth is specifically targeted at young customers. The handset thus has an enhanced selfie experience and comes preloaded with a beauty mode. There is also an intelligent soft LED light on the front that automatically recognises the amount of ambient light to brighten self-portrait shots under a low light environment. Similarly, the Enjoy 8e Youth is touted to adjust the volume during voice calls by intelligently identifying the environmental noise. The company has also provided a three-finger slide screenshot feature that lets users capture screenshots by simply sliding their three fingers.

Huawei Enjoy 8e Youth specifications

The dual-SIM (Nano) Huawei Enjoy 8e Youth runs EMUI 8.1 based on Android 8.1 Oreo and features a 5.45-inch HD+ (720×1440 pixels) LCD panel with 295ppi of pixel density and an 18:9 aspect ratio. Under the hood, there is a quad-core MediaTek MT6739 SoC, coupled with PowerVR GE1800 GPU and 2GB of RAM. The smartphone has a 13-megapixel camera sensor on the back that has an autofocus lens along with PDAF and a dual-tone LED flash. On the front, there is a 5-megapixel camera sensor along with the soft-light LED flash.

Huawei has provided 32GB of onboard storage that is expandable via microSD card (up to 256GB) via a dedicated slot. In terms of connectivity, the Enjoy 8e Youth has 4G LTE, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth v4.2, GPS/ A-GPS, Micro-USB, FM radio, and a 3.5mm headphone jack. Sensors on board include a gravity sensor, light sensor, and a proximity sensor. Besides, the smartphone packs a 3020mAh battery and measures 146.5×7.09×8.3mm.

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EU GDPR Rollout: Complaints Against Google, Facebook Under New Privacy Law

A group that campaigns for data protection rights in Europe says it’s filed legal complaints against Google, Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp over the way they obtain users’ consent under new EU privacy rules – General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Starting Friday, companies that collect or process the personal information of EU residents must comply with new rules that protect the privacy of people’s data.

The group NOYB.EU – which stands for “none of your business” – claims its action could force the US Internet giants to pay up to EUR 7 billion ($8.2 billion). In a statement Friday, the group argued that the companies are making users’ consent to their new terms of service a requirement if they want to continue using the service. Those who object have to delete their account.

Max Schrems, a veteran of legal fights against Facebook and chair of the privacy group, said this amounts to “forced consent,” prohibited by the EU’s GDPR rules.

The rollout of the General Data Protection Regulation has been welcomed but is also causing confusion. Companies are trying to understand what level of protection different data needs, whether this could force them to change the way they do business and innovate, and how to manage the EU’s 28 national data regulators, who enforce the law.

That uncertainty, together with stiff penalties for violating the law, has convinced Internet-based businesses such as Unroll.me, an inbox management firm, and gaming company Ragnarok Online to block EU users from their sites. U.S. retailer Pottery Barn said it would no longer ship to EU addresses.

In Finland, the government says it has been contacted by households asking whether the law means they can no longer email invitations for a child’s birthday party.

The Finnish Justice Ministry’s Anu Talus told broadcaster YLE that the data privacy rules do not affect private households. The law only affects data that is intended for professional or commercial activities.

The broadcaster listed on Friday another case that had citizens puzzled. Should timetables for users of Finnish saunas, which show residents’ names, be removed from the facility? Finland’s Data Protection Ombudsman Reijo Aarnio said that was a “typical issue of interpretation,” adding it was probably fine to assume that a sauna schedule can be visible.

Separately, the Los Angeles Times is freezing readers in parts of Europe out of its website as new privacy rules come into force across the European Union.

Web users in Germany who visited the site Friday got a notice saying the L.A. Times is “engaged on the issue and committed to looking at options that support our full range of digital offerings to the EU market.”

It adds that the company is trying to “identify technical compliance solutions that will provide all readers with our award-winning journalism.”

Companies worldwide have been sending their customers notices in recent days informing about changes to their terms of service, as part of efforts to comply with the new European rules, known as the General Data Protection Regulation

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Dark Souls: Remastered Xbox One X vs PS4 Pro – Which Version Should You Buy?

Dark Souls: Remastered for the PS4 and Xbox One is out now, bringing with it improved graphics, enhanced online play, and all of the original game’s downloadable content. In our Dark Souls: Remastered review we stated that move to 60fps results in an experience that’s near transformational on the PS4 and PS4 Pro. But how does it fare on the Xbox One X? Considering Microsoft’s latest console is more powerful than the PS4 Pro, does developer QLOC take any advantage of its extra horsepower? We checked out Dark Souls: Remastered on PS4 Pro and Xbox One X to find out which version is worth playing.

Download size
Dark Souls: Remastered Xbox One X download size is 7.13GB while it clocks in at 7.3GB on the PS4 Pro. And despite the difference in download size, we soon realised that there wasn’t any drastic change in performance.

Frame rate
In both versions of the game, we didn’t see any major dips in frame rate in most cases. The game’s opening Asylum area as well as the Undead Cathedral among others were equally smooth on both consoles. There’s a subtle difference between the two in boss fights, though. Be it fighting the Bell Gargoyle or spider witch Quelaag, the Xbox One X felt just a bit more responsive in such encounters. It’s not a dealbreaker if you have a PS4 Pro, but it’s something to consider.

Visually, there’s little to choose between the two. From swampy locales like Blighttown to skeleton warriors that you encounter across Lordran, they’re near identical. Though lighting appears just a bit more sharper on the Xbox One X as do some character models, it’s not particularly noticeable until you compare both versions of the game side by side.

dark souls remastered fire

Both versions of the game support 4K and 60fps, and there’s nothing unique to either version. HDR for Dark Souls: Remastered was mentioned prior to release on the official PlayStation blog, but it doesn’t seem to have made the cut in the final release with the option missing from the game’s settings and Sony later edited the post “to remove the mention of HDR lighting at Bandai Namco’s request.” Unlike other games for iterative consoles like Monster Hunter World, you can’t change any settings to prioritise resolution over frame rate or vice versa.

Frame pacing
Frame pacing refers to scenarios where the game’s image does not look smooth even if the frame rate is what it should be. Thanks to the frame rate enhancements compared to its original release back in 2011, this is not a problem in Dark Souls: Remastered. Responsiveness and image quality appear to be in sync, so the choice boils down to the controller you prefer – which brings us to the final point.

Dark Souls: Remastered PS4 Pro vs Xbox One X – what console to buy it on?
All said and done while there are minor differences between both versions of Dark Souls: Remastered, and none of them are dealbreakers by any stretch. Granted, certain missing options such as HDR would have made for a more complete experience, but it’s still a good looking game regardless of whether you prefer Microsoft’s console or Sony’s offering. As it stands, you really can’t go wrong with Dark Souls: Remastered on either console.

If you’re a fan of video games, check out Transition, Gadgets 360’s gaming podcast. You can listen to it via Apple Podcasts or RSS, or just listen to this week’s episode by hitting the play button below.

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Flipkart-Walmart Deal: CAIT Fears Predatory Pricing by Walmart

Continuing its protest against the $16-billion (roughly Rs.1.07 lakh crores) Flipkart-Walmart deal, the Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) on Friday wrote to commerce minister Suresh Prabhu expressing concerns that Walmart might adopt predatory pricing and deep discounting, which will kill the trade.

In its second letter to Prabhu, the traders’ lobby referred to Walmart as “the US version of The East India Company”, and also asked for a thorough investigation of the Walmart-Flipkart deal.

“Walmart is nothing but a US version of The East India Company which conquered the country,” CAIT said in the letter, adding, “It is highly regretted that some of the people for just merely earning the profit have sold major chunk of commerce to Walmart.”

CAIT also feared that Walmart will penetrate the retail trade through e-commerce, and indulge in predatory pricing, and deep discounting, thereby creating an uneven playing field for others.

“It will source globally the cheapest material and will dump in the country to wipe out the competition. As of now, no rule or law exists which can put restrictions on such practices of any company,” the letter said.

Apprehending that the deal is bound to circumvent established laws and FDI policy of the government, the body asked the minister for a thorough investigation. “The ultimate object of Walmart is to enter the retail trade of the country,” it said, adding, “In the absence of any policy on e-commerce or retail trade, it would be easy for Walmart to reach out to retail market, which otherwise it cannot enter due to FDI policy.”

It further said that since the matter also relates to data security, controlling entire chain from inventory to end-consumer which will turn out to be a monopoly, a peculiar situation will arise which could be to the disadvantage to brick and mortar shops and economy.

The world’s biggest brick-and-mortar retailer, Walmart, on May 9 said it has agreed to purchase around 77 percent stake in India’s largest online retailer, Flipkart, for $16 billion.

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Is This What the Google Pixel 3 Will Look Like?

As the tradition goes, Google is anticipated to launch its next Pixel flagships in October, alongside the commercial rollout of Android P. A recent AOSP code commit let out that Google is indeed naming its next flagship as Pixel 3 and Pixel 3XL. Now, a placeholder image detailing features in the Android P developer beta gives us possible clues of what the next Google flagship may look like. Looking at the placeholder, it seems that Google is going the no-bezel way as well. The sketch shows a phone that has no bezel whatsoever, not even the display notch at the top or a thin chin at the bottom.

The placeholder image found on SlashLeaks, details features inside Android P developer beta, and it shows a sketch of a smartphone that has no bezels whatsoever. There is no chin at the bottom, or a display notch at the top either. Ever since the iPhone X, various Android smartphone manufacturers have taken inspiration from Apple to introduce their own flagships with a similar notch display. Vivo is expected to launch the Apex smartphone on June 12 and its USP is that it has no bezels whatsoever, and the smartphone comes with a pop-up front camera for selfies. Lenovo is also teasing a new smartphone called Lenovo Z5 slated to launch on June 14, and teasers claim that device won’t have any chin whatsoever.

If this placeholder holds any weight, then Google is going the same way. How it manages to house the selfie camera, earpiece, and sensors including the ambient light and proximity sensor will be interesting to see. We obviously suggest that you take this leak with a large pinch of salt, as this placeholder could just be for representational purposes only, and the Pixel 3 could sport a completely different design – including a notch, after all, Android P natively supports it.

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EU’s New Data Protection Rules Come Into Effect

The European Union’s new data protection laws came into effect on Friday, with Brussels saying the changes will protect consumers from being like “people naked in an aquarium”.

The EU’s so-called General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) has been blamed for a flood of spam emails and messages in recent weeks as firms rush to request the explicit consent of users to contact them.

Even though the rules were officially adopted two years ago, with a grace period until now to adapt to them, companies have been slow to act, resulting in a last-minute scramble this week.

Britain’s data protection watchdog, the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), said that its site had experienced “a few interruptions” as the deadline loomed, but said that “everything is working now”.

Brussels insists that the laws will become a global benchmark for the protection of people’s online information, particularly in the wake of the Facebook data harvesting scandal.

“The new rules will put the Europeans back in control of their data,” said EU Justice Commissioner Vera Jourova.

“When it comes to personal data today, people are naked in an aquarium.”

Companies can be fined up to EUR 20 million ($24 million) or four percent of annual global turnover for breaching the strict new data rules for the EU, a market of 500 million people.

Explicit consent
The law establishes the key principle that individuals must explicitly grant permission for their data to be used.

The new EU law also establishes consumers’ “right to know” who is processing their information and what it will be used for.

People will be able to block the processing of their data for commercial reasons and even have data deleted under the “right to be forgotten”.

Parents will decide for children until they reach the age of consent, which member states will set anywhere between 13 and 16 years old.

The case for the new rules has been boosted by the recent scandal over the harvesting of Facebook users’ data by Cambridge Analytica, a US-British political research firm, for the 2016 US presidential election.

The breach affected 87 million users, but Facebook said Wednesday it has found no evidence that any data from Europeans were sold to Cambridge Analytica.

Facebook chief Mark Zuckerberg said in a hearing at the European Parliament on Tuesday that his firm will not only be “fully compliant” with the EU law, but will also make huge investments to protect users.

Zuckerberg said he was “sorry” for the Cambridge Analytica breaches, but also for its failure to crack down on election interference, “fake news” and other data misuses.

‘Global standard’
Big platforms like Facebook, WhatsApp and Twitter seem well prepared for the new laws, while smaller businesses have voiced concern.

But EU officials say they are initially focusing on the big firms, whose business models use a goldmine of personal information for advertising, while offering smaller firms more time to adapt.

Meanwhile, Brussels has expressed impatience with the eight countries – out of the EU’s 28 – that say they will not have updated their laws by Friday.

EU Commissioner Jourova said the new rules are setting “a global standard of privacy”.

Many Americans who once criticised Europe as too quick to regulate the new driver of the global economy now see the need for the GDPR, EU officials insist.

“I see some version of GDPR getting quickly adopted at least in the United States,” Param Vir Singh, a business professor at Carnegie Mellon University, told AFP in an email.

Japan, South Korea, India and Thailand are also drawing “some inspiration” from Brussels as they debate or adopt similar laws, another EU official said.

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Oppo Realme 1 to Go on Sale via Amazon India Today: Price, Launch Offers, and More

Oppo Realme 1 will go on sale for the first time in India today via Amazon India at 12pm IST. The first smartphone by Oppo’s sub-brand online-only sub-brand Realme was launched last week and has been positioned in the mid-range segment to compete the likes of Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 and Asus ZenFone Max Pro M1. The Oppo Realme 1 comes in three variants, and the top-end variant variant with 6GB RAM and 128GB storage is among the few phones with 6GB RAM priced in India at under Rs. 15,000. The new Realme 1 by Oppo is an Amazon-exclusive, ‘Made in India’ product.

Realme 1 price in India, launch offers

Realme 1 price in India starts at Rs. 8,990 for the 3GB RAM variant and Rs. 13,990 for the 6GB RAM option. The first Realme 1 sale is scheduled to start at 12pm IST on Amazon India, and the handset will be available for purchase in only two variants — 3GB RAM + 32GB storage and 6GB RAM + 128GB storage. Buyers can choose between the Diamond Black and Solar Red finishes. There’s also a 4GB RAM + 64GB storage Realme 1 option that will come in Diamond Black and Moonlight Silver colours, but it will be released in a few weeks and will not be available during the first sale.

As part of the first Realme 1 sale on Amazon India, buyers can available a 5 percent cashback on purchases made using SBI cards, Jio benefits worth Rs. 4,850, a free case, and a free screen protector. Buyers will also get 80 percent off on Kindle ebooks (up to Rs. 300) if they have not purchased one before.

Realme 1 Review

Realme 1 specifications

The dual-SIM Realme 1 runs ColorOS 5.0 based on Android 8.1 Oreo, complete with an India-specific theme. It sports a 6-inch full-HD+ (1080×2160 pixels) display with an 84.75 percent screen-to-body ratio. It is powered by an octa-core MediaTek Helio P60 SoC that’s clocked up to 2GHz, coupled with 3GB, 4GB, or 6GB of RAM depending on the variant, as well as a dual-core AI-specific chip. It comes with 4G VoLTE support.

The Realme 1 bears a 13-megapixel rear camera with LED flash, and a 8-megapixel front camera. The company is touting use of the Oppo’s AI Beauty 2.0 feature that apart from beautification also offers 296-point facial recognition. The smartphone also has a Face Unlock feature (said to unlock the smartphone in 0.1 seconds), but it doesn’t have a fingerprint sensor. The smartphone features AR stickers for both the front and rear cameras.

Realme 1 vs Redmi Note 5 vs Asus ZenFone Max Pro M1

As for storage, the Realme 1 comes with 32GB, 64GB, and 128GB of inbuilt storage, depending on the variant, each of which is expandable via microSD card featuring its own dedicated card slot. It is powered by a 3410mAh battery. Built out of a fibre-glass body, the smartphone measures 156×75.3×7.8mm and weighs 158 grams. The company is also touting an AI Board assistant on board.


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Apple’s $539 Million in Damages Is a ‘Big Win’ Over Samsung

Apple won $539 million (roughly Rs. 3,700 crores) from Samsung Electronics Co. in the final throes of the companies’ US court struggle over smartphone technology, seven years after the start of a global patent battle.

Apple sought about $1 billion (roughly Rs. 6,800 crores) in a retrial of a case that originally produced a verdict of that amount in 2012, while Samsung argued it should pay only $28 million (roughly Rs. 191 crores) this time.

Jurors in federal court in San Jose, California, decided only on damages Thursday. It was already established that the South Korean company infringed three of Apple’s design patents – covering the rounded corners of its phones, the rim that surrounds the front face, and the grid of icons that users view – and two utility patents, which protect the way something works and is used.

“Today’s decision flies in the face of a unanimous Supreme Court ruling in favour of Samsung on the scope of design patent damages,” Samsung said in a statement after the verdict. “We will consider all options to obtain an outcome that does not hinder creativity and fair competition for all companies and consumers.”

John Quinn, a lawyer for Samsung, told the judge the verdict isn’t “supported by the evidence,” and that the company would raise its objections in court filings.

Apple said in a statement that the case “has always been about more than money.”

“We believe deeply in the value of design, and our teams work tirelessly to create innovative products that delight our customers,” the company said.

Components or Phones?
The basic question for the jury was: Should Samsung have to pay damages based on sales of its smartphones or just their components that infringed the iPhone maker’s patents?

A $1.05 billion jury verdict in 2012 was whittled down by a previous retrial in 2013, along with appeals and adjustments. After Samsung agreed to pay some damages, the case went to the US Supreme Court in 2016 and was returned to US District Judge Lucy Koh with an order to revisit $399 million (roughly Rs. 2,700 crores) of that award. Now Samsung has to pay an additional $140 million (roughly Rs. 950 crores).

Apple’s ‘Upside’
The verdict is a “big win” for Apple, said Michael Risch, a law professor at Villanova University School of Law in Pennsylvania. After the Supreme Court’s ruling, “Apple’s upside should have been capped at what it won before,” he said. “Beating that number at trial is a huge victory given that the Supreme Court has theoretically ruled against it.”

That also makes it a “huge loss” for Samsung, “and shows the risk it took by continuing to fight,” he said. “Samsung’s luck with the jury ran out this time, and Apple received a bigger proportion of what it sought.”

The Apple verdict is the third-largest US jury award in 2018 so far, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. It’s the biggest damages award for a patent case this year, followed by a $502.6 million verdict that Apple lost in Texas to VirnetX in April.

Two Weeks’ Profit
Samsung previously paid Apple $548 million – $399 million for products that infringed the design patents plus more for infringing a utility patent not at issue in the retrial. The damages retrial before Koh gave Samsung a chance to argue Apple wasn’t entitled to all of its profit from the infringing phones, and recoup at least some of the money. The jury’s damages total will ultimately be calculated against the $399 million Samsung has paid.

Samsung earned $38.9 million in profit each day, or $1.6 million per hour, from sales of its mobile devices based on its most recent quarterly earnings, with a chunk of that coming from sales of its smartphones. That means the single division of the technology giant could pay Apple in about two weeks.

The technology landscape has shifted significantly since the 2012 trial. Apple has expanded its iPhone lineup to include more expensive as well as cheaper models. It’s also revamped the phone’s interface with new icons, colours and gestures. Samsung has added new models with curved screens and iris scanners that Apple has eschewed.

The two companies remain far ahead of the competition globally in phone sales, but Chinese phone makers like Huawei Technologies Co. and Oppo have begun to eat into Samsung’s market share while Apple’s has remained fairly steady.

In the first quarter this year, Apple held 16 percent of the smartphone market, while Samsung accounted for 23 percent, according to data from IDC. That compares with 30 percent for Samsung and 19 percent for Apple in 2012, the year of the original trial.

While the verdict isn’t significant for either company’s bottom line, Apple has long maintained there’s a bigger principle at stake. After the 2012 jury sided with Apple, Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook said the lawsuit was about values, and that the company “chose legal action very reluctantly and only after repeatedly asking Samsung to stop copying” its work.

Although the smartphone market is no longer growing, Apple and Samsung will probably remain competitors for decades to come in new categories such as self-driving cars, augmented reality glasses, smart speakers and artificial intelligence software.

The case is Apple v. Samsung Electronics Co., 11-cv-01846, US District Court, Northern District of California (San Jose).


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