Friday saw the launch of HTC Bolt, a 2016 smartphone with a 2015 processor; WhatsApp adding two-step verification to its beta apps; record Singles’ Day sales in China; and a whole lot more. Here’s your 360 Daily with the top tech stories of the day.
WhatsApp beta version gets two-step verification
The beta versions of WhatsApp for Android and Windows 10 Mobile now have two-step verification, an important security tool to authenticate user identity. Users who choose to activate two-step verification on WhatsApp will have to provide a 6-digit passcode to authenticate their phone number if they switch phones. An email address, provided at the time of setting up two-step verification, will be used to disable this security feature, if needed.
HTC Bolt With Android 7.0 Nougat, no headphone jack launched
HTC has launched the Bolt smartphone, running Android 7.0 Nougat out-of-the-box but lacking the 3.5mm audio jack. The new HTC Bolt is exclusive to Sprint in the US for now, and it comes with a 5.5-inch screen (1440×2560 pixels), water- and dust-resistant metal body, Snapdragon 810 processor, 3GB of RAM, 32GB internal storage, up to 2TB microSD card support, 16-megapixel rear camera, 8-megapixel front camera, and 3200mAh battery with fast-charging.
PM Narendra Modi lost 3 lakh Twitter followers the day after Rs. 500, Rs. 1000 ban
Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s follower-count on Twitter saw a dip of more than 3 lakh the day after he announced the demonetisation of the Rs. 500 and Rs. 1,000 currency notes. However, his net increase in Twitter followers the next day was 4.3 lakh, much higher than the 20,000-25,000 he gains on an average day.
Alibaba rakes in $1 billion in first 5 minutes of Singles’ Day in China
Alibaba sold goods worth $1 billion in the first five minutes and $5 billion in the first hour of its annual Singles’ Day online shopping extravaganza. The company offers heavy discounts on products via its Tmall and Taobao websites, and according to some estimates it clocked sales worth over $15 billion by 8pm. Alibaba said 84 percent of the total sales in the first two hours were from mobile devices.
Videocon d2h to merge with Dish TV
Videocon Group and Essel Group are merging their DTH divisions – Videocon d2h and Dish TV, respectively – to create a single entity called Dish TV Videocon, which will be positioned as the leading operator in India. Essel Group will have 55.4 percent ownership of the entity, while Videocon will own a 44.6 percent stake.
Cash on Delivery back on track on Amazon India
Two days after suspending Cash on Delivery on its platform, Amazon India has brought back the option, much to the delight of customers. The step was taken after Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the demonetisation of Rs. 500 and Rs. 1,000 notes. The company is also letting customers pay via credit and debit cards at the time of delivery.
OnePlus 3 to get Android 7.0 Nougat beta build in November
OnePlus will reportedly release the Android 7.0 Nougat ‘community’ build, a beta version of the software, for the OnePlus 3 smartphone in November. The company plans to roll out the final version of the new build as a public release by the end of the year. OnePlus’s software chief Brian Yoon has also said that OnePlus 2 will also get the software, but did not mention a timeline.
Google Chrome installs cross 2 billion
The Chrome browser has become the first Google product to have 2 billion installs worldwide. The app is available both for desktops and mobile devices. However, being installed on 2 billion devices does not mean that it is actively used by as many users on a regular basis.
Reliance Communications launches its first Android-based 4G LTE HomePhone
Anil Ambani-owned Reliance Communications has launched the Android 5.1 Lollipop-powered 4G LTE HomePhone, which comes with an in-built SIM and supports 4G and VoLTE. It has a 3.5-inch display and allows up to eight Wi-Fi devices to connect via hotspot to use its Internet connection.
BlackBerry to launch one last smartphone with physical keyboard
BlackBerry CEO John Chen has confirmed that the company will launch one last smartphone featuring the physical keyboard, which once made it an iconic brand. However, he did not furnish any details on the device, including other key hardware features, software, pricing, or launch timeline.