We understand that it is a busy week and it's really hard to keep track of everything that goes on in the tech world. So here’s a handy recap of the top news stories this week.
Microsoft buys Nokia's devices and services unit for $7.2 billion
In what is the biggest story of the year so far, Microsoft has purchased substantially all of Nokia’s devices and services business, and license and use of the company’s patents and mapping services. The deal is expected to close in the Q1 of 2014 and is subject to approval by Nokia’s shareholders, regulatory approvals and other closing conditions. Under the terms of the agreement, Microsoft will pay 3.79 billion euros to purchase the Finnish company’s devices and services business, and 1.65 billion euros to license Nokia’s patents, for a total transaction price of 5.44 billion euro (approx $7.2 billion) in cash.
Microsoft buys Nokia
Samsung Galaxy Note 3 officially announced
The much-awaited Galaxy Note 3 is finally official.The design of the phablet has been tweaked a bit, with the smartphone coming with a leather back panel. The Galaxy Note 3 also seems to sport stiched accents. The Galaxy Note 3 comes with a 5.7-inch full HD Super AMOLED display with a pixel resolution of 1920 x 1080, giving it a pixel density of 386ppi. Samsung has come up with two variants of the phone, each coming with a different processor under the hood. The first variant comes with an improved version of the company’s Exynos 5 Octa chip clocked at 1.9GHz, which packs an ARM Cortex-A15 chip with a more power-friendly Cortex-A7. The second version comes with Qualcomm’s latest Snapdragon 800 SoC, with four cores clocked at 2.3GHz. The latter is aimed at LTE markets.
A new Note is here
Stephen Elop to head Microsoft's Devices team
According to a company-wide email sent by Microsoft boss Steve Ballmer, Stephen Elop will be heading an expanded Devices team, which includes the company's current Devices and Studios teams. Currently handling the Xbox side of things is Julie Larson-Green, but she will be working directly under Elop once the Nokia acquisition by Microsoft is complete. According to Ballmer's email, “Julie Larson-Green will continue to run the Devices and Studios team, and will be focused on the big launches this fall including Xbox One and our Surface enhancements. Julie will be joining Stephen’s team once the acquisition closes, and will work with him to shape the new organization.”
LG G2 slated for a late September launch in India
According to our sources from LG, the G2 is likely to pave its way into the Indian market by the end of September or early October, right in time for the Diwali shopping season. It will be competing with the Galaxy S4 and the HTC One. The smartphone is sleek at 8.9mm and runs on Android Jelly Bean 4.2.2. It features a large 5.2-inch full HD display and employs Graphic (GRAM) technology that reduces the display’s energy use by up to 26 percent on a still frame. Under the hood, it is powered by a 2.26GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 SoC featuring four Krait CPUs along with 2GB of RAM. The G2 also gets a 3000mAh battery. The smartphone had also grabbed eyeballs for its design that doesn’t feature any buttons on the edges as the volume and power buttons are placed at the back. The LG G2 smartphone will be available in black and white.
Qualcomm announces the Toq smartwatch featuring Mirasol display and wireless charging
At its annual Uplinq Developer Conference, Qualcomm announced that its subsidiary, Qualcomm Connected Experiences will release a Qualcomm branded smartwatch towards the end of the year. The Qualcomm smartwatch dubbed Toq was showcased at the event by Paul Jacobs, Chairman and CEO of Qualcomm. The Toq is expected to be a second display for your Android smartphone which will connect via Bluetooth (compatible with Android 4.0.3 and above). Support for iOS expected in the future.
An unexpected smartwatch
Samsung unveils Galaxy Gear smartwatch; only compatible with Galaxy smartphones
Samsung has finally shown its first steps into the wearable computer space. The company unveiled the Galaxy Gear smartwatch, which, sadly enough, will only work with Samsung’s current crop of high-end smartphones. At launch, it will only work with the Galaxy Note 3, but the Galaxy S4, S3 and Note 2 will be getting software updates for Galaxy Gear support.The Galaxy Gear is capable of showing users notifications that could otherwise only be seen on the phone. These notifications include incoming messages, calls, texts, emails and alerts. It shows a preview of these notifications and lets users accept or dismiss them right from the Gear. It also has the Smart Relay feature, which opens the content of the notification on the smartphone as soon as it is pulled out of the pocket. The Gear is primarily used by either using the swipe-based interface or Samsung’s S Voice feature.
Indian engineer receives $12,500 in bounty for exposing image-deleting Facebook bug
21-year old Indian Electronics and Communications Engineer, Arul Kumar received $12,500 bounty after reporting a Facebook bug that allowed one to delete an image on a page without any interaction from the user. Researcher Arul Kumar posted a blog about how easy it was to exploit the Facebook Support Dashboard and delete any image from any page, including verified ones. Kumar detailed the bug, deemed critical, and sent across a video to Facebook’s security team.
Bharti Airtel in talks to acquire Loop Mobile
Mumbai-based Loop Mobile, whose owners want to quit the telecom sector, is in talks with Bharti Airtel for an acquisition. Bharti Airtel is the leading bidder in the race. The final deal will depend upon the clarity on guidelines set by the government for mergers and acquisitions. It would also depend upon the renewal fee as Loop’s license is set top expire in September next year.
Sony Xperia Z1 with 20.7-megapixel camera and Snapdragon 800 is official
Sony unveiled its imaging-centric smartphone, the Xperia Z1. Once again built around the same OmniBalance design principles first seen in the Xperia Z, the Z1 has an aluminium frame to lend it a bit more sturdiness. Like most of the recent Sony launches, this one will be water and dustproof. The Z1 has a 5-inch full HD Triluminos LCD with a resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels. The display also gets Sony's OptiContrast and X-Reality Engine technologies. Internally, the smartphone comes with Qualcomm’s latest quad-core Snapdragon 800 SoC clocked at 2.2GHz and 2GB of RAM. The phone also comes with 16GB of internal flash memory which can be expanded up to 64GB via a microSD slot. The highlight of the Xperia Z1 is the 20.7 megapixel primary camera which comes with the company's G Lens. The camera will sport a 27mm wide angle, a f2.0 aperture as well as a 1/2.3-type CMOS image sensor Exmor RS for mobile as well as BIONZ mobile image processing engine.
Sony's latest flagship has all the bells and whistles
Apple sends out invites for September 10 iPhone event
Apple has sent out invites for a September 10 event, where the company will most likely unveil the new iPhone. The event will take place at 10 AM PT (10:30 PM IST) at the Apple Campus in Cupertino. It is touted to be one of the most exciting Apple events, so far. The event will witness the the successor to its iPhone 5, possibly called the iPhone 5S, and also a cheaper iPhone 5C.
Forget Key Lime Pie, Android 4.4 to be called KitKat
Google has announced that the next version of Android will be called Kit Kat. Android version 4.4 was being called Key Lime Pie internall, but Google decided to talk to Nestle over a possible branding opportunity. According to Google, Key Lime Pie was ditched because it didn't have a wide appeal around the world. Google told BBC that there is no money attached to naming it KitKat. “This is not a money-changing-hands kind of deal,” John Lagerling, Director of Android Global Partnerships said.
Take a break?
4.7-inch Micromax Canvas Ego A113 up for pre-order at Rs 12,999
Micromax has now added a new mid-range smartphone to its existing line-up, titled the Canvas Ego A113. The new smartphone is now up for pre-order for Rs 12,999. From the specifications seen, the smartphone sports a 4.7-inch display. The Ego A113 comes with a 1.2GHz quad-core processor under the hood along with 1GB of RAM. Additionally, there is 4GB of internal memory, expandable up to 32GB via a microSD card.
Google may have accidentally revealed the Nexus 5
In a video announcing the arrival of Android 4.4 Kit Kat, Google accidentally revealed a next-gen Nexus device, purported to be made by LG.
Intex launches the quad-core Aqua i7 for Rs 21,900
Intex has launched its latest smartphone flagship, the Intex Aqua i7, for Rs 21,900. The dual-SIM smartphone comes with a form thickness of 7.88mm and packs a 5-inch full HD display with a pixel resolution of 1920×1080. The display has One Glass Solution (OGS) as well as Corning Gorilla Glass for protection. The Aqua i7 will come with a 1.5GHz quad-core processor as well as 2GB of RAM. Keeping up with most of the competition, the Aqua i7 will come with Android 4.2 Jelly Bean running the show. Additionally, the smartphone will support 32GB of internal memory. In terms of photography, the smartphone comes with a 13-megapixel primary camera as well as a 5-megapixel front shooter.
The Aqua i7 is quite exciting
Amazon announces an updated Kindle Paperwhite
Amazon has listed an update to its much-loved Kindle Paperwhite e-reader. The newest iteration of Kindle Paperwhite will sport the same physical features as the one released last year with no visible changes to its looks. It will sport a higher contrast e-ink display, a 25 percent faster processor and an improved page turning and book opening experience. Most importantly, Amazon has redesigned the built-in light in the Paperwhite for a better reading experience, negating any strain on the eyes.