Tech News in brief of 29th October: News are just after the Table Of Contents.
Mi Smart Bedside Lamp 2 With Voice Control Put Up for Crowdfunding by Xiaomi India:
Xiaomi has begun a crowdfunding campaign for a new smart home product – the Mi Smart Bedside Lamp 2 – via the Mi Store. As the name clearly suggests, the Mi Smart Bedside Lamp 2 is a, well, bedside lamp that you can control remotely using the Mi Home app. It can produce 16 million colours and also supports voice controls via Alexa, Google Assistant, as well as Apple HomeKit. There are multiple ambient lighting presets, something Xiaomi calls mood settings. The Mi Smart Bedside Lamp 2 also lets users set schedules and enable the transient Flow mode.
The Mi Smart Bedside Lamp 2 is priced at Rs. 2,299 and will start shipping starting December 3. Xiaomi has set a goal of 2,000 units for crowdfunding, and once there are enough backers, it might be available via open sale model in the future. At the time of writing this story, Xiaomi has achieved 3 percent of its crowdfunding goal for the Mi Smart Bedside Lamp 2. However, keep in mind that there are only 7 days left for potential buyers to pledge their backing. If you are interested in the Mi Smart Bedside Lamp 2, you can support the crowdfunding campaign here.
US Regulator to Bar China’s Huawei and ZTE From Government Subsidy Program:
The US telecommunications regulator plans to vote in November to designate China’s Huawei and ZTE as national security risks, barring their US rural carrier customers from tapping an $8.5 billion government fund to purchase equipment or services.
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) also plans to propose requiring those carriers to remove and replace equipment from such designated companies, FCC officials said on Monday.
At a meeting set for Nov. 19, the FCC said it plans to vote to ask carriers how much it would cost to remove and replace Huawei and ZTE from existing networks and to establish a reimbursement program to offset the costs of removing the equipment.
“When it comes to 5G and America’s security, we can’t afford to take a risk and hope for the best,” FCC Chairman Ajit Pai said in a statement.
Redmi Note 8 Update to Fix Sound Disappearing During Voice Call Bug Now Rolling Out in India:
Xiaomi’s recently launched Redmi Note 8 has a serious bug that sometimes causes the audio to disappear during an ongoing call. This can be quite annoying for the user as it prevents the phone from managing phone calls properly. Xiaomi has rolled out a software update for the smartphone that claims to fix this calling bug. Redmi Note 8 users will receive an OTA software update on their smartphones to fix this calling issue. We have also received the software update on our review unit.
The software update is 188MB in size and has MIUI v10.3.3.0 PCOINXM version number. This update only brings the fix for this issue and nothing else with it as per the changelog. If you have a Redmi Note 8 smartphone, you will get a notification regarding this update. Alternatively, you can also go to Settings > About Phone > System Update to force the phone to search for a software update.
Google Owner Alphabet Said to Be in Bid to Buy Fitbit:
Google owner Alphabet has made an offer to acquire US wearable device maker Fitbit, as it eyes a slice of the crowded market for fitness trackers and smartwatches, people familiar with the matter said on Monday.
While Google has joined other major technology companies such as Apple and Samsung in developing smart phones, it has yet to develop any wearable offerings.
There is no certainty that the negotiations between Google and Fitbit will lead to any deal, the sources said, asking not to be identified because the matter is confidential. The exact price that Google has offered for Fitbit could not be learned.
Google and Fitbit declined to comment.
Fitbit shares rose 27 percent on the news, giving the company a market capitalisation of $1.4 billion. Alphabet shares rose 2 percent to $1,293.49.
Spotify Says It Grew Rapidly in India in Q3, Reaches 248 Million Monthly Active Users Globally:
Swedish music streaming app Spotify on Monday said it grew rapidly in India in terms of monthly active users, outperforming its forecast by 30 per cent.
Globally, Spotify’s monthly active users grew 30 per cent year-over-year to 248 million, outperforming the high end of its guidance.
“Developing regions continue to be a significant driver of this outperformance,” Spotify said in a letter to investors.
“Of note, India outperformed our forecast by 30 per cent this quarter. This momentum was driven by a number of factors including the launch of our first broad-based marketing campaign, ‘Sunte Ja’ (Listen On), since launch in February,” the company said.
The number of its premium subscribers globally grew 31 per cent in the third quarter of this year to 113 million.
Xiaomi recently confirmed that the Mi CC9 Pro with a penta-lens camera setup, a 108-megapixel snapper, and 5x optical zoom optical will launch on November 5. The company has now shared a few camera samples that highlight the level of the detail that the Mi CC9 can capture, especially after using the zoom function. Xiaomi chief Lei Jun has also shared details about the phone’s camera hardware. Additionally, the Mi CC9 has now been spotted on TENAA, revealing its key internal specifications ahead of its official debut. Xiaomi has also begun teasing the launch of the Mi Note10, which the company claims will be its first phone to come equipped with a 108-megapixel main camera.
The Mi CC9 Pro has been officially confirmed to offer 5x optical zoom, which in theory means better quality shots with minimal loss in detail while zooming in. The camera samples shared by Xiaomi emphasise the same, while the accompanying post states that Mi CC9 Pro users can take advantage of up to 5x optical zoom and 10x hybrid zoom on the phone. However, Xiaomi is yet to specify whether OIS (Optical Image Stabilisation) will be a part of the package, and in case it there, what lens it will be a part of. A few other camera samples highlight the incredible amount of detail the 108-megapixel camera can bring in a photo.
AirPods Pro With Active Noise Cancellation, Water Resistance Launched:
Apple has launched AirPods Pro, an upgraded version of the AirPods that feature active noise cancellation, sweat and water resistance, and an in-ear design. AirPods Pro price in India is Rs. 24,900 ($249 in the US) and they’ll be available in the US from October 30. Apple says AirPods Pro will be coming to India “soon”. AirPods Pro ship with a wireless charging case and offer four-and-a-half hours of listening time on a single charge with active noise cancellation enabled, and up to 24 hours of listening time using additional charges from the case.
Apple says that the AirPods Pro has an H1 chip, which “features 10 audio cores and powers everything from sound to Siri”. The headline feature of the AirPods Pro has to be active noise cancellation, which means this pair of headphones can minimise ambient noise and allow you to listen to audio at lower volumes even in noisy environments. Apple says AirPods Pro uses “two microphones combined with advanced software to continuously adapt to each individual ear and headphone fit” for active noise cancellation.
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