‘Samsung couldn’t build a good OS if they tried’ says Cyanogen CEO at Yureka smartphone launch

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A new company being birthed from Micromax (similar to how OnePlus came from OPPO) called YU Digital has launched a new middle-tier smartphone today for the Indian market, and it runs Cyanogen OS 11—much like the OnePlus One. In fact, this entire launch seems pretty familiar, as it appears YU Digital is attempting to do with the Yureka exactly what OnePlus did with the One: launch a phone out of nowhere at a killer price and hope viral marketing does its thing.

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Android One making strides in India as Karbonn commits to long-term partnership

Karbonn and Micromax Android One

Earlier this year, Google announced a new initiative called Android One that aims to bring high quality, affordable smartphones to emerging markets like India and China. Not long after, it confirmed that it would be aggressively marketing Android One smartphones in India, a largely untapped user base of nearly 1.3 billion people, and followed through by launching the program in the country last September. Now Karbonn, an Indian smartphone maker, is further committing to a long term partnership to the Android One initiative… Read more

OnePlus celebrates 1-year anniversary w/ invitation-free sales, a $15 battery pack … and being banned in India

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OnePlus is celebrating it’s first anniversary by making its OnePlus One ‘flagship killer’ smartphone available without the invitation you’ve so far needed to order one. Both the white 16GB and black 64GB models are available.

The company is also offering 11% of all accessories, a prize draw to win a 64GB model and a competition to name its forthcoming custom ROM in which you can win both a phone and a trip to Hong Kong to meet the team.

Yesterday’s ‘Go further’ teaser, however, turned out to be rather unexciting …  Read more

Patent dispute halts some (all?) Xiaomi smartphone sales in India (Update: confirmed)

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The Times of India reports that the Delhi high court has banned Xiaomi from both importing and selling smartphones in India following a patent infringement claim by Ericsson.

Hearing a case filed by Ericsson India against Xiaomi, the court on Monday passed an ex parte order forbidding the popular Chinese manufacturer from importing and selling its smartphones in India […]

It is not clear if the order will impact all Xiaomi devices sold in India or specific devices that violate the patents.

However, as the patents concerned are Standard Essential Patents – patents which are so fundamental to a particular product category that the patent owner is obliged by law to license them on reasonable terms – it appears likely that the ruling applies to all Xiaomi handsets …  Read more

YouTube begins rolling out offline video playback to Android devices in three countries

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Google announced today that it has started rolling out support for offline video playback in the YouTube Android app for three countries: India, Indonesia, and the Philippines. The company says that the goal is to help work around limited access to high-speed internet connections.

The new mode will allow many videos to be cached directly on the phone for up to 48 hours in order to be played back later. Users will have the option of selecting what resolution they’d like to cache to make the process as efficient as possible.

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SwiftKey for Android updated with faster performance and new languages

SwiftKey Android Lollipop Material Design

Just weeks after receiving a Material Design makeover for Android Lollipop, the popular custom keyboard SwiftKey for Android has been updated with performance improvements and support for twelve new languages. The latest version of SwiftKey for Android is available now through the Play Store as a free update. Read more

Google launches three $100-ish Android One phones in India, more countries to follow

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Google today made good on its promise to bring high-quality affordable Android phones to developing markets with the launch of three locally-made Android One models in India, each selling for the equivalent of around $100. Each handset is made by a different Indian manufacturer, Spice with the Android One Dream UNO Mi-498, Micromax with the Canvas A1 and Karbonn the Sparkle V.

The hardware requirements for Android One devices were set by Google to deliver a good experience with the latest stock versions of Android. All three handsets are supplied with the latest KitKat 4.4.4, and Google is promising that they will receive two years of updates, starting with the Android L update …  Read more

Xiaomi claims to have sold 40,000 budget smartphones in India in 4.2 seconds

Chinese Android manufacturer Xiaomi may be trying to compete at the high end of Android devices with it’s iPhone-inspired Mi 3 handset and unsubtley-named Mi Pad, but it isn’t neglecting the low-end of the market. Its Redmi 1S just launched in India and, according to a tweet by former Google exec and now Xiaomi Global VP, sold 40,000 units in 4.2 seconds …  Read more

Google announces September 15 event in India for likely launch of Android One

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Google today has started sending out invites to the media for a September 15 event in India. The invite teases that the event is for “an exciting new product announcement” and promises more details closer to the date of the event. Obviously, with it being held in India, the first thing that jumps to mind is that we will hear more details regarding Android One.

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Google reportedly set to launch first Android One devices in India next week

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At Google I/O in June, Google announced a new line of Android One smartphones that it said would be affordable and marketed at emerging markets, such as India. The Economic Times is now reporting that Google is planning to launch its first smartphones of the Android One program as early as next week in India. The report also claims, however, that the devices will be more expensive than the initial $100 price point Google announced at I/O.

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Google adds more of India’s historical locations to Street View

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Google announced today the availability of 76 historical sites in India that can be viewed from Google Maps or through the Google Cultural Institute site. These 360-degree photos will let you take a tour of the Kangra Fort without having to pack a single bag. Thanks to support from the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI), along with previous efforts, Google’s imagery of historic shots of India has surpassed 100 pictures, with locations like the Taj Mahal and Humayun’s Tomb already available to view.

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