Jio Offer Will Give 500MB More Data With 1GB, 1.5GB Per Day Plans from January 26

Jio Offer Will Give 500MB More Data With 1GB, 1.5GB Per Day Plans from January 26

The Jio Republic Day 2018 Offer will come into effect at 12am on January 26

Jio revised its plans earlier this month to offer more data with its popular 1GB data per day recharge packs, and launched new plans with 1.5GB daily data allocation as part of the Happy New Year 2018 offer. However, Jio plans to rejig its plans once again as part of a Republic Day 2018 Offer that it will announce in the next couple of days, Gadgets 360 has learned. Under the new offer, Jio users will get up to 50 percent more data on plans priced Rs. 149 or above. The changes will come into effect at 12am on January 26, 2018.

The company’s 1GB data per day plans are priced at Rs. 149, Rs. 349, Rs. 399 and Rs. 449, with validities of 28 days, 70 days, 84 days and 91 days, respectively. However, with the Jio Republic Day Offer 2018, customers will get 50 percent more data as the daily high-speed data cap will be raised to 1.5GB per day. This means the 1GB data per day plans are effectively phased out, at least till the Republic Day offer continues.

Similarly, the 1.5GB data per day plans will now offer 2GB of high-speed data a day. So customers will now get more data with the Rs. 198, Rs. 398, Rs. 448 and Rs. 498 plans. This pretty much leaves the Rs. 299 plan redundant as subscribers will be able to get the same benefits (2GB per day for 28 days) at Rs. 198.

Price Current data allowance Data allowance from February 26 Validity Total data from January 26
Rs. 149 1GB per day 1.5GB per day 28 days 42GB
Rs. 198 1.5GB per day 2GB per day 28 days 56GB
Rs. 349 1GB per day 1.5GB per day 70 days 105GB
Rs. 398 1.5GB per day 2GB per day 70 days 140GB
Rs. 399 1GB per day 1.5GB per day 84 days 126GB
Rs. 448 1.5GB per day 2GB per day 84 days 168GB
Rs. 449 1GB per day 1.5GB per day 91 days 136GB
Rs. 498 1.5GB per day 2GB per day 91 days 182GB

 

The Rs. 98 Jio plan is also being revised to offer twice the current validity as part of the Republic Day offer. Users will get validity of 28 days at Rs. 98, up from 14 days. However, the 4G data allocation with the plan is 2GB for the entire 28-day period; customers presently get 150MB of 4G data per day data with the pack.

Customers will have to buy a new recharge pack on or after January 26, 2018 to avail the data benefits under the Jio Republic Day Offer. The new recharge pack will be queued, and will come into effect once the current plan’s validity runs out. For example, if a subscriber has the Rs. 349 plan with 70-day validity that ends on February 29 and then buys the Rs. 349 recharge after January 26, they will get 1GB data per day in February, and then 1.GB per for 70 days from March 1. Alternatively, they can cancel the active plan in the MyJio app and activate the 1.5GB data plan as soon as they buy it.

Moto X4 6GB RAM Variant India Launch Expected on February 1

Motorola India on Tuesday announced that a new variant of the mid-range Moto X4 will be launched in India on February 1. Moto India, in a tweet on the official Twitter handle, hinted at a “faster, smarter, and sharper” Moto X4 coming to India next month. The upgraded variant is expected to have 6GB of RAM and run Android 8.0 Oreo out-of-the-box.

As we mentioned, Moto India took to Twitter to officially announce the arrival of a new Moto X4 on February 1. Currently, the Moto X4 is available in India in two variants – one with 3GB RAM and 32GB inbuilt storage and another with 4GB RAM and 64GB inbuilt storage. A Moto X4 with 6GB RAM and 64GB storage is expected to accompany the other two variants starting next month. This variant might have Android 8.0 Oreo out-of-the-box, as other variants of the Moto X4 have started receiving the update since last month. We can expect the price of the smartphone to be around Rs. 24,999. Notably, no 6GB RAM variant was found to be found listed on other Motorola sites abroad.

Moto X4 Specifications
The Moto X4 is a dual SIM (nano) smartphone that sports a 5.2-inch full-HD (1080×1920 pixels) LTPS IPS display. The phone is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 630 SoC, coupled with 3/ 4GB (6GB expected) of RAM and 32/ 64GB of inbuilt storage.

In the camera department, the Moto X4 features a dual rear camera setup with a 12-megapixel primary sensor and an 8-megapixel ultra-wide secondary sensor. On the front is a 16-megapixel camera sensor for selfies and video calling.

The phone has a 3000mAh non-removable ‘all-day’ battery under the hood. It also bears a fingerprint sensor, in the front, on the home button.

TeacherGaming, a startup from MinecraftEdu team, raises $1.6M to put games into the classroom


TeacherGaming, a new startup from the team behind MinecraftEdu, a company that helped teachers use Minecraft in the classroom that was subsequently acquired by Microsoft, has picked up $1.6 million in seed funding.

Leading the round is Makers Fund (a relatively new U.S. and U.K. VC firm specialising in gaming and deeptech), with participation from Brent Hoberman’s Founders Factory. Money the Finnish company says it will use to support sales and marketing efforts for its new educational gaming subscription service for schools.

A recent graduate of Founders Factory’s edtech accelerator program, TeacherGaming appears to be picking up where MinecraftEdu left off. The Finnish company is building an online service that wants to make it easier for teachers to use “blockbuster” games in schools.

This will include access to the titles on a lower per student basis, and a suite of learning material to support teaching and learning objects. In addition, the TeacherGaming Desk service offers analytics so that teachers can track their students’ learning and progress.

“As a school teacher almost 10 years ago, I personally saw how engaged the kids were in gaming outside of school and wondered how that enthusiasm and focus could be transferred to the classroom,” TeacherGaming co-founder and CEO Santeri Koivisto tells TechCrunch. “I was and still am an avid gamer, and when Minecraft came around, I saw potential in it for classroom use”.

That potential was proven with the success of MinecraftEdu, and now Koivisto and the rest of the TeacherGaming team want to continue pushing the pedagogical potential of mainstream games — titles that students are quite likely to already be playing at home.

“I figured I could build a business out of something so uniquely engaging, and did just that with Minecraft. That’s how TeacherGaming came to be, and that’s the road I am still on with the rest of our team,” he says.

The beta version of TeacherGaming Desk went to market in July 2017, and the startup has seen educators from a little over 3,500 schools sign up to date. The platform is still in active development, and the company is running co-creation programs with a number of schools around the world — from New York to Hong Kong — to give teachers a role in its development and to make sure TeacherGaming Desk meets the genuine needs of teachers.

Explains Koivisto: “One of the biggest issues in classrooms today is the lack of engagement. Meanwhile at home, students are spending more and more time with video games. And games also happen to be one the most engaging ways to learn: while playing games, we spend tons of time learning how to their world and rules work with no external reward. Often, learning to play the game also involves learning important real world skills or knowledge, whether it’s astrophysics in a space game or learning how to run a country in strategy game. However, these two worlds don’t meet really often”.

To that end, the TeacherGaming CEO says the company’s job is to bridge the gap between learning at school and learning with games. This will involve curating the best games for learning from independent and major games studios, and lowering the threshold for teachers to use them in the classroom, through pedagogical support, spanning lesson plans to learning analytics. “That’s TeacherGaming Desk in a nutshell,” he says.

TeacherGaming, a startup from MinecraftEdu team, raises $1.6M to put games into the classroom


TeacherGaming, a new startup from the team behind MinecraftEdu, a company that helped teachers use Minecraft in the classroom that was subsequently acquired by Microsoft, has picked up $1.6 million in seed funding.

Leading the round is Makers Fund (a relatively new U.S. and U.K. VC firm specialising in gaming and deeptech), with participation from Brent Hoberman’s Founders Factory. Money the Finnish company says it will use to support sales and marketing efforts for its new educational gaming subscription service for schools.

A recent graduate of Founders Factory’s edtech accelerator program, TeacherGaming appears to be picking up where MinecraftEdu left off. The Finnish company is building an online service that wants to make it easier for teachers to use “blockbuster” games in schools.

This will include access to the titles on a lower per student basis, and a suite of learning material to support teaching and learning objects. In addition, the TeacherGaming Desk service offers analytics so that teachers can track their students’ learning and progress.

“As a school teacher almost 10 years ago, I personally saw how engaged the kids were in gaming outside of school and wondered how that enthusiasm and focus could be transferred to the classroom,” TeacherGaming co-founder and CEO Santeri Koivisto tells TechCrunch. “I was and still am an avid gamer, and when Minecraft came around, I saw potential in it for classroom use”.

That potential was proven with the success of MinecraftEdu, and now Koivisto and the rest of the TeacherGaming team want to continue pushing the pedagogical potential of mainstream games — titles that students are quite likely to already be playing at home.

“I figured I could build a business out of something so uniquely engaging, and did just that with Minecraft. That’s how TeacherGaming came to be, and that’s the road I am still on with the rest of our team,” he says.

The beta version of TeacherGaming Desk went to market in July 2017, and the startup has seen educators from a little over 3,500 schools sign up to date. The platform is still in active development, and the company is running co-creation programs with a number of schools around the world — from New York to Hong Kong — to give teachers a role in its development and to make sure TeacherGaming Desk meets the genuine needs of teachers.

Explains Koivisto: “One of the biggest issues in classrooms today is the lack of engagement. Meanwhile at home, students are spending more and more time with video games. And games also happen to be one the most engaging ways to learn: while playing games, we spend tons of time learning how to their world and rules work with no external reward. Often, learning to play the game also involves learning important real world skills or knowledge, whether it’s astrophysics in a space game or learning how to run a country in strategy game. However, these two worlds don’t meet really often”.

To that end, the TeacherGaming CEO says the company’s job is to bridge the gap between learning at school and learning with games. This will involve curating the best games for learning from independent and major games studios, and lowering the threshold for teachers to use them in the classroom, through pedagogical support, spanning lesson plans to learning analytics. “That’s TeacherGaming Desk in a nutshell,” he says.

A rare media win for Trump as Schumer gets slammed over the shutdown

The media consensus is in: The Democrats got their butt kicked.

Even liberal columnists are saying so.

Chuck Schumer overreached on the government shutdown, and he’s wound up with the worst of both worlds. Left-wing groups are furious with him for caving in, and he barely got anything from the Republicans in exchange for stopping the shutdown.

The headline on liberal New York Times columnist Michelle Goldberg’s piece captures the sentiment: “Schumer Sells Out the Resistance.”

Talking Points Memo slapped this headline on an AP story, calling Schumer “The Face of Retreat” and saying he has become a “punching bag.”

That’s not how it looked during the countdown to the closure. The conventional wisdom heading into the shutdown was that President Trump and the Republicans would take the lion’s share of the blame because they control everything in Washington.

But the Senate Democratic leader thought that because the DACA program is popular, he could use a shutdown as leverage to win concessions and win plaudits from the party’s left-wing base.

What Schumer failed to anticipate was that the public didn’t think an immigration dispute was worth closing down much of the federal bureaucracy and furloughing millions of workers. It’s the same lesson that Republicans learned in 2013 when they shut down the government over an effort to repeal ObamaCare. In both cases, the minority party simply didn’t have the power to deliver.

Maybe that’s why Schumer yesterday said he was taking his part of the deal off the table, the Democrats voting for wall funding as part of a DACA compromise. That was part of his one-on-one offer to Trump when he thought they could avert a shutdown, but he now complains that the president and his staff kept shifting their position.

A look at the coverage in the New York Times is instructive. A news analysis by veteran Carl Hulse says that “over the weekend it became clear that using the shutdown to insist on protections for hundreds of thousands of undocumented immigrants was a serious miscalculation. By abandoning the strategy on its third day, Democrats believe they limited whatever damage there may be and gave the public time to forget about the disruption before the crucial November election.”

And, he writes, “by supporting the government’s reopening, they provoked a surge of outrage from the party’s left as progressive activists and lawmakers assailed the deal as a capitulation based on a mere promise by Mr. McConnell, a longtime foe known for his obstruction of the Democratic agenda.

On the op-ed page, Michelle Goldberg writes that “it’s hard to overstate how disgusted many progressive leaders are.” She says that “political cowardice carries its own risk. It emboldens your enemies and disheartens your allies … 

“Democrats reinforced their reputation for fecklessness. ‘Make no mistake: Schumer and Dems caved,’ tweeted Fox News’s Brit Hume. ‘What a political fiasco.’ It makes me sick to say it, but he’s right.”

I’m sure she doesn’t agree with Brit all that often.

The op-ed page also features moderate conservative David Brooks, who can’t stand Trump and is supportive of the dreamers. But he offers a checklist of all the things the Democrats did wrong:

“It’s not that people don’t like DACA. They do. It’s that they just don’t recognize themselves in a party that thinks it’s worth closing the government, destabilizing the economy and straining the military for it.”

Brooks mocks the party’s “superb messaging”: “We bravely shut down the government to save the Dreamers even though Donald Trump is responsible for shutting down the government … 

“The problem was not that the leadership capitulated on Monday. It was that the Democrats talked themselves into this crazy position on Friday.”

And it’s the damning quotes from pro-immigrant groups that shows the pressure Schumer was under.

So it’s a rare media win for Trump, but the problem hasn’t gone away. The funding for the government will run out again soon and the impasse over the wall and the dreamers will be even harder to solve. One thing seems virtually certain: The Democrats won’t be playing the shutdown card again.

Firefox 58 Released With Improved Graphics Engine on Desktop, Support for PWA on Android

Firefox on Tuesday announced the rollout of version 58 for its the new Firefox Quantum browser. The updated desktop browser brings new features such as an improved graphics engine for better web access. The Firefox Quantum browser on Android will get improved bookmarking for webpages, and support for Google’s Progressive Web Apps (PWA). Firefox is available on Windows, macOS, Linux, iOS, and Android. The last update to the iOS version was back in November.

As we mentioned, Firefox has updated its Firefox Quantum browser on all platforms. Firefox Quantum on desktop gets an improved graphics engine, with a dedicated CPU thread. Firefox claims that it offers a 30 percent improvement over the last update, from 31 to 40 frames per second. Firefox is also working on integrating WebRender into Firefox Quantum. WebRender is a specific webpage renderer that was developed as part of the company’s Servo research project.

Apart from that, Firefox Screenshots now works in Private Browsing mode and users can copy and paste screenshots to the clipboard.

Firefox on Android
New features on the Android version of Firefox browser include a revised bookmarking feature. Instead of a dialogue box, bookmarks will be available in a full screen mode allowing users to manage them easily.

Firefox on Android also adds support for Google’s Progressive Web Apps (PWA). A PWA is a specific kind of website that appears as a mobile app on smartphones. PWA-compatible webpages will display a house-shaped button on the address bar. Users can tap on this button to create a shortcut on the home screen; a guide can be seen here. It also offers support for FLAC, ability to change the status bar colour in themes, and various security fixes.

Vodafone, Flipkart Partner to Offer Entry-Level 4G Smartphones at Effective Price of Rs. 999

Vodafone on Wednesday tied up with Flipkart to bring a range of entry-level 4G smartphones to India at an effective price of Rs. 999. The latest partnership comes months after the telco partnered with Micromax and China’s Transsion Group-owned Itel Mobile to make their entry-level options even more affordable. All existing and new Vodafone prepaid subscribers can avail the new offer, which is available under Flipkart’s #MyFirst4GSmartphone campaign, and get cashbacks to make their purchases sweeter than before.

To avail the new offer, Vodafone subscribers who purchase an eligible smartphone from Flipkart will need to recharge their prepaid accounts with a minimum denomination of Rs. 150 per month for 36 months. The recharges can be of any denomination totalling to at least Rs. 150 per month. At the end of the first 18-month period, the participating subscribers will receive a cashback worth Rs. 900, while after another 18 months, a cashback worth Rs. 1,100 will be given – totalling the cashback of Rs. 2,000. It is worth noting here that the cashback will be credited to their Vodafone M-Pesa wallets.

“This is an initiative to make 4G smartphones available at a never before price points and thus, democratize access to Vodafone SuperNet 4G. We hope that this will help fulfill the aspirations of several million phone users across the country who desire a smartphone but couldn’t afford one. It will also encourage current non-users of 4G to upgrade and enjoy a richer user experience with Vodafone SuperNet 4G,” said Avneesh Kholsa, Associate Director – Consumer Business, Vodafone India, in a joint press statement.

The list of eligible smartphones hasn’t been released publicly. We’ve reached out to Vodafone and Flipkart to get clarity on the same and will update this space upon the receipt of any formal details.

In last October, Vodafone announced a similar partnership with Micromax that was strategically designed to take on Jio Phone by offering the Bharat-2 Ultra 4G-capable feature phone at an effective price of Rs. 999. The telecom operator also expanded its relationship with the Indian smartphone maker in November and offered Rs. 2,200 cashback on the Micromax Bharat 2 Plus, Micromax Bharat 3, Micromax Bharat 4, and the Micromax Canvas 1. Last month, it further expanded its focus towards the same avenue and partnered with Itel Mobile to launch the Itel A20 with an effective price of Rs. 1,590.

Similar to Vodafone, Bharti Airtel and BSNL also brought their effective price-carrying smartphone versions. In December, Airtel partnered with Intex to launch the Intex Aqua Lions N1 for an effective price of Rs. 1,649 under its Mera Pehla Smartphone initiative, while BSNL in October brought the Micromax Bharat 1 as a rival against Rs. 999 Jio Phone.

Honor 8 to Receive EMUI 8.0 Features; Android Oreo Update for Other Honor Models Revealed

Reversing its original decision, Huawei brand Honor is now apparently set to provide an Android Oreo experience on Honor 8 by porting its EMUI 8.0 skin, which is based on the latest Android version. The smartphone maker has also announced the release of Android 8.0 Oreo-backed EMUI 8.0 for its various models. The latest EMUI update will bring distinct features that may not be in line with all that was debuted with its original launch last October.

According to the list released on the Huawei Club forums, an update to EMUI 8.0 will be rolled out for the Honor 7X, Honor 8, Honor V8, Honor Note 8, Honor 8 Lite, Honor 9, Honor 9 Lite, Honor 8 Pro/ Honor V9, and Honor View 10/ Honor V10. The list notably includes the Honor 8, though the smartphone is not compatible with the new EMUI version due to some “hardware and software limitations”, as per Honor’s official confirmation that had surfaced via Honor India Twitter handle last week.

In a statement to Android Police, an Honor spokesperson confirmed that the new functions of EMUI 8.0 would be ported to Honor 8 to offer its users some benefits from the latest user experience upgrades. It is still unclear whether Android Oreo will be provided alongside the planned EMUI 8.0 features or just its core functions would come through a software update. Nonetheless, the spokesperson stated that further update details would be released within a week’s time.

Launched in October 2016, the Honor 8 was debuted with Android 6.0 Marshmallow-based EMUI 4.1. It received an update to Android 7.0 Nougat-powered EMUI 5.0 in February. The handset features a 5.2-inch full-HD (1920×1080 pixels) LCD panel with 423ppi pixel density. Under the hood, the smartphone has an octa-core Kirin 950 processor clocked at 1.8GHz, paired with 3GB and 4GB RAM options. It has a dual rear camera setup with 12-megapixel and 8-megapixel sensors, alongside a dual-tone LED flash. An 8-megapixel camera sensor is available on the front. Besides, the smartphone packs a 3000mAh battery.

Xiaomi MIUI 10 Announced, Will Focus on AI and Machine Learning

Xiaomi has announced the development of MIUI 10, its upcoming firmware based on Android. Hong Feng, vice president of Xiaomi, is said to have announced the MIUI 10 at an assembly meeting in China. At the annual event, the company discusses and reveals key developments of their MIUI milestones every year. Meanwhile, Xiaomi has already started to roll out the MIUI 9.2 update for some smartphones that are on MIUI 9 already. Also, recently Xiaomi had listed the 40 smartphones that are eligible for the MIUI 9 update on Weibo.

According to a report in MyDrivers, Xiaomi has said major research and development efforts of the MIUI team will now be moved from MIUI 9 to MIUI 10. Additionally, Xiaomi also shared an image of the event on Chinese micro-blogging website Weibo. It is clear from the reports, that the main focus for MIUI 10 developers will be artificial intelligence and machine learning.

Last year in July, Xiaomi had launched MIUI 9, the current version of its MIUI custom Android ROM. The MIUI 9 was launched with the Xiaomi Mi 5X. Some of the new features of MIUI 9 included faster app load times, new design elements, lock screen shortcuts, split-screen feature, and more. Xiaomi claims to have optimised the system to enable faster app loading and boost performance.

As we mentioned, MIUI 9.2 Global Stable Update is now rolling out for smartphones like Xiaomi Redmi 5A, Redmi Y1 Lite, Redmi Y1, Mi Mix 2, Redmi 5, Redmi 5 Plus, Redmi 4 Prime, Mi 3, Mi 4, Mi Note. The MIUI 9.2 has brought several changes like Add to favorites icon adjustments, simplified design for virus scan result page, and hiding free and incompatible themes in the list of the purchased items. Additionally, Mi Mover now supports data migration restarting, which helps restore data migration on a new smartphone, even in case of interruption.

Notably, there is no information from Xiaomi on the timelines for MIUI 10 coming to smartphones from the company’s bandwagon.

iPhone X Shipments Hit 29 Million Units in Q4 2017: Canalys

While there is already speculation about its end of life scheduled for this year itself, the iPhone X is now reported to be the “world’s best-shipping smartphone model” in the fourth quarter of 2017. Analyst firm Canalys claims that Apple shipped as many as 29 million iPhone X units in the fourth quarter – particularly, seven million units were shipped in China.

Canalys believes that the adoption of the iPhone X was majorly driven by upgrade demand in operator-centric markets such as the US and Canada, where Apple’s installed base is high and customers have the ability to finance the $999 cost of the latest iPhone model over many months. Having said that, the fresh numbers from Canalys are lower than KGI’s estimations.

Ben Stanton of Canalys highlights that the supply issues that Apple faced following the launch of the iPhone X restricted its growth, however, the company ultimately managed to achieve a massive uplift in production in late November and throughout December. “This helped it meet and even exceed demand in some markets by the end of the quarter. One major benefit to Apple is that customers are increasingly realising the residual value of their old smartphones, opting for trade-in programmes to offset the high price of the iPhone X,” Stanton, who is an analyst at Canalys, said in a press release, adding that the big price tag of the iPhone X, and Apple’s split launch strategy that brought the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus alongside the flagship iPhone model made its shipments not the fastest ever for an iPhone.

Alongside the iPhone X, Canalys says that the iPhone SE, iPhone 6, iPhone 6s, iPhone 7, and iPhone 8 models also “shipped well” in the fourth quarter, showing sufficient demand for the older models due to their value for money characteristics. Furthermore, the larger portfolio is considered to help Apple meet its overall shipment targets in addition to retaining its market leadership in the premium segment. “While new technologies, such as Face ID and bezel-less displays, help to justify the $999 price tag and maintain competitiveness with Samsung, Huawei and Google, having a larger portfolio allows Apple to meet its overall shipment targets, and protect its market leadership in the premium segment,” said Canalys Analyst TuanAnh Nguyen, in the release.

The data reported by Canalys match what was released by other market research firms, showing the initial success of the iPhone X though without meeting the early market estimates. A recent CIRP study highlighted that the 2017 iPhone trio, which includes the iPhone X as well as the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus, accounted for nearly 61 percent of total iPhone sales in the US in the fourth quarter. Likewise, Kantar Worldpanel’s fresh smartphone OS data claims that the iPhone X resulted in a “stellar” performance in multiple worldwide markets during November. The latest iPhone model was outsold by the iPhone 8 and the iPhone 8 Plus in the US, while all the three new iPhone versions gained leadership in the list of best-selling smartphone models during the month that also includes the Samsung Galaxy S8, the Kantar Worldpanel report stated.

Apple is likely to reveal some details with respect to the performance of the iPhone X during its Q1 2018 earnings that are scheduled for February 1. Meanwhile, a recent KGI report confirmed that the Cupertino company will ship around 18 million iPhone X units in the first quarter. The report also mentioned that the iPhone X will “go to end of life” around the middle of 2018 to make space for its next iterations, including a rumoured 6.1-inch LCD version.