Google to Launch Android Pay at I/O Conference in May: Report

Google is reportedly planning to announce a new payment API called Android Pay during Google I/O conference in May.According to Ars Technica, a source close to the matter revealed Wednesday that Android Pay doesn’t mean the end of ‘Google Wallet,’ it will continue to exist as a separate entity, and in fact it will be supported by Android Pay.

The unnamed source reportedly said that Android Pay is “built from the ground up” forAndroid developers using Host Card Emulation (HCE), and it will power in-store and in-app payments directly. Android Pay will reportedly allow firms to add mobile payments features to their apps. Users can associate their credit card or debit card information, allowing for “single-tap transactions within the app.”

Additionally, the companies/ merchants/ developers are said to be allowed to offer tap-to-pay transactions in brick-and-mortar stores if they opt for Android Pay API, which will rely on Google’s HCE and Near Field Communications (NFC) chips in smart devices to make the payments.

At present, Google’s “Instant Buy API” for Wallet allows Android developers to integrate a “Buy with Google” button in their app, but it is unclear whether existing Google Wallet APIs will remain after Android Pay or not, adds the report. Google Wallet lets users utilise their cards to buy a prepaid “virtual card” with which payment is done to merchant, and this entails small fees per transaction for Google, something it would be looking to do away with.

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2G Spectrum Auction Will Be Subject to Final Verdict: Supreme Court

The Supreme Court on Thursday made it clear that the auction for 2G spectrum will go ahead according to the schedule from March 4 subject to the outcome of matter before it.”Let the auction go on and let us see what emerges from it,” a bench comprising justices Dipak Misra and Adarsh Kumar Goel said, adding that it’s outcome will not be finalised without the apex court’s permission.

The bench, which declined to stay the auction process for ‘some days’, said no bidder, if successful, shall claim any equity in the bidding process.

“There is prima facie inconsistency in the stand of the government but that is not a ground for staying it (the auction),” it said while posting the matter for further hearing on March 26.

The Centre on January 9 had issued notice inviting applications for all the 17 circles. The issue of upcoming auction had first come to the apex court after the Centre had filed an appeal against the interim order of the Tripura High Court allowing telecom firms Bharti Hexacom Ltd and Reliance Telecom Ltd to submit two separate bids for a total of 8.8MHz spectrum in the north-east circle.

It had yesterday stayed proceedings before various High Courts and decided to hear on priority basis a batch of petitions raising various issues against the tender conditions for the auction of 2G spectrum.

The Centre on Thursday submitted that the existing telecom service providers, Dishnet and BSNL holding 4.4MHz of spectrum each in north-eastern states and whose licences were ending in 2017, could top it up by bidding for a minimum of 0.6MHz to take it 5MHz.

Senior advocate P Chidambaram, appearing for Reliance Telecom, said his client will be in a position of disadvantage due to the auction norms and claimed that only one service provider Dishnet will be the beneficiary of this policy.

Chidambaram said that if Dishnet makes bid for 4MHz spectrum then both the existing service providers – Reliance Telecom and Bharti Hexacon – would be knocked out.

The bench had yesterday transferred petitions filed by private telecom operators from High Courts of Allahabad, Karnataka and Delhi to the apex court.

The Supreme Court had on February 17 said it would take a decision on the dispute between the government and private telecom operators on the issue of bidding of spectrum for the north-east circle, instead of leaving it to the Tripura High Court by staying all proceedings there.

Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi had submitted that High Courts should not interfere in an “informed policy decision” on the auction of air waves having bearing on government revenues.

“If the auction of this nature which is going to fetch Rs. 1,00,000 crores to the government is going to be interfered by the High Courts then everything would come to a naught,” he had said.

Rohatgi had assailed the Tripura High Court order saying it would give rise to lot of petitions on the issue. Further, he had said the Trai recommendations were not binding on the government and the Department of Telecom (DoT)

could differ with them after they are examined by the DoT Committee and the Telecom Commission.

The AG had said it was the same Trai which had favoured auctioning a minimum of 5MHz of spectrum in 2012, 2013 and again in February 2014.

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Indian Railways to Launch SMS Alerts for Arrival, Departure Timings

For the convenience of passengers, Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu on Thursday announced the introduction of SMS alert service informing travellers in advance about arrival and departure timings of the trains.”We propose to introduce an SMS alert service to inform passengers in advance the updated arrival and departure time of trains at starting or destination stations,” he said presenting the Railway Budget for 2015-16.

Similarly, SMS alert would be sent 15/30 minutes in advance of arrival of train at the destination, he said.

The Minister also said the Travelling Ticket Examiners (TTE) would be equipped with hand-held terminals for verification of passengers and downloading charts. “The (hand-held terminal) system will help us to move towards paperless ticketing and charting and expedite finalisation of refund claims apart from saving reams of paper,” Prabhu said.

Railways are also exploring the possibility of extending the facilities of SMS on mobiles as a valid proof of travel for tickets as well.

A centrally-managed Railway display network is expected to be introduced in over 2,000 stations over the next two years which will aid in providing information on train arrival and departure, reservations, general and emergency messages, the Minister said.

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New Acer Smartphones And Wearable Coming At MWC 2015


Mobile World Congress 2015 kicks off next week and now Acer has announced that they will be launching some new smartphones and wearable devices at MWC.

The company posted the photo above on Facebook and also said that they will be launching their ‘new smartphones and wearable’ at the event.

Acer has not revealed any any information on their new devices, although it looks like the company will launch at least one smartwatch or wearable device and at least two new smartphones.

We will have more information on exactly what Acer will be unveiling at Mobile World Congress 2015 next week.

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SIM Maker Gemalto Confirms Possible Spy Attacks, Denies 'Massive Theft'

European SIM maker Gemalto said Wednesday it had suffered hacking attacks that may have been conducted by US and British intelligence agencies but denied any “massive theft” of encryption keys that could be used to spy on conversations.Investigative website The Intercept last week said the US National Security Agencyand its British counterpart GCHQ hacked into the firm in 2010 and 2011 and stole the keys, with which they can secretly monitor communications over mobiles without using a warrant or wiretap.

The website made the allegations based on a document leaked by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden.

“In 2010 and 2011, we detected two particularly sophisticated intrusions which could be related to the operation,” Gemalto said in a statement.

“During the same period, we also detected several attempts to access the PCs ofGemalto employees who had regular contact with customers,” it added.

“At the time we were unable to identify the perpetrators but we now think that they could be related to the NSA and GCHQ operation.”

But the company denied that these attacks resulted in a large-scale theft of encryption keys.

“The attacks against Gemalto only breached its office networks and could not have resulted in a massive theft of SIM encryption keys,” it said.

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LG, Samsung the Top 2 Trusted Brands in India: Report

Korean brands LG and Samsung Mobiles are the top two most trusted brands in the country followed by Sony, Tata and Nokia, says The Brand Trust Report, India Study 2015.LG was ranked fourth while Samsung Mobiles was ranked at 379th position in The Brand Trust Report in 2014.

The survey was conducted amongst 2,373 respondents across 16 cities. The report is issued annually by TRA (formerly Trust Research Advisory), a Comniscient Group company.

TRA CEO N Chandramouli said: “Korean firms LG and Samsung Mobiles have worked their way to become top most trusted companies in a short period of 10 to 12 years. These companies came out with products suiting the Indian market and have earned trust of Indian customers.”

Top 20 most trusted companies which have improved their ranking over last year include LG, Samsung Mobiles, Bajaj, Honda, Dell, Godrej, Bata, Amul, Apple, Airtel and Dabur. Top 20 most trusted companies which have slipped in ranking are Sony, Tata,Hewlett-Packard, Reliance, Hero MotoCorp, Maruti Suzuki, Philips and LIC.

Nokia’s ranking remained stable at fifth position. In the north India region, top five most trusted brand are LG, Samsung Mobiles, Hero MotoCorp, Sony and Nokia.

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Pan-India Mobile Number Portability From May 3: Trai

Mobile subscribers from May 3 will be able to port their numbers anywhere in the country while changing service providers, as telecom regulator Trai has amended the regulation on it.Mobile Number Portability (MNP) currently allows consumers to change their service provider while retaining the same number only within a telecom circle, which in most cases, is limited to a state.

A person, for instance, while shifting from Delhi to Chennai will be able to retain the same mobile number while selecting a service provider.

In a statement Wednesday, Trai said it has “…issued sixth amendment to the Telecommunication Mobile Number Portability Regulation, 2009, which will facilitate full Mobile Number Portability (MNP) in the country, with effect from May 3, 2015.”

The Department of Telecom had on November 3 issued amendments to MNP licence agreement stating that MNP is to be implemented across the country within a period of six months from the date of amendment of the licences.

“Accordingly, the Authority has made the Sixth Amendment to the MNP Regulations effective from 3rd May 2015,” Trai said.

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Samsung Unveils World's First 10nm FinFET Chip Technology

Samsung recently announced that it started mass production of mobile application processors on its 14nm FinFET process technology, which is likely to be seen in theExynos 7 Octa series. Now, taking another leap ahead, Samsung has revealed it is working on 10nm FinFET semiconductor technology.The South Korean company announced what it touts is the “world’s first 10nm FinFET semiconductor technology” at the ongoing 2015 International Solid-State Circuits Conference (ISSCC) in San Francisco.

Samsung’s Kim Ki-nam, President of Semiconductor Business, stressed that the 10nm FinFET chips will be a major step in “the advent of IoT (Internet of Things).” Additionally, Ki-nam also talked about use of the 10nm technology coming to DRAM and 3D V-NAND chips. Samsung however has not revealed much detail about the 10nm FinFET chips. The launch was first reported by ZDNet Korea.

Interestingly, Intel at the ISSCC event also talked about 10nm FinFET; though the company confirmed that it will showcase the new chips only by 2016 while 7nm chips can be expected in 2018. Intel previewed its planned presentations, which largely dealt with the viability of Moore’s Law as transistor widths shrink to 10nm and below. To recall, Intel’s migration to 14nm transistors was delayed, it was rolled out successfully with the Broadwell (Core) and Cherry Trail (Atom) product lines.

Coming back to Samsung’s Exynos 7 Octa series, the company is yet to announce specifications of the chipset. It is likely that this processor will be used in the upcoming Samsung Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge, widely expected to be announced at the 2015 Mobile World Congress in Barcelona next month.

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Motorola Moto E (Gen 2) With Android 5.0 Lollipop and LTE Variant Launched

Motorola’s publicised “exciting announcement” has been made. The company on Wednesday launched the next generation of its popular budget Moto E smartphone in two variants, the Motorola Moto E (Gen 2) and the Motorola Moto E (Gen 2) LTE. The unlocked 3G model is priced at $119.99 (approximately Rs. 7,400) and the LTE model at $149.99 (approximately Rs. 9,200).Starting Wednesday, the new Moto E (Gen 2) and Moto E (Gen 2) LTE will begin rolling out in more than 50 countries in North America, Latin America, Europe and Asia,announced Motorola in a blog post.”We’re introducing the next generation, packed with more features and functionality to give people around the world even greater access to life’s possibilities – without a hefty price tag,” claims the company. The company says it is also bringing some software features from its Moto X flagship, and includes Moto Display and Moto Migrate.

The new Moto E (Gen 2) and Moto E (Gen 2) LTE run Android 5.0 Lollipop out-of-the-box. Both the variants support single-SIM and are identical in terms of specifications, except that the 3G variant Moto E (Gen 2) packs a quad-core 1.2GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 200 SoC (with Adreno 302) whereas the Moto E (Gen 2) LTE features a 64-bit quad-core 1.2GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 SoC (with Adreno 306). Both feature 1GB of RAM.

motorola_moto_e_gen2_press.jpgUpfront, the Motorola Moto E (Gen 2) and its LTE variant feature a 4.5-inch qHD (540×960 pixel) display with a pixel density of 245ppi, and Corning Gorilla Glass 3 protection along with anti-smudge coating. The previous generation Moto E bore a 4.3-inch qHD display with a pixel density of 256ppi.

Both Moto E (Gen 2) variants pack a 5-megapixel rear camera, and this time Motorolahas included an LED flash, apart bringing the much-lamented front camera onboard, in the form of a VGA (0.3-megapixel) sensor. The 8GB of built-in storage (twice that of the original Moto E) on both Moto E (Gen 2) handsets can be expanded via microSD card (up to 32GB).

Connectivity options on the Moto E (Gen 2) include Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0LE, GPS/ A-GPS, GLONASS, FM radio, and Micro-USB. The handset measures 129.9×66.8×12.3mm, and weighs 145 grams. It is backed by a 2390mAh battery, significantly larger than the previous generation.

Users can choose from a Black or White base colour, with the choice interchangeable Motorola Bands (Golden Yellow, Turquoise, Blue, Raspberry, Purple, Red) and Grip Shells (Golden Yellow, Charcoal, Turquoise, Blue, Raspberry).

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How to Backup Your Android Smartphone


If your phone crashes unexpectedly, or worse gets lost or stolen, then you’ll not just be down the cost of a phone, but also a huge amount of data. To get around that, you need to enable cloud backups for as many things as possible, so that logging your account into a new handset transfers most of your data automatically. But not everything can be backed up that way, and that’s why it’s still important to take regular backups of your phone.

While some third-party apps like Titanium Backup and Helium will let you take a full backup your Android smartphone, they are not for everyone. Most users don’t know about rooting their phones, or want to mess around with installing ADB drivers. No worry, it may take a few more steps, but you’ll get there (almost).

Here’s how to backup almost any Android smartphone.

Backing up to the cloud

  1. On your phone, go to Settings > Accounts & sync.
  2. Under ACCOUNTS, and tick mark “Auto-sync data”. Next, tap on Google. Now, tap on the Gmail ID you used to sign onto the phone.
  3. Here, you can turn on all the options so that all your Google related information gets synced to the cloud. This includes your contacts, photos (uploaded to Google+, privately if you want), app data, calendar events, Chrome tabs, your Google Fit data and more.
  4. Now go to Settings > Backup & Reset.
  5. Check Back up my data.

This will save app data and all of your phone’s settings including Wi-Fi passwords to your Google account. When you sign in using this Google account on another phone, all of your preferences, photos (via Google+), and contacts will be imported automatically. This data is synced regularly and you just need to log into another device with the same account to recover it. This does not cover your text messages and various other types of data – you’ll have to back them up yourself.

Locally back up media, messages and apps
Next, you’ll want to save the music, movies and other media you’ve saved on your phone’s memory card. This process is easy – just connect your phone to a PC and copy everything that’s in the microSD card. This is a manual process so you’ll need to make a routine of doing this.


  1. Connect your phone to the computer with a USB cable. If you are on a Mac, make sure you have the Android File Transfer application installed before you do this.
  2. Open My Computer on your PC, or Finder on your Mac.
  3. Navigate to the SD card and copy all the files you want to save to your computer.
  4. After the copying is done, you can unplug your phone.

Text Messages

sms_backup_plus_google_play.pngYou can easily save all your text messages and call logs to your Gmail account by using an app called SMS Backup+. Try these steps:

  1. Download SMS Backup+.
  2. Open the app and tap Connect.
  3. Pick your Gmail account from the pop-up.
  4. Now grant SMS Backup+ permission to access your Google account.
  5. Now go back to the app and tap Backup. This will save all your text messages to your Gmail account.
  6. Log in to Gmail from any Web browser and on the left side you’ll see a new label –SMS. Click it to view all the text messages that have been backed up.
  7. To restore these messages, just tap Restore in SMS Backup+.
  8. Tap OK in the pop-up.
  9. You’ll be asked to set SMS Backup+ as your default SMS app. Tap Yes. This is needed to restore messages.
  10. Now the app will automatically restore all your messages and call logs. Once the process is complete, the app will show a pop-up that restores your default SMS app. Tap Yes.

The next step is to backup and restore installed apps. You can re-download apps easily if you’re using the same Google account on the new device – just open Google Play, tap the hamburger icon (three horizontal lines) on the top-left > My apps. You can install all previously purchased apps from there.

(Also see: How to Quickly Install Apps on Android)

On the other hand, a local backup could be faster to restore, and wouldn’t waste bandwidth either. And it’s also pretty easy to do.

  1. Download ES File Explorer.
  2. Swipe the screen to the right to reveal the Homepage of ES File Explorer.
  3. Tap APP which is under a blue Android robot icon on the top-right.
  4. Tap and hold any app until you see a checkmark on its icon.
  5. Now tap the tick-mark icon on the top-right, the one inside a box with a dotted frame. This will select all apps.
  6. Tap Backup that’s on the bottom row. This will save a copy of the apk files of all your apps.
  7. To view which apk files have been saved, tap User apps at the top. From the pop-up, select Backed-up Apps.
  8. Tap any app’s apk file here to install that app without Internet.
  9. To save a copy of these files to your computer, connect your Android phone to a PC via USB.
  10. The phone will appear in My Computer like a pendrive. Open it.
  11. Go to Internal Storage > backups > apps.
  12. Copy all the apk files here. In case you format your device, or change handsets, you can quickly copy these apk files to it and install the apps again by placing them in the same folder on your phone, and then following steps 7 and 8.

By following these steps, you’re able to save a copy of all your contacts, text messages, media, apps, Wi-Fi passwords, and your app data. Of course, doing everything one by one is a little cumbersome, and the best way to back up your phone is to use a third party backup tool. We’ve used Titanium Backup and it is excellent but it requires root access on your Android phone, which is something typically expected from more advanced users. Even its interface is too clunky for most average people.

Helium is a great app for those who haven’t rooted their phones. It has a nice interface too, but it only works with select Android phones from some international manufacturers. If you bought a phone from Micromax, Karbonn, Lava or countless other brands, you won’t be able to use Helium. Further, using Helium requires you to install drivers for the phone on your computer as well.

How do you backup your Android phone? Let us know via the comments. For more tutorials, visit our How To section.

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