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Make Starbucks your new Meeting Room on Outlook

Meetings have really transformed over the years. What used to happen in a closed conference room setup has now moved on to a lounge or a cafe. Even in Business meetings, people prefer Personal connections, and face to face conversations in an informal setup in a much friendly environment like a cafe. Microsoft has introduced an Outlook Add-in, that will allow users to schedule meetings at different Starbucks locations and also send Starbucks gift cards via email. This add-in is currently enabled only in the U.S only.

The Starbucks for Outlook add-in is available in the Office Store as a free download to users of the new Outlook.com, as well as Outlook 2013, Outlook 2016 and Outlook on the web users with Office 365 or Exchange 2013 or Exchange 2016 mailboxes. If you are using Office 365, click here to begin installation of the Starbucks for Outlook add-in.

starbucks-Meeting

One can click the “Meet at Starbucks” command from the ribbon when creating a new meeting request, search for your favorite Starbucks store, and add it as the location of your upcoming meeting. This add-in isn’t available for ‘Office for Mac’ and Outlook Mobile users yet. The company confirmed that, they are working on the same and will be available in few months. However, there isn’t any word on the add-in’s availablilty for rest of the countries.

You can also also quickly express thanks or appreciation for a job well done by sending a Starbucks eGift Card right from your inbox. For a limited time, when you send a Starbucks eGift Card using Outlook, you are eligible to get a FREE $5 eGift card in return. A Starbucks account is required to purchase a Starbucks eGift Card, but no account is needed to use the “Meet at Starbucks” feature.

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Meet OnePlus 3 – Aluminum Unibody Design and a whopping 6GB RAM

OnePlus released its long-awaited flagship smartphone OnePlus 3 today. The OnePlus 3 is a dual nano SIM phone with a 5.5 inch AMOLED display screen. Under the hood, the device is powered with Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 processor, Adreno 530 GPU and a 6GB LPDDR4 RAM. This is the first phone with 6GB RAM available to buy in India today. The OnePlus 3 also features an improved, more durable ceramic fingerprint sensor that improves accuracy with increased use. Offering the ability to unlock the device in under 0.3 seconds, even from a sleeping screen, users can access their phone faster and more accurately.

The Graphite variant of the OnePlus 3 will be available exclusively on Amazon.in, 12:30am onwards starting today for INR 27,999/- whereas the Soft Gold variant will be launched in the near future.

OnePlus-3

The OnePlus 3 comes with a 16MP camera equipped with a shutter and lightning-fast speed, neat autofocus, a unique noise reduction technology for better pictures as well as supporting stabilization methods for shake and movement free images. The OnePlus 3 also includes our new Smile Capture feature, allowing you to take a photo using the front-facing 8 MP camera simply by smiling – a seamless solution for selfies.  OnePlus 3 comes stacked with the latest edition of Oxygen OS, based on Android Marshmallow 6.1.

The phone has a 3,000 mAh lithium-polymer battery (non-removable) powered by state-of-the-art Dash Charge technology. Unlike other quick charging technologies, Dash Charge replenishes more than 60% of the 3,000 mAh battery in 30 minutes and continues fast charging even when streaming video or playing energy-intensive games. This is made possible by leveraging a large electric current for stable, consistent charging speeds. In addition, Dash Charge carries more current than other charging solutions, and at lower temperatures, by shifting the power management process from the phone itself to the Dash Charge adapter, so a vast majority of the heat generated while charging never reaches the device. Along with five custom safety measures in place to safeguard the adaptor, cable and phone itself, users can charge their OnePlus 3 as fast as possible without worry.

Buyers in India also get, 

  • 12 months of Saavn Pro. Unlimited, ad-free music downloads and exclusive Saavn originals
  • 12 months of accidental damage protection with OnePlus Care
  • 12 months of double data for Idea customers
  • INR 500 ebook promotion credits – Download and sign in to the Kindle app

 

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Meet Swift Playgrounds, An Interactive app that Teaches you to Code

Today at WWDC, Apple introduced Swift Playgrounds, a new iPad app to help kids and aspiring developers learn how to code in Swift right from the iPad. The idea is to empower new learners, and get them used to Swift Programming. Its targeted at kids. This game like app helps the kids with an understanding on why to code and then, how. Its definitely a huge step for new learners.

The Playgrounds helps you walk you through the exercise to learn the concepts of coding in Swift; it isn’t just code. Playgrounds includes Apple-developed programming lessons where students write code to guide onscreen characters through an immersive graphical world, solving puzzles and mastering challenges as they learn core coding concepts. The app also features built-in templates to encourage users to express their creativity and create real programs that can be shared with friends using Mail or Messages or even posted to the web.

During the keynote, the company demonstrated us walking a character around a wall, where you had to type moveForward() rather than tap a button or move using a keyboard arrow. One interesting demo was when the same character had to walk through the maze, you needed similar instructions to be repeated; and that’s when we saw how loops work. This is definitely an interesting way to learn/teach coding. As you learn coding concepts, Swift Playgrounds has advanced lessons you can work through. Working through sensors was pretty simple too. There was a demo on how few emojis use the sensor data such as gravity and gyroscope.

Swift-Playgrounds-character

In addition to the lessons, Swift Playgrounds comes with a number of built-in templates. Students and developers can modify and build on this code to make it their own by adding graphics and touch interactions. Swift Playgrounds uses real Swift code, projects can be exported directly to Xcode to create programs for iOS and macOS™ that can ultimately be turned into full-fledged apps. You can also drag from a library of common coding snippets to create new, powerful code with little or no typing. Playgrounds also has a new keyboard specifically meant for coding. Stuffs like brackets and parentheses are easily accessible. Apple will regularly release new standalone challenges so students can continue to refine their coding abilities as their skills and interests grow.

Swift Playgrounds will really help make learning more accessible to many around the world. However, Its an iPad only app; so you may have to buy one before you even start learning. Playgrounds will be available with the developer preview today. This free app will be available for download for general public this fall.

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Microsoft to acquires LinkedIn for $26.2 billion

Microsoft will acquire LinkedIn for $196 per share in an all-cash transaction valued at $26.2 billion, inclusive of LinkedIn’s net cash. Its an interesting acquisition considering the fact that, Microsoft has been focusing a lot on AI and User Research in the past few years. This acquisition helps them with more and more data to play with at the base level. Another point worth noting is that, LinkedIn had acquired SlideShare and Lynda sometime back. This could probably help Microsoft focus on taking SlideShare to Office365 and of course, Lynda’s huge course content to its learning portal. This acquisition would also mean, Microsoft will look at including the productivity and communication tools as a part of the professional network.

LinkedIn will retain its distinct brand, culture and independence. Jeff Weiner will remain CEO of LinkedIn, reporting to Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft. Reid Hoffman, chairman of the board, co-founder and controlling shareholder of LinkedIn, and Weiner both fully support this transaction. The transaction is expected to close this calendar year.

microsoft-Linkedin

There has been a lot of buzz online on the transaction value being $26.2 billion. Whether is LinkedIn really worth that much? or is it again a classic case of companies being over-valued. This is also Much Much higher than what Facebook paid for WhatsApp. Even when Microsoft acquired Skype, there was this buzz. This article gave a different perspectives on the hype of the acquisition.

Its funny to see the announcement come today, while the entire world is looking at Apple for the WWDC. Maybe, Microsoft just wanted to take some attention in the day. Jokes apart, this is definitely a significant move for both the companies. Lets see what they come up with together.

“The LinkedIn team has grown a fantastic business centered on connecting the world’s professionals. Together we can accelerate the growth of LinkedIn, as well as Microsoft Office 365 and Dynamics as we seek to empower every person and organization on the planet.” – Satya Nadella.

 

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LG India launches its flagship the LG G5 Today

LG India launched its Flagship, the LG G5 today in Delhi today. The phone was available for pre-order on Flipkart at a price of INR 52999/-. The customers who had pre-ordered will get a free camera module (LG CAM Plus) with the phone.  Other orders starting today, will get a free battery and charging cradle along. This device is available on Flipkart in Silver, Titan and Gold colours.

The LG G5 has a Quad HD IPS Quantum display, a metal unibody phone featuring a slide-out Battery and a modular type design. The G5 is also one of the first modular designed phones which would be available for consumers to buy.

The LG G5 has two cameras on the rear: one with a standard 78-degree lens and another with a 135-degree wide angle lens, the widest available in any smartphone.

LG-G5-Dual-Camera-Lenses

The 135-degree lens on the LG G5 offers a viewing angle that is approximately 1.7 times wider than those of existing smartphone cameras and 15 degrees wider than the human eye’s field of view. The wide angle lens makes it easier for users to capture more landscape, taller buildings or larger groups without having to position oneself further from the subject.

The LG CAM Plus, which comes free when you pre-order the phone is a versatile camera module that can be attached through the battery slot to deliver a comfortable grip and convenient control of a standalone camera. The LG CAM Plus provides physical buttons for power, shutter, record, zoom, LED indicator and comfortable grip. It also offers intuitive auto focus and exposure lock, features usually found on standalone digital cameras. When attached to the LG G5, it provides an additional battery capacity of 1,200mAh to allow for longer shooting times for more fun and enjoyment. The Slide-out Battery helps you easily swap out a depleted battery for a fully charged one in seconds. One can also buy this module separately, no official prices announced yet but should be available around INR 7000.

lg-g5-friends-LG-CAM-PlusThe LG 360 CAM is a compact 360-degree angle camera equipped with two 13MP 200-degree wide angle cameras, 1,200mAh battery and 4GB internal memory, which can be supplemented by a microSD card. The LG 360 CAM can be easily connected to the LG G5 allowing users to create 360-degree content. The LG 360 CAM provides 2K video and 5.1 surround channel recording on three microphones to help users effortlessly create high-quality 360-degree contents.

LG-G5-Friends-VR-360

Thanks to the partnership with Google, images taken with the 360 CAM can be uploaded to Google Street View and YouTube360, adding the fun of sharing creative contents with others. The images will also be available to view on the LG 360 VR or other smartphones or devices that are capable of 360-degree content. This module would be available to buy in the coming weeks and would roughly cost about INR 16000.

More pictures from the launch event here –

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Meet ASUS Zenbo, A Home Robot unveiled at Computex 2016

Today at Computex 2016 – Asus unveiled Zenbo, a friendly and capable home robot designed to provide assistance, entertainment, and companionship to families and meant to address the needs of each family member in this ubiquitous computing era. With a full range of capabilities, including the ability to move independently and understand spoken commands, Zenbo can assist in the home and interacting with him is easy and fun.

Zenbo supports a growing number of custom apps that expand his capabilities and bring new features to users. The free Zenbo Developer Program provides members access to the Zenbo SDK and a library of information they need to bring their creative ideas to life. Additionally, Zenbo Partners can work with ASUS to help build a rich, robotic ecosystem that will enhance Zenbo and enrich users’ lives.

Zenbo is designed for everyone, but he has specific functionality that helps senior family members safeguard their health and well-being as well as enjoy a connected digital life. As a home care assistant, he proactively provides convenient, spoken reminders of important information, such as doctor’s appointments, medication and exercise schedules, and anything else that needs to be remembered. Zenbo also monitors the home for emergency situations — such as falls — and immediately responds to them by notifying specified family members on their smartphones, no matter where they are. When they receive an emergency notification, family members can remotely control Zenbo to move nearby and use Zenbo’s built-in camera to visually check on their loved one. Zenbo is also a friendly companion who helps to bridge the digital divide between generations by making it easy to accomplish a variety of online tasks — including making video calls, using social media, shopping, and streaming movies and TV shows — using voice commands and guided help.

Asus-Zenbo-FeaturesZenbo is also a fun and educational playmate for kids who entertains them with interactive stories and learning games that foster their creativity and logical thinking skills. With his high-quality, built-in stereo sound system, Zenbo can play children’s favorite songs and even dance along to the music, making for fun playtime activity. Zenbo is also an expert storyteller who keeps children entertained during the day and helps them fall asleep at night. Zenbo includes a built-in library of stories that he tells in a variety of entertaining voices, while displaying accompanying images on his screen and controlling the room lighting to add a new level of interactivity and fun to story time. Zenbo also comes with educational games and an interactive encyclopedia that make learning fun.

In addition to working with seniors and kids, Zenbo is also a hands-free household helper who enriches the home with a broad range of skills that make life easier and more enjoyable. Zenbo can connect to and control many smart home and traditional devices, including lights, TVs, air conditioners, and more. Homeowners can even use Zenbo’s built-in screen to view visitors at the door and then unlock it with a simple voice command. He can also help out in the kitchen, reading recipes out loud and functioning as a voice-controlled timer, so home chefs can stay focused on cooking. With his built-in camera and ability to move around the house, Zenbo is a great family photographer who helps preserve special and everyday moments alike. When homeowners are away, Zenbo provides peace of mind that their home is safe by acting as a remote-controlled home security camera that is accessible from anywhere via an intuitive smartphone app.

For more information on Zenbo, read here.

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HTC India announces the Flagship HTC 10 at INR 52990. Available starting June!

HTC announced their latest flagship HTC 10 for India today. The HTC 10 will be available in two color combinations: Carbon Grey and Topaz Gold for INR 52,990/- starting June 2016. The HTC 10 is powered by the latest 64-bit Snapdragon 820 Quad-Core processor with 2.2 GHz support, 4 GB RAM and comes with 32 inbuilt storage with an additional microSD support up to 2TB. The HTC 10 sports a Quad HD (2560 x 1440 pixels) Curved Edge LCD Display protected by Corning® Gorilla® Glass with an impressive 564 PPI pixel density and offers a maximum brightness of 372 nits.

Its a 5.2” 4G LTE Nano-SIM device with a Curve Edge Display at the front blending seamlessly to a metal unibody. Construction is exquisite. The highlight of the device is the bold chamfered contour that runs around the edges of the phone’s back.

Perfume - HTC 10 - Handset - Image - Global

HTC has created a fingerprint scanner, which unlocks in a lightening fast 0.2 seconds and algorithmically designed to recognise you faster and more accurately over time. The phone has a 3000mAh battery, and also supports USB Type-C with Quick Charge 3.0.

The HTC 10 runs Android™ 6 with HTC Sense on top; giving a near stock android experience. The HTC 10 is the only flagship at this moment which supports Adoptable (Flex) Storage, A MarshMallow feature.

With HTC’s specially created new Freestyle Layout, you no longer have an on-screen grid that dictates the layout. Instead you can get creative by dragging icons, stickers and widgets anywhere you like. Layer them, group them, link stickers to apps or get rid of screen icons altogether, the choice is yours. The latest version of HTC Themes also provides you with access to thousands of professional looking themes that each come with their own icons, backgrounds and sounds so you can customize your phone based on your own personal style.

One of the highlights of the HTC 10’s camera is it features OIS in both front and rear camera. The Rear camera is a 12MP (1.55μm pixel) BSI sensor with laser Autofocus and f/1.8 aperture 26mm focal length (80° wide angle) and OIS and supported by a dual tone LED flash. Pro mode with manual control and 12 bit RAW format support. Other camera features include Face Detection, Auto-HDR, Panorama, Zoe capture, Video Pic for photos. Video options include Hyperlapse, Slo-mo, 4K Recording with stereo 24-bit Hi-Res audio support. Camera interface can be launched by a double swipe up gesture.

The Front camera is a 5MP shooter with 1.34μm pixels 23mm focal length (86° wide angle) and f/1.8 aperture which does a great job while taking selfies. supports screen flash. Selfie options include smile, still and voice selfies with Live-makeup support. Front camera supports Full HD 1080p video recording with OIS support for great quality videos.

Lets look at a detailed review in the coming days. Do you have any questions for us?

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Xiaomi launched Mi Drone today – Modular Design, 4K and 1080p Video recording Options

Xiaomi at an event today launched Mi Drone – the company’s very first drone that is targeted at the high-end consumer market. The Mi Drone comes in two variants — the 4K version retails at RMB 2999, while the 1080P one is priced at RMB 2499. Mi Drone (1080P) will be crowdfunded on the Mi Home app starting 26 May 2016, and Mi Drone (4K) will be available for testing via an open beta programme in late July.

Mi Drone comes with either a 1080P or 4K camera. The 1080P camera sports a 16-megapixel Sony backside illuminated CMOS sensor and has a 104- degree wide angle lens. The 12-megapixel 4K camera shoots video at a maximum resolution of 3840 x 2160 pixels and supports recording still images in RAW format.

mi-drone-flightMi Drone also has four layers of built-in security — real-time location tracking to allow users to retrieve the drone easily even if it has crashed, real-time computing power to enable it to return on low battery levels, automatic hovering at the edge of no-fly zones, and the use of a remote control with a PCB antenna array to avoid losing contact with the drone and can control up to 3km.

For safer and more stable flights, Mi Drone uses both GPS and GLONASS for accurate positioning. In the absence of satellite signals, Mi Drone uses vision positioning and can continue hovering even at low altitudes (below 2.5 metres). One can trace Mi Drone’s position via GPS and once the Mi Drone fly out of the connected range then it will automatically fly back to the original position where it took off.

Mi Drone uses a 1.2mm thin body design, and after over 100 tests on structural integrity and strength, its weight has been reduced by as much as 16%. The four propellers feature an aerodynamic design for optimal efficiency.

Mi Drone has a 15.2V battery with a capacity of 5100mAh. These factors — lightweight design, propeller efficiency and high capacity intelligent battery — allows Mi Drone to achieve a long flight time of up to 27 minutes.

Mi Drone has a modular design and foldable landing gear, enabling users to easily disassemble and carry it around in a backpack.

mi-drone-backpack

 

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After India and the U.S., LeEco enters Russia with USD 100 million investment

LeEco signed a quadripartite memorandum with Institute of Internet Development (IID), Russian Export Center and JSC Digital Television to export Russian media content to China and other markets and build Le Ecosystem in Russia. With the introduction of its unique vertically integrated ecosystem in Russia, LeEco will provide Russian users an all-new experience delivered through the Internet, smart devices, smart applications, and cloud. For its foray into the Russian market, LeEco plans to invest over USD 100 million. In 2016, LeEco successfully entered the U.S. and Indian markets making Russia its third overseas market.

LeEco plans to set up its Russia office in the summer of 2016 which would be responsible for the building of Le Ecosystem in Russia. In line with its efforts of making a strong mark for itself globally, with the signing of the memorandum LeEco will synergistically combine its powerful business ecosystem and Russia’s rich media content resources to expand in the Russia market and further reinforce LeEco’s global competitiveness.

The memorandum will provide an action framework for the promotion of Russian movies, TV dramas, animations and other video products in China and other markets. In addition to providing a globally accessible platform for the distribution of Russian content, LeEco will assist Russian partners in content localization such as translation, licensing and authorization in China and other countries.

In the past year, India has played a key role in scripting LeEco’s global success story, with trend setting products and record-breaking sales. With the release of the Le 1s and Le Max earlier this year, followed by the launch of the first “Made for India” Superphone, Le 1s Eco, the company has successfully sold an astounding number of 500,000 Superphones in 100 days, making it a record of sorts for a new entrant in a much competitive smartphone market in India.

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Nextbit announces Robin for India at 19999; available starting 30th May!

San Francisco based Nextbit, the creators of “cloud first” Android phone, today unveiled its flagship smartphone ‘Robin’ in India. Robin will be available on Flipkart starting 30 May, 2016 at a price of Rs. 19,999.

Nextbit Robin is powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon 808 processor, with 3GB RAM, 32GB onboard and 100GB online Storage. It has a 13 MP rear facing camera with phase detection autofocus, 5 MP front facing camera and a dual tone LED flash. The Robin supports fingerprint identification which is integrated with the power button on the side. Nextbit Robin supports GSM, HSPA and LTE Bands.

With elegant rectangular lines and colorful soft-touch polycarbonate, Nextbit Robin is definitely different when compared with other conventional metal and glass bodies. The robin has a sleek 7mm body, designed around a 5.2 inch screen shielded with Gorilla Glass 4, Robin has a very interesting design. It is light weight and well balanced, with rounded edges that make handling comfortable.

The smartphone brings in an unique cloud-based smart storage feature. This Feature enables Robin to free up space by backing up apps and photos to the cloud ahead of time, and archiving the least used of these when space runs low. Robin leaves thumbnails of all archived content on the phone, making it easy to just tap and restore. The smart storage feature combines 32 GB local storage and 100 GB cloud storage.

robin-front-view-pairRobin boasts the latest Marshmallow update 6.0.1. for the most up to date and secure experience. The smartphone delivers optimum sound quality from its dual amplifiers and dual front facing speakers along with audio enhancements by Arkamys.

Lets look at a detailed review in the coming days!