Presenting the fifth edition of Tech Weekender, here are the biggest developments from the world of tech in the past week (December 9 to December 13).

WhatsApp has announced that it would end support for many smartphones running on Windows, Android, and iOS mobile operating systems. The messaging app would stop providing support for all Windows Phone following December 31, 2019. The app would also stop working on Android devices running on version 2.3.3 and older. iPhones operating on iOS 8 or older will be able to use the service until February 1, 2020. These users can no longer create a new account or reverify their existing account.

Redmi K30 5G colours
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Xiaomi has launched the Redmi K30 in China. The company is expected to release the 4G variant soon in India. Redmi K30 features a 6.67-inch 120Hz dual punch-hole screen for the 32MP + 2MP front cameras. Redmi K30 5G features a Qualcomm Snapdragon 765G, whereas the Redmi K30 4G variant features a Qualcomm Snapdragon 730G. Quad-camera setup on the Redmi K30 5G features a 64MP + 8MP + 5MP + 2MP setup. The 4G model has the same setup, except that it gets a 2MP macro lens instead of the 5MP lens.

The latest Google Maps update for iOS features incognito mode, nearly a month after its availability on Android. Incognito mode on Google Maps will allow users to control, manage and delete location history information. After switching to incognito mode, location searches and navigation information on Google Maps for iPhone will not be saved. While in Incognito mode, the places users search for or navigate to won’t be saved to their Google Account. Users would then no longer see personalised features within Maps, like restaurant recommendations, places to visit, etc.

The latest Google Maps update for iOS features incognito mode, nearly a month after its availability on Android. Incognito mode on Google Maps will allow users to control, manage and delete location history information. After switching to incognito mode, location searches and navigation information on Google Maps for iPhone will not be saved. While in Incognito mode, the places users search for or navigate to won’t be saved to their Google Account. Users would then no longer see personalised features within Maps, like restaurant recommendations, places to visit, etc.

Apple revamped Mac Pro workstation and Pro Display XDR high-end monitor recently went on sale in the US. The Mac Pro workstation starts at $5,999 (Approx. Rs 4,25,300) while maxing out the spec sheet will set you back $52,599 or approx. Rs 37,28,800 that is costlier than an A-Class Mercedes. And that’s without the monitor, which costs an additional $4,999 (Roughly Rs 3,35,500). The Mac Pro can be outfitted with an Intel Xeon W processor with up to 28 cores. The entry-level Mac Pro comes with 32GB of 2933MHz RAM, but the twelve 128GB user-replaceable slots will allow you to add up to 1.5TB of RAM. The Mac Pro supports 4TB of SSD storage, with an 8TB option to be available soon. In terms of graphics, Apple’s professional desktop packs an AMD Radeon Pro 580X GPU to start with, which can be upgraded to the newer Radeon Pro W5700X or twin AMD Radeon Pro Vega II Duo GPUs with 2x32GB HBM2 memory each. The 32-inch Pro Display XDR monitor uses a 10-bit IPS panel and offers 6K (6016 x 3384 pixels) resolution. The monitor delivers an astounding sustained brightness of 1,000 nits, which peaks at 1,600 nits with a 1,000,000:1 contrast ratio.

Apple revamped Mac Pro workstation and Pro Display XDR high-end monitor recently went on sale in the US. The Mac Pro workstation starts at $5,999 (Approx. Rs 4,25,300) while maxing out the spec sheet will set you back $52,599 or approx. Rs 37,28,800 that is costlier than an A-Class Mercedes. And that’s without the monitor, which costs an additional $4,999 (Roughly Rs 3,35,500). The Mac Pro can be outfitted with an Intel Xeon W processor with up to 28 cores. The entry-level Mac Pro comes with 32GB of 2933MHz RAM, but the twelve 128GB user-replaceable slots will allow you to add up to 1.5TB of RAM. The Mac Pro supports 4TB of SSD storage, with an 8TB option to be available soon. In terms of graphics, Apple’s professional desktop packs an AMD Radeon Pro 580X GPU to start with, which can be upgraded to the newer Radeon Pro W5700X or twin AMD Radeon Pro Vega II Duo GPUs with 2x32GB HBM2 memory each. The 32-inch Pro Display XDR monitor uses a 10-bit IPS panel and offers 6K (6016 x 3384 pixels) resolution. The monitor delivers an astounding sustained brightness of 1,000 nits, which peaks at 1,600 nits with a 1,000,000:1 contrast ratio.

Windows on mobile will no longer receive security updates and non-security hotfixes as well as no free support. However, Office apps will continue to receive support until January 12, 2021. So, Microsoft’s Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, and Word will continue to receive updates and security patches. Microsoft has advised users to switch to iOS or Android devices either way and use the Office apps on those platforms. Microsoft already pulled the plug on Windows Phone 8.1 and the app store will shut down on December 16.

Windows on mobile will no longer receive security updates and non-security hotfixes as well as no free support. However, Office apps will continue to receive support until January 12, 2021. So, Microsoft’s Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, and Word will continue to receive updates and security patches. Microsoft has advised users to switch to iOS or Android devices either way and use the Office apps on those platforms. Microsoft already pulled the plug on Windows Phone 8.1 and the app store will shut down on December 16.

Netflix is testing yearly subscription plans in India that would, comparatively, cost lesser than its monthly plans. Users would have a choice to choose between three, six, and 12 months plan, which would offer a discount of up to 50 percent. Including the mobile plan, there are currently four plans in India, with its premium plan costing 799 rupees per month. We believe that our members may value the flexibility that comes from being able to pay for a few months at once. As always, this is a test and we will only introduce it more broadly if people find it useful,

Netflix is testing yearly subscription plans in India that would, comparatively, cost lesser than its monthly plans. Users would have a choice to choose between three, six, and 12 months plan, which would offer a discount of up to 50 percent. Including the mobile plan, there are currently four plans in India, with its premium plan costing 799 rupees per month. We believe that our members may value the flexibility that comes from being able to pay for a few months at once. As always, this is a test and we will only introduce it more broadly if people find it useful,” a spokeswoman for Netflix India told Reuters.

Google has released the list of most searched smartphones in India in 2019. According to the list, Xiaomi Redmi Note 7 Pro was the most searched smartphone of 2019 in India in the budget category. Samsung Galaxy M20 and Redmi Note 7. Vivo S1 was the most searched smartphone of 2019 in the mid-range category, followed by Redmi Note 8 Pro and Vivo Z1Pro. Apple's iPhone 11 topped the list of most searched smartphones of 2019 in India in the premium category. The OnePlus 7 Series, which includes the OnePlus 7 and OnePlus 7 Pro, bagged the second and the third spot in Google’s Year in Search list of premium smartphones.

Google has released the list of most searched smartphones in India in 2019. According to the list, Xiaomi Redmi Note 7 Pro was the most searched smartphone of 2019 in India in the budget category. Samsung Galaxy M20 and Redmi Note 7. Vivo S1 was the most searched smartphone of 2019 in the mid-range category, followed by Redmi Note 8 Pro and Vivo Z1Pro. Apple’s iPhone 11 topped the list of most searched smartphones of 2019 in India in the premium category. The OnePlus 7 Series, which includes the OnePlus 7 and OnePlus 7 Pro, bagged the second and the third spot in Google’s Year in Search list of premium smartphones.

From motorised camera modules to barely noticeable holes shifted to the top corners of the phone, Smartphone OEMs have pulled out all the stops in a bid to eliminate the dreaded notch. However, Oppo’s under-screen camera shows more promise than every prior method. The Chinese smartphone manufacturer revealed its new under-screen camera technology at its Inno Day event earlier this week. The under-display camera was showcased on one of Oppo’s prototype phones that looked like a handset ready for mass production.

From motorised camera modules to barely noticeable holes shifted to the top corners of the phone, Smartphone OEMs have pulled out all the stops in a bid to eliminate the dreaded notch. However, Oppo’s under-screen camera shows more promise than every prior method. The Chinese smartphone manufacturer revealed its new under-screen camera technology at its Inno Day event earlier this week. The under-display camera was showcased on one of Oppo’s prototype phones that looked like a handset ready for mass production.

At the 2019 Game Awards, the next-generation Xbox, titled Project Scarlett, got an official name. Microsoft is calling the console Xbox Series X because of the many ways to play on the Xbox. Additionally, the software giant also revealed the design of the new Xbox, which looks more like a gaming desktop than a console. Xbox Series X can be used in both horizontal and vertical orientations and will deliver a significant performance bump over the previous Xbox. Microsoft also unveiled a new Xbox controller that would ship with the Xbox Series X.

At the 2019 Game Awards, the next-generation Xbox, titled Project Scarlett, got an official name. Microsoft is calling the console Xbox Series X because of the many ways to play on the Xbox. Additionally, the software giant also revealed the design of the new Xbox, which looks more like a gaming desktop than a console. Xbox Series X can be used in both horizontal and vertical orientations and will deliver a significant performance bump over the previous Xbox. Microsoft also unveiled a new Xbox controller that would ship with the Xbox Series X.

First Published on Dec 14, 2019 10:13 am





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