Good Wednesday Evening!
First Things First: Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg testified before the Senate Judiciary and Commerce Committee on Tuesday. The big picture here is that Zuckerberg emerged more matured than he has ever been in the past. This is in contrary to the fact that most hoped he would be grilled by the Senators at the hearing. Zuckerberg seemed candid and ready to answer any kind of questions. In an hearing that lasted for more than five hours, the 33-year old CEO of Facebook reiterated his commitment to get to the bottom of Cambridge Analytica scandal and ensure that such a data harvesting never happens again on the platform created by him in his dorm room in 2004.
Zuckerberg also noted that he is open for some kind of regulation and confirmed that all user data are deleted when someone leaves the social network. The Zuckerberg testimony continues today with him stopping by at the US House Energy Committee for a hearing.
In other side of tech world, Samsung launched a new mid-range smartphone while Flipkart has listed the new 9.7-inch iPad on its e-commerce platform. Amazon India is running an iPhone fest while Airtel intensified its tariff war with Reliance Jio. Here is a rundown of all the tech news that you might have missed:
Zuckerberg says WhatsApp message not seen by Facebook
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg told the Senate committee that its system does not look at the messages shared on WhatsApp. He added that WhatsApp is a lightweight app that supports end-to-end encryption, which makes it impossible for anyone to read messages transmitted on the platform.
He also clarified that WhatsApp as a platform collects very little information and has been designed in a way that it maintains user privacy. The information came after senators questioned how Facebook’s other platforms handle user data and how it plans to protect its users in the future.
Amazon India offers iPhone X for Rs 79,999
Apple iPhone X is the best iPhone yet from the Cupertino-based company. The 5.8-inch OLED display with an edge-to-edge design and new facial recognition system make it a standout from every other iPhone launched by the company in the past decade. However, a steep entry price means that not everyone can afford to own an iPhone X. The new Amazon India iPhone fest nullifies that effect.
The e-commerce giant is selling iPhone X for Rs 79,999, which is one of the lowest price we have seen yet on the flagship device. The smartphone has a received a discount of Rs 15,001 and users can get up to Rs 16,040 off in exchange. There is also an instant discount up to Rs 5,000 on purchasing the device with HDFC Bank credit or debit card. There is also discount on iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus and older models.
Instagram launches Focus mode for Stories
Instagram Stories have been a stellar hit and with over 300 million monthly active users, it continues to build up as one of the most widely used ephemeral messaging platform. Now, the Facebook-owned social media giant has added a new feature to Instagram Stories called Focus, which is basically a new way to shoot images with bokeh effect.
The feature can be accessed by heading over to camera and it now appears next to Boomerang and Superzoom options. The feature adds real-time shallow depth of field to photos and best part, it seems to work well for the most part. There is no denial that Instagram is disrupting social media and these new features will only increase its engagement.
Airtel introduces Rs 249 plan to counter Jio
Bharti Airtel is not going to give up on its ongoing tariff war with Reliance Jio. The leading telecom player has announced new Rs 249 tariff plan as an open market offer with 2GB 4G data per day for 28 days. It also offers unlimited voice calls and 100 SMS per day as part of benefits.
In addition, Airtel has also revised the Rs 349 tariff plan to now offer 3GB data per day for a period of 28 days. This is up from 2.5GB data per day offered as part of the benefit. This particular data plan also includes unlimited voice calls and 100 SMS per day.
Apple’s new 9.7-inch iPad on Flipkart
Apple announced a new 9.7-inch iPad last month as an attempt to recapture the lost share in the education market. This new iPad has been listed on e-commerce platform Flipkart for pre-order with the release date set for April 25 and tentative delivery date of April 26.
In terms of pricing, the WiFi only model of the new 9.7-inch iPad with 32GB storage is priced at Rs 28,000 while the 128GB model will set you back by Rs 37,500. The WiFi+Cellular variant with 32GB storage is priced at Rs 38,600 and the 128GB model is priced at Rs 46,300.
Samsung Galaxy J7 Duo launched in India
Samsung has silently launched the Galaxy J7 Duo for Rs 16,990. The smartphone is one of the cheapest J-series to feature a dual camera system. It features a 13-megapixel primary sensor, and a 5-megapixel secondary sensor. It also gets an 8-megapixel selfie camera.
The Galaxy J7 Duo, otherwise, features standard specifications that are in line with other J-series smartphones and now includes a new feature called App Pair allowing users to run two apps simultaneously.