Vodafone, Idea’s Unlimited Calling Offers, Flipkart SmartBuy, and More

A lot happened in the tech world today, such as Vodafone and Idea launching unlimited calling offers to counter Reliance Jio, Flipkart launching a new range of SmartBuy products, and Facebook decided to give your profile picture a new look. Take a look at your 360 Daily for these and more top tech news of the day.

Vodafone, Idea Launch Unlimited Calling Offers
After Airtel and Aircel, Vodafone and Idea have launched their own unlimited calling packs to keep customers away from Reliance Jio. The basic Vodafone unlimited calling recharge pack is priced between Rs. 144 and Rs. 149 (depending on the circle) and comes with unlimited local and STD calls, 300MB of 4G data, and free incoming calls on national roaming. Vodafone’s other unlimited voice calling pack, priced between Rs. 344 and Rs. 349, ups the data benefit to 1GB for 4GB users.

Idea Cellular’s unlimited calling packs are priced at Rs. 148 and Rs. 348, and offer unlimited voice calling apart from data benefits. The Rs. 148 Idea unlimited calling pack allows the customer to make unlimited local and STD calls to other Idea users, and comes with 300MB of 4G data. On the other hand, the Rs. 348 Idea unlimited calling plan enables the users to make calls to any network across the country without additional charges, and provides 1GB of free data. If the user does not have a 4G smartphone, the data benefit is limited to 50MB.
Flipkart launches Amazon Basics-like SmartBuy products
Flipkart has launched SmartBuy, an “exclusive range of quality everyday products.” The store, at present, only has a small selection of self-branded chargers and data cables, though Bluetooth speakers and headphones may be in the offing, an email to customers suggests. Products such as Micro-USB cables on Flipkart SmartBuy are cheaper than those of rival Amazon Basics.

Facebook app gets a new Camera Effects Platform
Facebook has launched a new Camera Effects Platform that allows users to add frames to their profile pictures and videos via the mobile app. Now, the Camera Effects Platform looks to add creative frames to photos based on location and events – similar to what is seen on Snapchat (called custom Geofilters). The feature is being rolled out gradually, and is not available in India at present.

Users can also create frames for specific locations, events, or just generic frames for everyone to use. While creating the frames, you will have to follow these guidelines, and then submit it to Facebook for review. The social giant claims that the review typically takes up to a week. Once the frame is approved, all users can then use this frame while uploading a profile photo or video on Facebook.

Call drop rate way above benchmark, TRAI says
Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) Chairman RS Sharma has said that the call drop rate in the country is way above the benchmark, and that it will hold a meeting next week with operators Airtel, Vodafone and Reliance Jio. TRAI data says that Idea Cellular’s network did not have any call drops, but Airtel and Vodafone’s failure rates were quite high in many circles.

Google Assistant now open to developers
Google has opened up the Google Assistant virtual helper, introduced with the Allo app and Pixel smartphones earlier this year, to outside developers. Now, developers will be able to build chatbots using a tool called Conversation Actions; this tool will enable them to create bots that answer questions, as well as sell and book things through voice controls. For example, you will be able to say “OK Google, talk to Target” and the chatbot for the retailer will appear to answer your queries.

Vijay Mallya’s Twitter account seemingly hacked by ‘Legion’
Vijay Mallya’s Twitter account has allegedly been hacked by Legion, the collective behind the hacking of the Twitter accounts of the Indian National Congress and its Vice President Rahul Gandhi. The hackers have posted tweets with links to Web archives claimed to include Mallya’s bank accounts, assets, passports, and offshore investments. The hackers also tweeted that more such data dumps will be released in the coming days and warned the liquor baron not to “f**k” with them.

Panasonic Eluga Prim with VoLTE support launched at Rs. 10,290
Panasonic has launched the Eluga Prim smartphone with VoLTE support and preloaded Android for Work in the Indian market at Rs. 10,290. The dual-SIM Panasonic Eluga Prim has a 5-inch HD screen, 1.2GHz quad-core processor, 3GB of RAM, 16GB of inbuilt storage, up to 32GB microSD card expansion, and a 2500mAh battery. The Android 6.0 Marshmallow-powered Panasonic smartphone has a 13-megapixel rear camera, 5-megapixel selfie camera, and fingerprint sensor on the front.

First Spider-Man: Homecoming trailer released
Marvel has released the first trailer for Spider-Man: Homecoming, which marks the second reboot of the film in less than five years, and takes the character back to his school days. The trailer focuses on Tom Holland’s Peter Parker/ Spider-Man, Robert Downey Jr.’s Tony Stark/ Iron Man, and Michael Keaton’s Adrian Toomes/ The Vulture. It shows the titular character’s crime-fighting style as well as school life and friendships, the mentorship by Stark, and the villain of the film, Toomes.

India, Intel partner for real-time water, air quality monitoring
The Indian government has joined hands with chipmaker Intel for research to monitor water and air quality in real-time. As part of this initiative, proposals from academic and research institutions have been sought to set up the online River Water and Air Quality Monitoring (WAQM) systems. The 5-year project will have funding of Rs. 33 crores, and selected submissions will be provided grant-in-aid support.

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