Category Archives: Electronics

Google introduces Tez, its India-focused digital payment solution

Empowering government’s Digital India drive, Google has come up with yet another India focused application made for digital payment. Google Tez, the newly launched app is designed especially for smartphone users in India but will work on web browser as well. Like most other payment apps, Tez lets you send and receive money, and also allows to pay for your purchases.

While a lot of us were awaiting Android Pay support in India, Google decided to customise the experience focused on Indian users. The Tez app is based on Unified Payment Interface (UPI), which came into existence soon after demonetisation, to boost digital economy of the country. The app is available on both Android and iOS devices.

Like most other conventional digital payment app, it works as a mobile wallet and allows users to transfer money directly from the bank account. Unlike PayTm, Tez doesn’t ask its users to top up money into the app, instead it links the wallet directly to your bank account and the transaction is done in straight in the bank account. Most UPI based payment apps allow transactions up to Rs 1,00,000 and up to 20 transfers a day, similarly the Tez app also works on alike set of rules. It allows instant money transfer with no transaction fee.

“Send money home to your family, split a dinner bill with friends, or pay the neighbourhood chaiwala. Make all payments big or small, directly from your bank account with Tez, Google’s new digital payment app for India,” says Google.

Tez app supports various banks like HDFC Bank, ICICI, State Bank of India, Axis and several other banks that support UPI. You can pay at Dominos, Redbus, Jet Airways and more using Tez. Moreover, the app is available in multiple local languages including Hindi, Bengali, Gujarati, Marathi, Tamil, Kannada and Telugu. Google has partnered with Nokia, Panasonic, Xolo, Micromax and Lava, users buying phones from any of these companies will get Tez app pre-installed.

Although Google is a little late to the party, but it still has a huge scope of adoption as majority of India’s population is still moving towards e-payment options. As we all know, India is developing economy, where there’s more potential for adoption of mobile based banking and payments. Google is expecting that digital payments in India could hit $500 billion by 2020, thanks to better availability of faster internet and increasing number of smartphone users.

      

Bing will now fact check your news for you too

It can be hard to tell fact from fiction these days, but to make the job a little easier, Microsoft is adding new tools to its Bing search engine that should spot the worst fake news stories before they have a chance to be widely reported as genuine.

Google rolled out a similar feature last year that it expanded back in April, and it’s an issue the likes of Facebook and Twitter have had to deal with as well. With so much information out there, how do you know who you can trust (besides TechRadar of course)?

In Bing’s case the search site will throw up what it calls “fact check labels” next to stories of a dubious nature – in practice that means you might see a debunking link from Snopes or PolitiFact next to the news or the article you were originally looking for.

A trustworthy internet

Bing says these sort of labels are going to be popping up in a broad range of categories covering news, health, science and politics, and if webmasters want to prove they’re on the level they can add certain references and backup links to their original posts.

“The label may be used on both news articles and web pages that Bing has determined contain fact check information to allow users to have additional information to judge for themselves what information on the internet is trustworthy,” says the Bing team.

The new features are unlikely to be able to spot every fake news story but they should at least filter out the worst offenders from your search results. The latest stats show Bing has climbed to a 33% share of the desktop market in the US and 26% in the UK.

      

The best free screen capture software 2016

Snapping a screengrab is rarely as simple as just taking a picture of your desktop. There’s a reason behind every screenshot – whether it’s posterity, demonstration or preservation – which means each particular case needs something special.

That’s why we’ve selected our top five tools for doing more with your screenshots, like adding annotations and fancy adornments, using custom hotkeys, or even accurately capturing specific screen regions without the need to resort to additional software to get the job done. The days of hitting [PrtScn] and pasting your shot into Microsoft Paint are over.

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Screenshot Captor seems to have ideas a little above its station. Far from just being a screenshot app – and, rest easy, it does do that – it’ll grab images from your webcam, and it even includes a full suite of scanning tools to make sure your documents look their best.

But those advanced features don’t stop there. Ever wanted to capture the contents of a scrolling window? It’ll do that automatically, and even trim the margins for you. Need to capture a screen region of a fixed size? Piece of cake. Splicing areas out of screenshots, annotating, interfacing with advanced image editors, blurring areas you don’t want seen? It’s all here.

If there’s a downside, Screenshot Captor little esoteric in terms of its general interface, but the important bits are all well explained and easy to grasp. It’s donationware, so while it’s free to use, make sure you chip a little bit into the pot if Screenshot Captor is something you use regularly.

Review and where to download: Screenshot Captor

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Download SnapDraw Free

With SnapDraw Free, there’s no need for a separate image editor – it can annotate, crop and edit images captured from your screen or webcam in any way you see fit

If you’re capturing screenshots for something that needs to be well presented – a user manual, perhaps – it pays to put in a little effort. Or at least you would if SnapDraw Free didn’t do absolutely everything for you: borders, backgrounds and even awesome-looking fading reflections are all available by simply clicking a check box. What’s more, you can dig down when it comes to capturing, taking shots of everything from multiple monitors at once all the way down to a single object within a window.

It’s not quite a fire-and-forget screenshot tool, but that’s not a negative. There are ton of annotation features, you can layer individually captured windows and elements on top of a single screenshot, and there are even 3D transformation tools available to give your shots some action.

Oh, and you can even automatically upload your images to an FTP server or email them. That’s a lot of features.

Download here: Snapdraw Free

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Download Gadwin PrintScreen free

Gadwin PrintScreen is simple to use, and so convenient you’ll wonder how you ever managed without it

Gadwin PrintScreen is the screenshot app we regularly turn to here at TechRadar, and for good reason. It’s streamlined and extremely convenient, sitting quietly in the system tray until you need it.

When you do, it’s either bound to a hotkey of your choice – handy if you need the mouse cursor in shot – or accessible from a handy auto-hiding control panel that disappears when you fire off a screenshot, capture a window, or snip a rectangular area.

Annotation and image editing is sadly locked away in its paid-for Professional edition (US$24.95, about £18.94, AU$33.35), but Gadwin Printscreen doesn’t leave you entirely stranded; it can automatically add shadows or watermarks to your images, save them in a number of formats, resize them automatically, or run an image editor of your choice immediately after capture.

The latter ability means you can effectively extend its abilities – point it at Microsoft Paint for rudimentary sketching and cropping, or a more powerful free image editor if you wish.

Download here: Gadwin PrintScreen

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Download Steam free

PC gaming platform and marketplace Steam has its own screen capture tool that works with any game you’re playing

Don’t be too baffled. Yes, Steam is primarily a way of buying and downloading games. But it also applies its own overlay when you’re playing games, one which (among other things) allows you to take screenshots.

If you’ve ever tried to take game shots using Windows’ built-in tools (or even some of the other software we’ve listed here) you’ll know why this is important – the advanced graphics modes that games apply usually leave you with a grey image and the moment completely lost.

You’re not restricted only to games available through Steam, either – just about everything you own can be added to your Steam library manually, and as long as you launch it through Steam you’ll get the benefit of its overlay, which defaults to using [F12] as a screenshot key.

Shots are usually saved to an obscure folder which differs for each game, so check up on them through Steam’s View > Screenshots menu, then right-click and select ‘Show on disk’ to find out where they are.

Download here: Steam

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Try Windows Snipping Tool free

Windows has its own built-in screen capture tool. It has fewer features than the downloadable alternatives, but might be all you need for simple tasks

Included with the majority of Windows systems since the XP days, the Snipping Tool is an oft-ignored app tucked away in the deepest recesses of the Start menu.

It’s simple, but it has the power to take useful screen captures. Not only can you grab fullscreen images, rectangles and the current active window, it’s also capable of performing free-form snips: drag your mouse around the area on screen you’re interested in highlighting and it’ll bring in only those pixels within your sketch.

You can scribble on your shots with rudimentary pen and highlighter tools, set a delay on captures if you need to set something specific up, but that’s literally it: the Snipping Tool is very, very basic when it comes down to it, and most of the time you’ll be better off using Windows’ built-in screenshot tools unless you want to capture a very specific region.

      

Chrome will block annoying autoplay videos in 2018

The Chrome web browser is tackling one of the most annoying things about browsing the internet these days: auto playing videos that blast out music and sound, even if you have no interest in the video.

Starting from Chrome 64, which is due to be released in January 2018, autoplay media will only be allowed if the media doesn’t play sound, of if the user has shown interest in the video.

According to a post on the Chromium Blog this will “allow autoplay to occur when users want media to play, and respect users’ wishes when they don’t”.

A less annoying web

This is great news for anyone who has entered a website and been shocked as a video starts automatically playing, regardless of whether you wanted it to or not. By only playing silent videos, users won’t be caught off guard.

If you have clicked on the site, added the site to your smartphone or tablet’s home screen, or have played media frequently on the website before, then Chrome will autoplay the video as usual, as it will assume you have an interest in the video.

Not only will blocking autoplaying videos make for a more enjoyable user experience, it will also help improve the battery life of mobile devices and cut down on data usage. Another nice side effect could be content creators working harder to make videos that you actually want to watch.

Another new option in Chrome 63 will be the ability to completely mute audio for individual websites, so you can browse without having your speakers hijacked by repeat offenders.

Via The Verge

      

Motorola confirms list of Moto phones receiving Android 8.0 Oreo update

The Android 8.0 Oreo update was released last month, but so far only a handful of devices have received the update. In the meantime, companies like HTC, Sony and Nokia confirmed which of their devices will be updated to the latest version of Android. Today, Motorola joins that list of companies, with the Android 8.0 Oreo update confirmed for several devices across its line-up.

The Lenovo-owned company won’t be updating the Moto G4 series and older generation Moto X series devices. For a brief recap, the Moto G4 series was launched last year with Android 6.0 Marshmallow. Motorola has rolled out the Android 7.0 Nougat update for these devices earlier this year.

Moto devices eligible for Android 8.0 Oreo update

Motorola will be updated a total of 10 devices across the Moto Z, Moto X and the Moto G series to Android 8.0 Oreo.

Motorola says that it will start rolling out the Android 8.0 Oreo update for its devices starting from fall, which begins later this month. To recall, the Android 8.0 Oreo update brings several improvements and features, ranging from power efficiency to user interface enhancements.

One of the major new additions to Oreo is Background Limits, which prevents rogue apps from abusing the location permission hundreds of times every hour. Another important new feature is Picture in Picture mode that allows users to an app in a full window with another app in a small window.

The Oreo update also brings Autofill APIs that let you enter usernames and passwords using password managers in a much more efficient manner.

      

iPhone X overhauled Apple’s phone, but don’t expect new MacBooks and iPads in 2017

Don’t expect Apple to deliver a new MacBooks or iPad between now and the end of the year, even though it just gave us an iPhone X redesign, a refreshed its iPhone 8, LTE Apple Watch 3, and 4K Apple TV.

The iPhone 8 and 8 Plus got new features, like wireless charging, a new glass design and a spec bump up. The Apple Watch 3 earned its own LTE connection. And, the new Apple TV is ready for 4K.

Then there’s the iPhone X, which came with a huge design overhaul, along with dual cameras, facial recognition technology and playful Animoji, among other things. Introducing new MacBooks and iPads would just see them lost in the mix.

MacBooks and iPads already had an update early

The MacBook line already received a refresh back in June. Another refresh this soon wouldn’t make much sense, and would likely feel like a slap in the face to anyone who just bought a new MacBook. Expect new MacBooks running on updated Intel Kaby Lake R processors to come next spring.

The iPad refresh is another story. Phones keep getting bigger, and are cutting into the tablet space. There are rumors the iPad Mini line might even be completely done. Since the iPhone X has a pretty big screen and an astronomical price, Apple would be smart to avoid launching another device with a big screen device with a high price anywhere near it. We expect a new iPad Pro 3 next spring as well.

Even if there aren’t new iPads and MacBooks coming between now and the end of the year, you will still be able to find existing models on store shelves this holiday season. You should have no trouble finding great deals on iPads and MacBooks especially around Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

      

Kindle Paperwhite at £79.99 is cheaper than the best Black Friday deals

Amazon’s Kindle Paperwhite is the best value ereader on the market, even at the usual £109.99 price tag. You can save a massive £30 today though as Tesco has knocked it down to £89, then you can use a voucher code to take another tenner off the asking price. This is, quite simply, the best Kindle Paperwhite deal we’ve ever seen and £10 cheaper than the best Black Friday deals.

This excellent Kindle deal is available for both the black and white versions too. Be quick though, the voucher might not expire for a few days, but the already-discounted price could go back up to £109 at any time.

With the basic entry level Kindle priced at £59.99, the far superior Kindle Paperwhite is just £19 more. This is excellent value considering you get almost double the PPI resolution, making for much clearer text on the screen.

Better yet, this is the cheapest of the Kindle range with a built-in light. The light shines onto the screen from the edge, rather than through it into your face, so it’s much easier on the eyes than reading a tablet at night. If you fancy a look at the full range of Kindle devices, including the Fire tablets, head on over to our Kindle deals page.

      

JP Morgan CEO publicly denounces Bitcoin as ‘currency for criminals’

While the rest of the world is racing to invest in cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Ethereum, the boss of America’s largest bank believes that Bitcoin is a scam that is doomed to fail.

Jamie Dimon, the CEO of JP Morgan, shared his thoughts on cryptocurrency during a conference in New York, revealing that he would fire any of his workers found out to be trading or investing in Bitcoin.

“For two reasons: it’s against our rules, and they’re stupid,” he said. “And both are dangerous. The currency isn’t going to work. You can’t have a business where people can invent a currency out of thin air and think that people who are buying it are really smart.”

Dimon’s opinion that Bitcoin will fail may be an unpopular one, but the CEO continued, saying:

“If you were in Venezuela or Ecuador or North Korea or a bunch of parts like that, of if you were a drug dealer, a murderer, stuff like that, you are better of doing it in bitcoin than US dollars.”

There may be some truth in Dimon’s words as Bitcoin did initially gain popularity in underground markets dealing with money laundering and online crime and for this reason no government has officially adopted the digital currency.

The declaration from one of America’s biggest banks had a significant negative effect on the value of Bitcoin, which fell by six per cent on Wednesday.

Dimon’s statement has unsurprisingly caused waves in the wider finance industry, with David Coker, lecturer in accounting, finance and governance at Westminster Business School, wondering whether Jamie Dimon’s criticism of the cryptocurrency will apply to JP Morgan’s own proprietary crypto ledger Quorum.

“Jamie Dimon’s recent comments regarding Bitcoin were particularly ironic – a financial intermediary criticising and predicting doom for an innovation that removes intermediaries from financial transactions? Hardly surprising,” he noted.

“What is surprising however is that even as Mr Dimon openly criticises Bitcoin, JP Morgan is quietly advancing its own, proprietary crypto ledger, Quorum. Quorum is based on Ethereum, a blockchain project broadly similar to but somewhat different than Blockchain, which backs Bitcoin. So one can’t help but wonder if Mr Dimon’s comments regarding cryptocurrencies would apply to JP Morgan’s own offerings, should they come to market?”

      

Google is planning to launch mobile payment service in India

Getting on the digital payments bandwagon in India, Google has announced to launch a similar service in the country. Touted as Tez, the service will be introduced by next week, reports a domestic news website, The Ken.

Tez, which means fast in India, will be supporting the government’s payment service called Unified Payments Interface and other consumer payment services including Paytm and Mobikwik. Also, it will offer a comprehensive set of payment options beyond existing products like Google Wallet or Android Pay, claims the website.

The demand of digital payments in India increased especially after demonetization. Digital platforms like Paytm saw a huge rise in the number of users and became the country’s largest mobile payment service provider with over 150 million wallets and 75 million Android based app downloads post demonetization. The government also launched the BHIM app to promote cashless transactions in the country.

According to a report published in the Mint, Google, Facebook Inc and WhatsApp Inc are in talks with NPCI to provide UPI-enable payment on their platforms.

To recap, UPI is basically a payment system that is launched by the National Payments Corporation of India which facilitates the instant fund transfer between two bank accounts on the mobile platforms. It is regulated by the Reserve Bank of India.

Apart from this, the growth in the Indian mobile industry which is growing at a rate of over 200 million per year, is cited as a major contributor towards the increased demand in such services.

      

Windows 10 will get a privacy boost with Fall Creators Update

Microsoft is set to further bolster Window 10’s privacy tools in the upcoming Fall Creators Update, having revealed new changes people can expect when they download the free update from October 17.

In a blog post Marisa Rogers, Windows Devices & Group Privacy Officer, explains the new features that will be added to Windows 10 with the Fall Creators Update.

Two of the major changes to how Windows 10 handles your private information occur in the setup process. During installation, users will be able to access an in-depth Privacy Statement that will explain the privacy implications of the data that Microsoft wants to collect, and what it does with that data.

Users will get quick access to this screen during installation

Many people won’t want to read pages of text, so Microsoft is also adding a ‘Learn More’ button to the privacy settings screen, which takes you directly to specific settings for location, speech recognition, diagnostics, tailored experiences, and ads in Windows 10.

As Rogers says, “We want you to have all the information about your privacy setting options readily available so that you can make an informed decision about your privacy and how your data is used.”

A new permissions prompt will appear when you install apps from the Windows Store

Better control over app permissions

The Fall Creators Update will also add privacy prompts when you download and install apps from the Windows Store. Once the app is installed, you’ll be asked to provide permission for the app if it wants access to important functions on your device, such as your camera or microphone, or if it wants to access the data in your contacts list, calendar and more.

This will work in a similar way to how apps need to ask permission to access your data on Android and iOS devices, so we’re pleased to see it implemented here. It’s worth pointing out, however, that apps you’ve already installed from the Windows Store will not have those permission prompts – you’ll need to go into Privacy settings in Windows 10 to change them. It also won’t affect apps or programs you don’t install through Windows Store.

The Fall Creators Update will also give businesses using Windows 10 Enterprise a greater degree of control over how much diagnostic data is shared with Microsoft.

When it launched, Windows 10 was plagued by privacy concerns, and it looks like Microsoft is continuing to hand more control back to its customers over what private data is shared, while being more transparent over what it does with the information. Will it be enough to curtail the criticisms? Time will tell.