Gionee Marathon M5 Lite With 4000mAh Battery Launched

Gionee last month launched its Marathon M5 smartphone and it is set to launch a bumped-up version, called Marathon M5 Plus on December 21. However, to everyone’s surprise the company has launchedGionee Marathon M5 Lite in China. The smartphone is listed on the company’s shopping website priced at CNY 999 (roughly Rs. 10,000).

Like other members of the Marathon series, the highlight of the Gionee Marathon M5 Lite is its big battery. It is backed by a 4000mAh Li-Po battery, which is rated to deliver up to 40 hours of talk time, 68 hours of music playback, 3 days of regular use and 39 days of standby time. The handset can charge other smartphones as well.

The Gionee Marathon M5 Lite runs Amigo 3.0 based on Android 5.1 Lollipop, and is a dual-SIM dual standby smartphone with 4G LTE connectivity(Indian bands supported). It features a 5-inch HD (720×1280 pixel) IPS display with pixel density of 293 ppi, and is powered by a 64-bit 1.3GHz quad-core MediaTek MT6735 SoC, clubbed with 1GB RAM and Mali-T720 GPU.

The smartphone sports 16GB of built-in storage that can be expanded via microSD card (up to 128GB). It features an 8-megapixel autofocus rear camera with CMOS sensor and LED-flash, and a 5-megapixel front camera, as per the listing. Measuring 143×69.9×8.5mm, the Marathon M5 Lite weighs 182 grams.

As for connectivity, the Gionee Marathon M5 Lite includes Bluetooth 4.0, GPS, Wi-Fi, and MicroUSB connectivity. Ambient light sensor, gravity sensor, and proximity sensors also come housed inside the Marathon M5 Lite. As per the company, the smartphone is made of aviation-grade aluminium alloy. There’s no word yet on India price or availability.

Google Working on Split Screen Multitasking; Could Debut With Android N

Android users may finally get split screen multi-tasking support in Android N, the next major version of Google’s operating system. Google’s Pixel team on Thursday in a Reddit AUA (Ask Us Anything) sessionrevealed bits about the company’s future plans.

Andrew Bowers, Director for Consumer Hardware, while replying to a question about split screen feature said, “We’re working on lots of things right now for N that, of course, we wish we had, you know, yesterday. But we’d spoil the surprise of N if we shared all of them. Split screen is in the works!”

While Bowers’ reply didn’t directly link split screen multi-tasking and Android N, reading between the lines and the fact it is a major change, it’s likely that it would be introduced in a major update like Android N. Obviously, as of now, there is no word whether the feature will be supported by tablets, phones, or both.

google_pixel_team_twitterfeed.jpgTo recall, Apple introduced the split-view feature with iOS 9 this year and it has been limited to tablets. The first iOS tablets to support split-view are the iPad Air 2, iPad Pro, and iPad mini 4.

Android N wasn’t the only topic of discussion. On being asked about Pixel C’s name, Glen Murphy, Director of UX for Android and Chrome, explained that the difference between Pixel and Nexus brands. “Pixel is Google designed hardware; Nexus is hardware we work closely with partners to design,” Murphy said.

One of the Reddit users asked why Google chose to leave support for “Ok Google” hot word when the screen if off on the Pixel C. Kevin Tom, Product Manager for Pixel C, confirmed that the company was working on always-on “Ok Google” support for a future update.

Google’s Project Loon Will Interfere With Cellular Transmissions, Says Telecom Minister

Google’s Project Loon, through which the online search giant plans to provide Internet connectivity using balloons, will interfere with cellular transmissions of mobile operators in India, the government said on Friday.

“The proposed frequency band to be used in the Loon Project of Google is being used for cellular operations in India and it will lead to interference with cellular transmissions,” Telecom Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said in a written reply to the Rajya Sabha.

The statement of the Minister assumes significance in the backdrop of call drop problem faced by consumers due to poor network quality.

On a query that whether there are technical glitches in according approval to Project Loon, the Minister replied in affirmative.

Google, under its Project Loon, is using big balloons floating at a height of 20 kilometres above earth surface for transmission of Internet services. It has already tested this technology in New Zealand, California (the US) and Brazil.

As per Google, each balloon can provide connectivity to a ground area about 40 km in diameter using a wireless communications technology called LTE or 4G.

To use LTE or 4G, Project Loon partners with telecom companies to share cellular spectrum so that people will be able to access the Internet everywhere directly from their phones and other LTE-enabled devices.

Google uses solar panel and wind to power electronic equipment in the balloon throughout the day.

National Roaming Charges: MPs Urge Merging Of Maharastra, Mumbai Circles

In a bid to reduce consumer bills, 10 Maharashtra MPs have submitted a representation to Union Telecom Minister Ravishankar Prasad, asking for the merger of Mumbai and Maharashtra circles.

 

“Presently, Mumbai and Maharashtra are treated as two different circles. Users of Mumbai have to pay national roaming charges while travelling within Maharashtra and similarly users of Maharashtra using mobile in Mumbai have to pay national roaming charges,” the MPs in their letter to the Telecom minister stated.

“In whole over India, including Kolkata-West Bengal, Chennai-Tamil Nadu, Hyderabad-Andhra Pradesh, etc. all states are treated as a single circle (state). Only in Maharashtra, Mumbai and Maharashtra are treated as two different circles and users have to pay the national roaming charges while travelling/talking in Mumbai and vice-versa,” they argued.

They further said the Telecom companies are generating “additional revenue/ double revenue” from consumers by keeping Mumbai and Maharashtra two separate circles.

“The Ministry/Industry/Trai was supposed to make whole of India as one circle but for various reasons the execution of ‘One India’ is delayed,” the letter read.

The delegation of BJP and Shiv Sena MPs, was led by Kirit Somaiya and Gopal Shetty, and included Nana Patole, Chintaman Wanga, Ravindra Gaikwad, Shrirang Barne, Sanjay Dhotre, Vinayak Raut, Kapil Patil and Sadashiv Lokhande.

According to an MP, if their request is accepted, consumer bills will reduce by Rs. 80 to Rs. 200 depending on number of inter-circle calls.