Lemon Aspirational A3 with 3D support, Android 4.0 launched for Rs. 12,000

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Lemon Mobiles have launched a new smartphone, Aspirational A3 for Rs. 12,000.
The latest Aspirational A3 smartphone sports a 4.3-inch qHD display with a resolution of 540×960 pixels. The device is powered by a 1GHz dual-core processor with 1GB of RAM. It includes an 8-megapixel rear camera accompanied by an LED flash and a 2-megapixel front-facing camera. The Lemon Aspirational A3 runs on Android 4.0.4 Ice Cream Sandwich which is disappointing considering that Google has rolled out Android 4.3 Jelly Bean OS. It also has 4GB of internal storage that can be expanded up to 32GB through microSD card.

The device is backed by a 1,640mAh battery that the company claims can deliver up to 7 hours of talk time and 250 hours of standby time.

The company claims that the main feature of the Lemon Aspirational A3 is that it also allows 3D viewing experience without the use of 3D glasses.

Announcing the launch of third phone in Aspirational series, Gopal Kalra, Director Fastrack Communications Pvt. Ltd – the company that owns Lemon brand – said “With Aspirational 3D, the consumers can experience a hassle free real life occurrence which runs on Android 4.0 and is the latest dual-core processor entry by Lemon Mobiles. The 3D smartphone will not only enhance or reduce the depth of captured 3D images but will also yield more effective results when taking landscape pictures and close-up shots”.

Last month, the company launched Lemon A4 that sports 5-inch full-HD display. The smartphone is powered by a 1.2GHz quad-core processor along with 1GB of RAM. It comes with 16GB of internal storage and can be further expanded by up to 64GB.

It is just 8.5mm thick runs on Android 4.2.1 Jelly Bean. For camera, Lemon A4 has a 13.1-megapixel rear camera with LED Flash and a 5-megapixel front-facing shooter. Lemon A4 is a dual-SIM with dual standby. Lemon Mobiles launched the device in the Indian market at a price of Rs. 17,999.

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Lemon Aspirational A3 key specifications

4.3-inch qHD display with a resolution of 540×960 pixels
1GHz dual-core processor
1GB RAM
4GB internal storage, expandable memory up to 32GB with micro SD
8-megapixel rear camera with LED Flash
2-megapixel front-facing camera
Dual-SIM (WCDMA+GSM)
3G, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0, GPS and aGPS
1640 mAh battery
Android 4.0.4 Ice Cream Sandwich

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Microsoft Office comes to Android, but not tablets

NEW YORK: Microsoft is bringing a pared-down version of its Office software to Android phones, but it won’t work on Android tablets just as it doesn’t on iPads.

The software will be available starting Wednesday. It requires a $100-a-year subscription to Office and won’t be sold separately.

The new offering follows the release of an iPhone version in June and brings an Office app to phones running the most widely used operating system on new smartphones.

Microsoft Corp. is trying to make its Office 365 subscription more compelling, without removing an advantage that tablet computers running Microsoft’s Windows system now have _ the ability to run popular Office programs such as Word, Excel and PowerPoint.

“The release of this app shows that we’re committed to keep providing additional value for Office 365 subscribers,” the company wrote in a blog post. “Office 365 subscribers will now be able to access, view, and edit Word, Excel and PowerPoint documents with Windows Phone, iPhone and Android phones.”

Microsoft is pushing subscriptions as a way to get customers to keep paying for a product that was historically sold in a single purchase. The company touts such benefits as the ability to run the package on multiple computers and get updates for free on a regular basis. However, a subscription can be more expensive than buying the package outright for just one or two computers.

Microsoft said it designed Office Mobile for Android phones specifically for small-screen devices, even though many people will prefer editing documents on a tablet’s larger screen. The company has a version for iPads and Android tablets, called Office Web Apps, but that runs on a Web browser and requires a constant online connection. The new Android software is an app that gets installed on the phone and can work offline.

With a subscription, customers typically get to use Office on up to 10 devices. Five of them can be Windows or Mac computers or Windows tablets. The other five can be iPhones or Android phones. Windows phones come with Office installed and do not count toward the limit.

In keeping the software off the iPad, the top-selling tablet computer, Forrester Research analyst J.P. Gownder has estimated that Microsoft is potentially ceding $1.4 billion a year in revenue, based on 10 percent of the 140 million iPad owners paying for a $100 subscription. Gownder said failure to provide it on the iPad or Android tablets gives incentives for users to explore competing offerings such as QuickOffice from Google and iWork from Apple.

Like the other mobile versions, the new Android software is designed for lightweight use. For example, you can use it to view and edit an attachment sent by email. But it’s not meant to create a complex spreadsheet from scratch.

The new software requires Android 4.0 or later _ the Ice Cream Sandwich or Jelly Bean flavors of Google’s operating system. It’s available through Google’s online Play store. At first, it’s available only in the U.S., though Microsoft plans to expand to 117 markets with versions in more than 30 languages.

Microsoft did not announce any plans for BlackBerry phones.

Amazon to launch Kindle Singles ebook of Barack Obama interview US president’s visit to Amazon warehouse continues to spark criticism from the books industry

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President Barack Obama’s decision to give a high-profile speech on jobs and corporate tax rates during a visit to one of Amazon’s distribution centres this week was a coup for the company. Now it’s capitalising elsewhere in its business.

Amazon will launch an ebook under its Kindle Singles imprint on Wednesday based on an interview given by Obama to the imprint’s editor, David Blum, during his visit. GigaOm reports that the ebook will be a free download rather than a paid title.

The visit came as Amazon announced plans to hire more than 5,000 new full-time employees at 17 of its fulfillment centres across the US, increasing its headcount in the facilities by around 25% as part of a wider recruitment drive for 7,000 jobs in its warehouses.

However, Obama’s visit has sparked controversy within the books industry, both from retailers and publishers concerned at the impact Amazon’s growth has had on smaller businesses over the past decade.

“For you to highlight Amazon as a job creator strikes us as greatly misguided,” suggested an open letter to the US president from the American Bookseller’s Association ahead of his visit.

“The news this weekend that Amazon is slashing prices far below cost on numerous book titles is further evidence that it will stop at nothing to garner market share at the expense of small businesses that cannot afford to sell inventory below their cost of acquisition.”

Meanwhile, independent publisher Melville House’s co-founder Dennis Johnson has made waves with a blog post attacking “the obviousness of Amazon’s monopoly” and its relationship with the US government.

“The war seems to be over, and the good guys have lost,” wrote Johnson.

“The only thing that would have stopped Amazon anyway was government intervention, and it’s hard to imagine the DoJ [Department of Justice] opening a proper antitrust investigation of a company that has the president of the United States dropping in to laud the company and spend some time in one of its warehouses.”

The Obama ebook is part of Amazon’s new range of Kindle Singles Interview ebooks, which launched earlier in July with an interview of Israeli president Shimon Peres by journalist David Samuels.

The overall Kindle Singles range of shortform ebooks launched in January 2011, and according to an interview with Blum in the New York Times in April this year, has generated more than 5m sales.

Apple investigates new claims of China factory staff mistreatment

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Apple has been accused of benefiting from the exploitation of more than 70,000 Chinese factory workers in conditions described as even worse than those at Foxconn, the supplier hit by employee suicides and accusations of excessive working hours.

The iPhone and iPad maker is accused of breaching its promise to improve working conditions after the Foxconn revelations by using another supplier alleged to have broken 86 labour laws, including forcing pregnant women to work 11 hours a day, six days a week, standing up.

The US-based human rights watchdog China Labour Watch (CLW) also accused the company in question, Pegatron, of employing underage staff and discriminating against applicants shorter than 4ft 11in, older than 35 or from certain ethic minorities. The fresh claims of worker mistreatment are particularly embarrassing for Apple after it switched some iPhone and iPad manufacturing from Foxconn to Pegatron after intense negative publicity surrounding Foxconn.

Li Qiang, executive director of CLW, said: “Our investigations have shown labour conditions at Pegatron factories are even worse than at Foxconn factories. Apple has not lived up to its own standards. Apple is worsening conditions for workers, not improving them.”

Apple on Monday promised to investigate the claims and ensure “corrective actions” are taken. The company said it would force Pegatron to compensate for lost wages. “We are dedicated to protecting every worker in our supply chain,” a spokesman said. The Californian company said it had carried out 15 comprehensive audits at Pegatron factories since 2007, but admitted that many of the CLW claims were “new to us”. Apple confirmed CLW’s claim that some employment agencies were withholding worker ID cards and demanded Pegatron “put a stop” to it.

Jason Cheng, chief executive of Pegatron, said he would immediately investigate the allegations, many of which the company denied. “We strive to make each day at Pegatron better than the last for our employees. They are the heart of our business,” he said. “That’s why we take these allegations very seriously.”

CLW sent undercover investigators posing as employees into three Pegatron factories and conducted more than 200 interviews with staff. Its 60-page report claimed the majority of Pegatron’s factory staff worked 66- to 69-hour weeks, above the Chinese legal limit of 49 hours and Apple’s limit of 60 hours a week. Apple said its latest Pegatron survey found employees making its products worked 46-hours a week on average.

“In these factories, pregnant women were made to work the same long hours as other workers, putting in 11-hour days for six days per week,” the CLW report said. Chinese law restricts employers from asking pregnant women to work more than eight hours a day.

CLW also claimed Pegatron employs workers under 18 – breaching both Chinese law and Apple’s strict employment code. “Underage workers often enter the factories as student ‘interns’ required to work at factories by vocational schools,” the report said. Pegatron denied that it employed underage staff.

Pegatron, which recently won the contract to make Apple’s forthcoming cheaper iPhone, allegedly displays posters listing “hiring standards” that discriminates against minority groups. The list bans applicants who are less than 4ft 11in, over 35, pregnant, or from the Hui, Tibetan or Uighur ethnic groups. CLW also claimed that male applicants were forced to take off their shirts to prove they did not have tattoos.

It said the average hourly wage of Pegatron workers making Apple products is no more than $1.50 (£0.98) an hour, which it claims is not enough to live on and effectively forces staff to work overtime to earn a living wage.

The undercover investigators also claim Pegatron managers threaten and abuse staff. Managers are alleged to have said: “If you don’t obey, I will expose you to the blazing sun until 12 o’clock.”

The allegations come a year after Apple chief executive Tim Cook visited Foxconn’s Chinese factories and promised regular inspections of working conditions at its biggest suppliers.

“We believe that workers everywhere have the right to a safe and fair work environment, which is why we’ve asked the Fair Labour Assocation [FLA] to independently assess the performance of our largest suppliers,” he said. “The inspections now under way are unprecedented in the electronics industry, both in scale and scope, and we appreciate the FLA agreeing to take the unusual step of identifying the factories in their reports.”

Easy ways to manage Android from your PC

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As any Android power user will tell you, those thousands of contacts, messages & files can be quite hard to manage from the device itself. ET rounds up some of the free tools that make Android management a breeze.

Airdroid 2 http://www.airdroid.com

Airdroid is our favourite app when it comes to managing your Android device from the PC. You get access to your entire phone from a browser window, even if your phone and PC are not on the same WiFi network. You can read & send SMS, reject incoming calls, manage contacts, transfer files, push URL links to the phone, install and remove apps, create ringtones and even locate your phone. What’s more, you can remotely view a live feed from your phone’s front/rear camera. We love it because you don’t need to install drivers on your PC or hunt for a cable for the phone.

Mobogenie http://www.mobogenie.com

Available only for Windows, Mobogenie has a clean user interface with large icons. You can access your phone’s storage to manage media and files, manage contacts and SMS. You can even send messages to multiple recipients from your PC via your phone. The app manager uses your desktop’s internet connection to download apps from Google Play and then installs them on your phone — saving you data charges. You can also backup your entire Android phone to the PC and restore it in case of software issues or when switching to a new device

Moborobo http://www.moborobo.com

One of the most powerful desktop managers, Moborobo works with both Android & iOS devices. You can view the number of contacts, SMS, apps as well as multimedia files on your device through the main window along with details on battery level, firmware and available storage. You can easily take a screenshot of the connected device’s screen and save it on your desktop too. Using the software you can send and reply to SMS, install and remove apps as well as easily switch data between multiple devices. There’s also a backup feature (iPhone needs to be jailbroken).

MOBILedit! Lite http://www.mobiledit.com

The free (Lite)version of this tool is limited and only allows access to basic functions. You can connect your phone via cable, WiFi or Bluetooth and it works with almost all smartphones as well as a few feature phones. You can view details about your device, send text messages, install updates on your device from the PC and transfer files between the PC and smartphone. The paid version (`1,619) lets you remove duplicate contacts, take automatic backups.

SnapPea http://www.snappea.com

One of the few Android desktop managment tools that is available for both Windows and MAC, SnapPea also has a browser based version that works very much like AirDroid. You install the free app on the phone and then access the phone over WiFi in your browser window. You can install and remove apps, view and edit phone contacts, send and receive SMS as well as transfer files between the smartphone and PC. Additionally, SnapPea can also import music from your ITunes library and sync it with the Android smartphone seamlessly

QtADB http://www.qtadb.com

This open source Android management software is available for Windows, MAC and Linux. It has a very basic interface but it provides similar features to the other desktop managers. You can manage contacts, read/send messages, take a screenshot of your device’s display, transfer data and even install or remove apps on your phone from the PC. What makes this one stand out is that it offers the option to flash custom roms to your device. You can wipe, root, load a custom rom and boot into recovery mode on any connected Android device.

pocket.do http://pocket.do

If you feel AirDroid is a bit too complicated, check out pocket.do. It works in a similar way (using a browser window) and does not require the phone and PC to be on the same WiFi network. There are options to connect the device using Google or Facebook accounts or by scanning the QR code in the browser (a separate barcode scanner app has to be installed). Once connected, you can manage contacts, read/send SMS and transfer photos. Additionally, it also lets you locate your device on a map, lock it and view a live feed from your phone’s rear camera.

Android fragmentation ‘worse than ever’ – but OpenSignal says that’s good

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The Android device landscape is increasingly dominated by Samsung, according to new data compiled by Opensignal, which found that smartphones and tablets from the South Korean company made up 47.5% of all Android systems using its app.

But the operating system itself “is the most fragmented it has ever been,” say the developers behind a highly popular app used for checking signal strengths.

The findings emerge from an annual report on the state of the Android device market, following a similar one – with the same number of downloads – carried out in 2012.

They also found that the complexity of the Android installed base has expanded almost threefold, rising from 3,997 different makes and models of devices at this time in 2012 to 11,868 now. The data was gathered from the 682,000 most recent downloads of its app out of a 4m lifetime total.

The breadth of data makes it one of the most comprehensive and open reports on the state of the Android market in Europe and the US; while Google provides some detail about the versions of Android connecting to its Google Play store each month, it does not break that down by manufacturer or model.

The extent of the “fragmentation” of Android – in which older versions are still used alongside much newer ones – is also laid bare by the data, which shows that there were eight different versions in use, of which 37.9% were on Android 4.1, aka “Jelly Bean” – slightly above the 32.3% figure Google shows for the proportion which accessed its store using that version of its OS.

OpenSignal’s app for Android and iPhone provides details of mobile coverage including maps, signal strength and available nearby Wi-Fi networks.

The astonishing complexity of the devices being used is shown in a treemap of devices, contrasting 2012 and 2013. The size of the square is proportional to the number of those devices using the OpenSignal app.

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2012) and S2 dominate the top spots, with the Galaxy Note 2 showing up third. The Galaxy S4, released in May 2013, has already pushed its way to the fourth spot. All but one of the top ten devices is from Samsung; the 10th is the Nexus 4, the cut-price high-end smartphone made by LG for Google.

“Despite the problems, fragmentation also has a great number of benefits for both developers and users,” notes Samuel Johnston of OpenSignal. “The availability of cheap Android phones (rarely running the most recent version) means that they have a much greater global reach than [Apple’s iPhone software] iOS, so app developers have a wider audience to build for. It may be tricky to do, but the potential reward definitely makes it worthwhile. For consumers, extreme fragmentation means that they can get exactly the phone they want – big or small, cheap or expensive, with any number of different feature combinations.” The data also points to a revival for Sony and LG, which a year ago had looked to be knocked out of the market – but have come back into view with the help of their corporate parents. Taiwan’s HTC, meanwhile, which warned on Tuesday that it will probably make a loss in the third quarter, was pushed below Chinese rivals Huawei and ZTE in the share of devices using the app.

Samsung dominates with 47.5%. “Some of the brand names shown as different in the graphic are part of the same company, i.e. Moto and Motorola are the same and HTC is shown as split up into its different regional variants,” explained Johnston. “But even when unified under one umbrella name Motorola only ends up with a 4.2% share and HTC even less at 3.9%.”

A graph showing the market share of the most common API level also points to increasing fragmentation at the OS level. When the most common API level has a high market share, it indicates that more devices have a common OS. But having hit a peak of over 60% in July 2011, when Android 2.3 “Gingerbread” dominated, the most-used API now is a later version of Gingerbread which only has around 35% share. That compares to 95% of iOS devices accessing Apple’s App Store which are running iOS 6, the latest version.http://Newtechtune.tk/