Google Will Soon Be Killing Legacy Versions of Drive, Docs, Sheets and Slides

A few days after WhatsApp announced its discontinuation of service for older devices, Google seems to be on a killing spree.

The company announced on its blog yesterday that it will no longer support some older versions of its productivity suite from April 3. These apps include cloud storage management app Google Drive, a word processor called Docs, a presentation application called Slides and a spreadsheet application called Google Sheets.

All apps mentioned above are available on Android and iOS. The post says apps for both platforms will be killed-off.

Google will send push notifications to users who will be affected. The notification will ask users to update their apps to a newer version from the Google Play Store or iOS App Store.

Here is the list of the apps that will be killed:

iOS

  • Google Drive for iOS (before version 4.16)
  • Google Docs for iOS (before version 1.2016.12204)
  • Google Sheets for iOS (before version 1.2016.12208)
  • Google Slides for iOS (before version 1.2016.12203)

Android

  • Google Drive for Android (before version 2.4.311)
  • Google Docs for Android (before version 1.6.292)
  • Google Sheets for Android (before version 1.6.292)
  • Google Slides for Android (before version 1.6.292)

Google further clears that users on new versions of the app won’t be affected at all, and if someone wants to continue using the services, they will have to upgrade to new versions.

While new versions add some new features and refine the UI, In my experience, I have seen people refuse to update because they have an older device and new apps are a bit too much for it to handle. In some cases, users refuse to update apps because they like the old app that they have became familiar with.

That will no longer be in this case, Docs and other apps use Google’s online services and new that Google has decided to pull the plug there will be no way to keep using these apps.

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Now You Can Use PayTM to Buy Stuff From Google Play Store

paytm

While making payments via credit cards is not a big deal in developed countries, A lot of Indian users don’t have credit cards to pay for services and apps on Google Play Store.

Google has tried to solve the problem by introducing carrier billing which is available for Airtel, Idea and Vodaphone postpaid accounts, however, it is still not enough to cover all the users.

Indian mobile wallet PayTM seems to have found a solution, however. The company announced that it would let customers buy Google Play Store credit so that users who don’t have a credit card can make payments using their debit cards.

To buy something from Google Play Store, first, you will need to open the PayTM app on the phone. Then, after tapping on Google Play Store icon within the app, you can then enter the amount. Once you have entered the amount, you can either pay money to PayTM using your debit card or you can use your credit if you have some.

PayTM will then generate you a Google Play Voucher. Once the voucher is created, you can copy the text and enter it on Google Play Store to complete the payment.

While it is certainly not an evolutionary idea, it is an interesting way to deal with the problem.

Google has an official list of gift card retailers, but at the time of writing, it does not list PayTM as official vendor.

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World’s First Google Tango Phone Launched In India

Google has been trying to compete with Microsoft in Augmented Reality with the launch of its new AR platform named Project Tango. Computer maker Lenovo partnered up with Google to produce the first Project Tango Phone for market launched, and today, the company launched the phone in India.

The phone will be a Flipkart exclusive, and it will cost Rs 29,990 online.

While Phab 2 is probably not the world’s most compact phone -it’s probably the opposite of that- the phone has some cool features to justify its price. The phone has advanced motion sensors, infrared camera, and a 16-megapixel rear RGB camera to power the augmented reality features built for Google Tango.

Lenovo Phab 2

Apart from the hardware made to support Google Tango, Lenovo has put some beefy specs on the phone too. The front of the phone is dominated by an enormous 6.4-inch QHD IPS Display and an 8-megapixel front camera for selfies. Powering the phone is an octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 SoC that has been tweaked to support AR features. The phone has 4 GB of RAM, and it comes with 64 GB of Internal storage which can be expanded up to 128 GB using microSD card.

Tango apps are more resource intensive than standard apps and to keep the phone powered, it comes with 4050mAh battery, which, at lease according to Lenovo, can last for 15 hours. The phone also has Dolby Audio 5.1 capture technology to record 3D audio.

Software wise, Lenovo will ship the phone with Google Android 6.0 marshmallow with Tango apps added.

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Android’s Instant Tethering Will Let You Get Online Without Even Unlocking The Phone

In case you haven’t noticed earlier, All Android Phones have a tethering feature that lets you use your mobile internet on your tablet or laptop using a wi-fi hotspot, Bluetooth or data cable. While it is quite useful (I am using it right now, to publish this on Getting Geek), if you need to do it frequently, it can be a little tedious to set it up as you need to tap the screen more than just a few times.

It looks like Google is fixing this in an upcoming update to the OS. As Android Police spotted, the search giant is adding a new feature called ‘Instant Tethering’ that will let you connect via tethering automatically.

Instant Tethering will link up to devices using the same Google Account to make going online should you loose internet connection on your device. Once configured, if a device loses internet connectivity, it will notify you and then ask you if you want to connect using your phone. Once you agree, the connection signal is sent via Bluetooth.

Credit: Android Police

Instant Tethering will work with devices running Android 6.0 Marshmallow and the first devices to get this feature will be Nexus and Pixel Tablets and phones, which makes sense.  The feature is installed on devices using Google Play Services, but just updating it won’t work as there are some server side components too.

Instant Tethering will work with other phones too, but I think it will make more sense with tablet devices running Android as not all tablets support LTE or other mobile networks via SIM cards.

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Galaxy S7 And S7 Edge Are Finally Getting Android 7.0 Nougat Update

After testing the beta version of the update for weeks, Samsung is ready to ship the latest version of Google Android to its users, well, at least for S7 and S7 Edge users.

Users have reported that the update began last week, but Samsung only today acknowledged the news and the company also stated that some other phones would also get the update in the upcoming months.

Galaxy A5
Galaxy A5

Apart from The Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge, Samsung will update S6, S6 Edge, and S6 Edge+. Apart from S series, Note 5, Galaxy A3 and A8 will also receive the update. While there is no release date, we can expect it to begin within the first two-quarters of the year.

The Android 7.0 already includes some new and refined features to the mobile operating system. After receiving the OS from Google, OEMs like Samsung, HTC, etc.featues, add and modify features as per their liking. The Smartphonen giant has done some major UI changes  that include a new quick panel and notifications, better multi-window support, a performace mode and Samsung Pass.

In past Samsung phones had multi-window support, but it was limited to very little amount of apps, with the Nougat Update, multi window will support a lot more apps than the past. The notification tray has been improved with inline replies and some other tweaks to minimize the taps required to complete a task.

The update adds some modes into the devices, the first one being a game mode that includes a game launcher and some other gaming related tweaks. Second, There is an entertainment mode that tries to enhance audio, and display quality and the last one will be a performance mode to increase phone’s speed.

In the past, mobile phone manufacturers have been crappy when it came to providing Android updates; it is good to see Samsung taking current steps.

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Xiaomi Just Launched Redmi Note 4 With 2 Day Battery Life

Since the launch of Redmi Note 3, Xiaomi has proved to be the cheap smartphone king in India and other developing countries. The last phone was premium enough for the price and performed a whole lot better than other phones from the same price tag.

It looks like Xiaomi is aiming for the same spot again with its new Redmi Note 4. The Chinese smartphone maker announced the new phone today in India’s capital New Delhi and specs and build looks very impressive for its announced price.

Probably the biggest win for Xiaomi might be phone’s battery life that company is claiming that it can last two days. Xiaomi says that Redmi Note 4’s battery lasts almost 70% longer than Google’s flagship phone, the Google Pixel. If true, it is huge considering Pixel itself has a very good battery life.

Redmi Note 4
Redmi Note 4

The Redmi Note 4 has a 5.5-inch display with a full HD resolution, and it looks a lot like Xiomi’s Mi Max which was launched in last year’s may.

Inside the phone are its guts. A Snapdragon 625 processor and an Adreno 506 GPU paired with RAM varying from 2 GB up to 4GB depending on the SKU.

The phone has a 13-megapixel camera with a flash and a fingerprint sensor on the back, and the front is devoted to the screen and some capacitive touch buttons at the bottom. The battery is 4,100 mAh, while it is not as big as the Lenovo phone launched recently, it should be enough to keep Xiaomi’s claims.

The front camera is 5 megapixel and the just like other phones from the company, Redmi Note 4 will support dual 4G SIM Cards. There is an infrared sensor at the top to control TVs and home entertainment systems too if you are into that.

The Note 4 will come with Android 6.0 Marshmellow with Xiaomi’s MIUI 8 running on top of it, but you will be able to install Android 7.0 once the beta is available.

There are three variants of the phone:

  • 2GB RAM and 32 GB storage for Rs 10,000 ($150)
  • 3GB RAM and 32 GB storage for Rs 11,000 ($161)
  • 4GB RAM and 64 GB storage for Rs 13,000 ($190)

While the pricing of the phone is attractive enough to get Xiaomi some significant sales numbers, I don’t like the approach of flash sales on its site or  Indian Online retailer Flipkart.

What do you think about the phone? Share with us in the comments below.

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Everything We Know About The Upcoming Nokia P1 With 6GB RAM

Nokia is now owned by HMD Global, and after forming the company properly, the firm has consistently been working to release new Android power smartphone under the Nokia Brand.

The Nokia 6 was recently launched in China which was a mid-range smartphone. The phone had some decent specifications for the price, but it is not able to take on with other higher end smartphones in the market.

To compete in the high end of the smartphone market, the company is planning to release a new flagship phone called Nokia P1. While the company has been secretive about the phone and its specifications, a Russian publication called Worket has found some interesting information about the upcoming phone.

It Won’t Be a Completely New Design

While Nokia 6 seems to be designed completely in-house, the P1 will be based on Sharp Aqous Xx3 which is an Android powered phone launched almost half year ago.

Sharp Aquos Xx3
Sharp Aquos Xx3

While the body of the phone will be same as the one it is ripped-off from, HMD will add some more horsepowers to the phone to make it relevant to the flagship market.

Sharp Aquos Xx3

Rumors say that the phone will have a Snapdragon 835 processors which is the latest high-end SoC by the company. It will be complemented by 6GB of RAM and 256 GB of storage, the latter of which is also expected to be on the upcoming Samsung Galaxy S8. The phone will have a 22.6 MP rear autofocus camera, and it will be a Zeiss lens.

Other Important features of P1

The Nokia P1 may come with a 5.3-inch Gorilla glass covered screen, the resolution of which is still unknown. The battery of the phone will be 3500mAh, and it will support quick charging. There will be a fingerprint sensor too, and it will be located on the right side of the phone.

The phone should come with Android 7.0 Pre-installed, and we can expect the pricing of the phone to be around $800 for 128 GB version and $950 for 256 GB version.

Nokia should be announcing the phone officially at MWC2017 which will be held in February.

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Google App for Android Now Supports ‘Offline Search’

Having a proper network coverage everywhere is one of the biggest challenges for road warriors, especially in developing countries such as India. In its effort of making internet searches easier for people who have a crappy network connection, the search giant today revealed a new feature specifically for the Android version of the App.

Rather than forgetting about what searches you did when you were offline, the Google app now will save them offline and it will show you the result as soon as you connect to any network.

google offline searchBefore now, when you were in an area with no or little connectivity, the Google search app either showed an error page or just kept trying to load the result and once you went out to the home screen or any other app, the search was discarded. After the update, the app will keep your search query offline, and it will show you results once a successful network connection is established.

The results will be loaded automatically, so you won’t have to open the app repeatedly to check. There is a new ‘Offline Search’ tab in the Gooogle App too which can be used to clear or view these type of searches. Google also said that the new feature wouldn’t add too much into your data consumption, but it you will have to see it for yourself.

Offline Search is available in the latest version (v6.9.37) of Google App for Android and to get it on your Android phone; you will have to update the app from the Google Play store.

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How Has Android Evolved Since It’s Birth

Ever since the Android OS was launched, Google and Android community has continuously been working to improve the operating system. The UI has been enhanced; security has been beefed, and new features have been added to keep the Smartphone-centric OS relevant and useful.

Folks at TopAppCreators made a simple infographic to help you keep up with the evolution of Google’s flagship operating system.

Click on the infographic to enlarge.

android evolution infographic

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Samsung Just Launched Galaxy C9 Pro With 6GB RAM in India

OnePlus 3T is no longer the only phone with 6GB of (overkill?) RAM in a phone. Samsung just launched its most powerful Galaxy C phone in Indian markets, and it will go on sale from the last two weeks of next month.

As NDTV reports, the company will start selling the C9 Pro online as well as offline for a price around 37,000 Rupees. Similar to the C7 Pro we talked about yesterday, the phone will be available in two colors: Black and Gold.

For the price, the phone will come with an octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon SoC, a 6″ Full HD AMOLED display and 6GB of onboard RAM. In the processor, 4 of its cores are clocked at 1.9 GHz for faster processing and the remaining four cores will run at 1.4 GHz to conserve battery power when possible.

Apart from the above, the phone will come with a 16-megapixel rear camera which will have dual LED flash and an aperture of f/1.9 to help with low-light situations. There is a front camera too, and it will have a flash this time. C9 Pro’s internal storage is 64 GB, and it can be expanded up to 256 GB with a standard microSD card.

Galaxy C9 Pro has a 4000mAh battery which supports fast charging, and the phone has a fingerprint sensor backed in its physical home button. Apart from 4G LTE, the phone will have NFC, Bluetooth 4.2 and a USB type-C port.

C9 is very similar to its lower prices brother, the C7 Pro which was launched recently. Considering it is the only phone from Samsung to come with 6GB of RAM, it will be interesting to see how the phone does in the Indian market.

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