Google Photos Removes Option to Backup Media Only While Charging

Google Photos Removes Option to Backup Media Only While Charging

HIGHLIGHTS
The option allowed devices to perform backup only while charging
Users still have the option to stop backup while on cellular data
The option is said to still show up for some people
Google Photos app for Android and iOS has quietly removed the feature that allowed devices to backup images and video files only while charging the device. Users could earlier choose this option to ensure that the backup of media files doesn’t end up draining their device’s battery life but it seems like the search giant has now removed the option without any explanation for why it did so.

While Google Photo users still have the option to switch off backup of media files while on cellular data, they can no longer add the constraint related to charging. As you might expect, this feature was extremely beneficial as it made sure that the backups were only performed when the device was in proximity to a power source and was not running short of juice.

As pointed out in a 9To5Google report, with the release of version 2.17 for Android and 2.18.0 on iOS, this option in the backup settings within the Google Photos app was removed.
The While charging only option is currently not visible with any of our devices, on both platforms, but 9To5Google says that there is a minority that can still see the option available. Interestingly, the option cannot be seen on company’s help page for Google Photos backup settings as well.

Notably, the option to switch off media backup while on roaming is still available within the Google Photos app. Users can always switch the cellular data option off and as Wi-Fi is usually available at either homes or offices, which usually have easily accessible power sources too, they will still be saved from battery drain. However, an extra option at your disposal is something nobody ever complains about – hope you’re listening Google.

[“Source-ndtv”]

Light Phone: A Mobile Phone that Only Makes Calls, Nothing Else

There’s another way to go in the mobile technology race. In a market full of feature-rich smartphones, Light Phone offers something different — it lets you do nothing but make and answer calls.

Light Phone is a mobile phone that only makes calls, plain and simple. (OK, it keeps time, too.)

It has no browser, no NFC, offers no games or apps, and doesn’t even text. What it does promise is simple contact without the distractions and added hassles of “unwanted rings, dings, and pings,” as the company puts it.

The phone’s minimalist design matches its functionality, for sure.

Light Phone is about the size of a credit card and is practically blank. The front display has no buttons or even what would look like a screen. Instead it lights up to reveal a touch module so you can dial a phone number, see the time, and view incoming calls.

And man, can it hold a charge. The company claims Light Phone can go for 20 days straight before needing to be charged. It’s just one more thing that can cut down on the frustrations common with most mobile phones.

On its own, Light Phone is a pre-paid GSM cell phone that can work independently of your carrier. Each phone comes with its own SIM card and phone number. And for an added perk, the phones come pre-loaded with 500 minutes.

But Light Phone can also work like an extension to your existing smartphone. The phone’s one and only “app” is pre-installed. What the “app” does is allow you to have incoming calls made to your smartphone forwarded to Light Phone. This way, you can have the option of leaving your main phone at home without being completely cut off from the rest of the mobile-ready world.

For more information on Light Phone check out the Kickstarter video below.

The flexible options offered by Light Phone may be especially helpful for those small business owners who need a simple phone for calls. And with its $100 price tag, it can be a cheap, prepaid standalone phone or an extension line.

Designers Joe Hollier and Kaiwei Tang met at Google’s 30 Weeks incubator in New York City, where they put their heads together to create Light Phone. They say on Light Phone’s Kickstarter page:

“We aren’t creating new technology, we’re using the best existing technology in a new way. We have stripped away everything but the phone itself, the only essential connection that the user needs.”

The duo is currently crowdfunding to bring their product to market. Their Kickstarter campaign has thousands of backers and more than $269,000 in pledges.

But backers will have to wait a while to get their phones. Light Phone won’t be shipping until June 2016.

Image: Light Phone

More in: Crowdfunding

[“source-smallbiztrends”]

Why Cloud may shower billions on only a few tech companies

Amazon is not alone in this business, and the competition is getting more intense. AWS has 81 services, Microsoft’s 67 include IoT hubs and Google has 53 services on offer.

SAN FRANCISCO: Jeff Bezos of Amazon, along with a couple of his rivals, may eventually control much of the $1-trillion global market for business computers and software.

That is because Amazon Web Services, his big-business computing division, is starting to affect more than just the world of computer servers, data storage and networking at the core of computing.

Increasingly, it is also entangled with mobile phones, sensors and all sorts of other devices in the socalled Internet of Things. It’s the same story at Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud Platform, the other two big cloud companies. Startups and giant corporations rent the core resources, along with related software, instead of owning and running their own machines.

What’s next? As innovations like artificial intelligence and connected devices become popular, customers are putting cloud components in mobile computing, home games and email marketing campaigns. In other words, the big clouds aim to be everywhere.

“When has Amazon ever thought about anything other than world domination?” said Lydia Leong, who follows cloud computing at Gartner. Not content to be in big centralised data centers, she said, “they want to be at the edges, whether that is a customer’s own computers or the Internet of Things.”

This aim for domination was clear at Amazon’s big customer conference, called Re:Invent, which was held in Las Vegas this month. In one talk at the conference, an Amazon Web Services executive showed off the company’s 14,000-km undersea cable, part of an AWS global network that each day adds computing power equal to that inside aFortune 500 corporation, and spoke about this expansion. He talked about crushing the costs of servers and networking, most likely sad news for old tech giants that make those things, like Dell and Cisco.

In a nice bit of showmanship during the main keynote, Andy Jassy, the head of AWS, appeared onstage with an 18-wheel truck carrying a device that could suck 100 petabytes of data out of a customer’s computers and put it in the Amazon cloud.

It is easy to see why this matters to Amazon. In the third quarter, AWS had revenue of $13 billion a year, growing at 55% annually. AWS was 10% of Amazon’s revenue, but more than 100% of the company’s operating income.
But Amazon is not alone in this business, and the competition is getting more intense. AWS now has 81services, including ways to work on home video games. Microsoft’s 67 services include Internet of Things “hubs” and email marketing campaigns. Google has 53, including ways to deploy mobile software globally and steer performance with data analysis.

Comparisons of services are difficult, as one company’s service may encompass two or three offered by another.

Google recently showed off its own global network of submarine cables, along with local devices like cloud-connected office whiteboards.
[“source-ndtv”]

 

OnePlus 2 Smartphone, Like Predecessor, is Available by Invite Only

OnePlus, the obscure smartphone company, is trying to trump the industry leaders once again with the sequel to its popular and exclusive debut device. The company has finally unveiled the OnePlus 2, which offers close to top-of-the-line specs at a mid-range smartphone price.

Like its predecessor, the OnePlus 2 will be available for purchase only with an invite.

Invites can be obtained from friends who have already purchased the phone or by participating in various contests and promotions. Though hopefully the company will avoid their past marketing mistakes like the “ladies first” campaign.

The OnePlus One did eventually become available to everyone a year after its release so it’s possible down the line the 2 will be as well. But for now the company has said they plan to keep the invitation system for the OnePlus 2 for the foreseeable future.

The specs for the OnePlus 2 look good, showing a fairly powerful phone for not a bad price.

There are two versions that will be available. The less expensive model offers 16GB of storage and 3GB RAM, coming with a price tag of $329. You can also pay more for 64GB of storage and 4GB RAM costing $389.

Both versions run the company’s Oxygen operating system, based on Android 5.1. The OnePlus 2 also boasts a 64-bit Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 processor with 1.8GHz Octa-core CPU.

And not usually seen in a smartphone, the OnePlus 2 includes a dedicated Adreno GPU.

The phone has a 5.5-inch LCD display and can capture 4K video. It has a 13-megapixel back facing sensor and 5-megapixel front facing camera.

When it comes to specs though, the company would rather customers didn’t focus on them. OnePlus says in its blog announcement:

“I see a lot of people excited about the specs of the OnePlus 2. That’s great, but a focus on specs will make you lose sense of what’s really important: the holistic product experience. A great product should make its users forget about specs.”

OnePlus 2 is carrier-unlocked, so you will have to check with your preferred carrier for connectivity. The phone does offer dual SIM capabilities, so you can connect to two different networks if you want.

The invite system for the OnePlus 2 is now live. If you are interested in getting your own invite you can find out more about it on the company’s invite page. OnePlus will also be hosting a number of pop-up events around the world on July 31. You can attend one near your to get a chance to demo the phone and possibly even score an invite.

Image: OnePlus

[“source-smallbiztrends”]