The Roomba Creator’s New Robot Automatically Weeds Your Garden

When iRobot’s Roomba was introduced in 2002, it looked like humanity’s first step into living like The Jetsons. People couldn’t believe that for a few hundred bucks you could buy a robot that would vacuum your floors. After the Roomba’s success, its creator, Joe Jones, would invent iRobot’s Scooba, and his new start-up has just changed gardening with the Tertill.
Image result for The Roomba Creator’s New Robot Automatically Weeds Your Garden
The Tertill is essentially a Roomba that lives in gardens and automatically cuts the weeds. It’s solar-powered and relies on capacitive sensors to navigate around garden obstacles. Its sensors can also identify weeds, activating a mini weed whacker to chop them down. The Tertill is currently available on Kickstarter for $249 and will ship to supporters in May 2018.

The Tertill is part of Jones’s larger goal to create robots that can automatically weed farms without the need for dangerous herbicides. Jones believes that robot technology will eventually increase agricultural efficiency and help eliminate global food shortages as well. But for now, the Tertill is a great way for people to save their backs and knees from the rigors of bending over in the garden.

How to Use the Sharing Economy to Benefit Your Business

Running a small business has a lot of perks to it.

A huge budget usually isn’t one of them, so small businesses have to continually look for ways to stretch a dollar and make the most out of the operating budgets they do have. Finding ways to save on expenses while increasing profits is necessary to stay afloat.

One way for small businesses to save on costs associated with running a business is to utilize today’s economy of sharing.

With the nation’s workplaces being filled with Millennials, companies are changing the way they do business. Instead of larger corporations keeping their cubicles filled with life-long, dedicated employees, companies are now hiring employees who are more caring, sharing, and have a lower level of commitment than their older peers in the business world.

For smaller businesses with fewer employees, this millennial mindset and the sharing economy, sometimes called “collaborative consumption,” can save money on operating expenses and raise profits if done correctly.

Let’s look at a few ways that small businesses can utilize the sharing economy and make it benefit the bottom line:

Raising Capital

Unless you’ve been stranded on a desert island for the last 5 years, you’ve likely heard of crowdsourcing, and the sites that aspiring entrepreneurs, those raising funds for medical expenses, and others use in their fundraising efforts.

Instead of going door-to-door selling wrapping paper or candy, or hitting up relatives for capital, small businesses can turn to crowdsourcing as a means for raising capital. Although video games and movies are the most funded projects in crowdsourcing, anybody can put an idea out there and offer special perks to those willing to invest in it.

Crowdsourcing can save time for businesses when raising capital, and also be an easier way to come up with funding than applying and qualifying for a traditional bank loan.

Business Trips

With business hubs in the United States being mainly on the east and west coasts of the country, there will most likely be a need for business travel now and then for small businesses.

Costs in transportation and lodging can really add up, and since ride sharing for airplanes hasn’t really caught on yet, businesses can save the most by using shared car rides and accommodations. Whether it be a ride to the airport, or to a meeting from the hotel, small businesses can save on transportation costs by using services like Uber and Lyft.

Small businesses can also save on local transportation by using these services instead of purchasing and maintaining a fleet of vehicles. Small businesses can save up to 50 percent of lodging costs by using services like Airbnb.

Outsourcing Small Tasks

Small businesses can outsource a lot of small tasks to outside providers. Handyman services, painting, cleaning, and maintenance can be outsourced to the lowest bidder on sites like AskforTask. You can also find the services of a logo designer, app developer, and writer from freelancers on sites like Fiverr.

Monetize Space

Do you have extra offices in your building that aren’t being used? Space for a cell tower? Unused parking spaces? You can turn all of these assets into money for your bottom line by utilizing the sharing economy to rent them out. In some cities, parking spaces are worth $50,000 a year.

Hiring Temps

Using a service like Wonolo, you can hire temporary employees to work just 3 hours, 3 days, or 3 weeks. You can even use these services to hire temporary to permanent employees. You can use a service like this just to find temps to perform menial tasks like sending out mailers, but more and more businesses are using them to fill longer term positions like web design.

When done properly, and small business can use collaborative consumption, or the sharing economy, to save money in the short term and the long run. Small businesses can also form relationships with individuals and other businesses that can be mutually beneficial to both.

Why You Should Blog to Get Your Next Job

Think of the word “blog” and what comes to mind? Mommy bloggers? People posting funny cat videos? Well, no more. Today’s savvy job seekers are putting their skills to the test and blogging their way to success and job opportunities. Here’s why a blog can get you your next job.

1. It’s your resume, only better: Everyone has a resume. But a blog allows you to highlight the skills on your resume, times ten. For example, if you’re a writer, you can flex your writing muscles and post examples of your creative writing. Even if you’re a tax accountant, you can write your thought-provoking opinions on some of the new tax laws or add a testimonial from a happy client. Just be sure what you write is accurate and well-supported.

2. It gives you a positive digital footprint: Whenever you apply for a job, the first thing a recruiter will do is investigate you online. Having a blog will give potential employers a fuller (and positive) picture of who you are and how you carry yourself, both personally and professionally. And unlike being tagged in an unflattering — and public — image of yourself on Facebook, your blog contains content that you can completely control to project yourself in the best light possible.

3. It helps you build a network: Employers are not only looking for employees who bring knowledge and a superior skill set to the table, but they also want someone who is well connected. So while you might have 500+ connections on LinkedIn, having a blog that has a dedicated readership shows that you know how to create — and keep — connections, both in the digital world and the real world.

4. It keeps you current — and sharp: If you’ve been scanning and searching the Internet for job postings for a while, it’s easy to let your skills slip a little. Blogging will not only keep your knowledge current, but it will also keep your skills sharp as you create cool new content for your readers on a consistent basis. It can also help you stand out as a career expert in your industry.

5. It makes you interesting to employers: When hiring managers read resumes every day, it can get really boring, really fast. If you have a blog that represents not only your skills but also (hello!) your personality, that makes you stand out more than the other seekers who submitted their resumes on fine linen watermarked paper. Suddenly, you become a person — and a possible job candidate they’ll call in for an interview.

Creating and customizing a blog makes you attractive to potential employers. It will help set you apart from other candidates and give you that added edge in finding a job.

Mashable Job Board Listings

The Mashable Job Board connects job seekers across the U.S. with unique career opportunities in the digital space. While we publish a wide range of job listings, we have selected a few job opportunities from the past two weeks to help get you started. Happy hunting!

Plex App for Android Will Now Let You Play Files Stored on Your Phone

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Latest Plex update will play mostly any video file on Android
  • You won’t need a third party app to play videos
  • App will fetch metadata for your media file

Popular media server Plex has just brought a major update to its app for Android. You can now open and play pretty much any video file stored on your Android device or SD card, and you no longer have to play it through a third-party player. The company says that with this update, you will no longer face the problem of opening video files stored locally.

Plex App for Android Will Now Let You Play Files Stored on Your Phone

The latest update for Android will now let you play local video files including .MP4s, .MKVs, .AVIs, .WMVs, and .WMDs, among other formats, within the app. The Plex app for Android already lets you scheduled live TV recordings, offering a DVR-like function, and with this new update, the app has a stronger case to take on apps like VLC.

The ability to open practically any video format will come in handy as users may sometimes find themselves downloading files from torrent sites that can be difficult to play on mobile. In addition to locally stored files, the latest update also lets you open files stored in third-party apps like Dropbox. You can also open video files from the Web browser, Downloads app, or a file explorer app.plex android update playback plex

Notably, the Plex app will also automatically fetch metadata for your media file. If the file is recognised, the title, artwork will show. It is able to do this by matching the videos based on the filename and other details. But sometimes there could be an error in getting the right details for the video. In that case, you can tap on the three dot icon below the video and select the ‘Unmatch’ option to hide the metadata.

Most of the playback controls will be available when playing a local file, like pausing, skipping or stopping the tracks. The update (v6.0) is rolling out to Android phones and tablets and can be downloaded via Google Play, and will come soon to the Amazon App Store.

10 Ways to Improve Your Online Marketing Efforts

There are so many different ways to market your business online. You need to have your own website, a social presence, and maybe even a video strategy.

Members of our small business community have plenty of experience with these methods. Read on for some of their tips in this week’s Small Business Trends community news and information roundup.

Make a Lasting First Impression

(nancyrubin)

Your landing page is often the first thing people see when they get to your website. So its job is to create a positive first impression and a clear call to action. If your brand is having trouble converting online customers, consider these tips for creating an effective landing page from Adam Groff.

Create Social Media Graphics That Spread Like Wildfire

(Rebekah Radice)

Visual marketing has become incredibly important in recent years thanks to social platforms like Pinterest and Instagram. If you want to be successful on those platforms, you need to know what kinds of images are likely to gain attention. Rebekah Radice shares some tips for creating shareable social images. You can also see conversation about the post in the BizSugar community.

Use These Best Practices for Design and Conversion

(Marketing Land)

Great web design doesn’t always lead to the best conversion numbers. But designing specifically to increase conversion doesn’t always lead to great design. However, there are a few things that Web designers and conversion optimizers can agree on, as Jeremy Smith shares.

Avoid These Writing Mistakes

(Kapow Content)

Whether you’re creating content for your blog, social media channel or other outlets, great writing is key. You don’t need professional training to write great content for your business. But tips from Wendy Johnson can help you avoid some common writing mistakes.

Don’t Automatically Write Off Pop Ups

(Spin Sucks)

Most people hate pop ups on websites. However, when used in the right situations and for the right customers, they can actually be pretty effective. Laura Petrolino shares some tips for implementing pop ups. And BizSugar members shared some feedback as well.

Understand Your Video Presentation Options

(The SEM Post)

Video presentations can be some of the most effective ways to get the attention of your customers and teach them about what you have to offer. But there has been quite a bit of change in the online video presentation market lately, as Greg Jarboe explains. So it can help to know your options before getting started.

Understand These Realities of Blogging for Business

(Busy Blogs Plus)

Pretty much anyone can start a business blog. But it takes practice and hard work to actually keep it going and make it successful. Amanda Lynch shares these and other realities of business blogging. The BizSugar community also discussed the post.

Connect with Your Employees Online

(Biz Epic)

Virtual businesses are becoming more and more prominent. That also means that there are a lot of online tools available for business owners to communicate with their employees who work remotely. Ivan Widjaya shares some tools and tips for virtual businesses to connect with their employees.

Learn These Lessons from Successful Entrepreneurs

(CorpNet)

You don’t get to be a successful entrepreneur without learning a few lessons along the way. So less experienced business owners could do well to listen to some of that wisdom that their more experienced counterparts have to share. Nellie Akalp shares some of those business lessons from successful entrepreneurs.

Find Marketing and Additional Resources Online

(SMB Stash)

There are so many different resources available online, it can actually be difficult to keep track of them all. But this new online directory is now available to give small and medium sized businesses a place to find a huge variety of resources that can help them with marketing and more.

10 Must Reads for Improving Your Online Marketing

Having a good website and clear online marketing strategy is very important in today’s business world. But there’s a lot that goes into building an online strategy. So we rounded up some of the best tips and related posts from members of our small business community. Read on for the full list in this week’s Small Business Trends community and information roundup.

Create a Welcoming Website

(Barefoot Basics)

What do your customers see when they go to your website? Do they see a site that is welcoming and professional, or one that is confusing and difficult to navigate? This post from Rochelle Stone explains the importance of creating a welcoming website and some things to consider in order to accomplish that goal.

Correct These Google Analytics Blind Spots

(Marketing Land)

If you have a website for your business, then you probably use a service like Google Analytics to measure its performance. But there are some website features that Google Analytics doesn’t help you with. This post from Brian Massey outlines some of those Google Analytics blind spots and offers solutions for correcting them.

Make Your Web Content Live Up to Its Promise

(Premier Content Source)

Writing great headlines and promoting content is very important to finding online success. But your actual content needs to live up to the hype. Here, Nicole Beckett shares some thoughts on creating great content. And the BizSugar community discusses the post further here.

Use These Tips for Your Holiday Facebook Strategy

(Competitive Edge)

When the holiday season rolls around, many businesses take the opportunity to spruce up their social media promotions. In fact, there are many different ways you can make your Facebook page more inviting for holiday customers. This post by Shantha Wetterhan shares three strategies for optimizing your holiday Facebook presence.

Measure Your Social Media ROI

(Stuart J Davidson)

When you use social media in your marketing efforts, it can be difficult to really tell what you are getting out of it. But this post from Stuart J. Davidson shares some methods for measuring social media ROI. And BizSugar members talk more about the post here.

Avoid These Online Marketing Mistakes

(Belle Communications)

So you’re marketing your business online. That’s great. But there are plenty of roadblocks that can negatively impact your online marketing efforts. Here, Kate Finley shares 10 of the most common online marketing mistakes and how you can avoid them.

Update Your Content Marketing Efforts

(Griot Digital)

Content marketing is a constantly evolving field. It’s not just the tools that change though. Businesses also need to update the methods they use for trying to reach customers. This post by Nadia James includes some thoughts on content marketing along with a helpful infographic.

Tell a Great Story

(Resonance Content)

It’s important to tell a story with your online and in-person marketing efforts. Part of that story is to explain who exactly you are. Here, Rachel Parker shares some methods for telling your story effectively. And BizSugar members talk more about the post here.

Use These Internet Security Tips in the Workplace

(Internet Billboards)

Online security is becoming increasingly important, particularly for business matters. In this post, Agnes Marylinn shares some tips for improving internet security in the workplace.

Get Your Great Content Noticed With SEO

(XEN)

If you want to get your website or blog noticed, you need to have great content. But if no one ever sees that content in the first place, it still won’t do any good. This post by Kerry Butters shares some thoughts on balancing SEO and great content. And the BizSugar community shares some thoughts on SEO as well.

Step Up Your Online Marketing Efforts with These 10 Tips

Today’s businesses need an online marketing strategy to succeed. While every business’s strategy may look a bit different, there are some common threads that hold most of those successful strategies together.

Members of the small business community have plenty of tips to share when it comes to successfully marketing businesses online. Check out their top tips below.

Make Your Way with Social Media

Social media isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution. You have to determine the strategy that is going to work best for your business, as Rachel Strella of Strella Social Media discusses here. And Strella elaborated on these suggestions in a conversation in BizSugar community here.

Super Charge Your Local Search Results

Even for local businesses, online marketing can make a huge difference. Local search, for example, can help to bring new faces to your store, restaurant or other local business. To make the most of your local search marketing, check out this Inc article by Small Business Trends CEO Anita Campbell.

Think About These Things for Your Website’s Social Sharing Features

Letting customers or followers do some of your online marketing for you can really help out and save you time. But you need to make sharing your content easy for them. So in this article at the Social Media Week, Larry Alton suggests some things you should think about when incorporating social sharing buttons into your website.

Keep Up with Marketing Technology Trends

Thanks to technology, online marketing is constantly changing. That means that you need to keep up with the new trends in order to stay relevant to tech savvy consumers. This article at Docurated by Angela Stringfellow includes some marketing technology trends that are poised to re-shape the world of marketing.

Grow Your Website Traffic

Content creation can be a key part of your online marketing strategy. But you need to build traffic in order for your content to be effective. This post on the official dlvr.it blog by Bill Flitter includes a playbook for growing traffic to your content.

Expect These Things When Joining Social Media

As a small business owner, the idea of joining various social media sites and regularly using them as part of your online marketing plan can seem daunting. But if you know what to expect, the process can be a bit easier. Here on NutsPR, Corina Manea shares some things you should expect when joining social media as a small business owner.

Use These Best Practices for Twitter Polls

Twitter’s polling feature can help you to gain insights and interaction from your followers on the platform. And the microblogging site has now revealed some of the best practices that people should use when running polls, which Matt Southern covers in this Search Engine Journal article. BizSugar members also chime in with their own thoughts here.

Consider Starting Your Own Podcast

Lots of businesses have websites and social media accounts. But starting your own podcast can really help you to stand out in today’s business world. Here, Ileane Smith shares some of the benefits that businesses could realize through starting a podcast.

Create a Content Anchor

When creating content for an online audience, the length and quality of your content can make a big difference in how many people see and interact with it. In this post on Blogger Sidekick, Will Blunt discusses the concept of a content anchor and how it could help your online marketing strategy.

Use Influencer Marketing That Works

Influencer marketing is a relatively new concept to a lot of businesses. But it can really jumpstart your online marketing efforts if used correctly. Here, Ann Smarty discusses how small businesses can use influencer marketing in a way that should work both now and in the future.

If you’d like to suggest your favorite small business content to be considered for an upcoming community roundup, please send your news tips to:  sbtips@gmail.com.

Honor 8 Lite, UberPOOL Ola Share Ban, Reliance Jio Playing by Rules, and More: Your 360 Daily

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Stop using Windows XP or Vista by end of the year to continue using Gmail
  • LG’s Android Wear smartwatches priced close to Apple Watches
  • PS, Xbox piracy forums hacked, user details out in the open

Globally, carpooling is seen as a viable solution for semi-public transportation. But a technicality is preventing services like UberPOOL or Ola Share to operate in the state of Karnataka. Today, a day before the deadline for the operators to shut carpooling services, Uber seems to suggest that it is operating within legal bounds with UberPOOL. It will be unfortunate to see this service get disrupted because of an outdated law, as many people we personally know rely on it to get around the city at a reasonable price. Now, we continue with today’s other top stories.

Honor 8 Lite, UberPOOL Ola Share Ban, Reliance Jio Playing by Rules, and More: Your 360 Daily

1) Gmail will stop working on old Chrome browsers, Windows XP and Vista OS
All users of Google Chrome version 53 and below will not be able to use Gmail, the popular email service, by the end of this year. And since the last version released for Windows XP and Vista was Chrome 49, the two ancient operating systems will be affected as a result of this. Users will have to upgrade to the newest Chrome, the most recent being version 55, to continue, and upgrade from an OS newer than XP or Vista.

2) Huawei launches Honor 8 Lite in Finland
Huawei has launched a watered-down version of its popular Honor 8 smartphone. Dubbed the Honor 8 Lite, it comes with a comparatively inferior HiSilicon Kirin 655 SoC (Honor 8 had Kirin 950) and 3GB of RAM instead of 4GB available on the big brother. It does seem to retain the same shiny, slippery glass body of the superior model. Pricing when converted from euros comes to about Rs. 20,000.

3) Reliance Jio free usage plans playing by the rules, says TRAI
The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has concluded that Reliance Jio’s free usage plans, which have strongly disrupted the telecom market in India, are compliant with regulations. This was in response to rival operators calling the plans ‘predatory’.

 

4) LG’s upcoming high-end Android Wear smartwatch to cost $349
We have been hearing rumours about LG launching two smartwatches that will run the latest Android Wear 2.0. Today’s rumours suggest that the more expensive of the two will cost $349 (roughly Rs. 23,500), while the other will cost $100 less. Incidentally, the pricing is in line with the Apple Watch Series 2 and Series 1 in the US, respectively. It is also said that the new watches will support Android Pay.

In other smartwatch news, MIT made a smartwatch app that can understand the tone of a conversation. The technology could have some medical applications.

5) YouTube iOS app brings controls to lockscreen, Chrome for Android has new features too
The YouTube app for iOS got an update that got the much-needed playback controls to the lockscreen, when you’re playing videos via a streaming device like a Chromecast.

In other Google product related news, Chrome for Android got many new features too.

6) Apple may use in-house chip inside new MacBook Pro
Apple may be taking small steps to remove the reliance on Intel for its Mac computers. It is rumoured that the company is working on an in-house chip that may not entirely replace Intel Core chips on Macs in the near future, but integrate with it to perform low-end tasks.

7) PlayStation, Xbox piracy forums user data hacked
Popular sites for pirated content playable on the PlayStation and Xbox gaming consoles were hacked, with data of over 2.5 million accounts said to be compromised. Details such as usernames, passwords, IP and email addresses were exposed due to the hack.

iPhone 8 Price, HTC 10 evo Launch, YouTube Go Comes to India, and More: Your 360 Daily Rohan Naravane, 09 February 2017

HIGHLIGHTS

  • It doesn’t seem like the sell-kidney-for-iPhone jokes are going to stop
  • YouTube Go is a dedicated app for watching and sharing videos offline
  • SoftBank loses $300 million in India after investing in Ola, Snapdeal

The world has already had enough of the selling-kidney-to-buy-iPhone jokes, but unfortunately those may not stop, as the high-end variant of the iPhone 8 is said to cost $1,000 (roughly Rs. 68,000) in the US. If true, after all the taxes and duties added, this iPhone SKU might end up costing upwards of Rs. 80,000 in India. One of the reasons cited for the price bump is a switch to OLED displays instead of LCD. Fortunately, this is said to be the pricing of the highest-end model in the lineup, with a cheaper ‘iPhone 7s’ and ‘iPhone 7s Plus’ starting out at the usual $649.

Let’s move on to the remaining top stories of the day.

iPhone 8 Price, HTC 10 evo Launch, YouTube Go Comes to India, and More: Your 360 Daily

1) HTC 10 evo launched in India at Rs. 48,990
The HTC 10 evo is available for sale in the country at a price tag of Rs. 48,990. It’s got a 5.5-inch Quad HD display, water-resistance and comes with Android 7.0 Nougat. What sticks sorely for this otherwise interesting high-end device is the use of the Snapdragon 810 chip from 2015, which was known for notorious heating issues in phones like the Xperia Z3+. We wonder at the response HTC will receive for the product.

2) YouTube Go launched in India for shareable, offline videos
A common sight when using public transport today in India is of people watching videos on their smartphones. To push YouTube adoption without paying for mobile data, the YouTube Go app is a standalone app from Google that lets you download videos and watch them offline later. It also has a convenient ‘send’ and ‘receive’ feature, that allows for transferring downloaded videos to other YouTube Go users locally, without using mobile data.

 

3) Android Wear 2.0 launched with two new LG smartwatches
After a delay of several months, the next major update to Android Wear – dubbed Android Wear 2.0 – is out. Two new watches from LG, namely the LG Watch Style and LG Watch Sport, run this new operating system, while other compatible watches will get the update eventually. Android Wear 2.0 brings the Google Assistant to the wrist, along with other features like the ability to install apps directly on the watch, Android Pay integration, keyboard input, etc. Those LG watches mentioned above are priced at $249 (roughly Rs. 17,000) and $349 (roughly Rs. 24,000) respectively.

4) 170 days after its release, Android Nougat only runs on 1 percent of all Android devices
This should come as no surprise, considering there are many stakeholders in the Android update process. Android 7.0 Nougat, the most recent version of Android, despite being launched almost half a year ago, only runs on 1 percent of active Android devices. Android 5.0 Lollipop, which was out in 2014, is still the most used Android version to date.

5) SoftBank loses $350 million on India investments like Ola, Snapdeal
Japanese company Softbank has reported an investment loss of $350 million (roughly Rs. 2,345 crores) on its investments in India, which include cab-hailing service Ola and e-commerce platform Snapdeal. The Japanese firm has so far invested close to $2 billion in India and earlier this year it stated that it is looking to scale up investments to $10 billion in next 5-10 years.

6) 5G is official now, has its own logo
The 3GPP cellular standards group has officially christened the next generation of wireless communication technology as 5G. The logo has a familiar design as the official 4G logo that came before it. The final specifications of 5G are said to complete by 2018, with the next phase being completed by 2020.

7) Flipkart, Snapdeal, Amazon argue GST’s tax collection at source provision
At a press conference organised by FICCI on Thursday, the heads of Amazon, Flipkart, and Snapdeal all found common cause as they expressed their worries about the TCS (Tax Collection at Source) provision of the GST (Goods and Services Tax). Under this provision, online marketplaces are responsible for collecting – and paying – taxes on behalf of their sellers. This is something that all three companies, the major players in the e-commerce space in India, are against, as they argue it will hamper the growth of e-commerce.

8) Idea Money Adopts USSD-based digital payments
Idea Cellular today said it has enabled USSD-based platform for shopkeepers and customers to conduct digital transactions using Idea Money service. USSD is mobile short code that enables financial and banking transactions even on feature phones.

Moto G5 Plus India Launch, Airtel Free Roaming, Paytm’s 200 Million Users, and More: Your 360 Daily

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Moto G5 Plus to be launched in India on March 15
  • Airtel ends roaming charges on incoming and outgoing calls
  • Paytm user base hits 200 million, new Paytm Mall app launched

Just a day after the Moto G5 and Moto G5 Plus global launch, Lenovo has sent out invites announcing the India launch date of the latter. The invite says that the Moto G5 Plus will be launched in India on March 15, but there was no mention of the Moto G5 for the domestic market. At the MWC 2017 event, Moto G5 Plus price for the 2GB RAM + 32GB variant was announced as $229 (roughly Rs. 15,300), whereas the 3GB RAM + 32GB model has been priced at $279 (approximately Rs. 19,700). Price of the 4GB RAM + 64GB storage model has not been announced so far.

Moto G5 Plus India Launch, Airtel Free Roaming, Paytm’s 200 Million Users, and More: Your 360 Daily

The new Moto G5 Plus has a 5.2-inch full-HD screen, 2GHz octa-core Snapdragon 625 chipset, microSD card expansion up to 128GB, 12-megapixel rear camera with dual-LED flash, 5-megapixel front camera, 3000mAh battery with TurboPower fast charging technology. On the software side, the Moto G5 Plus runs the Android 7.0 Nougat operating system and supports Google Assistant AI-based digital assistant, along with features such as Moto Display, Moto Actions, Twist, and a new One Button Nav that allows users to navigate the interface using the fingerprint sensor.

But this is not the only launch to get excited about, as MWC 2017 saw a number of smartphones and other devices being announced. Let’s take a look at those, and more, in 360 Daily. For other MWC stories including all the announcements from Nokia, LG, Moto, Samsung, and others, check out our MWC hub.

Oppo unveils 5x Dual Camera Zoom system
At the ongoing MWC 2017, Oppo unveiled its new 5x Dual Camera Zoom system, which features a periscope-style setup that is claimed to kill the need of the camera bump on the back because of its 5.7mm thickness. The 5x Dual Camera Zoom system packs more than 50 parts which have been stacked in a 5.7mm module. Oppo’s new camera zoom system diverts light through a prism into a stabilised telephoto lens set at a 90-degree angle. The new imaging system will make its way to Oppo smartphones later this year.

Airtel announces ‘war on roaming’ with free incoming calls in all circles
Airtel has repealed roaming charges for users for incoming calls outside their home circle, terming this a “war on roaming.” India’s biggest telecom operator also said that it will stop premium charges on outgoing calls while roaming. For international roaming starting April 1 2017, the company will offer customers protection from bill shocks. Call charges have been reduced by up to 90 percent to as low as Rs. 3 per minute on international roaming, while data charges by up to 99 percent to Rs. 3 per MB in popular roaming destinations, Airtel said on Monday.

Paytm Mall app launched for standalone e-commerce services
Paytm has spun off the e-commerce part of its app into a standalone app named Paytm Mall, while the wallet business remains in the main app. The Paytm Mall app features the expected categories, such as electronics, fashion, furnishings, and so on. Cashback offers that were provided on the Paytm app e-commerce transactions till now are offered on the Paytm Mall app. The company also announced today that its user base has crossed the 200 million mark.

 

Lenovo Tab 4 series Android tablets launched
While Samsung’s Galaxy Tab S3 and Galaxy Book were the tablets of note at MWC 2017, Lenovo launched its new Tab 4 series models at the event. The four Lenovo tablets, named Tab 4 8, Tab 4 10, Tab 4 8 Plus, and Tab 4 10 Plus, run Android 7.0 Nougat and offer battery life of up to 12 hours, the company said. The four models are being targeted at both kids and adults, and come with multi-user mode.

The Lenovo Tab 4 8 and Tab 4 10 sport 8-inch and 10.1-inch displays, respectively; both feature HD screens, Snapdragon 425 SoC, 2GB of RAM, and come in 16GB and 32GB storage options. The respective Plus models feature the same screen size but come with Snapdragon 625 processor and 3GB of RAM.

Samsung Gear VR 2017 edition launched, comes with touch controller
The Samsung Gear VR virtual reality headset received an update at MWC 2017, and it will now come with a VR controller which, Samsung says, makes it easier for the user to interact with VR apps and games. With the controller, users will be able to “point, drag and drop, tilt, shoot, among other actions, while the Trigger allows for enhanced gaming experiences.” The new Gear VR headset has 42mm lenses with 101-degree FOV (Field of View) and “advanced distortion correction technology” to minimise users’ motion sickness.

Sony Xperia XZ Premium, the first phone with Snapdragon 835 processor, launched
Sony surprised one and all with the launch of its Xperia XZ Premium smartphone, the first model with the new Snapdragon 835 chipset. However, while Sony beat Samsung – which has dibs on the new Qualcomm SoC – in announcing the first such smartphone, the new Xperia XZ Premium will not be available for purchase till Spring this year. The new Sony Xperia XZ Premium has a 5.5-inch 4K display, 4GB RAM, 64GB internal storage, up to 256GB microSD card support, 19-megapixel rear camera with the new Motion Eye camera system, 13-megapixel front camera, Android 7.0 Nougat software, and a 3230mAh battery.

This was, however, not the only Sony launch at MWC 2017, as the company also unveiled the Xperia XZs, Xperia XA1 Ultra, and Xperia XA1 smartphones. Along with these, the company also launched the Xperia Touch interactive Android projector that can turn any surface into a touchscreen panel; it will be launched in April.

Gionee A1, A1 Plus selfie phones with big batteries launched
While for most brands selfie phones and big battery phones are two distinct niches, Gionee has gone ahead and combined the two with the new Android Nougat-based Gionee A1 and Gionee A1 Plus smartphones. Launched at MWC 2017, the new Gionee A1 has a 16-megapixel front camera and 40101mAh battery, while the Gionee A1 Plus comes with a 20-megapixel sensor in front and packs a 4550mAh battery.

Gionee A1 has a 5.5-inch full-HD screen, Helio P10 processor, 4GB of RAM, 64GB internal storage, microSD support, 13-megapixel rear camera, and fingerprint sensor on the back. The Gionee A1 Plus has a bigger 6-inch full-HD screen, MediaTek Helio P25 SoC, 4GB of RAM, 64GB inbuilt storage, microSD expansion, and dual 13-megapixel and 5-megapixel cameras on the back.

Disclosure: Paytm’s parent company One97 is an investor in Gadgets 360