Google Drive Backup and Sync Will Let You Easily Backup Your Entire PC to the Cloud

Google Drive is already a pretty handy tool for share files and documents across platforms but the search giant is now planning to turn it into an even more powerful backup tool. Google has announced that a version of Google Drive for Windows and Mac – called Backup and Sync – will be launched later this month, which will allow users to back up files and photos from their computers onto Google Drive.

If you are wondering how the new backup tool is different from the standard Google Drive desktop app, with Backup and Sync, users will be able to choose folders that they want to backup instead of having to place them inside the Drive folder. Notably, users will even be able to backup their entire PC with the new tool, which will be made available as an app on June 28.

Google says that the new Backup and Sync app for Google Drive is aimed at end users and will be available for download and upgrade from the aforementioned date.

Google Drive Backup and Sync Will Let You Easily Backup Your Entire PC to the Cloud“We recommend that our G Suite customers continue to use Drive for Mac/PC until our new enterprise-focused solution, Drive File Stream (currently in EAP), is made generally available to all G Suite Basic, Business, Enterprise, Education, and Nonprofit domains later this year. Drive File Stream will allow users to access huge corporate data sets without taking up the equivalent space on their hard drives,” the search giant said in a blog post.

As Google wants G Suite customers to wait for Drive File Stream, it will not be automatically upgrading them directly to Backup and Sync. However, users from organisations that allow installation of Drive for Mac/ PC on computers will be able to download and upgrade to Backup and Sync.

Few other details related to Backup and Sync have been shared just yet, and Google says it will reveal more information when the tool is released.

Firefox 54 Claims to Be Faster, Use Less RAM Than Earlier Version

Mozilla’s Firefox browser has had problems with memory management in the past and with the latest version – Firefox 54 – the company claims that it has finally achieved a breakthrough. Firefox 54, which was released on Tuesday, has been claimed by the company to bring efficient RAM management and speed improvements to the browser.

In order to achieve these improvements, Firefox 54 uses up to four content processes as part of Mozilla’s ‘E10s’ project, instead of one used by earlier versions. In simple terms, this means that a complex page, with extensive multimedia content, now ends up having less impact on responsiveness and speed of other tabs, said Nick Nguyen, Vice President, Product, Firefox, in a blog post.

“By separating the tabs into separate processes, we make better use of the hardware on your computer, so Firefox can deliver you more of the Web you love, with less waiting,” Nguyen wrote.

Nguyen adds that in company’s tests, Firefox 54 was found using significantly less RAM as compared to other browsers on Windows 10, macOS, and Linux.

Firefox 54 Claims to Be Faster, Use Less RAM Than Earlier VersionThe Firefox 54 release has been described as a phase in Mozilla’s E10s initiative and going ahead, the company might very well increase the cap on the maximum number of processes used by the browser. The Verge points out that users can already customise the upper limit by entering “about:config” in the address bar and adjusting the settings themselves. Interested users can download the latest version of the browser from Mozilla’s official website or simply update their existing Firefox release to the latest version and check they are on Firefox v54.

Mozilla seems to be working to improve one aspect of its browser at a time. After introducing Quantum Compositor with Firefox 53 to reduce crashes, the company focused on RAM management and speed improvements with the next release.

As Google’s Chrome browser is used by a much larger chunk of users than Firefox, taking care of these issues one at a time might convince more people to give Firefox a try once again.

As GIFs Turn 30, You Can Finally Leave One as a Comment on Facebook

In time for the 30th birthday of the GIF, Facebook on Thursday announced that you will now be able to leave GIFs as comments on the social network. You could already send GIFs on Messenger, and WhatsApp, and Facebook has been testing the ability to add GIFs to comments for a while now. The feature is finally rolling out to everyone.

Putting a GIF in the comments on Facebook is really simple. In the Write a comment box, you can click or tap on the GIF button – this shows you trending GIFs, and also allows you to search for GIFs across other sources like Giphy. The search results only show a couple of options at a time but you can scroll through them easily, to find the GIF you want to add. It’s not all that different from using GIFs on any other platform, such as Messenger, or even Twitter.

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Facebook is celebrating the 30th anniversary of the GIF format with a GIF party, asking users to share their favourite animations, and launching 20 new GIFs featuring Internet influencers created by Giphy. All the GIFs can be found on the giphy.com/facebook website.

The GIF format was defined as a standard on June 15, 1987, and saw its last major update in 1989. As an image format, it was quickly replaced by other, more popular files such as JPG, but it continued to live on as GIF also allows you to create simple animations. After a rush in the early 90s where it seemed that every website had simple animations scattered around the page (along with Comic Sans, blinking text, and special effects for mouse cursors), GIFs quickly dropped out of fashion.

Blame hampsterdance, or that weird dancing baby GIF which even showed up on a bunch of TV shows, but GIFs had worn out their welcome. Flash, and later HTML5, meant you could have better looking animations that took up much less bandwidth, making them far better suited for a time when we were still struggling with Internet speeds and data caps.

But if GIFs had a great childhood and then faded away in their teens, then in the last decade, they’ve made a comeback that’s nothing short of taking over the Internet. GIFs are now a staple of messaging apps (both personal and professional), social networks, and there are media empires that got their start by curating GIFs and giving it a catchy headline.

With social media and messaging apps on the rise, the GIF also saw a major comeback. LOL, IDK, and OMG were cool Internet-speak at one point, but they were replaced by emoticons, and then emoji. GIFs were really a natural extension, allowing more nuance, with the same economy of expression. Connections – mobile and otherwise – grew faster and data limits went up, so today we have better quality for GIFs, and thanks to sites like Giphy and Tumblr, there’s a repository of GIFs for every occasion as well.

Moto G5 Plus Now Available via Amazon India as Well

Lenovo brand Moto launched the mid-range Moto G5 Plus in March as an exclusive to Flipkart, while the Moto G5 was available only on Amazon India. It now seems like the Moto G5 Plus will also be available on Amazon India as the smartphone has been listed on the e-commerce website. The Moto G5 Plus was launched in India starting at a price Rs. 14,999 for the 3GB RAM+16GB options, and Rs. 16,999 for the 4GB RAM+32GB variant. Notably, Amazon India only lists the 32GB storage variant, while on Flipkart the 16GB variant is marked as unavailable. The smartphone is available in Gold and Lunar Grey on both the e-commerce sites.

Apart from online availability, Gadgets 360 learnt earlier this month that the Moto G5 and Moto G5 Plus are now also available through offline retailers.

Image result for Moto G5 Plus Now Available via Amazon India as WellTo recall, the Moto G5 Plus sports a 5.2-inch full-HD (1080×1920 pixels) IPS LCD display with Corning Gorilla Glass 3 protection. It is powered by a 2GHz Snapdragon 625 octa-core SoC coupled with 4GB of RAM. Notably, the Moto G5 Plus along with the Moto G5 are the first in the series to sport an all-metal design, built using diamond-cut high-grade aluminium 6000. In our review of the handset, we found that the smartphone’s metal body and pure Android Nougat experience are some of the winning points at this price point.

The smartphone also features a 12-megapixel rear camera with dual autofocus pixels, 4K video recording, an f/1.7 aperture, and dual-LED flash, and a 5-megapixel front-facing camera with an f/2.2 aperture and a wide-angle lens. Connectivity options on the Moto G5 Plus include 4G LTE, Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n, GPS/ A-GPS, NFC, Bluetooth v4.2, 3.5mm audio jack, and Micro-USB. It packs a 3000mAh battery with support for TurboPower charging that will provide six hours of battery life in just 15 minutes of charging.

Xiaomi India Announces ‘Reward Mi’ Programme With Discounts, Early Access to Products, and More

Xiaomi on Thursday announced its Mi.com reward programme in India that will let registered users earn reward benefits on purchasing Xiaomi products via the online store. Interested users can join the Reward Mi programme by visiting the Xiaomi website and they will receive 50 Mi Tokens as a “welcome gesture”. The Mi Tokens are points acquired on Mi Store through shopping as well as participating in Mi events and performing other activities.

Xiaomi says users will receive 10 percent of the value of transactions done on Mi.com as Mi Tokens. For example, users who purchase a Mi device worth Rs. 10,000 will get 1,000 Mi Tokens. Tokens will be credited to the user account upon successful delivery of the product. By performing other activities like sharing a product page or its review on social platforms, users can earn 5 Mi Tokens every day.

Xiaomi India Announces 'Reward Mi' Programme With Discounts, Early Access to Products, and MoreUsers can then redeem the Mi Tokens against their next purchase on Mi.com. Users can also redeem Mi Tokens to get F-codes, which is a priority code that will let users add a Mi product to their shopping cart even when it is not in stock for other customers. The Mi Tokens can also be redeemed for Discount Coupons which will help users get a discount on a product being sold via Mi.com. Detailed terms and conditions are available on the Xiaomi website.

Xiaomi says that the first phase of the reward programme starts today, where registered users can earn Mi Tokens as explained above. The second phase of the Mi.com reward programme starts from the first week of August, and will be a referral-based affair, which will allow the current registered users to earn Mi Tokens by inviting their friends to sign-up.

Xiaomi says that the third phase of the programme will “begin later and will include tier privileges” like including express delivery, early access to sales, products, and more.

Qualcomm Launches Smart Audio Platform that Makes Developing Smart Speakers Easier

Qualcomm has announced a reference “smart audio” platform for manufacturers that want to develop a smart home speaker like Google Home, Amazon Echo, or the newly announced Apple HomePod. The company says its new smart audio platform chipsets will reduce development time for manufacturers as they have the necessary hardware, software, and tools.

The chipmaker introduced the new audio platform at its Voice and Music Developers conference in Shenzhen, alongside the all-new Qualcomm DDFA audio amplifier technology and new USB Type-C audio SoCs. Qualcomm at the conference also talked about few of the trends in audio industry including streaming of music, removal of headphone jack, and emergence of smart assistants and speakers.

Under the company’s new Qualcomm smart audio platform, it will be offering the APQ8009 and APQ8017 chips; these SoCs will come with a range of software configurations designed to allow OEMs to create smart speakers across various product tiers and categories. The Qualcomm smart audio platform is planned to be available Q3 2017, though the company says that the timelinecan change. These new Qualcomm SoCs support capabilities like advanced far-field voice capture, wake-word detection, AllPlay multi-room audio streaming technology, and support for major voice ecosystems in a single solution.

The far-field voice capture will allow the smart speaker to pick up the user’s voice even from afar, while the wake-word detection will enable to wake up from sleep when the hotword, for example “Hello Google,” is said aloud by the user. Qualcomm’s AllPlay multi-room audio streaming technology will allow users to configure multiple speakers to play the same or different songs in each room of the home from streaming services, local playlists on their devices, or DLNA media servers; moreover, the open nature of the AllPlay ecosystem will enable users to link together speakers from different brands, such as Panasonic, Hitachi, House of Marley, Magnat etc, in their home using this platform.

Qualcomm Launches Smart Audio Platform that Makes Developing Smart Speakers EasierThe Qualcomm APQ8009 and APQ8017 chips also beamforming and echo cancellation; barge-in and voice capture in noisy environments; software supporting virtual assistants, and support for hands-free voice calls over both VoIP and HFP. Qualcomm has confirmed that the new smart audio platform will receive support for Amazon Alexa Voice Service and Google Assistant later this year, as well as Android Things and Google Cast for Audio.

Qualcomm’s Anthony Murray, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Voice and Music, said, “This platform is ideal for traditional speaker manufacturers wanting to make the move to a connected platform as it is designed to bring together all the necessary hardware, software and tools needed to reduce development time. It also offers a great degree of flexibility for those manufacturers who want to push the boundaries when it comes to possible future applications for smart speakers.”

Additionally, the company at the event announced a new addition to its audio system-on-chip (SoCs) platform, namely CSRA68100, which is designed for premium wireless speakers and headphones. The company says it is “designed to provide OEMs with significantly more programming resources and freedom to develop use cases with unique and differentiating features.” A highly integrated platform, it also supports several connectivity, system processing, audio processing and power management resources.

Qualcomm also announced QCC3XXX series of entry-level, flash-programmable audio chipsets. These are aimed at developing entry-level products at competitive price points for Bluetooth headsets and speakers. There’s also the new WHS9420 and WHS9410 single chip USB audio SoC platforms, designed specifically for USB-C connected audio devices. With smartphone brands doing away with the 3.5mm headphone jack, this platform is aimed at users who want to continue to use wired headsets and speakers on their phones by means of transfer of audio via the USB Type-C port.

At the event, Qualcomm also revealed its next generation Qualcomm DDFA audio amplifier technology for audio devices like wireless speakers, soundbars, networked audio, and headphone amplifiers. The next-generation DDFA tech will be available on Qualcomm’s CSRA6620 SoC, and will include a DDFA controller with eight channel inputs, two channel outputs, microcontroller and configurable audio processor. Qualcomm says the chip will “help OEMs to integrate best-in-class amplifier performance in a lower complexity, more cost effective way than was previously possible.”

iPhone 8 to Feature Wireless Charging and Waterproofing, CEO of Apple Manufacturer Wistron ‘Confirms’

Apple’s iPhone 8 is the most anticipated smartphone of the year, and the device has previously been rumoured to come with new AR features, OLED panel, a fast A11 chip, and wireless charging. Now CEO of an Apple manufacturer has all but confirmed the presence of waterproofing and wireless charging in Apple phones coming later this.

Wistron manufactures iPhones, just like Pegatron and Foxconn, albeit in small quantities. Nikkei Asian Review reports that Wistron CEO Robert Hwang has confirmed wireless charging and waterproofing will be included in this year’s iPhone models. “Assembly process for the previous generations of [iPhones] have not changed much, though new features like waterproof and wireless charging now require some different testing, and waterproof function will alter the assembly process a bit,” Hwang reportedly told reporters after the company’s annual shareholders’ meeting.

This is not the first time the iPhone 8 has been tipped to feature wireless charging and enhanced waterproofing capabilities. However, it is still unclear whether Apple will adopt the industry standard of Qi wireless charging, or will introduce a new innovative long-range charging that has been rumoured a couple of times in the past. There’s a recent patent that tips Apple is experimenting with wireless charging technologies that could see you charge your iPhone with a Wi-Fi router.

iPhone 8 to Feature Wireless Charging and Waterproofing, CEO of Apple Manufacturer Wistron 'Confirms'Hwang also gave an update about the Wistron facility in India that recently starting producing the iPhone SE. Hwang says that though the company makes only “a small number” of handsets in India right now, he expects Wistron’s overall smartphone business in the country to break even next year. He added that the growth of manufacturing in India will depend on the negotiations between Apple and the Indian government, but is bullish on the country. “We are being very aggressive in expanding our presence in India in addition to smartphone business,” he reportedly told reporters.

Purported leaked iPhone 8 renders suggest that the smartphone will sport a bezel-less display with the fingerprint scanner embedded underneath, a vertical dual camera setup, a glass back, and an elongated power button. While some reports had suggested hiccups in production could cause a delay in launch, others insist that Apple will launch the iPhone 8 in September as per tradition.

Fujifilm Instax Mini 9 Instant Camera Launched in India

Fujifilm has launched its newest instant camera called the Instax Mini 9 in India, at a price of Rs. 5,999. The camera will go on sale soon via both online and offline channels across the country. The highlights of the Fujifilm Instax Mini 9 include a wider range of colours, a selfie mirror, and a lens attachment for close-up shots. The camera joins Fujifilm’s existing range of instant cameras which includes the Mini 25, Mini 70, Mini 90, and Wide 300.

The Instax Mini 9 uses Fujifilm’s instax mini film cartridges to print your photos, giving you 62x46mm sized photographs. The camera, which will be available in five pastel colours, is built entirely of plastic but is well put together and feels pretty sturdy. Since this is a basic instant camera designed for teenagers and young adults, there isn’t much in terms of control except for the shutter button and dial around the lens to change set the exposure. The shutter speed on the Instax Mini 9 is locked to 1/60 seconds and the flash fires every time you take a picture. The camera uses two AA batteries (included in the box), which according to Fujifilm, is good for about 100 shots. Each cartridge holds about 10 films and there’s a counter at the back of the camera to tell you how many shots are left.

Image result for Fujifilm Instax Mini 9 Instant Camera Launched in IndiaCommenting on the launch, S.M. Ramprasad, Assistant Vice President at Fujifilm India Pvt. Ltd. said, “Our Instax range is a unique product, the only one of its kind that enables users to create instant photos that can remain with them forever. Our Instax range of cameras has gained huge popularity over the years. The Sales Volume Trend for Instax has crossed 6.6 Million units globally in FY 2016 which clearly indicates its success worldwide. We are very excited to welcome our new iconic camera – the Instax Mini 9 into the Instax family equipped with upgraded technology and advanced features. The new product has been designed keeping in mind the ever changing preferences of the Indian youth, offering unique features to complement the needs of these young customers.”

WhatsApp Will Stop Working on Nokia Symbian, BlackBerry OS Phones on June 30

WhatsApp users still on handsets running the ageing BlackBerry OS and Nokia S40 and S60 platforms will not be able to use the popular messaging service after June 30. The Facebook-owned company will officially pull the plug on the dated Nokia Symbian software and the BlackBerry OS as July starts. This comes after WhatsApp delayed ending support for them by six months, from the original date of December 2016 to June 2017. The reason behind WhatsApp killing support for old Nokia and BlackBerry phones is that they don’t have the capabilities needed to add new features in the app.

The most widely used instant messaging app had last year announced that it will drop support for a few platforms. The company later extended the support until June 2017 after BlackBerry expressed its disappointment with WhatsApp’s decision to abandon the platform. Support for Android 2.2 Froyo, iOS 6, and Windows Phone 7 was ended by WhatsApp in December last year.

In its Support page, WhatsApp explains, “These platforms [Nokia S40, S60, and BlackBerry OS] don’t offer the kind of capabilities we need to expand our app’s features in the future. If you use one of these affected mobile devices, we recommend upgrading to a newer OS version, or to a newer Android running OS 2.3.3+, iPhone running iOS 7+, or Windows Phone 8+ so that you can continue using WhatsApp.”

WhatsApp Will Stop Working on Nokia Symbian, BlackBerry OS Phones on June 30Interestingly, the lack of support for the old Nokia Symbian phones is the reason WhatsApp will not work on the new Nokia 3310 feature phone. The Facebook-owned company has advised that anyone with the above-mentioned older platforms who want to keep chatting with friends via WhatsApp will need to upgrade to a newer operating system or a new device.

WhatsApp also clarifies that currently there’s no way users can transfer your chat history between platforms though the company will provide the option to send your chat history attached to an email, if requested by users. You can head to WhatsApp’s Support page to understand the steps.

WhatsApp had previously emphasised how much the market changed in the years since WhatsApp was launched in 2009. Recapping the market, the messaging service said that in 2009 Android and iOS platforms were running on less than 25 percent of the devices, while BlackBerry and Nokia’s operating systems dominated the market with roughly a 70 percent share. WhatsApp’s decision to pull the plug on Symbian and BlackBerry, however, recaps how the platforms have lost popularity.

Amazon Adds Power of Alexa to Dash Wand’s Ease of Ordering Products

Last year, Amazon launched a new version of its Dash Wand to allow users to scan barcodes and add products to their shopping cart that aren’t just groceries. Now, the company has launched another variant of the Dash Wand, this time with the added support for Alexa. With the help of Alexa, users will now be able to ask the stick for new recipes, find nearby restaurants, and more, as well as continuing to easily add products to their shopping list like before.

The Amazon Dash Wand is essentially a stick, which sticks to your fridge or any other surface via magnet, or you can use the hook to hang it anywhere. Like before, you can use the Dash Wand to scan a product or say its name and have it added to your Amazon cart instantly. You can then logon to the Amazon website or use the app to complete the purchase.

Amazon Adds Power of Alexa to Dash Wand's Ease of Ordering ProductsBut now, thanks to Alexa integration, you can also directly ask the voice-based assistant to order stuff from your Amazon account instantly. Apart from placing orders, users can ask other questions from Alexa inside the Dash Wand like check the weather, ask for help with receipts, or do simple conversion of units.

Currently, the new Dash Wand is exclusively available for Amazon Prime users in the US at $20 (approximately Rs. 1,300). As part of a limited time offer, Amazon will be crediting back $20 to the account of the customers who buy the Dash Wand. This makes the product practically free and makes it a great deal indeed.

Amazon has described Dash Wand as a kitchen assistant and also clarified that it does not support playing music, which is something Alexa is able to do on the Echo range of devices. For the initial setup of the device, users will need to use their smartphone. Asking for more from a $20 device, which is practically available for free right now, would be downright unfair.