Category: Mobile

Here’s a pretty cool story. Developer Steve Troughton-Smith recently found a hidden code for a one-handed keyboard in iOS by hacking an iOS Simulator. Troughton-Smith says the keyboard has “been there since at least iOS 8. You’ve probably seen a keyboard like this before. It’s designed to make typing easier for people who have small hands and own big phones. It essentially pushes the entire QWERTY keyboard over to one side of the phone so that you can reach the far buttons with your thumb.


But there’s a huge downside: You’ll never be able to use it (at least, officially). Apple has not explained why the feature has remained hidden in the iOS code, and it also has not commented on whether the keyboard will ever be made available to users. We’ve reached out to Apple and will update this post if and when we hear back. If Stroughton-Smith is right, and the code has actually been hidden in the operating system since iOS 8, it would make a lot of sense.

The release of iOS 8 was billed as the “biggest change to iOS since the introduction of the App Store” and coincided with the launch of Apple’s biggest phone ever, the iPhone 6 Plus. Although the keyboard can’t be used on official iOS software releases, there is a workaround. Anyone that has jailbroken their iPhone cause use this tutorial from Strought-Smith to activate it.


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Pokemon Go Do Some Work gamers attempting to “catch ’em all” now have lots to cheer about as a new version of Pokemon Go++ is now live, and this lets gamers play Pokemon Go at the comfort of their homes without physically walking miles together. USP of Pokemon Go++, version 1.11.2 for Android and 0.41.2 for iOS, is that your Android/iPhones will have to be neither rooted nor jailbroken. The newest version of Pokemon Go++ is available for download from here. This exploit is working and is also found to be relatively easy to install. Check out the steps below concerning installing Pokemon Go++ version 0.41.2 for Apple devices running iOS 9 or above:

Pokemon Go

Norwegian PM Erna Solberg plays Pokémon Go in parliament.

How to install Pokemon Go++ within iOS without jailbreaking?

Before proceeding with the actual download, IBTimes India reminds you that it will not be held responsible for any damage to the device during/after installation and if any functionality fails to perform to the expected levels. This installation process also requires sound technical knowledge, and users are advised to proceed at their own risk:


PC with Microsoft Windows or Mac OS X installed
Apple iPhone/iPad running Ios 9 or above versions
Apple iTunes pre-installed

Step 1: Remove Pokemon Go from your iOS devices if you have already installed the game. Turn off location services within the device.
Step 2: Obtain Cydia Impactor to side-load IPA files onto your device. Click here to get Cydia Impactor.
Step 3: Obtain the IPA file for Pokemon Go++ by clicking here.
Step 4: Physically interface your Mac/Windows PC to the device running the newer Apple iOS version.
Step 5: After Step 4, launch Cydia Impactor and place the Pokemon Go++ IPA file (downloaded in Step 3) on the Cydia Impactor screen.
Step 6: Enter your Apple ID credentials when prompted to. After this, you will be presented with a new window with Apple Developer Warning Choose OK from this window.
Step 7: Launch Settings, then navigate to Settings > General > Profiles and Device Management. Then select Trust [“Your Apple ID”] choice; then tap when the popup menu appears.
Step 8: Step 7 should lead to the verification of the Pokemon Go++ within your iOS device. You should now be able to check out the AR-based game.


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Apple is still awaiting its breakout moment in India, and much of its potential success hinges on the country’s middle class. The truth is, there’s going to be a lot of people in the middle class that will really want a smartphone, and I think we can compete well for some percentage of those,” Apple CEO Tim Cook said during an earnings call on Tuesday (Oct. 25). For now, Apple devices are still out of reach for a large chunk of India’s population.

Even though the country is the world’s second-largest smartphone market—and the iPhone is extremely desirable there—its pricing remains a major deterrent. Nearly 70% of smartphone sales in India are in the under-$150 categories. Even the iPhone’s cheapest iteration—the Rs 39,000 ($493) iPhone SE— retails $158 above the average smartphone price in India. Apple also prices iPhones among the highest in India compared with other countries.

Tim Cook

To make matters worse for Cook, cheaper Android devices capture the majority of the Indian market, and Apple is losing its already-loose grip. Compared to the same period a year earlier, the iOS market share almost halved in the second quarter of 2016.

Even in China, which has long been a roaring success for Apple, revenues have been on a downslide this year. Beijing shuttered the company’s iBooks and iTunes movie stores, and a local court ordered Apple to stop selling the iPhone 6 and 6-Plus because its design looked similar to a local phone. That pushback could be another reason Apple is looking at India as its next possible growth engine.

But unlike China’s booming middle class, the percentage of people earning between $10-$20 a day in India has increased by only 2 percentage points between 2001 and 2011, to 3%. Companies in the region don’t offer monthly mobile plans or other phone subsidies, making it difficult for Apple to penetrate the market.

A partnership announced on the earnings call could help with that. Reliance Jio, an LTE mobile network operator in India, is rolling out a “first of its kind all-IP network…with 4G coverage in 18,000 cities and 200,000 villages across the country,” Apple chief financial officer Luca Maestri said during the call. They’re also offering a free year of service to purchasers of new iPhones.

Apple has made other efforts, too. In a country where a third of all smartphone purchases are made on the internet, the company teamed up with Flipkart in September to sell its products online. And in May, Cook visited temples, met the bigwigs of Bollywood, and even watched a cricket match to curry favor. Two months later, Apple finally got permission to open its own retail locations in India in June—a request that had been turned down at least once before. A lot of factors are moving in the right direction,” Cook said on the call today. “There is a lot of headroom there in our mind, and so we are working very hard to realize that opportunity.


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Google on Monday pushed out an update to Maps for iOS that allows you to order food, add photos, and find plus codes with just a few taps. Search for a restaurant that works with area delivery services, swipe up from the bottom, and look for the “Place an order” option. A pop-up then asks you which service you’d like to use to place an order (DoorDash,, Seamless, or GrubHub, for example). Availability varies by country, though 9to5Mac says the option is open in most major cities.

Order food in Google Maps for iOS

Order food in Google Maps for iOSWhile this could come in handy for folks exploring new areas (who don’t want the human interaction required when eating out). Most food delivery companies already provide a similar map feature on their website or app. Folks can also now find plus codes just by dropping a pin. Last year, Google released the Open Location Code (OLC) system, also known as plus codes—a way of representing locations that don’t have a specific street address. The same function reached Android users earlier this year.

In March, the Web giant added a ride services tab to Maps, offering Uber fare estimates and pickup times. Last month, it added to more options for folks in the US: Lyft and Gett. Google Maps for Android, meanwhile, recently replaced its traditional direction arrow with a shining blue beam—”a flashlight guiding your travels,” product manager Raja Ayyagari said at the time.


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Apple’s iPhone sales continue to decline for the third quarter in a row, and the company’s annual revenue has also fallen for the time in 15 years since 2001. Amidst the gloom, there is some positive news to share, at least where India is concerned. During the earnings call, CEO Tim Cook mentioned that iPhone sales in India went up by more than 50 percent in the fiscal year ending September 2016, compared to the same period last year. “We believe we’re just beginning to scratch the surface of this large and growing market opportunity,” Cook said.

Apple sold 45.5 million iPhone units, generating revenue of $46.9 billion in the quarter. iPhone sales were up year-over-year in 33 of the top 40 markets. “We’re thrilled with the customer response to iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus, and Apple Watch Series 2, as well as the incredible momentum of our services business, where revenue grew 24 percent to set another record,” Cook said.


Looking ahead, we see some fascinating developments in India. Reliance Jio is rolling out a first of its kind all-IP network in India with 4G coverage in 18,000 cities and 200,000 villages across the country,” Cook added. With the launch of Apple’s new iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus in India, Reliance Jio is also offering buyers with benefits worth Rs 18,000. Buyers get one year of free service, including unlimited local and national outgoing calls, unlimited SMS, 20GB 4G data per month, and 40GB of Wi-Fi data on JioNet Wi-Fi data. The offer is also applicable on iPhone SE, iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 6s, and iPhone 6s Plus. ALSO READ: Reliance Jio offers a free annual plan worth Rs 18,000 to iPhone buyers in India

Apple has also taken enterprise market initiatives where it partnered with Deloitte last month. With its efforts, Apple aims to transform the way Deloitte employees work by maximizing the ease of use, security, and power of the iOS platform. There are more than 5,000 strategic advisors at Deloitte focusing on transforming business functions across the enterprise. Apple is also collaborating with Deloitte’s new consulting service, Enterprise Next, to help its clients across more than 20 industries take full advantage of the iOS ecosystem. ALSO READ: Apple shares fall nearly 3 percent after dipping in quarterly sales

Apple iPhones may not have done well in India, and one key reason is the lack of required infrastructure. The Indian government, with its Digital India initiative, is focused on creating the infrastructure to connect billions of unconnected to the internet. And while Apple is facing a slowdown in developed markets such as China, it would be relying on India’s teeming young population. Tim Cook mentioned that instead of looking at the per capita income in India, it is important to look at the number of people that will move into the middle class over the next decade. If we look at India’s population, more than 50 percent is under 25 – a very young population. ALSO, READ: Couldn’t be more excited about investments in 4G in India: Tim Cook

Cook also mentioned that the population of India is expected to exceed that of China sometime in the next decade. While it may take a little longer for India’s GDP to rival China’s, Apple doesn’t have to succeed here. There will be many people in the middle-class category looking for a good smartphone, and some percent of it will be the exact target of Apple. Apple has realized the opportunity in India and that there’s a lot of headroom to succeed. It is working very hard to seize the opportunity.


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Earlier this week, Apple released the first major update of the iOS 10 series bringing huge improvement, including the much-anticipated Portrait mode to the iPhone 7 Plus and a critical security patch. However, the euphoria around the new update didn’t last long as many Apple device owners who upgraded to the new iOS 10.1 noticed that the sensitive information in their Health app got erased without warning. Going by the number of comments on the Apple support forum, this issue does not look like an isolated one; it’s quite widespread.

Apple iOS 10.1 update erases health app data from iPhones, iPads; is there a way to restore it? 7

Here are a few complaints posted on Apple Support page:

I Recently just updated my phone so to iOS 10.1, but when I go to my Health app, all the data is missing, and I cannot even open the recent activity; I am greeted with the spinning icon. I am running iOS 10.1 on iPhone, so, Dantheman2409 said. I, too, have the same problem. Upgraded from 10.0.3 to 10.1 health data lost,” Matheson Farook said.

Is there a way to fix this issue?

Some of the tech-savvy users tried to restore by resetting the health stat in favorites, but the switch is said to be instantly turning off on its own. Also, If they try to export data, the Health app crashes to the home screen. As of now, there is no temporary solution to fix the glitch. Should Apple device owners who haven’t upgraded to iOS 10.1 wait or go ahead with installation? So far, Apple has not made any official comment about health app data getting erased. It is advisable that the owners who haven’t installed a health app can go ahead with iOS 10.1 installation. It contains a significant security update that prevents phishing from hackers. Others who maintain health records on iPhones are advised to wait for a few more days to see if Apple releases any software patch or not. Those who have already installed the iOS 10.1 update and lost the health app data, you have no choice but to wait for the new update, most probably iOS 10.1.1.

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Pokemon Go, the popular mobile video game from developer Niantic, has added a new update for Android and iOS platforms. The new update will bring some minor improvements to Pokemon Go. But Reddit forum users have flagged the update thread by saying that the update caused a couple of issues in the game. Professor Willow discovered that Eggs have different patterns depending on the distance required to hatch them. Pokemon type icons have been added to the information screen for each Pokémon. Low battery indicator added for the Pokemon GO Plus Unique Press.

Pokemon Go

Minor text fixes

Problems players are facing:

Reddit users have complained that the update stopped music or podcasts (including Spotify) every time they switch back to the app. But the issue is only affecting Android users as iOS users have not complained about it.
But iOS users have said that the update has increased the music in the game, but other users said it lowered the iPhone 6.

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This year has introduced some brilliant smartphones, among them the Samsung Galaxy S7, the Google Pixel, and two brand new iPhones: the SE and the iPhone 7. All these phones and the rest of this year’s praiseworthy devices run either iOS or Android operating systems, and it’s no surprise why. The two software systems completely dominate the smartphone landscape, accounting for a towering majority of phone sales.

If you’re after Apple’s iOS setup, only an iPhone will do, while Google’s Android can be found on many smartphones from a range of manufacturers. Here’s a selection of the best phones you can buy this year: iPhone 7 The iPhone 7 is Apple’s new flagship smartphone, replacing the iPhone 6S at the top of the iOS food chain. It looks very similar to the last one, sporting a refined design rather than an all-new look. It’s a tidier phone, though, with neater antenna bands.

Android and iOS smartphones

Apple has focussed on cameras in a big way with its latest iPhone. The lens is now a wide f/1.8 aperture to allow 60 percent more light onto the sensor, meaning snaps at night time and difficult conditions should be better. On the larger iPhone 7 Plus, there’s a dual-camera system with a telephoto lens for optical zoom capabilities.

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The display is the 3D touch-enabled screen from the iPhone 6S, although Apple says it is 25 percent brighter and should be a lot more colorful, thanks to the wide color gamut taken from the iPad Pro. Controversially there’s no headphone jack, but an adaptor is included in the box. Prices start at £599 for the 4.7ins device with 32GB storage, and you can read more about the iPhone 7 here. Alongside the new device, Apple has dropped the iPhone 6S to £499 and upped its minimum memory to 32GB. It’s still a brilliant smartphone and one worth considering.

Samsung Galaxy S7

The handset many tips as the main rival to the iPhone, Samsung’s newest flagship smartphone is the “most capable smartphone on the market today,” says Alpha. In terms of features, the Galaxy S7 steps forward in several ways compared to the S6 while bringing back some old favorites. For instance, the camera hardware is entirely new – it’s a 12-megapixel setup, a smaller count than on the Galaxy S6, but mated to optimized hardware and software additions.
A MicroSD card slot is useful for upping the standard 32GB memory, and the phone is rated IP68 water and dustproof.

Samsung’s phones have always been renowned for their displays, and the S7 is no different. On the standard phone is a 5.1ins OLED panel, according to DisplayMate, which delivers “absolutely stunning and beautiful images.” An Edge version of the phone uses a 5.5ins screen curved at the edges. The S7 is also a good choice for power users. UK phone users get an Exynos 8890 chip mated to 4GB RAM. Prices start at £569, SIM-free.

Google Pixel

The newest smartphone on the market has been created by the internet giant to directly compete with Apple’s iPhone 7, although HTC actually makes it. The standard phone uses a 5ins AMOLED display with a Full HD resolution, while the Pixel XL phablet has a 5.5ins screen with a higher resolution, Quad HD panel. The 12-megapixel camera puts it on par with the iPhone 7, and the latest Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 chipset means it should be a powerful handset. It’s also the first phone to be compatible with Google’s new Daydream virtual reality platform. Priced from £599 – just like the iPhone 7 – it could become the ultimate android alternative to Apple’s flagship.

Samsung Galaxy J5

At the opposite end of the spectrum to the many expensive smartphones on the market is the Samsung Galaxy J5, a budget smartphone that Alpha reckons is brilliant value for money. This full-sized handset can be bought for as little as £140 sim-free, yet it boasts performance and specifications close to flagship phones from not so long ago.
At a glance, you’d be hard-pressed to find anything marking it out as a budget phone. The J5 has a simple slate design and boasts a 5ins touchscreen display. The screen is a Super AMOLED unit with an HD resolution of 1280×720 and a pixel density of 294 – not on par with the ultra HD smartphones you’ll spend more than £500 on, true, but still impressive enough and “an incredible contender for the price.

What really makes the J5 stand out compared to other budget smartphones is its performance. It has 1.5GB RAM onboard, making it a fairly fast and reliable device. Only the most strenuous games will tax it. Camera hardware on paper is decent, with a 13-megapixel snapper on the rear and a five-megapixel selfie camera, although performance isn’t as polished as you’d expect. At least the battery life is huge – Alpha managed to clock the J5’s lifespan as being longer than you’ll get with the firm’s Galaxy S7. Overall, the J5 stacks up very well for its puny price tag and is one of the best budget options out there.


At £500 SIM-free, the LG G5 is an Android flagship likely to tempt people looking for something a bit different. It’s a modular smartphone that users can really dig their teeth into and customize by unbuttoning parts and panels and attaching accessories. The “modular expansion system” allows users to drop the battery out and load a new one or use it to attach additional camera hardware. The screen is a 5.3ins QHD display – slightly smaller than the LG G4’s screen, which measured 5.5ins – and offers a pixel density of 544ppi and a resolution of 2560×1440. A dual-camera sits on the back, with a 16-megapixel sensor joined by an eight-megapixel camera with ultra-wide viewing angle capabilities. Powering the G5 is a Snapdragon 820, mated to 4GB RAM. HTC 10

While most of the specs on Taiwanese brand HTC’s latest release are what you’d expect on a flagship Android handset – 4GB RAM, Snapdragon 820, removable MicroSD card slot – the HTC 10 is the best smartphone the company “has made in years” thanks to significant camera revisions, says Alpha. The 12-megapixel sensor with a wide f/1.8 aperture, laser autofocus, and optical image stabilization (OIS) moves the game on considerably from the HTC One M9. The front-facing camera is a big improvement, too; a five-megapixel sensor also boasting OIS, which HTC calls an “ultra selfie” camera. The phone gets a 3,000mAh battery with quick charging capabilities, a MicroSD card slot, so the 32GB internal memory can be upped easily. It can record in 24-bit audio for high-quality sound.

Trusted Reviews declares it to be the android phone to beat in 2016.

“From the lovely screen to the speedy performance to the fantastic representation of Android, the HTC 10 ticks all the boxes,” it says. “It might not be the best in every area, but it’s strong in pretty much all of them.”
It’s £570, SIM-free.

iPhone SE

Design-wise, bar the rose-gold color option, the SE isn’t new at all. It uses the same casing as the iPhone 5S released back in 2013, but with good reason: Apple’s most recent flagship devices moved away from four-inch displays in favor of larger screens, reaching phablet sizes with the Plus versions of the iPhone 6 and 6S. The SE is for those who have stuck around on Apple’s older, smaller platforms. Though smaller and cheaper than the iPhone 6S, the SE is almost as powerful, using the same A9 processor chip mated to 2GB RAM.

There’s a spate of other new additions, too, the camera hardware being a particular coup. The little SE gets a 12-megapixel iSight main camera like the big 6S and can record video in 4K with Live Photos support. Users also get Apple Pay as a near-field communications chip is installed. Available with either 16GB or 64GB internal memory, the SE starts from £359.

OnePlus 3

Chinese firm OnePlus has become renowned for delivering handsets boasting flagship specs at a significantly lower price than rivals Samsung and Apple. This year sees the release of its fourth phone – the OnePlus 3, a 5.5ins phablet that, on paper, can compete against some of the best on the market. It gets an AMOLED display; although the full HD 1080p resolution can’t compete with the Quad HD displays, you’ll find the likes of the Galaxy S7. However, the 16-megapixel camera and the eight-megapixel selfie sensor are more than adequate, and the powerful internal specs are definitely on par with some of the most expensive phones around.

OnePlus 3 gets Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 820 chipset, mated to 6GB RAM, so in theory, it’s a more powerful device than many, and multitasking should be a doddle. There’s no expandable memory, but it comes with an adequate 64GB storage. The OnePlus 3 runs a modified version of Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow called Oxygen OS and is priced at £309 – a very tempting price.

Nexus 6P

Google’s new Pixel XL may have replaced the Nexus 6P as the latest Google-backed smartphone effort, but it’s still on sale and is still an excellent buy if you’re after a quality phablet-sized device. The Nexus 6P uses a 5.7ins Quad HD AMOLED display, so for the money, you’ll get a big, bright screen with pin-sharp resolution and a pixel density of 518ppi. The phone has a good-quality full metal body, with a fingerprint scanner embedded on the backplate underneath the camera.

The main camera is a 12.3-megapixel sensor capable of recording video in 4K resolution and 240 frames per second slow-motion capture, while the selfie camera is an 8-megapixel setup. Power is provided by a Snapdragon 810 chipset mated to 3GB RAM, so while there are more powerful phones on the market, this is an excellent and snappy device for day-to-day use. The phone is available with 32GB, 64GB, or 128GB internal storage, and at £449, it’s cheaper than many flagship devices. Pocket-Lint says it’s “a wonderful pure Android handset that undercuts many Android flagships.”

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New Delhi: Eight years after they made waves at the Beijing Olympics, two of Indian boxing’s most celebrated names — Akhil Kumar and Jitender Kumar — are set for a comeback to the ring by turning professional. The two boxers, both of whom are Commonwealth Games and Asian Championships medallists, are close to finalizing a deal with Infinity Optimal Solutions (IOS), who are India promoters of the reigning WBO Asia Pacific champion Vijender Singh.

The two boxers are awaiting permission from their current employers — the Haryana Police — to officially take the plunge like Vijender, a DSP with Haryana Police. Everyone who has followed Indian boxing knows the kind of impact Akhil made in changing the face of the sport. His style, aggression, and unabashed passion for fighting for the nation endeared him to one and all,” IOS CEO and Managing Director Neerav Tomar told PTI.

Akhil, Jitender Kumar target pro circuit through Vijender Singh's IOS

The two would, in fact, be making their professional debut alongside Vijender in a fight night being planned in the next two months in India Vinzite. Vijender, unbeaten in the circuit with 7 wins, is currently based in Manchester but made a smash-hit homecoming in July by winning the WBO title. Akhil, who has to his credit a Commonwealth Games bantamweight gold medal, was Indian boxing’s reigning star heading into the 2008 Beijing Olympics. He stunningly defeated the then world No.1 Sergey Vodopyanov before losing in the quarterfinals.

Boxing history was made for India in those Games, with Vijender winning the middleweight bronze medal, a first for an Indian pugilist. Jitender, competing in flyweight, too, had made a name for himself in the Beijing Games by beating strong opponents, including Uzbekistan’s Tulashboy Doniyorov, en route to the quarterfinals before a jaw injury put paid to his chances of a medal. The two were feted at par with medallists on their return to India owing to their lion-hearted performances and were made DSPs before being eventually laid low by injuries.

Boxing got me recognition, and it got me this job too. I have served my nation without hesitation and pride that you understand only when you wear ‘India’ on your chest. I was thrilled to know that Pro Boxers could now fight at the Olympics, as the restriction had been a massive stumbling block for much earlier,” Akhil, an Arjuna awardee, said.
Famous for his perilously low guard, Akhil is also a World Cup bronze-medallist.

I cannot imagine my life without boxing. Because Haryana Police and our State Government have the most friendly and supportive stance towards sportspersons, it has been possible for many like me to keep pursuing this dream of fighting and bringing laurels to the nation. Pro Boxing looks to be the future direction for the sport’s growth, and I do see it as one more avenue where we Indians should be making a far bigger dent in the coming days,” he added.

The 35-year-old Akhil and 28-year-old Jitender have been away from competitive boxing for some time. While Akhil was last seen in action at the 2014 Asian Games, Jitender has been inactive since his World Series of Boxing stint with Mumbai Fighters way back in 2010-11. He (Akhil) has been a tad unfortunate with injuries before major tournaments in the recent past, but the fighter inside him never really quit. We hope to see the smiling assassin of the boxing world in the ring once again,” Tomar said. We really feel it will go a long way in bringing in more people into the boxing fold and make them see the hard work put in by our athletes,” he added.

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Ever tried to find out how many apps Google owns on the Indian Android Play Store? The answer is 114. In stark contrast, Facebook owns a measly eight apps — including WhatsApp, Instagram, and Oculus VR. But why are we talking about apps? Facebook says that it doesn’t believe in releasing multiple apps to take over a market from the competition but in pushing relevant content and driving engagement.

Our ideals as a company are different, and we believe in pushing more meaningful content for users to drive more engagement along with giving our users the power to control their timeline and which is why we don’t believe in releasing multiple apps like rival Google for a market like India which is turning to be our most important market as lift or adoption of some new features is high here,” Adam Mosseri, vice president of product management at Facebook, told HT.


We deeply care about India as we focus on building for the next billion people coming online. Hence, we are committed to learning how people everywhere use our product and make sure Facebook works for them. Connecting the next billion people on Facebook means understanding these differences and building better experiences to work on all connections, devices, and regions,” he explained.

Companies like Facebook, Microsoft, Google have been fighting to take the maximum pie as India embarks on its digital journey or data revolution. The country presents itself as the new revenue-generating region with millions of users coming online for the first time, mostly via smartphones.

While Google has been trying to get more users with different apps and their offline versions, Facebook is looking at more engagement with newer features like automated NewsFeed, 360-degree videos, the Live broadcast feature, sports, and Bollywood engagement, along with supported initiatives like Express WiFi, Facebook Lite app, and Instant Articles. Instant Articles, which only works on smartphones, is a new format for news stories that open nearly five times faster on a 2G network when compared to an original format on a 4G connection.

The company launched Facebook Wi-Fi after Free Basics was banned in India. Express Wi-Fi allows India’s mobile phone owners in underserved locations to purchase data from local internet service providers to access the internet. In partnership with a state-owned telecoms provider, a pilot version of the program is currently live at 125 rural Wi-Fi hot spots in the country.

Express Wi-Fi empowers local entrepreneurs to help provide quality internet access to their neighbors and make a steady income,” writes Facebook on its website. However, Mosseri said that the company was looking to work with local internet service providers or mobile operators to use the software provided by Facebook to connect their communities Vlogger Faire.

The engagement levels globally have gone up to 52 minutes per user, including increased time spent by users in India. The engagement is rising in India. It may overtake anytime but that also depends on many variables,s including internet penetration,” Mosseri said adding that the last data revealed showed that the US market had an engagement of 45 minutes per user.

As of the end of Q2 2016, daily actives on Facebook in India had grown 22% year over year, compared to a 17% increase in daily actives on Facebook worldwide,” Mosseri said, adding that “not including Likes, more than 50% of the reactions used in India are ‘Love’ emojis, and more than 30% of Reactions used in India are ‘Haha’ emojis.

However, just last month Google at its second edition of the Google for India event revealed India-specific apps and solutions to get more users. The apps or services included offline YouTube, more public WiFi hotspots, special content boxes for streaming in restaurants, and more effective Chrome (browser) capabilities.

Meanwhile, Facebook on Thursday also introduced a new design or architecture for News Feed that will allow users to see fewer gray boxes and more relevant stories faster. “This new architecture of News Feed allows stories to be ranked on the client after being sent from the server. We avoid spinners and gray boxes by firstly requiring stories to have all necessary media available before rendering them in News Feed and secondly being able to optimize the stories in News Feed for each session to see the most relevant stories even if you’re on slow internet connections.

Mosseri explained

Facebook also showcased the power of engagement of its connected apps and services ecosystem. “While 670 million people are connected to a News Publisher page on Facebook, at least one billion people are connected to a public figure on Facebook,” Ankit Rihal, head of entertainment partnerships at Facebook India executive, said, adding that nearly 17 of the top 20 public figures (8 of the top 10) on Facebook are entertainers.

This helps us drive more engagement and create more engagement for content creators like Pocket Aces or any Bollywood or TV production,” Biswamitra Ray, TV and original content programming partnerships head at Facebook India, said comparing the solution to Google’s YouTube. He also said that the company had launched Mentions to drive more fan-based engagement for celebrities or personalities.

The company also claimed that Facebook was working with sports partnerships at well. “Nearly 650 million people around the world are connected to at least one sports Page (league, team, athlete, sports media) on Facebook. Over 277 million people had 1.5 billion interactions on Facebook about the Rio 2016 Summer Olympic Games, along with over 30 million people generating 360 million Facebook conversations during the latest edition of the IPL,” Asha Thacker, head at sports partnerships in India, said. Facebook is reportedly fighting for a spot for streaming rights for the next edition of IPL.

In India, Facebook has nearly 155 million monthly average users, 77 million daily average users. “Nearly 147 million people access Facebook via Mobile monthly, and 73 million users access Facebook daily as of the second quarter of 2016,” a Facebook spokesperson said, adding that the service was available in 12 Indian languages.


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