WhatsApp’s real-time location sharing lets your friends see where you’re at

WhatsApp has now joined the likes of Google Maps and parent company Facebook in activating real-time location sharing for users. 

The popular chat service announced that starting today, users of its iOS and Android app will have the option to share their live location with family and friends for a set period of time. Users can also turn off location sharing whenever they choose. 

Here's how to activate Live Location, as the feature is called: open up any chat. Go to the Attach button and select Location. A new option for "Share Live Location" will appear, allowing you to share your location for 15 minutes, 1 hour or 8 hours. Hit send, and you're set.

As is the case with all WhatsApp communications, Live Location is end-to-end encrypted, so only those in a chat can see it. If multiple people are sharing where they're at, each person's location will be visible on one map.

Facebook Messenger also has a Live Location feature, which lets users share their location with friends for up to 60 minutes. 

  • Pssst! Here's where to find the best Black Friday deals this year

HTC U Ultra gets a huge discount of Rs 22,991 on Flipkart

As the festival of light approaches, smartphone makers and e-commerce portals are offering discounts and announcing new offers to attract customers. Now, Taiwanese smartphone maker HTC has announced a huge discount on its flagship device, the HTC U Ultra.

Buy HTC U Ultra @ Rs 29,999 on Flipkart (Save Rs 22,991)

The U Ultra was launched in India in March with a price tag of Rs. 59,990 and in April, it a received a price cut of Rs. 7,000, bring down the price to Rs. 52,990. HTC has announced that to celebrate Dhanteras, the company will be offering the U Ultra at Rs. 29,999, which means that the device is receiving a discount of Rs. 22,991.

If you want to get the HTC U Ultra at Rs. 29,999, you need to hurry as this offer is valid only for today. You can buy the device at its special price from Flipkart and HTC’s online store in Brilliant Black and Sapphire Blue colour options.

To recall, the HTC U Ultra features a 5.7-inch Quad HD Super LCD5 display along with a 2-inch secondary display with a resolution of 1040 x 160 pixels. The device runs on Android 7.0 Nougat with HTC Sense skinned on top and is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 processor clubbed with Adreno 530 GPU, 4GB RAM and 64GB of internal storage.

Coming to the optics, the device comes with 12MP rear camera with f/1.8 aperture, OIS, laser & phase detection autofocus and dual LED flash. On the front, the device sports a 16MP secondary camera. It is powered by a 3,000mAh battery and comes with Quick Charge 3.0 support.

Apart from the HTC U Ultra, you can also get other devices at a discounted price on Flipkart. The recently launched Mi Mix 2 is available at Rs. 35,999, after a discount of Rs. 2,000. Redmi Note 4 64GB storage variant has also received a discount of Rs. 2,000, bringing down the price to Rs. 10,999. The Honor 8 and Honor 8 Pro are available for Rs. 14,999 and Rs. 26,999 respectively. The Apple iPhone 6 32GB has received a discount of Rs. 5,501, bring down its price to Rs. 23,999.

Report: OnePlus caught collecting identifiable user data without permission

You might think true privacy is becoming increasingly hard to come by in this ever-more connected world, but most companies at least ask or warn that they’ll be collecting data.

However, OnePlus though has been found collecting device and user data, and has been accused of doing so without asking permission.

Software engineer Chris Moore discovered as much, posting on his blog that the domain open.oneplus.net has been collecting data and sending it to an AWS (Amazon Web Services) cloud account.

The data collected includes both device information, such as wireless network IDs, his cellular number, serial number and MAC address, and user data, which includes the likes of timestamps showing when specific applications were opened and closed, as well information about when the screen was on and when the phone was charging.

Moore claims that not only did OnePlus not get permission to collect this data, but some of it, such as serial numbers, can potentially be tied back to the user, so it’s not anonymous.

There's no official fix

Android Authority asked OnePlus for comment and was told: “we securely transmit analytics in two different streams over HTTPS to an Amazon server. The first stream is usage analytics, which we collect in order for us to more precisely fine tune our software according to user behavior. 

"This transmission of usage activity can be turned off by navigating to ‘Settings’ -> ‘Advanced’ -> ‘Join user experience program’. The second stream is device information, which we collect to provide better after-sales support.”

So it seems some of this data collection can be disabled, but not all of it. Or at least, not officially. 

Twitter user Jakub Czekański has explained that this data collection can be blocked by putting your phone into debugging mode and entering the command pm uninstall -k –user 0 pkg.

The process is somewhat explained in the Twitter thread, though it’s a process we wouldn’t recommend unless you know what you’re doing – and even then it could cause problems, though no-one has yet reported any that we’ve seen.

Otherwise, you might have to put up with this data collection, though given the attention it’s got we wouldn’t be surprised if OnePlus soon changes it to an opt-in process, since this isn’t the sort of publicity it needs.

This is especially following other complaints about the company, such as its failure to support recent handsets, misleading camera description and a bug that prevented users calling 911.

  • Hopefully the OnePlus 5T will avoid controversy

Samsung Galaxy S9 may feature an ‘Environmental Sensor’ pollution monitor

Air pollution is a major issues in cities around the world, and a new patent suggests Samsung is working on a sensor that sits inside your phone to help your monitor how bad for your health your environment may be.

The component appeared in a patent from a few years ago, which has just been published, suggesting it may either be in development for the Galaxy S9 or future phones.

As is the nature of patents, it may not be a tech that ever sees the light of day either. This sensor would be able to analyze atmospheric conditions and then give the user advice on whether they should wear a pollution mask.

Better breathing

It'll be useful for people that live in cities such as Beijing or Mexico City where air quality is notably poor, but it could also be a good idea for travelers who are not used to high levels of pollution.

The patent suggests you'll be able to monitor the air pollution levels directly on your phone so you can work out if it's safe. That said, it likely won't be accurate in your air conditioned hotel room before you go outside.

The latest top-end phones from Samsung all feature in our best phone round up including the Galaxy S8, Galaxy S8 Plus and Galaxy Note 8. While all three of these devices are currently quite expensive, we hope to see each drop down in price during Black Friday 2017.

  • Here are all the rumors about the Galaxy S9 so far

Via SamMobile

Moto is offering up to Rs. 4500 off on Moto E4, Moto G5, Moto M and Moto Z2 Play

With the festive season having started, several companies have started offering discounts on smartphones, accessories and more in India. The latest to join the list is Motorola – the company is offering festive discounts on several smartphones for a week in the offline market.

Owned by Lenovo, Motorola has launched several Moto-branded smartphones across different price ranges in the country. To make its phones even more attractive, Motorola is offering limited period festive discounts and offers on the Moto E4, Moto G5, Moto M and the Moto Z2 Play. With these devices, Motorola is offering something for everyone – from the entry level to the mid-range.

Discounts up to Rs. 4,500

These festive discounts from Motorola go up to Rs. 4,500, with the best deal on the Moto Z2 Play. Priced at Rs. 29,499, Motorola is offering the Moto Z2 Play at Rs. 24,999 in the offline market, giving you a discount of Rs. 4,500.

In a tweet, Motorola further revealed discounts on other phones too. The entry-level Moto E4 is available at Rs. 8,199, down from its price of Rs. 8,999. The Moto G5, another popular smartphone, is available at Rs. 10,999, down from Rs. 12,599. Lastly, the Moto M is available at Rs. 12,999, after a discount of Rs. 4,000.

Reliance Jio data offer and EMI options

In addition to discounts on its phones, Motorola is also bundling an attractive Reliance Jio data offer for the festive season. Buyers of its phones can get up to 100GB extra 4G data for free, but more details in this regard have not been revealed yet.

Apart from the data offer, Motorola is also offering EMI options from Bajaj Finserv and Home Credit.

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