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Google Unveils ‘Pixel’ Smartphone, takes another Leap into $400 Billion Smartphone Market

The phone is expected to sell for $649, about the same as Apple’s iPhone and Samsung’s Galaxy

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Sabrina Ellis, Google director of product management, talks about the new Google Pixel phone during a product event in San Francisco, California, Oct. 4, 2016. VOA
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October 5, 2016: Google is taking another leap into the $400 billion smartphone market.

While the company’s software, Android, runs millions of phones worldwide, Google unveiled a line of smartphones called Pixel at an event Tuesday.

The phone is expected to sell for $649, about the same as Apple’s iPhone and Samsung’s Galaxy.

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Pixel will come in two sizes, 12.7 centimetres and 14 centimetres, and three colours, black, silver and blue. In addition to a premium camera and long battery life, the company is expected to use Pixel to highlight a digital assistant software called “Google Assistant.”

The software uses artificial intelligence that would create a “personal Google for each and every user,” according to Sundar Pichai, Google’s CEO.

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Pixel is built by HTC, but Google has reportedly been in on the design, leading to the “phone by Google” branding. The phones are powered by a Snapdragon 821.

Google also said it would offer free unlimited cloud storage for all, full-resolution images and videos shot with Pixel.

Pixel will not be Google’s first move into the smartphone market. In the past, the company sold phones and tablets under the Nexus brand. The company did not heavily market the phones, which limited their popularity.

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Pixel will be powered by Google’s Android operating system, which powers most of the world’s smartphones At Tuesday’s event, the company said the phones will run on a cleaner version of Android than on other phones like the Samsung Galaxy S7. Google said the Pixel version would be faster.

The Bloomberg news service called Google’s move into the smartphone market “risky” but said it likely is spurred by the company’s desire to “ensure distribution for its web services, and more complex offerings like virtual and augmented reality.”

Google has not said how much it has spent on Pixel. (VOA)

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  • Diksha Arya

    This is so amazing… can’t wait for the launch…

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Aadhaar Helpline Mystery: French Security Expert Tweets of doing a Full Disclosure Tomorrow about Code of the Google SetUP Wizard App

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Google's new tool can help you make our planet healthy. Wikimedia Commons

Google’s admission that it had in 2014 inadvertently coded the 112 distress number and the UIDAI helpline number into its setup wizard for Android devices triggered another controversy on Saturday as India’s telecom regulator had only recommended the use of 112 as an emergency number in April 2015.

After a large section of smartphone users in India saw a toll-free helpline number of UIDAI saved in their phone-books by default, Google issued a statement, saying its “internal review revealed that in 2014, the then UIDAI helpline number and the 112 distress helpline number were inadvertently coded into the SetUp wizard of the Android release given to OEMs for use in India and has remained there since”.

Aadhaar Helpline Number Mystery: French security expert tweets of doing a full disclosure tomorrow about Code of the Google SetUP Wizard App, Image: Wikimedia Commons.

However, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) recommended only in April 2015 that the number 112 be adopted as the single emergency number for the country.

According to Google, “since the numbers get listed on a user’s contact list, these get  transferred accordingly to the contacts on any new device”.

Google was yet to comment on the new development.

Meanwhile, French security expert that goes by the name of Elliot Alderson and has been at the core of the entire Aadhaar controversy, tweeted on Saturday: “I just found something interesting. I will probably do full disclosure tomorrow”.

“I’m digging into the code of the @Google SetupWizard app and I found that”.

“As far as I can see this object is not used in the current code, so there is no implications. This is just a poor coding practice in term of security,” he further tweeted.

On Friday, both the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) as well as the telecom operators washed their hand of the issue.

While the telecom industry denied any role in the strange incident, the UIDAI said that he strange incident, the UIDAI said that some vested interests were trying to create “unwarranted confusion” in the public and clarified that it had not asked any manufacturer or telecom service provider to provide any such facility.

Twitter was abuzz with the new development after a huge uproar due to Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) Chairman R.S. Sharma’s open Aadhaar challenge to critics and hackers.

Ethical hackers exposed at least 14 personal details of the TRAI Chairman, including mobile numbers, home address, date of birth, PAN number and voter ID among others. (IANS)

Also Read: Why India Is Still Nowhere Near Securing Its Citizens’ Data?