About a week ago, a couple of readers reported to us that direct carrier billing was showing up for Idea Cellular subscribers in India, but it seemed at the time that the feature wasn't live for everyone and wasn't working reliably for those who had it. Now it's official: the Google Asia Pacific Blog has announced the availability of carrier billing on Idea Cellular.
The post explains how direct carrier billing has positively impacted purchases on Google Play, citing Indonesia as an example of 4x growth in the number of people who make app and in-app purchases after the introduction of operator billing. Read More
About a month ago we spotted two new entries in the country availability listings for the new Chromecast and Chromecast Audio: Taiwan and India. Today both of those are coming true (though India is somewhat conditional - see below), and you can add Hong Kong into the mix. For both Hong Kong and Taiwan, the streaming gadgets are now available on their respective Google Stores. The Chromecast 2015 and Chromecast Audio are HK$349 (around $45 USD) in Hong Kong and NT$1445 ($44.75) in Taiwan.
In India, things are a little more complicated. The new Chromecast and Chromecast Audio aren't available directly from the Google Store. Read More
When it announced the HTC 10 yesterday, the company snuck in an interesting tidbit in its press release regarding the availability of two variants with different Snapdragon processors that are headed to different markets. It turns out that the second variant is the HTC 10 Lifestyle and it's been shown on several of HTC's global websites, hinting at its release there instead of the regular 10 model.
If you head over to the smartphone's page on HTC's site in India, Indonesia, China, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, or Myanmar, you'll see a small "Lifestyle" written next to the HTC 10's name. Read More
The original Chromecast was a streaming sensation thanks to ease of use and a low price point. The second generation, while generally well-received, still hasn't made its way to all of Google's various international markets. The next countries to get a chance to buy the Chromecast 2015 and its little brother the Chromecast Audio appear to be India and Taiwan. Both countries were recently added to Google's official hardware availability page. Read More
For $4, you can get an average cup of coffee, or two bottles of water, or maybe a decent sandwich. If you live in India, that same $4 can get you a brand new smartphone from handset maker Ringing Bells. Sorry, I meant $3.67 at the current exchange rate. Excuse me while my mind gets blown into teeny tiny pieces. WHAAAAAAAAAA?!
OK, I'm back. So we were talking about that new Read More
$4 $3.67 smartphone. It's called the Freedom 251 because it costs Rs. 251.
Android aficionados in India have a few more options today when it comes time to get a new device, courtesy of Motorola. As promised, the Moto X Force is on sale, and the previously available Moto G variants have come to Amazon India. Read More
Two weeks ago, Motorola's Dave Schuster told everyone that the Moto G 2nd gen's Marshmallow update was being soak tested in India and since it doesn't seem like there were any glaring issues reported with the OTA, the update is now ready to roll to everyone.
Motorola updated the phone's support pages in India to include the new software version and a detailed changelog with all of Android 6.0's improvements and added features like granular app permissions, app standby and doze mode, Direct Share, Now on Tap, and the ability to adopt SD cards as internal storage which should be welcome for the Moto G 2nd gen's owners. Read More
Net neutrality is a tricky beast. The informal principle is usually applied to the idea of data providers charging more for specific services, but it can also extend to telecoms giving away specific services (and, by extension, charging more for everything else). That's the attitude of the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India, known locally as "Trai," expressed in a statement today. The regulator says that it will not allow any service provider to "offer or charge discriminatory tariffs for data services on basis of content," more or less aligning India's wireless and landline data industry with the principles of net neutrality. Read More
Amazon has been rolling out Amazon Prime Now, its local service for delivering goods from nearby retailers in hours instead of days, in a few cities in the US. In India there is no Amazon Prime, so the same service is simply referred to as Amazon Now. (Not to be confused with Google Now, which doesn't have anything to do with shopping.) There was already a dedicated app for the American version, but now the Indian model gets one too.
Unfortunately Amazon Now suffers from the same drawback as all local delivery services: a limited services area. It's currently only available in Bangalore, and even there, only in specific PIN codes (the Indian equivalent of zip codes). Read More