TECHNOLOGY NEWS

WhatsApp Is Increasing Character Limit For Group Subject And Description: Know More


Edited By: Bharat Upadhyay

Last Updated: January 31, 2023, 10:38 IST

WhatsApp is changing the maximum limit of characters.

WhatsApp is changing the maximum limit of characters.

The Meta-owned messaging application is increasing the group description from 512 characters to 2048 characters.

WhatsApp Update: The Meta-owned instant messaging Application WhatsApp is reportedly releasing longer group subjects and descriptions, making it easier to better describe groups.

“After installing the latest WhatsApp beta for Android 2.23.3.9 update, we discovered some changes specifically for the group subject and description that are aimed at providing a better user experience for WhatsApp groups,” WABetaInfo, a website that tracks WhatsApp, reported.

As per the screenshot shared by WABetaInfo, the changes are about the number of characters you can type when entering the group subject and description. The group subject has been increased from 25 characters to 100 characters.

This lets group administrators have more freedom when naming their groups, making it easier to identify the purpose of the group. In addition, the Meta-owned messaging application is increasing the group description from 512 characters to 2048 characters.

This update provides more space for group administrators to add important details and information about the group, making it easier for all group participants to understand the purpose of the group, in particular when it’s linked to a community, the report said.

The ability to choose a longer group subject and description is available for people that install the latest WhatsApp beta for Android update from the Play Store and it’s expected to reach more users soon.

Meanwhile, WhatsApp is reportedly working on a new feature which lets users react to messages within the announcement group on iOS. According to a report by WABetaInfo, the platform is planning to work on an in-app banner to notify users when an update that brings message reactions within the announcement group is available.

Reportedly, users will be required to update their app from the App Store or the TestFlight app to access the upcoming feature. Moreover, the report suggests that as of now this upcoming feature is under development and is likely to be released in near future on the iOS application.

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Nothing Phone (2) Launch Plans Confirmed, Likely To Rival Xiaomi And OnePlus


Last Updated: January 31, 2023, 14:45 IST

Nothing Phone 1 did not launch in the US

Nothing Phone 1 did not launch in the US

The company focused on markets like India and Europe with its first device but now things are likely to go up a level.

Nothing Phone (2) is coming later this year and the company says it will focus on the US market with the new smartphone. Nothing entered the phone arena with the refreshing Phone (1) which came to markets like India and Europe but the company strangely left out US from its launch plans.

Nothing is going to change that with the Phone (2) which is launching in late 2023, as mentioned by CEO, Carl Pei in an interview this week.

Pei was asked the reason for not launching the first phone in the US, to which he said the device was not built to support the bands used by the US carriers.

He also mentioned that since the company was just starting its journey in the mobile sector, it did not have the required resources to comply with the certification process of the country. Pei even explains that having a small team of engineers for the mobile team forced the company to outsource the work, which has now changed with the team expanded to meet the needs of different markets.

Nothing did launch the Ear series TWS earbuds in the region, and its success has convinced Pei and Co. regarding the possible success of its smartphones in the near future.

As for the Nothing Phone (2), Pei says the device will be more premium but doesn’t want to put the tag of ‘flagship’ on the product. Without giving more details about the upcoming product, Pei is likely to have hinted that the company is ready to take on the big boys like Xiaomi and OnePlus who have elevated their portfolio to have premium devices themselves with products like the Xiaomi 12S Ultra and the OnePlus 10 Pro, respectively.

The company is also focused on improving the software experience of its first Nothing phone and we are hoping to see and hear more about the Phone (2) in the coming months.

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Netflix Brings ‘Kids Mystery Box’ Feature To Android devices


Last Updated: January 31, 2023, 16:02 IST

Find the kids 'Favorites Row' at the top of the homepage

Find the kids ‘Favorites Row’ at the top of the homepage

The company on Monday updated its previous announcement blogpost from May last year and mentioned, “This feature is now available on Android devices for all global members.”

Streaming giant Netflix has rolled out its ‘Kids Mystery Box’ feature on Android devices globally, which provides a fun and safe space for kids to discover their next favourite series and films.

The company on Monday updated its previous announcement blogpost from May last year and mentioned, “This feature is now available on Android devices for all global members.”

“Kids, parents and caregivers can enjoy this feature” by logging in to a kids profile.

Find the kids ‘Favorites Row’ at the top of the homepage. This row is character-driven to help viewers instantly connect with the characters, shows and films they love when they turn on Netflix.

Then hover the pointer over the sparkling ‘mystery box’ to locate a title that is anew for you.

“We hope that kids will love the surprise and delight of revealing the next show or film recommended for them,” the streaming giant said.

In July 2021, the company had introduced ‘Kids Top 10 Row’ featuring the most popular children’s content in the viewers’ country and ‘Kids Recap emails’ to give parents a better understanding of their child’s preferences.

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(This story has not been edited by News18 staff and is published from a syndicated news agency feed)



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Instagram Notes Now Coming To More Countries


Last Updated: January 31, 2023, 17:02 IST

Instagram Notes has been available in select markets for now

Instagram Notes has been available in select markets for now

Instagram introduced the feature last month but its availability was limited to select markets.

Instagram has expanded its ‘Notes’ feature, a way for users to share their thoughts, to Europe and Japan.

The head of Instagram, Adam Mosseri, made the announcement on the micro-blogging platform Twitter, stating that “Notes are now available in Europe and Japan.”

In a video, Mosseri addressed that many users “complained about not having access yet to the feature.”

“Sometimes when we launch a new feature, we launch it only to a small percentage of people, or just to a specific country,” he explained.

“And sometimes, in the case of Notes, we launch something everywhere we can but have to hold back in a few countries if there’s more work to do.”

Mosseri also mentioned that the feature “has done really well” in Asia, North America and Latin America and “specifically with teens.”

The Notes feature was introduced last month. Notes are short posts of up to 60 characters using just text and emojis.

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(This story has not been edited by News18 staff and is published from a syndicated news agency feed)



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Phones Launching In February 2023


Last Updated: January 31, 2023, 16:10 IST

OnePlus 11 series is launching in India next month

OnePlus 11 series is launching in India next month

All these brands will be launching their high-end and mid-range phones globally as well as for the Indian market.

February is going to be the second month of 2023 but expect a lot of excitement for the smartphone industry as many brands are lining up their products over the next 28 days. And the lineup includes some blockbuster brands like Samsung, OnePlus, Xiaomi and more. You also have the Mobile World Congress 2023 (MWC 2023) sandwiched between these launches as well, which means the mobile sector is going to have a busy few weeks. In addition to the global launches, we also have some devices coming to the Indian market in February and here are all the details about the smartphones launching in February 2023.

Samsung Galaxy S23 Series

Samsung is bringing its new flagship phones to the market in February and the global event is happening on February 1 in the US. Samsung will also likely have details about the Galaxy S23, Galaxy S23 Plus and the S23 Ultra for the Indian market on the sidelines of the event. The new Samsung phones will use the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chipset as per reports, and also introduce the new 200-megapixel Samsung sensor. The phones will be going up against the best in the business and we are eager to see them in flesh.

Vivo X90 Series

Vivo is upgrading its premium lineup with the new X90 series launching on February 3. The series is likely to have the X90, X90 Pro and X90 Pro Plus. Vivo uses Zeiss Optics lenses for its camera tech which will be complemented with the top-end Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chipset. Vivo offers its high-end phones with Origin OS in China, while other markets get it with the Funtouch OS version.

OnePlus 11 Series

OnePlus is another brand launching its flagship phone in the market this month. The company introduced the OnePlus 11 series in China last month, and now the phone is coming to the Indian buyers. The company has also confirmed that it will be bringing the OnePlus 11R model to the market at the launch event on February 7.

iQOO Neo 7 5G

iQOO is expanding its product lineup with the new Neo 7 5G smartphone. This device is launching on February 17 and the big highlight is the 120W charging speed that will be provided. iQOO has been a breath of fresh air and the Neo series has shown to be a competent lineup from the brand. The phone is going to be powered by MediaTek Dimensity 8200 chipset which is dubbed as a proper flagship hardware.

Xiaomi 13 Series

Xiaomi is going to bring the new flagships as well, the new Xiaomi 13 and the 13 Pro will be showcased, mostly likely at the MWC 2023 for the global markets. Xiaomi is also expected to launch these phones for the Indian market, which will make them the first Xiaomi phones with Leica-powered cameras in the country. Xiaomi did bring the 12 Ultra to the market but its availability was limited to China. The Xiaomi 13 series is powered by the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chipset and the focus on cameras means we are excited to see its quality.

Realme 10 5G

Realme launched the 10 Pro series in December and then you got the Realme 10 4G variant, and now it is time for the Realme 10 5G model in the country.

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ChatGPT Will Soon Face Challenge From China’s Upcoming AI Chatbot: Report


Edited By: Bharat Upadhyay

Last Updated: January 31, 2023, 15:15 IST

ChatGPT is designed to give human-like answers to questions.

ChatGPT is designed to give human-like answers to questions.

Chinese tech giant Baidu is planning to launch the service as a standalone application and gradually merge it into its search engine.

Chinese internet search major Baidu is reportedly planning to launch artificial intelligence (AI) chatbot service similar to Microsoft-backed OpenAI’s ChatGPT in March. From drafting a poem to writing a basic software code to provide information on the questions asked, ChatGPT is designed to give human-like answers to questions.

Now a report from Reuters revealed that the Chinese tech giant Baidu is planning to launch the service as a standalone application and gradually merge it into its search engine. Baidu plans to incorporate chatbot-generated results when users make search requests, instead of only links, it said.

Chatbots in China currently focus on social interaction whereas ChatGPT performs better at more professional tasks, such as programming and essay writing. ChatGPT’s technology works by learning from vast amounts of data how to answer prompts by users in a human-like manner, offering information like a search engine or even prose like an aspiring novelist.

Recently, a report from IANS also claimed that the search for ChatGPT on Google hit a record high and China is leading in the demand. According to data acquired by Finbold, global Google searches for the word a ChatGPT’ have spiked to hit a popularity score of 92.

“The score peaked at 100 for the week ending January 11. Notably, the term recorded a score of less than 1 as of November 30, 2022, when the tool was launched,” the report mentioned.

Regarding regional breakdown, China ranks top with a peak score of 100 as of January 13, followed by Nepal at 35, while Norway is third with a score of 28. With a score of 27, Singapore is in the fourth spot, while Israel is in the fifth position at 26.

Notably, the US States has failed to feature among countries recording increased demand for ChatGPT, the report informed. The high demand in China can be attributed to various factors like users opting to leverage virtual private networks (VPNs).

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WhatsApp Faces Privacy Setting Issue Globally On iOS: All Details Here


Last Updated: January 31, 2023, 13:12 IST

This outage is not because of a broken update.

This outage is not because of a broken update.

The report also mentioned that if someone’s online presence on the platform is hidden, then the current configuration is safe and nobody can see when they are online.

Meta-owned messaging platform WhatsApp is facing a server-side issue, making it impossible to update the privacy setting “who can see when I’m online,” globally on iOS.

This outage is not because of a broken update, reports WABetaInfo.

It is still unclear how many users are affected by this issue and what is causing the current issue.

The company has not yet released any official statement or provided any information on the reasons behind the issue.

The report also mentioned that if someone’s online presence on the platform is hidden, then the current configuration is safe and nobody can see when they are online.

In October last year, the messaging platform had suffered a global outage including in India that lasted for over two hours.

According to outage monitor website DownDetector, over 85 per cent of people had reported problems while messaging, 11 per cent while using the app, and 3 per cent while using the website.

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(This story has not been edited by News18 staff and is published from a syndicated news agency feed)





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Samsung Flags Further Chip Slowdown As Lowest Profit Since 2014 Recorded


Last Updated: January 31, 2023, 13:37 IST

Samsung continues to feel the brunt of the slowdown in the industry

Samsung continues to feel the brunt of the slowdown in the industry

Samsung Electronics Co Ltd on Tuesday reported its lowest quarterly profit since 2014 and said persistent macroeconomic uncertainty will make for a tough first half year, though demand is likely to start recovering in the second half.

SEOUL: Samsung Electronics Co Ltd on Tuesday reported its lowest quarterly profit since 2014 and said persistent macroeconomic uncertainty will make for a tough first half year, though demand is likely to start recovering in the second half.

Sluggish demand and inventory adjustment will continue to impact the chip business in the first quarter, Samsung said in a statement, adding it expects “smartphone demand to decline year-on-year due to the economic slowdown in major regions”.

The world’s biggest maker of memory chips and smartphones reported a 69% plunge in fourth-quarter profit, as consumer demand for electronic devices dropped while clients spent less in a weak economy, dragging down memory chip prices.

At 4.3 trillion won ($3.49 billion), October-December operating profit was Samsung’s lowest quarterly profit in eight years. Revenue fell 8% to 70.5 trillion won.

With memory chip prices falling by double-digit percentages in 2022, Samsung’s chip profit likewise tumbled – to about 270 billion won in the fourth quarter from 8.83 trillion won in the same period a year prior, marking the lowest since a 2011 change in accounting standards, Samsung’s website showed.

Some analysts expect the chip business to book a loss in the first quarter, pulling overall profit below that of the fourth.

Last week, chipmaker Intel Corp said it expects to lose money in the current quarter as the personal computer industry experiences a chip glut.

Memory chip rivals Micron Technology Inc and SK Hynix Inc had already said they would slash investment in 2023.

Investors will be watching for whether Samsung avoids mentioning a direct chip production cut – as is its usual stance – or rather gives a clear signal of production cuts given the severity of the memory chip down-cycle.

In mobile, Samsung said fourth-quarter profit fell to 1.7 trillion won from 2.66 trillion won a year earlier, as a decline in low- and mid-end smartphone sales was greater than expected due to “continued inflation and geopolitical instability.”

Samsung plans to unveil its latest Galaxy S flagship smartphones later this week.

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(This story has not been edited by News18 staff and is published from a syndicated news agency feed)



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How To Use Google Meet Companion Mode: A Step-By-Step Guide


Edited By: Bharat Upadhyay

Last Updated: January 31, 2023, 12:37 IST

You can use companion mode to improve participants' collaboration.

You can use companion mode to improve participants’ collaboration.

Google Meet Companion mode allows each meeting participant to use a second screen during a meeting to improve their user experience.

Google Meet, a video conferencing platform developed by the tech giant Google, allows users to conduct virtual meetings with one or more people over the internet, using audio, video, and screen sharing. The platform offers a host of useful features for its users. One such feature is Companion Mode.

What Is Google Meet Companion Mode?

Google Meet Companion mode allows each meeting participant to use a second screen during a meeting to improve their user experience. In Companion mode, your mic and video are turned off to avoid any audio feedback. You can connect with two laptops, for example, or a laptop and another compatible device, such as a Google Hub Max.

According to Google, it is useful for those who are in a meeting room with others. Using Companion mode, they can use a second screen to raise their hand or send a message in the chat as an individual. You can use companion mode to improve participants’ collaboration.

In meeting rooms – Join meetings with audio and video on meeting-room hardware or Google Nest Hub Max to speak or listen to remote participants.

To share your screen or use chat, polls, Q&A, and host controls use Companion mode on your laptop.

When you’re remote- Join a meeting with audio and video as normal.

You can connect your laptop to a Google Meet meeting in Companion mode from a meeting invite or with a short link.

How To Use Google Meet Companion Mode

From the meeting invite:

– In a meeting invite, click Join.

– On the meeting landing page, under Other joining options

– Click Use Companion mode.

Use a short link:

– In your browser, enter g.co/companion.

– On the Meet home screen, select a meeting, or enter a meeting code.

To avoid missing chat messages, connect with Companion mode at the beginning of the meeting. Messages sent before you connect aren’t included in your chat stream.

If you plan to use chat during the meeting, remind meeting-room participants to connect with Companion mode.

Use Self-View to share your personal video tile with remote participants. If you’re in a meeting room and join with Companion mode, you can turn on Self-View with your laptop camera to share your personal video tile with others on the call.

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Intel To Layoff About 340 Employees At California Campus: Report


Last Updated: January 31, 2023, 10:53 IST

In total, the chip giant plans to cut 500 jobs in California.

In total, the chip giant plans to cut 500 jobs in California.

The company announced new layoffs in the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) notice.


Calling it “difficult decisions,’ chip-maker Intel is laying off nearly 340 employees at one of its campuses in the US. Intel told state and local officials that it plans to lay off about 340 workers at its Folsom campus in California, reports KCRA 3. The Folsom campus has seven buildings.

The company cited a “challenging macro-economic environment”, saying it is “focused on identifying cost reductions and efficiency gains through multiple initiatives, including some business and function-specific workforce reductions in areas across the company”.

“These are difficult decisions, and we are committed to treating impacted employees with dignity and respect,” Intel said in a statement.

The company announced new layoffs in the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) notice.

The WARN Act requires employers to provide a 60-day notice to workers and state officials of mass layoffs.

The company first sent a WARN Act notice on December 2 that it planned to “lay off about 111 workers at its 1900 Prairie City Drive facility starting on January 31″.

On January 11, the company said in an update it had raised that number to 176.

On January 13, Intel announced another round of layoffs that affected 167 workers and that those are “expected to be permanent.”

“All impacted employees are being notified of separation with at least 60 days’ notice, with the first separations presently scheduled to occur during a 14-day period commencing on March 15, 2023,” the notice read.

Reports surfaced earlier this month that Intel is making deeper job cuts that will hit at least hundreds of employees in the Bay Area and nearby places in the US.

According to an official filing posted by the state Employment Development Department, the company had listed the elimination of about 201 jobs in Santa Clara by January 31.

In total, the chip giant plans to cut 500 jobs in California.

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(This story has not been edited by News18 staff and is published from a syndicated news agency feed)



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