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Tech Hasn’t Killed Books Yet

Image: Getty

For those unfamiliar, books are a collection of words that form some sort of coherent narrative, printed on paper and bound together. These objects are very much alive and well, according to
a new study by the Pew Research Center
, despite the fact that we live in an age where you can download the same information onto various pieces of technology. Wild.

Pew’s most recent study
“the share of Americans who have read a book in the last 12 months (73%) has remained largely unchanged since 2012,” when 74% of Americans had read a book in the past year. Amongst the people who said they read in 2016-Pew surveyed 1,520 Americans over the phone-65% had read a print book. Only 28% had read an ebook and 14% had listened to an audiobook. In 2012, the same percentage of people had read a print book, and 23% had read an ebook and 13% had listened to an audiobook. Not a significant change.

The study
also found
that only 6% of Americans exclusively read digital books. This means e-reader and tablet manufacturers have a
way to go if they want to convert more people over from print. As great as both tablets and e-readers can be, it’s good that people still prefer print. Staring at screens-as enticingly beautiful as they are-
isn’t great

for your eyes (although it won’t
permanently damage

your vision). Plus, books are nice and cool and feel good to hold in your hands.…

The bad news is you can’t blame your lack of book deal on the fact that nobody buys ’em anymore. Sorry babe.

Pew Research Center


Instagram Continues to Ignore iPad Users, Comes to Windows Tablets Instead

Instagram is now available on Windows 10 PCs and tablets. This is the first time Instagram has released a tablet-optimized version of its app.

Sure, you can enjoy Instagram on Android tablets-but the interface was still designed for phones. iPad users have it even worse as they’re stuck with the stupid iPhone version, meaning the app has to run at 2x and looks like a pixelated mess without proper dimensions.

But Windows 10 tablet users are super lucky. Look at all
the stuff
they can do with their special version of Instagram:

  • Post and edit photos*
    – Instagram makes sharing moments with everyone in your world easy, speedy, and fun.
  • Stories –
    Stories from people you follow will appear in a row at the top of Feed.
  • Instagram Live Tile
    – Find out what your friends and family are up to at a glance.
  • Rich, native notifications
    – We’ll send you the notifications you want to see so that you don’t miss important updates.
  • Instagram Direct
    – Instagram Direct lets you exchange threaded messages with one or more people, and share posts you see in Feed as a message.

  • Full featured Search, Explore, Profile, and Feed.

(The * in this case means that the only way you can upload and edit photos if your Windows 10 device has a touchscreen and backwards facing camera.)

As an iPad user, I’m jealous that Windows 10 tablet users have something I want. I never thought this day would come.



Report: Apple’s new 10.5-inch iPad could go on sale this April

Apple’s new iPad might hit the shelves sooner than you think. According to reports by Digitimes, Taiwan-based supply chain makers state that Apple has moved up production plans for the alleged 10.5 inch iPad, with the tablet scheduled for a launch this April.

The device is rumoured to feature an edge-to-edge display with a revamped virtual ‘Home Button’ and major improvements under the hood. The 10.5-inch variant is the replacement for the original 10.9-inch variant, however, with slimmer bezels, the footprint of the device has gradually reduced, and is sized similarly to the current generation 9.7-inch iPad Pro. The device is also expected to eliminate the fingerprint scanner from the chin of the device.

The device was earlier tipped to go into production sometime in May, however with the reschedule, we can expect the devices to be on the shelves by April end.

The report also suggests that Apple might also unveil an upgraded 9.7 inch iPad, as well as an upgraded 12.9 inch iPad Pro. The updated 9.7-inch tablet is expected to be the least expensive in the line-up. According to Digitimes, Apple might release the 10.5 inch and 12.9 inches iPad as the mid-tier to high-end tablet category.

We would ask you to take these leaks with a pinch of salt, as these are mere rumours and the end product could be really different from the leaks. Also, there is no exact date for the unveiling of the iPads as of now.


Fisher-Price Will Battle Childhood Obesity With an Exercise Bike Tablet Holder

Your tablet-obsessed kid spending hours on the couch poking at a touchscreen probably isn’t doing their waistline any favors. But instead of wrestling an iPad out of their hands, Fisher-Price wants to help battle childhood obesity with a tablet holder that’s essentially an exercise bike for kids.

The Think & Learn Smart Cycle isn’t being marketed to kids as a way to help counteract their sedentary lifestyles. After all, what kid likes the idea of being forced to get up to get some exercise? As any parent knows, you have to outsmart a kid to get them to do what you want, and often that involves video games these days.

By designing the Smart Cycle to be what is essentially a ride-on video game controller, kids can keep playing with their tablets while they’re improving their physical fitness. And if they happen to burn off a little excess energy in the process so bedtime is less of an ordeal, what parent is going to complain?

Used on its own, the Think & Learn Smart Cycle wirelessly connects to a tablet mounted on its handlebars via Bluetooth, letting kids control one of four downloadable iOS or Android games through the speed of their pedaling. Fisher-Price promises more apps to come in the future, which will expand on the educational focus of the original four that help teach reading, match, science, and social studies.

For a more immersive experience, the $150 Think & Learn Smart Cycle can also be connected to a larger screen using apps running on hardware like an Apple TV or smart televisions that support Android TV. And at any time parents can get a better idea of what their children are actually learning during their kid-friendly spin classes
using a parental dashboard feature that’s built into each of the accompanying apps. Now if only riding a bike made kids want to eat their vegetables.


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Lenovo unveils four new tablets at MWC 2017 running Android Nougat

After unveiling its Moto G5 and G5 Plus, Lenovo has unveiled four new tablets under its Tab line-up at this year’s Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain. The tablets are- Lenovo Tab 4 8, Tab 4 10, Tab 4 8 Plus and Tab 4 10 Plus.

Let’s start with the non plus variants of the Tab 4- Tab 4 8 and Tab 4 10. As the name suggests, the Tab 4 8 features an 8-inch HD display, whereas the Tab 4 10 features a 10-inch HD display. Both the devices sport a resolution of 1280×800 pixels.

Coming to the hardware on the tablets, the devices are rocking Qualcomm Snapdragon 425 chipset paired with 2GB of RAM. Both the devices will be made available in 16GB and 32GB storage options. Lenovo Tab 4 8 packs a 4850mAh battery, whereas the Tab 4 10 packs a whopping 7000mAh battery. These tablets charge using micro-USB port.

Now coming to the Plus variants, Tab 4 8 Plus and Tab 4 10 Plus, both get full-HD panels as opposed to the HD panels seen on the previous variants. The front of the display also holds a fingerprint scanner.

The tablets also get a bump up in the hardware. The Plus line of tablets are rocking Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 625 processor paired with 3GB of RAM. Both the devices also get 32GB of storage space. Both the 8-inch and the 10-inch variants get similar battery configurations too, however, the Plus variants charge using a USB Type-C port.

All the four tablets are running on Android 7.0 Marshmallow with Lenovo’s custom skin on top. They also come with a few features dedicated specifically for the kids. It comes with a Kids account feature where the content on the machine is curated keeping kids in mind. It further adds more parental control to the tablets for a clean user experience. The content is hand-picked by KIDOZ, which is a kid’s content discovery platform on the web.

Lenovo Tab 4 8 and Lenovo Tab 4 10 starts at a price of EUR 169 (approximately Rs 11,999), and EUR 179 (approximately Rs 12,999) respectively. The Lenovo Tab 4 8 Plus and Lenovo Tab 4 10 Plus have been priced at EUR 259 (approximately Rs 18,499) and EUR 299 (roughly Rs 21,199) respectively. The tablets will go on sale worldwide starting May 2017.


Data centre growth drives Intel’s fourth-quarter revenue, profit beat

Intel Corp reported better-than-expected quarterly revenue and profit driven by a stabilizing PC market and growth in its data centre business, which offers cloud-based software services.

Revenue from the data centre business rose 8.4 percent to $4.67 billion in the fourth quarter, while revenue from its traditional PC business rose 4.3 percent to $9.13 billion.

Intel continues to expect a similar growth rate in the cloud segment, but does not expect an improvement in its enterprise unit, the company said on a call with analysts.

The PC unit includes sales of chips for mobile phones and tablets.

Worldwide PC shipments – which consist of laptops, desktops and workstations – fell by 1.5 percent in the fourth quarter, compared with a 3.9 percent decline in the preceding quarter, according to research firm IDC, continuing the recent trend of stabilizing demand.

“In the data centre group, it seems that cloud is still an area of strength, offsetting the weakness in enterprise,” Stifel Nicolaus analyst Kevin Cassidy said.

Cassidy added that at some point in the future, the enterprise clients would upgrade their data centres, leading to further growth in the business.

Intel has been building its data centre, Internet of Things and automotive businesses, to reduce dependence on the PC market, which has been roiled by users’ shift to mobile phones for their computing needs.

The Santa Clara, California-based company’s net revenue rose 9.8 percent to $16.37 billion, beating the average analysts’ estimate of $15.75 billion, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Excluding items, the company earned 79 cents per share, beating estimates of 74 cents per share.

However, the company said its net income fell to $3.56 billion, or 73 cents per share, for the fourth quarter ended Dec. 31, from $3.61 billion, or 74 cents per share, a year earlier.

The company’s revenue forecast for the year 2017 was flat, which according to Cassidy, pleased investors as they would rather have conservative estimates for the year, and then have it go up, rather than give aggressive estimates.

Intel said it expects first-quarter revenue of $14.8 billion, plus or minus $500 million. Analysts on average were expecting $14.53 billion.

Shares of the world’s largest chipmaker were little changed in extended trading on Thursday.

Up to Thursday’s close, Intel’s shares had risen 25.5 percent in the last 12 months, falling short of the 60 percent rise in the broader semiconductor index.


Apple iPad beware: Sales of high end tablets continue to plummet says IDC

Tablets and slates are on the way out. The tablet market worldwide showed a slump in their growth for yet another quarter as IDC reported an year-over-year decline of 14.7 per cent in units shipped by vendors worldwide.

Low cost detachables saw a boost in market share while slates continued to decline. IDC’s Senior Research Analyst Jitesh Ubrani said in a press note, “Unfortunately, many low-cost detachables also deliver a low-cost experience.”

“The race to the bottom is something we have already experienced with slates and it may prove detrimental to the market in the long run as detachables could easily be seen as disposable devices rather than potential PC replacements,” he added.

However, the holiday season did boost tablet sales from large vendors by 9.8 per cent in the third quarter as compared to the second quarter in 2016 with Apple, Amazon, Lenovo and Huawei gaining in market share while Samsung and other smaller vendors losing out on it.

This is despite the total growth in tablet sales declining by 14.7 per cent. Even though Apple sold 600,000 devices less than what they did same time last year, it gained back 1.9 per cent of the market thanks to its
iPad Pro
which kept the revenues from declining.

Samsung on the other hand sold 1.6 million units less than what they did in the third quarter of 2015 and their market share declined by 0.9 per cent. Despite this, Samsung continued to rule the tablet market at number 2 spot. IDC states that this is mostly because Samsung’s
detachable TabPro S
which came out early 2016 was not competitively priced. Concentrating highly on slates also did not work.

Amazon on the other hand posted a 319.9 per cent surge in their Fire tablets. IDC states its Prime Day sales as the primary reason when the price of the Fire tablet was slashed by 30 per cent in July. Amazon released the Fire HD 8 tablet in October and IDC reports it will maintain the momentum Amazon had last quarter.

Lenovo’s market share grew by 0.3 per cent mostly due to its successful
Yoga Book
brand of detachables, even though total sales declined by 0.4 million units from over last quarter.

Huawei’s popularity in the smartphone market spilled over to their tablet sales as well. Huawei offers cellular connectivity in their tablets for the price of Wi-Fi only tablets by other vendors and IDC reported Huawei’s tablet sales grew by 28.4 per cent from last year. Huawei also swam against the tide and posted an increase in sales by 500,000 units with a rise of 1.9 per cent in market share.

Other smaller vendors, on the other hand saw their sales and market share declining. Sales declined by 7.9 million units while the market share declined by 9 per cent.



Lenovo plans on launching Chrome OS version of YogaBook next year

Lenovo’s Yoga Books are some of the most innovative notebooks around. Certainly more so than Apple’s stylish MacBook Pros in terms of design. But these are Windows-based notebooks which means they are bound to be expensive. To bring them to the masses, Lenovo is looking at launching Chrome OS based versions of the YogaBook in 2017 claims a report by LAPTOP Magazine.

Lenovo’s VP and General Manager for Android and Chrome computing business group Jeff Meredith has confirmed the same to the publication. Already, there are versions of the YogaBook that’s based on Windows and Android, so this points towards the popularity of Chrome OS especially in the education sector.

“We’ve had a lot of interest. It’s an interesting idea for education, especially with the form factor. Over time, we probably see the Android and Chrome versions melding together, especially based on the fact that we’ve now seen Chrome roll out the Google Play store capability into Chrome. We’ll probably maintain the three distinctive products throughout this year at least,” said Meredith said about the possibility of the Chrome OS-powered YogaBook.

Meredith also claimed that new features like Real Pen which Lenovo introduced for the Android version of the Yoga Book at IFA in September will also be available on the Chrome OS model.

The very same laptop was launched in India last week for Rs 49,990 and is available on e-commerce website Flipkart. That being said, in India, Lenovo has chosen to launch the Windows model, not the Android model pointing towards the usability of the Windows model.

The Yoga Book in India has a halo keyboard which is a touch enabled keyboard and the Real Pen. It has a 10.1-inch full HD screen, an Intel Atom X5 quad-core processor clocked at 2.4GHz and 4GB RAM. It also comes with 64GB of internal storage and also has a microSD card slot supporting up to 128GB memory cards.

Chrome OS based products over the last few years have grown in popularity and have started to give Windows based alternatives stiff competition in developed markets like the US. That being said, the future of the platform is clouded as there are rumours rife which suggest that Google is planning to merge Android and Chrome OS and create one OS called Andromeda.


We Were Wrong About Limiting Children’s Screen Time

Image: Wikimedia/VanessaQ

How much time should kids be allowed to stare into their screens like zombies? New guidelines issued by the American Academy of Pediatrics upturns conventional thinking on the matter, showing that a sweeping one-size-fits-all approach is not the right way for parents to go about limiting their children’s screen time.

For years, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has told parents to limit their child’s screen time to no more than two hours per day, whether that time is spent in front of a television, tablet computer, laptop, or mobile phone. What’s more, the AAP made virtually no mention of age, or the kind of content that should be limited, issuing a simplified blanket approach to media use.

In a series of papers published today in the science journal
, it’s clear that the AAP has significantly revised its thinking on the matter, breaking down media use according to all these criteria. And to support parents with these new recommendations, the AAP has published an interactive, online tool that families can use to create a personalized
Family Media Use Plan

As the AAP’s new guidelines point out, not all screen time is equal. (Image: Flickr/Brad Flickinger)

To say that these revised guidelines are long overdue would be a gross understatement. As any parent knows, not all media content is equal. Accordingly, the AAP now makes a distinction between entertainment and educational programming. This means that parents can now be a bit more lenient when their tweens need to hit up Wikipedia while doing their homework, or when they’d like to tackle some modules on Khan Academy.

That said, the AAP says parents need to limit the entertainment side of media use, pointing to social media, video games, commercial television, and streaming services. For school-aged children and teens, the AAP says it’s important to balance media use with other healthy behaviors, and that problems begin when excessive screen time interferes with experiences critical to learning, such as physical activity, hands-on exploration, and face-to-face social interaction.

For younger children, the AAP recommends that children under the age of 18 months avoid screens altogether, except for apps like Skype and FaceTime which they can use to chat with grandma and grandpa. Children between 18 to 24 months can be introduced to digital media, but the AAP says it needs to be “high-quality programming” (the AAP doesn’t define what it means by that, but it clearly doesn’t want young children to be watching any old garbage) and that parents should watch it along with their children to help them understand what they’re seeing.

Similarly, children between the ages two to five should be limited to high-quality programming, with screen use limited to one hour per day. Again, the AAP is asking parents to co-watch these programs with their children. Kids who are six and older should have “consistent limits” placed on the time spent using media, particularly of the entertainment variety. Parents should make sure that screen time isn’t getting in the way of adequate sleep, physical activity, and other healthy behaviors.

Lastly, the AAP says parents should designate media-free times for the entire family, such as during dinner or while driving, and that families should also create media-free zones in the home, such as in bedrooms-which, good luck.

Indeed, these guidelines are all well and good-and they’re undoubtedly not even wrong-but implementing these prescriptions is another thing entirely. The AAP, with its lofty recommendations, doesn’t sound entirely in tune with the realities of daily life. Parents obviously want to raise healthy children who aren’t constantly glued to computer screens, but these devices are a godsend for those moments when a parent needs to make dinner, or when they simply need to go to the bathroom. A few moments of peace and quiet can do wonders for a parent, powering them with the patience to truck on and put on a genuine smile when the kids comes calling. When it comes to limiting screen time, there’s a tradeoff between parental health, and the needs of a child-and that needs to be acknowledged.

And let’s face it, sometimes it’s fun for both the kid and the parent to watch
for the 30th time.



Indian tablet market declined 28% in Q1 2017: IDC

The tablet shipments in the consumer segment declined 28 per cent in the first quarter of 2017 compared with the same period last year, resulting in a sharp 18.6 per cent year-on-year (YoY) drop in total tablet shipments in India, a report said on Wednesday.

According to market research firm International Data Corporation’s (IDC) “Quarterly Personal Computing Device Tracker” report, 701,000 tablets were shipped in India in the first quarter of 2017 — a marginal drop of 2.2 per cent from 716,000 units in the previous quarter.

“Owing to the growing digital proliferation across industries, commercial segment especially large enterprise, government and education sectors are expected to increase their demand for tablets. This will drive vendors to focus more aggressively in gaining market share in the commercial market to sustain the India tablet market,” said Celso Gomes, Associate Market Analyst, Client Devices, IDC India.

Samsung leads the tablet market with 21.3 per cent share. Samsung shipments increased four per cent quarter-on-quarter (QoQ) primarily due to healthy growth in commercial shipments.

Samsung’s Galaxy J Max continues to be the top selling model for the company driven primarily by consumer segment, followed by Galaxy Tab A.

Datawind secured the second position with 20.7 per cent market share. Lenovo stood third with 20 per cent market share as shipments remained stable over previous quarter, the findings showed.

iBall maintained its fourth place with 4.7 per cent QoQ in the first quarter of 2017. Apple maintained its fifth-place position despite shipments declining by 38.2 per cent compared to previous quarter.

iPad Air 2 remained the top selling model for Apple constituting more than half of its total shipments.Limited shipments of iPad mini, which accounted for over one-third of total shipments last quarter, would result in shrinking of iOS market in India, the report added.