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Need Your Suppot Please Help : Stop Intenet Voilation (Stop TRAI New Internet ACT)

Hi Everyone,

I believe everyone is aware about new Internet act that will be in effect after 24th April. For more details please visit following video:

If you are in favor that TRAI should not apply this ACT for internet users the please send a email to the following email addresses with proper response and your thought what you think about this ACT.

I've already sent a response to them and now its your responsibility.

Please use email addresses which is mentioned in TO and use the same subject and then copy the message which is mentioned in the message box and send it before 24th April.

Thanks.

==========================================================

TO : advqos@trai.gov.in, netneutralityindia@gmail.com

​Subject : Stop TSPs from violating the internet

Message :

​​The Response

To the Chairman, TRAI

Thank you for giving me this opportunity to share my views on the consultation paper published by TRAI on March 27, 2015 titled "Regulatory Framework For Over-the-Top (OTT) Services”. I am worried that this consultation paper makes sweeping assumptions about the Internet, and does not take a neutral and balanced view of the subject of Internet Licensing and Net Neutrality. Any public consultation must be approached in a neutral manner by the regulator, so that people can form an informed opinion.

I strongly support an open internet, for which I believe it is critical to uphold net neutrality and reject any moves towards licensing of Internet applications and Web services.

I urge TRAI to commit to outlining measures to protect and advance net neutrality for all Indians. Net neutrality requires that the Internet be maintained as an open platform, on which network providers treat all content, applications and services equally, without discrimination. The TRAI must give importance to safeguarding the interests of our country’s citizens and the national objective of Digital India and Make In India, over claims made by some corporate interests.

I request that my response be published on the TRAI website alongside other comments filed, in line with past practice regarding public consultations. I urge that TRAI issue a specific response to user submissions after examining the concerns raised by them, and hold open house discussions across India, accessible to users and startups before making any recommendations.

Question 1: Is it too early to establish a regulatory framework for Internet/OTT services, since internet penetration is still evolving, access speeds are generally low and there is limited coverage of high-speed broadband in the country? Or, should some beginning be made now with a regulatory framework that could be adapted to changes in the future? Please comment with justifications.

No new regulatory framework in the telecom sector is required for Internet services and apps - and no such regulation should come into effect in future either.

This question incorrectly presumes that regulation of the Internet is absent and there is a need to create it. Additionally, the technical language of “Over-the-Top” applications used in the consultation paper fails to convey that it is truly referring to the online services and applications which make today’s Internet which we all use; Facebook, Ola, Zomato, Paytm, WhatsApp, Zoho and Skype etc. The Internet is already subject to existing law in India - any extra regulatory or licensing regime will only be detrimental to the customer and to Indian firms developing online services and apps.

Under the current regulatory framework, users can access the internet-based services and apps either for a low fee or for free where the application owners make money by selling advertisements based on user data. With additional regulations and licenses, it will make it expensive for these services to reach out to their customers eventually leading to higher prices and undesirable levels of advertising - which is against the public interest and counterproductive.

It appears that the telecom companies are shifting goalposts. Many telecom companies have earlier argued in the consultation paper floated by TRAI on mobile value added services (MVAS) that it was not necessary to regulate these value added services. They said MVAS are already governed by general laws under the Indian legal system and comply with the security interests as they operate on the networks of legitimate telecom license holders. Internet platforms also are regulated and governed by general laws in addition to specialised laws such as the Information Technology Act, and the same treatment should be extended to them as well.

As TRAI said previously in its recommendations after consulting on MVAS regulation:

“The Authority preferred least intrusive and minimal regulatory framework and thus no separate category of licence for value added services is envisaged. After second round of consultations, the Authority is also not favoring registration of Value Added Service Providers (VASPs) or content aggregators under the “Other Service Provider (OSP)” category.”

“Content shall be subject to relevant content regulation and compliance of prevailing copyrights including digital management rights and other laws on the subject (para 3.12.2). The content is subjected to content regulation/ guidelines of Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Information Technology Act, 2000, Cable Television Networks (Regulation) Act, 1995, Indian Copyright Act etc., as amended from time to time. The content regulation shall be as per law in force from time to time. There should be consistency in the treatment of content across all kinds of media including print, digital/multimedia to avoid any discrimination. (para 3.13.3):”

Imposing a licensing and regulation regime carry significant risks of destroying innovation. Launching new services and features will take more time and will make it difficult for new startups with low cash reserves to enter the market. It will basically ring the death knell for the country's fast-growing digital media sector.

Question 2: Should the Internet/OTT players offering communication services (voice, messaging and video call services through applications (resident either in the country or outside) be brought under the licensing regime? Please comment with justifications.

There is no need to bring Internet platforms offering communication services under the telecom licensing regime. The way this question is framed gives an impression that there is a clear distinction between communication services and other non-communication services on the internet. This is an incorrect presumption. Many internet services incorporate real time chat and video services to improve their customer engagement. A licensing framework will, for sure, work against customer interest and will stifle innovation. The cost of entry to the market would increase many times over which will be extremely detrimental to newer startups who might have more innovative offerings for the market.

Telecom operators need to have licenses to operate since they use a public resource: spectrum. It utilizes the spectrum to transmit data packets, voice and SMS communication and acts a dumb pipe. However, communication services such as Skype, WhatsApp, Viber and others sit atop the networks and infrastructure already controlled and owned by the telecom operators. Where Voice-over-Internet-Protocol services connect into the normal switched telecom network, TRAI’s VoIP regulations already exist. Therefore, there is no need for internet-based communication services to hold separate licenses.

Question 3: Is the growth of Internet/OTT impacting the traditional revenue stream of Telecom operators/Telecom operators? If so, is the increase in data revenues of the Telecom Operators sufficient to compensate for this impact? Please comment with reasons.

There is no evidence of data revenues cannibalizing revenues from voice or SMS. In fact, data usage is soaring and it is driving the demand for telecom networks.

The question fails to acknowledge that revenue from data services also fall under the traditional revenue streams category as per the Unified Access License Agreement

[http://www.dot.gov.in/access-services/introduction-unified-access-servicescellular-mobile-services]. So, to assume that data services are impacting the growth of “traditional revenue streams” is wrong.

Services such as Skype and WhatsApp have specific use cases. They are not, and should not be, considered as substitutes to voice calling or SMS. For instance, calls made using VoIP don’t have the same clarity that we have on voice calls. Moreover, services such as WhatsApp are used for real-time chatting as opposed to SMS. Voice and SMS have their own benefits and use cases, so do VoIP and internet messaging. Customers should be free to pick and choose among these.

There is still no concrete evidence suggesting that the decline in the revenues from messaging and voice calling is due to the growth of revenues from data services, and statements from experts and industry experts appear to in fact point to there being no cannibalization of revenues.

Gopal Vittal, CEO, Airtel

“There is still no evidence that suggests that there is cannibalization,” he said when asked about whether data is cannibalizing Airtel’s voice business. On internet messaging cannibalizing SMS revenues, he said: “At this point in time is very, very tiny. And so it is not really material as we look at it.”

[http://www.medianama.com/2015/02/223-no-evidence-of-voip-cannibalization-of-voice-airtel-india-ceo-gopal-vittal/]

Vittorio Colao, CEO, Vodafone

“Growth in India has accelerated again (October-December), driven by data” [http://computer.financialexpress.com/columns/india-high-on-3g/9462/]

The company’s India unit grew by 15%, going past its counterparts during the quarter ending December as customers used its data services. [http://articles.economictimes.indiatimes.com/2015-02-06/news/58878696_1_organic-service-revenue-vittorio-colao-vodafone-india]

Question 4: Should the Internet/OTT players pay for use of the Telecom Operators network over and above data charges paid by consumers? If yes, what pricing options can be adopted? Could such options include prices based on bandwidth consumption? Can prices be used as a means of product/service differentiation? Please comment with justifications.

As I argue in my answers above, telecom companies are expected to grow steadily and so is data. Public statements made by officials of telecom companies, their earnings report and analysis of independent agencies suggest that telecom companies will continue to grow. So, there is no need for them to impose additional revenue from customers - and there is especially no justification of creating an extra revenue source supported by government intervention. The term “bandwidth consumption” is ambiguous. Currently, customers are billed for the quantum of data used and not the bandwidth.

Charging users an additional fee over and above the data charges to access specific internet services will result in higher costs which will dissuade people from using such services. Moreover, as explained earlier, many online businesses have video and chat applications within them to interact with customers. In such cases, it will be extremely difficult for users to ascertain the sum billed to them if they access the websites of such businesses. There will be no transparency in billing and it will run afoul of TRAI’s own 2006 Quality of Service Billing regulations which ensures transparency in billing and tariff plans.

Taking an additional fee also breaks the internet. Today, many websites, especially blogs, have hyperlinked content and users can switch from one website to another without having to worry about access or cost. But differential pricing will not provide such a seamless experience. Moreover, it tends to favor the larger firms with deep pockets, essentially not providing a level-playing field.

Question 5: Do you agree that imbalances exist in the regulatory environment in the operation of Internet/OTT players? If so, what should be the framework to address these issues? How can the prevailing laws and regulations be applied to Internet/OTT players (who operate in the virtual world) and compliance enforced? What could be the impact on the economy? Please comment with justifications.

There is no regulatory imbalance in the environment in which the internet services and applications operate. In fact, the word “regulatory imbalance” is incorrect here. Telecom operators holds licenses to spectrum which is a public resource. Internet services and applications don’t have to acquire licenses. Moreover, there is a clear distinction between services provided by telecom operators and internet platforms—so no additional regulation is required.

Also, internet services and applications are already well-covered under the Information Technology Act, 2000 and Indian Penal Code, 1860. More importantly, internet services are intermediaries that allow a communication system for their users—and intermediaries cannot be held responsible for the acts of their users as per Section 79 of the IT Act, 2000. Our Supreme Court has recently ruled on this area in the Shreya Singhal versus Union of India case, holding that Internet content is protected by our Constitution’s right to free expression and setting out the acceptable limits for government regulation.

Question 6: How should the security concerns be addressed with regard to OTT players providing communication services? What security conditions such as maintaining data records, logs etc. need to be mandated for such OTT players? And, how can compliance with these conditions be ensured if the applications of such OTT players reside outside the country? Please comment with justifications.

The internet services and apps are well-covered under the existing laws and regulations. These include the Code of Criminal Procedure, Indian Telegraph Act, Indian Telegraph Rules, and the Information Technology Act and its different rules pertaining to intermediaries and interception. These different regulations allow the Indian government and law enforcement agencies to access the data stored by internet platforms when deemed legally necessary. Any additional regulations carry grave risk of breaching user privacy and would also require constitutional review - especially since the Government is still working on a proposed Privacy Bill.

The government and courts also have the power to block access to websites on the grounds of national security and public order. It has taken similar steps in the past and has been widely reported by the media. The transparency reports periodically published by major internet companies suggests Indian government routinely requests for user data and blocking of user accounts. Between July 2014 and December 2014, Indian authorities had 5,473 requests for data, covering 7,281 user accounts from Facebook and the company had a compliance rate of 44.69%. Google had a compliance rate of 61% with respect to the requests made by different government agencies across India.

Question 7: How should the OTT players offering app services ensure security, safety and privacy of the consumer? How should they ensure protection of consumer interest? Please comment with justifications.

Although user privacy and security is of paramount importance, additional regulation carries the inherent risk of breaching user privacy which is not in the consumer’s interest. The Information Technology Act, 2000 already addresses the security concerns of the user. But more importantly, any criminal act committed using these platforms can be tried under the Indian Penal Code. So, there is no need to burden the internet platforms with additional regulations.

Also, it is worth noting that many telecom companies in India have not made information publicly available as to whether and how they comply with regulations that guarantee security, privacy and safety of the customer. TRAI’s current paper fails to articulate why the internet services and apps should be brought under similar regulations.

Question 8:

In what manner can the proposals for a regulatory framework for OTTs in India draw from those of ETNO, referred to in para 4.23 or the best practices summarised in para 4.29? And, what practices should be proscribed by regulatory fiat? Please comment with justifications.

ETNO is similar to India’s COAI which makes it an industry lobby group. Understandably, the suggestions made by ETNO heavily favor the telecom companies and will be detrimental to customers if India refers to their suggestions.

ETNO’s stand have been widely criticized in the past. Europe’s own group of government regulators [Body of European Regulators for Electronic Communication (BEREC)]

http://berec.europa.eu/files/document_register_store/2012/11/BoR_%2812%29_120_BEREC_on_ITR.pdf ETNO’s proposals could jeopardize the “continued development of the open, dynamic and global platform that the Internet provides” which will “lead to an overall loss of welfare”. Additionally, the international free expression group Article 19 says ETNO’s proposal “would seriously undermine net neutrality.

According to Access Now, ETNO’s recommendations would have meant higher data charges for customers while from an entrepreneur’s standpoint, it will limit their ability to reach out to a wider market. For a small but fast growing startup and digital media sector in India, this can potentially ring the death knell. ETNO’s suggestions on this subject so far have failed to have been accepted by any government agency - including the regulators in their own host countries. It is therefore especially troubling that TRAI is choosing to make one of their proposals a pillar of this public consultation here in India.

Question 9: What are your views on net-neutrality in the Indian context? How should the various principles discussed in para 5.47 be dealt with? Please comment with justifications.

Net Neutrality, by definition, means no discrimination of traffic flowing on the internet with respect to speed, access and price. Chile and Brazil, which are developing countries just like India, have passed laws supporting net neutrality. This is in addition to government commitments to implement net neutrality legislation in the United States and European Union.

India has 1 billion people without internet access and it is imperative for our democracy to have an open and free internet where users are free to choose the services they want to access—instead of a telecom operator deciding what information they can access.

Internet apps and services are expected to contribute 5% to India’s GDP by 2020. That will only happen of entrepreneurs, big and small, have a level playing field that encourages innovation and non-preferential treatment—something that net neutrality ensures.

Assuming there is no net neutrality, only the big players will be able to strike deals with telcos while the smaller players remain inaccessible, which will go against the principles of net neutrality as listed below:

No blocking by TSPs and ISPs on specific forms of internet traffic, services and applications.

No slowing or “throttling” internet speeds by TSPs and ISPs on specific forms of internet traffic, services and applications.

No preferential treatment of services and platforms by TSPs and ISPs.

It is also worth noting that the proposed framework will give too much power in the hands of the telecom companies, which is not healthy for the ecosystem.Shreya

Question 10: What forms of discrimination or traffic management practices are reasonable and consistent with a pragmatic approach? What should or can be permitted? Please comment with justifications.

This question assumes that traffic discrimination is necessary and is a norm. Rather, traffic discrimination should be an exception as it is against the principles of net neutrality.

In such exceptional cases, telecom companies need to have the permission of TRAI or other competent government agency through public hearing to carry out “traffic management” to ensure transparency in the entire process. Further, it should be kept in mind that such steps shouldn’t interfere with the access, affordability and quality of the services.

More importantly, https://ec.europa.eu/digital-agenda/sites/digital-agenda/files/Traffic%20Management%20Investigation%20BEREC_2.pdf jointly by BEREC and the European Commission suggest that the propensity of the telecom operators to restrict access of internet services is high. The report noted that telecom operators were most inclined to block and throttle P2P services on mobile as well as fixed line networks. VoIP, on the other hand, was blocked mostly on telecom networks.

Keeping this in mind, TRAI needs to ensure that instances of discrimination of traffic should be few, far between and, above all, transparent.

Question 11: Should the TSPs be mandated to publish various traffic management techniques used for different OTT applications? Is this a sufficient condition to ensure transparency and a fair regulatory regime?

The question is based on the premise that publishing various traffic management techniques for Internet services will ensure a fair regulatory regime and therefore such discrimination is permissible. We have repeatedly said in the above answers that discrimination of services will not bring about a fair regime for users.

Further, a recent study [http://bit.ly/1D7QEp9] in the UK has pointed out that merely publishing data on traffic management will not translate into a fair regime. The study found that most consumers did not understand traffic management or use it as a basis for switching operators. Those who did do so comprised a group perceived to be small or insignificant enough that most network operators did not seek to factor them into their product decisions, despite some consumers’ complaints about traffic management. In India where awareness and activism on issues of net neutrality is considerably less, it is unlikely to play the critical role that the Consultation Paper suggests.

Question 12: How should a conducive and balanced environment be created such that TSPs are able to invest in network infrastructure and CAPs are able to innovate and grow? Who should bear the network upgradation costs? Please comment with justifications

The question assumes that a “balanced” environment would lead to increased investment and upgradation of networks.. However, if revenue is generated by charging CAPs to reach customers rather than only charging users for data, the incentives for a TSP can potentially change. Telecom operators now gain the incentive to maintain a level scarcity and not upgrade existing infrastructure in order to maximize gatekeeper revenue. There is no evidence to support that access fees charged to CAPs will spark network upgradation and may have the opposite effect itself.

We’ve mentioned before that telecom operators should be acting as data pipes which can provide users access to Internet and that they stand to substantially gain from upgrading networks. Telecom operators stand to gain substantially by upgrading existing networks by proliferating the use of data by users, and it therefore stands to reason that the costs of upgradation should be borne by them. The above answers also point out that the heads of the leading telecom operators in the country have not seen evidence of cannibalization of existing services and that data usage has only been steadily increasing.

Question 13: Should TSPs be allowed to implement non-price based discrimination of services? If so, under what circumstances are such practices acceptable? What restrictions, if any, need to be placed so that such measures are not abused? What measures should be adopted to ensure transparency to consumers? Please comment with justifications.

Discrimination of services in any form is detrimental for the growth of the telecom industry itself and there should be no circumstance for a telecom operator to do so. Given the diverse nature of the Internet, telecom operators should not be allowed to determine what type of service should get more priority. For example, a consumer in India probably relies on VoIP calls to keep in touch with people abroad and if there is throttling of these services, it infringes on the user’s fundamental right of freedom of expression. An Internet service that a telecom operator thinks which could lead to traffic congestion, might be vital to consumers. Further, a telecom operator might use throttling to further a service promoted by them and induce consumers into using them, thereby eliminating choice.

Transparency alone will not bring about a fair regime for users, and it is crucial that TSPs be prohibited from discriminating between services

Question 14: Is there a justification for allowing differential pricing for data access and OTT communication services? If so, what changes need to be brought about in the present tariff and regulatory framework for telecommunication services in the country? Please comment with justifications.

The question above is simply a rephrasing Question 13. Differential pricing for data access and OTT communication services again simply amounts to discrimination of data services. Hence there is no justification for differential pricing other than furthering corporate profit. Telecom operators stand to gain substantially from the proliferation of all data services including communication services. A neutral internet allows smaller companies to innovate and compete with larger players and ensure that there is a free market. Any changes in the present tariff and regulatory framework is not needed save for ensuring that the interests of the consumer is taken care of.

Question 15: Should OTT communication service players be treated as Bulk User of Telecom Services (BuTS)? How should the framework be structured to prevent any discrimination and protect stakeholder interest? Please comment with justification.

Treating OTT communication service players as Bulk User of Telecom Services again amounts to discrimination of data services and hence it should not be allowed. The question also further assumes that the stakeholders are only the telecom operators and not the consumers. If only the interests of the telecom operators are protected by treating services which compete with their traditional services differently rather than innovating themselves, it would lead to a situation of anti-competitiveness. Telecom companies have an interest in imposing their control over information and communication networks, but the price of that would mean stifling competition, increased barriers for innovation and business and eventually infringe on the fundamental rights of Indian citizens.

Question 16: What framework should be adopted to encourage India-specific OTT apps? Please comment with justifications.

A recent Deloitte report titled Technology, Media and Telecommunications India Predictions 2015 predicted that paid apps will generate over Rs 1500 crore revenues in 2015 (Link). Increased acceptance of paid apps can only be possible if there’s Network Neutrality. In fact, Deepinder Goyal, the founder and CEO of the highly successful app Zomato recently commented "Couldn’t have built Zomato if we had a competitor on something like Airtel Zero"

The moment an app developer/company is forced to tie-up with a telecom operator to ensure that users opt for it, an artificial prohibitive barrier will be created. All app developers and the companies behind them need to be provided an even playing field.

We also need more reports on the Indian app economy, to understand, firstly, how the adoption and usage of apps is changing and, secondly, to comprehend its impact on the Indian economy.

Question 17: If the OTT communication service players are to be licensed, should they be categorised as ASP or CSP? If so, what should be the framework? Please comment with justifications.

The question of categorising doesn’t even arise, because as mentioned earlier any extra regulations or licensing is going to be detrimental to the end user. Requiring licensing of online services and mobile apps under the current telecom framework in India will have enormous negative consequences. The impossibly onerous burdens imposed by such licensing would results in many such globally developed services and apps not being launched in India - and our own startup efforts to develop local versions of such apps being killed in their early stages. The net results would be decreased consumer benefit and a massive slowdown in innovation and reduced “Make in India” efforts due to the regulatory cost of doing business becoming very high.

Question 18: Is there a need to regulate subscription charges for OTT communication services? Please comment with justifications.

Subscription charges for such apps need to be allowed to evolve as it would in a pure market economy. The subscribers (buyers) would want to pay the lowest possible price, and the app developers/companies (sellers) would want to charge as much as possible, eventually leading to a fair price.

Subscription charges for such Internet-based services have remained, more or less, quite low in India, especially because the cost of switching from one service provider to another is also quite low: This competition will ensure that charges remain fair, without the need to regulate them, going forward as well. As noted in response to earlier questions, existing Indian law also applies to online services - which would include the Consumer Protection Act and other regulations meant to prevent cheating or other illegal pricing issues.

Question 19: What steps should be taken by the Government for regulation of non-communication OTT players? Please comment with justifications.

As mentioned earlier, irrespective of what an OTT app is used for (communication, online shopping, etc) they’re all essentially Internet-based services, and hence there is no question of creating new regulatory measures.

Question 20: Are there any other issues that have a bearing on the subject discussed?

In the interim, TRAI should issue an order or regulation preventing network neutrality violations by telecom service providers. Some telecom companies have shown scant respect for the issues presently under consideration and despite its questionable legality have rolled out various services which violate network neutrality. Any delay in forming regulations or preventing them in the interim till the process is complete is only likely to consolidate their status. This is not only an affront to the Internet users in India but also to the regulatory powers of the TRAI.

If the question of regulating subscription charges arises because of the fear of OTT communication services/VoIP cannibalising Voice services by telcos, then it needs to be pointed out that more than one telecom operator in India has already come out and said that there’s no evidence to support such a fear.

Earlier this year, Airtel India CEO Gopal Vittal had clearly said during the company’s earnings conference call that there’s no evidence of VoIP cannibalisation of voice services (http://www.airtel.in/wps/wcm/connect/6fee748a-91e1-48aa-84a4-320aef0db668/Transcript+of+Bharti+Airtel+Limited+Third+Quarter+Ended+December+31+2014+Earnings+Conference+Call.pdf?MOD=AJPERES - pdf). Last year, Idea Cellular MD Himanshu Kapania had also said that OTT apps like Viber have had some impact on their International calling business, but on regular voice calls, there was no impact (http://www.medianama.com/2014/07/223-idea-cellular-viber/).

New SmartPhone Release Update : Meet The Elephone P7000: 3 GB RAM, 5.5" 1080p Display, 3450 mAh Battery

Smartphones are getting cheaper as the days go by, especially if you're not too picky when it comes to brand names. A smartphone that helps emphasize this is the P7000, made by the awkwardly-named Chinese manufacturer Elephone. The P7000 is the company's flagship phone for 2015 and has some fairly interesting specs attached to a surprisingly low price tag.

Some of the smartphone's specifications include a Sony 13 MP rear camera, an eight-core 64 bit Mediatek MTK6752 SoC, as well as a healthy 3 GB of RAM to boot. A more detailed list of specifications is as follows:
  • MTK6752 SoC
  • 3GB of RAM
  • 16GB of storage (SD-card expandable)
  • 5.5" 1080p display
  • 3450 mAh battery
  • 13 MP F/2.0 rear camera, 5 MP front camera
  • LTE, Bluetooth 4.0, etc

The Elephone P7000 will be also available in gold, gun metal grey and white.

At this point you're probably thinking "so what?" but there are a couple of things that make this phone really stand out. First of all is the ROM support: Elephone claims that the P7000 will support seven individual ROMs out of the box, including stock Android Lollipop, stock KitKat, Cyanogenmod, Xiaomi's MIUI, Meizu's Flyme OS, Huawei's EMUI, and Freeme OS. The second thing that makes it stand out is the price: the Elephone P7000 rings in at $229.99 for preorders, with the price being bumped up to around $240 when it finally launches.

If you're interested in the smartphone, you can pick your favorite out of Elephone's official online sales outlets and, if they're not already listing it, they should be listing the smartphone for pre-order in the next 24 hours or so.

Check out the promo video for the P7000 below:

News Apple iOS Update And Review : Apple iOS 8.3 Review Check Out All New Features

 With iOS 7, Apple took its aging mobile OS and gave it a much more modern look and added new features, such as Control Centre, that made it quicker and easier to use. With the next version, iOS 8, it's arguably the biggest change the company has made, taking the work it did before and adding a ton of new features that dramatically change (and improve) the way it works, particularly if you own multiple Apple devices. Since the launch of the new OS, we've updated this review to reflect the changes in the latest version, iOS 8.1, which introduces some new features.
As with other Apple updates, it's available for free and for a wide range of older devices. See how to install iOS 8 for more information on preparing your device and for compatibility information. With the new OS comes new features, which will need new apps to make the most of them. Check out our best iOS 8 apps for more information.

iOS 8.3
Only a month or so after iOS 8.2 came out (see below for more details), Apple has released iOS 8.3. Again, there's not a lot in there that will make a lot of differences to most people, but in the UK it means that we finally get Wi-Fi Calling on EE, which works on the Phone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C. When you're on a wireless network your phone can make and receive calls and SMS messages using the internet, rather than the usual cellular network. For times where you're in a reception blackhole, this feature is astoundingly brilliant, particularly, as you don't have to make any changes or fire up an app to make and receive calls: it's completely seamless.

Call quality is very good over wireless; in fact, you could argue that it's better than over the cellular network. You can listen to our call quality test in the Soundcloud below.

 The one issue that we have is that turning Wi-Fi calling on disables Continuity, which is the feature that lets you make and receive calls from your other Apple devices when they're on the same wireless network as your phone. As a result, Wi-Fi calling may be something that you only want to enable when you're out of regular phone range. Our instructions show you how to enable and disable Wi-Fi calling.

Other than that, iOS 8.3 lets you add Google accounts with an Authenticator password, without having to create an app-specific password; you can choose to download free apps without having to authenticate first; there's a wider range of emoticons; and the Spacebar has been elongated on Safari to reduce the risk of accidentally hitting the full-stop. Other than that, there's a list of minor bug fixes and updates.
 
iOS 8.2
Apple has recently released iOS 8.2, another minor update to iOS 8. It doesn't change any of the features that you'll read about below, instead introducing some more bug-fixes and fixing some stability problems. It's still early days yet to see how much of a difference has been made, but people are still complaining that they're suffering from poor Wi-Fi performance (the 'WiFried' bug). Apple has also pre-installed the Apple Watch app on iPhones, which can't be removed. The app's also a little annoying because its icon's design is completely different to every other Apple apps'. Our advice is to create a folder for Apple Apps you don't want to use and hide them on the last home screen.

It's worth pointing out that iOS 8.2 is worth installing for security reasons, as it also fixes the FREAK security vulnerability, which makes SSL connections on iOS devices insecure.
 
Look and feel
From a first glance, you can't tell that much has changed with iOS 8, as it retains the same look as iOS 7. That's no bad thing, though. Familiarity helps people pick up the new OS more easily; besides, we largely liked the new icons and look of iOS 7, so it's good to see it retained here. There are a few little tweaks, though. Most noticeable is that the task switcher now displays your most recently contacted and favourite contacts in little round icons. You can disable this feature if you'd prefer not to have it.
Spotlight has also been revamped, so it now searches external sources, as well as just your iPhone. As you start typing, Spotlight will search your phone and Maps, Wikipedia, News, the iTunes and App Stores, and suggest websites to you. It's a big improvement and makes the search a lot more useful than it was. Apple's also simplified the Today screen. You still get the Today screen, which can now house custom widgets from any app, but there's a single Notifications screen for every alert, rather than a separate Notifications and Missed screen. All of the other changes come under the bonnet, with iOS 8 completely revamping the OS and adding in a ton of new features. When iOS 8 launched we found that Spotlight would occasionally return blank results, but iOS 8.1 and iOS 8.2 updates seem to have fixed that.

Interactive notifications
A neat new change is that notifications are now interactive, so you can respond to them without having to open up an app. For example, if you get a new text message, you can swipe right-to-left on the Notifications screen or lock screen and tap Reply. You can then quickly compose your reply without having to open up Messages in full. It's only a small time saver, but the feature could get more powerful if developers make the most of it.
Continuity
One big change with iOS 8 is the way that it interacts and plays with your other Apple devices. Continuity is a great example of this, letting you share and use resources on one device on another, all seamlessly. For example, if your iPad is on the same network as your iPhone and someone calls you, your tablet will ring as well and you can answer the call from there. Your iPhone 'simply' takes the call and pumps it over your Wi-Fi network. It's brilliant news for those times where you've got your phone on charge or you've left it in another room, but you need to answer that incoming phone call.

Call quality isn't bad, either. There's a slight delay to the call and, as the iPad is a hands-free device only, your speech isn't quite as clear as when using the iPhone itself. Don't get us wrong, the call quality is more than good enough for most purposes. Should you want a bit more clarity, you can go to your iPhone and tap the green banner at the top of the screen to return the call back to the iPhone.

If you're worried about your iPad ringing in the middle of the night when your phone's set for Do Not Disturb (DND), don't worry. Everything on your home network obeys the DND rules on the iPhone. For example, if your phone has Do Not Disturb turned on, your iPad will not ring unless you have a rule to let the caller through. The only other exception is what happens when your phone is unlocked; if you've got this set to overrule DND, then your iPad will also ring.

The one thing that was missing from the original release of iOS 8 was the SMS relay service. Now available, this lets you get your SMS messages on your tablet, iPod and OS X Yosemite computer, in the same way that iMessages are currently sent to all of your devices.

Unlike with the phone call feature, you don't have to have your devices on the same physical network. Instead, text messages that come to your phone are then uploaded to iCloud and synchronised to all of your devices. In addition, you can send SMS messages from any device, with the message going to iCloud before being sent to your phone to be sent over your mobile network. This feature works seamlessly and being able to pick up your messages from any of your devices is brilliant.
For security, any iPad or Mac that you want to use the SMS Relay service with has to be authorised via your phone. This is a simple case of opening up the messaging app on your handset, which will pop up a security number on the screen; tap this number into your phone and you're away. It works brilliantly and means that no matter where you are or what you're doing, you can receive and send important messages. For more on this feature, see how to use Continuity.

Handoff
While most Continuity features happen automatically, Apple has also added Handoff, which lets you share tasks between your devices. For example, if you've started writing an email on your iPhone, you can carry on writing it on your iPad or vice versa. As you'd expect, switching tasks is incredibly simple. On the device you want to send the task from, you just open up the app (they have to be Handoff enabled) and make a start. On the receiving device, you can then either select the icon that pops up on the lock screen or you can select it from the Task Switcher. Either way you can then continue composing the message from where you left off.
Handoff also supports Safari, so you can send the current page you're viewing from one device to another. It doesn't do anything different to iCloud tabs, though, which already let you view websites open on your other Apple devices. For security, the sending device has to be turned on and the app open. Secondly, Handoff uses Bluetooth for discovery, so it only works at relatively close range. Finally, as only the current app is made available for Handoff, nobody can view all of your open tasks.

As good as Handoff is, it doesn't always work perfectly, and we've had occasions where our iPad couldn't see our iPhone and vice versa. For more information on this, check out our guide to Handoff.
 
AirDrop
AirDrop has been revamped for iOS 8, allowing you to send files, share links, contacts and more between iOS and OS X Yosemite. When it works it's brilliant, but we've found that discovering devices to transmit to can be hit and miss. We've written a guide to fixing AirDrop, which you can try if you're having problems with it.
 
OS X 10.10 Yosemite
The good news is that all of these features are available in OS X 10.10 Yosemite, which is a free update. Once you've got this update installed you'll be able to receive phone calls on your Mac, send SMS messages and use Handoff with any of the supported apps.
 
Automatic hotspot
Creating a hotspot from your phone was an easy way to share its mobile connection, but Apple has made it even easier now. Now, with Continuity you can set up the hotspot from the device that doesn't have an internet connection, most likely an iPad. All you have to do is go to Settings, Wi-Fi and your internet-connected phone will appear - tap it, and its hotspot is turned on automatically, and the requesting device connects automatically. It means you can pull your Wi-Fi tablet out and get online without having to juggle setup on two devices.
 
Safari
Safari has had a few important updates too, including the way that Private Browsing works. With iOS 7, you could start a Private browsing session, where web pages you visit aren't stored in History and anything you enter isn't saved to Autocomplete, and you'd get asked if you wanted to keep or close all current pages. With iOS 8, you don't get this choice. Instead, you can have Private tabs and regular tabs, switching between the modes as you see fit. For anyone that's really paranoid, you now have to shut down all of your Private tabs manually; if you don't and you hand someone else your phone, they can switch to Private mode and see what you were looking at.
Equally important, for some people, is that any video or audio file that you open in Private mode, automatically appears in the playback section of Control Centre, which you get by swiping up from the bottom of the screen. So, if you go into Private mode, watch a YouTube video and then switch back to regular mode, you can then bring up Control Centre, hit Play and the video will pop-up in Private mode and carry on playing.

A bigger and more useful change in Safari is that it can scan credit cards using the phone's camera. Rather than sitting there having to type in your details, you just point the phone at the card and OCR does everything else for you. It's quick to pull in the long card details, but we still had to manually enter the start/end dates and security code.
Safari's been able to store passwords for a long time, but now other Apps can tap into this repository. For example, if you create an Amazon account and Safari remembers your username and password, the Amazon app can pull the same information out. It's neat how this information can be shared and should make switching between the web and an app an easier and more straightforward experience.

Our one issue with Safari is that it's not always the most stable browser. Although it rarely completely crashes, it quite often tells you that there was an error with the current page and that it has to reload it. It's rather annoying, and we'd like to see the browser become slightly more robust.

Apple Pay
Of course, this card scanning technology will come in use when Apple launches Apple Pay in the UK. This will let you store credit cards in Passbook. You'll then be able to use the details to pay for goods online and, with NFC-enabled devices (currently the iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus and Apple Watch), in stores using contactless payment. At the moment, Apple Pay has only been launched in the US, so we're going to have to wait a while before we see how it works in the UK.

Family sharing
Family Sharing is a much-welcome feature for anyone that lives in a household full of Apple owners. It lets you share purchased films, books, music and eligible apps between your entire household; share photos and videos in a special photo stream; share your location with other family members; schedule events in a family calendar; and track down lost or stolen devices using Find My iPhone. One member is the lead in the family and they pay for everything using their account. Don't worry about bill shock, though, as you can switch on a mode that forces your kids to ask permission to buy an app.
Camera app
Apple has given the Camera app a slight tweak adding in a couple of new features. Time-Lapse is one great new addition, capturing video at a slow frame rate, so you can capture a long event and view it in a short period of time, such as bustling crowds, or clouds floating overhead. It's pretty clever the way it works, too, adjusting the frame rate to match the duration of the video. There's a great explanation of this over at Studio Neat.
 
iCloud
With previous versions of the OS, the iCloud cloud storage service was there for backup, photos and documents, but these functions largely stayed separate from one another. With iOS 8, iCloud has changed. For starters, you can save documents from any supported app into your iCloud Drive, which is then accessible from any supported app on your iPad, Mac or Windows PC. Likewise, you can drag-and-drop files from Windows or your Mac into iCloud drive, and then access then from your iPad or iPhone.

It's going to take a while for developers to add in iCloud support into every app, but this is definitely a move in the right direction. Just watch out, as some developers are charging for iCloud access, such as for DocsToGo.
 
Find my iphone
Find My iPhone gets an overhaul, with a new option letting your handset send its last location to Apple when it runs low on battery. This is a really handy feature if you lose your handset when it's just about to run out of power.
 
Photos
With iCloud you used to only be able to share the last 30 days' worth of images, up to 1,000 photos in total. This meant that on every device, you had your Camera Roll and My Photo Stream, each with different photos. Apple wants to change this with the iCloud Photo Library, which is in Beta with iOS 8.

This will automatically upload all of your photos to the iCloud (including RAW files) and keep them there, so that you can view them from any device. From your iPhone or iPad, you can choose to download the full-resolution versions, or versions optimised for your phone's or iPad's storage.

While you can enable the feature now (it's under Settings->iCloud->Photos), the equivalent OS X app (Photos) has only been released under beta: from a computer you can only view your photos online at beta.icloud.com. As a result, you may want to wait until Photos is officially released with the next OS X update before you upgrade.

If/when you upgrade, you'll need more iCloud storage, so Apple has dramatically dropped its cloud storage prices. This feature is in Beta, but new sign-ups have been closed, so we couldn't test this out. We'll update this review once we've had a chance to use it properly.

Apple has also update the photo viewer in iOS 8, so you can now hide photos that you don't want other people to see, by long-pressing a photo and selecting Hide. All photos that you do this to appear in the special Hidden folder. More useful to most people is that recently deleted photos are moved to the Recently Deleted folder, letting you recover them before they're gone for good.
Extensibility
Apple has made iOS 8 its most open operating system yet. With previous versions, the company was always extremely strict in some areas. For example, you couldn't install a different keyboard and an app couldn't add its own Widget into the Today screen. With iOS 8 that all changes. Now you can download and install your own keyboards, switching between them at will. It's a bit of a faff to do, as you have to download the keyboard app, then select it in Settings as one you'd like to use and then give it full access to the system. However, it's great to see Apple finally taking this step. While we think that its new keyboard is a big improvement, there are plenty of other alternatives out there, such as the excellent SwiftKey.
It's good to see that Apps can now add their own widgets into the Today screen, too, letting you get the information you want much faster. There's still no full home screen widgets, Android style, but both approaches have their merits: Android gives you complete flexibility, but it can look messy and you have to remember which home screen your widget is on; Apple's arguably less flexible, but having everything in one simple menu that you can access from anywhere is extremely useful.

Extensibility goes further, too, letting you carry out an action in one application from another. For example, you can use photos to browse your images, but then open up Camera+ or Fragment to edit the photos. For this to work an application has to support Extensions and you have to enable the operation from each app you want to use it in. Still, it's a great thing to see and having more choice and flexibility in iOS 8 is something that we've all been calling out for.
Keyboard

Apple's keyboard has always been a little basic, but QuickType is a huge improvement. As you type, you get choices of words and phrases appearing above the keyboard, which you can tap to autocomplete. It also learns, so text messages are more colloquial than emails, and you get an easier tone with friends and more formal one with colleagues. It's pretty neat and we found that it really improved our typing speed, while cutting out errors that the old auto-complete system would make.
 
Messages
Messages gets a few new features, including the ability to add voice and video notes directly to a message. We also like the new Group management features, which let you remove someone from a group when you no longer need them or to use Do Not Disturb to mute a thread, so you're not bothered by a cacophony of incoming alert noises.

Email
Although the Email app remains largely unchanged, Apple has improved the way that Draft emails are handled. Now, you can switch back to the main inbox, while the email you're composing drops to the bottom of the screen; just tap it to bring it back into focus. It's much quicker than the old method of having to manually go into the Drafts folder.
Health
Apple's Health app collects together health and fitness data collected by other iOS 8 apps and brings everything together in one place. Heart rate, calories burned, blood sugar, cholesterol, sleep patterns and more can all be measured and recorded on an iPhone through apps such as Nike+. The Health app also lets you create an emergency health card that's available from the lock screen, detailing blood type, allergies and other important information.

Apple hopes that Health and the underlying HealthKit developer software will allow hospitals and medical professionals to receive health and fitness data, allowing medical information to be more easily tracked and monitored. It's early days for the system yet, but we're bound to see more and more apps and devices using it as time goes on.

Conclusion
While it maintains the look and feel of iOS 7, iOS 8 is a big step forward for the company, revamping and completely changing how it works. It's now a more open and customisable OS, with the likes of new keyboards and Extensibility making iOS not such a strict and locked-down system. With Continuity and Handoff more tightly integrating all of your Apple devices, iOS 8 is doing something that simply can't be done in Android or with Windows. As such, this is an essential upgrade for anyone with an older iOS device.

News Accessories Release Update : Sennheiser Launches Sports Range Of Headphones

German audio specialist, Sennheiser on Friday (10 April) launched all new sports range - MX 686 SPORTS, CX 686 SPORTS, PMX 686 SPORTS and OCX 686 SPORTS, the perfect amalgamation of sound, performance and ergonomic design for people passionate about sport. This new sports range is also winner of the prestigious Red Dot Award for Product Design 2015.

Commenting on the launch Kapil Gulati, Director, Consumer Segment, Sennheiser, said “Our new SPORTS headphones have been built on Sennheiser’s passion for sound and insight into the impact and challenges of extreme movement on audio, comfort and fit – all of which guided the design and selection of materials. Like all great sporting achievements, its this fusion of technique and passion that delivers the ultimate performance- an energizing sound that helps one reach his own personal best“.
 
The SPORTS range comprises both open and closed acoustic designs to suit different activities. The MX 686 SPORTS and PMX 686 SPORTS feature open acoustics, allowing for a better awareness of external sounds that is ideal for outdoor pursuits such as running. Sennheiser has developed new adapters for the MX 686 SPORTS and a vertical in-ear design for the PMX 686 SPORTS that delivers a punchy bass while remaining acoustically open.

Saavn Makes Music Social
Saavn, India’s music streaming app, on Friday the launch of Saavn Social, a set of in-app social features aimed at making music streaming a shared experience. With the ability to Tag, Follow, Chat, and Share on Saavn, millions of music listeners around the world can now engage with friends’ listening activity more intuitively and seamlessly than ever before, while using their favorite music to express emotions, memories, and ideas with the tap of a button.

“Social music is part of our DNA.  Music is a snapshot of our memories, our friends, and our shared experiences, but there has yet to be a cool way to truly express yourself with digital music. Saavn Social has been years in the making, and the experience changes the way we listen to music with the most important people in our lives. You can tag your friends in music in the same way you would tag them in a photo, making it a shared experience that is simply a delight to use. We believe music is the best photograph of our lives and we have brought this to life with Saavn Social,” Rishi Malhotra, Co-Founder and CEO of Saavn, said.

InFocus M330 Launched
US-based InFocus has announed the launch of its revolutionary smartphone InFocus M330. The limited edition phone will now be available exclusively on Snapdeal.com at a special price of Rs.9,999. M330 has been introduced in India to address the growing demand for a premium mid-segment smartphone that packs in superlative features at a competitive price point.

Commenting on the launch, Sachin Thapar, Country Head, InFocus Mobiles said, “We are happy to introduce M330, which will set a new and an elevated benchmark in the Indian smartphone industry with its best-in-class features, superior build quality and bigger visual experience. Driven by our core philosophy of being a customer-first brand; we believe that superior technology should be accessible to all. The phone offers stellar features with a veritable upgrade in technology; all at a competitive price point. We will continue to leverage the value offered by Snapdeal’s widest user reach through the exclusive launch on its platform.”

BigRock Introduces New Twist
BigRock, one of India’s leading domain registrars and web hosting companies, on Friday announced its nationwide campaign to launch a brand new domain extension – ‘.desi’. As a part of this contest, BigRock has invited entries from participants in the form of creative image submissions that helps decode what being DESI (Indian) implies to them. To be conducted between April 8-15, 2015, the contest will choose one lucky winner for the grand prize of– Hyundai Eon Magna Plus car while the next two winners will stand a chance to win an iPad Mini3 tablet and a Motorola Moto G (2nd Gen) smartphone respectively.

In order to register for the contest, interested participants will need to register themselves on www.being.desi. Participants will then be asked to post their entry and share it within their network of friends on popular social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter. The entries with most number of Facebook likes and shares on Twitter will be shortlisted to win. BigRock has tied up with Miss Malini, who is widely regarded as India’s first and most famous celebrity blogger, to choose the prize winning entry. She will announce the lucky winner on April 17, 2015.

Asia/Pacific Becomes The Frontline For IoT
International Data Corporation (IDC) announced on Friday that the Asia/Pacific Internet of Things (IoT) industry will continue its strong growth, with the number of units, or “things”, connected to increase from 3.1 billion to 8.6 billion by 2020. Over this same period, the total Asia/Pacific excluding Japan (APeJ) market size will increase from USD250 billion to USD583 billion.

"The Internet of Things industry has matured considerably over the past year, with a number of large government initiatives across APeJ, and China in particular, driving demand," says Charles Reed Anderson, Associated VP, Head of Mobility and Internet of Things at IDC Asia/Pacific. “This increase in market demand has led to an increased focus on IoT from leading ICT vendors, as well as start-ups – with each keen to grab their share of the growing IoT market.”

Wave Infratech Launches Wave Floors Premium
Wave City recently launched Wave Floors Premium, premium collection of G+2 Ready-To-Move-In Independent Residential Floors on NH24, the newest suburb of Delhi.

On the launch of Wave Floors Premium, Mr. Amar Sinha, Executive Director - Marketing, Wave Infratech said, "Wave Floors Premium offers premium homes which are ready-to-move-in. These homes will be equipped with 3 split AC's and a well-designed modular kitchen. Wave Floors Premium is a freehold property with has smart city enabled features. We welcome you to the First Smart City in Delhi / NCR and own a smart life."

Blue Coat Enhances Security
Blue Coat Systems, Inc., a leader in enterprise security, today announced the addition of Mail Threat Defense to its portfolio of Advanced Threat Defense (ATD) solutions. With the addition of mail threat defense, Blue Coat provides in-depth protection against the common trifecta of attack vectors – web, email and network –for unparalleled defense against advanced threats across the enterprise.

“As email phishing and other malware schemes grow increasingly sophisticated and deceptive, even the most well-meaning, cautious employees can be fooled into clicking on a malicious attachment, leading enterprises to seek additional protection for this critical but sometimes overlooked threat vector,”
said Dr. Hugh Thompson, CTO and senior vice president of Blue Coat.

Google Releases Sports Fans Behaviour
The world has changed to a large extent since the last Cricket World Cup in 2011. Millions of fans have used the power of internet during the Cricket World Cup 2015 (CWC’15) to pursue their love of the game. Google in its latest post World Cup trend analysis highlights the dramatic shift in the behaviour of sports fans; recoding the shift to ‘constant connectivity’ driven by the rise in smartphone searches as witnessed during World Cup 2015.

The report acknowledged that availability of low-cost smartphones and dropping data plan tariffs in one of the world’s fastest growing smartphone markets-India, have also contributed significantly to the surge in number of cricket related searches emerging from smartphones during the World Cup.  According to Google search trends, fans were busy searching online for noteworthy moments of the tournament, from the Duckworth-Lewis method to Virat Kohli’s hairstyle among other interesting queries touching all aspects of the game.
 
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