NewsBytes Briefing: Google launches new Pixel phones, and more
Last night, Google held its Launch night event and showcased a bunch of new devices, including 5G-capable Pixel 5 and Pixel 4a, a new Chromecast dongle with mic-integrated remote, and redesigned, more powerful Nest Audio speakers. The company also announced that the standard Snapdragon 730-powered Pixel 4a will go on sale in India on October 17 via Flipkart. Here are other developments.
Indian start-ups exploring alliance to fight back against Google
After Google's crackdown against Paytm's cashback offer and similar warnings to Swiggy, Zomato, and other services, top Indian start-ups are exploring the idea of forming an alliance and fighting back against the internet giant's monopoly by launching their own app store. As per TechCrunch, Paytm's Vijay Shekhar Sharma, MakeMyTrip's Deep Kalra, and executives from Policybazaar, Sharechat are among those exploring the idea.
Facebook bans more election-related ads
Mere days after banning ads claiming premature election victory, Facebook has announced that it will also ban ads that claim voting fraud, suggest US election results would be invalid, or attack any method of voting. Additionally, the company also took down more than 6,500 pages and groups associated with militarized social movements that could cause potential violence.
iOS 14.2 to bring more inclusive emojis
Apple has released iOS 14.2 which signals that the next incremental release for iPhones will bring a series of more inclusive emojis. This include, transgender flags, the trans symbol, gender variations for both the tuxedo and veil emojis, bottle feeding emoji across genders. You will also get new emojis for flies, cockroaches, seal, disguised face, and a smiling face with tear, among others.
Other important developments to note
Among other things, OnePlus teased the launch of OnePlus World on October 1, which is likely to be a virtual world, while Twitter announced that voice tweets are being rolled out to more iOS users, with Android and web release scheduled for 2021. Further, Google announced powerful editing features for the Photos app and a new 'Hold for Me' Assistant feature for calls.
Finally, some COVID-19-related updates
India on Wednesday reported over 86,000 fresh coronavirus infections, taking the nationwide tally of cases to 63.1 lakh. The death toll rose to 98,728. Meanwhile, European regulators are gearing up to begin a fast-tracked review of Oxford-AstraZeneca's COVID-19 vaccine as soon as this week, and Japanese giant Fujifilm is moving to mass-manufacture the candidate shot developed by US-based VLP Therapeutics for clinical trials.