WhatsApp, the chat app with a huge user base in India, is already being used by small businesses and charitable organizations to reach their audiences. WhatsApp has announced that it is introducing verified business accounts in the app to increase the ease with which users can interact with businesses. WhatsApp has long focused on adding features that individuals find useful, with not much going for businesses. This step should address that shortcoming.
In an FAQ post about the new update, WhatsApp said that some business accounts have already been verified and that if you see a green badge with a white check next to a contact’s name, you can rest assured that it is a business profile. The company has clarified that WhatsApp business verification is currently limited to small businesses participating in a pilot program. Think of use cases such as an official police number to which you can send complaints or ask if they can guide you to safe areas in the event of a natural disaster. That’s also where verified WhatsApp accounts can be very useful.
WhatsApp is already planning to introduce UPI payments,, which could be another way for businesses to use this platform from Facebook. Instead of accepting payments outside of the app, small businesses could do it in WhatsApp and make the whole transaction much smoother. It remains to be seen how Facebook executes its plans for businesses on WhatsApp, but today’s development seems like a step in the right direction.
Here’s everything else that has made the news in technology today.
Xiaomi Mi 5X will be launched on September 5. Xiaomi has started sending out invitations to the launch of the flagship dual-camera smartphone in New Delhi on September 5. In the invite image, the company has suggested that one of the sensors in the dual camera setup will come with a wider aperture than the others – indicating that the Mi 5X could indeed be the launch.
This smartphone was previously launched in China, which is why we know some of its specifications. It is a dual-SIM smartphone with a 5.5-inch full HD display, and the Xiaomi Mi 5X is powered by an octa-core Snapdragon 625 SoC with 4GB of RAM. It runs MIUI 9 based on Android 7.0 Nougat and comes with 64GB of built-in storage, which is expandable via microSD card. The smartphone houses a 3080mAh battery and weighs 165 grams.
As for its camera, the Xiaomi Mi 5X has a dual rear camera with one 12-megapixel wide-angle lens and another 12-megapixel telephoto lens. It has a 5-megapixel front camera. The phone price is CNY 1,499 (approximately Rs. 14,200), and we expect the price in India to be around that figure.
Vodafone offers prepaid top-up cashbacks. The great offers on prepaid mobile phone top-up keep popping up. This time it’s Vodafone with some great suggestions in the Uttar Pradesh East circle. Vodafone is now offering those in that circle a 5 percent cashback on all its Unlimited Super plans, apart from a full talk time of Rs. 110. This offer is valid on top-ups via the MyVodafone app. Established telecom operators such as Vodafone are doing their best to avoid losing customers to Reliance Jio. You can compare the best offers from all telcos here.
iPhone 8’s wireless charging feature revealed? Now that it’s almost September expect everything Apple is planning for its iPhone event to be leaked in detail. Today’s leaks claim that the iPhone 8 will come with wireless charging support, but it will be slower than its competitors offer. These rumors indicate that Apple may have opted for the 7.5W Qi wireless charging standard, which can be considered slower than the Qi 1.2 standard used on other flagship smartphones. In related rumors, the inside of the iPhone 7s may have been revealed. The A11 chip likely to be used in that iPhone has been spotted, apart from the upcoming device’s alleged logic board.
Paytm Renames Its Postcard Service Paytm allows users to send money and custom virtual postcards. Until recently, this function was called Postcard. Paytm has now changed the name of the position to Lifafa, the Hindi word for the envelope. The company claims that it has seen an increase in transactions since the rebrand, attributing this to the strong emotional connection and social relevance of the word life in India.
Disclosure: Paytm’s parent company, One97, is an investor in Gadgets 360.
Huawei MediaPad T3 and MediaPad M3 Lite get new screen variants. Huawei added two new tablets to its MediaPad lineup in April and June, respectively – the MediaPad T3 8-inch and MediaPad M3 Lite 10-inch. But the company did not disclose the pricing or availability of these two tablets when it launched them. The tablets are now available on Amazon.com, along with two more variants: the MediaPad T3 10-inch and MediaPad M3 Lite 8-inch. The MediaPad T3 8-inch costs $139 (about Rs. 8,890), the 10-inch version costs $159 (about Rs. 10,200), while the MediaPad M3 Lite 10-inch variant retails for $249 (about Rs. 16,000). and the 8-inch display variant retails for $199 (about Rs. 12,800).
Uber brings in-app chat to India. If you’ve been worried about sharing your phone number with your Uber driver, now you can avoid it altogether. The taxi app now allows you to chat with your driver instead of calling them, eliminating the need to share your phone number. When you tap the Contact button to get in touch with your driver, the app will show you two options: Chat and Call. You can tap the first to start a text conversation with your driver. Of course, the function depends on whether the driver responds to your text message, which is not always possible, especially if the driver is taking a ride near you. The company had previously rolled out this feature for some users, but it is now available to all its users in India.
Google Assistant for iPhone Available in India Months after the launch of the Google Assistant (Review) application for iPhone in the United States, Google announced that the app would be rolling out for iPhone devices in the UK, Germany, and France. The app is now also available in India. The company says the app is designed to work on devices running iOS 9.1 and above, which will likely cover most iPhone and iPad users. So iPhone users can use both Siri and Google Assistant.
Sarahah app that secretly uploads your contacts? The viral “honesty app” Sarahah, where you can send or receive anonymous messages, may not be as anonymous as it seems. Senior security analyst Zachary Julian, who works for IT security consultancy Bishop Fox, was the first to discover Sarahah uploading private information using the monitoring software BURP Suite. The app was found while uploading users’ phone contacts to the company’s servers. However, Sarahah’s founder, Zain al-Abidin Tawfiq, said contact lists were uploaded “for a planned ‘find your friends’ feature” that has not yet been released. Giving an app access to your contacts carries this risk, so we advise everyone to avoid it as much as possible.
Goodbye Xbox One With the launch of the Xbox One X and the Xbox One S, it’s time to say goodbye to the Xbox One. Microsoft has stopped selling the original Xbox One console in the US and UK, and other markets will likely follow soon. The Xbox One’s big flaw was a giant power brick, which Microsoft removed in the Xbox One S that went on sale in August 2016. The situation is very different in India, as Xbox One is still in stock, and the newer consoles are far from hitting the market. You would hope the newer consoles come to India soon.