Developers wrestle with making ‘killer app’ for Apple Watch

Tech News – While app makers are passionate about developing for the Apple Watch, some are skeptical about the prospects of coming up with a big idea for the little computer on a wrist that hits stores on April 24, said Markiyan Matsekh, product manager at software engineering firm Eleks.

A killer app that grabs consumers’ attention will be key to the success of the Apple Watch and could spawn new companies, as the iPhone did. The photo-sharing app Instagram grew into a USD 1 billion business bought by Facebook Inc, and Snapchat has gone from a mobile messaging app to a company valued at USD 19 billion.

Apple has blocked some features, such as the gyroscope and accelerometer, on the development kit, and the watch simulator cannot test all functions, developers said. Apple declined to comment on why developers cannot access certain features.

“The limitations are discouraging,” said Matsekh, who helped develop a Watch app to control a Tesla Model S without involvement from the electric carmaker. App designer Mark Rabo believes Apple is spurring creativity though restraint.

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Lotus unveils new Evora 400 with 3.5-liter V6 engine

The new Lotus Evora 400 is the brand’s latest supercar, and the model has been almost completely overhauled to include a supercharged and charge-cooled mid-mounted 3.5-liter V6 engine producing 400 horsepower and 410 Nm of torque.

With a maximum speed of186 mph (300 km/h) and an acceleration of 0-60 mph in 4.1 seconds (0-100 km/h in 4.2 seconds), the car is a whole six seconds faster than the previous model.

The car will enter production for European markets in the summer, with North American markets receiving it as a 2016 model year presentation in the autumn.

 

Mercedes-Benz 190 SL celebrates 60 years

Tech News  – The 190SL presented an attractive, more affordable alternative to the exclusive Mercedes-Benz 300SL, sharing its basic styling, engineering, detailing, and fully independent suspension.

Powered by a 1.9 litre engine, 4-cylinder M121 unit that pushed a modest 105bhp of maximum power. The luxury vehicle became the choicest vehicle to be used in numerous movies at the time. It has became an economic success for the company establishing it as powerful name among the high-and-mighty in the 50s.

A huge number of 25,881 units were manufactured between 1955 and 1963. America was the biggest market with a consumption of nearly 40 percent 190 SL models.

Both the 190SL and the 300SL were replaced by theMercedes-Benz 230SLin 1963.

 

Daimler still bullish about China amid BMW woes

Tech News  – Daimler and BMW expect higher sales in 2015, after reporting record deliveries and higher China sales in 2014. Carmakers are now grappling with a Chinese economy where the pace of car sales is slowing down after years of high double-digit gains.

Asked at the Detroit car show about sales momentum in China, Zetsche said, “I’m not seeing that brutal slowdown of growth. I see a pretty stable economic development.”

Zetsche went out of his way to dismiss speculation that sales in China were under threat.

“Fears of a decline of the Chinese market have been around for 10 years. We still experience very strong dynamics in the market,” Zetsche told reporters, adding that sales of the S-Class and E-Class were still very strong.

Asked whether volume gains in China can only be made at the cost of lower margins and prices, Zetsche said: “That’s not what we experience. Of course there is a strong correlation between GDP and development of the car market.”

Zetsche’s remarks stand in sharp contrast to comments made by BMW late last week. “The market slowed down quite a lot in the last quarter,” Ian Robertson, board member for sales and marketing said about sales in China.

Foreign carmakers are now facing calls by the China Automobile Dealers Association (CADA) to shoulder some of the burden of lower profits. Last week, CADA took the unprecedented step of saying BMW had agreed to pay 5.1 billion yuan ($820 million) to dealers.

Overall, Zetsche sees strong momentum in other markets including the United States. “I see very few if any markets where we would see a reduction in demand,” Zetsche said.

 

Motorcycle maker Yamaha to launch small cars in Europe

Auto News – The firm has been mulling manufacturing four-wheel vehicles for years, exhibiting a prototype 1,000 cc engine car and an electric-car battery at the 2013 Tokyo Motor Show.

Yamaha is planning to build car plants in Europe to sell them in the region before 2020, the company spokesman said, without elaborating.

“As small cars are already prevalent in Europe, our first car launch will be (there),” he said.

“But we are also studying opportunities in emerging countries” as well, he added.

His comments were in response to an interview with company chief Hiroyuki Yanagi that appeared in the leading Nikkei business daily, in which he said Yamaha will supply its own engines for the new European market cars, while outsourcing some other parts production.

While it is best known for its motorcycles, Yamaha has worked with Toyota on car engine development since the mid-sixties, supplying more than three million engines to the world’s biggest automaker over that period.

 

Microsoft to end support for Facebook, Google chats in Outlook email service

Microsoft’s move seems to be inspired by Google announcement of termination of its Talk feature to push its Hangouts chatting service. Similarly, Microsoft is also planning to expand its own Skype chatting service.

However, Microsoft has not stated any reason for withdrawing support for Facebook chat.

Taking Goolge’s Gmail and other email apps head on, Microsoft recently launched a new Outlook app for iOS and Android devices.

The new app is basically a replacement for San Francisco-based email startup Acompli that was acquired by Microsoft for USD 200 million in December last year.

Outlook will support Office 365, Exchange, Outlook.com, Yahoo Mail, Gmail, iCloud and other key email services. The app will also help users manage calendar and fetch attachments within the same app.

Source: Latest Tech Updates

Jaguar Land Rover recalls nearly 62,000 vehicles over air bags

The recall affects some Range Rovers from the 2013 through 2015 model years and Range Rover Sports from 2014 through 2015.

The company says it will start notifying owners in April, and they will be able to take their vehicles to dealers for a free software update.

Jaguar Land Rover says it has received no reports of accidents or injuries tied to the problem. It started looking into the issue last fall, after customers said a light indicating that the passenger air bag was off stayed illuminated in some cases when an adult sat in the seat.

Source: Automotive News and Gadget Reviews India

Facebook, partners unveil alliance on cyber security

“ThreatExchange is built on the existing Facebook platform infrastructure… so that partner companies can query the available threat information and also publish to all or a subset of participating organizations,” the social network said in a statement.

“Our goal is that organizations anywhere will be able to use ThreatExchange to share threat information more easily, learn from each other’s discoveries, and make their own systems safer. That’s the beauty of working together on security. When one company gets stronger, so do the rest of us.”

The statement said Pinterest, Tumblr, Twitter, and Yahoo have been working on the program and new partners including Bitly and Dropbox.

“We have a vested interest in making the Internet safer and giving people better ways to connect and share,” Facebook said.

“After working with a number of our peer companies to refine the structure and implementation, we are ready to introduce ThreatExchange and see what we can learn from each other.”

Source: Automotive News and Gadget Reviews India

Asus launches Zenfone C smartphone for Rs 5,999 in India

Zenfone C is much similar to its successors, Zenfone 5 and it is available in black, white and red colour and it weighs 150 grams. It features 4.5-inch display (854 x 480 pixels) which claims to deliver visuals at FWVGA resolution and carries Gorilla Glass protection.

The smartphone sports a VGA front camera and a 5MP camera on the rear that uses Asus’s PixelMaster technology for bettering picture quality. The device is fixed with the SonicMaster technology to power its speakers.

Source: Automotive News and Gadget Reviews India