Uber has launched CNG services in Chittagong, apparently

This just in. Uber has started CNG run auto-rickshaw services in Chittagong. Although there was no official announcement by Uber as of yet, anyone living in Chittagong who uses the app will see a CNG option now available for use. This is only within the Chittagong region, at least for the time being. Making this seem like a test run to see how this works out. 

Read more: Pathao, Uber and the need for greater scrutiny about data gathering activities

Since the start of ride-sharing apps, the thought of bringing auto-rickshaw services into this did cross people’s minds. In India, Ola and Uber have been successfully running it’s auto-rickshaw operations for quite some time now. In Bangladesh, Oi Khali was launched as the first-ever dedicated ride-sharing for CNG run auto-rickshaws.

Read more: Uber in the deep waters of South East Asia

Despite its failure, another similar platform OBHAI has picked up the CNG service and has been running its CNG services along with its regular ride-sharing services. With the launching of Uber’s CNG, Uber is set to become a major contender in CNG run auto-rickshaw sharing.

We’ll bring you more updates as soon as we get an official word from Uber.

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Experience the formidable screen of Galaxy Note 10+

One of the key elements for a great smartphone has always been a truly innovative and top-performing display. It is the display performance that determines how good and how beautiful everything on the smartphone looks, including the camera photos, visuals of all of our Apps, and also how readable and how usable the screen is in high ambient lighting. The display is the crown jewel of the smartphone!

The Galaxy Note 10+ is Samsung’s newest flagship smartphone received the DisplayMate Best Smartphone Award earning DisplayMate’s highest ever Display Performance Grade of A+. The latest Samsung innovation comes with a large 6.8-inch State-of-Art curved Dynamic AMOLED display that fills almost the entire front face of the phone from edge-to-edge.

The aspect ratio of the display is 19% larger than most smartphones and widescreen televisions. It is taller in Portrait mode and wider in Landscape mode, which provides extra space for notifications and for displaying multiple Apps and content simultaneously on-screen. The main screen has rounded corners and is curved along both the left and right edges, which provides two additional user configuration edge screen areas that can be viewed from both the front or the sides, and even when the phone is placed face down. This will help the user to check the messages, notifications, memos, an Edge Clock, and a Night Clock in the Always-on Display mode.

Furthermore, the Galaxy Note 10+ has a very small circular O-hole at the very top center of the screen for the front-facing selfie camera and sensors. The Front Camera O-hole is just 4.7mm in diameter, and it takes up only a tiny 0.15% of the total display area and is implemented as a clear opening within the OLED display.

As a result of its larger display size and larger aspect ratio, the Galaxy Note 10+ has a 3K Higher Resolution Quad HD+ display with 3040×1440 pixels and 498 pixels per inch, with 4.4 Mega Pixels, which is more than double the number of pixels in our HDTV. It can display more than four complete HD 1280×720 images at once.

On top of it, this marvel is the most color-accurate display with record-setting absolute color accuracy of 0.4 JNCD (Just Noticeable Color Difference), which is visually indistinguishable from perfect, and almost certainly considerably better than most existing smartphones, HDTV, tablet, laptop, and computer monitor.

The Galaxy Note 10+ can also play 4K High Dynamic Range content made for 4K UHD television.

Most smartphones and tablets generally provide only one to up to several Color Gamut. The Galaxy Note 10+ has automatic color management that spontaneously switches to the proper Color Gamut for any displayed image content that has an ICC Profile that falls within the OLED Wide Color Space. For this reason, the images will automatically appear with the correct colors, which is neither over-saturated or under-saturated.

Moreover, mobile displays are often used under relatively bright ambient lighting, which washes out the image color saturation and contrast, reducing picture quality and making it harder to view or read the screen. To be usable in high ambient light, a display needs a dual combination of high screen Brightness and low screen Reflectance. The Galaxy Note 10+ has both these features. This is extremely important for screen readability, picture quality, and color accuracy in ambient light.

These are only the tip of the iceberg of what Galaxy Note 10+ display can do. Now imagine playing your favorite video game with Galaxy Note 10+ or watching your favorite movie in 4K resolution. It is going to be a completely different experience.

https://www.samsung.com/us/mobile/phones/galaxy-note/

With every new phone, Samsung innovates some significant enhancements and improvements that make its first appearance on their devices, and this time, it seems like Galaxy Note 10+ has again raised the bar significantly higher.

Sure-fire ways of getting an ICT loan in Bangladesh

Bangladesh is recognized as the third-largest population to outsource their resources through the internet and mainly through freelancing. However, when it comes to start-ups, many struggle to gain a firm foothold. By the entry of 3G internet in 2013, usage has boosted over 22% by the end of 2014.

Needless to say, the government has been taking steps to realize the dreams of a Digitalized Bangladesh; and have introduced multiple ways to broaden the field of entrepreneurship in multiple sectors alongside including ICT over the years. Along with the Government, private organizations have started offering loans and grants to realize the potential of these budding ventures. 

Here are some ways of getting a loan for an ICT organization or start-ups:

StartUp Bangladesh

The Government has taken the initiative to make an Eco-system where entrepreneurship can be nourished to realize their full potential. This effort will allow the country to innovate at a much faster rate. And enhance the ability to create new jobs and to develop technical skill; all leading to realize the vision of Digital Bangladesh.  

In support of these objectives, the government has created a fund under iDEA project. The Investment will provide all the necessary capital to pick up the pace in development and achieve success in the planned businesses and the process remains transparent, impartial and accountable.

Criteria for Application: 

The criteria to receive any loans or investment grants from StartUp Bangladesh are divided into the following categories:

  • IDEA SUPPORT – This requires a feasible business plan and an executable business plan.
  • VENTURE CAPITAL –
  • Seed stage: Requires prototype of a business model and plan.
  • Growth stage: Requires a viable product and an existing customer base.
  • Guided start-up: Requires a start-up idea under national interest.
  • TARGETED INVESTMENTS – This fund may take part as a collaboration under the Public-Private Partnership (PPP) model or other entities that seem fit for this investment module that includes training up facilities.
  • STRATEGIC PARTNERSHIP – This fund may take part in partnerships with local or international institutes to acquire the desired requirement for entrepreneurship development.
  • CO-INVESTMENTS – This fund may enter with other venture capital funds or funding entities that will help the development while sharing risk factors for the business, usually for larger investments.

Any application submitted is reviewed by a board of committee members who rank the top in the ICT industry and the procedures are then followed through step by step accordingly, all of which is listed in the official website of StartUp Bangladesh.

Bangladesh Bank 

The government has been taking steps to prioritize the roles of entrepreneurship in Bangladesh towards the ICT sector and has introduced the ESF (Entrepreneurship Support Fund) for multiple sectors in the country.

Included are ICT and the Agricultural sector while the previous EEF loan system that contained zero interest is abolished. However, this seemed unfruitful as most clients had failed to meet the expected outcomes. The ESF has a four-year grace period set, after which clients will have to pay 25% principle amount and interest every year. Which is a different approach from the previous EED loans. Clients themselves have to provide 51% as the impartiality of the project cost and invest it within one year after securing the approval from the Investment Corporation of Bangladesh (ICB).

Criteria for Application: 

  • ICT business model which needs to be feasible.
  • Cannot take any other loans for the project while in this program.
  • Needs authentication from clients – cannot be a defaulter from any banks in Bangladesh.

IDLC Finance Limited

A program launched in 2015 for financing for ICT entrepreneurs. It offers tailored solutions to boost businesses for their clients. The program “IDLC Udbhabon Loan” is in association with BASIS organization. However, it is not only financial services for ICT companies; but will also refer to corporate clients to BASIS if software purchases are required. And the customers will receive special discounts in this manner.

Criteria for Application:

To check for eligibility for the “IDLC Udbhabon Loan”; clients need to be 20 to 60 years of age. And the business applied for needs to be in two years of operation. However, the time of operation is halved for female entrepreneurs. After application, IDLC will reach out if the criteria’s are met and it is something they look forward towards investing.

World’s first Blockchain phone is here. And you can buy it in Bangladesh

The time when Blockchain becomes a thing is upon us. Other than being used in cryptocurrencies, there will now be general use of this technology. Sirin Labs, A Swiss-based company has developed a Blockchain smartphone. They call it the Finney! Sirin Labs will launch Finney in Bangladesh. 

BTRC (Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission) has cleared the import, which will begin from August 27. Index Group will be the one to import this.

What is blockchain?

Blockchain is mainly a bunch of blocks that contain records. For example; name, address, time, transactions, and the list goes on. Now several blocks like these are open to the public and are decentralized. And these blocks will update themselves with new information; and will link up to one another via cryptography. So, despite being out in public this technology is very secure.

Now, the Bangladesh government has planned to send graduates to learn and train for blockchain technology to Japan and India.

Features of the phone

The phone will be priced at $999. After being approved in August, it is said to be available in the market from October 2019. The Finney will run on Android OS 8.1x and Sirin OS 3.01. It will also have Cold storage crypto wallet, major cryptocurrency support, crypto wallet application, Token conversion system, and an Embedded D-apps store. Internal memory on this is 128gb which is expandable up to 2tb. The phone comes with a second screen on top of it and it has a water resistance of IP15.

It’s the Netflix for games. Meet, Apple arcade

Apple has announced its very own Netflix for Games called the “Apple Arcade”. The games provided will be available for playing offline as well as online. Just like Netflix allows users to download stuff on certain devices such as Phones and Tablets. Apple Arcade will be released on September 19. The subscription rate for this will be $4.99 in the U.S and approximately 450 Takas in Bangladesh.

Features

It's the Netflix for games. Meet, Apple arcade

Apple Arcade is allowed to share with 5 family members. Basically, like Netflix, again, you get to create 5 profiles. Probably be able to play on five devices at the same time. Apple Arcade initially has more than a hundred games to offer. Out which Lego Brawls seem promising. Now, who wouldn’t like a PvP lego where bricks drop from the sky. You sue those bricks to build stuff to your advantage. Kind of like “Stick Fight”. These games in Apple Arcade are strictly restricted to it. Not available for separate purchase.

The opportunity of a lifetime! 

An interesting thing you would notice if you visit the Apple Arcade website. That is they are giving game developers a chance. Meaning if you are a game developer and want everyone to experience what you have created; then this is a good opportunity for you. https://developer.apple.com/apple-arcade/

What else?

Moving on, The games in Apple arcade will not have any kind of in-app purchase or ads. This is something android users have been dreaming of since the beginning of time. Fret not! As Google is also working on something of this sort Android users. WITHOUT ADS AND IN-APP PURCHASES! FINALLY! The Google Pass is the name for Google’s game streaming service.

Last but not least

It's the Netflix for games. Meet, Apple arcade

For those who’ve been using Netflix, this is a great thing. Like, you are getting good quality games in with ease. Except those who use Netflix. Netflix owners in this side of the globe are mostly android users. So an Apple exclusive service is of no use to them. But on the bright side, this is a good take on the gaming industry and this will reduce piracy a lot. Anyone with Netflix experience would look forward to this.

Freelancers in Bangladesh will now get ID cards

Bangladesh Freelance Development Society (BFDS) and the ICT department took an initiative to create a database targeted towards the local freelancers. Under this initiative, ID cards will be provided to freelancers, bringing freelancing under an official working structure.

Read more: Kajkey.com: Making money from your laptop

This ID card validates a freelancer showing off his skills and achievements. They are calling this “The Free ID”. Other than showing off skills, it can also be used for banking.

“All this information will be fixed in the card with a QR code and only institutions that have an agreement with the BFDS can access it,”

Said Mustafizur Rahman, general secretary of BFDS.

Read more: 5 Bangladeshi platforms where you can pitch your startup

The card will contain the freelancer’s info, the earning statement, and his/her development in the career. According to data from BFDS, out of the six lakhs freelancers, only two lakhs earn actively.

Now, the ICT division of Bangladesh will be the ones providing the cards. While BFDS will provide tech support. Both parties signed an agreement regarding this. Other than that, BFDS signed a deal with Walton to allow the freelancers to buy Walton electronics at instalments.

Oppo A9 2020: Beast of a phone with 8GB RAM and 5000 mAh battery

Earlier this year, OPPO introduced OPPO A7 with a decent 4320mAh battery and Oppo A9; both of which gained immense popularity within a short period of time.

Considering the affection from the users, the manufacturer has decided to launch the OPPO A9 ‘2020’ in Bangladesh. It comes with substantial upgrades in processing capability, camera performance; and increased power capability by adding a monstrous 5000mAh battery. In addition, the New ‘2020’ version incorporates 8GB RAM to ensure smooth multitasking experience for heavy-duty usage.

The RAM, why it makes a difference

Regarding the 8GB RAM, Mr Damon Yang, Managing Director of OPPO Bangladesh says, “OPPO has always prioritize on user experience with OPPO devices. This is an era of creative minds. With a gigantic 8GB RAM, gaming and content creation will be smoother; while ensuring a better outcome in terms of multi-tasking.”

Operating system tends to force close some of the background apps in smartphones that have smaller RAM. Multi-tasking, high-intensity gaming, photo and video processing becomes challenging for smartphones that come with smaller RAM. With an 8GB RAM, photo processing will be faster than ever before. Video rendering will be faster for creative users who use a smartphone as a tool for content creation. But most importantly, higher RAM ensures smoother performance for games that come with high definition graphics.

The powerhouse battery

Oppo A9 "2020" with 8GB RAM and 5000 mAh battery 2

The Oppo A9 2020 comes with a powerful battery that can back the need of demanding smartphone gaming. Games like PUBG drain batteries very fast. However, with VOOC flash charging and a 5000mAh battery, the concern for battery backup is minimal. A single charge may last for more than 2 days for a moderate user. For heavy users, it will survive a full day.

For outdoor content creator and travellers, power back-up really becomes an issue; since they are bound to be detached from any power source during their work time. So, the new OPPO A9 2020 would relieve frequent travellers from the predicament of running out of power.

The Oppo A9 ‘2020’ will hit the market by mid-September 2019. It will be available in official OPPO stores and other channels as well.

Samsung redefines Smart TV with ‘Unbox Magic Everyday’ campaign 

Samsung Electronics Bangladesh has recently launched its latest Smart TVs, R Series with industry-first unique benefits such as personal computer, music system, home cloud, live cast, and two-way sharing. It has been launched under the ‘Unbox Magic Everyday’ campaign which resonates with the lifestyle of millennials offering meaningful benefits to them.

Regarding the launch, Shahriar Bin Lutfor, Head of Business, Consumer Electronics, Samsung Bangladesh said, “With Samsung’s commitment to deliver the best in class products, we are proud to deliver our most innovative and immersive lineup to date, and to give users more than they ever thought was possible before.”

The new TV-line up along with these never-seen-before benefits will redefine the term ‘Smart’ in Smart TVs and take the home entertainment experience to a whole new level. Along with the revolutionary new smart features, all the Smart TVs come with unmatched picture quality ranging from the High Definition (HD) range with Ultra Pix technology to the Ultra High Definition (UHD) 4K models, featuring superior colors, stunning details, and contrast levels. 

With the personal computer feature, people can now transform their TV into a computer. Customers can create PPT/Excel/Word documents directly from the TVand share them. They can even mirror their laptop on the Smart TV wirelessly. Also, users can remotely access their laptop or personal computer from home or any other location.

The music system has colorful graphics and granular controls. Customers can manage USB device playlists and create an immersive musical experience with external speakers. Now Samsung Smart TV will also transform into a virtual cloud to automatically store important files such as photos and videos from the customer’s smartphone through Samsung account. 

The live cast feature will let people share a live video over bandwidth to the TVs using the SmartThings app, which is available on most Android devices. Moreover, two-way sharing will let customers share videos, music, and even live TV from phone to TV and vice versa. 

Furthermore, Samsung has launched as many as 13 models on R-Series TV, starting with the 43-inch model that starts at BDT 56,900, while the top-most model comes with a 75-inch that is priced at BDT 449,900. Samsung Bangladesh is providing an introductory offer for the customers which will continue till September 30, 2019. During this campaign period, customers will receive cashback on all the 13 models for up to BDT 25,000. Exchange offer can also be availed in the campaign.

Ookla Speedtest recognizes Grameenphone as the fastest mobile network

Ookla, the global leader in internet testing and analysis, has once again recognized Grameenphone as the ‘Fastest Mobile Network’ in Bangladesh for Q1-Q2 of 2019. Grameenphone acknowledged that the continuous support and trust by its customers has enabled this continuous improvement.

The “Speedtest Awards” for top providers in speed are determined using a speed score that incorporates a measure of each provider’s download and upload speed to rank network speed performance.  Grameenphone won the award with a speed score of 9.25 in 2018, and continuous improvement since then raised the score to 10.60 in 2019.

Ookla arrived at this result by analysing consumer-initiated tests on compatible ‘modern devices’, taken through the Speedtest app across all major operators in the country.  The Ookla analysis confirmed that Grameenphone has achieved the fastest overall mobile internet speed in Bangladesh during the stipulated time period.  Ookla considers ‘modern devices’, like those which can connect to the market’s fastest, generally available technology.

“We are pleased to award Grameenphone with the award for Fastest Mobile Network in Bangladesh. This recognition is a testament to their exceptional performance in Q1-Q2 of 2019 based on Ookla’s rigorous analysis of consumer-initiated tests taken through the Speedtest,”

Said Jamie Steven, EVP at Ookla.

Grameenphone’ sub-base reached 75.3 Million as of June 2019.  In the second quarter, the company invested BDT 3.8 Bn for network coverage and rolled new 4G sites along with network modernization.  Grameenphone has 100% Mobile Broadband coverage with more than 16000 sites throughout the country.

Rumour has it, Apple is testing its AR Glasses

Ever wondered what it would be like to wear a pair of glasses and give instruction to your AR assistant just like the way Tony Stark gives commands to Jarvis in Iron Man movies? Well, your dream might be coming true because Apple has been working on Augmented Reality glasses for real. And according to recent reports, the codes found in the iOS 13 beta gives hints about Apple already testing its AR device.

In the internal build for iOS 13, there are options for stereoscopic AR apps that can only be used using some sorts of headsets or glasses. The programming codes also point to the development of augmented reality (AR) device, “Garta,” a prototype under Apple’s T288 project.

The hype about the AR glasses got real when Apple started making a team of 100+ people skilled at building virtual reality and AR headsets. Apple then hijacked Nick Thompson who was an engineer for Microsoft’s HoloLens AR headset, and Mike Rockwell who was the head of engineering at Dolby Labs. Apple also purchased companies like Metaio, Flyby Media, Akonia Holographics to bolster its AR department.

“THERE ARE CERTAIN IDEAS THAT WE HAVE AND WE ARE WAITING FOR THE TECHNOLOGY TO CATCH UP WITH THE IDEA.”

– APPLE’S FORMER DESIGN CHIEF JONY IVE

If the rumours are true, the operating system for AR glass/headset will be called ‘rOS‘ for ‘reality operating-system’. Or, Apple might entirely ditch the idea of building a separate headset and use the processing engine of the iPhone to power-up the AR glass, as noted by Ming-Chi Kuo, a well-known Apple analyst.

The AR glasses, when they arrive, will revolutionize the way we use technology. It has the potential to change the way we use maps, the way we do photography and gaming or simply the way we interact with the objects around us. It could also technically improve the eye-sight and be a great device for those in need for better accessibility features such as hearing, physical and motor skills, and educational settings.

There are excitements and high hopes about Apple AR glasses and they can even hit the market by 2020, thus potentially putting Google Glass and Microsoft HoloLens in direct competition. Whatever the case is, it’s a straight win for the customers.

Stay tuned to HiFi Public for more exciting news on Apple products.