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Today’s top tech news: Google and Flipkart as focusing on India on-ground as Zomato looks to the skies with Facebook paying users to access their data

​Google is experimenting an ‘off route’ feature for Maps only for users in India

​Google is experimenting an ‘off route’ feature for Maps only for users in India

Google is experimenting with an ‘off route’ feature on its mobile navigation app, Google Maps. The feature will only available to users in India. It will alert them when a taxi or car deviates from its designated route by more than 500 meters. The off route alert can be found in the ‘Stay Safer’ menu on Google Maps according a report by XDA developers.

Why you should care:

The upcoming safety feature can be useful for two very common situations. One, if you’re in a new city using the local transport, like an auto rickshaw and local cab, the feature will keep you from getting tricked into riding a longer and more expensive route.

And, two, even in normal situations, the app will send an alert on your phone if your cab weers more than 500 meters off its designated route rather automatically reroute.

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​The magic number that Vodafone Idea, Airtel and Jio are chasing is 50% market share

​The magic number that Vodafone Idea, Airtel and Jio are chasing is 50% market share

The three giants in India’s telecom space — Vodafone Idea, Airtel and Jio — are all biding to gain 50% of the market share. Jio’s aggressive pricing of data plans and new subscriptions has taken a considerable number of subscribers away from its competitors.

Jio currently leads the market 39.8% share while Vodafone Idea and Airtel trail behind at 28.9% and 24%, respectively.

Why you should care:

If the target it to get to 50% market share that means the race is far from over. Aggressive pricing and battles over who can provide a better user experience are likely to continue until that goal is achieved.

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​Zomato just took the lead in drone delivery in India

​Zomato just took the lead in drone delivery in India

Zomato just announced a successful test delivery using drones in India. During the test, Zomato’s drone over 5 kilometers in 10 minutes reaching a maximum speed of 80 kmph while carrying 5 kilograms of weight.

The CEO of Zomato, Deepinder Goyal, explains that this is the next phase of food delivery. He explains, “The only possible way to reduce the average 30.5 minutes to 15 minutes is to take the aerial route.”

Why you should care:

The Indian government is already working on bringing about a drone policy that may make open up the skies in India to commercial players. As regulatory hurdles are being discussed, it’s possible that, in the near future, doorstep food delivery might be carried out by unmanned aeiral vehicles rather than delivery boys.

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​Flipkart has cut down on made-in-China products, to focus on private labels

​Flipkart has cut down on made-in-China products, to focus on private labels

Flipkart, one of India’s biggest e-commerce companies and Amazon’s primary competitor in the Indian market, has shifted half of its manufacturing from China to various places in India.

Flipkart’s own labels — like MarQ, Perfect Homes and Billion — is looking to source its raw materials from within India.

Why you should care:

Amazon has been dominating the Indian market with its smart speakers, the Echo series, which feature the digital assistant Alexa. Flipkart, on the other hand, is still trying to popularise its private labels. Sourcing from India itself may give Flipkart an edge against Amazon as well as Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance Retail that plans to launch its own online ecommerce platform by the end of the year.

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