20 Sep 2020: #WeeklyRecap: Potential life on Venus, Apple's new hardware, and more
This week, a number of developments were noted in the world of technology, including an unexpected - and still unconfirmed - case of alien life discovery.
Let's take a look at everything.
News #1: Potential sign of life on Venus
The biggest news of the week was the discovery of a potential biosignature on Venus, the planet scientists often ignored as inhospitable.
Scientists used two ground-based telescopes and found phosphine in the planet's atmosphere, a gas known to be made through industrial processes and some species of bacteria that can survive without oxygen.
However, the discovery needs to be confirmed thoroughly.
News #2: Apple launches new hardware, software, and more
Separately, Apple also made major headlines this week by launching new software and hardware and confirming September 23 as the opening date of its online store in India.
News #3: WeChat, TikTok situation escalates
The US announced the decision to ban new downloads of TikTok and WeChat, in compliance with the order President Donald Trump had issued on August 6.
The ban is set to go into effect from September 20, but for TikTok, it has been delayed by a week as it is finalizing a 20% stake sale to Oracle and Walmart to allay Trump administration's concerns.
News #4: Big B on Alexa, Snapdeal testing robots
Meanwhile, Amazon announced that Amitabh Bachchan will be Alexa's first celebrity voice in India.
The experience will be paid, much like the one for Samuel L Jackson, and is set to be launched sometime next year.
In addition to this, Amazon's e-commerce rival Snapdeal announced the testing of autonomous robots for home delivery of orders in Delhi NCR's residential complexes.
News #5: Paytm's removal from Play Store; Facebook's new VR products
Among other things, Paytm was removed from the Google Play Store for promoting a cricket cashback offer, which Google said violated its policies on gambling. The offer has since been removed and the app has returned to the marketplace.
Smartphones: Finally, some tempting smartphone launches
In the smartphone segment, a number of devices were unveiled, including Xiaomi Redmi 9i, LG Wing, TECNO Spark Power 2, Motorola E7 Plus, Vivo Y51 (2020), Infinix Note 7, Realme 7i, Sony Xperia 5 II, and LG Q31.
Google is also gearing up to unveil its flagship Pixel series, while Samsung is prepping the launch of Galaxy S20 FE.